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Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ

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Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/10/17 2:48 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/10/17 3:40 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/11/17 5:55 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/12/17 11:58 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/11/17 9:59 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ neko 9/11/17 10:04 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/11/17 11:14 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/11/17 12:29 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ neko 9/11/17 1:13 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/12/17 1:02 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/12/17 7:47 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/12/17 10:43 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ seth tapper 9/12/17 11:33 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/12/17 12:01 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ seth tapper 9/12/17 12:36 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/12/17 12:48 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/12/17 1:22 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/12/17 1:10 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ seth tapper 9/12/17 1:41 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/12/17 3:35 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/1/17 12:51 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ shargrol 10/1/17 6:32 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 10/1/17 10:51 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/1/17 9:50 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ shargrol 10/2/17 5:59 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/2/17 10:26 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Laurel Carrington 10/2/17 11:38 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Jinxed P 10/3/17 4:35 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/4/17 1:20 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/5/17 7:01 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/5/17 5:31 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Lars 10/5/17 5:50 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/5/17 11:12 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Lars 10/6/17 12:43 AM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 10/5/17 11:21 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Yilun Ong 9/12/17 12:39 PM
RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ Chris Marti 9/12/17 11:57 AM
Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/10/17 2:48 PM
12 midnight - Session Details:
Posture: Reclined, Hands clasped above chest bone.
Non-clear, non-spectacular vision of body in outer space encircled with waves hitting 4 points (hands and both sides of face) with tactile feel, sound and vision (no smell, no taste). Feel of body is totally indescribeable - I am reclined, yet it feels like I am floating, some instances it feels like I am upright. Body is extremely vague and feels larger than life, outside sounds seem to be within this weird space. Hands were clasped, but in the image they were holding onto something and they felt like they were very wide apart. Whooshing sound circles, concides perfectly with hits on left hand, left face, right face then right hand - keeps going at about 2Hz. Got over-curious to find out "Where am I in terms of specific body-relations to space" and vision stopped cold; body felt as vague as before and I chose to end the session to confirm my hands are clasped and they are. 

EQ?

2am - Session Details:
Posture: Reclined
Series of cartoon-like visions with numerous and ridiculously fast vibrations all around the head in different zones (those at the earlobes were very pleasant!), concides with ~8 scene changes. Starting scenes appear to be cutting across my being in waves or slices, transitioning to vibrations towards the end.The similarity between all the scenes are that the vibrations follow what the vision seems to be actioning e.g. last scene of various characters hitting golf balls at me - the impact of the balls appear realistically as very quick vibrations. I questioned a few times if I am creating the visions to match the vibrations, the excitement seems to fall but the visions persisted. At the last scene of numerous super-fast vibrations, I could feel my eyes go up and next I saw an abstract face in the dark, coinciding with the pretty exciting vibrations coming to a complete halt. The halt was pretty astonishing as it left no traces at all, however I could not tell if there was a cessation or it was a direct transition to the ending scene.

So how do I call up fruitions or what else should I do to test if this is SE or a dud? emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/10/17 3:40 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
... what else should I do to test if this is SE or a dud?


Sit some more.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/11/17 5:55 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... what else should I do to test if this is SE or a dud?


Sit some more.

Haha thanks Chris! I could not sit until now as there was an irritating throbbing headache post the 1st 'cessation'. Managed to sit again:

1. Waves of pleasant vibrations ->
2. Throbbing 1-3Hz ->
3. Extremely fast vibrations centred on right eye area ->
4. Eye rose to ceiling
5. Blank
6. Immense bliss wave that lasted awhile

I did not go through any A&P nor Dark Night effects at all, there were no visions as well.

Prognosis?

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 11:58 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Can you describe "blank?"

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/11/17 9:59 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Cen you describe "blank?"


By blank, I am not aware of any missing periods, other than a sense of losing control, in fact it would seem that there is no in-between. It will be odd if such drastic transitions can take place, e.g. from chaos to the overwhelming peace and bliss after... Having said that, I have read about cessations and it is possible that subconsciously, the effect may have been 'scripted' in?

[Edited to add]: This 'cessation' is not as shocking as the first one described in the first post, however it was not expected at all. I was expecting some A&P fireworks actually!

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/11/17 10:04 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I think you may have to keep sitting to see if anything has changed. The traditional rule to wait a year and a day before drawing any conclusions hints that it takes some time to know and decide what has happened really.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/11/17 11:14 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
[quote=
]Oh gosh, it seems like another whole cycle passed in a 30 minute sit...

1. Scenes slowly speeding up to extremely fast and choppy frames, becoming mosaics of many videos.
2. Body became vague. Very fast vibrations (feels like raindrops hitting the face without the moisture), at the start it seems to be seemingly cutting through my face from the front and exiting from the crown (I can feel almost each individual hair as each exits). Scene is a space-like warp kind of feel.
3. Vibrations slowed down. Scene of my dad's crematorium. Felt a little sad, not overwhelming.
4. Sped up again. I got bored and it seems I can change some of the visions. My mouth (between lips and teeth) feels like it is stuffed with cotton wool...
5. Vibrations ended abruptly. This time the 'cessation' feels like there is a force pulling me out from the front for awhile before releasing me into the deep satisfying bliss again...

This is fun stuff!!! emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/11/17 12:29 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
JMHO, of course, but I'm not getting classic cessation vibes from your comments, Yilun. Is it possible you're chasing effects like the visions you describe in most of your reports?

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/11/17 1:13 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
JMHO, of course, but I'm not getting classic cessation vibes from your comments, Yilun. Is it possible you're chasing effects like the visions you describe in most of your reports?
(I agree with Chris.)

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 1:02 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
JMHO, of course, but I'm not getting classic cessation vibes from your comments, Yilun. Is it possible you're chasing effects like the visions you describe in most of your reports?


 No, I am certain I am not chasing after them. As it is very clear to me, that life and meditation goes on without a break and I have a very long way to go whether this is SE or not... I have not had such sequences happening before, if they aren't cessations, what could they be? Also, what should a classic cessation be like?

P.S. A very weird thing happened last night, I was falling asleep and there were moving vibrations around 10Hz first starting around my head and persisted to chest and limbs, basically all over the body. It seems to show clearly the idea the body is made up of tiny, vibrating, wave-like molecules. It went on for more than an hour, nothing happened other than these vibrations changing in locations. They persisted whatever I tried to get rid of it, sitting, moving around, till I get really tired and went to sleep with the vibrations still ongoing...

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 7:47 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
... what should a classic cessation be like?

Yilun, a classic cessation would be an abrupt loss of all consciousness. When it first occurred in my practice I likened it to the shutting down of a computer. After that there is a period of coming back online - like the rebooting of a computer. In my humble opinion it is an umistakable event, and in my experience it is not preceeded by a lot of mental activity like images and fireworks. It seems to be the result of very stable, high equanimity. Mental images and fireworks are a sign of the A&P event, also an attainment, which may very well be what you are experiencing.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 10:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... what should a classic cessation be like?

Yilun, a classic cessation would be an abrupt loss of all consciousness. When it first occurred in my practice I likened it to the shutting down of a computer. After that there is a period of coming back online - like the rebooting of a computer. In my humble opinion it is an umistakable event, and in my experience it is not preceeded by a lot of mental activity like images and fireworks. It seems to be the result of very stable, high equanimity. Mental images and fireworks are a sign of the A&P event, also an attainment, which may very well be what you are experiencing.
Thank you Chris for being so patient! Does it mean that you are aware that there is a blackout? For these 3 instances listed above, they were preceded by very fast vibrations and shockingly abrupt endings, but I am not aware of any in between before the same post event of extreme stillness and bliss wave... I did experience an awareness of such a blackout last week but the blackout was preceded by boringness (slow vague vibrations) -black with awareness - then some very 3D images slowly becoming clearer, which I think smells even less of a cessation.

Pardon my curiosity, although the sittings have to go on, I am perhaps too keen to understand them... This is all very interesting no matter where on the maps they are or are not haha...

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 11:33 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun, 

I will butt in with some nonsense.  Please ignore what i write.  Why do you give a shit what is happening in your mind?  What difference does it make if you are a blue belt or a brown belt in meditation and to whom does it make a difference?  Why cant you just be happy now as things are?  Who is stopping you?  These are serious but pointless questions.  Thinking about them may make meditation more fun. 

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 11:57 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Does it mean that you are aware that there is a blackout?

Yes, it does. The meditator is aware of a distinct gap in consciousness.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 12:01 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Seth, you might consider Yilun's questions and dilemmas useless and in some ways they are, but I think we all have this kind of curiosity and desire for attainment. I know I certainly did... and still do.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 12:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hey Chris, 

I am not claiming to have any idea what I am talking about.  It just has been my experience that the narrative of enlightenment is just another narrative and that caring about it and believing in it reiifies a deep sense of self that lies beyond conditioned external reality and so is very hard to let go of.  Hanging onto it, I think, creates suffering and desire even while accessing objectively blissful states of consciousness and so i was hoping the questions I asked would work as Koans and help Yilun - who is a monk and working towards full awakening - release that deeper sense of self that knows and cares about what is happening in the mind.   In my experience, everything i do has unkowable consequences, so i am sorry if my post was counter productive.  Can you suggest a better way for me to make this point or do you think the point itself is invalid or detrimental? 

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 12:39 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Yilun, 

I will butt in with some nonsense.  Please ignore what i write.  Why do you give a shit what is happening in your mind?  What difference does it make if you are a blue belt or a brown belt in meditation and to whom does it make a difference?  Why cant you just be happy now as things are?  Who is stopping you?  These are serious but pointless questions.  Thinking about them may make meditation more fun. 

To clarify, I am a monk. So that should give you an idea that wherever I am on the map makes little importance to me in terms of attainment. It does make much more importance though for me to understand things as I resolve to help others achieve whatever I can achieve. I am actually very happy currently, nothing is stopping me from meditating, Dark Night or not. If this is Stage x or y, all I would like to know is, which is which...

BTW, Chris. 4th time this happened just 10 minutes ago. This time round:

1. Fast flipping images with semi-quick vibrations.
2. Images faded, Bright light, vibrations became wave-like.
3. Feels like pre-entrance into jhana. Eyes raised.
4. "Blip". No consciousness of the blip! Or maybe I am just slow haha...
5. Bliss wave. 

I suppose I get your point this might seem like High EQ... 

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 12:48 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Hey Chris, 

I am not claiming to have any idea what I am talking about.  It just has been my experience that the narrative of enlightenment is just another narrative and that caring about it and believing in it reiifies a deep sense of self that lies beyond conditioned external reality and so is very hard to let go of.  Hanging onto it, I think, creates suffering and desire even while accessing objectively blissful states of consciousness and so i was hoping the questions I asked would work as Koans and help Yilun - who is a monk and working towards full awakening - release that deeper sense of self that knows and cares about what is happening in the mind.   In my experience, everything i do has unkowable consequences, so i am sorry if my post was counter productive.  Can you suggest a better way for me to make this point or do you think the point itself is invalid or detrimental? 
Hey Seth! Thanks for your well-wishing intentions!!! emoticon 

First of all, I am not sure about reincarnation/enlightenment and all those stuff people consider to be dogma and I did not become a monk so that I will be a arahant or have good birth or whatever kind of thing that will be wishful thinking or not. You may call me a pragmatic monk haha. Therefore, once again, getting to technical enlightenment is not a huge thing for me. I believe that the samatha and vipassana processes by themselves are VERY beneficial to people in terms of varying ways of reducing suffering and I am excitedly dilligent about it so that I can guide whomever crosses my path to walking the meditation path as smoothly and pain-free as possible. 

In fact, I am more excited about the fact that I have not 'met' cessation than if so. If High EQ is so pleasant and repeatable, staying here or recommending some people of certain 'characteristics' to stay there might be something to think about.

Once again I sincerely thank you for taking the time to contribute! 

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 1:22 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
 Can you suggest a better way for me to make this point or do you think the point itself is invalid or detrimental? 


Yes, I think I can - awakening is a process in the vast majority of our practices. We have to start somewhere. When we start we typically have a lot of questions. On websites like this one and in some Theravada and even other traditions we hear about awakened people, how they became so, what they did, and so on. So it's just part of being human to wonder about all that and want it, immitate what others did, scramble and fight to find out what works best for us. That's all narrative. Not surprising since we spend the vast bulk of our lives lost in narrative.

Eventually, after a lot more practice, we can get the nuance, the difference between narrative and THIS - but we don't start with that. We start as wanting craving, clawing beings. What we want is not usually what we end up getting, but that's a wholly different conversation.

Shorthand version? Develop patience.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
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9/12/17 1:10 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
[quote=
]
OK, in case this thread gets too irritating from my constant questioning and updates. I shall continue sitting and taking notes offline, when I find out with new verifiable data what these set of occurrences are, will then update here for the potential benefit of others. Thank you very much once again, Chris!

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 1:41 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Good advice.   I dont mean to express impatience.  Tantric exploding of closely held beliefs and narratives has been effective in my mind and I seem to have the instinct to do that for others, but it just comes off as obnxious and judgemental.  Is there no place for it and if there is what is a better tactic? 

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
9/12/17 3:35 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Seth, there's a place for everything. I believe the difference lies in what we can do in our own practice and how we try to make what works for us just as effective for others - others who may or may not be practicing in the same tradition, using the same techniques, or what have you. There's also an appreciation for where along the path other folks seem to be, not in an actuarial accuracy kind of way but in broad strokes. That also contributes to what folks can or cannot process in the way of information.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/1/17 12:51 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
[quote=
]Update:

It has been ~ 3 weeks. I have been getting these 'cessations' many times a day, they occur very quickly when some time had lapsed between practices, they occur within samatha jhanas as well. The main bliss portion lasts 25 seconds or more and leaves calmness in its wake. There is no excitement (the bliss doesn't feel that great mostly now) and they can occur in any nana. They seem to obscure the nana during the bliss wave but the nana raptures return soon after. They occurred a few times when I have seemingly lost concentration (drifted off), some 'bigger than jhana state-shift thingy' then the 'cessations' bliss but I could not catch the blink at all. It seems perfectly seamless to me. This could be something else or I am dumb haha.

Practice is effortless, or should I say it is practising me. A full cycle (not even sure if I passed EQ or not as formations have no smell nor taste to me) to this 'cessation' can be done in under 10 minutes. The raptures are there all day long, non-stop, doing their thing. I do not even know the sequences of the nanas now, as they seem to be very familiar yet random and when they bore me, saying 'next please' has a good chance of the nanas shifting. None of the nanas push any emotional content and it is really boring to sit through them as they are so repetitive and never stops! Learning to sleep with them was a challenge in the beginning. 

For knowledge's sake, if this isn't a cessation, what could it be? I will keep practicing surely...

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/1/17 6:32 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I'm going to let Chris reply with his diagnosis and hold off on mine, but I'll just say congratulations on having such strong practice! emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/1/17 10:51 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
The raptures are there all day long, non-stop, doing their thing. I do not even know the sequences of the nanas now, as they seem to be very familiar yet random and when they bore me, saying 'next please' has a good chance of the nanas shifting. 

This reminds me very much of what I experienced. I walked around in states of jhana and bliss for days on end, even at work. I was pretty worried at first and called my teacher thinking those feelings would never end. The bliss became almost painful at times, but mostly just buzzy. He said, "You'll get used to it and things will move along soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy it!" 

That's my comment to you, Yilun.

And congratulations!

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/1/17 9:50 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The raptures are there all day long, non-stop, doing their thing. I do not even know the sequences of the nanas now, as they seem to be very familiar yet random and when they bore me, saying 'next please' has a good chance of the nanas shifting. 

This reminds me very much of what I experienced. I walked around in states of jhana and bliss for days on end, even at work. I was pretty worried at first and called my teacher thinking those feelings would never end. The bliss became almost painful at times, but mostly just buzzy. He said, "You'll get used to it and things will move along soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy it!" 

That's my comment to you, Yilun.

And congratulations!
Deepest gratitude to all of you here at dHo (especially Daniel for starting this noble initiative)! You are all my teachers and should expect me to bug with all kinds of questions soon haha.

May all of you be free from harm, happy, at peace and stay strong and beautiful... emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/2/17 5:59 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun thanks for posting! You gave a perfect example of how some questions about initial experiences become very obvious if someone just keeps practicing and observing objectively.

I'm very happy for you, best wishes for your ongoing practice!

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/2/17 10:26 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Yilun thanks for posting! You gave a perfect example of how some questions about initial experiences become very obvious if someone just keeps practicing and observing objectively.

I'm very happy for you, best wishes for your ongoing practice!

Thank you Shargrol! I shall continue to do the same, I think what has helped me is looking at my relationship with the path/maps and coming to know that the striving for attainment, position on map, etc. are much, much less meaningless than the insights and the practice, and to subsequently form an agreeably intimate 'relationship' with the practice itself: in simple words - appreciate the journey and keep sight of the destination in the background. I have also noted your comments elsewhere that 2nd path is about thoughts and mental echo of sensations. I look forward to the insights they will bring...

All the best to you and your loved ones (and everyone reading this)! emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/2/17 11:38 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Happy for you. Not to open cans of worms, but my own SE didn’t follow the script exactly, as in I didn’t notice a blackout, but had rushes of energy followed by bliss waves. Then I had a complete dropout of self for eight days thereafter, and rapid cycling typical of Review. I did notice a classic blip for second path, but on the whole, I have not been one to experience obvious cessations. So: the usual advice is to see how things develop. Thanks for the thread, everyone, especially Yilun Ong.

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/3/17 4:35 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun,

Did you follow the classic Mahasi/MTCB noting practice as your method or do you do some other practice? 

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/4/17 1:20 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
Yilun,

Did you follow the classic Mahasi/MTCB noting practice as your method or do you do some other practice? 


I am practising silent observation > 90% of the time, I note occasionally (or even scan) when it seems that silent awareness is going nowhere. Noting does seem to make a difference sometimes (e.g. to trigger state shifts, increase excitability), but they seem to do nothing vs silence most of the time. I did begin this practice starting off with noting but found it unnatural and that it slightly obscures what is going on so I switched to silence... 

I am sure there is a difference and would like to know more about it too!

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/5/17 7:01 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Michael V:
Yilun,

Could you please write more about how you practice "silent observation"? For example, does it include an anchor like the breath? Any strategies for thoughts besides simply letting them go?  

TIA and congratulation on your practice.

Hi Michael!

Saying this is not most helpful but: These are what I believe and I could just as likely be wrong:

1. A beginner should learn noting and get used to the 'flavour' of Vipassana. If and when they progress and find it unnecessary, they can switch to silent awareness. It is important to learn to classify all sensations including thought into the 3Cs and to make it 2nd nature. Keeping the noting as simple as possible helps to speed up/strengthen both identification with them and progress. It should not matter in the beginning how accurate one classifies a sensation, say thoughts: I am aware of a thought writing something impressive on dHo on/off cushion, recognizing the thought - that alone is an achievement. I can go further to classify it as any of the 3Cs (none will be wrong) and shift back to whatever I was concentrating on or go deeper to analyze that thought say after classifying it under any of the 3Cs. I begin to investigate why the thought seems to bring me pleasure, I try to look for the 'ego' that it seems to please, I break down the thought and investigate suffering (e.g. craving for a certain outcome), I look at how the thought arises and passes away (and if such thoughts come up often, investigate further why such impermanence have such high occurrences), etc. etc.. You see that it can go many directions of investigation, but the key thing when starting out is not about being able to gain insights from these investigations, but to see that these thoughts do not stand up to such tests and they often go away faster than if you may actually want them to so that you can investigate them proper - but the takeaway is that this will clearly show at least that they are impermanent and they are not-self (you have no control). These repeated thought disappearances should bring you naturally back to your anchor (breathing) or ideally some raptures that are happening which clearly shows that you are in access concentration.

2. I use breathing as a starting point and drop them to the background to concentrate on raptures (the 'good' thing about SE is that there is no need to do this anymore as they are always there even when only slightly mindful). In the beginning, I spent time 'playing' around with the breath. Long vs short, full vs subtle, labored vs gentle, etc. and what they do to me. I find it helpful to break down the in/out breath into 4 parts: begin, middle, end, after the end and be as alert as I can be to what each stage does to the body/mind. Again, I do not note each part but maintain an open awareness to my body (focusing on the head area). I find that I can concentrate better when I am hunting silently for raptures, sometimes using the breath as a tool to create them and I believe there is nothing wrong with manipulating the breath to produce raptures. This 'search and destroy' mode should get one quickly into access concentration for reasons such as it being an absorbing task for the mind.

3. Silent awareness is basically automatically silently acknowledging all the arising and passing away as impermanence, all unpleasant sensations as suffering, all things not under your control as 'not-self'. The list of things that you can add to the 3Cs grows larger and larger as you progress. I find that there is no need to repeat 'verbally' like a parrot if their classifications are obvious to me already. I also find that it allows for deeper investigation and concentration that is not 'stopped' by noting.

To summarize, I believe the hunt for raptures should be the priority in the beginning, one should get used to classifying the 3Cs using noting, noting can be helpful to pull the mind back to task and silent awareness is not for everyone (but no harm trying it out). Also, all day long mindfulness is as important as formal practice. Being ready to notice them e.g. whilst reading this post (full awareness of one's body), whenever possible, will accelerate progress. Learning to power a portion of one's concentration abilities, dedicated to such awareness can only bring growing benefits.

(full awareness of one's body) - the 6 senses. However this does not mean one goes chasing after a sound for e.g. and trying to figure out the qualities and stories behind it. Being sufficiently 'aware' and still should bring one's awareness to sensations of 'heartbeats', movement of liquids/gases in the body, and focusing on such subtle sensations will automatically require increased concentration and thus hone the abilities.

I am not sure if I answered your questions haha. So feel free to ask! emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/5/17 5:31 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Michael V:
Yilun,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply and useful advice. I am entirely new to the idea of using the 3Cs for noting classifications. I tried a bit of that off-cushion after reading your post a few hours ago, but I immediately began overanalyzing! I would think, "this thought assumes the existence of a separate self...but also fails to acknowledge impermanance...and it causes mild aggravation/suffering....I'm calling it a trifecta! Wait, the sound of that truck abruptly honking and my physical response to it is also a trifecta!" I've only recently begun dabbling with noting, so I'll have to be patient with myself. 

Thanks again! 
https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_The_Key_to_Liberation.htm

"Whenever you experience a mind-object, contemplate it. Throw it into one of the three 'pits' of aniccam, dukkham, anatta in your meditation and reflect on it. Generally, when we experience a mind-object it stimulates thinking. The thinking is in reaction to the experience of the mind-object. The nature of ordinary thinking and panna is very different. The nature of ordinary thinking is to carry on without stopping. The mind-objects you experience lead you off in different directions and your thoughts just follow along. The nature of panna is to stop the proliferation, to still the mind, so that it doesn't go anywhere. You are simply the knower and receiver of things. As you experience different mind-objects, which in turn give rise to different moods, you maintain awareness of the process and ultimately, you can see that all the thinking and proliferating, worrying and judging, is entirely devoid of any real substance or self. It is all aniccam, dukkham and anatta. The way to practise is to cut off all the proliferation right at its base and see that it all comes under the headings of the three characteristics. As a result it will weaken and lose its power. Next time when you are sitting in meditation and it comes up, or whenever you experience agitation like that you contemplate it, you keep observing and checking the mind."

This is not Mahasi style, you should try them out for 'size'. emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/5/17 5:50 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I am not sure if I answered your questions haha. So feel free to ask! emoticon


Did you make the switch to silent observation prior to, or after SE?

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/5/17 11:12 PM as a reply to Lars.
Lars:
Yilun Ong:
I am not sure if I answered your questions haha. So feel free to ask! emoticon


Did you make the switch to silent observation prior to, or after SE?

I switched to silent observation, somewhere in the Dark Night, before SE. I think one should keep as many tools as possible at one's disposal, there can only be benefits to one's practice if one can pull up the appropriate tools to use at the right time. I have not personally encountered difficulties with floundering when trying different approaches, however it is a genuine concern. Therefore, I am not qualified to advice on that other than that, if one maintains the outlook on practice as an enjoyable, learning process, staying objective in finding out the truths for oneself, keenly learning from Mother Failure's great lessons, it will be hard to falter...

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/5/17 11:21 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Michael V:
Yilun,

but I immediately began overanalyzing! 


I believe what you are doing is reviewing or using the intellect for insights - that is more of morality than insight training. Try to simply note and allocate them accordingly and return to being mindful. Investigate sensations only when they are present in the Now, if they are gone, you should move on as well. Staying present with the sensations that are happening now, is important.

Happy End of Vassa (Rains Retreat), everybody! emoticon

RE: Suspected Stream Entry Following EQ
Answer
10/6/17 12:43 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I switched to silent observation, somewhere in the Dark Night, before SE.


Interesting, I recently found my way out of DN and am somewhere EQ'ish. I often do the silent observation lately, and do the usual noting when something is particularly distracting. Either that or "breaking it up", like you said having a few methods often helps.

Yilun Ong:
if one maintains the outlook on practice as an enjoyable, learning process, staying objective in finding out the truths for oneself, keenly learning from Mother Failure's great lessons, it will be hard to falter...


Sounds about right, thanks for the info. emoticon