Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing This

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing This

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:33 am

Recently I have discovered that when I put my attention on a sense field, usually vision as that seems the easiest to see 'this', with a subtle shift of attention I see that there is nothing outside of my field of vision, and that everything in my field of vision in this moment is who and what I am, the revelation is that this is all there is.

If I enter 3rd Jhana while doing this, I would previously have said that I had gained a heightened awareness, clarity, of the world, which I am 'in', and which is independent of my being in it. But with this shift of awareness, I see that I am the objects in my field of vision, and that there is no separation between me and those objects, although it is a 3D space, it is hyper-real and dream like. In other words, I and the world feel like a single connected piece. This becomes further puzzling and strange when noticing that the body is there in the field of vision. The strangeness appears as both inside and outside become one and the same, a living paradox.

I believe that this shift of attention is to the energy field of being, which then becomes everything perceived in the sensory fields of awareness. Shifting the attention like this would be a practice of noticing 'this', while closed eyes meditation would then be a deeper union with the non-sensory contact with 'this'.

This is not to negate or say the world doesn't really exist, or run independent of my being here, it's hard to see it other wise, but rather, while that may be so, it is never the less simply a thought in my field of experience, and can therefore only form part of a belief system, which in essence, is delusional, fantasy, as it has no bearing on the actuality of my immediate experience.

I was able to find the same non-dual shift in the field of hearing today, all the sound around me was locatable outside myself, but at the same time it was just here - the field of hearing itself. All of the sounds became my body, I was a body of sound outside of which there was nothing.

At one moment the body of sound felt so ecstatic that there was shooting releases in the stomach region (I frequently experience these when transitioning/transcending from one samahdi state to another), and I felt as though I was falling. The whole sound body, like the field of vision had been before, felt as though it was one piece.

I'm only just beginning to see these things and haven't explored them with any depth, I am aware that non-dual practices, dzogchen, advaita, mahamudra, deal with these issues, but I have as yet not read the literature associated with these experiences I am having, and wonder if anyone could shed any light on what's going on here.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Zhen Li » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:32 am

What does it really mean to be all-knowing?

Sabba Sutta: The All
"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:05 am

Thomas, you may find the topics in this link relevant and informative...

Substantial and insubstantial nonduality:
http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/substantial-and-insubstantial-non.html?m=1

Mahāmudra, Dzogchen and the buddhadharma in general fall under the latter (insubstantial). Traditions such as Advaita Vedanta and the like usually fall under the former (substantial).
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:09 pm

Thanks for those links. I will look into those.

I want to try to continue with the experiential as I can, as that always seems like the more meaningful thing to try to relate to with other people.

I was upset with my gf over an issue of trust today, when all of a sudden I became aware that I was embroiled in a discussion with myself. Multiple discussions from alternating view points. The reason appeared to be pain. What was this pain that I was feeling in my body and mind? Clenching, nerve pain. Pain which was affecting my ability to breath smoothly (subtly). I stopped and said to myself, 'there's nobody here.' Then there was silence.

All of the sounds and sensations that were there in the background, and always there, waiting, in a kind of beautiful emptiness, slowly began to creep forth into my experience. But you can't say that I was not 'present' with this, and then I was. No, I was 'present' in both instances, the latter 'being' with less pain, or more pleasure, as it were.

Had it been just an over active imagination? Spinning wild fantasies in an attempt to dissolve the knot of pain which was like a stab in the heart? Or is that just another justification? Another narrative, in an attempt to make sense of it all. Or was it just 'this'.

Is there actually a way to stop caring for and loving someone who has hurt you?

The mind wants to investigate the evidence, find out who is right and wrong. We say, 'could I possibly have just been over reacting?' Should I give it a few more days? Maybe they didn't mean it that way. And oh, that shows me another dimension to their character I hadn't seen before. And so on. Spinning. Trying to impute a logic and sense to something which is utterly unfathomable.

I'm not actually quite in that position myself, but I'm speaking rhetorically, and because whether it is a small are large pain, it really is the same answer. No. There is no way to stop anything, you're not even doing this! :yinyang:

So then the dzogchen response would then be, I would guess, something like to simply see 'it' in/as the pain, in that infinite totally inexplicable variegate of sensation (on a theme of pain and suffering), don't try to stop it, you can't, that's why you are in pain. You can't change it, just see it for what it is. This.

Neat and tidy as a thought, but it still doesn't even seem to touch it. And it can't with words, a live discussion would be different. Writing about it, though, gives it a kind of mental clarity and sharpness to the happening which is also providing a feeling of release and opening of the heart.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:26 pm

(cont.)

Writing also allows you then, in one fell swoop, to release the idea; to let it go - like a helium balloon. Where 'letting go' means allowing the sensation of 'resistance' (to the tug of the heart) to dissolve into the immediate presence of no-thing-ness. Why do we hold onto it in the first place? Cause and effect? Karma? Beliefs may be delusion, but they are also embedded in the body, in our behavior and thinking. So again while they may be what 'is', they are also, at the same time, what 'is causing' the pain. Then is holding a belief just a choice?

No, it's seeing that not only are there no beliefs (that are real), but also no choices, we are not even 'doing' this! :cheers:
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:26 am

It appears from your http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/substantial-and-insubstantial-non.html?m=1 that what I am experiencing is what is described there as insubstantial non-duality, or the arising insight into anatta.

While talking about this with a friend today, I described how I saw in the field of vision that inside and outside are one and the same, so we could say that the body appears both inside the field of vision, outside it, and neither inside or outside.

It appears though that I still see objects in three dimensions, in relation to a body. That feels somewhere outside yet close to the head, yet the field extends out before the body, while at the same time appearing to be nowhere.

While the things in vision have there own composition, and while they may have an independent existence, is what appears in the field of vision then non-material, made of no-thing, and so no different from an apparition or dream?
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby theanarchist » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:47 am

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:Thanks for those links. I will look into those.

I want to try to continue with the experiential as I can, as that always seems like the more meaningful thing to try to relate to with other people.

I was upset with my gf over an issue of trust today, when all of a sudden I became aware that I was embroiled in a discussion with myself. Multiple discussions from alternating view points. The reason appeared to be pain. What was this pain that I was feeling in my body and mind? Clenching, nerve pain. Pain which was affecting my ability to breath smoothly (subtly). I stopped and said to myself, 'there's nobody here.' Then there was silence.

All of the sounds and sensations that were there in the background, and always there, waiting, in a kind of beautiful emptiness, slowly began to creep forth into my experience. But you can't say that I was not 'present' with this, and then I was. No, I was 'present' in both instances, the latter 'being' with less pain, or more pleasure, as it were.

Had it been just an over active imagination? Spinning wild fantasies in an attempt to dissolve the knot of pain which was like a stab in the heart? Or is that just another justification? Another narrative, in an attempt to make sense of it all. Or was it just 'this'.

Is there actually a way to stop caring for and loving someone who has hurt you?

The mind wants to investigate the evidence, find out who is right and wrong. We say, 'could I possibly have just been over reacting?' Should I give it a few more days? Maybe they didn't mean it that way. And oh, that shows me another dimension to their character I hadn't seen before. And so on. Spinning. Trying to impute a logic and sense to something which is utterly unfathomable.

I'm not actually quite in that position myself, but I'm speaking rhetorically, and because whether it is a small are large pain, it really is the same answer. No. There is no way to stop anything, you're not even doing this! :yinyang:

So then the dzogchen response would then be, I would guess, something like to simply see 'it' in/as the pain, in that infinite totally inexplicable variegate of sensation (on a theme of pain and suffering), don't try to stop it, you can't, that's why you are in pain. You can't change it, just see it for what it is. This.

Neat and tidy as a thought, but it still doesn't even seem to touch it. And it can't with words, a live discussion would be different. Writing about it, though, gives it a kind of mental clarity and sharpness to the happening which is also providing a feeling of release and opening of the heart.



Sounds like you are thinking too much. Whatever it is that you are experiencing, it is a meditation experience and therefor shouldn't be given any exaggerated attention. It's not important.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby xabir » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:47 am

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:It appears from your http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/substantial-and-insubstantial-non.html?m=1 that what I am experiencing is what is described there as insubstantial non-duality, or the arising insight into anatta.

While talking about this with a friend today, I described how I saw in the field of vision that inside and outside are one and the same, so we could say that the body appears both inside the field of vision, outside it, and neither inside or outside.

It appears though that I still see objects in three dimensions, in relation to a body. That feels somewhere outside yet close to the head, yet the field extends out before the body, while at the same time appearing to be nowhere.

While the things in vision have there own composition, and while they may have an independent existence, is what appears in the field of vision then non-material, made of no-thing, and so no different from an apparition or dream?

Is there complete certainty that there is no hearer behind hearing (which is sound), no feeler/thinker/etc behind ...

Not as a state but as an insight into what is always already the case.

Also this is different from seeing hearer/hearing/sound are indistinguishable or inseparable... that would be substantial non-duality.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:34 am

What I experienced was a sense that what was appearing in the sensory fields was all there was. A body of sound, a body of space, a body of sensation, experienced as a single 'piece', right here, in the immediate awareness.

It's a subtle shift from the habit of hearing sound, for example, in a 3D space outside the body, to it being 'all there is', nothing outside that field of sound.

The actual body is still 'present', but like an anomaly, empty, just a body, nothing 'in' it.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby theanarchist » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:52 am

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:What I experienced was a sense that what was appearing in the sensory fields was all there was. A body of sound, a body of space, a body of sensation, experienced as a single 'piece', right here, in the immediate awareness.

It's a subtle shift from the habit of hearing sound, for example, in a 3D space outside the body, to it being 'all there is', nothing outside that field of sound.

The actual body is still 'present', but like an anomaly, empty, just a body, nothing 'in' it.




So what?


Sounds like you developed an unhealthy fascination for this type of experience.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby xabir » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:54 pm

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:What I experienced was a sense that what was appearing in the sensory fields was all there was. A body of sound, a body of space, a body of sensation, experienced as a single 'piece', right here, in the immediate awareness.

It's a subtle shift from the habit of hearing sound, for example, in a 3D space outside the body, to it being 'all there is', nothing outside that field of sound.

The actual body is still 'present', but like an anomaly, empty, just a body, nothing 'in' it.
That is good.. but as for anatta, an insight has to arise that sees through the inherent view of a subjective essence - that sees through the very delusion of an agent, a seer, hearer, thinker, etc behind hearing-sound, seeing-sight (and seeing is merely that experience of sight). One dissolves the tendency of conceiving a changeless, inherent self/Self. This is not merely non-dual experience by subsuming everything as self.

Furthermore there is a difference between an experience of no-mind, in which one experiences simply the sounds/space/sensation as all there is, and realizing anatta to be what is always already the case. I explained this in my super-long (pardon) article http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com. ... ctice.html . But in summary an experience of the dissolution of sense of separation into 'only the experience' (as a peak experience) is not the same as realizing that the subjective self/agent behind experience has always been a delusion, and always in hearing just sound no hearer, etc etc. There is a distinction between 'experience' and 'realization'.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:10 pm

xabir wrote:
Thomas_Pynchon wrote:Also this is different from seeing hearer/hearing/sound are indistinguishable or inseparable... that would be substantial non-duality.


I reread your article and see that now, thank you.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby TaTa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:18 am

Maybe you should check out Shinzen young's mindfulness system. It seems in tune with your type of expiriences. He has a lot of videos of youtube, and although i dont practice in that way i have found them useful.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks. I should add that the experiences I describe here are relatively recent, within the last few weeks.

But to give a brief background (for what it's worth), I started having non-dual experiences (that I was aware of) as a piano student during my teens. I see that now in retrospect. More precisely I entered 2nd Jhana (where thinking stops, and bliss and joy awaken, freedom from stress and anxiety, and a feeling of infinite space opens within). I could play really fast when this happened, and it was effortless, and I gained a level of control and ease that I didn't seem to have 'normally'. I can recall the experience as I compare it now in retrospect to what I usually experience (almost) everyday during meditation.

At 25 I had a full, classical, spontaneous kundalini awakening. In a nutshell: from the root chakra it felt like water coursing through a hose, very slowly rising up the spine, to the crown chakra, all along the spine the muscles released, let go, from the crown chakra it split and went down through my arms and legs. When I opened my eyes, I saw with unfathomable clarity, minute details; when I played piano I felt every note first in my heart, then the mind; I felt and remember saying (what a cliche I know but it was true!) 'I understand the mind of god'. When I played Mozart, I was Mozart, Bach, I was Bach, a feeling that the music was the mind. Quite indescribable. This lasted for 2 months, and I would say that it was similar to descriptions of fourth Jhana, which, in terms of the material Jhanas, was as close to enlightenment as I understood it to be at that time. What ever it was, I knew that that was worth spending a life finding again.

I have had two similar kinds of awakenings since then, and many minor, but nothing ever as powerful as the first.

So that got me fired up to find out more, but it was only in the last 7 years or so that I found someone who was able to take this deeper, and I started meditating 1-2 hours/day, and always experience 2nd Jhana, and sometimes 3rd Jhana.

3rd Jhana is the state I am in when I am able to (most lucidly) notice what I have described above as the shift to the sensory fields becoming a single continuum, with no distinction between inside and outside. 3rd Jhana is less ecstatic than 2nd for me, but 3rd Jhana is emptiness, what I would previously have called a state of non perception, but now it seems more like it is simply perception itself, without identity. 3rd eye always opens with a strong energy when I enter 3rd Jhana, and always lasts until I go to bed.

I experimented with psilocybin last year for the first time, and had most powerfully the first real total dissolution of ego/identity that I have ever experienced. That was confounding in a way that seemed to trump any previous experiences of this kind. I have never lost a sense of identity like that before or after.

A friend put me on to Peter Brown a few months ago which gave me a number of tools for examining non-dual awareness more directly during my daily activities. I'm just reading a good thread on Peter Brown here: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=14626&hilit=peter+brown&start=20 , where Xabir gives a good summary and review of his work and the limitations of his own approach to experiencing non-dual awareness.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby theanarchist » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:47 pm

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:
But to give a brief background (for what it's worth), I started having non-dual experiences (that I was aware of) as a piano student during my teens. I see that now in retrospect. More precisely I entered 2nd Jhana (where thinking stops, and bliss and joy awaken, freedom from stress and anxiety, and a feeling of infinite space opens within). I could play really fast when this happened, and it was effortless, and I gained a level of control and ease that I didn't seem to have 'normally'. I can recall the experience as I compare it now in retrospect to what I usually experience (almost) everyday during meditation.


That sounds more like a stated that is called "flow" and is similar to runner's high or trance. That has nothing to do with a direct perception of emptiness nature.

Thomas_Pynchon wrote:At 25 I had a full, classical, spontaneous kundalini awakening. In a nutshell: from the root chakra it felt like water coursing through a hose, very slowly rising up the spine, to the crown chakra, all along the spine the muscles released, let go, from the crown chakra it split and went down through my arms and legs. When I opened my eyes, I saw with unfathomable clarity, minute details; when I played piano I felt every note first in my heart, then the mind; I felt and remember saying (what a cliche I know but it was true!) 'I understand the mind of god'. When I played Mozart, I was Mozart, Bach, I was Bach, a feeling that the music was the mind. Quite indescribable. This lasted for 2 months, and I would say that it was similar to descriptions of fourth Jhana, which, in terms of the material Jhanas, was as close to enlightenment as I understood it to be at that time. What ever it was, I knew that that was worth spending a life finding again.


Kundalini has nothing to do with buddhist practice. And to think you are Mozart when you are playing Mozart may be a powerful experience but has nothing to do with an experience of emptiness nature either.


Thomas_Pynchon wrote:I experimented with psilocybin last year for the first time, and had most powerfully the first real total dissolution of ego/identity that I have ever experienced. That was confounding in a way that seemed to trump any previous experiences of this kind. I have never lost a sense of identity like that before or after. .


An experience of emptiness nature is not, I repeat NOT a loss of identity in the sense of losing yourself. It's a loss of clinging to the self and the world as an inheritant entity. You stay pretty much "you". Just without all that conceptual chit-chat clogging your thought process.


No doubt that you had powerful experiences. But as the saying goes, experiences pave the road to ignorance.... (meaning, if you get high on experience and start to cling to it, going as far as poisoning your brain with chemical substances to get them, you get even more confused than someone who never had any of these)
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby Thomas_Pynchon » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:27 pm

In case some are not familiar with Jhana:

Digha Nikaya 22
Maha-satipatthana Sutta (DN 22)

(Jhana)

[22]"And what is right meditation (sama-samadhi)? There is the case where an aspirant is quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental projections enters and remains in the first ecstasy (jhana): bliss (piiti) and joy (sukha) born from withdrawal, accompanied by applied and sustained attention (vitakka and vicára). With the stilling of applied and sustained attention (vitakka and vicára), one enters and remains in the second ecstasy (jhana): joy (sukha) and bliss (piiti) born of tranquility, unification of awareness free from applied and sustained attention (vitakka and vicára) with internal assurance. With the fading of joy one remains in equanimity, aware and alert, physically sensitive to bliss (piiti). One enters and remains in the third ecstasy (jhana), of which the Noble Ones declare, 'equanimous and aware, one has a pleasurable abiding.' With the abandoning of grasping and aversion for pleasure and pain (sukha and dukkha) -- as with the earlier disappearance of pleasure and pain -- one enters and remains in the fourth ecstasy (jhana): purity of equanimity and awareness, with neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right meditation."

Re: Kundalini, the related word the Buddha does use is 'viriya' (energy), my understand is that Kundalini is the energy which arises between the material and non-material Jhana, to literally rocket one into the non-material domains, or the OOB experience. However, what I experienced has also been described and documented under the newer term 'kundalini'.

All comment are most welcome and appreciated.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby theanarchist » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:51 pm

Problem is, there are different types of meditation experiences that can feel very similar to genuine insight.

Therefor on the buddhist path you need a teacher with a lot of practical meditation experience to check your practice, a person like that can tell them apart and tell you where you are in your practice and how to continue. You can't do-it-yourself judge your own meditational archievements and experiences with a buddhist text book.


And, sorry, drug induced states have absolutely nothing to do with buddhist meditation.
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Re: Experience/sense fields/non-duality- Practice noticing T

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:06 am

theanarchist wrote:And, sorry, drug induced states have absolutely nothing to do with buddhist meditation.

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=9514&p=118836#p118836
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
If we have to have a soul, it might as well be vidya, it is after all, permanent, unconditioned, a knower, stainless, and free from the three realms. But If we don't have to have one, vidya still has these characteristics. It is our essenceless essence. - a certain Gemini
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
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