Tag Archives: enlightenment
Nearly a week on from the Zen retreat, am I back to myself?
Well the truth is that I’m never going to know because i’m not sure whats missing or what has changed.
The past and the future did disappear and there still pretty much gone. I don’t really remember how i used to view them.
Memories pop up regarding my childhood but I am aware that the memories arise in the present. Thoughts pop up about july, but I am aware that they arise now.
I try to imagine the past and the future, but there is a block, a kind of strong aversion. It maybe possible to do so, but I don’t want to push my mind to see if it can do it.
As for the self. On the Monday after the retreat when I examined the self and all I sensed was empty space, perhaps with a tinge of a smile. There was a body and some subtle thoughts and emotions that drifted past but the body was empty. There was no sense of self.
As the week progressed I become aware of body sensations again. They became more numerous and more frequent. Slowly over time the empty space that was the sense of self has begun to fill up with the heaviness of body sensations.
So now when I ask what is the self, they mind answers by returning body sensations. I can only assume that the mind now considers itself the body.
So when examining my sense of self it now longer feels empty. At least now I have memory or what it feels like to be on each side of a particular curtain.
I don’t know whether I’m disappointed or relieved that somethings have gone back to the way they were.
I had decided to keep writing about my exploration into universal truth and the nature of reality but i’m struggling to find the motivation to keep on warbling on about it.
The time is coming where I’m going to loose interest in talking about it and that I will simply be unable to do so anymore. But for now I will try. If I did manage to carry on I’m really not sure how much sense I’m going to be making.
I’ve just returned from my second 4 day intensive koan based Zen retreat.
The experience during the retreat was rather similar to the last, but the experience at the end was mind boggling.
It would seem that when we are young children we are free of responsibly, and thus have no need of control which frees us up to play and experience joy.
As we age we are given responsibility which weighs us down. We start trying to control in order to feel safe.
Just being and playing transforms into the development of this sense of self. Our identity, the constantly building of an archive of who we are and who we take ourselves to be.
The more memories and experiences weigh us down, the more we add to our own burden. The sheer weight makes us feel afraid and less able to meet our responsibilities.
We try to control more and more and by doing so identify with whatever it is we wish to control as and an extension of our sense of self.
We end up reaching a critical mass bogged down by memories and worries that we can no longer function. Constantly plagued by fatigue unable to feel joy or even remember it.
But because this as all happened slowly it becomes normal and is accepted as just the way we are. As we age we accumulate ‘stuff’ which crushes and suffocates us.
And the koan?
The asking of the question repeatedly triggers the bodies relaxation response and fight/flight response simultaneously.
Intense fear arises which for me resulted in shaking, twitching, hot and cold flushes, nausea and the feeling of not being able to breath.
This lead on to a state of calmness and also hallucinations.
The combination of chi gung and walking meditation then re-calmed the body causing memories to po(o)p out.
These memories are the weight, the dirt that clings to the sense of self. The more memories that are released the more the bloated sense of self shrinks.
Perhaps the self is like an ultra clean window. It can only be noticed as existing when dirt clings to it.
And so as more dirt was washed away I became a child again. A child in an adult body.
I just wanted to play, to breath in the cold air and enjoy its sensation because it was amusing to me.
Spending all that time trying to answer and unanswerable question distracts you from yourself, from the future and from the past.
Those concepts are being cleaned off the window.
And then at the end of the retreat you are asked simple questions that are suddenly unanswerable.
A mental lobotomy has taken place. Something has gone into the minds operating system and run havoc deleting files. The file on the self has been deleted, the file of the past has been deleted, the file on the future has been deleted.
Asking questions that require certain thought processes are simply met with silence. The sound of a boom box playing a blank tape.
There is the knowledge that something is missing, but not the knowledge of what exactly is no longer there.
I have no idea whether this effect is permanent or temporary. But right now, all decisions are made with out access the concepts of past and future. Decisions are made without deciding. The flight/flight response currently appears to be off line as well.
Decisions are now made by the child inside, doing so because it might be fun to do so.
There is also joy and an abundance of energy, since no energy is wasted in getting stressed on meaningless mental gymnastics.
I have yet to full understand what is missing and what remains. I don’t know what is temporary and what is permanent.
I don’t know how challenging its going to be to adapt to life with blank spaces where something else used to be.
Time will tell.
Shit…, time…., what exactly is time again?