Without understanding what I had been doing was partaking in what essentially amount to some pretty advanced analytical meditations, accidentally invoking various levels of absorption state. A large part was the elation and endorphin release of ‘figuring it out’. It eased the expansion of my sense of self.
This isn’t something new either, it’s what the Buddhists call tantra, and I don’t mean sex. Tantra is simply the harnessing of pleasure. For whatever reason pleasure is really conducive to promoting elevated conciseness, and something Mahayana Buddhism is distinctly aware of. Hence its partiality to tantra.
The role of endorphins (as well as other pleasure responses within our biology I’m not distinctly familiar with) seem pretty wide spread. One example many might have experienced is found in endurance athletes. The endorphin high. Whether it’s after or even during hours of strenuous exertion its not uncommon to report a sense of companionship, as if someone is with you helping you, watching over you.
Many endurance runners describe it as a meditative experience, of course it’s a product of the existential experience as well, but the endorphins released in response to your bodies pain have a role.
For me, the post workout endorphin rush was the first substantial experience of an absorption state.
I had just got done with a three hour workout session, training as a junior athlete, and was sitting in my car at a stop sign. Relaxing into my seat the endorphin rush took over me as I zoned out, no cars in sight. Before I knew it, it literally felt as if I was feeling the entire transportation infrastructure of the state.
I wasn’t thinking at all, I was, as best as I can describe, feeling the roads around me. I wasn’t connected to it, I was it. I didn’t think about the flow of traffic coursing through the social circulatory system, through my very veins, I didn’t need to, it was just another sensation of my body for that brief few minutes.