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TOPIC: What's this? Help moving forward...

What's this? Help moving forward... 20 Nov 2019 14:51 #111839

Hi everyone, please see my background followed by a couple of questions. My apologies for the lengthiness, it seems called for however.
Background

I’ve been practicing for about 9yrs now. Lots of retreats in the first few years in the Goenka style. I got SE a good few years back now, but think I spent several years in the DN of the 2nd path. I was practicing poorly (due to head tension and just general “busyness” in other aspects of my life) and eventually it all started to come out in my daily life. Days on end spent in tears, days in absolute paralysing existential Fear etc. Not fun. And oddly, I didn’t really even realise it was meditation related as there was pretty crappy things going on in my life anyway (lost my business, lost my eye-sight, split up with my family)

Eventually I figured it out though and started meditating very seriously again and at the end of September, lying on my bed in the homeless hotel I got what I think was 2nd path.

I was zoning in and out in EQ when there was a “star trek” like phase-shifting sensation followed by an audibly-felt “click” and a second or so later i was bathing in the best 2nd jhana-esque feeling ever! (that’s what it felt like anyway, only this was not limited to my body or the surrounding space, it was filling the entire room.. and I could even move around in it. ) There was a massive feeling of “completion” and my concentration went though the roof over the next few days.

I was able to do all 4 jhanas, and felt i was pushing into 5th (and not the vipassana-style ones I could do previously but the real Samatha deal.

I made a resolution in the after-glow of path to complete the next path asap. And I seemed to spend only 2 or 3 days in Review (all of which was basically focused on EQ after fairly zipping through the earlier stages. I guess I learned them pretty good over the last few years) but with only 1 fruition before starting to get into a new cycle of insight.

I completed this new cycle in about 2wks or so, but it did not feel significant at all except for one thing that I will talk about in a moment. Could it have just been Fruition? Sure. But I don’t think so as I definitely had to navigate pre-A&P stages again. There was no audibly-felt “click” though either. (and that was something familiar from my 1st path moment years ago) I could certainly be mistaken here. But I don’t think it matters.

Now I find myself in a new cycle which feels really really difficult. Right now I am struggling with 3C’s to A&P. It has me in tears a lot, with overwhelming feelings of loneliness, confusion, meaninglessness and more. My samatha jhana abilities have entirely deserted me. All i can do is vipassana jhana and try to maintain contact with the pleasure while noticing sensations come and go. This seems like a reasonable way forward, but I’m not going forward! I thought I’d be able to concentrate better and be up past the A&P in no time. But it turns out that’s far from the reality of it.

I feel like Im just starting and I’ve got no where with this stuff. And worse, I’m really afraid of the DN to come, as the 3C’s has me in real difficulty already.

Questions

So… here are a few questions if you’ve made it this far and can help:

1. Is there any point trying to pass the A&P but stay out of the DN until i can get on retreat next year or is that strategy likely to kick my arse?

2. After the significant path moment I could feel a shift in where I feel “I” am located behind my eyes and if I just though about “who am I?” or just willed it, then that would move to high in the throat area. For a while, focusing on it would zip me through the review stages. After the insignificant path moment a couple of weeks later that sensation moved down to the Heart. For a couple of weeks it was really strong, and really easy. Its less strong now, but still there. When i go for my walk i just think “who am I?” or will it, and i feel a very peristaltic movement of sensation/energy/“me” moving down to the heart and my face really relaxes. As i have to negotiate something or speak to someone that sensation comes up behind the eyes again, but after I can shift it back again. Oh, and it’s very quiet as well. I’ve been able to quiet my mind for years now (maybe since SE but i think it was actually earlier than that maybe) but now it is considerably deeper. So… WTF is that? lol..


Phew…

thanks for getting this far down my long post. Would be grateful for any comments :)


PS…
I am aware of the term “the witness” but am not sure if this is it, or even related. Im also aware of Loch Kelly’s “shift into freedom” and although I’ve only just started to read it it does seem like he is taking about what I am experiencing.

thanks,
Last Edit: 20 Nov 2019 14:57 by Dharmanaut. Reason: minor detail added
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What's this? Help moving forward... 20 Nov 2019 18:32 #111840

Hi! Thanks for writing. I'll let others address the technicalities of meditation, but I'd just suggest as an auxiliary, in case it's at all relevant:

1) don't neglect an enthusiastic participation in all relevant medical/psychological/general health care, even if the reason for the difficulties is 'just spiritual'. We aren't a segmented creature with disconnected parts. Our spiritual, physical, and mental well-being is totally intertwined. Meditation makes one much more sensitive to details of well-being, pain, tiredness, illness, thought-processes, etc. Give yourself the best foundation possible.

2) If there's any drug use, that can get very intertwined with 'spiritual' experiences.

I say this in particular as someone who has had episodes of depression, as well as 'dark nights'. And who formerly smoked way too much weed and tobacco. ;)

What kind of daily practice do you do nowadays? Like this past week, for example?
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What's this? Help moving forward... 21 Nov 2019 14:39 #111843

Ona, you awesome woman, how are you? You were my teacher a few years back :) I'll PM you if I can work out how to do it..

Totally agree that it's all intertwined. Although circumstances are leading to some less than optimal food choices (too many take outs and not enough vegetables!) I am certainly working on my physical health. At the gym 3 a week, sauna, walking, volunteer work etc.

Thing is, i went to a psychotherapist for about 8wks or so but although it was interesting it didn't really do much. Everything resolved itself once i had complated that path. All the existential fear just fell away. Now im back in another cycle things are a bit hard again but I'm hoping to tackle the DN on retreat next year.

Practice is currently still quite high at around 3hrs a day but that's fine, i have time, and I certainly have motivation! :)

thanks,
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What's this? Help moving forward... 21 Nov 2019 14:44 #111844

i went to a psychotherapist for about 8wks or so but although it was interesting it didn't really do much.

I'm curious - what result were you expecting in eight weeks?
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