Yet another intense A&P passage, I think...

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Andy R, modified 10 Years ago.

Yet another intense A&P passage, I think...

Posts: 42 Join Date: 10/24/10 Recent Posts
This is the second extremely physically intense A&P-like experience I’ve had in a month and a half. Both happened after a much larger than normal amount of meditation. In the first case, I had done 14 hours of noting over two days of driving, and in last night's case, I had done about 3 hours of noting/driving, a couple half-hour sessions of concentration work, and three one-hour meditations a day prior.

I've got some questions below. Can anyone shed any light on any of this?

Here are the notes from my journal:
[indent]On the bed in the evening. Started with counting breaths to 100. Once I got to 100, I simply watched the breath for a while, then started noting. I don’t remember too much, except for a number of itches, and that my breath became pretty noticeable for a short while. Before I knew it, I was feeling pretty calm, and things started getting a bit hazy, dreamy, foggy. I remember trying to note, and then later realizing that I’d been drifting. I’d try again, and again, I’d realize I’d been drifting along. This went on for quite a while. So far, so good -- nothing unusual.

Out of nowhere, I felt this sudden body sensation surge, almost like the rush of acceleration in a really fast car. It lasted about two or three seconds, and at the end of it, there was this huge soundless explosion of brightness. I ended up completely awake, my thinking was pretty active, my heart rate was up a bit, I was feeling some excitement and energy, and I had this diffuse bliss and tingling all through my body. After a short bit, my heart rate settled down, but the sense of energy, excitement, and the visual brightness lasted a good long time.

I had a hard time noting silently, and ended up in thought. I tried to note out loud, but I still ended up in thought. I kept waiting for the tingling and energy to subside and to get the come-down and coolness I’ve felt when entering Dissolution, and I also looked for any rough-feeling vibrations like I’ve had in Dark Night, but none of these happened. I basically stayed in this energetic, tingly, floating state with a lot of brightness and little body sensation.

Once I calmed down some, I realized that I had a really hard time feeling the boundaries of my body. It sort of felt almost like I was floating in a pool of water that was the exact temperature of my body -- it was hard to tell where my body ended and the water started. I could feel my chest and abdomen a little bit more because of breathing, but it was faint. I also could hear people moving around in the house, but these sounds didn't bring me out of this state.

After a long while, I started getting cold shivers and lots of yawning, but this didn’t lead to anything other than feeling cold. Eventually, I stopped meditating and got up off the bed, and saw that I had meditated almost two hours.
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Of course, I felt so energized, I couldn't get to sleep afterward. In fact, it took me almost six hours before I could sleep, and even now, twenty-four hours later, I can still feel some of that energy.

When I think about it, the experience seemed to divide up into three parts:
  • The pretty normal breath watching and then noting part.
  • The "rush" and soundless explosion and then the huge amount of excitement, energy, bliss, tingling part.
  • Finally, the strange "can't really feel my body and feel like I'm floating" part.


Part 1 seems like a standard sort of thing for me, where I end up in Equanimity fairly easily, and then sort of drift in and out of clarity.

Next, Part 2, taken by itself, looks very much like an A&P experience, but I'm curious about it because it follows being in Equanimity, and because it never seemed to go anywhere.

And finally, Part 3 felt almost like some sort of jhana state, but I've never experienced that before.

Any ideas anyone?
TJ Broccoli, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Yet another intense A&P passage, I think...

Posts: 93 Join Date: 3/1/10 Recent Posts
Andy R:


When I think about it, the experience seemed to divide up into three parts:
  • The pretty normal breath watching and then noting part.
  • The "rush" and soundless explosion and then the huge amount of excitement, energy, bliss, tingling part.
  • Finally, the strange "can't really feel my body and feel like I'm floating" part.



1. sounds like anywhere at all in the cycles, including early A&P
2. sounds like A&P stage and A&P event
3. sounds exactly like dissolution, right after the A&P event. despite that dissolution is considered a part of the dark night, my memory of it is that it feels like the body has turned into air, and it feels quite equanimous and peaceful compared to what came before it. it seems like there are no more body sensations left to observe because none can be felt. then the body sensations gradually pick up again and the darker or more troubling parts of the dark night come after that.

do others agree?
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Andy R, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Yet another intense A&P passage, I think...

Posts: 42 Join Date: 10/24/10 Recent Posts
TJ Broccoli:

1. sounds like anywhere at all in the cycles, including early A&P
2. sounds like A&P stage and A&P event
3. sounds exactly like dissolution, right after the A&P event. despite that dissolution is considered a part of the dark night, my memory of it is that it feels like the body has turned into air, and it feels quite equanimous and peaceful compared to what came before it. it seems like there are no more body sensations left to observe because none can be felt. then the body sensations gradually pick up again and the darker or more troubling parts of the dark night come after that.

do others agree?


Thanks for the input, TJ -- I appreciate hearing from you. Your assessment seems reasonable. It doesn't look like anyone else is answering, but I have a followup question:

Here's what's curious to me: Why would I be having another intense A&P event so soon after the last one? The last time I had a similar experience (highly physical, intense, lots of time passing quickly) was on January 25th. In that session, I seem to have passed through Dark Night into Equanimity. Off the cushion, my entry into Equanimity appears to have started a couple of weeks before that. At one point, I thought I might have gotten Stream Entry, but Equanimity seems a much better explanation right now.

Do you have any comments about why I might be having such an intense A&P event again, so soon after the last one?
TJ Broccoli, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Yet another intense A&P passage, I think...

Posts: 93 Join Date: 3/1/10 Recent Posts
Andy R:


Here's what's curious to me: Why would I be having another intense A&P event so soon after the last one? The last time I had a similar experience (highly physical, intense, lots of time passing quickly) was on January 25th. In that session, I seem to have passed through Dark Night into Equanimity. Off the cushion, my entry into Equanimity appears to have started a couple of weeks before that. At one point, I thought I might have gotten Stream Entry, but Equanimity seems a much better explanation right now.

Do you have any comments about why I might be having such an intense A&P event again, so soon after the last one?

a similar one on jan 25th? that's not "so soon" at all! it's normal to go through the same stage of the same cycle again and again, whether hours later or years later, looping back and forth between your highest attainment and your lower ones. if you attain to a certain stage on a retreat or as a result of accelerating your concentration and intensity/consistency of practice and then later you're off retreat or you lower the intensity of practice, your concentration will naturally drop and you'll find yourself in any of the lower stages, at any time at all. but having attained to stage x will make it much easier for you to get back there than the first time you did it, unless the first time you did it you got there totally accidentally and effortlessly as a result of wisdom naturally unfolding in daily life.

i've just read those two threads you linked above and i'm leaning more towards agreeing with you that, all things considered, including matching things up with my own experiences, it sounds more like equanimity right now, not stream entry.

even if you misdiagnose your experience by a little or a lot, i still think this whole process of using the maps and figuring out the stages is well worth it despite the analytical confusion. the evidence of your real progress reported here suggests to me that map obsession should not be an obstacle for you. one way i benefited from the maps was that knowing that the stage-related phenomena were mostly universal/predictable significantly reduced those feelings of self-evaluation of "wow, i'm such a great insightful meditator" during the more energetic stages, and likewise the "OMG my mind is such a garbage dump, i'm such a messed up meditator" in the troubling stages. i found the reduced self-evaluation beneficial whatever the stage or best guess.

for about two-three years after reading about the maps and stages in MCBT, i still misdiagnosed my own experiences! A few years ago i went on a three month self-retreat to "get stream entry", not realizing that it had already happened nine years before that. even after finishing the retreat, i was still puzzled: "why is it so damn unattainable? i've had no trouble paying attention to the present sensations every moment from waking to sleeping, no trouble with self-discipline, sitting about ten hours total a day, all this for three months, and still no path moment???" lol it's funny to think back to those days. it was only later after a new, different path moment happened (this time with map knowledge in mind) that the memories of past experiences, stages and cycling finally became clear to me.

looking to hear more of what unfolds for you--sounds like an exciting period, lots of changes happening!

jill

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