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471Subjects needed for meditation research

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  • Jhanananda
    Sep 21, 2006
      The Great Western Vehicle is conducting research into the phenomena of
      meditative absorption. If you believe that you may be experiencing any kind
      of phenomena that is associated with the practice of meditation, such as
      meditative absorption, then we would like to receive your case history.

      After some time of gathering case histories we hope to select a group of
      subjects who fit certain criteria who will allow us to test them while they
      are in meditation. However, wiliness to be tested is not a criteria for
      filling out our case history questionnaire.

      From an exhaustive cross-cultural study of the literature of gnosis we have
      found that meditative absorption has certain common characteristics that
      nearly every subject manifests, regardless of their culture or religion. If
      you manifest any one of the following characteristics while in meditation,
      then it is very possible that you are indeed experiencing meditative
      absorption, and we would therefore like to receive your case history.

      Some of the characteristics of meditative absorption are as follows:

      1) Tactile sensations that are associated with the chakras, such as a
      tingling or a pressure at the chest, throat, forehead or crown of head.

      2) Tactile sensations in the hands or feet that could be perceived as heat,
      or tingling or a pressure in the hands and/or feet.

      3) Sounds that may emerge only during meditation, or at first only during
      meditation. Those sounds could be a rushing sound like the wind, a water
      fall, or the rain; a chirping sound like cicadas or crickets; a ringing
      sound, like a bell, or a high pitched electronic sound; or, the sudden onset
      of tinnitus after the practice of meditation, and exacerbated by the
      practice of meditation.

      4) Sweat smells or tastes, such as incense or honey, that only arise in
      association with meditation.

      5) Luminance or an increase of light or visual images in association with
      the practice of meditation.

      6) Any sense of vertigo or the feeling of flight from the practice of

      Jhanasamyutta, SN 34
      "Therein, bhikkhus, a contemplative who is skilled both in meditation that
      leads to meditative absorption (jhana) and in the attainment of meditative
      absorption (jhana) is the chief, the best, the foremost, the highest, the
      most excellent of these four kinds of meditators."
      (Bodhi, Bhikkhu trans., Samyutta Nikaya Wisdom, 2000)

      Jeffrey S, Brooks
      (sámañña Jhananda)
      the Great Western Vehicle
      PO Box 41795
      Tucson, AZ 85717