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Several months after SE, what's life like for me?

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Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/11/15 10:00 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Alexander Rice 3/10/15 10:38 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/11/15 9:59 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Alexander Rice 3/11/15 12:29 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/12/15 12:11 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/12/15 4:40 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jinxed P 3/13/15 10:13 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/13/15 2:45 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/13/15 5:15 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/13/15 8:47 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/14/15 1:21 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/14/15 8:53 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Zed Z 3/14/15 7:26 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? b man 3/13/15 6:28 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Eva Nie 3/13/15 9:45 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jinxed P 3/13/15 11:47 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/14/15 11:01 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? b man 3/14/15 3:34 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/14/15 3:48 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/14/15 11:07 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/15/15 6:37 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/15/15 9:06 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/15/15 1:44 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/15/15 6:06 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/16/15 2:25 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/16/15 9:08 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/16/15 11:48 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/17/15 10:41 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Dream Walker 3/17/15 12:12 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/17/15 1:27 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Dream Walker 3/18/15 12:14 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/18/15 12:43 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/17/15 2:34 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/16/15 9:13 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/16/15 9:23 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/16/15 10:01 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/16/15 11:12 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/17/15 6:56 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/18/15 6:38 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Nikolai . 3/18/15 7:13 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/19/15 2:16 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/18/15 9:22 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Eelco ten Have 3/17/15 1:21 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/19/15 2:25 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/19/15 7:50 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/21/15 9:31 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/15/15 1:13 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/18/15 6:07 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/21/15 9:45 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/21/15 9:49 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/21/15 11:20 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/21/15 11:36 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/21/15 12:57 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/22/15 4:08 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/22/15 10:32 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/22/15 11:54 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? b man 3/23/15 7:17 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/23/15 7:22 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/24/15 2:02 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Nikolai . 3/23/15 4:04 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Pål 3/24/15 2:09 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jinxed P 3/18/15 12:07 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/18/15 1:07 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/19/15 1:53 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/19/15 11:59 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Piers M 3/24/15 2:21 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/30/15 8:21 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/31/15 9:37 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/31/15 12:23 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/31/15 7:13 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Pål 3/11/15 1:14 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Not Tao 3/10/15 10:44 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Alexander Rice 3/10/15 11:13 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Not Tao 3/10/15 10:37 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Alexander Rice 3/11/15 6:00 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me? Pål 3/10/15 2:11 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Elijah Smith 3/11/15 7:24 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? George S. Lteif 3/23/15 3:56 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Jake 3/30/15 7:16 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Al 3/31/15 5:40 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 3/31/15 10:04 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Ernest Michael Olmos 4/2/15 10:46 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Dream Walker 4/2/15 11:15 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Ernest Michael Olmos 4/2/15 1:22 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Dream Walker 4/2/15 1:52 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 4/2/15 3:38 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Ernest Michael Olmos 4/3/15 8:10 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 4/3/15 5:48 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Ernest Michael Olmos 4/4/15 8:44 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 4/4/15 9:46 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? b man 4/4/15 3:17 PM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Ernest Michael Olmos 4/7/15 10:28 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Carolyn A. Green 11/30/17 8:33 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? tamaha 5/31/18 3:59 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 5/31/18 7:55 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? tamaha 6/1/18 1:08 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Travis Gene McKinstry 6/1/18 8:29 AM
RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me? Henry wijaya 7/8/18 8:28 PM
Hello all!

It's been a while since I've been on here and the reasons are varied and numerous. I think I can attribute my acquistion of Stream-Entry to a big reason as to why I'm not on here on a regular basis anymore...

As I have detailed elsewhere on this thread, I went to a Goenka retreat in Texas during the summer months of 2014 and since then things have been noticeably different...

1.) 'Background noise': Since the retreat (and since the moment I hit SE), I've had what I like to call a 'background noise' of excitment or "rapture". It's much like the feeling I got when I hit 1st Jhana.... only this feeling has literally persisted since my original SE event. I can always feel it, although I'm not always aware of it.

2.) Change in perception: My perception of time as well as my perception in general has changed quite a bit. I find that time is harder to grasp or quantify at times. For example, 5min of eating may feel like several hours once I look back at how long I've been eating. Or, an hour of walking may feel like only a couple of minutes. This is not like 'being in the zone' where your perception of time is off or while having a good time, it's much like time is not being made aware as it had been before SE.

3.) Moments of 'me' not being there: I'm not exactly sure how to explain this phenomenon, but it's almost like the 'blanking out' that happens whenever one reaches another full cycle in the path. I don't get a rush of euphoria (because that's there all of the time anyways), but there are slight moments where its almost as if I was not conscious or even there. 

4.) Complacement/contentment: I've had contentment before, but not like this. There is an ovewhelming sense of everything being O.K., despite set-backs or obstacles. For this reason only it's hard to conjure up the 'motivation' to get onto DharmaOverground because I see everything as o.k., and if there is something 'wrong' then it'll figure itself eventually as all things in life do. Perhaps it's an understanding of the Yin Yang relationship... who knows.

These are some of the bigger things I've noticed on a day-to-day basis. Of course, I still feel anger, frustration, upsetness, happiness, sadness, etc., but the emotions are much more managable than they've ever been. I wouldn't say I'm 'happy', rather, content. It's a pleasant feeling and it keeps me going.

I will try to keep coming on here to add what little wisdom I have acheived this far to all others.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/10/15 10:38 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
I found the bit immediately after SE somewhat rough. I was quite lonely and this came out as wanting to tell everyone all the time about my experiences to the point where it became a source of suffering -- like the background rapture you mention only distorted in a not-so-good way. I dealt with lonliness as a specific thing and got largely free of it but it still wasn't very balanced.

Your things 2,3 & 4 I experienced too. I understood it as attachment to the formed jhanas -- your mind is so glad to be able to empty itself on a whim that it will go ahead and do so for you given half the chance. This becomes annoying because motivation is harder to find and that develops into insight about what still needs doing. It falls away as insight deepens and you 'tame the ox'.

I learned I needed to be particularly careful around people who are also partially enlightened, you can be inclined to focus on each others faults but without enough insight to actually react in a way that is helpful. Even though you are both 'better' the combination can definitely be 'worse' as you can develop a sort of collective 'dark night'. Enlightened people automatically want to push those around them toward enlightenment, but at the early stages it's more like a bar brawl than dancing tango.

I'd also draw your attention to a change I noticed at SE, which is that I can take other peoples' perspective more easily than before. This got more complete and more automatic as things progressed.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/10/15 10:44 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
I'm curious, was there a specific event you point to as being stream entry?  Your descriptions here are familiar to me, but I haven't had any MCTB fruitions.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/10/15 11:13 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
My experience is that changes to the baseline of experience, especially sudden shifts of the frequency at which stuff flickers are a better guide then looking for fruition directly, they're easily missed and can happen while asleep etc.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/10/15 2:11 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Cool, I want this. so you got it through Goenka style meditation?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/10/15 10:37 PM as a reply to Alexander Rice.
Sorry, Alexander, I meant to say Travis's stuff sounded familiar.  I'm not sure what you mean by flickering - I've never meditated with fast noting or impermanence as an object, though.  I expect that's what you're referring to, right?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/11/15 6:00 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Travis, would you like me to keep adding my SE experiences here alongside yours so we can compare notes, or would you prefer I start a new thread?

Percieving flickering fairly easily was another major SE change for me.

By 'flickering' I mean that if I observe a sensation or an object of the mind I can see that it arises and passes away several times a second. This happens for all senses, the easiest being eyes closed looking at the 'noise' of my mind, it's very similar to watching a flickering candle flame through closed eyelids. Second easiest probably the background noise in my ears. Eyes open only started being noticeable when I hit the EQ before SE and then only peripheral vision, initally on a ~1/2 tab of LSD and if I 'relaxed my eyes' in the right way if I remember correctly. If I close my eyes now it takes 3-5s to be able to see it and it's been like that more or less constantly since SE.

In MCTB Daniel was fairly emphatic that being able to see the impermanence of phenomena was very important, so before SE I spent a lot of time watching out for rapid changes in the contents of my mind. I remeber that at the time I didn't think I was making much progress or having much success, but I persisted. I think the first time I managed to see it was probably on psilocybin or something like that but I think it's something I just gradually got better at. It only happened when I effortfully went looking for it, and it only happened when the mind was already reasonably still (I couldn't easily get into jhana at that stage.)

The frequency varies just as Daniel describes in MCTB -- lower at the start of DN, variable in the middle (sometimes different frquencies for different parts of my visual field), high and stable in EQ. So if I jump from EQ to A&P it's obvious becasue the frequency has suddenly dropped. The 'obviousness' of it with eyes open also varies -- sometimes my whole vision has been like an old film reel (EQ phase before 3rd path) and sometimes (all late DN phases since SE) one object in my peripheral vision will suddenly start to strobe while everything else stays solid. The first few times I just thought it was a random area, then I noticed that the area was always a conceptual object = mind blown. Usually it's part of me like my legs or hands but sometimes it's another person. Usually not inanimate objects. Mostly peripheral vision. Works sober but takes some effort, easy or effortless on most psychedelics.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/11/15 9:59 AM as a reply to Alexander Rice.
I found the bit immediately after SE somewhat rough. I was quite lonely and this came out as wanting to tell everyone all the time about my experiences to the point where it became a source of suffering -- like the background rapture you mention only distorted in a not-so-good way. I dealt with lonliness as a specific thing and got largely free of it but it still wasn't very balanced.

Your things 2,3 & 4 I experienced too. I understood it as attachment to the formed jhanas -- your mind is so glad to be able to empty itself on a whim that it will go ahead and do so for you given half the chance. This becomes annoying because motivation is harder to find and that develops into insight about what still needs doing. It falls away as insight deepens and you 'tame the ox'.

I learned I needed to be particularly careful around people who are also partially enlightened, you can be inclined to focus on each others faults but without enough insight to actually react in a way that is helpful. Even though you are both 'better' the combination can definitely be 'worse' as you can develop a sort of collective 'dark night'. Enlightened people automatically want to push those around them toward enlightenment, but at the early stages it's more like a bar brawl than dancing tango.

I'd also draw your attention to a change I noticed at SE, which is that I can take other peoples' perspective more easily than before. This got more complete and more automatic as things progressed.

That's interesting to see your experience... Thanks for putting that here. And yes, of course emoticon feel free to keep posting so we can compare each others experience(s). Your bit about the lonliness is interesting... I'd like to read more about it if you don't mind expanding...


I'm curious, was there a specific event you point to as being stream entry?  Your descriptions here are familiar to me, but I haven't had any MCTB fruitions.

Not Tao; are you talking about my moment of fruition? I was at the Goenka retreat, focusing on noting sensations (yes, I wasn't doing Goenka's style of noting... I'm a rebel at heart I guess) then suddenly the 'blanking' out happened. Immediately after I was in intense euphoria and rapture. Do you not have a particular moment that you can label as the exact moment of SE? I know I've heard of other meditator acheiving it in their sleep and noticng the perspective difference upon awakening and going about their day...
Cool, I want this. so you got it through Goenka style meditation?
 Pål; no. haha although I've heard great things about this method.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/11/15 12:29 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
I'm intersted in what method you did use, beacause it seems like you managed it in quite a small amount of time, and I'm generally interested in finding out about things that get the job done quicker.

RE: loneliness. ------------

Well I've never had a teacher, or a group of people who are interested in talking about technical meditation stuff and I seemed to have managed to do something fairly radical (SE) based on a somewhat novel approach (mix pragmatic dharma with low dose psychedelics) from a lousy starting point (depression) in a small amount of time (about a year) based on books with no teacher and no formal retreat so I was pretty darn excited and wanting to tell everyone about it, and I was also kind of blissed out making it easier to miss things that are bothersome and need attention.

Result was that my need for connection expressed itself mainly as me being a mediation-obsessed jerk for about a week before I was at a fairground and there were a couple of dogs sniffing around each other and I noticed a thought arise related to me somehow 'joining in' with this interaction and I suddenly saw what an absurd thing my mind was doing: trying to insert 'me' into every interaction even though my sense of 'me' was much diminished from 'my' perspective. A textbook case of 'enlightned ego'! About 5m of walking and I got a new pain in my chest (I experience most meditation related sensations here) which with a bit of work broke up and dissolved along with a truly spectacular amount of pent up junk and it mostly didn't bother me again. But it was a good reminder that with change comes new ways to screw up.

I've come to respect the 'review' period as a time when I should hide from the world until things have settled down and I've got used to the changes.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life life for me?
Answer
3/11/15 1:14 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Which method then? Noting?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/11/15 7:24 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Sounds cool, good to hear from you man!

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/12/15 12:11 PM as a reply to Alexander Rice.
Alexander Rice:
I'm intersted in what method you did use, beacause it seems like you managed it in quite a small amount of time, and I'm generally interested in finding out about things that get the job done quicker.

RE: loneliness. ------------

Well I've never had a teacher, or a group of people who are interested in talking about technical meditation stuff and I seemed to have managed to do something fairly radical (SE) based on a somewhat novel approach (mix pragmatic dharma with low dose psychedelics) from a lousy starting point (depression) in a small amount of time (about a year) based on books with no teacher and no formal retreat so I was pretty darn excited and wanting to tell everyone about it, and I was also kind of blissed out making it easier to miss things that are bothersome and need attention.

Result was that my need for connection expressed itself mainly as me being a mediation-obsessed jerk for about a week before I was at a fairground and there were a couple of dogs sniffing around each other and I noticed a thought arise related to me somehow 'joining in' with this interaction and I suddenly saw what an absurd thing my mind was doing: trying to insert 'me' into every interaction even though my sense of 'me' was much diminished from 'my' perspective. A textbook case of 'enlightned ego'! About 5m of walking and I got a new pain in my chest (I experience most meditation related sensations here) which with a bit of work broke up and dissolved along with a truly spectacular amount of pent up junk and it mostly didn't bother me again. But it was a good reminder that with change comes new ways to screw up.

I've come to respect the 'review' period as a time when I should hide from the world until things have settled down and I've got used to the changes.

So as for the method I used....

I used the noting style of meditation. The same method Daniel mentions highly in his book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha (MCTB ).

As far as the length of time to arrive at SE.... this is tough to figure. I had been sitting (literally just sitting pretending to meditate but not actually meditating) since I was about 12-14yrs old. I only started to ACTUALLY meditate when I was about 16yrs old. At this point, I just sat and paid attention to as much as I could.

I started to seriously meditate about this time last year, so I would say it took me about 6-8 months to arrive at SE. I am very much a type-A pesonality; I can't sit still if I don't have what I aim to get. This causes me to obsessively research, practice, etc. unitl I arrive at my goal. Kenneth Folk's partner, Beth, helped me a little bit through Skype. She mainly helped me keep my focus on SE.

Alexander, 

Thanks for sharing your experience. That's quite interesting.... how is your practice now? Have you arrived at SE?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/12/15 4:40 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Ok hm, would do that too if I wasn't exoterically obsessed with the suttas and slightly afraid of the DN:s dry vipassana seems to generate. MCTB is nice but I don't like the title since a lot of it contents seems to have little to do with the teachings if the Buddha. But maybe I'll change my mind and start noting when I'm ready for it. 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 10:13 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis,

1) How many hours did you meditate per day?

2) Did you reach jhana before starting to do noting practice? Or did you start noting right away?

3) How has post SE altered your ability to work (what is it you do?)?

4) How was post SE altered your relationships to other people, ability to date, hang out with friends, etc?

5) Do you still have other interests, music, movies, sports, etc..are has your other hobbies fallen away?

6) Can you still get stressed out?

7) Would you be nervous speaking in public/ talking to the hottest girl in the bar/at a job interview/ or other social anxiety producing situation?

8) If you had to quantify your enjoyment of life on a scale of 1 to 10 a year ago, what was it then, and what would it be today?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 2:45 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
Travis,

1) How many hours did you meditate per day?

2) Did you reach jhana before starting to do noting practice? Or did you start noting right away?

3) How has post SE altered your ability to work (what is it you do?)?

4) How was post SE altered your relationships to other people, ability to date, hang out with friends, etc?

5) Do you still have other interests, music, movies, sports, etc..are has your other hobbies fallen away?

6) Can you still get stressed out?

7) Would you be nervous speaking in public/ talking to the hottest girl in the bar/at a job interview/ or other social anxiety producing situation?

8) If you had to quantify your enjoyment of life on a scale of 1 to 10 a year ago, what was it then, and what would it be today?
  1. How many hours did you meditate a day? At my peak, I was probably meditating around 6-8hrs. a day. Sometimes it dropped to 3-4hrs but on average it was 6-8.
  2. Did you reach jhana before starting to do noting practice? Or did you start noting right away? Great question. I started noting right away. Although I think it should be noted that in my earlier years I attempted concentration meditation. I didn't ever get 1st jhana but as I progressed with focus on vipassana meditation, 1st jhana began happening a lot without my being aware of it. Essentially I thought it was 'normal' until I talked with Beth Folk (Kenneth Folk's partner).
  3. How has SE altered your ability to work (what is it you do?)? Another great question. I am an American Sign Language interpreter. This profession requires us to do multiple things at a time ("multi-task"). I've noticed a large increae in the ability to focus. At least that's what it would seem like in layman's terms. In reality, I think what has happened is the things that would normally distract me (random thoughts, random feelings, etc.) either don't happen or if they do they don't have a significant impact on my focus anymore.
  4. How was post SE altered your relationships to other people, ability to date, hang out with friends, etc.? This one is a bit more tough to answer genuienly because I don't have a lot of experience with SE yet. But what I can tell you is that I'm much more content with my relationships now than I've ever been. I guess I could say I'm easier to please. When someone upsets me, it doesn't last nearly as long as it used to and I'm able to let it go more efficiently. I was with my girlfriend before and after SE so she's seen both sides of 'me'. She says she doesn't notice MUCH of a difference, only that I seem much more content with life than before.
  5. Do you still have other interests or have they fallen away? I definitely still have interests. Stream Entry isn't something 'crazy' like most people think of it. I'm still very much 'human' (have feelings, get upset, angry, frustrated, etc.). What's different now is the ability to deal with those emotions and feelings and watch them drop away a lot faster than usual. I notice my thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. as reflections of the environment, not neccessarily of me. So when I'm hungry, I know it's the body that is lacking food (specific signals telling the brain of what 'I' should focus on doing next; eat), not 'me'. So 'I' don't need to be angry if I'm hungry, I just feel the hunger and let it pass. Then it comes back, and then goes away again. Like clouds emoticon they come and go.
  6. Can you still get stressed out? I can definitely still get stressed out. I feel all of the emotions I did before SE. Now it's just much more managable and they go away quickly. This is the same anwser for question 7. I experience stage fright a bit so yeah, I still get it. But again, it's much more a temporary feeling and not a feeling that seems like it's gonna last forever.
    8.  If you had to quantify your enjoyment of life on a scale of 1 to 10 a year ago, what was it then, and what would it be today? That's a good question... I'd say now it's quite high, possibly a 9 or 10. A year ago? Quite possibly 7-8. I'm a generally pretty happy person, even before SE. What's changed is what I mentioned above. Not exactly an emotional change but an understanding.... a perspective change. If you have a photo of the ocean, there's nothing you can do to actually change that photo. You could burn it but the photo (the original, true photo) will always stay the same. You could take another photo and tape it in front of the old one but that old photo will always be there. The only thing you can do is change your perspective. The same goes for the mind and Stream Entry. You have the same emotional dispositions, but your perspective has changed. You didn't make the photo more beautiful, you just noticed the beauty in it that's always been there!!

Hope that helps emoticon thanks for all of the questions...

P.S. not sure why that '1' is there... I can't delete it.
  1.  

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 5:15 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
How long did you typically sit? Was it always one hour or did it vary?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 6:28 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
Travis,

1) How many hours did you meditate per day?

2) Did you reach jhana before starting to do noting practice? Or did you start noting right away?

3) How has post SE altered your ability to work (what is it you do?)?

4) How was post SE altered your relationships to other people, ability to date, hang out with friends, etc?

5) Do you still have other interests, music, movies, sports, etc..are has your other hobbies fallen away?

6) Can you still get stressed out?

7) Would you be nervous speaking in public/ talking to the hottest girl in the bar/at a job interview/ or other social anxiety producing situation?

8) If you had to quantify your enjoyment of life on a scale of 1 to 10 a year ago, what was it then, and what would it be today?


great questions! 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 8:47 PM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
How long did you typically sit? Was it always one hour or did it vary?


Jake,

Read the post right before yours.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 9:45 PM as a reply to Alexander Rice.
Alexander Rice:
But it was a good reminder that with change comes new ways to screw up.
LMAO!  That's a great saying!
-Eva

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/13/15 11:47 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Thanks for your in depth replies Travis.

1.How did you find the time to meditate 6-8 hours a day (a non-retreat) with a job and girlfriend? Are you counting off the cushion time as well?

2. What is your relationship now with desire? In classical buddhism the goal is to get rid of suffering. The way to get rid of suffering is to get rid of desire. The way to get rid of desire is by cutting it off at the root by seeing no-self )or impermanence/suffering. Have your desires been attenuated?

3. When you do suffer, what is the cause of this suffering?

4. Do you still have motivations for personal improvement in classical domains (job/money/exercise/etc)?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 1:21 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Jake WM:
How long did you typically sit? Was it always one hour or did it vary?


Jake,

Read the post right before yours.
I think what Jake may have been asking was how long was the duration of your sits (typically)?

If you sat 6 hours that day was it 6 x 1hr, 3 x 2 hrs etc.

Also, can you expand upon your practice at that time off the cushion. Presumably you were continually trying to cultivate mindfulness? Were you just continuing with the noting practice throughout the day?

Any other methods you used during daily activity?

Cheers, Piers

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 7:26 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
I notice my thoughts, feelings, desires, etc. as reflections of the environment, not neccessarily of me.

Hi Travis, this is very interesting. Do you also mean that your thoughts/feelings can be reflections of the thoughts/feelings/state-of-mind of the people around you? I think of for example a case when I'm surrounded by stressed out people I get stressed too - even if I'm not directly in contact with these people. So that there is an interconnectedness across people of the same community and this interconnectedness influences the thoughts, feelings and general stance of each member. And then the question is whether, and if so to what extent and with what clarity, a permanent shift in the baseline of perception (or however else one dubs the meditative attainments) allows you to better see the underlying net of social links. Does this make any sense to you?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 8:53 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Jake WM:
How long did you typically sit? Was it always one hour or did it vary?


Jake,

Read the post right before yours.

EDIT: I just noticed that Piers asked a great question so I'll add it to this list to condense things. 

I did and noticed you sat 6-8 hours on most days and on some it went down to 3-4. My question was worded poorly but I was trying to ask if those 6-8 hours were broken up into smaller chunks. Basically, I am wondering how you structured your daily practice because I struggle to maintain 2 hours a day of practice. This is partially due to the way I sit, which is on a stool, and after about 20 minutes by knees are screaming.

I'll give it another shot right here but add some more questions for you as well:

1. When you sat 6-8 hours a day, was it all in one burst or was it broken up into smaller sits? If it was broken into smaller sits, how long were they?

2. How did you structure your daily practice? Did you sit for an hour, get up and walk around, stretch, then go back to sitting? 

3. Did you incorporate any walking meditation in your daily practice?

4. Did you practice any other techniques such as Metta?

5. Presumably you were continually trying to cultivate mindfulness? Were you just continuing with the noting practice throughout the day?


Thanks Travis!

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 11:01 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
There are so many good questions!! I'll do my best to answer them all as fully as I can. If I don't, feel free to ask me again emoticon


[quote=
Jinxed P]Thanks for your in depth replies Travis.

1.How did you find the time to meditate 6-8 hours a day (a non-retreat) with a job and girlfriend? Are you counting off the cushion time as well?

2. What is your relationship now with desire? In classical buddhism the goal is to get rid of suffering. The way to get rid of suffering is to get rid of desire. The way to get rid of desire is by cutting it off at the root by seeing no-self )or impermanence/suffering. Have your desires been attenuated?

3. When you do suffer, what is the cause of this suffering?

4. Do you still have motivations for personal improvement in classical domains (job/money/exercise/etc)?
No problem Jinxed. We are all in this together.

1. How did you find the time to meditate 6-8 hours a day (a non-retreat) with a job and girlfriend? Are you counting off the cushion time as well? To me this is a question of organizing time and prioritizing what's truly important in your life. I found at one point that I was desperate for a taste of Nirvana or 'blanking-out'.... so I organized my entire life AROUND my meditation. No, I'm not counting time off the cushion. On the cushion, I spent 6-8hrs. I asked my girlfriend one day if she truly, truly wanted me to be happy. She, of course, replied "yes". I then procceded to explain to her that in order for me to be truly happy I have to try this meditation practice. I won't be able to live with myself if I don't give it an honest effort. She of course (because she's amazing) said that I need to do it. So I did. Meditation became my first priority. Everything else (food, sleep, work, fun, family, friends, school), got shifted down in priority.

2. What is your relationship now with desire? In classical buddhism the goal is to get rid of suffering. The way to get rid of suffering is to get rid of desire. The way to get rid of desire is by cutting it off at the root by seeing no-self )or impermanence/suffering. Have your desires been attenuated? Great question. I see this as you connecting what the Buddha said to my experience, good job! Now, I'm  not exactly sure what Buddha said (or what the suttas say) but I don't think one eliminates desire all together. What happens is an overwhelming sense of contentment. If you're content, you don't get motivated. And as motivaiton is caused by everything EXCEPT for contentment (or depression), you aren't motivated and therefore are not swayed. This not-being-swayed brings a lot of peace into my life. I'm content with being.

3. When you do suffer, what is the cause of this suffering? I hate to get technical but what exactly do you mean by 'suffer'? I do get upset, I get sad, frustrated, angry, happy, excited, etc. but the difference is I'm not holding onto them like I used to. "Anger is like holding onto a hot coal with the intent to throw it at someone; you're the one who gets burned"--- I don't hold on emoticon at least for as long as I used to.... keep in mind it was only SE, not full awakening...

4. Do you still have motivations for personal improvement in classical domains (job/money/exercise/etc)? Yes, but in a way they seem more fueled by 'just cause' rather than anger or upsetness.... this may dip into my personal philosophy of life so if you want me to expand on this I can.
I think what Jake may have been asking was how long was the duration of your sits (typically)?

If you sat 6 hours that day was it 6 x 1hr, 3 x 2 hrs etc.

Also, can you expand upon your practice at that time off the cushion. Presumably you were continually trying to cultivate mindfulness? Were you just continuing with the noting practice throughout the day?

Any other methods you used during daily activity?

Cheers, Piers
Piers, thank you for this clarification. I will expand later down in this thread. As for your questions...

Off cushion life looked just like on-cushion life for the most part, only I wasn't sitting. I made vipassana a part of my everyday life; thats all I would ever try to do. At the beginng, it was tough. Daniels advice in MCTB was very straight forward, "practice vipassana for as long and as much as you can". At the beginning that's easier said than done. But EVENTUALLY it happens.... your mind doesn't want to do anythin BUT meditate.

I should also say that I worked up to 6-8hrs a day of meditation. At the beginning, it was maybe an hour or two. But again, you work up to that. Everywhere I went I was either trying to focus on something (my walking, breathing, eating, moving, etc. (sammatha)) or noting (like actually noting each sensation I could). I could expand on the actual notation if anyone wants me to.... I know that helped to actually SEE what it looked like in the mind when one would note. Let me know if anyone wants an example.

But in MCTB, Daniel suggests that if you can meditate for long periods of time and off-cushion keep noting, you'll get to SE faster than if you didn't. So I literally made my life about vipassana. And I know how that sounds!!! Trust me!!! When I first read someone saying they made their whole life about meditation I thought it was impossible for me, but it wasn't! It's not impossible for any of you!!!! Please believe me.... you can do it. It seems tough now because you're looking at the whole mountain. But step-by-step you'll get there emoticon

Were there any other methods I used? No, I just noted everything I could. And again, at first it was quite supeficial. Maybe a note every 2 seconds. Then it became too fast for my mind to actual label anything so I was just paying attention to the rise and fall of sensations and that's when I knew I was making progress.
Hi Travis, this is very interesting. Do you also mean that your thoughts/feelings can be reflections of the thoughts/feelings/state-of-mind of the people around you? I think of for example a case when I'm surrounded by stressed out people I get stressed too - even if I'm not directly in contact with these people. So that there is an interconnectedness across people of the same community and this interconnectedness influences the thoughts, feelings and general stance of each member. And then the question is whether, and if so to what extent and with what clarity, a permanent shift in the baseline of perception (or however else one dubs the meditative attainments) allows you to better see the underlying net of social links. Does this make any sense to you?

Zed Z, it does make sense, but not exactly what I was talking about. Thanks for taking interest! emoticon
Essentially what I was trying to say is that the mind and body have their processes to worry about. For example, eating. Let's look at that in-depth; it starts with having eyes to recognize the food, a brain to process the information, a spinal cord to send the 'hunger' singal to the stomach', then back up to the brain to respond with 'yes I'm hungry', then another recognition of the eyes of where the food is, a brain to process how to get the food into the mouth and into the stomach. If you look at it this way you can see that there is no 'you' that is hungry. It's a series of processes that, one after another, end up with you eating. There was no 'you' involved. Just a sensation from the environment (food), and information processing. Does that make any sense?? haha tell me if it doesn't. I'm the best with explaining these things. Perhaps another experienced meditator could help me out...

1. When you sat 6-8 hours a day, was it all in one burst or was it broken up into smaller sits? If it was broken into smaller sits, how long were they?

2. How did you structure your daily practice? Did you sit for an hour, get up and walk around, stretch, then go back to sitting? 

3. Did you incorporate any walking meditation in your daily practice?

4. Did you practice any other techniques such as Metta?

5. Presumably you were continually trying to cultivate mindfulness? Were you just continuing with the noting practice throughout the day?
Jake WM, sorry for the confusion. Now I think I understand your question(s)....

1. When you sat 6-8 hours a day, was it all in one burst or was it broken up into smaller sits? If it was broken into smaller sits, how long were they? Definitely broken up into smaller sits. At first, these smaller sits were about half an hour each... this took a lot of back and forth to the cushion to hit my daily goal. << I heard from another experienced meditator that if you can work up to something like 4-6hrs a day of true vipassana meditation, you're well on your way to SE. So I made it my goal to do AT LEAST 4hrs a day.

After I got used to long sitting, I increased my daily minimum of each individual sit to 1 hour, then my overall daily goal to 5hrs, and moved up as such. I don't know if I ever sat longer than 2hrs at a time.... so it was a lot of back and forth.
But keep in mind, I also meditated off-cushion by means of noting as much as I could in 'regular' life.

2. 
How did you structure your daily practice? Did you sit for an hour, get up and walk around, stretch, then go back to sitting? Another great question... I'll detail it here (keep in mind this isn't exactly what I did, this was nearly a year ago so go easy on me... but essentially this is what it looked like):

(At the beginning of my practice)...
Monday- 
7:00A.M.: wake up (brush teeth, go to the bathroom grab a quick eat)
7:30A.M.:
Meditate for half an hour
8:00A.M.: Get up and walk around, maybe eat a bit more. Relax, shower, talk with girlfriend, etc. Maybe take a quick nap.
8:30A.M.:
meditate again for half an hour
9:00A.M.: walk around, stretch, get ready for work.
9:30A.M.:
sit in car until shift starts, meditate for half an hour
10:00A.M.-2, 3P.M.: get off work, go eat.
3:30P.M.:
meditate for half an hour
4:00P.M.: stretch, go to the bathroom, talk with girlfriend, eat, etc.
5:00P.M.:
meditate for an hour
6:00P.M.: walk around, talk with girlfriend, go to the bathroom, etc.
6:30P.M.:
meditate for half an hour.
7:30P.M.: get up and walk, stretch,
go back at it again for half an hour.
8:15P.M.: brush teeth, talk with girlfriend, read, do some homework etc.
9:30P.M.:
meditate for half an hour, then go to bed.

This would be a typical day. As you can see I made my life about meditation. All the while trying to note as much as I could off cushion. Sometimes I'd work longer, do homework longer, or spend more time with my girlfriend but all in all this is a typical day.
As time went on I spent less time in between sittings, and more time actually sitting.

3. 
Did you incorporate any walking meditation in your daily practice? I would say 'yes', but pehaps not in the typical sense. I did meditate (note) while walking though so I would count it...

4. 
Did you practice any other techniques such as Metta? No. Although I know it's extremely helpful/beneficial, I wanted to tackle one beast at a time. My next phase might be metta or sammatha...

5. 
Presumably you were continually trying to cultivate mindfulness? Were you just continuing with the noting practice throughout the day? Yes, very much so. And I think this is an imporant part. It's been a while since I've read MCTB but as far as I can remember Daniel Ingram (the author) says that if you can meditate all day everyday, on or off-cushion, you would hit SE in days, maybe hours. And of course he knew that wasn't exactly feasible for most people so he said to note as much as you can! Everywhere you go, anything you do, note your arse off.


I hope that helps!! Again, I'm not SUPER experienced with meditation... there are others on here far more experienced than I. I just remember wanting to see an acount of someone's life after SE so I posted this. I think it's also nice to have an example of what others did during their path of SE. I was desparate to know EXACTLY what to do but honestly, it's quite simple; note everything. At least that's what I did. My mind sounded like this, "hearing, seeing, seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, remembering, thinking, hearing, feeling, wanting, dislike, like, wanting, hearing, hearing, hearing....". I know there those who cling onto the actual words themselves but I didn't have that problem. If you do, I'm probably not the best to ask about it...

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 3:34 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:

1. When you sat 6-8 hours a day, was it all in one burst or was it broken up into smaller sits? If it was broken into smaller sits, how long were they? Definitely broken up into smaller sits. At first, these smaller sits were about half an hour each... this took a lot of back and forth to the cushion to hit my daily goal. << I heard from another experienced meditator that if you can work up to something like 4-6hrs a day of true vipassana meditation, you're well on your way to SE. So I made it my goal to do AT LEAST 4hrs a day.


Fair play to you travis, respect. This is a great example to us all of how if you just commit to something, and make something a priority, you can do big things. Good work indeed, its inspiring to read :-) 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 3:48 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Travis Gene McKinstry:

1. When you sat 6-8 hours a day, was it all in one burst or was it broken up into smaller sits? If it was broken into smaller sits, how long were they? Definitely broken up into smaller sits. At first, these smaller sits were about half an hour each... this took a lot of back and forth to the cushion to hit my daily goal. << I heard from another experienced meditator that if you can work up to something like 4-6hrs a day of true vipassana meditation, you're well on your way to SE. So I made it my goal to do AT LEAST 4hrs a day.


Fair play to you travis, respect. This is a great example to us all of how if you just commit to something, and make something a priority, you can do big things. Good work indeed, its inspiring to read :-) 

I agree with b man, nice job Travis. Attaining SE is something that I deeply know needs to be done and the way you went about it is the way to do it. A reason why I resonate with this thread and your story is because you aren't an advanced meditator, you are in a similar situation to me and I can relate. Again, nicely done!

I could expand on the actual notation if anyone wants me to.... I know that helped to actually SEE what it looked like in the mind when one would note. Let me know if anyone wants an example.

Also, I know you already posted an example of this but if you could ramble on a bit and elaborate further it would be much appreciated emoticon

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/14/15 11:07 PM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
b man:
Travis Gene McKinstry:

1. When you sat 6-8 hours a day, was it all in one burst or was it broken up into smaller sits? If it was broken into smaller sits, how long were they? Definitely broken up into smaller sits. At first, these smaller sits were about half an hour each... this took a lot of back and forth to the cushion to hit my daily goal. << I heard from another experienced meditator that if you can work up to something like 4-6hrs a day of true vipassana meditation, you're well on your way to SE. So I made it my goal to do AT LEAST 4hrs a day.


Fair play to you travis, respect. This is a great example to us all of how if you just commit to something, and make something a priority, you can do big things. Good work indeed, its inspiring to read :-) 

I agree with b man, nice job Travis. Attaining SE is something that I deeply know needs to be done and the way you went about it is the way to do it. A reason why I resonate with this thread and your story is because you aren't an advanced meditator, you are in a similar situation to me and I can relate. Again, nicely done!

I could expand on the actual notation if anyone wants me to.... I know that helped to actually SEE what it looked like in the mind when one would note. Let me know if anyone wants an example.

Also, I know you already posted an example of this but if you could ramble on a bit and elaborate further it would be much appreciated emoticon
Well thanks B man and Jake WM. It was a lot of hard work, but definitely paid off...


So noting... I can't remember exactly the advice that's given in MCTB, but it was something like "note everything you can". I know he gave examples of what that looks like but I didn't exactly understand it until I was halfway there.

What I did, was mentally note every single sensation I could, as fast as I could, for the longest period of time that I could. Sensations range from feeling/tactile (anything on the skin to a grumbling stomach, an itch, heat, cold, tightness, straining, throbbing, vibrating, tickling, tingling, etc.), seeing (seeing was just 'seeing' for me), hearing (same here), smelling, tasting, and thinking (remembering, contemplating, predicting, and just plain thinking).

So, for example, right now; I am hearing (the clock on my wall), seeing (the computer screen), feeling (the keyboard), seeing (the computer screen, (tasting the listerine in my mouth), thinking (remembering a memory), etc. when I do JUST the noting practice, this is what I actually mentally note; hearing, hearing, seeing, thinking, dislike, hearing, feeling, feeling, warmth, unpleasant, remembering, seeing, hearing, thinking.

The most 'advanced' one gets in this method, the more they can subdivde each sensation, although this is not required. I did subdivide them as best I could to keep my attention focused on noting. If it's just seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, smelling and thinking, for some people that's too boring.

What begins to happen without your trying is the mind begins to notice specific things about this method. As outlined in MCTB, the mind first realizes that everything that makes up your entire reality is body and mind. For me, this stage was not very noticeable. Then the second and third stages come (cause & effect and the three characteristics), and again, no big difference for me there. When I knew I was making true progress was when I realized an amazing experience that happened when I was focusing on sammatha meditation was actually what they like to call the Arising & Passing Away.

Keep in mind all of these stages happen really without you trying. It's frustrating at first, nothing seems to be happening. When nothing seems to happen for me, I study harder. I scoured every piece of advice I could find until I finally just said "f&*k it" and sat down. At that moment, my mind let go a little and I began really 'seeing'.

Does that help at all?? Let me know if you want me to expand at all. I truly enjoy helping those on the path to SE emoticon this sh*t is important!!

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/15/15 6:37 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Keep in mind all of these stages happen really without you trying. It's frustrating at first, nothing seems to be happening. When nothing seems to happen for me, I study harder. I scoured every piece of advice I could find until I finally just said "f&*k it" and sat down. At that moment, my mind let go a little and I began really 'seeing'.

Does that help at all?? Let me know if you want me to expand at all. I truly enjoy helping those on the path to SE emoticon this sh*t is important!!

I know firsthand the frustration that you are talking about and this has been my method for the past couple years now, basically try a technique for a while and when it "doesn't work", read more or go online to find out more information, more more more! I know now that noting is really all I need to do, I have sufficient levels of concentration to stick with it for long periods of time. 

It does help a ton, thanks again for posting Travis. The challenge I have with noting in daily life is, for example, noting while I am typing this or noting while I am doing another activity. I read on another blog that if you are engaged in an activity that takes up most of your attention, just place 5% or 10% of your total attention somewhere in the body. Since my attention is taken up by typing, I just do that, like right now I am feeling the warmth and buzzing in my feet instead of mentally making notes.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/15/15 9:06 AM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Keep in mind all of these stages happen really without you trying. It's frustrating at first, nothing seems to be happening. When nothing seems to happen for me, I study harder. I scoured every piece of advice I could find until I finally just said "f&*k it" and sat down. At that moment, my mind let go a little and I began really 'seeing'.

Does that help at all?? Let me know if you want me to expand at all. I truly enjoy helping those on the path to SE emoticon this sh*t is important!!

I know firsthand the frustration that you are talking about and this has been my method for the past couple years now, basically try a technique for a while and when it "doesn't work", read more or go online to find out more information, more more more! I know now that noting is really all I need to do, I have sufficient levels of concentration to stick with it for long periods of time. 

It does help a ton, thanks again for posting Travis. The challenge I have with noting in daily life is, for example, noting while I am typing this or noting while I am doing another activity. I read on another blog that if you are engaged in an activity that takes up most of your attention, just place 5% or 10% of your total attention somewhere in the body. Since my attention is taken up by typing, I just do that, like right now I am feeling the warmth and buzzing in my feet instead of mentally making notes.

Jake WM,

Yes, I totally understand your concerns. The thing is, you being aware of the warmth and buzzing in your feet is 'noting' without put mental notes on it. What I mean is, you're aware of SOME KIND of sensation. Achieving SE doesn't require 24/7 attention on sensations... I know I had plenty of times where I wasn't paying attention to any sensations but rather day-dreaming or talking with my girlfriend. But you learn to slip in the noting in between things like talking to people. I full engage in conversation, but when there is a pause or we aren't talking that's when I slip in a couple of notes, then we are back to talking.

You could do the same for typing; perhaps at every period you could note once or twice, then come back. And yes, there have been sooo many people who have achieved SE using the noting technique. Good concentration levels are beneficial but really if you had NONE you'd still be o.k.

Are you a goal-oriented person? Perhaps you could try to set yourself some concrete, attainable goals everyday. For example, today you could set the goals of 1.) sit for a total time of 3hrs all day. 2.) Sit for no less than 30min. at a time. 3.) When you sit and note, see if you can note half of the time wihout day-dreaming or losing focus.
Now let's say you achieved goals 1 and 2, then the next day you set the goals for 1.) sit for a total time of 4hrs. all day, 2.) sit for no less than 45min at a time, and 3.) Note for at least half of the time without losing focus.


By the nature of your questions it seems like you really want to do this. You have to be honest with yourself, no one else can determine if you are really motivated and determined to do this. But if you are, know that it'll take time. If you meditate everyday for at least 4hrs and no less than an hour every sit, I'd say you're well on your way. Try not to have too many expectations about this stage or that stage, I did that and it slowed me down I'm sure.

Are you familiar with the stages of insight? One of the first things Daniel Ingram asked me when I asked for his advice was if I'd ever experience the Arising & Passing Away stage. Cause if I did, I'll have an easier time getting to SE. the A&P is the first and most important obstacle to pass before SE. If you hit the A&P or have before, you are definitely on the right path.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/15/15 1:13 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Thanks for the advice. You're work is very impressive. It feels slightly strange that the Buddhist term Stream Entry is used for the result of this technique though. I mean, the suttas contain lots of different meditation methods but this "just note everything" method is NOWHERE to be found in the suttas, at least I haven't found it yet. But if you entered the Jhanas while doing it you probably managed to make progress on the eightfold path with the method and your breakthrough was probably stream entry! Maybe the noting method is actually more powerful than what the Buddha taught.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/15/15 1:44 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Are you a goal-oriented person? Perhaps you could try to set yourself some concrete, attainable goals everyday. For example, today you could set the goals of 1.) sit for a total time of 3hrs all day. 2.) Sit for no less than 30min. at a time. 3.) When you sit and note, see if you can note half of the time wihout day-dreaming or losing focus.
Now let's say you achieved goals 1 and 2, then the next day you set the goals for 1.) sit for a total time of 4hrs. all day, 2.) sit for no less than 45min at a time, and 3.) Note for at least half of the time without losing focus.

Absolutely. Right now I am aiming for 2 hours a day of formal sitting practice broken up into 30 minute chunks. Sporadically I can sit for up to 45-50 minutes but towards the end, it is pure grit and determination that keeps me on the cushion (I use a stool emoticon). Right now I can comfortably sit for 30 minutes and I think from here I need to slowly work my way up to an hour at a time. I am hitting some gross places in my practice and sometimes I can't skillfully deal with them so I tend to end about a third of my sits early.


Travis Gene McKinstry:

By the nature of your questions it seems like you really want to do this. You have to be honest with yourself, no one else can determine if you are really motivated and determined to do this. But if you are, know that it'll take time. If you meditate everyday for at least 4hrs and no less than an hour every sit, I'd say you're well on your way. Try not to have too many expectations about this stage or that stage, I did that and it slowed me down I'm sure.

I have the motivation and determination to do this but the biggest factor for me is discipline and making time to sit. I think one of the reasons why I am having trouble disciplining myself is because I get discouraged easily when I "don't make progress". I put that in parentheses because I really don't know what progress is or what if feels like. Progress on the path is marked by negative mind states and feelings which feels so counterintuitive. Noting itself feels so awkward and counterintuitive. Another reason basically is what the hell am I aiming for? I know I am aiming for stream entry, a little blip in consciousness, but its so odd. This view stems from the fact that I crossed the A&P without any meditative experience, or even knowing what meditation is, so I guess I am still settling into this stuff even though its been a huge part of my life for a couple years now. Also, I am working with a teacher which is a huge in terms of motivation and actually practicing.


Travis Gene McKinstry:
Are you familiar with the stages of insight? One of the first things Daniel Ingram asked me when I asked for his advice was if I'd ever experience the Arising & Passing Away stage. Cause if I did, I'll have an easier time getting to SE. the A&P is the first and most important obstacle to pass before SE. If you hit the A&P or have before, you are definitely on the right path.

I am familiar with the stages although I do not have them all memorized. The dark night stages all seem to blend together for me, its hard for me to determine where I am in the DN during my sitting practice. Most of the time I can spot cause and effect and the arising and passing, those two stand out for me. The reason I am on this board is because I hit the A&P a little under 3 years ago and then had a traumatic initial dark night experience. Actually, the A&P and dark night, for me, were incredibly intense and easily the most profound things to happen in my life. This adds to the motivation for me to practice and make progress because I have tasted enlightenment (what I believe to be enlightenment, maybe not fully, but a little taste) and am not at all satisfied with this current state of being / reality / mind, whatever you call it. The complete and utter dissatisfaction of living this way is what drives me to practice, especially knowing something much better is within reach.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/15/15 6:06 PM as a reply to Jake.
Absolutely. Right now I am aiming for 2 hours a day of formal sitting practice broken up into 30 minute chunks. Sporadically I can sit for up to 45-50 minutes but towards the end, it is pure grit and determination that keeps me on the cushion (I use a stool emoticon). Right now I can comfortably sit for 30 minutes and I think from here I need to slowly work my way up to an hour at a time. I am hitting some gross places in my practice and sometimes I can't skillfully deal with them so I tend to end about a third of my sits early.
That's good. I think you have some pretty concrete goals. I'm not sure if it helps, but when somehing bad happens, remember; it's not 'you'. It's the mind. I know that may sound confusing now but keep reminding yourself of this. Don't take the gross sensations as 'you'.

I have the motivation and determination to do this but the biggest factor for me is discipline and making time to sit. I think one of the reasons why I am having trouble disciplining myself is because I get discouraged easily when I "don't make progress". I put that in parentheses because I really don't know what progress is or what if feels like. Progress on the path is marked by negative mind states and feelings which feels so counterintuitive. Noting itself feels so awkward and counterintuitive. Another reason basically is what the hell am I aiming for? I know I am aiming for stream entry, a little blip in consciousness, but its so odd. This view stems from the fact that I crossed the A&P without any meditative experience, or even knowing what meditation is, so I guess I am still settling into this stuff even though its been a huge part of my life for a couple years now. Also, I am working with a teacher which is a huge in terms of motivation and actually practicing.
It's ironic, don't you think? You get easily discouraged at yourself if you don't make progress but you have no idea what progress really looks like... and just because there are negative mind states and feelings doesn't neccesarily mean you're making 'progress'. Lot's effects the mind and it's states so don't base progress on that. Base progress on how long you've managed to sit everyday.

What are you aiming for?? Great question hahahaha! I thought the same thing. But as Nagarjuna says,
"One associates with the Dhamma out of faith, 
But one knows truly out of understanding; 
Understanding is the chief of the two, 
But faith preceeds"

Have faith. You increase your faith many ways... if you read the MCTB book, you'll see that Buddha had a 'cure' for everything. From sexual desires to desiring good food to having no faith. One website that holds (I believe) EVERYTHING the Buddha ever taught is the Access to Insight website. Muddle around on there long enough and I'm sure you'll find everything you need.
I am familiar with the stages although I do not have them all memorized. The dark night stages all seem to blend together for me, its hard for me to determine where I am in the DN during my sitting practice. Most of the time I can spot cause and effect and the arising and passing, those two stand out for me. The reason I am on this board is because I hit the A&P a little under 3 years ago and then had a traumatic initial dark night experience. Actually, the A&P and dark night, for me, were incredibly intense and easily the most profound things to happen in my life. This adds to the motivation for me to practice and make progress because I have tasted enlightenment (what I believe to be enlightenment, maybe not fully, but a little taste) and am not at all satisfied with this current state of being / reality / mind, whatever you call it. The complete and utter dissatisfaction of living this way is what drives me to practice, especially knowing something much better is within reach.
A&P is amazing... but what's more amazing is the long-term effects of SE. If you want release, you know what you need to do. Make it happen emoticon you can do it Jake WM. Hit the grind and hit it until you've hit SE. Increase your sit times everyday, slowly but surely. Stay the path and keep your head down.... there's A LOT of things out there to distract you.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 2:25 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Yes the Buddha dhamma is amazibg and Accesstoinsight contains LOTS of suttas who say lots of things about meditation but NOTHING about just noting everything :/

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 9:08 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Yes the Buddha dhamma is amazibg and Accesstoinsight contains LOTS of suttas who say lots of things about meditation but NOTHING about just noting everything :/


Well, I'm not sure if I'd agree...

Perhaps not explicitly but the Buddha talks about being aware of as much as you can. The suttas state that one needs to be aware of "perception", "feeling" etc.
"For a monk practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, this is what accords with the Dhamma: that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to form, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to feeling, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to perception, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to fabrications, that he keep cultivating disenchantment with regard to consciousness. As he keeps cultivating disenchantment with regard to form... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness, he comprehends form... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness. As he comprehends form... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness, he is totally released from form... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness. He is totally released from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is totally released, I tell you, from suffering & stress."
Access to Insight. 

Pal, your criticism is understood. I was very doubtful of the noting technique before I actually got started. But you'll notice in the suttas that Buddha talks about being aware but doesn't actually give us any specific technique to do this. Noting is just one technique.
Goenka uses scanning.... I'm sure there are hundreds of techniques. The point is; Buddha says to be aware as much as you can of everything happening... noting can help you do that.

What I suggest: try it first. Give it a true, honest try for a couple of months and if it doesn't work the worse that could happen is you've increased your awareness, focus, and you've got months of experience in one technique.


On that same page on Access to Insight, they talk about being around the right people; people of integrity. Now to understand what he meant by this one must understand first how the suttas were translated and what the original word Buddha used was. If you spend enough time on that website you'll find out what it really means (he generally lists characteristics of those who have 'integrity'.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 9:13 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pal, what technique do you use during your meditation? It's funny that the suttas don't mention the notiing technique once because I haven't read any of the suttas and use noting as my primary technique. It makes me wonder if reading them or expanding my knowledge of Buddhism in general will help me attain stream entry.

Also, last night I was thinking about how grasping for stream entry is a big hindrance in itself. I've read this numerous times before but last night is when it really sunk in. Grasping for stream entry is like grasping for any other insight stage on the progress of insight. It would be silly to meditate and have the knowlege of misery stage as your goal because the stages are a part of a process that can't be forced or manipulated. Meditating hard and trying to force an experience to occur will inhibit progress through the stages since they are a natural occurance of the mind. I was working this out last night and trying to understand it better and came to realize I have been meditating "improperly". There is a subtle, subtle tension and forceful feeling during my meditation that is definitely getting me stuck. When I meditate, I note very fast, without truly feeling out the sensations and feeling out my experience, investigating and exploring it, with the goal of this process being to progress through the stages as fast as possible and to experience that little blip in consciousness.

This also relates to the five spiritual faculties or the thing Daniel talked about in his book where the cart needs all 4 wheels to be balanced and in tune for the cart to actually move. I think that was the spiritual faculties... 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 9:23 AM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
Pal, what technique do you use during your meditation? It's funny that the suttas don't mention the notiing technique once because I haven't read any of the suttas and use noting as my primary technique. It makes me wonder if reading them or expanding my knowledge of Buddhism in general will help me attain stream entry.

Also, last night I was thinking about how grasping for stream entry is a big hindrance in itself. I've read this numerous times before but last night is when it really sunk in. Grasping for stream entry is like grasping for any other insight stage on the progress of insight. It would be silly to meditate and have the knowlege of misery stage as your goal because the stages are a part of a process that can't be forced or manipulated. Meditating hard and trying to force an experience to occur will inhibit progress through the stages since they are a natural occurance of the mind. I was working this out last night and trying to understand it better and came to realize I have been meditating "improperly". There is a subtle, subtle tension and forceful feeling during my meditation that is definitely getting me stuck. When I meditate, I note very fast, without truly feeling out the sensations and feeling out my experience, investigating and exploring it, with the goal of this process being to progress through the stages as fast as possible and to experience that little blip in consciousness.

This also relates to the five spiritual faculties or the thing Daniel talked about in his book where the cart needs all 4 wheels to be balanced and in tune for the cart to actually move. I think that was the spiritual faculties... 

Also, last night I was thinking about how grasping for stream entry is a big hindrance in itself. It can be if you're grasping too hard, in my experience.

I don't know if I would say that you're grasping was an issue, but the fact that you didn't note it, i.e., weren't aware of it. It's ok to be anxcious, excited, wanting, etc. just as long as you NOTE those feelings. Note everything. EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE.

Noting is fast, and often times good I find. But perhaps you're going too fast for where you're at. Try starting out a bit slower, noting every thing you can fully.

The point to this whole 'noting' technique is to be as aware as you can. Another experienced meditator on here recounted his experience while noting... he found he wasn't hitting SE and couldn't figure out why. That is, until he described exactly how he was doing it. He said that he would note each sensation as if they were aliens on Galaga. But what he also didn't know is that as he 'shot' each alien (noted the experience), he would feel a sense of accomplishment as if he were really playing. So what he failed to note was the "YES!" feeling he got every time he noted a sensation. Does that make sense?

The moral of that story is to NOTE EVERY LITTLE SINGLE THING YOU CAN. Don't investigate or cling, just note. You feel upset? Note it. Now you're angry and you want to stop noting? Note that as well. Feel hungry/horny/tired/thirsty/sore/pain? Note it, and move on. That's it.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 10:01 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
The point to this whole 'noting' technique is to be as aware as you can. Another experienced meditator on here recounted his experience while noting... he found he wasn't hitting SE and couldn't figure out why. That is, until he described exactly how he was doing it. He said that he would note each sensation as if they were aliens on Galaga. But what he also didn't know is that as he 'shot' each alien (noted the experience), he would feel a sense of accomplishment as if he were really playing. So what he failed to note was the "YES!" feeling he got every time he noted a sensation. Does that make sense?

This makes sense, yes. He wasn't stepping far enough away from experience to get a good look at it is how I am interpereting this.

You may be right about trying to note too fast for where I am currently at. Here is an example though: Lately, the ringing in my ears (which actually feels like ringing in my mind as I note but anyway), this ringing has been getting louder, and so I note it. Each time I note "ring", the ringing seems to be affected by the note, the frequency gets interrupted. So what I do is note "ring",  "ring", "ring", "ring", as fast as I can but then it doesn't seem like I can even hearing the ringing anymore. This makes the notes feel forced / fake, I think this is mentioned in MCTB. Getting into a habit of repeating notes without actually experiencing the thing you are noting.

Little things like this I get hung up on. However, a thought like this arose during meditation, I would normally note "thought" or "chatter". Since I am engaged in this activity though I am exploring this thought more. It's funny, the more I practice the more it feels like I have control over my thoughts. By control I mean I can observe the thought and determine whether or not I want to engage it and think more about it. If its a desire thought about my ex-girlfriend or a judgement thought about a friend, I would just note it. Practice is slowly bleeding into my life, or I am realizing that life = practice. Interesting stuff!

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 11:12 AM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
The point to this whole 'noting' technique is to be as aware as you can. Another experienced meditator on here recounted his experience while noting... he found he wasn't hitting SE and couldn't figure out why. That is, until he described exactly how he was doing it. He said that he would note each sensation as if they were aliens on Galaga. But what he also didn't know is that as he 'shot' each alien (noted the experience), he would feel a sense of accomplishment as if he were really playing. So what he failed to note was the "YES!" feeling he got every time he noted a sensation. Does that make sense?

This makes sense, yes. He wasn't stepping far enough away from experience to get a good look at it is how I am interpereting this.

You may be right about trying to note too fast for where I am currently at. Here is an example though: Lately, the ringing in my ears (which actually feels like ringing in my mind as I note but anyway), this ringing has been getting louder, and so I note it. Each time I note "ring", the ringing seems to be affected by the note, the frequency gets interrupted. So what I do is note "ring",  "ring", "ring", "ring", as fast as I can but then it doesn't seem like I can even hearing the ringing anymore. This makes the notes feel forced / fake, I think this is mentioned in MCTB. Getting into a habit of repeating notes without actually experiencing the thing you are noting.

Little things like this I get hung up on. However, a thought like this arose during meditation, I would normally note "thought" or "chatter". Since I am engaged in this activity though I am exploring this thought more. It's funny, the more I practice the more it feels like I have control over my thoughts. By control I mean I can observe the thought and determine whether or not I want to engage it and think more about it. If its a desire thought about my ex-girlfriend or a judgement thought about a friend, I would just note it. Practice is slowly bleeding into my life, or I am realizing that life = practice. Interesting stuff!

So so true. It sounds like you're doing well Jake WM. Don't let doubt slow you down, let it speed you up; note it! As Daniel likes to say in MCTB "more material for the mill". Every time you note you're one step closer to SE. Unfortunately there are thousands and thousands of steps haha

Once you get a good hold of your practice, you'll need to really start noticng when you enter the Dark Night and when you exit it. The reason for this is because of the stage Equanimity. I found that this stage requires a slight tweak in the noting technique to get into awakening. I think it's important to note that I had been vigorously noting up until Equanimity. Beth Folk (Kenneth Folk's partner) told me that in Equanimity you need to "ride the wave" instead of hitting it (like we kind of do with noting).

^^^ That's my experience anyways. I've talked to Daniel when I was entering Equanimity frequently and he told me that there is just a few things I must not be noting that is preventing my SE. I think he was right, but for me, the effort needed to change for me to notice it.


Anyways, you sould start a practice log! I'd be very interested in reading your progress. One more Strem Enterer is another testimony to the happiness and peace available to us if just learn to be aware.

Thanks for your commitment Jake WM emoticon the more people that realize the truth the less suffering/stress there'll be in the world.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/16/15 11:48 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
I don't see the instructions of beong aware of as much as possible in what you posted or any sutta I've read. Disenchanmrnt towards the agregated I believe can be achieved though the four Jhanas practiced with mindfulness. That seems to be a message of the Buddha. And I notice how focusing on the breath makes me calm and a little disenchanted.

The worst thing that could happen from noting is me getting stuck in a cycle of emotional turbulence that might not even be necessary for the enlightenment the Buddha talked about. The Nanas aren't mentioned in the suttas, I'm quite sure.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/17/15 6:56 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Anyways, you sould start a practice log! I'd be very interested in reading your progress. One more Strem Enterer is another testimony to the happiness and peace available to us if just learn to be aware.

Thanks for your commitment Jake WM emoticon the more people that realize the truth the less suffering/stress there'll be in the world.

Thank you for the kind words Travis. I actually maintain a private wordpress blog dedicated to practice and other stuff that I post to occasionally. I have a hard time writing about my meditation experiences though, I don't have the vocabulary or ability to write out what I am experiencing or write that I want to say if you know what I mean. Its frustrating haha because I can't relay my experience and then look back on it. I'll make a goal for today to journal and see what I write down.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/17/15 10:41 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
I don't see the instructions of beong aware of as much as possible in what you posted or any sutta I've read. Disenchanmrnt towards the agregated I believe can be achieved though the four Jhanas practiced with mindfulness. That seems to be a message of the Buddha. And I notice how focusing on the breath makes me calm and a little disenchanted.

The worst thing that could happen from noting is me getting stuck in a cycle of emotional turbulence that might not even be necessary for the enlightenment the Buddha talked about. The Nanas aren't mentioned in the suttas, I'm quite sure.

Well, what I would say to that is if you haven't given it an honest try, how do you know?

There are many many experience meditators on here that could attest to the noting method. If that method is not for you, then it's not for you. I don't think the noting method is for everyone.

With that being said, it worked for me. I have noticed a considerable difference in my way of thinking and living. Having a critical mind is important to weed through all of the 'crap' that's out there on Stream Entry and whatnot. But at a certain point it's just toxic. Try putting that hat away and just try a method with all of your heart. If it doesn't work, move on. 

I'd also strongly suggest talking with Dream Walker (he's a member on here) or Daniel Ingram. Both of them can cite where in the suttas Buddha talks about being aware and whatnot. And also where the nanas are in the suttas. They both are extremely experienced.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/17/15 12:12 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Pål:
I don't see the instructions of beong aware of as much as possible in what you posted or any sutta I've read. Disenchanmrnt towards the agregated I believe can be achieved though the four Jhanas practiced with mindfulness. That seems to be a message of the Buddha. And I notice how focusing on the breath makes me calm and a little disenchanted.

The worst thing that could happen from noting is me getting stuck in a cycle of emotional turbulence that might not even be necessary for the enlightenment the Buddha talked about. The Nanas aren't mentioned in the suttas, I'm quite sure.

Well, what I would say to that is if you haven't given it an honest try, how do you know?

There are many many experience meditators on here that could attest to the noting method. If that method is not for you, then it's not for you. I don't think the noting method is for everyone.

With that being said, it worked for me. I have noticed a considerable difference in my way of thinking and living. Having a critical mind is important to weed through all of the 'crap' that's out there on Stream Entry and whatnot. But at a certain point it's just toxic. Try putting that hat away and just try a method with all of your heart. If it doesn't work, move on. 

I'd also strongly suggest talking with Dream Walker (he's a member on here) or Daniel Ingram. Both of them can cite where in the suttas Buddha talks about being aware and whatnot. And also where the nanas are in the suttas. They both are extremely experienced.
Travis, There seems to be an agenda here to disregard noting, noticing, discernment in favor of only concentration. This has been endlessly debated and yet several people tend to bring it up endlessly to beat the dead horse. They tend to use the dark night as a scare tactic, that it can be avoided with concentration yet progress somehow can still be made (and good for them if that is so for them) but they do not speak from direct experience of skillful practice which has lead to path moments. Concentration is wonderful and useful to heighten the ability to discern the 3 charateristics while noticing realty with precision.  I have little motivation to endlessly debate this but wanted to point out this pattern reoccurring in way to many threads. My recommendation it to ignore these hijacking debates and stay focused on your intent of the posts. Otherwise the whole thread becomes diluted into more of the same old stuff.

Thanks for sharing Travis, you do us all a service by coming back and taking time from your practice and busy life to share the results of your practice.
~D

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/17/15 1:21 PM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
Grasping for stream entry is like grasping for any other insight stage on the progress of insight. It would be silly to meditate and have the knowlege of misery stage as your goal because the stages are a part of a process that can't be forced or manipulated. Meditating hard and trying to force an experience to occur will inhibit progress through the stages since they are a natural occurance of the mind.
When i did my first retreat last year I was looking for the stages of insight. I didn't see them at the time.
In retrospect though I realized that day when I was in pain, must have been 3 characteristics. I had a terrible nightmare which i now realize was the Fear stage. Also spend a few hours feeling miserable and caught in self pity and stories... What I realized afterwards is that that must have been misery..

I have reached the conclusion that no matter what you do, or even what you realize at the time. These stages do arise and pass whether we are present enough to realize the stage at that time or not.

With Love
Eelco

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/17/15 1:27 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Sorry, wasn't really aware that the horse was dead. I'd PM you about it, but I don't know how to do that lol, only answering to PM's. So It'd be awesome if you'd PM your thoughts on the topic to me! If you have suttaic arguments for dry vipassana leading to the kind of enlightenment the Buddha talked about I'd love to hear then and be more tempted to try it. Right now I don't really dare, as you say because of the DN and the risk of getting caught in cycles, and try to stick with anapana and metta somewhat like they're explained in the suttas.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/17/15 2:34 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Pål:
I don't see the instructions of beong aware of as much as possible in what you posted or any sutta I've read. Disenchanmrnt towards the agregated I believe can be achieved though the four Jhanas practiced with mindfulness. That seems to be a message of the Buddha. And I notice how focusing on the breath makes me calm and a little disenchanted.

The worst thing that could happen from noting is me getting stuck in a cycle of emotional turbulence that might not even be necessary for the enlightenment the Buddha talked about. The Nanas aren't mentioned in the suttas, I'm quite sure.

Well, what I would say to that is if you haven't given it an honest try, how do you know?

There are many many experience meditators on here that could attest to the noting method. If that method is not for you, then it's not for you. I don't think the noting method is for everyone.

With that being said, it worked for me. I have noticed a considerable difference in my way of thinking and living. Having a critical mind is important to weed through all of the 'crap' that's out there on Stream Entry and whatnot. But at a certain point it's just toxic. Try putting that hat away and just try a method with all of your heart. If it doesn't work, move on. 

I'd also strongly suggest talking with Dream Walker (he's a member on here) or Daniel Ingram. Both of them can cite where in the suttas Buddha talks about being aware and whatnot. And also where the nanas are in the suttas. They both are extremely experienced.
Travis, There seems to be an agenda here to disregard noting, noticing, discernment in favor of only concentration. This has been endlessly debated and yet several people tend to bring it up endlessly to beat the dead horse. They tend to use the dark night as a scare tactic, that it can be avoided with concentration yet progress somehow can still be made (and good for them if that is so for them) but they do not speak from direct experience of skillful practice which has lead to path moments. Concentration is wonderful and useful to heighten the ability to discern the 3 charateristics while noticing realty with precision.  I have little motivation to endlessly debate this but wanted to point out this pattern reoccurring in way to many threads. My recommendation it to ignore these hijacking debates and stay focused on your intent of the posts. Otherwise the whole thread becomes diluted into more of the same old stuff.

Thanks for sharing Travis, you do us all a service by coming back and taking time from your practice and busy life to share the results of your practice.
~D

D,

Always appreciate your guidance and support emoticon Thanks friend.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 12:14 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Sorry, wasn't really aware that the horse was dead. I'd PM you about it, but I don't know how to do that lol, only answering to PM's. So It'd be awesome if you'd PM your thoughts on the topic to me! If you have suttaic arguments for dry vipassana leading to the kind of enlightenment the Buddha talked about I'd love to hear then and be more tempted to try it. Right now I don't really dare, as you say because of the DN and the risk of getting caught in cycles, and try to stick with anapana and metta somewhat like they're explained in the suttas.
Not interested in chatting about that topic.
Good luck with your "dry" concentration. There are many benefits to be gained from your endeavor.
May you attain the results of your practice with ease and swiftly for the benefit of all beings.
May you avoid any Progress of Insite cycles as you so wish.
Best of luck,
~D

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 12:43 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks! The reasons I don't want any cycling right now is:
1. It's not mentioned in the suttas
2. The MCTB arahantship doesn't seem to be same as the arahantship explained in rhe suttas.
3. There doesn't seem to be any way out of them once your in? 

But what Travis described as SE sounds awesome, so I'd happily start noting together with the rest of my practice, or if noting easily leads to jhanas, only noting, if anyone changes my mind on the 3 points above emoticon

Travis, how often did you hit Jhanas with your practice?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 6:07 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Thanks for the advice. You're work is very impressive. It feels slightly strange that the Buddhist term Stream Entry is used for the result of this technique though. I mean, the suttas contain lots of different meditation methods but this "just note everything" method is NOWHERE to be found in the suttas, at least I haven't found it yet. But if you entered the Jhanas while doing it you probably managed to make progress on the eightfold path with the method and your breakthrough was probably stream entry! Maybe the noting method is actually more powerful than what the Buddha taught.

Pal, I think you are hung up on semantics. Noting just means awareness. First there's the more gross form of mental labeling, moving as you progress to more subtle awareness of sensations/mental states without necessarily labeling them.
Forget dry Sutras for a minute. What about real living people in this day and age who are all singing off the same song sheet. Do you doubt them all? And I'm not just talking about people on this forum of which there are many. Joseph Goldstein, Monastics too, from Mahasi to U Pandita (both of them) many great teachers from recent past too eg. Ayya Khema, Nyanaponika Thera, Dipa Ma etc.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 6:38 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis,
This thread is a very informative account of your experiences. So thanks for taking the time with all the Q&As.
It almost feels like you've upped the stakes with your determination to do it iin within normal day to day life.
However, I still have my doubts as to whether I have enough concentration to do it in daily life. I just spent 3 months on retreat in Burma without getting anywhere near SE.
Several people have mentioned that most people hit SE whilst on retreat. Doing it on retreat is hard enough... but doing it off! You must have exceptional Paramis or do you not think so?

A few more Qs:

1) What were you actually doing in your SE blip moment. I'm imagining you were on the cushion but maybe you were simply just walking down the street?  U Pandita emphasised that insight can arise at any time (as long as one is being mindful all the time).

2) You hit SE which was the whole objective so this is not very relevant but still curious though:
In the run up, you were striving earnestly. I had a look at your typical daily schedule. Got my head scratching. You went to bed around 10pm up at 7am. That seems like a lot of sleep 9 hours, especially given your objective. Did you never think to get up an hour earlier or go to bed can hour later or both?

In fact if U Pandita looked at the schedule he'd call it Vipassana lite. I'm sure the monks over there would never think it possible for SE. They're forever beating the drum about 7 hours sitting 7 hours walking minimum and only 4 hours sleep...

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 7:13 AM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers M:
Travis,
This thread is a very informative account of your experiences. So thanks for taking the time with all the Q&As.
It almost feels like you've upped the stakes with your determination to do it iin within normal day to day life.
However, I still have my doubts as to whether I have enough concentration to do it in daily life. I just spent 3 months on retreat in Burma without getting anywhere near SE.
Several people have mentioned that most people hit SE whilst on retreat. Doing it on retreat is hard enough... but doing it off! You must have exceptional Paramis or do you not think so?

A few more Qs:

1) What were you actually doing in your SE blip moment. I'm imagining you were on the cushion but maybe you were simply just walking down the street?  U Pandita emphasised that insight can arise at any time (as long as one is being mindful all the time).

2) You hit SE which was the whole objective so this is not very relevant but still curious though:
In the run up, you were striving earnestly. I had a look at your typical daily schedule. Got my head scratching. You went to bed around 10pm up at 7am. That seems like a lot of sleep 9 hours, especially given your objective. Did you never think to get up an hour earlier or go to bed can hour later or both?

In fact if U Pandita looked at the schedule he'd call it Vipassana lite. I'm sure the monks over there would never think it possible for SE. They're forever beating the drum about 7 hours sitting 7 hours walking minimum and only 4 hours sleep...

Belief is a powerful conditioning factor in what we do and don't do. If one takes on this notion/belief that so and so many hours must be adhered to otherwise the desired result is an impossibility (or any other limiting notion/belief spawned from mental proliferation), then that locked in thought loop (belief) of 'impossibility' will condition what is done and not done and in turn condition/support the non-occurence of the desired result.

Nick

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 9:22 AM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers M:
I still have my doubts as to whether I have enough concentration to do it in daily life.

I had doubts as well Piers, then I said fuck it and started noting my experience instead of concentrating on the breath near the nostrils. The time when I began noting is right around the time where I began to see the insight stages more and more clearly.

I've been told and I've read that you don't need as much concentration as you think to start noting. I didn't believe this at first but as time went on I became more and more frustrated, so I changed up my practice and began to note. I am now closer to first path than I ever was before.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 12:07 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis,

1. How do you know you hit SE? What was the moment like? I just read your practice log and it said you were up giggling and laughing, and there was a strange sensation near your head? I was under the impression that SE occurs after a cessation.

2. How in your opinion does all this work? How does noting lead to 'insight'? 

3. While noting, do you consciously think of the three characteristics and try to look for them?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/18/15 1:07 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Piers M
Travis,
This thread is a very informative account of your experiences. So thanks for taking the time with all the Q&As.
It almost feels like you've upped the stakes with your determination to do it iin within normal day to day life.
However, I still have my doubts as to whether I have enough concentration to do it in daily life. I just spent 3 months on retreat in Burma without getting anywhere near SE. 
Several people have mentioned that most people hit SE whilst on retreat. Doing it on retreat is hard enough... but doing it off! You must have exceptional Paramis or do you not think so?

A few more Qs:

1) What were you actually doing in your SE blip moment. I'm imagining you were on the cushion but maybe you were simply just walking down the street?  U Pandita emphasised that insight can arise at any time (as long as one is being mindful all the time).

2) You hit SE which was the whole objective so this is not very relevant but still curious though:
In the run up, you were striving earnestly. I had a look at your typical daily schedule. Got my head scratching. You went to bed around 10pm up at 7am. That seems like a lot of sleep 9 hours, especially given your objective. Did you never think to get up an hour earlier or go to bed can hour later or both?

In fact if U Pandita looked at the schedule he'd call it Vipassana lite. I'm sure the monks over there would never think it possible for SE. They're forever beating the drum about 7 hours sitting 7 hours walking minimum and only 4 hours sleep...
No problem emoticon thanks for taking the time to read it. I've actually heard the same myself about the Burma retreat... I had it in my head that if I didn't hit SE on the Goenka retreat I'd start making plans to go to Burma.
As for the Paramis, I don't know if I possess 'exceptional' ones but I do know that I have a lot more energy/motivation than most of my peers... I believe this to be a driving factor for the amount of time spent until SE.

1.) I remember it vividly. I was sitting in the meditation hall at a Goenka retreat. We were about half way done with that sit and I was in a lawn chair with one cushion (my knee for some reason hurt like none other when I tried sitting on the floor). I was doing my normal noting until something happened... I can't be sure what because I'm not sure I was 'there' when it happened but after it happened I noticed something had happened haha << say that five times fast! The moment following, my head was buzzing and I was in the most giggly/happy/euphoric mood I have ever been in. Ever since, my head hasn't stopped buzzing. I talked to another experienced meditator about this buzz and he suggested that it's 1st jhana. He says I'm lucky because not everyone gets to experience it for as long as I have.

2.) You know, I did, and I think I might've experimented with that but I find that (even nowadays) if I wake up too early (no matter the amount of sleep I get) I'm extremely groggy and find it very hard to stay awake.

4 hours of sleep??? I don't know if I could do that haha

Jake WM
I had doubts as well Piers, then I said fuck it and started noting my experience instead of concentrating on the breath near the nostrils. The time when I began noting is right around the time where I began to see the insight stages more and more clearly. 

I've been told and I've read that you don't need as much concentration as you think to start noting. I didn't believe this at first but as time went on I became more and more frustrated, so I changed up my practice and began to note. I am now closer to first path than I ever was before.
Yes exactly!! emoticon good to hear Jake...

Jinxed P
1. How do you know you hit SE? What was the moment like? I just read your practice log and it said you were up giggling and laughing, and there was a strange sensation near your head? I was under the impression that SE occurs after a cessation. 

2. How in your opinion does all this work? How does noting lead to 'insight'?  

3. While noting, do you consciously think of the three characteristics and try to look for them?
1.) I put that answer in this post a little earlier when I was answering Piers M. Let me know if you want me to expand on it. In MCTB, it says that following Nirvana/the blank out period, the mind is overcome with pleasant sensations.

2.) In my opinion?? Oh goodness... haha I'm not that experienced keep in mind. People like Nikolai are probably more qualified to answer that but I won't avoid the question. I'll try to keep in concise too...

It seems as though while noting, the noting mind makes it somewhat of a habit subconsciously to notice sensations and their true form. For our brains, all sensations do 1.) come and go, 2.) because of their inconsistent and impermanent nature they are also unsatisfactory and 3.) there is no 'me', 'I', 'my' in any of these sensations. Although we are accustomed to thinking that if there is a feeling, there must be a subject to feel it, therefore I must exist, this isn't the truth. So while you note, your mind is silently and carefully noticing these characteristics and thereby changing it's entire structure (neural structure) to reflect this truth.

In short, I think the entire brain rewires itself slowly over the course of your noting journey and at Stream Entry, it makes a final connection to fully understand these new truths. There is another member on here who explains this theory quite well. His name is Dream Walker and he has developed quite the theoretical explination of what actually happens in the brain during this whole experience. I've learned to adopt this theory as well.

3.) This question is a bit harder to explain than I truly wish it was. Daniel Ingram had advised me to note as much as I could, but at the same time trying to notice the three characteristics. I had no idea what he was trying to say at the time but now I see it.

At first, I would suggest memorizing the three characteristics so well that it becomes second nature. What I mean by this is you theoretically know the three characteristics. Then, when you go to note, it's a kind of reminder each time you note that each sensation has these three characteristics. That isn't to say that when you note it'll look like this>> "hearing (impermanent, suffering, no-self), seeing (impermanent, suffering, no-self), touching (impermanent, suffering, no-self)"... this would take too much brain power in my opinion. 
It's more like looking through red glasses; you don't have to think to see the red, it just happens everywhere you look. At first it may be kind of slow (your noting), but (as Daniel suggested to me), you want to try and notice within each sensation at least one of the characteristics each time. I started with impermanence. This is easier to see (I think) because of how fast they come and go.


Thanks for all of your questions and guidance. I appreciate the questions and feedback emoticon
Let me know if anythings confusing, muddled, inconsistent, etc. I'd be more than happy to clarify

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/19/15 1:53 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis, there's still something I'm trying to comprehend...

It's how you were able to continuously (or almost continuously) note while in social or work environment with people talking to you, maybe making demands, asking questions etc.

At work when you were engaged in a particular activity requiring concentration in the normal worldly way, did you drop the noting or not? What about when talking with colleagues?

With good mindfulness it is possible to be aware that you are talking or listening and can even have - I don't know exactly - but a certain % noting quietly in the background eg. Speaking speaking listening listening etc. Were you doing this?

I know this from my own very limited experiences. However when I made the intention to be aware (and noting in the background) whilst talking/listening this was whilst on retreat and even then I found it difficult. Once conversation went beyond a mere 4 or 5 mins and the mind (mine at any rate) became too interested (engrossed) in talking or listening noting went out the window.

So to maintain this noting in ordinary daily life OFF the cushion is what I'm trying to figure.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/19/15 2:16 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Piers M:
Travis,
This thread is a very informative account of your experiences. So thanks for taking the time with all the Q&As.
It almost feels like you've upped the stakes with your determination to do it iin within normal day to day life.
However, I still have my doubts as to whether I have enough concentration to do it in daily life. I just spent 3 months on retreat in Burma without getting anywhere near SE.
Several people have mentioned that most people hit SE whilst on retreat. Doing it on retreat is hard enough... but doing it off! You must have exceptional Paramis or do you not think so?

A few more Qs:

1) What were you actually doing in your SE blip moment. I'm imagining you were on the cushion but maybe you were simply just walking down the street?  U Pandita emphasised that insight can arise at any time (as long as one is being mindful all the time).

2) You hit SE which was the whole objective so this is not very relevant but still curious though:
In the run up, you were striving earnestly. I had a look at your typical daily schedule. Got my head scratching. You went to bed around 10pm up at 7am. That seems like a lot of sleep 9 hours, especially given your objective. Did you never think to get up an hour earlier or go to bed can hour later or both?

In fact if U Pandita looked at the schedule he'd call it Vipassana lite. I'm sure the monks over there would never think it possible for SE. They're forever beating the drum about 7 hours sitting 7 hours walking minimum and only 4 hours sleep...

Belief is a powerful conditioning factor in what we do and don't do. If one takes on this notion/belief that so and so many hours must be adhered to otherwise the desired result is an impossibility (or any other limiting notion/belief spawned from mental proliferation), then that locked in thought loop (belief) of 'impossibility' will condition what is done and not done and in turn condition/support the non-occurence of the desired result.

Nick
Nick, I cannot disagree with you here. Makes me wonder why so many teachers suggest timescales for certain events.

Eg. Goenka saying you will experience free flow (or was Bhanga nana) typically on your 7th 8th or 9 th day, and if not on your 2nd or 3rd retreat. Seriously fucked me up when by my 6th or 7th course I was seeing the teacher to ask why this hadn't happened to me. Caused no end of frustration/bewilderment at the time.

Or similarly U Pandita (senior) an arahant often states that if you are practicing properly you should experience Arising & Passing within 7 days or 15 or certainly within a month... But when I asked the teachers about this they said yes, in rare instances this is true for exceptional Yogis (with very good Paramis) but not the norm.

These kinds of statements can be dispiriting. (If you then fail to fit in that box).

And I'm still learning not to take them at face value. But it's not as if any old Joe was saying it. These are/were highly accomplished and experienced teachers.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/19/15 2:25 AM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
Pal, what technique do you use during your meditation? It's funny that the suttas don't mention the notiing technique once because I haven't read any of the suttas and use noting as my primary technique. It makes me wonder if reading them or expanding my knowledge of Buddhism in general will help me attain stream entry.

Also, last night I was thinking about how grasping for stream entry is a big hindrance in itself. I've read this numerous times before but last night is when it really sunk in. Grasping for stream entry is like grasping for any other insight stage on the progress of insight. It would be silly to meditate and have the knowlege of misery stage as your goal because the stages are a part of a process that can't be forced or manipulated. Meditating hard and trying to force an experience to occur will inhibit progress through the stages since they are a natural occurance of the mind. I was working this out last night and trying to understand it better and came to realize I have been meditating "improperly". There is a subtle, subtle tension and forceful feeling during my meditation that is definitely getting me stuck. When I meditate, I note very fast, without truly feeling out the sensations and feeling out my experience, investigating and exploring it, with the goal of this process being to progress through the stages as fast as possible and to experience that little blip in consciousness.

This also relates to the five spiritual faculties or the thing Daniel talked about in his book where the cart needs all 4 wheels to be balanced and in tune for the cart to actually move. I think that was the spiritual faculties... 

Also, last night I was thinking about how grasping for stream entry is a big hindrance in itself. I've read this numerous times before but last night is when it really sunk in. Grasping for stream entry is like grasping for any other insight stage on the progress of insight.oo

Hi Jake, darn it, wish I could find it but was only reading a couple of days ago possibly Thanissaro Bhikkhu or his teacher Ajahn Fuang saying that this was actually a "good" craving to have in that it motivates you to strive (for release) but that obviously at some point that needs to be let go of too....

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/19/15 7:50 AM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers I have read that somewhere as well and I agree with you that it is hugely motivating to have a goal like stream entry. It is currently what motivates me! I think the reason people get stuck is because they crave and anticipate the moment where it is going to happen but fail to notice this craving when it arises, especially during the equanimity stage. This has been the case for me and I am trying to be ultra conscious of this as it unfolds during my practice.


Eg. Goenka saying you will experience free flow (or was Bhanga nana) typically on your 7th 8th or 9 th day, and if not on your 2nd or 3rd retreat. Seriously fucked me up when by my 6th or 7th course I was seeing the teacher to ask why this hadn't happened to me. Caused no end of frustration/bewilderment at the time.

I also attended a Goenka retreat and when talking with people after it ended, many of them seemed to fall into this trap. This might be why Goenka puts such emphasis on being equanimous to all sensations that arise, good, bad, and neutral. In my opinion the technique falls short because it doesn't account for thoughts, it only accounts for bodily sensations, and that is where noting really shines. You can note "frustration" when it arises but with Goenka's technique, I guess you would just ignore it and remain equanimous to it. But thoughts have such power and momentum that this is incredibly difficult. Even for me during the retreat, this guy sitting next to me would make these disturbing grunting and choking noises and occasionally burst out in laughter, which was freaking annoying as hell at the time and I asked to be moved away from him. At the end of the retreat though I spoke to him and he said he had lost a few children and suffered immensely as a result. Turns out he had no control over the noises he was making, it was just the technique working and releasing emotion and other gunk I suppose. It would take effort to remain equanimous to that stuff in the moment. Throwing expectations into the fire, such as experiencing free flow on yout 6th day, would definitey create mental turmoil so I definitely understand the cause of your frustration.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/19/15 11:59 AM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers M:
Travis, there's still something I'm trying to comprehend...

It's how you were able to continuously (or almost continuously) note while in social or work environment with people talking to you, maybe making demands, asking questions etc.

At work when you were engaged in a particular activity requiring concentration in the normal worldly way, did you drop the noting or not? What about when talking with colleagues?

With good mindfulness it is possible to be aware that you are talking or listening and can even have - I don't know exactly - but a certain % noting quietly in the background eg. Speaking speaking listening listening etc. Were you doing this?

I know this from my own very limited experiences. However when I made the intention to be aware (and noting in the background) whilst talking/listening this was whilst on retreat and even then I found it difficult. Once conversation went beyond a mere 4 or 5 mins and the mind (mine at any rate) became too interested (engrossed) in talking or listening noting went out the window.

So to maintain this noting in ordinary daily life OFF the cushion is what I'm trying to figure.

Got it. I'll try to explain my experience here;

Off-cushion life, such as at work, will suffer if not entirely diminish, in my experience. I told/warned my girlfriend that many of our conversations from here on out (all the way to SE) would be very limited and short. She was very understanding (I'm lucky to have her).

As for work, it had to be put on the back burner, noting was my first priority. So, when I was at work I wouldn't talk to people (talking, I find, damages focus faster than anything else), and while doing things such as making sandwiches (I worked at Jimmy John's), I would always note first, and make sandwiches second. << Does that make sense?? I made some bad sandwiches and often times forgot what I was doing (because at times I'd be noting so well!) that my co-workers and even my boss noticed. I did talk to people once in a while about things NOT related to the dharma, yes. But it was far and few in between, maybe once or twice a day, lasting a short 10min at most. And to be honest a lot of times I wasn't exactly listening, I was noting.

It would take me FOREVER to sweep and mop the floors because I would at every turn note (feeling, thinking, feeling, seeing, wanting, feeling, moving, feeling, seeing, etc.).

My social life pretty much ended. I had one or two people I talked to (not including my girlfriend) but only about the dharma and practicing. Dream Walker was one of those people, my brother was another. Nearly everything I talked about was related to dharma. You can imagine this only would turn people off generally (both a positive thing and a negative thing).

^^^ This is why compassion is so important for those on the path. They look so self-centered and reserved but really they are focused and trying to make the world a better place. I was lucky enough to have surrounded myself with good people from the beginning so I didn't have many problems secluding myself. Keep in mind that at the beginning of all of this, it was probably less extreme. As I progressed it got more and more intense and therefore excluding.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/21/15 9:31 AM as a reply to Jake.
I focus on the breath mainly, because I can't decide how to interpret the rest of the anapana instructions (I tried Thanissaro's approach but it didn't work for me, maybe it will later), so I thought that if I just do the basics, like Arittha in the Arittha sutta, focusing on the breath while letting go of the future and the past, I will come to an understanding of the more complex instructions in time. 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/21/15 9:45 AM as a reply to Piers M.
Yes I generally doubt that their attainments are the same or their methods as effective and yet pleasant as those described in the suttas emoticon this goes mostly for teachers schooled in the burmese traditions which emphasize (or how it's spelled) the separation of samatha and vipassana. That split is also nowhere to be found in the suttas, as far as I know, at least not as two different styles of meditation.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/21/15 9:49 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Yes I generally doubt that their attainments are the same or their methods as effective and yet pleasant as those described in the suttas emoticon this goes mostly for teachers schooled in the burmese traditions which emphasize (or how it's spelled) the separation of samatha and vipassana. That split is also nowhere to be found in the suttas, as far as I know, at least not as two different styles of meditation.


Well you do know that this website was founded by Daniel Ingram who wrote MCTB and believes in the seperation of vipassana and sammatha right?

Of course all opinions are welcome, I just find it a little ironic that you spend so much time on here yet you don't agree with one of the most agreed upon methods here...

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/21/15 11:20 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Lol, this guy Pal seems like a troll to me.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/21/15 11:36 AM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
Lol, this guy Pal seems like a troll to me.


Yeah...

I mean different opinions should always be welcomed but he isn't discussing he's just claiming that everything that we do here on Dharma Overground is not cited in the suttas... I'm beginning to think this thread is done.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/21/15 12:57 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Jake WM:
Lol, this guy Pal seems like a troll to me.


Yeah...

I mean different opinions should always be welcomed but he isn't discussing he's just claiming that everything that we do here on Dharma Overground is not cited in the suttas... I'm beginning to think this thread is done.

It might be. Either way, I got a lot out of it and im sure everyone else who posted here did as well. Thank you Travis.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/22/15 4:08 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Yes he has done some great and also very provocative work.
I don't know any other place on the internet with this many serious meditators around emoticon 
I think I stay around partly because I kinda want to get convinced otherwise haha
and there are people doing lots of different traditions and methods here. I'm more into thai buddhism than burmese, but I stay critical to everything.

@Jake WM
Well sorry if I provoked you? 

Guys, sorry for going partly OT.
Travis: how much jhana did you get while noting? How much jhana do you get after your attainment? If you already answrred this I missed it. 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/22/15 10:32 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Yes he has done some great and also very provocative work.
I don't know any other place on the internet with this many serious meditators around emoticon 
I think I stay around partly because I kinda want to get convinced otherwise haha
and there are people doing lots of different traditions and methods here. I'm more into thai buddhism than burmese, but I stay critical to everything.

@Jake WM
Well sorry if I provoked you? 


Guys, sorry for going partly OT.
Travis: how much jhana did you get while noting? How much jhana do you get after your attainment? If you already answrred this I missed it. 

Is that a question or a legit apology? Generally apologies don't have '?' at the end in my experience.
I'm only saying that because I've actually had quite a bit of people on here tell me that this is generally what happens when you join a thread. I'm not hatin', quite the opposite really. I love having different opinions but perhaps you need to practice being more mindful of what you put on here as to not 'provoke' a bad reaction out of people.

I didn't hit jhana while noting... I got 1st jhana nearly perpetually right after SE. << At least that's what another experienced meditator told me when I described my experience.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/22/15 11:54 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Pål:
Yes he has done some great and also very provocative work.
I don't know any other place on the internet with this many serious meditators around emoticon 
I think I stay around partly because I kinda want to get convinced otherwise haha
and there are people doing lots of different traditions and methods here. I'm more into thai buddhism than burmese, but I stay critical to everything.

@Jake WM
Well sorry if I provoked you? 


Guys, sorry for going partly OT.
Travis: how much jhana did you get while noting? How much jhana do you get after your attainment? If you already answrred this I missed it. 

Is that a question or a legit apology? Generally apologies don't have '?' at the end in my experience.
I'm only saying that because I've actually had quite a bit of people on here tell me that this is generally what happens when you join a thread. I'm not hatin', quite the opposite really. I love having different opinions but perhaps you need to practice being more mindful of what you put on here as to not 'provoke' a bad reaction out of people.

I didn't hit jhana while noting... I got 1st jhana nearly perpetually right after SE. << At least that's what another experienced meditator told me when I described my experience.

Since I crossed A&P my mind has felt very raw, like a huge transformation and change is happening in my mind that it out of my control, and as a result it is difficult to talk with others, dispute arguments logically, reason, just live actually haha. I've learned not to be bothered by this and attribute it completely to this meditation practice. Travis, not sure if you felt similar pre-path but I am banking on stream entry and other path moments to delete the junk that is in my mind. This might sound strange but it's the only way I can think of to describe it.

Anyway, I agree with Travis and was going to post a response to Pal when he apologized for provoking me but did not know how to say what I wanted to say. Following this path so far has given me the ability to be much, much more mindful of the conseqeunces of my actions which is why I chose not to respond to your comment.

Pal, the noting method has been hugely effective for me and I was a huge skeptic at first. I didn't believe when people said "the power is in its simplicity" but it truly is. I can tell you from experience that it is worth taking a look at, just reading about it I guess, not even trying it. Considering different perspectives despite what you might know or think you know, is a challenging task but it can transform the way you think and open your mind. 

It is amazing how much walking the path bleeds through into the rest of your life. The awareness and attention cultivated through examining what goes on inside my body and mind has made it easier to understand other perspectives, see things through the eyes of others, and consider opinions that would otherwise seem compeltely ludicrous. Lol, I've been ranting a lot and should probably keep this stuff private but I am getting excited to walk the rest of this path and see what happens emoticon

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/23/15 3:56 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/23/15 4:04 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:

Travis: how much jhana did you get while noting? How much jhana do you get after your attainment? If you already answrred this I missed it. 

All 4 jhanas and 4 formless attainments occured for me  due to the noting technique and how I applied it on retreat. Post first cessation, those same experiences were extremely easy to call up at a whim, magically so, or so it seemed at the time. The first cessation did something to the brain that made such formations so easy to simply call up and give shape to with extreme ease. No effort needed. That still rings true today, though the novelty of such access died out long ago. Don't ask me how a cessation gives suh access, it just occured like so. And does so for countless yogis getting to the same territory. 

Nick

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/23/15 7:17 PM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:

Pal, the noting method has been hugely effective for me and I was a huge skeptic at first. I didn't believe when people said "the power is in its simplicity" but it truly is. I can tell you from experience that it is worth taking a look at, just reading about it I guess, not even trying it. Considering different perspectives despite what you might know or think you know, is a challenging task but it can transform the way you think and open your mind. 



I think this ties in with the second of the basic principles of this website (see below) - namely, give it a try, i.e. suck it and see....

http://dharmaoverground.org/  - Home page...

In general our basic principles and attitudes favor:

  • pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, freedom from suffering in what ways are possible, etc.
  • diligent practice over blind faith: this place is about doing it and understanding for yourself rather than believing someone else and not testing those beliefs out
  • openness regarding what the techniques may lead to and how these contrast or align with the traditional models
  • personal responsibility: you take responsibility for the choices you make and what you say and claim
  • a lack of taboos surrounding talking about attainments
  • the assumption that the various aspects of meditative development can be mastered in this life
  • the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships
  • and the notion that the collective wisdom of a group of strong practitioners at various stages and from various traditions and backgrounds is often better than following one guru-type.
There are lots of ways up the mountain, and many interesting skills and insights to develop using many traditions and paths. Make yourself at home. Discover the possibilities of how straightforward, down-to-Earth, and practical the Dharma can be. May all find something here that is of value and contribute to the wisdom represented and conveyed here

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/23/15 7:22 PM as a reply to b man.
Haha what do you mean suck it and see? I like where you are headed with that post but I don't follow the last bit.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/24/15 2:02 AM as a reply to Jake.
I added the "?" out of confusion like "wtf now I'm a troll?" but it's ok, I'll try not to be one. 

How was/is your DN? I've actually recently got to hear about other methods that brings dark nights so brutal you can't compare them to dukkha nanas so now I'm not as turned off by the noting version anymore, I think. 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/24/15 2:09 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
That's more convincing. emoticon So it's common people can bring up Jhanas at will after cessation? Can I get it through Goenka too? Thinking about getting A&P through Goenka and then starting to note until SE then go all out Jhana to develope iddhis as described in the suttas then. 

Btw, anyone tried noting while focusing ob breath sensations at the nose?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/24/15 2:21 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Piers M:
Travis, there's still something I'm trying to comprehend...

It's how you were able to continuously (or almost continuously) note while in social or work environment with people talking to you, maybe making demands, asking questions etc.

At work when you were engaged in a particular activity requiring concentration in the normal worldly way, did you drop the noting or not? What about when talking with colleagues?

With good mindfulness it is possible to be aware that you are talking or listening and can even have - I don't know exactly - but a certain % noting quietly in the background eg. Speaking speaking listening listening etc. Were you doing this?

I know this from my own very limited experiences. However when I made the intention to be aware (and noting in the background) whilst talking/listening this was whilst on retreat and even then I found it difficult. Once conversation went beyond a mere 4 or 5 mins and the mind (mine at any rate) became too interested (engrossed) in talking or listening noting went out the window.

So to maintain this noting in ordinary daily life OFF the cushion is what I'm trying to figure.

Got it. I'll try to explain my experience here;

Off-cushion life, such as at work, will suffer if not entirely diminish, in my experience. I told/warned my girlfriend that many of our conversations from here on out (all the way to SE) would be very limited and short. She was very understanding (I'm lucky to have her).

As for work, it had to be put on the back burner, noting was my first priority. So, when I was at work I wouldn't talk to people (talking, I find, damages focus faster than anything else), and while doing things such as making sandwiches (I worked at Jimmy John's), I would always note first, and make sandwiches second. << Does that make sense?? I made some bad sandwiches and often times forgot what I was doing (because at times I'd be noting so well!) that my co-workers and even my boss noticed. I did talk to people once in a while about things NOT related to the dharma, yes. But it was far and few in between, maybe once or twice a day, lasting a short 10min at most. And to be honest a lot of times I wasn't exactly listening, I was noting.

It would take me FOREVER to sweep and mop the floors because I would at every turn note (feeling, thinking, feeling, seeing, wanting, feeling, moving, feeling, seeing, etc.).

My social life pretty much ended. I had one or two people I talked to (not including my girlfriend) but only about the dharma and practicing. Dream Walker was one of those people, my brother was another. Nearly everything I talked about was related to dharma. You can imagine this only would turn people off generally (both a positive thing and a negative thing).

^^^ This is why compassion is so important for those on the path. They look so self-centered and reserved but really they are focused and trying to make the world a better place. I was lucky enough to have surrounded myself with good people from the beginning so I didn't have many problems secluding myself. Keep in mind that at the beginning of all of this, it was probably less extreme. As I progressed it got more and more intense and therefore excluding.

Travis, just wanted to say thanks for starting this thread. It has given me much to ponder.

And in relation to how you rejigged your life circumstances as described above so you could maximise your chances of getting the job done.... Well, what to say beyond WOW! Amazing. Very inspiring stuff.

(Sorry a bit slow to respond. For some reason - could be the platform issues of DhO in general or else it's the WiFi connection or maybe even this tablet but at times, submitting a post fails and I get a Message boards temporarily unavailable instead. Weird).

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/30/15 7:16 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis, how are things going? Any difference from when you first posted? Things settling down?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/30/15 8:21 PM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers M,

No problem my man emoticon We're all in this together, right??

Jake WM,

And no, things are pretty much the same haha got a slight background buzz going on.... blanking out every now and then... etc. How are you doing? How is practice going?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/31/15 9:37 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Practice is going well. Still a little confused after I had that weird energetic event a couple weeks ago but I am noting in my daily life, off the cushion, more than ever. Starting to gain on just how automatic everything seems to be and that is starting to build more curiosity. It also seems my mind is gravitating towards noting more rather than mindless chatter and thought loops. Trying to build as much momentum as I can because every note brings me one step closer to stream entry!

Edit: I'm also beginning to clearly see the 'self' I've built up in my mind around the dark night and meditative practice in general. After 3 solid years of messing around in the DN I've begun to identify with dark night things and other things. Beginning to see that clearly with daily noting, very cool stuff.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/31/15 12:23 PM as a reply to Jake.
Jake WM:
Practice is going well. Still a little confused after I had that weird energetic event a couple weeks ago but I am noting in my daily life, off the cushion, more than ever. Starting to gain on just how automatic everything seems to be and that is starting to build more curiosity. It also seems my mind is gravitating towards noting more rather than mindless chatter and thought loops. Trying to build as much momentum as I can because every note brings me one step closer to stream entry!

Edit: I'm also beginning to clearly see the 'self' I've built up in my mind around the dark night and meditative practice in general. After 3 solid years of messing around in the DN I've begun to identify with dark night things and other things. Beginning to see that clearly with daily noting, very cool stuff.

That is quite interesting... it's good to recognize this effort on our part to build up a self around certain things (such as the DN stuff in your case). After SE I still do that... I always find it beneifical to review certain ideas/concepts in my mind to see if I've built up a self around anything. Sometimes I catch myself in the act...

Keep up the good work emoticon you've got tons of support over here. I'm sending you positive vibes!!!... did you get them? Let me know, cause I've been having problems with delivery. 

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/31/15 5:40 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
[quote=
]1.) 'Background noise': Since the retreat (and since the moment I hit SE), I've had what I like to call a 'background noise' of excitment or "rapture". It's much like the feeling I got when I hit 1st Jhana.... only this feeling has literally persisted since my original SE event. I can always feel it, although I'm not always aware of it.

Hi Travis, Firstly thanks for this thread, very interesting. I wanted to ask you to clarify the background noise you mention.

I've no idea where I am path-wise, only that i know I passed the A&P stage several times, but recently have been getting a lot of light buzzing sound (sometimes fairly loud when meditating), but also a vibrational excitement/anticipation much of the rest of the time. To begin with it was accompagnied by really annoying jaw and face ache and I eased up on meditation time. Now everything feels good, almost too easy.

Trying not to get too involved with the feeling, but just noting and curious about it. Concentration and general mood have improved vastly.

Wondering if it's possible I am further along than I thought?
,

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/31/15 7:13 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Hahaha I think I recieved your vibes from earlier, thanks man! Putting some in my pocket to save for later... emoticon

Also, it's hard to describe this "self" that I've built up, its more just intrusive / automatic thoughts that pop into my mind which I then identify with and make stories about. For example right now I'm feeling kind of spacey and out of it, which is quite normal, and I would think to myself "damn, its just the dark night symptons, stupid dark night, I wish it would go away". A thought like that would appear and I would follow it for a few seconds and think about it. Now though I will just note that thought, as "story" and then bam it's gone and I dont identify with it and make a story and an excuse about it.

What has helped me alot is reading Nikolai's blog post here: http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2010/11/hi-friend-one-of-defining-and-very_12.html. It made a ton of sense, how noting breaks down the sense of self which really is our idenfication with thoughts, feelings, sounds, etc. Thanks Nikolai!

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
3/31/15 10:04 PM as a reply to Al.
Al:
[quote=
]1.) 'Background noise': Since the retreat (and since the moment I hit SE), I've had what I like to call a 'background noise' of excitment or "rapture". It's much like the feeling I got when I hit 1st Jhana.... only this feeling has literally persisted since my original SE event. I can always feel it, although I'm not always aware of it.

Hi Travis, Firstly thanks for this thread, very interesting. I wanted to ask you to clarify the background noise you mention.

I've no idea where I am path-wise, only that i know I passed the A&P stage several times, but recently have been getting a lot of light buzzing sound (sometimes fairly loud when meditating), but also a vibrational excitement/anticipation much of the rest of the time. To begin with it was accompagnied by really annoying jaw and face ache and I eased up on meditation time. Now everything feels good, almost too easy.

Trying not to get too involved with the feeling, but just noting and curious about it. Concentration and general mood have improved vastly.

Wondering if it's possible I am further along than I thought?
,

Al,
First off, what's tough about diagnosing is that there is so much variety per yogi per path. <-- I would imagine that in order to diagnosis correctly (consistently), one would need a considerable amount of experience on the path(s) already, and I don't think my experience applies. I would consider talking with an experience meditator such as Beth Folk, she does one-on-one skype interviews to help guide yogi's. If you want her contact info let me know.
With all of that being said, it seems like you're cycling through the first path... it's definitely possible to go through the A&P more than once, although I remember Daniel Ingram mentioning that you only have one A&P moment.

The background sound I mentioned is a very VERY slight noise that mightve been there before I meditated/hit SE but it's only since I hit SE that it started to feel really good.

Jake WM,

Yes, I think without Nikolai's blogs/guidance I wouldn't be where I am now. He's helped me loads...

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/2/15 10:46 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Hello all!

It's been a while since I've been on here and the reasons are varied and numerous. I think I can attribute my acquistion of Stream-Entry to a big reason as to why I'm not on here on a regular basis anymore...

As I have detailed elsewhere on this thread, I went to a Goenka retreat in Texas during the summer months of 2014 and since then things have been noticeably different...

1.) 'Background noise': Since the retreat (and since the moment I hit SE), I've had what I like to call a 'background noise' of excitment or "rapture". It's much like the feeling I got when I hit 1st Jhana.... only this feeling has literally persisted since my original SE event. I can always feel it, although I'm not always aware of it.

2.) Change in perception: My perception of time as well as my perception in general has changed quite a bit. I find that time is harder to grasp or quantify at times. For example, 5min of eating may feel like several hours once I look back at how long I've been eating. Or, an hour of walking may feel like only a couple of minutes. This is not like 'being in the zone' where your perception of time is off or while having a good time, it's much like time is not being made aware as it had been before SE.

3.) Moments of 'me' not being there: I'm not exactly sure how to explain this phenomenon, but it's almost like the 'blanking out' that happens whenever one reaches another full cycle in the path. I don't get a rush of euphoria (because that's there all of the time anyways), but there are slight moments where its almost as if I was not conscious or even there. 

4.) Complacement/contentment: I've had contentment before, but not like this. There is an ovewhelming sense of everything being O.K., despite set-backs or obstacles. For this reason only it's hard to conjure up the 'motivation' to get onto DharmaOverground because I see everything as o.k., and if there is something 'wrong' then it'll figure itself eventually as all things in life do. Perhaps it's an understanding of the Yin Yang relationship... who knows.

These are some of the bigger things I've noticed on a day-to-day basis. Of course, I still feel anger, frustration, upsetness, happiness, sadness, etc., but the emotions are much more managable than they've ever been. I wouldn't say I'm 'happy', rather, content. It's a pleasant feeling and it keeps me going.

I will try to keep coming on here to add what little wisdom I have acheived this far to all others.
Good work! And very good thread.
A thing that is very useful that I didn't see in your post: question.

Question what you're doing, how you feel about it, the results they produce. Question any idea of solidity, of this is this and that is that. Question any idea of movement, of this is going this way or another, or even that it is moving. 

Question what you know, what you don't know.

Just put some amount of uncertainty into your ideas to force the mind to face reality.

Questioning, when done properly, results in noting, but a different kind of noting. Questioning forces the mind to note intention, expectation, ideas and beliefs.

Question this post and your reaction to it.

It is quite a challenge to the mind (or even to a person) to question if what they're doing is right, or the ideas of good and bad, or the ideas of better and worse.

Question pleasure, stillness, movement, detachment, time.

When questioning, be humble and kind to yourself. You're not "destroying" things, just trying to know what they are, where they are, when they arise and when they end, where they arise and where they end.

Oh, and challenge any idea that you're making progress, any idea that your going backwards, that you even know where you are (or who you are emoticon), the mind grasp for those things is usually huge (be gentle though).

For me at least, the moment I question too hard, the mind gets to the "I don't know", "I can't move or think" moment. A "I don't know what to do or not do", which result in "I don't care" or "whatever".
Life goes on as usual after that (with no insight), but the doubt keeps digging in the mind unconciously until it finds an answer.

Just sharing some ideas.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/2/15 11:15 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
Ernest Michael Olmos:

A thing that is very useful that I didn't see in your post: question.
Just sharing some ideas.
I question your questioning emoticon

Note thinking, note thinking.

Perhaps you could explain why you think this is important and what results you propose it has besides feeding the monkey mind.
Thanks,
~D

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/2/15 1:22 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Ernest Michael Olmos:

A thing that is very useful that I didn't see in your post: question.
Just sharing some ideas.
I question your questioning emoticon

Note thinking, note thinking.

Perhaps you could explain why you think this is important and what results you propose it has besides feeding the monkey mind.
Thanks,
~D
Hahaha. Good one.

It's not that questioning is more important that everything else he is doing.
From his post he has all the other things covered (concentration, noting, etc).

The moment you note, you become aware, you note "I'm doing this", but then, you are solidifying it, like "this is this way".
It's not until you note fast enough that the idea of "I'm doing in this" doesn't make sense because reality moves faster than your noting.
That works wonders on actions and physical things, but not so good on expectation, effort, ideas and other kind of thinking. 

Even more, some ideas or beliefs seem to be "all around", and can't be noticed until they are questioned.

For most things, questioning is the same as noting.
But for effort, expectation, etc, questioning works better.
You cannot note thinking if you take it's validity for granted.
Taking something for granted is a kind of thinking.

Again, I'm not saying that questioning is more important than noting or concentration.
Just another tool in the toolbox.

Oh, and don't feed the monkey mind, note questioning, note fear to questioning, note ideas, note everything.
Questioning usually gives more material for noting emoticon, makes you aware of things that are happenning but you didn't notice.

Again, it's very difficult to note fully "I'm doing this" until you ask yourself "why I'm doing it?".

Just an opinion.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/2/15 1:52 PM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
Ernest Michael Olmos:
Even more, some ideas or beliefs seem to be "all around", and can't be noticed until they are questioned.

Questioning usually gives more material for noting emoticon, makes you aware of things that are happenning but you didn't notice.
Thanks Ernest,
Very nicely done.
I would only put theideas or beliefs into a slightly larger container of Fabrications or Constructs. This would include sensations and patterns of sensations as well as any thoughts or emotions that arise and interact with sensations.
~D

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/2/15 3:38 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Ernest Michael Olmos:
Even more, some ideas or beliefs seem to be "all around", and can't be noticed until they are questioned.

Questioning usually gives more material for noting emoticon, makes you aware of things that are happenning but you didn't notice.
Thanks Ernest,
Very nicely done.
I would only put theideas or beliefs into a slightly larger container of Fabrications or Constructs. This would include sensations and patterns of sensations as well as any thoughts or emotions that arise and interact with sensations.
~D
I'll second that Ernest. Nicely put.

Thanks for the advice/guidance emoticon I'll beginning questioning everything and see where it takes me. In fact, I'll start now with "is questioning everything worth it?" ;) too many lame jokes could be made with this.... haha sorry, I had to try.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/3/15 8:10 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Well, I'm not going to question him questioning my questioning emoticon.

Anyway, you got SE and seem to be doing fine, so congratulations and keep doing what you're doing.

It usually strikes me as odd all this certainty about this things, like this is this and that is that. I'm very reluctant  to categorize experiences or things. But that is probably my problem. I tend to be an outsider.

Again, congratulations and thanks for sharing.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/3/15 5:48 PM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
Ernest,

No problem.

And I understand where you're coming from... there are many things I question. I like to think of the choice between questioning and not questioning to be analogous with a particular theory in astrophysics...

In this theory, the universe is described as a particular amount of entropy; the more entropy there is, the less form there is an therefore the more chaos there is. There have been discussions of theoretical universes with more or less entropy inherent in their universe compared to ours... it is said that our universe exists in a beautiful range on the entropy scale. Any more entropy and complex life wouldn't be able to form. Any less entropy, and we wouldn't evolve/change as quickly as we did.

I like to think of 'entropy' as the amount one questions their existance; if you question too much, nothing can form and therefore no base can come into existance to allow for specific things to happen (progress for example). If one questions too little, no progress will happen due to the lack of curiosity. Perhaps you have a tad bit more entropy (questioning) then is needed for 'progress'... if there is such a thing.

Anyways, just a fun thought. emoticon

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/4/15 8:44 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
There's a whole tradition in asking questions, with the "who I am" and the koans, etc. The goal is not to find answers to them, but to force the mind to move in a different direction.

The mind is lazy, very lazy. Whenever it finds something new, it labels and categorizes, and in doing so, it stops making effort to understand it, to see it.

When being too sure about things, remember impermanence. When being too attached to pleasure, remember suffering. Everytime you note, look for the 3Cs.

Regarging the questions, I'm not talking about the universe. I'm talking about meditation questions.
Some questions that come to mind:
Who I'm I? Why do I do things? Who does them? How does my feelings "paint" my experience? What is fear, is it impermanent? Is there really suffering in everything I do? What is the relationship between noting, thinking, doing? What is going on here?

Very nice thought about entrophy.
I wish I were more curious.

Remember that all that I write may be influenced by the stage in the path I'm in. And I'm certainly no authority in these things. I do read a lot and sometimes feel a little guilty about not posting and giving my opinion. I don't know if it is useful, but it is posted now emoticon.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/4/15 9:46 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
Ernest Michael Olmos:
There's a whole tradition in asking questions, with the "who I am" and the koans, etc. The goal is not to find answers to them, but to force the mind to move in a different direction.

The mind is lazy, very lazy. Whenever it finds something new, it labels and categorizes, and in doing so, it stops making effort to understand it, to see it.

When being too sure about things, remember impermanence. When being too attached to pleasure, remember suffering. Everytime you note, look for the 3Cs.

Regarging the questions, I'm not talking about the universe. I'm talking about meditation questions.
Some questions that come to mind:
Who I'm I? Why do I do things? Who does them? How does my feelings "paint" my experience? What is fear, is it impermanent? Is there really suffering in everything I do? What is the relationship between noting, thinking, doing? What is going on here?

Very nice thought about entrophy.
I wish I were more curious.

Remember that all that I write may be influenced by the stage in the path I'm in. And I'm certainly no authority in these things. I do read a lot and sometimes feel a little guilty about not posting and giving my opinion. I don't know if it is useful, but it is posted nowemoticon.

I sometimes feel the same way. Wisdom is meant to be shared, and you've been sharing. I'm grateful for that.

I've started questioning in my own life and it's been interesting so far... thanks for the tip emoticon

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/4/15 3:17 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Ernest Michael Olmos:
....Some questions that come to mind:
Who I'm I? Why do I do things? Who does them? How does my feelings "paint" my experience? What is fear, is it impermanent? Is there really suffering in everything I do? What is the relationship between noting, thinking, doing? What is going on here? ....


Im gonna play devils advocate here and suggest maybe that these could either be unnecessary or just hindrances and a way to get lost in thought.

What I like about both scanning and noting is that they are pretty simple activities. You do them, you get results. I know that is simplifying it quite alot and there are obviously hurdles and difficulties to deal with along the way but my understanding from most of the things Ive read is this. As long as you keep noting, you will make progress regardless and will find the important insights come via practical experience, not philosophizing about them. Have I misunderstood?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
4/7/15 10:28 AM as a reply to b man.
Noting is a great technique (so is body scanning).
If you note a lot, I guess questions will arise (about who is noting, who is doing, who is observing).

I'm not suggesting that you answer the questions rationally, but that you delve into your experience to find try to find the answers (and note everything that happens).

Anyway, I've found that, by noting a lot physical actions, I got attached to a sense of detachment of thinking experience, which was certainly nice and was useful for some important insights. But in the long run, my attachment to it hindered progress.
I was forcefully getting into a state where noting some things was becoming very easy, but where I couldn't note the bigger picture (me getting into that state, by attachment to easy noting!). Attachment and detachment are difficult to note (at least for me).

I can only speak from my experience, so if noting and body scanning are working for you, keep noting!!! emoticon

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
11/30/17 8:33 AM as a reply to Ernest Michael Olmos.
Attachment and detachment are actually impossible to notice. You think you are safe and at some moment BOOM - you're attached. And you wish for an end, but end is not comming. Obsession grows and grows and grows causing a hole inside of you when you can't reach object you're attached too. Keep away xD Currently "attached to laziness" so i can't write my research papers meh.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
5/31/18 3:59 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
This thread is gold. Very motivating for someone who's wondering if daily life practice is enough to attain stream entry.  
Dear Travis, if you're still reading this, thank you so much.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
5/31/18 7:55 AM as a reply to tamaha.
tamaha:
This thread is gold. Very motivating for someone who's wondering if daily life practice is enough to attain stream entry.  
Dear Travis, if you're still reading this, thank you so much.


Of course emoticon I come on here every once in a while. Considering taking up my daily practice again to see how things have change...

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
6/1/18 1:08 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Of course emoticon I come on here every once in a while. Considering taking up my daily practice again to see how things have change...


Thanks for replying. Mind telling me how's your drive for full enlightenment after SE? Has the seeker in you reduced significantly that you don't have the need to have a daily practice? Do you at least sometimes feel the need to aim for higher paths?

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
6/1/18 8:29 AM as a reply to tamaha.
tamaha:
Travis Gene McKinstry:
Of course emoticon I come on here every once in a while. Considering taking up my daily practice again to see how things have change...


Thanks for replying. Mind telling me how's your drive for full enlightenment after SE? Has the seeker in you reduced significantly that you don't have the need to have a daily practice? Do you at least sometimes feel the need to aim for higher paths?
I think I’m a bit of an anomaly when it comes to motivation for continuing practice. I think most people feel the drive to keep going to full enlightenment. I, for some reason, did not. Life definitely changed for me after SE. It’s still significantly different, even now, compared to before SE.

RE: Several months after SE, what's life like for me?
Answer
7/8/18 8:28 PM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Gratz for your SE traviz. Wonderful experience there. I guess these would be the best time of your life?

After noting your no self, do your curiosity arise as what the hell im doing here and aiming to end these self illusion? Is there something holding you back?

So check if you’re a stream enterer :
- Suppose you lost all your belongings, will you be ok?
- Suppose you lose all your family, friends , will you be ok?
- Do you still comparing things which makes you sad and strive for more?
- Have you not experience anything yet from your practice of buddha , dharma , sangha?
- Suppose a big gods or demon appear before you, will you fear?
- Supporse I send you to hell now, to be burned and torture, will you be ok?

Thank You if you’re still there for answering