Need clarification on EQ phenomena

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Erikson, modified 7 Years ago at 6/11/15 2:53 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/11/15 2:25 PM

Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 4 Join Date: 6/11/15 Recent Posts
Hey guys,
I've been in EQ for about a month and I'm kind of lost.

I meditate using Mahasi style noting.
I have never been to a retreat and don't think I'll get to one soon (life situation).
I meditate with the following daily schedule:
  • 30 mins after waking
  • 40 mins on commuter train to work
  • 40 mins at lunch
  • 40 mins on commuter train to home
  • 1.5hrs before bed.

I seem to only reach EQ after about 50 - 55mins.
Therefore I only really see EQ in the sit before bed.
When I sit, I note from start to finish.

Recently I tried a different approach in my sit after reading the very helpful posts in this forum:

What I did different last night was :
  • Based on the advice from this forum instead of desiring SE I now make a formal resolve before my sit starts. I can feel the difference in my subconscious of the wanting versus the registered goal
  • Once I hit high EQ I stop mahasi style noting. Instead I sort of sit back and watch what happens.

What I found was that the resolve really helped my focus as I could stop focusing on the goal and just let it be in the background. I was noting with less effort and more precision.
So when I made it into high EQ last night I stopped noting once I felt my awareness shift into a more panoramic feel and an overall ease and peace come over me.
After that my conciousness/awareness (not sure which) expanded really wide and I could only barely feel my body. I felt like I was a big expanding ball of awareness. I had sensations of slightly rotating clockwise (same thing happened with the A&P event). The conciousness field just kept getting bigger and bigger and the only phenomena I could notice was hearing and some vibrations.

Also I felt this sort of repetitive pulse, sort of like a syncing process was trying to take place. 
Almost at the speed of a heartbeat. Wasn't sure what it was but based on what I've read i've read in MCTB, it sounded like true reality was trying to sync up with my mind.

I knew something big was coming as I had never felt this before and then I started thinking, this is it and a bit of longing and wanting SE reared its ugly head. That slowly pulled me back out of this growing awareness and back into an earlier phase on the path. I could sort of ignore and delay the wanting and stay in this new expansive awareness but after about 10mins of this push and pull I fell out of it completely. Then the "this sit is over" feeling kicked in and I gave it a few more minutes then gaveup.

Needless to say it was a cool experience and re-inforced the 2 changes I made were on the right track (i think).


This expereince left me with the following questions:

  • What was that expansive awareness?
  • What should I do when I return there? Should look for true self or other insight?
  • Is it something close to SE?
  • Is the stopping of noting in high EQ a good thing or am I "blissing out" and hurting progress.
  • Are the short multiple sits during the day helpful or should I aim for less frequent longer sits?

Thanks in advance emoticon
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Don Merchant, modified 7 Years ago at 6/12/15 8:48 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/12/15 8:45 AM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 202 Join Date: 6/9/15 Recent Posts
I'm not that knowledgeable yet, but here are some resources to help. Watch the 3 videos of Mr. Ingram at Cheetah House, all 3 parts.

http://integrateddaniel.info/podcasts-and-videos/

This should answer some questions. At least get you pointed in the right way.

I am in an EQ state right now too. But mine has only been a few days. However, last night at work I had an epiphany about SE. It was weird, but then again I am weird :-)
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Noah, modified 7 Years ago at 6/13/15 12:15 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/13/15 12:15 AM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 1467 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
You are doing great.  These are just my personal opinions:
What was that expansive awareness?

Hard 4th Samatha-Jhana, spontaneously arising out of the 11th nana.  Could possibly lead into 4th jhana-5th jhana sub-aspect.
What should I do when I return there? Should look for true self or other insight?

Your primary investigation should be the sense of desire for SE.  The sense of a need to change anything at all about the moment.  SE will arise naturally from within High-EQ if you can completely disembed from all desires to change reality.
Is it something close to SE?

Super-duper close.
Is the stopping of noting in high EQ a good thing or am I "blissing out" and hurting progress.

You're hurting progress.  Keep noting until you feel the instinct to 'investigate', as I described above.  This investigation can actually be done with thought, with koan-like questions, or it might be done with putting out emotional-feelers into different corners of the mind.  Switch between noting and this type of investigation at will.  Follow your intuition.
Are the short multiple sits during the day helpful or should I aim for less frequent longer sits?

I don't do formal sits ever, so I'm not qualified to answer this question.  However, I would suggest that the more time you can spend in your cutting edge, the better your odds.  So that might imply formal sits.
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago at 6/13/15 12:31 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/13/15 12:31 PM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Good advice Noah
Here is my redundant advice -

1. What was that expansive awareness?
As Noah said, the Boundless Space aspect of the Equinimity jhana most likely.
2. What should I do when I return there? Should look for true self or other insight?
On the way up to high EQ - If you have not checked out the visual field in the blackness of closed eyes...do so. There might be some interesting things happening there. Do not ignore things BUT, once you get to high EQ-
Do not look/control anything. Give up "doing/directing" at this point and use your innate curiosity to gently investigate whatever comes up. If sensation of space comes up investigate it.
3. Is it something close to SE?
High EQ is close to SE. The excitement of being "close" will eventually wear itself out as you get bored/equanimious with even those sensations.
4. Is the stopping of noting in high EQ a good thing or am I "blissing out" and hurting progress.
There is two aspects to the noting process, noticing and labeling. Drop the labeling portion. Do you feel blissed out? If so, that is arising and investigate those sensations. There are many things to explore in EQ. Just continue to do so very gently with a balenced effort. Most people "over effort" things at this point. Let it happen on it's own.
5. Are the short multiple sits during the day helpful or should I aim for less frequent longer sits?
However much time is takes to get to your cutting edge and then as much time "as it takes" til you know you are done.
If short sits do not get you to your cutting edge do long sits. If you stop sort sits and you don't get to your cutting edge on the long sits, maybe you need short sits too, to keep up the momentum. I started my sits with concentration and then moved to noting after the mind calmed down and this sped up my ability to get to my cutting edge quicker...just something to try. Lots of people spent a while at this point in their practice, so settle in for a long haul and this will help shift you out of the excitement of "almost there" (I spent 7 months or so in EQ each sit)
Good luck,
~D
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Erikson, modified 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 2:10 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 2:10 PM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 4 Join Date: 6/11/15 Recent Posts
Noah S:
I don't do formal sits ever, so I'm not qualified to answer this question.  However, I would suggest that the more time you can spend in your cutting edge, the better your odds.  So that might imply formal sits.


Thanks Noah, really helpful stuff here. What do you mean by you don't do formal sits? Can you elaborate, I'm curious.
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Erikson, modified 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 2:18 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 2:18 PM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 4 Join Date: 6/11/15 Recent Posts
Dream Walker:
If short sits do not get you to your cutting edge do long sits. If you stop sort sits and you don't get to your cutting edge on the long sits, maybe you need short sits too, to keep up the momentum. I started my sits with concentration and then moved to noting after the mind calmed down and this sped up my ability to get to my cutting edge quicker...just something to try. Lots of people spent a while at this point in their practice, so settle in for a long haul and this will help shift you out of the excitement of "almost there" (I spent 7 months or so in EQ each sit)
Good luck,
~D

Thanks Dream Walker. I'm finding High EQ comes faster now. I can reach it almost every 30 minute sit now provided my mind has the right balance of the 7 factors of enlightment.
And I believe this is thanks to your guys advice to not try to drive the sit and let it happen and investigate accordingly.

I think this is what is meant when people say "Let the meditation do you and not you doing the meditation".
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Noah, modified 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 2:59 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 2:59 PM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 1467 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
Erikson:
Noah S:
I don't do formal sits ever, so I'm not qualified to answer this question.  However, I would suggest that the more time you can spend in your cutting edge, the better your odds.  So that might imply formal sits.


Thanks Noah, really helpful stuff here. What do you mean by you don't do formal sits? Can you elaborate, I'm curious.
This is Daniel's, from MCTB 2:
For five years of my practice I was mostly a One-Technique Freak, and that technique was noticing—or noting—how sensations flicker. I would do so as often as I could—basically whenever I didn’t have to be doing something that required concentration on the specifics of my life. I would be riding an elevator, just trying to see when I could feel each foot, or lying down to sleep and noticing how many times I could experience the sensations of my breath in each second. I also tried to notice this quality of experience for every single sensation that occurred during my formal practice.

Also, this guy, Antero (an old student of Kenneth Folk's) talks about maintaining mindfulness in daily life at different levels, in his blog ( https://apracticejournal.wordpress.com/ ).  Sorry, I couldn't find the specific blog post!

I have also read in Kenneth's writings the idea of 'disembedding from phenomena' in daily life, of the cushion.  Once again, no source: laziness.

The bottom line is, what do you do with your attention?  Do you need it for daily activities?  Are you absolutely sure?

p.s.  I wouldn't disengage from personal relationships (I don't have children, or a spouse, but they are soooo important obviously).  Rather, be honest and open about your spiritual goals with those around you, including the discussion of daily life noting.

This might detract from your professional life.  Now I'm getting too in-depth.  Nevermind.  Follow your judgement.
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Jenny, modified 7 Years ago at 7/1/15 12:06 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 6/29/15 3:32 PM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Per Mahasi and per MCTB (and per my own experience),

You should stop noting in Equanimity. Pay gentle, child-like, innocently fascinated attention to whatever shows itself.

Also, widen attention. This stage isn't about rapid fine-grained vibrations, speed, and narrow focus. It is really tricky because, usually, previous strageties will usually not work in this stage.

Attend to all of space as one integrated volume that includes all those processess (verbs) that seem to be you, such as wanting, asking, fearing, anticipating, attending to, mapping, evaluating, comparing, remembering, resisting, sensing intimacy--and many more. Noting is usually too narrow, effortful, and attack-oriented at this stage. This stage is more about being present and allowing reality to show itself from its side until that side encompasses all "sides" as one flowing swath. 

Often people are taken over by a daydream, vision, or reverie toward the end. This is normal.
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Erikson, modified 7 Years ago at 7/17/15 3:24 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 7/17/15 3:20 PM

RE: Need clarification on EQ phenomena

Posts: 4 Join Date: 6/11/15 Recent Posts
Hey guys,

Thanks to your guys feedback and watching Daniel's talks at the Cheetah house it feels like progress is being made.
Here's what's going on...

- EQ is now reached 10 mins into a sit
- Once EQ hits I stop noting and simply watch
- I'll bounce around in lower EQ for about 15mins being caught by the pull of a few random thoughts
- Then EQ stabilizes, I become equanimous with EQ
- Lots of vibratory sensations around the body
- I'm no longer aware I'm sitting in the room I'm in, my entire awareness just becomes the field of EQ
- Now I cycle through trying to investigate different processes of the mind
  • Wonder
  • Anticipation
  • Questioning
  • Thrill of being ok in equinimity
  • Self doubt
  • Fear of falling back to DK-
- Each investigation reveals exactly how mind enables the process being investigated (very cool, its like reverse engineering core processes of the mind)
- Eventually the three characteristics of the process being investigated are revealed
- I feel a sort of collapse of an illusion in the mind (think Interstellar's tesseract collapsing)
- I feel a pull towards HIGHer EQ each time (SE?)
- Something big feels like it's approaching
- I repeat these steps for each core proces listed above
- Sit ends

I'm doing 50 - 60minute sits.
So I guess I need to sit longer.
The more I apply this approach the more equanimous EQ becomes

Anyways wanted to show you guys the process I'm following and get some feedback and comments, I'm not sure if its effective but it sure feels like progress is being made.

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