A&P vs Equanimity

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Daniel M Ingram, modified 4 Years ago at 12/12/17 10:49 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/12/17 10:49 PM

A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I have had three exchanges with serious practitioners this week where each one described what sounded like classic A&P (intense, loud, buzzy, ultra-amazing, rapturous, very pleasant, hyper-sexual, mind-blowing, energetic, kundalini-esque, powers-heavy) and call it Equanimity or High Equanimity.

While perhaps just a series of coincidences, I wondered if somehow, somewhere, by someone there was some map theory getting out there that described High Equanimity in this way?

WTF?

Perhaps I need to seriously go back over my own stuff and see if by some strange oversight I might be giving this impression that I would ever describe High Equanimity with any of those terms ever.

Just in case I haven't been clear, High Equanimity is not something people go around noticing, commenting on much, thinking is that strange. It is not something dramatic, energetic, kundalini-esque, powers-heavy, hyper-sexual, pleasant, rapturous, buzzy, loud, intense, or any of that stuff. It is so boring, so ordinary-seeming, so non-self conscious that the vast majority of people barely notice it at all.

Anyway, just putting that out there to counter a recent trend and/or series of unfortunate coincidences.

Happy Holidays!

Daniel
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Chris M, modified 4 Years ago at 12/13/17 7:11 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/13/17 7:11 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 4479 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Good idea to put this out there, but...

Why would you assume responsibilty for this inaccuracy? If you read the commentary here you'll find hundreds and hundreds of inaccurate descriptions of states and stages, some inadvertent, some from misunderstandings, some from misdiagnoses by others, some from ignorance, some possibly from malice. It's one of the double edged swords of online discourse on any complicated topic.

Just curious...
shargrol, modified 4 Years ago at 12/13/17 10:23 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/13/17 9:33 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 1790 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Reply to Daniel...I have a hunch, is this a possibility...?

I think one of the things that I've personally said that has confused people is that in Equanimity it is possible to meditate on (briefly, dipping in and out) of the mindstream. Going in and out of the flow of pre-verbal thoughts. It has the odd nature of not clearly being in a particular sense door, it's an interesting stream of barely tangible body sensations, image space, and sound space. There can be snapshots of formations, when self-other-witness appears as a single field that seem to pop out of this experience of mindstream. 

This mindstream experience is very strange --- but I think it is pretty clearly different that A&P. A&P is more sensuous experience of discrete mind objects. (adding on: and the mind momements are more narrowly focused and have more discrete gaps as they appear in staccato succession, so different than mindstream and formations)

Happy to get your thoughts Daniel.
Yilun Ong, modified 4 Years ago at 12/13/17 11:21 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/13/17 11:18 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I think I am part of the confusion or causing it... Feel free to state truths, there's no need to worry about my feelings emoticon

I do have 2 types of "EQ":

1. The calm boring stuff that I cannot remember after a seeming cessation/fruition. Usually very slow neutral/pleasing flux + trouble remembering after. Can be accompanied by:
i. no thoughts
ii. thoughts that cannot be remembered after
iii. humming a tune (once)
iv. clear image/s (rare)
v. what appears to be 3 doors (a rare handful)

2. The same calm/boring background with usually a single source of fast vibrations, recently it can be overwhelming vibrations in various intensity/Hz/locations. 'Cessations/Fruitions' can overlap what seems to me to be a Kundalini-layer. This Kundalini layer also overlaps the mind automatically doing jhana arcs. I concluded that these are 2 separate layers due to these findings.

Now the possibility that what I experienced aren't EQ/cessation/fruition/jhana is there. So knowing what they are would be good information for all.

Apologies to everyone that I could have caused confusion to! Much metta to everyone... emoticon
Yilun Ong, modified 4 Years ago at 12/15/17 5:04 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/15/17 5:04 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Not 2 paths, but K stuff is not Insight stuff. They can be treated the exact same way. I have them on separate layers doing separate stuff. e.g. I can have jhana switch/cessation in the midst of violent vibrations. The Buddha's teaching are more than sufficient to deal with K - equanimity, acceptance + work on Training in Morality. Many websites states that K is a process of dissolving the ego - I know nothing about this.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 4 Years ago at 12/21/17 3:16 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/21/17 3:16 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
While there are these complicating fractal effects, often notice more in second path and beyond, such as what I would call A&P.Equanimity and Equanimity.A&P (or really what I would write or think of in my own inner shorthand as ñ4.ñ11 and ñ11.ñ4), in which one can notice some Equanimity-like subphase in the A&P and vice versa, in general, this is really straightforward.

It is very common for people to mistake the A&P for all sorts of things (Equanimity, Stream Entry, much higher), as it is so totally impressive and amazing at times, but real High Equanimity (ñ11.ñ11 aka ñ11.j4) looks nothing like it, as mentioned above.

As I get about 50 emails and or have 50 conversations from and with practitioners who totally overcall what the A&P is to every one that is getting to real Equanimity but not appreciating what it is and thus missing out on utilizing it to its full potential, it is worth trying to reverse this trend, as the tide is so heavily in favor of making the A&P into more than it is, which is understandable but also very unfortunate.
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Ben V, modified 4 Years ago at 12/21/17 6:43 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/21/17 6:43 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 394 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Could you (or anyone on this board) describe an example of A&P.Equanimity vs. Equanimity.A&P?

I have a lot of diffuculies for myself to identify certain experiences as whether A&P or equanimity.

Sometimes (mostly in informal meditations like sitting on the couch and spontaneously focusing inward) I would feel a continuous flow of subtle vibrations in the face and upper torso, while feeling very calm (A&P.Equanimity?)

Other times (only in formal sittings) I would get to a place of a lot of stillness coupled with the ability to observe subtle mind movements (including acts of observation). And within this state would sometimes arise a sudden "shaking" or strobing" in the middle of the head, that would strobe in and out about three times and stop, then back to normal meditation state (Equanimity?)

Thank you,

Benoit
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 4 Years ago at 12/23/17 5:05 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/23/17 5:05 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Mapping requires a lot of things to do well, and the information you provide is pretty scant.

Mapping by forum is a tricky business. Typically, to try to identify a state, it must be well-described by one who is using terms the same way the mapper is, and not only must the state be described, but it benefits greatly from context, particularly what came before the state, what came after that state, what the set-up was in terms of setting and technique and dose, as well as the characteristics of the practitioner (pre-path, path, which path, etc.), as well as a complete list of relevant information, including the physical, emotional, perceptual, energetic, sensate, etc. aspect of the state and those that came before and after it.
Ernest Michael Olmos, modified 4 Years ago at 12/23/17 7:27 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/23/17 7:27 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 219 Join Date: 5/30/14 Recent Posts
I used to confuse AP phenomena with....other states.

I did a 10 day home retreat this year, where for the first time I was able to cycle the nanas in a single sit with incredible precision and identification. While I coun't get a fruition, it was very, very instructive. The same with the jhanas (the first four).

I'm going to speculate a lot, but here it goes:

My guess is that when we cycle in daily life, there is a stage (usually AP) that is very useful for resolving daily life problems, and keeping things going, so, the mind gets stuck in it, or cycles back and forth but we only notice when we get in AP (and we stay in it a long time).

As we make progress in daily life affairs, there is a release (problems solved), so we tend to confuse that with progress in the path.

The problem is not in the description of the stages, but MCTB and the DHO put such value in "progress in the path", attainments, resolutions, etc, that being stuck in a lower stage or cycling back and forth is seen as a really bad thing.
More value should be put in staying, noticing, identifying.

Sometimes we are not making any progress, or we are not in a kick ass stage near a fruition, and we should be OK with it.

Identificacion with wow experiences, wow attainments and wow stages are to be expected in a goal oriented practice.

Happy holidays to everyone!!!!
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Ben V, modified 4 Years ago at 12/23/17 3:59 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/23/17 3:59 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 394 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Thanks Daniel and Ernest. I'm still pre-SE, using Mahasi noting. In any case, maybe I'm getting a bit too obsessed with mapping!

Happy holidays!
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 4 Years ago at 12/26/17 2:39 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/26/17 2:39 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
You and most of us. It is a clear occupational hazard in this business.

Note “mapping” and “analyzing” or whatever is going on aggressively when these arise and try to figure out with visceral investigation what they are at a sensate level and what and where the drive to map and analyze is in the body: very useful practice that is vastly more likely to lead to progress than mapping is.

Happy Holidays!
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Ben V, modified 4 Years ago at 12/26/17 8:30 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/26/17 8:30 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 394 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Thanks Daniel! Just reading this makes me want to hit the cushion now...
kylie, modified 4 Years ago at 12/31/17 12:14 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/31/17 12:13 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 9 Join Date: 12/30/17 Recent Posts
Hey, good chance you're talking about me? Maybe not, I'm not a serious practitioner. And now I'm here so I'll try and explain my reasoning. 

I thought it was equanimity because it comes after what I figured was the a&p and dark night. When we emailed and I described them to you, you said they were indeed a&p and dark night(and I had asked if they were earlier stages since you said the stage I described to you in my first email was the a&p). Since then I've just taken to calling it a&p version 2.0. At the time my sits were all going exactly like:
a&p version 1(this one's the wild and crazy meditation sex party where I shake and buzz and all that jazz. It's great but kind of agitating and I'd be displeased if I were stuck here for an entire hour or more)
dissolution/fear 
misery/disgust
three characteristics 
a&p version 2 (This one is calmer and sweeter. It's still buzzy but they(the buzzes) break up into groups that ripple down my body and then eventually form one big group, if that makes sense. Together and not together. This is also the domain of "film reel vision"  and the head pressure that eventually pops. This one is the best and I usually lose track of time). 

Sorry if I wasn't clear that they are two different stages, even if perhaps they are just the same stage presented differently. I still find it so confusing that I might have been having the same stage once and then having it again in a different way later. But irrelevant now because I've been stuck in three characteristics(a different version than the one from before and it doesn't even come after the dark night stuff anymore) and a&p version 1.0 for two weeks now. 

Anyway, maybe that makes better sense?
shargrol, modified 4 Years ago at 12/31/17 7:07 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/31/17 7:05 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 1790 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
kylie:
I still find it so confusing that I might have been having the same stage once and then having it again in a different way later. 

This is probably the biggest problem of using the maps that derived from averaging out what occurs during monastic retreat conditions. People think that practice should be orderly and linear. 

It's not, it's a big mess. Even if you are doing it right, it's a big mess.

The mind will naturally know where to go and will stop where it needs to stop and will go back to what needs to be reinvestigated. For some people, the stages are very clear and the transitions up and down will be obvious, but for many people it's very confusing, but that's not a problem. No one gets bonus points for knowing what stage they are in. emoticon

The important things remain the same, seeing the three poisions and three characteristics.

The poisons are found by investigating the present experience and noticing: what we cling to, what we avoid, and what we ignore (greed, aversion, ignorance). This is at a visceral level. Not intellectual. Feeling the clinging, avoiding, and ignoring urges in this moment.

If we get stuck -- obsessing over a particular thought or feeling or urge -- we can notice that greed, aversion, and ignorance has three characteristics: suffering, imperminance, and not-self. In this way we can see clearly how we create our own micro-problems, moment by moment. There is nothing that really needs to be "done". The point is to see these things in our own experience.

Sitting practice is a big mess. You will go up and down the stages, back and forth, like the pencil of someone sketching all over the page, gradually bringing in more detail in different places, then go back to other areas and bringing in more detail there. As long as there is an unfinished section, the pencil returns. In the same way, as long as there is some aspect of a stage to see, the mind will return. 

There seems to be a tipping point for Stream Entry. The stages aren't fully understood during first path. So another image is that all the stages are like magnets that hold you back from Stream Entry. Your investigation/curiousity will need to demagnitize each stage just enough of the lower stages to reach SE. As you climb higher, there are more lower magnets working on you, so you need to go back to the earlier stages and demagnitize them even more to get higher. 

The only time to look at a map is when you are completely lost... but ironically in mediation, they way you get back on track is to just investigate the sense of there being a problem itself. This true in the beginning of practice and during very advanced practice. It's all about investigating what seems to be a problem and noticing its constructed/fabricated nature. 

The maps are useful, but not exactly truth. The mind is much smarter than you and will go to where it needs to be. Your job is to investigate what you are shown in experience. You can trust it.

Hope this helps in some way! 
kylie, modified 4 Years ago at 12/31/17 9:55 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/31/17 9:55 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 9 Join Date: 12/30/17 Recent Posts
Yeah, that is helpful. Your pencil sketch analogy is great. I was quite worried about the maps when I first started. I haven't been worried since then, but I have been confused and that really helps clear a lot of things up. I've been avoiding meditating for over a week now(not because of any confusion) and your post was just really comforting and I think I'm feeling more ready to get back to it. Thank you 
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Not two, not one, modified 4 Years ago at 1/1/18 2:14 PM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/1/18 2:14 PM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 985 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
kylie:

a&p version 1(this one's the wild and crazy meditation sex party where I shake and buzz and all that jazz. It's great but kind of agitating and I'd be displeased if I were stuck here for an entire hour or more)
...

a&p version 2 (This one is calmer and sweeter. It's still buzzy but they(the buzzes) break up into groups that ripple down my body and then eventually form one big group, if that makes sense. Together and not together. This is also the domain of "film reel vision"  and the head pressure that eventually pops. This one is the best and I usually lose track of time). 

Is this partly a matter of rapture versus bliss?  I think of equanimity as mental non-responsiveness and acceptance of events.

Also, there seem to be multiple intersecting dimensions here:

- insight moments (sensate/identity/non-duality)
- purification (karma/sankharas/mental habits) including the eightfold path and the mental shock from killing delusion
- natural cycling of emotions and insight
- experience of piti
- experience of jhanas
- equanimity towards events
- tranquility of mind (non arising of mental events)
- bliss separate from the jhanas
- ongoing non-self and non-dual perception

Maybe we run into trouble when we concentrate too much on some dimensions rather than others? Better to not hold the strings too tight.  

Or I could be completely wrong. emoticon
kylie, modified 4 Years ago at 1/2/18 11:44 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/2/18 11:44 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 9 Join Date: 12/30/17 Recent Posts
Yeah, it is partly that. Blissful is a great word to describe v2! I agree with your definition of equanimity, but also feel that was kind of just the general overlay of my practice at the time. When I started meditating I was in some kind of pulled back state where I was just watching and didn't feel involved, just aware. And that carried over in to my meditation. I didn't even do noting, only sat back and watched. So there was a quality of equanimity to v2 but not any more than there was to any other ñana. I shifted out of that state about 3 weeks ago so maybe if I experience v2 again I will not experience it in any kind of equanimous way and see that it lacks that as an intrinsic quality.

I think your point is a good one. But I think maybe also different dimensions take the focus when they need to. I know my meditation changes it's "theme" all the time to emphasize something in particular. Not really sure we're talking about the same thing though. I don't think I have any strings. 
Ernest Michael Olmos, modified 4 Years ago at 1/3/18 8:52 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 1/3/18 8:52 AM

RE: A&P vs Equanimity

Posts: 219 Join Date: 5/30/14 Recent Posts
Another thing to add to this is that, at least for me, it was near impossible to dissect nanas with precision before my first retreat.

The patterns of nanas are felt very, very clear in a retreat.

And every retreat I do, I can do it better (even after retreat).

I've had a period where I adjusted everything in daily life to meditation, and even then, the progress in some areas didn't come close to what happened on a retreat.

I hate to say this, but for some things to happen, retreats seem to be a necessity.

I've never been able to identify some nanas off-retreat (so far), at least not with a high degree of certainty.
The same with jhanas.

This is my experience, I have a pretty busy daily life, for some people it may not be so true.