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Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/8/10 9:25 PM
I didn't really know there was these things "High" and "Low" equanimity except that I had seen them once in some little cheat sheet spreadsheet on interactivebuddha.com

But, I was reading some other post and thinking about it, and a couple months ago when I was at Abhayagiri monastery meditating, and practicing with my koan I got from Tarin to "Go on to stream entry quickly" and even though I had no idea how to do it, I was just intent on doing it anyway... and I woke up from a lucid state in the middle of the night one night and experienced a very distinct perceptual shift, which was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. I didn't really have words to describe it, and it was associated also with lots of bliss and light. But, the perceptual shift was more interesting than the bliss and rapture and stuff, it was a sorta non-attachment to space-time in a way that made things seem much more maleable and not-self more than ever before. Like there was no sense of being embedded in the arising and passing phenomena of my experience. I still don't think I really have words to describe it, but looking back, I think this could've been my first time shifting from "Low" equanimity to "high" equanimity. This lasted for a couple of minutes on that occasion, and it's sorta come back a couple of times since then and lasted usually for only a couple moments or a minute or two, and then dropping back down to "low" equanimity. I didn't really think about this much until just yesterday, as I found it so difficult to describe what the actual perceptual shift was.

If this is true, then I'm feeling more hopeful... which sucks because I know later I will be feeling more hopeless. My swings between hope and despair are quite wild, and it's really something to behold. I'm not sure what to make of the whole hope/despair thing, but that's going on too in quite a lively way.

Also worth noting (for me) is that I think it's clear now that both when I first popped into "low" equanimity back in last september it came with a tremendous amount of effort, struggle, pain, anguish, and energy. And, then this pop to "high" also came with a tremendous amount of effort and energy. I'm not sure what that effort is, where it comes from, how to create it, etc... it seems very mysterious, and rather like the good grace of some unknown force rather than something "I did". Like, whenever "I" put in effort, it usually sucks. But, then sometimes things just take me over in a way that effort is just there, and it's strong, and it's ruthless and it goes and gets the job done. Curious.

Sometimes I feel like I'm parallel parking a very large box truck and going in reverse through my whole meditation path... like I'm backing myself into higher insights like I'd back into a parking space. Don't know if anyone can relate to that experience?

We'll see what else comes up.

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/8/10 10:23 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
yup. it doesn't always happen in the same way, with that same noticeable flavour, and you may not notice the shift at all at times.

keep going.. you're clearly doing something right.

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/9/10 9:24 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
nice!

yeah, that perception shift is quite something! there were times where it lasted for a couple of hours, there were times it lasted just for a minute. Those were great times & indeed high equanimity!

I can relate with the reverse parking a truck thing..

I'm not sure what that effort is, where it comes from, how to create it, etc... it seems very mysterious, and rather like the good grace of some unknown force rather than something "I did". Like, whenever "I" put in effort, it usually sucks. But, then sometimes things just take me over in a way that effort is just there, and it's strong, and it's ruthless and it goes and gets the job done. Curious.


I think i can relate. Along with my insight cycles, I cant help but notice as well my energy cycles & digestive cycles. There are highs and lows as well and its not really something I can control. 'grateful when strong, graceful when weak', or 'make the most out of the highs, and try not to screw up that bad during the lows' are my mottos. It goes as well for me with the hope and hopelessness extremes. Since energy yoyo's a lot, tendency of mine's to try to be consistent, which is impossible..

-

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/10/10 12:43 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Well, that sounds like good news.

What got me, actually, was reading a description of Nikolai about 4th path and mentioning that what enlightenment really is... is just a perceptual shift. And, that enabled me to reflect on that Abhayagiri experience and disect out the perceptual shift from the bliss, light, and other stuff which really didn't seem as significant.

I'm feeling more and more ready to get this done. I'm doing a two day retreat starting tomorrow, and I wrote on my little buddha alter on four 3X5 notecards:

Get to Equanimity
Get Concentration High
Investigate Everything Moment to Moment
Get It Done

(and on the back of the notecards - if I choose to flip them over - I put a few notes, things like the seven factors of enlightenment, the five hindrances, the eight causes of concentration (from the Vimuttimagga), the Three Characteristics, and "Relax.")

We'll see what sort of results this may produce. I'll keep you posted.

- Daniel

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/10/10 7:45 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Good plan,

D

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/11/10 12:01 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:
Well, that sounds like good news.

I'm feeling more and more ready to get this done. I'm doing a two day retreat starting tomorrow, and I wrote on my little buddha alter on four 3X5 notecards:

Get to Equanimity
Get Concentration High
Investigate Everything Moment to Moment
Get It Done

- Daniel


This is a pretty good idea!

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/11/10 8:59 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Go for it Daniel emoticon In my experience, feeling ready to get it done is a good indication that something will happen.

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/13/10 5:15 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Well,
I mostly stuck to the plan as best as I was able to. I had a number of breakthroughs into this so called "High Equanimity" territory. Last night, in bed, it was like the structure of time-space was breaking up into like primordial soup of mind fragments in a way that revealed that space wasn't quite what I thought it was. I didn't even know there was a thing called "space" which was occuring as solid in the background of everything. It was just something that was never really apparent until it started to break up. And, it was like if the A&P is the dissolution of the object of awareness, and the Dark Night is the dissolution of the background, then Equanimity, I guess is the dissolution of the entirety including the space time coordinates which sorta create the "ground" (neither foreground nor background). Also, at one point while keeping strict attention on the sense of self and seeing it arise and pass moment to moment, there was an experience where the "observer" dropped away in a sort of synchronization which simultaneously gave experience a very 3D quality in which awareness was simply pervading out in every direction.

So, that was the work I did at the frontier of my insight progress. But, those were still only momentary or lasting minutes at most, and most of the work was done at less-than-frontier spaces, even a dip into the dark night that lasted about 6 hours yesterday.

I really liked the phrase "set 'em up and knock 'em down" in the Hurricane Ranch dharma discussion (which is also where I got it in my head to "get it done") But, i still find this frustratingly harder to do in practice than in theory. Mostly, I find myself challenged with the "set 'em up" part. It seems a lot of energy is squandered when I don't really know where to go or what to do. Also, a lot of energy is squandered in resistance to moving forward in different forms or the other. I find I spend a lot of time wanting or trying to investigate something, but unable to, and then I try to investigate this state, but am unable to. I've spent a lot of time noting "can't do it, can't do it, can't do it, non-investigating, not-looking, not-looking, not doing it, not doing it, not meditating, not meditating" and that works for a while, but eventually it just catches up with me, it seems.

I don't know how this stuff is for others, but I find that meditation has been incredibly difficult and all-consuming for about as long as I've really been committed to it (the last two years).

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/13/10 8:06 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:

I really liked the phrase "set 'em up and knock 'em down" in the Hurricane Ranch dharma discussion (which is also where I got it in my head to "get it done") But, i still find this frustratingly harder to do in practice than in theory. Mostly, I find myself challenged with the "set 'em up" part. It seems a lot of energy is squandered when I don't really know where to go or what to do. Also, a lot of energy is squandered in resistance to moving forward in different forms or the other. I find I spend a lot of time wanting or trying to investigate something, but unable to, and then I try to investigate this state, but am unable to. I've spent a lot of time noting "can't do it, can't do it, can't do it, non-investigating, not-looking, not-looking, not doing it, not doing it, not meditating, not meditating" (...)


have you tried noting the not knowing where to go or what to do?

('lost, lost')

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/15/10 9:09 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
have you tried noting the not knowing where to go or what to do?

('lost, lost')


Yes. I can't say it's fully been objectified and seen through, though.

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/15/10 9:51 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
forget about trying to objectify it, the experience, as it is, is *it*

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/16/10 11:43 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thanks, tarin. I think that could be useful advice.

I really don't see the connection between what you said and what I said, however. It seems that "the experience as it is, is *it" - is objectifying it. Like, they sound kinda like the same thing to me. Like, what you said is that "the experience" is "it" (ie. it's an object, an "it")

Now, the *trying* to objectify it seems to fit, because I've also noticed a lot of "trying, trying.." in general which isn't actually "doing, doing..." and that's the whole point of what I'm saying. I spend a lot of time "trying" to meditate, and not as much time actually meditating, and it seems there is a squandering of energy in this process.

I'm not sure if this makes sense.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/17/10 12:59 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
the trying *is* it

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/17/10 12:49 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
squandering, squandering... ;)

D

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
8/17/10 2:36 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Well, I guess anything more that I add to this thread will simply be "noted, noted..." so, I'll leave it at that for now. "leaving, leaving..."

I'm going into retreat again for another two days starting tonight. I'm dedicating this retreat to the Dolphins of Taiji - as the Dolphin slaughter will soon be starting this September. And, if I can do one small step for the dolphins, it will be to get motha'-effin' stream entry as fast as humanly possible.

I'll be back in a few days.

By the way, if you haven't seen The Cove, it's a fun and sad and educational movie.

http://www.savejapandolphins.org/

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
9/4/10 11:26 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Just reading your thread and the, the Florian helicopter one. And I took out a few moments, maybe two half hours sits or so.
And i had a really strange experience, one that I suspect has been described elsewhere on a thread, but was unique to my experience. I thought I'd discuss it as a precursor to a few questions on the topic of equanimity? that I've been trying to f[put up on the but the site wont let me.

Any way, first I was reading some stuff Tarin and Florian were saying about the 3rd and 4th jhana and how they can help, and I'd sort of forgotten how I saw it, cause of been buzzing off on insight so much lately. The descriptions they were making didn't make alot of sense to my experience, so a sat and tried to have a clear experience of 3rd and 4th jhana. Any way remembered pretty quickly how I see it when I started to do it. Stuff like awareness of sounds around and the vibrational body and spaciousness then moved into equanimity and notice a really smooth vibrational quality that often accompanies 4th jhana and nana got really peaceful and spacious, further away from the bodily features associated with the 3rd jhana. had to push insight away or shift the attention of unpleasant sensations into pleasure to deepen the peace.
I finished that and started doing some more reading for another half an hour before getting back into and other session, something sparked me can't remember what.
So was think I'd focus more on formlessness and insight in jhana, I was thinking about some off that stuff Tarin likes to go on about that i really like to do with noting the space, emptiness and movements of the self, I sort of know what he means but cant put it into words as well or make up lists off the top of my head.
Any way got really deep into equanimity, felt quite formless but not totally- that's it, Tarin was also saying something about the vibrations in equanimity and how they don't pulse out of sync with the mind and that's why they appear smooth. as I'd just had that really smooth vibrational experience that accompanies 4th nana I thought hey I'll take a look at that. So I'm doing insight, getting into the space, formlessness, no space, soft fast smooth vibrations, and really deep peace, as well as keeping an eye out at these smooth vibes.
When, this pressure starts building up in my head, similar to the warm feeling in your head before you faint and a internal perception of the void collapsing and expanding at the same time, i mean there was a spaciousness to the collapsing quality, but the feeling of fainting and the warm flush in my head chest and belly made me feel like I was falling asleep or fainting, and even though I was deeply in relaxed equanimity there was a fear but an energy off fear, so I pulled out of it instinctively, and realised I wasn't sleepy or falling and was sitting up quite straight.
So, I recall reading about people having these moments, sort of pre-collapse moments, before they get the knack for it to allow it to happen.
Sort of thought it might be that, though it's sort of a bit to good to be true, so any way I'll just take it as it comes and maybe try to meditate a bit more.
Thinking to myself even if I contrived the experience from known the maps, then I tricked myself.

So that's my share Neem

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
9/4/10 3:08 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Hi Neem,

yeah, interesting. Could have been one of those "near miss" experiences, or just becoming more aware of the process where the mind starts to get ready to move on to something else, which it wants to hide from you. I spent a long time playing peek-a-boo with my mind there, and I think that was highly useful, trying to be aware all the way through this transition.

Regarding "getting the knack"; I was convinced I just had to do something right, and was reading and re-reading the many excellent threads here at DhO and over at KFDh, looking for that one crucial hint. And that was a very good thing to do, too, and I learned such a lot. But in the end, really, it was not a matter of "getting it just right".

Of course, my effort played a major role, obviously, but that was just "my" half of the deal (including, to no small percentage, giving myself permission to do this). There is that enigmatic "other", that larger perspective, or grace, or however you want to conceptualize it, and before the thing can resolve, both sides have to consent (or however you want to conceptualize it).

How to put this into practice? Well, following Hokai's descriptions on the "getting it done" Hurricane Ranch discussion, I'd push really hard and as far as I could go, into 4th jhana, into equanimity - then I'd drop the state (like really, stop it, cut it off, exit the jhana, or do something jarring such as note gross sensations), renounce it, or think of Hokais image of ranks upon ranks of Buddhas watching my "feeble attempts" graciously - and then I'd just see what happened, what the "other side" would do with it, or "let it ring", as Daniel put it in that recording, as I understood him. It takes equanimity to do that, to let the nice refined state crash and fall apart, to give it away like that, renounce it, stop the conservation and maintenance of it.

Slightly poetically, I'd push against that wall with all I had, noting, jhana, synching up, whatever, then release all that effort and let the wall push back until, one day, balance emerged. Notice that in this image, there is no knack to balancing against the wall, it's kind of self-evident once it happens.

Good luck, and practice well.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
9/30/10 8:11 AM as a reply to Florian.
Hi, I just did a 1 hour and 15 minute sit and then, I wasn't timing but I could have sat for another hour or possible a half. My ass only got sore in the second half of the untimed sit. Got out of low equanimity into and through early and high mastery, alot of that formlessness going on, seemed to but might have come down into the mellower vibe of high equanimity. There was that spaciousness in the body and the mind, a full 360 mind and the clarity, I wasn't exactly in formlessness cause I kept and awareness of the the body as a vibrational presence, which is clearer than that out there Jhana quality of the formlessness of equanimity. But this really clear state would oscillate back out and into high mastery and sometimes low mastery.
I was acutely aware of all the constant struggling and the letting go as I either 'strove to or relaxed to' allow that clarity and beautiful, pervasive, spacious, vibrational simplicity to stay or return. The High equanimity if that's what it is, allows you to see with extreme clarity the movements of the intentions, attachments & aversions -(and the subtle reactions to thoughts and sensation)- so then, I try to let go the interfering and noting mind -(that is striving to see the empitness/no self and impermanence of everything so it can get stream entry)- and allow choiceless awareness to just experience this. But it seems the mind never stops trying to trick you into pushing through/holding on to a state or letting go of some some subtle sense of self with aversion/striving ect. So I'm like what do I do, there was nothing as obvious as the last time and still has been but maybe a hint of something that might be starting to let go but doesn't, obviously cause I'm not in a choiceless awareness/ letting go kind of state, but more over noting every thing- and thought I didn't really get this noting thing and now it seems like I can stop being aware of that within or alternating between the choiceless awareness.
Fuck I think this is a bit self indulgent, an I should probably just go back to the choiceless awareness thing which is working cause I'm becoming very aware of the natural noting part of the vipassana mind and this is the way I can let go and relax into equanimity, without striving to maintain high eq.
Or, cause there is a fair amount of applying the three characteristic in a noting kind of way, stuff like emptiness/no-self or impermanence in response to subtle striving and aversion and un-satisfactoriness for mild discomforts. I could ignore, this and let the state of equanimity do the work, or integrate and dissolve all that arises and passes away into awareness.
Though the later one might take a bit more practice, learning to allow the self that is the noting mind flow through the choiceless awareness.


How to put this into practice? Well, following Hokai's descriptions on the "getting it done" Hurricane Ranch discussion, I'd push really hard and as far as I could go, into 4th jhana, into equanimity - then I'd drop the state (like really, stop it, cut it off, exit the jhana, or do something jarring such as note gross sensations), renounce it, or think of Hokais image of ranks upon ranks of Buddhas watching my "feeble attempts" graciously - and then I'd just see what happened, what the "other side" would do with it, or "let it ring", as Daniel put it in that recording, as I understood him. It takes equanimity to do that, to let the nice refined state crash and fall apart, to give it away like that, renounce it, stop the conservation and maintenance of it.

Slightly poetically, I'd push against that wall with all I had, noting, jhana, synching up, whatever, then release all that effort and let the wall push back until, one day, balance emerged. Notice that in this image, there is no knack to balancing against the wall, it's kind of self-evident once it happens.


So you reckon just stick with former advice. This is the first thing that presented it self to me, when I was thinking lets get on line and start some practice journal for people to comment on.
Mostly I've been thinking, just plod along until my retreat over the Christmas break, and stabilise my centre of gravity in equanimity or mastery, you know really put the dark night out of range, sometime its been working. Been doing between an hour to two hours on average a day mostly I guess, not much of journal keeper or a counter of mantra/hours.
Anyway, rambling; not lost, confused or content in equanimity, wondering whether I should be, mostly would just like to allow it to 'Be', in equanimity cause I think that's where it happens of it's own accord. But worried I'll turn it into a jhana, maybe that's why the noting mind is so active?

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
9/30/10 9:47 AM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Or you could go "screw this, I don't wanna plod along anything, I wanna move on," and meditate until you do. Even if you don't make such a decision now, you really have to make it before the retreat (and you might as well investigate why would you postpone anything).

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/Collection+of+tips+to+get+stream+entry

Although I understand where that hesitation is coming from, you are reluctant to get stream entry and cycle back to dark night. But I found that things became much more simple when I decided "whatever's on the other side, I'm tired of the limbo."

RE: Possible "High Equanimity"?
Answer
10/4/10 5:15 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Thanks for your advice Bruno. I definitely don't want to plod along, and since I clarified my understandings of the map and this system. Have totally orientated myself within the stages before stream entry, ( based on years of practice -whatever that means- I haven't counted every hour etc.) in the last 4 or 5 months, before that was just trying to clearly understand 1st and 2nd Jhana as I orientated myself around the site and MTCTB.

Main concern is, I am studying, and I don't always have good discipline outside of retreat environments getting heaps of hours of meditation done (not good at home retreats). But on the plus side in retreat I'm like a thirst man I just want more, yeah I go a bit crazy from all the intensity too.
I will give it my all on this 3 month journey to India which is most of my summer holidays.
I guess even though there appears to have been the tease or suggestion of a pre-collapsing moment, that's the first time I've every had an experience like that I can clearly remember. The thing I want most for myself in life is enlightenment/stream entry, probably all I've ever really wanted. I am tired of this limbo, so I'm doing all the prep needed to prepared for stream entry on this retreat. I got the ticket I'm going.
Still now I'm doing some hoping, while not trying to get too caught up in hoping for stream entry, even in my practice now, as you can still get fruition on a few hours meditation a day - maybe that's a good case scenario, but it's enough to generate alot of hope and desire.
Yep uping the anti -to three (2-3) hours a day- could be a good challenge though, if that's sort of what you mean, and thanks for the encouragement.