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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Total Surrender or just really good practice?

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Hi,
I havent posted here in quite a while.

Basically after 2 and bit years of this journey I seem to have reached a point of "anything goes". Things started to go very badly at the beginning of January when some personal stuff seemed to trigger some very deep dark pain. As the months went on I seemed to flip very strongly back and forth from deep happiness and peace to the depression and anxiety, sometimes this was aided by external situations, sometimes not.

Around March I began to feel that things were getting really really bad, I sort of gave up faith in this process and its practice because I saw that I was using it as some sort escape and decided to see a therapist for anxiety and depression, while he was quite helpful in getting me back to a reasonable stable level he still didnt actually help me become happy.

Anyway, during the period from around January to April/May things were fairly rough, I never felt enough, I rarely felt happy, I felt unloved with fairly low self esteem and held onto those good moments like gold. This of course was turbulent and wasnt ALWAYS the case, i.e. I was still living like a normal person.

Funnily enough, during all this I felt like I was having plenty of philosophical insights, and deep feelings of oneness etc etc, but none of it mattered, I was still unhappy.

Even though I knew intellectually why it was happening to me I still rarely found any sort of equinimity or stable peace.

But finally around the beginning the May, I began to surrender with conscious effort. Someone else online thought me that the very things that were causing me to not feel enough were the very things I have to face being/living with for the rest of my life, and thought me how to practice sitting with that.
I also begin to practice better mindfulness and breathing.

She pretty much thought me that there is absolutely no way out of my shit, no amount of enlightenment or practice or external events will help me get away from my shit, that its here, its inevitable and it could very well happen to me for the rest of my life.

This was obviously a huge blow to my ego , and sucked alot of hope out of me, but it felt right.


So now? I get jealous, thats ok, i get anxious , thats ok, I feel a pit of loneliness? thats ok, I get angry , thats ok, low self esteem? thats ok, basically a neverending stream of self forgiveness etc, where these things dont feel "wrong" anymore, and most importantly dont cause suffering.

And now for the past few months I am truly getting to a point where everything is ok. Where I know longer have sort of a path to pursue to end my "stuff", where this isnt going in a direction anymore, where things that I regarded as unenlightened or negative, or lack of progress are now totally ok, very very clean stable , lasting and high quality equanimity.

I find as a result of this, this is leaving all the headspace again to enjoy all the other experiences and feelings that come with the path, but always conscious of them not being any reflection on "where Im at" in terms of any personal issues whatsoever, i.e theyre not an escape.

Basically, an even deeper acceptance that enlightenemt DOES NOT SOLVE ANY OF MY STUFF.

I also seem to be beginning to love myself unconditionally, im not disappointed if I have a day of bliss, and then suddenly Im really anxious about something. I dont feel that Im leaving one positive state and going into another negative one. At least for the most part anyway, this isnt 100% either. Im still messing up a times, but now Im even seeing thats ok, Im still resisting at times and sometimes thoughts grow where I believe there is something fundamentally wrong with my life and suffering begins to grow, but Ive even stopped resisting THAT thought process, so even those periods which are fewer and further between and beginning to feel very ok.


Not really sure if Im asking or anything, but Id love to get an opinion from some of the more experienced guys here on how this lines up with your practice.

For people that dont know me, I had a big awakening from direct pointing 2 and bit years ago where I saw there was no self, which started this whole thing off from me, also the whole self question seems totally irrelivant for me right now.

The interesting thing is Ive been reading some of my practice posts, and noticed how I rated my progress by the amounf of fear or pain I was experiencing, but now that seems irrelevant, I was already fine.

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/4/13 2:05 AM as a reply to wylo ..
The stuff you wrote seems familiar, even if my stuff less pronounced, and I don't see the dark stuff as a bad thing necessarily.

My outlook is a bit different, basically I credit enlightenment with bringing up all the stuff to surface when I am able to deal with it in a benign situation rather it coming up on its own during a more difficult time.

I think upon awakening I had this subconscious expectation to become either a superhero or a recluse. Neither of which has been the case.

The old stuff remains largely untouched by awakening itself. What awakening gives you is a tool to get so something pure that is more primordial and basic to your experience than your stuff which is basically a bunch of concepts in your psyche that have been built up through the course of life.

For me lately it has been coming full circle. Even when the world and self are seen through as mere empty concepts we are still functionally dependent on this body and the world we see is all we have.

I haven't found any ultimate purpose or thing, but I am OK with it. The disease of seeking has been cured to large extent.

The result is becoming way more engaged in transient life stuff that I once thought was trivial. eg dressing better, being good at my job, little stuff with my girlfriend.

Enlightenment has given me a great serenity that is independent of conditions. The peace has been hard won. eg. there was a time where every time there was a grasping in the psyche I would feel pain in my chest. And there was a lot of grasping so there was a lot of pain.

But now I am quite grateful for even that, because it has meant coming to terms with one's own mortality,fragility and humanness. A more full engagement in life, combined with a deeper acceptance of what is.

Two years on it has probably been the most rewarding and trans-formative process I have been through. And my life is better off for it.

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/7/13 7:08 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
D Z:


Two years on it has probably been the most rewarding and trans-formative process I have been through. And my life is better off for it.


Probably? What else compares?

How serene are you? Equivalent to taking a xanax? Is it noticeable to others? For instance, if could you rate your stress level in comparison to what is was before? Like say.."I experience 1/10th the amount of stress as I used to.."

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/7/13 8:06 PM as a reply to wylo ..
Sounds good wylo.

I think most of those feverishly practising vipassana with the hope of "getting somewhere great" will eventually understand how destructive this desirous grabbing is. Look Mom! I achieved equanimity! Big deal. What about tomorrow when you're in a shitty mood again? All you've done is manipulate the mind a certain way to achieve a certain goal, the way a drug addict does. Manipulation...goal.... these are words the ego loves.

Surrendering is the way. Surrendering is acceptance. Acceptance cannot come from the ego; the ego doesn't accept anything. It's job is to be perpetually unsatisfied. So what you're doing is still a spiritual practice, but this one brings peace.

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/7/13 9:23 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
i agree CCC, though in a sense true surrender isn't even a technique or a practice. Anything that says "ooh this problem has come up, better go surrender (to make it go away)" is just the ego in disguise. true surrender isn't something you plan out, just what happens when you are simply too tired to go on fighting.

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/8/13 12:07 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
i agree CCC, though in a sense true surrender isn't even a technique or a practice. Anything that says "ooh this problem has come up, better go surrender (to make it go away)" is just the ego in disguise. true surrender isn't something you plan out, just what happens when you are simply too tired to go on fighting.


Yeh, well expressed.

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/9/13 5:04 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
i agree CCC, though in a sense true surrender isn't even a technique or a practice. Anything that says "ooh this problem has come up, better go surrender (to make it go away)" is just the ego in disguise. true surrender isn't something you plan out, just what happens when you are simply too tired to go on fighting.


True, and I still do a bit of that from time to time, but Ive learned that attempting to resist resisting is another attempt at escaping.

For example, I may have a bad morning, which is fine, but then a stream of thoughts may begin where I think theres something wrong with my life, the suffering creeps in when I start to tell myself "I shouldnt be thinking these, I should be surrending", once I realise Im telling myself that , the thoughts just start to do their own thing (to an extent, its not like they start feeling good). Basically I stop resisting resistance.

Im aware that even THAT is another attempt at escape, but for now its ok, I aint perfect !!

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/9/13 11:39 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
D Z:


Two years on it has probably been the most rewarding and trans-formative process I have been through. And my life is better off for it.


Probably? What else compares?

How serene are you? Equivalent to taking a xanax? Is it noticeable to others? For instance, if could you rate your stress level in comparison to what is was before? Like say.."I experience 1/10th the amount of stress as I used to.."


Probably is not a good word choice on my part. But trying to point out that it is not a discrete process that is separate from other aspects of one's life.

For eg. I did a lot of self-help and psychological type stuff on overcoming low-self esteem and shame that lead to me getting meditation. It probably helped me get the realizaiton. And after some realization it was like all that stuff I did earlier just started piecing together in a much better way, and was much more effective.

Pretty damn serene. I have never taken xanax. But it probably is a different sort of experience than xanax, based on a Wikipedia description of what it does.

People close to me have noticed behavioral improvements, but those take time, they don't notice immediately after a shift. They don't think I am super special or anything like that, but enough to get them somewhat interested in meditation and enlightenment.

My "baseline" stress level is something like 1/100,000th of what it used to be before. Don't want to give a false sense of precision, but basically several orders of magnitude lower than it used to be.

I still get stressed out sometimes, relative to my baseline level of stress. But the baseline is much higher than anything I could have imagined was possbile.

The novelty wears off after a while, it becomes normal.

For me at least there are still many struggles, I don't want to give the impression that I have reached some sort of end point, there are people who report much, more advanced results than what I am describing here (look up the user Omega Point on these forums).

But even still, when a fully enlightened Buddha wakes up in the morning, I am sure he doesn't do a back-flip into they pants. He would still have to put them on, one leg at a time, just like everyone else.

RE: Total Surrender or just really good practice?
Answer
8/15/13 8:01 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
D Z:
Jinxed P:
D Z:


Two years on it has probably been the most rewarding and trans-formative process I have been through. And my life is better off for it.


Probably? What else compares?

How serene are you? Equivalent to taking a xanax? Is it noticeable to others? For instance, if could you rate your stress level in comparison to what is was before? Like say.."I experience 1/10th the amount of stress as I used to.."


Probably is not a good word choice on my part. But trying to point out that it is not a discrete process that is separate from other aspects of one's life.

For eg. I did a lot of self-help and psychological type stuff on overcoming low-self esteem and shame that lead to me getting meditation. It probably helped me get the realizaiton. And after some realization it was like all that stuff I did earlier just started piecing together in a much better way, and was much more effective.

Pretty damn serene. I have never taken xanax. But it probably is a different sort of experience than xanax, based on a Wikipedia description of what it does.

People close to me have noticed behavioral improvements, but those take time, they don't notice immediately after a shift. They don't think I am super special or anything like that, but enough to get them somewhat interested in meditation and enlightenment.

My "baseline" stress level is something like 1/100,000th of what it used to be before. Don't want to give a false sense of precision, but basically several orders of magnitude lower than it used to be.

I still get stressed out sometimes, relative to my baseline level of stress. But the baseline is much higher than anything I could have imagined was possbile.

The novelty wears off after a while, it becomes normal.

For me at least there are still many struggles, I don't want to give the impression that I have reached some sort of end point, there are people who report much, more advanced results than what I am describing here (look up the user Omega Point on these forums).

But even still, when a fully enlightened Buddha wakes up in the morning, I am sure he doesn't do a back-flip into they pants. He would still have to put them on, one leg at a time, just like everyone else.



Great stuff DZ.

Was your path to serenity gradual, a sort of constant chugging along or did hitting certain paths really enhance the effect, and there becomes a huge shift almost overnight?

Also what is the history of your practice? What type of practice do you think best lead to serenity? Samadhi? noting? etc..