Post-Meditation Bliss

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Post-Meditation Bliss

Postby Roux » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:20 pm

Hello all. First I'd like to say that I love this forum and have gotten good things out of it despite only lurking until now. You guys are great.

I've only recently discovered (in the sense that I've studied it in-depth and made it a part of my life) Buddhism and started meditating daily a few weeks ago. I usually sit for about 15 minutes at a time since I get a bit restless after that, which I'm working on.

Anyway, this morning I sat for my usual 15 minutes. Nothing seemed unusual during the sit but when I got up I felt a feeling of immense joy. I felt extremely happy and in the moment. I felt a great sense of clarity and it almost seemed like I was watching myself do things in a movie. I also felt a strange sort of compassion for everything and everyone. I was talking to a friend of mine about a relationship she recently got out of and where I normally would have condemned some of the less-than-wise things the guy did I was telling her to try to understand that he's human and makes mistakes too and that hopefully they both learned something from the experience. My brother was making fun of women who spend absurd amounts of money on handbags and I had no desire to join in his doing so and just sort of told him that he should pity them for being misguided. It was quite unlike me really. One of my more unfortunate pleasures has always been to judge people I think are silly or morally corrupt in some way

I consider myself a very rational person and don't go looking for metaphysical experiences when there are other explanations. The reasonableness and "come and see" attitude of the Buddha is what originally attracted me to his way of thinking. So I have to ask. Does anyone have any idea what exactly I experienced? I've read a bit about meditation and was thinking this might be one of the first stages of Jhana but it seems like that would be premature. I wasn't expecting much of anything at this stage of my practice.

Sorry if this was a bit long but I wanted to make things clear.
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Re: Post-Meditation Bliss

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:25 pm

Apply your same good principles to your own practice — don't judge it. Remember, whatever blissful states do arise, they will also pass away. If you get attached to them, then you will suffer.

Just keep on doing the practice — enjoy bliss if and when it comes, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't occur.
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Re: Post-Meditation Bliss

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:36 pm

Hi, Roux, and welcome to DW :hello:
Ven Pesala's advice is good but I would like to add that the beginning stages of any learning curve are most prone to the good-day/bad-day effect - whether it's learning to play trumpet or the beginning of a new romantic relationship. Meditation is no different in that way, although most of us here would say that its later results are more reliably beneficial than either of my other examples :tongue:
Enjoy the good feelings when they come. Remembering them will help you tolerate the days when you sit there with a head full of cotton wool and feel it's doing you no good at all.

:namaste:
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Re: Post-Meditation Bliss

Postby sunyavadin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:47 am

Roux wrote:Does anyone have any idea what exactly I experienced?


Yes - bliss, called in Sanskrit ananda. The first time it hit me, I was standing at a supermarket checkout waiting to buy something a couple of hours after sitting, and woosh, there it was. I had no idea or expectation that something like that would happen. It used to happen when I started to sit, but that was in about 1978, and it doesn't happen much any more. It is real, but also not something to get attached to, because it always fluctuates, comes and goes, but I think you would agree it's a good sign.

:anjali:
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Re: Post-Meditation Bliss

Postby Ajisai » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:13 am

Hi Roux,

Just like you I'm new to Buddhism and meditation, but what you are telling has happened to me many times too.
It is not always just after the meditation but sometimes a couple of hours later that I can feel the effects of that "bliss" as you say: being with an attentive, calm mind, less angry, more tolerant, full of compassion... Sadly it gradually fades away during the day.

In my (very small) experience so far, meditating helps being virtuous and keeping the precepts, and being virtuous helps having "better" meditations... like a virtuous circle.

:buddha1:
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Re: Post-Meditation Bliss

Postby sunyavadin » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:23 am

It would have been great if all my vices had melted away into bliss, but regrettably not....
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