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Equanimity on a different level?

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Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/28/14 5:09 AM
Hello

(If you wish to help me, but really are in a hurry, jump to the 3rd part.)

Context: As I have posted before, I had an experience which suggested that I had entered the stream. I'm still not sure that that was the case, but I'm more inclined to say that I entered the stream.

Why? Mainly because there's no way I could go through what I went through this year of my life without going nuts. The reason I still have doubts is because it seems to me that the experience of interruption of consciousness I had was just path attainment, not fruit. It was like a damage done to a building (path) that eventualy will have to colaps (fruit).

I don't have a teacher to discuss this with so I'm still very much in doubt.

Present Situation:

I have been having some weird experiences. This happens mostly when I am sleepy in meditation, but certainly not only in that situation. I am meditating and, when my mind wanders, it's not into fantasies/worries about the future or the past. I will try to use a metaphor. It's like my mind is water in the bathtub and the drain plug is defective. So instead of the water moving and moving, it slowly goes down the drain. When I realise that there's no water in the bathtub, the water "explodes" like a geiser. (Ugh, what a lousy metaphor). I hope you understand what I'm saying. My mind runs out of things to think about and it seems like torpor, because it's probably mixed with it. When I realise the absence of any awareness I suddenly see a bright light. And sometimes this happens two times in a row: "unconsciousness" --> bright light --> "unconsciousness" --> bright light.

I don't know if this is cycling or just plain and simple falling asleep. emoticon

On to the main question

When I first arrived at equanimity, before what I think was first path, it was a bit rough. Then it became smooth. I had equanimity towards sensations. And when I had attachment or aversion, my attitude was relaxing the attachment and aversion.

This equanimity I am now on seems to be on a different level. It's not equanimity just towards sensations with curbing of attachment and aversion. It's equanimity towards sensations and the attachment and aversion themselves. It's like finding a priviledged point of view where everything is fine. Good, bad, suffering, happiness, pleasant, unpleasant; everything is fine.

This priviledged point of view feels like I am at the center. This may seem weird but it feels like the center of this perspective is at the spine, behind what the hindus call the heart chakra. And I have an intuitive feeling that, if I cultivate this centered perspective and, when proficient enough, just drop the center and become centerless, that I will attain 2nd path.

So the questions are: 1- Is this equanimity on a different level of cycling, ie, on the cycle to the 2nd path? 2- And if this is the case, does this intuitive notion on how 2nd path may happen make sense?

Thanks!

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/28/14 8:13 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Reread MCTB about http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+11.+Equanimity
and
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+16.+Review

http://contemplativefitnessbook.com/book-two-theory/the-progress-of-insight-map/#Knowledge_of_Equanimity_Stage_11
and the following part about review.

you need to be familiar with the whole progress of insite stages to diagnose whether you have started a new cycle so quickly or are just in review.
~D

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/29/14 2:16 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Hi,

What if there's not any narrative applied to the approach you'd like to try now, which is, I think, dropping your attention to the center (abdomen?)~ and just that attention there is the practice? So I think you're saying attention on the rising and falling breath at the abdomen? Is that correct?

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/29/14 2:59 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Hi,

What if there's not any narrative applied to the approach you'd like to try now, which is, I think, dropping your attention to the center (abdomen?)~ and just that attention there is the practice? So I think you're saying attention on the rising and falling breath at the abdomen? Is that correct?
Hello

I was ambiguous in my OP. Sorry. But it's also kind of unavoidable. Let me try better.

What I experienced in equanimity before frist path was different from the equanimity I'm experiencing now. (Assuming I attained first path, that is!)

Before 1st path, equanimity was less inclusive. I was equanimous towards things by trying not to engage in attachment and aversion. In the begining it was chunky, like is described in MCTB. Then it became smooth and spacious. One of the characteristics I experience in equnimity is not being able to practice metta well. It's not strong and it seems too narrow, for lack of a better word.

This equanimity feels different. First of all it's still chunky and it feels like I'm in the border between dark night and equanimity. But this dark night is not even comparable to the dark night pre 1st path. And this equanimity is deeper. It's not just avoiding to engage in attachment and aversion. It's being equanimous, centered and at peace with things and with my very attachment and aversion to things.
The "center" seems like it's located behing the heart chakra (whatever that is), in the spine. And it seems like this emotional perspective is seeing from this "center".
I can't practice metta well now either.

My intuition is that, once I become stable in this centered perspective, if I completely drop the sense of location of this center, then I will experience a deeper emptiness/anatta. Like it (me) will dissolve into "nothingness", or just reality without bias. This is my intuition. My guess is that this will lead me to 2nd path.

I didn't understand your question, but I hope I clarified my previous post.

Thanks.

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/29/14 4:47 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Blue Jay:
(Assuming I attained first path, that is!)

Before 1st path, equanimity was less inclusive. I was equanimous towards things by trying not to engage in attachment and aversion. In the begining it was chunky, like is described in MCTB. Then it became smooth and spacious. One of the characteristics I experience in equnimity is not being able to practice metta well. It's not strong and it seems too narrow, for lack of a better word.
EQ is not the strongest place to do metta. If you feel equanimous how would you also feel loving kindness? I have little luck doing metta from EQ. I do Metta from 3rd Jhana. Happiness from 2nd Jhana. Your mileage may vary.
Blue Jay:
This equanimity feels different. First of all it's still chunky and it feels like I'm in the border between dark night and equanimity. But this dark night is not even comparable to the dark night pre 1st path. And this equanimity is deeper. It's not just avoiding to engage in attachment and aversion. It's being equanimous, centered and at peace with things and with my very attachment and aversion to things.

Are you in review? did you read up on it? are you cycling? did you start a new cycle? You are giving us only one data point, this EQ is different from that EQ.
Blue Jay:
The "center" seems like it's located behind the heart chakra (whatever that is), in the spine. And it seems like this emotional perspective is seeing from this "center".
I can't practice metta well now either.
I sense loving kindness at this center too and I am past 2nd path.
Blue Jay:
My intuition is that, once I become stable in this centered perspective, if I completely drop the sense of location of this center, then I will experience a deeper emptiness/anatta. Like it (me) will dissolve into "nothingness", or just reality without bias. This is my intuition. My guess is that this will lead me to 2nd path.
From my direct experience 2nd path has more to do with the selfing process entangled with thoughts. Possession of them and adding a layer of stress to them. Notice the 5 senses and the thoughts. Same as first path. This will get you to 2nd. After that the work of 3rd path is addressing the center point, outside limit and personal bubble of self in space. I find the center point would move during these meditations and sometimes be behind my eyes and sometimes at the heart center. This was different than my feeling of emotional loving/kindness at the heart center. Your intuition is correct though "if I completely drop the sense of location" of SELF, not emotion; you just may wish to wait til after 2nd path to do so. But if it is coming up for you as sensations then by all means see it clearly and apply the 3C's.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/29/14 6:04 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:

Blue Jay:
This equanimity feels different. First of all it's still chunky and it feels like I'm in the border between dark night and equanimity. But this dark night is not even comparable to the dark night pre 1st path. And this equanimity is deeper. It's not just avoiding to engage in attachment and aversion. It's being equanimous, centered and at peace with things and with my very attachment and aversion to things.

Are you in review? did you read up on it? are you cycling? did you start a new cycle? You are giving us only one data point, this EQ is different from that EQ.
Blue Jay:
The "center" seems like it's located behind the heart chakra (whatever that is), in the spine. And it seems like this emotional perspective is seeing from this "center".
I can't practice metta well now either.
I sense loving kindness at this center too and I am past 2nd path.
Blue Jay:
My intuition is that, once I become stable in this centered perspective, if I completely drop the sense of location of this center, then I will experience a deeper emptiness/anatta. Like it (me) will dissolve into "nothingness", or just reality without bias. This is my intuition. My guess is that this will lead me to 2nd path.
From my direct experience 2nd path has more to do with the selfing process entangled with thoughts. Possession of them and adding a layer of stress to them. Notice the 5 senses and the thoughts. Same as first path. This will get you to 2nd. After that the work of 3rd path is addressing the center point, outside limit and personal bubble of self in space. I find the center point would move during these meditations and sometimes be behind my eyes and sometimes at the heart center. This was different than my feeling of emotional loving/kindness at the heart center. Your intuition is correct though "if I completely drop the sense of location" of SELF, not emotion; you just may wish to wait til after 2nd path to do so. But if it is coming up for you as sensations then by all means see it clearly and apply the 3C's.
Good luck,
~D
Hello

Yes, I believe I have been cycling. There are two reasons for me to have some doubts about this. I don't have access to jhanas so it's not clear what is happening (plus I'm not on retreat). And if I attained 1st path and have been cycling, it just seems too easy. Not only easy, but ordinary as well. Very transforming, though.

Anyway, I think those blackouts followed by bright lights, sometimes happening 2 times in a row, are the cessation of consciousness after equanimity. Not having access to jhanas makes this difficult, because basicaly I can only distinguish normal state vs dark night vs equanimity. Sometimes I recognise arising and passing.

Regarding a new cycle, that's what I don't know how to figure out. I read the MCTB part about review yesterday and I didn't get anything specific on how to distinguish a "higher cycle" leading to a new path attainment from "normal cycling".

Regarding my intuition: I think you expressed it better than me. I think what I meant is to drop the center of observance. The "observer" dissoves even more deeply than before into a flow of unbiased and free experience. In other words it's the self that dissolves.

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/29/14 8:03 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
And I have an intuitive feeling that, if I cultivate this centered perspective and, when proficient enough, just drop the center and become centerless, that I will attain 2nd path

 
You don’t need to do anything special to obtain Second path.  It is simply another clean round of all the stages.  If you have achieved first path you are already floating towars second path.  Noting will get you there naturally.  

However, your idea is still useful.  It is simpy another mode of observation.  I believe a moment in that form of being is stronger than one moment of your regulard mindfullness noting.  However, I wouldn't cultivate it, different modes of observation will come and go throughout the path, simply watch them, enjoy them if you want, and continue on.
it seems to me that the experience of interruption of consciousness I had was just path attainment, not fruit.
 
Path and fruit (Magga and Phala) happen in almost the same instant.  They should not be considered two different stages.
 
 
"15. Phala nana
“The fifteenth nana is called phala nana or "the knowledge of fruition." This occurs in the next moment after magga nana.” http://www.vipassanadhura.com/sixteen.html#thirteenb
 

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
6/29/14 11:46 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Blue Jay:

Anyway, I think those blackouts followed by bright lights, sometimes happening 2 times in a row, are the cessation of consciousness after equanimity. Not having access to jhanas makes this difficult, because basicaly I can only distinguish normal state vs dark night vs equanimity. Sometimes I recognise arising and passing.
This reminds me of the moments leading up to cessation.
From MCTB - MCTB+The+Three+Doors
the impermanence door aspect has to do with mind moments (the particle model), arising and passing, vibrations, understanding that from which all this arises and that to which all this returns, understanding the source of all reality, the universe strobing in and out of existence, and that sort of thing. When the Tibetans talk of non-existence, they refer to the fact that all experience is utterly transient (the wave model) and thus abides or exists not at all but is constantly in absolute flux and ephemeral. The impermanence door aspect relates to realizing what is “between the frames” of the sensate universe (formations), and it tends to have a “dat.dat.dat-(gone)!” quality to it.

You may be doing dat.dat without the rest...near miss.
It kinda sounds like you should chat this out with someone. PM if you're interested.
~D

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
7/1/14 12:54 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Hi, 

Okay. What I mean by narrative surrounding the objective, the intention, is ~ and I say this for myself, chiefly ~ if I take up a practice and aim to do it "well", or review it as "too narrow" or "not strong" (here, yes, I am borrowing from and appreciating your own account) then I am actually doing an comparison -- the comparison is not metta, it is comparison. If I want to do metta, then there is not doing some 'path-want' (though that could be the outset intention, which is released for the actual doing) nor comparison or evaluation (which are entirely natural activities with their own self-centric gratification) then I have to just do the intention. It's very easy for me to write this, and my own daily foibles telegraph the extent to which I am doing, versus thinking of other doings, like doing "comparison", doing "distraction", doing "goal" not the doing-attentively-just-the doing. (Now, I may go eat a Crispy Cream do-nut ;)

RE: Equanimity on a different level?
Answer
7/12/14 3:17 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
This is very weird!

The perspective I was talking about no longer works. It feels like trying to kick a ball that is no longer there; or like trying to climb a last step of a flight of stairs, when in fact the previous step was the last. Not only this perspective doesn't work anymore as another thing I usualy did in the begining of each sitting meditation no longer works: instead of breathing in and out relaxing the body, I would breathe in and out "releasing" attachment. It feels like it's no longer there.

I still have attachment and aversion but it's different. When compared to sayling, before 1st path and fruit, it was like a storm. After 1st path and fruit, it used to be like just strong winds and waves. Now it's just the waves that move and they're calmer. It feels like the "sensations&attachment" are elastic and manipulable, instead of being stiff. It's subtler.

Besides, I had for a few days like, deja vus trying to come out, but not being able to. I think I had this sensation around the time of 1st path. When it was 1st fruit, the deja vus were cascading. I had about 50 or more in a day. The deja vus have no importance in and of themselves, of course. I think it's the debris from the partial destruction of the fetters that is forcing its way out. At least it feels that way.

Is this second path? I feel super happy. I sit for 30 minutes to meditate and it feels like it was a good 2 hours session. No jhana _ I haven't worked enough for that, I think. And this is one of the several reasons I'm skeptical. It just seems too good to be true.

I know that Daniel Ingram, Mahasi Sayadaw and many other teachers don't separate path and fruit, but to me, it feels different. And I think the sutta pitaka supports this.

I have an intuition of how to make further progress into 3rd path, but I prefer that these changes are integrated first. Meaning 2nd fruition. So can you help me figure out what's going on?

PS: Dream Walker, I've tried to PM/chat but you didn't answer. Maybe because I wasn't specific about when to do it. I don't even know exactly how to PM in this interface. If you are still available to help I would really apreciate. emoticon