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Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?

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Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 6:25 AM
Hello guys,

I started mediating more or less regulary since 2000. I read a lot, sat a lot and tried various techniques which lead me to the self-inquiry "Who am I?" Sitting and taking the "I" as an object and going back to the "sender" over and over I was suprised how my practice lead to deeper and deeper states and the sitting periods went longer. I wasn`t particulary searching for anything,but mediation became an efficent tool to relieve stress and balance my cluttered mind.

Then I had an experience out of nowhere. The "I", me, that what observes and that which it observes went away together with everything else for a moment and it lead to a great confusion on my side, because whatever I am is not me. I can`t trust myself, because "I" is not there and never was.That was the conclusion I immediatly made.

 I lost all my intererst in meditation and even gave my books away. I am feeling an aversion and fear towards mediation even it it did me some good, because I feel there is nothing at the bottom of the barrel. I have generally lost a lot of ambition towards anything and haven`t sat since then 6 month ago.

So yesterday I went  to a psychiatist to hear her opinion, get some advice, because I have been depressed since childhood and really feel like my chemistry is off. We talked about what I do and described what I described above. She said: "Oh yeah, you have to be a stable personality to deal with that" I asked her if she personally experience something like that and she said "Yes, I know what you mean, the ego and enviroment becomes one. It`s called transcendence."

I don`t think she knows what I meant. She meant it was in all-inclusive experience, but for me it was the devaluation of everything, it was all-exclusive not an intigrating but a desintigration experience. I know I probably should continue meditating but I really just feel like wasting my time.

What are you thoughts, opionions, advice about that experience?

P.S. Excuse my English

RE: Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 7:38 AM as a reply to Frank Castell.
feels like something is blocking you to make a breakthrough? energies doesn't move?

gather your self together. Since you have lost it.

lower your eyes, let go of high ideals.
gentle focus on the nosetip
breath into lower belly
etc.. what helps you to find  the self again.

edit:i don't know about nanas and jhanas

RE: Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 9:25 AM as a reply to Frank Castell.
You are sound to me like someone who's had an A&P experience and is now in the insight stage called 'dissolution' -- the first stage of what is often called the 'dark night'. When you start to meditatr you move toward the next insight stage which is called 'fear' and as the name suggests involves feeling anxious and afraid, hence the resistance to practise.

The worries you're having about your sense of self dissolving is mainly beacuse you don't have anyone to help you contextualise your experience and tell you that this is exactly what is expected to happen, that this has happened to many many people before your, that it shows that you've actually been practising well. With the right technique you can attain a stage called 'equinimity' and in due course 'first path' and feel tremedously much better in a relatively short time.

Your task now is to figure out how to get out of the dark night again while not letting it fuck your life up. I'd start by re-reading the relevant sections of MCTB, do a search on this forum for advice on dealing with the dark night and then trying out some fire kasina pratice - for me this technique has been by far the quickest way to progress. The only way out is through.

RE: Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 11:51 AM as a reply to Frank Castell.
[quote=
]I lost all my intererst in meditation and even gave my books away. I am feeling an aversion and fear towards mediation even it it did me some good, because I feel there is nothing at the bottom of the barrel. I have generally lost a lot of ambition towards anything and haven`t sat since then 6 month ago.


What were you hoping to be at the bottom? For me, meditation has been a process of realizing that "there is no there, there" and becoming okay with it. It's a process of letting go of all pre-concieved notions of what you are or what you want, stripping away instead of adding to. You might also be in the dissolution "Dark Night" stages, as a previous commenter stated, and so this realization is seeming especially fearful and miserable. Don't stop meditating! The only way to get through these stages is to keep going, keep accepting the fear and letting go. You'll get to equanimity soon enough.

You might want to read Rob Burbea's new book: "Seeing that Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising". It specializes in the art of using the insight into emptiness as a liberation tool. 

RE: Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 12:10 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
You might want to read Rob Burbea's new book: "Seeing that Frees: Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising". It specializes in the art of using the insight into emptiness as a liberation tool. 
I second this reccomendation.

RE: Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 2:43 PM as a reply to Frank Castell.
I suspect you don't want to meditate any more because that experience scared the crap out of you.  And no wonder!  I've heard similar stories many times and had something somewhat similar happen to me.  It scared the hell out of me and I didn't want to get near it again for a long time!  The thing is you may well get really scared but you also get a new kind of understanding.  The previous you was relying on certain concepts of reality, certain assumptions, as being true and this new info totally undermined those old beliefs.  End result is you feel destabilized and fearful.  It's a normal response.  From here you  have two generally basic options, keep running away from the new info and trying to hide from it, or try to face it and slowly assimilate it so that you become less fearful.  Either run or face your fears.  OBviously, meditators are likely going to say to try to face it by continuing to meditate.

IME, it is the confronting and dealing with the most difficult things that leads to improvement and better stability long term.  Sure, it may seem really difficult now but after you pass through that trial, you will probably eventually look back on it and realize it was a paper tiger, not actually dangerous in itself but only seeming dangerous because of your own assumptions and dependencies at the time.  Those assumptions and dependencies are what block longterm progress.  It can be scary to confront them but better long term if you can do it.  A splinter may hurt a lot while you dig it out, the deeper the splinter the more it hurts, but once it is out, you feel much better than if you had just left that splinter in there all the while trying oh so hard not to touch it or jostle it.
-Eva    

RE: Who Am I? Did I get a real answer?
Answer
2/26/15 4:14 PM as a reply to Frank Castell.
Thank you all for your comments and advice. I am definitely going to look into the recommended reading material and practices and break out ye olde sitting mat and see where this it is going. To be honest, I am not too eager to do it but consider a chance to go past that, so that the little progress I made (if that was actually progress and not some schizophrenic episode) is not lost and maybe it takes me somewhere else.

The funny thing is, when I did the Who Am I practice I was totally sold on it and never would have expected that something like this could happen. I had my share of "weirdness" during sitting, but this hit me totally unexpected and before that I doubted that anything could have "real" consequences. I just read again a bit of D. Ingrams book about the dark night and it seems different to me now than the first time I read it.