Delson began his spiritual journey with Yogic meditation at the age of thirteen. He traveled to India where he studied at an international school for three years and completed his A Levels through the University of Cambridge International Examination center of the British Council. He graduated from the New York Film Academy with a concentration in screenwriting and he began his career by publishing three books on science faction.
He has studied Upanishadic contemplative practices under the lineages of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna, Swami Sivananda, and Swami Chinmayananda.
Delson attained all six-degrees of Kriya Yoga under the lineages of Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahamsa Hariharananda. Through study and application of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he has attained all ten levels of Samadhi (meditative states of absorption) discribd in the text. He has also practiced Jnana Yoga and Self-Enquiry through the lineages of Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, attaining the level of Sahaja Samadhi (effortless absorption) and studied the teachings of J Krishnamurti and UG Krishnamurti.
Deson began practicing TWIM and in 2016 and now leading residential and online retreats in Asia, Europe, and the US. He supports all meditators on their journey. Recently, he has become associated in formal scientific studies on the affects of meditation and neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the phenomenology of meditation. Results of the studies will be forthcoming.
Learn more about Delson Armstrong: https://delsonarmstrong.info/
Buy Delson's Book 'A Mind Without Craving': https://a.co/d/0ZeEejd
00:00:13 – Sean introduces Delson Armstrong
00:06:15 – The jhanas – what are they?
00:09:05 – Cessation and the four noble truths
00:12:25 – How our ethics help us us to reach the jhanas
00:15:58 – Starting with an object of meditation
00:16:47 – The brahmavihārās
00:19:12 – Dealing with distractions/hindrances
00:24:44 – Does recognition and relaxation happen separately or in tandem?
00:28:53 – What does it mean to be in the first jhana?
00:31:41 – Five types of distractions
00:34:42 – How to deal with sloth and torpor
00:40:35 – Using the brahmavihārās as your object of meditation
00:50:34 – Equanimity vs indifference
00:53:05 – Transitioning from the first to the second jhana
01:03:29 – A buffer between us and the object of meditation
01:09:05 – Do you experience all the jhanas in one meditation or do you practice one at a time? Is there a learning curve?
01:14:28 – Should the focus of attention always be an object outside of us? What about self-inquiry?
01:18:01 – The third jhana
01:22:04 – Transitioning into the fourth jhana
01:25:08 – Equanimity is more sustainable than joy and bliss
01:35:36 – The six directions and moving into the fifth jhana
01:39:01 – Loving kindness transitioning into compassion
01:41:27 – Radiating loving kindness from the head vs from the heart
01:46:22 – When we feel tightness, tension, or are trying too hard
01:48:58 – The link between mindfulness and concentration
01:54:31 – The word ‘observe’
01:58:05 – Entering the formless phase and the potential for trauma to come up
02:03:18 – Forgiveness when there is resistance to loving kindness
02:09:19 – The sixth jhana
02:15:48 – Understanding what’s going on within us
02:19:07 – Fear or resistance to knowing impermanence or getting to the core of who we are
02:22:49 – The seventh jhana – nothingness
02:25:42 – The eight jhana
02:30:46 – Experiencing these jhanas during our day-to-day vs on a retreat