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What is this ?
Answer
5/10/14 11:28 AM
Looking for opinons on what happened.  I will try to discribe the situation as best I can.  I may have spoken about this before but can not remember and/or never got a satisfying answer.  I have meditated off and on for years. 
When off the cushion I sometimes get a physical sensation of movement in my head. Like something is swaying back and forth/side to side. One time in perticular I was sitting in my college libary and this movement started to increase in intensity.  The intensity grew so much so, I became alarmed and needed to leave the libary because I thought something embarasing was going to happen to me.  I felt I needed to be alone so I went to the mens toilets all the while the movement getting stronger and stronger.  I quickly locked my self in a cubical and sat down.  Now, the distance from the libary to the toilets is about 100 meters or so.  Between the two is a winding corridor and a large hall area with an exit and an entrance to the libary.  Now the next thing I know is I am sitting on a radiator in the large hall area looking in the direction of the exit where other students were entering the door.  Everything in my field of view was emersed in a white mist for a few moments.  I felt kind of numb, not in a physical sense, but as if I could not speak or think.  Because I was so shocked at this feeling I saw someone who I recognised and walked up to him and just blurted out "where do we go now ?" My memeory of what went on after that is not good.  The important part is I do not recall going from the toilet to the hall.  The intense movements in my head kind of reached a peak and then, nothing, until the hall scene.  Was this a fruition ? Do I just not remember going from the toilet to the hall? Did I translocate there lol?  Did my body walk there while I was having an extended fruition ?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/10/14 1:40 PM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
Hi
I have had a number of OBEs that started as a vibration and moved on to a rocking like an earthquake before exiting the body, but I was practising a technique to bring it on
Cheers
Jeff

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/10/14 11:24 PM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
Spontaneous head movement and shaking and all that are nearly always late 1st vipassana/early 2nd vipassana jhana, meaning 3 Characteristics leading to A&P, so most likely that spontaneous stuff was an A&P event, which can be mind blowing, involve all sorts of very strange experiences, etc. Seeing white spontantously is also really A&P classic stuff. Those things happening in public can be really scary at times, actually sometimes they are scary anywhere.

Nobody walks around in Fruition, as that takes something being connected to sensate reality, and Fruitions and sensate reality are the antethesis of each other.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 2:23 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Jeff Grove:
Hi
I have had a number of OBEs that started as a vibration and moved on to a rocking like an earthquake before exiting the body, but I was practising a technique to bring it on
Cheers
Jeff


Hi Jeff,
   That's interesting because I was thinking it might be something like that. ie the loosening of the astral body as it were. However one thing that puzzels me is, if someone could really leave their body at will they could literaly run the planet. No secret would be safe. At the very least you could become filthy rich if you wanted. No doubt someone will chime in with " Someone who can astral travel is not interested in money and power ". I doubt that is the case.  Anyway I recently started meditating again and I'm very keen to progress very far this time around. I am allways getting these vibrations as soon as I start up again, so it should be an interesting time emoticon

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 2:29 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Spontaneous head movement and shaking and all that are nearly always late 1st vipassana/early 2nd vipassana jhana, meaning 3 Characteristics leading to A&P, so most likely that spontaneous stuff was an A&P event, which can be mind blowing, involve all sorts of very strange experiences, etc. Seeing white spontantously is also really A&P classic stuff. Those things happening in public can be really scary at times, actually sometimes they are scary anywhere.

Nobody walks around in Fruition, as that takes something being connected to sensate reality, and Fruitions and sensate reality are the antethesis of each other.

Hi Daniel,
   My head was not moving or shaking. It was an internal movement. Weather that makes a difference or not. Btw Daniel I was wondering if you travel out of body or not, and if you don't, why not?  Also one thing that is relly bugging me about you is your move into AF.  It makes me question your meditation skill.  If the state of desirlessness is suposed to be so blissfull why would you feel the need to be so called "happy" all the time?

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 4:53 AM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
I used to travel somewhat often, started in teens spontaneously, practiced it actively at points in mid to late 20's to early 30's, haven't played with it much in a while, though sometimes do spontaneously for no particularly obvious reason, this now something on the order of once every 2 years or so... It has a certain appeal, granted, but it would also sometimes leave me feeling somewhat ungrounded and otherworldly afterwards. What about it calls to you at this particular point in life?

Regardless of whether the movement was felt or actual physical movement, still very likely A&P. That is also the classic stage of spontaneous OBE/Traveling, as well as interest in it.

Regarding my period of interest in AF, it is not so straightforward as all of that, nor would I have ever classified myself as being desireless. Where did I say I was desireless? As to AF, there are so many axes of development, so many things to spend time paying attention to, so many neural channels to strengthen in various ways, so many interesting ways we can continue tweak the mind. People make it out as if there is just this one thing and if we get that then that is all we need or could ever wish to accomplish or explore: it is a extremely naive notion, one that I hope becomes less pervasive as the world of meditation gets more mature and sophisticated and ancient models that promote very simplistic and hyper-reductionist views of development fade in favor of those with much more range, nuance, bredth, and realism, and that Package Models, those that say that if you develop this very specific axis of development that you will always automatically acquire these other things, will fade in favor of models that are not so rigid and out of touch with the wide range of what can happen to individual practitioners.

I personally spent a long time hitting one very specific set of emphases, that of the Three Characteristics, very hard. I also had a talent for not getting all caught in my psychological and emotional stuff and just taking reality and the illusion of duality apart layer upon layer regardless of the other costs of doing so. It was in some ways a very narrow practice aimed at one very specific target, and in that it was successful. I saw in the emphases of AF, emphases you can also find elsewhere, BTW, an opportunity to counterbalance some of the residual side effects of the way I had gone about things and the things I hadn't paid that much attention to at all. This is a normal thing to do.

Beware ever adopting some model that due to pride, labels, dogma, theory, or abstract concept deprives you of the benefits of pursuing other areas of development and emphases that might help to round things out. Realize that by expressing disappointment for people exploring areas that from your limited vantage point are not appealing, you will help to create a subtle or overt culture which will dissude people from doing similarly. I am relatively comfortable mixing things up, drawing from lots of sources, being open about the good and bad in my practice, and the like, but plenty aren't.

Now, if someone said here, "I am now exploring smoking crack and embalming fluid as my primary path," I could understand your skepticism.

However, if someone was really bugged by a seasoned practitioner who has evaluated their own practice and said, "I am really carefully exploring the delights of the sensate world and this is counterbalancing the residual effects of my years of relentless focus on the subtle points of fundamental suffering, as well as exploring more of my feeling life because I neglected aspects of that for years to help focus on other trainings," that being bugged is harder to understand and would seem a misplaced worry. What about those specific things bugs you at this point and what does that say about your models and practice? Help me understand that comment better. I am really glad that my criteria for exploring various reasonable emphases in practice do not include your stamp of approval, or anyone's stamp of approval, actually, except my own.

It is so interesting the things people hook onto and get upset about. Why did you not get upset at other things I have done that might produce skepticism in a fervent Buddhist, such as drinking Ayahuasca in Peru or pursuing Ceremonial Magick, or going to medical school rather than becoming a monk (not worried I might have died on April 27th, 2002 after attaining to arahatship on April 20th, 2003, as the dogma says?), or being married, or playing music, or dancing, or all sorts of other things that a very traditional Buddhist might look down their nose at? I really hope those things don't bug you also, as, were I to keep listing, the things you might be bugged about in my life would probably be very long.

Further, those reading the fine print rather than the advertising will realize that "the state of desirelessness" (if that is what you personally wish to use as your primary label for the elimination of the perceptual illusion of duality, stability, will, observer, etc.) involves things like pain, frustration, hunger, sleepiness, sickness, and the like, as any careful reading of things like the lives of the Buddha and his skilled retenue will reveal quite easily, actually. It is really too bad that the Vinaya is not more readily available in electronic format, as it contains lots of fun reading about problems in the Sangha and in their personal lives, but in the readily available sections of the Pali Canon you can find all sorts of great stories that clearly illustrate that there are zillions of other things to work on and take care of even if the perceptual illusion of duality is gone.

One could easily extraploate from assumptions such as the notion of the relentless bliss of desirelessness and then ask preposterous questions like why you would feed yourself, or why you would bother to bathe, or why you would pay your bills, or why you would to all sorts of other reasonable things that help promote relative happiness and well-being in the face of that theoretical torrent of bliss. Life is more complex than that, and happiness has many aspects, both ultimate and relative. It is amazing how many times you have to reitterate the basics, but here goes again:

There are Three Trainings, Morality, Concentration and Wisdom, these being the divisions of the Noble Eightfold Path. Each is designed to support the others, true, but each is also designed to eliminate various forms of suffering.

Training in Morality, meaning skillful living in all its forms, is designed to eliminate those forms of suffering that come from unskillful living, and they are many, and to promote the happiness that comes from skillful living, which is so vast a topic as to be essentially uncircumscribable. It is a field of work that has many aspects that no amount of skill in the other two trainings will compensate for a lack of work on Morality, such as feeding yourself, unless you believe in breathairians, in which case you would still have to breathe... ;)

Training in Concentration, meaning the jhanas, is designed to eliminate those forms of suffering that come from not having that refuge as an option, as well as to promote the happiness that comes from jhana. To get all traditional about it, the Buddha praised those who were "Liberated Both Ways," meaning that they had eliminated duality and also had access to the jhanas and Nirodha Samapatti. Why would he bother to praise them if simply landing the end of fundamental ignorance was enough? Why would the Buddha himself bother with jhana? Oh, yes, he got really bad headaches, really bad back pain, and also apparently liked them.

Training in Wisdom, that of right view and right understanding, is designed to eliminate that very specific yet generic form of suffering that comes from the illusion of a continuous, permanent formed self and the numerous complex perceptual, emotional and paradigmatic problems it creates and to produce that happiness that comes from understanding. However, that happiness doesn't negate the need for the other forms of happiness.

You should check out my book, MCTB, where I talk about that very early on in Part I in precise detail. Or, you can try reading the Pali Canon, as you will find the same thing there, or try just practicing the various practices available in the Three Trainings, or some similar formulation from some other mature and broad tradition to see how this all fits together and how working on various aspects of our life and mind can improve our lives.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 6:10 AM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
As with thors there was no physical movement leading to the OBE, my journeys never got very far due to the freaking out reaction wondering whether I would get back to the body. I have no issue with this being described as an A+P stage. Although the experience was described as the yinshen. Working with noting later I experienced an A+P and dissolution where I literally had no body and the body slowly phased back into form at least that was the experience but totally different to the experience of the subtle body OBE

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 6:08 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Freaking out when traveling and snapping back rapidly is reported as very common and also very common in my practice as well. I would say that about 80% of my travels were less than 10 seconds (and a good number less than 5 seconds) due to this phenomenon. Then there are the other 20%, which, for reasons I have never figured out, didn't have that happen and stability was achieved for substantially longer periods, with the longest full-on travel being maybe 5-10 minutes, which is a damn long time to be out, as the intensity level is so high, at least for me.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 2:18 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.

my Taoist teacher advised against practicing this without guidance/ forcing it as it could damage the shen, as Dan mentioned feeling ungrounded, otherworldly. For some people it happens naturally or has always been a part of their experience

For another perspective the Monroe institute teach some well researched and tested methods

Cheers
Jeff

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 11:42 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks for taking the time to write all that Daniel.  I understand what your saying.  I wasn't really formalating what I was saying properly, not taking my time in thinking about what I was saying.  I actually have a copy of your book thankyou.  I printed it out years ago.  I suppose what I was aluding to was if being an arhat you have completed the cessation of dukkha why would you feel the need for more happyness? If someone who was completely new to meditation asked is it worth going threw it all, it would seem your reply would be yes, but it was not enough so i'm looking for something else to fulfil my needs.  Maybe i'm being naive, but that is the impression for someone less experienced in the path.

ps. I have to ask lol. Why don't you go to James Randi foundation, exteriorise from your body, read something they write in another room and claim the $1.000.000.00.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 2:04 PM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
Regarding the million bucks, well, it doesn't seem to work that way, or at least not for me.

When reading things, particularly numbers, while traveling, the problem is that they don't stay stable, or at least for me. They morph, twist, change, reorganize, and become other things. Further, while the world you are traveling in may seem like this one, it always has some differences, such as you being able to float through walls for one...

As to you requiring a one-stop solution for the sum total of suffering while alive, one thing accomplished and that is it, best wishes with that. Do you have some reality testing and real-world examples that show such a thing has been done? Clearly the Buddha didn't do it, if the Pali Canon is to believed, and neither did Richard the Actualism guy, as he takes pain medications for his back pain apparently, which may be totally reasonable if his back hurts a lot, and neither did anybody I have ever heard of.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/11/14 7:56 PM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
I was taught a method about 30 years ago that is a cross between hypnosis and lucid dreaming to bring on OBEs and past life regression. I have had a lot of success with it guiding people out of their bodies and remembering their past lives. I decided to google to see if there is any information on it as there was an ongoing experiment here in Oz by the guy who developed it.

Google christos technique

it is an easy to use tool which will bring on very interesting repeatable experiences. 

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/13/14 1:06 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
So I guess what your saying is OBE's are not in this world, or are you ? Have you tried to valid date or prove to yourself that you are in this world?  I guess the fact that no one has taken the million bucks, is a fairly good argument that NO one can read the small print lol.  However I'm sure we could devise an alternative experiment that does not invovle reading.  Which I supose is a goood argument that all OBE's are not in this world at all but are just lucid dreams.  I supose, like anything, the only way I'm going to know for sure is to experience it myself. 

There is a couple of things I would like to ask about your book actually.  If you wouldn't mind ?  In the section on powers you wrote:

   "When we start playing around with intentions, extended sensate realities and eneretic phenomena, it can seem as it there are two worlds or fields of experience that interpenetrate each other, the ordinary one ("the real world") and the magical one ("the second attention,""astral plane," "spirit world," etc.). Intergrating these two perspectives into one causal field without aritficial dualities or boundaries is quite a project, one with the potential to lead to very high levels of realization or to madness.  It is the high-stakes way to play the game, but unfortunately seems to be largely unavoidable past a certain point.". 

It seems to me what your saying here is that the "real world" and the magical one merge into one for everyone weather they want it to or not.  Are you saying that things that you can do in dreams can be acomplished in  the real world. If this were true it seems YOU are capable of a lot more than you are letting on to lol.  Or have I just interpreted the paragraph completely wrong. 

Secondly in the section on "Review" you wrote:

"One is advised to be somewhat careful and perhaps very restrained in what one says and does during the few days and perhaps weeks after attaining a path or something that one thinks may be a path.".

The last part here really puzzels me. How can thinking something lead to an unavoidable begining of a path?  Also, A cycle is a cycle, how and why would second path be diferent cycling than first path. Whats the triger thought as it were if thoughts are what trigers it.  What are we trying to achive with second path, a more disciplined awareness of cycling?   The begining of first path for everyone I presume is the decision to start noting or with someone unfamiliar with meditation to just naturaly be very observant of their body and mind.

I realise it's a difficult subject and words are very limiting. But if you could try to clarify I would appreciate it.

Thanks Thor.

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/17/14 3:53 AM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
Bump for a reply emoticon

RE: What is this ?
Answer
5/17/14 4:39 AM as a reply to Thor Jackson.
Saying that all OBEs are just lucid dreams is missing something about them. They feel just as real as this, as vivid as this, and oft-times more vivid, more hyper-real, like the ultra-defined version of this. For me, the experience is quite different, with OBEs being an entirely different level from just lucid dreams. Their compelling sense that they are absolutely as real as what we standardly think of as being awake to this ordinary life never fails to amaze me.

Why be restrained after thinking you finished a path? Well, some people care about such things, about the various criteria, and may have all sorts of expectations about all of that, and you also may be wrong. Further, after finishing some new cycle, it is common to be all excited about whatever new thing you just understood, and thus to not have the sense to realize that basically nobody else will, as mentioned on many other threads. Bad reactions are probably 50:1 over good reactions, at least in my experience.

I am not saying that OBEs are or aren't of this world, I am saying something much more complex than that:

Concensus reality isn't. It is a convenient fiction we tell ourselves to gloss over the staggering differences in perspective on what we theorize with only circumstantial evidence is the "Same thing" in some abstract and totally unprovable way. Experiences arise, and we can classify them how we like, realizing that various classification schemes will have various consequences.

If you think of OBEs as not "real" and the "real world" as real, go ahead, ok with me. If you think of your perspective on your theoretical "this concensus world" as some sort of standard for what "this concensus world" really is, well, that's one way to look at it.

I have had OBEs that were so exceedingly compelling and vivid and real-seeming that, on coming back to this relatively dull one, I had the distinct sense that I had been dooped and now had come back to some pale imitation of the real reality.

I am saying that this entire experiential field can be extensively modified beyond what most people think is possible, at least without massive doses of heavy drugs, and that those experiences occur, and how you interpret them will have various consequences, realizing that this is just simply an interpretation and not the same thing as the experience. All experiences are "real" in some pragmatic sense, in that they are causal, as everything we experience has some effect somehow, so to dismiss various expericnces as "unreal" or whatever is not as helpful as trying to figure out what causes what.

I am saying that the whole thing, everywhere in space that you can perceive, is totally fair game once you get your concentration strong, and what that means for anyone else's experience is somewhat of a crap shoot and not totally predictable, but, after all, this is your life, your experience, and that you experienced whatever is obviously really personally relevant, and that personal relevance is the relevant thing, really.