Where am I?

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-- Timus --, modified 10 Years ago.

Where am I?

Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/17/10 Recent Posts
First of all: What a great site, filled with tons of interesting and valuable posts! Thanks a lot to those people who keep it going.

Short intro: I'm now 46 years old and I've been meditating regularly for the last 16 years. I attended a lot of retreats (40 - 50, I guess, usually 1 week, mostly Zen style, for some time Vipassana too) but never made any remarkable progress. By the time I started to meditate I was fairly neurotic, which was a good part of the reason I got interested in that sort of stuff. Shortly after I started, the shit really hit the fan for about 2-3 years (including a nasty addiction). After some time all that "negativity" just drained out of my system and never came back (until now). I like to think that the meditation practice was the reason behind that, but I'm not sure. Although this period of time felt a lot like what is called Dark Night here, I don't think it was one. The main reason: as far as I can say, until now I've never crossed A&P-territory. (Apart form a drug induced experience (launched by an overdose of hashish cookies emoticon ) in which I "saw" the sensual world, especially sounds, consisting completely of waves. But that experience didn't leave a lasting impression.) And I have to admit that, reading the accounts here, I'm sort of frustrated and am questioning my skills and abilities. Nevertheless, I still have quite some faith in the process and decided a couple of months ago to switch back to Vipassana practice (noting) and to add some concentration practice to my meditation routine.

Right now my practice schedule looks like:
  • 40 minutes of concentration practice in the morning: Using the word "Buddho" as a mantra. I think it was Florian who wrote about it somewhere here and it sort of appealed to me.
  • Right after that I usually do 30 minutes of walking meditation on my way to work (if it's not raining or snowing). It took some time to adjust to the more active surroundings and the necessity to watch out for potential dangers, but after a while it started to work.
  • 1 or 2 hours of noting practice in the evening (2 hours on the weekend and once during the work week). Since I can barley feel my breath while sitting (never could, for whatever physical reason) I decided to just note whatever is the strongest present sensation. Usually, I/it switch/es between 4 sensations: tingling on the tongue, hearing of tinnitus like inner sounds (which I hear ever since I remember), pressure on the thumbs (I put them together during the sitting), pressure on the butt where I sit on my bench. Of course other stuff presents itself too: thoughts, sounds from the outside and other bodily sensations etc.
  • I also try to do a lot of "informal" practice: When walking short distances during the day, sitting at my office desk, during meetings, in the subway, waiting for the elevator, etc.

During a 5 day retreat 5 months ago (on which I tried to note constantly) I suddenly realized that the ringing in my ear isn't a steady tone but rather consists of a quick succession of acoustic pulses. I was only able to hear that when I was very relaxed. Otherwise the pulses merged back into a constant tone. I wasn't sure if that was just something I hadn't noticed before or if it was the outcome of a shift in perception due to meditation. Then 2 and 1/2 months ago I started to "vibrate" (you could also call it "pulse" or "throb"). By that I don't mean that I literally started to shake physically. It's more like my perception or something inside me is vibrating/pulsing/throbbing. Initially it didn't occur during meditation but rather when I relaxed in an armchair or lay down in bed. Actually, at first I thought I was feeling my heart beat or a shaking of the floor of my apartment (I live in a very old building) or something like an earthquake. emoticon Since then the vibrating/pulsing/throbbing expanded: at the moment I usually experience it very often for extended periods of time throughout the day, sometimes only faint and in the background, but it's mostly there, even at work. It varies in speed (I can't exactly asses its frequency): usually it's rather quick (maybe 10 Hz), but there are occasions when it's slow, like a deep buzzing, and others when it's extremely quick, like a high humming. And sometimes it just stops for a few seconds, sort of a silence, and then starts again. At other times it feels like 2 different rhythms overlay each other: a slow one in the foreground, which presents for example as a sideways oscillating of my angle of vision, and a quick one in the background, more at core of my body.

Also my energy level is relatively high (there are days when I wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning despite I'm definitely not an early bird) and my mood is mostly pretty good.

And my Samatha-practice seems to get on track a little bit: I'm increasingly able to immerse myself into the mantra. After a while it feels really good. My lower body starts tingling and goes sort of numb and my hands get cosily warm. I like to think that this is the first Samatha-Jhana but am not so sure.

So, I tend to hope that I'm somewhere in A&P territory but think that "The Three Characteristics" is probably more likely. At two times I thought I was entering into Dark Night. I once woke up at night intensely vibrating and was experiencing a pretty pure form of fear. This happened also during a walking meditation between two sits: suddenly, a strong but strangely undirected fear took over. It had no specific object, just fear itself. It wasn't fun but at the same time also wasn't really disconcerting and kind of an interesting experience. But that's now over 3 weeks ago and nothing more like that has happened.

So much for now. Thanks for reading. I'd really appreciate any comments and suggestions!
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
A comment: Don't think you haven't hit A&P simply because the descriptions aren't as amazing as what you read around here. The only "lasting impression" you are likely to get from an A&P is access to the first jhana, and an urge to get the meditation thing done and over with. Given your impressive number of retreats, I'd say you definitely crossed A&P. Your "hash cookie" episode was likely an example of such an A&P. Your 2-3 year shit-hit-the-fan period was likely dark night. Your experience with feeling really good during meditation is likely the first/second/third jhanas, to which you have gained access through these events. Your mood being mostly pretty good suggests you're somewhere in equanimity, but you could well be further ahead.

A suggestion: If you haven't hit stream entry yet (and you could have), after so many years meditating, it is only due to lack of knowledge of what needs to be done, and/or determination to get it done straight away. I suggest you get your resolve completely determined and set. Maybe by honestly asking yourself "is there any reason why I haven't done this already?" and investigating what comes up. Resolve to attain stream entry, and just do it. You should progress fairly rapidly, given that you have many years of meditation under your belt (people often discover that they were being held up by nothing more than their own indecisiveness and imprecision).

On the eventuality that you already have attained stream entry, resolve to get a fruition and see what happens.

I'm guessing you've already read "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" by Daniel Ingram, because you know the lingo. If not, then do.

Other than that, welcome to the DhO :-)

Bruno
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Not much to add from me, except, keep noting! you should make good progress. post any questions or problems you run into and we'll try to sort em out
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-- Timus --, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/17/10 Recent Posts
Bruno, Beoman, thanks a lot for your comments, I really appreciate them! My replies will probably come with a bit of a time lag: despite the fact that I’m pretty good at understanding English, my ability to articulate myself in English is, due to a lack of practice, currently rather underdeveloped.

Bruno Loff:
A comment: Don't think you haven't hit A&P simply because the descriptions aren't as amazing as what you read around here. The only "lasting impression" you are likely to get from an A&P is access to the first jhana, and an urge to get the meditation thing done and over with. Given your impressive number of retreats, I'd say you definitely crossed A&P. Your "hash cookie" episode was likely an example of such an A&P. Your 2-3 year shit-hit-the-fan period was likely dark night. Your experience with feeling really good during meditation is likely the first/second/third jhanas, to which you have gained access through these events. Your mood being mostly pretty good suggests you're somewhere in equanimity, but you could well be further ahead.

Well, that sounds appealing, but I'm still pretty skeptical regarding my progress. I just don't want to create a story in which I start to believe in and then turns out to be nothing but a myth/self-deception. When I first encountered the map(s) and tried to figure out where I am, it crossed my mind that I may have entered Equanimity after my shit-hit-the-fan period. The main reason for this assessment was the name of the stage, equanimity, which is a good description for my state of mind in that period. But I can’t say that the other stuff which qualifies for Equanimity was present. Right now is the first time in my meditation “career” in which I experience something that seems to me like tangible evidence that I'm really on the road.

Bruno Loff:
A suggestion: If you haven't hit stream entry yet (and you could have), after so many years meditating, it is only due to lack of knowledge of what needs to be done, and/or determination to get it done straight away.

I seriously doubt that I'm a stream enterer yet. It's hardly imaginable how you would miss something like that?

Until 6 months ago I actually didn't know that something like Stream Entry exists and is attainable. Last spring my frustration with getting nowhere led me to search around a bit and I first stumbled across a book by Adyashanti in which he wrote about enlightenment as something that is reachable. This came quite as a surprise to me, since in my previous years of practice enlightenment was never a topic. Or rather a topic to be avoided, since talking about it seemed to be foolish. Even none of the Vipassana teachers I've been with ever mentioned anything about the different stages. (And I didn't ask about them.) My next find was MCTB. And that was all it took to bring me (back) on track (thanks Daniel!).

Bruno Loff:
I suggest you get your resolve completely determined and set. Maybe by honestly asking yourself "is there any reason why I haven't done this already?" and investigating what comes up. Resolve to attain stream entry, and just do it. You should progress fairly rapidly, given that you have many years of meditation under your belt (people often discover that they were being held up by nothing more than their own indecisiveness and imprecision).

Indecisiveness and imprecision, indeed. With hindsight I'd call my practice during the last years rather lukewarm. Definitely not oriented at a clear goal at all. After finding and starting to read MCTB I quickly resolved to attain Stream Entry before my 50th birthday. I decided if that wouldn't happen, I'd drop meditation completely. You'll probably laugh about the time span I'm giving myself. But time is fleeting right now (sounds like I'm a Methuselah), and since I don't really have a clue where I am, it seemed appropriate. Right now my momentum is growing.

Bruno Loff:
On the eventuality that you already have attained stream entry, resolve to get a fruition and see what happens.

I wouldn't know how to do that? emoticon

Bruno Loff:
I'm guessing you've already read "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" by Daniel Ingram, because you know the lingo. If not, then do.

Yes, I'm still reading it. Amazing book (again thanks, Daniel)!
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
-- Timus --:

I seriously doubt that I'm a stream enterer yet. It's hardly imaginable how you would miss something like that?


Not to say that you are, but:

I actually didn't notice I had gotten the Fruition for stream entry until I meditated either a few hours after, or a day after (still unsure). i knew i was in a Dark Night, but if I hadn't read MCTB i wouldn't have been able to pinpoint it as such.. i knew I got Equanimity, but wouldn't be able to name it that. the stream entry, like i said, wasn't too noticeable.. and then the cycles started up again, with another Dark Night, although slightly different. but if i hadn't been on top of things to even know that a thing like stream entry was possible, i can easily see how i wouldn't notice that progression, i wouldn't notice the Fruitions - i didn't notice many of them except for the bliss wave after, which i could easily have attributed to other stuff - and life would go on, me being none the wiser.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
-- Timus --:

Bruno Loff:
On the eventuality that you already have attained stream entry, resolve to get a fruition and see what happens.

I wouldn't know how to do that? emoticon


Could you describe a typical sit of yours, such as in this thread?

I think you will find these two links interesting:
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-- Timus --, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/17/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Beo Beoman:
… and life would go on, me being none the wiser.

Well, a bit wiser probably, but you wouldn’t know why.

Bruno Loff:
Could you describe a typical sit of yours, such as in this thread?

I’ll try to do that. This may take some time since I’m still not used to reflect on my sits, asses them and try to verbalize the experiences. But it becomes increasingly clear to me that this might be very valuable. At least it seams to increase the precision during meditation.

Bruno Loff:
I think you will find these two links interesting:

“Slacker” – I hope there’s a bit of irony in this notation! emoticon I’m planning on attending a 2 week retreat in March (still waiting for a free place, since my application was too late - if that won’t work I’ll do it on my own). I’ll take these recommendations with me.

Bruno Loff:

Thanks, that’s some nice stuff. Funny thing (but presumably coincidental): Of late my attention was drawn to that area called “sweet spot”. It started with realizing that my samatha practice went much better when I relaxed into the spot slightly underneath and in the middle between my eyebrows from time to time. From there I began to shift the focus more into the brain area - not during the samatha practice, mostly during walks and periods of more informal practice and experimentation. It feels a bit like a wading through a treacly mass (pleasant). Concentrating and relaxing into that area results sometimes in a vast stillness and/or the sense of having temporarily lost my sense of self.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Where am I?

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
If you crossed it on drugs that counts, actually. ;)

Check out this:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1509672
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-- Timus --, modified 10 Years ago.

Update

Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/17/10 Recent Posts
A short update (for everyone who's interested - which is much appreciated).

A couple of days after my last post I entered a rather sucky period (1-2 weeks). The perception of vibrations seemed to fade. I lost access to what I think may be the first samatha jhana. I started to get quite a bit obsessed with where I am on the path, even developed a sense of desperation, like "I won't make it, I just don't have the abilities, etc. ..." This was topped with the return of physical pain during meditation: a cramped left shoulder which produced a tight and annoying pain which at times radiated out in the skull (on which it presented itself sometimes in only a square centimeter of the surface - never had that before). Not as strong as I've experienced before, mostly present during walking meditation, during the sittings more in the background.

After a while I realized that I was pretty attached to what I saw as signs of progress (perceiving vibrations, seemingly access to the first samatha jhana) and how this grasping tightened me up. I was able to loosen the grip (mainly through focusing on the emotions around it) and dropped out of it (without actively trying to do that). The time afterwards was great! Even during my vipassana sits I was under the impression that I was entering the first samatha jhana (without pursuing it). And everything went "silky" which was a rather nice experience: I had a few days in which all of my sensory perceptions felt extremely smooth, like playing with a piece of silk. Also, my tongue felt at times as if it was under an electrical current - like licking on a battery. emoticon

In hindsight the whole episode looks like I stumbled deep into the 3Cs (or lower) and after a while made my way back to near A&P territory. I still don't believe that I went through A&P (at the beginning of my samatha sits I usually have a jerky breathing pattern, and I often have what Daniel describes in MCTB as ratchet-like sensations when I'm walking throughout the day (it took me quite some time to link this sensation to the term "ratchet-like")).

Another thing I'd like to describe: Over the last weeks, mainly during walking (meditation, but also at other times), I've been experiencing an increasing amount of what I call "floating." I sometimes felt like I'm on a ship in a very stormy sea. I'm not actually swaying / stumbling / loosing my balance - it's just a mental impression, as if the observer stays a bit behind the actual movement. At the beginning, it felt like I was passing through some narrow and unexpected imbalances of the gravity field which pushed me forward and/or down or held me back. It also had a bit of an annoying component, even made me feel like I'm on the verge of nausea (like being drunk). At its peak (regarding the impact) I once walked down a staircase and suddenly had the impression that the staircase was pushing itself upward with full power onto my feet and I frantically grabbed the handrail. emoticon Over time it became smoother, much broader and started to be rather like a gentle floating / swaying, a bit like moonwalking. Sometimes there's a similar experience at the beginning of a sitting (samatha and vipassana): it's a bit like I'm in a slow and wide whirl, also very gentle and without any nausea generating effect. Funny stuff, but I'm under the impression that this are just side effects, not really producing any insight (aside from noting the 3Cs of this experience too).

Right now I feel like I'm gaining stability in my samatha practice. It still takes quite some time to reach the point at which I think that the first jhana is reached (it may as well be just access concentration, but its very pleasurable), but the ability to grab the meditation object (mantra), immerse myself in it and stay with it longer and longer without interruption is increasing. My vipassana sits are much quieter as at the time of my last post (at that time some of them where pretty wild, like everything (internally) shaking all over the place). Still, at least during the last days, I'm reaching sometimes a point at which I'm under the impression that there's something "big" ahead. Usually accompanied by a speeding up of the frequency of the internal sound vibrations and an increased flickering of the visual field. But usually nothing happens.

For the fourth month in a row now I'm still perceiving vibrations (at a pretty steady frequency) almost all the time in my everyday life. They tend to move in the background of my perception when I'm under strong stress, like last week at work, but seem to be always there.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a place at the retreat I was planing to attend in March. So I'm going to do it by myself (11 days). It's the first time I'm doing a several-day retreat by myself, but I'm confident that it will work.

Thanks for reading. Any comments welcome!
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Update

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
-- Timus --:
Unfortunately, I didn't get a place at the retreat I was planing to attend in March. So I'm going to do it by myself (11 days). It's the first time I'm doing a several-day retreat by myself, but I'm confident that it will work.


Go for stream entry!

Here's the Reformed Slacker's Guide to Stream Entry: during my solo retreat basically I just did that and got stream entry in 5 days.
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-- Timus --, modified 10 Years ago.

Update 1 after retreat

Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/17/10 Recent Posts
I'd like to share a few 'retreat notes' which I wrote shortly after the retreat:
  • First an update over the last weeks before the retreat: Samatha practice: 45 min. - 1 hour in the morning (still working with the 'buddho' mantra, which I really like). Vipassana: 2 x 30 min. walking (to and from work) and 1 or 60+50 min. sitting (short walking in-between) in the evening, plus a 2 hour walking meditation on Sunday. Energy level high, motivation good. Still vibrating/throbbing/humming/buzzing in the body almost all the time and experiencing those strange 'space-distortions', mostly during walking (meditation, but not only). This plus a bunch of wild bursts of electricity buzzing through my brain made me 3 weeks ago actually think about going to a doctor and letting me check out for a possible (mild) stroke or a brain tumor - since it cooled down afterwards I didn't. Another 'symptom' started showing up: At times, during meditation, but off the cushion too, my roof of the mouth and the upper jaw-bone feels as if energy worms are eating their way through it. Like a pressure is trying to find it's way out. Once during a sitting meditation I started to get a bit scared since it was pretty quick and strong. It felt like my teeth were being pushed out of their sockets (they aren't actually moving - I checked). But usually it's not annoying, rather a strange and interesting phenomenon.
  • Mindset on the onset: Hopeful that I would a least cross A&P. That was sort of the 'goal.' After all those year to get a sign of progress. Given my motivation and this energetic stuff happening over the last couple of months made me think it would be possible. Stream Entry seemed out of the reach. Nevertheless, I read Brunos and Nikolais accounts on their Stream Entrys which were rather inspiring. The night before the first day I got a bit scared. While dozing off, the 'energy worms' in my jaw started moving like hell and I woke up during the night throbbing intensely throughout the body and having quick and a bit painful cramps in my legs (I normally don't experience stuff like that).
  • Practice during the retreat: Noting almost all the time. I only didn't when the mind wandered off, but I didn't intend to take any breaks during the time I was awake. I did 'formal' practice for about 13 hours a day and during the rest of the day, when I wasn't asleep (max. 5 hours and 45 minutes), as well, although not that structured as during formal practice.
    • Sitting: As usual I noted everything that showed up. Mostly with a focus on physical sensations (not suppressing the rest of the spectrum, just putting a focus on the physical stuff). I have a standard set of 'base point sensations' on which I can rely on to show up sooner or later in sometimes periodic and sometimes chaotic manner and at different speeds. No single anchor, like the breath. Pretty steady throughout the whole time.
    • Walking: Usually at a moderate pace, not too slow, since I have issues with my veins (hereditary, and unfortunately to an extent which isn't fun at all and let to a first stripping of a major vein 10 years ago) and use the walking also to speed up the blood flow. But that's fine: I rather enjoy it a bit faster. First, I'm used to it since I do walking meditation on my way to and from work, and second, it's good for speeding up the mind, at least that's my impression. While walking quickly I'm able to note (not verbally, but notice) round about 6-10 clearly distinct sensations per second.
  • Throughout the whole time I didn't experience a shred of physical discomfort. Ok, sometimes the knees hurt a little bit, but only to a minimal extent. Not like something I would consider a discomfort at all, just another pronounced sensation to note.
  • Days 1+2: "Great, wow, a self retreat works as smooth as I never have dared to imagine! I have to do this much more often …" Strong practice, both sitting and walking, mostly based on physical sensation, good attention and usually good mood. Nevertheless, as on almost every retreat, I have some rather short periods in which the mood changes to a doubtful slight sadness. Some thought like 'you don't make it' etc. creep in. Happens usually after a meal while lying down for some minutes.
  • Days 3+4: Some incredible 'sweet' sits in the evening and morning. Extremely quiet and subtle. The vibrations very smooth, filigree and soft but quick. Nothing extraordinary and explosive, just sweet silence. Sounds like a cliché, I know, but that's how it felt. I thought "wow, that's how life should be all the time, I have to do this much more often, even if all those progress stuff doesn't work for me, this is just a delight …". I wondered if I, against all odds, might after all be in Equanimity. Probably just a very nice Body and Mind experience, I guess. I don't want to depreciate it, it still sticks out as an experience very worth having.
  • Day 5: For the rest of the retreat the standard pattern in my sitting meditations was something like a washing machine slowly accelerating and then going on and on at a high speed: The inner sounds became very loud and dominating. A bit annoying, all those lovely stillness gone.
  • Days 6+7: Walking meditation started to get boring and the periods began to feel like a long stretch. (Reminded me a bit of the days when I started Vipassana practice and walking meditation was quite the sucker, as if I were doomed for ever in the Dharma torture chamber …). I realized that I didn't pay enough attention to mind states, especially thoughts, while keeping it mostly physical. So I put more effort in it. The 'thought hunt' (not in a negative sense) started to become pretty effective. I realized (not for the first time, but never so clear) that my thoughts are to a high extend visual, just images, coupled with a meaning and an emotion, although I never thought of me as a visual type. The sits stayed the same as before and at the 7th day I experimented a bit and stopped noting when the train of noted sensations was at high speed and just stayed with the whole buzzing/humming/flickering etc. universe. At the end of the 7th day the energy that moved around in the roof of my mouth started to mellowed out.
  • The morning of the 8th day came as quite a surprise: Bam, I overslept and … quit! What the heck? I heard the alarm, switched it off in a haze and fell asleep again. When I woke up again 2 hours later I desperately tried to fight the urge to quit - but to no avail, out I was. I don't know what happened? I definitely don't like standing up early, but in the days before it never was a problem. I even usually woke up without the alarm and started noting while waiting for it to go off. I never quit a retreat before (I only once left a day early since I suddenly lost my hearing in one ear which I wanted to get checked out thoroughly by a doctor (and which turned out to be physical but completely harmless and curable)). So although the setting was a bit new to me, I seemed to do good and there where only 3 days left. No excuses here, that wasn't divine intervention, but nothing but my decision - conscious or subconscious, doesn't matter.
So, there I was, feeling a bit baffled and mostly of all pretty annoyed with myself: I missed my goal and even threw myself off the wagon. What now? The first impulse was to beat me up senseless, then to forget all about that progress/stages stuff and just live my life without trying to squeeze more out of it than there is in for me. Well, this 'turmoil' calmed down in a couple of hours and I started to surface back into my normal life ... or so I thought (update will follow).
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-- Timus --, modified 10 Years ago.

Update 2 after retreat

Posts: 47 Join Date: 5/17/10 Recent Posts
On the evening after ending the retreat I got into trouble. The energetic stuff that had happened in my upper jaw-bone started its own life on a huger scale: This time I really thought that my teeth were going to be pushed/pulled out of their sockets. Then the tensions (no cramps, just pressure) started to move upwards. First through my nose, then the forehead, then over the whole head (luckily a bit broader than in the jaw) and then in the cervical vertebras in combination with a heavy headache. I felt like shit and tried to sleep which didn't work until 4 o'clock in the morning. The next morning was a bit of a relieve but only as a prelude to another plunge in the gutter: In the afternoon my mood swung down. I can't remember the last time I felt so doomed. I actually got paranoid and thought the practice had somehow seriously messed up my mind and/or nervous system. I became so frightened of getting insane that I thought about going to a doctor or at least calling friends to soothe me. Instead, I somehow made me sit down to meditate and hoped this would help (one of my toughest sits yet). Which it did. After 30 minutes normality kicked back in and I calmed down. The next day was the absolute opposite to the evening before: I felt like I was bathed in in pure joy. While sitting in the morning I had the impression of being dissolved, but still couldn't let go, as if a final release of the brakes is missing (the whole thing had an erotic component emoticon).

My interpretation regarding the stages: Still 3C's (intense) with access to the first A&P nanas from time to time. Looking over the last months it seems like this movement between those 2 territories is like a pendulum with an increasing amplitude.

I still practice more than normal, usually 3-5 hours a day, to use the momentum that seems to be there.

Any thoughts, suggestions, advice …? Would be extremely welcome and appreciated!