Stream Entry?

Asher K, modified 8 Years ago.

Stream Entry?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 7/31/11 Recent Posts
Hello, I recently spent 3 weeks on retreat at MBMC and after leaving the retreat it began to occur to me that I may have attained stream entry. It’s been about 5 weeks since I left the center and I thought it might be a good idea to post here and get some folks opinions.

My practice before the retreat: I’ve been meditating daily for the last 5 years, but it’s been the last 2.5 that I’ve gotten really into a noting practice. In that time I’ve done 6 ten day retreats, and maintained a practice of at least 2 hours/day. For the month before this retreat at mbmc I was sitting between 2-8 hours/day.

While I’ve been very interested in the progress of insight I’ve always had a very difficult time observing the stages in my meditation. At my most attentive I can sometimes pick up the shift from three characteristics to a+p, from a+p to dark night, and from dark night to equanimity. I’ve never been able to confidently and clearly observe the shift within the stages in dark night. It was explained to me once that while picking up on the stages does take practice, to some extent it’s also just a skill that some have and some don’t. Anyway, so I think that makes it not so surprising that I may have missed the fruition moment. If I had one…

On the retreat: On this last retreat I found myself in an amazing state of equanimity. My actual sits were nothing spectacular, but I found myself deeply accepting of whatever arose. There were times when I was definitely feeling a lot of anxiety and restlessness, but even in those situations it rarely ever bugged me. Sometimes I had really great concentration and other times I just couldn’t stay focused. There was a good deal of fluctuation in my experiences, but most of the time I was very much unbothered by whether what I was feeling was pleasant or unpleasant. It felt like I was just watching the ride.

In the past I have associated progress on retreat with my awareness getting so fast that I have to drop actual noting. And while that’s happened on previous retreats, this time I was pretty steady with noting 1 or 2 times a second. At times I did drop noting and went really fast, but it never felt like the natural, obvious choice, more just something to do.

I’ve also associated High Equanimity with an intense awareness of vibrations. And while on this retreat everything did have a vibratory quality, it was not in the ultra-subtle way I would have expected pre-stream entry vibrations to be.

After the retreat: It really didn’t occur to me at first that I may have gotten stream entry. The retreat didn’t seem to fit with what I believed high equanimity and a fruition should be like. The only reason I’m questioning it now is because it’s been over a month since I left the center and I still feel so different.

While I continue to feel very much like myself, at the same time I feel much more content and unbothered by everything. Like I no longer can relate to the me who used to get so absorbed and controlled by what was happening. It feels like I can without effort understand the three characteristics. That understanding is much more a part of me than it ever has been before.

Since I left the retreat, for the first time in years, I allowed myself to take a break from meditating. I still sit most days, but most of the time it’s not more than 30 minutes. And on days when I’m busy I don’t get frustrated with myself for not sitting. I have a feeling that pretty soon I will start sitting more frequently, but right now I’m really digging on this break.

So… Thoughts? Stream entry? No? Advice?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and share your thoughts.
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Shashank Dixit, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
How do you view the "self" now ?
Are you 101% confident that there is no-self in any of the aggregates ?
In what sense is there no-self in any of the aggregates ?
Asher K, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 7/31/11 Recent Posts
I can't say that I feel completely, 101%, free of the self. I still find myself at times thinking in terms of a self, but that's happening in a much less frequent and more insignificant way. It feels like there is a steady, deep, and natural understanding of 'no self' now, but even though that's always there for me to draw on, I still, at times, need to remind myself of it.

Before this last retreat, in daily activities, I would frequently remind myself of the 3 characteristics, but it would be more of an intellectual reminding. Now, even though I still sometimes need to be reminded, its not so much intellectual, more like it's second nature to see in that way, but I sometimes forget.

So I would say there are two major changes. 1.) I am finding myself very unaffected by the ups and downs of life. This aspect is always there and I don't need to do anything to be this way. 2.) I can see the three characteristics clearly and without effort when I choose to.

If being completely free of the self is what it means to be first path then I don't think I'm there. But I always thought being completely free of the self was saved for 4th path, and stream entry was just the first major step in that direction.

Thank you for taking the time to help.
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Shashank Dixit, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
1.) I am finding myself very unaffected by the ups and downs of life. This aspect is always there and I don't need to do anything to be this way. 2.) I can see the three characteristics clearly and without effort when I choose to.


It seems very likely that you are in High Equanimity.

If being completely free of the self is what it means to be first path then I don't think I'm there. But I always thought being completely free of the self was saved for 4th path, and stream entry was just the first major step in that direction.


At stream-entry only the "self-view" is broken..which means *conceptually* a person can never think of the self in the way
one used to think before however the *feeling* of self will continue to arise after that and complete obliteration of the
feeling of self goes only at 4rth path.

I think you are very well on track and you just need to continue practising..I would strongly suggest that you bring up the 3 Cs
more and more in your noting and just keep going relentlessly !

Another thing that helped me immensely is categorising every experience in terms of the 5 aggregates and this way you gain
confidence that you are covering your entire experience and not missing out on anything at all.