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hyper present, detached
Answer
3/3/15 4:05 PM
Being new here, I'm not sure how things are done here. There's not anywhere to give an introduction, and it doesn't seem appropriate to get into a long(ish) back story here. I'll keep this simple and brief.

After a month or two of practices picked up from various sources (Tolle, Adyashanti, Ram Dass) I had an experience I have had once before. That first time was for no apparent reason. this most recent time was the result of the aforementioned. I found myself in a state where I felt I was observing my body as if from an outsiders point of view, yet fully in my body. It was as if I were in an entirely realistic simulation of being in a person, rather third person sort of experience. Watching my arms move was like watching someone else's arms move from their perspective. Hearing my voice as I spoke, the sound emerged out of a vast nowhere. It just appeared out of an empty nowhere. I had no desire, no want for anything, yet I was fully cognizant of the need to ensure my daughters safethy in a busy, chaotic parking lot. I was mindful and able to pick up needed items at the store. I was completely at peace, contented, and my mind was completely quiet. This lasted for about three hours, and then faded, as self aware self identification came back. I wish I could live the rest of my life in that state of freedom.

Again, this isn't the place for introductions, history and experience, but I have been meditating, almost entirely on my own, with vaying levels of consistency and commitment for almost eleven years. The only other experience like this precedes my meditation by over a decade. The practices I alluded to preceded this. And while I kept those and others up, this experience has not occurred again, at least not at that depth or intensity.

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/5/15 10:00 AM as a reply to Darrell.
It's interesting isn't it! How much peace you can feel if you just shed the weight of pressure that we put on ourselves. I never knew how much pressure there was until it was gone for a way, gave me a new perspective on the word 'enlightenment' as truly feeling a lot lighter.  Life like playing a SIMS video game!  Except there seems to be an amaziong euphoria type thing that comes when the rest of it is out of the way or not blocking it.  I had a similar experience once but I don't recall being quite that detached as you were.  Seems like people around here tend to call it a peak experience or sometimes it sounds like some people's versions of nondualism.  And others just say it's an A&P experience.  Don't know myself..
-Eva

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/5/15 2:27 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Hi Eva,

Thank you for taking the time to try to shed some insight. I suppose it really is difficult, in most instances, to try to say anything about someone else's experience. Although I suspect others have experienced this same thing. I found it difficult to even write about with any accuracy, so there may be signs and indicators I'm not conveying, that might create difficulty in others identifying.

The description of the experience as some sort of digital simulation is really a poor description, but I'm at a loss for how to describe it in words. It was an experience of inhabiting this body, while *not* being this body, and having no identification with or as the thing thought of as "me".

I understand that there are interesting experiences along the path, that are detours or cul de sacs. That it is advised not to get stuck in those places, to make note of them, but keep moving on. i wonder if this is one of those, or what it is we're pursuing when we speak of liberation.

It truly was freedom from self, from labels, ideas, concepts, feelings and emotions, other than a quiet joyful peace. 

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/5/15 4:00 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Just my personal opinion but I think there are a few dangers with fixating on a previous peak experience, one danger is becoming egomaniacal about it, you see that with some gurus.  Some people have some cool experiences and it just goes to their head so they think they know more than the really know.  Another danger is it's easy to spend a lot of time trying to get back to a cool experience, but trying to get them or trying to go back doesn't seem to work.  IMO, better to try instead to work on what you have in front of you right now, in the future that cool thing may well come back or maybe it will be some other cool thing or a different version of that cool thing.  Doesn't seem like a good idea ot try to lock yourself down too much with proconceived notions of what exact state is best because we really don't know.  I don't know what the top of the mountain will look like, I can barely see it from here, but I seem to have a lot better ability to see what is currently under my feet and work with that. 

Also, seems like cool events often involve a lot of time inbetween processing things and processing gets slowed down if we are concentrating on the past and not on the now.  Also, I suspect that with so much variation in these things between individuals, the gurus can't really be expected to know what each little thing means for each person.  I suspect all these things really do mean important things but there is so much variation and as you said, language can't really portray and there seems to be a lack of agreed on terminology for much of it.  So I suspect the gurus spend most of their time just trying to nudge you and keep you on the paths they think are most likely to yield success according to tradition and experience.  That doesn't mean though, IMO, that those paths are the only good paths or even the best paths for every single person, but seems like they are probably more reliable paths for a larger percentage of people, at least according to what we currently know (which is IMO not much).  So I think that is why the gurus just try to keep you on the path of what they are familiar with and try to keep you from falling into known traps like ego.  

Personally, I'm not sure if gurus can REALLY do much about the traps though.  Maybe if you are borderline, they could help steer you clear but I think some people just have a bunch of ego or other personality traits brewing and that is going to lead them through certain experiences along the way no matter what anyone else says or tries to get them to do.  IMO sometimes the only way to learn is to make the mistake and then learn from it that way.  There is an old saying that an expert is someone who has made every mistake at least once..
-Eva
-Eva 

  

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/5/15 5:33 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Hi Darrel,

It sounds like you alread have a rather good idea what the state is and how to re-enter it and cultivate it.  Consider the way you write about it.  You were detached and seeing yourself "from the outside."  You had no desire, but this wasn't because you were blanked out, you were simply free.  It was effortless, wasn't it?  Did you find yourself wondering why you'd had any problems in the past?

This is not as hard to find as it seems, but it takes a "leap of faith," so to speak.  You don't need faith because you've already seen it, so you're a step closer already.  What you need to do is become completely okay with what's hapening right now.  The whole thing starts with the feelings.  It's a bit of a paradox, though.  The things that feel bad right now, they don't have to go away, you just have to be okay with them (though, if they do go away, that's okay too).  When there is no feeling that things need to change, there is nothing holding you together.  You just float apart.

In my own experience, the key seems to come from dispassion towards positive states.  The thing you're describing, it's not a "happy" experience, is it?  It's not love, or joy, or wonder - it's serenity, peace, complete neutrality.  So if you look for happiness or a good feeling, you're actually moving further away because the state is free from that whole mechanism of good vs. bad.  Think of it like stepping outside of emotional judgement.  I like to think of it as coming from a different place.  When you feel bad, the instict is to try to feel better.  If you can let go of that instict completely, the state you describe is the result.

Some things that help me practice this:
I watch myself for any feeling of urging or desire during the day and withhold gratification for a while - essentually to practice not getting what I want.  When I feel negative emotions, I interrupt any attempt to reason them away or cringe away from them, and I also interrupt any feelings of despondency or "stuckness" (like asking, "why me?" or imagining something better or trying not to think about it - these just contribute to the desire for the feelings to change).  When you stop looking for a way out, you can start to peel the urgency off of the particular stimuli and see them as simple phenomena.  An example of this is, just the other day, I was getting ready for work and noticed some subtle stress related to the time.  So I stopped any thoughts trying to convince myself that I didn't need to worry, and I stopped all atempts to ignore it, and simply accepted that I felt in a bit of a hurry.  When you do this there is something very tangible that drops away.  It feels like there is no longer anything you have to do with the feeling.  When you do this with everything, there is no feeling of "steering" - everything just happens effortlessly and the whole world of experience is smooth as butter.

The meat of the issue is the feeling that you have to do something with what you're currently feeling.  When you feel a negative feeling, there is effort to push it away.  When you feel a good feeling, there is effort the hold onto it.  This effort isn't so hard to spot if you look for it.  The difficult part comes in trying to understand the result.  For me, it often happens where things that previously felt negative no longer do.  Positive feelings that seem unshakeable might even happen, or the whole thing might feel very spontaneous and un-planned because you just alowed yourself to forget the problem you were holding on to completely.  So don't try too hard to parse the results, just stay on the lookout for effort to change how you feel, and let go of that effort.  When you see it happen it's very interesting and very useful, but if you don't see it happen, just enjoy the results.  The effort to understand is just another bit of effort, after all.

Here's what I like to aim for - there is nothing that needs to change, and there is nothing that needs to stay the same.

EDIT: It's easy to go the other way too, and try to force yourself to accept a feeling, even though you don't want to.  In this kind of situation, it's best to walk away from the method for a while.  The impulse to control can take over meditative effort just like it does anything else.  The point of the method is always to let go of the feeling of forcing things or changing things, so if the method feels forceful it's not the method.

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/6/15 10:52 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Hello Eva

Eva, yup, you're right, it can go to a person's head. I see the false self/ego attempting to use everything that is part of my practice (such as it is) or anything that results from it, as something to prop itself up with. If I have a day where mindfulness has been at a high, consistent level, and I've been very detached, then nothing that thinks it is something rears up up to say "Look at what I did! See how spiritual I am?") Fortunately Trungpa's "Spiritual Materialism" tipped me off to that, and I can usually catch it right off. Sometimes it sneaks past, and I see what happened later, and try to carry that forward, hopefully being a bit wiser.

I do have to remind myself to let what happened go, and not to try to recreate it, although I do try to recall what worked. Anything effective seems worth recalling. Although I have misgivings about ideas and methods culled from Eckhart Tolle, and to a lesser extent, Adyashanti. Listening to Shinzen Young, Culadasa, and others has changed what I think about those two.

Anyhow, I take it as a more or less positive sign that I'm on the right track. Only time will tell. Definitely using it as motivation to move forward. I'm arranging to make the time to go for a ten day session at the Goenka Vipassana Center in S. Georgia some time in late Spring or maybe the Summer.

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/6/15 10:51 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao,

Yes, it was effortless, which leaves me wondering why it faded. Maybe that isn't important. I don't know.

No, I didn't wonder why I hadn't had problems in the past. The past was non-existent, more or less. I'm sure if that state had persisted long enough, the past would have come up somehow, but I suspect it wouldn't have been seen as important, or relevant. simply just something that had happened. Everything was NOW and there really wasn't any other time. There was the awareness that there were things that needed to be done, but it didn't dominate, I wasn't living in the future, as we tend to do to some extent, under ordinary conditions.

And no, it wasn't a happy experience. The was a sort of joy, but but it felt natural, as opposed to the joy that is dependent on conditions. The "I have to have this to be happy about", or "I need this in order to be happy", sort of joy, happiness etc.

Thank you for your input, ideas and help. I like what you've written and am going to print it out, boil it down to it simplest elements to I can recall it on the fly.

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/8/15 3:04 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao,
that´s a cool piece, the complete practice described in a few  words. Is it ok with you if I translate it and share it on a German language buddhist forum?
Thanks again,
Jojo

RE: hyper present, detached
Answer
3/10/15 11:21 AM as a reply to Jo Jo.
Yes, that's fine. You can use whatever you like. emoticon