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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have

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I completed my first residential reatreat the end of July of this year. It was 5 day retreat hosted by a sangha in Cache Valley, Utah and led by Suzie Harrington.

On the morning of day 4 of the retreat I had an experience where I was in a good concentrated state, but nothing as detailed or granular as anything described in the first phases of Insight as described in MCTB. Mostly just some focused noting of fluid senstations, jumping around from body, breath, sound and thoughts. 

In the midst of this I thought about a teaching from the night before on impermanence and visualized myself and others growing old and dying and the phrase "How Wonderful Life Is" came into my mind just as I perceived a diamond shaped brilliant light in my chest and felt a rush of love, gratitude and euphoria that swept over my body and basically burned away a lifetime of depression and despair. I had a period of about 20 minutes where the euphoria was as intense as an MDMA hit then the euphoria decreased, although it persisted at some level for the rest of the reatreat and over the next 3 or four weeks as it slowly dissipated.

Much of what I felt seems to fall in line with what is described in MCTB in regards to an A&P event. It was dramatic (the most powerful thing I've experienced in my life), it produced all those corruptions of the mind that feel so good, it left me with an evangelical zeal, it had the feeling of being a point-of-no-return, and it did lead me to laughing out loud at this section of MCTB:
That said, if you are reading this book, you very well may have crossed the A&P event already even if you don’t know you have, as reading long and esoteric tomes on meditation while searching for something is the sort of thing that people who have crossed the A&P are much more likely to do

I'm curious how to understand this event. My gut is that is was some sort of naive A&P as is described happenning to children and others apropos of nothing. My insight practice at that point leading up to that was fairly vague, although focused, but I've also felt nothing that feels like Dark Night of the Soul on the back end. As a matter of fact I seem to have a level of peace and happinness that I have not felt in a long, long time. 

Maybe in some way I hit the A&P and then regressed back to earlier stages? I feel like my current practice is somewhere in the Mind and Body stage (n1?).

Any insights would be welcome.

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/25/19 10:49 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Sounds like you could definitely have experienced the A&P.  If you're not running into dukkha nanas afterwards, that's all the better -- just keep an open mind that difficulties could show up in the future.  

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/25/19 11:58 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Dissolution can be pretty peaceful, I hear, and technically it feels a lot like regression although it isn’t. That would be my guess, because, yeah, that definitely sounds like you crossed A&P.

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/26/19 10:04 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Thanks! This is very comforting to get some confirmation. For all the good feelings that came with the experience, the lack of ability to make sense of experience or orient myself on the path has been frustrating. It's also good to be aware that some Dark Night experiences are likely on the horizon as otherwise I might have chalked it up to a weird thing that gave me momentary relief before dumping me back into what might have felt like some flavor of depression.

It is still odd to me that quality of my practice (as described in MCTB ) still appears to be very Mind and Body with only the slightest hints of Cause and Effect. I wonder if the practice has to develop more before really progressing. 

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/25/19 1:34 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you usually go up through the nanas in the course of a sit -- so you'll sit down, make it to Mind and Body, start running into 3 characteristics jerks and twitches, and then make it into A&P territory.  And you can go back down again too if concentration or investigation falls away for long enough.  There are times when nanas will hit strongly and persistently for hours or days on or off the cushion, but it's more common to just go up and down while you're sitting.

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/26/19 9:53 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
So A&P is not always a one way to ticket to DNsville?

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/26/19 12:05 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Everyone go through the dukkha nanas after crossing the A&P, but it doesn’t necessarily have to live up to the name dark night. It can be more like grey afternoons if you are lucky.

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/26/19 10:03 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Good to know. Having coped with depression most of my life, I actually feel fairly hopeful about the process, particularly the bleed through part. I've gotten very good at acting well despite feeling bad and having the added knowledge that the lows are part of a meaningful process puts a whole new light on things.

Plus, the general skill of learning to not be attached to feelings that comes through the practice of meditation seems to be helpful as things start to slow down. 

I feel very lucky to have stumbled on to MCTB and this site. Not sure how I would have processed all of this otherwise.

RE: Probably A&P, but like the ones kids have
Answer
9/26/19 10:20 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
That’s a very good skill to have. Knowing that I’m going through a meaningful process helps me too.

Very best wishes for your practice and wellbeing!