Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

lee rogers, modified 9 Years ago.

Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
I've had this experience a few times over the past decade. I descend steadily through pranayama, work past some visual/mental qualia (phosphene-like phenom) and then find a point of consciousness and absorb into it.Basically my concentration is solely between the ears, behind the eyes.

Just then I will I feel a sensation in my own mind space, with a quasi-visualized mental component of phosphene blue, forming a Chrysanthemum-shape inside my own mind space, of a 3D thousand-fold pin-point blue points of sensation in my conscious mindspace. Except, it's not separate from me, it's me!?

I can only describe this as the sensation of mind itself. That is, I have felt my own conscious awareness.

I find it hard to get to, and for a while I became aversive to pursuing it, as the anxious anticipation of hitting it became an ego battle & frankly I ended up spoiling my meditation for a time. Chasing it became a course of diminishing returns & ultimately fruitless, as it became harder and harder to attain. This stressed me out, because I wanted to get back into it so very much, even for a half a second.

In any case, I've been knocking on its door again, but very gingerly, I don't want to foul up my general practice again. I'm curious about it, kind of afraid of getting involved with it again, but I don't see it mentioned anywhere in the Jhana literature, etc.

I've asked around & some people say "Samadhi" but when I look in the Jhana&Samdhi Catalog®, I can't find it. Of course, I'm a bit attached to the experience, which is a fetter & as we all know, just another fallen phenomenon.

I've long since kinda given up knowing what to call it, but having just found this bulletin board, thought I might ask here. I'm kinda expecting someone to relegate it to some kind of experience or what ("Dear Sir: You had an 'Or what.' Hope that helps!" )

I don't think it's a Crown Chakra (& it ain't no Basal one either, thank you very much, my head ain't up my butt... just kiddin' ;-). IMO, better than any drug experience (albeit brief). I would say it's very "far out," even?

P.S. When I was a kid I used to self-induce drug-free OOBE's, so I'm kinda weird like that... :-)
P.P.S. Anybody thinks this sounds like fireworks, yes, but this is is not a July 4th joke.
P.P.P.S. I tend to think of this as a disattainment b/c it's been a frustration for me.
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Ian And, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
lee rogers:
I've had this experience a few times over the past decade. I descend steadily through pranayama, work past some visual/mental qualia (phosphene-like phenom) and then find a point of consciousness and absorb into it.Basically my concentration is solely between the ears, behind the eyes.

Just then I will I feel a sensation in my own mind space,
with a quasi-visualized mental component of phosphene blue, forming a Chrysanthemum-shape inside my own mind space, of a 3D thousand-fold pin-point blue points of sensation in my conscious mindspace. Except, it's not separate from me, it's me!?

Really! How quaint.

It's incredible to readers here that you seem unable to "hear" (recognize) your own words here, or even discern what you are saying. Simply incredible!

lee rogers:

I can only describe this as the sensation of mind itself. That is, I have felt my own conscious awareness.

I'm curious about it, kind of afraid of getting involved with it again, but I don't see it mentioned anywhere in the Jhana literature, etc.

No one here doubts that last. The reason you don't find it mentioned in any Jhana literature is because it doesn't exist!

In other words, it is a creation of your own "furtile" mind. (Are you beginning to get the hint?)

lee rogers:

I've asked around & some people say "Samadhi" but when I look in the Jhana&Samdhi Catalog®, I can't find it.

No. It's not samadhi. It might be used as a nimitta; but not the way you are approaching it.

lee rogers:
Of course, I'm a bit attached to the experience, which is a fetter & as we all know, just another fallen phenomenon.

Incredible! You provide yourself with the answer, and then keep asking the same question.

Let it go; let loose of it. And get back to your meditation object. This, too, (this fascination with mind made phenomena) shall pass.
lee rogers, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
I see I got a response. I'm curious how anyone who's ever had a similar experience such as mine might ever find assistance here.

Quoting from the FAQ:

Our philosophy is that the territory of meditative development is something inherent in humans, and the various traditions describe and support that.


When in doubt, be respectful, honest, kind and keep a focus of "what is useful and true as best I know" in the front of your mind and behave as if the people you are writing to are real people, with hearts, feelings, and life experiences that you likely know very little of, as this is the case.

In general, and to quote the front page:

...pragmatism over dogmatism, diligent practice over blind faith, openness regarding what the techniques may lead to, a lack of taboos surrounding talking about attainments, and the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships.


What is inappropriate?

Seeking attention.., speculating..., guessing ...., and being dogmatic and closed-minded.... .


A weird thing happened during meditation, what does it mean?

There are probably an infinite number of weird things that can happen during meditation. Most of these will be one-time events, so the first thing to do is to keep practicing and see if the experience repeats itself. If it does, let the weird event be a weird event and really experience it. Try to learn from the content of it without indulging in the drama of it. Many times, these events are just curiosities that can throw us off-track, so simply "watching the event" is the right approach. .... some types of events are common as meditation deepens and might cause trouble, so don’t be afraid to ask. Folks here might be able to help with "the content" of meditation, but our advice is better suited to helping "the process" of meditation.

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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I can understand why Ian chose to respond in the manner that he did, and I also think that he makes several very practical suggestions as to how you can improve your practice so as to see through the fabrications of your own mind. You haven't experienced "samadhi", you continually use terminology incorrectly and such misunderstandings are going to do you no good whatsoever; you seem to want someone to validate your experience as having been something exceptional or special. If this is the case, you've come to the wrong place.

What you've described is a product of your imagination, brought about through unfocused concentration and poor technique.

If you're genuinely interested in improving your practice and dropping all these misconceptions about stuff like chakras, samadhi, jhana and the like then tell us more about your previous practice, what traditions you've studied or trained in and what it is that you're actually looking to achieve through meditation.

Welcome to the DhO.
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. Jake ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
I remember sitting in on a class in contemplative psychotherapy at Naropa when I was nineteen or so. A student pointed out another student's blindspot in a really blunt, inefficacious and dramatic way. A third student, a friend of the pointer-outer, stood up and shouted at his friend "skillful means, skillful means!". At the time I found the whole thing a big turn off and kind of silly. But I think there's something to be said about the point. Like, if someone comes over to my house for the first time, and doesn't take their shoes of, there are better and worse ways of communicating that, right guys?
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
"skillful means, skillful means!"

I hate your ruggedly handsome guts for being able to put these things across so well. emoticon
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. Jake ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
lol I know right, so obnoxious emoticon
A D R, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I will chime in as well. I have to say that my experience has been such that when the "blue chrysanthemum" shows up it generally means I am starting to space out and that I need to change up my technique.

I actually remember asking about this topic while on retreat at one of the Zen monasteries I have frequented. The response I got was exactly the same kind of invalidation that I see here in this thread. At the time I was a little hurt, but now see more clearly what was being taught and am thankful for it.

The meditative journey is all about mental flexibility. You want to take it to the next level, there are many clues right here.
lee rogers, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

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Apparently claims to authority run rampant here. I won't be coming back.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
lee rogers:
Apparently claims to authority run rampant here. I won't be coming back.


Many yogis come through here and expect validation of their 'special' experiences. More than often they don't get it and feel rejected. After all, my 'experiences' are my own and when devalued or not seen as 'special' by others, it is 'I' who feel the devaluation. Those that stick around generally seem to learn something about this process of wanting experiences to be 'special'. Most here are aimed at dismantling the mental processes that cause mental suffering; the same processes that seek to validate 'experiences' as special. Thus the flavour of many of the replies here and there on the DhO.

For the angle which you seem to be approaching your experiences, this site might be worthwhile visiting:

http://www.aypsite.org/

It has a forum too.
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Oliver Myth, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space... (Answer)

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Hey now folks. This seems rather harsh just because the experience doesn't line up with popular DhO traditions. AH Almaas talks about this blue consciousness in his book 'Essense' in the beginning chapters and references how the hindu sage Baba Muktananda used it as a huge reference point in his spiritual practices. Almaas talked about the significance of its shape among other things.

Here is the reference: http://books.google.com/books?id=yz0EfqPQuh4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=essence+ah+almaas&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zCT4T7CUOeSK7AGtr7iFBw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ

go to page 63 starting in the last paragraph.


Basicly everything you are saying Lee is documented, just in other places not well known to this board. Kind of annoying that the board would go out and immediatly discredit the experience as "imagined and useless". I very much think it isn't

Where the heck does it look like lee is looking for validation? He wanted to understand something.

On top of that, validating a person and then developing a further conversation and understanding is god-damn courtesy people. They are stages in communication.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Oliver Myth:


Where the heck does it look like lee is looking for validation? He wanted to understand something.


From his last post, it seemed * he wanted a specific reply that would have triggered (for himself) his continued presence on the DhO. I assume he did not receive such a trigger to keep posting due to the content of his last post. It seems he did not get something he desired thus the rapid exit. He is welcome to keep talking about his experiences. And yogis are able to reply helpfully to them as you have provided in your post. It is up to each person to be aware of what they are posting and expecting from other participants. In the past I have greatly appreciated being told upfront what other yogis thought of my 'experiences' especially when I was expecting responses other than critiques or devaluations. I think though you have provided some context for his experience. That might be what he was looking for in the first place.

* Emphasis on 'it seemed'. I could be wrong of course.
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Oliver Myth, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
He said: "I see I got a response. I'm curious how anyone who's ever had a similar experience such as mine might ever find assistance here."

thats a whole lot of patience for just having all of his views discredited without explaination and very sarcastically (reference 2nd post)

I dare say he wanted someone to build on what he said, not violate any sense that his input might be valuable
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Oliver Myth, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
My bad, his last post said: "Apparently claims to authority run rampant here. I won't be coming back."

I don't see how he is looking for validation. Two people just said authoritarianly that he was making stuff up. Ian was pretty obvious. Tommy said this: "What you've described is a product of your imagination, brought about through unfocused concentration and poor technique. If you're genuinely interested in improving your practice and dropping all these misconceptions about stuff like chakras, samadhi, jhana and the like "

Many traditions make progress in their own way using chakras, samadhi and what not. maybe not towards what tommy thinks is ideal, but as Lee quoted from the DhO front page itself, he is allowed to talk about all kinds of traditions. He is only talking about what he knows, and nobody tryied to explain our way or our paths which ARE recived with validation.

THAT is the bias. And Lee quoted the DhO front page specifically and showed what he was asking for, bolding the related parts brilliantly
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Oliver Myth:
He said: "I see I got a response. I'm curious how anyone who's ever had a similar experience such as mine might ever find assistance here."

thats a whole lot of patience for just having all of his views discredited without explaination and very sarcastically (reference 2nd post)

I dare say he wanted someone to build on what he said, not violate any sense that his input might be valuable


And if he was patient that little bit longer he would have read your reply.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

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Oliver Myth:
Kind of annoying that the board would go out and immediatly discredit the experience as "imagined and useless". I very much think it isn't


Who is 'the board'?
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Oliver Myth, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space... (Answer)

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
I was starting to perceive the culture of the board as not validating others (being unwelcoming) and only valuing certain perspectives, such as Daniel Ingram's and AFT's.

This isn't the case, I know, but you must admit the tendency is there for a lot of people, Ian being a great example, because he didn't even try to explain his own point of view and just said "everything is wrong, do our practice" and doesn't off any further guidance, help, or context.

Another bias is how Tommy validated Ian: "I see why he would say that" when Ian made a sarcastic and unproductive post and discredited Lee: "You are imagining, due to poor focus" whereas Lee quoted the DhO frontpage explaining what he was looking for with many things, including
"some types of events are common as meditation deepens and might cause trouble, so don’t be afraid to ask. "
"openness regarding what the techniques may lead to, and the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships."
and other quotes about non-biases.

I guess my point is, this bias towards discrediting strange experiences UNLESS they accord with Daniel Ingram/AF's perspective (fruition, stream-entry, AF, ect.) is completely biased and that scared away a new member. Bias is also towards only a few practices. There are many people who find amazing peace with visualizations, chakras, and dianetics, and other practices that include being involved with the phenomenon instead of ignoring it (and looking at the three characteristics) as is the practice usually put forth here. The buddha's 40 objects of meditation being one example from theravadan tradition.

Granted this might not be the best board for discussing these other strange phenomenon, so could be best he went away anyways. In that case I find the callousness unproductive and not benifiting the higher goals of the DhO, and think the cause of the callousness is the bias mentioned.

Awareness allows change. That was my intention for bringing this up.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Oliver,

While I admit that my reply could have come across as "authoritarian" I can assure you, and Lee or anyone else reading it, that it certainly wasn't my intention and at no point do I, or have I, claimed any authority in any of these things. Perhaps if I explain the reasons as to why I responded in the way I did, which you've mistaken for being "harsh", "unwelcoming" and displaying "callousness", it will make more sense and clear things up somewhat.

Firstly, my apparent "validation" of Ian's reply was due to my having a great deal of respect for the guy and knowing that he understands the Buddhist model, including the terminology in it's original language, incredibly well; that he would categorically state, based on the descriptions given by the OP, this experience is not "samadhi" and the reason the guy didn't find any relevant information in the "Jhana&Samdhi Catalog®" (which isn't a something I'm familiar with) is because it was neither a jhanic nor samadhic experience, indicates to me that the guy isn't using the terminology in the same way it's used in the Buddhist model. It may also be partly down to me seeing Ian as an authority on such things, given that his advice, his writings and his work outwith the DhO all indicate a high level of knowledge and experience with jhana and samadhi, particularly in the context of Buddhism.

The comment about using terminology inaccurately is, as far as I can see, justified since the OP, based on their first post on the site, appeared to be coming from an entirely different, non-Buddhist based angle but gave very little information on their own practice prior to this point. For example, pranayama isn't a Buddhist technique and such forms of visualization are more common to Hindu-based models; having come from a background which includes yoga and extensive practice of pranayama, I know from experience that these practices don't lead to the permanent end of suffering in the way offered by the Buddhism model. If the OP uses terminology in an entirely different way to the way in which it's used within this community, it makes sense that they would be willing to discuss this and perhaps come to a point of mutual understanding; if we start talking about things while using terminology in ways which vary so wildly then it's not going to help anyone, least of all the OP who's asking the question.

My suggestion that Lee's experience was "a product of your imagination, brought about through unfocused concentration and poor technique" was based on my own experiences of such vivid mental imagery in the past, which came about through strong, but unfocussed concentration and insufficient technique to use that concentration effectively to penetrate the subject/object illusion. It was a suggestion by one person, no one would, or should, take my words as being any sort of authority, it's just an opinion from another person interested in these matters.

I also then said, quite clearly, that it would be more beneficial if Lee, as he has subsequently done, could provide more information on his practice, what he's done in the past and generally give a better idea of where he's coming from before trying to move forward with this. The initial description reads like a DMT report from Erowid, in my opinion, and several comments made by Lee indicate that this, contrary to being a positive experience overall, is something which he's continued to cling to, chase after, and has led to frustration. In short, dukkha. By continuing to try identifying this experience or figure out what it was, all that's happening is that more craving and aversion is being generated, and I have no interest in encouraging such fruitless behaviour. This is why I may come across as being quite curt in my reply, but I see no value in helping someone to continue causing themselves to suffer.

And personally, I didn't find the chakra gag very funny either... emoticon

I guess my point is, this bias towards discrediting strange experiences UNLESS they accord with Daniel Ingram/AF's perspective (fruition, stream-entry, AF, ect.) is completely biased and that scared away a new member. Bias is also towards only a few practices. There are many people who find amazing peace with visualizations, chakras, and dianetics[1], and other practices that include being involved with the phenomenon instead of ignoring it (and looking at the three characteristics) as is the practice usually put forth here.

I disagree with this, and also with your interpretation of how practices are "usually put forth here"; bias, if such a word is appropriate, seems to be given to what actually works to bring about a specific goal: The end of suffering.

Finding "amazing peace" isn't necessarily the same as putting an end to all fabrications, and I agree that there are plenty of people who find their lives are improved through a variety of practices. I've been quite vocal about the use of other models and perspectives, and also about what does and doesn't work based on my own experience, so I fail to see how you could suggest that non-MCTB or non-AF models are dismissed or thought less of. Yes, there is a general emphasis on MCTB as the basic conceptual framework on this site, but Daniel provides plenty of space on here for the discussion of non-Buddhist models and such cross-pollination, and the hybridized practices which have resulted from it, has become one of the most interesting developments on the DhO.

As for insight practice involving "ignoring it (and looking at the three characteristics)", I'd say you've completely misinterpreted what vipassana involved and how it is that one observes the three characteristics; it's very much involved, and requires direct experience of phenomena, not dissociation from it or ignoring it. That would be completely pointless!

Communication works both ways, we all need to open to hearing things described in different terms but a mutual understanding is what's required to move on. Lee appears to have come back to the site, and hopefully he'll read this and see that I wasn't having a personal dig at him. All I'm interested in is ending suffering, and if I can help others along the way then that's great but I'm not going to pussyfoot around and reinforce unhelpful experiences which don't lead to that end.

Peace to y'all, seriously.


[1] It's interesting that you should mention Dianetics, I've explored the OT system quite a bit and found that, if you take away all the bullshit sci-fi, it's basically an attentiveness-based practice which could have some practical value if further study of it were possible outwith Scientology.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 255 Join Date: 9/8/12 Recent Posts
Oliver Myth:
I was starting to perceive the culture of the board as not validating others (being unwelcoming) and only valuing certain perspectives, such as Daniel Ingram's and AFT's.

Oliver, I was really glad to see you taking the tack you did. In a far lesser way, I've been on the receiving end of what the OP got. But I reckon the source is not that only Daniel's perspective is valued. In fact, if anything Daniel's perspective is one of openness, as the OP pointed out.

Instead, the problem is simply a tendency for a *small minority of people* to do what Nikolai admitted he had done, and that is to make assumptions about motives. On the one hand making assumptions about motives is common and possibly even necessary for human communication. But on the other hand it is *such* a problematic thing in e-forums and a violation of Internet Use 101 that it is best approached from an "assume the best" standpoint.

Specifically - and now *I* will speak to motives:

Ian, you were well out of order dude. You should simply apologize and then deploy your not inconsiderable knowledge in a less sarcastic manner. Really. What age are you? Old enough to have experienced Usenet? If so you *really* should know better.
Tommy. Hmm. Kinda uncharacteristic of you, no? But I suspect you were well intentioned. Still, "harshness" etc is in the eye of the beholder.
Nikola. Well, I've already noted it. I'd express frustration that you seem utterly blind to the fact that your style of response comes across as judgmental and seems to assume things about the person's motives or internal mind states, but you acknowledged it so clearly you're not blind to it! As a newbie to this field, I can't say for sure, but I suspect that you (like Ian and Tommy) have tons of useful wisdom to covey. But simply being wise in this field, does not mean you are wise in the field of communicating it to others. If there is such a thing as A&P or stream entry in "effective articulation to others" you NEED TO PRACTICE! :-) Oh, and by the way, by "the board" Oliver meant precisely what you meant by "here" in "Many Yogis come through here".

Oliver:
> Awareness allows change. That was my intention for bringing this up.

Well said, and kudos for having the balls to speak up.

Lee:
Glad you decided to stay around. Try not to tar everyone here with the same brush you could justifiably use on a few.
By the way, I have *no* idea what you were on about when you related your Blue Mum experiences. You could have been smoking old carpet as far as I was concerned. I thought for a second that you'd mistyped and were talking about the impact of having drunk too much of this. emoticon
lee rogers, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
Robert McLune:
Glad you decided to stay around. Try not to tar everyone here with the same brush you could justifiably use on a few. By the way, I have *no* idea what you were on about when you related your Blue Mum experiences. You could have been smoking old carpet as far as I was concerned. I thought for a second that you'd mistyped and were talking about the impact of having drunk too much of this. emoticon


LOL.

I've been roasted before, reveling in the polemic of Buddhist usenet (what's left of it anyway ... ). There are many things in our conscious experience that incite affrontery... one-offs in OL discussion fora. I'm largely past worrying about the mistaken impressions of 90% of the people I meet.

As for my initial question, like a lot of experiences, words don't do justice. In a matter of a couple of paragraphs, how in earth can one convey ... even now, it's a challenge to put it to words. Maybe in 3D video, with you know, binaural sound effects ...

Bottom line: I have some experiences behind me (like the blue pearl...), but the taste of liberation calls me. What I'm trying to navigate now is the path that'll take me there.

I'm not big on theory, or steps, but I'm big on trying things out (& then, maybe, consulting the manual later). So I'm taking the path of the fool. On the way I hope I can learn to discover how to make it easier for others to learn & understand.

lee rogers, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
Oliver Myth:
AH Almaas talks about this blue consciousness in his book 'Essense' in the beginning chapters and references how the hindu sage Baba Muktananda used it as a huge reference point in his spiritual practices. Almaas talked about the significance of its shape among other things.

Here is the reference: http://books.google.com/books?id=yz0EfqPQuh4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=essence+ah+almaas&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zCT4T7CUOeSK7AGtr7iFBw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ

go to page 63 starting in the last paragraph.


Thank you for that information, Oliver. It is greatly appreciated.

With respect to to my personal spiritual practice:

I am 49 years of age & have been a practicing Buddhist of varying stripes for going on 13 years.

I've largely tended toward the analysis side & eschewed Yogic and Tantric work as riven with selfing mechanisms.

My interests have been varied, largely atheist & quasi-materialist (but not naive materialist, or annihilationist) and interested in furthering a Western vernacular for Dharmic Practice (ala Stephen Bachelor, but without a rejectionist view of of Nibbana & reincarnation, but rather a meta-view on salvationist faith ...).

I've debated with some very rigorous and driven polemicists and have waxed polemic myself. Been there, done that - I can no longer get into negative debates online (more dharma training to do there, but not now.. ;-) )

My current meditation work is oriented toward consistency & stability of practice, engaging the present moment. It's actually harder to do, in my opinion, than trance &/or meditative qualia. I still get a precursor sensation behind my nose, starting from the outbreath, BTW, but this is the type of state where my nasal structure aches, including the sinus/olfactory area. 3:00 AM is the best time to hit close to the zone, but I'm deign to engage it too deeply now b/c it's hard to get into w/out uncomfortable amounts of concentration (never mind the selfing mechanism finding leverage).

A phenomenon such as a phosphene is the visual equivalent of mental qualia that is sensed sans extrinsic source. I suspect a biomechanical understanding of such states could be an analogous non-source stimuli ala "phantom limb," the idea being that certain modes of concentration can cut off discursive qualia, leaving intrinsic stimuli as an emergent experience. That these regimen actually lead to neurogenesis or enmylenation reflects the actual rigor of physical substrate.

I have reviewed the process of encountering this "blue mum" as I jokingly refer it, &, provided it might be of any help to anybody will obligingly detail it, but this is all I have time for at the moment. I am short for time & this medium of communication requires thoughtful & metered communique.

Oliver, I want to especially thank you for responding to my query, I will review that citation. I'm delighted to see that it's an understood phenomenon, I would have only assumed that it had been shared by other folk. I have held a suspicion the Yogic & Tantric R&D dept over in the Vajrayana branch might also have some experience with it.

Best regards -- Lee
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 255 Join Date: 9/8/12 Recent Posts
lee rogers:
My interests have been varied, largely atheist & quasi-materialist (but not naive materialist, or annihilationist) and interested in furthering a Western vernacular for Dharmic Practice (ala Stephen Bachelor, but without a rejectionist view of of Nibbana & reincarnation, but rather a meta-view on salvationist faith ...).

Have you read B. Alan Wallace's "Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic"? I'm 2/3 of the way through it and finding it both superb and practice-enhancing.
lee rogers, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
Robert McLune:
Have you read B. Alan Wallace's "Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic"? I'm 2/3 of the way through it and finding it both superb and practice-enhancing.


Thank you, I'll check it out. I've read excerpts from his writings & IIRC have liked what I've read before.

Right now I'm in the middle of a soup&potatoes Vipassana primer, Just Seeing by Cynthia Thatcher. I picked up her book b/c I ran into something I recalled had been mentioned in an article by her: delay artifacts. During & after samatha/samadhi time I've noted both cognitive recognition as well as apparent sensory delay - sometimes an anti-sense of a color, or motion with a "shuttering" effect. Her point is that decomposing extrinsic-source sense perception is the step toward also deconstructing instrinsic sensual affect of thought, emotion, mood, reaction, memory.

Tackling the vipassana/insight side of this is in fact quite important to me, as I am in the long haul for some very weighty matters & need a way to handle them better than I have been. IOW I've gone from Buddhism as a sort of philosophical mind puzzle, wading my toes... to getting out the vessel to portage the stream. I'm in it, & there's no way around but through.
lee rogers, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
Oliver Myth:
AH Almaas talks about this blue consciousness in his book 'Essense' in the beginning chapters and references how the hindu sage Baba Muktananda used it as a huge reference point in his spiritual practices. Almaas talked about the significance of its shape among other things.

Here is the reference: http://books.google.com/books?id=yz0EfqPQuh4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=essence+ah+almaas&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zCT4T7CUOeSK7AGtr7iFBw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ



Googling for "blue consciousness Muktananda"

I do see that Baba Muktananda's experience of this is widely cited, perhaps having its tradition in the superior Siddha Yogim of the prior era.

http://www.kheper.net/topics/gurus/Muktananda.htm says:

"...The sort of things that go on in Siddha Yoga, and especially nowdays that Muktananda is no longer its living head, are rather embarresing: (sic) a leadership battle several years back, and a mediocre, watered down, religious teaching, with experience that does not seem to go beyond the psychic level (well, it's the same for all these groups; and all religions for that matter). But Swami Muktananda's autobiographical book, Play of Consciousness, is something else entirely. A record of his yogic and spiritual development in India, Play of Consciousness is an astonishing but also a very readable book, which captures very well the spirit of the one-on-one guru-tradition and long yogic discipline in India, quite different to the New Age type mass-following gurus of the West."

Yes, front-pew piety and other Bowdlerizations are a known problem throughout. Early mass media, marketing & culture have led to a breadth but shallowing of some knowledge bases, but hucksters & snake oilmen are always just around the corner proffering quantum consciousnesses & other bunkum. This will probably turn around with an empirical deepening of the dharma in OL fora.
lee rogers, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space... (Answer)

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
Oliver Myth:
AH Almaas talks about this blue consciousness in his book 'Essense' in the beginning chapters and references how the hindu sage Baba Muktananda used it as a huge reference point in his spiritual practices. Almaas talked about the significance of its shape among other things.

Here is the reference: http://books.google.com/books?id=yz0EfqPQuh4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=essence+ah+almaas&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zCT4T7CUOeSK7AGtr7iFBw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ

go to page 63 starting in the last paragraph.


Oliver, I thought we might revisit this topic. I've been practicing again, samatha / samadhi work. My concentration practice has given me some time to reflect on my older "blue chrysanthemum" state. In yogic circles this particular experience does indeed goes by a couple of names that I could find. Although it's not terribly well known even in Siddha where it is actively practiced, it bears the names "Blue pearl," or as you pointed out, the "Blue consciousness." It appears to be never mentioned in the Buddhist Zen or Theravadin schools. If the Vajrayana Yogic or Tantric schools encounter it, I couldn't find any information to that effect.

Based on my recollections, this is what I would say about the experiences:

1) Mind/body state criterion: A very low metabolism & left brain state.
1a) I have very low blood pressure at times, esp. after a night's rest
(a visiting nurse once thought I might be suffering a pulmonary syndrome ...)
1b) My cognitive/discursive mind wakes very slowly. My interpretation is that my left brain is
particularly *un*ergetic -- languid -- upon waking. I see this as normal (to me).
1c) Fighter pilots who black out find that their left brain regains consciousness last, and
yet that's the exact source of serial (karmic) processing necessary to fly a plane in combat.

2) Setting: 3:00 AM, part way through a night's sleep. Bearing in mind 1),
2a) My overall state of mind in early morning tends toward
2c) Fictile mind ... anything goes
2d) A very ductile state of ordinary mind overall...

3) Follow samadhi concentration stages (best of recollection -- this was nine years ago).
3a) Sat against wall or chair
3b) Focused on outbreath. Attenuated all bodily tensions (went through the steps)
3c) Turn focused inward behind eyes & nose
3c-1) Blood pressure changed in skull began
(still to this day I'll note nasal cavity contractions (sinus clicking) or abatement of migraine)
3d) Samadhi entered - focused more. At this stage I recall feeling some discomfort in various parts of my head
- hot pinpricks, passing headaches. Also aching in my eye sockets -I had to remember to relax
my brow & make sure I wasn't crossing my eyes, etc.
3e) Samadhi continued - return to focusing inward;
3f) Recurse: Focus inward into the source of the focus itself.
Where would that be? I don't know, it has a sense of locus however.
3g) Penetrate: Focus hard in that experience at 1:00 O'clock orientation, azimuth of ~ 25 - 35 degrees (less than 45).
3h) And that's when I'd hit it ...

4) Characterizing sensation
4a) All between the ears
4b) Phosphene-like pontilism, with a faint azure blue, like blue diode Xmas lights in a heavy fog
4c) A general sensation from each, in the actual *qualia space* where I normally experienced mental processes.
4d) The sensation array was many-fold, innumerable -- perhaps in the 100's, maybe 1000
4e) It was reminiscent immediately of an infloration - a flower-like arc & array of points.
More like a Dandelion, actually, or a miniature galactic globular cluster of stars
4f) The sensations were reminiscent of pins-and-needles, or a slight neuropathy, but pleasant.
4g) The azure-color experience was probably a synaesthetic artifact of the sensation (not the other way around)
4h) The sensation was functionally "touch," but from within
4i) Discursively engaging on the "touch" sensations broke it (bummer ... )
4j) Longest elapsed time: 20 seconds ?

5) Ideas / speculations
5a) I'm guessing it was a samadhi-form state, but very strenuous.
Otherwise access to it was no different from the samatha/samadhi work I do now
5b) The conscious interface neural switchboard was functionally "feeling" itself. Perhaps a recursion effect?
5c) The intense focus causes a feedback into the neural process-space, evincing awareness as
simply another sense (consistent with Insight/Vipassana doctrine).

6) My current practice
6a) Mostly Samatha / Samadhi, not very disciplined
6b) None of it very prolonged, but some days very frequent - as often as 10 times per day, 3 - 8 minute sessions.
6c) I'm using samatha to ease into vipassana. I'm ADHD so vipassana/insight is still a challenge.

7) In 2003 - 2004, I didn't even know what samadhi was, much less samatha or vipassana.
7a) It is my view that concentration & insight meditation are about attenuating left brain seriality/karmic entrainment (1c)
7b) It is my speculation that 4) was the result of recursing serial processing / karmic entrainment
7c) My last experience was mid-2004. After that I gave up meditating b/c it was such a frustrating pursuit at the time.

Oliver, I want to thank you for the response you gave me earlier this year. It was helpful in that it gave me some context as to the continuum of experience within meditative or trance states.

I'm very much a believer now in the physical processes underlying mind, but I'm not a naive materialist. One of the paradoxes of Mind is the quintessence on which it is built: Experience.

Conscious animate mind is simply an evolutionary reflection of what happens in nature, all the time: The Eternal Now.

I've observed that many people who pursue meditation are uncomfortable with deconstructing the experience as rooted in the physical process of experience, but it makes perfect sense to me pesonally, esp. now that I'm engaging in samadhi coupled w/ sense-perception insight.

Experiencing sense-perception feels to me a completely organic & natural process, and that allowing kinesthetic receptors to adapt out not only results in a body image that fades, but commonly produce unusual phenomena due to various kinds of receptor fatigue (those oft-aspersed groovy experiences during meditation ... they'll pass).

The reason pursuit of most of these ecstatic states is eschewed is that they are typically artifacts of receptor fatigue. In the case of the Blue Pearl, I don't believe it was a case of nascent & inarticulate practice, but extremely precocious luck. Luck of a kind, as it proved functionally deleterious & hazardous due to the severity of the level of focus.

I will venture, however, that it is in fact a potentially instructive state, provided the practitioner is sufficiently prepared and skilled at meditation to in fact do something constructive with it, without either impairing their practice or mental state. For anybody else less skilled (such as myself), I do believe it is well advised to leave it alone (as I have since).

-- Lee
lee rogers, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
Notes:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/buddhist-humor/your-life-is-one-moment-long-how-meditation-opens-a-door-to-an-innate-sense-of-e/361456430601704
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From: http://www.druglibrary.org/special/tart/soccont.htm

_ Most meditation techniques involve, as the initial step, sitting absolutely still ... the comfortable posture in meditation allows various kinesthetic receptors to adapt out, so the body image generally fades . . . Since much of a person's sense of identity comes from his body image, the fading of the body in a comfortable, steady posture also tends to reduce his sense of identity, thus helping to destabilize his [baseline State of Consciousness] and to free energy..."

[ . . . ]

"This greatly restricts the variety of input to the system, inhibits thinking about various stimuli that come from scanning the environment, and in general takes attention/awareness energy away from and reduces the activity of the various subsystems of ordinary consciousness.

... This can produce unusual phenomena due to various kinds of receptor fatigue, as in the induction of hypnosis, but most meditation systems stress that these anomalous perceptual phenomena should not be taken as signs of success or be paid any special attention. ... Thus while anomalous perceptual phenomena may act as a disruptive forces for our ordinary state, they do not attract the same amount of attention in meditation as they do in hypnosis and so may have different effects."

[ . . . ]

"... the meditative state of consciousness that can result from concentrative meditation [ has been described ] as a discrete state characterized as "voidness," "blankness," or "no-thingness." There seems to be a temporary nonfunctioning of all psychological functions. In some sense, difficult to deal with verbally, awareness seems to be maintained, but there is not object of awareness. The appearance of this meditative state seems to be sudden and to clearly represent a quantum leap. The practice of meditation quiets down the various subsystems, but there is a sudden transition to this pattern of voidness.

The meditative state may or may not be valued in and of itself, depending on the particular spiritual discipline and its philosophy. What does generally seem to be valued is its aftereffect, generally described as a great "freshening" of perception or increase in feelings of aliveness. In terms of the systems approach, a major aftereffect of the concentration-produced meditation state is a decrease in processing and abstracting of sensory input from what occurs in the ordinary [discrete States of Consciousness]. Much more raw sensory data are passed to awareness, instead of the highly selected abstractions usually seen, and this produces a great intensification of sensory perception of both the external world and one's own body. this is usually felt as quite joyful.

As Wordsworth put it in Ode on Intimations of Immortality {147}:

'There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.'

Going on to contrast this with perception in his ordinary [discrete state of consciousness], he said:

'It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn whereso'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.'

I suspect that if Wordsworth were alive today he would be quite interested in altered states of consciousness."

[ . . . ]

"...Opening-Up Meditation

Opening-up meditation refers to a variety of techniques whose aim is to help you achieve full sensitivity to and awareness of whatever happens to you, to be a conscious observer observing what is happening to you without being caught up in your reactions to it. It is a matter of being aware of what is happening without thinking about what is happening to the exclusion of perceiving what is happening, or becoming identified with reactions to what is happening. Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation of this sort. The word means something like bare attention—bare attention to sensations, feelings, thoughts, and reactions to these things as they occur.

The "simple" rule is to notice anything and everything that happens, to neither reject anything as unworthy of attention, nor welcome anything as worthy of more attention than anything else. This includes being aware of "failures," such as thoughts, rather than fighting them.

Opening meditation is usually practiced in the same sort of posture as concentrative meditation, so all the effects of posture on disrupting the [baseline State of Consciousness] are similar.

This non-identification with stimuli prevents attention/awareness energy from being caught up in the automatic, habitual processes involved in maintaining the ordinary [discrete State of Consciousness]. Thus while awareness remains active, various psychological subsystems tend to drift to lower and lower levels of activity.

Traditional accounts indicate that after a high level of success is achieved, there is a sudden shift into a meditative state of consciousness characterized by a great freshening of perception and deautomatization of the subsystem of Input-Processing. This is the meditative state itself, rather than an aftereffect of it, as in concentrative meditation. Almost all psychological energy is present in the awareness function, and there seems to be far less input-processing, so things are perceived more directly The meditator experiences things as much more intense and clear; whether this means that he perceives the external more accurately has not, to my knowledge, been tested..."

==============================

"Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained ... what one commonly takes as 'the reality,' including the reality of one's own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous — that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego.

One can also arrive at this insight through scientific reflections. The problem of reality is and has been from time immemorial a central concern of philosophy. It is, however, a fundamental distinction, whether one approaches the problem of reality rationally, with the logical methods of philosophy, or if one obtrudes upon this problem emotionally, through an existential experience.

The first . . experiment was . . deeply moving and alarming, because everyday reality and the ego experiencing it, which I had until then considered to be the only reality, dissolved, and an unfamiliar ego experienced another, unfamiliar reality. The problem concerning the innermost self also appeared, which, itself unmoved, was able to record these external and internal transformations.

Reality is inconceivable without an experiencing subject, without an ego. It is the product of the exterior world, of the sender and of a receiver, an ego in whose deepest self the emanations of the exterior world, registered by the antennae of the sense organs, become conscious. If one of the two is lacking, no reality happens, no radio music plays, the picture screen remains blank." — Albert Hoffman, LSD: My Problem Child, 1980

__________________________________________

"I don't do drugs, I am drugs..." -- Salvador Dali

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. Jake ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Lee, in case it hasn't been said in a clear and useful enough way, the point I see in Tommy and Ian's responses is worth considering, and has to do with how you conceive 'practice' and what is the intent behind that practice and what is the goal you are aiming towards. Fascination with particular experiences and (struggling with) the attempt to reexperience them is a pretty common feature of the Path. Getting clued in to the fact that awakening is not about experiences, per se, but about the nature of experiences is a very important turning point for many.
lee rogers, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Electric Blue Mum sensation in mind space...

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/3/12 Recent Posts
I am responding via mobile .. I,d like to respond in more detail, but I,m all thumbs on this early android.

Just some passing thoughts about OL fora, practice, & presence.

1.) One respondent said my description sounded like the description of a DMT trip: Is that what those are like? Think of the significance of that! I,ve always wondered how a powerful drug trip would feel, but found out in my youth that I couldn,t do strong stuff (not even today,s MJ). That such a hyper-concentrative state might drive equiv. Neural activity goes to show you that the physical brain can drive itself. The problem with DMT is neuro receptor burnout, even lesioning. Could too much aggressive tantric/yogic meditation bear similar risks? Just b/c it,s endogenous doesn,t mean it,s risk-free , synth human endorphins turned out to be as addictive aas morphine. Perhaps these techniques are discouraged b/c they are addictive, not just b/c they are experiences (all dharmas being equal....). Once we,re enlightened we still get to eat, breathe, and sleep.... and daydream?

2). A little masturbation, OTOH, never killed anybody. But obsessing... not good. There are expert meditators from both Vajrayana & Dzogchen who know how to nail a great many (weird/supernal) meditative states, & are presumably no worse for the wear AND engage them as part of a healthy practice in pursuit of presence & mindfulness.

3). As anicca applies to groovy mindtrips, I could see how conflating meditation used to disengage from proliferation WITH an addictive habit would be disruptive. I,d also tend to say that,s what I ran into (see my OP).

4). I make no claims other than that I,m a practicing buddhist. I never said I was a good Buddhist.

5). The present moment is dead. Long live the present moment.

6). The "blue mum" wasn,t for me, really. Am I chagrined that it,s supposed to be useful at some level but it is a bitch for me? Sure, but then I can just smile about it instead. So it goes...

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