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Looking into the void
Answer
4/3/20 7:44 AM
The beginning of this story sucks, but I think it's worthwhile sharing. My guess is that this is some kind of jhana, but not really sure. Being curious and investigative about this right now.

I had this "unity" experience in december, while smoking pot (emoticonand getting into a very high concentration state and inquiring self (ye ye, you can guess this is A&P story because after that I got into a very dark night mode).

Then I had a sudden *CLICK* and I started seeing everything as myself. I was watching a video of a guru saying stuff and then I saw this guru, and he was "the impersonal me" saying things through the guru to "the impersonal listener". A cosmic one-sided theater experience.

It was only one source from which everything arised and only one source from which everything subsided. Felt a lot of compassion for everything, because it was only 'me' from the beginning. ('true self' experience)

I had a surge of adrenaline and said "oh yeah, this is it! I got it!" lol.

"How I couldn't see this! this was so obvious from the beginning." And all the stuff you say in that kind of mind states.

Very difficult to sleep, high energy, high enthusiasm.

Next day 90% of the experience faded away (as usual) and I got myself entangled in "omg I lost it, I want to replicate it". And started smoking more pot, which lead to sloth & torpor, dark night, and bla bla. 

Thankfully, I could recognize the pattern and got away from it leaving the pot completely and restarting mindfulness practice. Somehow, the A&P experience reignited my passion for truth, one more time (it's part of the loop, this happened 123809 times)

Getting to the point. The kickstarter that gave me that 'mind state' while being high, was looking into the void. And this is something that now I can replicate if I propose it to myself (somehow I 'learned' it)

The process is like this:

1. Recognize the 6 sense doors happening right now. Get really concentrated into receiving all of it and being sensitive. 

2. Recognize that the package of perceptual experience is COMPLETELY COVERED through those 6 sense doors.

3. Consider that EVEN with the total package of perceptual experience being completely covered, there may be one thing you are overlooking: the space which as no form or quality in your perception.

4. This space may be tricky to 'see', but a way of getting into it is checking all objects, one by one, and asking yourself "has this form?", if the answer is "yes", then isn't it. 

5. Eventually you learn that all the classic stuff of perception (6 doors) has form, so you start to get creative. What could be this thing that I not tried to fix my attention before, and that is without form? Can exist something without form and qualities? Yes, it can exist and can be an object of experience, somehow.

6. Well, a *click* has to happen in which you can fix your attention to the 'nothingness' which is 'behind' the experience. Characteristics to describe it are "infinity", "nothing", "black", "margin", "void", "space". But essentialy is 'nothing', and somehow all arises and subsides in a very limited fashion, but nothingness is just there, infinite (no qualities = no limits).

Somehow I know this is important or valuable, but I had this intuition of value before with things that were completely worthless and miscarrying.

I don't get hurt by being curious, whatsoever. (The curiosity killed the cat?)

What do you think about this? Is this just worthless wandering?

Thanks for reading and take care.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/3/20 8:19 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
BrunoA:
The beginning of this story sucks, but I think it's worthwhile sharing. My guess is that this is some kind of jhana, but not really sure. Being curious and investigative about this right now.

I had this "unity" experience in december, while smoking pot (emoticonand getting into a very high concentration state and inquiring self (ye ye, you can guess this is A&P story because after that I got into a very dark night mode).

Then I had a sudden *CLICK* and I started seeing everything as myself. I was watching a video of a guru saying stuff and then I saw this guru, and he was "the impersonal me" saying things through the guru to "the impersonal listener". A cosmic one-sided theater experience.

It was only one source from which everything arised and only one source from which everything subsided. Felt a lot of compassion for everything, because it was only 'me' from the beginning. ('true self' experience)

I had a surge of adrenaline and said "oh yeah, this is it! I got it!" lol.

"How I couldn't see this! this was so obvious from the beginning." And all the stuff you say in that kind of mind states.

Very difficult to sleep, high energy, high enthusiasm.

Next day 90% of the experience faded away (as usual) and I got myself entangled in "omg I lost it, I want to replicate it". And started smoking more pot, which lead to sloth & torpor, dark night, and bla bla. 

Thankfully, I could recognize the pattern and got away from it leaving the pot completely and restarting mindfulness practice. Somehow, the A&P experience reignited my passion for truth, one more time (it's part of the loop, this happened 123809 times)

Getting to the point. The kickstarter that gave me that 'mind state' while being high, was looking into the void. And this is something that now I can replicate if I propose it to myself (somehow I 'learned' it)

The process is like this:

1. Recognize the 6 sense doors happening right now. Get really concentrated into receiving all of it and being sensitive. 

2. Recognize that the package of perceptual experience is COMPLETELY COVERED through those 6 sense doors.

3. Consider that EVEN with the total package of perceptual experience being completely covered, there may be one thing you are overlooking: the space which as no form or quality in your perception.

4. This space may be tricky to 'see', but a way of getting into it is checking all objects, one by one, and asking yourself "has this form?", if the answer is "yes", then isn't it. 

5. Eventually you learn that all the classic stuff of perception (6 doors) has form, so you start to get creative. What could be this thing that I not tried to fix my attention before, and that is without form? Can exist something without form and qualities? Yes, it can exist and can be an object of experience, somehow.

6. Well, a *click* has to happen in which you can fix your attention to the 'nothingness' which is 'behind' the experience. Characteristics to describe it are "infinity", "nothing", "black", "margin", "void", "space". But essentialy is 'nothing', and somehow all arises and subsides in a very limited fashion, but nothingness is just there, infinite (no qualities = no limits).

Somehow I know this is important or valuable, but I had this intuition of value before with things that were completely worthless and miscarrying.

I don't get hurt by being curious, whatsoever. (The curiosity killed the cat?)

What do you think about this? Is this just worthless wandering?

Thanks for reading and take care.
Ok, I'll start writing my posts to a wordpad before posting here, because I get the answers to my own questions just after tapping enter.

Having in perspective what is my current objective (getting out of the A&P / DN loop) ... this is completely worthless. Any kind of operation that involves projecting value to anything which is not what is going on exactly right now / right here is distraction and feeds my craving mind and conditioning patterns.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/7/20 1:07 PM as a reply to BrunoA.
Bruno, I've been a void experience junkie at times myself. Rumi said, "Live in the nowhere that you came from, even though you have an address here." It's refreshing, at minimum. So don't be too hard on yourself if you enjoy it. We've always got the other dark night nanas after dissolution to keep us honest, in long term practice.

I was laughing at your six-step technique, though. I can't sustain more than a three-step, honestly. Maybe this is why no one ever dances with me. (humor, not self-pity, there.) (I hope.)

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/7/20 8:37 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Bruno, I've been a void experience junkie at times myself. Rumi said, "Live in the nowhere that you came from, even though you have an address here." It's refreshing, at minimum. So don't be too hard on yourself if you enjoy it. We've always got the other dark night nanas after dissolution to keep us honest, in long term practice.

I was laughing at your six-step technique, though. I can't sustain more than a three-step, honestly. Maybe this is why no one ever dances with me. (humor, not self-pity, there.) (I hope.)

Hey Tim! thanks for reading my rants, bro.

Yes, yes... I've been exploring this void-side of experience with less ill-will since that post ... and it's an interesting ride. My mind tends to look that way, it's like an automatical switch to clarity.

It's interesting to see myself in my own patterns and letting them happen. This is the the practice and the fundamental change experiencing right now...
 I was laughing at your six-step technique, though. I can't sustain more than a three-step, honestly. Maybe this is why no one ever dances with me. (humor, not self-pity, there.) (I hope.)
Lots of metta to you regarding your serious and painful dancing problems emoticon. Lol, yes, that recipe is a 'void for dummies' I suppose. But writing things like that helps me to map stuff and learn processes.

How're you doing Tim? How's your meditation going and where do you feel yourself in, regarding maps, your void-junkiness and insights?

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/8/20 4:09 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
BrunoA:
[quote=
]

BrunoA: "How're you doing Tim? How's your meditation going and where do you feel yourself in, regarding maps, your void-junkiness and insights?"

(sorry, Bruno, I'm still figuring out how to reply with a limited quote!)

Wow, big question, of course, and thank you for your interest! I've been seeing myself, map-wise, as pretty much where you seem to be working, in the dark night nanas, with spells of EQ. In a way, that seems like the heart of practice territory, if the path spirals and fractals and so forth beyond stream entry. EQ is sort of the place where "effort" must paradoxically cease, and stream entry is a surprise and a gift when it comes, by all accounts. So if I'm working at all, i'm in the fractal short of stream entry, is sort of how i'm seeing it, and in that light, the blessed non-working of EQ is probably as good as it gets anyway (a friend of mine once said the same thing). I'm a classic Dark Night Yogi from way way back, in the sense that Daniel Ingram uses the term, and i've despaired often enough (not for a while, well, maybe in my last sit, lol, truth-laugh) of ever seeing the light or tasting the fruit or entering the stream or otherwise getting to "the good stuff." John of the Cross, probably my main spiritual guide since the 1980s, says in his Dark Night fruition poem, "In darkness, and secure . . ." When i feel that, I'm okay with a mustard seed of faith and eons to practice. It goes to our mutual enjoyment of the void, and emptiness, as well: that's really as far as it goes, if you're paradoxically happy being nothing. Any something arising beyond that is a gift from the unconditioned, or whatever, it's not ours to do. I do take the Unconditioned as merciful, in my Judeo-Christian first language. (i actually took off at seventeen, as a cradle Catholic, into Buddhism, yoga, and a Kashmir Shaivism ashram, which is where i got far enough into a dark night that only John of the Cross spoke to me, so i have a weird range of spiritual vocabularies, and an accent in every one of them.)

My basic three-step is something i boil down to body, breath, word: find my body through the sensation that presents itself and attend to it; notice the breath as it arises and falls, and watch that resonate through the body perception, with its own dynamism, changing where the perception rests; and word, which partly stands for just the word of God, that which is not me, and so don't question, a given, but in practice is a type of mantra-prayer thing, a gentle mental movement that refreshes the radar screen for the body blip that starts the technique on another round. I sometimes map this quite explicitly onto the Three Characteristics: breath embodying and demonstrating transience, body embodying and demonstrating dukkha, and word embodying and demonstrating not-self.

Lol, hope that's not too much information, amigo. Smae question right back atcha: how's your practice? Where's the beef?

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/9/20 3:21 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Lol! Let me abuse of this brand new technological skill I have.
Wow, big question, of course, and thank you for your interest! I've been seeing myself, map-wise, as pretty much where you seem to be working, in the dark night nanas, with spells of EQ. In a way, that seems like the heart of practice territory, if the path spirals and fractals and so forth beyond stream entry. EQ is sort of the place where "effort" must paradoxically cease, and stream entry is a surprise and a gift when it comes, by all accounts. So if I'm working at all, i'm in the fractal short of stream entry, is sort of how i'm seeing it, and in that light, the blessed non-working of EQ is probably as good as it gets anyway (a friend of mine once said the same thing).
Great... yes, starting to feel the groove of non-doing and recognizing this effortless quality, even present in apparent effort.
I'm a classic Dark Night Yogi from way way back, in the sense that Daniel Ingram uses the term, and i've despaired often enough (not for a while, well, maybe in my last sit, lol, truth-laugh) of ever seeing the light or tasting the fruit or entering the stream or otherwise getting to "the good stuff." John of the Cross, probably my main spiritual guide since the 1980s, says in his Dark Night fruition poem, "In darkness, and secure . . ." When i feel that, I'm okay with a mustard seed of faith and eons to practice. It goes to our mutual enjoyment of the void, and emptiness, as well: that's really as far as it goes, if you're paradoxically happy being nothing. Any something arising beyond that is a gift from the unconditioned, or whatever, it's not ours to do. I do take the Unconditioned as merciful, in my Judeo-Christian first language. (i actually took off at seventeen, as a cradle Catholic, into Buddhism, yoga, and a Kashmir Shaivism ashram, which is where i got far enough into a dark night that only John of the Cross spoke to me, so i have a weird range of spiritual vocabularies, and an accent in every one of them.)
Oh I see... I really do think that this 'paradoxical happiness' with just being where you are and not needing spiritual highs any more (even though they may happen), is the shift on the practice that may lead to unblock the dark night path to more equanimous baseline states. 
My basic three-step is something i boil down to body, breath, word: find my body through the sensation that presents itself and attend to it; notice the breath as it arises and falls, and watch that resonate through the body perception, with its own dynamism, changing where the perception rests; and word, which partly stands for just the word of God, that which is not me, and so don't question, a given, but in practice is a type of mantra-prayer thing, a gentle mental movement that refreshes the radar screen for the body blip that starts the technique on another round. I sometimes map this quite explicitly onto the Three Characteristics: breath embodying and demonstrating transience, body embodying and demonstrating dukkha, and word embodying and demonstrating not-self.

Very insightful to read about your own process. I think that when you speak of "word" is in part this "effortless quality" I spoke before. The impersonal 'isness'.
Lol, hope that's not too much information, amigo. Smae question right back atcha: how's your practice? Where's the beef?

¡¿Donde está el bife?!

Hmmm, well... I ramped up my meditation practice rate to two hours p/day since 1st April. So the practice changed and now it's more harsh, and needs more determination to go through it. Experiencing aversion, and doing the practice of including the aversion in the experience. 

Having difficulties with narrowing my concentration to a point (nostrils), sometimes I find myself 'efforting' too much to get this happening, effort that gets translated in high energy and intense sensations, ringings on ears and vibrations which are just uncomfortable.

When this happens, I just recognize this as something that happens by itself, even the 'efforting' (no-self quality of experience?).

Even get entangled in thoughts about this while meditating, and then recognizing the effortless quality of hard thoughts and judgements about my 'efforting'... and it's just infinite loop.

But yeah, the beef is in precisely noticing this 'effortless quality' even behind 'effort' and 'aversion to effort', and 'effort to not be averse to effort' and all posible combinations of symbols.

The mind is adjusting his way through all this, I suppose. Today I had a more calm 1h session. I'm adjusting the motivation to practice... not needing/craving enlightenment or wanting to fix delusion, but learning to being compassive with the boy just as it is, experiencing the crappiness and entanglement just as it presents itself.

Maybe I'm not doing technically things well, but I find my 'compassive' interpretation of whatever I'm doing to be more useful to the new insight i'm envisioning than thinking about being 'right' in the technique of meditation. But this is just my bet on this, maybe I'm completely wrong and a monk would surely hit me right in the teeth with those hard wood sticks.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/10/20 5:13 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
BrunoA:
Lol! Let me abuse of this brand new technological skill I have.




Amigo!!! You are a master. I really just don't know how to do that beautiful reply broken down into separate quote boxes. My state of the art, which I will use here, is multiple separate replies to each point, as so far I am a one-box apprentice in this.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/10/20 5:20 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
BrunoA:

¡¿Donde está el bife?!



!Esta es mi nueva "palabra" / mantra vipassana! !Gracias, oh gran maestro iluminado, por iniciarme en esta profunda profundidad manométrica! emoticon (emoticon de asombro)

(mucho diccionario y traductor de Google)


RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/10/20 5:27 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Just click on the source button. Then you can write code. I'll give you some tips:

To make an unnamed quote: [ quote]text text text
To name the person you quoted: [ quote=name]text text text
Italics: [ i]text
Bold: [ b]text

Then unclick the source button and see how it turned out. Make adjustements as you wish.

Edit: Damn, the code works even without the source button. I'm trying with added spaces that aren't supposed to be there to see of that makes the code visible.



Yup, that worked. So just remove the spaces in these commands.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/10/20 5:39 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
[quote=BrunoA

]
"Hmmm, well... I ramped up my meditation practice rate to two hours p/day since 1st April. So the practice changed and now it's more harsh, and needs more determination to go through it. Experiencing aversion, and doing the practice of including the aversion in the experience." ]]


bruno--- see? i just can't do this box shit right yet.


anyway, to address the point you were makiong in what i meant to be a nice neat box, I think the set time we devote to meditation practice, ritually, with committment, is very important. It is itself part of the technique, and should be as by-the-numbers as possible, in a mathematical and fractal sense, an explicit iteration the the technique's algorith, repeated every time to radar screen renews itself as the over all pattern evolves and mutates. My own time standard for meditation is "as much as I can stand", lol, but also seriously. I don't usually talk much about it beyond that, but it seems relevant here to share a little more, because it's particular to this conversation with you, and i have a couple of things that have served me very well. The basic breakdown for me at present is three distinct meditation periods. I used to do two, and at some point a few years back, I found i needed a third just to stay in the distant sight of sanity, so I sort of took my total meditation time for the two sessions at that time and divided it by three. Once I have the times set, I do my three sessions daily, and in any given session, if I complete the entire time, I add a second of time, 0:00:01, on to the next day, in the spirit of upping "how much I can stand" as gently as possible. T.S. Eliot says "humankind cannot bear very much reality," but i can bear one second more tomorrow, most of the time. On the other hand, if for whatever reason, from physical pain to agitation of the mind and emotions, I bail out of a sit before the timer goes off, I take off a second for the next day's sit, minus 0:00:01. So just for the pure absurd and meaningless specifics of this, my state of the art three sessions now are 1:12:22 (one hour, 12 minutes, 22 seconds, really), 0:59:02, and 0:43:25, each one the result of its own trends and evolution over some years. 

Doing it this way allows me to notice certain broad patterns personally. I am bipolar, and during most depressive episodes my total time goes up three seconds per day, because i really have no desire to do anything else. And I can tell how much toward the manic end of the cycle pretty much by noticing how much the sessions are shorter before my more energized and agitated mind compels me to jump up and go do something urgent and stupid. I am currently in what I think of as a mild mania, and losing three seconds a day, after months of pretty steady dark night depressive practice, adding three. I've got seconds to burn, baby, from one point of view. From another point of view, i'm in ever-growing danger of getting locked up on a psych ward. Somewhere in between, God willing, is my real practice balance.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
4/12/20 8:24 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Hey Bruno, I quoted you on donde esta las biefe on another thread, with some amusing ripples--- if may be hard to find it on a packed thread, but the exchange takes place in the early hours of 4/12 --- https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/20028095 , if you want to have a chuckle.

(edit) shit, el bife. My spanish sucks.

RE: Looking into the void
Answer
5/9/20 2:51 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
emoticon
Argentine Gaucho, this is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, do you copy? Over.