Search & Read
All Experiences Are the Same Size
Amy: A few years back I had to go to the hospital after an asthma attack, and because I had previous blood clods in my chest, I was hooked to a heart monitor. During this stay I had this strong power or energy come up from the lower trunk of my body (it was so fast, I don’t know if it came from my spine) and with great force hit the inside of the top of my skull two times, and in about 30 minutes it did it again, but with a little less strength.
After this I was in a deep meditative state and saw different people one at a time. There were two women, one Asian monk, two more men, a lion’s head, a tiger’s head and two birds. All that night and the next day it seemed if there was a need there were a number of nurses who would want to help me at the same time.
During the night, after I had these visions, the nurse came in to check my blood pressure and it was 54 over 39, which scared her, and as I became more alert my blood pressure came back up although it was still below average. I was not afraid though. The next morning I asked the doctor if the heart monitor showed anything at the times I experienced the energy. There was no indication of anything out of the ordinary. Later that morning when a friend came into the room I blew the heart monitor up, and the doctor and a number of others came running into the room.
I usually ask to know what lesson I need to learn from an experience, but I don’t know about this one. I try to keep myself looking to the goal of self-realization, but this has me puzzled. Please tell me what happened and why didn’t it go through the top of my skull. Will this happen again?
Thank you for allowing me to share this, and hopefully you can help me understand.
~ Humbly, Amy
Daniel: Hey Amy, you had answered your own question with your email subject header “Experience.”
All experiences are the same size whether it be a mind-blowing spiritual experience or just an everyday mundane washing-the-dishes type of experience; there is no difference. Every moment is an epiphany.
Instead of getting caught up in the experience, we want to shift from being an experiencer to an inquirer. Redirect your attention to the investigation of “who/what saw Amy and her experience?” The answer is you; ordinary-unchanging awareness. No need to search further.
All these experiences are just pointers back to you, the knower of experience. For a moment cut away Amy’s story – what’s left? – just you, ever-present-unchanging-unborn-unconcerned awareness. The same ordinary awareness which was seeing Amy have her mystical experiences is the very same awareness that is watching Amy read these lines right now. No need to look for anything.
This is all there is to “get.” Gently come back to the fact (even though it may feel false) that you are the witness/knower of experience. This is not a mystical state or special status. It’s actually so utterly obvious that it’s apparently missed.
Direct your attention to the investigation of what actually sees the experience. Patiently continue to do this and the game of hide and seek will end. This will take some discipline because the mind loves to indulge in experience...especially in those juicy mystical/spiritual ones.
By understanding that you are the knower of all objects (an object is everything other than you, awareness) and that you, awareness remains unaffected from what appears, is liberation. You, awareness is free from all objects...Amy included.
Liberation is the discrimination (viveka) between you, the subject/awareness, and the objects that arise in you. The firm conviction that “I am awareness” is enlightenment.
You, awareness is free from Amy and her story. This is self-knowledge that occurs in the intellect through the application of inquiry. Continue to expose your mind to the teachings of Vedanta without expecting a result.
There are endless stories about kundalini, visions, siddhis, etc. No need to get too caught up in them. There is nothing to work out. The reasons behind all these spiritual experiences are tied up in one endless karmic machine. It’s not important. We are interested in liberation, not in experience.
Take them as blessings and come back to self-inquiry. Don’t expect the experiences to return and don’t expect not to have them again. Come back to your direct experience right now. Who is the knower of the experience?
Just the fact that you have a burning desire for liberation (mumukshutva) and that you've found yourself on the Vedanta bus is enough already. Continue moment-to-moment discrimination, take it easy and let the knowledge do the work. ☺
The peace you describe was the reflected qualities of your true nature...whole and complete awareness.
Have you read James’ book How to Attain Enlightenment? If not, then I highly recommend that you do. It covers everything and equips you with a complete toolkit.
Below is also a good link. Go through it slowly and write to me afterwards.
With love, Daniel
Amy: Thank you for your response. It is awareness witnessing the experience. When I take my focus off the experience, there is nothing but awareness. Thanks for getting my focus back on target! I keep saying that is the case, but I left awareness and put my thought on experience. The mind is very cunning.
I will read James’ book and get back to you. Darryl in your group shared the Facebook posts with me. He is very kind! Thank you both and thank you for your group and all their posts.
Daniel: Exactly. You, ever-present awareness is the witness to all experience. You are doing perfectly, Amy. Redirecting your attention from the experience and placing it back onto you, that which sees the experience, is all there is to do. Your seeking is over. You know exactly who you are.
Even if it feels fake, trust in this, trust in scripture. The process of moment-by-moment self-inquiry will take care of the rest and convert this understanding (“I am awareness”) into direct, hard and fast knowledge.
Yes, Darryl is great.
Feel free to write to me anytime.