The Wake of Stream Entry
Effects So Far
Here is what I am noticing:
I’m feeling “different” from the way I felt before stream entry – this is constant, so far “permanent”; specifically, my former “boundaries” seem diffused and extended into the environment, with none of the former frequent sensations of chest/heart contraction around
emotional responses formerly identified with as myself.
About 99% of the time I no longer feel the need to convince others of my views, but when I do feel the need to discuss, then suddenly the right words flow out of me as if I’m channeling a prepackaged perfected message. I’m no longer ruminating and worrying continually–and I’m normally a very anxious worrywart. I completely stopped posting on Facebook, which formerly was an addiction. I have no draw whatsoever to idle chatter. I’m hyperaware of an acute sense of hearing – this is weird,
especially considering that I’m a bit hard of hearing normally. I think that maybe this is just the auditory dimension of boundary diffusion. In any crowd–restaurant, cafe at lunch–I can hear each voice of other people distinctly, such that it seems I’m more located in the surround-sound than I am in my body. This is not subtle.
At a macro level of cycling, I’m definitely back in the A&P, which is what, according to MCTB, happens after a path attainment; I’m exuberant in that almost hypomanic way that A&P was last year, with intense faith in the dharma, need for very little sleep (3 or 4 hours!), feeling like I can sit meditating all night, and seeing/hearing/feeling fine fast vibrations with a few lights. My A&P last year was characterized in part by frequent lucid dreaming that stopped after the A&P Event. Last night – lucid dreaming involving flying through space. Also trembling and twitching during sits–top of my neck feels so weak and trembling that my head feels like it is going to pop off and float away.
As of last night’s sit, incredible concentration states – like nothing I’ve ever experienced. No discursive thoughts arise at all. The clarity is amazing. Normally I find it difficult or impossible to really stabilize these states because I have a tendency to see the Three Characteristics and am drawn to them. But last night, when I tried to do insight practice, it was as if I was pulled into these jhana states instead, regardless of what I intended.
But no repeat cessions/fruitions. MCTB says subsequent fruitions must show up within a week after a suspected stream entry.
Do you think Daniel will give me an extension?
Postscript 2 Years Later
[Postscript – MCTB2 concedes that not all stream enterers get repeat fruitions, or cessations of being, in the Review stage of first path. Except for the stream entry fruition, none of my few fruitions have been all that remarkable, and I really shouldn’t have worried at al, that I wasn’t getting them. Ingram obsesses about them; I cannot tell that they have much, or anything at all, to do with awakening. Now into higher Dzogchen practices, I don’t have cessations at all, ever. They are not a reliable indicator of anything, and I even suspect that most people’s “blip” fruitions without astounding reboot experiences are really just dissociation episodes. My advice? Don’t read any significance whatsoever into cessation of consciousness. Now if you experience being layered back into back into being via the 12 links of dependent origination after a cessation, then that is a fruition indeed, a positive gain, an opportunity for insight and wisdom. Awaking is not oblivion. No, it’s not, which is why I object to the no-self language even though in a sense, at very high levels of attainment, there is a truth to that perspective as well as its ostensible opposite. So if you are through practice seeking to escape your relative self, life, problems, being – that lust for nonbeing is anathema to awakening to your true nature, It is also poor meditative method.]