Giving Rise to Rapture

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Giving Rise to Rapture

A frequent question is how to give rise to rapture, and the Buddha gives a very vague answer:

There are potentials for rapture in the body, so you pay appropriate attention to them. That doesn’t give you much to work with, but from personal experience I’ve found that there are certain parts of the body that have a nice pleasant feeling, nothing particularly impressive. But if you can locate them and give them some space, they can develop a sense of fullness, which is one of the manifestations of rapture.

For example, experiment right now. Focus your attention on the area at the back of your hands. Try to relax that part of the body and be very careful to keep that part of the body relaxed all the way through the in-breath, all the way through the out. Don’t put any pressure on it at all. After a while, that part of the body will gain a sense of fullness. The blood is allowed to flow into all the vessels there. Once you sense that fullness, allow it to spread up your arms and into your torso, ideally into your heart, and then you’ll have rapture. Now in your case, your beginning spot may not be at the back of the hands. But if you survey the body often enough, after a while you’ll find your own spots. This is an example of using perception, attention, and intention to give rise to and to strengthen the factors for awakening.

*This reflection by Ajaan Geoff is from the book, The Karma of Mindfulness, pp. 111-112.