The first step is to get rid of the 5 hindrances:
- Sensory attachments
- Heaviness of body
- Restlessness and worry
Their opposites are represented in the picture below
A state of bliss is reached when the five hindrances are removed.
This is the first jhana, or meditative state. Jhanas are sometimes called samadhi.
The jhanas obtained by Buddha are divided into 8 or 9 more, to be mastered sequentially. These are represented symbolically below from the upper left spiraling to the center.
- Bliss. Complete joy and happiness as five hindrances have disappeared
- No thoughts as all mental movements disappears ( the circular arrows )
- Joy, first half of bliss disappears (the eyebrows in the image)
- Happiness, the the second half of bliss disappears (the smile in the image)
- Dimension of infinite space. Perceptions are ferreted out. (the body is gone)
- Dimension of infinite consciousness (no space or time)
- Dimension of nothingness (no perceiver)
- Dimension of the absolute neither (neither perception nor non-perception)
For each jhana, there are five aspects or steps to fully master. These are represented in the bottom, from left to right:
- Adverting to the jhana. That is, knowing the factors of the jhana, anywhere, at any time
- Attaining the jhana as quickly as possible
- Resolving the jhana by being in it for exactly the chosen time
- Emerging from the jhana without any difficulty
- Reviewing the jhana with its factors together with the retrospective knowledge after emerging
To master this, I recommend setting aside at least 20 minutes to practice, at the same time each day, in a place where you are certain to be undisturbed. Good luck!
Note: this text and image was originally published on my Instagram account dedicated to enlightenment, http://instagram.com/beyond_enlightenment. At the moment, no new content is being added to it. But I will continue to dig out the best nuggets from it and you are of course invited to browse it!
The enlightenment page on this site (available in the site menu) also has personal accounts, articles and insights related to enlightenment for the interested reader, some of which, if read with an open mind, might be life changing!