Post-A&P practice advice

Mike James, modified 1 Year ago at 8/30/22 11:15 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 8/30/22 11:15 AM

Post-A&P practice advice

Post: 1 Join Date: 8/30/22 Recent Posts
Two days ago I had what I believe was a fairly clear A&P experience that began in a dream and continued for a while thereafter. Happy to provide more detail for those interested, but it was the most powerful/intense experience I've ever had either on or off the cushion by a fairy large margin and checks off a number of A&P signs from MTCB (extraordinarily intense energy throughout the body, seeing through eyelids for several hours after the peak experience). 

My challenge is that I'm not sure how (or even if) I should adjust my practice at this point. I have been meditating for around 11 years and for a while practiced quite intently, following at times TMI, MTCB, and other approaches. However around 4 years ago I dialed back the intensity of my practice quite a bit following an unpleasant period when it began interfering a bit with my day to day life (heightened anxiety, lack of interest in work/family etc). Since then I have had a lax practice at best - on average 15-30 minutes per day across 1-2 sits, just alternating between observing breath and body sensations. There has been no observable progress of any kind and I had given up on any obvious spiritual goal; I was simply sitting and letting things go how they go, with some days quite focused and some days nothing but mind wandering. My primary focus has been on family, work, and other more philosophical reading (shadow work, McGilchrist's brain hemisphere books etc). 

Following this powerful experience I feel strongly compelled to reengage with my practice in earnest, however I'm struggling with where to begin as I no longer have any clear idea where I might be on the map. My first thought is just go back to square one and work on basic shamatha practice for longer periods until I can stabilize attention a bit more - given how lax/inconsistent my practice has been I don't think I am anywhere near access concentration at this point. But at the same time I'm wondering if it makes sense to begin integrating noting practices or other insight work in smaller doses.

Still quite energized and engaged at the moment, but assuming that dark night issues may come soon enough. Any practice advice at this stage would be much appreciated.