Experience of being out of my head?

Curious Potato, modified 8 Months ago at 9/25/22 9:36 AM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/25/22 9:36 AM

Experience of being out of my head?

Post: 1 Join Date: 9/25/22 Recent Posts
Hello everybody...

I need some help identifying this thing that started happening recently during meditation. Some background:

I've been practicing for ~15 years, sometimes more and sometimes less diligently. I usually practice between 20m-1h a day. I had periods where I was extremely interested in technicalities of meditation/buddhism and neuroscience of it all. During those periods I practiced and read a lot (MCTB, Shinzen Young, "Seeing that frees", "Manual of insight", "Mind illuminated", etc.). I'm convinced I went through A&P a few months after beginning the practice - the experience was extremely strong and it touched and changed me deeply. Unfortunately I was also smoking a lot of pot back then and I went a bit crazy during/after the experience... Crazy enough to be locked in mental hospital for a month... Anyway, I kept practicing - the experience I had kind of made it impossible for me not to practice... It showed me without any doubt that there is something worthwhile to meditation. So between then and now I did have a few experiences but I think I did a good job of not obsessing over them and just kept going. I'm not sure I crossed into the dark night territory - I did come close to depression a few times but if this was practice-related I don't really know...

So past few months I've been focusing on observing the three characteristics. I think I've become ok at perceiving them and I am definitely able to see them one-by-one in each conscious experience. I'm not sure about seeing them all at once though, maybe there's some more work do do here.

So the experience I'm trying to identify goes like this: I observe the three characteristics, I see (and this is more an intuition than "thinking") that because experiences are full of them, they (experiences) are not worth the effort of clinging, so the mind stops grasping for the next one. This is not yet new to me, I did have this experience many times before - the meditation is then effortless and feels as if my mind found a very comfortable spot to rest in. What's new is that this experience now sometimes turns into me feeling as if I "fell out of my head", into the outside world, and the outside world is the only thing that's left. This experience lasts only a moment, it feels like a glimpse into another reality.

Just writing this I realized this sounds a lot like a no-self experience, I'll do some more reading... Meanwhile, what do you guys think? I'd be glad to hear your advice on what to do next although I'm pretty sure the standard advice of "just keep practicing" and "don't obsess over it" still stands...

George S, modified 8 Months ago at 9/25/22 12:15 PM
Created 8 Months ago at 9/25/22 12:15 PM

RE: Experience of being out of my head?

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Hi Curious, sounds good, whatever you call it (not-self, non-dual?) You could investigate further how the mind creates and maintains this sense of internal vs external experience. There's no a priori distinction on the incoming sense data, it's something the mind learned to do over time. It's very much tied up with the way the mind creates the sense of being a self. Mostly I found these kind of glimpses happened when I wasn't expecting them, and that if I tried to make them happen then they wouldn't (which in itself was telling me something about the relationship between selfing, seeking and craving ...) Actually they are there all the time but it's as if the mind mostly glosses over them, so thinking of them as another reality might be unhelpful. It's more like one reality in which the sense of being a self/selves, or selfing processes, are constantly arising and passing, but there's an additional overly of thoughts/sensation which is trying to tell you that it's continuous (or internal-vs-external) when it's not, which is where the tension come from. So having a relaxed attitude towards it is helpful, just seeing it for what it is and slowly releasing the tension, until eventually there seems to come a tipping point ...