What happened here?

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Ben H, modified 10 Years ago.

What happened here?

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/10/11 Recent Posts
This was my first time legitimately trying insight practice. I first read MCTB around two years ago, but was too chicken to try actual insight practices. The last year or so I've been practicing shamantha off and on, but on the whole I've been doing more reading about dharma than actually practicing. I resolved to change that today.


I sat down on a pillow and resolved to practice noting my breath in my abdomen. I noted rising, falling, and stopping. I found if I took to long in between noting sensations I would get distracted so I started noting things inbetween: falling, pain, falling, stopping, rising, pain, rising, stopping, etc. (Pain was a persitant pain in my back from sitting.) Eventually I started getting a bit distracted, but was able to note all my distractions fairly successfully: hearing, seeing, feeling, etc. After the pace picked up a bit I started feeling a little on edge, like something was about to happen. My mind also started intellectualizing - "maybe I'm become aware of the difference in mind and body." Just after I noted this thought and continued, there was a sudden change in my perception - I saw my physical body and my mind as being in two seperate places (with my physical body slightly in front and left of my mind). My apprehension started to build slightly, which I duly noted, and all of a sudden:

My eyelids started flickering. A huge number of sensations happened at once - starting with a feeling sort of like chills in my arms and back, and it ran up into my head. At this point my eyelids were flickering uncontrollably and quite fast, I also felt a pulsing feeling between my right temple and eye. Then, I wouldn't call it an exploding feeling, but there was a lot of activity in my head that happened very suddenly. It felt like it was full of energy. This died down after a second or so, and my heart started beating rapidly and I felt very warm. This warmth and fast heart rate persisted for several minutes. I noticed that the pain in my back disappeared entirely (and it is still gone, 30 minutes later), but was replaced with a pain in my thighs. Interestingly, I felt some joy at the appearance of this pain, because I knew that it was impermanent and it would eventually go away.

I kept meditating for 10 or 15 more minutes, but I wasn't able to note or keep focused as well as I was before this experience. I kept trying to intellectualize what just happened to me, noting helped, but after limited success at regaining my focus I decided to stop.


Also I have a question: When noting am I supposed to mentally say each note? (Like thinking "rising" when I note rising.) Or am I supposed to just notice each sensation? I attempted both, but found mentally saying each note much easier so that's what I was doing this session.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: What happened here? (Answer)

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Energy and uncontrolled stuff like that which is exciting and involved some palpably different way of perceiving things rapidly: that would be A&P territory.

I prefer actually mentally thinking the word of the note.

Daniel
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Ben H, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: What happened here?

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/10/11 Recent Posts
Thanks!

Is it normal for some people to reach A&P in their first insight session? I thought it would take a lot more work, and I feel like if that's the case, I missed out on the early stages.

Also, I've notice a marked improvement in my posture, and emotionally I feel way above average. Is this normal? I thought Dark Night comes after A&P.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: What happened here?

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I had the A&P before any formal meditation, not uncommon, actually.

As to the Dark Night following the A&P, it does, but that is assuming you are done with and have completely crossed A&P land, which can take some time.

Daniel