Meditative Personal Experiences

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

Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Viscid » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:36 am

I'd like to hear people's personal experiences during meditation.

In your own words (as in no Pali) how would you describe your deepest meditative state? Analogies give bonus points.

You'll have to state your style of meditation so we don't compare apples to oranges.

Is there bliss? Calm? Emptiness? Visuals? Other sensations? Nothing?
It'll be interesting for me to see if everyone's experiences are similar, or how they are dissimilar.

- Mark
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Freawaru » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:44 am

Viscid wrote:I'd like to hear people's personal experiences during meditation.

In your own words (as in no Pali) how would you describe your deepest meditative state? Analogies give bonus points.

You'll have to state your style of meditation so we don't compare apples to oranges.

Is there bliss? Calm? Emptiness? Visuals? Other sensations? Nothing?
It'll be interesting for me to see if everyone's experiences are similar, or how they are dissimilar.

- Mark


Are you interested in something specific?
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby grasshopper » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:14 am

Hi,

My meditation practise has ranged from being very erratic to very consistent and I have only done breath and meththa meditation.

Meththa meditation,has ALWAYS allowed the following mental states to arise in me:
-Softness, calmness, some sense of joy, some sense of peace, a positive outlook about myself and the rest of the world, ease to sleep at night

Breath meditation has SOMETIMES brought about the following mental states:

-Concentration. Feelings of very disproportionate, often elongated proportions of my body. When I am in a typical sitting meditating position, I sometimes feel the distance between my nose and my palms/foot area is so very LOOOOOOOOOOONG. Sometimes I feel like I am like a HUGE GIANT. Also mental vibrations, as in, the visual I get when I close my eyes tends to vibrate gently at first and then increases in frequency and in magnitude to a scary level. I haven't gone beyond this stage. When I open my eyes after such a state, my vision with my eyes OPEN also tends to vibrate but soon returns to normal though.

No meditation has ever brough me bliss or jhana. I have an increased sensitivity to read other people's very subtle facial expressions.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:12 am

sometimes my leg falls asleep. but this just means my posture isn't right...

i suppose you're looking for cool stuff though huh?

i believe there is another web forum that deals in these, and some of our members post there too.

here you'll find a more skeptical response to most claims of anything "out there" (or in here as the case may be)
other places will pat you on the back and tell you how awesome you are, and confirm your great abilities, mostly not because they are real, but because it is really a confirmation that their own abilities (real or imagined) are in fact genuine.

I've been on boards before where people have explained their great enlightenment experiences during meditation and i had to respond with "what you just described is pretty much, literally, a description of what one sees as they develop glaucoma".
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby alan » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:30 am

Supremely well stated, Sir.
A Huzzah is hereby rendered.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby IanAnd » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:08 pm

Viscid wrote:I'd like to hear people's personal experiences during meditation.

In your own words (as in no Pali) how would you describe your deepest meditative state? Analogies give bonus points.

Is there bliss? Calm? Emptiness? Visuals? Other sensations? Nothing?
It'll be interesting for me to see if everyone's experiences are similar, or how they are dissimilar.

What you are asking for, in general, will yield only a pointless exercise in futility as you attempt to draw conclusions from the answers you obtain. It is therefore a waste of people's time (including your own). Though meditative experiences can be similar, they are many (legion, in fact), and they are fleeting and impermanent. As well, one may only have the experience ONCE! Never to experience it again.

If you meditate long enough (meaning on a consistent basis over years) you are bound to have some experience with deep meditative states. But how one interprets such experiences can vary with the individual; it's like: everyone has a nose, but they each vary in size, material form, and sensitivity. What you learn from one person may not, in general, apply to anyone else. Or may indeed be based on that person's delusive impressions. Better to not become involved in such discursive mental tangents.

The deepest state that the Buddha ever spoke about was the "cessation of feeling and perception" (what everyone refers to as the ninth jhana or absorption). In that state, there is no perception of anything, "feeling" and "perception" included. And while you may be able to imagine it before you experience it, it won't really hit home until you DO experience it. And even then, you probably won't necessarily want to talk about it. Because there is no way to adequately describe it. It's something that one has to experience in order to understand.

One's time would be better spent in endeavoring to figure out how to use the mental abilities that one develops (cultivates) from meditative practice. Developing calm and concentration and using these qualities to explore more deeply the Dhamma are more compelling than listening to stories about other people's meditative experiences. Not to mention more practical.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby PeterB » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:55 pm

I think that what you are asking should be between you and a teacher of meditation..

:anjali:
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Goedert » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:40 pm

The best thing in meditation is peace.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Dharma Atma » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:24 pm

Goedert wrote:The best thing in meditation is peace.

As for me, I find the best thing in meditation is feeling of reality, the feeling and being in some real athmosphere, where the only object to explore and only subject who's exploring is YOU. And the best thing here is the fruit that remains after meditating, remains in our daily life. To influence the between-meditations ordinary life is one of the major purposes of meditation, is it not?
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:41 pm

Dharma Atma wrote:
Goedert wrote:The best thing in meditation is peace.

As for me, I find the best thing in meditation is feeling of reality, the feeling and being in some real athmosphere, where the only object to explore and only subject who's exploring is YOU. And the best thing here is the fruit that remains after meditating, remains in our daily life. To influence the between-meditations ordinary life is one of the major purposes of meditation, is it not?


This might be of interest:
Buddhism and the Purpose of Buddhist Meditation - By Bhikkhu T. Seelananda
( Abbot and Dhamma Advisor, Samatha-Vipassana Meditation Centre, Edmonton, Canada)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/456087/Buddhi ... Meditation

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Rui Sousa » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Sorry, not on the Internet.

And in person I would probably not talk about it either. I feel there is no benefit is describing my meditative experiences.
With Metta
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Goedert » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:16 am

Dharma Atma wrote:
Goedert wrote:The best thing in meditation is peace.

As for me, I find the best thing in meditation is feeling of reality, the feeling and being in some real athmosphere, where the only object to explore and only subject who's exploring is YOU. And the best thing here is the fruit that remains after meditating, remains in our daily life. To influence the between-meditations ordinary life is one of the major purposes of meditation, is it not?


Hello Russian friend.

The psychological routine of concepatualization is some times difficult to us. Silence and feel the things with discernment is the good tough.

To answer your question, it depends the meditation. There are many different meditation techniques, it is to vague to make a concept of the word "meditation".

Samatha meditation is good do develop calm abding.
Metta is good to develop non-ego-clinging, rejoycing, friendship.
Vipassana meditation to correct discernment.

:namaste:
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:20 am

Rui Sousa wrote:Sorry, not on the Internet.

And in person I would probably not talk about it either. I feel there is no benefit is describing my meditative experiences.


I'm not 100% on board with this. when i was a zen practitioner i had a meditative experience that was very profound, in fact it changed my view of the world. however my tradition didn't talk about such things and also didn't really even have the the right words in it's lexicon to explain what i experienced, i was forced to just set it aside, which may or may not be the best thing in certain cases. later, YEARS later, reading a book on Burmese vipassana bhavana i found the terms and explanation of what i experienced, had i been exposed to this at the time i probably could have used the experience in a more active way towards developing insight.

having a good teacher is the key to talking about these things, i have had other experiences where I've talked to one teacher about it and he didn't seem to understand what i was talking about and was like "oh don't worry about that" and then talked to another teacher of mine and he would be "oh that's this it means you're doing this good work, now sit more" . both gave the same instructions, sit more, however one knew what i experienced and talking about it with him let me know 1. I'm not crazy, 2. it's normal and can be expected if you're practicing in a certain way and 3. that i was on the right track. certain experiences can be overwhelming, some scary. crap comes up sometimes and a good guide can help you deal with it.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Goedert » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:48 pm

Jcsuperstart is right.

Some meditation expiriences can be scary to what we know as reality in western society concept.

Reclusion can make someone loose his discernement if we don't have concentration and good support (teacher or something).

In meditative concentration the expirience of it may vary to the practioners, but you can see things that may not be understandable if you don't have spiritual knowledge.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:56 pm

JCsuperstar and Goedert,

I agree with both of you. What I should have said is that, even in person, I would not describe my meditative experiences to someone I don't know well enough, or someone I know well enough but who I believe wouldn't understand my experiences.

Describing such experiences to a knowledgeable teacher would be of great benefit.
With Metta
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby PeterB » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:32 pm

I agree with you Rui Sousa. I would almost certainly never decribe meditation experiences even to someone I knew well, unless he was a meditation teacher.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:22 pm

Viscid wrote:I'd like to hear people's personal experiences during meditation.

In your own words (as in no Pali) how would you describe your deepest meditative state? Analogies give bonus points.

You'll have to state your style of meditation so we don't compare apples to oranges.

Is there bliss? Calm? Emptiness? Visuals? Other sensations? Nothing?
It'll be interesting for me to see if everyone's experiences are similar, or how they are dissimilar.

- Mark



Much of the time i have pretty good one pointed samadhi and a lot of the time accompanied by pleasant physical sensations. Its a good platform for inquiry and it took a lot of hard work and surrender, to get to this point. I still have much work ahead of me im sure. I usually start with the breath and once i have settled down, i shine the light of inquiry inward. Sort of watching whats watching the breath.
There is no comfort without pain; thus
we define salvation through suffering.
-- Cato
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby Collective » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:29 am

When meditating, eyes closed, Samatha - at one point I was struck by how unreal, how false (for want of a better word) this existence is. It all felt plastic, like it was a facade, a covering of sorts. Like the colouring was too rich, it was like wathcing a T.V programme. I got the impression there was something much more simpler behind it all, behind all this complex 'reality stuff'.

Even when meditating I felt it was all unecessary, and was like this truth (whatever it is) was right in front of us all the time. It felt like I was existing in an overly complex reality we've created when the 'true' reality behind it was so very less - but at the same time so very very much more. I can only describe it as realising you've been living in a movie.

The problem is, I've only been meditating for about just over a year so surely it can't be anything.

I've no idea what it is, if anything.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby PeterB » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:32 am

Talk to a teacher Collective and/or go back to the cushion. There is very little to be gained from anecdotes about such experiences..just keep on keeping on.
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Re: Meditative Personal Experiences

Postby IanAnd » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:31 pm

PeterB wrote:
Collective wrote:When meditating, eyes closed, Samatha - at one point I was struck by how unreal, how false (for want of a better word) this existence is. It all felt plastic, like it was a facade, a covering of sorts. Like the colouring was too rich, it was like wathcing a T.V programme. I got the impression there was something much more simpler behind it all, behind all this complex 'reality stuff'.

Even when meditating I felt it was all unecessary, and was like this truth (whatever it is) was right in front of us all the time. . . .

The problem is, I've only been meditating for about just over a year so surely it can't be anything.

I've no idea what it is, if anything.

Talk to a teacher Collective and/or go back to the cushion. There is very little to be gained from anecdotes about such experiences..just keep on keeping on.

Pardon me if I mischaracterize the intent of your comment. It may not have been what you intended to say at all. It's just that it can be read to seem to be somewhat dismissive.

I wouldn't be so dismissive of Collective's impressions. These are all very important insights for him.

If I recall correctly, his background is Christian, and he came to Buddhist meditation practice to find peace of mind. Many people who were unable to find such peace within the religion they were born into eventually venture out to see if there is anything else out there that makes better sense to them, since the religion they were raised in doesn't satisfactorily address the questions they might have. That is the same path that I had trod when I first began looking into the Eastern practices.

So for someone from this kind of background, these are very important insights to be having because they begin to break down and speak to the mental conditioning that such a person has received. They help the person to begin looking at and questioning what they've been taught is reality, while encouraging them to examine more intimately their own direct experiences. And this is a good thing, as that (among other things) is what the Dhamma is meant to accomplish.

I would only say that these are good insights that Collective has realized and that he should continue to go deeper into his contemplations, keeping the Dhamma in mind as he goes and endeavoring to find (and see) more clearly into the origination of his experiences. . . as in dependent co-arisings and such. This will do more to help forward his progress in self-realization.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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