This is part of my Meditation Journal in about 2005 where you can find dozens of more posts like this.
Meditation Journal Entry – Frustration while Meditating
I sat and meditated tonight and tried to keep mindfulness of breathing for about 30-40 minutes. I was pretty focused on attaining some sort of diff. experience and so none was attained. I was actually getting frustrated that nothing was happening and that I couldn’t concentrate because of things happening in the environment (noise). I tried laying down and that helped, but then the phone rang and I stopped to answer it. That ended that attempt.
It’s funny that no matter how little it is that I desire to repeat an experience – a Jhana or another absorption experience it won’t come until I let that desire go entirely. Sometimes I can let it go, other times it just hangs around in the mind and won’t fully disappear.
This is what I’m talking about when I say that Buddhist monks and other followers of religion must have a SERIOUSLY difficult time with getting into the Jhanas and then repeating the Jhanas as they start to occur because so much is built up around the idea of attaining Jhana that when it comes it is like the holy grail.
People get too excited about it and about repeating it – and it may never come back! I’ve met monks here in Thailand that have never entered Jhana 1. How is that possible?
Don’t put a big focus on Jhana and it may come. I didn’t know what Jhana was when it came. Actually, all through the Jhanas I didn’t know what was going on at the time. Then, years later a western monk, Santikaro, told me over the phone that this was normal experience. Jhannic experience.
I came to be aware that Buddha had gone through these steps, these levels, and wrote them down and told people about them. It was such a mind-opener when I read the description of the Jhanas… exactly what I was experiencing.
I had no clue they were part of some process that naturally unfolds in us with meditation. Not just that, but the SAME experience. The SAME order of the levels. That was so surreal to come to understand. I was going through this process that was already known by others, but not by me. 🙂