shift

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Mike Knapp, modified 9 Years ago.

shift

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
In keeping with the theme of this category ("what was that"), I posit that question here.

I last mediated two days ago. During that meditation I experienced some strange physical sensations - non-linear pulsing pleasure in body, lots of static-like sensations, some kind of sexual stuff, and some strobe-light effects (though my eyes were closed). I came out of it feeling spacey and irritable - and I've continued to feel that way since.

My meditation session today began with the focus on the breath. I still felt disoriented and a little edgy since my last session. My attention became fairly stable though and I was following the breath "well" pretty quickly. A sensation of pressure began to build between my eyebrows and I shifted my attention to that sensation, trying to perceive the oscillations between actual physical experience of the sensation and the mental perception of that experience. During this period I was still experiencing jagged discursive thought.

Then a membrane sort of gave-way (is the best way I can describe it). All of a sudden I was experiencing a very different mental space. My discursive thoughts stopped and things got real quiet upstairs. The edginess I've been experiencing for the last few days was gone. I could hear the air-purifier that was running in the room very clearly and there was a sort of spaciousness to my mental space. Thoughts still came, but it they would just barely begin to form - as in part of a word, part of a concept or picture - before I was immediately observing it and it would would dissolve almost as immediately. I did this practice for a while and it was a lot like popping soap bubbles as they floated through the air.

So, my fellows. Where the heck was I and what was that??
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: shift

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Mike Knapp:
In keeping with the theme of this category ("what was that"), I posit that question here.
I last mediated two days ago. During that meditation I experienced some strange physical sensations - non-linear pulsing pleasure in body, lots of static-like sensations, some kind of sexual stuff, and some strobe-light effects (though my eyes were closed). I came out of it feeling spacey and irritable - and I've continued to feel that way since.


Sounds like the 4th nana of AP moving into dukkha territory.

My meditation session today began with the focus on the breath. I still felt disoriented and a little edgy since my last session. My attention became fairly stable though and I was following the breath "well" pretty quickly. A sensation of pressure began to build between my eyebrows and I shifted my attention to that sensation, trying to perceive the oscillations between actual physical experience of the sensation and the mental perception of that experience. During this period I was still experiencing jagged discursive thought.


"Edgy" and jagged discursive thought sounds like entry into the dukkha nanas.

Then a membrane sort of gave-way (is the best way I can describe it). All of a sudden I was experiencing a very different mental space. My discursive thoughts stopped and things got real quiet upstairs. The edginess I've been experiencing for the last few days was gone. I could hear the air-purifier that was running in the room very clearly and there was a sort of spaciousness to my mental space. Thoughts still came, but it they would just barely begin to form - as in part of a word, part of a concept or picture - before I was immediately observing it and it would would dissolve almost as immediately. I did this practice for a while and it was a lot like popping soap bubbles as they floated through the air.


What is a 'membrane' in this context? Can you try and explain it a bit more? An entrance into a more relaxed edgy-free, quiet upstairs, spacious mental space sounds like entrance into the 11th nana of equanimity of formations.

Is this the 1st time this has happened? Can you repeat this sequence? If I were you I would sit more and get back to the 'spaciousness' and let the viewpoint become panoramic taking in the whole of the head and chest, observing the whole field of experiecne there, noticing thoughts, moods, mental movements of any kind, felt sense of self, etc and allow things to just arise and pass. Are you noting? What are your objectives?

Nick
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Mike Knapp, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: shift

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
Hi Nick,

First off, thanks for replying. Your comments and guidance are much appreciated. I'm very new to the insight maps - they appear useful, I'm just not terribly clear on how to locate my position in them and how to use them to navigate my practice.

You mentioned that it sounds like I was "in the 4th nana of AP moving into dukka territory" and you also mentioned the 11th nana of equanimity of formations. Could you talk a little more about those? The links on DhO aren't up yet for some of this information and though I have MCTB (amazing book) I'm still having trouble delineating the landscape I'm dealing with.

You also asked me to expand on what I meant when I said "a membrane gave way." So here goes: what I meant was that in a sudden sort of a way my experience of consciousness expanded from a more forced narrow-focus on the object of the meditation to a wider, more effortless focus that included the meditation object (still) but also included a whole lot more (me, mind, me observing mind, my surroundings, me observing my surroundings, and me observing myself observing). The shift between these two perspectives was quite sudden - as if I was observing something very close-up and was suddenly yanked a few steps back from it. That's what I meant - does this help?

This was the first time this has happened to me. I've duplicated it each time I've meditated since then - each time the suddenness and shock of the change in focus was less intense until the last time it was more of a sliding-type sensation, with my focus just sort of settling into a much wider, spacious perspective. Also the fluttery-light-stuff has reduced considerably.

Once my focus has shifted each time I've followed your advice by letting "the viewpoint become panoramic taking in the whole of the head and chest, observing the whole field of experience there, noticing thoughts, moods, mental movements of any kind, felt sense of self, etc and allow things to just arise and pass." This has proved pretty difficult as these objects are a little slippery.

Right now my practice is just trying to observe the mental and physical phenomena that present and trying to clearly experience the Three Characteristics.

I guess my objective is to progress through the stages of insight - is that what you meant by "objective?"

Again, Nick, thanks for responding. I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: shift

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Mike Knapp:
Hi Nick,
First off, thanks for replying. Your comments and guidance are much appreciated. I'm very new to the insight maps - they appear useful, I'm just not terribly clear on how to locate my position in them and how to use them to navigate my practice.

You mentioned that it sounds like I was "in the 4th nana of AP moving into dukka territory" and you also mentioned the 11th nana of equanimity of formations. Could you talk a little more about those? The links on DhO aren't up yet for some of this information and though I have MCTB (amazing book) I'm still having trouble delineating the landscape I'm dealing with.


Emphasis on 'sounds'. I could be wrong. It would be good if you could perhaps record some of your practice here over a period so we could perhaps see more patterns. I was giving rough estimates on very little data. It would be best to read the chapters in MCTB on the nanas and see what resonates at all.

You also asked me to expand on what I meant when I said "a membrane gave way." So here goes: what I meant was that in a sudden sort of a way my experience of consciousness expanded from a more forced narrow-focus on the object of the meditation to a wider, more effortless focus that included the meditation object (still) but also included a whole lot more (me, mind, me observing mind, my surroundings, me observing my surroundings, and me observing myself observing). The shift between these two perspectives was quite sudden - as if I was observing something very close-up and was suddenly yanked a few steps back from it. That's what I meant - does this help?


It sounds like a transition from one nana to another. It 'could' be from 3rd nana to 4th nana or it could be from 10th nana to 11th nana. More info is needed though. Not knowing your practice history nor how often this is occuring in your practice, I can't really be 100% sure.

This was the first time this has happened to me. I've duplicated it each time I've meditated since then - each time the suddenness and shock of the change in focus was less intense until the last time it was more of a sliding-type sensation, with my focus just sort of settling into a much wider, spacious perspective. Also the fluttery-light-stuff has reduced considerably.


Ah, ok. So see if you can't record some of your practice here over a week or so and lets see if there is more of a pattern. It will be a lot clearer like so. Keep your descriptions as phenomenological as possible like you are already doing.

Once my focus has shifted each time I've followed your advice by letting "the viewpoint become panoramic taking in the whole of the head and chest, observing the whole field of experience there, noticing thoughts, moods, mental movements of any kind, felt sense of self, etc and allow things to just arise and pass." This has proved pretty difficult as these objects are a little slippery.


Ok. If it poves too difficult just relax the attention a little. Read this and apply it to those situations when they arise allowing the attention to open up and out by itself. If there is tension in the way you are paying attention and resulting frustration, just simply remember the info in the link. Tell me how it goes.

Right now my practice is just trying to observe the mental and physical phenomena that present and trying to clearly experience the Three Characteristics.


If you pay attention to phenomena as explained in the link with just the simple notion in the forefront of the mind that phenomena of mind and body never stays still not even for a split second, and/or with the notion in the forefront of the mind that phenomena is arising and passing without any help from 'me' then things will become much clearer by themselves.

I guess my objective is to progress through the stages of insight - is that what you meant by "objective?"


Yes.

Again, Nick, thanks for responding. I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say.


Let us know how it goes.
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Mike Knapp, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: shift

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
Good link, Nick. Thank you. I'll continue practicing bearing that advice (as well as yours) in mind.

As far as keeping a "record" of my practice - what do you mean, like regular posts?

I have really appreciated your attention, Nick. Thanks!
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: shift

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Mike Knapp:

As far as keeping a "record" of my practice - what do you mean, like regular posts?


Hi Mike,

If you wish for a more accurate diagnosis, more info is needed about your practice and what is going on in it over a period of time. Patterns begin to surface with more data. This is only if you wish for a more accurate diagnosis by yogis here.

Nick
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Mike Knapp, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: shift

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
Gotchya and will do. Thanks, Nick!