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Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/5/20 9:21 AM
So this morning I had a short meditation and afterwards I had an interesting experience. So the meditation is done and I get up to go about my day and thoughts were naturally coming back inside my head. Now, I mean I literally could see (hear, experience) my thoughts inside my head and I started thinking; if I am able to SEE (hear, experience) my thoughts, then of course I am not those thoughts. But then what am I? Well I am awareness basically, I guess..

So for the first time I was clearly seeing my own mind and felt it was a bit like software. My awareness being the hardware and my mind the software that's operating on it. Thus when thoughts (e.g. I am a fool), images (e.g. daydreaming) and emotions/feelings (e.g. sadness) come to me during the day, I naturally feel adressed by them because they are very personal and I identify with the mind. So the mistake here is that the hardware experiences the software directly without making a distinction between the two.

All of the things that come up during meditation is just basically stuff created by my mind. And so meditation is aimed at clearly seeing the distinction between awareness and mind stuff for increasingly longer periods of time. 

Am I on the right track here? I'm curious what you think of this!

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/5/20 5:01 PM as a reply to Buddhamma.
I think you are definitely on to something here. Good stuff emoticon

Normal ordinary sense of self can be completely disabled. In the end the best mind states you can have are not devoid of it. The way it is used is changed and because of non-duality is something that your nervous system is comfortable with your mind will be comfortable with momentary lack of sense of self. I say this because the trick to feeling very well with yourself and not feel gaping hole in your existence is to be also comfortable with sense of self and because of how dharma is being presented one might get impression experiencing sense of self, especially after experiencing non-dual mind is some kind of failure. It is definitely not. Hope this advice helps you not get the kind of issues I had.

Anyway, have fun emoticon

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/6/20 1:13 AM as a reply to Buddhamma.
We are humans and as such need our ego to function in this world. It's part of our organism. Nothing bad with it all emoticon 

There is ego even when thinking subsides and joy arises. When in Jhana ego is enjoying it. When we cut our finger we grab onto the wound to stop bleeding. When we encounter a snake we have that feel to fight or flight. Its a good thing to have, as good as having a heart to pupmp the blood through our system. It makes us function. 
Ego is also that very force saying "let me meditate today, I might feel better from it". 


Thoughts are indeed something to Note during meditation and even off the cushion. 
Here is a fun little exercise you can do if you so choose ;
Note any particular thought and try to find if it's causing any body sensations emoticon Can be anything like: tension, relaxation, vibration, twitching, tingling, ringing frequency in the ears, hissing frequently in ears, itching, coolness, ... 

Try and connect Body Sensation with any Thought that is present. 

I think it might be a good thing if you open one thread in form of your Practice Journal. This way you and we can follow your progress. It will be easier to give advice also. 

it's very good you are keeping a daily practice. 

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/6/20 3:25 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
There is ego even when thinking subsides and joy arises. When in Jhana ego is enjoying it. When we cut our finger we grab onto the wound to stop bleeding. When we encounter a snake we have that feel to fight or flight. Its a good thing to have, as good as having a heart to pupmp the blood through our system. It makes us function.

I disagree or rather I have different definition of ego. To me ego is just function in the brain which evolved in humans to aid communication. It creates a story about "what is happening" in order for us to easily communicate it with other humans. No matter how ego-less we feel we are we still use ego to communicate and that is why it never feels other humans are lacking ego even if they claim they removed it emoticon

Pleasant experiences do not need ego. Ego can be also enjoying things but it is different thing entirely and ego itself produces its own pleasurable sensations.

Similarly ego can produce unpleasant sensations, either from something unpleasant but also from things which normally without context of ego would not cause any dukkha. And that latter case is why sometimes removing ego helps to remove unpleasant sensations and make us feel better.

Also you do not need ego for fight or flight responses. When you see snake you just react. When you see beautiful woman you react. Ego not needed in either case.

The issue with ego is that sometimes it becomes the only way we experience reality, it just gets too strong, to the point it becomes opaque and opinions made by ego overpower experiences we would otherwise have. It then creates positive feedback loop with itself that increases this through-the-lens ego world view even more and it all becomes total mess.

Summarizing removing ego does not actually mean removing ego and surely it does not mean some state of derealization where we loose even more basic functionalities that allow us to function in this world at all.

Thing to mention here is that these more basic functionalities are just like the ego I just described and so those are also separate from other parts of our mind and in the similar fashion can require some tweaking, seeing underneath them, etc. and similarly like the ego we do not want them completely gone and rather to put them in right context and working with the right sensations producing strength so they do not cover everything and we have fuller more complex view of our mind and reality it makes us experience.

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/6/20 10:38 AM as a reply to Buddhamma.
@Ni Nurta

Thanks! You make a lot of sense here!

@Papa Che Dusko

"When in Jhana ego is enjoying it." That's a very sharp observation. I wouldnt've figured that out! A practice log might be a cool thing to do. I haven't done so before because it is difficult for me to write understandable english sentences and express what I am thinking. But I guess I will make a practice log! Thanks for the interest of me doing so. That's so kind!

BTW. Is the excercise you are describing from the Mahasi style?

@Ni Nurta

You make some very good observations here. Is what your describing in your post this? Ego never really goes away because of course we need it to function in society. Rather we don't identify with the ego and all it's desires or hates.

Instead of our ego having a code written by habitual patterns, genetics, desires and dislikes, we now are the controller of the code and can write into the code or decide with wisdom if something is good or not. Normally this is not possible because we don't see how this works and are far too late to really change anything.


@All 

I want to thank you all for writing such detailed posts and the kind words therein. Much metta to you all. 
 

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/6/20 12:31 PM as a reply to Buddhamma.
Each of beings inside your body is a meditating buddha but mind/consciousness can lack knowledge of its structure and generally what the hell is happening. Awareness of this being the case and you, one of these beings, might lack any idea what and who you are and take story made by mind/consciousness as it being somehow actually you. This taking consciousness as being you is the identification gone wrong. Ego in this case is just taking ignorance to the next level.

You can have totally non-dual experience of reality and yet not have realization I just mentioned and fall victim to effects of this ignorance. Ego which tends to keep ignorance about your nature (or structure ;) ) when used improperly is at the same time actually one of the best tools you have in your disposal to break out of this ignorance and recognize what you really are. For pragmatic reasons and not to make yourself and other people confused it is in my opinion better to keep this distinction and not even suggest identification with ego to be an issue. For all it is worth identification as ego makes more sense than being completely confused when you start to tackle this thing with wrong assumption ego is the issue here.

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/6/20 3:26 PM as a reply to Buddhamma.
Yes, I do refer to Mahasi Style noting as thought by kenneth Folk. Its basically the same except that maybe people in Burma might easer get into Access Concentration and hence have less hindrances than Western busy people. This is just and assumption. Kenneth has seen his students doing much better if they are Noting Aloud , hence not getting lost in the Hindrances.

I agree with Ni Nurta about not making Ego an issue. Let Ego be Ego. In this contemplative practice we Observe all that which is creating our sense of Reality. When we sit to meditate we are like a Scientist Observing a Project. Phenomena Arise and Pass Away and we keep noting and applying Profound Midnfullness by Noting Aloud all that can be sensed within each moment. By Noting it we also take away some of that objects energy away from it. Actually it kind of looses energy as we now Know it better. The more we Note it the more we Know it and the less energy it will have.

Lets say Fear. Let me demonstrate this; (I sit down on a normal chair with eyes open and I start the Freestyle Noting Aloud. Matter of Fact and keep at it for the duration I have set to do this (10minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes ... whatever time). I say at the start of the session "I will now practive Freestyle Noting Aloud as thought by Kenneth Folk to the best of my ability and I will do so for this much time without loosing the stream of consciousness, and I will do this to attain to awakening for the benefit of myself and all other beings".

So I begin (usually 1 sensation noted per second); by the way, I will write the comments in brackets which I dont Note Aloud, I just want you to know what is being sensed so you get a picture of how this looks in practice;

Seeing, seeing, seeing (the floor, the wall, whatever is being seen), hearing, hearing (birds outside, passing cars ... whatever is there), touching, touching, touching (my behind sitting on the chair, sensing the preasure against the chair), restless, restless, restless (thinking how much time is left until the end of this meditation), imaginging, imagining (I see the image of my iPhone in my mind, which is my timer), unpleasant, unpleasant (feeling about the restlessness), seeing, seeing (my own nose, its not sharp but I can see it), wetness, wetness (the spit in my mouth),, imagining, imagining (Im seeing the image of my mouth with teeth and the tongue, this is just an imagination of the mind Im not being psychic), hearing, hearing (car passing by my house), imagining, imagining (my mind is imagining the car, there is a red car and is going either up or down the road, this too is not real, just a mind imagining stuff), assuming, assuming (mind is assuming that another car might pass soon), listening, listening (mind is listening if there is any car noise coming up), fear, fear, unpleasant, unpleasant, thinking, imagining, preassure in the chest, heavy breathing (all these are Fear, the mind is feeling fear, thinking if the door was locked, sensing preassure in the chest and heavy breathing), coolness, coolness (the cool air touching the nostrils as Im breathing in, hearing, hearing (car passing the house), seeing, seeing (bird flew pass my window) ... etc ... this goes on until the timer rings. Please note how Fear stopped being an issue at one stage as something else came into the awareness emoticon These things come and go, all the time, they Arise, Stay for a bit (peak experience) and Pass Away just to be exchanged by something else which again does that very same thing emoticon

If you feel that your fear is out of control it is a very good thing to contact a Psychotherapist and talk about this with him/her. I did that as I suffered from PTSD for decades. These things, medition and therapy can go well togther.

My worse paranoia was cured by Concentration practice called Ki-Breathing. It did not result in awakening but it did help with it. I still have Fear arise but now I have different relation to it emoticon remeber how I said above that each time you Note an experience and see it arise and pass away, that sensate experience looses each time more power. It becoms at some stage just like pain caused by hemorrhoids emoticon Sure they are unpleasant and casue discomfort but Im not going all into panic anymore. At times fear can last for no more that an icth on my head. These things come and go. We keep Noting them (Satipatthana).

Yes. I think a practice thread on this forum can be of benefit. Your english is good enough. You explain thing very well.

The awakening is in THIS moment hence it is THIS moment we Note/observe/get to know it/shed light of awareness all over it emoticon
THIS as an unbroken stream of consciousness. Note, note, note in a non-subjective manner as if you are watching a movie emoticon Once the alarm goes off you get up and simply go back to your life and bring your ego friend with you emoticon send the Ego some Loving Kindness (Metta) as Ego was sitting with you in meditation also emoticon

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/9/20 1:14 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Some excellent advice. I am going to practice your noting advice, especially the last part is valueble. I've noticed that Loving-Kindness is so important while meditating. Noticing just how hostile, panicky and sometimes even quasi depressed my mind is, the practice of metta helps just so much. I'll come back to your post here to see your walkthrough of the meditation experience. Really helpful. Thanks so much!

RE: Non Duality-experience
Answer
3/9/20 5:44 AM as a reply to Buddhamma.
You are welcome. May you practice well!