RE: Breaking through Stream Entry

John Smith, modified 13 Days ago.

Breaking through Stream Entry

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Hello everyone,

Was wondering if you could provide me some aid in getting back to "work" after some intense journey that paused 2 years ago. I've been following this community for some time as well as read some chapters of MCTB. I'm 24 years old by the way.

I will try to be as succinct as possible.

I've practiced vipassana meditation, as teached by Goenka, for 3 years progressing from several minutes to 2-3hours/day. I've undertook 3 10 days vipassana retreats in total. I would say that, according to Mind Maps I'm in the Dukka Nanas stages, but I'm not so sure about that, and would appreciate it if you could provide some insight into that.
To briefly describe my journey, it started with seeing that the current social framework didn't provide real solutions to tackle the issues of human suffering, but rather camouflage it. So I made a clear resolution to get to the core of that.
I will skip the insights associated with the first stages as they're probably common. But things, in time, started to get more and more intense and I became more and more fascinated/absorbed with meditation. in 2018 I undertook an Ayahuasca (DMT) retreat where I had an A&P  experience (feelings of oneness, energetic phenomena, death experience..). 15 days later I'm in the third Vipassana retreat, where after going through hardship and a lot of doubt, it converges in a dream/memory of a past life.

I'd like to dive a little into the dream as it looks like it hints a lot to stream entry- It involves a dream that is as vivid as "this reality", and it's basically me around 20 years old living with a previous family. In that life,  for some reason, which is not clear right now, there was a suppression/forgetting of most of memories which resulted in something like severe dementia. The dream climaxed in a moment where I took the courage to face everything, all the suppressed memories, but this thought came up: "If I discover it, "I" will cease to exist". And then I awake from the "dream". It looked like the life i'm living right now "exists" in order to resolve that issue, and that by fixing it in this life it will change the past. On the other hand if I change the past and look into things "I" won't exist. It looks like everything is in flux. There is an absolute terror that if I look into it, "I" will disappear.
The best parallelism that I can do to capture this experience is viewing the movie "The Fountain".
Notice that at this time I'm able to get into 2nd (maybe 3rd?) jhana.

Since then things, everything ramped to worse as I kept up with the intensity, as contrary to what I would call "the intuition" or inner voice which suggested to take things slowly... and it was too much to digest. Basically did another Ayahuasca retreat and ended up having a psychotic episode, which ironically made me experience forgetfulness.
I'm now getting back on track, with the approval of my doc, and I'm more and more ready to face the whole thing (without drugs).

I had some specific questions, but after writing all this I'm realizing the one of the most valuable thing I would like to ask you, is that if in your journey you have met some realized (attained stream entry at least) student of the Dharma that is proficient in Psychology and has that background experience, who could help me break through.  If you knew someone with this profile and could put me in touch with it, it would be really awesome! Besides that, any advice you might have into all this will be welcome. I do have the desire to do long retreats but there is an equilibrium that must be undertaken between my physical well being and the search/acknowledgment of the nature of reality.
I am sitting on cushion a few minutes a day praticing concentration. There are not real insights, and sometimes it looks like I am able to get into 1st Jana (there isn't no rapture associated with it maybe because it lost its novely).

Thanks a lot in advance.


EDIT: I should add that what I had initially intended to ask was about the validity of intense feelings and auditory phenomena that could be labeled as Caluradience (just for the record, at the present time, I do consider myself a well adjusted individual). It's like I get feelings/vibrations that point a certain direction. It looks like those vibrations pointed to directions that seemed completely mad - for sure not in anything that is harmful but perhaps pointing in a direction of facing my fears in a way that could seem irrational in some ways. I ended up acting "guided" by those vibrations and all seemed almost illogical, which made me question the validity of my decision making resources. Turns out that after questioning everything, , I went to sit on the cushion, and it's like I felt guided into a trance state (accompanied by lights and rapid blinkings), in which its like I have been asked to completely give in, to surrender, and right now i am "with one foot in and one foot out". I trust that by giving in my world will collapse. 
I am also having a very rich dreaming, last night, while mostly lucious, I attempted to meditate while dreaming.
Either this sounds completely nuts or there might be something similar you went through and perhaps you might have some hints to let this experience unfold.
Thank you again
Martin, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Breaking trough Stream Entry

Posts: 194 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I don't have enough experience to comment on your experience, except to say, most of the things you are describing sound similar to what many here describe, so I think you are in the right place. 

As for teachers, if you look at the following thread and scroll down, Zachary provides a list, which was useful for me.
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21564331#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_21565389

I think it's an excellent idea to work with a teacher. It's probably not for nothing that working with a teacher has been the most common approach to Buddhist meditation for thousands of years. 
George S, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Breaking trough Stream Entry

Posts: 1259 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
We're all basically crazy on some level and the only difference is whether we let it out fast (fireworks and psychosis), steady (nanas and jhanas) or keep it in and act it out. Steady is the sanest route, involving consistent daily practice and therapy as needed. Equilibrium is the goal, so trust your inner voice on when to push and when to be gentle with yourself. You've had a bunch of insight already and it takes time to integrate that stuff.
John Smith, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Breaking trough Stream Entry

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Thank you both for your inputs.
Regarding the teachers, I saw that list and it looks like it matches what I am seaching!

"We're all basically crazy on some level and the only difference is whether we let it out fast (fireworks and psychosis), steady (nanas and jhanas) or keep it in and act it out. Steady is the sanest route, involving consistent daily practice and therapy as needed. Equilibrium is the goal, so trust your inner voice on when to push and when to be gentle with yourself. You've had a bunch of insight already and it takes time to integrate that stuff. "

That really makes sense. A challenge on this journey is definitely finding a balance and not moving towards opposite poles. There is a tendency to see things in a black or white lense, which isn't very much helpful.
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streamsurfer, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Breaking through Stream Entry

Posts: 96 Join Date: 1/19/16 Recent Posts
Yes, I would also say trust your intuition - you alone know the state of your psycho-emotional balance. The steady route is king/queen: Start with what you can do every day and if you can do that some weeks in a chain, you see what happens and if you can do more.

​​​​​​​For insight progress I can really recommend a noting tradition. Goenka style seems to be strong for getting A&P, but noting adds another progress potential especially for reobservation imho. For balance concentration can really change the picture. I know I know we all want to get the superb arhat peaceful heaven in this life, but sometimes pure concentration is more helpful for that than one would expect. ;)
John Smith, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Breaking through Stream Entry

Posts: 8 Join Date: 1/15/20 Recent Posts
Hey! Thank you for your input!

Redarding trusting intuition, I guess there's a big torn between the intellect and the feeling/intuition. It's interesting to see that contemporary neurociences point out that the basis of decision making in the individual is emotion and the intellect is used to guide and influence that emotion towards a particular behavior. On the other hand, your intuition can be completely detached from what we call reality (translated into a lack of coeherence between observable cause and effect). Simply put, if there is a predisposition towards more esoteric stuff, it does get more challenging to draw the line between "reality" and illusion.
George S, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: Breaking through Stream Entry

Posts: 1259 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 That's why it's important to maintain relationships with the non-spiritual people in your life. They'll let you know pretty quickly when you've gone off the reservation. emoticon