Fatness or Expansion of Body – Video 4

[Page updated: 30 September 2017]

This is the 4th video in the series of meditation experiences videos. The topic of this video is an experience that some people get after the mind stops thinking thoughts. The experience is what I’ve always called the “Fatness Feeling.” I have had this feeling since I was a small boy. It didn’t happen during meditation, I wasn’t doing any. It happened as I came out of sleep and woke up on my bed. I felt a numbness in my hands usually and it progressed all over my body – or, remained at the hands. It then turned into a growing feeling – my hands and/or whole body got rather numb and then felt like it was growing… expanding outwardly at all points.

A truly strange experience! I was very happy when I received this experience during meditation the first time. I cried later – there was a tremendous relief to find out what it was after all those years of not knowing. None of my friends ever had it. My family did not have it. Nobody I ever talked to – had it. I quickly stopped telling people about it for fear of being different.

Many More Videos Here >

Video 4 – Fatness – Expanding Body Feeling

60 Meditation Tips >

Suan Mokkh Library of Meditation and Other Buddhist Topics

Here is a short video I did of the inside of the Suan Mokkh library. Suan Mokkh is a Buddhist temple founded by the late Buddhadasa Bhikku and located in Chaiya province of Thailand. Not only is it a great little library full of hard or impossible-to-find books, it is also a great place to meditate – it is quiet and cool.

Bliss, Overwhelming Joy, Ecstasy – Video 5

There are some really amazing experiences that come from simply sitting in a spot on the floor and watching your breath. If you ever had any doubt before that your mind was very powerful, you won’t after you experience some of the things that happen when your consciousness is altered after the brain stops thinking thoughts.

This video is about an overwhelming, building, blissful sensation that occurs as the doorway opens to jhana. I have heard my mother, and others, telling me about their “born-again Christian” experience. It is probably the same thing… what happens with Christians is that they give over their cares, their worries, literally everything that is a problem – over to “god”. They relax and chant, praise you jesus – praise you father… I watched my mom do this over and over as the evangelical ministers had their shows on TV. To hear my mom explain her ecstatic experience, is for me – a jhana experience.

When it originally happened to me – I didn’t know what it was. I wasn’t Buddhist, I didn’t know what jhana was. I knew that strange experiences were already happening when the mind stopped… this was just another. The power of this experience is downright earth-shaking. It is the most powerful emotional experience you have ever had. I know that already, because I can’t imagine anything approaching this in the day-to-day life of me or anyone I ever knew. It isn’t orgasmic, it is different, and yet it is completely a mind experience. There’s no physical component, as there is with sexual orgasm.

It feels as if the bliss will overwhelm you – swallow you up and eliminate “you”. The “i” is in jeopardy… there is a complete relinquishing of your “self” – if you let go and let it happen as it will…

I wrote a post about it for another website, here: Happiness of Another Dimension.

Though I tried hard to explain it – of course it’s so impossible to put into words. It’s much more realistic to just go ahead and do it yourself…

Jhana 1, Born Again Experience… Bliss, Joy Video

Breath Slowing, and Mind Stopping – Video 3

This is the third video in the series covering various experiences that happen during meditation as you become concentrated and your mind slows down – and eventually – stops.

When the mind stops – many experiences begin. The experiences seem almost surreal or other-worldly at times. They are bizarre and sometimes even scary. It’s frightening to lose control or to give control away… This is part of the reason for creating these videos – to show you that these are normal experiences within the context of meditation – and you can go through them without any permanent harm or dysfunction. Sounds intense – right? They are!

Intense Concentration on the Breath – Video 2

In this second video I go over some of what happens as you try to concentrate on the breath, and finally are able to. I detail what is perhaps my first strange experience as the mind focused so intensely on one small sense object – the breath going in and out of the nose. It is during the experience of an intensely concentrated mind that you begin to understand how powerful the mind really is.

I had many odd – and sometimes scary – experiences during meditation. None of them were harmful in the long-term. I urge you to watch this series of videos if you are beginning meditation – to give yourself a good idea what is a normal experience. It will alleviate some of your concerns, I am sure of it! Start with Video 1 – Some Basic Meditation Experiences, here.

Video 2 – Intense Concentration on the Breath

Some Basic Meditation Experiences – Video 1

This first video, in the series of meditation experiences videos, touches on a lot of things that beginning meditators might find interesting. If you are new at meditating, you probably have a lot of questions about what you’re doing. I hope to answer some of them, just based on my experience of sitting and focusing on the breath.

Meditation can be scary and or difficult. Some that begin meditation quit quickly after they start. With this series of videos I hope to inspire you a bit by taking some of the mystery out of meditation. I’ll cover a dozen or so experiences that beginners up through advanced meditators might have – and talk about my own personal journey through some of these often “strange” events unfolding from the mind.

Watch this video to see my idea about basic meditation.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below, or send me email at the Contact page.

Video 1 – Some Basic Meditation Experiences

No Mind – Perception Shift 4-11-09

I sat the other evening (4/11). It was about 8pm and I had no motivation to do anything else. Not that I couldn’t have found something – but from the inside -there was nothing pushing me to ‘do’ anything. The mind was empty of ‘me’ so I just sat down in the back of the apartment. It was warm, but I wouldn’t be moving so I thought – good enough.

I know I’ve explained this before – but perhaps you haven’t read it before here. I don’t meditate the way I did when I first started to sit and watch the breath. I’m in a different place now. The mind just goes naturally clear without the ‘me’. If I watch the breath – I can watch it for 10-20 breaths in complete awareness, and it’s the same as it was on breath 1. There’s nothing different, there is no point of concentration… there is no jhana that starts from that like it used to in the past.

The absense of thought is already there. It’s always there when I’m quiet now. When I stop the radio, the doing, the few thoughts on the surface of the mind that exist throughout the day… there is a stillness. It’s as if I’m in the moment – without ego and without self – without thought at all.

So, now when I sit – there’s no point to focus on the breath – and forcing my’self’ to do it seems counterproductive because it forces there to be some ‘self’ that does the focusing. Without the intense focus on the breath – there is no self at all. Even when I force myself to focus the ‘self’ comes and goes in very brief fractions of a second. It’s like it’s not able to show up for more than a tiny portion of a second. If you look back at the journal entry for 9/3 – it was happening there too. It has happened on and off for a while, but now it appears to be changed for now anyway.

So it seems like the whole meditation has changed then – what is the point of creating self by focusing on breath?

No point I think – so I don’t bother anymore. I just sit and experience things… sounds mostly. It’s as if the mind is new and is hearing things for the first time – every time. I could hear a chicken squawk and then hear it again 4 seconds later – it isn’t recognized as the same chicken or even as a chicken at all. It’s experienced newly – each time. Same with dogs barking, cars, horns, bells, people talking, music, etc.

Sometimes there might be a pain in the foot or the back or somewhere as I sit. The pain just goes on… it isn’t seen as negative. Not as positive. It’s just a feeling. Eventually it drifts away altogether.

So as I sat… it seemed there was really no point to sitting except that it was a way to continue the thoughtless state – experiencing things as new. I just continued to sit – not thinking anything about it – just observing when the thought arose. Then it went away when I let it go…

After 30 minutes or so there was a change in the state… there began to be an expansion that was felt in the head – in the mind – the perception?  It began to get very loose there – and open, vast. It was like that for a little while. I just experienced it, no thoughts came about it – I just sat.

There was then a movement from what was – into something else. Impossible to describe… It was as if there was a change starting – and moving toward a different state. There was some tension about it – there was some resistance and some energy toward making the change though I did nothing myself to move toward it or away from it. I just experienced it.

Like so many experiences during meditation – it just seemed to move on it’s own. By itself. Sounds strange I know, but there is no ‘doing’ by me. By letting go of every experience, the experiences continue… on their own – on whatever schedule they’re on. In fact, if I tried to push it more – to move it – or help it along – the experience either disappears, stops, or goes into a pause where it doesn’t move anymore – just pauses. If I then let go of whatever I was ‘do’-ing it may continue, or it may just fade away. No telling what will happen really.

So it went on a bit and there was a point where it felt like something was moving inside that was at an angle to the perspective of mind I usually have. How could I explain…?

You know, your normal perception of self – of reality is straight ahead. The “you” is looking straight ahead straight out from your eyes – your face. Your perspective is straight out from your eyes and in this orientation. It’s always felt like that, it never changes. If your head turns to the left – your perspective also moves with it and moves straight out in a line directly in front of your face. I’ve never realized it before because I’ve never known anything different from this perspective except during meditation where I’ve lost all perspective and felt as if I was all that is… (see experience #4 video >

But, it was changing. It was as if the orientation inside was shifting and was at an angle at that point. It was twisting to the left…  if that makes any sense. The head was straight. The body was all, facing straight. Yet, something inside was twisting left and distorting the original perspective to be facing at an angle at times. It made the perspective – the one I, and I assume that everyone has – seem less real then. Is it false? Is our perspective only straight ahead because we attach so strongly to the idea that our eyes, our bodies are the “me”? Wherever we face – that must be where we are focused – where our orientation is…

This became distorted, and less solid. Less tangible than it was before. Less real. Less true.

So I continued to sit for a while as the process played around, distorting my perspective of things. After 10 minutes it quieted down and I came back into regular consciousness and stood up after another 5 minutes.

As usual there is no comprehension of what is going on – as it’s going on. There is no analyzation. There is no emotion about what is happening – it’s just experienced. Only afterward do I, to some degree say to myself – what in the world was that? That was odd. That was different from what I’ve experienced before. I get a bit excited about it then – knowing it was an experience I hadn’t had before. But, during the actual experience – if any emotion comes up – the state disappears or goes into pause – maybe to continue once the emotion is gone, or maybe it just fades away completely. Emotion, attachment to the states – whatever they are – leads to a pause in the state. It might lead to a fading away and loss of it entirely. When the state is actually going on – it’s best to let go of any fascination with it that might pop up.

For me now – there isn’t any fascination with any state that happens, as it happens. None really. This appears to be a ‘good thing’ as the process just comes and goes at will and isn’t affected by anything that I know of.

Does anyone understand this? Has anyone experienced something like this?

What is the Point of Nirvana? 9-27-07

Meditation history (7.1Mb) MP3 audio format

9-27-07 Today I climbed the steps at the mountain at Wat Tham Suea again. A Thai boy of 8 years old kept up with me as we sort of raced to the top from steps 300 to 1200. At maybe 30 steps away from the top he was exhausted and had to stop to rest. I stopped a little ahead of him and waited for him to catch up so he could be the “winner”. I stayed at the top for a couple hours, at times sitting… and other times standing and walking around… I decided to climb into the rocks that the monk showed me the other day. (Video link at bottom of page). There were a few too many people at the top of the mountain and I thought I’d try that quiet spot in the rocks.

As I climbed over through the jagged limestone rocks someone called out in Thai, “Tum Mai Dai kup”. I called back, “mai chai, die kup”. (You cannot do that) and I responded, “Not true, I can do this”… To which he didn’t respond. I’m sure he was concerned about my safety as the rock peaks are treacherously sharp.

I reached the place and folded my long-sleeved shirt underneath me. I took off my shirt because I wasn’t visible from the Chedi observation area and it was quite warm in the sun.

I sat about an hour and the mind was very calm. The body, while still “there” felt very relaxed and comfortable. As I sat I realized that some questions were on my mind.

WHY MEDITATE to reach nirvana? What good is it? Is there a point? Is it a good thing?

I decided to study that question in the state I was in… attention and concentration came quickly and I reasoned out an answer within maybe 30 minutes.

There really is no point to any of it. Yeah, surprisingly that’s the conclusion that I came to. There’s much too much to write about it – but, I’ll create a video or at least some audio to explain how I came to that conclusion.

Here are the 3 files that explain all of it… The first is my history of meditation – what happened in the past and what exactly I did. What the jhanas were about, and why I stopped meditating for about 9 years.

Meditation history – (7.1Mb) MP3 audio format – not edited, but maybe should have been a little bit…

This next file is a video I took in mid-September where I was unsure what I’m doing by restarting meditation. I am not sure WHY meditation or reaching nirvana is a good goal. What is the reality of it? I couldn’t reason it out that well here, but I had a lot of questions about “WHY”.

WHY? Video (24Mb)

The file above explains what the thought process was at the top of the mountain as I asked myself “WHY” in the relaxed, concentrated state of mind… and the answers that I reached…

The last file, another MP3 audio file looks at why I believe there’s no point in reaching enlightenment, and what I’ve learned by having jhana come… how the mind and ego have changed…

Enlightenment, no point… Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

I don’t believe thatmeditating at this point is a good thing for me. For others, it may be… If you meditate and you reach a point where you are relaxing the mind and you are not going into jhana much or at all you may find meditation very relaxing and a positive thing to do and keep up with.

I found it to be a life changing experience. The changes that came over me 9 years ago were devastating to my marriage at the time… they destroyed the ego for a time… They gave me a glimpse into nirvana and what happens when the mind stops thinking and reacting emotionally. I understood what it means to lose the ego… to find equanimity… peace… bliss…

For me, the changes that took place, and that I believe will take place again if I continue to meditate are too radical for me to take lightly. I had to really ask myself – what is the point of this…? I had to ask myself, if you really reach nirvana – WHAT THEN? Nirvana seems a very real possibility in my mind right now, considering all I’ve experienced recently… The process seems to have picked up where it left off.

Nirvana has been said to be a permanent change in the mind… a letting go to the point that there is no longer suffering because the mind doesn’t attach to anything…

That’s why I needed to question – what good is that state?

My answers are in this recording… enjoy… if you have any questions, send to:

aimforawesome@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer…

🙂 Vern

Video link (2nd time posted):
Secret meditation spot up Wat Tum Sua mountain – A monk shows me how to get there…
14.7Mb in size >

Test of Meditation 9-23-07

Anapanasati at top of Wat Tum Sua and 5? kids taking my pictures and banging the bells to see if they could get me to move and break the meditation…

Mai pen rai krup… (no matter, no mind)

Today was an interesting test of my meditation practice. I climbed up the stairs again to the top of the mountain at Wat Tum Sua and after the sweat dried up from my body and clothes and my breathing calmed quite a bit I sat in my usual spot at the altar that has some shade and the most wind blowing (usually).  The first 10 minutes were almost silent as people came and went and were quiet for the most part. I could hear talking, but it didn’t bother me at all. I was able to find peace and stillness of body rather quickly and the mind followed… and then…

5 or so Thai kids arrived with their father. I could hear them around me and they were talking about getting me to move… I was in a good state of concentration at the moment and so I just watched with my mind – with attention at what they said and let it go as I heard each word or phrase. They were intent on getting me to react and break the meditation. They took pictures very close to me (of me) and banged on the bells that were at another platform close by to see if they could get me to react or jump or something. It was amusing and yet I couldn’t help some thoughts from surfacing about the impoliteness of Thais when it comes to others.  There really is very little.

Going to this wat in the south of Thailand over the past couple weeks and months I noticed that there is little in the way of outward shows of respect not only among all Thais’ but also for the monks at this wat. It is as if they are laypeople. The Thais that interact with them don’t worry about having their head higher than the monks, following a step behind… using polite language with krup and ka… they don’t dip their heads when they pass them or go between monks. They don’t wai anyone and very rarely do I see any Thais’ interacting with the monks at all except to treat them as friends like they met in a bar.

This is in marked contrast with the respect shown to monks by Thais in the Northeast province of Ubon Ratchathani, Udonthani, Sisaket and others.  There is a reverence… a respect that they don’t give to others that they accord to monks that is nice to see…

At least a little basic respect of someone’s space, privacy, meditative moments would have been appreciated…  but, no matter since the mind reacted very little to the antics of these kids that were at times within reaching distance sticking their Nokia cell phone cameras close to me to get a good photo of the foreign monk (they called me) meditating at the top of the mountain.  The father of some of the kids joked with them, smoked and egged them on to do some of the things they were doing to attempt to disturb me… it was kind of weird that not only was there an utter disregard for my sitting there in an unobtrusive and out of the way part of the altar, but there were unabashed attempts at provoking me to see if they could get me to stop meditating. This went on for over 30 minutes I’m guessing.

So, such was my sitting today…  after they had gone and I stayed another 15 minutes.

When I opened my eyes I had a bit of Jhana there – the feeling of lightness of being… of no feeling in the hands, arms and legs… the good feeling inside… bliss or some good feeling…

I noticed a young monk climbing the rocks below coming back toward the platform. Apparently he had been somewhere. I asked where (“Bpy Ny?”). He said, “anapanasati, tee non” (meditating over there) and pointed toward the rocks. I said, “Jing law?” (really) He said “chai” (yes…)  I said, “Ow bpy dooay. Die mai kup?” ( I want to go too, can i?).

I went and got my sport sandals and came back, he led me over the treacherous rocks in his bare feet and showed me this ‘secret’ meditation spot that he found a while back. He had been at the wat for a year and also liked to practice anapanasati. This was the spot he liked to go.  It was a small spot of mildly sloping rock that was in an incredibly beautiful, secluded setting, nestled among the jagged limestone cliffs that comprised the top of the mountain. It was some effort getting across the rocks even with shoes, but I made it in a bit over 5 minutes I think.  I took a little video of the experience and it’s posted below. Enjoy…

Oh, tomorrow if we both make it, we’re supposed to meet at 2pm for a trip up a mountain next to the one we were at today. Supposedly it’s a good place for meditation and there are no other visitors there, just monks.  I’m excited to see if we might be able to coordinate that trip tomorrow at 2pm. If so, I’ll post video and photos.

Ok – video of top of wat tum sua secret meditation spot 14.7Mb in size >

Reaction, Ego, Emotions Return 9-7-07

Reaction, ego, emotionality all return with a vengeance!  It seems that the last 5 days were filled with the mind being on edge. Most times were calm, yet, when a difficulty presented itself the mind reacted fast and very negatively. I think I’ve sworn more in the past couple days than during all my time in Thailand combined.

I have this idea that the mind noticed that it was slipping away… the ego was dissolving. Disenchantment with things was starting to take place again (1st time: 1999).

The mind revolted – it didn’t want to go away again. Meditation sessions were filled with a noisy and chatty mind – untamable most times – or only for minutes at a time. I could not just stop the thoughts like I used to – and have a mind that was without thought and reactions…  Very strange. Anyway, see the video if you want, there’s more to it than that.

Reaction, ego, emotionality video 9-7-07 >