Lately, an almost insurmountable feeling frequently overtakes me during seated or lying practice. I feel as though I have to get up immediately. It takes a tremendous amount of concentrated effort to stay the course and then to banish this particular thought so I can resume effective practice. Not certain if herein lies a sign of true progress, but I take it as one regardless.
It got me thinking. Every time I feel like I have to get up, my brain shows me a potential short term future scenario that either it finds appealing or stresses about. Something it would rather engage in, or something it HAS to engage in. Anything other than laying down or sitting and being bored with nothing going on. These scenarios enter my visual and emotional space like whispy phantoms, makes it interesting to think my brain can make anything out of them at all. Perhaps they are only the product of my brain assigning meaning and attaching bits and pieces of stored memory and thought to some biochemical process that is the result of either prolonged practice or my new and still stressful job situation. The chicken and the egg.
Interestingly, as soon as these future stresses or amusements are banished I almost always get a very clear moving image of something that occurred in the past that went well. The whispy phantom replaced by something clear and memorable. Once this is banished my state of concentration usually improves until some external stimulus distracts me.
I have a need to go deeper. I want to know what lies beneath all of these things. Yogis and Shamans have long traditions of cave-dwelling. Caves are completely insulated places: no light, no sound, constant temperature. Sensory deprivation seems a viable answer to my need. What lies underneath? How do I experience my brain/mind without any external stimulation? Does it possess a natural state? I get glimpses of these states every once in a while and truly extraordinary things inevitably accompany them. ‘Modern Life’ makes it extraordinarily difficult to spend days at a time in either a cave or a sensory deprivation tank, this next experiment seems sufficient to building a habit of deconstruction and disintegration.
Liber 333 part 1
Experiment #1 An Attempt to Discover the Metaprogram
Procedure: Prior to the performance of the experiment, earplugs should be worn for up to 1 hour, this provides time for the body to acclimate to the sensation of something in the ears.
Create a dark environment by blocking out windows with tin foil.
Lie in bed for 4 hours trying not to move, only breathing. Do not sleep.
Repeat experiment every 2 weeks for 8 sessions. (this seems almost impossible as well. Maybe 8 sessions in a six month period)
Record results, visions, etc.
Future experiments will implant predetermined phrases, cantos, etc by playing them on repeat for the duration, in order to facilitate reprogramming.
These methods seem potentially very powerful to me. Ultimately my goal is to increase my focus and my (very poor) visualizing skills.
Granted this experiment has a relatively small scale and duration, never-the-less I enjoy sudden and dramatic insight. I'm a big fan of the lightning bolt. I do not anticipate the discovery of a 'soul'. Some Tibetan buddhist monks go on a 3 year, 3 month, 3 day retreat that involves sitting in a small hut on a bed of grass and meditating on a fixed image for about 18 hours a day. A volunteer slides food through a small slot in the door twice a day and takes away the bucket those on retreat perform their ablutions in. If they perform this very serious sensory deprivation procedure and not emerge knowing the soul, then there remains little hope for its objective discovery.