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Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life

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Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Walter_Sobchakheit 12/12/19 1:21 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Noah D 12/12/19 3:18 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life shargrol 12/12/19 6:17 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Walter_Sobchakheit 12/13/19 12:07 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Siavash 12/13/19 12:22 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 12:54 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Siavash 12/13/19 1:02 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 1:10 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Walter_Sobchakheit 12/13/19 12:59 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 1:08 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Siavash 12/13/19 1:13 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Walter_Sobchakheit 12/13/19 1:46 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life shargrol 12/13/19 1:55 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Lars 12/13/19 2:36 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life shargrol 12/13/19 3:09 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Ben Sulsky 12/15/19 12:36 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Walter_Sobchakheit 12/19/19 2:41 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life shargrol 12/20/19 5:03 AM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life Anicca Dukkha Anatta 12/19/19 9:37 PM
RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life shargrol 12/21/19 4:28 PM
I think I've been pretty solidly in Equanimity for a while now, and I would appreciate any tips on how to set up the conditions for Stream Entry to happen....specifically in daily life (off retreat).

Here's a description of a typical meditation...
I begin by watching the breath at the nostrils and eventually the scope expands to include more of the sensations of breathing throughout the body. Slowly the mind begins to quiet, and usually around the 10min mark there is a sudden shift - the inner landscape goes silent and expands, there is a peaceful quality to everything. At this point I usually shift into noting practice starting with noticing body sensations and eventually watching as the scope expands to hold most of the flow of awareness. I try to hold the awareness very lightly and just watch the sensations as they come and go without leaning in or away or intervening in any way - just knowing. This waxes and wanes for the remainder of the sit. There are moments of pure flow and moments where things tend to solidify more, but I just sit and watch. Most of it doesn't feel especially special in any way (not that it should), and at the end of 30-60min I get up and go about my day.

In daily life the equanimity tends to show up in different ways. Sometimes it's a continuation of the peacefulness from formal meditation - like I'm being held/enveloped by a soft cloud. Other times it's watching the habits of mind (random frustration/anger/negative thought) come up and noticing that they don't stick and so they pass as quickly as they arose. Sometimes I get stuck in a sense of self after being engaged in conversation and it takes a while to settle back into the peacefulness.

There are also these random experiences that happen throughout the day that may be nothing, but I thought I would add them for completeness...Periodically I will notice these moments where there is either a flash of full-body awareness, a slight dizziness within the head with a simultaneous 'warmness' of the body, a feeling of having my 'mind' pulled out of my body, or a feeling that I am sinking or dropping.

Otherwise, I'm just trying to go with what comes up and hold any thoughts of progress lightly in hopes of not losing what I have and dropping back down to Reobservation. I've never experienced a cessation (that I know of) so it makes it hard to know where I'm going if I don't know what I'm looking for, but hopefully some of you will have some helpful tips.

Thanks!

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/12/19 3:18 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
low eq is all about staying relaxed, noticing positive things & having a medium/steady pace of noting/noticing to avoid falling back into reobs
mid eq is all about the plodding, continuous, determined application of technique to get through the 'mini dark night' of eq & not fall back to low eq
high eq is all about going wide, surrending, praying & applying magick/faith to take the final leap; it has to do with allowing things to be nonlogical, nonlinear & trippy & just going with that rather than resisting & falling back to mid eq

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/12/19 6:17 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Good advice Noah.

I'll also add that the mindfulness "touch" you need is very very light. My favorite metaphor (from kenneth folk) is that you are standing in the ocean in waist deep water. A peanut is floating in front of you, going up and down in gentle waves. You job is to put a finger on the peanut as it floats up and down, but not lose contact and without pushing it deeper into the water. So enjoy and be curious about eq, stay present/participating with what arises with a light touch. 

For me, I also found that going into the "mindstream of thoughts" was useful. And a lot of people notice mental "vibrations" (almost like feeling the thump of thoughts) and it can be helpful to wonder what is the gaps between vibrations. 

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 12:07 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks guys!

Noah...your descriptions are very helpful. I was afraid that I was slipping back into Reobservation, but I feel like it is more likely that I'm slipping back to Mid-Equanimity. I wonder if hi equanimity is just a bit too fragile for me, especially walking around in the world, and I either grip too hard and solidify too much or lack the mindfulness to keep it going. Either way, I am able to keep going and eventually get back to that wide open, spacious, 'almost like I'm a little stoned' state.

shargrol...That peanut analogy is awesome! I had been trying to remind myself to keep a feather-light touch, but Kenneth's descriptiveness really nails it. It's still a helluva delicate balance to get right!

Anyway, thanks again!

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 12:22 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
I was afraid that I was slipping back into Reobservation


What's really wrong about slipping back into Reobservation? Really. Is this Reobservation something more than just a name/concept?

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 12:54 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I was afraid that I was slipping back into Reobservation


What's really wrong about slipping back into Reobservation? Really. Is this Reobservation something more than just a name/concept?

I think that's a good question. On the one hand, yes, it is. It can be very challenging sometimes. On the other hand, no, it is what we make it to be. It is the aversion that gives it "power". And regardless, there's a lot of good stuff to learn from it, so slipping back into it means another chance to learn. Besides, it doesn't last. 

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 12:59 PM as a reply to Siavash.
I guess there's nothing inherently wrong with falling back to Reobservation, and apparently if you fall back down then there's a lesson you still need to learn. It is just a name, but it also has distinct characteristics that tend to be edgy and unpleasant. From a pragmatic personal perspective, Reobservation sucks balls and is the last place I want to go (again) now that I feel like I've finally climbed my way out of that hole (again).

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 1:02 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I was afraid that I was slipping back into Reobservation


What's really wrong about slipping back into Reobservation? Really. Is this Reobservation something more than just a name/concept?

I think that's a good question. On the one hand, yes, it is. It can be very challenging sometimes. On the other hand, no, it is what we make it to be. It is the aversion that gives it "power". And regardless, there's a lot of good stuff to learn from it, so slipping back into it means another chance to learn. Besides, it doesn't last. 

I agree. I am a worrier myself, and I always worry about something, but what I see is that, that doesn't help. Let's say Reob is always very challenging, ok, worrying about it doesn't make it less challenging, it makes it more challenging. It's anti-equanimity. Beside, it's all just some dumb sensations coming from nowhere and going into nowhere.

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 1:08 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
That is very understandable. Unfortunately, the aversion that we feel with regard to a particular stage can sometimes hold us back. On the other hand, being very honest about the aversion is helpful. Investigating it might be helpful too, at least in the long run. I have no idea whether that could take you to SE, though. 

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 1:10 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I was afraid that I was slipping back into Reobservation


What's really wrong about slipping back into Reobservation? Really. Is this Reobservation something more than just a name/concept?

I think that's a good question. On the one hand, yes, it is. It can be very challenging sometimes. On the other hand, no, it is what we make it to be. It is the aversion that gives it "power". And regardless, there's a lot of good stuff to learn from it, so slipping back into it means another chance to learn. Besides, it doesn't last. 

I agree. I am a worrier myself, and I always worry about something, but what I see is that, that doesn't help. Let's say Reob is always very challenging, ok, worrying about it doesn't make it less challenging, it makes it more challenging. It's anti-equanimity. Beside, it's all just some dumb sensations coming from nowhere and going into nowhere.
Yeah. As Daniel wrote in MCTB2, it is all fluff and no substance. I find that sentence helpful for many things. 

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 1:13 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
the last place I want to go
I often find that when I have a place that is "the last place I want to go", I end up being in that place. Not making peace with it gives power to it.

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 1:46 PM as a reply to Siavash.
I agree. For me, at least right now, it's really less about not wanting to go back to Reobservation and more about trying to continue forward on to SE.

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 1:55 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
Sometimes going backward IS going forward. (Sorry, that was my inner yoda. emoticon )

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 2:36 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
I used to loathe re-obs, but what helped me be more accepting of it was having gotten to EQ enough times to know what comes next. Now re-obs feels like walking through a bad neighborhood before getting to a nice place. Walking through that neighborhood isn't so bad when I know there's a nice place coming up if I can just relax and keep walking. In some ways it's now a good sign, like seeing a sign on the highway that says "Next Exit - Equanimity - 2 Miles".

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/13/19 3:09 PM as a reply to Lars.
Well said!!

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/15/19 12:36 PM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
My 2c as a relative beginner and a person in the same territory, don't take me too seriously,

The dark night for me went fast and it was exciting to move through a lot of nanas quickly.  Equanimity started off new and exciting, but it was difficult to see what to do or how to move forward after it continued for hundreds of hours.  This raised a lot of doubts about progress and methodology, stagnation and what to do next.  I went back to reobs / dark night lots of times, and each time moved back through it and up to equanimity a bit faster and smoother; after you've done it once it's less of a big deal.  It might just take a really long time.  Sometimes I found it helpful to zoom out a little bit on thoughts of progress, asking "does sitting feel the same as it did 2 months ago?" instead of "does my sit feel the same as yesterday", and the answer was usually that things had changed subtly over months and the brain was doing its thing at its own pace.  

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/19/19 2:41 PM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Thanks Ben.

What you describe is exactly the same experience I've had for the past 6 months or so. The DN has gotten easier and I am immediately aware of it once I'm back in it. The best part about going back and forth is developing the confidence to know that I will eventually climb out.

The shift back into Equanimity is also immediately noticeable as it usually involves a dramatic drop into a wide awareness of the body that includes a calm peacefulness that brings an instant sense of relief and alrightness. It has taken me a while to learn not to grip on to the peacefulness and also to learn that I need to gently hold a wide, open awareness - especially in formal practice.

Currently, I find myself in a place where I try to sit and watch the flow of sensations without moving towards or away from anything...trying to keep from solidifying any experience more than the brain just automatically does on its own. In this, there is a natural zooming in and out that awareness does as it tries to hold the various sensations. The whole practice feels a lot like a 'Do Nothing' or 'Just Sitting' practice. I try to keep analysis to a minimum, and just be with each moment as it is.

My formal sits feel like they could go on forever like this. From beginning to end, there is very little that changes except the concentration strengthens some and periodically I will notice a shift in some aspect of proprioception. I definitely understand the need to take a long view of progress, but I am concerned that this 'Just Sitting' is just stagnation. I'm sure my concerns are just the normal doubt that arises when in new territory and that I just need to trust the process, however long it has to take.

Overall, I was hoping that others would have some handy tips for moving through these last phases of toward cessation/fruition. It is very encouraging to hear from someone who has experienced very similar things, and to also be reminded that it may just take time.

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/20/19 5:03 AM as a reply to Walter_Sobchakheit.
Two other ideas...

First of all a repeat of above: very little effort. Notice that it takes no effort to be aware. Awareness is _already_ aware.

Second, and this is hard to describe, but notice that it's conventional language to say "I am moving through these last phases". But the gateway and domain of high EQ is seeing the wierdness of being a self... It's fundamentally weird to notice our own mind, right? Our mind being aware that we have a mind, how does that even work? Is the self a mind? Or is everything mind? Where does mind begin and end? Is awareness the same thing as what arises IN awareness? If we are truly an observer, then how can we be aware of observing? What is it that can notice observing? What is it that can be aware of awareness?

The point here is not to find some verbal story you can tell yourself, but rather to look at the experience of EQ and notice how truly wierd it is. 

The clear boundary of mind and not mind, self and other, awareness and experience... it all gets very loose and kinda confusing... and is the mind that is aware of being confused a confused mind, or is it a clear knowing mind that is aware of confusion?

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/19/19 9:37 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol, the ideas you shared make so much sense. Confusion seems to be a very prominent feeling / experience. Confusion between Self/Observer/Observation - words are just stories. It is all very unclear and acceptance of whatever it is , is the only thing that is working.

Walter yourr description is detailed and beautiful. Broadly I am in same vicinity but sits are whole bunch of just nothing , and if there is any notable phenomenon its promptly forgotten. There is memory of something interesting but not much about the content. May be strong intention to just "Let go" of everything at every level.

RE: Navigating Equanimity to SE in Daily Life
Answer
12/21/19 4:28 PM as a reply to Anicca Dukkha Anatta.
Sounds really good ADA!