Stopping – Starting, A New Observation

Though I have not meditated much lately, very little actually, I am seeing a new development that is strange and a bit discomforting.

Over the past few days – maybe 5 days ago I noticed it first – there has been a new state of the mind. I notice it most when I’m driving, but there have also been other times here at home or elsewhere that it occurs.

Here’s how it goes:

I’ll be driving, looking forward at where I’m going. I’ll glance down at the speedometer and it’s like I’m in a different world almost. It takes me a fraction of a second to realize I’m in the car and what I’m doing. It’s like a start over for the brain… the brain didn’t bring the previous context – the fact that I’m sitting in the car and driving down the road – with me. It started over to figure out what I was doing, where I was. It’s the briefest little blip.

The stopping part then, occurs as I look down away from the original scene. It stops completely. There isn’t any residual memory of it at all. It’s just gone.

I look back up at the street and bam, it happens again. I have no recollection of what I did the instant before (looking down at the speedometer) and it is like the brain restarts to figure out what it is doing – driving down the road looking forward.

It is like consciousness doesn’t flow like it did previously. You know how your experience of consciousness, of waking life – is continuous, as one continuous experience? This new state isn’t like that at all… there are many starts and stops throughout the day. It is an awareness of the starts and stops to each experience or scene.

I think I’ll do a video about it because maybe some more will come out of my head about it – a better explanation.

Will put below:

Author: Vern

A dozen years ago I created a simple meditation process that sent me through the jhana levels without even knowing what jhana was. The journey is well worth the effort. I hope I can persuade more people to meditate and experience some of the things that happen when the mind stops. It may well be the most profound human experience available to us.

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6 thoughts on “Stopping – Starting, A New Observation”

  1. what you are describing totally reminds me of how i feel when i am smoking marijuana. for this reason i never smoke anymore.

    normally when you are watching a movie every change in camera angle flows seemlessly together, so that you are never aware that these changes of perpective are happening. When I am on pot its like I am watching a very poorly edited movie. Its like every time the camera angle changes its too noticeable, either it doesnt fit, or is interferring with the plot sequence in an annoying way. Sometimes it could feel like the movie is starting over again. very dysphoric.

  2. Hello!

    I have meditated for quite sometime now and have had similar experiences to you… what I can say is that your experiences are nothing more than ‘experience itself’. Meditation (I assume you are doing something similar to breathing mediation?)does improve ones concentration…in particular it improves concentration in regards to reality. As you meditate more, you may have these experiences plus others more and more. It is important not be distracted by these experiences however… they can lead to increased alienation from others, and distract the mind from the true purpose of meditation (you know what that is yet? hahaha).

    I would recommend that you find a Buddhist teacher whom you can trust and get a long with. I spent years without a teacher and it almost lead me to suicide! It is very easy to loose the path. Study the 4 Nobel Truths, the 8 Fold Path, and the Three Marks of Existence. They will help you understand what is happening in your life.

    Good luck to you. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Your Friend,

    Matt

    P.S. Feel free to email me if you have more questions 🙂

  3. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your note.

    I don’t know what, if anything we have in common, but I understand you wrote out of compassion to help. The experiences came without Buddhism, they need not have Buddhism added later, after the fact. The process happens without the religion aspect, and yet so few continue on the pathless way for very long before bringing Buddhism or Hinduism, some other -ism into it. The experiences match closely what Buddhism says is possible, and yet if everyone follows the Buddhist idea of it – nothing new results.

    I am not convinced (at all) that what the Buddha experienced was the be all and end all, or that it is repeatable, or even worth repeating. I don’t know… I’m coming to it with an open mind. In my mind there are many possibilities… one is that the Buddha reached one state of mind that is possible. It says nothing to me about that being the only state possible, or the only path. If I wanted to follow his path, that would be easy enough. I don’t see the point in that. I’m much more interested in whether there is another path, or another thousand paths, all leading to something different… Nirvana in the way of the Buddha doesn’t seem particularly special at all to me. I see it as easily attainable at this point, not a far goal… but just not a goal I can even agree with.

    I have thought about finding a Buddhist teacher in the past – it would make no sense. I have shared what happened with some senior Buddhist monks and they have told me what Buddhism would have me do… focus on ideas while in the state of the calm mind. I could sit and do that today, but again, it doesn’t make any sense for me to follow closely what anyone else had done or recommends that I do based on what Buddha or others in Buddhism have done.

    I’m not in a rush, or I’d have continued trying something over the past few years.

    I’m not in a state where I have questions of other people – who has the religionless background to help? I don’t know anyone. I’m not looking for help to continue along the path anyway, it continues with or without my conscious participation.

    You said, “Study the 4 Nobel Truths, the 8 Fold Path, and the Three Marks of Existence. They will help you understand what is happening in your life.”

    Not really. They’ll help me understand Buddhism, but I’m not looking to understand a religion at all.

    The entire act of meditation can be a physical one… without bringing any religion to it. I’ve done just that, not intentionally by any stretch of the imagination, it just happened. The levels of Jhana all happened automatically, without a teacher, without anything – just being on the path, by practicing the simple meditation on the breath – it all came naturally about.

    One need not, or, rather, I can only speak for myself, but I believe it applies to everyone out there that goes into meditation without a religion – One need not know where the process is supposed to go for it to go along on its own. I was clueless. I was totally clueless, and yet, it happened step by step just like Buddha details in the suttas. It’s uncanny. I’m very interested in this natural unfolding of the process, not having Buddhists or anyone else tell me what is important to them, what I should be doing so I can be like a Buddha… That all seems so ridiculous to me…

    Instead, I’m on my own path, or it is on me maybe, but it’s progressing right along.

    Again, thanks for your note. If you’d care to share anything about what you’re doing, where you are, great… I noticed by your IP address, you’re in Thailand somewhere.

    Aloha & best of life to you,

    Vern

  4. i have heard what you are talking about being referred to as spacing out but i could be wrong as my memory is not great ! you sound like someone who stumbled upon powerful things from hard work and a desire to find that otherness you knew was there but didnt know what it could be or where might lead you too.

    Any way i think you may find these two books of use to you Relaxing into your being By Bruce Frantis and The Great Stillness by the same guy. You may already know him if you dont then i would highly recomend him for going that bit further or just to understand more of where yiu are.

    He studied daoism yoga martial arts both internal and external and neigung chi gung etc etc but meditation he studied via a lineage goingback to lao tzu and the water method of daoist meditation. Basically what im saying is he js the real deal and as he can speak chinese and japanese mandarin fluently he was able to get more from his teachers and not lose info in translation.

    I have personaly seen him do things that would make yoda give up his day job , this was at a retreat to learn chi gung in the states and also at various seminars in the uk.

    Any way liked your book and i too used to use the sock on the ankle bone trick !

  5. Hi Vern,
    it is strange having these perceptions when not meditating. It must be that your mind is in a sharpened state all the time…
    Perhaps all moments are separate and you are seeing things ‘the way they are’. And without memory stitching moments together you are left with the disconcerting feeling of life falling apart. Haha
    I have had a few experiences after doing a lot of meditating including while driving- completely forgetting which side of the road i was supposed to be on. It was a kind of dumbness. I had to stop the car and wait for someone to come by to work out which side I should be on. Also, and this is a warning, I crashed my car once when my eye got completely absorbed/sucked into something and I hit a bollard. Driving and meditating can be dangerous! It’s like the mind becomes that of a baby again.

  6. I really don’t know what state my mind is in. lol. I think I was seeing the discontinuity of reality, yeah. I like how you say, “And without memory stitching moments together you are left with the disconcerting feelign of life falling apart. HAHAH! lol. Meditation can bring on those weird situations. I have had a problem knowing what my phone was before. I’d picked it up to dial a number and then promptly forget what the phone was. I looked at it for a while, trying to understand what someone did with that sort of object. It was funny to think about later. That was after a sitting session in which jhana came. Anyway, do be careful not to meditate while driving!

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