garudha wrote:1. The infinite oneness that I remember as being far more real than ordinary existence; How can we know that this isn't just the true nature of our individual minds, and not a shared conciousness that contains all conceptions?
The Great Perfection is non-dual. Its a subtle distinction between that and infinite oneness, yet its worth noting that understanding the specific view of Dzogchen is absolutely integral to success in its practice.
The true nature of our own mind, when its realized, is seen directly to be the same as the true nature of the mind of all beings and to be connected to an even broader realm of the pure changeless Dharmadhatu. This "seeing" is only to be understood directly when abiding in the true nature of the mind and cannot otherwise be known. Dzogchen is always entirely beyond conceptualization and all explanations will fall short.
garudha wrote:2. At the time of entry; after my crown chakra opened, it felt like I was shot as "straight as a steel bolt" from the top of my head into space. My question is this... (a) Did I actually go anywhere or was just a trick sensation ? (b) If I left my body, did my body actually exist whilst "I wasn't but oneness was" ?
This doesnt sound like Rigpa of Dzogchen. One does not "Go anywhere" nor does one leave the body. However this experience still has much value spiritually, it is just not Dzogchen realization nor even perception of the true nature of mind.
garudha wrote:3. How common is it to experience this in one's lifetime, generally ?
Its rare to experience oneness, as Shiva might. Its rarer to hear of Dzogchen, rarer still to encounter a Dzogchen Yogi who can give you direct introduction, and rarest of all to be able to put the teachings into practice and realize them.
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 ?
Well to begin with if you do this meditation thinking its Dzogchen you will have immediately strayed from the Dzogchen path before you had a fair, fighting chance to begin it. First thing is to get direct introduction, understand Dzogchen view, and remain open minded and non-attached to your experiences. The danger is generating karma in the formless realms, which will just reincarnate you there or in the abode of the Gods. It will not lead to the supreme liberation of Dzogchen.
garudha wrote:A million thanks for reading my rambling post and trying to help me understand this stuff(?)
I hope you dont take offense, but what you describe doesnt sound like Dzogchen. To begin with its said that you need a teacher to give you direct introduction. Even if we discard that, the description of your experience doesnt indicate having realized Rigpa, which is what Dzogchen is about. On the other hand I rejoice that you've found these teachings and there is nothing wrong with experiences. Ive had many such experiences as well, and had to let them go as anything of much importance in order to really practice Dzogchen. They helped me find Dzogchen, that was enough for me.