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Moments of bliss in meditation

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

Pleasant as these are, they never seem to stay for long, most lasting only a second or two. Has anyone ever sat down and tried to categorise the types of meditative bliss? Or attach a meaning to them? I must have encountered at least four or five, from a strong sexual orgasm to a momentary bath of light airy bliss welling up from underneath.

I get the definite impression there is more going on when I meet these things, that I’m not properly understanding their origins.

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 18

    Tibetan Buddhism calls them Nyams. So if you look on the internet you could look under that name should you want to see what TB sources say.

    They are like 'experiences' but not the same thing as realization of nature of reality.

    I think it is said that if you have them then use that to your advantage (would need further detail to expand). But if you don't have them don't think you need to have or that something is missing.

    But they are experiences. Like 'spaciousness' of awareness could feel blissful or it could feel fearful. But the experience is not the same thing as the quality of space itself. Different people could have different experiences.

    And then they could be Dhyanas also but Tibetan Buddhism as far as I've read/heard doesn't talk about those very much. They are called Jhanas in some other Buddhism and are talked about quite a lot in some Buddhism forms.

    I have had one very blissful experience where there was like a flowing of good feeling in my head and it lasted a bit into my day but then fell apart. And another day of not bliss but just the sense of no discomfort from meditation like I could just keep meditating and not feel any need for anything and I actually did like 6 hours meditation that day! So those were my two experiences of what I guess were Nyams or Dhyana or something.

    lobsterKerome
  • CarlitaCarlita Bastian please! Save us! United States Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Pleasant as these are, they never seem to stay for long, most lasting only a second or two. Has anyone ever sat down and tried to categorise the types of meditative bliss? Or attach a meaning to them? I must have encountered at least four or five, from a strong sexual orgasm to a momentary bath of light airy bliss welling up from underneath.

    I get the definite impression there is more going on when I meet these things, that I’m not properly understanding their origins.

    I listen to meditive music chanting to slow me down into meditation mood. Then mind ks calm, I do more chanting. After the second chant/half song of Vajsattva buddha, I do guided meditation on lam rim. During which I have some experiences. Then I sit quietly for ten mins tops. Thats when I experience things. I find out more about rebirth. I put together why this happens and that. Insight meditation. I listen to calming music. Then I get my pen, paper, and suttas and start putting names to feelings. Feelings are more "aha!" Moments. I write what I learned in meditation like dreams I forget easily. Then I do a lpt of postrations. I run with it until the feeling is all through my body. An hour meditation.

    Some bliss but mostly insight to aha-knowledge I wouldnt have thought otherwise by studying. One way to label is to write down in paragragh physical feelings. Anything. Doesnt have to be buddistic. Once you done meditating grab your sutta or sutra book you have on hand. Link your feelings to different discources of The Buddha. Maybe you'll find a good explanation that way. Other than that, I learn best by subject meditation. Breathing calms me but doesnt do the hard work.

    Long reply but not in a good mood now. Hope this helps.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 18

    I get the definite impression there is more going on when I meet these things, that I’m not properly understanding their origins.

    Mind vomit.
    Too harsh? o:)
    https://www.lionsroar.com/what-is-papanca/

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Moments of bliss in Meditation. They happen.
    In Hinduism/Yoga, this bliss is the goal of meditation, and the goal is to eventually extend it until we remain always in this bliss.
    Buddha felt it was not enlightenment, since he felt that enlightenment would be permanent, and (as you pointed out) this bliss is transitory. My teacher, a 62-year old Tibetan monk & Geshe, says this bliss is inevitable but acts as a distraction from our goal of seeking enlightenment .... and should therefore not be given importance nor further exploration.

    lobster
  • 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

    In Christianity, I think this is called 'a feeling of rapture'. Probably like being in the ZONE, IN the zone. and I would add, very much a factor to be considered within @Foiblefull's comment, above.

    Arturo
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited January 18

    @Kerome said:
    Pleasant as these are, they never seem to stay for long, most lasting only a second or two. Has anyone ever sat down and tried to categorise the types of meditative bliss? Or attach a meaning to them? I must have encountered at least four or five, from a strong sexual orgasm to a momentary bath of light airy bliss welling up from underneath.

    I get the definite impression there is more going on when I meet these things, that I’m not properly understanding their origins.

    The suttas describe a progression though the jhanas. I view such experiences as nourishing to meditation practice, and as a sign of progress towards developing samadhi.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhyāna_in_Buddhism#The_Rupa_Jhānas

    The general advice is to value such experiences, but not attach to them.

    lobsterSnakeskin
  • @Kerome said:
    Has anyone ever sat down and tried to categorise the types of meditative bliss? Or attach a meaning to them? I must have encountered at least four or five, from a strong sexual orgasm to a momentary bath of light airy bliss welling up from underneath.

    First comment!

    I've not categorized them, nor would I be inclined to do so, but I would be grateful if someone did! I just don't have the strength of character for that... I must have spent a week trying to find comments on anything like the sexual orgasm moments I experienced and finally found something related to what @SpinyNorman, and @FoibleFull mentioned, a sign of Jhana, which eased my mind (but not my attachment). I've also attached more than several meanings to the same feeling of bliss, which to me just screams the mind is at play. Not until recently have I been able to use it in my meditation. Once I realized this: that there is no meaning inherent in those feelings and that any meaning was given by me, my mind was giving them.

    Still, though it is very easy to get distracted and follow the feeling. Which at a certain point doesn't really feel like meditation anymore!

  • @Kerome said:
    Has anyone ever sat down and tried to categorise the types of meditative bliss? Or attach a meaning to them? I must have encountered at least four or five, from a strong sexual orgasm to a momentary bath of light airy bliss welling up from underneath.

    First comment!

    I've not categorized them, nor would I be inclined to do so, but I would be grateful if someone did! I just don't have the strength of character for that... I must have spent a week trying to find comments on anything like the sexual orgasm moments I experienced and finally found something related to what @SpinyNorman, and @FoibleFull mentioned, a sign of Jhana, which eased my mind (but not my attachment). I've also attached more than several meanings to the same feeling of bliss, which to me just screams the mind is at play. Not until recently have I been able to use it in my meditation. Once I realized this: that there is no meaning inherent in those feelings and that any meaning was given by me, my mind was giving them.

    Still, though it is very easy to get distracted and follow the feeling. Which at a certain point doesn't really feel like meditation anymore!

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Bliss ... as an instructor once said to me, "Forgetaboutit!"

    lobster
  • ToshTosh Veteran

    I've read somewhere that meditation doesn't really start till you start getting bored and hacked off with it. O.o

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Pleasant as these are, they never seem to stay for long, most lasting only a second or two. Has anyone ever sat down and tried to categorise the types of meditative bliss? Or attach a meaning to them? I must have encountered at least four or five, from a strong sexual orgasm to a momentary bath of light airy bliss welling up from underneath.

    I sometimes get these mental sighs that give a feeling of relief or liquid feeling chills up the spine like a kind of backgasm. These seem to happen when things are aligned properly and I can only help them along once they start by themselves.

    Sometimes I do get the feeling that I'm bathed in light even though I know there is no physical light but I think that's just a trick of the mind and nothing mystical.

    I have also gotten optical illusion type stripes that give me vertigo if I try meditating with a migraine or when the tinnitus is very bad.

    I get the definite impression there is more going on when I meet these things, that I’m not properly understanding their origins.

    Could be but if you obsess you may keep them away. Probably just have to let them come and let them go as they do.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited January 19

    @Tosh said:> I've read somewhere that meditation doesn't really start till you start getting bored and hacked off with it. O.o

    Another view is that if you get bored in meditation you're not doing it right, or at least not developing much samatha.

    And you can experience boredom any time, so why bother sitting on a cushion to experience it there?

    lobsterKerome
  • @CromeYellow said:> Still, though it is very easy to get distracted and follow the feeling.

    With some meditations you are advised to follow the feeling, to develop it, to go further.

    Snakeskin
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    With some meditations you are advised to follow the feeling, to develop it, to go further.

    Yes! But I think until you've had the insight into their unsatisfactory, empty nature it's a slippery slope to go further into the feeling (if ones mind is inclined, you might get caught up in the special meaning). And if you focus on developing them, for me personally at least, if I don't drop them at a certain point, it goes from being a natural progression of the meditation to merely developing feelings (insight or no).

    It's like driving around a bend, seeing what's coming up instant by instant for the first time you have a heightened sense of awareness and focus and wonder, but eventually you turn the corner and hit a straight-away and that awareness is better served elsewhere.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I get the definite impression there is more going on when I meet these things, that I’m not properly understanding their origins.

    I got a voice saying in meditation (I sometimes get these) that it was something “interfering with the mechanism of Nirvana”. So who knows?

    Most often I just take mindful notice of them, and watch them go without clinging. But there is usually no real insight that comes with meditative bliss, and these instances are rare and short, so hard to investigate. You just don’t know whether they are an accident, perhaps of the subtle body, or whether they are a sign of progress.

    I do know that sometimes progress, such as disentangling difficult emotions, is linked to a feeling of relief and pleasure, that comes when you commit such things to memory.

  • ArturoArturo Planet Fitness New

    If I have them, I do not hold onto them for all things are in motion.

  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited January 21

    @DairyLama said:

    @Tosh said:> I've read somewhere that meditation doesn't really start till you start getting bored and hacked off with it. O.o

    Another view is that if you get bored in meditation you're not doing it right, or at least not developing much samatha.

    And you can experience boredom any time, so why bother sitting on a cushion to experience it there?

    I can drink or take drugs if I want to experience bliss or calm, so why bother sitting on a cushion to experience it? The point in experiencing boredom during meditation is to try and see what boredom actually is; the reality of it (it's just a feeling, that will pass; not much really). Hopefully, off the mat, this will have some positive benefits (such as not being driven to the fridge to eat food we don't need).

    I think it's a bit like running. Some runs can be wonderful, but often they're hard work and a real slog.

    If all runners made out running was wonderful all of the time, firstly, I wouldn't believe them, but more importantly, it would mean most runners would think they're doing it wrong.

    Meditation is what it is. All kinds of things, including boredom and anxiety are experienced.

    That's not wrong, or doing it wrong, that's just the way it is.

    As a side note, in A.A., a good few times, I've heard alkies say, "Oh, I can't meditate, my mind is just too busy!"

    I suspect the concept of what many people think meditation should be prevents many from doing it.

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    I usually experience bliss when I'm doing some form of loving kindness meditation like Wishing Love from Lamrim. When I feel that blast of bliss I switch to analytical meditation on Emptiness then single pointed meditation on Emptiness, so I try to harness the bliss to reach Superior Seeing.

    Shoshin
  • @Tosh said:
    I suspect the concept of what many people think meditation should be prevents many from doing it.

    What do you think Buddhist meditation is for?

  • @JaySon said:> When I feel that blast of bliss I switch to analytical meditation on Emptiness then single pointed meditation on Emptiness...

    That's interesting. Could you explain what the difference is between these two methods, practically speaking? Analytical v. single-pointed?

  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @DairyLama said:

    @Tosh said:
    I suspect the concept of what many people think meditation should be prevents many from doing it.

    What do you think Buddhist meditation is for?

    The cultivation of wisdom.

    What do you think it's for?

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