Crazy first Goenka retreat experience.

the wanderer, modified 2 Years ago at 10/15/21 7:58 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/15/21 7:58 PM

Crazy first Goenka retreat experience.

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi everyone,
English is not my first language, so sorry for the broken english.

I had a really "special" experience. I’m really not sure how to explain it. Maybe you can help me for that matter. It happen already more than 3 years ago. It is the first time I talk about it to people. 

 I was travelling around the world. During my trip some people start talking to me about the vipassana retreat, the Goenka one. I felt the urge to do it, without knowing why, I knew it was something I want to try. So it was on my first retreat ever. I had never done meditation before. It was in Burma. I was all in into the retreat, the meditation and everything. I build my concentration the first 3 days with annapana like my life depend on it. I have never been really good with emotions before that. So when the meditation trigger some emotions, i jump all in, sometime I was the happier guy on earth, other time I was crying, or afraid.  Not a lot of equanimity yet. lol

So when I start the body scanning, after the first day doing it, i was still doing it after the schedule was normally over in my bed. This is when I had the feeling i just drill a hole in my body at the level of my nose, I broke the shield/armor and can go deeper into more subtle sensations. A lot of really subtle vibration was "coming out from my nose' and from there I was able to feel really subtle sensations. 

The second day doing vipassana , again at the end of the day in my bed it was feeling a bit like I was at war, i was trying to scan the more sensations possible and try to go deeper and deeper. I try to broke down everything. (So from there the crazy stuff happen). So I  was alone in my small cabin in the middle of the jungle in Burma at war breaking down my sensations reality. When I felt the assistant teacher (old burmese man), helping me.. (this is the part really difficult for me to explain). So bassicaly I felt the presence of the teacher in me, in my mind, and he ask me without words or anything, talking to me straight to me in my mind. Without any normal explication I just knew it was him. He ask me if I want him to help me. so basically he took control of my body. At first I was a bit scare, but finally I completely surrender. It would have easily be possible for me to stop him, but I let him do. So for what seem to me like a couple of hours . I just remain super mindfull of everything, and watch what was happening. Doing stuff with my hands (Back at that moment I had no idea it was call mudra) my body was shaking like crazy, it seem like he help my body  cleaning something really deep inside of me and my muscles and nervous system.

He even play with my body, like in a american movie you know, a old man take control of a younger body, so he was playing with my body, jumping in the room throwing kicks, streching and all that. When he was "playing around with my body" he even told me : yeah I have not always be that old ;). lol (again it's not really talking to me.. I just can communicate without any words in my mind) 

Anyway at one moment I hear a shout from outside the cabin, like something bad was happening outside. Without thinking I directly get out of my cabin and I go straight to the cabin of the assistant teacher. I knock on his door, it took a bit of time for him to stand up and come to the door.. when he open the door, he ask me to get in, he sit in meditation on a chair and ask me to sit in from of him. At that moment my meditation was so calm, I was feeling every sensations with a lot of clarity, feeling really peacefull. After some time we just stand, and before I leave the place, he told me : be happy, watch out for depression be carefull. His english was really not good. (worst than mine lol) 

So yeah this is exactly what I want to share with you.. Normally I would have think that all of that was a product of my own imagination. But the fact that I get in his cabin in the middle of the night and he just knew what just happen. He was sitting in his room doing ‘that’. Helping me get rid of some stuff. Doing stuff that I have still to this moment no idea how I can learn more about that. About the fact that he can get out of his body, come into mine, help me with crazy mudra and stuff. That seem just crazy! After that moment for the rest of the retreat it continue to be a wild ride with vision of the pyramid and stuff and super strong emotions that need to get out.

So since that first crazy retreat, I I hooked with meditation, I have done a couple more retreats, pratice everyday, read many books but still I dont know how to explain what happen that night.

So I just want to know what you think about what happen, this assistant teacher was clearly not only doing the goenka vipassana method  lol.
the wanderer, modified 2 Years ago at 10/15/21 9:26 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/15/21 9:23 PM

RE: Crazy first Goenka retreat experience.

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/15/21 Recent Posts
Before that event I would have laugh at you telling me something like that. I was really not into that kind of stuff lol 

​​​​​​​At first I was really wondering a lot of stuff about what happen.

Like why it happen to me?
What does it mean? 
Am I special or what? 

And  with the continuity of my pratice. It become only another experience.. that's it, I don't make a big deal out of this event anymore like at the beginning.

But for sure, there is cleary a before/after that retreat. My life before and my life now! 
Eudoxos , modified 2 Years ago at 10/16/21 1:23 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/16/21 1:23 PM

RE: Crazy first Goenka retreat experience.

Posts: 136 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
Thank you for describing the experience in detail, it must have been strong for you back then. It is kind of a textbook case and I'd refer you to the chapter on the insight stage of arising & passing away of phenomena in MCTB2 from which I cut & paste a few fragments:

This stage is marked by dramatically increased perceptual abilities when compared with the previous stages.

Spontaneous physical movements and strange jerky breathing patterns that showed up in Cause and Effect and became more pronounced in Three Characteristics may speed up significantly. […]

Reality may be perceived directly with great clarity; great bliss, rapture, equanimity, mindfulness, concentration, and other positive qualities arise. Practice is extremely profound and sustainable, and there may be no pain even after hours of sitting. Unfortunately, the positive qualities that have arisen can easily become what are called the “Ten Corruptions of Insight” if the true natures of the individual sensations by which they are known are not realized as well, and until this happens a meditator can easily get stuck in the immature part of this stage. The trap is that these are all positive qualities, and in this stage, they may show up with surprising intensity, much to most meditators’ delight. […]

Visions, unusual sensory abilities (such as seeing nearby things through closed eyelids), and out-of-body experiences are common. […]

Experiences of other powers are also common here, with the list being too long to go into, and this is the most spontaneous-powers-prone stage of them all. […]

Meditation in dreams and lucid dreaming is common in this territory. The need for sleep may be greatly reduced. People often don’t recognize the A&P when it happens in dreams, because lots of weird stuff happens in dreams. This stage is a common time for first-time hyper-lucid dreaming, and out-of-body experiences […]
As with a sudden interest in magick, it is also a common time for people to become highly interested in lucid dreaming and out-of-body traveling, a topic I cover in Part Six.
The fireworks you experienced were real. The pictures they showed in the sky (e.g. that your teacher was talking to your mind-to-mind and such) are just mental phenomena, though. Your mind happened to like them and gave significance them. As far as insight progress is concerned, they are epiphenomena without long-term value. Some meditators have more fireworks than others in A&P but it does not make their meditation, per se, better.

So "What does it mean?": for insight, it is just sensory experience which is happening, with accompanying vedana and reactive chaining. The experience could have been extremely persuasive, the reaction extremely strong. Still, just phenomena.

Does positioning on the map give you enough of an explanation you were seeking?

How was your practice after that, as you practice continuously? What is your practice?
David Matte, modified 2 Years ago at 10/17/21 2:16 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/17/21 2:05 PM

RE: Crazy first Goenka retreat experience.

Posts: 109 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
I enjoyed reading about your experience.
Insight into arising and passing phenomena -- it's a common stage for anyone who makes progress on the path. It has a lot of variation on how it presents however. Your story sounds like one of the more intense variations.
On a recent retreat I recall this stage being quite the altered state and could perceive many rapid sensations in the field of experience. I was camping on the property of a horse riding school and there were horses grazing the fields all day long. There were some thoughts that came up in my mind that the horses landed there from somewhere else in the universe and that I could communicate with them telepathically. It seems the mind can be quite imaginative in this stage, conjuring up meanings to explain what is sometimes quite a non-ordinary experience of reality. It was an interesting thought but I didn't give it much credibility; there's a fine line between being mindful of these thoughts and being identified with them
Dream Walker, modified 2 Years ago at 10/18/21 2:12 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 10/18/21 2:12 AM

RE: Crazy first Goenka retreat experience.

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Sounds like you got some help.... That's fine and cool. Body sensations are a fine place to start noticing moment to moment sensations. There are no sensations unworthy of investigation so continue exploring all 6 sense doors. See, hear feel thinking and possibly smell and taste. 
​​​​​​​good luck