Still State of Mind

Published July 6, 2010. Page updated 8 March 2019.

There is still – after a couple years now, I haven’t looked back to see when it was exactly, this underlying state of absolute stillness in the mind when I’m not doing something.

I can work all day on writing articles, books, solving some problem, web development, whatever it is… and then when I stop – when it’s done and I don’t choose to do the next thing – there is just nothing. The mind is there – aware… awake… ready to do something if i asked something of it – but, otherwise it’s just there in an absolutely still state.

It’s not calming to have it happen… it just is. There is no relief in that state, though afterward I can think about it and say – oh, that must be good for the me somehow. It must be stress reducing to let the mind go to that state sometimes. Often even maybe.

But, there is something about being in that state for a long time that isn’t right with my active mind.

I haven’t let it go on much past a couple of minutes.

I’m trying hard now to understand why the resistance of the active thinking mind of now – with going into the thoughtless state for a long time…

1. What is the point? This seems to be a big one… is there any point to sitting there and experiencing that state? It’s nothing new anymore, it’s there every time I stop doing anything with the mind. It’s not a novelty. It just is. And, it’s just that… there’s nothing really pulling me to do it more.

2. There is some idea in my head that by going into this silence for a long time, I’ll come out changed. I saw what happens when the mind first is transformed after experiencing jhanas… and it’s a revolutionary change. My wife and I split because I had completely changed. I wasn’t the person she married – or the person I even knew.

Is that what is on the horizon for me if I go into this silent space often?

Just doesn’t seem to be any real good that can come from it when I have responsibilities to my wife, my daughter.

So that’s how it’s all going here – how about YOU?

🙂

Vern

No Mind – Perception Shift 4-11-09

I sat the other evening (4/11). It was about 8pm and I had no motivation to do anything else. Not that I couldn’t have found something – but from the inside -there was nothing pushing me to ‘do’ anything. The mind was empty of ‘me’ so I just sat down in the back of the apartment. It was warm, but I wouldn’t be moving so I thought – good enough.

I know I’ve explained this before – but perhaps you haven’t read it before here. I don’t meditate the way I did when I first started to sit and watch the breath. I’m in a different place now. The mind just goes naturally clear without the ‘me’. If I watch the breath – I can watch it for 10-20 breaths in complete awareness, and it’s the same as it was on breath 1. There’s nothing different, there is no point of concentration… there is no jhana that starts from that like it used to in the past.

The absense of thought is already there. It’s always there when I’m quiet now. When I stop the radio, the doing, the few thoughts on the surface of the mind that exist throughout the day… there is a stillness. It’s as if I’m in the moment – without ego and without self – without thought at all.

So, now when I sit – there’s no point to focus on the breath – and forcing my’self’ to do it seems counterproductive because it forces there to be some ‘self’ that does the focusing. Without the intense focus on the breath – there is no self at all. Even when I force myself to focus the ‘self’ comes and goes in very brief fractions of a second. It’s like it’s not able to show up for more than a tiny portion of a second. If you look back at the journal entry for 9/3 – it was happening there too. It has happened on and off for a while, but now it appears to be changed for now anyway.

So it seems like the whole meditation has changed then – what is the point of creating self by focusing on breath?

No point I think – so I don’t bother anymore. I just sit and experience things… sounds mostly. It’s as if the mind is new and is hearing things for the first time – every time. I could hear a chicken squawk and then hear it again 4 seconds later – it isn’t recognized as the same chicken or even as a chicken at all. It’s experienced newly – each time. Same with dogs barking, cars, horns, bells, people talking, music, etc.

Sometimes there might be a pain in the foot or the back or somewhere as I sit. The pain just goes on… it isn’t seen as negative. Not as positive. It’s just a feeling. Eventually it drifts away altogether.

So as I sat… it seemed there was really no point to sitting except that it was a way to continue the thoughtless state – experiencing things as new. I just continued to sit – not thinking anything about it – just observing when the thought arose. Then it went away when I let it go…

After 30 minutes or so there was a change in the state… there began to be an expansion that was felt in the head – in the mind – the perception?  It began to get very loose there – and open, vast. It was like that for a little while. I just experienced it, no thoughts came about it – I just sat.

There was then a movement from what was – into something else. Impossible to describe… It was as if there was a change starting – and moving toward a different state. There was some tension about it – there was some resistance and some energy toward making the change though I did nothing myself to move toward it or away from it. I just experienced it.

Like so many experiences during meditation – it just seemed to move on it’s own. By itself. Sounds strange I know, but there is no ‘doing’ by me. By letting go of every experience, the experiences continue… on their own – on whatever schedule they’re on. In fact, if I tried to push it more – to move it – or help it along – the experience either disappears, stops, or goes into a pause where it doesn’t move anymore – just pauses. If I then let go of whatever I was ‘do’-ing it may continue, or it may just fade away. No telling what will happen really.

So it went on a bit and there was a point where it felt like something was moving inside that was at an angle to the perspective of mind I usually have. How could I explain…?

You know, your normal perception of self – of reality is straight ahead. The “you” is looking straight ahead straight out from your eyes – your face. Your perspective is straight out from your eyes and in this orientation. It’s always felt like that, it never changes. If your head turns to the left – your perspective also moves with it and moves straight out in a line directly in front of your face. I’ve never realized it before because I’ve never known anything different from this perspective except during meditation where I’ve lost all perspective and felt as if I was all that is… (see experience #4 video >

But, it was changing. It was as if the orientation inside was shifting and was at an angle at that point. It was twisting to the left…  if that makes any sense. The head was straight. The body was all, facing straight. Yet, something inside was twisting left and distorting the original perspective to be facing at an angle at times. It made the perspective – the one I, and I assume that everyone has – seem less real then. Is it false? Is our perspective only straight ahead because we attach so strongly to the idea that our eyes, our bodies are the “me”? Wherever we face – that must be where we are focused – where our orientation is…

This became distorted, and less solid. Less tangible than it was before. Less real. Less true.

So I continued to sit for a while as the process played around, distorting my perspective of things. After 10 minutes it quieted down and I came back into regular consciousness and stood up after another 5 minutes.

As usual there is no comprehension of what is going on – as it’s going on. There is no analyzation. There is no emotion about what is happening – it’s just experienced. Only afterward do I, to some degree say to myself – what in the world was that? That was odd. That was different from what I’ve experienced before. I get a bit excited about it then – knowing it was an experience I hadn’t had before. But, during the actual experience – if any emotion comes up – the state disappears or goes into pause – maybe to continue once the emotion is gone, or maybe it just fades away completely. Emotion, attachment to the states – whatever they are – leads to a pause in the state. It might lead to a fading away and loss of it entirely. When the state is actually going on – it’s best to let go of any fascination with it that might pop up.

For me now – there isn’t any fascination with any state that happens, as it happens. None really. This appears to be a ‘good thing’ as the process just comes and goes at will and isn’t affected by anything that I know of.

Does anyone understand this? Has anyone experienced something like this?

No Thoughts. No “Me”. 8-30-07

Over 6 hours of no thought… no reaction. No emotion. No extra work being done by the mind. A state of high awareness and being precisely in the moment – but without naming things – without judging… without using much of the mind that used to be automatic.

Filmed at top of Wat Tum Sua mountain top temple before the thoughtless state occurred (next entry).  Wat tum sua scenery and some comments on meditation This is a small sized video display because it’s 12 minutes long and if it was a bigger size it would be a 47 MB download which most people wouldn’t bother with because too large. I think. If you want a larger one where you can SEE the scenery, ask me and I’ll whip it up. I saved the project it would just take another 15 minutes to convert it and get it together. It would take me about 4 hours to upload it with a good internet connection so it won’t be a quick process – but could do it at some point.

Climbed up to Wat Tum Sua and attempted to sit. It didn’t go well the first time so I just shot some video and photos for a while. There was a storm and from that vantage it was interesting to see different spots around the area getting rained on, others dry and sunny. There was no lightening – so my fears of a repeat of the lightening experience up there were few (see www.aimforawesome.com for my lightening experience article).  I went down a level and sat in a dry spot on a piece of concrete about 12 inches high at the base of a pillar. It was comfortable. The body was very relaxed and at peace. Soon the mind followed.

I then had a very strong experience of the state that lasted about an hour there. Instead of attach to it and sit there for hours after about an hour I opened my eyes and stood up and felt the state in that new posture… the state stayed for many hours – I was conscious of every one of the 1,237 steps down the mountain and during the motorbike ride home… more about it on the video.

the thoughtless state video

Update: 6-15-09

It was probably this event that triggered something. After this happened I wasn’t quite the same. I was still having thoughts – though they were less frequent. The mind seemed to find peace – equanimity and non-dualistic experience easily and without effort. There were many periods over the next 1 year when I noticed that the mind was quiet and without thought.

Now – june 15,09 I’ve been in a weird thoughtless state for a number of months.

No Mind 8-23-07

A feeling of no mind came today.

I sat for 30 minutes last night before I slept. Before I meditated I was in a state of ‘no mind’ or no thoughts before sitting down for some time – an hour or so. I decided to sit and just have no thoughts. I didn’t record a video… nothing to talk about. I just sat and had no thoughts. I had awareness of things going on around me. At times some thoughts started to germinate, but when I realized a thought was forming I switched back to no thought mode.

I’ve had this ability for some time now since meditating back in 1998 – i can just switch thoughts off and focus on the present for a few seconds or a few minutes. I’ve not done it longer than 20 minutes, but i’ve not tried to go longer.

Update: 6/15/09 – I’m in a continued state of no mind or… rather no thought for the last few months now.. 6? 8? Not counting – would need to go back and look at journal. I can do things – I can work on computer and talk to people, exercise, etc… but, when I stop the mind goes blank. You know how if you stop doing something your mind is still running and thinking thoughts? Mine isn’t. A strange state – is this what it will be forever?