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What I do in EQ Teague 8/22/14 7:51 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Richard Zen 8/22/14 8:51 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 8/22/14 2:05 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 8/22/14 8:30 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 8/23/14 3:46 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Jenny 8/24/14 2:59 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Sweet Nothing 8/24/14 12:43 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 8/24/14 11:05 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 8/24/14 11:28 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 8/30/14 8:58 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Sweet Nothing 9/14/14 9:51 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 9/14/14 10:51 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 9/22/14 8:20 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 9/23/14 2:58 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Zendo Calrissian 9/23/14 11:14 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 9/23/14 10:10 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Jenny 9/24/14 12:47 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Dada Kind 9/23/14 2:28 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 9/23/14 4:17 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 9/23/14 6:29 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Jenny 9/23/14 7:06 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Jenny 9/23/14 7:00 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 10/5/14 10:10 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 10/20/14 10:24 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Mike H. 10/21/14 11:03 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Matt 10/21/14 11:11 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 10/22/14 9:59 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 10/22/14 11:05 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Dream Walker 10/23/14 12:06 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Mike H. 10/23/14 11:43 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Russell . 10/23/14 11:52 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 10/23/14 10:22 PM
RE: What I do in EQ John Power 11/24/14 11:04 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 11/24/14 9:04 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 12/20/14 12:10 PM
RE: What I do in EQ x x 12/23/14 8:25 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 2/8/15 9:37 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 11/30/15 8:03 PM
RE: What I do in EQ tom moylan 12/1/15 2:44 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Teague 12/2/15 6:53 PM
RE: What I do in EQ tom moylan 12/3/15 4:53 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Travis McKinstry 8/29/19 7:29 AM
RE: What I do in EQ Anicca Dukkha Anatta 8/30/19 11:04 PM
RE: What I do in EQ Travis McKinstry 8/31/19 12:07 PM
What I do in EQ
Answer
8/22/14 7:51 AM
Hey Dho, 
  I’m starting a thread to record my experiences in equanimity, to help my navigating of it toward stream entry.  I’ve been getting into EQ in my daily sits regularly and I feel like I’m edging close toward the unknown.  I’ve been in this situation before about two and a half years ago, but it slipped away as other things in life overwhelmed my mind.  For over a year, I’ve been “meditating” every day, but sometimes all it amounts to is sitting on the cushion and thinking  Which is not altogether a waste of time, but certainly not conducive toward enlightenment.  Now life has settled down and I have a renewed ferver toward finally getting this dang thing done.

For this first post, I’ll outline what a normal hour-long sit might look like:
  • Usually within the first few minutes I’ll start noticing A&P like experiences without any sign of the first three ñanas.  There will be light phantoms in the minds eye, pressure in the forehead/third eye, energy rods up the spine, bright tingling throughout the body.  There is usually no single dramatic A&P event.
  • The A&P stuff settles down 15 or so minutes into the sit and I enter a sort of foggy area.  Concentration is a little more difficult.  Body sensations are still apparent, but it’s a bit harder to focus closely.  There isn’t any strong dark-nighty stuff, except for maybe some tensions and knots in the chest/abdomen.  I can feel, hear and see vibrations, but they are a little inconstant during this phase.  I’m able to stay fairly equanimous through it all, but I do tend to get drowsy.
  • Somewhere between 20 and 45 minutes, there will be a subtle but noticeable shift into equanimity.  Everything becomes very clear and ordinary.  It’s like waves settling on an ocean, or like biking to the top of a hill and then reaching some easy coasting with a nice view, or like sitting down in a comfy chair after finishing all the dishes from a great dinner.  At first my mind is prone to wandering, but I’m able to catch it fairly quickly.  As this state matures, my concentration increases and my mind wanders little.  Steady, rapid vibrations are noticeable as sight, sound, and touch, and these vibrations hum along together.  I am also very wakeful.  I can sit very easily, and if I don’t have anything else to do in my day I’ll extend the sit past an hour.
Although the ñanas are apparent in my descriptions, I have to say that the symptoms are pretty subtle.   It would be hard for me to pick the stuff out If it weren’t for sitting retreats and having mind blowing A&Ps, horrible DNs and everything in between.  Overall my sits right now are kind of homogenous, with equanimity being the prevailing feeling tone.  A Teague from 3 years ago, would probably just think I was in EQ in the first few minutes of the sit, but current Teague knows better, I think.

I always regard my own diagnoses with a degree of skepticism.  When I’m in EQ, I’ll wonder if I’m not just in something pre-dark night, but when I try to practice my way forward, I don’t get an A&P event or fall into dissolution, I just get more equanimity. 
Any questions, comments, and advice are quite welcome.

As for technique, I've sat a bunch of Goenka courses, so body scanning has been my foundation, but I use noting a fair amount as well.  In EQ I sometimes do choiceless awareness too.

-T

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/22/14 8:51 AM as a reply to Teague.

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/22/14 2:05 PM as a reply to Teague.
Well if you are in EQ then it's time to become more familiar about it. Have you reread MCTB about it? Read this too - Knowledge_of_Equanimity_Stage_11
There is quite a bit of territory all wrapped up in EQ. It kinda seems in a way that you have to figure out how to meditate all over again in it sometimes.
Are you in low medium or high EQ?
~D

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/22/14 8:30 PM as a reply to Teague.
Yup, I’ve read them all, but they’re always good to read again.    

Reading Kenneth’s descriptions of low/med/high, I have to say that high sounds familiar.  I think I go through low and mid each time though, which makes sense.  But I certainly get to a point (maybe not every time) where thoughts really settle down, my whole sensory experience is opened up, and sitting becomes totally effortless.  All that stops me is that I’ve only carved out an hour for meditating and I have to go have dinner with my wife or something.  I’m going to start doing mini day-long retreats on the weekend, I think.

 
It seems like there are two modes to operate in during EQ:  
  1. Hard scrutiny, where I closely examine how the 3Cs apply to sensations, and root out any traces of clinging or aversion.  This feels active and usually involves noting.
  2. Open Awareness, where I merely keep my attention in the framework of my body, keeping one of the 3Cs in mind, but letting things unfold on their own.  This feels passive and might involve some gentle notes, such as “wandering” when my mind wanders.
These both feel effective and I use them.  Is one better than the other?

-T

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/23/14 3:46 AM as a reply to Teague.
Teague:
It seems like there are two modes to operate in during EQ:
Hard scrutiny
Open Awareness
These both feel effective and I use them.  Is one better than the other?
-T

If you are getting to high EQ I would do choiceless awareness and let the sensations present themselves to you with little noting as possible. Try doing nothing at all and let thoughts/mind get a bit dreamy and take the back seat...they will still operate on their own but there is a different quality that you are looking for that is not identifying with the mind at all. Let stuff just happen and gently notice a different state of deep relaxation...it's impossible to describe the state quality besides kinda just before sleep...if you are used to surfing the awake/sleep border it's kinda like that a bit. Any "doing" does not help. You can only "do" to get to high EQ then let go. See what happens. You might even try reclining a couple times and see if you can relax deeper into it without falling asleep.
Don't underestimate making resolutions to SE before a sit.
Good luck,
~D

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/24/14 2:59 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I agree with DreamWalker. I just went through EQ recently to what I (and others) suspect was SE, as you know. EQ was really a trickster. I did have to figure out that it was not only okay to "do nothing," but was actually required. So no noting. I just relaxed and let it show up. I often felt like I was slipping into daydream and not meditating well. I had to learn that it wasn't that I needed to change the meditation, but that I had to let the meditation do its inclusive thing to change me. Then I synced up with it.

Also, someone (DW?) gave me the suggestion of making a formal resolution to reach stream entry. The one and only time I did so was the night before SE happened. But I forgot about the resolution during the actual sit that led to cessation. And I think the forgetting is essential, helpful. The SE comes out of left field while you are focused on just watching in the here and now for the here and now--expecially passings away. I was watching those with fixed curiosity, not even remembering stream as a goal, when the discontinuity hit.

Best to you,
Jenny

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/24/14 12:43 PM as a reply to Teague.
Just be,
keep watching,
chill,
dont intellectualize so much!

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/24/14 11:05 PM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
Hey
 
I sat for several hours today and spent most of it doing nothing... or at least trying ;-) .  There were certainly times when I wasn’t drowsy, yet my mind would be kinda dreamy.  As you said Jen, it can seem as though I wasn’t meditating all that well, but I tried to just keep surrendering, yet with awareness.  Definitely feels like a paradoxical zone of practice.
 
In this state I periodically get little rushes of energy in the top of my head or feelings like my mind is contracting.  They have a faint aroma of A&P, but according to the explanation [url=]in this link[url=] they are normal.
 
I sat for quite a while today, and I admit that I was a little bored toward the end.  Or maybe a more accurate statement is that there was boredom present, but I observed it and could remain mostly equanimous toward it.
 
I think I’m on the right track and just need to keep doing more of the same.
 
Thanks for the help,
Teague

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/24/14 11:28 PM as a reply to Teague.
oh, just make sure you are in high EQ..otherwise this is totally crappy advice...strive to the spot you stop striving.
~D

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
8/30/14 8:58 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Because equanimity is relatively pleasant, my life has been relatively pleasant lately.  I remember years ago when I used to go on a hike with my journal, sit on a rock, and write about all my woes and the sufferings of life.  Not anymore.  I can go for a walk in the woods and just sort of flow; not worrying (much) or trying to force myself to enjoy it a certain way.
 
But no matter how much less suffering is present in my life now, it’s not less enough.  And no matter how much equanimity I have, it’s not enough to smother the subtle feeling of “COME ON ALREADY!”
 
Practice is my number one thing in life right now.  I’m fortunate that everything else is going well enough that life is sort of on auto-pilot, leaving my mind to be focused completely on getting stream entry (except for watching the occasional episode of Battlestar Galactica).
 
EQ is certainly a tricky little ñana.  Every other one I how to just power through, but there seems to be no powering-through EQ.  It’s like a coaxing or charming of the mind.  Tricking it into wanting something it doesn’t yet want and hasn’t yet sampled.
 
I use the doing nothing approach, but when nothing begets nothing, I wonder if I’m doing nothing ENOUGH.  Or maybe it’s that I’m DOING nothing, and the DOING is too much.
 
I’ll also wonder if I’ve strived to the point to stop striving, or if a little more striving is necessary, so I’ll occasionally strive some more before doing nothing.
 
It’s like jiggling a key in a sticky lock.  You know it’s the right key and that it’s opened this door before.  All you have to do is just jiggle it in the right way.

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/14/14 9:51 AM as a reply to Teague.
How are things now ?

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/14/14 10:51 AM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
Progressing by small degrees.  I still get into EQ in my sits every day, and what I think of as "high EQ" keeps getting refined and pushed further.  I had an interesting experience yesterday that would be well described as boundless space/consciousness, but I'm not claiming a formless jhana because I still had some subtle analytical thoughts as well as awareness of my body (therefore not formless), but if felt very much as though my sense of self became totally un-localized within my head or body.  It lasted for about 15 minutes.  I observed the state with curiosity but without noticable attachment.

I've been reading material from the Awakening to reality blog, and find Thusness's vipassana instructions of just trying to feel things as clearly as possible without trying to control attention to be helpful in the latter stages of EQ.  I'm finding that bare attention is a learnable skill, and each sit I'm able to "do nothing" more and more, as paradoxical as that statement sounds.

I know that this stage of practice can go on for an indefinite amount of time, but I do feel like I'm pushing my cutting edge a little further each day, so I'm trying to keep myself motivated and patient.  I'm signed up to sit a 30-day in January, but I only want to do it if I haven't gotten SE by then.  

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/22/14 8:20 PM as a reply to Teague.
Motivation is getting slightly harder to maintain – just slightly, but still noticeable. Practicing the dhamma is currently still my priority numero uno, but I have to put in some effort to keep my mind interested. On the cushion, this manifests as my mind wandering more frequently and having to be more diligent about noting it and bringing it back. I think I should read fewer of the debate-oriented posts on here.
 
Having worked my way up to and through EQ so many times now (basically every day for a month or more), I’m beginning to see patterns in EQ that I think must be the sub-ñanas.  I have a hard time describing them, because they’re so ridiculously subtle, but here’s a shot at the broad arc of it.
 
  • The initial shift into EQ ranges from pretty apparent to rather subtle.  Sometimes I’ll have a split mind where one half is attending to sensations and doing vipassana, and the other half is just screwing off.  From what I’ve read this shouldn’t really be possible, but I’ve definitely noticed progressing through the insight stages with a pretty wandery mind.  Sometimes when I notice the split mind and note it to an end, I’ll also note that it seems like I’m in EQ.  At this point I’ll practice vigorously to see if it breaks up into something else or if it refines into more EQ.
  • After some time my mind will get more settled with less wandering, and I let up on vipassana, but still try to control focus to some degree.  I’ll usually fall into a pretty sharp mind state while watching something specific like the breath or my head/chest.
  • This sharp mind state then dissolves and things become really ordinary.  The sense of everything vibrating becomes less pronounced, and feels like experience off the cushion.  It has a very strong feeling of “okay, this sit feels over; time to get up,” and at this point I usually do get up because it’s been an hour or more.  I thought this feeling was just from slacking off on the concentration I just had, but it’s a distinct feeling that comes almost every time, which makes me think it’s symptomatic of some sub-ñana.  
  • Today I kept sitting past that and the mind plunged back down into the vibrating stew of experience, which had a slightly different flavor than before.
 
 
I used to feel things like anticipation and excitement if some batch of sensations gave the impression of something big about to happen.  Those feelings are totally gone now.  It’s almost like you have to become equanimous to equanimity.
 
-T

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 2:58 AM as a reply to Teague.
Totally awesome breakdown...you got me laughing. Yep yep and yep.
You're lining up the nails and whacking them.
"equanimous to equanimity"...yes exactly....this is where the feeling of just drifting comes in for me...like I don't even care about my EQ anymore. You give up trying to control it and just finally let it do you.

The feeling of sit done totally sux....I still fall for it today....got mine...ho hum now what.....oh wait, I was gonna actually do something while meditating....what was it? oh ya get path...

Keep up the diligence and skill
~D

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 11:14 AM as a reply to Teague.
This thread has been very useful to me.  Keep posting!

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 2:28 PM as a reply to Teague.
When I was in this territory I threw nearly every technique I had at it. I experimented constantly with tuning the effort up or down. Though, sticking with my practice was probably the hardest lesson at this stage, and still is when I'm in EQ.

I agree with Jen on not underestimating the power of resolutions. Notice the subtle difference between desire/craving and resolve/will. Try making a strong resolve that resonates with you at the start of every sit. Become absolutely convinced that you'll get SE soon. Then, during your sit, act on that resolve by not wondering about progress. If you're truly convinced SE isn't far away, then there's no need to wonder.

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 4:17 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
I agree with Jen on not underestimating the power of resolutions. Try making a strong resolve that resonates with you at the start of every sit.
Yep, good advice Droll. Set your intention then fuggitabout it and practice like normal.
Tell your sub-conscious this is what you want. Ask for help from your higher self, buddhas, spirit guides/helpers, whatever has meaning to you. Do some magic. Do some hypnosis. Whatever has the most meaning to you.....then let it go and just practice diligently and with skill, and then let even that go.

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 6:29 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
From nother thread - http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1978584#_19_message_1973107
Daniel M. Ingram:
Or, one might be high up in Equanimity and yet not be able to land a Fruition. One might ask oneself, "What core process, subtle background or foreground sensations, or other patterns of experience are not yet brought into the clear light in the way I have done for so many objects?" In this way, one sees what one is missing and, having learned to see those objects naturally also, lands it.
I hope this is helpful,

Daniel

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 7:00 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Notice the subtle difference between desire/craving and resolve/will. Try making a strong resolve that resonates with you at the start of every sit. Become absolutely convinced that you'll get SE soon. Then, during your sit, act on that resolve by not wondering about progress. If you're truly convinced SE isn't far away, then there's no need to wonder.

Well said. Perfect. This is exactly how it worked for me, too. I really did just absolutely believe it would come, because I was clearly in High EQ. So craving it was anathema--although I do think during one sit I experienced a near miss because I tensed up around what was coming. Later, I knew it was coming and I didn't worry about when. That is key. I enjoyed just prolonging EQ, staying with it, day after day. I also experienced those periods of boredom in it. But, hey, even those at least aren't the Knowledge of Suffering, so EQ in itself is such a relief--why strain after anything else?



RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 7:06 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Yes, again. For me it was all the sensations that I normally think of as "me" that I wasn't seeing. And then, when I tried to, I grew weary of searching for a self. But as soon as I focused again on exterior objects--BAM, I had a sense of self! This was a key realization for me, and XX put it so well, subsequently--that subject and object create each other.

So good advice to remember--ask yourself what you aren't seeing clearly.

Best to you, Teague. So great to see how well your practice is going!

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/23/14 10:10 PM as a reply to Zendo Calrissian.
Zendo Calrissian:
This thread has been very useful to me.  Keep posting!

Glad to hear it.  Enlightenment is a team sport, after all.

Droll Dedekind:
When I was in this territory I threw nearly every technique I had at it. I experimented constantly with tuning the effort up or down. Though, sticking with my practice was probably the hardest lesson at this stage, and still is when I'm in EQ.

I agree with Jen on not underestimating the power of resolutions. Notice the subtle difference between desire/craving and resolve/will. Try making a strong resolve that resonates with you at the start of every sit. Become absolutely convinced that you'll get SE soon. Then, during your sit, act on that resolve by not wondering about progress. If you're truly convinced SE isn't far away, then there's no need to wonder.

That's basically been my MO.  It's kinda like a craftsman working in his shop; he'll grab and use this tool for a little bit, set it down and pick up that tool, then step back and contemplate for a minute.  Some of the tools I've been using, in no particular order: body scanning, noting, direct inquiry (who am I?), doing nothing, following the breath, searching for hidden processes, disolving chunky sensations, letting go, and probably some others.  Though it sounds eclectic and all over the place, my sits have actually felt pretty productive, and so I'm not super angsty about not getting SE right away... though it would be nice.

As for resolutions, I've taken and used this advice, but it always feels ingenuine when I make them.  Like I hear the thoughts making the resolution and have a no-self moment of thinking who the hell is making that and who the hell is listening.  I feel like the best resolutions are made in a desire-for-deliverance-like moment where you've just had enough, which I've also had in EQ.  Today in fact I had a good long sit, and at one point near the end I had a thorough feeling of "fuck it", and with it a feeling of striving dropped away that I didn't know was there until it dropped.  My immidiate awareness of it's absense brought it back within about a second, but now I know about it – the jig is up for that feeling of striving! 

Dream Walker:
From nother thread - http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1978584#_19_message_1973107
Daniel M. Ingram:
Or, one might be high up in Equanimity and yet not be able to land a Fruition. One might ask oneself, "What core process, subtle background or foreground sensations, or other patterns of experience are not yet brought into the clear light in the way I have done for so many objects?" In this way, one sees what one is missing and, having learned to see those objects naturally also, lands it.
I hope this is helpful,

Daniel

DW, you're like the archivist of the Dho, always trotting out the pertinent threads for someone.
Thank you, this is a good one, I had forgot about it.  I did some of that investigating today and uncovered some such sensations.  We can certainly get lulled into patters of feeling.  The trickiest feelings for me (and I think others) are in the head which localize our sense of self.  They are so tricky that it almost seems like a waste of time to untangle them at this point.  What do you think?

Jen Pearly:
Yes, again. For me it was all the sensations that I normally think of as "me" that I wasn't seeing. And then, when I tried to, I grew weary of searching for a self. But as soon as I focused again on exterior objects--BAM, I had a sense of self! This was a key realization for me, and XX put it so well, subsequently--that subject and object create each other.

So good advice to remember--ask yourself what you aren't seeing clearly.

Best to you, Teague. So great to see how well your practice is going!

I actually had some success in rooting out some self sensations today.  I used to try the direct inquiry method of asking "who am I" and I would get some Teaguey feelings in the chest and head and then I could vipassanate (yes, I just verbed that noun) those.  But up in EQ, things are quieter and when I ask "who am I", I get crickets.  They don't respond to being called to in EQ, it seems; you have to go in search of them.  I wish I could remember the successful example I had from my sit today, but I can't.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by exterior objects?  By that, do you mean opening your eyes (cause I know you do that)?  Would you not get the sense of self from focusing on your foot, say, because it's part of "you"?

Thanks everyone,
T

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
9/24/14 12:47 AM as a reply to Teague.
Can you elaborate on what you mean by exterior objects?  By that, do you mean opening your eyes (cause I know you do that)?  Would you not get the sense of self from focusing on your foot, say, because it's part of "you"?

Yes, I did open my eyes softly (in a candlelit room) and gaze at the carpet. But it works with that "nada" sound too--the layers of different pitches, tones, and frequency you can "hear." And, by the way, I could look at my foot or leg in High EQ and have the peculiar sense that it was something other, object, and this sense would produce this bounce back to a sense of self. Something very odd is going on with the subject-object split! Pretty wild stuff!

Enjoy,

Jenny

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
10/5/14 10:10 AM as a reply to Teague.
Still sitting.  Still in Equanimity.  But I've been getting some interesting off-the-cushion effects:

- I can usually at will shift into a kind of no-self mode where I am just watching my body doing things.  There is still a sense of self in my head, but it isn't the doer.  It's amazing to watch how skilled my body is at doing things like driving or making coffee.  I don't even know when it's going to shift gears, or how it's going to move its hands in order to make a turn.  It also happens sometimes when I'm speaking and not in control of what's being said.  This mode is pleasant.

- I can also usually at will, shift into a panoramic vision mode, where my sense of being in a body disappears and I'm just a little node of consciousness floating through space as I go about my day.  This isn't an infinite consciousness mode, because it stills feels like there is a center-point.  I can't imagine what it would be like if the center-point vanished.  Sounds cool.

- As I mentioned in another thread, I've figured out how to relax my cranial muscles with a little effort, but also at will.  I have to be doing something that's not overly engaging, like reading or driving.  I've been experimenting with it, seeing if I can relax the muscles and try to keep them relaxed for as long as possible.  One interesting thing is that once I've relaxed them, I can't re-tense them just by will; something has to grab my attention in such a way that they re-tense on their own.  This makes me think that my ability to relax them is actually an ability to relax the mind, which in turn relaxes the muscles.

-T

-T

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
10/20/14 10:24 PM as a reply to Teague.
Okay, I have an experience I’d like to recount from my sit just now. I’ve actually had three of such experiences in recent history; one tonight, one last night, and one about 2 weeks ago.

The experience is this: A ways into my sit when I felt that I’m far within the realm of equanimity I feel my mind/awareness sort of contract very quickly (like in milliseconds), and then instantly it feels as if a there was a mode shift where the blackness in my visual field is blacker and more spacious, my meditative tinnitus is gone for a few seconds before fading back in, and I’m left with a feeling of WTF.

When I read the description back myself, I think that it sounds a lot like a fruition, but when I actually experience it I’m not that convinced.

I had a very similar experience last night, and one about two weeks ago, but that one I was just sitting on the couch and doing a few moments of eyes-closed awareness.

My state after the experience isn’t all that different than before. If I keep on meditating it takes a few minutes, but I eventually get back to what seems like familiar EQ.

To give a little more historical scope, the first time I experienced something like this was two years ago on retreat and it hit with much greater force, like getting struck with a mental lightning bolt.

So, WTF?

-T

Edit:  I want to add one more elaboration.  If two years (or even 6 months) ago I were to have woken up up with my current mind state I would have been fairly surprised to have found it so pervaded with equanimity and ease.  I still get annoyed and impatient, but nothing like the old days.  This state of mind has come on slowly though, not it a dramatic flash of insight.

RE: What I do in EQ
Answer
10/21/14 11:03 AM as a reply to Teague.
What's up Teague?  I am not claiming to be any farther along these paths than you are, but these equanimity experiences are very interesting to me.

How do you compare your recent experiences to the descriptions of path moments where there is 'no one there' or 'no passage of time' etc. ?   I think this is a very hard question though - i.e. are you able to describe the exact moment of fruition or are you more aware of the moments leading up to it, and after it?? 

For instance, is there a 'rebooting' afterwards (see the post on the Hamilton Project).  Perhaps someone else could chime in on those distinctions.

Have you had any 'bliss waves' in the hours after any of these experiences?  That is another experience that is mentioned, for instance, by Ayya Khema.

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/21/14 11:11 AM as a reply to Teague.
Thanks for all the careful reporting Teague.  Your post is an example of a post that motivates me to sit.

Matt

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/22/14 9:59 PM as a reply to Teague.
Last night I had an interesting experience.  I was sitting for a half hour just before bed.  Some minutes into the sit, there was a very quick bright flash.  As I sat wondering what it was, I could feel and hear a low rumbling kind of like thunder.  And then as it started to drizzle outside, I realized it was just thunder and lightning.  emoticon

@ Mike:  I would say that the experience could reasonably match descriptions I've read, except that there was no bliss wave, and that the "rebooting" was subtle.  There was certainly no passage of time, because one moment things were one way, and the very next moment, things were another way.

I'm still just operating as a pre-path practioner until evidence suggests otherwise.  It really is crazy how subtle your attention needs to get to catch all the tricks your mind plays.  It was in my sit either tonight or last night that I began to notice how my mind was reacting to the desire for stream entry.  On the one hand, I know it's a desire that I should let go of, but on the other hand, the more you TRY to let go of it, the more it's there.  If I feel some batch of sensations that feel unique and progress-oriented, a part of my mind will jump up and look out for a fruition.  But then another layer of my mind will catch that and try to push it aside and just observe.  But what I'm seeing now is that I can't just sweep that first reaction under the rug.  I need to pull it out and take it as object.  But that's not always easy.  Sometimes the desire for stream entry doesn't even present as a thought; it's just a vague feeling hiding somewhere in the folds of my mental activity.

I have one other observation to report.  I think I finally know what people mean when an object is aware of itself, or that awareness is simply in the object.  I noticed this strongly while watching the breath tonight.  It didn't feel like the breath was being observed.  The breath was just there as a phenomenon presenting itself.  It's one of those things that I couldn't imagine while reading descriptions, and now that I've seen it I can't quite describe it.

@Matt
I'm Glad!

-T

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/22/14 11:05 PM as a reply to Teague.
I must sound like the boy who cried Fruition!, but I just had another suspect event.  This one was even clearer.  I was kinda zoning out just a touch, and then there was a really fast flicker of two or three beats, and then some kind of immidiate phase change like I described before, but this time there was a bit of a bliss wave, and it felt like I was dumped down into A&P.  The flicker before the phase change is what struck me, as it was the first time I've seen it, and it matches what I've read for the Anicca door.

Anywho... off to bed.

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/23/14 12:06 AM as a reply to Teague.
I am assuming you were in high eq when this happened and that you set an entention to see this clearly?
Sounds interesting....
~D

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/23/14 11:43 AM as a reply to Teague.
Teague:
I must sound like the boy who cried Fruition!, [. . .].

I'm sure many people have had the same feeling themselves. emoticon  The good thing about the 'wait one year before officially diagnosing' tradition is , it gives you time to see these things play out. 
Sometimes I think of the line in MCTB, where Daniel says that there is sometimes a 'near miss'.  or Sayadaw U Pandita (I believe) talks about a bird released from ship, looking for shore and either finding it or turning back.  I wonder what it feels like, when, metaphorically, the bird is out looking for shore and almost finding it.  I'm not saying these apply to you, but they are just interesting comments about this general stage of practice.  I don't profess any certainty here either.  Please let us all know how things continue.

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/23/14 11:52 AM as a reply to Teague.
What is it like when you sit now?  Report please? emoticon

RE: What I do in EQ
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10/23/14 10:22 PM as a reply to Russell ..
@ Dreamwalker: Yes, in equanimity, though when I sit before going to bed I’m just kind of grooving and not really that analytical, so I don’t know where in EQ I was. If it was indeed a fruition, I’d presume it was high EQ. You did advise me to set an intention to see it clearly. I forgot to do that, but I saw it clearer anyway.

@Mike: What’s interesting is that I feel rather matter of fact about it. If they’re fruitions, cool; if not, okay. I’m not sure if I know what a near-miss is. I thought that I’ve had them, but then I became unsure. I reread Daniel’s description of the three doors in MCTB last night after that sit, and he describes the Anicca/anatta door as being like a dat-dat-dat-(Gone), and that’s almost exactly what I experienced last night. The other stuff he mentions in that chapter is real trippy and I did not notice any of it.

@Russel: Sat for 90 minutes after work today. I had a feeling tone of equanimity when I came home from work, but by the time I sat it was very much A&P/ second vip.jhana. Upon sitting and closing my eyes, I could very quickly tune in with the tingling of sensations and notice my attention kind of jiggling around. My mind was prone to wandering, but a part of it was staying with experience and corralling it back into practicing using both scanning and noting. After some minutes, some background edginess and buzzing started to arise with my attention still bouncing around. I equate this with the third vipassana jhana. I was in this mode for a while, feeling a little unenthusiastic, until I decided I didn’t want to end the sit without reaching EQ. I was able to buckle my concentration down and practice my way up to EQ at around 60 minutes, and at that point I relaxed and just gently noticed things. I think I got up into mid to high EQ, characterized by a quiet mind and rapid, yet somehow pleasant vibrations. I was close to the state in which the other “events” happened, but I think my thinking about it too much prevented it.

I may sit for a little bit again before bed.

RE: What I do in EQ
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11/24/14 11:04 AM as a reply to Teague.
Teague, how are you? How is your practise?
This is an interesting thread and I think it can really help people who are in EQ.

RE: What I do in EQ
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11/24/14 9:04 PM as a reply to John Power.
Hey,
  Yeah, I've been a bit silent lately, but I've still be sitting as much as ever.  I guess I ebb and flow when it comes to posting, and not for lack of some interesting updates.

I've actually talked with two teachers recently who practice and teach in the pragmatic dharma world, and they both thought it sounded likely that I've had stream entry; either recently, or this other event that happened some time ago.  When I talked to them, I thought, "Well, cool.  I did it."  But something didnt' feel totally authentic.  I've certainly had some noticable changes in my default state of mind that have solidified within the last few months, but there are some other pieces from the stream entry puzzle that are abscent, namely the facility for jhanas.  So I kind of have a, "if I have it, cool; if I don't fine", because either way, I want to keep going further.

One thing that has changed since those events in my recent posts is that my craving (in all its subtle and not-so-subtle forms) for stream entry has almost completely dropped.  So that's been nice.  I feel that I can sit in equanimity now and really soak it up.   It's a truly peaceful, enjoyable state that feels rejuvinating when you're not grasping for insight.  But there is still the feeling that insight is just on the edge of my awareness, like when something is on the tip of your tongue.  But if I strain for it, it just fades farther away.

My plans for my next retreat have changed a little.  I was going to sit a 30-day Goenka in January, but I've decided to tell the powers that be that I haven't been totally faithful to the practice, which is prerequisite for sitting their long courses.  (If any of you are secretly reading this, Hey!)  Instead, I'm going to sit a self-course at Culadasa's center down in Arizona.  It's not totally a self-course, because I'll have interviews with the teacher, but I'll be accountable for my own schedule, which sounds nice.  Plus I'll finally be able to do walking meditation on a course.

So that's what's new.  I'll try to post more updates here again now that I've been reminded that people are interested.

Thanks,
T

RE: What I do in EQ
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12/20/14 12:10 PM as a reply to Teague.
The title of this thread is “What I do in EQ.” Though things have changed, it’s still a good theme to stick with.

What I used to do in EQ is different from what I now do in EQ. The actual practices are quite similar, but the underlying goal has taken a sharp turn. What I used to in in EQ is strive for stream entry, and used whatever mental gymnastics I thought would get me there. These maneuvers were veiled in the guise of bare awareness, letting go, equanimity, and such. But whenever some batch of sensations would swell into something that looked like a buildup, my craving for SE would rear its head waiting to see what happened. This would happen despite knowing that this was just ego, and self, and probably counter-productive, but there was nothing that I could do about it. The craving had to get burned up all on its own.

And it did. Toward the end of October something changed. It might have been stream entry, and a couple teachers have suggested as much, but I’m now in a place where it doesn’t matter to me. What I now do in EQ is much closer to what I was intending to do all along, which is simply investigate the nature of experience. There isn’t the deep-seated feeling that all I have to do is coax my perception in just the right way as to provoke a shift. That’s an assumption, and practice has been has been mostly free of (apparent) assumptions. My goal is still awakening, but that’s big and nebulous enough as to not get in the way of unraveling sensate experience.

Zooming in a bit more, here’s what has happened in my actual sits. For a few weeks after the change, my motivation to sit was not as strong (but not diminished completely). I would try to sit about an hour and half each day, but if I only got 45 minutes, that was fine. Sits are usually pretty peaceful, but I didn’t always get into EQ. After lagging a bit, I realized that life is a little bit easier when I do actually get up to my cutting edge on a daily basis, and so my motivation got stronger again.

Without the feeling of striving, it seems like my perception has gotten clearer. I can stick with an object longer and it seems like I can tease apart what is actually going on. It’s an interesting process to watch. As a comparison, when we use our eyes to look at what’s in front of us, it’s not difficult to see: “That’s a tennis ball, next to a yoga block, next to a foam roller, next to a bookshelf with these books on it…” But our mental eyesight isn’t that good. I’ll observe the process of thinking and feeling like a thinker, and try to see what creates that feeling. But I have to squint, relax, zoom in, zoom out, and whatever else to see what’s going on, and it still doesn’t always become clear. Sometimes is just feels like my perception isn’t clear enough yet to see some things, like not being able to read the bottom line of an eye test no matter what you do.

Another practice that was suggested to me and I’ve been trying is to look at micro sensations and see how they create micro reactions in our mind. It’s basically looking at dependent origination. Our senses “contact” objects in the world, and feeling arises, and from feeling, arises craving. When I’m not paying attention, most feelings just seem neutral, but if I look closely I can see that most sensations do actually tip the scale ever so slightly toward pleasantness or unpleasantness, which then triggers a mental reaction of craving or aversion. By doing this I’m beginning to see how macro feelings and cravings are simply made up of micro ones.  According to the Goenka tradition (and I think Buddhism at large), if you can observe feelings within the 3 Cs framework, then what arises is not craving or aversion, but wisdom.

One last observation I’ll share is that all of this deep investigation I’m doing, I’m only able to do in Equanimity. Something happens when you cross the threshold into the 11th ñana that just makes everything so much easier to see. Every other ñana seems to have a strong theme that overpowers clear perception. That’s at least my current opinion.

That’s all for now.

-T

RE: What I do in EQ
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12/23/14 8:25 AM as a reply to Teague.
Good stuff!

RE: What I do in EQ
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2/8/15 9:37 AM as a reply to x x.
Things keep changing and I keep feeling different.

I went on retreat at the beginning of January and one of the takeaways I had was that my concentration actually wasn’t all that good. It seemed that most of the times I had reached states of high concentration, they were merely incidental to having reached certain ñanas, particularly EQ. Practicing vipassana can be a brute force endeavor that corrals my mind into compliance, but when simply following the breath I have a much harder time doing that.

With this in mind, I spent about three weeks practicing concentration by following the breath, without any intention toward vipassana. I have to say, I didn’t fare so well. Maybe there are other factors at play, but those three weeks seemed to prove my conclusion that my concentration isn’t all that good.

I did notice one interesting thing during that time. Since I wasn’t doing vipassana, I was no longer reaching EQ on a regular basis. I had come to sort of rely on getting to the 11th ñana daily in order to maintain that calm peaceful feeling off the cushion in my day-to-day activities. For many months, it worked. But when I was no longer doing that, I noticed that there was now an unconditional equanimity that was with me regardless. It has the same sort of feeling as the 11th ñana, except that it seems a little deeper or more foundational, rather than just a state.

My thinking is that this is an example of how the seven factors of enlightenment keep getting stronger and stronger as we progress along the path.

The other day I decided to start practicing vipassana again. I’ve actually been having difficult time with that too, so maybe there are other factors at play. But it’s all good; I’m equanimous.

:-)

RE: What I do in EQ
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11/30/15 8:03 PM as a reply to Teague.
As far as I'm able to tell, I just got into EQ for the first time in about 9 months.  It feels like reuniting with a good friend.

:-)

RE: What I do in EQ
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12/1/15 2:44 AM as a reply to Teague.
hi teague,
nice to read you again.  i just read several of your back posts and can relate to much of what you so eloquently write.  it really seems that equanimity is not only a great place to hang out but is also productive for you so congratulations that you two have reunited.

thanks for the inspiration

RE: What I do in EQ
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12/2/15 6:53 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Thanks Tom.

I got there again.

Now that I may be getting to Equanimity with some regularity, I should consider the topic of this thread again.  I wrote about this before, but what I used to do in EQ was try to get stream entry.  A lingering effect from a year ago is that I no longer have any apparent craving for paths or fruitions.  Now meditating in EQ feels like going to the spa.  I've found that getting to EQ on a near-daily basis swings my overall feeling-tone to that side of the spectrum.  And that just makes life so much nicer.

Incidentally, I think that this attitude toward meditating in EQ is actually conducive to progress.  When you go to the spa, you don't try to enjoy your expeience in a certain way; you just relax and pay attention.  And that is a good piece of advice.  Any time something interesting happened in EQ was when I finally stopped wondering and wanting something interesting to happen.  

I've spent some time thinking about what was going on these last 9 months.  I still meditated nearly every day for an hour or so, but there was never any experience that I could place on the progress of insight.  Part of it is that I became busy and distracted by a new job and getting a puppy.  Maybe I'm just ripe for another upswing.  I've also wondered if there were some macro-cycles going on under everything, but combing my experience has not yielded any strong evidence.  Oh well.

-T

RE: What I do in EQ
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12/3/15 4:53 AM as a reply to Teague.
Hey Teague,
this is really great to hear and parallels so much of my experience too.  I am able to sit these days (or not) but it is simply a great place to hang out.  The ease with which I climb to EQ is ridiculously easy and when there I can decide to just hang out in a more jhanic way or to investigate or to try to push the envelope in a variety of ways.

i too have attenuated fixation on paths and goals.  i say attenuated because those desires are still there but not distractive.  my focus these days is really on genuine understanding, picking apart the sankaras and their offshoots.

one stumbling block for me at this level is that during a sit, some of the shifts bring me to places of ambivalence where, in order to continue investigation, i really need to make a small commitment to continue.  a specific commitment beforehand definitely helps.  if i don't intentionally commit, before or during, its very easy to just zip into Ignorance Life Mode and go about my day.

anyway.  i look forward to your reports.  have fun

RE: What I do in EQ
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8/29/19 7:29 AM as a reply to Teague.
What an interesting thread. I know it’s old, but I’m hoping that me commenting on it will reunite some of it’s old authors and contributors.

Were you ever able to confirm whether or not that event was Stream Entry?

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8/30/19 11:04 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Thanks for bumping the thread Travis, such an interesting thread and so relevant for me.

It inspired me to sit formally after 3-4 days. Idea of resolution to attain stream resonated so perfectly. Seem to be swinging between craving (mildly) for SE to forgetting all about it. Everything seems fine (not great) and wanting / craving for anything and trying to put effort feels kind of pointless ? Small ? 
Mind may have given up illusions of control but still is nosey , grasping at everything. Never doubted meditation skills the way doubting them right now. Refocus to understand the stage (low/mid/high Equanimity) and continued practice with a resolution to attain SE is the way forward for me, thanks again to Teague / Travis for bringing that in focus (just what was needed right now for me).

Metta,
Anicca

RE: What I do in EQ
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8/31/19 12:07 PM as a reply to Anicca Dukkha Anatta.
I know right?! I’m glad it’s bringing you some insight into your practice. 

Im definitely going to use that tool of resolving to hit SE before a sit. It’s got me considering that I should also dedicate my session, after every sit, to the benefit of all beings. Can’t hurt!