An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/15/10 7:19 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Ian And 8/16/10 1:36 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/16/10 7:43 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. tarin greco 8/16/10 1:54 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/16/10 8:58 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/16/10 2:25 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/16/10 4:12 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/16/10 6:02 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/17/10 9:37 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Daniel M. Ingram 8/17/10 11:31 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/17/10 12:43 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. rich s 8/16/10 6:25 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/16/10 6:46 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. tarin greco 8/17/10 12:49 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/17/10 1:35 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Steph . 8/17/10 9:23 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/17/10 9:55 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Steph . 8/18/10 10:49 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/19/10 1:40 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Steph . 8/19/10 12:08 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. tarin greco 8/18/10 3:23 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. mico mico 8/23/10 8:04 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/18/10 8:37 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/19/10 12:38 PM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Daniel M. Ingram 8/17/10 12:46 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. S Kyle 8/17/10 1:05 AM
RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI. Eric B 8/17/10 7:06 PM
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/15/10 7:19 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/15/10 7:19 PM

An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Hi everyone (who reads this).

I'm new to the site. I have been reading many of the various posts and only felt compelled to comment once. I am writing now in more direct, and personal, fashion because frankly there is no one in my immediate world with whom I can discuss any of the issues commonly discussed here.

So--a little background: I've been a vipassana meditator since 1997 when I did my first S.N. Goenka 10 day retreat. I practiced sporadically over the past 12 years, completed 2 more courses during that time, and then did a course a few months ago. At the course most recently completed, I had a vastly different experience than in previous courses. I'd been deeply immersed in reading a variety of meditation and Buddhist works before going, so when I went this time, I was in a different place in relation to the practice of meditation than I had been before. At some point during the course, perhaps on the 4th or 5th day, I experienced a separation from the body in a strange way I probably won't be able to describe well. But essentially it felt as if I were some other entity looking at this person, "Stefanie," who was a stranger to me. It was a very terrifying experience and though my terror subsided, I never really regained a full identification with "Stefanie" as I'd had before this experience.

As I know from my reading here, many of you are very familiar with the methodologies employed at the Goenka centers. You therefore know that there is no space or tolerance for the sharing of such events or any other things which occur during meditation. Many interesting things happened for the rest of the course, during the rest of the meditation, that made no sense at all to me until I returned home and somehow, through some variously perused internet portals, I came across Daniel Ingram's MCTB and ordered it, read it, and then understood some of the experiences I had.

One my best friends introduced me to meditation via the Goenka centers back in 1997; and when I spoke to her post-retreat and tried to share with her my criticisms of the course for those beyond the beginner level (not that I am making any claim to attainments, of any sort, even the most elementary; more on that a little further down) she was completely resistant. Furthermore, she had no interest in any of the new things I'd learned from reading MCTB and so I found myself essentially silenced about all that I was going through. Naturally I ended up here.

I am not fan of assessment, so while I was able to use MCTB to verify what some of the experiences I was having were, the more complicated maps make my eyes glaze over. It's just not my thing. I am a teacher and I also hate evaluating students through assessment methods; I am much more associative than I am technical. So while in meditation all kinds of interesting things would happen and you know my feeling was like "whatever." I mean it was cool, but I was nonplussed. As Daniel says at one point in MTCB that more than events in meditation is what the experience of suffering is like after one feels they have attained something. And this is where my interest lies--in the cessation of suffering.

I came to this place where I felt like I didn't really care what was happening in meditation; I just wanted to negotiate suffering better. And after the last Goenka retreat, where I had this "out of body" experience in which I never got put completely back in, what I felt was that negative emotions or states continued to arise, but they felt muted or feeble. I didn't feel them acutely and I didn't end up squirming about when they arose. I could watch them quite dispassionately and then they would fall away. But, of course, they still arose.

One day I was walking in one of my favorite spots, a local cemetery which is a national monument. It's over 700 acres of 200 year old statues and mausoleums, and is filled with wild turkey, deer, ducks, and local homeless cats. It is an amazingly beautiful place. I wasn't doing walking meditation per se, I was just walking. Not fast, not for exercise. Just walking. And somehow, the sound of my feet on the little gravely spots on the paved walkways, and the sound of an owl in a tree, the patches of cool interspersed with intense sun (it's very, very hot here), pushed me into a really new sense of reality. It is not a completely describable experience. It wasn't like "bliss." It wasn't like..."feeling good," in the conventional sense of feeling good. It was like some completely other space among walking, sounds, light, heat...and everything seemed crisp and almost movie-like. As I was leaving the cemetery, I literally had the feeling--upon looking at the wide landscape of trees, sky, and the beginning to set sun--"can other people see this??"

In reading posts on the DharmaOverground, I, of course, read quite a few posts about Actual Freedom. When I began to read more I thought that maybe this experience had been a PCE (and maybe I am incorrect about that, and I hope Tarin or Trent, and the other actually free people, will correct me if I am wrong) or perhaps an EE. So I thought that I would try to induce PCE's (or this experience whatever it was) more frequently by using the question suggested on the AF website. I think, if I am right that what I experienced was a PCE, that I am able to induce them quite readily when in nature. It takes more effort in mundane circumstances (like while brushing teeth) and it is only after practicing for several weeks now that I am able to invoke (or maintain) a PCE while my daughter is having a temper tantrum (and, not always). :-) But there is a very quick bounce-back as soon as the difficult behavior has passed and I experience none of the ruminating I usually would have after the fact. When it is over, it is over and it is no longer how I am experiencing being alive at that moment...and this kind of goes for everything that occurs.

So my sense of suffering is incredibly, incredibly feeble. Nor do I feel any kind of giddiness. I use the word "giddy" because the word "happy" is appropriate for what I often feel but it is not like the way children feel "happy" when they get a toy. But this is the kind of happiness I think many people feel and understand as happiness. It is a different thing. On a "behaviorial" level certain things have changed--I no longer crave sweets (I used to have an insufferable sweet tooth) or alcohol; I have very little appetite, I cannot sleep at night (this is not altogether welcome to me because I like to sleep!), have almost no sex drive at all (except around the time I am PMSing. Is that too much for this overwhelmingly male forum?), and generally have no needs to be fulfilled of any kind...

I must admit that some of these behavioral changes started after the last meditation retreat, though not to the extent they have now taken hold. These were not changes I was particularly "going" for in either my meditation practice or in my attempts to work with AF, they were just side effects. The issues or concerns that worried me then no longer do and the lack of any discernible "craving" on my part in regards to (what I consider to be) fairly innocuous things is interesting.

Anyway, I am really happy that this place exists where people can share their tales of their various journeys and not be looked at askance. Thanks for "listening."

Stefanie
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Ian And, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 1:36 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 1:34 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Welcome to DhO.

Interesting story, Stefanie. So, how does it feel not to be so alone in what you experience. Many people here could tell similar stories. Better watch out, people will be asking what kind of "meditation and Buddhist works" you were reading before you went on that retreat.

From the tenor of your narrative, you seem to have taken all the changes in stride without missing a step.

S Kyle:
. . . that more than events in meditation is what the experience of suffering is like after one feels they have attained something. And this is where my interest lies--in the cessation of suffering. I came to this place where I felt like I didn't really care what was happening in meditation; I just wanted to negotiate suffering better.

At least you have the right focus. Now you have to work at integrating what you are learning. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about taking on any extra baggage (like trying to figure out what this experience means or that experience means or trying to define them). If you're really interested in "negotiating suffering better" I would be looking at those phenomena which cause it to arise in your life and getting to know them better.

Be well and take care.

Ian
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tarin greco, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 1:54 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 1:53 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
S Kyle:
Hi everyone (who reads this).

I'm new to the site. I have been reading many of the various posts and only felt compelled to comment once. I am writing now in more direct, and personal, fashion because frankly there is no one in my immediate world with whom I can discuss any of the issues commonly discussed here.


welcome to the dho.


S Kyle:

As I know from my reading here, many of you are very familiar with the methodologies employed at the Goenka centers. You therefore know that there is no space or tolerance for the sharing of such events or any other things which occur during meditation. Many interesting things happened for the rest of the course, during the rest of the meditation, that made no sense at all to me until I returned home and somehow, through some variously perused internet portals, I came across Daniel Ingram's MCTB and ordered it, read it, and then understood some of the experiences I had.

(...)

I am not fan of assessment, so while I was able to use MCTB to verify what some of the experiences I was having were (...)


what experiences did you have, and what were you able to verify specifically?


S Kyle:

As Daniel says at one point in MTCB that more than events in meditation is what the experience of suffering is like after one feels they have attained something. And this is where my interest lies--in the cessation of suffering.

I came to this place where I felt like I didn't really care what was happening in meditation; I just wanted to negotiate suffering better. And after the last Goenka retreat, where I had this "out of body" experience in which I never got put completely back in, what I felt was that negative emotions or states continued to arise, but they felt muted or feeble. I didn't feel them acutely and I didn't end up squirming about when they arose. I could watch them quite dispassionately and then they would fall away. But, of course, they still arose.


funny how the way to go about it winds up being that simple, eh.


*


S Kyle:

One day I was walking in one of my favorite spots, a local cemetery which is a national monument. It's over 700 acres of 200 year old statues and mausoleums, and is filled with wild turkey, deer, ducks, and local homeless cats. It is an amazingly beautiful place. I wasn't doing walking meditation per se, I was just walking. Not fast, not for exercise. Just walking. And somehow, the sound of my feet on the little gravely spots on the paved walkways, and the sound of an owl in a tree, the patches of cool interspersed with intense sun (it's very, very hot here), pushed me into a really new sense of reality. It is not a completely describable experience. It wasn't like "bliss." It wasn't like..."feeling good," in the conventional sense of feeling good. It was like some completely other space among walking, sounds, light, heat...and everything seemed crisp and almost movie-like. As I was leaving the cemetery, I literally had the feeling--upon looking at the wide landscape of trees, sky, and the beginning to set sun--"can other people see this??"

In reading posts on the DharmaOverground, I, of course, read quite a few posts about Actual Freedom. When I began to read more I thought that maybe this experience had been a PCE (and maybe I am incorrect about that, and I hope Tarin or Trent, and the other actually free people, will correct me if I am wrong) or perhaps an EE.


given your description, it does seem to me like it could have been either. was there a sense of 'i' (or a feeling of being) during the experience? how did you experience time?


S Kyle:

So I thought that I would try to induce PCE's (or this experience whatever it was) more frequently by using the question suggested on the AF website. I think, if I am right that what I experienced was a PCE, that I am able to induce them quite readily when in nature. It takes more effort in mundane circumstances (like while brushing teeth) and it is only after practicing for several weeks now that I am able to invoke (or maintain) a PCE while my daughter is having a temper tantrum (and, not always). :-)


how do you think being in a pce (or ee) affects your ability to be an appropriate and functional parent to your daughter?



S Kyle:

So my sense of suffering is incredibly, incredibly feeble. Nor do I feel any kind of giddiness. I use the word "giddy" because the word "happy" is appropriate for what I often feel but it is not like the way children feel "happy" when they get a toy. But this is the kind of happiness I think many people feel and understand as happiness. It is a different thing.


how does the word 'clarity' fit?


S Kyle:

On a "behaviorial" level certain things have changed--I no longer crave sweets (I used to have an insufferable sweet tooth) or alcohol; I have very little appetite, I cannot sleep at night (this is not altogether welcome to me because I like to sleep!), have almost no sex drive at all (except around the time I am PMSing. Is that too much for this overwhelmingly male forum?),


while i cannot answer for others, i don't see why it would be.


S Kyle:

and generally have no needs to be fulfilled of any kind...


without those needs, what motivates you in the things you do?


S Kyle:

I must admit that some of these behavioral changes started after the last meditation retreat, though not to the extent they have now taken hold. These were not changes I was particularly "going" for in either my meditation practice or in my attempts to work with AF, they were just side effects. The issues or concerns that worried me then no longer do and the lack of any discernible "craving" on my part in regards to (what I consider to be) fairly innocuous things is interesting.


could you elaborate on this some? what things are they which are (considered by you to be) fairly innocuous for which you can no longer discern any 'craving'?


S Kyle:

Anyway, I am really happy that this place exists where people can share their tales of their various journeys and not be looked at askance. Thanks for "listening."


thank you likewise for sharing.

tarin
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 7:43 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 7:43 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Hi Ian,

Thanks for the welcome.


You wrote: So, how does it feel not to be so alone in what you experience.
___

It feels good not to be alone.


You wrote: Now you have to work at integrating what you are learning. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about taking on any extra baggage (like trying to figure out what this experience means or that experience means or trying to define them). If you're really interested in "negotiating suffering better" I would be looking at those phenomena which cause it to arise in your life and getting to know them better.
___

Thanks for this.

s.
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 8:58 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 8:58 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Tarin wrote:

what experiences did you have, and what were you able to verify specifically?
____

Well, there are the flashing lights of the jhanas, the being able to see through one's eyelids at outside objects. As a Goenka meditator I'd never really heard of the jhanas at all and after reading Daniel's book I sort of sat down in meditation just to see if what I experienced corresponded with them (esp the first 4) and they did. I took my body dislocation thing to be some kind of A&P event. Immediately after, while still at the meditation retreat, I had a truly horrible time and I correlated that with a Dark Night type of event, though it didn't last as long as what some people here describe, so perhaps it wasn't Dark Night. I suppose it is possible I've passed these things on previous retreats as getting to what Goenka calls "Bhanga" or dissolution is very easy for me and has been achieved at every retreat I ever sat. What happened at this retreat, in addition to all the lights and bells and whistles (literally), is also that sitting became incredibly easy so that at one point I sat almost continuously for 7 hours.


Tarin wrote:

given your description, it does seem to me like it could have been either. was there a sense of 'i' (or a feeling of being) during the experience? how did you experience time?

***

hmm. i don't really remember being conscious of time. maybe this is a clue, though: when i was leaving the cemetery one of the docents came up to me and said, "wow, you've been in here a long time!" and i was like, "i was?" but this might just be because i didn't have anywhere to go or be, so i don't operate "on time" as most people do.

as for a sense of me, no, not really. there was a sense of movement and external stimulus, like the sun, like the sound of feet on gravel, etc., but no, there wasn't really a sense of "me" experiencing it and this happens more and more. so, i feel like a part of the landscape quite often, as something "happening" in space, but not really as "I." it is apt to say that while there are specificities to the experience which have to do with my having a body (like the feeling of legs moving), the experience of it is not at all centralized mentally.

***


Tarin wrote:

how do you think being in a pce (or ee) affects your ability to be an appropriate and functional parent to your daughter?

***
Initially I found it difficult to experience a PCE/EE while parenting or to maintain one if I was in that space upon the commencement of parenting. (I am divorced and share 50/50 custody w/my ex, so I have what seems like quite a lot of "solo" time.) But I started going for walks with my daughter around sunset and this was a helpful integration of "parent" mode and pce/ee mode. In fact, while on one of these walks, the way I saw her really shifted. I ceased to see her as "mine," and so there was really nothing to "do" in terms of shaping her behavior. Approaching her in this way has destabilized much of the usual parent/child tension. It is really so simple...I just let her be. I am sure the parents who read this will cringe and maybe that will be perceived by some as uncaring or irresponsible, but analytically speaking, I would have to disagree.

I think being in that mode makes me a much better parent. In much the same way that when I am in that space I don't feel a centralized identification with "Stefanie," I also don't feel that identified with my daughter. I also see her as something "happening" so nothing she does can anger me (including say, "I hate you," or smearing BBQ sauce on the couch) because while I am in that space she can't really insult "me," or make me upset about "my" couch.

Lately she has picked up the habit of spitting (she is 4, btw) while at summer camp from some older kids. And of course I've told her repeatedly not to spit, but she sort of ignores me. I tell her not to spit not because it irritates me, but because I know this is a violation of social norms and I need to instruct her. There is no passion in my instruction, it is very rote actually.

Scene:

Child: spits.

Mother: Sweetie, don't spit.

Child: Ok.

(Some tme later.)

Child: spits.

Mother: Sweetie, don't spit.

Child: Ok.

(Repeat ad nauseum.)

End scene.

When I went to pick her up at my ex's house, she spit, and he flew off the handle and I was kind of watching him, her, the spit, etc. etc. unfold and he was like "Hello?? Aren't you going to do something?" So I just turned to my daughter and looked her in the eye and said, "Please, don't spit anymore." (Of course this had no long term results.) But I have a very good memory of childhood and of having had an abusive, very reactive parent. So I know that while 4 year old children will definitely outgrow the habit of spitting, they will quite likely hold on to the memory of an irate (and scary) parent for a long time. A non-reactive attitude, which is my norm, even out of PCE/EE mode, is much better in the long run. I just don't see the super-clingy, overly reactive way of parenting as a good thing.

I have read on this forum some debates from anti-AF people that they think PCE's make one more prone to danger because one wouldn't be motivated to avoid it. Well, yesterday I was in PCE/EE mode and I was at the park with my daughter and another woman and her daughter. And storm clouds rolled in. It was magnificent! They were so dark and gray and fat, and there was a lot of lovely, strong wind, which once the children were assured that no tornado was coming, they relaxed into it and let the wind blow them around. Well, about 10 minutes into this lovely pre-storm activity, lightening struck a tree and an electric line right next to the park. A fire started and the electric line made these bass-like booming noises. Well, my friend that I was with started running away frantically, with her child. (Which was also funny because I drove and had the car keys...but I digress...) I just sort of calmly gathered up my daughter and walked away. She was incredibly shaken up and afraid, and I felt nothing except maybe some intense interest about the sound of two forms of electricity meeting (the line and the lightening). But no one was harmed, or even close to harmed, and it was fine.




S Kyle:

So my sense of suffering is incredibly, incredibly feeble. Nor do I feel any kind of giddiness. I use the word "giddy" because the word "happy" is appropriate for what I often feel but it is not like the way children feel "happy" when they get a toy. But this is the kind of happiness I think many people feel and understand as happiness. It is a different thing.


how does the word 'clarity' fit?

***
yes, it does.

***

Tarin asks:

S Kyle:

and generally have no needs to be fulfilled of any kind...


without those needs, what motivates you in the things you do?

***

it's funny but i don't even feel like there are any decisions to be made. there is a schedule of things that get done without my having to exert any effort (like my daughter's daily routine). i will use a scatalogical analogy now. there are things that need to be done...like, going to the bathroom, and so you do them but it's not as if one is like "how will i summon the energy/desire/courage to poop?" needs exist, so...you meet them. (the courage part was a joke...)

otherwise, there is nothing i "have" to do these days. i am an academic, with tenure, who is on sabbatical in the fall. so as far as work is concerned, there is really nothing to do. (ok, i am supposed to be working on a second book...but it's sort of 'optional' whether or not one writes a second book at my institution.) i am unattached, so there is no other adult making demands upon me that i have to meet. so i just do what needs to be done...and, what else is left? nothing really. if friends summon me to a gathering, i go. but i find that i do not initiate anything superfluous to what needs to be done because i don't feel any need to do that stuff (socialize, for example). it has also occurred to me that a lot of what needs to get done requires no thought and hence no effort, but i'm not sure about this and will have to explore it more as things unfold.

i do find that things i used to like to do--like run, for example, now no longer hold any interest for me. i used to run half-marathons and now, i can't muster the energy to run long distances. i went for a run post-retreat and it was fine but it was also like, "well, but why?" so i haven't run since.

i also find it difficult to talk in social gatherings in the way that i used to, which i realize now was actually very pedagogical in the sense that i was often offering intellectual/pop cultural/informational tidbits as fodder for conversation, because i don't feel motivated to either please people or win their approval, and i don't want to take my attention away from my experience of the moment by talking, which is mostly about things that don't actually exist so most conversations often to me seem like talking about unicorns as if they actually exist and i have nothing to say about that, though i am perfectly happy to listen to other people talk. i don't know if that makes sense but i can say more about it if needed...


S Kyle:

I must admit that some of these behavioral changes started after the last meditation retreat, though not to the extent they have now taken hold. These were not changes I was particularly "going" for in either my meditation practice or in my attempts to work with AF, they were just side effects. The issues or concerns that worried me then no longer do and the lack of any discernible "craving" on my part in regards to (what I consider to be) fairly innocuous things is interesting.


could you elaborate on this some? what things are they which are (considered by you to be) fairly innocuous for which you can no longer discern any 'craving'?

***

oh i meant: sweets, sex, eating a lot of food, wine = innocuous things.

thanks for the welcome, tarin.
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 2:25 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 2:25 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Guilherme  :
Hi Stefanie,

Please be comfortable! The Dharma Overground needs more women!

I read your posts with interest.

Regarding PCE's and/or EE's, you mentioned that, before, there were certain ways of perceiving the body, like an out-of-body experience. At the times when you felt it was a PCE, did you ever feel like you were not the body? Maybe it's just words but I see you mention "having a body" where usually actually free people talk a lot about *being* a flesh-and-blood body only.

Guilherme


Hi Guilherme,

Yeah I don't think I am actually free. So it wouldn't surprise me if my terms are not the ones actually free people use.

As for during PCE's or EE's, no, I feel like I "am" the body in the sense that I am very grounded in the experience of say, walking, or of heat, or of sound, or of taste, or of sight. And my entrance into a PCE is also based on sensate experience, the "gateway" to the PCE if you will is always the body. But I feel no particular attachment to the experience or any sense of it as "the" thing that is going on in the world. I still have a very depersonalized relationship to this particular body (and have had since the experience at the retreat I narrated) and maybe that is something that practicing actualism will change, dunno.

s.
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 4:12 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 4:12 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Guilherme  :
I am not an expert, but to me, it sounds like you are doing something right. You seem to be a very sincere person, and I think that that by itself means/helps a lot. Thank you for sharing. Sorry I can't help much. I wish you success. Guilherme


Hi again Guilherme,

I am also no expert, as I'm sure my posts make clear. I appreciate your energy and contributing to this discussion, though. Don't worry about "not being able to help much." I am really relaxed about all of this... My sense is that I will just do my best to ask myself, "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive" as much as possible, stay felicitous, and go with it. I have few demands of the process or of myself, so I already experience this process as "successful" (though this word I reproduce because you used it) without having actually "gotten" anything. Mostly I end up feeling as if so much is already here, that every moment is dripping with richness, that what is this asking for more? If there is more to come, how wonderful!

I read about your struggles on another thread. How are you doing?

s.
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 6:02 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 6:02 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Guilherme  :


I still try to ask myself "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive" regularly but I think that maybe I'm not doing it properly. Usually the answer is "I feel dull". The last time I felt good was years ago. I try to find out why I am not feeling good now and I don't know the answer.

Actually, sometimes lots of answers seem to come up but none of them seem sincere, they seem fabricated because I seem to just keep changing them to explain things away. For example, sometimes I say to myself that I like something, then I seem to discover that I really don't like it, then I don't even know if I like it or not, and I feel like I just can't trust myself.

I seem to be a big liar to myself, maybe even a bigger liar than I am to others.


Hi Guilherme,

i think this is why i have hard time with "mapping" experiences; there is so much interpretation even when things are stated as precisely as possible, and each person seems to interpret things differently and each person experiences things differently... because my understanding of the question HAIETMOBA is that it is kind of a literal question, so it never occurred to me to answer the question affectively, i.e., in relation to an emotional state...but that might be what one is supposed to do. i don't know...

but when i ask myself the question, i quite literally breakdown the component parts of what it means for me to be alive in that moment and this might be where my background as a vipassana meditator comes in. i think "right now, in this moment i am seeing ______. i am feeling (as in, literally on the body)________. i am hearing _________. i am tasting______." of course by asking myself the question, the thought function is involved in assessing those sensate experiences and that is where my thought-function is at that moment. by the time i tune into all those components of my existence, if there is some emotional state operating...it is no longer there and there is just the experience of whatever it is. those are the things that constitute my experience of being alive moment to moment, and otherwise, there is nothing else. for me, in feeling the nothing-elsness, i can come fully into my particular time/space experience.

tarin wrote something else that comes to mind when reading what you've written here and i am not sure if it was in your thread or another thread. but he suggested to someone (maybe you) that one become their own best friend...and, you seem like you could use some of that, because you are very hard on yourself. who cares if you change your mind about liking something or that you were mistaken about liking something? why does that matter to you and why then must you burden yourself with such a moralistic label as that you are a "liar?"

s.
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rich s, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 6:25 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 6:25 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 49 Join Date: 8/2/10 Recent Posts
One day I was walking in one of my favorite spots, a local cemetery which is a national monument. It's over 700 acres of 200 year old statues and mausoleums, and is filled with wild turkey, deer, ducks, and local homeless cats. It is an amazingly beautiful place. I wasn't doing walking meditation per se, I was just walking. Not fast, not for exercise. Just walking. And somehow, the sound of my feet on the little gravely spots on the paved walkways, and the sound of an owl in a tree, the patches of cool interspersed with intense sun (it's very, very hot here), pushed me into a really new sense of reality. It is not a completely describable experience. It wasn't like "bliss." It wasn't like..."feeling good," in the conventional sense of feeling good. It was like some completely other space among walking, sounds, light, heat...and everything seemed crisp and almost movie-like. As I was leaving the cemetery, I literally had the feeling--upon looking at the wide landscape of trees, sky, and the beginning to set sun--"can other people see this??"


Spring Grove Cemetary? Anyways, your description of the event sounds utterly fantastic. Really wonderous. The actuality of this physical world can be breath-taking at times (I suppose it's "us" and all our issues that keeps it from being breath-taking all the time).

I love cemetaries. Not in a grim or really morbid type of way ... but in the way that it makes one reflect on mortality. It brings home the inescapable, incontestable, absolute fact of death ... of not being. We will all go. No one will survive. And we certainly can't and often don't choose when we go ... often times we simply just ... go. Poof, dissapear, gone forever. 80 some years and we are wiped out from all existence. 200 years from now no one will no "who" you were, what you were about, what you feared, what brought you joy. You won't even be someone's memory. All your closest friends and dearest kin will dissapear forever too. Dust in the wind kinda thing. This realization feels awefully liberating in an odd way ... yet produces a bewildering/overwhelming dread and sadness at the same time.

At least in myself, there's still a vague, undefined sense of ... I will live on ... somehow. I've had this vague sense since I was a toddler. "Other people die ... but I won't." Absolutely everything points to the contrary though. Facts apparently can take a very, very long time to line up with one's experience.

i also find it difficult to talk in social gatherings in the way that i used to, which i realize now was actually very pedagogical in the sense that i was often offering intellectual/pop cultural/informational tidbits as fodder for conversation, because i don't feel motivated to either please people or win their approval, and i don't want to take my attention away from my experience of the moment by talking, which is mostly about things that don't actually exist so most conversations often to me seem like talking about unicorns as if they actually exist and i have nothing to say about that, though i am perfectly happy to listen to other people talk. i don't know if that makes sense but i can say more about it if needed...


Instead of going with the flow of the commonly accepted sub-par type of interaction that people part-take in all too regularly ... maybe you can set a new standard. An interaction and dialogue with people in society that enhances and benefits and enriches them AND you. A more meaningful, intimate, bullshitless, harmonious, open, beneficial interaction.

Talking, in itself, should not have the power to take your attention away from your experience of this moment (especially a positive experiencing of this moment). Absolutely nothing should. If it is doing that, it might be beneficial to see how and why it is doing so ... and how to make not do so every again. Living in this world, in a society, requires talking from time to time with your fellow humans. Your interactions with people should always be fantastic (at least from your end, if not preferably from theirs too).

I may be off about your experience of interaction and I'm really only coming to this assessment of you based on you saying "though i am perfectly happy to listen to other people talk" which seems to imply that you are not perfectly happy to talk TO other people about whatever ... else why say "though."

I cannot sleep at night (this is not altogether welcome to me because I like to sleep!),


What is it about not getting enough sleep do you not welcome?

have almost no sex drive at all (except around the time I am PMSing. Is that too much for this overwhelmingly male forum?)


This is a really curious question from you. Why would you suppose that having "almost" no sex drive at all, except around the time you are PMSing, be too much [sex drive] for this overwhelmingly male forum?

Thank you for contributing your thoughts and experiences to this forum.

Rich
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 6:46 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/16/10 6:46 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Spring Grove Cemetary? Anyways, your description of the event sounds utterly fantastic. Really wonderous. The actuality of this physical world can be breath-taking at times (I suppose it's "us" and all our issues that keeps it from being breath-taking all the time).
***

yes, that's the one.

***
Rich suggests:

Instead of going with the flow of the commonly accepted sub-par type of interaction that people part-take in all too regularly ... maybe you can set a new standard. An interaction and dialogue with people in society that enhances and benefits and enriches them AND you. A more meaningful, intimate, bullshitless, harmonious, open, beneficial interaction.

Talking, in itself, should not have the power to take your attention away from your experience of this moment (especially a positive experiencing of this moment). Absolutely nothing should. If it is doing that, it might be beneficial to see how and why it is doing so ... and how to make not do so every again. Living in this world, in a society, requires talking from time to time with your fellow humans. Your interactions with people should always be fantastic (at least from your end, if not preferably from theirs too).

I may be off about your experience of interaction and I'm really only coming to this assessment of you based on you saying "though i am perfectly happy to listen to other people talk" which seems to imply that you are not perfectly happy to talk TO other people about whatever ... else why say "though."



--i just don't have as much to say as other people do (and you know there is a lot of "idle chatter" about say...celebrities, or gossip from work, or, someone's outfit, and that is what i mean by having a desire to put my attention on my bodily experience rather than on that kind of talk; perhaps that is a place i need to dwell more and examine) and prefer not to talk sometimes. i don't feel that compelled to "craft" interactions with people so that they will be "X." so maybe i am just lazy but i have no interest in "setting a new standard." i just take them as they come. they are often not intimate or meaningful; they aren't disharmonious because i provide little resistance to whatever people feel like they want to say.

but i think you're right that perhaps i am resisting on some level around social settings and need to examine that. so thanks for pointing this out.

***
rich asks:

--What is it about not getting enough sleep do you not welcome?


i like sleeping, it feels good to me.

***

rich s asks:

--This is a really curious question from you. Why would you suppose that having "almost" no sex drive at all, except around the time you are PMSing, be too much [sex drive] for this overwhelmingly male forum?


in my experience, most men don't really like to hear anything related to a woman's menses. i wasn't really talking about the lack of "sex drive" part.

***
rich says:

--Thank you for contributing your thoughts and experiences to this forum.



thank you, rich.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 8/17/10 12:46 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/17/10 12:46 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Welcome to the DhO.

Your posts are simply impressive.

I hope that your practice continues to go as well as it has been.

As to Goenka, I still believe that reform from within that tradition is possible, given the number of people who have sat in that tradition and had some good results and then augmented their practice with external sources and then wished to brink that back to the Goenka experience: at some point I hope there will be a critical mass that allows that sort of integration to take place, but changing cultures and large institutions is slow work most of the time.

Glad you liked MCTB. I keep getting feedback that makes me think it needs some sort of revision so that it is at once accessible but still retains all of its technical power and depth. Perhaps people will be willing to help do that on the wiki here, which is such a perfect vehicle for that sort of collaboration but has been underutilized.

Please feel very welcome to keep posting here about what you have experienced and your thoughts on it, as I believe they have real potential to inspire others and to benefit us all by the dialogues that follow.

Daniel
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S Kyle, modified 12 Years ago at 8/17/10 1:05 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 8/17/10 1:05 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:


As to Goenka, I still believe that reform from within that tradition is possible, given the number of people who have sat in that tradition and had some good results and then augmented their practice with external sources and then wished to brink that back to the Goenka experience: at some point I hope there will be a critical mass that allows that sort of integration to take place, but changing cultures and large institutions is slow work most of the time.

Glad you liked MCTB. I keep getting feedback that makes me think it needs some sort of revision so that it is at once accessible but still retains all of its technical power and depth. Perhaps people will be willing to help do that on the wiki here, which is such a perfect vehicle for that sort of collaboration but has been underutilized.

Please feel very welcome to keep posting here about what you have experienced and your thoughts on it, as I believe they have real potential to inspire others and to benefit us all by the dialogues that follow.

Daniel


Hi Daniel,

I agree with you about the Goenka retreats. I hope too that they will update their methods somewhat.

I am really glad you wrote MCTB and that you started this website. So thanks to you.

And thanks for the warm welcome.

Stefanie.
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 9:37 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 9:35 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Guilherme  :
If asking HAIETMOBA is giving you the desired results, then it doesn't matter if you're doing it the way you're "supposed" to.

The suggestion that "one become their own best friend" was not directed at me but I have read that suggestion quite a few times. It is not easy though, if I feel like I am a bad person. If you think about it, it is not really very different to telling someone that they should be friends with someone else that they don't like.

With regards to you not enjoying social interactions and conversations so much, I can relate to that, for the same reasons you describe, and I don't think it's a problem, or if it's a problem it's a problem I also have. And I don't think we can set a new standard because people are simply not interested and we cannot change people.


Ah...feeling as if one is a bad person. This may not be helpful to you and you probably already know this intellectually...but it is impossible for you to be a 'bad' person because you don't exist as the entity you think you are. Nor does anyone else. Guilt is just a tactic for strengthening your ego. It's no different from feeling that you are the most attractive person in the world, from the perspective of ego.

Letting go of the idea that one can be either "good" or "bad" is so liberating because not only will you feel differently about the self you imagine you are, but you will then feel better about everyone else in your world. All the "violations" others have perpetuated against you fall away and you are no longer wounded, because in realizing your no-self-ness, you also realize their no-self-ness. All this unwanted or unskillful behavior, toward one's self and from others and to others, falls away and you are free!

And, Guilherme, you seem like a kindly individual to me. Would you be friends with someone whose previous behavior you might judge harshly? Probably so...you could extend to yourself what you probably would for a perfect stranger. After all, you are being quite friendly with me and you have no *idea* the things I've done! :-)
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 11:31 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 11:31 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
]
S Kyle:
And, Guilherme, you seem like a kindly individual to me. Would you be friends with someone whose previous behavior you might judge harshly? Probably so...you could extend to yourself what you probably would for a perfect stranger. After all, you are being quite friendly with me and you have no *idea* the things I've done! :-)


Alright, just to save others the trouble, because the post seems to beg the question, and because I am curious myself, dare I ask what you did?
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 12:43 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 12:43 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
]
S Kyle:
And, Guilherme, you seem like a kindly individual to me. Would you be friends with someone whose previous behavior you might judge harshly? Probably so...you could extend to yourself what you probably would for a perfect stranger. After all, you are being quite friendly with me and you have no *idea* the things I've done! :-)


Alright, just to save others the trouble, because the post seems to beg the question, and because I am curious myself, dare I ask what you did?


Typically people dislike themselves for the most human behavior and rarely realize how deeply they've internalized religious/spiritual/moralistic norms in their evaluation of themselves. I am of the view, however, that no matter what one "has done," there is never any reason to take up a position of aversion.

What have I done?

It would be easier to say what I *haven't* done.

I have not killed a human being, though I have killed mice, lots of insects, and other almost-invisible creatures.

I have lied, intentionally and unintentionally. I have savaged the emotions of many unsuspecting people, in ways that people with a strict "moral" standard would have real problems with. I've refused to conform to almost every norm you can imagine.

I am probably not so alone in the above list. What I meant when I said, "You've no idea what I've done," is that the judgments we make against ourselves often isolate us with the presumption that our wrongdoing makes us so different from other people...when in fact everyone has a list of things "they wish they hadn't done" or that others might judge harshly (though I will say that I don't feel that way...I have no regret about those things, even if I have some understanding of the way others experience my actions...).

My intention wasn't to fool people into thinking that there was big confession to be had behind that statement!

s.
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 12:49 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 12:49 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
S Kyle:
Tarin wrote:

what experiences did you have, and what were you able to verify specifically?
____

Well, there are the flashing lights of the jhanas, the being able to see through one's eyelids at outside objects. As a Goenka meditator I'd never really heard of the jhanas at all and after reading Daniel's book I sort of sat down in meditation just to see if what I experienced corresponded with them (esp the first 4) and they did. I took my body dislocation thing to be some kind of A&P event. Immediately after, while still at the meditation retreat, I had a truly horrible time and I correlated that with a Dark Night type of event, though it didn't last as long as what some people here describe, so perhaps it wasn't Dark Night. I suppose it is possible I've passed these things on previous retreats as getting to what Goenka calls "Bhanga" or dissolution is very easy for me and has been achieved at every retreat I ever sat. What happened at this retreat, in addition to all the lights and bells and whistles (literally), is also that sitting became incredibly easy so that at one point I sat almost continuously for 7 hours.


after the retreat ended, what were practice and daily life like? did you continue to notice any related phenomena?


*


S Kyle:

Tarin wrote:

given your description, it does seem to me like it could have been either. was there a sense of 'i' (or a feeling of being) during the experience? how did you experience time?

***

hmm. i don't really remember being conscious of time. maybe this is a clue, though: when i was leaving the cemetery one of the docents came up to me and said, "wow, you've been in here a long time!" and i was like, "i was?" but this might just be because i didn't have anywhere to go or be, so i don't operate "on time" as most people do.

as for a sense of me, no, not really. there was a sense of movement and external stimulus, like the sun, like the sound of feet on gravel, etc., but no, there wasn't really a sense of "me" experiencing it and this happens more and more. so, i feel like a part of the landscape quite often, as something "happening" in space, but not really as "I." it is apt to say that while there are specificities to the experience which have to do with my having a body (like the feeling of legs moving), the experience of it is not at all centralized mentally.


is the experience you describe one of seeing happening at the eye, hearing happening at the ear, touch happening at the skin, etc, rather than one wherein those percepts are experienced at, or from, a remote centralised location? (such as, say, somewhere behind the eyes)


*


S Kyle:

Tarin wrote:

how do you think being in a pce (or ee) affects your ability to be an appropriate and functional parent to your daughter?

***
Initially I found it difficult to experience a PCE/EE while parenting or to maintain one if I was in that space upon the commencement of parenting. (I am divorced and share 50/50 custody w/my ex, so I have what seems like quite a lot of "solo" time.) But I started going for walks with my daughter around sunset and this was a helpful integration of "parent" mode and pce/ee mode. In fact, while on one of these walks, the way I saw her really shifted. I ceased to see her as "mine," and so there was really nothing to "do" in terms of shaping her behavior. Approaching her in this way has destabilized much of the usual parent/child tension. It is really so simple...I just let her be. I am sure the parents who read this will cringe and maybe that will be perceived by some as uncaring or irresponsible, but analytically speaking, I would have to disagree.

I think being in that mode makes me a much better parent. In much the same way that when I am in that space I don't feel a centralized identification with "Stefanie," I also don't feel that identified with my daughter. I also see her as something "happening" so nothing she does can anger me (including say, "I hate you," or smearing BBQ sauce on the couch) because while I am in that space she can't really insult "me," or make me upset about "my" couch.

Lately she has picked up the habit of spitting (she is 4, btw) while at summer camp from some older kids. And of course I've told her repeatedly not to spit, but she sort of ignores me. I tell her not to spit not because it irritates me, but because I know this is a violation of social norms and I need to instruct her. There is no passion in my instruction, it is very rote actually.

Scene:

Child: spits.

Mother: Sweetie, don't spit.

Child: Ok.

(Some tme later.)

Child: spits.

Mother: Sweetie, don't spit.

Child: Ok.

(Repeat ad nauseum.)

End scene.

When I went to pick her up at my ex's house, she spit, and he flew off the handle and I was kind of watching him, her, the spit, etc. etc. unfold and he was like "Hello?? Aren't you going to do something?" So I just turned to my daughter and looked her in the eye and said, "Please, don't spit anymore." (Of course this had no long term results.) But I have a very good memory of childhood and of having had an abusive, very reactive parent. So I know that while 4 year old children will definitely outgrow the habit of spitting, they will quite likely hold on to the memory of an irate (and scary) parent for a long time. A non-reactive attitude, which is my norm, even out of PCE/EE mode, is much better in the long run. I just don't see the super-clingy, overly reactive way of parenting as a good thing.

I have read on this forum some debates from anti-AF people that they think PCE's make one more prone to danger because one wouldn't be motivated to avoid it. Well, yesterday I was in PCE/EE mode and I was at the park with my daughter and another woman and her daughter. And storm clouds rolled in. It was magnificent! They were so dark and gray and fat, and there was a lot of lovely, strong wind, which once the children were assured that no tornado was coming, they relaxed into it and let the wind blow them around. Well, about 10 minutes into this lovely pre-storm activity, lightening struck a tree and an electric line right next to the park. A fire started and the electric line made these bass-like booming noises. Well, my friend that I was with started running away frantically, with her child. (Which was also funny because I drove and had the car keys...but I digress...) I just sort of calmly gathered up my daughter and walked away. She was incredibly shaken up and afraid, and I felt nothing except maybe some intense interest about the sound of two forms of electricity meeting (the line and the lightening). But no one was harmed, or even close to harmed, and it was fine.


thank you for confirming that being in pce (or ee) mode does not impair your ability to function appropriately as a parent, and for spelling out, in such down-to-earth detail, what sensible parenting looks like.


*


S Kyle:

i do find that things i used to like to do--like run, for example, now no longer hold any interest for me. i used to run half-marathons and now, i can't muster the energy to run long distances. i went for a run post-retreat and it was fine but it was also like, "well, but why?" so i haven't run since.


what was it which used to motivate you to run?


S Kyle:

i also find it difficult to talk in social gatherings in the way that i used to, which i realize now was actually very pedagogical in the sense that i was often offering intellectual/pop cultural/informational tidbits as fodder for conversation, because i don't feel motivated to either please people or win their approval, and i don't want to take my attention away from my experience of the moment by talking, which is mostly about things that don't actually exist so most conversations often to me seem like talking about unicorns as if they actually exist and i have nothing to say about that, though i am perfectly happy to listen to other people talk. i don't know if that makes sense but i can say more about it if needed...


do you experience an intimacy with other people even when they are talking about unicorns as if they actually exist (and are failing to notice your actual existence)?


*


S Kyle:
tarin greco:
S Kyle:

I must admit that some of these behavioral changes started after the last meditation retreat, though not to the extent they have now taken hold. These were not changes I was particularly "going" for in either my meditation practice or in my attempts to work with AF, they were just side effects. The issues or concerns that worried me then no longer do and the lack of any discernible "craving" on my part in regards to (what I consider to be) fairly innocuous things is interesting.


could you elaborate on this some? what things are they which are (considered by you to be) fairly innocuous for which you can no longer discern any 'craving'?


oh i meant: sweets, sex, eating a lot of food, wine = innocuous things.


can you discern any craving (as regards anything else) which is extant?

tarin
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 1:35 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 1:35 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
Tarin wrote:

after the retreat ended, what were practice and daily life like? did you continue to notice any related phenomena?

*
immediately after the retreat ended i continued to meditate for many hours a day, rising around 4am and meditating until my daughter woke up (around 7), and doing the same after she'd go to bed at night. yes, there was continued phenomena whereby the technique of scanning, as i mentioned to you elsehwere, would "go on it's own," when i sat down; where i could see the micro-particles of my eyelids in what felt like slow motion and whereby there was also an odd "zooming in" effect where i could see them as closely as i wanted and in there smallest constituent parts, where i could see these particles of energy arise and combust, and whereby i could see the arising and passing of way of particles in inanimate matter, like walls for example (which didn't see at all inanimate after seeing them that way), during the day i was aware of myriad sensations in the body, and experienced tremendous detachment to most aspects of existence, sometimes felt the actions of the body to be mechanical, as if they were "going on their own." i did not really feel like i "slept," but rather that i was somewhat between aware and asleep while at rest, dreams were very colorful and malleable and abundant. (This continues even now, when I am able to sleep for more than 3 hours.)



Tarin wrote:

is the experience you describe one of seeing happening at the eye, hearing happening at the ear, touch happening at the skin, etc, rather than one wherein those percepts are experienced at, or from, a remote centralised location? (such as, say, somewhere behind the eyes)


--the experience is happening in the sense organ and this seems connected, to some extent, to how i practiced vipassana in the sense that my meditation was concerned with perceiving sensations but not reacting/judging/"thinking" them at all, but experiencing them as much as possible for what they were, to obliterate the witness. when this became easier for me to do while on retreat, for example, that was precisely the moment when all the bodily discomforts associated with sitting for long hours evaporated.


*

tarin asks:

what was it which used to motivate you to run?


--wanting to remain fit and needing to "work out" extra energy/tension. but since i have no appetite, i haven't really needed to run to remain fit. and i don't have any extra tension to work out now. i did read about some rinpoche's who run, who offer running clinics on zen and running, though, and thought, after i got back from the retreat, "running as meditation." as a long distance runner i understand this principle, but long distance running is very stressful to the body (even if one does chi running and wears vibrams, which i did) and i don't feel like i have any body issues to remediate.


***
tarin writes:

do you experience an intimacy with other people even when they are talking about unicorns as if they actually exist (and are failing to notice your actual existence)?

hmm. sometimes, i think. define "intimacy..."


*
tarin asked:

can you discern any craving (as regards anything else) which is extant?


--yes. but it isn't stable or attached to any one particular thing. a feeling of desire may arise in relation to an experience, but it isn't there once the experience subsides. so i do not have a consistent desire for any experience. so i feel something like desire right in the instant of experiencing it, but as soon as it is over it is "dead" to me. that is a harsh term, i realize, and i only use it because it describes how i feel about such things after the fact, not in a gesture of repulsion (which is how death is most often figured...not so here...) increasingly though there are few things which provoke even temporary desire, but it does happen on occasion.

s.
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Eric B, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 7:06 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 7:06 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 187 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
S Kyle:
Hi everyone (who reads this).

And somehow, the sound of my feet on the little gravely spots on the paved walkways, and the sound of an owl in a tree, the patches of cool interspersed with intense sun (it's very, very hot here), pushed me into a really new sense of reality. It is not a completely describable experience. It wasn't like "bliss." It wasn't like..."feeling good," in the conventional sense of feeling good. It was like some completely other space among walking, sounds, light, heat...and everything seemed crisp and almost movie-like. As I was leaving the cemetery, I literally had the feeling--upon looking at the wide landscape of trees, sky, and the beginning to set sun--"can other people see this??"

Stefanie

That's a great description, especially the "movie-like" part; it really nails it. I could never find the words to get it right. The closest I came with words was "walking in hi-def". I was never quite sure if my comparable experience was a PCE, a taste of mind/body or some samata collateral effect, but I don't doubt that it was a PCE now.
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Steph , modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 9:23 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 9:18 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
S Kyle:


tarin asks:

what was it which used to motivate you to run?


--wanting to remain fit and needing to "work out" extra energy/tension. but since i have no appetite, i haven't really needed to run to remain fit. and i don't have any extra tension to work out now. i did read about some rinpoche's who run, who offer running clinics on zen and running, though, and thought, after i got back from the retreat, "running as meditation." as a long distance runner i understand this principle, but long distance running is very stressful to the body (even if one does chi running and wears vibrams, which i did) and i don't feel like i have any body issues to remediate.



Hi Stefanie. I'm Stephany (but go by Steph more often).

Nice to have another woman 'round here. I've only seen a few posts by other women in the months I've lurked/posted here. Is this switching to not running thing recent since you've been experiencing PCE's.. or something that started happening a ways back?

Actually, what I'm more interested in is, you mentioning that you don't feel like you have any body issues to remediate... which suggests you used to and don't now. Forgive me if I'm reading too much into what may have been a passive statement, but I haven't been open about this before here because a) I haven't posted enough to feel comfortable and b) not seeing this issue brought up at all to segue into it. But I've had self-image issues since childhood that eventually turned into varying degrees of eating disorders as I got older (on a much deeper level than wanting to be like a model, to dispel stereotypes for those who don't know). I too grew up in an abusive home and all kinds of emotional trauma happened to physically manifest itself through body image/eating disorders, I suppose. Some people become addicted to drugs when they can't cope. I became addicted to starvation, etc.

I'm not asking you to come out and talk about this if this is way off from your situation... or if you just don't feel like talking about it. But if so, were there any tangible changes you noticed about "body issues" shifting into being non-existent? Or how did that start changing for you? Reason being, I was in therapy for a short time... which helped, to a point. I'd feel pretty alright for a while, then like shit, then alright on and off for a while. Fast forward until a breaking point when I was just really depressed and sought out meditation. Within a couple months of starting to meditate daily for prolonged sits (using MTCTB and advice from a friend whom I actually never told all these issues to) I was pretty much the most consistently emotionally stable I'd ever been and felt deeply calm on a level I couldn't remember feeling in years, if ever. Perhaps all that detachment from the self, its issues, and not identifying with the body as self is what did it. I still have a ways to go and I can't claim things are perfect... but it's incomparably better than where I was at my worst. There's gotta be tons of research about meditation and eating disorders, but I'm sure it's dry and boring and I won't want to read it. I'm just wondering how much better it's going to get, what else to do, specifics for practice you might know of... I mean how does it translate from straight up vipassana to AF? AF is something I've been reading up on and been curious about for some time. Even if you don't have any of these answers, I genuinely appreciate being able to use this as a sounding board to see what other issues women are dealing with in meditation that just don't get talked about. Simply voicing it still helps.

Much love,
Steph
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 9:55 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/17/10 9:55 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
yana pets:
S Kyle:


tarin asks:

what was it which used to motivate you to run?


--wanting to remain fit and needing to "work out" extra energy/tension. but since i have no appetite, i haven't really needed to run to remain fit. and i don't have any extra tension to work out now. i did read about some rinpoche's who run, who offer running clinics on zen and running, though, and thought, after i got back from the retreat, "running as meditation." as a long distance runner i understand this principle, but long distance running is very stressful to the body (even if one does chi running and wears vibrams, which i did) and i don't feel like i have any body issues to remediate.



Hi Stefanie. I'm Stephany (but go by Steph more often).

Nice to have another woman 'round here. I've only seen a few posts by other women in the months I've lurked/posted here. Is this switching to not running thing recent since you've been experiencing PCE's.. or something that started happening a ways back?

Actually, what I'm more interested in is, you mentioning that you don't feel like you have any body issues to remediate... which suggests you used to and don't now. Forgive me if I'm reading too much into what may have been a passive statement, but I haven't been open about this before here because a) I haven't posted enough to feel comfortable and b) not seeing this issue brought up at all to segue into it. But I've had self-image issues since childhood that eventually turned into varying degrees of eating disorders as I got older (on a much deeper level than wanting to be like a model, to dispel stereotypes for those who don't know). I too grew up in an abusive home and all kinds of emotional trauma happened to physically manifest itself through body image/eating disorders, I suppose. Some people become addicted to drugs when they can't cope. I became addicted to starvation, etc.

I'm not asking you to come out and talk about this if this is way off from your situation... or if you just don't feel like talking about it. But if so, were there any tangible changes you noticed about "body issues" shifting into being non-existent? Or how did that start changing for you? Reason being, I was in therapy for a short time... which helped, to a point. I'd feel pretty alright for a while, then like shit, then alright on and off for a while. Fast forward until a breaking point when I was just really depressed and sought out meditation. Within a couple months of starting to meditate daily for prolonged sits (using MTCTB and advice from Tarin.. whom I actually never told any of this, which in retrospect maybe I should have... sorry for that, T, if you read this) I was pretty much the most consistently emotionally stable I'd ever been and felt deeply calm on a level I couldn't remember feeling in years, if ever. Perhaps all that detachment from the self, its issues, and not identifying with the body as self is what did it. I still have a ways to go and I can't claim things are perfect... but it's incomparably better than where I was at my worst. There's gotta be tons of research about meditation and eating disorders, but I'm sure it's dry and boring and I won't want to read it. I'm just wondering how much better it's going to get, what else to do, specifics for practice you might know of... I mean how does it translate from straight up vipassana to AF? AF is something I've been reading up on and been curious about for some time. Even if you don't have any of these answers, I genuinely appreciate being able to use this as a sounding board to see what other issues women are dealing with in meditation that just don't get talked about. Simply voicing it still helps.

Much love,
Steph


Hi Steph,

Thank you for your post and I'm glad to meet you. Yes, I struggled with body issues for many years and also sought therapy for them, back in the late '90's when I was in graduate school, to no avail. A therapist telling you to "eat" or to "stop eating," or to "stop purging" (whichever way the pendulum swung) really isn't helpful. After I had my daughter I was chubby, so I took up long distance running again (I'd run cross country in high school and been a runner throughout graduate school) and lost a lot of weight, so honestly in my post, that is what I was referring to, as opposed to any particular (recent) disorder.

But I think that eating disorders are part of a spectrum of disorders or behaviors which can be the result of an abusive and traumatizing childhood and I can speak, in more recent terms and in relation to my vipassana meditation, about my negotiation of that. My father committed suicide when I was 5, in our home, and I found him. Needless to say this was a very early traumatic event. My mother never really recovered from that, became an alcoholic, and was very abusive. She was also anorexic and spent a lot of time communicating to me that my body wasn't good enough, while at the same time projecting a tremendous amount of "envy" towards me because I am "biracial," lighter-skinned than she was, and she never reconciled herself to her "blackness." She died about 5 years ago of lung cancer and was very abusive, more or less, until the end. These are the bare facts, and there were other instances of abuse in my childhood environment, and other tragic details to this bleak story.

While on retreat just recently, a wellspring of horrifying memories surfaced. But they surfaced after I'd had my "out of body" experience in which I never got completely re-identified with Stefanie, and for about 6 hours it was utter hell as all the details revealed themselves to me in unforgiving clarity, but then something really radical shifted and I realized that all of those horrible events were no longer happening and hence powerless and that only my suppression and/or obsession animated them. I was, in essence, flagellating myself with an imaginary whip. It was like the moment in "Fight Club," when the main character realizes he hasn't been fighting Tyler at all, but only himself. All this time I felt so oppressed--in so many ways, consciously and unconsciously--it was my own fist doing the punching. The meditation enabled me to see that the fist was my own.

(I suppose I should pause here and say something about about "blame," and the notion of not letting one's abusers "off the hook." Well, that is another tactic for ego-strengthening, and if anyone reading this wants me to explain how I arrived at this conclusion, I will.)

I think that my turn post-retreat to AF has to do with feeling like the work I did in meditation "cleared out" a lot of baggage in my head, so now I could open to actual reality instead of existing--for the most part--in my own head, where history, and our feelings about our personal history, live. I no longer have any psychological complexes of any kind, so my relationship to my body, which used to be very complicated, is now quite simple.

On a pragmatic level, I think that if you get deep enough into your meditative practice, and develop enough equanimity, then some psychological "stuff" will be released. My vipassana practice, as I said before, was very focused on the experience of sensation and not at all on contemplation; my "thoughts," for example, were like a babbling brook in the background, while in the foreground were sensations on the body which I focused on experiencing. I do not know if you are using body scanning or noting, but I mostly used scanning, and if you can work yourself up to a very fast speed in that scanning, stopping neither on sensations you "like," or sensations you "dislike," then naturally a certain amount of equanimity will develop, as you practice non-attachment to those sensations. The development of equanimity in relation to those bodily sensations will allow you to have some equanimity in relation to thoughts, which are just "brain sensations," with no more importance than a sensation in your pinky finger. Our tendency is to give lots of importance to "brain sensations," i.e., thoughts/feelings, and not so much to the sensations in our pinky finger. If you can equalize and objectify both of them, you will practice this relationship to all the arising phenomenon you experience, including memories of abuse, feelings of hunger or aversion and/or craving to/for food, etc. Then, perhaps the most basic dysfunction which produces your sense of having issues around a certain thing (in this case, the body) will come to the surface and you can allow it to express itself, which is a way to move past it.

Here's an image that was helpful to me. If everything you experience in meditation, both in the mind and body, is akin to the flow of a river, successful meditation would be an unobstructed flow of that river. Well, after awhile some big object (an intense pain in your back, orgasmic sensations, a horrible memory, uniform tingling, overwhelming disgust, whatever) comes down. Instead of letting the river continue to flow, what we usually do is attempt to dam back the object, which creates an overflow of unresolved tension/pain/dysfunction. If you can let it flow through, as difficult as it might be, and maybe it will take some time for the water pressure to build up behind the object to push it through, but if you can avoid reacting to its presence, it will pass through and then you have your flowing river.

Does this help at all?

s.
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 3:23 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 3:23 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
S Kyle:
Tarin wrote:

after the retreat ended, what were practice and daily life like? did you continue to notice any related phenomena?

*
immediately after the retreat ended i continued to meditate for many hours a day, rising around 4am and meditating until my daughter woke up (around 7), and doing the same after she'd go to bed at night. yes, there was continued phenomena whereby the technique of scanning, as i mentioned to you elsehwere, would "go on it's own," when i sat down; where i could see the micro-particles of my eyelids in what felt like slow motion and whereby there was also an odd "zooming in" effect where i could see them as closely as i wanted and in there smallest constituent parts, where i could see these particles of energy arise and combust, and whereby i could see the arising and passing of way of particles in inanimate matter, like walls for example (which didn't see at all inanimate after seeing them that way), during the day i was aware of myriad sensations in the body, and experienced tremendous detachment to most aspects of existence, sometimes felt the actions of the body to be mechanical, as if they were "going on their own." i did not really feel like i "slept," but rather that i was somewhat between aware and asleep while at rest, dreams were very colorful and malleable and abundant.


how much longer did your abilities to see 'the micro-particles of your eyelids in what felt like slow motion', zoom in to 'see them as closely as [you] wanted and in there [sic] smallest constintuent parts, see 'these particles of energy arise and combust', etc, persist? if they have not persisted up until now, what happened later (after they faded/vanished/changed)?


*


S Kyle:

tarin writes:

do you experience an intimacy with other people even when they are talking about unicorns as if they actually exist (and are failing to notice your actual existence)?

hmm. sometimes, i think. define "intimacy..."


a genuine closeness automatically engendered by a lack of/the diminishment of a sense of separation.

for example, when you are there with someone, you are aware that you are actually there with them, that this is actually happening here right now, which is nowhere in particular (and so there's a strangeness to it)... and that you are with that person there and then, though nowhen in particular either (and so there's a newness to it).

as this intimacy - which is simultaneously inclusive of and irrespective of another person - doesn't depend on their simultaneous recognition, you are able to/free to experience it with another regardless of whether or not they are experiencing it, too. loneliness or alienation just do not apply here.. this intimacy is with people as they are rather than with an identity with which a connection is sought.

that's what i mean by 'intimacy'.

tarin
mico mico, modified 11 Years ago at 8/23/10 8:04 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 8:15 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 79 Join Date: 8/13/10 Recent Posts
tarin:
Do you experience an intimacy with other people even when they are talking about unicorns as if they actually exist (and are failing to notice your actual existence)?

That has to be the funniest thing I've read on this forum. Thanks.

tarin:
[Intimacy:] a genuine closeness automatically engendered by a lack of/the diminishment of a sense of separation.

for example, when you are there with someone, you are aware that you are actually there with them, that this is actually happening here right now, which is nowhere in particular (and so there's a strangeness to it)... and that you are with that person there and then, though nowhen in particular either (and so there's a newness to it).

as this intimacy - which is simultaneously inclusive of and irrespective of another person - doesn't depend on their simultaneous recognition, you are able to/free to experience it with another regardless of whether or not they are experiencing it, too. loneliness or alienation just do not apply here.. this intimacy is with people as they are rather than with an identity with which a connection is sought.

I have felt this most of my life. But it has gone through stages (and sometimes I repeat ealier stages).

At first I was largely distracted by the intimacy itself. It somehow felt rude to not entertain conventional protocols of interaction. There was a feeling that if I didn't take steps to 'tone it down', then the other person ran the risk of seeing themselves reflected in my eyes. If I didn't put a mask over myself (my emptiness, my equality with the other), I was effectively removing theirs also. It felt like... taking the not given. (In fact, is this not something we all learn to do as children?)

Sometimes I was largely distracted by not having a clue who or what the other person was looking at. It seemed odd to have such an asymmetric experience. They seemed to do the person thing without any effort.

Now it seems that the intimacy reflects the immediate potential of the experience, an openness to what is; and there is no 'unmasking' taking place to worry about; and yes, somehow 'simultaneously inclusive of and irrespective of' the other. The 'mask' insofar as it is expressed, isn't hiding anything, and is...experienced. The intimacy 'doesn't depend on their simultaneous recognition', because it is not a third party waiting to be discovered, it is... what is happening.
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 8:37 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 8:35 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
tarin asks:

how much longer did your abilities to see 'the micro-particles of your eyelids in what felt like slow motion', zoom in to 'see them as closely as [you] wanted and in there [sic] smallest constintuent parts, see 'these particles of energy arise and combust', etc, persist? if they have not persisted up until now, what happened later (after they faded/vanished/changed)?




_i do not have this experience unless i sit a lot; since i have been sitting less, i do not see these particles as readily. it is easier for me to see them in inanimate matter than than in my eyedlids without meditative effort; and, nothing happened per se when they vanished, as for me this was not something i was going for, expected to continue or put effort forth to maintain. my sense of objects solidified and, in my experience, only become unsolidified when i sit continuously and consistently for many hours. when this experience passed away, i simply let it go.


tarin explains:

a genuine closeness automatically engendered by a lack of/the diminishment of a sense of separation.

for example, when you are there with someone, you are aware that you are actually there with them, that this is actually happening here right now, which is nowhere in particular (and so there's a strangeness to it)... and that you are with that person there and then, though nowhen in particular either (and so there's a newness to it).

as this intimacy - which is simultaneously inclusive of and irrespective of another person - doesn't depend on their simultaneous recognition, you are able to/free to experience it with another regardless of whether or not they are experiencing it, too. loneliness or alienation just do not apply here.. this intimacy is with people as they are rather than with an identity with which a connection is sought.

that's what i mean by 'intimacy'.

tarin


alright, well there are a few parts here: "when you are with someone, you are aware that are actually there with them, that this is actually happening here right now."

-yes, i experience this.

"which is nowhere in particular (and so there's a strangeness to it)."

--no, i don't experience this, i do not experience it as strange.

"and that you are with that person there and then, though nowhere in particular to it (and so there's a newness to it)."

--yes, i experience this.

"you are able to/free to experience it with another regardless of whether or not they are experiencing it, too. loneliness or alienation just do not apply here...this intimacy is with people as they are rather than with an identity with which a connection is sought."

--can i ask you to expound a little further on this: "intimacy with people as they are" vs. "an identity with which a connection is sought." what is meant by the term "identity?" by identity do you mean, a label, such as "i will relate to this person as X," with X being "my child," "my partner," "my best friend," vs their particularities, as an individual? if this is what you mean, then yes, i experience this a lot, an always have, and this causes problems for people not at all interested in harmlessness...or, do you mean "identity" as in what i've come to expect of them based on history, a particular constructed identity, so that, if say, my best friend has traditionally liked to read, then i always expect her to be a reader, and become unable to connect with her when it turns out she no longer likes to read? so that what is being mediated in this model is some previous expectation vs. whatever they may be in any given moment?

i can say, and perhaps this isn't germane at all, that generally speaking i am with people "as they are," with no expectation of how they will behave or who they will be; it never occurred to me to think of that as intimacy, so i will have to think about that. loneliness or alienation is not an issue; but i often feel innocently excited about interacting with people, which some people read as eagerness; and this has caused problems when people then discover that despite my excitement and interest "in" them, i am not sweating it in the way they imagined--that i do not "cling," to them when they are not there...i am endlessly giving (and hence, gullible and trusting), in large part because i *don't* feel a separation, but then, living in a world where people are incessantly concerned with the division between themselves and others, one can be accused of being "over identified" with others...and, for me, there is a sense of fascination concerning interactions--but again, this has been presented to me as "a problem," throughout my life, as i've been advised to "toughen up," "don't be so naive," etc etc.

s.
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Steph , modified 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 10:49 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/18/10 10:42 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
S Kyle:

While on retreat just recently, a wellspring of horrifying memories surfaced. But they surfaced after I'd had my "out of body" experience in which I never got completely re-identified with Stefanie, and for about 6 hours it was utter hell as all the details revealed themselves to me in unforgiving clarity, but then something really radical shifted and I realized that all of those horrible events were no longer happening and hence powerless and that only my suppression and/or obsession animated them. I was, in essence, flagellating myself with an imaginary whip. It was like the moment in "Fight Club," when the main character realizes he hasn't been fighting Tyler at all, but only himself. All this time I felt so oppressed--in so many ways, consciously and unconsciously--it was my own fist doing the punching. The meditation enabled me to see that the fist was my own.

(I suppose I should pause here and say something about about "blame," and the notion of not letting one's abusers "off the hook." Well, that is another tactic for ego-strengthening, and if anyone reading this wants me to explain how I arrived at this conclusion, I will.)

I think that my turn post-retreat to AF has to do with feeling like the work I did in meditation "cleared out" a lot of baggage in my head, so now I could open to actual reality instead of existing--for the most part--in my own head, where history, and our feelings about our personal history, live. I no longer have any psychological complexes of any kind, so my relationship to my body, which used to be very complicated, is now quite simple.

On a pragmatic level, I think that if you get deep enough into your meditative practice, and develop enough equanimity, then some psychological "stuff" will be released. My vipassana practice, as I said before, was very focused on the experience of sensation and not at all on contemplation; my "thoughts," for example, were like a babbling brook in the background, while in the foreground were sensations on the body which I focused on experiencing.


This is good stuff. Thanks again for this and offering insight during our chat. I re-read the part above... and think I have experienced similarly. Right now, there are not major "psychological hangups" here. I have dealt with them and have reconciled with my father, now having a close relationship with him. It took a TON of effort, but the internal prodding I was doing finally gave way to my admittance that he is not an abusive person anymore and that he has changed quite immensely over the years. There were moments in the past I'd tell myself this, that were vague and believed on some level, but not enough to totally let go (still played into the pity party). Right now any issues I have are minor in comparison, and are more like remnants that need some sweeping. There are moments of happiness for no apparent reason very often. People I see daily tell me that I'm always smiling and calm, so apparently it's not just me that's noticing. As I was sitting at dinner tonight, looking out the window I was just looking at the trees there.. nothing spectacular objectively, but so to me. Then again, I'm easily amused in general, so that could be a natural inclination for me.

Finding perfection in just what's there is what I'm aiming to do more often and more prolonged so I can go from there to explore PCE territory. Another post you had talked about the movie-like experience. I had something like that once. I was at a neighborhood park, sitting with my back against a tree, eyes closed and meditating. I switched to opening my eyes since I hadn't tried open eye meditation before. Every subtle detail was noticeable and saturated. I could see the reflective sparkle of light atop each peak of water in the lake in front of me and see each subtle shift of water movement.. while watching the ducks take flight and land. There was an "annoying" sound of a toy motorboat that integrated into it in a not annoying and just there kind of way. I sat like this for an hour or so, just observing, nothing in particular.. just taking it all in. And there wasn't separation between me and the scene before me... because all experiences happening there were part of the same.. a small example.. it was viewed by me, felt by me, thus me. When I finally got up and started walking around the trails, I distinctly remember feeling as though I was character dropped into a movie (which is why I identified with you referring to your experience as movie-like). I'm trying to recall where the sense of observer was... because if "I" was the character in the movie... who/what was the "not movie"? I suppose there was no "not movie" and that's why I haven't been able to pinpoint it. This was a very seamless way of being, but I'm not sure I did anything in particular that day to invite it. Did you do anything in particular to move towards PCE's, or did they kind of just occur naturally after all your "stuff" was cleared out?

Steph
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/19/10 1:40 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/19/10 1:40 AM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
yana pets:
This was a very seamless way of being, but I'm not sure I did anything in particular that day to invite it. Did you do anything in particular to move towards PCE's, or did they kind of just occur naturally after all your "stuff" was cleared out?

Steph


Hey Steph,

I think that Richard says most people have experienced a PCE at some point in their lives, they just don't (always) remember them...

The first time I realized that I had experienced PCE mode was related to a period of time where there was no inducement. Now, though, I do sometimes induce them and sometimes they come on their own.

Your experience in the park sounds so lovely; thanks for sharing it. I really enjoy hearing other people's moments like this (there are some on the AF website too).

s.
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Steph , modified 11 Years ago at 8/19/10 12:08 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/19/10 12:08 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Guilherme  :
Hi Steph,

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but, when you say "it was viewed by me, felt by me, thus me", it sounds like an "I am everything" experience, which is a unitary experience, a oneness experience, and not a pure consciousness experience.

Guilherme


No bubble bursting done. Just sharing an experience that seemed similar to the movie-likeness of Stefanie's. Just to clarify, though, it wasn't "I am everything" or anything grandiose like that. More along the lines of everything is part of the same equation, which happens to include "me." Have you had both PCE's and oneness experiences? I've read about the differences elsewhere, but I'd like to hear your take on it if you have.

Steph
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S Kyle, modified 11 Years ago at 8/19/10 12:38 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 8/19/10 12:38 PM

RE: An introduction, of sorts, with probaby TMI.

Posts: 26 Join Date: 7/25/10 Recent Posts
tarin explains:

a genuine closeness automatically engendered by a lack of/the diminishment of a sense of separation.

for example, when you are there with someone, you are aware that you are actually there with them, that this is actually happening here right now, which is nowhere in particular (and so there's a strangeness to it)... and that you are with that person there and then, though nowhen in particular either (and so there's a newness to it).

as this intimacy - which is simultaneously inclusive of and irrespective of another person - doesn't depend on their simultaneous recognition, you are able to/free to experience it with another regardless of whether or not they are experiencing it, too. loneliness or alienation just do not apply here.. this intimacy is with people as they are rather than with an identity with which a connection is sought.

that's what i mean by 'intimacy'.

tarin


alright, well there are a few parts here: "when you are with someone, you are aware that are actually there with them, that this is actually happening here right now."

-yes, i experience this.

"which is nowhere in particular (and so there's a strangeness to it)."

--no, i don't experience this, i do not experience it as strange.

"and that you are with that person there and then, though nowhere in particular to it (and so there's a newness to it)."

--yes, i experience this.


s.

tarin: thanks for pointing out my misquote of you. you wrote "nowhen," which i then rewrote as "nowhere."

now, to answer correctly: dunno know if i experience this. in some ways i want to say yes, but i want to give it more thought...because nowhen is lovely conceptually to me, but i want to explore it fully before answering.

s.

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