Dream-like experience and I am everything

Morosan Catalin, modified 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 3:25 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 3:25 AM

Dream-like experience and I am everything

Posts: 2 Join Date: 1/7/15 Recent Posts
Hi. I'm brand new to this community and I've just finished reading part 1 of MCTB.

I would like to describe some of my past experiences and have your input about them.

While in a park, contemplating the fact that there is something rather than nothing and being fascinated by the sheer fact of existence, the visual experience became airy, dream-like, not at all solid, as if floating and there was the idea that I suddenly remembered that I am all that is and I alone am, that there is no past or future. There were feelings of bliss, freedom, that everything is OK for eternity. This lasted for about 20 minutes. I had similar experiences several times in the past. At that time, I was reading and listening to modern nonduality teachers such as Rupert Spira and Greg Goode. After that, I had the expectation that this kind of experience should become permanent and that this is what enlightenment is all about. Transitioning to buddhism, I see that this is not really the case.

I am starting to do daily formal meditation using MCTB. Up until now, I just casually contemplated experience, the passage of time, the sense of self.

I appreciate any comments.
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Eric M W, modified 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 6:55 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 6:55 AM

RE: Dream-like experience and I am everything

Posts: 288 Join Date: 3/19/14 Recent Posts
Sounds like a peak experience to me. Some schools of thought encourage this sort of experience, especially Vedanta (from what I can tell). But whether or not this can be a permanent state is debatable. Abraham Maslow, the psychologist who coined this term, seemed to think that it was not possible for such experiences to be permanent.

The level of arahatship is not something I can comment on from personal experience, but there may be similarities to your experience. A sense of no time, of mental and physical sensations being fundamentally the same, luminosity, centerlessness, and so on. But it is important to note that the journey to arahatship is gradual and permanent, whereas your experience was sudden and temporary.

There is no concept of reality being illusory and/or dreamlike in Theravada, though it certainly comes up in later Mahayana texts.
Morosan Catalin, modified 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 11:14 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 11:14 AM

RE: Dream-like experience and I am everything

Posts: 2 Join Date: 1/7/15 Recent Posts
Thanks for the feedback.

"Peak experience" doesn't clarify anything for me. Can't these experiences be mapped to one of the stages that are used in this group? I also got this experience when listening to traffic and contemplating impermanence of sound (but not in the sense of being aware of as much sound sensations but in the sense that sound appears and then disappears etc.)
Derek, modified 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 4:36 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 4:36 PM

RE: Dream-like experience and I am everything

Posts: 326 Join Date: 7/21/10 Recent Posts
Hi, Catalin, the sense of a separate self is something constructed. It is possible to see through this construct -- "no self," as the Buddhist terminology puts it. You reached this point for 20 minutes. The euphoric feelings that accompany the breach are called "narcissistic elation." They're not permanent, though. What CAN become permanent is the insight into no-self.
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Eric M W, modified 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 9:47 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/8/15 9:47 PM

RE: Dream-like experience and I am everything

Posts: 288 Join Date: 3/19/14 Recent Posts
Catalin Morosan:
Thanks for the feedback.

"Peak experience" doesn't clarify anything for me. Can't these experiences be mapped to one of the stages that are used in this group? I also got this experience when listening to traffic and contemplating impermanence of sound (but not in the sense of being aware of as much sound sensations but in the sense that sound appears and then disappears etc.)

"Peak experience" is a term coined by American psychologist Abraham Maslow in 1964. Maslow describes peak experiences as “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.”

Source

I've done some sniffing around online for examples of peak experiences, but they seem surprisingly sparse. The most common mention is "moments of revelation" in science experiments, perhaps because Maslow was a humanistic psychologist, and therefore a scientist of sorts.

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