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Something (maybe) happened?
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4/25/20 6:15 PM
I've taken some time to look at the maps and the Idiots Guide before posting, but I'm not clear if what I experienced earlier this week is part of a stage or typical meditative absoprtion. Still trying to familiarize myself with the terminology here.

30 minutes of samatha with the breath, then 30 minutes of samatha without an object, followed by some pointing out(?) questions raised by Michael Taft, whose recorded meditation I was following.

I became aware of all my senses - sight, sound, smell, thought, bodily perception - as being co-equal, equally present and all part of a unified awarness, as in, the boundaries between these elements felt fluid. Notions of external and internal sensation felt fluid or non-existent. I wrote down 'formless' in my journal, not sure if that's accurate to the experience.

Thoughts arising that centered on 'past' or 'future' were perceived as equally present as the sound of the birds outside my window, or the light in the room. This gets tricky, because what I'm going to write is overlaying on the experience, rather than going from notes written directly after, but in retrospect, I think I was experiencing that my thoughts were as much 'my thoughts' as the sounds and sensations around me were 'mine'. 

I did write that my thoughts could only ever be as present as any other sense perception, coming and going. I noticed that thoughts I would typically classify as being about the past or future, and would normally pull my mind in one of those directions, I could now see those thoughts were only and could only be of the present. I didn't experience a temporal pull in any 'direction' when they arose. They quickly, naturally faded away.  

These 'insights' felt embodied, not just intellectually perceived. I've felt grounded and present before of course in meditation, but this epxerience felt new and novel. I remember asking after "Oh. Is that what people talking about when they talk about the Now?" Past and present suddenly felt insubstantial as concepts.

I also wrote "everything is arising and equally dissipating now."

Most of what I've written above sound underwhelming or like an obvious statement of how perception works...but it genuinely felt novel from any prior meditative experiences. I've felt a fludity between the interior and exterior of my body and perceptions before in which one becomes hard to separate from the other, but this relationship to my thoughts felt new.

What was going on?

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
Answer
4/26/20 11:05 AM as a reply to Brandon.
Hey Brandon, hope you're doing good. Not totally sure but it reminds me of EQ. Especially if you can feel like you can feeli both A&P like and DN like experiences.  EQ you're kind of sitting above them and the separation of the Watcher and the watched starts to become a little more clear.

This has been helpful for me, maybe it will resonate with you:

https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#transitiontoeq

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
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4/26/20 1:46 PM as a reply to John W.
Thanks John. This looks like a great resource.

EQ language sounds in the ballpark, but I don't think it was A&P. Physical sensations were very calm and peaceful, although there was a vibratory quality phsyically and through sight.

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
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4/26/20 3:58 PM as a reply to Brandon.
EQ can feel similar at times to A&P but like you say, calmer. Daniel uses the analogy of A&P being kind of like this manic evangelistic state, but EQ can have a confidence that's more suave and James Bond esque.  I forget the chapter, I think it's in the Progress of Insight part on Equanimity.  The way I see it is like, if you are in EQ you have gone through both the light and the dark now, EQ is a place where you can reflect on both but from behind a lens of equalizing no-self that is not overly interested in either one.

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
Answer
4/26/20 4:32 PM as a reply to Brandon.
Hi Brandon,

That's some good noting. I wouldn't worry about trying to classify the stage at this point, I would just keep going with the phenomenological investigation.

I think it's common before investigating to think that thoughts are somehow "special" and different from the other senses. We can imagine losing one of the other senses and still being ourselves, but our thoughts seem to be more central to our identity. But as you say, when you look more closely they start to lose their personal quality and blend into the "unified sense field".

You can also start to notice the relation of thoughts to the other senses. You hear a chirp and start thinking about birds. You start thinking about a friend and hear their voice. You think about the color red and start to have the experience of seeing it. You think about pizza and start to taste it. A pain makes you start worrying about your health. Etc.

As you look at the sense impressions more closely you might start to see them breaking down into constituent "blips" or vibrations. The same thing can happen to thoughts too. You may also start to see "proto-thoughts" which are like thought seeds which start to arise but never make it into fully formed thoughts. You may start to wonder how the filter operates and whether your thoughts are yours at all or just the result of random interactions between the senses and other thoughts ...

Just a few thoughts,
agnostic

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
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4/27/20 2:56 AM as a reply to agnostic.
"Proto-thoughts" ? Ok this is a new term for me. I did notice these thoughts arise just a little never to become fully developed and I note them as "uncertaint thinking". It's more of a shadow thought movement. Not sure how to describe this. But like the proto-thoughts term. 

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
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4/27/20 5:21 PM as a reply to agnostic.
I think it's common before investigating to think that thoughts are somehow "special" and different from the other senses. We can imagine losing one of the other senses and still being ourselves, but our thoughts seem to be more central to our identity. But as you say, when you look more closely they start to lose their personal quality and blend into the "unified sense field".


Yes, that's what I was trying to say. They became no different really than external sesnse, it all became one field of awarness despite their being seemingly separate senses.

Maybe it was EQ - although I don't think I've been through a proper A&P or DK, unless my late 20's to early 30's count. That period was certainly not mediation induced. I have had quite a few escstatic moments while mediating, or through yoga or psychedlics, but they tend to be isolated to the event and not folded or carried into my daily life. As agnostic said, I probably shouldn't be worrying about it too much.

There was still a feeling of a Watcher, or Me, but this self felt far more fluid than even my typical self while meditating.

RE: Something (maybe) happened?
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4/27/20 7:59 PM as a reply to Brandon.
"Maybe it was EQ - although I don't think I've been through a proper A&P or DK, unless my late 20's to early 30's count. That period was certainly not mediation induced. I have had quite a few escstatic moments while mediating, or through yoga or psychedlics, but they tend to be isolated to the event and not folded or carried into my daily life. As agnostic said, I probably shouldn't be worrying about it too much.

There was still a feeling of a Watcher, or Me, but this self felt far more fluid than even my typical self while meditating."


My 2 cents - everything counts. But yeah, I wouldn't worry about it too much either... though knowing generally where you are within a micro-cycle (by that i mean, not the overall arch of your life) can be helpful.