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New experience last night
Answer
8/30/10 2:53 PM
Okay I started my 30 minute open meditation. I started staying with my breath and then looked for anything standing out. I often like to be aware of how my skin feels or if there is any itching or soreness. Usually at this point I get 3rd eye pressure (always accompanied by feeling sense of the pressure of the sinus cavities, jaw or skull) and I decided to try and make them permanent. Everytime I did the pressure alleviated in the exact area I was trying to make permanent. As I did this throughout my head I felt as if I was feeling more detail and awareness of deep into my head. This actually happened a couple of days ago but with less progress.

At this point I started getting an enjoyable wave-buzz all around my head (very new for me). I moved my attention to my hands and it went there as well but not nearly as strong as my skull. I really wanted to move my head up while I was enjoying this. This happened a couple of minutes before the end of my 30 min meditation (I probably should have kept going). I then quickly went to sleep but it just kept happening. At this point in my meditation my "watcher" part of my mind is stronger than in the past so when my ego and sub-vocalizing says "Wow that was neat" I don't try to suppress it but continue investigating. When I investigated the experience it went away but when I put my head to my pillow and tried to sleep it came back again in pulses of enjoyment.

The best way I can describe this feeling was if you spun around 30 seconds and then stopped you would feel an inertia making you feel like you are still moving. The difference here was I felt that inertia trying to go up and out of my crown even when I was laying down. I'm still buzzing slightly today and feel really energized. I didn't have any shaking and I never felt a loss of the watcher.

I'm not sure if this is a pure jhana experience or a vipassana experience but I like it. emoticon

RE: New experience last night
Answer
8/30/10 6:07 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard B:
At this point I started getting an enjoyable wave-buzz all around my head (very new for me). I moved my attention to my hands and it went there as well but not nearly as strong as my skull. I really wanted to move my head up while I was enjoying this. This happened a couple of minutes before the end of my 30 min meditation (I probably should have kept going).

Yes, you probably should have. Not necessarily for the pleasantness of the experience (although that's a nice side benefit), but rather for the buildup of concentration and hence the ability of maintaining contemplation on an object or subject for an extended period of duration. Such states are good for being able to increase the duration of insight contemplation, as well as general mindfulness afterwards.

Richard B:
I then quickly went to sleep but it just kept happening. At this point in my meditation my "watcher" part of my mind is stronger than in the past so when my ego and sub-vocalizing says "Wow that was neat" I don't try to suppress it but continue investigating....

That's good, that you remained aware (mindful). Such experiences will help strengthen what you call the "watcher" part of the mind. I call it strengthening concentration ability. With stronger and stronger concentration ability, you are able to observe phenomena and subjects for extended periods of duration so that you are more able to see them for what they are (i.e. gather insight about them).

Richard B:

I'm not sure if this is a pure jhana experience or a vipassana experience but I like it. emoticon

It's hard to say without more background information about your practice, but it may have been the second jhana. The fact that it tended to continue on its own indicates the second absorption, where vitakka and vicara drop away because the mind has become absorbed on its own without the need to manipulate the experience in order to first bring it on.

Keep practicing and keep examining phenomena. It sounds like you're ready for satipatthana practice, if such were your inclination.

RE: New experience last night
Answer
8/30/10 7:14 PM as a reply to Ian And.
I'll try to make it 1 hour instead of 30 mins because it takes about 20 - 25 min to get somewhere. I thought I was doing an open meditation with mindful noting of dominate sensations, feelings, thoughts. I don't use words but try and "touch" the experiences. Words usually get me in trouble. I never felt such inertia shooting towards my crown and fine buzz-waves surrounding my skull and penetrating it.

I don't know if my practice is right but I usually just aim my awareness at dominante sensations and I usually try and feel as much detail as possible with the breath as an anchor from time to time.

RE: New experience last night
Answer
8/30/10 9:42 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I think you're right. It's probably a jhana experience, with a little mindfulness to keep the concentration on track. I went for 1 hour and was able to stay concentrated for most of the time and my focus was just on my "third eye" part of my mind and how it felt (pressure) and after the meditation is over I still feel it going. At 1 hour I was seeing more colors and feeling more relaxed in the concentration. I can see now how people can meditate for much longer.

Thanks

RE: New experience last night
Answer
8/31/10 1:02 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard B:
I'll try to make it 1 hour instead of 30 mins because it takes about 20 - 25 min to get somewhere.

Yes. That's a common observation among meditators. Especially beginners to intermediate level practitioners. As one becomes more adept at reaching such states, the time spent getting there becomes less. This is especially true for those who go after absorption attainment.

Richard B:
I don't know if my practice is right but I usually just aim my awareness at dominante sensations and I usually try and feel as much detail as possible with the breath as an anchor from time to time.

That's good as far as it goes. Helps one to become able to establish a baseline of identifying various subtle phenomena. Yet, once one is able to fairly cleanly and regularly establish concentration (samadhi), the next step up the ladder involves insight practice, which can entail satipatthana practice. The four establishments of mindfulness (of the body, feeling, mind states, and dhammas) can help one gain deeper insight into the Dhamma when those teachings are being used as an insight subject.

Richard B:
I think you're right. It's probably a jhana experience, with a little mindfulness to keep the concentration on track. I went for 1 hour and was able to stay concentrated for most of the time and my focus was just on my "third eye" part of my mind and how it felt (pressure) and after the meditation is over I still feel it going. At 1 hour I was seeing more colors and feeling more relaxed in the concentration. I can see now how people can meditate for much longer.

Yes. Your description of the concentrated state you were in is common among adept meditators. Although I wouldn't give too much credence or importance to any "colors" you may see. Treat them as something to let go of. As you begin to become more adept at reaching such states at will and are able to integrate insight practice, you will appreciate the ability you have developed to be able to center the mind on a subject (or object, as the case may be) in unification on that subject in order to learn more about it. This is the point where "contemplation" becomes more than just another word — meaning it takes on real palpable significance. Especially if you have been reading about (or thinking about) the subject matter before meditating.

RE: New experience last night
Answer
9/2/10 12:14 AM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:
As you begin to become more adept at reaching such states at will and are able to integrate insight practice, you will appreciate the ability you have developed to be able to center the mind on a subject (or object, as the case may be) in unification on that subject in order to learn more about it. This is the point where "contemplation" becomes more than just another word — meaning it takes on real palpable significance. Especially if you have been reading about (or thinking about) the subject matter before meditating.


Thanks! I'm starting to see what you mean. I looked at the Insight thread and saw some interesting techniques from Florian that I tried. I really noted as much as possible including positive, neutral, and unpleasant. Here are the main differences in my experience:

- My eyes at times rolled back and I felt a mental expanse. Of course I noted it along with everything else. Noting sometimes made it stronger
- When I got lost in thought it was different than in concentration. In concentration I don't notice the line between awareness and being lost in thought as much. This time when I was lost in thought I snapped out of it quicker but it felt more like I was dreaming and then just woke up except it wasn't like in normal sleep and I wasn't nodding off. I was aware of being awake but just lost in thought. I can feel that blip between awareness and lost in thought (which reminded me more of dreaming).
- When I was done I felt so much energy that I could meditate much longer. With pure concentration it feels like it requires more effort to go more than 1 hour. I did a walking meditation afterwards which had some of that floating, jerky feeling movement of the "Cause and Effect" stage.
- After opening my eyes in the sitting meditation it was a little blurry but I noticed that my back and jaw were sore which dovetails what Daniel points out in his book:

There may be odd bodily twistings, obsession with posture, and painful tensions or strange other sensations, particularly in the back, neck, jaw and shoulders.


- There also was a little emotional discomfort almost like an aversion to this mindset and a comfortableness in being as per usual which is the opposite I felt during this sitting meditation. So I suppose that's a taste to come.