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High Equanimity to SE

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High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/17/14 5:42 PM
Past Monday, I reached equanimity. It felt like everything is great and that I'm going to feel that way all the time.
The desire for meditation has significantly decreased.
But then I remembered the insight stages and that I need to push to get to SE.
I've been fooled 2-3 times like this.
I've some questions about this stage.
Do I need to avoid the Jhanas and if yes how to do that? They do make me drowsy afterwards and am like a cat on catnip.
My usual practice is vipassana, and I usually practice 1-2 hours a day and of course during the day I do incessant noting. 

What I realize is that in my practice lately there is slight pain / pressure in the middle of my head and when it arises the eyelids sort of squeeze in.
This happens a lot of times. Approximately 5-6 times during a session.
The sort of energy bursts that I was having have stopped.
I try to figure out what is it about the stage that makes it equnamity and it is usually the calibration of the sensation of the body. As for vibrations, I can't notice, I just experience the conciousness move around involuntarily.
Any advice at this would be appreciated.

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/17/14 6:01 PM as a reply to John.
Hi John: It's counter intuitive because everything feels fine, but if you want to progress to stream entry practice as much as possible until you hit stream entry. Having read Daniel's book I took his advice and upped my practice time to five or six hours a day, which did the thing fairly quickly over the course of a couple weeks. Noting was my main practice, but I also did shamatha, perhaps for 2 or so hours a day. Be well.

Bill

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/18/14 10:56 AM as a reply to John.
Can you elaborate on what make you think it's equanimity? I'm asking this because I'm personally re-evaluating where I am in the stages, considering perhaps that I am back in the A&P but there something about the progression that make it map with the description of equanimity but not quite. So I am looking at other people experiences to identify the important markers to make the distinctions.

when you talk of Jhanas, do you master hard jhanas or hit formless realms?

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/18/14 5:19 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Hey Simon,

I think it is equanimity because of immidiate lack of motivation for meditation.
But that's not all the body reacts differently as well, in pervious stages, there would be tension in the body
like the abdomen would tense up in and it would feel like the body is trying to break through something.
Afterwards that stopped and meditation is much calmer, though there is still some pressure in the head area
which appears and disappears. 
Additionally in previous stages there were some incontrollable body twitches. Once when I was notin while in the cafeteria
there were forceful rapid exhalations. That lasted around 3-5 minutes. 

I could be wrong of course and I've been on the path seriously for only 5 months.

Back in A/P, I felt I was pretty sure I was enlightened. I had insight into no-self and it changed meditation forever for me.

As for Jhanas, I can only get to soft jhanas and I don't have acess to hard jhanas or formless realms.

Cheers.

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/19/14 1:11 AM as a reply to John.

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/19/14 11:07 AM as a reply to John.
What I realize is that in my practice lately there is slight pain / pressure in the middle of my head and when it arises the eyelids sort of squeeze in.
This happens a lot of times. Approximately 5-6 times during a session.
The sort of energy bursts that I was having have stopped.
I try to figure out what is it about the stage that makes it equnamity and it is usually the calibration of the sensation of the body. As for vibrations, I can't notice, I just experience the conciousness move around involuntarily.
Any advice at this would be appreciated.

howdy
first, i would 2nd the motion to question why you think you are in equanimity.  you may very well be but the spasmodic earlier stage you mentioned could also be the 3 Cs.

the 'brain squeeze' phenomena you mention is, however, a common attribute in equanimity.  my take on it is that, in the equanimity phase it has an element of "grasping" to it.  that is, it is either pleasant in and of itself or you might be associating it with 'progress' and attaching to it.  if it is not at all pleasant or representative of 'progress' than throw out my thesis.  regardless though, the way to deal with it is to drop it, not to have aversion to it but rather to generalize your focus to a wider set of sensations.  my experience of such sensations have been like a whirlpool: when my focus is too tight on these phenomena, i get sucked in to a crescendo 'event'.

i also experience similar phenomena though when moving through the ladder of insight.  what you are describing is how A&P presents to me.  i can also divide the vispassana jhana transitions roughly by such sensations so pay attention to how and when they present.

another thing to think about is what the stage of equanimity toward formations is and says in its name:  develop a calm dispassionate observational attitude toward all things that rise and fall.  first drop the gross stuff and move toward the finer stuff until nothing remains.  don't worry so much about jhanas...there is a drifting quality to equanimity that allows you to let go and that's not a bad thing.

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
11/19/14 11:34 AM as a reply to John.
Hi John,
I get the same sort of squeezing sensation at times during equanimity and for me it is a part of the sensations that I use to signify high EQ vs low EQ.

For me low EQ is very calm, relaxing, spacious. Somewhere I can easily hang out or even stall out if I'm not careful.

Moving from low to high EQ I get a rising of energy and attention more into the upper head. Often top of head tingling and pleasant sensations. Sometimes third eye pulsing and energy and sometimes that squeezing or compressing sensation that can be accompanied by a sense of darkening and entering a tunnel like area.

For you maybe it could also be some indication of moving toward high EQ. I find the transition is helped along by placing my attention on the top of head sensations or the third eye area in a gentle way. Too much attention at first and it kind of stamps out the growing sensations there. Also, I try to move toward any sensations that have a pleasant feel to them and try to cultivate those as much as possible. When I get that squeezing I try to move into or surrender to that and let it take me down and in.

Hope any of this is useful. Good luck.
Tony

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
12/8/14 10:46 PM as a reply to John.
John:
Past Monday, I reached equanimity. It felt like everything is great and that I'm going to feel that way all the time.
The desire for meditation has significantly decreased.

Could be Dissolution. You didn't indicate what stage and its effects preceded this one. My experiences of Dissolution are that I feel fine, sleep a lot, and don't feel like doing anything, including meditate.

As for Low EQ, I've been there enough times now to clearly discern that, for me, this stage is very, very much like 3Cs. I have body aches, restlessness, jaw pain, itching, and the like. I also tend to feel bored during meditation. So, as MCTB says can happen, my Low EQs tend to be kind of rough. Oddly, Reobservation is the only stage of the Dark Night that never presents clearly for me. As well as I can make out, Low EQ, for me, is kind of a blend with Reobservation. I can become frustrated because I feel like I no longer "know how" to meditate, sense that I need to tweak my technique or focus on something different, but don't know what to do. It is a relief after DN, though.

There is a mid-EQ. For me, head drops are frequent in this phase. I'm currently experiencing these a lot (again).

High EQ is sublime, feels regal. I'm calm and sit up straight as a queen for long sits with zero pain and nothing that feels like effort. The bordom is gone, but daydreams and fascination with whatever I'm focusing on ensue, naturally. Spaciousness is predominent, everything is okay, but I'm actually motivated to practice at this point because the equanimity is so, so nice. I don't even thirst for Path but just enjoy the equanimity, which I think is the most helpful attitude to go with.

With regard to effort--EQ is tricky, but I definitely had to shift how I was practicing not to lose EQ (and therefore SE). I've never been much of a noter (except I do employ it if I'm simply banging my head against some really difficult new meditation experiences). I'm more of a "noticer" without the labeling. In EQ, I have to quit that level of micro-attentiveness and "just sit" more naturally, with a wider view and openness to whatever shows itself. It may sound boring, but it is actually interesting to see what happens, what presents, when you just allow yourself to rest there and let reality do the work. When the daydreams or reveries arise, you may instinctively feel you need to "return the mind to the object," or do some other intervention full of effort, but that really isn't the case. Reality will show you what you need to see, and you have to just have faith in that fact.

I actually deliberately cut my practice time to 20 minutes per sit in High EQ, per XX's advice, which turned out to be sound advice. High EQ sits take a lot of energy, I guess because the focus is so wide and receptive that energy is siphoned off.

RE: High Equanimity to SE
Answer
12/9/14 8:57 AM as a reply to John.
John:
I think it is equanimity because of immidiate lack of motivation for meditation.


Out of curiousity, have you ruled out Dissolution?

(ah -- I see Jenny said the same thing emoticon )