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I got lost, help me get back on track

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Hi,

I recently was meditating at home for 10 or so hours a day for a few weeks and I got a little lost. I wanted to get stream entry. I had been doing concentration practices for a few months and they had helped a lot. However, I made the mistake of stopping my bipolar meds right as I started doing insight practices and got lost in some sort of vision quest/fantasy worlds for about a month.

I think some of it may have been the siddhis tricking me or something as I got caught up in all these bizarre world trips and did strange things like thinking I was dying and traveling to the center of the universe/was contacted by supposedly immaterial beings who did some sort of surgery on me to help me get enlightened. This may have been my imagination getting carried away with me as the words about doing surgery on yourself in MCTB came to real life in a way.

I was contacted by all sorts of strange voices/spirits who were both benevolent and less than benevolent. I got caught up in them and their worlds that consisted of both them and all my confused conceptual ideas about enlightenment. Then I ended up in the hospital for a few days and got back on my meds and now I feel more or less fine (for a couple weeks now). I stopped practicing for the time period...cept for occasional concentration practice.

The only thing that is bothersome is after taking my meds (which I think puts me into a dark night) my more subtle thoughts get really projected out into the external vibrations around me (I hear my thoughts in the sound vibrations(fans or whatever) and will sometimes start repeating obnoxiously over and over. When I wake up it is gone. Is this a normal insight practice phenomena? Sometimes I get overwhelmed by having too much perceptual abilities and the sounds overwhelm me for a time. My thinking would be to try to do concentration practice as this would hone my attention onto one object and stabilize me?

I would like to continue to make progress to stream-entry, but I'm not sure what is safe and what is not. I know I should be doing at least a little practice, but I've cut back since the episode. What is a good way of making progress (slowly if needed) without getting caught up in these fantasy/interdimensional/whatever worlds...I seem to have a propensity to get confused by them and the medication seems to make it so I don't get caught up by this stuff.

I know I have already significantly started the progress of insight and am entering dark night stuff from time to time..so what is the safest way to go about finishing the progress of insight without getting caught up in these worlds? Would making some sort of vow help?

RE: I got lost, help me get back on track
Answer
3/6/10 4:53 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Hi Thomas
Thanks for your post, makes great reading. I too was once an inter-dimensional, cross-universal, other worldly beings junkie. It was a by-product of being fascinated by the Kundalini. I was advised if I wanted to make any progress that I should just stop. You see, I just got lost in the 'visual' sense field. When I stopped I realised all of these dimensions were my creations. Our sense of seeing is in our head, through our eyes. Perhaps you might like to drop your attention out of your head, down into your body to calm things down. Observing sensations in the body will probably re-trigger visual sense field impressions which you should then note and dismiss and return to the body. Note also the pull or push to 'want something to happen' to 'give you th impression' you are making progress. Ask yourself perhaps, who is doing this, who wants this, who is creating this? Go back to sensations straight after. Keep your focus on the job. This hopefully will boost both insight awareness and concentration at the same time. Things will begin to move on their own accord. You will then begin to discern the difference between what is happening by itself as opposed to what is happening by itself which you are adding to. Hope this helps. And good luck!!
Paul

RE: I got lost, help me get back on track
Answer
3/6/10 7:23 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Thomas Allen Vitale:
Hi,

I recently was meditating at home for 10 or so hours a day for a few weeks and I got a little lost. I wanted to get stream entry. I had been doing concentration practices for a few months and they had helped a lot. However, I made the mistake of stopping my bipolar meds right as I started doing insight practices and got lost in some sort of vision quest/fantasy worlds for about a month.

I think some of it may have been the siddhis tricking me or something as I got caught up in all these bizarre world trips and did strange things like thinking I was dying and traveling to the center of the universe/was contacted by supposedly immaterial beings who did some sort of surgery on me to help me get enlightened. This may have been my imagination getting carried away with me as the words about doing surgery on yourself in MCTB came to real life in a way.

I was contacted by all sorts of strange voices/spirits who were both benevolent and less than benevolent. I got caught up in them and their worlds that consisted of both them and all my confused conceptual ideas about enlightenment. Then I ended up in the hospital for a few days and got back on my meds and now I feel more or less fine (for a couple weeks now). I stopped practicing for the time period...cept for occasional concentration practice.

The only thing that is bothersome is after taking my meds (which I think puts me into a dark night) my more subtle thoughts get really projected out into the external vibrations around me (I hear my thoughts in the sound vibrations(fans or whatever) and will sometimes start repeating obnoxiously over and over. When I wake up it is gone. Is this a normal insight practice phenomena? Sometimes I get overwhelmed by having too much perceptual abilities and the sounds overwhelm me for a time. My thinking would be to try to do concentration practice as this would hone my attention onto one object and stabilize me?

I would like to continue to make progress to stream-entry, but I'm not sure what is safe and what is not. I know I should be doing at least a little practice, but I've cut back since the episode. What is a good way of making progress (slowly if needed) without getting caught up in these fantasy/interdimensional/whatever worlds...I seem to have a propensity to get confused by them and the medication seems to make it so I don't get caught up by this stuff.

I know I have already significantly started the progress of insight and am entering dark night stuff from time to time..so what is the safest way to go about finishing the progress of insight without getting caught up in these worlds? Would making some sort of vow help?


yes, probably. go ahead and make the vow to get stream-entry first and that you'll talk to the immaterial beings later.

what is your style of insight practice like? are you noting, observing three characteristics, doing breath awareness, observing elements, teasing apart the mental aggregates, dependent co-arising... ?

RE: I got lost, help me get back on track
Answer
3/7/10 1:56 AM as a reply to Paul Hurley.
"You see, I just got lost in the 'visual' sense field."

This is exactly it. I became too focused (trapped actually) on the three characteristics in the visual sense field and got trapped in these sort of imaginary worlds for a while. Also focusing too much on the auditory sense field tends to exhibit these qualities as well as my voice splits off nd takes on a mind of its own. There is a sort of sway or power that both the visual and auditory tend to exert over my will after a while of being lost in these imaginary adventures. I will try mostly with the abdomen and take the attention out of my head. This would make it easier to nip this stuff in the bud before it grows.

I think this is a good idea. Also, you're right, all of this stuff seems to be subconscious manifestations of needing some sort of obvious indicator of progress. However, it just turns into a dangerous distraction and eventually I come down and realize not only have I not made nearly as much progress as I thought, but that I am also disengaged from the ordinary world.