1st path?

Shibanosama, modified 5 Years ago.

1st path?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/30/16 Recent Posts
A little background:

I'm pretty certain I crossed the A&P a few years ago on retreat. There were obvious fireworks.

Recently, I've practicing in what is probably the DN (lots of challenging mindstates). For the last six-eight months, I switched to a do-nothing, shikantaza like practice. 

For months, my practice followed the pattern of feeling shitty, getting more calm and peaceful and then erupting into weird movements/sounds/etc... Each outburst usually came after having some kind of direct insight into sensate phenomona.

Then recently, the practice got even worse. Just a sort feeling of nastiness but no real reason for it. I also noticed my sleep need dropped. 

Eventually this passed and my practice was just sort of there, I guess you could say. Nothing special. During this time, I felt almost manic off the cushion. I just had so much energy. 

Then I started noticing things in my practice that I hadn't experienced since my first retreat. For example, aches and pains that I remembered from my first retreat, returning. Mind states I hadn't felt since before my first retreat. 

I didn't experience anything you might call a "cessation moment." No blip. Or if I did, I definitely didn't notice it. But I did have a moment in practice where I realized in an experiencial way that all the sensations I took to be a "me" were sensate.

My teacher seemed to hone in on the fact that I was experiencing states that I hadn't for years as the evidence that I had completed a cycle. They also mentioned that my surprise about them suggesting that the cycle was done was also a sign. They also mentioned that the fact that I had the momentary insight of all of the things I take to be "me" being sensate was a sign.

Anyway, I guess I just feeling like "that couldn't have been it, could it?" Maybe it was, but I was curious what you guys all thought.
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tom moylan, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
howdy S,
this could most definitely been it.

i do not "blip".  what you describe does sound like what is termed 'review' here or, depending on the duration the actual next path.

stream entry is characterized in different ways in the suttas but since you are using the technical path terminology i'll assume you have read danil's book and are following that model.
but here is another possible interpretation:

"Then recently, the practice got even worse. Just a sort feeling of nastiness but no real reason for it. I also noticed my sleep need dropped"

Reobservation

"Eventually this passed and my practice was just sort of there, I guess you could say. Nothing special. During this time, I felt almost manic off the cushion. I just had so much energy. "

Equanimity

"Then I started noticing things in my practice that I hadn't experienced since my first retreat. For example, aches and pains that I remembered from my first retreat, returning. Mind states I hadn't felt since before my first retreat."

Fall back to the A&P and DN stages

That said, I would guess your teacher is correct.  If you don't notice DN stages asa constant presence in your sits then you have probably completed a cycle.

in any case...congratulations

tom
Shibanosama, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/30/16 Recent Posts
Thanks so much for your perspective! It's really helpful. I think it could have been either of the two scenarios you described. Perhaps it'll be more clear as my practice progresses.

It may have been that since I was assuming it would be an unmistakable earth-shattering event like the A+P was, that I just completely missed it. Either way, I think my practice has been deepening, and I have been gaining more insights into the nature of my mind/body, so I'll just keep on practicing.

Thanks again, Tom!
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tom moylan, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
you're welcome.  keep at it and keep reporting

cheers
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Don Merchant, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 202 Join Date: 6/9/15 Recent Posts
tom Moylan,

You said, "If you don't notice DN stages as a constant presence in your sits then you have completed a cycle"
Could you add anything further, please? It would certainly be appreciated.
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tom moylan, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
hi don,
i was referring to his described previous experience of the DN being a predominant par of his sits for a long while.  if he had been "falling back" instead of having completed a cycle, it seems to me that the DN experiences would have been present again.  make sense?

tom
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Don Merchant, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 202 Join Date: 6/9/15 Recent Posts
Tom,
thanks again for the added explanation. I was curious because until I read what you posted, it had not occured to me that there has been no DN in any of my practice lately. It popped out at me, was all. 
Rist Ei, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: 1st path?

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
Suffering and a deeper level cessation while upper level you are still clinging to events or whatever you doing. Imagine when you need to do something that you know is destinied to fail or is useless and you also know that others are relying on you, makes it somewhat hard to let go.

Point is when you decide to become highly enlightened it has more impact than lots of hours of sitting practice of watching mere sensations.

Lots of things doesn't make sense at all, like celibachy and repenting and being low, not having a goal in life but these things eventually you will have a hand full of aces.