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The Middle Paths (2nd and 3rd)

Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second

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I'm wondering how one distinguishes their Second Path's Path and Fruit moment from just another First Path Fruition?

Thinking the answer is probably something like "Once it occurs, it will be obvious that it's a next-path moment and not a repeat of the previous path's Fruit," but thought I'd ask anyway. Or perhaps it's when Review becomes obvious in the day or days after attaining Second Path? Or perhaps it's the new jhanas that become available?

When I go to sit lately, it's usually a sit that is clearly somewhere in the Stages working toward Second Path (got First Path at start of December). For example, a couple weeks ago, the sits were all Three Characteristics. Then I clearly had an A&P event on Jan. 11th, and now I'm having dukkha nana sits already.

But sprinkled in, I'll have a sit here and there that quickly lands in Equanimity with one or more First Path Fruitions. The last time this happened, for example, was just four days ago--two days after the A&P experience.

Here's where I'm going will this backstory: I believe it's possible that I'll have broken through dukkha nanas and will reach Equanimity during a retreat I have coming up in the last week of January. If I have a Fruition during this time on retreat, how will I know if it's the Second Path moment, or just another First Path Fruition that happened to manifest during Equanimity?

Does that make sense? Should I just stop overthinking it? I just never dreamt that after Review ended, I'd be moving through the Stages again so quickly. Wasn't prepared for this rapidity, thought the Stages would develop much slower, they like did pre-Stream Entry. Definitely understand why it's called "Stream" Entry--it just sweeps you right along.

Thanks!

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/17/17 11:08 PM as a reply to Chris O..
Hopefully you'll know bc you'll get a lasting but subtle upgrade to your sensory field, unlike review fruitions.

Also, a good proximate sign is whether you finished review, which you know cus you could do all the nanas and then suddenly you could only do 1 thru 3.

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/17/17 11:52 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
Hopefully you'll know bc you'll get a lasting but subtle upgrade to your sensory field, unlike review fruitions.

Also, a good proximate sign is whether you finished review, which you know cus you could do all the nanas and then suddenly you could only do 1 thru 3.

Cool. So it'll be self-evident, as was First Path.

First cessation was 12/3. The last time a sit started in A&P (that I noticed/recorded) was 12/14. In the weeks that followed 12/14, sits started over in Mind and Body, then would progress from Mind and Body through Three Characteristics territory, then Mind and Body through A&P territory, to where I am now, seven weeks after SE, where my sits are all now shit: filled with edgy, unnerving, trembling vibrations. 

But now and then, maybe once or twice a week, I'll have these sits that don't seem to fit in: after I get to A&P, it either a) turns into (fourth?) jhana, or b) turns into Equanimity and I have one or more cessations.

Not sure how that fits in with others' experiences, but that how it's unfolding for me. Have been clocking 2 - 3 hours/day of sitting (two sessions).

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/18/17 7:11 AM as a reply to Chris O..
Just to add abnother point of view -- my experience of 2nd path was very different from that of 1st path. That is fairly typical of others I know, too. 2nd path was defined more by what it wasn't (clearly marked, easily identified) than what it was (muddy, ill-defined, confusing).

But, of course, it's true that everyone is different and has different experiences of these things.

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/18/17 11:03 AM as a reply to Chris O..
@Chris O: That is weird.  I had Review for 6 weeks after what was diagnosed "technical 3rd path": http://noahsmonthlyupdate.blogspot.com/2016/09/may-2015.html?m=1   So there is variance in the review phase.

 But it sounds like you're building skills/habits which will help you progress quickly, regardless of whether you have 2nd path started yet.  

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/19/17 2:07 AM as a reply to Chris O..
For me, after second path, reality was really different, emotions acted differently, I perceived many additional nuances of subcycles and phenomena that I hadn't before, and I was back in a review phase  of rapidly increasing Fruition frequency and ease naturally rather than struggling in a progress cycle.

There is variability in the degree to which people report experiencing those changes.

Daniel

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/19/17 5:54 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Just to throw in another data point. My path moment was during a very short retreat, so didn't have as much concentration surrounding it. 

For me, during the road to second path was when my body really started getting rewired. (More stuff happened later on, but this was the first time that "rewiring" as an expression made sense.)  I had experienced all the big energetic stuff before, energy rushes and lights, but now it felt much more technical and smaller scale. So much so that the nanas were much more confusing because there was so much more detail to see and feel. (I couldn't resolve down to the subcycle scale, but that sounds similar.)  I was on a four day retreat and hit EQ very early on. EQ was even more profoundly a sense of "this is complete, even practicing is something extra". I knew from the past to keep practicing, just experience the full bandwidth of experience, don't even try to make anything happen. There were some near misses, but I didn't even get that disappointed, I knew from first path that I couldn't make anything happen. At some point I "fell into the place I was already sitting" and all the subtle tensions, doubts, concerns I had were gone. I hadn't even noticed them before, but afterwards I felt the difference. Wow, all that resistance! I felt very done, even though I intellectually knew that I still had plenty of insights and other paths to go. The rest of the retreat was the definition of peace. Everything was fine just as it was. The review cycling was not obvious, it felt more like being massaged in a very very subtle way (probably with some energetic stuff, but by now that stuff was unremarkable) but it all felt like a big sigh, ahhhh.... 

There is something about a second path fruition that hits home in a way that is different from before.

And then new territory opens up. During the road to third path, there was still body rewiring, but it was more about seeing the emptiness of sensations and thoughts -- much more of different flavors or a free-fall kind of experience. And if there was any reactive clinging/hoping for stability, it was clear that it led to suffering.

Late second path and during the road to third path it also became very clear that ___right at the point of contact___ of a sensation of thought there could be attraction, aversion, or ignoring. I could "see" how suffering was created right there next to the experience-as-it-is. So I really noticed how sensations could be positive, negative, or neutral and any of those could also become greed, hatred, delusion depending on habitual ways of processing things. There could be the achy sensation in my body (sort of a negative feeling), but I would be attracted/clinging to it because that sensation meant "I am doing serious practice and have been sitting a long time". Experience, meaning, and suffering became much clearer after second path.

Hope this helps someone in some way! 

RE: Distinguishing First Path and Fruit from Second
Answer
1/24/17 8:18 AM as a reply to Chris O..
there are different fruits.

some takes away, some give. Something you can held and ingest, purify a substance then the fruit is purified substance, its done you can then use it for something.

or liberates from something. There are many fruits.

I woulb be more sceptical if it comes to fetters model and claiming these fruits there. Specially if SE..Arhants are called Bhudda's disciples(means not fully enlightened)...maybe you discover there is something greater so you will trade your fruits and name them differently?