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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Two weird experiences outside of meditation

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Hi everyone,
I've been lurking here for a few months but only made an account now because I would like an opinion on to recent events.

Some background: I started with TMI somewhere in late 2018. I made some progress (around late Stage 5) but eventually got bored in August and stopped. I started doing Vipassana noting in November after reading parts of MCTB. In addition, I've dabbled with self-inquiry and have been following Michael Taft's guided meditations on Youtube since January. I'm up to 1-2 hours of daily sitting and try to note or follow my breath off the cushion when I remember.

I've had two odd experiences recently:

On February 15th, I woke up early in the morning with a violent electric buzzing noise flashing repeatedly in my left ear. I felt tingling sensations in my back and arms, followed by vibrating sensations in my head and upper body, and felt like could watch my breath in slow motion. I felt euphoric. It didn't last long, however. I was back to normal in about 15 minutes. Later that day I noticed that my Vipassana had gone to shit: sensations were soft and blurry, hard to find, hard to see in detail. This has gotten a bit better but is still bad enough that I just do slow noting and guided meditations right now. After this event I also stopped feeling most of the pressure in the forehead/face that used to be a standard part of my meditation.

The second thing happened yesterday night, February 22. I had gone to bed and was loosely following the breath. I was already mostly asleep when I heard two tearing/rumbling/electric noises in quick succession. Then I saw a brief flash of light behind my closed eyelids and felt like I was flying down a tunnel at high speed. This lasted only a second, followed by a feeling of everything pulsing slowly. These pulses quickly smoothed out and I was feeling very absorbed, but this gradually went away over a few minutes and I was back to normal. The whole experience was emotionally neutral.

Based on my limited reading I would have guessed these were A&P events, but can you get two of these in a week?

RE: Two weird experiences outside of meditation
Answer
2/23/20 5:24 AM as a reply to Felix.
Definitely sounds like A&P. Whether it's two different ones or two peak experiences from the same one, I can't tell. It certainly can unfold like that. 

RE: Two weird experiences outside of meditation
Answer
2/24/20 2:23 AM as a reply to Felix.
Sounds like effects from A&P but can be anything really.

Please note that Vipassana meditation like it is described in MCTB is quite intrusive and will result in an unstable brain operation. It is like stirring water in a pond with a stick but with this difference that both water and stick have memory and will tend to repeat what you did and what it did so it will continue stirring itsel, some times in turbulent ways.

This is ok in the sense that it is sometimes necessary to stir mind to change it. Please however note that the goal i is not to charge forward and then get stuck in some dukkha nanas and to avoid this the best tactic is to as much observe your mind as it actually is now as doing hardcore vipassana to change it. This gives your brain ballance and ultimately speed things up considerably.

So when nothing interresting is happening just observe it without frustration and use this time as opportunity, not as wasted time.

RE: Two weird experiences outside of meditation
Answer
2/25/20 11:40 AM as a reply to Felix.
Sounds like A&P followed by Dissolution as sensations becoming fuzzy and vague typifies Dissolution, or if you take Michael Taft's model of progressive sensual clarity, its also just a general sign of progress. A&P experiences can be highly idiosyncratic, so I don't think it's weird that you've had two such experiences. As Linda has suggested, they might just be two manifestations of one A&P. My personal A&P was puncuated by one big experience but lasted for another two months with lots of interesting perceptual moments scattered throughout.

Might be worth checking out the description of Dissolution via MCTB. The chapter covers the Dark Night in general, descriptions of Dissolution come toward the end.


https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/5-dissolution-entrance-to-the-dark-night/