Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Navigating the Switch

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the transition of the seasons as Fall begins to get situated. I wanted to share something that happened recently that may or may not interest you. A couple of weeks ago, a few days after my last seizure, I had what might be called an awakening experience that lasted most of a day. We were in the car on a beautiful day, and I was just taking in the scenery that I had seen before. I started to practice an eyes open meditation practice I had read about the day before, and as I released the thoughts that arose and relaxed muscles that I felt tensing, a strange sensation began to occur. It was the sense of fear almost like the stage fright you might encounter before making a speech. As it intensified, I felt some tension in my body as well. The sensation was almost like an aura that I might encounter prior to a seizure which only added to the fear of what was happening. Instead of trying to change the mental subject as I have done before when encountering this fear, I relaxed and surrendered into it.

At that point warm tingling sensations began to occur in my body. These grew more intense and felt almost orgasmic in nature. I was overcome with the feeling of joy and exhilaration. It seemed to escalate to a point and then even out as I took in the beautiful scenery around me which had become vivid and alive. I realized that I was seeing everything for the first time ever and that I was seeing it without a mental story or label attached to it. Everything made perfect sense without the need for thoughts to reconcile it. It was a sense of knowing that settled over me that allowed me to see the beautiful necessity in everything that is happening in the world, including wars and all forms of suffering.

As the full implications of this felt knowing flooded my body I was on the verge of tears. Not tears of sorrow but tears of joy. Before they started flowing I found myself quietly laughing to myself. It all made perfect sense. Though it was beyond what words could describe, it was like seeing how we are all perfectly connected in a way that makes us creators and products all at the same time. I had this sense that we are all part of a cosmic conspiracy to bring about this moment and to see and experience it fully. Everyone you ever come in contact with, and even those you don’t, regardless of how seemingly insignificant the encounter, is a part of this conspiracy whether they know it or not. The end goal of the conspiracy is to get us to awaken.

I also realized that everyone I see is actually a reflection of myself. They too are the same “thing” I am and the only difference is a perceived difference I’ve placed on them, which actually says more about me. None of these realizations were in the form of thoughts, as thought seemed to be relatively absent. Instead they were just known or felt. If ever a thought began to form, it was met with a sort of reassurance. For example, as I experienced a thought about being able to get back to this point I was reassured that did not need to concern myself with this and that I would be able to return again and again and that this was just a sample. This allowed me to remain present.

Interestingly enough, when my wife would ask a question or I was in some other way called upon to do something, I seemed to be able to snap out of it or regain control without losing my connection. The sense of joy and wonder remained in the background and available for me to step back into at will. I realized I was learning to negotiate the switch.

On the drive home I smelled a very potent dead animal smell. But before the mind could step in and label it as a “bad” smell it was realized that the only thing that made it a bad smell was past experience. Instead it took on a somewhat sweet smell all its own that was actually quite pleasant. Throughout the rest of the day I took great joy in whatever I did, whether it was doing laundry or feeding dogs. I was doing it all for the first time without any stories from days gone by. That night the dinner we ate was among the best I had ever tasted and I had to stop myself from savoring every bite with groans of pleasure as it was a bit much for my fellow diners ;)

In short, it was a great experience that I savored until I went to bed that night. The next day I woke up to my normal mental activity but with a residue of the pleasure I had encountered the day before. It faded over the course of the next day as I had work to do in preparation for our business trip. Though I have tried on a number of occasions since then to reconnect, I have not had much luck. I have also spent a fair amount of time mentally analyzing the experience knowing that it would not get me back to that point.

I was very fortunate to get to experience that which I’ve been reading about for the last couple of years and I realize that I am apparently not quite ready to live it on a full time basis. I recognize now that “it” is always here and can be experienced by anyone anytime if they are interested. I highly recommend it and look forward to being there (here) again in the near future. One thing I came away with that had to do with facing the fear that ultimately arises as you get to the edge is this: You’re doing it for humanity. That was one of a couple of notes I took during my ride home that may or may not have helped me fully surrender to what was about to happen. I wish you well in your journey.


Anonymous said...

Wow Trey. That sounds like an amazing experience. I felt myself trying to empathize with your experience and while it may be different I think I may know at least in part what you felt. I've found myself engulfed in a billowy sort of bubble of warm yet electric energy while moving about physical aspects of an ordinary day, walking along the creek at Warren Wilson College (I was so into it I ran up a leaning tree! it was awesome...coming back down was scary but I succeeded and then laughed to myself- it made me feel the 9 year old Lee Ann in the 36 year old Lee Ann's body). Like you, this enduring sensation's onset began with giggling. I was quietly laughing to myself because I suddenly realized that everything is extremely and utterly connected. I felt comforted by that, I felt tremendous confidence and strength, I felt vulnerable too, prepared yet aloof to what ever might happen, ready to serve up more laughter in response to the surprises I was noticing. First I found a whole seemingly dead butterfly on a trail. I picked it up and stared intently at it. It was indeed still breathing, barely. I held it loosely in my hands and continued to walk. I came to a swimming hole where I sat down and contemplated how to lay the butterfly to rest while I attempted to consciously will more life into it (knowing they live only 2 weeks still I was hoping for another piece of proof of connectedness and don't think that if my efforts had brought it back to enthusiastic life that I wouldn't have died of laughter right there on the rocks!). Instead I was drawn deeper into the mystery and simplicity of life as this butterfly's belly changed from a slow to nonexistent dance in my hand. I sat for about an hour watching it and the moving water, the breeze, the sunshine, my skin, the yellow dirt, then its death, last breath taken in my hand

The rest of the day contained thousands of microscopic examples of oneness. I was elated! I stayed away from places that might suck me away from the feeling. It lasted the rest of that day. I have fallen through windows of opportunity here and there and experienced spells of the same condition. I can say for me, when I have a strong urge to associate/linger with Emotion without witness, judgment, or the invasion of learned information, is when I fall into the condition. And also, like you, it does not last but I can relate to the idea of learning how to "negotiate the switch."

Furthermore I also came to the same conclusion that the condition presents itself to me as a dangling carrot. I am not meant to exist there 24-7. Not yet. But the knowledge of its' existence is fan-fucking-tastic!!! I was recently talking to my cousin about this very subject. We were joking about how scary it is sometimes to become enlightened or achieve any sense of enlightenment. How it's a nice place to visit but if you're the only one there how lonely it is/can be and then we got into the concept of ignorance is bliss....once you know, I think you will always "know" but you may not always see. Also it is or can be difficult to remain focused on one's growth pattern, path, direction...distractions are everywhere. My roommate for example seems to me (metaphorically) to be pulling on my shirt tails to keep me from floating away until he can asses and copy for himself what I "know". He is in tune with the good stuff but we are on different levels of perceiving it. I sense that he wants to be on par with me. In an attempt to get there, sometimes it feels like he is simultaneously engaging me in conversations about people (small talk/ gossip) while attempting to extract more lofty perspective, which he perceives me to have. And I may have what he wants but I don't entirely care about how he gets there. It's not my job nor choice to take him there or anywhere. The whole situation is a /could be stumbling block between me and my favorite condition (within the spell/shell of the oneness bubble), everything else is a distraction.

Now I think I'm rambling. Thanks for your letter and sharing your thoughts. Oh and btw, I've been spending a good deal of time thinking about your perspective on who the teachers are in our lives. It feels better to me to think of detractors or mean people as teachers of valuable lessons vs. things that should be destroyed. Thanks!

Lee Ann

Trey said...

Wow, what an encouraging thing to read. I'm so glad you too are sharing moments like these.

In the meantime, there is another teacher/author who I think you will enjoy: Adyashanti. I've listened to various audios of his (several are free on his web site) and I have also read True Meditation which comes with a meditation CD. I can make you a copy of that meditation CD and the 3 disc set someone gave me that came from his weekend retreat in Asheville (in that he says that once you've gotten a hint of "it" then "it" starts seeking you). However, the book of his I'm reading now (The Impact of Awakening) is another super short and very powerful book. It has questions and answers from some of his retreats, but it deals with how you can get back to oneness once you've tasted it and the pitfalls to avoid when you become too identified with the seeker. It's a great one. Byron Katie's book, A Thousand Names for Joy, is also a lovely read that lets you see what it's like to live life in that space on a daily basis.

Anyway, keep me posted on your journey. I'm toying with the idea of starting a group of my own, kind of like the Black Mtn Hawkins group I've been going to for so long. I have a bit of a desire to share the enlightenment practices I've encountered with others and have them share theirs with me. I've been to a couple of silent satsang style Tolle groups in the area which are nice too (one rotates between Tolle and Adyashanti). I'm visualizing somewhat of a hybrid where people can come and just meditate then leave, and others can stay to discuss. If I actually decide to take the initiative I'll let you know.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

Ooh thanks for the info. To expound a bit on the issue of isolation...It is my guess that in practicing techniques to achieve peace, joy, enlightenment that along the way I will develop disdain for those who do not share the perspective. I have experienced this to a degree already. Being a very social person, who enjoys time alone as well as time spent with others (kept in balance) I do not wish to exist on the bliss plane alone (isolation). To me this would not be bliss. I recognize I have a distance yet to go before I even attempt to "live there" as evidenced by my "fear" of being alone/ developing disdain for parts of humanity... I guess I should admit that in my forays into the blissful experience I have seen and felt a superpower that equally intrigues and frightens me. I'm sure I'll give in to the intrigue over the fear factor but the time is not yet. Surely in a group my trepidation would subside which is why I'm up for it. The inner fear of death as you suggest may indeed win out and keep me from attending such a group. None-the-less my "observer" wants to see what I will do...so please keep me posted.

PS. in the meantime I enjoy the smaller booms of joy...baby booms in comparison to what I perceive as being the mother of fantastic voyages; a smile well intended and properly received, appreciated....a butterfly on the trail...

Trey said...

Interestingly enough, I think you may have struck a chord in me on the note of not getting there alone. I think I started this email list for that very reason. So that if I made it, there would be others soon to follow or making it with me. I too had a fear of being isolated and losing my friends etc. So, in some way I feel as though spreading the word, so to speak, has been me doing my part to make sure others at least have a chance to get there if they choose. It is ultimately a choice that I can't make for them, and one they won't make until they are ready to make it.

I've realized since then that we are all lucky enough to live at a time when the whole world is approaching the edge of needing to make a shift or slowly destroy ourselves. This lights the metaphorical and literal fire under our asses to go for it. The 'it' in this sense is either a party all the time type of attitude, rage against the machine we blame for it all, or become self actualized as quickly as we can because we don't know if tomorrow will come (and various levels and combinations thereof). We eventually grow tempted by option three, if we are made aware of its benefits, because we realize that the first two just aren't getting it for us (many are never tempted). As we do, we all have similar fears that pop up that typically have to do with the loss of our sense of self (who we think we are) and we aren't fully ready to face them until we stop getting some reward out of the first two options.

I'm simplifying here, but I did want to let you know that I too went through (maybe am still going through) that fear of isolation. The more I've learned the more I see that there is not foundation to that fear. As Adyashanti just said in the book I'm reading, "When you are enlightened, you stand alone... but are never, never lonely because everywhere you look, all you see That, and You are That." I also feel that if I don't want to exist there alone and I want to help others get there, then I myself have to be there. In a strange sense, I have to sacrifice my 'self' to save humanity, which is what I have always wanted to do anyway (just maybe for more egoic reasons than I do now).

Before I stop rambling I'll also say that my ego still runs a good portion of the way my mind works, but I am at least aware of it a good deal of the time and that awareness dissolves the ego in that moment without the need for self judgment. Developing a spiritual ego where you see others not on the same or similar path as something less is a real thing that happens to people. However, I was told early on to be aware of it and have seen it when it has arisen, thus preventing its growth.

In the meantime, enjoy those baby booms to the fullest and realize that they are always present in everything you ever do.
Peace and love,

Anonymous said...

Trey, thanks for sending me this. It is comforting to read about your
experience and it helps me to remain connected to my goal of being in that

I received a message today regarding releasing the ego:

First, the desire must be intense and constant. You must know that the ego
does Not Serve You In Any Capacity. It is telling you that you must remain
independent and strong. Well, in Truth, there is NO independent. There is
only interdependence. There is only oneness. Seek the oneness outside of
all other.

What does oneness feel like as opposed to where you are now you ask? First,
it does not see you (or your desires) as separate from anyone else's. And,
if you are not separate from - then how are you connected? By the Love
Force that Is.

How to do it? The most fundamental and important is to achieve the
consistent, persistent, desire. That is best cultivated by getting a
picture of your desired results and looking at it all the time - or as much
as possible. Think of Myrtle Fillmore, the founder of Unity, who had TB.
Myrtle sat and looked at a picture of Jesus for over a year and was cured.
You're right, no one has a clue what Jesus physically looked like. It was
what he represented to her - Peace - non-judgment - total loving presence.
By looking at that photo constantly, she constantly immersed herself in her
desired emotional state. As she began to vibrate at that frequency Etc.,
then she didn't need the TB. Today she is in intense gratitude for that TB.
Since it was almost always fatal when she lived, it was strong enough
incentive to shift her desire.

Find writings, pictures and descriptions of the non-judgment, Now state.
Move toward that first. Yes, it's seeking the Kingdom first and then the
rest is added. The irony is that when you find the Kingdom, then you won't
give a rip about the rest, but you will be at peace in all that you do.
And, incidentally, you will raise the vibration for masses of other people
just by hanging out at that state.

Secondarily, as you hold the desired state in mind (and soul and body) you
will find that there will be various cures to trigger releases from old
hurts, traumas and things that prevent you from your goal. But, we
emphasize that it's having a firm grasp of the goal that will bring these
things to you. When you are vibrating with the desires of peace and
non-judgment then the cures will jump up in your path like gophers in

May you remain in the Now All The Time

Anonymous said...

I read your letter with interest and recognition. Here is a statement to ponder (not mentally...just relax into it and feel it out)...I am That in which this dream appears. Trey on planet earth is a dream of the Absolute. You are That in which the dream appears. Dreamer and dreamed are One. Tag...you're It! Namaste, Janet

Trey said...

I like your advice and have set with just that in mind. I'm now doing my best not to get so caught up in my thoughts so much, which I think are constantly arising as a result of my deep seated fear of giving something up or losing something in the total surrender to the unknown. The mind can be a frustrating and comforting place to be a lot of the time, but I have found some books by Adyashanti quite helpful of late. He points out the pitfalls to chasing past experience and losing sight of the here and now.

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote from Longchenpa (some dude who has long ago transitioned to the flip side). SINCE EVERYTHING IS BUT AN APPARITION, PERFECT IN BEING WHAT IT IS, HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH GOOD OR BAD, ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION, ONE MAY AS WELL BURST OUT IN LAUGHTER. So, Trey...perhaps you are like a wave fussing about the velocity and direction of it's movement, imagining that it is somehow in charge of that movement when all along each minute aspect of that wave down to the tiniest drop of spray coming from it is a result of the movement of the Ocean. There is no individual wave...there is only the Ocean. Relax...whatever you do, or don't do, you are always only God "godding". Here is another qoute (author unknown)...THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO BECOME WHAT YOU ALREADY ARE...or as I like to say, "tag, you're IT". Peace, love and hippie beads, Janet

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your blog. Ponder this if it suits your fancy. Enlightenment is a cosmic joke. Nobody ever "gets enlightened" because there isn't any individual there to become enlightened. There is the Absolute dreaming itSelf to be individuals completely unaware that they are Absolute...there is the Absolute dreaming itSelf to be individuals suspecting that they are the Absolute...there is the Absolute dreaming itSelf to be individuals remembering and forgetting that they are the Absolute, and there is the Absolute dreaming itSelf to be individuals who know themselves as the Absolute and who answer to their name all the while knowing that name to belong to a Self dreamed character. An 'individual' can search forever to become enlightened (have some permanent blisslike connection to or knowledge of the Absolute) when all along that 'individual' IS the Absolute. Even after that AHA! moment (when the Absolute dreams itSelf as an individual who now realizes that it is always only the Absolute), that 'individual' continues to act according to it's nature, laughing, crying, eating, sleeping, playing. Nothing really changes except for the seeking and efforting for 'enlightenment' ceases, and there is a deep understanding that everything is "just so...as is". Even with that deep understanding, it is known that the sages continue to laugh, cry, and get angry according to their nature. Ramesh Balsekar has written about it in a new book entitled "Enlightened Living;The Self-Realized State".

I got what I call a "download" (inner vision) recently. The manifest universe was revealed to have no beginning or ending. Infinite variations of every possible version of everything beyond our wildest imaginations exist in the mind of God...with each nanosecond infinitely present in the Eternal Now. Nothing is actually "happening". There is just Self witnessing of the inner dream by/as the Absolute. You are the Absolute, Self witnessing as the character Trey...and each nanosecond of your story has Infinite versions eternally Self existent in the mind of God/TheAbsolute. The dream (lila/maya) IS the Absolute which has no beginning or end, and which can neither be added to nor subtracted from...It is the Changeless. Every point in this maya/dream is the Center of All That Is and contains/is All of It (like a hologram). Whatever anyone appears to "do" emanates from a single Source, and insn't 'happening' at all, since that moment has always existed and is simply being Self viewed. There truly is no good or bad, right or wrong. Everything is Oneness, and it requires two to have values such as good or bad, or for anything to 'happen' to anything else. We are all beautiful innocent dreams of the Absolute...and Dreamer and dream are One. Nothing needs to be saved or fixed, and nothing is broken, yet of course we continue to reach out in love and healing to our universe, as that is our nature to do so, and deep down we recognize ourSelves in all else. Even those character and storylines that appear cruel and horrible are in perfect order...just "God godding" in a Self existant dream, all parts played by Consciousness itSelf which ...remember...can neither be added to nor subtracted from. So...as Meher Baba said, "Don't worry, be happy". All is in Divine Order, and tag...you're IT!.
Namaste, Janet