Message Boards Message Boards

Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

Some thoughts...just looking for outside opinions

So, on a day when I have nothing to do, I would say that I'm practicing mindfulness for roughly 50% - 60% of it. On days when I'm working or I'm in another demanding, unique situation, it's more like 20%-30%.

Anyways. I'm pretty sure I hit stream entry at some point but it's strange. My life isn't perfect now. Excitement comes in the same waves that it used to and sometimes I totally lose track of myself, but the moment I remember to be mindful, a few things happen...

1. I rapidly start concentrating.
2. I notice various sensations throughout my body. Some subtle, some gross (I get migraines pretty frequently)
3. Then I notice sensations that are a bit more relatable to human experience. Anxiety. Cconfusion. Grasping. Looking for solid ground inside of myself. Hating the person I'm near, or feeling positively affected by their presence. These are "vibes" in the traditional sense...mental states, complete mental states.
4. Then I sort of...readjust myself to these relatable vibrations because I notice that I'm either resisting them or hopelessly obsessing over them. Something happens, but often the descriptions I see of stream entry are so dramatic that I don't even trust the way I interpret them. But it is as if I faint for a second, and it's a very human feeling, and then I kind of "come to" all at once. But the emphasis is on it feeling's not some special far away thing, and in fact it feels very natural. It's like, oh yeah, what else would be the way to untwist this heap of tension...

And I just repeat that all of the time, basically. I try to be as loving as I can be toward others. I still have a lot of neurosis, some of which is absolutely terrifying. But I'm slowly learning to ignore the drama in my head and just focus on the sensations, and to fearlessly look at my life as more of an experiment than anything else. When fear comes it isn't as much of a surprise, when equinimity comes it is usually pretty straight forward...sometimes it's even invigorating! And I'm getting used to that third element which I have trouble describing...a decidedly mysterious happening where I reawaken into a natural state of mind. My ego eats itself, more or less.

One thing I've always been concerned over is the dullness of my life. Like, post retreat my awareness is super crystal clear, but otherwise I often find myself comparing my awareness to the way it was when I was younger...when I was in high school. Everything was perfectly clear and vivid. As I've gotten older...I'm only 23...things have become less vivid. Anyways this isn't something I'm particularly agonizing over but whenever I question if I've attained anything, I always think "oh awareness is still a little dulled, sprobably from the substance abuse in my past, so no way". But a strange, cosmic confidence has slowly poured into my practice and I think I'm truly starting to understand the remaining work I have to accomplish. Paradoxical, right?


P.S. Trungpa is an amazing author emoticon

RE: Some thoughts...just looking for outside opinions
10/13/15 9:31 AM as a reply to a person.
howdy ap,
i'm not sure what your seeking an opinion on but yeah, Trungpa is an amazing author.

as to your practice, if you think you nailed stream entry then you are the best one to judge.  you seem to have the lingo down and so you would probably also know that stream entry is nearer the start than the finish.

so if you goal is to wrap this thing up keep doing what you are doing until done is what had to be done.

but thats just my opinion...

RE: Some thoughts...just looking for outside opinions
10/13/15 7:47 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Oh, just the stuff I wrote description of mindfulness, of working with myself.

I mean, it gets more complex than this. I have a lot of neurosis and I stumbled upon A&P by doing lots of psychedelics a long time ago. About a year ago I was at retreat and uncovered some serious thought suppression, and releasing those thoughts (I had to) caused me so much distress that now there is a serious fire underneath me to be as mindful as possible as much as possible. It's not like I'm rushing or frantic, it's just that I get so depressed occasionally that what else is there to do but go to a psycho therapist, meditate on the background vibration that's influencing me, and get up each morning. And, genuinely care for those around me as much as I can stomach.

Now, people on this forum pick up on rushed, excited, and hesitant tones very easily. In fact, I suspect that people mostly misinterpret what one another writes on here. With that said...

I want to be as clear as possible, when I say that I just have no choice but to be dilligantly mindful. When a dark night comes, or when I'm gleefully experimenting with my concentrative abilities, I'm helplessly leashed back into the process of lying with each moment, in a sense. Is it just the lingo? It's extremely frustrating...all of this could just be in my head! 

I understand that it's taboo and dangerous but for whatever reason, I relate so much to tantra and all of the stuff about the transmutation of energy. I feel like I have no choice. It sucks, in a way. But I also love it more than I've ever really loved aanything...

Anyways, I hope there wasn't any aggression in this post. Peace, friend, and god speed!

RE: Some thoughts...just looking for outside opinions
10/13/15 7:52 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Also, I don't know if it's nearer the start than the finish...I feel like I'm on the midst of a surprisingly unstoppable dharma bomb, and my meditation has mostly become...practical? But I'm going to keep with it, I can't suppress this pretentious tone....but, because it really is genuinely interesting, and the dark night is awful when it comes back.

Occasionally I think about the maps so the other day I was like, "hey what does the dharma overground have to say?"

Anyways though thanks for replying and like I said, good luck

RE: Some thoughts...just looking for outside opinions
10/14/15 6:09 AM as a reply to a person.
howdy a p
i ruminated (perhaps nt long enough) about that line "closer to the beginning.." and you called me on it.  it really is a silly concept in a way and i should have left it out as it serves no real purpose.

i personally understand a lot of the attraction to tantra and energy work.  its fascinating and can be really productive.  i was playing with a lot of different things in my early practice which were really comparable to the "drunk teenager with a ferrari without brakes" analogy.

my interest has grown in both of those areas recently after several years of being a pragmatic dharma bum.  i feel i am at a place now where some of the more mysterious aspects of both of those directions can be placed in a framework of deeper understanding and connection and they are VAST.

good luck yourself and thanks.