Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

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chamaeleon yogi, modified 9 Years ago.

Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/21/09 Recent Posts
Hello everybody. I'd be curious what diagnosis I get for that from you gurus.

I could not ever really communicate it to anybody, not to speak of proper feedback (which included mad friends, not so mad friends, a Sri Lankan Monk who counseled my meditation and 2 meditation teachers from the Mahasi tradition, Hannes Huber and Ven. Vivekananda from the Panditarama in Lumbini/Nepal. Beside that they were really excellent teachers). So there's still an residual urge to do so now. I hope it will at least contribute some entertainment. Well then...

Practice for about 7 years, somewhere between a few minutes to a few hours per day, basically to counteract sort of fear disorder (free floating fear, mid size panic attacs, dissociation phenomena, depression, confusion etc.), more or less vipassana as I found out later, with emphasis on concentration. The full content of the instruction I got was "Focus on the breath, nothing else. Nothing else. Don't influence it". So I did. Later I included disturbances as objects of meditation, because they seemed to change when doing so. No idea about maps, mindfulness, concentration or anything, MCTB did not yet exist, piles of derepression of stuff, I mistook it all as therapy.

Then 3 weeks of freestyle practice somewhere between goenka and mahasi style in a 50% meditation center 50% holiday resort in Sri Lanka, guided by the mentioned monk (a meditation alien of the forest tradition whom nobody liked but me). Massive derepression of really weird stories and really really weird states arising (most pronounced attacks of rage, weird but less pronounced greed), I asked myself when I ever could have repressed that. At some point things speeding up, stories and emotion passing through like flashes, feeling high. at some point becoming nauseating for 2 days, the monk said "nothing wrong eaten? hm, hm. Now the real thing started." I didn't know what to think about it. At a later point solid bliss manifesting with sometimes excess of energy and broadened perception, like being able to focus different things at once (panoramic, a term I learned much later), "outer clarity, inner silence"- states, wallowing in bliss until it got boring. Then again dark things, most pronounced fear for about one day leaving me somehow irritated for another day and finally establishing bliss again, fading out in a relaxed, light state with sometimes boredom arising and vanishing after focusing it. I asked "what next?" the monk said "you'll get enlightened". I thought, he was a strange freak. Nothing more happening except sleepiness, so I stopped. Later on I would repeatedly meditate for a few days on a stretch until I got the relaxed, balanced state again.

A half year later I drifted in some basic melancholia (vague chronic "feeling of not being able to live"), so I went in a "Mahasi light" retreat led by Hannes Huber. Unusual fatigue for days, sadness, tears. Hannes stopped me from observing phenomena, especially the sadness, only to make them disappear, so I surrendered to it (due to lack of alternatives, it didn't want to vanish anyway) and then something could resume there. At some point a microscopic observation took place that my perception works in a way that it takes all its information without exception from an underlying mechanism of rejection or aversion against basically everything, in other words, it processed only the information of the rejection of an object rather than the information of the object itself, leaving me fundamentally shaken with the alternative of either "me" or "the world". That undercurrent persisted maybe two days until the end of the retreat. The teacher didn't say a thing except "you see a lot". When travelling back home by train I stated that "usually I feel strange after retreats, but this time everything seems pretty ordinary". He said "I don't think so".

Next day back home instead of the usual post-retreat relaxation there was persistent restlessness, about as pleasant as medium toothache, all the Kornfield-approaches did not remove it, so I tried to meditate. A few minutes after sitting down a full blown Kundalini-syndrome (as I found out from Shivanandas Kundalini-Book, the only source of information available - "Relax, will pass in a few days. Maybe take some Valium") went through within minutes, as it seemed. I tried not to hold on to anything during it, fearing it would rip me apart, finally "the energy" blasting through the top of the head with following power cut and black out. When the system rebooted as far as I remember there was just black space and consciusness, then a pulsating ring appeared out of somewhere, the whole process felt like decending some elevator shaft. When the ring appeared, attention focused it out of its trained habit, after which the ring burst to minute particles showering on the surface of the body (which was present again then) from inside or maybe also as well from outside, I don't remember exactly, feeling like small icy, somewhat electric raindrops. Then more mental processes restarted, except some "inner dialog", leaving an impression of deep silence (after that Eckhard Tolle and Krishnamurti seemed quite comprehensible for a while until finally it restarted some days or weeks later, hard to say). A few minutes later there was another "energy outburst" from the upper chest region and then the main special effects section was over. The whole thing had taken maybe 1 to 1,5 hours of empirical time.

After opening the eyes the world surprisingly was still there, but in a strange way that later I described as if a veil had been removed, making way for intense clarity and brilliance, especially of visual impressions. There was a feeling of "death", massive bliss and joy, total absence of fear and the impression that I was 100% healthy for the first time in my life, giving an outlook on the weirdest of my friends as mislead children. Louis Armstrong's "Down by the riverside" appeared immensely mystic and moved me to tears (very pleasant also), as well as "Here comes the sun" by the Beatles. I attempted to write my last will (I was 35 by then), just to be rid of the burden that some money might not benefit the ones I wanted to.

When facing the world outside my flat there was the realisation that the differentiation of self and others was gone, which was quite confusing, especially when going by bycicle in the city or while being "nobody" sitting in the psychonalytic group therapy that I attended these days, where someone is supposed to be "somebody" (the therapist did not like transpersonal issues at all). But my body-mind complex was functional as usual (in fact extremely fast, precise and accurate), the social reactions where somewhat the same, except that some chronic doubt was gone that before had slowed down all decisions and a certain set of aversive reactions also was gone. Suddenly I could talk to certain people without the usual frictions. These effects proofed to be permanent. Regarding "Theravada defilements" getting drunk and sex was still nice, but awareness persisted even during orgasms and after 5 chech Budweiser and some Becherovkas, making these things somewhat disappointing. Selflessness, utter compassion, a "superconducting" state of mind with all phenomena passing through at an ultimate speed without any effort, enabling me to work at about double speed (but producing the same amount of errors than before, although the state of mind advertised itself convincingly as being infallible. Maybe this is also what the pope suffers from), strange visual hallucinations and occasional flashes of being able to see in one instant everything, how the entire universe works, faded out in a few weeks. Fortunately I did not ask the universe for information about which stocks to pick because it seemed not to have worked out anyway, or seen from the other angle, as soon as I demanded the information it was not available any more. Neither the Kundalini nor the power cut experience ever reappeared, but the "no veil" visual perceptions did ever since then, at arbitrary occasions.

Still I had the Idea that meditative practice was about therapy and derepression, so I decided to practice intensively (3-4 days a week in the average) to derepress everything to be able to finally do some real retreat in the mahasi style. About a year later I did 10 days of a "real" Mahasi retreat with Hannes Huber in Pian Dei Ciliegi (near Piacenza in Italy, a beautiful place with the best food I ever had in any center). I went nicely through very pronounced A&P including the A&P-Event (in an extraordinary dream) into some moderate kind of dark night (by then I had come across Ingrams MCTb) that later became a real pain in the ass, including psychosomatic symptoms of headache and sensations of moving pressure or dragging in the forehead, eyes, cheekbone and nose area. As I much later came to see the "physical" intensity was moderate but the suffering level delivered with it was sort of chronic pain.

Ok, what was that? Weird A&P? Stream Entry? Some other mess?

Tnx & Greetings! Yours sincere co-creeper on the path!
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
As far as the Kundalini-power cut-black out-reboot thing, I vote for stream entry.

“strange visual hallucinations and occasional flashes of being able to see in one instant everything, how the entire universe works, faded out in a few weeks”

-Can you say anything more about that? Did this happen at the same time as the black out-reboot thing or later on?
Lucinda N Brown, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 11/6/09 Recent Posts
Chuck,

Does stream entry always include physical symptoms? I tried to check this out on Wiki but don't have access.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Lucinda N Brown:
Chuck,

Does stream entry always include physical symptoms? I tried to check this out on Wiki but don't have access.


Hi Lucinda,
I don't know. I don't have much experience with the different ways this event can present itself. Can't say if what chamaeleon yogi experienced was indeed stream entry – just that it has more that flavor in my view. Daniel has a pretty good write up in his book in Chapter 28 'Was That Emptiness'. I think there can be a wide variation of experiences and an experienced teacher is probably necessary. An important quality for me is what insight comes from the experience. How does ones view of who they are and their life change – not just temporarily but permanently. Tricky because there are many events that can happen to us that seem quite profound but are not stream entry.
Lucinda N Brown, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 11/6/09 Recent Posts
Chuck,

Thanks for the reply... I started to reread the chapter and realized that I was obsessing about where I am... as Dr. Ingram so nicely pointed out early on in the chapter... So, I'm not going to worry about it. I It's just kind of hard to follow this site and not wonder where you personally stand. It's like you check off some of the experiences... "yep, had that one... wow, that's a weird one... haven't come close to that..." and so on. The book is helpful map into what I previously perceieved as uncharted territory... being "home schooled" has it's drawbacks.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Massive energy and fireworks, powers, spectacular shifts, electrical stuff: I have to vote for A&P, which can really change people and have some very profound consequences for weeks afterwards.

However, more criteria: cycling? Further repeats of that? Fruitions? Able to call ñanas up at will? Able to see the transition from that territory to new territory?

One way or the other, you sound like you got to Equanimity on a few earlier retreats, and you also sound like a very dedicated practitioner. Do you have a good teacher you work with or keep in touch with?
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chamaeleon yogi, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing?

Posts: 21 Join Date: 10/21/09 Recent Posts
Can you say anything more about that?
Further repeats of that?


Power cut/reboot never reappeared. It also was not accompanied by any hallucinations, these came days later.

"no veil" visual perception, utter clarity of the visual field accompanied by inner silence since then reappeared, quite frequently in the beginning, occasionally later, maybe once all two to three months. It only lasts for max 2 minutes at best and is pleasant, it always gives a rather thorough break of whatever turmoil I am in at that moment, but only for that period of time, not longer.

"Hallucinations":

A few days after reboot, a change in the visual field appeared, as if two perceptional layers were put on each other, in the center was the "universe" thing (accompanied by a "wow, there is everything at once"-impression which itself was less related to the picture but rather an phenomenon in its own right), fading out at the borders to the usual visual world. The bare visual pattern that I remind of was somehow like a three dimensional mix of an ant hill and the interiors of a computer chip, maybe also like a 3d visualization of neurons in the brain, all seen in soft focus. It took only seconds at best, while I was walking on a street, and was a pronounced but rather vague experience, it is even hard to remember what it was like when it appeared, even shortly afterwards, only the impression remained, that it was a flash of "seeing and knowing everything at once", followed by an attempt to get a grip on that access to information (e.g. about stock picks) and loosing it on the spot. However, I always distrusted the sales folder of that phenomenon and booked it under hallucination, also there was a certain impulse to do otherwise. This once reappeared in a less pronounced way another few days later.

Another hallucination was seeing faces of people for fractions of a second like negative pattern of a grimace, rather disturbing. Maybe also more a "two layer" phenomenon than a complete change of vision. This appeared a few times during a period of maybe 30 minutes, in the hours after the thing described just above.

The third one I vividly remember was the sky appearing in sort of neon-lavender or slightly pink, which was definitively not a physical phenomenon, more what my nervous system made out of it, something radiating heat (maybe it just did physically), it appeared like it was very alive and a being in its own right. This one was just nice with a trace of a dream like quality and was not related at all to the two events above, it happened at another time.

The feeling of "self dissolution" and "death" accompanied by rapture reappeared once a few days later, or twice at best, less pronounced, It felt like about to reach a climax level (about to reboot) and stopping in the middle, with a feeling of frustration remaining.

cycling?

It can not see that.

Able to see the transition from that territory to new territory?


Hard to say. How can I distinguish that from another trip through the same territory? Well, currently I manage to reach equanimity from scratch within 2 weeks with comparatively little hassle. But going through the stages after shutdown/reboot was not straight-forward at all and took roughly 3 months of practice in intensive retreat and much more practice out of retreat.

2 to 3 months after reboot there were 2-3 days of persisting quite unusual hypertension in the back which not even swimming but only more meditation could resolve, mind & body maybe. About 10 moths later I clearly passed A&P again on a 10-day retreat at about day 5 to 6 (the dream mentioned above) the whole show rather exciting and moderately disturbing, but not at all out of range, with hardly any psycho-stuff interfering. Having had very A&P-like perception before (very clear, precise, quick, pleasant, easy sitting, easy walking) within 1/2 to 1 day it changed to a continously annoying experience, being restless, dissatisfied, unwilling/able to concentrate or focus well which lasted until the end of the retreat and temporarily receded again afterward. This sort of annoying quality was totally new to me. Immediately after the retreat the first traces of psychosomatic tension in the head region appeared (with lots of movement/change involved, >= 1 per second, accompanied by huge emotional breakouts, making it rather hard to observe without getting totally unbalanced, it could kick me out of equanimity within two hours in a later retreat), manifesting ever increasing the two years following and only decreasing now as I got used to it (with the help of 20 mg citalopram per day, now also decreasing. Hope the trend continues.), having been grinding it down bit by bit over a long time. Maybe all this relates more to what Dan Ingram calls "uncovering previously hidden layers of restlessness and fear. May be extremely hard to integrate".

After 2nd A&P for about half a year new special effects came up. Chronically: occasional drop away of the perception of other people as "persons" or other "I"s, they clearly appeared like sort of conditioned automatons ( maybe just a scripted experience of what Daniel Wegner describes in his "The Illusion of Conscious Will". Great book, by the way) or expressions of some transpersonal C.G. Jung like archetypes, e.g. the devil speaking through that guy on the other table, somehow scary but rationally not much of a problem. As well as acute: having a telepathic encounter in some outer space realm with the half mad friend of mine with whom I had been heavily drinking greek wine on Naxos, a greek island, and some demon which almost made me pee in my pants by his interpretations of how I'd spoil my destiny by not doing x but y or the other way round. I mean, maybe that was just the usual greek god catering for the sensitive tourist high on Retsina, and it definitively was not just an effect of being pissed, I know the difference. Very, very scary, to me at least. As it turned out my friend seems to do this sort of thing on a regular basis, but it is hard to get anything out of him about it, maybe sort of multiple personality disorder/possession pattern, see also Daniel Wegner regarding that.

I just recently got back to equanimity (though still rather unbalanced) for the first time after 2 years, having tried psychotherapy and chi gong without success.

It seems only U Panditas recommendation remained: you have to practice at the risk of your body and mind :-/

Fruitions?


I can't relate to that.

Able to call ñanas up at will?


No.

Do you have a good teacher you work with or keep in touch with?


At least none who ever said anything else but "observe, continue". That was easy to memorize, so I got used to practice without teacher.

Cheers & tnx to all for all replies!
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Please doctor, what was that rollercoaster thing? (Answer)

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
chamaeleon yogi:


A few minutes after sitting down a full blown Kundalini-syndrome (as I found out from Shivanandas Kundalini-Book, the only source of information available - "Relax, will pass in a few days. Maybe take some Valium") went through within minutes, as it seemed. I tried not to hold on to anything during it, fearing it would rip me apart, finally "the energy" blasting through the top of the head with following power cut and black out. When the system rebooted as far as I remember there was just black space and consciusness, then a pulsating ring appeared out of somewhere, the whole process felt like decending some elevator shaft. When the ring appeared, attention focused it out of its trained habit, after which the ring burst to minute particles showering on the surface of the body (which was present again then) from inside or maybe also as well from outside, I don't remember exactly, feeling like small icy, somewhat electric raindrops.



I'm going to vote for A&P as well.

A&P events are pretty explosive sometimes, and cause significant disorientation. It would be easy to confuse such a disorientaion with Fruition/cessation (i.e. re-boot) if one does not know what one is really like from experience. Also, your description of, "icy, somewhat electric raindrops," is a fairly good description of shifting into 5th ñana/Dissolution.

Most of the stream entry stories I've heard are not full of energy and release. Since they naturally follow from the Equanimity ñana, where everything is quite balanced, the re-boot or "blip" in consciousness is rather unexpected, and there is a signature bliss wave that follows (at least there is for me).

Of course, I'm not a master dharma diagnositician, so please take everything I say with more than a grain of salt - perhaps a spoonful.

~Jackson

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