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Steve's Practice Log
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3/24/19 9:03 AM
I noticed that my earlier thread had turned into more of a practice log, so I've started one. The old message thread is here: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/12152178

Sleep not so great again, with similar experiences as the last few days. Was able to stay equanimous. Not sure if it is lingering drug withdrawals, or cycling / energetic phenomena... It went like this:

Some minor piti twitches during the days meditation. When trying to sleep, became more twitchy, kind of like my restless legs syndrome problem. Tried applying a heat pillow on my belly to help with digestive problems, seemed to help. Eventually, the urge to twitch limbs became more intense, twitching a lot. After a while felt a wave of tiredness, and the twitching subsided. This seemed like a good time to set intention to sleep, but I remained awake.

Next there was a sense of being cold, despite wearing a hoodie over my night clothes, and turning up the thermostat a bit higher than normal. This continued through the night, not much sleep happening. Perhaps my lack of sleep is a normal consequence of increasing the amount that I meditate. I am not in hardcore retreat-mode, maybe about 2-4 hours meditation during the day, and more at night, due to lack of sleep.

On the subject of controlling the breath, I am sometimes able to let go of the sense of controlling. I spent some time working with that, while reading. Often, I could just read, while a sense of breathing seemed to occur in the background. Not sure if there was subtle alternating of attention going on or not.

In my powerful jhana experience last night, I wasn't panicing about the breath, but it was annoying that breath was persisting as an alternating object of attention. I was probably attempting to control the breath about once per second, and as a result, the sense of breathing did not fade from attention.

RE: Steve's Practice Log
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3/24/19 5:44 PM as a reply to Steven E Barnes.
About a month ago, I had a severe panic attack, followed by additional panic attacks every 1-3 days. Since the first one, I would experience major insights after each crisis, and developed skills at getting out of the horrible thought loops. Then I started learning how to detect the panic, and prevent the thought loops from building in intensity.

A month later, I am still mentally jittery and worried some days. I believe that I've overcome much of the original problem, whatever that was. But, having freaked out in the past, I'm worried that I might do it again. I have anxiety about anxiety; a collapse in my self confidence. If I have any hint of anxiety, I would let my wife drive. Usually that has worked out, but there will be times when she is not around, and someone has to drive an hour doing something important like pick up one of the kids...

I am thinking that most of my fears about drug side effects were just anxiety.

Today, I did some driving, and shopping, reminding myself that I have done this thousands of times with no accidents or freakouts. Seems I am slowly getting my confidence back...