Maybe stream entry?

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Dodge E Knees, modified 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 6:13 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 6:13 AM

Maybe stream entry?

Posts: 74 Join Date: 9/25/11 Recent Posts
Hi,

I've been in Equanimity for about a week and from the start I've had A&P-type blackouts, the white light and numerous headbanging 'near misses'. I know they were near misses as 'I' was clearly there.

I got to Equanimty extremely quickly from the A&P event and was keen to keep the momentum. I tried to force it with noting the 3C's, looking for the watcher etc, but it left my brain feeling battered. In the end I tried the only technique that's ever felt natural: relax, watch and let it happen. Bingo!

Straight after 'the event' and the feelgood factor I am back in A&P, cycling towards another one with no effort. Later I have more 'fruitions', including another double and even one sitting on the toilet! Some are like getting hit over the head with a shovel and some fade in and out slowly. I felt a distinct afterglow after the first time and I definitely don't feel my normal 'self' at the moment, but can't put my finger on exactly what is different.

In spite of the symptoms, I'm not quite convinced. In the near misses 'I' was definitely there. In the 'fruitions' at the start and end of the blackout I can detect the self. In the middle it gets hazy and I'm not sure if there is a definite break. I've fainted and been knocked out before and I was expecting that 'where am I' feeling when you come round, but no. If there is a blip, it must last for a miniscule amount of time.

So what do you think, is it a nearer miss? But I can't seem to get any further, after the 'fruition' I am back in A&P.

Any thoughts would be appreciated,

Cheers
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 6:43 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 6:42 AM

RE: Maybe stream entry?

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Hi Dale,

What makes you think you were experiencing the 11th nana? Can you describe exactly what it is like phenomenologically? This will be much more helpful to diagnose with such a description. What happens directly before the 'back outs' and directly after? What is the experience leading up to them? What are you doing practice wise? Try and explain without using the words A&P, Equanimity and cycling etc. How do we know that that is happening for sure? Tell us how it it happening without speculating as to what it is and we may be able to help.

Nick
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 6:59 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 6:59 AM

RE: Maybe stream entry?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I know they were near misses as 'I' was clearly there

I admire your honesty and willingness to examine these experiences more closely, it's a skill worth having and can be useful for avoiding unnecessary suffering.

In the end I tried the only technique that's ever felt natural: relax, watch and let it happen. Bingo!

Bingo, indeed.

Straight after 'the event' and the feelgood factor I am back in A&P, cycling towards another one with no effort. Later I have more 'fruitions', including another double and even one sitting on the toilet! Some are like getting hit over the head with a shovel and some fade in and out slowly. I felt a distinct afterglow after the first time and I definitely don't feel my normal 'self' at the moment, but can't put my finger on exactly what is different.

Could you describe 'the event' in a bit more detail, please?

Your description sounds like a pretty straightforward description of stream-entry, especially the line I've put in bold type. Have a look at this chapter of MCTB as your descriptions of fruitions sound pretty clear cut to me and this chapter might provide some more insight into what you're experiencing.

In spite of the symptoms, I'm not quite convinced. In the near misses 'I' was definitely there. In the 'fruitions' at the start and end of the blackout I can detect the self. In the middle it gets hazy and I'm not sure if there is a definite break. I've fainted and been knocked out before and I was expecting that 'where am I' feeling when you come round, but no. If there is a blip, it must last for a miniscule amount of time.

A fruition isn't like fainting or blacking out, it's a discontinuity in experience which reveals something profound which changes "you" forever. It can be a tiny little "blip", or sometimes they can last slightly longer, but in my experience they rarely last any longer than a fraction of a second and usually happen when you're not expecting it. The descriptions you've provided and the way you talk about this causes me to think that you've most likely gotten 1st path and are now in the Review stage, especially that sense of knowing that something's changed and you're not what you thought "you" were before that point. The cycling from A&P up to Fruition and back is exactly what happens after Path, you're reviewing the territory you've just covered so this is the time to make use of the increase in clarity to work on calling up things like jhanas, ├▒anas and fruitions at will.

Bearing in mind that this is a rough diagnosis based on a handful of posts on an internet forum, and that I have no knowledge of you as a person outside this context, I'd say that you've got stream-entry. If so, excellent work and congratulations.

If you want some advice in the long-term, give it a month or so and see if the baseline level of awareness changes.
If not, you're a stream-enterer.
If so, at least you're continuing to practice and so there's nothing to be lost and whole lot to be gained from it.

Nice one!
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Dodge E Knees, modified 10 Years ago at 4/2/12 3:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 7:51 AM

RE: Maybe stream entry?

Posts: 74 Join Date: 9/25/11 Recent Posts
Hi Nick,

Thanks for your reply, I'll try to start near the beginning. I started practising again a few months ago after a decade off and found this site.

At first I was trying to develop concentration, but after my first post, Daniel diagnosed A&P. After further investigation I had to agreed with that. In terms of phenomena, I was buzzing all over 24/7 and in meditation I kept getting a dropping sensation where time/ perceptions would slow down on the out breath and my mind slid into another state. At first there were strong sexual overtones too. After a few weeks I started having a rising sensation form the sexual area all the way to my head which would snap the head back and spine straight.

I was also trying to develop concentration at this time but often got it confused with insight. After practising concentration one day I accidentally crossed the A&P. I had the usual sinking sensation wher time would slow and perceptions arise clearly and I watched each one. Then a question appeared to be hanging in the air. I said 'impermanent' to myself and the world went black as I was perched on the end of my breath. Then I took a breath and the same thing happened again.

I was a bit shocked and had only been practising a month or two at that point. I thought I knew what it was and was apprehensive of entering the Dark Night. I decided to practise concentration for a few days and seemed to make some progress, but as I said, I could not always tell between samatha and vipassana and may have started experiencing dukka nanas.

A few days later during a break in work, I practised concentration and got to a state I felt confident with. I decided to tackle the Dark Night. I recognized what I am calling the A&P, but the event was not as strong. I don't think I have ever really recognized the earlier nanas. After all I had read about the Dark Night, I was surprised that all I experienced was aching and stabbing pains in the neck and shoulders, no mental anguish. I was able to sit and watch it without getting involved and althogh it got quite intense, was able to make it to the other side. 1st attempt.

From what I remember there was a pretty big transition, then a sense of relief and peace with some residual aching round the back of the head. Then I think there was a double blackout again like the A&P, but the general feeling was very different, a lot calmer. After all the activity of the A&P, it felt almost like nothing much was really happening.

I was naturally very excited and tried to press on, but didn't really know what to do having not read that far. After reading around, I tried investigating the 3C's, looking for the watcher, etc. I found that I got to a certain point and sensations would kind of freeze, creating tension in my face and back of my neck. Other sensations would occur, but the tension stayed and as I watched it my head would droop and posture wilt. Then my vision and feeling would vanish into blackness and I would be certain that was it, but it wasn't. This happened again and again and wasn't always pleasant.

Then I started relaxing into it and just letting it happen. I let go of the tension and got further. There was a different kind of event, more like a transition, but still a bit A&Pish. Again I thought that was it, but it opened up to an even more peaceful state, and I thought 'oh no, I'm only half way'. My concentration and state of mind were good so I pressed on.

I was just watching the sensations arise and pass and sometimes they seemed to slow right down and kind of fall down in seperate 'chunks', very quickly. Everything seemed to be shaking and this experience was all I could concentrate on. This happened a few times, then a massive blackout, but different this time. At the time I wasn't sure if 'I' had disappeared, but I was reset back to A&P and the whole thing happened again. I still wasn't sure. I've been through 'review fruitions' a few times since and I'm still not sure.

I have to admit the speed of my progress, especially through the 'dukka nanas' has got me suspicious that I'm not there yet. Hence this post. On the other hand, where the hell am I?

If you need any more information just shout,


Cheers


edit 02/04/12: I have recently came across these 'blackouts' again during a subsequent trip around the cycle of insight. I am almost certain they are a sudden and dramatic drop into the formless jhanas. My eyes screw up tight all by themselves and the sense of the body disappears. It is different form how I experience formless jhana in a Samatha situation.
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Dodge E Knees, modified 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 8:12 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/1/11 8:12 AM

RE: Maybe stream entry?

Posts: 74 Join Date: 9/25/11 Recent Posts
Sorry Nick,

I just realized that I failed miserably to describe it in pure phenomenological terms! I hope the last post helped a bit anyway.


Hi Tommy,

There is a lot more information in my last post. As to the actual event...I have been through about 10 of these events since the first (last night) and they are all slightly different. The first seemed like a big bang, a slam in the head. The experience is bookended by some blackness with 'I', where I am totally aware what is happening but there is little to experience, like the A&P. The bit in the middle I am unsure about. If I try to look closely all the way through I can (almost) make it continuously but not quite.

Other fruitions tend to happen very gradually, politely. It might be the amount of concentration I am bringing to the party, I don't know.

The first afterglow, was mainly just sitting around with my other half feeling more content for no reason than I can ever remember. I basically felt very, very high.

Cheers
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Dodge E Knees, modified 10 Years ago at 11/8/11 9:44 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/8/11 9:44 AM

RE: Maybe stream entry?

Posts: 74 Join Date: 9/25/11 Recent Posts
Just a quick and pointless question to fire out there!

Is it possible to complete a cycle of insight and not be a Stream Enterer or is that how we are defining it here?

I know Daniel doesn't really like the 3 fetters model, but do you think there are criteria other than completing a cycle?

This is obviously a matter of semantics and has become increasingly irrelevant for me as I am not about to go claiming SE in the streets, and whether I attained it or not, it is now blindinlgy obvious that there is still an awful lot of work to do. I am now in the early nanas of the next cycle, which I actually find a relief, like I am making progress again.

Your thoughts please!

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