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sean, February 6, 2005 in General Discussion
I've come across that email group several times before. It's very impressive. That post too, is very impressive. The technique he describes is very similar to the one I've gotten most out of. I recognise some of the stages though it seems I missed out on 'all-pervading light' and went to the state of general physical bliss followed by that 'bliss of physical compliancy' thing. I think I was also lucky in that all of it happened without me thinking of it as spiritual. I just thought it was some kind of pleasant side effect so carried on till I guess I got to passadhi and had a rather sweeping satori experience. A while after that I screwed up and didn't practice much for so long that it kind faded and I needed to start all over, doh!
The trouble was I just didn't maintain the rather restrictive lifestyle that had been a boon to practice for the months and months I was committed to it. Easy when I was living by myself without anything but the open countryside as a distraction but then I moved to the city and my commitment wavered in favour of some probably long overdue sex, love, friendship, intellectual stimulation and partying. The commitment side of things is getting much easier as I get older though because I've pretty much exhausted the dark & splendid world of earthly pleasures, it gets real old too and takes more effort to maintain with far less back in return. Going for meditation ends up being a lot more bloody attractive instead hahah.
I should add too that before I went for my long retreat in the countryside I was Mr Hang Up. Emotional hang-ups, sexual hang-ups, religious hang-ups, you name it I had it. Life wasn't particularly pleasurable so to leave it all behind didn't seem so bad. After that several year long 'retreat' those hang-ups had for the most part mysteriously disappeared. I was so much more relaxed. It was a brave new world and I could really engage with everything, really get down and dirty with it all. That too saw many of my hang-ups slowly dissipate or simply become far clearer to me so that I could at least understand that its not so much a case of escaping or beating them into submission as it is of letting them go.