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Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/28/18 6:18 PM
I've had this happen, and I know a couple other people who have too. And I'm wondering what to make of it, if others have experienced this, and how they think about it.

The experience is of having a Review or Review-like phase or period of practice after a significant insight that the practioner would say was not a new Path.

For example, let's say the practioner gets Second Path, followed by a four or six week-long (or whatever length) Review period.

Twelve months later, they have a massive, noteworthy cessation, followed by a distict four or five week Review-like period. 

Then another eight months later, again—another exceptionally "powerful" cessation, followed by weeks of Review-like sits and experiences.

In this example, the person does not claim Third or Fourth Path attainment; they would not say that either of those last two Path-like fruitions were in fact new Paths. 

Not new Paths, but after each of those two Path-like fruitions, it became obvious a "deeper level of mind" had been penetrated or seen into/through nonetheless.

What are we to make of this phenomena? Have others encountered this, and are there explanations around it? What might be happening here?

RE: Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/29/18 5:01 AM as a reply to Chris O..
Models are models. Your experience is your experience.

If there is an experience that deepens your understanding of the stuff you basically already know... then that's what happened. 

If there is an experience that changes your understanding in a whole new way... then that's what happened.


For what ever reason, meditation experiences vary in intensity/depth. One way to think of it is like getting saturated by a rainstorm. A drizzle makes you wet, a storm makes you soaked, but only a flood makes you swim. If your are wet but your feet on the ground, you aren't swimming, no matter how many rainstorms you've been in. 


This is one of those, "what can I say? it is what it is" things.

RE: Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/29/18 6:37 AM as a reply to Chris O..
Yes I've had a bunch of these (feeling like completing a significant cycle, with pronounced fruition, review, and apparent baseline change). I don't think there is much consensus about these, but from my point of view they seem like progress so I'm mostly just happy to have made progress! It's fun to think about different explanations/models for these, but I haven't found that to have a huge amount of practical use, other than as inspiration for expanding, refining or otherwise improving practice.

RE: Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/29/18 7:21 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Models are models. Your experience is your experience.

Give that man a cigar!

emoticon

RE: Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/29/18 9:06 AM as a reply to Chris O..
I don't have the practical experience with enough paths to corroborate this based on my own experience, but from reading MCTB it sounds like a Review phase is to be expected from each full repetition of the Progress of Insight.  In the same way that each path cycles up through the nanas to fruition, a Review period is to be expected to follow after the fruition occurs.  I think Daniel even mentions at some point (maybe in the Wisdom Eye section?) that when he was working on getting 4th Path, he'd be convinced in the Review period after each path repetition that this time he'd gotten it.

RE: Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/29/18 11:44 AM as a reply to Chris O..
My conclusion would be that cycles and fruitions only loosely correlate with Paths or the breaking of fetters. If they don’t don’t correlate, then that suggests there is much more to any of the Paths than simply going through certain meditative experiences or nonexperiences. I think it’s the getting of the meaning and significance of the experience (I.e cessation) that breaks fetters rather than the experience per se.

What sense do you make of your observations?

B

RE: Non-Path "Reviews"
Answer
8/29/18 3:47 PM as a reply to Chris O..
Thank you everyone for your thoughts!

Thanks for pointing out what you did with your reply, JP. It's been a few years since I've ready MCTB, and this is not something I remembered, or failed to grasp in the first place—that Reviews aren't specically limited to cycles that lead to new/the next Path.

In other words, when I wrote this post, I was thinking that this experience of having Reviews after non-Path cycles was "undocumented" or overlooked in the de facto standard model discussed here. 

After searching through the PDF of MCTB, I see that's not the case—Daniel does talk about (and I'm sure others do too) Reviews after cycles that did not lead to new "attainments." This clarifies for me that this phenomena is common knowledge/experience and was simply a gap in my understanding.

Thanks again!