Momentary blanking out of consciousness

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m0rl0ck
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Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:43 pm

I experienced a moment of blanking out of consciousness and seem to remember reading about this as a side effect of insight meditation (which i do not practice, i do a chan method).
It was disconcerting, like being completly gone for a split second while wide awake and then blinking back into existence. I wasnt doing anythign special at the time, watching a youtube video.
Does anyone know what this phenomena is called in the context of the path of insight meditation?
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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aflatun
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by aflatun » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:55 pm

I think some (whether this accurately reflects the insight tradition or not, I won't comment) consider this blanking out to be true cessation, which occurs at the moment of stream entry, or attainment of higher paths, and is tantamount to the experience of Nibbana, i.e. all conditioned phenomena stop, however briefly.

You might find this thread interesting:

Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique
Nyana wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:32 pm
Alexei wrote:So, it seems that some traditions differ with their opinion on the goal of practise.
Indeed. If the jhāna factors are not present then it isn't supramundane path or fruition attainment either. This blackout emptiness notion is the inevitable consequence entailed by a realist view of dhamma, wherein all conditioned dhammas are considered to be "truly existing things," and therefore path cognitions and fruition cognitions of each of the four paths and fruits must occur within an utterly void vacuum state cessation, which is considered to be the ultimately existent "unconditioned." This notion of path and fruition cognitions is not supported by the Pāli canon. It's largely based on an unsustainable interpretation of the first chapter of the Paṭisambhidāmagga. Also, there is nothing specifically Buddhist about utterly void vacuum state cessations. In fact, precisely this type of stopping the mind is the goal of some non-Buddhist yogic traditions. Therefore, this contentless absorption cannot be equated with Buddhist nibbāna. Moreover, there are now a number of people who've had such experiences sanctioned by "insight meditation" teachers, and who have gone on to proclaim to the world that arahants can still experience lust and the other defiled mental phenomena. Taking all of this into account there is no good reason whatsoever to accept this interpretation of path and fruition cognitions. Void vacuum state cessations are not an adequate nor reliable indication of stream entry or any of the other paths and fruitions.

All the best,

Geoff
Last edited by aflatun on Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Bundokji
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by Bundokji » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:56 pm

If you blanked out of consciousness, how can you recall it?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

2600htz
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by 2600htz » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:28 pm

Hello:

The truth is that "blanking outs" are used to describe a very different number of experiences (you can have "blanking outs" because of drowsiness,lack of attention, some of the higher jhanas, attaining the cessation of perception and feeling, etc.)

You should first hear the answer of someone who uses your same method of meditation, and then check for yourself if it matches with the suttas.

Regards.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:21 pm

2600htz wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:28 pm
Hello:

The truth is that "blanking outs" are used to describe a very different number of experiences (you can have "blanking outs" because of drowsiness,lack of attention, some of the higher jhanas, attaining the cessation of perception and feeling, etc.)

You should first hear the answer of someone who uses your same method of meditation, and then check for yourself if it matches with the suttas.

Regards.
This wasnt drowsiness or lack of attention, im very familiar with those states
:)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Stiphan
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:28 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:43 pm
I experienced a moment of blanking out of consciousness and seem to remember reading about this as a side effect of insight meditation (which i do not practice, i do a chan method).
It was disconcerting, like being completly gone for a split second while wide awake and then blinking back into existence. I wasnt doing anythign special at the time, watching a youtube video.
Does anyone know what this phenomena is called in the context of the path of insight meditation?
Just for a split second? Earlier this year I lost consciousness in the toilet for 6 or so minutes after constipation! I woke up on all fours shivering and trembling for about 10 seconds, got up and was okay. But losing of consciousness was very weird. Total blank. :toilet:

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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by Stiphan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:31 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:56 pm
If you blanked out of consciousness, how can you recall it?
If you slept, how can you recall it?

I just remembered what happened before I lost consciousness, and when I "woke up" after the loss of consciousness I looked at the time and it was 6 or so minutes; for some reason, I had looked at the time before blanking out.

But anyway, it's about m0rl0ck.

ToVincent
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by ToVincent » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:36 pm

I don't think it has to do with the Buddhist "consciousness". Just about awareness.

One must redefine consciousness.
Vedanā means an experience, which when it occurs at satta's level, at the living being's level, in particular - in the Buddhist "world" of the saḷāyatana - is "felt" sensorially. And this experience demands some more inquiry.

Then comes sañña ("perception"?) - which indeed is the said inquiry - plus the assumptions that follow.
One put some postulates on his examinations.

This is the purely mental level (cittasaṅkhāra).
One could add that vitakka & vicāra, that come later on to enrich consciousness (viññānna), might be the verbal (vacisaṅkhāra) match of these mental processes.
Vitakka being the doubtful abstract verbal match, of the doubtful abstract felt purely mental experience; and vicāra the concrete verbal examination and probe match, of the purely mental inquiries and assumptions; leading to a possible naming (vaca).


Then comes viññāṇa, which is the final knowledge that concludes the (usually rational) investigations. It encompasses the above (the bodily, mental and verbal, plus the manosañcetana, papañca, etc., part of the process).
Consciousness is everything that has been known through the bodily, mental and verbal processes - through mano (the great orchestrator of the khandhas).

Consciousness is a secondary consequence of citta (viz. the result of the synergy (saṅkhāra], between vedanā & sañña).
Moreover, at satta's level, it includes the interference of mano.


Note on the side:
If viññāṇa is equal to citta (as one often hears say), then what would be the need for mano? - what would saḷāyatana be useful for? - where would be the will? - where would be the escape? - what would be the need to liberate citta from mano? - What would Buddhism be good for?


Now your "blank" sounds more like mano stopping its act for a while (without citta picking up from there).
Certainly that can be explained scientifically (the mano part).
Just a break.

One should redefine vipassana as well, while we are at it.
Last edited by ToVincent on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In this world with its ..., Māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:46 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:36 pm
I don't think it has to do with the Buddhist "consciousness". Just about awareness.

One must redefine consciousness.

I was using the word in its most mundane sense ie:
con·scious·ness
ˈkän(t)SHəsnəs/
noun
noun: consciousness

the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings.
"she failed to regain consciousness and died two days later"
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:49 pm

aflatun wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:55 pm
I think some (whether this accurately reflects the insight tradition or not, I won't comment) consider this blanking out to be true cessation, which occurs at the moment of stream entry, or attainment of higher paths, and is tantamount to the experience of Nibbana, i.e. all conditioned phenomena stop, however briefly.

You might find this thread interesting:

Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique
Nyana wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:32 pm
Alexei wrote:So, it seems that some traditions differ with their opinion on the goal of practise.
Indeed. If the jhāna factors are not present then it isn't supramundane path or fruition attainment either. This blackout emptiness notion is the inevitable consequence entailed by a realist view of dhamma, wherein all conditioned dhammas are considered to be "truly existing things," and therefore path cognitions and fruition cognitions of each of the four paths and fruits must occur within an utterly void vacuum state cessation, which is considered to be the ultimately existent "unconditioned." This notion of path and fruition cognitions is not supported by the Pāli canon. It's largely based on an unsustainable interpretation of the first chapter of the Paṭisambhidāmagga. Also, there is nothing specifically Buddhist about utterly void vacuum state cessations. In fact, precisely this type of stopping the mind is the goal of some non-Buddhist yogic traditions. Therefore, this contentless absorption cannot be equated with Buddhist nibbāna. Moreover, there are now a number of people who've had such experiences sanctioned by "insight meditation" teachers, and who have gone on to proclaim to the world that arahants can still experience lust and the other defiled mental phenomena. Taking all of this into account there is no good reason whatsoever to accept this interpretation of path and fruition cognitions. Void vacuum state cessations are not an adequate nor reliable indication of stream entry or any of the other paths and fruitions.

All the best,

Geoff
Thanks. Im pretty sure the jhana factors were not present at the time, unless you can get youtube jhana :) I appreciate the sane, meaningful response :twothumbsup:
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by aflatun » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:42 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:49 pm


Thanks. Im pretty sure the jhana factors were not present at the time, unless you can get youtube jhana :)
I dunno, I'm pretty sure I've had a few youtube jhana experiences myself :rofl:

m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:49 pm
I appreciate the sane, meaningful response :twothumbsup:
:thumbsup:

If you don't mind sharing, what Chan method do you practice?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

ToVincent
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by ToVincent » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:54 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:46 pm
I was using the word in its most mundane sense ie:
con·scious·ness
ˈkän(t)SHəsnəs/
O, I see!
You might find your answer at 1:00

I think it's all about frëk(t)eSHi/an.



:)
In this world with its ..., Māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:58 pm

aflatun wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:42 pm


If you don't mind sharing, what Chan method do you practice?
After doing a huatou (who is this?) for a while my last instructions were to "abide with mind"
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:59 pm

ToVincent wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:54 pm
m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:46 pm
I was using the word in its most mundane sense ie:
con·scious·ness
ˈkän(t)SHəsnəs/
O, I see!
You might find your answer at 1:00

I think it's all about frëk(t)eSHi/an.



:)
Good stuff :jumping:
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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aflatun
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by aflatun » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:00 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:58 pm
aflatun wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:42 pm


If you don't mind sharing, what Chan method do you practice?
After doing a huatou (who is this?) for a while my last instructions were to "abide with mind"
Awesome, I love huatou, but I don't have a teacher, so I can't say I really practice it (but I do in a way :embarassed: 8-) )
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:14 am

aflatun wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:00 am
m0rl0ck wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:58 pm
aflatun wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:42 pm


If you don't mind sharing, what Chan method do you practice?
After doing a huatou (who is this?) for a while my last instructions were to "abide with mind"
Awesome, I love huatou, but I don't have a teacher, so I can't say I really practice it (but I do in a way :embarassed: 8-) )
From what i have read the "who is this" method crosses a lot of traditions. "Who is this" is traditionally short for "Who is this reciting the buddhas name?"
The complete instructions i was given fyi, which i wouldnt necessarily recommend following, they might have been personal to me since i had known this teacher for a while, were as follows:

Look, as in look inside, turning the light around, as they say in chan and ask "who is this?" Continue looking and asking until the question is no longer necessary and there is just the looking and the sense of inquiring, "who is this?"
Look with the sense that you are seeing an old friend that you bumped into, that you cant quite place or recognize. I was also told to not concentrate too hard and again i think these instructions might have been somewhat personally tailored to me, i sometimes veer toward being a little too intense.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

SarathW
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by SarathW » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:28 am

It happened to me once and I thought I am going to faint.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:06 am

Probably a momentary entry into the state of non-perception (bhavanga).
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by m0rl0ck » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:07 am

I emailed my teacher that gave me the "abide with mind" practice. His take on it was that it could have been a number of things and that "whether it was important or unimportant, is secondary to your sincere continuation of the practice you're currently doing."

I gotta say i just love this guy :)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

Garrib
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Re: Momentary blanking out of consciousness

Post by Garrib » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:12 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:07 am
I emailed my teacher that gave me the "abide with mind" practice. His take on it was that it could have been a number of things and that "whether it was important or unimportant, is secondary to your sincere continuation of the practice you're currently doing."

I gotta say i just love this guy :)
Greetings m0rl0ck,

Who is your teacher (if you don't mind my asking)?

W Metta,

Brad

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