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Phenomenology

Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested

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Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Daniel M. Ingram 1/27/13 9:40 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Some Guy 1/28/13 8:47 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Fitter Stoke 1/28/13 10:54 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Joshua, the solitary 1/28/13 1:02 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested A. Dietrich Ringle 1/28/13 3:03 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/28/13 3:17 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Tommy M 1/29/13 9:31 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested PP 1/30/13 4:44 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested This Good Self 1/29/13 7:51 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Alan Smithee 1/30/13 3:55 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested J Adam G 2/13/13 1:36 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Fitter Stoke 1/30/13 7:33 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Tommy M 1/30/13 9:32 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested tom moylan 2/15/13 9:46 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested S. Pro 2/25/13 12:34 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested S. Pro 4/25/13 8:36 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Dee Miller 3/3/13 4:13 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Shel S 3/4/13 9:57 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Dan From Virginia 3/27/13 10:28 AM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Dream Walker 4/7/13 2:27 PM
RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested Antonius Block 4/26/13 3:05 PM
I am currently feeling the limits of my own phenomenology and was wondering if I could get a bit of a hand from the group. There are many descriptions of the A&P here, and I go into depth about my thoughts on it in the Diagnosing the A&P Thread (stickied at the top of the Recent Posts list), but I was wondering if anyone would be interested in adding to the criteria and phenomenological description of what happens, with it being more in summary/generic/descriptive form rather than people's long stories of the thing, not that I don't like those, but this would get to be a really long thing to slog through for people just looking for the meat of the thing, so try to keep them short and as to the point as possible.

So, DhO, anyone want to add depths, detail, nuance, elaboration, or your own idiosyncratic aspects to what can happen during the A&P? Critiques of that phenomenology? Need for enhanced terminology?

I plan to have threads about each of the stages, just to get more details and make our collective knowledge and probably MCTB 2 better, and for a good reference for those who arrive here looking to figure out what the hell happened to them. I thought the A&P would be the most fun to start with.

Any interesting substages, variants, quirky things, raptures, energetic stuff and the like you hadn't seen mentioned anywhere but happened to you in what you are pretty sure is that general territory would be welcome.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/28/13 8:47 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I had had several possible A+P-like experiences about 15 years before consistent Vipassana practice, all pretty vivid and magical (dreams, shaktipat, near death, etc...) That had all long since stopped. Two things confused me when I approached the A+P in practice:

1. I didn't understand that I would have to work through it again. I figured I would just test out or something.
2. The formal version was sedate and boring by comparison. I really thought it was EQ. Just long peaceful buzzy sits.

Hope that helps. I'm looking forward to the new book.

Jason

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/28/13 10:54 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Not sure if this is what you're looking before, but I recently wrote this in reply to someone's practice thread:

Fitter Stoke:
One way you can understand the first four ñanas - and I've never read it described this way, but it seems to be true - is that they're in a sense embedded in one another. Mind and body arises whenever the field of experience as a whole - both subject and object - become conspicuous as phenomena. Right now, do choiceless noting as fast as you can for about 30 seconds. I guarantee you'll enter Mind and Body. People naturally enter this state all the time without doing any meditation, but they tend to pop back out and re-embed with ordinary experience, because they're not trying to stay in it. Mind and body will give you a quick, intuitive, but partial feel for anatta, because consciousness and the self pull apart a bit here. There's a slight dissociated quality to it, because you're watching your mind.

If you hang out in Mind and Body for a bit, Cause and Effect naturally follows. It's just how Mind and Body shows itself if you watch it long enough: things are interacting with other things. This gives rise to that. In fact, if you're in Mind and Body for more than a few seconds, I can't see how you can fail to notice Cause and Effect. There's a sound in the other room; a quarter of a second later there's a sensation of arousal in the chest; it's immediately followed by some mental impressions. If Mind and Body is seeing that experience is nothing other than these sorts of things, then Cause and Effect is just seeing that they interact in this fashion.

Very closely related to the this-and-that of Cause and Effect is the underlying irritation or frustration in the thing. The second ñana introduced anicca; now we've got dukkha. So there's all three characteristics now, hence the name. (Anicca and anatta "support" dukkha.) You cannot perceive the source or the totality of the dukkha, obviously. But it's evident at this point. It usually manifests as physical pain that drops away quickly once you stop meditating. But it's common to perceive temperature changes, too. A lot of this stuff is probably there in experience anyway, but because you're focusing so much on it, it's really becoming conspicuous.

But there's a phase change at the 4th ñana, like when water suddenly starts to boil. Third ñana is an aspect of the second ñana which in turn is an aspect of the first. Keeping things in the same abstract terms, 4th ñana arises when one perceives the essence of the field of experience that first arose in the 1st ñana. The full name of it in the Vissudhimagga is "Deep Insight into the Arising & Passing". And that's basically the way it feels, regardless of how differently it can manifest for different people. There's an "A-ha" moment - much bigger than the "A-ha" in 1st ñana - where all of a sudden a big chunk of the Buddha's dhamma will suddenly make sense. The anatta and anicca intensify and shrug off the dukkha, and that's why people think they're enlightened here.


It's more of a conceptual framework for understanding what's happening at the 4th ñana without going into the sundry details of how one might experience it.

I've had variable experiences with the A&P. My first A&P came about a month after starting hardcore practice. Kenneth told me I was hitting 3rd ñana on some of my sits with early 4th ñana stuff. I re-read the section of MCTB that talks about the 4th ñana and zeroed in on the part where you mention the mind speeding up and no longer needing to note things. I wondered if my mind was moving faster that I had noticed, so I did a session later that day, and I realized that reality was presenting itself as these discrete chunks or frames. I realized I had biked over the hill and was now coming down the other side. I "let go", just let the attention move and sample things, and quickly realized, "My body is not solid!" I zeroed in on my hand, and it broke down into tens of little sampled bits. It was pretty awesome. My mood became manic. The next day I remember sitting on a park bench in the sun, feeling my whole body break apart and become part of the landscape. It intensified and tipped over into dissolution and the beginning of the dark night. All that week I'd get awoken in the middle of the night like someone had just hit me with jumper cables.

My next big A&P was about a week after stream-entry. I dreamed I was in a room, in some uncomfortable situation that I don't recall, and in order to resolve the problem in this dream, I had to surrender completely to my experience as it was. I could feel my consciousness begin to move "through" my body. It went in between the cells - which I could see in detail now - and passed through the other side. The cells were all vibrating and disappearing. I woke up, and there were currents of energy rushing up from the base of my spine, up over my neck and head, blasting out into space. My whole being felt suffused with love and joy. I laid in bed for the next hour, delighting in existence. (That was probably the beginning of 2nd path.)

About a month later, I had a series of A&Ps that left me unsure where I was on the path. I had one while driving which was very similar to the first one I had (very fast sampling of reality, feeling like I was in an arena rock music video). I went on a retreat about a month later, and about three days in, I left the meditation hall, sat down at a table in the cafeteria, and realized I was still very actively vipassanaizing everything without even trying. Reality was just unraveling of its own accord. Then there was energy shooting up the back and out of the head. Similar thing happened the following day during walking meditation. I actually stopped and grabbed on to a chair for support, the joy was so strong.

I actually haven't had that many A&Ps since then. I remember one over the summer where there was gentle energy shooting up my back. But that's about it.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/28/13 1:02 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
One observation, when yogis are willing to recount what they consider to be their event of enlightenment, it is always what would be called the a&p event here. Maharshi, Osho, Ramakrishna tend to talk about their a&p when pushed for a story on the experience of become enlightened...

In my experience the a&p can conjure times where you feel like you are dying, as if your body is just about to fall apart due to radiation sickness or something, all the while an almost perverse please continues.
The relationship between a&p and psychedelic drugs is curious. I think there is an a&p 'feeling' which continues a couple of days in the afterglow of a trip. Though I think this is ultimately worthless aside from to pique interest in meditation, for that territory must be trod the same.

I don't know how generic that text was...Ah one more thing, in my experience, insight practise is especially effective in this stage as opposed to jhanic where one can get stuck

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/28/13 3:03 PM as a reply to Joshua, the solitary.
I love the A&P. I also hate the A&P. I love it because it gets me high, and who doesn't like that? I hate it because it doesn't take me where I want go.
Sometimes I like to think about the cycles of insight and how they compare to electronic music. A child of the 2000s, the music that launched me into my first A&P was dubstep. I had run away from life to the West Coast and there was a period where I was literally hitting it every weekend only to crash down during the week. In many ways this style of music has many A&P elements to it - a build up, a drop, a breakdown, and I really dug that for a while.
Dubstep is kind of sexy music, as are most genres of electronica. It incorporates both masculine (bass, beat) and feminine (vocals, supporting elements) features. This vibes well with A&P, but the analogy only goes so far. The music can take you to the top, but once you are there you have to find your way back down, something I have yet to master.
Whether I dance to music, do drugs, have sex, bliss out in jhana, or whatever, as a male I want it to keep building and building and end in some kind of transcendent space of supreme ultimate bliss out...and, yeah. This is quite in line with my extroverted masculine energy. I am good at build ups but lack the skill to know what to do once I have reached the pinnacle. Its easy to quickly find myself in letdown mode.
In contrast you have feminine energy. Its not surprising that many couples do not have satisfying relationships. Women are just no match for men when it comes to their uncanny ability to quickly crank up the heat. Very few men, however, are comfortable and at ease when confronted with the awesome and frightening power of abidance that women can and do demonstrate. To successfully annihilate the A&P with supreme, orgasmic majesty you need both of these.
Blast your way to the top, and then ride it all the way down to the shuddering depths until you black out.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/28/13 3:17 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
In terms of the nyana (these all from my experience):
- rapid increase in amount of times/second you can notice something
- whatever you are noticing with your awareness that seemed solid and block-like now seems like it's fluid and made up of thousands of tiny elements, some of which are the seeming of solidity
- whatever you are noticing doesn't seem like it is equivalent to or part of who or what you are
- bliss and rapture come readily
- sometimes cool colors swirling around when your eyes are closed
- sometimes rapid white flashing with eyes closed, especially if you open your eyes and close them again
- sometimes swirling dot patterns that can form into intricate shapes
- fascination with whatever is happening, lots of intent to meditate well

In terms of daily life stuff (off-the-cushion), I'm currently considering a theory that Dark Night the nyanas and Dark Night the life-phenomenon are two quite different (albeit obviously related) things, and as such, that would also apply to the A&P, so I won't currently comment on "off-the-cushion life-phenomena that can happen around the time you are experiencing A&P-the-nyana on the cushion".

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/29/13 9:31 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
On-the-cushion

Physical Phenomena:

- Shaking due to energetic movement through the body, sometimes, but possibly inaccurately, called "kriyas"; usually begins around the base chakra area, spreading up and down the spinal column with activity in the upper thigh and shoulder area too.

- Soft warmth within the body sometimes manifesting as a sort of "prickly heat" pattern on the skin; occasionally feels like the face and head are heating up too, sometimes to the point of physically sweating.

- Erections; sexual blisses; orgasmic waves of shortwave vibrations flowing up and down the whole body.

- The body itself is not experienced as a whole, more like individual sensations arising and passing super-fast. This crosses over into mental phenomena too as the mental image of the body becomes like a hologram.

- Ease of sitting; physical discomfort becomes neutral or pleasant; prolonged sits without fatigue; complex asanas can become unusually easy.

- Breath seems to becomes super-slow at the end of the exhale; vibratory patterns observed within each phase of the breath, sometimes experienced as fractal-like in that each breath seems to contain a whole cycle within itself.

- Perception feels like it's being overloaded; can't keep track of every sensation occurring in real-time; in my experience, this is similar to stages of the psychedelic trip where the same sense of sensory overload can occur which, to me, suggests a possible correlation.

Mental Phenomena:

- Mental clarity; ease of noting; accurate perception of individual sensations from inception to cessation.

- 'Mind' feels expansive, powerful and focused.

- Control of attention; able to pinpoint individual sensations and perceive their whole physical/mental pattern at will.

- Mental image of the body is seen to be imputed; bare sensations are seen to be assumed to constitute the whole physical form.

- Distinction between "inner" and "outer" dissolves; internal and external physical sensations appear as equal, the distinction is seen to be an imputation but is difficult to maintain due to the speed at which the 'picture' is being built in real-time.

- Possible hallucinatory phenomena when strong concentration is involved; visual field, even with eyes closed, becomes deep and vivid; colours and forms perceived with eyes closed but, with attention, seen to be fabricated based on the arising of mental objects.

- Meta-perspectives; ability to perceive how one sensation actually contains many, many levels of sensory data and so provides the opportunity to go deeper into the structure of reality.

Off-the-cushion:

- Lucid dreams; out-of-body experiences possible with good concentration; increased ability to do both consciously.

- Perceptual lucidity; colours seem more vivid and direct.

- Sense of wellbeing; high levels of happiness and confidence; potential to be reckless and take risks in real-life situations.

- If you're involved with magick: Increased efficacy of sigils, invocations, visualizations; one-pointed concentration becomes rock solid which facilitates things like "Rising on the Planes" and other 'astral' experiences. (Also ties in with lucid dream, etc)

- Ability to 'lock in' to other people's body language and read them effortlessly; precognitive experiences; ability to influence people non-verbally to a high degree with the appropriate skills. This part is, in my opinion, all down to the ability to wield the attention like a sword and, due to almost-panoramic perspective available in 2nd jhana, take in more signals from the environment.

- Sex-drive goes sky-high; potential to become more attractive to the opposite sex through the increased confidence, focus and general 'vibe' that comes with this stage.

- Acting like an arsehole and thinking you're enlightened, or that you've been given some vital piece of information to pass on to the world. Delusions of being fully awakened; arrogance due to perceiving yourself as having some superior knowledge or whatever.

- Intuitive understanding of deep philosophical and mystical concepts, but not to the point of experiential understanding. (I quite like the word "grok" that some people use, from "Stranger in a Strange Land", to describe this sort of understanding.)

I'll try to add some more as I think about it, I'm sure I've got some stuff written down about this in my notes at home so I'll try to post those later if I remember. Good thread by the way, it's interesting to see people's descriptions of this in their own terms and seeing how, even if we're all describing the same 'thing', the words and metaphors we use will vary.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/30/13 4:44 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hey,

I think I could add something of value to the thread, as almost all of my A&P stuff happened before starting vipassana and involves energetic experiences. So this may correlate with beginners and / or people coming taoist practices.

- Six years ago, after a mix of long standing postures and qi gong practice coupled with little sleep due to night shifts, I had nasty recurrent dream paralysis experiences, which months later I could end when I understood that the psychological stuff was triggered by my fear to (then undetected) energy awakening. Finally I surrender to the energy, went up through the back and down to the chest where it spread, and a second later the legs ejected energy like missile rockets for a minute. These happened again the next day at a much lesser degree, and dream paralysis stopped. A year later, it showed up again but then I had more tools to cope it. I let the energy flow, had some pyrotechnics, and it has never showed up since then.

- Jung's Archetypal dreams, very clear symbolic dreams, both silent and wisdom teaching, mostly showing fear towards loosing control in samatha or fear towards emptiness, including an awful near-death dream.

- Out of Body Experiences, once fully awake, the rest awakening from sleep after energetic stuff. Some of these OBEs had unitive sensations too, towards physical objects near me.

- EDIT: descending into a full black abyss or a vortex with some with bright walls. Once a red nimitta seen at the end. After that (or OBEs), a display of 3D stuff that either is 3rd and 4rd jhana, or perhaps 1.3 / 1.4 jhana in Daniel's terminology.

- In lucid dreaming, merging with a Christian Saint.

- ADDED: Mirror face image (2D) that goes up and starts to spin around the top of the head and vanishes in a sort o ascending spiral.

- On cushion, briefly saw a past life, or whatever that is.

- Amazing magick and psychic stuff. What it's interesting is that "synchronicities" seems to happen much closer in time (almost in parallel) in A&P than in previous ñanas.

- On and off cushion, bubbling starts at Ming Men (2nd-3rd lumbar vertebrae) and goes up the column. Then, subtle shaking of torso and head.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/29/13 7:51 PM as a reply to PP.
Here's mine. Most happened resting in bed, around/during or before sleep. Only one of them, no. 5), happened as a result of self-enquiry meditation.

1) whole body vibrating so strongly that it felt like I had TENS machines stuck all over my body turned up to maximum.
2) 'brain orgasm', which felt like a gentle electricity so soothing and healing that I wanted to stay there forever.
3) seeing colourful moving fractal-like patterns (as a result of ceasing anti-depressant medication).
4) feeling like I was rolling out of my body, fully conscious and yet asleep at the same time.
5) feeling my identity expand beyond my usual boundaries and change to something 'wordless'. Only lasts maybe 1 second, but feels longer. Has only happened a few times.
6) I can't read other peoples' thoughts, but they sure seem to read mine, even without any visual cues. If I think something, the person I'm with will say it or do it. Happens all the time, to the point of feeling like my thoughts are written across the sky in big letters.

None of these things is important. For me, enjoying life is about letting go of negative thinking.

Why is no one enlightened here? That's the question that keeps coming up in my mind.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/30/13 3:55 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
With all the super-intense descriptions folks have been posting, it should not be forgotten that sometimes stages like the A+P can be quite subtle. If someone is expecting a real fireworks display -- which admittedly does happen to some folks -- then yogis can write off their own experiences. A friend of mine crossed the A+P while on a retreat, but didn't realize it until later because he had been expecting something "splashier" than what occurred. Some get fireworks, some don't.

I tend to think of the A+P in terms of the vipassana jhanas. The first time I crossed the A+P via meditation I had a slight feeling of rising, I had some flashing white lights, the muscles in my face tightened considerably, a very brief sensation of bliss bubbling in the chest, and the feeling that my concentration had shifted upward [which felt to me as if my consciousness had entered the middle of a large cavernous room]. I didn't realize until later that I'd passed the A+P. What I'd noticed at the time was the boost in my concentration, which I attributed to shifting into the 2nd vipassana jhana, which, for some reason, seems to produce energetic symptoms when you do it the first time, or its been a while since you last did it.

The next time I had an A+P event was while on retreat. Similarly, I had all the same sensations listed above, but I also got hit with a rapture wave which lasted a few hours, and I felt intense gratitude to everyone involved in organizing the retreat, and I felt a deep sense that the Buddha's teachings were true. Again, the main characteristic in my mind was the increase in my concentration and focus. Wherever I put my attention I could feel very subtle sensations. I could split my focus to numerous objects simultaneously. And I felt like I could -- without physically moving -- rove my focus around the room and place it on other people, and "tell" how their sit was going, if they were agitated, etc.

My running hypothesis is that the symptoms one experiences when "crossing the A+P" primarily result from getting into 2nd vipassana jhana territory.

And for me, getting into 2nd vipassana jhana territory is best achieved by focusing on subtle sensations arising and passing away: The more I focus on them, the more my concentration grows, the more I notice, until eventually I arrive in the 2nd vipassana jhana, and subtle sensations are then most apparent, until one gets what people have described as kundalini-type "energy" cracking on the surface of the skin. Chakra activity [such as at the third eye region], however, seems to begin earlier than A+P.

As I noted earlier, subsequent crossing into 2nd vipassana jhana territory/A+P are much subtler, but are usually characterized by a general increase in sensations, and in a tight and focused concentration.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/30/13 7:33 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
For me, enjoying life is about letting go of negative thinking.


obviously

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
1/30/13 9:32 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Why is no one enlightened here? That's the question that keeps coming up in my mind.

Wrong thread. Ask elsewhere.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
2/13/13 1:36 PM as a reply to Alan Smithee.
First off, major +1 to Fitter Stroke's first post here.

Second, the biggest indicator of A&P to me is the "noticing individual sensations happening quickly" thing. Any time I hit A&P with strong concentration, it's like a strobe light is being shone on the entire visual field. Even darkness/nothingness can be seen to appear and disappear rapidly. With less strong concentration, the strobing effect is less pronounced or even entirely unnoticeable. However, it still becomes apparent that everything changes with every "frame" of visual perception. Even if you're staring fixedly at a kasina, you're not seeing an unchanging thing -- you're just seeing very similar things appear and disappear over and over again as the visual field re-draws itself. (This is an imperfect description because the visual system doesn't look or feel quite like a TV screen with a well-defined refresh rate, but it's the best I can come up with for now.)

For hearing, I can notice finer details than I ordinarily would, and it happens more quickly. As I type this post with A&P-style attention, I can hear each individual keystroke. Before turning on the A&P, it was more like a generalized clacking noise, rather than a rapid-fire series of individual clacks.

For touch, the attentional magnifying glass becomes far more powerful. There are tens of sensations in a single inhalation, and a smorgasbord of sensations from all sense gates occurring in the pauses in between inhalations and exhalations.

For smell and taste, the flavors of foods are extremely complex. Some foods taste entirely different before and after being chewed, and even at various points while being chewed. Also, it's easy to notice a drastic change in food texture over the chewing process.

These things seem to me to be the core of the A&P, though they can certainly be overshadowed by the drama and fireworks of some A&P events. IME, these are the things that remain every time you re-visit A&P territory, even long after the fireworks have ceased to occur.

It's tempting to attribute all of these things to increased concentration, but I prefer to define concentration as stability of attention, and I think these phenomena are more like an increase in perceptual resolution than an increase in attentional stability.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
2/15/13 9:46 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Howdy,
the first time (excluding possible earlier possible well-falls) was a culmination of steady noting work. ability to note climbed to an unimaginable degree, massive feelings of expectation, funnel-like whorls of sensate bliss, a black-hole sucking of attention then a looooonnnnng outbreath:brain-cramp..click..click..click. b-b-b-b-BLISS.

subsequent times less so and gradually fading to relative normalcy but never bad.

first time i though it was a cessation emoticon

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
2/25/13 12:34 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
My cycling seems to be mostly recognisable off the cushion (I´m not good at understanding it while sitting):

1. Being "in love" in the conventional sense.
2. A funny experience 3 days ago: I was sleeping deeply during the day and someone was supposed to give me a call to pick him up. I dreamt that I felt the vibration of my cell phone in the pocket down at my right leg (I was lying on the right side in bed). The vibration of the imagined cell phone sent an energy rush through my body wich climaxed like an orgasm in my brain while sleeping. Very real experience...

Maybe I´ll post more later....

Sven

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
3/3/13 4:13 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Some things I've had during the A&P:

- A bright light like someone had cut a hole in my forehead and stuck in a flashlight
- A bodily sensation of lightness. My neck and shoulders felt like they were being pulled up
- Pulses at the base of my spine and in my forehead that were synchronized with my breath
- A couple times during walking meditation the world became very 'stop and go', as if I were viewing a movie reel at slow speed
- Energy, tingling, and a pressure at the base of my spine. It felt a bit like it was about to explode

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
3/4/13 9:57 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
My first A&P experience happened in a non-meditative context about 12 years ago, it happened after smoking a joint and having a laughing fit with a friend. It was an intensely pleasurable kundalini energy starting at the base of the spine running to the top of the head. I was also having visions of prehistoric men sitting around a campfire along with other strange things. The experience felt like a 20 minute orgasm, and ever since then i've been sensitive to vibrations and energy. I'd always been frustrated when my friends talked about it I could never feel it myself.
My second A&P was about a month and a half ago, after starting insight meditation in early December. I woke up in the middle of the night to a vortex of energy over my head. i remember watching my ego getting sucked up into this tube along with its protestations of "I don't want to die", 'I'm not ready", "Please no", etc. Was quite profound.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
fear blazing inferno narrative content abject terror calm state acute onset personal reason intense energy echo chamber stillness group project intensity flu flushed skin
Answer
3/27/13 10:28 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
On A&P phenomenology, having read again what's there it definitely covers the scope of what I recall. Perhaps I can add to the fear-into-terror...what I would call "Ripping The Lid Off" as yet another attribute for classification that sets one up to enter the dark night.
  1. A period of time during which you find yourself moving through fear/terror and eventually into a state of crystal stillness.
    .
  2. The fear is essentially pure sensate terror. It is characterized by sweep sweats, flushed skin, a mind in abject terror for several hours (in my case and those of others I've heard). From outside appearance, you will appear to be suffering the acute onset of flu. The terror can come with no apparent object which is causing the cycling fear into terror.
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  3. Hence the phenomenological narrative content of the mind during the cycle of fear to terror is
    • a fear initiates for any personal reason
    • b you think "my god this fear is terrible"
    • c become further frightened by the intensity of your fear [believing content], and
    • d hence further intensify your fear.
  4. You may or may not notice the phenomenological content of the mind may drop the original object entirely it is akin to:
    • a You then hear yourself think a thought,
    • b then believe the content of your thought (a),
    • c generate more intense energy - perhaps vibration,
    • d then become more terrified by the appearance of (c), and
    • e cycle to (c) and repeat.

    Hence once fear is ignited, you induce your own blazing inferno of terror by repeatedly being frightened by the echo of your own fear in the echo chamber of your mind. As this phase of the mind ends, you may find yourself in a reciprocally calm state of which feels like "crystal stillness".
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  5. Crystal stillness is characterized by a sense that the entire world is brand new and that your yourself have just been born. Anything no matter how old, cracked or worn or "broken" has this brand new quality. The mind is now as equally silent as it was loud during the terror. You may feel the urge to change your name as you don't feel like your old self. This is temporary as [going pithy here} you have yet to bring the dark night into full embrace and acceptance.

To my knowledge, nobody goes through this twice at ultimate intensity, "ripping the lid off", because in essence you exhaust and permanently break your resistance (I say resistance because its your own clinging that fanning the cycling flames of your terror. If this doesn't break, it will at least crack your identity, though you may not realize this immediately.

I'm very new to this site (a couple days) and this is my second post, but to me this event is A&P perhaps because the thought that sparked my towering inferno and "ripping the lid off" was thinking "I can't go back [to the way I was]" and during this period (beginning June 2007) I experienced so many other items on the A&P list. If this is helpful, I could probably do some others.

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
4/7/13 2:27 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
My Unitive Experience -
1) Feelings of oneness with all things
2) Shift to visual expansiveness and clarity
3) Deep feeling of calm contentment as compared to bliss
4) Moment to moment unfolding as perfection. Each person acting out their portion of the compete drama.
5) One pointedness concentration
6) Feeling that my spiritual journey has really begun

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
4/25/13 8:36 AM as a reply to S. Pro.
Another thing:

I noticed a general emotional opening in the sense of more deeply relating to others. So I guess the A&P also brings forth compassion.

Also, I tend to be more creative and to want to pursue new activities such as learning to draw, to sing, to play guitar.

Sven

RE: Group Project: Phenomenology: The A&P: Help Requested
Answer
4/26/13 3:05 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I believe I have crossed the A&P at some time, probably many many years ago, way before I knew anything about meditation. But I don't know when it was, I can't point to a previous experience and say "that must have been it" - there is no clear obvious such experience in my history. Sure, I have had a few intense experiences in my time, mainly involving drugs, and perhaps one of these (I have no clue which) was me crossing the A&P, but it is not clear at all. To follow from Alan Smithee's comments above, perhaps some peoples' A&P experiences pass by without saying hello?

It might be possible that I have yet to cross the A&P, but then I can easily and clearly observe the rapid pulsing vibrations in sensations during insight practice, and I have the impression that this is sufficient to indicate I am post-A&P crossing.

If I ever get stream entry I'll be carefully looking out for the A&P next time around...