RE: Argh! Where am I?

yy f, modified 1 Year ago at 1/25/23 8:12 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/29/22 9:12 PM

Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 4/24/22 Recent Posts
I somehow feel like either I've maybe just started to see Cause+Effect (maybe even glimpsed the 3C) after recently kicking my practice into overdrive OR I have been in DN for YEARS with a few periods of accessing EQ. Maybe it's pointless to distinguish because in any scenario I should just be trying to see things as they are, moment by moment, but then if the maps are helpful then knowing where I am should be helpful?

In some ways the 3Cs feel obvious and like I've known them for a long time, but in other ways I'm afraid that my understanding of them is only conceptual. Sometimes I feel like I see them but am not impressed by them and I wonder if this is because I've known them for a long time OR because I'm just not really seeing them.

I guess my main point is I don't feel like I've really entered any super mind blowing territory ever just through meditation - I just did a 2 day retreat and felt something that may have been AP, where I was just watching sensations coming and going one by one, but I didn't feel like it was something super fast or "vibration-y". Over the past week, I have been feeling these periods where my body gets tingly and "vibration-y" and I feel this euphoria. Or could that just be Jhana? What I am hypothesizing to be EQ are periods of being on psychedelics/for a few weeks after them or during meditation where I feel like I am "in the zone" and see that "it's going to be ok".

Thank you very much for any thoughts you can provide which may help push me toward awakening for the good of all beings.

​​​​​​​YY
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finding-oneself ♤, modified 2 Years ago at 5/29/22 9:24 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/29/22 9:24 PM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 547 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
Hello friend. They say that the mere fact you ask the question, and are searching on websites such as this, means you have probably already crossed the A&P. Usually people who don't, don't come searching on this website. I'm sure you'll get a lot of good answers here. Hope you find what you're looking for.

-your friendly noobie meditator.
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 5/29/22 10:24 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/29/22 10:24 PM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Tingles, vibrations, euphoria sound like jhana factor of piti, typical of A&P (second vipassana jhana). A&P on meditation alone might seem relatively tame compared with psychedelics! It's certainly possible you've been cycling from A&P through DN since childhood. Consistent meditation practice should give you more clarity about the nanas, especially without psychedelics you can see how cycling and DN might be manifesting as depression off cushion (it was like that for me).
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 2 Years ago at 5/30/22 1:37 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/30/22 1:37 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 414 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Hey Yang-Yang,

I can see you have begun several threads (no problem emoticon ), so it seems you really need some answers.

My advice would be to try to not feed this desire to know with too much reading and speculation, and too little good practice. Because only good practice will give you the answers.

From what you describe, I can't tell exactly where you're at. It's much easier to find out if you map your journey over longer periods of time.

As shargrol, one of the very experienced yogis on this forum, often says: consistent and non-heroic practice is the key. Check out his goldmine of good advice here.

So, in short: Get a good regular daily practice going, and consider starting a practice log on this forum. Then I'm quite sure you'll get more hands-on, pragmatic advice to help you move forward, wherever your're at. And eventually you'll find the answers you need.

Best wishes!
Niels
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supermonkey :), modified 2 Years ago at 5/30/22 5:28 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/30/22 5:28 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 153 Join Date: 8/11/20 Recent Posts
There is a lot of fluctuation between the ñanas, and unless you practice a lot (which is 2-3 hrs a day for me), it's difficult to exactly tease out where you are and it's a wise idea to spend your energy in other ways. One option is to note "questioning thoughts", but don't worry if you can't really do that (yet), it's difficult.
I'd say by upping your practice you landed  semi-stably in A&P territory (3Cs feel obvious, vibration-y..) and your somewhat compulsive trying to figure things out has a dark night flavor.

Quite likely you've been cycling through POI for a long time, but keep in mind that those insight stages have to be worked out to some degree before you really get the insight knowledge. And that's what regular practice does.
And that's why it's no problem to be in dark night - it's just another stratum of mind that needs to be worked out. How that specifically looks is mostly individual. Most important is that, given you have a reasonable practice, you don't stop giving energy into the practice too early - and that includes phases of failing over and over again. The practice shows you what you need to see - how could it be otherwise?!
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Years ago at 5/30/22 7:49 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/30/22 7:49 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 735 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Yang-Yang, see if this helps you to identify which ñanas you have been visiting:

​​​​​​​Daniel Ingram's List of symptoms for ñana diagnosis.
yy f, modified 1 Year ago at 1/25/23 8:16 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/31/22 1:35 PM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 4/24/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for the responses, friends. I had an inkling that ultimately the thing to do would be to just practice and I think your responses helped confirm that.

To provide a little more context in case anyone else might want to chime in others might find this post interesting/useful: I started practicing in 2016 using Headspace, just like 20 minutes a day relatively consistently, but with some weeks/months of straying away from the path. I felt some benefit and wanted to take it a little further and took up Full Catastrophe Living/MBSR in 2019, ramping up my practice to basically every day for 40 minutes. I felt like I was able to concentrate much better and that it gave me much more clarity/joy in life for about half a year, and then I kinda stopped practicing for a bit. When I got back into it I wasn't practicing well or at least it didn't feel like I was making any progres. But then during a self-guifed retreat I really felt like I worked some stuff out with my method and was able to concentrate. I hit some stuff that felt like cosmic love - it wasn't super vibration-y but it felt really really good, almost orgasmic - which I know Daniel would probably label as AP. I came out of that retreat feeling like I needed to "go hard" at meditation - resolved to sit for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, found r/streamentry on reddit, which led me to buy MCTB2 and TMI. Then I practiced TMI for a month while reading MCTB2. I felt like I def made some good progress with TMI, getting to stage 3/4, but MCTB2 got me really excited about dry practices, so I decided to hop on the Mahasi train and bought MOI. And then after just a couple days of noting (just during daily practice, not yet on weekend retreat), I felt what I described as that intense vibration-y stuff again - and then again - and then again, during multiple sits and while running (during which I also try to note). And then on the weekend retreat I mentioned I felt like I was seeing things arise and pass away one after another.
These past few days I've been practicing well (at least in the evenings - mornings I still feel a bit groggy) - and during a bike ride yesterday I really felt like I was seeing the world (I mean literally seeing) in a whole new way (not really new, because it felt like the kinda high resolution colorful vision you get on psychedelics). Now I suppose I'm just waiting for DN to kick in...

Also - one more quick question that has been bugging me - I don't really know if I get what Daniel means when he talks about "vibrations". The vibrations I am talking about feel like literal vibrations through my body, or literal vibrations ringing in my ears, or the kinda visual static you can kind see flickering if you're really concentrating - but kinda hard to imagine what he means when he talks about the vibrations "being in the periphery" instead of the center, as with 3rd/4th vipassana jhana.
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 6/1/22 9:59 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/1/22 9:59 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 Yeah vibrations occur in all sense doors. As you put a brake on the process of proliferating perceptions in your experience, you start to detect a kind of background vibration - static/flickering in vision, ringing/hissing in hearing, vibrations/buzzing/tingling/energy in the body, energy of proto-thoughts in thought-space etc. You can also detect there's a part of the mind which labels each experience as "sight", "sound", "physical sensation", "thought", "taste" or "smell", and you can kind of turn it off, so you lose the ability to distinguish between the sense doors (temporarily!) It also kinda feels like merging the sense doors if that helps. It can feel a bit weird, it's a sort of pure senseless objectless vibration, bare sankhara (formations). It also exists on different wavelengths. When it's coarse/short-wave it's more like physcial sensations (except you can feel sounds in the body etc.), as it gets finer/longer it's experienced as energy (piti), emotion (sukha) and then light (citta). Awareness of vibration in the physical body is like first jhana (requires effort), in the energy body it's like second jhana (wow, effortless), but when you shift into the emotion body it's get more diffuse, like you've become a cloud of emotion without a center. (That can be really blissful when the emotion is sukha, but more creepy ("dark night") when the emotions are fear, sadness or anger.) Fourth jhana is where you make peace with vibrations/formations and just let them be as they are, faint ripples in a perfectly still bright mind.
 
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Asaf M, modified 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 8:04 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 8:04 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/9/22 Recent Posts
 Yeah vibrations occur in all sense doors. As you put a brake on the process of proliferating perceptions in your experience, you start to detect a kind of background vibration - static/flickering in vision, ringing/hissing in hearing, vibrations/buzzing/tingling/energy in the body, energy of proto-thoughts in thought-space etc. You can also detect there's a part of the mind which labels each experience as "sight", "sound", "physical sensation", "thought", "taste" or "smell", and you can kind of turn it off, so you lose the ability to distinguish between the sense doors (temporarily!) It also kinda feels like merging the sense doors if that helps. It can feel a bit weird, it's a sort of pure senseless objectless vibration, bare sankhara (formations). It also exists on different wavelengths. When it's coarse/short-wave it's more like physcial sensations (except you can feel sounds in the body etc.), as it gets finer/longer it's experienced as energy (piti), emotion (sukha) and then light (citta). Awareness of vibration in the physical body is like first jhana (requires effort), in the energy body it's like second jhana (wow, effortless), but when you shift into the emotion body it's get more diffuse, like you've become a cloud of emotion without a center. (That can be really blissful when the emotion is sukha, but more creepy ("dark night") when the emotions are fear, sadness or anger.) Fourth jhana is where you make peace with vibrations/formations and just let them be as they are, faint ripples in a perfectly still bright mind.



Love this post.
Any suggestions on what to  focus on to bring about such an awareness?
One approach is to just rest, 'do nothing' then notice whatever somethign insits on arising in the mind. 
I often do that with walking. I resolve to do noting from one ond of the path to the other, then notice whatever the mind insists on bringing up.
One variation of this is the 'cat and mouse game' lets see what thought pops up. lets wait and see what arises.

Another approach is a more directed, perhpas we could say biased investigation. homing in on the internal sounds is one example I tend to use. Fire kasina would be another. I tend to use the sun when outdoors. just a quick glance. 

A 3rd approach  I use is more directed invetigation. actively discernign one or more of the three characteristics in one or more of the five aggregates, or one or more sense doors (this would be the perception/sense concousess aggregate). sometimes systematicaly, methodically, using verbal 'scaffolding.'
I am curious to hear of other approaches.
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 9:06 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 9:06 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
These are all good approaches. The best advice I could give you is to own your own practice, keep trying different things, assess the impact of your practice, keep doing what works and drop what doesn't (maybe to be picked up again later), learn from your mistakes (or even better learn from the mistakes of others), embrace difficulty because you learn far more when practice is hard (easy practice is your reward for hard work). It's a grand adventure, for better or worse most people don't get the opportunity to go this deep inside their own minds.

There are thousands of possible practices, but most (all?) of them are going to boil down to some combination of concentration and investigation. When you get your mind sufficiently concentrated then unusual or unexpcted stuff will start to happen, and when unusual or unexpected stuff starts to happen then you need to investigate what is happening ...
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 8:52 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 1/26/23 8:49 AM

RE: Argh! Where am I?

Posts: 1766 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
yy f
I somehow feel like either I've maybe just started to see Cause+Effect (maybe even glimpsed the 3C) after recently kicking my practice into overdrive OR I have been in DN for YEARS with a few periods of accessing EQ. Maybe it's pointless to distinguish because in any scenario I should just be trying to see things as they are, moment by moment, but then if the maps are helpful then knowing where I am should be helpful?

In some ways the 3Cs feel obvious and like I've known them for a long time, but in other ways I'm afraid that my understanding of them is only conceptual. Sometimes I feel like I see them but am not impressed by them and I wonder if this is because I've known them for a long time OR because I'm just not really seeing them.

I guess my main point is I don't feel like I've really entered any super mind blowing territory ever just through meditation - I just did a 2 day retreat and felt something that may have been AP, where I was just watching sensations coming and going one by one, but I didn't feel like it was something super fast or "vibration-y". Over the past week, I have been feeling these periods where my body gets tingly and "vibration-y" and I feel this euphoria. Or could that just be Jhana? What I am hypothesizing to be EQ are periods of being on psychedelics/for a few weeks after them or during meditation where I feel like I am "in the zone" and see that "it's going to be ok".

Thank you very much for any thoughts you can provide which may help push me toward awakening for the good of all beings.

​​​​​​​YY


Here's my opinion:

I don't think it's helpful that your practice has led you to expect exceptional experiences. My advice is to find a practice that balances tranquility and insight. Don't expect exceptional experiences, just try to relax and watch your mind during meditation and in daily life and notice when dukkha arises. Notice it appear, and watch it as if fades. That is the core teaching of the Buddha the cause and ending of dukkha. If you want to understand that, just watch your own mind, sitting in a chair, walking, or doing the dishes. Notice the physical sensations in your body that accompany emotions. Notice how your varying self concept is intricately intertwined with dukkha. That is an easy practical way to study dependent origination and the three characteristics. Measure your progress by whether your ability to let go improves, by whether you are suffering less. You don't need exceptional experiences, I think they are distracting you from what is important:  arising and fading of dukkha.