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Cessation with No Blip Yilun Ong 3/7/18 5:09 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/7/18 7:32 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip shargrol 3/7/18 8:43 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/7/18 9:33 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/7/18 11:33 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Yilun Ong 3/7/18 11:41 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Mettavore 3/8/18 1:16 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 7:18 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Mettavore 3/8/18 11:33 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 12:02 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/8/18 5:44 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Lewis James 3/8/18 5:34 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 10:16 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 12:36 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/8/18 1:27 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 1:43 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 2:02 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Nikolai . 3/11/18 6:11 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/12/18 6:55 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Nikolai . 3/12/18 5:50 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/12/18 5:51 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/13/18 7:14 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/13/18 7:30 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/13/18 8:22 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/13/18 8:33 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/13/18 1:26 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/13/18 2:41 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/15/18 4:02 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/15/18 4:19 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Yilun Ong 3/15/18 6:43 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/15/18 11:44 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip alguidar 3/15/18 12:04 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/15/18 8:38 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/15/18 11:39 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 1:57 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 2:16 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 2:19 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip seth tapper 3/8/18 2:25 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 2:57 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 3:26 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 3:37 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 3:44 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/8/18 3:51 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Yilun Ong 3/8/18 9:43 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip shargrol 3/9/18 5:32 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip shargrol 3/9/18 5:42 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip shargrol 3/9/18 5:51 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Yilun Ong 3/9/18 6:05 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/11/18 6:05 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip shargrol 3/11/18 1:25 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/11/18 11:29 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/11/18 11:41 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Yilun Ong 3/11/18 7:08 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/13/18 7:32 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/9/18 7:12 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/9/18 7:10 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip curious 3/10/18 9:38 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip shargrol 3/9/18 8:19 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/11/18 5:59 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 3:46 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip seth tapper 3/8/18 4:47 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Mettavore 3/8/18 5:24 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip seth tapper 3/8/18 5:13 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Mettavore 3/8/18 7:16 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/9/18 7:30 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip seth tapper 3/9/18 1:47 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/9/18 2:06 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/11/18 5:18 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Stirling Campbell 3/12/18 6:08 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/13/18 7:36 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Stirling Campbell 3/13/18 10:36 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/8/18 1:34 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/8/18 2:15 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bruno Loff 3/9/18 12:14 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/11/18 5:47 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Noah D 3/9/18 8:46 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Chris Marti 3/9/18 10:49 AM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Bigbird 3/9/18 12:21 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Noah D 3/9/18 9:52 PM
RE: Cessation with No Blip Barry D 3/11/18 5:52 AM
Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/7/18 5:09 AM
TMI Page 526:
If the sub-minds are receptive but there’s nothing to receive, can a cessation event be consciously recalled afterward? It all depends on the nature of the shared intention before the cessation occurred. If the intention of all the tuned in sub-minds was to observe objects of consciousness, as with popular “noting” practices, all that’s subsequently recalled is an absence, a gap. After all, if every object of consciousness ceases, and there’s no intention for the sub-minds to observe anything else, then nothing gets imprinted in memory. However, if the intention was to be metacognitively aware of the state and activities of the mind, we would remember having been fully conscious, but not conscious of anything. We would recall having a pure consciousness experience (PCE), or an experience of consciousness without an object (CWO)
Anyone else found this to be true? I do not note in EQ and always find myself with the latter experience...

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/7/18 7:32 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Put me in the camp that the whole idea of having "consciousness without an object" isn't a thing. There has to be an object of some sort or there is nothing - aka, cessation. This is confusing, I think, because folks forget how nuanced consciousness can be, and how well disguised objects can be.

JMHO

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/7/18 8:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I agree with Chris and I note there is a little bit of equivocation in the language which is being used, which is key to reconciling this:

"we would remember having been fully conscious, but not conscious of anything."

The key phrase is "we would remember". In otherwords, it's after transitioning out of cessation that some aspect is "remembered". (Pak Awk  Sayadaw's tradition also tends to talk about the quality of cessations, based on the impression that is left behind after transitioning out of it.)

There is definitely an lingering after-effect of cessation, for sure, but it seems pretty straight forward to me: cessation itself is a no consciousness experience. 

That said, I'm not dogmatic about it. If it seems messier (not complete cessation) is some people's experience, that's fine with me. Doesn't matter to me. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there are actually variations in people's experience of cessation, like how we experience nanas or jhanas, etc. Shocking statement, huh? emoticon  Such a heretic. emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/7/18 9:33 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Funny, I was going to add a comment to my first post that said something like, "But my version of this is not worth arguing about."


emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/7/18 11:33 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
TMI Page 526:
If the sub-minds are receptive but there’s nothing to receive, can a cessation event be consciously recalled afterward? It all depends on the nature of the shared intention before the cessation occurred. If the intention of all the tuned in sub-minds was to observe objects of consciousness, as with popular “noting” practices, all that’s subsequently recalled is an absence, a gap. After all, if every object of consciousness ceases, and there’s no intention for the sub-minds to observe anything else, then nothing gets imprinted in memory. However, if the intention was to be metacognitively aware of the state and activities of the mind, we would remember having been fully conscious, but not conscious of anything. We would recall having a pure consciousness experience (PCE), or an experience of consciousness without an object (CWO)
Anyone else found this to be true? I do not note in EQ and always find myself with the latter experience...


I remember cessation as a black blip, preceeded by a distinct "thing happening"/buildup in the middle of the brain, and it is very soon followed by a white flash, bliss, relief, and whatnot.

I do remember the black blip sometimes, though most of the times it isn't perceptible (or maybe it doesn't happen), and my biggest clue that a cessation happened is really the aftermath of it.

I never found the whole "nothingness" "no experience" or whatever language very helpful, not to mention the whole "I am god" variants that prop up in various places, which always felt like a very illogical and bizarre overinterpretation of the thing.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/7/18 11:41 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
In retrospect, it seems to be at least some truth in what Culadasa said. I have experienced both kinds and it really seems like the difference in the blip is in whether one is looking at objects or at the state of mind - my experience is that when I am zoomed out all the way (Chris - I wouldn't say no object but kind of like an overview of looking at the bigger picture?), the blip is more conscious (everything still falls away) than if I am with objects. It is all looking back at what the mind throwbacks the experience as anyhow. No access to it for months already and could be years till the next - so some folks might want to test this out... emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 1:16 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
In retrospect, it seems to be at least some truth in what Culadasa said. I have experienced both kinds and it really seems like the difference in the blip is in whether one is looking at objects or at the state of mind - my experience is that when I am zoomed out all the way, the blip is more conscious than if I am with objects. It is all looking back at what the mind throwbacks the experience as anyhow. No access to it for months already and could be years till the next - so some folks might want to test this out... emoticon

That aligns with my fuzzy intuitive understanding that some of the differences are a result of a similar process experienced from different vantage points and sometimes with different variables. Most of my accumulated knowledge was from psychology / neuroscience research as it pertained prior to all of this, and experiencing some of these states out of context before I knew to reference buddhism; I'm not familiar with how cessation relates to blips or as knowledgeable with buddhist terminology as most people here, but a black blip looks kind of like fruition of stream-entry as described in this interview with Daniel Ingram.

When looking at the rest of the excerpt in the TMI book, I have an idea how everything fits together now, and it seems to match up with research too, but I'll cross reference with more direct experiences first as I've yet to experience any black blips. I suspect (for me at least) that open eye meditation is part of my process to get there (biofeedback as a guide) since everything starts looking super luminous, my vision softens focus and my body looks like a collage of floating transparent colored circles, I sense I can keep going forward with the experience to the point that everything might disappear and reappear but have yet to try because I haven't syncronized it with a grounded affective experience.

In that sense, the experience of black blips might depend on if someone is focused on some mental object that's non-continuous (lacks reliable continuity) or grounded in some continuously affective emotional experience (accessed without attachment dependency) that can help stitch the experience together more consciously and seamlessly, like feeling love with the heart, or even pain like drinking a glass of water mixed with cayenne pepper. The breath might work for some, but my history with reras doesn't provide confident reliable consistency atm.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 5:34 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I remember cessation as a black blip, preceeded by a distinct "thing happening"/buildup in the middle of the brain, and it is very soon followed by a white flash, bliss, relief, and whatnot.
Would you really call it black or are you speaking figuratively? In my experience the blip wasn't black, in the same way that if I look at the edges of my peripheral vision what is around it isn't black, it's nothing.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 5:44 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
In retrospect, it seems to be at least some truth in what Culadasa said. I have experienced both kinds and it really seems like the difference in the blip is in whether one is looking at objects or at the state of mind - my experience is that when I am zoomed out all the way (Chris - I wouldn't say no object but kind of like an overview of looking at the bigger picture?), the blip is more conscious (everything still falls away) than if I am with objects. It is all looking back at what the mind throwbacks the experience as anyhow. No access to it for months already and could be years till the next - so some folks might want to test this out... emoticon

That could explain my description: All the instances I remember of seeing the black blip I had a very broad focus. Though I can't say that, in those fruitions when I didn't see the black dot, that there was something I could call a blip of any kind. If there is any gap to experience in such fruitions, I didn't notice it, for me it's just build up, release with bliss etc, i.e. I notice it because of the surrounding phenomena.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 7:18 AM as a reply to Mettavore.
In that sense, the experience of black blips might depend on if someone is focused on some mental object that's non-continuous (lacks reliable continuity) or grounded in some continuously affective emotional experience (accessed without attachment dependency) that can help stitch the experience together more consciously and seamlessly, like feeling love with the heart, or even pain like drinking a glass of water mixed with cayenne pepper. The breath might work for some, but my history with reras doesn't provide confident reliable consistency atm.

Hi, Francis.

In my experience cessation/fruition is caused in part, if not entirely, by a deeply felt recognition that no object is continuous - they're all impermanent. We slowly gain this recognition - and this likely to be why equanimity preceeds cessation - we're starting to see the process of mind in real time. Once we see and feel it deeply and completely enough (not just intellectualy)... bam! Cessation.

It's likely, too (see Bruno and Yilun's comments), that the nature of the object we've focused on can change the nature and "feel" of the resulting cessation. I seem to have had several kinds over the years, not all the same, and that may indeed be caused by the nature of  the immediately preceeding object focus.

JMHO, of course.


RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 10:16 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Hi Yilun

Thanks for posting. I initially experienced the 'black out' version of a frutiion expeirence for the first couple of years since the first one. But with time I seemed to stop experiencing a complete loss of awarenss and now they show up more in the way Culadasa desribes as a 'pure consciousness experience'. However, I would add that to describe it as pure consiousness implies some sort of object, where as the experience is quite objectless. In fact it seems characterised by a complete lack of any objectifying. 

Talking with fellow practioners, it does seem people can experience these two varieties of cessation outlined by Culadasa. Having experienced both, I think they are pretty much the same in terms of entrance and exit, they just seem to differ in terms of wether there is a complete loss of awareness. Well, having said that, I wonder if the aware cessation experience is easier to prolong. 

I want to put a theory out there about the type of cessation where one remains conscious, albeit of nothing. I am wondering wether it is more useful to the process of full awakening, which I am identifying as the breaking of all 10 fetters. 

The reason I suggest this is that what seems to happen in 'aware' cessation experience is that the whole karmic activity ceases. The birth place of this process seems to be connected with the act of attention. That is, the mind trying to aprehend and land on an object. What I think is happening when we have a black out, is that the mind has atteneded to a sensation carefully, when that sensation ceases, it means the act of attention which is dependent on an object for its existence winks out with it, along with all concsious expeirencing. 

However, in the aware cessation experience, it seems that because the mind is not following an object in the same way, there is not this sudden drop out of awareness, as a sensation ceases. 

It seems in an aware version the attention wave still ceases, but I find this can sometimes be gradual. There is is still the cessation of the karmic process along with attention to any object, but one can remain there without loosing consiousness. In my experience, for far longer. 

I want to suggest that this is very useful in terms of integrating the cessation experience into daily life. Because the black out version is difficult to reconsile with waking experience. You can hardly walk around or go to work while remaining in a black out cessation. But it seems the cessation of karmic processes that can occur, leaving the pure consioucsness expeirence is easier to prolong and hints more clearly at how we could function and move around while experiecing the cessation of dukha. 

If we only define cessation as what happens in a black out, there is a danger this insight is never fully integrated. Or at least thats how it appears to me. It may also explain why repeated cylces and cessation events alone do not seem to bring a 4th path that is a genunie breaking of all 10 fetters, but what folks call technical 4th path. For the breaking of desire and ill will (4&5) it feels like we need to work out how to function from a place of the cessation of our pushing and pulling at our experience (karmic activity). And to do that, we need to work out how to bring our cessation experience in to daily life. Which I think is easier if we can attune to the aware type of cessation. By narrowly defining the cessation experience, we could keep looking in a place that cant deliver the full path.

I hope this makes some sense, I realise it is all work in progress and have not completed this territory by any stretch. Its just some observations and reflections based on my own practice and discussions with friends. 

Barry

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 11:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In my experience cessation/fruition is caused in part, if not entirely, by a deeply felt recognition that no object is continuous - they're all impermanent. We slowly gain this recognition - and this likely to be why equanimity preceeds cessation - we're starting to see the process of mind in real time. Once we see and feel it deeply and completely enough (not just intellectualy)... bam! Cessation.

In my experience an emotional state can be continuous but not neccessarily permanent; although when I did metta practice before I knew what that was, the state was continuous even in and out of sleep for several days, suggesting it's possible for it to become aligned with the circadian rhythm, only the recorded experience seemed impermanent from a particular vantage point. I might modify the plan by getting into the state I referenced earlier and then close my eyes, take a short nap and see what the experience is like when I wake up. If there needs to be a blip, it might as well be a nice long one; thanks for the input.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 12:02 PM as a reply to Mettavore.
In my experience an emotional state can be continuous but not neccessarily permanent; although when I did metta practice before I knew what that was, the state was continuous even in and out of sleep for several days, suggesting it's possible for it to become aligned with the circadian rhythm, only the recorded experience seemed impermanent from a particular vantage point.


Francis, I would challenge you to look closer and in smaller increments of time - the smaller the better to see the discontinuities.

emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 12:36 PM as a reply to Barry D.
If we only define cessation as what happens in a black out, there is a danger this insight is never fully integrated. Or at least thats how it appears to me. It may also explain why repeated cylces and cessation events alone do not seem to bring a 4th path that is a genunie breaking of all 10 fetters, but what folks call technical 4th path. For the breaking of desire and ill will (4&5) it feels like we need to work out how to function from a place of the cessation of our pushing and pulling at our experience (karmic activity). And to do that, we need to work out how to bring our cessation experience in to daily life. Which I think is easier if we can attune to the aware type of cessation. By narrowly defining the cessation experience, we could keep looking in a place that cant deliver the full path.

My take on this, again solely from my experience:

If at 4th path if you haven't broken through to the realization of the impermanence of all objects, self and all others included, then you have not yet found your way to 4th path. The seeing through of the process that causes objects to appear in our experience is the same insight that relieves us of the strain of being dissatisfied with objects - dukkha. By "objects" I'm referring to what we would call "things" (like chairs and motorcycles) as well as thoughts and emotions and including states of consciousness.

If you're aware of anything while "in it" you're not experiencing cessation - you're in some other state. That state which, if thin and ethereal enough, will appear as if it was awareness itself, but you CAN be aware of awareness (that you are having some kind experience) and "awareness" can thus be an object of attention. The issue I have with accepting that state as a cessation is that it we might then compromise and stop exploring, believing we've seen the actual thing, when we actually haven't.



RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 1:34 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry your speculations align closely with my own.

I have a tentative description which might explain the difference in the two ways of experiencing cessation. (possibly, I'm in no way sure, it's just a suggestion)

There is in the middle of the head a vibratory phenomenon, which could be described as a "strobing", or "fluttering" or "flickering". It is a bit like this youtube video, but where the tempo is perhaps slightly slower and varies more, i.e. isn't so uniform/constant. To find what I am talking about, you can close your eyes, and look at the center of your forehead, i.e. up and to the center; your eyes will begin shaking at the same rhythm as the phenomenon I am describing. It was made to believe it is particularly evident during the 8th jhana. (in fact this process happens not only in the middle of the head, but that is where it is by far most obvious).

The phenomenology surrounding this process is related to craving / aversion, and all kinds of vibratory phenomena e.g. the breathing wall visual effect is strongly correlated with the rhythm of the strobing phenomenon, in a way that I have come to suspect they have the same underlying cause.

For me, a fruition is something which happens in association with this phenomenon. The strobing stops for a little while, in a very specific special way which I don't know how to describe except that it's a way that I can recognize when fruition happens (this is what I called the "buildup"), and then there is a moment which I would call the moment of cessation, and then the after-effects of cessation.

As far as I can tell, though I could be wrong and missing the full picture, a cessation is precisely a cessation of this strobing phenomenon (though it's not a cessation like you just fixate it or stop it forcefully, it's more like it fades away to nothing), or at least the cessation of something which attention does in relation to this strobing phenomenon (I'm totally not sure here).

If this is correct, then the black cessation / conscious cessation might be simply the result of which side of the strobe is happening when it stops. Indeed the strobe has two sides, a black side and a white side. The black side systematically "covers" the rest of experience, and so I am now speculating that if the strobing stops when you are in the black side, everything appears black, and otherwise not really.

Having had the two kinds of cessation - with black gap, and without black gap - I was generally thinking that when I don't see the black gap, that it was just too quick for me to notice it. But maybe it's something else...?

Sorry for making a contribution with so much speculation and so little certainty, but the above is pretty much along the lines of how I think of cessation, and I am curious if they resonate with what other people are experiencing. Of course it might turn out I am focusing on completely the wrong thing, in relation to this, and please let me know if you think so.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 1:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
If we only define cessation as what happens in a black out, there is a danger this insight is never fully integrated. Or at least thats how it appears to me. It may also explain why repeated cylces and cessation events alone do not seem to bring a 4th path that is a genunie breaking of all 10 fetters, but what folks call technical 4th path. For the breaking of desire and ill will (4&5) it feels like we need to work out how to function from a place of the cessation of our pushing and pulling at our experience (karmic activity). And to do that, we need to work out how to bring our cessation experience in to daily life. Which I think is easier if we can attune to the aware type of cessation. By narrowly defining the cessation experience, we could keep looking in a place that cant deliver the full path.

My take on this, again solely from my experience:

If at 4th path if you haven't broken through to the realization of the impermanence of all objects, self and all others included, then you have not yet found your way to 4th path. The seeing through of the process that causes objects to appear in our experience is the same insight that relieves us of the strain of being dissatisfied with objects - dukkha. By "objects" I'm referring to what we would call "things" (like chairs and motorcycles) as well as thoughts and emotions and including states of consciousness.

If you're aware of anything while "in it" you're not experiencing cessation - you're in some other state. That state which, if thin and ethereal enough, will appear as if it was awareness itself, but you CAN be aware of awareness (that you are having some kind experience) and "awareness" can thus be an object of attention. The issue I have with accepting that state as a cessation is that it we might then compromise and stop exploring, believing we've seen the actual thing, when we actually haven't.




I see why you are saying that, and of course it's important. For a long time I doubted whether I had even experienced cessation, because precisely of the above difference - sometimes I had the same thing happen without any blackout. The entry felt similar, the resulting effects were the same, but it didn't have a blackout, so maybe the one that did have the blackout wasn't it, really.

But you know, with time, and talking to people, not everyone describes all their cessation experiences as having a blackout. For example Nick practiced for a while to prolong the cessation moment while remaining conscious (remember him describing that practice, a few years ago?).

But I am speculating wildly, sorry for that.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 1:43 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno, I suspect we're both correct. I say that because as I experience these things there are gradations of experience that occur going into and coming out of cessations. I'm trying to make sure we're clear on the language and that we're all using it the same way, which if unclear or not the case gets very confusing. My stake in the ground is simpy this: true cessation requires there to be no consciousness, which requires there to be no object (or vice versa, your call). All the other states that occur surrounding cessations are true, are experienced, are real. They just aren't the cessation itself.

emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 1:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris

Thanks for your response (not sure how to use the quote thing, so will just copy it). 

'If at 4th path if you haven't broken through to the realization of the impermanence of all objects, self and all others included, then you have not yet found your way to 4th path. The seeing through of the process that causes objects to appear in our experience is the same insight that relieves us of the strain of being dissatisfied with objects - dukkha. By "objects" I'm referring to what we would call "things" (like chairs and motorcycles) as well as thoughts and emotions and including states of consciousness.'

Agreed, yes, that makes sense. 

'The issue I have with accepting that state as a cessation is that it we might then compromise and stop exploring, believing we've seen the actual thing, when we actually haven't.'

I can really understand the caution here. The great thing about the criteria outlined in MCTB for describing the cessation/frutiion experience is that it is crystal clear. If you hold yourself to that criteria, its much more likely you have attained the real thing. Once you start widening the criteria, its more likely that people having other kinds of expeirence will think they have experienced stream entry or another path when they havent. So I see where you are coming from here. 

However, once one is clear and familar with this, I think its safer to explore the boundaries of possiblities. Having said what I said, I do hold it tentativiely, as I know its not clearly outlined by the Mahasi/Theravada tradition. 

That said, if you speak to serious practioners of Zen or Tibetan schools it seems they have often never even heard of the black out type frution. It does seem particular to the Theravada, particularly as described by the commentator Buddhagosha. Held agaist these criteria many serious practioners from other schools would have to discount their realisations. So its tricky. 

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/8/18 2:02 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Your point you make here is a good one. I guess that was why I was hesitant to go along with Culadasas 'pure consciousness experience' term. As it seems to imply consciousnes as a subtle object. Which sounds more like one of the 6th Jhana..maybe. 

Though my experience of a fruition without loss of consciousness is perhaps better seen as having some level of awareness present. But not of anything at all, even consciousness. No object however subtle. 

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3/8/18 2:16 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Held agaist these criteria many serious practioners from other schools would have to discount their realisations. So its tricky. 


Yes, it's very tricky.

I have a number of friends who are experienced Zen teachers who, when quizzed, will admit to having these same experiences (you can find this documented on the old KFD message board archives - look for Gozen's comments there for the details). But their language and the context of their training precludes them from either paying close enough attention to their experience of these things or to the point of ignoring these kinds of experiences as not worthy of any attention or analysis. We know that what governs our experiences is mind, and we know how malleable mind is when it comes to interpreting things. I doubt that Zen and Vajrayana practitioners have different minds than we poor downtrodden, lesser vehicle Theravans.

emoticon

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3/8/18 2:15 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Its interesting you have made similar observations Bruno (your comments are in bold type)

It was made to believe it is particularly evident during the 8th jhana.

Yes, that matches my experience

The phenomenology surrounding this process is related to craving / aversion, and all kinds of vibratory phenomena e.g. the breathing wall visual effect is strongly correlated with the rhythm of the strobing phenomenon, in a way that I have come to suspect they have the same underlying cause.


For me, a fruition is something which happens in association with this phenomenon. The strobing stops for a little while, in a very specific special way which I don't know how to describe except that it's a way that I can recognize when fruition happens (this is what I called the "buildup"), and then there is a moment which I would call the moment of cessation, and then the after-effects of cessation.

Yes, again, recognise that. 

or at least the cessation of something which attention does in relation to this strobing phenomenon

I think you are on to something here. Rob Burbea is great on this, as is Bhikku Nanananda (have you read these guys?). They talk about how the perception of phenomena, consiousness and the act of attention are all dependent on one another. As soon as one stops the whole house of cards falls. So as phenomena cease, it seems the attention facutly quits and in the case of the black out cessation of consciousnes. But they point out that it is only object dependent consciousness that ceases, not all awareness. Which resonates with what I see happening. Some folks seem to call this consciousness without an object, Rob calls it unfabricated awareness in contrast to fabricated awareness. 

If this is correct, then the black cessation / conscious cessation might be simply the result of which side of the strobe is happening when it stops. Indeed the strobe has two sides, a black side and a white side. The black side systematically "covers" the rest of experience, and so I am now speculating that if the strobing stops when you are in the black side, everything appears black, and otherwise not really

Thats really interesting, will have to take a closer look

that it was just too quick for me to notice it.


I thought the same thing:-)

Sorry for making a contribution with so much speculation and so little certainty, but the above is pretty much along the lines of how I think of cessation, 

Its strange how similar our thought processes have been on this!


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3/8/18 2:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
How interesting. 

Yes, I have have often wondered, perhaps they have them but dont notice them as they are trained to look for something else. Its a really mixed bag. I have known people practicing mahamudra who get them despite not being trained to look for them and those that never do but seem to have equally developed attainement in other respects. 

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3/8/18 2:25 PM as a reply to Barry D.
What is the point of having a cessation? 

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3/8/18 2:57 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
There is no discernable point, at least to me. It's just something that happens.

Why do you ask?

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3/8/18 3:26 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Hi Seth

In terms of the value of experiencing cessation, I think it goes to the heart of making sense of what the experience is. 

I think when it first happened, it just happend. I didnt really know what it was, or meant for life. 

As experience fades and then disappears, it offers an opportunity to see how our experience is created or farbricated as Rob Burbea calls it. 

Seeing how experience fades and re-forms, we can if, we pay attention, show us how we contruct self, objects and consciousness. To me its this fabricating process that causes suffering or dukha. 

Its the cessation of these processes that to me is the most significant aspect of a cessation experience. Which may or may not be clocked when it happens. I think why this is so significant is that its the cessation of these processes that is refered to in the 4 noble truths, the truth that suffering can cease. That it arises due to contions and when those conditions arent present it ceases. 

I think the main thing I have been trying to put forward is that this cessation of the process of fabrication can occur without being 'unconsciouss'. And while it happens during a  'black out' style fruition, it is not synonomus with it, occuring without or without a loss of awareness. 

When we experience a frutiion/cessation this is what we are seeing. But we may not see the wood for trees as it were. 

Barry

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/8/18 3:37 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Seeing how experience fades and re-forms, we can if, we pay attention, show us how we contruct self, objects and consciousness. To me its this fabricating process that causes suffering or dukha. 

Yes. And this is also something we can explore in real time. It's dependent origination and it's ocurring constantly, is observable, and teaches us just how illusory our "reality" is.

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3/8/18 3:44 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thats really interesting Chris. I completely agree, it can happen in real time too. Which suggests part of what happens at fruition moment is not exlusive to that sequence of experiences, but can cease at any time. Perhaps for some it may be clearest at that time. 

I think what I am trying to articulate, is that the most significant thing about a frution is not necessarily the loss of consciousness. But the cessation of the processes that create suffering.

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3/8/18 3:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Although, I guess I should add, the creation of an object dependent consciousness is certainly a significant part of that suffering. 

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3/8/18 3:51 PM as a reply to Barry D.
I think what I am trying to articulate, is that the most significant think about a frution is not the loss of consciousness. But the cessation of the processes that create suffering.

Yes, that's probably why it's called "cessation." If we could just eliminate the experience of objects we'd be free of all suffering. Unfortunately, cessation also frees us from consciousness.

emoticon

EDIT: Yeah, what you just posted:

... the creation of an object dependent consciousness is certainly a significant part of that suffering.

I think you meant to say the cause of all suffering.


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3/8/18 4:47 PM as a reply to Barry D.
In my experience, suffering is a product of aversion and not of fabrication, per se.   While it is true that absent aversion, the mind can allow itself to cease fabricating, it is also true that the mind can fabricate away and not produce the experience we call aversion or suffering.  One can, for instance, sustain a state of mind free from aversion or suffering by dropping the delusion of an indpendent self, thus undercutting the narratives that give one a reason to cling or be averse and thus resolving all experience to meaningless, perfect being.  

This holds true no matter what the mind throws up, but its pretty hard to do. 

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3/8/18 5:24 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
In my experience, suffering is a product of aversion and not of fabrication, per se. While it is true that absent aversion, the mind can allow itself to cease fabricating, it is also true that the mind can fabricate away and not produce the experience we call aversion or suffering.

I second that, and would add that if "true cessation requires there to be no consciousness" then that begins to look more like sleep or microsleep from one vantage point, but there's likely more involved if there are beneficial changes to the way the mind(s) function and persist afterwards; the way people describe it here kind of reminds me of state dependent memory and wild to some extent. My own experience and hypothesis suggests it's never cessation of experience or consciousness, and can be more likened to speed-reading contrasted with linear phonetic-reading; one just sees the words and understands it, while the other slows down the process to "hallucinate" the sound of each word; both can make it to conscious experience and be recorded, experienced and used in unique ways with different variables.

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3/8/18 5:13 PM as a reply to Mettavore.
Somewhere here we cross from being able to constrain our understanding with ordinary physics and consensus reality and have to admit that God is real, manifest and we.  Calling cessation a micro sleep, I think undercuts the depth of the insight it delivers, but one of these masters who experience it with frequency might chime in. 

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3/8/18 7:16 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Calling cessation a micro sleep, I think undercuts the depth of the insight it delivers

Agreed; I was considering a lengthy elabortion that delves into the sleep/wake circuit and how the circadian-rhythm can influence the default mode network involved in craving/flow and self/no-self perception, but was saving it for a separate post after I experimented more.

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3/8/18 9:43 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Barry:
I wonder if the aware cessation experience is easier to prolong. 

I want to suggest that this is very useful in terms of integrating the cessation experience into daily life. Because the black out version is difficult to reconsile with waking experience. You can hardly walk around or go to work while remaining in a black out cessation. But it seems the cessation of karmic processes that can occur, leaving the pure consioucsness expeirence is easier to prolong and hints more clearly at how we could function and move around while experiecing the cessation of dukha. 
This is very, very interesting Barry. I can still get to a place like an aware-cessation without the post bliss-wave and maintain that state in meditation (not walk around). For that reason, it is not technically one but it involves the usual EQ building, dropping Control/Intention/Effort, a place where pain/peasure can be there but complete non-(desire/aversion) - complete A-Okay with everything and a meditative lack-of-self. I assume you are into prolonging/repeating this practice? If you are and discover positive results (in getting to Big E), please let us know! [I am plagued by DOUBT when I stay in this place whether I am just wasting my time - reflects some negative spiritual desire in me]

Chris:
If at 4th path if you haven't broken through to the realization of the impermanence of all objects, self and all others included, then you have not yet found your way to 4th path. The seeing through of the process that causes objects to appear in our experience is the same insight that relieves us of the strain of being dissatisfied with objects - dukkha. 

I am pretty sure everyone wants to know how best to achieve that!!! I sure am!!! emoticon In your experience, is it best to simply focus on the 3Cs? I think arhats such as yourself sharing your experience of what did IT for you, is so valuable. As we are all wired differently but similarly as well. Some of us will relate to some of each of your experiences and this is real GOLD... What do you think was the key/s for you?

Much Love!!!
Happy Monk

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3/9/18 5:32 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
No one mentioned this, so I'll throw it into the mix...

My reading of MCTB and in my own experience, there are also A&P Events which are very much like cessation, but which are really could be described as everything except awareness itself disappearing. Not a cessation, because there is a sense of awareness being present, but pretty darn close.This a reason why A&P is so prone to being mistaken as a cessation / path moment.

Also, there seems to be a confusion that "once I go through A&P everything that happens is post-A&P, so therefor if something blinks, it's a High EQ and Fruition thing." Nope! It's totally normal to have many A&P experiences, including A&P Events, before cessation. It's not uncommon to have a big mystic A&P experience after hanging out in EQ for a while or, in my experience, to spend days of retreat cycling from A&P to EQ and back again.

And finally, there are brownout and blackout events in EQ and even other stages that seem to match this description of loss of perception while still being aware. Daniel mentions this in MCTB, but it's easy to gloss over, so it's worth re-reading and notice the mentions of blackout, brownout, unknowing events, etc.

Hope this adds to the fun and confusion.

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3/9/18 5:42 AM as a reply to shargrol.
From MCTB:

The A&P Event can happen in three basic ways corresponding to
the Three Characteristics, just as can the entrance to insight stage 15.
Fruition, and the two are easily confused for this and other reasons.

There is great variation in the specifics of what we are seeing and feeling
when we cross this profound and intense event, but certain aspects of
these events will be common to all practitioners. This event tends to
manifest in a way that can mirror the Three Doors (described in a few
chapters) at about the middle of the out breath, leading to an
unknowing event, followed by a few exceedingly clearer and more
distinct moments imparting some deep understanding of the Three
Characteristics before a second unknowing event at the end of the
breath. It is not uncommon for the A&P event to occur during a
particularly lucid dream or at least in the middle of the night.

Now, it should be noted here that it is unlikely in these extreme
moments for the sense of the breath to be particularly clear, but this is
how things happen regardless. In these moments, most, but not all, of
their sensate universe strobes in and out of reality, arises and passes.
The subtle background and sense of an observer still seems to stay
stable. In contrast to this, the entrance to stage 15. Fruition is through
one of the Three Doors, involves the complete sensate universe
(background, time, space and all), happens at the end of the out breath,
and does not involve two closely related unknowing events. (The
usefulness of this information may become apparent later on.)

Those who have crossed the A&P Event have stood on the ragged
edge of reality and the mind for just an instant, and they know that
awakening is possible. They will have great faith, may want to tell
everyone to practice, and are generally evangelical for a while. They will
have an increased ability to understand the teachings due to their direct
and non-conceptual experience of the Three Characteristics.
Philosophy that deals with the fundamental paradoxes of duality will be
less problematic for them in some way, and they may find this
fascinating for a time. Those with a strong philosophical bent will find
that they can now philosophize rings around those who have not
attained to this stage of insight.

They may also incorrectly think that they are enlightened, as what
they have seen was completely spectacular and profound. In fact, this is
strangely common for some period of time, and thus may stop
practicing when they have actually only really begun.

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3/9/18 5:51 AM as a reply to shargrol.
More MCTB:

In EQ...

Unfortunately, just to make things confusing, there is often a single double-dip unknowing event,
with one being halfway down the breath and the other at the end of that
breath, very soon after the shift from Re-observation to Equanimity.

In EQ...
Separating the early stages of Equanimity from its mature stage,
there tends to be a “near miss,” moment when we get very close to the
fruit of the path, which serves to really chill one out, as it were.

(There are probably other mentions of brownout/blackout/unknowing events that I missed... pleople should feel free to cut and paste them! emoticon )

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3/9/18 6:05 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Would the kick-ass (> minute) bliss wave accompanied by being out of meditation be a good differentiation as well?

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3/9/18 7:10 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun --

What do you think was the key/s for you?

My meditation diary is online. It starts with stream entry (my first cessation) and goes well past awakening. The best way for me to answer your question is to point you to the place where you can read all the gory details:

http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70





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3/9/18 7:12 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol --

And finally, there are brownout and blackout events in EQ and even other stages that seem to match this description of loss of perception while still being aware. Daniel mentions this in MCTB, but it's easy to gloss over, so it's worth re-reading and notice the mentions of blackout, brownout, unknowing events, etc.

Yes indeed. All the more reason to try to be as accurate as possible when we're discussing this stuff.

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3/9/18 7:30 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
One can, for instance, sustain a state of mind free from aversion or suffering by dropping the delusion of an indpendent self, thus undercutting the narratives that give one a reason to cling or be averse and thus resolving all experience to meaningless, perfect being. 


I totally agree that it's possible to feel free of suffering and aversion but may I amend this just a teeny, tiny bit?  It's not possible to be free of objects while we're conscious (yes, I'm beating this dead horse again), so even when we feel free of suffering and aversion we could be experiencing the object I would call "I feel free of suffering and aversion" -- a thought, a feeling, a state of mind. We tend to forget that all experiences are a form of suffering - even pleasant and happy experiences. Attachment is the flipside of aversion. The mind processes them in the same way, assigns valence (judgment, as in "this is good" or "this is bad") and wants more of the object, or less, however slight those judgments may be.

While penetrating the illusion of a permanent self is an enormous and extremely inpactful one, after we see through that there typically remains other, more illusory delusions to focus on and investigate.

My friend shargrol is a master at describing this, so I will defer to him. Maybe he'll elaborate from his own personal experience.


emoticon

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3/9/18 8:19 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I am plagued by DOUBT when I stay in this place whether I am just wasting my time - reflects some negative spiritual desire in me

When you are in that space, don't try to change anything when that doubt comes up. Put your attention on that doubt and try to see both the compassion of doubting (the wanting to be good, the motivation to make better progress) and the dukka of doubting (aversion to the experience of not knowing, overlooking the simple experience of right now). Alternate between those two extremes, "doubt is a really good thing because it keeps me from wasting time" and "doubt is a really bad thing because it makes me restless and avoid the actual experience of the moment".  Really feel the way the views manifest as a full body experience. Include how the sense of self changes with each of these views. 

Now kinda loosely hold >both< experiences in awareness at the same time. It will be sloppy but try it anyway.

Now recognize that both of these orientations aren't self but are mindstates that occur >within< awareness. Settle into that experience.

Rest in the middle path of not one, not the other, not both, not neither. It's a very good "place" that isn't a place.

And when an view or a resistance appears, investigate it without changing it. What about it is motivated out of compassion, what about it is motivated out of dukkha?

Most "states" are knots of confused, fused together, aspects of compassion-dukkha. 

Best wishes! 

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3/9/18 8:46 AM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:

If we only define cessation as what happens in a black out, there is a danger this insight is never fully integrated. Or at least thats how it appears to me. It may also explain why repeated cylces and cessation events alone do not seem to bring a 4th path that is a genunie breaking of all 10 fetters, but what folks call technical 4th path. For the breaking of desire and ill will (4&5) it feels like we need to work out how to function from a place of the cessation of our pushing and pulling at our experience (karmic activity). And to do that, we need to work out how to bring our cessation experience in to daily life. Which I think is easier if we can attune to the aware type of cessation. By narrowly defining the cessation experience, we could keep looking in a place that cant deliver the full path.

IMO the traditional stages of enlightenment are very, very dissimilar to those which measure the results of insight meditation alone, specifically because the former necessarily involves years of extreme behavioral modificaton, lifestyle design & psychotherapuetic healing (synergized deep, penetrating observation of conditionality), while the latter only involves deep, penetrating observation of conditionality.

Edit: this distinction can get confusing because everyone who gains the insight peice does go through some degree of behavioral, lifestyle & psychotherapeutic change.  However, that does not mean the quality & quantity of that change actually represents a true elimination of the seed, root system, stem, branches, leaves & flowers of an entire fetter, as it exists on all levels of being.  

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3/9/18 12:14 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Its strange how similar our thought processes have been on this!

Yes, and it is also rare to find people who describe it in these terms. E.g. Chris seems to have a completely different language for what is, presumably, the same thing or at least something closely related. Many people talk in terms of "the illusion of self" and other notions, which are clearly useful and productive for them but not so much for me (and this language isn't very useful for them either, I believe).

From this POV, it seems to me quite plausible that the strobing phenomenon can be made to stop completely, and the rest of perception, which is really the vast majority of what's happening in the perception field, can just continue to happen without any problem, thus one would be living in a permanent cessation (as per this definition, which of course is not what Chris is talking about and we should probably find a different name for it). I would consider this to be the end of the path.

But this is just speculation of course, for me, at this point --- it could even be that the strobing phenomenon is super essential in order for one to be awake, or alive even. I really don't know, as I have few people describing this stuff in the same language, and among those that do know how use the same language, none of them have managed to make the thing permanently come to a halt (some, like Nick and Clayton, have come close, but abandoned the project for very valid personal reasons). People who don't use the same language do not even see that this could be a practice goal, it seems.

The black / white part is simple: the strobing phenomenon seems to be made of interruptions in awareness. I am not sure if that's actually an accurate description of what is happening (maybe the black part isn't really an "interruption"), but it's a tentative working description. I at some point had thoughts along these lines: if you are transmitting information via a beam of light (e.g. encoding it via the wavelength in a smooth fashion), it is also possible to transmit information by repeatedly turning the beam of light on and off. When you transmit information this way, this might degrade the original (smooth) signal, but it will create its own information content, possibly with its own internal logic. However the black part, even though it is intimately linked to the (smooth) signal, can never really "reach it", so to speak, and all it can really do is grasp at it, without never really touching it, or fight against it, by making itself more present and thus the carrier signal less (on which it lives) less present --- this is craving / aversion.

Would you agree, or do you have something different to say about it? I am really very open to all sorts of interpretations.

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3/9/18 10:49 AM as a reply to Noah D.
... synergized deep, penetrating observation of conditionality...

Also known as vipassana meditation  emoticon

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3/9/18 12:21 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Hi Noah, regarding the tree, are you talking about the nadis-chakra system which must be purified and dissolved alone-or-are you also including further more subtle levels? 
Its a good subject! You've got a good teacher.

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3/9/18 1:47 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Have you ever laughed really hard? In my experience, there is a state of mind that is both aware and free of self and suffering. 

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3/9/18 2:06 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Have you ever laughed really hard? In my experience, there is a state of mind that is both aware and free of self and suffering. 

I wasn't disagreeing that one can feel free of self and suffering.

My point is that "suffering" is only one side of the equation. There's also clinging. I do laugh hard at times, and when that happens my mind wants it to keep going, and going, and going. That's the flip side of the aversion/suffering mind. It's essentially the same process at work - judgment, aversion, judgement - clinging. Never satisfied.

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3/9/18 9:52 PM as a reply to Bigbird.
@bigbird 

i meant the tree as a broad metaphor for all the ways the defilements manifest in body , speech & mind (beyond just resistance/preference around experience) . Definitely would include subtle body in "the tree"

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3/10/18 9:38 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Oh that was wonderful Chris.  Thank you so much for sharing. {edit: your practice logs, that is}

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3/11/18 5:18 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
Hi Seth

Sorry, I guess I was using fabriacation in a particular way. If the word doesnt resonate as a description of anger or craving, thats fine. I was using it as a translation of the word sankhara which covers aversion or anger. Also translated as "mental formations",  "impulses", "volition",  or "compositional factors". The reason some people favour fabrication as a translation of it, is that it draws out the way in which we create something that is not quite true. So when we react out of anger we create a self and object in way that does not accurately represent the situation, in that sense its fabricated. 

But of course, if the word doesnt work for you as a way of describing emotional reactions like anger, thats fine. 

B

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3/11/18 5:47 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Thanks Bruno (also addressing everyone else in post, as its easier to not split the responses)

The strobing thing you mention seems recognisable to me. 

I will have a go at relating it to my experience and thinking on this, please feel free to ignore it if it does not resonate!

I notice that in equanimity the appearance of sensations are at its clearest, fluxing moving swirling phenomena. Often begining to occur mostly around the forehead and crown. Its paying close attention to this that seems most likey in my experience to cause a drop out and loss of consciousness style frutiion. 

But if I stay with it, eventually, the phenomena become less frequently available to actually follow. Its hear that I notice my experience occilate between light and dark. Iight when there is an observable sensation, dark points as it ceases. I wonder if this alternation of dark and light is close to your strobing phenomena?

Experience can expand out and the only real 'object' is a spactious vibrating 'awareness' without boundaries, I usually relate this to the territory of the 5th/th Jhana. I guess its the most subtle sense of 'something' I experience. 

However, eventually the dark phases stretch out and there is little to observe any more exepct a 'sense' of there being no things there to observe, experience fades here and is largely dark. I am guessig this is the territory of the 7th Jhana. a sphere of 'no-thingness'. 

I generally find something interesting to notice here, that has something to do with how the pheneomena are arising independence upon ones attention/perception. So while there is something, there is attention and perception. When things go dark, there is nothing and attention and perception cease. Lots of dukha and tension often releases at this point. 

So I wonder if you observations of the alternation of something and nothing relate to this?

But what happens next is interesting to me. I then get a sense of how the looking/attention somehow creates phenomena, or in Buddhist speaks that they are co-dependent. With that, both drop or cease. It seems that this has something to do with the way objects and subject form at all. I am not sure if you are famililar with the 12 links of conditionality, but I suspect its reflects the cessation of nama-rupa in that sequence. 

Then there is a sense of dare I say it here, 'ones true nature', experience freed of all subject/object, no arising, no ceasing etc. There are no arising phenomena in it. There is not coming or going, no objects coming into consciousness and ceasing, so no death. 

Now in the past this cessation always meant a loss of consciousness, a classic black out frution. But increasingly, it seems to be able to cease, all objecifiying and attention, without the lights going out. Discovering this has led to an ability to prolong this 'cessation' off the cushion. Normally only as little as an hour. But it feels a state of real freedom, with none of the seeds of suffering getting any traction. 

Its something like, feeling the middle way between experience exisiting and not exisiting. And yet, its different from 8th jhana, which I acknowledge is close to this. In that its not a state of concentration, its the relaxation of condtioned processes and the cessation of the 12 links. The difference I think is that there is a deep understanding of how we create phenomena and a dropping of that through insight. 

Now, I appreciate that one could discount this as not being a 'true cessation', as for sure, it is different to the black out style frution, which is tightly defined. But I am increasingly wondering if it brings more freedom to life off the cushion. So in many ways, I am quite happy with us not calling it a fruition. But I believe it probably has something to do with dukha nirodha, as the buddha called it, the cessation of suffering. 

Here are some quotes from Rob Burbea's book The Seeing that Frees (which I feel covers this territory). 

This first quote covers the difference between 'consciousness without attribute' which is what I am getting at and 'vast awareness' experiences, which a more like 6th jhana stuff. 

'In an experience of a vastness of awareness as we described in Chapter 15, perceptions, time and space are still being fabricated. A practioner might imagine that an experience of a vastness of awareness is an experience of the Unfabricated, since it seems 'eternal' and 'deathless' while other phenomena come and go within it. This Consciousness without attribute, however, is not 'eternal' and 'deathless' in that sense of 'exisiting continously in time'. It does not 'continue'. But it is not momentary; not is it totally non-exisitent,. It is, rather, not of time, or space at all.' (pg. 384)

Below is quote from the Buddha, which Rob then comments on:

'Consciousness without attribute, without end, luminous all around. Here water, earth, fire and air have no footing. Here long and short subtle and gross, pleasant and unpleseant, and namarupa are all destroyed. With the cessation of consciousness (ie. the 6 sense consciousnesses) here each of these is destroyed.' DN 11. 

Burbea says ' 'Consciousness without attribute' (vinnanam anidassanam) may also be translated 'a consciousness that does not point out (or indicate or 'look at' anything)'. Such a rendering would make clear and empathize its difference from all other consciousnesses, which always have some kind of object. 


Its this consciousness that does not 'indicate' or 'look at anything' that Rob mentions above, that I am getting at. I also think its what Culadasa was getting at in his description at the top of the thread. Its i relation to no object however subtle. And yet it is not unconscious, which is rather what my experience of fruition has been like. 

Not sure if any of this helps, but hope its of interest

B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/11/18 5:52 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Hi Noah

I couldnt agree more. I think, although you have put things differently to me, we may be getting at the same thing. At some point past technical 2nd path, I just began feeling that more cycles stopped revealing much. 

Its these broader elements of the dharma that are begining to help more. 

'penetrating observation of conditionality), while the latter only involves deep, penetrating observation of conditionality.'

Yes, totally agree. Please see my post above to Bruno. Its this way our experience is conditionally arisen and perhaps more importantly how that conditionaly arisen sequence ceases, that is the cessation I think I am gettting at. Its not synomous with black out style frutions and can happen while walking around. But its still fair to call it cessation I think. 

Thanks

B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/11/18 5:59 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
'I assume you are into prolonging/repeating this practice? If you are and discover positive results (in getting to Big E), please let us know! [I am plagued by DOUBT when I stay in this place whether I am just wasting my time - reflects some negative spiritual desire in me]'

Please see my post to Bruno today. I tend to find it happens from or even past equanimity, often in the formless spheres. I tried to explain it a bit more experientially in that post. 

The reason I say this. Is that in my experience, in equanimity, there is still a sense of subtle objects. Objects seem to become very clear and the 3 Cs evident. Eventually, I found experience could not be described in terms of the 3 Cs, as there are no objects arising or ceasing, and the observing faculty that is conditional on there being objects, powers down. 

But the most I can prolong it is about an hour after sitting. 

B



RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/11/18 6:05 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Hi Shargol

I think its good to be really clear about what cessation is and what it isnt. I think the strength of daniels desriptions are that they are crystal clear. This has many advantages. As we can be more sure we have attained something and are not just deluding ourselves. I think though, once we have really clarified that, preferably with a teacher and we know all the stages and frutiion clearly, it can then be possible to keep an open mind about other possibilities. I think the shadow side of having a very clear system, is that other possibilites are discounted. 

My experience was that after a few classic completions of the cycles of insight. I was ingoring what was going on, because I was looking for my experience to comply with yet more cycles and classic fruitions. But then I realised that something else was going on, that didnt invovle a complete loss of consciousness. 

Does that make sense?

I would be interested in wether in your experience (I believe you are 4th path?), further black out style frutions and cycles revealed what you needed to see for 4th path, or did it invovle other elements?

Thanks

B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/11/18 1:25 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry,

I don't think anyone is arguing that cessations are some kind of answer. At least it is clear that Chris is not, since he said that directly. "There is no discernable point, at least to me. It's just something that happens."  I agree. If a giant rooster manifested and let out a loud crow on stream entry, then we would be talking about a giant rooster. emoticon  

But seriously, it's clear that this cessation (which can't be forced, can't be made to happen by someone pre-SE, happens on its own after some kind of tipping point of time spent in an easy, plain, non-reactive, non-manipulative, resting in experience as-it-is is reached) does seem to do something to the mind --- although we have to admit that what actually happens is more a metaphysical conjecture than something that can be definitely identified and labelled at this time.

And furthermore, if someone has the time and interest, cultivating cessations can be worthwhile (for example monastics with lots of time). It will definitely condition the mind, just like jhana does, to make it more sensitive and better able to do vipassina -- which is the real point of practice: to clearly see the cause of suffering and the path to the end of suffering. 


It sounds like your experience is consistent with the normal arc of practice. At first the cycles of insight are very very important, because we instinctually identify and cling to those states as self. Initially a big part of practice is learning to objectify those mindstates as mindstates. But after two full paths, the isn't much need to practice that anymore. It's time to move on.

It sounds like you are describing maybe two things....

The first is a kind of non-objective, non-material, but yet recognizable mindstate. These are usually experiences of different types of concentration states, basically different intensities/manifestiations of the formless jhanas. These tend to show up on their own (just like cessations do) as part of good, consistent practice. Like cessations, they can be very useful for conditioning the mind, making it sensitive, and learning what it kind of visecerally feels like to not cling. Basically the thing that is clinged to in formless jhana is so subtle that it is very very different than clinging in the normal off-cushion sense. So it's a very helpful thing to experience. 
    That said, I would caution that any state that can be recognized >as a state< is... >a state<. The classic koan that blows up an attachment to a state is: "so... what is experiencing that state?" emoticon  There are many states that are useful for practice, but as we get into a high-level of practice, we need to be just a little skeptical that states are the answer. This is very high level stuff. 

It also sounds like you are describing the intuition that more advanced practice points something beyond states, stages, nanas, jhanas, cessations, etc. ABSOLUTELY!  Basically, the later stages of practice are all about learning to not have greed, aversion, or delusion in any context. The challenge is we keep finding new mindstates to cling to. And of course we have our old bad habits that we cling to, too.  But that's normal and part of the fun/challenge. Anyway, advance practice becomes a hunt for subtle greed, subtle aversion, and subtle delusion.

Hope that helps in some way.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/11/18 11:29 AM as a reply to shargrol.
This is the most important thing for an advanced practitioner to keep in mind, IMHO:

The challenge is we keep finding new mindstates to cling to. 

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/11/18 11:41 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Anyway, advance practice becomes a hunt for subtle greed, subtle aversion, and subtle delusion.

I would add, under the heading of "subtle delusion" that advanced practice also becomes a search for the source of perception itself as we slowly eliminate more and more subtle objects of experience. There's a search that becomes metaphysical, and it's typically preceded by a deep, almost addictive desire to find and remove the final veil that seems to block whatever it is we believe we're missing at that point. What we find is a deeply held assumption, a model of reality, that has been hiding that which is always right in front of us, at which point...

Pop! goes the weasel.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/11/18 6:11 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Chris Marti:
If we only define cessation as what happens in a black out, there is a danger this insight is never fully integrated. Or at least thats how it appears to me. It may also explain why repeated cylces and cessation events alone do not seem to bring a 4th path that is a genunie breaking of all 10 fetters, but what folks call technical 4th path. For the breaking of desire and ill will (4&5) it feels like we need to work out how to function from a place of the cessation of our pushing and pulling at our experience (karmic activity). And to do that, we need to work out how to bring our cessation experience in to daily life. Which I think is easier if we can attune to the aware type of cessation. By narrowly defining the cessation experience, we could keep looking in a place that cant deliver the full path.

My take on this, again solely from my experience:

If at 4th path if you haven't broken through to the realization of the impermanence of all objects, self and all others included, then you have not yet found your way to 4th path. The seeing through of the process that causes objects to appear in our experience is the same insight that relieves us of the strain of being dissatisfied with objects - dukkha. By "objects" I'm referring to what we would call "things" (like chairs and motorcycles) as well as thoughts and emotions and including states of consciousness.

If you're aware of anything while "in it" you're not experiencing cessation - you're in some other state. That state which, if thin and ethereal enough, will appear as if it was awareness itself, but you CAN be aware of awareness (that you are having some kind experience) and "awareness" can thus be an object of attention. The issue I have with accepting that state as a cessation is that it we might then compromise and stop exploring, believing we've seen the actual thing, when we actually haven't.




I see why you are saying that, and of course it's important. For a long time I doubted whether I had even experienced cessation, because precisely of the above difference - sometimes I had the same thing happen without any blackout. The entry felt similar, the resulting effects were the same, but it didn't have a blackout, so maybe the one that did have the blackout wasn't it, really.

But you know, with time, and talking to people, not everyone describes all their cessation experiences as having a blackout. For example Nick practiced for a while to prolong the cessation moment while remaining conscious (remember him describing that practice, a few years ago?).

But I am speculating wildly, sorry for that.


I have been experiementing again with seeing cessation of fabrications but consciously. Yesterday, I ddi it while pushing a shopping trolley around supermarket aisles. the results get a little  weird and hard to describe cocnerning what happens (or rather what ceases to arise) when I resolve for a conscious experience of cessation of fabrications. More importantly and simply however, I can say the conscious "cessation" juxtaposed with "normal" object filled consciousness is dissatisfaction-free. 

I repost this quote below by Mahasi Sayadaw again and again but it never seems to influence lengthy discussion.

Mahasi seems to be pointing to "fruition" as being conscious. And perhaps that is what I am experimenting with currently (and many years before). Not cessation itself but consciousness devoid of kilesa-sankhara post-cessation (phalasamapatti) as stated in the quote. 

It has already been stated that phalasamapatti (fruition attainment) first begins to occur when arising from nirodhasamapatti. This phalasamapatti being free from raga (passion), etc., it is also called suññata(the Void). As it is free of ræga-nimitta (one of the attributes of sentient existence), it is also known as animitta. Moreover, as it is free from passionate desire such as raga, etc., it is also called appanihita. As such, phassa which is also included in this samapatti is also known as suññata, animitta and appanihita. As phassa (contact) takes place by dwelling upon Nibbana, which is known as suññata (the Void), animitta (the Unconditioned), and appanithta (freedom from longing or desire), with attentive consciousness of mind, it is called suññata, etc. The answer, therefore, is that the three kinds of phassa, viz: suññataphassa, animittaphassa and appanihitaphassa first begin to take place. 


For better understanding, it may be stated that when arising from nirodhasamæpatti,contact takes place with suññata-nibbana, a condition devoid of kilesa-sankhara to which the mind has been directed as its sense-object. Contact is also made with animitta-nibbana which is devoid of or free from any sign of nimitta. Then comes mere awareness of contact with appanihita-nibbana, a condition free from vehement desire, which is the sense object that has been contemplated. 



Nick's current subject to change 2 cents

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/11/18 7:08 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thank 'God' for all you kind souls for this. I am mindful and I am sure it can be both, there is truth in this cessation thing that will benefit many... Keep it going guys. Great contribution!!! emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/12/18 6:55 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nick --

Mahasi seems to be pointing to "fruition" as being conscious. And perhaps that is what I am experimenting with currently (and many years before). Not cessation itself but consciousness devoid of kilesa-sankhara post-cessation (phalasamapatti) as stated in the quote. 

Yes. I suspect there are many states surrounding true cessation (of the no consciousness kind). Going in, coming out.... nirodha samapatti, and so on. And I agree that fruition is different than cessation. Note how Mahasi references states of mind as being sense objects during those sorts of experiences:

... it may be stated that when arising from nirodhasamæpatti,contact takes place with suññata-nibbana, a condition devoid of kilesa-sankhara to which the mind has been directed as its sense-object. Contact is also made with animitta-nibbana which is devoid of or free from any sign of nimitta. Then comes mere awareness of contact with appanihita-nibbana, a condition free from vehement desire, which is the sense object that has been contemplated. 


RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/12/18 5:50 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
@Chris

Yes, I think there often is cross talk equating fruition to cessation and vice  versa when I think as I believe Mahasi points to, they are two results. Cessation leads to fruition experience which is conscious and has been described multiple times as a “rebooting” period which can be long or short. Fabrications are rebooting in my experience. And their rebooting can be delayed with resolve and practice. 


I suspect that is what needs to be lengthened in Mahasi’s instructions to lengthen the fruition. Not the cessation of all the senses itself but of fabrications of the Kilesa kind, “vehement desire” and “signs”.

nick 2 cents. 

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/12/18 5:51 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
I agree!

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/12/18 6:08 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:

That said, if you speak to serious practioners of Zen or Tibetan schools it seems they have often never even heard of the black out type frution. It does seem particular to the Theravada, particularly as described by the commentator Buddhagosha. Held agaist these criteria many serious practioners from other schools would have to discount their realisations. So its tricky. 

Count me amongst those as coming from Dzogchen and Zen. I am still not sure I see them, though sometimes... maybe? I don't discount that it is possible, or real, it's just that the approach to this point is very different, as you allow. My experience, and what I have corroborated with a number of teachers of a certain level of "understanding", is that from these approaches the whole process seems to happen in slow motion and with more fanfare.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/13/18 7:14 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hi Nick

Thanks for your contributions. 

The 'conscious' cessation I have been trying to desribe, is for me pretty much identical to the  few mintues post 'blackout' 
fruition/cessation, as things 'reboot'. Thanks for brining that in, as I think its a way of connecting with what I was trying to get at, in a way that is famillar to everyone who has expeirenced the black out type cessation experience. 

Initially this 'conscious' period of cessation only occured after having a black out fruition. But what I am noticing more and more is that the 'conscious' cessation, is occcuring in my time off the cushion. 

In fact, even on the cushion, it seems to occur without any movement through a loss of consciousness. Yet the after affect seems idential in many ways. 

I was intrigued by your comment about it happening while shopping, are you suggesting something similar? Is this occuring for you without going through a process of loosing consciousness? In the way I am describing. 

B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/13/18 7:30 AM as a reply to Barry D.
I think this bears repeating in the name of clarity because it's true:

Yes, I think there often is cross talk equating fruition to cessation and vice  versa when I think as I believe Mahasi points to, they are two results. Cessation leads to fruition experience which is conscious and has been described multiple times as a “rebooting” period which can be long or short. Fabrications are rebooting in my experience. And their rebooting can be delayed with resolve and practice. 

So, therefore --

Cessation: complete loss of consciousness. A literal mind blackout.

Fruition: the period immediately following cessation. A consciously perceived rebooting of mind. 
 
Mind State: anything else that may or may not resemble a fruition. May be extremely pleasant, appearing to lack dukkha or craving.

Fair?

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/13/18 7:32 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Hi Shargol

Thanks for your comments, very helpful. I am very much in the process of working this out and have found the conversations on this thread very useful. 

I found your drawing attention to what can happen post 2nd in terms of what you called the 'arc of practice'. I think it makes sense of the processes I am going through. In particular the way in which my relationship to cycles and cessations is changing. Very useful. 

Its clear from how you and Chris speak that you dont see cessations as the whole picture. Hope I didnt misrepresent what you were saying there. 

What I have been attempting to clarify for myself is how there appears to be another process occuring, which could also be termed cessation. That seems to have some relationship to the loss of consciousness cessation, but is not identical with it and can occur at other times. 

I realise it could look like I am trying to smuggle an experience into the heading of cessation that doesnt belong there. But its just an attempt on my part to try and articulate something that appears to be occuring. 

It sounds like your experience is consistent with the normal arc of practice. At first the cycles of insight are very very important, because we instinctually identify and cling to those states as self. Initially a big part of practice is learning to objectify those mindstates as mindstates. But after two full paths, the isn't much need to practice that anymore. It's time to move on.

Yes, this resonates. 

The first is a kind of non-objective, non-material, but yet recognizable mindstate. These are usually experiences of different types of concentration states, basically different intensities/manifestiations of the formless jhanas.

I would say it most frequently arises in this territory for sure. Of course, it may well be just par tof the formeless spheres. But it seems to involve moving into these states and then kind of relasing them or droping out of the subtle objectification these states involve, out of any state. 

 There are many states that are useful for practice, but as we get into a high-level of practice, we need to be just a little skeptical that states are the answer. This is very high level stuff. 

Great, yes, it seems in this territory. 

It also sounds like you are describing the intuition that more advanced practice points something beyond states, stages, nanas, jhanas, cessations, etc. ABSOLUTELY! 

Thats it I think. Its something that is slowly emerging, or that I am intuiting, its a new sense of where things are heading, after a long period of obsession with stages and states. Its not quite fully clear. Hence my attempts to 'clarfity' or' work it out'. 

Basically, the later stages of practice are all about learning to not have greed, aversion, or delusion in any context. The challenge is we keep finding new mindstates to cling to. And of course we have our old bad habits that we cling to, too.  But that's normal and part of the fun/challenge. Anyway, advance practice becomes a hunt for subtle greed, subtle aversion, and subtle delusion.


I wonder if we are more or less saying the same thing. Its just that I have been calling the noticing and releasing of subtle greed and subtle aversion 'cessation'. But this perhaps confuses terms a little. But its the release of these that appears to be the emerging experience. 

Thanks!

B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/13/18 7:36 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Nice to hear from a Dzogchen practioner. 

The quotes that Nick gave from the Mahasi tradition, seem to describe the open, clear empty state of being that occurs post cessation, that I have often thought has much in common with the mahamudra and dzogchen descriptions of the nature of mind.

What I have noticed is that with practice that post cessation clarity can arises without going through the loss of consciousness experience. I wonder if other traditions just focus in a different place. 

B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/13/18 8:22 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
So, therefore --

Cessation: complete loss of consciousness. A literal mind blackout.

Fruition: the period immediately following cessation. A consciously perceived rebooting of mind. 

Mind State: anything else that may or may not resemble a fruition. May be extremely pleasant, appearing to lack dukkha or craving.

Fair?

I partially agree:-)

I think its a fair way of defining experience. I never wanted to dispute the experience of the black out cessation, its value and feel cessation is a good term for it. Calling the post cessation experience Fruition seems good too. 

Perhaps it would confuse things less, if I was not using the term 'cessation' to describe what seems to be showing up. Which is something like the cessation of subtle clinging and of dukha. As you say this can be just another 'mind state' all be it a refined one. But I would describe this cessation of dukha as not being a mental state at all, even a formless or subtle one, thats partly what makes it free of dukha, that it is not a state. As its partly the cessation of that part of the mind that constructs object or subjective states. It feels a little like the interior of ones experience disappears, that in a sense there is 'no subjectivity' or interior to refer to. Same goes for objects. Does the expeirence sound familiar? even if the term sounds incorrect. 

But just more broadly on the use of the term cessation. I guess I am taking wider buddhist tradition into account. What we have from Daniel and the Mahasi tradition comes from Buddhagosha's much later commentaries on the pali  cannon. If we take the pali cannon as a whole into account, we hear nothing of momentary cessations (though nirodha samapatti is mentioned a fair bit). He mainly talks in terms of the cessation of dukha, of fabrications, in particular the 12 condtioned links. So widening the definition a little seems in keeping with the tradition, as well as personal expeirence. Which ever formulation he is using, the cessation he refers to is a more to do with a permenant base line shfit in waking experience and is broader than the black out style cessation. Which I am imaginging yourself and Shargol would go along with (from Shargols comments) in terms of 3rd and 4th path involving something 'more' than just repeated cessation and cycling. 

I am not suggesting you necessarily disagree with this, but just throwing it in as background as to where I am coming from with what i am saying. The disagreement, may just be more of a linguistic one. 

Thanks again knocking this stuff around, i have found the proces helpful, 

B




RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/13/18 8:33 AM as a reply to Barry D.
How about calling the true cessation "true cessation" and calling the cessation of dukkha the "cessation of dukkha?"

emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/13/18 10:36 AM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:

The quotes that Nick gave from the Mahasi tradition, seem to describe the open, clear empty state of being that occurs post cessation, that I have often thought has much in common with the mahamudra and dzogchen descriptions of the nature of mind.

I agree, Barry. In Dzogchen/Zen, the path is to learn to establish the ability to rest in the "nature of mind", which is the "state" you describe, though it is actually the LACK of a state. It is non-dual.  It is none other than the enlightened mind and is not separate from enlightenment.

What I have noticed is that with practice that post cessation clarity can arises without going through the loss of consciousness experience. I wonder if other traditions just focus in a different place. 

My experience with cessation, if it is at all, is that, occasionally during a sit I simply notice that an "event" has occurred that has a blank spot of experiencing. I don't find it has any particular effect on my sit. Perhaps it is a function of focusing awareness vs. maintaining open awareness?  Perhaps that brief clarity is the nondual state arising?

But I would describe this cessation of dukha as not being a mental state at all, even a formless or subtle one, thats partly what makes it free of dukha, that it is not a state. As its partly the cessation of that part of the mind that constructs object or subjective states. It feels a little like the interior of ones experience disappears, that in a sense there is 'no subjectivity' or interior to refer to. Same goes for objects.

Sounds like the uncontrived "nature of mind"/non-duality to me.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/13/18 1:26 PM as a reply to Barry D.
It feels a little like the interior of ones experience disappears, that in a sense there is 'no subjectivity' or interior to refer to. Same goes for objects. Does the expeirence sound familiar? even if the term sounds incorrect.
This is exactly that it feels like.

Though I should add a vital word of caution. Just because the experience we are talking about feels like the loss of a certain "subjective interior", one should never infer that while in that mode of experiencing, one's view of the world becomes somehow objective, as if one had direct access to the facts of reality, instead of interpreting reality by a subjective cognitive apparatus (as all humans actually do). That "false objectivism" is a pernicious, pathological view, and if adopted it can lead to bad, bad places. This is a lesson whose learning cost me a great deal, so ignore this warning at your own peril.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/13/18 2:41 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Here is an experimental suggestion:

What happens when you have a fruition in your dantien?

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/15/18 4:02 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Here is an experimental suggestion:

What happens when you have a fruition in your dantien?
This is maybe a stupid question to make without further qualification. What I mean is the following.

We are coming to a relative consensus in this thread that fruition can happen without cessation. I would agree. Just on the very day I asked the above question I clearly had several fruitions, but only one of which was accompanied by a cessation, that I could tell (here assuming blithely that we are actually pointing to the same thing when using this language).

For those who understand the language I have used above: fruition is some sort of weird shift in the fluttering / obsessiveness phenomenon happening in the middle of the head. That fluttering / obsessiveness gets soothed and calmer by the event, and migth even disappear altogether for a while (never more than a few minutes for me, thus far).

What seems to be the case is that there is a similar fluttering phenomenon happening in the dantien, as well. It is much more subtle, yet I feel much more pervasive. Like the fluttering in the middle of the head is more intense, but also more localised. The phenomenon happening in the dantien it can be observed in pretty much the same way as one observes the phenomenon in the middle of the head, and I have had, on two occasions --- the second one being the time just before I asked the question above --- that a shift in the dantien occurred, which was very similar to a fruition, in terms of build-up, shift, and outcome.

Hence the question.

I also remember a recorded conversation between Nick, Clayton and Owen, a long time ago, and they mention having fruition in the dantien specifically.

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/15/18 4:19 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno

Thanks for adding a bit more to that. 

I have been looking at your suggestion over the last few days. Usually I experience my energy and attention rising to my forehead at the point of a cessation. It almost seems impossible for it to happen anywhere else. But I tried to set the intention to keep awareness down in the dantien. What I found is that a cessation can occur, but attention does seem to pop up to the forehead at the point it happens. But it did seem that the post cessation reboot period was prolonged by attempting to keep attention low in the belly. I have observed that the conceptual structures sort of gradually reform after a cessation and the energy centralises again and goes higher in the body. By keeping the attention low in the body I speculating that this slows the post cessation reforming process down again . 

I have not yet managed to spot the fluttering down there you describe...yet. 

Thanks
B

RE: Cessation with No Blip
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3/15/18 6:43 AM as a reply to Barry D.
My question really goes to what Chris said:
if you haven't broken through to the realization of the impermanence of all objects, self and all others included, then you have not yet found your way to 4th path
This stuck Kundalini 3rd jhana of mine gets me to this fruition-like thingy multiple times a day. I can only postpone it by resolving to stay longer elsewhere to work on other 'stages'. Does repeating this do anything at all as it seems that work elsewhere is to be done e.g. in smashing through the clinging to self. <- This is a long way home for me as I watch it rear its ugly head xx times a day. [Is this even a fruitful practice? To watch the clown intend/do stuff to satisfy this self?]

Something that may work is seeing how the fabrications come back on instead of prolonging (which I tried, smells wrong and I fall into some kind of wrong view, a greed of someone to be enlightened) - the fabrications coming back online are a tough nut for me as they are fast, almost simultaneous, plus the blissful lack of dissatisfaction, often distracting to the point of me wildly grasping onto it, leads me to drop investigations and into blurring/zoning out. I think the work in this area to pinpoint what to see-through exactly will be beneficial to many... Or really it could just not be the right way to game this thing haha...

Metta to All! emoticon

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/15/18 8:38 AM as a reply to Barry D.
Barry D:
Hi Bruno

Thanks for adding a bit more to that. 

I have been looking at your suggestion over the last few days. Usually I experience my energy and attention rising to my forehead at the point of a cessation. It almost seems impossible for it to happen anywhere else. But I tried to set the intention to keep awareness down in the dantien. What I found is that a cessation can occur, but attention does seem to pop up to the forehead at the point it happens. But it did seem that the post cessation reboot period was prolonged by attempting to keep attention low in the belly. I have observed that the conceptual structures sort of gradually reform after a cessation and the energy centralises again and goes higher in the body. By keeping the attention low in the body I speculating that this slows the post cessation reforming process down again . 

I have not yet managed to spot the fluttering down there you describe...yet. 

Thanks
B

The vibratory/fluttering phenomenon in the belly is actually way softer, but also much more global. It seems to spread all over the body. It's a subtle restlessness which is pervading, all over. At some point people here were calling it "the feeling of being", and it's a decent intuitive fit I think (though I don't agree with the possible metaphysical implications one might make of that).

I think that when some meditators say "focus on the vibrations", they are (sometimes at least) just refering to this phenomenon. Meaning that it is so pervasive that one tends to assume it's just always part of experience. But when there is a fruition in the dantien it becomes way smoother for a little while, and then one can compare before and after and realize it doesn't always need to be there (or at least that its intensity can subside), which makes it more obvious as its own thing.

(At least that's the best way I currently have for describing this stuff.)

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/15/18 11:39 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Wow...how interesting. Will persist a little more with it to see if I can get more of a sense of it. Thanks

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/15/18 11:44 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Something I noticed with that which 'comes back on line' post cessation, is that it seems to centralise around the head as if it 'knows' experience. It as if there is a faculty that 'percieves', the most basic aspects of experience. Noticing that this percieving faculty does not really know anything, was useful. Exploring where or how we know things seemed frutiful. Its like one part of experience, a sensation even beliving it knows another part/sensation, began to feel obsurd. Looking at this has seemed fruitful in terms of slowing down that which re-forms post cessation. Not sure if this helps...

RE: Cessation with No Blip
Answer
3/15/18 12:04 PM as a reply to Barry D.
Some times i get a  milisecond "blackout" when meditating or when relaxing.

Never atributed special meaning to those "blackouts" and i had dozens.

After the milisecond "blackout" it´s just business as usual, no fruition nor insight.

Not sure if my "blackouts" are what is deemed here as "cessation" but time and practice will tell emoticon


Great thread w/ lot´s of usefull info.Thanks everyone.