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Do you feel pleasant feeling in your meditation?

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran

hi all,

just thought of asking you all that do you feel pleasantness in your meditation? how long did it take you to have some pleasant feeling in your meditation? i heard that in order to continue with meditation, we should be able to get something pleasant in our meditation, so that we can continue with the meditation practice - so what do you think about this idea - is it important to have some pleasant feeling in our meditation - be it zazen, anapanasati or whichever formal meditation you practice? any thoughts, ideas, please. thanks in advance.

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Comments

  • I think it's essential to have some pleasant feeling in meditation, there wouldn't be much motivation to continue with it otherwise.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Yes.

    I started with being mindful and then moved into meditation. Normally it is the other way around.

    As far as I understand your situation, if you think of your sensations as quantum states, both pleasant and unpleasant, then the labelling choice is just a processing choice ...

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    Sometimes, it varies but I try to sit with whatever comes up, rather than pleasant I feel calm which is a pleasure in itself. I just did a metta sit which left me feeling very calm and happy, its mostly gone now but it was enjoyable while it lasted.

    DhammaDragon
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    In general I don't feel more pleasure.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Just once a while back in meditation I had an increasing sweet honey like feeling by continuously staying with the breath, I was most ardent and resolute in that session, the pleasant feeling took me by surprise, so I didn't know what to do, so I focused on the feeling thinking I could increase it, instead of staying with the breath, and the feeling soon went away and my breath came back to normal.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Even though I didn't attain a jhana, my meditation session wasn't a complete failure, I now know first hand that there is a pleasure that has nothing to do with sensual pleasures.

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran
    edited May 2015

    I struggled for a long time trying to get a consistent meditation practice going. Meditation seemed like too much work, though it certainly had its benefits. Then I saw this teaching by Ajahn Brahm:

    As soon as I started meditating in the manner suggested (without expectations or goals), I actually started getting a pleasant sensation. It was a sense of openness, or spaciousness. Now it's much easier to meditate every day, though I'm still not sure that I'm doing it "right".

    dantepw
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The thought of seeking pleasure, experiencing pleasure, or of Meditating being pleasurable actually never occurred to me until now.... I have always just sat, focused, quietened the mind, and focused on the breath....

    I also tried, once or twice, breaking up the meditation into 'sections' and doing something different in each one (mentioned by @lobster in another thread) but a focus on pleasure, an attention on pleasure or an alert as to the sensation or feeling of pleasure, has never been something I aimed for or sought.

    But I take great pleasure in meditating....

    Traveller
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @federica said:

    But I take great pleasure in meditating....

    Take it where? For a walk? For a sit? Before, after or during?
    To ask in another way, if different arisings are dependent on what arises, they must in a sense be present to arise ...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I also agree with @genkaku that there is something about it but it isn't like a buzz from a cigarette. I have a lot of body discomfort from anti-pyschotics and some days when I have less of that then I feel more peaceful feeling in meditation. but whatever feeling I just keep meditating and i am more able to cope with emotions and paranoia.

    Traveller
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 2015

    I don't know if I'd call it pleasant or a pleasure but I do look forward to cushion time, because one never knows what's in store and I do like surprises ...

    However in saying this, if one really just wants a feeling of pleasure whilst on the cushion (or for that matter anywhere, anytime) then all one needs to do is just visualise (put some thought & feeling into it- "Practice makes perfect") the parts of the brain associated with pleasure (the prefrontal cortex) firing up, and one will (if one feels this way incline whilst on the cushion or anywhere) have it on tap so to speak... "Mind Over Matter" (watch it all or start at 13 minutes in-the music's quite pleasant too )

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    welcome back @person :)

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @person said:
    I've been just lurking for a while reading a few posts not feeling the urge to contribute anything, but I wanted to jump in on this one.

    @person: Thanks and welcome back.

    So in my experience at least, the benefits of meditation are measured more by the after effects than the immediate sensations.

    i will say that then i am not much sensitive to my body and its workings, may be not mindful, because of which i do not feel any benefit as an after effect, as @genkaku and you have suggested above.

    there are some changes in me currently that i can say - in my working, i am not much inclined to put an extra effort in my office work - not that i do not do the work which i am assigned to, rather i do the work within time and with quality which i was doing earlier also ( i struck spirituality through internet nearly 2.5 years ago and from then, i started to sit in meditation with whatever time i can manage in the morning, try it on daily basis, but there are breaks when i travel in morning time or when i work till late-night and have to catch the office bus in next day early morning, then may be i am not able to sit) - so coming back to office work, now the difference is i am not proactive in seeking new opportunities, rather just do the work which i am assigned - i know this will impact my annual appraisal at the end of the year, but now i do not much care about the annual appraisal.

    whatever time i get during my office working time, i try to search some teachings on spirituality on internet and try to be mindful when drinking tea and when having a walk after lunch and usually something inside me reminds me of try to be mindful of the breath - if not natural breathing, then i try to do cautious breathing to feel my breath.

    it can also be the case that i have a big ego because of which i frequently get angry as i first react at the impulse by acting on my anger and then think about it, like an ordinary materialistic guy without having struck spirituality would do. i have all the defilements of lust, anger, greed, attachment, aversion and ego in huge amount inside me.

    there is also no fixed time in the morning, when i get up, as it changes based on how late i sleep at night, due to me currently working in second shift, which starts in afternoon and continues till late in evening or till night. so i have no regular schedule for my meditation - this can also be a reason for my being not mindful.

    From curiosity, a question came to my mind now, so thought of asking you all - do you have a family, which you have to support and then are you still able to have some feeling of calmness or pleasant feeling in their meditation? if yes, then how long does it took you to get this feeling of calmness or pleasant feeling in your meditation?

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I'd like to hear some feedback from other forum members about a concept in Theravada called jhanas. See here:

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-samadhi/jhana.html

    Meditators at certain levels of attainment are apparently supposed to get a pleasurable sensation out of meditation. I really don't think I'm there; my mind is far too unfocused to be in such an exalted state. I do wonder what it is I'm experiencing though...

  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @misecmisc1 - Always pleasant. Even in failed meditations like when I get distracted, because I experience pleasantness (peace) almost immediately ie before distraction come to interfere. I need about 2 to 3 breaths, then I'm there, in Peace Land. I may get distracted but as soon as I realised, I will accept and let it pass, then steer my mind back to breathing... then... peaceful again.

    When I do standing and sitting meditations, I get physical sensations...hmm... Something about the jaw, how can I describe.. Relaxed and I feel my jaw expands.. Also, I feel vibrations. like hundreds of ants but not ticklish, it's a comfortable feeling actually.. Ah! like when we say "Om..." we feel vibrations at the throat to the ears... Not exactly, but something like this feeling.

    Dearest veterans, I have a question..
    These vibrations.. Is this a distraction?
    Do I.. just let? "sit with it"?
    Or should I terminate it?

    Thank you :)

    Namaste
    Zenni

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @nakazcid : as far as my theoretical understanding of jhanas goes, jhanas are states of letting-go. even to enter the first jhana, the five senses and the mind needs to be transcended, so as far as how the path progresses, it is something like, after the five senses are let go, then the mind is let go and then nimitta arises, which is the bright radiant light of the mind and after nimitta is let go, then the first jhana is entered - so basically we cannot do anything in the first jhana, if we are able to do anything (like we be able to think anything in it), then it is not the first jhana - so something like it is single-pointed state of samadhi without we being there as without 'we' inside it. This is as per Therevada teachings and is followed in the Thai forest tradition by monks like Ajahn Chah, Brahm etc.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @Zenni
    Dearest veterans, I have a question..
    These vibrations.. Is this a distraction?
    Do I.. just let? "sit with it"?
    Or should I terminate it?

    Specifically...
    in Zazen, both the deliberate fostering of these vibrations or the **deliberate **termination of these vibrations is not considered to be part of a Zazen practice.

    When speaking of Jhana's, the same advise applies.
    We allow the Jhana's to arrive, live and depart, on their own time schedule, free of our micromanagement, hopes and judgements.

    Each school of Buddhism will have their own forms of checks and balances for addressing the Jhana's within there own practices.

    lobsternakazcidZenniJeffrey
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Right mindfulness of body, feelings, mind, and dhammas, leads to right concentration.

    Zenni
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @bookworm said:
    Right mindfulness of body, feelings, mind, and dhammas, leads to right concentration.

    Well, according to the Anapanasati sutta, being fully aware of the breathing will facilitate the practice of the four foundations of Mindfulness (or Establishments of Mindfulness), which in turn will help develop the seven factors of Awakening (or Enlightenment), which will lead to liberation.

    Among the seven factors of Awakening we find joy.

    For whatever reason, when I sit down to meditate I don't consider the pleasure component.
    I just sit down and do it.

    TravellerbookwormZenni
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Yes that is correct, thanks for reminding me.

    DhammaDragon
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I wonder if it's possible to go through all 8 jhanas, and to nirodha samapatti all in a single session.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited May 2015
    I feel pleasure from time to time but it's a side effect and not the goal. My goal is to go on my way and be aware while I go.

    I smile when I finally find my keys but finding the keys was the goal, not the smile.

    Or was it?
    DhammaDragonZenni
  • thug4lyfethug4lyfe Explorer

    Meditation is meannnn when I have time to do... but obviously by my posting yall can tell I don't do it enough recently... woe is me :(

  • ZenniZenni Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @how - thanks for the explanation.
    The vibration comes "very easily". It's not deliberate. Early on when I experienced it, i opened my eyes slowly and gently, still there... closed my eyes and just let it. When I am seated in a moving (to meditate) I will also experience the vibration. Erh.. When I wasn't the driver, of course =) > @how said:

    We allow the Jhana's to arrive, live and depart, on their own time schedule, free of our micromanagement, hopes and judgements.

    thats exactly how you explained.

    The purpose of my journey is to attain peace, (hopefully) every step of the way.
    I don't know what will come next.. I just let.

    Namaste
    Zenni

  • @bookworm said:> I wonder if it's possible to go through all 8 jhanas, and to nirodha samapatti all in a single session.

    Tell us when you find out. ;)

  • @Zenni said:> > When I do standing and sitting meditations, I get physical sensations...hmm... Something about the jaw, how can I describe.. Relaxed and I feel my jaw expands.. Also, I feel vibrations. like hundreds of ants but not ticklish, it's a comfortable feeling actually.. Ah! like when we say "Om..." we feel vibrations at the throat to the ears... Not exactly, but something like this feeling.
    Dearest veterans, I have a question..
    These vibrations.. Is this a distraction?
    Do I.. just let? "sit with it"?
    Or should I terminate it?

    It sounds like mild piti, which is one of the jhana absorption factors, and a sign of progress. So just continue with the practice and see what happens next.

    ZenniTraveller
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I just let.

    Exactly.
    Lights, sensations, ants in our pants, smells, sounds AND

    I just let.

    good feelings, bad feelings, euphoria, glum bum, up down, sideways

    I just let.

    Arisings, calming, centered, breath in, breath out, sitting, mantra, visualisation, altar, walking etc . . .

    I just let.
    I just let.
    I just let.

    pegembaraTravellerZenni
  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @SpinyNorman - I googled Piti and jhana. I saw these two words in earlier posts, didn't know what they meant but now I had to find out what they are.. I read from "Wildmind buddhist meditation", a blog by Bodhipaksa, a buddhist practioner, teacher, author. And dharma wiki, also accesstoinsight.org.

    I had no knowledge whatsoever when I started meditation. All I wished for is peace.
    Now, after the reading, it seems to me I have experienced Piti and.. O.o Sukha.

    Thanks for the advise, I'll "just continue with the practice"

    Namaste

  • Jhanic factors like piti and sukha will arise naturally when sufficient samadhi has been established, so they are a sign of progress. Such states are also nourishing to the practice and should be valued.

    TravellerDavidZenni
  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @ lobster and @SpinyNorman

    Namaste

  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran

    I dunno. Pleasant? Peaceful? Calm? I feel that way most of the time, anyway. But then again, I don't do koan meditation anymore, where I mentally sweat and struggle with the meaning of "Mu" and such. I just sit quietly, not focused on anything in particular, not commenting, just being. Not that there's anything wrong with jhana type meditation. Learning to focus the mind is important. I'm not sure any more if it matters if you're focusing on a koan or a pebble.

    Travellermisecmisc1
  • @Cinorjer said:I'm not sure any more if it matters if you're focusing on a koan or a pebble.

    You're probably right, but from a Zen point of view what is the purpose of meditating?

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    You're probably right, but from a Zen point of view what is the purpose of meditating?

    Thanks @SpinyNorman for asking the above question.

    i will take an attempt here to answer the above question. hopefully no one will sue me for my below words, if they are incorrect :) .

    based on the koans along with their commentaries and notes given in the book, which i am reading currently, i think the purpose of zazen is to cut the forest of thoughts, remove all words/ideas/knowledge/understanding and face the truth, which is always right on our face, wherever we are. in a way, experience the oneness by letting go of our thoughts and directly experiencing our true nature.

    copying some matter from the koan commentaries book:
    Real form is all dharmas as they are. “As they are” is neither sentient nor
    insentient, form nor emptiness, being nor nonbeing. They are the inexpressible moment,
    thus!

    i think to experience this suchness or our true self is the objective of zazen.

    When the illusion of objects is dissolved, the light first appears.
    When the self and things are both forgotten, the way is clear and unhindered.

    i think to experience the way mentioned away (which is the way which Hsin Hsin Ming also refers to in its opening line as the great way) is the objective of zazen.

    from yesterday, i have started browsing the website treeleaf.org and there are many talks for beginners on how to do zazen and i am find these talks insightful. strangely enough, if i remember correctly, few months back or may be a year ago, i went to this website treeleaf.org and saw these talks on zazen, but i think somehow i did not pay much attention to them and forgot them. recently there was a thread about online resources and this website was mentioned there, so i went to this website and now these beginner talks on zazen are making some sense to me.

    But i am a stupid ignorant person, who does not know much about zen and nothing from practical experience from zazen - so let me ask the experienced people here about their views @Cinorjer , @how , @genkaku , @seeker242 - please correct me if my above theoretical understanding is going wrong somewhere? also from your point of view, what is the purpose of zazen in zen? please tell. thanks in advance.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @SpinyNorman
    Cinorjer said:I'm not sure any more if it matters if you're focusing on a koan or a pebble.

    Development of concentration is only one part of the 8 FP.
    The other 7 deserve equal billing unless you're OK with a lopsided wheel.

    I thought Cinorjer was just refering to where one's practice evolves towards the goal of goalessness.

    CinorjerDhammaDragon
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said: You're probably right, but from a Zen point of view what is the purpose of meditating?

    To realize one's Buddha Nature. That is, to the extent a Zen Buddhist will claim any purpose at all.

    misecmisc1Traveller
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran

    @how said:
    SpinyNorman
    Cinorjer said:I'm not sure any more if it matters if you're focusing on a koan or a pebble.

    Development of concentration is only one part of the 8 FP.
    The other 7 deserve equal billing unless you're OK with a lopsided wheel.

    I thought Cinorjer was just refering to where one's practice evolves towards the goal of goalessness.

    Probably about as good a take as you can give to it. Zen is amazing in that we can read an entire sermon from a great Master on just sitting with no goal and that Zazen is itself Enlightenment, and another sermon right after from a different Master, telling us to strive with every ounce of effort to penetrate the Dharma in this lifetime. And they're both correct for different students, or even the same student at different points in his practice.

    lobsterZenni
  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    As with everything, I think it's on our part to identify, accept, and let go. Pleasantness is no different.

    Zenni
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    @seeker242 said:
    But, from a real time practical point of view when you actually sit down on the cushion, the purpose of zazen is just to breathe in and out. You don't sit there thinking "Ok, now I'm going to try to see my true nature! Blah, blah, blah...". All you really do is just sit there.

    Thanks for your above reply. Now i have a confusion here on what to focus on during zazen. if you see the treeleaf.org website, in that in the talks on how to do zazen, i think in section 8 , the teacher says to focus on spaciousness - so in a way this is to focus on everything and nothing in particular. But you say to focus on breath during sitting. So where should we focus on during zazen? so except when i get caught up in thoughts, the very little pieces of time when i am just aware of say the feeling in the left hand palm in the oval mudra or i am aware of my breathing or some physical sensation on my legs, or i am aware that even though i focus my eyes at 45 degrees and make my gaze light and i find my eyes moving up slightly when i breath out and then i put my attention back on the left palm of the oval mudra and then sometimes i get confused on where to focus - breath, left palm or whatever is happening or blue sky(but i have to try to visualize it manually then) or try to feel the spaciousness or awareness in which these things occur(but i do not know how to feel it).

    So long story short, the question is what to focus on while doing zazen? please suggest. thanks in advance.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @Cinorjer said:> To realize one's Buddha Nature.

    So what does that mean, practically speaking? How does Zen meditation do that?

  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @misecmisc1 - "... focus on breath.. the feeling in the left palm... sensation on my legs.. eyes at 45 degrees.. make my gaze light.. my eyes moving up,slightly.. attention back on the left palm..."

    Please don't be offended. But your mind is so busy, how can one ever meditate with thoughts flying and darting..

    "The question is what to focus on while doing zazen?"

    You can focus on your breathing

    Or feeling in your left palm

    Or sensation on your legs

    Just one of them.

    Only ONE.

    or at least, this is how I become still and then become empty.

    Namaste
    Zenni

  • @Zenni said:> You can focus on your breathing
    Or feeling in your left palm
    Or sensation on your legs
    Just one of them.

    So do you stay with one or move around?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @how said:> > Development of concentration is only one part of the 8 FP.
    The other 7 deserve equal billing unless you're OK with a lopsided wheel.

    Sure, but how does Zen meditation fulfill the factors of the 8-fold path, practically speaking? Which factors does it focus on?

    bookworm
  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @SpinyNorman - I stay with one.

    I just started reading Buddhism. My meditation was always to focus on my breathing... Becoming still (mind) and becoming empty (mind) ... Then attaining peace.

    After experiencing the vibrations, (sometimes) before starting my meditation, I consciously 'decide' to focus on sensations. And then I close my eyes and focus on my palms and let the vibrations 'move/circulate' from thereon.

    A session of meditation - one focus.

    Presently, after learning about the 8 fold path, I am at the first, right view, so I focus on impermenance.

    I don't know what will be next, I'll know when the time comes. In the meantime, I will learn....

    Namaste
    Zenni

    Cinorjer
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