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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?

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I got it... I lost it.

I have just spent a week thinking that I'd finally achieved 4th path. It occurred after reading the following posts:

An Eternal Now's and Tarin's posts on http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1870391
and
Nikolai's and Daniel's posts on http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/664639

I then spent about three days looking to see if I had realised what they were describing already, and it turned out I had not, because I was able to perceive the "one awareness" at the center. After seeing it, it vanished for a brief time. The more often I looked for it the longer the resultant centerlessness persisted. It did not seem to be related to any cycle, it didn't occur after a fruition. It felt like a perception shift occurred. It seemed like I'd put the windscreen wipers on, and the windscreen (that had previously seemed to exist but now I could see didn't exist) was constantly being wiped clean. No issues could stick, it seemed like they were only embryos and couldn't form into fully fledged issues. It was wonderful.

It seemed like I stabilised in the realisation sometime between the second and fourth day, because eventually every time I looked it I could see the centerlessness with sensations just where they were, and it felt markedly different to the sense of awareness I'd become so familiar with over the past couple of years. I knew things were different, I could tell as soon as I looked in front of me that I was experiencing in a new and profoundly clear way.

There also was a feeling that I wanted to sing it from the roof tops, that makes me wonder if there's an A&P stage of fourth path.

It felt really stable for a full week and I was just about to post about it here, but then in the space of a few hours on Friday it seemed to destabilise, and by the next day I was able to really clearly admit the depressing truth to myself: I was back where I'd started, the clarity and sense of it being different was lost, things were sticky again. Cue dark night.

There now seems to be gravity again and I'm struggling to regain the realisation - perhaps there are unidentified subtle sensations to see that are adding to the sense of being awareness.

Based on everything I've read about it, I had the notion that 4th path wasn't actually a path like the earlier ones, with A&P followed by dark night, etc. But that seems to be how I'm experiencing it right now.

That makes me think I should just keep practicing, but does anyone have any pointers? Am I approaching this in the right way? Is it just stabilising at a realisation and if so do you have a recollection of how long it took to stabilise (eg a day, a week, a month), or is it a path I need to progress through?

This idea of stabilising in the view came to me yesterday and a little searching brought up this passage from MCTB
http://web.mac.com/danielmingram/iWeb/Daniel%20Ingram's%20Dharma%20Blog/The%20Blook/CF5A62D9-43D1-43E6-AF7B-02FC86743FAB.html

"I remember attaining to a Fruition, and a few seconds later I noticed something about the entrance to it and the re-forming of the sense of a perceiver on the back side of it, and then suddenly the knot of perception flipped open, everything was the same and yet the perspective on it was completely different, and my vipassana problem, once I had stabilized in that understanding, was solved."

How long does it take to stabilise in that understanding?

Thanks
Craig

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/5/11 12:02 AM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
Well, as you well know, promises of timing are really tricky things to give with confidence.

I had the same feeling about 25-30 times over about 5 years, cycle after cycle of, "Oh, yeah!" followed sometime later by, "Oh, sh@&!". WTF?!

It is common and happens, but each time around the cycle teaches you something, but part of the key is looking for something about whatever happens that is just about that thing and not about anything cyclic, not that cycles don't occur, but that each moment is just and only that moment, in some panoramic, all through the center, everything as it-is-ness.

Oh, yeah, what happened to your AF thoughts?

Daniel

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/5/11 1:23 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Well, as you well know, promises of timing are really tricky things to give with confidence.

I had the same feeling about 25-30 times over about 5 years, cycle after cycle of, "Oh, yeah!" followed sometime later by, "Oh, sh@&!". WTF?!

It is common and happens, but each time around the cycle teaches you something, but part of the key is looking for something about whatever happens that is just about that thing and not about anything cyclic, not that cycles don't occur, but that each moment is just and only that moment, in some panoramic, all through the center, everything as it-is-ness.

Oh, yeah, what happened to your AF thoughts?

Daniel


Thanks, I'll take that on board and keep looking - hoping it doesn't take a full 5 years to finish this thing, I'm already 2 years 4 months in if I count from when I first mistook myself as being done emoticon

Actualism is the only thing I've been practicing for the past year and a bit. I've learnt to induce a PCE at will, but for some silly reason I don't do it often enough. Having a 9 month old daughter means I don't have the same amount of spare time I used to have, outside work; weeknights and all weekend are frequently consumed by family life. While that's been detrimental to my practice, I've learnt about the veil of nuture vs naive intimacy with another person.

AF is definitely my end goal, but having discovered that arahatship was left undone, I'd like to wrap that up before moving on.

The most recent week long shift suggested that fundamental suffering will be so significantly reduced if I can land 4th path fully that I'd be mad to ignore it. Funnily enough, during the week I was unable to get into a PCE - hard to describe but the nearest analogy I can think of would be having to learn to walk again. At the same time, perception was virtually as clear as a PCE so I found myself wondering repeatedly if I had actually attained AF - but the subtle sense of being in the background and the occasional bubbling up of emotions past the embryonic stage convinced me I wasn't AF.

One interesting thing about it was that I finally understood why so many 4th pathers seem bemused by actual freedom, and aren't sure what the fuss is all about. I felt like I'd be happy spending several more years NOT getting to actual freedom, because I was already enjoying such an effortless mode of being and I hadn't sacrificed anything to attain it (eg creativity).

So I guess I want to hang out in 4th path territory for a bit because it was so awesome. emoticon Not that I think it beats the PCE or the promise of AF - but it seems like a more realistic immediate goal to reduce my suffering.

Craig

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/5/11 5:53 PM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
AF is definitely my end goal, but having discovered that arahatship was left undone, I'd like to wrap that up before moving on.


Here is a description of arahat, page 75
"For the arahat all sense of personality or selfhood has subsided, and with it has gone all possibility of numinous experience; and a fortiori the mystical intuition of a trans-personal Spirit or Absolute Self -- of a Purpose or an Essence or a Oneness or what have you -- can no longer arise."*

The footnoted (Cf preface(m.)) leads to page 10 and a quote attributed to Augustine: by not thinking on self, transcend self.

Fortunately, the event of self-extirpation is not proprietary. Un-doing a knot is about seeing how it was/is tied in the first place. Perhaps cultural, perhaps environmental, perhaps self-induced. Something is read/seen/gleaned then tested, the knot loosens and, eventually, undone. Not special, not re-knotted.

___
EDIT:
*This also fits the description of AF.

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/6/11 1:25 AM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
It will come back, trust me.

My appeared on March 17th, it then disappeared on March 26th (I think, it was from thinking about Unmon's Two Diseases).

It then came back on April 4th I believe from looking at the grading chart in a magazine (which looked like Tozan's Five Ranks (circles)). I then thought about a quote, and it went away. And then interestingly it came back in a very neutral way which made it impossible to go away.

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/6/11 3:53 AM as a reply to James Yen.
What, went away, and came back?

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/6/11 4:09 PM as a reply to Pål S..
my enlightenment

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/6/11 4:17 PM as a reply to James Yen.

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
6/6/11 4:48 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hmmm, agenda?


No, no agenda, I already gave the presentation, powerpoint, done and gone.

RE: How long to stabilise at 4th path realisation?
Answer
9/12/11 11:17 PM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
Hi all

Just wanted to post a quick update in case anyone comes across this old thread, thinking "I've got the same problem, wonder what happened to this guy."

The issue was not that I needed to stabilise in the understanding. The issue was I hadn't seen it clearly enough. I spent three days reading the ruthless truth brutal beginnings ebook and Elena's blog posts back in May and realised no self. Back in April I was touching on the territory but wasn't seeing it clearly enough to really get it. The brutal beginnings ebook was great in that it reinforced for me that I need to really get it, its not enough to think you sort of see it.

So now I'm back working towards the goal of AF in a major way. Courtesy of the eye-opening and view-shattering comments on Nick's blog about Richard having plagiarised the Attentiveness Sensuousness Apperceptiveness article, I'm not really thinking of it as Richard's Actual Freedom any more. It just seems like advanced buddhist practice to me now.

Craig