I would like to highlight some obstacles one would have encountered or are encountering in the quest towards the spiritual path. This is based on my personal experience and I think they are important information for those who are budding meditators, or contemplating taking up meditation.
Starting at the physical level, when one meditates up to a certain level, his sensitivity towards energy would be definitely heightened, thus making him more aware of those energy blockages in his body system. Pains, or other bodily discomforts, which he has or has never felt before seem to intensify or spring up over night over his body. As one meditates more, one would soon overcome these energy blockages which would in turn help heal some of those physical conditions that manifest those discomforts. As one clears those blockages one could feel the prickly sensations, especially around the more sensitive parts of his body - neck, cheeks and the ridges of the nose. This comes about as one develops sensitivity to energy at the etheric subtle body level. The process is physical cleansing, and it is repetitive as one progresses through the levels.
Alongside with these physical discomforts, some would also experience emotional upheavals - their rise and fall. Past and dormant emotional issues, some of which you would have almost forgotten, seem to be resurrected for no rhyme and reason, and you might become temperamental or susceptible to extreme mood swings. Your emotions would become reactive and vulnerable to slightest external stimuli, and they play havoc on your mind, making you angry, building up your hatred as well as other negative feelings. This is the stage that one must not falter and lose faith or give up on your spiritual practice. This is called state of emotional cleansing, where all the emotional debris would continue to surface, and the more you meditate the better you are in coming to terms with these emotional disturbances. They come about because you are becoming sensitive to the energy, as well those emotional blockage, mind sets, at the emotional and mental energy subtle body levels. As you meditate further, you would begin to gear your energy body to vibrate at higher levels, thus neutralizing those emotional and even mental blockages which are of lower vibrations. So this is what I feel is a crucial obstacle test conjured up by the Higher Up as you progress through your spiritual path.
The other obstacle test, which some of us might experience, or might have already experienced, is the unexpected encounters with the various unearthly energy entities, some of which are downright horrifying and hostile. They show up in your dreams, in your meditation sessions and on your awakened occasions when you least expect them. They haunt and taunt you but if you are firm and persevered, they cannot harm you. Or, they might camouflage themselves as the most holy Buddha or your most beloved angels to entice you and give you a false sense of fulfillment. It is said that one would encounter this state during the dying moment, and in the Tibetan “Book of Death" there is a mention of encounter with the wrathful deities during the moment of dying. (I suppose those who experience NDE (Near Death Experience) would have something to comment about these metaphysical encounters. ) Anyway, these entities would mislead you to believe you are the chosen one and that you have attained or “ascended", when in actual fact you are still not ready. The Buddhist wisdom advises that:" when you see the Demon kill him, when you see Buddha, kill him" - meaning you ignore them and do not hold any attachments towards them. This comes about as you develop your energy and are beginning to access the astral level where most of these entities are residing.
Especially, this is how I rationalize for myself when I am confronted with unexplainable emotional upheaval and mood-swings. The all important consideration is never to allow our judgments to be swayed and prompted us to act irrationally or foolishly, and later live to regret our mistakes. Easier said than done?
I end this note with a quote which has aptly summed up what I have written:
"On the physical level being out of balance may manifest as fatigue, on the emotional level as mood swings, or negative emotions, on the mental level as negative thinking. Improper diet may be another example on the physical level. On the spiritual level it may be meditating too much or too little. A balanced person is a calm person, who has inner peace. A balanced person has detachment but is also very responsive to self, other people and life. " (Copyright 1997 by Dr. Joshua David Stone. )
By Anthony Leong