A trip through the jhanas?

Eran G, modified 11 Years ago.

A trip through the jhanas?

Posts: 182 Join Date: 1/5/10 Recent Posts
I was gonna post this and then I wasn't and now I am. Yet another "what was this thing?" thread so please bare with me.

First sit: 30m samatha with breath at the nostrils as the object.

Felt a block in the solar plexus area, did some metta towards it for a couple of minutes until it mostly melted. Relaxed for a bit and tried to find a proper distance to the breath - involved but not holding on too tightly. After a while feeling like attention will rest on the breath easily and effortlessly. When distracted (mostly by thoughts) attention easily returns to the breath. If I feel the breath in the whole body at this point, I can feel some energy opening and closing going down the arms.

Feeling like face is pulled forward at the nose but compared to previous times feeling like something is incomplete. After a few minutes, feeling the breath grow larger and and larger as if zooming in on the anapana spot. Eventually feeling absorbed in breath.

A slight switch (If I remember correctly, this one felt like something pulled over the head) and feeling like attention is drawn to the edge. This means the edge of the visual field at the top and the edge of the body in the bottom and back. Breath is still present but paying attention to it is kind of like squinting. Focused more on the periphery, feeling some vibrations - visual at the top, body based otherwise.

Another shift, like top of head is squished and pulled up. Feeling more spacious and calm. Thinking fourth jhana but not as excited as I expected I would be. Thinking I might be scripting this.Still have thoughts, some sense of body (heat at my hands, breath at the nose, a few more slight sensations). Feeling like I could sit this way for a while. Bell rings, I'm not moved. Opening eyes eyes after a bit still feeling calm.

Second sit: 45-50m samatha with breath at the nostrils as the object.

Decided to ride on the previous sit and see if I can replicate it. I think this attitude brought about some tension throughout this sit which I was trying to calm down. Overall this was a more energetic sit but not as clear.

Mind takes to the breath almost immediately. Taking some time to calm and focus. Bursts of energy showing up several times, starting as quite short (just a few breaths) and later longer. Experiencing lights blinking and some shaking, later shaking mostly subsided in favor of energetic tingling.

After 20m stronger bursts for longer periods of time. Sitting while body is bathed in energy and light. Later feeling like I'm sitting pressed against a sphere with some energetic activity in arms (this feeling happened during the previous sit as well but I dont remember at what point). Later even more light, getting kinda bored.

Towards very end, a clear shift: visual field darkening, feeling like eyelids are closing even further. Body is curling inwards. Mind appears to be turning inwards as well, turning away from the outside world, away from the body as well. Experience overall is darker, somewhat disconnected from body, feeling is similar to falling asleep although I'm quite awake. Getting slowly calmer and more stable. Feelings of body are foreign - as if feeling something on the outside of me. Eyes turning downwards. Thoughts are getting slower and fewer. Some weird feeling in the chest causes me to search around in the body. I start noticing a feeling of opening up that starts with the back body and moves to the arms. Feeling my arms and back spreading out as if on their own volition. A few more seconds and I open my eyes.


So that's about it. I'd love to hear what anyone thinks was happening in the first sit and definitely want to know what was happening at the last stage of the second sit. That last stage felt like completely new ground to me.

Thanks for reading!