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Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/15/19 1:35 PM
Does anyone else get trees and flowers standing out and looking detailed and super vibrant all the time?  and then feel profoundly alienated from western life at the sametime - sometimes in a depression type way and other times in a detached - this is utterly hilarious kind of way?   but all the time feeling a deep oneness with trees.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/15/19 1:58 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
Not all the time, but I have had shorter periods of it. And trees - gotta love them!

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/15/19 5:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Cant beat a good old tree emoticon

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/16/19 2:08 AM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
nickol lindsay:
Does anyone else get trees and flowers standing out and looking detailed and super vibrant all the time?  and then feel profoundly alienated from western life at the sametime - sometimes in a depression type way and other times in a detached - this is utterly hilarious kind of way?   but all the time feeling a deep oneness with trees.

Sure! These things are stages that can be experienced. The vibrant detail and oneness with the trees is great, so enjoy it and spend time in that state. It may well fade, but then it can come back later on with other things attached. Or you may find some other things already lurking there, like joy in the sense of space, or vivdness of the most mundane things - even vividness and joy in a hangnail, or in a spider, or in a loose thread.  Enjoy!

As for the alienation/detachment.  As you put cracks in the self, and shake up the arising being, the old strategies for coping become out of date.  Emotional states still arise, or maybe get stirred up a bit more for a bit, but we start to relate to them in different ways. At first this is confusing. But that is temporary. Just keep working through it, resolve to have skillful reactions to these emotions, be mindful of them (they are not self, right?) and use a bit of metta to guide your daily life. The confusion will be gone within a month, providing you stay mindful with positive intentions. 

Others may be able to add more.  But do see it as progress, and as a transition.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/16/19 8:55 AM as a reply to curious.
Hey there,

I think I must have got lost with the skillful reaction thing.

The seeing things radiantly started on an MBSR course and has gone on for years ever since.   The other stuff is really recent (last 2 years) - like a dispondency really - not wanting any part in the world - depression *sort of* but finding things too funny/ironic to be depressed and this feeling of been filled with love now and again.  

I am stuck - really stuck in something and not sure what to do - have almost joined a monastry on a number of occassions - maybe I just need to do that.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/16/19 6:09 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
Now that I am in High Equanimity, my sense of smell has become hyper-accute. This isn't always a good thing emoticon

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/16/19 6:30 PM as a reply to Steven E Barnes.
Makes you wonder why we do this - I remember running around a retreat centre desperately trying to find ear plugs - teacher was like "whats up?' - I'm like "Its soooo noisey I'll never sleep here - it wasn't apparently at all - but he said it was normal for the senses to get heightened.  It was hell.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/16/19 7:58 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
nickol lindsay:
Hey there,

I think I must have got lost with the skillful reaction thing.


Well, you probably know all this already, but here goes.

When a Rhinocerous sees a mud puddle, it will love to plunge in, to roll in to, shake around, and wallow in the mud.  it coats itself with the mud as a protection from the sun, working it into every fold, and being fully present within the experience of mud.

When nanas and other mind states arise, we are often like the Rhinecerous. We plunge in to wallow and coat ourselves in the emotion, and imagine that the emotion is us and we are it.  But as with the Rhinocerous mud, this is not true.  The mud/emotion is not us. It is temporary. And it is unsatisfactory - either because it is inherently unpleasant, or because it fades and leaves us grapsing for more. This grasping after the emotion/mud leaves us at the mercy of our urges every time emotion/mud arises.

The solution is twofold.  First, we must recognise that the mud is not us, that it is temporary, and that it is unsatisfying.  Then we can trot through the mud if we wish, or even have a brief roll around, but without wallowing as if the mud were a second skin.  And to help this we need to calm the mind so that it stops it flailing at the mud as soon as it appears.  One way to clam the grasping after the mud is metta - to turn our mind outwards to the love and joy of others.  Another way is mindfulness - to turn our mind inwards so that it is fully occupied with our physical sensations, or our emotional states. With the mind busy there will be no time for grasping, and the karma of the mud will slowly reduce.

So don't be a rhinocerous in the mud. Instead, practice mindfulness of your emotional states as they arise. See the three characeristics in them - they are not you, they are not permanent, they are not satisfactory.  And keep your mind busy with metta, or with mindfulness of sensations, so it has no energy avaialble to reinforce the grasping.  Then, over time, the grasping after the mud will fade.

Useful?

Malcolm



 

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/16/19 11:17 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
nickol lindsay:
Does anyone else get trees and flowers standing out and looking detailed and super vibrant all the time? 

Yes, all the time.

and then feel profoundly alienated from western life at the sametime - sometimes in a depression type way and other times in a detached - this is utterly hilarious kind of way?   but all the time feeling a deep oneness with trees.
No, I do not experience the slightest sense of alienation, depression or dissociation. Understand that the sense of self is at the core of all these. When it is thoroughly seen through and dissolved, there is a deep sense of aliveness and delight everywhere, even in the midst of "western life", the floor, the shopping mall, a meal, everything is equally amazing, vibrant, standing out, alive, as a tree or a flower.

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html

Division of subject and object is merely an assumption.

Thus someone giving up and something to be given up is an illusion.

When self becomes more and more transparent,

Likewise phenomena become more and more luminous.

In thorough transparency all happening are pristinely and vividly clear.

Obviousness throughout, aliveness everywhere!

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/17/19 5:33 AM as a reply to curious.
Hi Malcolm,

That was extremely useful, I am extremely grateful for you pointing this out.

I slept on this and even had to some quite vivid dreams about where I become stuck.

I retrained not so long ago - part of which meant an over analytical approach to what I then called simply the mud (as in the lotus and the mud).  I recall on some level been unhappy with the retraining and in a sense resistent to it.

Somewhere along the way peace gave way to suffering and suffering became me - like the Rhino.

Can't thank you enough.   emoticon  

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/17/19 5:42 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thank you Malcolm, the rhinoceros analogy is taken to heart as I'm going through wallowing in particularly sticky and black mud today . Although I've gone through months of something similar to OPs description before.

For me, it's coming and goings, different strengths, and different lengths. But it's honestly hard to not identify when they are strong like today....

Thanks, AEN for the reminder that it is possible for it to stay, Your quote in the post read like a stanza, rising through the mud in expansion and lightness at this moment.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/17/19 5:44 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Hi there,

That's wonderful.

I guess for me the sadness is in the magnitude of the suffering mine and everyone elses.  I get overwhelmed.  Like the pregnant woman sleeping rough in a door way while a guy with a $400,000 car parks oppositite her - he is admired and she is dispised by society - makes me wonder what's to like.  So for me, just as flowers are seen as vibrant the ugliness in life seems amplified too. I don't want to shift to papering over this.  I want to be in touch with the suffering but as Malcolm says, I don't have to have it become me.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/17/19 2:33 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
Thanks Nickol, Jyet - I'm glad the analogy of the Rhinocerous Wallow is a helpful.

Nickol, I thought I would just add a couple of things on the vividness. (AEN is ahead of me on this, so anything AEN says should be taken to be more accurate than my comments). I got flashes of this a couple of times as a young man, and thought what on earth is this?  Is this some kind of glimpse?  Then it went away for decades.  Later, during TMI meditation, it came back for periods of 20 minutes a few times, and even the most mundane things were endlessly fascinating.  Then, it started to become more accessible, especially walking among the trees, but in a 'lite' kind of way.

And then, following more practice, more insights and some brain rewiring, the vividness has became the strong default mode and is linked to a joyous happy feeling.  I find that socialising will contract the mind, and then the vividness becomes less noticeable, but afterwards it pops out again easily with very little effort.  I continue to work on the vivideness, and my current goal is to wake up with this feeling, instead of having to take a minute to establish it.  After that, I will aim to dream with this feeling.

So I think the vividness is really really good, and really worth enjoying.  But to establish it properly requires more than just dwelling within it - at least at the early stages. You will need to continue concentration and insight practices, and keep freeing up the emotional and perceptual systems (including through contemplation of the Rhinoerous Wallow), and then for the full benefit, when you are ready, eventually see through ignorance. 

Practice well.

Malcolm
  

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/17/19 4:40 PM as a reply to curious.
Really did help, even today, my trigger is injustice and its a big one and was triggered off earlier today.  I managed to prevent the second arrow - thru practice - "Injustice is here, injustice hurts - can I do anything about it right now?  - okay then breathe - can I do anything about it later?  yes/maybe - well look at that when Monday comes around - or no - well then breathe.  Injustice is here, injustice hurts can I change anything now?  yes - well breathe and then respond wisely - no - well then breathe it in and breathe it out.'  

Metta to you all...  emoticon

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/17/19 5:06 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
I know the feeling. Injustice hurts so badly. Your way of handling it seems very skillful.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/18/19 2:46 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It's new I am trying - and I am doing okay with it to date emoticon 

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/18/19 7:44 AM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
nickol lindsay:
Does anyone else get trees and flowers standing out and looking detailed and super vibrant all the time?  and then feel profoundly alienated from western life at the sametime - sometimes in a depression type way and other times in a detached - this is utterly hilarious kind of way?   but all the time feeling a deep oneness with trees.
It happens in the earlier stages of meditation. Eventually you don't slice off western life from it. You can do this with street lights and modern gadgets by appreciating them.

There is also a feeling of longing that can be developed by developing your lived in space. You do this buy cleaning, organizing and taking care of it. 

You can see more on my Anaximander review which has a little bit about Gelassenheit from Heidegger. A lot of what makes people alienated by modern society is the isolation of economic systems and technology. Heidegger felt that back in the time of Anaximander that sense of wonder in nature was there and it progressively was lost by metaphysics (over-conceptualization).

Anaximander
https://youtu.be/QFNze3P_CIU

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/18/19 9:49 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Hi Richard,

Thanks for your input - I am contrasting the deep affinity I have with nature and the aliveness of it with a despondency with western materialism - I might be missing the point but I really don't understand why I would want to have a deep affinity with such an oppressive social system.   Are you suggestion I will feel awake, alive and deeply connected at the sight of a big mac, ipad, hige economic division,  consumerism, sweet shop produced jeans or malls that have destroyed local livihood or factory farmed meat - for example?  

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/18/19 7:59 PM as a reply to nickol lindsay.
nickol lindsay:
Hi Richard,

Thanks for your input - I am contrasting the deep affinity I have with nature and the aliveness of it with a despondency with western materialism - I might be missing the point but I really don't understand why I would want to have a deep affinity with such an oppressive social system.   Are you suggestion I will feel awake, alive and deeply connected at the sight of a big mac, ipad, hige economic division,  consumerism, sweet shop produced jeans or malls that have destroyed local livihood or factory farmed meat - for example?  
No just equanimity. Also develop your own pleasure and happiness that depends less and less on those things you don't like.

Ask yourself, do you really think you can stop that kind of machinery? A lot of it is based on survival. If people don't have jobs what will they do? 

Focus on your own life and also try to see the benefits of a western life. There's often a lot of idealization and devaluation that goes on. If you live in a repressive regime and then move to a western society you may see some of the benefits, although it's imperfect.

Also people are envious. If you make healthier choices and really relish your life, people will see that and naturally want to imitate. Any finger wagging and admonishments tends to feel oppressive and people rebel and binge eat or some other addiction they love. They want it to be their own idea. Vote, and even protest the way you want to. Convince people who ASK you, and Keep Calm while mindfully noting Golden Arches.

RE: Aliveness-off the cushion
Answer
3/19/19 3:06 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard, western society is an oppressive regime that feeds of the rest of the world.