New stages in my practice

Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:09 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 11:42 AM

New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi all,

I’ve been reading this forum for a couple of years now, but I haven’t posted much. 

I have a regular practice of between 1-3 hours daily and am currently doing quite regular silent retreats of 1 week. My current practice is a mix of breath, metta, samadi and just sitting. Plus I do Qigong. I've been meditating for 8 years now.
I’m pretty sure I had a path attainment 3 weeks ago on retreat. It was very different to anything else I’ve experienced in meditation. 
After 7 days in silent meditation I came out of the shrine room and looking at the beautiful landscape, was thinking about the concept of emptiness and suddenly I just got it, that I am nothing and became everything, there was a real shift in my visual perception, like the world flipped inside out. From then on it felt if you were to hold a mirror up to me, I would not be there but the universe would be reflected back. Afterwards coming home the perception was the same, when I got up each morning, it felt sure if I looked into the mirror the universe would look back, it wasn’t scary, but beautiful, my heart was overflowing with compassion. This lasted for about ten days and then I think I just got used to the change. My meditation seemed to take on a life of it’s own, I didn’t meditate for 4 days, but instead rested but my mind just went through the Jhanas, when I did meditate I started from the 3rd Jhana. 

I am in no way a fully enlightened being and have much work to do, but feel like I have just stepped onto the path.  
I guess my question is how did people cope between this stage and the next stages. How did you settle into this way of being?  A feeling of apprehension is creeping up on me about attaining new paths.  Except things seem to be moving quickly and with another retreat booked in 2 weeks, I’m feeling quite nervous.
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Chris M, modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 12:25 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 11:52 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Hello, Freya.

The mind gets used to new things very quickly, even in the realm of dharma. I've never had a path moment occur and not be able to accommodate it and have it become the new normal. Settling in can be easier if you can relax into changes.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 11:59 AM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 11:59 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sounds good! Yes, cut yourself some slack and let it integrate! Coping will happen. Just don't press yourself too hard right after a path moment. Don't exhaust yourself. In my experience, the energy body needs some time to settle. That probably varies between people, though. 
Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 1:59 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 1:59 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi, 

Thank you, thats definately the reassurance I needed to hear.
Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:06 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:06 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
I was hoping the energy body would settle after a path attainment. I wrote a post about it last year, All last year I had extreme spontaneous body movement - we're talking full on seizure convultions, breath, intelligible sounds, hand patterns. It's all calmed down from when it was very bad, but it's still there. 

Perhaps I just have to give it more time, or perhaps it will settle further after another path is attained. 
I know from reading your posts you've had a similar experience Linda, would you say it settled the further you went in terms of paths? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:21 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:21 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ah, you are also having a bumpy road? Yes, it has settled so much that I miss the rough play, lol. And I only have second path (at best). There are so many fractals now, and it seems to get subtler and subtler, but it's not exactly linear. 

In my experience, after a path moment everything is first somewhat overwhelming for a brief time (that is, after the immediate bliss has faded), then really super smooth for a while, and then tensions show up that feel horrible because of the contrast to the smoothness, especially if there's some time passing between cessations. It can be helpful to remember that what feels horribly bumpy is often much less bumpy than it used to be. You are just more mindful of the subtler nuances of bumpy than before. 
Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:30 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:29 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
I've been on the extreme end for sure, I could write a book on it as it was extreme for almost a year. Thankfully it's settled lots, so hopefully at some stage over the next year it will go.  I just appear to be completely bonkers sometimes on retreat : ) I can't meditate with beginners either, I may well put them off meditation for life. 

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:34 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:34 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Did you look like something from the exorcist too, lol? It's good to know that I'm not alone. 
Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:35 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:35 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
I've been working really hard towards this, with lots and lots of dedicated practice, usually one would celebrate and tell people thir acheivements, but I don't feel I can tell anyone about this, apart from 2 teachers. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:40 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 2:39 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You'll probably find that people around you notice changes, even if you don't tell them. 
Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 4:07 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 4:07 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Basically yes, you're definately not alone, although I've never met anyone in person who has experienced this, so I think it's pretty unusual. 
Freya , modified 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 4:08 PM
Created 4 Days ago at 6/23/22 4:08 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 16 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Thats a good way to look at it. I don't feel any desire to tell anyone, apart from in meditation reviews. 

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