Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 9/30/11 1:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/29/11 10:41 PM

Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Hello everyone, my name is Teague, and I’m a pre-stream enterer.

I’m starting this practice thread, because I’ve reached a point in my life where it’s time to buckle down to really do this thing. I’ve been dabbling for about 4 years, actually meditating for 2 years, and getting gung ho for about 2 months. That 2-month mark is the point at which I found the Dharmaoverground and read MCTB. Thank you to everyone involved and to Daniel.

So where am I? I just finished my third 10-day Goenka retreat where I gained familiarity with all the nanas leading up to equanimity. So now I’ve set my intent on a course for stream entry. I have unprecedented energy for practice. My timer often goes off after an hour, and I just keep sitting. Tomorrow I get off work at noon, and all I want to do is come home and have a long sit. I feel like I have momentum right now that I should really utilize.

Lately I’ve been finding it very easy to work up to equanimity. I’ll start with about 10 minutes of Jhana before moving to Vipassana (body scanning, à la Goenka, but with some noting), and then I usually get into pretty solid equanimity in another 10 minutes. At first this seemed suspiciously fast, so I started really examining my experience, but I have little doubt that I get to genuine EQ. While sitting tonight, I even briefly reflected that I couldn’t imagine much more equanimity being possible, which makes me think that I’m getting into high EQ. This last domino seems tricky to topple, because the very thing that may topple it is awareness and equanimity to the very desire to do so.

I’ve read a lot of accounts of this stage and have been talking with some dharma friends, but I’m starting this thread to share where I’m at and welcome input from anyone willing to give it. Or if there are some people out there in a similar boat, feel free to join in the conversation. Lets do this thing!

Metta from here to the moon,
Teague
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 9/30/11 4:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/30/11 4:14 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hi Teague,

By the sounds of things, you've got your shit together with this thing and it's just a matter of setting it up to knock it down.

At first this seemed suspiciously fast, so I started really examining my experience, but I have little doubt that I get to genuine EQ.

I think this is an excellent attitude to take, reasonably skeptical and willing to examine the thing closer until you're certain.

While sitting tonight, I even briefly reflected that I couldn’t imagine much more equanimity being possible, which makes me think that I’m getting into high EQ. This last domino seems tricky to topple, because the very thing that may topple it is awareness and equanimity to the very desire to do so.

Turn the attention towards what's still implying that there is something observing, there are patterns of sensation which are being misread. Look at how these sensations behave in exactly the same way as everything else you've observed so far. What does that tell you about the sense of an observer?

You'll do this, no question about it, so best of luck with it and keep us updated. It'll be great to see someone else making a serious dent in their own suffering, the more people do this the more realistic it becomes to others so that they can do the same.
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 9/30/11 7:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/30/11 7:11 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M:


While sitting tonight, I even briefly reflected that I couldn’t imagine much more equanimity being possible, which makes me think that I’m getting into high EQ. This last domino seems tricky to topple, because the very thing that may topple it is awareness and equanimity to the very desire to do so.

Turn the attention towards what's still implying that there is something observing, there are patterns of sensation which are being misread. Look at how these sensations behave in exactly the same way as everything else you've observed so far. What does that tell you about the sense of an observer?


Man, that's the trick, ain't it? It's hard to turn my attention to what's implying observation when I don't know what's implying observation. What does this implication look like? I might be just looking right through it. To me, I still feel the sense of subject and object. I'll try to investigate what exactly that "sense" is.

One thing that seems to be helping, is that I'm gaining equanimity toward equanimity. My first deep states of EQ, there was a subtle feeling of awe and novelty toward being so balanced. Obviously, such a feeling prevents even higher EQ, but now such feelings are dropping away too, which help me see more clearly.

Tommy M:
You'll do this, no question about it, so best of luck with it and keep us updated. It'll be great to see someone else making a serious dent in their own suffering, the more people do this the more realistic it becomes to others so that they can do the same.


Thanks for the encouragement. I dedicate my efforts to human kind.
-T
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 10/1/11 2:30 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/1/11 1:24 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Sat for 90 minutes this morning. Felt reobservational for about 30 minutes before clearing up into EQ. I'll try to describe what EQ feels like for me:

My whole body is apparent as flickering tingles (not pinprick tingles like in A&P, but much more subtle). I can put my attention on any part of my body and that area lights up a bit more with sensation. When I do that with subtle feelings in my chest or abdomen, they become more pronounced. Some of these chest sensations feel like the sort that would be associated with emotions, but in this state nothing emotional comes up. When I do a full body scan from head to feet and feet to head, I'll sometimes get an energy rush in my head and third eye. I used to associate these rushes with something about to happen, and would feel and note "anticipation," but I've grown accustomed and equanimous to them, so I just let them do their thing.
Edit: My perception also becomes very clear. Moving from Reobservation, it's as though the lens is wiped clean and image stabilization is turned on. My focus is panoramic by default, but I can zoom in as well.

I've really been tackling the sense of self, and on this last sit it started feeling like a silly endeavor, because I wasn't really finding anything (duh, cause it ain't there). There seems to be a gradual shift in how I'm experiencing sensations and thoughts. I've heard SE is a dramatic shift, but I'm feeling a slow wearing away of a perceived center-point. Feelings and thoughts arise exactly in their time and place with less relation to anything else (but still some relation, or else the work would be done). One thing I've grappled with were thoughts that I seemingly had control over, but now I'm starting to see how even volitional formations such as thoughts are subject to cause and effect like everything else, and I can often see what triggered a certain thought or volition.

Toward the end of 90 minutes my butt started hurting and my mind started wandering and I slipped back into reobservation. I tried meditating while lying down for some time, but it was hard to maintain focus.

So, yeah.
Metta,
Teague
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 12:13 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 12:13 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Sitting has been quite easy lately. Set my timer for 70 minutes this morning, timer went off, kept sitting for another 5 or 10 minutes. I get solid Jhana (feels like 4th, but I could be wrong) in about five or ten minutes. In jhana, it almost feels like I have to restrain my mind from automatically doing vipassana. When I finally set my mind free to scan and note, it's like releasing a hound dog, which quickly sniffs out and finds equanimity. I probably spent about 50 minutes in EQ with a couple mind wanderings which I brought back quickly enough.

I'm slowly noticing more subtleties in EQ, but part of me is getting tired of trying to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, bliss waves, etc. The three-characteristics feel pretty obvious at this point in both meditation and daily life. I haven't felt a dark-night symptom in a long time, and equanimity pervades my life. I have a mild suspicion that I've already had a fruition, but the symptoms have been too subtle to pin down (have read several accounts of this happening). Well, whatever. My life is good, and I think meditation helps make it good, so whether or not I've already had SE or not, I'll just keep living and keep meditating.

Kenneth Folk said this in regards to stream entry:
" It’s a little bit like chewing and swallowing; when you put food into your mouth, you begin to chew. At some point, when sufficient chewing has taken place, you swallow. It’s an involuntary reflex. You don’t have to obsess about whether swallowing will occur or try to control the process."

So that's what I'm doing. Chewing.

Metta,
Teague
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 12:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 12:20 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Teague Anderson:
I'm slowly noticing more subtleties in EQ, but part of me is getting tired of trying to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, bliss waves, etc. ... I have a mild suspicion that I've already had a fruition, but the symptoms have been too subtle to pin down (have read several accounts of this happening). Well, whatever. My life is good, and I think meditation helps make it good, so whether or not I've already had SE or not, I'll just keep living and keep meditating.

be sure to notice the tiredness, boredom, equanimity, as well, don't slack off now. concentrate more and more - equanimity can take it, and concentrating a ton can be fun if effortless. maximum effortless concentration.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 3:01 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 2:31 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
Teague Anderson:
My whole body is apparent as flickering tingles (not pinprick tingles like in A&P, but much more subtle). I can put my attention on any part of my body and that area lights up a bit more with sensation. When I do that with subtle feelings in my chest or abdomen, they become more pronounced.

This is spot on for me emoticon


Teague Anderson:
...part of me is getting tired of trying to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, bliss waves, etc.

In my experience (which is currently being questioned, so take it with a bucket-load of salt) you will notice it when it happens without trying to notice it. This is especially true when you are sitting completely still, both physically and mentally, paying gentle attention to experience. If you were to have any of these fun things happen while you were crossing a highly trafficked road, while talking on the phone that you're balancing on your shoulder and taking notes in a notebook - in such a situation you might not notice it. In my questionable experience emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 2:55 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 2:54 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Teague Anderson:
...part of me is getting tired of trying to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, bliss waves, etc.


In my experience (which is currently being questioned, so take it with a bucket-load of salt) you will notice it when it happens without trying to notice it. This is especially true when you are sitting completely still, both physically and mentally, paying gentle attention to experience. If you were to have any of these fun things happen while you were crossing a highly trafficked road, while talking on the phone that you're balancing on your shoulder and taking notes in a notebook - in such a situation you might not notice it. In my questionable experience emoticon


oh yea, good point, i missed that - don't try to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, or bliss waves. instead, actually notice what is going on each moment. the more concentration you put into it, the better you will see a fruition, when it happens. it doesn't matter whether you have SE or not - more concentration will either lead to SE, or lead to much clearer review fruitions. do notice the "trying to notice blips", if that is what is happening, but don't try to notice blips - see what i mean?

might also like to read this article that i found described equanimity->fruition really nicely.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 3:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/3/11 3:14 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Teague Anderson:
...part of me is getting tired of trying to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, bliss waves, etc.


In my experience (which is currently being questioned, so take it with a bucket-load of salt) you will notice it when it happens without trying to notice it. This is especially true when you are sitting completely still, both physically and mentally, paying gentle attention to experience. If you were to have any of these fun things happen while you were crossing a highly trafficked road, while talking on the phone that you're balancing on your shoulder and taking notes in a notebook - in such a situation you might not notice it. In my questionable experience emoticon


oh yea, good point, i missed that - don't try to notice blips, drops, cessations, re-boots, or bliss waves. instead, actually notice what is going on each moment. the more concentration you put into it, the better you will see a fruition, when it happens. it doesn't matter whether you have SE or not - more concentration will either lead to SE, or lead to much clearer review fruitions. do notice the "trying to notice blips", if that is what is happening, but don't try to notice blips - see what i mean?


Only the entrance and exit of a cessation moment can be observed. One can pay attention to what happens before and after. In fact this may be very insightful and if not already one may be able to break a fetter or two.

Nick
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 10/5/11 9:18 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/5/11 9:18 AM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Thanks guys. I don't think my language expressed accurately how I practice, though. I'm not trying to look for things that aren't there, like blips, dips or whatever. What's more accurate is that there is subtle anticipation for these to occur. Whenever my equanimity matures and pushes a little further toward the truth, I can feel a tightening in my chest and abdomen, almost like a butterflies-in-my-stomach kind of feeling. It's like my unconscious is afraid of what I'm approaching. Don't worry, I note this feeling too.

Beoman: Thanks for that article. I've read a lot of accounts about EQ and SE, but that shed some new light on it. I liked the part about taking one of three characteristics as object, as everything else becomes too unstable to focus on. I'd never heard it put exactly that way.

Even though I have been hanging out in EQ for some time now, I do feel it maturing slowly but surely. Every time I sit I can feel new kinks ironed out. It's like letting a fine wine age properly before you bottle it. emoticon

I'm now registered for an old-student Goenka course. From the time of applying they "strongly" recommend maintaining sila (especially the 3rd and 5th precept). I have no problem not harming, stealing, sleeping around, or lying. But completely abstaining from intoxicants has always been daunting. The only intoxicant I still indulge in is a beer or a glass of wine from time to time (perhaps a few times a week, say, with dinner), but now that I've become more aware of it, I see that there is a lot of attachment there. The retreat is only two months away, so I figure, what the hell, I'll maintain all five precepts up until then, and see how it goes.

How do you guys feel about the importance of sila? Do you notice a correlation between strong morals and strong meditation?

Metta,
Teague
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 10/13/11 3:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/13/11 3:35 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
My concentration has nose-dived this past week. It's hard for me to stay with the breath for even a minute before my mind finds something else to do. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the formal resolution to abstain from intoxicants, maybe it's the full moon, maybe it's the announcement of the new Iphone emoticon

Whatever it is, my momentum has slipped. I'm still sitting two hours or more a day, but I've only had glimpses of EQ. I've also been noticing the hindrances much more, but the hindrances are pretty good objects for insight. If my meditation is weak I'll feel the urge to get up, but then I investigate that urge and it strengthens my meditation. If I feel sleepy I'll investigate the sensations of sleepiness, but often I'll still slip into daydreams. It's been a frustrating (another object for investigation) week, but my concentration has been slowly building back up. I hope this isn't just the post-retreat honeymoon coming to an end. I'd like to still make progress in my daily sits, and not fall back into Dhukka.

With effort,
Teague
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 9:17 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 9:17 AM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
I've clawed my way back up to getting EQ regularly in sits. It was a tough week or so, because having a hard time with meditation wasn't very motivating to meditate regularly. I was also afraid that I was slipping from the momentum I had after my retreat 3 weeks ago, and wouldn't be able to make any tangible forward progress until I went on another retreat. But alas, I'm getting back into EQ and breaking into new ground once again. Here's what I did in my sit last night:

I'm a Goenka trained yogi, which means that body scanning is my primary technique, but I also pair it with noting, and sometimes just dwell in choiceless awareness. I recently heard what the Goenka tradition teaches for people in the equanimity ñana, which they don't divulge in the 10-day courses. The technique is to rest attention in the chest with an awareness of anicca. So last night when I was good and sure that I was in EQ, that's what I did. Interesting stuff. I feel like my chest is my emotional sensation center. For almost all emotions, there is a corresponding feeling in the chest. When I rested my attention there, I noticed a constant upwelling of sensations; things like constrictions, expansions, voids, heaviness, tingling, pressure, you name it. They were all sensations that would ordinarily have emotional connotations, but in my equanimous state, nothing other than the sensations were arising. In the Goenka tradition, they would say that these are defilements and sankaras coming up. I wonder if that's the case. There certainly seems to be a lot of fuel for sensation in that spot.

One correlation that I notice, is that whenever I feel like I see something in a new, closer-to-the-truth sort of way, I get a strong sensation in my chest. There's little emotion to go along with it, but they feel like the sensations of apprehension or anticipation. Maybe that's why I get that non-stop upwelling when I focus on the chest: I observe the feeling of anticipation, which brings more clarity, which brings more feelings of anticipation, which I observe and brings yet more clarity. In my next sit, I'll see if this cycle can exhaust itself.

-T
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 10/20/11 6:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/11 6:23 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
Some new stuff:

I've tried the direct pointing method of asking, "who am I?" before, but not much comes up. When I ask the question, it lands with a dull thud, like plucking an unsprung guitar string. I took this as a good thing (Ah what a diminished sense of "I"). But the other night, I tried asking, "who is Teague?", and whoa, boy... the things that came up. It turns out Teague has quite the identity. With "I" the guitar was unsprung, but with "Teague" the instrument is finely tuned and amplified. Suddenly memories, concepts, mental images, desires, and all sorts of things associated with "Teague" came up. I felt like I was able to quickly observe and dis-embed from most of these things, and just see them as a dance of thoughts and sensations.

I tried the same questioning on a subsequent sit, and the same sort of stuff came up, but to a much lesser degree. Instead I felt like I was able to see this nama-rupa in a slightly different, more objective way. The dualistic split, and the sense of "I" somewhat dissolved. I'm starting to see how the whole process is just a slow unfolding. Duh, right?

I've also been trying a Kenneth Folk technique to good effect. It's the "watch as it..." style of noting. I've used it in my daily activities ("Watch as it eats," "watch as it walks," "watch as it thinks," etc.) and it instantly pulls my awareness a step back and I just watch as things happen. It can sometimes be humorous too ("watch as it bathes"). It's like going to the zoo.
Edit: Here is the link for details on that technique. Thanks Nick.

So yeah. Onward and upward.
Metta,
Teague
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 11/7/11 11:46 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/7/11 11:44 AM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
I'm still plugging away. I try to sit two hours each day, but it often ends up being an hour and a half. My concentration hasn't been superb lately. I definitely feel jhanic-like shifts (rapture, effort & release of effort, joy, and eventually panoramic perception and third eye pressure), but it's been hard to keep my mind from wandering excessively. I've been thinking of doing a kasina practice, but I just haven't gotten around to making a kasina, and I also admit that i'm reluctant to do anything other than insight practice even if it might help me in the long run.

It still feels like I'm reaching equanimity, but I have some doubt, because none of the other nanas have been very apparent. It almost feels as though I move from the equanimity of 4th jhana (or something like it) straight into the equanimity nana. I try to be as critical as I can of the E, but it still convinces me: subtle vibrations throughout whole body, a sense of stillness and peace within those subtle vibrations, mild yet apparent wavering of the ringing in my ears, occasional wavering of light or phantoms in the minds eye, and a gradual melding or blurring between the sense doors (particularly sight, sound and touch, because there isn't much to taste and smell while I sit).

I still begin my insight practice with body scanning, but after just a couple scans I find that manipulating awareness that much prevents me from getting deeper and experiencing the field of experience itself. After dropping scanning, I just sit and try to notice whatever I haven't yet noticed. I still like the bystander method ("see how it vibrates"), as it seems to really objectify my sense of self. Just a month or two ago, the idea of anatta was still a really slippery one for me, but now it's more like, duh, of course anatta.

I'm wary of getting lazy and making meditation another routine, because I think it's already happened just a little. I constantly have to reaffirm my resolution of attaining stream entry as soon as possible, and doing this makes a noticeable effect on a subsequent sit. Progress seems slow in daily life (perhaps more so pre-path?), but I'm gladdened by the fact that I have several retreats planned in the next few months, with the first being in early December. After that, my girlfriend and I are going to sit and serve consecutive courses at a Goenka center in California in January. For me, it's like a Hail Mary to get stream entry before I have to delve into another busy lifestyle.

Thoughts, comments, advice?
Metta,
Teague
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 2:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 2:56 AM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
Teague Anderson:

It still feels like I'm reaching equanimity, but I have some doubt, because none of the other nanas have been very apparent. It almost feels as though I move from the equanimity of 4th jhana (or something like it) straight into the equanimity nana. I try to be as critical as I can of the E, but it still convinces me: subtle vibrations throughout whole body, a sense of stillness and peace within those subtle vibrations, mild yet apparent wavering of the ringing in my ears, occasional wavering of light or phantoms in the minds eye, and a gradual melding or blurring between the sense doors (particularly sight, sound and touch, because there isn't much to taste and smell while I sit).

I still begin my insight practice with body scanning, but after just a couple scans I find that manipulating awareness that much prevents me from getting deeper and experiencing the field of experience itself. After dropping scanning, I just sit and try to notice whatever I haven't yet noticed. I still like the bystander method ("see how it vibrates"), as it seems to really objectify my sense of self. Just a month or two ago, the idea of anatta was still a really slippery one for me, but now it's more like, duh, of course anatta.


The first paragraph definitely sounds like equanimity.

Keep in mind I am not a very experienced 'technical mediator' in a Vipassana sense. But here are a couple of things to play around with. They helped me, see if they do anything for you:

For understanding Annata better:
- Try to observe the physical sensations that make up the sense of the observer.
- Realize that if you observe a sensation, it can't be the observer.
- You will notice the sensations observer has 'shifted'.
- Observe the sensations that make up this new observer and repeat the process
-----Try to do this as fast as you can.

For vibrations:
- Observe them with a mix of concentration and awareness, but don't get distracted by them.
- Simply doing this should amplify them.
- Continue doing this till the whole field of experience starts to get shaky.

This shaky field of experience eventually led to fruition for me.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 12:44 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 12:44 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Hi Teague,

Assuming you're really working your way up into the 11th ñana (i.e. Equanimity stage), in my opinion, there is one key obstacle to letting go enough for cessation to occur. That obstacle is the desire for cessation to occur.

It's strange, really, because up to this point the desire for nibbana has been the fuel for the whole journey. "There has to be something better than this," is what gets us on the path in the first place. But it's often one of the last anchors that one needs to pull in before awakening breaks through.

This may or not be the case for you. But, I'm still going to advise you to pay attention to that subtle sense of frustration that can arise when you've been in the 11th ñana for what seems like forever, and you're just waiting around, or trying to note like crazing, until something happens. All of this mind-activities must be taken as object, and the key is to then cultivate a sense of dispassion toward them by keeping the Four Noble Truths in mind -- that is, craving is what gives rise to this condition. Craving is the result of ignorance, and by "ignorance" the Buddha meant "ignorance with regard to the Four Noble Truths" (it all goes back to the core teaching).

Stream entry happened for me when I wasn't expecting it. I was in high equanimity, big time, before lying down to go to sleep. I gave up the idea that I was going to attain stream entry any time soon, and just paid attention to what was happening in experience as I relaxed. I hear similar accounts from others.

I guess you kind of have to give up -- and really give up, not just say "OK, I give up now. Hit me, emptiness!" -- in order for this thing to happen.

It sounds like you have all of the tools. Just continue to apply them to EVERYTHING. Be content with reaching Equanimity, and just let that be your practice. There really isn't anywhere left to go.

I hope this helps. If not, forget you ever read it.

-Jackson
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Teague, modified 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 10:58 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 10:58 PM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/1/11 Recent Posts
D Z:


For understanding Annata better:
- Try to observe the physical sensations that make up the sense of the observer.
- Realize that if you observe a sensation, it can't be the observer.
- You will notice the sensations observer has 'shifted'.
- Observe the sensations that make up this new observer and repeat the process
-----Try to do this as fast as you can.

For vibrations:
- Observe them with a mix of concentration and awareness, but don't get distracted by them.
- Simply doing this should amplify them.
- Continue doing this till the whole field of experience starts to get shaky.

This shaky field of experience eventually led to fruition for me.


Thanks D Z. There are a few methods I employ in EQ, one of them is similar to your advice for observing the sense of the observer. The way I approach it is trying to abide in pure, objective awareness, and the way I get there is by noting everything that isn't awareness (thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc.) and as I note them they fade or disjoin from awareness until all that's left is what feels like simple observation. I also try to objectify observation, but with no real success.

Another technique I use it to try to observe vibrations. I like your advice about using a mix of concentration and awareness, but I think I also like to add a degree of ease or surrender as well

My last main technique is to just simply sit and let whatever happen happen, which almost comes full circle to the first technique.

I can observe vibrations in most of my sits, but I'm not sure if I've ever had a shaky field of experience, or at least not for a sustained period. Is it obvious, like, "whoa, my field of experience totally shaking"?


Jackson Wilshire:

Stream entry happened for me when I wasn't expecting it. I was in high equanimity, big time, before lying down to go to sleep. I gave up the idea that I was going to attain stream entry any time soon, and just paid attention to what was happening in experience as I relaxed. I hear similar accounts from others.

I guess you kind of have to give up -- and really give up, not just say "OK, I give up now. Hit me, emptiness!" -- in order for this thing to happen.

It sounds like you have all of the tools. Just continue to apply them to EVERYTHING. Be content with reaching Equanimity, and just let that be your practice. There really isn't anywhere left to go.

I hope this helps. If not, forget you ever read it.
-Jackson


Jackson, I totally agree that this is probably obstacle numero uno. I think the problem about this obstacle is that it can't be completely removed by just intellectualizing it as an obstacle. I first became aware of how much my mind was pervaded with nibbana lust at my last retreat. I started trying to surrender that desire, but it was half-hearted, just like you say above. I would think, "Whatever, I don't care anymore," and then sit expectantly, waiting to be taken to the beyond. As time goes on, however, I feel my desire shifting to equanimity, though I still have stream entry as a resolute goal.

After reading many accounts of stream entry, I'm starting to think that it never happens in a regular sit. Now that I think about it, I don't know if I can recall a SINGLE account of stream entry while in seated meditation. Everybody seems to have it while sitting or lying in bed, or waiting for lunch, or taking a walk, or sitting outside. Interesting, no?

Anyways, thanks y'all.
-Teague
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/11 10:57 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/16/11 10:57 AM

RE: Pre-Stream entry anonymous (practice thread)

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Teague Anderson:
I first became aware of how much my mind was pervaded with nibbana lust at my last retreat. I started trying to surrender that desire, but it was half-hearted, just like you say above. I would think, "Whatever, I don't care anymore," and then sit expectantly, waiting to be taken to the beyond. As time goes on, however, I feel my desire shifting to equanimity, though I still have stream entry as a resolute goal.


Thanks for sharing this. It's funny how the self-contraction will try to, as Daniel says, game the system. Lying works when trying to get someone who can be deceived. For example, if your friend were to say to you, "I'll give you this Lamborghini, but only if you don't want it," you can easily just say, "Oh, I don't want that Lamborghini, but thanks for the offer," even though your private thoughts and feelings are screaming, "DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THAT RIDE!!!" Your friend may be more or less gullible, but Reality never fails to respond accurately to one's deeper intention.

What I would suggest is to do what is necessary to actually recognize how the desire is holding you back and perpetuating your suffering. To do so, you note what's occurring (e.g. feelings, thoughts, and sensations), which unskillful strategy they represent (i.e. greed, aversion, or delusion/ignorance), which of the Three Characteristics you notice (probably all of them, but this stuff can move quick, so notice what you can), and finally, you resolve to choose the only strategy that remains - paying attention with as much equanimity as possible.

Your deeper intention will change as you see your actions for what they are. That's why wisdom/insight is the way to freedom.

After reading many accounts of stream entry, I'm starting to think that it never happens in a regular sit. Now that I think about it, I don't know if I can recall a SINGLE account of stream entry while in seated meditation. Everybody seems to have it while sitting or lying in bed, or waiting for lunch, or taking a walk, or sitting outside. Interesting, no?


Yes, very interesting. Again, I think it all comes down to letting go. Once you work skillful mindfulness into your life, it starts happening with your having to think about it too much, if at all. It kicks in during everyday life (off of the cushion) before you can start striving after awakening. That, of course, doesn't mean it can't happen during formal practice.

Best of luck on your upcoming retreats!

-Jackson

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