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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Change in belief systems vs "enlightenment"

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I've been reflecting now on some events that happened starting from a bit over two years ago and some permanent realizations I made regarding the self and the world approximately a year ago that have stuck to this date. 

Now is this a stage in enlightenment, a "knowledge", "stream entry" or something else I don't know.

I had been doing mindfulness meditation for a while and I was travelling in Melbourne Australia for work.
I had an evening off and I was walking down the streets near the harbour. I was honing my mindfulness on the present moment sensations and especially on the visual field as I went.

Then I decided to start a meditation while I was walking something I hadn't read about from anywhere, but it just kind of came to me. In basic mindfulness terms I was focusing on change in the feelings and the sensations in the body, but at the same time I was trying to look for how those changes affected what I perceived from the outside world through sights and sounds. 

I was alternating between the two whenever I perceived a change in the other based on change on the other I would switch the focus. I was doing this and got into a rhytm. At some point this switching back and forth started to accelerate and then it got totally out of hand. The speed was increasing and increasing on it's own and it felt like it went up to infinite I literally quite scared at this point what is happening and then BAM just as it went up to "infinite" it stopped and I was left wondering what had just happened. 

This was in October 2012

What is your verdict on this? A&P?

Let's fast forward 1-1,5 years. Can't remember when this was exactly. I had just understood something profound at work about how asynchronous systems work passing information between each other. I was driving back home from work and then it dawned on me. "Self" or whatever you wan't to call it works the same way. It's a collection of asynchronous systems and "will" is just one component pushing items "in to the queue" for this other systems and it doesn't have access to everything and everything is not in control of the "will". The sense gates work the same way. I have come to appreciate "self" as something that is ever changing. Every day I'm a new person based on the experiences I have gained in between. And it also dawned on me that mindfulness off whatever phenomena are happening and meditatoin is the way to investigate how these systems work. 

This has stuck with to this day and I still firmly believe so. It has thus stood up to the test of time, but then again what is this. Knowledge of something, just a change in believe system, "stream entry" or what?

I mean I guess various levels of enlightenment are about permanent changes in perspective in relation of the self and the world. So what is just a change in ones belief system and what is "enlightenment"?

In between those two events I did continue mindfulness meditation. Usually 15 minutes every morning. At some point I was focusing on inner talk. At some point on tranguil sensations or rest in all of the six senses. I was interleaving metta a the end at some point or I was doing focus on tranquility + change after that. Although mostly the mindfulness work I did was off the cushion. I just had feeling that I'm not going to change my life around sitting at home. I had to gain lots of new experiences to change as a person.

At some point I had some pretty painful realizations about my actions and how they had caused harm to people around me. I also tried to make right by them. I guess at some point I came to terms with things I had done because they didn't bother me anymore.

Metta,
Mikko

RE: Change in belief systems vs "enlightenment"
Answer
1/11/15 10:27 AM as a reply to mikko.
The first event is almost certainly A&P. The speeding up of experience and BAM, is diagnostic of A&P.

The rest is hard to map because mapping works ideally in a retreat situation or at least a description of a consistent sitting practice over time. But it is clear you are having insights about the constructed nature of self and also on the ethical domain of how we are interrelated, so it sounds like you're getting some benefit.

Best wishes!

RE: Change in belief systems vs "enlightenment"
Answer
1/12/15 11:06 AM as a reply to mikko.
Productive anapanasati practice really opened up a new reality for me these past two days. It's too early to say yet if this sticks, but nonetheless after reading Daniels explanations about stages 3. 3C's and 4. A&P I think I may have just crossed into early A&P.

Reality "opened" up. There no tensions in the body. I've slept combined 11 hours last two nights and I'm fine. Reality is perceived with equanimity and concentration. There is this "panoramic" feel of quality to it. 

What I described previously may actually have been 3C related or who knows. I may have been in 3C's now for 1-2 years. Reading back on the description of 3C at least the "blocked energy", tension in certain muscles, spasms during meditation seem to match.

I will continue to practice read up on anapanasati, which btw seems to contain everything required for meditation both samatha and vipassana. It's just written in a language and terms that are hard to understand without further study.

Will keep you posted on progress or if this turns out to be something else entirely.