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Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes

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Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 4/16/10 2:57 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 4/17/10 12:08 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 4/18/10 1:49 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 4/18/10 11:31 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 4/19/10 12:08 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 4/28/10 3:35 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 4/28/10 11:56 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 4/29/10 11:53 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 4/29/10 1:59 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 4/29/10 3:04 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 5/1/10 1:31 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 5/1/10 2:24 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 5/5/10 2:55 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 5/7/10 1:16 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 6/24/10 5:24 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 6/25/10 11:49 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 6/25/10 5:48 PM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Daniel M. Ingram 7/4/10 1:33 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 7/4/10 7:12 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 8/8/10 10:50 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes tarin greco 8/16/10 2:07 AM
RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes Florian 8/17/10 9:30 AM
I split this off another thread. Context:

the prisoner greco:
Florian Weps:
@Tarin, "helicopter": yes, frequently, as in "each sit, if I pay attention to it". While I perceive the "inner sound" whenever I choose to, the "flap-flap" modulation takes a few seconds of concentration and more quiet surroundings, as it's more "subtle". About a year ago, I decided to do noting practice on it, and got dropped into 4th jhana during one sit, when the noting solidified into something more samatha-like.

Do you get this, too, then?


i would get this frequently for years, until i was on that retreat i mentioned above, during which i started getting it in massive doses, and toward the end of which i started panicking about my time running out, as those are late dark night vibrations and i was getting completely swallowed by them (disappearing into them, like a person disappears for a while under a massive wave in the ocean - going temporarily unconscious). has this been happening to you at all? what have you been doing in your practice lately?


Dark night vibes, like you say. I was never overwhelmed by them, though.

My practice:

Two to three sits a day, at least 40 minutes each, sometimes up to an hour in the evening. In addition, short bits of noting when walking around, eating my lunch etc. Weather permitting, I do walking meditation during lunch break, thus one of the three "sits" is often really a walk.

The first sit of a day is mainly samatha practice, practicing the jhanas with several objects (candle flame, inner sound, breath/energy, meditation word).

On the other sit(s) I do noting practice. With the breath as object, this is how a typical sit goes: A few moments of fairly fast, chaotic breath vibrations, then a stretch where I get mildly distracted by plans, bad conscience, and things to do (cause and effect, I guess), then a few itches and tensions (3C). Then the eyelids colors light up, "energy" wells up from the abdomen. Over the next few minutes, energy sensations an eyelid lights rise and fall with the breath (A&P). Then there's a noticeable shift, energy sensations recede down, and slight shivers and air currents on the skin are very noticeable (Dissolution). The eyelid lights move out to the periphery, leaving an "eclipse" in the center. The helicopter rotor vibes become increasingly clear over the next few minutes. (dark night) It takes about 10 minutes to get here. If I start focussing on them I enter fairly hard fourth jhana, though in a slightly forced way, as if wiggling through a tight place before the jhana really opens up (early eq). If I don't focus on the slow vibrations, there's another stretch of unpleasant sensations, getting the "energy tickles" and wanting to shift posture, until this passes with an obvious shift and I enter a somewhat soft, less bright (in an awareness sense) 4th jhana (early eq). Either way, once in 4th Jhana, I ease up on the noting and instead try to find out what's hiding in the space between my visual sensations (which seem to be "in front") and sound (which seem to be "behind"), or the sound and the energy accumulation behind the brows, or the space "outside" this sphere of sensations. Speaking of spheres, the visual field of eyelid lights will actually form something like a sphere. Investigating like this, the "distance" between the sounds behind and the lights in front diminishes until they are adjacent, like the visual sphere moving into my head, which sometimes results in "losing direction", or vertigo without the nausea, and sometimes to a sense of spacing out. This will happen repeatedly, with more "quiet" strechtes of harder Jhana in between (it's all pretty tranquil anyway) until the sit is over.

I was in a similar place two times over the course of the past year, and both times lost momentum around here. This time, I'm using two crude but (so far) effective methods to keep sitting regularly: rewarding myself with the next samatha sit, and crossing off sits on a checklist.

the prisoner greco:
Florian Weps:

About a year ago, I decided to do noting practice on it, and got dropped into 4th jhana during one sit, when the noting solidified into something more samatha-like.


what you're describing is a really effective way to move a bunch of your mind from re-observation to equanimity, which latter is, by its very nature, much more samatha-like (the difference between 4th samatha jhana and 4th vipassana jhana is slim compared to the difference between the previous ones[1]). did you get stream-entry yet?


No stream entry yet, but this time around equanimity seems more equanimous and less engaging than the last two times: been here before, big deal. I'm curious what the Jhanas will be like after stream entry, though.
the prisoner greco:
[1] which is why people who are taught to master the jhanas via concentration practice first are taught to get 4th jhana and then make the 'switch' to investigation, when the switch will be easy, and they will have a straight shot at path.


Any tips for making that "switch" effectively are highly appreciated. You saw in my description what I'm attempting to do. For a while I thought the slowly vibrating vertigo thing was some formless realm or formation or something, but I'm not so sure anymore.

Thanks for your help,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/17/10 12:08 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

The helicopter rotor vibes become increasingly clear over the next few minutes. (dark night) It takes about 10 minutes to get here. If I start focussing on them I enter fairly hard fourth jhana, though in a slightly forced way, as if wiggling through a tight place before the jhana really opens up (early eq)


are you able to distinguish between 3rd and 4th samatha jhana? what is the difference like for you?


Florian Weps:

the prisoner greco:
[1] which is why people who are taught to master the jhanas via concentration practice first are taught to get 4th jhana and then make the 'switch' to investigation, when the switch will be easy, and they will have a straight shot at path.

Any tips for making that "switch" effectively are highly appreciated. You saw in my description what I'm attempting to do. For a while I thought the slowly vibrating vertigo thing was some formless realm or formation or something, but I'm not so sure anymore.

Thanks for your help,
Florian


based on your sit report, i am inclined to say that you aren't noting enough in equanimity. pay attention to specific aspects of the experience.. what is it like to be in equanimity? are you noting the silence? are you noting those 'quiet stretches'? are you noting the tranquility? are you noting the sense of time passing? are you noting the mind that seems to be noticing all this? are you noting intent and desire when those things show up? and are you noticing the tranquility when they don't? are you noting the sense of distance? are you noting the directionless-ness? are you noting the spacing out... particularly 'what' you're spacing out into?

note more intently, don't miss anything. don't be afraid to shake it up, don't be afraid to 'break' the equanimity by investigating it. you don't want to settle for a solidified samatha-like state, you want to go beyond it.

tarin

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/18/10 1:49 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin,

the prisoner greco:
are you able to distinguish between 3rd and 4th samatha jhana? what is the difference like for you?


3rd: delightfully fuzzy and unfocussed around the edges. With a visual object, there's a halo. With the inner sound, there's a cathedral background choir-like effect from "up and behind".

4th: clear and crisp all around, sober, everything in its proper place, very spatial way of perceiving things. Body sensations are tuned down almost to numbness. The inner sound appears to come from a clearly defined source. Space around sensations is very obvious.

The difference in clarity is a lot like the difference between snuggling between the sheets in the morning, and towelling off after the morning shower.

And thanks for the noting hints. Some I've been doing (sense of space and distance, desire/intent, tranquility), some not (what am I spacing off into, directionless-ness). I'll also up the noting intensity.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/18/10 11:31 PM as a reply to Florian.
Interesting last sit: After noting the directionlessness for a while, my perception of tranquility and sight clarified significantly: sight was completely noiseless and silent. Tranquility, also quiet but distinctly different, had a spatial position, "hovering" somewhere above all the busy stuff.

I got fascinated by the silent quality of the visual experience. Must note that fascination on my next sit.

Noting practice is really amazing. Thanks, Tarin, for directing me back to it!

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/19/10 12:08 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Hi Tarin,

the prisoner greco:
are you able to distinguish between 3rd and 4th samatha jhana? what is the difference like for you?


3rd: delightfully fuzzy and unfocussed around the edges. With a visual object, there's a halo. With the inner sound, there's a cathedral background choir-like effect from "up and behind".

4th: clear and crisp all around, sober, everything in its proper place, very spatial way of perceiving things. Body sensations are tuned down almost to numbness. The inner sound appears to come from a clearly defined source. Space around sensations is very obvious.

The difference in clarity is a lot like the difference between snuggling between the sheets in the morning, and towelling off after the morning shower.


i asked about the difference between 3rd and 4th jhana to make sure you're distinguishing between them correctly. from your descriptions, i gather that you are, and so also think that the kind of tuning you've practised doing with the helicopter vibes may be an effective way to not just move into 4th jhana but also to fine-tune within it.

have you noticed, by the way, that what's in between the helicopter vibes, when its not interrupted by those vibes' occurrence, is the same as the 'numbness' of 4th jhana (such that the 'fabric' of 4th jhana is almost like 3rd jhana but without the vibrations)? if so, you may notice that this numbness comprises sensations, but that they present as a formation, and not by way of flashing in and out; while the formation is still coming and going, the mind that comes and goes with the formation is so in-tune with it that the formation's arising and passing is indistinct from the seeing itself.

as such, the trick here is to 'see' the comings-and-goings that are seeing the formations as separate (hint: the seeing itself is coming and going). your attention/awareness has a frame-rate; tune into it and cessation will occur.

Mahasi Sayadaw:

The objects noticed and the consciousness noticing them cease altogether...

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/28/10 3:35 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
the prisoner greco:
i asked about the difference between 3rd and 4th jhana to make sure you're distinguishing between them correctly. from your descriptions, i gather that you are, and so also think that the kind of tuning you've practised doing with the helicopter vibes may be an effective way to not just move into 4th jhana but also to fine-tune within it.


So I've been working at this for a few days. I can move into a very "solidified" slowly strobing (visual), wah-wah (auditory) slowly beating ("energy" body sensations) thing within about 15 minutes, with all of these strobing and wah-wah and beating synching up.

Now for the fine-tuning:

the prisoner greco:
have you noticed, by the way, that what's in between the helicopter vibes, when its not interrupted by those vibes' occurrence, is the same as the 'numbness' of 4th jhana (such that the 'fabric' of 4th jhana is almost like 3rd jhana but without the vibrations)?


I may have been getting a whiff of that on my last sit: in addition to the slow "energetic" body "beating" sensation, the entire body sensation was also coming and going (or the numbness was going and coming off-beat as it were). I spaced out badly somewhere around there, as I was tired, sitting late at night, and the solid vibes have this effect of lulling me.

the prisoner greco:
if so, you may notice that this numbness comprises sensations, but that they present as a formation, and not by way of flashing in and out; while the formation is still coming and going, the mind that comes and goes with the formation is so in-tune with it that the formation's arising and passing is indistinct from the seeing itself.


Is that the same effect that has the other sensations (sound, energy beats, visuals) synching up?

the prisoner greco:
as such, the trick here is to 'see' the comings-and-goings that are seeing the formations as separate (hint: the seeing itself is coming and going). your attention/awareness has a frame-rate; tune into it and cessation will occur.


Not sure I'm understanding you correctly - tune into the off-beat "coming-and-going"?

Mahasi Sayadaw:

The objects noticed and the consciousness noticing them cease altogether...


It's next to my pillow, actually. The booklet. emoticon

Thanks, Tarin, for your help with this.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/28/10 11:56 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
So I've been working at this for a few days. I can move into a very "solidified" slowly strobing (visual), wah-wah (auditory) slowly beating ("energy" body sensations) thing within about 15 minutes, with all of these strobing and wah-wah and beating synching up.

Now for the fine-tuning:

the prisoner greco:
have you noticed, by the way, that what's in between the helicopter vibes, when its not interrupted by those vibes' occurrence, is the same as the 'numbness' of 4th jhana (such that the 'fabric' of 4th jhana is almost like 3rd jhana but without the vibrations)?


I may have been getting a whiff of that on my last sit: in addition to the slow "energetic" body "beating" sensation, the entire body sensation was also coming and going (or the numbness was going and coming off-beat as it were). I spaced out badly somewhere around there, as I was tired, sitting late at night, and the solid vibes have this effect of lulling me.


they do have this lulling effect, don't they? pay attention to the points at which you're actually starting to space out. can you feel the peripheral vibrations 'pulling' your attention outwards into a dilated, trance-like forgetfulness? wake up to the siren song! this can be some pretty interesting territory, but fine tune, catch it happening and sail through.


Florian Weps:

the prisoner greco:
if so, you may notice that this numbness comprises sensations, but that they present as a formation, and not by way of flashing in and out; while the formation is still coming and going, the mind that comes and goes with the formation is so in-tune with it that the formation's arising and passing is indistinct from the seeing itself.


Is that the same effect that has the other sensations (sound, energy beats, visuals) synching up?


yes, it is the same effect; however, when the seeing starts synching up, the objects being seen (which have already unified) stop strobing.. for when the seeing is (more or less) in sync with those objects, there is nothing for them to strobe against.


Florian Weps:

the prisoner greco:
as such, the trick here is to 'see' the comings-and-goings that are seeing the formations as separate (hint: the seeing itself is coming and going). your attention/awareness has a frame-rate; tune into it and cessation will occur.


Not sure I'm understanding you correctly - tune into the off-beat "coming-and-going"?


can you say more about this off-beat 'coming and going'? how is it different from the unified audio-visual-bodily slow strobing vibes?

tarin

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/29/10 11:53 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
the prisoner greco:
they do have this lulling effect, don't they? pay attention to the points at which you're actually starting to space out. can you feel the peripheral vibrations 'pulling' your attention outwards into a dilated, trance-like forgetfulness? wake up to the siren song! this can be some pretty interesting territory, but fine tune, catch it happening and sail through.

Tricky, so far. Ody had himself roped to that mast for a reason, it seems. But I'm on it. It's like watching milk boil, and then it boils over just when I blink.

the prisoner greco:
Florian Weps:
the prisoner greco:
as such, the trick here is to 'see' the comings-and-goings that are seeing the formations as separate (hint: the seeing itself is coming and going). your attention/awareness has a frame-rate; tune into it and cessation will occur.


Not sure I'm understanding you correctly - tune into the off-beat "coming-and-going"?


can you say more about this off-beat 'coming and going'? how is it different from the unified audio-visual-bodily slow strobing vibes?


Well, when the vibes are "not there", a kind of blind blankness/numbness is "there", on the off-beat. I've had it once, before writing that post. A bit like an echo or foreshadowing. Maybe that was just some intermittent weirdness.

So currently, once I get "there", I'm paying attention (noting) to the slow synchronized stuff, paying attention to the urge to shift and reach out, and noticing that I spaced out. Suggestions?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/29/10 1:59 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

the prisoner greco:


can you say more about this off-beat 'coming and going'? how is it different from the unified audio-visual-bodily slow strobing vibes?


Well, when the vibes are "not there", a kind of blind blankness/numbness is "there", on the off-beat. I've had it once, before writing that post. A bit like an echo or foreshadowing. Maybe that was just some intermittent weirdness.


do you mean that its a 'reverse-beat' (same rate/timing as the vibes and presenting in the intervals between them) or do you mean that it has a different rhythm altogether? (which is what the term 'off' suggested to me)

Florian Weps:

So currently, once I get "there", I'm paying attention (noting) to the slow synchronized stuff, paying attention to the urge to shift and reach out, and noticing that I spaced out. Suggestions?


yes: note spacing out, note the strangely enjoyable bliss of spacing out, don't space out.

stay aware of the reaching out quality (it is only a quality after out - there is no 'out' that is actually being reached to), keeping your attention keenly attuned to the sense of periphery (to all peripheries at the same time if possible, otherwise just to the sides which 'pull' on your attention the most).

hint: see how peripheries dont actually exist (they vanish into each other/into thin air) ... and without that strobing pull, whats left?

then be aware of that/keep noting that.

tarin

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
4/29/10 3:04 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin,

same timing, but shifted somehow. Again. I got this one single time, and by now I may not be remembering it correctly any more.

Thanks for the hints, I'll try them out next sit,

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
5/1/10 1:31 AM as a reply to Florian.
Hi Tarin,

That "reaching out" quality you mentioned, well, I've been watching it like you suggested. That thing that is like an inchworm looking for a place to hold on to? Or a very, very subtle tug of war? Or a piece of jelly on a string? Oozing but purposeful?

I've been noting it.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
5/1/10 2:24 AM as a reply to Florian.
just realise it already

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
5/5/10 2:55 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin (and DhO at large)

I've caught this oozing groping thing in two contexts so far: as it's reaching out, and after the fact, after blanking out, that is.

I keep trying to find where it starts out from, to observe it right from the start, but either my concentration is not up to it, or there simply is no "starting out" with this, but that doesn't feel right.

I suspect there must be some "warning signs", but I haven't found any, so far. How do I go about noticing them? Note faster/more thoroughly? Pump up the tranquility so they show more clearly?

Thanks for any hints.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
5/7/10 1:16 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Hi Tarin (and DhO at large)

I've caught this oozing groping thing in two contexts so far: as it's reaching out, and after the fact, after blanking out, that is.

I keep trying to find where it starts out from, to observe it right from the start, but either my concentration is not up to it, or there simply is no "starting out" with this, but that doesn't feel right.


pay attention to 'where' it's reaching out 'to', and pay attention to how it doesn't feel right.

Florian Weps:

I suspect there must be some "warning signs", but I haven't found any, so far. How do I go about noticing them? Note faster/more thoroughly? Pump up the tranquility so they show more clearly?


at one point while i was on my stream-entry retreat, i had this bizarrely intent - perhaps somewhat fanatical - pre-occupation with looking at what, just what exactly, is happening right now (i strongly had the sense that i wasn't paying enough attention somehow and that there was something strange going on which i was missing). to this end, i had a rhythmic mantra running (something along the lines of 'what.is going on.right now?', which i repeated to myself for several hours.. strange times called for strange measures), and that helped me maintain continuity of attention for a while. whether or not that was actually necessary, however, i don't know, as the something strange which was happening was actually staring me in the face all that time, like it's doing to you right now.

tarin

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
6/24/10 5:24 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thanks, Tarin.

Update: at one point a few weeks back, the oozing groping thing changed and broke apart into "detachable attention" - attention moved freely in the space between e.g. the "place" where I see something, and the "place" where the seeing is (subjectively somewhere behind my eyelids), and analogous for the other perceptions. And also, as a kind of third party, I was aware of this state of affairs.

Then, in my last few sits of the past week, I've experienced, with great clarity, a complete sense of discontinuity. It was detectable only because events had moved on unaccountably: my breath was suddenly fully exhaled, and there was no memory of that last bit of abdominal motion or any other sensation for that matter, not even memory of a blank moment. While the clarity of this experience was extraordinary, its flavor was completely normal or common and not exceptional at all.

Just prior to the discontinuities there was always an extended back-and-forth of "detachable attention" moving between the sense of perceiving on one hand, and the perceptions on the other, with the distance between the two being bridged somehow (not by me!) or an arching connection being formed, by the autonomous back-and-forth motion of attention.

There was no particular bliss-wave after these discontinuities, rather, a profound sense of soberness.

I've been running a heavy cold for a few days, so I wasn't able to get many re-runs of this thing.

Part of me is certain that it was a perfectly empty gap - no passage of time, no reference point in any experience during the event, just the fact that the world has turned a bit more in-between two moments of very clear perception.

Another part of me is skeptical, comparing this with other accounts I've come across, raising objections over the missing bliss-wave, the fact that nothing much seems to have changed, the fact that I'm not suddenly a master of concentration, or able to do 100 push-ups emoticon - just unmet expectations, really.

A third part of me keeps pointing out that seeking justification in any particular experience (or rather, this particular non-experience) seems like a very dumb move in a quest to become unfettered by the particulars of experience.

I'd be happy to hear any suggestions, what to look at, what to disregard, and how to proceed from here.

And I'm once more full of gratitude for this place, and all the people who make it what it is, and Daniel for maintaining it and writing MCTB and, and, and...

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
6/25/10 11:49 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Thanks, Tarin.


you're welcome.

Florian Weps:

Update: at one point a few weeks back, the oozing groping thing changed and broke apart into "detachable attention" - attention moved freely in the space between e.g. the "place" where I see something, and the "place" where the seeing is (subjectively somewhere behind my eyelids), and analogous for the other perceptions.


yes..

Florian Weps:

And also, as a kind of third party, I was aware of this state of affairs.


yes.....

Florian Weps:

Then, in my last few sits of the past week, I've experienced, with great clarity, a complete sense of discontinuity. It was detectable only because events had moved on unaccountably: my breath was suddenly fully exhaled, and there was no memory of that last bit of abdominal motion (...)


yes!

Florian Weps:

(...) or any other sensation for that matter, not even memory of a blank moment. While the clarity of this experience was extraordinary, its flavor was completely normal or common and not exceptional at all.

Just prior to the discontinuities there was always an extended back-and-forth of "detachable attention" moving between the sense of perceiving on one hand, and the perceptions on the other, with the distance between the two being bridged somehow (not by me!) or an arching connection being formed, by the autonomous back-and-forth motion of attention.


could you describe in greater detail what has happened prior to the discontinuities.. particularly about the arching connection formed? (and then what?)

..also, what was your meditation experience like after the discontinuities, say, for the rest of the sessions?

Florian Weps:

Part of me is certain that it was a perfectly empty gap - no passage of time, no reference point in any experience during the event, just the fact that the world has turned a bit more in-between two moments of very clear perception.

Another part of me is skeptical, comparing this with other accounts I've come across, raising objections over the missing bliss-wave, the fact that nothing much seems to have changed, the fact that I'm not suddenly a master of concentration, or able to do 100 push-ups emoticon - just unmet expectations, really.

A third part of me keeps pointing out that seeking justification in any particular experience (or rather, this particular non-experience) seems like a very dumb move in a quest to become unfettered by the particulars of experience.

I'd be happy to hear any suggestions, what to look at, what to disregard, and how to proceed from here.


my suggestion would be to just let all of these parts keep talking to themselves/each other/whomever without being too concerned by any of it... but that's already what you've been doing anyway, isn't it? (just guessing here)

tarin

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
6/25/10 5:48 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
Florian Weps:

(...) or any other sensation for that matter, not even memory of a blank moment. While the clarity of this experience was extraordinary, its flavor was completely normal or common and not exceptional at all.

Just prior to the discontinuities there was always an extended back-and-forth of "detachable attention" moving between the sense of perceiving on one hand, and the perceptions on the other, with the distance between the two being bridged somehow (not by me!) or an arching connection being formed, by the autonomous back-and-forth motion of attention.


could you describe in greater detail what has happened prior to the discontinuities.. particularly about the arching connection formed? (and then what?)


The little spot of attention would vault back and forth between the set of sensations and the subjective "place" where the sensing is (for example, a sound out there, and the shelf in my skull where I "place" hearing, or the grainy bit of eyelid color out there and the place where I imagine my eyeballs are).

This slowly bouncing, arching, vaulting motion would gradually speed up, with the implication that the distance being spanned each time was decreasing. Then the set of sensations would gang up to form an experience, or a vision: the first time around, it was, appropriately, the experience of flying along to the right of a curved railway bridge on arched supports (there is one close to where I work ), complete with sense of flying along the arches and peeking through them at the brightness on the other side. Then I'd be very loudly, viscerally aware of breathing out - ! - no wait, of having just completed that exhalation.

All of this was very unspectacular, the vision/seeing part of the vision was poor quality and grainy, the sense of flying motion was there but didn't blot out my sense of sitting, it was more like a lazy day-dream, only very clearly perceived and not the onset of spacing out at all. Your advice from earlier in the thread, "note the strangely enjoyable bliss of spacing out, don't space out" had been going through my head just prior to this.

tarin greco:
..also, what was your meditation experience like after the discontinuities, say, for the rest of the sessions?


The first time I was so baffled I opened my eyes and stopped meditating there and then to think it over and write it down. I hadn't been expecting it at all. I was just very sober, and not sure what to make of it. I was enjoying the soberness, but almost wrote it all off to having spaced out yet again (though very lucidly), because for some reason I was expecting large amounts of bliss to become available.

Then a few days later I noticed the discontinuity again, but without anything like the railway bridge sequence. If anything, there was a short, abstract audible/visual pattern that was somehow off-center. It wasn't very lucid, and it doesn't make much sense anymore when I read that description now. I continued to meditate to see if anything else would happen, and after a while of just plain sitting around, my break was over, and I got up.

There was a third occurrence of discontinuity-noticing, but it wasn't very clear, so it may have been something else. By then, I had developed a nasty cold and wasn't meditating much, and was drowsy and unfocussed from medication. That cold is getting better, and I'm looking forward to sitting again.

Tarin:
my suggestion would be to just let all of these parts keep talking to themselves/each other/whomever without being too concerned by any of it... but that's already what you've been doing anyway, isn't it? (just guessing here)


Yes - for the first time in, yes in years, I'm not concerned about missing any meditation sits due to my cold.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
7/4/10 1:33 AM as a reply to Florian.
Tarin mentioned you might have gotten stream entry...

Nice, whatever it is.

Perhaps more follows in another thread. Regardless, keep us informed. If you have finally done it, well, about damn time! ;)

Keep up the good work, and thanks for your many sane and helpful contributions to this forum. It is very good to have you here.

Daniel

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
7/4/10 7:12 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel,

Well, there isn't much to report at the moment, as I'm more concerned with lots of "real-life" stuff at the moment - school term is over for my daughter, family visits and vacations planning are big on the agenda, changes in my work situation (for the better) demand a lot of attention, and so on.

So while there's nothing new to report, here are a few musings and speculations:

Whatever that was, it has been unfolding for about a year now. Never having done a retreat, I suspect that this kind of thing develops with more intensity and maybe more clarity in a retreat situation than when practicing at home, and hence the milestones become more evident during retreat. Also, I'm really bad at self-diagnosis.

Duncan (of the Baptists Head / Open Enlightenment) recently explained to me how he sees fruitions primarily as insight-producing rather than experience-producing. I find that to be a very useful addition to the technical, phenomenological descriptions of fruition in use here at DhO, a kind of double-check against scripting the experience.

While I don't notice anything abruptly different about my current experience vs. say, my experience in April, something has been lifted or become transparent, and it's very different, just so sober and natural somehow, from equanimity. Not that equanimity didn't have this sense of okay-ness and all-around inclusiveness, but in eq. there was, compared to now, a kind of tension holding it all together, which wasn't all that noticeable then but is now conspicuously absent. This is obviously very subjective stuff.

As to more clealy described experiential stuff: I do get into the jhanas rather quickly now (but then, I've been practicing them for over a year, so that's not that surprising). I can also tune into a vipassana-ish / mindful perspective and stay there during ordinary day-to-day activities, and do this more quickly and for more prolonged periods than, say, in February.

And yeah, this place, the DhO, is great, and it's good to be here.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
8/8/10 10:50 AM as a reply to Florian.
An update is long overdue -

Vacations are over, the bad cough is gone, too. Life in general: So far, things are holding up under the pressures of work and spells of bad weather and so on. Actually, "holding up" is a bad way of putting it, as that implies some kind of strain on something, or something being put to the test, when there is nothing being tested or under strain, just so unremarkable and plain. Even the sense of things being plain and unspectacularly obvious is nothing extraordinary.

What's a bit of a surprise is what I call "tuning into not-self" during everyday life, which now increasingly often (several times a day) occurs on its own, not requiring my conscious intention to turn up, though I can also trigger it reliably by just looking at my hands, whether they are still or typing or chopping onions or whatever.

Practice: I haven't resumed a sitting schedule yet; but I find myself doing some kind of practice once a day regardless. My current favorite is: playing with the separate visual senses of focus and location of seeing, placing the visual focus at something "out there" while placing the sense of seeing somewhere else, such as just before the eyes or even into the non-visual space behind the visual field. Oscillation between these two points starts up and, if left to develop, the sense of distance between the two loses its significance and fruition - that little jump in events - occurs, followed by the ordinary, clean soberness I've come to associate with its aftermath. This works with eyes open and closed (the oscillation thing, that is; I only got fruition with eyes closed so far).

That sense of distance and volume is very interesting, and recently, I've been entering 5th jhana repeatedly just to watch it build up.

I continue to use noting practice, in all kinds of postures and circumstances, for whatever (usually short) stetches of time available.

I'm not acutely aware of cycling, but the passes through the fear ñana are often very noticeable in everyday life, and present as strong and, well, fearful energy sensations in the chest area. On the subject of energy sensations: I regularly (but not always) get a "superconductor rod" energy sensation extending from the crown down to the abdomen -very solid, straight, smooth, and "bright", with "bright" in the energetic sensation sense, not visual at all.

I'll post a start-to-end sit description once my long-term sitting schedule has picked up again, which I expect it will, now, with everyone back to school/work.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
8/16/10 2:07 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
An update is long overdue -

(...)

What's a bit of a surprise is what I call "tuning into not-self" during everyday life, which now increasingly often (several times a day) occurs on its own, not requiring my conscious intention to turn up, though I can also trigger it reliably by just looking at my hands, whether they are still or typing or chopping onions or whatever.


when the shift happens, do your hands wind up looking different?


*


Florian Weps:
I haven't resumed a sitting schedule yet; but I find myself doing some kind of practice once a day regardless. My current favorite is: playing with the separate visual senses of focus and location of seeing, placing the visual focus at something "out there" while placing the sense of seeing somewhere else, such as just before the eyes or even into the non-visual space behind the visual field. Oscillation between these two points starts up and, if left to develop, the sense of distance between the two loses its significance and fruition - that little jump in events - occurs, followed by the ordinary, clean soberness I've come to associate with its aftermath. This works with eyes open and closed (the oscillation thing, that is; I only got fruition with eyes closed so far).


after i got 1st path, i never resumed a sitting schedule quite like i had before.. i just practised in daily life constantly, spending most of my days at home alone (this wasn't difficult as i was self-employed). i also started playing with the sense of visual focus, too, similar to how you're describing.

on that note, have you ever gotten the impression that what you're seeing 'out there' and the other place (in the non-visual space behind the visual field) were somehow trading places?

and have you ever gotten the sense that what you see (or otherwise experience) at any given moment is only different from anything else (which you could experience at any other given moment) because they are 'at different planes of focus'?


*


Florian Weps:

I'm not acutely aware of cycling, but the passes through the fear ñana are often very noticeable in everyday life, and present as strong and, well, fearful energy sensations in the chest area. On the subject of energy sensations: I regularly (but not always) get a "superconductor rod" energy sensation extending from the crown down to the abdomen -very solid, straight, smooth, and "bright", with "bright" in the energetic sensation sense, not visual at all.


do you notice any discernable movement along this 'rod' as you continue to cycle?

tarin

RE: Dark night "idling overhead helicopter rotor" vibes
Answer
8/17/10 9:30 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Continued in this thread.