I think this is SE?

Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii, modified 10 Years ago at 7/22/13 6:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/22/13 6:20 PM

I think this is SE?

Posts: 118 Join Date: 7/21/13 Recent Posts
Hi guys. So I wanted to start by just saying thanks to everyone on the forum, the first time I found it I was crying multiple times at how much good information there was on it. Anyway I was looking for specific advice on what to do post SE on my other post my other posthttp://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4489703 (as this is what i thought it was) and then I had some doubt and though I had better write it down and see what you guys thought. I enjoyed writing this all down anyway, it was fun to review the last 30 days.

A two sentence intro as this thing got really long really fast:
Three years of daily sitting practice, including retreats, mostly doing "insight on my psychological content" in MCTB terms. My content, 'stuff' and relationships are progressing fine, amazingly even but I am making little progress in fundamental insight, which is frustrating. At this point I have arranged my life (read: cut away practically everything in a nice way) to "follow a spiritual path" and "renounce everything" (even though I have not much idea what either thing means). This report is of 30 days of my life where I am not working much, and the last 2 weeks I am almost on house retreat.

the phenomenological stuff:

day -8
A drug experience (I did this in another country where this drug is legal) in which the resolution of my awareness sped up to a very very high degree. I now realise that I perceived the vision field and audio as stuttering, quantized. Amongst other far out things which maybe aren't as relevant, I believe I 'saw' my thoughts simultaneously as audio, and other elements of sensation, all rolled up kind of as discrete units. Totally blissed out for 2+ days, wrote some rap songs about the urgency of seeing through the delusion of this earthly realm emoticon

day 0 - so it begins.
During a lucid dream, experienced loud roar, like static, only more varied, bright bright blinding lights like geometric kaleidoscope white noise static, and then powerful electricity sensations arcing up and down back, painfully for about 2 minutes. Then, total quiet, of a type which I have only experienced once before (after a particularly strong meditation when I had let a visualization and mantra go), a sound of bells and then a voice, like a child but clearer, unearthly, and melodic, speaking some very ordinary words which I could not remember! During the whole thing, I was happily paying attention to the sensations, with the odd thought - "I now know why people think they have been teleported / abducted by aliens" and "I now know where people's belief in angels comes from". blissed out for a day and very driven to spiritual practice.

day 1
Find MCTB and DhO when googling for kundalini experiences/lucid dreaming/ meditation. Read MCBT all the way through. Cry with gratitude as it's exactly what I have been looking for ages. I start learning the noting practice in MCBT and The Progress of Insight. Noting is very slow, 1 thing a second or less.

day 2
for the first time able to distinguish between mental idea/image/intention of the breath and the actual sensation of breath on end of the nose. Revelation!

day 2
I am first able to notice that the breath sensation in the nostrils as not continuous by switching attention from one nostril to the other and seeing each sensation disappear. Switching attn is slow, less than 1 switch per second.

day 3
noticing the nature of previously "seemingly solid" arising thoughts as bit by bit mixtures of audio, imagery, intention and body sensation. sometimes catching thoughts midway through forming and 'hearing' the audio stutter away and die a bit like a car not starting.

day 7
starting to try to use more deliberately the 3 characteristics on the objects in meditation, it seems sort of rationally true but nothing spectacular. I try to use the 3Cs on my own sense of being the watcher, and a curious twisting/folding pressure and warping of perception of space occurs, along with muscular shaking which I associate with fear.

day 8
noting is becoming faster, about 2-3 things a second, and for the first time I am able to perceive the vibrations, the breath on the nose as actually a very fast (for me!) vibrational buzz. And my body "comes alive", suddenly as I am lying under a tree in a breeze I am able to perceive the breeze on my torso as about 5 vibrations on different bits a second, and also then noticing the other sensations in my body - e.g. bum on floor, as a vibration, which disappears when another vibration is perceived! Feel like I am getting it!

day 13
when I wake in the mornings my feet are shaking (normally happens if I have something big and scary to do in the day, e.g. job interview). During sitting my ear muscle (I cannot normally control it) starts to pull continuously. This I recognise as a fear reaction, it happens when I near miss things, e.g. narrowly avoid a bike accident in traffic. (dogs do it when they are afraid, ears back, head low)

day 14
I am at a very nice, very happy new age/yoga festival teaching workshops in dancing with trees and meet a lovely enlightened girl called Aisha who is doing satsangs there. Maybe the first enlightened person I have met. I have some interactions with her which I find very very powerfully motivating to Get This Shit Done when I go on a three month retreat later this year. Very powerful lucid dreams in the night, with kundalini experiences similar to the one I described earlier.

day 18
I now enter a phase of ramping up practice to probably 2-3 hours of sitting a day, and also on top of that, lying meditation and wandering round the park too. I am sort of on house retreat with only the odd work related thing to do, and no serious or stressful work. Making all sorts of vows, and intents. Feeling very religious.

day 19
I drink an entire 2 litre bottle of Pepsi and have to look after 2 dogs for a day.
Jittering mess.

day 20
As I am lying in bed that night, I have the realisation that nothing I can "think of" is me. All my thoughts, intentions and volitions are not me. A strong sense of fear grips my stomach, and an image of death (trad. western - skullface & hood ) appears. I try to sense the fear as tightness, pulses, vibrations in the stomach and back of neck, breath jittering. The words "noone was ever here" audio comes into my mind. I feel I am falling, and I want to fall, but I stop for some reason. I think it was 'seeing' the mental image of my body lying there, and associating it as me, caused me to stop falling.

day 23
throbbing 2-3 hz vibrational senses in heart, and tears forming during meditation. No sad thoughts though. But I find myself putting my face in a 'sad face'. All the time the main practice I am working on is trying to break the solidity of my personal experience - specifically to not see the body as a constant shape thing, just localised, one by one sensations, plus sometimes a mental image of body or parts. Or also, trying to break down the 'sense field' into not a continuous field, just individual events occurring one at a time.
Concentration is weak. spent the whole afternoon and evening lying in the park and couldn't get any noting speed up.

day 24
can't note for more than 5 minutes before distraction sets in. Keep forgetting to use the 3characteristics.
very minor kundalini experiences as I start to sit.
as the sit goes on I keep wriggling and experience hip and bum pains which is weird, normally I am a good still sitter. Strange pressure and twisting and warping of my perception of space too.

day 25
Sit has minor flashing lights and body electric tremors. Then as I am perceiving my body as everything as a load of vibrations, 3-5 a second, I realise that this is, and always has been all of my 'real' sensory input and none of the ideas I have like limbs, houses, etc are real at all. A thought arises, very unusual thought for me to have - "I don't like this" - along with tightening around the stomach. More lucid dreaming with kundalini electricity experiences that night, weaker still though.

day 26
I was sleeping in bed with a girl and had strong half-waking dreams that each of the positions we were sleeping (literally sleeping!) in that night in e.g. spooning, head on shoulder, side by side, was one of the 3Cs, and the different aspects of our body and limb positions related to the way the 3Cs related to the greed, aversion and delusion. Powerful insight and quite funny.

hopeless day sitting, kept falling asleep.

day 27
My concentration is back, I am able to sit observing vibrations again for maybe good 15 minute bursts of concentration.
In the evening after a long sit I am relaxing and I try to turn awareness in on itself, basically trying to trap or watch the watcher and show his presence or lack of presence. Or something. Intense intense fear shoots up and down my body, most intense yet. Falling, and warping of perception of space/directions occurs but again I just return to normal state.

day 28
I notice that while sitting my face keeps screwing itself up into an odd shape, not sadness like before. I try to work out what emotion this shape face is, by relaxing my face and imagining different things. I imaging eating a poo and my face makes the exact right shape. This emotion predominates my whole experience for the day.

day 29
concentration isn't bad and while sitting with the breath sensations I am able to perceive it strobing in and out of existence or vibrating quite quickly, maybe 10hz. Fear arises, and the thought "oh god not even the breath lasts longer than an instant".
Thoughts arise of various spiritual types who I think might be able to save me come to mind e.g. the enlightened girl who I met at the festival, the guy who runs the local buddhist centre.

day 30
I slept with this same girl again, and again had a very direct dream, this time about the nature of the 4 vipassna jnanas, and what each of their functions was, they were in a grid, or squares that somehow interlocked. It was really really clear. In my mind, my resolution to attaining SE was getting fiercely strong. We "agreed" not to see each other anymore and I wrote in my notebook, I am going to do a long retreat in order to attain SE. It is the first time I had ever allowed myself to formalise that it is somehow possible.

Morning noting practice was basically good concentration, just sitting in vibrations, the vibrations seemed ok to me, my notes say "quite flat", not too much fear. The the muscle at my perenium was lightly spasming, constantly though. This was fine as it gave me an endless source of vibrations to keep noting.

noting practice at 2pm - the notes just say "nothing very interesting happened, no obvious markers, noting 'bored' for the first time. I investigated what bored meant in terms of sensations, how does dissatisfaction feel as a feeling in the stomach, as a proto-thought/volition.

I also notice that sensations and mental images seem to be getting mixed up. For example I perceived a bit of a stomach-fear vibration as an orange cookie like object with blue chips in it between 2 poles of a magnet like shape. It was hard to describe this stage as my noting is not that fast or accurate for these things as the whole experience is so weird. A bit of a blur to be honest.

noting practice at 5pm - as above, just sitting noting vibrations when I am hit by a massive massive bout of fear sensations around the heart and spine, along with big shudderings which lead to me rocking and gasping for about 2 minutes. They are so intense that I almost lose it and start thinking "@~%$ I'm scar..." but i hold it together and just sit with the sensations. I can't emphasise enough how strong this sense of 'fear' was. It was even more intense than the kundalini electricity, as I guess it felt like a real emotion and 'normal' shaking but just 500x stronger than anything I had experienced in life. Then it passes and I am back to noting. I think sensations at this point are becoming mixed up with each other and with thoughts again. But it's really hard to tell. At this point I start to have this same warping/falling sense, as in the past when I tried to turn awareness on itself, but this time I hadn't tried to do it. So I just tried to note everything like a sense of waiting, wanting, and the weird pulling and falling sensations. It all just warps around in a very confusing way which eludes description and then subsides. So I try to go back to noting practice but find that my entire mind and body are unbelievably sluggish. I struggle to even mentally note 1 thing every outbreath. I said in the other post, the best analogy I have is that it is similar to trying to get aroused again immediately post-ejaculation (for a male). There was no sense of darkness or obstruction, just lightness, a part of the mind wants to, but there is zero function. I tried to note uselessly for 20 mins til the bell went.
Then I went for a walk, feeling totally blissed out, having thoughts like, was that it? and noticing that it was very very hard to tell if there was any difference in my perspective than before. Apart from bliss and looseness, was there any shift in perception of the sensations which I generally label 'me'? Hard to say.

Tried to meditate, noting, but was pathetically slow again. Then I lay down to give up and relax and felt those kundalini lights and electricity wash over me very very very gently, then in the space of 5 minutes I was hit by very very light touches of fear, sadness, disgust, and a touch of terror, without really actually trying to meditate at all.

day 31 - 22nd July - today

this brings me to today. I sat the morning with weak awareness of vibrations, no big noticable patterns emerged, nothing I could relate strongly to the other experiences. It still feels like a huge weight has been lifted but obviously this could be scripting or psychological. I guess it appears to me that the map played out exactly like it said it would, apart from I didn't detect discontinuity for sure, but then I didn't definitely accurately detect "formations" accurately for sure apart from once. There are a couple of passages of text I read today about the nature of the self that make more sense than they did before, but still I am not noticing any huge difference between my perception than before.

I had asked some questions before about what to do post SE and how cycling worked but I have found some threads now. I think over the next couple of weeks while I am working in a hectic environment I will just try just sitting/lying and observing, and going to metta/concentration practices if things get hairy. Then after that I plan to go on retreat for a couple weeks to have some time to really investigate/play around with it all, and my main goal is to try a 3 month retreat this winter.

Regardless of where I am, the journey so far after just 30 days has been utterly amazing, I am hooked either way! and I can't say how grateful I am for this forum and Daniel's book. much love, Anthony
sawfoot _, modified 10 Years ago at 9/16/13 6:48 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/16/13 6:48 AM

RE: I think this is SE?

Posts: 507 Join Date: 3/11/13 Recent Posts
Why do you think this is SE and not A&P? It (description of noting practice at 5pm...) seems more like A&P to me.
Richard Zen, modified 10 Years ago at 9/16/13 7:51 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/16/13 7:51 AM

RE: I think this is SE?

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Sticky: An idiot's guide to Dharma diagnosis

Case Study # 5:

Report: I went through the 3rd, 4th, dukkha ñanas, and Equanimity ñana, (as described above), and then one day I was just sitting (or standing, or walking), there was a little blip, and I knew that something was different. It was as though a weight had lifted from me. I felt light and wanted to laugh for a couple of days. After that, my practice was noticeably different than anything that had gone before.

Diagnosis: 14th and 15th ñana, Path and Fruition (1st or 2nd Path).

“But it was no big deal. More like an anticlimax. But it’s clear that some cycle was completed.”

Exactly. Path and Fruition.