Type of Spiritual Experience
She didn’t realise the purpose of koans but it still worked
A description of the experience
Adyashanti [from The Role of life force energy in self realisation – Dr Bonnie Greenwell]
It happened after about five years of serious spiritual practice. It came while I was meditating - I was actually working on a koan - and I had been sitting for no more than a couple minutes when I achieved total and absolute and utter frustration. I had spent a lot of my practice and spiritual life being unable to penetrate. In the direct school you can spend a lot of time being utterly frustrated –you either get it or you don’t.
You have no gradual cultivation to feel good about, at least if you have enlightenment on your mind, as I did. So I hit this point of utter frustration, and at that moment there was also a moment of utter letting go, almost a complete defeat.
It was something that was sort of spontaneous: it wasn't a decision, just a complete letting go in the mind and the body and everything, and as soon as it was happening there was just an explosion …... For me, it was just that -an explosion- and I could see the energy inside my body with a sort of inner vision, and my heart was pounding, and I was breathing really heavily. So that was the awakening of the energy, and very, very quickly I was quite certain that the energy itself was going to kill me physically.
It wasn't that I was afraid of this. I just had knowledge that it was going to happen if it kept up much longer. As soon as I realized this was going to kill me, the very next thought that ran through my mind was "lf this is what it takes to be enlightened, then okay, just go ahead and die." This was a spontaneous thought, too, not a thought because I was in the middle of a catastrophe internally.
As soon as that arose - "I'm willing to die now" - as soon as the decision was made, the energy stopped in the blink of an eye. The rest is very hard to describe, but I was in infinite space. I was the space and there was just complete emptiness and then there was just a download of information, almost like the deepest spiritual insights that were coming like a hundred to a thousand a second, way too fast for thought. It was an intuitive thing, but there were also utter stillness and utter silence.
This whole thing played itself out in a half hour. Afterward, I got up from my cushion and bowed to the Buddha figure, and all of a sudden the wisdom came, and I started to laugh hysterically. I realized I had been chasing the Buddha for the past five years with great intensity and that what I was chasing was what I am.
There was great laughter and relief, and the whole thing just seemed to be such an amazing joke. And when I went outside the world seemed to be sparkling and just alive, and I could see intuitively the oneness of everything. But the energy, as soon as I was ready and willing to die, it just imploded upon itself. So I didn’t take it out the door with me - it was almost as if it just ran its course in fifteen minutes.