Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:29 pm

anjali wrote:
garudha wrote:
anjali wrote:I would like to ask you a question. How has having the experience changed you as a person?

I was totally freaked out about everything before but afterwards I was transformed and had total faith in pure love and was able to live a relatively normal life. It didn't make me into a perfect buddha type person. I wasn't a bad person before and I'm not a bad person now. Still I meet people who are kinder than myself all the time. I'm nothing special.


Has the transformation stayed with you? Did it fade with time? How did your faith in pure love manifest? After your experience, did you feel more compassion for people; were you able to "see into" others' suffering? Did you experience any heightened sense of devotion and/or gratitude?


To a certain extent it's difficult to be fully objective and impartial about ones own life.

It might be helpful if explain the process I went through on the way to the peak of the experience and how I came out the other end...
(IN)
In life we accumulate dirt on our inner being. When this dirt becomes so gross we lose track of who we really are. This can be very painful and can put us into a spiritual or existential crisis.
When I became a being existing solely in spirit, I was slightly shocked, I never knew about such things beforehand, I tried to see where I was and realised that I could only feel with my heart. I tried to attached mental images, but I realised that these were my own mental projections so stopped doing it.
Within this space which I can't describe I was confronted with my own imperfections. There was no time to stop and assess anything I just had to do whatever I felt was right. All I could feel were my own imperfections. I couldn't see Buddha-fields or spiritual-entities!
There was only one things to do, and I felt I had to it right then, they was really no other option. In a way the path forward was at all times one-way and the progression happened automatically.
I was able to see all events in my life very clearly. I was able to feel them from other peoples perspectives too. All the pain I had caused; I felt it. This all happened very quickly and within 5 seconds I had accepted all the past events in my life and held no grudge or ill-will to anyone. I had a true understanding and as such felt no ill-will or anything bad.
I could try and and do the same process now but it wouldn't be so easy. It was like it was happening super-naturally... and all very quickly. It was like I was already dead.
It was as if I had stripped all the dirt of life off my inner being in 5 seconds.
When my inner being was bare I then went zing. I can't describe this zing, sorry.
The next stage was exactly the same as what mentioned in the Dzogchen tradition. If it wasn't then I wouldn't be posting here. To a certain extent I think that all religions point to the same ultimate truth but the Dzogchen tradition describe it most lucidly.
I was able to witness the perfection but I don't know how because I didn't really exist and I'm not an expert on these matters.
(OUT)
One single conception was enough for a snowballing of conceptions, until, very quickly I was back in regular time & space... and thus the "real world" of normal life.
All the problems that had caused me so much pain in my life were gone. I had stripped them away already. I was able to live my life without losing my mind and for me this was quite an achievement in itself!
In time the dirt of life accumulated. It didn't freak me out. I think it's normal. The one key thing is that I had/have a solid grounding in reality so I'm pretty confident that I'll never really lose my way again.
It would be nice if I was able to help everyone around me. The thing is that life isn't that simple. I myself have terrible social skills which didn't get magically perfected as much as I wish they did!

It's really difficult to answer your questions. I can't really objectify my life as if I'm describing some object in my pocket. You're asking questions about my actual being. Still I will try;

Q. Has the transformation stayed with you?
A. I probably wouldn't be alive now if I hadn't been transformed. I can't see how it can leave. All that can happen is some dirt gets stuck on me. Maybe in the future I will scape it off.

Q. Did it fade with time?
A. There's nothing to fade. For sure, I was a very open person afterwards and I might have closed up a little since. Maybe I'll open as I mature. I think it's normal in life as one gets older, kinder and wiser.

Q. How did your faith in pure love manifest?
A. Well I was able to live my life. Yeah, sometimes I feel guilty about my actions or lack of action in loving others. Immortal guilt is quite a cross to carry. I know that love is the most powerful force in the universe so really I should be doing more.

Q. After your experience, did you feel more compassion for people; were you able to "see into" others' suffering? Did you experience any heightened sense of devotion and/or gratitude?
A. Compassion was the catalyst for the experience actually. Basically, you're asking if I was able to remain pure enough to be off great benefit to those around me. The answer is no. I don't feel like a I'm that person. I feel really bad about it.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:59 pm

May I ask how old you are?
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby anjali » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:35 am

Garudha, thank you for taking the time answer my questions and to share so much of your thoughts/experience. It helps to get more of a sense of what's going on for you. I hope you don't mind, but I would like to focus on just a few things you mention.

garudha wrote:When this dirt becomes so gross we lose track of who we really are. This can be very painful and can put us into a spiritual or existential crisis.

This speaks volumes to me. It's unclear what happened to you, and a public forum is perhaps not the place to go into it. However, it does sound like you reached a very painful place in your life. Sometimes, intense suffering has a way of temporarily breaking ego boundaries. Long ago I came across the expression, "We can't break, only break open." In response to my question, you answered:
garudha wrote:Q. Has the transformation stayed with you?
A. I probably wouldn't be alive now if I hadn't been transformed. ...

I don't know what happened to you, but it sounds like you were very fortunate. Is there anyone in your life you've trusted enough to share the full story of what was going on for you? Finding a truly compassionate other is rare in this world. It sounds like you have been struggling alone.

garudha wrote:Q. How did your faith in pure love manifest?
A. Well I was able to live my life. Yeah, sometimes I feel guilty about my actions or lack of action in loving others. Immortal guilt is quite a cross to carry. I know that love is the most powerful force in the universe so really I should be doing more.

So, it is out of love that you are alive. If you feel like sharing, would you say more about this immortal guilt you mention, and why you feel you are carrying such a cross? I'm sure you are aware that Buddhists don't hold such a notion.

garudha wrote:Q. After your experience, did you feel more compassion for people; were you able to "see into" others' suffering? Did you experience any heightened sense of devotion and/or gratitude?
A. Compassion was the catalyst for the experience actually. Basically, you're asking if I was able to remain pure enough to be off great benefit to those around me. The answer is no. I don't feel like a I'm that person. I feel really bad about it.

Again, if it's not too personal, it would be nice to hear about how compassion acted as a catalyst for your experience. In a weak effort to bring in an element of dzogchen to this discussion, perhaps you are aware that the ground of dzogchen is described as being endowed with three qualities―essence, nature and compassionate energy. Perhaps you are familiar with Chenrezig/Avalokiteshvara? He is considered to be the universal manifestation of compassion, and is known as The One Who Hears the Cries of the World.

Maybe I'm completely misreading you, but from reading your posts so far, it seems to me you've had a rough time of things and really don't have anyone to talk with about what really matters. Please, spend some time looking around and try to find a true spiritual friend (kalyāṇa-mittatā).
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:20 pm

Thank you, Anjali, for your kind thoughts and words.

You're correct. It is personal. Not everyone has the same experience in life. I could probably write a book on this subject but will briefly sumerise on the human condition from a male perspective.

I trust that the reader (yes, that's you) will be able to appreciate that which follows is my own perspective and not an doctrine of universal truth. Although you may well finds truth in what I write.

I classify the being of reality into two polarities. Let's call them male and female. Ultimately we are all grounded in the feminine polarity. This is where we're born from. The ideal for these two polarities is as opposite as possible. When a man loses track of his feminine polarity he also loses the ability to manifest the masculine polarity. In this way, it's not uncommon in the world to find men who are unable to manifest the masculine polarity. We generally see these men as feminine but what's really behind this is lack of proper grounding in the feminine polarity. Ultimately; In searching for the absolute truth, one must be clear of one's own nature. For a man on a spiritual path, it's not uncommon to find that the man has deconstructed his masculine self in the process,.. he's become somewhat gender neutral or appears feminine. If we don't understand the natural dynamic that exists in nature; we see the masculine and feminine as constructs, part of an ego that needs be done away with. After a person comes to understand the true nature of the these polarities; She has found the true source of her own expression. He has found the true source of his own expression. In the case of the female; She knows herself to be an expression of an eternal body. In the case of a male; He knows himself to be capable of infinite action upon this body. Thus the profound nature of either a man or a woman is realised through spiritual insight.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby Virgo » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:44 pm

garudha wrote:about 15 years ago, without any prior meditation practice (I didn't even know about Buddha), I had the experience of what I've since


Your all caught up in that, so are you liberated?

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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:47 pm

Currently I'm in samsara and expect to be reborn into samsara again at the end of my lifetime.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby anjali » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:50 pm

garudha wrote:Thank you, Anjali, for your kind thoughts and words.

You are welcome. Thank you for continuing to share your life experience and perspective.

garudha wrote:You're correct. It is personal. Not everyone has the same experience in life.

While it is true that we each have our own life experiences, we all know suffering enough to fill oceans with our tears.

garudha wrote:I could probably write a book on this subject but will briefly sumerise on the human condition from a male perspective.

I trust that the reader (yes, that's you) will be able to appreciate that which follows is my own perspective and not an doctrine of universal truth. Although you may well finds truth in what I write.

I classify the being of reality into two polarities. Let's call them male and female. Ultimately we are all grounded in the feminine polarity. This is where we're born from. The ideal for these two polarities is as opposite as possible. When a man loses track of his feminine polarity he also loses the ability to manifest the masculine polarity. In this way, it's not uncommon in the world to find men who are unable to manifest the masculine polarity. We generally see these men as feminine but what's really behind this is lack of proper grounding in the feminine polarity. Ultimately; In searching for the absolute truth, one must be clear of one's own nature. For a man on a spiritual path, it's not uncommon to find that the man has deconstructed his masculine self in the process,.. he's become somewhat gender neutral or appears feminine. If we don't understand the natural dynamic that exists in nature; we see the masculine and feminine as constructs, part of an ego that needs be done away with. After a person comes to understand the true nature of the these polarities; She has found the true source of her own expression. He has found the true source of his own expression. In the case of the female; She knows herself to be an expression of an eternal body. In the case of a male; He knows himself to be capable of infinite action upon this body. Thus the profound nature of either a man or a woman is realised through spiritual insight.

This is clearly something important to you. Personal circumstances and choices must have compelled you to work with masculine/feminine issues in your life, perhaps causing you a fair amount of grief along the way. Do you feel like you have come to terms with it, or is it something you are still actively working with?

Within the dzogchen tradition, you will find many teachings on resting in the natural state. Have you been able to find peace and rest in your life? If you continue your studies of Buddhism, you will find that it is one long practice of learning to let go and find refreshing rest.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:29 pm

garudha wrote:After a person comes to understand the true nature of the these polarities; She has found the true source of her own expression. He has found the true source of his own expression. In the case of the female; She knows herself to be an expression of an eternal body. In the case of a male; He knows himself to be capable of infinite action upon this body. Thus the profound nature of either a man or a woman is realised through spiritual insight.


What I wrote might be interpreted sexually. To avoid confusion; I want to make the meaning clear...

There are some people engaging in sexual-spiritual tantric practices outside of normal relationships & marriages.
Whilst I'm not an expert on such matters I am aware that sex is a very powerful motivator for both students and teachers alike.
I'm also aware that students put great trust into their teachers and the possibility exists of that trust being abused.
I therefore want to clarify that my own experience is as follows:
True insight of one's own manifestation as a single polarity comes from spiritual insight.
I do not mean that spiritual insight comes from the manifestation of ones polarity.
Indeed; If someone is not aware of the true nature of their own spiritual polarity, then engaging in tantric practices with the hope of realising something spiritual that they didn't already know would be foolish.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:47 pm

anjali wrote:
garudha wrote:Personal circumstances and choices must have compelled you to work with masculine/feminine issues in your life, perhaps causing you a fair amount of grief along the way. Do you feel like you have come to terms with it, or is it something you are still actively working with? .


My experience of the primordial instantly vanquished all confusion and prior suffering regarding the true nature of reality. Thank you, the perfection of the spiritually supreme that is, eternally and without measure. :heart:
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby anjali » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:40 am

garudha wrote:My experience of the primordial instantly vanquished all confusion and prior suffering regarding the true nature of reality. Thank you, the perfection of the spiritually supreme that is, eternally and without measure. :heart:


Garudha, at this point, my suggestion would be to spend a little time exploring Dharmawheel and getting to know the different forums. Read some of the conversations and get to know the flavor of the site and the different posters here. We're an eclectic group of folks. A mix of scholars and practitioners who have all kinds of personalities. All in all, there are some really nice people here with varied backgrounds.

Probably the only two rules in posting are: 1) be nice and to try and practice right speech--not always easy if there is a heated debate going on, and 2) try and stay on topic at hand as much as possible. If you look around, you will find forums that are more causal and laid back in what gets posted. In other areas things are more strict--for example, academic discussions and forums such as this one on dzogchen. There is actually a specific forum for discussing personal experiences if you wish to share more about the kinds of experiences you had--and would like to get some Buddhist feedback.

For you, your experience of 15 years ago was a compelling one. Now, after 15 years, you find yourself here on Dharmawheel, a Buddhist board. Explore what Buddhism has to offer you and see if it connects with what you need in your life now. Use Dharmawheel as a resource. I don't know what you need in your life, only a real master can discern that. However, what I can say is that we all need more of the four immeasurables in our lives: loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Find true spiritual friends who embody those qualities--such people are worth their weight in gold, and associate with them if you can.

:anjali:
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby philji » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:41 am

A mala... May I congratulate you in your responses to Garudha. Far too many on his forum, get all too defensive when they hear something they don't agree with or feel is not " Buddhist view". Your responses are full of compassionate insight and hopefully will enable Garudha to continue his journey not put him off the dharma. :cheers:
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby muni » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:41 am

anjali wrote:While it is true that we each have our own life experiences, we all know suffering enough to fill oceans with our tears.


And the Boundless Ones, like you said. Great conversation.

* Bowing * :anjali:
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:29 am

Dear people,

I originally started this thread and I'd now like to provide an update.

Not much has happened to myself event-wise -but my understanding might of increased? (an event in itself you might say).

I think that I had the experience (that which I've already described) of "The Arupa Jhānas"...

As I'm fairly new to the subject of Buddhism, I believe that what has happened is, I've picked up some Dzogchen books and then gotten the wrong end of stick.

For instance;

In the "The Precious Treasury on the Basic Space of Phenomena" by Longchen Rabjam, a description of awakened mind is objectively given, as follows;


Code: Select all
 ~ The Adornment of Basic Space ~

Within the expanse of spontaneous presence is the ground of all that arises.
Empty in essence, continuous by nature, it has never existed as anything whatsoever, yet arises as anything at all.
Within the expanse of the three kayas, although samsara and nirvana arise naturally, they do not stray from basic space - such is the blissful realm that is the true nature of phenomena.

Mind itself is a vast expanse, the realm of unchanging space.
Its indeterminate display is the expanse of the magical expression of its responsiveness.
Everything is the adornment of basic space and nothing else.
Outwardly and inwardly, things proliferating and resolving are the dynamic energy of awakened mind.
Because this is nothing whatsoever yet arises as anything at all, it is a marvellous and magical expression, amazing and superb.


Perhaps that snippet is not a very good example but I can assure you that I was reading the above, and more besides, thinking "yes. that's exactly right". Opps, my bad.

Like I previously said; It would seem that I have experienced Arupa Jhāna where "I" did not exist and I naturally took the infinity of this state to be the "ultimate state" -because I didn't know any better... Hey Sorry! I guess that's to expected when a lay-person gets blasted into the infinite-mind without prior preparation.
and so,
Reading about, infinity, eternity, non-dualism and non-conceptualization in Dzogchen teachings; I had matched these attributes to my own experience.

Ironically there *is* common ground as both are ultimately dealing with the same "thing".

Still I'd go as far to say that it's possible that Arupa Jhāna can be the destination to an infinity which is the ground of all phenomena. Perhaps this is an incorrect interpretation but instinctively I think it must be correct.

Of course; in recognising all this I understand my own experience in a clearer light and I'm able to better understand the structure of various teachings.

When I learnt that Dzogchen is a "lucid" wakeful experience, and knowing that I couldn't see normal reality in my Jhāna, it clicked that I must have been be reading Dzogchen incorrectly. :techproblem:

:sage:

Thanks for all your replies. They have all all been helpful in some-way.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:59 am

Hi there Garudha,
Usually a genuine experience in Dzogchen is characterized by the feeling of a 'collapse'. This kind of collapse would lead to a natural abandonment of the eight worldly concerns. So that is one way to test your experience - does it lead to a reduction in the eight worldly concerns?

The eight worldly concerns are: hope for happiness and fear of suffering; hope for fame and fear of insignificance; hope for praise and fear of blame; hope for gain and fear of loss.

One paradox here, is that wanting to have enlightenment or grand experiences can be seen as an attachment to a worldly concern. Here 'worldly' means 'amplifying' oneself. Of course I am not saying this about you. But it is something to keep in mind.
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." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby Seishin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:15 pm

Hi Garudha,

It's great that you can come back and admit to your misunderstanding, it is very brave :smile: .

May I ask, why do you need to name/identify this experience you've had? Why not call it a great experience and leave it at that?

I only ask because the arupajhanas follow after the rupajhanas (AFIK). And those who have attained even the first jhana exhibit certain qualities;
"Five factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with five is it endowed. There is the case where, in a monk who has attained the first jhana, sensual desire is abandoned, ill will is abandoned, sloth & torpor is abandoned, restlessness & anxiety is abandoned, uncertainty is abandoned. And there occur directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, & singleness of mind. It's in this way that five factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with five it is endowed."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

May I ask, do you feel you have abandoned these five factors?

Gassho,
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:43 pm

Seishin wrote:Hi Garudha,

It's great that you can come back and admit to your misunderstanding, it is very brave :smile: .

May I ask, why do you need to name/identify this experience you've had? Why not call it a great experience and leave it at that?

I only ask because the arupajhanas follow after the rupajhanas (AFIK). And those who have attained even the first jhana exhibit certain qualities;
"Five factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with five is it endowed. There is the case where, in a monk who has attained the first jhana, sensual desire is abandoned, ill will is abandoned, sloth & torpor is abandoned, restlessness & anxiety is abandoned, uncertainty is abandoned. And there occur directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, & singleness of mind. It's in this way that five factors are abandoned in the first jhana, and with five it is endowed."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

May I ask, do you feel you have abandoned these five factors?

Gassho,
Seishin


It would be most unhelpful to others if I didn't come back and clarify.

Regarding your question; Yes, I did all abandoning supernaturally. I understand the given name for this super-natural state, or the gateway into a super-natural state, in which I had the chance to work very quickly is given as Bardo***. After I "hit the ceiling" I then dropped down from the highest arupajhana (8) into the a state of subtle awareness (lower arupajhanas). I couldn't dwell in the lower arupajhana because I instantly caused myself to fall back into normal life. Please bear in mind that I did not meditate into this experience. Like I said in a previous post> I was born pure and clean <<from arupajhana>> and then gradually became dirty as the result of continuous life experience. I think it's normal. For example; A baby does not remain pure --such is life.

*** I know you might think that it's impossible to experience death but I have personal experience otherwise. I do not believe in death. Further; I have personal experience of the dissolution of the body and then later manifesting back into mortality with the re-instatement of the subtle winds therein. I know this to be true more than I know sitting here & typing these words to be true.

I should re-state (for the benefit of the speed-reader) that my experience was not Dzogchen.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby Seishin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:12 pm

The reason I ask why you feel the need to label them is because what you describe only bares a small resemblance to Buddhist teaching. I'm not saying they weren't real credible experiences, just saying that you might come up against obstacles when trying to fit those experiences into a Buddhist context.

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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:31 pm

Yes, perhaps my experience is not of Buddhism.

Ironically this Sufi quote may have more relevance to Dzogchen than my own "meditative" experience provides.

Abû Sa‘îd al-Kharrâz was asked,
“Through what have you known Allâh?”
He replied, “Through the fact that He brings opposites together,”
for he had witnessed their coming together in himself.

~ Travelling the Path of Love, Sayings of Sufi Masters - Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby theanarchist » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:36 pm

garudha wrote:4. Let's say that I start to meditate, and knowing the route, I then enter this state again before long. Are there any dangers? -For example; might I manifest multiple bodies by mistake, or re-enter the wrong body, or even get re-birthed at the point of conception thus leaving my regular body for dust ?]



It's not going to be so easy.

It probably could "happen" because you had no concept about it whatsoever, no expectations, no clinging to it.

But now you have these concepts and expectations and clinging to it and you will have to work to overcome those to be able to find a state of meditation/Dzogchen non-meditation.


I suggest you find a qualified teacher, otherwise I doubt that you will get very far.
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Re: Prevalance of the experience and some advanced questions

Postby garudha » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:24 pm

theanarchist wrote:
garudha wrote:4. Let's say that I start to meditate, and knowing the route, I then enter this state again before long. Are there any dangers? -For example; might I manifest multiple bodies by mistake, or re-enter the wrong body, or even get re-birthed at the point of conception thus leaving my regular body for dust ?]


It's not going to be so easy.

It probably could "happen" because you had no concept about it whatsoever, no expectations, no clinging to it.

But now you have these concepts and expectations and clinging to it and you will have to work to overcome those to be able to find a state of meditation/Dzogchen non-meditation.

I suggest you find a qualified teacher, otherwise I doubt that you will get very far.


You must have made some good progress on the path already to have offered this advice. I shall take note of it. Certainly you're correct about "no expectations".

I believe that we are all good people and you wouldn't even be offering your advice unless you felt yourself qualified.
But, because you have come so far, and, because you have put in much effort into your knowledge & practice; then for another to make progress you think they must put in much effort (and it must be difficult).

These are assumptions and speculations. Please be careful with your words. I take no offence but naturally may become impressed with it... as may others.
~ "The requested topic does not exist" ~
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garudha
 
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