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How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes

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How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Dark Night Yogi 5/17/10 8:03 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Bruno Loff 5/19/10 6:36 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes J Adam G 5/19/10 12:28 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Bruno Loff 5/19/10 1:01 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Crazy Wisdom 7/7/10 6:27 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel Johnson 5/22/10 6:58 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Nikolai . 5/22/10 10:11 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Dark Night Yogi 5/23/10 12:05 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Dark Night Yogi 5/23/10 12:55 AM
How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes prem kumar 11/2/10 7:28 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Nikolai . 11/2/10 10:29 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Yadid dee 6/23/10 10:07 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel Johnson 7/5/10 7:11 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Nikolai . 7/5/10 7:51 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Dark Night Yogi 7/6/10 9:39 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel Johnson 7/6/10 10:24 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel M. Ingram 7/7/10 12:52 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel Johnson 7/7/10 2:13 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Dark Night Yogi 7/10/10 8:43 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel Johnson 7/26/10 3:09 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes prem kumar 11/2/10 7:29 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Nikolai . 11/2/10 10:11 AM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Daniel Johnson 7/6/10 10:20 PM
RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes Crazy Wisdom 7/7/10 6:41 AM
I think that because of my chakra blockages, my breathing hasn't really been able to take as much air & my digestion hasn't been able to function properly for the last several years, causing me much solidified ignorant experience. I think the difference is worth noting for me.

Even having attained a couple of paths, it took some time to get close enough to work with & see thru this.
About a couple of weeks ago & 2 weeks after my 2nd Goenka retreat, i noticed this. I now am more able to notice
the food in my gut, and the energy that it gives or the process of my body metabolizing that food. I feel i have a more direct connection with this and that another deep rooted chakra or layer has been unblocked(or partly unblockedI think its the root chakra. The last big blockage i had a big change was the one above that.

I will see how i will handle this 'progress' onwards from now and see if it sticks, see if im efficiently able to keep seeing thru this. Since these sankharas/blockages are all due to my own habits and stuff, how I deal with it off the cushion will also tell if I fall back or not.

I changed my meditation object a couple of days ago. My object is now mostly 'body', dukkha in the body. (centered more solidified in my root/gut, and occasionally shifting the object to my limbs, w/c are less solid, to sharpen concentration) and Breath now becomes secondary in the background. Pure awareness is still often too difficult but probably my practice object is leading more in that direction. I'll see if this is consistent, especially in times of dissolution, chi drain-out, and succeeding dark nights.


For a summary of my practice history:
Started meditation & occassional/varied (wrong) techniques: July 2008
Started 'everyday' meditation atleast 10mins: Jan, 2009
Stream entry: Aug, 2009
2nd path: Sept, 2009
First Goenka retreat: Oct 2009
2nd Goenka retreat: April 2009

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/19/10 6:36 AM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
DKY I haven't experienced any energy dry-out anymore, I mean, I have unpleasant releases all the time, but it's been months without A&P or Dark Nights. I have some conjectures why it happens in the first place. I think dark night happens because a lot of energy accumulates in the head (this is, in essence, A&P) and the body then activates some sort of emergency mechanism to shut it down (avoiding death by head-explosion emoticon )

I suggest you try to open your front channel: this is the "conceptual vessel" in chi gung. the meditation would be: keep tongue in the palate ("roof" of the mount); Now there are a bunch of pathways for chi to flow: basically it's middle of the brain -> forehead particularly between the eyebrows; then to the throat; then through the chest, down the center of the belly, and it ends just bellow the navel, where it curves inwards towards (I guess) the intestines.

You will notice that there are two pathways from eyebrow center to the throat: either through your sinuses and then your tongue (at some point you will actually feel the tongue "sucking in" energy), or through your jaws and mandibles.

Once the blocks in this area are removed, energy can now flow "down," and this effectively allows the head to "cool off," sort of like closing a cycle in your body circuitry. Take it easy though, closing the circuit too fast might send more stuff upwards.

Then there is more stuff to open up that will get you even MORE stable and grounded. Basically it seems that the legs work as a sort of "buffer," and opening that up stabilizes things a lot.

There's loads of this stuff in Qigong theory. (they use esotherical names like "energy of the earth" and sh1t like that, but they are actually referring to concrete somatic processes).

Bruno

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/19/10 12:28 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Does sitting cross legged with the perineum next to or touching the ground help with that, or does the "flow" specifically need to go through the legs?

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/19/10 1:01 PM as a reply to J Adam G.
For me either (1) working with the legs made a very big difference, or (2) it was sheer coincidence, and the work I've been doing in the legs, and the concrete sensations of tingling and moving energy I get in those parts, have nothing to do with the fact that I feel way more grounded than a couple of months ago.

Only time will tell :-)

From alchemicaltao.com, the "three amigos of rooting" (ankle rotations, squats & belly breathing through the legs):

http://www.precisiondocs.com/~altaoism/IS_ThreeAmigos.htm

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/22/10 6:58 PM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Dark Night Yogi:
For a summary of my practice history:
Started meditation & occassional/varied (wrong) techniques: July 2008
Started 'everyday' meditation atleast 10mins: Jan, 2009
Stream entry: Aug, 2009
2nd path: Sept, 2009
First Goenka retreat: Oct 2009
2nd Goenka retreat: April 2009


Hey, I hope you don't mind me jumping in on this with a question, but I saw your progress notes and wanted to ask what's been on my mind. How the hell does that happen so quickly?

Here's my progress notes so far (as far as I can tell):
Cross A&P - January 1999
Start occasional and varied meditation and lots of wrong techniques - April 1999
First and second Vipassana Retreat (Suan Mokh, Thailand) - Summer 2003
First Goenka retreat - May 2008 (cross A&P again)
Started everyday meditation at least 2 hours per day - May 2008
Seven more Goenka retreats, and serving on 6 Goenka retreats, meditating at least 3 hours per day June 2009 - Dec 2009 (reached equanimity)
20 Day Bodh Gaya retreat - January 2010
50 day retreat, India - March 2010
Still in equanimity - May 2010

Nine grueling years of self-help, meditation, therapy, psychic training, weird yoga shit, eating raw foods, and pretty much all sorts of every practice known to man. Followed by 2 years of intense vipassana/meditation practice. And, It seems like I'm probably still about 6 months away from stream entry if I spend most of that time on retreat (just a guess).

On one hand, I'm totally happy to have found the Dharma, and happy to be alive, etc... and so who cares about time, anyway.
On the other hand... what's up with this? How is it possible that you reached 2nd path without even going on retreat?

Mostly out of curiosity: What's the explanation for this kind of thing? Are some people just genetically coded differently? Am I not practicing correctly? Do I have more "karma" to burn through or "sankharas"? Is there a shadow side to quick progress? Could it be that all the "wrong" practice I did actually set me back in the opposite direction? Is it possible I actually made it through first path and don't recognize it?

Maybe I should start my own thread, but since I saw your progress notes, I just decided to ask you here.

Thanks,

Daniel

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/22/10 10:11 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
My practice

First meditation course September 2000
Lived at a Vipassana Centre for a year or so. Lots of serving. Spent 10 months in India, Pali Student at Dhamma Giri, became a monk for 12 days in Burma..hehe! , Lot's of service at vipassana centres...building mostly. Cleaned Goenka's house at Dhamma Giri...and dusted his Nike running shoes..hehe!

Over a period of 9 years
12 x 10 days (Goenka)
2 x Sati (Goenka)
2 x 20 days (Goenka)

2 years or so ago, came across Buddhist Geeks then Daniel Ingram's book, then this place. Got to know the map of insight, the nanas etc...Followed Daniel's advice, Tarin's advice, and Kenneth Folk's advice

Over the last 2 years:
Practiced samatha with a kasina....maybe 1st or 2nd and maybe 3rd jhana
Integrated the Mahasi noting practice into my yogi tool box......coupled it with bare awareness of the sublest of sensations /vibrations on and in the body.....started noting EVERYTHING......resolved to get stream entry......got myself up to equanimity of formations nana a lot over the last 2 years.....kept using kasina to strengthen concentration and then investigate and note the hell out of the sensations that make up the "I".

Resolved even more to attain stream entry! Do or die attitude! Full momentum!!!!!! Went and sat my 12th 10 day course in Goenka tradition over New Year's but with my own agenda and inclusion of mahasi noting and kasina. Didn't tell anyone!

January 1st this year: At approx. 11:05 am, waiting to be served lunch on the 5th day of a 10 day, a blip out/path moment/fruition occured and 1st path was attained. On the 9th day another "special" blip out occured and the perception basline shifted! The "I" less solid and the mind much more spacious. At least one more "special" blip out since then which has left me with access to some cool stuff....but I am holding out on saying that I am past 2nd. I think I am 2nd path now. It is different to 1st. Lightening fast access to 8 jhanas and later on possible extra 9th one...possible pure abode but not certain. But according to Kenneth, what I've described may be nirodha samapatti but I am seriously doubting it still. Anyway...that's how I did it!

If I was to sum up how I did it from doing years of just "going through the motions" in the Goenka tradition?....I gave myself permission to get enlightened, I believed I could do it, I resolved to do it, I included Mahasi's noting into my practice, I upped my concentration by looking at a kasina, I noted and investigated the hell out of the sensations of "I" and saw how they blipped in and out of any experience, I noted all the subtle states and sensations that I never paid attention to, like anticipation, boredom, investigation, space, spacing out, etc......I noted and objectified EVERYTHING experienced, including the images and sensations of "I".....and I made sure to investigate all 3 of the characteristics, not just one.

Hope this helps...

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/23/10 12:05 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Bruno: Thanks for the tips! Also, on the paying attention to the legs, nice to hear that this works for you too. Gives me more confidence to continue doing it and feel i know what im doing. Shoulders, elbows, knees are the parts that usually work for me. Will try ankle.

Daniel:

Genetically coded: I think i read somewhere that people who are more prone to insanity are more prone to getting enlightened. I've had some weird spiritual experiences since I was a kid too. Nothing serious though. It may run in my genes. Some people may have a more overactive nervous system I think im one of them.

In a buddhist past life point of view,
a psychic friend tells me I was a catholic monk for 3 lifetimes.

Shadow side to quick progress: I don't think so.

Wrong practice: I do have quite a bit of this. A wrong practice that turned into sankhara is "counting breaths" (a newbie instruction for zen meditation) that I never really erased.

Reaching 2nd path w/o retreat: I did weekend retreats in my room, and 1 weekend zen retreat. I was also just working part-time. 4-5 hours a day only. This was a big factor. Aside from that, I was living like a monk. Eating meditation. Renounciation from TV, movies, even music. (atleast I cut it down a great deal. maybe just one listen a week) Fear was what drove me. I couldn't bear to be in the dark night. It was a life or death motivation that made me go for stream entry. I couldn't stand the feeling of reaching equanimity then just falling back to the dark night. My dark night was awful.
It was desperation that drove me. Stream entry was the best day of my life. I knew things could only get better from there. I also knew that I would have to start working full time soon, so since Daniel I. noted that 2nd path was reachable, I went for that and luckily got it. (I say luckily coz i think i didn't work as hard for this one.)

Now, life is busier and practice is more difficult.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
5/23/10 12:55 AM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
I think the way meditation is explained to us in Goenka retreat is different from what i was feeling when i was going thru it at the time.

It's like, Goenka says its ok. Disillusion is just disilluion, its all just normal.. comes and goes, comes and goes.
My thinking was more like, what the hell is going on here? This is 'not' normal, this is wild scary shit. I just want to get this over with and return to normal life. This is unacceptable. Furthermore, I was reading stories of people who say they were in the dark night for years! Coupled with my dark night being Very strong! I seriously thought i would be like that for 9 years, in confusion, fear and dissolution! Hahaha! This was ever since first reaching A&P. This was a big factor.


I think my own addictions and cravings was a good gauge for knowing if i was practicing well. It was like, "Ok, if buddha says that living like a monk is what it takes, let's see. I won't give in to my addictions." So everytime i fell back into dark night or worse, the 3 characteristics stage, its nearly impossible for me to resist my cravings in this stage. I could only resist my cravings in A&P and equanimity... so honesty was a good gauge. This was a big factor. renounciation

Now, back in the flow of real life, I would rate my moment to moment 'enlightenment levels' based on my ability to work with my stuff. I do have some issues that I'm still trying to heal, or at least cope with in a level where it doesnt cause stress..
That's why the advice ive been seeking lately is also on techniques that work with stuff - Because gung-ho practice got me results, but gung-ho practice didn't teach me how to deal with real life. Maybe its true, living a monastic life is in my blood hehe.

How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
11/2/10 7:28 AM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Dear yogis,
The importance of not revealing the attainments of insight knowledges is just because it may be false mental impression or however true it may be there is a tendency of attachment to it.It will abstract or struck in the further advancement of the practice. Still there are many unwholesome mental defilements to be removed. A lot of work to be done. By indirectly encouraging the unwholesome mental states of pride and conceit. It is having the character of mental rigidity (very subtlest form of greed). ones in the mind if there is rigidity there wont be any humbleness and kindness etc. It is the gateway of unwholesome mental states. If we are revealing the insight knowledges we miss the understanding the notion of three universal characters of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. The mind simply sees as permanence, happiness and self. If the mind is rigid it cannot go in to the path of nibbana. It goes in the opposite direction. It will make the others persons envy indirectly by ones own progress.To attain nibbana the mind needs to be more balanced and flexible. See that in the practice and general activities be mindful all the time. The contuinity of practice is the secret of success.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
11/2/10 10:29 AM as a reply to prem kumar.
Hmmmm, I don't really agree with Prem now since he came in and edited all of what he had originally wrote.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
6/23/10 10:07 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel T Johnson:
And, It seems like I'm probably still about 6 months away from stream entry if I spend most of that time on retreat (just a guess).


I think this quote is really interesting Daniel.

What makes you think it will take you 6 months? I mean, what are you basing that guess on?

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/5/10 7:11 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Yadid Bee:
Daniel T Johnson:
And, It seems like I'm probably still about 6 months away from stream entry if I spend most of that time on retreat (just a guess).


I think this quote is really interesting Daniel.

What makes you think it will take you 6 months? I mean, what are you basing that guess on?


Thanks for the question. The guess is mostly arbitrary. It's based mostly on two things:
1) My best guess for where I am on the Progress of Insight Map. My assesment is that I seem to have made it to Equanimity perhaps last September or so and have been dipping in and out of the Dark Night for a few months.
2) The trajectory at which my equanimity seems to have been developing over the last few months. Like, its sorta like I feel my mind settling down to a state of equanimity with more and more of my sensory reality. More and more sensations that used to provoke reactions, now I can have equanimity with, they don't slip by unnoticed like they used to. And, if "Stream Entry" really is what they say it is, that it's some sort of cessation, or some sort of gap in the mind-body experiential world, or whatever... then I imagine it requires a whole lot of equanimity to allow into it. And, observing the nature of my mind as it is now, it doesn't seem that this level of equanimity has yet been cultivated.

So, I could be totally totally wrong about this in any direction. But, it's just a guess based on a little map in my mind of how much equanimity I experienced 2 years ago, 1 year ago, today, and what I imagine might be necessary to enter the stream.

Why do you ask?

For me... at least in my experience... Equanimity is something that seems to have developed over time, rather than me just saying "I resolve to have equanimity" and then *Boom* I have it.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/5/10 7:51 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel T Johnson:
And, if "Stream Entry" really is what they say it is, that it's some sort of cessation, or some sort of gap in the mind-body experiential world, or whatever... then I imagine it requires a whole lot of equanimity to allow into it. And, observing the nature of my mind as it is now, it doesn't seem that this level of equanimity has yet been cultivated.

So, I could be totally totally wrong about this in any direction. But, it's just a guess based on a little map in my mind of how much equanimity I experienced 2 years ago, 1 year ago, today, and what I imagine might be necessary to enter the stream.

Why do you ask?

For me... at least in my experience... Equanimity is something that seems to have developed over time, rather than me just saying "I resolve to have equanimity" and then *Boom* I have it.



Hi Daniel,

I used to think like that too for a very long time having been immersed int he Goenka tradition for most of my yogi career. Equanimity is something you develop and have to perfect. Well, this is correct to some degree....equanimity is a parami after all. And it is good to be equanimous. But you will find that if you truly are getting to "equanimity of formations" nana, that it is called that for a reason. It is damn easy to be equanimous with all formations/sankharas. Especially in high equanimity where it is easier to see the whole picture as Daniel described in another thread. The whole panoramic view where it all happens, all "you" arising and passing away phenomena. You don't have to worry about equanimity if you are objectifying and noting all the phenomena that take centre stage. It will develop by itself and truly be experienced at the 11th nana which takes its name for the reason that it allows this insight to arise. Just my two cents.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/6/10 9:39 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
In my case, equanimity has always been fast. The longest I've spent in one equanimity state was about 4-5 days. Thats low-medium-high. Or usually about 2-3 days.. something like that.. Sometimes just 1 1/2 days.

Or is it usually: the closer you are to stream entry, the stronger and shorter are the equanimity periods? So if you think you're experiencing equanimity, then you should see if the duration becomes shorter and shorter and the level of equanimity increases?
(I don't know.. Im just guessing..my experience of pre-stream entry was very fast. From A&P, just 2 months I think til stream)

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/6/10 10:20 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hey Nikolai,
I might have given the wrong impression. I'm not really "worrying" about equanimity, and don't give too much importance to what Goenka says.

I'm not sure why, but I seem to be miscommunicating myself pretty well on this website.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/6/10 10:24 PM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Thanks for the reply, Dark Night Yogi,

Right now, I have no clue whatsoever.

I think you could consider yourself quite fortunate to have a fast experience from A&P to stream entry.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/7/10 12:52 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Tearing down Equanimity is as or more important than attaining it, meaning, to see the Three Characteristics of everything that makes up Equanimity is more important than some sort of dwelling or "mastery" or whatever of equanimity.

Many get hung there as it is so nice after the Dark Night.

Tear it down. It all comes and goes. See all that, space, you, ease, peace, equanimity, doubt, anticipation, mapping, intention, all of it, arise and vanish as sensations again and again through the bones.

You can have all the Equanimity you want after stream entry and it will be way better. Don't stop.

Daniel

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/7/10 6:27 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
For me either (1) working with the legs made a very big difference, or (2) it was sheer coincidence, and the work I've been doing in the legs, and the concrete sensations of tingling and moving energy I get in those parts, have nothing to do with the fact that I feel way more grounded than a couple of months ago.

Only time will tell :-)

From alchemicaltao.com, the "three amigos of rooting" (ankle rotations, squats & belly breathing through the legs):

http://www.precisiondocs.com/~altaoism/IS_ThreeAmigos.htm


The legs are very important, maybe key, in grounding. Especially the connection between the kidney 1 point that one breaths through in the breathing technique Bruno mentioned and the earth is supposed to be central. Also the heels have a special connection to the root. Another thing I have read several times and which seems to match my very modest experience is that when the feet are on the ground earth energy is pulled up through the feet and transformed through the legs to a softer more refined energy then if you sit with feet crossed as then most of the energy goes straight from the earth into your perinium and creates a much more crude and volatile energy. Sort of like the difference between breathing with your nose vs breathing with your mouth.

In certain traditions of qigong they sit in the throne posture with with on the ground precisely to have a stronger connection to the earth. If you look at asana those were you have your feet on the ground are much more grounding than those where you do not. Standing meditation as is done in qigong (Zhan Zhuang) is VERY grounding, balancing and builds a lot of energy. In addition it lets you work to correct your entire posture and alignment in a very nice way. It also eventually naturally opens your microcosmic orbit. I loved it when I was doing it.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/7/10 6:41 AM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Dark Night Yogi:
I think that because of my chakra blockages, my breathing hasn't really been able to take as much air & my digestion hasn't been able to function properly for the last several years, causing me much solidified ignorant experience. I think the difference is worth noting for me.

Even having attained a couple of paths, it took some time to get close enough to work with & see thru this.
About a couple of weeks ago & 2 weeks after my 2nd Goenka retreat, i noticed this. I now am more able to notice
the food in my gut, and the energy that it gives or the process of my body metabolizing that food. I feel i have a more direct connection with this and that another deep rooted chakra or layer has been unblocked(or partly unblockedI think its the root chakra. The last big blockage i had a big change was the one above that.

I will see how i will handle this 'progress' onwards from now and see if it sticks, see if im efficiently able to keep seeing thru this. Since these sankharas/blockages are all due to my own habits and stuff, how I deal with it off the cushion will also tell if I fall back or not.

I changed my meditation object a couple of days ago. My object is now mostly 'body', dukkha in the body. (centered more solidified in my root/gut, and occasionally shifting the object to my limbs, w/c are less solid, to sharpen concentration) and Breath now becomes secondary in the background. Pure awareness is still often too difficult but probably my practice object is leading more in that direction. I'll see if this is consistent, especially in times of dissolution, chi drain-out, and succeeding dark nights.


For a summary of my practice history:
Started meditation & occassional/varied (wrong) techniques: July 2008
Started 'everyday' meditation atleast 10mins: Jan, 2009
Stream entry: Aug, 2009
2nd path: Sept, 2009
First Goenka retreat: Oct 2009
2nd Goenka retreat: April 2009


Opening the orbit as BRuno suggested seems like a good idea. THe small universe meditation CDs you can by at springforestqigong.com is considered by several posters at thetaobums.com as a very good and safe way to open the orbit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyVzsDaMXN4

Wuji standing meditation as is shown in the youtube video is considered very good for digestive issues and affects the spleen and pancreas in particular which are key organs for digestion. It is also, like other standing meditation, very good at grounding you. THe key is how the hands are held so maybe you should find a video that displays that more precisely. Such standing postures are considered ok to learn on ones own as once you are in them posture gets naturally self corrected as long as you relax and look for the best way to stand. Also once the energy starts moving you will be surprised at how it moves you into the right posture.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/7/10 2:13 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I really don't mean to be the Dharma Retard or something, but how do you tear down everything without Equanimity?

I seem to be really misconfused by my misrepresentisatisation of myself here... but does it seem like I'm wanting to "have" equanimity?

I don't really want equanimity, or stream entry or enlightenment or whatever... I don't know what the fuck I want, and I've never known that, I don't want to know what I want, and I don't expect to know it anytime soon. Wanting something seems to be something that comes and goes, comes and goes... and I don't understand why this whole "I'm a meditator" thing should be any different? Why should this whole "stream entry" thing be some thing to have?

Qutie frankly, Equanimity can fuck itself in it's own ass for all I care. I don't have any special love-mate attachment to the damn thing, I just find that it's supremely helpful in the process of coming to know reality.

Yes... tear it all down. That's what I've been doing. I don't plan to stop.... and I don't get what all this hype is about.

Of course... I do stop. I stop over and over and over again! I'm human! ... and I may be the Dharma Retard again.... but I thought that was why I meditated in the first place... to not stop... to catch the conditioned response to try to solidify things and instead to continue to penetrate to their true nature. I thought that the human condition is that we all resist the coming and going constant dissolution of our reality until we start to learn otherwise. Am I dumb here?

- Daniel


Daniel M. Ingram:
Tearing down Equanimity is as or more important than attaining it, meaning, to see the Three Characteristics of everything that makes up Equanimity is more important than some sort of dwelling or "mastery" or whatever of equanimity.

Many get hung there as it is so nice after the Dark Night.

Tear it down. It all comes and goes. See all that, space, you, ease, peace, equanimity, doubt, anticipation, mapping, intention, all of it, arise and vanish as sensations again and again through the bones.

You can have all the Equanimity you want after stream entry and it will be way better. Don't stop.

Daniel

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/10/10 8:43 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Thanks a lot Bruno and Crazy Wisdom, very cool and helpful stuff! I definitely should learn how to work with Chi. It seems to be more and more relevant the more you progress since it becomes more subtle and more easily felt.

Daniel J, hope i'm understanding correctly,

re equanimity: do you understand the difference between the equanimity nana & 'equanimity' as a verb?

re not stopping: during this time when you're in the equanimity nana, if one isn't aware of the existence and importance of 'stream entry', then s/he may just meditate with the same level of urgency as s/he did before when they reach equanimity Nana. What worked for me during this time was to grab equanimity nana by the horns and really step up my practice bigtime. Strong determination, clear out the next weekend and leave it free for continuous practice. And it worked, i practiced friday night, saturday and sunday. Monday morning at 9am i got stream entry.

This is the description of equanimity from Daniel I's blook
http://web.mac.com/danielmingram/iWeb/Daniel%20Ingram's%20Dharma%20Blog/The%20Blook/5976668A-E169-4F93-BDE7-DA8DB3108E76.html

This is a description by Kenneth Folk http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/The+Progress+of+Insight+(Part+Three)
Today I'd like to continue the narrative of the ñanas with the 11th ñana, Knowledge of Equanimity. The equanimity ñana is generally a very happy time for a yogi. Having suffered through the solid physical pain of the third ñana and having endured the dark night of the tenth ñana, the yogi wakes up one day to find that everything is just fine. Dissolution of mind and body continue, but it is no longer a problem. In fact, nothing is a problem. In the early stages of the eleventh ñana (Knowledge of Equanimity), the yogi can sit happily for hours at a time. If pain comes, no problem. Wandering mind, no problem. Objects present themselves to the mind one after another, obediently posing for inspection. This is where the yogi really gets a feel for what vipassana is all about, as he effortlessly deconstructs each thought and each sensation that appears.

Equanimtity Nana by the descriptions and by my own experience has been very strong. If you are not certain if you are in the Equanimity Nana, it may also be that you are not in it

Stream entry's important becoz after attaining it, you don't have to work your ass off as hard. I worked my ass off with stream entry but after that, I was able to relax more and still progress. Progress becomes automatic even if you meditate less.

This time for me really was something far-out, and it did take its toll on me emotionally and stuff..
What I learned from taking a Goenka retreat though is: Getting angry is the most destructive thing to meditation practice, atleast for me. There were times that I was angry about the Food, and i was frustrated coz i thought the servers consistently and purposely made the food difficult to piss us off. They served oily eggplants as the meat/protein source. eggplant contains barely any protein, and all the oil is crazy. so my muscles were deteriorating, no energy, and sluggish due to all the oil. here i am using up hard earned leaves from work to waste time suffering in crucial days of the retreat. I wasted many days feeling like an unconscious vegetable. Anger can be used to really fuel your meditation practice. Give it all you got, but when its above you, its the worst.

Hope this helps in clearing things and all the best.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
7/26/10 3:09 PM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Dark Night Yogi:
This is a description by Kenneth Folk http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/The+Progress+of+Insight+(Part+Three)
Today I'd like to continue the narrative of the ñanas with the 11th ñana, Knowledge of Equanimity. The equanimity ñana is generally a very happy time for a yogi. Having suffered through the solid physical pain of the third ñana and having endured the dark night of the tenth ñana, the yogi wakes up one day to find that everything is just fine. Dissolution of mind and body continue, but it is no longer a problem. In fact, nothing is a problem. In the early stages of the eleventh ñana (Knowledge of Equanimity), the yogi can sit happily for hours at a time. If pain comes, no problem. Wandering mind, no problem. Objects present themselves to the mind one after another, obediently posing for inspection. This is where the yogi really gets a feel for what vipassana is all about, as he effortlessly deconstructs each thought and each sensation that appears.

Equanimtity Nana by the descriptions and by my own experience has been very strong. If you are not certain if you are in the Equanimity Nana, it may also be that you are not in it

Stream entry's important becoz after attaining it, you don't have to work your ass off as hard. I worked my ass off with stream entry but after that, I was able to relax more and still progress. Progress becomes automatic even if you meditate less.


Thanks for the thoughts on this.

My experience in my last retreat sounds pretty much just like the Kenneth Folk quote except no (can sit happily for hours at a time.) I think all my Goenka courses took a toll on my back an knees. So, I wasn't sitting so much, but still happily, and pain wasn't a problem. Otherwise, my experience seems to match the descriptions. But, that doesn't mean a whole lot. I suppose I could be in Equanimity, or I could be somewhere else, or I could be an Arahat, or I could be a really retarded vegetable. The insight stages are mostly rather mysterious for me.

I really like the idea of reaching a place where I don't have to work my ass off as hard. That sounds kinda cool.

Still, I don't really understand what this whole "progress" thing is and how it seems to happen in a matter of days or months for some, and years or lifetimes for others. I imagine that anything is possible.

I wish I could just set aside a weekend and get to some magical place called "stream entry" where I didn't have to work my ass off anymore. That sounds cool. I just set aside three days for meditation and it was hell.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
11/2/10 7:29 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Dear yogis,
The importance of not revealing the attainments of insight knowledges is just because it may be false mental impression or however true it may be there is a tendency of attachment to it.It will abstract or struck in the further advancement of the practice. Still there are many unwholesome mental defilements to be removed. A lot of work to be done. By indirectly encouraging the unwholesome mental states of pride and conceit. It is having the character of mental rigidity (very subtlest form of greed). ones in the mind if there is rigidity there wont be any humbleness and kindness etc. It is the gateway of unwholesome mental states. If we are revealing the insight knowledges we miss the understanding the notion of three universal characters of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. The mind simply sees as permanence, happiness and self. If the mind is rigid it cannot go in to the path of nibbana. It goes in the opposite direction. It will make the others persons envy indirectly by ones own progress.To attain nibbana the mind needs to be more balanced and flexible. See that in the practice and general activities be mindful all the time. The contuinity of practice is the secret of success.

RE: How the insight cycle helped my stuff & progress notes
Answer
11/2/10 10:11 AM as a reply to prem kumar.
Hi Prem,

This follow extract is from the home page of The Dharma Overground.

"Welcome to the Dharma Overground
The Dharma Overground is a resource for the support of hardcore meditation practice. It is a place where everything related to the support of practice may flourish, including where to go on retreats, what techniques may lead to what, an in depth look at the maps of possible states and stages, discussions about how to determine what experience was what, and in general anything that has to do with actually practicing rather than what typically occurs in standard meditation circles. Here you will find a robust and variable community of people with a wide range of experience levels, perspectives and interests, though all loosely bound by the same basic principles of empowering, helpful, engaged dharma and exploration of the possibilities of the mind.

In general our basic principles and attitudes favor:

pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, freedom from suffering in what ways are possible, etc.
diligent practice over blind faith: this place is about doing it and understanding for yourself rather than believing someone else and not testing those beliefs out
openness regarding what the techniques may lead to and how these contrast or align with the traditional models
person responsibility: you take responsibility for the choices you make and what you say and claim
a lack of taboos surrounding talking about attainments
the assumption that the various aspects of meditative development can be mastered in this life
the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships
and the notion that the collective wisdom of a group of strong practitioners at various stages and from various traditions and backgrounds is often better than following one guru-type.
There are lots of ways up the mountain, and many interesting skills and insights to develop using many traditions and paths. Make yourself at home. Discover the possibilities of how straightforward, down-to-Earth, and practical the Dharma can be. May all find something here that is of value and contribute to the wisdom represented and conveyed here."
END OF EXTRACT


Goenka yogi, right?

The whole idea that one can't talk about attainments and the insight stages is a very traditional way of seeing it. I understand U Ba Khin passed that way of thinking on to Goenkaji. I would say it orginates from the rules for monks not talking about their attainments and insights. If you like that traditional way of seeing things , stick with it. Myself? I didn't see much benefit in it while immersed in the Goenka tradition. I was lost in the dukkha nanas for a long time. Not much clarity and help was given concerning the nitty gritty details of awakening there.

Then I came across Daniel Ingram's book, this place, KFD and all these yogis who are openly talking about enlightenment/awakening in a very down to earth way. The dangers you expressed are valid. But the benefits far out way the dangers. More yogis have had faster and more progress because of it. If you do not like people talking about it, then you don't have to read the threads here nor elsewhere where it is done. It is your choice. But what you cautioned yogis about here is not the rule. There is no rule about that except for monks and nuns. We are not monks nor nuns. Yogis talked about getting this path and that path all the time in the Pali canon. So why not now? And in my experience as well as many, many other yogis' experience, having been exposed to the insight maps, and having had others tell me awakening is possible, has allowed for me to come out of complacency and disbelief and actually go and do it myself.

If the mind is rigid, then note it's rigidness, disembed from any of that craving and aversion that arise because you or others are talking about attainments and insights. Dis-identify with all that phenomena you talk of (unwholesome mental states) as well as the pleasant phenomena, and regardless of whether someone has talked about attainments, or whether you have talked about attainments, you will awaken. The mind does not go in the opposite direction, but the correct one.

Your non-negotiable mindset (one cannot talk about attainments and insight knowledges) was one I had myself for years. Then I came out of it and began to progress on the path. A flexible mind, I decided to have. And other people decide for themselves to be envious. Although they can note that "envy" and co-opt it as an ally on the way to awakening, if they are so inclined. Notice, Note and thus dis-identify and objectify it all and none of it is a problem. Absoltuely no phenomena, mental or physical is to be avoided, if awakening (4 path model) is your goal...including the envy and rigidness you say are a danger.

Be happy! emoticon

Metta,

Nick