I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Hello everybody,

I think this is the right place to ask this question. Where am I at?

My roommate has suggested the Hardcore Dharma Book for me to read, but I can't make much sense of it. Mostly because it is very much geared towards meditation, which I did not practice. He is sceptical of me saying I am enlightened, but I can't think of it being something else.

So... What practice did I do?

Well, long story short. That of dissappointment. I would always think I had found the answer: Being a cave man, being in nature, being social. I would jump in, devote myself a 100%, achieve what I had wanted to achieve, and then realise that that wasn't it! Bummer... This has happened quite a few times already.

In my life I did quite a bit of walking. I learned early on I could solve my personal stuff by walking. So I became a fan and would walk for hours. After my personal stuff had been solved, there was nothing to do but noticing what came by. Very relaxing and soothing. So I guess this was my insight meditation. I did this when I was working as well, and mostly I did this in periods.

After yet another quite harsh period of dissappointment (this january till june) I was drawn to advaita texts. I read Jed McKenna. Eckhart Tolle. Paul Smit. I watched on youtube, and I devoured the books. Robert Wolfe's ebook finally did the trick for me. Bam! I never even finished the book.

I realised that words are tools. They are made up, and therefor not real as we think they are. So what is left if you take away all words?

Right. That is it.

So I can only give a description, and I fail already. I see the hairs on my fingers as I type. I smell the unwashed plate next to me, smells good! I feel my stomach being empty and a good feeling of hunger. I feel my neck tensed because of this uncomfortable position, and my brain groggy from being behind a computer.

I remember right after I had read Roberts book. I couldn't wipe this smirk from my face for days. I remember swimming in my dads swimming pool and being totally mesmerised. I would splash in the water, creating a THUMP!! sound, then thousands of small bubbles would then stick to my hairs on my chest. It was gorgeous. I felt like a child again, playing around, having fun.

What has changed? Nothing and quite a bit. I still feel everything they way I used to. But now I don't judge it anymore. It just comes and goes. It may be painful or not, it just is. I can now laugh about myself, my foolish wishes or desires, and my foolish thoughts. Instead I can just sit back and pay attention to what comes by.

So, I think I am enlightened. I can't fathom it being any other way. My roommate wants to know if and at what stage of enlightenment I am at. Can you guys help?
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Nikolai ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
Hello everybody,

I think this is the right place to ask this question. Where am I at?

My roommate has suggested the Hardcore Dharma Book for me to read, but I can't make much sense of it. Mostly because it is very much geared towards meditation, which I did not practice. He is sceptical of me saying I am enlightened, but I can't think of it being something else.

So... What practice did I do?

Well, long story short. That of dissappointment. I would always think I had found the answer: Being a cave man, being in nature, being social. I would jump in, devote myself a 100%, achieve what I had wanted to achieve, and then realise that that wasn't it! Bummer... This has happened quite a few times already.

In my life I did quite a bit of walking. I learned early on I could solve my personal stuff by walking. So I became a fan and would walk for hours. After my personal stuff had been solved, there was nothing to do but noticing what came by. Very relaxing and soothing. So I guess this was my insight meditation. I did this when I was working as well, and mostly I did this in periods.

After yet another quite harsh period of dissappointment (this january till june) I was drawn to advaita texts. I read Jed McKenna. Eckhart Tolle. Paul Smit. I watched on youtube, and I devoured the books. Robert Wolfe's ebook finally did the trick for me. Bam! I never even finished the book.

I realised that words are tools. They are made up, and therefor not real as we think they are. So what is left if you take away all words?

Right. That is it.

So I can only give a description, and I fail already. I see the hairs on my fingers as I type. I smell the unwashed plate next to me, smells good! I feel my stomach being empty and a good feeling of hunger. I feel my neck tensed because of this uncomfortable position, and my brain groggy from being behind a computer.

I remember right after I had read Roberts book. I couldn't wipe this smirk from my face for days. I remember swimming in my dads swimming pool and being totally mesmerised. I would splash in the water, creating a THUMP!! sound, then thousands of small bubbles would then stick to my hairs on my chest. It was gorgeous. I felt like a child again, playing around, having fun.

What has changed? Nothing and quite a bit. I still feel everything they way I used to. But now I don't judge it anymore. It just comes and goes. It may be painful or not, it just is. I can now laugh about myself, my foolish wishes or desires, and my foolish thoughts. Instead I can just sit back and pay attention to what comes by.

So, I think I am enlightened. I can't fathom it being any other way. My roommate wants to know if and at what stage of enlightenment I am at. Can you guys help?



Hi Martin,

You are enlightened so far as your experience matches your view and take on the concept of 'enlightenment'. Possibly sounds like A & P within the context of the progress of insight. See the above sticky for more info on the Arising and Passing stage or just click here to see if you relate. What do you wish to do with your new perceptual baseline?

Nick
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Hey Nick,

It is hard to compare. You guys have followed a meditative approach. My process is much closer to the spiritual autolysis from Jed McKenna. So all the vague terminology and jaw pain rings no bell here. Maybe I am stupid. ;)

My proces can be compared to intellectual suicide. (the killing of thought) They have revolved around these issues:

Contemplating 'happiness'. Seeing that striving for happiness is counterproductive, it causes suffering.
Contemplating 'the future and past'. Seeing that they are just illusory, because all is now.
Contemplating 'suffering'. Which is caused by wanting something else than that is.
Contemplating 'I'. Am I doing this or is the I done.

And more. Ultimately I have seen thoughts (and words) for what they are. Empty. Whereas before I was confusing them with reality. I can now say that I know what is not. I can't say what is, I can only describe. What is left are pure sensations, just as empty as thoughts.

The period right after this insight was very blissfull and chaotic. Now it has calmed a bit. I just want to do what I do now, and do it good. With attention.

Thank you for your reply.
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 1333 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
Hey Nick,

It is hard to compare. You guys have followed a meditative approach. My process is much closer to the spiritual autolysis from Jed McKenna. So all the vague terminology and jaw pain rings no bell here. Maybe I am stupid. ;)

My proces can be compared to intellectual suicide. (the killing of thought) They have revolved around these issues:

Contemplating 'happiness'. Seeing that striving for happiness is counterproductive, it causes suffering.
Contemplating 'the future and past'. Seeing that they are just illusory, because all is now.
Contemplating 'suffering'. Which is caused by wanting something else than that is.
Contemplating 'I'. Am I doing this or is the I done.

And more. Ultimately I have seen thoughts (and words) for what they are. Empty. Whereas before I was confusing them with reality. I can now say that I know what is not. I can't say what is, I can only describe. What is left are pure sensations, just as empty as thoughts.

The period right after this insight was very blissfull and chaotic. Now it has calmed a bit. I just want to do what I do now, and do it good. With attention.

Thank you for your reply.

When did the shift happen? What happened before and after the shift? Was it sudden? Phenomenological descriptions are useful for mapping. Have you experienced any cycles since the shift?
Finish reading MCTB and then maybe read it again after the basic concepts are understood. (I got a whole lot more the second time reading it) Hindsight is very useful when starting to map, what happens next tends to show you where you are.
See what happens next...
Your contemplation exercises sound very solid...might I recommend you add some sort of meditation to the contemplation.
Good luck,
~D
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Dream Walker:

When did the shift happen? What happened before and after the shift? Was it sudden? Phenomenological descriptions are useful for mapping. Have you experienced any cycles since the shift?
Finish reading MCTB and then maybe read it again after the basic concepts are understood. (I got a whole lot more the second time reading it) Hindsight is very useful when starting to map, what happens next tends to show you where you are.
See what happens next...
Your contemplation exercises sound very solid...might I recommend you add some sort of meditation to the contemplation.
Good luck,
~D


Hey Dream Walker!

The shift happened while I was in Thailand. I was still generally grumpy, I wanted to have more money. I also was reading the books of advaita. Eckhart Tolle, and the last one specifically was the one of Robert Wolfe. Living Nonduality.

I still remember talking to my sister: "I have deconstructed time already, I have deconstructed happiness, what left should be the 'I', and it seems I sort of intellectually understand it, but I don't feel it."

Then I read this sentence, which went somewhat to this: "Is the I doing things, or is the I somehow done." (can't remember the exact quote, it was rather technical) And bam! I understood.

I looked up to the cupboard, and I thought: "This is it. I am done." I laughed at the giant cosmic joke. And how foolish I had been. Later I jumped into the pool. I watched my hands. Not just my hands, but I truly watched. My hand was so much more that just 'my hand'. It had wrinkles, the curvature of my fingers, the waterdrops on it, it could flex, it could make a fist. It was amazing. Later I had the experience with the bubbles.

As you notice my experience goes from general to specific. It has been a couple months now.

At first it was bliss. Two weeks.
Then came about three weeks of confusion. What am I to do with this newfound insight? What is happening to me?
Then came two of weeks of battle. I would continuously "not want this", where I had to reapply my attention on that thought to make it dissappear again and again.
Now it has eased out a bit. I am getting a feel for what I am doing. (continue what I am doing now, and doing it good) I started meditation three weeks ago. For the first time in my life. And getting a feel for that too.

I guess you might call it cycling, but I will study some more. I will reread the MCTB, and try to make sense of it again.

Thanks for your reply! Martijn.
J E B, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 68 Join Date: 8/26/13 Recent Posts
Martijn Van der Waal wrote:

1. I would continuously "not want this", where I had to reapply my attention on that thought to make it dissappear again and again.
2. Now it has eased out a bit. I am getting a feel for what I am doing. (continue what I am doing now, and doing it good) I started meditation three weeks ago. For the first time in my life. And getting a feel for that too.

I guess you might call it cycling, but I will study some more.


1. This is Dark Night stuff. Dissolution, misery, disgust, fear, wanting deliverance...etc.

2. This is A&P stuff. Focus seems easy.

And yes, it is cycling. I doubt that you have achieved what most would call enlightenment here, but your name might indicate that you are German. LOL...just kidding.
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Very close! I am Dutch. ;)

So I guess I have had the Arising and Passing away.

What's next?
J E B, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far. (Answer)

Posts: 68 Join Date: 8/26/13 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
Very close! I am Dutch. ;)

So I guess I have had the Arising and Passing away.

What's next?


I would suggest rereading MCTB and learn what equanimity is and how to get to it as fast as possible in order to transcend the Dark Night. I have done this many times, but still experience cycling and sometimes get stuck in Dark Night stuff as well. I went for several years in a very light, , non-centered, vast expance where there was nothing but the moment and unshakable peace, but then turbulence started up again. I have had to come to grips with some rather puzzling mental problems that my brain must have as its physical nature, though. Perhaps a physical healing will occur to my brain, but I'm not counting on it. As for you, I would suggest that you just keep practicing and learn to get to equanimity so that you can reach fruition and get stream entry, which is the first path of enlightenment according to MCTB, and don't get bogged down too much. Try to keep it light. I tend to do my own sort of mindfulness algorithm that forces me to keep coming back to an inner smile, having no issues, vast centerless emptiness, and the complete relaxation of all of my facial, neck, back, and hand muscles. This tends to help me reach equanimity faster. When the Dark Night stuff begins to happen, just try not to go with any of the content that the mind might tend to go with, detach from it and try to do some sort of mindfulness algorithm that I mentioned that I created in order to break free from the DN stuff. I still have negativity within me, though. I don't think that enlightenment will fix everything, but it will give you a nice place to do the fixing.
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Nikolai ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
Very close! I am Dutch. ;)

So I guess I have had the Arising and Passing away.

What's next?



Become aware of what may be going on. Read up on what people here do and practice (READ MCTB.), and consider doing the same.

4. Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away: The Ten Corruptions of Insight [27]
When the meditator, in the exercise of noticing, is able to keep exclusively to the present body-and-mind process, without looking back to past processes or ahead to future ones, then, as a result of insight, (the mental vision of) a brilliant light will appear to him. To one it will appear like the light of a lamp, to others like a flash of lightning, or like the radiance of the moon or the sun, and so on. With one it may last for just one moment, with others it may last longer.

There will also arise in him strong mindfulness pertaining to insight. As a result, all the successive arisings of bodily and mental processes will present themselves to the consciousness engaged in noticing, as if coming to it of themselves; and mindfulness too seems as if alighting on the processes of itself. Therefore the meditator then believes: "There is no body-and-mind process in which mindfulness fails to engage."

His knowledge consisting in insight, here called "noticing," will be likewise keen, strong, and lucid. Consequently, he will discern clearly and in separate forms all the bodily and mental processes noticed, as if cutting to pieces a bamboo sprout with a well-sharpened knife. Therefore the meditator then believes: "There is no body-and-mind process that cannot be noticed." When examining the characteristics of impermanence, etc., or other aspects of reality, he understands everything quite clearly and at once, and he believes it to be the knowledge derived from direct experience.

Further, strong faith pertaining to insight arises in him. Under its influence, the meditator's mind, when engaged in noticing or thinking, is serene and without any disturbance; and when he is engaged in recollecting the virtues of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, his mind quite easily gives itself over to them. There arise in him the wish to proclaim the Buddha's Teaching, joyous confidence in the virtues of those engaged in meditation, the desire to advise dear friends and relatives to practice meditation, grateful remembrance of the help received from his meditation master, his spiritual mentor, etc. These and many other similar mental processes will occur.

There arises also rapture in its five grades, beginning with minor rapture.[28] When purification of mind is gained, that rapture begins to appear by causing "goose-flesh," tremor in the limbs, etc.; and now it produces a sublime feeling of happiness and exhilaration, filling the whole body with an exceedingly sweet and subtle thrill. Under its influence, he feels as if the whole body had risen up and remained in the air without touching the ground, or as if it were seated on an air cushion, or as if it were floating up and down.

There arises tranquillity of mind with the characteristic of quietening the disturbances of consciousness and its mental concomitants; and along with it appear mental agility, etc.[29] When walking, standing, sitting, or reclining there is, under the influence of these mental qualities, no disturbance of consciousness and its mental concomitants, nor heaviness, rigidity, unwieldiness, sickness, or crookedness.[30] Rather, his consciousness and its mental concomitants are tranquil through having reached the supreme relief in non-action.[31] They are agile in always functioning swiftly; they are pliant in being able to attend to any object desired; they are wieldy, in being able to attend to an object for any length of time desired; they are quite lucid through their proficiency, that is, through the ease with which insight penetrates the object; they are also straight through being directed, inclined, and turned only towards wholesome activities.

There also arises a very sublime feeling of happiness suffusing all his body. Under its influence he becomes exceedingly joyous and he believes: "Now I am happy all the time," or "Now, indeed, I have found happiness never felt before," and he wants to tell others of his extraordinary experience. With reference to that rapture and happiness, which are aided by the factors of tranquillity, etc., it was said:


Superhuman is the bliss of a monk
Who, with mind at peace,
Having entered a secluded place,
Wins insight into Dhamma.
When he fully comprehends
The five groups' rise and fall,
He wins to rapture and to joy —
The Deathless this, for those who understand.
— Dhammapada vv. 373-374

There arises in him energy that is neither too lax nor too tense but is vigorous and acts evenly. For formerly his energy was sometimes lax, and so he was overpowered by sloth and torpor; hence he could not notice keenly and continuously the objects as they became evident, and his understanding, too, was not clear. And at other times his energy was too tense, and so he was overpowered by agitation, with the same result of being unable to notice keenly, etc. But now his energy is neither too lax nor too tense, but is vigorous and acts evenly; and so, overcoming these shortcomings of sloth, torpor, and agitation, he is able to notice the objects present keenly and continuously, and his understanding is quite clear, too.

There also arises in him strong equanimity associated with insight, which is neutral towards all formations. Under its influence he regards with neutrality even his examination of the nature of these formations with respect to their being impermanent, etc.; and he is able to notice keenly and continuously the bodily and mental processes arising at the time. Then his activity of noticing is carried on without effort, and proceeds, as it were, of itself. Also in adverting to the objects, there arises in him strong equanimity, by virtue of which his mind enters, as it were, quickly into the objects of advertence.[32]

There arises further a subtle attachment of a calm nature that enjoys the insight graced with the "brilliant light" and the other qualities here described. The meditator, however, is not able to discern it as a corruption but believes it to be just the very bliss of meditation. So meditators speak in praise of it thus: "Only now do I find full delight in meditation!"

Having felt such rapture and happiness accompanied by the "brilliant light" and enjoying the very act of perfect noticing, which is ably functioning with ease and rapidity, the meditator now believes: "Surely I must have attained to the supramundane path and fruition![33] Now I have finished the task of meditation." This is mistaking what is not the path for the path, and it is a corruption of insight which usually takes place in the manner just described. But even if the meditator does not take the "brilliant light" and the other corruptions as an indication of the path and fruition, still he feels delight in them. This is likewise a corruption of insight. Therefore, the knowledge consisting in noticing, even if quick in its functioning, is called "the early stage of (or 'weak') knowledge of arising and passing away," if it is beset and corrupted by those corruptions. For the same reason the meditator is at that time not in a position to discern quite distinctly the arising and passing away of bodily and mental processes.
Mahasi Sayadaw


Nick
T DC, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 389 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:

I still remember talking to my sister: "I have deconstructed time already, I have deconstructed happiness, what left should be the 'I', and it seems I sort of intellectually understand it, but I don't feel it."

Then I read this sentence, which went somewhat to this: "Is the I doing things, or is the I somehow done." (can't remember the exact quote, it was rather technical) And bam! I understood.

At first it was bliss. Two weeks.
Then came about three weeks of confusion. What am I to do with this newfound insight? What is happening to me?
Then came two of weeks of battle. I would continuously "not want this", where I had to reapply my attention on that thought to make it dissappear again and again.
Now it has eased out a bit. I am getting a feel for what I am doing. (continue what I am doing now, and doing it good) I started meditation three weeks ago. For the first time in my life. And getting a feel for that too.


Hey Martin,

Just thought I'd add my two cents. For one I would ask, what did you understand in your moment of insight?

When you compare it to Ekart Tolle's insight, the one I think of went something like: he was super depressed, lying in his bed, and then he realized essentially, "if I'm thinking about myself, then those thoughts can't be me (because they are separate from the observer)", passed out, and woke up to a bright sunny morning (and then became a bench sitter for 2 years..).

Ekart Tolle's experience is very specific; he saw that the self was separate from himself, and then naturally let it go. When you say that you understood, that is not necessarily the same. He saw through the illusion of a separate conceptually constructed self. This is why I ask you what you experienced; so I can compare..

When I experienced the end of the gross delusion of self, it happened just as described above. The self arose, was seen to be naught but a thought, and naturally the mind let go of it. Given that my own experience coincided so precisely with Ekart Tolle's own experience, I am assuming that all who experience this would describe it similarly.

Even before stream entry, there can be many moments of seemingly getting it, of understanding. Ultimately these may simply be non-events which we have blown up and grasped onto because we desire so strongly to be free. I have done this many times myself, it's nothing to be ashamed of, it is simply an occurrence on the path. However, in order to avoid this occurrence becoming an obstacle, it is extremely important to try to listen to criticism and to evaluate what we have experienced and are experiencing without bias. Otherwise one can become fixated on events which may be insignificant, to the detriment of progress

Seeing through the self in any capacity, such that permanent realization is achieved, is not something which varies at all moment to moment. Whatever specific realization occurred at the moment of insight remains in mental awareness complete and unchangingly at all times with no variation. Your mind's baseline awareness as to the reality of thought is permanently altered.

So to conclude: has this realization held up unalterably? Would you describe it as I did above? What do you feel must be done from here on out on your path? Do you still have a longing for progress? As well, how has this experience changed the way you relate to thoughts?
Christian B, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 88 Join Date: 10/23/10 Recent Posts
There are of course many different definitions of enlightenment, but one common characteristic seems to be that, the more enlightened you are, the less dukkha (suffering, dissatisfaction, dis-ease) you cause for yourself.

Compare this to the fact that many people who post here for the first time do so because they are dissatisfied in some way or other, i.e. they experience (subtle or not-so-subtle) dukkha. Your post for example indicates that you feel the need some kind of approval for the state you're in, and maybe some kind of category to sort it into, in order to understand it better or in order to be able to communicate about it etc. These are potential problems that you cause for yourself.

On the other hand, your descriptions indicate some kind of breakthrough and I aggree with Nik that it looks like the A&P. (In fact, for me the first A&P was somewhat like the experieces you describe, and I got there without any idea of meditation, buddhism, advaita etc.) It's indeed a good idea to read the information in the sticky post and in MCTB regarding the A&P, because for many people, the 'high' that you're experiencing right now is followed by a (more or less severe) low (the dark night), and knowing what to expect and what can be done about that is certainly an advantage.

Good luck!
Christian
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Hey christian!

I certainly experienced a marked decrease of suffering. Pain is still there but suffering is way down. It might flare up a little bit again, but nowhere near to the previous levels. The moment I capture my train of thought I can let it slide.

It's all good. When it happened I felt I had no other choice than to verbalise it to my friends. Heavy discussions followed, that I did not anticipate. I thought is was funny. Now the discussions have died down a little bit. In the beginning I was really on unfamiliar territory. I have talked to my friends, and they all suggested to continue what I was doing. And I did. My roommate believes in different stages, so I am going to investigate a bit.

I certainly feel I have passed a certain "No return possible" point, so I guess all I can say now is that I have had at least the Arising and Passing away event as you guys call it. Further than that I have to find out.

Thank you for your warning. ;)
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bernd the broter, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 376 Join Date: 6/13/12 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
[...]

I certainly feel I have passed a certain "No return possible" point, so I guess all I can say now is that I have had at least the Arising and Passing away event as you guys call it. Further than that I have to find out.

Thank you for your warning. ;)


Could as well be some kind of intense mind&body. What you describe sounds similar to my experiences when I began to play with meditation. Since you didn't follow the Mahasi practice, I can't see the value of trying to match yourself with one of the categories which describe it...
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Nikolai ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
bernd the broter:
Martijn van der Waal:
[...]

I certainly feel I have passed a certain "No return possible" point, so I guess all I can say now is that I have had at least the Arising and Passing away event as you guys call it. Further than that I have to find out.

Thank you for your warning. ;)


Could as well be some kind of intense mind&body. What you describe sounds similar to my experiences when I began to play with meditation. Since you didn't follow the Mahasi practice, I can't see the value of trying to match yourself with one of the categories which describe it...


I experienced all the nanas doing another technique of vipassana. Others have triggered AP like experiences followed by craziy negativity via drugs and children's mind games. These stages and experiences are not restricted to the mahasi noting practice.
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bernd the broter, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 376 Join Date: 6/13/12 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
bernd the broter:
Martijn van der Waal:
[...]

I certainly feel I have passed a certain "No return possible" point, so I guess all I can say now is that I have had at least the Arising and Passing away event as you guys call it. Further than that I have to find out.

Thank you for your warning. ;)


Could as well be some kind of intense mind&body. What you describe sounds similar to my experiences when I began to play with meditation. Since you didn't follow the Mahasi practice, I can't see the value of trying to match yourself with one of the categories which describe it...


I experienced all the nanas doing another technique of vipassana. Others have triggered AP like experiences followed by craziy negativity via drugs and children's mind games. These stages and experiences are not restricted to the mahasi noting practice.


Yeah, right. My mistake. Similar things happen when not doing this practice (happened for me, too).I am, though, under the impression that the vipassana nanas are especially good at describing what comes up with regular consistent vipassana-meditation practice. Since that's not what Martijn has been doing, I think, I wouldn't be surprised if his experiences don't match the descriptions too well. In any case, I would be careful with attributing his descriptions to A&P territory which it possibly isn't really.
Change A., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 793 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
I realised that words are tools. They are made up, and therefor not real as we think they are. So what is left if you take away all words?

Right. That is it.


Can you see how the words as tools work? Can you see how the whole process of you reading something and then understanding what they convey happens? Can you see how the reaction to what has been read comes up?

If yes, can you also see that how there are no clear boundaries to demarcate as stages?
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Change A.:
Can you see how the words as tools work? Can you see how the whole process of you reading something and then understanding what they convey happens? Can you see how the reaction to what has been read comes up?

If yes, can you also see that how there are no clear boundaries to demarcate as stages?


No, no, and no.

And yes.

That's why I was a bit skeptical when my roommate suggested there could be different stages. However, he has been right before. And it is probably true be that I understand the theory, so to speak, but that I can still greatly improve the practice.

We'll see.

Thanks for your reply though!
An Eternal Now, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
Hello everybody,

I think this is the right place to ask this question. Where am I at?

My roommate has suggested the Hardcore Dharma Book for me to read, but I can't make much sense of it. Mostly because it is very much geared towards meditation, which I did not practice. He is sceptical of me saying I am enlightened, but I can't think of it being something else.

So... What practice did I do?

Well, long story short. That of dissappointment. I would always think I had found the answer: Being a cave man, being in nature, being social. I would jump in, devote myself a 100%, achieve what I had wanted to achieve, and then realise that that wasn't it! Bummer... This has happened quite a few times already.

In my life I did quite a bit of walking. I learned early on I could solve my personal stuff by walking. So I became a fan and would walk for hours. After my personal stuff had been solved, there was nothing to do but noticing what came by. Very relaxing and soothing. So I guess this was my insight meditation. I did this when I was working as well, and mostly I did this in periods.

After yet another quite harsh period of dissappointment (this january till june) I was drawn to advaita texts. I read Jed McKenna. Eckhart Tolle. Paul Smit. I watched on youtube, and I devoured the books. Robert Wolfe's ebook finally did the trick for me. Bam! I never even finished the book.

I realised that words are tools. They are made up, and therefor not real as we think they are. So what is left if you take away all words?

Right. That is it.

So I can only give a description, and I fail already. I see the hairs on my fingers as I type. I smell the unwashed plate next to me, smells good! I feel my stomach being empty and a good feeling of hunger. I feel my neck tensed because of this uncomfortable position, and my brain groggy from being behind a computer.

I remember right after I had read Roberts book. I couldn't wipe this smirk from my face for days. I remember swimming in my dads swimming pool and being totally mesmerised. I would splash in the water, creating a THUMP!! sound, then thousands of small bubbles would then stick to my hairs on my chest. It was gorgeous. I felt like a child again, playing around, having fun.

What has changed? Nothing and quite a bit. I still feel everything they way I used to. But now I don't judge it anymore. It just comes and goes. It may be painful or not, it just is. I can now laugh about myself, my foolish wishes or desires, and my foolish thoughts. Instead I can just sit back and pay attention to what comes by.

So, I think I am enlightened. I can't fathom it being any other way. My roommate wants to know if and at what stage of enlightenment I am at. Can you guys help?
Do you think what you experienced is similar to my description of 'intensity of luminosity':

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html

Page 67:

(Back in 01 Dec 2009):
I wrote: I think 'What is it' is a powerful koan and pointer. Whatever you say isn't It (it's your interpretation of It, which thus is not It), you can only 'know' it by becoming ONE with it. Actually there is not even a becoming one, there is only actually IT, our mind merely projects separation.
When we experience Awareness directly without using our thoughts, everything is experienced as having a magical, alive, shimmery, fresh, amazing and blissful quality to it. Life is not not the 'boring and ordinary' as the mind interpretes it, even the most ordinary things (such as eating, walking, etc) just feels awesome. You will be naturally attracted, pulled towards the pristine awareness than to stressful thoughts. The ego will melt in the wonder and majesty of awareness. Awareness will literally blow your mind away. One moment I was just dreaming stressful thoughts, the other moment I 'woke up' and was totally drawn to Awareness itself... there was no compulsion for me to go back to the dream. It's just such a huge contrast. Sometimes it's so blissful that people around me wonder why I'm smiling. But surely I'm not mad... it's mad to not notice Life... hahaha
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I was reading this interview by Eckhart Tolle just now and thought to myself "Oh my god, that's exactly the same order as I have experienced it". First I was lost in suffering thoughts, then I had a compulsion to transcend the thoughts as I can't stand them and what I did is precisely the same: asking Who am I? Then everything was dropped off and what remained was just this I AM, this beingness that doesn't have a form but is clearly present. Afterwards I'm just absorbed in this formlessness and next there was just this amazing clarity and experiencing everything as if like a miracle with almost no thoughts, like he said, 90% of the thoughts gone. There's just no more interest in the thought, I'm just basking in wonder of pure awareness, everything ordinary becomes wonderful. I'm only interested in 'feeling' everything than thinking about it.
68
And I too felt that I needed to write it down "in case it leaves me or I lose it", and that is why I wrote it here. The experience isn't equally intense in all moments of my life, but this 'peak experience' is actually not a distant experience but is something accessible at any moment (there's only One) Right Now in the Present Moment, Pure Awareness is the ever-present shining sun that can never be lost. It just becomes temporarily obscured as we become fixated on thoughts, or become distracted... if we just turn the light around we discover this state is our natural state and never leaves.
The thought that Eckhart Tolle's intro chapter in The Power of Now was very similar to mine did come to mind on that night as I was writing the post, but it never occured to me that the order it all unfolded was actually similar.
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
An Eternal Now:

(Back in 01 Dec 2009):
I wrote: I think 'What is it' is a powerful koan and pointer. Whatever you say isn't It (it's your interpretation of It, which thus is not It), you can only 'know' it by becoming ONE with it. Actually there is not even a becoming one, there is only actually IT, our mind merely projects separation.
When we experience Awareness directly without using our thoughts, everything is experienced as having a magical, alive, shimmery, fresh, amazing and blissful quality to it. Life is not not the 'boring and ordinary' as the mind interpretes it, even the most ordinary things (such as eating, walking, etc) just feels awesome. You will be naturally attracted, pulled towards the pristine awareness than to stressful thoughts. The ego will melt in the wonder and majesty of awareness. Awareness will literally blow your mind away. One moment I was just dreaming stressful thoughts, the other moment I 'woke up' and was totally drawn to Awareness itself... there was no compulsion for me to go back to the dream. It's just such a huge contrast. Sometimes it's so blissful that people around me wonder why I'm smiling. But surely I'm not mad... it's mad to not notice Life... hahaha


That is exactly what I mean. Very very similar experience.
An Eternal Now, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:

That is exactly what I mean. Very very similar experience.
Yes. That is the intensity of luminosity. Even simple activities like eating, tasting, suddenly becomes wonderful, intensely alive.

However at this stage the sense of self is still there. Depending on what path you take, you can take the vipassana path which this forum focuses (by contemplating three dharma seals in experience) which leads to the insight of no-self where direct perception of luminosity without any sense of Self becomes actualized by the insights into anatta, or if you prefer to enter through Advaita practices you can read through my e-book which leads you through a series of insights from the I AM via self-inquiry to the four aspects, to non-dual, anatta, emptiness, in a direct but progressive fashion.

About 5 months after I wrote that note on intensity of luminosity and I AM experience (that experience of the intensity of luminosity is not yet self-realization but a good experience that should be cultivated), I had the "I AM realization" through self-inquiry.
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
Hey eternal now!

I am going to continue to meditate. As an even intenser form of my daily practice.

I am curious about your ebook though. I am an avid reader. Where can I find it?

Yours, Martijn.
An Eternal Now, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
Hey eternal now!

I am going to continue to meditate. As an even intenser form of my daily practice.

I am curious about your ebook though. I am an avid reader. Where can I find it?

Yours, Martijn.
Sounds good. See http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html
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bernd the broter, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 376 Join Date: 6/13/12 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:

In my life I did quite a bit of walking. I learned early on I could solve my personal stuff by walking. So I became a fan and would walk for hours. After my personal stuff had been solved, [...]


By the way, I'd be interested in what exactly you mean by this. This sounds almost too easy...?
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
bernd the broter:
Martijn van der Waal:

In my life I did quite a bit of walking. I learned early on I could solve my personal stuff by walking. So I became a fan and would walk for hours. After my personal stuff had been solved, [...]


By the way, I'd be interested in what exactly you mean by this. This sounds almost too easy...?


Just try it. After a couple of hours you are a different person.
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bernd the broter, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 376 Join Date: 6/13/12 Recent Posts
Martijn van der Waal:
bernd the broter:
Martijn van der Waal:

In my life I did quite a bit of walking. I learned early on I could solve my personal stuff by walking. So I became a fan and would walk for hours. After my personal stuff had been solved, [...]


By the way, I'd be interested in what exactly you mean by this. This sounds almost too easy...?


Just try it. After a couple of hours you are a different person.


So what exactly did you do? Walk around in nature alone, for a few hours, just letting your mind wandering and see what happens?
Martijn van der Waal, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/13 Recent Posts
PaweĊ‚ K:
definitely A&P, not big E, not even SE

why do you want approval that this is it and you are done?
Imho you feel this state will be problematic and because you know that enlightenment is 'stable state and constant' so confirmation would be like reassurance that 'you will be fine' and as a bonus your ego would get tickled... a lot emoticon

Anyhow... congratulation and welcome to another side of the mirror. This is kinda enlightement, and you definitely entered dharma path without return ticket. Now to the practice for the rest of your life and don't worry about enlightenment as it is unnecessary construct to bring people down and beat them from time to time when they claim such silliness emoticon


Knowing where I am makes discussions with my friends a lot easier.

Thanks, this is a really good answer. Or am I tickling your ego now? emoticon
Siro Samadhi, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: I think I am enlightened, but I have no idea how far.

Posts: 9 Join Date: 6/9/13 Recent Posts
The real problem with claiming enlightenment or seeking enlightenment is that there doesn't seem to be a real definitive consensus among the various traditions as to what "Enlightenment" is, so it really boils down to what you think it is. I know some Yogis who say full blown enlightenment is when you master all the siddhis and can live independently as a consciousness regardless of the laws of the universe.... Some Buddhists say it is a state of understanding of all things. Some say it is a state of knowing all things. Some say it is a state of understanding all things that are processed in the mind. Some say it is a state without Ego. Some say you are not enlightened until you clear away every single piece of your mind and then finally commit a Mahasamadhi as your pure consciousness floats away into the universe and your body dies. Some say it is simply indescribable. There are even some people that say the Buddha was merely in a very high state of consciousness where many psychic powers could be performed and declared that an enlightened state attained from meditating, or in other words, that he only thought he was enlightened. Nobody really knows. Some Yogis say that enlightenment is definitely not the peak, and that it is only a state of understanding, and that a person can be a very unskilled meditator and be enlightened. Obviously, many traditions disagree eachother on this concept.

I could go on. There are thousands of different ideas of what enlightenment is in various traditions cultures. When it boils down to you and your practice, I simply wouldn't bother seeking 'enlightenment'. Rather, know what your practice is and intend to develop yourself in such a way that you deem to be spiritual. The most general definition of enlightenment, if there ever was one, would be the utmost highest state attained through Sadhana(spiritual practice). Though, even with this definition you face the problem of asking yourself what is definitively considered "spiritual progress". Some say it is all about being highly evolved energetically and biologically to be more a perfect human, or even forgo your human state entirely. Others say it is about eliminating the Ego and seeing clearly into the present moment of reality, whatever 'reality' may be.

You could always try to figure out where the word enlightenment came from, find the source, and find out the original meaning. Personally, my advice to you is to research as many different meditative/spiritual traditions as you can, gain an understanding of their systems, and see which one you like best, or which one works for you. I know my ideal system that I prefer, but yours may be different. Many may disagree with this advice, but it's really no more right or wrong then telling somebody "Christianity the right religion" or "Islam is the right religion". See what I am getting at?

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