MCTB The Second Jhana

The second jhana is like the first, i.e. a seemingly solidified mind state. With the dropping of almost all of applied and sustained effort the rapture and happiness factors created by concentration can really predominate. Thus, whereas the first jhana feels like something you need to pay attention to, the second jhana has the quality of showing itself to you. The focus of attention widens out somewhat, sort of like looking straight ahead without focusing the eyes on anything specific. Whereas mind-generated objects in the first jhana are stable, they will move (e.g. spin, pulse, resonate, etc.) in the second jhana in ways that correlate with the phase of the breath, moving slowly towards the top and bottom of the breath and more quickly in the middle.

The silence of the mind is noticeably increased, and the pleasure of this state may increase greatly as well, particularly if pleasure is the focus of attention. When this state is really cultivated, the intensity of the pleasure of this state can become pretty much as strong you can stand it. Again, this state is a fine attainment but can be quite captivating. Some may get stuck cultivating this again and again for some period of time ranging from days to years. Again, the meditator also has the option to try to go on to the third jhana or to investigate this state and begin the progress of insight, paying careful attention to completely deconstructing the state into its moment-to-moment components.

MCTB The Third Jhana