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3/8/17 9:52 AM
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RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
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2/6/13 4:45 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Hi Bernd,

Comments would be appreciated. (...) I have more faith as ever in the technique, but I want to avoid unnecessary risks.

I went back to read your SE thread and I related to Mario's feedback re: probably not SE and that that would not matter-- your intention, effort and practice are there and that's what bears fruit regardless.

I think early-mid EQ is very, very tricky. As you noted, there's often clinging to EQ. I sure did. It's natural: it's like finding a life preserver in a stormy sea. It's only when that life preserver itself seems dissatisfactory that a person becomes willing to say, "okay. this can't be it. I'd better keep trying."

I think what you've described in this post is part of the mind's construction of its "high EQ". There's a ton of facing hard DN in that terrain, and it's that facing/surviving of hard challenges that builds the mind's equanimity. It is that equanimity that is then able to lift the mind out of DN reliably over the next months. Once the mind has several months (or some amount of time) of being able to lift itself out of DN into EQ, then mind naturally gives up on needing and getting SE as a desperately-sought cure to the "dark night of the soul" stages; the mind knows it has equanimity for this. And EQ is built with each hard cycle. Finally, during very calm sits in EQ, when the mind is not having to withstand DN territory, the mind is able to just enjoy the sitting job watching of its object, such as breathing. There is literally no expectation or assertion: that is a high EQ and that is when the mind is placid enough to see some plain aspects of its nature, like cessation.

The teacher wouldn't discuss what it was. She merely remarked I had learned a lot from the experience of liberating myself from the panic. She is very right.
That is quite a feat to sit get through your event there intact, curious and cautious. My feeling is that it was part of a DN loop, clearly an important one that gives your mind some history that it could basically handle its own ramping up/hysteria. But you and changes in your life as you sincerely feel and consider them are the best judges of what is happening, in my opinion.

RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
Answer
2/12/13 2:09 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Hi,

After the would-be SE last year I didn't meditate at all for 5 months. But the retreat started at the A&P.
Doesn't that mean that it really must have been the real stream entry?
Or is it actually possible to script oneself to A&P without going through the first three stages?

Whatever it was, after you mentioned it I'm currently seeing how I'm both clinging to the equanimity and how I'm not so satisfied with it. In a few weeks I will ramp up practice time again and see how it evolves.

RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
Answer
2/12/13 5:29 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Bernd!

After the would-be SE last year I didn't meditate at all for 5 months. But the retreat started at the A&P.
Doesn't that mean that it really must have been the real stream entry?
Bah, ignore me. You know best for yourself. And there's no need to decide this (although I'd say the first 5-6 months have both aspects of probing teachers for info/confirmation and some inexplicable joy). Also, I think if the possible SE event occurred last July then see what's changing in your mind by this July. I agree with many who've said this: these sorts of shifts take a year to basically unfold.

I totally agree with you that there's a tendency not to formally meditate for a good while after this event. Maybe a little roll-up-the-mat syndrome.


Whatever it was, after you mentioned it I'm currently seeing how I'm both clinging to the equanimity and how I'm not so satisfied with it. In a few weeks I will ramp up practice time again and see how it evolves.
Sticking with this 4-stage model offered by the Theravadan community, I think we can all expect to revisit these nanas until, and I speculate here, the big finale. Each nana and each stage has its dissatisfactory component, even the stage of equanimity, else we'd all stop there.

Also: I like your pie/pi shirt.

RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
Answer
2/13/13 9:50 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
In a few weeks I will ramp up practice time again and see how it evolves.

Also, about your concern for risk. I understand: there are times in meditation where breath gets very reduced and the only way this is known is that the mind can come out suddenly from meditation on a giant in-breath that the body naturally and automatically triggers. So I can only say that I think death in meditation is extremely rare, but it has been reported in young and old. A friend told me her elderly father died in zazen, but he was resuscitated by medics.

The other caution is, of course, take no caffeine to effect a long sit: high caffeine intake and long hours are somewhat associated with psychotic breaks/hospitalization. I think Bhante Yuttadhammo has a YouTube video on this.

I think knowledge of SE will be clear either way to you in a few months or by a year out from the initial experience as a quite settled interior understanding. That said, despite the conviction, I personally continue to hold doubt around any meditational experience just to keep from reifying it and building a story; it's a little procrustean, but it keeps me in check.

So good luck with your practice.

RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
Answer
2/13/13 1:26 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
This is similar to what happened to me during sesshin. It is the subsconscious mind which emerge due to the opening of the normal mind. I felt better now from the experience and more in touch to the more subtle level of fear that I normally suppress. Hope you can use the experience to relate to your past habits and be more aware of them in the present.

metta.

[nonsense]
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3/8/17 9:52 AM as a reply to Jin Lin.
[deleted because nonsense]

RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
Answer
3/14/13 2:58 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
It is very hard to critique people's practice well from just a few posts, but some things stood out and so these comments may be of relevance:

1) Resolutions during initial training except of the most general nature can be really counterproductive, I find, as it relies on will rather than organic development of direct perceptual insight, and that is not what causes insight to rise, where as direct organic perceptual development is.

2) There is very little mention of the Three Characteristics or much fine direct sensate investigation.

3) It seems very caught up in maps and in just trying to get through stages, rather than simply doing the bare, simple, straightforward techniques that cause those insights to arise and the maps to unfold as they were supposed to.

4) Are you sure you got stream entry? Was there a Review phase? Were there repeat Fruitions? Was there a Mastery phase? It is the Mastery phase that spontaneously generates new territory for new practice...

5) It just keeps seeming like you were trying to force things rather than doing the basic work that actually made the stages unfold.

6) It is possible to complete a progress of insight in daily life, just more difficult.

7) Losing control over ones actions is a sigh of progress, so long as what you mean by that is noticing that actions happen on their own (no-self), rather than meaning "losing control" as in "losing it" as in "doing really crazy or inappropriate things", which is totally different.

8) You need a good teacher who will talk with you in plain and honest language like a friend about all this stuff, as I think you really don't get that good technique, good investigation, good emphasis on sensate awareness, good emphasis on Three Characteristics lead to insights, and balancing the 7 Factors of Enlightenment makes things a whole lot better, and yours clearly weren't balanced.

9) That said, you sound like quite a trooper, so with more balance, present, sensation-sensation-sensation-based investigation, rather than push-to-the-next-stage-based effort, you may do very well, and it sounds like you may have hit equanimity, so that is good.

My thoughts this evening

D

RE: SCARY&unsettling event on retreat- Nearly brought me to psychi
Answer
3/8/17 9:53 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
[deleted because nonsense]