How to do the Jhanas optimally?
One must experiment with his mind while in the Jhanas.
Experiment 1 – Make an attempt to maintain it:
To maintain it longer requires a stable and non-reactive mind. If you jump at the appearance of a Jhana in over-excitement, it will soon fade away. Recognize the appearance of a Jhana and steady the mind. Steady! Steady!
Experiment 2 – Test things for yourself:
All minds are different. Only you can carve your own path through the canyon of your own mind. So test different ways that work to modulate the ups and downs happening within you. Some instructions have to be taken seriously but some other instructions are figurative. Only by testing can you attain that inner skill.
Experiment 3 – Take risks:
When you are in a particular Jhana, you get so attached to it, you become afraid to lose it and therefore you do not take risks. Drop the fear of losing it and take risks to ingeniously devise ways to tackle whatever problems arise in meditation [restlessness/lethargy/cravings].
Experiment 4 – Take responsibility and be self-reliant:
Read the Suttas and practice, experiment, observe new developments happening in the mind, make an attempt to observe them objectively and understand them. Don’t undermine your ability to deal with your own mind. If you don’t understand what’s happening, hit the Suttas, drown yourself in the study of the Jhanas. Then go back to the cushion. Your determination to be self-reliant only can take you there.
Experiment 5 – Practice collectedness by withdrawing from craving again and again:
Practice U3SR [Unhook, Unclench, Unconcern, Smile, Relax] repeatedly to bring about collectedness of the mind. Identify that the stress that happens in the mind is nothing but a ‘clingy thought’. Relax from the thought again and again.
P.S. Jhanas are the levels of Dhyanas/Samadhi that the Buddha taught. To learn Jhanas with Ekta, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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