Shift to temporary continuous flow

Rodrigo C, modified 7 Years ago at 9/2/14 6:46 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/2/14 6:46 PM

Shift to temporary continuous flow

Posts: 19 Join Date: 3/20/14 Recent Posts
Hello,

I've been meditating seriously for over a year now, and my best guess is that I hit SE about 6 months ago. I've experienced some noticeable shifts in my practice since then. Each shift seems to make the practice easier on one hand, but subtler, so harder to keep track. Maybe they have something to do with middle paths, but I'm not really sure about anything.

Lately I've been interested in emptiness and direct path. I was watching Greg Goode interview in BATGAB, and he said something about how the memory of a thought created an illusion in time, as if that thought existed somewhere else but in present awareness.

Later that day I went for my daily walking meditation (my main practice, about 45min/day). Near the end, when I was more into the practice, I was walking toward a signpost and started to try to see the relationship between my perception of the signpost and the immediate memory of the signpost.

So I experienced an alternation between these two: perception, memory, perception, memory, etc.. In a few seconds that alternation started accelerating up to the point where it flipped into a continous flow of perception. I thought it was weird, specially because everytime my practice goes deeper, the "perception flickering" tends to be more noticeable, but in this case it was replaced by something continuous-like.

I remained in that state for a while, but I didn't notice when it went away, I just realized after I wasn't in it anymore. That was a few days ago, since then I've discovered that I'm able to replicate the experience with some effort (it just feels a little weird).

So, is it meaningful? Should I pursue it, ignore it, avoid it?

Thanks for any help.
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago at 9/3/14 12:46 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/3/14 12:46 AM

RE: Shift to temporary continuous flow

Posts: 1656 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
It's a good practice to look for the present moment, though what you had there was an impermanent concentration state.  I like how Greg describes it.

Here's a good dharma talk on time:
http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11929/
Rodrigo C, modified 7 Years ago at 9/4/14 10:14 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/4/14 10:14 AM

RE: Shift to temporary continuous flow

Posts: 19 Join Date: 3/20/14 Recent Posts
Richard Zen:
what you had there was an impermanent concentration state.

Thank you for your answer and for the suggestion.

Is it a "generic" concentration state? Can I use it to enter jhana?

I haven't been able to enter any jhana consistently, although I recognize the general features of the strata (as KF puts it). In Daniel's numbering I usually play around 11.4.5, 11.4.6 and 11.4.7, trying learn to distinguish them.

Can I use that state to improve my practice in any way?

Thanks again.
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago at 9/4/14 3:26 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/4/14 3:26 PM

RE: Shift to temporary continuous flow

Posts: 1656 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
I don't think it's generic.  The jhanas have distinctions and you have to remember the characteristics when you get out of them:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=9_Jhanas#The_First_Jhana:_Pleasant_Sensations

Concentration states are good for intentions.  Put a daily goal you want done and go to the highest jhana you can get and then move with your intentions.  Use the concentration states in the 7 factors of awakening to balance yourself and to reduce agitation.    You can use concentration state for metta practice or use metta practice to make it easier to go into jhanas.

The insight practice instead deals with deconditioning habits.

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