Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby K.Dhamma » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:10 pm

So, I just finished meditating. I didn't set an alarm or anything today and just wanted to have a good experience. I did. But peculiarly when I was finished I experienced something I haven't experienced before. It was like everything is foreign to me. Almost like I completely forgot where I had sat down to meditate. Even right now things seem "off" but I know where I am. I had been doing insight meditation for about 3 months and switched to samatha about 3 months ago. Comments are welcome, but I wanted to offer my experience to those who may have the same experiences and wondered if they were the only ones.

Metta.
:anjali:
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby daverupa » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:41 pm

I am not familiar with what a practice looks like that divides samatha and vipassana. They sort of hold hands as they go along, in my experience - I wonder if this disjointed feeling is a result of zoning out into a focus-coma and thinking that it's samatha? Those states can be quite disorienting while mental systems are brought back on-line.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby reflection » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:03 pm

It happens.
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby manas » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:03 pm

K.Dhamma wrote:So, I just finished meditating. I didn't set an alarm or anything today and just wanted to have a good experience. I did. But peculiarly when I was finished I experienced something I haven't experienced before. It was like everything is foreign to me. Almost like I completely forgot where I had sat down to meditate. Even right now things seem "off" but I know where I am. I had been doing insight meditation for about 3 months and switched to samatha about 3 months ago. Comments are welcome, but I wanted to offer my experience to those who may have the same experiences and wondered if they were the only ones.

Metta.
:anjali:


Hello KDhamma,

In my experience, yes what happened in meditation can imbue the mind temporarily (and hopefully one day, permanently, when we will see clearly) like a dye imbues a glass of water, or something like that. I think we all have odd and interesting experiences, but just to pick out one that was both lovely and a bit humorous in retrospect, I had cultivated a mind state that was quite loving, and I settled in (to a certain extent) to that emotion quite well that sitting. I can remember that when I arose, it was with gentleness; all my movements were gentle. It felt like love was in my body! Or maybe that doesn't really explain it fully; love was kind of 'all pervasive' in my awareness, just for a little while. So I was not making so many distinctions as normal, it was like love was just this state of being, how we relate with everything - even the inanimate world. I noticed how, completely naturally, I 'lovingly picked up the kettle to fill it with water'. :)

Of course these things usually wear off during the day ime. But yes they can happen. In my opinion, they would only be a problem if they hindered you from performing your ordinary daily tasks for that day, otherwise just observe and learn what you can from them.

Regarding not being alert to one's surroundings after a quite calm sitting, yes I can relate to that as well, although I wish to correct that in myself. I think we need to learn the skill of gently bringing the mind/body complex back again to the mundane diversity of this 'outer' world and it's manifold objects, after we arise from a calm abiding. If we are truly wise, we will be able to sustain mindfulness in all situations, from the sublime to the mundane. So maybe we need to learn how to 're-enter the sensual realm' in a way that is controlled, respectful and gentle to the mind, but which steers it back to dealing with the world 'out there' once more. If we are laypersons we must learn this skill, otherwise what if we have to drive a car right after meditating? :shock:

metta :anjali:
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby SarathW » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:53 pm

Some info regarding how you enter Jhana and emerge form it.
----------------------------------
"When a monk is attaining the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visakha, mental fabrications arise first, then bodily fabrications, then verbal fabrications."
"When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, lady, how many contacts make contact?"
"When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling, friend Visakha, three contacts make contact: contact with emptiness, contact with the sign-less, and contact with the undirected."
-----------------------
http://buddhasutra.com/files/cula_vedalla_sutta.htm
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby pilgrim » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:10 am

Yup, it happens. I have woken up in the morning during a Goenka retreat and not knowing where I was for several seconds.
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:18 am

Very good advise was given to get yourself slowly out of the meditation. My previous post was a bit short, but to repeat: it happens. The mind steps away from the world. I take preferably 1 minute at least to get in contact with the senses again, getting back to the body, getting asense of the room I'm sitting in, open my eyes slowly. That way the transition is not as rough and it is much easier to keep mindfulness. But if experiences get really strong, not even slowly coming back is going to do much. You may feel alienated more often, not just from the environment, but even from 'yourself'. Let me say to you, that there is nothing to fear and such experiences are normal and to be expected. From your limited description it sounds like you are not doing too bad. But just to respond to one post, in my understanding it's not jhana. And certainly not cessation of perception and feeling.

Love! :buddha1:
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby SarathW » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:30 am

It happens to me sometimes when I get up from the bed in the morning. :)
So it is certainly not cessation of perception and feeling.
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby reflection » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:36 am

We may be talking about something different. Waking up forgetting where you are is not the same as some experiences meditation can give, where in a sense you know where you are, and you have been there many times, but it's like all new - and sort of like a movie. In my understanding, this is the perception changed and the mind being drawn back, not ready to go back in the 'outside world'.

Waking up if you travel, for example, is not the same. Your mind needs to start up from sleep, not from meditation where it was very awake.

Perhaps K.Dhamma can clarify. Perhaps I was misunderstanding.


Love! :buddha1:
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Re: Forgetting where you are after meditation.

Postby K.Dhamma » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:57 pm

To clarify it was coming out of meditation and not having complete awareness of what is going on of what I see.

Thank you all for the great comments.

The experience was truly unique. I think it's experiences like these that allows us to develop a stronger aspiration to furthering our practice. On the idea of the loving feeling, I haven't yet to experience that! Truly intrigued though. Metta is not something I am currently practicing a lot of. I try here and there, and I do use it to redirect self hatred and self justification.

I will say though, I have had other experiences where I was confused when I came back after meditation. But this was the first time I was like "oh no, where did I go and where am I now?" Then about 30 seconds later it was like a rubber band "snap" and it all made sense. But to what *reflection* said; Yeah, I remember actually thinking "oh no, ummmm what's going on?" and I felt my heart start to jump. But I calmed down and just thought "just relax and breath." It is kinda scary though.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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