Stream Entry?

Doug Rahiser, modified 6 Years ago.

Stream Entry?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/1/15 Recent Posts
I am just returning from a 2 month retreat and think I may have achieved stream entry.  

I think my A&P was actually a realization of "..blip"  Tranlated to english as things happened and this is how it is.  If fel like in that moment I was forgiven for everything that had ever happened because it had all just happened and now this is what was.  Of course this did not last.  I actually initially thought I went through stream entry in the middle of the night one night after definitely hitting EQ.  I woke up and realized something really horrible (can't remember exactly what it was but everything went wrong.) and just layed with it.  Suddenly I wasn't feeling so bad about the experience and I just rolled over in my bad and then  ... cessation and a loss of self followed by a release of what felt like sexual energy.  This was followed by quite a high and a sense of having achieved something.  A sense of rawness to everything along with relief.  

Actually stream entry or do cycles actually get MORE intense sometimes?  I was sitting and could tell I was standing at the door.  I had let go for a moment earlier in the day and seen all sense of dualism drop off but had not maintained it long enough to go through.  There was sitting paying attention then suddenly, coming back.  I opened my eyes and looked around the room and everything just was.  It was free of joy, sorrow, inherent solidity.  Everthing (including me) was completely open and ungrounded.  I just kept practicing a bit and as I walked into the foyer of the meditation hall "me" kind of fully kicked back on-line.  That's when the awe suddenly began to come in.  It was like there had been a moment of eternity.  There was my time before, that moment and my time after.  Somehow separate by an instant that was beyond.  It was forever and yet no time.  I went and sat up on a hill and was not even overjoyed or rapturous.  Just relieved in such a profound way I cannot even describe.  I had thoughts about the continuation of practice and the difficulty of the dark night and it all seemed so small.  THIS existed.  This rest beyond and it had forgiven and wiped clean all the pain before it.  So I picked up and kept practicing.  

Questions.  First, does this sound like stream entry.  My experience now of personality is kind of funny.  Sometimes it's like I see I'm holding on to something and drop it only to realize I just dropped my currently personality.  I call it taking the mask off.  It's a little funny when this happens while interacting as it feels as though it resets my emotional involvment in the conversation (quite nice during a difficult exchange where I've begun to be hard on "myself".

Second I've noticed cycling and going through what seem like larger and smaller variants of frution since.  Each time feels like a complete reset of what came before but some are definitely more extreme than others.  Does the fractal nature of the paths exist even within the first path?  Are some doors "bigger" than others.  They always seem to have the same effect but the time spent without a solid sense of person afterward and extremety of the no-time seems to vary.  They also seem to go round and round getting smaller each time until not then a big one comes again which proceeds to get smaller and smaller as time goes on.

These are just a few questions I had and checking in to see if this sounds like stream entry.
Rist Ei, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
no, it can't be. There is said that there will be no doubt after 1st path. And you will surely know when you attain it.

And to say after breaking to 2nd skandha you will be able to go out of the body and that obe is not that what is from illness or anything hallocinational.

3rd skhanda you are able to shapeshift.
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Laurel Carrington, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 441 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
Rist Ei:
no, it can't be. There is said that there will be no doubt after 1st path. And you will surely know when you attain it.

And to say after breaking to 2nd skandha you will be able to go out of the body and that obe is not that what is from illness or anything hallocinational.

3rd skhanda you are able to shapeshift.
This is not helpful. It's true that the Therevadan description of paths has elimination of doubt as a product of attaining stream entry, but what you say about second and third is just silly. 

To the OP: I am not quite recognizing SE from your description, but what you end with sounds like review. So let's see what happens as time goes on. Maybe also you can give us a clearer description of what practice you were doing leading up to it. 
Rist Ei, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
not silly, its possible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_beings_in_Buddhism
According to the Aggañña Sutta (DN.27), humans originated at the beginning of the current kalpa as deva-like beings reborn from the Ābhāsvara deva-realm. They were then beings shining in their own light, capable of moving through the air without mechanical aid, living for a very long time, and not requiring sustenance.Over time, they acquired a taste for physical nutriment, and as they consumed it, their bodies became heavier and more like human bodies; they lost their ability to shine, and began to acquire differences in their appearance. Their length of life decreased, they differentiated into two sexes and became sexually active. Following this, greed, theft and violence arose among them, and they consequently established social distinctions and government and elected a king to rule them, called Mahāsammata, "the great appointed one". Some of the kings of India in the Buddha´s day claimed descent from him.
Doug Rahiser, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/1/15 Recent Posts
I believe the doubt part refers to no doubt in the path.  Which is true.  I dealt with tons of doubt on really fundamental levels for about 3 weeks AFTER this.  Never once did I doubt stream entry or the path.  Doubted my ability to follow the path among myriad other things including everything about existence but never the path itself. 

My question actually goes more to the nature of cycling and whether or not there can be really large cycles randomly after stream entry.

I was going through a process of cycling down to nothing where I would whip through several in a sit then none at all.  Occasionally they would pop up again over the next week or so, still small/smallish.  Then a huge one would hit.  This actually held true for pretty much 6 our of 8 weeks of my retreat.  1st week I hadn't hit SE and last week we were starting to break the container a bit so little fruitions but that's it.  

I was actually doing mostly choicless awareness with some specifics in the begining.  At first observing the hinderandces to know them.  Then seeing that grasping to that which is impermanent causes suffering.  Finally once that was down, every time I saw impermanence it was like hitting the drop it button.  So as the breadth of what was seen as impermanent, what caused suffering grew so did what was let go.  Not-self came of it's own accord but I feel like really kicked into high gear during the first time I went through disgust.  I was constantly hearing my own thoughts and they were just killing me. Every time I identified a pattern of papanca as not-self it was like like that piece of my personality would drop off.
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Dream Walker, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 1333 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Doug Rahiser:
I am just returning from a 2 month retreat and think I may have achieved stream entry. 
The problem here is several.
This is your first post and you claim stream entry? Kinda hard to tell since we do not know you.
What is your history?
What was your practice?
What are the very best descriptions? I get nothing but vagueness from everthing you say.
What retreat were you on? What style?
Have you read MCTB? You seem to use the vocabulary well, are you a long time lurker? is this a new profile? Are you a sock puppet trying to wasting our time?

Good luck,
~D
Doug Rahiser, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/1/15 Recent Posts
I've been on 3 retreats.  One 8 (spirit rock) day one 10 (goenka) and most recently 2 month insight retreat at spirit rock.  I know they're technically in the therevada tradition but as far as teachings go they have a very do what works approach.  I've heard some say there a little lackadaisical about things but for someone who is self motivated the emphasis on not beating oneself up was really supportive.

This site was recommended to me at the end of said retreat.  You actually specifically were recommended to me.  I already private messaged you as well.  I don't know if that's the reason for the reply or not.  

History is off and on practice for about 3 years.  Some times diligent sometimes not.  Starting with concentration practice then did a lot of body scanning after a goenka retreat.  This retreat was choiceless awareness eventually but started out as this.  I was very attentive to the hinderances.  Knowing when they were present and which was.  I began to see that grasping that which is impermanent causes suffering.  So whenver I saw something as impermanent is was immediately dropped.  Eventually I started to really see impermanence present strongly which led to the realization of ..this is how it is.  Something happened something happened and now here we are.  I believe this was an A&P but you never know.  After this impermanece become extrememly obvious although sitting was more difficult.  I remember watching a plant outside become new every instant.  Then at dinner seeing how the sensations of taste just kept ending abruptly and and why even take another bite.  Finally this lead to the realization that while everything is in flux it sticks around for a bit in formation then disbands.  This put me on quite a high but of course eventually fell to nothing.  As the retreat progressed I began to "do" less and less and there was merely observing.  It felt like my mind was just figuring different was to be balanced without holding on.  If "I" tried to interefere is just threw stuff out of whack.  There was actually one point where I felt like I was going insanse so I just let go of sanity.  Things was bibledly and I laughed at the cieling for a while and then my mind calmed more than before I had let go.  Without a sense of sanity.

What I believe to be the dark night I cannot accurately piece out much of other than disgust, reobservation and EQ.  In disgust it became extremely obvious all the sefling that was being done.  I was disgusted.  The word seemed so apt.  I just kept observing the papanca as not self and eventually this led to a feeling of just not so bad but kind of empty and where now?  During a sit it felt as though I was being pelty with sensations.  I kept having the thought, "I know there's no place to stand." that didn't really change anything.  Then it hit me that while there is no stable ground and no place to stand, everything is in constant flux so anyting (bad) that could possibly be would be gone in an instant.  There was no place that wasn't safe.  The storm didn't calm but there was no longer any fight and it blew past without perterbation.  Eventually blowing itself out into near complete silence.  

I went to bed that night in what I think was EQ at some point I woke up to use the restroom.  On my way back into my room a horrible realization dawned.  I never knew exactly what it was but everything was wrong.  Upset about losing EQ I just layed down and was with it.  Suddenly a huge "self" seemed to arise.  It seemed trying very strong to make a stable point that was unmoved as all else moved.  Yet, I was watching it.  Finally even this abated and I just rolled over grateful not to be feeling so unpleasantness although things were pleasant.  Then suddenly thump thump thump.  It felt like my mind was a car driven by a computer.  The car hit a brick wall doing about 100.  The experience was much less violent though yet much more destructive.  It was like everything just went away.  Upon return there was no awe it was just a, huh.  Then watching the window sill and suddenly "I" came back on-line.  There was a flood of what felt like sexualy energy without desire through my body and an incredible amount of mental energy.  I couldn't sleep (didn't get back to sleep until 3 or so woke up at 5 and went through the day not really tired.) so I just went outside and watched the sky and thought about my life.  Saw an owl and heard what I thought may have been wolves (I know what coyotes sound like.  At least where I live.)  It all seemed a little like a reward for an achievment.  Yet there was complete knowledge that this was not true and it was just the unfolding.  (Knowing that review is something after a previous poster brought it up makes this seem sketchy, but that is what happened.)  It was quite a beautiful experience.

I read MCTB many years ago and remembered just enough on retreat that it was actually quite helpful, comforting.  Some of it I remembered incorrectly but that didn't seem to get in the way.  I've been rereading parts of it over the last day and it makes a lot more sense now.

I don't think I'm a sock puppet.  At the same time what I've seen of trying to be sure is that is the surest way into doubt.  Better to just not hold on.  I had 3 weeks of dealing with really fundamental doubt.  Seeing that I had actually constructed a personality around doubt as a core.  This led to some serious disturbances after I let go of it.  Dissacociating at the drop of a hat.  Feeling like there was nothing to hold on to.  I think equanemity as a parami began to develop juuust a bit during this time.  It's not grabbing forward, it's not backing out, it's not the middle because that may be peaceful and feel right but it's unstable, it's...that I can't put into words.  The peace of indifference yet somehow full involvement and being moved yet unmoved.  I've also seen just how powerful delusion is.  I could just be deluded.  I would rather know if I were deluded for sure though.

If you want clarification or more specifics on any part let me know.  I'm realizing after reading this site that I guess one has to establish themselves to get meaningful responses.  This makes total sense.  Seeing how I come totally out of the woodwork and along some other descriptions of stream entry on this site I totally understand the, skepticism isn't the right word but it's all I've got.

Thanks for the reply Dream Walker.

Something I would like to add.  I notice after going through what I'm calling frution on coming back it's like there was a release of energy (I say energy not knowing what else to call it) and if I closed my eyes I could see that energy collecting in front of me.  Eventually it would come toward me and it felt like I became it.  One time during this period I decided to do compassion practice but ended up in a trying to fix mindset.  This created something really awful where at the core of "me" was this depression and mental slude.  Took me a 2.5 hours sit to get rid of it.  I called these after things "temporary selves" the less junk I put into a temporary self the easier it was to divest of and yet more enjoyable to be.  There were times when I was tempted to stay in them rather than revisit the darkness but that's not why I was on retreat.  Each time I went through it seemed there was less an less fear around losing the self, completing a cycle, which then made the next self less full of junk and so on.  Maybe self isn't the best description but rather personality.  Self persisted after this was release.  Hopefully that makes any sense.
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Dream Walker, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 1333 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Doug Rahiser:
This site was recommended to me at the end of said retreat. 
I already private messaged you as well.  I don't know if that's the reason for the reply or not. 
I replied before I checked your message to me. I replied back to you.

First posts asking for diagnosis of paths tend to get ignored a bit or someone gets a bit snarky (Rish Ei)
I wanted to point out why that was without ignoring you and try to get more information and greater details such that it might attract some of the people here to help you out.
Thanks for the additional details they are extremely helpful.
Can you tell me exactly what you do when you were "meditating". What does choiceless awareness entail for you moment by moment? Sounds like you were doing some contemplation stuff too?
Thanks,
~D
Doug Rahiser, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/1/15 Recent Posts
I really appreciate it.  The straightforward approach was refreshing.

Now that I think about it choiceless awareness only refers to the choice of object.  So yea..a bit void there.  I let awareness choose the object and then observe.  Often then "looking" for impermanence.  I put that in quotes because I learned quickly not to look for it.  At the same time if that view/lens was not there impermanence was not seen.  Impermanence specifically because I was told by a teacher that was the easiest entry point and the richest in variance of the three characteristics.  That the others would reveal themselves.  This advice actually proved extremely helpful in directing practice and not being all over the map.  In all though, attempting to entirely as possible observe sensations as they were.  See that any identification was actually just other sensations.  That any clinging was singling out some sensation as different.  That clinging is another sensation.  That clinging causes suffering.  I think, "nothing left out" is the theme of my practice at the moment.  Preferences may arise and they are seen as sensations.  Reactions to preferences or having preferences may arise and they too are sensations that hold no special place or value.  Eventually, sitting just became sitting down and it felt like the meditation was doing itself.  At least for a time.  I could definitely use more direction in my practice at this point.  A lot more concentration as well.  Near the end of the retreat it definitely seemed like things were slowing down.  Psychological issues and interest in their repair began to dominate to a certain extent.  Nice to have the relative come back in just at the right moment with some ultimate to help see if more clearly.

There was a lot of contemplative outside of the cushion.  Often during things like dinner or showering.  I have a tendency to conceptualize realizations so I can explain them later.  That way everyone can see how much I know because I can accurately convey my obvious knowledge on such topics.  It's a habit  (Yes, I have some issues with conceit.  It's actually pretty enjoyable to be able to see that and how much suffering and separation it causes.)  Thankfully at some point realizations were too subtle to conceptualize so there wasn't anything really to do on that front.

Hopefully that helps a bit.  

Thank you
Oochdd, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 102 Join Date: 12/16/14 Recent Posts
So you were at the Spirit Rock two month retreat, with some of the finest dharma teachers in the west that were monitoring your progress throughout the retreat, so this naturally begs the question: what did they think? They would probably be in a much better position to judge whether you got stream entry than some people over the internet? Did you ask? Maybe you should ask them now?
Doug Rahiser, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/1/15 Recent Posts
I'm going to apologize now that my post my have been both mislabeled and had a bit of conceit in it.  The true question was not exactly about whether or not I had actually achieved stream entry, but as to the nature of cycling/frution.

My teachers definitely seemed to agree that I had gone through stream entry.  With one of them (the second month) all I talked about was frution (he called it the door).  I had begun having trouble making it through fruition as I wanted it.  He gave me the great advice that first, I cannot go through, and second I don't know how to go through.  That it's different every time and that I need to let go and feel safe in order to make it through.

2 of them the first month did not address specifically but when I brought up cycling and the cycles getting smaller and dissappearing one said, "it's interesting to hear this stuff from the other side."  Also I don't claim it but may or may not have made second path when I mentioned to the same teacher about getting stuck on the next stage and going home he said, "That's a legitimate fear for you.  It's happened before and its survivable.  I'm not afraid of that but it's understandeable that you are."

I did not quite understand at the time the nature of cycling.  Still don't fully.  Seeing cycles of what I beleive (I'm just hesistant to say 100% to anything.  You know, just in case.)  to be first part petering to nothing.  Having them come up suuuuper small occasionally then suddenly fruition that made stream entry look like a bit of a joke.  Same thing happened smaller and smaller cycles and so on.  

Again I want to apologize for any of the conceit that was the cause for the post.  One of my teachers wisely said, "Awareness goes up high and energy comes up to match it on retreat.  When the container is broken awareness drops and energy stays high and goes into available habit patterns."  One of my habit patterns is conceit.  That being said, there were legitimate questions in that post that have since begun to be answered.  

I do want to thank you for the reply though.  
Oochdd, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry?

Posts: 102 Join Date: 12/16/14 Recent Posts
Ha, no worries, and congrats on the SE emoticon

Maybe start a new thread being specific about your questions about cycling post-path?