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Three Experiences
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6/2/14 12:13 AM
I am new here, new to mapping the insights, and would like some help in understanding the following 3 experiences I've had. I'll try to be brief yet thorough.

1. I was on retreat and had done something I felt ashamed of yet in this state of self deprication I remembered teachings of causality, non-self, etc. This help relax the mind and the current stress as well as such strong identity to the "shameful" behavior. The mind kept relaxing the identification to the point that there was simply the awareness of thoughts and body sensations as simply like two rivers. Just flowing with no me, I, or mine. It was also very clear that any identification with even a single passing moment would be a disturbance of sorts. At the time there was total equanimity yet I knew that in order to engage in the world, to share thoughts, etc., that I would by habit re-identify with the thought or body moments. Anicca was clear, dukkha of identification was clear. Anatta of thoughts and body sensations clear. What was not clear is whether there might be a sense of "I" in the observing. This experience happened twice within a few weeks time.

2. I was listening to a Dhamma talk that all there is is now and for a while, I got it. Everything was now, now, now, now, now... A constant collision with now. At the time it seemed difficult that after seeing life this way, that it'd be hard to ever see it any other way. This lasted a couple hours and then did change. I was excited about the experience and tried to simply observe that too.

3. I was meditating in a monastery when sensory perception all came very close, none of it like sight and sound were "out there." Actually there were just these sense doors (4 obvious ones at that moment) being constantly bombarded by their respective sense objects as well as simply a knowing and a being known. It occurred that simply having sense doors, objects, and contact was dukkha. Not in the aversive way but simply seemed like a burden. Seemed like it would be possible to set the burden down but I felt still somehow attached to it, sticky still a bit like glue but that the glue was weakening. Existence as a "self" seemed tiresome, wearisome, and there was a desire for an experience that was "not this."

The confusing thing to me is that these seem to be combinations of different insights I've read about and also that they seem to be such and such insight yet I have no clear experience of having the preceeding insights. Reading some of Daniel's book has helped so far. My two sources before have been "Map of the Journey" by U Jotika and a discourse by Mahasi Sayadaw as far as understanding the insights. My training has been 15 years of Goenka and 2 years at Shwe Oo Min under U Tejaniya.

All views welcome and especially from those that feel adept with identifying different presentations of insights stages.

RE: Three Experiences
Answer
6/2/14 3:30 AM as a reply to Zach Hessler.
One way of thinking about a spiritual path is the stages of insight as in MCTB. Another way of looking at stages of insight is seeing it describing not so much as "insights" but a journey, with the ups and downs of spiritual path and dedicated meditation practice. Some insights might be more or less likely depending where you are on the journey, and some might follow a roughly linear progression and build upon earlier insights, but spiritual insights can really can come at any time. I could drop some acid and potentially have experiences like any of those that you have described. And after 17 years meditating, you are going to collect a bunch of insights/mystical experiences along the way.

RE: Three Experiences
Answer
6/2/14 5:25 AM as a reply to Zach Hessler.
How long ago did these experiences occur? If they were once-off and not recent, it's likely your baseline has shifted (especially regarding the ones on retreat), and so accurately labelling them would have little practical benefit as regards future progress. Any authentic insights gained should hold up regardless.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+How+the+Maps+Help

How about describing an average vipassana sit (in extensive phenomenological detail) so that we might identify the nanas you're currently passing through and give you advice?

RE: Three Experiences
Answer
6/3/14 12:18 AM as a reply to B B.
The first experience was many years ago, the second two happened this last winter. I understand that those are past and I would likely have cycled to somewhere else in insight progress. I am not so much looking for current advice or mapping as I am looking to get more and more familiar with different stages and how they might present using my own past experiences as a frame of reference. Maybe this isn't the best way to go about it. These events stay clear in my mind and shifted my understanding of experience. The illusion is not seen through but such experiences of anicca, dukkha, anatta so clear and strong definitely have cracked the illusion so to speak. I still fall for the magic trick but at least I know it is a magic trick.

Currently I am not doing much formal practice on the cushion yet trying to be aware of sensations and aware of that awareness and phenomenon as simply nature.
Thanks for the response.