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

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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

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

More on Meditation

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The past several times when I’ve had any kind of substantial meditation, I’ve noticed that what feels like a certain part of my brain begins to become active, deep in the head and towards the back. It’s further back than where I understand the pineal gland to be, but that could be something I incorrectly assess.

 

Now, several blogs ago, I established that there are three parts to the mind in my own experience: the Thinker, which is the part of us that sits down and consciously thinks about things and makes decisions; the Subconscious, which is a deeper layer from which thoughts and feelings arise; and the Ego, which is the “person” aware of these things.

 

The Thinker can be quieted rather easily; the Subconscious is the real issue, and the Ego has never gone.

 

But last night, I noticed something incredibly interesting as I meditated; the real work seems to be in the Subconscious and whether or not THAT part of the mind is meditating. I think that’s what this has all been about, getting the Subconscious part to meditate. If this part of the mind is meditating, it doesn’t matter if the Thinker is operating or not; anytime one stops, one will go back to the Meditating Subconscious (more or less.)

 

For me, it takes about 40 minutes of meditation, and sometimes an hour, to really get to this point. Ideally, I *should* be sitting in meditation for perhaps 2 or even 3 hours a day.

 

I said Mass again last night, and I consecrated a host to put in what’s now my Tabernacle. I do feel the sheer of terror of mentioning that I’m doing such things online, as I can see the attacks levied against me about having no Apostolic Succession and so on and so forth.

Yet I now understand that misses the entire point; the issue here is to practice and not get too caught up in the theory. Christ will come to those who seek Him.

Of course, I should also point out that I’m not acting as priest in leading a community, either; this is strictly a private celebration that I do alone, which changes the nature of it to me.

I described myself one to someone as a Christian mystic, and someone else explained that as meaning approximately a Christian shaman. It’s an interesting twist on the concept, I think, and somewhat appropriate for me.

 

But I refuse to get caught up in the label game at this point; it’s ridiculous and unnecessary. I, of all people I have known, find is baffling that I even fit into Christianity at all, yet here I am. So what a religion is really trying to convey is not necessarily the same thing as how it is popularly and consistently misunderstand.

 

Here endeth the rant.

Beaux

 

 

Meditations as of Late

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So where am I spiritually as of late? That’s a tough question to answer.

Craving Aletheia is a beautiful, beautiful blog, and I really enjoy writing about spirituality. Many of the insights I have during meditation are not exactly the easiest things to share, though the reality is quite clear in the meditation.

Articulating insights is not as easy as receiving them, because there are a number of connections people are normally unable to see that become clear in meditation. The occluded becomes revealed whereas the false assumptions we have about reality begin to slowly fall away.

Suffering is something necessary for the Sufi, and I have suffered and suffered in many ways, unfortunately.

By and large the suffering lately has been largely self-imposed, or so I think, but I could be wrong. Longing is an all right way to suffer, in my opinion; I would give to have longing and more longing, and increasingly it seems to be leading somewhere, but not to a place I can totally understand.

There comes a point where the rational mind cannot follow into the mystical realms. One’s thinking stops. Many times I have experienced a brief encounter in meditation of a thoughtless state where there are no thoughts, and usually my excitement causes me to start thinking again. The brief thoughtless states occur in deep meditation, and perhaps it is the elusive Dhyana, and perhaps it is not; I cannot be sure. What I do know is that my senses do not stop; I can still hear and have impressions from the outside world, but perhaps, that, too, will eventually shut down; I am not sure.

Increasingly it’s becoming clear that the Black Fire I’ve so often mentioned is indeed the Shakti, the Kundalini inside of the body. Had I only realized this connection sooner! The connection between Lord Shiva, Christ, and the Earth Father Archetype has also become clear to me.

The internet recently stopped working properly at my house, thus forcing me to write on my computer with no online connection, and to be honest I enjoyed the sense of productivity and actually getting something done. My second novel is almost complete, just in time for me to begin the work on the third and fourth ones. If I have my way, I’ll complete them all by the end of this year.

Meditation has also increased. Guided meditations are helpful because they help me to relax more, and relaxing my body is a crucial for me to meditate since my shoulders always seem to remain tense.

Forgiving myself seems to the name of the game these days. I realize a great deal of the tension that stays in my heart actually originates from my own refusal to forgive myself, even for things long gone into the past that no longer matter whatsoever. Forgiving one’s self seems to be the key to be able to forgive others as well, thus it would be beneficial for me to learn what it means to forgive myself.

Beaux

Sleeping Well after Chakra Meditation

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For the first time in as long as I can remember, I slept for a full eight hours without waking up once. Typically, if I awaken, I know that I’ve only been asleep a few hours. So imagine my surprise to have awoken today and realized I had been asleep for so many hours without waking up at all!

I’ve continued to do my meditations on the chakras. The new meditations I’ve found deal directly with the chakras and kundalini. While meditating, I managed to relax a great deal, and I’ve found this is the case when I’m doing a guided meditation instead of trying to meditate on my own.

If I meditate on my own, I can make it so far into meditation, and then my mind begins to chatter. But if I have an external focus, such as the chanting, then my mind slows down and I relax to an incredible degree that I don’t typically know.

That relaxation is what caused me to sleep so well last night. That’s strange, to know that I don’t relax even when I sleep.

But the best part is that I didn’t wake up with the feeling of needing to sleep more, or the feeling that I hadn’t really slept at all. I actually rested.

Needless to say, I’ll be doing those meditations again and will be posting them here.

Beaux


Root Chakra Meditation

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A key thing to always remember in any kind of spirituality is practice, practice, practice. Don’t worry about the dogma, don’t worry about the theoretical framework- just do the practice, and see what happens in accordance with the actions.


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