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<thwack>; 3C's; "waking up"
vipassana impermanence awakening present moment
Answer
1/18/10 9:21 PM
Just a beginner's report and a question:

A Zen teacher (Kwan Um school) recently was able to point out to me what the "present moment" is by banging his stick on the ground. Just pay attention to this point! <thwack> Pretty cool tradition, I have some real appreciation for it now. This gave me the understanding I needed to start getting some of the standard insights I hear about into the three characteristics. When my awareness was good, I started to see just how I can't hold onto sensations. They come in one moment, and just as soon they're gone. And as Daniel said in his book, referring to no-self, "they just kind of check in and check out over there" (I hope I'm not misquoting). Incidentally, whatever sensation I'm trying to cling to or reject is either gone or hasn't appeared yet; i.e. it doesn't even exist!

The mental echo of sensations is more subtle than I realized at first. I found myself dropping some coins on a table, listening to the bang, to try to identify what's going on more clearly.

Aside from this stuff, as well misc. raptures (similar to what Tom has been reporting), misc. insights, and serious emotional turmoil (the latter being pretty normal for me though), there is one notable effect I've seen from doing vipassana which I haven't seen talked about, and that is the feeling of "waking up." It seems that really trying to observe with a heightened level of awareness leads to these moments where I just kind of realize I'm here, and it feels very much as if I'm waking up from a life which has otherwise been a dream up until that point. They haven't been permanent, so it's more like opening my eyes and going back to sleep; but I was wondering -- how does this fit into the scheme of things? It certainly gave me the feeling that I know where the term "Awakening" comes from. (This started happening a while back, but I haven't been doing that much high-intensity vipassana in the interim.)

Actually, for the record, these don't necessarily even happen during practice. I first recall getting it something like 15 minutes after practice while walking to my office. I just looked up at the parking lot and the trees and -- oh!


Chris

RE: <thwack>; 3C's; "waking up"
Answer
1/18/10 9:30 PM as a reply to Chris G.
Chris Gilbreth:
Actually, for the record, these don't necessarily even happen during practice. I first recall getting it something like 15 minutes after practice while walking to my office. I just looked up at the parking lot and the trees and -- oh!


I have had that several times while walking the dog. Imagine going through that all day long! I think we have that to look forward to.

RE: <thwack>; 3C's; "waking up"
Answer
1/19/10 9:24 AM as a reply to Chris G.
Chris Gilbreth:
It seems that really trying to observe with a heightened level of awareness leads to these moments where I just kind of realize I'm here, and it feels very much as if I'm waking up from a life which has otherwise been a dream up until that point. They haven't been permanent, so it's more like opening my eyes and going back to sleep; but I was wondering -- how does this fit into the scheme of things? It certainly gave me the feeling that I know where the term "Awakening" comes from. (This started happening a while back, but I haven't been doing that much high-intensity vipassana in the interim.)

Actually, for the record, these don't necessarily even happen during practice. I first recall getting it something like 15 minutes after practice while walking to my office. I just looked up at the parking lot and the trees and -- oh!


Those little moments of "clear seeing" are actually another way of understanding what vipassana (Skt vipashyna) means. As we practice, or even before having taken up a practice, there may be little flashes of experiential insight that really point to the way things truly are. I don't think that these little flashes of insight necessarily mark any particular stage on the path, but I could see how it might be more likely to occur during either the Arising & Passing Away or Equanimity. The experience is quite nice, and may motivate one to either take up a practice or continue one's current practice.

I terms of vipassana practice, you will want to simply make note of this state of mind when it arises and then continue noting everything else that arises both as mind (nama) and matter (rupa). If this flavor of experience does happen to be stage specific with you, than you don't want to get stuck there every time just because it feels nice. That would be a good way to effectively halt progress. I never found such moments to de-rail my practice, but I'm throwing this in there in case such a thing might happen to you.

Practice well,
Jackson

RE: <thwack>; 3C's; "waking up"
Answer
1/19/10 9:03 PM as a reply to Jackson Wilshire.
Cool, thanks guys, I appreciate the shared experience and advice.