Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Christian W, modified 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 9:29 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 9:29 AM

Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 2 Join Date: 4/10/14 Recent Posts
Hey everyone,

I read about 1 year in this forum and now it is the time for some questions about practice, equanimity and of course stream entry.

I am meditating regularly every day about 2-3 hours of sitting / walking practice. After body scanning and noting I decided to practice with open awareness like recommended by U Tejaniya.

When I sit down I feel the sensations which make out the calmness of sitting down the body, the sensations of cool down, the heartbeat, the heat and the satisfaction to meditate. I am also aware of the different sense doors, mainly hearing, touching and thinking (which is known by the 5 other sense doors) while sitting meditation. After a short while (sometimes within 1-2 minutes) I am in equanimity, and space, calmness and equanimity are the dominant sensations. Sometimes it is not clear which sensations are from which sense door, because everything what happens seems like to be “just” sensations. Of course there are also surprising thoughts or mind states, which have crept in to be “real” things, but this identification takes just a short time.
The whole field of awareness, the whole body, is vibrating in a smooth kind. Furthermore I notice subtle sensations of the will to go deeper, to know what sensations make out that sense of self, which presents itself mostly in the forehead area, sometimes also in the chest. There are thoughts and upcoming mind states, mostly very subtle and sometimes hard to know. A few times there is a feeling of “am I doing the right way?”, “have I look at it in another way?”, but the fact that “something” can look quite calm and equanimous at this mind states changes them very quickly. Often there is the question of “what is it?”. I know what is going on, the thought, pleasant, neutral or unpleasant, the following mind state (sometimes also the other way round) but I don’t know what it is (the name, e.g. anger or rapture). So there is thinking about this and sometimes I get carried away for a minute. There is often this kind of “wanting to know”.
Anytime the sensations become less and the whole field of objects calms down. It is like consciousness grasps no longer at any object. At this point it is very clear that objects are depending on consciousness and of course also consciousness is depending on objects. No objects, no consciousness, no consciousness, no objects. So I “try” just to be with this “nothing happens” and I try to relax in this situation. Often appears a minimal desire to “do” something, to look out for any sensations, but something knows, that it is right to stay in this situation of “everything is perfect how it is, nothing has to be done, nothing is right or wrong or has to be changed, just be there and let everything be how it is. Sometimes I forget about “me” and there is the kind of feeling back of “what am I doing, am I doing right” and so on.
And after a certain time I know that the “movement” comes back. Objects appear and consciousness knows about them. Like the time is over, the entry is closed. ;-) If I try to meditate a certain time further, it is possible that I touch this point again. Of course at this point there is often a kind of expectation what comes next or also a feeling of boredom.
Sometimes if I am at this point where quite nothing happens, there is a very subtle feeling of movement, and then this movement changes into a slight falling or a flying. It is very difficult not to want to stay with this experience and just observe what is there.

An interesting experience of this “movement” I had in one of the last nights:
Anytime in the night I had a feeling of flying, Not only just the sensations of movement, but also sensations of seeing. And I knew that it was just a dream. So I tried to relax and being waiting what happens there was an increase of speed and intensity that I haven’t experienced ever before. I was also able to relax in this change and every time when I was more or less “with intent” trying to relax in this new movement, there was a change in speed, intensity and in the whole experience. I can’t say how long this was running, but it felt very long and intensive. And in this “dream” the experience of “wanting SE” was very clear, I hoped that this whole thing would finally explode. But it did not. ;-)
And directly at the end of this experience the sexual power was very noticeable, but I don’t know why.

In may daily life I try to be aware of every experience the whole day, whatever I do or not do. My whole life is centering on meditation and to see the things, how they really are. I can feel this kind of equanimity, not just in sitting meditation, but also in daily life.

I hope you understand everything I have written and could give me some thoughts about it. I tried to write as good and clear as possible, but it is sometimes not easy to explain different actions in another language, so please apologize. ;-)

Christian
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 5:08 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 4:41 PM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Christian,

Welcome to the DhO. Thanks for sharing your practice notes!

I hope you understand everything I have written and could give me some thoughts about it. I tried to write as good and clear as possible, but it is sometimes not easy to explain different actions in another language, so please apologize. ;-)
Super-clear. Thanks for your practice with English.

When I sit down I feel the sensations which make out the calmness of sitting down the body, the sensations of cool down, the heartbeat, the heat and the satisfaction to meditate
.

Often there is the question of “what is it?”. I know what is going on, the thought, pleasant, neutral or unpleasant, the following mind state (sometimes also the other way round) but I don’t know what it is (the name, e.g. anger or rapture). So there is thinking about this and sometimes I get carried away for a minute. There is often this kind of “wanting to know”.
Indeed, wanting to know is the mind arising, provoked, uplifted. What is this? Want to know...

If your practice was a hill to climb, that "wanting to know" is the incline. And nibbana, cessation, is the "passing away" slope. So the inhale is often part of a lot of elaborative thought, but at the base of the exhale, how much thought is happening? Often at the base of the exhale, there's not much thought.

Anytime the sensations become less and the whole field of objects calms down. It is like consciousness grasps no longer at any object.
This is useful; the mind is clearly letting go, not grasping, not provoking, not on the incline, not arising.

So I “try” just to be with this “nothing happens” and I try to relax in this situation.
Yes, to me, this is "yes". The mind will even stop grasping this. I think Daniel somewhere has written that there are parts of meditation that are like learning to stabilize the hand on the surface of water without breaking the surface of water. To me, this area ~ where mind is quiet and "nothing happens" and one is "[trying] to relax in this situation" -- this is that training of letting this more subtle mind stabilize itself there. The more the mind gets to go here and also let go here (without falling asleep or gratifying itself with myriad elaborations) the more the mind will develop its own natural, stability here, just like a light leaf on water that a frog jumps on: nothing arises, nothing gets provoked, no splashes. (It's so natural that there are splashes and ripples in the beginning and middle of the training 'lifecycle'). From here, too, there is still letting go. There is complete cessation to come yet.


And after a certain time I know that the “movement” comes back. Objects appear and consciousness knows about them. Like the time is over, the entry is closed. ;-) If I try to meditate a certain time further, it is possible that I touch this point again. Of course at this point there is often a kind of expectation what comes next or also a feeling of boredom.
Sometimes if I am at this point where quite nothing happens, there is a very subtle feeling of movement, and then this movement changes into a slight falling or a flying. It is very difficult not to want to stay with this experience and just observe what is there.
These descriptions are very clear to me. The falling and flying sensations are very normal.

Sometimes I think the brain does this flying-falling sensation movement for the thrill of gratification. You've probably had some adrenaline rushes from these. It's okay. The mind will, with exposure to these movements, find nothing reliably stable or reliably useful here and one day will drop these, too. (These can be extraordinary moments though and it's okay if something spectacular happens here and you spend a good while chasing that. That would be natural. But for the cessation of which people have associated withpaths, the mind moves towards letting go everything that comes up (without falling asleep or comparing), first appreciating the ceasing side of all phenomena, then just letting the wakeful ceasing occur, the gradual petering out of all mental objects arising (thoughts, feelings, sensations).

And in this “dream” the experience of “wanting SE” was very clear, I hoped that this whole thing would finally explode. But it did not. ;-)
It's such a good idea to set intention before meditation. So one can just say at the outset, "Mind, we can do a lot of things, but in this training for today, we're training in letting go, we're training to see cessation, we're training to let you stop for a bit. There'll be other times when we can check out the falling-flying sensations, but today, this sit is for seeing the cessation of everything, being unafraid to let go, to need not wanting, to need not flying-feeling, to need not falling-feeling, inhale will happen on its own when it needs to. Today, we're just rolling down the hill to a full stop. The exhale, the exhale, the exhale. Soft, soft, subtle..."


Thank you, Christian.

edits for spelling, grammar
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 6:13 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 6:13 PM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
My biggest mistake that I made early in my meditation career was that I noted too strongly.

The Heart Sutra states that Form is Emptiness, and Emptiness is Form. This actually has some real time applications when it comes to doing noting practice (which I believe to be essential to gaining stream entry)...

Basically you can go at noting full steam ahead, and this will get you pretty far. The problem I ran into with this method is that I was looking for some kind of pure observer looking for pure emptiness. So every time I noted it had this YES!! intensity that I was somehow slaying dragons into eternity or something. This turned out to be a problem later for me BECAUSE>>>

There is no such thing as a pure observer, at least from my vantage point. So any vision of emptiness is therefor going to lack intrinsic purity as well.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 11:25 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/10/14 11:25 PM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam Dietrich Ringle:
My biggest mistake that I made early in my meditation career was that I noted too strongly.

The Heart Sutra states that Form is Emptiness, and Emptiness is Form. This actually has some real time applications when it comes to doing noting practice (which I believe to be essential to gaining stream entry)...

Basically you can go at noting full steam ahead, and this will get you pretty far. The problem I ran into with this method is that I was looking for some kind of pure observer looking for pure emptiness. So every time I noted it had this YES!! intensity that I was somehow slaying dragons into eternity or something. This turned out to be a problem later for me BECAUSE>>>

There is no such thing as a pure observer, at least from my vantage point. So any vision of emptiness is therefor going to lack intrinsic purity as well.

I guess the standard advice here would be that you didn't note too strongly but rather that you failed to note "looking for pure observer" and "YES!! intensity" and thoughts or feelings to do with slaying dragons into eternity, etc.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 8 Years ago at 4/11/14 4:47 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/11/14 4:47 AM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Attention moves around on its own: notice that totally, completely, fully, naturally, just as it is, in the whole field.

It changes all the time: notice all of that.

There is no such thing as attention, just sensations: know that all the way through.

Every quality that implies attention is just more qualities: notice them all without exception until no quality can fool you in this way, as you know it to just be textures, aspects, flavors, colors, sounds, and the like, just sensations, simply sensations.

Everything that appears to be "this side": notice all of that until you are naturally really good at it, every pattern, every familiar and unfamiliar thing.

Everything that appears to be "that side": notice all of that until you are naturally really good at it, every pattern, every familiar and unfamiliar thing.

If you don't have stream entry, you know you have to develop the above further, so do that and keep at it. You know you are missing something, figure out what. It is typically some "core process", such as figuring, wanting, striving, analyzing, expecting, fearing, wondering, and the like: those are all just more sensations: know these patterns as they arise until naturally they are seen as they are. By practice, it becomes habit. When it is habit, then it happens on its own. When it happens on its own, that is one less thing not clearly perceived, one more step closer to being clear about right here.

Simply, easily, clearly, naturally, completely, fully, honestly, devoid of ideals beyond just being with whatever shows up as it changes and fluxes and moves around and vanishes and appears. All the way down, all the way up, all the way through the center.

Do this more than you think you should.

See if that helps,

Daniel
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Psi, modified 8 Years ago at 4/11/14 10:16 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/11/14 10:16 AM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
Attention moves around on its own: notice that totally, completely, fully, naturally, just as it is, in the whole field.

It changes all the time: notice all of that.

There is no such thing as attention, just sensations: know that all the way through.

Every quality that implies attention is just more qualities: notice them all without exception until no quality can fool you in this way, as you know it to just be textures, aspects, flavors, colors, sounds, and the like, just sensations, simply sensations.

Everything that appears to be "this side": notice all of that until you are naturally really good at it, every pattern, every familiar and unfamiliar thing.

Everything that appears to be "that side": notice all of that until you are naturally really good at it, every pattern, every familiar and unfamiliar thing.

If you don't have stream entry, you know you have to develop the above further, so do that and keep at it. You know you are missing something, figure out what. It is typically some "core process", such as figuring, wanting, striving, analyzing, expecting, fearing, wondering, and the like: those are all just more sensations: know these patterns as they arise until naturally they are seen as they are. By practice, it becomes habit. When it is habit, then it happens on its own. When it happens on its own, that is one less thing not clearly perceived, one more step closer to being clear about right here.

Simply, easily, clearly, naturally, completely, fully, honestly, devoid of ideals beyond just being with whatever shows up as it changes and fluxes and moves around and vanishes and appears. All the way down, all the way up, all the way through the center.

Do this more than you think you should.

See if that helps,

Daniel


Very skillful advice!

"In this fathom-long body with its perceptions and thoughts there is the world, the origin of the world, the ending of the world and the path leading to the ending of the world."

— AN 4.45

Was contemplating this the other day, somatic sensory neurons (Sensations from external stimuli) and visceral sensory neurons (sensations from internal stimuli) and what "receives" this information, more neurons, what responds?, more neurons, Sensations arise and pass away,

Mindfulness (Mind(full) of sensations as sensations and no added mental judgments or criticism), puts a "space" between the sensations, and the automated response system, (our habits , behavior patterns, instincts, etc.) Which, by the way, this "break" in the cycle , can then be used , and one can add (or , rather let arise), skillful and wholesome automated responses, (i.e. the natural arising of Equanimity, (Balanced mind), for through the wisdom of insight , mind will not be fooled by sensations.

Anyway, neurons got wordy....

But again, good instructions.

psi
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Psi, modified 8 Years ago at 4/11/14 10:36 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/11/14 10:35 AM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Hello,

Maybe someone else knows where this Sutta is that is being referred to below, (maybe it was a commentary), Anyways, it is wise advice, so apologies for bad paraphrasing.

This "technique" seems to fit the bill.





In the olden days of sailing, a bird was sent from the mast of the ship to search for land, the bird fly up high in the sky, if the bird would sight land it would fly off in the direction of the land , and not return. If the bird could not locate land it would circle around and tire, eventually landing back upon the mast of the ship.

So too, the mind should be sent out, letting go of ALL clinging and attachments, usually the mind will circle around, still fettered by clinging and attachments, eventually tire out and "land" back home, and nestle into it's warm comfortable and well known self delusion.

But, one should still make the attempt, when one has, after stilling the mind and the mind is registering things arising as they really are, one should send the mind out, letting go of ALL clinging and attachments. For sometimes, like the bird, the mind flies not for land but Nibbana, and does not return. (Maybe for just a mind moment)

But, of course, these are all similes , metaphors, terms and concepts, there is no place such as nibbana, there is no flying, etc...

So, that's that.

psi
Banned For waht?, modified 8 Years ago at 4/12/14 7:53 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/12/14 7:53 AM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
Psi Phi:
Hello,

Maybe someone else knows where this Sutta is that is being referred to below, (maybe it was a commentary), Anyways, it is wise advice, so apologies for bad paraphrasing.

This "technique" seems to fit the bill.





In the olden days of sailing, a bird was sent from the mast of the ship to search for land, the bird fly up high in the sky, if the bird would sight land it would fly off in the direction of the land , and not return. If the bird could not locate land it would circle around and tire, eventually landing back upon the mast of the ship.

So too, the mind should be sent out, letting go of ALL clinging and attachments, usually the mind will circle around, still fettered by clinging and attachments, eventually tire out and "land" back home, and nestle into it's warm comfortable and well known self delusion.

But, one should still make the attempt, when one has, after stilling the mind and the mind is registering things arising as they really are, one should send the mind out, letting go of ALL clinging and attachments. For sometimes, like the bird, the mind flies not for land but Nibbana, and does not return. (Maybe for just a mind moment)

But, of course, these are all similes , metaphors, terms and concepts, there is no place such as nibbana, there is no flying, etc...

So, that's that.

psi


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/PathofPurification2011.pdf

book page 684(not pdf), point 65


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/bm7insight.pdf
book page 107
Christian W, modified 8 Years ago at 4/13/14 6:07 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/13/14 6:07 AM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 2 Join Date: 4/10/14 Recent Posts
Hey all,

thank you very much for the great answers. I will try to follow the advices and I am sure that my practice will benefit from the impulses.
And sorry for the late replay, but I had some difficulties in signing in here.

Like Daniel pointed out I try to see everything what happens as bare sensations, just sensations without any consistency. It is more and more clear how easy the mind identifies with things like seeing, different mind states or other things. But by and by the “knowing” about being identified appears always faster and the “illusion” of solid things becomes less and less.

I notice this aspect especially in daily life, when there is much “action” around oneself, that this “knowing” of being, of pure presence becomes clearer and clearer. And this knowing appears because of noticing every experience just as sensations, not as me or mine or as solid thing.
And the attention, which is just sensations in a special area, then in another area, one could think attention is moving, but it is just the “knowing” of the sensation showing themselves in this moment at a special “place”.

In sitting meditation it is less difficult for me, I think because of the more concentrated practice. Today in the morning I sat down and felt immediately a smooth kind of restlessness, but I could watch the sensations which made them out, mainly in the area around the abdomen. By and by the sensations changed into tranquility and equanimity over the whole body, thoughts became less, but a few times there were still short pricks of restlessness. Very interesting here the relationship between the mind states and the thoughts and how everything depends on each other.
After a few minutes the experience of space and calmness was predominant in a very clear way. I tried to investigate this apparent solid space all over me and I noticed that I could not see the flickering of this “broad wide space”.
It seems like the mind would like to stay watching the whole thing, including the sense doors (there was only the noise of cars and the cat walking through the room and some subtle swoosh from the ear itself), some thoughts, offset temperature, waves of heat and the whole field of attention on and in the body. I could easily be aware of this complete “picture”, the changes inside this field, e.g. the mind states, the thoughts, the sense doors and so on. But if I try to concentrate on a predominant experience like broad and wide space itself, or the small pulsing in the forehead, it is very difficult to be aware of the single sensations and the arising and passing away of them. It is more like the whole thing is changing, than the sensations inside of them. Natural in this stage or too much focus on concentration instead of changing / insight?

I also tried to watch the sensations of “this” side and “that” side. The most sensations which seem to be the observer are in the area around the head and the chest. If I am aware of these areas in a smooth way, moving up and down, it seems like to vanish the hard and constant sense of me or mine and sometimes there is a small moment of remembering oneself about “being here”. Like everything runs more and more on its own without the “control” of the so called observer. Feels like to let go of everything.

I hope the explanations are clear and you know what I am trying to say. ;-) Thank you!

Christian
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Travis Gene McKinstry, modified 8 Years ago at 4/22/14 1:28 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 4/22/14 1:28 PM

RE: Going for Stream Entry. Any advice welcome!

Posts: 208 Join Date: 7/26/12 Recent Posts
Your posts here are very helpful. I've come back to this post multiple times. emoticon

Keep up the good work!

Breadcrumb