Nirodha Samapatti: Attainment at Last
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.
Could deep eighth possibly cause this?
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.