How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

kylie, modified 5 Years ago at 2/16/18 11:31 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/16/18 11:31 AM

How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

Posts: 9 Join Date: 12/30/17 Recent Posts
I've kind of always been under the impression that it was somewhere in the ballpark of a couple of hours/a couple of days. Can you be in one for an entire month? A whole year? By be in it I mean have experience filtered through it all of the time both on and off cushion. Can you experience other ñanas kind of 'inside' of a specific one? 

If one were to stop meditating at all, how long would it take to fade off? What should one do if it doesn't? 
Daniel M Ingram, modified 5 Years ago at 2/17/18 12:50 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/17/18 12:50 AM

RE: How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

Posts: 3264 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Here's the problem: there are various layers of insight stage effects. There are small-scale effects, those relating to one sit and the stages one progresses through on that sit, and there are large-scale effects that relate to the overall arc of one's practice. These are related but not the same.

Example: one might be functionally a Dark Nighter but have regressed back to the early insight stages and be suffering with the back tension that comes from the Three Chracteristics stage, for example.

One might be in Equamity on a retreat but have to work up each time one sits down from Mind and Body up to Equanimity, though, by the blessings of being in the Equanimity phase, the earlier stages are likely to pass rapidly with little real trouble.

So, were one more sophisticad about mapping, one might map at both levels, the Macro and the Micro, with the Macro being that feel and quality that applies to one's general stage and the Micro applying to one's specific stage that was happening at that moment on the cushion, as these might have some relationship to each other and modulate each other but might yet be radically different.


Mikhail Zybin, modified 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 1:15 AM
Created 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 1:15 AM

RE: How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

Posts: 57 Join Date: 2/16/20 Recent Posts
Is a practicioner supposed to experience ñana constantly from waking up to going to bed or only on the cushion?
It is written in PIM
Contemplation should start at the moment you wake up... After practicing day and night you may find your contemplation considerably improved...
What does Mahasi Sayadaw mean here? Maybe it is more like an instruction for a retreat? I am enthusiastic about Dhamma, but I don't want to practice all the time. Is it ok to forget for a while that thoughts are objects without anyone thinking them and just concentrate fully on solving some mathematical problem, for example?
Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Years ago at 3/10/20 5:54 PM
Created 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 5:42 AM

RE: How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

Posts: 2523 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Seems to me that not all practitioners expereince this the same way. Any who here is my experience/perception of it;

Even though I can see stages unfolding in a progressive way (by the book) there is always the Base Stage under it all,the one I have last attained to.

So lets say if one is in the dark night stage of Re-observation, this very stage will be the Base Stage and previous stages will unfold with each sitting (if one sits long enough, for me 45-60 minutes)

In case I stop practicing on cushion (or actively paying attention/applying profound mindfulness) I certainly can sense the latest stage being predominant in my day to day interactions/reactivity.

If one is commited to practice Noting then I would put aside "suppose to experiece Nana" and actually be with each present moment experience ; seeing, unpleasant, coolness, pleasant, rise, fall, hearing, anticipating, thinking, ... No time to waste on "is this  certain nana, am I experiencing this nana all the time ..." After the session one can give oneself a short self-validating resume of what happened and then turn back to each sensation no matter what Nana is there or not. Sure thing there will always be that factor of "recognising" where one is even during the sits but these Nana's can pass rather fast and new one arises in the perception. 

At times a bit of "getting ready" could help like in case of my last Re-observation I did have a reminder on auto-pilot flashing "Acceptance, let it wash over" and in EQ stage such reminder as "No clinging, just let it unfold".

Still this reminder was not like an active thinking going on all the time. It was more of a "ok, Im recognising this territory, applying this attitude of acceptance/no clinging, just keep at Noting everyhting that arises and/or passes".

This is just my epxerience of course. style; Freestyle Noting (aloud)
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 11:49 AM
Created 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 11:49 AM

RE: How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
Tibetans talk about the clear light. While I was reading your post I thought about a fictional dialogue with a magic bottle of white out (actually clear). You're words sink into you, but you have just become away of the bottle. This is mind and body ñana. I could make further analogy.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 12:11 PM
Created 3 Years ago at 3/9/20 12:11 PM

RE: How long should a ñana last off-cushion?

Posts: 7102 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hi Che! emoticon I recognize what you are saying. That's my experience too, and I think you describe it very well. Somewhere in the beginning of the elusive middlepath terrain, however, the microlevel of the cycling became much more apparent. That made it confusing for me. I think I may be starting to make sense of the mapping again now, but it is possible that I'm just fooling myself. I think many practicioners that spend time on retreats, or do most of their mapping in their formal practice on the cushion, learn to recognize the microlevel before they recognize the macro level (not that there are just two levels, but to make it simple). This is one of the many things that make mapping tricky and risky, not least when it comes to mapping others. Fascinating stuff!