Monday 6 April 2015

Short summary of "my" journey starting with Divine Source to No Self

S: "I do not know if what you have encountered was the same thing as i did, however i did encounter what seemed to be the source of all life that is a part of all of us & everything we know & was able to return to a very familiar, comforting place that felt as if i had been there many times maybe before birth & after many pervious lifetimes. "

Yes, I'd say I think I did encounter the same thing you did as you describe it. That happened the first (and every) time I did ayahuasca. It also included the ability to see everything in the universe from all times all at once, a sense of knowing everything & nothing in particular, like a meta-knowing, and infinite love. 

But every time I went there, I immediately knew I needed to come back, because in some way, my work was not done here. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I figured it meant at least that I needed to help others get to this same place. The problem was that my problems in life did not magically disappear (namely, the feeling of disconnection, loneliness, neediness, desires for x y z), and so I didn't see how I could promote to people what I had seen while I was still suffering just like everyone else at this level (well, almost like everyone else, because now at least I knew that there was a divine reality behind it all, so in that sense my earthly suffering was less important, but then I had the new suffering of trying to get the divine reality to return to me, preferably without needing ayahuasca). 

I decided that meditation must be the method for attaining the divine reality permanently, so I looked for a good book on meditation. Miraculously, someone suggested to me a really good book which I still believe is one of the best: Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, by Ajahn Brahm. The only problem was that the Buddhist nibbana (nirvana) didn't sound quite like what the ayahuasca divine reality was... it was more about no self, which I didn't quite understand, because my only experience of no self was in the stage just prior to the divine reality stage... it wasn't a lovely experience, just kind of ok/no judgement. So I struggled for quite a while with this concept of No Self and I felt that I had the ability even to choose whether I wanted to have a self or not. Soh Wei Yu helped me understand that it isn't about losing the self... it is about realizing that there never was a self to begin with. That self is a logical impossibility. 

Reading the dialogs over at also helped me understand this. (I highly recommend doing the dialog there if you haven't yet.)

There are many arguments but one simple one is the notion of free will. In order for identity to make sense, there must be free will. If it is all automatic, then there is no reason that any one part of reality should be considered "me, mine." From reading Sam Harris, I realized that, indeed, no decision can ever be made except based upon conditions, logically. It is not sensical for somebody to be outside of reality and thus able to act upon reality without any conditions/reasons for doing so. 

Focusing on this insight, and the physical laws that all atoms in the known universe adhere to, including those in "my" body, I was able to meditate into the state of No Mind/No Self that I had never before imagined was possible. In this state, everything was self-aware, but there was no awareness awaring it all, no background observing it, no center of reference, no me, no mine... and all was happening perfectly automatically, automatically perfectly. This was somewhat similar to the initial no self experience that I had prior to the divine reality stage in every ayahuasca trip, but the difference was that there was no longer the underlying desire for something "more" than the automatic perfection, and as a result, it was finally seen as the perfection that it is, rather than as a stage to get past.

To the dualistic, identifying mind, it sounds like a prison--the idea that there is no free will. But from the perspective of No Self, it is the ultimate freedom. And unlike the ayahuasca divine source experience, it did not require me to give up an earthly identity or stop helping people in this earth plane, because No Self is not just a higher dimension to attain that makes no sense here. It is what is happening right now, always has been, and is the only thing that makes logical sense. So instead of splitting the mind further between logic and experience, instead of expanding identity to encompass the universe, it collapses the split and the identity all at once. 

The task is simply to remain mindful at all times that everything is actually happening by itself, without anyone here doing anything, while emanating great compassion for those who are still asleep in the illogical dream of identity. When one practices this enough, it is felt to be more and more automatic and profound. Meditation on the breath as instructed by Ajahn Brahm is also helpful, as it expands the capacity for mindfulness. 

An alternative to thinking in terms of automaticity is simply paying attention to the sense streams. As explained in the Bahiya sutta, simply notice that in seeing, there is nobody seeing, just the seen. In cognizing, there is only the cognized, nobody there cognizing, etc.