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Can Fruition be "passed over?"

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Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
11/28/16 9:17 PM
Let's say someone finally makes it through the Dark Night and into Equanimity. Assuming they continue to practice insight meditation using the same rigor that got them there, they'll either going to:

a) Go on to achieve Conformity, Change of Lineage, Path, and Fruition; or
b) Die before that happens

Is that correct? (I'm excluding a third possibility of the student moving backward into Dark Night again because in this hypothetical scenario, I'm setting the parameter that this person continues to practice at a pace that will be sufficient to keep forward momentum, however slowly that may be.)

In other words, no one progresses past Equanimity without attaining Fruition, correct? One cannot proceed forward through Equanimity and end up back at the beginning without achieving Fruition, correct?

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
11/29/16 5:24 AM as a reply to Chris O..
No one stays in Equanimity once they get there. No one stays in any nana once they get there. 

Progress is more like physical exercise. You workout get a little torn up, recover and get little stronger, workout and lift a little bit more but still get a little torn up, recover and get stronger, you don't practice and you lose strength, so you go back to working out it takes awhile to reach your last limits, then you continue working out and you lift a little bit more but still get a little torn up, so you need to recover... but then you get sick, so you can't workout for a while, so when you go back to working out, you need to work back up to where you are...

Same thing with sitting, except you sit, see/have experiential hints into the nature of your subjective experience, you don't quite "get it" so it takes some time to integrate, you see/have experiential hints, you integrate, you don't practice and you loose momentum, so you go back to sitting and etc. ...but then you hit something that is especially hard or traumatic and it takes even longer to settle down, so you don't see new experiental hints for a while but rather work through the material you have already seen, eventually you start being able to investigate more, you see/have experiential hints, you integrate...

Progress is a lot more sloppy than the maps would have you believe. Up and down, sometimes up and down many times in a sit. 

On a sustained retreat, there can be more of a sense of linear progress because the "cutting edge" seems to leave a "tone" that colors practice, but even then, it's up and down, sometimes up and down many times in a sit. 

So, why do you ask?

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
11/29/16 7:08 AM as a reply to Chris O..
In other words, no one progresses past Equanimity without attaining Fruition, correct? One cannot proceed forwardthrough Equanimity and end up back at the beginning without achieving Fruition, correct?

That is the conventional wisdom. It agrees with my experience and the experience of everyone else I know who's practice followed vipassana/Theravada methods. I have no idea if it is a universal truth, however, as there are millions of people not practicing the vipassana/Theravada way and who do not even think in those terms, don't track those train markers and would claim not to even experience their practice in that way at all.

Ignore if this is confusing.

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
11/29/16 12:34 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
No one stays in Equanimity once they get there. No one stays in any nana once they get there. 

Progress is more like physical exercise. You workout get a little torn up, recover and get little stronger, workout and lift a little bit more but still get a little torn up, recover and get stronger, you don't practice and you lose strength, so you go back to working out it takes awhile to reach your last limits, then you continue working out and you lift a little bit more but still get a little torn up, so you need to recover... but then you get sick, so you can't workout for a while, so when you go back to working out, you need to work back up to where you are...

Same thing with sitting, except you sit, see/have experiential hints into the nature of your subjective experience, you don't quite "get it" so it takes some time to integrate, you see/have experiential hints, you integrate, you don't practice and you loose momentum, so you go back to sitting and etc. ...but then you hit something that is especially hard or traumatic and it takes even longer to settle down, so you don't see new experiental hints for a while but rather work through the material you have already seen, eventually you start being able to investigate more, you see/have experiential hints, you integrate...

Progress is a lot more sloppy than the maps would have you believe. Up and down, sometimes up and down many times in a sit. 

On a sustained retreat, there can be more of a sense of linear progress because the "cutting edge" seems to leave a "tone" that colors practice, but even then, it's up and down, sometimes up and down many times in a sit. 

So, why do you ask?

Thank you for the analogy to working out--this makes complete sense to me! Very much appreciate you putting some more context into the maps in this way. Not sure I appreciated the potential rapidity or fluidity of movement before this. Previously, in my mind, I more understood it like running a marathon where every couple miles represented a stage, and as long as one keeps moving over the weeks and months, they'd keep pushing forward through the Stages. That seems a little too idealized, now.

The reason I ask is because I went on a short, four-day retreat recently and, because of a few interesting experiences, have been thinking about where I might be in the maps since returning. In my mind, since shortly after the retreat, I've been in Low Equanimity. Yesterday the thought occured to me that as long as I keep practicting a couple hours a day, along with continuing to go on retreats, there might be a kind of inevitability that significant insights will follow.

Now, that's a pretty bold statement, so let me explain. What I mean is that I've been meditating long enough now to see a progression through what I now know are the Stages. In other words, my experience has demonstrated that "there's something to" the Stages; I don't have to take anyone's word that the Stages apply because I've proved through experiencing them myself that there is some validity. Thus, if I am to accept the Stages as being an applicable model and believe I'm in the neighborhood of Equanimity, it should follow that sooner or later, the next Stages--those that lead to Fruitition--should also bear out. That previous sentence is the thought that I had that spurred this thread.

This of course makes a big assumption--that I can keep forward momentum and not fall back or linger. After reading your reply and listening to some Dharma talks where the Stages are discussed, it seems that's assumption is a very precarious one. Although the overall, macro movement of my practice has been forward, it's no gaurantee. 

Chris Marti:
In other words, no one progresses past Equanimity without attaining Fruition, correct? One cannot proceed forwardthrough Equanimity and end up back at the beginning without achieving Fruition, correct?

That is the conventional wisdom. It agrees with my experience and the experience of everyone else I know who's practice followed vipassana/Theravada methods. I have no idea if it is a universal truth, however, as there are millions of people not practicing the vipassana/Theravada way and who do not even think in those terms, don't track those train markers and would claim not to even experience their practice in that way at all.

Ignore if this is confusing.

This does make sense and is not confusing. My question boiled down to whether I could essetially "miss" a big insight if my practice continues with the same devotion and precision that has lead me up to this point. It seems that given I am practicing vipassana with well-established methods, it's much more likely that I'd not continue moving forward or slide backward than I would somehow have a "miss" altogether. 

Hope that makes some sense. emoticon

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
11/29/16 9:50 PM as a reply to Chris O..
@OP:  Another point to consider is that they could hit it and not notice.

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/14/18 2:55 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
@OP:  Another point to consider is that they could hit it and not notice.
Exactly! I've been thinking about this laterly, since I've never really had an experience that would lead me to think that that was infact a fruition. So up until this day, my thinking has been that I have attained paths/Bhumis, but somehow for me, the experience of a fruiton has never occurred. I cannot say: I had a fruition and this is what it's like.

But now I'm starting to sort this out a bit!

Couple of days ago I fainted. I had been feeling dizzy and pretty shaky for some minutes and had to squat frequently only to feel again worse when I stood up. Then as I was sitting on a bench I started to feel like it's getting worse and I needed to get to the other room with people. So I started proceeding their way. I remember clearly what I saw with my eyes, how i felt shkay, how I had this starry effects on my eyes and tinnitus in my ears. Next thing is I'm sitting in the floor and I'm being dragged by my pretty upset friend. So I'm slowly starting to recover, loosing the shakiness and sight/hearing effects. Its only until I discuss my friend that parse together that I had lost conciousness. There was no way for me to experientally come to this conclusion. I had no idea I had a black out. It took me minutes to understand that my firend had seen me bump  into a wall which I have no memory whatsoever. I had no suspicion that there was any part of my experience missing. Without my friend maybe I could have later come to the conclusion that there was probably some gap in my experience since I'm lying on the floor and can't really explain why I thought it was a good idea to start lying there.

Ok, so then I went and read again what MCTB says about fruitions. It's been 5 years probably since I read it last. What it says basically, is that there is a gap in experience. No recollection whatsoever. Only thing that is observed are the after effects, which may wary wildly but for the sake of example are stuff like bliss or clarity or feeling bloated etc.

Now.... I've fainted and did not know I fainted.  I've had various effects occur to me, having to do with odd perceptual changes and feelings that have emerged suddenly, clarity, ease of being, acuity of vision etc. In meditation expecially, you would be sitting most probably, so if you black out there is not even the clue of having fallen on your face after blackout.

What does this tell you about me having or not having fruitions? What is actually the experience and relation to spoken/written langueage regarding fruitions? Do you just need to be observing intently on the mappable aspects of your sits and then infer fruin based on your place on the map and some faint effect that can wary from time to time? I've not recently been eager to do any mapping. Also at the time when I was very intrested in wether or not I've had a fruition, I was not really that good at mapping insight stages.

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/14/18 5:57 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
This was recently discussed on Reddit, and someone (/u/jormungandr_) posted Culadasa's take which was pretty comprehensive:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/jhana_insight/conversations/messages/2415
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/jhana_insight/conversations/messages/2416
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/jhana_insight/conversations/messages/2417

In my own case, although I noticed what seemed to be fruition, it was quite a lot like your comparison above, Jehanne. There really was nothing there, there was nothing aware of the nothing, it was like a skip. But it wasn't dramatic. The only reason I actually noticed it was that I was rapidly noting bodily sensations, and noticed my body had shifted in position very slightly downwards, but there was a gap from the position of the body before (pre-fruition) and the position after (post-fruition) with no bodily motion detected at all. With the high degree of precision and discernment present, it felt like it would have been impossible to not notice that movement. When I looked back, I realised nothing had been noted at all despite the high degree of mindfulness pre and post. It felt kind of instant in a sense, the time of the 'nothing' was just missing from reality, it didn't feel like I was 'hanging out' in fruition while it happened.

I don't know if I'm explaining it very well, but it seems that it was sort of conditional that I actually notice the fruition at all, it could have happened while I was noting some other object that didn't have such prominently changing properties pre and post. In some sense I can see how it could happen and not be noticed. It was very subtle. But the way in which it was noticed afterwards was striking and apparent, and allowed me to infer what had happened.

If it is possible that a fruition and path could happen without consciously noticing it. The question is then is there any value or use for consciously noticing it, or is it just happening enough?

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/14/18 6:04 AM as a reply to Chris O..
Can't say about other practices/traditions but IME:

It repeats so much, it is undeniable. Sits from as short as a few minutes carries you quickly across some stages or straight into EQ and bam, fruition and it kicks you out of meditation with a bliss wave. You can immediately continue to sit if you are very strong-willed not to enjoy the bliss, and soon another one comes with lesser juice in bliss. The sits become boring as there is no bite in them and you can't help but notice that you are cycling. Also there is such little effort required to sit as the cycles are just a little mindfulness away. I think Daniel did an excellent job in the MCTB cessation/fruition checklist.

That is just my experience though and it is very likely not everyone goes through the POI or fruitions?

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/14/18 7:34 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Lewis:

In my own case, although I noticed what seemed to be fruition, it was quite a lot like your comparison above, Jehanne. There really was nothing there, there was nothing aware of the nothing, it was like a skip. But it wasn't dramatic. The only reason I actually noticed it was that I was rapidly noting bodily sensations, and noticed my body had shifted in position very slightly downwards, but there was a gap from the position of the body before (pre-fruition) and the position after (post-fruition) with no bodily motion detected at all. With the high degree of precision and discernment present, it felt like it would have been impossible to not notice that movement. When I looked back, I realised nothing had been noted at all despite the high degree of mindfulness pre and post. It felt kind of instant in a sense, the time of the 'nothing' was just missing from reality, it didn't feel like I was 'hanging out' in fruition while it happened.

I don't know if I'm explaining it very well, but it seems that it was sort of conditional that I actually notice the fruition at all, it could have happened while I was noting some other object that didn't have such prominently changing properties pre and post. In some sense I can see how it could happen and not be noticed. It was very subtle. But the way in which it was noticed afterwards was striking and apparent, and allowed me to infer what had happened.

Thanks Lewis, your explanation was very clear and I think I understand what you mean! Did you have any after effects that would further indicate a fruition, like bliss or something? Even very sublte ones?

Part of my confusion has been that I thought that there would always be these after effects and that they would be pretty clear. Some years ago I was at a grocery store and was waiting to pay my stuff. I remember I was looking at the foodstuffs at the conveyor belt and suddenly noticed that the stuff were in a more forward position that they had been in the previous instant. I had noticed nothing more than the fact that there was a discrete jump in the location of my breakfast bread! It felt really ridiculous to say that this was a fruition, since I had not noticed them before and did not have anything special as an after effect. But god damn I'm starting to be convinced that that was a fruition and I'm having them!

Lewis:

If it is possible that a fruition and path could happen without consciously noticing it. The question is then is there any value or use for consciously noticing it, or is it just happening enough?
My two cents: I'm inclined to think that just them happening is enough for the ultimate goal. There is probably some use to being so attuned to reality that such minute effects are noticed, but probably one can also direct that noticing muscle to other things and gain equally good results in the end.

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/14/18 12:15 PM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
I'd like to interject a question that's similar to OP's question but from a broader perspective.

I can't find a specific example, but I have previously found accounts of people "waking up" with mention to permanent non-dual consequences outside of the Theravadan / Insight traditions, perhaps even while not giving much credit to meditation practices altogether. There's a specific blog post I am thinking of, from a published author but cannot remember how to find it. Not claiming to agree with him or follow his word, but he mentions that more important than books or meditation is discussion with an awakened person, having them try to "shock" you into it, by "talking you into" changing your perspective. I guess this would be similar to the koans of Zen? This case doesn't seem to mention repeated cycles of fruitions, but does assert a permanent non-dual shift.

Now I had an explosive, several week long, life-changing Kundalini Awakening (a la Eckhart Tolle's own account in The Power of Now) a few years ago litterally just a few days after practicing 30 minutes a day of meditation and learning the basic concepts of Buddhism (happened while reading a book on Zen). There was definitely a permanent shift in the perception of reality but took me till finding MCTB a couple years later to discover that there's still ways to go (Kundalini Awakening = A&P). I don't notice the cycling of fruitions and I still feel most of the time (less and less with practice) a sense of duality.

Do you think it's possible, that these awakened people are just not noticing these cycles because they didn't follow the insight path, therefore weren't trained to see them? I think even MCTB mentions awakened people that don't follow a meditation practice.     

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/14/18 11:16 AM as a reply to Nick O.
sorry for the newbie question,

what is the difference between FRUITION and CESSATION?

Thanks

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/15/18 1:54 AM as a reply to alguidar.
Stages 12-15 (Conformity, Change of Lineage, Path, Fruition) is what is lumped together to be referred to as FRUITION. They are the mind-moments leading up to fruition.

CESSATION happens inside of the Stage FRUITION, an unconscious moment before the experience of fruition. You can use either word and it would be understood as the same (or you could use PATH).

Same same but different (don't bother about it)! emoticon

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/15/18 5:56 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Did you have any after effects that would further indicate a fruition, like bliss or something? Even very sublte ones? 

I had noticed nothing more than the fact that there was a discrete jump in the location of my breakfast bread! It felt really ridiculous to say that this was a fruition, since I had not noticed them before and did not have anything special as an after effect. But god damn I'm starting to be convinced that that was a fruition and I'm having them!

There was a distinct feeling of safety, comfort and I guess what you would call bliss, though it was relatively short and wore off completely within a couple of hours. I was having 'aftershocks' for a few weeks though. At some point during those 'aftershocks', I had another identical experience - but that time I wasn't really practicing actively though I had been earlier in the day. So it would seem it could occur during other activities?

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/15/18 8:40 AM as a reply to Chris O..
Here's Thanissaro's opinion:


Thanissaro's description of stream entry via the concentration path at 1:19:00

http://audiodharma.org/talks/audio_player/3022.html

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/15/18 11:48 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Thanks Richard, that's a really great answer/pointer from T. 

RE: Can Fruition be "passed over?"
Answer
2/16/18 11:16 AM as a reply to Chris O..
Chris O.:

In other words, no one progresses past Equanimity without attaining Fruition, correct? One cannot proceed forward through Equanimity and end up back at the beginning without achieving Fruition, correct?


I thought that's exactly what happens for Dark Night yogis - they cycle through Eq back to the A&P without attaining Fruition.