To try to spare you a wall of text I’ll expand on cessation 1 and give the gist of the rest. This happened to me on my own self-retreat using your book The Path to Nibbana
Cessation 1 & 2 - Re: your questions
-Sense of coming back from a place I didn’t know I left - Yes for both.
-Lasting joy yes. Ecstatic excited joy after cessation 1 and balanced calm joy after cessation 2
-Colors brighter, hearing better, smell more acute, very quiet for both.
Cessation 1:Was in the pre-Cessation Jhana for about 90 minutes.Blacked out. As I came to, I was floating away from something and heard a faint voice questioning about Joseph. It was either “who’s Joseph?” or “Where’s Joseph?” and what looked like a blue child’s nightlight turned on and I could see a door on a huge rock face, above the door was a signpost that said “Joseph”There was definitely a sense of “How’d I get here?” as this was happening. Then my inner narrator came back online and said something like “Wait, was that it??? No way.” And then I felt this humongous wave of relief/ecstasy that emanated from my face and then an even bigger wave spread out from my shoulders area and across my whole body. As I leaned forward I had this sensation of my entire body shattering into hundreds of tiny electrified orbs.My eyes wouldn’t stay closed - trying to keep them closed made them twitch and they sprang open.As I looked around (mostly slowly staring without blinking) I let out a big “Ahhhhhhhhhh” and everything was very quiet and colors were brighter, more vivid - like the saturation was turned up.I was ecstatically happy - had a huge smile on my face and was dancing around and waving my arms like a conductor.
Per your book, I didn’t want to waste any time and went to sit again for the fruition. My eyes wouldn’t stay closed, it was like the light was too bright even for closed eyelids.I gave myself 20 minutes to calm down and reviewed your section about the fruition, turned out the light and sat back into my chair.
Cessation 2:Blackout, floating away from something (“How did I get here?”) saw what looked like 3 halogen lamps flickering on as I floated away from them.Same with eyes - couldn’t stay shut. This in fact was the case with all the cessations.Big relief but not as big, was mostly located around my shoulders, not whole body. My face felt like it absolutely melted of all tension.Joy became calmer, more balanced.Cessation 3:No blackout or sense of coming back from an unremembered place as far as I know, but felt a big (less than first 2) relief again after drifting into warbling bubbles that were encased in each other. As I dove in felt pressure in the face and then the Relief came, localized in face.Even more quiet afterwards. Colors popped again.Afterwards I had some ice cream and I felt I could taste it more clearly though it wasn’t so exciting. (This stood out as I have a massive sweet tooth)Cessation 4:Again drifted/dove into warbling concentric circles/bubbles. I could similar pressure in face and then relief in face.Sense of where am I? Yes. (Was at the entrance of a house either giving or receiving sake)Saw fractal-y imagery afterwards.Cessation 5:Similar to 4. Dove into rings, massive tension in face released, relief. Discernible flickering at right ear. Balanced contentment, not big joy. Visual acuity up, world massively silent.No blackout or where was I? Feeling.Cessation 6:Woke up in the middle of the night. And then the following occurred: I had the distinct epiphany that the “self” is tacked on. Saw a field of floating lights, relief/ecstatic feeling in the face but very small! Like a “spritz” of ecstasy.Distinct ringing in the ears I remember from other cessations - a “loud” silenceHad that moment of “huh? What was that?” And saw this image of a block of wood with a threaded pole sticking out. A nut was screwed on that serves its purpose to secure the block (and I think another, securing that one) but then a third, unnecessary screw was screwed on top of that - totally unnecessary.Looking forward to your thoughts on any of this.Warm regards,Meditator from Japan