RE: New stages in my practice

Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:09 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:42 AM

New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 12:25 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:52 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 4490 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:59 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 11:59 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 1:59 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 1:59 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi, 

Thank you, thats definately the reassurance I needed to hear.
Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:06 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:06 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:21 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:21 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:30 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:29 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:34 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:34 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:35 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:35 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:40 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 2:39 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:07 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:07 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 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 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/23/22 4:08 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 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. 
Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 3:34 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 3:34 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi, 

I've had a few unusual changes post path moment and wondering whether these are usual experiences for people.

I am lucid dreaming, I've also had an experience of everything going to black and my consciousness comletely fading (I was trying to stop it happening but too powerful) and then I woke up. Can cessations happen in dreams? 

I'm also having throbbing in my head when I meditate. There is about 6 strong throbs and then it just dies down and goes away. 

I've also had some really deep insights during meditation 4 days ago, so much so I thought perhaps I had attained another path - however I don't really know enough about 2 and 3rd path to diagnose. There was a very strong afterglow, however the next day was very emotional, dark night stuff. Thats obviously in a nutshell. The lucid dreaming happened after this experience. 

I'd love some feedback : ) 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 3:55 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 3:55 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Lucid dreaming and lucid dreamless sleep can and do occur as part of the path. I don't know if cessations can happen in sleep, but if one is lucid, then why not? Another explanation could be that you were conscious about going into deeper sleep, and then got into such deep sleep that you lost lucidity and also sense of time passing. But I don't know. 

I have heard a Theravadan monk (Thai forest tradition if I remember correctly) say that jhana can't occur in sleep because we are even more deluded in sleep than when we are awake (in the mundane sense of the word awake), so I think he would say that cessations can't happen in sleep. He is obviously wrong about jhana in sleep, though, as many can testify here, and Tibetan Buddhism involves very powerful dream and sleep practices. 

Personally I would be cautious about making any conclusions about yet another path moment so soon after a path moment, just as you are. I'm not qualified to say yay or nay, but I do know that repeat fruitions happen and can feel powerful, and in review there can also be strong A&P experiences, as I understand it, but I'm no expert. It sounds to me like you are still in review, which is an awesome opportunity for deepening your insights as well as deepening your concentration. 
Freya , modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 6:04 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 6:04 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi Linda, 

Thanks for your message. I'm going to try and make the lucid dreaming stop as actually I'm getting the quality of sleep I need at the moment and am waking up really tired. I'm also not interested in developing lucid dreaming.

I would agree it's not a path moment, I think just further insights and a deepening of the stage I am currently at. 

I'm also not pushing for further paths, I'm taking the time to settle where I am at the moment and know that any further deepenings/attainments will happen when they're supposed to. 

It's been a beautiful journey and I feel extremely grateful.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 7:00 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 7:00 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I wish you the best on your continued journey. It sounds lovely, where you are at, and I'm happy for you.

If you find yourself lucid dreaming against your will, or if you ever change your mind about not wanting to do it, it can be powerful to meditate in the dream (perhaps also restful and restorative, at least eventually). I have heard that it's true that dream and sleep practices can initually mess with one's sleep, though, and it is indeed important to see to it that we get enough sleep, and doing so helps us to stay grounded. It's good to see that you are taking care of your needs.

You are probably wiser than me. I'd most likely jump at the opportunity to explore the lucid dreaming further despite neglecting my sleep. Or maybe not. I don't know. It happens to me sometimes, and I welcome it when it does, but I have never tried any of those techniques where you wake yourself up in the middle of the night to induce lucid dreaming, because I do value getting enough sleep. However I've never thought about stopping it when it happens on its own. Does it happen often to you? Is it a problem that requires taking measures against it? Or is it possible that it will play itself out and settle? 

I had my share of some crazy energy fluxes going on after my stream entry and was adviced by my teacher at the time to go very easy and stay grounded (which I did, somewhat reluctantly). I don't know how it is for you, but it sounds like you have a sane approach. 
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 7/15/22 9:04 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/15/22 9:04 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 1454 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Freya .
Can cessations happen in dreams? 
I'd love some feedback : ) 
Yes,
Cessations/fruitions can happen while sleeping, Including paths. I speak from direct experience.
Good luck,
​​​​​​​~D
Freya , modified 18 Days ago at 7/28/22 5:17 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 7/28/22 5:17 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Hi Linda, 

Thankyou and sorry for the delayed response, thank you for that advice regarding meditating in my dreams if they turn lucid, I'll definately try that. 
I had 2 nights in a row of lucid dreaming, it stopped once I started to take liquid Zinc and B6 again. 
Freya , modified 18 Days ago at 7/28/22 5:31 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 7/28/22 5:31 PM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 31 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
Dream Walker
Yes,
Cessations/fruitions can happen while sleeping, Including paths. I speak from direct experience.
Good luck,
​​​​​​​~D

I missed this response. Really!! I haven't had anything to relate the experience to and just put it down to a strange dream. 

I actually had another simillar experience the night before the experience happened that I started this thread with. I went to bed after a long day of meditation on retreat, after my head was on the pillow for a minute I saw a round black shape with pink outline coming towards me and got sucked into it, and then jolted awake. I put it down to falling asleep, I often get sleep hypnogogia, however nothing like this has happened before so it seemed quite out of the ordinary. Perhaps I am a natural dream yogi! 

I'd be interested to hear about your experience with fruitions and path moments in your sleep if you're happy to share. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 7/31/22 8:04 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 7/31/22 8:04 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Interesting! Some cessations definitely have that quality of coming toward you. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago at 7/31/22 8:06 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 7/31/22 8:06 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 6670 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hm, lucid dreaming as a symptom of vitamine and mineral defiency? That could explain why I have sometimes had more lucid dreaming in periods with lots of brain fog. 
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Dream Walker, modified 14 Days ago at 8/2/22 6:05 AM
Created 14 Days ago at 8/2/22 5:45 AM

RE: New stages in my practice

Posts: 1454 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Freya .
Dream Walker Yes, Cessations/fruitions can happen while sleeping, Including paths. I speak from direct experience. Good luck, ​​​​​​​~D
  I'd be interested to hear about your experience with fruitions and path moments in your sleep if you're happy to share. 
Well, 1st path I had the flu and woke up feeling strangly different without being able to explain it. I was still just as sick but not expressing it the same way.
I knew nothing about stream entry at that time, then later read MCTB and realized what happened.

Later as I did cessations over and over, I would drift from awake to sleep and along the way to hypnogogia I would sense a window and "jump" thru it into cessation. My wife would jerk awake and after a couple repeats of this tell me to stop that shit so she could go to sleep.

Pretty sure my later experience of path happened while asleep....it woke me up and i wondered about it but figured if it was it would be there in the morning.

Anyway, it happens.
Good luck,
~D

​​​​​​​PS. way back when, in a old website, Duncan Barford also spoke briefly of a path moment while sleeping as I remember.
extra PS. old link to stuff -
RE: Dreamwalker's Narrative

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