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Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/20/12 8:38 AM
Start here, please.

Now I'm doing some weird things. Hadn't felt misery before, but just went through it, it was rough for 10 minutes or so, and now it seems to have returned to equanimity, or something like it (which seems to be my base state at the moment). I definitely can't cycle it at will like I could yesterday, but is it possible to beat misery/disgust to the punch and then just cycle through them later? I feel fine now. I think I'll just be waiting this one out, but would love some feedback from some of you smart folks. Now I'm about 80% sure I screwed up, and 20% sure I got it. My how the mighty fall.

Thanks for your help.

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/20/12 9:11 AM as a reply to Eric O.
Ok, things are strange. I feel both equanimity now as well as a new sensation of shaking that's causing some new fear. Is it possible to be both equanimus about some aspects of reality, but not others? I'm afraid I've really screwed myself up by jumping the gun. Or possibly I just need to allow the remaining nanas to manifest and get a second fruition? Has anyone heard of this happening before. I'm seriously feeling sensations of fear and misery, and can almost jump up into equanimity at some point. Should I try and get a second fruition at this point, or just let the cards play out?

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/20/12 9:25 AM as a reply to Eric O.
Yes. It's pretty clear now. I can get the visual fields of equanimity, but still have fear. Lots of it. Not sure how to proceed...I'm going to take a break, because I don't want to get too far ahead without some more advice.

Need help BIGTIME
Answer
3/20/12 12:45 PM as a reply to Eric O.
Ok. I can't not be in a heightened state of meditation. Sleep is absolutely not an option, the best option is hard work, but as soon as I stop, everything rolls in. I think I need to hit path or who knows when it ends. Problem is, one part is in 3rd vipassana jhana (left) and the right is in equanimity. My left arm is distinctively 3rd jhana, right side is 4th. I've had a fruition or two recently on the equanimity side, and they give a nice full body bliss that lasts for a few seconds, then the fear returns on the left side.

I can't get it to a state of equanimity for a few reasons. First, the two halfs are fighting for attention. I can give almost all of it to the half that needs it, but the heartbeat is a distinct portion of the fear this time, which gives it a much more dynamic nature. The other issue is that it's incredibly difficult to recognize when it's going into 4th jhana Last, I think I have to get done with it at this point, because they feed off of eachother. The good side is just rolling along looking for another fruition, which keeps the bad side really strong when I don't have my mind completely distracted.

Any suggestions? Anyone done something like this?

RE: Need help BIGTIME
Answer
3/20/12 1:33 PM as a reply to Eric O.
Eric O:
Ok. I can't not be in a heightened state of meditation. Sleep is absolutely not an option, the best option is hard work, but as soon as I stop, everything rolls in. I think I need to hit path or who knows when it ends. Problem is, one part is in 3rd vipassana jhana (left) and the right is in equanimity. My left arm is distinctively 3rd jhana, right side is 4th. I've had a fruition or two recently on the equanimity side, and they give a nice full body bliss that lasts for a few seconds, then the fear returns on the left side.

I can't get it to a state of equanimity for a few reasons. First, the two halfs are fighting for attention. I can give almost all of it to the half that needs it, but the heartbeat is a distinct portion of the fear this time, which gives it a much more dynamic nature. The other issue is that it's incredibly difficult to recognize when it's going into 4th jhana Last, I think I have to get done with it at this point, because they feed off of eachother. The good side is just rolling along looking for another fruition, which keeps the bad side really strong when I don't have my mind completely distracted.

Any suggestions? Anyone done something like this?


Hi Eric,

I can relate to your experience from an unsettling return to home from a retreat I've had, Basically focusing on anything physical, excersizing, eating some heavy foods, and stopping to practice meditation for now will sure help get you grounded and get some proper sleep from which you will be able to better digest this.

Thats option one: Grounding and leaving meditation aside, because you feel that this is too much for now.
Option two is keep going as if you're on retreat, realizing that any barrier to practice you may see, is simply another thing to acknowledge and notice. There's no magic button you can push to make one side feel better. If you're feeling agitated on any part of your body, thats not whats called 'The Equanimity Regarding Formations Nyana', because that is a stage which calmness is dominant.

IF you wish to keep practicing, which is up to you to decide whether thats a good idea for you now - you should simply keep noticing all the aspects of your experience, left or right, with acceptance, and going deeper - is there agitation? is there aversion? is there suffering? those are the things that need noticing and acceptance when they are dominant.
The key to goal and map oriented practice is realizing all answers to progress are in this moment.

It may also be helpful to report your experience in a more phenomenological way, rather than one side is this jhana, and the other is this jhana, and thats a fruition, because it will give others the better ability to help you.

RE: Need help BIGTIME
Answer
3/20/12 1:39 PM as a reply to Eric O.
Eric O:

Any suggestions?


You could try looking not so much at the sensations in the body, but rather mental states instead. I suggest this because your post sounds like you are caught in a weird situation where different areas of your body compete over your attention. Try focusing on the attention itself or on the emotional and mental states that come up and pass away.

That or a total frontal lobotomy. emoticon

RE: Need help BIGTIME
Answer
3/20/12 4:27 PM as a reply to Dauphin Supple Chirp.
You are all over the place, dude. Reign it in to one thread and just bump it now and then if you are 'desperate'. Hard to follow with all the different threads you have floating around.

What is your experience of what you are calling a 'fruition' in your own words? Explain what happens phenomenologically before and after it occurs. Has it only happened once? Repeated? Do you sense a difference in your overall ongoing experience? Any sense of things having changed? If so how?

Start sitting regularly and writing up 'phenomenological' descriptions of your sits in your other thread so that 'patterns' can be seen by others. It is hard to tell when you don't give thorough phenomenological descriptions. Don't call this experience 'misery' or that experience 'equanimity' but explain why you think they are those stages of insight. Explain the experience in detail. How does 'fear' manifest phenomenologically? What accompanies it? Sensations? thoughts about what? Help us see if you are self-diagnosing accurately. What are the sensations, mental phenomena, focuses, insight etc that arise as those supposed 'nanas'?

Nick

Head back on straight, looking forward.
Answer
3/20/12 4:55 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Yadid dee:

It may also be helpful to report your experience in a more phenomenological way, rather than one side is this jhana, and the other is this jhana, and thats a fruition, because it will give others the better ability to help you.


Thanks for your help Yadid, and sorry everyone for freaking out a little. I'll keep everything in this thread.

I got a bit of sleep somehow. Maybe an hour or two, not sure. I'm going to do my best to take a step backwards and remove myself from it, although at times this feels really tough because it's very much omnipresent for me.

Things have evened out a little bit so let me take a shot at describing them a little better without getting too caught up in them. First, I think I was in a little feedback loop where I saw myself potentially on a path no one else had walked before, potentially with no way out. This lead to thoughts of a sleep deprived craziness or death. And then the ensuing panic and unknowing whether to continue to press forward with the meditation because I felt there was no other way, versus my need to see how all this plays out. These seem to have disappeared with just a modest amount of sleep, although now they're replaced with thoughts about how the hell I'm going to function if all I get is an hour or two of sleep nightly. Thoughts of sleeping pills to help me through until things settle down a bit more, and in fact I used one to help me get that little bit of sleep I just got. Probably still have some of that running through my system taking a bit of the edge off, and I'm going to cut that shit out until I get a better handle on things.

Now things are in the irritating buzzing phase at the skin level. Right and left seem to be about the same again. My heartrate has dropped a fair amount, and it's no longer so intense. It's not tight and painful in the chest like it was on retreat, but kinda shaky and irritating vibrating level which seems to manifest as jitteryness and what I would call general nervousness. Seems most present on the back of my arms, and there is an irritating whirring that is slightly oscillating between a few frequencies pretty close to each other. Without getting too deep, which I'm going to try avoiding, it's hard to put a decent frequency on them. Basically what I've been calling 3rd vipassana jhana.

Misery (the feeling of just pure awefulness and extreme sadness combined, where I very much just felt like sitting down and crying) has yet to come back, just this persistent light fear at this point. There's also a higher pitched, smoother ringing that seems to take over a little bit, but the irritating stuff still continues on. I think I was calling this equanimity, but it almost could be the ever present ringing that was in my ears prior to taking any of this on as I look at it a little more objectively. When it comes forward and is predominant, the irritating whirring sound that's in the background seems to fade some. Everything still seems to be there at the periphery, although much less. Not sure if this is what I experienced back at the retreat that I was calling equanimity, at this point, because the fear is definitely still present. I could just be associating a less

Dauphin Supple Chirp:

That or a total frontal lobotomy.
I know you're not being serious, and just trying to help me lighten up (which I definitely need to do), but a similar thought had crossed my mind that if different parts of my brain were stuck at different stages, then maybe they'd have to separate the physical connections between them somehow.

Nikolai:

What is your experience of what you are calling a 'fruition' in your own words? Explain what happens phenomenologically before and after it occurs. Has it only happened once? Repeated? Do you sense a difference in your overall ongoing experience? Any sense of things having changed? If so how?

My girlfriend (who now needs to deal with me) was rubbing my head trying to make me feel better. Rather than letting the fear take the predominant role in my experience, I focused on the touch of her fingers and tried to "accept them as they are". I then got the feeling I was back up in equanimity, with all the crap just sitting down in my body and a very spacious peacefulness around me. I tried to focus my awareness inwards onto itself again. Things got black and seemed to phase out a bit, promptly followed by some whole body bliss where all the unpleasant stuff disappeared and I thought everything came together and I had "done it". Lasted about 20 seconds and the strong heartbeat, sound, and skin sensations returned.

Nikolai:

Start sitting regularly and writing up 'phenomenological' descriptions of your sits in your other thread so that 'patterns' can be seen by others.
At this point, can I give it a day or so without formal sittings, or do you recommend me starting now? Doing so seems to make my thoughts worse, and for the moment, I think I really want to let things settle out a bit and ground myself some, which I think I desperately need.

Thanks for your help guys, and sorry I got so carried away emoticon

RE: Need help BIGTIME
Answer
3/20/12 6:08 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Oh, let me describe another experience I had before this all sort of fell apart around me. When I got home and couldn't sleep, I went out for a run. First run of the season, which I would have historically taken fairly slow. But today, when I started out, things felt pretty incredible and I started at a brisk pace. I would have a side stitch that is pretty typical, but almost immediately after seeing it, it would basically disappear among all the other sensations at the time. Again and again small pains that would normally have slowed me down or caused me to stop in the past presented themselves as usual, but then just faded into the background and I was able to continue at an impressive pace for about two miles before a feeling of pain in the very bottom of my foot (I run with the vibrams 5 fingers) stuck around and I decided that was a physical pain rather than a mental construct, and decided to call it good.

I had thoughts about why "enlightenment" would have evolved, and figured that if our ancestors had this type of ability, to basically mentally deconstruct

Back when I thought I was basically riding continuously in equanimity, this was pretty much consistant with what happened. My posture during the car ride home remained pretty much fixed, and I remember feeling the dampness and texture of my back as I finally moved. I think I hadn't required myself to move at all, for a significant portion of the trip home because the normal pain sensations would just fade away, much like my knee pains and butt pains did when I was sitting and thought I was experiencing the three vipassana jhanas (well, more specifically #2 and 4).

Similar things happened to feelings as everything started unraveling. When I said I felt misery, I was driving and basically felt like I had done myself in and really screwed up this time. I just wanted to cry, but I was about to walk into the grocery store and prevented myself from doing so. Then next thing I know, it just sort of disappeared into the background and I felt very plesent and happy again, although I may have had a small amount of anxiety present.

Right now, my physical pain doesn't seem to be fading off anymore. As I was writing this, I felt an unpleasant back pain that was basically a small spot on my back about the size of a dime that was relatively stable and unpleasant. As soon as I moved, it seemed to disappear (although quickly reappear). Knee pain that seems to manifest as a short cord of something unplesent right under my kneecap keeps popping up and causing me to readjust. Back when I felt like I was in the A&P/equanimity phase, I could see the physical sensation if I looked at it, but it wasn't really unpleasant at all. That "power" seems to have disappeared now that I've landed between the two states, and the only reason I say "between" is because that is how the presented themselves to me as I applied effort and attention to aspects of them.

For instance, when Daniel makes the sound effects in this video about the A&P sensations, that would manifest as a very small point near the tip of my nose that basically felt like someone took 5mm mechanical pencil and would press it into the bottom of my nose in almost exactly that rhythm. Once or twice I felt it inside my left nostril, but almost always it was right in the middle on the under side of my nose where the incoming breath would split, and the outgoing breath would form an eddy and swirl back up and touch my nose. Most of the time it was most noticeable on the outgoing breath, but it was definitely present on the incoming breath, although maybe less defined.

In regards to equanimity, I would define it like a wide open space. Some sun-like lights that would float around, although those are not always typical. Painful areas when I was sitting (knees and butt specifically - I was using a stool) would almost feel like they had a protecting vibrating shield around them. Basically, I would be able to hold that state until I basically had a thought that "projected" out into the future, like pain, desire, or fear. It would basically suck me out almost immediately if I let my thoughts wander to something like that. I described the transition between 3rd and 4th vipassana jhana like (and I'm like Daniel...not so awesome with metaphor/similes) sitting on a magical airplane wing (3rd). All sorts of unplesent stuff going on like flickering lights and annoying sensations. All of a sudden I would be transported into the body of the aircraft, which had some interesting windows. Imagine quick release windows that all you had to do was look directly at them and they would open, sucking you back out to the wing. You could be aware of them in the periphery, but the moment you looked directly at one it would suck you back out to the wing. These windows were basically any thoughts or feelings that had any time component that wasn't grounded in the hear and now. I could think thoughts like "what is this" and guide the mind around, but the second I thought something like "I need to go and read MCTB to figure out what's going on here", I would be immediately rejected back into 3rd jhana.

When I describe the jhanas (I'll just start calling them #'s 2-4, because maybe they weren't jhanas afterall), that I could almost travel back and forth between at will, I basically only had three states at that time that I had been in. #2 was a very vibratory sensory state where I could feel very specific things like pressure on my nose, the feeling of a bug crawling (without any aversion) on my face, and the distinct lack of any unpleasing sensations. I could focus my attention at will, and seemed to have the ability to lock in on whatever sensation I liked. Skin sensations where almost bubbly. Most sensations were something like a when a body part falls asleep, but less intense and with virtually no unpleasantness. I could hone in on any specific part of my body and find a sensation that was consistently "poking" with the area of about the tip of a mechanical pencil lead that would pulse at some higher frequency (I didn't define it while there, and that state is totally gone from my experience as of right now, so I can't put specific numbers).

#3 was accompanied by a tightness in the chest that went from the middle of my spine, into the middle of my body and seemed to follow my esophagus up into my throat. I didn't have many thoughts of fear, but I described it as shifting between general anxiety (when the tightness was weak) to full out fear when it was almost painfully tight. It was characterized by a pulsing background at about 10 hz or so (it's changed quite a bit since then, so that's a fairly ballpark number, might have been a little slower). During times with my eyes open, the very edges of my vision would be slightly flickering at this rate.

#4 was a very smooth state compared to the bubbliness/tingliness of #2, but some aspects were similar. Pain was shielded off, as if surrounded by some force-field that wouldn't allow it to have contact with my consciousness (same as with #2). Same with fear and the tightness in my chest. Both of those were a "quick release window". Thoughts were about how wide and peaceful it was, but generally tended to center on finding the watcher. I didn't spend much time looking at it, because it really wasn't much of a relief, because my time in #3 had been fairly limited and I as much as I didn't like the tightness and flickering, I hadn't grown to find it horribly unappealing. Sound in this state was fairly high pitched and may have just been general ear ringing. Hard to say. Skin sensations can only be described as very high frequency and smooth. Not unpleasant at all, but I wasn't attracted to them either. I think the desire to stay in that state would have been a "quick release window".

Alright, gonna go take a break and not think too much about all this for a little while. Glad I got it down while I did. Thanks guys.

P.S. I do have a webcam and microphone if anyone would be so kind as to want to chat a little bit with me on Skype. I think I just need reassurance that this is typical stuff and that there are ways of dealing with everything more than anything else right now.

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/20/12 8:58 PM as a reply to Eric O.
Ok. All is well!

Here's my own personal diagnosis. I hit equanimity, no stream entry. The hours spent awake at the end of the retreat were basically me spending time in equanimity but thinking I had hit stream entry and the excitement kept me going. I spent a fair amount of time on the border of the 3rd vipassana jhana and the fourth, learning how to cross it really really well. That had an interesting side effect of a lot of my fear today was caused my fairly constant cycling between the two (like really fast, maybe 1-2 times per second). Made me think I had screwed something up and half of my brain was a stream enterer and half was still stuck on the path. I'd look at one side of the body with the mentality that all would be well over there, and wham, equanimity and low and behold, it looked like equanimity. I'd look back at the other side expecting fear, and, weird...fear over there. The cycling was intensely fast.

The past few hours have been me sitting back somewhere between fear and re observation. I've had a few moments where I jumped up into equanimity (e.g. girlfriends head massage (not a fruition, just equanimity after a few hours back in the dark night and not recognizing it for what it was), thinking I had reached stream entry and "just enjoying it", and I've had a few moments where I'll jump up just by accepting the moment as it is). All of the little moments today that have brought me crashing back down were basically me looking at the windows on my airplane.

The interesting part is that this realization just put me back into equanimity. Again peaceful without the fear. Everything is crystal clear for me. I'm back in equanimity, ready to rock and roll. Now the question is: how do I finish it?

Damn that feels better. And I'm shocked at how amazingly predictable this all is. WOW.

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/21/12 6:36 AM as a reply to Eric O.
Interesting set of developments here. Not only do I think my previous diagnosis is correct, but I think I have a pretty good grasp on what's going on.

I think the key to every dark night stage is recognizing that they're all the same thing. The only reason they seem to go in the sequential order that they seem to is because it's really hard to see every one as the same thing. They're all the 3rd vipassana jhana, plain and simple. But when you don't recognize that AS IT IS, your mind goes through a natural sequence of steps.

At first, when you hit the 3rd vipassana jhana, meditation isn't as fun because the 3rd vipassana jhana has the characteristic of not being as precise with meditation. So you kinda lose steam. Dissolution. Next, you start to realize that things are different, and you don't understand what's going on. Hence, fear. Then for some people, such as myself, the fear feeds itself because you don't understand its root cause (3rd vipassana jhana). At some point then, you naturally become miserable, because fear and confusion are not fun. At some point, and I can't speak to this stage because I didn't experience it, reobservation basically forces your hand.

But the central characteristic about all of these stages is that we're projecting into the future. Dissolution - practice sucks again and I don't want to keep doing it. Fear - something's wrong here and I don't know what the future holds. Misery - the future is going to suck if things keep up like this.

In this video, Daniel says something very interesting about re-observation. "It seems to last just longer than you thought it had to". If you're thinking it has to last "some time" you're screwed. And despite that being the exact problem, it becomes the exact fixation of people going through it. They continue to wonder "How long will this last?"

So my contention is that it is NOT necessary to go through all of the dark night stages as Daniel and others indicate. It is only necessary IF you don't recognize it for what it is AND let your mind go through it's natural thought patterns trying to figure it out. Once you simply accept it is the 3rd jhana, the natural reaction to this is inevitable: 4th jhana.

This is where the people at Goenka actually do something right. When you scan, see individual sensations, and immediately move on, what you're doing is exactly this. Seeing it as it is and nothing more. My bet is that if you got your hands on some pretty skilled Goenka practitioners, you'd find that they stabilize out at 4th jhana, and despite being on the doorway to enlightenment, they never step in because body scanning doesn't do that for you.

WARNING: That's where I'm at. I'm stuck in the 4th jhana and can't look back because my understanding of it now has turned on its head. I can't not recognize it as it is. That leaves me in a pretty interesting spot, because I'm in equanimity 24/7, and it's pretty hard to sleep when you're stuck there. I don't know how to go back, because the 3rd jhana is a sort of perpetual treadmill moving me forward when it's combined with this recognition and a little experience with just seeing things as they are.

And now I'm up shit creek without a paddle (everytime I think something like this I step down into the 3rd jhana momentarily) because my concentration is now shit and I can't sleep (all my mind does is think about this stuff). So I think what I need to do is work on my concentration again so I can finish this thing. The other potential option is that I am already enlightened and just cycling and don't know how to step from 3rd back into 2nd, but even then, I'm not sure how that's going to help me sleep because my mind doesn't seem to want to rest until I know this all to be true. Unfortunately for me, the only way to find out if this is correct is to have a non-enlightened individual confirm that what I've done here (essentially learn to cycle really fast between 3rd and 4th) is repeatable...

Hope this helps people, and feel free to correct me.

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/21/12 11:56 AM as a reply to Eric O.
Hi Eric,

One very important thing that seems like it should be discussed is the skillfulness of maps (and map-related thinking) in relation to your practice.

To me, it seems that attempting to diagnose whether you attained MCTB 1st path or not caused and is causing you a lot of agitation; further, it may have been a major part of your motivation to abandon a retreat mid-way, perhaps because thinking that you had attained MCTB 1st path seemed to support the belief that there was no further need to cultivate equanimity towards whatever difficulties in your practice were coming up. (As greeting experiences with equanimity is one of the basic themes of Goenka's meditation instructions, which you were listening to, it's possible that your interest in fitting your experience into the framework of the MCTB map caused you to tune this out completely.)

By contrast, if you hadn't been thinking about what you might have attained and where you were on the maps, there is a much higher chance in my estimation that you would have stuck with the basics of good practice, which in this case would have been pressing on with your retreat in the face of difficulties, and cultivating equanimity in the face of those difficulties in order to counterbalance them...difficulties which it appears you are still battling with (as of your last post).

I would point out that maps become actively harmful when they are used to subvert good practice. Good practice should always come first; the most helpful relationship between maps and practice is one of supplementation. However, it appears the relationship between maps and practice that you have cultivated is very different from that.

As for where you are now, I have no idea; as Equanimity nana is, overall, a placid state, I have significant doubts that that's where you are. Maybe you're cycling; maybe you're stuck in the DN; maybe you're experiencing some kind of agitated A&P; maybe none of the above. How much does it matter on a practical level? (Knowing where you are can help ease your doubts, but I would guess that your doubts are caused by the belief(s) that you need to know where you are, or that it would benefit you to know where you are...and if you were simply to forget about those things, it would ease your doubts at least as much.)

This is a great time to re-evaluate the relationship you've built between maps and your practice, and see whether there's value in modifying it. Is it really helping you to worry about nanas, jhanas, or the like? How many hours have you spent thinking about this stuff recently (since you say that "all my mind does is think about this stuff"), and how much practical benefit have you gotten from that? Would it be more helpful to forget all about maps, and do what is appropriate for your situation...which in this case would seem to be, trying to see your experience clearly and non-reactively, rather than responding to it with agitation and unrestrained mental proliferation?

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/21/12 1:06 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Top notch advice from EiS.

The maps are an amazing tool - but their power becomes fully available only when you figure out how utterly useless they are at fundamentally lessening your suffering. Until then they will most likely stunt or slow your progress. Does knowledge of where "you are" change anything? Will it give your girlfriend an easier ride?

It is only by resolutely deepening your capacity to directly face your moment to moment experience without filtering it through re-contextualisation, conceptual frameworks or fantasy (all forms of avoidance / distortion / fabrication) that you will graduate to being able to wield the concepts effectively, and really allow them to support your practice. How do you do this? Ground awareness in the body and keep it there. Pay attention. Period.

Releasing your fascination with the maps will almost certainly aid you in moving forward, gaining clarity, becoming wiser, and giving your partner a break.

And the cool thing is, once you nail some good practice for a while and actually deepen in your fundamental understanding and wisdom, coming back to the maps is way more fun and rewarding.

Practice well.

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/21/12 1:00 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Thanks EIS. Excellent points. I'm definitely going to take a step back and reevaluate. I think my obsession with the maps has been causing a majority of my problems, and I agree that I need to work on my skillfulness in that regard.

On a positive note, no meditation today and I feel really good. If I am still in the DN, time will tell. If I'm somewhere else, I'm guessing time will tell too. I finally got up off of my butt and got some work done around the house and got some exercise. I'm going to take a break from meditation for a week or so and let the dust settle. That includes this forum for a bit. I'll update after a while and let people know what's going on. I appreciate everyone's help.

RE: Stream Entry or No?
Answer
3/22/12 4:51 AM as a reply to Eric O.
Eric O:

On a positive note, no meditation today and I feel really good. If I am still in the DN, time will tell. If I'm somewhere else, I'm guessing time will tell too.


EndInSight's advice is definitely spot on.

Another thing regarding the stages of insight: its something very dynamic, and so thats why mapping in real-time is very unreliable. The mind moves through these constantly and in my experience its not like "I'm in the DN", but rather you may have passed through it at some point, and at this point it changed.
Also, if you have gotten through the A&P and not to streamentry, by stopping to meditate you will essentially 'lose' the cutting edge of your practice, and will have to 'climb' up again through the nyanas starting from the first, and it is impossible to 'think your way' through this, and by that I mean by seeing the territory beyond A&P and beyond the DN, does not mean one can get there by resolve alone, but rather by consistent practice again.