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Arising and Passing (A&P)

"The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear

“The Standard Pattern”
What I call “The Standard Pattern” is that people cross the A&P under whatever circumstances, hit the Dark Night, get swamped by it, finally barely touch some weak version of Equanimity, fall back, feel somewhat normal but are living again with the after-effects of the A&P and the Dark Night, being now past the point of no return. They will then tend to cross it again with some degree of frequency from months to decades, re-enter a more full-on Dark Night, and cycle this way until they may finally get stream entry or just die before that part of the process completes itself.

I have only just found out that crossing the A&P is not a one time thing. This is very relieving to know because I could not chart which stage of the meditation process I was in.

So, recently, I have been having A&P experiences (pleasure, shaking, dragon breathe, extreme spinal movements) which would perhaps result in a peak culmination, followed by some calm and then a transition into feeling paranoia/fear/scary images. I have been typically stopping the meditation here because I did not think this was all that important (silly me having only come across MCTB recently and having realised that I was falling for a corruption of insight).

Anyhow - with this description and from the originally quoted paragraph - may I please verify that this process is therefore normal?That is, the transitioning from "crossing the A&P" to Dark Night frequently 

Many thanks,

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/4/18 11:52 PM as a reply to Yaz Asad.
Something similar occurred in my practise since I started meditating again a year or so ago. A&P about 15 years ago followed by a looooong dark night, then when I started practising again recently I hit A&P again pretty quickly. Then another two "mind blowing" A&P's since then, a few months apart.

You're not the only one. Not sure if it's "normal", but it happens to some of us (and it's still very educational as long as you pay attention and just accept whatever presents itself).   emoticon

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/5/18 2:31 AM as a reply to Yaz Asad.
If you cruise through the DhO long enough, you will likely find hundreds of reports of people noticing the standard pattern mentioned above.

Practice well!


RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/5/18 11:49 AM as a reply to Yaz Asad.
This makes me think can one ever go back to the 3 early vipassana stages after A&P or during cycling after first path?

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/5/18 1:47 PM as a reply to Bhumi.
It's worth noting that people can and go up through all the nanas in the course of a sit, even if each stage is very brief.  So if everything is proceeding in a textbook manner with good enough concentration, you might recognize some of the symptoms that Daniel describes in MCTB happen in sequence.  If you've got breaks in your concentration, you may instead noticing yourself rise up through the early stages from scratch several times.  I usually notice an urge to turn my head to one side every time I start getting concentrated, which I'm pretty sure corresponds to the Three Characteristics stages.  

The relation of the short-term within-sit stages to which stage of our current path gets into the really complex stuff with fractal nanas, where there are both longer- and shorter-duration cycles to the stages.  I'm working on second path, and I mostly have to guess which stage I'm working on.

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/5/18 3:47 PM as a reply to JP.
JP Lewicke:
It's worth noting that people can and go up through all the nanas in the course of a sit, even if each stage is very brief. 

I'm actually surprised this isn't mentioned more often, as it is incredibly useful to be aware of this. During some sits months ago I got up to reobservation but didn't recognize what it was, so I got frustrated with the itchy fearful miserable chaos of it all and quit the sits. I thought I was doing something wrong, or my concentration was crap. Now when I get there it's actually a good sign, not a bad thing. Just sink into it and accept it and you get to EQ. Becoming more acquainted with the nanas during sits also makes it easier to recognize off cushion as well. Win/win.

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/6/18 5:37 AM as a reply to JP.
What you are saying is compelling to me I am working on 2nd path too, it is interesting to hear some people say that after first path or A&P 'all of your sits will begin in A&P', as I when my concentration is good and stable I can observe features of the first vipassana jhana as part of more or less the 'whole' even though what I am experiecing is A&P or above ñanas. I can somehow see what they meant by that but I do not understand why they said that as almost an absolute though. Can anyone clarify that for me?

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/6/18 6:19 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
@Daniel, I better understand now, well, hopefully anway. The "uniqueness" of this state is a sore spot for me emoticon Thanks, and thanks for the great book also!

@JP Thanks for the clarification. This cycling was briefly mentioned in The Mind Illuminated but i always tend to have doubts about this when i reach this state. So, it is great to receive a hard (and much needed) confirmation.

@Lumi Also am pretty shocked this is not mentioned more often...I guess the 2nd part of MCTB truly highlights the heretofore travesty of western meditation

@Bhumi I did not know about all sittings beginning in A&P but, again, all this is great for clarification. Whenever I am in doubt now I can just turn to this discussion!

RE: "The Standard Pattern" - from A&P to Fear
1/11/18 4:01 AM as a reply to Bhumi.
howdy Bhumi,
my take on this is that these early (pre A&P) stages become SOOO accesible that we tend to fly over them so quickly as to not notice them.  they are strata of mind which no longer stand out as "remarkable".

i took a pretty long break from disciplined sitting practice and recently rebooted my practice.  i notice the early stages but usually when i first start 'intending' to sit...its almost like an inclination of mind calls them up.