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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?

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Hi, Im not sure why Im writing this now because I havent had this experience in quite a while, and its not like im chasing it either. When it happens its fantastic, but I think my focus is mostly stable enough to insure that I am doing my best to focus on the senses as much as I can without being distracted by this stuff, but nonetheless it interests me...


Unfortunately there is only one circumstance Ive found that makes me experience the full extent of this, and that is the day after consuming lots of alcohol.

I dont drink too often, but sometimes when I do, being the Irish man I am , I go on a binge or 2.

The next day , the experience I sometimes have is nothing short of amazing. It doesnt always happen though.

Im not going to be too conservative here in my descriptions , and I apologize in advance if I sound like a ranting hippy. Im just going to describe how it feels at the time, even though I acknowledge that it is simply just how it feels, and nothing more.

But basically the experience is that of absolute perfection and love. Like every single thing is connected in the most perfect way, self, no self, all irrelevant, deep deep deep deep peace and nothingness. Looking at movement like trees and traffic and people etc, isnt just a nice experience like it is most days, this time its absolutely mind blowing and stunning. There is literally nothing during this kind of peace that could better the experience. Everything is one, nothing is seperate, but even those words sound silly. no mind whatsoever, (im assuming the reality of it is something not as fun, like the fact that alcohol reduces mind activity)

As someone who has taken drugs in the past I would say with confidence that no drug would even get close to this experience.
A deep sweet connection with people and everything.
Im not even going to pretend to sound intellectual or pseudo spiritual by saying something like "it feels ordinary", no , tbh, it feels really really great, it feels like you are experiencing the pinnacle of what happiness is supposed to be. You are totally and utterly melted into the environment around you, and even doing something "wrong" in terms of your spiritual progress , sufering, identity, self, etc is total nonsense

It usually fades away by day 2 after drinking. And FWIW experiences like this never ever happened me prior to awakening.

All I can say though, is that if what Im describing is actually something attainable on a more permanent or at least more regular basis without the aid of getting ridiculously drunk and subsequently hung over, then I can see why people would give their lives to this practice.

So what do you think? Just a cool state thats brought on with the use of chemicals (alcohol), or something more tangible and something that can be experienced in the long run?

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/7/12 8:22 PM as a reply to wylo ..
Sounds nice, but alarm bells rang when I read this. Be careful!!

Would it be possible to re-create the state by imagining yourself drinking?

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/7/12 9:54 PM as a reply to wylo ..
I don't know whether it's possible to be like that all the time, but when it comes up it sounds like a great time to do insight practice.

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/8/12 4:43 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Sounds nice, but alarm bells rang when I read this. Be careful!!

Would it be possible to re-create the state by imagining yourself drinking?


Well its usually the next day after being really drunk. But no, I cant see how imaging anything would help.

but, not to worry, I really dont drink that often , and im losing more and more interest in it tbh. Those kind of binges are rare these days and I certainly wouldnt have an interest in pursuing some sort of clarity/enlightenment through the use of alcohol.


Good idea about the insight practice fivebells.

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/8/12 5:37 AM as a reply to wylo ..
Sounds like nondual experience. When sense of self dissolves there is a sense of 'merging' but it is being interpreted wrongly. Doing proper practices can lead to this, e.g. http://methodsofawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/methods-of-awakening-attentiveness.html


Anyway I just said this to someone two days ago:


For your non-dual experience to become totally effortless, it is necessary to give rise to the realization of anatta or no-self, otherwise your non-dual state will forever be intermittent passing states.

First I do not see Anatta as merely a freeing from personality sort of experience nor a temporary non-dual state; I see it as that a self/agent, a doer, a thinker, a watcher, etc, cannot be found apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation or as its commonly expressed as ‘the observer is the observed’; there is no self apart from arising and passing. A very important point here is that Anatta/No-Self is a Dharma Seal, it is the nature of Reality all the time -- and not merely as a state free from personality, ego or the ‘small self’ or a stage to attain. This means that it does not depend on the level of achievement of a practitioner to experience anatta but Reality has always been Anatta and what is important here is the intuitive insight into it as the nature, characteristic, of phenomenon (dharma seal).

To put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.irel.html) that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ as an illustration. When a person says that I have gone beyond the experiences from ‘I hear sound’ to a stage of ‘becoming sound’, he is mistaken. When it is taken to be a stage, it is illusory. For in actual case, there is and always is only sound when hearing; never was there a hearer to begin with. Nothing attained for it is always so. This is the seal of no-self. Therefore to a non dualist, the practice is in understanding the illusionary views of the sense of self and the split. Before the awakening of prajna wisdom, there will always be an unknowing attempt to maintain a purest state of 'presence'. This purest presence is the 'how' of a dualistic mind -- its dualistic attempt to provide a solution due to its lack of clarity of the spontaneous nature of the unconditioned. It is critical to note here that both the doubts/confusions/searches and the solutions that are created for these doubts/confusions/searches actually derive from the same cause -- our karmic propensities of ever seeing things dualistically.

Lastly, contemplating on this will lead to insight of anatta:

In seeing, there is always just the seen, no seer.
In hearing, there is always just sound, no hearer.

Also if you have time, read this article plus the advise by PasserBy in the comments section: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2008/01/ajahn-amaro-on-non-duality-and.html

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/8/12 7:34 AM as a reply to wylo ..
What's the difference between this experience and when you focus on your senses normally? Look for any remaining blurriness, or vibrations or negative stuff in your body, and you should be able to decide whether what you're describing is IT, or whether IT is even further beyond what you're describing...

Like every single thing is connected in the most perfect way, self, no self, all irrelevant, deep deep deep deep peace and nothingness.


This may also be diagnostic. Does it feel that way to you (as in, these experiences are a bunch of mental states that you are happily subject to), or is this what experience is like once some mental processes have disappeared?

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/8/12 1:54 PM as a reply to wylo ..
I need to get drunk again. I haven't done it in a while, last time I did it it was a lot of fun.

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/8/12 4:59 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

To put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.irel.html) that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’


Hi AEN,

Please do not take this the wrong way, I always enjoy the depth of your discussions but I have seen you write this on DhO and many other forums and I think what you state is potentially misleading.

The Bahiya Sutta never states ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ and there is a significant difference if investigating ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’ to ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen". The very act of observing "no seer" perpetuates the self. It took me a while to get insight into the self being replaced by "no seer or no self". In fact you could say there is a 180 degrees difference. I hope this makes sense.

enjoy your day
Jeff

Bahiya Sutta - 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized'

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/8/12 5:13 PM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Jeff Grove:
The Bahiya Sutta never states ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ and there is a significant difference if investigating ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’ to ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen". The very act of observing "no seer" perpetuates the self. It took me a while to get insight into the self being replaced by "no seer or no self". In fact you could say there is a 180 degrees difference. I hope this makes sense.


Wylo: you can also take this as diagnostic. During your experience, do you have the ability to look and observe "no self!" in the way you might now (intuitively examining your experience to measure a "self"), or do you temporarily lack that ability, or something in-between?

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/9/12 8:01 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
@ AEN, thanks very much, your pointers are always useful and Ive been working on this stuff since your last post in my concentration practice thread, notably the 2 stanzas which seem to work well with basic paying attention.


End in Sight:
What's the difference between this experience and when you focus on your senses normally? Look for any remaining blurriness, or vibrations or negative stuff in your body, and you should be able to decide whether what you're describing is IT, or whether IT is even further beyond what you're describing...

Well as you probably know from my other descriptions that normally I do in fact experience a sort of mild version of the above. Sometimes its so pleasant that I ask myself "is this the BIG experience I have sometimes?" But the answer is always no, there is definitely a fundamental difference.
Firstly, When Im having THE experience as layed out above, there is no question whatsoever whether its THE experience or not, whereas when Im having something close to it, there is always that little niggling question, even if it feels like there is great clarity. So to answer your question more directly, whats the difference? I would have to say, normally, there is still those very subtle, very background "feelings" and tension in the head and throughout the body, still an interpretation and seperation, very very very subtle suffering, whereas when Im experiencing what I described above, its like a total flush out, an absolute zero, nothing BUT the senses, a sort of total silence and freedom which only becomes really apparent when it actually happens.

Could it go even further when Im having the experience? Possibly, but Im not sure how to answer that now because it would only be based on memory and it happens so rarely (and in circumstances like post alcohol etc), that my answer would be vague and inaccurate.


Like every single thing is connected in the most perfect way, self, no self, all irrelevant, deep deep deep deep peace and nothingness.


This may also be diagnostic. Does it feel that way to you (as in, these experiences are a bunch of mental states that you are happily subject to), or is this what experience is like once some mental processes have disappeared?

I remember the last time it was happening, I tried to decipher the factors that made it what it is, with the intention of writing this post (although I should have wrote it sooner), and the clear thing that stood out to me was the total lack of "mind" getting in the way in ANY way whatsoever, a complete flushing of the mind, complete silence, so maybe thats a description of what you are saying there "or is this what experience is like once some mental processes have disappeared"

That said, Id be lying if when I was having that experience, I wasnt thinking "wow this is great, this is what its all about, this love, freedom, silence , the universe is absolutely perfect etc etc", and surely all that is mind,lol!!
Even something as silly as standing in a room and enjoying it is total freedom . So maybe Im just contradicting myself there.


Wylo: you can also take this as diagnostic. During your experience, do you have the ability to look and observe "no self!" in the way you might now (intuitively examining your experience to measure a "self"), or do you temporarily lack that ability, or something in-between?


Well firstly im trying my hardest to get away from "no self" as a sort of state or dogma or belief anyway. Although, admittedly, just trying, not 100% succeeding. But to answer the question Id have to say there is a lack of ability, because self or no self doesnt even make sense, its kind of a "its all one anyway" feeling. Almost like saying theres no red dragon in this room. Its completely irrelevant.

I could probably say that about my current experience as well, but there is definitely a fundamental obvious difference between the two. And the one Im trying to describe above is pretty indescribable in a literal sense. Whereas currently I still experience a lack of self but not totally 100% either.

But yea, the ability to look and observe no self is completely diminished to a point of "There is so much no self that its a non-issue".

I have to admit Im only going by memory here, next time Im experiencing IT, Im going to write out descriptions straight away to try and be as accurate as possible.

The big difference seems to be the lack of mind tbh. Just that mild mild tension in the body is completely and utterly gone, and for some reason that makes everything look amazing and beautiful, and it seems to result in the strongest happiness and seeming clarity Ive ever experienced.

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/9/12 8:04 AM as a reply to wylo ..
Just to put it in perspective, I could be already sitting down in complete silence, no running commentary arising, very impressive high concentration, a seemingly silent mind and almost zero suffering and a very little amount of tension , and yet i would still know its not "IT".

When Im experiencing it I tend to think to myself "this is how I should be experiencing all the time, all that other stuff is only a fraction of it", but once Im out of the experience I thankfully tend not to care that Im NOT experiencing it. Not saying it wouldnt be fantastic to always experience it, but I think ive "graduated" on a very deep personal level from chasing stuff like that.

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/16/12 9:18 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Jeff Grove:
An Eternal Now:

To put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.irel.html) that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’


Hi AEN,

Please do not take this the wrong way, I always enjoy the depth of your discussions but I have seen you write this on DhO and many other forums and I think what you state is potentially misleading.

The Bahiya Sutta never states ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ and there is a significant difference if investigating ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’ to ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen". The very act of observing "no seer" perpetuates the self. It took me a while to get insight into the self being replaced by "no seer or no self". In fact you could say there is a 180 degrees difference. I hope this makes sense.

enjoy your day
Jeff

Bahiya Sutta - 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized'
Hi, to be precise, Bahiya Sutta states "When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

"No seer or no self" is a non-affirming negation. It does not assert the non-existence of self, but merely rejects the true existence of a self or agent. You do not observe no-self, you realize self isn't real (just like how santa claus is completely made up, fabricated, fictitious, without reality). There must be insight into how arising does not pertain to a subjective essence, an agent, a self, in any way whatsoever (whether in it, with it, containing it, etc). This rejection of something untenable leaves nothing at all - no position at all, not even a "no self". If you have a "no self" or treating "no self" as if it is an object that can be observed then it is completely not what I am talking about. When in seeing there is just the seen, there is no self and no no-self - there is only in seeing just the seen.

On this, see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2011/10/anatta-not-self-or-no-self.html

However my point is that there must be realization, insight, and not merely a state of 'in seeing just the seen' (which is temporary). Insight makes this effortless. If you only focus on non-conceptual or non-dual state but missed the insight, then you will miss an essential key towards effortlessness and seamlessness.

RE: A glimpse of the bigger picture or just some cool state?
Answer
8/16/12 9:29 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
SN 35.85
PTS: S iv 54
CDB ii 1163
Suñña Sutta: Empty
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997–2012

Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?"

"Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ananda, that the world is empty. And what is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self? The eye is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Forms... Eye-consciousness... Eye-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self.

"The ear is empty...

"The nose is empty...

"The tongue is empty...

"The body is empty...

"The intellect is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Ideas... Intellect-consciousness... Intellect-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Thus it is said that the world is empty."