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Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure

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Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/8/21 12:44 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Chris Marti 1/8/21 2:19 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/8/21 2:29 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Dustin 1/8/21 6:40 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/8/21 4:25 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Dustin 1/8/21 6:40 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure George S 1/8/21 3:50 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/8/21 4:32 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/8/21 4:34 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure George S 1/9/21 8:16 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/9/21 10:26 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure George S 1/10/21 5:06 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure George S 1/10/21 5:25 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/11/21 11:39 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/11/21 12:45 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/11/21 2:10 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/11/21 3:14 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/11/21 3:42 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/11/21 4:05 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Olivier 1/11/21 4:17 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/11/21 8:57 PM
Thread Split Chris Marti 1/15/21 1:12 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/11/21 3:38 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure George S 1/12/21 6:02 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/12/21 9:22 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/11/21 12:21 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Papa Che Dusko 1/8/21 5:31 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/8/21 10:43 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Tim Farrington 1/9/21 2:33 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/9/21 10:18 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure Robert L. 1/9/21 8:54 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/9/21 10:34 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/9/21 1:31 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure terry 1/9/21 3:10 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure J W 1/9/21 4:29 PM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure spatial 1/16/21 8:14 AM
RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure spatial 1/16/21 8:25 AM
Hey DhO pals,
I am looking for advice on something that I have noticed in my practice over the past year or so. (For a little background on my current practice, you can check my last logentry).

So I will sometimes get head pressure, which seems to be common to a lot of people here, which can be somewhat uncomfortable but I am more or less used to it at this point, although I would ideally like to see some of that pressure get relieved. A couple of things I have noticed about it is that the pressure seems to become abated after ‘peak’ experiences, and it also seems to be related to ‘macro’ cycles, and tends to be more pronounced during the Peak of A&P going into the DN phase.


But, the main thing I am curious about is that there is sort of a Voidness aspect to this physical pressure as well. When I am meditating and noticing this pressure or pain, when I start to get into deeper meditative states, the pressure sort of transforms into a feeling of sort of being sucked towards this gravity well/black hole thing (Voidness). Sometimes it’s quite strong to the point where I almost have no control and start to sort of blink or fade out, nod off. On a few occasions I think I may have actually ‘passed through’ so to speak, but it’s always been pretty hazy and not really felt deliberate.

But basically my question is, should I be trying to go into this Void, or “deeper” into this Void? Or should I just be hanging out around the edge and sort of working on other parts of my practice? To ‘cast a wide net’ or ‘dig a deep hole’, so to speak?

I guess a lot of my hesitation comes from horror stories of ‘falling into the Void’ too soon and having to deal with DPDR or depression issues. I worry that I am pushing too hard and might end up getting blindsided by a DN. So currently whenever this gets overly intense I sort of back off, either stop meditating or switch to a more samatha/body oriented practice. Or, I sort of hang along the edge, meaning, just sort of rest on the outskirts of Voidness, which sort of seems to work to soothe whatever discomfort/disconnection I am experiencing.

On the other hand, there is an argument for just ‘pushing through’ and diving completely in // letting go completely. I guess I just want to be confident in doing that, before I do it, if I do it.

One last thing that I have noticed is that there are some similarities between this Voidness state and what I’ll call the ‘subtle mind’ state which is basically the state right before sleep. There is an aspect of lucidity in each one. However, in the subtle state, things are usually more relaxed and natural feeling, at least in my case. So part of me is inclined to just want this Voidness experience to happen in this subtle mind state, where it can happen more as part of an automatic process, rather than done intentionally during sitting meditation.
On the other hand, I would say the deliberate effort in sitting meditation working with Voidness could actually contribute to putting my subconscious mind in a better position to experience Voidness in pleasant way before/during sleep.

Thoughts? Advice? Concerns? Thank you!

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 2:19 PM as a reply to J W.
I may have missed this in your post but where exactly is the pressure being felt? Is it in your forehead?

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 2:29 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Usually in the forehead region, yes. Sometimes it moves to the top of the head (not the crown) or conversely downward along the nasal bridge and occasionally it will move a little bit toward one side or the other, like into the left or right eye socket region.

The Voidness/lucidity aspect can sometimes feel like it's located in the middle of the brain (pineal region? temporal region?) but as far as the more physical pressure, yes, forehead.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 6:40 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
Usually in the forehead region, yes. Sometimes it moves to the top of the head (not the crown) or conversely downward along the nasal bridge and occasionally it will move a little bit toward one side or the other, like into the left or right eye socket region.

The Voidness/lucidity aspect can sometimes feel like it's located in the middle of the brain (pineal region? temporal region?) but as far as the more physical pressure, yes, forehead.
I get this pressure on the right side mostly, sometimes the left and then the top some other times. The void experience seems to alway go on in the right side above the ear. Seems the same as yours where I seem to be pulled into to nothingness. I was thinking maybe I'm being transported to a high jhana. It also seems to me like it has something to do with drop outs in eq. I'm no master though and at a certain time I gave up on trying to know for sure. I have had those same fears as you though. Also I've never noticed any of it in practice, only in daily cycling off cushion. Glad you posted about it.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 3:50 PM as a reply to J W.
Hey JW, I have a lot of head pressure, which varies in intensity in cycles of months. Sometimes I've gone into the centre of it and experienced the emptiness, but it's always right back there afterwards. Sometimes it's so strong I can't ignore it and then I'm just playing around on the edges of it. A couple of times it has disappeared completely for a few days. From reading other people's experiences it seems like it might be around for a few years before fading. I feel like it's a function of the purification process, from being a "head based" person. Over time as the awareness of the rest of my body has increased I've started to feel the energy flowing down from my head lower in the body. I talk about 'energy flowing', but I think it's really a function of opening up different parts of the body to awareness. Acceptance and patience seems to be the best strategy I can come up with.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 4:25 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Hey Dustin, interesting. It's nice to know someone else has experienced something similar emoticon

Interesting that the voidness would appear on one side...

I have also noticed it in daily cycling as well, for instance when I'm going for a walk or something, I'll feel sort of lightheaded or offbalanced, almost like a vertigo feeling.

So then what do you do if anything when this occurs?  Any adjustments in practice, do you lean into the voidness or just ignore it?

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 4:32 PM as a reply to George S.
agnostic:
Hey JW, I have a lot of head pressure, which varies in intensity in cycles of months. Sometimes I've gone into the centre of it and experienced the emptiness, but it's always right back there afterwards. Sometimes it's so strong I can't ignore it and then I'm just playing around on the edges of it. A couple of times it has disappeared completely for a few days. From reading other people's experiences it seems like it might be around for a few years before fading. I feel like it's a function of the purification process, from being a "head based" person. Over time as the awareness of the rest of my body has increased I've started to feel the energy flowing down from my head lower in the body. I talk about 'energy flowing', but I think it's really a function of opening up different parts of the body to awareness. Acceptance and patience seems to be the best strategy I can come up with.
Thanks agnostic... I have definitely had the same thoughts about it being sort of a manifestation of "being in your head" and then trying to spread it down into the chest and rest of the body.  And heard this advice from a few teachers as well.  The trouble with being a "head based" person is that it's not always easy to open up those different parts of your body emoticon at least for me, haha!

  
Acceptance and patience seems a good approach for now...
So do you experience this voidness quality as well?  If so what do you do with that, just hang out along the edge?

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 4:34 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
agnostic:
I feel like it's a function of the purification process, from being a "head based" person. 
Also interesting to think about the pressure or pain itself as being part of the purification process... 

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 6:40 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
Hey Dustin, interesting. It's nice to know someone else has experienced something similar emoticon

Interesting that the voidness would appear on one side...

I have also noticed it in daily cycling as well, for instance when I'm going for a walk or something, I'll feel sort of lightheaded or offbalanced, almost like a vertigo feeling.

So then what do you do if anything when this occurs?  Any adjustments in practice, do you lean into the voidness or just ignore it?

It is interesting. When I seem to go in the void it's all the way in. Whole body and mind seems to pull in like I'm all gone but I still know I'm gone. I just ignore it. I like cause it feels cool but I've spent so much time attached to states and stages I've tried to just let it all go. One other thing is I sometimes feel like there's an explosion with it. Use to be only the right ear but the small explosion seems like it goes through to the other ear. I chalk most of it up to high concentration. I get eye flashes as well in one or both eyes. Ear ringing and the light headedness you talk about. Also lately I'll wake up in the morning and have experience of knowing all sensations around me like a oneness feeling. 

ps: I don't have experience with the voidness in practice. Only in daily life when cycling. Not sure why. I lay down to practice and usually have the experience while sitting up or something like that. Not sure if laying down to practice changes that. Who knows

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 5:31 PM as a reply to J W.
emoticon


"On the other hand, there is an argument for just ‘pushing steadily plowing through by noting 1-5 sensations a second’ and diving noting/noticing completely // letting go accepting completely. I guess I just want to be confident in doing that, before I do it, if I do it."

In that case I better don't post my opinion as in what I would do emoticon emoticon 

We can say whatever, but only YOU will know what you are ready to do at this time in your life. No rush if you feel its over your head. 

Best wishes to you mate!

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/8/21 10:43 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
emoticon


"On the other hand, there is an argument for just ‘pushing steadily plowing through by noting 1-5 sensations a second’ and diving noting/noticing completely // letting go accepting completely. I guess I just want to be confident in doing that, before I do it, if I do it."




Best wishes to you mate!
I agree noting can be helpful. Sometimes with more rapid noting I can sort of spread out the energy into more of a spacious VR-ness that is more pleasant.  That is generally the approach I take, though it can get weird when when the sensation I am noting is "feeling of getting sucked into a vortex" lol.  Looking at it from a binary noting perspective, it's like, do I allow this to happen and let the 'process' whatever it is occur?, or do I sort of accept and observe from afar? Part of me is just like, well if this thing really wants to suck me in or whatever, just let it happen.  

Papa Che Dusko:
We can say whatever, but only YOU will know what you are ready to do at this time in your life. No rush if you feel its over your head. 
Words of wisdom.  And I guess if I don't know if I'm ready, I'm probably not ready - lol!  

This is helpful.  Thank you and thanks all.   I think I have my answer for now.  (Though any more ideas more than welcome!)


It is what it is, there's no need to push anything or pull anything emoticon
After all, The Void itself is only fabrication.


And this answer is corroborated by a fortune cookie I had at dinner:

"Fear is interest paid on a debt you may not owe."

Means something to me at least.

'Night y'all

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 2:33 AM as a reply to J W.
But, the main thing I am curious about is that there is sort of a Voidness aspect to this physical pressure as well. When I am meditating and noticing this pressure or pain, when I start to get into deeper meditative states, the pressure sort of transforms into a feeling of sort of being sucked towards this gravity well/black hole thing (Voidness). Sometimes it’s quite strong to the point where I almost have no control and start to sort of blink or fade out, nod off. On a few occasions I think I may have actually ‘passed through’ so to speak, but it’s always been pretty hazy and not really felt deliberate.

But basically my question is, should I be trying to go into this Void, or “deeper” into this Void? Or should I just be hanging out around the edge and sort of working on other parts of my practice? To ‘cast a wide net’ or ‘dig a deep hole’, so to speak?

Hi JW. Head pressure for me tends to be a side effect of subtle efforts at control--- the ghost in the machine thinks the steering wheel is in the third eye, or something. When I have it, i use the next out breath to sink lower in the body. I knew a teacher who said that 90% of the contemplative life happens below the shoulders, and that seems about right to me. The paradoxical effect, space-wise, is often that working from low and deep in the body, the space that opens up includes the head pretty effortlessly. This may piss the head off, lol.

The Void! I honestly think that most of the techniques in most of the traditions, assiduously practiced, will get you to the Void. So the first thing is, as you're feeling yourself in the neighborhood, keep doing your technique. You can probably do it without real effort, and certainly do not try to tailor it in any way to "go into the Void" or go "deeper"; in my experience, the Void presents itself precisely when we are not trying to do anything except practice the technique. In myself, it happens naturally once the mind is working quickly and clearly enough to see itself anticipating the next perception, and to not let that anticipation create the perception. Once you're "doing" that, there seems to me to be a relatively regular series of deepenings, a spontaneous shift from tactile perception to visual, an opening of space, and then this kind of synesthetic plasma thing, consciousness aware of itself like a lava lamp, only the shifting blobs are all of reality. Almost all I'm doing at that point is not letting anticipation create something known. And I think I can relate to what you say about a sense of being sucked toward the Void; there is a definite sense of drift-toward for me, and it does bring to mind very naturally a black hole. The only other person I've really talked about this with used black hole imagery very spontaneously too. Her experience of it was much more dynamic, a classic Sucked Into the Black Hole to Nowhere and Nothing, maybe even along the lines of what you're concerned about --- 
I guess a lot of my hesitation comes from horror stories of ‘falling into the Void’ too soon and having to deal with DPDR or depression issues. I worry that I am pushing too hard and might end up getting blindsided by a DN. So currently whenever this gets overly intense I sort of back off, either stop meditating or switch to a more samatha/body oriented practice. Or, I sort of hang along the edge, meaning, just sort of rest on the outskirts of Voidness, which sort of seems to work to soothe whatever discomfort/disconnection I am experiencing.
It sounds to me like you're taking this at the right pace, and with the right attitude. I don't think there's really any way around it, it comes with the territory, and the tastes you're having are already giant steps toward acclimatization. For what it's worth, for me, there's no terror beyond the transition turbulence, there's just nothing, and no discernible reason there should be anything, and that is fine; it seems possible that real thoughts take ten thousand years to form, stuff like that, and there's no hurry. The breath is gone, body gone, you can't really make the mind do anything, but you know that. What brings me out of it is usually a palpable in-breath (there may be a tendency to stop breathing, or to let things go too long between breaths, in the absorption). Or the timer. And then I just get on with my everyday nihilism, lol.


RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 8:16 AM as a reply to J W.
J W:
Thanks agnostic... I have definitely had the same thoughts about it being sort of a manifestation of "being in your head" and then trying to spread it down into the chest and rest of the body.  And heard this advice from a few teachers as well.  The trouble with being a "head based" person is that it's not always easy to open up those different parts of your body emoticon at least for me, haha!

  
Acceptance and patience seems a good approach for now...
So do you experience this voidness quality as well?  If so what do you do with that, just hang out along the edge?

Yeah it's tough when you're not used to feeling your body, but you've got to start somewhere. I would just focus on a feeling or sensation anywhere else in the body you can (heart, belly, seat etc.) and let that sit in awareness for a while. Eventually those sensations grow into a more unified energy location with some blissful stuff thrown in and it starts to get momentum. Then one day you see that the body energy starts to connect up with the head. At least that's what I'm observing, but it takes months-years.

The voidness I'm not sure I'm experiencing the same thing as you. DPDR hit me hard at one point and it's probably best to tread carefully around that if you can, but even that was an important learning experience. Remember, however crazy it gets, you're not crazy unless you do something about it - otherwise it's just noise in the head which is rebelling against this challenge to its authority emoticon

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 8:54 AM as a reply to J W.
I experience this as well and it has lasted over 2 years. For me it's an alternating pulling/attraction and pushing/repulsion. Almost like flipping poles on two magnets. It is a ring of pressure/tension with a neutral center. I've found that gently noticing neutral sensations within experience allowed me to merge with that neutral center/void and the ring of tension dissipated. This happened, literally, yesterday, which is why I wanted to share this with you. My first post! Lately there have been a lot of serendipitous posts that mirror my current experience and they have been incredibly helpful! Thanks to all on this site!

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 10:18 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:

Hi JW. Head pressure for me tends to be a side effect of subtle efforts at control--- the ghost in the machine thinks the steering wheel is in the third eye, or something. When I have it, i use the next out breath to sink lower in the body. I knew a teacher who said that 90% of the contemplative life happens below the shoulders, and that seems about right to me. The paradoxical effect, space-wise, is often that working from low and deep in the body, the space that opens up includes the head pretty effortlessly. This may piss the head off, lol.



Beautiful. Thanks for the ideas and for the encouraging words Tim.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 10:26 AM as a reply to George S.
agnostic:
Yeah it's tough when you're not used to feeling your body, but you've got to start somewhere. I would just focus on a feeling or sensation anywhere else in the body you can (heart, belly, seat etc.) and let that sit in awareness for a while. Eventually those sensations grow into a more unified energy location with some blissful stuff thrown in and it starts to get momentum. Then one day you see that the body energy starts to connect up with the head. At least that's what I'm observing, but it takes months-years.

The voidness I'm not sure I'm experiencing the same thing as you. DPDR hit me hard at one point and it's probably best to tread carefully around that if you can, but even that was an important learning experience. Remember, however crazy it gets, you're not crazy unless you do something about it - otherwise it's just noise in the head which is rebelling against this challenge to its authority emoticon
Great advice. I am going to try to work more with the heart and stomach region as the center of awareness. I have noticed this same thing with the body energy connecting to the head. After one of my recent psychedelic experiences (you and I were talking about it) it felt like there was some sort of unblockage between the head and heart.  Head pain gone for a while and then seemed to be limited in scope for longer after that.  Unfortunately, it's back again.  I guess it's just one of those things that involves repeated learning and realizing until those head-to-heart pathways are fully cleared and paved and known (?).

I hear what you are saying about DPDR being a learning experience and that's where that part of me that just wants to 'plow through' is just like, ready for whatever, I guess.  But, I just don't think I have room for dealing with that right now with all of the life stuff I have going on.  So yeah, treading carefully right now seems like the best approach emoticon

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 10:34 AM as a reply to Robert L..
Robert L.:
I experience this as well and it has lasted over 2 years. For me it's an alternating pulling/attraction and pushing/repulsion. Almost like flipping poles on two magnets. It is a ring of pressure/tension with a neutral center. I've found that gently noticing neutral sensations within experience allowed me to merge with that neutral center/void and the ring of tension dissipated. This happened, literally, yesterday, which is why I wanted to share this with you. My first post! Lately there have been a lot of serendipitous posts that mirror my current experience and they have been incredibly helpful! Thanks to all on this site!
Hey Robert, interesting. I kind of relate to that neutral center aspect, there's a bit of a jhanic quality to that, like somewhere between 3rd and 4th jhana maybe?  

Robert L.:
I've found that gently noticing neutral sensations within experience allowed me to merge with that neutral center/void and the ring of tension dissipated.
This is helpful.  


Robert L.:
My first post! Lately there have been a lot of serendipitous posts that mirror my current experience and they have been incredibly helpful! Thanks to all on this site!


I've noticed the same thing... DhO can be a serendipitous place. Congrats on your first post! Thanks for sharing your experience.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 1:31 PM as a reply to J W.
I just had this image come to mind when I was walking today and thinking about this, picturing the center of awareness as a hot air balloon sort of floating up into the sky (air element) and then picturing that I/it/something was pulling it downwards towards earth (earth/water elements). And with this pulling downwards was a sense of comfort and there was this knowing that whatever it was “up there/out there” was the same that was “in here”. This visualization seemed to help me during that moment, so thought I would share.

PS - just realized that I opened this under Practice Logs, but didn’t mean to, though it might serve a similar function emoticon

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 3:10 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
Hey DhO pals,
I am looking for advice on something that I have noticed in my practice over the past year or so. (For a little background on my current practice, you can check my last logentry).

So I will sometimes get head pressure, which seems to be common to a lot of people here, which can be somewhat uncomfortable but I am more or less used to it at this point, although I would ideally like to see some of that pressure get relieved. A couple of things I have noticed about it is that the pressure seems to become abated after ‘peak’ experiences, and it also seems to be related to ‘macro’ cycles, and tends to be more pronounced during the Peak of A&P going into the DN phase.


But, the main thing I am curious about is that there is sort of a Voidness aspect to this physical pressure as well. When I am meditating and noticing this pressure or pain, when I start to get into deeper meditative states, the pressure sort of transforms into a feeling of sort of being sucked towards this gravity well/black hole thing (Voidness). Sometimes it’s quite strong to the point where I almost have no control and start to sort of blink or fade out, nod off. On a few occasions I think I may have actually ‘passed through’ so to speak, but it’s always been pretty hazy and not really felt deliberate.

But basically my question is, should I be trying to go into this Void, or “deeper” into this Void? Or should I just be hanging out around the edge and sort of working on other parts of my practice? To ‘cast a wide net’ or ‘dig a deep hole’, so to speak?

I guess a lot of my hesitation comes from horror stories of ‘falling into the Void’ too soon and having to deal with DPDR or depression issues. I worry that I am pushing too hard and might end up getting blindsided by a DN. So currently whenever this gets overly intense I sort of back off, either stop meditating or switch to a more samatha/body oriented practice. Or, I sort of hang along the edge, meaning, just sort of rest on the outskirts of Voidness, which sort of seems to work to soothe whatever discomfort/disconnection I am experiencing.

On the other hand, there is an argument for just ‘pushing through’ and diving completely in // letting go completely. I guess I just want to be confident in doing that, before I do it, if I do it.

One last thing that I have noticed is that there are some similarities between this Voidness state and what I’ll call the ‘subtle mind’ state which is basically the state right before sleep. There is an aspect of lucidity in each one. However, in the subtle state, things are usually more relaxed and natural feeling, at least in my case. So part of me is inclined to just want this Voidness experience to happen in this subtle mind state, where it can happen more as part of an automatic process, rather than done intentionally during sitting meditation.
On the other hand, I would say the deliberate effort in sitting meditation working with Voidness could actually contribute to putting my subconscious mind in a better position to experience Voidness in pleasant way before/during sleep.

Thoughts? Advice? Concerns? Thank you!


   maybe you're just nodding off...

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/9/21 4:29 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
   maybe you're just nodding off...
It may be just that. emoticon

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/10/21 5:06 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:

Unfortunately, it's back again.  I guess it's just one of those things that involves repeated learning and realizing until those head-to-heart pathways are fully cleared and paved and known (?).

I've had some cycles like this. I think "unfortunately" is the key word here, because it suggests you view this as a negative. I've done that and still do sometimes - trying to put a timeline on the process or an expectation of how it *should* work. In my experience that tends to extend the blockages, because there's some judgement and aversion to the sensations, whereas acceptance does the opposite. So maybe try to lower your expectations and ask yourself 'What if it never fully clears up? What if it stays like this? Would I be ok with that?' It sounds paradoxical but accepting your energy body as it as - the unique product of your particular life experience - is actually the way forward.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/10/21 5:25 PM as a reply to George S.
I forgot to add the most important thing! Mostly the energy shifts have not happened to me by focusing on the physical sensations themselves (actually if anything that tends to get me more stuck because I'm fixating on them). What does lead to energetic shifts is resolving (or at least addressing) the various emotional, psychological and behavioral issues which seem to be underlying the blockages. I was told this by a "kundalini therapist" and it's been good advice ...

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 11:39 AM as a reply to George S.
Thanks agnostic... this is all really helpful.

Last couple of days I've been investigating this Voidness and understanding how it is in large part, simply a 'fear of the unknown'. My best guess is that this is really a manifestation of my understanding of emptiness as seen through the lens of the dukkha nanas.  I notice that the Voidness does not always have this quality of fear, it manifests in different ways depending on the headspace/cycle that I am in.  

Re: "Unfortunately".  You're right.  I think part of 'acceptance' for me has to do with the understanding of this Fear/Voidness as part of the progress of insight.  It's probably mostly just me cycling through the dukkha nanas, pinging between EQ and A&P or whatever the hell it is that I'm doing.  For example, I feel much better today and yesterday than I did the day before.  So yeah, maybe it's something that will never completely go away.  And, I guess, I'm coming to terms with that if it does happen.  There are also ways to help with it in the moment as well.

Ego death // cessation // stream-entry -- curious about how these are all related.  I want cessation, definitely. 
Is ego-death/falling into the Void/whatever is basically a cessation but done through the lens of dukkah nanas?  If so maybe this is not the best way to do it because it's risky (as you're effectively skipping directly to fruition from DN). 

Get into High EQ and then from that more relaxed state, be open to cessation seems like a good way to go...  anyway, just rambling.  Guess this has sorta turned into a personal log after all, LOL.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 12:21 PM as a reply to George S.
agnostic:
I forgot to add the most important thing! Mostly the energy shifts have not happened to me by focusing on the physical sensations themselves (actually if anything that tends to get me more stuck because I'm fixating on them). What does lead to energetic shifts is resolving (or at least addressing) the various emotional, psychological and behavioral issues which seem to be underlying the blockages. I was told this by a "kundalini therapist" and it's been good advice ...

("the most important thing!")

   "Resolving (or at least addressing) the various psychological and behavioral issues that seem to be underlying the blockages...".


may be beyond our remit...we say, "not my kuleana" with aloha...

good advice for the individual though, on their solitary journey home...

good luck with it, bra...

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 12:45 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
Thanks agnostic... this is all really helpful.

Last couple of days I've been investigating this Voidness and understanding how it is in large part, simply a 'fear of the unknown'. My best guess is that this is really a manifestation of my understanding of emptiness as seen through the lens of the dukkha nanas.  I notice that the Voidness does not always have this quality of fear, it manifests in different ways depending on the headspace/cycle that I am in.  

Re: "Unfortunately".  You're right.  I think part of 'acceptance' for me has to do with the understanding of this Fear/Voidness as part of the progress of insight.  It's probably mostly just me cycling through the dukkha nanas, pinging between EQ and A&P or whatever the hell it is that I'm doing.  For example, I feel much better today and yesterday than I did the day before.  So yeah, maybe it's something that will never completely go away.  And, I guess, I'm coming to terms with that if it does happen.  There are also ways to help with it in the moment as well.

Ego death // cessation // stream-entry -- curious about how these are all related.  I want cessation, definitely. 
Is ego-death/falling into the Void/whatever is basically a cessation but done through the lens of dukkah nanas?  If so maybe this is not the best way to do it because it's risky (as you're effectively skipping directly to fruition from DN). 

Get into High EQ and then from that more relaxed state, be open to cessation seems like a good way to go...  anyway, just rambling.  Guess this has sorta turned into a personal log after all, LOL.


'feeling good" is overrated...definitely...


   What we want is equanimity, not "feeling good." For example, and I mean ex ample, shit happens. We have to process it. It isn't fun, isn't going to be fun, the mess needs cleaned up. We sick up, we have stomach pain, we contract a dread disease: none of these need disturb our equanimity while we don't "feel good." We deal with each thing as it comes up unmoved by whether we feel good, neutral or bad about it. The right thing to do feel say and act is not affected by our feelings if we are equanimous. We stay on the beam. "A mind like dead ashes."

   This may sound ideal but if void we mean then embrace emptiness of feeling. Not absence of feeling, more like universal acceptance of your feelings. Not rejecting them because they are unpleasant, not resisting the pain that reveals the truth.

   Love for all. Open heart surge. It's all good. Fear of the void vanishes into the void. The void loves you, bra. The dark and the still are the land of the free and the home of the brave. The refuge of the bad and the repose of the good.


terry





from the musical, "hair"


from

MY CONVICTION
(Jonathan Kramer)

You know kids, I wish every mom and dad would make a speech to their
teenagers and say kids, be free, be whatever you are, do whatever you
want to do, just so long as you don't hurt anybody. And remember kids,
I am your friend.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 2:10 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
[quote=Fear of the void vanishes into the void. The void loves you, bra. 
]

Hey Terry, thanks for the encouragement brother. I like this thought a lot. 

And I guess to clarify what I mean by 'feeling good'. 

I think there's a difference between "feeling good" like a lead up to an A&P, which is more of an excitable, manic sort of good feeling, and the more subtle, persistent, sort of warmness and fullness that I would associate with, yeah, high Equanimity, which is located more in the heart and stomach.

So all of these descriptions of equanimity... love for all, voidness as love, etc, this is all "good" in my opinion. Or, at least, desirable.  Desire without attachment to become like a Buddha, desire for basic goodness and self-compassion, desire for others to be happy, this is something that is "good", an intention that it's okay to "feel good" about.  (In my opinion).  So it's not like we're just aiming for this state where we have no feeling, no intention and no reaction to anything. We're all here because we want to become enlightened for some reason. Every 4th pather would recommend getting enlightened even if they can't fully explain why. Otherwise, what's the point? They also often describe their experience as having this "baseline bliss".  That all sounds great to me.  

EDIT: let's look at something like drug addiction. I think we can all agree that not being addicted to something like heroin is a good thing, right?  So the difference I'm talking about is like 'feeling good' from being high on the drug versus 'feeling good' that you broke your addiction, despite the fact that that means you have to deal with all the ups and downs of real life.  It's still 'desirable', it still 'feels good' to not have to rely on this drug, even though it also means you have to deal with life directly.  Otherwise, what is the impetus to break your addiction or any negative behaviour pattern?  

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 3:14 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
terry:
[quote=Fear of the void vanishes into the void. The void loves you, bra. 
]

Hey Terry, thanks for the encouragement brother. I like this thought a lot. 

And I guess to clarify what I mean by 'feeling good'. 

I think there's a difference between "feeling good" like a lead up to an A&P, which is more of an excitable, manic sort of good feeling, and the more subtle, persistent, sort of warmness and fullness that I would associate with, yeah, high Equanimity, which is located more in the heart and stomach.

So all of these descriptions of equanimity... love for all, voidness as love, etc, this is all "good" in my opinion. Or, at least, desirable.  Desire without attachment to become like a Buddha, desire for basic goodness and self-compassion, desire for others to be happy, this is something that is "good", an intention that it's okay to "feel good" about.  (In my opinion).  So it's not like we're just aiming for this state where we have no feeling, no intention and no reaction to anything. We're all here because we want to become enlightened for some reason. Every 4th pather would recommend getting enlightened even if they can't fully explain why. Otherwise, what's the point? They also often describe their experience as having this "baseline bliss".  That all sounds great to me.  


aloha jw,


   There's an unresolved paradox in your thinking, here, bra. Or, a misunderstanding of what I'm no doubt poorly expressing.

   "it's all good" transcends good and bad, it is "beyong good and evil." The buddha of the suttas was very careful not to let people take license from any doctrine of the equality of good and evil. He insisted on "correct" behavior, attitude and thinking, knowing that people will very readily rationalize bad behavior on any convenient pretext, it's practically what thinking is for.

   I'm absolutely not speaking of "aiming for a state." There is only this moment. This moment perhaps involves what you call a "'baseline basis'."  Zen refers to the sound of one hand clapping, or the noise of the wind in the pines when no wind stirs them.

   Good and bad are the up and down of one's behavioral field of gravity. (And we are learning to fly on the wings of spirit.) It has its own magnetic field, protecting us from cosmic rays and enabling our moral compasses. In practice we cannot do without this basic orientation, conventional though it may be. In my reading of heidegger's being and time, what "they" think in terms of moral authority is our conventional god almighty, and we sin (feel guilt and shame) when we deviate from the norm, even in appearance, like being black, ugly, fat, old, poor, effeminate, bad hair day, too happy, too sad, too loud, too quiet, too tall, too short.... Even if one has the confidence to be one's self, one is constrained by expectations, in that every deviation from the norm is assumed to at least require explanation, if not be to be condemned out of hand. (I can't say how many times  people ask me as a vegetarian, 'what do you people eat,' as though the word 'vegetarian' was not self-explanatory.) Conventional "good behavior," doing what is expected of you where it does not conflict with your convictions -"there can be no compromise with evil" - is the path of least resistance for those who have no need to acquire excess goods and seek the moral space to grow spiritually.

   So, good and bad refer only to the conventional realm. There is a great spiritual quest, on the individual level. Gepetto is dead, pinodysseus, and no one is pulling your strings. The blue fairy told you that if you are good and true, you could become a real boy. Wait, your father/maker isn't dead, he's been swallowed by a whale, and you need to rescue him. In the event, you'll let yourself be swallowed by the whale too, and help your creator escape. It's all good.

   There's more to say, about good and bad disappearing into the void as well. Everything reductio ad absurdam. In words it leads to a dead end, the fish swims off unenlightened. Only the leap into the void, beyond any concern with the conventional categories of experience, is truly good, truly right, and washes clean shame and guilt, which attend to all considerations of good and bad.

   In simple, we do our best, bra, and that's enough. Be content.


terry




from "beyond good and evil" friedrich nietzsche, 



from "the genealogy of morals":


Every artist knows how far from any feeling of letting himself go his “most natural” state is—the free ordering, placing, disposing, giving form in the moment of “inspiration”—and how strictly and subtly he obeys thousandfold laws precisely then, laws that precisely on account of their hardness and determination defy all formulation through concepts (even the firmest concept is, compared with them, not free of fluctuation, multiplicity, and ambiguity).

What is essential “in heaven and on earth” seems to be, to say it once more, that there should be obedience over a long period of time and in a single direction: given that, something always develops, and has developed, for whose sake it is worth while to live on earth; for example, virtue, art, music, dance, reason, spirituality—something transfiguring, subtle, mad, and divine. The long unfreedom of the spirit, the mistrustful constraint in the communicability of thoughts, the discipline thinkers imposed on themselves to think within the directions laid down by a church or court, or under Aristotelian presuppositions, the long spiritual will to interpret all events under a Christian schema and to rediscover and justify the Christian god in every accident—all this, however forced, capricious, hard, gruesome, and anti-rational, has shown itself to be the means through which the European spirit has been trained to strength, ruthless curiosity, and subtle mobility, though admittedly in the process an irreplaceable amount of strength and spirit had to be crushed, stifled, and ruined (for here, as everywhere, “nature” manifests herself as she is, in all her prodigal and indifferent magnificence which is outrageous but noble).

That for thousands of years European thinkers thought merely in order to prove something—today, conversely, we suspect every thinker who “wants to prove something”—that the conclusions that ought to be the result of their most rigorous reflection were always settled from the start, just as it used to be with Asiatic astrology, and still is today with the innocuous Christian-moral interpretation of our most intimate personal experiences “for the glory of God” and “for the salvation of the soul”—this tyranny, this caprice, this rigorous and grandiose stupidity has educated the spirit. Slavery is, as it seems, both in the cruder and in the more subtle sense, the indispensable means of spiritual discipline and cultivation, too. Consider any morality with this in mind: what there is in it of “nature” teaches hatred of the laisser aller, of any all-too-great freedom, and implants the need for limited horizons and the nearest tasks—teaching the narrowing of our perspective, and thus in a certain sense stupidity, as a condition of life and growth.

“You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither “categorical” as the old Kant would have it (hence the “else”) nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to peoples, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 3:42 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:

aloha jw,


   There's an unresolved paradox in your thinking, here, bra. Or, a misunderstanding of what I'm no doubt poorly expressing.

   "it's all good" transcends good and bad, it is "beyong good and evil." The buddha of the suttas was very careful not to let people take license from any doctrine of the equality of good and evil. He insisted on "correct" behavior, attitude and thinking, knowing that people will very readily rationalize bad behavior on any convenient pretext, it's practically what thinking is for.
Very many, in fact, infinite unresolved paradoxes in my thinking! Such is the nature of Buddhism, and reality itself emoticon

I also think we both may be misunderstanding each other a bit here.  So then what you are talking about when you say "it's all good" seems to be more about nondual and nonconceptual thought.  What I am talking about is conventional stages of awakening and how to navigate them with this non-state of "beyond good and evil" as the """ultimate goal""" (using extra quotes for that one emoticon) .  I find it hard to conceptualize the nondual simply because language is dualistic. Often, when we try to, confusion arises!

In any case, thanks for your thoughts. Lots to think about and reflect upon. 

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 3:38 PM as a reply to terry.


when I think of the constraints of art, I often think of the sonnet...




sonnet 29
(wm shakespeare)


I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 4:05 PM as a reply to J W.
J W:
terry:

aloha jw,


   There's an unresolved paradox in your thinking, here, bra. Or, a misunderstanding of what I'm no doubt poorly expressing.

   "it's all good" transcends good and bad, it is "beyong good and evil." The buddha of the suttas was very careful not to let people take license from any doctrine of the equality of good and evil. He insisted on "correct" behavior, attitude and thinking, knowing that people will very readily rationalize bad behavior on any convenient pretext, it's practically what thinking is for.
Very many, in fact, infinite unresolved paradoxes in my thinking! Such is the nature of Buddhism, and reality itself emoticon

I also think we both may be misunderstanding each other a bit here.  So then what you are talking about when you say "it's all good" seems to be more about nondual and nonconceptual thought.  What I am talking about is conventional stages of awakening and how to navigate them with this non-state of "beyond good and evil" as the """ultimate goal""" (using extra quotes for that one emoticon) .  I find it hard to conceptualize the nondual simply because language is dualistic. Often, when we try to, confusion arises!

In any case, thanks for your thoughts. Lots to think about and reflect upon. 


whether I understand you or not, there is obedience in a single direction for a long time...


yes, I am not talking about navigating or conventional stages of awareness, of which I really have no idea...such a continuum cannot be perceived in the moment...there is only this...

nothing else

the ultimate goal and one's present state are not two

(clearly correctly assumed to be "more about nondual and nonceptual thought" - inherently pardoxical, "nonceptual thought" itself is an oxymoron)

my very point is that the non-conceptual cannot and should not be conceived of, that the attempt is circular and stuck, requiring a leap...

what is pointed to is the reduction of consciousness to the vanishing point...


if I were to understand that none of this is of relevance to you, it would show a regrettable lack of respect...


thanks for considering my expressions,

(though, honestly, I wasn't trying to make you think, or reflect, at all)


gassho,
t

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 4:17 PM as a reply to J W.
Watch out though, Niezsche also had many limitations in his understanding, in particular, of christianity. Terry, Michel Henry's For a philosophy of christianity. You'll dig ! Might even challenge you a bit, hah ! :p
Henry was a great reader of nietzsche but went further imo.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/11/21 8:57 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Watch out though, Niezsche also had many limitations in his understanding, in particular, of christianity. Terry, Michel Henry's For a philosophy of christianity. You'll dig ! Might even challenge you a bit, hah ! :p
Henry was a great reader of nietzsche but went further imo.


nietzsche was something of a polemicist, having written a book called "the anti-christ"... he moved the world with a long lever, supping with the devil...

it is easy to say that nietzsche had limits to his understanding, but can you name three? I think he was actually pretty penetrating, where understanding can penetrate...

t

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/12/21 6:02 AM as a reply to J W.
Re. this fear of falling into the void, you could try looking at it as falling asleep while remaining aware. For me this DPDR stuff has a similar quality to how the personality shuts down as you fall asleep (and boots up when you awaken). I don't go to bed worrying about my personality not being there in the morning when I wake up, but it seems that sometimes it causes a panic reaction when it happens while I'm awake. The sense of personality (and reality) does attenuate over time, so you could look at as a gradual proces with the occasional jump. Qualitatively it's similar to the experience of talking to someome you know and suddenly realizing that you can't remember their name. Panicking and racking your brains doesn't help, but as soon as you relax or think about something else the name comes back.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/12/21 9:22 AM as a reply to George S.
agnostic:
Re. this fear of falling into the void, you could try looking at it as falling asleep while remaining aware. For me this DPDR stuff has a similar quality to how the personality shuts down as you fall asleep (and boots up when you awaken). I don't go to bed worrying about my personality not being there in the morning when I wake up, but it seems that sometimes it causes a panic reaction when it happens while I'm awake. The sense of personality (and reality) does attenuate over time, so you could look at as a gradual proces with the occasional jump. Qualitatively it's similar to the experience of talking to someome you know and suddenly realizing that you can't remember their name. Panicking and racking your brains doesn't help, but as soon as you relax or think about something else the name comes back.
Yes! Thank you!

Thread Split
Answer
1/15/21 1:12 PM as a reply to terry.
I've split this topic and the new thread can be found at https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/22058433.

Chris Marti
Not So Former DhO Moderator

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/16/21 8:14 AM as a reply to J W.
I've experienced a lot of head pressure as well. It feels like it's a result of re-learning how to coordinate the interactions between the attention, the breath, and the balancing of the head on the spine.

It seems useful to let myself give in to whatever the pressure is wanting me to do: move a certain way, hold my breath, stretch my neck, tighten my facial muscles, gasp for air...absolutely anything. It would probably look weird if others watched.

It also seems to pay off when I can allow these movements to happen slowly and subtly. Sometimes I challenge myself to move just a little bit slower than I normally would. That keeps things physical.

Also, any sense of aversion to meditation itself which arises, find a way to experience it on the level of these sensations.

Eventually, I feel a release somewhere else in my body, and then I'm fine until the next one shows up.

RE: Looking for Advice - Dealing with Voidness and Head Pressure
Answer
1/16/21 8:25 AM as a reply to spatial.
Also, spend as much time as you can noticing that "you" don't need to do anything about the pressure. If you allow it to increase on its own, you won't explode (I hope not, anyway). Eventually, other muscles will take control and ease the pressure without you having to do anything. Just be receptive to whichever force is wanting you to cede control at any given moment.

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