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Empty Headedness.

Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 06:41:23 PM
I went through a life-changing experience in Mexico, some years back.
This took place in the same general area that Carlos Castaneda wrote about in his chronicles of his time spent with Don Juan.
In the shadow of 'Tetakawi', in the Sonoran Desert, I meditated for weeks, maybe months, slow-breathing, while slowly starving.
And finally, every last 'thought' vanished from my mind.

I felt, for some time, as if I might have done myself some sort of permanent damage: my mind was so silent.
Absolutely nothing was happening inside my head. It was eerie. Desolate. Null and void.
But you get used to anything, after a while, and so this state became the new 'normal'.

Today, my mind isn't quite as empty as it was, then, but it's still pretty damned quiet.
Not a lot goes on.

I've come to realize that almost nobody in the Western world has ever experienced anything close to this.
Almost never as much as a missed-meal, let alone regular starvation.
And never, ever, an empty mind.

Have any of you ever had any experiences along these lines?
Hunger? Meditation? Empty-mindedness? Total solitude?


Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 06:55:26 PM
Yes. By choice I lived alone, in poverty and solitude, for a series of years.

Whenever I can, I practice a simple meditative technique designed to empty out the impulses.

Then the conductor raps his baton on the podium, and the coordinated and systematic can begin...

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 07:01:09 PM
You're the one, if there was going to be a 'one' :)
You may, or may not, wish to enlarge upon your experience of this.
I, at least, would be very interested to hear more...

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 07:15:20 PM
I've experienced the cessation of thought, and also the loss of the connection to the body/world.  I find that I have music playing in my head, usually, rather than thoughts running around or anything.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 07:56:50 PM
Music doesn't count, here. It's still 'noise' going on.
That's why I rarely listen to music: it drowns out the silence, and keeps me awake at night.
The cosmic microwave background hums at 440 Hz.
Everything does.
Everything except most people.
If you listen to monks chanting 'auuummmm' it almost always resonates in low 'A'.
440 Hz and its overtones and undertones, is the sound of life.
Golly, I can sure write drivel.
Maybe drivel has its value.



Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 07:57:37 PM
There were times in my life that I sought out solitude in the wilderness, but I've come to see these as "retreats" in the pejorative sense.  That is, they were attempts to run away from mental noise, rather than a means to conquer it.  What I found is that, even when I went in search of mental or spiritual repose, I still sought out action and the direct, visceral experience of life.  I was drawn always to those places where the water roars as it leaps to shatter itself upon the rock, or the wind howls through the trees.  I never found peace in meditation: just a vague sense that I could be doing something that carries with it the visceral experience of living, followed inevitably by boredom.  

I find my stillness in doing.  It's there when I teach, when I sing, when I fish or share a laugh among friends.  When I feel the impulse to meditate, I am far more likely to scratch the itch by heading to the gym to spar or down to the cage to take cuts than to head out to the middle of nowhere.  

In truth, I have come to enjoy the noise, to take joy in bringing order from it.  I still head into the wilderness from time to time, not to seek isolation but because I simply love the beauty of nature, the chill of the stream and the kick of a big brown against the line.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 08:01:13 PM
Nice description. If it works, it works.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 08:08:15 PM
I do this as much as I can...in long term water fasts after day 3 it's just calm and quiet. and I don't get bored of it. no thoughts, just observation. Quite amazing.
Old school philosophers would make their students be silent for years.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 08:19:00 PM
Nice description. If it works, it works.

Me, I blame sports.  Practice, when done right, serves a purpose not unlike that of meditation: thoughtful action without thought.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 08:25:17 PM
I see a pattern.
Those with some sense of self-discipline, and some experience of it, make by far the most sense.
They develop a context from which to live their lives.
They have something to say.

Phoenix

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 10:45:23 PM
I sometimes use a dissociative drug known as DXM and it does cease all thought and increase mindfulness, if used properly. It has aided me greatly over the years in a shamanic context, and in fact Crow I would recommend it if you feel you're sensitive to noises, it might bring you some peace of mind. I've heard many stories of people taking it for the first time and it changing their lives completely, but it remains a relatively unknown, even stigmatized substance due to various factors.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 11:00:25 PM
I imagine using drugs to get spiritual insight is like driving a car to get exercise.

Is this wrong?

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 11:03:31 PM
No. You are right :)

Phoenix

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 11:04:19 PM
I imagine using drugs to get spiritual insight is like driving a car to get exercise.

Is this wrong?

I imagine driving a car very well in all its complexities, but I can't just get into a car a start driving, I need to take actual lessons.

So don't ask me, find out for yourself.

Re: Empty Headedness.
April 06, 2012, 11:10:48 PM
I wonder what it feels like to poison myself?
I know! I'll eat poison!