Something cool and beautiful that happened in my brain?

Sasha C, modified 3 Months ago at 3/3/22 8:03 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/3/22 8:03 PM

Something cool and beautiful that happened in my brain?

Post: 1 Join Date: 3/3/22 Recent Posts
I've been having powerful experiences for about five months now that culminated in, something.

Background:

Following some success with emotional processing (parts-based therapy, basically), five months ago, I had a huge increase in concentration. This lead to unlocking a vastness and clarity of attention that got me to jhanas 1-4 with reasonable reliability (hard to access before). During a long, long drive that I used as a sort of retreat, I used this concentration to focus on the shape of my mind, trying to relax out of any duality (nothing is me, nothing is not me, it is all equivalently in awareness). Towards the end of the drive, I was listening to a Rob Burbea tape, and he gave the instruction, 'imagine yourself as luminous emptiness,' and I did, and, bang, pow, I disappeared; I felt, in a sudden moment, like myself had just been replaced with the world, like my experience inverted; I was the road outside the car and the windshield as much as the components.

This brought a notable change in experience, lightening of the self-focus in experience. During this time, also, I started feeling like I had intuitions into the granularity of reality, the vibratory nature of matter, 'it's all just a bunch of particles flickering by,' and so on. This waxed and waned over the coming months, although the bliss faded somewhat, replaced occasionally by some anxiety. I just tried to keep at it, observing the shape of this slightly updated field of attention through more non-dual self-inquiry kind of stuff, getting into a spacious awareness and asking 'what's this, what's going on.'

Then, a little over a week ago, I had what seemed, maybe, maaaaybe, like a cessation experience: I was doing a longish sit, with more self-inquiry into the shape and nature of attention. Apropos of nothing, after a dreamy feeling took over for a moment, a few bright flashes, and then a momentary feeling of, what was that, where did I just go, followed by a big wash of tranquility.

And then, a couple of days later, the thing happened. I was watching a video of a boxing match. And it occurred to me that I was doing something, mentally, to grip onto the commentary. I was adding my own layer of discursive sensory noise to it. And I saw that this was a subtle tension, a kind of mental tension against reality. And it also occurred to me that I could just let go of it, like not interfere with the phenomenon at all. Somehow this was a scary but exciting prospect. I went with it, experimented with letting it go, and, as I did, it felt like some part of my thoughts melted away, and there was a noticeable (subtle, but noticeable) increase in sensory clarity; the world seemed brighter, smoother, a little more easy-going.

In the days since, I've been able to maintain this non-interference with phenomena at will, sort of a pleasant 'letting reality arise and drift away' state of mind. It's the default state when I'm not super-focused on a task right now.

So... what happened, guys? How do I make use of it? Specifically: it feels like the nature of my attention has changed slightly, it's capable of being much less reactive, a little more supple. But in self-inquiry practice, it now seems like there's a little less to study, or what I had been studying has changed enough that I don't know how to grip onto it.

I am open to any kind of practice recommendation, new stuff to try, etc. 
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Sigma Tropic, modified 3 Months ago at 3/4/22 11:09 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/4/22 11:09 PM

RE: Something cool and beautiful that happened in my brain?

Posts: 325 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
You should investigate if it takes any effort to know an experience. See if you know an experience more by trying harder to know it. Does it take any more effort to know a pleasant experience vs an unpleasant experience. Do you know a loud sound more than you know a soft sound. What is the quanta of knowing? etc. Good luck. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago at 3/5/22 12:57 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/5/22 12:57 AM

RE: Something cool and beautiful that happened in my brain?

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
You can find my explanation about composite sensations here https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/23676572#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_23682524

Our minds can create these mental constructs which can contain experiences or even have functions and do seemingly complex things.  They are created to group and simplify experiences. Rather than dissolving them it is more important to find what they are supposed to represent and based on that figure out how to handle them.
And by figure out I mean it might take some time. Rather than speeding things up and causing issues which might never be resolved or will take long time it is better to learn to feel own mind and learn how to work with it. Certain things can resolve itself if you gently feel them. Feeling something == connecting to global consciousness which has much greater processing power.

I also mention this because having experience like you describe can make person blindly try to apply the same method even where it is terrible idea. In this case letting go of stuff in your mind will probably never lead to any tragedy but it might lead to you not being complete and seed depression. Lots of people removed and removed and removed and when they removed absolutely everything they could not experience their own suffering and it itself was never caused by anything related to meditation. Pretty bad solution, especially that the same ability to not suffer is built-in and nothing needs to be removed. It just needs to work correctly.

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