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About eliasvelez

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  1. Most deeply enlightened teachers
    Most deeply enlightened teachers
    Rupert Spira is quite high, I think.
    Peter Ralston is very high.

  2. How I Awoke: The Story And Dynamics Of My Awakening
    How I Awoke: The Story And Dynamics Of My Awakening
    I studied heavily the concepts and practices of Leo, Shinzen Young, Alan Watts, Rupert Spira und Mooji. But in real life, no.

  3. 10 day vipassana retreat report. Long post
    10 day vipassana retreat report. Long post
    So this is a report about 10-day retreat in a vipassana center near Moscow, Russia.
    I am 20 years old guy from Moscow interested in self-actualization work. Got Into self-develeopment around 2.5 years ago. Got into meditation and installed my daily meditation habit 1 year ago. First discovered spiritual domain of self-development half year ago. Trying to figure out my life purpose now and advance in spiritual work.
        I have many insights in this report. It's not that I got all of them for the first time in my life. I was getting some of them before but now I was deepening my understanding and realizing the ideas on a much more profound level.
    One day before
        1 day before the retreat I told my family where I am going and they got very suspicious about my endeavor.  They didn't know that I'm into consciousness work and that I already have 1 year of daily meditation habit under my belt, so for them it was a surprise. They tried very hard to talk me out of this using all kinds of crazy justifications. They'd tell that this is just a sect, that they would take my money and everything, that it is "the devil's worshipping", they would tell scary stories about their own experience with sects in their youth and say that I wouldn't tolerate such strict schedule.
        The force of Homeostasis felt very real. I knew I was shaking a boat but at that point I didn’t care, deep down I knew I'm doing the right thing. But still, this situation with family made me suffer emotionally 
        Day 0 
        I arrived at train station and according to guide I needed to walk for like 20 minutes by foot to enter that center. During this walk I had to face all my doubts. I was telling myself things like "Wtf I'm even doing, searching for something unknown in a wild russian forest and I don't even know if they will take me or not (I was in a waiting list, so i had no guarantees)". But it also felt somewhat romantic to me, it felt like an adventure and it really was one. I had the strong feeling that most precious and meaningful things in life are exactly like this - in order to get\find them you have to travel to the end of the world and seek for them in some deep russian forest without any certainty, having only the faith in what you do, in yourself.
        I finally found the center, it looked like a summer camp. I entered and saw some girls walking around in a very tranquil and chill manner. I approached one and asked her where can I find the registration place. She looked at me and holyshit, I was amazed by her very soft, gentle and open gaze, it felt like she was completely "in a present moment", she felt so "free", it was amazing, . I knew for sure that she was meditating on a daily basis. Also from that moment on I knew I found "the right place", I found this "gem" I was looking for. She gladly showed me the way to the kitchen.
        When I was approaching the kitchen I saw the group of people and the very tall (over 2m) guy, who was talking about the point of meditation in a little bit preachy manner, that thing amazed me too, I was starting to have a paradigm shift, I've never ever saw someone discussing meditation in real life. Also all these people seemed to be stage green in "Spiral Dynamics" and I was happy as fuck about that as I was struggling to meet green people in my ordinary life.
        I finally got into registration place. I got lucky and there was an open slot for me as some guy didn't come to the course. They assigned a bed and a safe to me. I had to lock all electronics\writing devices\all intellectual stuff in a safe. At first I was a little bit hesitant to put everything I had (ID, money, etc) into it but the safe keeper lady assured me that it is better to leave everything here so you don't have to worry about someone stealing your shit. I agreed with her. I sneaked a journal and a pen which was against the rules but I felt like I really needed it. They showed me to my room, I had 3 more people living in a room with me. I acclimated to a room a little bit and went to a general meeting. On that meeting they told us about the structure of our retreat and introduced us to schedule. They explained that vipassana was originally kept as monk only tradition but in last century it started to get unfolded to common people via these centers thanks to Goenka. Since it is a monk tradition we were supposed to live the monk lifestyle for 10 days.The schedule was such that we would wake up at 4 am, meditate for 10-11 hours each day with  some breaks for rest and eating. Some of these hours allowed meditation inside your own room, other hours were strictly At night we would have a 1.5h lecture and we were supposed to go to sleep at 9-9.30 pm. 
        The first lecture was today. On that lecture they told us a little bit about what is vipasana, told the rules and introduced to the meditation technique called "anapana". Basically it is focusing on breath. We were supposed to practice it all day tomorrow. Also there was kinda an "initiation" process. We had to vow that we would follow 5 rules:
        1. Noble silence (no speaking to other students until 10th day)
        2. No stealing
        3. No sexual stuff
        4. No lying
        5. No intoxicans
        So called "old students" had to vow for 3 more:
        6. Fasting after midday
        7. Not to wear fancy things (jewelry, etc)
        8. To not sleep on high and luxurious beds (I think all beds were the same tho)

    After that we went to sleep, noble silence began. Even though it was prohibited to journal I felt the need be a little bit flexible with this particular rule, so I journaled a little bit from time to time. It backfired a bit on my meditation practice as journaling triggers the thinking mind, but not that much. The value of keeping a journal and writing insights far outweighed "the losses".
    As expected, had trouble getting asleep first night, I wasn't in a mood to sleep at all. I've read on some forum that on a retreat like this you will "remember everything", so I reasoned why not start doing it now. I remembered my last intimate relationship in a lot of details, analyzed everything, found more egoic patterns from my side. 

    Day 1
    I ended up sleeping for only 1h. Despite sleeping for only 1h I didn't want to sleep at all whole day.
    So we woke up from a gong sound, did grooming stuff and went to a meditation hall. The hall was separated by 2 parts - for women and men. There were exactly 100 meditation mats. There was also a huge basket with a ton of different pillows, meditation benches and plaids and we could take them. Everyone and I started quite modestly with this stuff but later we started to experiment with all that building huge castles and temples from cushions. It was actually pretty funny to observe. But everyone kinda chilled near days 3-4 and a lot of people went minimalistic mode with that (me too, I was only using 4 cushions, haha). We proceeded to meditation.
    On a first day we were given a breath concentration technique, nothing fancy, the main struggle was that in ordinary life I would do meditation for 30 minutes~ and sometimes maybe more and there I had to sit for 2 hours straight. Each day we had new modifications to techniques.
    It was very hard for me at first but I got accustomed after a while. 
    My main strategy and goal with this retreat was to contemplate about my life, life in general and life purpose. So that is what I was doing during break times. My contemplations proceeded in meditation sessions to some extent and the thinking mind was crazy during them.
    Regarding eating: we had a very nice vegetarian cousin with bits of dairy but usually you could avoid it easily if you wanted to.  There was a shit ton of different species and teas to choose from. Some of them were ordinary teas (with caffeine), but there were also a lot of herbal teas aswell, I really indulged on those. Also there were different jam's and honey for satisfying a sweet tooth.
    I tried to avoid gluten and dairy but after a while my skin got really sloppy and unhealthy look from lack of protein, I was basically eating 10-20 grams of protein per day (and usually I eat around 100-200) so I had to include these to get at least SOME protein. It helped. I learned what granola is, loved it!
    I totally avoided caffeine, all bread and all sugar containing products. To satisfy a sweet tooth I used honey.
    I tried to limit my food intake and to not eat too much. I often times fasted after midday.We had a guru who was meditating in meditation hall with us teaching us the technique. We could speak to him privately after a lunch time. I hoped to see some stage turquoise person, a real enlightenment master but as it turned out, this guru wasn't enlightenment.  He looked like an ordinary human without any crazy "guru attributes". But nonetheless he was pretty wise, compassionate and it felt like his ego was greatly numbed. 
    He was from India and had a pretty good English. There were special people who would translate  Russian-English for you if you needed it. But these translators were not the best, sometimes they would mess up a translation so guru wouldn't understand all subtleties and would be forced to give a generic answer. I spoke to him in English only because I could.
    I abstained from speaking to him on the first day since I slept only for 1h but after day #1 I spoke to him nearly everyday. The first day was pretty intense for me, I got to my bed and had troubles getting asleep again. They say it is normal.

    Day 2
    Slept for 5 hours. Had sleepiness throughout the day.
    This day I spoke to guru. Told him about my life situation and my goals for this retreat and asked some questions regarding technique. He told me to stop forcing thinking and strategizing during my rest hours and entrench in mindfulness instead and if the thoughts come - let them come, accept them, all strategizing should be delayed to the end of the course. Also I asked him some questions about enlightenment but he parried those and said he would answer everything in the end and now I shouldn't worry about it and focus on my practice.
    At first I kinda resisted his advice but then decided to follow it. 
    Because I was no longer forcing myself to think too much I had the best meditation gains in my life. My concentration ability literally skyrocketed and I was able to stay focused for a very long time.
    It was still hard tho, physically and emotionally. I suffered. But it was a good kind of suffering! The kind of suffering that grows you. I came up with an insight that sometimes in life you gotta suffer just to get the opportunity to get the right kind of suffering you need.
    Also during this day I've got a lot of insights on leadership. I noticed how all amazing stuff in life happens through Leadership. Leadership is literally everything and Leadership is fundamental to happiness. You can't just sit on your ass and expect that status quo will be changed to your benefit in some magic way. You have to destroy status quo yourself, you have to go and carve your path through a wild Russian forest with machete to find a vipassana retreat if you need to. Of course the prime and most important leadership is self-leadership, everything starts with it. But there are shit tons of other types of leaderships. Leadership in relationships with friends, in intimate relationships, in social groups, in your workplace, in your busyness. If you want to make something happen or build something that you want (it can be a certain relationship or busyness or anything else) you HAVE to take initiative and DO STUFF.
    I was also continuing to have a paradigm shift from environment. Everyone in this camp meditated with me and I started to notice how this all was becoming NORMAL to me. I noticed the power of perspective. I also noticed how my parents ruined their lives by staying in comfort and being afraid to go see things and collect different perspectives. They stay in their own little bubble and demonize everything that is not inside it. Some meditation retreat - "Must be a devil worshipping. Don't go there! They will kill you and steal everything from you!". But of course in reality people on these retreat turned out to be one of the most kind and nice people I've seen in my entire life.
    On lectures they speak about basic Buddhist concepts in a very soft manner. There is some indoctrination of course and they make a big emphasis on ethics and morals but there was close to 0 dogma. They didn't ask to believe in karma, reincarnation and other shit, they were trying to teach the pure teaching of Buddha without bullshit. Also they stress independent thinking and first hand experience very much which is quite cool. 
    Also I go the wibe that this course is designed for common people. Not in terms that it is not hardcore. It is pretty hardcore. But it is basically designed to make common people more happy, to set them on spiritual path, to show them the way. They don't stress epistemic and metaphysical truth seeking at all.
    Day 3
    My sleeping patterns became better from this day and I was sleeping 5-6 hours per day consistently (usuallly I sleep 8).
    We were still using focusing on breath meditation technique but everyday we were kinda "narrowing" our "area of focus". They say it is supposed to sharpen the mind. Meditation schedule was intense, was hard but I was managing. I felt like my presence and mindfulness increased with each day.
    Was thinking about one close ex-friend of mine who was really insecure and unconscious and it triggered me emotionally big time so it fucked up few hours of meditation due to nonstop thinking mind. I thought about what people I want to befriend and what to avoid a lot.
    Got an insight that the more profound and amazing the thing in life is the more nicely it is hidden. Sometimes it is in reverse but it usually takes a huge awareness to notice this thing so it still remains hidden for an ordinary eye.
    Also, damn, everyday I was looking at these girls. The girls that were meditating 10 hours day. I just fell in love. It was so amazing to see, especially contrasting them with "ordinary" girls you see in a conventional society who chase all kinds of petty stuff.
    Today on lecture they talked about enlightenment. They represented it as a state of seeing things totally as they are, the direct experience of universe and connected it to quantum mechanics and string theory. The quoted Buddhas words how he was seeing the world as little vibrations and waves 2500 years ago.
    They also try to teach epistemology which is super nice. They make a clear distinction between Belief, Intellectual understanding and direct experience of a phenomena stressing that the latter is the best way to learn and see the world. 
    Enlightenment - first hand direct experience of a universe. 
    I agree that first hand experience is the most trustworthy thing that we have and it certainly possible to experience the reality first handedly through awareness. But how can we trust the direct experience? How can we be sure that even a direct experience is 100% correct? How can we be sure that the Truth of enlightenment, so called "ultimate truth" is truly ultimate? That kept me wondering and I realized there is probably a lot more stuff beyond enlightenment to comprehend and realize but enlightenment still is worth pursuing because seems like it gives you an objective picture of our given reality. Who knows what is beyond our reality and what reality truly is.
    Day 4
    On this day we finally moved past the breathing technique and began the actual Vipassana. They were talking about Equanimity A LOT this day and next days and I myself really fell in love with this concept. What equanimity basically is is staying emotionally untouched by  the occurring phenomena, uncreativeness.
    Finally got introduced to vipassana technique. The technique of vipassana is observing the body in a certain manner, trying to feel the sensation in each part of your body and staying unreactive to pleasant\unpleasant\blank sensations, fully detached emotionally. They have a whole theory on how our body reacts to your emotional swings and the ability to control your emotions lies in mastering the skill to ignore and detach from the body reaction. All phenomena is impermanent, raising and passing away!
    That day we were introduced to Strong Determination Sitting and from this now on we had to do it for 1h 3 times per day!!!. For those who don't know what SDS is, it is basically sitting for a set amount of time without changing your posture, moving as less as possible. That was challenging! Of course, if the things went too south we were able to move and adjust but we were highly encouraged to do it as little as possible and preferably never at all.
    It was the hardest days of all for me because of SDS. Later it got easier.
    On a lecture they were talking a lot about equanimity and cause and effect topic. Basically about how we are fucking up our lives by our reactiveness and shitty mindsets. They kinda introduced us to context vs content concept. All situations are dependant on context and what really important is your intent, what you mean to do on your mental level. The content, i.e. what you speak and what you do, your "action" - doesn't matter that much. Everything starts from consciousness.They teach that all suffering comes from our reactiveness to a phenomena, from lack of equanimity, from not perceiving reality objectively as it is, which is quite true. And we were meant to receive a direct experience of this truth and also the truth of impermanent nature of the universe. All phenomena (everything!) has a property of arising and passing away. And holyshit, I've received a shit ton of direct experience of this! You better believe me. After some time I had a thought "damn, I imagine what would happen if I could receive a pickup training with such intensity"
    Day 5 
    That day everyone seemed so chill calm and me too… 
    True spirituality is about observing reality objectively as it is , not as we want it to be.
     (Reminds you of science manifesto)
    On lection they said that a lot of people leave on days 5-6 because it's too hard, well it certainly is hard.
    Day 6
    Holyshit, I develop equanimity with such a fast rate from all this practices. Equanimity is amazing, super foundational skill. It gives you the freedom and choice to react or not to react  and how to react to a phenomena. A must have skill in life. In that day I had huge realizations on how EQ (emotional intelligence) is so much more important than IQ (intellect) in almost all facets if your life. It is like 10-15x more important. It is pure emotional mastery, you HAVE to develop it if you are to do something in life.
    All days I was developing a cold and this day I actually got sick. I had rainy nose and with that it was 5x harder to meditate. I regretted I didn't take any medication with me. Althought this cold in some sick way helped to develop even more equanimity and sense the impermanent nature of reality even more, Anicha.
    My roommate saw my "suffering" , spoke to me and gave me a pill. That pill didn't help much but it was kinda nice to see that someone was flexible with rules just as I as I was keeping the journal.  On days 2 or 3 my pen died and I had no writing device anymore. But there was a marker in our dorm with which we were supposed to sign our plastic glasses. I had to sneak this marker everytime I wanted to write something and then return it. For me it was a separate quest, a stealth-like mission.
    I tried to ask for a medication from managers. They had everything I need but I needed the guru's permission to take it. Could only see guru the next day. Got some stage blue wibe from that.
    Day 7
    Couldn't sleep at night at all due to my cold. Anicha, Anicha, Anicha (impermamence in pali), repeated it like a mantra.
    Finally met a guru and got my cure. Feeling better but still sick.
    Still being amazed how big equanimity is. 
    Having a feeling that the best known self-development concepts and techniques regarding emotional mastery and self-mastery are almost identical to what Buddhism teaches. Most Leo's videos on these topics are basically a pure Buddhism philosophy. And that's great. I'd call it the advanced or the best version of psychology.
    Key insight of the day - All suffering comes from not accepting the reality as it is
    Day 8
    Was also a hard day for me. I got depressed by uncertainty regarding my life purpose and it led to a lot of negative thinking. Then I had thought that a true self-actualizing individual is unfazed by uncertainty, he embraces it. It helped.
    Also I got a deep realization that the only thing we ever have\had\will have is the current present moment. We live in that particular present moment. And what we do in that particular moment determines what we become in 3 days\5days\week\month\year\5 years\so on.
    That motivated me to push really hard with my practice.
    I also had some insights regarding how should I think about my life purpose.
    When I was "waving" my awareness through my spinal cord this day I happened to receive a ecstatic, orgasmic-like feeling across all spinal cord. It was continuing for like 2-3 minutes and then passed away. I thought of it as chakra activation. 
    I went to a guru and confronted him with that, I asked "What was that, could it be the kundalini energy awakening or some other shit?" - he told me some generic answer like don't distract yourself with labels, there are all kinds of pleasant sensations, don't get attached to them, everything Is anicha - arising and passing away.
    I had problems with my tailbone. When I was sitting for too much I experienced pain and discomfort in it. After this experience I feel like 90% less pain and discomfort in this place, almost nothing at all. Very interesting…
    Day 9 
    Finally got better, I think days 6-8 were the hardest days besides day 4 because of my sickness
    Realizing on a deeper level that reality is as it is and that I have the freedom to play the game however I want.
    Having an insight on leadership - Leadership is about other people reacting to 1 particular person.
    The less equanimity you have - the more likely you are to become a worshipper, a follower, to follow someone=to react
    Also got a realization that nearly all authorities try to limit open-mindedness and individuality. They try their best to fit you, to make you like everyone else, to kill your desire to experiment and stand out. Generally they do it for self-preserving purposes but also a lot of times they actually have good intentions. They try to keep you out of danger. In that sense this vipassana retreat is doing it too, probably more out of good intentions. They say that you should be an individual thinker but at the same time they try to sell you an idea that their vision on how to do spirituality and live life is the most optimal. Although they don't push it. This retreat is not a sect, and they do it not in the same rigid manner as government\conventional religion\college\businesses\your typical family does it. They do it very gently and almost unnoticeable . But I still noticed it. I think they are trying to prevent Zen Devils.
    Got a huge insight\realization on love.
    The only true love is accepting other person the way he really is, not as we'd like him to be. The only true love is unconditional love. Any other love is just loving your own pictures and images of this person in your head and cannot really be defined as loving the OTHER person. Any other love is purely egoic because you love YOUR own concept of a person.

    Day 10
    On that day the schedule was not as intense and we finally were able to speak with each other and with women too.  It was a little bit weird at first to "break the silence" but after a while everyone was socializing. It was very pleasurable to get to know like-minded people In real-life. Most of them were into spirituality and self-development work to various degrees. Most of the people here I'd estimate as stage Green in spiral dynamics with few of them skewing pretty hard to orange. Perhaps there were few stage yellow people but I didn't spot them. 
    Everyone had very different backgrounds and reasons to come to this retreat. Some of people were just ordinary folks having the most ordinary life you could possibly imagine but some of them were really hardcore taking hardcore 30-40 days retreats in monasteries in Thailand and doing psychedelics and all kinds of other things for personal development. It was actually a pretty nice experience to talk about all that crazy shit in real life with someone and these hardcore people were one of the most valuable to talk to. 
    We had a shit load of green talk discussing emotions, relationships, well-being, consciousness, healthy food, healthy drinks, medicine, alternative medicine (this one is very big), different styles of yoga (there were even a couple of yoga teachers), different meditation techniques (I got to know about gong meditation, lol), holotrop shamanic breathing (to my surprise it is super popular in Russia).
    I spoke with some women here and God it was amazing. I've never seen such open, "present in a moment" and "pure" women in my life. Spiritual women are the best. I think such women are the best girlfriend and marriage material. To be honest right now after seeing all this I don't know if I'll ever want to be in a serious relationship with a woman who is on not on "a path".
    It was super valuable experience for me as I am trying to embody green right now. The very important thing was that I managed to see the limitations of stage green. Most people here were not so much into action. They just loved to talk about everything and share their emotions and opinions. They mostly don't care about serious spirituality. They do it to feel happy, not to find the existential truth. They also don't care that much about advancing the society and having their own impact in it.
    I came to see guru for last time and asked him about enlightenment. He gave me some generic answers and said that in order to achieve enlightenment you have " to get rid of all impurities" . In their tradition they value ethics and morality very heavily and they align ethics with a path to enlightenment .  You could get the impression that this guru was quite useless but not really, he helped me greatly to grasp Buddhism concepts on a deeper level and see the implications of them in real life.
    So basically that is it, after 10 days were over we were able to go home.

        • I feel very surreal. Huge awareness of ego. It is greatly numbed but i still identify with my body and believe in a lot of stuff of what i am capable or not capable of doing
        • I am completely open to accepting reality, other people and different perspectives completely as they are, I feel like I moved to stage yellow greatly and tapped a bit into turquoise . 
        • My values shifted and now Truth is the 1st priority
        • Got a direct experience of chakras and "energetic body"
        • My body awareness increased like 30x from the vipassana technique. Now I am able to send electrical signals throughout my whole body if I want to. Performance in gym greatly increased from that.
        • I'm 10x more equanimous. I don't care about petty stuff nearly at all, it feels like 99% of petty things can't trigger me (before it was like 70%) 
        • I feel 5-10x more mindful throughout the day and have better ability to "maintain" this mindfulness
        • My ability to concentrate increased tremendously (10-15x)
        • My capacity for compassion greatly increased.
        • I have 0 urge to criticize and judge others. Deep realization that it is all meaningless
        • My ability to contemplate deep stuff and see connections greatly increased
        • I have a shit ton of creative ideas on business and life
        • Deep desire to go implement them
        • Addiction to social media, phone and useless chatting greatly reduced. Having a lot of awareness on how to work on other addictions\unwanted behaviors (for example certain unconscious  eating patterns)
        • A desire to be mindful\aware as much as possible and as DEEP as possible (to see\notice more stuff on a more profound level)
        • Developed a big tolerance to physical discomfort\pain

    P.S. if you decide to go to such a retreat I advice you to work on your meditation posture beforehand, to learn half-lotus or something like that, having poor  improper posture makes all of this experience extra painful. Also, don't forget to take some basic medication to not rely on some guru's permission.

    If you have any questions regarding my experience - feel free to ask them

  4. 10 day vipassana retreat report
    10 day vipassana retreat report
    It was the toughest experience of my life.
    it was an S.N. Goenka vipassana center.
    I dont remember most of my time there.
    day 0
    arriving to the meditation center, i felt slightly nervous but very excited and well.
    day 1
    The hardest day for me. Practicing anapana, my mind started to clean up a bit and tons of emotional baggage came out. I cried 2 times that day. once during a meditation, second during the tea break, being outside. 
    day 2
    extremely tough day, almost as the first one. I was scared regarding my meditation posture because I thought I might damage my back or knees. I figured out the right meditation posture only on day 4, using a bench and pillows under my knees.
    day 3
    Generally speaking, the only part of the day I liked was the dhamma talk in the evening. I was counting days until I could finish already the course.
    day 4
    that's the day we started learning vipassana. The learning was in the evening, 2 hours. the whole day and previous days ive been waiting to get to start learning vipassana, it was very tough to sit out whole meditations. those 2 hours were absolute torture, I had pains throughout my whole body and my mental state was horrible, I couldnt wait to get out.
    day 5
    I couldnt understand how to properly do the technique. I was very confused and my mind wandered a lot because of it. nevertheless, I think it was the easiest day so far.
    Every possible occasion on which I could ask the assistant teacher questions until this day I did, always, during the interview times in the noon and during question time in the evening. 
    day 6
    Since approximately day 3 i've been feeling LSD-like thoughts. extremely creative, my imagination was extremely detailed, my analytical skills were very sharp and clear. With that, extremely intense fear came up, worse than a bad trip. when you're tripping at least you know you're on a chemical, here (in my mind at the time) it seemed like I was getting psychotic or depersonalized. it was something like that:
    Most of the day up until the strong determination sitting at 3:30pm the meditation was relatively easy, I started to get in touch with equanimity and could sit without struggle. I was surprised people were saying this day was one of the toughest. Before the strong determination sitting, I asked the assistant teacher during the interview how should I go about asking him questions, up until now my mind was a question generating machine, so I stopped trying to ask questions and just went on with the technique. During the strong determination sitting, I started feeling my body melting, for a moment I stopped existing and I freaked out a ton. on the intellectual level, I understood that my fears were irrational, but since my LSD trip I had a slight fear that there might be something wrong with me and during that time it came up. I started to fear I'd get depersonalized, i'd get back home to my parents and they would see a zombie (they didnt approve of this retreat). after that, I tried to surrender to the fear constantly and told myself i will pass, but much more different fears came up. at the end of the day, when falling asleep, again fear came up and I surrendered to it. What happened next I guess was a kundalini rising experience. I felt extremely intense energy in the abdomen and in the chest and it was going up to my throat. I felt like a huge snake was coming up from the belly to the throat, I actually felt it in the throat very clearly. I fell asleep shortly after, surrendering and knowing it will pass.
    day 7
    Because of last night, I felt a very heavy feeling in the chest, burning sensation with pressure, which lasted until the last day. I started to be extremely emotional. every slight little emotion I felt as something jumping in my chest. cried a few times.
    day 8
    When you do vipassana, you're supposed to sense scan the body, sense sensations and be equanimous with them. most of my practice because of the fear that arised I was busy being equanimous with the sensation of fear, and not with different parts of the body.
    Nearing the end of the day, I fell into a state of perfect equanimity. intense fear was there, but I didnt care about it. the realization of the fact that i didnt care created more fear, but I didnt care about that fear also. I didnt care about any sensation in my body. this state passed.
    day 9
    couldnt meditate very well because I was waiting for the 10th day to finish the course, a lot of thoughts of possible things i will say to people came up.
    During the evening I contemplated the reason for all my fears. earlier I prevented myself to think about them and just surrendered to them, I think it was a mistake. I have done shadow work previously but didnt get anywhere. Here, I realize all of my fears point to "Im not good enough".
    for example, I contemplated why do i fear being depersonalized -> because my parents would suffer -> I would be a bad person.
    another example, I fear saying the wrong thing to people -> because I would be stupid or they wont want to hang out with me -> im a loser
    another one, I fear going crazy -> because others will see me as crazy -> im a loser
    during the retreat I think i overcame these fears to a certain extent and they dont affect me as much anymore
    day 10
    amazing day, talking to people was so refreshing, my fear went away, cried a few times during the loving kindness meditations. only at the end of that day I truly understood how im supposed to be working with the technique properly, ironically, after finishing the course.
    day 11
    came back home, during the whole day I felt very equanimous, my family is very negative and i was very sensitive so i felt some sad emotions sometimes, but i was ok with it.
    What I got out of it:
    A way to deal with my laziness. My laziness is extremely severe and it damages a lot of areas of my life. now I know a way in which to overcome it: to feel the sensation of not wanting to do something and to know it will pass, and to do the thing I want. the sensation usually passes very quickly. i will be practicing vipassana daily for some time now. I see it as a technique which will bring balance into my life, which is one of the most important things in life, if not the most important. I understood better the theory I learned in Leo's videos and understood experientially better what spirituality is about. A lot of old unpleasant memories that I didnt think about for a long time came up and I managed them. I feel like I know better what to do with my life now. I feel very equanimous and I have much more willpower. I still have very strong cravings, but I know how to deal with them. I understood better the value of communication with people, barely talking to anyone in 10 days. I realized how much I love my family and how attached I am to them. I understood what people talk about when they say that during practices like self inquiry they have a fear which prevents them from going further. I definitely felt like if I'd surrender something unexplainably bad is going to happen. I understood better how to deal with fear, more experience with it. I actually feel like on the spiritual path now, as when before I felt like an amateur. I opened my heart much more. I realized all my fears originate in "im not good enough" overcame fears overcame the extreme difficulty of meditating the whole day proved to myself i can be really hardworking. I never slept or anything like that when I had meditation time, while i've noticed others do sleep. this experience made me a more strong and mature person. I was the youngest person there, 20 years old. I feel greatful that I started to know what life is about at such an early age. It gives me confidence that ill be able to achieve great results at a young age and serve others more. I stopped craving for spiritual experiences, they pass. I care more about liberating myself now. I understood how to actually work mindfully, a lot of concepts I learned in the past make sense now. I know how to deal with my lack of satisfaction in the present moment. I crave for something that doesnt exist. I understood how much I care about my ego. for a few moments here and there i reconnected with my inner child and have seen the world with wonder as i have seen it then. I decided to quit porn for good I understood how to eat healthier

  5. The Mean Green Meme
    The Mean Green Meme
    Felt like sharing excerpts from A Theory Of Everything by Ken Wilber that sums up greens eternal pitfall so well. Keep in mind the book is from the year 2001.
    This is so unfortunate and almost painful to read, especially if you’ve been like that yourself. Super important thing to watch out for though.
    “In fact, Beck and Cowan found that less than 10% of the world's population is at green (and almost all of that is in the Western civilization block, which is a massive embarrassment for the green multiculturalists, who champion everything except Western civilization).
    As Beck and Cowan (and virtually all developmental researchers) constantly stress, the blue meme is an absolutely crucial, unavoidable, necessary building block of the higher stages (including green), and yet green does virtually everything in its power to destroy blue wherever it finds it. Green has introduced more harm in the last thirty years more than any other meme. The world at large- and much of America- is simply not ready for green pluralism.
    When green dissolves blue, it cripples the spiral of development. It makes it absolutely impossible for purple and red to develop further, because there is no blue base to accept the development. Green is thus horribly damaging the overall spiral of human unfolding, here and abroad, and thus erasing much of the undeniable good that green can, and has, done on its own. On a sturdy blue and then orange foundation, green ideals can be built. No blue and orange, no green. Thus green's attack on blue and orange is profoundly suicidal. The more green succeeds, the more it destroys itself.”

  6. SpiralDynamics
    Is Switzerland already in Spiral Dynamics stage yellow?
    @Scholar Well said, and I agree overall. However IMO it’s important not to conflate a solidly Green person stuck in a Blue/Orange system as being somehow not actually Green. That one person can’t change the entire system by him/herself. That doesn’t mean they’re only 2% Green. They can be 85% Green and still have to make sacrifices and compromises on their values to function in a society that is far behind. 
    I’m reading Spiral Dynamics In Action right now, and it’s interesting because I feel that Don Beck himself over-values certain companies and countries. For example calling Whole Foods a Green/Yellow corporation and the Nordic countries on the brink of Yellow. I presume he’d say something similar to what you were: that we’re comparing companies and countries relative to where we are, not the utopian version of the Meme. So yes in 200 years Green will be much more proliferate in all aspects of society, but that’s not to say that Green is non-existent today. It just means that the entrenched society hasn’t backed it up yet, so Greens are constantly walking upstream.