How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop 4/24/23 2:15 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Jim Smith 4/24/23 8:07 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop 4/26/23 12:32 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Jim Smith 5/4/23 3:03 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Dream Walker 4/25/23 3:05 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 4/25/23 5:18 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? T DC 4/25/23 10:03 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Adi Vader 4/25/23 10:21 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 4/26/23 5:43 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/23 1:57 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 5/4/23 12:04 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Jim Smith 5/4/23 3:22 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Ni Nurta 5/4/23 3:13 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Chris M 5/4/23 8:23 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop 5/6/23 3:58 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Chris M 5/6/23 9:14 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop 5/6/23 2:26 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 5/6/23 1:36 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop 5/6/23 2:26 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Ni Nurta 5/6/23 2:56 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 5/9/23 12:49 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Bardo 5/7/23 4:18 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Chris M 5/6/23 6:25 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 5/11/23 6:54 AM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? svmonk 5/6/23 9:40 PM
RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations? Eudoxos . 5/7/23 2:44 AM
Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop, modified 1 Year ago at 4/24/23 2:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/24/23 2:15 PM

How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

Posts: 40 Join Date: 3/17/23 Recent Posts
I am talking about the time of no experience. In a very practical sense: How does one know how much time has passed without experience? Looking at a clock? Using some other sensation as a proxy for a clock? 

This isn't really practically relevant for me right now. It's just a question that has come up a few times when talking with people about the concept.

I have read the chapter on fruitions in MtCToB and skimmed it again before asking the question, hopefully, I didn't miss the answer ;).
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 4/24/23 8:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/24/23 7:28 PM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Benjamin Schmidt
I am talking about the time of no experience. In a very practical sense: How does one know how much time has passed without experience? Looking at a clock? Using some other sensation as a proxy for a clock? 

This isn't really practically relevant for me right now. It's just a question that has come up a few times when talking with people about the concept.

I have read the chapter on fruitions in MtCToB and skimmed it again before asking the question, hopefully, I didn't miss the answer ;).


Most cessations only last an instant.

I think with longer ones people just notice time on the clock and are surprised that it is later than they think based on how long they think they've been meditating. 

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/15-fruition/
this stage typically lasts only an instant

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/32-what-was-that/
There is a much smaller percentage of stream enterers who can get what is known as “duration”, meaning that they can have the Fruition last longer than an instant of “external time” (though after reality restarts and in retrospect, it seems to them like a timeless discontinuity with no passage of time at all, or other reference points for time or other experience), and those who can’t.

As an aside, for all my meditation abilities and by way of full disclosure, I am not one of those people who is certain that they have ever been able to stay in Fruition for some period that in external time was more than a fraction of a second.


In this report, I'm not sure I understand it exactly, I think the person had a cessation for 20 minutes but they don't say how they knew the length of time - it looks like they may be judging by what people around them are doing ( the person is in the middle of a meditation session on a retreat and the next thing he knows, the session is over and {I think} people are lining up to talk with the teacher) and from the context you can tell the person is not experiencing time during the cessation, it is only after that they realize something happened, the cessation subjectively seems to take an instant. You can click the link for the full context if you're interested.

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/7146949#_com_liferay_message_boards_web_portlet_MBPortlet_message_8041404
And in another session it was significant.
My body become lighter , noting lightness , and nothing left to notice so i just notice "Knowing , Knowing"
and then suddenly "Snaps"
I only know it took about 20 minutes (i didn't know there was bell rang) after yogis are reporting already .
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Year ago at 4/25/23 3:05 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/25/23 3:05 AM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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External stimuli. Most of the time people don't have eyes open when blipping out, so noticing the entry time vs exit would be difficult. Listening to binaural beats on headphones allowed me to notice a certain time lost experience because the tone went down over time that was the main frequency that the beats ran on top. Went from eeeeeh to ouuuuh instantly. So there is that approach. I had cessations daily for years though, only once that way, that long.
good luck,
​​​​​​​~D
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 4/25/23 5:18 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/25/23 5:18 AM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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As said, by other time references, but none of those are realiable (and don't need to be). I know this type of aditthāna training being done in solitary meditation, so there are no fellow yogis to confirm. So the other references are either looking at clock when one emerges (if there is the sense of it), or just the internal feeling that time went faster (e.g. that 1 hour sit felt like 40 minutes). My private explanation is that during longer cessation, short-term memories (~10s) waiting in the pipeline to be crunched and stored in mid-term, just vanish, since those processes temporarliy shut down; so it is not possible to recall what happened in the last moments before the loger cessation. Or the mind can weave together externally non-contiguous moments into continuity and there is not a feeling that cessation happened.

There is apparently olympic level of mastery when the resolution is reliably achievable (thus 23 minutes resolution will make one emerge after 23 minutes), this is what monks in Thailand do. They have years of continuous training in the pocket, and good external conditions. I don't know whether they do nirodha-samapatti or phala-samapatti this way.
T DC, modified 1 Year ago at 4/25/23 10:03 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Cessation in the practical sense as I have experienced it takes literally a split second.  It's less a "no-experience" experience and more a glimpse of pure / ultra refined awareness.  As such we're fully conscious the whole time and very much aware of how fast the experience occurs.
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 4/25/23 10:21 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Yes. The lokuttara citta arises and takes nibbana as its object. This is the magga-phal.
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 4/26/23 5:43 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/26/23 5:43 AM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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To me the split-second ultra-refined awareness sounds more like anuloma-ñana, which precedes cessation itself. Why would you call it cessation when there is still something? The experience, of course, does not care about our labels, which is good. Do different lineages have such diverging vocabularies here?

The Mahasi tradition (namely, U Pandita) is pretty adamant about "there" being no experience whatsoever — though they still use the unhelpful wording "experience of cessation", meaning "cessation of experience". This has been my repeated experience, knowing about it only in retrospect, with all the limitations of recalling stuff from the (very recent) past.

"Anuloma nana is the last nana in which there is anything happening. After that there is no awareness of anything. Feeling and awareness suddenly cease." [Sixteen Stages of Insight by Ajahn Jodok of Wat Mahathat]
"After the cessation, when awareness returns, the meditator contemplates what has happened to him. After this he goes on acknowledging the rising and falling movements, but they seem much clearer than normal. Considering what has happened is called paccavekkhana nana." [same source]
Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop, modified 1 Year ago at 4/26/23 12:32 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/26/23 12:32 PM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Thanks, 
especially with the ones lasting only an instant, I was wondering how people notice that they had a time of no experience by noticing some change in external stimuli or whether they just notice the aftereffects of a cessation.

Which external stimuli people are using e.g. 
> Listening to binaural beats on headphones allowed me to notice a certain time lost experience because the tone went down over time that was the main frequency that the beats ran on top. Went from eeeeeh to ouuuuh instantly.  (Dream Walker)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago at 5/3/23 1:57 PM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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If someone only notices that more time has passed than they thought, the most likely explanation is that they were dull or even asleep, or that they simply misjudged the time. To be sure that there is a cessation, one needs to have a clear door experience before the gap and a clear sense of coming back after the gap. You know that there was a cessation because you noticed going into it and coming out of it. If that happens and external stimuli indicate that one was gone for longer than an instant, then there is reason to suspect that maybe it was a cessation with duration. That has never happened to me. They have always been just an instant. 
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 5/4/23 12:04 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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It is impossible to know for sure every time, as the observer the one being observed, so to say, and it is always only indicative. Sleep is sometimes a logical explanation, but there are other indicators, such as the afterglow.

I doubt it is possible to remember last moments of the entrance into cessation with duration (my explanation above — short-term memory data don't get written); but perhaps some brains can do that.

Mahasi lineages (e.g. in Progress of Insight) use aditthāna to get phala-samapatti (= attainment of fruition = fruition with duration), they seem to be rare to happen spontaneously, without the intention, they apparently need a level of concentration &insight most people don't have unless after weeks/months of retreat, plus there must be other conditions at play (see e.g. here). I used to be able to get those many (about 5+) years back, in almost every retreat, with regularity, but now they don't seem to be happening lately, all while doing the same practices.

Beautifully, Vimuttimagga calls phala-samapatti and nirodha-samapatti "The Two Enjoyments" (here; Enjoyment of the fruit & Enjoyment of the dissolution of perception and sensation).
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 5/4/23 3:03 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Benjamin Schmidt
Thanks, 
especially with the ones lasting only an instant, I was wondering how people notice that they had a time of no experience by noticing some change in external stimuli or whether they just notice the aftereffects of a cessation.
...


https://web.archive.org/web/20150315043206/http://alohadharma.com/2011/06/29/cessation/
Enough Technical Stuff, What’s it Really Like?

The obvious question that most people have at this point is: what is it like? After all, it’s Nirvana – which is synonymous with “heaven” in the minds of many. There are a lot of confused ideas about what it is (or isn’t). My recommendation is to expect nothing – literally.

Practitioners who have experienced the moment of Nirvana struggle to put it into words, because describing it can make it seem anticlimactic even though it is truly extraordinary. What it feels like is that there is “click”, “blip”, or “pop” that occurs for an instant. When it first happens it is so quick that the meditator could even miss it. However most people do stop and ask themselves “what was that?” It can be a bit baffling because it seems like nothing happened, and that is exactly right. For an instant absolutely nothing happened. There were no shining lights or angels, no pearly gates or choruses of joy, no transcendent experiences of unity with the cosmos or the divine. It is nothing like that at all. It may not be until you really think about it that you realize what an extraordinary thing that instant of absolute nothing really is.

As you reflect on it you see that there was something truly amazing about that moment. In that instant everything disappeared, including you. It was a moment of complete non-occurrence, the absolute opposite of everything that has ever happened in your life up to this moment, because it could not really be said to have happened to you. No doubt, it is a weird realization, but there it is. Following the experience of this absolute nothing is what my teacher aptly calls a “bliss wave.” For some time following this moment of alighting upon Nirvana you feel really relaxed and fresh. These two experiences, seeing that you disappeared and that you also feel great because of it, lead to a very important discovery that will shape how you view yourself from this point forward. You begin to understand in a very deep way that there really is something to this whole idea that the cravings of a “self” are the root of suffering. When it was gone, even for an instant, life suddenly got much better.

For me, when this moment first happened it felt as if all of reality “blinked.” Another way I put it at the time was that “emptiness winked at me.” It’s a funny way to put it, but it actually felt that way. As if a shade was quickly drawn or an eyelid closed from the top of the field of awareness down to the bottom and then suddenly released. At first I thought it was a moment in which I just lost focus and the meditation fell apart. But the bliss wave hit a few moments later and I started giggling and laughing out loud. My wife was in the other room and I was trying not to sound crazy. I kept wondering if this was really it. For some reason I couldn’t believe it actually happened. In the hours following the blink-out I felt more ease and energy than I had in a long time. For example, I’m a morning person, not a night person (I go to bed embarrassingly early), but I stayed up almost all night and still felt amazing the next day. I walked around with a big grin on my face for quite some time after that. I just felt wonderful.

There is an important insight to be had regarding cessation, and it is worth pondering though no conclusions are readily available. During the moment of cessation you were utterly gone, and yet there was an awareness there to witness it happen. What does that mean? In Buddhism, as well as other contemplative traditions, the interpretation of this has been an issue of deep debate among the great mystics and masters. Whole lineages and traditions have clashed on differing understandings of this deepest dharma. Is emptiness really empty? Is everything awareness? There is no consensus as to what it means, or if finding a meaning even makes sense. Frankly, I am not fully comfortable with any of the explanations out there. What is important for you to know as the person on the cushion is that for an instant you were there, then you “went out”, and yet you have a memory of it happening. This implies something profound about existence that you will need to explore. Fortunately, you will not be the first one to be flummoxed by this paradox, and there are a variety of profound interpretations out there to support your integration of this experience.
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago at 5/4/23 3:13 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Fruition really is just change of default pathways and by itself can be done in real-time without any perceived time difference or special effects. These special effects are the least important thing and if they happen or not doesn't matter. It matters to nail down fruition for it to be available whenever needed. Best validation of if what we nailed as fruition is really fruition is with its effectiveness in... let's say if its real it will make it not necessary to get any more 'enlightened'.

Calling fruition as momentary non-experience isn't the worst description from practical point of view because one has to disengage pathway in order to change it and thinking non-experience helps it but it also suggest experience before and after is the same which in turns makes this description pretty terrible because if that is ones expectation fruition will be much harder to pull off.

Imho best to focus on the fact that fruition is about change of running mind. It happens because of a trigger which itself has setup (read: its own trigger and moments/activity leading up to it) and then there is some activity after it which itself could be called as stabilization.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 5/4/23 3:22 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
If someone only notices that more time has passed than they thought, the most likely explanation is that they were dull or even asleep, or that they simply misjudged the time. To be sure that there is a cessation, one needs to have a clear door experience before the gap and a clear sense of coming back after the gap. You know that there was a cessation because you noticed going into it and coming out of it. If that happens and external stimuli indicate that one was gone for longer than an instant, then there is reason to suspect that maybe it was a cessation with duration. That has never happened to me. They have always been just an instant. 


Linda,

Could you explain this in more detail? What is a door experience? What is the experience of coming back after the gap like? 

As I understand it not everyone experiences in a distinct recognizable way:

Ron Crouch says:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150315043206/http://alohadharma.com/2011/06/29/cessation/
When it first happens it is so quick that the meditator could even miss it.

Daniel says:
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/15-fruition/
All that said, there are those who won’t recognize it, particularly those who chance upon it outside of a meditative tradition that can recognize it. There will also be those for whom it happens within the context of their practice tradition, who can recognize it, but who fail to identify it as being what it is. Sometimes the afterglow is not so spectacular, though for most the series of insights, connections, syntheses, and the like that burgeon forth is impressive. Others will just go on practicing, not realizing what has just happened.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/32-what-was-that/
Often it is not possible to make a clear call about what was what, even if it was a Fruition.
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 5/4/23 8:23 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Here's my description based on my first experiences with this phenomenon:
​​​​​​​
While observing an object in meditation - let's say the breath entering and leaving my nostrils - I perceive a slow building of energy and focus. The in-breath starts to bring a very fine set of vibrations in the top of the head and an almost giddy mental feeling, sort of like a tiny whiff of laughing gas, that grows as the breath is drawn and until it is at its peak. The peak of the breath brings a sharp distinct break and when the out-breath starts that same energetic and finely vibrating giddy feeling resumes (this not a hyperventilation-like giddiness). Each successive breath slowly increases the intensity of these fine vibrations until a kind of crescendo is reached, at which point all the energy that has built up quickly flows to the observed object, appears to merge with the object and then FLASH!, an image appears, a complex image, for just a tiny fraction of a second, after which everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING - winks out of existence. Pure pitch black, silent nothingness ensues (no sound, no light, no feeling, no self, no perception of any kind) and lasts for about a second or so. Then awareness reappears anew. The impression after the second or so of nothingness reminds me of the rebooting of a computer. Everything is turned completely off and then restarts.
Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 3:58 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Thanks, I appreciate the very detailed description. A few questions. ​​​​​​​

> Pure pitch black, silent nothingness ensues (no sound, no light, no feeling, no self, no perception of any kind) 

The descriptions I heard were usually of a time with no experience. This sounds more like an experience of nothingness? Wouldn't the perception of no perception be a perception in itself? I am maybe misunderstanding your description. ​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​How do you know that it lasts for about one second? Which external stimuli do you use to "measure" the time? I am not sure how accurate the "about a second" is. Could it also be 1/10th of a second or 2/3 seconds?
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 9:14 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Benjamin, there was/is no "while" as this happens to me. The sense of time and space is lost altogether, so I'm using the bookends of experience before and experience after to measure duration. I think this also answers your question about a "nothingness experience," although we could probably have a long and crazy discussion about just what "nothingness" means. Part of the difficulty of describing these phenomena is that language has to be used to do it, but language is inadequate for the task.
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 1:36 PM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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My description: discontinuity of mental processes, like switching TV channels. It is for me sometimes accompanied/followed by a "dip" (body relaxing for a short moment, often head falling down a bit, but without tiredness or heavy mind). Mostly at outbreath (as far as I am clear about that). There is mostly light afterglow (a few seconds of clear/peaceful mind, especially if after some mental noise/chaos before); sometimes I realize later, perhaps later in the sit, or after the sit, that there is less tiredness, that some mind tigtness released, that there is equanimity around something which has been bothering me for hours before.

What comes right before "that" is not what I am skilled at observing: the mind falling into a kind of dreamy micro-revelation, where it seems to be totally united, but it is too short (perhaps 300ms?) and too direct to even say what the object is — mostly visual for me. The awareness is so united with the object that it ceases with it the next moment. In one retreat, I tried to pay attention more what the that looks like. The result was 3 categories. The discontinuity is either "freeze" type — like the image suddenly freezeing, then discontinuity, and after that, the frozen stays frozen and another mind-process takes over, underneath (attention stays with the frozen object for a little while and only catches up after a moment, when it realizes that things happen somewhere else). Or "zapping" type, when the thought/image process stutters, like being electrocuted, and disappears, with peace afterwards. Or "vortex" type, as if the image(&awareness) got sucked into a hole by a vortex (always to the left side, curiously) and disappears, with peace afterwards.

Traditional manuals describe the three doors in terms of how the rising-falling morphs into the cessation, I've never been able to observe it that way (I suspect those people had strong samatha capabilities, unlike me); Daniel also writes great deal about the microphenomenology. I also never had much high-level observations about how subject vs. field of experience reconstitute after the cessation (or similar), perhaps just some general sense of that. This indicates to me that some people have talent/training to see much much more there.
Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 2:26 PM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Thanks, now my understanding of your descriptions lines up with what I have read/heard from other people. As you said it's difficult to describe.

> although we could probably have a long and crazy discussion about just what "nothingness" means
That would probably be fun. I actually wanted to ask whether there is a discord or something associated with the community. It would be nice to have people to talk to over voice/video about different experiences/phenomenology/practice.
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Bardo, modified 1 Year ago at 5/7/23 4:18 AM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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That's a very interesting question. The experience of time passing by no longer occurs here, even in everyday life. Ironically, it had taken some time to get used to this, and I still haven't nailed it down! When I worked through the fetters, it was around the 6th & 7th fetters where time began to buckle, and when the eighth fetter went, by golly, all hell broke loose - literally! Lol

In Danial parlance, the 6th and 7th fetter would be in the region of a non-returner. Breaking the eighth opened up an incredible amount of restlessness, and since there was no longer a self to suppress unconscious material, whatever was left down there in the dark doldrums spilled over into my conscious mind. The heavens and hells danced and gyrated around each other, glorious that they'd been freed. Holding that was quite a challenge until it dissipated after several months. 

Anyway, time is a perceptual construct whereby a thought believes another thought. This happens with such regularity, one can not even discern the mechanism. Because thoughts create this relationship between each other, time is that sense that one is moving through a prevailing and personal experience made up of empty concepts looping back onto themselves - traditionally known as cause and effect, which are integral to the experience of time.

When this stops happening, time stops dead. I still use time. Sometimes my hand will lift upwards and point my wristwatch towards my eyes, but I have no idea why or how that happens. Things just seem to work without having to think about them.

I thought it would be helpful answering the question from a perspective other than cessation, which is a thought about another thought.
Stranger_Loop Stranger_Loop, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 2:26 PM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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Thanks, for the description.
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 2:56 PM
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RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

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This "frozen" effect you describe can be used to improve sensual perception and other aspects of efficiency of mind.

For simplicity I will focus on case of sensual perception which is easier to describe and how I figured this out but keep in mind what I describe can be used for other things like normal thinking too and generally improve memory.

Mind does processing of senses in pulses and  uses various resources for it. Pulse goes through part of mind which will normally light up in consciousness because each such part of mind is its own consciousness and then will blank for a while and be eventually reused some times until naturally get tired and if everything works correctly in the mind until such resource get really tired they will be replaced by other resources. (eg. those which have no idea what to do until they learn the drill if activity in question is relatively new to you)

By doing this freezing just after the processing pulse it will be impossible to use these resources to have them do another pulse which process sensory information so another resource has to be used. This will naturally lead to experience of mind "filling up". It can also be described as lighting up, literally consciousness is filled by all the consciousnesses which are frozen.

Each frozen part of mind if it can be experienced in consciousness means it has its own consciousness (its easy to deduce when there is a lot of similar consciousnesses at the same time breaking illusion of whatever we think mind is normally) and this imply that while these parts of mind cannot have pulses they are still accessible within consciousness. Now there is a kicker: it possible to learn to use information stored in them to construct much more detailed perception of whatever these frozen parts of mind are supposed to describe. It is also possible to have mind not trigger another pulses after adding another frozen part of mind to refine perception doesn't improve perception - in other words there is no change.

That last part should be pretty easy to do if you know how to freeze consciousnesses after they arise. Most of the functionality seems to be already there and should not need much practicing. Mind will aggregate similar consciousnesses and will reduce activity once adding another one doesn't do anything anymore. Once this happen the experience of world and mind is unlike anything else.

As for other 'doors' this post is already pretty long.
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 6:25 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 6:17 PM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

Posts: 5236 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
My experience is that while time (and space) is constructed it is primarily marked by the experience of change. As mind processes one experience after another in rapid succession, there is the perception of a flow, like the effect caused by watching a movie that is a series of still images that only appear to be moving.

​​​​​​​Time is a functional illusion. We have to be able to see time or we'd be royally screwed in survival terms. Same for space. These are necessary components of one side of the coin of human experience. It takes work, a serious process, or a crapload of luck to pierce the ignorance of habitual perception and see these relationships in the way of non-ignorance perception. And, of course, these two ways of experiencing the world are inseparable. 
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svmonk, modified 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 9:40 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/6/23 9:39 PM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

Posts: 401 Join Date: 8/23/14 Recent Posts
So my first and only experiences with cessation/path-fruit moments were during a retreat in LA with Shinzen Young in early 2015. Toward the end of the retreat, I was doing fast noting especially of Shinzen's "just note gone", both between sitting sessions and during, with the mind totally focused on the arising and passing away of sensations. During a late evening sitting near the end of the retreat, I sat down in my room for a 40 minute sittting and immediately dropped into cessation. All experience dropped away. At some point, I had an experience of seeing the Three Poisons (greed, hatred, and delusion) from outside, represented as three LA gangsters, and ... whoosh! ... experience was back. It was kind of like the mind was in nirvana (a pure realm) looking out on samsara before it plunged back in again. I don't know how long the experience lasted, I sat down with the intention to mediate for 40 minutes but had set no alarm. It was, however, still dark outside.

The initial experience was followed by an enormous upsurge of energy and positive feeling. In the next couple days, I had several short experiences of cessation, with noting gone, like when switching off a light. Experience would disappear, everything, all sensation and internal sensation like thinking, then snap back. But only for a moment. The way I could tell it was just a moment was because I was still standing looking at whatever I was looking at before the cessation of experience, had a memory of experience experience winking out, and there was a gap before experience rebooted. No continuity of memory between point A and point B.

After that, I dropped into some serious A&P craziness and basically gave up mediating at retreats. At the time, I though I had hit First Path, maybe I did, but the A&P craziness suggests maybe something else was going on. I'm not an expert on the maps and such.

Hope that helps.

          svm
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 5/7/23 2:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/7/23 2:44 AM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

Posts: 136 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
Thanks for this, beautiful. I seems not uncommon to have the first fruition extended (like you did; a friend of mine had something similar), and I would guess that it was only at the end that the "three poisons vision" appeared — but who can know. The afterglow definitely indicates fruition, just like repeated fruitions aftewards (the cooking process, review phase etc). The A&P craziness lines up with the theory as well: stream-entry is entry into the stream of things. While there might be a great relief (which will fade), there is also a permament baseline shift into less filtered experiencing, which has to include loss of control & chaos, instability and pain (3c). It is the stream which takes one to the full liberation (as the tradition says), and there is a lot of shit in there (as the tradition does not say much).

Bill Hamilton writes in Saints & Psychopaths:
I am not aware of any psychological tests that might support this, but the mind becomes more sensitive and changeable with each level of enlightenment. It would seem that this is partly a result of being able to let go of a mind state more quickly. If you are able to let go of one mind state, then almost instantly another mind state will arise. If this ability is combined with the ability to consciously perceive processes which were previously unconscious, then the mind becomes more volatile.
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 5/9/23 12:49 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/9/23 12:49 PM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

Posts: 136 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
Thank you, Ni Nurta. I sincerely hope I will be able to see experientially more of what you write. It resonates, especially the consciousnesses and pulses (I always found the Abhidhamma stance about one thing happening in one mind-moment a bit too sterile).
Eudoxos , modified 1 Year ago at 5/11/23 6:54 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 5/11/23 6:54 AM

RE: How do people notice the time without experience in cessations?

Posts: 136 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
My experience is that while time (and space) is constructed it is primarily marked by the experience of change.
This is what Arisotole said on the subject, in Physics IV, 11 (intriguing to realize the contemplative aspect in there, the whole part of Physics on time is interesting):
But neither does time exist without change; for when the state of our own minds does not change at all, or we have not noticed its changing, we do not realize that time has elapsed, any more than those who are fabled to sleep among the heroes in Sardinia do when they are awakened; for they connect the earlier 'now' with the later and make them one, cutting out the interval because of their failure to notice it. So, just as, if the 'now' were not different but one and the same, there would not have been time, so too when its difference escapes our notice the interval does not seem to be time. If, then, the non-realization of the existence of time happens to us when we do not distinguish any change, but the soul seems to stay in one indivisible state, and when we perceive and distinguish we say time has elapsed, evidently time is not independent of movement and change. It is evident, then, that time is neither movement nor independent of movement.
The last sentence could be perhaps paraphrased as: time is constructed from movement.

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