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Thread: Interested in any insights.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Interested in any insights.

    Am looking for some understanding into a meditation experience I had about 5 years ago.

    Without sucking you all into the whole mental process of the time I seemed to hit some sweet spot in meditation ( though I was hardly disciplined in the practice at all. Practice a month or two then stop for a few months then come back only to stop again.) it felt like all things in the universe were both internal and external. An actual feeling of sameness or oneness with all things as opposed to simply accepting the philosophy of things being that way.

    I felt like nothing existed but Love and Peace. My wife was just me, the TV and couch were just me. Not just intellectual conjecture but an actual experiencing. Everything was perfect just the way it was. Everything was harmony.

    It felt like I was radiating spiritual energy like a nuclear bomb had exploded. Just waves of "something great" flowing off of me and out into everything in the universe only to be returned from all things to me in a simultaneous fashion.

    I had been suffering with pretty bad backpain for a few years at the time, and for the first time since the accident I was completely pain free. And negativity free.When I felt this feeling start to subside I could just refocus on my breath and go right back into it. This went on for a day or two.

    After that experience I could understand alot of the "flowery" language buddhism often uses and is really why i have an interest in Zen today.

    Is this possibly kensho or satori? and what is the difference in the two terms?

    Has anyone else had an experience like this, or am I just a bit off upstairs?

    Dave

  2. #2

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    "Is this possibly kensho or satori? and what is the difference in the two terms?"

    Sorry, I don't believe in that stuff because what I have to try and do today is not relevant to that. What gets me to the next moment in good times and bad is something else. I call it the will to the truth, or try mind, or just breathing mind, or don't know mind, or God or .....

    /Rich

  3. #3
    disastermouse
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    Am looking for some understanding into a meditation experience I had about 5 years ago.

    Without sucking you all into the whole mental process of the time I seemed to hit some sweet spot in meditation ( though I was hardly disciplined in the practice at all. Practice a month or two then stop for a few months then come back only to stop again.) it felt like all things in the universe were both internal and external. An actual feeling of sameness or oneness with all things as opposed to simply accepting the philosophy of things being that way.

    I felt like nothing existed but Love and Peace. My wife was just me, the TV and couch were just me. Not just intellectual conjecture but an actual experiencing. Everything was perfect just the way it was. Everything was harmony.

    It felt like I was radiating spiritual energy like a nuclear bomb had exploded. Just waves of "something great" flowing off of me and out into everything in the universe only to be returned from all things to me in a simultaneous fashion.

    I had been suffering with pretty bad backpain for a few years at the time, and for the first time since the accident I was completely pain free. And negativity free.When I felt this feeling start to subside I could just refocus on my breath and go right back into it. This went on for a day or two.

    After that experience I could understand alot of the "flowery" language buddhism often uses and is really why i have an interest in Zen today.

    Is this possibly kensho or satori? and what is the difference in the two terms?

    Has anyone else had an experience like this, or am I just a bit off upstairs?

    Dave
    I don't know what it was. My experience was something like that - I was also very inexperienced - hell, I wasn't even sitting zazen at the time, I was just meditating a la a description that was tangential in a book that had nothing to do with Buddhism.

    Here's the thing...you can't hang onto any experience - and you don't need to!. There is only this experience. Was it Kensho? None of us can tell you that! You understand the odd sayings of Zen? Great! But what are you going to do now? And now? Did you wake up? Are you sleeping now?

    If your experience was real, you will have an unshakeable faith in the truth of the basic teachings of the Buddha. When you fall asleep, you will at some point wake up again and wonder how you could continually be so stupid.

    Jundo will be the first to tell you what that experience did not: Being pissed at your girlfriend is also enlightenment! Hating your job is also enlightenment! There is no need to have any other experience than the one you are having! There is no need to find that 'sweet spot', and if you want to, you're already far astray. This is the 'sweet' spot, even if it tastes like urine and ashes - because it's the only spot. Even when enlightenment looks like suffering and trouble, it's still just enlightenment.

    Don't let this experience be something that you cherish in some sort of opposition to your current 'not-Kensho' experience - or otherwise you will continually be seeking what you already have. If your experience was genuine, you already sense this on some level. Enlightenment is simply 'this right here' - it is not some special state.

    IMHO

    Chet

  4. #4

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    Am looking for some understanding into a meditation experience I had about 5 years ago.

    Without sucking you all into the whole mental process of the time I seemed to hit some sweet spot in meditation ...
    Hi Dave,

    That sure was a sweet spot. I have no doubt it was Kensho of a flavor, sure. Rings true.

    Gives me a chance to wax poetic ... here is the hiking analogy:

    In this analogy, I describe this Practice as "a hike up a mountain" (though this analogy only goes so far ... cause on this hike, we are ultimately always arriving with every step, and there is no place to get ... the scenery is not something we see, but who we are. Almost anyone following the path for some time will come to realize that there is no place in need of getting to, that the mountain is always underfoot ... and, anyway, that there is no mountain, or path, or walker, but just the walking ... maybe we need not say even that.)

    Anyway, once in awhile, most will catch a glimpse through the trees, or reach a summit, where there is an amazing panorama ... or by which all drops away in all directions. Peace and joy often sweep over one. Almost anyone walking this mountain, day in day out for several years, will experience just that. Timeless.

    Now, this is where our advice in this corner of Eastern Wisdom and Buddhism differs from some: Some sects and schools will say that that is the place to get to and stay. Or, at least, one always needs to achieve a mental sense of that, and be feeling that in some way all the time. But we say that a passing opening or dropping away is no more than a visit to the wide, empty spaces of the Grand Canyon ... nice place to visit, but we can't and should not live there. Learn from that, but the real learning for life is not there. Yes, we may wonder at the majesty and beauty, take a breath beyond space and time ... yes, we should have the ability to touch that whenever we wish ... but we should not (and cannot) stay there forever while in this life. We must very soon get on with the hike, head back into ordinary life.

    The wise ones will realize that such scenery, though breathtaking, is not the real point of the walk. You will know them because of the way they walk ... no longer searching, merely walking forward ... step by step for many thousands of miles, sometimes smooth sometimes tripping, always arriving.

    Some folks may consider a momentary opening to be "shallow" or "deep". And, yes it is true, such openings may come in tastes "big" "small" "long" "short" and beyond all consideration of size and time at all.

    However, all such passing glimpses are "shallow". All shallow, by necessity. The "depth" comes from the day to day slog of life: putting stamps on envelopes, gas in the car, a bandage on a child's skinned knee. People do not know what "enlightenment" is, thinking it some momentary bit of fireworks or unusual sensations outside our normal perceptions. A glimpse of interconnection and stillness is worthless without a return to our world of disconnection and chaos ... though, hopefully, we can learn to taste the stillness in the storm. It is ALL sacred! ALL extra-ordinary.

    Not that we do not value such experiences, but value walking the dog or making toast as much.

    Walking the dog is a miracle! The miracle of being alive just to do that. It is that, and that just walking the dog.

    There is no self. But the dog needs to be walked ... and how wonderful that we can. It is --all-- the sweet spot.

    Gassho, Jundo

    (Chet beat me to the punch ...) My only note ...

    Being pissed at your girlfriend is also enlightenment! Hating your job is also enlightenment!
    My only note is that, truly, we will be much freer of the pissed and hate ... which may come sometimes, but will go with greater ease and wisdom. Being "pissed" and "full of hate" may be enlightenment (cause everything is) ... but it is not enlightened behavior.

  5. #5

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave

    After that experience I could understand alot of the "flowery" language buddhism often uses and is really why i have an interest in Zen today.
    Hi.

    Yes, it makes everything "look more clearly", but so does a glasspolisher...
    And you often can recognize people who had these experiences as being a bit "odd", as if "in touch with another "frame of "things""".

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  6. #6
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    I had a similar experience, Dave, but not so profound or flowery or whatever as yours (I suppose). While it was great and interesting, it messed up my sitting practice for a loooong time. I'm still getting over it. The problem was that I tried to get the experience back, to do it again, with no success. Then I tried to not get the experience back, with no success. I finally just gave up and stopped trying, and that worked in the sense that I started back up Jundo's mountain.

    The best advice I got after posting my experience here was to move on. Now living up to that advice is still in process.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Thanks all for the great responses! something I needed to hear I think. I know these experiences are not to be attached to. I often have a curisoity that goes something like " OH MY GODS!!! IT'S BURNINNNNGGGGG". I really feel all these answers were very insightful. and am honored to have recieved them.

    Two posts really stuck out.

    Fugen, yes I agree about just kind of picking up on others who have had such an experience. At the time of the experience I was involved in a forum for Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho ( a form of alternative medicine dealing with spiritual energies..yes i'm a flake and love it). And I began to notice in conversations that those with the experience could more easily see eye to eye with each other and thought along the same lines.*gassho*

    Alan, i'd say where you were is where i'm at now. Recently i've been concerned far less about bringing that experience back. Really thanks to Jundo's daily sittings.Trying to work on sitting with no purpose as opposed to sitting with trying to get to THERE as Jundo phrased it.



    Chet, well I can't say I have unwavering faith in buddhism because I was mostly unfamiliar with it at the time. But it is an experience I carry with me everyday in terms of it's lessons. It has been the difference between " What an asshole i'd like to slug him for what he just said." to " There's no point in hitting him, i'm really just being frustrated and I can only ever hit myself." Not that I was violent before mind you. But i'm sure we've all had moments of having to restrain ourselves. Now the restraint is easier.

    As for the understanding everything buddhism says, no no and no. but it made significantly more sense. It's like the comment in another thread that I responded to Taigu Sensei with. I am the fish and it is me. It's easy to say we believe in something like the interconnectedness of all things. Another to actually experience " I am the fish and not." It's not like some of the concepts aren't still way beyond me. For instance I have severe issues in trying to rectify absolute vs. relative. If we are all the " One beyond One" why do i still use my name , why do I address others as something external. If this is truth why cater to their not truth, etc. Why would I still be mad if someone broke into my home and stole my belongings?

    I would say in the five years or so since that initial experience i've experienced it in much shorter versions maybe 15-20 times(if even that). Which is really few and far between.

    For me it taught me that much of our spiritual journey is like circling a pool of water. We never know we are circling and all we have to do is dive right in. When I hit the "sweet spot" as I have now termed it ..heh..I laughed at myself for making something as easy as breathing soooo complicated. When I came out of that sweet spot it was right back to circling and forgetting how I ever just dove right into the pool. Only to fall into the pool at the oddest moments. Reading a passage in a book that just struck a chord with me, or rolling over in my sleep and just BAM! sweet spot only to just go back to sleep a moment later.

    Jundo Sensei, in case noone has ever told you, you're quite a quotable guy. The way you explain things seems to be right on mark with what i need to hear to better understand a certain concept. Alot of what you have had to say also helps alleviate some of my doubts and insecurities. Such as your little reminders that thoughts are just gonna come so let em and accept em.

    Dave

  8. #8
    disastermouse
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Technically, 'being pissed' and 'hating your job' are not really behaviors. It's true that with insight, the intensity of these feelings is subdued, but if you truly feel like 'argh, I don't want to go to work', it doesn't help to pretend you don't feel that way. That's all I was saying.

    Chet

  9. #9

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Technically, 'being pissed' and 'hating your job' are not really behaviors. It's true that with insight, the intensity of these feelings is subdued, but if you truly feel like 'argh, I don't want to go to work', it doesn't help to pretend you don't feel that way. That's all I was saying.

    Chet
    Hi Chet,

    Oh, that's so. The way I describe the approach I recommend to harmful or negative emotions, such as anger for example, is (1) when one falls into anger, just try to recognize that it is so and to observe the emotion like observing a stone held in the hand ... it is just what it is, like a broken leg or heart attack, and there is no use pretending that it is not there ... accept it calmly for what it is .... (2) try to recall in the heat of the moment ... not always easy to do ... that all our emotions are passing bits of mental theatre, a kind of self created fiction that is here one moment, then gone the next (3) as in Zazen, observe the thoughts, but do not get caught by them or stir them up, then let then drift away ... (4) follow some practice such as "not to water and replacing the seeds of anger with seeds of peace and compassion", much as Thich Nhat Hahn recommends, and I spoke about recently on the sit-a-long

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... seeds.html

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... seeds.html

    (I intend to turn "nurturing seeds" very shortly into a formal recommended practice for the Sangha ... together with Metta, Samu, and Dana. Of course, Zazen will always be the spoke of the wheel, and the whole wheel too. ).

    But, yes, our practice is both to accept and embrace the human condition (which sometimes makes us greedy, angry, depressed, jealous, spiteful, fearful etc. etc. etc.) ... yet seek to keep the rougher points in moderation, while not accepting and changing what we can. Acceptance without acceptance.

    Gassho, J

    Ps - (5) even accept that, sometimes, none of the above will work and, as part of the human condition, you are going to be a prisoner of our worst side ... and probably regret it later. Even a saint can "loose it" sometimes, under the right conditions. :evil:

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    I enjoyed the nurturing seeds talks. I've encountered the idea before, but seeing it again fresh has put it back into my mind recently. It actually did calm me down the other day. I was having some work related difficulties and was starting to get pissssssssed. I stopped. took a deep breath and said " I'm not nurturing this seed, I want to nurture patience and peace instead". It didn't fix the situation but it took a lil more than just the edge off.

    I have seen the Metta practice on this forum but was trying to get used to shikantaza a lil more before adding to my daily practice. But what are Samu and Dana?( a new thread maybe? )

    Blessed Ever-Present Moment
    Dave

  11. #11

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    I had a similar experience, Dave, but not so profound or flowery or whatever as yours (I suppose). While it was great and interesting, it messed up my sitting practice for a loooong time. I'm still getting over it. The problem was that I tried to get the experience back, to do it again, with no success. Then I tried to not get the experience back, with no success. I finally just gave up and stopped trying
    What he writes here is a truth.

    and that worked in the sense that I started back up Jundo's mountain.
    Jundo has a mountain? Cool.

    Jundo. How much did you pay for that mountain? Where is it? I don't see it.

    Gassho

  12. #12

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    I like to mention the anger is enlightenment thing from my experience (probably been said).

    Anger, annoyance, fear, and so on "are" enlightenment. But they are enlightenment in the way that someone takes their hand out of a scorching fire when they notice it. It is enlightenment in way that it lends itself to the chance to come back to "this" moment. To study the self. To see how anger, annoyance, etc. arises, and learn to drop them.

    Anger is a fog of delusion that create such a great wall between things. It reinforces ego to the extent that suffering is so great. We suffer, and we cause suffering for others.

    However, we can't try to get rid of it. We need to notice as, Jundo said. But it "is" enlightenment.

    Everything is enlightenment. Making breakfast in the morning is enlightenment. And so on.

    Gassho

    W

  13. #13

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Anger, annoyance, fear, and so on "are" enlightenment. But they are enlightenment in the way that someone takes their hand out of a scorching fire when they notice it. It is enlightenment in way that it lends itself to the chance to come back to "this" moment. To study the self. To see how anger, annoyance, etc. arises, and learn to drop them.
    Very nice image, Will.

    Here is my mountain ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... ll-on.html

    By the way, Hans will be back here, at Treeleaf Tsukuba, this weekend ...

  14. #14

    Re: Interested in any insights.

    By the way, Hans will be back here, at Treeleaf Tsukuba, this weekend ...
    What's the plan Stan? Hanging out? Zazen?

    Gassho

  15. #15
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Thank you, Will.

    Gassho

    Taigu

  16. #16
    disastermouse
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    Re: Interested in any insights.

    Quote Originally Posted by will

    However, we can't try to get rid of it. We need to notice as, Jundo said. But it "is" enlightenment.
    That was the heart of what I was trying - and apparently failing - to say. LOL!

    Sometimes you're pissed and it won't 'drop'. Pretending it isn't there (because Buddhists and/or the enlightened don't get angry) is also delusion.

    Gassho.

    Chet

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