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Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:59 am
by massara
sfoobar wrote:Hey there! I’ve got some questions regarding recent experiences in my meditation practice, preferably from someone more experienced than I am.

I’ve been meditating on and off for some years now, never having enough motivation to build a really solid practice.

For some reason this changed and the last few weeks I’ve been meditating a lot and what’s even more important: I’ve been meditating every day, not skipping a day.
I guess i am trying to build up some concentration, eventually reaching at least access concentration.

My normal session consists of concentrating on the breath at the tip of the nose, with frequent mind-wandering, bringing the mind back to the breath and so on and so on.

Today something strange happened. My body startet to feel really small, from the neck downwards. At the same time my head felt really big. Like these action figures, I don’t know what they are called. The ones with tiny bodies and a really big head.
At the same time it was as if my whole awareness was filled with breath sensations. I really don’t know how to properly describe it. I could not just feel the tip of my nose, but it seemed as if my whole mind was filled with the breath sensation.
At the same time I just started smiling. There was no joy or even rapture, I just noticed I got a really big grin on my face.

Now my question is: Am I on to something there? Is this access concentration, or even the beginning of a jhana? Maybe some of you experienced something like this before and could help me out :anjali:

All this weird stuff also happens to me just like you described.
Keep focusing your meditation object and don`t pay too much attention to all these sensations. They appear and soon disappear, so, do not take them as something valuable.

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:00 am
by mikenz66
dhammarelax wrote: What about the second tetrad?
What about it? Nothing there about focussing, or not, on a particular aspect of breathing, or whether or not to control the breathing...

:anjali:

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:31 pm
by dhammarelax
mikenz66 wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: What about the second tetrad?
What about it? Nothing there about focussing, or not, on a particular aspect of breathing, or whether or not to control the breathing...

:anjali:
Yes but there you must develop rapture.

smile
Dhammarelax

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:34 pm
by sfoobar
Thanks for your various replies, especially for the helpful ones ;)

I have been practicing using the instructions of Culadasa and found his book and his "10 stage model" very helpful.

However i don't like religious orthodoxy and answers like "you can't develop concentration in n days/months/lifetimes" are not very helpful.Especially on a discussion board.

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:23 am
by mikenz66
Hi sfoobar,

Thanks. I guess you mean the approach given here?
http://dharmatreasure.org/wp-content/up ... andout.pdf

Those instructions seem quite similar to Ajahn Brahm's here:
http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/files/pdf/ ... ers1-4.pdf
and you might find a slightly different perspective useful.

:anjali:
Mike

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:12 am
by Mkoll
srivijaya wrote:I think everyone's mind is wired-up differently, so that when we begin to access deeper levels, the 'show' is different too.
I agree very much with that. It makes sense intuitively and we also have modern masters as well as ancient commentators who have spoken on the different forms meditation signs may take.

~~~

To the OP, I'd suggest you keep doing what you're doing. I've had some very pleasant meditation experiences before, but I'm not yet wise and skillful enough to reproduce very pleasant experiences with consistency. If you can, that's great---you're ahead of the curve. But if you can't, don't get discouraged---most of us are in the same boat.

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:28 am
by SarathW
sfoobar wrote:Thanks for your various replies, especially for the helpful ones ;)

I have been practicing using the instructions of Culadasa and found his book and his "10 stage model" very helpful.

However i don't like religious orthodoxy and answers like "you can't develop concentration in n days/months/lifetimes" are not very helpful.Especially on a discussion board.
I just read the 10 stage model as per the link provided by Mike.
I feel this model is incomplete.
In my opinion Ratha-vinita Sutta gives a more comprehending step by step models.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:10 am
by mikenz66
It really doesn't make sense to compare MN 24 with the document I linked to. That document is not claiming to be a complete guide to awakening, any more than the instructions from Ajahn Brahm that I also linked to. What both are are detailed guides to a particular mediation approach. MN 24 doesn't contain any mediation instructions at all, it simply mentions purity in terms of mind and purity in terms of view.

:anjali:
Mike

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:26 am
by Aloka
Regarding meditation practice, In my opinion its always a good idea to try to make the effort to seek one-to-one help from an experienced meditation teacher, even if it means travelling once or twice a year and staying at a monastery or centre for at least a weekend. I think its possible to get lazy with the internet and then get a variety of responses from sometimes quite inexperienced people, and its very different to actually talking to a teacher face -to - face in the same room.

:anjali:

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:57 am
by SarathW
mikenz66 wrote:It really doesn't make sense to compare MN 24 with the document I linked to. That document is not claiming to be a complete guide to awakening, any more than the instructions from Ajahn Brahm that I also linked to. What both are are detailed guides to a particular mediation approach. MN 24 doesn't contain any mediation instructions at all, it simply mentions purity in terms of mind and purity in terms of view.

:anjali:
Mike
I think the purity in terms of mind (Sila) is a very important factor in any meditation approach.
I felt that Upasaka Culadasa failed to point that important fact.
It is important to note that instructions of Anapanasati was given to a community of monks who are already observing Uposata.

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:49 am
by Passaddhi
sfoobar wrote:Hey there! I’ve got some questions regarding recent experiences in my meditation practice, preferably from someone more experienced than I am.

I’ve been meditating on and off for some years now, never having enough motivation to build a really solid practice.

For some reason this changed and the last few weeks I’ve been meditating a lot and what’s even more important: I’ve been meditating every day, not skipping a day.
I guess i am trying to build up some concentration, eventually reaching at least access concentration.

My normal session consists of concentrating on the breath at the tip of the nose, with frequent mind-wandering, bringing the mind back to the breath and so on and so on.

Today something strange happened. My body startet to feel really small, from the neck downwards. At the same time my head felt really big. Like these action figures, I don’t know what they are called. The ones with tiny bodies and a really big head.
At the same time it was as if my whole awareness was filled with breath sensations. I really don’t know how to properly describe it. I could not just feel the tip of my nose, but it seemed as if my whole mind was filled with the breath sensation.
At the same time I just started smiling. There was no joy or even rapture, I just noticed I got a really big grin on my face.

Now my question is: Am I on to something there? Is this access concentration, or even the beginning of a jhana? Maybe some of you experienced something like this before and could help me out :anjali:

This might be a very helpful article for you (especially the Distorted Body Sensations section):
http://www.wildmind.org/mindfulness/thr ... meditation

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:55 pm
by Pseudobabble
sfoobar wrote:Hey there! I’ve got some questions regarding recent experiences in my meditation practice, preferably from someone more experienced than I am.

...

Today something strange happened. My body startet to feel really small, from the neck downwards. At the same time my head felt really big. Like these action figures, I don’t know what they are called. The ones with tiny bodies and a really big head.
At the same time it was as if my whole awareness was filled with breath sensations. I really don’t know how to properly describe it. I could not just feel the tip of my nose, but it seemed as if my whole mind was filled with the breath sensation.
At the same time I just started smiling. There was no joy or even rapture, I just noticed I got a really big grin on my face.

Now my question is: Am I on to something there? Is this access concentration, or even the beginning of a jhana? Maybe some of you experienced something like this before and could help me out :anjali:
Hi sfoobar,

I have experienced almost exactly the same thing, except my concentration focus was on the lower belly.

This is a phenomenon resulting from increased concentration. How do I know this? I got excited about it, lost focus on the breath, and the sensations disappeared.

I think this is just something we see on the way to jhana. There are plenty of accounts to be found where people describe feeling as though their head is floating, levitation feelings, body feeling solid like rock, etc, etc. It's a sign your concentration is getting there. But I don't think this is jhana. It may be access concentration. I think it may be the nimitta; although this is most often described as a white light, I would imagine that people with different primary sensory modalities would experience the nimitta differently. But this is speculation.

The great thing about meditation is that we don't have to 'know' what a phenomenon is - keep focus on the breath, and regard the phenomenon as you would a mountain, or an interesting tree, while on a journey somewhere in the car. If you stop and spend a long time looking at the tree, you don't arrive at your destination.

Good luck with your meditation!

Re: Strange Experiences in Meditation

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:21 pm
by R1111 = rightviewftw
Perceived misalignment of the body, weird sensations in regards to posture, various visions, almost as if very crappy gifs were stuck in your mind, "seeing with eyes closed", lights, shades. It is all fleeting and impermanent, just be mindful of it and observe how you react to it, eventually if will pass, sometimes this will happen many times during a sitting. In regards to Jhana or not that depends on what you choose to define as Jhana, my advice is not to think about that stuff even, just do your thing, investigate these states and dont cling to them.
If you start seeing high definition, clear, stable Objects like Teeth, lungs, intestines, diamonds etc those u can probably extend and manipulate somehow, but idk exactly how it works but it happens mostly if one trains for it as in doing Samatha Meditations.