2013 Buddhist Geeks Conference, stream entry, kensho, and OBEs

August 26, 2013

I had an interesting conversation with a couple of young men at the 2013 Buddhist Geeks Conference. We were talking about something named “stream entry”. I didn’t know what that was, but it sounds like it’s similar to kensho in the Zen world.

I asked a few questions about it, and they spoke of it a little bit, but their descriptions were a little too abstract for me. They did say that if I had experienced it, I wouldn’t forget it, but there’s the rub, and the point of this post: I’ve already had more than 100 or 200 OBEs, so I’m not sure a kensho-like experience would blow me away that much.

In fact, after reading up on kensho, I have had experiences like that, at least the peace of mind that they refer to after the experience. It really is an absolute stillness of the mind. As I type here right now, there isn’t much going on in my mind, I know that, but in the kensho-like experiences I’ve had, there was absolutely nothing going on in my mind.

It’s like right now I can tell that I’m not thinking about anything but this typing, the music that’s currently playing, and occasionally the other images I have on screen at this moment, but in the post-kensho experiences, there was absolutely nothing. It was just like being one with eternal space, and the absence of time as well. Those experiences were truly wonderful -- I’m not complaining at all, I’d welcome more -- but after the OBEs, they weren’t that mind-blowing.

I guess what I’m thinking is that it’s a matter of perspective. If you’ve never had experiences like those, they will be pretty awesome -- they are all awesome -- but if you’ve had OBEs before, a kensho (stream entry) experience may not completely blow your mind. Again, don’t get me wrong, if this is anything like what I have experienced, it’s a wonderful state of mind (and maybe I don’t know what a real stream entry experience is), but I’m very happy with everything I’ve had.

The point

Oops, I got off on a tangent there. The point of this story was going to be that I didn’t tell them about the OBEs. I would like to discuss these with more people, but we were in a group of about eight people at the time, and I didn’t want to say, “So, I’ve had about 200 OBEs, how about you guys?” Maybe I’ll try that next year. :)

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