Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:18 am

I have considered myself a Buddhist for around 4-5 months now. I have been learning slowly, the best lesson one of my teachers taught me! I always love to dive into things so when I come with a million questions she always tells me to slow down. She said the Tibetans have a common saying of "slowly slowly". So i have been limiting what I am learning and learning it well. The rice sutra was very rewarding and I regularly go through my notes and will continue to do so till I feel I could explain it to someone myself. I will admit I'm terrible at remembering Tibetan phrases and names so I often have google up on my laptop or phone as I'm learning.

Anyway back to my original questions. I have medication resistant clinical depression (and cravings, I was a poly drug user and addict... but through what I have learned everyone is an addict to some degree so I feel a little better about it.) Buddhism, more importantly the three jewels (especially my teachers and fellow Buddhists) is better than anything the UK mental health service has offered me. I should note I believe this is all part of my journey through life, people ask me if I would go back and do things differently, well, no. I would not be on the journey I am now. Even during my raving days, the best feeling was the one of unity, almost tribal, of people gathered together as one.

Daily meditation and practice is essential, I found if I miss it out all of my symptoms come back and I become a very angry person at the world, blaming others/society for the way I am. Feeling selfish and angry for being in such a privileged part of the world. Meditation reminds me that craving and grasping manifesting in such an extreme way got me to where I am today and they also originated within me. Not others.

Sorry - my posts are always very long winded so bare with me!

I have found (and trying very hard to avoid pride/self importance) that I am progressing very fast spiritually compared to students who have joined at a similar time. My posture has been very good from the beginning (as noted by one teacher.) Moments of clarity came very easily at first until now I have noticed periods of 20 mins of single pointed concentration without any interrupting thought. My mind is completely on my breath. Every point it touches, my abdomen and the energy on each breath as it flows through my extremities.

I know of people at my local place of practice who have been there for years sometimes struggle to concentrate on their meditation at home for 10-20 mins a day, I have found myself comfortably sitting/chanting for 1-2 hours at a time, obviously with pervasive thoughts at times but it is getting easier and easier.

I have started experimenting with my consciousness. To start off I scan my body, almost as though my consciousness is in my foot, feeling it with no outer stimulus, and I methodically move through each part of my body and recognize then ease areas of stress. Also when I feel areas of pain from sitting in the same position I can isolate them and will away the pain.

I have noticed a warm fuzz of energy centering at my heart and moving in all directions to each extremity that I can generate at will. Last night, as an experiment, I sat in just shorts with my windows open, frozen at first. Within around 10 mins of concentration I had made myself comfortably warm... and it was cooooold last night.

Also, after a long meditation (particularly on Bodichitta) session my parents behave differently, my cats are more attracted to me (and one is very timid) and I also have the most timid Crested Gecko (I cannott handle him because he gets terrified and poops on me) but he watches me meditate and after lets me stroke him, which he never did before.

This all seems like an ego trip on my part but I have kept all of this to myself apart from telling my mother my progress and help it has given me - for her peace of mind. I have only blerted this all out on the forum because it is anonymous. I just want to learn how to use this to help other people.

Can anyone suggest why? I have always felt very different to people, mentally lost I suppose (which could be my depression) but I feel I have found a calling. From a young age I have been very compassionate, I used to help injured animals, never let my mother swat a fly. At 19 I used to give food to the homeless on my way to work where other people walked past (not normal for a UK teen) The intellectual side takes me time but the spiritual practice comes very easy to me.

Also, I would like to explore more - can anyone give me literature or teachings into using these skills with more focus and success? Should I speak to my teachers? Or will they think I am being egotistical? Or is this all normal and just in my head?

Much Love and thanks if you managed to read all this!!
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:32 am

It seems you are going well. So, you had a tough period in your life. Now it's the time to move past that. The past doesn't exist anywhere but people's memories. So it's all gone and you can do your best to keep the past just that, past.
I think it's important that you study and practice, so that you have an idea about where you should be headed. The best person to help you in that is your teacher. Other than that, is very nice to see your enthusiasm. Just beware that every practitioner has his bad moments where practice may come to a halt for a while, sooner or later. The reasons vary, but sometimes it takes a while to understand why we are getting stuck and then overcoming the obstacle. So just keep doing your practice and studying so that you know why you do what you do and how it can be improved. By doing that, occasions to help others won't be on shortage. Right now your will to help is very positive, but you know that sometimes when it comes to helping others things don't go how we expect and frustration may follow. The risk is then going from a generous feeling to a feeling of injustice, disappointment and so on. Let that feeling of yours mature, brew it well, and in the future it will be even more useful.
So, keep at it! Good luck and keep us posted, if you wish. Nice having you here! :thumbsup:
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:26 am

I have already experienced lapses in the quality of my practice. When I notice, I just keep faith, again as I have been taught- I dont beat myself up about it and continue as normal. I also try to go about my daily business with mindfulness, as clear as I can be. It's amazing what it's done for the quality of my decisions and also quality of life.

Again, does anyone have some information or books so that i can begin to progress (slowly) with more advanced/focused methods of meditation. Now my focus on individual areas and energy flowing through is becoming more honed I would like to start using them to greater effect.

My problem is Buddhism is such a vast subject it is hard to know where to focus my attention.

*also, I no longer have regrets. I am aware the present moment is the only real one. My difficult past led me to where i am today, it led me to the Dharma. I'm not exactly thankful, but I have a certain amount of respect for the lessons it taught me.
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby mint » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:39 pm

It is an amazing feeling when we experience the energies of our Base. I would personally recommend reading "Open Mind, Open Heart."
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:28 pm

I have decided maybe now is the time to study... as in learn/study a lot more. Before many of the sutras didn't really make a lot of sense to me. I should concentrate on developing a good knowledge of Mahayana tradtion and teachings for the time being.
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby justsit » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:35 am

mint wrote: I would personally recommend reading "Open Mind, Open Heart."

Are you referring to the Trappist priest Thomas Keating's "Open Mind, Open Heart," describing Christian centering prayer?

OP may also be interested in Tsoknyi Rinpoche's recent book, "Open Heart, Open Mind." :smile:
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:14 am

DeepFriedFunk wrote:First Post
Past life practice. It's good you're progressing on Bodhicitta, it's the King of practice so you should practice it regularly. I would suggest picking up a copy of Clarifying the Natural State and master Shamatha. Also, slow teachings isn't a bad thing. You're already learned the important stuff. Lord Drikungpa was enlightened and he did the Ngondro everyday.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby Jinzang » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:50 am

It's really difficult to give meditation advice to someone if you can't see and talk to them in person. I think it would be a bad idea to cultivate any special ability like the one you say you have developed. These things are side tracks. Likewise, it would be unwise to think of benefiting others now. You have your own problems, as you have described, and you should put all your effort into working on them. As far as your own practice goes, it would be best if you could tell your teachers what you have experienced and ask their advice.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Thankyou for all your advice. I try to help others only to the capacity that I can. My current problems need to be overcome and I have been very aware of that for some years... long before my practice. I think you are right... these things I am noticing are side tracking me...

The most useful thing is the deeper insights into myself during meditation, I feel that I am getting closer to the truth and unraveling my cravings and the grasping it causes. I would realize one thing one day, then realize what ever is behind that. I'm sure this will keep happening for some time.

Thank you for the reading material too. I will have a look into the books/teachings you have suggested. I also have a much praised teacher coming to visit our local (gonja is that how it's spelt?) I already have some questions lined up... I always enjoy to pick their brains.

Much Love.

*EDIT just reading through the posts again and noticed the section on Kundalini... very interesting reading. Will investigate more!

*And another EDIT. Since I learned to SCUBA dive 4 years ago we learned "to breathe like a baby" as in... when you watch a baby breathe it breathes from the abdomen. Through a mixture of meditation and diving (the two reeally intertwine, breath control plays such a key part on air consumption, heart rate etc as I am sure a lot of you know) I have noticed I now breathe like this all of the time. It's really quite funny to realize you were BREATHING WRONG most of your life.

Thanks again for introducing this concept to me. I think whilst I am not studying I will concentrate on this area for now.
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby deepbluehum » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:42 pm

It's good. To help all sentient beings you can't have some attitude that you're the dude who helps all sentient beings. You can't have an attitude of other beings who need help, or an attitude that you are doing some action called helping or that there is a you who helps. In other words, stick with your meditation and don't worry about the consequences.
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby DeepFriedFunk » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:13 pm

After a week of buffing up on the four noble truths believe me, that thought is very prominent in my mind.
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Re: Curious feelings/experiences during meditation.

Postby kirtu » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:22 am

DeepFriedFunk wrote:Daily meditation and practice is essential


Yes!

I have found (and trying very hard to avoid pride/self importance) ....


just practice and dedicate the merit ...


I have noticed a warm fuzz of energy centering at my heart and moving in all directions to each extremity that I can generate at will.


You can probably just generate chi very easily. However I wouldn't play with it (and Buddhist teacehrs do not generally focus on it) and don't sit around in the cold (you can still get sick).


Also, after a long meditation (particularly on Bodichitta) session my parents behave differently, my cats are more attracted to me (and one is very timid) and I also have the most timid Crested Gecko (I cannott handle him because he gets terrified and poops on me) but he watches me meditate and after lets me stroke him, which he never did before.


:twothumbsup:

I just want to learn how to use this to help other people.


Just keep meditating on Bodhicitta and live Bodhicitta as deeply as possible every moment.

Also, I would like to explore more - can anyone give me literature or teachings into using these skills with more focus and success?


Shantideva and the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva

Should I speak to my teachers? Or will they think I am being egotistical?


Yes, maybe, but do it anyway.

Or is this all normal and just in my head?


No, not really and maybe/maybe not.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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