Mailbag: Musings on Concentration, Kundalini, Magick, Socializing, Public Meditation, and the Off-World Jhanas

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109 Responses

  1. BabaFella says:

    Very interesting post.
    Illuminatus, I have a question, why don’t you seek a competent kundalini teacher instead of possible reinventing the wheel all the time? Don’t you think it is worth it to have a teacher, or do you not believe it is likely that you will find a good one?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Well, on some level, I must enjoy the thrill of finding out something new for myself, even if it is often a disaster. I also don’t have much respect for authority, which is a massive hindrance when looking for a teacher.

      Overall I like to get new ideas about what’s possible to experience then to find my own way there. I don’t really know why that is. I’ve always been figuring stuff out for myself; I’m used to it.

  2. Aldous says:

    “Magick is all about forgetting it, then living it” might be the most well written line about how magick works I’ve ever read.

  3. Kautilya says:

    Question for adepts

    Ok – is Jhana (the very lowest form) better than alcohol, weed, coke, stumulats etc….?

    I think the answer is yes but what I mean is will those states diminish in value when Jhana is finally reached??

    Many of the better qualified people here – obviously Illuminatus – but also just for example Mayanth and James.

    Im not saying you should be saints (then I’d have another issue lol!) – I just mean being able to access such states why are substances, the need to wank, gambling, discontentment with work – even an issue for you guys? or is it?

    Is there a league table and for the sake of arguement is Absoltus in the Champions League or something??

    I liked what Illuminatus said once about what we are doing here is ‘NOT NORMAL’ but its not like we are doing something like sitting in fields with tin foil hats making up new lanuages and pirate radio to talk to our otherworldy ‘friends’

    This is meditation – the most ancient and profound practice and I feel blessed to be here because even 1000’s of years it must be hard to keep the work up. I am now for the first time ever. Doubt hits me time to time and sometimes I think ‘what would it be like if I could access peace, inspiration, power, joy’ by taking nothing into my body??

    I hope the experiences guys here ot just read between lines but create your own lines whenever because even I have started influencing people with my knowledge of this kind of stuff (which I’ll be honest – I know a LOT about though it even though doesnt appear so online) ….. I just never had a meditation practice till now though!

    Now that I have its like everything I say about meditation isn’t just interesting to others – its fascinating and I get that from people here.

    Thanks

    • Illuminatus says:

      There’s a lot of “it depends”, but I’ll summarize my views.

      Low-level jhana, also known as “jhana lite”, or “soft jhana” (and which many meditators would not even consider jhana) is nice and stimulating, with a good level of equanimity (a.k.a. “not minding stuff”). It is fundamentally more satisfying than most drugs DURING THE JHANA (with the exception of mega-drugs like LSD). However, it wears off pretty quickly. Because it is mostly driven by dopamine (the neurotransmitter targeted by cocaine), it can actually enhance addictions, especially if you then take drugs to try to chase the good feelings of the jhana as they fade. The jhana also makes all experiences that follow it a lot more fun and engaging, which can lead to addictive behaviours like wanking and substance use. Alternatively it can just result in you going for a walk in the woods. Everything is awesome after this state, and I become so present in the moment that I’m not even sure what my impulses will have me do next. In the past I would sometimes take drugs as well, simply because they are a lazy shortcut to feeling good and require no effort.
      These are the easiest and quickest jhanas to get, and are what I mainly describe on this site with things like my nose-bridge tech.

      Now, if you take greater time over your meditation, and really become mindful of the breath, and do not rush, and do not try to immediately chase the initial pleasure, then a far more profound and longer-lasting jhana will arise. We might call these “mid-level jhanas” just in this comment as a contrast to the low-level jhana described above. These are where jhanas can be said to start to be “hard”. These jhanas are more based in the opioid system (the same system targeted by heroin) and are far more fundamentally satisfying and far longer lasting. These jhanas are completely drenching; they drench you with pleasure and satisfaction and are stronger than any drug. These jhanas tend to quell any desires for addictive behaviours because they create a far higher “hit” than any drug can create and the residual effects on the opioid system last all day if not longer. Just knowing this state once in your life can be a life-changing experience as you will have never known happiness like it.

      Then you have the “high-level jhanas” which I talked a bit about in the post above. I don’t have much experience of these.

      Hopefully Culadasa’s book will teach me a lot more about these levels.

  4. James says:

    ” just mean being able to access such states why are substances, the need to wank, gambling, discontentment with work – even an issue for you guys? or is it?”

    For me, I like to participate in life. I could go be a monk or a saint etc… which I may do for some time but the point of being alive is to live.

  5. Mayath says:

    “Ok – is Jhana (the very lowest form) better than alcohol, weed, coke, stumulats etc….?”

    Depends on how your getting fucked up and the Jhana your accessing.The very lowest form of Jhana won’t be better than getting intoxicated. If your looking for a high and aren’t an adept, just get drunk because it takes too much effort to get into these states as a beginner. The very lowest forms of Jhana are usually more fulfilling than getting mindlessly intoxicated though.

    A good night with friends, getting fucked up on your substance of choice will always be better than the lowest forms of Jhana. Soft Jhana is better than or equal to a good night fucked up. A great memorable high will be better than soft Jhana though.

    But even the lowest forms of Jhana are better than being an addict. There more fulfilling and they don’t have the comedown to reality that you experience with other things. The difference between Jhana and just getting fucked up is that it’s satisfying. The biggest difference between being a Jhana Junkie and just a junkie is that Jhana improves your experience of life. Being an addict ruins you. Abusing anything else wears and tears you down.

    I’ve lost interest in abusing things. I used to drink a lot and now I only drink on rare occasions. My experience of being drunk has changed. It makes me feel dull and stupid. I don’t get a thrill out of it. Drinking is about being mindless and that’s nice when you want to escape, which is what most people want to do when they drink but I’ve developed a depth of mindfulness that hinders that mindlessness. It’s not the same. I still drink but I have to drink more to enjoy it and also have to weigh up if a night out is worth losing Jhana for a day or two. It’s gotten boring but it’d begun to get boring before I meditated anyway.

    I still wank and enjoy entertainment but there not issues. I go through periods where I just want to meditate and periods where I’m not as interested in practice. I don’t want to be a fucking weirdo who just meditates all the time, I still want to participate in life like James said. The choice is there to spend all my time in Jhana but I’m not interested. I don’t want to hide from life. I want to enhance it which Jhana has done.

    I haven’t seen anyone who explores the Jhanas in serious depth say all they want to do is Jhana.You could get addicted to the first three Jhanas but to reach the fourth you have to see through the unsatisfactory nature of bliss and peace and just settle in equanimity where your uninterested and unbothered by anything really. If one is consistently cultivating the fourth you’d lose interest in being an addict I believe.

    The softer, lower Jhanas could aggravate addiction because they feel so good but they wear off soon after, so if you want to maintain that high you either continue cultivating or you get fucked up. Hard Jhanas quell any addictive behaviour and will change you for the better.

    The hard Jhanas are the most intense thing I’ve ever tried. They sear onto your consciousness. You’ll never forget the first time you hit them, like losing your virginity. I’ve tried Alcohol, Coke, Weed and MDMA and this beats them. I haven’t done Psychedelics or opiates so I can’t comment on them. But I can’t imagine anything better than the Hard Jhanas.

    I used to have a an addictive personality. I wanted to feel high all the time because just being alive made me feel agitated. On some level I bet the Buddha felt like that too. He could access extreme bliss but was unsatisfied because it doesn’t last. Enlightenement(whatever that is) seems to be the only permanent solution.

    My solution as someone unenlightened? Insight and acceptance.Shit is just the way it is because thats the way things are.Insight has forced me to see the unsatisfactory, impermanent nature of living. Being at peace with that, realising it’s all a game is my solution. Really fucking myself up was the only way to get these answers and trying to explain it to someone who’s not ready, sounds trite or pretentious.

    I have the means to get high now, all the time if I wanted but I don’t have the overwhelming need I used to. Things just are and I’m okay with that largely. I still have a lot further to go along that path if I so choose but I know peace and satisfaction, even within extreme pain are completely possible. So for me, cultivating Jhana isn’t to make myself feel better because I fear life. Cultivating the Jhanas is about developing Magick and my cognition so that I can live a better outer and inner life. It’s not an escape.

  6. Mayath says:

    Haha, I haven’t fucked any underage prostitutes in Jhana yet.

    “Kundalini is the power that fuels concentration”.

    Interesting. I always imagine the Kundalini being simiar to the Force in Star Wars. However, I don’t know enough about Kundalini to discuss it in any depth. I’d just be regurgitating what I’ve read.I can generate the energy streams and while there very healing, I haven’t had any experiences like yours. My energy development is ongoing and it may well be Kundalini Rising. I’ve always associated Kundalini Risingwith someone experiencing Psychosis like symptoms but I haven’t been experiencing anything but aches and pain. Mentally I really couldn’t be better.

    On the Jhana Spectrum:

    I agree that there’s a spectrum of hard to soft. I find the whole hard vs soft debate annoying and not very useful. Of course we have a wide variety of absorption states. We need better categories though. Hard and Soft Jhana aren’t adequate enough. Within Soft Jhana alone there’s so much variation. I have some ideas on what these other absorption states might look like but I wanna think more before I post. It might be better to wait for you to read TMI too, Illuminatus.

    However right now, I don’t think anyone will disagree that this is how the Jhanas breakdown into Categories so far:

    1- Whole Body Jhanas. Artificial forced Jhanas that have enough of a sprinkling off the Jhana factors to be called the Jhana. The reason I call them ‘artificial’ and ‘forced’ is because to access them you have to force them into happening by your whole body as you meditation object, using every facet of your attention span and concentration to make them happen. A lot of effort. Only really useful for building concentration and eradicating dullness and distraction.

    2- Soft Jhanas: You create a positive feedback loop using Happiness/Joy which propels you clearly into an alternate state of consciousness. Good for Magick and cognition enhancement. Great for concentration building, unification of mind and feeling great. The formless Jhanas(5-8) become accessible.

    3:Hard Jhanas: The light behind the eyes are used to enter them. Mind blowing.All the things I said for the Soft Jhanas but more so.

    What I propose is that there should be sub categories within Soft Jhanas and within the Hard Jhanas. Soft Jhana should have its sub stages. For instance the Soft Jhanas can have instances where you question your depth and wonder whether that was even Jhana. Other times, deep, clearly altered stages are being reached but still being calling soft. There’s scale within even Soft and this scale could be better defined.

    There’s also the whole issue of discursive thinking and Soft Jhana. It’d really be useful to breakdown Soft Jhana into sub categories because I know I’ve hit absolution states in the past but I didn’t know where I would place myself in the Spectrum.

    The Hard Jhanas have their own layers of depth too. What I wrote above is a “soft” Hard Jhana. “Out of this world” Jhanas are at the extreme end of the hard Jhanas.

    While it’s impossible to exactly define objective criteria for absorption, I think we need better categories if we’re gonna converse properly about these things. Of course, Individuals have to determine for themselves ultimately if something is Jhana but I think the current categories aren’t adequate.

    I lean towards a harder, deeper interpretation of Jhana than I think you do Illuminatus and that’s fine. Somethings you call Jhana, I don’t think I would. But I think if we had better terms we’d know what we mean.

    A good balance between Categories that are tough to reach and some that aren’t as difficult would be perfect.It’s important to have states that are reachable for ordinary people but that aren’t so light that every tiny dash of Piti, makes someone think they’ve got Jhanas. I agree wholeheartedly about your Jhana Fractal theory.

    It’s annoying that Jhana hasn’t better broken down within Buddhism already, especially when they’ve bloody 40 lists about other irrelevant minutiae.

    I’ve basically described my experience with the Off World Jhana in the above post but if I hit anything like that again, I’ll post about it definitely

    What I propose is that there should be sub categories within Soft Jhanas and within the Hard Jhanas. For instance the Soft Jhanas can have instances where you question whether that was even Jhana. There’s also the whole issue of discursive thinking and Soft Jhana. It’d really be useful

    I was doing Metta Meditation and dropped down to the fourth. My mind became bright with a light white.I saw light and understood everything as light. I could see stars, rivers and world of light which I believed to be various forms of consciousness. I didn’t have an adventure like you did, rather it was like I was downloading information. Information in the form of the music Siddhi and Psychic powers which faded soon afterward.

    Your comment about Beethoven, nature and music rings true to me. It was nature itself that contained these songs, I just briefly had the ear to hear them.

    I agree with your comment on Siddhis. There all about Creativity, even if something objectively real isn’t happening, something is definitely happening to rearrange the architecture of the imagination. You experience unbridled, unrestricted creativity and this state is worth cultivating just for the creative benefits it grants.

    I’ll speak about how the Off World Jhana made me experience the Psychic powers.I don’t think the psychic powers for work the way we’d expect them too. Telepathy isn’t like the Xmen. We don’t see thought bubbles for examples. It’s more like extreme Empathy and strong intuition about what’s occurring in the other persons head. You seem to pick up on there impulses, like a magnetic force. You might hear a line or two of verbal thought or see a strong image from their head but it’s unreliable. Really your sensing unconscious impulses and their conditioning. You don’t get to “read” them like they were a Wikipedia page though.

    I can’t think of an adequate word but it seems to work on “presents are level”. The higher cognitive stuff isn’t as accessible but maybe that’s just because I was given a taster of this ability. What I felt was this: Reading, feeling and sensing others emotions within yourself but knowing their not yours. Picking up on emotional information and the shape of thought form energy. I couldn’t do anything with all this. So it was kind of useless. The only uses I could think of are negative.

    Depressed, anxious people are really unbearable to be around having this cultivation. Dogs are the best. They love you and it’s easy to meld yourself into feeling one with them and they don’t mind. It makes socialzing a bit boring though, as you’ve commented. It would be interesting to meet a highly developed Yogi and see how they come across.

    The sceptic in me says this isn’t even a Siddhi but just imagination and extreme empathising. So that’s my sceptical outlook. The light aura colour could also be criticised as just imagination as I see them with my minds eye, even if I’m not choosing to see them. The colour of other people’s lights doesn’t bother me. I can’t help them. Only help them follow what I’ve done.

    Divination is more useful but it works primarily for negative things. It’s a sixth sense warning function. It’s not gonna tell you who’s gonna win xfactor but you’ll get a deeply negative intuitive feeling that your boss will fire you for instance. I experienced this as deep certainties and as intuition. It turns on and off but I’m sure if I developed it more by using a fortune telling system like tarot cards I could strengthen it and maybe read positive things. But the way I’ve received these abilities, they don’t seem too useful at the moment and only arise when I cultivate Jhana.

    It could all be in my head. How do you experience telepathy?

    The other information I received is that there are new Jhanas waiting to be constructed beyond the 8th and Pureland Jhanas. However one has to reach Nirodhi Samaphatti to be able to do so properly, which is an extremely high attainment or at least that’s what I “downloaded”. Constructing new Jhanas should be attainable for extremely high practioners and it something I’m gonna do in the future when I’ve explored the current ones to my satisfaction.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “Interesting. I always imagine the Kundalini being simiar to the Force in Star Wars.”

      Kundalini is the life force that drives awareness. It could even be synonymous with awareness, but the labels tend to get blurry when you drill into them. Kundalini gathers in most concentrated forms in nerves.

      Concentration meditation focuses kundalini in various pathways. So, you are learning to move kundalini (loosely synonymous with awareness) in certain ways to create certain experiences (the jhanas). Kundalini also works via supply and demand. As you want more powerful jhanas, kundalini (life force) available to you must increase to provide the energy/awareness required for those jhanas. This is why the mind becomes so powerful. So, concentration meditation will increase both kundalini present in the system and skills in what you are able to do with it, over time.

      “I’ve always associated Kundalini Risingwith someone experiencing Psychosis like symptoms”

      Psychosis is common. I had shitloads of psychosis, and had to manage it with insight meditation (seeing through it all) until it subsided. I think that peak experience lasted about 4 days. It was quite literally the worst time in my life, as were most of the kundalini awakening peaks. I had the occasional amazeballs journey during that time but the bad outweighed the good at least tenfold.

      I managed the Dark Night with insight, but frankly I wish I had had very stable jhanas cultivated as well. I believe that because you are cultivating such peaceful, technically perfect concentration states, your growing kundalini is not jumping around into circuits it shouldn’t be and creating psychosis. You are conditioning the flow of kundalini into useful patterns using concentration methods.

      The aches and pains are normal as the kundalini finds new paths within the body itself. You are lucky you have strong opioid conditioning via concentration — I was in agony for most of my experience.

      “You might hear a line or two of verbal thought or see a strong image from their head but it’s unreliable. Really your sensing unconscious impulses and their conditioning. You don’t get to “read” them like they were a Wikipedia page though.”

      I have those same general experiences (funny how similar we are in most experiences like these). However, consider that that is the nascent form of the siddhi. I have put no special effort into cultivating that siddhi. According to scripture, the siddhi can be developed so you can know someone’s mind and history entirely.

      “How do you experience telepathy?”

      Well, now we are into territory where I am about to make some claims which are very difficult to prove. It is things like this that make me understand why people do not talk about such things much.

      I have visited someone in a dream (confirmed by their texting me immediately afterwards). I have also planted intention-manifestation in SOMEONE ELSE’S REALITY then told them what happened to them that day just to freak them out. I don’t do any of these things any more.

      I have communicated with several people on the astral plane for various purposes which I won’t go into.

      I have controlled animals (my cats) and known their cruel reptilian minds for an instant, and seen flashes of their genetic history in North Africa. I also once caused a spider to leave my bedroom by placing the sense impression of a fly just outside the window.

      Telepathy always feels like a temporary unification of your mind with theirs. There is no barrier for a moment. It’s like two bubbles joining to become one big bubble then immediately separating again. You’re right though, it is nothing like telepathy or mind-reading as shown on TV or film. You do not just “get something from their mind” and that’s that; instead, during the join, you leave an impression on each other’s minds. You both take something of the other away with you. I am sure that telepathy is completely normal and that this stuff happens all the time during intimate relations like sex.

      With the time I controlled the cats, I merged their minds with mine using a joint jhana. So, you can create a jhana and extend it like a bubble to cover other minds. You can pacify other minds using the calming power and equanimity of jhana. After this, though, they were then scratching on my bedroom door all night trying to get in to be close to me. I had left a sense impression on them, and they followed me around for days after that.

      If you do this with other humans they either bond to you or get totally creeped out by you.

      I experimented with this stuff long enough to get an idea of what is possible, which was also long enough to have me realize I’m not that interested in actually doing it very much.

      • Mayath says:

        You’re unlucky that you dove into Insight first. I personally think Daniel Ingram has a lot to answer for by popularizing his form of Mahasi Noting. I’ve great respect for him but MCTB is a dangerous book Useful as a reference book for the Path of Insight but not as an instructional guide.. The great thing about Anapanasati is that you must work out your “stuff” first to advance. I’ve burned through all my content so that’s why the Dark night was a blip for me and I had the Jhanas too. The Dark night just took them for a few weeks but I was already well grounded in them. The qualities of mind the Jhanas grant act as a palliative to the internal friction the unconscious generates as it internalizes the Three characteristics.

        From lurking on Dharma Overground, I believe the tranquility and equanimity of Dry Insight, granted in the Equanimity Nana, is not as strong as the tranquility and equanimity developed through concentration. It’s more momentary, because they’ve only developed momentary concentration.I don’t think the Dry Insight people are getting past Second or third Path either. It’s a traumatic dead end journey from what I can see. The only use of Dry Insight I can see, is that you develop a highly attuned perceptual awareness which can scan microscopically. This would help with energy work and noticing Kundalini. Combining both insight-specific practices with concentration-based techniques in the same sitting meditation session yields a quicker pace of advancement in less time with a far more smooth, manageable ride, in my opinion.

        “I have those same general experiences (funny how similar we are in most experiences like these). However, consider that that is the nascent form of the siddhi. I have put no special effort into cultivating that siddhi. According to scripture, the siddhi can be developed so you can know someone’s mind and history entirely”.

        Well, our experiences matching up is evidence that that there is something universal about the way consciousness evolves.

        I’ve had the same experience you had with your cats but with people. People see me as very charismatic now and always want to “bond”. I humour them but I’ve no real interest in connecting as I find that most people are now lacking depth. I’m very careful who I unify minds with. Joining with the wrong person is just draining the well and feeding them but they inevitably don’t know what to do with the nourishment they taken so they fuck it up. When I first turned on this circuit, a lot of unhappy people noticed on some sort of unconscious level and were drawn to me like a moth to a flame. I hadn’t learned to turn it off at first so there misery started poisoning me and draining my energy. I didn’t really have to do much to shut them out though. On some level your consciousness recognises there doing this and shuts them out. Avoidance is the best strategy.

        Oneitis is a very real danger when you trigger this ability. I activated mine with Metta and It’s really tempting to go out and love everyone but you just fuck yourself up connecting with the wrong type.

        Socializing is so tedious at the moment. I have the confidence and the charisma, I wanted as a teenager and no desire to use it.The ironies of this practice is that the more you develop, the more you get what you originally wanted, the more you don’t give a shit for those low hanging fruit.

        • Aldous says:

          Totally agree re: Ingrahm. I did love that book (and still love parts of it) but the Mahasi Noting/ RELENTLESS focus on the dark knight which the noting induces put me right off him. A glance at the dharma overground forum reveals a lot of damaged people in an echo chamber of mutual dark knight misery they don’t have to put themselves through, at least at that level of intensity. If its going to fuck you up to that extent, why bother?

          • Aldous says:

            And God help you if you go on there (the overground) with a magick question…

            • Mayath says:

              Agreed. It’s not even what the Buddha taught. If your gonna try for Buddhist Enlightenment at least use his techniques.

              I think the Dark Night is unavoidable if you start altering consciousness seriously, whether through drugs or meditation, but it doesn’t have to be that relentless. Unfortunately, I think once someone has programmed themselves to operate on a dry Noting level subconsciously I don’t think attaining the Jhanas will bring relief. The only choice is full Enlightenment.

              I’ve thought about a counter technique to dry Noting that somebody might find useful. Instead of looking for Impermance, suffering and No-Self in phenomena, you look for permanence, bliss and Self. It gave me first Jhana and could work as a nice little bit of reprogramming for those stuck in the depths.

              I haven’t found the DHO Magick section that useful either. I lurk on a few occult forums but I can’t find any that focus on using Jhana for Magick, which is what I’m interested in.

              If I had the time I’d set up a hidden Reddit forum where serious practioners could talk about using Jhana the way we do, for serious self improvement. It’d have a Buddhist/Yogi perspective with a Chaos Magick bent. Kinda like the Genuine Meditation subreddit if anyone is a member of that but with less of a religious element.

              I’d be worried it’d just come a place where Absolutus wannabes want to be taught to have Jhana in 20 minutes though.

              • James says:

                ” you look for permanence, bliss and Self. ” Ive done a varation and found it enjoyable and insightful.

                It was more, I am everything and everything works in cycles.

                I’ve noted sensations but I never did dry noting of the three characteristics because I never saw any value in it. If you are noting sensations then that’s it, there is no judgement to it. If you judge a sensation then you are just judging a sensation with a sensation, it makes no sense.

              • Illuminatus says:

                Agreed re Dharma Overground, especially regarding asking about magick — they are mostly very right-hand path and do not respond well to conversations the powers, which is interesting considering Daniel Ingram is very vocal about magick and has a live speech available online about it.

                “I’ve thought about a counter technique to dry Noting that somebody might find useful. Instead of looking for Impermance, suffering and No-Self in phenomena, you look for permanence, bliss and Self.”

                You might be interested in this, then:
                http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/the-three-inverse-characteristics/

                Ignore the showboating about my having 8 jhanas — I may have got some flukes and strange experiences around that time (I was meditating literally for hours every single day) but it’s all rather fuzzy looking back now.

                You can also probably breeze past my speculation about left/right hemispheres — it was an obsession of mine at the time, but might have some value.

                I cringe a little bit when reading over some of my older stuff. I usually tended to make the assumption I had mastered something when I had either glimpsed it or, sometimes, not even had it at all. Still, some of my stuff turned out to be dead right, so whatever.

                • James says:

                  I think it comes down to unity vs separation.

                  Fear is ultimately separation.

                  If you unify you hit jhana, if you separate you have anxiety.

                  If noting a sensation with a thought, is noting a sensation with a sensation, then where does that leave us?

                  Well, if the journey of spiritual progress is moving the energy up the spine, then maybe its when you note things and get an “up” sensation, that is the correct path.

                  Sensations working like locks on your energy centers, and require a certain thought pattern (the correct arrangement of sensations, much like a key) to unlock that energy.

                  So, you can you use a key to raise your energy (insight – which IMO plant medicine is one of the best things for). Or blast through sensations/melt them with certain postures/breath work (kryia yoga, kundalnin etc..)

                  • Salg says:

                    I don’t have anything to add here, as I’m a novice. I’ve started the practice a while back and continued ad hoc – my first introduction was MCTB, and I was ( and I am) dark nighting hard with all the adverse effects. But, I’m glad for the amount of knowledgable people in this site. I’ve ordered the mind illuminated book and my goal is to access jhanas. Right now my practice is at half an hour each day ( want to increase up to an hour, that’s all I can afford with my work ). Just wanted to say thanks Illuminatus, James and Aldos for the high level of input.

                • Mayath says:

                  I’ve always found Ingram’s interviews better than his writing. I wish he spoke more about Magick.

                  Question about intention manifest ion:

                  I was in traffic today and I tried to fire off a strong intention that it would speed up. I went into light first Jhana but I got this blocked feeling and an impulse that said “not gonna happen”.

                  Sure enough, there’d an accident had happened up ahead and it had to be cleared. The universe basically told me that it wouldn’t work. The traffic did speed up a tiny bit but there was nothing that could be done.

                  First point- Intention manifestation has its limits. Reality can only reorganise itself in so many ways. It has to be coherent and logical and in order with how we understand reality normally works. In this case, there was nothing that could be done to remove the broken truck up ahead any faster than was already happening.

                  Second Point: Concentration or Insight makes you more attuned to the vibrations or the feelings of reality.

                  I’ve been doing Sigil Magick for years with mixed sucess. I’d get want I want sometimes but sometimes not. I never recognised that “blocked, stalling” feeling I had today. I was basically told it wasn’t gonna work or that it was extremely unlikely that it was gonna work.

                  I didn’t have the highly developed intuition then that I have now. If I had, my Sigil work might have turned out better if I had a Spider Sense kind of thing to tell me if I was wasting my time.

                  I think you could push through the block and try anyway but that’s hard mode. It might still work but the difficulty has gone way up.

                  You agree? Disagree?

                  • Illuminatus says:

                    “I was in traffic today and I tried to fire off a strong intention that it would speed up. I went into light first Jhana but I got this blocked feeling and an impulse that said “not gonna happen”.”

                    If you meditated upon this block until it dissolved (using whatever method works best for you) then you would have had freedom to intend. (I used to call this Integration on the forum back in the day and used it solely as a way to move beyond “gross” emotional blocks.) Therefore intention is reliant upon time it takes to dissolve the block, which in turn is determined by skill/insight you have so far. If you could dissolve all blocks instantaneously you would be a demigod. Actual god is not having the blocks to begin with.

                    “First point- Intention manifestation has its limits. Reality can only reorganise itself in so many ways. It has to be coherent and logical and in order with how we understand reality normally works. In this case, there was nothing that could be done to remove the broken truck up ahead any faster than was already happening.”

                    The only limits are determined by what has come before (what has created the blocks). Rationality as we know it is a set of ancient, persistent blocks. They can be transcended.

                    If you had managed to break up that block in a rapid time (demigod power) then you would have opened your eyes to realize you had misjudged the traffic accident and it wasn’t the impediment you thought; and that now traffic is moving freely. The intention goes back to the Big Bang and reorders the entire universe/timeline.

                    “Second Point: Concentration or Insight makes you more attuned to the vibrations or the feelings of reality.”

                    Yes. Concentration gives you magnifying glass abilities to clearly see vibrations. Insight gives you the skill to let them go.

                    “I’ve been doing Sigil Magick for years with mixed sucess. I’d get want I want sometimes but sometimes not. I never recognised that “blocked, stalling” feeling I had today. I was basically told it wasn’t gonna work or that it was extremely unlikely that it was gonna work.

                    I didn’t have the highly developed intuition then that I have now. If I had, my Sigil work might have turned out better if I had a Spider Sense kind of thing to tell me if I was wasting my time.

                    I think you could push through the block and try anyway but that’s hard mode. It might still work but the difficulty has gone way up.

                    You agree? Disagree?”

                    The blocked feeling is either a cue to do insight work upon it and let it go, or to accept it as part of reality and find ways to work around it. Ultimately it’s a matter of time, and is a judgment call for each case whether or not you want to put in the time to remove the block.

                    Mastering each regular type of emotional block humans encounter daily is in fact what causes cycling, since the Theravada territories are essentially lists of basic human emotions: Fear, Misery, etc. These are seen as blocks you should absolutely master (I agree) in order to have a happy life. The regularity of insight practice is what brings progressive levels of freedom (known as Paths).

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      “Rationality as we know it is a set of ancient, persistent blocks. They can be transcended.”

                      Do you think they were put in place by Nature? Or was it Plato and those guys who installed Western rationality into the fractal?

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        Interesting, re: the cat telepathy. Do you think they got a whiff of what it’s like to be a human?

  7. Saith says:

    In all seriousness. How old would you say the underage prostitute(s) was?

  8. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Illumi, I know it’s not your main interest, but maybe you could devote a little bit of your efforts toward exploring intelligence-increase methods. Would be hugely appreciated, as it’s a big one for me. Classical IQ stuff like maths, logic, but also visual, spatial, tactics, being clever as fuck basically 🙂 Thanks much!

    • Illuminatus says:

      Sorry, it’s really not my thing. I consider human rationality fairly low on the totem pole of intelligence.

      I would suggest you just do jhana then intend those things.

  9. James says:

    “People see me as very charismatic now and always want to “bond”. I humour them but I’ve no real interest in connecting as I find that most people are now lacking depth. I’m very careful who I unify minds with. Joining with the wrong person is just draining the well and feeding them but they inevitably don’t know what to do with the nourishment they taken so they fuck it up. When I first turned on this circuit, a lot of unhappy people noticed on some sort of unconscious level and were drawn to me like a moth to a flame. ”

    I was like this since I was a kid with no meditation experience. Meditating has helped me turn it “off” which is IMO is much much better. I often wonder where I would be at if I had meditation as a kid.

    I use to help teach a special needs class and could just feel what the kids in the class needed/wanted.

    Same with martial arts, I could feel what peoples next move was going to be before they did it… they’d “hold” the move in their energy and would feint or try to mask it but the intent for the move they wanted was too strong and it was easy to counter.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Interestingly I got the idea of merging with other people from Cosy (from Fast Seduction) in private emails to him. He described the way he would mirror martial artists’ movements and find that through doing that he would begin to know their next moves (therefore knowing their minds).

      I practised this method on animals and then people — mirroring their facial expressions and finding it temporarily “merged” me with them. This was one of the clues that led me to draw the conclusion that, in the universe, when things are similar to each other, they begin behaving as one. This led me to Similarity Causality, part of my bigger Fractal Causality model.

      And then it turns out the Buddha himself already figured out all these rules and they’re in one of the scriptures.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        Can you elaborate a bit on all this?

        • Illuminatus says:

          Well, here’s a quick spell for you to try. Watch someone, and for a few minutes copy their facial expression and mannerisms as closely as you can. The face is really the key to all this. If you have concentration skill, become one-pointed on this act of mimickry/ absorb into it. You should now find it possible to know some of their mind, probably emotional states at first. With skill you can induce them to do certain actions, by willing it and imagining that you are also about to do it (while continuing the mimicry). The more you get into this the more of them you begin to know. If you speak to them while doing this it will either go very well or very badly, perhaps depending on how they feel about themselves generally (so if they like themselves you will feel very familiar and therefore comforting to them, but if they are self-hating they will hate the traits they see reflected in you).

          Friends do a very light version of this anyway (mirroring). Couples do this more strongly and intimately, seeing their own best and worst traits reflected in one another. All we are talking about here is a very strong version of this designed to purposefully utilize nonduality. It is largely unethical and one downside is that that person will tend to “rub off on you” for a while afterwards — so you pick up some of their neuroses, for example.

          Now, here is a very special trick. Do the above mimicry till you feel a “lock” (nondual merging, perceivable to those familiar with such subtle strata of mind via their meditation work). Now, enter the first jhana, while keeping one-pointedness on the lock. This will instantly begin to pacify the other person as you yourself become pacified. (This is the principle of metta.) If you are a Black Magician, you can now use that state to control their behaviour or implant suggestions you could not before, since they are now far more open to possibilities. If you are a White Magician you simply wish them love, peace, happiness and good fortune and let them go on their way.

          • Illuminatus says:

            P.S. You will know “the lock” feeling from your previous interactions. E.g. when you are talking a girl and suddenly it is just you two in a bubble together, and the rest of the world is barely noticeable at the periphery. It also happens with close friends. With meditative skill such a feeling can be invoked directly.

          • Edenist Whackjob says:

            Interesting! Thanks.

            I find myself picking up other’s hand-gestures (for instance, Trump). I’ve noticed that this affects my cognition (for the better). Is that a similar thing?

          • Mayath says:

            I feel like I knew all this “melding” and Magick stuff intuitively as a kid. Either I was a highly developed Yogi in the past or children just have these ‘open, free flowing spacial feelings’ the ones I feel come with Magick, naturally and get socialised out of them.

            A lot of meditation is just remembering what’s grown atrophied or blocked since childhood.

  10. James says:

    Buddha was pretty smart.

    What you said about “matching” and “merging” is how I learned martial arts. Just watching a fight on the TV or people sparring etc… I would imprint everything I could about what they did and be able to match it near 100% when it was time to perform.

    I also hid my intent very deep behind a deadpan expression because I thought everyone could do that, and in doing so made myself much harder to read.

    you said something in a post not to long ago when someone mentioned seeing a face of energy in meditation.

    I’ve imagined peoples facial expressions to be something, set it, and forgot and literally a few moments later, due to how the conversation turned etc.. it would occur.

    However Ive found I have to allow myself to only be an actor in the process or I hijack it. A guy I’ve taken a lot of advice from over the years told me he has no ego and that’s why hes able to get whatever he wants out of life.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “However Ive found I have to allow myself to only be an actor in the process or I hijack it. A guy I’ve taken a lot of advice from over the years told me he has no ego and that’s why hes able to get whatever he wants out of life.”

      I’m reading Liber Null & Psychonaut at the moment (a gift from Aldous) and in it Peter J. Carroll says that removing your own identity causes you to become a character called Anon who is free to do anything he wishes within the infinity of possible realities.

      • dreammike says:

        Speaking of Magick, intention, patterning, over-writing experience. This man is blowing my mind.

        Check out triumphantgeorges stuff on reddit.

        In a nutshell he talks about how we are simply

        the open aware background space where all sensory perceptions and patterns arise and only ‘having an experience “as if” one is a person in a world (one has “taken on the shape of” apparently being-a-person-in-a-world in an spatially extended space unfolding in time)

        When we intend we literally are shape shift our state and over-writing the current patterning of our experience.

        And like a dream any intention can manifest. Intentions are basically deliberate expectations.

        Everything is merely an appearance and pattern. Including spatial locations and time. They are all arbitrary patterns and intention can change and shift it all. Intention is the only casual agent and everything else is merely an appearance.

        LINK: https://www.reddit.com/r/DimensionalJumping/comments/38c3yk/how_to_jump_between_dimensions/

        • Moviestar says:

          Sounds like advaita. E.g.. Ramana maharshi, Mooji, Papaji… Its powerful stuff.

          • dreammike says:

            Hey you worked with self inquiry before? I would love to hear about your experiences. I.E Ramah Maharshi “Who am I?” “What is aware?” Ect…

            I believe where he diverges from many teachings is where some teachers would say there is ‘no self’ ‘no free will’ ‘no one’ he is saying you’re not a human being or any perception but the aware space that through intention creates all experiences, literally like a lucid dream, except most people aren’t lucid and are doing unintentionally

            • Illuminatus says:

              What you are describing is simply the difference between Hindu “True Self” and Buddhist “No-Self”.

              Buddhist philosophy holds that the self is an illusion which arises out of transient “awareness phenomena”. Awareness exists and permeates all things, so the notion of a separate self who suffers is an illusion to be seen through. The meditator seeks to stop identifying with phenomena.

              Hindu philosophy on the other hand seeks to identify the meditator with the True Self — the source of awareness that permeates all things.

              I personally tend to lean towards the True Self interpretation, having done extreme amounts of work in both systems. I would suggest that No-Self meditation is possibly the source of the major Dark Night stuff in Buddhist practice.

        • Illuminatus says:

          Interesting. I just read the tech on the first page about using a mirror to jump dimension.

          I always used to use mirrors in lucid dreams to switch scenarios. Like, all the time. I would picture my desired location on the other side of the mirror then walk through the mirror. Fascinating that this guy is using essentially the same method in “waking reality” (which is also blatantly just another dream, if you do enough meditation).

          • James says:

            Shamanism also uses the mirror and candle tech to see past lives, spiritual archetypes, etc…

            • dreammike says:

              It is a really cool way to get yourself into another altered state of mine. The mirror candle flame thing really makes you see vivid hallucinations of yourself.

        • Illuminatus says:

          The first dimension I recommend people switch to is one where they can meditate and reach jhana consistently. Then, they will be able to explore and enjoy any dimension they then choose to visit. That way it will become “wilful desire to explore new existences” rather than “running away from my current existence”. Jhana will certainly help one’s ability to switch dimension, too.

          • dreammike says:

            I’ll give it a try. 🙂

            By the way, I hope at some point you write more about intent. The main point of his being that we basically use intent for everything and for example take a pill, even a ‘real’ pill is just indirectly using intent to ‘heal’ yourself.

            • Illuminatus says:

              What you’re describing there is the subjective reality worldview.

              The objective reality worldview holds that intention just gets you to interact with the material world (taking the pill) and it is the material world (the pill) which actually causes the change.

              • dreammike says:

                On a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being 100% solipsistic subjective idealism and 1 being Richard Dawkins Materialism. Where would you put yourself? Somewhere in the middle?

                • Illuminatus says:

                  Well there is an assumption there that 100% subjectivity equals solipsism. However, to know the True Self (the experiencer of all) is to know it cannot be identified with any one ego.

                  To the extent that I believe the universe is one awareness experiencing itself through infinite possibilities, yes I am a level 10.

                  I also believe the primary purpose of this universe (if it has one) is to experience relationships between things. So it split itself into different perspectives to interact with itself. These range from the most simplistic relationships (e.g. between particles) all the way up to complex human relationships — and possibly beyond, though I know of nothing more complex than that, currently.

                  There might be other universes with other purposes, but I don’t think we could ever know about those.

                  • Illuminatus says:

                    I will however mention that you have stumbled into something here.

                    – The No-Self perspective CAN tend one towards feelings of nihilism, as though one is an insignificant ghost whipped up in the sandstorm of infinity.

                    – The True Self perspective CAN tend one towards solipsism, that the universe is a mere playground for the ego of godhood, and it is here solely for your entertainment.

                    There are provisions in both philosophies to master or at least manage such leanings, though in my experience this can be extremely difficult if not impossible at times.

                  • dreammike says:

                    That is a very interesting and clarifying way to look at it. I burrowed my way into a ton of no-self literature and it literally made me extremely passive and made me feel more and more powerlessness.

                    My intention was literally to annihilate the feeling of experiencing because I hated life.

                    BUT all ‘no-self’ literature did not remove division or experiencing of suffering but ONLY made me experience life in a more powerless manner.

                    Like I was forced to watch a total immersive horror movie with all 5 senses engaged but because it was a movie there was nothing I could do to change it.

                    It resulted in a nihilistic pre-deterministic state and in all honesty I don’t seeing it helping anyone.

                    Going back to Descartes – I think, therefore I am. Or to put it more clearly- “I’m aware, therefore I am.”

                    This ‘no-self’ thing I think is trying to nullify the only thing I would say no one can dispute.

                    Hell a totally solipsistic person who would refute anything and everything, a total extremist skeptic wouldn’t nullify himself as awareness.

                    Now I’m only speaking from my own direct experience but ‘seeing through the self’ was only my intention because my life was full of suffering and feelings of powerlessness.

                    It was basically a way to try to kill myself without physically killing myself.

                    Now I may have read all the literature and pointers wrong, but if that is the case, I don’t think I’m the only one.

                    To say there is ‘nothing’ that is experiencing the perception of fingers typing on a keyboard is missing the point.

                    I may be ‘nothing’ but that ‘nothing’ is the container of ‘everything.’

                    So basically, why be a dick? Did you want to be a big true self that all that is? Sounds a little bit less crappy.

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      The feelings you describe, I believe, are necessary (for some amount of time, depending on the individual and technique) in order to see through the whole charade. But this is why proper Buddhism has things like the jhanas, and metta, in there to come back to something after the nothingness. Dry insight (self dissolving with no upside) is the route to the worst Dark Nights. (This is all just a speculative theory.) But eventual goal of No-Self, according to scripture, is to become an arahat who has no affect (a feeling self) at all. I personally don’t know how that would work with you still being a living human. Also, the only person I have come across who claims to be an arahat is Daniel Ingram and he certainly has a lot of affect. And, as discussed here, Kenneth Folk was an anigami but was still depressed and on antidepressants. Judging from my short stays on the Dharma Overground, too, most No-Self insight practitioners are miserable and despondent and are having a very rough time of it all (well, that was my impression, take of it what you will).

                      It is possible they are doing the No-Self method all wrong. Maybe the teachings have become completely warped since the time of the Buddha and we’re missing something important.

                      A quick opinion on how and why No-Self and True Self meditation are going to intersect at some points. Let’s take the Arising & Passing Away stage of No-Self insight meditation. This stage is effectively a True Self perspective, since phenomena are perceived clearly arising and passing away of their own accord, but they are still being watched from “this side”. That lines up with the idea of a True Self experiencing it all. HOWEVER, this phase inevitably gives way to the Dissolution, where phenomena are coming to an end, and then the Misery, Fear etc. stages where phenomena are clearly not under the control of a True Self at all. So the True Self perspective was revealed to be an illusion after all and practice moves onwards towards a No-Self realization. (However, it would be argued that Arising & Passing Away is not a proper experience of True Self, but then you are stuck with defining what IS a proper experience of that, and you end up with conflicting philosophical positions more than anything else.)

                      Sorcerors and other solipstic types do better with the True Self view because it gives them personal power but also personal pain as a necessary contrast. Magick books like Liber Null & Psychonaut teach total acceptance and ownership of pain as a natural consequence to pleasure (the basic duality of this experience.) They avoid No-Self because they are not attempting to escape suffering.

        • James says:

          reading that today gave me an existential fear response in my stomach.

          • Illuminatus says:

            What, the “jumping dimensions / you can’t get back” part? Probably just a human biological response (being lost and separated from the tribe) being mapped onto the idea. Panic-inducing. Similar to how the “being trapped inside containers” response (my personal least favourite) gets mapped onto restrictive relationships/situations.

            • James says:

              Yeah, being lose and separated from the tribe is exactly it. all of a sudden they no longer have identity and lose their “aliveness” in way.

              • Mayath says:

                It’s very difficult to completely wrap your head around No-Self if you haven’t had some experience of it. The concept and cycling through the dark night is what completely put me off Insight until I learned Jhana is gonna lead you to have some of these experiences anyway.

                My opinion is that the Self is an artificial construction made from an interaction between thoughts, consciousness(awareness), emotions, sensations and the body.

                There is no entity on its own that is Self and Self is always changing through experience. In meditation you see that your not your thoughts, feelings, sensations, body and consciousness because you have very little control over these processes and they do their own thing if you let them.

                Self is malleable and can’t be pinpointed. The more you identify with things, the more you suffer but the less you identify the less you suffer. So if a “Self” doesn’t exist you don’t suffer and the more you observe the easier it to say, well that’s not really me and if nothing is me do I really exist?

                The Self is a fantasy but a useful one. I’ve eroded some sense of self identification but I’m not interested in going any further with this at the moment until I find good reason to do. I personally don’t want to annihilate myself because I don’t see a point to it. The only way it makes sense to completely destroy the Self is if you believe in reincarnation and that your stuck in a cycle of endlessly being reborn, which is exactly the culture the Buddha was born into.

                If your attained enough to remember millions of past lives, if you’ve done literally everything, then becoming Enlightened in Buddhism makes sense. It’s the path you take when your sick of existing.

                We don’t have that problem in the West because we think of the afterlife in two ways.We die and we don’t exist anymore (materialism) or we go to heaven or hell for eternity.

                I remember reading an interview with a Buddhist Monk who commented on how strange it was that Western Buddhists found it comforting to think of Reincarnation while he and the culture he came from found it horrifying. Endless cycles of just being reborn for no point.

                I personally believe reincarnation is true and when I was going through my Dark night, I had a deep yearning just to be done with it all. I wanted to get off the ride. I felt billions of years old and there was nothing life could offer me. I wasn’t suicidal, just tired and the experience of it was different to how I experienced such thoughts in depression. I could see through the artifice and pointlessness of everything. It’s just awareness observing sensations over and over again.

                I’m over that now and getting off the ride seems just as pointless as existing forever. Why I annilate myself if there is life after death?

                It’s better to keep going I believe. I also find some truth in the True Self perspective. I don’t know as much about that philosophy but my Off world Jhana experience left me with the feeling that everything is ultimately consciousness. The universe is observing itself as Illuminatus pointing it out and we can identify with this if we choose.

                The best way for me to describe what I believe is to describe it through metaphor. Consciousness is a stream and the sense of self arises at different points depending on what body it’s flowing through at any particular point. Depending on what body consciousness is flowing through a self emerges but that self is extinguished at death or after a certain period of time is spend in a heaven or hell realm. Where consciousness flows to depends on Karma.

                True Self, the universe, God, the Tao’ Nirvana or whatever can be seen as a lake which the stream of consciousness flows out of. The magicians goal if there is said to be any is to return to the lake and make a choice.

                Take the Serpent path and stay in the Lake becoming one with God which is “”Everything”. Or you can take the dove path which is similiar to becoming a Bodhicitta and bring back what you experienced as God back to the material plane.

                No Self in this system can be seen in two ways. It can be extinguishing oneself in the lake or it can be choosing to extinguish oneself by letting consciousness fizzle out and let the stream go dry on its own.

                How does this all relate to meditation? Control of consciousness after death so your not being pulled around by Karma or other forces. This process is called Mahasamadhi.

                This assumes if you believe in afterlife. If you don’t, then I don’t really see the point of trying to attain No-Self.

      • James says:

        Sadhguru talks about his moment of enlightenment, and explains that all of a sudden “I did not know what was me, and what wasn’t”.

        • dreammike says:

          Which makes no sense looking at such a statement through a materialistic lense but makes absolute sense in a subjective sense or rather to put it another way – What isn’t you in a dream? Are you merely the avatar in your dream? Or aren’t you the environment, all the characters, everything. Don’t you experience your avatar in the dream in the same way you experience everything else, as another perception.

          But even that isn’t quite write because all the false context of a dream is literally happening within you. The dream is contained in you, you aren’t contained within it.

          To me, write or wrongly, Sadhguru’s comment makes sense perfectly when using a lucid dreaming metaphor. And ‘waking up’ as a metaphor for enlightment makes sense. And that the buddha obtained absolutely ‘nothing’ from total enlightenment.

          Its not about destroying the ego, its seeing through them to realize you’re far greater than it.

  11. Moviestar says:

    Good stuff. I agree wholeheartedly with your cosmological view and magick approach. Siddhis are real but I don’t fuck with them too. The only thing I’m developing is a sense of how I can help other beings. Even for people I only know online. But I’m doing it very slowly so nobody gets freaked out. Also I don’t use it until somebody asks me for it.

    Your off world jhana description is exactly what a breakthrough DMT experience would look like. It might be that you are releasing DMT in those states of concentration. This is why I suggested you take it, so you become more familiar with how it feels in the body. This would ease the ability to slip into these states.

    Do you find yourself sometimes locating old intentions, like ones you made years ago and forgot? But they are still working?
    I tracked down an intention from 10 years ago recently about having a polyamorous relationship. I saw it was working all the time and starting to manifest. Fortunately I cancelled it because I’m smarter now and I know that wouldn’t make me happy.
    But this is a good example why in general nobody should fuck with magick. The problem is we don’t know the effect it’s gonna cause. Most likely it will spoil the scenario we have setup for this life time.

    • Illuminatus says:

      My thoughts at the time were very much that the beam probably passed through my pineal gland. The experience was so jaw-dropping that nothing before or after have even come close. I have a plan for how I can retrigger it, though, and will post if it succeeds. In the meantime I have nice enough jhanas that life is generally satisfying.

      “Do you find yourself sometimes locating old intentions, like ones you made years ago and forgot? But they are still working?”

      Yes, and this is the source of flash images during meditation. They are formations. Generally, awareness of them is enough to annihilate them. The more robust ones however require more time.

      The strongest formations tend to be things like ancient genetic programs. These were set in motion long before the “you” you currently are came into being.

    • Edenist Whackjob says:

      Moviestar, I wouldn’t mind some mojo 🙂

    • James says:

      Well, no matter what you do you’re fucking with magick. With siddhis and the like its just to a higher intensity, and really it isn’t even magick, its just laws of nature that your perception reached a high enough level to interact with.

      The only way to not use “magick” or desire is by pure devotion to the storyteller.

  12. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Illumi, help me understand to what extent one should improve one’s environment in order to feel better in life, and to what extent one should ignore that and transcend it?

    I’m basically sabotaging myself because I constantly get the thought “you’re cheating if you raise your happiness by external means”.

    Thoughts?

    If I could drop that guilt, a thousand little external life-hacks would suddenly appear, I’m sure.

    • Illuminatus says:

      50-50 rule is always good.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        Thanks.

      • dreammike says:

        Agreed.

        “If you cultivate tolerance without expressiveness you’ll be like a patient victim, able to endure but passive and lacking creativity.

        And if you cultivate expressiveness without tolerance, you’ll be like a perpetually frightened maestro for whom magick is not a leisurely pleasure but a dire necessity at every turn in life.

        May you all be twice perfect.”

        SOURCE (read the rest): https://www.reddit.com/r/weirdway/comments/4hclcb/twice_perfect/

      • Varun says:

        How do you choose between the two options?

        • Illuminatus says:

          My immediate thought is, for a general guideline:

          – Choose tolerance in the short-term (putting up with the things you don’t like in the immediate situation, while trying to maximize your enjoyment of the things you do like)

          – Choose expressiveness in the long-term (e.g. setting magickal intentions; or, for the more materialistically-minded, setting long-term goals to increase happiness/ get what you want)

          This way you are always, in the bigger picture, moving forward towards your desired expression of what your life should look like, while cultivating methods to handle dissatisfaction in the immediate situation.

          • Vysotsky says:

            What do you think of the taoist teaching that one need self-discipline to freedom, but the permissiveness with oneself causes burden?
            Is this true?

            • Illuminatus says:

              Sorry, I don’t understand the question — could you clarify?

              • Vysotsky says:

                If you have no (self defined) responsibilities/obligations, it causes stress and dependencies, therefore you must develop self-discipline and set specific goals constantly.
                I read this in a taoism-themed novel.

                • Illuminatus says:

                  What you are describing there is very typical Right-Hand Path stuff. (You should look up the Right- and Left-Hand Paths now to understand this more.) Basically, established religions like Tao, Buddhism etc. strongly emphasize adherence to the Right-Hand Path. This involves discipline, service to others, chastity/ cleanliness of body, etc. It also emphasizes sticking strongly to the path as laid out by that particular religion.

                  The Left-Hand Path counterpoint of what you just wrote would be to accept the stress and dependencies as the “shadow side” of the pleasure/success gained from the practice. LHP tends to be more accepting of duality as “part of the game”, and accepts the negatives as a natural consequence of the positives. LHP tends to emphasize self and self-empowerment. RHP however tends to emphasize service and devotion to others, to a god, or to other concepts that are not the “self”.

                  • Vysotsky says:

                    Is it possible to mix the Paths? Is there any morality in the Left-Hand Path, too, or is it completely socipathic?

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      The short answer is no. They are fundamentally opposed.

                      Certain RHPs use elements that would be considered LHP by other religions. For example, Vajrayana Buddhism uses magick in the form of merging with gods under jhana to acquire that god’s characteristics. However, the purpose of that is as a path to enlightenment under that system’s RHP (ending with the monk taking the Bodhisattva vow which is a promise to attain complete enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings). It would be LHP if you used that god’s powers to then serve your own needs, i.e. the needs of the self.

                      Morality as defined by religions loses all meaning under LHP systems. Those morals are deconstructed as “random belief”. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” becomes the only “moral” guideline. This does not mean you immediately begin acting badly towards other people, though. You still have empathy. LHP is more about consciously choosing your own experience going forward, with the use of magick as one tool to do “reality selection”. If you chose to experience raising and loving a family in a traditional way then this would be a moral act as viewed from other belief systems. But it’s still LHP because you literally chose it from a reality selection plane and probably used magick to do it.

                      It is not the case that “RHP = good” and “LHP = evil” (though parties on both sides would often like to view it that way). They are just very different ways of approaching the same thing, with each path looking abhorrent from the opposing perspective.

              • Vysotsky says:

                So, if someone’s fractal is based on laziness or passivity, causes this always harmful effects?

                • Illuminatus says:

                  My view is that reality is exactly as it is right now. If you are being lazy and passive, then you are being lazy and passive, and the whole universe right then is lazy and passive since what you are perceiving in the moment is the whole thing.

                  One-pointedness allows a few things. For a start, it allows instant state-changes. Secondly, it also allows you to produce an intention which then becomes your whole universe. So, if you intend hardworking proactivity, your state will change to become that and your whole universe will then begin reflecting that new mindset. So, people and things will show up to help you toward your goal. An email will arrive with a new business contact, for example. The effects will play out following the universe’s own laws of causality (which are a bit different to the simple linear causality modern humans assume is “actual causality”). You experience this unfolding of causality as “time”.

                  Search for “fractal causality” on this blog to find some of my thoughts about what the universe’s causality is more actually like. I haven’t written that much about it, though, and probably should at some point. A simple way to think about it is as a circle which causes events to repeat in cycles. This is as opposed to “science-think” which is that causality is a straight line with event A causing effect B.

                  The repetitions (noticeable in all things) is how we derive that the universe’s actual causality is fractal in nature.

    • Illuminatus says:

      You should immediately remove harmful things that hurt your ability to meditate or do magick.

  13. Salg says:

    Hi Everyone, I know this topic isn’t really the place to ask a meditation related question, but there are some experienced meditators here so I thought I’d ask you a question

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a novice, although I’ve practiced now and then.

    As soon as I “lock” my concentration ( focus on the object), may it be my breath or some object/small light in front of me for kasina, my body starts shaking. These shakings are extremely intense, quite literally like someone is basically grabbing me by my shoulders and shaking me. It’s hard to point where the shaking occurs because sometimes it’s my hips that’s shaking. Sometimes it’s my torso swaying back and forth and sideways. Or it’s my head. But the point is that these shakings are erratic and extremely intense. They aren’t unpleasant however

    It’s very hard for me to focus on my breath or a point on my visual field when this happens because the shaking/swaying is so intense. Unfortunately, this takes most of my meditation time ( Right now I do half an hour sessions, not much I know).It’s kinda disappointing that all my meditation sessions have turned out to be the exact opposite of focused and quiet. I might as well have started dancing ( not really exaggerating here), and I don’t seem to be making any progress.

    There are sessions of absolute calm between intense shakes, but these are very short lived, less than a minute, couple of minutes tops.

    I’ve tried resisting these shakes by stiffening up my torso, but then they occur several seconds later with even greater intensity.

    Any thoughts? Has anyone gone through stages like this? is this just a stage or am I better off using a different method for meditation rather than concentration? Bit frustrated because I spent a half an hour today just shaking.

    • Illuminatus says:

      You have entered a mental-physical state known as “transient hypofrontality”. This means that the body has become free of the mind and has entered autopilot correction behaviours. Basically your lower brains (e.g. spinal cord, limbic system) are free of the higher brains (e.g. prefrontal cortex) because they are consumed with the concentration meditation. Thus the lower brains begin corrective procedures.

      This phase usually occurs during insight meditation.

      The shaking is caused by myofascial winding. So, due to chronic “gripping”, your muscle fibres are wound around nerves throughout the body in unhelpful patterns. The shaking is basically a release of chronic tension.

      You can reduce the severity of shaking a lot by doing the following exercise:

      – Stand up, legs straight, arms by sides
      – Head right back
      – Make a “kiss” face — pout the lips and hold it. The circle formed by the lips should be aligned as directly as possible over the top of the spine
      – Breathe out slowly through your nose. This will cause the eyes to enter REM and you should let them do that and generally relax
      – You can also lightly grip the muscles that usually shake — you will feel “relax” signals enter parts of them while breathing out
      – It is the action of breathing out which causes relaxation — do a continuous exhalation through the nose until the lungs are empty, then breathe and repeat

      Repeat this many times for several minutes. It will cause a lot of unwinding, most of it on a micro level. It will also most likely dramatically improve your posture.

      After studying this phenomenon for many years I can tell you that most of the work is supposed to be done during sleep. Good deep sleep, with no pillow, is basically hours-long transient hypofrontality, causing myofascia to unwind internally in the body (this is what REM is).

      When you go to sleep tonight, do not use a pillow. Look up primal sleeping positions. Then, do your concentration meditation, on the spot just above the top lip. This will probably cause you to enter shaking immediately. You can let that play out. The problem with shaking is that, while some of it is probably necessary, because it’s a lifetime of tension you are attempting to release then the shaking can potentially go on for hours. You want the “sleep wave” itself to be doing most of this. So I recommend you let shaking play out a bit in your bed but then focus on relaxing the body while breathing while focusing on that top lip spot.

      Now, back to your sitting practice. If, after my standing exercise in this comment, you still have severe shaking while sitting, you MUST learn to suppress that. As I said, the shaking will potentially go on for hours, and this is better dealt with via good sleep. You MUST learn to suppress the shaking during sitting using your mind — consider this part of your own personal concentration training. It is difficult to describe how to do this but a tip would be to better stay with your object, the breath, at that single point, and try to make it have a perception of being “flowing”. This should consume enough of your brain that the shaking is forced to stop. Also, just know that this is possible, and you should be able to get through this stage.

      • Salg says:

        Thanks for the the explanation of why this happens. It seems like most of this has to be corrected during sleep. I get ok sleep and I’m using a thin pillow already. I’ve tried out sleeping without a pillow but I wasn’t comfortable. I’ll try to use a folded up towel or something like that and see how that will work, and I’ll do the concentration meditation until I fall asleep.

        Also, I’ll do the standing exercise before a meditation and see how it will play out, and will try to suppress the shakings by concentrating on the breath. Hopefully it’ll reduce the shakings.

      • Salg says:

        🙂 Your exercise worked !! thank you so much !!. It reduced the shaking by a good 90-95%. I only did it for about 2 min before meditation and the tremors were very minor ( I made sure to keep my focus on the breath rather than shaking whenever a minor tremor happened.

    • Moviestar says:

      From my experience I’d recommend forms of ecstatic dancing. The kind you see tribal people do were they look possessed by demons. This frees the mind and allows the body to shake out.
      Osho designed a special meditation done in the morning called osho dynamic meditation. Look out up. There might be a local group in your area doing this.

  14. James says:

    you just gotta shake it out. It will die down and then you can continue as normal.

    I’ve tried concentrating through shakes and termors etc… but I find its way easier to just treat them with mindfulness and let them do their thing.

    Eventually the shakes will get smaller and smaller until they are gone or you can pretty easily ignore them.

    • Salg says:

      Thanks for the reply ! It’s just that it takes such a long time and hard to concentrate at all during that
      “I’ve tried concentrating through shakes and termors etc… but I find its way easier to just treat them with mindfulness and let them do their thing”. Exactly.

  15. John says:

    “”VERY suddenly — propelled out of body into what I can only deem to be a Hell realm. It was a twisted form of my own home city, with desolated buildings and dark skies, more real than real, with gruesome zombies patrolling the streets.””

    new Silent hill confirmed ^

  16. Moviestar says:

    Illuminatus, have you ever dealt with jaw tightness? Not muscle tension in the jaw but tightness in the lower teeth.
    In some link about the three characteristics you pasted somewhere here the guy said that he removed his wisdom teeth because he thought that was the issue. I’m wondering if this is something that usually happens or is it just specific to some people.

  17. Chrome says:

    Is there a way to increase synchronicity besides asking for what you want during the onset of jhana/access concentration? After a successful session I become increasingly sensitive to peoples minute thoughts (particularly when they’re directed at me) and when people become aware of me (looking at them immediately after looking at me), also become very detached from myself (? it’s almost like i’m capable of puppetering myself, haven’t hit that mode more than once though). This shit is really crazy. My last LSD trip was a mess though, didn’t ask for what I wanted and just spent a good portion of the time enjoying the free jhanas. Going on the tube was hilarious, the food chain nature of society and people in general became very apparent.

    • Illuminatus says:

      The act of concentrating itself will cause synchronicities and other nondual experiences, and the more you do it, the more obvious they will become. Siddhis are something that tend to just develop by themselves the more you do concentration practice. Also, I believe that specific siddhis will tend to arise more prominently and in different orders in each person — so, person A might get future visions first; person B might get stronger intention-manifestation first. I don’t know if there is a way to predict which will arise first. Part of the adventure is not knowing which siddhi is going to arise next, until it shows up. You should completely enjoy each as it happens, and explore it with joyful fascination. There is a lot of insight to be gained from siddhis.

      Also, it is possible that someone will concentrate and NEVER get siddhis. For example, Sariputta, the Buddha’s chief disciple and “Master of Wisdom”, never developed siddhis despite being a full arahat.

      • James says:

        “Everything is everything”

        “The universe is a fractal”

        “As is above, so is below. As is below, so is above.”

        “Everything is a hologram”

        “Everything is mind”

        Through concentration, and putting your energy into a single focal point, you have arranged your energies in a way that makes them “in sync” – thus the world is synchronized.

        • Illuminatus says:

          Agreed. At the moment of one-pointedness, your mind and its contents becomes representative of the entire universe. This is impossible for those stuck in the usual linear causality model to understand. The whole universe is present within every point in the universe — the same way the entire hologram is present in every fragment of a hologram.

          I have spent days where every thought I had simultaneously came out of someone’s mouth in my immediate vicinity. This was primarily during those few peak days of my kundalini awakening. This was all emotions simultaneously — terrifying, yet elating. I would be declared schizophrenic by modern medicine if I told any doctor. They commit people who claim the TV is talking to them.

          There is all the insight in the universe to be had from these moments. Be careful what you wish for. How much synchronicity can you handle?

      • John says:

        That kinda reminds me.. Iv noticed after very successful concentration meditation sessions iv noticed more things that would happen that usually wouldn’t happen. Only way to describe it would be like some form of luck, things that usually wouldn’t happen to me would happen. As said, it would be like some creepy coincidence / synchronicites

    • Mayath says:

      You should look into Western Esotericism, particularly practices that involve summoning your Higher Guardian Angel. That will increase synchronicity. But beware I haven’t done this myself so I can’t guarantee what will happen. But I have heard this increases synchronicity and the feeling of being guided internally. Going past the 5th Jhana will help too.

      • Aldous says:

        I have done a bit of this. And it does. One of the easiest ways to work with it is Alan Chapman’s tech, Google his name and HGA and you should find it. But avoid the internet rabbit hole that will open up, you’ll find many a tosser with many an opinion about what it is, what it does and how to connect with it.

        • Mayath says:

          Is Chapman worth reading? I have his book Advanced Magick for Beginners but never bothered to finish it. I only read the chapters he had on absorption states but what he described in that didn’t sound like he had experienced Jhana, but just mild dull absorption trance states.

          But he seems to have interesting things to say about getting Enlightened through Western Magick. I think he’s into combining elements of Buddhism with Magick which is what I’m interested in. He had an interview on Buddhist Geeks that was pretty interesting. He has some good posts on the DHO too. But he seems to have deleted nearly everything he’s wrote on the internet.

          • Aldous says:

            He had a very entertaining blog, ‘The Baptists Head’, with his friend Duncan that charted their progress to enlightenment via Western tradition magick and then Daniel Ingrahm. It’s all been taken down I believe. The best of the blog was published in three books (Blood of the Saints, The Urn and I believe Desert of Roses). Their fun to read, have some nice Magick experiments/rituals in them and I enjoyed them as entettainment but to be honest they didnt effect my own progress/process and your not really missing out unless you enjoy reading about someone else’s journey.
            Chapman seems to keep starting internet projects then abandoning them and deleting them since his awakening. I’ve no reason to doubt he’s enlightened in the Ingrahm sense of the word. I’ve never met him but know those that have and they seem to believe he’s genuine I found his method of working with the HGA exceptional.

  18. Chrome says:

    My sight is changing, lights seem a lot brighter? They seem to emit a pixelation around them now? I’m able to see the rainbow emissions around street lamps in particular, when I look at someone for an extended amount of time, I can see their imprint on a white wall afterwards; kasina is easier to catch and focus on aswell, if I look at a light for a way smaller time period. Why do the pixels in your vision vibrate after meditation? Part of me just wants to go to the eye doctor, (maybe I’ve got cataracts), the other part of me knows something is changing.

    • James says:

      has happened to me also. Is normal.

      I’m of the opinon that meditation burns away the junk in your system, and when its purified your senses work better.

      • Illuminatus says:

        I’m writing a post soon about how I believe the left brain strangles eyesight to an area of focus central just a couple of feet in front of the nose. That’s why “high-IQ” people all have myopia — they are literally fixated on the area immediately in front of them where their thinking conceptual mind projects thoughts.

        Visual improvement is a very common phenomenon reported by yogis. I believe it is partly to do with a shift to the right brain which releases the left brain’s stranglehold on vision. That’s my scientific materialist view, anyway. My spiritual/nondual view is that you are now seeing with your mind instead of with your eyes, and are seeing things as they really are.

        Sudden visual improvement is one of the most jaw-dropping early gains you can experience in meditation. If you normally have poor vision, you can expect it to spontaneously become perfect after meditations (especially concentration meditation/ jhana, but also noticeable improvement after basic mindfulness). Unfortunately this seems only to be temporary, meaning vision will revert as you fall back to your normal mental processes during the day. However, it seems for me personally some improvement is permanent and that improvement is creeping up slowly each time I meditate. I expect one day to wake up with permanent perfect vision; and I believe that will correlate with a general awakening, too.

  19. Mayath says:

    Something like this happened a few months ago to me. I started seeing weird things in my vision like after images and grainy pixels. I still get the after images but the pixels aren’t as prominent. The pixels bothered me because they showed me how my mind constructs everything. I was also worried that’d I’d damaged my eyes. But I’m fine now.Changes in vision are a normal side of correct concentration training.

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this thread, everything seems brighter to me now and everything has a certain quality of lightness to it, particularly living beings have a bright luminous quality to them. It could mean many things. It could mean nothing. It’s an interesting side effect nonetheless.

    To quote Yoda: “Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter”. Yoda should have not used his meditation experience to make grand sweeping statements about external reality.Yoda should have got his occipital cortex checked because it’s just a sign of the brain’s systems working together under your shared intention to focus on your object. Grains and pixels are all expected side effects. You might start hearing a tinnitus like sound soon too. That’s perfectly normal too. It’s annoying when it happens outside meditation but eventually you’ll just hear it in meditation, where it begins to drown out a lot of external sounds. You’ll grow to like it.

    These things can be scary and really prominent when they first appear but their intensity eventually lessens. If you maintain string mindfulness and equanimity , there’s nothing you can’t deal with. I still see the grains if I look for them but their not there all the time, uninvited anymore. I can also see after images sometimes in my eyes but they don’t bother me. I think their quite cool actually. The after images are great to use for Kasina meditation. I’ve had some really cool trips. But you get used to these things and they tend to pass. Their not as prominent anymore but I can search for them and incline my mind to acting that way visually if I want. It’s freaky when it first happens though.

    I can’t tell you what’s happening neurologically but if you haven’t noticed any actual decline in your sight, it’s probably a sign of increasing mindfulness and unification of the mind. Pacification of the body, mind and the senses throws up all sorts of weird perceptual distortions and sensations. I wouldn’t get too worried about them. At most they’ll last for a few weeks before you either get used to them, enjoy them or they fade away? If you feel like things are changing, that’s because they are. These are all signs of Pacification. You’ve trained the mind and now it’s beginning to transform. The really weird shit is just beginning haha.

    Also, if your seeing bright lights in your visual field while meditating with your eyes shut, that’s a Nimitta and that’s a really good sign. Let it get really bright and steady and you can use it as a meditation object. These lights give you access to the Hard Luminous Jhanas which are the strongest Jhanas. Your probably not at the stage where the Nimitta can be developed yet if your only beginning to experience pacification though.

    But if your worried, I would go see someone about your eyes just in case. I’d like to say things will get easier form here on in but they might not. Pacification was hell for me. If you see any posts more of my posts on here, you’ll see me complain of weird aches and pains. I went to doctors and they found nothing wrong phyiscally. I just had to put up with it and develop mindfulness and pacification. Pacification is a result of Piti and energy beginning to develop. Your probably at grade one. I think I’m at around 3.This can be quite violent at first, for some people like me. Think Kundalini awakening.But it eventually settles into a deep bliss. If your not already able to access them, the soft Jhanas will soon become available to be cultivated. I feel phyiscally great for the first time in months. No aches or weird pains. Just a wonderful sense of being in my body. Really healthy.

    I don’t think anyone can offer any phyiscal explanations of what happens when Piti begins developing and Pacification/unification starts. I don’t know what the neurological processes are but I don’t think it’s anymore more than the brain beginning to change. I think nearly every mental state or experience has a neural substrate.

    • Chrome says:

      Thanks for the replies. Good to know I’m not the only one who experienced the vision change, and the tinnitus. Synchronicity is still the most interesting part, it almost feels like I’m walking through places where people are experiencing the same things as what I may be focusing at the moment at time; it is jaw dropping at times. Have a dream about an ex-girlfriend, almost where it’s not a dream, talk to someone that looks almost exactly like her the next day, saying something exactly she would say. Feeling that everyone I know is an actor, walking by people as they are saying almost exactly the same thing. Looking for a job, see a guy I know on the train who gives me a contact number for an interview. Thinking about a job again, another phone call. Life almost feels like a movie at some points, just a sequence of events that are almost too coincidental to be real, this really only happens after the continual meditation. But my own lack of reaction is what startles me, I never feel the mania, to me, it feels like this makes more sense than anything else I’ve been told. As for aches, I’m always in pain from going to the gym, so it’s hard to differentiate between regular and the special.

      Nimita I usually get on the onset of access concentration / 1st Jhana. It will come very vividly, then stop and then come again depending on the intensity of pleasure – it becomes very hard to focus on the spot at times, even after the session I sometimes have trouble talking. Haven’t tried using the nimitta as a concentration base yet though – will definitely attempt it in the coming week. I’ve used the light like Illuminatus suggested and seen it bounce up and down and sort of do it’s own thing, pretty hilarious; not jhana inducing for me though. Really eager to try some more magick, I did the HGA exercise you recommended, and felt very joyful and giddy afterwards, will document the next sessions. But I want to wait until I have something to special to wish for, the things I ask for during meditation I end up not even wanting, even though the event is right in front of me.

  20. Theo says:

    Hi Illuminatus,

    I love reading your articles and think you’re a very funny and engaging writer. I was recently trying to attain Jhanaby focusing on the bridge of the nose and managed to make my thoughts go into the background and a slight pleasantness appeared. However, not much really happened and I feel that doing metta meditation seems to bring more of a jhana feel with it. Is there such a thing as some meditations working better for people to get jhana vs others? I will still work on my concentration to improve this ability though. The other reason and more important one of why I am bringing this up is that I seemed to get a lot of strange/confusing anxiety after doing the bridge of nose/forehead (area between the eyes) meditation with my eyes closed. This only became noticeable to me when I had to speak to people and realised something was off with my social callibration/social mind. A sort of anxious energy which seem energy to have sapped my usual humorous outlook on life of you will. I was wondering if thejhana I was trying to attain is an “inward facing jhana” and hence will kill socialising? Do you have suggestions for meditation in a social working environment and to improve ability to process information (I work at a chemistry company)?. Any answers would be much appreciated, thanks!

    • Illuminatus says:

      Hi Theo, thanks for the kind words.

      “Is there such a thing as some meditations working better for people to get jhana vs others?”

      Yes, certainly, although when it comes to concentration any object/method should eventually converge to a state of mental unity, bliss, and equanimity. Whether you are using metta, the breath, or a kasina, that is always the eventual state (which can then be taken on to other states).

      “The other reason and more important one of why I am bringing this up is that I seemed to get a lot of strange/confusing anxiety after doing the bridge of nose/forehead (area between the eyes) meditation with my eyes closed.”

      That shouldn’t happen and means something is off with your technique (maybe due to focusing too hard leading to physical and mental tension). The object should not be squeezed but should be allowed some space to “move”. So, if you try to “grab” the breath at the nose, it will slip away and you will end up grabbing harder (bad). Instead you should back off a little and give it some space to move, then go back to it, then back off again (and this is how a rhythm is established that becomes jhana). A good metaphor I use now is “nursing the breath”, and I may write a post about it soon. So, treat the breath like a baby. Grip it, play with it, but not too hard.

      If you are doing well with your metta I completely recommend you stay with and develop that.

      “I was wondering if thejhana I was trying to attain is an “inward facing jhana” and hence will kill socialising?”

      No. The bottom line is that a jhana fill you with pleasure, happiness, and gratitude for being alive. If it doesn’t, then it wasn’t jhana.

      Most jhanas are “inward-facing” because that is their nature, but done correctly they will provide a mental state which will make real-world activities far more pleasing, including socializing.

      “Do you have suggestions for meditation in a social working environment and to improve ability to process information (I work at a chemistry company)?.”

      Get jhana in the morning then forget all about it and go to work. If your metta is working well, then that is ideal for cultivating friendliness to colleagues.

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