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Please Describe How You Experience the Three Doors

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Please Describe How You Experience the Three Doors Jenny 9/24/14 4:14 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Dream Walker 8/25/14 12:24 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Eva Nie 8/25/14 12:40 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Andy R 8/25/14 3:44 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 8/25/14 10:06 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Nick Green 8/26/14 5:04 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 8/26/14 9:01 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Nick Green 8/27/14 6:53 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Eric M W 8/26/14 7:56 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 8/26/14 9:07 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Daniel M. Ingram 8/28/14 11:17 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 8/28/14 11:07 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Eric M W 8/29/14 7:55 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Eva Nie 8/30/14 12:13 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 9/1/14 4:28 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Daniel M. Ingram 8/30/14 1:43 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 9/1/14 4:25 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/15/14 12:55 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Jenny 9/15/14 4:00 PM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Teague 8/30/14 9:20 AM
RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door Nickolas Grabovac 9/15/14 10:58 AM
Hi, all:

Editing is beginning. Because I'm serving as a kind of first reader-practitioner to encounter draft MCTB2, as well as its professional editor, I'm going to be asking Daniel clarifying questions as I read, probably many hundreds of them. One area that I think I'll push hard on if it is much like MCTB1 is the Three Doors chapter, particularly how the three doors present and are experienced. There are some sentences in MCTB1 that are unclear there simply because of ambiguous pronouns, which Daniel can easily clarify for me so I can edit them. But I'm also always wondering if anyone else even experiences the Three Doors exactly as he describes them. 

Like the universe-as-spinning-doughnut description. Really? emoticon

I know Daniel's been through these experiences thousands of times and is unusually hardcore about verifying his own experiences, but I'm still wondering whether (1) any other sensitive, rigorous post-pather experiences them differently, or (2) any other post-pather who experiences them much as Daniel describes them can offer a description in the post-pather's own words. I think No. 1 will help me as a critical reader and No. 2 will help me as an editor. 

Thanks!
Jenny

I'm not a microphenomenologist and these description are great but I've not experienced them besides the impermanence door -
Daniel Ingram:
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.
I already described this in the Formations thread.
I suspect that I went thru the dukkha door to get to 1st path and third but I was so sick at the times and dozing that I have no recollection of the actual event.
~D

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
8/25/14 12:40 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Oh, so the formations are the frames/instances of reality?  Is that correct?  As of yet, I had not read a description of the definition of 'formations' that I understood.  Some places liken formations to 'thoughts' which I guess makes sense if you are talking about an instant of thought which would be like a frame or flicker, but when I read they were 'thoughts' I was wondering why they had a special name for thoughts..
-Eva

With the exception of the dukka door, my experience of the three doors has been far from clear. I do not remember ever experiencing all the details that Daniel describes, nor ever clearly experiencing permutations. That being said, here's what I've noticed:

1) Dukka door: For me, this is really similar to the feeling I got when, as a kid, I used to tip a chair backward and balance on the back legs, and lean it back, further, further. The entry into the fruition feels like that moment when I realize the chair has started to tip backward. I get that sudden unpleasant surprise and shock and fight against it for a moment. It's fairly obvious in it's feel of "there's something wrong, stop, stop, stop." Another analogy would be to the moment when you're walking across an icy street and your legs shoot out and it's a tossup whether you'll recover or not.

2) Anicca door: The entrance to this sometimes feels like a strong back-and-forth wiggling in my forehead, sometimes like a bit of fluttering. I don't get this often at all.

3) Annatta door: Most prevalent for me. On a particularly strong fruition, I'll feel a sense of collapse to a point. Most of the time, though, I don't feel the entrace at all. On exit, I feel a full-body thump, kind of like running over a crack in the pavement at highway speeds, or a loud pop from a speaker. I imagine the thump coming from my body interpreting the sudden discontinuity between the before and after sensations. The stronger the thump, the more powerful the bliss wave.

Useful?

On exit, I feel a full-body thump, kind of like running over a crack in the pavement at highway speeds, or a loud pop from a speaker. I imagine the thump coming from my body interpreting the sudden discontinuity between the before and after sensations. The stronger the thump, the more powerful the bliss wave.

Hmm, this raises an interesting point of personal interest to me. I've experienced only one fruition (path fruition Aug. 8), and the restart of reality has to be the most unusual experience I've ever had. Basically "I" was not there, but awareness somehow included my awareness and was dislocated in and through every partical in the room. It was almost out-of-body experience, except it was not a particularly localized dislocation from self, if that make any sense. However, this sense of awareness was confined to the room I was in with other meditators. There was also a sense of zooming, inrushing of reality, so I get how that might seem like a thump.

When I was once again aware of being in my body, I felt almost physically numb and paralyzed. Maybe that was just literal shock, though. 

So I'd love to hear how people have experienced the reality reboot. I don't recall that this experience is mentioned in any particular way in MCTB1.

Going out on a limb here Jen, here is a copy from a post I wrote following a retreat last year when I believe I landed first path:
 
“On day 11 I went to bed after a day of sitting [in and around high EQ]. What was strange was that I felt quite scared, as though I was going to go mad. However, I just held the feeling for twenty minutes or so in kindly awareness and let it shift on. Next I fell into a kind of dream… on opening my eyes I saw an image of a window… next the image and everything with it seemed to fall away and rotate downwards with the creepiest sound (like Chewbacca falling down a plug hole)… something might have returned to ‘this’ side and then I remember no more. A short while later I thought I was awake and started rooting around in a cupboard for something I knew wasn’t there – like I was checking it was no longer there. Next I awoke with a great sense of peace in my body.”
 
The main clue that fruition had occurred was that over the following week I experienced constant cycling from A&P back up to fruition, some cycles whipping out in less than an hour with no input from myself. Hitting the dukkha nanas was often quite retching and it was a relief to soar back into equanimity only for ‘blip’ and the process would start again. I have no idea if the above quote has anything to do with what Daniel talks about in his Three Doors chapters (and even if it was the fruition event because other quite odd stuff was happening around then). It might be some straight up ‘scripting’ and I post with some reservation but that was the experience as it occurred.
 
As an aside, and only because your description of the ‘reality reboot’ reminded me, over the next couple of days following fruition, consciousness would shoot straight out of my head into the room I was in. When this first happened ‘I’ didn’t know anything (were ‘I’ was, who ‘I’ was, what ‘I’ was etc) other than a huge presence of fear. However, when it happened again I was much more relaxed and found it quite interesting (if still not a little odd)!
 
With best wishes,
 
Nick

Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember reading somewhere (MCTB? KFD? who knows) that the Three Doors are generally not very clear if one does not have strong concentration skills. It would seem that a lot of folks in this community are more insight oriented, thus not devoting as much time to high concentration states, thus resulting experiences of the Three Doors that are not all that clear.

There was a gentleman who used to post here before the First Great Schism, cmarti I believe, who had some pretty neat descriptions of the Doors in his old practice log. I think he's over at Awake Network now. But that's a political can of worms, as it were.

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
8/26/14 9:01 PM as a reply to Nick Green.
Interesting, Nick. Thanks for sharing this. If that event was the event, did it happen while you were literally asleep? It reminds me of the suffering door as described in MCTB.

Nick:
As an aside, and only because your description of the ‘reality reboot’ reminded me, over the next couple of days following fruition, consciousness would shoot straight out of my head into the room I was in. When this first happened ‘I’ didn’t know anything (were ‘I’ was, who ‘I’ was, what ‘I’ was etc) other than a huge presence of fear. However, when it happened again I was much more relaxed and found it quite interesting (if still not a little odd)!

Just for clarification--are you saying that this sort of thing always occurred after a "blip," upon reentry of reality? I think SE happened for me August 8, but I've not noticed any additional fruitions or any dramatic happening like this. However, I feel much different now than before the event.


MCTB says something to the effect that the Three Doors are not clearly perceived by most until they've experienced them many times. And I do think it says concentration has to be strong. 

The reasons I'm asking for other people's description are (1) to try to discern whether "everyone" really does see what Daniel describes if concentration and repetition is sufficient, and (2) reading the descriptions in other people's words may help with suggesting to or querying Daniel to make the descriptions as clear as possible. 

Good concentration and repeated experience of the Three Doors makes sense to me, which is why I posted the above with caveats. However, it was the experience as I remember and it was stand-out odd/creepy (especially the sound)!  In answer to your question Jen, I was in a sort of day-dream - that period in between full wakefulness and sleep - when the experience occurred.
 
The next day I also came to the conclusion that it presented like the suffering door in MCTB (even if it wasn’t). As to consciousness shooting out of my head, I can’t recall clearly if this happened after a ‘blip’ but just as two stand-out experiences around the time. It was just that your account reminded me of them.
 
Best wishes,
 
Nick

Speaking of the doors...

A sign of the times: recently I have had a number of doors in which I will see an iPhone screen and it will seem to have been swiped three times rapidly to the left and then everything vanishes and reappears. Amazing the things the mind take as object.

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
8/28/14 11:07 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I have had a number of doors in which I will see an iPhone screen and it will seem to have been swiped three times rapidly to the left and then everything vanishes and reappears. 

I hope that will work with a Samsung Galaxy. emoticon

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
8/29/14 7:55 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hey Daniel, while you're here, maybe you can throw in your two cents... Specifically, do you know why your very first experience of the three doors when you attained stream-entry was so clear? (I can't find your description at the moment, but it seemed to involve God on a treadmill...) Do you have advice for practitioners who have vague experiences and want more clarity? Why is skim milk cheaper than whole, when skim has an additional manufacturing step?

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
8/30/14 12:13 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
":
Why is skim milk cheaper than whole, when skim has an additional manufacturing step?"


In an effort to keep this a teeny tiny bit meditation related, your question is a very good example of how wrong assumptions lead to wrong questions which lead you even further from the truth.  Many questions cannot be answered truthfully because even the question contains one or more untruths.  In order to get to the truth, even basic assumptions hidden in the question must be carefully scrutinized.  In the case of skim milk, I assume you were just being funny here, and it would be easy to assume the answer is because manufacturers are jerks, but in fact skim does NOT have an extra manufacturing process.  Grocery store milk all goes through a myriad of processes that includes all fat being skimmed off of all of it.  For whole milk, some of the fat is later returned but not all.  So called 'whole' milk actually still has less fat than natural fresh milk would.  The extra fat that is removed and not returned is sold as cream which fetches a higher price than milk.  Skim is cheaper because it has less of the expensive stuff, which is cream.  That was an easy one, but I'll  just let Daniel answer all those harder questions..  ;-P
-Eva

I honestly have no idea why I can see phenomenology clearly except that I can. I also have focused on the minutia with an extreme interest, so that may have helped. Still, plenty have done that and they still don't notice the really fine details or have the visuals and things be that clear. 

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
8/30/14 9:20 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Speaking of the doors...

A sign of the times: recently I have had a number of doors in which I will see an iPhone screen and it will seem to have been swiped three times rapidly to the left and then everything vanishes and reappears. Amazing the things the mind take as object.


What was once a circular disk of mud in the Vissudhimagga is now an iphone flashlight kasina.  Will this be in MCTB2?

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
9/1/14 4:25 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel,

So how do you know that the way you experience the three doors is the way they really always present if one is paying sufficient attention? This is the kind of question that comes up for me a lot while I'm reading MCTB: "Is he talking about the way it must occur, or just the way it has occured for him?" In this example, is there anyone else you know or have talked to, or any scriptural authority, that allows you to imply that the three doors are the way you say they are in MCTB? MCTB sets people up to look for these things, after all, and the implication there is that if the three doors don't present this way, then one isn't getting them.

Jenny

Eva,

This illustration and correction about skim milk's being cheaper is right on the money. Unacknowledged assumptions abound, as red herrings do. One nun I used to respect at a Tibetan center told me that she thought untruths based on unexamined assumptions ought to count as lies.

Best,

Jenny

Hi Jen,

Here's how I experience the 3 doors. They have been very consistent for me over approx 50+ fruitions where I was actually paying close attention =)

Impermanence door:
The "background" suddenly shudders just prior to the fruition moment (the blip out)

Not-Self door:
Suddenly being sucked into a black hole.  A feeling of being rapidly pulled into a tiny point of nothingness.

Suffering door:
Feels like I'm walking around and then suddenly fall through the floor.  Has associated with it a creepy vibe.

Hope this is helpful!

Cheers,
Nick

Jen Pearly:
Daniel,

So how do you know that the way you experience the three doors is the way they really always present if one is paying sufficient attention? This is the kind of question that comes up for me a lot while I'm reading MCTB: "Is he talking about the way it must occur, or just the way it has occured for him?"

It's a good question. And even if one is paying sufficient attention and sees them, but sees them after having read MCTB, is it being scripted? Likewise with the Dark Night - does it really have to happen that way always or does reading MCTB set one up to experience it that way? I would argue that reading MCTB does heavily influence one's practice. However I wouldn't attribute it all to scripting. Rather I'd say, if you do X, then Y happens, regardless of whether you know about it in advance - yet reading MCTB gets you to do "X" reliably.

Anyway, I had a good amount of concentration right after stream-entry so I can verify that I recognize each of the following descriptions as something that happened to me:

* When the impermanence aspect predominates and is combined with the emptiness aspect, then the whole universe strobes three times quickly with something staring back at us as a minor aspect of that universe, and then it seems that awareness collapses into the space after the third gap, perhaps turning slightly towards the thing that was staring back.
* When the impermanence aspect predominates and is combined with the suffering aspect, then the three strobing moments feel wrenching, and the plunge into the gap feels fundamentally violating, like exactly the wrong thing to do.
* When the emptiness aspect predominates and is combined with the impermanence door, there are three clear and discrete moments of moving towards or sideways to (or perhaps focusing on) an intelligent seeing image staring back at us, except that there is nothing on this side. After the third moment, the illusion collapses in a very natural and pleasant way.
* When the emptiness door predominates with suffering as its second aspect, then a very strange thing happens. There is an image on one side staring back, and then the universe becomes a toroid (doughnut), and the image and this side of the toroid change places as the toroid universe spins. The spinning includes the whole background of space in all directions. Fruition occurs when the two have changed places and the whole thing vanishes.
* When the suffering aspect predominates and is combined with the emptiness aspect, again, the toroid thing happens, except that it can be quite distorted or cone-like. The universe can rotate up or down and away from us, so that the primary experience is of an image falling from this side, though with the hint that it might be coming back around to this side.

The only one I don't really recognize is the suffering + impermanence one:
When the suffering door aspect predominates with impermanence present, then the three moments in which the universe is ripped away from us are distinct. When the suffering door predominates, the experience is always a bit creepy.

The toroid thing is actually especially cool. It happened to me exactly as he describes. For me it was like I was on the inside of a vertical doughnut. The important part of the doughnut shape is, if you keep going forward along the inside, you get back to where you started. So I would zoom along the doughnut, but then I'd switch sides and zoom along the other direction. The point along the doughnut where I switched kept getting closer & closer to each other until the thing collapsed.

Weird stuff.

RE: From the MCTB Editor: Please Describe How You Experience the Three Door
Answer
9/15/14 4:00 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
@BCDEF, thanks for the testimony on the Three Doors as matching Daniel's descriptions! Yay! And WOW! Spinning-Doughnut Universe!

Can you describe how you experience the suffering + impermance one? 

Now that I read those descriptions here again (thanks for typing them out!), it is very evident to me that my one fruition was indeed emptiness with impermance as secondary aspect, which is just instinctively what I thought right after the meditation bell rang that day:
When the emptiness aspect predominates and is combined with the impermanence door, there are three clear and discrete moments of moving towards or sideways to (or perhaps focusing on) an intelligent seeing image staring back at us, except that there is nothing on this side. After the third moment, the illusion collapses in a very natural and pleasant way. 
Except . . . my "three [or four?] clear and discrete moments" were in looking at these blooming nimitta things arise and pass, arise and pass, and arise and pass. It was very slowed down and super clear, and then everything vanished. It was only upon reality reboot, after the cessation, that I experienced the "intelligent seeing image staring back . . . except that there is nothing on this side." And I'm certain that things happened in this order, with the cessation in the middle and the staring back thing during reality's coming back online. Dang, I would like to have some more fruitions so I can reobserve closely!

I wonder why I'm not having any additional fruitions. Hmmm. It has now been a month, and I've not noticed even a single additional fruition. But I do still feel "different," and I fell right back to A&P immediately afterward, and directly afterward and since then I have access to hard jhana states and even formless ones, which has been such a dramatic change for me. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. . . . Thanks for your time and energy in responding.

And thanks to you, too, Nick!

Jenny