Jhana and Contrast

My practice has for the most part been very sweet recently, with lots of rapid, unexpected progress.

I will now give my exact current method as a kind of snapshot of how it has been this last week. It is morphing so fast that in another week I may be doing something entirely different.

  1. Sit in any pose that’s comfortable. On a sofa is fine.
  2. Eyes open or closed to begin with; they will tend to want to close at some point anyway. Starting with them open can be useful to establish an initial sense of “what is” (see next points).
  3. Say the words in my mind, “What is.”
  4. Point attention towards “what is”. Simply experience what is. So, this is absolutely anything and everything arising within the sense field. It is existence itself, happening all around you – and including you.
  5. Allow attention to move between events as they arise and do not attempt to control it. Maintain this “roving awareness” the whole session, dropping any intention to control it. Attention may want to go to events inside or outside the body. Attention may also wish to expand or contract. Let it do as it wishes entirely. There are no goals in this meditation and you do not seek altered states of consciousness. The only direction is to experience what is, as it is, when it is.

So, in my mind at least, this is a strongly nondirective meditation (NDM) as there are no fixed objects and only experience itself is being tuned into, completely impartially (so, no events are deemed as inherently “bad” or “good” in this meditation). No doubt Arpan will jump in here and tell me I’m somehow still doing it “directively”, though. 😉

The sense field can be thought of as a cubic “volume” in which sensory events arise, with “you” in the middle. So, distant noises such as cars driving far away from the house or birds singing in the distance tend to appear at the “edges” of this volume in the beginning. However, this sense of a volume with a self at the centre observing that volume will tend to disappear before long, as the events that make up the sense of self become apparent as just that: events in their own right, arising and passing within the volume of awareness.

I start off by tuning into the volume as a whole, and I do this by first listening to distant noises to establish the “edges” of the volume. There is something really expansive and breathtaking about just softly tuning into the widefield, getting a sense of how far reality stretches out to the sides, and the audio system is perfect for doing this. With eyes open I will also look up slightly and get a sense of the “isness” of objects around me; how it is a wonder that they even exist at all, let alone that they are hanging right there in front of me. This will tend to induce a recognition of the spaciousness and the full awe of the reality that is happening all around me, all the time – happening “to” me, but also “through” me, being both what “I” am and what is being experienced, simultaneously.

One of two things will happen at this point, and I believe this is down to what stage of insight I’m in at the time. (Yes, “cycling” is back, and I now think experiencing these stages is quite normal when one is in the intermediary stages of Awakening.) I will either become awestruck and feel quite pulverized by all that is going on which is completely beyond my control, and give up the fight almost immediately (which brings on heavy bliss and a sense of total wonder at the world, with jeweltone sparkles shining within every point of space I am aware of)… or I “brace” against the onslaught of reality and instead withdraw into my head, and experience mental processes designed to maintain the sense of a separate self who suffers in a world of events that happen to him, usually unfairly.

Obviously if the former happens I’m golden. But if the latter happens I have no choice but to recognize what is going on as its own process that needs to play out in the course of Awakening. Inevitably it does “give itself up” and switch to the expansive “non-braced” state, often unexpectedly, but often after a long drawn-out period. Interestingly, while “braced”, my awareness of events tends to be consigned almost exclusively near the centre of the volume – right up inside my head, behind my face – giving a strong mental impression of a fixed centre of experience, a “self” who observes. In the “non-braced” state however my awareness is evenly distributed throughout the “volume” to the extent whereby the mental impression of a volume disappears entirely. Occasionally, better still, is that I “touch” the Self behind all that, which is kind of like a liquid mirror in which events are reflected. These are extremely brief moments however and cannot possibly be “forced” or gone for directly in my experience so far.

In the middle of last week I just sat on my bed with my feet on the floor and tuned into the “isness” of things. This gave way to the awestruck non-braced state and induced heavy bliss. My eyes closed and I just felt my awareness kind of softly dancing around whatever was going on. It moved between events on its own schedule of priority, moving from “outside” (some ambient sound or sense of spaciousness in the volume) to “inside” (some deep myofascial unwinding or other nerve process occurring in the body as part of meditation’s innate healing processes), then back out again, then back in, and it seemed to be fine going wherever it wanted.

Eventually the attention settled somewhere in my body on the left side, an unwinding feeling along possibly the left thoracic or phrenic nerve, and it stayed here for quite a while. Suddenly I became aware of a high-pitched audio tone just in my head, growing rapidly in volume, perhaps similar to when your ears are about to pop on an aeroplane. I just let the tone do its thing, as I now have the attitude that everything happens for a reason and the best thing to do when something unexpected occurs is to surrender to it. At the peak of its volume, the audio tone suddenly completely stopped. And, with it, all mental noise also stopped. This is similar to working in an office where someone has had a noisy fan on all day. When they turn it off, the ensuing silence, despite being an absence of something, is so profound that it almost feels tangible – like the silence is a solid “thing” you can reach out and touch. It is a bizarre auditory illusion, this sense of something happening despite the opposite being true.

In this case however, not only had all thoughts stopped, but all the static popping and electrical energy of “pre-thought forms” had also ceased. The quiet was so profound that it would have been eerie, had I had the capability of experiencing discordant states such as “eeriness” at the time. In fact, nothing could disturb that quiet. It was like a mental flatline. At first I thought I could no longer hear outside sounds either (since that has happened to me in the past). So I listened for ambient noise. I heard a car in the distance. Now, usually, when you hear an ambient sound, a crude mental impression of what that sound might be forms in your mind, followed by thoughts about it, which lead to more thoughts, in a causal chain. It is like throwing a stone into a lake and having ripples emanate for eternity. Well, within this mental quiet, I just heard the sound, then that was that. The sound appeared “out there” but it did not reflect itself and cause events “in here”. It was a bit like throwing a stone into a lake and, rather than causing ripples, the stone just sinks and disappears immediately, and the lake goes back to being completely still.

I have had states of extreme quiet like this in the past but I have usually had to fight for them using objects such as the breath or energy currents, and seemingly having to push through layers of consciousness before arriving there. This time however I was amazed by the apparent rapidity and ease with which the state had descended upon me, without my having a prior “will” for such a thing. It made me think that probably this “do nothing” approach is how the jhanas were practised in, say, the Pali Canon, the earliest written recording of the Buddha’s teachings. Here, the monk is said to fall into jhana born of seclusion, rather than through highly directed effort of the sort I was used to applying towards breath, energy, or kasina objects.

I stayed in this state for a while because it was rather like taking your shoes off after a hard day’s work, and it was effortless to maintain. In fact, I remember trying to arouse myself via some wrathful thoughts only to find they created no ripples in the lake. The silence could be tuned back into just by noticing the gap between thoughts at which point I would be plunged back into it.

The next day my state was largely back to normal, except for the memory of the silence, to which my mind now inclined itself reflexively. While walking to work, without prompting nor desire, my awareness pointed itself toward the gap between thoughts. Suddenly, this gap opened up like a gaping chasm, and I experienced the mental flatline of inner silence again for several minutes. I got to work and began talking to people. Mental noise was back but, simultaneously, I was aware of a quiet behind it all that could be tuned into should I so desire. This knowledge was enough to pacify me all day.

That night my meditations were gripped with a desire to return to this silence, and the “braced” mode was the result. This was a highly contracted state of perception with an apparent disinterest or boredom with “what is” as it pertained to experience coming in through the sense doors. This persisted until Saturday, during whose afternoon I decided simply to accept the braced mode as an insurmountable object slapped bang in my path, and observe it completely as such. This now tuned me back out to the awareness behind that perception, and this awareness hung in the background and periphery like a transparent presence. Noticing this instantly switched my state to non-braced; bliss and jeweltone sparkles appeared and I was now smiling. Soon, my mind flatlined again and I just sat in total silence for some unknown time.

A few hours later I got ready to go out as I had arranged to attend the local pub quiz with my friends. While my mind was no longer quiet, instead filled with projections of what the night might bring, I did however feel “full” inside. I have been enjoying steady progress since adopting nondirective meditation these last few months and one result is that I now have that “bright-eyed” look when I catch my reflection in the mirror. I also have more power in my stride and, as I reported on the forum, my eyesight is better than ever. Since starting meditation ten years ago, my eyesight has improved from a prescription of -1.25 / +4.00 back then to today’s prescription of 0.00 / +2.50, as confirmed by a recent eye test. So, things are becoming easier.

I met up with everyone at the pub and we walked around to the back area where the quiz takes place in order to look for a table. The quiz was not starting for another half-hour and people were still eating food at the tables there, so we discussed where we should try to sit when it did begin. Hearing our conversation, one of the regulars offered his assistance. He appeared to be of Malaysian descent (which is quite odd for the UK) and we had seen him there every time we had visited this pub, drinking alone stood next to the bar. He seemed to have “special needs”, but also clearly meant well and had a big heart. I felt intensely sorry for him, as I got the impression that he was trapped in a repeating existential pattern of being an outcast desperate to fit in, and that those very behaviours isolated him even more as an oddball.

“You can sit at that table over there when the quiz starts,” he said, pointing.

“Isn’t that where the quiz master will stand?” I asked.

Before he could answer, a woman in her sixties eating dinner with her husband at a table immediately next to us shrieked, “I’ve had enough of this! Could you please stop moving people around and telling them where to sit? You’re not a member of staff. You’ve been doing this all night. People are trying to eat here. Just go back around there and stand next to the bar. Boys, park yourselves at a table and don’t hover!”

She appeared to be performing this rant at an audience in her own mind. It was clear she was not quite in this world. The entire unfolding was totally surreal. I thanked the Asian man anyway with, honestly, a heart filled with sadness for him. We walked off and found a table in the other end of the pub. I looked over a little later and saw the huge barman squared off against the tiny Asian man, telling him off.

Human experience is utterly weird. This sort of thing happens all the time. On any other night out however it would be perceived within the ordinary flow of human oddity and brushed off as such. However, having just been immersed in the extreme mental quiet of what we might assume was fourth jhana, this contrast between sublime inner stillness and the craziness of the human condition – with its emotional responses going from nought to sixty in 0.01 seconds, and sending those shock waves through everyone else in the vicinity – was a stark and depressing contrast. I was in fact completely aghast at my own unshakeable hatred of the woman and the desire to see her kicked half to death and cast upon a bonfire. Simultaneously, I was moved by the sympathy I felt for the man and his futile quest to fit in. Later on, during the quiz, he would insist on carrying the prizes from the quiz master and presenting them to the winners, even if the quiz master was stood right next to the winner at the time. At one point he also shouted out an answer so everyone got that question right, therefore defeating the purpose of the question. This was eye-rolled by the quiz master, who said something like, “Thank you, Jon…” – as if he does this every week.

This and a few other events really riled me that night. I won’t go into them now. They were just things that happen on any night out involving humans and/or alcohol, which we’ve all seen a million times. But compared to the quiet of jhana these actions came through as completely tainted functions of ego, a self trying to survive by wiping out the competition. Sickeningly I also realized that my distaste for such scenes was coming from my own ego’s sense of being under threat; so, the exterior and interior were reflections of one another. I could not find distaste at these people without also finding distaste in my own responses to them.

A few years ago Absolutus taught many men that they would attain superpowers if they cultivated the jhanas. The reality however is a mixed bag. While having jhanas is quite tangibly superior to not having them, until one is fully Awakened one is left comparing “reality” to the various mental states able to be experienced within those jhanas. Frequently, reality does not live up to those states of peace or rapture, and this is always a sign that more work is to be done. Thus, it is perhaps in the intermediary states of Awakening that the contrast between peace and discord, order and chaos, is most clearly perceived. And from there the desire to transcend the whole damned lot becomes the primary signal.

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42 Responses

  1. Arpan says:

    You are doing quite fine in my view.
    It’s difficult to convey and understand this stuff via a couple of faceless texts with someone you do not know personally, as the “path” of natural-unfoldment is very person specific. This indeed is one disclaimer that needs to be put up: What one experiences here is not a “map” like in eg. MCTB insight. It might unfold very differently for someone else with his own set of inner proclivities and issues.
    Your starting with “tuning into cubic space around yourself”(though that expansion happens in my practice naturally) and ” saying “what is” is a bit like Akash Bhavna(contemplation of space) but it’s still very yin compared to your earlier yang style. All that is good as it is only being used as an entry point and would drop of naturally once you feel it as a concrete effort. However, letting your attention “roam” and how it settles at different places and unwinds stuff is as NDM as I could describe. Compulsive yang that might have developed in you would take its own time to dissolve, infact not forcing it and letting it happen is the whole point of ‘practice’ or you would already be Buddha.

    “That night my meditations were gripped with a desire to return to this silence, and the “braced” mode was the result. This was a highly contracted state of perception ”
    This experience is needed to mature in NDM.

    For a yang person(I too am very much that in certain ways: need for organization, justice, “setting things right” etc), “surrendering” or yin approaches to a yin style meditation(NDM) may rub too much against his sense of appropriateness. That’s where another yang attitude might serve as an entry point: my current “will” is an unconscious mechanical function of forces of nature, much like how a stone in midflight might think it is flying by its own will. My real self is already the master, a sovereign, and has nothing to do with the childish games of my mental-nature.

    ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
    पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
    ‘There is fullness, here is fullness. From the fullness, the fullness is born. Remove the fullness from the fullness and the fullness alone remains.’

    You(infinite) comes out of That(infinite) but that does not reduce the infinity of That.

  2. Campton says:

    The similarities in your practice, Illumanatus, and that of mine has now reached a point where I am astonished. I’ve been following your postings here, and reddit for some time now, and have noticed a sense of pace that is synchronous between us both. You have experimented heavily with psychadelics and various nootropics in the past, and have mirrored some of the profound insights that I have had in such endeavors as well. (Magick, gambling, states of unity, Kundalini, Enlightenment, “the choice of liberation).

    Over the past few weeks, I have sat outside doing my usual spinal yoga/awareness stretching/Kundalini Yoga, and various meditation efforts (following some of your unique insights on the matters, such as “I am” and others…). For me, the state of bliss followed from the direct sensory information from the birds in the trees (specifically woodpeckers!) and the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and the people/children going about their dailies. I correlate this to the simple fact that “we” are sensory organisms that can just appreciate the sheer novel of getting to witness nature and….yeah, senses. That’s all it takes. Seriously. All it takes is the bliss of being to be happy!

    That brings me to hopefully relate to you in some way about the confusion/insight in your last paragraph. Jhana is simply a state of “base being” it’s the ultimate elimination of the thinking mind. It’s accepting being as the only thing we are. Complete seperation from thoughts and personality (imo thoughts are personality, and when thoughts go away, you’re just an organism/the universe lol!). So literally anything that uses thoughts to perform in reality is subject to YOUR thoughts assessing reality. Such as, the heinous people at the bar. The “functional” jhanas are simply reduced states of ego/elimination of identifying thought. (which I personally reside in, outside of social interaction…cause hey…bliss).

    Jhana story short, being in those states of heightened concentration (energy concentrated the way I see it) is just a state of experience to REFERENCE when going about human activity. We reference these states to correlate “why people are the way they are”. Hence mind reading siddhis (like when a master yogi can immediately identify bad posture) a skilled mind can identify and unskilled mind.

    Ultimately, we shouldn’t get caught up in why people are the way they are (in reference to our jhana states) and instead improve what we represent WHILE UTILIZING the now “rare” states of reduced being. This will give us the skills necessary to IMPROVE humanity, by simply being a representation or example of wholesome being.

    Forgive me if the above is incoherent or doesn’t resonate at all. It’s simply my attempt at refining the way I describe the blissful experiences, and novel “reality bending” experiences that I believe correlate with your natural skill, Illuminatus. As “enlightenment” as I believe it to be, is a choice that an adept mind “gets” to make at a certain point. At a later point, or if inquired upon, I can share my daily routines and meditative techniques if desired. As I have helped many reach a point of lasting bliss and relief from their egoic monkey realities.

    Cheers.

    • Arpan says:

      ” This will give us the skills necessary to IMPROVE humanity, by simply being a representation or example of wholesome being.”
      This really hits the nail on the head. Same reason why in Eastern cultures “being in presence” of the the master is in itself considered beneficial. As Sri Aurobindo states: best thing you can ever do is ensure the continuity of the “right movement” within yourself. Rest will take care of itself.

      • Campton says:

        Well said. There’s something about the presence of a reduced personality that emanates an irrefutable sensation of harmony and peace. There’s no arguing in the silence of the liberated and loving. Nothing TO argue, “no one” to argue with. Coupled with some kind of “quantum energy” or energetic presence, it’s a recipe for a streamlined path of spiritual unfolding. (RE: Shaktipat, silent transmission, presence, Buddha Presence, etc.). Personally, I chose this path of refined Charisma/Presence as I believe it’s the most Karmically positive thing I could do, while I patiently await more broad circumstances, in which I can emit more wisdom to a more willing group of spiritually inclined people. Further than that gets in to purpose and personal belief systems, but I whole heatedly believe that the kindest thing you can do is improve your presence and inner state of being.

        • Arpan says:

          ” Personally, I chose this path of refined Charisma/Presence as I believe it’s the most Karmically positive thing I could do, while I patiently await more broad circumstances, in which I can emit more wisdom to a more willing group of spiritually inclined people.”
          Resonates very well. It always seemed very obvious to me that whatever I do from my current egoic state would be tainted by the ego, be limited by its wisdom and power at best and by its ulterior motives at worst.

          “Being” meditations do not demand any belief system that might conflict with a tunnel-visioned rational mind produced by modern education. I always say: Best thing you can do is, hinder least possible, the action of Grace/God/Nature/Guru.

          Also, when during my initial years of childlike missionary zeal to prescribe spiritual practice to everyone who comes tk me I got really disappointed, an old yogi smiled and told me:
          Not everyone has suffered enough to be a yogi and not everyone is mature enough to have the Vision(Drishti) to identify potential and the “Voice”(Vak) that penetrate to it and teach. Thus, be concerned with your own practice. Let more Karma work out, become a “lighter presence” to which seekers are drawn.

          • Campton says:

            Yep yep, early integration involved a lot of “I need to tell everyone about this.” Including techniques to get to very elusive states of conciousness. “Otherwordly realms, Jhana 4-8” etc. While it’s very useful to skillfully articulate this to those who are willing and susceptible, it’s important to realize some people just aren’t at the propensity to have these explanations penetrate their experiential reality. Enough of that. Anyway, I still enjoy bouncing back techniques and sharing my matured energy (hey, it’s fun! Relating to “lay people” is hard now). I almost got sidetracked in to perfectly articulating myself to everyone to correct their experience, and later realized it was futile, and that presence and enimation of liberation was more effective (and fucking FUN. Seeing people effected more positively, as if they’ve met a “rare” human 😉 ). The final step of integration really is just to have fun, project love, and be creative. We are flesh vehicles/machines made to have sensory bliss and to experience “stories” and adventures with varying amounts of arbitrary traits and skills. This leads in to “what if we had a computer that was strong enough to simulate any desired reality with varying amounts of “remembering that you initiated it” such sci-fi foretellings,. (a great position to generate insight from!)

    • Illuminatus says:

      Thanks for the advice Campton, and no it wasn’t incoherent at all. Good to have you here. 🙂

  3. Mayath says:

    Beautiful Post. Keep it up man. Sounds like your practice is really bearing fruit. Let those insights seep in and change you. Compassion is a good way to go. It’s something I should cultivate more of but I find it easier to just be indifferent and focus on ascending my own craving first.

    I like that your talking about awakening. I think Absolutus led to a lot of people thinking awakening wasn’t worthwhile because the only insight practice he seemed familiar with was Ingram’s erosion of Noting. The Jhana’s are fun but there just “highs”. They just highlight how crap how crap day to day life is without them. You have to use them to get the whole system to function more optimally.

    The more I progress, the more I see how lowly attained he is, as he seemed to have no real understanding of meditation or transformation.

    I never see it written anywhere but in my experience, more insight, more awakening equals stronger, better lasting Jhana’s. When the mind knows how it functions it can do these cool things much easier and better.

    While the language in each tradition differs, I think they all touch on similar understandings but in different languages. I like to think of Olympic athletes. A runner will look different than a swimmer but both are at the peak of phyiscal fitness. A Buddhist Yogi may be a bit different than a Hindu one but both be at the top end of mental fitness even if they use different language to explain similar things.

    Your story in the pub is basically the human condition. Craving, desire and aversion motivating everything we do. It really is foolish to talk of ever improving society or politics without some mass level of awakening taking place. It’s our only hope as a species.

    A theme in my own practice is that I feel like I’ve achieved some level of awakening or understanding of how the human mind operates and how to help it function optimally but that I’m torn between keeping it to myself, being aloof and uninterested in freeing others or being compassionate and helping others.

    I think must people could train their minds but most are too blind and unwilling to let themselves see. They can’t even comprehend that their blind.

    You mentioned something about The cycle of Insight. How does that perform for you now?What is the experience of gaining insight for you?

    Are you dwelling on a particular topic or are you just going through stages with no particular concept or understanding on your mind?

    For me Insight is a cognitive event. It’s liberating and not this slog through some process. While I had a dark night experience, it was more similar to a kundalini crisis than what MCTB mentions, though it had elements of it.

    Awakening in that tradition just seems to be about going through this progress of different states and it’s not actually clear how insights actually transform the individuals intuitive understanding of them selves or the world. It Still seems like a load of crap to me.

    For me, when I have an insight it really is like a eureka or aha moment. It’s pure understanding and it’s amazing that I never seen it before. It becomes part of my common sense.

    For instance, recently I’ve become obsessed with Dependent Origination, which is the psycho-physical process of how craving arises. Just watching my own experience, I saw how contact of a sensation or a thought leads to a feeling, which lead to craving in response and then a desire to act. It’s not something I really paid attention to in the past but after really seeing how craving motivates me most of my actions, I just stared watching the train of sequences that lead to its occurrences. It just became a lightbulb moment and I became obsessed with observing it and reading about it.

    I’ve had similar experiences with No-Self, impermanent and Emptiness too. I see them clearly all the time and it’s amazing how I Never saw these obvious things before. Or why they frightened or confused me. It’s not me tricking myself into seeing them, it’s curiosity just telling me what’s always been there and it’s enourmously freeing.

    But it just kind of happens.There’s no cycling involved and I haven’t cycled though stages of insight. At most, some concept will take my interest like Emptiness will take my interest and while I can feel I have some understanding of it, a part of my mind will want to know more and see it firsthand and I’ll watch for it until I can explain it in my own words and gain my particular understanding. It’ll be like an itch but it’s not forcing Insight like the noting practice seems to be about. It’s just watching consciousness.

    Any comments on what I’ve said? I’m not trying to say Insight can’t be disturbing but I think once an individual has gained insight into no-self and sees things as an ever changing process, the worst stuff should be over as the rest of your insights are using that knowledge to burn away the bad stuff.

    On the Jhana’s:

    After some time of correct practice, the Jhana’s eventually just become something you tune into and and are states of present being like someone posted above.

    Beginners should stick to Concentration practices first though. When you learn to stabilize attention effortlessly, then you can let go. Most of the real world practical value of doing better at things or “superpowers” come from the boring work of just stabilizing attention and attenuating the hindrances.

    My current practice is 33% mindfulness of the breath, 33% whatever insight practice has taken my fancy and 33% Choice less attention and being metacognitively aware of whatever arises in consciousness without privileging any object.

    The first two Jhanas arise just as easily, in fact easier just letting my attention wandering than focusing it on a particular object.

    Talk of techniques or hacks to entering Jhana don’t interest me anymore. You reach a certain level and incredible states arise by themselves.

    • Illuminatus says:

      >You mentioned something about The cycle of Insight. How does that perform for you now?What is the experience of gaining insight for you?

      The reason I am mentioning cycling again is that, during the NDM period these last few months, I have happened upon distinct stages both on and off the cushion consistent with Ingram’s descriptions of:

      1) Arising & Passing Away
      2) Dissolution
      3) Equanimity of Formations

      For example, I have had similar situations described in this post, except I was in Equanimity at the time and they smoothly kind of flowed through me without disturbing me whatsoever.

      But A&P and Dissolution have been most prominent. The distinction is very clear and they tie up with what I described as the “non-braced” state (A&P, Equanimity) and the “braced” state (Dissolution and other crap which usually isn’t distinct enough to categorize as its own territories).

      Now, I did not go seeking this. I was only prompted to remember this map of territories due to this very clear distinction between braced and non-braced, and noticing it had cyclical qualities.

      The major difference between my experience of these states now compared to when I was an adherent of MCTB is as follows:

      – I am accepting each state as it occurs and DOING NOTHING as opposed to activities designed to push through them. This tends to shorten them significantly.
      – I am not “fast noting” (“shooting space aliens”).
      – In fact, I am not tuning into the sensations much at all, but instead am tuning into the awareness behind them.

      The result is that these states tend to flow and therefore be blissful regardless of which ones they are (though obviously A&P and Equanimity are more pleasant and give the appearance of progress despite their probably being more to do with release/review from the stuff worked through in the more difficult stages). I am not trying to break up the experience by “doing something”.

  4. Campton says:

    “For me, when I have an insight it really is like a eureka or aha moment. It’s pure understanding and it’s amazing that I never seen it before. It becomes part of my common sense.”

    Well put. Really touches on the fact that the brain is just a computer, and that even such processes such as insight and states of deep concentration can become just “normal”. I remember when I’d hit massive awakening breakthroughs, and it would put me in such a high state of bliss, and after some time it would fade. When I reflect back on the insights or leaps that initiated that bliss, it seems as just common sense and nothing out of the ordinary at all. It’s gotten to the point where I only have to slightly incline towards and subject or field of thought, and insights are downloaded right in to my working mind. Insights that previously would have been revolutionary to my entire reality, just months prior. It’s as if insight is simply a process of computation or calculation, and at certain states of cognition, can be streamlined in to mere seconds, instead of building up for months in regular meditation sessions. In this way, Jhana becomes ordinary and my default state of being. The cognitive power seems to be unlocked by erradicating egoic standpoints and emotional junk inside of Myofascia and CNS. Much more to be said about this, but I just wanted to highlight the points Mayath has made.

    Side note: My main practice at the beginning of my seeking was “learning how to learn” which involved finding the most streamlined and easy way to practice a certain skill. To make these “mind programs” as fast as I could, while utilizing quality efforts. Eventually this builds up a “neuronal power level” in which your strength at creating skills becomes “superhuman”. Mastering any skill relatively quickly with a genius aptitude. Again, making seemingly mind-blowing revelations become regular in the thought stream.

    • Campton says:

      This was supposed to be a reply to Mayath. Oops! haha.

    • Vinicius says:

      – “My main practice at the beginning of my seeking was “learning how to learn” which involved finding the most streamlined and easy way to practice a certain skill. (…) Mastering any skill relatively quickly with a genius aptitude. ”

      How is it going? What techniques you have been using?

      • Campton says:

        Growing my immense capacities within. Nearly anything is mastered quickly with intuition alone. Examples of biological mastery: Individual Eye Control, Fully body Jhana in the immediate vicinity, direct deep tissue healing, automatic maintenance stretching to unfold stuck myofascial and electrical communications, therefore, improving senses to an apex predator type level.

        I wish there was an instant chat on this site. I work best with specific situations, not broad such as the above. There’s way more to type, its just the fingers are slow to express these things…

        • Campton says:

          The list goes on. The above isn’t even the good stuff. Those were random things that came to mind at random.

          • Vinicius says:

            Have you tried memory improvement? What would you recommend for someone who needs to memorize thousands of pages of law books?

            • Campton says:

              I can suggest things at varying levels of effort, so you can see how to tune the advice.

              Extreme Effort: Make your life about understanding the learning process at a deep enough level to effortlessly intake massive amounts of knowledge. Wake up at a certain time, Stretch 2 hours a day, run 4 times a week, eat super healthy (meat in small quantities), heal your gut, fast, MEDITATE 20m2x, carry that mindfulness from meditation onward into the day, then set time aside for cultivating your brain to learn by learning random things in random ways while extracting what worked, and tossing the rest so you can develop a system you’re immensely confident in so you can reduce the time of study to a low amount of time while maintaining efficiency.

              Low effort: Practice teaching yourself random things so you can improve your ability to get the information your brain needs to enjoy it. Constantly adjust your learning strategies. It’s a skill that is developed over time.

  5. James says:

    “My main practice at the beginning of my seeking was “learning how to learn” which involved finding the most streamlined and easy way to practice a certain skill”

    That’s a smart move, could you share with us what that looked like for you?

    • Campton says:

      Consisted of basically abusing the formation of muscle memory and certain mental noting. I would have the idea of the skill I wanted to master, and break it down to the smallest steps possible, note each thing mentally and physically involved. This made it so I would find out how to repeat things in a way that strengthened the circuit involved with the skill. Eventually, approaching new skills was effortless, because the process of learning and deducing a new skill was a circuit itself, and thus could be strengthened to utilize my full cognition and intuitive ability. (Learning to learn is an amazing way to increase third eye energies). It became just a “feeling”. I would “feel” what I needed to repeat to ingrain into muscle memory. I would also PURPOSEFULLY fail and invent new ways of approach to round out and expand my “field of learning and intuition”. Failing is an amazing to show your concsious and subconcious varying information, to then utiilze for calculations (right brain feels). “Planting a flag” in certain situations I stumbled upon during random moments during the day, when not practicing. Such as unique hallucinatory events, and even meditative states. I could effortlessly recall what it felt like to be there, and then come up with a very specific path of repetition and practice to then retain the skill with relative easy. None of it was guesswork, I KNEW that I would eventually master the skill. This learning method is infinitely growable, and I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface with it. It’s strong enough now to be able to literally feel the power of the brain compute the next action and store it in executive functioning. Almost as if I have mental power that I dump in to a skillset.

      Shoddy explanation, but that’s what I can think of right now. I can expand greatly on this, my brain works best with specific questions, as I can pull more insight from the ether.

      • James says:

        A lot of what you’re saying reminds me of exactly how I become proficient in martial arts, or even video games.

        Here is a more specific question:

        What does noting each thing mentally and physically mean? If you have not, at this rate mastered the skill, how would you know what physical or mental steps you needed to achieve it? Just trial and error?

        • Campton says:

          Most of the mental process involved probably literally meditating for a few seconds running visualisations and various, yeah, trial and errors. The images and movements would flash by and I would be able to retain a sort of “success rate” LITERAL FEELING of whether or not the next step would work or not. Then, once ready, I would act it out physically, and be able to absorb the whole moment as “data” to then work from.

          You mention video games, and this is how I discovered this skill. With Rocket League, there is many movements involving thought out sequences of buttons and mental acuity. Perfect game to practice breaking steps down.

          • James says:

            I’m so bad at that game.

            • Campton says:

              Over 300 hours just in the Free Mode. I use it to meditate and improve mechanical skill. Generates a lot of insight and funny enough, Kundalini. Anything that uses fine improvement seems to generate more usable bioelectricity/chi/prana/kundalini. Useful stuff.

  6. James says:

    To add, when I got really, really good at martial arts, I was in a constant state of revision.

    They threw two punches, I got hit by both, what went wrong?

    If they do A, then I do B, practice it in my imagination until it is a “feeling”, like you say.

    Go back to training, they do A, I do B, I don’t get hit, and I counter.

    I repeated this scenario for every, single move I got hit with. Or, If I hit someone, I visualized how I would finish them, or land more hits, or block the counter etc…

    • Campton says:

      Yes. This is what happens. The improvements and meditations become a flow state. I’ve done this for LIFE ITSELF, rather than individual programs of skill. Hence permanent Jhana, and E itself.

      Not that surprising that others know what I’m talking about, as it’s meant to be how humans work right outta the box. Simply understood. Nothing fancy going on here.

  7. Betha says:

    This reminds me of the practice I like to do. Where I’m from there is this large evergreen forest which has a high hill in the middle of it. On top of that hill I have a bird’s eye view to the surrounding forest and nature that stretches below me for leagues. I can see the horizon around me. The human life there is quite scarce, so it can be very silent in the midst of the forest.

    On that hill I like to relax into the contrast between the sounds that people generate and the quiet stillness of the far horizon. It feels as if I’m cocooned in this great silence which swallows all the sounds that come out of the near vicinity. I visually concentrate on the horizon to see how far the reality stretches around me. During wintertime this is especially pleasant, because the nature is hibernating so there is less life in the middle of all that forest.

    I haven’t done this as a proper method and I do it differently each time I am there. The point is that I find it really easy to relax into whatever there is without putting up any resistance. The silence of the surrounding reality is really relaxing and I can easily get into a good mood after focusing on it. It feels as if I’m taking a step back from everyday life to see things from a higher perspective, both figuratively and literally. The absolute stillness makes me relax into “what is”, and that feeling stays with me for the rest of the day.

  8. Sed says:

    Today I was meditating and forty minutes in meditation, there was a small white light and it quickly became very bright white and I felt I was sucked in. But I opened my eyes immediately. Can anyone please tell me what is this? I’m confused. Thank you.

    • Illuminatus says:

      That was the nimitta and you were about to enter jhana. Next time don’t open your eyes!

      What meditation style were you using?

      • Sed says:

        Thank you very much for replying me. I was using breathing meditation. I was quite scared and opened my eyes immediately. Next time if I see the light, I won’t open it. How long have you been meditating? I’m very impressed by your achievements.

      • Sed says:

        I forgot to ask. If I see the light, do I keep concentrating on breathing ?

        • Illuminatus says:

          If you see the light, you keep doing whatever you were doing up until that point. If that was concentrating on the breath, then keep doing that. The light will eventually grow to encompass everything.

          What guide are you following, and how long have you been meditating? I am always interested when people have jhana experiences as I would like to find out why some people get them easier than others.

          I have been meditating for 10 years.

          • Sed says:

            I used to meditate looking at the candle flame before. I think i was not very serious at that time. It was irregular. Like when I feel like it.. I never continued on daily basis. But I was always interested. Then suddenly I felt like to do some serious meditation. I started doing breathing meditation. At first I did with open eye for one to two hours. Later I did it with closed eye. Then I found out about jhana in reddit and got your link through that. I read your guide about how to feel the sensation of the breathe and focus on the part of the nose. It’s been like 8 days that I have been meditating daily for 1 hour. I motivated myself To do one hour meditation daily no matter what. Your blogs really fascinated me like I came to know about magick , Kundalini , jhana. I’m also very curious about you. What do you think about enlightenment? What is your goal in meditation? Do you reach jhana everyday?

  9. Sed says:

    Hello. I have a doubt. when i meditated , after sometime my whole body began vibrating. It was like electric vibration. What does this mean? Couldn’t see the nimitta today. Thanks.

  10. Sed says:

    Thanks a lot for the answer. Does the eyes flicker like REM when the nimitta becomes very bright and encompass your vision?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Yes, that’s totally normal.

      • Se says:

        Thanks a lot for the information. Sorry for asking many questions 🤗😉

        • Illuminatus says:

          That’s fine; it’s what I’m here for.

          Please continue to use “Sed” though, otherwise your posts will appear in my moderation queue.

    • Illuminatus says:

      You might also experience a feeling of apprehension immediately before you enter jhana (reportedly even the Buddha experienced this). Simply acknowledge it and continue, and you will enter jhana.

      Just trying to pre-empt your next question. 😉

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