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Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)

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Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
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12/3/10 1:48 AM
Hello all,

I think I have gotten stream-entry. Just made the resolution, with modification "to full enlightenment, be it Arahat, AF, or something else." Maybe I should define full enlightenment then eh? Making resolutions does seem to have a visceral effect...

I'd like to thank Daniel Ingram for MCTB and the DhO, the DhO, and... The last two days I think a combination of tarin's advice to me and Howard Clegg (thanks Howard!) seemed to have gotten me there. My biggest think right now is for what I am mostly sure are the fruitions, I am not sure if I exactly perceive everything disappearing. There are flashes, vibrations, big strobing of everything.. but I don't know if it all blinks out. I think it might. I guess I'm not supposed to perceive it right?

Anyway here is another gigantic post. My questions are:
1) Was it stream entry? If not ignore the rest, tell me where I went wrong. But I see all the signs. Except that I'm still feeling anxiety and suffering now. But maybe it's cycling. Or I have to work on perceiving it as no-self? Or I just need to go sleep. Also no vibrations of suchness yet... and my fruitions aren't 3 distinct blips so far as I can tell.
2) Some of you seem to have gotten 2nd path about a month after stream entry. Do you recommend that, and how do you go about it?

My goals are... full enlightenment, except I don't want a Dark Night right now. The problem is I can still clearly feel that I have a sense of "I"... and the suffering is here.

As a result of this I expect to... feel like the spiritual path is lonely after having you guys tell me there is a lot more to go =P.

Here it is.

=============

DISCLAIMER that might make you doubt me: I did this after having gotten high. BUT I don’t think the stream entry happened at all during that time. The stream entry was before, either earlier today or yesterday. I just only now realized it. If getting high did get me there... I am disappointed. I wasn't expecting it. I hope it won't hinder my getting next path. But I'm pretty sure it was before, and this was an exploration.

-----------------

Yesterday in Equanimity I was noticing/noting awareness and such better. Then today when I meditated sober:


I thought I had a stream entry moment, but was probably just dozing off. I was seeing suffering [in Equanimity]… then I imagined this large demon worm-like thing looking at me, or maybe that was me? I couldn’t see it visually, was more of an imagination type image, and even then pretty dim. Then my head snapped up and down like a “ca-lunk”. I was wondering “what was that about?” Then a few seconds later I felt what I suppOOOSe could be called a bliss wave, but it was more like a ‘wave’ as it wasn’t very blissful. And afterwards I noted the large amounts of suffering involved with me wondering whether it was SE. [I shouldn’t feel that if didn’t hit SE right?]
I think not cause not much is different, not even my relationship to things or whatnot.


I had decided with my friend to smoke this night. I had decided not to since I didn’t want to mess up Equanimity, but I figured it would be interesting to see what it’s like. Still no thought I had SE by this point.

Anyway we hang out, then he goes to bed. I just lie down on the carpet and start meditating. I really wanted to.

I was noting lots of suffering/annoying in my stomach (Fear I think). I meditated and… thought I had what must be a clear fruition, almost. I kind of got lost, as others say, then I found myself at a series of REALLY blinking lights. Like white to blackest I’ve seen in a while. There weren’t three of them, just a whole bunch… and then again a kind of meh bliss wave, unsure.

But then I decided to try going through the whole thing again. And I found that I could get through the stages just by naming them. I thought A&P, and I was at A&P. I saw blinking lights, I was excited. I thought Dissolution, and it all calmed down, center more blind, stuff on periphery. Then I thought Fear, and I felt anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Then I thought Misery and the anxiety feeling kind of spilled all over my body but in a less intense way. Then, Disgust, and it kind of just grew on top of Misery, extending it a little, making it more... disgusting. Next, desire for deliverance, and now I had a feeling of intense urgency climb into my throat. (Hey these names are pretty damn accurate). Next, Re-Observation and a feeling of all the earlier dark night feelings coming back together. Next, Low Equanimity, and everything spread out and calmed down a bit. Then, High Equanimity, and everything started speeding up again , very rapidly, like a roller-coaster. Then, gulpingly, tentatively, I thought Fruition and… I kind of felt a release of holding myself back. I just am not sure what I did, but then I thought I had a Fruition, and then… a bliss wave, more certain this time.

Well I was somewhat excited. I tried again… this time before resolving for the Fruition I thought impermanence, no-self, suffering… and when I thought each of them I was having what seemed like a closer time to coming to Fruition... but then I think I “missed” and got stuck going between them. It was rather high-paced and intense so I stopped.

Then I tried again... I might have missed again. But I could go so obviously and clearly through the nyanas (narrated by my voice going through and naming them) that I knew something must have happened. I tried again… this time I just thought of suffering. I think I got the toroidal fruition this time, but afterwards I felt the most intense bliss wave yet. By now I was pretty sure. I also realized the tentative ‘ca-lunk’ was the same thing.

Then even more things… I can go directly to any stage I want by asking for it (e.g. saying “A&P”). I tried going directly between A&P and Low Equanimity to see the differences and I could see them clearly. Can go from A&P to Fear to Disgust… I even found I could go to Mind&Body, Cause&Effect, and 3 chars. I can see them much more clearly now. It’s like all my confused notions and questions were actually pretty accurate looking back, just didn’t know it at the time. ADDED: About going to any one, I believe my mind just quickly slides in between the intervening ones quickly; it doesn't actually "jump" so much.

Next I tried Fruition directly. That seemed to work. I tried them through all three doors. I forgot which description was which but I got a few different ones – mostly really blinky light (no-self). Some are still hard for me, like suffering. I can do no-self ones pretty well… at least what I think are fruitions. This could all be made up. But the last no-self one I felt was like… I counted a sequence of 1-2-3 (pause) 4-5-6 (pause) 7-8-9 (pause) dot-dot-dot (pause) bup bup bup BLANK(?). The clearest one I saw anyway. And on the 1-2-3 light all the way on outside of pereception flickered, 4-5-6 a little in, 7-8-9 a little in… the next two get fuzzy. In order to trigger it I just think of the no-self of everything. Then the no-self of awareness. And finally the last thought I think is “Even this thought is no-self,” then the sequence happens. Then a bliss wave after a bit.

I just tried the samatha jhanas… seems like I can go to some softish (but still pretty hard) version of all of them. Not sure if I got 8th as I still felt my body a little. I can’t seem to get rid of the perception. I definitely had never been in 5, 6, or 7, though, which makes me wonder why I can… again if it’s a matter of scripting, best weed ever… I guess it is true, the mind knows where to go, you must just let it, and it certainly helps to know the triggers to incline it, and then to recognize the stuff. Then I went back down the jhanas.

As for general mood… I’m happy right now doing all this Review and writing this review. But when I first realized it I was unhappy because I didn’t feel that different. I still don’t if I don’t think about it (except for crazy meditation), but all I’ve seen so far is my room. But time will tell. (It should help that I can think of the unhappiness as no-self.)

Anyway I’m quite buoyant right now but also sleepy. The last thing I could do is… at each nyana, precisely observe each one of the three characteristics. The most interesting thing about the Review is that I remember distinctly feeling each of the 3 chars at each stage (I guess I must have to have passed it), but in a much more muddled way. I remember how many months ago I was clearly at Cause and Effect, as at that point I was being annoyed about not being able to control my breath, hadn’t heard about DhO or MCTB, etc. But now I can Review the stage and I can notice that I always seem to be controlling my breath. I can write them all out if anyone wants.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/3/10 7:41 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hmm falling asleep was tough as I was having lots of fruitions, both intentionally and not. If I would just let my mind wander I would sometimes feel a bliss wave, then looking back, I would have had a moment that could be called fruition.

I worry, though. I can try doing one with eyes open, for example. But my visual field doesn't blink out, as I thought it would. I just have a few moments which feel "strange", but I would expect it all to disappear and reappear again, or something. I do feel a little bliss wave after, though... this morning I can go through stages, still, but they feel less distinct than last night. Will have to practice more. Also a bit sleep-deprived so that might do it.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/3/10 9:11 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hmm I feel what kind of happens w/ the fruitions is that there's a leading up point to them where I feel my body shaking (I always seem to tense up before) or some flickering or whatever... then there is something, then the bliss wave after the something. If my eyes are open, it almost feels like nothing flicks away, but I get the feeling that something strange has happened in the mean-time. I also wonder if I'm going through the same Door all the time because I'm kind of forcing them. I'll have to try cycling naturally and let it happen, see what comes from that.

I took a look at some koans and they seem to be fun. I don't know if I'm doing them correctly, but I look for one of the 3Chars in each of them and focus on that. example:

Wakuan complained when he saw a picture of bearded Bodhidharma, "Why hasn't that fellow a beard?"

I thought "no-self". No one has a beard, because there is no "having", because there is no self to have anything. Then a blinking-out fruition. But unsure if the koan is causing it or it's just making me think of a Char and then I force (more like will) a fruition through. Maybe that's the point.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/3/10 10:04 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
try sitting, doing nothing, neither forcing nor willing a fruition. observe what that's like.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/3/10 1:15 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
try sitting, doing nothing, neither forcing nor willing a fruition. observe what that's like.


Will do. Trying it briefly in my chair: suffering was predominant. I go through stages anyway. My mind is really annoying at each stage so I notice/mentally note the suffering behind that. Mostly I feel each stage more fully. Also right before Fruition I get a large build-up (instead of just plowing through) and it's hard to "do nothing" - I have a tendency to want the fruition, so I just try noticing the want, too. at some point I get more noticeable fruition. But yeah I'll try sitting in a calmer environment and for longer and see what happens.

Also while going about my day and having random thoughts, I'll notice that I just had a fruition.

About fruitions... it seem they occur as a result of really observing something fully. Hence why the blinking eyes thing works. Also while listening to a song, if I try to just "really listen" to one of the hi-hat hits the same happens.

My 'default state' seems to be Fear, if I'm not focusing on anything, as I feel anxiety-ish in the stomach. Not too pleasant.. but I can deal.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/3/10 10:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Your descriptions are good, so just a few things:

I would bet that if it just happened that many state shifts you think might be fruitions are just state shifts: Fruitions, real Fruitions, tend to be somewhat less frequent in the beginning, if that is what this is, though there is substantial variability in what people naturally can do and when then can do it.

I would suspect, thought it is an imprecise guess based on less info than I might like, that you probably got stream entry given that you are now describing all this access and review capabilities and writing like this, but there are multiple mimics and we can all be wrong about these things.

I would keep an open mind and simply see what happens, clearly, with interest, and reserve judgement about exactly what is what, such as what is Fruition, until you have spent some more time getting used to whatever is going on, as in one's excitement one can lose some objectivity and precision. That said, if this is stream entry, the power of mind in the post-stream entry period is remarkable for most, so enjoy it and use it to explore, if that is what is going on.

Let us know how this shakes out with a bit more time if you wish,

Daniel

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/4/10 1:21 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Your descriptions are good, so just a few things:

I would bet that if it just happened that many state shifts you think might be fruitions are just state shifts: Fruitions, real Fruitions, tend to be somewhat less frequent in the beginning, if that is what this is, though there is substantial variability in what people naturally can do and when then can do it.

I would suspect, thought it is an imprecise guess based on less info than I might like, that you probably got stream entry given that you are now describing all this access and review capabilities and writing like this, but there are multiple mimics and we can all be wrong about these things.

I would keep an open mind and simply see what happens, clearly, with interest, and reserve judgement about exactly what is what, such as what is Fruition, until you have spent some more time getting used to whatever is going on, as in one's excitement one can lose some objectivity and precision. That said, if this is stream entry, the power of mind in the post-stream entry period is remarkable for most, so enjoy it and use it to explore, if that is what is going on.

Let us know how this shakes out with a bit more time if you wish,

Daniel


I will see how the next few days go. No new info as of yet but the power of my mind is pretty incredible to me at this point! Thanks for the point about state shifts - I hadn't thought about that at all. I think they're Fruitions as they are different than the nyana and jhana shifts, and they are really "strange", but time will tell.

Just in case I resolved to not start 2nd path until I decide I'm ready again.

I have a bunch to say but I'll just say it in a few days after I have more time to review and Review. Mostly I have mixed feelings of this being awesome, strange, ridiculous (what the hell is this I'm doing??), unsatisfying, etc.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/4/10 10:03 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Ah I just tried practicing without forcing it, just letting it be. Got a cool no-self entry, wanted to share:

==========

Didn't follow cycles too clearly until got to low equanimity. Then i was kind of being lazily looking when i realized I should apply some effort at least at being more aware, so then my attention ratcheted up a bit. This didn't change what was happening, I just noticed it more.

At some point there was a little "shift" and I got into "Next Equanimity", like a more interesting version of it. Around here I was noticing, unsure what to do... kind of "stuck" but not really.. felt like I did before SE.

At some point I decide it's time to go back to sleep so I just want to incline towards a Fruition to top it off. I kind of start to, by noticing "no-self".. but something stops me from forcing one through, so I don't. but I start noticing no-self more.

I get into a what I call "Pre-Fruition" state sometimes.. it's like when my body tenses up a bit and I feel it about to happen. I don't just force it through, though... and I don't go through. Eventually I realize that maybe I am missing something, so I try looking for no-self more closely.

At this point my field of vision opens up and again I get the 3D state. I think this is "High Equanimity"? I didn't get here before when "faking", a.k.a forcing through by intent, my Review, so that shows that faking it is not a good way to do it. I try to note no-self more.

Eventually I realize I'm missing something about the awareness, and something about decisions. I previously didn't see the no-self whenever "I" made a decision. There was no-self about my inclination to have a friution, for example. I try to stay with this, not forcing, and then... I see an image of myself making motions. Not a very clear visual and bright image, but an image nonetheless. Motions that "I" myself would make, but the image is making them, just chilling. and I realize no-self very clearly now, how my actions are just as no-self as my looking at the image moving. Then the image of me turned to look at me and BAM fruition.

Definitely a cooler way to do a Fruition! Felt much more satisfied afterwards. Also sounds like a Zen thing, heh.

==========

Now, I don't want to jump the gun, but I am wondering if that was a 2nd Path Fruition. Again, intent can screw lots of things up, but if I intend "1st path no-self Fruition" I can get one really quickly, < 1 or 2 seconds. If I intend "2nd path no-self Fruition", I have to work harder, I can't just "force it through", I feel like I'm noticing more stuff, etc.. for 1st I can just incline and get it. For 2nd apparently it helps to visualize looking at myself doing something. Similarly if I intend "1st path Review" it seems shallow, "2nd path Review" seems more deep, more empty.. I also have been feeling that I might be on another path yesterday, but was not sure at all. I also feel calmer but what does that say?

It's probably that I'm looking at two different ways of attaining the Fruition, one more forced than the other. I don't expect anyone here to be able to diagnose this with so little information, and I won't be disappointed if it is not, but I guess what I'm asking for is - is there any information on distinguishing whether one is 1st or 2nd path that I can read more on, to see what I can look for, etc? Do the fruitions feel much different?

EDIT: I got a better sense of the extra "work" I have to do if I want to quickly get a 1st vs. [2nd path] Fruition. (Brackets means I'm using the word for lack of a better one but I'm not sure that's what it is.) Something like:

1st path no-self fruition: I look at my perception, sense of being here. “That’s not me.” Fruition.

[2nd path] no-self fruition: I look at my perception, sense of being here. “That’s not me.” Nothing happens. I look at the sense of self, all the collection of everything put together to mimic one entity, including the process of looking for a Fruition, etc. “That’s not me.” while simultaneously including that thought as "not me". Fruition.

They feel pretty much the same, don't consistently differ in intensity or bliss wave or anything.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/4/10 6:13 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Never mind about the me being in 2nd path stuff... I think it's just intent messing with stuff. (Although still curious about question of different Fruitions.) I just feel somewhat bored, then it doesn't bother me but it kind of does, wondering if I'm confusing boredom with contentment but if I can't tell the difference then what does it matter, or is it just Dissolution, but then why do I feel it if I can review any stage, out-of-place, etc. Will just do more intent-less meditating as time allows.

Listening to music is fun, though. Can really concentrate on it!

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/6/10 12:47 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Some things I have noticed:

I still feel mostly the same. But what Howard Clegg said about not thinking about past and future so much holds true. I haven't thought about my job except when being there, whereas it would bug me occasionally. I feel kind of bored almost, maybe from lack of my mind doing things. I'm not sure if it is boredom or Dissolution or whatnot.

I am a lot less insecure. Someone was reading my essay right in front of me that I hadn't finished yet. Whereas before I would get uncomfortable, I had almost no reaction now.

A lot less craving and addiction. No desire for sex, unless I think about it in which case it comes about. But it doesn't intrude randomly anymore. Also while I haven't developed a drug problem, I think they had some hold on me, and I dreamed about doing drugs I hadn't even tried. Now my latest dream I vehemently threw the drug away from me.

A lot less annoyance. I have to get up in 4 hours to go to work early, but have to finish something first. Before this would irritate me, now it's fine.

Insight-wise... I no longer get fruitions while having conversations with people, unless I lock into it. I can still will a Fruition by observing the last eye flutter or even just staring at something and willing it. At least, I think it is a Fruition... in terms of letting them happen, it happened once last night before going to bed. It was actually surprising as I wasn't expecting it. I have to learn to do that more as I feel it will be useful for later paths, since I won't know the mental trick I have to do to get one right away. I feel a bit annoyed that I just haven't had time to sit and meditate.. maybe I will give up more sleep to do it.

Also I feel like this applies to me:

MCTB:
After the meditator crosses the next Arising and Passing Away Event, which may happen relatively quickly if they practice well and often, they will tend to have a very hard time re-attaining Fruition for a while. One may meditate along and then get stuck in a stage that seems to lead nowhere and is sort of like low equanimity, in that there are clear vibrations that are not varying with the breath or any other movement, and yet the background is too dense, noisy and poorly perceived for clear and complete formations to show themselves.


Can't relate to formations, but when I sit down, what tends to happen is I go through the A&P + Dark Night stages very very quickly, within a few breaths, barely perceiving the shifts in my body. Then I get to the equanimity-like thing.. then I get very tense build-up and discomfort as I near a Fruition, and it's hard to have one without willing it.

Progress-wise I feel like I know how to progress next. I am clearly dissatisfied with this state of Enlightenment, so there is more to go, and I kind of know how to do it, by sitting and doing nothing and/or maybe starting to note again.

RE: Stream-Entry? (Woohoo)
Answer
12/6/10 8:38 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Latest sit-down: wanted to do some Review and get a Fruition in a do-nothing manner before sleeping. I sit down.. again I feel like I went through the Review stages up to Equanimity really quickly, or it might be a placebo at this point. In the Equanimity thing I start observing stuff that I think will lead to a Fruition (while trying to observe observation and not intending anything specifically), and the background starts to pick up with interesting colors and patterns, but that are dim. Eventually I start to notice that it's actually really creepy.. I try to concentrate more to observe them, and they become more detailed. And they form into some things that almost look like strange faces that are pretty creepy. I'm like "Hmm seems like Fear to me!" I think I moved on to Misery as the creepy feeling wore off but the patterns were still just strange and unsatisfying in some way. A bit later I started getting things that seemed like A&P with more flashing and stuff, which didn't make sense to me.

I feel like these are new stages, considering: how fast I moved through the old ones before; that these seem different in a way; this is the first time the Fear manifested as faces visually; that I think I realized that the reason for not moving through a stage is from lack of understanding of something important - when I finally passed Re-Observation I was immediately relieved but also understood why I had to go through it - and in these stages I seem not to be able to move forward with the ease as the old ones after Stream Entry. But, I could be wrong, and time will tell.