Still fresh from powerful sitting experience . . .
It started with just breath, and the imprint, still fresh in body, of contraction in earlier dream state. A dream about greed, and money, and fear of not having enough, and resulting tightness that did not let love in.
Quickly dropping into the depth of self, I meet contraction, right in the center. Feeling it tighten even more, under the gaze of intent awareness. Tightening, tightening, until it burns my whole inside. Oh! the suffering. From grasping, grasping, more and more . . . Gentle breath, one after the other, enveloping the inferno, with great patience and love. Paradox of joy from great clarity, and the sense of being at one with reality of hell. Leading to burning mass dissolving into internal cavity, gradients evening out between hotness and coolness. Happy feeling. Noticing subtle clinging to joy itself. And almost at once, strange sensation in body. Energy rising from base of the spine, and moving up in corkscrew motion, all way up. Soon whole upper body starts rocking back and forth, uncontrollably, in small motions. Energy now moving straight up, in waves. I become cylindric column of energy, and rocking body.
Going back to my notes from Gil's Dharma Day last Friday, about 'Rapture', part of his series on Seven Factors of Awakening - parts relevant to today's experience:
Joy is important part of Buddhist practice, and foundation for practice. It makes it easier to encounter our suffering. Paradoxical nature. Interesting juxtaposition, when seeing suffering and being happy. Often times, energy of mind and attention is fragmented, and drains us. Deep contentment and joy come when energy of attention is settled. Joy can then bubble up from within and fills us. Leading to concentration, energies being unified and flowing easily
Buddha's expected ways of having joy for renunciates:
- practice, knowing path of liberation
- freedom from not having mind that has mind of its own
- being secure enough in oneself to be able to share success of others
- joy of meditation when mind is deeply concentrated; meditative joy has a lot to do with being absorbed into object of contemplation.
- mind finds tranquillity
Importance of being relaxed, and being open, allowing what needs to move through. Looking into currents of experience, feelings, energy.
5 different physical manifestations of meditative joy/rapture:
- goose bumps
All with varying degrees of intensity. Eventually one becomes tired of it, and starts feeling ordinary again. This helps detach, and move to the next level of change.
I appreciate Gil's ordinary approach to rapture. A normal experience, just like any other along the path. No more, no less. Not be clinged to, not to be pushed away.