Where Did I Go?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
walker8476
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Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:04 pm

I've been meditating for about ten years now but lately I get to a point where I have a very still mind, no thoughts and no awareness of my body. There's a feeling of losing myself, like there is no me anymore. It's very disconcerting. Just wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:31 pm

The problem with language and subjective states is they lead a lot open to interpretation.

What you are describing though is very common. Have you managed to pass the threshold were there is a "letting go" or when it comes to this point is there to much resistance for that or a movement into more coarse mental states?


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walker8476
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:47 pm

CedarTree wrote:The problem with language and subjective states is they lead a lot open to interpretation.

What you are describing though is very common. Have you managed to pass the threshold were there is a "letting go" or when it comes to this point is there to much resistance for that or a movement into more coarse mental states?
Yes I get to a point where there is no clinging or desire for anything. However after a certain amount of time, I feel like going back a step where my mind is still calm, with no thoughts or desires, but I am aware of my body and aware that I exist.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:14 am

Can you be a bit more detailed and really make your writing clear.

It will help a bit as I am thinking you may have found a common "comfortable" space that meditators find but that can lack any movement towards further progress.

Or you could be in a different space. These are the difficulties with language and subjective mind states.

I should ask on a serious note if you have a qualified Theravada center or teacher around or someone skilled in a high meditation tradition of Mahayana either in Tibetan or Zen as those are probably other ones that would know this territory.


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paul
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by paul » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:21 pm

It's a good direction but can only be pursued in a monastery situation where all needs are taken care of and you're in a protected environment and attention can be given solely to mental pursuits. There fears about loss of self will disappear as that is connected with the thought of how needs will be provided with no self and there the attachment to conventional reality can be confidently severed.

walker8476
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:40 am

paul wrote:There fears about loss of self will disappear as that is connected with the thought of how needs will be provided with no self and there the attachment to conventional reality can be confidently severed.
Yeah, the loss of self is something that I have not experienced before and will take some getting used. I'm trying not to push it away, just let it be.

I've been trying develop a mind that is a stable observer. Where my mind just observes phenomenon rising and passing away and I'm thinking that's where the feeling of losing myself has come from.

I have also noticed when going about my normal tasks during the day, like making a cup of tea, that I have moments where I feel like I am observing someone else making the tea. Very strange but in some ways very calming and meditative.

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Lankamed
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by Lankamed » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:03 pm

walker8476 wrote:I have also noticed when going about my normal tasks during the day, like making a cup of tea, that I have moments where I feel like I am observing someone else making the tea. Very strange but in some ways very calming and meditative.
You should go find a proper vipassana teacher. By being a meditator for ten years I hope you are aware about Nama-Rupa?
Last edited by Lankamed on Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:19 pm

Definitely time to find a teacher to further your practice :)

If you need any suggestions on lineages and or reputable organizations/individuals let us know!


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m0rl0ck
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by m0rl0ck » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:16 am

walker8476 wrote:I've been meditating for about ten years now but lately I get to a point where I have a very still mind, no thoughts and no awareness of my body. There's a feeling of losing myself, like there is no me anymore. It's very disconcerting. Just wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences.
Are you paying attention? If you lose your sense of inquiry and attention, thats probably not good. Otherwise, and be aware that im not a teacher, i dont see a problem.
“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: Where Did I Go?

Post by m0rl0ck » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:17 am

Didnt there used to be an edit button?

Anyway about the disconcerting part, yeah it can be disconcerting, kind of fun too tho isnt it? :)

EDIT: The edit button showed up after i posted this, all i saw before the was the quote button.
“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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Pondera
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by Pondera » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:28 am

Hey walker...;

Besides the disconcerting feeling I'd say you might have reached fourth jhana - where there is neither pleasure nor pain. But the kink in that hose is equanimity. Do you observe equanimity in that state?

- Pondera
A wise man once asked an audience, "why do the ignorant shrug their shoulders?"

No one in the audience knew. They shrugged their shoulders, however the wise man only laughed and shook his head. He didn't explain any further.

walker8476
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:09 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:Are you paying attention? If you lose your sense of inquiry and attention, that's probably not good
Yes, I have full attention on what's happening
Pondera wrote:Besides the disconcerting feeling I'd say you might have reached fourth jhana - where there is neither pleasure nor pain. But the kink in that hose is equanimity. Do you observe equanimity in that state?
Well my mind is steady and completely open to what's happening. I am fully aware of phenomenon rising and passing away. I just let it unfold naturally. I don't push anything away or pull anything towards me. There is no desire and no aversion and a very still mind.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:30 pm

Pondera wrote:Hey walker...;

Besides the disconcerting feeling I'd say you might have reached fourth jhana - where there is neither pleasure nor pain. But the kink in that hose is equanimity. Do you observe equanimity in that state?

- Pondera
Fourth Jhana seems a bit high but he has been practicing for years. I guess it depends on how long his sitting sessions are.

My experience and understanding is when Jhana starts coming into the situation (At least absorption state ones) that there is very little "you" happening anymore. So feelings of "losing your self" aren't really something going on. The "you" has already been lost to enter.

Though I guess it depends how deep the Jhana is entered. Pa Auk Jhanas are like cessation of perception and feeling for Number #1 Lol
(Leigh Brasington joke for anyone that remembers)


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Pondera
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by Pondera » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:02 am

My understanding is that the fourth jhana is the first stage where we begin to see perceptions of the body disappear. I believe sense of self still lingers all the way to cessation - however I can appreciate "full absorption" and a loss of self awareness. I would guess being fully self aware in a jhana versus being completely absent are different schools of thought - and the suttas might support either line.

But it's not clear that walker is experiencing equanimity in this state. Therefore, it could be anything from Space to Nothingness - or just some high level of insight. Ie. there may be no Buddhist equivalent.

What practice are you using walker ...?

- Pondera
A wise man once asked an audience, "why do the ignorant shrug their shoulders?"

No one in the audience knew. They shrugged their shoulders, however the wise man only laughed and shook his head. He didn't explain any further.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:17 am

Pondera wrote:My understanding is that the fourth jhana is the first stage where we begin to see perceptions of the body disappear. I believe sense of self still lingers all the way to cessation - however I can appreciate "full absorption" and a loss of self awareness. I would guess being fully self aware in a jhana versus being completely absent are different schools of thought - and the suttas might support either line.

But it's not clear that walker is experiencing equanimity in this state. Therefore, it could be anything from Space to Nothingness - or just some high level of insight. Ie. there may be no Buddhist equivalent.

What practice are you using walker ...?

- Pondera
I think your last question nails it on the head. For those levels of Jhana we are talking some pretty advanced foundations and long sitting practices.


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walker8476
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:30 am

Pondera wrote:But it's not clear that walker is experiencing equanimity in this state. Therefore, it could be anything from Space to Nothingness - or just some high level of insight. Ie. there may be no Buddhist equivalent.

What practice are you using walker ...?

- Pondera
I do two to three, one hour sitting meditations per day, as well as Vipassana during the day.

The sitting meditation involves focusing on the breath to start with, just to settle my mind. Then I find the letting go of thoughts, desire, aversion just sort of happens on its own. The mind then goes very still and calm but I am still fully aware of what is happening and I just let it happen. At this point I am still aware of the self. After a certain amount of time, I am able to let go of the self and what is left is just awareness.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:03 pm

walker8476 wrote:
Pondera wrote:But it's not clear that walker is experiencing equanimity in this state. Therefore, it could be anything from Space to Nothingness - or just some high level of insight. Ie. there may be no Buddhist equivalent.

What practice are you using walker ...?

- Pondera
I do two to three, one hour sitting meditations per day, as well as Vipassana during the day.

The sitting meditation involves focusing on the breath to start with, just to settle my mind. Then I find the letting go of thoughts, desire, aversion just sort of happens on its own. The mind then goes very still and calm but I am still fully aware of what is happening and I just let it happen. At this point I am still aware of the self. After a certain amount of time, I am able to let go of the self and what is left is just awareness.
How do you define this state of awareness.


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walker8476
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:16 am

CedarTree wrote:
How do you define this state of awareness.
I would define these states of awareness as; peace and tranquility, neither pleasure nor pain, mindful, one-pointedness, bare-awareness and not-self.

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CedarTree
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by CedarTree » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:30 pm

walker8476 wrote:
CedarTree wrote:
How do you define this state of awareness.
I would define these states of awareness as; peace and tranquility, neither pleasure nor pain, mindful, one-pointedness, bare-awareness and not-self.
Your well read.

You may have to start spending considerable more time in them to start finding elements of construction within the mind. At this point of the practice if you are there it becomes subtle work.


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walker8476
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Re: Where Did I Go?

Post by walker8476 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:31 am

CedarTree wrote:You may have to start spending considerable more time in them to start finding elements of construction within the mind. At this point of the practice if you are there it becomes subtle work.
Do you mean investigating these states of awareness in more detail to understand their nature?

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