Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

James, modified 1 Year ago.

Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/27/20 Recent Posts
Equanamity Question:
So I often get to a place from a more general feeling of what I call equanimity that progresses into something heavily dreamy but almost like its on a 3 second delay. As in my mind feels like its been slowed down and can't keep up with even basic sensations. I don't feel sleepy at all just that I am can't keep up with the most basic thought and my mind is very easy to get sidetracked where as maybe a few minutes before I had pretty solid focus. 

My question is: Is this the high equanimity people often talk about? What should I be doing in this place? Should i try and go back to some place with a bit more focus as I can't seem to hold a thought or do focus on anything here. Has anyone experience this and what did they do about it? 
I do have moment of what I still feel are a deep equanimity and I don't feel the 3 second delay. Are these the places I should be in? 

Noting Question: 
Before I did see hear feel but as I try and spread things out to sense the entire range of perceptions I switch to a more sense of every emotion. This is at least my interpretation of Daniels Vipasana video: https://vimeo.com/250616410 
All the body senstations and even the felt feeling of self in my forehead area tend to merge into onto one large lump of feeling. The question I have is there any issue with just experiencing that as it or do I need to try and dig through that lump of feeling into each individual feeling? 
Which I am not sure I can do but could try. It feels more natural just to experience the lump of sensations Thoughts?
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
James:
Equanamity Question:
So I often get to a place from a more general feeling of what I call equanimity that progresses into something heavily dreamy but almost like its on a 3 second delay. As in my mind feels like its been slowed down and can't keep up with even basic sensations. I don't feel sleepy at all just that I am can't keep up with the most basic thought and my mind is very easy to get sidetracked where as maybe a few minutes before I had pretty solid focus. 

My question is: Is this the high equanimity people often talk about? What should I be doing in this place? Should i try and go back to some place with a bit more focus as I can't seem to hold a thought or do focus on anything here. Has anyone experience this and what did they do about it? 
I do have moment of what I still feel are a deep equanimity and I don't feel the 3 second delay. Are these the places I should be in? 

Noting Question: 
Before I did see hear feel but as I try and spread things out to sense the entire range of perceptions I switch to a more sense of every emotion. This is at least my interpretation of Daniels Vipasana video: https://vimeo.com/250616410 
All the body senstations and even the felt feeling of self in my forehead area tend to merge into onto one large lump of feeling. The question I have is there any issue with just experiencing that as it or do I need to try and dig through that lump of feeling into each individual feeling? 
Which I am not sure I can do but could try. It feels more natural just to experience the lump of sensations Thoughts?
I consider Shargrol Of Course to be priceless on Equanimity, so if I were you, i'd start here:

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

love, tim
James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/27/20 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:
[quote=
]
I consider Shargrol Of Course to be priceless on Equanimity, so if I were you, i'd start here:

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

love, tim
I have read that many times and I have found it very helpful. The closest I have come to an answer on how to handle this EQ place is: 

If you want the next stages you have to really make friends with the do-nothing accomplishments of dwelling in equanimity and jhana. Ironically, when all your "doing/judging/strategizing" weakens and you start really enjoying accomplishing nothing during your sits, then all the next stages happen


What are your thoughts on that? 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
James:
Tim Farrington:
[quote=
]
I consider Shargrol Of Course to be priceless on Equanimity, so if I were you, i'd start here:

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

love, tim
x
James

I have read that many times and I have found it very helpful. The closest I have come to an answer on how to handle this EQ place is: 

If you want the next stages you have to really make friends with the do-nothing accomplishments of dwelling in equanimity and jhana. Ironically, when all your "doing/judging/strategizing" weakens and you start really enjoying accomplishing nothing during your sits, then all the next stages happen.

What are your thoughts on that?

James, Amen, basically. It comes down to faith, at this point, or pure despair, lol, which is indistinguishable from faith in EQ. Either way, we've used up own self's doing. If something gets done beyond this, it ain't me, babe, no no no it ain't me babe. (hope you know Bob Dylan, lol. If not, look him up, you young whipper snapper, lol. His songs are close to scripture.)

love, tim
James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/27/20 Recent Posts
Tim you have it right. A mix of faith and despair in practice some days but the responses here are helpful. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
James:
Tim you have it right. A mix of faith and despair in practice some days but the responses here are helpful. 

yeah, lol. dukha loves company.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 1614 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
James:
Tim Farrington:
I consider Shargrol Of Course to be priceless on Equanimity, so if I were you, i'd start here:

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

love, tim

I have read that many times and I have found it very helpful. The closest I have come to an answer on how to handle this EQ place is: 

If you want the next stages you have to really make friends with the do-nothing accomplishments of dwelling in equanimity and jhana. Ironically, when all your "doing/judging/strategizing" weakens and you start really enjoying accomplishing nothing during your sits, then all the next stages happen


What are your thoughts on that? 


It's nearly impossible to assess the state you are in with that little detail. You have to talk about the past few months of practice, how long you sit, what retreats you have been on, what a normal sit is like, what feels like the cutting edge, when you reach your cutting edge during a sit, how long you stay there, how much you fall back and return to the cutting edge, what seems to be the main form of resistance or discomfort that is still left, etc etc etc 

For EQ, i's also really good to read Daniel's advice here:

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/11-equanimity/

In particular: "In this third subjhana phase of Equanimity (ñ11.j3), the broad, out-of-phase phase, it may be hard to read and pay attention, hard to hear people and listen, hard to notice where we are and what we are doing. It can have some resemblance to Dissolution but is less slothful and more diffuse and spacious and makes people more prone to “spacing out”. The arising of fear of madness and death is not uncommon in this phase of Equanimity, but usually does not cause too much trouble and may even seem comical or welcome. [ñ11.ñ6–ñ11.ñ10 in ñana.subñana notation.] For others, this mini Dark Night of Equanimity can make things complicated, and in the face of that seeming complexity some will either try to power the thing (unlikely to work well in Equanimity), or try to solidify the pleasantness they may have experienced right before it and turn something open, flowing, and accepting into a more stable and safe-feeling fourth shamatha jhana, which is equanimous but still more frozen and static than works well for reaching stream entry. In this way, people can stagnate in Equanimity."

My hunch when reading your description -- which sounds more like late EQ than High EQ, but I can't be sure -- is that you are probably using too little effort/energy in that state and probably would benefit from making sure you are making gentle notes at least as often as every outbreath. This is easily done (just 10-12 verbal notes a minute). 

Equanimity doesn't fall apart that easily, it's a pretty tough state. So as Daniel emphasizes, it can stand a lot of investigation, curiousity, and noting. The trick is to enjoy the investigation and not have the ill will of ambition (i.e., this state isn't good because I want stream entry and this isn't it). If you have any hint of that ill will, then note what is showing up: mapping thoughts, judgement, ill will, aversion, etc.

Equanimity is also a time for longer sits, going on retreat, getting rid of the timer and sitting as long as feels right.
James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/27/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for all the feedback. There definitely has been some ill will of ambition but I think I can settle into this experience and just let it be without needing it to be more and probably mange the 10 notes a minute. 

To answer some of your questions 

The last two weeks I did weekday retreats with between 6 and 8 hours of sitting and walking as I just felt like meditating alot. The weekends were were us 3 60 minute or more. I don't timer and usually go over an hour with a few of my final night meditations lasting over 2 hours. 

I usually go from jhana 1 to 4 then do see hear feel from a light jhana 4. That is where this mushy dream state usually comes from. When I say light jhana I mean I jhana but not as focused as they can be where I can't even have a thought if I tried. 

During that time I decided to see if I could get to jhana 5 and 6 mostly because I thought it would help me cultivate 'dwelling in the witness' which for some reason fascinated me. 

I was able to find this representation of self and now use it to do the jhana arc but also just let it take me where it wants to take me when I meditate with it as a main  focus of attention. Frequently i just go to the 4th jhana and experience that. Sometimes I note and  other times i let the meditation do it's thing and observe. Observing the witness /sense of self has been good for seeing it's emptiness. 

I have a 12 day Jhana retreat with Leigh in a month and was planning that time to really focus on the formless realms and furthering 'no-self'

Presently just digging into this sense of self/witness and going through excercises in seeing that frees. 

Very caught up in trying to ' make progress ' and emptiness. Which I need to move past in regards to the I'll will of intent. 

No need to comment on that unless you'd like. Very grateful for the feedback I got. Happy to hear more if you have ideas. 
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 1614 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Ah, okay. Yeah, it does seem reasonable to think that with that amount of practice that you are touching on High EQ. 

It might be good to read about Conformity from Daniel, lots of good ideas: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/12-conformity/
James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Equinimity, Noting and What to Do about it

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/27/20 Recent Posts
Wow thank you for that link. I have read 90% of the book but skipped those parts as I thought it was going to talk about cessation and I didn't want to get ideas about what that would be like. I had no idea it had such practical insights in to practice. Thank you very much for that. 

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