Blip while falling asleep

Dani Mon, modified 3 Months ago.

Blip while falling asleep

Posts: 32 Join Date: 6/16/16 Recent Posts
Hi all,

I had an A&P event some 7 years ago and have had an irregular practice ever since, but have spent at least one 9-14 day retreat and a few weekend retreats per year since. I just ended a good 10 day retreat, exacly 17 days ago. I got to equanimity on retreat, as I lately can do, but not past it (and I never had). I felt that I had gotten deeper into equanimity than other times, and had perceived interesting complementary aspects of other stages on the way. After the retreat I had some very "equanimous" meditations but raising two kids and with a full time job my meditation routine fell appart pretty quickly, and so did my equanimity.

Yesterday night I was particularly tired and particularly unskillful, procrastinating, slacking, and online shopping after hours.  When I finally went to sleep, a minute into it, and while still kind of awake I had a "blip". It was subtle and at the same time it was kind of harsh. The best way I can define it is as a "reset" or "restart". It wasn't asleep I am sure about that, and it didn't feel particularly nice, more like the contrary. It was a fraction of a second (I think) and yeah, don't ask me about it, I just "restarted" my brain so nothing was there. As if I were a robot that was turned off and then on. You know it does sound a lot like a "cessation" except it does not sound at all like the Heart Sutra or, if it does, it would be in a quite literal and non-poetical way. I mean if you think on "neither perception or non-perception" I would say that it was most definitely "non-perception".

I wouldn't have given much importance to it if it weren't because right after that I started to feel intense bodily bliss (even though I hadn't meditated in nearly a week). I am not too attached to that kind of stuff anymore, and I have woken up in the past to that kind of bliss, except for the "blip", which is a first. Since I had all those sensations, I stood up and went to meditate for a couple of hours until I really felt really sleepy and went to bed, normal dreams after that.

The interesting part is that the meditations were different. Explaining why is the hardest part. The meditations felt "good" or "not hard" but perhaps not as deep or equanimous as the ones I had during the last days of retreat. Still, there was something about "me" that was different. Can't really explain, are you familiar with the acting concept of "the fourth wall"? How play theater stages have three walls and the public is the fourth one? I usually "feel" things as if "I" were the fourth wall. However, when I meditate now is like the fourth wall/me is an integral part of the stage.

I know its a difficult explanation, but can't find a better one. There is something about how I perceive things that has changed, everything seems more integrated, less distant, and at the same time it all feels kind of the same. I feel like I got a new camera lens and that I could do another retreat and explore all the stages of insight and have a slightly different taste to every stage and to every insight, in fact I am looking forward to explore more. I just haven't had the time, as I woke up and came to work.

I know how tempting it is to label the blip as a cessation, and at the same time I would be kind of dissappointed if it were one, because it was so unremarkable, unpleasant even. And I am not aware of any "doors" or any particular phenomena preceding the blip.

Any ideas or suggestions? Alternative explanations? Possibly really just a blip and some interesting meditations?

Thanks! Dani.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Blip while falling asleep

Posts: 2015 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for sharing Dani. 

That retreat sure led to some fine EQ it seems as it lasted afterwards. Another dad here so know that pain and joy emoticon that Sweet'n'Sour or parenthood emoticon Maybe next time off such retreat try and maintain one 45 daily sit even if you just need to get up earlier and sit in that half sleepy state. 

This just my view but I think that description of bleep (that lasted 1 second or so) and feelings that came afterwards might indicate being back to A&P.  In A&P we feel like a new camera lens, sees everything, better, the sense of the Witness behind the 4th wall watching the show, etc ... 

In post Cessation (proper) everything seems rather "normal" and nothing very "meditative" or "special". This was my experience and others might have more to say. I might be wrong of course so best wait for others to chime in. 

However if you got in such solid prolonged EQ Nana then you were doing some good stuff on cushion. 

Best wishes! (Off to change some diapers now) emoticon 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Blip while falling asleep

Posts: 1910 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Sounds possible. Either way, it's good stuff. Try to sit as much as possible and things will become clearer :-)