Let me clarify. I was able to go into the Rupa jhanas since childhood. I discovered what these states are called about 2 years ago during Dzogchen retreat with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche in New York at the Garrison institute.
Around 3 months later I was able to go to the 5th jhana (Arupa) during Mettā retreat with Jack Kornfield at the same place. A bit later I went higher.
These are defined states just as described in all scriptures. These states are very solid, real and do not resemble states of strong concentration that happen during meditation or anything else we experience in life.
In arupa jhanas my mind and body sort of gone, but if I want to, then I can still feel what happens to it. In these states I can feel that I can be unaffected by anything, such as physical or mental pain for example. There is no discomfort at all, nothing can bother you if you don’t want it. Thoughts, mental patterns, colors, movements and etc of any kind are completely gone, yet my awareness is crystal clear and very strong.
In the higher jhanas I approach complete emptiness – there is nothing at all, yet insight as it’s described does not happen. I just sit with crystal clear mind-awareness and that’s all. I do feel completely rested and can sit like this for a long time. In these states I don’t feel my body if i don’t want to.
Ever since I was looking for what I can do with these states and partially found it, thanks to the Lal’s tremendous work with this site.
Especially this text helped me a lot to understand what to do next: https://puredhamma.net/sutta-interpretations/tapussa-sutta-akuppa-cetovimutti/
Lal – thank you so much from all my heart! ❤️
(btw – English is not my first language, sorry if what I write reads a bit strange)