Part I: The Secret(s) of Meditation
- [If not to reach out to everybody to tell them about these fantastic meditation experiences,] Why did you create a Web site, Jhana8.com, why do you post, what do you want to say to the world?
- What do you mean?
- Rumsfeld's known unknowns.
- But something happened? You were changed by the experience of stillness and realization, serenity and insight?
- But you still post. Why do you post?
I get inspired a bit when I meet with a couple of my monk friends at the temple where I exercise a lot. They ask me questions about jhana.
I get inspired by people writing me a lot and asking questions about how to get "unstuck" in meditation.
They've had glimpses of bliss coming on, the nimitta [the mental image counterpart sign of one's meditation object], etc. And they want to know what is next and how to GET there. I share it for people who are interested in searching for the information.
I think about me in the late 1990's, looking for information online. There was none. I think about various people on YouTube now with videos about meditation that are filled with the "religious" side of things -- the strong impulse to use words from the past to describe present day feelings, acts, experiences. I just want to offer another place/space in plain language to maybe help those who are not interested in Buddhism or any other -ism.
I'd like to offer meditation without religion, basically meditation as a physical act without the fluff. I see some value in that because it's what I identify with.
- This is what Wisdom Quarterly invites. We wrote you and contacted you personally to hear "secrets." You may not want to share a message with the public. Do you know the Four Imponderables?
- You know, particularly the second imponderable:
Wisdom Quarterly translation (AN 4.77)
"There are Four Imponderables that should NOT be pondered because to do so would cause one to be mentally vexed and become unhinged.
- The range [influence] of a buddha...
- The range of jhana of a person immersed in absorption [or the range of powers one is able to obtain by way of the absorptions] is imponderable and should not be pondered because to do so would cause one to be mentally vexed and become unhinged.
- The [mysterious] working out of karma...
- A first cause or origin of the world...
- We hope you receive this "interview" well and recognize the prompts embedded in it as loving. It may seem crude of us to ask and to push or to promote insight based on jhana. That is the superior value of absorption. Blessed be, kalyana mitta. And congratulations on your remarkable achievement(s)!
- That's just it. We had no real question other than a big, "What?" "What is it?" "'What's what?'" "What's anything, what's the 'secret'?" "What is it you want to say to the world about meditation once you've succeeded?" You surprised us because the other successes we have met have answered what you first answered: "What's what?" But, of course, they didn't create a Web site or reach out to us telling us they had experienced something.