Samadhi without instruction

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Shuun
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Samadhi without instruction

Post by Shuun » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:41 pm

Since there is so much debate about proper way to practice right meditation and Jhana, i want to tell a little story that might lead someone closer to the right path, without dwelling into literature, interpretations, something from real experience.

Declaimer: I think that talking about your attainment of Jhana was prohibited for simple reason: to avoid monks measuring themselves against each other, to prevent elitism, separation between monks, not because talking about this practice is in some way 'sacred' or to be hidden away or talked only in whispers.

Many might know that Buddhas first experience with Jhana was not after dwelling into scrutiny of the 'right' way to practice and not after following some instruction - this state had come to be naturally, when he was a child, careless, joyful, without any special effort put into attaining such state.

And i think many people have 'achieved' (got the conditions to line up) Jhanas without even knowing what they are doing, practically on a whim, by chance.

One time, some years ago, knowing *nothing* about Buddhism, Jhana or anything really - I finished some work and lied down on my back, thinking 'the work is done, now i will just relax peacefully', not being tired or wanting to go sleep, just with pleasant intention of focusing on joyful awareness, then on a whim some intention arose in me to playfully 'experiment' with my mind and to see if i can get my mind clear of thought. I did not do it with intention to get something, but as playful, joyful experiment, relaxing and being content. I did not succeed to focus on 'non thought' for long, because instances of past hardships surfaced in my mind. So i decided to whenever such memory of past hardship surfaces, i will make peace with it and 'write it off', put it down kindly like old unnecessary thing that is not useful. Many such memories of hardships in this life arose in me and each one i put down, remaining playful, peaceful, like child playing around with mind like a toy, and after putting down each one of those memories of hardship, i then put my attention to silence in-between. Some things come up only once and went away just by recognition 'this instance of hardship' then 'oh, another one, bye', some repeated twice or thrice. I did not put much effort into it, i just waved them off. As time went by, i could find less and less hardships to wave off and the silence in-between them increased. Then a moment came where no more memories of hardship were to be found and unimaginable bliss and joy arose first in body, as waves of bliss and joy then mind was enjoying that unexpected, other worldly bliss and joy, the 'outside' world disappeared - i no longer felt my body, i did not hear any sound, or see 'black' through my ayes, it was like being delivered to other space, dwelling (khem). With disappearance of body bright, round object appeared like a sun radiating stunning mixture of light outwards, it's presence has made my mind completely mute - there was no chance for thought to arise at all, it felt like you have lost the ability to speak and think at all, you only felt that thing, that looked more impressive than god. Then that thing disappeared, and i found myself in some other 'space'- empty, much after what i felt a strong surge of fear arise in me that 'i have died' - because all of the body and it's senses had disappeared, and i only saw this 'nothing', that instinctive fear then threw me out of this state. Note that this is not a 'proper' Jhana, much of the expierence is so called 'nimitta', a door to Jhana. For two weeks after this experience i could lie down, and focus on 'nothing' and get to extremely pleasurable states in time frames of seconds. Obviously i was doing wrong, indulging in sense pleasure, but that's how it was and i knew no better, so i used it. Good thing is that this experience changed direction my life forever to a better one :D

With this i would like to point out the following: if the right intention and the right requisites for Jhana is present, it is just going to happen. Joy and rupture is part of the experience. You need to have the right attitude and mindset before doing this. You can't force the conditions. It does not matter what you are focusing on, as long as it leads you to being one-pointed, so that you are occupied by a single thing. That 'thing' needs to be uplifting, it needs to have some joyful calm associated with it, so that you are calmly and intently focused upon it, instead of forcing it. In this very case that initial joy arose because i was happy that i succeed in my intention of having no thought. Later the joy arose because of seclusion, just like Buddha described.

It is not a matter of some weird and complicated methods or some painful training, achieving something. It's a matter of right conditions being there and absence of hindering conditions. How to achieve absence of hindering conditions and arising of right conditions for Jhana? 8 fold path. You use wisdom gained by following Buddhas teaching to cultivate what is useful and to abandon what is not useful and then use that same wisdom in meditation and the other way around. Stop thinking about 'where should i focus - on the nose tip or abdomen or left foot', but know what must be present and cultivate that. Know what is hindering progress and abandon that.

Start by 'singleness of occupation' (on breath for example) together with joyful, calm attitude, clear intention. Find it fun, if it's not fun for you, your mind won't incline to letting go.

And abandoning of hindrances - you are not drowsy and down, you are there, with good intent, ready for some beneficial training. You are not agitated by outside world, you are calm and content, you are following the 8 fold path rightly therefore you are not angered or wanting. You are not ridden with ill will - you are not trying to find fault, you are set with right intent, you know how to deal with pain and other things, you are following the 8 fold path. Aaand you have no doubt - you know what must be present for access concentration clearly. You are not pondering about 'is this right' 'is this method working'. You know what must be present and you cultivate what must be present. You know the hindrances that must be absent. Know clearly what you are doing and what must be done, what must be cultivated further and what must be abandoned, and remember that you are not somehow magically endowed with joyful calm when you sit down to meditate, if in the course of the day you are indulging in sense pleasure, anger and all kinds of other unwholesome affairs, it just wont happen, what needs to be there wont be there and what hinders meditation will be present.

I hope you can de-crypt some useful meaning from this message, my English is what it is :D

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ryanM
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Re: Samadhi without instruction

Post by ryanM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:37 pm

Very good. Thank you for the post.

:anjali:
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

"nothing whatsoever should be clung to"

Pajjoto
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Re: Samadhi without instruction

Post by Pajjoto » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:11 pm

Very interesting, thank you.
What's your mother tongue?

Saoshun
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Re: Samadhi without instruction

Post by Saoshun » Sun May 03, 2015 5:07 pm

It was not samadhi
Remember… the Buddha had said that everyone living in this world is crazy, by the phrase, “Sabbē prutajjana ummattakā”; excluding the Arahants, everyone else is crazy. Would you get angry if a mad person scolds? Do we get angry for a crazy thing done by a crazy person? Just think about it! :candle:

denise
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Re: Samadhi without instruction

Post by denise » Mon May 04, 2015 2:08 pm

Hello Shuun....denise here.....using the same as you....entering the thought "nothing" seems to stop head stuff....have also experienced bright bright light...cannot replicate it at will....would probably get lost in it ..... :smile:

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Shuun
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Re: Samadhi without instruction

Post by Shuun » Sun May 31, 2015 2:05 pm

Pajjoto wrote:Very interesting, thank you.
What's your mother tongue?
Latvian ;p
denise wrote:Hello Shuun....denise here.....using the same as you....entering the thought "nothing" seems to stop head stuff....have also experienced bright bright light...cannot replicate it at will....would probably get lost in it ..... :smile:
I don't think you can replicate by going anything, but getting rid of hindrances and just calmly watching. As soon as you start to do something, you fire up your mind and create disturbance, you are not supposed to desire anything, that's the first hindrance :D edit: Wait a second, you tried to replicate this and it worked? Did you feel kind of otherworldly rapture or joy while experiencing that bright light? Were you conscious of your body?

Why i think it worked is that i had unintentionally generated seclusion by being in quiet room -- nothing to do, one pointedness or singleness of mind by engaging exclusively on that one topic or 'game' i made up, energy from my enthusiasm about this whole effort, dispassion arising from reviewing the "bad" stuff and getting free of it, that lead to a sense of joy and uplift after reviewing the mind free of those disturbances, rupture to arise from that tranquility and happiness generated as such. Even while this is not really something you could do day-by-day just as this, and it is not following any particular instruction of attaining that chain of events, the factors and their progression just happened to match very closely to the jhana factors in suttas. :alien:

As of now, meditating about ~3h a day in 2-3 sits, everything seems to be going well, but for one thing of not really getting that uplift of joy, i'm now trying to look and figure out on what would be the most effective way to generate that in a way that feels authentic and reproducable :)

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