Here's my collection of resources and how it came about.
Sam Harris ran an AMA on Reddit, and I replied to someone’s post and pointed to an earlier post about my waking up experience after reading “Waking Up.” Another Redditor read my post and had a similar experience and asked me a question. Here’s my answer, edited and linkified.
Telling people the story of my experience has been helpful. Whenever I’d tell the story, I’d relive the experience and wake up again. And of course, I’d realize how asleep I had gotten between tellings. I’ve blogged about it a bit. Check out, in no particular order, these
I tried an online meditation course from Aro Meditation. They follow Dzogchen practice more-or-less. I found the course helpful, but it did not stick.
I read Daniel Ingram’s “Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha” which I wrote about. It was helpful but failed to light the necessary spark. Ingram has put out a new edition of the book which is free on the web. I’ve started to take another look.
Until Sam Harris Waking Up Course, I have not been able to stick with a practice. Sam’s 10 minutes a day was a good starting point for me. Just right for me. I wrote about it when I started here. I finished the 50 days in probably 51 days and wrote about it here, here, and here
After day 50 you get a new 10 minute guided meditation each day. I’ve got 36-day streak going right now.
I have found Sam’s guidance clumsy at times—this is not his day job. Still, he’s helpful. And the more I have done his practice, the more useful his guidance has become. Sometimes he’s given me instructions that haven’t resonated. But he’s persistent, and I am, and through repetition, I am connecting to more and more of his guidance. Patience is a key.
Recently I’ve read two books have been VERY helpful. One is “The Mind Illuminated” which I wrote about here This author, who goes by Culadasa, is a guy who knows his stuff. He makes small distinctions in the language that he uses that have made big differences in my understanding. He has ten Stage approach. The first Stage is nothing more than “showing up regularly.” I think that’s brilliant. Too many others are too ambitious: “show up and do X, Y, Z.” But Culadasa knows that’s too hard for a beginner. The first Stage is just developing a regular practice, nothing more. And that’s enough. I’m still not there. But I am making progress.
Next “Shift Into Freedom” by Loch Kelley. I dislike the language that he uses, but I like his approach. He also follows Dzogchen and Sam. Both he and Sam studied with the same master: Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
Kelly introduces the idea of “glimpses,” and I have found that helpful. He says (as does “The Mind Illuminated”) that people often have moments of clarity or enlightenment, but they don’t notice them. They pass away quickly. Through training, you can learn to discern these glimpses more reliably, and produce glimpses more frequently.
Kelly has exercises that he says can help give you glimpses. That’s inspired me to more practice the “waking up in the movie theater” exercise, which gives me a glimpse. Now instead of having to tell the whole story, I can use intention.
I intend “waking up like in the movie theater,” and that does it for me: not a stable state, but a glimpse.