Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Adam Bieber, modified 10 Years ago.

Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
Hi,

Last summer I believe that I crossed the A&P on a 10-day retreat at Insight Meditation Society. I had been practicing for three weeks previous to the retreat using strictly Daniel's book and advice. I believe I saw and felt many of things described in the chapter experientially. When I crossed the A&P, I felt like a ghost in my body and my body was just a bunch of tingling sensations. I walked out the room feeling superhuman but this ecstacy faded to mini-ecstacy after 10 minutes. I thought that I was enlightened but after several days, I knew that I was not.

I did not really perceive the dark night and after the summer, I went back to college, where I knew I would not be able to practice that much. After crossing the A&P and back at school, I felt different in the way I perceived my thoughts, emotions, and outside world. My friends around me would question emotions, situations, and thoughts and I felt like they were being caught by issues/sensation that I could spot immediately.

Before thanksgiving break, my flight time permitted me to have a few days by myself at school. Each day, I went to the park for about two hours and noted sensations. I was having crazy A&P sensations. I saw flashing lights in the air, which I think might have been electricity. The sky appeared to not be separated from my eyes. Strong raptures of bliss. I am almost positive it was A&P sensations. When I went to Florida for thanksgiving dinner, I felt in a state of meditation for much of the trip without actually sitting. Then I meditated once with my cousin for about 30 minutes and in hindsight, I believe I crossed the A&P again, where I was in an elevated, open, jhanic state that I believe happens after I cross the A&p when I cycle.
When the semester ended, I headed home and began to meditate 30 minute sessions and four sessions per day. At first, the sensations were rough and strong but not in a rapturous way. It would be as if a sensation is separate from my self but attacking with strong vibrations. I did spot some real fear and misery sensations arising from the stomache area and my mind would scream like in horror movies. After about a week of these rough and challenging sensations, everything panned out and became wide like the descriptions of equanimity. It was like I entered heaven and ease. It was as if I was perfectly relaxed in a spa. It felt great. Sensations were occurring mostly in my head but I was not confined to the sensation because their was a wider space present. It went space, sensation, then me(awareness). Oh and definitely felt formless like I was floating awareness inside my body but actually I didn't have a body. I was floating alert air. Experienced this several times. I should say that I noted throughout this entire dark night and equanimity and very helpful was noting the observer, which I felt progressed me quickly.

Then, I still felt the calmness of equanimity. I often noticed the seperation between a self and space. A separation between a self and time and wonder. Wonder, anger, emotions were just a sensation as were thoughts. I definately dozed of quite a lot during this stage. One time, I dozed off and when I came too, I felt the sensation described after stream entry. I was light, my mind was clear, some weight had been lifted and I felt as if something was completed but at the time, I had no idea what happened just that I felt a little different than previously. I stopped meditating and truly believed that I was still in equanimity. As the day and days progressed, I noticed that I was seeing the world differently. I continued meditating but I was now an awareness separate from every sensation. It was apparent and I was seeing the world physically different than before. I was my mind and everything else was a sensation. It wasn't until two or three days later that I noted the sensations had a cycling aspect to them. They felt the same as I had felt before, which I pondered at as I thought I was in equanimity. Then i predicted what the next set of sensations would feel like and they felt as if they were going in patterns. I would feel sensations (hard to describe), then I would get the jhanic elevation after those specific set of sensations that I had experienced in Florida while meditating with my cousin. Then I would get the same sensations felt during my "dark night" period, rough and tough sensations that vibrated at high frequencies,and then everything would pan out and feel relaxingly great like I was in equanimity. I would keep noting and eventually I would doze off several times and one of those doze offs, I would come back with the lightness, clarity, and feeling as if a weight has dropped. This has happened everytime I have sat, which is only a few times as I have lost the will a little bit to sit as much. I have been working a bit more. After the "presumed fruition", I would go into concentration states to examine the feeling and I would feel centerless, vast, and clear. I also feel extreme bliss and gratitude. I am barely aware of the fruitions but what is most strong is the similar feelings after a perceived fruition or what really feels like non-experience.

I know that time will tell all but there seems to be a definite physical change. I am now an awareness completely separate from sensations but still feels those sensations. Sometimes I do get caught up in thoughts though. My mind seems to be more wide and clear then it was previous to the presumed path finish. Again, I feel like I am an awareness and everything else is outside that awareness and present as a sensation. I feel the difference between sensations inside and outside my body but they are now much more subtle. It is so strange and really hard to describe. When I describe it, its not really accurate because it feels complex so I try to explain it in conceptual terms.

Thoughts would be much appreciated and I am so thankful for this community and MCTB.
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Fun stuff! Not gonna give a verdict, but here is some post straam entry advice. Others please correct me if it seems like bad advice.

tarin seems to recommend, after stream entry, to just sit to meditate without inclining your mind in any way. Do you go through the cycles and into fruition like a boulder rolls down a hill?

I'd recommend trying out some Samatha jhanas. Even with little prior experience to them you should have access to a lot more/harder ones, and learning it now can be beneficial later.

What might also be fun, going against the first advice, is to purposefully spend a lot of time in each nyana, especially the dark night. It's a lot less scary when you know you have mastered it already, and can be beneficial for later since you'll run into them again. Also fun mite be to focus on a specific characteristic, e.g. Suffering, while going thru the cycles and into fruition.

You can even try reviewing the first three nyanas just by inclining your mind there. See if that doesn't bring up memories of when you were first there without knowing it =P. I feel I wish I did this more, or paid attention to the first three more, as I basically seem to have ignored them. Careful with inclining the mind though. I think I did this too much during my SE review and that got me a bit stuck when I was into some new cycles.

Maybe re-read mctb chapter on post-stream entry.

You say now you're an awareness. There will still be something that you cling to as being you. I think investigating that will precipitate a new cycle. If you don't do it yourself it'll happen anyway sooner or later. Be warned there are new dark nights ahead.

Also seems like 2nd path, ie finishing a new cycle, is pretty easy if you use the momentum from stream entry.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
A&P is great fun, but it's got this annoying habit of making people, me included on more than one occasion, think they've cracked the case and attained enlightenment. You've almost certainly crossed the A&P, if your descriptions are accurate, although the length of time which you experienced this across seems rather unusual, well, compared to my own experience at least which is the only comparison I can make.

I saw flashing lights in the air, which I think might have been electricity. The sky appeared to not be separated from my eyes. Strong raptures of bliss. I am almost positive it was A&P sensations.


Sounds pretty positive to me.

I believe I crossed the A&P again, where I was in an elevated, open, jhanic state that I believe happens after I cross the A&p when I cycle.


Sounds like you're hitting Dark Night, it tends to be quite open and sparse feeling at first 'cause it's hard to see the centre of focus, but some people cross this stage in minutes. Much as these stages do indeed arise in the same order for each of us, there's considerable variety in individual experience of them although they share certain fundamental aspects which allow them to be identified. Basically, don't expect your experience to exactly fit what someone else says 'cause it doesn't always happen like that.

I headed home and began to meditate 30 minute sessions and four sessions per day.


Fuck yeah! It's details like this that a lot of new people on here neglect to provide in their first postings. I know, I did it too so it's cool to see someone else give out the details as you've done 'cause then we can all get a look at what you've been doing beforehand.

At first, the sensations were rough and strong but not in a rapturous way. It would be as if a sensation is separate from my self but attacking with strong vibrations. I did spot some real fear and misery sensations arising from the stomache area and my mind would scream like in horror movies. After about a week of these rough and challenging sensations, everything panned out and became wide like the descriptions of equanimity


Sounds like Re-observation, back into late Dark Night, back up to Re-observation (that comedic horror thing is something I get too sometimes at this stage) and into Equanimity if you ask me. You seem to have a decent handle on the stages themselves and what goes on in each so I'll trust your judgement of what happened here, your information is consistent and sensations seem similar to my own observation of these nanas.

It was like I entered heaven and ease. It was as if I was perfectly relaxed in a spa. It felt great. Sensations were occurring mostly in my head but I was not confined to the sensation because their was a wider space present. It went space, sensation, then me(awareness). Oh and definitely felt formless like I was floating awareness inside my body but actually I didn't have a body. I was floating alert air. Experienced this several times. I should say that I noted throughout this entire dark night and equanimity and very helpful was noting the observer, which I felt progressed me quickly.


Sounds accurate enough to me. The formless thing is, again, something I've written about in my own practice threads in the past so you've got some strong concentration happening if that's the case. There's also the possibility that you may have solidified this state and missed the point although you do mention that you continued noting which would suggest otherwise.

By observer, do you mean the sense of there being an "I"?

I definately dozed of quite a lot during this stage. One time, I dozed off and when I came too, I felt the sensation described after stream entry


What do you mean by "dozed off" and "came too"?

Which "sensation described after stream entry" are you referring to, there's a multitude of sensations going on there!

This is quite important actually, although I think I know what you mean as I used similar terms in my own first post, but try to define it a bit clearer. What did you actually experience at that moment in time, be as accurate and honest as possible as this, as far as an online diagnosis goes from a guy who's not been doing this all that much longer than you have, is quite a definable event. For some people it may not be, I don't know, but you seem quite confident that there's been some fundamental shift in awareness which wasn't there previously and which you noticed when it occurred.

I know that time will tell all but there seems to be a definite physical change. I am now an awareness completely separate from sensations but still feels those sensations


Absolutely. Time and practice will show where you are, no one you're going to talk to online, without considerable personal interaction at a face to face level, is likely to be able to accurately diagnose these things, in my opinion, but fellow practitioners will give you some honesty and objectivity which is difficult to get from yourself during this stage.

So what is it that's actually changed? You say physical, but I'm hearing perceptual. Consider that it's not so much that you are "an awareness completely separate from sensations", but that you, this awareness of awareness itself, are also sensation which is to be noted.

I feel the difference between sensations inside and outside my body but they are now much more subtle.


Look at what defines "inside" and "outside".

It is so strange and really hard to describe. When I describe it, its not really accurate because it feels complex so I try to explain it in conceptual terms.


As you've seen for yourself, communicating these experiences, or non-experiences as the case may be, is fraught with difficulty if we wish to be understood clearly by others, particularly with no opportunity for being able to ask more questions in real-time, or the ability to see the non-verbal aspect of one's communication either.

In short, this is all guesswork. We're just people only marginally more experienced than yourself in this area so don't take anyone's word as final here. The only way to really know where you are is to get a teacher who's willing to discuss attainments, or at the very least familiarise yourself as much as possible with the maps and be honest, critical and curious about your experience of reality. When I first posted on here suspecting I had attained stream-entry, Daniel Ingram provided a kinda checklist of things a stream-enterer should be able to do which was massively important in my own understanding. Here's what he said, with a few notes from me after seeing how important these words have turned out to be, and hopefully it'll give you the opportunity to analyse your current position:

Daniel M. Ingram
Criteria for stream entry are straightforward, but seeing if they actually fit is a complex process and can vary depending on the training and talents and conceptual frameworks of the person being evaluated.

Big things:

1) You should be able to get into some sort of altered/meditative state at will within about 1/2 a second just by deciding to investigate something or look at reality carefully or incline your mind that way 100% of the time you try this.

Note: I understood this as referring to the ability to get "access concentration" and first jhana

2) Once you become familiar with the insight stages as described, you should be able to sit down in a brief version of 4th, progress down in to 5th, hit the Dark Night, progress to Equanimity, and then, maybe, depending on a number of factors, get a Fruition: note: not everyone can do this last part, even if they are a good meditator. Some can and some can't. Criteria for a Fruition are given in MCTB, as well as common mimics listed. Even if you are a stream enterer, if you haven't exercised this ability or done it only once, it may not be that easy to do it again until you have had some practice and maybe not even then. This is particularly true of those who have come up in other traditions where that particular ability was not the focus of practice.

Note: In my experience, if I don't get a Fruition during practice it's possible to get one after the session by recalling the practice, quickly but accurately noting your way up to Equanimity and popping one shortly thereafter by looking at the 3C's in the sensations of Equanimity. This may differ for you so do what works.

3) Your life should be completely different in some ways: problem is, the A&P can do this on its own, so this is insufficient criteria in and of itself.

Note: My own life has changed in ways I could never have imagined since attaining stream entry, I know now in retrospect why these changes occurred and that they were not solely related to the A&P so I can vouch for this criteria still being noteworthy. Be careful about this aspect though, I see exactly what he was saying now

4) Talk with someone who has stream entry about this, particularly someone who is familiar with the variability in presentation and abilities that can occur.

Note: There's lots of stream-enterers and above on DhO so ask questions and you'll get some answers.

5) Try to have repeat Fruitions: incline, incline, incline, and practice. Resolve, resolve, resolve and practice. Pay attention. Learn to navigate through the Vipassana Jhanas, learn their qualities, learn how to shift to each new level and know what they shift was and how it occurred: this is the foundation of the solid practice that causes progress and clarifies what was what.

Note: My god I can't tell you how useful this is, especially the last sentence.

I have no idea if you actually have stream entry, but do the experiment for yourself: see if you can get real, honest-to-goodness Fruitions or at least progress through the stages of insight up to Equanimity sit after sit, and watch for the changes, and, again: talk with someone about this: as trying to figure out things across traditions is complex. Best to get in touch with someone who knows the magickal frameworks you are coming from so they can translate that into vipassana terminology, if only for communication and criteria application purposes.

Helpful?


Since then I've thought I was everything from 1st to 4th Path, it's easy to get mixed up and fool yourself at times. I've done it myself which is why I eventually abandoned any ideas about paths past stream-entry for the moment, just focus on practice and everything will become clearer by the day. It sounds like you've got your shit together anyway, mentally and physically, so just be sure to balance up practice with a normal life and read Dan's chapter about
Dark Night which contains some amazingly useful advice about this stage. I think it should be essential reading to anyone intending to pursue the path of insight as I've rarely seen this stuff discussed in such compassionate and human terms. The whole book's a beauty, as you know, and there are some amazingly talented people on here who can advise on pretty much anything you're likely to encounter.

Take care of yourself and good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Tommy
Adam Bieber, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
Hi guys, thanks for the great notes. To be honest, I have not meditated much in the last week and half. When I was meditating several times per day after the "perceived" stream entry, I seemed to streamline through the cycles and to what I thought was a fruition (weight lifted feeling, a centerlessness that was fascinating and profound, bliss). This happened regularly when I would do my strict noting routine, which was to note the breathe several times on the up breathe and several times on the down breath and watch the sensations that arose. When I just sit and meditate without noting, sensations become obvious.

Mostly, I can only really take stabs in the dark at which stage I am in like when there are flashing lights on the wall of my eyelids, I presume that I am in A&P. When I feel, this rough, vibrating and almost irritating sensation, i believe I am in dark night as well as the comedic horror and when everything pans out and gets wide and calm, I think that I am in equanimity. When I feel centerless and I am suddenly, instantly alert to my own being in a profound and deeply blissful way, I think that I have just had a fruition but again I have no idea.

What I did for three weeks was sit four times a day four 30 minutes, noted intensely, and just watched sensations happen as a third party. I believe that I was in dark night territory prior to these three weeks and in a meditative, extremely focused, mind set. I noticed that when I just let the sensations happen on their own, I rapidly progressed into new types of sensations/feelings. I literally just waited and watched and paradoxically, new and exciting sensations would arise. Also, especially during the dark night, I focused on a separation of self that really helped me separate myself from these extremely abrasive sensations. Separating a self from sensations helped me a great deal as well as observing the observer. Observing the observer (observing my awareness) gave me something to focus on that was so impermanent, created no room for distraction, and helped me advance through stages quickly. I also like watching suffering as just a tension because it makes feeling suffering sooooo easy since every sensation has that bit of tension and tension is an annoyance.

When I note the observer, I am noting the presence of awareness. I am noting my own noticing of awareness.

The Fruition experience (as best as I can remember):
I had been dozing off kind of like when you doze off in class and then realize that you are supposed to be paying attention. At this point, I am not sure if I dozed off but I suddenly became alert with an odd new sensation that I never felt before. A weight had been lifted and it felt extremely relaxing and nice. I am also pretty sure a sense of completion/satisfaction was felt but not positive. I did not notice a perceptual change at this moment but a different sensation not experienced before. I left the meditation session believing I was still in equanimity. Then it must of been several hours later (i think) before I realized that I was "perceptually" seeing the world differently. A day or two later, I kept contemplating about how I was this new awareness experiencing sensations and then I was speaking to my mom about the situation and she mentioned the term, the "third eye" and hit it me that that is exactly and perfectly what I was experiencing. I was seeing the world from a third eye that i previously did not experience. I do not really know if it is physical or perceptual probably perceptual as their seems to be a center to analyze/feel all sensations. The center seems to be my awareness but at the same time I can observe my awareness from some other viewpoint. What really made me think that I hit stream entry was when I was meditating, the sensations appeared to have a pattern and were unusually familiar. I began predicting what would happen next and predicting what stage I was in with reference to Daniel's MCTB and I was always right. The cycle would end in the same "fruition", weight being dropped, centerless, profound experience.

Tommy, I seem to fit most of the criteria under Dan's list and will continue to investigate for crystal clear accuracy.

Thank you both so much for your opinions and advice and don't be shy to respond to this one emoticon

Adam
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Just a quick reply here, I'll get a more full response later.

Your descriptions are top-notch, the only thing I would suggest looking out for is "scripting" yourself into these experiences by expecting things to happen. It doesn't sound like that's the case if I'm being honest, there's enough of a personal flavour to your descriptions to suggest that you have indeed gotten stream-entry. I'll go into more detail about why I think this is the case later but, as always, I stand to be corrected so don't think I'm some sort of authority on the matter. Several different opinions are better than one!

Anyhow, congratulations on being very likely to have gotten stream entry and kudos on your clear descriptions!
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Nikolai H., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Sounds pretty straight forward to me, if you aren't scripting. I liked the fruition explanation. Here's soemthing you can do:
Flicker your eyelids and as they flicker, watch for the very last flicker and when the sensation of it stops dead. Pay attention to when it stops dead. What happens?
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Beoman Beo Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam Bieber:
Hi guys, thanks for the great notes. To be honest, I have not meditated much in the last week and half. When I was meditating several times per day after the "perceived" stream entry, I seemed to streamline through the cycles and to what I thought was a fruition (weight lifted feeling, a centerlessness that was fascinating and profound, bliss). This happened regularly when I would do my strict noting routine, which was to note the breathe several times on the up breathe and several times on the down breath and watch the sensations that arose. When I just sit and meditate without noting, sensations become obvious.


Ya the feeling to meditate goes down quite a bit. I'd try to do samatha jhanas since it's easy after stream entry. I guess you could make yourself do it =P, but they are pretty pleasant anyway.

Also you might wanna take a look at Actual Freedom if you haven't and see if it doesn't appeal to you. Maybe you can use the momentum from stream entry to precipitate a PCE or something. I feel the HAIETMBOA method can make one happier wherever one is.

Some of the instructions overlap.. like naivete can be very useful during insight meditation as it helps you to not expect anything in particular. Actually an idea I had about how to fine-tune meditation is: remove the future and the past. By removing the past you're not looking at sensations that have already happened, but at the ones that are happening now. By removing the future you aren't ignoring anything you're not looking for in the present moment. I feel like if you can remove the past and the future you fine-tune your awareness to a pin-point.. I wonder if that's what is meant by single-pointed concentration or mindfulness.

Other instructions might be contradictory, though. Vipassana is all about ignoring the content and plowing forward. AF is about examining the content in detail. I feel too much of the former can make one crazy, though, heh.
Adam Bieber, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
I tried the eye flicker. I thought I noticed equanimity and I also felt like I was in some alternate crazy cool reality. I need to do more flickers to test its effects. If I am getting fruitions, what I feel when I believe I just got a fruition feels great but also normal like I am extremely relaxed in a spa but the massage is happening from within my face. Often, it feels like no big deal, is not mind-blowing, but certainly cool and just nice and like I am engrained in some deep deep way with reality (almost swimming in it or feeling myself deeply pulled into an alternate reality). My head feels most of the sensations when I am in equanimity and after a "fruition". I really can't discern the fruition moment. I feel like I always miss the boat and end up feeling what i think to be a fruition as just being too nice and strong to classify it as anything else.

I think AF is a great idea. I am not skeptical and believe posts from Daniel and Tarin about how great it is. I just do better with a strict instruction that I know works. When I do AF practice, I feel like I am getting happier/feeling better but it is not enough in some way. AF is definitely a goal of mine but I feel stuck not being able to attain a PCE easily.
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Florian Weps, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Adam,

Clear descriptions, looks like good, strong practice and good results to me.

Adam Bieber:
I really can't discern the fruition moment. I feel like I always miss the boat and end up feeling what i think to be a fruition as just being too nice and strong to classify it as anything else.


Yes, that's what they mean by "gap in experience" and so on. Fruition is not an experience, and missing it is entirely consistent.

What can be experienced, however, is the moment just before, and the moment just afterwards, which is the next moment of experience. When these are experienced clearly, it is possible to deduce that something must have happened in between, that there was a passage of time (but no memory of time passing), a "missed moment" and so on. Investigating this led me to some interesting insights.

All in all, I like Duncan Barford's take on fruitions best: they are primarily insight-producing rather than experience-producing. Look for the new insights, watch them unfold in the conceptual space of thoughts and ideas (but don't mistake the concepts for the insight).

Cheers,
Florian
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I also felt like I was in some alternate crazy cool reality.


Could you elaborate a bit more on this, I know what you're getting at here but I'd like to hear more about it. One thing I'd suggest is dropping ideas of this being some alternative reality, all that's happening is that you're getting a much more present experience of this reality as it occurs. It's sensations like this which you should try noting to see what implies an "alternative reality" compared to what you've previously perceived as being reality before SE. Just a suggestion, you seem to have a good handle on what's going on so far but it's worth a check, if only for another level of sensation to examine.

If I am getting fruitions, what I feel when I believe I just got a fruition feels great but also normal like I am extremely relaxed in a spa but the massage is happening from within my face. Often, it feels like no big deal, is not mind-blowing, but certainly cool and just nice and like I am engrained in some deep deep way with reality (almost swimming in it or feeling myself deeply pulled into an alternate reality)


It's a pain in the arse to figure out what's Fruition and what's not at first, the first line of description sounds more like first jhana and I suspect it's because you're concentrating quite solidly on these sensations and trying to spot something which implies fruition. The second line sounds more like getting mindfulness up to the point where you're "here in the moment" for extended periods of time, it's a beautiful feeling and will occur more and more so keep examining this.

Check out this chapter of MCTB more some great info on spotting a Fruition, telling them apart from a lot of the other common experiences when doing samatha and vipassana:

Was That Emptiness?

I think Bruno made an excellent point, don't make a mad dash for 2nd path, learn to master the jhanas, call them up at will, see what's really going on in these states and stages. It's experience which will stand you in a solid position to explore what's to come more accurately. Mastery leads to moving on, but moving on eventually leads to mastery, to paraphrase what tarin greco advised me.

It's easy to "miss the boat" with Fruition but working on your concentration and regular practice will make this much easier. That chapter from MCTB will probably explain this better than I can. In my experience, there's a moment where you realize that "something" just happened but, when you try to look back at what just passed, there's nothing to see. A blank, no time, space, self etc etc and there's a lovely wave of bliss felt quite deeply within the body after this, not on the surface.

As for AF, I've had the pleasure of entering PCE-mode on a few occasions at will and it's truly a wonder in itself, or more accurately a wonder in the complete lack of any self. There's not much that can be said about it that seems believable until you've had a PCE, which you almost certainly will have at some point in your life, so it's well worth exploring if you feel you want to.

Once again, congratulations and welcome to one of the most supportive, honest and practical communities you're likely to come across in your journey.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Hi Adam!

Adam Bieber:
I would keep noting and eventually I would doze off several times and one of those doze offs, I would come back with the lightness, clarity, and feeling as if a weight has dropped.


That's stream entry. You would seriously profit, during this post SE stage, from practicing and mastering jhanas (I mean getting hard, solid, unmoving, deep jhanas). This recommendation is a no-brainer: it is the ideal moment to do it, it is very pleasant to do, it helps with your day-to-day life, and it helps you further down the path.

Adam Bieber:

I am now an awareness completely separate from sensations but still feels those sensations.


Whenever you come back to vipassana, note "awareness," or, if you prefer, "being a separate awareness" (it's also a sensation).

Take care emoticon
Bruno
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Jeffrey S Brooks, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 20 Join Date: 2/20/11 Recent Posts
Congratulations Adam, on having an experience of the third jhana. As you may know the third jhana is characterized by the arising of equanimity. You did not mention the stilling of your mind, which is tranquility, and thus the second jhana, but I would bet you found the still mind of the second jhana first.

As you have already found, just attaining some level of samadhi is not enough. One has to maintain a daily meditation practice of some significant level to experience that jhana every day. But, it seems you know that to. So, keep up the good meditation practice, and follow what you find repeats this positive experience and even deepens it, and that will be an excellent guide to you. You may find the links to the following essay and videos some use to you:

Recognizing the Absorption States (jhana) (October 16, 2004)
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/recognizingabsorption.htm
Videos:
What is jhana?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L385Ef-Bv_8
The four jhanas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLdfAz5tvWI

Best regards, Jhanananda
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Nikolai H., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Hello Jeffrey,

Welcome to the DhO.

I am familiar with some of what you have written on the internet. There is one thing that confused me a bit. I read it somewhere on your yahoo jhana support group. I'll try and find the link.

Is it true you equate having access to the 1st jhana to stream entry, 2nd jhana to sakadagami, 3rd jhana to anagami and 4th jhana to arahat? So if someone has access to 4th jhana they are an arhat?

Also as you consider yourself a fetter free arahat, could you post a new thread on how exactly you went about getting fetter-free. I'm seriously interested in how you did it. : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jhanas/message/18209


Sincerely,

Nick


Jeffrey S Brooks:
Congratulations Adam, on having an experience of the third jhana. As you may know the third jhana is characterized by the arising of equanimity. You did not mention the stilling of your mind, which is tranquility, and thus the second jhana, but I would bet you found the still mind of the second jhana first.

As you have already found, just attaining some level of samadhi is not enough. One has to maintain a daily meditation practice of some significant level to experience that jhana every day. But, it seems you know that to. So, keep up the good meditation practice, and follow what you find repeats this positive experience and even deepens it, and that will be an excellent guide to you. You may find the links to the following essay and videos some use to you:

Recognizing the Absorption States (jhana) (October 16, 2004)
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/recognizingabsorption.htm
Videos:
What is jhana?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L385Ef-Bv_8
The four jhanas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLdfAz5tvWI

Best regards, Jhanananda
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
James, what's the deal with your emphasis on the samatha jhanas here? Useful as the links and advice are, this was a thread about stream entry and not concentration practice.

Edit: Just read Nik's post there, I'd also be very interested to hear more about this.

Edit No. 2: Just checked out that thread. I smell trouble.
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Beoman Claudiu Beoman, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
You have a very different view of jhana than most of us! I'd encourage you to post your thoughts, in full explanation, in the Dharma Battleground category, and we'll take it from there. There's lots of accomplished people (stream entry at the least) on this forum, so it should be an interesting debate. Personally I feel one can experience the jhanas without the accompanied attainments, so I need more proof before I accept your views. I doubt you will be driven out of this forum in the same way you were driven out of the previous ones you attempted to post to.
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Jeffrey S Brooks, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Stream-Entry Perhaps :)

Posts: 20 Join Date: 2/20/11 Recent Posts
Hello Nick, Tommy and Beoman, and thank-you for posting your responses to my interpretation of Adam’s description of his meditation experiences. In an immediate response to your enquiry regarding a link between the 4 stages of Noble beings (ariya puggala) and the 4 levels of the jhanas; no, I have not found a sutta that directly equates them; however, from experiencing the stages of jhana nearly everyday for nearly the last 40 years I can say that there is a definite relationship between the ability to sustain a particular level of jhana on a daily basis, and becoming relatively free of neuroses and addictive behavior, which is how the 4 stages of Noble beings (ariya puggala) are defined in the suttas.

And, yes, Beoman I agree with you, I have a very different interpretation of jhana than most Buddhist priests and meditation teachers express; however, I have ample sutta support for my interpretation; whereas, the alternate interpretations of jhana generally depend upon commentarial support. I will expand on this more under other threads, so that we do not contaminate Adam’s description of his meditation experiences with dhamma debate.

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