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11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity

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11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
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11/30/15 6:44 AM
Do you know the sensation when you come out of the pool, and there's water stuck in your ear, and then it suddenly comes out all on its own and it's very satisfying? That's what this feels like. I appreciate what is meant by the word "supramundane," which is how I think this stage is described. This was preceded by months of intense fear/suffering and unbearable desolation of the heart -- what I was calling the dark night of the soul -- and then, over the course of a couple days, I had spontaneous insights that led me to see the illusory nature of my own suffering. Over the last few years I was never consciously doing vipassana -- I was just allowing all the feelings in my body to be -- but in the end it does correspond to the rising/cessation of thought/feeling from the abdomen/breath.

It's very peculiar. I'm neither satisified nor dissatisfied with what I'm doing. I have no particular interest in doing anything, but no problem doing it. The mind doesn't jump to put labels on anything, the body allows all sensations effortlessly and without quarrel. It's profoundly ordinary. Life seems just fine. Egoic thoughts still appear, but I know them as such. When the reality of this shift dawned on me, it felt like Christmas -- it was too good to be true, and all "content" arising in experience just seemed like a dream. At times I had to ensure I wasn't dreaming. 

In any case, while I think this could be easily mistaken for the end point, I have the intuition that the well is infinitely deep. I will keep with my practice, but now with a peace of mind. It seems impossible that I should suffer again -- how could I? I have no doubt the feelings will arise, but I invite all suffering to come into my heart. I'll drink it like sweet wine. What else could I do? I'm going to die anyway. Why not accept everything *right now*? There's no time to lose. I will feel all the feels. I will not *suffer* suffering.

If anyone knows what I'm talking about and has gone past this stage, I'd welcome any insights about how your practice changed.

Peace.

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 7:33 AM as a reply to Elijah Garrett.
howdy elijah,
sounds beautiful.  you say that it feels like its "not the endpoint" and in your title you mention the stage of equanimity, which also, as a stage in the progress of insight, is not seen as an endpoint but rather the lauching pad to what you seem to be describing.

i hope this is a 'permanent' change for you but even that is a dubious call.  in my case, your statement to the effect of: It seems impossible that I should suffer again -- how could I?

well, i have felt this many times and felt exactly the same way..until i didn't.  ;-)

did this change happen seemingly at once or quickly or was it a slowly dawning set of experiences?

tom

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 9:46 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hi Tom! Thanks for the response.

I have no doubt suffering will arise again. It's simply that, to me, it is obvious that it is unreal except for indentifcation through a stream of "I" thoughts. What seems impossible is not the possibility of identification (this is inevitable); what seems impossible is that I won't come, again, to see the suffering for what it is, because I have already penetrated its nature. When the feeling arises in the solar plexus, it seems to be immediately and effortlessly penetrated. I'm not fazed by it. If a more dense vibration arises, perhaps the wave will be longer and it will appear at first as suffering. But that's the point: suffering is just an appearance. If I stay at the center of experience, this is obvious.

Life seems open/light/fresh to me. All suffering is resistance, and what is the point of resisting what already is? Suffering arises, but I know it as just another appearance. I invite it in! It's just a game. Can I remain present with this feeling, and this one, and this one? 

Certainly, if you have the attitude that this is a permanent state, you're deluded. It's not a state. It's an abidance in the flow of all experience which is constantly changing. I can easily see someone falling out of this flow by not continuing to remain at the center of their experience. It takes discrimination in every moment. The game never stops. Sadhana/practice becomes even more important, not less, except that it's occuring in every moment -- every moment is meditation. Why would I want to lose this precious gem, this momentous gift of life? How can I lose it? It's already there in front of me.

The idea of whether this is permanent or impermanent is immaterial to me. I don't fear impermanence; that is the very point. My experience is constantly changing -- so what? Accept it, abide in it, love it, be it. Suffering can't touch you, nor bliss. Both are temporary waves of experience.

To be honest it feels like a culimination of my entire life up to this point, punctuated by specific insights and -- in particular -- insights arising from immense and horrible suffering over the last several months (not to mention years of confusion, dissatisfaction, yearning). I think there's a prevalent attitude that all insights are cultivated progressively through meditation and that they can't be attained without it. I think some people are born with certain insights, or they appear progressively in ordinary experience. I think there are probably thousands of people, possibly millions alive today, who've reached this stage of equanimity who'd have no idea, and no care in the world that it is a stage of insight in Buddhist meditative practice. Just look at their lives. It's already evident they've moved beyond fear/suffering.

Even the joyful person going about their ordinary business in the world -- ignorant as they may be about the nature of reality and all that business -- has a certain equanimity. They are practicing their yoga well. Everyone is doing their own yoga; those who are aligned with it, whatever it happens to be, are right where they should be. Those who anguish with yearning, that is also yoga, but it's a yoga of intense imbalance, burning with a suffering to know, which hastens realization. There comes a point where you let go and gain a fundamental insight into the nature of your own suffering -- and how only you are causing it. What a gift. What a revelation.

If I'm wrong, let God teach me. I'm a total fool -- I have no idea what life has in store for me. I'll abide patiently and find out.

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 11:55 AM as a reply to Elijah Garrett.
hi elijah,
well i'm really happy for you.  i tend to automatically read the "Stage of Equanimity" exp. on this forum.  In fact it is an aspect of the experience of awakened people, as you suggest.  it is an insight, a result and it seems that you have seen through enough illusion to capture that.

wonderful.

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 12:14 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Thanks, Tom! Yes I've read some other posts that resemble this "stage" but, for whatever reason, it is interpreted as the endpoint. I think, given how supramundane the shift is, it's the first assumption that must be discarded. We can never lose sight of impermanence, no-self, and suffering. Recognizing these becomes all the more vital -- it's a constant unfolding that needs to be met moment to moment.

I take it you've gained insights beyond equanimity. What would you recommend for deepening my practice at this point? 

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 12:24 PM as a reply to Elijah Garrett.
hi elijah,
i can't claim anything.  but there are sections (and certainly other people here who can advise you on what are called the "higher" paths here.  have you read daniel ingram's book, 'Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha'?  It is the inspiration for this forum.  There are discussions here on the further "paths" which are very good and are much more credible than I could be.

cheers

tom

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 1:16 PM as a reply to Elijah Garrett.
OP:

Do you know the sensation when you come out of the pool, and there's water stuck in your ear, and then it suddenly comes out all on its own and it's very satisfying? That's what this feels like.


This is exactly how getting into eq felt for me.  It felt like something popped, and then everything felt really good!  I think this initial experience (being so transformative, yet only a side effect, and not the main point of the path) is the reason why I have the self-help orientation towards the path that I do.  It can make things feel really good.

Thanks for the cool description.

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
11/30/15 5:05 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
you say that it feels like its "not the endpoint" and in your title you mention the stage of equanimity, which also, as a stage in the progress of insight, is not seen as an endpoint but rather the lauching pad to what you seem to be describing.
Actually I think this statement turns out to be more accurate. I was given a couple reminders today that, while I might be unattached to suffering, when it arises suffering is still experienced as suffering. My ego got lost in the exuberance of this shift, and wanted to make it a permanent 'state.'

I need to remember I'm a total fool. It's beautiful the way life humbles you. I pray it keeps doing so, but gently when I'm fit and ready!
Noah
This is exactly how getting into eq felt for me.  It felt like something popped, and then everything felt really good!  I think this initial experience (being so transformative, yet only a side effect, and not the main point of the path) is the reason why I have the self-help orientation towards the path that I do.  It can make things feel really good.

Until it doesn't! Not sure if you were being ironic or not.

RE: 11th Nana - Knowledge of equanimity
Answer
12/1/15 1:37 AM as a reply to Elijah Garrett.
Elijah:

Until it doesn't! Not sure if you were being ironic or not.


It will, eventually though.