puente's path

Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Hello all, I'm deeply inspired by the aggregate wisdom and experience here.  I'm seeking feedback and reflection along my path to understanding the true nature of reality.  Looking forward to getting to know you all.  

Background
  • Meditating 3 years (1 year seriously), currently 1-2 hours per day
  • Naturally wired for concentration (fell into 'hard' 6th jhana early on)
  • Before starting insight, spent time developing concentration states, mostly working with sound
  • Now: MCTB rapid noting practice on the cushion; open awareness throughout the day
  • No retreats
(Plausible) attainments
  • Consistent access to samatha jhanas #1-6
  • 1st path approx. 1 month ago, presented as follows
    • Narrow, intense focus on vibrations, then letting go
    • Warp speed > bright flashes > unknowing > resolution into utter calm and tranquility
    • Wants/desires dissolved, just being, no past or future, only now
Post-path experience
  • Unwavering belief
  • Change in daily mode of being
    • Now reside primarily in bare awareness
    • Radical reduction in 'hijacking' by thoughts and feelings
    • Clear delineation of thoughts, feelings, sensory perceptions as not self
    • Contentment with unimpeded continuous presence/emptiness
    • Formal resolutions (immediately post-path) powerfully fulfilled
  • Vague recollection of pre-path suffering but unable to conceptualize prior way of being (something missing or blocked)
  • No material consumption of alcohol nor desire for it (previously several drinks per day)
  • Repeat fruitions presenting in several ways
    • Daily life: subtle flashes, unknowing, bliss wave (impermanence door?)
    • On the cushion: high equanimity > audible snap, unknowing, jerk to reality, subtle bliss wave (no-self door?)
What's next
  • Started to hit a chunky mind & body / early A&P but not seeking another dark night currently
  • Backing off the effort a bit and sticking with review cycles / tarin's alternative 2nd path approach / deepening concentration
  • Wholeheartedly seeking to bring continuous instantaneous awareness to daily life (I suppose this is typically 3rd path but it seems very intuitive at present so I'm going to run with it)
  • Longer term: understanding the true nature of reality, approaching all beings with an open and loving heart
Questions for you
  • It's strange to claim stream entry without any retreat experience.  Based on my description, do you believe it?
  • With the background above and the considerable aggregate wisdom here, what guidance would you provide in advance of embarking on 2nd path?
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Ben V., modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 366 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Hello Puente,

Interesting descriptions of your experience. I am still pre-stream-entry so I will not venture into answering your question. But I have a question for you. Can you describe more what you mean by 
  • Narrow, intense focus on vibrations, then letting go ?
Thanks.
Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Ben V.:
Hello Puente,

Interesting descriptions of your experience. I am still pre-stream-entry so I will not venture into answering your question. But I have a question for you. Can you describe more what you mean by 
  • Narrow, intense focus on vibrations, then letting go ?
Thanks.

It takes me some level of effort to perceive vibrations clearly and rapidly enough to reach high equanimity.  Embarking on a broader focus beyond just one single source of vibrations tends to send me into the samatha states.  At some point, however, the effort itself seems to become a hindrance to the whole process of understanding, at which point I experimented with letting go.
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Dream Walker, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 1335 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Puente:
Questions for you

1) It's strange to claim stream entry without any retreat experience.  Based on my description, do you believe it?

2)With the background above and the considerable aggregate wisdom here, what guidance would you provide in advance of embarking on 2nd path?

1) No, i dont believe or disbelieve it. If you're happy with it, and it is a permanent shift, who cares?

2) Notice the mental aspects of reality including the mental echo of the 5 senses, investigate this, perhaps label the sensations as needed to stay on task. Notice that sensations are not you, not permenent, ad not satisfying.

Good luck
~D
Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Dream Walker:
1) No, i dont believe or disbelieve it. If you're happy with it, and it is a permanent shift, who cares?

2) Notice the mental aspects of reality including the mental echo of the 5 senses, investigate this, perhaps label the sensations as needed to stay on task. Notice that sensations are not you, not permenent, ad not satisfying.

Good luck
~D

Thank you for this guidance -- an appreciated reminder not to get too caught up in attainments and a good suggestion of what to investigate.


Coincidentally, in this morning's meditation, I could clearly differentiate and switch back and forth between (1) the mental echo of perceptions (with the echo itself perceived as a sensation) and (2) the direct experience of sensations without intermediation.

Recently in my practice, I hit a relatively difficult patch but subsequently experienced several new insights (?):

- Clear perception of self as a sensation that is tightly intertwined with thoughts (and a sensation that is no longer present when meeting sensations at their sources)
- Strong feelings of centerlessness and boundarylessness (as if an ethereal body mixed with air)
- Perceptions as equally made up of their opposites (i.e., the sense of being the ground is as strong or stronger than being the foot on the ground)
Yilun Ong, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Puente:
- Clear perception of self as a sensation that is tightly intertwined with thoughts (and a sensation that is no longer present when meeting sensations at their sources)

Perhaps being alert and capturing the process of what seems to be the moving sensations that make up the sense of self can be beneficial... 
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alguidar, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 106 Join Date: 6/4/17 Recent Posts
Hi, loved to read your Post-path experience. Nice detailed info!! 


Before SE did you feel the "you"/"sense of self" as a CONTRACTION in the body?


If so, did the contraction disapeared? Changed? Post path.
Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Had a few weeks of very strong and consistent energy flows in daily life, seemingly strong enough to be an A&P.  Since then I've been bouncing around in 1st path review and 2nd path dark night, I guess?

Awoke last night from a very vivid dream to an EXCRUTIATINGLY loud noise that was completely unrelated to the dream (like a dial-up modem ripping reality apart).  Once awake, I had bliss waves, multiple cycles of 2-4 very bright flashes in short succession and some substantial fear (as in, what the heck is going on)?  Don't know what that was, so I'll just keep on going...

______________________________

Yilun, thank you for the suggestion.  I hadn't planned to push ahead on the insight so immediately, but given the dark night vibes it seems time to really turn on the alertness and get to the bottom of the illusions that remain.  Will report back what I find!

alguidar, I can understand the language of 'self as a contraction,' and it seems to fit.  Not sure I would describe it this way myself, but then again, I don't necessarily have better words.
Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Practice seems to be blending thoroughly into daily life.  Received some very bad news and had very little emotional response.

Much more of a sense of seeing the world AS luminous vibrations (inclusive of the background and across all sense doors) vs. vibrations IN the world through 1 sense door.  

Recognition of how hard brain is working to fabricate space, time, and the 'construct' or 'frame' for these.

Cessations come in strings (4-5 per session, sometimes rapidly), almost to the point of boredom.  

Equanimity in simply exploring sensations vs. latching onto recognition of stages.  Less motivation to push ahead.

Think I may have thrown a 2nd path in there somewhere, time will tell.  

Starting on the Burbea book to get some new ideas for exploration...
Yilun Ong, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 623 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Always brings a smile to my face to read such wonderful progress! emoticon

I laughed at:
Cessations come in strings (4-5 per session, sometimes rapidly), almost to the point of boredom.  

Equanimity in simply exploring sensations vs. latching onto recognition of stages.  Less motivation to push ahead.
because it bit me in my ass. There's always more to see/learn and some stages are great for building "I am a great meditator" illusion. emoticon

All the BEST! 
Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Yilun Ong:
 There's always more to see/learn and some stages are great for building "I am a great meditator" illusion. emoticon


Thank you!  This was precisely the right 'kick in the pants' I needed to stay on track. 

Surprise, surpise -- motivatation and curiosity are back.
Puente, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: puente's path

Posts: 9 Join Date: 1/6/18 Recent Posts
Curious to get some feedback.

I've been exploring the subtle ways in which a sense of self remains.  When I search for anything that could be a self, at first I find a vague sense of a watcher. 

If I then look to what's watching the watcher (and so on, recursively), the illusion of any watcher dissolves completely.  On a couple occasions, I've been left with a sort of formless space of stable, very bright, white light.  Exerting effort to find the body yields it only vaguely in the distance.  There are no edges to any phenomena and no sensations other than unity with the light.

So is this a direct experience of the ‘luminous nature’, a hard 6th (or other formless) samatha jhana, or something else?  

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