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Please evaluate my experience

Please evaluate my experience
attainments insight stages of insight
Answer
12/10/19 1:22 PM
I can discuss how I got here separately, but for now I just want to describe my experience. These are the things that are most notable:
  • Lack of interest in self (personal history, identification as a subject, identification as a doer/thinker).
  • Lack of interest in the body. It just seems like another object, not some special thing to identify with.
  • Lack of effort. There is no strain or effort involved in moving attention from object to object, no attempt to turn attention backward toward a subject.
  • Lack of boundaries, especially with regard to the visual field, which seems unified like a movie screen.
  • Lack of ownership. Everything that appears is on an equal playing field, none of it is regarded as special for belonging to "me".
  • Lack of control. Especially when I'm driving or walking, it's clear that the eyes see, the mind understands, and the body reacts. It all just happens automatically and spontaneously.
  • Lack of dissatisfaction. At least on an existential level, there is no feeling that anything is wrong, that I need to achieve something, that I need to understand something, that I need to find or create meaning, etc.
  • Lack of identification. I can get lost in functional thoughts, but as soon as it switches to egoic thoughts, something wakes up. It's not like, "I am awareness, and I was just lost in thought." Instead it's more like, "Ah, attention is on a story. Now attention is back to reality."
On the other hand, there remain some "unenlightened" elements:
  • Frequent mental chatter, even though I'm completely aware that it's happening.
  • A lot of the emotional/psychological shit that I had to begin with is still there and still pops up.
  • A desire to get involved in the stories, just like when you're emotionally invested in a TV show and get worked up over it, even though you know it's just a show.
I realize that in the first list I'm making a pretty big claim, but that is sincerely how I would describe my experience. It's been this way for about 6 months and has only gotten clearer over that time. I do not feel like I'm cycling through insight stages or anything like that, although I did have a very "up and down" quality prior to this shift happening, which seemed to be punctuated by new semi-stable levels of insight. All of this was without any dedicated meditation practice, so it's hard for me to map it to the stuff in Daniel's book. At this point I don't feel like I'm on a path or would benefit from a path, I just feel like I should do something about my psychological shit for the benefit of the people in my life.

So please, interrogate me and rip me apart. If I'm deluding myself somehow then I'd like to know.

RE: Please evaluate my experience
Answer
12/10/19 2:31 PM as a reply to Ryan Cook.
It's fair to say you are progressing smoothly emoticon that's my diagnosis.
Can you go more in-depth about this "lack of interest"? Do you mean to undervalue the body and your sense of self? Or is that a release of attachment that maintains a level of significance? If you take away the importance of your physicality then you can close your eyes now and simply never open them again, that's fine as long as you keep in mind that the most important thing about this life is this life. This body is precious, and there is nothing wrong with a sense of "self" and nothing wrong with having an ego. Can you turn it off or is it always turned on nonstop of its own accord, that's what needs to be resolved. 
Everything sounds to be unfolding as linear as dissonance should. Instead of throwing out old concepts, one should integrate new knowledge. Or else you're just throwing away one identity for another. Not having an identity is still a form of identification

You can meditate for a single second and become enlightened... you can also spend your life-time meditating and never attain. Making a realization requires no distance to travel and no time to pass. At some point, mental maps do seem to lose meaning... but thats why lists can be separated into more lists and on, and on, and on, and on... emoticon

RE: Please evaluate my experience
Answer
12/10/19 3:59 PM as a reply to Mista Tibbs.
Thank you for your response! You asked:
Can you go more in-depth about this "lack of interest"? Do you mean to undervalue the body and your sense of self? Or is that a release of attachment that maintains a level of significance?
What I mean to say is that there used to be a sense of importance for any objects that were identification targets, the body being a major example. It stood out as more significant than any other object. Now that exaggerated importances is gone, so the body occupies much less of my conscious attention. Even when attention goes to the body, it doesn't feel like something greatly important that needs to dominate attention.
If you take away the importance of your physicality then you can close your eyes now and simply never open them again, that's fine as long as you keep in mind that the most important thing about this life is this life.
In response to this point I would say that the eyes open spontaneously, just as they did before, except now there isn't a sense of "need to get up, need to do this and that." Instead it just happens when it needs to and there's no commentary or judgement on it, or sense that I'm doing it. It's like life just started happening on its own when I stopped trying to make it happen. If I think about it then it stops, kind of like a paralysis by analysis, but I just don't think about it and it just does its thing.

RE: Please evaluate my experience
Answer
12/10/19 5:27 PM as a reply to Ryan Cook.
The body knows best after all, and we process our environment cleaner with less discrimination. But its also important to ground yourself in the body as well, to avoid dissociation and injuries. Some meditators begin to have episodes of having their "center" suddenly jolt to a random location on their periphery or feel that their awareness floats around them. This can have consequences in daily life, tripping, loss of focus...
Do you do yoga? Its a great counter-balance the deeper you sink into your mental practice. 

RE: Please evaluate my experience
Answer
12/12/19 9:35 PM as a reply to Ryan Cook.
Those are all insufficient bits of information to sort this out. It could just as easily be one's interpretation of the Equanimity phase before first path as anything else. One simply needs lots more information, context, time course, other phenomenology, and, even then, diagnosing attainments over a forum is a bit like evaluating a chef by how well they Tweet. 

RE: Please evaluate my experience
Answer
12/13/19 7:32 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
... diagnosing attainments over a forum is a bit like evaluating a chef by how well they Tweet. 

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