Blip

Jake D., modified 8 Years ago.

Blip

Posts: 8 Join Date: 9/15/12 Recent Posts
Okay, I'm wondering about something I experienced the other day while sitting. I was following the contours of some fearthoughts, flashes of images from horror films, etc., while softly in the 4th concentration jhana. Noting fear and the processes of the body and the flux of light phenomena. Suddenly their was something like a soundless crack or the negative inversion of a flashbulb, and all that noise, all the clutter of thought went away. It was like a system reboot, or wiping all the dust off of a wooden table so that is shines with a polish. Clarity of thought and precision of focus stood in the place of cluttered and fearful skittering mind activity, and then there was just the spaciousness of the visualizations of lights receding, something like multicolored clouds passing quickly away. Was this fruition? I didn't notice a hard break in my apprehension of sensations or thoughts other than the infinitesimal blip, but I have noticed that there is more "space" between my immediate perceptions and thinking and what I'll call, for lack of a better way of saying it, awareness. And this is very different than when I first began practicing, but I can't say that it is tied directly to the experience of that particular moment.

In terms of my practice, I sit daily for between 45 minutes and an hour, broken up over two sessions, and had been in equanimity for about a while before the blip.

And, to be fair, I experienced something similar a few weeks before this time. But I got lightly stoned before reclining, so I took it with a grain of salt. While stoned, the negative flash was much more intense. This latter time, it was remarkable more for the fact that before skittering messy thoughts, after not; it swept away the clutter from awareness, cleared the gunk from the mind.

Thoughts?
m m a, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 153 Join Date: 6/9/11 Recent Posts
A+P?


hard to say. Do YOU think it was a fruition?
Jake D., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 8 Join Date: 9/15/12 Recent Posts
Hey m m a,

Well, I think it was something. I don't feel like it was an A+P, because it didn't come with all of the bodily "wow" that A+P tends to come with. It was definitely different from a normal sitting, sort of a like a refinement. We'll see.
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Tommy M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey Jake,

I remember your original thread and your descriptions were really good, I also remember Daniel confirming you'd likely been hitting Equanitmity.

Suddenly their was something like a soundless crack or the negative inversion of a flashbulb, and all that noise, all the clutter of thought went away.

Sounds promising...

It was like a system reboot, or wiping all the dust off of a wooden table so that is shines with a polish.

Even more promising, and a nice analogy too.

Clarity of thought and precision of focus stood in the place of cluttered and fearful skittering mind activity, and then there was just the spaciousness of the visualizations of lights receding, something like multicolored clouds passing quickly away
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Nice, sounds familiar and so...

Was this fruition?

I can't be 100% but it does sound likely, and a few other things you mention also lead me to suspect you've experience fruition.

I didn't notice a hard break in my apprehension of sensations or thoughts other than the infinitesimal blip, but I have noticed that there is more "space" between my immediate perceptions and thinking and what I'll call, for lack of a better way of saying it, awareness.

Interesting that you mention this newfound spaciousness 'cause that's the first thing that I noticed after hitting Path, it's quite distinctive and what you've described here also sounds familiar in my experience.

And this is very different than when I first began practicing, but I can't say that it is tied directly to the experience of that particular moment.

Yeah, I can understand why you'd say that. It's like you immediately realize that it's never been any other way, it seems like you were always aware of 'this' but just didn't notice it or something? Would that be another way of saying it?

And, to be fair, I experienced something similar a few weeks before this time. But I got lightly stoned before reclining, so I took it with a grain of salt. While stoned, the negative flash was much more intense. This latter time, it was remarkable more for the fact that before skittering messy thoughts, after not; it swept away the clutter from awareness, cleared the gunk from the mind.

Are you sure it was the same sort of "negative flash"?

Did you notice any perceptual changes in the way you did with this recent "blip"?

I take a smoke too so don't be afraid to get into insight practice while stoned, depending on what you've been smoking it can help concentration or even make perception of mental sensation much clearer. The downside is that it can just as easily lead to torpor, cloudiness and phasing out unless you've got your mental chops together and can utilize it effectively, which is a skill worth learning. emoticon

I recall a similar sort of progress from when I experience anicca directly and when I hit Path, the same sort of timescale of a few weeks. The initial realization changed something in my understanding of the world, it cleared away something from the mind in the same sort of way you describe, but it was only when that first clear fruition happened that it became an experiential rather than intellectual understanding. Interesting, I'd actually forgotten about that.

I suppose the best advice is the old classic: Wait and see.

Look at what's changed in your experience, how you relate to the world now and how you understand philosophical paradoxes in light of this perceptual shift. Is there a change in your ideas or experience of "you" as a separate, independently existing entity?

Give it some time, do some reality-testing and see how these realizations stand up to close examination. I suspect that you've probably gotten Path, but again I can't be 100% for numerous reasons not limited to the fact we're communicating on a forum online.
Jake D., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 8 Join Date: 9/15/12 Recent Posts
Hey Tommy,

Thanks for the detailed response. I think you're right that it was sort of like realizing that there was all of this other stuff "there" that was somehow just outside of focus. Or out of the frame. So it was like looking through own of those viewgoggle things that are at tourist destination that have different levels of zoom and dialing back a step. There was suddenly a lot more in the frame, but all the rest of was there still too. Yet without the loss of detail that stepping back with zoom. Something like that.

It's funny about personal identity. I'll notice sometimes that instead of reflexively identifying my hand as "mine" when I'm doing something (like typing this response), it'll pop into awareness as it's sitting in my vision, and I'll see it as an aspect of the composition of my awareness of what's going on (it's touching the keys and flitting about), but instead of an inherent, disaggregated "mineness," I notice that it's there and transmitting sensations to awareness, one of which is the sense of ownership that makes it mine. So, I guess, I notice that my sense of personal identity is a composite of a whole bunch of discrete sensations that appear fairly granular when you look at them and are not disembodied from the flesh that conveys they.

Some other interesting things dealing with sense of self have come up in deeper concentration states, when my sense of location and "unity of self," I guess, went a little bit cubist (or something) and seemed to be split over several discreet locations. That was odd. The image I thought of to describe it was: if your general sense of proprioception locates itself with the precision of a laser pointer, this was like shooting the beam through prism, and having it scattered in several places.

And then there was the other time I'd smoked (but this was before I'd started practicing in a disciplined way) and I became convinced that the "self" was really just a whole bunch of translucent layers overlapping, or a bunch of panes of glass, each with a certain feature apparent, and when you look through them all you get an image of a self that looks more or less coherent. But when you start looking closer, peeling away layers or smashing panes, you see that each one isn't itself, disaggregated, isn't self-like at all. And then the whole image of self begins to look wobbly and shifty (or broken into shards). But there would still this looking awareness. That was a startling image to have. There are, anyway, limits to stoned insights!

But yea, wait and see, definitely.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 487 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
(1) What have subsequent sits been like? Does it feel like you're at the Arising & Passing from the moment you sit? Do you climb up to high equanimity much more quickly than you're used to?

(2) Have you been able to duplicate the experience of fruition?

(3) Has the desire to meditate fallen off somewhat, as though you know on a level that you've gotten it done?

(4) What's the quality of mind like both on and off the cushion? Is it light and subtle? Powerful?

My suspicion is that you've gotten path, since the insights you're reporting are familiar to me from review. But these are some other signs to look out for.
Jake D., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 8 Join Date: 9/15/12 Recent Posts
Interesting. This morning while I was sitting, I actually "got into" meditative sensations in a way that I haven't for a while: I was thrilling to the visual percepts that start up after a couple minutes of stillness. And, to be honest, this was the first real sitting--more than 20 minutes, not reclining before bed--that I've done since thinking that I'd hit path. But awareness was far less equanimous in response to stimuli than it has been for a while: I was into it the bodily wow of meditation.

But yes, there's less eagerness in my desire to meditate: because I've gotten a habitual practice going, I still do it (and there's also a more subterranean urge pushing things along), but the superficial desire to "explore" meditative states has tapered notably. Now it's more, "I'll sit and empty my thoughts for a while and do this," less, "What can I discover today!?"

Repeating the experience: if I count the time I was stoned, then yes. If not, not yet, or at least, not in the same way.

Equanimity comes fairly quick, but this morning it slipped into light rapture for a bit (nice), before reclaiming center stage.

Mentally, I feel more "embracing," not in the sense of being open to the world, per se, but in the sense that I'm more able to nimbly follow my thoughts and notice the way they (and my mood) are entangled with things that occur in the environment, etc., my mind seems to grab, embrace more that is thrown at it.

In that vein (tho this is probably for another thread, really,) I find myself incredibly attuned to other people's moods. I've always been that way, but there's a less reactive quality to this attunement than I am used to.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 487 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
Jake D.:
Interesting. This morning while I was sitting, I actually "got into" meditative sensations in a way that I haven't for a while: I was thrilling to the visual percepts that start up after a couple minutes of stillness. And, to be honest, this was the first real sitting--more than 20 minutes, not reclining before bed--that I've done since thinking that I'd hit path. But awareness was far less equanimous in response to stimuli than it has been for a while: I was into it the bodily wow of meditation.


A lot of people report the first few sits after path as being like riding a rocket. It's like your mind was a bicycle before, and someone swapped it for a Ducati.

Repeating the experience: if I count the time I was stoned, then yes. If not, not yet, or at least, not in the same way.


I wouldn't necessarily discount having a fruition while stoned. One of my first fruitions came after a night of pitchers and shots at the bar.

Equanimity comes fairly quick, but this morning it slipped into light rapture for a bit (nice), before reclaiming center stage.


Mahasi says that, in review, it's not uncommon to attain equanimity in five notes (sensations). I don't remember ever being that fast, but it does occur pretty quickly (in about 5 minutes).

Experiment with it throughout the day. You might find you can get up to equanimity while going for a walk if you just consistently tune into the rising and falling of sensations.

Basically, the states should unfold from A&P to equanimity as naturally as a ball rolling down a hill. I also remember the states looking somewhat different at this point, like they were all part of just one, natural motion toward expanded consciousness, space, and equanimity. You could see if there's something like that in there.

Mentally, I feel more "embracing," not in the sense of being open to the world, per se, but in the sense that I'm more able to nimbly follow my thoughts and notice the way they (and my mood) are entangled with things that occur in the environment, etc., my mind seems to grab, embrace more that is thrown at it.


Assuming this started after your suspected path moment, I'd count that as evidence in favor of stream-entry.

I'd like to see Tommy chime back in, or even Daniel if he's around. But my educated guess is that you got it.
Jake D., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 8 Join Date: 9/15/12 Recent Posts
The mind as more powerful may be a good way to describe my sits recently. Not necessarily more focused, but it feels something like the difference between bodysurfing in Lake Michigan and being pummeled by the surf in the Pacific: stuff, the sensations of things seem more highly charged and awareness is _grappling_ with it. And the place I had been in for a while--equanimous, calm, simple, and controlled sitting--ain't there no more. Things are rawer again.

I concurrently had some shit go down in my personal life which is making my sits a bit more distracted. That's leveling out now, so we'll see if my sittings chill out a bit or continue to roar.

I'm giving Tommy's suggestion of making a simple resolution for a fruition a go, and I'll be able to sit for a more extended periord this weekend to that end.
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Tommy M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Blip

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I've got some stuff to do tonight or I'd leave a more detailed response, but basically I just wanted to say that, as far as I can tell, you've gotten Path. I still stick with the whole "give it time" thing, but based on your replies and descriptions so far I'd be surprised if it weren't the case.

One quick thing I'll mention though is to do with fruitions: Try resolving to hit a fruition. Do it right now. Just tell yourself, with complete sincerity and the certainty that, if you've gotten Path, it will happen: "I resolve to attain a fruition". Drop the resolution from your mind and just go back to doing whatever you're doing, don't sit there expecting it but remain attentive/mindful of your immediate experience. You may not notice the entrance and exit, you might only get a complete "Da fuck was that?!" feeling and a moment when you realize that reality just complete vanished a second ago, but given that you now know what a fruition is actually like you'll find it easier to notice. You can repeat the Path fruition, but there are cyclical cessations that happen naturally which are much more subtle and sometimes barely noticeable.

Give resolutions a go anyway and see what happens.