2nd to 3rd

Russell ., modified 8 Years ago.

2nd to 3rd

Posts: 92 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
I usually post over at KFD, but I would love some feedback, if anyone here has a chance. I got 2nd path 2 months ago and the honeymoon has faded and I am left in a pile of confusion. I know it gets confusing from here, but I am so used to (for the most part) understanding where I am on the maps, etc... that I am having a difficult time figuring out what to do from here. I have shifted my practice to doing more concentration work and exploring the formless jhanas. I believe I have a handle on 5, 6, & 7 but unsure of 8th yet. I am switching back and forth between regular anapanasati practice and noting with the occasional attempt at Kenneth's 2nd gear practice (dwelling as the witness). My last few of sits are the first time that I have noticed anything resembling nana's in a while. I feel like I am cycling from up to a pretty strong A&P and back down when I note. Much more vibratory and more like High EQ without the mind-wandering boredom than any previous A&P I have had. I have not had a fruition in a month it seems and I feel like off-cushion I am in another dark night of sorts.

I guess what I need is reassurance or any tips for people that have been through this already.

Thanks!
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 2nd to 3rd

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
The following was advice from tarin for 1st pathers (as talked of here) getting to 2nd path. It can also be applied to 2nd to 3rd and to 4th (as talked of here). Tarin made presumably fast progress through the 'paths' via this method. Within 6 months.



For Stream-Enterers: A Different Way of Doing 2nd Path

i'm writing this for stream-enterers, to suggest an alternate way of
doing 2nd path; alternate, that is, to what daniel ingram writes about
in 'mastering the core teachings of the buddha'. keep in mind as you
read this that the evidence behind this suggestion is mostly based on
the experiences of one person, me. i should also point out that in no
way am i knocking what worked so well for me for getting 1st path. i
would probably still be wandering around aimlessly, alternating
between getting oddly neurotic about my crap and spacing out into
equanimity and the formless strata, if it weren't for daniel, his
book, mahasi, and the maps. however, my rapid success at finishing 2nd
path makes me think this is worth putting out there because the method
i employed was so markedly different from how daniel portrays 2nd path
practice that i think other people should know about this alternative
as a possibility.

daniel recommends doing 2nd path like he recommends doing 1st path:
note note note, rise through the cycles, let it sync up, pop a
fruition. i did not do this. in fact, although i'd already dropped
into the next mind-and-body, i thought it might be better to not start
another path so soon and made no effort to cross the a&p. i went about
my daily life, making little or no time for formal practice, and
electing instead to, purely out of curiosity and fascination, watch
inclusively and in particular to see through the sensations that make
up the notions of 'inclusive', 'watching', and 'centre' whenever it
occurred to me to do so, or whenever it just happened on its own
(which, upon reflection, happened pretty often). the times i noticed
the cycles at all, i noticed them in a very basic and uninterested
way, made no effort to investigate them or the sensations that make
them up, and only recognised when i'd broken into a new stage after a
day or two had already passed. in retrospect, the a&p was inspiring
and energised, the dark night sucked, and equanimity was equanimity..
but i wouldn't have been able to tell you that while it was going on
(except by two days into the dark night, i knew it sucked).

here is the suggestion:
if, in working on 2nd path, you find yourself scrambling up the
insight ladder just because you think you're supposed to, but are not
sure why you're doing this, it might work for you to focus on seeing
the quality of the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive
way, keeping a clear eye on the so-called background to see if
anything's moving around back here. ignore everything that is not
obviously the clear and direct answer of paying attention here and
now.

it didn't occur to me, for the most part, to try to move from one
stage to another, but while i was in the dark night, i got concerned
about making progress for a day or two. but when it occurred to me
that i was only doing that because of pain and worry, i resolved to
stop running away and promptly did. if you tune your eye in to the
here and now, all that stuff will just rush by like water going down
the drain. just keep re-tuning your eye to this, knowing that none of
it is the solution. scary, mildly yet deeply painful, but try to run
this process in the back of your mind again and again while you're
going about your day. that's all i did, and less than a week after
crossing the new a&p, i got a fruition that left the background
shattered thoroughly and in an entirely new way. i had no idea i was
that close. it took a few hours to be sure i'd really finished the
path (but that still beat the few days it took to be sure about the
first one), and when i'd answered that question to my own
satisfaction, the certainty did not come from having had another
fruition, but from the clear difference in my baseline (read: right
now) perception and the diminished level of solidity in it.

so, once again:

see the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive way, paying
careful attention to the totality of experience as well as what seems
to be 'outside' that totality. don't get caught up about what things
mean and if you do, don't give a shit that you're caught up cos you're
not really, you just think you are. just keep paying attention in such
a way that nothing will take it away. the cycles may, and probably
will, happen, but ignore them and basically just practise as if you're
already in equanimity regardless of what shows up.

you don't have to wait until going for 3rd path to do this if it makes
sense to you to do this here and now.

tarin greco (theprisonergreco)
Russell ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 2nd to 3rd

Posts: 92 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Nick (and Tarin). In other words, pretend like I am in EQ and let go. See, I knew the answer, but for some reason my persistent ego is still driving and telling me things aren't going as they 'should be.' Whatever that even means.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 2nd to 3rd

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Russell .:
Thanks Nick (and Tarin). In other words, pretend like I am in EQ and let go. See, I knew the answer, but for some reason my persistent ego is still driving and telling me things aren't going as they 'should be.' Whatever that even means.


the exact quote is

basically just practise as if you're already in equanimity regardless of what shows up.


There is a difference between 'pretending to be in equanimity' and 'practicing as if in equanimity' I think. Experiment and see if there is a difference.
Russell ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 2nd to 3rd

Posts: 92 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
Thanks. I understand what he meant. Just came out wrong when I wrote my post. Thanks again.
Rist Ei, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: 2nd to 3rd

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
i think i did it too. Bringing/forcing myself nearer to here and now. Making myself more real.
When i am just in here and now, it is feeling like i still not awake enough, then i try to make/force myself more and more awake.

what made me think so is:

just keep re-tuning your eye to this


ignore everything that is not
obviously the clear and direct answer of paying attention here and
now.