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diagnosis A&P or SE?

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diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/17/15 2:45 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Mike H. 4/17/15 3:28 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/17/15 3:59 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Small Steps 4/17/15 8:43 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 6:43 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Small Steps 4/18/15 9:06 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Matt 4/18/15 3:43 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 7:27 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 8:58 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 12:53 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Matt 4/18/15 5:28 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 5:40 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 5:58 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Matt 4/18/15 7:41 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 7:58 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/19/15 5:05 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/19/15 6:42 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Matt 4/19/15 7:41 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Chuck Kasmire 4/18/15 9:10 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Matt 4/19/15 8:38 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/19/15 9:25 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Matt 4/19/15 2:11 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/19/15 9:01 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 4/19/15 12:29 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Small Steps 4/19/15 10:03 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Chuck Kasmire 4/19/15 3:50 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 6:46 AM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Chuck Kasmire 4/18/15 1:51 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 3:28 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Noah 4/18/15 6:15 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? T DC 4/18/15 11:01 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? b man 4/18/15 7:30 PM
RE: diagnosis A&P or SE? Mike H. 4/18/15 8:21 PM
diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/17/15 2:45 PM
Hi chaps, 

ive posted about this before, when I first came to DhO about 4 years ago actually, but I dont think I really described my experience in its fullness. I posted and a few people pointed me to A&P and I had possibly read MTCB then, possibly only partially, possibly fully. Anyway it was a long time ago. I have read it many times since then, and also many posts on this forum, and obviously practiced for 4 more years, been on more retreats etc etc. 

The reason for this post is that Chucks recent post about his experiences. The "first big experience" he describes is almost identical to what I expeienced. I have also heard someone post this same experience back in a stream entry discussion recently, and contributed to that thread with my own doubts, saying that I had had something very similar and thought it was a Satori experience (that phrase doesnt seem to be used here much but I had come to believe thats what that experience was) or an A&P experience, which I had come to think it might be after discussion in this forum before. 

Anyway, the post from chuck seems to suggest that this was his SE experience, and maybe I have misunderstood this, and the previous poster who posted about this very similar experience. 

For clarities sake I will post what Chuck wrote that struck me as the same as what I had experienced back then, and then if I can do so I will try and dig out what I had described and also what the other guy wrote recently, and hopefully the similarities will be apparent enough for you to understand why I am asking this question and still confused about this event, which left me so profoundly affected. 
Chuck.
Only lasted a second or so and then consciousness just exploded into an infinite awareness outside of time and space. There wasno me – no other – no thoughts – no world – just an infinite awareness – not something I was aware of – but rather what I was – an infinite awareness knowing itself infinitely. I could see clearly how life
was like a prison. The walls were all the thoughts, beliefs, possessions – all the clutter that we use to
define ourselves. I was outside that prison looking back at it with x-ray vision. I remember cradling the
universe in my 'lap' (if I had had one) – a ball of fuzzy light. It was not conventional knowing - this was
all just grocked and in order to describe it, I have to put it in everyday language. I knew I had identified
with a body down inside it and wanted to get back. Fear came up – it arose with a sense of 'I' and I
thought maybe I can't get back to my body. Then there was a shift and I was back in the body. I was
hardly breathing and my heart rate was very slow. I was on the floor and just kept saying to myself
“What the hell was that” over and over.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/17/15 3:28 PM as a reply to b man.
this is certainly an interesting description.  maybe things get a little hard to categorize when we are drawing from different traditions.  or maybe the zen tradition puts an emphasis on experiences that theravada generally does not???

could you point to a description of satori that you find especially clear or helpful?

to address your question, i can refer to a couple of points that are common on this forum.  first, was there any "you" there?  it sounds like there was a "you" or some sort of thought process going on towards at least the end of this experience.   it sounds like there was some sense of 'knowing' or a sense of a passage of time as well. 

in a related vein, did you have a sense of elation in the hours and days that followed?   have you had occasions in the four years since then where the sense of "you" or any sense of an object drops away, (even if it isn't followed by the specific thoughts that you described)? 

if you are interested in a really good, nondogmatic talk about 'fruitions' then i would look up some of Rob Burbea's dharmma talks online.  he talks about the 'fading of perception' and how it can be experienced to varying degrees. sorry i don't have a link handy.

to better answer your question, i believe many people here would want to here about your practice leading up to and in the years following this experience.

personally, i try to take any specific meditaiton experience with a grain of salt.  one can never be sure.  but take a look back over the last four years and see if you have changed.  have you had some fundamental change in your relation to the self?  has your overall level of suffering decreased?

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/17/15 3:59 PM as a reply to Mike H..
Mike H.:
could you point to a description of satori that you find especially clear or helpful?
I cant really remember what I read that led me to agree to this, I think it was more a best understanding at the time. I seem to remember someone at a local buddist centre I used to go to when i was first starting out in meditatation told me this, I looked it up on line and it didnt sound exactly like what I had experienced but close enough. I continued asking but found peoples reactions to what I was telling them wasnt great. They ususally reacted badly and got defensicve. So I took to researching on the internet.  I think its evenually what brought me here.

to address your question, i can refer to a couple of points that are common on this forum.  first, was there any "you" there?  it sounds like there was a "you" or some sort of thought process going on towards at least the end of this experience.   it sounds like there was some sense of 'knowing' or a sense of a passage of time as well. 
It sounds strange but there was none of that. I felt like I was everything and everything was me. I felt like I was god and god was me but it was both as mindblowing and profound as it sounds but also seemed amazingly ok afterwards when I thought about it. However I believed what had just happened without question, I never really told anyone this at the time because I realised how rediculous it sounded.
in a related vein, did you have a sense of elation in the hours and days that followed? 
 
I cried with joy afterwards and felt like finally I knew that although everything in my life wasnt ok, it would be. I finally knew that "god" or "the oneness in the universe " exsisted and I finally realised the most important thing. I wasnt ever going to be truely alone again and I never had been.

have you had occasions in the four years since then where the sense of "you" or any sense of an object drops away, (even if it isn't followed by the specific thoughts that you described)? 
yes in meditaton, I believe these are when I am experiencing the Jhanas, but I am not sure.

if you are interested in a really good, nondogmatic talk about 'fruitions' then i would look up some of Rob Burbea's dharmma talks online.  he talks about the 'fading of perception' and how it can be experienced to varying degrees. sorry i don't have a link handy.
ok thanks - I will find them. My friend lent me his book, which is massive and have been to daunted by it to begin yet, so hopefully the talks are less so! 

to better answer your question, i believe many people here would want to here about your practice leading up to and in the years following this experience.
I didnt keep notes for a long time, but have discussed some of my practice in old posts. Its mainly discussions around dark night stuff. ve got 4 months of mornign notes that ive made for the last 4 months every morning on quick noting sessions. Some of the descriptions are brief, some are more elaborate..

Morning Vipassana Notes - https://www.coach.me/users/0f477862199813a5de59/7562
Evening Vipassana Notes - https://www.coach.me/users/0f477862199813a5de59/7563

personally, i try to take any specific meditaiton experience with a grain of salt.  one can never be sure.  but take a look back over the last four years and see if you have changed.  have you had some fundamental change in your relation to the self?  has your overall level of suffering decreased?
I am not sure. it a few months after I quit drinking heavily so yes life is infinitely better but its not possible for me to seperate out how I felt before after drinking but before this experience  as there was only about 3 months of sobriety before this happened. Life is on another level though to where I was at 5 years ago. I have though still been having pretty strong cycling and dark night experiences, energy releases in my thighs and neck, jaw, much greater warthm coming into the body, can drop into strong concerntration very easily now compared with 5 years ago. Focus is laser like in comparison to the monkey mind I used to have back then. Is it possible to be post SE and still have strong dark night and cycling stuff?

Where can I read about stuff post SE? I would like to see if this stuff fits or makes any sense. Is there stuff in MCTB? I dont remember it, but that might just be that I skipped that section to focus on sections I believed to be more relevant to me at the time. maybe another pass is requried. 

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/17/15 8:43 PM as a reply to b man.
Hi b man,
I looked at your notes, and if you're only sitting for 10 - 30 minutes for a session, I would encourage you to try to get more time in. I think there's some benefit to letting the mind settle more and more.

Also, you tend to rate your practice: bad/ok/good session. Are you able to let this go and perhaps just approach things more objectively?

WRT books about post-awakening experiences, the two I've read in the last year were: Jack Kornfield's After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and Adyashanti's The End of Your World. I think both offered valuable perspectives.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 3:43 AM as a reply to b man.
MCTB page 279 has a big list of 'this was not it' about SE.

Here are some 'this is it' signs I've been mulling:

- throbbing cranium 24x7.  Not a head ache, just the feeling like there is a lot of blood flow, like a muscle in there is all pumped up emoticon (after several weeks, it seems to be residing, or at least becoming so normal I don't notice it often)

-period of very high energy.  Like, I walked 150km over the last month without really trying

- 3'rd or 4'th jhanna within a few seconds or minutes of closing my eyes to mediate.  This is different than the hyper laser-like awareness of sensations in a very specific spot of my body that I had in the middle of my first retreat.

- 'need to sit', aka cycling?  After hours or a day or two, I get the feeling like I really want to sit, and the sit is not done till I've had a cessation type event.  It might take only a few minutes, and there might be several in 30 minutes.

-irritability/reactivity to many experiences of life are *way* down. At first I thought it was 100% down, but now I think the problematic feelings are just highly attenuated, and there are still areas where feelings can more pronounced.  Usually, the experience is "hey, I feel fine right now, even though XX happened and XX usually bends me out of shape"

I've heard, basing diagnosis on a single event is problematic.  It's the broader off-the-cushion experience that is more reliable for SE diagnosis.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 6:43 AM as a reply to Small Steps.
Small Steps:
Hi b man,
I looked at your notes, and if you're only sitting for 10 - 30 minutes for a session, I would encourage you to try to get more time in. I think there's some benefit to letting the mind settle more and more.
Ive had to rein it back in. I was finding that when I was sitting longer the pattern would be this:

1. practice loads, hour a day, a few hours at the weekend
2. things get a bit wild, lots of very difficult dark nigh type experiences, and bleed through into real life, feelign like i had the flu etc (but not actually being sick), feeling really raw and just wanting to tuck up and be away from the world. Try and just hold down job and put social life on hold. Keep meditating 
3. Eventually decide to stop meditating for a while, as its too hard to deal with the fall out. 
4. Wait till I feel back to normal and start meditating again. this could have been anything from a few days to a month. 

I went round and round in this cycle for about 2-3 years and eventually started reading about the need to maintain momentum, and also about slippign back down the nanas, so I changed my approach to trying to meditate every morning and evening without fail, which is what i have been doing for the last 4 months. The first time round when things got a bit wild again, i tried to resist the urge to stop, and just toned it down a bit, did what I could, making sure I did atleast a small amount (10 or 15 mins) without fail. The cycles have been getting faster, I am now at the point where they seem to be almost every week or two but doing small amounts of meditation seems to mean that I can deal with these periods of feeling like I have the flu and am very raw because the effects are less pronounced when I do smaller amounts of meditattion. I am finding this way it feels like momentum is still strong and good progress is still being made, but I can hold down my job and (sometimes) my social life! 


Also, you tend to rate your practice: bad/ok/good session. Are you able to let this go and perhaps just approach things more objectively?
Yep. Someone else mentioend that. I dont know why I mark the sessions like that. I think it was just as a guide to myself to help try and get a bit more data to look back on and see if i could identify any patterns. for expample, do lots of good sessions equal faster cycling through periods of feelign raw etc?
Why do you think it is a good idea to drop it?



WRT books about post-awakening experiences, the two I've read in the last year were: Jack Kornfield's After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and Adyashanti's The End of Your World. I think both offered valuable perspectives.

Kornfield is one of my favorite authors, ive read a few of his books. I think i listened to After the Ecstasy on audio book a while back so I will give it another read, thanks. Have heard the name Adyashanti but not read anything, so will check it out. thanks. 

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 6:46 AM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
You mentioned your Satori experience in the thread Kundalini energy work and Path, if that helps.

cheers gordo, I knew I had written it somwhere but thought I was going mad, as I couldnt find it. 

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 7:27 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
MCTB page 279 has a big list of 'this was not it' about SE.
thanks Matthew. Im struggling to find this. Im wondering which copy of MCTB you have (and I have) as I know there are now different versions and whether it is the PDF version, and if its the PDF version do you mean page 279 on the PDF or on the footnotes?


Here are some 'this is it' signs I've been mulling:

- throbbing cranium 24x7.  Not a head ache, just the feeling like there is a lot of blood flow, like a muscle in there is all pumped up emoticon (after several weeks, it seems to be residing, or at least becoming so normal I don't notice it often)
I get this from time to time. It seems like it feels like things are changing in my brain. I dont think I have ever had it for several weeks, though. longest probably a day or two. 



-period of very high energy.  Like, I walked 150km over the last month without really trying
Not sure abotu this one. Possibly. I do alot of long distance runnnig, so if you are talkign about that runners high type feelign then maybe. I have had amazing periods of clarity and freedom from meditation, but im not sure how long they have lasted. 


3'rd or 4'th jhanna within a few seconds or minutes of closing my eyes to mediate.  This is different than the hyper laser-like awareness of sensations in a very specific spot of my body that I had in the middle of my first retreat.
I'm not sure about this one either. Meditation reaches a much broader and gentler state much faster than it used to. Much faster, but im not sure which jhannas are which. 


'need to sit', aka cycling?  After hours or a day or two, I get the feeling like I really want to sit, and the sit is not done till I've had a cessation type event.  It might take only a few minutes, and there might be several in 30 minutes.
yeah, This possibly sounds like the cycling pattern I just mentioned in one of the posts above. Though I have been doing things reguarly so this "need to sit" is diminished. I do just find myself slipping into meditation whilst watching TV, football mainly, as I seem to find it so relaxing. I can watch 6 hours of football and drift in and out of meditation whilst doing this. And this is how alot of my weekends have been spent over the last year. 

-irritability/reactivity to many experiences of life are *way* down. At first I thought it was 100% down, but now I think the problematic feelings are just highly attenuated, and there are still areas where feelings can more pronounced.  Usually, the experience is "hey, I feel fine right now, even though XX happened and XX usually bends me out of shape"
This is a hard one for me because I think alot of things have been chaning in my life at the same time. I found that after giving up drinking and smoking, my reactions to things went way up, because I was dulling the world out with all those substances, and suddenly things were very obviously unsatisfactory. I also think that the equanimity that you gain from doing lots of meditation means that this irritablity and reactivity seems to bring things down, definitely but this seems to cycle as well for me. When i am going through a part of a cycle where things are seemly dark night type stuff going on, and im feeling this raw, flu type stage, I am more irratible, then when I come out of that, everything is much, much easier to deal with. Its just a case of hanging on through those times and realising that my extra reactivity is due to that part of the meditation cycle I am in at that point. I think this comes back to the bleed through thing that daniel talks about in MTCB, it took me a long time and nearly getting fired from work a few times to realise this was happening. 

I've heard, basing diagnosis on a single event is problematic.  It's the broader off-the-cushion experience that is more reliable for SE diagnosis.
Yep, I agree. Thats why I havent carried on obsessing about that experience much since I was doing my initial research. Its just brings it back to me when I read people with exactly the same thing.  Thanks for the comments Matthew I appreciate it. To be honest, it feels like I am a bit trapped by meditation at the moment. If I stop meditating, things build up and I need to meditate to get my mind back in balance, and so I figured that its better to just push on. So theres a little part of me that feels that I dont really have a choice anymore. One way or the other I have to keep meditating!
Theres a little part of me that feels a bit cheated that I got into all this without really knowing what I was getting into. In a way I feel like the 10 day vipassana goenka retreat should have discussed some of this territory before you signed up. Maybe it did, I am not sure. Maybe I would have done it anyway. Maybe I wont care at a certain point in the journey anymore. 

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 8:58 AM as a reply to b man.
no sweeping for a while Gordo. Have also been taking the noting down a notch and only using this when I feel my concerntration is below-par. Otherwise just focusing on choiceless awareness, lookig at the sentations that arise, being with them, noting them without labelling them (if that makes sense) but not in a fast, speed orientated way, a more gentle way. I think it may have been one of your posts that guided me towards this. Maybe it was you or someone else recently (a month or so ago) mentioned that the noting wasnt needed after a while. Have I understood that correctly? i've been working on that premise and the glove seems to fit until a day turns up for whatever reason the mind loses its strong concerntraion and I go back to doing fast noting for while. Ive been using that mindblown app that kenneth folk suggested for these times. Looking at the logs on there that seems to be anything from every few days, for a period of days, to maybe not needing to for a week or so.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 12:53 PM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
Its possible that people who have a strong kundalini response and a strong awareness of the energy system dont respond well to the more aggressive dry vippassana techniques. They may develop energy problems as a result. Your need to back off sitting time could be an indication of this. I will let this thread get back to stream entry now, and add some ideas to your dark night thread over the next few days.
Interesting. What do you mean specificially by Kunalini "response"? is this something that happens before a kundalini awakening? Im not sure if my awareness of the energy system is strong, but if it is then this could in part be due to time doing reiki practices over the last 8 years also. Interestingly recenly I found out that the guy who passed down alot of the teachings in the particular reiki lineage that I trained has been doing vipassana for 30+ years and has recently stressed the importance of vipassana for purifying and strengthening the energy system. He has passed down some teachings that arent in traditional reiki lineages into this lineage in a system called Buddho-Enersense, which is learnt after one learns the main reiki practices. It was taught to him by a japanese zen monk, named Seiji Takamori, who also studied for many years with some monks in remote regions of tibet. I wont go to much into this as its not a reiki forum but theres a few links to this guys history if you are interested: 

http://www.healing-touch.co.uk/pa-seiji.htm 
and 
http://www.circleoflight.co.uk/pages/seiji-takamori.html



RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 1:51 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Anyway, the post from chuck seems to suggest that this was his SE experience, and maybe I have misunderstood this, and the previous poster who posted about this very similar experience.

Hi b man,
The experience I went through was later acknowledged as se (Thai Forest Tradition). I don’t know of any other tradition than Mahasi that uses the mind/blink progress of insight description - the very different language makes in hard for me to compare. In zen terms, I believe it would be termed Kensho which is reserved for temporary experiences as opposed to satori that is used for permanent shifts - unless I have those backwards.

Here is an awakening story from Edward Muzika
http://the-wanderling.com/muzika.html

This is a nice interview with Tony Parsons - what Tony calls Liberation is the same as Arahat (IMO).
http://www.theopensecret.com/PDF/Interview%20with%20Tony.pdf

The experience of stream entry is burned into you. What you experienced - you know for certain - was the truth - not a dream or some strange experience. You never forget it. Maha Boowa: That attainment brings a sense of wonder and amazement that no experience we’ve ever had could possibly equal.‭ ‬The citta‭  s‬tays suspended in a serene stillness for a long time before withdrawing to normal consciousness.‭ ‬Having withdrawn,‭ ‬it reconnects with the‭ ‬khandhas‭ ‬as before,‭ ‬but it remains absolutely convinced that the‭ ‬citta‭ ‬has just attained a state of extraordinary calm totally cut off from the five‭ ‬khandhas.‭ ‬It knows that it has experienced an extremely amazing spiritual state of being.‭ ‬That certainty will never be erased.

Something that stands out in this experience is that it is clear this is nothing that I have attained - rather something totally unexpected that appears when the sense of I falls away completely.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 3:28 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:

What you experienced - you know for certain - was the truth - not a dream or some strange experience. You never forget it. 
This was how i felt with what I saw that day.(And this is where words fail, because I wasnt there to see anything).After, I sat alone in my apartment and just cried at the simplicity and the wonder of it all. It was the most real thing i'd ever seen. I had been sober for months and knew it wasnt like some subtle shift in consiousness like when taking a substence, it was the most profound, deep, true thing I had ever known. And then the fear of death for me was greatly diminished. I went to a funeral recently for the first time, and although I was deeply sad that I wasnt going to see that person again in her physical form, I didnt mind because i knew we were all one and when I died I wouldnt really die because I was this part of this eternal oneness, part of God.

Its interesting to read your links, but its difficult in some of those readings what is being referred to as SE and what are desriptions of full enlightenment. The first author seems to jump around and the second author seems to be less specific (though I havent finished his piece fully) 
What I dont really relate to in those writings is the sense that things are not whole in the weeks after the event. Like part of things are missing. I never expereinced anything like that. When I'd finished crying my tears of joy that day, things certainly looked and felt brighter but other than carrying with me that experience, which felt like the most precious secret in the world, I didnt really feel any different. Life went on, but with a deep knowing that i had seen the truth, and it was beautiful. The "burning into you" that you mentioned resonated with me. It will be something I remember until my deathbed I am sure, but I am not sure that it means it was SE for me. I am not sure which way round kensho and satori are either. but this is what wikipedia says "Kenshō is an initial insight or awakening, not full Buddhahood.[5] It is to be followed by further training to deepen this insight, and learn to express it in daily life.[6][7][8]The term kenshō is often used interchangeably with satori, which is derived from the verb satoru,[9] and means "comprehension; understanding".[web 1][note 2][note 3]"

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 5:28 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
thanks Matthew. Im struggling to find this. Im wondering which copy of MCTB you have (and I have) as I know there are now different versions and whether it is the PDF version, and if its the PDF version do you mean page 279 on the PDF or on the footnotes?



It's the chapter about emptyness in the hardcopy from amazon.  It starts on page 278.

You're welcome!

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 5:40 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:

It's the chapter about emptyness in the hardcopy from amazon.  It starts on page 278.

You're welcome!

gotcha - found it, thanks. Its 28.“WAS THAT EMPTINESS?” which is 245 in the PDF footnote numbering or 263 of the actual PDF pages. lol, i hope that clarifies things for anyone else trying to find it, and hasnt completely confused the matter!

I'll have a re-read now

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 5:58 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
matthew sexton:

It's the chapter about emptyness in the hardcopy from amazon.  It starts on page 278.

You're welcome!

gotcha - found it, thanks. Its 28.“WAS THAT EMPTINESS?” which is 245 in the PDF footnote numbering or 263 of the actual PDF pages. lol, i hope that clarifies things for anyone else trying to find it, and hasnt completely confused the matter!

I'll have a re-read now

ok well my experience, no matter how profound cant be SE by daniels rules as it fails this one:

"If the event cannot be repeated, write it off. Those who have attained a path will attain more Fruitions naturally, maybe one to many per day, as they basically can't help but cycle. "

I feel like I am going through some kind of cycles, but it it not resulting in that experience of Oneness each time, so I guess that answers that!

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 6:15 PM as a reply to b man.

"
I came across this explanation of the "blips" (anonymous yogi) experiences. This is the best explanation of what I have been calling fruitions I have come across. Awesome!

"The first is a momentary discontinuity, a “blip” in awareness. It is preceded by what feels like a build up of charge between two capacitor plates somewhere in the head (behind the eyes, forward of the pineal gland, about where the pituitary gland is located). There is also the sense of a physical flexing of some structure in the same location. When the charge builds up to a certain threshold, there is a very quick (milliseconds) discharge of energy during which consciousness winks out. After the discharge, there is the sense of the same structure relaxing."

Does anyone’s eyelids tend to want to close automatically when you experience a "blip"? 

If I have one with my eyes open, then the mind comes back online with the eyelids mostly closed. 

There really is some sort of flexing of something physical right above the pineal gland and then it relaxes back down as the mind comes back online.

"
-
This is the best fruition description ever.  Its from Nikolai's practice log from 1st to 4th path on the hamilton project website: http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2011/06/yogis-journal-from-1st-to-4th-path.html  


Its him quoting another person, probably from the KFD forum.

sorry for the wierd formatting


RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 11:01 PM as a reply to b man.
Hi bman,

Thanks for posting, this is an interesting discussion.  In my opinion, what you experienced was neither the a+p, or SE, instead it seems very much to be satori, aka a temporary experience of enlightenment.  I myself had such an experience during high school, which prompted me to begin meditating.  The sense of total oneness/nowness along with the complete absense of the I are the hallmarks of this experience.  In my opinion, the experience Chuck Kashmire describes as SE was in fact a satori experience.

Enlightenment experiences give one a glimpse of the ultimate state, and can act as a tremendous boost to one's confidence and direction on the path, but they do not fundamentally alter one's awareness as does an attainment (ala stream entry).  This is the key difference between them.  Thus enlightenment experiences cannot be clasified on the spectrum of attainment, along with the a+p and SE, as they are the epitome of a temporary meditative experience; experience that occurs seemingly randomly and cannot be repeated.

In my opinion Chuck Kashmire is indeed of attainment; I read the discussions he posted about his practice and have little doubt he has gained attainment, likely significantly beyond 4th path.  However, he has gained this attainment mainly through intense personal dedication and without guidance in a clear, externally defined, system of attainment.  This does not lessen his achievement at all, however it makes it extremely difficult to relate his expererience to maps such as MCTB.

Personally I would describe my SE experience nearly word for word the way it is described in MCTB, as a blip in conciuosness, followed by a bliss wave, with a characteristic afterglow and the new found ability to call up fruitions.  The number of similar accounts I have read on here and encountered in other contexts have me highly convinced that the experience of stream entry will not deviate significantly from how it is described in MCTB, and if an experience does it is not likely to be SE.

It is possible that your 'satori' experience was an a+p experience, however having had such an experience myself I would say that to simply lable it as the a+p is to greatly sell it short.  A normal a+p experience may be highly energetic, exciting and intense, but in my mind it falls far short of the intensity and clarity of an experience of the ultimate state.  At any rate, given that you seem to have had an enlightenment experience, progression on the path should be relatively straightforeward, and crossing the a+p (again?) should not be a major issue.

Finally I would just say that a genuine enlightenment experience is special in it's own right (as you seem to be aware), and can serve greatly to boost one on the path.  Such an experience 'gets your ducks in a row' so to speak, as one knows thereafter that the joy of the ultimate state transends all material concerns.  Those who have such experiences seem predisposed to make genuine progress on the path, perhaps because once you know what you're looking for it's much easier to find it.

Cheers!

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 7:30 PM as a reply to T DC.
Hi TDC, thats very useful to hear from somone who has experienced both, and I feel like that clears that up for me, so thanks for the input on that, its apprecated. 

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 7:41 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:

ok well my experience, no matter how profound cant be SE by daniels rules as it fails this one:

"If the event cannot be repeated, write it off. Those who have attained a path will attain more Fruitions naturally, maybe one to many per day, as they basically can't help but cycle. "

I feel like I am going through some kind of cycles, but it it not resulting in that experience of Oneness each time, so I guess that answers that!
I'd like to think that all our brains are basically the same, that most of the confusion here is about terminology.  All I know are the MCTB descriptions.  I do also think that if we're getting a bunch of hype about whatever, that will color our impressions about what's happening, perhaps a lot.

My experience of cessations is that they're not a big oneness thing, they are simply a resetting of my 'meditation pressure valve'. The aftermath is nice but it's not at all as impressive as the AP type events I experienced months before.

I may be all wrong! emoticon

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 7:58 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:

...My experience of cessations is that they're not a big oneness thing, they are simply a resetting of my 'meditation pressure valve'. The aftermath is nice but it's not at all as impressive as the AP type events I experienced months before.

I may be all wrong! emoticon

Im no expert, but I dont think you are wrong Matthew! I think I was confusing things here earlier by wondering if that satori experience may have been a fruition. But I think TDC has had experience of both and set me straight that it was something different, so thats all good.

I am  however reasonably sure that I am cycling through some kind of stages though, however I dont really feel any cessations or blips or blisswaves. Also, having just reread the "was that emptiness" chapter in MTCB you pointed out earlier I think that Daniel writes this:

"Do you cycle naturally through the cycles of insight from stage four to eleven and then attain Fruition? If you just sat down on a cushion and did nothing special, would you move through these stages as easily as falling down a hill? Do Fruitions arise after such cycles in a way that fairly consistently leaves you with the staggering impression that, “that was it!”"

Theres definitely nothing that I am doing in my meditation that is "as easy as falling down a hill" or thats leaving me with any "staggering impressions of 'that was it'!" so I am wondering if maybe what I am doing is cycling through the dark night stages, reaching equinimity, and then falling back down and then cycling though again? Did you have any experience like this before your SE? cycling but no blips/blisswaves?
Also, do you know if the blisswave something that happens every time with the cycling or just the first time?

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 8:21 PM as a reply to b man.
b man - this is a good discussion here.  it seems that you are leaning away from calling this SE at least in the traditional sense

to roughly paraphrase rob burbea, from one of his talks, it is about the combination of a significant meditative experience AND the associated understanding.  someone can have a signficant meditative experience but it might not change them, because they did not have a real understanding to integrate that experience.   in that vein, it seems that you had a significant experience, with lasting benefit because it was accompanied with understanding, regardless of what category we put it in.  

maybe some would call it an AP event?  I'm not sure.  I had a significant experience of "awakeness," unity, expansiveness, and sort of "all pervading understanding" when i was a teenager sitting at a campfire and staring out over the water.  this was before i had any real framework for such experiences, but it stands out in my memory as my most significant mystical/religious experience.  if I was christian, i would definitely say it was 'gods love' or something along those lines.  I think that in some sense that led me on this path now.  i would be tempted to call it an AP event if I cared to make such a firm diagnosis.  

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 9:06 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Small Steps:
Hi b man,
I looked at your notes, and if you're only sitting for 10 - 30 minutes for a session, I would encourage you to try to get more time in. I think there's some benefit to letting the mind settle more and more.
Ive had to rein it back in. I was finding that when I was sitting longer the pattern would be this:

1. practice loads, hour a day, a few hours at the weekend <etc>...

Of course, you should know best how you feel and how to proceed in this regard. I agree that meditation bleeding over into "real life" can be a real drag.Thankfully, I haven't had much uneasy stuff show up. Maybe it's because I just take everything with a grain or three of salt (that is to say, I just see mind/mood moments as that and don't try to blow them up), or perhaps I've already had enough dukkha to last lifetimes that I'm choosing door #2 whenever I can now emoticon
b man:
Small Steps:

Also, you tend to rate your practice: bad/ok/good session. Are you able to let this go and perhaps just approach things more objectively?
Yep. Someone else mentioend that. I dont know why I mark the sessions like that. I think it was just as a guide to myself to help try and get a bit more data to look back on and see if i could identify any patterns. for expample, do lots of good sessions equal faster cycling through periods of feelign raw etc?
Why do you think it is a good idea to drop it?
When you label something "bad" or "good" it's going to pick up a very negative or positive charge and then it's hard to see it as something other than that. Maybe instead of a good/bad designation, you could list out what hindrances or awakening factors, e.g. were present (or not). "Sat for 15 minutes on the bus. Noticed distractedness and aversion towards the other passengers. Near the end, switched to metta and felt more ease." <-- Not that I'd ever know what that was like emoticon

This way you still get the benefit of tracking your experiences, but with some additional details that might prove helpful, and you drop the risk of solidifying the sit.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/18/15 9:10 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:

ok well my experience, no matter how profound cant be SE by daniels rules as it fails this one:

"If the event cannot be repeated, write it off. Those who have attained a path will attain more Fruitions naturally, maybe one to many per day, as they basically can't help but cycle. "

I feel like I am going through some kind of cycles, but it it not resulting in that experience of Oneness each time, so I guess that answers that!

The view of fruitions that can be called up repeatedly as a requirement for a path is I think commentarial. I have not come upon anything in the suttas that I can recall about paths being able to be called up and repeated. I have never come upon this within the teachings of the Thai Forest tradition. My impression is that they each happen once. Maybe Gordo could run that by the monks if he gets a chance. I would be interested in hearing what they say.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 5:05 AM as a reply to b man.
Gordo . .:
I've had both the Maha Boowa experience and the Mahasi experience. The process is identical in the lead up and the bliss wave and reboot effects. You know its the same thing. With the Maha Boowa experience you can see clearly what causes the bliss, its so clear. On a level of intensity, for me there was no comparison. All the blips ive had put together, dont even scratch the surface of the Maha Boowa experience. 

whats the Maha Boowa experience Gordo? and do you know why they would be so similar in the respects you mention but differ in so much in intensity?

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 6:42 AM as a reply to b man.
thats interesting. Have you experienced both more than once? is one easier to reach than the other? I havent heard of Maha Boowa before. Do you have anywhere good that you could point me to, for a starting place to learn a bit more, or should I just use Google?

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 8:38 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
b man:

ok well my experience, no matter how profound cant be SE by daniels rules as it fails this one:

"If the event cannot be repeated, write it off. Those who have attained a path will attain more Fruitions naturally, maybe one to many per day, as they basically can't help but cycle. "

I feel like I am going through some kind of cycles, but it it not resulting in that experience of Oneness each time, so I guess that answers that!

The view of fruitions that can be called up repeatedly as a requirement for a path is I think commentarial. I have not come upon anything in the suttas that I can recall about paths being able to be called up and repeated. I have never come upon this within the teachings of the Thai Forest tradition. My impression is that they each happen once. Maybe Gordo could run that by the monks if he gets a chance. I would be interested in hearing what they say.
Here's what I'm thinking just based on this conversation and my limited (MCTemoticon study and my own experience:

There are amazing one-time or sporadic experiences that do long lasting 'damage' (in the "now I'm different" sense and leads to more practice) and lead to or cause profound shifts in perspective and behaviour.  This kind of experience is not wrapped up in repeatable short term (like daily/weekly) regular cycling.  I think Ingram calls these AP events.  Their nature is to occur between "paths" so in that sense there is a repetitive nature to them, but the repeatability is limited by the amount of time we have to conjure them up and number of paths there are.  A lot of people (modern, here in this forum, in commentaries) talk about this, so clearly it's a thing for us to have a handle on.  Based just on my MCTB reading, I call these 'AP' experiences.

Then there's this other thing that happens at some point wherein afterwards you're cycling hourly/daily or weekly.  It's not that profound but it's nice (clarity, bliss) and it does some 'damage' as well and perhaps takes more time to get to.  It comes after a path transition.  Lots of people talk about this kind of thing so clearly it's a thing to have a handle on. Just based on my MCTB reading, I call this post path cycling.  I wonder if the 'pressure to meditate' I experience is simply being addicted to the bliss and equanimity of jhanna, and that refining that experience and getting over that is to some degree what paths are about. 

I think our life experiences and what we've heard about before hand dictate how we'll each perceive and respond to events. For example, I lived through the trauma of the 60's, been present to live and dead births (relations an strangers), participated in physical street violence, piloted planes through the dark night of storms, topped 18k' mountains after watching a friend disappear sliding over the icy crest (he survived!), barely survived pulling up 3 abalones on a single breath, just a bit of exciting pharmacological experiences, stood at the alter twice, stood amidst plane crash wreckages, sat death bed watches and carried a casket, stood nearby as my handiwork blasted off on a column of fire into space.  I feel my experience has muted the relative amazement of some contemplative experience, so that explains how some of the words I chose will be different than what other people say.

When the only way to document stuff was to get a few special people to write it down or chisels it into stone then save the material for future generations, I'd *expect* the 'truth' to change over time and get us modern guys confused trying to use language to relate our experiences.

I think MCTB neatly(perhaps 2'd edition will be neater) captures the ambiguity and variability of a contemplatives experience, and DhO captures in a microcosm the twisting wrangling macrocosm of the ages.

So I feel lucky to be here at this time.

Wow, I didn't know I had that in me.  It's so hard to communicate the idea using language that depends on beliefs, I understand why this stuff is hard to talk about.  I think this is the value of using a term like 'MCTB path' instead of just say 'path'.

Several edits to flesh out the ideas, put all these thoughts into this one spot.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 7:41 AM as a reply to b man.
b man:
...Theres definitely nothing that I am doing in my meditation that is "as easy as falling down a hill" or thats leaving me with any "staggering impressions of 'that was it'!" so I am wondering if maybe what I am doing is cycling through the dark night stages, reaching equanimity, and then falling back down and then cycling though again? Did you have any experience like this before your SE? cycling but no blips/blisswaves?
Also, do you know if the blisswave something that happens every time with the cycling or just the first time?
I found my 15 months of meditation adventure punctuated by interesting points and points of annoyance at my meditation advisers. emoticon  None of it was a really big deal for me. (See my other post about life experience).  I could call it cyclic, but I didn't really keep close track of it because I had faith in Daniels 'just keep practicing and noticing each experience' advise.

I now have the 'easy as water falling down a hill' experience of meditation, I sit and get bliss and equanimity within seconds or minutes.  I usually sit till I have this funny little thing happen that seems like falling asleep then waking up, all in the span of <1 second.  I call it a jounce, and it really does remind me of falling asleep and waking up, to the degree that I wonder if that's all that cessation is, or that I've never really experienced 'true' cessations and I'm just talking my self into being post SE.  My 'jounce' is followed by some bliss or clarity that I could totally be imagining, clearly not a staggering impression of 'that was it'.  Now that I think of it, the first few times were unique and caught my attention, but it wasn't staggering and at the time I thought I was just scripting myself into being impressed with the moment.

I think Daniel does couch all these descriptions with 'your experience may be different, less exciting' caveats.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 9:01 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Gordo . .:
I spoke with Ajahn Brahm he said once your a stream winner you've got it. From then on you experience everything as a stream winner. He does not understand the concept of cycling or fruition. His attitude was you can't repeat or review or relive stream entry, its a one time only deal.
He said one way you could cover the same ground again is if a stream winner died and were reborn, but it would only be a matter of time before they would begin to experience everything as a stream winner.
I will ask Ajahn Sujhato next time.

Thats interesting and quite a dramaticly opposite view from whats in MCTB, in which daniel writes that he has been round these cycles and fruitions 100s if not 1000s of times. Amazing how people can view things so differently, which makes you wonder whether they are the same thing being referenced?

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 9:25 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
I think our life experiences and what we've heard about before hand dictate how we'll each perceive and respond to events. For example, I lived through the trauma of the 60's, been present to live and dead births (relations an strangers), participated in physical street violence, piloted planes through the dark night of storms, topped 18k' mountains after watching a friend disappear sliding over the icy crest (he survived!), barely survived pulling up 3 abalones on a single breath, just a bit of exciting pharmacological experiences, stood at the alter twice, stood amidst plane crash wreckages, sat death bed watches and carried a casket, stood nearby as my handiwork blasted off on a column of fire into space.  I feel my experience has muted the relative amazement of some contemplative experience, so that explains how some of the words I chose will be different than what other people say.


That sounds like a life well lived Matthew. I havent lived as many years as you but I have been experienced my fair share of incredible things in the 3D world, been involved in many almost unbelievable experiences also and so whilst I think theres truth in what you say in regards to extrodinary experiences in life having a muting effect the relative amazement of some contemplative experience (i.e popossibly not being so impressed with the jhanic type blisses or  better perspective in handling dark night experineces etc),
Where I feel it doesnt fit so well is when I think back to that satori experience, because that was when it became clear that there was something else other than this 3D reality, and so it put everything else into a new perspective. To use an analogy, its like saying: "This new shiney trophy in the trophy cabinet (amazement of some contemplative experience) isnt that impressive to me as I have lived a long life with many shiny trophies (other amazing life experiences) and so therefore I am less impressed with shiney things these days, now that I have seen so many" and then all that view changing when you experience that there is a place where there are no trophies, or any trophy cabinet, or any you to have or see the trophies or the cabinet, just nothing but massive, vast, beautiful, silent one-ness.
Then you when you come back online, all the other experiences in your life are still big experiences, but there is a peace that comes with knowing that the 3D world isnt quite as solid and unique as it was before, and whilst this doesnt make the trophies any less shiney, it somehow puts a different perspective on them and gives a real faith in knowing there is more to life than meets the eye, which increases the desire to practice.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 12:29 PM as a reply to b man.
B Man
Thats interesting and quite a dramaticly opposite view from whats in MCTB, in which daniel writes that he has been round these cycles and fruitions 100s if not 1000s of times. Amazing how people can view things so differently, which makes you wonder whether they are the same thing being referenced?

=) There's a book of essays that is raised here from time to time about just this, the disparity between nibbana/awakening experiences: Jack Kornfield's, Modern Buddhist Masters, and from one chapter to the next and from each "master" to the next, the experiences are quite different and even contradictory. 

For me, this just reiterates that a practice is personal, that one tests and sees for themselves; a person working in a buddhist model will determine for themselves if they know the end of dukkha, the temporary end of dukkha, their ability to release causes of dukkha, and how to live on from there.  To me, that's a personal understanding, like, did I hang the door to my likening (probably not), does it work and what are its functional limits? There's no reward for self-deception emoticon



edit: hyperlink to book removed, linkage issues...

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 2:11 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
....Where I feel it doesnt fit so well is when I think back to that satori experience, because that was when it became clear that there was something else other than this 3D reality, and so it put everything else into a new perspective...

I'd like to have one of those please! emoticon I don't know if I'm interpreting the sameish thing differently, or I never had that experience, or what really contributes to these kind of differences.  I'm following this thread, hoping for more response to fill in the blanks.

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 3:50 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Gordo . .:
I spoke with Ajahn Brahm he said once your a stream winner you've got it. From then on you experience everything as a stream winner. He does not understand the concept of cycling or fruition. His attitude was you can't repeat or review or relive stream entry, its a one time only deal.
He said one way you could cover the same ground again is if a stream winner died and were reborn, but it would only be a matter of time before they would begin to experience everything as a stream winner.
I will ask Ajahn Sujhato next time.
That's been my understanding. Thanks. I have mentioned this before -  but this sequence of letters exchanged between teacher and student as she goes through the first three paths may provide a ‘missing link’. Her teacher was trained in the Mahasi tradition. He later integrated samatha  into that practice. The exchange of letters is essentially a practice log with reports by the student and observations and practice recommendations from her teacher as she progresses. Briefly, the practice is to develop samatha to 3rd or 4th jhana and then he has her switch to insight practice (Mahasi Sayadaws books are among those he recommends she studies). If she starts dropping out of jhana she is told to switch back to anapanasati to reestablish the jhana before returning to noting.

What is relevant here is that her path descriptions are not blips but rather similar in flavor to what would be recognized in Thai Forest (and it is what her teacher is looking for) and she is able to repeat them for the first and second paths by calling them up - she talks about how she does this.
 
Her experience seems not as deep as the Maha Boowa experience we have had - maybe somewhere in between. Samatha integrated into the practice seems to be what makes the difference.

Letters 49/50 and 70/71 relate to first two paths

The teacher is Ven. Matara Sri Nanarama Mahathera who also taught Ayya Khema and Ven. Nanananda (The Mind Stilled).
https://freedfreedom.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/freed-fredom.pdf

RE: diagnosis A&P or SE?
Answer
4/19/15 10:03 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

=) There's a book of essays that is raised here from time to time about just this, the disparity between nibbana/awakening experiences: Jack Kornfield's, Modern Buddhist Masters, and from one chapter to the next and from each "master" to the next, the experiences are quite different and even contradictory. 

For me, this just reiterates that a practice is personal, that one tests and sees for themselves; a person working in a buddhist model will determine for themselves if they know the end of dukkha, the temporary end of dukkha, their ability to release causes of dukkha, and how to live on from there.  To me, that's a personal understanding, like, did I hang the door to my likening (probably not), does it work and what are its functional limits? There's no reward for self-deception emoticon



edit: hyperlink to book removed, linkage issues...


katy, I think the book you've referenced was later re-titled Living Dharma: Teachings and Meditation Instructions from Twelve Theravada Masters. I think it's a great book for the reasons you've described. I believe it also provides great perspective on the Theravadan practice(s) and how they were largely invented, evolved and ultimately passed on. Another book I enjoyed, though more historical and less practice oriented was, The Birth of Insight, about the life of Ledi Sayadaw. You can read this latter book and see just how modern our "ancient" meditation techniques really are. Also, it highlights how influential the SE Asian Theravadan traditions are wordwide.