Equanimity-esque sits, two possible discontinuous events

T Dan S-, modified 10 Years ago at 8/7/11 6:56 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/7/11 6:56 PM

Equanimity-esque sits, two possible discontinuous events

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/3/11 Recent Posts
Hey all,

I came into contact with Florian a few days back who directed me an old Stream Entry thread of his, it had "helicopter rotors" in the title and should be quite easy to find. I read that thread before my morning sit, and decided to continue to sit for another hour, and then another, totaling 4 sits. I would sit, open a spreadsheet on google docs and try to construct a narrative of where the sit went, take a break, and then read everything related to what was on the spreadsheet. I'd find there was tweaking to be done or something I had not thought of, and sit again to apply what I'd read as best I could.

Here are the journal-type thingies:
3rd sit on aug 6th and 1st sit on aug 7th are of particular note, but the rest will probably be important for context/lead-up as they do seem to resemble parts of the insight map

Spreadsheet with recent sits (includes this morning, morning of the 7th)
Additional Write up after 3rd sit (spreadsheet didn't have room).

Would really appreciate it if I could get some guidance.
Not really sure where to peg anything, but relatively confident of a few things (not already describe in the spreadsheet):

-Felt I spent large chunks of my sits in Stages #7-9 of Daniel's Vipassana Hierarchy
-The tone of experience, both on and off cushion (but especially on cushion), after the 3rd sit, seemed to have noticeably shifted. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's tricky because my sitting practice has basically been nonexistent (an hour of concentration when I feel the urge), so any contrast from previous vipassana practice is not there. I was just pulled along one day and it seems like I made a lot of progress. All sensations seem a lot less 'sticky'? (includes mental ones)
-For anyone trying to get better at transitions between 1st-4th jhanas or lower jhana practice in general, I feel like I learned a lot over the past few sits, so the beginnings of each sit might be of interest. I can add some thoughts if they like.

I'd write more but kinda just want to see what people think of what's been written. I'll probably have a lot of questions/ideas after some feedback anyway.

PM's welcome. If it's a bit too long or the formatting inconvenient for you, I'd be happy to summarize.
I thought it'd be best to leave the texts in their original form to minimize back editing.

Florian, modified 10 Years ago at 8/9/11 6:05 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/9/11 6:05 AM

RE: Equanimity-esque sits, two possible discontinuous events

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Daniel,

nice descriptions. You obviously know the "map" inside-out emoticon

When you wrote "cycling" in the earlier sits - do you mean complete cycles? If not, where would you say the cycles stopped?

The "breakneck speed" awareness you mention in H20 of the first sheet, together with the two unknowing events (after pain, after ringing sound) described in your supplement document, and the energy/chakra in the cheat, could also be an intense A&P experience. Just saying, as these can be very good impostors. Here's a thought (since you know the insight territory so well): what if this was the A&P of your next big cycle?

So, how are your sits now, after a few days? Any repeats? How's your day-to-day experience? If that was indeed an A&P (as opposed to a path moment), then the next dark night should be inevitably approaching or even have arrived.

Also, after a path, you'd typically have some new insight or change in some threshold of perception or something like that to play with. What about that shift in the stickiness of sensations - holding up?

Regardless, good job! Keep going, and if you like, tell us what happens.

T Dan S-, modified 10 Years ago at 8/9/11 1:02 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/9/11 1:02 PM

RE: Equanimity-esque sits, two possible discontinuous events

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/3/11 Recent Posts
Thanks for your response Florian,

Yeah, I'd considered it could be an A&P and my general attitude to the whole thing is not to rush it and just keep practicing like normal.

Non stickiness holds, and while I've been really busy with life-type stuff, I've had a few instances of just lying in bed with no particular effort or thought of meditation, and having the earlier vibration type stuff occur (lower intensity but noticeable). Stuff is still different, but one alternate explanation I can think of for the off-cushion stuff is an extended bliss wave post-A&P that can last a little while.

When I can take some time off and do a couple consecutive sits, I'll have more info. I'll continue to log on the spreadsheet so whatever happens, if you guys are curious, it'll be up there.

to answer your questions as best I can:
-'cycling' in earlier sits basically just seemed to me like rapid (under 5 minute) alternations of almost-too-much vibration periods, and lower frequency periods with little or barely perceptible vibrations. I don't know how to describe it in map terms. Should be 3Cs (which would put everything after it as a slower buildup to A&P, which I think is quite possible as those 3-4 sits were the entirety of my experience with any concentrated vipassana practice...I feel pretty new to this still...too much forum lurking) or dark night. I got the feeling that once the sharpness/intensity (and negative emotions) faded and I was working with sense doors and what I was calling a 5th-jhana-like space, they never really came back in any kind of cycle, at least not in the same way.

-1st unknowing event was after pain/pulsing, gap, followed by the ringing/heat. 2nd was a possible repeat (in the 2nd sheet) did not remember pre-gap, but re-appearance and re-focusing of the visual field afterwards is what stood out to me. The main thing that made me guess fruition was the general feeling going on at the time of both events, way more calm and not-a-big-deal, and unlike "teenager driving a Ferrari" (way more in-body, out of control, at times difficult to note well, with the electrical pulses around back/shoulder), from one of Daniel's descriptions.

Just kind keep doing it and see what happens, will update when I get back to it.

As a side thing, any tips ideas of stuff/goals I should focus on in future sits, judging from the information?
I'm thinking maybe phrases I use that group parts of my experiences into labels that should perhaps be broken down some more.
T Dan S-, modified 10 Years ago at 8/10/11 7:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/10/11 7:29 AM

RE: Equanimity-esque sits, two possible discontinuous events

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/3/11 Recent Posts
did 2 more around-1hr sits. stuff is up there. 2nd sheet, nagivate with the bottom left tab thingies.
possible blip (check out column D), but I can't be sure.
Can't seem to peg down the beginnings of these things...

Should note the last few days I've felt a bit of an increased urge to drink/go out (thinking nightclubs), have been too busy though.
Sorta A&P esque? I've also been reading/listening to music a lot on the side.
If anyone has heard of Tucker Max, I went through his latest book in 4 or so hours last night and its contents may have played a part...o.O

otherwise can't notice other changes. Feel alright. No noteworthy highs/lows on the emotional front.
will try again tomorrow.
T Dan S-, modified 10 Years ago at 9/7/11 1:04 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/7/11 1:04 AM

RE: Equanimity-esque sits, two possible discontinuous events

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/3/11 Recent Posts
Quick update since I updated my concentration thread...

I feel like I've repeated the current path's fruition experience a half dozen times since posting here. None noticed in daily practice. More or less as described in the original post. No repeat heat burst though.
All arising in formal sits with resolutions to the effect of "doing the best insight practice I can in x time".

I make it to high equanimity, usually along with some jhana effects (5th and 6th jhana, although I didn't know what they were when they first came up...see my updated thread in concentration as I've got a slightly better grasp on it now), and chill out there while subtly tweaking where I direct effort with the intention of staying as high in the insight hierarchy as possible. And from there I don't really know what I do, but there isn't much 'doing' going on. And at some point, 'blip'.

Listened to that old jhanic free-for-all podcast on hamilton project, and they did fruition practice in the middle. Descriptions matched up.

I can repeat it, but I need 45-90 minutes to get up there, and the bliss wave seems to prevent me from repeating it (sometimes not that blissful, but something about it shifts my attention for the rest of the sit and I can't repeat it in the same sit like they do in the podcast). So no real control or mastery of the territory...you could say random in that I don't directly intend so much as do a bunch of the same things in similar ways each time I'm in high equanimity.

I keep holding judgement because in the back of my mind, I still can't describe the experience well, and I'm never quite there before it happens. I can't say "here's a narrative of the last 5 minutes of experience, here's the blip, and here's where it picks up, and here's why I can tell they're different because the endings and beginnings don't match up" in the same way it's being described in the podcast. Could just be repeated instances where I space out and conjure up a belief that certain things are accompanying the return of my attention, but I enough of my experience (notably no dark night) matched up with various resources that I can't quite believe that too. Maybe it's just the nature of the experience.

Perhaps some pointers on how to hold your attention in high equanimity so I can observe the before and after moments in more detail.

Anyway concentration practice has been picking up and I slip into insight quite reliably while doing it, so one of these days I'll have time for more open ended sits, land some fruitions, and be able to report back with more confidence.