Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

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Nipuna Ross A., modified 9 Years ago.

Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
Here goes nothing.......
I bring my mind down to the most finite level of mundane experience (formless realms). I experience that which is like an endless explosion of being ness/becoming (bhava). this is believe to be the culprit or crux of craving/wanting (tanha).
I believe I am least 1st path possibly 3rd. I have had 3 major perceptual shifts in how I relate to the world. explained as fallows:

1st path 7/26 (yeah I changed the date from my last post, same event just had the date wrong.) Reality (or my experience of) froze for less that a blink of an eye and restarted after having my deepest insight into no self ever. this was in regular activity. (while I was reading Ken Wilber's book, "No Boundary") after which I burst out into laughter because I realized that there truly being no self then there is nothing that the bullshit has to stick to.

2nd path 7/28 experienced a discontinuity in meditation somewhere in one of the formless realms. I kinda just blew it off because it didn't seem too special.

3rd path 8/23 arrived back in D.C. in Dulles to go back to Bhavana Society (after going home for 2 weeks to make some money and visit family). 10 minutes after the plane landed as I was in the baggage claim area and there was an earth quake (really, probably not relevant but cool non the less). I felt very peculiar on the ride back, and, was experiencing temporary blindness, weird fear and anxiety. sight returned to normal. Got back to the monastery. everything had a bright glow to it. I sat in the tea area (sanga hall) and had a very direct perception meditation. my mind was taking now and seeing the rapid fire sensations and I was saying in my head this, this, this and is,is is. But, that was too slow so I just sat in the presence of now-ness all with eyes open (the rug was looking pretty weird as if it were breathing with me and so did everything else. later that night in meditation I possibly reached/attained nirodha samapatti. very short though.

Now the mind is constantly leaning in to look at the process of becoming/being-ness itself and how that is fed by craving. or is it becoming craving. Should I do anything extra special besides what Im already doing (seeing 3 characteristics while going thru jhanaic arc, some times resting in a particular jhana and investidating that for a while. seeing its factors and how intentionality plays a role and how there are always some level of stress how ever subtle even in these pleasant refined states of consciousness.)

I want to be free!

I remember reading once in an Ajhan Maha Boowa book something like, "the very luminosity of mind itself is ignorance. and is why it is the ultimate trickster." (that's not word for word, but, something like that) and I see that, but, how do I truly break free.

even though I know there is truly nothing to go anywhere. and thus nowhere to go being that nobody is there/here. it is becoming. I see it as separate but it's there going on to nowhere and its always in such a hurry.

Can anyone help me untangle this tangle. ask me questions. give me pointers. tell me I'm crazy. whatever, I wanna get this done.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
When you say you think you've gotten 1st path on 7/26 and then 2nd on 7/28 are you talking about these shift occurring within two days of each other? I would be skeptical of claims like this as I have never heard of anyone landing two paths within a matter of days, although that's not to say it isn't possible.

1st path, that's likely, particularly if you now have access to the formless jhanas and are experiencing cessations, but the rest of your description sounds like Review territory. The NS-like cessation was most likely a normal cycling fruition, or possibly just a drop-out in High Equanimity, but either way you need to take a step back and look honestly at your practice right now. It's easy to overestimate where we are on this and I did it plenty of times myself, so I know what it's like and what a boot in the balls it is to be told you're probably not where you think you are. Remember that there is territory to be covered after each Path moment and that you're in Review until the next cycle of insight starts which leads on to 2nd path.

A few things about what you've said in your post:

I felt very peculiar on the ride back, and, was experiencing temporary blindness, weird fear and anxiety. sight returned to normal.

Could you describe this "temporary blindness" a bit more?

Got back to the monastery. everything had a bright glow to it. I sat in the tea area (sanga hall) and had a very direct perception meditation. my mind was taking now and seeing the rapid fire sensations and I was saying in my head this, this, this and is,is is. But, that was too slow so I just sat in the presence of now-ness all with eyes open (the rug was looking pretty weird as if it were breathing with me and so did everything else. later that night in meditation I possibly reached/attained nirodha samapatti. very short though.

The rapid fire stuff is A&P, without a doubt. This line about "the rug was looking pretty weird..." is Equanimity, which leads me to believe that it was a fruition, not NS itself. It sounds very much like you're cycling fairly through the ñanas naturally, and I suspect that you have strong concentration skills which may account for the lack of heavy dark night symptoms.

Now the mind is constantly leaning in to look at the process of becoming/being-ness itself and how that is fed by craving. or is it becoming craving.

If you're sticking with noting then the advice is this - Look at EVERYTHING regardless of which path you think you're at, there should be no emphasis on any one set of sensations, each and every one needs to be looked at until the thing unravels.

The best advice is to get back to practice, it will become clearer as time goes on whereabouts you are and it's also difficult to be able to accurately say where someone is based on a few forum postings. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to rain on your parade but I always err towards underestimation rather than overestimation purely based on my own experience so I'm just being realistic here.
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Nipuna Ross A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M
are you talking about these shift occurring within two days of each other?

Yeah maybe hitting 1st path fruition again in review. I don't have a solid understanding of nanas, just solid practice emoticon, so I dont know how that plays out, but, I thought I raed somewhere about "calling up fruitions" (?).
Tommy M
Review territory

Yeah that sound more realistic. I had to break the ice some how with this whole claim thing.
boot in the balls

hehehe you said balls! but, yeah. total sense of accomplishment after 7/26. I was planning on ordaining and now its looking highly unlikely. actually it sounds painful, with all the fucked up dogmatic trapings, that I was so blind to before. this is my abandonment of needless rules and rituals (the thought that enlightenment is only for the monastics, wow was my head up my ass). I just wanna be polite about saying I dont want to ordain. they were kinda counting on that. anyway....
Tommy M
Could you describe this "temporary blindness" a bit more?

Yeah my periphery on the left side was gone for about 30 minutes after the earth quake. I did sit in a windoseat and the sun was shining on my left side. also the middle of the visual field was blurred. very strange. and, at the same time it felt like cycling through dukkha nanas. or I was just scared I was going blind. I dont think it was anything practice related. but, I could be wrong.
Tommy M
This line about "the rug was looking pretty weird..." is Equanimity

Yeah I experience a lot of equanimity I dwell in the witness/awareness itself often with astounding equanimity. at times it does feel a bit centerless. I try to look at the center and it becomes no center, or non locational/ nothing.
Tommy M
If you're sticking with noting then the advice is this - Look at EVERYTHING regardless of which path you think you're at, there should be no emphasis on any one set of sensations, each and every one needs to be looked at until the thing unravels.

I don't do noting practice. just wordlessly looking at all phenomena in terms of 3 characteristics also it is "while thus concentrated" none of this crap leaving jhana to do insight. I would call my practice insight jhana. anyway that is semantics on my part, i got it. so just keep looking and it does its own thing? Does turning the heat up or down practice wise speed things up or does it just do its own thing on its own time. yeah I like the word "unravel" kinda like unbinding.
Tommy M
The best advice is to get back to practice

I never left practice. I dont think I could at this point. the mind instincually is investigating phenamena almost non stop. hence the stream of stream enter-er. its pretty fucking awsome.
Tommy M
I'm not trying to rain on your parade but I always err towards underestimation rather than overestimation purely based on my own experience so I'm just being realistic here.

I am absolutely grateful to you for responding and giving your advice. May you be well.
Ross
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
No worries, glad it was of use.

I had a look through your other threads and you're practice is solid, the insights you're describing are on the money and I would have little doubt in saying that you appear to have stream entry. It's interesting how you've changed your opinion on the dogmatic stuff and how you've seen for yourself that this is totally possible; look at the first three fetters. Now you see 'em, now you don't! Ha!

Yeah my periphery on the left side was gone for about 30 minutes after the earth quake. I did sit in a windoseat and the sun was shining on my left side. also the middle of the visual field was blurred. very strange. and, at the same time it felt like cycling through dukkha nanas. or I was just scared I was going blind. I dont think it was anything practice related. but, I could be wrong.

Right, gotcha. I wondered if you were talking about a total loss of sight or this sort of phenomena, I've also noticed very similar visual disturbances before although I suspect that the sun shining in your eyes probably contributed somewhat. The visual focus sounds like Dark Night, the entire field shifts out towards the edges and the center becomes incredibly difficult to see.

Yeah I experience a lot of equanimity I dwell in the witness/awareness itself often with astounding equanimity. at times it does feel a bit centerless. I try to look at the center and it becomes no center, or non locational/ nothing.

Use your time in Review to your advantage, as Eran said the mind is incredibly powerful right now, you could feasibly make a push for 2nd path but it's possible to learn a lot of stuff really quickly while in Review, like getting into jhana at will and calling up fruitions. It's up to you, it sounds like you already know where you're going with this so it's just a matter of getting it done.

Don't worry about looking at some imagined center 'cause it doesn't exist, you've seen through the illusion of there being a seperate, permanent self there so now it's a process of elimination. There's still something implying that there's a "you" there to experience this, pay attention to the sensations implying things like time and space, look at subtle aspects of your experience.

I don't do noting practice. just wordlessly looking at all phenomena in terms of 3 characteristics also it is "while thus concentrated" none of this crap leaving jhana to do insight. I would call my practice insight jhana. anyway that is semantics on my part, i got it. so just keep looking and it does its own thing? Does turning the heat up or down practice wise speed things up or does it just do its own thing on its own time. yeah I like the word "unravel" kinda like unbinding.

Sounds like a straight-up sutta approach to me, which is wonderful, I wrongly assumed you were doing Mahasi-style noting, but either way the principle is the same. Seeing the 3C's is what does the damage.

It's up to you how you want to practice really, there's benefit in both approaches but if it's progress through the Paths then you're as well to just power through it. That said, 2nd path happened for me after giving up on maniacally practicing constantly, I literally stopped practicing and about two days later Path occurred. That's just my experience and you'll figure out what works best for you.

I never left practice.

I don't have a solid understanding of nanas, just solid practice

You'll do just fine.

Peace,
T
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Eran G, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 182 Join Date: 1/5/10 Recent Posts
To somewhat echo what Tommy said, the mind in review can be very powerful. The different ñanas may arise and be seen with much more force and clarity than before giving the impression that this is something new even when that is not the case. You may notice your perception shift on its own from one mode to another as the mind cycles through the stages. For me this had the effect of bringing different characteristics to the fore. For example, while going through Knowledge of Equanimity, the characteristic of not-self was much clearer, this meant that my relationship with the body was markedly different and vision was much clearer. See some of the descriptions by Florian in this thread: http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/751587

BTW, Congrats!
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Nipuna Ross A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
Eran G
To somewhat echo what Tommy said, the mind in review can be very powerful. The different ñanas may arise and be seen with much more force and clarity than before giving the impression that this is something new even when that is not the case. You may notice your perception shift on its own from one mode to another as the mind cycles through the stages.


I have noticed what seem to be multiple cycles in a day or in a meditation period. I try to test if I am scripting unintentionaly of course by dropping all definitions, and letting the mind do its own thing specifically while dwelling in the witness/awareness itself. there is definite profound reproducibility of nailing soft/medium 8 jhana and pure land jhanas ( that gets blurry). I think its real fun to open my eyes and get up quickly while in formless jhana, then sitting back down and going right back in. or while doing walking meditation standing at the end of the path going up and down jhanic arc in like 5 minutes (although it seems to just start right in at the 6th jhana, but I can go down to form and come back up to formless in linear fashion).
having a profound intuitive understanding of cause and effect, and awesome understanding of intention and letting go (which is causes), arriving at equanimity is like moving the eyes to look at an object. like a strong man might flex his extended arm! then arriving back at high equanimity totally out of the blue happens often too.

Eran G
For me this had the effect of bringing different characteristics to the fore. For example, while going through Knowledge of Equanimity, the characteristic of not-self was much clearer, this meant that my relationship with the body was markedly different and vision was much clearer.


equanimty is the specific quality of mind that lets us bridge the gap between form and formless realms. the panoramic quality melting into wholeness of space and perceptions of form dropping away going into boundless space. I notice this subtle longing in going through these amazing yet mundane states.
I can see why AF would be so desirable to a lot of you guys and gals on here. I wonder if I may be inducing PCE because of the directness and nowness and equanimity that pervades most of my days through out the whole day. and even as soon as I wake up even though I'm tired the mind is vibrant. I am so grateful that I am almost shedding tears right now. who would of thought that this guy who used to be utterly destitute eating out of dumpsters and sticking needles in his arms would be living with buddhist masters and becoming a master himself. people kept saying they didn't recognize me when I went back home. funny thing!

Eran G
See some of the descriptions by Florian in this thread: http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/751587

Yeah, wow that's awesome. now I need to just find the time to really go through it.

Eran G
BTW, Congrats!

Its hard for even me to wrap my head around this guys, and, I have a knee jerk desire to not take your compliment, as, I still see this as a working hypothesis. But, I think I just gotta face the fact that I accomplished something pretty awsome. so, Thank You
-Ross
Garrett Evans, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 21 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Wow, Ross, that's awesome. Congratulations man. It's seriously inspiring for me to hear that you've really gotten 1st Path.

-Garrett
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Nipuna Ross A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
Garrett
Wow, Ross, that's awesome. Congratulations man. It's seriously inspiring for me to hear that you've really gotten 1st Path.


Thanks-

Hey it's good to hear from you. Its funny that your the one that turned me on to Mastering the Core Teachings. I had a lot of dogma blocking me and was sincerely practicing. My mind was open enough to look at things in a different light. Basically I was dis-empowered. So, to be empowered and sincerely practicing, its only a matter of time before things get done.

So when you coming back for a visit?

I told Bhante G of my hypothesis of being a stream enterer and he had the most neutral reaction. I thought he was going to shoot me straight down. but he didn't do that and at the same time he didn't seem too impressed. well, for one I told him that Im putting a halt proceeding to ordination and that I'd think about it for a bit, but, I seriously don't think my mind will change again on this matter.

If I could ordain and not have all the dogma and be as open as I'm being here without being excommunicated for my openness I'd do it. but now my motivations for life have completely changed. I just want to go out and live my life and be an ordinary person. maybe help some others do the same.
Garrett Evans, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 21 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I won't be back at Bhavana for a while. My residency plans there ended up falling through. Luckily, things have worked out elsewhere; I am leaving a week from today to begin a residency at Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon.
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Nipuna Ross A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Claim to somewhere between 1st and 3rd path

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
practice well my friend! and, I hope you enjoy your visit to the zen monastery.

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