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Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 11:29 AM
Currently I meditate between 3.5 and 4 hours daily. This is spread over two sits, one in the morning and one in the evening.
I can easily sit for 1.5 hours without changing posture and sometimes up to 2 hours. I feel pain and it hurts but I don't feel the need to move. I just watch it rise and go away.
Although at about the 2 hour mark it does get too much and I usally have to change posture.

It's difficult for me to concentrate on one spot at the moment.
I find it easier to take my whole body as the object of concentration and I can feel fine tingling and vibrations all over.
This is mixed with sudden surges, flows and pulses all coming and going away.
I do also get lost in thought very easily, because it all seems very easy, and sometimes very pleasant.
From what I have read elsewhere it seems that I may be in equanimity but I'm really not sure.
I don't remember going through the dark night stages.
From reading about the dark night stages I'm sure I would know if I went through it as it sounds pretty nasty.

My meditation history.
I sat a 10 day Goenka course in 2013. I really didn't put a lot of effort into this course.
Apart from the compulsory group sits I daydreamed most of my sits in my room.
I do remember experiencing a lot of solidified pain especially in my back. I also experienced a lot of fear during the group sits.
I found the break of silence at the end of the course particularly stressful and was fearful of integrating with the others after the course.
I managed to keep up a daily 1 hour sit for about two weeks after the course then stopped.

I then served on a 10 day course in 2014. As a server I was only required to sit the 3 compulsory group sits.
During these sits I tried to do vipassana but couldn't concentrate on the parts of the body so I decided to just do anapana meditation.
I feel that I didn't get much out of this course.

Then in September of 2014 I started a meditation regime which has led me to where I am today and has brought me the greatest progress.
I initially started with 20minutes anapana meditation building up to 1 hour daily.
Although I stopped in April 2015 due to illness, in June of 2015 I decided to  start again with two daily sits of 1 hour each.
Again this was anapana meditation. I succesfully continued with this regime until I sat another 10 day Goenka course in November of last year. The course was very successfull for me. All my pre course meditation had prepared me to be able to sit for long hours without prolonged interruption. Continuity of practice really is the key to success. I spent as much of my time as possible in the main hall.
I sat in the hall from  8 to 11am, and from 1 to 5pm meditating.
I also sat in the hall from 6 to 9pm although these sits were not as fruitful because I found it difficult to concentrate during the dharma talk videos given by Goenka.

Things I remember from this course are
1. I spontaneously cried on day 3
2. On day 5 I had a very vivid experience. I remember being transfixed by the leaves of a plant on the table in the dining room. It just seemed super real to me.
3. This course was the first time I felt above things. I was just watching things coming and going and pain just didn't seem to affect me as much as it use to.

Any help about where I am on the maps would be appreciated.

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 10:34 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
You're not in that wall of text. How could you be?

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 11:06 AM as a reply to Robert.
Hello Robert,
Thanks for your reply, but I'm not sure what you mean by it. I think your saying that from my description of my sits you don't think I'm in equanimity. Where would you place me on the maps?

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 11:19 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Maybe some light editing with paragraph breaks? That would help readers.

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 11:26 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
I meant that nothing in that text has to do with you actually. You're aware of the text and the concepts presented, are you not? So how can those concepts apply to the one that is aware? Awareness is only aware, it doesn't move with the apparent things that it perceives so it can't be placed on map. There is awareness of placing things on a map but those are things that come and go. And there is an awareness of them, and awareness/beingness/isness is beyond the things perceived, remaining unaffected.

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 11:30 AM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Hello Mohan, welcome to the forum.

You say nothing about the three characteristics. Irrespectively of where you are on the maps, you should strive to analyse the anicca, anatta and/or dukkha of all your sensations in real time and as much detail as possible during every sit. That is the key to progress, in my opinion.

You do describe episodes of fear and crying. There seems to be some disagreement as to how to interpret these: for some, experiencing those feelings is enough to "qualify" has having reached the Knowledges of Fear and Misery; personally, I believe one does not qualify for the "Knowledge" part unless there was some degree of investigation of the 3C during the "bad feelings" events. It does not need to be perfect investigation, of course. In addition to the 3C in themselves, reasonable goals might include stuff like:
- seeing some aspect of their cause and effect in real time,
- seeing them as just physical manifestations of fear / misery without the emotional involvement in them,
- seeing the fear, sadness and disgust as related to the direct experience of mental/physical/perceptual aggregates / formations / sankharas.

If, as seems to be possible from what you have written, you have insufficient investigation of the 3C, you might be at the junction between the first part of A&P and the second part of it, also known as "the corruption of insight", also known as "you have wandered off into jhana and you are enjoying it a lot". The fact that you mention doing a lot of anapanasati is a second warning sign.

This being said, the length of your sits, and the past events of fear and sadness, might be compatible with Equanimity.

Either way, my advice is the same. Work hard on seeing the 3C in real time. If you are in the "corruptions of insight" stage, this should get you into the second half of A&P. If you are in Equanimity, this might be the key to Stream Entry.

To close on a positive note: Your sitting length is very good. Keep that up! emoticon 

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 12:51 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Oo, I like this game, I'll play, even if the others won't emoticon

Mohan:

It's difficult for me to concentrate on one spot at the moment.
I find it easier to take my whole body as the object of concentration and I can feel fine tingling and vibrations all over.
This is mixed with sudden surges, flows and pulses all coming and going away. 
I do also get lost in thought very easily, because it all seems very easy, and sometimes very pleasant.


This sounds like 5th nana.

I sat a 10 day Goenka course in 2013. I really didn't put a lot of effort into this course. 
Apart from the compulsory group sits I daydreamed most of my sits in my room. 
I do remember experiencing a lot of solidified pain especially in my back. I also experienced a lot of fear during the group sits.
I found the break of silence at the end of the course particularly stressful and was fearful of integrating with the others after the course.
I managed to keep up a daily 1 hour sit for about two weeks after the course then stopped.


You were still pre a&p.

1. I spontaneously cried on day 3


Your first a&p... Yippee!

2. On day 5 I had a very vivid experience. I remember being transfixed by the leaves of a plant on the table in the dining room. It just seemed super real to me.


Your second major a&p... Yippee!  May have contained something within it that was outside the nanas, i.e. third gear, PCE-like experience, or ''preview'' of enlightenment (wouldn't worry about it too much)

So even though you're sitting a lot, which sounds like the 11th nana, all your other current descriptors match the 5th nana, which you would have crossed into five months ago after the a&p.  Further evidence is that you don't remember going through a dark night.

I might be wrong and you could be hitting low eq.  If you record a sit on this thread every three days we will be able to tell for sure.

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 1:23 PM as a reply to Noah.
Robert,
I'm sorry but I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean exactly so I don't really know what to say, although I do appreciate that I havn't given a lot of detail about what I am going through during my sits.

Neko,
During my sits I try to stay with the annica aspect of what I am experiencing as close as possible to real time. Thanks for the advice.

Noah,
Thanks for the input and I will try to post my sit every few days on this thread.

I have to admit, that this is the first time in three years that I have spoken to anyone in any detail about my meditation. Nearly four hours a day takes up a lot of my energy and time, and not talking to anyone about it when I am spending that lenght of time doing it may be a little strange. And I'm not sure if it's that healthy.   

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 1:46 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan Ratnam:
Robert,
I'm sorry but I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean exactly so I don't really know what to say, although I do appreciate that I havn't given a lot of detail about what I am going through during my sits.


Oh, that's fine. I was just pointing beyond seeking but if seeking wants to happen it'll happen.

RE: Where am I?
Answer
3/5/16 2:19 PM as a reply to Mohan Ratnam.
Mohan:

I have to admit, that this is the first time in three years that I have spoken to anyone in any detail about my meditation. Nearly four hours a day takes up a lot of my energy and time, and not talking to anyone about it when I am spending that lenght of time doing it may be a little strange. And I'm not sure if it's that healthy.   


Yeah dude get a pragmatic teacher.  You'll progress way faster anyway.