Phenomenal correlate of Piti

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Pseudobabble
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Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:02 am

Hi everyone,

I have been wondering for a while what exactly the phenomenal correlate of Piti is - meaning, how can I know which element of my experience is Piti? I want to know what is the referent of the word, how can I match its use to my experience.

I hope that knowledgable members could offer their opinions and interpretations.

I would very much like to hear many different views with their justifications, but if wise members could refrain from argument, that would be good. Textual analysis and experiential investigation are complementary modes as far as I am concerned, and there's no need for this thread to be the final word on any implicit or explicit contradictions between their results.

Here are some words I have seen used to render piti, and some of my hesitant suggestions:

Rapture
Glee
Happiness
Elation
Euphoria (?)
Giddiness (?)
'Aloneness-pleasure' (? - there are some passages where 'rapture' results from seclusion if I remember correctly)
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

paul
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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by paul » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:19 am

Piti is reaching joyful interest in the mediation subject, and is a change of the energy mode from striving to attainment. As such it is experienced in any task where striving is followed by achievement.

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:26 pm

paul wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:19 am
Piti is reaching joyful interest in the mediation subject, and is a change of the energy mode from striving to attainment. As such it is experienced in any task where striving is followed by achievement.
Aha - so it's the feeling of 'getting into it', when things start to come together and 'flow'?
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by JohnK » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:54 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:02 am
I hope that knowledgable members could offer their opinions and interpretations.
Some discussion from the knowledgeable Bhikkhu Bodhi -- hopefully helpful.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el277.html
I've pasted from this piece already today --I recently read it, so it is fresh on my mind -- and easily "pasteable."
Rapture (Piti)

"Joy is the supporting condition for rapture": Though for certain individuals serene faith in the objects of refuge and a clear conscience are sufficient to transform joy into rapture, such cases are the exception rather than the rule. Generally, in order for the emotional tone of the spiritual life to be lifted to that pitch of intensity suggested by the term "rapture" (piti) a further commitment to the training is necessary. This commitment takes the form of deliberate application to the practice of meditation...

The impediments to meditation are classified into a group of five factors called the "five hindrances" (pañcanivarana). These are sensual desire, ill-will, stiffness and torpor, restlessness and regret, and doubt. The Buddha calls these five hindrances "corruptions of the mind" and "weakeners of wisdom." He says they are conducive to pain, blindness, and ignorance, and compares them respectively to a debt, a disease, imprisonment, slavery, and the dangers of a desert journey. Their removal by unremitting exertion is the first task facing the meditator. As he proceeds in his practice, striving with patience and diligence, there come suddenly momentary breaks in the course of his efforts when the hindrances fall away, the flow of inner verbalization stops, and the mind abides one-pointedly on the object. The achievement of this momentary concentration, brief as it is, gives immense satisfaction. It is a powerful experience unleashing spurts of mental energy which flood up to the surface of consciousness and inundate the mind with waves of joyous refreshment. It brings an elating thrill bordering on ecstasy, crowning the yogin's previous endeavors and inspiring further effort.

This experience marks the arising of rapture. The distinguishing feature of rapture is a strong interest and delight directed to the object of attention. Its function is to give refreshment to the body and mind. It can assume both wholesome and unwholesome forms, depending on whether it is motivated by attachment or detachment with respect to its object
but on occasions of meditative consciousness it is always wholesome. The commentaries distinguish five degrees of rapture which make their appearance in the successive stages of mental unification.[18] "Minor rapture," the lowest on the scale, is said to be able to raise the hairs of the body. "Momentary rapture," the next degree of development, rushes through the body with an intensity likened to streaks of lightning flashing forth in the sky at different moments. "Showering rapture," the third degree, breaks over the body again and again with considerable force, like the waves on the seashore breaking upon the beach. "Uplifting rapture" is so-called because it is credited with the ability to cause the body to levitate, and the Visuddhimagga cites several cases where this literally occurs. And "pervading rapture," the highest on the scale, is said to completely fill the whole body as a huge inundation fills a rock cavern. Since the commentary to our sutta defines joy (pamojja), the prior link in our sequence, as weak rapture, we may assume this to signify the delightful interest preceding the deliberate development of meditation, that is, in the stages when faith in the Dhamma was just acquired and the purification of moral discipline commenced. The five degrees of rapture presented here would then pertain exclusively to the rapture found in meditative consciousness. And since the last degree of rapture only gains ascendancy with the attainment of full absorption, which does not come until later, it seems that the degrees of rapture which are distinctive of the present stage of progress are the four beginning with minor rapture and reaching their peak with uplifting rapture.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Javi » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:45 am

Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:43 am

JohnK wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:54 pm
Rapture (Piti)

"As he proceeds in his practice, striving with patience and diligence, there come suddenly momentary breaks in the course of his efforts when the hindrances fall away, the flow of inner verbalization stops, and the mind abides one-pointedly on the object. The achievement of this momentary concentration, brief as it is, gives immense satisfaction. It is a powerful experience unleashing spurts of mental energy which flood up to the surface of consciousness and inundate the mind with waves of joyous refreshment. It brings an elating thrill bordering on ecstasy, crowning the yogin's previous endeavors and inspiring further effort.

This experience marks the arising of rapture. The distinguishing feature of rapture is a strong interest and delight directed to the object of attention. Its function is to give refreshment to the body and mind. It can assume both wholesome and unwholesome forms, depending on whether it is motivated by attachment or detachment with respect to its object[/b] but on occasions of meditative consciousness it is always wholesome. The commentaries distinguish five degrees of rapture which make their appearance in the successive stages of mental unification.[18] "Minor rapture," the lowest on the scale, is said to be able to raise the hairs of the body. "Momentary rapture," the next degree of development, rushes through the body with an intensity likened to streaks of lightning flashing forth in the sky at different moments. "Showering rapture," the third degree, breaks over the body again and again with considerable force, like the waves on the seashore breaking upon the beach. "Uplifting rapture" is so-called because it is credited with the ability to cause the body to levitate, and the Visuddhimagga cites several cases where this literally occurs. And "pervading rapture," the highest on the scale, is said to completely fill the whole body as a huge inundation fills a rock cavern. Since the commentary to our sutta defines joy (pamojja), the prior link in our sequence, as weak rapture, we may assume this to signify the delightful interest preceding the deliberate development of meditation, that is, in the stages when faith in the Dhamma was just acquired and the purification of moral discipline commenced. The five degrees of rapture presented here would then pertain exclusively to the rapture found in meditative consciousness. And since the last degree of rapture only gains ascendancy with the attainment of full absorption, which does not come until later, it seems that the degrees of rapture which are distinctive of the present stage of progress are the four beginning with minor rapture and reaching their peak with uplifting rapture.
Thank you John, this is invaluable - exactly what I was looking for.



Perfect, Javi, thank you very much, also exactly what I was after.


Does anyone have any personal experiences to share on this matter?
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:49 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:43 am
Does anyone have any personal experiences to share on this matter?
I have experienced something like a mild electric shock, which persists pleasantly.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:17 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:49 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:43 am
Does anyone have any personal experiences to share on this matter?
I have experienced something like a mild electric shock, which persists pleasantly.

Interesting. Was it located anywhere specific?
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:35 am

Following from what John and Javi wrote:

I was researching ASMR, and the list of triggers is interesting in the context of meditation. It's triggered by soft sounds, like scraping, rustling, whispering, light physical contact, and 'personal attention'. I always get it during a haircut.

It made me think: these triggers are all present during meditation - the soft sound of the breath, light touch of breath movement, the close personal attention paid to ones own state.

These triggers are also all ape grooming/social bonding related.

In my meditation, I tried to pay attention to the breath as though I were 'bonding' with it, as though this were a time of close personal care and attention, full of trust and love. Lo and behold: Piti. Pleasurable skin feelings (closer to ASMR than frisson, around the neck and upper back but extending everywhere), strong concentration, ease of attention, pleasant emotional states. I could have stayed there for a long time, but work beckons. This is very interesting. There's an article by Ajahn Brahm, where he talks about doing metta on the breath in preparation for concentration which aligns well with this.
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:10 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:17 pm
Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:49 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:43 am
Does anyone have any personal experiences to share on this matter?
I have experienced something like a mild electric shock, which persists pleasantly.

Interesting. Was it located anywhere specific?
All over really.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:04 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:10 am
Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:17 pm
Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:49 pm


I have experienced something like a mild electric shock, which persists pleasantly.

Interesting. Was it located anywhere specific?
All over really.
Interesting. In previous meditations, I've experienced what felt like 'stone body', where the whole body felt immobile, energised, and pleasant. Similar to the 'electric shock' feeling you describe.

This is good. I feel that it is quite easy to miss the states described in the texts if one does not know what one is looking for, which has implications for progress, since one is supposed to be aware of them, and intensify them. Thank you for contributing to my understanding.
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by JohnK » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:37 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:04 am
... I feel that it is quite easy to miss the states described in the texts if one does not know what one is looking for, which has implications for progress, since one is supposed to be aware of them, and intensify them. Thank you for contributing to my understanding.
Just a caution on "intensify them."
Here is an article that describes piti in the jhana context -- the emphasis being more on allowing and seeing than intentionally intensifying.
https://www.lionsroar.com/entering-the-jhanas/
(I know Leigh Brasington is not the final word on this - I just googled "jhana piti" and it came up -- I was looking to see if "intensifying" was mentioned or not -- there may well be other sources where "intensify" is recommended.) I'll quote a bit from it.
...After you’ve been in access concentration “long enough,” if you notice that there’s a pleasant feeling in the hands, drop the attention on the breath and focus entirely on the pleasantness of that sensation...what matters is that there is a pleasant sensation and you’re able to put your attention on it and—now here comes the really hard part—do nothing else...
Once you’ve found the pleasant sensation, you fully shift your attention to it. If you can do that, the sensation will begin to grow in intensity; it will become stronger. This will not happen in a linear way. At first, nothing happens. Then it’ll grow a little bit and then hang out and grow a little bit more. And then eventually, it will suddenly take off...Any attempt to do anything more does not work. You actually have to become a human being, as opposed to a human doing... [emphasis added]
Again, just a caution.
:anjali:
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:00 pm

JohnK wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:37 pm
Pseudobabble wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:04 am
... I feel that it is quite easy to miss the states described in the texts if one does not know what one is looking for, which has implications for progress, since one is supposed to be aware of them, and intensify them. Thank you for contributing to my understanding.
Just a caution on "intensify them."
Here is an article that describes piti in the jhana context -- the emphasis being more on allowing and seeing than intentionally intensifying.
https://www.lionsroar.com/entering-the-jhanas/
(I know Leigh Brasington is not the final word on this - I just googled "jhana piti" and it came up -- I was looking to see if "intensifying" was mentioned or not -- there may well be other sources where "intensify" is recommended.) I'll quote a bit from it.
...After you’ve been in access concentration “long enough,” if you notice that there’s a pleasant feeling in the hands, drop the attention on the breath and focus entirely on the pleasantness of that sensation...what matters is that there is a pleasant sensation and you’re able to put your attention on it and—now here comes the really hard part—do nothing else...
Once you’ve found the pleasant sensation, you fully shift your attention to it. If you can do that, the sensation will begin to grow in intensity; it will become stronger. This will not happen in a linear way. At first, nothing happens. Then it’ll grow a little bit and then hang out and grow a little bit more. And then eventually, it will suddenly take off...Any attempt to do anything more does not work. You actually have to become a human being, as opposed to a human doing... [emphasis added]
Again, just a caution.
:anjali:

Understood. You're quite right, these are not states that can be forced. They are fascinating though.
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Zom » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:13 pm

I recall Ven. Thanissaro explained this jhanic factor as inner kind of energy, but not necessarily felt as pleasant, as some may find it frightening or disturbing, for example. Pleasure - both mental and bodily - is anoher, separate jhanic factor, actually.

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Re: Phenomenal correlate of Piti

Post by Pseudobabble » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:29 am

Zom wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:13 pm
I recall Ven. Thanissaro explained this jhanic factor as inner kind of energy, but not necessarily felt as pleasant, as some may find it frightening or disturbing, for example. Pleasure - both mental and bodily - is anoher, separate jhanic factor, actually.
Yes that fits well with the 'electric shock' feeling Spiny mentioned, and the 'stone body' feeling I had was unbearable after a point, I had to come out of the meditation.
"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

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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