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I know this is a big letter but it is important. Would really appreciate your help.

My spiritual path very much goes along with my career.

I knew since my school days that I never wanted to be part of the herd. I never took an interest in studies. I recall one day – it was an exam day. I did not complete my answer sheet only because I was busy watching a bird through the window. It felt more important to me. I spent most of my time wandering in Babul Jungle near our house along with my dog. I used to get beatings from my teachers everyday, sometimes so vigorous that the bruises lasted for weeks with pain. Now I look back and feel the suffering my teachers were going through. After such violence, they were to stand up and teach Gandhi’s nonviolence and the laws of physics. My parents told me to at least complete my tenth year.

I also had keen interest in drawing and painting. I wished I could do nothing but just paint in nature, but to survive in this society we need to have a source of income so decided to make my hobbies my career. Hence, after my school, I left the house and went to learn drawing for animation with a teacher in Pune. It was fun – we were only 9 students who were taught drawing for three years. While I was studying I also started to work: there were only 600 animators in India as the field was new to the country.

Anyways, after finishing the studies in Pune and after that in Mumbai, I went back to Baramati where I established a studio. I had only one employee at that time, but on our first day of work I found a book by Osho in Hindi on his desk. My only employee was a seeker. I was impressed by the thoughts of Osho about society and spirituality etc. After reading many books after that in the years that followed he became my go-to place to find answers. Once I read that “Questions will lead to answers and answers to new questions”. I was left with a question mark: then what is suppose to be done? I figured out that Osho is pointing towards meditation. I had never done meditation before in my life.   One of my friends suggested I should do Vipassana, so I went to do 10 days' meditation in Goenka’s Vipassana centre in Gorai, Mumbai. The noble silence for 10 days and peeping inside myself revealed many things. The most important as Osho said was “Knowledge is the most deceiving thing”. I came to know why he said so. It was a hurdle between me and silence. The overwhelming Himalaya of thoughts did not seem to melt, no matter how long I watch. I also went to the Osho Ashram to see if I could try some other forms of meditations, but i was denied admission there. (I don’t know why.) Then I tried some meditations like Naadbrahma and Sufi whirling, from the internet. Work became more stressful. I needed to work without sleeping for two or three days to deliver on deadline, and so it also affected my meditation. I used to take out time however – an hour whenever possible. But it was done like work too, doing something.

I literally went mad. Needed psychiatric help (lol). But this was the time when I had to take break from everything. I realised why I started this journey and why I had made my hobby a career: Only because I could drop this someday and do what I like. I decided to drop everything, to end this quest of becoming something I never signed for. Even in meditation I was doing something. Watching this, watching that. Fortunately, I did some financial investment which allowed me to finally stop working.   I went to back to nature: Started spending time in Sahyadri to drop all this gathering of knowledge, this quest to become someone and somebody, proving and trying to please others against my own nature, stopped planning things for the future, forgetting the past to be present in the present.

Meditation:

I just started to sit, sleep, and relax. Not to meditate on something, for something. Thoughts about career were gone long back.

And after 1 year passed, something beautiful happened: “Nothing happened”. I was thoughtless for a moment. I just followed to be alert, just alert and witness. It came into my day to day activities, like walking and washing and so on. I now started to sit in meditation and it is enjoyment, effortless, no more a work to be done. Thoughtlessness came more often. Even though I had active or passive thoughts, I don’t get cling to them, as I don’t cling to silence either. Just witness.

Meanwhile I also experienced some intense moments. My head would be pushed back, and it felt like I was plugged to something. It usually happened mostly while listening to music. The body would curve in shape of a half-moon pose. I could feel intense strain in neck and head, but after that I used to be fine. This happened 6-7 times in two months.

Currently:

Then I came back to the town where I roamed in the jungles of Babul. Here I am more relaxed. I had the same episode last month, so I read more books, watched videos, and listened to audio books by spiritual teachers. In one of them, Moojiji explains that after these awakenings you should not try to cling to anything, even the experience itself, and sail with complete trust without leaving any chance to hold back.

That that night on the 2nd of July when I slept the same intense feeling happened. I did let it go. Everything relaxed: I would say I slept awake. I was sleeping but I could see that it was sleep. The next morning I was wide awake. There was a kind of confusion. I was feeling so fresh and still not wanting to do anything, not even get out of bed. Why act? I felt like richest and poorest man at the same time. A billionaire who can’t spend, if you like. In the days that followed I had these intense experiences for like 5-6 days.

Time just flies, but I am so still with now. I sit on the balcony starting at trees and hours pass by. Sometimes I don’t remember what happened this morning, but when the time is right the past experience or incidence pop up, just for a reference. Situations in which I would generally be very angry now don’t have a affect on me. When I am challenged by the situation, the alertness grows with it. I won’t say anger or irritation don’t come, but I can see it coming and not react. In fact their very doer seems to have gone somewhere. Yesterday night, a dog was dying in front of my door and I witnessed it, just like the movement of the trees. There was sensitivity, but acceptance at the same time. Everything I see seems like it's for the first time. I couldn’t recognise my body at night.

Now:

Today I feel a certain energy in my head moving towards the chest and from my guts to the chest, a constant undercurrent. I can feel lag while I walk, like the body is following me or visa versa. It seems like my mind is far away, like you can see a monsoon cloud pouring far away on a plains.

I also spoke to my childhood friend who is also a seeker and a better reader than me. He told me to write to you to find pointers of what's next. This is the best what I can put the experience in words right now.

The question:

What do I do? Do I stay witness? or do something?

Thank you very much.

  • What do you mean by "the body is following me", you feel space between body and mind, is that what it feels like? I'd be slightly concerned about your "body would curve in shape of half moon pose" and "strain in the neck", are you sure it is not some physical condition? Did you get yourself checked at doctor's? I am just asking to rule out some things, I don't mean to frighten you or anything. – user13383 Jul 8 '18 at 20:45
  • Dear Dhamma4life, Thank you for your concerns. Be assured there isn't any medical attention needed. – Satchitanand Jul 9 '18 at 6:54
  • About separation of mind and body; As far as I know space between body and mind is Hindu goal, so here I would typically ask of the type of meditation you are doing, although I see its Vipassana. Try to find unity of body and mind, maybe mindfulness of the body and breath while walking and performing everyday activities. – user13383 Jul 9 '18 at 8:12
  • @Pasquale Perhaps you should post that as an answer and not as a comment, with some explanation in your own words of how or why it's relevant to the OP's question. – ChrisW Jul 11 '18 at 12:00
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Good story. Maybe a bit too focused on your life (almost no mentions of other people) – but good nevertheless. My overall impression can be summarized with this allegory:

Imagine, Mowgli always wanted to be a human, despite his upbringing as a wolf. After much struggle and hesitation, he accepts his own human-nature and gets up to walk on his two feet.

Now, here is what happens: When he walks into a human house he has no idea what all that stuff is around him. He does not know how to sit on a chair, how to eat at a table, or how to use toilet. He is completely wild, untrained. Even though he is an adult man, he needs to go through a basic training, starting from scratch like a child.

This is the situation with you. You got into the house through the back door. You can walk on your two feet. By "walking on two feet" I refer specifically to your state of non-judgmental effortlessness. But, at the same time, you have no idea who you are, what you are, where you should go, and what you should do. Now you must learn all that. However (to continue my funny allegory) because most training was designed for "Mowglies who are sure they are wolves", it assumes you still "walk on all fours" – correspondingly much of the teaching and instructions speak about "taking the weight off your front paws" etc. – the kind of stuff you have already mastered. At the same time, the teachings have other elements that you need to get, for example the idea that you don't have a "tail" (standing in for the subject/object duality).

Without overstretching my analogy, let me just tell you that your best bet at this point would be to go into Dzogchen. This is a sub-school within the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism (yes, Tibetan – I hope you don't have ethnic prejudices at this point already; if you still do, perhaps we should go down a few levels)... that focuses specifically on what I referred to as "walking" and that you have already learned how to do, more or less. There I think you will both feel at home AND learn a bunch of other things that you skipped by walking in through that "back door". If Osho is high-school-level, and regular Buddhism is college - Dzogchen is like a PhD.

This is as much advice as I can give because of the distance. I suggest you look around for a couple of years until you find a suitable Dzogchen master. There should be some in Northern India. Finding a teacher is not an easy problem, but if you have faith and know the key word (which I just taught you: Dzogchen) – you can find what you need. Good luck.

P.S. Everything you said above, about not becoming, not clinging, all your experiences make sense to me. They are good and they are indications of a realization. On one hand, you don't need anything more – just live like this, keep trusting it, and let it unfold naturally by itself. On the other hand, because you don't have conceptual understanding of Enlightenment, the seeds of ignorance are still there. As you keep interacting with the world of people, they will regrow. Which is why I say you need to get conceptual understanding of how everything works. I understand to you it sounds like going back but, trust me, you need it. For one, resistance against going back indicates clinging to this realization of yours. For two, if you don't get a conceptual foundation, you'll lose it anyway.

  • 1
    Thank you very much, Andrei. Have found one monastery in Karnataka. Following the inclination. Thank you. – Satchitanand Jul 9 '18 at 5:55
  • Dzocghen even transmitted from a Ngagpa will have a bunch of inner/outer preliminaries and also empowerments of Mahayoga and Anuyoga. It, therefore, isn't as reverse-way or non-gradual as it might seem from my experience. – user13383 Jul 9 '18 at 10:49
  • The analogy seems very apt but where you write "he accepts his own wolf-nature and gets up to walk on his two feet" did you mean something like "human-nature"? – lly Jul 11 '18 at 0:10
  • Oh, yes, you got me. Let me fix that! – Andrei Volkov Jul 11 '18 at 1:05
  • Dzogchen? Reading the OP's question made me think of Zen. Not that I know either Dzogchen or Zen very well. Perhaps I think Zen does not require too much conceptual foundation, compared to all other subschools of Buddhism. – ruben2020 Aug 27 '18 at 16:27
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Today I feel certain energy in head moving towards chest, from guts to the chest. A constant under current. I can feel lag while I walk, like the body is following me or visa versa. It seems like mind is far away, like you can see monsoon cloud pouring far away on a plains.

The question: What do I do? Do I stay witness?

Yes. Stay witness. Whatever happens with internal mental/physical/energetic experience; stay witness. The freedom or liberation of Dhamma is staying witness; without attachment & without clinging.

Also, if you can find a monastery with experienced practitioners, this can help the mind to stay grounded and learn how to live with other people in a spiritual state of mind.

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Andrei has given you the best answer but alternately I will also suggest you to read the book, 'Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond' by Ajahn Brahm.

You will learn the technique to enter into Jhanas. May be you already experienced one of them but its from the Jhanas we experience No-Self & No-Doer the first time which is a strong reassurance. Then we proceed to something real and lasting that is Enlightenment since Jhanas are unsustainable.

  • Friedrick, Thank you very much. I have found the book, have started reading it. Thank you. – Satchitanand Jul 9 '18 at 5:58
  • I would rather say that from Jhanas we experience No-Self & No-Doer the first time which is a strong reassurance. Then we proceed to something real and lasting that is Enlightenment since Jhanas are unsustainable. – user13383 Jul 9 '18 at 10:28
  • @dhamma4life edited....thanks for improvement. – user13135 Jul 9 '18 at 10:33
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My teacher would say: Don't make more out of it than it is. It's just experience (seeing, hearing, thinking, and so on). It has nothing to do with nibbana. Just keep objectively observing.

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I read most of what you wrote. Not every word, but I am really impressed that you found Goenka. Was he the instructor? You must really have very good karma, to be rejected by the Osho group. The Sufi Dancers are o.k. , but from my experience, in Northern California, they were some drug dealers acting as teachers. I think Dzogchen is worth the time, but I really want you to get grounded. I suggest very gentle yoga. My main point is, spiritual skill and awakening, come more from genuine effort done over a very long period of time. Here is my formula. Relaxation conjoined with awareness, when developed can lead to clarity. This clarity, when used appropriately, can lead to wisdom, and compassion. The entire idea is there must be mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health. About having many thoughts ... that is not a problem. you must unify body and mind. This includes the emotions. Mostly, you must have a group and a teacher that you can relax with and feel respect and admiration for. You must feel accepted. Of course, there are rules of conduct. True friendship is very rare, but goodwill is not rare. One of my teachers gave a talk on finding and picking a Guru. He was a Nyimapa Master. In short, he said taking every 13 years was not too long to decide on working with one main teacher. I never made progress until I realized that I must totally accept my current situation, within my meditation practice. The point that needs to be understood, is that total acceptance, first, then working with the actual experience one is having, but applying the instructions of your teacher. I recommend a teacher Ajhan Jeoff at Metta Forest Monastery, in San Diego County. On Youtube, you can see and listen to a great Sufi, Guru Bawa Mahyadyin. He told someone, who asked about Sufi Dancing, He told the questioner that Sufi dancing, is just dancing, not spiritual. Even though Guru Bawa was not a Buddhist, to me he taught the True Dharma all the time. He had no books, and he lived to be over 100 years old. He ever said once that Dharma is greater than Alla. Even without enlightenment, if you practice correctly, you can find true peace and happiness, by proper concentration based on these four foundations. I really recommend finding a teacher, and not trying to practice just from reading the sutta.https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanasatta/wheel019.html, copy and paste to read this Sutta. I really recommend practicing the Brahma Vihara. Loving-kindness, compassion, Unselfish Joy and equanimity. You must realize that the words are not the experience. You can learn to feel all these higher order qualities within yourself for yourself. Please have a very good life. Don't go crazy. Be happy. Feeling the pain, within one's own life is normal. The better you are at actually feeling the actual pain and dissolving the suffering. Some pains cannot be dissolved. Therefore we need the great strength of character. I don't have all the answers, but you should never give up to find true enlightenment, which I have explained before, has very strong components of mental health, emotional health, and a stress-free physical body. In short, don't try to practice by using your intellect as the main focus and starting point. You have to understand your teachers' advice on what practice they are telling you to do. Try doing the practice, accepting your actual conditions. Tell the teacher your experience, and listen to what they say. Awakening is a lot different, then we imagine, but complete and total awakening must be wonderful. I believe in the Buddha, his teaching and the Real awakened disciples, who show the Dharma in every step, every breath and every moment.

  • Thank you, Pasquale, for taking out time to read and respond. I have noted your suggestions. Thank you very much. – Satchitanand Jul 11 '18 at 5:13
  • youtube.com/watch?v=up-CUjh4NsI – Pasquale Jul 11 '18 at 22:42
  • I am still reading some of your communications with the other on Stack Exchange. This people are giving you very good advice. I just want to add one idea, that might help you to apply the correct medicine to the difficulty you are experiencing. – Pasquale Jul 11 '18 at 22:43
  • The point is these words, these teachings are words. These words have great meaning. You can think for yourself. Don't obsess with the letters or the sounds of the words,or the simple meaning. Get the idea, and then start helping yourself, with these teachings. Simple is always better, but what ever works is best for you. From my experience one needs to let go , often. Give yourself time and space, Relax as much as possible. Some time very simple strategies are the best. An enjoyable , Hot or cold shower, a long bath. A – Pasquale Jul 11 '18 at 22:46
  • Walk on the beach. A child's smile. Your kindness to a mother or lonely stranger. Forgiveness, for a real or imagined slight. You are the King. learn how to be the King. Become a Wonderful Leader. Always remember to forgive yourself. Some times the medicine should be taken everyday , sometimes once in a while, or just when you need the treatment. I am referring to your "Practice" what every is wholesome and good. Develop that , in your life. Message me any time. To take time out to see a Sun Rise or a Sunset, and feel that there is a very great being, who loves you and all being, Totally. – Pasquale Jul 11 '18 at 22:50

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