Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 9/22/11 3:21 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/19/11 10:08 AM

Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
This is my first post here. I've been thinking of writing it for about a year now since I'm wondering where am on the path.

Three years ago I started to have a couple of powerful, blissful experiences with energy running through my body and my concentration increasing in a unbelievable way. All this happened through shiatsu massage and intense yoga practice. One time it hit so hard I had orgasm-like tingeling sensations in every part of my body (including every internal organ) for ~30 minutes and it took three days for it to normalize. Since then I can feel the tingeling sensations in my forehead, fingertips and toes whenever I want (or don’t want). These vibrations are not very strong, but they are there.

Shortly after this I had other types of experiences, typically about 60-90 minutes in ashtanga vinyasa yoga sessions, where my whole body became sooo relaxed, as weights were suddenly lifted from my shoulders, every uncomfortable or even comfortable (tingeling sensations etc) feelings just vanishing. I could observe my surroundings with no "personality filter" and I could perform the asanas without effort, Often such a experience would come after I diligently tried to be equanimous to sensations and thoughts (shaking leg muscles, irritation etc) during asanas. I remember thinking of "harvesting" the energy in them, learning to overcome them with just staying with them. A year later, I learned at a yoga-workshop about the concept of "Tapas", in which one uses discipline to stay with the sensations to finally be able to reach the fruit of yoga.

Two times have I had these experiences outside the yoga mat, and these times they were with me for 3-5 days. My concentration was phenomenal and I was able to keep long chains of equations in my head at work. Also, encounters with other people were very interesting since I was not affected a single bit emotionally by what was said. I recently listened to Tarin describing his AF-experiences and this sounds very similar to what I experienced then.

At this point I had not even discovered vipassana meditation. I then (~two years ago) attended a 10-day Goenka retreat, and I was initially happy to learn about the meaning of my experiences I previously had with impermanence of sensations in yoga. Mostly the retreat time was dominated with me being angry at the retreat methodology since I was not longer that interested in vibrations, having nightmares and being paranoid of being followed by the assistant teachers (in retrospect I guess this would be the dark night). I had a hard time relating to all pain after sitting long period of time.

Coming home I started practice for ~2h for a over a year (expect for maybe 3 months) where I didn't have much life beside practice. I quickly had very nice effects in my life, the most apparent that I was able to stay equanimous in situations where I would previously be upset.

Shortly after this (~a year ago) I got the message that my sister got cancer and I was determined to continue my practice, as a sort of mental stability insurance and to be able to cope with my mother’s agony. I got up 04:00 in the morning for two weeks and did yoga and vipassana for 3h, sometimes also meditating in the evening. After a few days I could feel vibrations on my the skin over my whole body almost 24h/day and sleeping only 4h some nights. After this I got another 3 days with the PCE-like experience (or whatever it was..). I stopped meditating for a number of weeks and instead started painting (I have never painted anything..). I could just sit on the floor for hours painting different shades of green! This was also the time I ordered MCTB.

After this things has not been exactly the same. It seems I have acquired an ability to "automatically" neutralize most ill-will towards others and I am much more calm in all kinds of situations. Negative feelings seem to arise as sensations in for example my stomach, but only for 1/10 seconds to ~4 seconds before disappearing. Only some kinds of stress, nervousness and restlessness last for longer periods of time, generally not longer than 15 minutes. The feelings of ill-will and automatic reactions trying to protect my ego have been tormenting me since childhood, and now they are not affecting me anymore! What I seem to experience is instead compassion, instantly knowing the other person is as vulnerable as I once was. I also have a feeling of my needs not being any more important than any other being's needs. I find myself extremely generous towards others, just for the sake of making the other person’s life easier. I also feel much more confident in choices I make and maybe 70% more calm than before in situations with other people. I almost never have any disturbing thoughts lasting more than 10 seconds. Something changed for sure and these changes have been constant for almost a year now.

Although I have read MCTB and have been on this forum for almost a year I still don't know exactly where I am on the path or exactly when I experience A&P, DN or equanimity in meditation. When I sit for meditation, I always have subtle vibrations on the skin of my body and in my face. After a while I usually starts focus on "hard" feelings, usually in my sit-bones and shoulders but these are easily neutralized by observing hem. They vanish as waves into the sea. If I sit long enough I usually get more annoying sensations but these I usually am able to just observe with interest. Staying even longer enough with the sensations I get into what I believe is equanimity where I can sit effortlessly just observing the very few sensations that still arise, none of them being difficult to handle. In this state I still have thoughts and not perfect concentration, but I can reach other level of mind it seems where it is easier to observe subtle feelings or thoughts.

Following the maps and assuming I haven't yet had 1st path and assuming that what I interpret as equanimity really is equanimity , I guess I should soon be able to have a fruition just staying in equanimity investigating anticipation etc? Given my personality changes, Is there a possibility of me already having first path? If so, should I still be able to have a fruition after long enough in equanimity? How are my PCE-like experiences interpreted in relation to the maps? Could they be A&P or after effects of repeated fruitions (I'm skeptic, but curious)?

Any help and advice is appreciated. I would be really helpful with some thoughts regarding my position on the map and advice of how to continue from here. You could also ask me more questions if needed if I haven't been clear enough in my descriptions.

[edited: tons of spelling errors]
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 9/20/11 5:55 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/19/11 4:17 PM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hiya Kriss,

Welcome to the DhO!

From your whole post there's one sentence which really stands out:

Something changed for sure and these changes have been constant for almost a year now/

Taken along with your detailed post and descriptions, I would suggest that there's a very good chance you've gotten stream entry. I could be wrong, of course, and you may just have crossed the A&P but the changes you describe seem a bit deeper and longer lasting than those associated with that stage. You also have a strong practice history with strong intent to end suffering, for yourself and others, but of course this is all based on a single post on an online forum and so take this with a pinch of sodium chloride and continue practicing well.

A few other points which may be of use to you:

After a few days I could feel vibrations on my the skin over my whole body almost 24h/day and sleeping only 4h some nights. After this I got another 3 days with the PCE-like experience (or whatever it was..). I stopped meditating for a number of weeks and instead started painting (I have never never painted anything..). I could just sit on the floor for hours painting different shades of green!

This sounds very much A&P related, based on the details you mention, particularly the surge of creativity and reduced need for sleep. However, after getting 1st path, which happened for me before I'd even heard about MCTB, I experienced a similar increase in sensory clarity for several weeks before it eventually settled down to become the perceptual baseline. Again, due to the fact that this is all online and based on one post, remain skeptical until you can test it empirically and repeat the results again and again and again and again.

If so, should I still be able to have a frution after long enough in equinamity?

If you've gotten 1st path then fruitions will happen naturally due to cycling, but it's worth learning a bit more about what a fruition is and how it can happen since it can be so quick and unexpected that it's difficult to catch without strong concentration. I worried a lot about this when I first joined here but it's really quite simple, read and re-read Daniel's chapter in MCTB called "Was That Emptiness?", this is full of info and sets the gold standard to ensure high levels of practice. A fruition is just a discontinuity in the entire sensate experience, a blip, a blink out, a resetting of the entire mind-body system as if you've hit the reset button on a Super Nintendo. Precise practice will make this clearer if you've attained 1st path as you should be able to cycle up to fruition in each sit, although in my experience the fruition can after the sit when you least expect it so don't worry too much about it right now.

How are my PCE-like experiences interpreted in relation to the maps? Could they be A&P or after effects of repeated frutions (I'm sceptic, but also curious)?

Good question! But I ain't even going to try to answer that one. What you may find useful is this blog post by Nikolai on lengthening the fruition attainment here.. In fact, the entire Hamilton Project should be bookmarked as it's a tremendous resource for any serious practitioner.

Good luck with your practice and my apologies for the shit reply I left yesterday after having accidentally deleted a similar post to this. Ha!
Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 9/22/11 2:07 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/22/11 2:07 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi Tommy and thanks for taking your time. I really appreciate it.

I resolved to figure these things out now. Last night I had a wonderful 2h30min sit. This morning 1h15min. I really would like to give my report now, but since this is the internet I will continue to investigate things over the weekend so I don't make a fool out of myself in my second post emoticon But really cool things are going on here.
Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 9/27/11 3:38 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/27/11 3:35 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi again,

It was seriously nice with the motivation that came with opening up this thread!

Just hours after your reply I started investigating this in the most sincere and honest way I could. My goal was to find out 1) what happens when I sit in equanimity long enough and /or 2) Do I experience any cycles. These are strangely enough things I haven’t really cared that much about in my practice until now. I’m excited by my findings, but have not yet been able to identify any fruitions. Anyhow..

In my first 2h20min sit I started by 15min of asking myself HIETMOBA. This usually throws me into reality and is something I have been used the last months, even off cushion. It is usually very easy for me to rest in the now and feel everything in my experience without censoring anything (Might be what Kenneth Folk describes as 3rd gear / Direct mode. Not sure.). I then was experiencing 2hours of what I think was cycling between stages of insight. The cool thing is that I have never experienced this automatic sliding between stages (I haven’t really paid attention to it). Up through what seemed to be a state of bad concentration and “painlike” sensations (although not really painful at all) that passed really quickly if just "riding out the storm". After seconds into what I think is equanimity with a release of tension and drop of shoulders. Wonderful state almost without any physical sensations, but really difficult to observe the 3 characteristics of anything experienced. Remembered Daniel talking about equanimity and the difficulties to find things to investigate there so I turned the investigation to the questioning itself and mentally noting mindstates. Then my mind started wandering and I then felt sensations again. Then the thing repeated itself exactly like that and for each time the uncomfortable sensations were easier to handle. Here is where I must have 1) cycled (or scripting into cycling) through the progress of insight or 2) just losing concentration which made me slide down to reobservation or further down. These "cycles" took ~3-7min each and went on and on automatically for 2hours. What was most noticeable was the release of my shoulders and a feeling of my heart becoming lighter each moment I passed through equanimity but I’m very skeptical these were fruitions since I didn’t have gaps in time or memory during or prior to them. Anyhow, it was the most wonderful sit I’ve ever had and the following morning I had a sit exactly like that, starting with immediate and unbelievable concentration as son as I sat down! For two days I was completely sure I was in Review. The following days I reflected upon this and realized that the “cycles” were probably something related to simply coming into equanimity from reobservation and then sliding back or something. Don’t really know.

In the sits since then (~1h every day) I haven’t experienced repetitive cycles at all. The moment I sit I feel body relax and my shoulders drop at each out breath (is that the entering into A&P?), I slide up to what I think I equanimity really fast and sit there mostly doing what feel like “nothing” rather than noting. A (very) tiny bit of disappointment since I would rather go back here to this thread and report about heavenly realms and fruitions emoticon

During everyday life I often feel (and have felt for the last ~6-10 months) a relaxation of my mind and body the second I incline my mind to see impermanence in sensations. It feels as if tension is “naturally taken care of” without me really doing much. Guess that is also related to A&P?

Regarding this thread, I don’t really expect to be diagnosed since I know it’s only my continued investigation of the nature of things that counts. But of course it would be nice to know more of where I can be, since I still feel a little bit lost emoticon.

Bye for now!
Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 9/28/11 2:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/28/11 2:29 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
An update since I made progress yesterday.

I have now learned the significant difference between low-equanimity and high-equanimity. I put more effort into noting mind states including any clinging, drifting and wanting. It was surprisingly easy. Each noting made the black background emerge even more and I it felt so close that I became one with it. I recognize this from the past and my yoga practice but have only momentarily succeeded in coming here with vipassana. The difference is that now I know (sort of anyhow) what I have to do while being in this state. Will update this thread when I have done it.
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 9/28/11 4:54 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/28/11 4:54 PM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Kriss,
I'm curious to hear where your practice leads, because I've been feeling similar things in my sits lately. I got back from a 10-day retreat a few days ago, and there was a moment in equanimity where I suddenly thought, "whoa, was the a cessation." I felt pretty good afterward, but I didn't start cycling or having more apparent fruitions, so I wrote it off as nothing. I'm still inclined to think it was nothing, but in my sits since I've been back I've been finding it suspiciously easy to get up into EQ. It'll take just 10-15 minutes and I feel the signature calm and panoramic quality of EQ. But like I said I'm suspicious, so I'll look for A&P symptoms like vibrations, energy movement, or lights, but the most I get is occasional, subtle light patterns in my minds eye, and some third eye pressure.

Have you been able to pinpoint any A&P qualities yourself, or does it feel like you head to straight to EQ?

Can you give more details about what your slides into Reobservation are like?

Good luck with the investigation,
Teague
Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 9/29/11 4:07 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/29/11 4:07 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi Teague,

Sounds like we're asking sort of the same questions. For me, I have just started to see for myself how I'm progressing through the maps and I think this understanding has given me an increased motivation and momentum in my practice. For me, the last week's practice has made me set a new standard in practice: To reach EQ in each sitting. Actually, I want to set it even higher: To rest in EQ between sittings in daily life. Yet, I haven't been able to keep a unperturbed equinimity between sittings with just 1-2h meditation per day. Therefore I will try to combine my meditation practice with a some yoga asana practice made slow and with complete body awareness (mentally noting all body/mind phenomena). I know from the past that regular asana practice done with with good body awareness can sometimes let me rest in effortless equanimity for sometimes 24h or more.

Teague Anderson:
but in my sits since I've been back I've been finding it suspiciously easy to get up into EQ.


I though the same thing.. "Hm.. aren't I jumping over a couple of stages now?". I figure this is only a problem if one risk to go up to EQ and solidify it into a shamata jhana without properly investigating phenomena, but basically I'm still curious of how all this works. As long as I naturally progress up to EQ in one sitting I'll just be thankful but it would be nice though, to not even have to progress through dukkha ñana at all, but just be in EQ all the time, especially since it seems a lot of insights and even the path moment can occur during waking state.

Teague Anderson:
But like I said I'm suspicious, so I'll look for A&P symptoms like vibrations, energy movement, or lights, but the most I get is occasional, subtle light patterns in my minds eye, and some third eye pressure.


I find myself doing that too when I think too much of "which ñana" I'm in. It feels wrong when I'm searching for specific things instead of just being present. For example, if one is in the EQ or the dukkha ñanas and start looking for A&P, doesn't that risk that one regresses back to A&P? Not sure how this works.

Teague Anderson:
Have you been able to pinpoint any A&P qualities yourself, or does it feel like you head to straight to EQ?


Personally, I think A&P is one of the most difficult stages to pinpoint nowadays since I can't spot any special qualities except small vibrations. Its as if they're just there if I tune into their frequency but I don't get any ecstasy from them anymore. Nothing extraordinary. Not sure of other symptoms since I haven't really learned to associate specific qualities with A&P. When I start sitting I often can feel vibrations (sometimes very subtle) almost everywhere I look.. I feel them all at once or do a little bit of body scanning until I get more uncomfortable sensations. Then I just define that as being in dukkha ñanas. I ride out the storm by just mentally noting any phenomena and then seem to suddenly get up to EQ when enough noting is made. Only last week was this progress up to EQ really fast and effortless. Prior to that it took over an hour to get to EQ for me.

Teague Anderson:
Can you give more details about what your slides into Reobservation are like?


I'm still not sure what happened during those two sittings I described. What I know is that I didn't reach high-EQ during those sittings and so I most probably just lost concentration in low-EQ and felt restlessness and basically uncomfortable sensations that is not associated with EQ. So (by definition?) I then had to be in the dukkha ñanas again.

Teague Anderson:
Good luck with the investigation


Thanks. It's an amazing journey. Good luck!
Jill Morana, modified 10 Years ago at 1/19/12 4:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/29/11 7:15 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 93 Join Date: 3/1/10 Recent Posts
hi guys,

i can relate to how difficult it is to pin down where you are for certain, because phenomena just present themselves with different intensities for different people, and the whole looping back and experiencing earlier nanas makes diagnosis even harder. not only does falling back happen, but it happens to different degrees and durations. sometimes lower or higher concentration allows you to experience characteristics of a nana that you're not even in. going through the a&p with high concentration can make it really calm, fine, and subtle like Eq, and being in Eq with lower concentration can make it look like early a&p than other times. which means that the stages are likely to show up differently when you're on retreat (heightened concentration) than at home (low-normal concentration).

but aside from all that, what i'd like to share and emphasize is the part about map knowledge that i found most beneficial: knowing that you must be in one ñana or another really cuts down on the whole tendency to personalize whatever's arising in the experience, so that you don't get held back by self judgements and emotional reactions. without the ñana information, a meditator is more likely to think "wow i'm such a great spiritual being, such a skillful yogi" while in pleasant territory, and think "can't believe i have so much baggage; my practice is so hopeless; i'm just not good enough at this" while in the more difficult stages. with map knowledge, whatever happens you just think "alright, this might be one of those energetic/draining/nice/bad/awful/cool/unstable ñanas. stuff happens. better keep going." thanks to Daniel Ingram for publishing such detailed nana descriptions that made it possible for so many of us to drop that personal crap and make progress.

Kriss, i second Tommy's suspicion that it's possible you have path, not just judging from the phenomena but from how you write, from things you say and don't say, and what tone and weight you attach to the things you mention. to put it another way, so far i haven't spotted any tell-tale signs of the pre-path perspective from you. but as Tommy said--just a suspicion. fruitions could be very hard to detect, and I suspect it might vary for different people depending on their characteristics of attention and energy. if i remember right, fruitions only happen during review periods, so if you're the type that keeps progressing forward steadily without spending much time in review, then there won't be very many of them for you to recall (someone please correct me if i'm mistaken about this). only you can say if there is significantly less suffering in your daily existence or not--that would be a key indication of progress, not necessarily the types of fancy phenomena you get.

it took me two-three years after reading MCTB to confidently identify a life-changing point nine years prior to that as stream entry, and i only knew it when another path happened and i was able to see the path moment phenomena again and go "oh...this is what it's like--it's this subtle?!! these shifts have happened before!" i started being able to pinpoint fruitions for a few months, and then never with any regularity again, and never learned to control or trigger them. without the info, i probably would have not thought of them as anything more than little glitches in attention. never experienced any "after glow" either, ever.

this is very good news:
Kriss:
Personally, I think A&P is one of the most difficult stages to pinpoint nowadays since I can't spot any special qualities except small vibrations. Its as if they're just there if I tune into their frequency but I don't get any ecstasy from them anymore. Nothing extraordinary.


Kriss you mentioned that you want to be able to rest in Eq (you mean nana?) in daily life--I think it's a great goal to aim for maximum equanimity as an attitude/lifestyle/default mode no matter what nana your'e in, on or off cushion. if you've been in Eq nana and have clear enough memories of its qualities to integrate into all of experience, doing so will orient your practice in the direction of higher paths (where differences in stages and stage shifts get increasingly subtle, fused, superimposed, overlapping, all getting evened out), whether or not you have first path. first path or next path or next critical shift will come when your lowest base of equanimity (eq as a characteristic, not nana) is raised(*), so the test is how much equanimity of mind and attentiveness you're able to generate in the most unpleasant and pleasant moments alike. take your highest insights and integrate them into every moment possible of sitting and daily life. so instead of figuring out which nanas are happening, why not blur them all together so that you become totally clueless about where you're at! (half joking about the clueless bit. lol)

jill

(*) you've probably read that a characteristic of a path winner's experience is never falling back into earlier nanas of the previous path. raising your lowest bar--deconditioning your least equanimous, most reactive and inattentive moments of experience clears out the causes and conditions for falling back to happen, and it's very useful to not have to swing back (too much) even before the line is crossed. this applies to any critical point of vipassana progress, not just path attainment.
Kriss S, modified 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 11:33 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 11:33 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
Jill, Thank you for your well-written reply. Your post together with a bunch of other posts I read here at DhO the last two weeks have helped me getting a clearer picture of all this. I have tried to lessen the interest about which stage or even which path I'm in. It seems that the only wise thing to do is to continue to just be present of the now and have the ñana knowledge in the back of my head in case I need them later on.

TJ Broccoli:
whether or not you have first path. first path or next path or next critical shift will come when your lowest base of equanimity (eq as a characteristic, not nana) is raised(*), so the test is how much equanimity of mind and attentiveness you're able to generate in the most unpleasant and pleasant moments alike. take your highest insights and integrate them into every moment possible of sitting and daily life. so instead of figuring out which nanas are happening, why not blur them all together so that you become totally clueless about where you're at! (half joking about the clueless bit. lol


I find it very familiar to think of it this way. Seems like a very useful and pragmatic way to look at things.

Have only practiced ~4h/week since my last post (I have been quite busy with family and work. Also I often try to meditate in daily life - feeling vibrations over my body and just inclining me to be in the present moment which is very nice). Most of the time on cushion is really productive. I'm asking questions like "What part of my experience am I still identifying with?". At a physical level I almost never find anything that can't be quickly abondoned in a few seconds (even knee-pain), but I have started to look at aversion, ill-will etc and it suprises me how some things still have a grip on me. Sometimes they seem to be merely thoughts that don't have a corresponding physical sensations, or very subtle ones. So I question what they are, and this is basically where I am right now in practice. I also try different ways of inclining my mind to "see" me but with no special result.

/K
Kriss S, modified 9 Years ago at 8/21/12 11:12 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/21/12 10:50 AM

RE: Great personality changes after practice. Where am I?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi everybody,

So its been a while since my last reply in this thread of mine. Here is what I've been up to:

The ~5 months following my latest reply I continued to practice 1-2h/day. Basically my insight meditation has looked the same: After a few minutes of observing body sensations, my focus is broadened to include the whole body at once. Then it seems I can choose to try to "chase" sensations which I by now know will lead to frustration and thoughts of "I just want this to be over with", or to apply acceptance and let awareness broaden even more to include as much as possible of experience(*). The applying of acceptance leads to a very equanimous state in which everything in my experience is accepted without effort. I'm quite confident that this is what is denoted equanimity even high equanimity in MTCB. There an obvious shift from frustration to deep equanimity when entering this state.

(*) Here I often make another deliberate shift: Instead of trying to include all sensations at once, I choose to focus on something spacious which is extremely peaceful. As I do this its as if I "look into the blackness behind my eyeballs" and my breathing and body is immediately calming down as I do this. I can then go in and out of this state as quickly as I want. My guess this is a shift into the 5th jhana. Actually, when I come to think of it, I can go into this state almost whenever I want, even at work so its entirely connected to cushion-practice.

Since ~May I have been doing lesser insight practice on cushion (partly because I don't feel I "need" it in the same extent as before and partly because I've been doing more yoga and stuff).

Some memorable meditative experiences since last november:

A few times being in high equanimity and without any apparent misery at all, I asked myself what is causing suffering right now. After a bit of pondering I found that the only thing that was caused any bit of suffering at all was the actual act of "looking" or "trying". Noting this, the act of doing anything disappeared and released "everything" going on leaving me for a while without thoughts or sensations.

Sometimes, often outside the cushion, I have learned to deliberately be able to tune into a state of mind that does not have time in it. It feels almost as a PCE, except that I slip out of it when I have to do thinking or talking. I also think it is more difficult if I have some heavy automatic though processes or feelings going on at the moment (work or relationship-related), which are more difficult to release.

Somewhere around February I meditated on death, imagining myself lying to die in a hospital bed. I vividly imagined that I would die after my next exhalation. I then asked two questions: What am I paying attention to in this moment: the soap opera on the TV, the nurses beside my bed, any fear or sadness of loss? Then I asked: What part of my experience do I want to leave behind now when I die. The answer was obvious ("all of it") and this cut through a huge chunk of suffering, especially related to desire and left something very spacious, free and thoughtless. After that it felt like I learned something, something having to do with the illusionary aspect of the mind's reality and the very possibility to cut through that illusion.

During the last 10 months it feels as my perceptual baseline has changed some more. There is more stillness and being able to tune into something formless and timeless (the 5h jhana-thing/PCE-thing) is nice. I still experience some occasional suffering in my everyday life, but mostly at a weak and manageable level. But I have more and more difficulties to know what to look for in my insight practice. Its more and more difficult to find any "self" in my experience nowadays, but there is still a very obvious attention bounce when I focus on something. What am I missing in my investigation?

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