9

I've been practicing meditation for a while now, basic breathing and mindfulness meditation, and lately I've added some contemplation to my "routines", usually with music, and the result is absolutely phenomenal. In those 20-30 minutes I literally reach an emotional bliss that is unequal and it has transferred to my daily life and helped me a lot. I literally was suicidal some months ago and awareness and facing my issues with meditation along with Buddhist philosophy literally saved my life.

Now my problem is if i keep this, please don't take this as arrogance, "Buddha state" ,only connected to my meditation time and broken moments of the day would that not be also attachment?. Is having the ability to at any moment be aware and blissful the desired Buddha state?. Is this something that will come with the more practice than I have or am i missing something that will improve even more my meditation experience?

  • 1
    These are the right questions to be asking. This is the heart of the path. I don't have any answers for you, but I do think you are going in the right direction from what I can tell. – Thien Aug 29 '14 at 12:50
3

If I can answer this from my personal experiences.

I had very strong experiences when I stated to meditate almost immediately. Anxiety seem to shift and I had a great deal of clarity. One day after 6 months of meditating I was sat on a bus and I suddenly achieve an amazing amount of clarity and well-being. I felt very very aware. I remember not being phased by this and thinking "well I guess that's what meditation and Buddhism does". The state of mind lasted 2 or 3 days and gradually faded. It never came back and things settled down into a more steady (even mundane) set of meditation experiences.

My own experience is that when one starts to meditate a lot of things can happen and a lot of things can unwind at once. This was amazing for me and sounds like amazing for you. However I found that these states don't last and are impossible to maintain. Since one of the Buddha's central teachings is impermanence that's not surprising - how could they last? I have always been advised not to get attached to these feelings and states of mind. Attachment to them is still attachment and is a hindrance to the path. They are great though and can be incredibly motivating and inspiring. It's just important to see them for what they are.

What does last is any insights or just feelings into how things actually are. I found it an overwhelming experience that my thoughts are not under my direct control and just arise and pass away. I'm not saying that's an incredible or even valid insight but it's something that is still with me from that time.

4

This pleasurable state that you are attaining during meditation is simply the result of concentration. These states can be developed in different directions within the Buddhist path, but if their place is not properly understood, they can in time become a hindrance.

This bliss isn't enlightenment unfortunately. The goal of Buddhist meditation is to attain clarity of mind and concentration in order to see that reality is impermanent, unable to give us stable and lasting pleasure, and non-self. When these are fully realized, the mediator will be able to at least temporarily let go totally of all attachment and experience the happiness of Nibbana (or Nirvana in Sanskrit), a happiness that is totally distinct from everything else in this world. When this is realized repeatedly, one can eventually become a fully enlightened Arahat, in which one is perfectly happy at all times because has no attachment and is content with whatever comes to be.

In order to progress towards this enlightenment you must understand that these states are a step on the path, and that they are a powerful tool, but not a goal in and of themselves. At this stage you have a choice in how to continue in practice. Option one is to continue to practice meditation the way you are (although there will come a point when the music will prevent deeper concentration, but if you really want to, continuing it for now isn't the worst thing in the world). It is possible to develop this into a powerful state of concentration and peace called Jhana in which the perception of the body totally vanishes. A good book explaining how to do this (you might be able to find it in pdf form here: http://www.dhammatalks.net/ ) is the book Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm. He has a lot of other books on practicing the Jhanas as well.

Eventually, even with attaining jhanas, you will need to also develop a quality of mind called Vipassana. You can switch over to practicing Vipassana meditation now as well, or you can switch later. There are several different styles of Vipassana meditation. There is the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition of Vipassana meditation, the Goenka tradition, and some of the practices of the Thai forest tradition such as meditation as taught by the Ven. Thannisaro Bhikku can be classefied as Vipassana meditation.

One of the best resources for learning the Mahasi Sayadaw style meditation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLvU7ppM4vE&list=PLAFC00C07636BE277 It is taught by the Ven. Yuttadhammo, an excellent monk who I can personally attest to as having tremendous wisdom and teaching ability. I consider myself to be a follower of his even though I myself don't practice the Mahasi Sayadaw method, I find his advice to be spot on. I would also highly recommend watching this video of his as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjUkzRcNhK8

You can find some writings of Ajahn Thanisarro on that dhammatalks.net site. He can also be quite helpful although he isn't very explicit in talking about vipassana specifically, if you want to continue your concentration style practice this is good because he incorporates both aspects of teaching. He has a book of meditation instructions here: http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings/EachAndEveryBreath_v130117.pdf

  • 1
    Thank you for not only passing on knowledge,but again showing that i actually know very little in regards to buddhism,and the amount of possibilities and outcomes just makes it even more interresting – Mathew Aug 29 '14 at 3:25
1

One of the nature of our self is that we are not in absolute control. Some presentness due to meditation may persist with a higher degree of probability but there is not saying that something or mood will not occur for certainty. Nor there is any technique to prevent them with absolute certainty.

Basically what you can do is if you are waiting and some times not doing anything make it a chance to do some Breath meditation (without letting others know you are doing it as people might start looking at you funny if they get to know). This will give you a boost to keeping up the presentness with a higher degree of probability.

0

As you move further on the path you tend to move more and more into the four heavenly abodes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmavihara. With Ken Wilber terminology, there is stages and there are states, states are temporary whereas when you reach a stage you stay there. When close to moving on the next stage you more frequently experience higher states. Any state can be reached temporarily from any stage though.

Bliss can be both be a hindrance and an inspiration in meditation, we tend to want it again and cling to it. Because of that glimpses of realization early on in the practice may be problematic. This is natural, all beings want to be happy.

May you be happy, go on and get back to the practice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.