Friday, October 16, 2009

Sitting With Out of Body Energy

Mind empty of thoughts, and feelings. Only breath, and the light ticking of clock. I notice anticipation of breath. Background knowledge that I am breathing being, is getting in the way of being fully present with moment. Air coming in, belly rising, chest expanding. Suspension. Air leaving chest, slowly. Break. Knowledge still there, readying for next breath. Part of now, for now. Energy quickly rises, like yesterday. This time, I choose to ride it, and follow its lead. Sensation of body twisted clockwise, then coming to stop. Head and upper chest tilting forward. Almost as if leaving room for energy mass. Discomfort from weirdness of experience. No longer sure where I belong, body or energy cloud? Energy pushing up. Body's stepping aside almost, or rather forward. I decide to check, again, and tilt head, upper body backward, to see how far body's moved. Body has not moved at all, and is still very much straight. Back to breath, and awareness of body, and energy.

Some thoughts about kind tweets from @c4chaos and @tomotvos, in response to yesterday's post. Also, that I want to discuss with Gil next time I have interview with him. Meanwhile, I feel it is best to stay with experience, and not get too caught up into what it means.


  1. It would be interesting if you shared Gil's interpretation of this, especially if he comments on the Progress of Insight link I sent you. But from what (little) I know, I think the advice on what to do with this is "note" it, or passively observe these sensations with equanimity.

    That you are able to observe it as something that is "not you" is supposed to be an important insight, as is the observation that is not satisfactory and transient. You watch it come, you watch it go, and move on. That it is happening at all is indicating that you are moving forward with your practice.

    Or so I am told.

  2. Thank you Tom. Again, very grateful for the gift of your Dharma exchanges, both here and on Twitter. How is your practice doing?

    Regarding your response here, I agree on your point of just noting, and continuing with practice. No moment is more important than any other. It's all good and matter for mindfulness and insight. I have never been impressed by reports of extra-ordinary meditation experiences. In the end, it's all about trying to lead a happier, wiser, kinder life. Anything else is superfluous.

  3. Marguerite,

    I totally respect your goals from your practice, and share them. However I don't think you can totally discount extraordinary experiences as superfluous. I believe they are a real and natural manifestation of practice, as your body and mind get deeper into concentration. These are, I think, as important to the practice as the morality aspects of the dharma and, depending on the tradition you follow, may be markers of your stage of development on the insight path.

  4. These little vignettes are very beautiful and highly encouraging--thanks so much for sharing them.

  5. I am not discounting, only looking at those experiences, no differently than others. No more, no less . . . Regarding interpreting them as signs of one's progress on the path, I think there some danger there, at least for me. Progress is such a past-future concept, that it clashes with idea of moment awareness. Although I do concede to overall goal of ending suffering, and finding happiness.

  6. Mike, thank you for your appreciation. Love your last post by the way . . . Beautiful, and powerful vision!

  7. i also experience this tilting or twisting feeling sometimes. for me, it usually feels like my body leaning heavily to one side. interestingly, i can control the feeling slightly, whether i get the feeling of tilting to the left or to the right (even though i am still sitting upright).
    for me, it feels very similar to the slight vertigo you feel as you are falling asleep. i suspect that, neurologically, some similar mechanisms are going on in the brain as with sleeping. from what i understand, during meditation, blood flow in the brain is being redirected, and certain regions of the brain are being strengthened or weakened. specifically during very deep meditation, the part of the brain which helps us define our bodies as separate from the world is being shut down. so you could say the brain becomes less aware of the body as an entity; this would certainly account for some odd body sensations.

  8. Thanks for sharing, Travis. It is wonderful to be able to compare experiences.