When you meditate with concentration, there are three particular experiences that arise: bliss, clarity, and non-thought. Sometimes you feel great joy, sometimes your mind is very clear, and sometimes there is complete equanimity. To experience these you do not need to meditate for a long time, although for a beginner these experiences will not last long because of the limited ability of a beginner’s meditation.
The experience of meditative bliss is greater than ordinary worldly happiness. Sometimes when you are meditating, a feeling of blissfulness suddenly arises from the subtle state of your mind and pervades your entire body. This bliss is healthy and brings out your inner qualities. Some people use drugs to induce blissfulness and visions, but drugs are external supports that cannot bring lasting happiness. The bliss experienced in meditation can last for many days, according to your ability to meditate. When you experience this kind of bliss, on the outside you might look very poor, but inside you remain very joyful.
The second main experience in meditation is clarity. Sometimes while meditating you can suddenly feel that your mind is very clear and bright. Even if you are meditating in the dark, you do not feel heavy or tired. Sometimes your body feels very light and your mind is very clear, and many kinds of reflections appear. Clarity brings great wisdom and the ability to read other people’s minds, as well as to see your own past and future lives.
The third main experience is non-thought, or a state of equanimity without distractions. Beginners can also experience this. Non-thought is more settled than the experiences of bliss and clarity. If you have thoughts, they suddenly dissolve and you can remain continuously in meditation. As your ability to meditate develops, your mind becomes more and more settled, so that you can meditate for one hour or one week or one month without being distracted by thoughts. You simply remain in the natural state for as long as you want.
— Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal