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advice please, after (maybe) SE

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advice please, after (maybe) SE
advice post-se
Answer
7/22/13 3:38 AM
Hi guys. First post here. I have had a daily meditation for about 3 years now. But one month ago I found this forum and Daniel's book and I literally cried with joy and gratitude for the information, it was exactly what I had been looking for for years. So thank you all!

I am gonna try be really quick. I have been on house retreat for a month, sitting about 2-4 hours a day, lying and walking practice on top of that, learning noting practice and diligently following the progress of insight. The stages appeared very much as described and I think last night I completed a cycle of insight. Yay!

but a question. I now have to go work at music festivals for the next 2-3 weeks, I am working at a cocktail bar and as a dancer and the opportunity to practice is going to be nigh on impossible. I am going into a very high energy and hedonistic environment and I am going to be distracted and intoxicated by all kinds of things emoticon Maybe I can try sit an hour each day somewhere at an irregular time, that is the upper limit I guess for the next 3 weeks.

What kind of practice should I do? any advice?
Should I maybe just do concentration practice?

Basically I really want to do more insight to investigate my possible path experience, and just because it's interesting.
But this last 2 weeks I have had some of the most terrifying experiences of my life, I have known all kinds of extreme sports rushes, adrenaline effects, mood-altering substances, but I never knew such terror could exist in the human psyche! And also a day of feeling actually disgusted with everything, like the behaviour of my close friends which caused a real world problem. I can't go through these things again in the next 3 weeks when I am hungover and working 12 hours shifts in a van with people who are high over a weekend.

I'm really unclear of how cycling works after a path. So for example, as I just lay down this morning, paying very very weak attention to the sensations in the body, the stages just played out from A&P to re-observation in about 10 minutes. If I start rigorous noting practice (which seems nigh on impossible at this stage - I can only liken it to trying to have sex again after having just ejaculated (from a male point of view) no matter how much I seem to want to note, the mind and body have simply gone from virile and energised to seemingly satisfied and flaccid), will I experience the stages in the same full glory that I experienced over the last 2 weeks? or is the intensity and effect lessened? Can I investigate trying to re-attain fruition?

any advice please much appreciated. I also realise that I have not tried to ask for verification of my experience. This is not because I don't want to (I desperately do!) but I think that's a separate conversation which would probably involve me writing for another hour or 2 about my experiences over the last month, which I will do (I hope it won't be too boring) soon.

Thanks for everything you have given me so far and for any future advice.
Anthony

RE: advice please, after (maybe) SE
Answer
7/22/13 6:29 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
howdy anthony and welcome,
congratulations if you got first path and congratulations if you didn't!

some of the things you are describing fit well with post a&p experience so it may be that you are experiencing the nanas of the first path still. more info and a clear phenomenological description of your experiences might be helpful for some of the really good people here to chime in.

as far as your upcoming "busy season" ... do what you can. if you can sit for an hour do that. if you can, try to objectify everything thats going on while not formally meditating.

good luck

RE: advice please, after (maybe) SE
Answer
7/22/13 2:04 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Hi there, anthony g,
What kind of practice should I do? any advice?
Should I maybe just do concentration practice?

Basically I really want to do more insight to investigate my possible path experience, and just because it's interesting.
But this last 2 weeks I have had some of the most terrifying experiences of my life, I have known all kinds of extreme sports rushes, adrenaline effects, mood-altering substances, but I never knew such terror could exist in the human psyche! And also a day of feeling actually disgusted with everything, like the behaviour of my close friends which caused a real world problem. I can't go through these things again in the next 3 weeks when I am hungover and working 12 hours shifts in a van with people who are high over a weekend.


Metta (from mitto: friend, aka "friendliness").

This is from Thich Naht Hahn:
In that Dharma talk, the Buddha advised Rahula to practice being the earth, the great earth. The Buddha said, "Rahula, practice so that you’ll be like the earth." People might throw on the earth things like perfume, excrement, urine, all the dirty things, but the earth always receives all of that without anger. No matter whether it is the perfume or jewels or gold or silver or flowers or garbage or dirt or excrement or urine, the earth receives all of that without any resentment, any anger, because the earth is great, is large. The earth has the power to transform all these. You have a dead mouse in your kitchen. You want to get rid of it—where do you put it? You throw it to the earth. In no time at all, the earth transforms the dead mouse into something that you can accept. The earth has a great power of transformation, because the earth is great. So practice so that your heart becomes as great as the earth. You suffer only if you are small, if your heart is small. But when your heart is expanded you don’t have to suffer. You don’t need to make an effort to bear the suffering.


I cannot think of a more challenging practice (reflects on me), but I've been told and I've read that this is what must be learned after first path.

Best wishes and I hope to hear more and to learn from what you study and do,
Katy

PS: +1 on Tom's congrats if you did and if you didn't... emoticon

PPS: Some of that comment to Rahula I don't get... I wouldn't/couldn't yet throw my own relative safety or relative well-being into the wind ("being the earth"). But friendliness and receptivity can go a long way. You're doing something waaaaay outta my league though!

RE: advice please, after (maybe) SE
Answer
7/22/13 6:26 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Hi Katy, thanks for this, that's a very beautiful quote about being the earth, it really resonates with me!

@tom, that's really good advice I think, by objectifying, do you mean note them?

I ended up writing up the bare bones of my months experience as you suggested too, I put it in the claims to attainments section so you can check it out.

Thanks again both and looking forward to 'existing' on this forum now with you emoticon


katy steger:
Hi there, anthony g,
What kind of practice should I do? any advice?
Should I maybe just do concentration practice?

Basically I really want to do more insight to investigate my possible path experience, and just because it's interesting.
But this last 2 weeks I have had some of the most terrifying experiences of my life, I have known all kinds of extreme sports rushes, adrenaline effects, mood-altering substances, but I never knew such terror could exist in the human psyche! And also a day of feeling actually disgusted with everything, like the behaviour of my close friends which caused a real world problem. I can't go through these things again in the next 3 weeks when I am hungover and working 12 hours shifts in a van with people who are high over a weekend.


Metta (from mitto: friend, aka "friendliness").

This is from Thich Naht Hahn:
In that Dharma talk, the Buddha advised Rahula to practice being the earth, the great earth. The Buddha said, "Rahula, practice so that you’ll be like the earth." People might throw on the earth things like perfume, excrement, urine, all the dirty things, but the earth always receives all of that without anger. No matter whether it is the perfume or jewels or gold or silver or flowers or garbage or dirt or excrement or urine, the earth receives all of that without any resentment, any anger, because the earth is great, is large. The earth has the power to transform all these. You have a dead mouse in your kitchen. You want to get rid of it—where do you put it? You throw it to the earth. In no time at all, the earth transforms the dead mouse into something that you can accept. The earth has a great power of transformation, because the earth is great. So practice so that your heart becomes as great as the earth. You suffer only if you are small, if your heart is small. But when your heart is expanded you don’t have to suffer. You don’t need to make an effort to bear the suffering.


I cannot think of a more challenging practice (reflects on me), but I've been told and I've read that this is what must be learned after first path.

Best wishes and I hope to hear more and to learn from what you study and do,
Katy

PS: +1 on Tom's congrats if you did and if you didn't... emoticon

PPS: Some of that comment to Rahula I don't get... I wouldn't/couldn't yet throw my own relative safety or relative well-being into the wind ("being the earth"). But friendliness and receptivity can go a long way. You're doing something waaaaay outta my league though!

RE: advice please, after (maybe) SE
Answer
8/16/13 2:39 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Hey guys. I think finally I had a chance to get over that busy period post what I thought was SE, and review things, see how I think my mind might have changed, and just today I am pretty sure I experienced a review fruition.

Your advice Katy was really good. I mostly did concentration practice and just sitting surrendering like the great earth and got through the last month well I think.

Phenomenologically, the things that they say about post-SE, like starting insight practice at A&P stage happened to me, and usefully I found I can quite easily access and recognise the first 4 concentration jhanas, whereas before doing all that insight practice I really struggled to get to 2nd concentration jhana.

But the main way I have noticed that my mind has changed, is that I could experience very emotionally charged complicated states of being like "wanting/yearning" with the clear sense that there is no "wanter". For example I fell into quite an intense romantic situation this last month which was awkward and featured massive highs+lows of romance, ecstasy, rejection, un-rejection.

But the odd thing was during the parts where I was yearning for the impossible, mini-heartbroken, all the sensations were the same, but they just didn't have any "drag" or "hooks" into me. So I might experience mental image of girl, panging sensations around heart, audio thoughts arise like "I want her", just like before, but the experience didn't have a target (target was previously 'me') and now it really seemed ok. So all the sensations of wanting were still occurring, and they felt exactly the same as they would have done before, painful, but my relation to them was different. They weren't happening TO anyone. And for the first time I have an actual understanding of how a being can want or exercise will without having a self doing the wanting, which I couldn't understand before despite years of meditation. Doubtless this will change over time.

===review fruition=====

But anyway onto today's experience which made me feel good. I had been feeling fuzzy all week and today I took some time to have a tea and lie in the park. I was contemplating surrender, and practising to see surrender as an act with no surrenderer, just sensations of surrendering playing out. And also noting the sensations which flicker quickly I think to give the illusion of a watcher, which in my case seem to be are sights, mental image of the body, sensations in felt in the back of the head and my intent to breathe sometimes. I did that for about 45 minutes. Then I got up and started walking.
I was still half contemplating surrender, and "how there is no centrepoint to my experience, or at least no true centrepoint, only an apparent one comprised of..." - then I observed these sensations in the back of the head, quickly flickering to sight, then an intent to breathe, and saw very clearly how these were not a self. Then I as I looked left, something odd, I thought I double blinked or something, and was like, huh? Then my legs weakened and I was hit by a strange mix of relief and joy, I had to immediately sit. It felt similar to before, like a huge burden had been lifted, immense joy and relief and I was blissed out all day. Like a burning question had been answered. Relief and tears.

Felt similar to the last moment which I think was cessation but that was a much bigger 'existential relief orgasm'....

At this moment I am really enjoying the opportunity just to write about stuff! Thanks to anyone who reads it and I hope it adds value to the world somehow.

===now what?====

So I have now managed to find the time to go on a long retreat this winter... I can potentially do like 3 months. What should I do?
Just keep noting everything? Trying to see how I am still 'embedded'? A part of me is bit loathe to do a whole another cycle of insight.... they are hard and shuddery!!! or are they? emoticon

I have been really drawn to the words of Adyashanti recently and also the 3 speed transmission thing on Kenneth Folk as I have found watching the 'watcher' to be a really good practice. And the Zen-like softness of Adyashanti really appeals to me, as I a big fan of the Zen stuff, I spent 3 months on semi-retreat with only Dogen's book Moon in Dewdrop, and I think I could get much more out similar teachings now.

But also I really value the discilpline and structure of the MCTB method which suits someone who is flightly and drawn to pleasurable things like me....

Thanks for the all the advice and wisdom from everyone and for the opportunity to write and share.
Anthony


anthony g:
Hi Katy, thanks for this, that's a very beautiful quote about being the earth, it really resonates with me!

@tom, that's really good advice I think, by objectifying, do you mean note them?

I ended up writing up the bare bones of my months experience as you suggested too, I put it in the claims to attainments section so you can check it out.

Thanks again both and looking forward to 'existing' on this forum now with you emoticon


katy steger:
Hi there, anthony g,
What kind of practice should I do? any advice?
Should I maybe just do concentration practice?

Basically I really want to do more insight to investigate my possible path experience, and just because it's interesting.
But this last 2 weeks I have had some of the most terrifying experiences of my life, I have known all kinds of extreme sports rushes, adrenaline effects, mood-altering substances, but I never knew such terror could exist in the human psyche! And also a day of feeling actually disgusted with everything, like the behaviour of my close friends which caused a real world problem. I can't go through these things again in the next 3 weeks when I am hungover and working 12 hours shifts in a van with people who are high over a weekend.


Metta (from mitto: friend, aka "friendliness").

This is from Thich Naht Hahn:
In that Dharma talk, the Buddha advised Rahula to practice being the earth, the great earth. The Buddha said, "Rahula, practice so that you’ll be like the earth." People might throw on the earth things like perfume, excrement, urine, all the dirty things, but the earth always receives all of that without anger. No matter whether it is the perfume or jewels or gold or silver or flowers or garbage or dirt or excrement or urine, the earth receives all of that without any resentment, any anger, because the earth is great, is large. The earth has the power to transform all these. You have a dead mouse in your kitchen. You want to get rid of it—where do you put it? You throw it to the earth. In no time at all, the earth transforms the dead mouse into something that you can accept. The earth has a great power of transformation, because the earth is great. So practice so that your heart becomes as great as the earth. You suffer only if you are small, if your heart is small. But when your heart is expanded you don’t have to suffer. You don’t need to make an effort to bear the suffering.


I cannot think of a more challenging practice (reflects on me), but I've been told and I've read that this is what must be learned after first path.

Best wishes and I hope to hear more and to learn from what you study and do,
Katy

PS: +1 on Tom's congrats if you did and if you didn't... emoticon

PPS: Some of that comment to Rahula I don't get... I wouldn't/couldn't yet throw my own relative safety or relative well-being into the wind ("being the earth"). But friendliness and receptivity can go a long way. You're doing something waaaaay outta my league though!
emoticonemoticonhttp://www.dharmaoverground.org/html/themes/classic/images/emoticons/closed_eyes.gif

RE: advice please, after (maybe) SE
Answer
8/16/13 5:36 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
anthony g:

===now what?====

So I have now managed to find the time to go on a long retreat this winter... I can potentially do like 3 months. What should I do?
Just keep noting everything? Trying to see how I am still 'embedded'? A part of me is bit loathe to do a whole another cycle of insight.... they are hard and shuddery!!! or are they? emoticon

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