Thursday, April 26, 2012

Before and After Awakening: Surrender

In awakening the path I experienced was paved with these stepping stones:

  • realising the limits of the five sense reality
  • mindfulness/being in the now
  • love (compassion, forgiveness, compassion, courage, trust, acceptance), loving others as myself, loving myself as all.
  • surrender
After awakening I know who I really am but a choice I face in every moment is to chose between the ego's "created self" and the "one self" that is everything (and nothing). Its a constant choice in which perspective to operate from and indeed reminding myself that I have that choice. Each moment presents me with opportunities to let go, to surrender - to allow everything to be what it is.  "it is what it is" is an affirmation that applies to people, things and events.  I forgot this today and suffered for it but listening to Adyashanti's talk on surrender (parts 1-10) on Youtube (starts with ) gave me the nourishment I needed to realise this choice I now face in each moment - to surrender or to not surrender and therefore chose to suffer. Adya says this is a stage and eventually there is a going beyond this choice as the choice no longer needs to be made because there is complete surrender.

Studying kabbalah made me acutely and painfully aware of my ego and how it operates to fulfill its needs.  Neuroscience showed me the power of the mind and made me acutely aware of how I create my own reality through what I give attention to. Awakening has made me more acutely aware of how my conditioned self operates and causes me unnecessary suffering. These things were always there but I am conscious of them now, I observe them.

I am discovering how much I prefer experience as a learning tool although I find much nourishment and signposts in what others say and write. I friend told me about the Buddhist concept of "pointing at the moon":

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A simple road map to awakening

My current understanding, based on my own experience and reading is as follows:

The Five Sense Reality
When we're at the bottom we have to get past the materialist-rationalist model that we are taught - aka this is the world as it is - a solid reality that we are born into as sentient mammals, we live, we die - that's it folks! - Make the most of it while you're here!

Getting past the five sense reality barrier
A number of reflections or experiences will get you past this:
  • near death experiences
  • paranormal experiences
  • experiencing the power of the mind to heal or create our own reality
  • or simply a thought - hey! what if what I perceive is like a PC which is limited by what is inputted from the keyboard, webcam, microphone etc.  Maybe what I experience is only a fraction of what there is.
Now just in case we make this leap there are a couple of quagmires or sand traps set up to block further realisation or simply to get us to doubt it.  

Trap A 
This is called the control trap - it is set up to keep you distracted by keeping you busy chasing achievement, money, jobs and education to pay your bills, put your children through school, pay for that mega-expensive marriage your family said you had to have and doing all that stay on the right side of the law, pay your taxes and be a good dutiful citizen. That should be enough to keep you way too busy to find time to escape the suffering and stress of it all.  But in case you do start to this trap has built in fail safes called, wars, economic depression, racial and religious hatred etc. Its basic premise is that if you don't achieve in life you will be a failure, which leads to guilt and low self-worth.

Trap B
This trap is far more insidious. It seduces you with comfort. Spend your life watching movies, drinking at the cafe, holidaying at the trendy five star resort or in vogue destination, buying the new fashions, going to the latest rock concert, partying, yachting on the Riviera etc. Its basic premise is that if you are not happy, not one of the beautiful people, you're a failure, which leads to guilt and low self-worth.  There is all sorts of "help" available to tell you what you need to do to be and stay happy. Actually a certain amount of restlessness and feeling that something is amiss is an indication that you're tossing in you're sleep and have the potential to wake up.

The two traps interact and overlap.

The escape path requires us to realise the nature of the two traps, we can't keep elements of them out of our lives all together unless we want to live in a cave but we can chose not to identify with them. Observe them but don't buy-in to the traps. This doesn't mean you have to give up you job or sailing on the Riviera etc, its not what you do in this world that matters, its how you identify and react to it. Anything can be used for exercises in present moment mindfulness, compassion and treating all as yourself. We start by saying "I love you" and extending it in our minds to include ourselves, those we obviously love, everyone else and everything else.  See the suffering of those trapped in the traps and develop compassion for all of them. This isn't about pity, its about understanding that the "them" is you. You can do this by mentally putting yourself in their shoes, feel what their suffering might be and its burden on them, breathe that it and breathe out love. If this is difficult because you don't like the person, animal or thing that you are focusing this on just remember that they aren't how they have defined themselves either. We are vibration, existing in a field of energy with no boundaries.

Getting past the ego/self barrier
  • Don't seek it, do it ... don't waste a lifetime following what others tell about how to awaken (including this blog post), at best these can only be hints, direct experience is the only way. Our default state is awake to our oneness - to wake up let go of your identifications.
  • Understand what leading edge quantum theorists and other thinkers are saying: we are all one and start living your life on the premise that that is true.
  • Live in the present moment, practicing mindfulness in everything. One pointed meditation and brainwave entrainment may help but should be seen as optional tools, many other ways are possible.
  • Be willing to let go of all your identifications: the reflection in the mirror, your body and its state, your past story of upbringing and life experiences, your goals and desires (as something that exist in the future)...

It may help to envision that these identifications are just layers of clothing that cover the naked awareness of oneness.  Or imagine that oneness has divided itself, within the context of this world, in to different characters so it can play out a game for the purpose of experiencing itself. Its sort of like a sim earth virtual game that can be played multiple times until the player, the one consciousness, works out what variables are necessary for all the characters in the game to realise its only a game and finish the game the way it way meant to be finished - recreating paradise with the power of collective mind.

Levels of understanding beyond that
There are most probably levels to this that I am either not aware of or as yet only dimly guess at. Something immeasurable, infinite and incorruptible...who knows. Getting past the barriers and starting the journey is a good place to start.

Letting Go of attachment to a past awakening experience

After digesting all that came to me during my recent meditation awakening experience I came to the realisation that the next thing I needed to do was let it go.  To keep my mediation present focused I need to keep it free of distraction from expectations and memories of past mediation experiences. Awakening as I experienced it was the result of letting go of identifications of the self, surrendering to the experience and just being in the moment.  I wasn't going to get another experience like it unless I let the last one go - which is after all now only an imperfect memory in the mind - its no longer based in the experience of the now.

I'm still using brainwave entrainment with my meditation.  Now experimenting with Lambda, Gamma and Epsilon brainwaves.  The Epsilon so far seems to be very grounding.  The Lambda gives a sensation of healing and wholeness.

I've been having some amazingly detailed early morning dreams which I don't seem to have any difficulty remembering.  I've had the experience of asking questions of characters in my dreams that I've got answers to - usually driving me to a bit of googling the next day. For example, two travellers who rescued me from some pursuers and healed me told me, when asked, that they were sifu.  I googled that one expecting that it would be somehow related to a nomadic tribe or some sufi term but it turned out to be a Cantonese word meaning master (as in an apprentice's master).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pineal gland/ third eye awakening

After some weeks of one-pointed meditating on the third eye I now realise there is a fourth level or stage to this meditation.  Getting past the relaxation, the light that plays on the screen behind my eyelids and the sense of spaciousness I found my self dissolving - at least my ego self.  This was startling to say the least.  It didn't last long - just a glimpse.  The next day I was reading some David Icke.  After all the conspiracy stuff in the middle of his books he usually gives some paractical solutions at the end. I can't find the exact quote but it was along the lines of "you are not your name, you are not your story, you are not the reflection in the mirror".  As I read those words it was like a light flash in my head and a great weight fell off me - I finally "got" it - it was no longer an abstract intellectualisation.  I went to bed to sleep on it but woke up at three in the morning feeling again like I was dissolving and at the same time ecstatically happy with tears streaming down my face.  I was like that for what seemed like and hour or two.  Finally I had the presence of mind to say to myself - "just breathe", "witness it". I felt truly grateful for the experience.

The next day though I felt deeply restless and in need of reassurance about what I had experienced.  I got on the web looking searching for information about nirvana but that didn't do it for me I think because so many writers equate nirvana with a bliss state and that wasn't it for me - it was more a falling away of the conditioned self revealing what is always there underneath all that, although some say the Buddha called it "cessation" which seems to me more applicable.  Tried searching on "Samadhi"and yes there did seem to be some levels of this that described it and what I was feeling afterward.  Then I came across writers like Andreas Mamet, Adyashanti and Nirmala who seemed to be describing it - something called a Non-dual tradition.

Andreas Mamet says in Sutras for Contemporary Times that there are awakenings that come from one pointed meditation on four of the chakras: the hara or second chakra, the heart chakra, the third eye and the crown or top of the head.  They apparently differ in quality, third eye awakenings presenting in a "clear and luminous" way.  My intuition says to work my meditation next with my hara for stability and balance. Especially as it took me nearly a week after my awakening to stop feeling like a bit of flotsom slopping around on an unsettled sea.  Mamet says that "when consciousness really happens it comes at you with the subtlety of a nuclear explosion" and that "the event leaves one reeling and dealing with this explosion and the need of connecting it with the continuing ordinariness of life, which does not stop".  I can really resonate with this. I am very glad that it hit me just before a five day break but even then its taken all of 9 days to get a little steadiness back.

I think to be honest that one could achieve this state without mediation - an "aha' moment where the veils of conditioned reality fell off. Possibly also through a near-death experience.  But I can only relay my own experience of how it happened for me.  I certainly don't see it as an end in itself, more of a beginning and I intend to keep meditating and learning from it. Certainly there are no initial outward changes in my ordinary everyday conditioned self/persona - may be there won't be, may be there will - does it really even matter to me now. One thing I've noticed as a consequence though is I feel a whole lot less fear of death and loss. The contradictions on this planet I now see as "they are what they are", there is not a sense of being in opposition to those contradiction.  I'm going to have to weed a lot of the books in my library that I now see as a lot of twaddle.