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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

solar plexus discomfort and some unusual experiences, maybe a pce

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after about 4 months of nearly nothing dark nightish, or even any bodily discomfort or any disturbance worth mentioning, and this is with 4-5 hours/day of very energized sitting and walking meds, a very intense vibration arose in my solar plexis, which caused very intense discomfort for about a week, difficult to sit with, to penetrate with awareness, noting did little to relieve the discomfort. It really made me squirm and search out all kinds of ways to stop it, which lead to some unusual experiences.

normally something of this nature could be broken up and dissolved with some applied awareness, especially after doing some samatha, but it was difficult to even stay in first or second jhana. I was experimenting one morning out in the woods, bringing really focused attention first into feet and ground, then into the lower belly (a place Richard describes, just above the sex center), and holding attention very still here, while standing (next to a little waterfall), maxing out my concentration abilities. Tuning into gentle breaths in this deep belly area did something to break apart my normal mental clutching, and i experienced a striking and wonderful intermingling with inner and outer, with the sounds outside and sensations in the body, just free flowing nature with a clear cognizance of it all.

On my walk back I had an inclination to really surrender into my body, to just let go and feel as deeply as i possibly could, when something sort of popped. Hard to explain, but it seemed I was temporarily freed, no longer captive in my body, yet I could feel my body like never before, there was just no tension or anything whatsoever, and thoughts were very clear, it was purely delightful and liberating, except for a tiny tinge still in the solar plexus, which didn't detract from how wonderful this state was. I do suspect it was a pce, or close, there was a significant wow factor, and it continued as I got in the car and drove home, just delightfully watching the mind/body show as Howard put it, nothing sticking in anyway whatsoever, nothing to stick to. This ended once I got home, and the solar plexus vibration kept returning, though it would vanish at times and leave me in some very blissful and clear states, it kept undulating like this for a few days.

Then several nights ago I sat and started to use breaths to gently explore the intensity, the complexities and layout of the sensations, with an attitude of just letting the chips fall where they may, whatever comes up comes up. This was all it took as there was no more aversion, and the whole thing finally broke up leaving me very relieved, leaving my chest area feeling very spacious, without any kind of charge. (all this was noted to the best of my ability, though not in any high speed way) A bit later I was in bed and was reading Reggie Ray's 'touching enlightenment', which like Daniel's book has a way of putting me into an altered sort of super present to the sensations of the moment state, when I read one sentence and bam, I was suddenly in this profound state of 'isness'.

He was talking about how striking reality is, "as it is", when experienced solely through the body. The past few months I've had many experiences of isness, or suchness, and it is always a stunning thing, though those glimpses were mostly apprehended in the third eye area, when there's a sense of awareness watching awareness, when there's a sense of apperception. But this was different, this had nothing to do with the third eye, or any mental appreciation of reality - this seemed to be purely a bodily, physical apprehension of the material world, overwhelmingly vivid, just lying on the bed being in contact with material reality, in a most exaggerated way, so startlingly and wonderfully real, it seemed my chest was doing most of the apprehending this time. If felt so relaxing at some level, and like this is all i ever want, I want nothing else but this, ever, i am home, wow. It's hard to overstate just how profound it felt. Anyway this morning it occurred to me, perhaps it had something to do with actual charges, I mean it almost felt magnetic. I mentioned the charge was gone in my chest, maybe in that state material reality just sort of latched on, I dont know but it's something I want to explore some more. Anybody have experience with this sort of thing?

RE: solar plexus discomfort and some unusual experiences, maybe a pce
Answer
12/6/10 11:54 AM as a reply to John White.
I haven't had a PCE that I can remember but the last paragraph sounds similar to descriptions I've read of it. Maybe you can read into stuff about PCEs more and see if that corresponds with your experience?

RE: solar plexus discomfort and some unusual experiences, maybe a pce
Answer
12/8/10 4:53 AM as a reply to John White.
In the majority of pure consciousness experiences I’ve induced I have experienced a similar tension/ache around my heart. It feels like the last thing really holding me back, and it's very hard to shift or do anything about. I seem to be able to experience all the goods of the PCE with the faint/strong fuzz of the heart stuff going on. All that gloomy-feeling "darkness" around the heart used to be quite an issue for me (and still occasionally is), but it’s the throat that's causing the most problems at the moment, and the weird mix of instant grief/misery/fear that seems to be synonymous with the throat ache. In fact, the ache at my throat is usually the first sign that I’m practising properly at the moment, and I can usually trigger it with a few seconds of letting go into the immediacy of this moment. It’s annoying and all this energetic stuff has been a constant companion for me, but I see (and feel it) as a sign of things changing.

I still have lots of pressure at my third eye as well, although there doesn’t seem to be any emotional link, as there clearly is with the heart and throat stuff. I’ve had that since I started meditating and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

I think you did have a PCE, and some other affect-based ASCs as well, and you seem to be making good progress. Is your goal enlightenment or an actual freedom?

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