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I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride

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I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
3/11/20 5:41 PM
I have never been a meditator, but over the course of the past month-and-a-bit, a lot of weird shit has been happening to my brain. 

All of this occurred in daily life, with no active attempts to meditate or guidance beyond Daniel's dharma book and a tabletop RPG.

Occurences, in order:
1: I forced myself through my flinch response in order to acknowledge and respond to one of my vices. (Overstepping people's boundaries in the attempt to "help" them.) 
This resulted in a dissolution of my good/evil, love/hate and truth/lie binaries, and along with it some super fucky cognitive effects, most notable of which was a form of hyper-empathy that, er, made being praised or insulted by my girlfriend innately sexually pleasurable. This lasted about a week. 

My guess here is an A&P Event. 

2: I noticed that I was accidentally examining the three characteristics, and put them together into a realization of my own mortality. I was wracked with intense grief for 3-4 days, quit a number of my commitments as obvious overextensions, and almost donated most of my fantasy books to the local library. My guess here is that this was Dissolution, Misery and Disgust doing their thing.

3: Keeping the Three Characteristics in mind, I deliberately let go of everything immaterial I wanted. All my convictions, ideals and social roles went into the dustbin. 

This resulted in a cessation-of-meaning event where it suddenly became _absolutely obvious_ that humans were just animals, all of ideology was made up, and I'd been a huge idiot. I had fits of uncontrollable laughter as I suddenly got theexistential joke. 

This state of lack-of-meaning persisted for about 5-6 hours, at which point I deliberatelyselected a principle to believe in (love) because I didn't want to live a life without meaning.

As a result of this, I stopped feeling bound by ethics, ideology, etc. It felt very much like I had died and been reborn. (And came with a similar level of fear in the choosing.)

Longer-term effects of this seem to include some insight intoflawedness, as following it, I began to instinctively reject binary constructs in favour of analog reality. Further effects of this included being more able to comprehend calculus, more easily able to speak to people of a spiritual bent, and a higher overall level of self-esteem. The self-esteem part has partially dissipated, but the rest remained. 

I wasn't convinced quite yet, but after a bit more processing I became convinced I knew the meaning of life, and became tempted to leave all my material possessions behind and become a wandering monk. 

Fortunately, I kept a cool head, because that urge dissipated as I kept investigating my emotions and the nature of sensate reality.

Based on the combination of characteristics here, plus the fact it convinced me that the Buddha knew what he was talking about, I would probably call this StreamEntry.

4: Following this, I investigated the reality of my senses further, and came to the conclusion that none of them were reliable. This resulted in a spooky sense of derealization, like everything around me was controlled by some unseen puppetmaster, lasting 4-5 hours before I decided I'd take it on faith that my wife was real. This resulted in a similar "snap-back" of perception, and slid pretty much directly into...

5. A state of deep unitive feelings with the universe, where I became convinced that either reality was deterministic or I was god. I rejected both of these as well, substituting free will, which slid into... 

6. The belief that time did not exist and I was some kind of four-dimensional object in spacetime, hallucinating time passing, and that I had no definite boundary with anything.

This then fell into a belief that some far-future humanity would ressurect me after my death. Enforcing "material, impermanent, flawed" on humanity got me to...

7: The belief I was complicit in all of society's crimes, due to the flawed nature of society and my failure to oppose it.

8: My inability to find a satisfactory resoltion to this led me to finally say "okay, I give up, we all die." This was probably dissolution again. 

9: Following this, I had three days of heavy fatigue, then sourceless feelings of dissatisfaction with everything, which clued me in to the fact I was still in the Dark Night. 

10: At which point I pulled out a game construct from Chuubo's Marvellous Wish Granting Engine, and symbolically "died." 

This has left me with a sense of deep confidence about what I actually want out of life, and seems to have done something to my attentional capacity as well; the world seems to have more depth to it, more happiness, more life, and my senses seem both sharper and more isolated spatially. 

I don't know where I am or what I'm doing, but I feel like I've got a second Fruition in here somewhere: the last thing in particular feels Very Big. I feel like I died, and this is a heavenly afterlife... which makes my thoughts go towards anagami, but in two months without meditating??

Any advice the more experienced dharma people could give me would be very welcome.

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
3/11/20 6:00 PM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
That's quite a lot of effort invested in trolling. Been frustrated lately?

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
3/11/20 7:26 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's quite a lot of effort invested in trolling. Been frustrated lately?


... Sorry, I should probably have read the forum listing before fricking posting. This probably belongs in Dharma Diagnosis, and if I'd read the idiot's guide...

5: Pretty clearly A&P Event #2. 
6-7-8-9: Dhukka Nanas. 
10: Possibly Eqanimity and Fruition? This was a very, uh, intense experience emotionally, it was clearly a big deal, but it feels like I'm a lot lighter. I would describe the primary characteristic that shifted is... it feels like I have better depth perception now? Mmm, looking out the window that doesn't whatthefuck the room is curved. 

what the fuck, my eyes aren't lying to me about "straight lines" being straight anymore

okay I'm taking this to dharma diagnosis, what the what

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
3/12/20 10:58 AM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
As of this morning, something went plink and I suddenly realized I'd been playing a character for my entire life, and furthermore that I had never actually interacted with objects as they are, only my expectations of them.

I did a drawing-from life exercise on a hunch, and discovered I had much less trouble with original seeing - I don't have to deliberately "see the light" anymore, my brain seems to just do that automatically instead of getting in my way. 

I think what I was experiencing yesterday was a combination of Equanimity's "panoramic perspective" in my daily experience and this new non-symbolic effect.

Contributing factors to yesterday's weird experience:
- Equanimity's attentional quality of panoramic expansiveness
- previous attentional vagueness in the dhukka nanas
- new nonsymbolic effect removing the projection effect of the world being rendered onto my eyeball
- I'm strongly nearsighted and wear glasses, so the nonsymbolic effect is likely amplified by lens aberration at the edges of my glasses. I haven't tried with contacts yet, but I expect the effect to be less with them.

My general willingness to deviate from social scripts has increased significantly, as well as my willingness to take risks and reach out to people. I'm also having what I might describe as a weak unitive experience - I have the perception that "I love all humans."

Given the "plink -> laughter" experience this morning, as well as the continuing differences in sensory characteristics even though I seem to have lost Equanimity's panoramic attentional quality, I'm fairly sure this is 2nd path. 3rd path was entirely wishful thinking on my part; I just want to be done with this fricking thing already. The comment from MCTB that "it feels like I'm being done by the dharma, rather than the dharma doing me" feels deeply apt right about now. Sigh.

I want to say I'm in Mind and Body, but this whole vague dissatisfaction thing I've got going at the moment suggests I'm cycling already. Sigh. Can't wait for another fricking A&P event.

> see title

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
6/5/20 1:32 AM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
I've had a bunch of these realizations too. In my experience it's like there are big ups and downs (which you're in now) and it gradually settles over a long period of time. I guess the big thing is to try and find grounding in reality and accept that you are going to be living a new life that includes these kinds of realizations regularly. We can talk about it more privately if you want.

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
6/8/20 2:29 AM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
Evangeline Rose Ingram:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's quite a lot of effort invested in trolling. Been frustrated lately?


... Sorry, I should probably have read the forum listing before fricking posting. This probably belongs in Dharma Diagnosis, and if I'd read the idiot's guide...

5: Pretty clearly A&P Event #2. 
6-7-8-9: Dhukka Nanas. 
10: Possibly Eqanimity and Fruition? This was a very, uh, intense experience emotionally, it was clearly a big deal, but it feels like I'm a lot lighter. I would describe the primary characteristic that shifted is... it feels like I have better depth perception now? Mmm, looking out the window that doesn't whatthefuck the room is curved. 

what the fuck, my eyes aren't lying to me about "straight lines" being straight anymore

okay I'm taking this to dharma diagnosis, what the what

I think Polly misread you here, Evangeline Rose. You're no troll, and this is a perfectly legitimate post on DhO as far as I'm concerned.

My copy of Chuubo's just came in the mail, finally. I am lost at sea in it, and maybe you could help me find a place to stick a toe in?

Stable Practice
Answer
6/29/20 9:18 PM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
Hi Evangeline
Sounds like you could perhaps benefit from a lot of shamatha practice. Less reading maybe. I currently study with Bhante Suddhaso of Empty Cloud Monastery in New Jersey (emptycloud.org and buddhistinsights.com) and he emphasizes this over and over. I went through something similar after reading some of Dan's stuff esp the arising and passing away experiences. Long and short is I took a workshop with Bhante S and realized how litttle I really understood on how to approach this practice as the Buddha taught in the Pali Suttas. Following Bhantes advice I rapidly (about one month) stabilized my practice and recently was able to sit for as long as 3 hours. A lot of stability and peace in my practice now as well as in my life so I recommend him highly as he is very approachable. Currently he teaches three or four times via youtube live under "Buddhist Insights along with Aaya. Fridays are "Monk Chat" where anyone can ask any Buddhism related question. They are quite "serious" practioners (all are ordained monks in the Thai Forest tradition) but have great senses of humor. Another monk I highly recommend is Ajahn Jayasaro tho not accessable unless you go to Thailand but his talks on youtube are real jewel.
Best to you

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
6/29/20 9:35 PM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
Hi Evangeline

I am very new here and do not yet have a good feel of the 'tone' of conversation. I am going to assume that you are dead serious. I dont consider myself an expert and I offer my opinions as a data point for you to consider and use your own powers of discrimination.

Regarding the A&P:

When attention skills develop to a certain degree you can catch objects coming into your conscious experience from any one of the sense doors and stay with them till they leave. It feels as if the 'object' came out of nowhereness and nothingness - danced in front of you and dived back into the same nowhereness and nothingness. It begins with one object then you can see absolutely any object you track, do the same. This gives you the 'knowledge' that objects, experiences, stuff has a clear distinct start and a life cycle and a clear distinct end in your conscious experience. This signifies a certain level of skill and a 'knowledge' about the nature of your own conscious experience.

During meditation you may jump in joy, drown in sorrow, laugh your ass off - it .... doesnt  ... matter!

Think of Archimedes and the discovery of the method to determine the purity of gold. The A&P event is that discovery, the running down the streets in joy is Archimedes' personality - it has nothing to do with the discovery. Had it been some other scientist, they may have simply dressed themselves, lit a cigarette, opened a can of beer and relaxed on the couch watching Netflix.

Nothing that you have written here ... in my mind ... has any value in terms of providing you firm feedback.

Regarding Stream Entry:

This is an event involving experiential insights leading to a very clear understanding that the sense of self that you walk around carrying with you everyday everywhere is a fiction. It is a realization that 'you' are not the doer of the stuff that goes on in your mind, 'you' are just one of the things that actually get done. 'You' are an output of the workings of the mind the same way hatred, love, like, dislike are an output of mental processes. 'You' are a product and not a 'producer'. 'You' are created by the mind in order to assign agency to stuff that goes on in your mind. This is not an intellectual realization  - this is deeply experiential and its effect is not seen in 'phenomenology' in meditation its effect is seen in the very real world where the very relationship you have with the contents of your own mind and the world providing stimuli are fundamentally changed so that you dont take stuff as seriously any more ..... not as an intellectual position but as a fundamental shift in how you experience the world and yourself within it as you go about buying groceries.

Even if you are trolling ... I hope you find some value in these opinions of mine.

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
6/30/20 2:22 AM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
I just want to clarify that I was wrong when I assumed that Evangeline was a troll and I have apologized to her elsewhere. Sometimes people actually just happen to have the same family name as the founder of the forum and first initials that correspond to where that founder used to work and at the same time write about their own experiences as if it were a brilliant satire of the entire forum. Evangeline is the real deal. She has written updates in a later thread. Please don't be suspicious of her because of my mistaken gut reaction.

edited to add: With "the real deal" I mean authentic person. I'm not doing dharma diagnosis. 

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
6/30/20 6:43 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I just want to clarify that I was wrong when I assumed that Evangeline was a troll and I have apologized to her elsewhere. Sometimes people actually just happen to have the same family name as the founder of the forum and first initials that correspond to where that founder used to work and at the same time write about their own experiences as if it were a brilliant satire of the entire forum. Evangeline is the real deal. She has written updates in a later thread. Please don't be suspicious of her because of my mistaken gut reaction.

edited to add: With "the real deal" I mean authentic person. I'm not doing dharma diagnosis. 

amen, +1.

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
7/2/20 4:44 AM as a reply to Evangeline Rose Ingram.
Hey Evangeline,
I get you, its f****** annoying if the universe is using you as a punchball.
The problem with social theatre sounds very familiar to me emoticon
My often needed emergency kit for "dharma goes brrrr" is:
  • no map thinking, no theory at all
  • "ying" practice: not pushing, just feeling what is, accepting what is, caring about the body and feelings
  • powering out the energy battery: sport, arts,... whatever your hobby is to channel your energy in
  • sticking to the social standard protocoll: act along, do what you always did in terms of social norms and professional behaviour (even if it feels like total bs) - playing with your social credibility as a zen master is very cool, as a layperson not so emoticon
  • no caffeine, no alcohol, no drugs
  • hitting a punching bag
I wish you the best and peace of mind

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
7/2/20 10:55 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Evangeline Rose Ingram:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's quite a lot of effort invested in trolling. Been frustrated lately?


... Sorry, I should probably have read the forum listing before fricking posting. This probably belongs in Dharma Diagnosis, and if I'd read the idiot's guide...

5: Pretty clearly A&P Event #2. 
6-7-8-9: Dhukka Nanas. 
10: Possibly Eqanimity and Fruition? This was a very, uh, intense experience emotionally, it was clearly a big deal, but it feels like I'm a lot lighter. I would describe the primary characteristic that shifted is... it feels like I have better depth perception now? Mmm, looking out the window that doesn't whatthefuck the room is curved. 

what the fuck, my eyes aren't lying to me about "straight lines" being straight anymore

okay I'm taking this to dharma diagnosis, what the what

I think Polly misread you here, Evangeline Rose. You're no troll, and this is a perfectly legitimate post on DhO as far as I'm concerned.

My copy of Chuubo's just came in the mail, finally. I am lost at sea in it, and maybe you could help me find a place to stick a toe in?
The ritual on page 313 was the linchpin for me. Repeatedly confronting death sent me through a series of altered and ecstatic states that corresponded roughly to places in the text's setting. 
If you don't know where you are, you're probably on Little Island. In my experience, most places are a bit uncomfortable to stay for long periods unless you're "meant to be there"; as such, I'd consider starting by doing the page 313 ritual in the context of page 282-283's temple, and then continuing to "climb the north cliffs" (read the text in reverse order) in search of Celestia. If you get stuck, repeat the page 313 ritual. You can also consult me directly via email, and I'll do my best to guide you through this exceedingly eccentric spiritual path. 

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
7/2/20 11:01 AM as a reply to streamsurfer.
streamsurfer:
Hey Evangeline,
I get you, its f****** annoying if the universe is using you as a punchball.
The problem with social theatre sounds very familiar to me emoticon
My often needed emergency kit for "dharma goes brrrr" is:
  • no map thinking, no theory at all
  • "ying" practice: not pushing, just feeling what is, accepting what is, caring about the body and feelings
  • powering out the energy battery: sport, arts,... whatever your hobby is to channel your energy in
  • sticking to the social standard protocoll: act along, do what you always did in terms of social norms and professional behaviour (even if it feels like total bs) - playing with your social credibility as a zen master is very cool, as a layperson not so emoticon
  • no caffeine, no alcohol, no drugs
  • hitting a punching bag
I wish you the best and peace of mind

I ended up doing basically everything in this list over the course of my three-month recovery from the psychosis this ended up being. (Though I think there's real insight too, just less than I thought.) All of this is good advice and I recommend it to anybody who's in a similar pickle. I'll also take a moment to highly recommend dancing as a grounding activity. 

RE: I want off Mr. Buddha's Wild Ride
Answer
7/2/20 11:09 AM as a reply to Adi Vader.
Adi Vader:
Hi Evangeline

I am very new here and do not yet have a good feel of the 'tone' of conversation. I am going to assume that you are dead serious. I dont consider myself an expert and I offer my opinions as a data point for you to consider and use your own powers of discrimination.

Regarding the A&P:

When attention skills develop to a certain degree you can catch objects coming into your conscious experience from any one of the sense doors and stay with them till they leave. It feels as if the 'object' came out of nowhereness and nothingness - danced in front of you and dived back into the same nowhereness and nothingness. It begins with one object then you can see absolutely any object you track, do the same. This gives you the 'knowledge' that objects, experiences, stuff has a clear distinct start and a life cycle and a clear distinct end in your conscious experience. This signifies a certain level of skill and a 'knowledge' about the nature of your own conscious experience.

During meditation you may jump in joy, drown in sorrow, laugh your ass off - it .... doesnt  ... matter!

Think of Archimedes and the discovery of the method to determine the purity of gold. The A&P event is that discovery, the running down the streets in joy is Archimedes' personality - it has nothing to do with the discovery. Had it been some other scientist, they may have simply dressed themselves, lit a cigarette, opened a can of beer and relaxed on the couch watching Netflix.

Nothing that you have written here ... in my mind ... has any value in terms of providing you firm feedback.

Regarding Stream Entry:

This is an event involving experiential insights leading to a very clear understanding that the sense of self that you walk around carrying with you everyday everywhere is a fiction. It is a realization that 'you' are not the doer of the stuff that goes on in your mind, 'you' are just one of the things that actually get done. 'You' are an output of the workings of the mind the same way hatred, love, like, dislike are an output of mental processes. 'You' are a product and not a 'producer'. 'You' are created by the mind in order to assign agency to stuff that goes on in your mind. This is not an intellectual realization  - this is deeply experiential and its effect is not seen in 'phenomenology' in meditation its effect is seen in the very real world where the very relationship you have with the contents of your own mind and the world providing stimuli are fundamentally changed so that you dont take stuff as seriously any more ..... not as an intellectual position but as a fundamental shift in how you experience the world and yourself within it as you go about buying groceries.

Even if you are trolling ... I hope you find some value in these opinions of mine.

I was dead serious but in an accidental ecstatic state at the time. So I was a few crackers short of a box, you could say. 
I've come to an understanding now that my self is something I actively construct on a moment-to-moment basis, which feels internally like the resolution "There is always a way out if I am willing to change enough." This doesn't feel like the biggest insight that's happened to me, however, as after all my travails I've become much more keenly aware of my own mortality. That in turn has made me put down e. g. video games, improve my eating habits, etc. 
I think you could call this an insight into my own impermanence, though I don't really recommend the route I took to get to it! 
If anything, I've learned how to take the world more seriously as a result of this, to more fully engage in all the emotions of life and seek fulfillment rather than shallow fun. I guess you could say it's a bit Stoic.