Author Topic: On feeling separated from the body  (Read 222 times)

chin

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    • Goenka
On feeling separated from the body
« on: March 16, 2018, 07:25:31 AM »
Once during a recent 10-day retreat (Goenka) and once after that during my daily practice, I've had this experience of becoming disconnected from my body. It is as if the body exists but I have no control over it. All the sensations become one sensation and the body feels really small (compact) and distant. I know I'm not articulating this very well, but someone who has had this experience will be able to understand.

It is an immensely pleasant experience, and I've consciously avoided identification with it or any clinging. But I'm trying to figure out what insight can be drawn from it - i.e. how can I frame these experiences in ways that lead towards deepening my understanding? Any reference to the suttas guidance on such experiences will also be greatly appreciated.

BeHereNow

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Re: On feeling separated from the body
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 08:11:05 PM »
Hi Chin,

I had a similar experience during a Goenka retreat, and all I can say about it is that over time, it became a guiding moment in that I truly, deeply understood that I am not my body (or my thoughts).

It was hard to integrate back into daily life, it actually caused a deep depression when I dropped back to earth and saw that I still had to deal with all the things I had to deal with. 

Over time I've learned that, for me, integrating mindfulness into daily life is more important than these one-time experiences, as I can then tap into that well of presence in everything I do.  That being said, it is cool when it happens and if we can just let it be rather than get caught into another story about it even better :-)

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

stillpointdancer

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Re: On feeling separated from the body
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 11:55:04 AM »
Once during a recent 10-day retreat (Goenka) and once after that during my daily practice, I've had this experience of becoming disconnected from my body. It is as if the body exists but I have no control over it. All the sensations become one sensation and the body feels really small (compact) and distant. I know I'm not articulating this very well, but someone who has had this experience will be able to understand.

It is an immensely pleasant experience, and I've consciously avoided identification with it or any clinging. But I'm trying to figure out what insight can be drawn from it - i.e. how can I frame these experiences in ways that lead towards deepening my understanding? Any reference to the suttas guidance on such experiences will also be greatly appreciated.
It's tempting to use these feeling to 'bliss out' when meditating. Nothing wrong with that occasionally, but can be distracting to excess. I use this stage in meditation to relax from the day, and then to move on to the next stage, maybe mindfulness of breathing or some visualisation practice. It's especially helpful if the aches and pains (especially for us older meditators) bring their own distractions.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Ottercreek

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Re: On feeling separated from the body
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 02:23:28 PM »
Yes, most teachers warn students about the danger of getting stuck with that sort of experience... For me, the interest wore out pretty much by itself but I must say, at first I did gain some sort of insight, getting a different perspective, a different relationship with "my" body. For me it WAS something new and valuable especially when perceiving very distinct, precise sensations, while it doesn't feel "mine". Then I agree with stillpointdancer that a blissful state is good as a step, to move on...

Neon

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Re: On feeling separated from the body
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 01:07:12 PM »
It was hard to integrate back into daily life, it actually caused a deep depression when I dropped back to earth and saw that I still had to deal with all the things I had to deal with. 

Hello, new poster here. Although I haven't really got a clue what I am doing, it has been said (elsewhere on the web) that the period of depression you speak is "the dark night of the soul" and by pushing on through this and entirely leaving "self" or "ego" behind leads to enlightenment.

Like I said, I can't confirm or deny this, I just arrived here through feeling confused but thought I would add my 2 cents.

stillpointdancer

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Re: On feeling separated from the body
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 04:12:46 PM »
It was hard to integrate back into daily life, it actually caused a deep depression when I dropped back to earth and saw that I still had to deal with all the things I had to deal with. 

Hello, new poster here. Although I haven't really got a clue what I am doing, it has been said (elsewhere on the web) that the period of depression you speak is "the dark night of the soul" and by pushing on through this and entirely leaving "self" or "ego" behind leads to enlightenment.

Like I said, I can't confirm or deny this, I just arrived here through feeling confused but thought I would add my 2 cents.
I think the dark night of the soul for Buddhists is the experience of nihilism, where you get to the point of 'nothingness' after letting go of everything. The trick is to understand that you need to let go of nothingness too, which is the 'pushing on through' bit you were talking about.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka