Just Now

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Being somewhat at the end of this particular experience, it’s still “fresh,” as it were.

I was looking up information the instrument used in Tibetan Buddhism known as the “vajra.”

Outside, I suddenly heard wind chimes, and then…I remembered something. But what I remembered is impossible to describe, except that suddenly the mind was still- the mind stopped, no thinking, no song in the back of my head, and the front of my head felt kind of numb and then RELIEVED.

So, this seemed like the exact opportunity to investigate the Three Characteristics of Reality (impermanence, suffering, no self), and I went for it. To the shock and awe in many ways, I had this sudden realization that these things, in a way, are what give reality meaning. The lack of self is what allows for the Buddha Nature to endow things with meaning- it’s all garbled sounding at this point, but I could see directly into this, especially with situations in my past.

In the moment, staying here, it was more difficult, but I did experience phenomena “just where they are” as Daniel Ingram says, and a sense of separation between me and everything else was gone (even though I didn’t just MERGE into all things and disappear).

So…wow.

More signs that I’m on the correct path, perhaps?

Steve

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Kundalini Dreams

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Last night, I vowed to seek the Buddha in my dreams, and I apparently did that.

I was WIRED for hours before falling asleep; the last time I checked the clock, it was past 3 AM. (I lay down around 1:30 AM and turned out the lights around 2 AM).

In the dreams, I had a bell that was also a statue of Avalokiteshvara. (The Shiva statue on my altar represents Avalokiteshvara, so I guess I’m meant to work with him.) I began ringing the bell and chanting to Avalokiteshvara, and the kundalini began doing its thing and rising through my body.

Then, I woke up in a manic sort of state- feeling so blissful and so deep of mind and amazing.

This is the sensible thing to say: don’t make decisions from that state of mind because it will fade and isn’t grounded. While it’s useful to have such good feelings, many things were also distorted with what I guess are subconscious perspectives on people and my surrounding life.

That’s all okay as long as I don’t take it as an absolute and unchanging reality. Within an hour or two, the experienced faded, but I still got up and meditated again for about an hour.

Insight meditation is beginning to make more sense; I don’t think I’ve been in a deep enough state of mind previously, and the “noting” practice is useful if my mind starts to wonder and I’m not just paying attention to all the various sensations that arise.

In the blissful state, I could *kind of* zero-in on the micro-phenomenon, and at one point when I was meditating later this morning, I could see that my breath was what someone described as “textured,” which is the sense of the various places in the nose where the breath is hitting and where it isn’t. In other words, what normally feels like a “smooth” in and out breath is more complex and detailed than that.

Sooo maybe that’s a step in the right direction, eh?

Steve

More Practice

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Perhaps I can safely say that I’m not entirely sure how to do insight meditation. For one thing, beyond the “noting” practice, I can’t seem to get a consistent definition of what it is, and the noting practice is something I’m either doing incredibly wrong or incredibly right or also not grasping because it irritates the shit out of me and seems pointless.

That’s fine, though.

Today was a day for getting over migraines, cos I’ve had a migraine the past two days, and even though a migraine seems like a GREAT thing to investigate the vibrations of, it was just too overwhelming in and of itself.

Later on, I read about the various Buddhist families in Vajrayana Buddhism, and I was like, “Yep, I’m definitely in the Vajra Family” because of how central anger is to my experience. I did sit with some negative feelings in meditation, just letting them rise up, REALLY FEELING THEM for what they were, seeing where there was tension and what the psychological reality of them was (is this insight meditation? Buddha, some help here!)

I think I was in the First Jhana when that happened, and later on, when something negative came up, I stayed with the feelings, and then…suddenly, the sensations were like tickling on the inside, and I started laughing. Then it dawned on me that this might be a demonstration of impermanence because the sensations and feelings changed so quickly. But who knows?

In ordinary waking mode, I can still intuit the underlying Buddha Nature in all things. It can take some focus, and if I get too tired, I can start to lose a sense of it, but I allow that to be.

Earlier today I went into a much deeper than usual meditation, and I have no idea what jhana I was at or whether or not it’s even useful to refer to jhanas or use the maps I’ve been given.

Oh, I also set up a small Buddhist altar because let’s complicate things, amirite? So that means I effectively have a Christian altar, a Buddhist altar, and a Pagan altar set up in my home. How very Gnostic of me, indeed. *biggest eye-roll ever*

I wonder if the migraines have anything to do with my spirituality? Then again, it may be better to not know that at this point because there’s no telling how I would react to such knowledge.

Steve

Second, Third Jhana?

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In bed this morning, I was able to attain the first Jhana, just lying down and meditating. That’s encouraging. I made sure to focus on the pleasurable sensation and the allowed it to “grow” for lack of a better term and fill my body, and basically, I could feel the the “current” running through my body, in this case a “current” of pleasure.

I came out of the first jhana, got up for a while and had breakfast, and then spent some time with my husband and online.

My husband left to go to the gym, so I decided to take the opportunity to begin cleaning the house and sat down to meditate.

Again, I accessed the first jhana and stayed with the pleasure, allowing it to suffuse my body. Even then, it doesn’t ever feel “complete,” as there are gaps everywhere in the pleasure, but it’s still substantial and something I can see a person wanting to maintain all the time.

So I decided to try to shift to the second jhana, which is done by moving from the physical sensation of pleasure to the emotional component. That’s easier said than done because we often experience our emotions on the more physical level.

But lo and behold, the “shift” moved me into what I might call the “warm fuzzies.” While the first jhana and the pleasure has a sense of being almost sexual and in the lower chakras (though it can felt everywhere; this is my experience), the second jhana (or what I think might be the second jhana) radiates more from the heart is…”fluffier.” That’s a good word for it. The emotional content is like being on a cloud or a bunch of pillows or something; very lofty.

That felt great, and I could see myself staying at the second jhana for the rest of my life.

However, today I felt ballsy, so I decided to jump to the next jhana, the third jhana, and…I’m not sure entirely sure what happened, it’s just kind of more of like stillness. The “warm fuzzies” go away even though there’s some echo of them and the pleasure sensations, and of course thoughts still arise here and there and such; that’s fine, because there’s not really an attachment to them, and it’s easy at that point to maintain focus.

Again, I’m not entirely sure that was the third jhana or maybe even the second jhana, but I’m fairly confident that I’ve attained the first jhana.

I tried insight meditation as well in these states, trying to see the Three Doors and so on, and the impermanence aspect seems blatantly apparent because none of this is perfectly still or stable, and I can kind of see the anatta aspect as if I’m experiencing it, it can’t be the experiencer, per se, and the suffering aspect is that these states, while lovely, aren’t complete; they haven’t finished or aren’t perfect, no matter how wonderful they feel.

I could be doing the insight meditation entirely wrong, which is fine as I’ll eventually figure it out.

But yeah, this is all pretty much fun and something worthwhile and a map that finely seems worth following.

Steve

The First Jhana

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Having read the method to attain the first jhana and also the attributes that it includes, I conclude (albeit cautiously) that I have attained the first jhana and even have the ability to sit down and almost immediately go from access concentration to first jhana.

One thing to say is that the first jhana is a beneficial state to achieve for probably just about anyone- it’s pleasurable and relaxing.

More importantly, I should point out that in all my years of spiritually seeking, in all the kinds of practices and meditations I’ve done, this is the first time I’ve ever been to discover WHERE I AM ON A MAP.

Yes, I understand it’s not a good idea to get chained to any particular map, but this is the first time there’s anything I can recognize, and that means I have my prima facie case that Buddhist meditation is worthy of study (here meant as practice).

I’ve never been able to say that before.

I can still maintain an awareness of the Buddha Nature in daily life. Someone pointed out that technically, that’s what Zen meditation’s “mindfulness” is referring to.

So, here we go!

Steve

Buddha Nature

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Since sometime last week, I’ve had the burgeoning sense of what I’ve called the “True Self” or the “Buddha-Nature” appearing.

The sensations are located in the stomach area, around where I might have referred to the “Black Fire” being, but this seems like it’s more than that.

The essential fact that I see about the Buddha Nature (the term I’m using currently) is that it underlies everything in reality; in all my moments of my lifetime, I can see that somewhere, I was aware of it, and it connects everything I’ve ever done.

The most fascinating thing is that it’s untouchable- no horrible thing in this world, no amount of suffering, can touch the purity of the Buddha Nature.

This random discovery and appearance of consistenly experiencing the Buddha Nature led me to start reading Daniel Ingram’s books Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. I’d started it a while back but didn’t get far and decided to give it another go. I’ve started meditating again, though the “Insight” aspect is new to me (but probably not nearly as new I think as it; I have a hunch that I know what is meant by the Insight meditation but haven’t properly identified it in my own experience), and well…things seem to be going forward.

All the things that I’ve found meaningful in life, for instance, the experience around Christmas and such, go back to these things become vehicles, reflections, and manifestations of the Buddha Nature. To wit, so much suddenly makes sense.

This is not something I could’ve claimed before.

Whether or not this will continue, I don’t know; it is interesting to see how Buddhist cosmology and Gnostic cosmology do indeed overlap, down to a mentioning of the Demiurge in one of the books I was reading (though by a different name).

I’m excited and inspired and ready to clear some meditations hurdles.

Steve

Christ as Logical Necessity

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One of my contentions against monotheism and the equation of “Creator as separate and distinct from Creation” is that we end up with this model:

God + 1

The set of [God +1] is larger than [God].

Now, if God is Infinite (or simultaneously the Infinite and the Embodiment of the Infinite), we might say that adding anything to the Infinite still realizes Infinity.

The trouble? The assertion is that we’re adding something that is distinctly not the Infinite to the Infinite; this creates a special category, meaning it has to always be noted and stand distinct from the Infinite.

Christ is the connection, the bridge between the Created and the Uncreated. Christ solves the equation, in other words; by being the means in which the Creation is united to the Uncreated, the equation is no longer [God + 1] > [God], but is now [God+1] = [God +1].

I need to think more deeply into this.

S.

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