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Mystical Experiences

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited December 2018 in General Banter

Mysticism & Buddhism

Buddhism
See also: Presectarian Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, and Subitism
According to Oliver, Buddhism is mystical in the sense that it aims at the identification of the true nature of our self, and live according to it.[94] Buddhism originated in India, sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, but is now mostly practiced in other countries, where it developed into a number of traditions, the main ones being Therevada, >Mahayana, and Vajrayana.

Buddhism aims at liberation from the cycle of rebirth by self-control through meditation and morally just behaviour. Some Buddhist paths aim at a gradual development and transformation of the personality toward Nirvana, like the Theravada stages of enlightenment. Others, like the Japanese Rinzai Zen tradition, emphasize sudden insight, but nevertheless also prescribe intensive training, including meditation and self-restraint.

Although Theravada does not acknowledge the existence of a theistic Absolute, it does postulate Nirvana as a transcendent reality which may be attained.[95][96] It further stresses transformation of the personality through meditative practice, self-restraint, and morally just behaviour.[95] According to Richard H. Jones, Theravada is a form of mindful extrovertive and introvertive mysticism, in which the conceptual structuring of experiences is weakened, and the ordinary sense of self is weakened.[97] It is best known in the west from the Vipassana movement, a number of branches of modern Theravāda Buddhism from Burma, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and includes contemporary American Buddhist teachers such as Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield.

The Yogacara school of Mahayana investigates the workings of the mind, stating that only the mind[98] (citta-mātra) or the representations we cognize (vijñapti-mātra),[99][note 20] really exist.[98][100][99] In later Buddhist Mahayana thought, which took an idealistic turn,[note 21] the unmodified mind came to be seen as a pure consciousness, from which everything arises.[note 22] Vijñapti-mātra, coupled with Buddha-nature or tathagatagarba, has been an influential concept in the subsequent development of Mahayana Buddhism, not only in India, but also in China and Tibet, most notable in the Chán (Zen) and Dzogchen traditions.

Chinese and Japanese Zen is grounded on the Chinese understanding of the Buddha-nature as one true's essence, and the Two truths doctrine as a polarity between relative and Absolute reality.[103][104] Zen aims at insight one's true nature, or Buddha-nature, thereby manifesting Absolute reality in the relative reality.[105] In Soto, this Buddha-nature is regarded to be ever-present, and shikan-taza, sitting meditation, is the expression of the already existing Buddhahood.[104] Rinzai-zen emphasises the need for a break-through insight in this Buddha-nature,[104] but also stresses that further practice is needed to deepen the insight and to express it in daily life,[106][107][108][109] as expressed in the Three mysterious Gates, the Four Ways of Knowing of Hakuin,[110] and the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures.[111] The Japanese Zen-scholar D.T. Suzuki noted similarities between Zen-Buddhism and Christian mysticism, especially meister Eckhart.[112]

The Tibetan Vajrayana tradition is based on Madhyamaka philosophy and Tantra.[113] In deity yoga, visualizations of deities are eventually dissolved, to realize the inherent emptiness of every-'thing' that exists.[114] Dzogchen, which is being taught in both the Tibetan buddhist Nyingma school and the Bön tradition,[115][116] focuses on direct insight into our real nature. It holds that "mind-nature" is manifested when one is enlightened,[117] being nonconceptually aware (rigpa, "open presence") of one's nature,[115] "a recognition of one's beginningless nature."[118] Mahamudra has similarities with Dzogchen, emphasizing the meditational approach to insight and liberation.

It would seem there are many who have some kind of mystical experience, often during meditation but also out of the blue eg walking up the road and wham everything falling into place and just as quickly it falls back out again...

How many here have had a mystical experience of the third eye kind ? ( and lived to tell the tale )

Has having such an experience changed you for the better ? ( improved one's quality of life in some way)

Or have such experiences become part of the norm...? ie, nothing special ...nothing to write home about :)

Bearing in mind ( pun intended) the Mind does have a habit of playing mind games with its owner/occupier ...

"The most essential method which includes all other methods is to behold the Mind...The Mind is the root from which all things grow...If one can understand the Mind...Everything else is included" ( I guess this would include the mystical :) )

~Bodhidharma~

BuddhalotusZazen1

Comments

  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    I remember having had what you might call "mystical" experiences, including premonitions and déjà-vus.

    But I have been very nonchalant about them and have not discussed them with other people, mainly because, special as these experiences could be to you, they sound banal as soon as you share them with others.

    Have they changed me for the better?
    In broad general lines, I am a good person.
    I still make a lot of mistakes and bad choices.
    So I don't know.
    We cannot always be sure of all the influences that conspire to make us the person we have become.

    I take these experiences as a sort of "when you reach the top of the mountain, keep climbing."
    Earth-shattering as they are in the moment they happen, life goes on and there is still wood to chop.

    ShoshinlobsterZazen1
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I guess every waking moment is mystical, magical & wondrous if you don't think about it :)

    BuddhalotusZazen1lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I must admit at times I'm somewhat skeptical when it comes to some claims of mystical experiences...

    A deep craving for something out of the ordinary to happen ( a I'll have what she's having moment) can provide food/ammunition for the ego to manipulate things. and give (ironical) itself a false sense of the mystical...a boost for self importance/being special... (been there and done that) .

    This is not to say that mystical experiences don't really happen...they do, but be wary of the mind games that the ego often plays with itself ...

    One is simply one's experience.
    One's ego is the abstraction from these experiences
    One's ego should be viewed as a convenient analytic device...

    On a personal note I've found, it better to let the experience go as soon as its done its deed/worked its magic... There're plenty more where they come from... :)

    lobsterZazen1Buddhalotus
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    have the experience change for the better?yes ....like anything new,for me it was sublime legs trembling with the source.before the encounter,she gave me encouragement with buddhist practice with the symbol 5 and 8 repeatedly.5 for precept and 8 for the method of buddha.

    have the experience a part of the norm?yes. got use to it.as the zen goes,carry on,do laundary,pay your bills.

    every person varies.but i feel safe to share with dharma friends.and scepticism is alright too.

    ShoshinZazen1Buddhalotus
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2018

    On a personal note I've found, it better to let the experience go as soon as its done its deed/worked its magic...

    Indeed.

    There're plenty more where they come from...

    Whose a lucky gal then? ;)

    I refuse to talk about mystical experiences as they are completely personal ... oh all right then o:)

    My first mystical experience was Holy Communion, probably when I was 6 or 7 and was a feeling of sanctity (though I told my parents I felt 'Holy'). My first Buddhist experience was a sport samadhi during Martial Arts training. Next came the fruition of my Dervish training. Nice.

    [yawn] Well enough of that ... I might discuss dancing, as a Christmas Tree T - later! At the moment I am waiting for Santa Claws ... ?

    ShoshinZazen1Buddhalotus
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2018

    There is nothing more mystical than life itself.
    that said, lets have some chocolate.

    True @Lionduck
    There's a natural mystic blowing through the air...One just needs to take a breath to experience it....

    Zazen1
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    There're plenty more where they come from...

    Whose a lucky gal then? ;)

    Ooowoo I can feel another mystical moment coming on right now... Ahhhh Oooowooo Ahhhh... Ah cho .......Nope false alarm....It was just my hay fever making me sneeze ... ;)

    Zazen1Buddhalotuslobster
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    @Shoshin said:
    I guess every waking moment is mystical, magical & wondrous if you don't think about it :)

    Absolutely.
    I live in constant awe.

    Maybe that is the gift granted by those fleeting mystical experiences: to hone one's senses to spot magic in the ordinary.
    Or to realize that there is nothing ordinary in the ordinary.

    lobsterShoshinZazen1
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I might add that one person’s mystical experience is another person’s psychosis, literally. I’ve heard stories where people started with a beautiful experience of oneness with the universe, and came out of the psychiatric ward six months later with a bipolar diagnosis. See also spiritual emergency.

    lobsterZazen1Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2018

    @Kerome said:
    I might add that one person’s mystical experience is another person’s psychosis,

    Yep...It would seem some minds are capable of absorbing such an experience with little impact on their mental well being... kinda like a mind implosion ( well some may feel more open to what life has to offer after the event)..
    Kinda like 'this' drug induced experience...

    Whilst others, who have a similar mind blowing experience (not necessarily drug induced) ... their comfort zone reality is blown apart...they become lost in amongst the fragments...

    But them again whose to say what's real and what's not real, when reality ( how one perceive it) is for the most part in the mind's eye of the beholder

  • Good link @Kerome many thanks <3

    Changes in consciousness based around drugs, illness, mental health, hyper ventilation/pranayama, brain damage eg. NDE may have far reaching effects. For example my mother is increasingly 'in the present' but that is alzhiemers.

    KeromeZazen1
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    One of my friends is bipolar and suffered from bipolarity outbreaks twice.
    Both occasions were preceded by ominous biblical ramblings about the world coming to an end, and visions of toads pouring down the faucets or swarms of locusts darkening the skies.
    He was confined to a psychological institute on both occasions.

    But then, I have an Indian friend who loves to pose dressed as Jesus Christ on the media, calls himself Messianic whatever and writes reams of visionary delirious poetry and essays.
    I am persuaded he's seriously mental.
    Yet, he's highly regarded in masonic circles in his country...

    lobsterKeromeShoshin
  • In dervishism, being called an idiot or madman is similar to being regarded as a Zen Weirdo in Dharma ...

    You think we live in a sane world, run by stable individuals? Tsk, tsk ... good luck with that delusion ... :-1:

    ... in dharma we try to develop clarity, insight, mental health, well being etc.

    That is a sane aspiration, whatever the starting karma/being/self ...

    KeromeZazen1Buddhalotusadamcrossley
  • Well there is mystical in the sense of direct perception, those fleeting moments of clarity.
    There is also the harmful kind illusions, what the Buddha reffered to as the mara. Distractions and entanglements in strange experiences that try to prevent you from doing what you are.. doing.

    However all experiences have contributed to my learning and betterment at least eventually...

    ShoshinZazen1Buddhalotuslobster
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    @lobster said:
    In dervishism, being called an idiot or madman is similar to being regarded as a Zen Weirdo in Dharma ...

    You think we live in a sane world, run by stable individuals? Tsk, tsk ... good luck with that delusion ... :-1:

    Yes, you're absolutely right.
    If Trump and most of the politicians who have had and have the destiny of the world in their hands were run psychological tests on them, they would hardly be allowed out on the street.

    We should redefine what exactly we deem as psychologically stable and wholesome individuals.
    They probably don't exist.
    We all carry the burden of some personal neurosis on our backs.
    Awareness is a great tool for improvement, if not always complete healing.

  • We should redefine what exactly we deem as psychologically stable and wholesome individuals.
    They probably don't exist.

    It is a hard call. My teacher was very strange but once described himself as 'super-normal'. True but also not true ...
    I have met some individuals way ahead of us. They seemed normal and bland to the point of invisibility. Long may they excel ...

    Zazen1
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Some just need time to adjust to this newfound freedom :)

    Lionduck
  • @Lionduck said:
    There is nothing more mystical than life itself.
    that said, lets have some chocolate.

    Tee hee!
    The bodhi of cocao ... iz eucharist!

    Some great incites insights from everyone.

    Sex is a sacrament. Eating is a holy mindful activity. Those who understand AND read the book of life (the universe and EVERYTHING) are misfits mystics. In other words:

    Attention, attention, attention

    Lionduck
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