Message Boards Message Boards

Wetpaint Migration 4

riding the breath !

Toggle
riding the breath !
Answer
10/8/08 9:31 PM
Author: thorjackson
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

I was following my breathing once, when suddenly on the out breath I moved with it, that is to say, I moved from my head to my abdominal regeion, became overly joyfull about this which ended my session. Can anyone shed any light on this experence. yours gratefully, new to site

RE: riding the breath !
Answer
10/9/08 12:20 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: marinr

That was my first experience of the three characteristics in formal meditation. I learned a lot from it. I noticed, when I 'moved' into the abdomen, that the vibrations in abdomen seem to stop, and also that the time and space seem very different in that state (time defined by the speed of vibrations, and space existing 'in' the objects themselves). At least that was my interpretation of that experience.

Hope this helps.

Marin

RE: riding the breath !
Answer
10/9/08 7:11 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: josh0

I had a very similar experience about two weeks ago. I was following the breath doing a simple noting practice when all of a sudden, as you said, my awareness was somehow focused on my breath in a completely different way than it had been before. Rather than simply observing it, I seemed to be _experiencing_ it, if that makes any sense. Immediately following that I felt a strange sort of tingling sensation at the top of my head and, upon turning my attention to that, the tingling spread across my entire body along with a warmth, and an intense feeling of pleasure which it would not be at all an exageration to call orgasmic (fortunately only in sensation and not in physical reaction...). As with yourself this ended my session, largely, I think, because it was so surprising.

In subsequent sessions I've been able to duplicate, though not intentionally at this point, the shift of perspective to the breath, but thus far have only really felt the beginning of the following pleasure and not been able to experience it in full again (it feels as though I'm poking around the edges of whatever state I was in before, but unable to actually cross the border). I have found that since that experience, however, my sitting has generally been much more comfortable, and I'm now easily sitting for 75 minutes at a time whereas up until that experience I was struggling with 30-45 minute sessions.

RE: riding the breath !
Answer
10/9/08 8:13 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Josh,
sounds like you hit some (samatha) Jhana factors - concentration and rapture. Enjoy!

If you're looking for a good resource on the Jhanas, you might want to check out Leigh Brasington's site, listed on the Websites of Value page:

http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/page/Websites+of+Value

Chapter 21 of Dan's book is very useful as well.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: riding the breath !
Answer
10/9/08 6:36 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Yeah, jhana is fun, and a relief from sitting with nothing interesting going on except back and knee pain and our issues. However, once we get into it, the tendency is to stick there, and if developing just good feelings, interesting experiences and deeper concentration states is your goal, no problem, you're on the right track. However, there are other options, such as using that stronger concentration to gain direct insight into the true nature of phenomena, which I tend to label using the Three Characteristics, impermanence, suffering and no-self, and thus gain in insight and fundamental wisdom. Now you all have options, and that sure beats the hard, nothin' going on sits that most people start with, and it provides faith that if the early territory is interesting, the later territory will be even more interesting. For Josh0: the spreading vibrations and orgasmic stuff is likely A&P: beware the side effects that tend to follow it and read up on them so as to know how to skillfully handle that territory.

RE: riding the breath !
Answer
10/9/08 6:37 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
For more on the A&P and the maps in general: http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/page/The+Arising+and+Passing+Away

RE: riding the breath !
Answer
10/10/08 2:16 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: josh0

Daniel, thanks for your input. It hadn't even occurred to me that what I experienced could be the A&P. I've had other spontaneous experiences that I thought might be (one or two chronicled on this site), but for this one I guess I've just been assuming that my practice wasn't really advanced enough for me to get there 'intentionally'.

The experience does, however, seem to match up perfectly with the description of the first samatha jhana here: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/jhana-2.html, and I'm not sure that I'm currently seeing any evidence of the dark night. Although re-reading the description of the A&P, I can certainly also see plenty of aspects of my own experience (though sadly not the reduced need for sleep which would really come in handy).

I will say that approach that I've been taking to meditation has been to develop concentration until I reach the samatha jhanas, largely as a mile marker to prove to myself that things are actually happening, and then turn to vipassana and work towards progress of insight.