Intense Results of Nirodha Samapatti

OMG Wow!

Nirodha samapatti did something to me. It will be interesting to see if it lasts, but, my God, this sit! I’ve never experienced a meditation like this—the vastness of the spaciousness, the profound loss of body and head and even contact with what is under me. It made me think that this is why it is said that people can levitate. I kid you not. Just wow.

Even more profound than all that, though, was awareness itself—how it was stable and enduring yet the slightest inclination from who knows where delivered it completely into another dimension of thought-vision stream. For example, awareness, the mind, can “face down” even in Nothingness, where there is no object to face down. It splits just to be itself!

In this profound, profound, profound peace I sunk immediately into upon sitting tonight—a peace that recalls the NS afterglow completely—I lost all resistance to the truth. The truth is I’m awakening. I’m letting go, or the process is letting go for me. This karmic energy stream that I now embody has been going at this for eons. This truth hit me in the gut, heart, and head. Tears streamed down. And I knew beyond doubt: This is the last life. I know this now. I know it. I will awaken. I will be free.

Almost immediately upon sitting, my body was gone, and my mind could soar out beyond measure, as space itself, or as awareness that now has lost most of its I-me-mine orientation. Boundless Consciousness is still almost too exhilarating, and I eventually contract off it to make sure Jenny is still there somewhere. Then out again, and so on.

In Nothingness (j7)—moments of splitting so I could be the One Who Faces Down the Nothing, and moments of actually being one Nothingness. Then flickering into NPNYNP (j8). Then I would go back to Boundless Consciousness or Boundless Space, alternating. I was not controlling which jhana. They were out of order and the slightest inclination became on its own the realm next beheld. It was a flickering light show of vision, transcendence, implosion, and then soaring.

Psychic Visions in Fourth Jhana

Earlier, and for most of the sit, the center of gravity was fourth jhana (j4), equanimity, although this was an utterly bodiless form of it and very much on the samatha side of it. Many mental visions arose. There was a strange one of a woman’s body in a grass skirt. She was slumped on a stone bench in a dark cool abode. Oddly, instead of a head she had a heart—a huge paper-valentine kind of heart. She was slumped, maybe sleeping. (Yeah, I know—whacked.)

All kinds of crazy visions arose behind closed eyes. I stared into a dakini’s lazer-white eye beams. I saw the close-up face of Jesus on the cross, and I was extremely moved and wept. I sent strong, stong metta and gratitude to DreamWalker. I sent gratitude and apologies to Daniel. And I heard him say back, “I know; all is well.” And then I thought I was seeing some past lives. There were beetles, a snake, a rodent, a small woman in 19th century dress with bushy brown hair and brown eyes. She was very, very clear. She played violin and was quiet and a bit tomboyish. There was a soldier from a Roman army. There was a human skeleton in a cave. I saw many different corpses.

I highly recommend that you all work on your samatha jhanas and attain nirodha samapatti. Daniel says it has insight value, does wonderful things to the mind whenever it can be reached, and, on exit, has been known to trigger arahatship. So this is no mere recreational pleasure. The jhanas are integral to awakening. Snap to it, haha!

ñ5.sj4.sj5

I started this sit in late Dissolution, but it was so powerful that I’m puzzled as to stage-state notation. I’ll have to think about it. I could have made strong resolution tonight, but I didn’t. I sat with perfect acceptance, and the sense of agencylessness was as strong as it’s ever been. Okay—notation means that I was in Dissolution (late phase involves formless experiences), with the fifth jhanic aspect (spaciousness) of the fourth samatha jhana dominant.

Queen of Wands, Upright

Queen is the feminine aspect of the suit—creation and appreciation. Wands are associated with the fire element and magic. This is the card of friendship, loyalty, caring support, independence, passion, and love of the sensuous and pleasurable laughter in interactions. The queen is flanked by a dragon (Wisdom) and a lion (loyal friendship). The sunflower that crowns her symbolizes the ever-provident gift of the sun’s life energy.

Paweł

“OMG Wow!”

Yes, wow =)

Generally “you” are not supposed to be there during meditation; states should be for themselves and I see that it is what is happening, which is good, very good. It shows progress into something that I can finally acknowledge as 3rd path (for what my opinion is worth). In those moments where you are jhana itself it actually already is nonduality. This is basically it. It seems nirodha opened you some chakras. crown chakra specifically.

It just has to be expanded to every single thing, every single object can feel like that, like its own world, own reality, contained in itself, part of you but not as just merely observed from afar but with OMG, WOW factor, all the time. Each touch can feel like for it that was only thing that ever existed, thus “from its own side.” You are experiencing now jhanas from their own side. Not as Jenny but as Jhana itself. If you can experience everything as what it is, in this fashion, then this is arhat-phala, the enlightenment. From there seeing you are God is quite straightforward. Even now you should be able to attain nirvikalpa samadhi as the meditative state.

It might seem strange that it is possible to be everything at once, but strangely it is possible. Each object is done in its own mind flash with only projectors that are related to its being active. This gives depth to everything, as if you are in jhana all day long. Seeing a wall is like meditating on it for hours, You feel it like it is part of yourself, not something you merely observe. So for pretty much most of the time when you do not check your body it is not there and can easily remain not there. Levitating? Not even it.  It is added sensation. Normally it is just an “on its own” kind of thing, although you can add levitation to the mix too if you want.

What else to say? Awesome development. You definitely have the triple-rooted relinking consciousness thing going on!

So when is the next path? Before MCTB2 comes out? What is ETA BTW?

Jenny

Pawel, much of what you describe is what I mean by luminosity, the January shift.

ETA on Part II—it is hard to say. Daniel is under a ton of work pressure because 3 colleagues suddenly quit. I would like to finish Part II before I go on retreat July 24, but it will be a squeeze, and I’ve no idea what Daniel’s schedule is past the next 5 days of his shift work. We are past the really tough parts, though. The rest of this part is straightforward. Even so, we will be only a bit past the halfway mark when a year is up since we started. So it takes as long as it does, since he knows that this process is making it a much better book.

He has given me the option of writing a signed editor’s preface or intro. What would people what to read about in my intro that Daniel can’t or won’t say for himself?

Vasily

“What would people what to read about in my intro that Daniel can’t or won’t say for himself?”

Your opinion on the importance of the book. You can write some good words.

Nirodha Samapatti: Attainment at Last

Jenny

I just had something weird happen during my sit. I lost consciousness while sitting up straight on the floor in a half lotus. It was not a Fruition because those are fast. I lost 30 to 40 minutes at least, with no sense of time or anything during that time out. It was like being “out” for surgery: I was completely and utterly gone—as in a coma, like Daniel said of nirodha samapatti.

I know I lost all that time because I set a timer at the beginning of my sits, and I set this time for one hour. I felt like I was about 20, maybe 25, minutes in. Suddenly, there was a kind of rock-heavy downshift and thud. Then I was out, and the next thing I knew, I was coming up out of it. I looked at the timer and there was three minutes left on it. So there is at least a half an hour I cannot account for and had no residual sense of having had that time pass in some way—not even the way we normally sense time has passed when we’ve slept.

I was doing concentration, but I’m not aware that I got all the way to seventh and eighth. I did not resolve to get NS (I kind of gave up on making resolutions for NS for now, feeling I’m not ready and should focus on resolving for clear fruitions). I normally get very intense afterglows from jhana practice, and I do not feel right now like I’m in a heavier one than usual. The main thing I’m noticing is extra clarity and brightness of mind, like I don’t need to sleep and could work all night or go for a walk in the moonlight. It is as if I have no need for sleep, all fatigue is gone.

Vasily

Could deep eighth possibly cause this?

Jenny

No. I’m positive this was nirodha. There is still some consciousness in eighth jhana. It is now 13 hours later and I’m still in the most intense and blissful afterglow I’ve ever experienced. It’s unbelievable.

The shutdown was distinctive, The powering back up was, too. My timer and my burned down candle showed that I was as if in a coma for about 30 minutes, completely gone. No mental activity or sense of time whatsoever in that state. I just vanished for half an hour. Everything feels different now, extremely vivid, clear, and blissful.

I’ve no doubt at all that this was the real deal.

I stayed up till dawn just to fully check out this afterglow and to scour the DhO for Daniel’s comments on claims to NS. I also looked at the language from texts and looked for any possible differential diagnosis.

There is no way that I can think at this point that what happened last night was anything other than the real deal, nirodha samapatti. The shutdown was distinctive; the rise out was distinctive. Three moments of shutdown and the reverse on the way up and out. I had zero consciousness for around 30 minutes (which, oddly, apparently didn’t affect my sitting posture at all, which was upright on a pillow, half lotus). I was completely, utterly gone. And my mobile phone app proves how much time I lost from all mental activity whatsoever. My new votive candle was burned down way past where it should have been if felt time were real time elapsed.

What is odd to me is that I was doing some mahamudra tips for concentration side only, and my usual vibratory stuff was almost nonexistent during the sit. So, apparently, for me to get NS, I have to lean way, way over to the samatha side of things—as in actually not cultivating even 30% vipassana, but none at all since plenty is there.

Also, hilariously, this happens soon after I gave up on its happening and quit with the resolutions after 3 months of steadfastly resolving? Funny how the Dharma does this to me all the time—must give up to get!

So power failure outage, nothing whatsoever in the way of mental anything for 30 minutes, gradual come up and back online, and a delayed-onset stunning afterglow lasting many, many hours.

I now am feeling incredible clarity, like a ton of “psychic gunk” was cleaned out, kind of like you feel the day after doing LSD. Everything is vibrant, extraordinarily clear, and blissfully calm.

Just as advertised, as Daniel says, and I highly recommend it if you can get it.

Postscript Almost 3 Years Later

I’ll never forget this event. It was truly the most stunning sudden event to happen on the path after the stream entry out-of-body and reboot experience. I had been practicing Daniel’s instructions for this attainment for 3 months and casting resolutions. Three changes seemed to make the difference on this night: (1) I leaned all the way toward the samatha side and away from the vipassana aspect, which was already strong; (2) I maintained metacognitive monitoring of how the sit was going past first jhana and in fact all the way up; and (3) I “forgot” about the spells I had been casting for 3 months straight, the forgetting being a common ingredient of most effective spells.

Reply to Daniel’s Advice about Attaining to Nirodha Samapatti

Daniel,

Very interesting. And, incidentally, you mention much here that you don’t where you have written on NS publicly (although I’ve not run a search on the DhO archives, and maybe I should). Anyhow I think I’ll copy what you’ve written above and dump it into the advanced concentration practice chapter file for you to use or edit down as you see fit.

I have the formless realms, but the older texts say “mastery” of them is required, and I’m not sure how far or not far I am down the road of “mastery” of the jhanas in general, or at least in terms of what bare minimum is required to land nirodha samapatti. Some nights my practice is super-strong, the states are all blowaway hard, and the afterglow is heavy and lasts about 2 hours. Other times, not so much, and usually during those times it is because some insight stage is insistently bleeding through for attention, which is the case right now. I will say that I have Boundless Space and Boundless Consciousness down, although even they can be explored much, much more. They are easily attained, and I can stay in them with quite a bit of depth and endurance.

I can call the jhanas up out of order; however, I think I would do well to spend more time in each one, really exploring its bloom and factor progression. Nothingness has been hard to stabilize, and sometimes I feel oxygen deprived in it, but I’m still pretty new to it, too. I’ve gotten better results by learning not to try to stamp out or extinguish all the vibratory/strobing elements that I somehow sense in Nothingness even though it is also so cold and black, and its name makes you think it should be more like, well, nothing.

Eighth jhana (NPNYNP) still needs quite a bit of stabilization, if it even makes sense to refer to “stabilizing” such a state; I fall out of it pretty quickly most of the time because I start noticing it, which seems to reify it out of access—so, as with Nothingness, what seems to be needed for stabilization, paradoxically, is a letting-it-be-however-it-is rather than my being fascinated by it and how it is presenting. As soon as I’m fascinated, I’m outside of it. That in itself is an interesting insight: If something is super special, you have taken up a position on a posited outside.

I’ve read stories of how Pema Chrodron, when she was Trungpa’s student, would run up to him to excitedly tell him of some special insight or meditative experience she had just had. He would just wag his finger and say, “No Big Deal—remember?” I so relate to that story, in that I relate to Pema’s childlike excitement and fascination. The path is so darned fascinating; who would want to give it up to be awake to everything else? (Exception: Reobservation, which is maybe part of the lesson of Reobservation?).

The surprising thing to me about seventh and eighth jhanas are how fluctuating they somehow seem to be, how much they move. In Nothingness, with so much stuff tuned out, fluxing itself can be more easily seen, even strobing at times. With eighth, well, it is somehow moving and stationary at the same time; or rather, one can’t decide which it is: You are always already not really constituted for observing it. It is an extremely altered, very, very, very removed-from-reality state as I’ve experienced it. When I come out of it, I truly feel I was gone, in some kind of otherworldly timeless trance. Nonetheless, it somehow reminds me retrospectively of a colorless, or light electric gray, very refined, very thinned out boundlessness that is also a singularity, a collapsing.

In general, for many months, I’ve found that the concentration states are not just recreational or psychologically healing, but can and do spontaneously toss up insights, which I’m guessing is either vipassana breaking through, or simply intellectually understanding a pointer from them that then feeds back into vipassana practice. Do I even practice vipassana anymore, haha? Not deliberately. Therefore, I strongly suspect that mastering the samatha jhanas supports insight progress somehow, at least in the middle paths. In fact, in my conceited presumption, I would almost go so far as to say they seem required. Steph said the same thing during our Apr. 24 Hangout, her growing suspicion, based on experience, that the jhanas are crucial to awakening, somehow. 

One other observation I’ve made in my practice: Despite texts’ advice to the contrary, instead of mastering one jhana before attempting the next, I have found that working with the next higher jhana “prematurely” automatically strengthens, hardens, stabilizes the one below it. I’ve also found, and I think you say this in MCTB2, that going back down from eighth to the formed jhanas makes the factors of the formed jhanas pop to a greater extent than they do on the way up.

The news that attaining nirodha sampatti is no walk in the park, even with the preparations in place, is good to know. It sounds like a pretty extreme attainment.

First Attempt at Attaining to Nirodha Samapatti

Following Daniel’s public instructions and private encouragement, I tried for nirodha sampatti tonight, but I couldn’t do it. What I noticed about the sit is that it was on the vipassana side much more than on the samantha jhana side—a lot of vibrations, flickers, tingling, and so on. In the third vipassana jhana (vj3), the center was grayed/blacked out, and the vibrations were more like jagged lines in the periphery. Boundless Space (sj5) was clean and unforced where it used to be, and sometimes still is, thick and compelled. Boundless Consciousness (sj6) is almost seamless with Space.

Nothingness (j7) Intensely Vibratory

Nothingness was intensely vibratory. At one point I saw flashes of colbalt blue and vivid red, so what the . . . ? I mean, it is supposed to be Nothingness, right?

I have seen tiny glimmers of white, like glitter, in Nothingness before. This was the first time I’ve seen flashes of color, and these were for but a fraction of a second. Oddly, Nothingness is the most vibratory and strobing of all the states for me. When I emerge from it, I’m tingling hard all over my body. And while in it, it visually sparkles, roils, or varies from itself somehow, even though it is very black.

Eric asked whether vibratory sj7 was perhaps fractal. Maybe sj7.sj2? But, actually, I was experiencing a lot of upsurge of exhilarating Fear during this sit, the whole way through. So maybe vj6.sj7? Or even vj6.sj7.sj2.

Stabilization of a Jhana by Working the One Above It

Whatever jhana I think I’m working on stabilizing, it normally turns out that the one below it is the one that strengthens. This is an interesting observation. I work above what I’m really ready for, and the effect is that it matures the jhana below it. Working above my cutting-edge jhana stabilizes the lower jhanas. So, to stabilize seventh, I work on eighth and then find seventh automatically stronger. This is an important practice tip: Don’t stay in a lower jhana just because it isn’t yet perfectly stable; it may well be that working above that jhana will automatically finish the one below it.

I just need to spend more time on Nothingness and NPNYNP. I’m naturally drawn up to them quickly.

Hmm, well, I just looked at MCTB2 instructions, and I’m doing it wrong! Daniel says one goes into eighth, then emerges to that post-eighth junction point, and then sometime after that, nirodha samapatti just happens without warning. Sounds bizarre. I was thinking it happened after a few moments in eighth, but that is not how Daniel lays it out. So this fits with my noticing that stabilization of X comes with going to Y. 

Resolve Over Time as a Condition

Daniel also says thinking about it and intending it for days or weeks beforehand can help it happen. I think that nirodha samapatti has to be intended and tried more than a few times before it happens. I’m merely curious, but I was also a bit psyched out, I admit. It is probably premature for me to be trying for N.S. Failing to get it may just frustrate me, but oh well. I also think I’m currently psyching myself out with regard to N.S. If I keep trying for a while and finally give up, maybe I’ll relax enough to let it happen. Or not.