Message Boards Message Boards

Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Black "Bleeps" [Blue Jay] [MIGRATE]

Black "Bleeps" [Blue Jay] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/7/14 5:12 AM
Black "Bleeps" [Blue Jay]


Blue Jay - 2014-04-13 22:50:46 - Black "Bleeps"

Hello

I've written before about my experience. To sum it up I was at equanimity. Since then I had two black "bleeps", meaning, two very short moments where there was sudden darkness. The second time this happened was today and it was followed by some rapture. 

I don't believe I attained stream entry. Although the three fetters are weakened, I'm pretty sure they're not completely gone.

1- I don't believe in a self. I know, to some degree, that, if there is some fundamental self/me, it's something that I haven't experienced. If there is such a thing, it must be associated with the agregate of consciousness and is so subtle that I can't perceive it. Maybe with jhana I could analyse it, because it's too subtle a thing to analyse without jhana.

2- I'm much more relaxed with the precepts and rituals. That could be related to working out "negative" psychological contents in my mind which made me too attached to the precepts But I still have attachment to them.

3- I have a good degree of confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, and noble Sangha. But I wouldn't say I am without doubt.

These transformations didn't happen overnight. They took a while to evolve since I attained equanimity. Plus my mental health problems seem so far, now. They seem to be much better controlled.

So my questions are: if these bleeps occur, are we bound to have a path moment? And if there was a path and fruit moment, do these transformations happen overnight, or do they happen slowly?

Remember that I'm not even sure that these bleeps were in fact bleeps.

Peace.

-------------------

Dream Walker - 2014-04-13 23:16:22 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Blue Jay:
I had two black "bleeps", meaning, two very short moments where there was sudden darkness.
If there was a experience of darkness, it ain't it. If there is an experience of anything....it's not it.

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-13 23:31:55 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Dream Walker:
Blue Jay:
I had two black "bleeps", meaning, two very short moments where there was sudden darkness.
If there was a experience of darkness, it ain't it. If there is an experience of anything....it's not it.


The first bleep was like an interruption in consciousness. But I'm not completely sure. The second was in fact an experience _ of darkness.

These were after 2 near misses, as Daniel Ingraim puts it.

-------------------

Bailey . - 2014-04-15 02:42:09 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

The first bleep was like an interruption in consciousness


that's exactly what it is.

The real distinguisher..... you should notice yourself cycling, including the bleep.  It depends on how clean you are, you definitely will not pick up on all your cycles but I think it would be hard to miss even just a couple over a period of time.  And that is all you need to see, one or two more cycles including the bleep moment.

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-15 05:31:07 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Bailey .:
The first bleep was like an interruption in consciousness


that's exactly what it is.

The real distinguisher..... you should notice yourself cycling, including the bleep.  It depends on how clean you are, you definitely will not pick up on all your cycles but I think it would be hard to miss even just a couple over a period of time.  And that is all you need to see, one or two more cycles including the bleep moment.


Thank you for your answer, but I didn't understand a good part of it. What do you mean by cycling/cycles?

I'm still skeptical, though. It seems so ordinary. The most out of the ordinary period was even a few days before, when I repeatedly experienced rapture almost spontaneously _ without practicing samatha/jhana _ and "saw" a bright white light. I think another thing that contributes to my doubt is that, when I had these near misses, I was so sleepy that I might have had an "authentic" bleep without distinguishing it.

-------------------

Daniel M. Ingram - 2014-04-15 07:12:28 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Sorting these out is not easy, as you obviously already know.

White light: almost always A&P, so should put the Body Vanishing thing that can happen in Dissolution on the list.

Any state shift can cause a heavy flicker in consciousness if it hits hard enough: any shift between Òanas and/or jhanas can do it.

Formless stuff can emerge and often does in both Dissolution and Equanimity, as well as a few other places on rare occasions.

Near Misses are often a very brief taste of NPNYNP (8th jhana).

There are also the "Head Drops" of Equanimity, in which it is like we suddenly almost went to sleep, sort of like driving when you are totally exhausted and can't hold your head up well (don't do this, obviously). They mimic all sorts of things.

Obviously, the one without the experience of blackness is your top candidate for a Fruition. The test is to see if it repeats, and, if it does, and does it enough times to get a good bead on it, then perhaps that will sort this out.

That is not the full list, but it is most of it, so just see what happens and what it does.

Notice what comes before it in terms of both the sequence of the sit as well as the few seconds before it, and also notice what comes after it, particularly in the few minutes after it, but also in the whole sequence of the sit.

Those should help sort things out,

Daniel

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-15 08:02:54 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Thank you, Daniel. _/|\_

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-16 18:56:47 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Hello again.


This is weird. Making a conservative estimate, I had 35 "deja vus" in the last 9 hours. Now, since it has slowed down and analysing it just a bit more clearly, it feels like my memory was upgraded to a 2.0 memory, but this version has a lot of bugs. I make imediate associations between distant subjetcs, but they are not clearly seen. It seems as if the association makes up to 75% of its "path" and doesn't finish it. My awareness is cluttered, but not exactly in the same way as I first experienced this "clutteredness" in equanimity because, even though I space out, I still get all the information _ if I'm interested. 

Is this the so called cycling after stream entry? I'm pretty sure I didn't fall back to the dark night in the last weeks but I didn't formally meditate today yet _ not that it was ever a problem since I arrived at equanimity. I had, however, to memorise a lot of things yesterday, so it might be somewhat related. Can somebody try to explain what is happening?

-------------------

Daniel M. Ingram - 2014-04-17 07:29:31 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Somewhere up in Equanimity I have noticed a few things related to memories:

1) powerful sudden memories of apparently random places and events from my past, strong enough to explore and really feel into and flush out in remarkable detail if I wish

2) strange things like Deja Vu

3) a sudden loss of interest in memories, but this lack of interest is one that I usually don't notice, like suddenly my past just doesn't come up much, but, just like pain that is not there is often not noticed to not be there, just so it is with memories in Equanimity, in that it is neither obvious nor striking, and is only obvious most of the time on retrospect, and then it is subtle

Any of that interesting or helpful?

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-17 08:36:19 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Yes, it was interesting. And it was probably as helpful as possible in an internet forum "diagnosis" emoticon

Thank you. _/|\_

-------------------

Eric M W - 2014-04-17 13:56:53 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

This sounds suspiciously like a fruition but it's hard sorting this stuff out, especially over the internet, as Daniel has already said.

I am not a sotapanna but there seems to be a standard set of "tests" that can provide a diagnosis...

Sit on the cushion and don't do anything in particular.  Do you cycle?  

Incline your mind to any of the first four jhanas.  Anything interesting?

Incline your mind to fruition.  Any beeps?

Last bit of advice would be to keep practicing and report back in 366 days.  emoticon

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-17 14:57:56 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Thank you for your advice. I'll try to get into jhana. But I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not ever going to be a clear and definitive "yes" to the question "have I attained stream entry? Could this even be the 2nd path. Am I deluding myself?" . So I will continue to practice as long as there is suffering in me, as long as I'm not in the mindset of the arahat "The task is finished. There's nothing more to be done."

Yesterday I just did like 20 minutes of metta. And I saw the brightest inner white light I had ever seen. It stopped only because I was scared and attached at the same time. It doesn't hurt the eyes, but I had a defensive reaction as if it was too bright and powerful.

Anyway, it's been inbteresting so far. emoticon

-------------------

Eric M W - 2014-04-17 15:55:07 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Blue Jay:

Yesterday I just did like 20 minutes of metta. And I saw the brightest inner white light I had ever seen. It stopped only because I was scared and attached at the same time. It doesn't hurt the eyes, but I had a defensive reaction as if it was too bright and powerful.

Bright white lights are characteristic of A&P.  Pure concentration practice can bring them about but they are much dimmer and more subtle.  But when you have a very bright light that is almost involuntarily powerful, that seems more A&P related.

Is your metta practice deeper or stronger in any way?

Yes, continuing to practice is the best way to go.  Looking to the future or trying to place yourself on a map can quickly lead to nowhere.  Because the three C's are in the future, they are right here.

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-17 17:41:38 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Eric M W:
Blue Jay:

Yesterday I just did like 20 minutes of metta. And I saw the brightest inner white light I had ever seen. It stopped only because I was scared and attached at the same time. It doesn't hurt the eyes, but I had a defensive reaction as if it was too bright and powerful.

Bright white lights are characteristic of A&P.  Pure concentration practice can bring them about but they are much dimmer and more subtle.  But when you have a very bright light that is almost involuntarily powerful, that seems more A&P related.

Is your metta practice deeper or stronger in any way?

Yes, continuing to practice is the best way to go.  Looking to the future or trying to place yourself on a map can quickly lead to nowhere.  Because the three C's are in the future, they are right here.


Well, I have been contemplating impermanence a lot. But I arrived at equanimity in January. After some time going back and forth between the dark night and equanimity, it stabilised. Don't know precisely when _ I really wish I was sure it was around the time I had the real bleep, but I'm not. I have just been very, very stable for almost 2 months. I had serious mental health problems and they nearly don't bother me anymore. I even received very, very, very bad news and I am, not only very stable, but waaay happier than anyone I know personally. 

I started contemplating impermanence because it seemed to me that I was stale. I needed to have the breakthrough to stream entry somehow and impermanence was the way best suited to me. I vaguely realised not self, but to the point of not really believing that I have a self. I act as if I do, but if I stop and reflect, there's nothing worthy of calling me, my real identity. And the same with the other 3 lower fetters: I have some doubts about the dhamma. But if I stop and reflect, I know that the world is full of suffering and that the dhamma will probably cure it. And, as I said, I'm much more relaxed with the precepts. But it seems that I still have some attachment to them _ or maybe it's just remorse. 

My metta practice is stronger, although not to the point of jhana. But now it overflows. I practice it almost exclusively towards myself because it was a very good way of dealing with the dark night. But I can open up to people in ways that I wasn't able before. And my mindfulness in my first half of this day was blazing. 

*shrugg*

-------------------

Bailey . - 2014-04-17 18:25:21 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

What do you mean by cycling/cycles?


This idea of cycling is fundamental

You travel through stages on your way to enlightenment.  However, it is not discrete.  It is not like, ok I have now obtained stage 5, and now you permanently feel the way stage 5 feels.  In reality, you cycle through and feel all previous stages constantly.  If you are at stage 5, you constantly cycle from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5, then back down to 1 to 2 to 3... ect.  This is the way in which you progress.  Then you would attain 6, and cycle all the way through six.  Up until stream entry, sotappana, after that is attained you cycle through ALL of the stages constantly. 

However, your cycles will vary in time.  Sometimes it will take a while to go through them all, sometimes it will just be a short time. On top of that, the feelings which correlate to the stage you working on at the moment will be the feelings you feel the most.  If you are at one of the dukkha nanas, then you cycle through all the stages prior, however, the feeling of that particular dukkha nana will be the strongest.


Knowing this information helps us out a lot.  It is the strongest indicator in finding out how far you are and what you have attained.  Meaning, if you think you are at a particular stage, you should notice yourself cycling up until that stage.  The easiest phases for me to feel is the AP, EQ, magga (enlightenment) and the fear dukkha nana.  This makes it relatively easy, given some time, to figure out what stage you are at or what you have attained. You just have to occasionally notice one of the stages. Much of the time you may not even notice that you are cycling, this is different for different people and may be based on things like how pure you are, how aware you are, what type of meditation you do, and even if you know or don't know the cycles exist.

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-04-17 20:27:56 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Bailey .:
What do you mean by cycling/cycles?


This idea of cycling is fundamental

You travel through stages on your way to enlightenment.  However, it is not discrete.  It is not like, ok I have now obtained stage 5, and now you permanently feel the way stage 5 feels.  In reality, you cycle through and feel all previous stages constantly.  If you are at stage 5, you constantly cycle from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5, then back down to 1 to 2 to 3... ect.  This is the way in which you progress.  Then you would attain 6, and cycle all the way through six.  Up until stream entry, sotappana, after that is attained you cycle through ALL of the stages constantly. 

However, your cycles will vary in time.  Sometimes it will take a while to go through them all, sometimes it will just be a short time. On top of that, the feelings which correlate to the stage you working on at the moment will be the feelings you feel the most.  If you are at one of the dukkha nanas, then you cycle through all the stages prior, however, the feeling of that particular dukkha nana will be the strongest.


Knowing this information helps us out a lot.  It is the strongest indicator in finding out how far you are and what you have attained.  Meaning, if you think you are at a particular stage, you should notice yourself cycling up until that stage.  The easiest phases for me to feel is the AP, EQ, magga (enlightenment) and the fear dukkha nana.  This makes it relatively easy, given some time, to figure out what stage you are at or what you have attained. You just have to occasionally notice one of the stages. Much of the time you may not even notice that you are cycling, this is different for different people and may be based on things like how pure you are, how aware you are, what type of meditation you do, and even if you know or don't know the cycles exist.



Oh, thank you! emoticon Didn't even know that there was that explanation.

The way I'm thinking of this is somewhere along the lines of what you said about stages not being discrete levels.

Imagine that there is a brick wall ( a la Pink Floyd emoticon ). You can either break the wall with a giant blow, or with a very sharp, but thin cutting object. The wall will crumble anyway, but it is quite evident in the first case, while in the second it's hard to find the opening.

And I guess that that is how it feels. If you can attain the jhanas, you will see very clearly the impermanence and not self. And it will be obvious when youir consciousness interrupts and then gets back to work. But if you "just" have mindfulness it will be much less clear. And I would guess that the crumbling of the wall will be very fast for the jhana practicioner, or for a person on retreat. But for a wall that took a small, but damaging enough blow, it will take some time to crumble. And cycling can have something to do with that: the complete destruction of a wall, namely the wall of the three lower fetters that prevent us from seeing beyond it: nibbana.


Is it obvious that I want to be a sotappana? I keep remembering the teaching of Ajahn Chah: "Don't be an arahat. Don't be a Buddha. Don't be anything at all. Being something makes problems. So don't be anything"

-------------------

Blue Jay - 2014-05-06 11:29:10 - RE: Black "Bleeps"

Update:

I'm still skeptical of where I'm at. But I think that there's definitely something different. Maybe also because of releasing emotional knots. I'm not sure.

But two things that now happen that are definitly different are: when something horrible comes to mind that would usualy upset me a lot, if I am mindful, I feel like laughing out loud. It's really funny because the negative emotions melt and have little power over me. The second thing is that I feel like my mindfulness doesn't need effort to be wholesome. Previously my strategy was to apply equanimity. I had to do something about the negative emotions. Now I just observe. I realised that if I just observe, it is wholesome in itself. There's no need to apply effort to deal with attachment and aversion. 

Reading Mahasi Sayadaw's book, iirc, I identify the most with the description of "cleansing". "Cleansing" is used to describe what happens when a person attains the fruit of the 1st path for the second time. Or the third time, or forth. It really feels like a purification has happened. I've read that it can be easily mistaken for the 2nd path, which I did.

Nevertheless, I could be fooling myself. So, I'll continue practicing daily. emoticon