When I had my opening in my teens, and for several years after, I was "hooked" on meditation and prayer - resting in and deepening the tremendous bliss, clarity, luminance in a transdual state. I did it several times a day, often for long times.
Then, when I moved to Wisconsin a some years back, everything fell apart. I had no support around me, and other aspects of my life made me go into a downward spiral - into small mind and reaching rock bottom.
Ironically, this is what I sensed I needed in the years prior to this. I was very familiar with a more transdual way of experiencing the world, but not the contracted and small mind. I knew this during my time in Wisconsin, but it did not make the pain any lighter. Contrary to everything I had learned and experienced previously, I resisted just about everything I experienced.
There was also a very strong resistance to any spiritual practice - which was baffling to me as meditation and prayer came so easy for me in the years prior to this. This only deepened and further fueled my despair.
Coming to Oregon, I sensed this would open up and release, and it did. I found Breema, and am re-learning much of what came so naturally for me earlier.
My meditation practice has also shifted. I am now, as earlier, more able to be with whatever comes up and use it as a fuel for awareness.
I can be with whatever thoughts, emotions, sensations arises. Whatever arises is a reminder to bring awareness to awareness. Insights I want to write down, pain or tension in shoulders or lower back, thoughts of things I want/need to do, sadness, despair, frustration, irritability, joy, exhilaration, wishing to be somewhere else, wishing to be here.
Instead of contacting them through pushing away or fuelling, they unfold in awareness - fluidly and always as new. They expand spacious awareness, and there is a current of awareness and bliss.
All this is also a reminder of how self-image shifts in this process. From being more fixed and rigid, it becomes very fluid and insubstantial. It adapts to whatever comes up - any sensations, emotions and thoughts, and as these processes - is always new.
From being something fixed enough to be called self-image, it becomes just observing what arises in the always changing now.