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I was meditating. I was using classical music as my object of meditation.

I know some don't approve of that but it's REALLY relaxing, especially while meditating. Anyway, as I was meditating the music became... so much more clear. I really can't explain it. It's like I had cheap headphones and all of sudden they switched to top brand headphones. That's how clear it became. Then my breath became very shallow almost as if it was disappearing.

Now I have anxiety attacks, such as I had during my previous attempt at meditation. And that makes my breath feel shallow. But this was different I felt it slowly disappearing. And this very unusual feeling overcame me. My whole body was blissful. I never had that experience before.

So was that a Jhana state?

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    I have to say, I am very dismayed by this threads consistent attempts to tell you that you didn't attain jhana. Honestly we can't know. The problem today is there any many Buddhist scholars out there who do not have a clear understanding of jhana. By your description it possible you entered the first, even the description of the clear music suggest the hypersensitivity of the second. Typically when one approaches the third great shifts can happen in yourself which bring about difficult times experientially. Familiarise yourself with descriptions of jhana in the Sutta Pitaka – user12001 Sep 25 '17 at 9:45
  • It felt like, base on the all books and everything. I was beginning to enter it. I even had the issue of panicking cause even though it was a happy blissful feeling. It was scary as even the awarness of my breath faded away which im told happens – DeusIIXII Sep 25 '17 at 9:55
  • Breath will fade toward the fourth. But don't worry about that for now. The breath will be the thread running the entire experience. With regard to the panic in response to bliss. We need to build a relationship with bliss. Often it can be so ecstatic that it is disruptive and alien to us. Try just letting go, even smile a little and be with the pleasant feeling, explore it, let it grow and recognise fear is the product of ego and wanting to control your experience. It may well be you are beginning to acclimatise yourself to the first jhana. I'm not surprised you felt anxious afterwards. – user12001 Sep 26 '17 at 12:53
  • you may have popped into all of them momentarily, an experience I had when beginning jhana practice, but you need to focus on developing or 'mastering' one at a time. Allow the first to cultivate itself and then practice it when your out and about. – user12001 Sep 26 '17 at 12:55
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I wouldn't worry about what it is or isn't and dont listen to what other people have to say about it either as everyone will have varying opinions and really they cannot know what you experience. You will end up feeling confused. The main thing to remember is that it was just a pleasant experience and like all experiences it arose and then passed. It's like a small reward for making progress. Try not to think about it or recreate it as it may hinder your progress. It does not need a label. If you go into meditation expecting, hoping or craving to have the same experience again or for another pleasant experience you are missing the point so don't fall into that trap. However, when you do have a pleasant experience, enjoy it for what it is then let it go.

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Now i have anxiety attacks and at first was i was having an anxiety attack during the meditation.

This does not look like Jhana. Jhana is blissful. Sometimes you might experience Piti and Sukkha. These may be intense.

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    No what i mean at first i was but then it kind of all disappeared. I broke the meditation cause it was blissful but as my breath faded away i panicked – DeusIIXII Mar 30 '17 at 14:08
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    It is hard to say but, do not give any importance to it. Just continue with what you were doing! – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Mar 30 '17 at 15:04
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No, it was not jhana. Feelings of bliss are not necessarily always 'jhana'. However, the bliss arose due to the cessation of anxiety. It was not jhana bliss however it was certainly a kind of bliss.

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  • Not sure how you could definitively conclude it wasn't jhana, not being inside OP's mind and body at that moment. – user5171 Dec 9 '17 at 18:30
  • Definitely not jhana, which shows your mind has also not experienced jhana. – Dhammadhatu Dec 9 '17 at 20:55
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  1. Achieving even śamatha by focusing on a sense object is impossible.

One has to concentrate on a mental image. For instance, it is said that when one achieves śamatha by focusing on the breath, he focuses on a mental image of the breath from the fourth abiding (far before śamatha itself). So, when you speak of meditating while listening to music, this is the first thing that comes to mind.

  1. Actual bliss (Skt. prīti) does not occur before one has achieved śamatha, a mind of the form realm.

Therefore, you were not abiding in śamatha (much less the jhanas) you could not possibly experience actual bliss. You could very well have experienced a fact simile of bliss, a somewhat blissful experience. Geshe Gedun Lodro explains it well in Calm Abiding and Special Insight: Achieving Spiritual Transformation Through Meditation.

  1. Once you achieved śamatha, achieving it again becomes easy.

This is also something to consider. If you can not experience whatever you experienced again and easily, it is a sign that it is not a jhana.


Leah Zahler wrote a comprehensive book on the topic: Study And Practice Of Meditation: Tibetan Interpretations Of The Concentrations And Formless Absorptions.

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This part sounds like jhana to me: "My whole body was blissful." The fact that the music became more clear doesn't sound typical of jhana but rather one of those unusual sort of experiences that happen every now and then during meditation.

As many are saying, it's hard to say definitively if it was jhana, but at the very least, it sounds like you're on the right track. I would encourage you to repeat whatever you did that led to that feeling (e.g. focus on whatever you were focusing on) and see if it happens again, and then continue doing it and see what happens.

One of the purposes of jhana is to create a pleasant feeling so you enjoy keeping the mind inward and still, and since it sounds like this experience accomplished that, it's probably worth continuing with. [As a side note, if after experiencing it you feel it "slipping away," don't feel like you have to struggle to get it back. After the first-third jhanas, the mind naturally settles more into a state of equanimity as opposed to bliss and rapture.]

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    Thank you for your help. I have repeated and if i relax and not try to obtain jhana.. I get close.. Not fully enter it but i feel its cause i break thought an noticed how clam i am. If i didn't do that i think i would have entered into jhana again – DeusIIXII Dec 9 '17 at 18:53
  • I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for this, but I think the "if you try to get jhana, you won't" thing is overrated, and possibly incorrect for some people. In the suttas, Buddha is always talking about directed effort. Why would you have directed effort if you weren't trying to achieve something in particular? Also, sometimes different instructions have different effects on different people depending on how they understand the words. Maybe try actually trying to obtain jhana. Really lean into the feeling and see what happens. – user5171 Dec 9 '17 at 20:01
  • Also, jhana, unlike nibbana, is fabricated: it's something we deliberately create for ourselves. That's why you don't have to worry about the paradoxical "if you want it you don't get it" stuff. – user5171 Dec 9 '17 at 20:07
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    Yeah i am with you. The traditional way never worked for me. But when i found my own meaning to the buddhas words it works. – DeusIIXII Dec 10 '17 at 2:03
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You did not experience jhana... you experienced pre-jhana a.k.a. ACCESS CONCENTRATION.

Keep in mind that until this (and the other factors) are stable and you do not drop out of meditation before your set period of time... you have not experienced 1st jhana.

I would also suggest to take a more stable meditation object. Music is very changeable and erratic and having that as a concentration object is not good beginner practice. It can harm your practice.

Just chill out and watch your breath as happily as you did the classical music. :)

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    I have to say that access concentration is commentary born myth which implies that one must be unaware of the physical senses in the first jhana. With right study of the sutta adjunct with meditative verification one can be certain that one is fully aware of the physical body until the immaterial states. therefore the first four jhanas are mistaken as access concentration, which is quite confusing. First jhana is relatively easy and can arise somewhere between 15-30 mins using the breath. – user12001 Sep 25 '17 at 9:27
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What you experience called the wrong concentration. It does not lead to liberation and it is short lived.

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  • Could you give the reason for your minus vote? This will help you, me and everyone else.Thank you. – SarathW Mar 31 '17 at 21:12
  • My point is discussed in the following video. It is in the Sinhalese language.youtu.be/ma81JD_LNeM?t=1255 – SarathW Mar 31 '17 at 21:24
  • Perhaps the downvotes are due to your conclusion having no explanation or supporting statements? You could add more, but I am not sure if people will go back and notice and change votes. – user2341 Apr 19 '17 at 12:53
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    Downvoted because you provide no reasons for your conclusion. – user5171 Dec 9 '17 at 18:29

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