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Stream entry, if not then what!?

Stream entry, if not then what!?
11/2/15 11:06 AM
Hi i wanted to pose my journey and current situation and see if this corrolates to Stream Entry, partly because I think it would be cool to know, partly to see if others have had quite similar experiences and lastly to see what to do now.

The more I read, look and listen around this subject the more I believe this is what it probaly is but have never found a platform for open, back and forth conversation into attainments such as this and am on what might be considered a wide orbit having little or no contact with other practitioners. 

Briefly...10 years ago experience deep angst, depression which comes and goes. No 'spiritual' contact at this point, but endless enquirying into stuff like what actually is boredom and associated states.

Never new others did this sort of stuff like enquiring into reality...but then found Art, thought it might give me the big answers, it didn't, then found Buddhism and Meditation around 6 years ago. Got really into it, veggie and all that. Meditated everyday, puja, lots of study. Still depressed all the while, although more stabilised, but medicated.

Became a bit of a dick - spiritually speaking, in that I alienated friends and family, especially my partner. Needed to DO something, to change something. Began systematically inquiring through writing and meditation into who or what I was, all the time. Couldnt turn it off. By this time I had stopped the anti-depressants as wanted to see exactly what was going on. I kept trying to move away, to a retreat centre or India, and eventually became so convinced that I needed to move out regardless of the consequences, with such strong resolution that I would move or die, bit bonkers. Regardless of guaranteed regret and fear.

I was meditating (mostly mindfulness of the breath and metta bhavana-alongside puja) alot at this time and eventually moved into a community, deeply hurting my family and again my partner, but was doing it so fuck them. Then met up with my partner after having been in the community for 6 or so weeks and suprise suprise she had had enough, dumped me.

I was shocked, I mean really shocked. This is when it all crumbled big time. I was distraught, constant suicidal thoughts, big time pissed off.

I stopped meditating, and also stopped being a 'Buddhist' too. Suffering was here! so in a nutshell, I left my job, my complete spirtual network, my partner (although she became the one thing to get back...), left the community, moved out of the area back to mummies and was full on depressed again! ha.

I basically got a job back home, was a walking zombie. Needed to get my partner back at all costs, gifts, letters, job, money. Eventually after much dialogue she accepted me back and I crawled back home the defeated Buddhist and ressurected family man! But shit, I was still depressed, this couldn't be. I remember being quite honest in explaining to a friend that my brain was about to explode. He said I was on the right track.
One year previous I started a dialogue on Liberation Unleashed which I left for a while, well nearly a year. I then decided to take this direct inquiry back up but before I even re-started the dialogue, Bang!

Everything in experience collapsed then reappeared, and Robbie was gone. I remember just walking really slowly in my kitchen and in the garden thinking this can't be happening, every step fully blissful, felt like my shoulders were so happy and blissful that they might pull me up into the sky. This went on sadly for only that night and the whole of the next day but ceased there. This event was one year ago.

I became practice mad for a while, read MCTB in 2 or 3 sittings (although badly as on 2nd and 3rd reading noticed i'd missed a lot!), was bamboozled but chuffed. No more anxiety, none. A lot of "stuff" dropped away, seeking stopped as did things related to work. I have had a year now to integrate this experience, with a few little ups and downs but mostly pretty cool. The suicide thing still shows its face but is just that.

Troubled my self with the choice versus no-choice thing for a while but came out, not both, not one and not neither...Now to practice again!
Reading MCTB and the maps of insight as if for the first time! I relate to it but haven't been doing formal noticing bare sensation type practice but consider myself to have at least traversed the insight territory to stream entry... I know directly there is no separate Me, (Often get caught by experience, but undoubtedly gone), I have no doubt that the path leads to complete realisation and have no aspect of my life or practice that feels something out there can do it for me, I.e. the first three of the ten fetters. Still greedy and still experience Ill-will though.

Although having only been doing concentration practices again for a month or so (open awareness practice before this) I am able to enter access concentration within 10-20 seconds and 1st jhana is just there. I can almost experience the feelings of first jhana anytime my mind wonders to such an idea. I now wonder about formally doing the technique MCTB recommends (bare sensation) as am at a bit of a loss for what to do next, although the only thing I know is i seem to be in pretty comfortable moment to moment in the mind and body and cause and effect stages....I guess have been doing the noting practice as a matter of course rather than formally practicing it, just because of the mystery of experience.

What do you think? Any comments, queries, or complete dissaprovals. I am very open to not being at first path but would be interested to see if you agree or see this type of experience as a kind of stage/positioning on the path to awakening... Many thanks for reading and hopefully I can recieve comments with the humility needed. Also if anyone has had similar experience what are you 'practicing' now.

With love, Robbie

RE: Stream entry, if not then what!?
11/2/15 9:25 PM as a reply to Robbie Downs-Levene.
This might have been stream entry. You've noticed a lasting difference to how you experience the world: this adds credence to the idea. I am no expert though, so don't listen to me. 

In the end, no matter what it was or what anyone says it was, the prescription is what you already know which is to keep at it emoticon  Noting is good.

Personally I've used noting but also am aware of the gears of practice (a car transmission metaphor) from kenneth folk; at this stage it's satsang but i'm also aware of bare sensate experience (since that's all that's left when you remove any concepts). 

RE: Stream entry, if not then what!?
11/3/15 12:09 PM as a reply to Robbie Downs-Levene.
Robbie Downs-Levene:

What do you think? Any comments, queries, or complete dissaprovals. I am very open to not being at first path but would be interested to see if you agree or see this type of experience as a kind of stage/positioning on the path to awakening... Many thanks for reading and hopefully I can recieve comments with the humility needed.

Yes, this is stream-entry.

Robbie Downs-Levene:

Also if anyone has had similar experience what are you 'practicing' now.

Same as Jacki. Go to satsang,

RE: Stream entry, if not then what!?
11/29/15 8:38 AM as a reply to Derek.
Thanks for the replies Jacki and Derek.

By satsang, do you mean contact with practitioners or attending a community with a teacher, or both? Not familiar with that word.

Since my last post here I have been doing some pretty intensive daily practice, having a bit of a wild time with bare noting of sensation, I would like to start a practice log here as it definitely seems like the cycle of insight with marked moments corresponding with the stages up to equanimity with a day and half of heavy dark stuff.

Although doing only bare witnessing of sensations and no samatha practice my concentration is pretty sharp with the jhanas arrising spontaniously or at a mere glance in that direction, where the glance comes from is anyones guess! Empty aswell.

I have read quite a few descriptions and disscusions around 'cycling' naturally post stream entry as opposed to the more clear signs of each stage whilst doing strictly vipassana style noting of sensation. Is it kind of like lots of mini cycles and fruitions with the mastering of each stage being the full fruition to the next stage of enlightenment?

If you can think of a more appropriate place for these specific question please let me know!?

Many thanks,