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Diagnosis sought
Answer
7/16/14 4:33 PM
Just looking for some input about what this is...

Have only been meditating for seven months, once a day under half hour, no retreat experience.

Have had a couple of experiences immediately post-meditation that were sort of "drug like" - colors seemed intense, that sort of thing. Not much of this.

About a month ago in I had an experience during meditation where I began to percieve that my apparently focused attention to breath was really a string of very short chunks of time that had the illusion of continuity. I had read somewhere that we hold only very brief periods of time in our immediate consciousness, and this felt like a direct perception of that.

As I became conscious of this, I experienced a period of time where each of these fragments of perception would have a different quality. So I would stay focused on the breath, but from one moment to the next it would be like I was looking at different portions of the breath sensation, or from different directions, with increasing tempo. This can become somewhat nauseating and mentally exhausting. 

I feel like I can exercise a certain amount of control over this and/or let go of it and just return to a more normal POV. Sometimes.

All of this is complex and seems to lead at least potentially to fruitful inquiry re who is perceiving, what, from where. But it is a little disturbing in that it takes on a life of its own.

As I've got past the point where I have difficulty not being distracted by thoughts I am increasingly feeling itching and tension and general physical discomfort. But much less in the way of boredom, thinking about work, etc.

I can sort of project this onto the early stages of y'all's "map," although it get's to be a bit like people arguing about what the color blue looks like. What it's not like is any of the stuff I see in the media about why we should meditate. I'll occasionally notice myself in a relaxation state, for example, but this is not characteristic of what meditation is like or about in my experience!

Anyway, not sure where this is heading, but it is interesting. Advice welcome.

RE: Diagnosis sought
Answer
7/21/14 3:00 AM as a reply to Paul.
howdy there,
its always a risk to try to judge "where" someone is in their progress.  underlying your questions and descriptions though is clear progress and THAT is the point.  if i were to GUESS, i would say that your increasing concentration and the increasingly automatic or effortless nature of your sits as well as itching etc point toward the 3rd nanaor 3 C's and possibly A&P experiences if not an A&P "Event".

keep going be objective keep describing your practice in a thread here and have fun.

tom

RE: Diagnosis sought
Answer
7/21/14 5:23 AM as a reply to Paul.
Hey Paul,
Have only been meditating for seven months, once a day under half hour, no retreat experience.
I made it all the way up to Equanimity without much meditation at all, no retreats, and not knowing what the Progress of Insight was. Don't underestimate yourself. emoticon
Have had a couple of experiences immediately post-meditation that were sort of "drug like" - colors seemed intense, that sort of thing. Not much of this.
I'd say this is pretty common, at least for me. 
About a month ago in I had an experience during meditation where I began to percieve that my apparently focused attention to breath was really a string of very short chunks of time that had the illusion of continuity. I had read somewhere that we hold only very brief periods of time in our immediate consciousness, and this felt like a direct perception of that.
Very nice, I'd say this is either the third nana, the three characteristics, or the beginning of the 4th, A&P.
As I became conscious of this, I experienced a period of time where each of these fragments of perception would have a different quality. So I would stay focused on the breath, but from one moment to the next it would be like I was looking at different portions of the breath sensation, or from different directions, with increasing tempo. This can become somewhat nauseating and mentally exhausting. 
Sounds more like the third nana here.
I feel like I can exercise a certain amount of control over this and/or let go of it and just return to a more normal POV. Sometimes.
I've found it more fruitful to just "sit with what you've got." Don't try to change the way the meditation is going, just note along.
All of this is complex and seems to lead at least potentially to fruitful inquiry re who is perceiving, what, from where. But it is a little disturbing in that it takes on a life of its own.
Meditation taking on a life of its own is more 4th nana territory. And yes, it can be disconcerting, like you are being taken over by a powerful force.
As I've got past the point where I have difficulty not being distracted by thoughts I am increasingly feeling itching and tension and general physical discomfort. But much less in the way of boredom, thinking about work, etc.
Pretty clear third nana.
I can sort of project this onto the early stages of y'all's "map," although it get's to be a bit like people arguing about what the color blue looks like. What it's not like is any of the stuff I see in the media about why we should meditate. I'll occasionally notice myself in a relaxation state, for example, but this is not characteristic of what meditation is like or about in my experience!

Yeah, most people in our society talk about meditation in terms of relaxation, letting go of stress, increasing happiness, etc. Very secular and glossy. Those things are quite important in their own way but it's really not what the Buddha was talking about. Meditation is much bigger and more powerful than that. emoticon

My advice... when you get to the "chunky" breath, stay with it. Note the nausea and itchiness like any other sensation. Try really honing in on the chunks of breath, they are made of even smaller chunks.

RE: Diagnosis sought
Answer
7/21/14 9:37 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
I agree with 3C to very early A&P stuff diagnosis: quite likely those early stages, as you surmised.

RE: Diagnosis sought
Answer
7/23/14 8:38 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks for the response (to all). I'll go back to lurking now!