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Cessastion (Stream Entry)

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Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/2/17 10:25 AM
My first recollection of this cessastion (blip) was on my first retreat on a Goenka retreat. I remeber thinking to myself after the experience "What was that, that was weird". Then moving to 3 years later, I went to Burma (Mahasi Style) for a retreat and had a similar experience but this time I was aware as "content" arose which seemed like I existed in a flat bubble like sphere that zoomed in and then I was emersed. Immediately after there was this wave of pleasant sensations. It felt really damn good and then it subsided after a couple minutes.

Now, 1.5 years later I've been focusing on a technique called Open Focus to help me relax and then moving into Mahasi's noting technique. Brian Lesage has been helping me on the technical component. I've been noticing blips and sometimes about 3 pulses (blip and then 3 movements of something its very quick) here and there.  I do notice that after the blip, which seems to be more apparant in the visual space, there is this wave, smiliar to when I was in Burma but not as intense, that arises and persists for about a minute. The wave is pleasant and I can feel it move through the body. It's hard to continue noting as my mind seems to want to know what that blip was. It's as if my mind is realigning itself towards the blip. Almost like it doesn't care so much for content. I do notice a sense of peace and happines afterwards.

Oh and after the blip my system is awake, alert, and calm.

I'm not sure if this is what is considered stream entry but I've read and heard that overtime one is able to stay in these blackouts and review.
 
Thoughts?

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/2/17 4:12 PM as a reply to Jorge.
I can't answer if it was SE or not, but I'm curious to know if after your first blip you noticed any changes in yourself and when you meditate.

Whatever it was, it was nice to read about it.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/2/17 5:21 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Let's take one thing at a time in order -- what is the "blip" itself like? What happens during the blip?

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/2/17 6:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
The "blip" is like a blackout. It happens in a microsecond. There's nothing there to observe not even me observing. Its like there is a gap in observing content. Another thing that closely resembles is like when one is sleepy and then there is the jolt of waking up after falling asleep in a sit but with this there is no sleepiness. The blip is only recognized because of T1 and T3. See below. T stands for a moment in time. 

T1 - There is a sense of I am here. There is stuff to observe

T2 - 

T3 - That was weird... where did I go? or Seeing a bubble come up with me in it but I'm not outside of it so say there I am. Sometimes it feels like a flash where content ceases and then it arises again. 

T4 - I know someting happened because of memory of T1 and T3 but there is not memory of T2.

WIth the buble I only say "there I am after the fact" when it takes up the full container. Memory is used to process what happened so when I say blip, "Black" is the best way to describe it.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/3/17 11:15 AM as a reply to Jorge.
If you're accurately describing the process as it happened to you it sounds like legitimate cessations.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/4/17 4:27 AM as a reply to Jorge.
I've had the same experience, especially during a 15 day mahasi retreat. The question is:

- How do you know it was really cessation?
- How do you know if you attained stream entry?

I'm referring to cut and dry indicators, and to be honest from what I've been reading in books and online, there doesn't seem to be any.

All I'm aware of is that you can look at the 10 fetters and make a guess at which ones exist in you, which ones are weak, which ones are strong, etc..

Same goes for the progress of insight, you can look at the nana stages and either get a weak/ambigious or strong/speciic relation to those stages, e.g. "yeah what I had was exactly like that!" or "I sort of had something like that."..

So overall it seems like it's pretty ambigious and there is no cut and dry indictator or video game acheivement that says "You have now entered the stream".

Correct me if I'm wrong.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/4/17 7:24 AM as a reply to Jorge.
Jorge, that does sound like cessation. 

Nir, it's a big subject, but people get confused by 1) not being clear which model they are using, and 2) by looking at just the experience and not everything leading up and after it. Stream entry as marked by cessation is clearly one traditions approach, one that emphasizes long retreats. And cessation-like experiences can be A&P events, nodding off, near misses. If the events leading up to the blackout are "something really big is about to happen" it's probably an A&P event. Nodding off is nodding off. Near misses can be very confusing, but basically there isn't a change in meditation ability afterwards (no certainity about practice/lack of doubt, no increased access to jhana, etc.). Near misses chill people out, but they don't really change their baseline self. (Definitely read MCTB, it's all in there.) So the cut and dry indicator isn't one thing, but it is a constellation of things. Ultimately it really doesn't matter, because it's not the end of practice. If people get too fixated on SE, then they are missing the point of investigating and seeing how we create many aspects of our own suffering through confused perception. 

There have been many cases where people are so focused on mapping during meditation, that they spin their tires, not making any more progres. Using the noting technique, whenever we spend too much time thinking about practice, the best thing to do is note "mapping thought" or "practice thought" or "judging" etc. and return to the practice...

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/4/17 9:25 AM as a reply to budo.
Hi Nir,

thank you for the response. For some reason I thought it had to be very clear. It seems that there are varying degress of experience which can cause confusion, especially among practitioners. When I look at the 10 fetters 2 are definitely gone with the expception of the "belief in a self". Which I think is a little tricky.  I read it or understood it as "perception of self" is gone. For example: the experience of "there's a Jorge here and there's a tree over there" should be gone. Yet I know this time/space experience is only a perception and a construct. Prior to my first retreat I read a quote from Goenka about body sensations had the sense of self collapse at the ear and saw directly how things are really at the sense door. At the moment I knew this was the path or "it" for me but I wasn't surehow to proceed. 

My first retreat really hepled explain what happened to me 12 years prior. My A&Ps tend to be very energetic and I do like them which I'm seeing why they can be dangerous. Sort of like becoming a Jhana junky. It's taken me a long time to learn to let things be there and I've noticed that if I"m extra mindful and don't push or pull the coming down from and A&P and then moving through dark nanas is not so disorienting. It makes the whole process much pleasant. Andrea Fella's way of teaching has really helped me see how I can really dig into the experience. For example if I push during an A&P the coming down sucks and its opposite is super intense. Which I would think is what Bi-polar is like.

I've also seen some of the other fetters slowly loose their grip. For example, the "disgust" phase really loosens up the sexual craving on a mental level.

I do agree with what you've said which can be very confusing probably because its more of a gradual process than a light switch type approach. I think I'm looking for a "is this what they are talking about?". I really identify with the mental process when these questions come up so I've been working on "this is thinking" or "wanting". 

thank you so much again
 

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/4/17 10:21 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Hi Shargrol, 

I agree with what you've said about noting those kinds of thoughts and have been trying to catch them.
Also agree on "Near misses can be very confusing, but basically there isn't a change in meditation ability afterwards (no certainity about practice/lack of doubt, no increased access to jhana, etc.). Near misses chill people out, but they don't really change their baseline self.... Ultimately it really doesn't matter, because it's not the end of practice. "

It's definitely not the end of practice for me.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/4/17 10:58 AM as a reply to budo.
IMHO the cessation experience is something that is clearer than it's being made out to be here. The cessation itself is pretty obvious and usually a surprise when it occurs. That's why I asked Jorge for clarity on that one thing. It has definitive aspects that are not debatable: the sudden and complete shutting down of conciousness, the feeling that one's mind/brain was just turned off and rebooted, the feeling of the mind coming back online. My feeling is that Jorge described that more than adequately.

In my experience the only thing that is even close to the experience of cessation is being put under general anaesthesia. The mind just disappears for a while - no dreaming, no wisp of consciousness like there is in deep sleep. Just... nothing. Nada. Black - a good word for it that Jorge used.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/4/17 10:50 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

In my experience the only thing that is even close to the experience of cessation is being put under general anaesthesia. 

This.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/6/17 4:09 AM as a reply to neko.
When it is like put under general anaesthesia, how does one differentiate it from nodding off? e.g. vision of tunneling through underground, *blip*  - definitely black but unsure if it is falling asleep. -> then system comes back on with a shockingly clear 3D view that amazes at first and jolts one up from said 'sleep'. 

Will this be cessation?

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/6/17 5:32 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Cessation isn't anything like sleep. It happens abruptly and there is nothing. Sleep occurs slowly in comparison and there is consciousness throughout.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/6/17 8:07 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Cessation isn't anything like sleep. It happens abruptly and there is nothing. Sleep occurs slowly in comparison and there is consciousness throughout.


I do not mean to be irritating but I suppose there is still consciousness of the no-consciousness of the blackout? If not the transition from 1. pre-cessation to 2. cessation to 3. post-cessation will simply seem like 1 directly to 3. (did not even notice 2. happened) and certainly there can be no colour description of 2. as black.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/6/17 8:20 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Inside the "singularity" of a cessation there is nothing at all. Everything is utterly gone. No consciousness. So you're correct. I used the word "black" as a descriptor of nothing, not as a descriptor of color. One knows after one emerges from the nothing because the feelings and objects of consciousness come back, so there is knowledge of the occurrence but no knowledge of anything at all in the occurrence.

Hope that's more clear.

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
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9/9/17 3:22 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Marti!

So I've been reading Mahasi's stages of insight and is seems that for it to really stick one has to go through "Review".

Do you have experience with this?

Here's the link to the document: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html#ch5

Thanks for all of your comments and feedback!!!!

-Jorge

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/10/17 4:22 AM as a reply to Jorge.
I might be wrong, but I've spent a long time on this and the sister forums over the years. 

What youre describing sounds an awful lot like a cessation. But, I think normally it should be pretty obvious that your brain has fundamentally changed afterwards? Like, you can now concentrate about 1000x better. And I think you should experience a dramatic reduction in internal 'talk' for about a month afterwards in daily life? 

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/10/17 8:19 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
I think normally it should be pretty obvious that your brain has fundamentally changed afterwards? Like, you can now concentrate about 1000x better. And I think you should experience a dramatic reduction in internal 'talk' for about a month afterwards in daily life? 


The after-effects vary tremendously from person to person. There is seldom a huge difference. Otherwise, what would the following stages if insight be good for?


emoticon

RE: Cessastion (Stream Entry)
Answer
9/10/17 8:20 AM as a reply to Jorge.
So I've been reading Mahasi's stages of insight and is seems that for it to really stick one has to go through "Review".

Do you have experience with this?


Yes, I do. What about it?