Author Topic: a profound shift...  (Read 5318 times)

AllThingsWon

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a profound shift...
« on: August 29, 2013, 05:26:58 PM »
Hello people of Vipassana Forums! My name is Paul and I'd like to share with you an experience I had in January 2010. Please take the time to read my story and please leave your feedback. Sit back and enjoy :)

I decided to take a break from my social and professional life for what was initially planned to be 2 weeks then ended up being 5 weeks. I made this decision because I felt "stuck". I felt depressed and filled with conflicting emotions about what the purpose of my life was. I had extreme difficulty in being true to myself. It seemed I have been feeling this way for as long as I can remember, with the feeling intensifying as the years went by. I was 25 and was completely fed up with my life, the way people treated me, the way I treated myself, and my confusing and seemingly endless search for something ultimately satisfying...something that felt "right". A major part of me thought no such thing is even fathomable.

What I did on this time off is stay in my room, read different kind of random things on the internet and in books I had laying around. I refused to see anyone, including family members I lived with. I'd go downstairs when no one was around to get food and straight back to my room. I'd answer calls from friends, keeping the convo very short, giving no hint what was really going on. The last thing I wanted was my friends showing up at my doorstep demanding  that I come outside. I just wanted to be left completely alone, and I was.

I was not angry. I was not sad. I was not lonely. But I was certainly not happy. I was just deeply "searching". Since all of my responsibilities, including work related things and relationship related things(which greatly occupied my mind and energy beforehand), were not running through my mind for once whatsoever ( which was such a relief!) , I found myself able to focus, more clearly than ever before, on what I really felt. It was just me and my emotions. I was extremely clear headed and felt I had all the time in the world to "sort things out" (At this time, I had not yet had a plan as to when exactly I would return to my normal day to day duties, if at all). I felt like there was strong potential for deep change, which I needed badly, but I had no idea what I was about to experience.

I've always been contemplative in nature but the things I began contemplating in this time of full solitude were things I have never done so before, or definitely not to this degree. I felt that there was absolutely no turning back, nothing to loose, no holding back. It was really just me sitting with myself, more present with myself than ever before in my  life. (The word meditation or anything spiritual for that matter had never been of interest for me, until of course after this whole experience) The way I saw it during this time was I had 2 choices: CHANGE or SUICIDE. There was no going back to the way things were. That was not an option. I was fed up with that and had no more left in me to continue that way. I literally felt prepared to kill myself if something didn't change with me.

The mental process I went through during this time of complete honesty with myself is difficult to verbalize, but I will try. Basically, I observed different "labels" about myself and dissected them until I saw that I am not, IN ESSENCE, a "pianist"; I am not, IN ESSENCE, a "musician"; I am not, IN ESSENCE, a "college graduate"; I am not, IN ESSENCE, a "Syrian", I am not, IN ESSENCE, a "Christian", I am not, IN ESSENCE, a "depressed person"; I am not, IN ESSENCE, an "American", even my name: "Paul". I realized that these are just labels ABOUT me, but not who I am in essence. The simply describe me. I realized I had not consciously chosen any of these things. I had not chosen where I was born, when I was born, how I looked, who my parent were, who my friends would be, what kind of relationships I would have, what my interests and preferences were. I realized all of this and was completely ok with it. I accepted it. I was not resisting it whatsoever. It was scary but I knew I had to go through with it.

With this acceptance came an indescribable sense of stillness and silence. These 2 words actually came into my consciousness. Stillness and silence. I was not, in essence, who I really thought I was. So all of those labels and others, lost their energy, their importance to me. I felt unattached to those things which were only ABOUT me, which I felt I had no say in. What was left in my mindstream was emptiness. but not in a sort of negative way...in a truthful way. I realized I had nothing to hide, nothing to fear (most, if not all, of my confusions and sadness were fear-based), nothing to chase, nothing to hope for, nothing to struggle about, etc. There was just this strangely vibrant and silent stillness. I felt absolutely connected, interconnected with things around me. My senses felt alive, more so than ever before...like unbelievably alive and keen) I felt my whole body from the inside out pulsating with this stillness surrounding me. Although this incredible energy was present, I felt composed, calm, in control of every subtle thing in my body and mind.

I knew it was time to go back to the world :) I saw my family, friends, clients, and others, all the while effortlessly maintaining this profound presence. My perception felt sharp as can be. I knew I had an important role here now. I felt an overwhelming joy, openness, completeness, and responsibility to help others. If I say I "felt" compassionate, loving, infinite, creative, aware, alert, etc, that wouldn't be really accurate. I realized that, essentially, I AM compassion itself. I AM love itself. I AM infinity itself. I AM creativity itself. I AM awareness itself, I AM alertness itself, etc

Then I discovered Buddhism, Spirituality, meditation, and stuff like that :) When I discovered these things, I realized that what happened to me (what I "achieved") was exactly what all the different religions, philosophies, beliefs are trying to teach. They just each have their own ways of writing/talking about it. And I knew that was just fine. I saw all of this diversity as absolutely beautiful! But I also saw that the suffering and pain this diversity has been and continues to cause is deeply saddening. Saddening and motivating at the same time. I knew then what my underlying purpose was in life :)

Matthew

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 09:40:42 PM »
Hi Paul,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story.

Have you established a meditation practice in your daily life? What you describe is interesting and recognisable. The stillness and silence, emptiness of mind and energy sound like the 'bliss born not of the body' that the Buddha describes .. But it's not the end of the road ...

The arising of compassion and the sense of knowing your underlying purpose in life sound like the natural arising of what is known as 'bodhicitta' which is the open heart and the mind-set of the Bodhisattva, one who is striving to attain absolute truth and freedom for the benefit of all, in the Mahayana traditions of Buddhism ... But neither is this the end of the road ...

It would be interesting to hear how your story/life has been in the years since you had these realisations of what you are not.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 04:41:57 AM »
Thanks Matthew! I sense a great deal of intelligence and wisdom from your words.

I will share with you the important things in the development after my "shift". By the way, when I use words like shift, bliss, enlightenment, awakening, realm, dimension, meditation, meditative, energy, mind, heart, etc ..please try to see them in the context, because obviously they are very loose and relative terms :) That goes without saying HAHA

Not once during or after this experience did I believe "This is the end of the road". I wanted to believe it at times, but I knew it must go on, it must always continue and progress and develop. I knew this because other beings were still "asleep", as was I to some extent. That's right, even after my awakening, which really put me in a state of incredible bliss for many months, I knew I wasn't as fully awake as I can possibly be; I knew I wasn't as fully compassionate, as fully wise, as fully enlightened as I can possibly be. The way I saw it, the end of the road can not be here untill ALL , AND I MEAN ALL , living things were free.

For a period of about 6-8 months, I was in moment to moment bliss. It's difficult to explain what it's like if you, yourself, have not tasted it for yourself. It's like I was aware of and existing in all dimensions of reality at the same time. All realms of form seemed to be constantly manifesting from this core realm or nothingness or emptiness, which actually can not be called a realm because it can not be grasped. Being aware of this was simple, as I was grounded in the realm of form, unattached to it and the things in it. I felt completely unattached to money(although I desired to make more of it, and did) sex (although I desired to have it, and did...alot more of it...and much more intense...with much hotter women that were out of my league LOLOL) basically all material things (again, altough I still desired them) Actually I recently purchased a new Infiniti G and even raced it at the dragstrip 1/4 mile :) 13.7 @104 bone stock baby !!! HAHA

So, I still desired things...it's just that I wasn't so attached to getting them. If I got them, fine...great actually. If I did not get them...fine. I would be upset for a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes, but then back to being present. There was no way of completely forgetting the sheer power of being present in the now, where everything seems perfect they way it is; where nothing else is needed to make it better; where nothing has to be done. From this tranquility, I choose to do certain things, I choose to say certain things...out of a desired effect, mostly out of compassion, out of a desire to inspire another or others. Like I said, not everything was done from a place of complete selflessness. Sex was, and still is, important to me. I'm a Scorpio afterall HAHAH. However I should say that it was sex not for the sake of ejaculation or climax or even the act of intercourse, although it certainly is nice :) It was and is about the connection with the other, the spiritual connection, the intimacy, the love, etc. I can go on and on about how sexual energy was used and channeled to help maintain this higher blissful state of consciousness, but I think you get the point. let's face it, sexual energy is everywhere, in many forms.

Do I suffer now? yes, but not nearly as much as I did before. I can let things go a lot more easily now. Do I make mistakes now? frik yes haha. Do I get horny, hungry, tired, lazy? yes yes yes yes  hahahahah. It's just that I am more aware of a deeper me, which doesn't need those things to be happy. So if they are not satisfied to the fullest, I can control myself, my emotions, my thoughts...so it doesn't cause such a negative effect.

Do I still struggle at the piano? oh yea! But it doesn't get me all crazy like it used to. I'm learning Rachmaninoff's G minor prelude now and man oh man it's technically challenging, but I have more patience, more inner calmness, more inspiration, more emotional stability to give it the energy it needs for a successful performance. I see that music is just one way to express source or God. But there are other, more effective ways to inspire someone to compassion. Music doesn't necessarily make someone a better human being.

Art, in particular, teaching people how to use the piano as a tool for self expression and creative release is my passion. I'm writing a book called, Meditation and the Creative Pursuit. exciting stuff.

I meditate everyday. What kind of meditation? I don't know. just my own way. Each day is different. I like Zen, it's pretty cool. The concept of the bodhisattva intrigues and excites me. But I don't give much thought to others schools of thought or others concepts of truth and such. It's nice to know and be aware but it really doesn't change the isness of the present moment, where everything is so spontaneous. I don't like the idea of identifying with a particular religion, or philosophy, or concept, because it can take away from your potential to be truly original in any given moment. just my 2cents.

I respect people of religion. I have close Christian friends, Buddhist friends, Muslim, Jewish etc. It's all very interesting. I accept them and they accept me. We share with each other and I constantly try to learn.

It's an ongoing learning experience. it really really really is!!! There is no end of the road. At least not yet :) :) :)

redalert

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 12:00:07 PM »


There is no end of the road. At least not yet :) :) :)

Hi Paul welcome to the forum.

If I could ask you with regards to your experience, is there a self?

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 04:18:03 PM »


There is no end of the road. At least not yet :) :) :)

Hi Paul welcome to the forum.

If I could ask you with regards to your experience, is there a self?

Who's asking the question? LOL No but really, I don't know how to answer that. I don't have all the answers, nor do I wish others to believe I do. I'll never put myself in a REAL LIFE situation where another feels motivated to ask ME that question or any questions like it. I don't ever teach or preach or hardly even talk about my experience or spiritually related things to people in my life because I feel no need to. I am not a spiritual teacher nor do I intend to be. For me, the best way this "energy" can be "taught" and spread is to simply continue what I was doing before the experience. Just now, I have a different perspective. We all know the saying, before enlightenment carry water, after enlightenment carry water...or something like that. I see and realize the core teaching of that saying to be true in my life. I simply chose to share my story ON THIS SITE because I feel the need to express it to someone and to read some feedback from people who are "on the path" who are anonymous.  We don't know each other and that's part of the reason why online forums are useful, imo. 

But...I'll take a crack at it anyway...since we're are on a site like this :) I'll try to answer that question based only on my experience. Is there a self? It almost instantly makes me laugh and be like, uhh what? The fact that you are asking that question shows the possibility of there NOT being a self. Separation and Oneness seem to be very popular and debatable topics in the world of spirituality. Don't let it drive you crazy. It's simple. They both exist. You are a separate self AND you are one with all simultaneously. You exist in every dimension of reality at the same time, you just need to realize it...or you don't. No one is able to do something beyond their capability. I'd say, don't think about it much. Because if and when this "answer" comes to you, when this "shift" happens, when you "awaken", it'll take you by surprise and you won't be asking that question, or any questions like it, anymore.

It's like being in love. You just know :)

Matthew

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 05:20:07 PM »
Hi again Paul,

It's pretty clear from your answers that you still have a strong sense of self with you identify and are attached to. You have written of falling prey to your desire and disappointment and there is a general sense of pride in your posts.

It might be valuable, if you truly wish to help all beings, to explore this and the experiences you have had more systematically.  You are not as awake (enlightened is a poor translation) as you seem to believe.

The teachings of the Buddha provide some tools for doing this. These teachings are not about religion but about truly awakening, cutting the roots of desire/greed, anger and ignorance, seeing how the sense of self (I, me and mine) arises and moving beyond the important realisations you have experienced to true freedom. This is not to say that all Buddhism is non-religious, actually the opposite is true: most Buddhism is highly religious and breaks the teachings of the Buddha.

You say you don't ever teach but it seems you are trying to do so. You've had some valuable insights yet without following the road to the end (there is an end), you will not manifest the ideal you find/state is driving you.

I would like to ask you please not to copy and paste your answer to the other spiritual forum in which you have posted exactly the same things as you have posted here. It appears not to be a genuine interaction if you behave that way.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 08:58:05 PM »
The mood and nature of my posts is to share my personal story in a way that makes the reader/seeker feel confident and to embrace their ego, pride, and accomplishments, instead of suppressing or being afraid to show them. You, Matthew, seem to take on a strong role of the modest and wise teacher, which imo is respectable and inspiring to the degree in which it is viewed that way. Also, being that you are one who helps with this site, I would like to thank you for all that you are doing to properly inform and inspire the online spiritual community about what you are experienced and practiced in. For this and more, I am happy that there is someone like you out there, helping and caring enough to be a moderator on such an open channel (interent). You, my friend, are like the spiritual internet police. Thankyou.

Now,...I don't view myself as enlightened or even highly enlightened. I don't generally think in these terms at all and I have no intention of doing so. I view myself as pretty normal person who does and says normal things. I do have a strong sense of self. People who meet me see that right away. I know who I am and I know who I am not, relatively speaking of course. I have confidence and backbone, but no one who knows me would call me arrogant. That's not the energy I give out. People generally feel good and comfortable and open around me, esp after my shift. The message I constantly send out is, IT'S OK TO EMBRACE YOUR EGO BUT DO SO WITH COMPASSION. I'm not like your quiet and meek sage or guru, although I have the utmost respect for people like that. I am myself. Please do not judge me as you would not like to be judged.

I purposely stuck things in my posts about sex, money, racing, playing piano, etc to make it clear that I am still a person with desires so people don't make me into some kind of sinless saint LOL. If you make transformation into a normal experience, it will help others embrace it without false concepts.

Yes, I tend to try to teach. Maybe I will someday, who knows. I am a teacher of art afterall. I am excited about my future and I enjoy not knowing how it will exactly pan out.

I am generally open to learning. I realize I have much work to do. And again, Matthew, I'd like to thank you for calling me out on things. I hope members of this forum will read through the entire thread, as it continues, and take from it something valuable :)

Namaste   
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 09:01:24 PM by AllThingsWon »

redalert

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 09:53:43 PM »
Hi Paul,

I'm sorry that is a tough question to answer, I'm not trying to put you on the spot either. The answer to that question would very much depend on your tradition of practice, or religion you are coming from.

As Matthew indicated there seems to be a attachment to self in your posts and a general excitement about what has happened to you. This is good and I'm not trying to rain on your parade or be a downer.

I would just like to express that this road to full awakening is a veeeeerrrrrry loooooonnnnnng road, many people are walking the path unknowingly or knowingly doing some great introspection and suddenly an experience of some sort occurs. Whether your experience was some powerful insight knowledge or if it was a glimpse of the end of the road is not for me to judge.

If "you" experienced this "indescribable stillness and silence", I ask, can "you" abide in this stillness and silence and simply observe day to day sensory phenomenon.

This stillness is present in all of us always, its just that until one "experiences" this absolute stillness and silence, transcends the field of mind and matter one cannot comprehend this or see this in "oneself", "it" goes overlooked.

The ability to simply be in this "stillness and silence" always and just observe sensory phenomenon is what I would refer to as fully awakened/enlightened.

If we are not awake in this moment then we are asleep, I just ask that you observe your ability to remain present(awake) on a moment to moment basis and if you find that there are moments that you are sleeping then do your best to come out of them.

Kind regards,
Red

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2013, 05:20:55 PM »
Why thankyou, kind sir Red. Excited about what happened to me?...understatement :)

Matthew

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2013, 06:46:14 PM »
Paul,

The fundamental issue that you seem yet to have explored (by which is meant don't take my word for it, but explore it if it interests you) is that ego 'I, me and mine' -is a fiction, a fabrication built of habits: habits of body, perception, feelings, stories and concepts.

You state you wish to inspire to embrace the ego, yet embracing ego keeps you tethered to this fiction.

Why stay attached to a fiction that keeps you in a box? Clearly you have experienced some important truth yet staying in the box created by the fiction of ego limits true freedom.

Love is an unlimited resource, compassion too: they cannot be exhausted or used up, they are limited only by choosing to stay in, or embrace, the box of ego. To choose to remain trapped, limited is the only thing that will stop you or anyone reaching ultimate freedom.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 06:50:34 PM by Matthew »
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sirius

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2013, 08:41:48 AM »
All Tings Works  ;D
You bad sexy ego boy :) Love you without attachment :)
Seriousness is sign of attachment :)
I understand what you understand. Seems to.

My "problem" is, that I understand some things, but I very easy "fall in situation". I mean, in reality where I am in contact with people, my attachments drive my behavior. No, not every time, but enough.

And attachment is sign of Ego. We can't be in this reality without our Ego. The fine deal with the Ego is not get rid of it but to cut the attachment to it. And the funny thing is defacto we can't cut the attachment. We only can realize that we are not... We now we are not our body, but we keep feeding it. It is not the Ego. The Ego will freak you out if you realize you don't have food to eat. The Ego will react on harming words. Isn't it funny "harming words".

Some believe in reincarnation. Because of it the path can be long and short. Some people are born with a solid "before life" experience and have a "talent". And I'm not sure that even if you step for the first(of all incarnations) time on this so called ... path, you may find a "shortcut". And it will be not in purpose. "It just happened". It is like "The black swan" (nice book) - rare unpredictable event with huge consequences.

What is like The End of the path? - where you want to go. All I know (have information) is that there is more to go.

Excuse me for the english - it is not my first language.

Quardamon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2013, 10:08:05 PM »
Thanks for sharing, AllThingsWon!  :)

While reading through this post, I listened to five or six versions of Rachmaninov's prelude in G minor. It occurred to me again, that the rendering of a piece of music can make it beautiful to me, or neutral.  ;)

redalert

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2013, 10:13:20 PM »
Excited about what happened to me?

 :'( :'( :'( Ohhhhhhhhhh noooooooooooooo !!!!

You left the back door unguarded and Paul snuck back in.

You gotta guard those doors.  :)

floyd

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2013, 01:00:49 AM »
Sirius,

Quote
What is like The End of the path?

Have you considered that there may be no end to the path? The scenery though, it's fantastic.

Cheers

sirius

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 02:23:32 AM »
Yep, thank ATW for shareing.
Floyd, yes. It is like to explain to two years old what he/she can become in our world. Even to matured person. We are driven by diferent manifestations of the Ego and diferent loads from previouse reincarnations. And all changes when realizing the attachments/Ego. And also is just the same. Amasing game.

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 03:58:43 PM »
Why stay attached to a fiction that keeps you in a box?
I wish not to stay in a box. I wish to be completely liberated, as most of us do. I continue my practice towards liberation. I have taken many people's advice, and choose to continue my practice in a more systematic approach. Thankyou

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2013, 04:01:00 PM »

Seriousness is sign of attachment :)


It certainly is :) :) :)

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2013, 04:04:29 PM »
Thanks for sharing, AllThingsWon!  :)

While reading through this post, I listened to five or six versions of Rachmaninov's prelude in G minor. It occurred to me again, that the rendering of a piece of music can make it beautiful to me, or neutral.  ;)
Cool!! I'm glad you listened to it! Which pianist's interpretation did you find most beautiful? I currently love Emil Gilels version (the one on youtube). Back in college, I would've preferred a faster more showy interpretation :)

AllThingsWon

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Re: a profound shift...
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2013, 04:05:48 PM »
Excited about what happened to me?

 :'( :'( :'( Ohhhhhhhhhh noooooooooooooo !!!!

You left the back door unguarded and Paul snuck back in.

You gotta guard those doors.  :)
uhh what?  yea yea right right. gotta stay on guard at all times :)  :/ :*

 

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