Insight stages

ray yi, modified 8 Years ago.

Insight stages

Posts: 3 Join Date: 10/19/12 Recent Posts
Hi all!

I am a newbie meditator. I would like to thank you all, especially Daniel for great site with lots of useful information.

I read Daniels book MCTB and I am a bit confused about the stages of Vipassana Jhana. In the book he says he is stuck in dukka nanas for years. I thought you only went through the stages during meditation?

Does that mean you meditate through to a certain stage and you will stop at that stage indefinitely until you can reach the next stage in another meditation session.

I read somewhere that pre-path meditators always start at stage 1 (body and mind) and then go up from there.

So a bit confused.......

Thanks for any enlightening adviceemoticon)
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insight stages

Posts: 489 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
It can be confusing.

The idea is that the A&P is the point of no return. There are many ways of getting over the A&P - vipassana, drugs, chanting, just effing around with your perception, etc. - but once you do, your brain is forever changed. Once the mind has managed to see the three characteristics that clearly in some object, it tends to generalize that insight to the background of experience as well (space, time, subject, object). A person whose mind naturally inclines that way is now a "dark night yogi".

This doesn't mean that every time you sit you find yourself in the dark night. On the contrary, until you get stream-entry, every time you sit, you will find yourself at the start of the progress of insight, in the first ñana. What it means (I think) is that the background of your experience will be permanently unsettled after the A&P (at least until you get SE). This level of uncertainty or unease will perhaps make you a spiritual seeker, someone who unconsciously goes from one spiritual scene to another either trying to repeat the A&P experience or the ameliorate the dark night symptoms. But since neither the A&P nor the dark night are understood well by the dark night yogi, the problem tends to persist.

In my own opinion, there is something to this, especially the business about becoming a seeker. People who have crossed the A&P at some point, by whatever means, generally do seem to be seekers, though they may have crossed the A&P because they were experiments/seekers, not the other way around.

As for the business about being stuck in DN and having to keep coming back to it, in my own experience, it's not that big of a deal and really only comes up if you do the sorts of things that got you to A&P in the first place. I generally don't notice any DN phenomena whatsoever unless I am very concentrated with my butt on the cushion. Sometimes the effects will linger once the session is over, but I personally don't relate to the stories of people being lashed by the dark night for days, months, or years after, even if they're not meditating. Of course, your mileage may vary...
ray yi, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insight stages

Posts: 3 Join Date: 10/19/12 Recent Posts
Many thanks Fitter. That was very helpful.

Anyone have any references to why A&P event is irreversible in the suttas or commentaries ?
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insight stages

Posts: 489 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
No. I nominate you to research the subject, though.
ray yi, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insight stages

Posts: 3 Join Date: 10/19/12 Recent Posts
I couldn't find anything concerning A&P in the suttas.

What I did find was this from Ledi Sayadaw: Requisites of enlightnement
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Wheels/wh171.pdf

There are 4 types of worldlings:
1. Ugghāṭitaññu
2. Vipañcitaññu
3. Neyya
4. Padaparama

1 and 2 are super disciples that can get enlightened by just hearing the discourses (with or without further exposition). They are said to no longer exist.

In this day and age only the last 2 types exists. Neyya has the capacity to be enlightened within their lifetime providing the conditions are met.

However for the Padaparama :

"is an individual who, though he encounters a Buddha Sāsana, and though he puts forth
the utmost possible effort in both the study and practice of the Dhamma, cannot attain the paths and the
fruits within this lifetime
. All that he can do is to accumulate good habits and potentials (vāsanā).
Such a person cannot obtain release from worldly ills during this lifetime. If he dies while practising
samatha (tranquillity) or vipassanā (insight) and attains rebirth either as a human being or a deva in his next
existence, he can attain release from worldly ills in that existence within the present Buddha Sāsana."

So potentially if you happen to be padaparama and you cross the A&P, you are permanently stuck between 4-11 nanas with no hope of fruition for the rest of your life......ie chronic dark night Yogi until you die.........Yikes! I (I hope I am not one of them......)
Mario Nistri, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insight stages

Posts: 210 Join Date: 3/3/12 Recent Posts
I don't think there is any evidence of the existence of people who are intrisically unable to get paths...
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Shashank Dixit, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Insight stages

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
ray yi:
Many thanks Fitter. That was very helpful.

Anyone have any references to why A&P event is irreversible in the suttas or commentaries ?


The first A&P is a massively deep insight about the nature of fundamental reality..specifically the reality
about your existance...and its a cool event because of the "wow I discovered this deep thing about mind and body and
I can see where the problem lies"...but after that one wants to end that problem that one has
discovered in the A&P and when it does not happen/when solution to that problem looks impossible,
a "dark night" arises..

That said , I dont think you should limit yourself with "types of people and enlightenment"..your
curiosity in the lines of "what is all this mind body phenomena anyway" will progress you quicker.