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Lengthening duration of Fruitions

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Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/3/17 12:25 PM
Almost immediately after experiencing what I believe was Second Path, I've begun having increasing success at conjuring up Fruitions at will, off the cushion. To do this, I spend a few moments finding a pleasant and peaceful feeling tone, bring to mind the memory of a prior vivid Fruition experience, explicitly state (mentally) the intent to experience Fruition, then abide in stillness until a Fruition arises in the next 10 - 60 seconds.  It seems to be easier the more I practice it. It doesn't always work, but has succeeded enough times that, at least to me, this new capability of mind is undeniable.

Knowing this, that this appears to be a skill that can improved, I now wonder if there's a way to extend the duration of a Fruition. Most of these "conjured" Fruitions are very quick blips, whereas Fruitions during meditation appear to have a longer gap/offline quality to them. Given that these during-meditation Fruitions are ostensibly longer (i.e. more time spent in nibbāna), they feel more relieving and rewarding. Naturally then, the grasping mind wants for this--for longer duration of Fruition when I call them up off-cushion.

Keeping in my that this is a slippery slope, I'd still like to see if there's a way to also practice for having longer Fruitions. Any tips?

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/3/17 1:27 PM as a reply to Chris O..
Here's a technique for that and some context.

Eyes are the primary sense of people who can see. Therefore it is in connection with this primary sense that one can most easiest find conscious experience, i.e. awareness. Do this: Be gently aware of you physical eye balls and the area behind eyes inside the head. This space can be called simply "eye space". Then connect this eye space with the space external to your head, either in front of the eyes/head or behind the head (you can just extend the space from the eye balls, to the center of the head and further behding the edge of the skull). Experiment with this. One's attention needs to be gentle here, like a gentle suggestion, not a strong one-pointed laser ray. A dzogchen-technique.

I used to have short cessations, just a second or two, before but with this simple tech they lengthened to 1½ up to 3 hours. After I had these long cessations for a few times, the treshold of dropping to cessation wore off.

 

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/3/17 2:54 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Thanks for your reply and suggestions, Kim!

This resonates with me. Here's why. Most Fruitions while meditating during Review of First Path and leading up to Second Path occurred while attention was squarely on the visual field behind the eyelids. Interesting, Fruitions since (and including) Second Path have occurred during opposite times---when the mind has wandered from the visual sense toward a more nebulous, spacious feeling that's hard to describe, but markedly "less grounded" in visual or tactile sensation. In other words, it appears that Fruitions are tending to arise from a "space" when the mind is less directly connected to one of the six senses. Sounds very similar to what you're describing.

Fascinating to hear people have cessations lasting minutes or hours. That was something that blew me away when I read it in Mahasi's Manual of Insight--that some skilled yogis can stay in Fruition for hours. It's pretty much impossible for me to fathom that at the moment, coming from my current skill level, but I'm eager to see if this mind can get a taste of something longer.

Will experiment in a gentle way and see what arises! Thanks again.

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/3/17 3:34 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I personally wonder what cessations are from a neurological perspective. The sample size is fairly small, and the sample size for long cessations is even smaller.

So, I'm curious, after such long cessations, do you notice any difference in your cognitive functions in the minutes, hours, and day’s afterword? I'm looking for either positive or negative effects.

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/5/17 2:11 PM as a reply to C P M.
C P M:
I personally wonder what cessations are from a neurological perspective. The sample size is fairly small, and the sample size for long cessations is even smaller.

So, I'm curious, after such long cessations, do you notice any difference in your cognitive functions in the minutes, hours, and day’s afterword? I'm looking for either positive or negative effects.

Cognitive functions?

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/5/17 7:14 PM as a reply to C P M.
Hi CPM,

FWIW, I don't have a lot of experience or control over phala, but I have experienced them. I'd say that the primary cognitive effect is an incredible sense of well being and happiness coming out of a phala moment. From a practice perspective, the tradition states that a phala moment is when the mind makes contact with Nibbana, and hence experiences peacefulness and lack of suffering. Experience of any sort causes a kind of tension which the mind experiences as a kind of low level suffering, and not having any experience whatsoever, which is I think what a phala moment is, relieves that tension. I've talked with a teacher about this, and he agreed that this was one way that magga and phala result in the relief of suffering.

What exactly happens from a Western scientific neurological perspective, in other words what the brain mechanisms are, during a phala moment is, of course, a whole other question. I have actually no idea what they might be.

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/6/17 4:51 PM as a reply to Chris O..
While duration has never been my strong suit, Bill Hamilton apparently could stay Fruition for over an hour.

According to him, he would spend hours reigning in the mind, calming it pacifying it, smoothing it, preparing it to drop into something stable for a long time. That's hint #1.

Hint #2: Stronger concentration makes everything like this easier, and, by strong, I mean the sort of concentration that people get when they are, say, 180-250+ hours or so of actual practice time into an intensive retreat. It is not that some can't likely do duration in daily life, but, like Nirodha Samapatti, not many can, and those who can are likely those with unusual concentration skills.

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/6/17 8:56 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Here's a technique for that and some context.

Eyes are the primary sense of people who can see. Therefore it is in connection with this primary sense that one can most easiest find conscious experience, i.e. awareness. Do this: Be gently aware of you physical eye balls and the area behind eyes inside the head. This space can be called simply "eye space". Then connect this eye space with the space external to your head, either in front of the eyes/head or behind the head (you can just extend the space from the eye balls, to the center of the head and further behding the edge of the skull). Experiment with this. One's attention needs to be gentle here, like a gentle suggestion, not a strong one-pointed laser ray. A dzogchen-technique.

I used to have short cessations, just a second or two, before but with this simple tech they lengthened to 1½ up to 3 hours. After I had these long cessations for a few times, the treshold of dropping to cessation wore off.

 

Going to have to shelve this technique for now. Have tried it and haven't had any luck. For me, with how I'm applying this technique, I'm unfortunately not able to get any Fruitions. Maybe if I did get a Fruition, it be longer, but who knows. Going to try going back to what has worked, which is similar, but feels less grounded in any space/location. I just kind of "zoom out" or recess from the senses into this diffuse, vegged-out feeling that doesn't seemed to be rooted anywhere. Thanks again though! Something to revisit in the future!

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/6/17 9:02 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi CPM,

FWIW, I don't have a lot of experience or control over phala, but I have experienced them. I'd say that the primary cognitive effect is an incredible sense of well being and happiness coming out of a phala moment. From a practice perspective, the tradition states that a phala moment is when the mind makes contact with Nibbana, and hence experiences peacefulness and lack of suffering. Experience of any sort causes a kind of tension which the mind experiences as a kind of low level suffering, and not having any experience whatsoever, which is I think what a phala moment is, relieves that tension. I've talked with a teacher about this, and he agreed that this was one way that magga and phala result in the relief of suffering.

What exactly happens from a Western scientific neurological perspective, in other words what the brain mechanisms are, during a phala moment is, of course, a whole other question. I have actually no idea what they might be.
Someone I was conversing with online described phala as a "discharge of tension," which I thought was a great way to describe it. Especially since, early after a Path attainment, the "discharge," for me at least, has flash of illumination effect, like a camera flash going off. Both the release of tension/relief feeling and the flash seem to settle down in intensity the further away from Review I get, until eventually they are absent and just the blip or a dark "flicker" of cessation remains. 

Would be great to get data on what's happening in the brain, sense it's obviously some neurological event. Maybe one day!

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/6/17 9:06 PM as a reply to Chris O..
I relate to discharge of tension image.  I've had lots of those moments.

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/6/17 9:07 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
While duration has never been my strong suit, Bill Hamilton apparently could stay Fruition for over an hour.

According to him, he would spend hours reigning in the mind, calming it pacifying it, smoothing it, preparing it to drop into something stable for a long time. That's hint #1.

Hint #2: Stronger concentration makes everything like this easier, and, by strong, I mean the sort of concentration that people get when they are, say, 180-250+ hours or so of actual practice time into an intensive retreat. It is not that some can't likely do duration in daily life, but, like Nirodha Samapatti, not many can, and those who can are likely those with unusual concentration skills.
That's helpful to know, Daniel. Thanks! Just got his book and am interested to read more about Bill's experiences. Think I'll save further experimentation with duration for some other time in my practice when I can more stability (e.g. a retreat, long break from work, etc), or perhaps after next Path, if I'm able to get there. Seems like the more interested I get in the mechanics of it, the further away I push the phenomena. With no intention to get Fruition, with just the intent to "let happen what happens," I'll have five or six Fruitions in an hour sit (still in Review, mind you). Sits where I have the intent to do something leave me struggling to stabilize the upper threshold of Equanimity.  

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/28/17 9:05 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Here's a technique for that and some context.

Eyes are the primary sense of people who can see. Therefore it is in connection with this primary sense that one can most easiest find conscious experience, i.e. awareness. Do this: Be gently aware of you physical eye balls and the area behind eyes inside the head. This space can be called simply "eye space". Then connect this eye space with the space external to your head, either in front of the eyes/head or behind the head (you can just extend the space from the eye balls, to the center of the head and further behding the edge of the skull). Experiment with this. One's attention needs to be gentle here, like a gentle suggestion, not a strong one-pointed laser ray. A dzogchen-technique.

I used to have short cessations, just a second or two, before but with this simple tech they lengthened to 1½ up to 3 hours. After I had these long cessations for a few times, the treshold of dropping to cessation wore off.

 
hmm okay.
Aren't becoming aware already a cessation?
and the technique you describe is using channels or pathways in body, otherwords skandhas/layers what make up your being?

going through different joints, where a cessation Is a joint, then you can decide what to do next or what is "on" right now, like spotting a craving etc..

Describing cessation as a singular event, i wonder how many definitions we could attach to that word- limitless explanations.

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/28/17 9:20 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
While duration has never been my strong suit, Bill Hamilton apparently could stay Fruition for over an hour.

According to him, he would spend hours reigning in the mind, calming it pacifying it, smoothing it, preparing it to drop into something stable for a long time. That's hint #1.

Hint #2: Stronger concentration makes everything like this easier, and, by strong, I mean the sort of concentration that people get when they are, say, 180-250+ hours or so of actual practice time into an intensive retreat. It is not that some can't likely do duration in daily life, but, like Nirodha Samapatti, not many can, and those who can are likely those with unusual concentration skills.

Like if you go into a retreat where you can be with yourself with minimum distractions versus a "Hunger Games" type of environment gotten cessation. The Real value of cesastion like the "loudspeaker RMS"?

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/28/17 9:52 AM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
Must Do:

 
hmm okay.
Aren't becoming aware already a cessation?
and the technique you describe is using channels or pathways in body, otherwords skandhas/layers what make up your being?

going through different joints, where a cessation Is a joint, then you can decide what to do next or what is "on" right now, like spotting a craving etc..

Describing cessation as a singular event, i wonder how many definitions we could attach to that word- limitless explanations.
To say it in conventional language, yes, of course. Natural cessation, or rigpa, is awareness itself.

>the technique you describe is using channels or pathways in body, otherwords skandhas/layers what make up your being?

What?

RE: Lengthening duration of Fruitions
Answer
2/28/17 10:24 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
What?

You described a "movement". after getting to know the starting and end point, it becoems a movement in one shot.

Well but you seem thought of something else what you described, so i don't know what you described,..my bad.