It feels like mindfulness/vipassana is what’s CREATING my sense of self & t

Bananas Bananas, modified 1 Year ago.

It feels like mindfulness/vipassana is what’s CREATING my sense of self & t

Posts: 7 Join Date: 8/8/20 Recent Posts
In the following post, I have tried to give as clear a description of my subjective experience as possible, as such I have used a lot of descriptors & it is a little bit on the long side. If it’s a bit long for your liking, I highly recommend listening with your computers text-to-speech, set to 1.5-2x speed.

In short: I feel like mindfulness is what is CREATING my sense of self, not getting rid of it (& I can’t turn it off!)

Just incase it’s useful, here’s some quick background: I have crossed the A&P & am now in early dissolution. Why I think this: movements don’t seem to arise & pass, only pass, as though my noticing is too late to “catch” the arising.

So here’s the rundown: During my deepest meditations, I find myself in a deeply peaceful, perfectly still, effortless, spacious place. The inside of my skull feels physically empty & weightless & all mental activities are effortlessly silenced…except for one: my observing presence, which feels indistinguishable from mindfulness. The physical senses are sort-of still perceptible in peripheral awareness, but there is no division between them, instead it’s like there’s one division left in an otherwise non-dual reality: me. Over the past few weeks, I have, only for very brief periods & under very concentrated conditions, such as after practicing kriya yoga for 2-3+ hours, been able to drop this sense of observing &, for a split second, “pop into” an even emptier space (but which feels like an orgasm (maybe gross Piti?)) that is free from that pesky observer.

BUT: it feels like the ONLY way to trigger this to happen is to intentionally stop being mindful by (get this) intentionally forgetting mindfulness even exists. Problem is, being what feels like the only mental activity (& division within reality) left, it’s really hard to intentionally forget that it exists! Compounding this is that whenever I do pull this off, I have this habit of immediately becoming mindful again, as though trying to “observe” & “understand” this new state (or, dare I say: “compare & contrast” it with the previous). This of course brings me right back to where I was. It’s as though the only way to access this selfless place is to stop observing, stop being mindful, & basically stop practicing insight meditation all together!

Since reaching this point, in my moment to moment experience of life, it now feels like I am actively creating my sense of self THROUGH the act of observing it. Put simply: that by noticing the observer, I am creating him.

My questions are:

1. Where am I? What jhana is this? Is this even jhana? Anyone been here? Any recommended resources, techniques or 
steps going forward?

2. Is enlightenment, or jhana, achieved by just literally forgetting the self ever existed?

3. Is dropping other divisions within reality, such as fear or pain, also done by literally just forgetting that they exist in the 
first place?

4. Am I even practicing mindfulness/vipassana correctly? Whenever I set the intention to “become mindful” of an object/
sense perception or to ‘observe it more “objectively”’, it feels like all I’m really doing is adding a self/observer to my attention, along with the original object. Like this:
     • (1 - not mindful): there is the sensation (sensation only).
     • (2 - I become mindful): there is a sensation of me being aware of the sensation + the original sensation (self + sensation).

5. Is Ramana Maharishi’s self inquiry & regular old vipassana supposed to feel identical? It feels like self inquiry is just 
mindfulness, but with the mindfulness itself as the object & regular mindfulness is just self-inquiry + an object. 

6. I have been practicing 24/7 “mindfulness” in daily life for several weeks, is this practice holding me back now because it has made this habitual/automatic? Should I switch to something else? Technique recommendations (are always appreciated <3)?  

7. All the sources I’ve seen online & the Buddha say that vipassana/mindfulness is the quickest/most effective method to achieve insight & awakening. In MCTB2, Daniel mentions how spending his first few years doing dry insight practice sped up his progress. How can this be if I have to stop doing it in order to actually experience non-duality?

8. ^Can I drop the self another way whilst still remaining mindful?

9. This is a really long post, should I pay for coaching from someone instead of relying on the kindness of innocent forum browsers to save my ass? (Thank u all very very much for reading btw).

10. Should I post this in the dharma diagnosis section instead?

In conclusion: Thank u all so much for taking the time to read & I do hope this made sense. If you have even the slightest 
inkling of an answer to any of the above questions, please don’t hesitate to leave it bellow. Absolutely any form of replies, advice or personal commentaries on my experiences is & will always be appreciated.

Kind regards
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: It feels like mindfulness/vipassana is what’s CREATING my sense of self

Posts: 3209 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Super quickly, as a lot going on:

1) You are right there, experiencing those sensations now.

2) It is not about forgetting the self, it is about clearly perceiving that all the sensations that were pretending to be a self or misinterpreted as a self actually never could have been a self, so work to clealry notice how they actually are. Strategies of avoidance, aversion, ignorance, forgetting don't generally work, but straight up clear comprehension does.

3) Divisions are a tricky question, in that, from a very ordinary point of view, differences in experiences descriminate themselves, so just notice sensations as they are.

4) Yes, things can feel worse before they get better, as the practice brings up a much more clear appreciation of the problem long before it gets definitively solved. It is the clear appreciation of the problem that helps with the solution. "Admitting you have a problem is the first step," as the AA kids say.

5) Well, conceptions of what Ramana was talking about vary, as do implementations of various versions of Mindfulness and insight practice, so hard to compare clearly. Basically, pay attention to what is doing on.

6) It is the process becoming "automatic" that makes it eventually able to do what it needs to go. Another word for "automatic" is "an appreciation of causality/natural unfolding/not-self".

7) Dry insight vs wet insight vs other forms of practice is an old debate fraught with apparent contradictions. Really, paying attention to immediate experience works on all fronts regardless of what that experience is (dry, wet, other).

8) There is no self to drop, but there is an illusion to perceive clearly as an illusion, so pay attention.

9) Up to you. There are pros and cons to play-to-play, for-profit dharma, and that is a long discussion in and of itself.

10) If you want, but much more important to post in the, "What sensations are going on right here right now" section.

Best wishes,

Daniel
Bananas Bananas, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: It feels like mindfulness/vipassana is what’s CREATING my sense of self

Posts: 7 Join Date: 8/8/20 Recent Posts
Hi, Daniel! Thank you so much for such a comprehensive reply!

In particular, your comment that “Another word for "automatic" is "an appreciation of causality/natural unfolding/not-self” really got me thinking (in a good way)!

Here’s my final take-away: Don’t worry about it. Just. Keep. Watching. What. Is. emoticon.

Have a lovely Sunday (& p.s. I loved your book)!
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