Announcements Announcements

DhO Hacked and Upgrade

General

ATTENTION!: It appears that our server has been hacked through this version of Liferay, meaning it is no longer secure, and so expect instability as we deal with this and attempt to upgrade to Liferay 7, which we failed to be able to do last year the last time the team attempted it, but we have no choice at this point, so bear with us as we try again. Save any long posts in a text file before posting them. You can follow me on Twitter at @danielmingram for updates if the site is down. Apologies for any complexity this causes. We will work as fast as we can. We have backups of the database, so hopefully nothing will be lost. Thanks to all helping with this complex process.

 

 

 

Message Boards Message Boards

Toggle
PCE or ASC?
vibrations actual freedom actualism pce
Answer
8/21/11 12:11 AM
Hello everyone,

I’ve been a lurker for a long time and this is my first real post. I have a “what was that?” question. First, some quick background. I started meditating during Thanksgiving in 2009 after coming across MCTB which had a huge impact on me (thanks Daniel!). I quickly started meditating an hour a day and started to have lots of Kundalini-ish experiences. After a few weeks or so they gradually transformed into more refined vibratory type of sensations just like the 3-D TV snow that Daniel describes in his book. (After the sits the vibrations would often continue in the right side of my brain and gradually coalesced into a constant tinnitus in my right ear which continues to this day.) I would follow the practice that Daniel suggests in the Impermanence section of MCTB sometimes focusing on the finger tips or other body parts but usually doing sort of a choiceless awareness type of practice trying to be aware of every sensation that arose. Most of the time I would focus on the vibrations on sort of a global scale across my whole body. In the early days the whole body vibrations were extremely pleasurable, almost like what it feels a minute or so after orgasm, but this pleasure component has mostly subsided or I have become acclimated to it. Not sure if this is the right way to meditate but that has essentially been my practice.

I went on my first retreat in January of 2010, a week-long at IMS and really enjoyed it. During the teacher session I described my vibration experiences to Richard Shankman and he told me it was Piti or rapture, which I had read about and thought that he was likely right. I went on a second week-long retreat in July of 2010 at IMS. The theme was the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and on the 3rd day at the beginning of a sit Christina Feldman gave us instructions for Mindfulness of the Mind and talked about spaciousness. During the session the vibrations arose as usual and I began to try to be aware of the space above my body in ever expanding arcs. This was the first time I had ever meditated on spaciousness. Normally during a sit my eyes are half opened cast somewhat downward without focusing. This time my eyes were closed and I noticed they were pointing upwards as if trying to look up. The vibrations seemed to be isolated to the top half of my skull. I was sitting in the meditation hall at IMS in the middle of a hot summer day with fans blowing on either side. All of a sudden there was what I can only describe as a perceptual figure-ground reversal, a sudden dramatic change in how I was perceiving, especially hearing. It was as if I was in a giant cathedral with gorgeous sounds bouncing off the walls. I listened to the blowing fans and people coughing with sheer delight and wonder and amazement. When I heard a bird singing in the distance it was indescribably delicious, like it was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Listening to that bird and other sounds outside I started realizing that the normal subject-object relationship in consciousness had changed. I sensed that I was abiding in pure awareness, somewhere in between the subject (my normal self) and the object, upstream in the usual perception process.

When the session was over I walked outside to begin the walking session. When I looked up at the trees I was astounded. I thought, “Oh my god, it’s like they are in 3-D.” And then I chuckled to myself realizing that of course they were in 3-D. But they somehow looked more real. It wasn’t like I could make out more details in the branches and leaves, but there was a dramatic increase in clarity somehow. I realized that there was no sense in doing a standard walking session, that what I was now experiencing was what I was there for, that this was the point. I started walking around in total amazement at the incredible sights and sounds and sensations. I was experiencing everything as if for the very first time, jamais vu. It was as if I had just awaken from a dream, as if I was awake and alive for the very first time. Nothing had changed but everything was now extraordinary. The world and everything in it seemed beyond beautiful, even the weeds growing on the retreat grounds. There was a very strong impression that this was perfection, that everything was pure and perfect. It was like my perception had been purified. I remember thinking that this must be what Jesus meant by “heaven on earth”. If I believed in God I have no doubt that I would have thought that I was experiencing God. I looked up at a big ole tree overlooking the grounds and thought, “You’ve seen this before haven’t you. You know.” I sensed that I was part of the unfolding of the universe or part of the flow of existence. I remember thinking that now I know what predestination was, but that people got it wrong. It wasn’t that specific events are predestined but that there is an unending flow to existence and that everyone and everything was part of that flow whether they knew it or not, and that everything is exactly as it should be. I sensed that I was intimately part of everything else. A fly landed on my hand and I thought “Fly, you are as much my brother as my genetic brothers.” This interconnection wasn’t just with living things. I looked at the concrete sidewalk and sensed a similar connection to it, as if we were all part of the same thing. Nothing was separate. Some thoughts that arose were, “This is just a taste” (knowing that this was a peak experience that wouldn’t last), “This is seeing the ox” (Zen ox herding pictures), “I am awake for the first time”, “This is perfection”, “This is pure awareness”.

So far I’m assuming this sounds pretty PCEish. But in addition to all of the above, I should note two other things. One was that I felt a tremendous amount of gratitude. At one point I walked over to the Buddha statue in the garden and kissed the ground at his feet. There was a feeling of immense reverence and thankfulness. The other thing was periodically throughout the experience tears would flow. I don’t know where they were coming from but it was clear that it was some kind of release. The tears flowed strongest when I thought of the word “release” (release from what I don’t know). There was actually a lot of laughter too intermixed with the tears. One minute laughter, the next minute tears. The experience lasted for the most part of two days with some ebbing and flowing.

So what do you think? Was this a PCE or an ASC? Or some kind of mixture of the two if that’s even possible. On the one hand, part of me thinks it doesn't really matter what it's called. It had a profound effect on me and is guiding me to move forward on this path. On the other hand, my goal is AF, and I am open to other interpretations. I think it’s important to have some healthy skepticism toward one’s own subjective experiences and if it turns out that this experience is a spurious emotional and spiritual one from the perspective of AF then I should find out what a real PCE is like.

At the time I thought of it as a peak experience. In the past I have had experiences that were somewhat similar to this (without the tears but with the gratitude) but nowhere near that level and not for that duration. They were mostly when out walking alone in nature or down a street in the neighborhood.

When I went on the retreat I was not familiar with Actualism but shortly upon my return I came across reference (on KFD I think) that Daniel had “converted” to AF and I was intrigued. When I started reading about AF I immediately felt an affinity to it. So for about a year now I have been practicing Actualism, reading a lot on the AF Trust website and this forum, doing HAIETMOBA, etc. but I have not had anything close to the peak experience of the retreat. I seem to have glimpses but that’s all. I pretty much stopped formal meditation after getting the impression on the AF website that it was a waste of time, even though my experience on the retreat indicated otherwise. I have started meditating again some (but not consistently) after reading the comments by TJ Broccoli, Nicolai, and others on Ed’s Goenka course thread.

So now I guess I’m sort of at a crossroads wondering if I should get back into formal sitting on a consistent basis and if so if I should do something beyond the 3-D vibration thing (if I even can). By the way, I have tried the spaciousness meditation a number of times since the retreat but it never had the same result.

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

Jim

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/21/11 12:42 AM as a reply to Jim Noyes.
It seems like you started off with a PCE (the jamais vu portion of it) which then devolved into an ASC with feelings of oneness and "immense reverence". Maybe you can try to recall just that portion of it if you're trying to remember a PCE.

Richard:
It is often the case that a PCE can devolve into the altered state of consciousness (ASC) known as spiritual enlightenment – such is the power of identity sweeping back in – and it is not uncommon to then self-centredly take the ASC as being superior to the PCE.
The ASC is exceptionally self-centred (it is sometimes expressed as ‘I am everything and Everything is Me’) ... just look at your own words (further above):
• : ‘The state in which you’re able to know your Self is a state in which you are blown up through space and time, becoming everything’.
Need I say more?
[1]


[1] Richard - Correspondence

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/22/11 7:15 PM as a reply to ManZ A.
ManZ A,

Thanks for the response. I think you are right. I thought more about the experience and remembered that there was a lot of affect throughout most of it. It seems to have been for the most part a fairly typical emotional/spiritual experience. I went back and read the descriptions of PCE’s on the AF Trust website and remembered that a critical part of the definition of a PCE is that there is no emotional component at all. I remember Tarin stressing this to Daniel during the Hurricane Ranch recording.

So I’ve come to the realization that this experience was nothing significant other than to be used as a warning reminder to not allow passions to come flooding in when a PCE happens. Thank you for helping me with this.

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/23/11 6:48 AM as a reply to Jim Noyes.
Hey, glad you are getting something out of all of this.

I had just one though on your last post, where you say to not let emotions flood into the PCE: the thing is, PCE's end, and even during them, there is some subtle emotion, the "wow" factor that PCE's have. Further, there is no way you can stop emotions in the "I will stop emotions from coming in" sort of way, as the two are bound up in each other, meaning the sense of being a doer who could stop emotions and the emotions themselves.

Thus, perhaps attentiveness to the emotions, sensuousness regarding those experiences, and an appreciation of this-happening-hereness, rather than the attitude that when in a PCE you should work to keep it emotion-free, and instead just enjoy the PCE, and learn how, when in a PCE, typical triggers do not tend to lead to the typical reactions, but that is different from working to keep out emotions, as it is just the universe doing what it does.

It still sounds like the experience you had was quite transformative and remarkable, and I wouldn't worry about exactly what it was, but more importantly, would notice the delicate experience of the memories of it that occur, the interpretations of that experience as experiences as they occur, and feelings regarding it as they occur, and enjoy just being present now as they and the rest of it happen.

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/23/11 2:18 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel,

Daniel M. Ingram:
Thus, perhaps attentiveness to the emotions, sensuousness regarding those experiences, and an appreciation of this-happening-hereness, rather than the attitude that when in a PCE you should work to keep it emotion-free, and instead just enjoy the PCE, and learn how, when in a PCE, typical triggers do not tend to lead to the typical reactions, but that is different from working to keep out emotions, as it is just the universe doing what it does.


This ties perfectly into what I've been experiencing. At first, the PCE like experiences tended to trigger blissful feelings. To be honest, I don't think that it would be a good idea to fight them, as you say as well.

In my experience, the more you get used to it, the more the accompanying emotions fade.

Today, I had a PCE for a few minutes and felt nothing at all. Before this, I could never imagine a feeling free experience being better than a blissful/pleasurable one, but it was one of the best experiences I've had in a while. Just the senses at work, no feeling.

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/23/11 4:44 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
the thing is, PCE's end, and even during them, there is some subtle emotion, the "wow" factor that PCE's have.


I think this is a very important point. So many times I've been in a PCE, and felt these extremely slight feelings/affective tones, and kept questioning whether or not this is a PCE instead of enjoying sensuousness. I have a question. When in a PCE and you feel that slight affective tone, is it still apperception?

Understanding that a PCE may have that tinge of feeling is good to keep riding and enjoying the pce without getting caught up in the slight feeling.

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/23/11 5:18 PM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam Bieber:
Daniel M. Ingram:
the thing is, PCE's end, and even during them, there is some subtle emotion, the "wow" factor that PCE's have.


I think this is a very important point. So many times I've been in a PCE, and felt these extremely slight feelings/affective tones, and kept questioning whether or not this is a PCE instead of enjoying sensuousness. I have a question. When in a PCE and you feel that slight affective tone, is it still apperception?

Understanding that a PCE may have that tinge of feeling is good to keep riding and enjoying the pce without getting caught up in the slight feeling.


Yes, I think this is also true from my experience. And "I" have often aimed towards the PCE, rather than just trying to be as happy and harmless as much as "I" can be with not so great results. This may be very important to see as "I" don't exist in the actual world so the closest "I" can be to the innocence of the actual is to be naivete. So I've found that rather than aiming for the PCE (if you can't remember the PCE or cannot get into it very easily), the best option for "me" is to be naivete. And I've recently used the "reaching down" technique more often (in conjunction with HAIETMOBA/attentiveness) with wonderful results.

Richard:
In a PCE, the identity is merely in abeyance – not extinct – and this abeyant ‘me’ casts an ever-so-faint shadow over the purity of the perfection made apparent. This ever-so-slight pall is of little or no account, however, given the vast differentiation betwixt ‘reality’ and the actuality being evidenced and what one sees is, more or less, what one gets.
[1]

Maybe that is the little bit of feeling that's there in a PCE?

[1] Richard - Correspondence

RE: PCE or ASC?
Answer
8/26/11 5:06 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks Daniel. Really excellent advice. I like the "...it is just the universe doing what it does" and remember a similar thought from MCTB.

After a year and a half of lurking I’m glad I finally threw that experience out on the forum. I don’t know how many lurkers the DhO has but if they are like me they very much appreciate the site and are getting a lot of benefit from it.