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Territory
Answer
4/2/13 2:14 PM
Hi everyone,

Does the territory of a path change over time? Or is it fairly consistent?

By "territory" I mean sensations, feelings etc as one progresses through the stages of insight.

What is your experience?

RE: Territory
Answer
4/2/13 3:31 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Do you mean from stage to stage or multiple pass in the same stage?

RE: Territory
Answer
4/2/13 4:11 PM as a reply to Simon T..
The latter.

I mean can the A&P become different over time. Can the DN change significantly.. Or is it pretty much the same thing with varying degrees of intensity due to concentration levels?

RE: Territory
Answer
4/2/13 6:01 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
I cannot speak for others but my own experience is that a stage is pretty consistent. One thing that color a stage, more particularly in the DN when we tend to cycle quite a bit, is the level of relaxation. I had some re-observation that were totally debilitating and some where I was so relaxed I was fooled into believing it was equanimity. The reverse could be said about equanimity. There is some phenomena that I only experienced a few times and there is things that happen like clockwork. For the most part, the stages are ridiculously predictable and that's why I'm so thankful for the maps. Why that question?

RE: Territory
Answer
4/2/13 11:41 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Hi Nick,

[quote=Nick W (aka Bagpuss)]Hi everyone,

Does the territory of a path change over time? Or is it fairly consistent?

By "territory" I mean sensations, feelings etc as one progresses through the stages of insight.

What is your experience?

Then...
[quote=Nick W (aka Bagpuss)]The latter.

I mean can the A&P become different over time. Can the DN change significantly.. Or is it pretty much the same thing with varying degrees of intensity due to concentration levels?

So I think dukkha nanas can seem like they are different/changing significantly, but I think that's just because fearsome/threatening themes cause the mind (a mind that is prevented from avoiding DN objects, that is) to become very engaged/vigilant with such themes, specifically. I think that is just part of mammal mind evolution: if one can't get away from bad ideas, the mind imprints those suckers very specifically in order to avoid anything that resembles them in the future. Some superficial sensations do change (such as itchiness and fidgetting may not come up), but the basic tension/aversion of DN is there to be dealt with whatever is the new theme of DN (which is basically still mind's relationship to a thought, a knowledge). Whereas A&P events tend to be blissful and expansive and in that feeling a person can have several A&Ps over years and sort of merge them all together as "bliss", "oneness", "divine", etc.

What is different, to me, are just the insights. Those seem to me very different and pretty quickly impact how I live. And those, to me, depend on a basic, steady level concentration.

Duration of nanas I think can also change. Equanimity can become really extended in first "path" if nothing is there to provoke more practice or a person is choosing to avoid the practice for the moment.

I'm curious about your thoughts, Nick.

RE: Territory
Answer
4/3/13 9:02 AM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
I cannot speak for others but my own experience is that a stage is pretty consistent. One thing that color a stage, more particularly in the DN when we tend to cycle quite a bit, is the level of relaxation. I had some re-observation that were totally debilitating and some where I was so relaxed I was fooled into believing it was equanimity. The reverse could be said about equanimity. There is some phenomena that I only experienced a few times and there is things that happen like clockwork. For the most part, the stages are ridiculously predictable and that's why I'm so thankful for the maps. Why that question?


Yes. I've certainly had that experience as well! Underneath it though you can see what it is. You can see that it is the same territory viewed with more/less intensity.

Katy:
So I think dukkha nanas can seem like they are different/changing significantly, but I think that's just because fearsome/threatening themes cause the mind (a mind that is prevented from avoiding DN objects, that is) to become very engaged/vigilant with such themes, specifically. I think that is just part of mammal mind evolution: if one can't get away from bad ideas, the mind imprints those suckers very specifically in order to avoid anything that resembles them in the future. Some superficial sensations do change (such as itchiness and fidgetting may not come up), but the basic tension/aversion of DN is there to be dealt with whatever is the new theme of DN (which is basically still mind's relationship to a thought, a knowledge). Whereas A&P events tend to be blissful and expansive and in that feeling a person can have several A&Ps over years and sort of merge them all together as "bliss", "oneness", "divine", etc.

What is different, to me, are just the insights. Those seem to me very different and pretty quickly impact how I live. And those, to me, depend on a basic, steady level concentration.

Duration of nanas I think can also change. Equanimity can become really extended in first "path" if nothing is there to provoke more practice or a person is choosing to avoid the practice for the moment.

I'm curious about your thoughts, Nick.


I'm not really sure what my thoughts are emoticon

I've said from time to time that I am experiencing the stages unlike I used to. Im not going to go find all the instances but Im pretty sure i've said this same thing at least 3 times over the last 6mts or so. Currently I am experiencing headache right inside the skull to a level that is shredding my practice. It is not how I "used to" experience RO, though "head" is still the theme of course. My A&P seems different also. And I often have trouble getting through the first bout of head tension/aching which i take to be the 3C's territory (before it all goes a bit fizzy and fun for a while) ---this is not how it used to happen. I think most of the time I never even noticed the 3C's stage..

What made me start to think more openly about all of this is seeing a couple of posts here recently claiming SE where reading the descriptions I thought "wow, sounds just like the A&P" or in the case of ongoing life-experience post-SE "really? well that's the same for me..".

I came to the conclusion that the descriptions i'd seen were mistaken. That it was more likely these folks had misdiagnosed their experiences than that I had attained SE without noticing. Not that this is particularly helpful. It's just what made me start entertaining the possibility I'd missed something significant a bit more seriously.

It is very confusing.

There are some good arguments for "Nick got SE some time back", and some good arguments for "Nick's still in the DN of 1st path". Not that it matters very much. My job remains the same, and it'll hopefully all make sense at some point. But in light of my debilitating headache issues and unfamiliar territory (well, heh.. kind of unfamiliar, this didn't happen yesterday!) it makes me wonder, and more importantly, has me looking at a practice change to navigate this territory I am in right now, whatever stage/state/path it may pertain to.

RE: Territory
Answer
4/3/13 9:32 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
It is very confusing.

There are some good arguments for "Nick got SE some time back", and some good arguments for "Nick's still in the DN of 1st path". Not that it matters very much. My job remains the same, and it'll hopefully all make sense at some point. But in light of my debilitating headache issues and unfamiliar territory (well, heh.. kind of unfamiliar, this didn't happen yesterday!) it makes me wonder, and more importantly, has me looking at a practice change to navigate this territory I am in right now, whatever stage/state/path it may pertain to.

Awesome. This is really the chef in the kitchen baking something with unknown/unclear ingredients. I generally love your posts and their candor and this long-term willingness to explore, not know, and let what is understood arise on its own, with its own natural confidence.

Insights in meditation remind me of athletics. Sometime my routine physical efforts (something "athletic") are just pure effort, pure effort, just the discipline and this can get tiring. But then one say the body will do something that my mind, my mental directing, did not do... and that's just a great result. I've had a terrible time with upside down balances my whole life. This winter I woke up at about 3 a.m. and just did an upside-down balance asana. I had to laugh. Wow. So the practice just produced something "I" could not and at that point there was no confusion about the practice. But for weeks, months, I personally had no confidence about my physical practice. Now I also don't have any confidence or lack thereof in that practice, I just know that if earnestly and carefully practice and if I don't try to force outcomes, then it has happened that helpful, actual things have resulted. So too meditation/mindfulness. The effort compounds (or depletes when I am not sincerely practicing).


Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing your practice.

RE: Territory
Answer
4/3/13 2:50 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Thanks Katy

I may have to start a practice log. I know i'm not the only one to suffer nasty headaches...

PS. I am doing just the basic stretches for mobility these days as I'm mostly heavy lifting again, but I think you would very much enjoy this. Once you get past "what is yoga" it's an exceptionally inspiring read with a lot of ideas for deepening and designing practice.

RE: Territory
Answer
4/3/13 3:55 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
When I've gotten bad headaches, it's been caused by jaw tension. I find it surprisingly hard to stay aware of.