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Help with understanding experiences

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Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/9/15 1:45 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences cian 6/9/15 6:02 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/9/15 7:42 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Derek 6/9/15 8:10 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/9/15 8:21 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/9/15 8:29 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/9/15 3:12 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences cian 6/10/15 5:21 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/10/15 5:50 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Noah 6/10/15 7:21 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/10/15 9:34 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Noah 6/10/15 5:14 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/10/15 6:37 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 7/19/15 3:53 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Matt 6/9/15 8:33 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/9/15 8:51 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Dream Walker 6/10/15 7:23 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/10/15 8:02 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Dream Walker 6/11/15 11:27 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/11/15 2:12 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Dream Walker 6/11/15 2:14 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/11/15 3:47 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences cian 6/12/15 12:46 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/12/15 10:49 PM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/13/15 12:10 AM
RE: Help with understanding experiences Don Merchant 6/18/15 2:06 AM
Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 1:45 AM
Hello to anyone willing to set me straight.

I have recently finished reading Dan Ingram's book MCTB, along with several other smaller books and pamphlets. I began meditating about 3 weeks ago after many years away from it. I used to meditate years ago when I was in martial arts. So I had some background in meditation but nothing was ever explained to me. I experienced many things that no one had answers to or I was afraid to ask about. Now that I'm back into meditating I've experienced some weird things that I need an answer to. I have tried to find something close through searches but haven't found what I'm looking for so far. So here goes:

About a week ago while I was meditating, I began to feel this intense heat like the fire of the sun building up in me at the center of my stomach. It began as a small ball, or orb, then grew in diameter until it then began to spread up into my chest, through and down my arms, into my hands, then fill my entire torso. Then it began creeping up into my neck and then jaws. It felt like the sun's fire but it wasn't hurting me. Weird, that. Then I began to have shakes while still feeling the fire buld in intensity in my neck and jaws. it never went far into my head. It also began to cycle with my breath, in......out......like a bellows in a forge. It became so intense, the fire and the shakes, that I didn't think I could take much more without exploding. Then I felt it go straight up the center of my head to the crown and began to pool there like lava. It felt like it carved new paths in my brain. I can't explain it better than that i'm afraid. After awhile, don't know how long, it began to cool and dissapate. After I cooled down and ended my meditation, I had this strange sense that I was experiencing the senses, in an out-of-phase way.
I have been feeling vey light, calm, joyous, excited, and deep contemplations while going about my business.

Ok, a second event. A few days later, I was sitting with my elbows on the inside of my knees, cross-legged style, hands palmed together, head tilted down a little, when I 'saw" only black swirling smoke everywhere around me. Suddenly, a disembodied head, like a devil or demon appeared. It looked at me, laughed a small laugh, then blew onto my fingers, hands, and forearms. Immediately my flesh began to burn, turn to ashes, then fly away, leaving only the bones. Needless to say this was very disconcerting. I was just dumbstruck with this. I wasn't actually very afraid. I questioned why this was happening but received to reply. It just laughed and blew. I decided I didn't like this and determined I wasn't going to let it 'destroy' me. So I simply thought about the flesh being restored, and it was. This became a battle between me and this 'demon'. We went back and forth several times until it just vanished. Then the blackness faded until I was left in a completely void area with only diffused white light. I looked around a bit but there was nothing there. Nothing but the soft, white light. I felt like I had won a battle but for what I didn't know. I'm still ruminating this event. After a bit I began to come back to the world and my session just stopped! I could not get back into meditation after that. Just that day though.

3rd weird event. I was in meditation and found myself in this black smoke area again, but when I began trying to figure out what it was, where it was, and why it was, I suddenly felt like my mind was slammed by a hand. My body rocked back like my head had been slapped. This happened several times. During each interval between 'slaps' I was hurtling though some kind of vortex or wormhole looking thing. I arrived at the end of each 'tunnel' to find a door. At the threshhold of each door, 3 by the way, the door opened or someone opened it, and inside each place was a statute of the Buddha. It was in 3 different temples. Never before have I seen these statutes or temples in my lifetime. After getting each glimpse the door was closed and I went into the next 'tunnel' until the third one. After that third one I was immediately out of meditation. Snap! That was it. I was firmly awake and in the here and now. My meditation was over and I couldn't go back in so I rested. Whoa. I don't even consider myself Buddhist. Plus I'm still so new to this stuff.

Last thing. Yesterday while meditating I was noting physical sensations arise and pass, emotions arise and pass, my breath arise and pass, when I noticed that these have the 3C, in such a clear way as never before. During my noticing this, I had a 'realization' that these, along with my brain, are NOT me. It is all not I, the "I". What makes up who and what I am. Does that make sense? Ever since then I have had that thought over and over. These are not I.

Please understand I may not know full terminology yet. So k.i.s.s. please. emoticon

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 6:02 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
What kind of meditation are you doing?

It sounds more like an 'astral journeying' type thing you're doing.  Are you purposefully inducing these kinds of visualisations or dreamlike states?

You mention twice that you couldn't get back "in" to meditation.  What does it mean to you to be 'in meditation' and 'out of meditation' ...
I would associate this kind of language more with states of mind, like trance states, that you can be 'in' or 'out' of.
Whereas I consider 'meditation' more of an intention for your attention, so it doesn't make much sense to talk about being 'in' or 'out' of it.

My implication here is that perhaps the understanding you have of what meditation is, as a special state you can be in, is leading you towards these kinds of strong trance-phenomena.  

I don't at all mean this as a bad thing or anything to be avoided.  It sounds like you've had some nice experiences and results here.  Great symbols coming up and great seeing non-self emoticon
Its just good to be aware of what you're doing

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 7:42 AM as a reply to cian.
Thank you for a reply. I greatly aprreciate that.

"It sounds more like an 'astral journeying' type thing you're doing.  Are you purposefully inducing these kinds of visualisations or dreamlike states?"

You may be correct.  As for trying for these states, sadly no. I am still new enough that I'm screwing this up.

My mention of being "in" or "out" of meditation means my ability to focus and concentrate on my breathing, noting, or anything like what I've read defines meditation. It is like a door shut in my face. See, I'm screwing it up again. I apologize for my lack of clarity. I'm still learning the vernacular of all this.

So, I guess its back to the books, audio files, and practice, practice, practice. Maybe I can learn where and how I keep screwing up. My intention is to learn anything like what I've read about from Mr. Ingram's book MCTB, Practical Vipassana Excercises by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw, The Progress of Insight by same, Keeping the Breath in Mind & Lessons in Samadhi by Ajaan Lee DhammaDharo, and a couple smaller books (pamphlet).

Again, thank you for a reply. I need all the help I can get :-)

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 8:10 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Well, I'm no meditation expert, but if you really need all the help you can get, here are my amateur offerings:

#1 sounds like kundalini

#2 and #3 don't know. Did these experiences seem very vivid, almost more real than ordinary reality? Meditation increases electrical activity in the frontal lobe, which is subjectively experienced as vividness.

#4 sammasana ñāṇa, "knowledge of mental and physical processes as unsatisfactory and nonself"

http://www.vipassanadhura.com/sixteen.html#onec

You might also read the section on that page headed "Ten Imperfections of Insight"

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 8:21 AM as a reply to Derek.
Thank you for a reply.

Regarding my 1st experience, yes I thought it sounded like kundalini too, but don't know enough yet to say for sure. Haven't waded through the stuff yet. Hadn't even known anything about it till just recently.

#2 & #3, yes, they were vivid. Most vivid. That's why I was wondering what the heck it was :-)

And thank you for the link. I will check that out shortly.

Thank you

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 8:29 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
You know, that's how I've felt. My thinking has been, no harm so far, so keep trying. I'm bound to break through eventually. Besides, even my children, co-workers, and family have seen the changes in me from such a short time span so far. It's all been good. I'm actually happy, feel good inside, have a calmness I've never known before, feel energetic, am walking around in a state of devil-may-care attitude :-) I want to meditate. So far it has been beneficial instead of negative. So I will keep screwing up until I get it right.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 8:33 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
The way I've heard these kind of experiences explained is: when a meditator starts meditating hard, their concentration and ability to apply energy both improve rapidly.  They improve in an out of balance way.  This imbalance produces all kinds of weird experiences, like the ones you've described.

'The Path' includes these experiences, and becoming familiar with them to the point of developing equanimity toward them is the way to advance. There are ups and downs, taking them all in is the way to go.

Reading all of MCTB and posting a practice log here is a great way to get help when you need it.

So, as Goenka instructors like to say: "keep on practicing". emoticon  It sounds like you're on the ride now.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 8:51 AM as a reply to Matt.
Thank you for the reply.

Thank you for the encouragement too.

I'm trying like heck to read as much as I can to better understand where and how I'm screwing up. Its a big field of study. I have taken heart from these experiences instead of viewing them negatively. I figure that I'm getting something from my 'meditations' so why stop. I have read the entire MCTB, and that's what got me started back into meditation. So far, I don't even feel anything has been a down, its all been an up. Come what may I have persisted and will continue. I will have to poke around for that practice log.

Thank you.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/9/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Lol, I'm not sure what progress, but if you say so.
I have noticed I'm more detached about most things now that I'm back into meditation. Can't finger it but I'd say the calming effect from meditation has allowed me to begin looking at things from a more detached view than I ever had before. I find my emotions don't rule me as much. Somehow I quickly realize the emotion(s) coming on and I fight like heck to beat it into my submission. So much so that co-workers also noticed I'm less ruffled, less angry, and physically moving slower than my 100mph walk. :-)
Thanks for the post.
I had an uneventful session today. No weird stuff. emoticon Learned some things about myself though. Learned that my butt is getting tougher. I went 45 min instead of my normal 30! Also learned that I have mediocre concentration skills. So......back to more practice, reading, listening to audio files, and practice.

Thnaks for the encouragement. It truly helps.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 5:21 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Yes! what everyone else said.  Keep practising!  

Have equanimity for the weird stuff - if it's there it's there, if it's not it's not... Let it come and go as it likes.   i think you get this already.

Be kind to yourself.  I dunno where you get this "I keep screwing up" thing from   emoticon


Just a theory, but all the sudden rush of energy experiences and inspiration and sudden positive changes and insight after just a couple of weeks of practice ... is maybe like your system is all excited that you're back to doing this meditation thing you used to do in the past, is quickly 'remembering' all it 'learnt' back then   ...    like if you come back to learning a language that you used to speak quite well but haven't used it in years - it all comes back really quickly and feels like you're making rapid progress, but then of course you get up to the point you left off at and you're back to a normal pacing...which could feel a bit boring compared to all the initial excitement.  UNLESS your resolve is really solid and you're not just in it for the glitz!   ;)

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 5:50 AM as a reply to cian.
Cian, thanks for reply.

Hehe, well getting on myself about screwing up is just admitting the truth, learning, and dealing with where and how I am screwing up. It motivates me to whoop my own behind so I stay at it :-). I have several years military service so that could be a part of it too. I'm tough on myself because I have had to be in life or I would already be dead. Looooooooong story. Not for here.

I do believe you are correct, again, about my experiences and progress. Having prior mediation experiences, however good or bad they were, has helped me accelerate things. No, I'm not into it for any glitz or hoopla. I'm in it to gain liberation, freedom, and an honorable death; after having lived honorably. Make sense?

This lifestyle you all try to live is something that I am now striving for too. I want to grow, learn, help others, and if possible die a truly free, enlightened life.

Thanks again. It's great to get such feedback from all of you.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 7:21 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Then I felt it go straight up the center of my head to the crown and began to pool there like lava. It felt like it carved new paths in my brain.
I'd say the calming effect from meditation has allowed me to begin looking at things from a more detached view than I ever had before.

I'm actually happy, feel good inside, have a calmness I've never known before, feel energetic, am walking around in a state of devil-may-care attitude :-) I want to meditate. 

Dude, I think you got 1st Path (or maybe even 2nd, depending on how much you had meditated in the past, and whether you could recall a similar event of "release" from back then).  I would classify the other events as 'crazy-ass-review-phase-symptoms.'  I have had ridiculous energetic experiences in all of my Review phases.  

It matter exactly what date this kundalini release occurred, so that you can track when Review started, and be more likely to tell when it ends.  If the energetics stop at that time (about a month from when the release occured), you will have even more evidence that it was 1st Path.  Also, try to ask your mind, as if you were asking a butler, for the jhanas: "1st jhana please" and see what happens, "2nd jhana please" and see what happens differently, etc.  You are looking for soft, subtle shifts in your awareness.  BTW, the info from this paragraph is courtesy of Ron Crouch, which I don't think he would mind me sharing, since it is just some bare-bones guidelines (and I'm not qualified to communicate much further than that).

Edit (some more of my own, "noah's" guesswork): I would imagine that, in general, we tend to put these attainments on a much higher pedastal than where they deserve to be.  Along this line of thought, freakish progress, like SE in 3 or 4 weeks, probably isn't that surprising if you consider the fact that you used to meditate and therefore have probably been cycling and carving out this inner-psychic pathways in the intervening years.  If this was SE, I think you'll find the later Paths become slower, more arduous, but also more rewarding in unforseen ways!

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 9:34 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah, thanks for the post.

WOW, is all I can say. I never dreamed of such a thing in so short a time if you are correct. I wasn't even thinking about any particular jhana, path, etc. Its not something I even considered. I was just trying to apply what I've read so far and see how I do. Period. No expectations.

As for the kundalini, it was a week ago today. I will try asking the butler :-) good idea. Yes, I've been having vision shifts. IDK how to explain it. It seems like when I am looking at things they shift, are hazy, resolidify, almost vibrate, or throb. I can't seem to bring things into proper focus as first. But once I concentrate, not hard either, just softly, then things realign into a solid object. Man its hard describing this stuff emoticon

Last night while cooking dinner I was looking out the window and saw the trees. They were swaying, shifting, gettting hazy, then solidified, but still slightly swaying. I almost cried from joy because they were so beautiful and majestic looking. Weird huh?! My kids thought I was being silly when they asked what was happening. They said I had the most joyous look on my face. Like I was spaced out.

Well today while meditating I ended up in this place of vast expanse, I could see things for miles. Suddenly I realized that everything is impermanent, doesn't satisfy, and is not self, or me. At that moment everything around me crumbled into dust. Everything. Suddenly I was in a beautiful garden. No other people around. I was walking around looking at all of nature and investigating it. Seeing the beauty of all flora and fauna. After a bit I left and realized a major event in my life. I think its something I must deal with because it was extremely traumatic. I was in tears. I began investigating the whole thing so I could see what I need to do with this event. I have this innner urging that this is the 1 event in my life that is keeping me from getting anywhere in this life. Make any sense?

Thank you for your post. I'm glad to know at least someone else has had weird things too. I have 1 person at work who I can talk to about this stuff. He is into Apache style meditation. So his terminology is a little different than buddhist terminology.  But he has also experienced weird stuff.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 5:14 PM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Yes, I've been having vision shifts. IDK how to explain it. It seems like when I am looking at things they shift, are hazy, resolidify, almost vibrate, or throb. I can't seem to bring things into proper focus as first. But once I concentrate, not hard either, just softly, then things realign into a solid object. Man its hard describing this stuff.

High-Eq, formations.
I almost cried from joy because they were so beautiful and majestic looking. Weird huh?! My kids thought I was being silly when they asked what was happening. They said I had the most joyous look on my face. Like I was spaced out. 

High-Eq, rapture, weird emotional shifts/pleasant disassociation.

Well today while meditating I ended up in this place of vast expanse, I could see things for miles. Suddenly I realized that everything is impermanent, doesn't satisfy, and is not self, or me. At that moment everything around me crumbled into dust. Everything. Suddenly I was in a beautiful garden. No other people around. I was walking around looking at all of nature and investigating it. Seeing the beauty of all flora and fauna.

A&P, formless aspects/sub-jhanas.  Entering formlessness is a good sign, it means a hole opened up in your psychic head :-p (SE).
 After a bit I left and realized a major event in my life. I think its something I must deal with because it was extremely traumatic. I was in tears. I began investigating the whole thing so I could see what I need to do with this event. I have this innner urging that this is the 1 event in my life that is keeping me from getting anywhere in this life. 

Psychological healing unrelated to the nanas.  Fruits of the path. :-)

Cool stuff.  Are you getting Dark Night Nanas spontaneously?  Wierd, sudden shifts into agitation, paranoia, anxiety, physical restlessness or tension, etc.?  Just kinda, happening in daily life?  If you're not cycling off-cushion, you probably aren't in Review A yet, although the instability/intensity sounds about right.  If you're not in Review, you didn't compelete the cycle yet.  Regardless, you either did it or you're close.


RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 6:37 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah, thanks for the reply.

Yes, I'm getting dark night stuff. I now realize from my research into this stage stuff that I've now had 3. Each lasting no more than 30 - 45 min. I just went thru 1 today while in the shower after my meditation session. Going up after that to eq, maybe higher but don't think so. Its been staggering to me. I've asked my children the last week about myself and they are very happy to see the kinds of changes I've been having. We are beginning to re-establish relationshsips with each other. We are almost in tears.

Meditation - This is the best gift I've ever received.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 7:23 PM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Don Merchant:


I began to feel this intense heat like the fire of the sun building up in me at the center of my stomach. It began as a small ball, or orb, then grew in diameter until it then began to spread up into my chest, through and down my arms, into my hands, then fill my entire torso. Then it began creeping up into my neck and then jaws. It felt like the sun's fire but it wasn't hurting me. Weird, that. Then I began to have shakes while still feeling the fire buld in intensity in my neck and jaws. it never went far into my head. It also began to cycle with my breath, in......out......like a bellows in a forge. It became so intense, the fire and the shakes, that I didn't think I could take much more without exploding. Then I felt it go straight up the center of my head to the crown and began to pool there like lava. It felt like it carved new paths in my brain. I can't explain it better than that i'm afraid. After awhile, don't know how long, it began to cool and dissapate. After I cooled down and ended my meditation, I had this strange sense that I was experiencing the senses, in an out-of-phase way.
I have been feeling vey light, calm, joyous, excited, and deep contemplations while going about my business.

I think that the A&P should be called a half path....it permenently rewires your brain and puts you "on the ride"
Visions are standard stuff in this phase as well as kundulini.
Don Merchant:

Ok, a second event. A few days later, I was sitting with my elbows on the inside of my knees, cross-legged style, hands palmed together, head tilted down a little, when I 'saw" only black swirling smoke everywhere around me. Suddenly, a disembodied head, like a devil or demon appeared. It looked at me, laughed a small laugh, then blew onto my fingers, hands, and forearms. Immediately my flesh began to burn, turn to ashes, then fly away, leaving only the bones. Needless to say this was very disconcerting. I was just dumbstruck with this. I wasn't actually very afraid. I questioned why this was happening but received to reply. It just laughed and blew. I decided I didn't like this and determined I wasn't going to let it 'destroy' me. So I simply thought about the flesh being restored, and it was. This became a battle between me and this 'demon'. We went back and forth several times until it just vanished. Then the blackness faded until I was left in a completely void area with only diffused white light. I looked around a bit but there was nothing there. Nothing but the soft, white light. I felt like I had won a battle but for what I didn't know. I'm still ruminating this event. After a bit I began to come back to the world and my session just stopped! I could not get back into meditation after that. Just that day though.

very visual dissolution as well as the devil motif to add some fear to it....
Don Merchant:

3rd weird event. I was in meditation and found myself in this black smoke area again, but when I began trying to figure out what it was, where it was, and why it was, I suddenly felt like my mind was slammed by a hand. My body rocked back like my head had been slapped. This happened several times. During each interval between 'slaps' I was hurtling though some kind of vortex or wormhole looking thing. I arrived at the end of each 'tunnel' to find a door. At the threshhold of each door, 3 by the way, the door opened or someone opened it, and inside each place was a statute of the Buddha. It was in 3 different temples. Never before have I seen these statutes or temples in my lifetime. After getting each glimpse the door was closed and I went into the next 'tunnel' until the third one. After that third one I was immediately out of meditation. Snap! That was it. I was firmly awake and in the here and now. My meditation was over and I couldn't go back in so I rested. Whoa. I don't even consider myself Buddhist. Plus I'm still so new to this stuff.
Dunno
Don Merchant:

Last thing. Yesterday while meditating I was noting physical sensations arise and pass, emotions arise and pass, my breath arise and pass, when I noticed that these have the 3C, in such a clear way as never before. During my noticing this, I had a 'realization' that these, along with my brain, are NOT me. It is all not I, the "I". What makes up who and what I am. Does that make sense? Ever since then I have had that thought over and over. These are not I.
Standard for passing the A&P. Deeper insite into the 3 characteristics.
People kinda underestimate the A&P, It can be quite powerful....looks like you got all the bells and whistles.
As far as getting first path....very nonstandard description with only some of the tell tale signs...If you are in review, notice the cycles and try for a followup "fruition" That should tell you.
Wherever you are....nice job. Things are better than before so enjoy that. Keep practising.
Good luck
~D

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/10/15 8:02 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker, thanks for the post.

"I think that the A&P should be called a half path....it permenently rewires your brain and puts you "on the ride" Visions are standard stuff in this phase as well as kundulini."

Yes, I see what you mean about them being like a half path. I'm glad to know I'm not alone then in visions and kundalini. It has been a ride for sure :-) Not like I ever thought it would be. I never thought any of this weird stuff would happen. Didn't think it would happen to me mindset. I wasn't looking for any of it.

"As far as getting first path....very nonstandard description with only some of the tell tale signs...If you are in review, notice the cycles and try for a followup "fruition" That should tell you."

I do believe you are correct - no 1st path yet. Maybe I missed it, but I don't really think so. As for followup, indeed I need to do so.

I had another session before getting on here and more stuff happened. Deeper level stuff.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/11/15 11:27 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Don Merchant:
I had another session before getting on here and more stuff happened. Deeper level stuff.

Please keep sharing...This is really cool stuff and somewhat rare to read about the far end of the visual spectrum.
I would also reread MCTB. I read it twice in a row the first time and then after each major shift. There is so much stuff in there that you only truly understand after the fact. There is a lot of vocabulary that we use here as well.
Good luck with the meditation, it seems like you are getting a lot out of it.
~D

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/11/15 2:12 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker, thanks again for the post and encouragement.

Lol, I never thought anyone would be interested in my drivel. But ok. :-)

I am re-watching the 3 videos from Mr. Ingram at Cheetah House. WOW, so much makes SO much more sense now! But of course :-)

I will re-read the book after I finish the other books I'm in the middle of first. Yes, I have referenced back to the book many times already. It is invaluable to have as a book, and then as a reference book.

Latest session. Ok, well I faced my dark night stuff in a way that needed to be done. I dealt with it. Biggest thing out of that dark night was that I was confronted with what I feel, and felt, is the #1 dark night issue in my memories. I saw it all play out, I questioned many aspects of it, got answers (insight), and most importantly, I forgave myself (Thanks Cian). I realized that I did what I had to do in order to save my life. So I needed to understand that at an even deeper level so I could quit beating myself up about it after all these years. I feel at peace with it now. First time ever in 32 years. My dark night crested and crashed through while in the shower after my session. What a roller coaster. But then it finished, I was left crying, but feeling whole. Does that make sense? Relief is the best word for how I felt after. Then me and my children went out to the store for groceries and WHAM! I felt like I was stoned! I couldn't help laughing at my kids many times by what they said. I was extremely euphoric and saw many things in life seemed so much smaller in importance or urgency. There was a peace that pervaded me through and through. Today, I feel so emotionally detached. But its ok. I can handle, i think, this feeling of being like a honey badger. Honey Badger don't give a sh*t!

I cannot express how this makes me feel. How I see thngs now. How much weight is lifted. My kids are now gaining interest in this meditation "thing".  Its all good. Proof is in the pudding.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/11/15 2:14 PM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Don Merchant:
There was a peace that pervaded me through and through. Today, I feel so emotionally detached. But its ok. I can handle, i think, this feeling of being like a honey badger. Honey Badger don't give a sh*t!
Read up on the following...

MCTB 11. Equanimity

We all mostly miss our first opportunity at getting to path and then cycle thru the stages  again and again....just so you know whats up next.
~D

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/11/15 3:47 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
"We all mostly miss our first opportunity at getting to path and then cycle thru the stages  again and again....just so you know whats up next." Yes, I know. Its been 3 times so far. I don't even care right now. It was all needed. I am along for the ride as best I can. I just had a long conversation with my youngest and they understand this stuff is helping me. This helps them to see it is possible to progress through this.

Thanks again.

Maybe some mettta added in now will help. I will reach stream entry sooner than later I believe. Its all good.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/12/15 12:46 PM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Its all good.
Nothing to add except I'm loving this thread. So inspiring.  emoticon

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/12/15 10:49 PM as a reply to cian.
Thank you Cian, I appreciate that :-)

I've still been having weird sessions. Not every time, but frequently. I've also been doing some study on metta because of your first comments, my thinking about it, and then what has been happening in my sessions. It is going to be the hardest part for me. Especially towards myself, as you noticed. Perserverance is the only thing that will see me through this. I can't stay where I'm at and expect anything different than what I have been living in for too many years. I need this change, as does everyone of course, but it has been a long time coming. I'm sure many can appreciate this thought.

You have my gratitude. As do any who have posted. Well, everyone else too :-)

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
6/13/15 12:10 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Okay, I had a weird thing happen today in my session. It was "long and detailed", Long story short is this:

After my session I went to bed. While lying in bed I suddendly had a sensation that was located in my head. I suddenly snapped my eyes open, involuntarily, I saw everything in my field of vision widen to at leat 180 degrees, from my entire left side, sweeping over to the right, then stop! Suddenly I saw all of it fold up, like an accordian fan, at the same time this was happening, I also heard all sounds collapse too, along with the doppler effect going. It all coalesced into a small point of light, then that light just SNAPPED out of existence. And I felt like I had disappeared too with the small dot of light. Light a light bulb was snapped off. Then a "split second" later it snapped back on, then expanded until it began to unfold again. It was a reverse of the folding and shrinking. Suddenly I was back in my bed. WHAT WAS THAT?! I haven't found anything referenced as quite like this. I'm very perplexed.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
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6/18/15 2:06 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Gordo, thanks for the reply.

Well I can't seem to find what I'm looking for, hmm, sounds familiar like a song, in my internet searches. However, I have been looking into more books for many of the topics I read about here. Metta, this teacher, that sutta, etc. I'm trying like crazy to digest all this information but its a bit bigger feast than I have stomach for :-).

I would like to know if anyone has heard of, or better yet, read anything by Thich Nhat Hanh? I picked up a couple books today by him that I am just tonight beginning to read. The title is, "Breathe! You Are Alive"

Thanks.

RE: Help with understanding experiences
Answer
7/19/15 3:53 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S,

I'm glad you posted what you did, as well as all the others who posted.

I'm also grateful that I could revisit this thread. After reading through the whole thing I had some more of those ah ha moments. So much more made better sense to me now looking back. Of course emoticon

Yes, I do believe I'm cycling. It took me awhile to piece it together and understand what i am seeing. Since this is so new to me it has taken a bit of reading, listening, and reviewing my sessions, especially outside of the sessions, to understand what is happening to me. It wasn't dawning on me until I came back to this thread. I still don't know anything compared to most of you on this forum about where I may be, or not, or who knows. But I do believe I just finished a dark night. It lasted for 4 days. I believe i'm cycling in some way since I can see, looking back, a pattern. Like I said, it wasn't apparent to me until I read this thread all over. Right now I'm so even tempered about nearly everything that has happened since finishing the dark night.

Just today I had a conversation with my oldest about an incident just recently. My whole demeanor, my answers, questions, and tone of the conversation was so opposite of what they were used to, that it so confused them they weren't sure I hadn't been replaced by a doppleganger. emoticon