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DLP Practice Log

DLP Practice Log
1/25/19 3:13 AM
Session 1: 1h 05m - Perfect Posture/Burmese - Vipassana
M (6/7) I (7/8) En (6/7) R (7) T (8) C (5/6) Eq (7)
Session started off with a lot of thoughts and lack of concentration. As soon as the focus stabilised, swaying/body movements occur mainly on the shoulder area of both arms. At some point there was this feeling definitely not physical, not knowing what it was, located on right side of the top of the head?, further investigation of 3C causes movement fo be more violent. Constant switching of primary object from the breath on the nose, to the sensastion of the hand touching the thigh, sound of nearby construction, and the edge of lips when smiling. Focusing more on the consturction sound while wanting it to subtly go away or focusing on 3C causes body movement. Further investigation on impatience? After the end of the session, felt happy/tranquil and focusing on the no-self aspect inquiring who’s experiencing this causes crunching on the side abs left to right. Feeling of annoyance every time focus stabilized on the breath, body swaying occurs and when noting swaying, the swaying stop. Rinse and repeat. Body felt quite sore due to plenty of violent movement yesterday, especially on the shoulder area. Yesterday's movement was like my shoulder trying to stretch and release on its own, lots of popping and clicking. Next day felt rounding of the shoulder greatly reduced and seem to stand more upright. Arthritis on the left-hand middle finger seems to come back (used to have this 1/2 years ago). The more I practice the stiffer the middle finger gets? Sitting was easy, no restlessness of thinking about time, maybe increase duration?

Session 2: 25m - Ujjayi Breathing - Concentration
Thoughts here and there, but overall session quality was good. Felt happy and tranquil after the session ends.

Session 3: 10m Staring at black dot on a wall Concentration
Did well. Didn't blink which is pretty impressive. White shadow on the black dot moving around? Still need to adjust the intensity of focus constantly having to gas and brake the focus.

Session 4: 1 H (lasted only 38m) - Seiza Position - Vipassana (end up doing random things)
Started the session with a feeling of resistance/laziness towards the practice. Didn't end up finishing the session. Knee hurts. Funny how I wanted to increase duration huh? Noticing if I make movements on the abs area, say counter clockwise, the shoulder follows the same movement without having the intention to move the shoulder. Odd. Also noticed if I'm thinking of not wanting to meditate I slouch, while if I'm thinking I wanted to meditate body seems to be erect without me needing to stay upright/erect. Light swaying still occurs during the early/middle session when focus stabilized on the breath at the nose.

Session 5: 30m? (didn't time it) - Seiza Position - Metta Meditation
Felt quite tired after finishing gym so tried Seiza to be more upright. Felt really good. Recalling moments with my dog started the session with a very good feeling on the chest area, also noticed how I'm able to hear high pitched sound? Session was good, 10/10 I love everyone.

Session 6: 1 H (Lasted only 30m) - Seiza Position - Vipassana 
Started the session feeling confused due to reading about stream entry. The session started quite great after doing Ujjayi breathing for a bit. Tried to focus on the chest and abs area as suggested in MCTB2. Not much movement this time, although very light swaying still occurs. No more shoulder movement. Thoughts come and go and continually tried to note. Thoughts of Mahasi Sayadaw noting method keep popping up. Knee pain causes to stop the session early as it's unbearable. I guess seiza is not my position. Feeling of frustration and resistance towards meditation now. Should back off a bit? Hearing gets more sensitive. Like there is this *ngiiiiiiiiing* voice, although it's not loud.

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/25/19 4:59 AM as a reply to DLP.
Your notes are impressively systematic. I couldn’t interpret all the letters, so if you would like to explain that would be interesting.

Was all this on the same day? That’s quite a lot. I’m thinking that maybe it would be beneficial to do shorter sittings and make sure that you finish them instead. Otherwise you might script your mind into a bad habit that may be difficult to break. Shorters sittings need not be bad. You can always sit longer than intended of you feel like it, I guess. That would be erring on the right side and more beneficial than the other way around.

I recognize having the hands and other peripheral sensations stand out when trying to focus on the breath. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be a dukkha nana thing having to do with a widening of focus. That involves heightened peripheral awareness and a blurred center of attention. I have no idea what stage you are in, but if that is the case, forcing a narrow focus may be less beneficial.

I haven’t reached stream entry yet, so if somebody more experienced gives other advice you should listen to them instead.

Best wishes.

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/25/19 5:19 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hi Linda,

Thank you for the kind words. Which part in particular would you want me to explain? I would be more than happy to try to elaborate on my side since I'm only a beginner and wishes to learn more. 

Yes all the practice mentioned are on the same day since I have plenty of free time at the moment. I agree with your shorter sitting suggestion, but I did a session just know with a different position and it turns out I can hold it out. Maybe seiza is not my posture.

I'll look into dukkha nana as I'm only at part II of MCTB2. I did take a look at stages of insight and I would say I'm probably in stage 3 or early stage 4 where there are some days where I'm obsessed with the posture and some days where sits can be quite easy. Some nights I don't require much sleep (slept at 10, woke up at 4/5), some nights I require much sleep (slept at 10 woke up at 6/7). o you have any suggestion on the swaying part prehaps because I feel it has been hindering the quality of my session.

Many thanks.

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/25/19 5:53 PM as a reply to DLP.

I was wondering about the third row with the letters and numbers. I assume that you are evaluating diffrent variabels such as energy and equanimity?

I would not be able to sit in seiza for that long, and I have gone throught the dukkha nanas several times.

The swaying happens for some people in certain stages. They will most likely go away eventually. They are nothing to worry about. Your body will know what to do. Unless you are disturbing other meditators, just let the body sway.

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/25/19 8:17 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yes the third row reflects on the 7 factors mention in MCTB. I tried to put it that way as suggested so I know what to work on.

Interesting how you mentioned dukkha nanas, I took a look about A&P Stage and Dissoulution, and I felt some resemblance on both stages? Especially on the part of the dissolution where it says "attention is quite diffuse and unstable... center of attention becomes the least clear area of experience, and periphery dominates". However I don't feel I have experienced any A&P event. Also I would like to mention the main of body movement is caused when I read about the disatisfactoriness part on MCTB and where Daniel mention "turn on", I did a session inside a bathroom completely dark because tbh I am afraid of the dark. So there was definitely fear and during the session there's definitely images of horror character like the one in the movie "The Exorcist" coming up. I further investigate that fear and the body movement gets more violent? Would you care to provide any input?

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/26/19 4:51 AM as a reply to DLP.
26/01/2019 Changed the 7 factors rating to out of 5 to be easier

Session 1: Vipassana 1H Burmese (forgot to take note of the 7 factors)
Started the session with a resolve to sit and investigate. The neighbours started to play drum, great. Tried to focus on the breath on the sensation inside the nose but hearing the drum sound makes it hard to do so. Listened to the drum sound and the mind focuses on wants to focus on something else like rising falling sensation on the chest/abs area or the inside of the nose. The mind at some point stabilizes on the inside movement of the nose and light swaying occur. Trying to hold the swaying causes vibrations on the palm of the hands? Trying to note swaying makes the swaying stops and need to redirect to the breath. So I tried to just hold the swaying as suggested at the A Path With Heart. There seems to be a bit of postural obsession when the mind focuses on the sensation of the breath, noticing the shoulder tenses and rises up. When noticing this, I tried to relax and let them fall again. Should I do this? When the mind stabilizes again on the sensation of the breath, I noticed there's pain when breathing during the beginning and ending of every inhalation and exhalation. There is something going on at the out breath, sometimes like a bit of sensation during the middle part of the out breath?

Session 2: Concentration 1H Ujjayi Breathing
Session started off pretty great. Focus chanting so hum just to get the momentum and focus on the breath going. Thoughts here and there, but able to return to the breath fairly quickly. When the breath stabilizes, I tried to count the duration of each in/ out breath, the count was around 8 per in/out breath. There was a bit of drowsiness here and there during the beginning of the session, was this caused by one pointed focus? One pointed focus causes the lips to be pursing and tense, maybe trying too hard? At some point took a deep breath, contract all muscle and pursing the lips then release the breath to energize the body again. Tried a much more relaxed / peripheral focus felt way better. Body seems to relax a lot more, and hey there's an efortless smile going on. Breath count is surprisingly long around 10/11 per in/out breath. No drowisness or excessive thoughts going on. End of session body started to get hot and tired. Definitely way way more thoughts happening. Tried to focus on returning on the breath as much as possible. Breath count is about 7 per in/out breath. Overall session quality is about 3.5/5.

Session 3: Vipassana 1H Burmese 
M 3.5/5   I 3/5   En 4/5   R 3/5? (unsure)   T 3.5/5   C 3.5/5  Eq  
Session started off feeling pretty great. Set a resolve seems definitely to help a lot during each session. Switched the anchoring of the object from the tip of the nose, to the chest and abs area. During the middle of the sesion at some point when the breath stabilizes, I tried to feel at which part of the vibrations exist on the chest or abs area. I noticed the vibrations are quite fast. Vibrations move up and down with me noticing when the vibrations on the chest area, the vibrations suddenly move on the abs, vice versa. Sometimes the vibrations stay on the same place when I took notice, then moved again the opposite side. Tried to investigate on the 3C although uncertain what to investigate on. At some point tried switching the object to feel vibrations tip of the head/on the crown chakra. There's pressure on the head like a headache of some sort, still feeling it as I'm typing this. There was flickering on the peripheral area. Also noticed some kind of heartbeat movement on the head area, not sure if it's a heartbeat? Light swaying occur when I move the object to the crown of the head. Holding the swaying causes vibration on the palm of the hand again, and there was a flash of white light, very brief. Should I keep the object of each session to just one or should I move it around? At the end of the session there's a bit of restlessness, wanting to stop, maybe because I'm unsure what to investigate on? Well in this session to be honest I have a strong intention to investigate on but not sure what to investigate or to look for, not really doubt or laziness to investigate. Should I investigate on the 3C of the thought of wanting to investigate?

Feedbacks/suggestion on practice please!

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/26/19 6:01 AM as a reply to DLP.
Yes the third row reflects on the 7 factors mention in MCTB. I tried to put it that way as suggested so I know what to work on.

Interesting how you mentioned dukkha nanas, I took a look about A&P Stage and Dissoulution, and I felt some resemblance on both stages? Especially on the part of the dissolution where it says "attention is quite diffuse and unstable... center of attention becomes the least clear area of experience, and periphery dominates". However I don't feel I have experienced any A&P event. Also I would like to mention the main of body movement is caused when I read about the disatisfactoriness part on MCTB and where Daniel mention "turn on", I did a session inside a bathroom completely dark because tbh I am afraid of the dark. So there was definitely fear and during the session there's definitely images of horror character like the one in the movie "The Exorcist" coming up. I further investigate that fear and the body movement gets more violent? Would you care to provide any input?

Right. Of course. I was guessing that it might refer to those words, but I didn’t recall that those were the seven factors. I should probably reread that section.

I don’t think I’m qualified to provide any useful input. Sorry. Do be careful when using triggers in your practice, please. I can tell you, though, that it is possible to cross A&P without knowing it and also without meditating. Whether that is the case for you I really cannot tell. It could also be the case that you have not yet been able to reach stable attention. Regardless of which, try to stay attentive to your sensations as they are and keep observing.

RE: DLP Practice Log
1/26/19 6:08 AM as a reply to DLP.
Maybe it could be a good idea to go smaller, focus on something very limited instead of trying to do everything all at once?

RE: DLP Practice Log
2/3/19 2:20 PM as a reply to DLP.
Someone who is on the 2nd stage of Enlightenment and is getting very close to the 3rd is guiding me. So I'll be posting again here just to see if some pointers or feedback regarding my practice could be made so that my session can be more effective and efficient.

Session 1 (1H 10m): Tried the inclusive focus as suggested. Imagining the body like a piece of paper and the attention like a pen seems to help a lot. The first issue that comes up during this session is pain around the left neck area. The pain travels down to the shoulder and then to the left elbow. Some interesting thoughts happen, such as the idea of leaving Sydney to Jakarta in order to do a 10 day silent retreat at Dhamma Java. Still have the tendency to follow a certain thoughts, especially the good ones as mentioned before. Flickering and a slight hip pain follow sometimes during the mid-end of the session. Question is, if there is a shoulder pain radiating/moving up and down, whilst the same time there is also flickering and hip pain. Should I stay on a broader kind of attention observing all three? Or should I just focus on the one that seems to be getting the most attention (hip area)? Towards the end of the session I tried to play around and move the attention from the shoulder and the hip area in a zig zag pattern to find the core of the pain. I also tried moving the attention around on my feet/palm of my hand and can feel the in/out breath happening at the spot I'm moving my attention to.

Session 2 (1H 10M): Started the session with tiredness because I just finished working out. There is a lot of drowsiness happening in the early of the session where I nod off. I just note it as drowsiness. There is also some period of sinking, where there are no thoughts happening, but there is a lack of concentration. A lot of thoughts came about saying that I don't have enough energy, concentration and mindfulness for this session and just wanting to leave the cushion. I just simply note it as restlesness everytime my attention goes there. I tried switching again to exclusive focus during the mid session, focusing the in/out breath at the tip of my nose. Then there is a pain in the tail bone area and so I stayed with the pain and trying to find the pulsing sensation of the core of the pain. After a while, the pain disappear and there is this sudden surge of energy and going automatically going to inclusive focus. Pain on the tail bone area came back again so I stayed with the pulsing sensation. When the pain goes away, I tried moving the attention slightly lower and find a much more painful area and stayed there. Whilst reflecting on the 3C, the pain disappear and there was a sensation on the right of the nose as if the blockage is gone. Sort of like when you have a flu/sinusitis, then it's gone and you can feel the air coming in/out more on the right side of the nose. Due to the surge of energy, I just tried moving the attention around areas where I usually feel pain and moving it in a zig zag patter horizontally. I noticed my eyes are moving with the zig zag pattern, so I changed the pattern vertically to minimize the eye movement from happening. Overall this session is very interesting, as I reflected how I was very tried in the beginning but at the end of the session, as I am writing this, I feel awake and clear. I guess this is impermanence.

RE: DLP Practice Log
2/4/19 3:57 AM as a reply to DLP.
Session 1 (1H 10m): Started the session with a feeling of uneasiness? Had a weird dream about my ex looking for me and coming late to my grandma's birthday. Not a bad dream, but there's definitely a feeling of discomfort/weirded out. Going to inclusive focus seems to be a lot easier now, I still need the pen and paper cue though. There is also still the tendency of the mind following a good thought although I am able to note it fairly quicker now. There is not much happening during early/mid session, just ocsassional thoughts. Seems like if it's a neutral thought I am able to see the arising and passing away of those thoughts. So rather than noting the thought, I tried to find exactly where the thought is located and what size it is as it is passing away. I'll try to do this as the thought arises too in the future. There's also some point where I started to do self-inquiry asking the question, "Who is the one talking and hearing at the same time?" I'm trying to really locate and find the source where this talking and the one hearing occurs, but it seems there is nothing to be found and I'm just confused. During the mid session, the attention goes around the chest area. This is definitely the feeling of uneasiness during the beginning of the session resides. So I stayed there trying to find where the core of this feeling. At first it was on the right side area, and after finding the core, I noticed there is a light shaking/tremble around the abdominal area. The feeling the moves on it's own toward the left side, then to the middle of the chest and the light shaking/trembling follows when I'm really tuning in to the sensation. I tried to stop the shaking just to see if I was moving it voluntarily, but the shaking returns when I observe the sensation closely. Ocassional twitches on the elbow of my right hand or vibrations at the palm of my left hand happens too, probably about 1-3 times. Towards the end of the session, the pain around the tail bone area returns again. This pain has been presistant recently on my practice, while the hip/shoulder pain seems to disappear. This pain on the tailbone area is caused due to my pelvis rolling backward, causing my tailbone to be in contact straight with the cushion. Tried to find the core of the pain and stayed with the sensation, and I noticed that there is the mind's tendency to latch on other things such as sensation or thoughts. When pain gets more unbearable, there seems to be a lot more thoughts. I guess this session has been a very good example of the three defilements. Tried resetting my position by rolling the pelvis forward again and straighten my back, but found the pelvis twitches on it's own back to the poor posture. Ocassional negative voice happen when I stay with the pain saying, "You are going to injure your back you idiot, adjust again go go go." I tried to just stay with the pain as much as possible until it's unbearable. When the bell dings at the end of the session, I noticed the pain seems to be greatly reduced even though I stayed at the same position. I did check the mirror to see if I was in a poor position and I seem to slouch and the pelvis did roll backward. Might need to train my core at the gym just to prevent this happening in a longer sit? My vision seems to be warping like I'm on acid as I typed and write this, as if the object is breathing or moving on it's own. 

Session 2 (1H): 
There's a lot of thoughts/talking/ideas happening when I started. Rather than going back to the breath on inclusive focus, I tried to ask again, "Who is the one talking and listening at the same time?" Trying to find the source, I find it very slippery as what I'm looking for is usually either gone or can't be found the moment I'm there. There's this sensation of pressure on the middle of the brain constantly and some sort of brightness, like a light. I'm not sure if it's from the light on the outside, but when I note "seeing, bright, seeing, bright", the brightness seems to be reduced. Tried going back to the sensation of the breath at the nose, but the attention shifts automatically to the middle of the brain again. This sensation slowly goes upwards to the top of my head. I feel some sort of pulsing sensation that is slow, probably like 1 pulse for every 1.5-2 second. I feel a sense of easiness in meditating? I was questioning whether this is what you meant when the meditation sort of doing it's own thing. Not much pain happening, but this session definitely resembles the seven factors of awakening. Might need to read and research about the ten corruption of insight?

Session 3 (1H 15M): There's a lot of talking happening in my head somehow now at every beginning of each session. Can be pretty hard to note if I stayed with inclusive focus so during the beginning of the session I just focus on exclusive attention, focusing on the in and out sensation of each breath while saying calm and calmer. What is constant on this meditation session is this lava lamp like pressure moving around from my right eye ball, to the right temple, down to the cheek bone, then move around to the other side. Some pain is still there mostly on the mid section of the back area this time. However if I focus on the pain it's gone immediately within seconds. No hip pain occurs during this session which is great. There's definitely bright white light flashing during the mid session and the attention switches on it's own to inclusive when the mind settles. Talking still occurs, however I am able to see it more from a far? Some interesting happened during the end of the session where everything seems to be just absolutely dark. It's as if I'm plunging into the darkness? There's the tendency of comment on the phenomena like, "holy fucking shit it's dark", "wow that's dark". Kept trying to investigate and somehow the pointer to let the Buddha inside me move on the foreground while I move to the background comes to mind. At one point when there is no commentary or thoughts, it seems like I'm staring on this darkness. It feels like it's front of my face, yet nothing is there at the same time? 

RE: DLP Practice Log
2/5/19 1:45 AM as a reply to DLP.
Session 1 (1H 15M): Session started off great. Not too much talking or chatter, probably because I just woke up. Seems like meditation wise it's getting easier, like it's doing it's own thing without me having to put myself in this state. However there's not much happening so I was either thinking, "Huh, there's nothing, what should I do?" So I just focus on the rising/falling sensation of the abdominal area. There's no more white light going on. Some pain around the hip area at the end of the session. Was quite glad finally something came up so I can focus on the pain. 

Session 2 (1H 15 M): Wow, what a session. There's not much pain. Probably got really into the meditation state early. Was doing a lot of self inquiry like, "Who is paying attention to the attention?" Just really-really trying to dig deep and find out. There's just this sense of ease and expansion. Definitely a bright white light. Heaps of mindfulness, heaps of energy, heaps of investigation, heaps of rapture, heaps of tranquility, heaps of concentration and heaps of equinimity. There's just this sense of expanding this feeling? How can I describe it.. Imagine like a circle inside the head, but this is like where all this good feelings is at, and im just slowly expand it. Sometimes it contracts when there are thoughts or if the attention moves somewhere else like mild pain. But immediately I can go to that sensation and it's gone within seconds. Probably one of the best session I've had. It feels like I've been in this state before. When I was doing LSD and meditate. There's also This wanting to just resting and yet expanding occurs on it's own. It's like I'm putting myself on the background, while just letting this taking over on the foreground. Really need TO BE CAREFUL so that I don't forget that this is not the end stage and I'm not too attached to it. This session felt very long too, but it feels amazing.