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The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity

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The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Kenneth Folk 2/28/09 3:43 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity tarin greco 2/28/09 8:22 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/1/09 5:30 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Wet Paint 3/1/09 6:57 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Daniel M. Ingram 3/1/09 8:44 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/2/09 2:00 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Trent S. H. 3/2/09 1:53 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Wet Paint 3/4/09 1:20 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Greg G 3/4/09 4:53 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity beta wave 3/18/09 8:17 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/18/09 12:47 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/19/09 6:51 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Kenneth Folk 3/19/09 2:22 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Kenneth Folk 3/19/09 2:36 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Trent S. H. 3/19/09 5:42 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/19/09 6:24 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/19/09 6:30 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/19/09 6:36 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity lena lozano 3/27/09 11:09 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity beta wave 3/28/09 12:24 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Greg G 3/28/09 9:48 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity lena lozano 3/28/09 9:06 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Daniel M. Ingram 3/28/09 9:45 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 3/29/09 5:46 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Wet Paint 4/8/09 8:42 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity tarin greco 4/9/09 12:29 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Trent S. H. 4/9/09 1:57 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 4/9/09 3:26 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Vincent Horn 4/9/09 5:51 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity triple think 4/9/09 6:22 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jackson Wilshire 4/9/09 6:44 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Wet Paint 4/9/09 1:54 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity John Finley 4/9/09 3:12 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Wet Paint 4/10/09 2:43 PM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Dark Night Yogi 6/21/09 2:58 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Dark Night Yogi 6/21/09 3:06 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Trent S. H. 6/21/09 4:37 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Dark Night Yogi 6/21/09 5:19 AM
RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity Jason Massie 12/11/16 6:41 PM
Forum: The Progress of Insight (part three)

This thread is a place to respond to or ask questions about The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
2/28/09 8:22 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
bra-fucking-vo! great installment.

the yogi definitely has to re-learn the art of concentration. crappy concentration in equanimity stage? chronic equanimity yogi. i want to add, to what kenneth wrote, that the kind of concentration needed in that middle period of equanimity he's referring to doesn't have to look like something special. it certainly doesn't look like a&p concentration, nor does it even have to look like the panoramic, early eq concentration of sky-like mind, just letting everything come through, that happens when things start to really get moving again. that kinda concentration is often very ordinary, simple, not particularly concentrated, don't necessarily notice if it's a sky-like mind or not. 'ordinary' is probably the best word.. and ordinary often doesn't recognise itself. it's having gotten so used to just paying attention, and just walking around, doing your thing, pop!

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/1/09 5:30 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Ah, yes, "surrender". That wonderfully miserable process that I am having to re-learn at present. For me, the type of surrender needed to complete my current stage seems more deep and vast than the last one. My practice will have to be one of letting go.

Kenneth, I loved this! Great writing.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/1/09 6:57 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Author: garyrh

Kenneth this is great.

Although you have put this into the nana framework, this also really hits the spot for me at the moment with practical path considerations. There is a recognition of effort and just being aware. Just being aware of mind objects passing through (and that's okay).

It is a real help that you related the mandala experience apart from the fascinating content, I like how these experiences can be open for examination. Examination and relating of experiences like this gives the dharma "life" and viberance.

Loved it; Thanks

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/1/09 8:44 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
To AWouldBeHipster,

As to just letting to in Equanimity, this is one possible option, and in your case may have its points, but that said, Equanimity can take balanced, wide, strong moment to moment concentration just fine, and this often enhances aspects of it and may lead to quicker progress. That said, I do remember when I had crossed the A&P before second path and Kenneth was staying with me for a time, and I was cooking myself through powerful fixation on vibrations in the Dark Night that followed it, and he recommended I stop practicing for 3 days, and on about the 3rd day of completely ignoring practice and just going to work I got second path, so who knows?

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/2/09 2:00 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Hey Daniel,

Thanks for the comment. It seems that the main problem I have is getting out of Re-Ob. During Re-Ob, any sort of rosie-colored-glasses I had on prior to the Dark Night come straight off, and there's no way of faking equanimity by ignoring how messed up the world looks. So what I've had to do is stop my regular sitting practice for a while, say a whole day or two, and observe reality out in the world -- the whole damn suffering catastrophe that is the phenomenological universe. After really looking at it for a while (myself and everything/everyone else), without sugar-coating any of it, I eventually come to grips with the suffering for a bit, and then equanimity begins to arise during sitting meditation.

I tried this yesterday and it worked. I got close to really High Equanimity before bead. I got to a place where all formations were easily noticed as they were arising at all 6 sense doors, which only happened when i got really close to getting Path the first time around.

Anyway, I think the advice to chill out for a while is good, be it a day or three days. For some reason I get stuck if I just try to power through. Again, it really feels like something needs to break during Re-Ob, and that it can only happen to me if I'm out in the world, observing the chaotic unsatisfactory nature of everything and letting myself become as intimately aware of it as possible. I hope I find another way to get through it in the future. It's not a fun process.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/2/09 1:53 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Equanimity has always been the thorn in my side, moreso than the dark nights even. The times I have been stuck were all while in this stage, either because I had talked myself into thinking high equanimity was "it, I'm done" or because I was trying to force myself through a stage that just isn't conducive to zealotry. In fact, the deepest underlying cycle within my practice right now is equanimity, and I am likely trying too hard right now as well :p.

Every time I've been through a "deep" equanimity stage, I've gotten through it by chilling out, tuning into the peace, and turning attention toward a loose, wide & gentle recognition of phenomena arising and passing. To me, it felt a lot like lazy meditation that would lead to nowhere!

The only thing I would add to what has been said is: be careful of mistaking this territory for something it isn't. Also, as we escalate through equanimity, we may often feel a like some big event is building up (which is true), but we must remember to relax and flow with it, as counter intuitive as it feels at the time. Let everything be okay and it'll pop. Sweet.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/4/09 1:20 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Author: Ant_808

Very nice,
This information is so timely for me it's uncanny. I sat down this morning I had already decided to start concentration meditation again and then when i finished my sit I realized "oh I have to start this concentration process all over again" becuase my sit felt exactly like "crappy concentration".

So I will be making good use of all that has been mentioned here.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/4/09 4:53 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
awouldbehipster
Are you doing walking practice also with your sitting practice? For me, during retreats, I find that I usually pass from Patisanka (Re-Ob) to Sankaruppeka (Equanimity) yanna during my walking practice. With my walking practice, it seems like if my steps are very precise and exact, it feels like I can move up through the barrier more quickly. I dont know how to explain it that well. Its sort of a feeling. I know im close when the walking steps start feeling lighter and easier and then I get more precise with the steps, increase concentration with a wider scope and not focusing or locking on the foot or its movement. Usually, fairly quickly, I move up through a speed bump thing that feels like a barrier or seperation zone between Equanimity and the Dark Night garbage. When sitting, i dont notice this barrier, usually its just that something has happened and then equanimity is there. Also if my practice is sloppy or lazy, and i start to feel like im dropping back down the precise steps can delay or stop me from going back down to Patisanka, sometimes.

A good friend who has done a ton of retreats has told me that its possible to stay in Sankarupeka indefinitely, once there by gradually cutting sleep down to 4 hours hour a night and mainting practice. He was in Equanimity for weeks. Obviously, thats not the goal, but if that helps to be able to move on thats great. I havent tried it myself yet but our teacher has told us that sleeping too much (more than 6 hours) covers up conditions of yannas.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/18/09 8:17 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth's page and these quotes are very helpful!

I'm realizing that with noting practice "wide and gentle" is the way, and with kasina practice "resting gently on" is the way. Very similar feel.

Anticipating does seem to be a problem, so I'm saying to myself "it is always unexpected" (a rough quote from daniel's book) to de-charge the build up.

Thanks everyone.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/18/09 12:47 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
I think that's a healthy attitude to have in regards to getting Path. It happens when it happens. I remember straining in anticipation, trying to make sure I wouldn't miss it. Ha! When it hit, I wasn't looking, and boy did I notice.

It's a balancing game, and it looks like your finding a balance. Good work!

Jackson

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 6:51 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Hi Kenneth,

Due to my increasing interest in chakras and energy models, I've made some observations in my practice that I'd like to run by you. First, you wrote…

"It is helpful to think of the Progress of Insight as a vertical movement upward through ever more subtle layers of mind, culminating in the Path moment, in which Nibbana is seen for the first time at that level, forever removing the energy blockages in that section of the mind."

I've noticed that my cycles through the 11th ñana of Second Path is accompanied with lots of activity in the Brow or Third-Eye chakra. As I relax and stay present with the energy with equanimity, the Fruition moment occurs and the energy moves noticeably upward to the top of my head (Crown chakra). I noticed a similar movement/process during First Path, but it wasn't as obvious (I guess my concentration is much better now). If I understand the above statement from your page, it sounds like these energetic movements need to occur at each strata of mind, layer by layer (i.e. subsequent paths), in order to permanently free up the blockages. Is that correct? If that's the case, it seems as though there are chakras within chakras... a kind of chakra fractal model (I promise I'll stop there with the models).

As a side note, I've noticed that after the Fruition moment, when the energy moves to the Crown chakra region, attaining concentration jhanas is effortless and unshakeable. I tried the thing where I imagined pinching my nose, and it really does work as a good bench mark between first and second samatha jhana.

Any comments or further elaborations?

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 2:22 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Jackson, your experience of "lots of activity at the brow chakra" is consistent with my own experience pre-3rd Path. I told Bill Hamilton that it felt like something was hatching out up there. It kind of pulsed and itched and rooted around.

So... here's some really provocative stuff: Pre-3rd Path is the best time to discover and explore the Pureland jhanas. The circuit hasn't yet been completed from the level of the brow/3rd eye chakra, so you can focus on that chakra without fear of going beyond the Pureland territory and thereby missing it. There are two ways to develop Pureland 1, and they work together.

1) Recite "Namo Amitabha," understanding that Amitabha Buddha *promised* you a place in the Pureland if you sincerely invoked his name. I know, it's lame and irrational, but it worked for me.

2) Focus on the brow chakra with the samatha technique. You are looking for exquisitely pleasant sensations that make all prior jhanas pale in comparison, as well as a palpable sense of gratitude. (You might even find yourself feeling grateful to Amitabha Buddha...hmmm, weird.)

By the way, the brow chakra activity isn't just due to improved concentration. You are building the circuitry. It's physio-energetic growth. Psychic anatomy. What a trip!

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 2:36 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Jackson,

The chakras within chakras/fractal chakra model has its merits.

Another, more linear way to model is as follows:

-A linear, vertical development up through the chakras for both 1st and 2nd Paths.
-A completion of a circuit in which every chakra connects with every other, from the level of the brow chakra/third eye chakra. This web effect, parallel to Indra's net, in which every chakra is connected to every other, is why 3rd Path is a quantum leap development beyond the first two Paths, which are simply linear growth.
-Completion of the circuit, including all of the web-building of 3rd Path, but from the level of the crown chakra, resulting in 4th Path.

Lately, I favor non-fractal models (although as a sakadagami I was crazy for them), just because they are easier to conceive, and probably serve the purpose of creating a conceptual framework just as well as a more complicated model. The important thing to keep in mind when modeling is that all models eventually break down. And by the way, there is nothing wrong with being a model nut as a sakadagami. It's not even a hindrance. It's just the nature of the beast for those indoctrinated into the four paths/Progress of Insight model. If you weren't obsessing about models, you'd be obsessing about American Idol or the state of the economy. Pas de probleme. Just note it. Above all, concentrate your behind off.

Bon courage,

Kenneth

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 5:42 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Hi Kenneth,

I disagree here, but only slightly. I do not take issue with the maps themselves, but with the opportunity cost of obsessive mapping. If a mind is working on making a map or trying to find your place on the map, then it is not (or is only half-heartedly) investigating reality. If I have a new fruition and my first thought is "oh my god, did I just get a new path?" then I would obviously be missing out on what is actually happening right then, right there, and possibly missing out on important subtleties of the experiences.

On a macro scale, a person could be wasting hours and hours on mapping when they could be using that time more wisely-- perhaps on the investigation of reality that would actually push them forward by gaining realizations. This is why I only like maps for those times when a person is stuck or has easily distinguished experiences that clearly correlate with the maps.

I think a lot of this boils down to goals. If your only real goal is finishing the thing, then maps can get in the way a lot. If you're just flat out intrigued to no end about the entire process and feel that exhausting the maps in real time is appropriate, then that's all good and well.

-Trent

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 6:24 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth,

I definitely feel a lot of "rooting around" as you say. It's actually causing me to get some minor headaches, but it isn't distressing at all. I'm mostly just trying to groove with it.

I haven't played around with the arupa jhanas yet, mostly cause I haven't devoted as much time to jhana practice as I could. Pure Land jhana sounds a little advanced for me. I'm going to devote some more time to samatha practice and get back to you on this.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 6:30 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth,

The model you presented makes more practical sense than the chakra fractal idea, so thanks for spelling it out. I'm definitely still working through the vertical development, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about finishing this part of it up.

I'm already aware of some ways in which the models break down, and I'm sure I'll see more of this in the future. The models are just effective enough to help with progress, even though they aren't perfect.

Thanks again for the great advice.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/19/09 6:36 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Trent,

I agree with you about this, as I have noticed that obsessing about the maps and "where I'm at" during a sitting or other time designated for contemplation is a big fat waste of time and resources. I spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking and journaling about the maps while I'm at work (usually in an email message, which I usually send to myself if it's any good. N.E.R.D. spells Jackson).

My overall goal is to finish the thing as quickly as possible, but I'm also enjoying the mastery process. I figure that if I can learn the ins and outs of a particular stage in detail, I can better help other people through it. Not only is it fun, it also fits quite nicely in to the big picture.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/27/09 11:09 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
i am going for the first path,it took me 8yearly ten days retreats and 1-2 hours of daily practice to cross a&p.crossing a&p took place at home couple of weeks after retreat,and crossing dark night took few monthes more at home.on last retreat i bounced few times throuh dark night into equanimity,get to feel al my body-mind structure as constantly changing flame and note finest vbration arising and passing.also i dont know if there is some connection -i felt lightheadness coming and going during all the retreat,even stronger on last day when we started tolking.after reading Daniels book i prepared miself for long strugle with dark night and whenit passed so cuicly and i found myself in equanimity i thouhgt i ll cross it in this last retreat but i didnt even come to see formations(i dont know what they are yet).dont missanderstand mi-i am ok whith realization it wil take time now,and try to get more familiar with the territory ia m bouncing in-recognizing folling into dark night and getting out of it and enjoy the easiness of equanimity-easy sitting, nothing too heavy or unbearable-can look throuh whatever comes on me,bu t without sounding despaired-will it take me possibly years and years more to cross equanimity as it took so long to cross a&p even with persistent practice?or 10 day retreat dosnt give enough time to build proper momentum-and longer course will be needed?outside of all i wrote-i definitely enjoy change for better in myiself and my life after each retreat-happy i ever got in to this practice.will apreciate everybody answer.so good to have this forum.my respect to all.Elena

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/28/09 12:24 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Hi Elena, I couldn't help replying because your post sounds like a lot of the thoughts running through my head!

In a way, it's hard to be surrounded by the superstars on this website and still think my practice is meaninful or productive -- does that sound about right? If so -- or even if not -- I just want to say that I've been on the slow road to enlightenment (decades) but even so, I'm going to stick with it.

For what it's worth, learning that equanimity wasn't "it" was one of the most important and frustrating parts of this thing so far. Coming out of the dark night, equanimity seemed like the answer. Hanging out in equanimity -- when I am able to reach it -- has been kinda frustrating to me.

I'm getting the sense that working toward "the change" is exactly the hindrance at this stage. So I'm de-powering the quest and fine tuning my awareness to pick up the whole feel of it, without overpowering it. That seems to be the path, in the same way that submitting to feeling the energies of the dark night was the path.

I'm also getting the sense that time and momentum are kinda meaningless after really becoming familiar what's happening. It's out of my hands after that. That said, I'm going for the longest retreat I can manage (14 days) this spring.

HTH! input from others more experienced welcomed!

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/28/09 9:48 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
I have fallen in to the same equanimity trap as others. Equanimity has been so peaceful after the massive suffering of dark night nanas that i get lazy and sloppy with the meditation. Noting goes out the window. What others have posted, noting silence, will be very useful for future retreats. Someone also mentioned a technique for moving through Equanimity by looking at yourself from a 3rd person perspective, or something to that effect..

I went on a Vajrayana retreat last year where we practiced a few hours of a darkness meditation. 3 layers of heavy black plastic over doors and windows, no light at all, doing sitting meditation with eyes open. It was quite interesting that there was just awareness for some time, nothing else. No sense of reference points in terms of space, ego, personality, really nothing just awareness without space. Im wondering if this type of darkness meditation could be one trick to getting to first path through equanimity once there was a base established in equanimity? Wonder if those who have made it through have an opinion on that.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/28/09 9:06 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
hi,betawave.thanks alot.i came to the same conclusion about uselessnes of frustration an expecting something by the midlle of retreat and try es u said to pick up the feel of the thing as whole.about feeling to be around superstars on this site-i am not afraid and not feel small and unimprtant-the opposite -i try to use all the possibilities to ufind usefull information to go forward with my practice and avoid hindrances that wiser people point out.its geat to have u all acsessible so easy.best luck to yuor advansment

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/28/09 9:45 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
A few things regarding timing: with strong, continuous effort and an appreciation of what one does at each stage to avoid the common traps and keep things moving forward, 10-14 day retreats can definitely be enough to "do it". Thus, one should not underestimate the value of them and of really making good use of that time.

If one can cross the A&P once, it will be much easier again. Same for Equanimity. Thus, once in Equanimity, one simply must avoid the common traps of resting, spacing out, solidifying peace or spaciousness or the like, and instead simply concentrate moment to moment on exactly what is going on in the wide field of awareness with a lot of engagement, continuity, openness and precision as to just what is occurring, particularly things like effort, expectation, doubt, joy, peace, spaciousness, and the like, including the standard bodily and mental sensations that arise, along with anything else.

While this may sound difficult, it actually may be strangely easy and natural with the right attitude.

Thus, don't underestimate yourselves or what may be possible. All of us were surprised when we actually got anywhere also.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
3/29/09 5:46 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
This is excellent advice.

My first few times trying to get through Equanimity, I was so excited to have some concentration back that I tried to bust through it the same way I made it through the Three Characteristics stage to cross the A&P, which was narrowly focused, intense, machine gun like noting. Doing that in the Equanimity stage didn't work for me, because I wasn't paying minding the 'wide field of awareness' Daniel mentions. There's a groove and a flow to this stage that requires a different kind of balance. Rather than being like target practice, This stage for me is much more like surfing or skateboarding. Try to maintain balance without falling off the ride. If you lean too far forward or backward (too intense or too lax), you're more likely to crash back in to Re-Ob.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
4/8/09 8:42 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Author: Ant_808

Hi all,

I believe i have recently worked my way through to high equanimity. it started a few days when i was working on noticing what i thought "self" to be during my meditation. was it awareness? no , was it noting? no, was it internal dialogue? no. So like this i started to work through layers of illusions of self until a shift occurred. Then i was observing my self doing the meditation like i was doing vipassana on auto pilot. That kind of freaked me out a little bit "like my mind was lost" however the experience overall was quite pleasant. So i continued to meditate and it seemed like this split had somehow integrated back to one perspective but without the illusions of self that i was cutting through before.

Since then the last two days during my sitting I have not been able to identify the illusion of self as separate from my mediation experience. or another way to put it the idea of self that i used to identify as "not me" "not mine" "not I" is not there but a more unified self with open and spacious feel to it.

However i have been experiencing extremely pleasant sensation during these last meditations and i get frustrated because I try to hard to see through them but i can't. The pleasantness just continues and continues. While i can see them change form. i'm not sure how to proceed. I guess its the balance that is talked about above by awouldbebehipster.


any thoughts or advice would be most appreciated.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
4/9/09 12:29 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
there's nothing to see through, just keep attending to them without getting caught up thinking you should get rid of them or something. if you can't do that, then just attend to something else. it really doesnt matter at this point what you do, so just keep doing whatever it is you're doing already, dont get conflicted about it, just note the conflict and keep paying attention. none of this really matters so keep paying attention.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
4/9/09 1:57 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Along with what the prisoner says, try to stick with your awareness similar to what you might do in some samatha jhanas. Keep your palm on top of the water without getting the back of your hand wet. Just a very gentle attention. Pay special attention to the peace & openness while giving thought to viewing "letting go" as a good thing. All while accepting anything that arises as it is.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
4/9/09 3:26 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
This is great news! The shift of perspective where it seems that you're doing auto-pilot vipassana is very, very common. As I think I've said before in the forum, the first time this happened I thought it was stream entry, as I no longer felt identified with much of the mind-body process.

I agree with the advice given by prisoner and yaba (as usual). The pleasant feelings can be tricky, because being in the dark night teaches us to be OK with our dark stuff but not the light stuff. When I started getting hung up on whether or not I was dwelling in pleasant feelings too much, I asked myself three questions: 1.) Will grasping this bring liberation? No. 2.) Will pushing this away bring liberation? Again, no. And 3.) Will ignoring this bring liberation? No, because I need to stay with my present reality for this to work.

This practice sounds rather cumbersome, but it really helped me what I got stuck. Whether the feelings are pleasant or painful, the point is to be present with it, the way that you would be present with your best friend regardless of what they had to say to you. Just hang out with whatever arises and let it do what it does.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
Answer
4/9/09 5:51 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
One question I would ask, is whether or not what you're describing is actually the A&P or equanimity. The intense pleasantness is usually more associated with A&P territory. Equanimity tends only to be really pleasant in terms of what came before, but is actually more neutral (and sometimes even boring) then anything.

In a sense it doesn't really matter, because if you practice well you'll either cross the A&P and hit the dark night head on, or if you are actually in equanmity, will "experience" fruition and then begin a review cycle. There's a pretty big difference in those two, but depending on what territory you're actually dealing with the same message still applies: practice well, see the 3 characteristics (including all the sensations that are involved in being frustrated) and let things unfold as they do. :-D

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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4/9/09 6:22 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Minor point, to whom it may concern.
the keyword uppekha should probably be upekkha
Didn't know who or how to address that.

Great series Kenneth, great comments all.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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4/9/09 6:44 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Great point. Looking back, the pleasantness of my first time rising to the Equanimity ñana was not so much a bodily pleasure, but rather an excitement that came when I finally crawled out of the dark night for the first time in months!

The cycle for me now tends to be: pleasant, unpleasant, neutral, Pop! & fizzle (a very good fizzle).

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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4/9/09 1:54 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Author: Ant_808

Hey guys,

thanks for the comments and support.

approaching A&P or Eq, to be honest I'm not sure. The build up and intensity does have a similar feeling to an A&P event i have been through about 18 moths ago but different in the openness of the meditation. Either way I'm going to use the motivation for sitting longer and see where it takes me. I've got some time off a the moment so I'll use it well.

all the best

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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4/9/09 3:12 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Go for it, Ant -- we're all pulling for you!

"Enlightenment is a TEAM sport...." Kenneth Folk

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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4/10/09 2:43 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Author: Ant_808

Thanks n8sense emoticon,

just for you guys information it was A&P. Vince, well spotted mate!
Fell from grace yesterday into knowledge of suffering, mind wandering, can,t sit as long as before, a much less pleasant experience alround, usual symptoms.

I have to say the best thing about this experience has been getting to know these stages intimately. It's impressive how they really do hold up they way they are mapped out.... so far.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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6/21/09 2:58 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
deleted / off-topic / not helpful.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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6/21/09 3:06 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
deleted / off-topic / not helpful.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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6/21/09 4:37 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Mitch,

It is obvious that your intentions mean well and that your passion for the Dharma is great. I may very well be wrong, but I think that you may be misunderstanding how the stages of insight work. Each of the stages flows from one to the other, in subtle yet sometimes not so subtle ways. There are discernible differences between each, but they are also not always clear cut, especially the first few times a yogi is learning them. So as you practice your meditation and gain experiential insights into non-duality in a way that "uncontrollably" shifts your perception of the world, then that is the general stage-specific progression typically spoken of on these forums. Reality shifting into the Dark Night, or Equanimity, or the Arising and Passing is all a reaction from understanding reality clearly in a way that was not understood before.

With that said, the difficulties of being human, including tact, restraint, being frank or passive in speech, and everything else is wholly dependent on your "will" as a singular human being. Although the states alter our perception in ways that may bring about some of these things, typically, they are controllable with careful mindfulness and regard for what one knows to be "right" by society's standards.

If I may suggest, try your best to just be happy with yourself and compassionate toward others while in your search for truth. Remember that figuring out reality must be your chief aim if you wish to progress, which is completely different from an emotional want or perceived need. Try hard to just find out how reality is working. What is the self? What is impermanence? What is suffering? These are your concern, not an emotional upwelling or another human's grammar on some internet forum!

Find the truth and do it carefully in regard to other people's feelings and thoughts. All other fruits will follow without you needing to do anything.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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6/21/09 5:19 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Thank you Yaba for your respone = )

Yes, i understand a lot of what you mean. I was sort of noting thought per thought as I read the message. I felt this shift, and a light headedness too. I thought I was in equanimity. I panicked a bit then i was OK. I then read the post and got afflicted. Ha ha. I guess im just still shocked or amazed and in the stage of experimenting, thats why I put that message.

I do understand the dangers or the maps and i've been reading a lot, also on this forum about it. I got a good momentum for equanimity commuting, eating, and doing other stuff. Meditated a long time last night and felt stuck. Been seeing the similarities also.

RE: The Progress of Insight (part three): Knowledge of Equanimity
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12/11/16 6:41 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
The links to the three parts of this article are broken in the wiki. Are they still available somewhere ?