Diagnosis/ confirmation

ian barker, modified 11 Years ago.

Diagnosis/ confirmation

Posts: 3 Join Date: 1/21/10 Recent Posts
This may be a bit long winded, but I hope to benefit from any input.
Two and a half years ago, after 15 years of mediation practice, ‘I’ ‘experienced’ a significant shift in perspective. I had been exploring ‘resting’ in Rigpa and presence whilst in a Tibetan Monastery (part of Shambala tradition) and Adyashanti’s teachings on meditation. I had been having many blissful, unusual, visionary and Kundalini experiences for the few months previous, as well as usual mood ups and downs. I also experienced intensest fear in relation to should i take the Tibetan robes for a temporary period, seemed such an unreasonable response, couldn't sleep, hot sweats etc, Then when on solitary for a week, during just gazing out at the world, and asking where 'I' was located where it 'out there' was located, I realised that what was out there was no different than in here, all was ‘within’ so to speak, Awareness. I couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of what I’d been missing for so lone. The absurdity of all my practice, looking/searching, strife/anxt , pain, religiosity and wandering, suddenly became vividly clear, and I couldn’t believe it was so simple. It was all Awareness and nothing excluded, literally when they told me all is Buddha, all is Awareness, they meant it, really meant everything. Wow. From then on I began to realise the clarity of Dharma teachings, and that saying such as ‘its so close you wouldn’t believe it’/ ‘Cant see it’, ‘its ordinary’, ‘Buddha nature’ and many other teachings became clear. A little later ,when i finally took robes for a trial. i decided to confront the fears, and as i got my head shaved the fear completely vanished, and i was overcome by the most intense gratitude to all the Awakened beings. For the next month or so I had a strong not unpleasant consistent pressure on my third eye area, and a white lotus constantly over my head, sometimes with a Bodhisattva on. Then during another 10 day solitary i sat one night through intense fear again This time, i was being taken over by an internal alien being, finally deciding well even if so it beats life through the eyes of confused human being. Woke up next morning, with Awakened perspective again. I must say that i've never really seemed frightened much since.The third eye/head chakra lotus thing arose again, and lasted a few weeks again. Despite knowing something of significance had occurred it all seemed so ordinary and unbelievable that others couldn’t see it. At times i got into impatient arguments with others in the monestary, frustrated with what i saw as their religiousity, and the absurdity of so much ritual. Definately a bit arrogant, i was.
The following couple of years have offered up a revisit to that particular awakening experience, using the question re outside inside , about four times, at least obviously and the pressure in between the eye area is fairly consistent.
Since meeting Daniel Ingram’s book, I suspect I am probably cycling within first path???, this is a new language which I am trying to explore. Feels like I need to become precise and learn the territory of mind more clearly, and be less vague. I still have ups downs and hints of depression, but remarkably not anything like this used to be. I no longer believe the stories of my mind, at least when I bring open attention to them.
My question, though with this long winded preamble is , I am assuming something significant did occur, i.e. first path. Perhaps you may feel that isnt the case. But also I wonder about the lotus above the head chakra, is that a clue to another path, or not. I assume I should just continue to explore the wonders of mind and Awareness and get more precise.
Finally I’d like to thank this site, Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk are very great people to offer their input.
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Florian Weps, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Diagnosis/ confirmation

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Ian,

Welcome to the Dharma Overground, and thanks for the account of your experiences.

I'm familiar with the pressure sensations you describe, and the tragical, disempowering comedy of religious ritual. The rest I can't comment on from experience.

Nice to have you around, and looking forward to your posts,

Cheers,
Florian
Ian Jigme, modified 11 Years ago.

hi Florian

Posts: 3 Join Date: 1/21/10 Recent Posts
HI, thanks for that. Seems good to be here, if a bit exposing.
Best wishes
Ian
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Diagnosis/ confirmation

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear Ian,

Thanks for you descriptions and interest in these things.

Desire to take robes: probably A&P
Fear thereafter: probably Fear
Then opening where everything was Buddha Nature, everything was clear, very likely Equanimity

Then we get to the question of what happened next: fallback to A&P, Dark Night and Equanimity vs the next cycle, in short: Did you get path?

Path criteria are very standard. You can find them here:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB%20Was%20that%20Emptiness?p_r_p_185834411_title=MCTB%20Was%20that%20Emptiness

I would simply apply them and see if they hold up. Asking questions can help, but you should be able to run the internal tests yourself.

Can you sit down in a rapid drop-down with one breath A&P, hit Dissolution rapidly, say within a minute, enter the Dark Night, rise to Equanimity and get a Fruition by one of the Three Doors (see that Chapter)? Can you call up stages just by asking to be in them? Have your concentration skills improved dramatically?

All things to consider. I realize that you are coming from a different conceptual background and practice background, so figuring out exactly what all the terminology means can be complex, as well as if you came to it through a pretty different set of practices, but the criteria should still be workable. Sometimes it takes some conversations with people who are good at this stuff to sort it out, sometimes it just takes time and work and careful inquiry and repetition.

In short, that Equanimity phase, where you can perceive everything in some wide-open, integrated way should be able to be reattained daily and even multiple times/day, though it may fade as a new cycle asserts itself, that is if you got stream entry.

Helpful?

Daniel
Ian Jigme, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Diagnosis/ confirmation

Posts: 3 Join Date: 1/21/10 Recent Posts
Hi Daniel, thanks for that. I've been away on a short solitary, which inspired some feelings of vulnerability re that post i sent. Felt a bit exposing and perhaps, even arrogant, confused even. Any way i decide to keep taking the plunge, can only be useful to expose any potential confusions to the cool air of wisdom.
Some bits to add, as having re re read and read again all descriptions of experiences, paths, etc etc in your book, and other places too, i am still unclear at times at any correlations. Anyway, what i do know is

a/ i never ever felt so clear about what the dharma was/is about, as i do since these two and half years ago, experiences/s

b/ it felt/feels pretty absurdly ordinary, and its stupid i missed it.....but i still miss it at times.( many times actually, unless i remind myself about possible story lines i may be caught in.)

c/ fairly often....ie maybe 5 times over two years,(at least recognizable by me), if i put my mind to it i have repeated the same technique of entering? if i did indeed enter? an understanding of Awareness and non duality, i.e a technique such as 'if there's nothing outside awareness and nothing as it were inside awareness, then all is awareness....all.... literally everything, .....'oh yes !' Awareness type insight practice...which then produces laughter at the absurdity of not 'seeing this' simple perspective before. My concentration levels have never dipped to what i believe, although its hard to remember, they could be a few years ago.

d/ at the time i remember feeling the most over whelming and joy filled, yet grounded gratitude i have ever felt to all beings that had been trying to shout at me through dharma, words, life to get me to wake up. Not in a religious, doe eyed way, but in a profound oh god, how do you lot even be bothered when we are so stupid, blind, ignorant, confused, bemused, confounded and literalistic.

e/ I equate, equanimity especially with the third eye chakra sensations i have, as this seems to fit with how i perceive phenomena when that's occurring, i.e not particular about ant thing, but fully engaged and alive to whats occurring, in and out of sitting. This has been fairly consistent over the two and a half years , and recently i notice that generally i can get concentrated to this if i turn attention to it, something i am only now trying to do since reading your stuff, hadn't even occurred this is a valuable way to go, although i have known that certain bringing to mind always did help me enter those states, its not a training at all i was applying. So hence its a bit new for me to comment clearly that oh yes i can go here, there , thither etc etc....as my technique is a bit limited through lack of specific training like that, or so i suspect.

f/ i had some experiences / or not, where it felt time, ian ness, separateness had stood still/gone, but i was still ....what ...having some sense of being alive but alive where everything was flowing through me, no not through, was/is me, but that me was all that too, so God knows.....which about sums it up, i tend to go with the view it's as if God/Awareness/Being, flows, just flows and Ian ness is flowed through, it's coming out the very pores and Ian is no different than that tree, but just God experiencing God through Ian ness, but all these words express such a separate sense, how can water in water be separated...what would a bubble rising up in the ocean ....if that bubble were filled with ocean water....be, Ocean....emm analogies are crap as usual. that's as close as i can ever get so far in words....was that it.... seems yes, but a no might help clarify???? I struggle to know if 'hey, am i just voicing something in hindsight', or am i confusing this with just a mysterious experience. But what i do know is that life has never ever gone back to such a confused belief in Ian story as it had been.
g/ my tendencies to moods, negativity, cynicism, depression, anger etc.....are definitely lessened in effect and time they take to be let go of. Flashes in pans rather than taking up squatters rights for a week or two as they did before. I just need to pose the question is this story real, is this a new thought/emotion, or really really a sign of an inherent Ian existing once again, and they tend to dissipate fairly quickly

Any way, thats longer than i expected, too much solitary time i suspect. I will i hope chat with Kenneth on Skype which I hope will also be useful.
It's exposing this stuff isn't it, exposes my lack of clarity a lot and my lack of training in specific mind observing, but hey that's leaving me lots to learn.
Thanks again.
Ian