How to move past A&P

Matei Petrache, modified 2 Months ago.

How to move past A&P

Posts: 3 Join Date: 5/26/21 Recent Posts
Hello everyone and thank you for being here!

I started delving into spirituality and meditation after having what one would call a mystical experience (felt great love, perceiving everything as connected and crying) around February 2021. For about a week or two I have been experiencing the A&P stage (so glad to finally know what what I experienced is) with pretty much all the symptoms: seeing surroundings with eyes closed, kundalini-like surges, different-colored lights that eventually turn to white, seeing objects as vibrating (or breathing) with eyes open (kind of like a mild LSD trip), hearing ringing sounds,  and bliss. At the same time, I feel very ungrounded and like I am about to evaporate. I am wondering how should I move past this stage and into Dissolution.

My sadhana involves some Non-Dual Shaiva Tantra practices such as alternate nostril breathing and visualizations of energy channels in the body, besides insight and concentration meditaion. I do not have a teacher (altough I am searching but in my country, Romania, it is pretty difficult) and I do all practices at home.

Thank you very much for your help and wisdom!
a&p
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 1269 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Matei Petrache
Hello everyone and thank you for being here!

I started delving into spirituality and meditation after having what one would call a mystical experience (felt great love, perceiving everything as connected and crying) around February 2021. For about a week or two I have been experiencing the A&P stage (so glad to finally know what what I experienced is) with pretty much all the symptoms: seeing surroundings with eyes closed, kundalini-like surges, different-colored lights that eventually turn to white, seeing objects as vibrating (or breathing) with eyes open (kind of like a mild LSD trip), hearing ringing sounds,  and bliss. At the same time, I feel very ungrounded and like I am about to evaporate. I am wondering how should I move past this stage and into Dissolution.

Yay,, this sounds like my intense 2nd A+P except I hhad a lot of Rapture. I read something by Daniel that once you've have had A+Ps, you'll automatically be entered  into the pipeline. I would say in moving past A+P is getting a great teacher and TONS of practice. It will take time.

My sadhana involves some Non-Dual Shaiva Tantra practices such as alternate nostril breathing and visualizations of energy channels in the body, besides insight and concentration meditaion. I do not have a teacher (altough I am searching but in my country, Romania, it is pretty difficult) and I do all practices at home.

I have a great  teacher I can recomend that works at all these levels. Send me an email at mscoree42@gmail.com.

Thank you very much for your help and wisdom!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 1269 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hello, Matei, and welcome to DhO! Thanks for sharing your journey and the wonder of your experience of mystical opening. That's the kind of thing that has drawn a lot of us into the path of meditation practice, that kind of deep taste of Something More In All This. It's a miracle and a blessing, though it can be disorienting, and it will definitely rock your world and make you start to rethink a lot of stuff. But remember the wonder and delight of this, the distinct qualitative leap in the experience. Your full reckoning with the world will have to take account of it now, and exploring the implications is a lifelong journey.

I am wondering how should I move past this stage and into Dissolution.

My own sense is that "moving past" this stage happens very naturally. It can actually go on for quite a while, which is all to the good as long as we avoid going nuts about it, but we can only ride an energized high for so long, and as "normal reality" inevitably reasserts itself in our life, the dissonance with what we have experienced of Something More will offer natural challenges, as we try to integrate the experience and determine to bring our life more into alignment with our understanding of the Something More. A lot of people are able to settle into committed meditation at this point in a much stronger and more motivated way. There will also be a very natural tendency to try to replicate the high, and we will try various things, and various things will work to various degrees. But at some point in all this, it really does seem to be built into the path itself somehow that the whole project seems to fall apart, the techniques stop working the way they did, the ideas don't hold up, and we are left with a sense that after all, the whole thing thing that began so beautifully is now . . . dissolving. You're already prepared for this conceptually through your study, which may help somewhat, at least in keeping the experience of dissolution in context. But it's scary to have the work so closely wound in with our sense of our place in reality turn to crap and seem empty. The juice goes out of a lot of things that were juicy and easy, and everything turns dry and hard. To keep practicing through that, in what often seems like futility, is the way through the dukkha nanas, the dark night, and dissolution is the entry to that. It varies in intensity and duration, but there is no way to miss it, lol. And there's no need to seek it out, as I truly believe it is inherent in the unfolding dynamics of our psyches and will have its own rhythm and timing in each specific case. 

The main point to take away from this is that you're right on track, as far as I can tell. You're doing your practice, and blessed with joy and excitement and deepening commitment. I would say relax and just do your work, and resolve to walk the whole path as it unfolds beneath your feet, at whatever pace you find yourself moving at any given moment. 

It was cool to hear you mention your "sadhana," and Non-Dual Shaiva Tantra practices like pranayama. I spent some time in a Siddha Yoga Kashmir Shaivite ashram (in Oakland, California, USA, lol) way back in the day, and had my first "official" A & P/ dissolution cycle there, the first time I recognized the coherence of that dynamic and progression (though the ashram philosophy itself was actually useless on dark night stuff and I ended up having to dig through the little library there until I found John of the Cross--- cosmic irony, lol, a gnarly old Catholic in a place full of altars to Shiva--- and began to have a glimpse of context).

Again, welcome to the forum here, and I hope you find the community helpful and supportive. There's a pretty wide range of experience to draw on here, and a pretty wide range of entertaining and dedicated people. Meanwhile, as I said, the main point is you seem right where you need to be right now, doing right what you need to be doing. It doesn't get any better than that, lol, so enjoy it and keep up the good work!
Matei Petrache, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 3 Join Date: 5/26/21 Recent Posts
Thank you so much for your answer, Tim!

Indeed, I am very happy to have found this place as it has already provided much needed insight. Until reading that what I am experiencing is A&P I thought that unless I felt bliss and energy moving and seeing vibrations the meditation didn't work haha, so glad to be over that now. I will continue with my practice and try to cultivate equanimity towards these experiences, as I feel I am a bit lacking in that department and tend to get overly-excited. I relate so much to finding St. John of the Cross, that was the first book I ordered after my initial mystical experience, along with "The Interior Castle" by St. Theresa of Avila.
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 984 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Matei Petrache
I am wondering how should I move past this stage and into Dissolution.


I don't believe this is a stage that you have to move past to make progress.

My view is that various type of meditation produce various types of changes in brain chemistry. If you keep meditating you can make progress but you might keep having these "A&P" experiences because of how you meditate.

My understanding is that the progress of insight describes the stages that someone who practices vipassana noting meditation is supposed to go through. If you don't meditate that way I don't know if there is any basis for expecting to follow that series of stages.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 1989 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Jim I will try again to share with you my experience and you can choose to ignore it again in favor of your own believes;

I have experienced Dissolution and full on DN after A&P and I was not doing Noting nor any Vipassana. I was doing Calm abiding Shamatha as in with each in and outbreathing calming/relaxing the body. Basically Anapanasatti. No effort other than knowing breathing and anything else around it in awareness. Pleasant or neutral or unpleasant. Back to the calm abiding. 

Boom!!! One lovely day (after two years of breath meditation) all just started falling away and all turned rather murky. I couldn't even find my breathing! Difficult feelings, agitation etc ... I had no clue what hit me. Then someone suggested Ingram's book. This was in 2011 when the book was only available on his website for free. 

I hope you consider my experience before you claim as above that only those practicing Noting can experience the stages. 

​​​​​​​Or you can ignore it yet again emoticon your choice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 5778 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
And I went through the cycles over and over for many years without even practicing. I had no idea what it was and thought I was losing my mind, so for me the maps normalized something that was already happening. But your mileage will vary. There's no point in forcing them on someone who doesn't find them helpful. Everyone needs to find out for themselves what works for them. Personally, when somebody is already using the maps and asks question based on them, I assume that they have already at least tentatively come to the conclusion that the maps are or might be helpful for them. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 5778 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hi and welcome! I'd say, try to be as in tune as you can with the process as it is unfolding here and now. If details are clear, delve into them as much as you can, starting with whatever sense gate comes most naturally for you, and then try the other ones. If details seem to fall away and somehow blur, try to widen your focus to include what goes on outside its center. Meanwhile, ground yourself with enough sleep and food and some stabilizing physical exercise (hatha yoga is one possibility) and earth element stuff. Try not to cling to the highs. You mention a sense of evaporating. That sounds like it could be the onset of dissolution. I find that there's a threshold inbetween A&P and dissolution that is still high in energy but tipping over into everything falling away. For me that was often followed by a foggy phase early in my practice, with dull confusion and a seductive sleepiness, but it doesn't have to be like that at all. Just know that if all your skills suddenly seem to have gone away and your practice is a mess, there's no need for panic or self-bashing. It's just your mind trying to get used to a wider focus, at the cost of clarity before that capacity is fully developed. 
Matei Petrache, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: How to move past A&P

Posts: 3 Join Date: 5/26/21 Recent Posts
Thank you all so much for your wisdom!

I apologize for not replying to everyone or replying very succintly. I am trying to absorb these insights and integrate them.

Much love to everyone!