If this site provides value to you and your practice, please consider donating a small amount to help with the hosting fees.
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Neurological rewiring

Neurological rewiring 01 Mar 2016 14:35 #102805

Please let me know if my terse, abbreviated form of discourse is not clear enough.

Danial Ingram used the phrase "write that wiring on the mind as one's new baseline default mode of perception"

DreamWalker used the phrase "bypassing the amygdala" or something similar.

Those quotes stuck with me and have somewhat effected how I conceptualize some of the experiences I've had. [of course, I know I'm the guy that thinks (maybe) too much, so I don't need to be reminded. :)]

My experiences: a few months after I started vipassana I was at the 45 minute mark of a sit, I had an intense itchy spot on my face. I really 'got into it' for a minute, then I swear the little bugger went splat all over half of my head, it felt like my head was half covered with tingly sparkly goo. The sensation faded within a few minutes. Then a few sits (maybe a month, I can't remember now)later I had another itchy spot on my face, I 'got into it' and I experienced a dramatic 'pancake' effect, where the space between me and the itchiness went to zero, my awareness was one with this giant effect of star spangled itchiness. The feeling faded within a few minutes. Later, reading about awareness and duality, I categorized the second event as a non-duality experience.

More recently (12 months after my 'big shift'), I have this thing where I direct awareness in a certain way and I get a very very cozy perspective on feelings in my head. It takes concentration and, dare I say, some kind of subtle effort, to achieve this state. It seemed like a productive exercise, so I've been doing it and it's been getting easier. As it gets easier, I've come to feel a similarity of this cozy feeling with the flickery feeling of looking up through a waterfall that comes when I'm somewhere around J3 or J4 (I don't have them neatly separated in my mind). It's like I'm inside the phenomena, not observing it from afar. This morning, I had the feeling, that feeling is kind of like the star spangled tingly feeling from a year ago.

THEN, I thought, it's as if my brain wiring is slowly, in fits and starts is re-wiring, and I'm feeling those effects in describable ways.

Comments welcome. :)
Last Edit: 01 Mar 2016 14:36 by matthew sexton.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Neurological rewiring 01 Mar 2016 15:10 #102806

Google "neuroplasticity"
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: matthew sexton

Neurological rewiring 01 Mar 2016 15:59 #102808

My comment is it all sounds good.

The way I think of it is you are basically wiring in access to all the first path states, including A&P/High EQ (sparkly tingling), 3rd Jhana (turbulent, flickery), and 4th Jhana (EQ feelings, including "inside the phenomena"). You are becoming "literate" with those mindstates. Second path covers the same ground as first, but there is much better concentration, so all the nanas are the same, yet different. Maybe part of the rewiring is burning in the nanas with concentration added. The good and bad news is, they'll quickly become no big deal and you'll go looking for new more interesting mindstates... which seems to be what drags us along the development path.

After 2nd, it will be clearer that the differences in the nanas aren't as important as they seemed to be... actually what is similar about all the nanas is where the mystery is. (I'll leave you with that cliff hanger! :) )
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kate Gowen, matthew sexton

Neurological rewiring 03 Mar 2016 12:26 #102822

This makes me think I could log which of those states I wake up in, as a way to track my progress. It seems like when I put my head down to sleep (most of the day) I'm in sparkly/tingling, and when I wake up I'm in flickery, the inside-phenomena happens when I'm sitting, but it also seems to be present if I feel for it during the day. I don't really know where I'm at, I just keep showing up and sitting. :)

Sparkly/tingling state is kind of tiring, I feel like that tiring aspect is what makes me want to sit still and just chill.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kate Gowen, shargrol

Neurological rewiring 03 Mar 2016 12:52 #102823

Sounds like second path!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: shargrol, matthew sexton

Neurological rewiring 03 Mar 2016 14:19 #102824

yup!
Last Edit: 03 Mar 2016 14:19 by shargrol.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: matthew sexton

Neurological rewiring 04 Mar 2016 01:31 #102828

omg, is it that easy to diagnose?

My thought has been that for supposedly the easiest path, I was taking a long time. I also have been thinking that things have changed in sitting and in RL, but I missed out on any super dramatic contemplative experiences, excepting that drum beating in the head phase last summer.

Belief in self has taken a huge beating since I started practice, in the form of dramatically reduced self defense reflexes.

Doubt about the teachings..... I really do believe in the power of transformation, obviously, and I have respect/belief for the value/power of the simple dogma, the kind of stuff Ingram writes about in the first third of MCTB. And more esoteric stuff like 6 realms. But I sure can't call my self buddhist yet, I imagine, because I'm sure there is dogma I don't believe in. I like the Pragmatic Dharma label.

I feel attachment to rights/rituals is clearly beaten down.

Sensual desire has *not* taken a huge beating, as a matter of fact, a week or two ago I noticed I was *looking* at the fair sex more than usual. That said, my awareness of desire has refined and I think unconscious actions have decreased. Of course, my old-fart quotient is rising steadily. :)

Ill will has taken a pretty big beating. I went through a painful phase late last year in the game world I occupy. I felt my reasonable behavior was provoking some insane responses. I really did not like this one person. Just recently I realized that the person is basically is kinda insane, and that is no reason for me to hold any grudge. But when circumstances provoke memories, I do still kinda hope for some sort of poetic justice. So I'd say, 50% there.


I don't have much of a handle on these:
lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth (rūparāgo)[12]
lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm (arūparāgo)[13]
conceit (māna)[14][15]
restlessness (uddhacca)[16]
ignorance (avijjā)[17]
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Neurological rewiring 04 Mar 2016 06:10 #102829

Hmm... I'm saying you are probably in the midst of second path, in a very classic way, not that you have had the second path fruition which launches you into third path... and I'm wondering what Chris meant now! :(

This could be a whole other discussion, but perhaps using the path model leads to to many confusions and expectations (and more generically, this is part of the fun of using maps). Maybe I should state my path model for clarity: Going through the nanas without much concentration is first path, going through it again with the confusing overlay of concentration states is second, having a greater focus on something that goes beyond the nana experience (Awareness and Dependent Origination) while still going through the nanas is third, and solving the problem by an insight into the nature of experience itself is fourth.

To me the big areas of exploration/work are:
1 - can someone continue to practice during the Dark Night? Can they persist into EQ and gently inquire about the nature of percieving, including thought? (The first path work.)
2 - can someone continue to practice when things get weird due to concentration states? Can they continue to practice when experiences of review (even first path fruitions) are interspersed with new territory? Can they do the above again, despite confusions about which nana they are in due to higher concentration? (the second path work.)
3 - can someone see the common way that all the nanas are created as "meanings" of sensations. Can someone begin to see how meaning is co-created with context? Can someone see the tautology of meaning (these feelings of anger mean anger because anger feels like this)? Can someone see that while the current moment is tautology true "This is it!", there is also a sense that "this isn't it" because things are always changing? Does someone understand Emptiness instinctually, does every perception have the "tone" or "flavor" or "sign" of Emptiness? Do they continue to practice despite having a strong sense that knowing Emptiness resolves many resistances? (the third path work.)
4 - Does someone understand Awareness instinctually, does every perception have the the "tone" or "flavor" or "sign" of Awareness? Are they trying to find ulimate Awareness and ultimate Emptiness? Do they continue to practice despite having a strong sense that Awareness is a richly vivid place to rest without much suffering? Do they continue to practice until they have resolved the apparent difference between "this is it" and "this isn't it"? Have they had an insight into "mind nature" or "the nature of perception" or "the nature of experience" that applies to all mind objects and all experiences? Do they know why Emptiness and Awareness doesn't really exist? (the work of fourth path.)

While some people point to the path fruitions as the milestones in the process, I find it easier to look at the dominant explorations/questions/work that the person is doing as the likely marker for where they are.

I know that my saying that will probably confuse things, but I hope it helps in some way. And I'm curious, does this practically help your understanding and guide your practice at all? Or is it all just too confusing and unhelpful? I really would like to know... and it's hard to know what to say when we're just sending telegrams through cyberspace. dash-dot-dot dot-dash-dot, etc.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2016 06:20 by shargrol.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chris Marti, matthew sexton

Neurological rewiring 04 Mar 2016 08:01 #102832

I'm saying you are probably in the midst of second path, in a very classic way, not that you have had the second path fruition which launches you into third path... and I'm wondering what Chris meant now!

I meant exactly that: Matt appears to be in the midst of second path.

I said it based on Matt's description of feeling lost and not knowing "where" he is on the path. It reminded me of the things I would post at that time in my journey. Confusion. Doubt about the efficacy of what I was doing. Sparking and electrical snapping and popping in my head while going to and waking from sleep.

These things found general resolution at my transition to third path, which was marked by another large and apparently meaningful cessation/fruition. After that the confusion went away and so did the doubt. And, most importantly, the center of my experience and focus of my practice moved from being intellectual to being deep in the heart.
Last Edit: 04 Mar 2016 17:36 by Chris Marti.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kate Gowen, shargrol, matthew sexton

Neurological rewiring 04 Mar 2016 21:00 #102840

I appreciate every 'thank you' and comment written here! I feel I'm good at trying to take in all the varied levels of feedback and advise but not obsess over any details. I do appreciate the particular stuff you just wrote Shargrol. I have felt a lack of confidence in my practice lately so that new summary of paths in context to each other is helpful.

Yes, I was thinking you guys were' calling it' for me, which, by the way, is certainly fine if you think it's the right call. I've never been sure about what to call things, so I report a lot and trust that when something is obvious you-all will make sure I get it. Yeah, I was just a bit confused by the terminology of working a path vs attaining a path. That's all fine, really.

So I did go to sleep feeling good, satisfied and could give myself a little credit. This morning my sit was very nice in a different way than yesterday, I think that's a sign that I'm carrying some tension/suspense over my attainment status.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kate Gowen, shargrol
Time to create page: 0.195 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum