Dreamer's Refuge

A Student of Life

Month: February 2016

Meditation Update 2/29/16

Today, for the first time, I stopped feeling part of my body after about 9 minutes, or so. The mind became very clear, awake, I was not happy, or joyful, just seemingly peaceful and content.

I noticed that I could think, and this did not knock me out of the state I was in. So I started thinking about Dependent Origination, and had a dream like vision come up of me standing in front of an open refrigerator full of food.

And I noticed that just by looking at it, the eyes themselves had craving. Just by opening them, there is subconscious craving. And that this is true for all the other six sense bases. (though I only experienced the eyes directly). Even when we do not want anything “consciously”, subconsciously craving is always there with the six sense bases.

Not sure what Jhana this was (or if I was even in a Jhana) but it was a pretty interesting experience.

Meditation Update 2/25/16

This is an update to Meditation Update 2/18/16

Had a similar experience, but this time the energy sensation was a lot subtler.

I noticed that I was breathing out of both sides of my nose (usually I only breath through one or the other nostril), my body was again distant, and seemingly “stiff”, I also felt the it cool.

I was not as excited this time, and stayed in this state for a while (a few minutes), it was a very content/relaxing experience.

Unfortunately my Insight Timer (set for 1 hour) went off before I could go further.

I am going to set Timer for 1:30 hours from now on, and longer as is warranted.

Concept and Reality

This post is in some ways a continuation of Faith, Fiction & Ideas: What explains the rise of humans?

This time, however, it is more framed from the Buddhist perspective.

There is a booklet, titled “Concept and Reality” written by Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda.  In it, he speaks in more detail about the Buddhist description of “Not-Self” or “Empty” when talking about reality.

In short, that humans live their everyday lives in abstractions; we call these abstractions ideas, and concepts, and from them we create conceptual networks, and from those more ideas and concepts in a never ending feedback loop.

This keeps us chained to the rounds of Dependent Origination, and binds us to craving, conceit and delusion.

Buddhas remedy to this, is to silence the mind with mindfulness (after it has been developed) and then see the reality of what is via Vipassana.

By doing this, we get away from “re-cognizing” to just “cognizing”.  That is we get away from concepts, and ideas, and slowly we start seeing the world as it is, versus how we are conditioned to perceive it from the learned and carried over habitual tendencies in our society (language and concepts; i.e, Conceptual proliferation) and past kamma.  We cognize the sense-data as sense-data, and do not identify with it:

Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.

— Ud 1.10: Bahiya Sutta — Bahiya (Listen)

In short, anytime we try to explain something with words, we are dealing with delusion. This is why the Buddha taught that freedom from concepts has to be experienced.  It cannot be explained, because as soon as you try, you bind it to the thing you are trying to free yourself from.

For anyone seriously interested in Buddhism, this is a must read.



The Importance of the Five Precepts in Buddhism

When one takes the five precepts they are not so much for the “morality” of it – though that is a big part, because they tie in with Kamma – but because they (by breaking them) cement the hindrances. If the mind is full of regret, guilt, anger, etc, it is really hard to still it.

The Five Precepts:

  1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
  2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
  3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
  4. I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
  5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

Most secular meditation groups rarely bring up why the five precepts are important, or why the hindrances stop you from progressing in meditation, and how all of this ties in with Dependent Origination. And all of those things are really important to the teachings of the Buddha. “Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising.”

There is a good Dhamma talk from Bhante Vimalaramsi about why the Five Precepts are important:

Mindfulness has to be an every hour of everyday pursuit, not just during meditation, or retreat, etc.

By keeping the precepts, one starts noticing, “Oh, Anger! I see you, you are not me (or mine, or self).” and it is actually a lot easier when people are mean to you, because the hindrances come up and you have a field day releasing them till you get to the serene state of mind again.

You get to a point where meeting “disagreeable” people is actually really helpful, you thank them, and send them love and kindness, because they show you which hindrances you still have left to work on. You stop taking things personally. Anger – or any emotion really, which is why equanimity is the final state of mind – is not self.

Meditation Update 2/18/16

Had an interesting experience during meditation today, I was meditating for about an hour, and heard something that sounded like a baseball bat hitting a ball, a distinct “crack”.

Then a few minutes later, all of a sudden, my body started vibrating, it felt as if electricity was running through it, a fast “hum”. I also heard a sound; a vibrating hum of energy. My body became stiff, distant and my hands felt warm, as this was going on and my mind became really focused (This was going on while I was also excited about what was happening because this was new).

I think the excitement disrupted my mindfulness because that feeling slowly became weaker and then went away, and I came out of the meditation; looking at how long I had been meditating, the Insight Timer said about 49 minutes.

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