Koan-like philosophical question triggered something?

Erui Konig, modified 12 Years ago at 8/15/11 5:09 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/15/11 4:52 PM

Koan-like philosophical question triggered something?

Post: 1 Join Date: 7/24/10 Recent Posts
I've been sitting for 2 years. I try to study on my own and diligently practice, even though I've received no formal instructions since I haven't found any good teacher in my country. I plan to find one in the future.

I do two things: either I count breaths or I just sit. I follow instructions I read from countless sources mostly Soto Zen.

In these two years, I've only had 2 very intense experiences. One was a few months after meditating every day. A profound blissful state.

The other was almost 2 years later - that is, one month ago. I was reading actually reading European philosophers (Heidegger and Hegel), and I became obsessed about a question. The question was: "What is being?" - "Is it possible that being is just a negation of negation?" - This is not far from what could be a Buddhist question: is it possible that something can 'exist' without having self-nature, or substance, or selfhood? Is it possible that something can exist only in relation to other things, and these other things only in relation to other things, and so on and so forth, and that substance, being, things (or the thingness of things) is just pure appearance, while it's really all empty? It was driving me crazy and I stayed awake for 2 days consecutively ruminating on these questions. I was possessed. Then I thought I need something to calm me and I decided to go sit.

I went to sit and I wanted to do what I always do, zazen, just sitting; "forgetting the self" and letting the myriad things come forth. - But it was incredible because as soon as I sat down, in about 20 seconds, something happened. It felt like the Plato's allegory, leaving the cave, seeing the Sun. Or like - sorry for the cliche example - stepping out of the Matrix. - It didn't feel like an experience. Not at all. It was a real event. It was something that happened objectively, in the structure of the world, not in my head. At least it felt that way. And I was 100% that I understand everything: one with God-consciousness. Direct apprehension. It didn't feel like this was going on here, in this plane of existence, but somewhere else. It was like an enormous Nothingness from which everything comes forth, a black pearl emanating ten billion things at once. If I had to describe it visually, although it wasn't a visual experience, it looked a bit like the eye of Sauron, but darker, almost black. I feel stupid talking like this, but I wonder what you will say.

Time seemed as only an appearance, nothing real. My whole life an illusion; especially the idea that it's a narrative. I didn't really exist in that place, because nobody can exist there.

It was the happiest moment of my life. I thought "I was here before; I know this place; here everything makes sense" - it felt absolutely homely. The only time without dukkha, suffering completely ceased for a while.

But soon after I realized that returning to this normal "plane" of existence, our human world, I will be forced to forget that extraordinary experience. And indeed, I was forgetting it pretty fast, it was slipping away fast hour after hour. What I describe above might be a distorted or incorrect description. After the experience I felt that I was there before (it felt like I was there before birth or aeons ago). And that it's impossible to bring that experience into this world, because this world cannot tolerate that experience, has no words for it, and you can't function properly if you don't forget it. So the following days, I forgot about it more and more, and the feeling that I intuitively grasp truth and understand the world went away, and a mild depression kicked in. It felt again like I'm clueless and miserable. And from then on ... I meditated, and meditated, nothing. From then on, meditation seemed like a complete waste of time. "Wall-gazing" indeed. I still do it, though, because I'll never stop doing it.

Before reading Ingram's book I asked some Zen people I know and they told me it's "makyo" or illusion. Someone else said it's a glimpse of kensho, seeing the true nature. Now reading this website I think it could be defined as the 4th nana followed by "Dark Night of the Soul" - I thought this could really define it. Because it seems on this forum most of the time people ask similar question to mine and the answer seems to always be A&P

Actually, before finding this explanation here, I dismissed it as an acid flashback (I experimented with LSD a few times in the past - but not in the period of this experience ... which. left me confused. But I want to do everything I can to go back there.

P.S.: Sorry if this gets asked ad nausem; and sorry for the long-winded message. Thank you if you read through.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 12 Years ago at 8/18/11 12:48 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/18/11 12:48 PM

RE: Koan-like philosophical question triggered something?

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
i can't say for certain, but it might have been what some call a PCE. you can read more about it to find out for yourself: main topic, descriptions of PCEs, and plenty of links to follow from the first one. if it was a PCE, then you might be interested in having that event happen again, in which case you could take up the practice of actualism; a good starting page here