Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:32 pm

I just looked up the Kornfield vagina thing and there's a bit of context that I think should be brought out, namely that it is part of a discussion of the chakras:
The second chakra, just above, is in the area of the genitals. Its energy usually opens us up to aspects of sexuality, reproduction, and generativity. When the energy of sexual release opens in this center, we may be flooded with sexual images and sensations for hours, days, or even weeks. For some, this may be pleasurable. For others, who may have issues of sexual abuse or painful sexual histories, it can require a confrontation with the fearful and destructive side of those energies.

The second chakra can produce visions of every kind of sexual encounter along with tremendous waves of lust and rapture. For one woman in a recent retreat, the opening of this chakra began with hours of powerful erotic and orgasmic vibrations. Then she saw visions of the copulation of humans and animals in every realm. It looked to her as if the trees were copulating with the sky, and when she sat in meditation she felt as if the entire world was being poured into and out of her vagina in an enormous sexual act. Initially this was overwhelming, but over some days she gradually relaxed and allowed the process to open to a sensitive and calm state filled with an exquisite sense of joining with all things. This chakra connects us with the boundless reproductive capacities of the world.
His section on the chakras begins as follows:
We may also encounter great changes through the opening of the energy centers in the body traditionally called chakras. This process does not happen for everyone, and it is in no way necessary for a full spiritual life. Indeed, openings of the energy body and chakras occur simply because a person has been blocked and held in these areas, and the experience arises as our inner energy tries to move and free itself in the body.
and it ends in this way:
These energetic processes can take place in a period of hours or weeks or months, and for many students they are a process that goes on for years. They are all a part of an opening and purification that is the natural product of deep spiritual practice.
Further, the section on chakras is part of chapter 9, "The Spiritual Roller Coaster: Kundalini And Other Side Effects", which begins as follows:
The dazzling effect of lights and visions, the powerful releases of rapture and energy are a wonderful sign of the breakdown of the old structures of our being, body, and mind. However, they do not in themselves produce wisdom.
Last edited by dzogchungpa on Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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boda
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by boda » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:48 pm

DGA considers chakras to be laughable pseudo-profundity?

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:52 pm

That completely changes the nature of the discussion, but I had no idea that Kornfield taught anything with chakras either.

Well I'll eat my words to some degree, as it seems Kornfield maybe has a more nuanced view than I gave him credit for, whatever else may be.
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:57 pm

I don't want to keep editing the post above, so I will quote the final paragraph of chapter 9 here:
MEDITATION: REFLECTING ON YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD ALTERED STATES
What is your relationship to unusual and altered states in meditation? As you read about these experiences, notice which ones touch you, notice where you are attracted or what reminds you of past experiences. How do you meet such experiences when they arise? Are you attached and proud of them? Do you keep trying to repeat them as a mark of your progress or success? Have you gotten stuck trying to make them return over and over again? How much wisdom have you brought to them? Are they a source of entanglement or a source of freedom for you? Do you sense them as beneficial and healing, or are they frightening? Just as you can misuse these states through attachment, you can also misuse them by avoiding them and trying to stop them. If this is the case, how could your meditation deepen if you opened to them? Let yourself sense the gifts they can bring, gifts of inspiration, new perspectives, insight, healing, or extraordinary faith. Be aware of what perspective and teaching you follow, for guidance in these matters. If you feel a wise perspective is lacking, where could you find it? How could you best honor these realms and use them for your benefit?
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Grigoris » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:59 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Also I suggest that opening to a sense of joining with all has value. When things are joined they are no longer seen as separate. They may be seen as mutually dependent, or less dual. This sense is valued in Buddhism and is not regarded as trivial.


Pretty subtle question but I'll give it a try:

The point is not whether or not such a feeling has some relative value in Buddhism - it does, everyone knows that, please stop mentioning it.
I am going to disagree with JD on this one. I am unsure whether these feelings of "oneness" have any value because it seems to me that, being feelings, they are still relative and dualistic. Who is being one with what?

Non-duality (as far as I know) in the Buddhist context has to do with the realisation that the subject, the experience and the object being experienced are actually not seperate phenomena and all share a common characteristic: they are empty of a true existence. What that means, in terms of the above-described experience is that it is actually and ultimately insignificant, useless, lacking substance and any true meaning apart from that which is projected onto it by the subject having the experience.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:01 pm

Grigoris wrote:I am going to disagree with JD on this one. I am unsure whether these feelings of "oneness" have any value because it seems to me that, being feelings, they are still relative and dualistic. Who is being one with what?
Junior-level relative Bodhicitta, it's something, IMO.
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Grigoris » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:01 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:That completely changes the nature of the discussion, but I had no idea that Kornfield taught anything with chakras either.

Well I'll eat my words to some degree, as it seems Kornfield maybe has a more nuanced view than I gave him credit for, whatever else may be.
Going to disagree with you again: What is this theory/model of chakra based on? In Buddhist Tantra chakra are different depending on the deity, so you cannot say: the first chakra is this, the second is that.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:08 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:That completely changes the nature of the discussion, but I had no idea that Kornfield taught anything with chakras either.

Well I'll eat my words to some degree, as it seems Kornfield maybe has a more nuanced view than I gave him credit for, whatever else may be.
Going to disagree with you again: What is this theory/model of chakra based on? In Buddhist Tantra chakra are different depending on the deity, so you cannot say: the first chakra is this, the second is that.
Obviously chakra practices are not limited to those with deities, there are some practices involving chakra that involve different types of wind, thus different types of experiences, etc.

That said, no idea what system, if any he is working with, much less the person in the story.
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:13 pm

boda wrote:DGA considers chakras to be laughable pseudo-profundity?
Now this is getting excessive...
子念昔貧,志意下劣,今於父所,大獲珍寶,并及舍宅、一切財物。甚大歡喜,得未曾有。
The son thought of past poverty, outlook humble, now having from father a treasure harvest, also father's house, all his wealth. Great joy - to have what was never before had.

Τῆς πατρῴας, δόξης σου, ἀποσκιρτήσας ἀφρόνως, ἐν κακοῖς ἐσκόρπισα, ὅν μοι παρέδωκας πλοῦτον· ὅθεν σοι τὴν τοῦ Ἀσώτου, φωνὴν κραυγάζω· Ἥμαρτον ἐνώπιόν σου Πάτερ οἰκτίρμον, δέξαι με μετανοοῦντα, καὶ ποίησόν με, ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου.
Your fatherly due I withheld unthinking, in evil I wasted your wealth; a prodigal cries, "I've erred, father, receive the repentant as serf."

妙法蓮華經 Κοντάκιον τοῦ Ἀσώτου

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:15 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Grigoris wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:That completely changes the nature of the discussion, but I had no idea that Kornfield taught anything with chakras either.

Well I'll eat my words to some degree, as it seems Kornfield maybe has a more nuanced view than I gave him credit for, whatever else may be.
Going to disagree with you again: What is this theory/model of chakra based on? In Buddhist Tantra chakra are different depending on the deity, so you cannot say: the first chakra is this, the second is that.
Obviously chakra practices are not limited to those with deities, there are some practices involving chakra that involve different types of wind, thus different types of experiences, etc.

That said, no idea what system, if any he is working with, much less the person in the story.
I don't know either but looking through the book it seems that chakras actually play an important role in his thinking, and in particular the "heart" of the title of the book seems to be a reference to the heart chakra. Here's a passage from the introductory section:
My own practice has been a journey downward, in contrast to the way we usually think of our spiritual experiences. Over these years I’ve found myself working my way down the chakras (the spiritual energy centers of the body) rather than up.
and a little further on:
I was forced to shift my whole practice down the chakras from the mind to the heart.
and there are several more passages along those lines.
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by boda » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:28 pm

Grigoris wrote:I am unsure whether these feelings of "oneness" have any value because it seems to me that, being feelings, they are still relative and dualistic.
No value because feelings are relative and dualistic? Can you name something that isn't relative and therefor has value?

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Grigoris » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:47 pm

boda wrote:
Grigoris wrote:I am unsure whether these feelings of "oneness" have any value because it seems to me that, being feelings, they are still relative and dualistic.
No value because feelings are relative and dualistic? Can you name something that isn't relative and therefor has value?
Your true nature.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by boda » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:15 pm

Grigoris wrote:
boda wrote:
Grigoris wrote:I am unsure whether these feelings of "oneness" have any value because it seems to me that, being feelings, they are still relative and dualistic.
No value because feelings are relative and dualistic? Can you name something that isn't relative and therefor has value?
Your true nature.
And you believe that true nature isn't relative to false nature (an inherently existing self or whatever)?

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Grigoris » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:42 am

boda wrote:And you believe that true nature isn't relative to false nature (an inherently existing self or whatever)?
Nope. Relative self is not a false self (standing in opposition to a true self) it is no-self. It is a false SENSE OF SELF imputed onto a collection of factors which also lack inherent existence. So no, our true nature is not relative to anything because there is nothing there to be relative too, actually the things that we believe to be there, and think constitute our relative self, are nothing other than glimpses of our true nature.

But now I am wandering into terrain best traversed live, and face-to-face with a real teacher, so I will bow out now.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by boda » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:06 pm

Grigoris wrote:
boda wrote:And you believe that true nature isn't relative to false nature (an inherently existing self or whatever)?
Nope. Relative self is not a false self (standing in opposition to a true self) it is no-self. It is a false SENSE OF SELF imputed onto a collection of factors which also lack inherent existence. So no, our true nature is not relative to anything because there is nothing there to be relative too, actually the things that we believe to be there, and think constitute our relative self, are nothing other than glimpses of our true nature.
By this logic nothing is relative because everything is empty. :oops:

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Grigoris » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:53 pm

boda wrote:
Grigoris wrote:
boda wrote:And you believe that true nature isn't relative to false nature (an inherently existing self or whatever)?
Nope. Relative self is not a false self (standing in opposition to a true self) it is no-self. It is a false SENSE OF SELF imputed onto a collection of factors which also lack inherent existence. So no, our true nature is not relative to anything because there is nothing there to be relative too, actually the things that we believe to be there, and think constitute our relative self, are nothing other than glimpses of our true nature.
By this logic nothing is relative because everything is empty. :oops:
Dzogchen teachings talk about One Truth (as opposed to Relative and Ultimate Truth).

So, I guess it is up to you which model you run with.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:44 pm

Hi Johnny,
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
boda wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:

It does if we are dealing with meditative experiences that are not covered by a secular approach to meditation..all experiences will be filtered through that lens.
Can you explain how it is limiting? This may seem completely obvious to you, in which case it should be a simple matter to explain.
I already did, but i'll try again. If you have a teacher following an actual lineage of meditation instruction, they will likely have access to instructions and ideas that help people deal with obstructions in meditation. Coming at meditation as if it is just a therapeutic endeavor on the other hand, lends itself to either discounting such experiences as "junk" on the one hand, or ascribing them some profundity they don't really deserve.

Again while the experiences themselves may not mean anything, they can be a kind of marker for where someone is at and what they need, and you get that information with a lineage of meditation instructions. I am not so sure you get it with "alphabet soup" type mindfulness instruction, etc., though like in all things, I'm sure there are exceptions.
Thank you for expressing this, I think it's a very important point.

It seems to me that what you are describing is the difference between:
  • Student: I'm having experience X.
    Teacher: Oh, OK, that's quite common. Try doing Y then.
    [student goes off for a day or two...]
    Student: Thanks, that worked. But now I'm experiencing Z.
    ...
and
  • Student: I'm having experience X.
    Teacher: Oh, OK. Here's a story by A that might have something to say about that. Or you might read this book by B.
    Student: Hmmm...
It can be painfully clear whether or not the teacher has any idea what you are asking about and whether they have any tools to help.

I think that, in addition to the teacher having a lineage, it is helpful for the student to be following the approach of that lineage. Different approaches unfold in different ways, and a teacher can generally be more helpful to someone whose pattern of progress they are familiar with.

Though of course, a good teacher can probably be of help to anyone, as DGA points out here:
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... 43#p378756

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by boda » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:13 pm

Grigoris wrote:
boda wrote:
Grigoris wrote:Nope. Relative self is not a false self (standing in opposition to a true self) it is no-self. It is a false SENSE OF SELF imputed onto a collection of factors which also lack inherent existence. So no, our true nature is not relative to anything because there is nothing there to be relative too, actually the things that we believe to be there, and think constitute our relative self, are nothing other than glimpses of our true nature.
By this logic nothing is relative because everything is empty. :oops:
Dzogchen teachings talk about One Truth (as opposed to Relative and Ultimate Truth).

So, I guess it is up to you which model you run with.
Doesn't matter what model you run with, anything identified is relative to something else.

Feelings would be valueless if they weren't relative, if for no other reason than there would be nothing with which to evaluate them.

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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by Grigoris » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:37 pm

boda wrote:Doesn't matter what model you run with, anything identified is relative to something else.

Feelings would be valueless if they weren't relative, if for no other reason than there would be nothing with which to evaluate them.
So you have established that your relative view sees the apparently relative as apparently relative...

And?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

boda
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Re: Weird Stuff Happens When You Meditate

Post by boda » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:17 pm

Grigoris wrote:
boda wrote:Doesn't matter what model you run with, anything identified is relative to something else.

Feelings would be valueless if they weren't relative, if for no other reason than there would be nothing with which to evaluate them.
So you have established that your relative view sees the apparently relative as apparently relative...

And?
I've gone crosseyed. :rolleye:

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