how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

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peleke4
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how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by peleke4 » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:49 am

I just finished a book called "Awakening to the Dream: The Gift of Lucid Living." There's a chapter called "Blinded by the Light" that hit home with me. Here's a part from the chapter:


"There is no need for

a special experience to set you free. When you wait for

such an event, you feed the erroneous belief that there

really is a 'you' in need of liberation. Such an anticipated

event may be a transcendental experience; but even when

you do get such an experience, it can become a trap instead

of a liberation. The one having such an experience

may be overwhelmed and conclude that this should become
a permanent state.

There is a book by Suzanne Segal called

Collision with
the Infinite

It tells the story of a woman who got shocked
by the sudden realization that there is no personal self.

She was not a seeker and had no interest in things like

yoga, Zen, and advaita. She thought she was losing her

mind and sought help from psychiatrists and psychologists;

but they were unable to help her. At some point, she

came in contact with the non-dual perspective; and from

that point on, her situation started to improve – so much

so that she started to hold meetings and began to help

people on their spiritual path.

By the end of the book, she gets sick and dies. In the

afterword her friend Stephan Bodian writes:

'Yet toward the end of her life, we could only watch as the

realization slipped between her fingers like so much sand, leaving

her frustrated and confused.'


Suzanne Segal was a unique case, and her situation involved

a brain tumor; but in general, when the 'experience'

– like all experience – turns out to be impermanent,

one might mistakenly consider this as a personal failing.

Like the condemned soldier, one may end up chasing the

experience, which is missing the point completely...


Here's the story of the condemned soldier:


There is a story about a soldier who was sentenced to death.

On the day of his execution, he is transported in an open

cart to the gallows. As he takes in his surroundings for

what he believes to be the last time, a great stillness descends

upon him. The world appears in a clear and transparent

vision of unity and harmony. His fear of dying is

replaced with a deep sense of peace in which he and all of

creation are one in a mystical union with God. At the very

last moment, the king pardons the soldier. He regains his

freedom and life, but loses the vision of paradise. The rest

of his life is a hopeless quest to regain that vision. He takes

to heavy drinking and dies years later as a lonely alcoholic.


When I had my first "experience," I was FLOORED... or as the author put it, "blinded by the light." The following morning, that state of mind that came about from the experience was gone. I tried to get back into that state; needless to say, the more I tried, the more it eluded me.

During the "experience," I felt with absolute conviction that everything was okay. I knew with 100% certainty that all issues/problems were illusions; they didn't matter as my ego made them out to be. But when the experience faded, ego came back and thus, those very same issues/problems seemed to matter again... although definitely not as intense as before.

After checking out resources, especially by Adyashanti, I realized that ALL experiences, regardless of what types of experiences they are, will never last. All experiences are impermanent. That blissful state of mind was a byproduct of the experience itself. I see the importance of not identifying and getting attached to such experiences. There was never an "I" that had the experience in the first place.

Anyone here have an "experience?" If so, how did the "experience" affect you? I guess what I really want to know is this: After an "experience," now what?

piercej
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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by piercej » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:33 pm

I've read that the "now what" can be an obstacle, that the mind has been conditioned to always want more, and that this can be one manifestation of that ceaseless desire. It's been suggested that our ego wants to be able to go on to the next step, to understand every part of it, to control it.

Maybe if we let go of these expectations and allow what will be to be, while developing our ability to remain in the moment, to maintain a perspective of presence, to recognize the ego while submitting to the uncertainty, the doubt of our insecurities without needing to control them... our awareness and inner peace will increase.

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Javonni
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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by Javonni » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:36 pm

Peleke, in my younger days I had several spiritual experiences and I guess you could say I became a 'God chaser'. One experience in particular was ecstatic but afterwards I crashed because I chased those feelings trying to cling to them. I couldn't understand why I couldn't stay in the bliss. I felt I had failed myself.


There was never an "I" that had the experience in the first place.

This is where I am today.

Javonni
When someone asks me who they are or what God is, I smile inside and whisper to the Light: "There you go again pretending."
~Adyashanti

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DWBH1953
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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by DWBH1953 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:22 am

peleke4 wrote:I just finished a book called "Awakening to the Dream: The Gift of Lucid Living." There's a chapter called "Blinded by the Light" that hit home with me. Here's a part from the chapter:

Anyone here have an "experience?" If so, how did the "experience" affect you? I guess what I really want to know is this: After an "experience," now what?
I think it just depends on the experience and the person. It is true experiences come and they go but there are also some that are so strong and so concrete that they in of themselves create a turning point for the person. Just off the top of my head is the experience Tony Parsons always talks about. He was just walking accross the park one day as usual and the whole world stopped, everything stopped and he knew in that moment who he really was. Now Tony speaks of this experience often in his talks so it does seem to play a important part in his journey. So who knows, what I do know is that I enjoy them as them come and I do not feel sad to see them go because they are just making space for the next one to come along :wink:
Cheers
Randji
Do not meditate-be!
Do not think that you are-be!
Do not think about being-you are!
Sri Ramana

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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by Sighclone » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:05 pm

The Japanese words are "kensho" and "satori" for a brief, non-abiding experience of unity consciousness. There is one thing which is profoundly and unalterably true about them: they are not in the NOW. They are past. Stay present.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

Juno
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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by Juno » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:47 pm

I have had lots of spiritual experiences through the years. They masqueraded as something special but nothing really came of them. One day though I was listening to Adya, sipping tea looking out at the mountains and all of a sudden found myself standing up holding my stomach bent over laughing uncontrollably(sp). The experience didn't continue, I have regained composure from all the laughing but the newly "remembered" perception that had me laughing so hard has not left. The perception of everything changed 180. Even in the times that feel dark it's still there and the amount of peace that has come due to this experience I can't put into words. Waking up is an experience, What we are is not.

Monica
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
Huang Po

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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by HermitLoon » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:09 am

Yes Monica! :)
The Avadhuta Gita addresses this.
http://oaks.nvg.org/pv6bk7.html

(p.s. - the "Thinking Mind", Ego, will not like this :wink: )
Peace

Juno
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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by Juno » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:13 am

Thanks HL,

I'm enjoying the link very much!

Monica
by thinking of something you create an entity and by thinking of nothing you create another. Let such erroneous thinking perish utterly, and then nothing will remain for you to go seeking!
Huang Po

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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by Sighclone » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:22 am

Yes, thanks, HL!!

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: how does a short-lived enlightenment experience affect you?

Post by heidi » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:42 pm

Kind of like good sex - you had it yesterday and kind of remember it and are ready to have it today as if you never had it before. :lol:

The waves of pure joy that are experienced are still there easily accessible in the Now. It is what it is because of its continuous underlying presence - attempting to describe it, I'd say like the love energy that is what we are all made of; it's that energy (don't want to use the word manifested, since it's not, in fact its manifestation appears to be what causes us to un-realize it, ha ha) realized. :)

Finally stopped longing to reproduce it, which actually allows it to be realized as a constant "companion" though not separate at all, always there, just sometimes obscured by everyday brain stuff.
Heidi
http://www.heidimayo.com
wonderment on the third wave

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