EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Mind over easy 10/20/13 6:03 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? (D Z) Dhru Val 10/20/13 6:24 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Richard Zen 10/20/13 7:54 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Jenny 7/8/14 11:43 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Richard Zen 7/10/14 1:06 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Jenny 7/14/14 10:25 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Richard Zen 7/15/14 9:04 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Daniel M. Ingram 7/15/14 6:50 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Daniel M. Ingram 7/15/14 6:52 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Richard Zen 7/15/14 7:35 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Eva Nie 7/15/14 7:38 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Jenny 7/16/14 11:51 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Jehanne S Peacock 7/18/14 3:57 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Jenny 7/18/14 11:17 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/20/13 8:03 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Bryn Shyndor 10/28/13 10:24 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? T DC 10/20/13 11:30 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Tom Tom 10/21/13 2:31 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Sweet Nothing 10/21/13 2:28 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Eric G 10/21/13 10:08 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Mind over easy 10/21/13 2:32 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? T DC 10/21/13 5:14 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Adam . . 10/21/13 5:15 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Sweet Nothing 10/21/13 11:48 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Nikolai . 10/22/13 6:31 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? . Jake . 10/22/13 9:38 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Nikolai . 10/22/13 3:27 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Nikolai . 10/22/13 4:05 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Mind over easy 10/23/13 12:04 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Mind over easy 10/23/13 12:20 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/24/13 4:29 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Sweet Nothing 10/24/13 5:22 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Banned For waht? 10/27/13 8:29 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Cedric . 11/3/13 12:18 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? c m 7/10/14 1:18 PM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Eva Nie 7/12/14 2:41 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? Noting Monkey 7/12/14 6:03 AM
RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever? deci belle 7/17/14 9:59 PM
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Mind over easy, modified 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 6:03 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 6:03 PM

EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 292 Join Date: 4/28/12 Recent Posts
I'm beginning to seriously consider the possibility that I'll be trapped in this loop forever. Reading various accounts of practice and enlightenment, it seems like even some of the most diligent practitioners have spent decades hitting their heads on the wall over and over, even under the context of seclusion and rigorous 24/7 practice until finally getting it to make sense.

And here I am, interested in spirituality to the point that I made the choice (mistake) of trying to meditate, hitting various insights, until it became clear that equanimity was as high as I could go. Noting was all fun and games until I kept falling back from EQ. Relax, let awareness be panoramic and effortless, let the 3 C's come into focus naturally, note the background, note consciousness, note space, note intention, note investigation. And so on and so forth, climbing up to EQ, hanging out there, doing all the things they say to do there, then falling back down. Daniel's comment that SE is basically inevitable at EQ as long as someone keeps practicing is probably the most frustrating and frankly wrong statement in the whole book. I don't think I'm misdiagnosing my own EQ either. The pattern is clear, and not at all new by now. Start practice with effort > big energetic explosion and everything is vibrating with intense joy > period of darkness and doubt, everything feels miserable, existential agony > sudden opening where there is nearly no tension, awareness is panoramic and spacious, everything feels very subconscious and dreamy. I've seen it over and over again, kept practicing from EQ, yet still no SE! I thought that maybe the problem was the diehard, balls to the walls approach being too aggressive, so I tried applying a more gentle, non-discriminate approach slightly inclined towards the 3 C's. No matter what though, I backslide into re-ob, and my life again becomes misery.

I'm disoriented, lost in life, literally terrified of the prospect of living half my life in this carefree, pseudo-enlightened equanimous state, and half in a state of utter unsureness, a feeling of extremely blatant lack of closure, a feeling of stuckness, and the feeling as though everything in my field of awareness is just wrong, off, imprisoning, oppressive, and terrible. In re-observation, it feels like even glancing in a direction you don't want to can cause immense tension in the chest/gut. I don't want to live my whole life in this bullshit. I wish I would have never started this inquiry into meditation and enlightenment. I still believe enlightenment is real, but I have no guarantee I'll ever get there, and after putting forth so much effort yet never actually getting there, I don't see what more I could possibly do. It's like game over, you're stuck in self-induced meditation misery. I would have rather just led a life of ignorance, self-gratification, drunkenness, wealth, power, anything that could keep my mind away from the poison that is unfulfilled insight. Fully knowing these things would never actually bring the release of stress that enlightenment could, I would rather be temporarily distracted over and over by them than never be distracted from this immense existential agony that insight has brought upon me.

There aren't any clear instructions on how to get enlightened or how the mechanics work. Noting is about as damn close as I've seen, as I did truly gain insights into the mind and body, but it still hasn't been able to crack the thing for me. How many more days or weeks or months of nonstop noting will it take me to get SE? Who knows? Maybe some brains don't get enlightened, can't get enlightened.

Sorry for this ugly post. DN posts can be slightly embarrassing, but what am I to do, stuck in this shit and not aware of a way to get out of it? When times are good, the teachings make sense and the path is clear. When times are bad, the teachings seem unclear and confusing, unverifiable, and unable to deliver. But in truth, through intense practice during the good, bad, and mediocre times, nothing has worked for me, and I'm honestly terrified at the prospect that I'll spend my whole life in the DN, peaking to EQ, then falling back again. Life is perfect, life is hell, life is perfect, life is hell, life is perfect, life is hell. I sincerely bet that trying to get enlightened but not quite making it is utterly worse and painful a life than just being ignorant to insight and living a moral life and surrounding one's self with material/sensual comforts. And even worse, it's clear that it's too late for me to just erase any memory of enlightenment and insight. So what the hell is one to do when you can't go forward or backwards?

Heed the warnings in Daniel's book well; the cost of trying to get enlightened could be cycling through utterly painful mind states the rest of your life and never seeing the shore, despite putting forth a great effort to complete the task.
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 6:24 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 6:23 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
Sorry to hear of your struggles. Unfortunately I can't really offer you much more than my sympathy and suggestions.

I read your whole post. I think you will get a lot out of direct pointing practice. From what I have seen it is pretty much the best practice for people who are stuck with meditation for a long time to get breakthroughs (doesn't work as well in other situations)...

Here is the website: http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

Give it a shot. You have put so much into this. There is nothing to loose, aside from the struggle.

All the best.
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Richard Zen, modified 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 7:54 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 7:54 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Have you tried Shikantaza?

Return to the source

Also have you tried a meditation instructor like Kenneth or someone else?

Does this advice help you?

Practice becoming aware of the body sensations that correspond to a thought. Whenever a thought arises, feel the body. How do you know whether you like the thought or not? It's because the body sensations feel either pleasant or unpleasant. Notice that if you dissociate from this moment, i.e., step into the fantasy and leave the body, you will suffer. Suffering is not ordinary pain; ordinary pain is just unpleasant sensation. Suffering is cause by the dissociation, the stepping out of this moment, out of the body. Stay in the body and ride the waves of body sensation. Watch how the body reacts to the thougts and vice versa. See how the looping between body and mind IS the dissociation. Short-circuit this by returning to the body. Stay with the body as continuously as you can. You are stretching the amount of time you can stay in the body without being blown out of it by an event or a thought. To be in the body is to be free. To be in the body all the time is to be free all the time.
¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_________________________________________________________________________
"While you are practicing just sitting, be clear about everything going on in your mind. Whatever you feel, be aware of it, but never abandon the awareness of your whole body sitting there. Shikantaza is not sitting with nothing to do; it is a very demanding practice, requiring diligence as well as alertness. If your practice goes well, you will experience the 'dropping off' of sensations and thoughts. You need to stay with it and begin to take the whole environment as your body. Whatever enters the door of your senses becomes one totality, extending from your body to the whole environment. This is silent illumination."

-Master Shengyen
_________________________________________________________________________
Kenneth: See how the looping between body and mind IS the dissociation.

Mumuwu: Do you mean the moving out of the body to the mind and back?

I mean the creation of a third "thing," this pseudo-entity that is a composite of body sensations and mental phenomena. Living in this third thing is suffering because it takes you out of what is really happening in this moment; it becomes a proxy for experience. You can train yourself to stop living this proxy life of suffering by coming back to the body sensations in this moment. The body cannot lie. Being in the body is being present in this moment. Being present in this moment does not allow the pseudo-self to form. When the pseudo-self does not form, life is simple and free. It will be pleasant at times and unpleasant at times, but it is always free.

There is no conflict between noting and living in your body, by the way, whether you note silently or aloud. You can note or not note, think, act, talk, love, live; there is very little you can't do; you just can't suffer. If you choose to note, understand that there is nothing magical about the noting itself. The noting is simply a feedback loop to remind you to feel your body and observe your mind in this moment.
_________________________________________________________________________



Now with the above instructions notice how your thoughts of enlightenment are affecting how you feel in your body. Include notes for "doubt", "misery", "hatred", "anger", "disappointment", whatever is actually happening. "Strategizing", "analyzing", "imagining", "worrying", "fear", "sadness", "equanimity", "attention", "intention", "action". What you miss in noting gets clung to. Notice how the attention part of your mind feels like a spotlight that only notices what it focusses on and what it doesn't focus on...nothing.

Why wait until stream-entry? Look at advice for later paths:

Looking for help to get to third path

An "I AM" experience is quite helpful for life functioning but I still think noting (when done properly and consistently) is good in difficult situations. Ever since I went direct path I've found a way back to noting because I can do both depending on the tension. Too much tension? Well "do nothing" except bare awareness of as much detail as is available. Too much laxity? Then start noting. There's no reason why you can't pursue activities in life. Noting during life activities made a huge difference to me. Even when dealing with envious bullies in workplace scenarios my equanimity is getting better and better. Learning about the 5 aggregates/dependent origination is another help because you can watch the reactivity happen (though it's quick), and gradually get more disenchanted with it. Basically if you're day dreaming/imagining/conceptualizing things that are likeable or unlikeable the amygdala will react (including reacting to imagining a future enlightenment). Being in the moment means the amygdala will only react to what's happening now which is hell of a lot better than reacting to mental movies. The practice also takes time precisely because you're waiting for old habits to atrophy and be less powerful. Depending on how strong your conditioning is that could take longer than other people.

Stream-entry is about fading of perception and consciousness and requires huge time commitments that many cannot afford. This is Rob Burbea's description of what has to happen to experience impermanence of consciousness:

As we cling less perceptions fade. When there is less delusion and identification the experiences begin to fade. Disidentify the intention to pay attention and with consciousness. Disidentify with awareness. Use Samadhi and metta to soften the fear. We need to see the fading of self, thing, time collapse over and over again. The understanding feeds the experience and the experience feeds the understanding. Consciousness = knowing. Consciousness has to fade. When there is no clinging there is nothing for consciousness to lean on. When we have no concepts of self, object, and time the trinity dissolves.


That looks really hard.

Did you also know that people who have gone beyond stream-entry still note periodically (especially in bad life situations)? Even supposed Arhats. I have never attained stream-entry (losing consciousness) but what I've learned is incredibly useful and can be used in life situations. Noting "aversion" and "desire for enlightenment" can take you out of that painful fantasy.

I've posted Thanissaro Bhikkhu's "Cutting New Paths in the Mind" many times before (I don't know if you've read it) which talks about conditioning and how we have to continually go in different directions with our actions to create new habits. When you are waiting for stream-entry you can calm the mind by choosing less aggravating actions so it's easier for the mind to quiet down. This is a huge part of the practice that gets ignored.

Part of it is day-dreaming less so the amygdala can quiet down and part of it is making better choices so there's less misery. In the end we will all die and we will have to tolerate incredible physical pain (for most people) before we get there. We're all in the existential world with limitations put on us. We have to make due the best we can. Imagining the practice is precisely what Daniel also had regrets about. The big burrito is right in front of you.

Good luck and please enjoy some of the equanimity you've attained. It's nothing to sneeze at.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 8:03 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 8:03 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Maybe try sitting in a chair for 2 hours & meditating, then getting up & sitting in another chair for 6 hours & meditating, then get go and sit on the floor for an hour and meditate, then don't sleep that night, and have a normal next day without sleeping or meditating until the evening, then start meditating again that evening when you're sleep-deprived a bit, see what happens? Might knock your mind into a different enough state to make it happen. Should be interesting either way.

THIS ADVICE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL BEOMAN CLAUDIU OR ANY OTHER CONTRIBUTOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADVICE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE ADVICE.
Bryn Shyndor, modified 10 Years ago at 10/28/13 10:24 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 10:00 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 10/20/13 Recent Posts
Well, Hello , Mind over easy, I can only offer suggestions, ( I am just a guy on the path myself) and I have felt your same frustrations, this is some of what I have discovered that works… It all takes time, effort, diligence and patience.
And I apologize if this has all been heard before, so take it or leave it, (or just note it) ha ha, it’s all impermanent anyway.
The path is practiced every moment for true progress to be made, and it has to be balanced, (balanced like the Lute string, not too tight and not too loose, but tuned just right, or you will get bloody feet, wuh?) But, Reality is that we are human and have limitations to our physical and mental abilities.

The eightfold path is like an eight stranded rope, each strand is too be strengthened for the rope to be at its strongest. When the rope is strong enough one may swing across the stream.

We would all like a shortcut across the stream, even some are willing to dive right in with the piranhas (dark night)… very brave

So every second of the day (or every mind moment) is available for us to practice.
Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood Sorry, no discoursing here, I am sure we all know where to find Suttas,

But what about Right Speech, if one is truly mindful (attentive) one can choose not to utter harmful words or sentences. Ask of one’s self, Can I display Right Speech?, If I can’t, why not? If one can not speak correctly then one must simply recognize the taint for what it is , (recognize, and correct speech patterns, This is just as valid a practice in Mind training as Meditation, (Jhanas or Contemplations/Vippassana methods)
Just as one trains the mind in Noting Methods, take those skills into daily living to practice the other parts of the path.

This is Supreme, and it works!

Right Effort: (by far one of the most important for daily practice) Once this skill is learned one should not have to step into a dark knight, or fall into a dark night, one can dismiss the symptoms at the root, the formula is this:

Not to let an unwholesome thought/emotion arise that has not yet arisen.
To abandon an unwholesome thought/emotion that has already arisen.
To arouse a wholesome thought/emotion that has not yet arisen.
To sustain a wholesome thought /emotion that has already arisen.
So , If Anger/dislike arises (which is Craving, wanting to not have something or some event), one drops it, (like noting method) , does not let it arise again, replaces it (with say Equanimity or Brahma Viharas) then sustain the wholesome state.

Personally, with right effort I made it a game, I made a vow to myself to not get angry even in the slightest with regards thoughts and actions, gritting teeth, cussing in anger, clenching fists, etc. The game was to make it for 24 hours straight. Every time anger arose, I would start the clock over for a fresh 24 hours. I t was hilarious actually, It would be 7 a.m. , then at 7:27 am (in traffic) , cussing thoughts (maybe not out loud , but thinking them, well penalty, had to go to 7:27am the next day, without having anger arise. (This was all before I knew much about right effort ( sustaining wholesome states seems almost like cheating, now that I look back.)


Summary:
Anyway, there is more, but I have written enough.
I too used to try to meditate, meditate, meditate… and still do, multiple times, never miss a day, But found there is only so much time in the day, so , by incorporating the other seven parts of the path one can use every moment in the day to be on the path, Thus effectively exponentiating the progress on the path.

Any errors ,misunderstandings, typos, are due to my being human, please practice right view and see me as an arising and ceasing phenomenon

May all experience peace
T DC, modified 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 11:30 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/20/13 11:30 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 517 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Mind over easy:
I'm beginning to seriously consider the possibility that I'll be trapped in this loop forever. Reading various accounts of practice and enlightenment, it seems like even some of the most diligent practitioners have spent decades hitting their heads on the wall over and over, even under the context of seclusion and rigorous 24/7 practice until finally getting it to make sense.

I wish I would have never started this inquiry into meditation and enlightenment. I still believe enlightenment is real, but I have no guarantee I'll ever get there, and after putting forth so much effort yet never actually getting there, I don't see what more I could possibly do. It's like game over, you're stuck in self-induced meditation misery. I would have rather just led a life of ignorance, self-gratification, drunkenness, wealth, power, anything that could keep my mind away from the poison that is unfulfilled insight. Fully knowing these things would never actually bring the release of stress that enlightenment could, I would rather be temporarily distracted over and over by them than never be distracted from this immense existential agony that insight has brought upon me.

Heed the warnings in Daniel's book well; the cost of trying to get enlightened could be cycling through utterly painful mind states the rest of your life and never seeing the shore, despite putting forth a great effort to complete the task.


Dudebro, I hear you. That was a well written post which well encapsulated the how the path can suck. You may wish to go back now, but the fact is, life led you to the path, and now you're on it. So you're probably going to be on it until you get off at the other end.

This may not seem helpful, but what one has to do at equanimity to get a fruition is give up effort. The effort or push toward stream entry is what must be dropped in order to attain it. I mean this as in; right at the moment in equanimity when effort is dropped, stream entry is attained (so to speak).

My advice for you right now is to accept your situation and quit trying to escape. Re-observation does indeed suck, but if that's where you are, then that's it. The path is about accepting where you are right now, always right now, and not looking for a brighter future. The fact is that brighter futures are just conceptions in your mind, they are delusions which must be seen through again and again. Right now is all there is.

If you can accept where you're at, at least a little bit, and just feel the suffering as it arises instead of trying to escape from it, then you will be able to relax, and that's what you need to progress. Suffering will arise, but remember; if you fight it, it will only cling to you more tightly, you will lose yourself in fighting it. If you relax and let it be, just sit and feel the shittyness of it, then it can slide off of you like water.
Tom Tom, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 2:31 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 2:14 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Equanimity isn't just equanimity. There are stages within equanimity that occur after exiting re-observation.

How far are you making it up the sequence from the table here: :

Low Equanimity
Early Mastery
High Mastery
High Equanimity

The differences between these four are discernible if you look (click the link to the table for details). Are you making it all the way up to High Equanimity and not hitting Conformity/Change of Lineage/Path/Fruition or are you stuck somewhere between Low Equanimity and Early Mastery?

If you keep falling back to Re-observation then you have to pass back through Early Mastery and Low Equanimity to get there. Make sure you're hitting the edge of high equanimity every time you sit as Conformity happens after High Equanimity and after no earlier stage..
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Sweet Nothing, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 2:28 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 2:28 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 164 Join Date: 4/21/13 Recent Posts
Hey there !

I was in the same boat as you until the recent past. I also posted in another DN related thread you posted that the key to progress from RO is to simply give up trying to get something better or get somewhere, and fully accept the agony, pain and misery.

At the same time, you have to be aware of what is causing suffering and what are the different forms of suffering. What gives you pleasure? What gives you joy ? Why do you seek pleasure? Investigate these themes and keep dropping the causes you realize. This is how morality is developed. Without maintaining at least 5 precepts, it is impossible to nurture solid concentration that helps give rise to penetrating wisdom.

When I was oscillating between Eq and RO, the EQ was very weak compared to what it is now and I kept falling back. When I went on a retreat 4 weeks ago, I made up my mind to sit through any discomfort without movement no matter how unpleasant, and stop fighting it. As time piled on, my back, shoulders and legs became infused with unpleasant sensations. Instead of shaking it off with movement, I took my attention (body scanning) right in the middle of the perception of the pain and it dissolved. When this happened, my mental state also transformed from agony and discomfortness to clarity and restfulness. I think this was when I shifted into some sort of tangible Eq that doesn't fall back and from there on things got easy peasy. There's no agony anymore, no desire to fruition, no feeling of trying to get somewhere, and life has a regained some sense of beauty.

So it's probably: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb........EQ>EQ>EQ>..........SE
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Eric G, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 10:08 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 10:08 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 133 Join Date: 5/6/10 Recent Posts
I would second the recommendation for a possible session with someone like Kenneth or Daniel, also the rec to really feel all that ReOb stuff without pushing it away. It is unpleasant for sure, but my sense is that all of that has to be accepted and felt.

Not sure these are the relevant measures, but I'm curious as to how long this has been going on, at what "dosage" and quality? FWIW I spent 18 months around EQ before SE at a dosage of an hour a day, perhaps pushing 99% aware and present. It took a certain amount of persistence and faith I suppose, but I knew other people had "done" it, a couple of whom I had met in person.

IMO SE seems to require that a certain momentum of relaxed awareness be built up and one has to be okay with everything (I'm imagining Daniel from the Cheetah house videos making a gesture with both hands all around the head) and then kind of forgotten for a moment. You have to be very relaxed and let go.
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Mind over easy, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 2:32 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 2:32 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 292 Join Date: 4/28/12 Recent Posts
Good luck and please enjoy some of the equanimity you've attained. It's nothing to sneeze at.


Equanimity was really awesome the first time I was squarely in it (even mistook the peace for SE for many months), but after seeing it fade over and over again, there is a sense of despair, that even the greatest peace I can find still disappears and I can backslide to re-ob.


This may not seem helpful, but what one has to do at equanimity to get a fruition is give up effort. The effort or push toward stream entry is what must be dropped in order to attain it. I mean this as in; right at the moment in equanimity when effort is dropped, stream entry is attained (so to speak).


My intuition tells me this is true, but as I let up in EQ, I feel like I always backslide. At first, it was gung-ho noting, even up through equanimity, and I fell back. Then, there was just not practicing at all... obviously, I backslid there too. After my first vipassana retreat, while I was squarely in equanimity, I tried just sitting with indiscriminate awareness and acceptance, watching everything with as little judgement or expectation as possible. Sits went by and... bam, backsliding to re-ob. This is so disheartening because I feel like from high effort, to calm and easy effort, to no effort at all, no approach was good enough.

Equanimity isn't just equanimity. There are stages within equanimity that occur after exiting re-observation.

How far are you making it up the sequence from the table here: :

Low Equanimity
Early Mastery
High Mastery
High Equanimity

The differences between these four are discernible if you look (click the link to the table for details). Are you making it all the way up to High Equanimity and not hitting Conformity/Change of Lineage/Path/Fruition or are you stuck somewhere between Low Equanimity and Early Mastery?

If you keep falling back to Re-observation then you have to pass back through Early Mastery and Low Equanimity to get there. Make sure you're hitting the edge of high equanimity every time you sit as Conformity happens after High Equanimity and after no earlier stage..


Good point. To describe my experience with equanimity...

The first few times, it was definitely an immature equanimity. I remember being surprised by the joyful aspect, as I thought it was all blandness, ordinariness, etc...

I've definitely had the near misses as well. Sitting in very calm and quiet, almost completely still equanimity, then a sudden intense gravity feeling between my eyes, like being pulled up, with an extremely shocking quality, then it's over as fast as it came on (less than 1 second). I mistook these for fruitions on a few occasions.

On that vipassana retreat I went on a few months ago, after landing more consistently in EQ earlier and earlier in the day and sustaining it for longer amounts of time, formless stuff came up quite a bit, and sometimes I literally could not find my body or the floor, and all sense of being in any room disappeared, like I was hanging out in space. I also think I've hit infinite consciousness too, judging by some experiences where everything within my perception felt like it was somehow in my mind and alive and conscious, exactly like the feeling I get in lucid dreams.

I suppose I do have to own up to not following through with equanimity, as it's so easy to steep in the peaceful aspect. There's also the anticipation of SE, but after a few times in EQ, the joyful/energetic/anticipatory qualities started to fade, as I realized that taking any pleasure in getting to EQ would lead to falling back to re-ob quickly.

I was in the same boat as you until the recent past. I also posted in another DN related thread you posted that the key to progress from RO is to simply give up trying to get something better or get somewhere, and fully accept the agony, pain and misery.

At the same time, you have to be aware of what is causing suffering and what are the different forms of suffering. What gives you pleasure? What gives you joy ? Why do you seek pleasure? Investigate these themes and keep dropping the causes you realize. This is how morality is developed. Without maintaining at least 5 precepts, it is impossible to nurture solid concentration that helps give rise to penetrating wisdom.


Surrendering in re-ob is not necessarily the part that is bumming me out here. In sits, when it all overwhelms me, sometimes I literally laugh heartily, simply laughing at the intense misery and agony, laughing at the claustrophobic aspect of it, laughing at the predicament. The tricky part is that EQ is as impermanent as re-ob, and the despair comes from the fact that I seem to be repeating EQ > re-ob > EQ > re-ob over and over again.

Concentration isn't necessarily my weak point either; I can get into the formed jhanas with a few days work but I typically feel more inclined to do vipassana. The precept debate is a debate for another place. Check out some of your favorite arhats, teachers, enlightened folks, and see that they definitely do not always follow 5 precepts.

When this happened, my mental state also transformed from agony and discomfortness to clarity and restfulness. I think this was when I shifted into some sort of tangible Eq that doesn't fall back and from there on things got easy peasy. There's no agony anymore, no desire to fruition, no feeling of trying to get somewhere, and life has a regained some sense of beauty.


Not trying to be a buzzkill, but I definitely have been through this transition many times, but there is always a slide back down if you don't land the fruition.


Not sure these are the relevant measures, but I'm curious as to how long this has been going on, at what "dosage" and quality? FWIW I spent 18 months around EQ before SE at a dosage of an hour a day, perhaps pushing 99% aware and present. It took a certain amount of persistence and faith I suppose, but I knew other people had "done" it, a couple of whom I had met in person.


The consistency has been sporadic, and this is probably one of my practice flaws, but I'm in a demanding college program so semester seasons are quite weaker as far as practice goes. There have been periods where I put in 2 hours + a day (up to 5) of seated meditation, and also on and off periods of a few weeks where noting was probably as high as 80-90% of the day noted. On average, I'd say I sit an hour a day, but the consistency is bad. How Daniel managed to do what he did during med school, I have no idea. Personally, when I get into practice during school and cross the A&P and get into DN territory, life becomes hellish (this is the case at the moment). There is no way for me to know the intensity of re-observation for others, but some days I literally have to will my body to even move through the halls, since during times of more intense and around the clock practice, I feel like everything is meaningless and a trap. School work seems impossible during an existential crisis... how am I supposed to feel remotely worried about getting letters on a fancy piece of paper when I feel like everything is pulsing in a chaotic and violating way? When it's clear that none of the shit I learn in school is actually bringing me lasting happiness? I don't know how people can go through some of these stages and still be productive in life. My GPA probably looks like one of Daniel's graphs for the progress of insight, if you map it along my time at school practicing.
T DC, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 5:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 5:14 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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If it helps at all, it's not like stream entry is going to bring you complete peace. It helps, but there are more dark nights to go through after that.

It does sound frustrating to keep cycling. I will say though, I do not think some people can't do this, so there must be someway in which you are falling short. This just means it is possible for you to improve, and thus possible for you to gain stream entry. Good luck, I'm sure if you keep practicing you will have success eventually.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 5:15 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 5:14 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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School work seems impossible during an existential crisis... how am I supposed to feel remotely worried about getting letters on a fancy piece of paper when I feel like everything is pulsing in a chaotic and violating way? When it's clear that none of the shit I learn in school is actually bringing me lasting happiness?


Is stream entry supposed to bring true happiness? because I've seen people post stream entry, or even higher "paths" make posts similar to this one. Do you think it will be stream entry or fourth path then happily ever after? I've seen people act unhappy who claim attainments higher than 4th path. I've also seen cringeworthy denial, people pretending that they are really content with everything after some attainment, because that was the dream - attainment then happily ever after. People do this with "attainments" as "lowly" as (apparently) the a&p (pentecostal christians I've met).

What you want is for all your problems to be solved, like your problems with school... Come on, what are you going to do with stream entry? What is the real endgame of this quest? What do you really want? Just some strange loss of consciousness for a moment and then a different form of experiencing certain sensations? It's probably nice but I bet you will eventually find that the "honeymoon" ends, as people have talked about with every "life" attainment, meditative or otherwise, that I can think of.

Not that there is anything wrong with going for it again. If you do, good luck. You probably have plenty of time on your hands to figure this out, and if not then you won't have to deal with it ever again.
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Sweet Nothing, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 11:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/21/13 11:47 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Mind over easy:

Check out some of your favorite arhats, teachers, enlightened folks, and see that they definitely do not always follow 5 precepts.

I am not sure which teaching you're following. According to Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path, Morality (Right Action) is the very basis for Right Concentration and I cannot trust anyone more than Gautama Buddha himself. All teachers I have been with so far are impeccable in their Shila. Other than them, I only follow two "western" teachers namely Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Ajahn Brahm who probably follow 8 precepts. In my own personal experience, whenever I broke the precepts in a bad way I have always relapsed and regressed.


Not trying to be a buzzkill, but I definitely have been through this transition many times, but there is always a slide back down if you don't land the fruition.


There are several folks around here who are in EQ for many months, possibly over a year without fruition. Its been over 2 weeks since I haven't fallen back even slightly. If I do slide back, it wouldn't matter either way as I'm still doing what needs to be done without looking for something. It's usually anticipation that causes suffering.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 6:31 AM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Practice always as if in equanimity, or rather practice to develop a specific neutrality towards all phenomena regardless of the overall feeling theme dominating the moment. The mastered 11th nana / 4th jhana is defined by such specific neutrality (not wanting the dissapearance nor wanting the continuation of phenomena); a clear calm wide curious recognition of exactly what is occuring in the very moment; coupled with an 'equanimous feeling'.

The equanimous feeling may not be present in the other nanas. But it finds its foothold in the 11th nana/4th jhana . And when an equnaimous specific neutrality is purified by such eqaunimous feeling, equanimity towards the formations/ fabrications of mind and body truly establishes itself and matures.

Sometimes the 11th nana/4th jhana has the equanimous feeling but a lack of specific neutrality towards all formations/ fabrications and this could lead to stagnation and regress. Perhaps there is attachment and clinging to the eqaunimous feeling. This means there is a lack of the vital ingredient for cessation, ie specific neutrality.

Develop specific neutrality, a recognition that does not conceive of anything from phenomena, including the conceving of the reaction of 'aversion' or 'craving' which you seem to be expressing in your opening post, which is cause for the stagnation you lament over. Develop specific neutrality to it all, towards the sublte stuff of high equanimity, space, wandering movements, anticipation, boredom, nothingness, sense of meness, being, time, presence, towards the eqaunimous feeling. Develop specific neutrality towards it all, including the desire to get somewhere, i.e. SE. It is giving up this desire at the right moment which opens the door. Developing specific neutrality as an actual mental muscle/skill at any stage regardless of the accompanying pleasant, unpleasant, neutral feelings and one develops and sets up (allows to mature) the vital cause for cessation of it all when equanimous feeling arises. It is called eqaunimity of formations for a reason. If just one formation is clung to, then what cessation will there be? One must cultivate dispassion for all formations, and specific neutrality is key to this.

My 2 cents

Nick
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Jake , modified 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 9:38 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 9:38 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Nick, the distinction between equanimous feeling and specific neutrality is interesting. Let me see if I'm getting what you are saying:

equanimous feeling is just neutral/peaceful vedana
specific neutrality is a cognitive qualitiy of *not* objectifying phenomena at all, of not characterizing them as 'this' or 'that'? A cognitive openness that registers phenomena rising and passing without overlaying them with expectations/concepts? Something like that or different?
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 3:27 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 3:08 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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. Jake .:
Nick, the distinction between equanimous feeling and specific neutrality is interesting. Let me see if I'm getting what you are saying:

equanimous feeling is just neutral/peaceful vedana
specific neutrality is a cognitive qualitiy of *not* objectifying phenomena at all, of not characterizing them as 'this' or 'that'? A cognitive openness that registers phenomena rising and passing without overlaying them with expectations/concepts?


Yes, that is exactly what i mean, Jake. Though if there is recogition of 'expectations/concepts', they too are seen to arise and pass unfueled and untinged by grasping at an outcome via specific neutrality. There may still be conceiving arising and passing due to strong habitual patterns to do so, but at least it is recognised via specific neutrality and the cause and effect of not giving more fuel to the act of conceiving can present as some serious insight. When done with momentum, ultimately yes, there will be less and less conceiving as a result. When there is no more conceiving of even the most refined formations/fabrications, then cessation has occured. The stilling of all formations/ fabrications.

The experience of 'equanimity (the compounding of an equanimous mental overlay/ thoughts/ mind stuff and equanimous neutral feeling tones) is a fabrication/formation itself. Adding specific neutrality to the mix leads to letting go of it aswell leading to cessation/stilling of all formations in my experience. Applying specific neutrality at any stage and nana is good practice as i see it.

Still my 2 cents

Edited as per usual
Nick
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 4:05 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/22/13 4:05 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Credit to Tarin


"assuming a norm about the level of phenomenology is to be confused by content. it is content which 'pulls' the attention, because the attention isn't paying attention and so there is the (also content) assumption that it is happening on the level of insight. equanimity doesn't have to be fabricated because it really doesn't matter. im talking about the cause of equanimity. the causeless cause; the unfabricated cause. the whole body means the whole formation. not the assumption of what sensations out of the formation are taken to be body. understand what i'm saying

4th jhana is whatever equanimity shines through. The equanimity which purifies the mindfulness is not neutral feeling, as might be supposed, but specific neutrality, the sublime impartiality free from attachment and aversion, which also pertains to this jhana. Though both specific neutrality and mindfulness were present in the lower three jhanas, none among these is said to have "purity of mindfulness due to equanimity." The reason is that in the lower jhanas the equanimity present was not purified itself, being overshadowed by opposing states and lacking association with equanimous feeling. It is like a crescent moon which exists by day but cannot be seen because of the sunlight and the bright sky. But in the fourth jhana, where equanimity gains the support of equanimous feeling, it shines forth like the crescent moon at night and purifies mindfulness and the other associated states.'

'The equanimity which purifies the mindfulness is not neutral feeling, as might be supposed, but specific neutrality, the sublime impartiality free from attachment and aversion, ...'

not a feeling. not a feature of the field. not content. equanimity is insight." Tarin
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Mind over easy, modified 10 Years ago at 10/23/13 12:04 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/23/13 12:04 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 292 Join Date: 4/28/12 Recent Posts
I am not sure which teaching you're following. According to Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path, Morality (Right Action) is the very basis for Right Concentration and I cannot trust anyone more than Gautama Buddha himself. All teachers I have been with so far are impeccable in their Shila. Other than them, I only follow two "western" teachers namely Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Ajahn Brahm who probably follow 8 precepts. In my own personal experience, whenever I broke the precepts in a bad way I have always relapsed and regressed.


I guess I wasn't very clear there, sorry. I'm just trying to say that precepts, while supportive to developing the right mindset for concentration and insight, aren't a mandatory factor. I've read about people practicing in the magick tradition who don't follow Buddhist precepts, but can still enter jhana and attain experience of no-self. I'm not arguing the usefulness, but I just think people forget that the precepts, and dharma teachings in general, are made up, not inherently true on their own, but just one way of "getting across". They're supportive and valuable, but there isn't an on and off switch for possibility of jhana or insight that gets flipped when you break the Buddhist (tm) or Christian (tm) standards; it's all on you in the moment of practice, knowing what to do. I'm not trying to justify immorality, just suggesting that morals can't short circuit your ability to do jhana or gain insight, which is what I thought you were suggesting by:

Without maintaining at least 5 precepts, it is impossible to nurture solid concentration that helps give rise to penetrating wisdom.



There are several folks around here who are in EQ for many months, possibly over a year without fruition. Its been over 2 weeks since I haven't fallen back even slightly. If I do slide back, it wouldn't matter either way as I'm still doing what needs to be done without looking for something. It's usually anticipation that causes suffering.


My bad, I'm not trying to be negative nancy. I've just found that simply being in the nana of EQ and practicing doesn't necessarily assure fruition. I've found that for myself, I don't just sit at EQ forever, I fall back down and rise back up. Kudos to you if you are able to maintain position in EQ without having to rise back up from time to time. Personally I get these arcs, where practice will rise up to a peak, I get farther in the nanas each sit, with less difficulty, then slowly progress regresses, I take longer to move up, and it is harder to make it to EQ. Similarly for jhana too.


The experience of 'equanimity (the compounding of an equanimous mental overlay/ thoughts/ mind stuff and equanimous neutral feeling tones) is a fabrication/formation itself. Adding specific neutrality to the mix leads to letting go of it aswell leading to cessation/stilling of all formations in my experience. Applying specific neutrality at any stage and nana is good practice as i see it.


Thanks, this sounds like good advice. I'm trying to balance specific neutrality with high levels of effort (going back to fast noting), which does prove tricky. I feel like I'm exerting so much force by rapid noting, but I also see how the danger is building up expectation and desires for practice, especially when you have a map which says "go higher until you are at this point, then if you break that one, you get enlightened".

Continuing to work, in any case.
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Mind over easy, modified 10 Years ago at 10/23/13 12:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/23/13 12:20 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Sweet Nothing:
[I cannot trust anyone more than Gautama Buddha himself.


On a side note, how can you trust in someone you can't at all verify existed? How can you trust in him any more than you can trust in Jesus or Krishna or the Easter Bunny? The teachings of a supposed Gautama Buddha are full of exaggerations, embellishments, inconsistencies, corruptions over time... (not that I don't read suttas too, just that I can't rationally assume Buddha was real, that he flew in the air, possessed superposition, played hide-and-go-seek with the gods, made rocks float upstream, etc...

Here is a fun read. ;)
http://speculativenonbuddhism.com/2011/06/11/nostalgia-for-the-buddha/
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 10/24/13 4:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/24/13 4:26 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Hi M.O.E.,
Mind over easy:
Sweet Nothing:
[I cannot trust anyone more than Gautama Buddha himself.


On a side note, how can you trust in someone you can't at all verify existed? How can you trust in him any more than you can trust in Jesus or Krishna or the Easter Bunny? The teachings of a supposed Gautama Buddha are full of exaggerations, embellishments, inconsistencies, corruptions over time... (not that I don't read suttas too, just that I can't rationally assume Buddha was real, that he flew in the air, possessed superposition, played hide-and-go-seek with the gods, made rocks float upstream, etc...

Here is a fun read. ;)
http://speculativenonbuddhism.com/2011/06/11/nostalgia-for-the-buddha/


Overall, what is happening now is that mind is amping up its wanting something satisfactory?

Yet, all things are becoming rejectible now, because they are not satisfying? E.g., ideas of some past great teacher...

So the mind is experiencing an stream of ungratified wanting now (and for weeks basically)?

And earlier...
Concentration isn't necessarily my weak point either; I can get into the formed jhanas with a few days work but I typically feel more inclined to do vipassana.
Good. What are you doing in a few days work that culminates in the ability to enter formed jhanas? (This is not at all a suggestion to practice jhanas right now; it is not (nor is it an interdiction to do so). But the answer here is key.)
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Sweet Nothing, modified 10 Years ago at 10/24/13 5:22 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/24/13 5:00 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 164 Join Date: 4/21/13 Recent Posts
Mind over easy:
Sweet Nothing:
[I cannot trust anyone more than Gautama Buddha himself.


On a side note, how can you trust in someone you can't at all verify existed? How can you trust in him any more than you can trust in Jesus or Krishna or the Easter Bunny? The teachings of a supposed Gautama Buddha are full of exaggerations, embellishments, inconsistencies, corruptions over time... (not that I don't read suttas too, just that I can't rationally assume Buddha was real, that he flew in the air, possessed superposition, played hide-and-go-seek with the gods, made rocks float upstream, etc...

Here is a fun read. ;)
http://speculativenonbuddhism.com/2011/06/11/nostalgia-for-the-buddha/



Logic is a prison we have created for ourselves, afraid of what we might see if we were to step outside. Even a caged bird when set free, hesitates before flying out into the unknown.. Logically speaking, the very foundation of existence, widely believed to be the Big Bang Event spits in the face of logic in the most abstractly possible manner, and yet makes poetic sense to the one who understands. Even the everyday physical laws that Einstein, Newton, etc discovered that operate with such logical perfection become completely obscure as we dive deeper into what is invisible to the sensory eye, ie quantum physics.The probability of all conditions being fulfilled for life to happen as it is happening right now and us observing it in this moment is so low that it could be considered an impossibility.

You're evaluating information you come across with your scales of logic, and rightfully so. However, logic can only take us so far. When this logic is evolved, it transforms into faith. When you have faith, you no longer need logic to verify subtler truths that you know through faith and experience.

The way I see life, this moment is the greatest miracle and the simplest things in nature are greater miracles than mundane things like walking on water or transforming water into wine. These "miracles" were their way of showing the world that there is something more. The people in west were so ignorant that Jesus had to do things completely extraordinary to make them believe. Whereas in the East, the foundation for Dharma was already there and people had faith in something greater than life and death. There have been countless seers and sages in India who have all taught Dharma in their own ways, but as time passes by the essence is lost entirely and someone else comes along to restore it.

If Buddha performed miracles like Jesus, he would not be a Buddha. He did not revive the dead child brought to him. He did not fight the intoxicant elephant that charged upon him. When the monks travelling with him became hungry, he did not magically manifest food for them nor himself. He simply instructed them to investigate the feeling of hunger. His purpose was not to defy the laws of nature and be worshiped as a god, his purpose was only to show others how they can attain freedom from samsara.

I can't rationally assume Buddha was real, that he flew in the air, possessed superposition, played hide-and-go-seek with the gods, made rocks float upstream, etc...


I agree that it is impossible to rationally believe in these claims without seeing them with the naked eye, and even then we will remain skeptical of illusion. This is why the Buddha banned the Sangha from using any powers among lay observers because they get the wrong ideas that hinder progress.You cannot rationally judge these claims without yourself attaining to that level of Enlightenment as you cannot judge or verify it in any other way. This is where faith/conviction kicks in.

Given that language is based on simile's, the Buddha described his attainment as waking up compared to a world in deep sleep. In a way it implies that current reality as we know it is a subconscious dream of the 5 senses. When one wakes up/becomes lucid of this metaphorical dream, he is no longer bound by the dream and is capable to do things others cannot make sense of with their own limitations of rationality, time, and space in the metaphorical dream world.

I agree that over time the original teachings have been manipulated and parts have been lost. In some parts of the world they have been preserved better than in other parts. Overall, I doubt that Dharma would have spread all over Asia so rapidly without the use of force if there was no merit in it's origin or it's benefits. Today, in most so called Buddhist countries, the Buddha who never encouraged worship of gods is himself being worshiped as a god and people who call themselves Buddhists are suffering as much as anyone else.

Why do I believe in any of this ? Quite simply, because my experience on the path has been consistent with the texts. I have meditated under relics of the Buddha and have observed tangible differences. I have experienced mystical physical phenomena after A&P that dont make rational sense. I have always believed in Karma, Rebirth, etc there are no psychological hurdles for me. I find similarities in teachings of all the great saints and seers of the past, including Jesus and Krishna. Krishna said in the Bhagwat Gita that one is dear to him when one eradicates craving and aversion. Jesus said know thy self. Buddha said that someone who is standing at the other end of the world and realizes his teaching is closer to the Buddha than someone who is standing next to him and does not.

I recommend 2 books to develop more clarity regarding miracles :
1) Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramhansa Yogananda
2) Mystic Musings - Isha Foundation

Sorry for the long post, just my 2 cents.
Banned For waht?, modified 10 Years ago at 10/27/13 8:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/27/13 8:29 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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enlightenment is the feeling after you finish a book or a movie or completed something, or thought or dream. Temporarily destroying all fetters. Its the feeling of emptiness, lonelyness, reality etc. After some time fetters will prevail again. Sometimes after couple seconds, etc...

enlightenment is always available. I think you don't just recoqnize it that you are been there and occasionally entering it.

if you come aware of that state then you won't able to forget it or stop it, it fades itself and you won't know it, you will come aware again after you have reflected on that you have forgotten. This state is not something extraordinary its so ordinary that hard to recoqnize its specialty. That is also why people say that you will know when you are enlightened.

Its too ordinary there is nothing to say about it. Its rather impossible to tell its importance to others.

enlightenment is balance, unenlightenment is unbalance. Unbalance because you are holding into something and thus are lost, but you don't even know that you are holding. Balance is total let go, but not letting go of body and mind that you will disappear, its different letting go, its like when you are driving on a bus and watching trees passing in a way your eyes does not grasp but are let go.

enlightenment is selfabsorption, meaningless, timeless. Someone yelling at you, just enter that state and you can bear anything, you also can see the queue of things waiting behind the gate of forgetfulness.

I meditated to make sure to me that this state is that. Without meditation its impossible. That state is pathless path, walking on that is proper way and only way to destroy the things what does not allow freedom.

There are things and when you saw the cause they are never the same anymore, maybe that is called perception change. Enlightenment is not a perception change. Enlightenment means that eye will open, that instead of one thing you will see two/many things, the knowledge about how to see two things at the same time.

Enlightenment is the blackout or the unknown event. Its possible to take nothingness/emptiness as an object/to cling to it as any other object of mind but then its not enlightenment. But there is mind1 and mind2 moment. Its impossible to spot what is between mind1 and mind2 by clinging to mind but it can be seen that one is replaced with another that means all 3C's are seen in a one event araising and passing away. Its possible to "enter it" by letting go of mind but that does not mean that there will then be no mind.

The curve towards enlightenment can be any shape. But the end point is that state. By comparing one thing to another you will find that its not it, its not it, its not it till you will find the right one.
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Cedric , modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/13 12:18 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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I found Nick's comment very useful.
thank you.
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Jenny, modified 9 Years ago at 7/8/14 11:43 AM
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Richard, I haven't even been at this nearly so long or so hard, yet I feel the OP's consternation/worry myself: that I will remain stuck. The latest DN was extremely life-mortifying, so I have this urgency or committment to amping up practice now that was lacking before, but this borderland between DN and EQ is indeed quite the trickster, and I think I am realizing, slowly, on a new level, that effort has to be balanced with acceptance, maybe effort has to consist somehow of acceptance. So this idea of repetition, eroding, and fading--this acknowledgment that a gradual de-conditioning is in order, is an ah-ha for me:
As we cling less perceptions fade. When there is less delusion and identification the experiences begin to fade. Disidentify with the intention to pay attention and with consciousness. Disidentify with awareness. Use Samadhi and metta to soften the fear. We need to see the fading of self, thing, time collapse over and over again. The understanding feeds the experience and the experience feeds the understanding. Consciousness = knowing. Consciousness has to fade. When there is no clinging there is nothing for consciousness to lean on. When we have no concepts of self, object, and time the trinity dissolves.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 7/10/14 1:06 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/10/14 1:06 AM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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It does work but remember I've never been on a retreat and many teachers like Rob Burbea and Gil Fronsdal say that those who've gotten cessation don't necessarily benefit if their understanding is poor.  At best I've gotten some of my vision to change color and fade a bit.  What helped further is developing equanimity to as many perceptions as possible.  Immediately noticing any small aversion and then relaxing it until I feel better is huge for me.  Just waiting until the reactivity stops on it's own shows how mechanical dispositions can be.

Just knowing that perceptions are mental simplifications of the universe and that the brain's consciousness is already leaning to like or dislike any perception, you can practice relaxing the tension when reactivity to a perception arises.  I'm starting to appreciate the value of the intellectual tradition.  I was so worried about not experiencing enough in practice but ultimately we need both intellect and experience.

Any chunking off of experience into a perception is prime for reactivity.  Any time measurement involves emotional investment as to how this will be for me in the future or how it has been in the past.  In fact any measurement that is not neutral is the start of the trigger already.  Ignorance and delusion is built in and makes one not blame the mistakes of others as much because of how pervsive it is in basic human experience.

Without stream-entry I'm still doing better than some posters who claim they got it.  They look quite attached to it and it looks slightly disappointing without the intellectual rigour.  I'm sure stream-entry coupled with the understanding is the best balance but one can learn the Advaita Vedanta resting in consciousness and get enormous freedom and keep expanding it and letting it marinate in the brain so more experiences aren't identified as self.

First I started with concentration and when I developed equanimity it was narrow (meaning it was not equanimous to enough perceptions in my life).

Second I expanded it to more objects and started looking at dependent arising but I still looked at it as separate cause and effect links in a chain when really it's a simplification for discussion purposes.

Thirdly now I'm looking at the inseparability of the links in the chain so that there's not links or a chain yet one must use these perceptions.  Perceive but don't give inherent existence to the perceptions.  Inherent existence being objects that appear to have no cause and stand alone.  Everything has a cause even if it's complicated.

In the end one still has to let go of more experiences and that's where it leads you.  If you can step out of experiences as being permanently real more and more then you'll still experience the normality of existence without giving it too much rumination/clinging.

As Ron Crouch told me often people get some shaking of experience but get too excited (clinging) towards the results and they don't get over the hump and have to try again and stay with equanimity to all formations until they pop.

During daily life keep checking your mindstates because dependent arising is happening constantly.  Just being mindful of mindstates will clue into the thoughts that built up the state in the first place and you can willfully put different ones in there.  Worrying about not getting beyond equanimity will prevent you from going further.
c m, modified 9 Years ago at 7/10/14 1:18 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/10/14 1:17 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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> Heed the warnings in Daniel's book well; the cost of trying to get
enlightened could be cycling through utterly painful mind states the
rest of your life and never seeing the shore, despite putting forth a
great effort to complete the task.


So, whether or not it's the case that some people may never get through EQ..

Those who have made it through to stream entry, is it worth it?  Are you cycling and dealing with the downsides, and happy that you did the work in practice?
Eva Nie, modified 9 Years ago at 7/12/14 2:41 AM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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IME, if you want something SOOOO bad, typically you either won't get it or if you do, it will not be good for you.  When someone wants something really really bad, the concepts and ideas and emotions around that thing have a lot of control over your life and self.  What if that thing turns out to be not what you expected?  What if there might be profound disappointment if you get it and find out the real truth of it?  Would it then be better to just not get it at all and be frustrated instead of getting it and being profoundly disappointed?   What if you have a ton of preconceived notions about the thing you want and it is the notions that you cling to and long for, but not the real thing itself?  Would you still get the real thing if you are in fact mostly reaching after assumptions that are not true?

Reading your post and replies, one might get the impression that you have tried everything and so are sure of your stuckness but that is also a certain kind of mindset that assumes that and partakes in that attitude and batch of assumptions.  Maybe the trick would be to learn how to cut back on obsessing over stream entry of the future.  Stream entry is just one point on a very very large and long map and it probably will be very different than you can imagine right now because these kinds of weird things usually turn out that way.  Your strong desire for stream entry may in fact be part of or a symptom of what is stopping from getting it, especially if you have many inaccurate expectations for it.  It's a weird kind of catch 22 but IME, life often works like that.  Want something a little and with no special expectations of it, and you will probably get it.  Want something a LOT and have a big fantasy about all the greatness and monster pleasure it will bring you, and you are much less likely to get it, IME. 
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Noting Monkey, modified 9 Years ago at 7/12/14 6:03 AM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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I agree with Eva. If you put to much effort to get something you don't even know what is it will cause you trouble.
Stream Entry will be a result for your effort doing (some kind of) insight practice. May make a wish to get it but don't worry about it.
If you are hungry you eat but you don't need to worry about how to get energy from the food. Result will come if you do the technique corretly.

It is easy to get lost in the DN and easy to get lazy in EQ and fall back again but more you fall back more you learn. Also worth to mention the "paramis" (perfections). With good paramis you get it faster. So work on your morality and result will come easier.
(and of course intense retreats make the progress much faster) 

Of course you will cycling after stream entry (even arhats do) but if you get it you will have the feeling "oh, that was what I needed". 
You won't get what you expect but what you get will satisfy, at least for a while... 
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Jenny, modified 9 Years ago at 7/14/14 10:25 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Thank you for reminding me to keep noticing mind states during the day. Some days that are hectic and require absorption in work, I do lose track. I start saving practice for the cushion, when the idea is to extend practice into the rest of life.

I also feel lately that I could use a morality booster shot, that I've started taking that training too much for granted lately, which is really dangerous--really.

I had assumed that you were way past stream entry--because your words consistently resonate with understanding, from where I currently sit. I started out in a Gelug center, where I took book-based classes and attended some profound discussions of dependant origination, karma, and emptiness of inherent existence. Because I came out of deconstruction in a PhD program and actually researched Zen for my dissertation, I think I came from some intellectual understanding but a propensity not to sit with myself and directly apprehend.

But I agree: experiencing blips or shifts in perceptual thresholds requires framework--a knowledge base, mindfulness, and understanding.

Yeah, I think I will have to cycle some more. Clinging is my MO. 
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 7/15/14 9:04 AM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Jen Pearly:
I had assumed that you were way past stream entry--because your words consistently resonate with understanding, from where I currently sit. I started out in a Gelug center, where I took book-based classes and attended some profound discussions of dependant origination, karma, and emptiness of inherent existence. Because I came out of deconstruction in a PhD program and actually researched Zen for my dissertation, I think I came from some intellectual understanding but a propensity not to sit with myself and directly apprehend.

But I agree: experiencing blips or shifts in perceptual thresholds requires framework--a knowledge base, mindfulness, and understanding.

Yeah, I think I will have to cycle some more. Clinging is my MO. 
Well I'm not sure if I'm confused or there are different opinions on this but according to Beth Folk-Resnick you don't need all 8 jhanas to get to stream entry.  She said it was more to do with 2nd path.  According to Hokai Sobel some individuals only need the 1st jhana to see dependent arising.  Seeing dependent arising in real "time" and seeing how the brain is simplifying and building up experience over and over again is how the brain releases clinging.  When I look at intentions and attention as sensations any clinging tends to stop.  Now I do feel clinging when I'm not doing this so I may need to see this more and more times to decling further.  When I notice details of nama-rupa (especially nama) and the clinging releases the personality feeling feels like it drops and the sense of a core in side the head disappears.  I think I'm on the right track.  I'm sure some one will chime in with a different opinion.  It's definitely a difficult process because of it's subtlety.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 9 Years ago at 7/15/14 6:50 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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You definitely don't need 8 jhanas to get stream entry.

You definitely don't even need any samatha jhanas to get stream entry, speaking in a black and white dichotomy between samatha and vipassana jhanas that doesn't actually exist in practice.

You do need four vipassana jhanas to get stream entry, but this simply is another way of saying the stages of insight. You do need insight into the Three Characteristics of your whole sense field, as happens at Conformity Knowledge. Plenty will get to that without ever having had anything that really felt samatha-jhanic. I had basically no samatha jhanic ability when I got stream entry, but I could identify the sensations that made up my experience and perceive them come and go fast again and again and again.

I wouldn't focus on whether or not you are Clinging, whatever that is. I would just notice everything arise and vanish on its own, including everything you think of as you. That really gets to the point and bypasses all sorts of complexity and side-tracks. It is the straightforward path.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 9 Years ago at 7/15/14 6:52 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Perceive everything come and go, again and again and again, and direct knowledge that there nothing stable enough to cling to and nothing stable enough to cling to it arises on its own.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 7/15/14 7:35 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Thanks for the tips!
Eva Nie, modified 9 Years ago at 7/15/14 7:38 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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I wouldn't focus on whether or not you are Clinging, whatever that is. I would just notice everything arise and vanish on its own, including everything you think of as you. That really gets to the point and bypasses all sorts of complexity and side-tracks. It is the straightforward path.


Could be wrong, but I'm guessing she means clinging to old ways of thought and habit.  It's hard to see in a new way when you are stilll clinging/attached to the old ways that one has become used to since childhood.  But another way to look at it is to focus more on the new way.  In the end, I think you will have to do both if you want to change.    
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Jenny, modified 9 Years ago at 7/16/14 11:51 PM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Hi, Daniel. I guess you are saying that straining to stop straining doesn't work (ie, focusing on whether I am "clinging"). The perceptual shift undoes the clinging.

Of the 3Cs, the one that I don't see clearly, or that I retreat from, is the self/not-self. Impermanance is very easy to see; so is dukka, even in and around sensations that are ostensibly pleasure. But I "forget" to investigate what I think of as myself. I guess I don't know where to start because, um, I don't know where "I" really am (is?). Or maybe it is an evasion, a blind spot I'm subtending. So this that you say below makes me consider anew what I'm not looking at and need to now:
 I would just notice everything arise and vanish on its own, including everything you think of as you
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deci belle, modified 9 Years ago at 7/17/14 9:59 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/17/14 9:57 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Mind over easy said:
"I'm disoriented, lost in life, literally terrified of the prospect of living half my life in this carefree, pseudo-enlightened equanimous state, and half in a state of utter unsureness, a feeling of extremely blatant lack of closure…"


The feeling of the absolute is one of never having begun.  Entry into the inconceivable entails a a vague feeling of lack.

Do you feel like you miss you~ or some aspect of your personality?

I would hasten to take advantage of this situation while you still have the opportunity, Moe.  You may be overlooking something by your thinking it's about you.

If this is not affecting your ability to adapt in ordinary situations, is it your own inability to accept the inner situation as it is?

Perhaps something wants to open up and as long as you "obsess" on yourself, this opportunity may be lost for no good reason?

Just a thought…  I think you might just be afraid of openning up in an impersonal way, perhaps?

Just a thought…
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Jehanne S Peacock, modified 9 Years ago at 7/18/14 3:57 AM
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RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

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Jen Pearly:


Of the 3Cs, the one that I don't see clearly, or that I retreat from, is the self/not-self. Impermanance is very easy to see; so is dukka, even in and around sensations that are ostensibly pleasure. But I "forget" to investigate what I think of as myself. I guess I don't know where to start because, um, I don't know where "I" really am (is?). Or maybe it is an evasion, a blind spot I'm subtending. So this that you say below makes me consider anew what I'm not looking at and need to now:
 I would just notice everything arise and vanish on its own, including everything you think of as you


Hi Jen Pearly!
I struggled with the same issue, no-self. Then I found a blog post that I personally found extremely helpful. I want to share it in case it might also resonate with your thoughts. Here you go: http://nemonavigator.blogspot.fi/2012/04/jump-in-water-is-lovely.html
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Jenny, modified 9 Years ago at 7/18/14 11:17 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/18/14 11:17 PM

RE: EQ > ReOb > EQ > ReOb > EQ... Forever?

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Thank you, Jehanne. That was intriguing. emoticon

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