The Five Forms of Rapture

1. Minor rapture (khuddakā pīti): Your hair stands on end, and tears come to your eyes, either with or without your being aware of the fact. This happens, not through a sense of sadness, but through a feeling of pleasure, fullness, and satisfaction in a skillful preoccupation.

2. Momentary rapture (khaṇikā pīti): A shiver runs through the body, and a feeling of satisfaction appears for a flash in the heart, like a flash of lightning or the flicker of lightning bugs.

3. Recurrent rapture (okkantikā pīti): A stronger sense of thrill comes over the body, like waves washing over a shore.

4. Transporting rapture (ubbegā pīti): A sense of transporting joy comes welling up through the body to the point where you lose control and start acting or speaking in various ways. For instance, sitting in concentration, you may suddenly raise your hands in adoration or bow down. If the feeling grows really strong, you may not be conscious of what you’re doing. You may start speaking, the words coming out on their own without any forethought on your part.

5. Pervading rapture (pharaṇā pīti): A flush or tingling sensation spreads through and permeates the body. Sometimes the body itself seems to grow and swell, or else to become very small.

When any one of these forms of rapture arises, you should keep your mindfulness firm. Don’t let the mind be overcome by it. Keep your mind strong and unaffected. Don’t lose your sense of your body and mind. Keep your words and actions firmly under control. Don’t act under the influence of the feeling. If the sense of rapture comes in a gentle form, well and good; but if it comes in a strong form, and you let the mind be overcome by it, you can easily get hooked. Don’t go assuming that you’ve gained this or reached that, because all of these feelings are inconstant, stressful, and not-self. If you get fixated on them, the mind won’t be able to attain good concentration. If you fall for them, they’ll become enemies of your concentration and discernment.