Was that a cessation?

Alessandro Gaudenzi, modified 6 Months ago at 8/11/23 4:41 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/11/23 4:41 AM

Was that a cessation?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 12/25/22 Recent Posts
Hi, wanted to write something about a particular meditation event happened 2 years ago.
I was mainly practicing noticing the 3c of whatever experience 2+ hours every day.
Was going thru the nanas for some time.

The sit in question here began with me feeling like I didn't really experience impermanence properly and wanting to go deeper into that aspect.
For some time I noticed the arising and passing of the breath sounds and sensations and was trying really hard to clearly discern the exact moment each sensation ended.
This started to get frustrating at some point, until I came to the conclusion that I couldn't do it because when the sensation ceases, I cease too, when sensation arises, I arise too and I'm not there before or after to really notice its arising and passing.
This put me in deep equanimity. I knew I wasn't gonna find the end of any sensation, but decided to still give it a try because at that point I felt there wasn't much left for me to do. 
Here there was a gap that wasn't experienced in real time, I recognized it later.
Suddently after that there was a very strong feeling of solidity, like the whole reality squeezed in a single point, this lasted maybe 1 second.
There was a sense of panic also for 1 second.
There was a recognition and a very familiar feeling, "oh, right, this is reality"
Lastly there was a light sense of release and relief in knowing that.

When I opened my eyes I knew instantly something was different. My perception definitely changed and after 2 years it's still like this.
Some level of hardness vanished, replaced by a sense of smoothness, beauty and aliveness.
Suffering hasn't decreased in any significant way, my difficulties are more or less the same as before.
Apart from this it's like now I just know that nothing is ultimately real, but this knowledge is still not deep enough.

After that event the nanas started flowing at a much faster rate, to a point where it was quite intense even when I wasn't meditating.
I didn't have repeated events like that tho, apart from maybe one or two smaller ones, but I'm not sure. 

Wrote this because I was curious if anyone has had similar unfoldings of practice and if you think this was a cessation or maybe something else.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 9:27 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 9:27 AM

RE: Was that a cessation?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
When you say, "Suddently after that there was a very strong feeling of solidity, like the whole reality squeezed in a single point, this lasted maybe 1 second." that sounds to me more like your concentration got really strong, and you strated to go into the first moments of absorption into an object of awareness. Cessation doesn't happen that way. 

It's possible to have some lasting effects from a lot of different non-ordinary states of consciousness. To me, it sounds like you were concentrating really hard. Insight practice tends to work better with less of a tight focus than that, where there can be mindfulness of body, thoughts, feelings, and mental qualities. 
Adi Vader, modified 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 10:36 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 10:36 AM

RE: Was that a cessation?

Posts: 267 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Hi Alessandro

I have the following questions. Could you please answer them if you see fit.

1. You are asking about an event that happened 2 years ago. Why now?

2. Before the sit in question how many years, cumulative hours had you practiced?

3. Before the sit in question what are the different tyes of techniques you used

4. Before the sit in question how was practice going for you During the period of a month, a week

5. The hallmark of a marga phal moment is that there is a type of awareness never experienced before that takes 'something' as its object. That something cannot be taken as an object by our ordinary everyday awareness. Looking back .... to that event two years ago ... do you think this  description applies

6. Following that sit how has your practice been like - what changed in practice as compared to before that sit 

Note: In case your practice was mostly Mahasi noting - please check out eudoxos's digitized copy of a meditator's diary. this is a document prepared by two teachers in the Mahasi tradition and eudoxos digitized it and shared it here on this forum. If you search for eudoxos' posts you might find it here itself on this website. Additionally you can also check out Mahasi Sayadaw's Manual of Insight.
Both of these documents give phenomenological descriptions of each knowledge. The meditator's diary is particularly helpful because it records various ways in which yogis report phenomenology of each knowledge. You might find both of these books/documents very very useful

​​​​​​​Good luck.
Alessandro Gaudenzi, modified 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 11:04 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 11:04 AM

RE: Was that a cessation?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 12/25/22 Recent Posts
Jackson Wilshire
When you say, "Suddently after that there was a very strong feeling of solidity, like the whole reality squeezed in a single point, this lasted maybe 1 second." that sounds to me more like your concentration got really strong, and you strated to go into the first moments of absorption into an object of awareness. Cessation doesn't happen that way. 

It's possible to have some lasting effects from a lot of different non-ordinary states of consciousness. To me, it sounds like you were concentrating really hard. Insight practice tends to work better with less of a tight focus than that, where there can be mindfulness of body, thoughts, feelings, and mental qualities. 


This is interesting, could be some sort of absorption, cannot really tell because I don't have enough experience with concentration practices.
What makes me doubt this option is that when there was the "gap" I wasn't really concentrating hard, it was very light and the focus was more broad than single pointed.
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 11:19 AM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 11:19 AM

RE: Was that a cessation?

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Still sounds like absorption to me. The key to figuring any of this out for certain is replication. Following the method properly should lead to the same result, whether we're discussing cessation or absorption. It's also difficult to properly recall an event from 2 years ago. Memory is less like replaying a recording, and more like recreating a mental image. So things get corrupted very quickly. So again, repeated practice is the way to know. I'd give it a shot, if clarifying this issue is important to you. 
Alessandro Gaudenzi, modified 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 12:15 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 12:15 PM

RE: Was that a cessation?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 12/25/22 Recent Posts
Yeah, I agree. I'm not trying to replicate that, but I will continue noting practice and see if something similar happens. 
Alessandro Gaudenzi, modified 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 12:37 PM
Created 6 Months ago at 8/12/23 12:37 PM

RE: Was that a cessation?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 12/25/22 Recent Posts
Adi Vader
Hi Alessandro

I have the following questions. Could you please answer them if you see fit.

1. You are asking about an event that happened 2 years ago. Why now?

2. Before the sit in question how many years, cumulative hours had you practiced?

3. Before the sit in question what are the different tyes of techniques you used

4. Before the sit in question how was practice going for you During the period of a month, a week

5. The hallmark of a marga phal moment is that there is a type of awareness never experienced before that takes 'something' as its object. That something cannot be taken as an object by our ordinary everyday awareness. Looking back .... to that event two years ago ... do you think this  description applies

6. Following that sit how has your practice been like - what changed in practice as compared to before that sit 

Note: In case your practice was mostly Mahasi noting - please check out eudoxos's digitized copy of a meditator's diary. this is a document prepared by two teachers in the Mahasi tradition and eudoxos digitized it and shared it here on this forum. If you search for eudoxos' posts you might find it here itself on this website. Additionally you can also check out Mahasi Sayadaw's Manual of Insight.
Both of these documents give phenomenological descriptions of each knowledge. The meditator's diary is particularly helpful because it records various ways in which yogis report phenomenology of each knowledge. You might find both of these books/documents very very useful

​​​​​​​Good luck.


Thanks,
I wrote about it now because I was thinking about it recently due to picking up again noting practice after a while of just inquiry. I'm not sure why I didn't ask at the time.
Before this I did a bit more than 1 year of regular noting practice.
Regular means at least 1 hour every day, but often I was doing more. 
My practice was noting anything that was happening in my experience, switched to just noticing and investigating the 3c.
At first the nanas were happening at a much slower pace and were pretty rough except for equanimity, with time they started to flow more quickly and it was easier to reach eq.
The description of point 5 sounds similar to me. It felt like something new, in that there wasn't a split between awareness and whatever object. I'm not talking about the gap, but the immediate moment after it.
After that sit the nanas started flowing very fast, I could move thru them at will, but couldn't get fruitions. Practice and also my default experience felt more fluid and less solid. 
The nanas were cycling fast even at work. The entire process started to feel more alive.
There was some level of intensity for the first weeks then things calmed down.
After some time though, I got curious about inquiry and started switching practices maybe a bit too often and lost track of when/what I was doing practice wise.
I'm thinking about starting a personal journal for this reason.
Thanks a lot for the documents, I will read both.