The clear light of pure reality experience

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The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:31 am

I´m meeting my lama next week and will ask him about my experience, but I´d like to prepare myself so I ask here first:

A few months after I had taken psychedelics (I don't know if this caused it directly, I did´nt meditate) I was at a psychologists. We talked and touched upon the subject of my girlfriend who dumped me for another (arghh). I then remembered the first time we met and I got in a turbulent state of mind. Suddenly , my heart exploded with love and I got dizzy. Then I lost contact with the physical room and this warm, bright, brilliant clear/white light appeared in my mind and took over everything. It did´nt last long but it felt really good. I have read Timothy Leary´s "Psychedelic Experience" and there I read about the clear light of pure reality for the first time. On the Internet, there is not much to be found on this. They say "clear light of pure reality", "clear light of death", etc. Is it emptiness (sunyata)? If this light is seen in living life, it´s not exactly the "clear light of death" or?

Could anyone share their view on this experience? Is there an authoritative text on the clear light in English except the Tibetan Book of the Dead?
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby thigle » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:48 am

Your psychedelic vision of "clear light" was only an illusionary vision based on ignorance.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:29 am

thigle wrote:Your psychedelic vision of "clear light" was only an illusionary vision based on ignorance.


It was not necessarily due to psychedelics. I´m saying I don´t know if it was due to psychedelics since this happened a few months after psychedelics. It was unmistakably a "spiritual" experience, not an illusion. But I can´t prove this to you, of course...
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:16 am

thigle wrote:Your psychedelic vision of "clear light" was only an illusionary vision based on ignorance.
How can you possibly know this?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:17 am

odysseus wrote:It was unmistakably a "spiritual" experience, not an illusion.
How can you possibly know this?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:19 am

The Dalai Lama says in a video that one can reach the clear light through meditation, but I´m not good with meditation. He says it´s a source of strength and rejuvenation. It sure was an opening to a new cosmos for me and got me more interested in Buddhism. But I´d like a more thorough explanation to clear up any misunderstandings.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:26 am

My point is that all you (and thigle) are doing here is engaging in conjecture. You had an experience. The experience is over. What you are doing now is what is important.

A word of advice: the more you chase after the (any) experience the further away it will slip.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:50 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
odysseus wrote:It was unmistakably a "spiritual" experience, not an illusion.
How can you possibly know this?


Because I have the faculty of mind and can discern what is an illusion and what is reality. So I cannot prove anything, but this experience was certainly real and not a hallucination because there was no other element involved to obscure the direct experience.

:meditate:
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:56 am

odysseus wrote:Because I have the faculty of mind and can discern what is an illusion and what is reality. So I cannot prove anything, but this experience was certainly real and not a hallucination because there was no other element involved to obscure the direct experience.

:meditate:
I am not so sure that you can distinguish the difference between reality and illusion. I certainly cannot. For example, I believe that me sitting here in my temple room typing this message is reality.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:14 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:I am not so sure that you can distinguish the difference between reality and illusion. I certainly cannot. For example, I believe that me sitting here in my temple room typing this message is reality.


Good point, but in this case the experience was reality. It was not conventional/illusory reality created by my being. You know, reality has a kind of innate certainty, existence and vibe that one knows it´s reality. Cannot be mistaken. Just connect with the air in the atmosphere to know it!
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:19 pm

'Realisations' are different to 'experiences'. Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche makes this point in his book 'Mind at Ease'. One might have marvellous experiences, but experiences are by their nature transient. One cannot hold onto them. That is what experience is like no matter how amazing. Whereas a realisation is 'understanding how things are'. That might not even constitute an experience, although sometimes it will trigger an experience. Overall, teachers generally say not to invest too much significance in experiences or to seek for them - that is what I have heard.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby thigle » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:15 pm

odysseus wrote:
thigle wrote:Your psychedelic vision of "clear light" was only an illusionary vision based on ignorance.


It was not necessarily due to psychedelics. I´m saying I don´t know if it was due to psychedelics since this happened a few months after psychedelics. It was unmistakably a "spiritual" experience, not an illusion. But I can´t prove this to you, of course...


What you have experienced is an artificial/constructed state of consciousness; therefore the result of grasping. Every state of consciousness based on conceptual reification is like an illusion, including your "lovely warm, bright, brilliant clear/white light". The term "clear light" in mahasandhi doesn't mean such a reified "light" as you describe it. Of course, in thögal there are pure visions of "light" to, but not in that way you (and some tantric buddhists) think about it. Ask your Lama, if you can't believe what I'm saying.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:17 pm

Sure realization and experience are different. But this experience may have led me to proper realizations afterwords.

Well, I´ll bring the experience to the attention of my lama and hear his response. Any more input is still appreciated...

:?:
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby odysseus » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:24 pm

thigle wrote:What you have experienced is an artificial/constructed state of consciousness; therefore the result of grasping. Every state of consciousness based on conceptual reification is like an illusion, including your "lovely warm, bright, brilliant clear/white light". The term "clear light" in mahasandhi doesn't mean such a reified "light" as you describe it. Of course, in thögal there are pure visions of "light" to, but not in that way you (and some tantric buddhists) think about it. Ask your Lama, if you can't believe what I'm saying.


For me it was a meaningful experience. I have not conceptualized anything about it. I´m not sure how you can dismiss this experience so easily by just speculating loosely. In fact, consciousness was not involved at all since I lost contact with the surroundings and it was a "pure mind" experience, not a visionary experience.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:41 pm

odysseus wrote:Well, I´ll bring the experience to the attention of my lama and hear his response. Any more input is still appreciated...


Well, whatever the experience was (whatever caused it)
there is one thing about it that that is a known fact:
...it was important to you and had a meaningful impression on you,
and that is all that actually matters at this point.

It is possible that your wonderful teacher will tell you that it was this thing or that,
and not to get attached to it, but to just let it go,
and to stay consistent with your meditation practice (or whatever you do),
because these sorts of experiences occur when people are consistent, and their practice is going the way it should.

Whatever you have experimented with in the past, psychedelics or whatever, of course, everything you have done has brought you to exactly this very moment in your life, although there may not be any one thing that directly caused your experience.

So, if it was a powerful and meaningful experience,
just like a visionary dream,
you might ask your lama, "how can I use this experience to benefit my practice?"
Then, at least it may have a purpose.

You may find that over the years, you will have a lot of "interesting" experiences like this,
that seem significant some how.
When doubt arises in your own mind, you can think back on all of these events,
knowing that what ever they were, they did occur, and that they have helped to bring you to where you are.
.
.
.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby pensum » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:00 pm

odysseus wrote:I´m meeting my lama next week and will ask him about my experience, but I´d like to prepare myself so I ask here first:

A few months after I had taken psychedelics (I don't know if this caused it directly, I did´nt meditate) I was at a psychologists. We talked and touched upon the subject of my girlfriend who dumped me for another (arghh). I then remembered the first time we met and I got in a turbulent state of mind. Suddenly , my heart exploded with love and I got dizzy. Then I lost contact with the physical room and this warm, bright, brilliant clear/white light appeared in my mind and took over everything. It did´nt last long but it felt really good. I have read Timothy Leary´s "Psychedelic Experience" and there I read about the clear light of pure reality for the first time. On the Internet, there is not much to be found on this. They say "clear light of pure reality", "clear light of death", etc. Is it emptiness (sunyata)? If this light is seen in living life, it´s not exactly the "clear light of death" or?

Could anyone share their view on this experience? Is there an authoritative text on the clear light in English except the Tibetan Book of the Dead?


Wangdrak Rinpoche, the abbot of Gebchak Gompa in Kham, explains: "[W]e should understand that when we say clear light we do not mean as in a shining light. We are not talking about a yellow light or a colour, but rather a lucid, aware clarity. When we talk about the aspect of clarity in rigpa, it is not like light rays from the sun. Rather it is clear and pure awareness." (from here http://gebchakgonpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Meditation-on-Buddha-Nature.pdf)

Almost any book on Dzogchen will explain this, as the notion of 'od gsal is fundamental to the teachings, but many people have found the clear direct style of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche to be helpful in understanding the teachings on the nature of mind, so you might find the collection of his teachings entitled As It Is, Vol. 1 to be useful.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:04 pm

My advice for your meeting with the lama would be to remain open and leave the interpretation of your experience to him. Don't say that you've experienced the clear light and ask him for explanations about it. Just start by describing your experience in neutral terms and then ask him if this was the experience which is called the clear light. When he confirms this as a clear light experience, then you can ask for explanations.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby pensum » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:05 pm

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:My advice for your meeting with the lama would be to remain open and leave the interpretation of your experience to him. Don't say that you've experienced the clear light and ask him for explanations about it. Just start by describing your experience in neutral terms and then ask him if this was the experience which is called the clear light. When he confirms this as a clear light experience, then you can ask for explanations.


:good:
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby AlexanderS » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:51 pm

I think considering how many western people who were inspired to seek out spiritual truth from their psychedelic experience, it is unfair to completely downplay spiritual experiences that can occur do to psychedelics. Meditation experiences can be just as fabricated.

However, I think the OP should take his blissfull experience as a inspiration and dedicate himself even further to the path.
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Re: The clear light of pure reality experience

Postby ConradTree » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:46 pm

As every single book explains, Clear light = sleep paralysis.

You consciously enter the sleep state with full awareness.

There is also a good explanation by Malcolm here:
http://vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php?f=3 ... 245d#p1691
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