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Satori after concentration and self inquiry

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Hello friends,
This is my first post on this site so first I'd like to say I very much respect this place, its users and what it represents. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, lets get down to brass tax. I was doing concentration meditation today and was pondering the nature of mindfulness itself. It struck me that mindfulness happens automatically being that we are conscious beings, and that all we have to do is get out of its way and perhaps encourage its growth a bit. This aided my meditation greatly but what was more interesting was what followed after this. I extrapolated this idea of not having to DO anything to create a state of mindfulness, to the concept of the Self ie awakened state. That is to say that the perfect self is not something you DO, but it is something that you allow to happen through overcoming the five hindrances and mind identification. Mind identification being important, because at the time, I remembered the advaita teachin that the true self or brahman resides in the heart, as opposed to the head associated with mental phenomenon and conditioning. The meditation allowed me to supress the 5 hindrances and the mind, after which I remembered to be mindful of my heart. When I did this I felt a true satori. I am certain of this, I felt the state of true egolessness. I was looking at my face in the mirror and in the reflection I saw the glowing light of God himself, the ultimate creative force in the universe and I saw that that force was none other than my effortless consciousness itself. It was an interesting pun to see my true self reflecting in my reflection haha. Not only did I see myself in the reflection but I felt what Nisargadatta says when he says "the universe is my body". In those moments their was no perception of a seperate self, only a strange had to describe feeling of associating with everything and yet maybe nothing at the same time. I would call this experiencing God as self, im not sure what users here would call it. During this time I just started laughing, because it was absurdly funny to feel like I had no sense of self, and yet paradoxially I kind of knew having the unnecessary sense of self and struggling against nature my whole life was the real absurdity. The mind came back after maybe 2 seconds of intense seeing and feeling of god, but I continued to practice effortless awareness which tamed the thoughts. For the past several hours I have felt that things personally in me are much more in place on a psychological level, I had been suffering from anxiety for many months but since that satori I have felt generally peaceful, content, and more compassionate towards the people I live with. I still have a ways to go to full enlightenment but that seeing was powerful and I will remember it well. There have been other times in which Ive seen a glimpse of the unconditioned non-dual state but none were quite as powerful as this, nor did they have the same lingering effects. I thought this would bring an interesting discussion on this forum being that I think most of the users seek insight through formal noting practice rather than a more advaita, self inquiry practice. 
Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions or provide greater insight on the event,
Blake

RE: Satori after concentration and self inquiry
Answer
5/27/14 1:41 PM as a reply to Blake M.
Hi Blake,

Could you descibe this in a bit more detail? If it was satori, why do you think it faded? Can you get back to this mindset if you incline your mind towards the experience itself and the insight it gave you?

RE: Satori after concentration and self inquiry
Answer
5/27/14 2:33 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Hi Blake,

Could you descibe this in a bit more detail? If it was satori, why do you think it faded? Can you get back to this mindset if you incline your mind towards the experience itself and the insight it gave you?

Sure. I would describe it as a feeling of the death of the "I-thought" that is talked about in advaita. In more practical terms you know that constant feeling that we have of having a separate self? For a few moments I felt absolutely no trace of a seperate identitiy. I then immeditately asked myself, well if I'm not an "I" then what is all of this, what is the nature of reality? and so I saw the Big self, which I would say felt like seeing God. I was paying attention to the images on my mirror infront of me and it felt like I was the building blocks with which those images were being manifested. and the nature of those building blocks was like a great happiness or contentment born from great understanding. This i guess could be characterised as experiencing "buddha nature" in everything. Seeing this great happiness and understanding is what caused me to bust out in laughter. After a couple moments I got excited by this experience and began to see VERY subtle senses of self creeping back in, trying to make an identity from the experience. In fact it was so subtle perceptually, that I noticed it more from the accompanying suffering that came with it than the sense of seperate identity itself. 

To be honest Im not sure why it faded, in  the little that I learned of zen, these flashes of no-self/enlightenment can occur many times before a true enlightenment so it is natural for them to fade. I would emphasize that this wasnt a mindset, even though it probably sounds like im nitpicking, the mind didnt have anything to do with this. My mind was still, it was a change in the experience of my perception from duality to a nonduality.

I havent tried yet but Im confident i could get back to it. It feels like the small self is less heavy or incharge right now so Im assuming that would mean there is less illusion to get out of the way before seeing reality truely again. 

Thanks for the questions

RE: Satori after concentration and self inquiry
Answer
5/27/14 9:09 PM as a reply to Blake M.
Blake M:
Sure. I would describe it as a feeling of the death of the "I-thought" that is talked about in advaita. In more practical terms you know that constant feeling that we have of having a separate self? For a few moments I felt absolutely no trace of a seperate identitiy. I then immeditately asked myself, well if I'm not an "I" then what is all of this, what is the nature of reality? and so I saw the Big self, which I would say felt like seeing God.


All of this seems very abstract to me. I was hoping you could talk about sensations and perceptions. I don't know what it would feel like to see god or the big self. Those words don't have much meaning to me. I'm also not exactly sure what you mean by a separate self vs no separate identity. For example, did you look at a teacup next to you and say "Ah, I am that teacup!" Or was it a sensation that you were embedded within your experience rather than observing it - a veil over reality had been lifted. If you looked at your hands in front of you, was it still logical to say, "these are my hands," or were there no hands at all and just a field of meaningless colors?

Blake M:
I was paying attention to the images on my mirror infront of me and it felt like I was the building blocks with which those images were being manifested. and the nature of those building blocks was like a great happiness or contentment born from great understanding. This i guess could be characterised as experiencing "buddha nature" in everything. Seeing this great happiness and understanding is what caused me to bust out in laughter. After a couple moments I got excited by this experience and began to see VERY subtle senses of self creeping back in, trying to make an identity from the experience. In fact it was so subtle perceptually, that I noticed it more from the accompanying suffering that came with it than the sense of seperate identity itself.


So, when you looked in the mirror, what was the perception itself? You saw yourself as building blocks - what do you mean by this?

This sense of self that crept back in, what was it? Was it a feeling of control or "agency" that suddenly became apparent as it crept back in? Maybe by looking at how it came back you can see what it was that left in the first place?

Blake M:
To be honest Im not sure why it faded, in  the little that I learned of zen, these flashes of no-self/enlightenment can occur many times before a true enlightenment so it is natural for them to fade. I would emphasize that this wasnt a mindset, even though it probably sounds like im nitpicking, the mind didnt have anything to do with this. My mind was still, it was a change in the experience of my perception from duality to a nonduality.


How can you be sure this was a non-dual experience? I've had a lot of trouble parsing the terminology on these things. I've had a number of momentary perceptual changes that I could label as "non-dual", maybe you can help me figure out what's what if you have more zen experience. Did you have a teacher that went through this with you to confirm it was a satori? If not, could you point me to some teachings or resource that most closely matches your experience or defines the terms in a way you'd agree with?

Blake M:
I havent tried yet but Im confident i could get back to it. It feels like the small self is less heavy or incharge right now so Im assuming that would mean there is less illusion to get out of the way before seeing reality truely again.


Good luck! emoticon If it happens again, maybe try watching the transition in and out of it closely to see if it offers any hints as to why it manifests.

RE: Satori after concentration and self inquiry
Answer
5/27/14 9:19 PM as a reply to Blake M.
Blake, your glimpse sounds right on the mark to me, and I know exactly what you mean by "no separate self."