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Full body chills
Answer
3/23/18 7:43 PM
Hi all. New to the board, pretty new to the path. I meditated daily for about a year, quit for a while, and I'm now getting back into the habit with more of a focus on the Dharma than I had before. 
My sessions have been pretty unremarkable. I've got a good level of concentration but have never experienced the first jhana. What i have experienced, though, was an entire day of spine-tingling chills that would encompass my whole body and give me goosebumps. I used to be Kemetic orthodox and would often get the same chills when praying, so I know they're a positive, spiritual sign. 
I guess what I'd like to know is, how common is this? What could it signify specifically?
Also, I'm looking for a good friend who can help me along this path. Where should I start? To whom do I turn to?

Much appreciated.

RE: Full body chills
Answer
3/24/18 5:07 AM as a reply to Rebecca.
Hi Rebecca 

I sometimes get that whole body chills/goosebumps effect too - historically it has happened when in the company of Dharma friends who I have a strong connection with, or when in the presence of certain teachers.

I’m not sure what it means, but I’ve always felt it was a positive thing. 

Cheers
A

RE: Full body chills
Answer
3/24/18 7:01 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Thanks for your reply Anna. I see the chills as a good thing too. Perhaps some subtle entity paid me a visit.
I forgot the password for the account I created yesterday, so I suppose this will be my account from now on.

RE: Full body chills
Answer
3/24/18 8:56 PM as a reply to Rebecca.
Hi Rebecca,

Welcome to the DhO!

The experience you describe sounds like it might be piti, which is well described in the Vishuddhimagga, a 5th century Sri Lankan meditation text. Wikipedia has a good article on piti here.

Hope that helps.

RE: Full body chills
Answer
3/24/18 9:12 PM as a reply to Rebecca P.
The heart/mind when excited, filled with love/gratitude/reverence or encountering a positive spiritual thought, will cause the body to react in the manner you have experienced. I wouldn't go fantasizing about some entity and would summon mindfulness to explore how I can use this knowledge of how heart/mind conditions the body to explore the jhanas or deeper concentration. 

This is a good place to start: www.leighb.com/jhana3.htm

RE: Full body chills
Answer
3/24/18 9:51 PM as a reply to Rebecca P.
Coincidentally I was doing some research this morning and came across this on page 269 of Mahasi Sayadaw's 'Manual of Insight.'

"Sometimes you may get goose bumps or a chill may run up your back or through your whole body. You needn't be afraid of this; it's just rapture brought on by your meditation."

So, there you go! 

RE: Full body chills
Answer
3/24/18 10:10 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Lovely. Lots of good insight everyone. Thank you!