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Approaches to practice after stream entry

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Hey all. Here's my story in a nutshell. Started my spiritual practice 5-6 years ago. Discovered MCTB and followed the general practice guidelines, using noting as my primary technique for a few years. Eventually lost touch with the "pragmatic" community and their maps, as not much was really lining up for me.

Still continued to note every day during this time. This past summer, found myself strongly drawn to non-dual teachings. Realized that ideas of seeking and practice themselves had become major hangups. I stopped noting practice, and instead read and contemplated the non-dual teachings every day, questioned all assumptions, and let go of my identity as a spiritual seeker trying to attain enlightenment.

A few days ago, I had my first real insight. My first real glimpse of IT. Undeniable, and extremely unsettling. Nothing like I imagined. Lines up in every way with what the spiritual literature describes as kensho, an awakening experience, glimpsing the ox, stream entry, etc.

How does "practice" proceed in the wake of this realization? I haven't consulted or considered the MCTB progress of insight maps in years. Part of me feels like noting for the first time in a long time. But part of me feels that noting had nothing to do with the realization, and that seeing through the practice/practitioner duality was what precipitated the glimpse.

There is also the awareness that this post comes straight from the mind of separate self, wanting desperately to get back to that feeling.

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 9:47 AM as a reply to bud ..
Hi Bud, Do you remember previously having any sort of powerful, rapturous experience that wasn't nearly as refined?  Ok, that's the Dharma diagnosis part.

On the real, just keep doing advaita stuff.  Use your intuition to sink deeper into that glimpse.  If your intuition guides you back to the Mahasi side of things, then so be it.

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 9:51 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
Hi Bud, Do you remember previously having any sort of powerful, rapturous experience that wasn't nearly as refined?  Ok, that's the Dharma diagnosis part.

On the real, just keep doing advaita stuff.  Use your intuition to sink deeper into that glimpse.  If your intuition guides you back to the Mahasi side of things, then so be it.

Yep. Early on I had an A&P experience during meditation which involved typical kundalini-type phenomena. Uncontrollable shaking, energetic stuff, etc.

Thanks for the input. My intuition does seem to be guiding me back towards the advaita stuff. But it's amazing to watch the egoic self eagerly co-opt and seize this "experience" and try to re-establish itself as the practicioner on that basis. "Gotta DO something or you'll never glimpse it again!"

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 10:25 AM as a reply to bud ..
bud .:

A few days ago, I had my first real insight. My first real glimpse of IT. Undeniable, and extremely unsettling. Nothing like I imagined. Lines up in every way with what the spiritual literature describes as kensho, an awakening experience, glimpsing the ox, stream entry, etc.


Hi Bud, thanks for posting your experience.  Are you able to describe the above part in more detail?  I'm just curious and trying take make sense of things.

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 10:32 AM as a reply to C P M.
C P M:
bud .:

A few days ago, I had my first real insight. My first real glimpse of IT. Undeniable, and extremely unsettling. Nothing like I imagined. Lines up in every way with what the spiritual literature describes as kensho, an awakening experience, glimpsing the ox, stream entry, etc.


Hi Bud, thanks for posting your experience.  Are you able to describe the above part in more detail?  I'm just curious and trying take make sense of things.

Very difficult to put into words in hindsight. My intellect really struggles to work with the memory of it, like it's trying to comprehend a paradox or something. So my description is definitely not the essence of it, but I'll try: For the first time I felt that there was literally no-thing. My self, the people I loved, the places I cherished, were no-thing at all. It was very destabilizing and disorienting. It was something that implied the release of immense psychological baggage, but only at the cost of losing my "self" entirely. It's like waking up from a dream that you had absolutely taken for granted as real - sounds fun, cool, and interesting right? Well when it actually happens, it's pretty unsettling.

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 1:07 PM as a reply to bud ..
bud .:

Very difficult to put into words in hindsight. My intellect really struggles to work with the memory of it, like it's trying to comprehend a paradox or something. So my description is definitely not the essence of it, but I'll try: For the first time I felt that there was literally no-thing. My self, the people I loved, the places I cherished, were no-thing at all. It was very destabilizing and disorienting. It was something that implied the release of immense psychological baggage, but only at the cost of losing my "self" entirely. It's like waking up from a dream that you had absolutely taken for granted as real - sounds fun, cool, and interesting right? Well when it actually happens, it's pretty unsettling.

What would you say are the qualities of what happened? How did it look/feel/etc. How long was it? What did you take away from it? How are things for you now?

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 1:47 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
bud .:

Very difficult to put into words in hindsight. My intellect really struggles to work with the memory of it, like it's trying to comprehend a paradox or something. So my description is definitely not the essence of it, but I'll try: For the first time I felt that there was literally no-thing. My self, the people I loved, the places I cherished, were no-thing at all. It was very destabilizing and disorienting. It was something that implied the release of immense psychological baggage, but only at the cost of losing my "self" entirely. It's like waking up from a dream that you had absolutely taken for granted as real - sounds fun, cool, and interesting right? Well when it actually happens, it's pretty unsettling.

What would you say are the qualities of what happened? How did it look/feel/etc. How long was it? What did you take away from it? How are things for you now?

It's very difficult to describe it now that the normal dualistic split is back. It lasted about an hour before I went to sleep.

I don't even remember what I was doing immediately prior to it - I was reading something related to nonduality, but there wasn't any specific sentence or concrete thing that triggered it. There was a sudden but natural-feeling shift in perception. I looked up from my phone and it felt like instead of every "thing" being made of physical matter, every "thing" was instead a manifestation in/of consciousness. It felt like nothing had any "substance".

There was this image on the periphery of my mind that wouldn't quite come into focus, an image of how this act of creation worked and how it was being performed - the movement of it. It was like looking at a paradox. The mind could not grasp it at all.

When I looked at my wife lying next to me in bed, I could only feel "myself" looking back. It felt like I was somehow creating her. The normal mind was trying to gain a foothold and make sense of what was going on, which gave the experience a solipsistic/schizophrenic tint for a bit. But as it kept unfolding, it was clear that the "me" that was creating her was not the usual me. It was just some kind of mysterious fucking non-thing. It was creating both of us. It's what we are, it's what every "person" and "thing" is.

I had the feeling it was everything. No actual things existed at all. It was all the play or appearance of this one thing. I've read words like this before, but this was the realization. This was what all of those words symbolize.

What I took away from it: Although the dualistic split in perception is back, there is also some deeper understanding regarding its nature. It's not seen/felt clearly, but there is a certain lack of convincingness to the split now. I don't see how I would ever be able to go back to 100% belief in a separate self. There is also a new kind of faith in the teachings and teachers.

How I feel now: Good. Pretty calm. There is a sense of trying to orient myself, a "what's next?" question that keeps appearing. The mind thinks about the experience constantly, and all it can feel is "what the fuck was that?" I can also see the mind trying to appropriate the experience for itself, to take credit, and to try and find ways back to it.

RE: Approaches to practice after stream entry
Answer
1/6/17 2:00 PM as a reply to bud ..
Sounds about right. emoticon

I had something quite similar happen about a year and a half ago. There are some great and very useful accounts of Stream Entry (and cases of "I *think* it's SE, but it's not) on this board. Dig around and have a look.

My personal experience is that the "practice" finds you, now. I have continued sitting (zazen/shine'), and I DO really think that finding stillness is a way to continue to clean the lens you now know is between you and "what is". For a while the practice that arose from me was surrendering/accepting things as they were. Releasing tension in my mind and body around my remaining cognitive dissonance between how things are and how I might still be trying to contrive them to be. Things will continue to deepen. Don't worry too much about what is next. Enjoy what has happened. emoticon

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