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Dharma Diagnostic Clinic, aka "What was that?"

like everyone here, what exactly happened?

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like everyone here, what exactly happened?
vipassana insight
Answer
8/30/10 3:35 PM
first of all, i would like to point out that i am a low experirnce practitioner, who never even been in a vipassana retreat. and nor an impressive concentration.


i had an experience i now call "insight" and for the last year have been kinda struggling to understand and maybe even obsessing on.
i hope that maybe you can help me here a little to at least let me know what exactly happened and what should i expect (if anything which is what i do experience regularly).

i had a very distressing experience in my job, and it brought a lot of "self" in me, i just thought about it and my body and mind just ran away from the memory and couldn't handle it.

so a day or two after it i sat down and meditated, and couldn't concentrate, i just tried to look at it, and i dont remember the complete details, but soon enough i was in an other reality - i tapped to my mind stream, and saw directly the process of thought, in which i could see the interconnectedness of the process of thought, and the emptiness of the "i" which i used to relate to.

so at some point i remember to lose all hope, maybe being sick of the entire process, and my mind just restarted.

after experiencing this, i felt enlightened to some extent - i could see the pleasure in thought in a way that i wasn't truly aware of before, and wisdom in much bigger extent.

oh, and another thing, i kinda felt that the falling into nothing used the thought about the experience in work at its base somehow, and after awaking it truly didn't "threaten" me anymore.

after a few days i saw what i call "mara" creeping into my life again, and that was the end of this experience.

anyway, in somewhat different perspective, i shared this experience with a teacher of mine, but he didnt put much attention to it, and i had a big vacuum about it, so i read d. ingram book. and for some time i believed it to be the "fruit / fruition".

i dont really know, but i think i developed a little ego grasp to this, can you tell me if that was really what i think it was? and what consequences i may expect from it? after all a year has passed and i dont have anymore like this.

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
8/30/10 3:39 PM as a reply to asaf bartov.
when i said pleasure in thought i mean i noticed the masturbational habits in my process of thought, not having the experience of "the pleasure of thought" as an spiritual experience.

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
8/31/10 6:05 AM as a reply to asaf bartov.
Hey Asaf,

Well, the thing about getting a path is that experientially, it is very much a non-experience, rather than a peak/profound/mystical experience. Also, rather than the (non)experience being of any importance, it is what that experience does to you that counts. I really like the explanation that Florian Welps has been giving, in that a path experience is automatically insight producing. What this means is that after every path, there will be an automatic ability to perceive things as they are with a greater accuracy (permanently and moment-to-moment). Does this fit in with your experience?

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
8/31/10 6:56 AM as a reply to Pavel _.
i think it does, i remember having a really different perspective to problems. i could understand that every suffering is just an inner dissonance and has no inherent need, and i was quite calm and trying to investigate the new way to look at things.
it surely didn't have any magical or mysterious or satori or something like this in it. i related to it first as some sort of dying experience, giving up everything, and then coming back totally refreshed to the world (the thing is i didn't know if it is temporary or not)

i think that the bad thing about this experience is that after the effect was over (mara crept againg) , i have a hard time not grasping at the experience as a very special thing, although now it really is only a memory.

i didn't had anything i could really relate to as the dark night or the rising and passing away (although i still not so sure what are they exactly) , i don't know if this part makes sense.

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
8/31/10 10:26 AM as a reply to asaf bartov.
Since you are a beginner and haven't crossed the A&P yet, doesn't the stage of "mind and body" make sense?
Even the early stages can be quite profound and, of course, life changing.

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
8/31/10 12:14 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
it might be, i dont think i'm the authority, there are too many stages for me to really discern between them effectively, especially as they are sometimes similar.

before that experience i was into Buddhism for about a year.

i dont really know how to ask, but if you really see the process of thought and its emptiness, doesn't it relate to the A&P?

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
8/31/10 1:42 PM as a reply to asaf bartov.
Okay, a couple more things. Fruitions are incredibly quick, so much so that it is extremely possible not to notice one. There is a pleasant afterglow which can last a while (especially if it is at the end of the path).

What I meant by a permanent effect is that there will be a noticeable change even after the afterglow goes. This change for me after stream entry was a more direct experiential understanding of the three characteristics, it never went away and deepened with time. If the experience is nothing more than a (profound) memory, it wasn't a fruition and you didn't get a path (IMHO).

There are a couple more things that normally happen after stream entry - stronger concentration, review phase, repeat fruitions, a deeper understanding of what insight is about and how to do it, I think that there are more but can't currently remember.

I can't tell you what the experience was about, what it's called, or what it means, but I can tell you that there is better (and permanent) candy down the road if you decide to take it. All these experiences will keep on happening but it's not about them, as you may find out yourself. At the end of the day, how important is an experience, if it only stays a memory.

Have fun.

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
9/1/10 7:36 AM as a reply to Pavel _.
yes, for sure,

i wanted someone here to know and tell me what was it, and had the fantasy that there is a textbook answer (and that it was IT) that i'm gonna get.
i get the feeling this isn't the case.

i think i should just go to a vipassana retreat and get new experiences (obviously hopefully, i'm sure getting stuck on having new experiences will bring much suffering!).

any way, even if i wont have a definitive answer, its nice that there is a place like here to talk about this things so i thank you all who worked to help me.

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
9/9/10 11:45 PM as a reply to asaf bartov.
The standard criteria in the Was that Emptiness chapter still apply.

See if you can do it again, see if you cycle now, see if you can sit down in the A&P straight up and progress up from there with relative ease, etc.

Lots of things can feel like this. By far in a way the most common is the A&P: a big gap, life changing, and not always with all the Kundalini stuff and build up and all of that. I know people who have never done any meditation who just crossed it one day, poof, and that was it. I vote for A&P, but again, apply the criteria, see what happens next, and the like...

Daniel

RE: like everyone here, what exactly happened?
Answer
9/10/10 4:05 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
hi daniel,

unfortunately I didn't understand completely your answer -
"The standard criteria in the Was that Emptiness chapter still apply"
the criteria for what? and what is the emptiness chapter? - can you explain?

but as an answer to what you've suggested after it -

i can't do it again, i meditate daily and since that experience my practice is very "dry".

before that experience, practicing was really much more rewording for me, i could really feel the good effect, and it came with a really good period in my life of openness and un-characteristic happiness.
almost straight after the effect of the experience ended, i mentally closed up and my practice really stagnated and feels much less benefecial , although i try to revive it. which is weird after what i consider gave me the knowledge that the dharma is real and has the potential for the big change.
as for trying to "cycle", I'm supposed do a serious retreat (6 days of vipassana - which for me is serious) in about two weeks ill see if something will happen.

anyway, there's no doubt for me that its much easier for me to understand philosophy, like Krishnamurti, after that experience. that, as you suggested in you're book, could relate to A&P.