Dream Yoga & Unitive Bliss ?

Justin J S, modified 10 Years ago.

Dream Yoga & Unitive Bliss ?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/11/10 Recent Posts
Hello!

This is my first post here, I'd like to describe a few phenomena i've encountered in the hopes that they can be placed in their proper perspective ( concentration state / stage of insight ) from a more experienced practitioner's point of view.

I first had a spontaneous unitive experience several years ago ( around 2004 ). During this, I began feeling very strong vibrations, a high pitched tone in my ears ( reminiscent of the sound of a camera's flash charging, then discharging ) after which i had no sense of bodily existence. At this point I seemed to be in the "void" type phenomenon, a seemingly boundless space. I still seemed to retain a sort of awareness, but had no sense or recollection of an "identity" or details of who I was in everyday terms. I felt what could be described as waves of bliss/love. Reading descriptions of awareness as being a drop in the vast ocean, seem to closely approximate the feeling of this experience for me. I had certain insights into "all is one" and "everything is interconnected". There was a sense of being outside of time. I experienced a prolonged period of blanking out towards the end of this experience, before feeling i was back to "existence". Unfortunately, I didn't have the best clarity of mind at the time this occured, so it was difficult for me to recall everything as well as I would have liked afterwards. If someone could weigh in and possibly help me place this experience within the "maps" I'd really appreciate it.

Since this experience, I was strongly motivated to understand what had occured ( I had no knowledge of spiritual practice at the time ) and since then I've made a persistent investigation into meditation, and developing a meditation practice for myself. So far, I seem to have developed some ability in getting into at least the lower concentration states fairly quickly. Only recently have I begun to understand where insight meditation practice fits in ( as i was mistaking blissful concentration states as the goal rather than a side effect ).

In my meditation practice ( and pretty much 24/7 ) there is a phenomenon that I experience that is called in some places: "Visual Snow", it's like 3-d tv static throughout my field of vision. I'm curious as to whether this visual snow or static is what some refer to as the vibrations that make up existence, because when I've been doing insight practices ( noting sensations ) I notice these vibrations seem to pulsate at different rates or blink in and out of existence. This visual snow seems to act like a sort of mind screen. I've been having lucid dreams for several years now, and recently I've been able to meditate inside of my lucid dreams. I've had several lucid dreams in the past few months where i attempted to turn them into clear light dreams, where I dissolved into this same sort of visual snow.. until i woke up. I don't want to mistake this phenomenon for "clear light" or "rigpa" if they are entirely different, so If anyone can clarify this for me I'd really appreciate it.

Finally, I have found that fairly often when I meditate, or sometimes even after reading for a few hours, I'll shift into a state where I will perceive channels of prana, "nadis". I was fascinated by these energy channels for quite some time, and I'm curious what concentration state is associated with being able to perceive prana or energy channels, and how I might be able to work from this state to enhance or make faster progress w/ insight meditation.

My aim for now is stream entry, and I'd appreciate any suggestions that could help point me in the right direction for the sort of practice that would be appropriate for someone at my level of experience. I'll be happy to provide details of what I've probably left out. I am a very low income person so going on an extended retreat isn't an immediate option for me as much as I'd like to do so, but I am able to set up prolonged periods at my place where I have a fairly quiet and ideal setting to practice.

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

( I should also mention I've come here from reading Daniel Ingram's book, which has been really helpful as a resource for evaluating what level of progress I may be at. )
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Dream Yoga & Unitive Bliss ?

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear Justin,

Hey, welcome to the DhO.

Dream stuff, hearing sounds, bliss waves, interest in practice, and all the rest, all A&P territory.

The standard instructions are the same as in the book.

What specific questions did you have?

Do you have the time for retreats and the like?

Daniel
Justin J S, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Dream Yoga & Unitive Bliss ?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/11/10 Recent Posts
Hello Daniel,

Thank you for your reply! Also, many thanks for your excellent book, I think it's helped me avoid remaining in a lot of traps.. especially one of mistaking experiences of certain concentration states as the goal, and overall allowed me to more honestly evaluate my practice. Right now I'm in the process of reading through your book a second time, I am still sort of digesting things a bit, there is a lot of information there. =]

Your diagnosis seems accurate, regarding A&P territory. I have a lot of questions, but I am attempting to find answers from your book rather than asking you to possibly repeat information here. I think my questions ( that focus on practice itself ) are centered around determining what would be the best and fastest method for me personally to complete a path, given my circumstances:

1) I have plenty of free time to devote to practice, I can set aside a week or weeks without too much trouble. Do you have any advice for the most effective practice I can do at home?

Usually I'll do two 30 minute sessions per day, but my intention is to start longer more intensive sessions. Is it practical to attempt this at home / without a teacher, since I'm currently unable to finance a retreat?

( I can go into details of my practice or what seems to be most effective for me if that's necessary; I've decided to start focusing on insight meditation, whereas previously my practice was mostly concentration oriented. ) From reading over the "Practical Meditation Considerations" section of your book, I get the impression that I would probably benefit from sitting for more extended periods of time.

2) I haven't had much experience doing insight practice, but I have noticed while noting that eventually the frequency of sensations seem to fluctuate / increase to where I can no longer note every one adequately, at this point what is the best approach for pushing deeper?

Focusing on observing sensations of the breath seems suited to me. I have noticed the breath becoming irregular and intermittent, as well as stopping for periods while doing insight practice. I also seem to be inclined towards auditory sensations, observing the tones in my ears seems effective / powerful for me personally. I've been doing a qigong / energy practice for some time now that seems very powerful for getting into concentration quickly.

3) A lot of my other questions are more philosophical, wanting to know more about the interconnection(s) between subtle energy to mind and physical form; how everything fits together, or regarding true-self vs. no-self. I'd really like to understand better what the concept of mind-stream refers to and how this functions regarding re-incarnation. I feel that fruition would help resolve things for me but still am curious to discuss these, perhaps bringing them up in another more appropriate section of the forum would be the best option here.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

Best Regards,

Justin
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Dream Yoga & Unitive Bliss ?

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Well, everyone is a little different, but I think that the most compact and on-fire advice for how to get stream entry may be found here:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/ReformedSlackersGuide?p_r_p_185834411_title=ReformedSlackersGuide

He wrote that after sitting with me quite successfully, so it is a mix of my basic advice with his fresh yet traditional take on it.

See what you think,

Daniel
Justin J S, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Dream Yoga & Unitive Bliss ?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 10/11/10 Recent Posts
Cool, thanks! I'm reading over the guide now. My plan is a retreat-at-home for myself in the near future. I'm pretty confident if I just set aside lots of time dedicated to practicing, I'll make faster progress. Even sitting for 15 minutes doing insight practice I've been getting good insight into the 3 characteristics, pretty strong vibration type sensation(s) / things begin to strobe, etc. I'll be sure to check back with everyone here, and share how things go. There seems to be a lot of knowledgeable and experienced people on the forums, excellent community you have growing here. =]

-Justin