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Spontaneous stream entry through dukkha

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I believe today I had a spontaneous experience of stream-entry. It's been months since I've done any formal practise and yet today I experienced something that seems to line up with descriptions of stream-entry quite closely. It has suprised me greatly. In any case, whatever happened, happened and I believe that this story will be of interest to many of you.

On to the story:

So today I was meeting a girl I quite fancied. The details aren't important, but things did not go as planned, and after our date, I was left heartbroken. While driving home I was brooding over what I should have done, when I decided to stop analysing it and to just sit with the pain. In doing so I started to investigate this pain, this feeling of loneliness. I looked into 'where' in my body it was and tried to find it.

After a little while, I started to notice that there was another kind of 'longing' behind the feeling of sadness. This longing seemed much more fundamental and I realised that even had things gone right with her, it would still be there. I began to investigate this feeling of fundamental-longing. I can only describe it by analogy - if it were audible, it would sound like the vocals of The Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd. It felt like a great 'crying out' both for everything, and for nothing in particular. Again, this is just an attempt to conceptualise the feeling by analogy.

So as I continued to investigate this f-longing, I started to detect that it was not possible for it to be satisfied - that there was something paradoxical in thinking that it was possible to do so. I can't exactly put the paradox into words, but it is something like this:

'Either an object/experience is me, or is seperate to me. If the object/experience is a part of me, than it couldn't satisfy the f-longing as it is precicly me that is feeling the f-longing. However, if the object/experience was seperate, than it can't satisfy either because it does not 'touch' me. It doesn't come into contact with the f-longing.'

It dawned on me in a direct way that this fundamental-longing simply is what it means to be an 'I', to be a person. After succumbing to the full implication of the paradox, after realising that there was nothing 'I' could do about this feeling, it intensified to the point I thought I was going mad, or dissolving or something...

But then, immediately after the peak of the pain, something happened. There was a 'gap' in my experience. But the gap didn't occur in my normal sensate reality. My eyes were open and there was no gap in the visual experience. Nonetheless, after this event, there was a knowing that 'I' had dissapeared. That I had gone somewhere out of time where there was no feeling of this fundamental-pain. 

An immense wave of relief flooded over me as I realised that there was a solution to the paradox. It felt as if a great burden had suddenly lifted. The relative sense of heartache was still there, but it was much subdued. While driving home, I noticed that my visual experience of the world became much more vivid and I noticed that more of my peripheral vision is integrated into my visual-consiousness.

It has been an hour since then and I feel like I have a much greater appreciation of the dharma. I also have a much greater appreciation for Daniel's insistence that the emotional models of enlightenment are not feasible. I know now that whatever help mediation and insight can bring, that insight does not touch the 'relative' sense of our personality and cannot change it directly. The only way fundamental insight can help change our relative sense of personality is by drawing indirect lessons and parrelels from it.

So there we are. I am certain something very big happened today, but I am content to just wait and see what lessons I can integrate from this experience. I also feel as if I should capitalise on this momentum with intensive practise, although it would be difficult due to my current life circumstances. Would there be any benefit to practising directly after stream-entry in comparison to just waiting a few months when intensive practise wouldn't disrupt my life?

Lastly, does my attempt to describe the phenomenology of this fundamental-longing resonate with anyone elses' experience of dukkha? Did any of you go through a path purely by investigating dukkha?

Eager to hear back,

Josh

Edit: I should add that the whole experience, from starting to investigate the fundamental-suffering, to the 'fruition' (if it was that), took all of maybe two or three minutes. In fact, it happened while waiting in my car at a busy intersection in the city.

RE: Spontaneous stream entry through dukkha
Answer
8/25/17 8:58 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
This all sounds good to me, but if it was only an hour ago, it's a tad early to be drawing any long-term conclusions.

I believe that, out of Jeffrey Martin's interviewees for his PNSE project, 70% had not been following a systematic course of practice at the time they awoke.

My impression from reading awakening stories is that they are all unique, and searching for someone who's had exactly the same experience as you is not going to be a fruitful use of your time.

RE: Spontaneous stream entry through dukkha
Answer
8/25/17 9:25 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
O'lorin:
I also feel as if I should capitalise on this momentum with intensive practise, although it would be difficult due to my current life circumstances. Would there be any benefit to practising directly after stream-entry in comparison to just waiting a few months when intensive practise wouldn't disrupt my life?


Hi Josh,

what you wrote does sound something I have gone through. It's a nice place to be for a change, so congrats emoticon My answer to your spesific questions would be to practice and take advantage of the state you are currently in. If you wait until the difficult phases hit, you might find that you are actually incapable of practising. So if sitting/practising now is what comes about naturally and effortlessly, I'd definately go for it. Please bear in mind that your sits don't have to be of extensive duration. It's more about qulity than quantity in my opinion, and the afterglow is a specific time when it's very easy to drop through all the mental bullshit and actually do a deep practise right from the moment you sit down. '

What does your current practise consist of?

Kind regards,
 Jehanne

RE: Spontaneous stream entry through dukkha
Answer
8/26/17 5:46 AM as a reply to O'lorin.
Yeah I totally ballsed this up and it was great hubris to claim I had entered the stream. In the cold light of day, now that the initial excitement has worn off, I can already see that this was not some permanent shift. In fact I am pretty sure this was just some A&P stuff, or perhaps just my brain trying to make something meaningful out of a rotten experience... 

Shrug.

Anyway, thanks for the responses guys - I appreciate it.




RE: Spontaneous stream entry through dukkha
Answer
8/27/17 3:41 PM as a reply to O'lorin.
I wouldn't shrug it off completely as just "some A&P stuff."  You may not have entered the stream, but that does not mean the experience is not valuable.  It may turn out to be a foundational experience for a later attainment. . .  or it may not.  You just won't know.  

For now, it seems clear that it was a new way of dealing with longing and disappointment for you.  That is enough. Knowing dukka is an essential part of the path.  Seeing that dukka can be transcended is also part of the path.  Any insight which shows any portion of the reality of both, is valuable.

RE: Spontaneous stream entry through dukkha
Answer
8/27/17 7:42 PM as a reply to Brian.
Hey Brian, yes I agree entirely. It was definitely an experience worth having and learning from.

Cheers - Josh