Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

J C, modified 7 Years ago.

Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
Ok, so I found Ingram's book months ago, fell in love with it, and was meditating on and off (mostly off because I've been going through some depression and have been feeling lazy and unmotivated). When I got around to it, I did 15-30 minutes a day, but last week something happened:

For the last week or two, I had been really depressed, achy, just generally feeling sick. I hadn't been sleeping well, cancelled therapist appointments, and was just generally really irritable. On Monday, I took a bunch of sleep meds because I hadn't slept for days. I went back into work on Tuesday but the sleep meds had been making me feel groggy, took some of my ADD meds to try to be awake, but then of course I couldn't sleep, and on Wednesday I felt really sick again, lots of congestion and achiness, so on Wednesday night I lay in bed for hours, and I tried to meditate the whole time.

It was very frustrating, because my mind kept wandering off into clouds of irritability and anger, and I tried to catch it, but I wasn't doing very well. I kept mentally internally ranting (I do this when I'm tired) about feeling bad about my relationship with my girlfriend, kept waking her up and pissing her off, and felt pretty down and almost suicidal. I remember thinking I just wanted to be happy, I just wanted the pain to stop, I was just so sick of this.

I managed to sleep a little Thursday morning, went into work Thursday afternoon, felt like shit, groggy, achy, and so I took some Ritalin to try to help me focus (I have ADD and I have been prescribed various meds to take as needed).

I took a large dose of Ritalin, feeling frustrated about this work project that I have been procrastinating, wasting time goofing off on the Internet. For some reason I felt drawn back to this forum, and I was going to post something about a completely different topic, but I ended up reading this post on stream entry:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3923127

and I followed a few more links and read these pages:

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/ReformedSlackersGuide

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/yogi-toolbox-noting-part-1-nicks.html

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/even-if-my-blood-dries-out-my-flesh-my.html

http://kennethfolkdharma.com/2013/02/what-is-the-three-speed-transmission/

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/

http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/p/start-here.html

http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/expectations.html

http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/labels.html

and some other pages on the markedeternal and liberationunleashed websites...

And some stuff just started to click in my head. I had realized intellectually that I didn't exist, that all that existed was experience, no thinker just thought, and so forth, but as I read these pages and started meditating, with all the Ritalin buzzing in my head...

It became totally clear to me that I don't exist. I started texting my girlfriend some of my thoughts on this, like:

"Reading some stuff on meditation that clears some stuff up for me. People like us who have passed the A&P barrier get caught up in cycles alternating between peace and extreme reactivity, and have this intense interest in meditation and spiritual stuff. The way out is to keep meditating and eventually you get to a point where you notice that things happen, then you notice them. Things happen, then you notice them. And the noticer *is not you*."

"Mind creates suffering for itself... just watch it... it's not me"

"I'm noticing this feeling like I can't just let life happen. Like if I let go of all expectations and stop forcing things, bad stuff will happen. Like I can't trust myself. But there's no self there anyway. It's already happening. Experience continues on. My mind will untangle itself... it'll take care of things... it's been doing that this whole time."

(inspired by http://markedeternal.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/expectations.html )

And as I looked at my phone... something happened that I can't quite describe. It was like no one was there for a few seconds. Like my field of vision just opened up with no one there looking. It was just there. Just experience.

I kept reading stuff on this site, and the descriptions of the Dark Night and sequential phases through Fruition really ring true to me. I'm not sure what happened, but is it possible I got stream entry? I'd be surprised if I did, because I haven't really been meditating very much, and it could be some weird trippy effect from the Ritalin or lack of sleep.

That was about six hours ago. In the last six hours it has just been clear to me that there's no one there. Just the mind making up stories. I'm not totally at peace or anything -- my friend came over and I got kinda irritable and upset -- but I feel less reactive and able to return to a clear calm mind. Maybe it's just the Ritalin.

Anyway, sorry for all this long rambling. Just not sure what to make of what happened.

Does anyone have any thoughts, ideas, or explanations? Questions?

Regardless, I'll continue to meditate, continue to remember that "I" don't exist, and see what happens from here.
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Nikolai ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Give it a month. See if it holds up.

Regardless of what it is, it seems to be good thing for you. Keep exploring. Progress is progress.

Nick
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 1633 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
This is a gradual practice. What you did though was good and is on the right track. I've had periods where I pay attention to what I think is my "self" behind the eyes and the sense of self disappears and it's just experience. It starts off narrow but as you keep practicing it gradually widens. It can also happen if you note consistently enough. It's like an out of body experience without being out of your body. The trick is to do less and less but do enough just so you can watch the reactivity. Repressing it or getting caught in long stories in your mind is stress. When you naturally notice you're lost in thoughts that's already enough to know you're back. Just keep a light consistent presence with what's happening trying to include more detail like "strategizing", "analyzing", "doubt", "confusion". The more you can label from the 4 foundations of mindfulness the more things you can be free from. It's when the mindfulness gets lax for long periods of time where the old conditioning appears again.

Just so you know a sign of stream entry is when all of your experience disappears briefly and returns. It's a loss of consciousness.

Keep reading and learning, especially about dependent origination, and the 5 aggregates.
J C, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
After reading a bit more, what I experienced was clearly High Equanimity. It was awesome. Sadly, it doesn't feel as strong or stable anymore.

I feel a little strange that it was triggered by a high dose of Ritalin... kind of makes sense since the stimulant definitely causes intense vibrations!

Does the fact that it was drug-induced have any relevance? Does it still count as being in that state? Should I avoid Ritalin or make use of it somehow?

I've made resolutions to attain stream entry. I will just keep meditating and noting until I get there.

Today's meditation was frustrating. Lots of distracting verbal thoughts, punctuated by colored dots.

I'm not clear on how the cycle works, exactly: will I or did I have another A&P experience? Definitely had a slight DN-style panic today. Very distracted all day and spent hours on the internet instead of working. emoticon
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 1633 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
The Three Doors

There are three basic ways the doors may present themselves, which I will describe shortly, at least two of which are combined to produce the experience of entering ultimate reality. The third characteristic is considered inferred from the way the other two present, but sometimes aspects of that third characteristic will be experienced directly.


One way to sort out a door to ultimate reality from an A&P Event is that the Three Doors involve the whole experiential space-time continuum as well as the object of investigation, as these become the same thing, an integrated whole.


For instance, the impermanence door aspect has to do with mind moments (the particle model), arising and passing, vibrations, understanding that from which all this arises and that to which all this returns, understanding the source of all reality, the universe strobing in and out of existence, and that sort of thing. When the Tibetans talk of non-existence, they refer to the fact that all experience is utterly transient (the wave model) and thus abides or exists not at all but is constantly in absolute flux and ephemeral. The impermanence door aspect relates to realizing what is “between the frames” of the sensate universe (formations), and it tends to have a “dat.dat.dat-(gone)!” quality to it.

The suffering door aspect has to do with fundamental attachment, dropping attachment like a hot coal that one finally realized one was holding, really letting go, compassion, ultimate bodhichitta, the true love of God, being purged in the flames, renunciation, relinquishment, feeling the fundamental queasy tension in the illusion of duality for just a bit longer than one ever would normally, and that sort of thing. The suffering door relates directly to “the mind” releasing its fixated hold on the whole of relative reality and allowing it to fall away, leaving “awareness” to discover itself. Remember, these words in quotes do not refer to fixed phenomena or experiences. It can also feel like the sum total of existence is suddenly ripped away from us. The suffering door aspect tends to be the most unsettling or wrenching of the Three Doors, the most death-like.

The no-self or emptiness door aspect has to do with the teachings on the mirror-like nature of the mind, the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters (that oh so mystical and overlooked line from Genesis 1:2), God making man in his image, merging with a tantric image of a buddha, seeing one's Original Face, thinking of who created thought, and that sort of thing. It relates to directly observing the collapse of the illusion of duality, the collapse of awareness into the intelligence or cognition of the perceived. It is a bit like staring back at yourself (or something intelligent regardless of whether or not it looks like you) with no one on this side to be stared at and then collapsing into that image. The emptiness door aspect tends to be the most pleasant, easy and visually interesting of the three.


I would also read The DIrect Path by Analayo which will layout a lot of Buddhist practice:

detachment from...the aggregates is of such significance that direct knowledge of the arising and passing away of the five aggregates is a sufficient qualification for becoming a stream-enterer.


Rob Burbea:

Non-Duality and the Fading of Perception
J C, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
Thank you. I did read the Three Doors part and did think I might have experienced this:

"It relates to directly observing the collapse of the illusion of duality, the collapse of awareness into the intelligence or cognition of the perceived. It is a bit like staring back at yourself (or something intelligent regardless of whether or not it looks like you) with no one on this side to be stared at and then collapsing into that image."

I am realizing right now that I need to work on concentration practice. I am not very good at holding concentration and I think this will help with observing the 5 aggregates and 3 characteristics.
R P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 7 Join Date: 1/11/13 Recent Posts
Hi J C,

I got out of lurking because I noticed you suffer from depression and are currently taking Ritalin. Depression is a contraindication to Ritalin, because it aggravates the symptoms. A psychiatrist should never prescribe Ritalin to someone who is suffering from depression. Have you told your psychiatrist about your problems? I was prescribed Ritalin years ago and I soon started developing serious issues with depression. Years later, I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder which explained the vulnerability to depression. There are alternatives to ritalin. I used dextroamphetamine for a while (the brand name is Adderall), which didn't have this side effect. I really recommend you talk to your psychiatrist and (maybe) get a different prescription.
Bobby Anspach, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Did I just get Stream Entry? I definitely don't exist.

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/22/13 Recent Posts
Hey there JC,
I have had a similar experience where it's as if I seemed to dissappear but as you said, I don't belienve it was SE.
Just an experience. I have no experience with Ritalin so I can t say anything there. As far as the meditation with difficult feelings goes, these are just to be known and noted the same as the experiences that seem calm and equanimous. Everything becomes a part of the meditation. No need to change it. Just to know it. Even if there is desire to change it, no problem, just note "aversion". This seems to help me.
Enjoy the path emoticon
Bobby

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