The writer is telling a correspondant that 'freezing one's thoughts' is not the same as enlightenment.
It makes me wonder whether the prolonged trancy stare of the gurus you've all met cause our thoughts to freeze, merely because our eyes become fixed on them, whether by fascination, adoration, or terror (which is probably what happens to his victims when certain abusive teachers launches verbal assaults on their victims).
It appears that when our gaze is fixed on a person or object, a common neurological glitch kicks in that causes our visual field to 'white out' and our thoughts to freeze up. This can trigger unusual mental experiences that are highly uncanny and that an unscrupulous teacher can employ to empower him or herself at your expense.
So, it isnt clear whether meeting a pair of eyes in a prolonged stare is hypnotic, or whether anything that causes us to fix our gaze -whether its a pair of tratakam-trained eyes, a photograph, wall or a candle flame is enough to trigger the effect. Must ask more questions.
I invite correspondants and visitors to this thread (especially Word Girl) to read this, mull it over and tell us if this is not quite what you encountered, or if it seems to account for part, or all of what you have encountered.
I've encountered visual 'white out' many times while gazing at the wall during Zen practice. Zennies learn to recognize all this as 'makyo'--illusions, tricks of the mind.
(quote from discussion on one of the Google listserves)
"nirodha", cessation, isn't Awakening. (Nor does "nibbana" mean cessation in the sense of "snuffing out", it means "unbinding", in the way that fire,in the Buddha's day, was believed to be released from imprisonment in its fuel when it burnt out.)
A cessation of mentation as a result of intense concentration _may_ be a precursor to Awakening in some "accidental" enlightenment experiences (e.g. Eckhart Tolle's, or John Wren-Lewis'), or in some very thorough systematic approaches (like the Theravada), but it is not Awakening itself: or, put it this way, it isn't a _necessary_ precursor to Awakening. In fact, Awakening is a BREAK in any form of samadhi-like concentration (taking "samadhi" in its lesser meaning - for it can also mean the Result itself, in some systems). It's (that is, genuine awakening) is at complete right angles to anything you've ever experienced or imagined.
It's like this: if you fix your gaze, the *saccades (the little
jerkings about) that your eyes constantly unconsciously make* the saccades cease, and *because the visual system normally sees things by noticing borders, edges and differences*, the visual system "whites out".
(This fact is taken advantage of in some Daoist practices, and some Dzogchen Longde practices, if I'm not mistaken - right Namdrol?)
'Since the whole mental system works in an analogous way, by noticing differences, I believe something analogous may happen if the _whole mental system_ is "frozen" in a concentrative state - it ceases to experience anything at all*. BUT THAT IS NOT AWAKENING.
The URL for the citation is here. For full context go to the thread and read the articles before and after to get the full context.