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Questions about insight cycles
stages of insight progress of insight insight cycling
Answer
6/30/19 7:56 PM
Hi everyone.

Here are a few questions about insight cycles, I appreciate if anyone could give an answer to any of the questions.
I know that probably there are answers to these questions on this forum in previous threads, or in the MCTB2, I did a quick search on this forum and didn't find the desired answers, and about MCTB2, I haven't read the whole book, it's a long one, I am reading currently the sections that seem to be most related to my current experiences. So I apologize if these are duplicate questions.

1.
Let's say one crosses A&P, and enters dukkha nanas. The impression that I've got so far from reading MCTB2 and other resources, is that this person will be always cycling, until he/she dies or attains path. Is that correct? I mean once one crossed A&P, after that, is it possible to have breaks between the cycles, that in those breaks, person's experiences don't match with any of the stages? Or the person is always in one of the stages?

2.1
One is above A&P and below Stream Entry. My understanding so far is that he/she will tend to cycle between A&P and Re-observation, may get to Equanimity and fall back to Re-observation, and from Re-observation fall back to A&P. My consideration here is that the person cycles in the stages below Equanimity and has not attained path. Daniel in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that it's possible to fall back from A&P to Three Characteristics and then go to A&P again, or even fall back to the lower stages (if one stops practicing, he says).  So my question is, if one has a daily practice that has led to A&P and later stages, how likely is it to fall back to the stages below A&P?

2.2
Is it possible to fall back from Re-observation to the stages below A&P directly? If yes, it would be Re-observation to Mind and Body, or one can fall back from Re-observation to the other two stages too?

2.3
If I am not mistaken, the arrows in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that one can fall back from A&P to Mind and Body, and also can fall back from Three Characteristics to Mind and Body. Correct? How likely are these fall backs? Are they considered to be among common cycling patterns or are uncommon and exceptional routes?

3.
Another question that is not directly related to the above questions, but let's not create another thread for it! In the descriptions of insight stages in MCTB2, the term "Vibration" is used all over the place to describe how each of the stages can manifest. Is there a definition for this term in MCTB2? Shinzen uses the term "Flow" for any change in sensory experience. In his system if the meditator notices that a sensation is not static and is changing, with any pattern of change, that is a flow experience. Does vibration in MCTB2 have the same definition? Or is it more specific?


Thanks.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/3/19 3:23 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Hi everyone.

Here are a few questions about insight cycles, I appreciate if anyone could give an answer to any of the questions.
I know that probably there are answers to these questions on this forum in previous threads, or in the MCTB2, I did a quick search on this forum and didn't find the desired answers, and about MCTB2, I haven't read the whole book, it's a long one, I am reading currently the sections that seem to be most related to my current experiences. So I apologize if these are duplicate questions.

1.
Let's say one crosses A&P, and enters dukkha nanas. The impression that I've got so far from reading MCTB2 and other resources, is that this person will be always cycling, until he/she dies or attains path. Is that correct? I mean once one crossed A&P, after that, is it possible to have breaks between the cycles, that in those breaks, person's experiences don't match with any of the stages? Or the person is always in one of the stages?

2.1
One is above A&P and below Stream Entry. My understanding so far is that he/she will tend to cycle between A&P and Re-observation, may get to Equanimity and fall back to Re-observation, and from Re-observation fall back to A&P. My consideration here is that the person cycles in the stages below Equanimity and has not attained path. Daniel in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that it's possible to fall back from A&P to Three Characteristics and then go to A&P again, or even fall back to the lower stages (if one stops practicing, he says).  So my question is, if one has a daily practice that has led to A&P and later stages, how likely is it to fall back to the stages below A&P?

2.2
Is it possible to fall back from Re-observation to the stages below A&P directly? If yes, it would be Re-observation to Mind and Body, or one can fall back from Re-observation to the other two stages too?

2.3
If I am not mistaken, the arrows in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that one can fall back from A&P to Mind and Body, and also can fall back from Three Characteristics to Mind and Body. Correct? How likely are these fall backs? Are they considered to be among common cycling patterns or are uncommon and exceptional routes?

3.
Another question that is not directly related to the above questions, but let's not create another thread for it! In the descriptions of insight stages in MCTB2, the term "Vibration" is used all over the place to describe how each of the stages can manifest. Is there a definition for this term in MCTB2? Shinzen uses the term "Flow" for any change in sensory experience. In his system if the meditator notices that a sensation is not static and is changing, with any pattern of change, that is a flow experience. Does vibration in MCTB2 have the same definition? Or is it more specific?


Thanks.


Any answer? Or any resource as a reference for study?
Thanks.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/3/19 2:31 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I watched the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map again and listened more carefully this time, so there is a pathway from Re-observation to Three Characteristics and another pathway from Re-observation to Mind and Body based on what Daniel says there.

Also Daniel mentions that it can be that one falls back from Three Characteristics to the lower stages, "but it's very uncommon if they are practicing well..." he says.

Another pathway that I had not noticed before clearly, is the path way from mini-dark-night phase of Equanimity to Desire for Deliverance, so other pathways can open from this one too. One goes to Equanimity, falls back to Re-observation and cycles to other pathways, or falls back to Desire for Deliverance and goes to Re-observation, and from there goes up, or down to lower stages.

Thanks Daniel :-)

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/3/19 1:47 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Thanks for summarizing that! I love listening to Daniel’s energetic talks, but sometimes they are a little too fast for me to fully grasp all the details even with repeated listening. I tend to get caught up in the expression and miss some of the content.

Those pathways explain a lot.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/3/19 1:55 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thanks for summarizing that! I love listening to Daniel’s energetic talks, but sometimes they are a little too fast for me to fully grasp all the details even with repeated listening. I tend to get caught up in the expression and miss some of the content.

Those pathways explain a lot.

Yes, that happens for me too, and because of that, for these kinds of dense talks, I listen at least 2-3 times to them. I had watched this video 3-4 times I guess, but I had missed those parts!

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/18/19 4:07 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Another question that is not directly related to the above questions, but let's not create another thread for it! In the descriptions of insight stages in MCTB2, the term "Vibration" is used all over the place to describe how each of the stages can manifest. Is there a definition for this term in MCTB2? Shinzen uses the term "Flow" for any change in sensory experience. In his system if the meditator notices that a sensation is not static and is changing, with any pattern of change, that is a flow experience. Does vibration in MCTB2 have the same definition? Or is it more specific?


All this time that I am reading MCTB2 from the website, I had not noticed that there is a search section at the bottom of all pages! So I used it now to find a definition for this term "vibration" in the book, and it seems that there isn't any definition for it in the book.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/18/19 11:35 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I would think he would mean subtle impermanence in the tactile field. It could be described as tingling, bubbling, moving, static, vibrating. Sometimes is very, very subtle. Sometimes it is in your face. Usually pleasant but it can also be harsh and irritating. It can flow.

If you cant percieve it, try looking closely at a solid sensation like an itch or pain and try to percieve change of any kind. Oscillation. Movement. Changing perimeter. Be patient and persistent.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/20/19 4:02 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:

1.
Let's say one crosses A&P, and enters dukkha nanas. The impression that I've got so far from reading MCTB2 and other resources, is that this person will be always cycling, until he/she dies or attains path. Is that correct? I mean once one crossed A&P, after that, is it possible to have breaks between the cycles, that in those breaks, person's experiences don't match with any of the stages? Or the person is always in one of the stages?
Correct - once someone crosses the A+P they will be continually cycling from then on.  The only way out of the cycles is to reach First Path (or death).  There aren't breaks between the cycles, but it is certainly possible that they may have experiences that don't line up exactly with the POI framework.  The POI nanas are generally subtle in experience and it can be quite hard to monitor ones movement through them moment to moment in daily life or even on the cushion.

Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.1
One is above A&P and below Stream Entry. My understanding so far is that he/she will tend to cycle between A&P and Re-observation, may get to Equanimity and fall back to Re-observation, and from Re-observation fall back to A&P. My consideration here is that the person cycles in the stages below Equanimity and has not attained path. Daniel in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that it's possible to fall back from A&P to Three Characteristics and then go to A&P again, or even fall back to the lower stages (if one stops practicing, he says).  So my question is, if one has a daily practice that has led to A&P and later stages, how likely is it to fall back to the stages below A&P?

I imagine the A+P as a gate.  Prior to crossing it, the gate is closed, and we can only move around the the three stages below it.  After we cross it, the gate is permenantly opened so that our range of teritory is increased, we now have ascess to cycle through all of the nanas.  Even with a daily practice, one is likely to move all over in the cycles.  The basic trend is not to progress upwards linearly one step at a time.  Instead, with a dedicated practice, we gradually build familiarity and stability in higher and higher nana stages, while still frequently moving through all prior stages.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.2
Is it possible to fall back from Re-observation to the stages below A&P directly? If yes, it would be Re-observation to Mind and Body, or one can fall back from Re-observation to the other two stages too?
Again, once we have crossed the A+P, we can go literally anywhere in the cycles.  The general trend in practice in upwards, and actually once we begin to hit more advanced stages such as Reobservation and Equanimity our practice may stabalize somewhat, but we can still cycle all over.  Think of it like clearing a path through the jungle - once we have cleared a path all the way to Reobservation we can certainly walk back out the way we came, if we take a break or become distracted, but having already cleared a good path on our many trips through the lower stages these will be easier to move through on our way back to higher stages.

Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.3
If I am not mistaken, the arrows in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that one can fall back from A&P to Mind and Body, and also can fall back from Three Characteristics to Mind and Body. Correct? How likely are these fall backs? Are they considered to be among common cycling patterns or are uncommon and exceptional routes?

Again, I wouldn't worry too much about falling back in the stages, it's totally natural, the real marker of success is an increasing upward trend in practice along with increasing comfort and stability in higher stages.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/20/19 4:32 PM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:

1.
Let's say one crosses A&P, and enters dukkha nanas. The impression that I've got so far from reading MCTB2 and other resources, is that this person will be always cycling, until he/she dies or attains path. Is that correct? I mean once one crossed A&P, after that, is it possible to have breaks between the cycles, that in those breaks, person's experiences don't match with any of the stages? Or the person is always in one of the stages?
Correct - once someone crosses the A+P they will be continually cycling from then on.  The only way out of the cycles is to reach First Path (or death).  There aren't breaks between the cycles, but it is certainly possible that they may have experiences that don't line up exactly with the POI framework.  The POI nanas are generally subtle in experience and it can be quite hard to monitor ones movement through them moment to moment in daily life or even on the cushion.

Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.1
One is above A&P and below Stream Entry. My understanding so far is that he/she will tend to cycle between A&P and Re-observation, may get to Equanimity and fall back to Re-observation, and from Re-observation fall back to A&P. My consideration here is that the person cycles in the stages below Equanimity and has not attained path. Daniel in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that it's possible to fall back from A&P to Three Characteristics and then go to A&P again, or even fall back to the lower stages (if one stops practicing, he says).  So my question is, if one has a daily practice that has led to A&P and later stages, how likely is it to fall back to the stages below A&P?

I imagine the A+P as a gate.  Prior to crossing it, the gate is closed, and we can only move around the the three stages below it.  After we cross it, the gate is permenantly opened so that our range of teritory is increased, we now have ascess to cycle through all of the nanas.  Even with a daily practice, one is likely to move all over in the cycles.  The basic trend is not to progress upwards linearly one step at a time.  Instead, with a dedicated practice, we gradually build familiarity and stability in higher and higher nana stages, while still frequently moving through all prior stages.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.2
Is it possible to fall back from Re-observation to the stages below A&P directly? If yes, it would be Re-observation to Mind and Body, or one can fall back from Re-observation to the other two stages too?
Again, once we have crossed the A+P, we can go literally anywhere in the cycles.  The general trend in practice in upwards, and actually once we begin to hit more advanced stages such as Reobservation and Equanimity our practice may stabalize somewhat, but we can still cycle all over.  Think of it like clearing a path through the jungle - once we have cleared a path all the way to Reobservation we can certainly walk back out the way we came, if we take a break or become distracted, but having already cleared a good path on our many trips through the lower stages these will be easier to move through on our way back to higher stages.

Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.3
If I am not mistaken, the arrows in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that one can fall back from A&P to Mind and Body, and also can fall back from Three Characteristics to Mind and Body. Correct? How likely are these fall backs? Are they considered to be among common cycling patterns or are uncommon and exceptional routes?

Again, I wouldn't worry too much about falling back in the stages, it's totally natural, the real marker of success is an increasing upward trend in practice along with increasing comfort and stability in higher stages.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. It was helpful. I loved the jungle analogy.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/21/19 11:18 AM as a reply to T DC.
You still "cycle" after 1st path, although perhaps you have a different meaning.  You will still go thru the stages again and again, although your attachment to them may decrease.

I would take all of this with a grain of salt.  Humans in general have a great propensity to overfit models of all kinds.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/21/19 6:42 PM as a reply to Eric G.
Eric G:

I would take all of this with a grain of salt.  Humans in general have a great propensity to overfit models of all kinds.

Thanks. My intention for asking these questions was to get a clearer understanding of general patterns and not so much exact mapping of experiences to any of the stages.

RE: Questions about insight cycles
Answer
7/23/19 8:57 PM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:

1.
Let's say one crosses A&P, and enters dukkha nanas. The impression that I've got so far from reading MCTB2 and other resources, is that this person will be always cycling, until he/she dies or attains path. Is that correct? I mean once one crossed A&P, after that, is it possible to have breaks between the cycles, that in those breaks, person's experiences don't match with any of the stages? Or the person is always in one of the stages?
Correct - once someone crosses the A+P they will be continually cycling from then on.  The only way out of the cycles is to reach First Path (or death).  There aren't breaks between the cycles, but it is certainly possible that they may have experiences that don't line up exactly with the POI framework.  The POI nanas are generally subtle in experience and it can be quite hard to monitor ones movement through them moment to moment in daily life or even on the cushion.

Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.1
One is above A&P and below Stream Entry. My understanding so far is that he/she will tend to cycle between A&P and Re-observation, may get to Equanimity and fall back to Re-observation, and from Re-observation fall back to A&P. My consideration here is that the person cycles in the stages below Equanimity and has not attained path. Daniel in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that it's possible to fall back from A&P to Three Characteristics and then go to A&P again, or even fall back to the lower stages (if one stops practicing, he says).  So my question is, if one has a daily practice that has led to A&P and later stages, how likely is it to fall back to the stages below A&P?

I imagine the A+P as a gate.  Prior to crossing it, the gate is closed, and we can only move around the the three stages below it.  After we cross it, the gate is permenantly opened so that our range of teritory is increased, we now have ascess to cycle through all of the nanas.  Even with a daily practice, one is likely to move all over in the cycles.  The basic trend is not to progress upwards linearly one step at a time.  Instead, with a dedicated practice, we gradually build familiarity and stability in higher and higher nana stages, while still frequently moving through all prior stages.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.2
Is it possible to fall back from Re-observation to the stages below A&P directly? If yes, it would be Re-observation to Mind and Body, or one can fall back from Re-observation to the other two stages too?
Again, once we have crossed the A+P, we can go literally anywhere in the cycles.  The general trend in practice in upwards, and actually once we begin to hit more advanced stages such as Reobservation and Equanimity our practice may stabalize somewhat, but we can still cycle all over.  Think of it like clearing a path through the jungle - once we have cleared a path all the way to Reobservation we can certainly walk back out the way we came, if we take a break or become distracted, but having already cleared a good path on our many trips through the lower stages these will be easier to move through on our way back to higher stages.

Siavash Mahmoudpour:
b]2.3
If I am not mistaken, the arrows in the Nanas and Jhanas Mind Map says that one can fall back from A&P to Mind and Body, and also can fall back from Three Characteristics to Mind and Body. Correct? How likely are these fall backs? Are they considered to be among common cycling patterns or are uncommon and exceptional routes?

Again, I wouldn't worry too much about falling back in the stages, it's totally natural, the real marker of success is an increasing upward trend in practice along with increasing comfort and stability in higher stages.
Siavash Mahmoudpour: Thank you for formulating those questions. I have been grappling with the same sort of questions, but been unable to formulate them as well as you did in your original post.

T DC: Thank you so much for the answers, extremely helpful, and perhaps just what I needed for my practice right now.