catmoon wrote:When contemplating emptiness we put our world view at risk. But that world view contains most of our tools for dealing with reality, and if it is rapidly deconstructed there may be a shortage of coping mechanisms for a while. In time, new coping mechanisms arise which are based in the new understanding, and things then normalize.
I think this explains what's going on at the root of things. When I manage to calm things down mentally, everything from the objects in front of me to some really alluring distractions seem to have the same arising-peak-dissipating quality, related to where my attention is. I just hadn't thought there was a connection between that lessening of getting dragged into thoughts in meditation to surrealness post-meditation.
catmoon wrote:Just guessin' tho. I remember when I first started to look at emptiness seriously, and there was a time when a fire hydrant looked like a brilliantly colored paper shell to me. Things like that went on for a coupla months, maybe six, but eventually I saw that the realization of emptiness does not bring about the end of functionality and that there was little point or benefit in looking at an iron object as if it wasn't really there. More to the point is that we assign some intrinsic properties to objects that are not intrinsic to them, like goodness, badness, heaviness, lightness and so on.
Yes, this is very well put
The paper-thin aspect that everything takes on. Things have their usual names, and related concepts come to mind right away, tree: a plant, grows, that might be a maple. I haven't forgotten how to function or relate to things. But now it's like I can't suspend my disbelief so easily. The movie or story has gotten a little too unrealistic under scrutiny to accept right away. I'm reminded of a story Pema Chödrön related about Trungpa Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche sharing their meditation outside in a garden with some students. After a long period of silence, Trungpa Rinpoche started to laugh. He nudged Khyentse Rinpoche and pointed, "They call that a tree." Then he started laughing, too. I know I sure feel like laughing sometimes!
catmoon wrote:So when emptiness first hits we see the fire hydrant as barely there. This is because we have negated the intrinsic heaviness and the intrinsic solidity of the thing, and then gone on to the errors- if it is not heavy it must be light, if it is not strong then it must be fragile. So we correctly negate certain intrinsic properties, but becuase we are so used to intrinsic properties, we go right ahead and replace them with the OPPOSITE intrinsic properties!
Am I making sense here?
I'm not sure I'm filling in the opposite qualities, but just sitting here waiting for SOMETHING to come in. I see the thing, a fire hydrant by convention but apparently made up of this tiny sliver of perception having conventional knowledge plastered on it. A paper shell, like you said. So aside from that, there's.... what? I haven't gone any further yet. It just feels weird.
Things are still there, but not in the same way they were before. It feels like awareness is one of the ingredients. It's like being on a sword's edge between thinking "everything is made of perception and other mental factors, therefore only the perceiver exists" and some other alternative, like "awareness doesn't appear to exist without an object to be aware of, therefore only the thing perceived exists". I'm trying to stay on the tight-rope between different ideas that I could go nuts with
I don't need more confusion at the moment!!
ghost01 wrote:A lot of these are side effects of samatha meditation and buddhist practice.. I think perhaps switching styles of meditation might help with the unreal feelings. Perhaps metta or zazen for a while would help?
if you have a teacher I would also talk to them about it.. otherwise id say take things easy for a while, too much practice can also be harmful imo. Take care. :smile
Thank you. I've started including some metta before bed every night. Helps me sleep well
I'll have to think about a clear way to explain this before I try to talk to the teachers I know. People in this thread have really helped me make sense of this.
I'm unclear on the difference between zazen and the objectless meditation I sometimes end up doing. It seems like there are a gazillion possible objects of meditation, so I've always tried to keep it simple. My mind seems to naturally go to no object after it eventually settles down on the breath. I'm still very much alert, but noticing whatever comes up without focusing on anything in particular. That state doesn't last very long.
I only do a formal meditation session for 30 minutes a day, now with 10 mins of metta before bed. I take an hour-long mindful walk in the morning as well, and try to be mindful throughout the day. I see my state of mind during meditation as a barometer of the behavior my mind is rehearsing the rest of the time. So I try to come back to whatever I'm doing throughout the day
It doesn't seem like too much practice to me after a year and a half, but maybe it is?
In gratitude for everyone's input and care