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Ramana Maharshi's Death experience and Yoga Nidra
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#3547 - Friday, May 29, 2009 -
Editor: Jerry Katz
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Renee wrote to Nonduality Salon asking about oscillations in "having" oneness/awareness. Her inquiry and several responses are given, along with her final response.
I'm new here. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced the 'now I have it, now I don't' pattern with oneness/awareness?
About three years ago I had a peak experience of oneness that seems to have ripped the lid off my psyche, for lack of a better description. Since then I have been a human yo-yo, swinging between periods of bliss/love/peace and dark nights where old wounds are brought up to be healed. The swings are getting less in intensity, but more recently I walk around feeling disoriented.
Also recently, I've had some nights where there was a sense of panic right at the point of falling asleep where the mind would jerk me awake. It was almost like a gasping for breath or something. Always, on the outside of this is the awareness.
Is this type of thing typical?
I've experienced both, the in/out of awareness and the myoclonic jerk (yep, it's not uncommon and there's even a name for it, so you can look it up for more info), but I don't think the two are connected.
Because the awareness/oneness experience is so profound, it's kind of a temptation to link it to all psychic matters afterward, even when they may not be related. Sometimes elation or depression are just that, ala Freud, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
At the time of my first experience of awareness which I really recognized as that, I was very sick and had even been told by my doctor that I would die soon. Obviously, there was a real inclination to connect the two. It's now many years later and, while there may have been some association, perhaps my readiness, neediness or what have you, I can now see it in a much larger, broader context than what I was experiencing at the time.
Among the things I learned from my experience was that it wasn't a cure for anything and, at least in my case, it appears that it will continue to take time to incorporate it into my life. There are still highs and lows; I still have all my faults and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, the usual stuff.
But I do think that, at least for some of us, the only explanation for the experience is that it came as a gift. It would be nice if I were "enlightened" all the time, but I'm still just an ordinary person trying to understand the profoundness of something that is often outside of my mental grasp. Perhaps I should spend less time thinking about it and more time just living it.
Oh well, a work in progress...
I wouldn't say it is especially rare Renee.
I read just the other day an account on another
list that had a lot of similarities with yours,
that is a sudden, powerful transformation, following
by a "dark night of the soul" period. In fact, that
happened to me as well... an abrupt major transformation,
followed by three or four months of being blissed out
and not very functional, then another three to four
months of hell (dark night of the soul), and finally
a breakthrough after which there has been an even and
steady unfolding of greater and greater depth and light.
That final stage was six years ago.
Here's an interpretation of what is going on with you.
Just my interpretation...
The "peak experience" you describe abruptly ushered in
a whole new way of experiencing. The genie is out of the
bottle now, never to return. But there remain many "rough
edges" (the old wounds, etc.). That means plenty of "deep
processing" ahead. The key, I suggest, is to just be very
present with whatever comes up. Resist judging or evaluating.
Just be with whatever it is, applying all the awareness-
intensity ("always outside this awareness") to be vividly
present with it. Don't look ahead to being "through" anything,
rather devoting all that is in you to what is right now.
It is not difficult, but is a deep and arduous process.
Great dedication and firm faith is required.
The power of your own awareness/consciousness/bliss is the
real power that you are...
It is not the experiences that you have that are important,
it is the aliveness that you are which is all-important.
Stay vividly present in your own aliveness every moment
and you will prevail.
:) yes... when the ventilator is unplugged, it keeps
on turning still for some time, until the inertia is
exhausted, naturally. now the question to ask is
"who is this all happening to?" and, accepting no arising
answer, persist until questioner, question and doubt
vanish and all remains as it always was...
good luck, renee.
In the midst of these very abrupt swings, have you
ever been able to ask yourself if there is someone
or something present to all of them?
This might be difficult if the mind is experiencing
very strong stuff, but it might be possible, and
Most teachers will tell you, if an experience
comes and goes, then (as Ranjit Maharaj used to
say) "What comes and goes isn't the reality."
There is an underlying 'you' ever present to
all experience. That 'you' doesn't come and
Finding a good teacher who can help your mind to
distinguish this ever present 'you,' from the
changing experiences the mind has, might be
helpful, because from that vantage point, if the
mind is experiencing extreme ups and downs, then
there is a stable 'you' which is present to, and
holding all of that.
There already is (and ever was) a stable 'you' holding
all of this, but prior to recognizing that stable you,
your mind will take yourself to be subject to these
changes, and that stable you is not subject to any
change. Your mind will change. Your body will change.
'You' (who you really are) never changes.
So that is something to consider.
All the best,
Yes, it's typical. It's called the
ups and downs of life, which include
sleeping disorders. They still occur after the "now I have it, now I don't"
phase dissolves, though their impact is lessened and for some essentially
Work on managing them and at the same time have a spiritual practice, such
as turning to awareness or whatever suits you. Also, have a sense of humor
about the whole thing.
As far as I know that's all any of us are doing: doing whatever it takes to
manage our lives and conducting a practice. Even Ramana and Nisargadatta had
their practices and managed cancer pain, families, the traffic control of
Thank you for your advice! I'm
beginning to understand why it was common in the past for people
to seek out a cave to go thru this in. It's challenging to
maintain work, family, and life's obstacles while also undergoing
the process of disassembling the ego.
The periods of time when I am in the witness state are amazing in that everything flows so perfectly. Even when tasks or obstacles appear, they are taken care of easily and with little effort. There's a sense that everything is as it should be.
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