RE: What was this? - Figuring out an attainment.

Nuna Yabiz Niz, modified 10 Days ago at 6/17/22 12:28 PM
Created 10 Days ago at 6/17/22 12:28 PM

What was this? - Figuring out an attainment.

Posts: 3 Join Date: 10/30/21 Recent Posts
Hello all, 
First time posting here I think. 
INTRO: So, a fair while ago, after reading and applying the practices in Loch Kelly's: The Way of Effortless Mindfulness, I shifted into a mode of being where I was the most peaceful, productive, blissful, etc. that I'd ever been. Past addictions or habits didn't hold their sway. It took a lot to shake me out of this (but some stuff still did). 
I have since experienced a series of major traumas (and as I think a fair few teachers acknowledge, such things that throw off even some of the most accomplished practitioners), so I'm not in a very good place at the moment. I would just like some input or best guesses re: what I experienced would be called.
So, I'll try to describe it as best as possible. 
MAHAMUDRA TECHNIQUES THAT LEAD TO IT: The practices are rooted in Sutra Mahamudra techniques. They involve micro-meditations or glimpses, to shift gears. Some of them involve practices to switch out of identifcation with symbolic thought/language. Some involve visualisation that facilitates letting go of cliniging. I think the bulk of them would be categorised as pointing-out, awareness expanding practices, where you're literally following instructions to open awareness up, and then to "hold the view" and operate from there. 
(I assume I don't have to attempt to communicate in the convoluted way of putting every "I" in quotes, re: this.)
"SYMPTOMS:" -Whereas usually I would be identified with or hyper-fixated on thoughts, story, unpleasant sensations, seeking after phenomena, etc. following this shift, my identification was with nothing and everything; the closest thing would be to say that I primarily felt to be the space, awareness, in which sensations/phenomena/a body was coming and going. If anyone's played any video games, it felt like I had switched from a first-person to a third-person perspective, in terms of base of operations. 
-When phenomena, story, thoughts or old sensations would come up (stuff that would usually result in me contracting-around/hyper-focusing on it), it wouldn't have any pull to it. I don't know if it was due to an underlying peace, or that being more open and expansive seemed to dilute the intensity of previously unpleasant phenomena, but very few things would bother me. The phenomena would come up and fall away with very little effort. 
-Habits and addictions (minor ones in relation to the general population) like shows, alcohol, etc. dropped away. I'd still watch stuff, and I had the odd drink, but didn't feel the need to do either, and even after starting a show, I could easily stop (in contrast to default tendencies to binge watch). 
-Mundane things became pleasant to the point of being blissful in some instances. For example, I would regularly just sit, stare at the wall and really enjoy deep breathing; doing this produced sensations akin to MDMA/ectassy (but without any unpleasant side effects). 
-I found myself in some situations that I would have found irritating before. In these situations, parts of me would speak up, but I wouldn't be identified with them (I find the Internal Family Systems, multiplicity of self, model, quite helpful re: this; how we have multiple sub-personalities/parts that all have their evolutionarily ordained roles). Whereas before there'd be an angry part of me ranting about how ridiculous X, Y, Z was before AND I would be totally identified with it, in these instances, it was like having front row seats to a comedian in my head who I enjoyed listening to.
-Whereas my default mode is to be quite anxious, worrying a lot about what I should/should not do, and often suffer from pretty bad avoidance, during this period, stuff just got done. I didn't have to think about or plan what I was going to do, I just seemed to find myself doing productive things (such as boring house DIY tasks that I had avoided for literal months), with what seemed to be zero story/language/narrative decision making. I have had a diagnosis of ADD, and it felt like that was completely gone. 
I had had previous experiences similar to this, but they'd only lasted a day or two, max. This lasted for a solid week, with a fair afterglow. 
OUTRO: I haven't finisehd MCTB-2. I like what I have read. I resonate with the pragmatic, clear style. Together with seeking input re: what the above would be termed with reference to MCTB maps (and any others that people find helpful), part of me would like some advice re: how my favourite (so far), awareness-based Mahamudra practices that involve expanding awareness and "holding the view" relate to and can be intergrated with MCTB type practices. 
Any input welcome. 
If anything's not clear or you need to ask questions to get a better picture, then feel free to ask. 
Thanks in advance. 
Dream Walker, modified 9 Days ago at 6/17/22 6:04 PM
Created 9 Days ago at 6/17/22 6:03 PM

RE: What was this? - Figuring out an attainment.

Posts: 1430 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Nuna Yabiz Niz
I had had previous experiences similar to this, but they'd only lasted a day or two, max. This lasted for a solid week, with a fair afterglow. 
If it was temporary, I would say that it is the A&P. (Arising and Passing away stage of the 'progress of insight')
Read about it in MCTB
Good luck,
rj k, modified 7 Days ago at 6/20/22 2:48 AM
Created 7 Days ago at 6/20/22 2:44 AM

RE: What was this? - Figuring out an attainment.

Post: 1 Join Date: 6/20/22 Recent Posts
You might want to listen to Michael Taft's podcast episodes on Deconstructing Sensory Experience and Reversing the Stack. The first describes a more-or-less MCTB-style vipassana in which one deconstructs sensory experience in fine detail, building up to larger and more complete insights into the whole of awareness. The second describes the Mahamudra style, which - in a sense - runs in the opposite direction, starting with insight into awareness itself (or what might be called "nature of mind" or "awake awareness"). This is not to imply that either approach is better or worse, just that they're different.

Since they start in different places and work in different directions, the maps may well be different!

A typical Mahamudra practice map would be something like the the Four Yogas:
  1. One-pointedness, a calm attentive mind free from distraction
  2. Non-elaboration, the absence of mental reactivity
  3. One taste, the recognition that all phenomena have the same "taste" meaning that they are automatically seen as empty
  4. Non-meditation, in which there is no difference between meditative and regular awareness
Each of these is broken down into three levels, with the third level being the completion of that yoga. Comparing the completion of the Four Yogas with MCTB 4th path is way above my pay-grade, but in principle they're both complete systems that leave you in a state of permanent awakened mind.

With the caveat that I am in no way qualified to judge, it sounds like your experience has factors of all four yogas, but is not stable outside of either deliberate meditation or spontaneous experience. I think the usual advice would be to return to the view as often as possible, with the aim of doing so with increasing ease, duration, and stability. Loch Kelly's glimpse practices are designed to allow you to do this multiple times per day, which you could supplement with a longer sit. I can recommend Michael Taft's guided meditations for this, as they are Mahamudra-style.

Of course, you might also want to try practicing MCTB-style. However, I would be wary of trying to place your existing experience on the MCTB map given the different starting assumptions. Perhaps others here are familiar with how to synthesize the two, though!
Chris M, modified 7 Days ago at 6/20/22 8:51 AM
Created 7 Days ago at 6/20/22 8:51 AM

RE: What was this? - Figuring out an attainment.

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Welcome to DhO, rj kj.