Phenomenal correlate of Piti

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

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:25 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:49 pm
pseudobabble wrote:
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:47 am
For myself, Piti=Rapture, has always been associated with a deep meditative absorption as described very clearly by teachers like Bhikkhu Bodhi and Ven. Payutto in his Buddhadhamma. When samatha reaches a certain point of concentration, my brain and body are overwhelmed by a wave of blissfulness that feels like my head is softened and my inner organs and body are filled with a radiance. That is the basic feeling in my case, and it can change as the concentration changes. Thinking becomes minimal and there is no part of my body untouched by it either on the surface or internally. The first time I experienced this when I was in my early 20's, I would have described it as an experience of god and the for the first time, I knew what it felt like to be whole and not divided. Of course, I did not have any Buddhist framework to explain what was going on and after weeks of this on and off absorption, I felt like I was cast out of heaven, so to speak, when it stopped. I relentlessly pursued it much to my detriment because I had no real wisdom to balance it with. We need to develop some of the other factors to keep us aligned to the proper relevance of this kind of state.

Could you tell me which Bodhi book/paper you read it in? And thank you re Payutto Buddhadhamma, I see he has some other very interesting work as well.

my brain and body are overwhelmed by a wave of blissfulness that feels like my head is softened and my inner organs and body are filled with a radiance.
Could you please explain more about the bolded parts?

there is no part of my body untouched by it either on the surface or internally.
Could you feel your body as you do normally? Was this piti feeling overlayed onto the normal feeling, or did it replace it? Did it feel 'solid' or 'empty',
were there 'currents' in the feeling? (The commentaries describe a bunch of different types of piti, 'shooting', 'showering', etc)
I was reading the BB quote that JohnK posted. For me, Payutto's explanations of jhanas and Dhamma are very clear, not as verbose, and always to the point.

When I mentioned 'going soft in the head' I was referring to that feeling of buoyancy, no problems to solve, no thought of a person. Along with that, a blissful feeling that seems to radiate from within the body. Not exactly an electric current but I could see some as describing it that way. There is still a noticing of body because the piti is a feeling. It doesn't feel overlayed. It feels like it is being emitted by the body, yes, replacing it. Sometimes I've felt currents but there is a fullness to it all, sort of pressurized, neither solid or empty.

I'm sure there are many valid variations of this as each practitioner has his/her own characteristics that are being experienced. As wonderful as these blissful experiences are, they don't last, and that is why I think the wisdom factor is more important. Too easy to get distracted by jhanas. Disenchantment and dispassion are much more important factors. Any attachment to experience will lead one to more craving and becoming. Just a caution.

Thank you very much for that description, it was very helpful. You're quite right about attachment and dispassion. The reason I am asking is that I have had exactly this experience you have described (full, pressurised, very nice feeling, but for me it was unbearable after a while), and of course I chased it, and have hopefully got over that. It is what really convinced me that there was something tangible in the path. For a while I wasn't sure what the experience had been because the term 'rapture' conjured very different associations, so I'm always interested to compare my experience with other people's experience to see if I have understood what the terms mean.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

Saengnapha
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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:57 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:25 pm
Thank you very much for that description, it was very helpful. You're quite right about attachment and dispassion. The reason I am asking is that I have had exactly this experience you have described (full, pressurised, very nice feeling, but for me it was unbearable after a while), and of course I chased it, and have hopefully got over that. It is what really convinced me that there was something tangible in the path. For a while I wasn't sure what the experience had been because the term 'rapture' conjured very different associations, so I'm always interested to compare my experience with other people's experience to see if I have understood what the terms mean.
I think this is one of the reasons that having a teacher comes in handy. Books are a secondary source. When I told my spiritual friend about my initial experience, he said things like this happen and it was best to try not to repeat and chase them, but to move on.

Blissfulness was always a better descriptive for me, but it was quite addicting and where beside a moment's orgasm or drugs could you ever feel something like this. The wisdom factor emerges, hopefully. Wise reflection is key along with mindfulness. They work in tandem.

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