Have I attained a path(s)?

William Hampton, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/21 4:15 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/2/21 4:15 PM

Have I attained a path(s)?

Post: 1 Join Date: 5/21/21 Recent Posts
Hello everyone. First post.

I mostly do do-nothing and Vipassana practice, at 30-120 minutes daily depending, or 0-5 minutes some days too (always with mindfulness throughout the day). I have always worked alone without a teacher.

In April of 2019 psychedelics opened me up to the this world of insight and enlightenment. I tripped frequently until April 2020 and also began meditating at some point.

In February 2020 I began dating my girlfriend and moved in with her. This was a period of great euphoria, compassion, mindfulness and lots of meditative realization. Insight into no-self, impermanence, etc.

In April 2020, I had a trip that left me very poorly off. Some repressed trauma had been revealed to me and I recognized my entire identity as a suit of lies to conform to what I wanted people to think of me. For a year afterwards, I went through what seemed to me a very intense dark night that I thought was severe mental illness. I was suicidal, irritable, paranoid, completely hopeless and depressed.

A few months ago I went through a stage seemingly akin to equanimity, and while the peak of it has long passed, remnants are persisting. When I look, the default state of awareness seems to be inclusive of the full 360 degree panoramic "field" of awareness, versus a more single pointed way of focusing.  Now remnants of that dark night pop up but are much less sticky, and my quality of life has tremendously improved. 

I am struggling to diagnose if a path was potentially attained (though at this point I don't really care that much), but I don't recall a nirvana/cessation event. The 3d panoramic awareness was blissful for a time but now has become my natural state of being.

As far as personality changes go, I assume full responsibility for myself and my life now. I no longer live the story in my mind as deeply and am able to witness arisings as just that, something that will pass. I don't have doubt that there is something to the dharma. 

Trying to understand what each path means has made this a difficult undertaking to self diagnose. I'm hoping to hear some other perspectives. Any thoughts on if there is a path attainment in here? Someone mentioned to me it sounds like I have moved beyond 2nd path (and others that say it's at least stream entry) but I haven't been able to discuss with them at length, and this suggestion was a surprise to me.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 11 Months ago at 8/2/21 4:37 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/2/21 4:37 PM

RE: Have I attained a path(s)?

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I suggest you read MCTB2's chapter on equinimity (chapter 30 subpart 11). High mastery is my best guess, so don't be dissapointed or alarmed if you start to become dissatisfied with equanimity. That usually happens before formless realms are willing to reveal.
Emil Jensen, modified 11 Months ago at 8/4/21 2:59 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/4/21 2:59 AM

RE: Have I attained a path(s)?

Posts: 319 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
 William, I would suggest logging whatever you go through if you want to diagnose.
If you talk to e.g. Daniel, which I did back when I was young and dumb AF (still am), then you'd be asked something like:
- What did you do, describe your practice
- For how long?
- When did what experiences happen? And VERY importantly: In what order did all that happen?

It's IMPOSSIBLE to answer that if you didn't log exactly what you've done. You'll forget the order of stuff, you'll forget details like when you felt super itchy, when you felt super sad, when your mental screen was completely bright, when you felt comfortable sitting for an hour, when you couldn't stand sitting for 5 minutes. You'll be like "eeerhhhh I remember feeling good sometimes and bad other times and erhhh yeah, so I think I'm maybe enlightened". Haha.. That was me at least LOL!

So, if you want diagnosis I think the keyword is details, details, details! And in chronological order.

Otherwise forget about it.
 
Sam Gentile, modified 11 Months ago at 8/4/21 10:54 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/4/21 10:54 AM

RE: Have I attained a path(s)?

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I echo what Emil said. You have to have a good logging system in place. Every path attainment has an event. During that event it is very important to log everything that happened. Did lights flash or play around? Did you experience rapture, etc. Otherwise no one can help you diagnose it.
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Pepe ·, modified 11 Months ago at 8/4/21 12:11 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/4/21 12:05 PM

RE: Have I attained a path(s)?

Posts: 575 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago at 8/5/21 12:55 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/5/21 12:55 PM

RE: Have I attained a path(s)?

Posts: 6462 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I agree with others that logging details are important if you want a diagnosis. However, don't despair if you haven't got them. It's not too late. There are many cycles to go through, many cessations to have. If you have attained a path or two, you can also use intent to call up a review if you missed the whole thing. It's tricky, though, intent; it's not only what you consciously call up, but a whole lot of unconscious stuff going on too, so it seems to need a unified mind. It's probably easier for those who have spent decades meditating diligently and learning how to quiet their mind temporarily at will. I haven't, so for me it's not that reliable. Since you haven't either, maybe it wouldn't be that easy for you either, but it might be worth a shot or a bunch of them. It could possibly clarify things for you. Best of luck! 
n0nick, modified 11 Months ago at 8/7/21 9:02 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 8/7/21 9:01 AM

RE: Have I attained a path(s)?

Posts: 22 Join Date: 6/12/20 Recent Posts
There are different maps for different systems of practice. I for one believe that the 4 path model is exclusively for vipassana practioners. 

 http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html?m=1

I feel like thusness map is more universal as it includes stages from vajrayana, hindu, daoist and christian contemplative traditions.