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Scary Insight While Meditating

JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

Last night while meditating I had an insight that scared the bajesus out of me.

I was doing a form of loving kindness meditation in which I chant blessings like, "May all beings be blessed. May my parents be blessed with joy and tranquility. May dogs and cats everywhere have enough food, water, and nutrients, and a safe place to sleep. May terrorists find kindness and love so much that it overflows to everyone."

And it goes on and on like that. Loving, blissful, intense energy blasts through me when I practice this meditation. I've been practicing this type of loving kindness meditation for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the meditations in Lamrim are similar.

So, all was going fine.

Then weirdness happened.

For the first time I clearly identified the "I" that I think I am, and saw that it was a very weak construction that had no substance to it except the idea I've formed about it my whole life.

Okay, that's not very scary. But I looked right at it for the first time and saw that it was so flimsy and fragile that I felt it could dissolve at any moment.

If that happened, then what would I be? A conduit for supreme compassion, I supposed. What that entailed exactly, I don't know. Maybe it's the unknown that's scary. I mean, what's on the other end of something like that? Who are you when you are no longer you?

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Not only that, but as you shed desires, greeds, sources of anger and hatred, you will find that the construction of the "I" weakens further. All these things which drive our day to day behaviour give us personality.

    A lot of the rest is vows we have taken on, unconsciously, or views we hold about ourselves which we could change at the drop of a hat. There are very few things which are core and truly essential.

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    A lot of the rest is vows we have taken on, unconsciously, or views we hold about ourselves which we could change at the drop of a hat. There are very few things which are core and truly essential.

    I don't see anything at my core. It's like an endlessly deep well without anything in it, like an empty vessel in which loving kindness is supposed to flow through. There's nothing to hold onto though. Know what I mean?

    Steve_B
  • GuiGui Veteran

    For me, this realization was a moment of liberation. There was revealed that there is no one to defend or protect. No one to promote or satisfy.
    Did you ever wake from a wonderful dream and wish you could go back to sleep and return to it? That was ok because you knew it was just a dream.

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Gui said:
    For me, this realization was a moment of liberation. There was revealed that there is no one to defend or protect. No one to promote or satisfy.
    Did you ever wake from a wonderful dream and wish you could go back to sleep and return to it? That was ok because you knew it was just a dream.

    I fluctuated between bliss and fear. I wouldn't describe the fear as sheer terror. I'd probably describe it as intense. It's tough for me to describe any of this accurately.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    @Kerome said:
    A lot of the rest is vows we have taken on, unconsciously, or views we hold about ourselves which we could change at the drop of a hat. There are very few things which are core and truly essential.

    I don't see anything at my core. It's like an endlessly deep well without anything in it, like an empty vessel in which loving kindness is supposed to flow through. There's nothing to hold onto though. Know what I mean?

    I think at the bottom of the hole, or perhaps circumscribing the whole experience, you will find the dharma. Without that, none of the rest would have been possible. As Thich Nhat Hanh would put it, it's become an essential part of your interbeing with reality.

    JaySon
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    @Gui said:
    For me, this realization was a moment of liberation. There was revealed that there is no one to defend or protect. No one to promote or satisfy.
    Did you ever wake from a wonderful dream and wish you could go back to sleep and return to it? That was ok because you knew it was just a dream.

    I fluctuated between bliss and fear. I wouldn't describe the fear as sheer terror. I'd probably describe it as intense. It's tough for me to describe any of this accurately.

    Oh, that? That's just the void!

    I 'fell' into it one day, after months of talking about non-duality and the like on another forum. Then, a fellow who'd been into this stuff for a long time had the same void experience about a week later. Amazing what your mind can do to you.
    :mrgreen:

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran
    edited January 6

    Only the void, he says :p

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Ahem...she. Not that it matters. o:)

  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    she says.

    silver
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Sounds like a satori experience. Congrats

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    Thanks @dhammachick . It was definitely not what I was expecting it would be like. I suppose I should expect the unexpected from now on.

    There are a couple more weird experiences I've had in the middle of the night that I need to ask you all about, but I'll save it for another day. I am exhausted from this one at the moment.

    It feels good to have a supportive Sangha I can run things by. I appreciate all of you masters.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    It is true there is no independent self. It is weak to the point of 'emptiness'.

    Whatever arises dependently

    Is explained as empty.
    Thus dependent attribution
    Is the middle way.

    Since there is nothing whatever
    That is not dependently existent,
    For that reason there is nothing
    Whatsoever that is not empty.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratītyasamutpāda

    @JaySon said:
    Who are you when you are no longer you?

    A new set of karma, conditions, interdependence ... always changing.

    JaySon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Last night while meditating I had an insight that scared the bajesus out of me.

    I was doing a form of loving kindness meditation in which I chant blessings like, "May all beings be blessed. May my parents be blessed with joy and tranquility. May dogs and cats everywhere have enough food, water, and nutrients, and a safe place to sleep. May terrorists find kindness and love so much that it overflows to everyone."

    And it goes on and on like that. Loving, blissful, intense energy blasts through me when I practice this meditation. I've been practicing this type of loving kindness meditation for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the meditations in Lamrim are similar.

    So, all was going fine.

    Then weirdness happened.

    For the first time I clearly identified the "I" that I think I am, and saw that it was a very weak construction that had no substance to it except the idea I've formed about it my whole life.

    Okay, that's not very scary. But I looked right at it for the first time and saw that it was so flimsy and fragile that I felt it could dissolve at any moment.

    If that happened, then what would I be? A conduit for supreme compassion, I supposed. What that entailed exactly, I don't know. Maybe it's the unknown that's scary. I mean, what's on the other end of something like that? Who are you when you are no longer you?

    Just the experience... nothing special :)

    JaySonpegembara
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    @JaySon said:
    Last night while meditating I had an insight that scared the bajesus out of me.

    I was doing a form of loving kindness meditation in which I chant blessings like, "May all beings be blessed. May my parents be blessed with joy and tranquility. May dogs and cats everywhere have enough food, water, and nutrients, and a safe place to sleep. May terrorists find kindness and love so much that it overflows to everyone."

    And it goes on and on like that. Loving, blissful, intense energy blasts through me when I practice this meditation. I've been practicing this type of loving kindness meditation for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many of the meditations in Lamrim are similar.

    So, all was going fine.

    Then weirdness happened.

    For the first time I clearly identified the "I" that I think I am, and saw that it was a very weak construction that had no substance to it except the idea I've formed about it my whole life.

    Okay, that's not very scary. But I looked right at it for the first time and saw that it was so flimsy and fragile that I felt it could dissolve at any moment.

    If that happened, then what would I be? A conduit for supreme compassion, I supposed. What that entailed exactly, I don't know. Maybe it's the unknown that's scary. I mean, what's on the other end of something like that? Who are you when you are no longer you?

    Just the experience... nothing special :)

    And boy am I glad to hear it. :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    And boy am "I" glad to hear it. :)

    And who is it that's "glad to hear it" ???? :wink: :lol:

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    @JaySon said:

    And boy am "I" glad to hear it. :)

    And who is it that's "glad to hear it" ???? :wink: :lol:

    The fake I thinks it thinks it is glad to hear it!

    Shoshindhammachicksilver
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    "I" just heard Robert Thurman describe this experience to a T in The Jewel Tree of Tibet chapter 8. He says you have to keep going back and going back to it.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    Yes, but going back to it, doesn't mean TRYING to go back to it. I suspect he means just develop, progress and accept....

    I think.....

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @federica said:
    Yes, but going back to it, doesn't mean TRYING to go back to it. I suspect he means just develop, progress and accept....

    I think.....

    The plan is just to follow the basic samatha and metta practices. My goal is to polish my mind and generate metta. I don't necessarily want to go back to that place any time soon. In fact, I would like to go back after I've gained more concentration.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    "I" just heard Robert Thurman describe this experience to a T in The Jewel Tree of Tibet chapter 8. He says you have to keep going back and going back to it.

    Hey @JaySon, I got the book from the library and there is no chapter 8! O.o

    I'm working backwards so maybe I'll spot it. :glasses:

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    For the first time I clearly identified the "I" that I think I am, and saw that it was a very weak construction that had no substance to it except the idea I've formed about it my whole life.
    Okay, that's not very scary. But I looked right at it for the first time and saw that it was so flimsy and fragile that I felt it could dissolve at any moment.
    If that happened, then what would I be?

    Um let me see...

    Either in a bit of a bind....

    Or

    In a nut shell....there would be no clinging and grasping "I", it would be dissolved in awareness...(as you can see, there is no "I" in A W A R E N E S S....)

    May "I" clearly perceive all experiences to be as insubstantial as the dream-fabric of the night and instantly awaken to see the pure wisdom displayed in the arising of every phenomena

    Before Enlightenment...chop wood, fetch water...After Enlightenment use electricity, and have plumbing installed (Well something like that :winky: )

    JaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Everywhere in the Cosmos Veteran

    @silver said:

    @JaySon said:
    "I" just heard Robert Thurman describe this experience to a T in The Jewel Tree of Tibet chapter 8. He says you have to keep going back and going back to it.

    Hey @JaySon, I got the book from the library and there is no chapter 8! O.o

    I'm working backwards so maybe I'll spot it. :glasses:

    Shoot. I should've said I was listening to the audiobook version from Audible. I thought chapter 8 in the audiobook would be the same in the book. O.o

    silver
  • ZenCanuckZenCanuck Toronto, ON Explorer

    This may sound weird, JaySon, but I envy you a little. I keep reading about how there is no "I" but I have no concept how that works. Granted, i'm a baby Buddhist but I can see how having no concept of "I" might make you more peaceful and loving and accepting of others.

    So I'm sorry you had a terrifying experience. But I'm not so sure it was a bad one. You know, of course, that you'll have to explore it further.

    Hopefully if I ever have the "Non-I" experience it won't be scary...

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    There is no truly solid ground.
    Stand regardless.

    JaySon
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I'm reminded of a quote I heard recently. To paraphrase, first we realize that we are falling without a parachute, then we realize there is no ground to hit.

    JaySon
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Does all this have something to do with that funny saying about 'turtles all the way down'?

  • @lobster said:
    It is true there is no independent self. It is weak to the point of 'emptiness'.

    Whatever arises dependently

    Is explained as empty.
    Thus dependent attribution
    Is the middle way.

    Since there is nothing whatever
    That is not dependently existent,
    For that reason there is nothing
    Whatsoever that is not empty.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratītyasamutpāda

    @JaySon said:
    Who are you when you are no longer you?

    A new set of karma, conditions, interdependence ... always changing.

    And so it is, as it is! Love it or reject it. It is what it is...

    David
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @silver said:
    Does all this have something to do with that funny saying about 'turtles all the way down'?

    Maybe someone could find some kind of link. The saying though is in regards to an unending series of conditions, like if God created the universe, who created God? And who created that... and who created that... all the way down.

  • @person said:
    I'm reminded of a quote I heard recently. To paraphrase, first we realize that we are falling without a parachute, then we realize there is no ground to hit.

    Eventually we realize we are not the one falling.

    "Suppose a person were to gather or burn or do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches, & leaves here in Jeta's Grove. Would the thought occur to you, 'It's us that this person is gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes'?"

    "No, lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self nor do they pertain to our self."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.101.than.html

    JaySonsatcittananda
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    It feels good to have a supportive Sangha I can run things by. I appreciate all of you masters.

    Fellow travelers.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Steve_B said:

    @JaySon said:

    It feels good to have a supportive Sangha I can run things by. I appreciate all of you masters.

    Fellow travelers.

    Correction... Correct. :)

  • @Steve_B said:

    @JaySon said:

    It feels good to have a supportive Sangha I can run things by. I appreciate all of you masters.

    Fellow travelers.

    You mean co-conspiritors and dependents! lol - just playing with free association :p

    person
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    I felt it could dissolve at any moment.
    If that happened, then what would I be?

    You would be a person who no longer thinks the question is relevant, as "it" is the thing asking the question to begin with.

    "The five faculties, monks, continue as they were. And with regard to them the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones abandons ignorance and gives rise to clear knowing. Owing to the fading of ignorance and the arising of clear knowing, (the thoughts) — 'I am,' 'I am this,' 'I shall be,' 'I shall not be,' 'I shall be possessed of form,' 'I shall be formless,' 'I shall be percipient (conscious),' 'I shall be non-percipient,' and 'I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient' — do not occur to him."

    ZenCanuck
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