Stream Entry

Daniel Moretti, modified 6 Years ago.

Stream Entry

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/31/13 Recent Posts
In September of 2012, I endured the most powerful experience I have ever gone through. After noting and praying for 7 or 8 hours, I was lying in my bed with ridiculous determination to understand my own suffering. The three characteristics were becoming clearer. Energy rose within me, and I let it overcome me. My mind felt like it was being pulled out of my head by way of my forehead. I felt the presence of an intense void, and the thought arose: "This is me." That thought was the trigger- a sunami of bliss and joy washed over me. Then, as if someone had released a trap door beneath me, I felt a sensation of falling at high speed. My heart rate skyrocketed to at least twice its resting rate. Then, all the sudden, it was over-- as quickly as it began I found myself lying down in my bed in joyful equanimity.

The afterglow was there for months. People told me that they had recognized a change. So did I. I was enlightened! Of course, that delusion was quickly proven false as I fell into the dark night. Some months later, in early Spring, I was on a walk. I was going past a friend's house, when a shift occurred-- I was enjoying the view of i90 bridge over Lake Washington here in Seattle, and something ended. Within moments, something new began. I remember thinking something along the lines of, "was that it?" Afterward, everything glowed. The world felt as if it had an entirely different characteristic about it--a magical vibe, as well as an all-pervading sense that I was "home".

That's my claim to stream entry. Let me know what you think!
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Eric M W, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 288 Join Date: 3/19/14 Recent Posts
Hey Daniel, thanks for sharing your story. Some things that will help with verifying your claim--

Call up a fruition. What happens?

Do you cycle? What happens if you sit on the cushion and do nothing in particular? What does your mind do?

Incline your mind to jhana, what happens? 

Can you go into more detail as to what is "different" after this shift? What exactly makes others say that you seem different?

Thanks for considering these questions,
Eric
Daniel Moretti, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/31/13 Recent Posts
Eric M W:
Hey Daniel, thanks for sharing your story. Some things that will help with verifying your claim--

Call up a fruition. What happens?

Refer to my response to your question about just sitting.

Do you cycle?

Yes, I cycle. This was well over a year ago. At present, I cycle very rapidly-- what seems like every few days. This picked up for me after completing my first retreat a couple months ago. At that time of stream entry, my cycles were more along the lines of one week.

What happens if you sit on the cushion and do nothing in particular? What does your mind do?

My mind goes directly to the sense of "being"--a tingling and electric focal point extending from my gut to my crown extending outward into the world. My sense of awareness moves around, and feels the moment-- the room, my body's weight, etc. After some time passes, I encounter moments where my perception shifts, and the most recent life-changing insight suddenly enters my head.

Incline your mind to jhana, what happens?

I have not practiced a whole lot of jhana stuff, so my knowledge is limited, but I would best describe myself is capable of accessing soft-jhanas. My mind is so vipassana-trained that I generally end up noting without meaning to, and don't develop absorption of a single object. The times where I have bothered to focus myself toward jhana, I have seen pretty bright lights, and found myself absorbed in ways that I would only presume to describe as "soft".

Can you go into more detail as to what is "different" after this shift? What exactly makes others say that you seem different?

Happily. Firstly, I lost any sense of "doubt" regarding the dharma. Before this shift I had been attached to naysaying and skepticism-- this part of my ego became chopped liver-- its a simple distraction toward furthering myself on the path. Secondly, intrusive thoughts in meditation plagued me far less. Sitting in meditation changed from something I sort of dreaded to something I was very happy to do. In retrospect, this is because it was now so much easier to access the sensate field, which is where the action happens.

Most importantly, suffering was diminished. I was able to deal with/navigate with confidence situations and people that used to cause me intense feelings of pain.

Thanks for considering these questions,
Eric

Thanks for bothering to reply and I hope this clarifies some things for ya.
Daniel
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Jen Pearly, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Hi, Daniel.

Can you describe what the stage you were in was like when this shift occurred? Were you regularly seeing/hearing/feeling formations clearly, from being to end? Can you describe those?

Do you feel permanently different in any other way besides suffering less? For instance, how is the perception of self different from what it was before?

Exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the discontinuity? Can you describe those moments?

Exactly what did you see or experience in the moments when "something new" was starting?

Cheers,

Jenny
Daniel Moretti, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/31/13 Recent Posts
Jen Pearly:
Hi, Daniel.

Can you describe what the stage you were in was like when this shift occurred?

Hi Jenny, thank you for taking the time to work through this with me! I will admit that all of this is in retrospect for me as this event occurred well over a year ago. Thanks for baring with me!

Prior to setting out on this walk, I remember being frustrated. My practice seemed to be on repeat, and I had resolved myself to be more diligent. I could sense that I was suffering, but I had not fully seen what I was doing to cause this suffering. On the walk, I became equanimous despite these frustrations. The frustrations were there with me, but I had surrendered to them. I think that this is the subtle difference-- prior to this day I was determined to conquer these feelings as opposed to simply observing them.

Were you regularly seeing/hearing/feeling formations clearly, from being to end? Can you describe those?

At that time, I had taken to practicing something I will call an "awareness walk", a walk in which the practitioner endeavors to remain in the utmost awareness of the moment throughout the duration. In terms of vipassana, this boils down to awareness of "external" (I had not yet bridged the gap necessary to understand that thoughts and emotions were also objects) sensations-- sights, smells, sounds. On the walk, I observed countless "formations" arise and pass away. Smells would arise-- the dank scent after the recent Spring rain. Objects of vision would arise-- the view of the lake, or the color of flowers. Whatever came up, I would witness. Footsteps. I remember clearly witnessing the sensation of a footstep arise, then pass away, only to have its place taken by the footstep from my other leg as I pressed on up the hill. Panting breaths. Arising, passing away. Impermanence!

Do you feel permanently different in any other way besides suffering less? For instance, how is the perception of self different from what it was before?


I can recall an anecdote from a week or so after the "discontinuity" event. I was on another awareness walk. I was on another "awareness walk". Just before rounding the bend back to my house after the 3 or 4 mile trek, I remember witnessing a thought about my workplace arise. Immediately, I noticed that an emotion accompanied it. I felt the suffering that this caused. I remember seeing this unfold, and subsequently realizing that the belief I was holding regarding my workplace caused me to suffer in that instance. Simultaneous to this "witnessing", it was clear how this same process was occurring constantly in my life regarding myriad objects of frustration.

I think that this is the primary shift of the "discontinuity" event. After the "shift" occurred, I was constantly able to see this process unfold in my life. Thought->emotion->feeling->suffering. Attached to this process, I was suffering quite a bit. Unattached to it, at the gross level, I was suffering quite a bit less. Mind you, I had not yet seen this occur at the subtler level of sensations.

Exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the discontinuity? Can you describe those moments?

I will admit that, no, I cannot precisely recall at this time. I simply remember having reached a calm, coolness regarding my "dark night" frustrations. Finally I tried not avoiding them. Surrender.

Exactly what did you see or experience in the moments when "something new" was starting?

This is difficult to describe as it was a "sense" more than a "thing". I knew that this "blip" was something quite deep. That calm clarity I had gained on the walk served to pacify my recent frustrations. How could I let something so magnificent, benevolent, and loving as this world be contorted into an evil thing as if it was it that caused me to suffer? This was ludicrous, and I believed this so much that it clicked. Moments later: the "blip". Subsequent to that: a happy peace, and the thought, "was that really it?".

I hope that this answers your questions. Thanks for helping to vet my claim to stream entry!

Daniel
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Eric M W, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 288 Join Date: 3/19/14 Recent Posts
This is difficult to describe as it was a "sense" more than a "thing". I knew that this "blip" was something quite deep. That calm clarity I had gained on the walk served to pacify my recent frustrations. How could I let something so magnificent, benevolent, and loving as this world be contorted into an evil thing as if it was it that caused me to suffer? This was ludicrous, and I believed this so much that it clicked. Moments later: the "blip". Subsequent to that: a happy peace, and the thought, "was that really it?".

Let's hear more about the "blip," please. emoticon

Do you "experience" blips now?
Daniel Moretti, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/31/13 Recent Posts
Eric M W:

Let's hear more about the "blip," please. emoticon

Do you "experience" blips now?

Yes, comparable events "happen" regularly. They aren't hard to come by, now. After a little bit of sitting, and not focusing on anything specific (just sort of resting calmly in awareness), the switch flips. After the "blip" occurs, I feel sort of like I've been reset, if that makes any sense. Things that were unclear are now clear in relation to whatever suffering I've been encountering recently.

If I could describe the experience, it is as if the world goes out and then comes back into focus. I've also noticed times where I've had 3 blips occur in sequence (that happened more recently when I was meditating on no-self). After that, I felt unsettled, actually.

Interestingly, I was rereading Daniel's book, and came across these words in the "Fruition" chapter:

Aftershocks I have noticed after paths include but are not limited to: the visceral feeling that sensory reality is so intense that the nerves in one’s forehead and upper neck may not be able to handle the strain; the feeling that one has become diffused into the atmosphere without a center, purpose, function, sense of direction or even of will; a feeling of joy and gratitude beyond what is normally possible welling through one’s being; the sense of discovery of that which one has most needed; the profound sense of coming home; a quiet awe like the stillness after a great storm; and rapturous transcendent highs that make anything that happened after the A&P seem like dry toast. 

This actually sounds like the first event that I had described, which I was originally thinking may have been an A&P:

Energy rose within me, and I let it overcome me. My mind felt like it was being pulled out of my head by way of my forehead. I felt the presence of an intense void, and the thought arose: "This is me." That thought was the trigger- a sunami of bliss and joy washed over me. Then, as if someone had released a trap door beneath me, I felt a sensation of falling at high speed. My heart rate skyrocketed to at least twice its resting rate. Then, all the sudden, it was over-- as quickly as it began I found myself lying down in my bed in joyful equanimity.

I do distinctly remember a "blip" occurring, except it was more like the most still stillness that has ever stilled sort of sucked me in-- an intense void. Moreover, as Daniel says in his fruition description, my forehead felt as if it "may not be able to handle the strain", and I certainly felt "diffused into the atmosphere without a center, purpose, function, sense of direction, or even will"-- the entire world dissappeared in a way that knocked my socks right off. Moreover, the event settled a calm and equanimity on me that was very strong for a matter of months, all the way up to present day, 2 years later. My friends remarked that I had "chilled out", and "found a new calm".

So, perhaps the first event I mentioned was a fruition, and the latter was just a repeat of it? Thoughts?
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Eric M W, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 288 Join Date: 3/19/14 Recent Posts
First of all, your descriptions sound promising. It sounds like you did get stream-entry. Congrats!

Second of all...
So, perhaps the first event I mentioned was a fruition, and the latter was just a repeat of it? Thoughts?

The A&P Event often mimics the three doors to fruition, even the blip. However, the A&P tends to be thick, heavy, and intense (sounds like your first experience), whereas the three doors are silent and luminous. 

It's difficult to diagnose over the internet, but I would say that your first event was A&P mimicking the three doors, followed by DN, followed by EQ and stream-entry while walking and enjoying the scenery.
Daniel Moretti, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/31/13 Recent Posts
Eric M W:
First of all, your descriptions sound promising. It sounds like you did get stream-entry. Congrats!
Thank you! I am grateful to the constituents of the Dharma Overground. At the time I attained stream entry, I had not read Daniel's book. Since then, however, this has been the most wonderful and rich resource.

Now it's onward forward to the next claim to attainment. It seems likely that I've attained further paths, but I need to suss out how and when and so on before I begin making claims. Stay tuned, and thanks for your help, Eric!

Regarding my "verified" attainment of stream entry, if anyone else has questions, please let me know!