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Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean

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Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/11/09 6:49 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Julius P0pp 9/13/09 6:37 AM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/13/09 12:52 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Julius P0pp 9/19/09 4:55 AM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/19/09 10:16 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Julius P0pp 9/20/09 2:22 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/20/09 7:36 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Julius P0pp 9/23/09 2:57 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/22/09 5:50 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Julius P0pp 9/28/09 2:53 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/28/09 5:18 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean tarin greco 10/24/09 12:36 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 10/25/09 2:51 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean tarin greco 10/25/09 2:56 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 10/26/09 4:40 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 10/26/09 5:19 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 11/2/09 5:11 AM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 11/3/09 7:24 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 11/4/09 6:14 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 11/5/09 6:03 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 11/5/09 6:15 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/19/09 10:38 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/21/09 1:59 AM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/21/09 6:17 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/22/09 6:15 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/23/09 10:25 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/24/09 3:50 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 9/24/09 6:09 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/25/09 4:37 AM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 10/24/09 12:17 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Chuck Kasmire 10/24/09 6:52 PM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Eric Alan Hansen 9/30/09 5:33 AM
RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean Samuel T Jackson 5/8/11 12:46 PM
some guided energy practices
Curious about experiences with these.
-Chuck

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/13/09 6:37 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Very useful. I have been doing relaxation for 18 months now, but in the earth breathing meditation Ray pointed to several not-so-well-known areas in a very practical way. And as soon as I let my body fall, more and more subtle tension became obvious. I listened to it thrice. As for the sitting up afterwards, I never sat better (more relaxed & connected) before.
I like his style of instructions a lot.
How do his books resemble these podcasts? Touching enlightenment was recommended on the DhO (maybe by you, Chuck?), and Daniel has two others on his recommended lists. How practically oriented are they, and can you recommend them to people who have no bearing on tibetan buddhism otherwise?

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/13/09 12:52 PM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
Julius Dodd:
How do his books resemble these podcasts? Touching enlightenment was recommended on the DhO (maybe by you, Chuck?), and Daniel has two others on his recommended lists. How practically oriented are they, and can you recommend them to people who have no bearing on tibetan buddhism otherwise?


'Touching Enlightenment' definitely has the same heartfelt quality to it that his podcasts do. You need not have any knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism to follow the book (a little Taoism wouldn't hurt). I have recommended it on DhO so that might have been me. Though he does give example practices in the back of the book, the main focus of the book is to show the body work to be an absolutely essential component of our practice (arahats included). Why that is. And how the process unfolds. I think of it as a foundation book. At the end of it he makes an impassioned plea for a new 'Buddhist culture' of openness encouraging us all to come forward, to speak openly, to create a new 'meditative culture'.

For a sense of the thrust of the book listen to:
'Problem with Disembodied Meditation' (about 5 min).

Lately, I have been using his 'prana breathing' exercise (link is on same page noted above) - this is a great practice similar to some of Robert Bruce's exercises.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/19/09 4:55 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Some questions to you, Chuck, and anybody (Nathan?) who is confident to answer these. Could you write a little about what you think is required to get beyond streamentry with energy practices with regards to technique and commitment? Are there sth. like the "3 characteristics of energy work" to stick to?
Also, in your own experience, can most (basic, non-dangerous stuff that's required for 1st path) be learned from books and applied on one's own, or are regular courses where most participants do not want to get enlightened fine? Can/should one do retreats, and does it make a difference whether one starts with taiji, qi gong, yoga, breathwork or for example Robert Bruce's system?

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/19/09 10:16 PM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
Julius Dodd:
Some questions to you, Chuck, and anybody (Nathan?) who is confident to answer these. Could you write a little about what you think is required to get beyond streamentry with energy practices with regards to technique and commitment? Are there sth. like the "3 characteristics of energy work" to stick to?


Hi Julius,
I have been pondering these very questions for a while now. The teacher I worked with was never into talking about theory – just told us to do the practices. But reflecting on my own experiences and things I have learned since that time, here are some ideas (it would be nice to hear from others who have gone through this 'the energy way' as well.

First, 'The 3 Characteristics':
Daniel: “The big message here is: drop the stories, find a physical object like the breath or body or pain or pleasure or whatever, and look into the Three Characteristics precisely and consistently! Drop to the level of bare sensations!”

The key phrase here is: “Drop to the level of bare sensations”.

I believe this is the key to all successful practices. And it is interesting that you need have no idea what you are doing or seeing (I didn't). This has nothing to do with an intellectual understanding. It is purely experiential. It isn't even experiential! I believe the key is just being present with these subtle vibrations/energy. So the key in this work is to do these practices until you can experience the flow or field of energy in the body and then just stay with that and cultivate it. Everything else is decoration (imho).

Focusing in a bit further, it may be that opening the primary channel is a key part of stream-entry. The practices I did were oriented toward opening the primary circuit but also included many whole-body energy practices as well. About 2 weeks before stream-entry, I could feel the main points along the circuit opening and they began to connect together (felt like jumper wires being connected between the centers – one at a time over a period of a couple of weeks. So experientially, the key seems to be to open these two channels. On the other hand, perhaps it was just spending time with the bare sensations that did the work.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/19/09 10:38 PM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
Julius Dodd:
Also, in your own experience, can most (basic, non-dangerous stuff that's required for 1st path) be learned from books and applied on one's own, or are regular courses where most participants do not want to get enlightened fine? Can/should one do retreats, and does it make a difference whether one starts with taiji, qi gong, yoga, breathwork or for example Robert Bruce's system?


I think it helps quite a bit if you have a 'knowledgeable' (code word!) teacher to work with. But any regular course is fine. So are books. What ever helps you spend time doing the practice. I think it is more important to have a sustained daily practice (90 minutes+ ) than doing a retreat (but a retreat wouldn't hurt). I think tai chi or other movement practices are really good to include with your meditative practice.

Some things to be aware of:
In my experience, the active energy practices (where you are really trying to move energy through the body or channels) can really bring up lots of stuff to deal with (mental agitation). If you over do them they can leave you kind of climbing the walls. The cure is just to back off the practice.
Don't over work the system. People when they start doing energy work may have really strong feelings of energy moving – as things start opening up. The strong sensations are not because there is lots of energy moving but rather that the pipes are really clogged so there is lots of resistance. What you feel is the resistance. So, the general rule is take it slow and don't push it – if channels start feeling really hot then you should stop.

I think it's good to mix passive practices (where you just stay with the energy in an open spacious way) and active ones (where you are trying to clear out the channels).

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/20/09 2:22 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Focusing in a bit further, it may be that opening the primary channel is a key part of stream-entry. The practices I did were oriented toward opening the primary circuit but also included many whole-body energy practices as well. About 2 weeks before stream-entry, I could feel the main points along the circuit opening and they began to connect together (felt like jumper wires being connected between the centers – one at a time over a period of a couple of weeks. So experientially, the key seems to be to open these two channels. On the other hand, perhaps it was just spending time with the bare sensations that did the work.



Hi Chuck,

Thanks for sharing! So far I've been doing asanas for 20 months, coupled with pranayama in the beginning only, then 6 months back I started with Robert Bruce's ebook, but stopped midway. I'll finish with it over the next months, I'll at least learn the full circuit. I'm a little curious about his latest book "energy work", but it doesn't seem to be necessary for staying with sensations, no? And I'll take qi gong classes at university along with it (or would you favour tai chi?), no idea who will be teaching them and how it will turn out. In town there are also a few teachers who teach qi gong and/or tai chi as well as zen and/or contemplation, haven't met them in person yet.
Reggie Ray has some CD sets ... what I heard so far really helped me, I haven't bought anything yet only because it would collide with holosync.

In the above quote, which two channels are you talking about? The central one and the primary circuit? Backside/spine and frontside? Are the latter two the same thing as the primary circuit? And are the main points of the circuit on these lines, or in other parts of the body as well?

Out of curiosity a question about "healing", if you don't mind. So far when feeling tired (e.g. midday) I've to retreat to somewhere where I'll do 2, 3 asanas (at least halasana, the one in which I experience navel and base-of-the-spine chakras strongest) and where I can relax lying on the floor for 20 minutes (I often take an hour when I have the time). Is it possible with active practices to "recover on the run", without leaving my fellow students and feel fully awake nevertheless or are energy and relaxation no substitute for each other?

And what's your experience with jhanas, can you enter them while moving? In an asana (other than a meditative or relaxing posture) I entered 1st jhana once only, after sitting (kasina!) I went from the lotus directly into the camel, felt the jhana very strongly (for what I am used to) with distortion of the inner perception, but seconds later had a black out because of low blood pressure and collapsed quite ungracefully.

Last thing, are qi gong and tai chi always active or can they be passive also?

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/20/09 7:36 PM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
I have Robert Bruce's 'Astral Dynamics' – not familiar with his other books.

“In the above quote, which two channels are you talking about?”
I was speaking of the 'du' and 'ren' meridians. Together they form a circuit that starts at the tail bone and goes up the spine, over the top of the head and then down to the lower abdomen. I am keeping this kind of vague because I think if someone wants to work intensely with this circuit they should work with a teacher. It's important to have a balanced practice and not over do the energy work.

When I speak of passive practice what I mean is any practice that just allows you to stay with the energy of the body in an open spacious way. If you take classes then part of that practice will probably include meditation. But you could also do jhana, metta practice, etc.

By active practice I mean a practice where you move the energy with directed awareness.

“Is it possible with active practices to "recover on the run", without leaving my fellow students and feel fully awake nevertheless or are energy and relaxation no substitute for each other?”

I am a strong believer in naps :-)

“And what's your experience with jhanas”
I think they are great and I include them in my practice -but I am not very knowledgeable about them so I stay away from those questions – lots of experts around here.

“are qi gong and tai chi always active or can they be passive also?”
Using my definition above, they could be either – depending on how you direct your attention.

In general, just learn some of these practices and then apply them with a sense of curiosity and investigation. Try to maintain a regular daily practice - it's really important.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/21/09 1:59 AM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
Julius Dodd:
Some questions to you, Chuck, and anybody (Nathan?) who is confident to answer these. Could you write a little about what you think is required to get beyond streamentry with energy practices with regards to technique and commitment? Are there sth. like the "3 characteristics of energy work" to stick to?
Also, in your own experience, can most (basic, non-dangerous stuff that's required for 1st path) be learned from books and applied on one's own, or are regular courses where most participants do not want to get enlightened fine? Can/should one do retreats, and does it make a difference whether one starts with taiji, qi gong, yoga, breathwork or for example Robert Bruce's system?


Well my story which is of course unconfirmed is the repeated samadhi/absorption/ecstacy which I felt primarily as an event involving the opening of the crown chakra. Whatever energy was happening was mostly passive, in otherwords, I was working with awareness of breath, and whatever happened in the body happened. This advanced concentrative state also, although triggered by the breath meditation (which was also uninfluenced, effortless breath), had its own momentum and was not something I was actually working with. But the key is that although the experience is very powerful it is also very subtle and I had to consciously allow it and give myself permission or it would not have arisen. This increased over the course of about a month. Not long after regular experience of this kind, I had while working on the computer and drinking tea, a suspension of the normal sense of self. In other words what or who was experiencing the experience could not be determined. The "I" was absent, a complete unknown. There was no possible way to discursively look into the existence of anything like a self. It was simply an experience as though there was no witness to the experience, which is a bit of a paradox to our normal frame of mind. And it was actually amusing in a way. Still, this lasted for over an hour and whether it to be called "stream entry" or not it will suffice as it is. I knew it and recognized it. In some of the other reports of stream entry the subject did not know one way or the other. Samadhi is just a generic term, but from the point of view of energy experiences it was a powerful expansion of the mind, sometimes blissful, but eventually bliss gets transcended too. It is an energy flow, but in my case nothing below the brainstem was observable. It was never my intention to have experiences like these, it was always my model that one day you just opened your eyes and could see. However, these concentrative states probably had something to do with the subsequent experience of no-self. Later when I reflected on what just happened my emotions began to flow forth, in a way the best I have ever felt in my lifetime. Very powerful flowing heart feelings. I did attempt to correlate this samadhi to various jhana states, but they were somewhat fugitive even though they lasted most of the sitting session. They seemed to have a program all their own. After the "no-self experience" did more recognizable upward moving energy flows begin to look like kundalini, and some of the classic signs of kundalini awakening begin to appear. But I didn't get to carried away with it, as I mostly follow a very simple discipline. I did not experience kundalini sickness nor did I venture out into tripped-out states. Anapnasati, just breathing, well a certain way to regard thoughts and feelings as the arise too, was the only "technique" But I did start to read up on everything as it happened along. It really all began when I started to investigate "sukkha" and "piti" and just kept rolling from there. My experience of "no-self" precipitates a need to research and experience vipassana now as well. Hope this makes sense. Just one man's experience..
p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/21/09 6:17 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
"Apache" Running

The eyes are focused on a bindu point on the horizon, the body flows such that it does not jog up and down so that the field of vision is a motionless as possible. The legs stretch horizontally into the muscles rather than hammer on the joints (important) and the visualization is that you are being pulled upwards from the head. You should experience subtle nuances of meditation-produced pleasure such as piti (rapture), sukha (bliss) and passaddhi (lightness). If and when kundalini energies arise they will produce turgor pressure in the limbs and help maintain the posture.

"Taoist" Walking

Find a moderately challenging hiking trail. The eyes are focused on each footfall, each problem that the trail offers and the best practice to solve each problem, the body flows such that it does not jog up and down so that the field of vision is a motionless as possible. The legs stretch horizontally into the muscles rather than hammer on the joints (important) and the visualization is that you are being pulled upwards from the head. You should experience subtle nuances of meditation-produced pleasure such as piti (rapture), sukha (bliss) and passaddhi (lightness). If and when kundalini energies arise they will produce turgor pressure in the limbs and help maintain the posture.

"Yogi" Standing

Assume the Mountain asana. the eyes are focused on a bindu point on the horizon. The visualization is that you are being pulled upwards from the head. Use the object of meditation that you use while in sitting meditation, such as the breath, etc. You should experience subtle nuances of meditation-produced pleasure such as piti (rapture), sukha (bliss) and passaddhi (lightness). If and when kundalini energies arise they will produce turgor pressure in the limbs and help maintain the posture.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/23/09 2:57 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:

I am a strong believer in naps :-)

me too *zzzzzzzz* but deep relaxation is fine as well (esp. with jhana, but I'm not really getting it, how to enter them willfullly while relaxing. What about another thread on whole-body-concentration?)
I asked my question to you regarding jhanas because I could imagine them feeling very different while moving slowly as compared to sitting still / lying on the floor.

That you're not posting techniques is fine, I am just more used to Ida & Pingala as the primary channels and wasn't sure whether there are even more kinds of primary channels.
Bruce's new book has nothing about OBEs, only self-development and self-healing, don't know about the details. Sounds like good softskills.

I am still amazed at how much tension I can find in my sacral spine area when "falling". Like in the Grand Canyon, I feel layer after layer of older fears&quirks, this area has become really dominant in the time between practice.


@ Hansen:
Your no-self story sounds familiar, I would now call mine non-dual, it's not what people here would call no-self as that's reserved for vipassana, but I am guessing here a little... Generally my goal is to add the perception of my energies to my experience of the world when not under exceptional spiritual circumstances, so I'll (have to?) use active techniques as well. I'll do the pulling up next time I watch the sky emoticon

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/22/09 5:50 PM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
Oh - you're watching the sky !!!

Actually - this may sound quirky at first but scientically it is true - you actually DO breathe through your skin as well as through your lungs. This I got from the longish speach by Kabat-Zinn, MD on YouTube at Google Tech Talks. Breathing through your whole body and even your skin may actually be a sensitive perception as well as a visualization then. Another thing I got is that new research shows the brain actually keeps growing new cells, tissues and pathways, contrary to what is taught by the less-informed class-room teachers. AND another new research show that DNA is environment-responsive and executes new programs in response to stimuli - that is highly significant in the context of this discussion. In the big picture it is not about mutations, nor evolution, nor any of the other theories, but adaptation to conditions as required by the organism, which kinda makes sense to me -

"kundalini" is just prana really, or chi, all the same difference. Another thing worth trying is to draw the shoulders down, make the neck long, this applies pressure to the shiatzu pressures points in the shoulder as well as strengthening and lengthening the spinal column. That plus using the dan tien as a focal to execute mild to heavy anerobic work (if you do some), with the tailbone tucked, and abs contracted, these are two things the energy is showing me. Also regularly stretching the calves and hamstrings, as they adversely pressure the lower spine as well. All that helps keeping the energy flowing

A couple of things to look for to find the "jhana" direction - an opiated or endorpin type of feeling, a balanced, rhythmic cycling of energy through both hemispheres of the brain, this feels good too, in short, a meditation-induced euphoria. There is an increase in stillness, a decrease in discursive thought and feeling, an attraction to serenity and tranquillity, sometimes a speedy or cocaine type of charge, extreme wakefulness coming up the spine which unless it is combined with the other endorphin type of feeling is somewhat buzzy and uncomfortable, and then with both qualities running together, at some point you pass over the event horizon into an experience which keeps increasing these and other qualities, absorbing you into a samadhi. The first jhana is all of these things, a sameness or samadhi or equanimity, a lightness, a rapture, a blissful state, a euphoria, concentration, silence is more dominant than thought, although in most jhanas some thought energy still continues to operate, even if just barely. These are the classic symptoms. Then. progressing on, the grosser qualities dissappear as the finer ones predominate. The 4th jhana is just equinimity, and very powerful too. It will rock your world. During this transition which I think normally would take multiple sessions over a period of time, increases in sexual energy may be noticed. Don't get too excited about that because there are also decreases in sexual interest sometimes too. You could say it is the endocrine system balancing itself out or you could theorize about the chakras. Something of this nature can be taken a sign, anyway, but it may be difficult to get an objective view of it. Tinnitus or ringing in the ears my occur. Some people report ecstacies, visions, dreams, and get so caught up in it it becomes pathological. This is the A & P territory, but in my case the negative side never manifested. I am still looking for answers as to how that works but really don't have a clue.

In the Nikayas Buddha says jhanas just meant make life more enjoyable, which is okay by me. In one text he says they are still dukkha, however, BUT in another text he traces their progression right up to clear release and knowing, so make of THAT what you will. I don't think this is experience is too hard to locate, but it doesn't help to try too hard, it is more a matter of getting to the right place, then letting go...

Lately i have been drawn to sleep tho too - -

p e a c e

h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/22/09 6:15 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Sorry if this is too many words - from me - so -

which guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean are the ones we are looking at?

- hansen -

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/23/09 10:25 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric:
Not too many words for me. I like your explorations. I have also found that using the energy in the head area as the 'object' can be a good way to stilling the mind – I think we are talking about the same thing there. As far as which practices - I was asking about any or all. I really like the prana breathing one and also the 10 points practice.

“Breathing through your whole body and even your skin may actually be a sensitive perception as well as a visualization” - it certainly feels that way!

Julious: “What about another thread on whole-body-concentration?”

Sounds like a good idea.

“I asked my question to you regarding jhanas because I could imagine them feeling very different while moving slowly as compared to sitting still / lying on the floor.”

The jhana practice I do is a whole-body open spacious jhana where the 'object' is the energy or vibrations of the body (what Thanissaro Bhikkhu refers to as 'breath energy'). I also sometimes practice a metta type jhana practice along the lines of what Bhante Vimalaramsi teaches. You can walk around in these once you get the hang of it. I find it tricky.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/24/09 3:50 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Dharma-Ocean wise: I typically practice something of the sort when lying down. I typically do not sleep lying on my back but if I want to do this, especially if I am having a bit of insomnia (one of the A&P symptoms, also common symptom of anxiety and depression) I will lie on my back however in my case I normally use the reclining half-lotus or the reclining tailor (the bottoms of booth feet pressed together) - the tailor also being a sitting posture I use. It seems one practice is to merge into the earth, and this is what I do most often. The other is starting with the toes, etc. and this is a more traditional body-scan, which if the first practice is unsuccessful is what I will switch to. I don't feel I have explored this a fully as possible. Most often I use it as a way to relax before sleeping or to get back to sleep if I see that I could use the additional time sleeping before getting up. It would seem logical that locked-up negative energy could be released using these techniques.

On the topic of locked up energy, I hit an energy bump, a release, which causes a minor spasm along the spine, when I became aware of knee pain during my sitting session today. At fist it seemed like typical knee pain but then it started working its way down inside the knee joint, now not a dull pain but almost like an energy manipulating the knee tissues. Then came the energy release. This would have been the knee which I had surgery on a few years ago which was very traumatic since the surgeons office told a lie about recovery time and it had a major impact on my career. So maybe this was a case of emotional blockage related to the knee itself. I have heard about these kinds of things. Just imagine how much emotional pain could be stored in our bodies this way. It's kind of staggering.

The sutta says that breath technique is for sitting, standing, walking and lying down. Right there are four formal practice modes. Sitting might be the best for going deep within the awareness, but then we have to bring that awareness out into the realm of activity, so for example if we find the deep samadhi while sitting, then by coaxing it out into other settings like walking, driving, talking with a friend, doing chores, this is then waking state of enlightenment. This is more of less the standard line I hear. What do you all think?

H a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/24/09 6:09 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:
I became aware of knee pain during my sitting session today. At fist it seemed like typical knee pain but then it started working its way down inside the knee joint, now not a dull pain but almost like an energy manipulating the knee tissues.


Nice, very nice! I remember when I first 'got' this. It was at a Goenka retreat and I had been sitting for days with back pain. All of a sudden a spot of pain just broke up into something like little sparks – they just slowly and even pleasantly started dissolving the pain – ultimately dissolving it entirely. I then started searching out pain in my body so I could 'explode' them.

Eric Alan Hansen:
The sutta says that breath technique is for sitting, standing, walking and lying down. Right there are four formal practice modes. Sitting might be the best for going deep within the awareness, but then we have to bring that awareness out into the realm of activity, so for example if we find the deep samadhi while sitting, then by coaxing it out into other settings like walking, driving, talking with a friend, doing chores, this is then waking state of enlightenment. This is more of less the standard line I hear. What do you all think?


I agree. For me, once I got to where I was fairly competent at getting into a jhana – I could experiment with getting up slowly and trying to keep the state going. I think you basically have to create sort of a body memory that you can then call up. That way you can do it while walking, waiting in lines, etc.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/25/09 4:37 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Yes Yes! Body memory exactly - I think it it sometimes referred to as kinesthetic memory. This is part of the reason why it is hard for me to get a mental picture or even an accurate memory of various temporary samadhi, jhana factors, Brahma Vihara, etc., after the fact, because the body knows exactly what is going on but the mind has no idea generally once inside the "event horizon"

I was reading the sutta on Brahma Vihara and suddenly realized the part about four directions mentioned, that in the meditation state experience I was facing in four directions, like I had four faces, and my emotional state was one of radiating diving love and boundless compassion. I have had this on several occasions but had forgotten, but the word in the sutta triggered the body memory, that of having four heads in one, facing four directions -
p e a c e
h a n s e n

Brahma-viharas: Divine Abodes

From the Tevijja Sutta: The Threefold Knowledge “A monk suffuses the world in the four directions with a mind of benevolence, then above, and below, and all around – the whole world from all sides, completely, with a benevolent, all-embracing, great, boundless, peaceful and friendly mind … Just as a powerful conch-blower makes himself heard with no great effort in all four directions, so too is there no limit to the unfolding of heart-liberating benevolence. This is a way to communion with Brahma”.[9] ^ “Majjhimanikaya”, tr. by Kurt Schmidt, Kristkeitz, Berlin, 1978, p.261, tr. by Tony Page.

http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Tevijja_Sutta

http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/view.php?id=13

http://www.leighb.com/dn13.htm

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/28/09 2:53 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:

Another thing I got is that new research shows the brain actually keeps growing new cells, tissues and pathways, contrary to what is taught by the less-informed class-room teachers. AND another new research show that DNA is environment-responsive and executes new programs in response to stimuli - that is highly significant in the context of this discussion. In the big picture it is not about mutations, nor evolution, nor any of the other theories, but adaptation to conditions as required by the organism, which kinda makes sense to me -

"kundalini" is just prana really, or chi, all the same difference.

Have you ever come across Mirra Alfassa, the partner of Sri Aurobindo, and her work Mother's Agenda? It is an enormous amount to read, I found great food for thought in some excerpts. But this book is not exactly what you'd call famous. Practically it's not relevant for my practice for the next years, but maybe for yours.


One of the most - no, make that the most - extraordinary document ever written, the 6,000 pages in 13 volumes trace twenty-two years (especially the last thirteen) of the Mother's attempt at the realisation of the supramental being through the divinisation of the body consciousness through the enlightenment of every individual cell - the so-called "cellular mind" capable of restructuring the nature of the body and the laws of physics. It s a shame that the Agenda has such an unfortunate pop-darwinian (or rather pseudo-darwinian) tone, which makes it a bit like trying to explain modern astrophysics in the language of medieval fundamentalism. [...] If you can look beyond this misinterpretation of what biological evolution is and is not, and just read the Mother's experiences on her own terms, you will find that what is described here holds the key to a spiritual "singularity" resulting in the Divinization of matter, and the tikkun or restitution or transformation of the cosmos. [...]
The Agenda "works" on several levels at the same time. On the one hand it is a record or logbook of the Mother's own explorations and work at the transformation and supramentalisation of the physical body, including the discovery of a deep but physical level of consciousness capable of restructuring the nature of the body and the laws of nature in a very radical way.

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Aurobindo/Agenda.html


in her own words:
And for a quarter of an hour, the consciousness rose, rose, without moving. It kept rising up, up, up - until ... the junction was made. [...] It was the consciousness OF THE BODY. [...] After this, Slowly, Still WITHOUT MOVING, everything went back into each of the different centers of the being. (Ah, let me say parenthetically that it wasn't AT ALL the ascent of a force like the ascent of the Kundalini! [...]

But while re-descending, it was as though [...] without leaving this state which remained conscious ALL the time, this supreme Consciousness began to reactivate the different centers: first here (Mother points to the center above the head and then touches the crown of the head, the forehead, throat, chest, etc.) then there, there, there. At each there was a pause while this new realization organized everything. It organized and made the necessary decisions, sometimes down to the most minute details: what had to be done in this case or said in that case; and all of that TOGETHER, at once, not one by one but seen entirely as a whole. It kept on descending - I noted many things, it was extremely interesting - down and down, farther and farther, right to the depths. [...]

This descending reorganization ended exactly when the clock struck one. At that moment I knew that I had to go into trance for the work to be perfected, but until then I was wide awake.
So I slipped into trance.
I came out of this trance two hours later, at 3 a.m. And during these two hours I saw ... with a new consciousness, a new vision, and above all a NEW POWER - I had a vision of the entire Work: all the people, all the things, all the systems, all of it. And it was ... it was different in appearance (this is only because appearances depend upon the needs of the moment), but mainly it differed IN POWER - A considerable difference. Considerable. The power itself was no longer the same. [...]
A truly ESSENTIAL change in the body has occurred. [...]

In the body now, there is a very clear ... not only a certitude, but a feeling that a certain omnipotence is not far away, and that very soon when it sees ('it' sees ... 'it'! There is only one 'It' in this whole affair, which is neither 'he' nor 'she' nor ... ), when it sees that something must be, it automatically will be.
There is still a long, long way to go. But the first step on the way has been taken.

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Aurobindo/Consciousness_of_the_Body.html

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/28/09 5:18 PM as a reply to Julius P0pp.
Julius: I did not realize that she had written such a book. That is very interesting information, the quotes you have provided. I think in my case I only experienced inklings of moving, healing, psychic energy until it hit the 4th Jhana in shamata practice, and after that it was awakened. I think I have heard some reports of similar histories. The energy kind of has its own agenda. It has cleared up my back pain and allergies as well as has left me access to jhana factors whenever I want them. But that too is based on such an agenda. In the example you have provided, it is like she re-booted her entire system.
t h a n k s
p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
9/30/09 5:33 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck: Nothing special seems to be happening with the reclining practice but I am still hanging in there. I feel under the microscope and many of the results I have been reporting have receeded. I will have to develop some practice space in relation to the DhO but it is still too new to do that yet.

I got back into the groove with the regular sitting practice with a number of jhana factors with a healthy very juicy living samadhi after finally getting out of bed. Not analyzing it though.

The economic downturn created quite a bit of turmoil for me as I had to develop a contingency plan in case work failed. Instead my planning failed.

Dealing with a lot of discomfort and pain also.

Learning to follow some suggestions as per maintaining the body also.

The energy flow helps with that now, considerably.

Oh yes then there was the "Brahma Vihara" episode while at Trader Joe's and Phil Collins was singing "One More Night" - that was too much -

p e a c e

h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/24/09 12:17 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck: I have been continuing with the reclining postures & generally have had some success but it is a bit the same as sitting for me. Sometimes I fall asleep while reclining, sometimes I fall asleep sitting too. Sometimes a lethargy sets in deeper that normal sleep in either posture too - I consider this to be good but don't count it as part of my meditation time, I try to add more minutes as a result. Sometimes I can't fall asleep with the reclining, which is often a complaint about this practice (that you just konk out) but you can really go the distance if you can't sleep it being the easiest posture to hold. Reggie's instructions to keep the knees bent upward take a lot of stress off my lower back so that is successful too. Other options are reclining half lotus and reclining tailor.

The other report I'd like to make is that I am enrolled in a Karate class, I used to do a bit of taichi chuan and qi gong, and being in a dojo brought back some memories that answered some deep questions I have been looking for for sometime. To whit: Developing "root" raises the chi - establishing that connection to the earth draws power from the earth - you become "chi" charged and in the practice it is very important to discharge, to proceed to more and more physically demanding routines, increasing, or you become over-charged. This ties into the question as to why some people get chi sickness or kundalini sickness, it is because they get over=charged and for whatever reason their belief system included, they keep overcharging and never use the energy. By using the energy we use the charge. This is why developed masters learn to blast off waves of chi, this is done in most advanced systems - and this carries over to the use of chi for medicinal purposes as well, especially transfer of chi into the meridians of the patient for example, that is after raising the chi, then discharge, etc.

I see my daily practice evolving i this way:

Formal meditative in 4 postures sitting, standing, lying down, or walking

In formal practice use the whole body as breath as well as the rising and falling of the abdomen as object

Noting the distractions, thoughts, feelings, "Five Aggregates", pain, discomfort just for what they are, phenomena that comes and goes

24/7 "Informal practice" which is also known as "consistent mindfulness" Actually this a very formal practice although when done quite naturally no one can detect that you are practicing it, UNLIKE your movements when you are on retreat. The factor here is attention, especially in noticing that every object is made up entirely of non-object elements.

Gentle hatha yoga for the (1) purpose of increased flexibility and decreased stressfulness rehabilitating the joints and tendons, etc.

Maybe getting back into qi gong or tai chi chuan eventually

Setting actual intentions and projections for appropriate path to be attained and/or phala of path already attained. The intention is stated then the mind can be at ease having expressed its desire and accept whatever comes. Working a strategy around this seems to be useful. This is the gift of DhO to me, I guess.

Wisdom factor: Actualize a Vipasanna meditation program of delving into specific ancient texts for concerning major topics and sitting with them as well as going 24/7 with them. Up to and including Buddaghosa's list of 40 objects of meditation as cataloged in the Nikaya texts. This begins with Anapannaisati Sutta, Satipatanna Sutta and Mahasatipatanna Sutta

I'm interested in Mahayana and Vajrayana too, but for the time being plan on focusing on getting anchored in this.

This is a second draft of this post, the first I deleted. I felt unsettled with some of the issues & modified the text. Seems I have a few things to think about in that regard.

p e a c e

h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/24/09 12:36 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:
Oh - you're watching the sky !!!

Actually - this may sound quirky at first but scientically it is true - you actually DO breathe through your skin as well as through your lungs. This I got from the longish speach by Kabat-Zinn, MD on YouTube at Google Tech Talks. Breathing through your whole body and even your skin may actually be a sensitive perception as well as a visualization then.

h a n s e n


hi eric,

i am interested in listening to that part of his talk. as you characterise it as longish, but have listened to it already, would you please both link me to it and tell me approximately which part of it (perhaps by telling me which minute begins it) contains the skin-breathing you mention? thanks.

tarin

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/24/09 6:52 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Hi Eric,
These practices as I see them are to get us back into our bodies at progressively deeper levels. Falling asleep is a common experience. In my experience, when the practice is working, it takes us out of our hectic little thought worlds and into the expansiveness of the body which is a very different and subtle experience. The first thing we want to do is sleep – it is very relaxing. Eventually you get to stabilize more in it and then it becomes full of interesting phenomena to explore. Concentration and curiosity are a good pair.

“I feel under the microscope and many of the results I have been reporting have receded.”

Like the noting practice, things go in cycles. Think of it as layers. In between layers – there isn't much going on experientially – just keep peeling.

“Dealing with a lot of discomfort and pain also.”
That's a good sign – sorry!

-Chuck

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/25/09 2:51 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin: At the top of the thread are links to the Reggie Ray guided "body scan" practices. One of them involves visualizing progressively breathing through the skin - however in the Kabat Zinn video, if it is the right one - he says that new scientific research shows that we actually do breathe through our skin - my wife says that we knew that back when 007's Goldfinger was written - so that isn't exactly new is it? IMHO, the body usually at some level "knows" what is going on with itself, so it may be more than just a visualization, it may actually be a kinesthetic experience.
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/25/09 2:56 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:
Tarin: At the top of the thread are links to the Reggie Ray guided "body scan" practices. One of them involves visualizing progressively breathing through the skin - however in the Kabat Zinn video, if it is the right one - he says that new scientific research shows that we actually do breathe through our skin - my wife says that we knew that back when 007's Goldfinger was written - so that isn't exactly new is it? IMHO, the body usually at some level "knows" what is going on with itself, so it may be more than just a visualization, it may actually be a kinesthetic experience.
h a n s e n


im aware of the sensation of 'skin breathing' (great for jhana), but i didnt know whats literally happening is oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange via the skin. do you have the specific link for the kabat-zinn video, as well as maybe know around when in the video he talks about it? i've googled for references to the subject and haven't found anything specific.

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/26/09 4:40 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin: It was kind f a minor point in an otherwise lengthy talk, I'll see if I can locate the correct URL and (I know it was YouTube Google Tech Talks) I will cite the minutes:seconds reference
p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
10/26/09 5:19 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
well the talk got to 0:25:06 then the file was corrupted so - bummer
just as he began to talk about breathing
h a n s e n

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc
"Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn"

but maybe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSU8ftmmhmw&feature=channel
"Mindfulness Stress Reduction And Healing"

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
11/2/09 5:11 AM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Chuck: I was doing the Reggie Ray body scan, after I woke up at 5AM and could not sleep, the goal was to sleep until about 11 or maybe noon, turning around from the weekend to night shift. I first worked on an uncomfortable physical feeling (arrhythmia?) using the 4 Frames of Reference or 4 Bases of Mindfulness, that was a success, and the physical symptoms, which were due to unattended to stress, were removed. Then I did the body scan breathing through the extremities first, breathing through the toes, feet, etc., when I was complete with legs and arms and ready to move on, everything seemed to dissappear, then much later came back, just awareness, a shining void, no senses, no bliss, no thoughts, no feelings, no dreams, just clarity and awareness but not much of an object of awareness, as I came around I surveyed all this then went on to remembering and feeling, etc. After that I was able to sleep but I woke periodically, and remembered that the following dream everything was full of whitish colored light, like a fog, but brighter.
p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
11/3/09 7:24 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:
Chuck: I was doing the Reggie Ray body scan, .... Then I did the body scan breathing through the extremities first, breathing through the toes, feet, etc., when I was complete with legs and arms and ready to move on, everything seemed to dissappear, then much later came back, just awareness, a shining void, no senses, no bliss, no thoughts, no feelings, no dreams, just clarity and awareness but not much of an object of awareness, as I came around I surveyed all this then went on to remembering and feeling, etc. After that I was able to sleep but I woke periodically, and remembered that the following dream everything was full of whitish colored light, like a fog, but brighter.


Hi Eric,
Sounds very cool. What do you make of this weirdness? Have you been able to feel this energy up into the torso - up the back and up under the rib cage and into the head? There is lots to explore and no effort here is lost.

-Chuck

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
11/4/09 6:14 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Well it sure wasn't what I expected. I originally thought about body scan in the Jon Kabat-Zinn mode with unstressing hittting different parts of the body. But I get that in sitting, so I don't know what this blacking out with a return into a clarity-which-is-just-a-void. I have had this "blacking out with a return into a clarity-which-is-just-a-void" sitting once or twice and the theories I have read are too divergent as yet.
p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
11/5/09 6:03 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
So today - I did a pre-sit body scan for a few minutes, then 30 minute sit which was unusual in that NO jhanic factors happened, except remembering and staying with the breath, which wasn't coming naturally nor easily. Then as I zeroed in on bare sensations there was some strobing and some pixel break-up, vibrations but still some difficulty with the object, okay, not a catastrophe. Then of all things in synch with the fluctuations hypnogogic imagery, you know like you you might get from smoking low-grade weed, flat, monochromatic, but very vivid imagery, changing quite rapidly. I watched the slide show for a while and kept one foot in the other canoe, mindfulness of breath, but I tried to go off the breath just once to see where the pictures might go then, more vivid, maybe? Instead they went away. Returning to the breath, the images returned too. Then I followed the sit with yet another body scan session, again breathing through the whole body, successively from the extremities up into the body, and still there was problems focussing, but it was, again, do-able. Still some hypnogogic imagery, but this time not as strong. So when I was done with the scan I looked at the curtain and there was a large hypnogogic Kuan Yin image projected on the curtain. It was life size and lasted a bit longer and that was the end of the images.

Then I did some reading on line and wrote a short note, and studyed up on MCTB Chap 17, then one I have been stuck on. This in fact is the same material that Daniel challenged me with in the "Goals" thread, and is a serious direction for me to pursue at this time. Attend to the bare sensations, they are the goal and the way to the goal. Amazing how much other stuff comes up and sweeps one away from this.

p e a c e

h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
11/5/09 6:15 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:
Well it sure wasn't what I expected. I originally thought about body scan in the Jon Kabat-Zinn mode with unstressing hittting different parts of the body. But I get that in sitting, so I don't know what this blacking out with a return into a clarity-which-is-just-a-void. I have had this "blacking out with a return into a clarity-which-is-just-a-void" sitting once or twice and the theories I have read are too divergent as yet.
p e a c e
h a n s e n


One researcher, Dr Mathew, of Duke University had long-time experienced Zen meditators from japan and likewise-experienced Raja Yogis from India for his lab work. The Zen meditation showed that there was normal response to external stimuli, initially, but muted reverberations if any, which is outside the norm, much like what you would expect with mindfulness or Zen type. The raja yogis however had no external senses operating in their trance states, and this was proven in the lab using brain-wave testing. I don't know the correct technical terminology, but states where the senses don't just turn a little bit inward but totally inward are not uncommon. It reminds me of the Arctic Circle shamans who actually hibernate in a total trance state. It is probably not the most important angle on things, but it gives a better picture to see how cultures afftect the exploration of consciousness, how beliefs determine to some extent the outcome. And how varied the outcomes may be.
p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: Reggie Ray - Guided energy practices at Dharma Ocean
Answer
5/8/11 12:46 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
This link is a 404 now. Does anyone have a mirror by any chance?