Hello! I am hoping that someone is experienced enough to comment usefully on something that has been happening for several weeks in my daily meditation practice (such as it is).
In this forum, in a much earlier post, I was asking if anyone could help me with physical pains in the body (mostly, in the centre of the torso, and which seemed to be centred in a plexus of nerves in the spine, but which also affected the abdomen). To go back many, many years (I am quite an old man, now), this happened when there was a sudden kind of kensho experience. This was far too complex to describe to others (there was a kind of an awakening experience), but the essential thing, as far as I was concerned, was that, afterwards, it seemed as if someone had given me a almighty PUNCH in the abdomen/solar plexus. After this, I suffered from pockets of "wind" in the abdomen, from a feeling of indigestion and heartburn, and it made my life a misery. One of my teachers said that "there had been too sudden a connection" (whatever that meant). He also said that he thought I had seen the Clear Light.
After some time had passed, I stopped attending (for reasons that must remain private) at the centre that my teacher ran, and life settled into a boring, commonplace pattern. I still was interested in finding a spiritual path, but felt that I had totally lost the chance of making any spiritual progress (whatever that phrase may mean). I mean, I know myself far to well to think that I would ever be a saint! And the prospect of going into states of deep meditation, without the support of a teacher, frightened me to death (I remembered, very vividly, some of the things that had occurred all those years ago, and feared "getting out of my depth"). However, the practice that I followed (and still follow) now seemed to be a waste of time. Nothing ever happened. (The practice was simply to observe the rise and fall of my abdomen, in breathing.) This went on for years and years.
However, a few months ago, I noticed that, during the practice session, a sensation started occasionally to make itself felt. It was as if a nerve-passage down my back became "activated". To use a crude analogy, it was the sort of feeling that one might have if someone had put their finger on an exquisite itch, and had started to scratch it. One might well say, "Oh, go on, go on!" Or one might describe it as being rather like an erotic sensation, even though it had no sexual connotation. (Words are very poor tools.)
This carried on over several weeks. However, about two weeks ago, it was as if the "current" had gone so far down the spine (or down my back, anyway) that it had finally reached the nerve-plexus at about the height of my abdomen/solar plexus, and in my spine, where all my pain seemed to stem from. One day, it was as if the "floor" of my torso had collapsed into my abdomen (i.e. that a kind of barrier had been broken through). There was great peace and relaxation, my breathing became deep and regular, and there seemed to be currents of healing from the spinal nerve plexus, into my torso (which, normally has felt a great deal of discomfort over the years). I expected this to be repeated the next session, but it did not happen. However, a couple of days later, something very similar happened again, and my abdomen started to writhe, just like an animal in pain — quite spontaneously. However, there was no pain whatever. All I did was to sit and observe what was happening. There was no pain, no emotion was felt, but it did feel good! This has happened perhaps ten times since then, and I feel that there has been a very big change in my practice. Sometimes, there is this "descent" into the centre of my being even when I am watching the news on the television. It is now as if, without my doing anything except attend to my breathing, this "opening" occurs spontaneously. And it is as if a "hole" "appears" somewhere near the navel, and that there can be an "entry" in some way, into the lower part of my body (below the rib-cage).
Later, when lying down, there came about a dozen deep, "dry" sobs. There was no emotion in this - there was just this release from deep down. And then I slept.
What I should like to ask is: how ought one to proceed? There does not seem to be anything "spiritual" in what happens! It has not changed me in any way. And I feel that, with further, more prolonged attention to the breathing, it would go even deeper into my being.
I remember my teacher saying to me, many years ago, that it took her ten years "to reach the centre" of her being. With me (if the above is what she meant), it has taken 50 years!
I should be very grateful for some comment and advice about all this, from someone that knows what has happened.
With metta, Q.