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Daniel M. Ingram, 6 hours ago.

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Dear All,

The remarkable Manish has managed to upgrade Liferay, the platform the DhO runs on, to version 7.3! This is a remarkable accomplishment, as Liferay upgrades have proved mind-boggling difficult, with each one we have done taking teams of people over a year each with many errors and failures along the way. Many thanks to Manish! If you find any errors, glitches, problems, or areas for improvement, please let us know in the dedicated thread below "Liferay 7.3 Feedback." Thanks!

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Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
Erm...

I need help, because I'm not sure how to interpret what just happened. I think I had a 3rd interruption of consciousness. Meaning, it's possible I have just attained 3rd path. I'm not sure at all. I've been having near misses for a few days now. And 15 min ago I laid my head on the desk to rest and started doing metta for a friend of mine, with my eyes closed. For a moment I can't quite discern the mind was unconscious and it landed "near the object of meditation". It was as if the mind fell asleep for 2 seconds and woke up continuing the previous task it was doing, but somewhat clumsily. The distinctive character of this brief interruption of consciousness was that right before returning to activity I felt like a very brief and small flash of light pierced my skull. It felt like an actual interruption.

I haven't had a full blown fruition yet. It seems my mind is lighter. The sensations that correspond to the controlling activity of the mind are still here but weaker. They are here, but they don't bother me as much. They arise and lose their power quickly.

I've read somewhere, probably in the Visuddhimagga, that fruition consciousness can be recalled, but the path consciousness only occurs once for each path. And that's my question for you guys: do you agree with this statement?

I hope this is the 3rd path because I am tired of the dark nights pre 3rd path. I never imagined they could be so ruthless.

Peace
Mattias Wilhelm Stenberg, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 131 Join Date: 10/26/13 Recent Posts
What is this "you" that hasn't had a fruition yet...? Can you be more specific when "you" use the word?
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
I think this was a false alarm. I feel my mind is clearer, but I suspect it wasn't a path moment. Thank you anyway. emoticon
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
I don't want to claim anything yet, but let me keep this as a working hypothesis. I'll use this topic to sort my mind out and if you want to step in, please do.

Several things have changed:

I can distinguish the jhanas very well, now. I haven't been practicing sitting meditation regularly for quite some time, now. These last 30 days I sat in meditation for about 2 hours total. Yet, after doing half an hour the day before yesterday and 5 minutes yesterday, today I sat and I wasn't even in the formal sitting pose. I was laid back in a park bench. And I went from 1st to 3rd jhana in about 7 min and I could see them changing clearly, something I wasn't able to do before last night's event.

I am not capable of fully separating myself from the objects I observe anymore. If I am paying attention to my thoughts, then the outside really seems to be outside and separated. But if I look at something and ask if it's outside of me, I can't answer yes. When I look at the world in a panoramic view, what I see is the world rising and falling as if it was the movement of the ocean, except I am looking at it from one point, and not another. But I am part of the ocean like everyone else. All there is, is matter moving around propelled by mind(s).

This happens to change my perspective on morality and compassion. There is something wrong with hurting other beings. We share something fundamental in common. I can't put my finger on it, but it's like I see everyone as being my near family because of this. Plus, I feel compelled to have metta for others and to help others spontaneously.

On the topic of metta, I should say that I cannot practice metta just for my self. It's as if metta is all around me, even though it's being emanated by me, and I cannot restrict it to these material boundaries of my body. I can only intensify the metta in the places I want it to be intensified.

The phala samapatti is not yet clear, but it does seem different from the previous phala samapatti.

And finally, on defilements. This is actually the strangest part. It's not that I don't feel anger, or lust. It's that it doesn't enter my mind. I don't get involved with it. My mind feels like it's protected by an energy shield. The shield is mindfulness. As soon as something is aproaching the mind, mindfulness notices it and it's as if the defilements get destroyed before entering the mind. It's fascinating! But I'm still not entirely convinced. My mind can still get agitated. I hope I am not fooling myself into believing that defilements are just agitation.

So far this is what I got. I feel inclined to think it's 3rd path again, but I am not convinced yet, so I refuse to claim anything about it.
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Dream Walker, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 1311 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Blue Jay:
Several things have changed:

I am not capable of fully separating myself from the objects I observe anymore. If I am paying attention to my thoughts, then the outside really seems to be outside and separated. But if I look at something and ask if it's outside of me, I can't answer yes. When I look at the world in a panoramic view, what I see is the world rising and falling as if it was the movement of the ocean, except I am looking at it from one point, and not another. But I am part of the ocean like everyone else. All there is, is matter moving around propelled by mind(s).

So far this is what I got. I feel inclined to think it's 3rd path again, but I am not convinced yet, so I refuse to claim anything about it.
So in your first post you defined third path as getting another cycle done?
When Pawel pointed out the newish thread pointing out what 3rd path criteria was, you now have some of that?
Well congrats then. Sounds like you are describing some great changes in perception. This is a bit tricky thing to diagnose so if you are seeing the world so differently now, could you detail the phenomenon to a greater detail? Your descriptions are missing some details that you might notice if you look closely to the before and after changes.

Thanks
~D
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
Hello Dream Walker,

I have to say that the description I made sounds a lot better than what's actually happening. If this is 3rd path, I have to say I'm very disapointed. I think one of the problems is that I'm not practicing jhana regularly for months now. And since I'm very busy with exams, I haven't had the chunk of time I want to explore this better. For example, the awareness of metta as something that surrounds me, and is not limited to me, is dependent on the practice of jhana.

There are 3 options. One is that this is 3rd path and that I'm disapointed because my mind is not heightened enough for me to appreciate the differences and deepen the insights. The second option is that I'm totally fooling myself . My description of the changes I feel is very similar to the list of things Pawel K posted, although not exactly the same, because I felt the jhanas changing very clearly the day before yesterday. There's a clear danger of feeling these things trough self suggestion. The third option is what I'm actually inclined to believe. It is described by Bhante Gunaratana in his book "Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English", pg 186, but it's a bit against what most people here believe in:

Never-Returner

The third supramundane jhana destroys for good addiction to seansual pleasure. Another might destroy hatred first. This difference depends, as before, on the person's temperament and character.
Path. With more vigor, courage, confidence, and clarity than ever, you practice the Noble Eightfold Path at the supramundane level. When the loving-friendliness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity that were initiated at the attainment of the first jhana come to fruition, the subtle level of hatred totally vanishes from your mind. At that moment, you enter the never-returner's path.
Fruit. Then, when the last remnant of craving for sensuality pleasures vanishes for ever, you enter the state of never-returner's fruition.

Since my 1st path event I agree with this description of path & fruit. and this description above matches my current experience. I feel that aversion was located in the head, and that seems to be gone. But not necessarily the craving, which is located in the heart/chest. When I try to perceive sensations with an undirected mind, the feeling is qualitatively different in the head and in the heart. The undirected mind perceiving the head emanates a lot of energy. On the other hand, the undirected mind perceiving feelings in the heart is still destroying defilements.

The fruition consciousness is not necessarily the same thing as having realised the fruit of the path. And there's one discourse of the Buddha where he mentions the 8 kinds of disciples and these are the four aryas in their path and fruit phases. Plus, I think it may explain a lot of divergences regarding what is an arahant. That and the fact that there's still cycling after 4th path.

But anyway, I don't want to claim anything. One thing I have realised a few weeks ago is that the mind can do amazing things if it stops identifying with the hindrances and fetters. If I stop identifying with doubt, for example, I can induce jhana a lot easier. But this can also mean that I am identifying myself with 3rd path and retroactively attributing these mental states to 3rd path, instead of authentic 3rd path.

I will have free time the day after tomorrow and I'll hopefully have time to deepen these insights, or delusions!

More on this later, when I have more free time. Thank you.
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Jenny, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Blue Jay,

Do you have a practice journal here? Could you link to it? You mentioned not even practicing in quite a while. In my experience, someone past stream entry generally has his or her proverbial "hair on fire" to attain enlightenment, which translates into steady practice usually.

Realize that strangers on a forum cannot help you with diagnosis without knowing more about your practice, such as
  • Calendar time spent with a regular practice
  • Usual length of daily sits
  • Variety of techniques used
  • Your meditative "cutting" edge (decribed)
  • Retreat experiences
  • History of insight stages you've moved through, such as phenomenology of A&P and Dark Nights
  • Varieties of objects taken in meditation (and whether that includes taking the jhanas themselves as objects)
  • Whether you still experience a clear distinction between jhana practice and vipassana
  • And what persistent changes in perception you now have (described in detail)
If you don't have these details, then I urge you to start keeping a practice journal here so that experienced practictioners can follow the patterns and trends and give you the weigh-in you are asking for.

Please clarify which model you are using to provisionally make your claims.

If you are making any MCTB model claims, please address each of Daniel's new third path criteria as listed above. If you have luminosity, please describe it as experience. If you have agencylessness, please explain what that is like, providing examples. If you've attained to Nirodha Samapatti, please describe what happened and when, in detail.

Thanks! And best wishes!

Jenny
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
Jenny:
Blue Jay,

Do you have a practice journal here? Could you link to it? You mentioned not even practicing in quite a while. In my experience, someone past stream entry generally has his or her proverbial "hair on fire" to attain enlightenment, which translates into steady practice usually.

Realize that strangers on a forum cannot help you with diagnosis without knowing more about your practice, such as
  • Calendar time spent with a regular practice
  • Usual length of daily sits
  • Variety of techniques used
  • Your meditative "cutting" edge (decribed)
  • Retreat experiences
  • History of insight stages you've moved through, such as phenomenology of A&P and Dark Nights
  • Varieties of objects taken in meditation (and whether that includes taking the jhanas themselves as objects)
  • Whether you still experience a clear distinction between jhana practice and vipassana
  • And what persistent changes in perception you now have (described in detail)
If you don't have these details, then I urge you to start keeping a practice journal here so that experienced practictioners can follow the patterns and trends and give you the weigh-in you are asking for.

Please clarify which model you are using to provisionally make your claims.

If you are making any MCTB model claims, please address each of Daniel's new third path criteria as listed above. If you have luminosity, please describe it as experience. If you have agencylessness, please explain what that is like, providing examples. If you've attained to Nirodha Samapatti, please describe what happened and when, in detail.

Thanks! And best wishes!

Jenny
Hi, Jenny.

Sorry for the long post, but here it goes.

I don't have a meditation journal.

My hair has in fact been on fire. Plus I have other pressing reasons to have a lot of spiritual urgency. I have practiced almost everyday, actually, but not sitting meditation. The regular practice has been walking meditation.
There are two things I see as being major causes for my innaction. One is my inclination for self sabotaging behaviour. The other I am just confirming now. Given my self sabotaging behaviour I was prescribed Ritalin to be productive. There was a period when it worked well. But it hasn't worked in a while. I stopped taking it about 20 days ago. I went back to doing the things I have to do. And I don't get angry and agitated when I'm not on Ritalin. But I took 3 Ritalin pills in these last 3 days.  I bought more medication yesterday, after going to the doctor, and took a pill about 3 hours ago. And I can tell a big difference in thoughts and behaviour. There's persisting anger and frustration, coupled with innaction. This is more tollerable now, but it is happening. I think this Ritalin business intensified the DNs far more than what would be normal. I won't take it anymore. I'll wait a few days without ritalin and see if I can figure this out better.

The practice has not been regular since christmass. Almost everyday I've been taking long walks and I do meditation in several ways, but I would say an average of 1h15m of unstructured practice a day.
- I would focus the mind steadily and continuously on the sensations on the feet while walking, which was more samatha than vipassana.
- I would also do vipassana like this: I started focusing on the sensations on the feet. After being fairly focused I would focus on changing sensations. Then I would ask myself "Is there any permanent sensation in the feet?" and I would perceive impermanence clearly. And finally I would focus on watching sensations rise and fall due to contact with the ground and due to mindful attention.
- I would also try to do walking meditation focusing on developing mental states of equanimity. So I would walk around relaxin the feet, then abandoning the feet, then releasing control of the feet. Thing like these.
- I did some sitting meditation during all these months. But it wasn't regular. I would do a bit of sitting meditation, get to a place of emotional equanimity and I would be happy with that and become lazy again. This was how my cycling worked in this period. I would do enough meditation to reach emotional equanimity and drop the practice. And then I would start again. This happened probably 30+ times, without exageration. Of course, the problem was that this equanimity was emotional, and not wise equanimity.
- The two things that changed everything was to contemplate every experince as having a cause. This allowed me to see clearly what were the things I had to be equanimous of. It's hard to pigeonhole them into a single word. But it's essentially clinging and controlling things in every way these can manifest themselves.
- The other thing that allowed me to see clearly was realising that every instance of clinging and control is characterised by a movement of the mind either to push the sensations away, or to grab them. The mind moves around trying to force things to be different. So I tried o become aware of sensations without forceful mental movement. The culmination of this is, I think, the undirected mind. Meaning the door of nibbana related to the absence of suffering. I tried to mature this mental attitude of an undirected mind, because it brought (and brings) me peace and detatchment.
- In the last 10 days, or so, I started applying this technique of watching sensations with an undirected mind, to the three things that Dream Walker and Daniel Ingram had advised to focus on: to vipassanise the "personal bubble", the boundaries of the body, and the center of "me". I continued perceiving these three things with an undirected mind, thus releasing attatchment and aversion to them.
- I eventually started perceiving everything as unsatisfactory and took more and more time abiding with in an undirected mind. After that came the event I am trying to figure out.

I went to two retreats this year, both one day long Goenka retreats. I can't describe persistent changes in perception yet, because I need to be out of Ritalin and have a few days off to better understand what's going on.

I see the ten fetter model, and the MCTB model of the paths as being the same. I think the differences are better explained when you take into account the radical difference between a lay life and a monastic life.

I don't feel agencylessness. I said yesterday that aversion was in the head and craving is in the heart. I feel I am liberated from aversion, but not from craving. I was doing my long meditation  walk yesterday trying to vipassanise the heart area with the undirected mind. There comes a point when even trying to do anything is seen as stressful. So, in the second half of the walk, when I droped most of trying I saw how things can become without an agent. When you drop all desire for anything, you stop trying anything. When that happens, you feel as though things are happening without any involvement from you. But this change in perception wasn't permanent, because I am not done with craving yet. It feels weakened, but not gone.

The experiences of luminosity, or that metta is all around me arise in dependence of jhana, as far as I can tell. Regarding separation, I don't have reliable insights to say anything about this yet.

Thanks!
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
In the interest of truth, let me clarify my current position and curb my initial enthusiasm.

If I am to believe that Bhante Gunaratana, and others, are right in (sub)dividing the supermundane attainments in 8 stages, intead of 4, then I can explain better my position. The 8 stages are the 4 paths and the 4 respective fruits. According to this understanding, the path can be a separate event from the fruit. For example, a stream winner can destroy the belief in a self, but still take a while to realise that rituals do not bring true wisdom, and to trust that the Buddha's teachings are the way out of suffering.

If I use this description, then I am certain that:

- 1st pth is attained
- 1st fruit is attaind
- 2nd path is attained
- 4th path is NOT attained
- 4th fruit is NOT attained.
- I'm almost positive that 3rd fruit is NOT attained

As for the other stages I'm not sure. I still incline to 3rd path, without 3rd fruit, having destroyed hate, with craving still undestroyed.

None of the "sympthoms" that Pawel K described were permanent changes in me. They occured mildly after the event I described in the OP,, especially after jhana practice, but the change was not permanent and still depends on practicing jhana to arise mildly. Also, the ability to go through the jhanas easily was not a permanent ability gained.

As for hate, and aversion in general, I feel it's quite different now. If I get mad, it goes away a lot quicker than before, and it doesn't feel like it's hurting me. The analogy I use when I'm thinking of this is of having a gun that only shoots blanks and no longer shoots real bulletts. I get annoyed or angry, but it doesn't last long. Things that used to make me furious now make me a bit annoyed and it goes away. Fear is also subdued in the same way. I think agitation is a good word for what happens in my mind with regards to hate. Maybe annoyance is a right word too.

But, if the attainment of a level of realisation is necessarily a destruction of all the correspondent fetters at the same time, i.e., it's a path & fruit event, then I am NOT an anagami. I'm almost positive that this much attachment and insatisfaction in me cannot be honestly described as agitation.

Be well. And thank you all for your help. I'll continue to work at it.
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Andrew K, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 54 Join Date: 4/14/12 Recent Posts
Blue Jay:

If I am to believe that Bhante Gunaratana, and others, are right in (sub)dividing the supermundane attainments in 8 stages, intead of 4, then I can explain better my position. The 8 stages are the 4 paths and the 4 respective fruits. According to this understanding, the path can be a separate event from the fruit. For example, a stream winner can destroy the belief in a self, but still take a while to realise that rituals do not bring true wisdom, and to trust that the Buddha's teachings are the way out of suffering.



Could you link us to some text where Bhante Gunaratana talks about this model? I'd like to learn more abuot it. Thanks emoticon
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
It's in his book "Beyond Minfulness in Plain English", especialy pages 182 - 183. He exlplains briefly his position and I'm more inclined to agree with him on this than with the orthodox view of Mahasi Sayadaw.

Hopefully this link works. You have to cpy & paste it:
https://books.google.pt/books?id=5cFfj4RTL_UC&pg=PA182&dq=the+abhidhamma+pitaka+is+an+ancient+gunaratana&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMIjYuq_9zyxwIVR28UCh0HLg7M#v=onepage&q=the%20abhidhamma%20pitaka%20is%20an%20ancient%20gunaratana&f=false
Eva M Nie, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 831 Join Date: 3/23/14 Recent Posts
Blue Jay:
It's in his book "Beyond Minfulness in Plain English", especialy pages 182 - 183. He exlplains briefly his position and I'm more inclined to agree with him on this than with the orthodox view of Mahasi Sayadaw.Hopefully this link works. You have to cpy & paste it:https://books.google.pt/books?id=5cFfj4RTL_UC&pg=PA182&dq=the+abhidhamma+pitaka+is+an+ancient+gunaratana&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAGoVChMIjYuq_9zyxwIVR28UCh0HLg7M#v=onepage&q=the%20abhidhamma%20pitaka%20is%20an%20ancient%20gunaratana&f=false
That link worked, thank you!  Interesting reading.  Good idea to consider that the definitions that have crystalized here are probably not the only valid game in town.  ;-P  (edited to fix format)
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 3158 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
One thing about this place, I am not sure that many definitions have ever crystalized here. Debate and disagreement has marked the place since its inception. I think we mostly agree on a few straightforward things, the A&P, that the Dark Night is real, but once you get to things like paths and all that, even jhanas, there is marked divergence of opinion, and I prefer that to ossified dogma, calcification of cognition, or a stuck muck of orthodoxy. May healthy debate based on experience, exploration and the rigorous comparison of that to reports from before of what is possible continue.
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
Daniel,

I didn't make my comments to be derrogatory. I totaly agree with your post. And, given how taboo it is to talk about attainments, it's invitable that these deeper subjects will always be debatable. And I'm glad they do, because otherwise people may be stuck in a dogmatic view that does nothing for them personaly. Thanks for the encouragement.

_/\_
Mathew Poskus, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 200 Join Date: 10/24/15 Recent Posts
i dit trataka then metta feeling happy about my friend beeing happy and how we wish hapinnes to each other love(in friendly way emoticon ) then thought of inpermanence   emoticon)))) like i was inside my body clearly feeling my breath passing thoughts very so bright felt so serene what was that ?
Blue Jay, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Dharma Doctors, Please Help

Posts: 95 Join Date: 1/19/14 Recent Posts
I haven't visited in a while. But I came here specifically to remove my best guess at attainment. By now I'm almost sure I'm not an Anagami. My present position is that sakadagami is the best guess.

Thank you for your help anyway!

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