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All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way

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All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way p s 2/4/20 7:18 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way terry 2/3/20 10:46 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Milo 2/3/20 10:56 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way p s 2/5/20 6:32 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way terry 2/5/20 10:19 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way terry 2/5/20 10:06 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Stirling Campbell 2/6/20 12:05 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way p s 2/6/20 8:11 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Stirling Campbell 2/7/20 4:37 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way p s 2/8/20 4:36 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way scott snow 2/9/20 6:23 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Stirling Campbell 2/9/20 11:29 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Olivier 2/9/20 12:02 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way scott snow 2/10/20 5:45 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Stirling Campbell 2/10/20 12:07 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way terry 2/7/20 9:22 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way Bardo 2/10/20 1:33 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way p s 2/11/20 4:45 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way T 2/11/20 7:01 PM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way p s 2/12/20 5:01 AM
RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way hae1en 2/20/20 5:36 AM
Heavy long-term user of philosophical and intellectual approaches to Buddhism. Twenty-plus years of brief periodic bouts of Goenka-influenced meditation — always done poorly with no consistent technique, no discipline, no concentration, and no results. I don’t know much about maps, don’t follow any particular orthodoxy, and am not wedded to Buddhism. Please, if you can, help me to name and understand what happened, without too much lingo….

Something instantaneously snapped into focus while driving home the other day. I got a quick glimpse in the car, and I was intrigued, but couldn’t concentrate on it while driving. A queer feeling of distance/detachment the rest of the evening, but then I woke up in the middle of the night and I lay in bed for an hour or so, fully absorbed with the experience. 

For an hour, I am not me. I have no body. There is a big expansive, blank, dark space. Where “I” am in all of this is unclear. Am “I” the empty space? It’s uncertain if there’s an “I” anywhere at all. Inside the vast emptiness, a portal like a giant eye opens onto the world of forms. Visual perceptions hit this big eye, but they all seem unreal, like on a movie screen. Audio perceptions are coming in on a different stream from the visual. Body sensations are on a third; thoughts are on a fourth. If I concentrate, I can switch between the four streams, perceiving one at a time—but the visual is the clearest, and even that is hard for me to stay with for very long. 

I am still thinking, and the realization comes that I’ve been reifying these forms for my whole life, objectifying everything including my “self.” All of those cheesy Zen sayings I’ve assumed are metaphors suddenly are true in a very literal way: there is no path and no goal, the truth is right here right now, everything is already perfect just the way it is. It is all so simple, so easy to see. Just a slight shift in perspective was all it took, just like taking a step back to see the container/frame around the world.

Nothing coming in on any of the channels are “me.” Maybe I am the vastness, here for lifetime after lifetime, while bodies and forms and thoughts come and go eternally? After a while, a deep sense of terror: the realization comes that abiding in this perspective, I could lose my identity, my sanity, my family, my job, everything I love and depend on. From this place, the forms coming through don’t matter at all. They are just projections — meaningless, including whether or not the forms are there or are seen. The fear draws me out of the experience, and I eventually fall back to sleep. 

Over the next few days the taste lingers, but it gradually becomes increasingly difficult to snap back into that perspective. Looking back, it seems like a huge perspective shift, but it also seems like a completely mundane thing. Nothing has notably changed (with my lack of concentration, lack of control over thoughts and emotions, etc.), but somehow seeing everything has changed by seeing the vastness. I’m curious to go back and explore the relationship between the emptiness and the forms, and try to figure out where (if anywhere) “I am” in all of it. There is no longer a feeling that there's anything specific I need to attain, but I’d like to hang out in that space and look around as much as possible. Just can't find my way back to it yet. 

I’m wondering how you Buddhist psychonauts would classify this experience, and what you’d recommend for next steps. Thanks for reading.

p s:
Heavy long-term user of philosophical and intellectual approaches to Buddhism. Twenty-plus years of brief periodic bouts of Goenka-influenced meditation — always done poorly with no consistent technique, no discipline, no concentration, and no results. I don’t know much about maps, don’t follow any particular orthodoxy, and am not wedded to Buddhism. Please, if you can, help me to name and understand what happened, without too much lingo….

Something instantaneously snapped into focus while driving home the other day. I got a quick glimpse in the car, and I was intrigued, but couldn’t concentrate on it while driving. A queer feeling of distance/detachment the rest of the evening, but then I woke up in the middle of the night and I lay in bed for an hour or so, fully absorbed with the experience. 

For an hour, I am not me. I have no body. There is a big expansive, blank, dark space. Where “I” am in all of this is unclear. Am “I” the empty space? It’s uncertain if there’s an “I” anywhere at all. Inside the vast emptiness, a portal like a giant eye opens onto the world of forms. Visual perceptions hit this big eye, but they all seem unreal, like on a movie screen. Audio perceptions are coming in on a different stream from the visual. Body sensations are on a third; thoughts are on a fourth. If I concentrate, I can switch between the four streams, perceiving one at a time—but the visual is the clearest, and even that is hard for me to stay with for very long. 

I am still thinking, and the realization comes that I’ve been reifying these forms for my whole life, objectifying everything including my “self.” All of those cheesy Zen sayings I’ve assumed are metaphors suddenly are true in a very literal way: there is no path and no goal, the truth is right here right now, everything is already perfect just the way it is. It is all so simple, so easy to see. Just a slight shift in perspective was all it took, just like taking a step back to see the container/frame around the world.

Nothing coming in on any of the channels are “me.” Maybe I am the vastness, here for lifetime after lifetime, while bodies and forms and thoughts come and go eternally? After a while, a deep sense of terror: the realization comes that abiding in this perspective, I could lose my identity, my sanity, my family, my job, everything I love and depend on. From this place, the forms coming through don’t matter at all. They are just projections — meaningless, including whether or not the forms are there or are seen. The fear draws me out of the experience, and I eventually fall back to sleep. 

Over the next few days the taste lingers, but it gradually becomes increasingly difficult to snap back into that perspective. Looking back, it seems like a huge perspective shift, but it also seems like a completely mundane thing. Nothing has notably changed (with my lack of concentration, lack of control over thoughts and emotions, etc.), but somehow seeing everything has changed by seeing the vastness. I’m curious to go back and explore the relationship between the emptiness and the forms, and try to figure out where (if anywhere) “I am” in all of it. There is no longer a feeling that there's anything specific I need to attain, but I’d like to hang out in that space and look around as much as possible.

I’m wondering how you Buddhist psychops,

nauts would classify this experience, and what you’d recommend for next steps. Thanks for reading.

aloha ps,

   Fun read.

   I'd call it satori.

   The sufis might say, "Welcome to the company of Those Who Have Glimpsed."

   Now you know. Live up to it.

terry


tao te ching, trans feng


56.

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Keep your mouth closed.
Guard your senses.
Temper your sharpness.
Simplify your problems.
Mask your brightness.
Be at one with the dust of the earth.
This is primal union.

He who has achieved this state
Is unconcerned with friends and enemies,
With good and harm, with honor and disgrace.
This therefore is the highest state of man.

Yep I was going to say sounds like Satori (From Zen perspective) too. You had a period of enough calm and in the zoneness to experience thusness directly. Very nice! Watch out for slap happy masters!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and write. Yes, everything I'm reading about satori seems to fit. I wonder where this leaves me in terms of practice, though. Having not arrived here via any kind of formal method, I don't know where to go to learn how to bring this shift in perspective back again. (It doesn't ultimately matter, but I'd like to explore it further.) Would you suggest I seek out a Zen teacher? 

Separate question: some people seem to be describing Dzogchen in similar trerms. Is that the same type of experience?

Thanks for your insights and advice. 

p s:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and write. Yes, everything I'm reading about satori seems to fit. I wonder where this leaves me in terms of practice, though. Having not arrived here via any kind of formal method, I don't know where to go to learn how to bring this shift in perspective back again. (It doesn't ultimately matter, but I'd like to explore it further.) Would you suggest I seek out a Zen teacher? 

Separate question: some people seem to be describing Dzogchen in similar trerms. Is that the same type of experience?

Thanks for your insights and advice. 

   My understanding of dzogchen is that it is an attempt to make satori permanent. If I were terminal and in hospice I would practice dzogchen continuously. I'm not sure that the practice of dzogchen is entirely compatible with the bodhisattva ideal.

   As for seeking a zen teacher, seeking a zen student would make as much sense. Either would be fine but the actual seeking might lead you astray. All things come to one who waits.

   You have no choice but to move on. Even enlightenment is just for the time being.

terry



It's All Over Now
(bob dylan)

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
The sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home
Your empty-handed armies are going home
Your lover who just walked out the door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

Leave your stepping stones behind, they're something a-calls for you
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

oh yeah, advice:


study the literature of the major wisdom traditions

meditate

try to live an authentic life (as rinzai said, "Eat when hungry, sleep when tired. Fools will laugh at me, but the wise will understand.")

(repeat)

don't doubt or worry
(you already know and that is that)


beginner's mind is the way





https://jamesclear.com/shoshin

(
reload if the link shows you an ad for his book)

Your "awakening" experience sounds something like mine. The real proof of the pudding is, does the insight LAST. Does it deepen? For now, enjoy this glimpse. If you aren't meditating, begin. I would try letting the mind rest in open awareness as we do in Zen and Dzogchen, since this how mind temporarily was when its nature was revealed to you. Consider doing a retreat.

The Zen "cheese" IS true, and IMHO possibly some of the most concise descriptions extant are from this tradition. As someone from the Dzogchen, and now (also) Zen traditions, I find that these canons have some of the cleanest description of what you saw and are, at their core VERY similar - possibly related at some far distant point, I have read.

I'm copying the text of the entire Tsin Tsin Ming below for your reference... I don't think there is anything in the entire Buddhist canon that is more clean, simple or specific.

Verses on the Perfect Mind (Tsin Tsin Ming)
by Seng-ts’an, Third Patriarch of Zen

The Great Way is not difficult,
for those who have no preferences.
Let go of longing and aversion,
and it reveals itself.

Make the smallest distinction, however,
and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.
If you want to realize the truth,
then hold no opinions for or against anything.

Like and dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning (of the Way) is not understood
the intrinsic peace of mind is disturbed.

As vast as infinite space,
it is perfect and lacks nothing.
Indeed, it is due to your grasping and repelling
That you do not see things as they are.

Do not get entangled in things;
Do not get lost in emptiness.
Be still in the oneness of things
and dualism vanishes by itself.

When you try to stop motion to achieve quietude,
the very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you hold on to opposites
you will never know the One Way.

Those who do not understand the Way
will assert or deny the reality of things.
Deny the reality of things, you miss its deeper reality;
Assert the reality of things, you miss the emptiness of all things.

The more you think about it,
the further you are from the truth.
Cease all thinking,
and there is nothing that will not be revealed to you.

To return to the root is to find the essence,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the Source.
The moment you are enlightened,
you go beyond appearances and emptiness.

Changes that seem to occur in the (empty) world,
appear real only because of ignorance.
Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.

Do not hold to dualistic views,
avoid such habits carefully.
If there is even a trace of right and wrong,
the mind is lost in confusion.

Although all dualities arise from the One,
do not cling even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
everything is without fault.

When things can no longer be faulty, it is as if there are no things.
When the mind can no longer be disturbed, it is as if there is no mind.
When thought-objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes.
When the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

The arising of other gives rise to self;
giving rise to self generates other.
Know these seeming two facets
as one Emptiness.

In this Emptiness, the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole.
When no discrimination is made between this and that,
how can you prefer one to another?

The Great Way is all-embracing,
not easy, not difficult.
Those who rely on limited views are fearful and irresolute;
the faster they hurry, the slower they go.

Clinging, they go too far,
even an attachment to enlightenment is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way as they are,
and there is neither coming nor going.

Be in harmony with the Way
and you will be free of disturbances.
Tied by your thoughts, you lose the truth,
become heavy, dull, and unwell.

Not well, the mind is troubled.
Then why cling to or reject anything?
If you wish to move in the One Way,
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.

Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise attaches to no goals,
but the foolish fetter themselves.

There is but one Dharma, not many.
Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
Using mind to stir up the mind
is the original mistake.

Peaceful and troubled derive from thinking;
Enlightenment has no likes or dislikes.
All dualities come from
ignorant inference.

They are like unto dreams or flowers in the air,
the foolish try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong,
abandon all such thoughts at once.

If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
all things are as they are, of One-essence.

To understand the mystery of this One-essence
is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen without differentiation,
you return to the origin and remain what you are.

Consider the movement in stillness and the stationary in motion,
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist
even Oneness itself cannot exist.

This ultimate state
is not bound by rules and descriptions.
For the Realized mind, at one with the Way,
all doing ceases.

Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and the Truth is confirmed in you.
With a single stroke you are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to you and you hold onto nothing.

All is void, clear, and self-illuminating,
with no need to exert the mind.
Here thinking, feeling, knowledge, and imagination
are of no value.

In this world of “as it really is”
there is neither self nor other.
To swiftly accord with that,
only express nonduality.

In this nonduality nothing is separate,
nothing is excluded.
The enlightened of all times and places
have personally realized this truth.

The Truth is beyond time and space,
one instant is eternity.
Not here, not there-
but everywhere always right before your eyes.

Infinitely large and infinitely small,
no difference, for definitions have vanished
and no boundaries can be discerned.
So too with “existence” and “non-existence.”

Don’t waste time in arguments and discussion,
attempting to grasp the ungraspable.
One thing and everything
move among and intermingle without distinction.

To live in this Realization
is to not worry about perfection or non-perfection.
To put your trust in the Way is to live without separation,
and in this nonduality you are one with the Way

Words! Words!
The Way is beyond language,
Words never could, can not now, and never will describe the Way.

RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way
Answer
2/6/20 8:11 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Thank you Stirling for jumping in. I really appreicate the comments and advice I'm receiving. 

Regarding your advice, "If you aren't meditating, begin.... consider doing a retreat." Honestly, I haven't been very focused on meditation for many years now, as my experience with it was mostly frustrating and counter-productive. What happened to me the other day was NOT induced through meditation, and actually felt like it was the complete opposite of all the meditation techniques I've ever done. Perhaps I've been doing it completely wrong all this time, but I felt like my attention was going in the opposite direction as I had been taught to do by Goenka and etc....  rather than zooming in to focus ever more closely on one tiny body sensation or etc, as I had been doing, my attention went in the opposite direction and opened up to the whole world.

On your advice, I'm reading now about open awareness meditation, and from first glance that sounds like a much better fit with the experience I'm describing than any of the other the meditation techniques I've known. Actually, the "Mind Like Sky" described briefly here 
https://www.lionsroar.com/a-mind-like-sky/ strikes me as quite similar to what I experienced. (Except, for me, there was something very visual involved in this experience... It somehow felt like those magic eye books that were popular back in the 90s, the ones where if you stared in the right way it popped into 3D.) Is the practice described here in the article more or less what you had in mind? It seems to me like it might be a good starting point. (The instructions seem quite simple, which is a plus. The last stanza of the poem you quoted is pretty much how I'm feeling about meditation teachings right now.) 

Anyway, regardless of technique, I think the key issue for me is going to be balancing establishing some kind of practice with avoiding grasping or expectations. When I was in the middle of the satori experience it was so clear that there was no goal and no path, but as the afterglow has faded after a few days, I can see myself striving to try to repeat the experience. Of course I realize this is counterproductive, but it's like I can't help myself, I really am so curious to see more.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I can't talk to anyone I know about this experience, so I'm grateful to have this forum. 

PS

p s:

Regarding your advice, "If you aren't meditating, begin.... consider doing a retreat." Honestly, I haven't been very focused on meditation for many years now, as my experience with it was mostly frustrating and counter-productive.
What happened to me the other day was NOT induced through meditation, and actually felt like it was the complete opposite of all the meditation techniques I've ever done. Perhaps I've been doing it completely wrong all this time, but I felt like my attention was going in the opposite direction as I had been taught to do by Goenka and etc....  rather than zooming in to focus ever more closely on one tiny body sensation or etc, as I had been doing, my attention went in the opposite direction and opened up to the whole world.

I was never a particularly good meditator, but like me, you might find that has changed, or will change soon. Dzogchen and Zen don't focus so much on technique, but more on allowing the underlying awake-awareness to well up of its own accord. If there is a technique, it is in letting go of any technique, dropping the way we typically try to contrive the mind and letting it be as it actually is underneath the noise of your thinking process. The Tsin Tsin Ming points to this beautifully.

What happened to you the other day was not OTHER than the clear awake nature of mind, if your glimpse was "enlightenment". Meditation in this manner is merely resting in the the nature of mind you are hopefully now already familiar with. Meditation now is a way to bring mind back home, opening it wider and relaxing it vs. focusing it tighter.

On your advice, I'm reading now about open awareness meditation, and from first glance that sounds like a much better fit with the experience I'm describing than any of the other the meditation techniques I've known. Actually, the "Mind Like Sky" described briefly here https://www.lionsroar.com/a-mind-like-sky/ strikes me as quite similar to what I experienced. (Except, for me, there was something very visual involved in this experience... It somehow felt like those magic eye books that were popular back in the 90s, the ones where if you stared in the right way it popped into 3D.) Is the practice described here in the article more or less what you had in mind? It seems to me like it might be a good starting point. (The instructions seem quite simple, which is a plus. The last stanza of the poem you quoted is pretty much how I'm feeling about meditation teachings right now.) 

Yes... it should sound familiar, and yes this practice is roughly the right idea. Kornfield's suggestion is fantastic, as you'd expect. : )

I really like this as well:

https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-meditate-dzogchen-ponlop-rinpoche-on-mahamudra/

Anyway, regardless of technique, I think the key issue for me is going to be balancing establishing some kind of practice with avoiding grasping or expectations. When I was in the middle of the satori experience it was so clear that there was no goal and no path, but as the afterglow has faded after a few days, I can see myself striving to try to repeat the experience. Of course I realize this is counterproductive, but it's like I can't help myself, I really am so curious to see more.

This advice you have for yourself is fantastic. No goal and no path is precisely right - and that what you have seen is ALWAYS here to be seen. Just closign your eyes, taking a deep breath and allowing the mind to settle can reconnect you. Grasping to your progress, the right technique, using the right language or meeting the right teacher are all counterproductive. Let go of the idea that the "experience" will ever come back. Experiences come and go. You aren't chasing an experience, ideally you have gained an insight - and THAT can be permanent. The more you let go,  - of progress, and the idea that "you" are doing it, - the more you will see, in my experience. Is it really up to you? 

My suggestion would be to dedicate yourself to practicing regularly, but do not beat yourself up about missing a sitting session, like you are a "bad person", merely rededicate yourself to your next sitting session. Try once or twice a day for 20 minutes and try to move that up to perhaps 40 minutes over time, or try adding 5 minutes every hour you are awake to reestablish your mind in quiet openness regularly. The idea is to try to tie together these moments of awareness, and thus deepen the overall open awareness in your everyday life. 

Feel free to message me.

p s:
Thank you Stirling for jumping in. I really appreicate the comments and advice I'm receiving. 



Anyway, regardless of technique, I think the key issue for me is going to be balancing establishing some kind of practice with avoiding grasping or expectations. When I was in the middle of the satori experience it was so clear that there was no goal and no path, but as the afterglow has faded after a few days, I can see myself striving to try to repeat the experience. Of course I realize this is counterproductive, but it's like I can't help myself, I really am so curious to see more.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I can't talk to anyone I know about this experience, so I'm grateful to have this forum. 

PS

   Stirling is right about meditation. There is a path. 

   You can't repeat an experience. Don't try. Don't do as the unenlightened do, who are guessing at what they don't know, and almost invariably convince themselves they have been there and know all there is to know. One cannot make something happen because one desires it to happen. Give up desire. Let it happen.

   Brother, I struggled with meditation for many years. It sounds so simple, so easy to do and practice. I expected reasonably quick success, being as I had lots of insight, or so I thought. Many attempts over many years failed to result in a regular and satisfying practice. When tachycardia forced my heart rate up to ~150 bpm, I needed to disengage my thought patterns from my racing heart, as I was overreacting to everything and making other people unhappy as well. For maybe 6 months I stared out the window 15 minutes twice a day, because if I closed my eyes even briefly I would doze or zone out, not keeping the awareness and stillness I was trying for. After six months or so I began to be able to shut my eyes and not sleep. After a year, I could do 45 minutes twice a day comfortably. After two or three, I could sit cross-legged for the entire period without discomfort. Now it is a piece of cake.

   My point is it takes really a lot of commitment to get out of meditation what many here get out of it every day. It is worth that commitment if you don't want to whirl around in samsara, from the god realm of satori to the hell realm of lost soul. Meditation can be your anchor and refuge, your peaceful center. More to the point, the regular practice of "just sitting" in thoughtless peace gives you an ability to manage your thought processes that you cannot even imagine today. Fear, doubt and other toxic feelings can be realtively easy to dismiss, with practice and insight. You have the insight. Please trust me when I tell you that you need the practice. This is not a matter of insight, it is a matter of determination and effort. Anyone can do it, it is no easier for those who have glimpsed than for those who start with nothing but grit. In the end, it is practice which makes the real difference in whether you continue to progress spiritually. You progress by making no attempt to progress, by not wanting to progress. You practice not from desire but as a way of life. As dogen says, "Zazen (sitting meditation) is the universal practice of all the buddhas."

   The path is the goal.

terry

RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way
Answer
2/8/20 4:36 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Thank you again for your time and your wisdom! I will do as you say. Since I stopped trying to recreate the experience a few days ago, I've started to experience a subtle increase in peace, compassion, and openness. Feels good, like it's a confirmation I'm on the right track. The track of not being on a track, I mean. emoticon 

You have received excellent advice here.  I would encourage you to explore things with openness and curiosity.

A book that may be helpful is Riding the Ox Home by Daido Loori.  Just don't get too tied up in trying to make your own experiences fit into someone's framework.  If something resonates then explore with curiosity.  If not, then set it aside for the time being.  Conceptual wrestling will only lead to agitation. 

Trust deeply in what has opened up for you.



Stirling-

What translation is that? It is an excellent version

RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way
Answer
2/9/20 11:29 AM as a reply to scott snow.
Scott,

There are a number of translations here, though this version is my favorite:

https://terebess.hu/english/hsin.html#23

Even so, in my mind I always translate the 2nd and 3rd stanzas into:

"Do not seek the truth
only cease to cherish opinions.

If you wish to know the truth,
then hold no opinion for or against anything.

To set up what you like against what you dislike
is a disease of the mind."

Which I read in a book, and haven't found a translation that matches it. emoticon

RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way
Answer
2/9/20 12:02 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Thank you guys.

RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way
Answer
2/10/20 5:45 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Thanks Stirling.

Interesting that it  is an interpretation rather than a translation.  It is the best I've come across. 

And it seems that someone who has grasped the heart of the matter to some degree will always create a more "true" translation/interpretation.

And to the OP- things will ripen and mature for you.  Best wishes for your journey.

RE: All of those cheesy Zen sayings suddenly are true in a very literal way
Answer
2/10/20 12:07 PM as a reply to scott snow.
scott snow:
Thanks Stirling.

Interesting that it  is an interpretation rather than a translation.  It is the best I've come across. 

And it seems that someone who has grasped the heart of the matter to some degree will always create a more "true" translation/interpretation.

I absolutely agree on both counts. emoticon

I came searching for the cheesy Zen quotes. Maybe the cheesy ones are the edge-tippers I thought! emoticon

Big thank you all of you who have posted here. I am going to mark this question as answered, as I feel like I've gotten some great diagnostic information and advice.

If you're curious, here's a quick update on how things look 10 days out ...

If you asked me 2 weeks ago about awakening I would have cynically said it was probably a self-induced hypnotic state that was a side-product of reading too many Dharma books. I now would say that the central insight that has stuck with me is that awakening is real. I also have seen that awakening is "here" right this moment, and not "out there" as an object to seek. Periodically throughout the day I keep reminding myself (or being reminded) of the mind-like-sky perspective. For a second, my vision kind of opens up a bit and I feel a little "headless." I'm not getting the precision and clarity and impact of the initial experience, but the sense that awakening is right here is a constant companion now. 

Other changes that are more minor but maybe worth mentioning: I feel like negative emotions or thoughts roll off me much more easily than before, in conversations with my wife or at work for example. I've been hit a few times with strong waves of elation, and at others with strong feelings that I have an increased capacity for compassion. Several projects that I was very focused on no longer seem so important, and I'm letting go of them to free up more room to develop this positive energy and see where it goes. Finally, I do feel I've been a little bit more absent-minded — not scattered, but head in the clouds a bit and unable to really focus on detail-oriented work for very long — which might be due to the frequency of drawing my attention to the headless feeling. I'm assuming this will stabilize eventually. 

On the meditation front, I now find myself very much looking forward to practice, but not at all interested in continuing the way that I was doing it in the past. As I sit now (in the way that has been recommended by Stirling and others above), I'm starting to notice that even through the act of wanting to pay attention to phenomena I'm producing mental tension, and am trying to focus on relaxing that like you all have suggested. 

No sure how any of this tracks with anyone else's experience, but I understand that it's a different path than the Theravada-focused practice that most of this forum is dedicated to, and that's ok. I've gotten a few books and audiobooks based on the above suggestions and will see what comes of those. The answers I've gotten here on this forum though have encouraged me to be comfortable with my own experience and to let this unfold in its own time. For that I am very grateful. 

Wonderful, p.s! 

You may very well enjoy and relate to some of the exercises here based on what you're saying about headlessness. 

Funny you should mention it, but it was listening to a 5-10 min intro to the Headless Way while driving home from work that triggered this whole thing in the first place. 

Hello,

Although I completely agree that some traditions might call this experience satori or kensho, but how do we know it wasn't a spontaneusly induced 5th jhana of boundless space (since illumination aspect is not present we can provisionally rule out the 6th)?

The sense of self reduced, sense of awareness of space deepened. Some say that practice of formless attainments was a seperate one from form/rupa jhanas. And some say that it has it's soft version, in which the clarity of thinking is retained.

This might be of course just a name war and what you understood and can use matters the most.

Kensho means seeing the nature and you might want to answer/in words yourself what is this nature that you saw.  Because it's very easy to start forming wrong dual views after any nondual experience.

Also the kinestethic memory of kensho contains only let's say 5 percent of the real deal and it naturally becomes one of the objects in the awareness. Many people cultivate this experiental bodily memory and it can be used as a tunell to the real deal. But it can also be twisted and taken for the real deal later. Writing from experience and own trials and errors. Hope it makes any sense to you and congratulations :-).