whynotme wrote:Hi everyone,
Did anyone here attain first, second, third or fourth jhana? If yes, I am more than eager for learning from real experiences.
I think it is necessary to first say which kind of jhana, and - as they are easier that the Visuddhimagga kind of jhana http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9016
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; - can we, for now, just talk about the Leigh Brasington kind of jhana?
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; access concentration (in LB defintion ) is described, and yes, I have experienced this, and if you want we can talk about it.
I do not think one needs a reteat for it, thought it is probably more easy then. IMO, this state of LB access concentration is already quite useful for mindfulness practice. Because concentration on the object is stable, automatic, one can observe this process and analyse the whole state. Can compare to how much force one had to use to keep concentration on the object, what had taken concentration away from the object before reaching access concentration and thus is not present any more. Also, there are still wispy background thoughts, and here too, one can observe and analyse them, how they arise and decrease, and ponder how easily now the mind is not absorbed in them. There is also a certain impression of spaciousness present, the automatic focus on the object is at a different, non-physical "place" within one's mind than the wispy background thoughts for example.
Because the mind has some power in this state one can switch focus to other objects as LB describes for his version of first jhana. I think it is a very useful state to get to know one's mind and to play with it.
It might not be Visuddhimagga access concentration and I do not know if it is access concentration in the sense the Buddha meant it, but in my experience it is very useful and not all that difficult to reach and I highly recommend it both for concentration practice and mindfulness practice.