Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

John Self, modified 4 Months ago at 2/8/22 12:17 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 12:56 PM

Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
I have struggled with knowing this is online for many months. Please delete it for me.

Thank you so much!
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 1:51 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 1:51 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hi, 
I have only gone to the level of two A&Ps amd Eqanamity so I can't give you any take on Stream Entry. Also there are way more experienced meditators that will answer this and help you.

t looked like going into warp speed on Star Wars… I was just pulled into it and then here was nothing but bright white light.  It was like we merged.  There was no thought… no frame of reference.  Just light and knowing.  I don’t know how much time passed but later in trying to reconstruct this it seemed like it was probably 5 min.

At this point I fell back in my chair and was now aware of my body again.  I felt like I was going to burst from within.  Eyes closed, nothing but bright white light, a feeling of oneness but then terror.  I started to think again… my vision returned slowly… but my body felt like I had these massive energy funnels blowing through me

This sounds to me like an intensse A&P with the classic presence of bright lights and massive energy funnels flowing. My A+P had energy funneling  thrugh in intense rapture. I' sure ypu'll get some better perspectives soon.
John Self, modified 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 1:59 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 1:59 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Thank you! I'll start digging in there and see what I need to be doing and looking for... at this point, all I've been doing is reading whatever I can find with no direction but I'm sure Daniel's book will help with that. Finishing up another book today then getting back in his.
Martin, modified 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 3:45 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 3:45 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Wow! Quite a ride.

I don't think it is possible to diagnose someone over the Internet but if you think it sounds like A&P you might want to check out this video by Daniel https://vimeo.com/317384445 on the A&P. I found it helpful. As for you having backed it off (resisting) that seems like a sensible thing to have done. I sure did in the A&P. Backing it off when it feels like you might be losing it is just healthy self-preservation, in my opinion. And if it was A&P, you can't lose anything by backing it off, as far I know. I've never heard of anyone being told that their A&P wasn't intense enough so they have to do it again, or anything like that, or that if someone jacks up their A&P to a high enough level that they get to skip the later stages. 

Keep in mind, though, that I am not an expert, just a player. So if someone who is an actual expert or teacher tells you something different, I'd go with their advice. 
John Self, modified 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 5:43 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 5:02 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Thanks Martin! I was unaware he had videos like that, watching them all! I'm excited because it opened my eyes enough to remove all doubt and has improved my focus and drive immensly! Meditating in dreams is wild man.

That said... Daniel sure knows how to take the wind out of your sails. lol

I printed his "7 Factors of Awakening" and have been studying that.  Then back to work on his book!  I'm glad I posted as now I am pretty certain of what it is I am experiencing and can move forward with the right mindset.
Martin, modified 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 7:26 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/18/21 7:25 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
John Self That said... Daniel sure knows how to take the wind out of your sails. lol


Ha! Yeah, that's for sure. Not a guy to mince words.
Tim Farrington, modified 4 Months ago at 2/8/22 12:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 4:22 AM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
hello, Major Self (forgive me if you made colonel, lol, I'm going by eight years an officer), and welcome to the sangha. May the refuge here be fruitful.

Wow, what a great damn story you've got. Thank you for sharing it with such lucidity and precision. It makes me feel more confident of the ground I'm walking on here. As does the large and varied amount of experience you bring to this, all that work, on so many levels. It bodes well for you keeping this plane from cratering, lol. (I love pilots.)

Anyways, I am so in need of some guidance.  What do you think I experienced? 

I'm glad you're already reading MCBT, and I suspect you already are leaning toward this angle, but for what it's worth, to me this sounds like a good old-fashioned classic mind-blowing cosmos-scrambling come-to-Jesus A&P experience, the kind of thing that knocked Saul off his horse outside of Damascus, the kind of thing that really gets us seriously committed to finding out what the hell THAT meant, and what THAT implies.  It's a fantastic gift by any name, and it sounds like you are handling it perfectly and taking it as a true spiritual call to do the work of the path. It's a taste and a glimpse and a conventional-reality buster, and with that conventional reality busted, you're getting right to work on seeing how these things work without the blinders. Your eagerness to get to imeditative work says everything. 

Do you think I “screwed it up” by resisting so hard at first?

Not at all, and in fact, I'm impressed by it. That your thoughts were so intent on the welfare of your daughter, and your responsibilites there, shows that you have the kind of fundamental ground in morality that the path requires, if it is not to turn out spiritual monsters. Also: trust your gut. We meet resistance all along the way, and work with it, and live with it, and what happens as we keep that tension up is that our minds and bodies are beginning to explore what it takes to live with what we're resisting. You're not ever going to blow it by resisting, but you can blow it by forcing past resistance, in a host of ways. Most of the best moments and breakthroughs happen as ripeness happens, effortlessly, and as a quiet surprise. This is truer, the farther you go. The early experiences are often the Biggest, maybe because that's what it takes to get our attention, I don't know. This doesn't mean you won't ever have the shit scared out of you, lol. But here you are, still going after disappearing into white light once, so you're already building trust and faith in whatever it is that disappears us or that we disappear into or whatever however etc.

What do you think would be a good starting point for me to focus on?  I’m currently on page 40 of MtCTotB (just got it) and I’m taking notes but I’m still unclear on “where” “my” experience landed me.  I know labels aren’t a good idea but it would still be nice to know where point A is before I start my journey to point B.

Well, you really already know this one, I think:

The one answer I did get… meditate.  Meditate daily, be mindful always, and seek out knowledge.

I'm betting that reading MCTB is going to help you get oriented, and ripple through your already strong practice in countless ways, and that you'll find a fresh balance as you incorporate new perspectives and techniques. You're already working hard, hard enough for me to suspect that right now the likeliest pitfall you'll find is getting in a hurry, trying to get ahead of yourself, over-pressuring. That experience of yours, and all those before it, are pure fuel, and your passion and your genuine pilgrim's mindset, are going to get it done, however you conceive it (and your conception will evolve, as you study and think, and practice, and digest). So festina lente, as the old monks said: hurry slowly, lol. You might want to start a practice log here on DhO, it's a good way to give some form to your basic commitment to practice, and also to keep you from having to wonder if you're insane next time that warp speed jump hits and the universe flings you into bodiless brightness. There are people here at LEAST as insane as you.

It's really cool that you showed up here, at such a potent point in your life, and I look forward to hearing more as you share your journey here. 
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 6:00 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 6:00 AM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 1763 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Good advice so far. 

Yes, this does seem like an A&P experience (Arising and Passing Away Nana) including an A&P event (the not-knowing event) and your fear experiences afterwards can be seen as touching on the Fear Nana.

But that's more of a technical/clinical type description. What you basically had is a spiritual opening that revealled how much anxiety and addiction have sort of split your psychological self (which is very normal, happens to everyone to some degree). The tension of sitting in the presence of the addiction pattern and infusing it with awareness allowed the identification with those patterns to.... well basically explode... and left you temporarily in a space where you were free of psychological reactivity. And as you realized, it's a lot simpler and fuller way to live.

The important thing to know is that "progress" like this is always two steps forward and one step back. All of our old psychological patterns will come back and they might even seem worse than before. But the solution is to slowly and consistently do what you did before: hold the tension/anxiety/discomfort in awareness and allow it to be. Over time, this will allow the pattern to soften and dissolve --- but it can't be rushed. Some patterns are like water that just turns into mist, but other patterns are like ice that needs to warmed for months before it starts softening a little.

This is also a time when therapy makes a lot of sense. You are now able to really see reactive patterns AS reactive patterns so now is the time when therapy might actually work. emoticon  Meditation plus therapy is one of the most potent combinations there is for this kind of stuff.

As you read MCTB, you'll find that often after these big openings there is a period that feels like regression and failure... but this is more of a by-product of things slowly changing in your sense of self. A lot of the naiviete in our sense of self goes away, which is slowly replaced by a new self-awareness, maturity, and sanity... but it takes awhile. A lot of time we uncover psychological wounds which don't heal right away, and the smell of these open wounds can get kinda funky. emoticon

I'm both happy/jealous and sad/worried for you. I both remember how rich my life became after something similar happened to me... and I also remember how much work was involved as I went through all the changes. It can get dark sometimes. It's called the dark night for a reason. It is really helpful to build up your support group now (normal friends, therapist, gym membership, meditation friends, etc.) because it seems like everyone needs a little support as they go through this.

If you really have been seeking healing and personal growth, you're right where you need to be. Take it slow, be modest, be consistent, don't indulge, don't overthink it --- just do the study and practice that you feel you need to do. Don't be surprised if you uncover psychological stuff you need to work on. Don't make things overly personal, overly dramatic, overly effortful. The best advice is consistent, gentle, daily, non-heroic practices are best. 

Best wishes!!
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 10:42 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 6:06 AM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 384 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Hey there!

I am in line with the other guys here: What a ride! Sounds very much like powerful A&P to me. My two cents would be: Keep it simple and be patient. This is a lifelong journey. MCTB is definitely an invaluable ressource, but it is also quite advanced level stuff, and at least for me – who read that book as one of my first dharma books – it was very helpful to go back to some more basic stuff and then return (and return) to MCTB. I recommend "Mindfulness in Plain English", which is just what the title says, except "mindfulness" could be "basic buddhist practice". For the understanding of buddhism I recomment "What the Buddha taught".

As for practice, I think grounding and stabilizing is the most important for you right now, so a simple samatha practice with one-pointet concentration on an object (the breath, a candle flame, a mantra) done regularly and continously, combined with some physical excercise (brisk walks, weight training) would probably be good for now.

And, as Tim suggests, start a log here and let us know how it goes.

PS: Take my advice with a truckload of salt, I am not an advanced yogi (pre Stream Entry).
John Self, modified 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 8:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 8:07 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Tim,

I cant express how much I appreciate your response!

Honestly... I'm speechless at how thorough and thoughtful it was.

Very glad I posted! I'm not active on any social media because of how much stress I have after making even a one line, kind, non-controversial comment. I must admit that the past 24 hours that anxiety has visited me more than a few times and... I welcomed it as my friend and teacher.

After reading this... Im afraid my friend may not return for a time. emoticon Thanks again!
John Self, modified 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 8:38 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 8:37 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Thanks Niels! Very grateful for your time and words.

It is a daunting book! Lol I had no idea it was going to be so big when I ordered it but I've heard nothing but amazing things and am enjoying it so far!

Thanks for the book recommendations! I just now ordered the mindfulness one and "The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings" so I definitely have plenty to keep me busy for a while. Lol
John Self, modified 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 8:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/19/21 8:52 PM

RE: Emptiness, S.E., A&P, Psychosis?? Help appreciated!!

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Shargrol... this is the fifth response I have tried. lol  For some reason my phone does not like responding to just your post so I powered up the computer... fingers crossed!

Basically all I said was you're amazing!

Thanks for the thorough explanation and advice! I will definitely be rereading all of these several times over the coming weeks to keep me grounded and in the right mindset.

Your last line was so helpful that I almost wanted to make "Consistent, gentle, daily, non-heroic practice" into a mantra! lol

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