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Observations immediately post Stream Entry

I'm going to throw caution to the wind here and run with the notion that I experienced Stream Entry last Saturday. In an effort not to bore my wife to death, I'm logging what I've observed since that time here. I've kept my practice the same—one one-hour sit in the AM, one one-hour sit in the PM.
 
The sits themselves:
 
- Most of the sits can be divided into two phases: before Reobservation, and after Reobservation. Reobservation tends to feel like running into a big hill. Not always. Sometimes it passes fairly quick/easy. But when it doesn't, it sucks.
 
- Most meditations start with a tingling/buzzing in the hands. Especially noticeable in left hand. Sometimes elsewhere like limb(s). Often tingles and shivers around the rear and top of skull too.
 
- Usually get "plasma blobs" in beginning of sits. They're glowing light blobs that move, morph, pulse, split, and merge around in visual field, sometimes w/breath. When they first appeared during Summer '16, thought they might eventually crystallize into a classic nimitta. Never happened; they're just some A&P or access concentration phenomena.
 
- When buzzing tingles and plasma blobs start fading out, the hands start getting cold, especially the right one. Sometimes just cool feeling, but often the right one, specifically, is literally cold to the touch.
 
- A couple deep needle-like itches tell me when Reobservation approaches. Sometimes they dissolve/dissipate without much time passing. If they stick around, tension builds. Aversion. Brow may furrow. Shorter breath. Feel constricted. Edgy vibrations sometimes start manifesting, most noticeable on out-breath.
 
- After needle itches and tension hump, relief. Sits become a breeze and joy. Illumination returns. Gets very bright. Feel peace. Ease. Equanimity.
 
- Noting helps a lot getting over the Reobservation hump, but I mostly drop it after everything starts leveling out. If I keep noting after illumination returns, it tends to flicker. If I don't, the illumination stays stable/constant.
 
- Last couple sits, the equanimity and stable illumination has turned into samatha. I'm not well versed in jhana but basically I start feeling blissed out, like my body is distant and I'm just floating immersed in warm light.
 
Some misc. observations:
 
- Been able to "call up" the tingling-buzzing-shivering sensations that meditations start with just by thinking about them sometimes, i.e. while driving or at gym or sitting at computer. Closing my eyes and pointing attention to abdomen also always manifests at least the hands buzzing.
 
- Have had two more Fruitions, both this Wed. Sat down in afternoon with the specific intent to have a Fruition. Had a very difficult Reobservation during sit, then Fruition. Second was that night lying in bed, unwinding w/wife before sleeping. Second was just "handed" to me.
 
- That's four Fruitions: two both last Sat., then two this Wed. Wonder why they were patterned like this. Wonder if I had done more meditations on those days if I would have had more Fruitions those days.
 
- Right before Wed's first Fruition, there was an orby looking thing that slid into my (closed-eye) field of vision horizontally from the left. It was large and round like a Blue Giant star. In just a moment or two it came in from the left, startled me a little, made it almost to my center field of vision, then bam, Fruition. No idea what's up with that.
 
- Intensity of light flash and buzzing piti wave that immediately follow a Fruition seem to have diminished somewhat relative to the first Fruition. First time was startling and a little exciting, and left me with a joyful feeling. Last two or three have had a "no big deal" quality. Buzzing piti wave much quicker to disappear. More just content/relieved feeling afterward.
 
- There's a nerve in the bridge of nose that twitches nearly every time I meditate now. It'll go on twitching and twitching and twitching. Have tried to discern any patterns but nothing.

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/9/16 5:51 PM as a reply to Chris O..
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sounds like stream entry to me, so congrats.

Being able to call up fruitions is a good sign that you can make quick progress if you do things correctly from this point.

If you want to make quick progress:

1) I would caution against getting too caught up in the specific effects of getting the attainment.
2) Now is a very good time to focus on developing further insights on Annata.
     A) There are various tensions in the body that are created as the result of mistakenly identifying with certain sensations as self. You should investigate these and see them to be non-self and work on releasing them.
     B ) Investigate the preception of free will (with regards to this try to see how intenton originates from previous experiences).
    

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/11/16 2:51 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
(D Z) Dhru Val:
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sounds like stream entry to me, so congrats.

Being able to call up fruitions is a good sign that you can make quick progress if you do things correctly from this point.

If you want to make quick progress:

1) I would caution against getting too caught up in the specific effects of getting the attainment.
2) Now is a very good time to focus on developing further insights on Annata.
     A) There are various tensions in the body that are created as the result of mistakenly identifying with certain sensations as self. You should investigate these and see them to be non-self and work on releasing them.
     B ) Investigate the preception of free will (with regards to this try to see how intenton originates from previous experiences).
    

Thanks for your comment! Since your comment, I've made a special effort to investigate non-self more. It's always been the most foreign of the three, to me. I've taken to intermittently "looking for" or asking whether sensations are "me" while meditating. I believe it paid off today, as I experienced another Fruition today.

Also, I shall heed your advice about getting "too caught up." I already feel like I'm thinking too much about all this stuff, and getting way into it at a level that I wasn't before. Need to step back and make sure I don't start identifying with the experience. In an effort to do so, I'm journalling everything privately, to "get it out" of my head and move on with my experience in the world.

Here's an adapted (shorter) version of the Fruition today, taken from that journal:


Was feeling agitated, anxious, and uneasy yesterday evening and this morning, like on a larger, macrocycle sense of the Stages, I was experiencing dukkha ñanas. Knowing this, I felt like a Fruition could be around the corner.

In the first sit today, seemed like I completed a cycle of the Stages by 15 minutes, then cycled three more times before the last that produced the Fruition. By the time I was in Equanimity of the cycle that the Fruition came in, I decided to make a special effort to note more.

Right before the Fruition, there was a brief moment of thoughts and images about no-self and seeing/watching a monk or imagining what it’d be like to be a monk–but from the perspective of watching that monk, not inhabiting it in first-person.

As soon as the image/thought stream about the monk passed, immediate Fruition—lights out, nothing, flash of lightning, I’m startled, heart rate jumps a bit, feel an exhilarated rush like someone jokingly scared me, then big smile. This Fruition was as "potent" as in the first sit on Dec 3rd, unlike like the “weaker” last two on Wed.

Few other observations since this thread's original post. Wanted to gather more experiential data first before making too many observations, meaning some of this was observed by Friday but I wasn't certain about it at that time.

- Over the last few days, Reobservations have become less and less dramatic. The first few days after Stream Entry had nasty Reobservations, but feel like that is past me now. (Needle itches are still sometimes bad enough that I have urge to scratch them, though.)

- Cycles through the Stages during a single sit sometimes complete and new ones start without a cessation event/Fruition, multiple successive times in a single sit. The pīti hand buzzing will usually fire, indicating completion of a cycle, and each successive cycle progresses quicker than the last. There’s often a momentary shaking-apart visual field glitch soon before end of cycle.

- Cycles through the Stages during a single sit take less time to complete and are "weaker"—more attenuated—now compared to immediately after Stream Entry. For the first couple days, I’d go through just one complete cycle of Stages in one sit, over 45 minutes to an hour. Then I’d go through two over the same time. Today [I wrote this Saturday], it probably took 10 – 15 minutes before the first cycle of Stages completed in the sit.

- Sometimes after Equanimity is reached and illumination has returned, there’ll be a phenomena where the illumination goes dark for a split second. Sometimes it’s partial, like the brightness has been dimmed for a moment; sometimes it goes dark, like someone waved their hands over the eyes and blocked the illumination out; and sometimes the illumination goes out completely, like wearing a sleep mask. Imagine these are various degrees of mind subsystems going “quiet.” It’s like they’re precursors to full cessation, like some of the mind blinks out, but it’s not systemic/complete enough to power off the entire system. Some threshold of network outage isn’t reached.

Okay, thanks for letting me annoy you with my observations, everyone! I'm going to try to figure out a new format for sharing observations, like having a practice log that I only update once or twice a month. 

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/1/18 1:21 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
(D Z) Dhru Val:
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sounds like stream entry to me, so congrats.

Being able to call up fruitions is a good sign that you can make quick progress if you do things correctly from this point.

If you want to make quick progress:

1) I would caution against getting too caught up in the specific effects of getting the attainment.
2) Now is a very good time to focus on developing further insights on Annata.
     A) There are various tensions in the body that are created as the result of mistakenly identifying with certain sensations as self. You should investigate these and see them to be non-self and work on releasing them.
     B ) Investigate the preception of free will (with regards to this try to see how intenton originates from previous experiences).
    

Hi (D Z) Dhru Val
so how can you say that one had frutition or Stream Entry exactly?

I just came back from a 10 reateat in a Panditarma Lumbini center and it seems to me that I experienced these kind of "buzzing tingles" and "plasma blobs" and some kind of "krack noise in the skull" then feeling of relief... but these things I do not even report to the teacher and I do not see how do they relate to the path and stream entry?

Many as well talk about experiencing this kind of "blip" in conciousness? What is it exactly?
(I had 2 retreats at wat chom tong in Thailand where they tell you to look for it... where I had these moments where concisouness was lost for some time but how can you know it is SE and not just micro-sleep that happens for instance while driving when tired?)

One thing that I notice however is that I gained a lot in concentration, that a lot of anger is gone and a deeper feeling of peace seems to permate my experience.

Thanks for more details about such things especially if you are further on the path.

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/1/18 1:13 PM as a reply to Chris In Dhamma.
Hello Chris in Dhamma, welcome to the forum! emoticon

Chris In Dhamma:

I just came back from a 10 reateat in a Panditarma Lumbini center and it seems to me that I experienced these kind of "buzzing tingles" and "plasma blobs" and some kind of "krack noise in the skull" then feeling of relief... but these things I do not even report to the teacher and I do not see how do they relate to the path and stream entry?


They don't. That's piti / the A&P.

Chris In Dhamma:

Many as well talk about experiencing this kind of "blip" in conciousness? What is it exactly?
(I had 2 retreats at wat chom tong in Thailand where they tell you to look for it... where I had these moments where concisouness was lost for some time but how can you know it is SE and not just micro-sleep that happens for instance while driving when tired?)
Read here:

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/32-what-was-that/

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/1/18 1:12 PM as a reply to Chris O..
Chris O., from your description I wouldn't rule out Stream Entry / Cessations, by the MCTB standards emoticon

Things for you to look for, not only to validate your self-diagnosed SE,  but also because these are nice and useful skills to have, and it could be fun to do:

1) Try to notice exactly what happens in the few instants after (what you think might be a) Cessation. Do you recognise anything like the Three Doors and/or the Conformity moment? If you notice the three doors, can you get different flavours of fruitions, by intentionally shooting for a different door each time?

2) What happens after the Cessation? Do you notice a bliss wave? Is it any different from an A&P bliss wave?

3) After the Cessation, can you incline your mind back to it and get a second one?

4) If indeed it was SE, you should have a greatly increased capacity to access the jhanas. Since you say "I'm not well versed in jhana", there isn't a better moment than now to take a shot at those.

5) Before the Three Doors and Conformity, do you notice the Formless Realms aspects of Equanimity? Can you hang out in those and explore them a bit?

Practice well!

n

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/1/18 11:12 PM as a reply to neko.
For whatever it's worth (maybe not much), I know Chris O & am sure that he is well past "technical 1st path."  Certainly the discussion of descriptions/how criteria are expressed is intrinsically useful.

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/2/18 3:40 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
For whatever it's worth (maybe not much), I know Chris O & am sure that he is well past "technical 1st path."  Certainly the discussion of descriptions/how criteria are expressed is intrinsically useful.

Thanks, Noah! In this case I wasn't expressing scepticism, but rather caution. There's more harm in overcalling than undercalling attainments, IMHO.

Question about what you mean by "technical 1st". I remember that maybe a couple years ago you were distinguishing what you call "technical" and MCTB paths, and at one point you lined up Technical 4th Path with MCTB "2.5"th Path, are you still using that language / line up? And do you draw a distinction between Technical 1st and MCTB 1st path, or are they the same thing for you? Any other definitions you are lining up with one another? I think this is a super interesting and important point.

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/3/18 8:22 AM as a reply to neko.
I agree that overcalling can be worse.  

Haha, I have retired from public cross-mapping , in the interest of respecting all traditions.  I can DhO pm you though.

(and for anyone reading this & mapping, remember to investigate the present moment sensations of mapping)

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/3/18 6:23 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
I agree that overcalling can be worse.  

Haha, I have retired from public cross-mapping , in the interest of respecting all traditions.  I can DhO pm you though.

(and for anyone reading this & mapping, remember to investigate the present moment sensations of mapping)


Can you PM me as well please?

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/4/18 4:01 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
I agree that overcalling can be worse.  

Haha, I have retired from public cross-mapping , in the interest of respecting all traditions.  I can DhO pm you though.

(and for anyone reading this & mapping, remember to investigate the present moment sensations of mapping)
I'll take a PM as well for more info, if you don't mind. Thanks!

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/4/18 5:14 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
PM-FEST!

Actually you can email me, if you want. I believe you have my email address already emoticon

RE: Observations immediately post Stream Entry
Answer
12/5/18 5:10 PM as a reply to Chris O..
I experienced Stream Entry last Saturday. In an effort not to bore my wife to death, I'm logging what I've observed since that time here.


I have nothing helpful to add to this thread - but this did make me laugh! emoticon