Quick Retreat Report - Discussion
Quick Retreat Report
Following the suspect of being in the PoI and crossing A&P the first time 8 y ago. I decided, as a complete newbie, to give Insight practice a fair shot in orded to gain a better picture. With “practical Insight meditation” by Mahashi instructions at hand and 2 free weeks I departed to a little apartment on the swiss Alps.
I belive A&P started already at the end of day 2. The maniacal energy and concentration were evident. Easy to imagine how difficult was to sleep. The next 3/4 days things got undefined with A&P like sensation and cool experience at time, tougher and some equanimeous moments also alternating. Difficult to say if they were PoI related or just normal retreat challenges.
I was only able to mediate formally for an average of 7 hours a day since head pressures started to get bad in the evening. I tried to maintain an object in my momentary attentional structure from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep, but I wasn’t always going in super slow motion. I also used the “The Hierarchy of Vipassana Practice “(https://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2472907 ) as a practical reference in monitoring my Vipassana skills.
Post Teacher Advices:
Speaking/Checking in with Stephen Procter on the 6th day was a turning point. He really helped giving me direction and transforming a process that started feeling like a battle into something healing and freeing.
He instructed me to, after deconstructing a sensation, look for her vedata and then for the correlated aversion/clinging. Then to soften the clinging and aversion using softening skill part of his meditative system( https://midlmeditation.com/ ).
Soon after I added this to my practice I started going though stable and distinct light version of the first 4 jhanas just by softening during noting. Are this the vipassana jhanas? Does this mean that I was reaching EQ?
6th 7th 8th days mornings, by the 2nd or 3rd sit, the jhana cycle arised. By the 8th day I was sure about being in EQ and I noticed that the 4th jhana remained after that jhana sits for the rest of the day if I kept momentum going. Every day I was going a bit deeper in EQ, the further I went the less reactive my mind become. Is this a common manifestation of the PoI or I’m mistaken in some way?
The 9th day I needed to change location and the travel was going well. I practiced walking meditation at the train stations and thanks god it was Christmas so almost nobody was around J.
Too bad I was exposed to Omicron during the travel and I developed High fever in less than 12 hours. Head pressure and high fever aren’t a good combination. I stopped the retreat and practice in general in order to get some good rest and heal.
I didn’t experienced cessations but I have to admit that, when I was in something that resembled EQ or high EQ, I always tried to make things happen instead of letting the process unfold. I consider the retreat a success as I have now a little bit more of an understating about how to perform vipassana and I can now see the value of insights. Even if I didn’t land stream entry, my relationship to my experience changed in a freeing way. I think that the freeing happened especially during the times that my mind got spooked when seeing the automaticity of my internal processes. My mind felt a bit quieter, a bit more spacious after the retreat. Her non reactivity during the high fever impressed me, but of course this was also the retreat afterglow.
Can someone explain to me how the PoI and “The Hierarchy of Vipassana Practice “relate? Can someone land streamentry from step 5? Or does one need to work from step 9 when in EQ in order to make knowledge of Conformity happen?
Im now focusing on finding a sustainable samatha structure to support a vipassana practice. I m slowly finding way of practicing that don’t trigger my head pressure too much (Im writing a detailed post on this).
I can't wait to retry the opera with some vipassana skills under my belt. Probably next October I will have 2 free weeks again.