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0 votes
by (120 points)
Hello,

Was wondering if you could provide me some aid in getting back to "work" after some intense journey that paused 2 years ago. . I'm 24 years old by the way.

I will try to be as succinct as possible.

I've practiced vipassana meditation, as teached by Goenka, for 3 years progressing from several minutes to 2-3hours/day. I've undertook 3 10 days vipassana retreats in total.
To briefly describe my journey, it started with seeing that the current social framework didn't provide real solutions to tackle the issues of human suffering, but rather camouflage it. So, in time, I made a clear resolution to get to the core of that.
I will skip the insights associated with the first stages as they're probably common. But things, in time, started to get more and more intense and I became more and more fascinated/absorbed with meditation. in 2018 I undertook an Ayahuasca (DMT) retreat where I had an Arising and Passing Away  experience (feelings of oneness, energetic phenomena, etc). 15 days later I'm in the third Vipassana retreat, where after going through hardship and a lot of doubt, it converges in a dream/memory of a past life.

I'd like to dive a little into the dream as it looks like it hints a lot to stream entry- It involves a dream that is as vivid as "this reality", and it's basically me around 20 years old living with a previous family. In that life,  for some reason, which is not clear right now, there was a suppression/forgetting of most of memories which resulted in something like severe dementia. The dream climaxed in a moment where I took the courage to face everything, all the suppressed memories, but this thought came up: "If I discover it, "I" will cease to exist". And then I awake from the "dream". It looked like the life i'm living right now "exists" in order to resolve that issue, and that by fixing it in this life it will change the past. On the other hand if I change the past and look into things "I" won't exist. It looks like everything is in flux. There is an absolute terror that if I look into it, "I" will disappear.
The best parallelism that I can do to capture this experience is viewing the movie "The Fountain".
Notice that at this time I'm able to get into 2nd (maybe 3rd?) jhana.

Since then things, everything ramped to worse as I kept up with the intensity, as contrary to what I would call "the intuition" or inner voice which suggested to take things slowly... and it was too much to digest. Basically did another Ayahuasca retreat and ended up having a psychotic episode, which ironically made me experience forgetfulness.
I'm now getting back on track, with the approval of my doc, and I'm more and more ready to face the whole thing (without drugs).

I had some specific questions, but after writing all this, I conclude what would really help me is to find a meditation teacher who attained fruition. Besides that, any advice you might have into all this will be welcome. I do have the desire to do long retreats but there is an equilibrium that must be undertaken between my physical well being and the search/acknowledgment of the nature of reality.
I am sitting on cushion a few minutes a day praticing concentration. There are not real insights, and sometimes it looks like I am able to get into 1st Jana (there isn't no rapture associated with it maybe because it lost its novely).

Thanks a lot in advance.

EDIT: I should add that what I had initially intended to ask was about the validity of intense feelings and auditory phenomena that could be labeled as Caluradience (just for the record, at the present time, I do consider myself a well adjusted individual). It's like I get feelings/vibrations that point a certain direction. It looks like those vibrations pointed to directions that seemed completely mad - for sure not in anything that is harmful but perhaps pointing in a direction of facing my fears in a way that could seem irrational in some ways. I ended up acting "guided" by those vibrations and all seemed almost illogical, which made me question the validity of my decision making resources. Turns out that after questioning everything, , I went to sit on the cushion, and it's like I felt guided into a trance state (accompanied by lights and rapid blinkings), in which its like I have been asked to completely give in, to surrender, and right now i am "with one foot in and one foot out". I trust that by giving in my world will collapse.
Either this sounds completely nuts or there might be something similar you went through and perhaps you might have some hints to let this experience unfold.
Thank you again
by (130 points)
I'd be interested to learn people's opinion of the Goenka Vipassana courses. His is a name I've only just come across, and then discovered they have a retreat centre not too far from me. It appears he was trained in Burma (though of Indian descent himself), albeit he seems to have distanced himself from anything that would label him Buddhist. So I'm not sure what to think. Would people recommend these courses?
by (6.9k points)
I would stick with the Mahasi Sayadaw technique. A very experienced meditation monk who is proficient in both Goenka and Mahasi methods once told me that you can get results from Goenka technique but it is  not as proficient as the Mahasi technique
by (130 points)
Thank you, Sankha!
by (6.9k points)
You're welcome!

1 Answer

+1 vote
by (6.9k points)

Bright lights, feelings of calmness, visions, dreams, concentrated mind states, thoughts, memories, fear, vibrations etc. are still just manifestations of the five aggregates and nothing special. 

If you read ven. Yuttadhamma's booklet. you will notice that none of the experiences you have mentioned above gets any special treatment other than just being noted.
I would suggest you to drop all the self estimations regarding your meditation progress and try the technique taught in the booklet.

by (130 points)
I'd be interested to learn people's opinion of the Goenka Vipassana courses. His is a name I've only just come across, and then discovered they have a retreat centre not too far from me. It appears he was trained in Burma (though of Indian descent himself), albeit he seems to have distanced himself from anything that would label him Buddhist. So I'm not sure what to think. Would people recommend these courses?
by (6.9k points)
I would stick with the Mahasi Sayadaw technique. A very experienced meditation monk who is proficient in both Goenka and Mahasi methods once told me that you can get results from Goenka technique but it is  not as proficient as the Mahasi technique
by (130 points)
Thank you, Sankha!
by (6.9k points)
You're welcome!
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