Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Sean ', modified 4 Months ago at 12/8/23 8:10 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 12/8/23 8:10 PM

Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 7 Join Date: 5/26/19 Recent Posts
So, I believe I attained stream entry a little over 5 weeks ago (10/29). I believe this because I for the month prior I had what seemed to be my 2nd A&P experience (pretty mild compared to the first time), followed by weeks with an apparent loss of concentration, feelings of helplessness, sadness, frustration, etc, and then 2-3 days feeling like I had reached equanimity. I hardly felt like I had really settled into equanimity at all when there were 3-4 very quick strobes/flickers and a "whoosh" sort of zoomy feeling, and then feeling of suddenly arriving on the other side of it with a clear sense of having completed the thing I had been working through, w/ the afterglow of feelings of gratitude and awe that lasted maybe a minute at most. It was also a tad unsettling feeling and gave me some bit of fear that I had to work through after.

However, I can only point to one time since then where I am confident I have been able to repeat a fruition (while sober...). On that occasion, the fruition felt a lot lighter and nice, like a very soft flicker and there was maybe 30 seconds of bliss after. Both of these times I have no idea what I did to get there, and every sit now I feel like I just go from A&P through a dark night for maybe 15 minutes at most and then I just spend a long time floundering around in some sort of unstable equanimity where I just find my mind constantly trying to strategize to make the fruition happen, or if I can get past all the expectation, I just find myself sitting for long periods not doing anything, and getting what I assume are "near-misses"(? my head will fall toward my knees as if I got punched in the stomach suddenly) but no fruition as far as I can tell.

Now, when I took LSD one day (about a week ago), I naturally was able to go from A&P through dark night to equanimity and get a fruition many times very easily within about 25 minutes, pretty reliably, and it was all very clear phenomoenlogically. So I am left in a place where I have very little doubts about what I have acheived, but don't know how to deepen it in Review.

My current practice: about 1-2 hours a day at home in the evenings. I usually make a resolve to experience a cessation, and then completely let it go and surrender to whatever is happening, staying with the experiences without grasping them. I will note on occasion, but really I just sit and remain awake and alert and allow the stages to roll through. That seems to works just fine until equanimity, where after awhile I eventually have to call it quits and move on with my evening.

I have read that Review often lasts for a month or two... am I "out of time" in terms of nailing down Review? Has anyone else had an experience like mine where repeating fruitions just feels like a waiting game that isn't really going anywhere? Can you offer any practice advice?

​​​​​​​Thanks!
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 4 Months ago at 12/9/23 6:10 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 12/9/23 6:10 AM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 366 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I can't diagnose you because I'm not a stream enterer, but it does sound very promising from the description! I want to wish you a perhaps presumptuous congratulations! ;)
shargrol, modified 4 Months ago at 12/9/23 8:10 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 12/9/23 8:10 AM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 2410 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Has potential for SE, but honesty could also be a near misses so continuing with consistent practice doesn't have a downside. 

I would actually suggest resolving to fully/completely experience the nanas themselves and make that your focus now. That way you'll be refining whatever insights you had about A&P, dissolution, fear, misery, disgust, desire for deliverance, equanimity, (and cessation). And if it is the case that it wasn't SE, you'll continuing to be developing a full understanding of the nanas...

Usually things don't move onward until the lessons are fully learned. So in a way, nothing really changes in review, you just re-experience review until it's bone-deep understanding and things naturally move on. 
Sean ', modified 4 Months ago at 12/14/23 1:50 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 12/14/23 1:50 PM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 7 Join Date: 5/26/19 Recent Posts
Thanks for the advice, I have taken it and it has brought more of the curiosity back into my sits and has helped keep me honest about what is happening rather than trying to subtly manufacture states that seem conducive to having fruitions occur. I do feel like I could use more time learning some lessons, especially with regard to the equanimity nana, which feels oddly mysterious to me at the moment. Mostly just wanted to say thanks for the advice (and the presumptious congrats!) but here's a brief update:

Sits over the past week have seemed to involve less cyling from A&P through the dark night at the start than they had been over the last several weeks. Now I usually just start in some sort of equanimity, however I have started to notice some more subtle tensions than in previous sits in this territory, including persistent feelings of trying to control things, tensions in my chest, and some odd slightly-pleasant pressure in my forehead or sinus area that can get pretty pronounced. Noticing these things have made me want to start narrowing attention again to penetrate them, while I also recognize the sensations themselves don't really "mess up" the state of equanimity. At the moment I have stopped trying to get fruitions and am just playing around with this tension between the two intuitions to "just sit" or to focus up and try to see things more "clearly". I some ways it seems like a somewhat false distinction, as just sitting seems to have this momentum where investigation seems to happen pretty strongly on its own, but I am playing with both. No fruitions lately as far as I can tell, but similar-seeming moments of mini releases where things flicker in a hazy kind of way and some tensions seem to dissolve.

​​​​​​​Right after I thought I got stream entry, I had the feeling of wanting to stop practicing and just chill out, but there's some sort of odd momentum that keeps me coming back, so I'm hoping that things will keep progressing on their own if I just trust in my intuition... No real question at the end of this, just rambling I suppose.
shargrol, modified 4 Months ago at 12/14/23 3:20 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 12/14/23 3:18 PM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 2410 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Sounds really good. Yes, definitely keep using intuition and keep sitting... and things will definitely progress. 

As always, if you are in an EQ state, things like meditation mapping thoughts, judgement thoughts, strategizing thoughts, predicting-the-future thoughts, etc. etc. are all things to note/notice. You are not your thoughts. Note/notice things like calm, peace, space, ease, relaxation, etc. are states that show up as a combination of sensations and mood/emotions. You are not sensations or emotions. Anything that can be noticed is not you, so what are you? What is having this meditation experience? This isn't a question to "figure out" but rather a kind of general questioning attitude. (If you were a hippie, I would say "groove on that question dude!" emoticon )

Lots of interesting things happen as we get close to path moments. We can be shot back to a very clear/equanimous version of the A&P complete with a very SE-like "unknowing event", we can go back to the opioid-like chill of disolution, we can drop into a deep nearly formless concentration states, we can have a kind of shutting-down event ("a brownout"), we can have momentary drop outs ("a blackout"), and other sorts of near-miss experiences.  That's why it's always best to keep a consistent daily practice going, even if we think we "got it". 

And if you "got it", then keeping a consistent daily practice will ensure you get the most wisdom out of the review, so there is no downside! emoticon
Sean ', modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 2:49 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 2:49 PM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 7 Join Date: 5/26/19 Recent Posts
Thought I would pop in for a brief update. In the past many weeks I have had many experiences that seem at least similar to cessation, though with varying degrees of "completeness" (in multiple senses of the word). I have noticed they can vary in how much of the sense field shuts down, and can vary in their felt sense of completeness or satisfaction in the wake of it. For instance, I often notice that transitioning into equanimity will have some sort of a blackout type moment, but it doesn't really have any sense of discontinuity, and the felt sense that there is more to be done remains. Within equanimity there will be similar sorts of flickers/flashes that vary in these senses of completeness. After experiencing many of these, I have stopped paying much attention to them. I do think I may have experienced a handful of cessations since my last post, with the sort of refreshed rebooting feeling for maybe a minute after and then the onset of dark night stuff a few hours after. However, I am not certain about which experiences are true cessations, and I am less and less interested in figuring it out honestly.

Beyond that, I have a had a few difficult sits in dark nights, with different aspects predominating each time. I have also had this pressure in my head and sinsuses coming and going, sometimes getting pretty painful. I am also seeing less obvious cycling now, or at least it is less predictable. Along with this, sometimes sits are a joy and roll along naturally, and sometimes it will feel like I am backsliding majorly with little momentum or concentration. It feels like my experience is trying to throw every sort of permutation at me so that I can let go of my attachment to it. Whether I am pre or post path it is hard to say, now that I am relying on old memories of past experiences and how I used to be. Thankfully, I feel like I'm slowly being drawn more toward the present moment than toward the stories about the maps. 
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 2/8/24 9:32 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/8/24 9:32 PM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 1689 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Sean M
So, I believe I attained stream entry a little over 5 weeks ago (10/29). I believe this because I for the month prior I had what seemed to be my 2nd A&P experience (pretty mild compared to the first time), followed by weeks with an apparent loss of concentration, feelings of helplessness, sadness, frustration, etc, and then 2-3 days feeling like I had reached equanimity. I hardly felt like I had really settled into equanimity at all when there were 3-4 very quick strobes/flickers and a "whoosh" sort of zoomy feeling, and then feeling of suddenly arriving on the other side of it with a clear sense of having completed the thing I had been working through, w/ the afterglow of feelings of gratitude and awe that lasted maybe a minute at most. It was also a tad unsettling feeling and gave me some bit of fear that I had to work through after.

However, I can only point to one time since then where I am confident I have been able to repeat a fruition (while sober...). On that occasion, the fruition felt a lot lighter and nice, like a very soft flicker and there was maybe 30 seconds of bliss after. Both of these times I have no idea what I did to get there, and every sit now I feel like I just go from A&P through a dark night for maybe 15 minutes at most and then I just spend a long time floundering around in some sort of unstable equanimity where I just find my mind constantly trying to strategize to make the fruition happen, or if I can get past all the expectation, I just find myself sitting for long periods not doing anything, and getting what I assume are "near-misses"(? my head will fall toward my knees as if I got punched in the stomach suddenly) but no fruition as far as I can tell.

Now, when I took LSD one day (about a week ago), I naturally was able to go from A&P through dark night to equanimity and get a fruition many times very easily within about 25 minutes, pretty reliably, and it was all very clear phenomoenlogically. So I am left in a place where I have very little doubts about what I have acheived, but don't know how to deepen it in Review.

My current practice: about 1-2 hours a day at home in the evenings. I usually make a resolve to experience a cessation, and then completely let it go and surrender to whatever is happening, staying with the experiences without grasping them. I will note on occasion, but really I just sit and remain awake and alert and allow the stages to roll through. That seems to works just fine until equanimity, where after awhile I eventually have to call it quits and move on with my evening.

I have read that Review often lasts for a month or two... am I "out of time" in terms of nailing down Review? Has anyone else had an experience like mine where repeating fruitions just feels like a waiting game that isn't really going anywhere? Can you offer any practice advice?

​​​​​​​Thanks!
Wait a bit.
You are using the standard VOCABULARY without descriptions first hand, makes me think you might be full of BS.
So you have 7 posts? Great!!! welcome. Oh and somehow you know the words but just pop out of nowhere and only focus on cessations?
I would say that if you got something, you might know that you got something.
Proof by parroting cessation/fruit-loops (follow your nose, it always knows) emoticon emoticon emoticon
That ain't really important proof to whom? Or is it? Got something? Does it go away? then keep looking for the flavor of fruit.
LSD!!! WOOP!!!! 25 minutes!!! FRUITOPIA!!!
Deepen? IT? in review? (sigh)
Maybe detail your practice history a bit - 

  1. Type of practice
  2. quality- as you measure it
  3. Time
  4. changes over time
  5. blah blah blah
I got no advice, sorry.
Good Luck,
​​​​​​​~D
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 2/9/24 4:50 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/9/24 4:50 AM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 465 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
+1

Yeah, easiest way for us to help is if you keep a regular log of your practice with rich phenomenological detail where possible. 

It's fine to come to know cessations and Nana's through experience and repetition. You really don't need to know. 

​​​​​​​Like I said, easier to diagnose stuff if you log sits. 
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/9/24 5:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/9/24 5:38 AM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 2410 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Sean M

It feels like my experience is trying to throw every sort of permutation at me so that I can let go of my attachment to it.  

!!!   Well said   !!!

This is exactly what happens in practice. The self/ego/pride keeps looking for something to elevate and identify with, weird events seem to come out of the blue, lots of thinking and analysis can occur... But all of this, the experiences or the thinking, are just more experiences or thinking. If you fall for the bait, you bite and get hooked and you stop making progress.

What meditation gives us is not "an experience which makes things better" but rather "an attitude toward experiences that doesn't make things worse" emoticon  --- and that attitude is one of intimate direct experiencing yet not clinging. Or "presence", so to speak.

Sounds like you are really exploring your sits and learning a lot about how the mind works --- perfect.

Yeah, it is really interesting the number of experiences that are cessation like (vague spacing out, sleepy nod offs, a kind of shuttting down slowly, a partial quick shutting down, a few seconds of being distracted). These things happen in various nanas before EQ and they can happen A LOT within EQ.  I would say it's reasonable to have about 100 near misses before SE for some/most people. These too are like bait with a hook, it's okay to nibble but don't swallow!

Consistent daily non-heroic practice is the only answer.

If you want more specific advice, it can be good to post about the sensations, emotions, and thoughts you have while sitting and whether you are "noting/noticing" them as sensations, emotions, and thoughts as they happen. Sometimes it's easy to over look an aspect of experience and forget to objectify/disembed from it and instead unconsciously identify with it.

Hope this is helpful. It's important to know that there is nothing you can really do to make SE happen. It has to happen on its own, but consistent daily non-heroic practice and wise use of retreats can increase the odds.
Robert Lydon, modified 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 10:00 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 3/3/24 10:00 PM

RE: Frustration in Review - Repeating Fruitions

Posts: 77 Join Date: 6/19/23 Recent Posts
Agreed shargrol. 

I think it is best not to assess where you have popped out but to rest in the conditions that brought you there. True for all experiences, SE or not. Best default tactic?

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