need help with emptiness

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

need help with emptiness

Postby enitzirk » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:35 am

Hi,
During my last meditation session i got this sudden understanding about emptiness, the whole universe being one, the non existance of I....it was all great while i was meditating, but then when i actually finished i freaked out a little and felt myself really resisting what i just discovered....because it feels like i can't look at the world the way i did before....
when i look at my boyfriend i just think of him as a combination of different thoughts emotions etc and it disturbs me a litte, i start thinking who am I and who is he? ....has anyone else had this happen to them? i am being aware of the fear etc..but i find it so hard to comprehend this out of a meditative state!! right now i'm assuming patience and mindfulness will make more sense of it over time, but i am very confused
could anyone help me out with this? Thanks a lot!
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:03 am

Hi
It would help to know what the meditation technique is, who's guidance you've been practicing under and how long you've been practicing this particular technique.
Kind regards

Ben
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby enitzirk » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:17 am

Ben wrote:Hi
It would help to know what the meditation technique is, who's guidance you've been practicing under and how long you've been practicing this particular technique.
Kind regards

Ben


I've only meditated for half a year, and this was during insight meditation. i was on my own when i did this, i will ask my teacher for advice but would like to hear several opinions about this. I do think what i experienced was too advanced for me to accept, right now i'm just being mindful of the confusion ..but feel like i need some advice.
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:21 am

Hi
When you say 'insight meditation', what do you actually mean?
What is the actual technique and who is your teacher?
This will help you as advice will be specific to what you are actually doing.
Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:06 pm

Hi Enitzirk,

Regarding Emptiness...

There is the possibility that you have come into intimate contact with the conditionality of experience. Here are a few things which I take for granted regarding such realization.
..........
It will tend away from confusion.

It will tend toward a light heart and free spirit

It will tend to bring clarity and ease when it comes to deciding what is appropriate action.

It will tend toward compassion and love for the conditional process which is sentient beings.
...............

This is how I judge the efficacy and veracity of meditative experience. Then I try to let go of my ideas and strive onward in my practice.

I hope this helps.

Take care

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Jechbi » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:30 pm

Hi Kristine,

Ben's right that you ought to ask your teacher. Meanwhile, it might be helpful for you to remember that things are pretty much just like they were before. The fact that you look at things differently doesn't change your boyfriend. And think about this: The way you view the world is probably going to continue to change. You might see things differently again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the world is all more or less just the same. Whatever you pour onto the earth, the soil soaks it up all the same. You might try to relax into this a little bit and engage any confusion, any change, with this same earth-like equanimity.

:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Dan74 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:30 am

Hi enitzirk,

I guess whenever our world view is threatened we experience anxiety and unease. We hang on to the notion of a concrete "me" and a concrete "you" and when they don't appear so concrete, we feel afraid and confused, not knowing what to rely on anymore.

Of course this is OK!

I would concentrate on the tasks at hand. Neither suppressing the confusion and anxiety nor indulging in them. Just one step at a time, bringing the focus to what it s you are doing.

Most likely the old worldview will reassert itself. But perhaps it won't be so solid this time. Some cracks will show!

Keep on practicing!!!

_/|\_
_/|\_
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby smokey » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:31 pm

enitzirk wrote:Hi,
During my last meditation session i got this sudden understanding about emptiness, the whole universe being one, the non existance of I....it was all great while i was meditating, but then when i actually finished i freaked out a little and felt myself really resisting what i just discovered....because it feels like i can't look at the world the way i did before....
when i look at my boyfriend i just think of him as a combination of different thoughts emotions etc and it disturbs me a litte, i start thinking who am I and who is he? ....has anyone else had this happen to them? i am being aware of the fear etc..but i find it so hard to comprehend this out of a meditative state!! right now i'm assuming patience and mindfulness will make more sense of it over time, but i am very confused
could anyone help me out with this? Thanks a lot!


It seems to me that you have some understanding of emptiness, if not complete realization of it, but it happened without you being ready for it and thus you are automatically and mechanically rejecting this view of reality that you became aware of. You were not ready for it probably because of a lack of equanimity and we all have automatic attachment to a view of reality that ego exists. What disturbs you is the attachment of a former reality view that you have had. That would be a logical conclusion. It seems to me that you have to practice a lot and develop a strong equanimity and then you will be able to accept this right reality view. When one is calm, that is nor hot nor cold, but neutral, with strong equanimity, nothing will disturb you. But I am no expert and do not rely upon my words. My advice: Seek out a very experienced teacher and consult with him/her.

with metta -smokey
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:22 pm

first thing first - don't be afriad of what just happened- it is just ignorance being challenged- initially there is nibbida- revulsion- what you are experiencing- dont stop the practice because of this- just keep going- then the mind gets used to the truths- then this leads to acceptance and letting go. take it slowly but dont stop what ever you do! you have reached a very place in your samsaric journey- keep going.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Reductor » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:01 pm

Deleted for being too personal.
Last edited by Reductor on Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby pink_trike » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:03 pm

I'd suggest when this happens to just note it, bring your attention back to your breath, and resume sitting. Nothing special about this flash of awareness...don't grab at it.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: need help with emptiness

Postby Nibbida » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:51 am

Sharon Salzberg was talking about this in one of her Dharma talks. She said that although anatta could seem like a disturbing idea, you got into this room without a self, and you can get out of it without one.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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