Confused, Excited, and Scared (oh my!)

Spock, modified 4 Years ago at 10/12/17 2:06 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/12/17 2:01 PM

Confused, Excited, and Scared (oh my!)

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/12/17 Recent Posts
This post is sort of my introduction, as I imagine a lot of posts in this category are. I aplogize in advance for giving everyone my life story, but context is a wonderful thing. I absolutely understand if anyone here has reservations about addressing my concerns, but the whole thing is so ridiuclous that you may find humor, resonance, or at least some entertainment in it. 
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I was always a child that liked to be around nature, and I would spend hours absorbed in the “happening” of it all. I liked gardening, and walking on trails. I also had an over-active imagination, and a penchant for meltdowns and crying fits. I would later be diagnosed with very high functioning autism, or Asperger’s. I daydreamed elaborately and consistently through my first 8 or 9 years at all times in the day, and this gradually became replaced with voracious reading, much to the chagrin of my teachers.

When I was about 10 years of age I began to notice the spiritual component of my life. I got heavily involved in my family’s Christianity, but the charm fell away and I soon found myself seeking. I have memories of listening to Robert Monroe’s Gateway series when I was 12 or 13. On more than one occasion, I felt strong vibrations throughout my body, and in bed at night I would experience a “flowing” of my awareness. If I tried, I could direct the flowing—making it contract and expand with my breath. There were energetic rushes through my spine on a few occasions which I discovered may be due to Kundalini. I dabbled widely over the next several years, off-and on.

In high school, and specifically around ages 14 or 15, I began meditating and keeping a dream journal. I read Robert Anton Wilson, messed around with some trance states, and generally found that although I prided myself on Spock-like rationality, I just couldn’t stay away from this stuff! Obviously this caused confusion and friction, but Wilson’s Model Agnosticism seemed to be the necessary patch for my buggy firmware.

Then, I had my first dream cycle. Over a couple of weeks (it may have been less time) I had a series of profound and unsettling dreams that had an over-arching mood to them, and a sense of interconnectedness. In all the dreams the sky was in perpetual twilight. My last dream in the cycle took a terrifying turn. I was in my house, in the dream. Suddenly the atmosphere darkened, and multiple malevolent “presences” descended on me and my family. They did not attack, but there were loud noises as the walls popped and all the doors and windows suddenly shut. I tried to drive away, out of my neighbourhood, but the road twisted in on itself and I found myself in a great loop. I woke up, clear and aware. There was a whooshing in my ears, and a cloaked figure hovering over my bedroom door, which I was presently facing. It quickly vanished.

I entered a depression, had anxiety attacks, and felt disconnected--you know the drill. In my immaturity, I eventually turned to Cannabis, and later alcohol. I became a strong Atheist. During these years, I occasionally entered back into various esoteric texts and practices, and was lucky to stumble on “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.” There was another dream cycle, culminating in the appearance of a shadow man in my room during an episode of sleep paralysis. The entity—I’m still not making any determinations about the absolute realness of these things—told me if I denied it again that I would die. I stopped again, went even deeper into misery and substance abuse, and had myself a very dark 23rd year.

Situations over the past several months forced me to dissolve the business I started, and move back in with my parents for a time. I made an effort to quit the drugs, finding the intoxicated state to eventually be no better than the sober state. I was reading Rumi around six weeks ago, and began feeling very noticeable warmth around my heart. Listening to or contemplating the poetry could reliably bring the effect. Some dam broke in me, and emotions and guilt began bubbling to the surface. I’ve had interest in Jungian Analysis for years, and resolved to find an analyst. I’m currently on a waiting list now (It’s hard to find that kind of therapy here in Northeast Florida!).

4 Weeks ago I went to one of my favourite sites—Slate Star Codex. I saw an article about meditation that contextualised it in a way that appealed to my mind more than some other explanations have in the past. I grabbed on, and downloaded a free copy of MCTB with the immediate intention of developing concentration states and mindfulness. I found the first section powerfully insightful, and began connecting the map I was looking at to all the other paths and maps I had explored before. There was a sort of aha! Moment where I realized Buddhism was the framework I’d like to work in. I felt particular resonance with the cultivation of morality, but of course as I kept reading I came to the conclusion that I may, in fact, be a Dark Night Yogi, and must therefore buckle in.

The last weeks have been odd. I’ve found that just by reading about these concepts, my sensate awareness has gone through the roof. I can’t help but constantly analyse the three qualities, and feel almost “directed” in this way. 2 ½ weeks ago, I lost all desire for intoxicants. It’s hard to explain. I have been off of alcohol for some time, but did not expect to find Cannabis suddenly undesirable. I began really setting aside time each day to meditate, as there’s not much else going on until the first of the year. I focus exclusively on the sensations around my nostrils and upper lip. I also discovered that I’ve unintentionally been practicing some form of Metta since the whole Rumi thing.

Intermixed with--and complicated by—symptoms of abrupt Cannabis cessation (transient insomnia, anxiety, and gastrointestinal upset), I’ve had sudden vibrations, surges of fear, anxiety, and strong radiating love and kindness from my center. In addition to these occurrences, there has been a slight vibratory quality to my body at all times, and some—I don’t know if I should call it pixilation or rapid phasing—disturbances in my perceptions.

A week ago as I was lying in bed a quasi-sexual energy began building at my perineum and began winding upward. I knew what it was from my previous “kundalini” experience. This time it was unexpected and quite powerful. I tried to let go, and flow with it. It hit a spot in my spine just behind my heart, and I contorted violently from the intensity. My heart began beating rapidly and this went on for almost an hour. There were some aftershocks, and a pressure in my perineum the next day.

Last night the sensations in my spine returned, but were much less intense. I could feel that spot behind my heart, along my spine, as being prominent in my awareness. It’s important to note I was agitated the last several days and my practice slacked somewhat out of fear I was pushing things too quickly. I felt anxiety, fear, a slight sense of presence in the room, and some minor jerking as I drifted to sleep.
Now I’ve had surges of anxiety and rapid heart-rate all day. There’s a congestion or pressure in my head, and a tinnitus that becomes more pronounced if I begin meditating. After only ten minutes of meditation today, I felt more sensitive to auditory stimuli, and the ringing intensified. Effects persisted for about 30 minutes. I’m occasionally directing attention to these anxious feelings. It seems to help temporarily.

I guess my reason for writing all of this is three-fold. Firstly, I want reassurance. It’s been very difficult to find a teacher here in Northeast Florida, and the rapid-fire nature of this whole thing doesn’t give me much time to react. Secondly, I recognize my still-raw emotional state, and I’m wondering what effects this may have on the course of things. There’s a month long waiting list for this Jungian Analyst, but things are not letting up—partly because I feel pushed along, or compelled. Thirdly, I like your maps (in the literal and figuritive sense) and want to stick around awhile!

Thanks for the book Daniel, and thanks in advance to anyone still reading this far. 
Yilun Ong, modified 4 Years ago at 10/13/17 2:20 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/13/17 2:20 AM

RE: Confused, Excited, and Scared (oh my!)

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Spock:
This post is sort of my introduction, as I imagine a lot of posts in this category are. I aplogize in advance for giving everyone my life story, but context is a wonderful thing. I absolutely understand if anyone here has reservations about addressing my concerns, but the whole thing is so ridiuclous that you may find humor, resonance, or at least some entertainment in it. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I was always a child that liked to be around nature, and I would spend hours absorbed in the “happening” of it all. I liked gardening, and walking on trails. I also had an over-active imagination, and a penchant for meltdowns and crying fits. I would later be diagnosed with very high functioning autism, or Asperger’s. I daydreamed elaborately and consistently through my first 8 or 9 years at all times in the day, and this gradually became replaced with voracious reading, much to the chagrin of my teachers.

When I was about 10 years of age I began to notice the spiritual component of my life. I got heavily involved in my family’s Christianity, but the charm fell away and I soon found myself seeking. I have memories of listening to Robert Monroe’s Gateway series when I was 12 or 13. On more than one occasion, I felt strong vibrations throughout my body, and in bed at night I would experience a “flowing” of my awareness. If I tried, I could direct the flowing—making it contract and expand with my breath. There were energetic rushes through my spine on a few occasions which I discovered may be due to Kundalini. I dabbled widely over the next several years, off-and on.

In high school, and specifically around ages 14 or 15, I began meditating and keeping a dream journal. I read Robert Anton Wilson, messed around with some trance states, and generally found that although I prided myself on Spock-like rationality, I just couldn’t stay away from this stuff! Obviously this caused confusion and friction, but Wilson’s Model Agnosticism seemed to be the necessary patch for my buggy firmware.

Then, I had my first dream cycle. Over a couple of weeks (it may have been less time) I had a series of profound and unsettling dreams that had an over-arching mood to them, and a sense of interconnectedness. In all the dreams the sky was in perpetual twilight. My last dream in the cycle took a terrifying turn. I was in my house, in the dream. Suddenly the atmosphere darkened, and multiple malevolent “presences” descended on me and my family. They did not attack, but there were loud noises as the walls popped and all the doors and windows suddenly shut. I tried to drive away, out of my neighbourhood, but the road twisted in on itself and I found myself in a great loop. I woke up, clear and aware. There was a whooshing in my ears, and a cloaked figure hovering over my bedroom door, which I was presently facing. It quickly vanished.

I entered a depression, had anxiety attacks, and felt disconnected--you know the drill. In my immaturity, I eventually turned to Cannabis, and later alcohol. I became a strong Atheist. During these years, I occasionally entered back into various esoteric texts and practices, and was lucky to stumble on “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.” There was another dream cycle, culminating in the appearance of a shadow man in my room during an episode of sleep paralysis. The entity—I’m still not making any determinations about the absolute realness of these things—told me if I denied it again that I would die. I stopped again, went even deeper into misery and substance abuse, and had myself a very dark 23rd year.

Situations over the past several months forced me to dissolve the business I started, and move back in with my parents for a time. I made an effort to quit the drugs, finding the intoxicated state to eventually be no better than the sober state. I was reading Rumi around six weeks ago, and began feeling very noticeable warmth around my heart. Listening to or contemplating the poetry could reliably bring the effect. Some dam broke in me, and emotions and guilt began bubbling to the surface. I’ve had interest in Jungian Analysis for years, and resolved to find an analyst. I’m currently on a waiting list now (It’s hard to find that kind of therapy here in Northeast Florida!).

4 Weeks ago I went to one of my favourite sites—Slate Star Codex. I saw an article about meditation that contextualised it in a way that appealed to my mind more than some other explanations have in the past. I grabbed on, and downloaded a free copy of MCTB with the immediate intention of developing concentration states and mindfulness. I found the first section powerfully insightful, and began connecting the map I was looking at to all the other paths and maps I had explored before. There was a sort of aha! Moment where I realized Buddhism was the framework I’d like to work in. I felt particular resonance with the cultivation of morality, but of course as I kept reading I came to the conclusion that I may, in fact, be a Dark Night Yogi, and must therefore buckle in.

The last weeks have been odd. I’ve found that just by reading about these concepts, my sensate awareness has gone through the roof. I can’t help but constantly analyse the three qualities, and feel almost “directed” in this way. 2 ½ weeks ago, I lost all desire for intoxicants. It’s hard to explain. I have been off of alcohol for some time, but did not expect to find Cannabis suddenly undesirable. I began really setting aside time each day to meditate, as there’s not much else going on until the first of the year. I focus exclusively on the sensations around my nostrils and upper lip. I also discovered that I’ve unintentionally been practicing some form of Metta since the whole Rumi thing.

Intermixed with--and complicated by—symptoms of abrupt Cannabis cessation (transient insomnia, anxiety, and gastrointestinal upset), I’ve had sudden vibrations, surges of fear, anxiety, and strong radiating love and kindness from my center. In addition to these occurrences, there has been a slight vibratory quality to my body at all times, and some—I don’t know if I should call it pixilation or rapid phasing—disturbances in my perceptions.

A week ago as I was lying in bed a quasi-sexual energy began building at my perineum and began winding upward. I knew what it was from my previous “kundalini” experience. This time it was unexpected and quite powerful. I tried to let go, and flow with it. It hit a spot in my spine just behind my heart, and I contorted violently from the intensity. My heart began beating rapidly and this went on for almost an hour. There were some aftershocks, and a pressure in my perineum the next day.

Last night the sensations in my spine returned, but were much less intense. I could feel that spot behind my heart, along my spine, as being prominent in my awareness. It’s important to note I was agitated the last several days and my practice slacked somewhat out of fear I was pushing things too quickly. I felt anxiety, fear, a slight sense of presence in the room, and some minor jerking as I drifted to sleep.
Now I’ve had surges of anxiety and rapid heart-rate all day. There’s a congestion or pressure in my head, and a tinnitus that becomes more pronounced if I begin meditating. After only ten minutes of meditation today, I felt more sensitive to auditory stimuli, and the ringing intensified. Effects persisted for about 30 minutes. I’m occasionally directing attention to these anxious feelings. It seems to help temporarily.

I guess my reason for writing all of this is three-fold. Firstly, I want reassurance. It’s been very difficult to find a teacher here in Northeast Florida, and the rapid-fire nature of this whole thing doesn’t give me much time to react. Secondly, I recognize my still-raw emotional state, and I’m wondering what effects this may have on the course of things. There’s a month long waiting list for this Jungian Analyst, but things are not letting up—partly because I feel pushed along, or compelled. Thirdly, I like your maps (in the literal and figuritive sense) and want to stick around awhile!

Thanks for the book Daniel, and thanks in advance to anyone still reading this far. 

Welcome Spock! emoticon

It sounds like you have crossed the A&P, congratulations! But the congrats is kind of emptyish as frankly the maps (as fascinating as they are) should ideally serve as a rescue guide in times of trouble or as an aid to progress. The journey (path/s) is to be relished as they bring progressive reductions in suffering whilst having a general goal/idea of what it is like to completion (enlightenment).

*Warning: Getting obssessed with where one is on the map will bring unnecessary suffering and may even hinder progress as attainment is a craving. e.g. It is more enjoyable and possibly faster for one to simply be a slow but astute observer in practice but only went through progress of insight stages 1-fruition only once, noticing all the insights one should notice and thus 'satisfying the criteria' for SE. (vs) another who heroically and forcefully spends more time meditating and obsessing where he is on the map (suffering) and failing to observe the insights that were obscured by his frame of mind, tiredness, aggression, etc. and thus went up/down the stages 4 times for the same attainment. Further to that, the accomplishment of anything other than 4th path is pretty empty, there is still more to go and God knows how much more. e.g. it may take x effort/hours to get to 3rd path but it takes x+3x to 4th. It is best to enjoy it all and not let where you are intrude into enjoying and paying your full attention to the practice. (It is not easy though, as I have been through this obsession and am still more affected by it then I'd like!)

RE: Pressure/Congestion
The pressure may be naturally occurring for you but try a gentler focus. You do not need a burning focus to observe your sensate reality, a ;gentle but sharp' curiousity/investigation is enough for insights. My personal guide is 90 minutes - I should be able to sit for 90 minutes without being drained and personally, all my insights happen within that timeframe. Try to be calm knowing no harm will come to you in meditation and give the sensations/emotions (esp. fear) their due investigation, also being in a non-calm state tends to obscure reality. I tend to get these pressures when I notice myself focusing too intently, especially when being frustrated/impatient with the raptures thus attempting to break them apart with too much effort. I do not see doing this beneficial for my practice, so I suggest only going into this 'laser-mode' if nothing else works. Find an open mode of awareness that allows you to be aware if something pops up far away from your point of focus, as you should maintain awareness of the fore/background and the space around it all. You should also allow your focus/perspective to be lead, as there are times when the practice is practising you, simply relax into it and let it show you what it wants to.

Metta! Keep at it, the only things I know about metta is that it really makes one feel good when genuinely feeling metta, that any place/time is a good time for metta and the worst times of your life is going to be made better by it.

Here's sending metta to you from the opposite side of the globe!emoticon
Spock, modified 4 Years ago at 10/13/17 11:59 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 10/13/17 11:59 AM

RE: Confused, Excited, and Scared (oh my!)

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/12/17 Recent Posts
Thank you for such a thourough reply! I admit that I should stay vigilant of the map trap. It can be so easy to get caught up in it, especially at the beginning when one is curious and trying to soak everything up. My personality makes it even more dificult! 

As the newness of this wears off a little, I hope to settle in with sustained practice, and hopefully attend a retreat. I've had great luck with Kasina, and will stick with it for awhile. It reminds me of tattwa cards, but with different intention in this case. Your sugesstion for gentler focus was spot-on, and I no longer feel like I'm in a rigorous staring contest with myself. 

Much Metta to you as well!

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