Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

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ZenGuitar
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Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by ZenGuitar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:21 pm

Hello everyone,

My name is Jamie and I have been practicing zazen for 2 years now, it's a real pleasure to be a part of the group.

I have been struggling to find some clarity on the matter of continuing to meditate or not after there was a huge explosion of experiencing that the past and future do not exist and that 'This' and what I am, is the 'Here and Now'. This experience of the totality of the Now lasted for 3 days straight and then the eye of Awareness seemed to close down, and become veiled again, back into the conventional everyday experiencing. I wasn't disappointed that 'it went away' either...

After this happened, the seeker I had been just disappeared, and there was no interest whatsoever in pursuing anything with the mind, in spiritual seeking terms.

Does anyone have any advice as to whether or not meditation should continue in the same way as had been done, but now it would be completely free of the seeker/witness/watcher/meditator?

Will continuing to meditate after this partial awakening serve to build illusion instead?

I was used to meditating 3 hours a day on a bus travelling to work, informal mindfulness as much as could be achieved throughout the day and 30 minutes in the evening at home formally in a quiet setting. But now I see that there is no room for any path to the Now (I am), as I know that I am the Now.

I am now seeing that the practice of meditation is something that you stop doing, and is what you are, rather than something that one does.

Does this negate formal meditation now, or not?

Could someone shed some light on how they came to continue or discard 'meditation' as a practice through awakening, because I am having some difficulty in balancing and reintegrating this new life-changing understanding.

Kind regards and love to everyone,

Jamie

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Admin_PC » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:56 pm

What does your teacher say?

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ZenGuitar
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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by ZenGuitar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:36 pm

Hi thanks,

I've never had and don't have a teacher, other than Awareness itself/myself.

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 pm

Honestly, you should possibly put less stock in temporary experiences and find a qualified teacher.

That's not to say your experiences don't mean anything or weren't beneficial, but they may not mean what you think they do, and the only solution is involvement with a teacher and meditative tradition that can point out pitfalls and steer you in the right direction.
This experience of the totality of the Now lasted for 3 days straight and then the eye of Awareness seemed to close down, and become veiled again

You had an experience. They are important, they can be a guide if you have sufficient instruction/training. By definition though, this is merely an experience in time and space, it's best not to try to make big decisions on it, and simply bring the question to a meditative tradition that has so many lifetimes of knowledge.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by ZenGuitar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:08 pm

Okay, thank you.

Unfortunately there isn't any qualified teachers nearby me, or I definitely would.

The language i have used to describe the experience was found from reading other sources, I didn't know what was happening, and found it again and again, the Eternal Now, I knew nothing of such a thing before the experience.

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by ZenGuitar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:10 pm

I don't see how is experiencing Timelessness is an experience in time and space, it's the other way around.

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:23 pm

ZenGuitar wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:10 pm
I don't see how is experiencing Timelessness is an experience in time and space, it's the other way around.
BY definition, experiences happen in time and space. You can't "experience" timelessness, once it becomes an experience it is in time and space, because it requires "you" - the experiencer to be an experience, and that is where "you" are - time and space. An experience is your conceptual minds way of dealing with something outside of it's confines, but the map it makes is not the territory, and shouldn't be confused as the territory.

Teachers are available online, by email etc..there are Dharma centers all over. If you really want to find a teacher or knowledgable help on this, I'm guessing you can.

In short, I doubt anyone here would recommend you stop meditating, and most would recommend you do so with instruction - particularly now that you've had this experience.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso

ZenGuitar
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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by ZenGuitar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:31 pm

Okay.

Awareness recognised itself then, as the Timeless ever presence that it is/I am. Is it worth meditating still?

Conventional language still has to be used to discuss these things.

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by ZenGuitar » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:34 pm

Thank you! I never read your whole message as my phone obscured it for some reason.

I’ve read tons of books on all of this and learned to let them go.

I’m now just meditating informally as ‘life’.

Meditation seems to be settling down to be ‘what I am’

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:41 pm

ZenGuitar wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:34 pm
Thank you! I never read your whole message as my phone obscured it for some reason.

I’ve read tons of books on all of this and learned to let them go.

I’m now just meditating informally as ‘life’.

Meditation seems to be settling down to be ‘what I am’
It's your choice what you do.

All I can tell you is that every meditator I know has reached a place where they have some kind of experience and thinks they have attained some great realization, don't need to meditate anymore, etc. Eventually it wears off, and you look at yourself a year later are you realize that while the experience was important, that's all it was - an experience.

The Buddhist tradition in particular strongly discourages attachment to meditative experiences, or drawing of conclusions based on those experiences - particularly when one has no teacher.

If it doesn't seem like a satisfying answer, that is an indication that it might just be the right one.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by shagrath » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:49 pm

Hi, welcome to DW.

That is a trap that can screw you for life. I've been there. Just continue sitting like nothing ever happened, and do not give that experience much value. If you attach to it you become its slave, hence you are not free.

Truth frees you even from itself.

Good sitting,
shagrath

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:03 pm

ZenGuitar wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:08 pm
Okay, thank you.

Unfortunately there isn't any qualified teachers nearby me, or I definitely would.

The language i have used to describe the experience was found from reading other sources, I didn't know what was happening, and found it again and again, the Eternal Now, I knew nothing of such a thing before the experience.
There are plenty of qualified teachers and legitimate groups near where you live.

Check the Private Message (top right hand corner of the home page) that I sent you.
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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:59 am

This is not an uncommon experience.
If nobody ever had flashes of realization, I doubt the Dharma teachings would have survived this long.
Every teacher I have ever heard or read answering this question said, basically,
regard it as a good indicator that you are practicing correctly.
After all, cause & effect is a basic tenet of Buddhism.
However, don't cling to that experience or try to recreate it as a goal when you meditate again.
The experience you have is the result not only of meditation, but of all sorts of conditions.
When the conditions were there, you experienced that satori temporarily.
But when the causes cease, or begin to fade away, (you could say, when the karma producing that experience is used up)
then, naturally, the experience will also diminish.

I asked my teacher once, what to do if you have that experience, because you know, it sort of opens a door,
it gives you a perspective that once you've had it, you can't "un"have had it.
How do you relate to the world? He said,
"just keep that inside you, and go about things same as always"
...which was his very compassionate way of saying a person shouldn't go around like a fool thinking they are enlightened.
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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Vasana » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:00 am

The real litmus test is found when observing whether you still have attachment or aversion or the other afflictions. Whether you still consciously or unconsciously grasp at phenomena or beings or experiences as if they had an inherent nature. Whether compassion rather than irritation or indifference wells up for all beings. Whether you are lazy or dilligent, self indulgent or engaged with others wellfare. Whether your awareness is always crystsl clear and lucid, day and night, 24/7-365. The Buddhist definition of realizations and fruitions are quite specific and not so vague so where your experience could well have been valid and meaningful and genuinely important , it's probably not the end of the path.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by Dan74 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:59 am

Hi ZenGuitar :hi:

It's cool that you meditated and had this experience.

You didn't mention how you meditated, what did you do exactly?

I had some similar things happen years back. One thing I've learned is that the mind is a very subtle thing and operates on many levels. So for instance one can experience a tremendous easing of the burden of "I" and "mine" and grasping after 'mine' to make "I" feel better. All sorts of things can accompany that, some quite fantastic. But the mind and the habitual tendencies continue ticking away just under the surface, building up energy. It is important, IMO, to develop a careful penetrating and clear attention to the mind, to see these manifest in all sorts of ways and keep clearing away these habitual tendencies to grasp, to build comfort zones, narratives and identities.

A great teacher is of course very valuable especially at times like these. Here we are mostly just muddling through somehow plus don't know you IRL.

I would pay attention to how you deal with everyday trivia, pay attention and care to small things and build up this attention to the mind. Be generous with your time and energy. And kind.

_/|\_

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by £$&^@ » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:53 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:59 am
This is not an uncommon experience.
If nobody ever had flashes of realization, I doubt the Dharma teachings would have survived this long.
Every teacher I have ever heard or read answering this question said, basically,
regard it as a good indicator that you are practicing correctly.
After all, cause & effect is a basic tenet of Buddhism.
However, don't cling to that experience or try to recreate it as a goal when you meditate again.
The experience you have is the result not only of meditation, but of all sorts of conditions.
When the conditions were there, you experienced that satori temporarily.
But when the causes cease, or begin to fade away, (you could say, when the karma producing that experience is used up)
then, naturally, the experience will also diminish.

I asked my teacher once, what to do if you have that experience, because you know, it sort of opens a door,
it gives you a perspective that once you've had it, you can't "un"have had it.




:good:


How do you relate to the world? He said,
"just keep that inside you, and go about things same as always"
...which was his very compassionate way of saying a person shouldn't go around like a fool thinking they are enlightened.
.
.
.
The experience you had should not be dismissed, it is important to you and may prove life changing. And it is a glimpse. A good beginning. Many of us have had similar experiences, sometimes after periods of meditation,sometimes apparently spontaneously. They seldom last.Which is where the teacher comes in, they can ground your experience and help give you a platform. Without the teacher we may find that such experiences, although profound at the time, simply dissipate over time and become a memory of something profound.
My name is Simon John Ellis. Husband of a Buddhist wife. Father of a Buddhist son. And I will have Enlightenment in this life or the next.

( Or the next..or the next....)

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by seeker242 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:37 pm

ZenGuitar wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:21 pm
Does this negate formal meditation now, or not?
No. The Buddha himself still did it, even after his full and complete enlightenment. :meditate:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Continuing to Meditate after experiencing the Eternal Now

Post by DNS » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:13 pm

Welcome to DW!


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