Updates and questions on personal practice

Jeff S Stockman, modified 13 Years ago at 9/13/09 12:25 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 9/13/09 12:23 AM

Updates and questions on personal practice

Posts: 2 Join Date: 9/10/09 Recent Posts
Holy crap, theres a lot of subcatagories to post in. I hope this is the right one.

Anyways, I posted on the old Dharma Overground as TheQuestioner7, so this continues from back then. To recap, I was experiencing formations very clearly and getting into them about a week ago when I experienced a near miss that took the form of two vibrations of pure white. I fell back a little bit and am once again at the point where I am experiencing formations. I'm taking advantage of this weekend and doing serious practice. I've been able to get into continuously deeper meditations about every few hours today and yesterday.

Here's a question:
When it's night time I will start to lay down in bed but as I lay there a stronger sense of self starts to come back. I can note it to make it go away but that keeps me from falling asleep. I've never been on a retreat before, how do you guys deal with this?

Other than that, I think I'm doing pretty good. Formations are hard to really get into and still have that 'gentleness' to it that makes it worth it.

I'm not too good at expressing these types of things so sorry if I'm being overly brief in my descriptions. Ask questions if you have any.

Jeff S Stockman, modified 13 Years ago at 9/13/09 12:53 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 9/13/09 12:53 AM

RE: Updates and questions on personal practice

Posts: 2 Join Date: 9/10/09 Recent Posts
P.S. Have you ever opened your eyes during formations? The whole visual field is blinking in and out. It's freaky emoticon
Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 9/14/09 1:38 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 9/14/09 1:38 AM

RE: Updates and questions on personal practice

Posts: 3250 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
The sense of "self" is made of many different qualities of sensations, many transient patterns of empty sensations, and so the problems is not these qualities of self, or the feeling of some sensations seeming to be on one side or the other, or the quality of will, or the quality of observing thing, or the quality of trying, or the quality of effort, rather the problem is that these sensations, patterns, aspects of all-encompassing formations, are not perceived clearly just as they are.

Remember, they are transient, empty, luminous, not self, not other, just more sensations arising, like more colors, or flavors, or qualities, not a problem unless something in their content is bought beyond the bare experience of it, and so the trick is to realize that that sense coming in is an opportunity to integrate those sensations also into this fluxing, causal, natural field of stuff that is arising and vanishing, to synchronize them, to feel them just as they are, rather than trying to get them to away, though if that arises, trying to get self to go away is just one more pattern worthy of the same treatment.


Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 9/14/09 1:55 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 9/14/09 1:54 PM

RE: Updates and questions on personal practice

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
You may find it useful to specifically tune into the restful qualities of equanimity before bed, rather than the standard "note it all" approach as is standard for daily practice/on the cushion. This includes sensations such as peace, broad panoramic mind, a quality of tuned-out-ness, etc.These sensations have to be noticed regardless, but doing so before bed is useful for a few reasons.

For one, tuning into those restful qualities will help you fall asleep, which is the reason you're laying in bed to begin with. Furthermore, your sleep will be very restful, as dreams and sleep-states often mimic or are much affected by whatever you're thinking about immediately prior to falling asleep.

Another reason this is a good idea is that equanimity, specifically the panoramic focus of the mind, is especially natural for the mind to hold at that stage; as it is indicative of the stage itself. Practicing in this way, you'll often wake up the next day to realize you slept all night in a dull (but eerily aware) 4th samatha jhana. And further, you may wake up the next day realizing that an impressive amount of ground was covered regardless of whether or not you were aware of it. This is a bit theoretical, but I imagine that this may occur because the mind (on a macro and micro level) is constantly seeking a progressively peaceful state/stage of mind. And with that in mind, tuning into peace as you fall asleep is sort of similar to tuning into peace in the sense of priming the mind to naturally shift from samatha jhana to samatha jhana. There are a lot of parallels, but all theory aside, the point is that it may be worth giving a test to see if you observe similar.

Anyhow, just something that may be worth giving a try.