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drop in an ocean
Answer
9/9/10 7:02 PM
OK, I've been looking through the MCTB wiki and trying to place this experience in the scheme of things.
The feeling of ecstasy welling up inside, bodily boundary dissolves and there seems to be a continuum between self as ecstasy and world as ecstasy.
The time honoured phrase 'drop in a boundless ocean' seemed to sum it up, as well as a sense of immortality, of being composed of an ever fluid substance that crystalizes into forms that are perceived.

I have to say, the mental connotations on top of the feeling were not the same as the feeling itself, so I am wary of adding interpretations that arise due to expectations, but those descriptions seemed apt.

I'm having difficulty matching that up with descriptions of the many and varied states in the MCTB, yet I am sure many of you are familiar with what I mean.

At a guess I think it's maybe one of the first jhanas but nothing written there exactly matches. On the other hand that perception crops up a lot in other writings on mysticism and meditation so I know it's a well understood state, and possibly preliminary in an extensive multi stage scheme/map such as yours.

What says ye?

RE: drop in an ocean
Answer
9/10/10 12:01 AM as a reply to Bilbo Baggins.
Sounds nice, whatever it is.

Would you provide more background, context, before, after, timing, duration, other qualities and aspects to help those who are interested in applying map theory to your experience?

Daniel

RE: drop in an ocean
Answer
9/10/10 7:06 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Indeed I will!
I was following a new age type guru, with a mixed bag of meditation techniques including chakra med., insight med., I think what you call samatha med., body scanning med. - lots of tried and tested techniques but no particular plan or pathway.

One day laying on bedroom floor looking into sensation in my body, tingling feelings, blockages, that type stuff, and breathing deeply.
I noticed that the feeling was getting stronger and seemed to be spreading throughout my limbs like water seeping through places that had previously been dry. Definitely remember it spreading up through my legs and through my pelvis area.
It felt like I was being flooded, and the feeling overwhelmed me, I felt it wash out through what had seemed previously to be my personal boundary, and outwards into ,,, into whatever/myself but it seemed to have no boundary.
Looking around I distinctly remember this feeling as also flowing in everything I could see - which wasn't much as I was laying on the floor in a small room, but could feel one life going through me and through the plants in the room as a continuous flow, or rather a still pool. My environ was quite restricted but inside I seemed limitless, like I had been in a bathtub all my life but has suddenly found myself in the reservoir from where the water was piped. Like many others have noted, it seemed that that was more like my true nature or state.
It got so intense I thought I was going to die and it felt like the fear dumped me back out of the state, it was too much for my circuits. Therefore it was just a brief flash, really.
I then felt like I had been poured from a 4D world back into a 3D body.

I've been craving it's return, on and off, for the last 20 years because it was so pleasurable, or even wondering what it would be like to plunge in forever and not be dumped out by my own fear. I'm sure the Buddhistic attitude would be that the craving is another activity of the mind to be observed, and I think this is perhaps a good attitude but not necessarily easy.
I think also that it could be seen to be just another phenomena arising in mind, something that can be observed, and I would agree with this but cannot quite see that it isn't something that should be a permanent feature of our experience, a supreme state of inner health. Constant ecstasy may be just madness, I don't know.

I know quite a lot of people experience this one way or another - psychedelics and etc., meditation, spontaneous, even brain injuries and epilepsy. I also know that it's probably part of well established traditions but I have never really looked at Buddhism in detail before because it's such a big complicated mess of sects, philosophies and teachers with a lot of baggage from thousands of years of Chinese whispers, interpretations and worldviews that clash with my Western mindset.

I have looked at the implications of this deep sense of self and it's apparent implications such as - the substance of the world is one of both matter and feeling, the world is literally alive in as much as we see it as our own life, that the Earth is indeed a being, but not a separate being from ourselves. My other idea about it is that it is the origin of ideas about immortality, that although forms can be changed and destroyed the formless feeling/substance of life remains to be remoulded.
So there is a basis for reincarnation of a kind, if that aspect of the self is not tied to a specific form, but I have no memories of previous lives so cannot honestly subscribe to that part of religious traditions and remain skeptical/agnostic.

Those are deductions from the inside view, perhaps a scientific view would be that there was simply a synesthesia between sense and feeling. Also the scientific view is that indeed there is a substance that is moulded and remoulded to form life, plain old matter.

Thanks for getting back to me Daniel, I'll be interested in any comments and appreciate the work you are doing here.

Try this for an excellent artistic representation of it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4kqyLSZWso

RE: drop in an ocean
Answer
9/18/10 12:01 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Would you provide more background, context, before, after, timing, duration, other qualities and aspects to help those who are interested in applying map theory to your experience?
OK, more to the point as a reply.

Background - meditation started as stress reduction, mental calming, then exploration. Practiced for 6 months to a year before perception I have described, I think. Practice was frequent but irregular, quarter hour to 1 hour plus whenever opportunity presented itself.

Context - normal day to day householder lifestyle, unemployed at time.

Before - nothing extraordinary, went about my usual business.

After - the same but with an added insight into mind, increased understanding of spiritual literature and philosophy. Experience did not recur with similar intensity, unable to focus feelings to same degree.

Timing - daylight 4:30 - 6:00 pm

Duration - approx. 10 mins. of meditation, two mins. intense build up, seconds of peak experience, a few minutes come down.


It would be nice if anyone could point me to where in the buddhist map this is.

RE: drop in an ocean
Answer
9/20/10 1:26 PM as a reply to Bilbo Baggins.
By the way, is this a boys only club?

RE: drop in an ocean
Answer
9/21/10 7:21 PM as a reply to Bilbo Baggins.
Hmmm, the more I re read the MCBT the more it seems that I have experienced the Arising and Passing away stage. There are an awful lot of phenomena crammed into that piece of writing that I would tend to see as phenomena of practice and the insight event isn't directly described as such, but it seems like I have it's coordinates on the map now. This makes sense as being followed by the dark night too.

RE: drop in an ocean
Answer
9/22/10 1:50 AM as a reply to Bilbo Baggins.
Yeah these maps are really helpful, but remember that the answer to "what should I do" is always "meditate more!"