Stream Entry finally ?

wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
I said Id give it a week before posting, and this experience hasnt budged a bit, in fact it was the most intense so far today.

First , if anyone wants to know my history/practice heres a link...http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2823336 , the short version is this:
Had a very intense "awakening" this time last year, it became quite turbulent at times, although it was mostly great, and completely life changing, but around November I started to stabilize and improve my practice after arriving here. As for the diagnosis of up to now? Still unsure tbh.



So after some intense concentration practice the past few weeks, and moreso some very very focused direct looking at visual experience and looking to see there is no "experiencer" or "doer" I really hit something significant last Thursday.

Ill just lay out the experiences, admittedly the descriptions will have been influenced by what I read and learn with all this..

- Absolutely no do-er whatsoever, no-one in control

- No Experiencer, this has been the most intense, Ive touched on this before, but only rarely and often after strange times like the day after a nights drinking, or after a very excercise session. Whereas now , its been nearly non stop for the week. Especially during the day.

- This one has been the most noticeable feature for the past week: Feeling that whatever I look at is "connected" or close to me, I know that sounds silly, its not meant to be mystical, its logical imo, if the experience has shed the sensation of "experiencer"/self then there is little left, ONLY the experience. So there is a very strong feeling of being consumed entirely by the experience or completely empty apart from that experience. Basically, even there is obviously a clear visual difference between where Im sitting and what Im looking at, it feels like a conceptual seperation has been broken down.

- No self/stable presence. This is most noticeable when something happens like someone is walking right past me, or a car and its wind/sound etc is right beside me. It doesnt feel like its beside me. Its just the experience of it , with no ownership of the experience.

- Bodily sensations feeling very seperate from the brain/head. This is difficult to describe, but for example my fingers rubbing dont feel like mine even though I can feel them obviously. Its like there is VERY little communication in terms of translation as to what a feeling is.

- Helplessness in terms of suffering/reactions/etc , I mean that as a good thing, within seconds of suffering I instantly cant help but think there was absolutely no one in control of that. Admittedly once or twice I may have felt that I brought that up intentionally. Hard to tell.

- Mixed feelings regarding suffering, its been an extremely intense week so its only natural that the novelty and joy of it would be destroying suffering right now, I need to wait for the noveltly to wear off first before I make more of a call on that one.

- Just feeling of being really really awake, in the brain, like new chunks of blockage have just been smashed out. Almost a new warmth in certain areas on either side.

-Strong "unity" feelings. Im presuming as a result of a lack of centreness/self, or maybe just the initial blast of hitting something new. I cant imagine they'll hang around for long.

- Yesterday I tried to "ignore" it and keep my focus on conventional issues, just on purpose, just to see was it my practice that was "holding" it. And even though I was actually getting quite focused on what I was doing, and forgetting about it, all it took was one break, and a stroll to the shop and the "openness" came flooding back again.

- A wanting of this to be "it", whatever that is, be it SE, or a new path, or whatever, just something abiding really, dont care what it is. But that helpless feeling arises quite quickly if I start thinking too much in that direction, so I'd think to myself "holy crap , I hope this is going to be an abiding state", and then "ha, there is absolutely nothing an "I" or anything else can do about".

- Very deep intense meditative style breathing when focused on something else, not all the time, just sometimes.

- In the past, even during very good periods I used to suffer early in the morning, it was very clear suffering though,and it didnt really bother me at all, what I mean by that now is something like one thought would arise, and I would nearly experience in slow motion how it sending pain right to my stomach. That would fade away and Id get up. Whereas now, whether its the middle of the night, or early in the morning, no matter how tired/weak I feel, there is none of those kind of thoughts arising.

-from time to time hitting on very very very quiet new levels of peace, and once or twice I even got old feelings of years ago when I took mdma recreationally.

- some confusion at times, Id look around and see my shadow and it wouldnt even feel like mine. That point might be a bit silly and insignificant. Just trying to lay out all the details of what crossed my mind.

- A certain feeling of freedom to do or say things that I would have considered sort of wrong, or at least not making progress if I reacted to them in the past few months, i.e. a freedom to do something egotistical, or even a freedom to be slightly self consious over something, or a freedom to react to something in a bad way, but it just doesnt feel personal at all.

- Last , but certainly not least, a huge desire to eat a massive humble pie over all the arguments with people further down the line than me that I may have had over the past year about all this.emoticon


It happened over the space of about 3 days Id say, but by day 3 it was much more stable, and has been similar and mostly consistent since. I probably should have given it a few weeks, but Im really impatient!!emoticon
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tom moylan, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
wow, sounds fun, exciting and transcendent. have you noticed any cessations or cycling?

cheers

tom
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Hi Tom, yep its certainly different alright!! emoticon

Yea cycling is still occuring, albeit alot more impersonal. Now that said, it doesnt mean I dont want to completely end all types of suffering, this has just given me a much cleaner more honest perspective of it. But I wont get too excited. I know how this stuff "behaves" at this stage.

Regarding cessations, to be very very honest, I dont really know. There is so much stuff that happens while meditating, or even after a sit,that its often hard to pinpoint different things, and Im still getting up to speed on my language with all this.
ITs possible alright, I do experience points of complete peace, I dont think that counts. There are other things as well though.
There are even almost scary, and somewhat lonely points where I think there really is nothing, and that im certainly not in control of my life.Ironically I still know what my plans for the week are.


Also just to add to the list from above.

- my concentration/meditation is excellent now.

- I dont get that uncomfortable urge to get up that seemed to come and go during sessions before.

- if Im quite deep in it, usually a sudden noise would send a wave through the body, that would induce a tiny bit of suffering, now a random loud noise doesnt really have the same impact at all.

- Regarding getting lost in negative thinking, before this, it was maybe on average 20 seconds to a minute before Id think "Why am I thinking this stuff? Get back to focus" (Im not talking about during meditation btw) , whereas now its a few seconds of a development of negative thinking and immediately there is a strong feeling of "whats the point". Most of the time it doesnt even reach a stage where it induces physical suffering (im talking tiny amounts of tension here)



Ill have to give it quite a few weeks to see is there consistency in all this. If after a month things havent changed im definitely going to be confident that I hit some path.
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Just an update:

While I didnt lose the core of my descriptions above, its lost its obviousness, it was definitely the furthest Ive been for the longest period of time, and even in terms of suffering it was nice not to resist anything, but I sort of feel back in a semi dark night now, not totally by any means, but just conventional life problems seem to be consuming the mind again. And that free helplessness to suffering seems to be fading, and my motivation in general seems to have been zapped to an extent.

However other things seem to remain strong, when sitting there is little to no urge to get up like there was before, and everything still feels very external and "not mine", even when trying to do some insight meditation, the vibrations seem alot more subtle, theres alot less sensitivity to them.
That closeness to everything around me/no experiencer is faded a bit but the fundamental change still remains.

Sometimes I wonder am I tying my conventional life and issues i need to deal with too closely to my progress in terms of both concentration and insight.

When they bother me, I tend to say "Ok this is more than dark night, I have to deal with this stuff", and when they dont its like "I cant believe I thought that was even remotely an issue".


Overall it definitely hasnt went away, its just lost its wow factor.

Would love if anyone with alot of experience could give feedback.
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tom moylan, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
Howdy Wylo,
cessations are generally described as events which you notice only directly after they have happened. a discontinuity during which there is nothing. no thing, no memory, no sensation or assumption of time passing or being. like they used to say about the sixties, if you remember it , you weren't there,

so say Daniel in MTCB, (Chapt. 28)

i found (find) this chapter a very good way to ground myself. in any case, and wherever you find yourself..keep going with the knowlege that you are moving forward even if in the moment you aren't seeing that.

cheers
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
tom moylan:
Howdy Wylo,
cessations are generally described as events which you notice only directly after they have happened. a discontinuity during which there is nothing. no thing, no memory, no sensation or assumption of time passing or being. like they used to say about the sixties, if you remember it , you weren't there,

so say Daniel in MTCB, (Chapt. 28)

i found (find) this chapter a very good way to ground myself. in any case, and wherever you find yourself..keep going with the knowlege that you are moving forward even if in the moment you aren't seeing that.

cheers


Thanks Tommy, gonna reread that chapter, actually, I might even re read alot of the book again.

Id be confident to say I do experience cessations , just a technical question...what kind of time length would they be? Im not saying you can experience that time length as they are happening, but afterwards, do they feel like they happened just for a split second? I think if I do experience they actually do literally last that long, not because it feels that way, but even in terms of clock timing for meditation.

Cheers
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi wylo,

Would love if anyone with alot of experience could give feedback.
Hmmm, a lot of experience?

The intensely-connected-no-self-concentrated experience is awesome and novel at the outset. My own experience was that this form of mental concentration developed into a subtle craving for me during months of relatively "eventless" meditation afterwards - even with this intensely-connected concentration coming and going in daily life. I was not aware with myself that I was experiencing, "waiting". ("Waiting" for what next was a subtle craving for what next. As dissatisfaction became more apparent, I naturally started to sit more and in the earlier hours of the morning.) This type of concentration did not mark stream-entry for me, though I thought it did [edit: although maybe it did; I am a bit unclear with and unconcerned with shifts, and very attentive to fetters and hindrances and unskillfulness now]; it did mark stable equanimity (aka, "high EQ"?) and result in novel perception that reportedly accompanies well-collected concentration.

Now I trust the basics of practice (meditation and mindfulness) are the gateway to every "shift" [edit: aka: passage of some dissatisfaction/fettersome contact]; at the hint of a hindrance, I see where I have lost good practice of the basics. For me, "good practice" means, for examples, to be alert and willing during every moment of anapanasati meditation and to the sense bases during daily activity.

Thanks for sharing this. Your relay can inspire diligent, steady practice.
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Hi Katy,
Perhaps im still in high EQ , what you said was interesting...
The intensely-connected-no-self-concentrated experience is awesome and novel at the outset. My own experience was that this form of mental concentration developed into a subtle craving for me during months of relatively "eventless" meditation afterwards - even with this intensely-connected concentration coming and going in daily life. I was not aware with myself that I was experiencing, "waiting". ("Waiting" for what next was a subtle craving for what next. As dissatisfaction became more apparent, I naturally started to sit more and in the earlier hours of the morning.) This type of concentration did not mark stream-entry for me, though I thought it did [edit: although maybe it did; I am a bit unclear with and unconcerned with shifts, and very attentive to fetters and hindrances and unskillfulness now]; it did mark stable equanimity (aka, "high EQ"?) and result in novel perception that reportedly accompanies well-collected concentration.

^
What you talk about here is something I must look out for.



despite saying everything above, and despite still being in a very deep and stable place now in terms of concentration ability and equanimity etc, Im not fully confident its SE anymore,even though I seem to experience all the qualities of SE,I still dont know if its it, mainly because the question of fruitions for me is still unanswered.

I cant voluntarily bring them up, when I try, and if I get very deep, very focused on the characteristics I get to point of anticipation, I even try and apply this point of anticipation to no self/suffering but the full cut off doesnt seem to occur. Or it does but I cant really tell was it just my mind wandering for an instant or not. Its really really hard to pin that down. Ill keep trying. That feeling sometimes happens when not practicing as well. But again, I dont really know if Im just imagining something or not. If that was it, and it really is that subtle, I cant see what the big deal about them is.

All that said, my practice has a lot of concentration alone in it and not just insight/investigation.
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Shashank Dixit, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
wylo .:
Hi Katy,

despite saying everything above, and despite still being in a very deep and stable place now in terms of concentration ability and equanimity etc, Im not fully confident its SE anymore,even though I seem to experience all the qualities of SE,I still dont know if its it, mainly because the question of fruitions for me is still unanswered.

I cant voluntarily bring them up, when I try, and if I get very deep, very focused on the characteristics I get to point of anticipation, I even try and apply this point of anticipation to no self/suffering but the full cut off doesnt seem to occur. Or it does but I cant really tell was it just my mind wandering for an instant or not. Its really really hard to pin that down. Ill keep trying. That feeling sometimes happens when not practicing as well. But again, I dont really know if Im just imagining something or not. If that was it, and it really is that subtle, I cant see what the big deal about them is.



After stream-entry , you will never be able to see the self in the way you used to think before. However the *feeling* of self continues to arise because of the instinctual passions and emotions like fear , anger , love etc and that is why there are 3 further paths to cover.
One will know forever that one's existence is like that of a car - from a distance it appears that there is something distinct called a car but it is only a concept - in actuality it is nothing but
interconnected and dependent "zombie"(in the sense that none of them knows what it is doing) parts coming together to give the illusion that there is something distinct called a "car" - just like the 5 zombie interconnected and dependent aggregates in a human coming together to give the illusion of a distinct self.
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Eric Bause, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 186 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
wylo .:


despite saying everything above, and despite still being in a very deep and stable place now in terms of concentration ability and equanimity etc, Im not fully confident its SE anymore,even though I seem to experience all the qualities of SE,I still dont know if its it, mainly because the question of fruitions for me is still unanswered.

I cant voluntarily bring them up, when I try, and if I get very deep, very focused on the characteristics I get to point of anticipation, I even try and apply this point of anticipation to no self/suffering but the full cut off doesnt seem to occur. Or it does but I cant really tell was it just my mind wandering for an instant or not. Its really really hard to pin that down. Ill keep trying. That feeling sometimes happens when not practicing as well. But again, I dont really know if Im just imagining something or not. If that was it, and it really is that subtle, I cant see what the big deal about them is.

All that said, my practice has a lot of concentration alone in it and not just insight/investigation.


Hi wylo,

This some interesting stuff you're experieincing. I've been going through something similar, and don't know what to make of it.

Is it possible to cycle without having a fruition that marks the transition from the 11th nana back to the 4th nana?

I had what I though was a fruition last Monday, with a discontinuity floowed by bliss; it happend and was over. The day after I had 8 jhanas; before that I had trouble getting to #5 consistantly. The mind body/split is very distinct--there's fdefinitley not a "me" doing teh breathing. Since then I seem to be cycling, both when I sit and in normal life, but where the fruition should be, I get this energy surge. It builds, happens, and leaves bliss in its wake. Sometimes it seems stronger than others. I can't call it up. It doesn't have the suddeness I would say what I am calling the fruition had. I keep waiting for something to present that would make me say definitely yea or nay. Am I just in a deeper mode of equanimity that I've never been in before? I don't have answers, just speculation. Maybe it is the higher EQ thing as you note.

I had an intial go-round with this energe sure thing at the end of December. I was doing a lot of pranayama with breath retention. When I stoped doing the breath retention, the surges went way down in frequency, but did not stop completely.

Thanks for doing this thread, wylo.

Eric
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Eric Bause:




I had what I though was a fruition last Monday, with a discontinuity floowed by bliss; it happend and was over. The day after I had 8 jhanas; before that I had trouble getting to #5 consistantly. The mind body/split is very distinct--there's fdefinitley not a "me" doing teh breathing. Since then I seem to be cycling, both when I sit and in normal life, but where the fruition should be, I get this energy surge. It builds, happens, and leaves bliss in its wake. Sometimes it seems stronger than others. I can't call it up. It doesn't have the suddeness I would say what I am calling the fruition had. I keep waiting for something to present that would make me say definitely yea or nay. Am I just in a deeper mode of equanimity that I've never been in before? I don't have answers, just speculation. Maybe it is the higher EQ thing as you note.


Its funny, had you said that a day earlier I wouldnt have been able to relate to it, but I had the exact same experience yesterday, in terms of energy surge etc, and no definitive yay or nay. Anyway I think if it IS higher EQ, its only a matter of time if we keep it up emoticon

I THINK im having cessations in my sits, but they are damn hard to spot to be honest. And I still dont know if they are more like "my mind just got sleepy and daydreamy" sort of cut off, and then suddenly more awake and alert!

Also , regarding an update on my first post, a few weeks on and really the fundamentals of that haven't went away. Despite 2/3 days of what felt like dark night, Im sort of back to where I was when I wrote that now.
I think the biggest thing I learned recently is just "keep going", as in, dont just sit back cause I feel great for a few days.
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
What you talk about here is something I must look out for.
Me too.

despite saying everything above, and despite still being in a very deep and stable place now in terms of concentration ability and equanimity etc, Im not fully confident its SE anymore,even though I seem to experience all the qualities of SE,I still dont know if its it, mainly because the question of fruitions for me is still unanswered.

I cant voluntarily bring them up, when I try, and if I get very deep, very focused on the characteristics I get to point of anticipation, I even try and apply this point of anticipation to no self/suffering but the full cut off doesnt seem to occur. Or it does but I cant really tell was it just my mind wandering for an instant or not. Its really really hard to pin that down. Ill keep trying. That feeling sometimes happens when not practicing as well. But again, I dont really know if Im just imagining something or not. If that was it, and it really is that subtle, I cant see what the big deal about them is.

All that said, my practice has a lot of concentration alone in it and not just insight/investigation.
Well, I do not know what Daniel is experiencing when he and others mention going back for the fruition. What I think I've experienced are knowledge/effort of shift and fruition of shift.

A way, I think, some bit of shift-milestone clarity is personally gained is by way of one's own hindsight. What is now clear in hindsight? What now seems intuitive?

If one is reviewing/querying, "yes, I think such and such is reduced/eliminated ...hmmm, when was the last time there was such and such sense-contact?..." then I think, for me, that that review is some degree of effortful consideration. It is not dishonest in any way, but the query is an active, volitional scrutiny, and it comes with some outgoing energy of effort. For me, this is a way to see (me) being towards-the-shift, not in the shift fruition itself. Does that make sense?

I think (again, for me) once the shift is fledged, then hindsight just shows what is now clearly understood. To take a childhood example (not that any of us ever review this activity like this, but just for example), "Do I know how to tie my shoelaces? When was the last time I forgot how to tie the laces? Will I be trumped again by the tying?" Whereas at some point the mind now knows how to tie the shoelaces and understands readily and wholly the previous experience of not being able to tie one's shoelaces (and can possibly help another kid in laces' tying).

So, at present, I think that when I feel myself asking a review-style question, I now see, "oh, you are right in the middle of it, trying to understand/review this." And this review/query adds to my effort in the sincere practice, whatever stage of which the effort could be deemed a part. (and whatever the shift/stage, there are plenty of antithetical activities to a freed mind left in my own mind which take energy away from sincere practice and skillful actions...)

In addition to hindsight, I also do think that while non-A&P fruitions may be subtle, so far I understand for myself, "you'll know the shift when it happens", because so far, shift events have been unrelated to logic and unrelated to creativity and without ability to anticipate or imagine beforehand. However, after it happens, I have found myself thinking, "Ah, that's what they mean by OOBE. Ah, that's what they mean by 'single-point' concentration. Ah, that's what they mean by 're-booting' from nothing."

So, while I am in the effort aspect, it is clear to me; it is effortful and somewhat scrutinizing. While the fruition aspect, well, this has been totally unanticipatable and unimaginable. And after the shift fruition, there is some basking for a while (a lightening up) and lowered effort (the direction of the new effort hasn't arisen, because dukkha is temporarily abated (for me).

Of course, none of this is a firm model for me (or you), and we are different. One has to make sense of the suttas for themselves and/or with a trusted teacher where possible. I am happy for you that you're having such compelling experiences and appreciate this dialogue. I lit up and agreed when I read your humble pie comment. Yessirree, I understand.

(edits for clarity)
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
katy steger:
Well, I do not know what Daniel is experiencing when he and others mention going back for the fruition. What I think I've experienced are knowledge/effort of shift and fruition of shift.

A way, I think, some bit of shift-milestone clarity is personally gained is by way of one's own hindsight. What is now clear in hindsight? What now seems intuitive?




If one is reviewing/querying, "yes, I think such and such is reduced/eliminated ...hmmm, when was the last time there was such and such sense-contact?..." then I think, for me, that that review is some degree of effortful consideration. It is not dishonest in any way, but the query is an active, volitional scrutiny, and it comes with some outgoing energy of effort. For me, this is a way to see (me) being towards-the-shift, not in the shift fruition itself. Does that make sense?


Great advice, and a great way of judging "has anything happened", thanks.

I think (again, for me) once the shift is fledged, then hindsight just shows what is now clearly understood. To take a childhood example (not that any of us ever review this activity like this, but just for example), "Do I know how to tie my shoelaces? When was the last time I forgot how to tie the laces? Will I be trumped again by the tying?" Whereas at some point the mind now knows how to tie the shoelaces and understands readily and wholly the previous experience of not being able to tie one's shoelaces (and can possibly help another kid in laces' tying).

Interesting, so its the kind of thing that could slip by you,and only weeks later you'll say "hey , that isnt happening anymore!!"


In addition to hindsight, I also do think that while non-A&P fruitions may be subtle, so far I understand for myself, "you'll know the shift when it happens", because so far, shift events have been unrelated to logic and unrelated to creativity and without ability to anticipate or imagine beforehand. However, after it happens, I have found myself thinking, "Ah, that's what they mean by OOBE. Ah, that's what they mean by 'single-point' concentration. Ah, that's what they mean by 're-booting' from nothing."

So, while I am in the effort aspect, it is clear to me; it is effortful and somewhat scrutinizing. While the fruition aspect, well, this has been totally unanticipatable and unimaginable. And after the shift fruition, there is some basking for a while (a lightening up) and lowered effort (the direction of the new effort hasn't arisen, because dukkha is temporarily abated (for me).

Thanks, thats another description I can look at.

Of course, none of this is a firm model for me (or you), and we are different. One has to make sense of the suttas for themselves and/or with a trusted teacher where possible. I am happy for you that you're having such compelling experiences and appreciate this dialogue. I lit up and agreed when I read your humble pie comment. Yessirree, I understand.

(edits for clarity)


Cool, yea I love waffling on about it anyway! hehe, and you're right , models , systems and labels can only take you so far, I think its the questions you talk about in your reviewing that are more important. Because at the end of it all, there is no "enlightenment-ometer" , or no "no suffering-ometer", where you can tell someone you are at 7 out of 10 or whatever.
Thats why its tricky, you can think you are really far, and still be only touching the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks for
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry finally ?

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Interesting, so its the kind of thing that could slip by you,and only weeks later you'll say "hey , that isnt happening anymore!!"
Yes, something like ill-will seems like a superficial "huh?" or "conviction/non-doubt" in the practice just is. However, as dukkha is pervasive for someone like me who is not in its cessation, weeks later (and right now) I am sure I'll also see new ways in which I am experiencing/perpetuating dukkha. And those "new ways" seem just as prominent as the dark night symptoms (although I'll say that instead of dark night there is just a sort of "my word, that action was unskillful. Jeez, I have many unskillful actions", but equanimity is there which prevents the sprouting of ill-will towards oneself; there's just understanding and effort: yep, many of my actions are unskillful, it is normal that my outgoing exuberance will still express both skillfully and unskillfully, carry on.

That's a bit narrated above, but I hope it conveys my experience to be useful.


Cool, yea I love waffling on about it anyway! hehe, and you're right , models , systems and labels can only take you so far, I think its the questions you talk about in your reviewing that are more important. Because at the end of it all, there is no "enlightenment-ometer" , or no "no suffering-ometer", where you can tell someone you are at 7 out of 10 or whatever.
Thats why its tricky, you can think you are really far, and still be only touching the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks for
Yes, there really no fold-out map. However, thinking of stream-entry as irrevocable equanimity, an equanimity that cannot prevent dukkha but that is there as the new mental baseline, that is a real useful, actual change apparent to the person. I think equanimity grows stronger and faster, like kudzu, after some shifts. That seems to be actual.

I do also still "feed" equanimity; if a strong contact is made with the mind to an object (let's say a sweets' craving, an evening meal, or a bleak view) then I still have to take those contacts into equanimity via insight or concentration. It's like ironing: mind (shirts) still get in ruffled. This is more indication of the "work" I have to do. Still, sometimes pleasantness between people and other animals, watching spring time arrive, some of this is so stunningly fresh and alive, and unemcumbered by a distracted mind that my gratitude seems boundless.

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