Nikash's jhana log

  • Nicobobo
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8 years 2 weeks ago #94023 by Nicobobo
Nikash's jhana log was created by Nicobobo
Hi everyone,
lost my previous thread on the wetpaint so i'm back here.
Since a few months now I've dropped noting to try my best to reach a stable first jhana (still prepath). I'm mainly watching my breath at the nostrils until i can get a good concentration, when i start feeling pleasant sensations i'm trying to focus on it and let it expands
morning log:
50 min, hmm i don't remember so well, it was blurry at first, some tension felt frustration by the end.
evening log:
first sit 55mn, started watching the breath until it became subtle and slow, some distractions but i could stay easily with the breath, mild pleasure. Then as always numbness in the right leg gave rise to some tension. 5 min break.

second sit 35 min, easy concentration i could watch the characteristics of the breath, long, short, beginning middle and end. I kept going after some time i tried to feel the whole body, pleasure builds up but also some tension in the upper back. After a while i came back on the breath and then it felt like i was propelled forward, concentration was strong. In a way and since a few days now it feels like on the threshold of something, i don't know if it's access concentration or jhana but i'll keep pushing.
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  • Nicobobo
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8 years 2 weeks ago #94024 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
just sat for 50min, for the first 20 min the mind was not very clear so i kept focusing at the nostrils. Distractions were there but i kept pushing. Even if there was only mild pleasure in the hands i started to focus on it. No success so i went again on the nostrils and slowly the feeling changed completely, the breath was more cotton-like, very soft and in a way continuous. The gap between inhale and exhale seemed to disappear. Left happy practice happy
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  • Nicobobo
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8 years 1 week ago #94025 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
just sat 45 min, because i had to woke pretty early, i was tired and my awareness was not so good. I kept being distracted and i had to force my mind to come back to the breath more than usual. Nevertheless there was a background of peace and pleasantness produced from my (low) concentration.
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  • Nicobobo
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8 years 1 week ago #94026 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
morning sit 50 min:
the first 15 min i was quite distracted but my mind was still fresh. Then i took control back and counted a few breath to make concentration easier. My concentration increased dramatically and soon i could stay on the breath with almost no efforts, some thoughts in the back ground but could see them as objects. Strong buzzing sound, external sounds seemed a bit muffled and away. Actually is was indeed pleasurable but the body feelings were not stable, i was not drenched in blissful sensation the numbness in the leg could still be felt as something irritating. On the mental side there was some joy due to practice. So my guess is that starting to enter access concentration but it's not stable yet. I tried to focus on pleasant sensation as it's one of the best technique to get to jhana but the numbness in the leg hindered it. Anyway i'm quite happy about it as seems like progress...
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  • Nicobobo
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8 years 1 week ago #94027 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
During my last 3 sits (around 55 min each), my mind followed more or less the same pattern.
First during 10 minutes i strive a little to maintain focus on the breath at the tip of the nose and then the mind grows quieter and can stay focused on the breath much more easily. Usually there is a buzzing sound in the background and this state (as i practice more) is more and more stable and recognizable, quite pleasant but not blissful. At times the touch of the breath is becoming very soft like silk or cotton and it attracts the mind. I still get distracted but i usually notice it quite fast. My guess is that this is access concentration still not very mature but definitely a "state".

By the way i realised that because the previous forum disappeared people might not know me, in fact before i used "obobinde" for pseudo. So a little background, i'm french (that's probably why my writing is not as fluent as others) living in Paris. I've been practising for nearly 10 years mostly vipassana but never steadfastly so i never really got past the low nanas. I did a few 10 days retreat ( mahasi and goenka); currently i decided to reach a stable first jhana before i start again my vipassana practice. For a living i teach yoga and i translate tibetan lamas in buddhist centres.
A big hello to everybody and thank you for making this place available for solid practice and honest sharing.
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  • JLaurelC
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8 years 1 week ago #94028 by JLaurelC
Replied by JLaurelC on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Hello to you too, and glad to see you here!
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  • Nicobobo
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8 years 1 week ago #94029 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Thank you Jlaurel !

just sat 55min watching breath at the nostrils. I can feel that concentration is getting easier and easier i would say that overall my mind is staying on the breath 60% of the time. I keep on getting to this access concentration which continues to deepen. This breath started to really slow down, barely noticeable. Pleasantness over the body except for some tension in the leg. It's still difficult to focus on pleasant sensation because there are mild and not very prominent so for now i'll keep on steadying the mind without creating tension.
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  • Nicobobo
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8 years 3 days ago #94030 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
just sat 50 min. After 10 min concentration went up, feeling of ease throughout the body, I kept focusing on the breath trying to really feel the beginning, middle and end of each inhalation and exhalation. Breath slowed down and became quite short. Concentration kept increasing, I'm trying more and more to keep some awareness so when i 'm distracted i make a mental note and come back to the breath. The point is not to start a vipassana practice but strengthen my awakeness and attention. Overall felt very good.
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  • Nicobobo
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7 years 11 months ago #94031 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Last weeks i kept practising between 1 and 3 hours a day of breath observation. My concentration is slowly growing steadier. Now in each sit i have periods of uninterrupted attention to my object, it's very nice, the breath is very quiet, the background is slightly blissfull. I can notice some distractions before they arise as they are still background thoughts. At times i still lose my concentration but it generally never lasts more than 10 seconds. I tried to focus on pleasant sensation to induce jhana state but it doesn't work well, my concentration is still immature and i do not experience noticeable piti-sukha. I forgot to say that i'm following Culadasa 10 stages instructions on jhana which is mind blowing by its detailed and pragmatic instructions, and by this standard i'm still around stage 3. Apparently you can induce jhana around stage 6.
Last sit: the first 10 minutes i struggled a bit to focus then build up concentration. I kept coming to the breath and reached my cutting edge when the breath slowed down and quietness and feeling of space arose. Then for the first time i could really feel the end point of the in-breath, it was felt as a short sensation of release, very subtle but definitely here. I could also feel the very first sensation of this in- breath but it was less enticing as i've had already felt it before. As always when i reached this level of quietness the mind gets tired after a while and stronger distractions kept my attention away from the breath and so i decided to implement noting practice which was very effective in keeping my energy and awareness up. Because of the accumulated concentration i could focus very well on the things i was noting. From now on i'll dedicate part of my sit to noting as i think it's really helpful in strengthening sati and avoid a too tight focus.
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  • Nicobobo
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7 years 11 months ago #94032 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
just sat 75 minutes, i've had to move my legs around 50 minutes because of tension. The first part of the sit was interesting with longer periods of uninterrupted attention to the breath. At some point the breath nearly disappeared and because it was so shallow i couldn't distinguish any beginning or end to it. After i moved my legs and released the tension/numbness in it my mind was very relaxed and i tried to expand my awareness to feel my whole body and as i did that and kept relaxing i entered for the first time something I have to call a state because of its stability. Now i don't know if this was real access concentration of if it was an &quot;ultralite&quot; glimpse of the first jhana but i could move my attention wherever i wanted unhindered there was no loss of concentration, a feeling of space, exterior sounds were muffled. I hesitate to call it a jhana because it was not really blissful as i expect a jhana to be, but maybe it's just me being a slave of my own projections on jhana having to be a fireworks a blissfull sensations <!-- s;-) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";-)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;-) -->
Anyway it really looks like a good direction to follow.
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  • Nicobobo
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7 years 7 months ago #94033 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Ouch ! having posted in a while...
well i feel like my practice is going nowhere. I kept practicing between 1 and 2 hour a day but i still haven't crossed any fancy stage like AP. Usually i keep noting rising and falling and some touching sensations when they come up. I'm noting the tingling sensations, numbness ones, pressure. After a while my breath is slowing down and there is a long gap after my exhalation where i note 1 or two touching sensations. And that's it, if i try to go freestyle noting my breath stops or gets in the way. I have one question for the seniors practitioners here:
is it better to stick with rising/falling as primary object or to try to get comfy with freestyle noting letting whatever comes up being noted ?
Another question: When i try to note emotions well i don't find any, is it normal ? How should i proceed ? Usually i can note them in daily life they seem more obvious but sitting none appears...
Will try to post daily from now on...
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  • Russell
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7 years 7 months ago #94034 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
It depends what you want. Your thread is called jhana log, so if it jhana you want, keep the one pointed focus. But since you mention A&amp;P in this latest post, you are going to want to do some more 4 foundations style noting.
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  • Nicobobo
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7 years 7 months ago #94035 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Well you're right the title is misleading. It's because a few months ago I focused on jhana practice (anapanasati), to improve my concentration skills. Then i came back to noting practice...
Maybe i should start a new thread but mostly i need to stay focused on one practice. Rignt it's noting
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  • Bill29ish
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7 years 7 months ago #94036 by Bill29ish
Replied by Bill29ish on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
1 to 2 hours a day is great. Keep going and give the noting a try. Progress seems to happen quicker that way.
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  • Nicobobo
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7 years 7 months ago #94037 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Thank you
just sat 60 mn, started with noting rising falling, some touching, hearing, thinking, tingling, aversion (girlfriend making noise), desire for big sensations, towards the end of the sit some nice peace started to kick in. Still difficult to notice emotions. I tried to go freestyle noting but it seems i direct my attention to objects instead of really letting go its way...
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  • Russell
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7 years 7 months ago #94038 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
Are aversion, desire, and joy not emotions? <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
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  • Nicobobo
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7 years 7 months ago #94039 by Nicobobo
Replied by Nicobobo on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log
well you're right Russel I can notice them sometimes but i can't stay focused exclusively on them and watch them one after another. I guess this ability comes with training...
Just sat 60 minutes, had to move my legs after 50 mn. Stayed on rising and falling of the abdomen. Noted a lot of touching sensations, but my concentration was low as it took longer than usual to notice when i was distracted. Toward the end of the sit it was more peaceful but right leg was getting numb.
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  • TravisGM
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7 years 4 months ago #94040 by TravisGM
Replied by TravisGM on topic Re: Nikash's jhana log

&quot;Nicobobo&quot;:h9brcalx wrote: I hesitate to call it a jhana because it was not really blissful as i expect a jhana to be, but maybe it's just me being a slave of my own projections on jhana having to be a fireworks a blissfull sensations[/quote:h9brcalx]
Hello Nikash! Glad to see you keeping to a consistent practice log.

My experience with jhana practice has been the following; if one expects [u:h9brcalx]anything[/u:h9brcalx], jhana will not happen. If one has a strong sense of the illusion of self, jhana cannot happen due to the fact that jhana is becoming absorbed in an object and if one is constantly checking back for the 'self', one cannot become absorbed. If you're unsure of what that means do some insight meditation and you'll find out soon enough.
Jhana is the mind relaxing into the object of focus. At first it's a tenacious task, keeping the mind from wandering. But after some stability happens and you're able to concentrate for a long period, [b:h9brcalx]relax[/b:h9brcalx] into it.
I've heard of many beginners coming really close to jhana and I have to say that's because they aren't expecting anything particular to happen.

Good luck <!-- s:neo: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/happyspoonboy.gif" alt=":neo:" title="No Spoon" /><!-- s:neo: -->

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