Am I totally wrong about experiencing the A&P and nanas?

J C, modified 7 Years ago.

Am I totally wrong about experiencing the A&P and nanas?

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
For a while I have been going under the assumption that I must be a Dark Night Yogi, that the periods of depression I've experienced may have been related to this, and that the times when I've felt like my head popped above the water were related to coming out of the DN.

But, while noting and practicing vipassana recently I noticed for the first time that I could "watch" the notes going on their own without me "doing" them... like the part of my brain responsible for the noting was going forward on its own automatically, but I no longer identified with it.

This has me wondering if this was me actually reaching Mind and Body / Cause and Effect / the 3 Cs for the first time, and if I haven't actually crossed the A&P.

I had been assuming that the A&P - DN - Eq cycle had been going on in the background for a while and was related to my emotional swings... but what if it hasn't? What if I've never actually crossed it?

I've certainly had plenty of mystical experiences, both with psychedelics and without: I've had unitary experiences where everything seemed like part of the universe talking to another part of the universe, experiences where I clearly seemed to be missing or not there in a really liberating sense, and so forth. But I've never had the strong physical/energetic/light effects described.

Is it possible I've never crossed the A&P, and if so, should I consider not crossing it for a while (based on going through periods of depression)?

Is it possible I have crossed the A&P but just haven't developed the access concentration and vipassana skills to really be aware of the different nanas?
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Am I totally wrong about experiencing the A&P and nanas?

Posts: 3193 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear JC,

People trying to figure out if they crossed the A&P is a common theme, as numerous recent and old threads will attest, so you are in good company.

Just based on a few things you probably have.

If you will notice in the thread called "Diagnosing the A&P", it can be a huge deal or subtle, happen in all sorts of circumstances, and look like lots of different things, while all being basically functionally the same, so far as we can tell.

Not everyone has lights and energetics. As reports here will show you, the range of experiences is vast.

Given the various mystical experiences you say you have had, and given that you seem to perceive cycles, and given that you are looking around forums such as this one, the chances are pretty high that you have crossed and perhaps more than once.

However, there is something about formal practice that will show you aspects of the pattern and the stages that you may never have noticed before, and that is actually typical. I personally couldn't have told you that I went through the early stages and the A&P before I had formal training and good map theory, even though I had crossed the A&P at least 6 times over about 10 years before I started formally practicing.

Been on retreats? Have any time for them now or soon?
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Am I totally wrong about experiencing the A&P and nanas?

Posts: 1633 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
In my experience the A & P is more like seeing vibrations with fast noticing/feelings of hope/the brain feeling like it can't contain it. The dark night is less like depression and more like a disenchantment with what you liked before. This would be specific in that there was some pain you were ignoring that you now see clearly. Also during this period it's common to not want to do anything but not really out of depression but more out of not wanting to feel the pain. Equanimity is a little like getting your head above water but it's more like a new found resiliency with stress plus a much more quiet mind. This was amazing when it first happened but it was quite narrow and more like a concentration attainment and then I fell into reobservation before the equanimity became a more stable habit. You have to keep practising and getting used to the withdrawal symptoms to have a more stable equanimity.

This is time where you want to see more detail of emptiness and use that equanimity on as many aspects of your experience as you can.

Time and the emptiness of time

What your brain is reacting to emotionally is experiences that go into the past practically instantly. The present moment is short-term memory. Ruminating/Clinging on life situations that instantly go into the past should seem less and less necessary as you pay attention to how fast impermanence is. It would be good when you get in a bad mood to ask the question "Why?" as if you're asking why the brain is wasting the present moment with negative narratives and just interrupt it. When you hit equanimity it will be even easier to do this. Interrupt it with "why?" and return to your body. Do it over and over again if you need to so that you can deal with the mental habits. Eventually asking why won't be necessary as your brain will learn to go to the answer (your body) right when you see the mind has wandered.

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