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Can I get some help
Answer
7/23/14 10:29 AM
Hey,

I tried Direct Pointing and something snapped within me.
The thing is that I can't find a self anymore and I am becoming scared.
The mind body connection is scared. Suddenly I am very afraid of death
as well. Like Budhists were correct about this, what if there is Heaven
and Hell after the end of life as well. I don't want to go to Hell I don't
even want anyone to go to Hell. Why is there so much pain and sadness
in this reality?

RE: Can I get some help
Answer
7/23/14 11:29 AM as a reply to John.
Give this a shot:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7RLGOIk0KMY#t=5975

Briefly put, try not to engage with it. Investing fear with attention will only reify it into something more than it is (which is nothing at all). Keep it at a bare sensate level, like MCTB suggests of (I believe) the re-observation nana.

RE: Can I get some help
Answer
7/23/14 11:51 AM as a reply to John M..
Look.  What you believe in triggers your amygdala.  If you truly believe you are going to hell then your amygdala will release stress chemicals.  If you believe that you are going to heaven you'll get pleasant chemicals like dopamine/serotonin.  If you want to be Christian then explore Christian meditation so you don't have to go into this heaven or hell debate in your mind.

RE: Can I get some help
Answer
7/25/14 11:34 AM as a reply to John.
John:
Hey,

I tried Direct Pointing and something snapped within me.
The thing is that I can't find a self anymore and I am becoming scared.
The mind body connection is scared. Suddenly I am very afraid of death
as well. Like Budhists were correct about this, what if there is Heaven
and Hell after the end of life as well. I don't want to go to Hell I don't
even want anyone to go to Hell. Why is there so much pain and sadness
in this reality?

Hi John,
first off, this is a pretty normal reaction to seeing emptiness of self, to 'not finding' something one always assumed was there but never was there. Lots of folks react with fear when this is seen.

I think the advice to be with your experience now in a very very basic way-- without getting caught up in a lot of speculation and story-telling-- but to just be with it, moment to moment, in a relaxed and open way, seeing the sensations that make up all the passing experiences of no-self, fear, etc, is great advice. Additionally, if you came to this insight without a foundation in basic meditation-- without training your mind to abide peacefully and take experience as it is with less resistence-- then having such an insight can be quite a shock. So it's never too late. Maybe start cultivating some calm abiding, shamatha style meditation, cultivating a calm and even non-reactive attentiveness to the sensations of breathing and sitting for instance while letting thoughts come and go yet remaining loosely focused on sensations of breathing and sitting. This when practiced for a while will increasingly give rise to a bright relaxed open state of mind.

As for the heaven/hell stuff, well, who knows? For my money it's either lights out at the end, or some kind of rebirth scenario. Whether either is true has the same practical significance. Cultivate positive qualities in mind/attitude. Cultivate qualities of peace (calm abiding) and positive qualities and attitudes like openness, appreciation, loving-kindness, compassion for others' suffering (and your own) etc. This way, if it's 'lights out' you have spent your single life cultivating positive experiences and sharing those with others. If it's rebirth, then you have used this life to cultivate positive qualities and share them with others, conditioning mind to adopt an open, peaceful, kind attitude as increasingly second nature. If it isn't lights out, whatever comes next it seems to me will be an expression of mind's habitual attitudes. Fear, confusion, desperation etc. are overwhelming emotions when mind is habitually beleiving all its interpretations. When mind sees its movements as empty and impermanent and also cultivates positive habits and drops negative ones, that's what mind's new habits will be. Win/win.

RE: Can I get some help
Answer
7/26/14 2:52 PM as a reply to John.
Hi John

John:
I tried Direct Pointing and something snapped within me.
The thing is that I can't find a self anymore and I am becoming scared.
The mind body connection is scared.


Who did the pointing? If you can't find yourself, then that means "you" are still looking. Talk about it with your pointer?

If you are afraid, then go easy on the pointing, of course. If at some point you find you are interested again, then the question of "how can I not find myself if I am the one looking for myself?", approached with fascination and curiosity, could be fun to play with.

What exactly are you afraid of? It can't be death, since you are afraid of living (life here, in hell or heaven).

Suddenly I am very afraid of death as well. Like Budhists were correct about this, what if there is Heaven and Hell after the end of life as well.


First of all, be nice with yourself. Be gentle. Whatever is happening, it's harsh, so be easy on yourself.

Do you have real, in-the-flesh people you like to meet and whom you trust with your emotions? If so, go, call them, meet them, now! We human beings like to have good company around, it does us good, it's reassuring.

If not, find some. Join a sports club (I do Judo - nice people, cheap if you join a club, very grounding, good work-out), or some other group of nice, average people around whom you feel welcome and safe. Doesn't have to be a large group, or a group at all - one good friend alone is immeasurably valuable.

If you are religious, check out your religion's teachings on Heaven and Hell. For example, in Theravada Buddhism, practicing the five precepts is your "human card", your title to a human birth. Pure Land Buddhism contains the promise that devotion to Amitabha will get you to the Pure Land. In Christianity, depending on the denomination, you will find similar teachings, like the one in Mark 12:28-34 about the two most important commandments and how they lead to the kingdom of heaven. If you find you can trust such promises, go for it. Keep those precepts/devotions/commandments, and just dump that burden of worrying about heaven or hell onto that promise. Note that these practices usually have tangible effects in the present, such as making people feel safe around you, creating good company in the process.

If you are not religious - where are those fears of rebirth coming from? I'm not saying you should not be feeling the way you feel. Interesting question, nothing more.

I don't want to go to Hell I don't even want anyone to go to Hell. Why is there so much pain and sadness in this reality?


I don't know. I can't even remember the moment when it started in my life here, much less speculate aboout some kind of ultimate starting point. But I can do stuff here, now, which helps. See the discussion of the precepts/commandments above. Being nice and increasing the amount of good things happening has a net effect on decreasing pain and sadness.

Take care!
Florian

RE: Can I get some help
Answer
7/27/14 4:02 AM as a reply to John.
The stages of Fear/Terror, etc are normal.

It is common to take insight and freak out about it.

Advice to cultivate jhanas so as to lubricate and soothe things can be helpful, as can be loving-kindness (metta) practices.

It is likely you crossed the A&P, entered the Dark Night, and are having the reactions that plenty of people have to it.

Reality-testing, just noticing that you are in a safe place, that life is ok, that space is fine, that the room is fine, that the floor is fine, and the like can help. Just try opening your eyes, sitting down, and reassuring yourself that things are ok. This sounds really simple and trivial, but it can actually be quite helpul. Find tense places in your body and gently, slowly relax them. Be patient.

Investigate anything shifting gently, easily, allowing attention to move around as it does, noticing the shifts of attention to various things on its own, easily, softly.

Read about the stages of insight.

Best wishes,

Daniel