Micro Vs Macro Stages

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Simon T., modified 8 Years ago.

Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
Recently, I noticed that I experienced an A&P like event almost every of my sitting those days. It came as a surprised since I consider myself in equanimity and I did experience obvious cycles for a few weeks before.There was no A&P events during that period. I would just move from dissolution to equanimity during the day. Yesterday I stumbled upon a post by Kenneth Folk about those micro stages we can experience during a sitting. Beside A&P, I cannot identify anything else, though.

So, from what I understand we can be at one stage all day long, so to speak, but still experience the every stages when we sit. Is that correct? What is the relevance of that?
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 706 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Hi Simon. Can you describe "A&P event"?

I experience something quite similar every few days. (a speeding up of sensations culminating in a whoosh of pleasure)

thanks,
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Simon T., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
Bagpuss The Gnome:
Hi Simon. Can you describe "A&P event"?

I experience something quite similar every few days. (a speeding up of sensations culminating in a whoosh of pleasure)

thanks,



What I consider to be my A&P is short camera flash of white light. I came to understand this as my A&P for a few reasons. First, unlike others kind of light I used to get, this one never happen more than once a day and is clearly recognisable. Second, there is always a shift happening after it. A lot of tension get released. For a week or two I would get energized each time it happened. Then one day I experienced it and immediatly found myself experiencing strong dissolution symptoms (lack of desire to move, extreme relaxation, unable to pinpoint sensations). For a few weeks I would experience the stages of the dark nights in a very predictable and clear manner until now where things are more stable.
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 706 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Right. White flashes = my previous experience of A&P also. I've not had such things in quite a long time now but it sounds pretty much like you're describing.

Re macro/micro stages --personally Im so lost in this stuff I don't think I can offer any useful advice other than to verify some similar experiences.
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fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
You might get some mileage from investigating the three characteristics of how you experience considering yourself to be in equanimity.
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Simon T., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
fivebells .:
You might get some mileage from investigating the three characteristics of how you experience considering yourself to be in equanimity.



Up to now, my practice could be resumed by this.

1. Put effort into paying attention to bare sensations. In everyday life an emphasis is put on touch since it's easier to maintain.
2. Recognizing when discursive thoughts arise and cut them in their course to come back to bare sensations.
3. On the cushion, pay attention to whatever arise. Focus on a main object only when necessary.
4. Recently, my practiced was more about developing awareness of tension and dissolving them.

When we talk about "investigating the three characteristics" I get a bit confused. It might have something to do with the conotation of the word "investigating". Does it supposed to mean anything more than "Paying attention"?

I think I do pay attention quite a bit to impermanence since I work on maintaining awareness of the innevitable movement of attention.

I pay attention quite a bit to tension and pain and how my attention tend to move away from those sensations.

The no-self is a bit tricky. I started to play around with this only recently, now that I can get to this place where everything is black and quiet and the sense of a self tone down. Still, thoughts get involved quickly when I investigate that since there is more "searching" being done.
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fivebells ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 566 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
"When the bird and the book disagree, believe the bird." The model as you understand it has broken down for you, and that's OK; models have a tendency to do that. There were always apparent inconsistencies in it. ("What? I get SE, then I have to go through all the same stages of insight to get second path? Haven't I already done that by then?") If the micro-level model works for you for now, go with that. It sounds like the important thing is that you have a good practice which can carry you through all of these stages whenever they arise.

Simon T.:
When we talk about "investigating the three characteristics" I get a bit confused. It might have something to do with the conotation of the word "investigating". Does it supposed to mean anything more than "Paying attention"?


There are a couple of ways you could approach this. Presumably your conclusion that you are in the equanimity stage is based on bare sensations. Pick the most significant sensations in this class Are they you? Are they yours? Are they enduring? Are they associated with any kind of struggle or tension?

Alternatively, imagine telling a teacher "I have achieved the equanimity stage of insight," and the teacher raising doubts about your level of attainment. Then look at the bare sensations this triggers. That would emphasize the dukkha aspect. Or you could ask yourself "What has achieved the equanimity stage of insight?" and look at the bare sensations triggered by holding that question. That would emphasize the anatta aspect.

Since you have a very stable and effective practice, the fastest route is probably to pick whichever way makes you most uncomfortable. emoticon
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Simon T., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Micro Vs Macro Stages

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/13/11 Recent Posts
At this point, it's more an academic discussion than anything since I know longer feel that the mastery of the stages make a difference now. It was useful to determine my practice schedule and adapt it when I was struggling to handle my daily activities. I still struggle quite a bit (even more I would say) but I'm not in a spot where practice can improve the situation during the day.

It's quite fascinating that we share those brain circuits and that they can be activated in a relatively predictable manner.