Problems entering Jhana

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Problems entering Jhana

Postby J0rrit » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:54 pm

Hello there,

While meditating with full concentration on my breath (that is, on the mental 'knowing' what the breath does, breath awareness so not abdomen or nostril awareness) I reach a certain point where I am so focussed on the breath that I feel that I'm becoming absorpted with it. This gives a feeling that my head and my body are 'imploding' as I can feel that when I get through this all that will remain is the awareness of the breath, and I and my body will be gone of my consciousness. But I can't reach that. Something is holding me back. When nearly absorbing in the breath I get the feeling that my head and my body will be 'splashed' from the outside in, because I'm so fully focussed on the breath. Also my eyelids are squeezed and my mouth makes a lot of weird motions. Does someone recognize this ? My feeling is that sense desire is causing this. I hope someone can help me with this,

Thanks in advance,

greets and metta
J0rrit
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: Problems entering Jhana

Postby Reductor » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:10 pm

What instructions are you following?

At anyrate, allow me to comment.

Squeed eyes and funny mouth motions? It sounds as if you are straining too hard when anapanasati is supposed to be relaxing and pleasant.

Think of meditation as abandonment. First, you're abandoning everything outside of your own body as it sits. This doesn't require painful forms of focus. It only requires a relaxed returning to the breath time and again.

When once you find your attention is steady with the breath, and still relaxed, you pick out something pleasent in your breathing and turn your attention to that. Relax with that pleasant thing. If it changes then pick out some other pleasent thing without being upset. It won't take long before your attention is fixed with your breath.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Problems entering Jhana

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:45 pm

Thanissaro Bhikkhu stated that it's impossible to fully know if you've entered first Jhana or not. Or second or third for that matter. Perhaps it would be better just to not worry about attaining Jhana or not? I myself don't believe I've attained any substantial absorption so this is entirely based off hear say. I believe he talks about it in the first few of the talks in his collection "Basics" which can be found here. http://www.dhammatalks.org/mp3_collections_index.html


:namaste:
User avatar
PsychedelicSunSet
 
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:04 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Problems entering Jhana

Postby manas » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:27 pm

J0rrit wrote:Hello there,

While meditating with full concentration on my breath (that is, on the mental 'knowing' what the breath does, breath awareness so not abdomen or nostril awareness) I reach a certain point where I am so focussed on the breath that I feel that I'm becoming absorpted with it. This gives a feeling that my head and my body are 'imploding' as I can feel that when I get through this all that will remain is the awareness of the breath, and I and my body will be gone of my consciousness. But I can't reach that. Something is holding me back. When nearly absorbing in the breath I get the feeling that my head and my body will be 'splashed' from the outside in, because I'm so fully focussed on the breath. Also my eyelids are squeezed and my mouth makes a lot of weird motions. Does someone recognize this ? My feeling is that sense desire is causing this. I hope someone can help me with this,

Thanks in advance,

greets and metta


Hi jorit,

I'm a bit out of practice at present (just getting back in the saddle recently), but as I recall, the closest I got to jhana (afaik) was when a variety of factors were present, such as a calm and relaxed attitude and environment to begin with, determination to renounce (the hindrances), making a sincere effort to abandon them in my heart (not just for the duration of the sitting, but in day-to-day life as well), not focussing just on the breath in isolated areas of the body but rather, being aware of this entire body (ie of flesh and bones) as a whole, breathing in, and out; (and getting calm and relaxed with that), not thinking it's a big deal but rather, thinking "jhana is for the purpose of insight, don't get too excited when you get close, it's not the end of the Path, but only a means..." Basically, not making jhana the goal, not being hung up on how pleasant it might or might not be, because if you do, that obsession tends to generate thoughts such as "oh that felt good" or "ah I might be getting close now" which actually distract one from entering into it (and now I had better take my own advice and give all of this another go myself).

Have expectations? Don't. Follow instructions of your teacher(s) and make a sincere effort? Do.

There's my two cents' worth.

metta
:anjali:
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2133
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Problems entering Jhana

Postby J0rrit » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:25 pm

ok, I now realize what my biggest problem is in meditation:

How to find the right concentration, the right balance between concentrating enough and not pushing it to much, which results in things as I described above....
J0rrit
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:46 pm


Return to Samatha Meditation and Jhana

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests