Profile for Zendancer

(1 stories) (27 posts) (karma: 6 points)

Favorite Spiritual Experiences

Favorite stories are bookmarked with the little heart icon on the top right corner of a spiritual story.

Spiritual Experiences from Zendancer

First Enlightenment Experience on 2009-12-10

On the morning of March 5, 1984, I woke up feeling good, surprisingly good. For three nights in a row, I had stayed up late, meditating into the early hours of the morning. With so little sleep I should have been dead tired, but instead, I was full of energy. After eating breakfast, I went to work, ...

Last 20 posts from Zendancer
I apologize for not checking this website for comments more often. Two people recently contacted me via email (bobh [at] with questions based upon this account. There are several good books available for people who are interested in learning more about the path of non-duality. Any books by Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Byron Katie, Ramesh Balsekar, or Gangaji are excellent. Books about Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, and a wide range of Zen Masters, Advaita Vedanta Masters, and other similar sages are easily found on Amazon. The humorous story of my own search for truth is included in "Pouring Concrete, A Zen Path to the Kingdom of God" (also listed on Amazon). Serious seekers will probably find it educational as well as a source of many laughs.
Morton: Your desire to love and be loved is not "your" desire because there is no "you" separate from the unified field of all being. Your sense of selfhood is an illusion created by thought structures and habits of mind. Someone recently claimed that the average adult thinks 60, 000 thoughts each day. Most of those thoughts revolve around the idea of selfhood and the personal story that people associate with their sense of selfhood.

What would happen if you stopped thinking about yourself? What would happen if the mind became mentally silent? What would happen if you spent several hours each day simply looking and listening without naming, reflecting, fantasizing, judging, cognizing, distinguishing, imagining, evaluating, calculating, etc? What would happen if all self-referentiality ceased? What would happen if, each time you found yourself thinking, you shifted your attention to what you could see or hear? What would happen if you attended the actual rather than spent your time attending thoughts?

If you did this, you would gradually become free of thought and no longer abide in the mind. In the process your entire world view would disintegrate and you would discover the truth of who you are. Who you are is not "Morton." "Morton" is a figment of imagination that has been imagined for so long that it now seems real. Fortunately, it is possible to wake up from the dream of selfhood. Cheers.
Enlightened: Yes, I am very familiar with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Although I have never met him, I have read many of his books and know people who have gone on retreat with him. I can recommend his teachings and retreats.
SilentOne: Feel free to write me at bobh [at] You can also join the conversations about non-duality on the website
Ratso: Your first experience as a child was probably the most authentic experience of oneness in your life--of your true identity. Who you THINK you are is NOT who you are. Who you ARE cannot be imagined, but it can be experienced through the body in exactly the manner that you described. Who you really are was never born and will never die, and you discovered this when you were five years old. All of the non-duality spiritual traditions point toward losing one's selfhood as an adult and connecting with the ineffable and numinous truth of what you experienced as a child. Great story!
Date: 2010-06-16
I enjoyed reading about your experiences. Probably the only people who will understand them, however, are people who have had similar experiences of nonduality. Just out of curiosity, if someone said to you, "Who are you, in truth?" how would you answer?
Ryochan: Why wouldn't I still be here? How could I go anywhere? LOL.

I looked up "dai kensho," and that was NOT what occurred through the experience I described in my account on this website. Dai kensho occurred fifteen years later while hiking up a mountain in Colorado. It was only then, after forty-five years of searching for the truth, that I saw through the illusion of personal selfhood completely and discovered that I am "what is." That ended my spiritual search, freed me, and allowed this body/mind to relax and live an ordinary life. The process of realization, however, never ends, because there is no limit to the depth of what can be discovered. Cheers.

It was definitely a kensho experience, but I don't know what "dai" means. If you can explain that, then I'll know how to answer your question. Cheers.
Gayle: Please read the comments by Martin and Rama. They are totally on target. The idea of specialness is generally an enhancement of ego--a spiritual and psychological trap. Those people who see deeply into this issue are filled with humility and are quite content to be "ordinary." The greatest spiritual teachers in world history relegate specialness only to God.
Leta: The mind and its thoughts can be very deceptive. I suggest that you leave thoughts behind. Look inside yourself and find what is far deeper than mind. The truth is beyond words and ideas.
Herenow: There are very few people who can summon such unfettered experiences of pure awareness at will, but what you are describing is what many people call "silent presence." The mind becomes silent (no thoughts, images, symbols, or internal speech), and there is only non-conceptual awareness. There is the direct perception of what is always here and now, beyond space and time. It is the direct experience of who and what we are beyond the story of a personal self. By shifting awareness away from thoughts to what we can see and hear, we leave the intellect behind and enter a timeless world--the reality that underlies the consensual meta-reality of things and events.

Out of curiosity, what did you type into your computer that led you to this site and these accounts of oneness?

I enjoyed reading about your experiences in the woods near your home. I, also, regularly hike some trails in a wilderness area, so I can appreciate the unusual nature of what you wrote about. Cheers.
Bayareashrink: I noticed that in one of your replies about your experience you wrote:

"But I have grown into a strong and receptive woman who inherently knows who she is and is secure in her skin (well, most of the time) :) I am now 35 and feel I have already gone through my "mid life crisis".

This is an interesting statement. Do you really believe that you are a strong receptive woman? If so, I would recommend that you read Suzanne Segal's book, "Collision With the Infinite." It points to something far deeper than any idea of who we think we are. Cheers.
Bright Sun: I overlooked your earlier post. No, I did not read into it any negative connotation. In fact, quite the opposite. I often enjoy entertaining myself in this way. Cheers.
Megh: Yes, I've read Nisargadatta and virtually every other teacher in all of the major world religious traditions. After my initial experience, I spent several weeks in libraries reading all of the spiritual literature I could find in an effort to understand what had happened to me.

I could list all of the hundreds of questions that bothered me as well as the answers, but the answers would only be meaningful to someone who had had similar experiences and who had transcended the intellect. I'll provide a few examples:

1. Is there a God? Yes, but God is not what people imagine. God is beyond all dualities and nothing can be said or thought about THAT. God can be experienced, but cannot be conceived.

2. What is a subatomic particle, really? It is an idea, only. It is a way of thinking about something that cannot be divided.

3. What is a tree or any "thing" else? All things (like subatomic particles) are ideas--ways of thinking about something that is not divided.

4. What could explain all of the observer paradoxes in every field of science? The observer and the observed do not exist. They are one and the same. The universe is a unified whole. Both the observer and the observed are imaginary entities.

5. Where did I come from and where I am going? Who I am (as well as everybody else) is unimaginable, and there is no coming or going. Who I am was here before the universe began and will be here after this universe has disappeared.

6. What is mu? What is the sound of one hand clapping? How does a strong man lift his own leg? Etc. The answers to these and other formal koans should never be communicated in public because it "would steal someone else's treasure." The joy of penetrating koans like these should be reserved for those who are willing to push beyond the limits of intellection.

7. What is samadhi, kensho, satori, etc? There is no way to communicate the answers to these kinds of questions within language. One has to experience these things for oneself. All of these things involve unity-consciousness, so they are beyond the power of imagination to simulate.

8. What is the meaning of life? Sitting here typing these words.

9. What is the purpose of life? Sitting here typing these words.

10. How did life arise in an inanimate universe? The universe is NOT inanimate; the whole thing is alive, conscious, intelligent, and unified.

11. What is the truth? The truth is unimaginable. Any truth that can be imagined is a relative truth. Absolute truth is beyond the intellect.

12. What is time or space? Time and space do not exist. They are products of imagination equivalent to lines of longitude and latitude. There is only "what is" and "what is" is always here and now.

There were many other questions, but these few examples should suffice to illustrate the nature of what was discovered. Cheers.
Megh: Thanks for sharing your story. I had an almost identical experience (you can read about it under "First Enlightenment Experience"). What struck me as humorous is that your experience occurred on March 5, 2008 and my experience occurred on March 5, 1984. I had never thought about celebrating that day until I read your story, but I think I'll start doing that from now on. Like you, it was the most important day of my life and it deserves to be celebrated. Thanks again. Reading your account was a happy way to start the day!
Mark: If you are interested in this path, then check out the website and review some of the ongoing discussions that explain much more about this.
Mark: Yes, what you had was what many people call a "kensho" experience, a direct seeing of one's true nature. Some people have many of these types of experiences, and anyone who has one never again thinks of the universe in the same way. A kensho experience is a variety, albeit a very powerful one, of unity-consciousness. In this experience the observer and the observed become one. If one pursues this path of non-duality, one may eventually have an experience of "satori," an experience which ends the illusion of selfhood completely and permanently. Most people who experience satori find that this is the end of their spiritual search, as an active endeavor. They are then free, unified in body and mind, and they are no longer seeking anything. They may have further deep spiritual experiences, but those only confirm what is already obvious, that there is only oneness manifesting in infinite perfection. About this final state nothing can be said or even thought. It is utterly beyond the intellect's power of comprehension or any kind of verbal description. Namaste.
Tony: You cannot help your sister unless she asks for it. If she asks, tell her to become silent, look within herself, and silently ask the question, "Mom, I cannot be at peace until you answer me. Am I forgiven?" The answer may not appear immediately, but if she will silently bear this question in mind, it will be answered, and your sister will find what she's looking for.

I know a woman whose mother died shortly after giving birth to her. She suffered a great deal over never having known her mother. Every Mother's Day she would be filled with sadness and despair. Fifty years later, while on a silent retreat, she sought to find a resolution to the issue. She reached deep inside herself and discovered something amazing. She realized that she was one-with her mother and would always be one-with her mother. She had reached the ground of her own existence and discovered at that level that the entire universe is unified. She had reached deep enough to discover what underlies our consensual reality. This resolved the issue completely and she found total peace. If your sister asks for your advice, tell her that the answer to her question is inside herself. Who her mother IS is still here, and her forgiveness is total and everlasting!
Marcus: No, I have never used LSD. I was stone cold sober when the experience happened. These kinds of experiences are fairly common in world spiritual literature. In the Zen tradition they are called "kensho experiences." In Christianity they are called "mystical experiences."

R.M. Bucke, a Canadian physician, wrote a book, titled "Cosmic Consciousness," after he himself had such an experience in London in 1899. He thought that such experiences represented a future advance in human evolution, but he was wrong. If he had studied spiritual literature from other cultures, he would have discovered that these kinds of experiences have been reported regularly for thousands of years of recorded history.

Every religion contains a wide range of experience ranging from extreme fundamentalism on one end of the spectrum to mysticism on the other end. The fundamentalists disagree with everyone who is not a member of their own religion, but the mystics of every religion all agree on the following things:

1. Personal selfhood is an illusion
2. There is only Oneness/God/Allah/Brahman/Tao/the Absolute
3. Everyone is one-with THAT
4. The universe is perfect just as it is
5. Anyone can access and verify these truths by becoming sufficiently still

The oldest spiritual literature in the world begins, "The wise will surrender speech in mind." Psalm 46:10 is pointing to the same thing when it says, "Be still and know that I am God." Most peoples' minds are too busy and too talkative to perceive what these verses are pointing to.

Kabir, a fifteenth century Hindu/Muslim mystic wrote, "I saw the truth for fifteen seconds, and I became a servant for life." Al Hallaj, a Sufi mystic, was executed by Islamic fundamentalists because he said, "I am the truth." After meditating for six days, the Buddha had the same kind of experience when he saw Venus rise in the morning sky. The space between what he saw in the sky and who he thought he was collapsed, and he woke up. Afterwards, he said, "In all the universe there is only One." Jesus Christ said, "I and my Father are one," and "Before Abraham was, I am." Same realization. Same truth. Cheers.
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