What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

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Avi Craimer, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 10:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 10:07 AM

What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 114 Join Date: 10/29/13 Recent Posts
I am currently working on seeing clearly the sensations involved in space, volume, place, time, and so on, following the instructions for late 3rd path. I’ve gotten momentary dissolving of these sensations into impermanence. As yet I still haven’t seen with great clarity how the illusion of space is generated, but it seems like I’m making solid progress on this.

I have several questions about what happens when the final “knot” is untied.

-Is the knot untying a one time event that is strictly irreversible, or is it something that one experiences in a more partial and temporary way before it stabilizes?

-After the knot unties, is there disorientation? a strong afterglow? an adjustment period? If it were to happen in the midst of everyday life, would there be a temporary disruption of the ability to function normally? If so, how intense a disruption could there be and how long would in generally last? Are there any strategies for coping with the disruption/disorientation that it might cause?

I ask this because I like to be prepared ahead of time for possible disruptive side-effects of insight. I’ve had enough of them to know that not being prepared usually makes any challenging side-effects much worse. Also, if somewhere in the back of my mind I’m worried about/anticipating the unknown possible effects of such a radical and permanent shift in how I perceive reality, this alone might be hold me back from taking the final step.

Thanks,
Avi
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Richard Zen, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 11:34 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 11:34 AM

RE: What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 1665 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
This thread might help:

Looking for help to 3rd path
Matthew, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 12:54 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 12:51 PM

RE: What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 119 Join Date: 1/30/13 Recent Posts
Avi Craimer:
I am currently working on seeing clearly the sensations involved in space, volume, place, time, and so on, following the instructions for late 3rd path. I’ve gotten momentary dissolving of these sensations into impermanence. As yet I still haven’t seen with great clarity how the illusion of space is generated, but it seems like I’m making solid progress on this.

I have several questions about what happens when the final “knot” is untied.

-Is the knot untying a one time event that is strictly irreversible, or is it something that one experiences in a more partial and temporary way before it stabilizes?

-After the knot unties, is there disorientation? a strong afterglow? an adjustment period? If it were to happen in the midst of everyday life, would there be a temporary disruption of the ability to function normally? If so, how intense a disruption could there be and how long would in generally last? Are there any strategies for coping with the disruption/disorientation that it might cause?

I ask this because I like to be prepared ahead of time for possible disruptive side-effects of insight. I’ve had enough of them to know that not being prepared usually makes any challenging side-effects much worse. Also, if somewhere in the back of my mind I’m worried about/anticipating the unknown possible effects of such a radical and permanent shift in how I perceive reality, this alone might be hold me back from taking the final step.

Thanks,
Avi


Hi Avi,

I haven't attained 4th path, but here's my take:

MCTB refers to the 'wisdom eye' opening at the attainment of 4th path, meaning the field of experience is totally unified without any division between self/other or perceiver/perceived. This so-called "wisdom eye" isn't experienced in a partial way, but it can be temporary, meaning some fragmentary self-delusion comes back for short periods of time before disappearing again. I don't remember where, but I believe Vincent Horn also referenced his 4th path awareness coming and going (I think for a few days, but I'm not certain) before finally stabilizing.

In pragmatic dharma circles, I've never heard an account of this attainment in which it's said to be destabilizing. In The End of Your World, Adyashanti does mention that enlightenment experiences can cause adjustment problems for some people, but I haven't encountered this anywhere else, and I'm not sure whether Adyashanti was referring to the final enlightenment experience or the first (i.e. stream-entry).

If you've had time to play around with entering nirodha-samapatti, you'll have noticed the following characteristics of the emergence:
"'When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, lady, how many contacts make contact?'

'When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, friend Visakha, three contacts make contact: contact with emptiness, contact with the signless, & contact with the undirected.'[2]

'When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, lady, to what does his mind lean, to what does it tend, to what does it incline?'

'When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, friend Visakha, his mind leans to seclusion, tends to seclusion, inclines to seclusion...'[3]

...

2. Emptiness, the signless, & the undirected are names for a state of concentration that lies on the threshold of Unbinding. They differ only in how they are approached. According to the commentary, they color one's first apprehension of Unbinding: a meditator who has been focusing on the theme of inconstancy will first apprehend Unbinding as signless; one who has been focusing on the theme of stress will first apprehend it as undirected; one who has been focusing on the theme of not-self will first apprehend it as emptiness.

3. According to the commentary, "seclusion" here stands for Unbinding. On emerging from the cessation of perception & feeling, and having had contact with emptiness/the signless/the undirected, the mind inclines naturally to a direct experience of Unbinding." (Culavedalla Sutta)

I believe this extremely clear and unsullied perception of the three characteristics is a close approximation of moment-to-moment experience after 4th path, with the so-called 'wisdom eye' fully open. Playing around with nirodha-samapatti might give you a taste of what you'll experience at 4th path, so you can see whether you find it disorienting or not. Instructions for entering nirodha-samapatti can be found in this MCTB appendix chapter.

I only partially agree with footnote 3 above. NS leads to a desire for physical seclusion or solitude as well as an inclination toward fruition(s). And after 4th path I expect you'll desire seclusion to examine & reflect on the new mode of experience, and enjoy the fruits of ongoing mindfulness, but that doesn't mean you'll be too disoriented to work or drive a car.

I don't recommend making special plans for the 4th path attainment unless you expect to be on retreat for a year-plus knowing you'll make progress and that you're likely to hit 4th path. As a side note, Daniel told me that 3rd-to-4th took at least 28 full insight cycles for him. The number of cycles from 3rd-to-4th will vary from person to person, just like 2nd-to-3rd can be one cycle or multiple cycles depending on the individual. That number isn't in MCTB and it's been useful for me planning my 3rd-to-4th practice schedule, so it seemed worth mentioning.
T DC, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 4:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/16/13 4:20 PM

RE: What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 515 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Avi Craimer:
I am currently working on seeing clearly the sensations involved in space, volume, place, time, and so on, following the instructions for late 3rd path. I’ve gotten momentary dissolving of these sensations into impermanence. As yet I still haven’t seen with great clarity how the illusion of space is generated, but it seems like I’m making solid progress on this.

I have several questions about what happens when the final “knot” is untied.

-Is the knot untying a one time event that is strictly irreversible, or is it something that one experiences in a more partial and temporary way before it stabilizes?


My experience of the moment 4th path occurred was the recognition of a greater mind space, as if a wall you had been pushing on suddenly gave way without warning, and you fell into space on the other side. What Daniel says in MCTB, about some stabilizing occurring after the fact until the realization becomes completely stabilized, I did experience. That said, 4th path was not a gradual realization. It was a full realization which then took some time, maybe 3 -4 days, maybe longer, to become fully stable. In the period of stabilization I was shifting around from 4th path view of emptiness perspective to more pre-4th path view of solidity.

The 4th path event will be like nothing you have ever experienced. It is the recognition of that which one has never seen before. So don't expect what you are now experiencing now (dissolving sensations into impermanence) to be a preview so to speak, though it maybe have similarities.

Avi Craimer:
-After the knot unties, is there disorientation? a strong afterglow? an adjustment period? If it were to happen in the midst of everyday life, would there be a temporary disruption of the ability to function normally? If so, how intense a disruption could there be and how long would in generally last? Are there any strategies for coping with the disruption/disorientation that it might cause?

I ask this because I like to be prepared ahead of time for possible disruptive side-effects of insight. I’ve had enough of them to know that not being prepared usually makes any challenging side-effects much worse. Also, if somewhere in the back of my mind I’m worried about/anticipating the unknown possible effects of such a radical and permanent shift in how I perceive reality, this alone might be hold me back from taking the final step


4th path is not like a fruition in my experience, it is seeing emptiness for the first time. The 4th path level of attainment is quite significant, but at the same time there is still progress to be made ahead. So, don't expect negative sensations to evaporate.

Seeing emptiness is like breaking a crack in a brick prison. Peering out, you see that there is more to your experience than just the wall of conceptual thought. At the same time, there is a marked contrast between the subtle beliefs in conceptual solidity you still harbor, and the emptiness of which you are now aware.

I consider 4th path to be the attainment of "form is empty". The emptiness which one sees at 4th path negates the apparent solidity of form. Solid conceptual form arises in your mind, but instantly you see that it exists in emptiness, and this negates the form's apparent solidity. At 4th path, the mind is still grasping at form as solid, however at the same time the solidity of all form that arises is negated. I personally found this to extremely irritating. Though one now recognizes clearly that form is indeed empty, that concepts have no inherent truth and solidity, one does not necessarily accept that fact. Things indeed are seen to be the way they are, but the way they are is not and never will be the way you want them to be, because that's just a conceptual idea in your mind, which is now seen to be naught but illusion.

My point is 4th path is a big step, but there's more to go. What drives us on the path? Suffering. Thus at 4th path you can expect some new and more subtle suffering, that's how it goes on the path. I do not in anyway mean to scare you off. I would chose any irritation that comes with attainment over the pain of delusion and confusion. While 4th path may have it's 'downsides' so to speak, life is better than before because you're less deluded. And no I don't think it will affect your ability to function normally.

Good luck, the best practice advice I can give you is to strive hard for constant attention, but don't be afraid to relax. As well a word to the cycles; I don't know how many I went through at 3rd path, probably about 5. More than a number, what is truly indicative of progress is when getting another cycle becomes insignificant. That's when you're going to start looking more at the root of the issue. And also incorporating some concentration practice (Jhanas) isn't a bad idea if you feel you need it.
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Bill F, modified 10 Years ago at 11/17/13 12:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/17/13 12:20 PM

RE: What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 556 Join Date: 11/17/13 Recent Posts
Hey:

You might find this useful. It's Daniel and Kenneth (primarily) talking about moving through the paths:


http://integrateddaniel.info/podcasts-and-videos/

On the same site, under interactive buddha, you can find Daniel's Actualism essay that I think you requested on another post.


Bill
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Avi Craimer, modified 10 Years ago at 11/18/13 12:15 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/18/13 12:15 AM

RE: What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 114 Join Date: 10/29/13 Recent Posts
Thanks Bill!
Banned For waht?, modified 9 Years ago at 11/19/14 9:08 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 11/18/14 11:02 AM

RE: What to expect at the the end of 3rd path?

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
if you have done first path then before extinction or fruition there is a stage of tranquility, water is mirror clear, not a ripple there.

That tranquility when you attain 3rd path becomes permanent.

At fourth when that happens you put an end to ignorance, that means the thought you carry around with you will fall, you understand it that its no point argue and fight because in order to fight and argue there is needed a point of view, but its not self, its created and maintained what you now see through it. It also first has a energetic/matter mind real change then these insights will come mature, maybe differnt for another 4th pather little bit.

at first path one sees technically also all other paths, probably thats why its so confusing and getting calling path attainments.

edited: nonsense, keeping it for future me to look how deluded i was still

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