No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

ps i love you, modified 8 Months ago at 10/9/22 11:17 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/4/21 9:23 PM

No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 33 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
Hi friends. I feel I’d like to get more involved in this community, and am interested in learning more precision meditation skills. However, at the moment, I am not such a technical meditator, and don’t have the concentration power to catch all the nano-second phenomena described in MCTB and this forum. I’m therefore a bit unclear on where my experience lines up with your model. I have only recently read the book closely, and am just figuring out all the lingo. I want to participate more, but don’t want to put my foot in my mouth again (as I apparently did with my last post).

Anyway, I have absolutely no doubt that I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it. I’ve looked around for models that would explain the shifts I’ve been going through and the closest I’ve found so far is Jeffrey Martin’s Locations 1-3, which have quite a bit of resonance with the flavors of my experience, although that model doesn’t give a lot of phenomenological detail. If you have the time or inclination to read this post, your perspective would help me to orient myself in the book and in the conversations taking place here, so I thank you in advance.

So, here we go.... After 20+ years of not practicing any meditation at all, 2 years ago I started doing 20-min Goenka-style vipasasna sits 4-5 day a week. Six months later, I was trying the Headless Way exercises when suddenly I experienced a life-altering mystical experiences. This sparked a series of cycles that have continued since then. Each cycle has followed the same pattern. They each have taken almost exactly 6 months. Each has begun with a mystical experience that feels more intense than anything in ordinary life by a long shot, which introduces a completely new perspective on reality. These peak experience are followed by a crash of varying duration, during which my practice fall apart and I need to experiment and modify what I’m doing in order to bring back stability. Once the new style of practice gets going, after a few weeks, this ushers in a prolonged months-long "period of consolidation,” where both insights from the peak and reminders of the low points are brought back in less overwhelming dosages until they really sink in. The cycle eventually culminates in a period of calm where I feel peacefully contented and relaxed about practice and life in general, and everything just flows effortlessly for a few weeks before the cycle begins again.

Here are some details about each of the cycles:

Cycle 1: Theme "Awareness waking up to itself"
Peak experiences:
  • experience of emptiness/non-self, with high-resolution perception of sensations arising and passing away (approx 30 min);
  • followed two days later by experiencing myself as a divine consciousness that sees out through everyone’s eyes (approx 30 min)

Low point (approx. 2 months):
  • fear of madness pulls me out of peak #2
  • followed by a few weeks of disorientation, inability to concentrate, apathy about work
  • Weird 2 dimensional vision

Practice during this cycle:
  • meditation 2x for 1hr each becomes established as daily practice
  • morning sit involves open monitoring of vision, hearing, body sensations and thought
  • afternoon walking practice dedicated to Headless Way “seeing” and advaita-style inquiry

Lasting insights from this cycle:
  • permanent flip from third-person to first-person perspective (“headlessness”, i.e., I’m not in the body but rather the body is in me)
  • identification “I am awareness”
  • common advaita pointers become obviously true (there’s no time other than right now, no place other than right here, no one is here except for me)
  • occasional “reality resets”, described here:
  • occasional spontaneous arising of metta

Lifestyle changes in this cycle
  • rapid shedding of more stressful aspects of work and family life
  • social withdrawal
  • ability to be fully myself unhindered by the opinions of others
  • overall greatly increased equanimity, e.g. chronic anxiety attacks plaguing me for a few years gone overnight

Cycle 2:Theme "Non-dual Flow"
Peak experiences:
  • intense fear/panic response during which the voice of an “inner guru” spoke to me and told me to keep practicing
  • followed two days later by kundalini-like fire/electric sensations shooting up back and out head while in walking meditation, accompanied by realizations of cosmic energy that drives evolution of the universe (lasted 1 hour)

Low point (2 weeks):
  • disappointment and confusion that Headless practice has stopped working
  • scattered meditation
  • strong fear of backsliding and losing insights

  • meditation 2x for 1hr daily
  • morning sit involves open monitoring of vision, hearing, body sensations and thought
  • afternoon walking practice now dedicated to rapid-fire close inspection of sensations

  • I am no longer identifying as awareness, but now see what I previoussly thought of as awareness is simply thoughts about awareness that appear alongside all other perceptions as a single flow of phenomena
  • the closer I look at any object the more obvious it is that it is not solid; everything is dissolved into chaotic snippets of sensation and energy
  • pixelated vision, seeing everything made out of “sparks”
  • there is no background to be found underneath perceptions/sensations of energy, everything is fundamentally empty
  • equanimity is now pervasive in daily life, with complete loss of any emotions whatsoever and a general feeling of ease and peace all the time
  • frequent reality resets in the consolidation phase

Lifestlye changes:
  • reconnect socially by seeking out a small group of spiritual friends
  • spiritual practice is now the most important thing in my day, surpassing work and family

Cycle 3: Theme "Integration of consciousness, heart, body"
Peak experiences:
  • intense kundalini event that included repeated sexual/orgasmic encounters with a snake goddess, change of gender, spontaneous yoga poses and sounds from my mouth, prophetic voices
  • chakras light up, heart chakra opening
  • raptures of divine bliss/ecstasy; I am the goddess’s lover and child, everything is her divine love
  • shamanic journeys with spirit guides and past lives
  • synchronicities involving birds, nature
  • this all lasts 2 weeks; described here 

Low point:
  • intense fear/panic about madness/black magic for several days
  • attempted possession of my body by an entity
  • couldn’t really feel my body for a day or two
  • intense night sweats; inability to sleep or eat properly (1 week)
  • flu-like symptoms and emotional hypersensitivity (1 week)
  • low energy; residual panic, fear, and disturbing images lingering for 6-8 weeks

  • cut back on meditation time for 6 first weeks, while practice is scattered and unsure
  • eventually resume 2 hrs per day, now 1 hr of sitting practice focusing on subtle body sensations and 1 hr walking with Rob Burbea-style imaginal practice
  • added brief qigong session to morning practice, with spontaneous movements to discharge/circulate excess energy

  • energy body opening up with increasing clarity and sensitivity
  • continuing revelations, visions, images that relate to deeper and deeper unconscious psychological/emotional levels
  • near-constant presence of goddess as a source of love and support
  • spontaneous arising of bodhicitta, described here 
  • near-constant reality resets in consolidation phase

Lifestyle changes:
  • near-complete resolution of all lingering interpersonal emotional issues and entanglements
  • enormously increased love, connection, and gentleness with family and others
  • openhearted acceptance of other people, despite their flaws

Cycle 4: ?
I can feel that a new cycle has begun, but don’t know what’s coming. The initial event might have occurred a few weeks ago, a dream in which my whole body dissolved/exploded into fizzing light. I will withhold judgement for the moment, but it already feels like I’m in the crash state so I think this cycle is up and running. Although if so, this even is a bit ahead of the usual 6-month schedule and not nearly as disorienting as usual.

I hope you’ll forgive me for using my own language in the above descriptions, as I don’t want to inadvertently equate any of the above with the maps from MCTB. However, I think I am describing some pretty obvious cycling from A&P to Dark Night to Equanimity and back again. I am wondering how everything I've said here would line up with your understandings. Specifically I’m wondering if I seem to be describing three paths, or if all these cycles are just working through the first path… or something in between. Or, is it impossible to say without additional details?
I do realize that what’s missing in my descriptions above is any mention of cessations. I read in MCTB that people who don’t have strong concentration may not be able to see with enough resolution to notice them. I may or may not have experienced them… since I have experienced all kinds of vibrations, dips, phase-outs, and pulses asking the way, but didn’t ever give any of them any special importance. 

Anyway, leaving aside the question of cessations, I thought I’d finish by mentioning Daniel’s discussion on p. 342 of the book, the section on “technical fourth path”. I’d say after completing the three cycles described above, almost all of the insights listed there on that list have been seen:
  1. elimination of attention/awareness: completely understood at end of cycle 2 and now the default mode of perception (i.e., I know there’s no such thing as awareness, and any time I look for it I can’t find it)
  2. perception and sensations are one: seen clearly at end of cycle 3/beginning of cycle 4
  3. causal naturalness: seen clearly at end of cycle 3/beginning of cycle 4 (not at the resolution that Daniel describes, but clear enough to recognize his description)
  4. unified sense door: seen clearly at end of cycle 3/beginning of cycle 4
  5. time and space are illusory: completely understood at end of cycle 1 and now the default mode (although conventional understanding of time and space predominates during daily life tasks)
  6. self-liberation: I don’t really understand exactly what this Buddhist phraseology is getting at, so let’s say it’s not been seen clearly yet m
  7. this/that uprooted: completely understood at end of cycle 2; we’ll see if it meets the requirement of holding up over time

To be clear, I don’t think it ultimately actually matters if this is three paths or two or one, because in the end there’s nothing to do but to keep on practicing. I just would like to be able to participate in the group productively and respectfully. Looking back on the past 18 months, these cycles have brought enormously positive effects to my practice, as well as extending immense benefits to other areas of ordinary life — which is what I really care about.
Thanks for your input!
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 5:49 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 5:09 AM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Hi ps! These are all good signs of progress. The question is, progress towards what? What are you still looking for really?

Developing more concentration power is fine, but it’s not the end goal.

Cycles are, well, just more cycles.

You still need to navigate time and space during daily life tasks, even though you know that they are illusory.

The maps are useful, but only up to a point. The “last step” seems hard because it goes in a different direction from all the other steps, which assumed that you were making progress towards an imagined goal at some point in the future.

Somehow it involves letting go of something which propelled you on the journey in the first place, so I would focus on your assumptions.

I don’t think you put your foot in your mouth with your last post at all. It feels like there might be some need for approval or validation there. But who or what could possibly validate your own experience?

I just re-read your post from a year ago ...
Something instantaneously snapped into focus while driving home the other day. This was not a gradual clearing of understanding, or a layer-by-layer unpeeling of the layers of an onion. It was like those Magic Eye books that were popular back in the 1990s: one minute I was looking at the world in the normal way, and then in an instant my perspective popped into a new place. It felt somehow as if I had been living my life in a VR headset totally immersed in the images on the screen, but then suddenly someone pulled the headset out a bit and revealed that what I thought were objects were really just projections on the screen. 

I got a quick glimpse of it in the car and I was intrigued, but couldn’t concentrate on it while driving. A half hour or so later, though, once I was able to sit down and observe it properly, it came back more strongly. Now, not only my vision but my thoughts too are all taking place inside a big expansive, blank, dark space. Visual perceptions enter through a portal like a big all-seeing eye, but they all seem flat and unreal. Audio perceptions are coming in on a different stream from the visual. Body sensations are on a third; thoughts are on a fourth. Awareness spontaneously switches between the four streams, perceiving one at a time as separate objects in the vast emptiness: Vision! Sound! Sensation! Thought! Vision! Sound! Sensation! Thought! 

The realization comes that this is how the brain works, but that I’ve been reifying these perceptions and thoughts for my whole life, objectifying everything, identifying with them. Including my body and my notion of “self” … I’ve made myself an object in the field out there. Now I see that actually all of the “out there” is really unfolding “in here.” Where “I” am in all of this is unclear. Am “I” the empty space? It’s uncertain that there’s an “I” anywhere at all. 

I realize that I must be seeing what I’ve read about for decades in books by spiritual people, but I also realize everything I’ve ever done in meditation is totally wrong, focused on seeking awakening “out there” somewhere. I laugh out loud. All of those cheesy Zen sayings I’ve assumed are metaphors (and mostly have written off long ago) suddenly are true in a very literal way. It’s all so obvious! Of course there is no path and no goal: the truth is right here literally in front of my face. What have I been seeking so hard? Everything is clearly already perfect just the way it is. It is all so simple, so easy to see. 

Far from being frustrated, I feel like I could sit here effortlessly for hours. In fact, it’s all I would like to do. But, maybe 20-30 min into the experience, things start getting a bit less vivid. The visual remains the clearest channel, but even that is becoming harder for me to stay with. I go back to “normal,” but a queer feeling of distance/detachment lasts the rest of the evening, and all the next day. A slight shift in perspective, like I can still see the container or frame around the world.

The next day, I woke up in the middle of night and I lay in bed for an hour or so, fully absorbed with the experience again, but even more strongly. For 30-40 min or so, the void is clear again. The forms are again coming in on different channels. It’s now obvious that nothing coming in on any of the channels are “me.” The thought comes that this must be how I originally perceived the world as a newborn infant. I must have learned over time to create an illusion of a self by linking the visual perception, the sensations, and the thoughts together. I then must have gotten so immersed in the self I had created that I forgot how I had built it in the first place. But now I can see that "I" have always been the void. Bodies and forms and thoughts and selves have come and gone for lifetime after lifetime. But the void has always been here, watching everything. Another Zen saying comes to mind, about the “original face before I was born.” 

After sitting in this voidness for a while witnessing the thoughts and perceptions come and go, a sense of panic suddenly takes hold: the thought sneaks in that this new perspective may be dangerous. Maybe I’ve already lost my mind. I know if I don’t snap out of this, I could lose my sanity, my identity, my family, my job, everything I love and depend on. From here, that all now seems like empty forms coming through on a channel that don’t matter at all. They are becoming meaningless projections, as if it really makes no difference whether or not “I” am here to see them at all. The fear draws me out of the experience, and I eventually I fall back to sleep. 

Over the next few days the effects linger. I can still see the edges around the world, but it gradually becomes increasingly difficult to snap back into that perspective. Looking back on what I saw, it seems like such an important shift in perspective, but it also seems like it was all a completely mundane thing that’s nothing special. I now find myself very much wanting to do meditation, but not in the way that I’ve done in the past. I’m curious to go back and explore the relationship between the emptiness and the forms. I’d like to try to figure out where (if anywhere) “I am” in all of it. But at the same time that I want to explore, there is no longer a feeling that there's anything specific I need to attain. I’d just like to hang out in that space and look around as much as possible, if I can find my way back to it.

I would question the assumption that you “attained something”. It seems like you had an experience of the way things really are and then started to think that you have to find your way back to it. But you can’t find what’s already here! This is the central dilemma facing the spiritual seeker - you are looking for something that you can already see, trying to have a special experience of something which you are already experiencing. Anything you try to do to make it happen obscures the fact that it’s already happening. By looking for it you merely serve to hide it from yourself!

I think it does take “time” to integrate the insight that form is emptiness. It’s ultimately liberating but temporarily threatening. You can’t lose what you never had, but it takes time to adjust to the realization that you never had it! This is why the reverse insight is equally important - emptiness is form. Life is not bullshit, because that’s all there is. But searching for a deeper relationship or meaning is a source of dissatisfaction.

“Self-liberation” of emotions is an interesting one. What prevents us from seeing that form is emptiness? It’s usually some kind of emotional knot which has become solidified into an assumption or a worldview. What prevents us from seeing that emptiness is form? Probably some element of bypassing or ignoring something that's already there. Concentration practice can help to undo those knots or bring into awareness that stuff which we are ignoring. Just be careful not to mistake concentration for insight!

I hope something here is helpful, but if not the fault is mine not yours.
ps i love you, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 11:01 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 11:01 AM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 33 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
Thanks George. I really appreciate your engagement and your perspective. I am in total agreement with your comments that there is no goal, that striving obscures the perfection of the present moment, and that there's nothing to do except just be. I have at times fully rested in that knowing, both during that experience that you quoted, but also this is what I mean in the OP when I said "The cycle eventually culminates in a period of calm where I feel peacefully contented and relaxed about practice and life in general, and everything just flows effortlessly for a few weeks before the cycle begins again." 

I have seen this reality first-hand multiple times, and know it intellectually 100% of the time. From that perspective, I think that the map-based progress-based theories that MCTB presents are, for me, a distraction from just relaxing into the present moment and being OK with what is. On the other hand, when I'm not resting in that perspective — such as, let's say, in the middle of one of those "crashes" — striving and displeasure arise, obscuring the simple perfection of what is. The "trick," I have learned, is to see the striving itself as an arising, and relaxing into it and being OK with that. This is easier said than done, paradoxically seeming to require some effort to find a place of non-effort. This contradiction sooner or later passes, though, and the period of equanimity sets in again and everything is OK.  

Here's an example of something written from that place. I think you'll enjoy: 

"It’s September. Reflecting back on what I’ve written up to this point, I can see now that the experiences I’ve been describing in previous posts have been gateways. Each mystical experience was powerful and transformative, but each was also just a passing experience. They seemed so important and valuable at the time, but I now see that they were entirely superfluous. They may have made me more sensitive to seeing what is happening in the moment, but there never was a need to change anything about that happening. Although there is a seeming unfolding over time, it’s all entirely the way it’s always been, and there really has been nowhere to go all along. I sit out on the back deck with a cup of coffee in the morning. It’s not really meditation, but just observing what’s happening. Just being with whatever is arising and letting my mind wander wherever it goes." 
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 6/6/21 8:32 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/6/21 8:28 AM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It sounds like the striving and displeasure might be due to a desire to be constantly relaxed in the present moment? You know that it is impossible to be anywhere else but the present moment - past and future are just transient mental states (memories and expectations) arising in the present moment - but still there may be a desire to have a constant experience of this inescapable present moment. Unfortunately this desire is thwarted by impermanence - all mental states are inherently unstable.

There is an insight buried in the nexus of states, change and time which can resolve this conflict between striving and impermanence. One way you could say it is this - the only constant is impermanence. The natural world tends to operate in cycles. It’s not inherently a problem ... unless we insist that our experience should somehow be an exception ...

The POI is a pretty good map for the cycles of insight -> energy release -> crash -> contentment. As the insights get integrated the cycles tend to shorten, like Linda says. Then there is another map called 6 realms (& 5 elements) which is a broader roadmap of samsara - the different mental and emotional states which tend to cycle throughout the day, both in and out of meditation. It can be a good gateway into this apparently contradictory but totally liberating insight that samsara itself is nirvana.

The 5 elements are the different types of emotional reaction which propel us from one realm/state to the next. They can be viewed as distorted reactions to emptiness, so it might also help you explore this apparent dualistic relationship between emptiness and form. It also explains how self-liberation of emotions works, which is when the distortions are seen clearly enough that you don't automatically transition into the next realm. It’s kind of a level up from the fundamental identities of emptiness = form and samsara = nirvana, but it can help to do the groundwork so to speak, to clear away the stuff which prevents us from remaining aware of these identities all the time. If you’re interested, these two articles give a short introduction
and then Chapters 5 & 6 of Wake Up To Your Life go into a lot more detail (also Spectrum of Ecstasy has more examples).
ps i love you, modified 2 Years ago at 6/6/21 5:16 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/6/21 5:16 PM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 33 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
Thanks for the tips. Will check them out. 

Yes, I think all along I've misunderstood the point of impermanence. I think I've been assuming that the contents of the flow of phenemona are impermanent, but that there's some kind of container or space in which they appear that is reliable. I learned early on that "awareness" doesn't fulfill that role, but I think I've been understanding "beingness" or even "emptiness" as a substitute. I guess I didn't realize until recently that impermance applies to everything all the way down. 

I mean, if you had asked me, I would have said that, but it would have been an intellectual understanding. Now I'm getting it first hand. 
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 5:44 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 5:44 AM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 7010 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'm glad you decided to stay here and hope you will enjoy it and feel wellcome - because you are!

Well, you are obviously cycling and have periods with strong concentration and great clarity. You also have nondual experiences, which is great but doesn't necessarily pinpoint any specific location on the PoI (Progress of Insight) maps. If all the cycles are six months, it's not rapid cycling which usually follows a cessation. That speaks against stream entry, as does the lack of experiences of cessations. However, as you say, cessations aren't always that easy to detect, at least if you don't know what you are looking for, and cycles are complex and can manifest in fractals, so I can't rule anything out. Then again, it's usually much less confusing to underdiagnose oneself than the opposite. Also, what you have described here and elsewhere gives me the vibes of being close to stream entry. A lot happens in that territory. For me it was really strong experiences and glimpses way ahead on the path. Wherever you are, you are doing (or not-doing) something right. It sounds like you have a solid practice and it's too late to back off because you have been drawn into the awakening process. I would love to see continuous practice reports from you in this forum, in a personal practice log. 
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 6:24 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 6:24 AM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 7010 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
P.S. I once wrote a similar comment to the one in your previous thread that made you think you had put your foot in your mouth. Well, I was a tad more polite, maybe (or maybe not?), but the essence was the same:  I complimented the poster for what I thought was the most brilliant trolling I had ever seen. Of course I had to apologize, because it turned out that she wasn't a troll at all. It was when somebody with very few posts here had written a long post using the lingo so well that it felt like the perfect parody of the entire forum and of my own log. That together with a name that just happened to coincide too much with the forum owner's name and previous job, and some far out experiences and other factors, triggered my troll paranoia in that case. None of it was her fault. And it wasn't your fault either. 

Another thing: I read George's comment, and as much as I know that some people do find the nowhere to go, nothing to do, no-one to be etc jargon helpful, for the most of us it's usually a mistake to give up the search too early. Also, it seems like most people who actually did wake up using that approach, had already done the foundational work for 20+ years. So sure, don't build up an entire identity around being on the path, and don't get too tied up in trying to be in control, but keep up the diligent work. It's a bit paradoxical, but that's just how it is, and there is nothing wrong with learning skills and trying to make sense of what is happening by using maps. If it was good enough for the historical Buddha and for Daniel, who is a hell of a strong practicioner, then it's good enough for me. 
ps i love you, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 11:22 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 11:22 AM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 33 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
@lindaorulv, thanks so much for the positivity and welcoming vibe. What I'm looking for is certainly not comparison or competition, but rather camaraderie and the ability to share experiences that are impossible to talk about with pretty much anyone else in my life. So, thank you for showing me that this is a group where that can happen. emoticon 

I'm not hung up on or even that familiar with the Buddhist terminology, so "Stream Entry" is neither here nor there as a specific goal for me. It's just helpful to know how to phrase my experiences in the forum here without  inadvertently making any outlandish claims about attainments. 

Anyway, I'm curious, what you mean by "rapid cycling." How rapid is rapid? As I mention in the OP, the fourth cycle is happening dramatically faster than the previous ones. I feel like I came out of the crash and started entering into the equanimity phase just this morning, which would mean that the previous three cycles were 6 months, then 6 months, then 4.5 months, and now it's moved from A&P to equanimity (to use MCBT terminology) in 3 weeks. HOWEVER, this cycle is much "milder" than the previous three, which makes me suspect it's maybe a subcycle of Big Cycle #3 and not necessarily a separate cycle of it's own? AND, if so, that suggests that there probably were subcycles in the previous Big Cycles as well, although I wasn't paying all that close attention, so who knows. 

I'm guessing this is what you all call fractals? And, I guess my major question is if it actually matters if one tracks such things or not. Does paying attention to all those fractals inform your practice in some way that's different or better than what I've been doing? TBH, at the moment, it seems to me like a lot of mental work and effort that clouds the simplicity of just relaxing into whatever's happening in the moment. But, if there's a lesson to be learned in here, it would be ludicrous not to take advice from people who know this territory better than I do. That's why I'm here, after all, so thanks again!   _/|\_
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:06 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:06 PM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 7010 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I very much appreciate people sharing their experiences. I'm sorry if I did unsolicited amateur diagnosing on you. I may have misinterpreted the title of the thread. There's certainly no need for anyone to place themselves on the PoI map and no need to apply it in any regard that doesn't help the practice. For me the mapping has normalized stuff that was going on and helped me to take myself less seriously. It has helped me to endure challenges when needed and secondguess myself when needed. Most people probably don't need to keep up with the fractals of cycles, and many don't appreciate the maps at all and thus prefer not to keep track of the cycles at any level. I don't think the mapping is required for realizations. 

Quantifying stuff is not one of my strengths, but I'd say that in rapid cycling you often go through an entire cycle at least once and possibly many times in one sit. 
ps i love you, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:23 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:23 PM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 33 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that your diagnosis wasn't welcome. On the contrary, it's exactly what I was looking for. I do appreciate your sharing your opinion, since it will help me to engage with others here without overstepping. 

(And thanks for the clarification of rapid. Helpful indeed.)
ps i love you, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:42 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:42 PM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 33 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
Oh, and yes, I have found the MCTB map to be very validating, normalizing, and explanatory when it comes to explaining the cycling. Especially the crash/dark night parts. I was always thinking of that as something going wrong rather than a normal part of the cycle. 
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:50 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 12:50 PM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 7010 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Oh, good. And yes, exactly!
Zero, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 3:26 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/21 3:25 PM

RE: No doubt I have attained *something*, I just don’t know what to call it

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Hey, this forum is a great place. But, also it might be helpful for you to check out another group: Awakening to Reality

You can check out their ebook and their Facebook discussion group both which are posted on the sidebar of that page. They seem quite good at helping practioners towards deeper realization/awakening and knowing where you're at. It's definitely a different map than the POI, but it may bring more clarity because it talks about dissolving filters to seeing this awakeness that already is rather than the cycle of the POI. In their discussion group I'd recommend looking for a guy named Soh or Angelo. Happy adventuring!