Where am I on my journey, according to maps?

Impermanent Dude, modified 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 12:04 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 12:00 PM

Where am I on my journey, according to maps?

Post: 1 Join Date: 6/1/23 Recent Posts
Hello there,

​​​​​​​I've been on the "spiritual path" for around 7 years and would love to know, based on my experiences and insights, where I might be on the path - also considering map theory - and helpful advice on how to move from here. ​​​​​​​
My road has been paved with quite unusual phenomena happening, which I am sharing below because I depict some sense of meaning in it, which might provide value to understand where I am and how to move forward.

2016-2017: PRACTICE: Started practicing breathing meditation regularly, ranging from 15 minutes initially to 1 hour per day.
RELEVANT INSIGHTS & EXPERIENCES: Started observing the mind, which gave me very interesting insights into the 'why' of some beliefs and how they dissolve themselves. Accessed the first Jhana (deep absorption with ecstatic feeling akin to a "mental orgasm").

PRACTICE: Did three 10-day Goenka Vipassana retreats and sustained practice of 1-2 hours per day.

  • During the second retreat, I experienced a lot of 'gross' sensations in the stomach area that I couldn't logically explain. It was overall quite a challenging retreat. Aversion subsided days later after finding out about the terminal illness of a close family member. I took it as being aligned with the pain that persisted during the retreat, which subsided and I believed made sense of its cause.
  • As I continued with the meditation practice, I progressively felt anhedonia and slight dissociation, as well as a slight addiction to the practice. I occasionally slipped into the second Jhana. (QUESTION: Can these symptoms be correlated with the Knowledge of Suffering Stages?)
  • Ayahuasca experience: I went with the purpose of knowing who I am. The hallucinogenic coupled with spontaneous mindfulness caused a sublime experience of unity and a more profound understanding of duality. (In retrospect, this description fits the A&P)
  • During the third retreat, I continuously observed sensations to the point where most of the body was subtle vibrations sublimely flowing. On the 7th day, the mind "materialized" the phenomena that was rising through a past/parallel life dream. The main theme of the dream was that by finding myself, who I was, 'I' would cease to exist, and thus present and parallel lives would "dissolve". (I took this as a hint towards Awakening/Stream Entry)

  • Growing addiction to spirituality/growing dissociation
  • Second Ayahuasca experience. Couldn't let go of control during the experience. Experienced what was clinically termed as psychosis. Started antipsychotic medicine. Stopped meditation altogether.
Removed medicine on doctor's prescription. Strong and profound energetic phenomena and insights started to arise, including:

  • An experience of melting of external and internal realities, thus remaining in complete emptiness (no mind, no thoughts, "no experience"). It felt/looked like complete/absolute stillness, and perceiving the buzz in your ears was actually the vibration of the universe.
  • Experience of perceiving other sentient beings
  • Precognition of important events concerning my life.
  • An awareness and knowing that everything is all right all the time, just come back to the present moment.
  • These insights helped me feel very fulfilled, and thus redirecting my sense of achievement towards service.
Although very powerful insights were experienced, these phenomena were intense to the point that I returned to antipsychotic medicine.


  • No meditation. I do praying.
  • I continue to take medication, for the time being.
  • I have spontaneous insights (understanding the root causes of things, seeing myself from the outside), and spontaneous "magical" phenomena, although not as strong (in a way, more mature)
Now, if you ask me, I know that there is no "me" in control (although I deal with doubt in quotidian decisions very often). And I recognize there is a fluidity, a continuum through moments that is always accessible in the present, which is congruent with the knowing that all is ephemeral. I would not say that life is suffering, but I would state that when you dance with life and get "invested" in its spins and turns, you inevitably lose the peace that is inherent to your being or cleansed mind.

I know that taking a perspective of achievement might not be wholly beneficial to myself. But I'm damn curious to know if it's just this or something more I'm missing? (Stream Entry? Enlightenment? When people talk about the shift that happens when they enter the stream, might it be something different?)My life has changed quite a lot in these years.

I feel a higher sense of purpose, a strong inner faith and confidence, and a great sense of completion and achievement. My goals now are more aligned with service to others nowadays and restoring my full health. My everyday challenges continue being pretty trivial, although I know I can come back to this peace, which is present in each moment.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I appreciate you taking the time to read this!
Aeon , modified 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 4:03 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 4:03 PM

RE: Where am I on my journey, according to maps?

Posts: 213 Join Date: 1/31/23 Recent Posts
Can these symptoms be correlated with the Knowledge of Suffering Stages?

Could sound like the "Dissolution" stage. Read more in MCTB2.

A lot of the other things you mention sound like kundalini awakening. If this resonates with you, Tara Springett might clarify what you are going through.
shargrol, modified 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 6:06 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 6:03 PM

RE: Where am I on my journey, according to maps?

Posts: 2123 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Well, you've gone through A&P and have had times of being a dark night yogi most likely. But beyond that, it really takes regular meditation practice to be able to apply maps in a meaningful way. That's the honest answer.

Being healthy is the main thing worth focusing on, I would say. It's always possible to push beyond health and have lots of wow! experiences but basic health and basic sanity is really a much better goal.

Usually the quest for spiritual experiences is a way of trying to offset some other life problems (work, family, relationships, money, etc.) --- at least, I'll own that and say that it was true for me.

When there is a basic health/sanity and people settle into regular daily meditation practice and wise use of retreats, then things can happen rather quickly and more specific mapping makes more sense. 

Hope this is helpful in some way, but feel free to disregard. 
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 7:17 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 6/6/23 7:17 PM

RE: Where am I on my journey, according to maps?

Posts: 616 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
This is a good description of your path and where you are now. It seems that you have seen and understood a lot and have found how to put that understanding to good use for yourself and others. It could be the case, and it in fact probably is the case, that what you described lines up with a particular stage, or path, or nana, or fetter, or ox herding picture, but I doubt that pointing to the name of that map location would provide more information than the description you have so clearly set forth already. 

What people are pointing to when they describe their situation in terms of a map position varies widely and the developments that follow for them are also very diverse. But a person in your position, who knows where they have been and can see what is going on, no matter what the name of that location on a map might be, is well placed to live skillfully. It sounds like you are where you want to be, and don't feel driven to get to some other destination. That sounds like a great place to be, no matter what the address.