Please could you post the scale in the files section so we can review it. Do you think we could come up with our own scale? I see depth scale as a tool that helps us in meditation. My concern is that it might influence expectations and so be counter productive.
I use a self-rating system which I did not include in my format as it was quite subjective. My approach is a simple scale of 1 - 10.
A 10 simply represents the very deepest level I have personally ever achieved. My typical depth is 5 - 7. For me a 10 implies reaching a new level consciousness.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ramon Sender
Sent: Saturday, June 01, 2002 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] Digest Number 68
I like your suggestion, Tony. I would also add something else:
for years I've been frustrated by the lack of an adequate language
to define a 'depth scale' for meditative states. John Curtis Gowan
in his remarkable book 'Trance, Art and Creativity' attempted a
table correlating various states of consciousness across the major
religious traditions. I attempted to add a few more than the ones
he used, but it's merely intuitive guesswork.
Imagine how helpful it could be, in Tony's journal format,, to
be able to write: 'By fixing my gaze without blinking for two
minutes I was able to achieve a level -1 Jhana. On Gowan's
chart (my editing included) this would correspond to Sri
Aurobindo's 'Overmind' level, Patanjali's 'meditation with no
distractions,' the Catholic 'Prayer of Quiet,' St. Francis De Sales'
Contemplation (total attention on loved object), St. Theresa's
Orison of Quiet, and what others might describe as an 'Oceanic
Peak Experience.' Gowan's chart also continues: Affectve
thrill: ECSTASY; Cognition knowledge YES; Self-purification
YES, Illumination N/A. My revised list postulates nine higher
levels above this level.
I've tried to make this chart into a text file with no success,
but will be glad to place it as a .jpeg somewhere (here? or
in the articles area for this list on Yahoo?) or even e-mail it
to anyone willing to work on it further.
> If we set up a good process I believe that in a year we can review thousands
> of insights - the potential is tremendous.
> A sample format: Hypothetical
> Journal Entry
> Name: xman (some pen name)
> Type: Focus on breath (the type of meditation you performed)
> Variation: 4 second pause on out breath (the variation of the primary
> Time: 6:30 a.m. (the time you meditated)
> Duration: 20 minutes (the duration of your meditation)
> Posture: Sitting on a chair (your meditation position)
> Condition: Dark room. Candles. Incense. Bell. (the accoutrements)
> Experience: Good session. Gentle rocking to heart beat. Distracting thoughts
> brought session to an end. (any new or unique experiences)
> Insights: Out breath discharged distracting thoughts. Switching focus from
> heart beat to breath allowed deeper meditation. (this would be the key
> entry - what insights can you share with the group)
> Questions: How can I improve the technique of discharging distracting
> thoughts with the out breath? (I would encourage at least one question not
> just for the responses but also for the effect of asking questions on the
> questioner - it develops curiosity and the potential for insights)
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