Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Giovanni Dienstmann, modified 6 Years ago.

Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/6/15 Recent Posts
This is my first post here. Apologies for being so long, but I don't see other place where I can share about this. I'm not sure if it’s a good fit for this forum, since its not about Buddhism itself, but this was the only forum I found where people talk about advanced states in a open and no-BS way. So let me share what happened to me.

I'm open to be questioned and challenged in any way, so no worries about that.

Basically, after years of obsessive practice in Self-Enquiry, I experienced an awakening, a dropping, that has remained unchanged ever since. It's almost like I've vanished, never to return. It's hard to explain, but I'll do my best.

Before, a bit of context: I'd be intensely seeking enlightenment for several years; initially in Occultism, then in Zen-Buddhism, and finally in Indian nonduality (Advaita Vedanta of Sri Ramana Maharshi). When this awakening happened, I had been for the 5 years before that practicing atma-vichara (Self-Enquiry), and throwing everything in this fire. I was practicing under the guidance of a well-known Satsang teacher called Mooji. I had had several deep insights, transformations, "droppings", blissful states, and similar stuff. Yet, in the morning of the 3rd of February 2010, something different happened.


Without much factual detail, this is what happened:

I was sitting by the side of Mooji, with a small group of people, he then opened the Satsang saying “You are the Absolute Awareness”.

[There is more to it, but I don't want to make this huge, so for those interested, I have wrote the story of my whole journey here liveanddare.com/my-journey/. This page is not linked from anywhere, and it's no index in Google, so please don't share it.]

It could have been just another sentence casually said in Satsang; but this time it was much more. Maybe for the first time the teaching was fully HEARD. It is hard to describe, but if I would put it in words, I’d say that its like those words came from the Absolute Awareness in me and arrived at the Absolute Awareness in me; just a “loop” in Absolute Awareness itself. Nothing in the middle – just a pristine moment of seeing my own Face. No Mooji, no Niraj, no nothing. Just this self-effulgent Truth shinning alone. Very quiet.

Another way of expressing it is that the eye of consciousness blinked, and in that instante where it was closed, there was just the Absolute shinning.

This was unlike anything I have experienced before. Unlike any previous insight or realisation. Something was very different.

Later on, in the open Satsang on the same day, when Mooji was saying “can the seer be seen?”, the urge came to follow this much-used question again. Immediately it was seen that there was nothing being seen, no seeing, nothing happening. A “Self-loop” again: the One without a second. Being who I am, beyond definition, in a state of non-duality. I felt I could not consider myself to be a seeker anymore.


What happens after?

On the following days and weeks I watched the mind playing as all different forms, with all kind of thoughts and illusions – the habitual patterns and some new stuff arising. Yet it was completely different than before. All mental phenomena (thoughts, feelings, etc.) was automatically rejected, effortlessly. The pull was absent; the illusion was dormant; the spell was broken. From that time on, something got turned off, and never came back the way it was again. Even saying these things now seem silly, needless.

For the rest of my stay in India, I was spending good part of my time simply sitting inside my room, looking at the walls, and doing absolutely nothing. Nothing. Not even meditating. Simply enjoying, in awe, the bliss, freedom and space I had discovered.

I think that time was very important for the brain to “rewire”.

After this awakening, there was an effortless maturing in this seeing – even though there is not the feeling of being concerned with it. This continues up to now.

However, since then, nothing new has been discovered, no radical insights. No rising or falling. In a way, I can say that nothing has changed. It’s like I’ve walked out of my life that day, and there are no traces of anything. Ah, words fail me!

As time passed, more and more daily life proves me that what I am cannot be touched. It is clear to me that I am not the body, not the mind, but only Pure Consciousness; not only intellectually – as it was in the beginning – but experientially. I cannot conceive of myself as being a person anymore, therefore I cannot feel that I am either a “seeker” or a “finder”, either “bound” or “liberated”, either “deluded” or “awakened”. These concepts are far, far away from me.

There are also no more automatic relations to anything. There is always a perceived space between my sensory perceptions, or thought, and the next conditioned response. And the self-referencing obsession of the mind is basically gone.

I am not declaring anything about anything, just these are the words that come, in trying to describe the effects of Grace. And there is a feeling of a deep reverence towards this Power that is being revealed, and which is the only reality. This Power is my true Self.

I have no idea which state Consciousness would be stuck in now if it wasn’t for that powerful seeing. What I do know is that, by the power of self-enquiry and the light of these Advaita teachings, I am now in a “state” where conflict is impossible, where suffering is unconceivable. There is no feeling of lack, no more aim or purpose in life, nothing happen anymore, all just play.

Nothing seems to be able to cause real fear or attachment. Whatever emotion rises inside of me, is weak and temporary – and I have the power to make it vanish with a blink of an eye. Freedom is not threatened by rising thoughts. And all things perceive are seen to be “transparent”.

It was not the final nirvana that I achieved, so I have continued to practice meditation daily. An awakening has happened; something was dropped and has not returned. I have tried to described what happened, and what has changed, but I don’t really know what “stage” or “state” I’m in. Saying this things sound silly to me, but I must say, to prevent misunderstandings.

In a nutshell: since that awakening, I have lived happily ever after. Empty, unattached, and free. Yet there is a natural, unpretentious pushing towards further depths of awakening – but now without any emotional struggling, ego-centrism, and mental BS.

****************

So, that is it. I feel some other people might have had similar experiences, so I'm curious to hear from you, and I'm open to connect through Skype.

I'm not a Dharma teacher, nor a Satsang teacher, or anything of the sort. Alo, I haven't read Daniel's book yet. Perhaps that can give some perspective.
Derek Cameron, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Posts: 326 Join Date: 7/21/10 Recent Posts
Sounds good to me. I am one of the people who commented favorably on your blog about Zen a few weeks ago, after finding a link from Reddit. Nice to meet you here.
Giovanni Dienstmann, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/6/15 Recent Posts
Hi Derek, good to find you here!
I found this forum recently, via an answer in Coach.me, and I am attuned with its guidelines.
Derek Cameron, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Posts: 326 Join Date: 7/21/10 Recent Posts
Hi, Giovanni,

To answer your question -- yes, lots of people have had similar experiences, although the details of everyone's tend to be unique. I wrote mine out and posted it on the Internet. I'll send you the link by PM.

Derek.
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Laurel Carrington, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Posts: 441 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
Welcome, Giovanni! I enjoyed reading your story, and look forward to hearing more from you. Daniel established this forum to be a place where people can explore a variety of approaches; pragmatism over dogmatism. 
Giovanni Dienstmann, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

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Thank you for the warm welcome, Laurel!
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Noah Starbuck, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts? (Answer)

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
Hi Giovanni,

          Good job describing your experience, the phenomenological mode that is favored here can be off-putting at first (or at least it was for me for over a year of lurking).  I have some suggestions about how we could graft your experience onto the the model described in MCTB and perhaps a more universal model.  
          You definitely had a fruition-path-and-review cycle.  The consciousness eye blink was the fruition, the dropping of the self was path, and the period after during which you experienced all different aspects of yourself was review.  
          The interesting thing to explore would be which path it was.  It is very possible you had attained to previous paths with Mooji without knowing it.  Both first and second paths were pretty wimpy for me in terms of changing my baseline.
          One theory on how such exploration can take place is by seeing what happens when you focus the mind continuously on one seemingly stable object in a relaxed and accepting manner.  In the Theravadan tradition, this is called concentration practice: its goal is jhana (I'm not trying to condescend I just don't know how much conceptual background you have).  
          Anyway, the idea is that your mind will do certain things after certain paths.  If it was stream entry, you should be able to "call up" 'soft versions' of the first four jhanas by simply reading descriptions of them and asking your mind to descend to those levels.  If it was third path, some have suggested that the concentration practice should result in reaching hard versions of jhanas 5 through 8, which are fully dissassociated from individualized mind and body (I haven't gotten this experience).  Or perhaps you might imagine a blowtorch behind your third eye and attempt to achieve a stabilized, extended version of the consciousness blink, which would be called Nirodha Sammapati.
          The overall theme that I'm touching upon is that these things will occur naturally in the minds of humans after a certain number of mind blinks, regardless of whether that human is a christian mystic, secular mindfulness practicioner, or Advaita Vedantin.  The exact content of the visions and ways the practicioner frames the experience and describes it to themselves and others will obviously vary.

Edit: I wanted to add that I've been a Mooji fan for years and have watched many of his youtube videos.  I think its awesome that you study under him directly.
Giovanni Dienstmann, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

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Hi Noah,

Thank you for taking the time to write. And I'm glad to know you have also drawn inspiration from Mooji.

So, this "fruition-path-review", is this something that happen on each of the 4 levels of awakening?

I now read a bit about the 4 levels of awakening in Theravada tradition, from Wikipedia. The first three fetters are definitely gone for me. Desire and aversion have been greatly diminished, but I can't say if enough in order to consider this a "once returner" (sakadagami). So probably it is level 1 or 2 (is this what you call first and second path?).

There is definitely still desire for higher jhannas, but I'm not attached to the feeling of bliss that sometimes comes during practice, and it's easy to "reject it" and continue with my focus on moveless Consciousness.

Reading about the Jhannas on Wikipedia, and in answer to your question: I can easily enter a soft state of open equanimity and "emptiness", behind all sensory perception. Not only when sitting in meditation, but during daily activities as well. Just thinking about it now, the state is present while I write these words. Whatever mental or emotional phenomena arises, I also acquired the ability to simply let it go, or "reject it" if you wish, and be in equanimity.

The distinction between the 4th, 5th and 6th jhanas is very blurry to me. Frequently I experience a state that is something like these, although I cannot really differentiate which of these 3 jhanas it is. The attention stays put in a state of pure perceiving, pure being, where there no duality, no "second". Then it perceives the body, breathing, and sensory information for a few seconds. It usually keeps moving back and forth like this.

Do the arupa jhannas require that we be completely unaware of the body and senses?

Any thoughts about this?
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Noah Starbuck, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

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I can't really get hard formless jhanas, so its hard for me to say.  Perhaps others had better way in.  But I definitely resonate with that background sense of mental openness which provides the possibility for jhana.
Giovanni Dienstmann, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Awakening experience 5 years ago. Remains permanent. Any thoughts?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/6/15 Recent Posts
Thanks! I will search more about it in this forum.

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