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Stream Entry Attempt Log
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9/24/12 6:34 PM
Hello. I've been practicing on and off for roughly half a year. My practice has consisted of jhana and vipassana. I've come to be able to get into jhanas 1-3 consistently, and into the 4th if I have adequate time and patience. When I do vipassana, I can cross the A&P within around 5-10 minutes, and have been getting to the beginning of equanimity in most of my sits. I haven't had a consistent practice schedule. I'd say that lately, I practice jhana at least once or twice a week, and do vipassana once a day. I also make a decent effort to watch my senses and see how my mind is pulled.

I've decided that I'm going to try to get stream entry in October. I have a solid feel for getting into jhanas and making them stronger and deeper, and in vipassana, investigating the 3 c's leads to these characteristics becoming pronounced and visible. I think the reasonable thing to do at this point would be to take advantage of the familiarity and flexibility of my practice skills and give myself the whole month to working at getting path.

I'm thinking that I'll practice something like this:


-wake up
-morning jhana/vipassana sit
-school
-afternoon sit
-homework/work
-night sit

(I'd intend on at least an hour for each sit. 1 to 1 1/2 hour sits seem to be optimal at this point but I can always tweak according to practice and results.)

So mainly, the key thing is having 3 decently long sits each day, and sewing together all the sits with mindfulness of the senses at all times. I'm going to prepare by practicing jhana extra hard up to next month, so my mind is sharp and equanimious for the work of vipassana. I'm thinking of making the first sit heavier on the concentration side, and making the last sit heavier on the vipassana side.

I'll see how things are going by about halfway through the month. If I need to, I'll set aside a few days in the month where I basically alternate between sitting and walking vipassana all day, and set out to get stream entry upon that effort.

I think this sounds fairly solid. Does anyone have any advice? Anything I missed in my calculations? Anything that would be helpful to get this done? Personal experiences? I'm ready to see what all this talk of nirvana is about!

RE: Stream Entry Attempt Log
Answer
9/24/12 7:28 PM as a reply to Mind over easy.
Nice! This looks like an awesome layout. I am going to be offline for a few weeks practicing while you're practicing your second half, but I am looking forward to what I can read of this thread in the meantime.

sewing together all the sits with mindfulness of the senses at all times
Yeah, I totally agree with this. There is so much benefit in this. I was just writing with Nick over in the "Access concentration and 1st jhana" thread that saṅkhāra is like carpal tunnel of the mind, and that skhanda needs a break. Mindfulness at the senses is accessible, is always there, and can cause such amazing peace and concentration --- just doing regular ol' stuff. It is like a quiet bulldozer moving some saṅkhāra junk off the mind and letting the other skhandas rise up.

Anything that would be helpful to get this done? Personal experiences?
So my "best experiences" are in the loose zone of open sensate awareness. It's volition-free except for willingness to be here. The mind is just totally contented with whatever it is sensing. It is like the mind is in constant "great bed-side manner mode". Or a modality of pure listening.

Also: paying bills in advance is helpful, taking walks in fresh air, not being online. It's just one month and what a great opportunity.

Go Moe!