Another A&?

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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 7 Years ago.

Another A&?

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
So I have been talking on and off with a well-known teacher and they had told me that a while back I had most likely experienced an A&P moment while I was doing concentration meditation. The experience being; I had been focusing on my breath for as long as I could for about a whole day. During this day I was seeing a sort of white flame come and go when my eyes were closed. The next day I gave up and sat again, only this time feelings of extreme joy rushed through me and my breathing increased dramatically. And it did seem as though my perspective had changed for good after that as meditation became a big thing I was always wanting to do.

This wouldn't be much of an 'issue' except for the fact that I recently experienced something that just last night reminded me matches almost the same symptoms described in MCTB. This time, I hadn't been meditating consistently, and I laid down, tried to do some noting, and fell into some thought patterns. Then all of a sudden it seemed as though the mind snapped into noting and was doing it a bit on it's own. I could literally see the rising and falling of each phenomenon and I also noticed there was a space in between, after the ordeal was over.

My question; was this second experienced my ACTUAL A&P, had I fallen back to one of the first three stages or was that second experience deep equanimity?

Any and all opinions are appreciated.
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Another A&? (Answer)

Posts: 1635 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
The first experience looks like a jhana. This can happen open eyed or close eyed. I used to get them while jogging and paying attention to my footfalls. The "white flame" sounds like a description of a nimitta (some people like to call it a "cotton wool") which naturally occurs during consistent concentration. It's basically your retina brightening with consistent concentration.

The second experience looks to be more like an A & P. A & P can manifest in many different ways but what's in common is that you notice the 3 characteristics and get a feeling of excitement/enjoyment/peace etc and then the next thing would be noticing the passing away part of the A & P turning into dark night and getting disenchanted with addictions (even small ones) because of how impermanent they are. The A & P experiences for me tend to come from consistent mindfulness and the brain brightens up and vibrations are easier to see and sometimes the happiness can feel too much for the brain to handle and the brain then resists.

Equanimity is when you get through the dark night (lots of your problems and issues bubbling up to fill in the calmness and concentration), and those problems feel less like a problem and you can let go of them much faster and be equanimous towards them. That tends to be peaceful in a childlike way.
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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Another A&?

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
Cool. Thanks guys. I appreciate the response from you both.

D; I know I'll just keep noting. Thing is, it's nice to be able to gauge progress or lack of it. So that when I don't seem to have any motivation (like now) I can say 'oh! disenchantment'-- or whatever.

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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Another A&?

Posts: 1335 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Thing is, it's nice to be able to gauge progress or lack of it. So that when I don't seem to have any motivation (like now)

EQ can cause a lack of motivation...everything is so fine and dandy....so equanimous...yep. Then you slack off and bam...back to A&P and thru the dark night again...that starts the fire again...suffering is the stick...EQ is the carrot....do it enough times and you get ripe.
yo-yoing between re-ob and eq will do it too...
We've all been there...seems to be standard. Dunno of anyone who made it in one go of it. That's why the diligence of practice is important...and skillful practice too.
Best of luck,
~D
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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Another A&?

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
Thanks guys/gals. I appreciate the help.

I realized that was definitely my actually A&P (if I never experienced it before) cause I feel 'done'/mentally exhausted of jumping through hoops.

Practice will continue!
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Another A&? (Answer)

Posts: 1335 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
+1 to what Richard said
One stage by it self can be tricky to diagnose, but moving thru several of them makes it somewhat obvious. Also you tend to cycle thru the stages that you have mastered up to your present "working" stage. See what happens next....dissolution, fear, misery etc....should make it obvious
Um...and does it matter so much? Are you going to do anything different in your practice?
Good luck,
~D
T DC, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Another A&? (Answer)

Posts: 393 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
As dream walker said, due to progressing and falling back within a cycle, one can experience and stage of the cycle, including A&P events multiple times.

As for whether or not those were A&P events, hard to tell with the first one, but with the second, due to the fact that in your experience it lined up so precisely with the description in MCTB, and as well due to the fact that you seem you sure of it, I would say that was likely an A&P event. When you are sure about something, perhaps you are off, or deluded, but in many cases it is because you really are correct and on the right track.