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Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 12:08 PM
Thanks for the informative and practical website! I hope that you can provide me with some assistance.

A few weeks ago, I had a dream that was not really a dream, but an experience. My (non-corporeal) consciousness was part of a field of boundless, light energy. I understood that this was creation, a present yet eternal place where all living things exist. This realization made all ideas fall away: time, space, life, death, right, wrong, authority, deference, suffering. These became artificial, arbitrary constructs. I recall finding this calming and, frankly, pretty funny--that the ideas we use to structure our lives were all leveled in an instant. There is nothing that we have to do or be--only exist. There was also a pervading sense of oneness with all life, peaceful and complete. As soon as I began to think that I did not want to leave, my consciousness began to pull away. I asked, “How can I return here?” I was answered that I must annihilate my ego. I felt my consciousness snap back into my (invisible) body and I opened my eyes. It was the middle of the night and I lay in the bed, awake.

In the days that have followed, a calmness has remained within me (for the most part!), because I no longer feel any pressing need to achieve anything or rush to be anywhere. Perhaps more importantly, I feel a growing empathy, because I view others as part of myself. If they suffer, I do as well. We are all one. (I also have found a couple of times that if I mentally ask a question before going to bed, I wake up with an answer in the morning...strange.)

While the meaning of the dream/experience was very clear to me, I began to wonder what the whole ego annihilation thing was about. That has led me to read a bit about Buddhism over the last couple of weeks. While I have always been interested in ideas of consciousness and faith, I have never pursued them in a structured way. So, the Buddhist terminology and levels as well as formal meditation are new to me. I read through the MCTB Progress of Insight. Some of the levels (including the Dark Night) might parallel experiences I have had, but I’m not positive. I certainly have had my share of strange perceptions and experiences over the years, but never really knew what to make of them.

I have a few questions: To your knowledge, was this some level of the Buddhist awakening experience? If so, what type/level? I was asleep and don’t formally meditate, so I didn’t have any control over entering this state. I got the sense that I was not at the end of understanding, but the beginning. I’m not really sure how to proceed, except to try to integrate this new knowledge into my everyday life. Do you have any suggestions about how I explore this further? Thanks in advance for your help!

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 2:13 PM as a reply to K Jones.
It sounds like an Arising and Passing Away event to me. There is plenty of information on this site about the A&P plus Daniel's book Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha covers it extensively.

Let me add that if it was you are headed into the Dukkha Nanas so it would be a good idea if you read up on those too. Also known as the Dark Night.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 3:17 PM as a reply to Darrin Rice.
Thanks for your help, Darrin. I have to admit, I'm a little bummed--it was such a lovely place to be!

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 3:26 PM as a reply to K Jones.
K Jones:

A few weeks ago, I had a dream that was not really a dream, but an experience. My (non-corporeal) consciousness was part of a field of boundless, light energy. I understood that this was creation, a present yet eternal place where all living things exist.

This realization made all ideas fall away: time, space, life, death, right, wrong, authority, deference, suffering. These became artificial, arbitrary constructs. I recall finding this calming and, frankly, pretty funny--that the ideas we use to structure our lives were all leveled in an instant.

There is nothing that we have to do or be--only exist.

There was also a pervading sense of oneness with all life, peaceful and complete.


As soon as I began to think that I did not want to leave, my consciousness began to pull away. I asked, “How can I return here?” I was answered that I must annihilate my ego. I felt my consciousness snap back into my (invisible) body and I opened my eyes. It was the middle of the night and I lay in the bed, awake.

In the days that have followed, a calmness has remained within me (for the most part!), because I no longer feel any pressing need to achieve anything or rush to be anywhere.

Perhaps more importantly, I feel a growing empathy, because I view others as part of myself. If they suffer, I do as well. We are all one.

(I also have found a couple of times that if I mentally ask a question before going to bed, I wake up with an answer in the morning...strange.)

While the meaning of the dream/experience was very clear to me, I began to wonder what the whole ego annihilation thing was about. That has led me to read a bit about Buddhism over the last couple of weeks. While I have always been interested in ideas of consciousness and faith, I have never pursued them in a structured way. So, the Buddhist terminology and levels as well as formal meditation are new to me.

I read through the MCTB Progress of Insight. Some of the levels (including the Dark Night) might parallel experiences I have had, but I’m not positive. I certainly have had my share of strange perceptions and experiences over the years, but never really knew what to make of them.

Ever heard of the phrase "throwing pearls to the swine"? Not that I'm suggestion any relationship (other than ignorance) between yourself and the "swine." But the fact that all these realizations occurred to you, and yet you have no idea what they mean in the long term picture of things certainly suggests ignorance of some kind, wouldn't you say.

But actually, if you want an honest opinion, I'd say some entity in the celestial (deva) realm is having their way with you through the dream sequence realm. Dreams are one avenue open to them to communicate with the physically living.

I mean, look at the clues you've provided: "My (non-corporeal) consciousness was part of a field of boundless, light energy. I understood that this was creation, a present yet eternal place where all living things exist." What does that suggest to you?

K Jones:

I have a few questions: To your knowledge, was this some level of the Buddhist awakening experience? If so, what type/level?

Maybe. Maybe not. That all depends upon the observer. Maybe you should spend some time looking into the "levels of the Buddhist awakening" and discover this for yourself, and not rely on the word of someone else. What do you think?

K Jones:

I was asleep and don’t formally meditate, so I didn’t have any control over entering this state. I got the sense that I was not at the end of understanding, but the beginning. I’m not really sure how to proceed, except to try to integrate this new knowledge into my everyday life.

Well, that ought to tell you something. What do you think it might possibly be? Do you think that someone was sending you a message and giving you clues where to look for the answers?

K Jones:

Do you have any suggestions about how I explore this further? Thanks in advance for your help!

Well, you ended up here, didn't you? What do you think the message is that someone wants you to get?

What does ending up at a Buddhist forum suggest to you? If you think anyone else can answer this for you, you must be crazy. Or really naive.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 3:54 PM as a reply to K Jones.
K Jones:
A voice:
It sounds like an Arising and Passing Away event to me. There is plenty of information on this site about the A&P plus Daniel's book Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha covers it extensively.

Let me add that if it was you are headed into the Dukkha Nanas so it would be a good idea if you read up on those too. Also known as the Dark Night.


Thanks for your help, Darrin.

Beware of wayfarers (even those with good intentions) bearing gifts of opinions that may turn out to be either benign observations or self-fulfilling prophecies.

Remember the Moody Blues lyric, especially the last two or three emphasized lines:

Beauty I've always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can't say any more


"Some try to tell me
Thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be
You will be in the end


"Breathe deep the gathering gloom.
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament.
Another day's useless energy's spent.
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one.
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son.
Senior citizens wish they were young.

"Cold-hearted orb that rules the night.
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
And we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion!"

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 5:17 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian this is quite a departure from your normal style of posting. I don't understand your angle here. I felt like the OPs question was quite legitimate but it got a harsh response.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 5:29 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Ian this is quite a departure from your normal style of posting. I don't understand your angle here. I felt like the OPs question was quite legitimate but it got a harsh response.


I feel the same way. The poster had a profound experience, and it makes sense he would ask people here about it. I don't claim to know what it was, although I'd suggest it was a beautiful mind state, and that one has to be careful when dealing with such phenomena, not to read too much into them. I'd also advise him to start practicing, and gain some precision in observing all phenomena, and post practice notes here. And enjoy the honeymoon while it lasts. Laurel

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/7/13 7:09 PM as a reply to K Jones.
Ian's not being harsh. He's just quietly, steadily unfurling his plan to subvert hard-core dharma and convert us all to classical Buddhism through cunning use of classic rock. It won't work!

But seriously, K... I had a similar dream experience once, many years ago. It seemed to coincide with the death of a family member. I experienced the infinite space of disembodied consciousness and white light, which was associated with her presence. I woke up having a minor seizure, and later found out she had died around that time.

I think this fits the bill of A+P because A) it involves dreams and lights, but more importantly, B ) once you experience something like that you're "on the ride" of spiritual practice in some sense because you now have a question that can't be answered by Google. So, although MCTB is this and not that, whatever its problems are, the suggestion to read about A+P is a good one because it provides a framework to understand your experience and a meaningful practice with which to respond.

Edit: sometimes actual grammar makes an inadvertent emoticon.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 5:08 AM as a reply to Some Guy.
Thanks to each of you for taking the time to respond to my post and lend me your insight. It was very helpful. My curiosity about meditation and Buddhism definitely has been piqued!

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 8:49 AM as a reply to K Jones.
K Jones:
Thanks to each of you for taking the time to respond to my post and lend me your insight. It was very helpful. My curiosity about meditation and Buddhism definitely has been piqued!


And, hopefully, your appreciation of 60s British progressive rock.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 9:03 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Ian isn't being unduly harsh, you guys are just being sensitive.

He's sternly reminding you to speak of phenomena as what really happened, so as not to obfuscate with flowery language and poetic license.

Its easy to read all these wondrous things about the mystical experience and oneness and enlightenment, but when you entrain your mind toward that its easy to stray from the path and get caught up in the fabric of the experience.

Try using your own words, not the words you've read.
It was just a dream.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 8:59 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Also, I wouldn't take the contents of a dream very seriously - as awesome as your experience sounds - at least as far as degree or extent of awakening goes. That would be an example of a phenomenon I mentioned recently, where a yogi thinks they're more advanced than they are - "dark night yogi!" - just because they had a weird experience and are moody (no pun intended).

You may find the effect of your dream more important than its ultimate cause (which you can never know). If it gets you interested in a serious investigation and practice of dhamma, good. If not, well, you're bound to have other cool dreams in your life, so I wouldn't worry.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 9:39 AM as a reply to m m a.
m m a:
Ian isn't being unduly harsh, you guys are just being sensitive.

He's sternly reminding you to speak of phenomena as what really happened, so as not to obfuscate with flowery language and poetic license.

Its easy to read all these wondrous things about the mystical experience and oneness and enlightenment, but when you entrain your mind toward that its easy to stray from the path and get caught up in the fabric of the experience.

Try using your own words, not the words you've read.
It was just a dream.


I wouldn't have said anything if it weren't for the fact that we're dealing with a new poster, not someone who has been around awhile and should know the lay of the land by now. In any case, no biggie. Metta to all of you: may you be peaceful and happy, and may all of us awaken in this lifetime.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 10:44 AM as a reply to K Jones.
voice #1:
He's sternly reminding you to speak of phenomena as what really happened, so as not to obfuscate with flowery language and poetic license.


voice #2:
Also, I wouldn't take the contents of a dream very seriously - as awesome as your experience sounds - at least as far as degree or extent of awakening goes.

You may find the effect of your dream more important than its ultimate cause (which you can never know). If it gets you interested in a serious investigation and practice of dhamma, good. If not, well, you're bound to have other cool dreams in your life, so I wouldn't worry.


Interesting the perceptions of others. Everyone has an opinion. Some are better thought out than others. The one I liked the most was the following:

K Jones:
Thanks to each of you for taking the time to respond to my post and lend me your insight. It was very helpful. My curiosity about meditation and Buddhism definitely has been piqued!

That's exactly what should have occurred (presuming the OP had any real interest in the subject matter at all).

Perhaps the following will help to start your journey. It is from a famous sutta (literally it means a "thread" or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning "to sew" in the same sense as the English word "suture"), a discourse given by Gotama to an audience of confused and questioning people called the Kalamas. Notice how Gotama addresses them, and what he asks of them. He doesn't tell them what to think, but rather asks their opinion based upon their ability to provide one from their own experience. It should provide you with some insight into the man's integrity.

AN 3.65
Kalama Sutta — To the Kalamas
Trans. from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour together with a large Sangha of monks when he arrived at a town of the Kalamas named Kesaputta. Now the Kalamas of Kesaputta heard: "It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the Sakyan son who went forth from the Sakyan family, has arrived at Kesaputta. Now a good report about that master Gotama has been circulating thus: 'That Blessed One is an arahant, fully enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, sublime, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. He makes known this world with its devas, with Mara, with Brahma, this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, with its devas and brahmins, having realized it through his own direct knowledge. He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end, with the right meaning and expression; he reveals a holy life that is perfectly complete and purified.' Now it is good to see arahants such as this."

Then the Kalamas of Kesaputta approached the Blessed One. Some paid homage to him and sat down to one side; some exchanged greetings with him and, after their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side; some saluted him reverentially and sat down to one side; some remained silent and sat down to one side. Then the Kalamas said to the Blessed One:

"There are, Lord, some ascetics and brahmins who come to Kesaputta. They explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, debunk, revile and vilify the doctrines of others. But then some other asectics and brahmins come to Kesaputta and they too explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, debunk, revile and vilify the doctrines of the others. For us, Lord, there is perplexity and doubt as to which of these good ascetics speak truth and which speak falsehood."

"It is fitting for you to be perplexed, O Kalamas, it is fitting for you to be in doubt. Doubt has arisen in you about a perplexing matter. Come, Kalamas. Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reflection on reasons, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think, 'The ascetic is our teacher.' But when you know for yourselves, 'These things are unwholesome, these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practiced, lead to harm and suffering', then you should abandon them.

"What do you think, Kalamas? When greed, hatred, and delusion arise in a person, is it for his welfare or harm?" — "For his harm, Lord." — "Kalamas, a person who is greedy, hating and deluded, overpowered by greed, hatred and delusion, his thoughts controlled by them, will destroy life, take what is not given, engage in sexual misconduct and tell lies; he will also prompt others to do likewise. Will that conduce to his harm and suffering for a long time?" — "Yes, Lord."

"What do you think, Kalamas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?" — "Unwholesome, Lord." — "Blamable or blameless?" — "Blamable, Lord." — "Censured or praised by the wise?" — "Censured, Lord." — "Undertaken and practiced, do they lead to harm and suffering or not, or how is it in this case?" — "Undertaken and practiced, these things lead to harm and suffering. So it appears to us in this case."

"It was for this reason, Kalamas, that we said: 'Do not go by oral tradition. . .

"Come, Kalamas. Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reflection on reasons, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think, 'The ascetic is our teacher.' But when you know for yourselves, 'These things are wholesome, these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practiced, lead to welfare and happiness', then you should engage in them.

"What do you think, Kalamas? When non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion arise in a person, is it for his welfare or harm?" — "For his welfare, Lord." — "Kalamas, a person who is without greed, without hatred, without delusion, not overpowered by greed, hatred and delusion, his thoughts not controlled by them, will abstain from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct and from false speech; he will also prompt others to do likewise. Will that conduce to his welfare and happiness for a long time?" — "Yes, Lord."

"What do you think, Kalamas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?" -- "Wholesome, Lord." — "Blamable or blameless?" — "Blameless, Lord." — "Censured or praised by the wise?" — "Praised, Lord." — "Undertaken and practiced, do they lead to harm and suffering or not, or how is it in this case?" — "Undertaken and practiced, these things lead to welfare and happiness. So it appears to us in this case."

"It was for this reason, Kalamas, that we said: Do not go upon oral tradition. . .

"Then, Kalamas, that noble disciple — devoid of covetousness, devoid of ill will, unconfused, clearly comprehending, ever mindful — dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second quarter, the third and the fourth. Thus above, below, across and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility and without ill will.

"He dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion...with altruistic joy...with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third and the fourth. Thus above, below, across and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility and without ill will.

"When, Kalamas, this noble disciple has thus made his mind free of enmity, free of ill will, uncorrupted and pure, he has won four assurances in this life.

"The first assurance he has won is this: 'If there is another world, and if good and bad deeds bear fruit and yield results, it is possible that with the breakup of the body, after death, I shall arise in a good destination, in a heavenly world.'

"The second assurance he was won is this: 'If there is no other world, and if good and bad deeds do not bear fruit and yield results, still right here, in this very life, I live happily, free of enmity and ill will.'

"The third assurance he has won is this: 'Suppose evil befalls the evil-doer. Then, as I do not intend evil for anyone, how can suffering afflict me, one who does no evil deed?'

"The fourth assurance he was won is this: 'Suppose evil does not befall the evil-doer. Then right here I see myself purified in both respects.'

"When, Kalamas, this noble disciple has thus made his mind free of enmity, free of ill will, uncorrupted and pure, he has won these four assurances in this very life."

"So it is, Blessed One! So it is, Sublime One! When this noble disciple has thus made his mind free of enmity, free of ill will, uncorrupted and pure, he has won these four assurances in this very life.

"Excellent, Lord! Excellent. It is just as if one were to set upright what was overturned, or to reveal what was hidden, or to point out the way to one gone astray, or to hold a lamp in the darkness so that those who have eyes might see forms. Even so has the Dhamma been set forth in various ways by Master Gotama. Let the Blessed One accept us as lay followers who have gone for refuge from today until life's end."

You will be able to read more about these matters at accesstoinsight.org .

For a quick glance at the teaching, I would recommend the following: Buddhism: A Method of Mind Training by Leonard Bullen.

After which you can check out the following: What is Theravada Buddhism.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 11:32 AM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:
K Jones:
A voice:
It sounds like an Arising and Passing Away event to me. There is plenty of information on this site about the A&P plus Daniel's book Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha covers it extensively.

Let me add that if it was you are headed into the Dukkha Nanas so it would be a good idea if you read up on those too. Also known as the Dark Night.


Thanks for your help, Darrin.

Beware of wayfarers (even those with good intentions) bearing gifts of opinions that may turn out to be either benign observations or self-fulfilling prophecies.

Remember the Moody Blues lyric, especially the last two or three emphasized lines:

Beauty I've always missed
With these eyes before
Just what the truth is
I can't say any more


"Some try to tell me
Thoughts they cannot defend
Just what you want to be
You will be in the end


"Breathe deep the gathering gloom.
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament.
Another day's useless energy's spent.
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one.
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son.
Senior citizens wish they were young.

"Cold-hearted orb that rules the night.
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
And we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion!"


Hi Ian,

First, what in the world made you quote that song??? LOL I have loved that song since it first came out. That would be on vinyl by the way.

Second, my only goal was to try to help and point in the direction of studying the Dark Night having been a dark night yogi for over 20 years. If I can help someone avoid that "hell" I will. Even if it was not an A&P nothing but good could come from learning about the dukkha nanas.

Third, what was your motivation in your comments? Are you trying to be helpful?

Ever heard of the phrase "throwing pearls to the swine"? Not that I'm suggestion any relationship (other than ignorance) between yourself and the "swine." But the fact that all these realizations occurred to you, and yet you have no idea what they mean in the long term picture of things certainly suggests ignorance of some kind, wouldn't you say.


I find no hint of kindness in this statement. You could have said in so many different ways.

What does ending up at a Buddhist forum suggest to you? If you think anyone else can answer this for you, you must be crazy. Or really naive
.

I cannot see a reason for the above statement at all. Please take some time and find a good metta meditation. I think it could help you with this grump you have going on.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 12:17 PM as a reply to Ian And.
"There are, Lord, some... who explain and elucidate their own doctrines, but disparage, debunk, revile and vilify the doctrines of others..."


They DO?! That could really sow confusion and disrupt practice.

Do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures....


This is a fundamental tenet of hardcore dharma, imho (not to mention an example of the Buddha's great sense of irony). The key is to be informed by your own experience, and compare it freely with others. That is why we have the first and only extensive record-keeping of detailed meditation phenomena. If not for that, we'd have only our gravitas to recommend us.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 12:36 PM as a reply to K Jones.
K Jones:
Thanks for your help, Darrin. I have to admit, I'm a little bummed--it was such a lovely place to be!


Hi K,
Don't be bummed! emoticon

If you are willing to work hard and keep at it you will find a peace that cannot be expressed in words. Study the three characteristics. Nothing is permanent, including the wonderful feeling you had in the dream. The good news is that when you realize this in experience, suddenly everything is lovely.

I struggled for years fighting against the ups and downs that are a natural part of life. When you finally see impermanence, suffering and no-self as the stuff that reality is made of then everything starts to make sense. Or at least you don't care if it makes sense or not. What is, IS. What is not, IS NOT.

Sorry everyone if I got fuzzy. I know this is not the site for that.

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 2:06 PM as a reply to Darrin Rice.
Well, I figured that Ian’s first post was giving me a jump start on ridding myself of that pesky ego! I did find it a little harsh, but informative, and appreciated Darrin, C C C, Laurel and Some Guy providing me with a softer introduction to the group. I’m not sure how it came across, but my intention was not to appear that I know anything about all of this. I am ignorant and naive about these topics! The reason that I posted here is that it seemed like a pragmatic place that I could get a straight answer from real people. As someone who knows nothing on the subject, doing some Buddhism google searches seems to pull up people trying to hock a self-help book or bask in a cult of personality. At a minimum, I know the dream wasn’t trying to tell me to follow that!

As far as the flowery language goes, I reread my original post and I think it is pretty accurate to my memory of the dream and feelings afterwards. While it has been several weeks ago since I had the dream, I don’t think that what I read has influenced my description much. (I used to write for a living, so maybe that’s also why the language seems flowery.) In fact, the strong (nonspecific) religious overtone was part of what was so weird about it. I would say I’m at best agnostic with a strong anti-authority streak, so it was pretty out of left field to me. When I started looking into what was meant by ego-annihilation, the dream definitely seemed to have things in common with Buddhism.

I really want you all to know that I appreciate you taking time out of your day to provide such thoughtful and thought-provoking responses. Ian, thanks for your last post with the quote and reading links. It is useful to have a place to start, and a path of not being told what to think is something that I could actually follow!!

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 2:59 PM as a reply to K Jones.
K Jones:
Thanks for the informative and practical website! I hope that you can provide me with some assistance.

A few weeks ago, I had a dream that was not really a dream, but an experience. My (non-corporeal) consciousness was part of a field of boundless, light energy. I understood that this was creation, a present yet eternal place where all living things exist.


I would look into the Jhanas also, There are 8 of them. 4 material and 4 non material. What you describe reminds me of descriptions of the 6th jhana - Dimension of Infinite Consciousness.
Good luck

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/8/13 3:38 PM as a reply to K Jones.
Hi K.,
K Jones:
Well, I figured that Ian’s first post was giving me a jump start on ridding myself of that pesky ego!

That wasn't really my intention, but if you wish to take it that way, that's fine by me. From my perspective, what I was saying was straight forward and telling it exactly like I saw it. Nothing personal meant at all. (So go figure!)

Someone comes here and makes the kind of first post that you made and we here don't know you from Adam, what are we to think? I wanted to see where you were coming from and what you were made of. I wanted to see if you were serious about what you were proposing (looking into learning more about the Dhamma — although you used the term "Buddhism"). Like I said, we don't know you from Adam, for christsakes.

K Jones:

I really want you all to know that I appreciate you taking time out of your day to provide such thoughtful and thought-provoking responses. Ian, thanks for your last post with the quote and reading links. It is useful to have a place to start, and a path of not being told what to think is something that I could actually follow!!

Good! Now we're on the same page. Now that didn't hurt a bit, did it.

What I'm endeavoring to do is to save you all the wasted time and redoubling of effort that others (myself included) went through to learn the things we learned. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. So, I'll give you another hint about looking into the Dhamma and its study/practice. It took me a long time to learn this (I started out reading books by D.T. Suzuki who wrote about Zen and when I could find them books like the Dhammapada; at the time — late 1960s early 1970s — there wasn't available to me credible translations of the Pali canon, so I had to take what was out there) but you are better off, when beginning a study like this, to go back to its founder and, if at all possible, reading what he actually said (or in this case the best idea we have about what he actually said). And all that is contained in the Pali canon.

It's okay to read books about Buddhism, but only after you first find out what the Buddha actually taught, and not just what someone else's opinion is about what he taught. That way, you have a basis to disagree with someone else's opinion about what the Buddha taught and you'll be able to defend that position. Also, and more importantly, you won't be drawn in by false impressions that others may have about what was taught. Because you will have studied it from about as close as one can get to learning it from the source himself.

Make sense?

If you would like to read an excellent classic take by someone who knew how to break down the teaching into digestible bite sized bits, pick up Walpola Rahula's work What the Buddha Taught. It is a brief yet insightful overview of the main teachings along with selected excerpts from the Pali canon of discourses.

That's enough to keep you busy for a while. And I think, if you look into them, you will get a lot out of these recommendations.

In peace,
Ian

RE: Hi and help, please!
Answer
3/9/13 2:43 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:
That's enough to keep you busy for a while.


Yes, I would say so! Thanks again and take care. -K