What is that electrical current you experience sometimes?

I am not sure whether many you can relate to this.
Sometimes when I contemplate in Dhamma sudden electrical impulse going in my body.
This is similar to the experience when you frightened or seen some thing excited.
Perhaps the feeling that when you have a sudden chill in your body or similar to a feeling that you get when you see a very appealing opposite sex.
( I am trying hard to explain my experience here):grinning:
It is difficult to pin point where it arising and where it is traveling but I feel it in abdomen and travel towards the head.
Any idea what this is?

I don’t think that practice questions are answered directly here. So this sutta might help.


This phenomenon is probably related to similar phenomena that have been studied in connection with music:

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In the right context, some types of frisson are called “pee shivers”.

While we’re on the subject, consider phosphenes: these are the lights we can see in complete darkness, and are also something people sometimes struggle to find the right word for. Richard Bradley (iirc) investigated this phenomenon with respect to ancient cave art, and found many similarities. Ancient humans doing their best to record & describe & explain these things to each other: it’s a tantalizing image.

(I suspect that experiences of frisson & phosphenes & such become various cultural efforts at “alchemy”, ultimately resulting in ideas about e.g. qi, prana, devas, etc.)

@SarathW1 - what do you think? Could phosphenes be related to NDE lights, and nimitta?


It sounds like Pīti.
You can read more about it here: ‘That “Electric Feel” body sensation during meditation’.

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“Why do I sometimes get goosebumps when I inhale during meditation or when Phra Ajahn teaches?”
“Goosebumps are like first, preliminary, expressions of piti, or rapture. This is one of the things that happen as you become more sensitive and you become more focused, then you can have these feelings of rapture arising, and they take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. The obvious things you can find: tears in your eyes, tears of joy, sometimes it’s like a sort of a wave of rapture passes through your body, sometimes like hairs coming up and goosebumps. I know some monks, it’s like a party trick, they can just make the hair on their arms just come up like this, voluntarily, can produce that kind of piti and make the hair rise on their arms, so it’s kind of a monk party trick.”
–Ajahn Jayasaro on https://youtu.be/iR3RYqt0MfU

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what exactly were you doing when these electrical impulses happened?

It should be pretty common for experienced meditators to feel sensations like that.

dkervick’s article links in msg 3 are a good explanation of those electrical feelings and goosebumps when one feels pleasure from indulging in 5 cords of sensual pleasure, music in the case of the articles. If you can change your meditation topic from music to a kusala topic, then that’s a first jhana piti sukha experience.

AN 1.53 mettā-cittaṃ āsevati

“accharā-saṅghāt-amattampi ce, bhikkhave,
"{Monks}, (if), for the amount of time it takes to snap-the-fingers,
bhikkhu mettā-cittaṃ āsevati;
a-monk {does} good-will-(with the)-mind;
ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave —
this is-called, ********* -
‘bhikkhu arittaj-jhāno viharati
'a-monk not-devoid-(of)-jhāna (he) abides (in).
{he carries out} the-teachers-dispensation-****,
{he carries out} the-advice,
a-moghaṃ raṭṭha-piṇḍaṃ bhuñjati’.
not-(in)-futility (is the) country's-almsfood (that he) eats.'
ko pana vādo ye naṃ bahulī-karontī”ti!
how much-more I-say (of) he *** (that) abundantly-practices (it)!"

First jhāna is way easier than people think. If you get those Frisson reactions from listening to a good dhamma talk, reading suttas, doing metta, doing 16 APS (anapana), then that’s a first jhāna spark. If you train yourself to fully relax the body and mind, that first jhana spark will ignite into a flame that pervades most of your body, eventually the whole body. The flame will come on and off, interrupted by your emotional excitement and V&V interrupting the experience. When you can titrate V&V (vitakka and vicara) to the point where it disappears, you’ll most likely feel an exponential power increase in the piti-sukha. If you can sustain that for a large chunk of time, that’s the noble silence of second jhāna.

What keeps most people from getting first jhana is they don’t have the patience to pass through what i call the jhana constipation phase, you have to be patient enough wait for the energy blockages to melt away, which can take months or years. Constipation feels like, instead of pleasurable hydraulic and/or electrical goosebumbs connecting the head to abdomen, as well as other loops of energy currents in the body, it feels like you’re blocked. Like you need to excrete feces and it won’t come out, or you need to fart and you can’t.

If you can maintain 8 precepts, brahmacariya, including no lustful thoughts, the viriya, internal heat, will gradually build up in power, and it will melt the energy blockages, provided you fully relax the body and mind (as little as V&V thinking as you are able to).

If people can can keep 8 precepts, relax, stop thinking, a low quality first jhana is very easy to do. People sabotage themselves by not keeping brahmacariya, and not giving up their addiction to obsessive thinking.



Not surprisingly I came across it in the following video.

This is a different topic altogether and I do not have the answer to your question.
In the following video, Bhante @sujato brash this topic and perhaps he may have a better explanation.

One of my friends is a football fanatic. He said when his team play and going to win, his body shivers.
This appears to be a form of Pity.
The question I have is how this type of mundane Pithy deffer from the Pithy in Jhana.
Why can’t we get Pithy, Sukha and Ekagata by watching a football match?
If we can how it differs from the Jhana?

As I understand it, Jhana is the abandoning of the 5 senses. The piti and sukkha are entirely in the mind.

You can have meditation experiences where these extremely pleasant feeling are in the body, but you are not ‘secluded’ from hearing and touch. You still have attachments to the body. It’s still enjoyable! If you are able to let go of the attachment to the body then piti and sukkha arise purely in the mind. The is what the suttas say about ‘quiet and secluded from sense pleasures and unwholesome states’.

If we go by the standard descriptions of the four jhanas, then I don’t think we can say that in jhana we are secluded from the senses - at least not the sense of touch:


Only the arupa attainments seem to involve a complete cessation of sensory awareness.

Do you mean five hindrances?

Depends on who you ask! There is a lot of disagreement on this particular issue. I just read Richard Shankman’s The Experience of Samadhi: an in depth exploration of Buddhist meditation, and especially enjoyed the last part of the book in which he interviews meditation teachers with differing views about jhana (Bhante G, Leigh Brasington, Ajahn Brahm, Pa Auk Sayadaw, Jack Kornfield, Christina Feldman, Sharon Salzber, and Thanisarro Bhikkhu). I would recommend reading this book for a concise overview of the contemporary controversies surrounding this topic.

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Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal…

I meant what wrote. I have pretty much only been taught by Ajahn Brahm monks and Pa Auk people.

I was searching for the video where Bhante Sujato talks about ‘Banana Jhana’. It might be the one called ‘How to talk about meditation’. In the process I found the above which investigates from a commentarial and EBT stance.

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A great discussion from Bhante Sujato. Including the famous ‘banana jhana’ quote. Really worth listening, to understand the validity of all meditation experience.

Thanks. I did look through that book once, and read an article on more-or-less the same topic, interviewing most of the same teachers.

It seems pretty clear from the sutta account that in jhana one is at least having bodily sensations, whether or not those sensations correspond to events that are actually taking place in one’s body, or are only a mental projection. I know some of the commentators disagreed, and developed a more austere and mentally abstracted conception of jhana, according to which there are no bodily sensations at all. But there conception doesn’t seem to be supported by the straightforward, and frequently repeated formulations in the suttas.

Yeah, from a physical experience (rūpa and vedana) point of view, it’s the same. The skin orgasms from frisson, goosebumps, body hairs standing up, the endorphins and pleasure chemicals from listening to music, exercising and getting the “runners high”, watching football, sexual orgasm, eating delicious food when you’re really hungry, etc, it’s the same physically euphoric experience as jhāna.

The difference is piti and sukha of 5kg (cords of sense pleasure), lust and passion for indulging in sensual pleasures through the 5 sense faculties, is an akusala/unwholesome/unskillful source.

Whereas piti & sukha in the 4 jhanas are from a kusala source, such as evaluating that your viriya-sambojjhanga is leading to purified virtue and mind, or doing some metta, or enjoying a dhamma talk, etc.

SN 36.31 makes it very clear. The worldly type of 5kg piti and sukha are qualified with the prefix “samisa”/ of-the-flesh, while the piti sukha of jhāna is nirāmisā, “spiritual/not of the flesh”.

But how the worldly and spiritual bliss is experienced physically, they feel the same. The difference is that with a good second jhana or better, the intensity and pervasiveness through the physical body can be exponentially higher. For example, you could experience what feels like a full body orgasm that is so intense it feels like you can’t take it, and it can last for hours.

When you get a second jhana like that, you will have no doubt what you have is jhana. Then when you can instanteously see/experience how tuning the amount of V&V (thinking and evaluation) affects the intensity of the piti/sukha, you will then become clear what is V&V, second jhana, first jhana. The body gradually fades out from 2nd to 4th jhana, but you can experience it still. 3rd jhana can feel like your body is asleep, that if you try to move it, its sluggish to respond, but it’s still there and you can move it and feel it. If you can’t find your body while you’re in a state that you think is jhāna, then you’re in a hybrid state or a different type of samādhi.

The real skill in a genuine EBT jhāna is training your mind to vigilantly abide in and dwell in the kusala sources of joy/happiness/bliss, while stamping out akusala thoughts as quickly as someone would douse their head being on fire. Immediately. When you can combine that with passaddhi sambojjhanga, a deep penetrating relaxation of body and mind, jhana is close by. Most people will find it boring and go back to 5kg. But if they can train themselves to find kusala thoughts interesting and desirable, then jhana is easy.