Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Dimitri, modified 10 Months ago.

Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 9/14/20 Recent Posts
Hello guys!

I'm a first time writer, and that's because I feel I need some advice. 

Long story short, I was practicing Goenka's vipassana eight years ago, dropped it, picked up this May. Practiced insight breath observation til this late August. Then I picked MCTB and decided to practice kasina, because my concentration skills are quite poor. 5 days a week, 1-2 hrs a day, quite slow progress. Just as I expected, it is quite hard to dedicate more time and I am in no hurry.

So, 2 weeks later, I was chilling after some wine with my friends and we smoked some weed. I'm no big fan of smoking, but no first timer either. He asked me of some buddhist concepts, i've started to explain, and few minutes later it was obvious its not me who is explaining.

It was both frightening and liberating. Its like I was disconnecting a different parts of "me", they were going on on their own, and "me" was disappearing part by part. I felt i have to go on, so at some point I saw the bright light and fell on the ground. Have no idea how I made it home. I certainly had this experience before (at Goenka?), but can't remember where and when exactly.

Wasn't able to sleep that night. Tried a lot, and I guess too hard. Next day I decided "whoa calm down boyo take a break". And I did, but things are not quite the same. Some things feels very distant (like watching movie), and some are very close (like bird songs). Attention is very sharp and unstable and hard to control at the same time. 

And that irritating feeling. Nothing actually satisfies and I feel a deep irritation inside me. 

So here I am. Not sure it was A&P (it wasnt blissfull, more painful), not sure what to do now. I'm keeping all of this to myself (no need to disturb phenomena, as Daniel put it), but good advice would be greatly appreciated.

Probably continuing kasina is a bad idea and its better to switch to insight? Should I watch my breath or something else?
After this experience I have light tickling in different parts of my head almost all the time now. They are even funny, but should I be worried about them?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 5754 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'm going to just quickly address one of your questions. You do not need to switch from fire kasina in order to develop insight. Fire kasina works perfectly well for that as well. In fact, it is very effective for insight. Daniel has done a comparison with three different groups of students doing three different practices. It was fire kasina, TMI, and noting, if I remember correctly, and the fire kasina group rapidly developed insights in very interesting ways. All practices worked. TMI was slowest and had less interesting experiences (if I remember correctly, and the wording might be off) but was also very stable. The noting people were fast but edgy in their temper. Something like that. All filtered through my memory. 
Dimitri, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 9/14/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for answering, Linda!

It want fire kasina though, it was white disc casina (because of technical reasons).

Do I have perform it somehow different for insight?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 5754 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Oh, right, sorry! It is so common here at DhO to do fire kasina that I just took that for granted. When it comes to white kasina, I really don't know. It is possible to gain insight from basically anything, but it requires some kind of investigation. Anything that addresses the three characteristics somehow - impermanence, suffering and not-self (the latter of which I would have been better off just calling emptiness from the beginning, or lack of inherent thing-ness).
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Laurel Carrington, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 441 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
I'm not a diagnostician, but that sounds almost like something I went through at stream entry. See how things continue to develop without chemical interference. See how everything holds up. 
Dimitri, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 9/14/20 Recent Posts
Is there such thing as dharma diagnostician? emoticon

Many thanks, Laurel!
Speaking of chemicals, I am not shying away from them, but no big fan either. I've used LSD twice, many years ago. First time I felt almost nothing, just lightness and detachment. Few years later, second time totally disassembled my experience into fluid sensations, world was flowing and rushing on me. Was totally desoriented by then. 

I was about to try it third time with all the things I know now. But now it makes sense to slow down indeed, without assistance it can be quite unpleasant.
Dimitri, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Is it possible to spoil A&P somehow?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 9/14/20 Recent Posts
Small update: it seems it was A&P with not-that-high intensity. The night after was the same-low-intensity Dark Night. Right now everything looks like early Equanimity.
 
I am continuing kasina concentration practice with minor inclusion of insight when things seems to go out of control. Looks like my practice need more emphasis on concentration for better progressing, but adding insight helps to stabilize it a bit.

Having occasional "it is not me" events, like woke up in the night because of noisy neighbours, got angry, immidiately recognized its non-duality, fell asleep again.

So, staying calm and keeping practice!

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