Was that it? (stream entry?)

Adam M, modified 9 Years ago.

Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 8 Join Date: 8/2/11 Recent Posts
I've been wobbling between Dark Night and Equanimity for a long time, recently felt like many times per day. Occasionally thought I had experienced formations in the past 4-6 weeks in my 30 minute morning meditation.

I resolved to Get It Done and began solo retreat yesterday morning.

Just had a new experience, which seems a lot like Stream Entry. These are the notes I wrote immediately afterward (about 30 minutes ago), describing the run-up and aftermath:

profound, broad awareness, near-perfect concentration

very familiar back and neck pain, sort-of-intense but almost no suffering

trying everthying to find formations/emptiness/three characteristics

looking for formations... found dream like and pyscadelic visions and fantasies of memory, love, power, defeat, failure... on and on instant after instant, all watched with awareness

realise these are impermanent, unsatisfactory, not the self - not truth i am looking for

look for what is missing

the watcher

not found in any sense or thought

look for in watcher every moment

cannot find

nothing to find

holy crap there is nothing!

relief, release, peace, quiet

desire to celebrate - usual vices (nicotine, caffine, alcholol) seem absurd

state of shock. little like afterglow of ecstacy (memories of misspend youth)

the moment seems inescapable


Now I've been reading threads here and "was that emptiness from MTCB", I'm not sure where I am. I feel tired, relieved, dazed, but somehow beyond a lot of bad thought-patterns that previously were relentless and inescapable.

Thoughts?

I have 2-3 days of solo retreat left, what should I do?
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Sounds promising, see how things play out over the coming weeks and if this new way of perceiving stays around. Stick with your retreat and stay present, if you've landed 1st path then you're in Review and there's a ton of stuff you can work on at this point like jhanas, calling up Fruition and loads of other cool things. If not, then at least you're not letting up and will be able to test more accurately how things might be different.
Adam M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 8 Join Date: 8/2/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Tommy, that was along the lines of what I was thinking.

Interesting postscript: knowing that jhanas are said to be much easier to attain after stream entry, I attempted to attain first jhana... Since accidentally and unknowingly stumbling into the dark night 9 months ago, I've found concentration meditation impossible - instead of focusing on the breath, I would instead reject the dark night, increasing my suffering. So my practice has been exclusively on broad-awareness for a while now.

So, I reclined and tried focusing purely on the breath for the first time in months. Initially found it very difficult, as I've been training myself to have a broad all-inclusive awareness at all times. So I thought "perhaps if I apply the same resolve to this as I did in my earlier (possible) stream-entering meditation" - then literally as soon as thought to myself "I resolve to attain first jhana", I was thrust into it... only for it to collapse a few moments later as I was so surprised.

Anyway, I'm exhausted so will go to sleep and continue my retreat tomorrow, attempting concentration meditation and jhana practice.

Not sure if this clarifies anything, or muddies the water, but thought it was fun and interesting.

Any other tests or experiments I can try?
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Dodge E Knees, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 71 Join Date: 9/25/11 Recent Posts
Hiya,

If you got SE, you should now be in review, and you should be able to repeat the experience ie have another fruition.

Try sitting down to meditate without any intention or manipulation. If you got 1st path you should start at the A&P, cycle through to EQ and have another fruition, ...enter the A&P....... repeat ad infinitum. That's the real test.

If not, you're nearly there, keep at it!
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Thom W, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 63 Join Date: 12/31/10 Recent Posts
Dodge E Knees:
Try sitting down to meditate without any intention or manipulation.


This would be my advice too. Don't try and do anything, don't try to attain to jhana, don't get lost in self-diagnosis, just sit and enjoy the process. The process ain't anything to do with you, so you can relax and let it do its thing. emoticon

If you did hit SE then another fruition will occur, right when it's supposed to occur, if you let it occur, without trying to force it.

The same with jhana - jhana will may well arise, and arise effortlessly. Or they may not. Jhana access is not something that will help too much in diagnosing SE, unless you start getting pulled into absorptions in ways that seems rather discontinuous with your previous abilities. But even then it's not a given. Some people find they have formless access after SE. It wasn't the case for me. I just kept sitting and things moved along just in the way they needed to.

My review period was incredibly short, just a few days before I shot straight through another A&P into the dark night of 2nd path. These things tend to vary a lot, so don't be hanging your hat just yet...enjoy the ride! Don't try to manipulate it!

Best,

Thom
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Daniel Johnson, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Stream entry or not, keep going. Give your retreat full attention. You can figure out the details later, and even if it's stream entry, there's still plenty more work to be done, yeah?
Adam M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 8 Join Date: 8/2/11 Recent Posts
Thank you all very much for your help and support, in this thread and all your efforts in DhO - has been an invaluable resource to me. Us lurkers may not contribute much, but we're out there, learning, practicing and appreciating this forum. Special thanks for those in this thread in this utterly unusual time in my life.

It has been about a week since my possible-SE event. Report so far:
- I feel fundamentally different, changed, in a way I cannot remember ever occurring before. This is a very big deal for me... yet it is hard to point to specific things or provide evidence which is not purely subjective.
- I still suffer, I still fuck up, I still drink (I drank a lot before).
- I semi-spontaneously gave up smoking (after resolving to after the event) - and to my partial astonishment it seems to be working, with surprisingly little suffering.
- I don't want to *explicitly* meditate. It seems wrong to do anything other than just be...
- When I do nothing in particular, I default to something like insight meditation... choiceless awareness, whatever. This is very very awesome.
- Something like Review seems to be occurring - I build up to spontaneous A&P like events several times a day (e.g. on train, focusing on work etc.), which seem to be closely followed by dissolution, dark night shit etc. Though this is all very unclear to me, and I worry I am scripting.
- No fruitions to be seen. I don't know what a fruition is, or how to recognize one.
- Mindfulness/equanimity in everyday life is totally different. I suffer, I see the suffering, I see the resistance to suffering. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes I just keep watching it. But I can see, clearly, that it is not me, its just something I do.
- As a former misanthrope, my metta has spontaneously jumped (relatively) through the roof. I am very happy about this.
- I feel like a line in the sand has been drawn - before and after that day.
- Mindfulness seems inescapable, even when I feel terrible. For this I am ecstatically happy

My diagnosis: Stream Entry.

Would very much appreciate any and all thoughts on where I am at, and what I should practice. Especially if I am deluding myself in any way.

Metta

P.S. any guidance on post-SE stuff would be very welcome. What is second path, what is it like? How to optimize for it? How do to know it has begun? What am I in for if that is the case...?
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Eric Bause, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Was that it? (stream entry?)

Posts: 186 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Adam M:
Thank you all very much for your help and support, in this thread and all your efforts in DhO - has been an invaluable resource to me. Us lurkers may not contribute much, but we're out there, learning, practicing and appreciating this forum. Special thanks for those in this thread in this utterly unusual time in my life.

It has been about a week since my possible-SE event. Report so far:
- I feel fundamentally different, changed, in a way I cannot remember ever occurring before. This is a very big deal for me... yet it is hard to point to specific things or provide evidence which is not purely subjective.
- I still suffer, I still fuck up, I still drink (I drank a lot before).
- I semi-spontaneously gave up smoking (after resolving to after the event) - and to my partial astonishment it seems to be working, with surprisingly little suffering.
- I don't want to *explicitly* meditate. It seems wrong to do anything other than just be...
- When I do nothing in particular, I default to something like insight meditation... choiceless awareness, whatever. This is very very awesome.
- Something like Review seems to be occurring - I build up to spontaneous A&P like events several times a day (e.g. on train, focusing on work etc.), which seem to be closely followed by dissolution, dark night shit etc. Though this is all very unclear to me, and I worry I am scripting.
- No fruitions to be seen. I don't know what a fruition is, or how to recognize one.
- Mindfulness/equanimity in everyday life is totally different. I suffer, I see the suffering, I see the resistance to suffering. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes I just keep watching it. But I can see, clearly, that it is not me, its just something I do.
- As a former misanthrope, my metta has spontaneously jumped (relatively) through the roof. I am very happy about this.
- I feel like a line in the sand has been drawn - before and after that day.
- Mindfulness seems inescapable, even when I feel terrible. For this I am ecstatically happy

My diagnosis: Stream Entry.

Would very much appreciate any and all thoughts on where I am at, and what I should practice. Especially if I am deluding myself in any way.

Metta

P.S. any guidance on post-SE stuff would be very welcome. What is second path, what is it like? How to optimize for it? How do to know it has begun? What am I in for if that is the case...?


Hi Adam,

I'm in a similar situation. I had the first "event" after waking up to take some antacid at 2:15AM on 12/27. After I laid back down there was a quick build up to it, and it seemed to come in 3 waves. The next day I went over the MCTB "Was that emptiness" checklist and came up with a lot of "maybes", but no "nos". It seemed there was a discontinuity, so I decided it was a fruition. Since then it's happened four more time, the most recent being Fri 1/6 at the breakfast table after sitting for 45 minutes. Now during this last one there did seem to be a thread of continuity that ran through it, so at that point I decided they were were all A&Ps instead of fruitions. However, I've never had anything resembling a flurry of A&Ps pop like this before.

But over the last week I have noticed, as you have cited above, my default state is choicless awareness. I don't have to tune into it or look for it; it's just there. My general level of mental chatter is way down too; thing are very quiet. Keeping the mind where it's directed is easier on and off the cushion. This makes me lean toward stream entry.

I had access to jhanas before any of this happened. I had made some good progress with that using the KFD jhanic arc practice. I'd gotten up to 5th seferal times. Since the "event(s)", 1st and 2nd seem deeper/harder, but they have tended in that direction as time passes anyway. I can't just advert to any one I choose; to get to 3rd I still have to get to 1st then go through 2nd. I don't seem to be cycling, which is something I do have some experience in from the KFD jhanic arc practice as well, so I should be able to pick up some signs of cycling if it's happening. I've tried just sitting and going up the jhanic arc, but don't get a fruition in equanimity and then re-emerge at the A&P; instead I fall back down in reverse through the dukha nanas. If the things above I'm now calling A&Ps are not fruitions, then I'm not having fruitions (I've tried just calling fruitions up to no avail).

The misanthrope yielding to some metta you mention is also something I've noticed while walking around, which is is very out of character for me.

So at this moment as I read what I have just typed here, I'm leaning toward my being in some new deeper level of equanimity I haven't tasted before, as opposed to stream entry. It's still relatively early--something could yet happen today that would make me change my mind again.

I hope this has been of some help. Thanks for listening. Any and all comments will be appreciated.

Eric

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