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Polly Ester’s practice log 3

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Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/25/19 5:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/26/19 12:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/27/19 4:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Andromeda 4/27/19 4:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/27/19 4:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/27/19 5:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/28/19 8:46 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/28/19 10:18 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 4/29/19 9:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/1/19 2:57 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/1/19 3:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/2/19 2:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/2/19 5:21 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/3/19 5:27 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/19 6:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/19 8:21 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/19 3:16 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/19 11:31 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/4/19 3:24 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/4/19 8:25 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/19 8:08 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/6/19 3:28 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/6/19 11:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 1:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Raving Rhubarb 5/7/19 4:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 4:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/7/19 4:31 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 1:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 3:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/7/19 4:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 4:51 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/7/19 5:19 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 9:50 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/7/19 11:02 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/19 2:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/19 3:14 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/19 5:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/9/19 3:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/10/19 6:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/10/19 11:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/10/19 12:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/11/19 3:48 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/12/19 10:20 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/12/19 3:02 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/13/19 3:00 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/13/19 7:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/13/19 3:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/14/19 4:37 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/14/19 7:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/15/19 6:12 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/17/19 7:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/18/19 12:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/18/19 4:35 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/18/19 4:51 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 5/18/19 5:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/18/19 5:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/18/19 5:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/19/19 8:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Andrew McAlister Dean 5/22/19 8:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/23/19 12:46 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/18/19 10:15 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/18/19 4:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/19/19 12:57 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/20/19 5:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/21/19 6:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/22/19 4:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/23/19 11:07 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/23/19 2:28 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/25/19 4:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/27/19 12:00 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/27/19 2:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/28/19 11:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/28/19 12:33 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/28/19 1:59 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/29/19 3:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/30/19 11:50 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/31/19 2:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/1/19 4:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/1/19 11:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/1/19 12:41 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/1/19 2:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/2/19 3:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/4/19 5:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/4/19 5:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/5/19 6:35 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/6/19 4:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/6/19 3:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/7/19 8:24 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/8/19 4:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/8/19 7:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/8/19 3:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/8/19 4:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/9/19 3:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/9/19 7:20 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/9/19 2:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/9/19 3:54 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/9/19 4:18 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/9/19 4:23 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/9/19 5:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/9/19 6:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/10/19 12:37 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/10/19 4:51 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/11/19 2:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/12/19 5:19 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/12/19 9:13 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/12/19 12:26 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/12/19 1:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/13/19 4:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/14/19 6:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/14/19 5:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 11:58 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/14/19 2:36 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/15/19 5:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/14/19 5:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/15/19 7:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 8:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 2:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/17/19 1:56 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/17/19 6:54 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/17/19 7:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/17/19 8:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/18/19 11:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/19/19 4:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/20/19 4:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/20/19 5:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/21/19 1:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/22/19 5:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/19 1:33 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/24/19 7:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/24/19 9:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/24/19 11:46 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/25/19 2:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/25/19 5:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/26/19 2:59 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/28/19 6:00 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/28/19 4:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/29/19 11:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/29/19 12:25 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/25/19 9:54 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/25/19 2:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/26/19 3:27 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/27/19 3:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/27/19 4:59 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/28/19 11:15 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/28/19 4:30 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/29/19 12:24 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 6/30/19 3:38 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/30/19 6:42 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/30/19 3:34 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/1/19 1:51 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/1/19 7:27 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/1/19 11:05 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/3/19 12:05 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/4/19 2:00 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/4/19 4:28 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/4/19 5:55 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/4/19 8:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/5/19 8:09 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/5/19 11:21 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/19 5:44 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/19 6:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/6/19 6:45 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/19 7:01 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/6/19 7:57 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/19 9:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/19 10:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/6/19 2:06 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/6/19 4:02 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/19 4:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/19 4:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/19 4:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/19 5:48 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/19 4:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/7/19 4:45 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/19 1:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/8/19 2:15 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/19 2:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 J C 7/8/19 3:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/19 7:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/8/19 10:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/9/19 6:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/10/19 4:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/10/19 7:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 1:46 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 8:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 10:15 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/12/19 8:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/12/19 2:47 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/19 3:22 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/19 4:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/14/19 4:46 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/19 5:03 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/14/19 5:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/14/19 5:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/14/19 7:17 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/15/19 3:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 spatial 7/15/19 3:49 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/15/19 7:48 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/15/19 7:45 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/19 7:14 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/19 8:02 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/16/19 11:04 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 7/17/19 2:26 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/17/19 5:09 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 7/17/19 6:20 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/17/19 6:43 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 curious 7/17/19 6:51 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/18/19 3:22 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/17/19 8:20 AM
Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/25/19 5:52 PM
Time to start a new practice log that is easier to navigate. Also, I have had my last coaching session with Michael Taft now, so I’m going into a teacherless era. Feedback is highly appreciated.

I did 45 minutes of Mahasi noting, working with new layers of ”self”. I enjoyed it immensely (yes, I noted that). There were lots of self-grasping showing up, over and over again, and seeing the three C:s was almost ridiculously easy. I love that the direction for this new path presented itself so clearly, although I could not see it for what it was until I had it pointed out by Daniel. It feels right, working with my shortcomings and hang-ups to find truth and liberation. I can do it with compassion, now that I understand what is going on. I enjoy the difficulties, because they mean that I’m on to something. I can show all those mental processes that it is safe to come to the surface and let go of hindrances. I don’t know when it started, bit I actually feel a lot of compassion for them, for ”my self”. I remember how I used to despise them. That feels like an entire lifetime ago, but it wasn’t that long time ago. Nobody understands better than I how it is to live with my particular hang-ups. If I don’t feel compassion for it, who will? There are so many layers of hang-ups, and the current layer is very rich. I feel like an archeologist who has had an incredible fluke. I actually feel blessed for having so many obvious hang-ups, because I had gotten used to living with them and now I find that letting go is an option. That is more than I could ever hope for, and it is readily accessible anywhere, anytime.

I’m aware of investing identity into this, and I know that I will eventually have to let go of that, since it is yet another layer of self-grasping. For the moment, I’m enjoying it and mainly benefitting from it, since it is motivating. I have never really understood those people who avoid positive experiences because they will not last forever. I would rather enjoy something and then let go of it than never having the experience. That being said, letting go of the identity related to meditating will probably be a tough one. Also, paradoxically, difficulty of letting go is one of my major hang-ups. Luckily, I’m not in the habit of avoiding difficulties. I avoid a lot, but not that. Making things complicated is kind of a specialty of ”mine”. I will probably need to let go of that too. That will be yet another tough one. The liberation will be unbelievably fabulous.

Yes, I am excited. No, I am not manic. I have had many chances in life to tip over into mania but there is sort of a gravitational pull back to down-to-earth basic sanity. I guess I should be deeply grateful for that. Going through fullblown mania and then having to deal with the consequences seems incredibly tough. I don’t think I would be strong enough to take that. This is just ADHD and Tourette enthusiasm. I will probably need to let go of that quirk as well eventually. That will be a major challenge, as I have grown attached to it after learning not to despise it. Maybe it’s a tad of A&P too. I do feel like I’m in love with the whole world, and I did notice things arise and pass away simultaneously. There was clarity. Sharp clarity. And both piti and sukkha. And it was single-pointed and rather narrow. Not quite as narrow as in first Jhana. And I feel like I don’t need much sleep. I probably should try to get some sleep anyway. That’s good for sanity. Nightie!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/26/19 12:06 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Did an hour of Mahasi noting while on the train. The tensions in the face from points that think that they are a self popping up and creating the sense of motion did not bother me this time. It made me think of a restless puppy crawling around craving attention. It was kind of cute. There were instances of a more dreamlike state and instances where that ended abruptly. There were lots of colors, both in the shape of dots of various sizes and circles moving inward and outward. Flourescent purple, red, green, blue, bluegreen, yellow, pink. Sometimes impermanence presented itself clearly, often short impulses of craving and aversion (stinky cheezy snacks in the seat next to me). It was rather peaceful to notice all these sensations and thoughts and feelings just flowing by without holding on to them.

I went to a yoga class today for the first time in a couple of weeks or so. It felt so good. It went much better than expected. Even balance exercises went well. I felt that the yoga stirred up energies, not in a bad way, but because it had been a while, I felt a little nauseous for a short while. But most of all, it felt great.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/27/19 4:43 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One thing that has changed is that I more often meditate in the midst of daily life. Today I have meditated standing on a crowded bus, at the beach while wading in water, and at an art exhibition (where a photo of me was on display, which was slightly weird; one of my loved ones is part of a photographers’ collective). This approach does wonders for my wellbeing and makes it easier to see the divine in the mundane.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/27/19 4:49 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
One thing that has changed is that I more often meditate in the midst of daily life. Today I have meditated standing on a crowded bus, at the beach while wading in water, and at an art exhibition (where a photo of me was on display, which was slightly weird; one of my loved ones is part of a photographers’ collective). This approach does wonders for my wellbeing and makes it easier to see the divine in the mundane.


The divine is always there. All we have to do is pay attention. Pretty cool, huh?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/27/19 4:53 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Indeed. Very cool.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/27/19 5:13 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I was playing with the sand too, enjoying the touch and smell of it like a small child. I love the feeling of merging with the touch and smell of the wind, the water and the sand.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/28/19 8:46 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes Mahasi noting by lake Mälaren, until my temperature dropped so low that I needed to move my body. I can see that the imaginary self tries to get back into the imaginary driver’s seat and sometimes succeeds for a while, but I’m too happy without it to let it stay there.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/28/19 10:18 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I dif another 45 minutes, and then I was freezing again.

There is a lot of self-grasping in the beginning, and then it calms down, at least on the surface.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
4/29/19 9:01 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
30 minutes of Mahasi noting. Today I’m dealing with dullness and poor clarity. I have also noticed some dark night qualities leaking out, nothing catastrophical but enough to cause me to be more careful.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
5/1/19 2:57 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
That ego that insists on popping up in the imaginary driver’s seat is obnoxiously vain and self-absorbed, and I suspect that judging it for it does not help at all. It is not about keeping it away from the driver’s seat. That would be very contra-productive, as it would keep the illusion intact. The thing is that there is no driver’s seat. All the mental processes that manifest as the ego and mistakes that for a self, they need to find it in them to trust the process to unfold perfectly without the driving.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
5/1/19 3:50 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
There is temptation to hold one to the more positive ideas of myself as self, but that kind of imbalance would be a monstrosity. Even if it weren’t, I’m not satisfied with the illusion.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/2/19 2:10 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
This is a wake up call for the parts of ”me” that think being me is actually kind of cool: that’s not me either. I guess you are not quite ready to realize that just yet, but then at least please do not run around demanding attention like I feel that you think you need to do. Please believe me when I say THAT is NOT cool. We would only embarrass ourselves, and you wouldn’t like that. If being cool with who you are is that important to you, then just be it. Silently. Okay? Or keep it to the few who know it to be a phase and can see the fun in it and remind you that it’s not really you when it gets too obnoxious.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/2/19 5:21 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I still have a daily practice. I vary between noting and choiceless awareness. Sometimes it ends up somewhere inbetween, which is not my intention. The layer that I’m currently working on is rather messy. I suppose it needs to be. It is impermanent and not me, and craving for it to be less messy would only create unnecessary suffering. It is what it is. There are parts of me that do wish for it to be differently, but luckily those parts that are mpre okay with the mess are also okay with the fact that other parts are more prone to craving. In other words, I’m rather equanimous about not being more equanimous. I have no idea about how to map that, and at this point that doesn’t really bother me. I am where I need to be in order to grow spiritually. It probably does bother parts of me that are less conscious, but that’s okay. They will probably come around eventually, if there’s a need for that.

I set the alarm for forty minutes, but I forgot to turn on the volume, so I probably sat for slightly longer than that. I intended to do noting, but I was lost in content over and over again. I’m not sure what is the correct use of the terms, but I distinguish between mind-wandering and dullness. They can overlap, but quite often they do not. Today the sitting entailed a lot of mind-wandering but it wasn’t dull. The thoughts were clear, but the mindfulness about being in the middle of meditation was lacking. That’s a new problem for me. I’m sure that it would have been an issue before too of I’d had a formal practice during certain periods of my life, or even most of them. I have often had that problem when I have tried to study, for instance, or when trying to listen to information. It’s only in meditation that I have mostly been spared from it - that is, until now. At least that’s how I remember it now.

Whereas I’m not overly impressed with what shows up in the sittings now, it could definitely be worse. If there are tensions when I start, they tend to dissolve during the sitting. The mind-wandering decreases over time within the session. If I start out slightly annoyed by something, meditation helps me to let go. Some restlessness remains and I have noticed a tendency to seek out more distractions in daily life but I also abandon them because I realize that they are distractions and not fulfilling. I do find joy in many things that are not distractions. I enjoy socializing and working more. I’m less bothered by chores that I used to find unbearable. I even find myself finding joy in them. Having to change plans is less stressful now than before. I still have no problem with eye contact or socializing in crowds, and I’m still much less prone to sensory overload, and those who know me from before know what a significant change that is.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/3/19 5:27 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hi Polly, I eventually found that it was not the the minwandering that was a problem, per se. Rather it was the paying attention to the mind wandering, instead of just being continent to let it do its own thing in the background.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/3/19 6:40 AM as a reply to curious.
Somebody (Adyashanti?) said the same thing in one of the dharma talks I listened to recently. I makes sense. It’s usually more productive to just accept it. And it actually doesn’t prevent me from noting other things. The noting continues. It’s like a parallell process. I do forget noting the thinking sometimes. I’m not sure if I forget it because I’m lost in the content or because I stop listening to the thoughts that are yapping about. I think maybe in the beginning I get lost in the content and later in the session I just let the thoughts do their own thing and stop listening, and then I forget noting them because they don’t seem important. So it’s both extremes. Hopefully it will land somewhere in the middle, noticing and noting that the thoughts are there but not assigning any importance to them.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/3/19 8:21 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did a 55 minutes long guided meditation by Michael Taft at the SF Dharma collective on youtube, letting go of all intentions. I soon got into the formless realms, don’t know how many of them or which ones because I didn’t conceptualize it and they are still kind of blurry to me. It was awsome. Then I had some kind of dreamlike vision that I cannot recall, and then I fell out from it backwards (not for real) and landed with a shock throughout my body.

Now I’ll continue listening, because he’s talking about the meditation afterwards.

I’m all bubbly now and the nada sound rings in my ears.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/3/19 11:31 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yoga really helps with clarity. I went to a class that mixed yin yoga with yoga nidra and restorative yoga, and on the way home I took in all the sounds around me. I wasn’t aware that the sounds from the tram is such a symphony. I noticed that the sounds from footsteps reached me slightly after I saw the feet of a person touching the floor as she passed by me. I didn’t know that the difference in speed between light and sound was noticable for such a short distance.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/3/19 3:16 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did another couple of hours of letting go of all intentions, with a break in the middle. This is one of my favorite practices. Love it.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/4/19 3:24 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I started the day with a Hatha yoga class that did wonders to my wellbeing. I have noticed a new pattern, a tell for when my mind is relatively more unified. In addition to the color dot that I see, there is also immediately a bubbly tingling on my lips, on the skin of my face, in my paranasal sinuses, behind the center of my forehead, and slightly in front of my face if that makes any sense. These sensations then spread to my ears and neck and eventually to other parts of my body.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/4/19 8:25 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did three hours of letting go of all intentions. I was aware of the exact moment when the body started to disappear. It started with my mouth. I seem to have much easier to access nothingness and neither perception nor yet non-perception compared to boundless space and boundless consciousness.

I started out with a guided meditation, ”2 May” by Michael Taft. It’s a favorite. I noticed when the hearing started to break up. It felt as if there was rapid movement going on in my ears and auditory canals, and the sound was fragmented.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/5/19 8:08 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did an hour of letting go of all intentions. It began rather strangely. First I felt as if I was drawn into something, and then two eyes were looking at me in space. Then suddenly I was a man playing baseball. Baseball is not a popular sport in Sweden. I have never played it and don’t know the rules, but in this dream or whatever it was, I knew exactly what to do. Then I returned to a normal state and thought that the whole hour had gone by but saw that it was only a few minutes. So I got back to meditating and got almost straight into neither perception nor yet nonperception.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/6/19 3:28 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did an hour of letting go of all intentions and 75 minutes of explorative yoga (which pretty much tends to be the same thing for me). In both sessions there were vibrations in the face and feelings of contraction behind my eyes and nose. In the meditation session, the contracted part moved downward and partly sort of fell off, as if somebody had lifted a veil. Then I got into neither perception nor yet non-perception. I wonder what it would had been like if I had stayed more perceptive. In the explorative yoga session, instead I felt sort of a cool breeze on the crown of my head resulting in relief from pressure. It was as if something opened up.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/6/19 11:07 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hi Polly, this might or might not be welcome at this time, but I saw you wrote in another thread

" I have read through the thread many many times, and I suggest that you do the same. It is possible that this is a matter of cultural barrier, I don’t know, but I was as shocked by your behavior as you were by mine. I cried for hours and hours and just couldn’t believe that kind and wise people like you would persist in derailing the type of thread that you had clearly stated you were not interested in taking part in, and even tell me that my processing is tiresome and pointless and that you have better things to do, as if you were forced to take part"

Putting to one side the emotional difficulty and specific content of the message, this is a GOLD PLATED opportunity to advance your understanding of dependent origination.

You have clearly described the dukkha, and it is equally clearly tied up with new karma (the becoming of intentional formations related to the DhO) generated in the last few weeks. This becoming will be supported by clinging, which will be supported by thirst, which will be supported by feeling tone, which will be supported by contact (between sense doors and concepts) which will be supported by your conceptual schema, which will be supported by the division of the flow of sensations into subject and object, or me and it. Which is supported by your past intentional formations and sense of self.

So can I suggest self-inquiry on this chain?  Notice the truth of the first noble truth. Notice the truth of the second noble truth.  Examine what you are clinging to, what is the thirst for?  What feeling tone supported this thirst?  Attraction or aversion? From what contact? Via what sense doors? With what conceptual schema? Created by what duality?

Or, if you are very lucky, you many have an emotional or karmic reaction to this advice.  In which case the chain of dependent origination will be laid out fresh and clear in your current mind state, for you to clearly see and precisely investigate.

This is our work on the DhO, seeking liberation by understanding ourselves in very fine detail.  So why not take an hour to closely investigate this chain of DO that has led to dukkha.

With hope and love

Malcolm

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 1:06 AM as a reply to curious.
I appreciate that you wrote it here instead of in the thread, because I still think it is important that mage-related threads are allowed to stay on topic. I’m aware of the clinging there, but it is also about what kind of world I want to contribute to. If mage-related processes are seen only as clinging, then we have a hierarchy where sage is more awake and mage is some weird phase that people sometimes go through. I’m not so sure this is what is best for the world. What do you think?

I do this kind of self inquiry, probably not yet good enough, but I would feel weird writing about it here. And yes, I’m aware of that feeling being a part of the dependent origination.

This is probably the kind of karmic reaction you are talking about, but I’m not so sure that I would want to make a breakthrough by having my wish for a world full of trust reduced to self-grasping. Is there a way to do it without ending up a sage? Not that there is anything wrong with that. I’m just not so convinced that it is my path. Couldn’t I just go for the Bodhisattva approach? Would that be so wrong?

With love to you too

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 1:37 AM as a reply to curious.
I think that if I had to choose between caring about the world or awakening, there is a risk that I would choose caring about the world. I don’t think I need to choose. Do I?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 3:25 AM as a reply to curious.
Look, I know that I am currently manifesting as a very low level mage, and that is pathetic in many ways. But can’t I level up as a mage? Renouncing the way of the mage, is that the only way to level up?

Anyway, I stopped crying when I decided that even though there are karmic formations at play, I need to let them play out without resistance, and there are worse karmic fruits to deal with than suffering because one cares about the world.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 4:07 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:


This is probably the kind of karmic reaction you are talking about, but I’m not so sure that I would want to make a breakthrough by having my wish for a world full of trust reduced to self-grasping. Is there a way to do it without ending up a sage? Not that there is anything wrong with that. I’m just not so convinced that it is my path. Couldn’t I just go for the Bodhisattva approach? Would that be so wrong?
I don't know shit about dependent origination and inquiry about it, but this reminded me of something a monk said in his speech at the beginning of a retreat (and maybe it's helpful). Something like this:
okay, now you are on a retreat. This is pretty scary, isn't it? You don't know how it will be. You don't know how you will change in the course of the retreat. You may be a very different person afterwards. Will you even want to go home?
and later
Some people suggest describing Nibbana in not so radical terms. Because then the students would be scared. But I think: "So they should be". If they aren't really scared, then it challenges them not enough!
I've thought about this for some time and come to the conclusion that this is very true.
I throw myself into practices which I can't really understand, to attain a state of mind that I don't know yet.
I don't know what awakening is like, and it might be irreversible and maybe I don't like the result.
All I have to go of are first impressions and vague descriptions by various teachers which somehow resonate with me, although the teachers are all like "you don't know how it is until you are there".
How can we even live with this uncertainty? We read the texts and wear the malas and admire the statues and hang out with the advanced meditators to convince us that this is a good thing. But there is always a remainder of uncertainty, which cannot go away.
I guess the reason I even do this is that I'm even more scared of things staying the same.

So there you are, wondering about if it's a good idea to do inquiry on dependent origination on a specific behaviour because then the behaviour might change and you actually might not like that. But there's an error in this thought: Discovering the 3Cs of a behaviour does not (necessarily) remove the behaviour. It's similar to the emotional perfection models which Daniel hates with a passion for good reason. It could happen, it could not happen. The behaviour might also change for any other reason. Or maybe the behaviour becomes stronger. We can't tell you, we can only point out to you that you could look at this and maybe something happens.

Viewed on a larger scale, this single act of inquiry into dependent origination on this single issue is just one of a myriad of steps which lead you to a (temporary?) destination you don't know yet. No one can tell you if you end up as a mage or sage or in between or not changed at all (although one day maybe science finds reliable predictors, ruining the mystery for everyone involved).

If you really want to stay a mage, you could probably read a lot of mage-stories and find them really inspiring and convince yourself that this is really your path. And maybe that prevents you from slowly drifting into sage-mode. Or maybe it doesn't. Or maybe it does the opposite. This thing seems a bit random to me.

Not sure where I'm going with this except now I'm scared of my morning meditation emoticon

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 4:23 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
It was helpful for me. I appreciate it. I’m sorry reaching out to me caused you fear, but hey, that’s probably good karma.

I see the three C:s of it, and it hasn’t changed yet. I share Daniel’s conviction there and take great comfort in the fact that he has come so far without going down that road.

I don’t really think there is so much of a risk that I would entirely lose the mage approach. It might vary over time, but that’s it. I get the feeling that people think that my behavior would change if I could see the dependent origination of it, but if that is really what they think, I will probably disappoint them. And if I must disappoint people to find my way to awakening, then I guess that’s just the way it is. Conforming is not a strong pattern in my karma.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 4:31 AM as a reply to Raving Rhubarb.
Raving Rhubarb I find it a great mystery as well - why do we do it when when don't know the outcome?  What drives us?  I don't know the answer, but something seems to. 

However, aside from a few potential issues along the way, well highlighted by Daniel Ingram, the outcome is continually attested to be super worthwhile.  And its not just at the end ... Buddha said the dharma is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end, and that really does seem to be the case.  First, calming and stress reduction and joy, then unwinding of angst and access to great states, and then even better states and finally unexcelled liberation. 

And it is not about perfecting your emotions, but rather making sure that you are no longer a slave to your emotions. You are still yourself, still human, but are no longer tormented by dukkha, and instead live in happiness and ease.  

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 4:40 AM as a reply to curious.
Hey Polly, progress in morality and progress in insight are perfectly compatible.  Morality is the first training, and morality is the last training.  But morality will be more effective the more clearly you see.  So it sounds like you are doing both morality and insight (and concentration), so that's cool.  But it is just worth learning to spot that moment of impulse that arises in response to contact and clinging - that's the point at which things go off the rails.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 4:51 AM as a reply to curious.
Yes, I am doing morality work now too, and Michael Taft thought it would be a good idea. He is not to blame for how I do it, though.

Yes, if I had been able to stop that clinging in action, I would have expressed myself more skillfully. I would still have made the same fundamental choice, though, and I would still have found the same things problematic.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 5:19 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Polly - great.  I would also add that it's not really about handling a specific event.  Rather, it's about learning to isolate and train that particular mental muscle of spotting the impulse and renouncing it (not necessarily renouncing the action - just the impulse).  Following that practice will help you to develop tranquility, reduce the hindrances, and from that bliss and concentration will more easily follow. And from that, knowlege and vision, and from that liberation.  

Rhubarb - another thing is I don't know where you are at in your practice, but I wouldn't necessarily do dependent arising investigation straight away.  It should come after some development of mindfulenss (sati) curious investgiation investigation (vipassana, or dhamma vicaya) and concentration (jhana, particularly piti).  So one step at a time brother (or sister?).

Malcolm

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 9:50 AM as a reply to curious.
That does make sense. Thankyou for clarifying! That I can do. I will fail sometimes, because as far as I know, stream entry doesn’t take away ADHD, Tourette and autism or traumas from having one’s way of functioning questioned all life. I have worked with most of my traumas, but there are of course new layers to deal with, as you predicted. And Andromeda too for that matter, and I got good advice for resources.

I have been in important meetings all day, some due to family matters, one as an elected representative in sensitive issues, and I have been a ray of sunshine. I have let go of this now. I’m not angry at anyone and not sad for myself but I am sad that the communication turned out the way it did and sad that this issue is so sensitive. Before the thread about McMindfulness, I had no idea that there was such a tension between sage and mage positions. I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. I still don’t understand why. I hope there is a way for all of us to find our own balance without judging each other. I’m still wondering if my thread was seen as a suggestion that everyone should think like me, and if so, why. I would like to know what framings could have prevented the miscommunication so that I can avoid it in future. But maybe not right now.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/7/19 11:02 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did a couple of hours of letting go of intentions yesterday. There was a weird combination of mind-wandering and third jhana. I felt like a fluffly cloud of cottonwool.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/8/19 2:11 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I had a very interesting 40 minutes sitting with a lot of motion. I started out with noting in all sense gates. The bouncing sensation in my head from conceptualization was there, but I could let go of it. Letting go of it created a lightness that led to a very subtle fear response with increased heartbeat. I could let go of that. I noticed that there was a motion between harsh vibrations and stillness. There were expansions and contractions, expansions and contractions. Both the expansions and the contractions entailed subtle fear responses, but they were very temporary. Gravity shifted back and fort, and so did density. Tensions dissolved into little bubbles, causing lightheadedness. There were a lot of visual motion and rapid flickering and a rapidly flickering nada sound. Some thoughts popped up but I didn’t cling to them. The sensate level of the process was fascinating. After a while I found that I couldn’t really tell what was expansion and what was contraction, because it depended on perspective and a duality between inside and outside that was not really there. At the same time, speaking from duality (which cannot be escaped while conscious), there was a rhythmic ticking sound from my paranasal sinuses or nasal cavities as if something was opening and shutting. I could clearly see the 3 C:s of phenomena. 

I still have this feeling of being in motion and both heavy and very light, both bubbly and like a still pond, both contained and uncontained, and it’s all good.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/8/19 3:14 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Heh, now I feel like there is a ghost puppy clinging to my face. I don’t know whether to pet it, soothe it, or gently tell it that it is not really there. Maybe I’ll just let it discover it for itself, or undiscover it, or whatever something does that isn’t really a doer.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/8/19 5:40 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
In addition to the morning meditation I did:
40 minutes of lunch yoga
25 minutes of guided meditation (Deep Mindfulness Collective’s livestream)
75 minutes of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
60 minutes of Yin Yoga
40 minutes of sitting meditation, noting.

My tics are rather persistent right now, even though I feel the relief when I let go of them. They disturb my concentration a bit. I seem to be balancing on the verge between reobservation and low equanimity. I get the full body showers of gentle bubbly mercifull piti that dissolve the denseness of reobservation. Then I clench up a bit, and then it dissolves again. There are reoccurring lightness and softness and porousness. There was some mindwandering (family matters) accompanied with a fitting earworm; I thought it was funny when I realized the connection.

I’m amused by the irony in finally being rather fit (compared to before) and closer to having one of those yoga butts than I have ever been - just in time for letting go of the body as me or mine. Rather typical, isn’t it?

I seem to have managed to at least temporarily introduce another ethically okay (according to Peter Singer) proteine source to my very narrow diet without getting sick. Yay! I need the variation in order to stay tolerant to foods. Now I can cut down on meat. Wohoo!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/9/19 3:49 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
75 minutes Vinyasa Yoga, 60 minutes meditation.

Thoughts popped up as embryos, before the words. Sometimes I knew exactly what they were about despite the lack of words, sometimes I just knew that they were thoughts, and as I let go of them, they never manifested themselves more tangibly than that.

Sounds came together with simultaneous activation in other sense gates, and that was immediate. I suppose that means that it wasn’t through attention, but through awareness. The awareness included mental images, mental kinesthetics and mental smells as well as perceived sounds. It all came as a package. Thoughts were as external as the sounds, or maybe the perception of sounds was as internal as the thoughts. It all appeared as activation of the senses.

Sometimes an emotional reaction caused a contraction in the heart area. That seems to be when there is identification that causes a sense of self to become. The heart area seems to be one of those places where an imaginary self pops up. It does so by way of contracting. A working hypothesis is that the heart area is where becomings due to certain emotional reactions take place, whereas certain intellectual identification processes cause similar contractions in different parts of the head. There are probably more areas. Behind the eyes seems to be one place (during this session there was stillness there, though). A lump in the throat could perhaps be another example? Anyway, this observation may explain why so different emotions seem to manifest in the body as some form of pressure in the heart area. It is the contraction that is the becoming that takes that shape. Both pleasant and unpleasant feelings can have that effect.

Vibrations take place in new locations compared to before. My old tells for different nanas no longer work. Vibrations come and go, but when they appear, they are much more in the head than before. I sometimes also notice vibrations in my shoulders. I no longer get back pain in contracted states, but my feet tend to cramp.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/10/19 6:55 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did the newest SF Dharma Collective meditation with Michael Taft, from May 9th. Unfortunately, I was slow-baking hard bread at the same time, so I couldn’t fully let go of all graspings. I rely on my sense of smell to know when the bread is finished, and I had to take out the bread somewhere in the middle. It was still peaceful, but it wasn’t the real thing. Hopefully there will be more time to meditate today although I have a busy schedual.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/10/19 11:06 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Heh, my train is running almost an hour late, whereas I’m in good time for once. First I thought ”Oh no!” but then I thought ”Hey, that gives me time to meditate, and it’s very nice outside”. After all, I was hoping for some time to meditate despite my busy schedual for the day. Then I looked down on the ground, and there were waves all over it.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/10/19 12:23 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for an hour, with my eyes open until the sun was too low and bright and then with eyes closed for a while. The ground did not look stable. There were waves and flickering. The light sometimes broke into different colors. There were very subtle tensions, sneaky bastards, like ”I’ll just conceptualize a little bit, very discretely, you won’t notice anything, I promise - this self is so tiny that it won’t get in your way” or ”no no, that was not giving into ticking, it was just the wind, honestly, I’m so peaceful, promise”. A few times there was restlessness, but as I saw it for what it was, it was already gone. Restlessness manifests at least partly as a contraction somewhere in the area if the lower abdomen, resulting in density.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/11/19 3:48 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I have meditated 20 + 30 minutes. I’m staying with a partner who has executive dysfunction, just like me and even worse, so together we are not very efficient in going about daily chores. There is however a lot of love to make up for that, and a lot of compassion and acceptance.

I think I woke up in dissolution (exhausted and with some brain fog), went into fear as I saw dissolution for what it was, and into misery after I had identified fear. I managed to find acceptance for the misery and see clearly that it wasn’t me. Here I did the first 20 minutes, by the lake Mälaren. There was some relief, and then I found myself in disgust. That felt even less like me. I was rather happy at the same time. Weird. Now I believe I’m resting in lower path equanimity, if that’s a thing.

The 20 minutes meditation, eyes opened: focus on the impermanence in visual and auditory fields and body sensations. Not only the water had waves. Even the stones above the water were somewhat wavy. Flickering on a micro level was more accessible, though. There is a relief in the impermanence.

The 30 minutes meditation, eyes closed: lots of impermanence/flow in visual and auditory fields as well as in body sensations. Noticed subtle contractions as thoughts appeared that entailed some form of identification. Letting go of negative thoughts and feelings and doubts led to relief and then to gratefulness, but the gratefulness involved a tightness because of the grasping in wanting to not be a bad person. When I noticed that, I could let go of it and that decreased the density and gave room to a lightness.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/12/19 10:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I have attended a ”whole-day” (five hours, including breaks) meditation event at a Shambhala center in Stockholm. I’m not a member, but it’s nice to be able to meditate together with other people at least some times. In their tradition they keep their eyes open, so I did that too. We alternated between sitting and walking meditation. I had too little sleep tonight, so unfortunately I was rather sleepy and dull, but I managed to stay awake at least. There were instances of waviness of the floor. Sometimes it looked as if it was breathing. There were also instances of onepointedness making the surroundings disappear. The timekeeper was sitting almost directly in front of me, at a distance of about one meter. I was focusing my eyes at a point of the floor that was about 30 cm away from her to the left. Her entire body disappeared from my vision field, and the mind filled in the gaps and presented an empty floor instead, with the same pattern as in the spot I was looking at. The mind made the whole floor repeat that particular pattern and removed other objects. There were also instances of purple swirls as a layer to the vision field. I did noting. I’m not sure if I was expected to do something differently. They seem to be accepting of people doing their own practices, though, as long as one conforms to the observable behavior.

I’m not used to sitting so long (I usually lie down for my longer meditations when I’m at home), so sometimes a leg was numb. Alternating between sitting and walking is a great idea, I think. I should make it a habit at home. It wasn’t painful at all. Some stiffness, sure, but not that bad.

Nice people too. They decided to have all these events on odd weekends when I can go to Stockholm. That’s very kind and thoughtful, especially as I didn’t even ask for it. I had mentioned briefly a couple of months ago that it is possible for me to visit those weekends, because they asked. I was the only one who attended the whole day except for the timekeeper, and last time I was the only one showing up at all, so maybe that was the reason.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/12/19 3:02 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Sometimes I feel that starting this journey without knowing anything about Buddhism wasn’t such a great idea. I don’t regret it, but it seems like I’m doing things in the wrong order and lack the frames of reference that would help me to put things into perspective and to apply the kind of framing that would facilitate communication. Suddenly I found myself outside the bucket I had been trapped in and had started climbing from the inside, only to find that there are more layers of buckets, don’t know how many, and I’m once again trapped on the bottom and no longer have access to the vaste view that I had for just a short moment before I slid down on the outside of the smallest bucket. I’m just hoping that I didn’t leave behind the tools needed for climbing the next bucket wall. In the smallest bucket there was at least some illusion of breathing space. Inbetween bucket walls it is claustrophobic. In all directions there are just walls of delusion, except for those where I can go round and round in circles.

I guess this is desire for deliverance.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/13/19 3:00 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
For the moment I feel less stuck. I have this feeling of spaciousness. The bucket walls do not seem so solid. They occur in my mind, for sure, but they are just sensations that arise and pass away just like everything else. My mind needs to process them and may need to climb them in order to eventually realize that they are mere constructs, but I don’t have to go all in. I don’t have to control it. I don’t even have to pay attention to it all the time. It happens on its own. It’s not me that does the thinking and processing, so I’m actually not stuck. There are ways to walk right through these walls. I just can’t take my mind with me when I do it, because the mind is still stuck.

Maybe that’s the unbounded consciousness quality? I have yet to cultivate it enough to fully experience it. I just have glimpses of it.

Space is still a very fuzzy thing for me. I guess that is both a blessing and a curse. About a decade ago I realized that I had been operating pretty much according to a linear idea of space. Not completely, of course. I do experience space. I just have a hard time imagining it mentally without input through the other senses. Anyway, if I knew the way from A to B and from B to C, I assumed that the way between A to C would be A - B - C. I couldn’t really process the possibility that A and C could even be closer to each other geographically than for instance A and B. I couldn’t figure out that three turns to the right meant that I was moving in a circle. Not until I got my ADHD medication. It was that bad. And there is nothing wrong with my intelligence, at least not if one believes in those tests. I just have a problem with processing the space construct (and the time construct, for that matter, but then again, time is just another dimension of the space construct, isn’t it?). Somehow I’m just as limited by the space construct as anybody else. I just have to deal with that hallucination in a different way. At least I know that my perception of space is totally bogus, but some kind of perception is still there.

I did Michael Taft’s guided meditation ”The world is inside your mind” (not sure about the exact wording). I wasn’t able to let go of all thoughts and other graspings throughout the session, because my mind is pretty busy processing things right now and it tends to draw me in, but I could let go of it often enough to see that it is possible and to see the three C:s both of the processing and of the idea (of the mind) that there is a doer that needs to make an effort to stop the processing.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/13/19 7:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Note to self:

One situation that triggers old conditioning in a way that I need to watch out for is when I feel that I’m being misunderstood but can’t put my finger on how. I need to remember that if I could just see how I’m being interpreted, I can probably understand the responses. I also need to remember that the interlocuters have no way of knowing about the misunderstanding, so therefore they are not aware of me not knowing what they are responding to. If the situation is Kafkaesque to me, it probably is for the interlocutors as well, due to lack of common ground.

The contractions, tightening and increased density that taking things personally entails should be a wake up call that I need to consider this.

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5/13/19 3:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for 50 minutes, mostly just enjoying the lightness and spaciousness that occurs in my current practice after a challenging period of purification. I did notice the 3 C:s of attraction to more expansive states, though, and I did notice the un-tightening of the mind as I woke up from being lost in some content for a brief moment.

When I opened my eyes, I saw two of my cats, those two that have had serious difficulties getting along, resting together next to me in a pile of pure fluffy happiness.

There is relief. There is also a sense of openness, like having something streaming through me. Like being leaky as a sieve, in a good way. Like the resistance is temporarily gone. It’s like there is a gentle wind blowing through me. I could swear I feel the wind physically, but I’m inside my apartment and there are no doors or windows open, and the windows are not leaky. We have three glass windows in Sweden.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/14/19 4:37 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Sat for an hour, choiceless awareness.

In the beginning, many thoughts appeared. Initially I would get lost in content. Gradually introspective awareness increased, and I got more and more fascinated by the contractions/tightness that came together with the engaging thoughts and feelings, and the openness, lightness and spaciousness that followed as I let go of the grasping. I was so fascinated by this dance that I sometimes didn’t give much notice to the thoughts and feelings. It was obvious that the thoughts and feelings occurred on their own whether or not I engaged in them. I could just let them take place in the background. Some thoughts appeared more in the foreground. They were related to the meditation, as the mind was trying to translate sensate experiences into concepts. One such thought was that the open awareness is always there, always available, permeating everything. I just imagine it being inaccessible. I lock myself in from the inside. For a while I got lost in metaphors, and as I did so, I noticed a contraction. Noticing the contraction opened up the spaciousness again.

Some of the dance occurred behind the eyes. There were tensions and relaxation, tensions and relaxation, and motion as the tensions were arising and passing away in different locations. There was no doer making any effort. It just occurred. Apparently there is still a sense of subjective perceiver that finds this fascinating, though, but I would guess that the fascination also occurs on its own.

Previously I have thought of pity as something that opens up to a flow. Now it seemed that pity can also be solidifying. I guess it’s a relative thing.

Sometimes vibrations occurred in the throat and shoulder area whereas there was an increase in density of the body, making it more separate. At one point a thought came up: ”Oh no, this is re-observation!” It was followed by surprise. Why did I feel the need to evaluate and judge this state when I could investigate it with curiosity? Genuine curiosity occurred, and that opened up to lightness and spaciousness again. A thought flashed by that was instrumental, about using this as a method, but it was so obvious that this was grasping that it didn’t stick.

The meditation as a whole had a flavor of mercy.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/14/19 7:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Another thing that was clear was that it isn’t possible to be ”lost” in the past or in the future. Lost in content - sure - but it all occurs in the present.

...

I just woke up from sleep to notice that meditation was occurring. A light fourth Jhana was present.

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5/15/19 6:12 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I only sat for half an hour due to a busy schedule. I treasured that time and would have loved to sit longer, but I need to sleep now.

The lightness and ease are still there, despite the stress from both a job deadline and an impending workshop (logistics is not my strong suit). The mind was busy with a lot of thoughts running around, and some tightness around them, but there was space too. Peacefulness, even. The word ”liberated” has connotations in this context that make me hesitate to use it, as I’m only in the beginning of the journey, but it’s still the word that best captures how I feel. I do feel liberated, but I can't really explain why (I can explain how, though: it’s like a gentle breeze flows right through me while at the same time wings carry me safely from a mountain top over a vaste wilderness). Mercy is another word that comes to my mind.

I think I use attention less and awareness more nowadays. There were no bouncing sensations of conceptualization in my head. The sensations/perceptions took place not only in my body, but often in other parts of the apartment and outside it. I don’t get how mental images are supposed to occur in front of one’s closed eyes. For me, mental images, mental kinesthetics and mental smells are interwoven with the external sounds. Not triggered by the sounds and thus following them, but appearing together with them as a whole. Is that what is referred to as formations? Whatever they are, that’s where the awareness occurs. Not in my head.

...

I started a thread about some fears today, but I don’t think the nuances came out right. They are subtle fears, not strong ones, and I’m not afraid of the unknown. I fear the known, the predictable. If it is still a mystery what happens after death, even for arahants, then I’m content and relieved.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/17/19 7:29 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did meditate yesterday but I was too tired to write about it afterwards after a long day of travelling and meeting people. I meditated for an hour, after some basic medicinal yoga and a gong bath. It was close to pure peace, so not much to report. During the gong bath I again felt the wind gently blowing through me, and I also felt as if parts of me melted and seeped out through my ears. Loved it.

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5/18/19 12:41 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I fell asleep during meditation yesterday evening. Country air... I had many micro hits of spaciousness during the day, though. I also started the day with medicinal yoga and a heart meditation, singing a mantra.

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5/18/19 10:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Meditated an hour, focusing on all sense gates. In the very beginning there was monkey mind going on. That calmed down, after going through a phase of pre-conceptual abstract images flowing by radpidly, but then there were some head nods and some kriyas instead. There were also some changes in intensity, hard to put into words. For a while there was a build-up of energy in hands and arms. It felt as if I had strong wings and could have started flying. It felt as if there was a wind that would carry me.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/18/19 4:35 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
... I had many micro hits of spaciousness during the day ...

Hey Polly, what are the causes and conditions of these micro hits of spaciousness ?

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5/18/19 4:52 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Something has happened to my hearing. Distinguishing sounds and the directions and distances they come frome is much easier now, especially when I’m in nature. That’s weird, because I have been working on making all sounds collapse into one flow and even drop away from awareness, and on making directions and distances collapse as well. I didn’t imagine it would have the opposite effect in my daily life.

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5/18/19 4:51 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
... I had many micro hits of spaciousness during the day ...

Hey Polly, what are the causes and conditions of these micro hits of spaciousness ?



I’m not sure what qualifies as causes and conditions. It happens when I relax. Sometimes I do it as a practice (by opening up to it). Other times it is unintended but welcome. Shinzen Young highly recommends micro hits in daily life. I can do it anywhere. When I go about my daily business I do it to sort of stay connected. When I’m happy I do it because it makes happiness more fulfilling. I’m in a phase where it seems to be available most of the time.

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5/18/19 5:10 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Interesting. What would happen if you just relaxed and did absolutely nothing for an hour, maybe sitting in chair outside?  

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5/18/19 5:23 PM as a reply to curious.
Meditation would occur. I’m not quite at the stage where it totally takes over, but I’m getting there. I recognize it. When that happens, I’m not sure how it will manifest this round. I look forward to finding out.

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5/18/19 5:43 PM as a reply to curious.
I love doing nothing in the nature, by the way. Always have. I need that. I think civilization makes me sick. Right now I’m at a place where there are no sounds from traffic. Instead there are falcons and wild boars and other wildlife. I choose to interact with people, though, because they are autistic friends that I don’t get to meet very often, and I love the flow and effortlessness in our interaction. Just now we were lying in the grass and talking about how we experience things with our senses and how our thinking processes manifest while watching bats fly over us in the darkening skye and listening to different kinds of birds, and a summer rain was gently sprinkling over us. I’ll do nothing tomorrow when I’m at home.

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5/19/19 8:53 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Interesting. What would happen if you just relaxed and did absolutely nothing for an hour, maybe sitting in chair outside?  



Sensory input very quickly start to break apart, even in a busy place such as a train station, if I let them.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/19/19 12:57 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I meditated (noting) an hour on the train after hours of travelling with heavy bags to carry and low blood sugar and in a wagon with little air and lots of heat and noise. I noticed some irritation in combination with vibrations in the throat. Then I noticed that the sensations of bouncing back and forth in the head (with regard to conceptualization) were back. I found that observation very interesting (and I noted the interest). Then the bouncing stopped, and I could feel tensions behind the eyes relax. There were relief and lightness. Sight got effortless. Then something let go with the hearing as well. There was a relief of tensions and letting go of effort. After that, there was a widening of space. There were also sensations of vapor gently oozing out through the pores of my skin in the face, and a sense of spaciousness in the head. Towards the end of the session, there was subtle dullness.

Earlier today I had the opportunity to give two friends a gong bath. Very cool! Then a friend gave me a gong bath as well, and it was awsome. I sort of merged with the sound. It was autistic heaven.

I have also had instances of seeing abstract patterns in the murk behind my eye lids outside of meditation.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/20/19 5:52 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes of choiceless awareness, nothing special to report.

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5/21/19 6:40 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I did Michael Taft’s latest guided meditation at SF Dharma Collective, ”Awareness has no center”. At the moment he is teaching nonduality, so I guess that’s what I’m doing. I didn’t plan that, but I find it interesting. I’m in a phase that doesn’t respond well to more active ”drilling” anyway, whereas a gentler approach makes something happen. Something spacious and... soothing? There is trusting.

Something weird happened during this meditation. It’s like the existence coagulated and time froze and turned into space. It wasn’t really frozen; that’s the wrong word for it. It just wasn’t time anymore. It didn’t pass. That didn’t mean permanence in any way. The stillness entailed all possibilities. I think I may have gotten a glimpse of the infinite now.

In daily life I often get a sense of being porous and sort of evaporating. It’s mostly from the skin of my face and from the crown of my head. That is accompanied by a sense of relaxation in the head region.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/22/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I only did 30 minutes of formal sitting today due to busy schedule (research conference, travelling, meeting a partner that I don’t get to see very often). I focused on letting go of all intentions (or non-focused on that, sort of). The emptiness is increasingly striking. However, it seems to be focused to the head region. The rest of the body seems to hang on to the delusion more. I’m starting to understand why emptiness is a good thing. It’s not the kind of emptiness that the word used to make me think of. It really is a relief, a mercy, a peacefulness.

I did not perceive time as space this time, but time definitely slowed down remarkably much. I wasn’t bored at all. Time just didn’t move like I’m used to. There was space within time.

I did micro hits during the day. Emptiness is very accessible.

Michael Taft replied to my comment on his youtube video. He wasn’t at all surprised that his guided meditation had made me perceive time as motionless space. He said that time becomes timelessness when we let go of the concepts.

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5/22/19 8:44 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
My first post.
Greetings!
I relate to what you said about how the meditation just arrives at anytime..if I sit still for more than 30 seconds, especially if my eyes are still (and more so if they are closed), the "flip" starts to occur.
As if, having signed up for "School", we are committed to the training.
Andrew

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5/23/19 12:46 AM as a reply to Andrew McAlister Dean.
Hi Andrew, and welcome! It’s an honor to have your first post in my log. Yes, we have a calling and we are committed to it, and so it occurs spontaneously. That’s a great place to be.

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5/23/19 11:07 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I’m at a conference but managed to find a lecture hall where it’s possible to meditate in the back end without being seen. I sat for one hour and 20 minutes, letting go of intentions. It was very restful and for a while I thought I could feel the emptiness spreading from the head to the heart region, but then I got dull. Sometimes I find this approach very challenging with regard to dullness. Well, at least I’m rested now. I don’t think I have ever been so relaxed at a conference with 1400 participants. I can feel the emptiness in the background throughout the day. It’s a source of rest and trust and compassion.

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5/23/19 2:28 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did Michael Taft’s latest guided meditation from SF Dharma Collective again. I noticed that when form dropped away, there was an immediate reaction bringing it back again. That happened more than once, but it was most evident the first time. Dropping form was effortless, but bringing it back required effort. Yet, the effort was automatic.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/25/19 4:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did 40 minutes of noting. It was pleasant and comfortable but not sharp. During the day I have also squeezed in some meditation here and there, with a similar result.

Yesterday I tried to do shamatha in accordance with Michael Taft’s latest SF Dharma Collective guided meditation. That didn’t go very well. I was supposed to visualize a full moon. I have a hard time staying focused on a visualized mental image when the murk is there, more visible and ”louder”. Also, I get bored. Change is more interesting.

I haven’t been able to do yoga for a while due to a workshop and a conference. Not doing yoga makes me dull.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/27/19 12:00 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes vipassana with noting. I accepted the fact that I’m back in dissolution again (exhaustion and brain fog), and that made meditation easier. Instead of trying to clearly notice things about the focus object, I used the focus object (breathing) as an anchor and investigated the periphery. Sitting was easy and pleasant. There were distractions and dullness, but I noted that, and the periphery was crisp and clear. I had that altered sense of touch that was one of my land marks in the dukkha nanas before stream entry. I stopped appreciating it, but now I investigated it as if it was new. I think that it is a letting go of the perceiver, allowing the hands to be aware on their own. I just didn’t understand what it was before. I could notice a similar awareness in the thighs touching the hands as well. Towards the end of the sitting there was a lot of piti. Apparently piti is accessible in dissolution now, or maybe that’s a temporary respite from dissolution?

Yesterday I tried to continue with Michael Taft’s latest guided meditation. That didn’t go very well. It required ability to focus, which isn’t accessible in dissolution.

At least dukkha nanas aren’t physically painful anymore. The suffering concerns cravings for mind-speed, focus, crispness, sharpness, and so on. I need to remember that nothing of that is me and that it is all impermanent.

Dissolution in itself is really quite allright. The suffering does not lie in what is, but in what isn’t. Only because I have a narrative do I grasp for what isn’t. There is a lot to learn there. There is grasping, for self and for permanence. There is also a subtle grasping for ignorance. Parts of me prefer dullness and blankness to facing no self and impermanence.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/27/19 2:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yesterday, in the middle of an ordinary conversation, there was a moment when sounds broke apart and dissolved. My girlfriend’s voice was no longer recognizable.

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5/28/19 11:37 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for an hour, noting. Sitting was easy and comfortable. There were several instances of subtle dullness. I noted them. There was an altered sense of touch. After a while there were several instances of kriyas. There were also some nodding and some dreamlike visions. I felt a little cold. Then there was a lot of piti.

Somewhere in the middle, probably after the piti, there were harsh vibrations in the throat area for a brief moment. The vibrations were smoothed out into waves and then into stillness, and in doing so there were both a sense of relief and letting go and a tangible expansion of space. After that, sensations were more crisp. The murk was more detailed and more rapidly changing and more colorful. There was occasionally a vague sense of depth to the murk, especially with regard to motion. Breathing was easier and more pleasant. The mind speed was faster. There were champagne bubble sensations in the face and nada sound. Noting was faster, and the words slowed me down so sometimes I let go of them.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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5/28/19 12:33 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
When the vibrations turned into waves and then stillness, there was a ripple effect that seemingly had a clear center. It was also from that center that space expanded.

There are still champagne bubble sensations in my face. I’ve got to admit that I have missed them. I am attached to them, and that is something that I will need to let go of. Accepting the fact is a first step, I guess.

The brain fog is gone. There is freshness, crispiness. Breathing is pleasurable. The tendensy of the last few days to seek out distractions is gone. That was a pretty brief dark night, less than a week.

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5/28/19 1:59 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I finally managed to go through this weeks guided meditation by Michael Taft, ”Directly investigating awareness”, without becoming too dull to perceive the inquiry questions in the end.

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5/29/19 3:33 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I meditated for an hour, focusing on the three characteristics in all six senses. Sitting was comfortable although one leg fell asleep early on. Most of the time it didn’t bother me, but in the end (the last 13 minutes) I stretched out, then lay down and wiggled my toes.

There were clarity, crispness, and a wide focus. Many sensations appeared self-aware where they occurred, but there was still something that registered that those occurrings were over there. That something had a location, too, and I could sense that it wasn't really me and that it wasn’t solid although it did contract and cramp up a bit. For a while the contraction allowed a sense of pressure to build up in my head. I could alleviate the pressure by thinking ”open”.

I could feel that there were no real boundaries between self and world. There was a stream moving through all of it. That ”center” that constructed space (it was the reference point making spatiality possible) resisted the stream somewhat, but the stream went right through it anyway. When I was able to sense that, the thoughts of the center did not appear as my thoughts.

The murk contained much movement and color and depth. Sometimes the fields of color broke up into tiny dots of red, blue and green. There was space. Toward the end there was a formless quality but not true formlessness. I tried to focus on the space and formlessness, but as the breath was dropping away, there were fear responses. That caused contraction that made the body feel more solid.

After the meditation I lay down to rest. I let myself drift between different mind states and observed the shifts between them. In a hypnagogic state I saw detailed patterns. I remained clear. I sensed that my kid, who is sick and home from school, woke up (in another room) before I could consciously hear any movement.

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5/30/19 11:50 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I set the timer for an hour and lay down to meditate. When the hour had passed, I continued, I don’t know for how long. Another hour? I enjoyed the returning clarity that was there in spite of some sleepiness, and I managed to stay awake all the time. I focused on the three characteristics in all six senses. I was about to stop the meditation when the alarm went off, but as I stretched out my wrists, new energetic motions came about and I enjoyed the visuals of it.

Yesterday evening I fell for the temptation to eat some locally produced organic icecream, and then I got into brain fog and fell asleep. The time before that, it was due to tofu and chick peas. I really need to maintain my strict diet, as digressing from it messes with my meditation. I think starting the day with 75 minutes of Kundalini Yoga helped. It definitely set about some energetic motion. I am no longer like a champagne bottle ready to pop, as I was before, but it was nice to feel that I haven’t lost it entirely. I like the feeling of things moving, even though it may very well just be purification. On the other hand, I don’t miss the pain that stagnation of those energetic motions used to entail every dark night. That pain suddenly went away after I went through the suffering door and it hasn’t come back.

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5/31/19 2:44 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I did 75 minutes of ”Meditative Friday” yoga (we basically warmed up the spine and then did a guided meditation).

Then I did this guided meditation by Michael Taft: https://youtu.be/An00h5Cs2xw. I was shocked to realize that the infinite awareness that Michael talks about is exactly what was my default way of experiencing the world with my eyes closed until I - very recently - learned to visualize and imagine embodied and inhabited space. I don’t know whether to laugh or to yell. It was there all along! I tried to explain my experience in Shinheads when I joined it, but people insisted that I was just lacking clarity. I tried to explain that conceptualizing my surroundings took a lot of effort. Well, compared to this, of course it does! I had to unlearn infinite awareness in order to understand what people were talking about, damn it! Why do people always have to make things so complicated?! Layers and layers and layers of concepts! Gah!

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6/1/19 4:57 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I started the day with 95 minutes of yoga. It was a technique class at a higher level that I normally go to. I thought it would be too difficult for me, but it was actually easier than before. More intuitive. I loved it. The teacher had a very meditative feel to it.

Then I listened to a youtube lession in Kriya Yoga and did a guided meditation with first a mantra and then directing awareness to between the eyebrows and then spinal breathing.

I believe what I am feeling is emptiness. The good kind, not the connotations that I used to associate with the word.

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6/1/19 11:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did another Kriya Yoga meditation (chakra chanting) and then 45 minutes of vipassana focusing on impermanence. There’s a weird combination of crisp clarity and sleepiness leading to dullness, probably because I slept very little tonight and then went up early in the morning. I suppose I should sleep.

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6/1/19 12:41 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hm, I’m probably in Desire for deliverance, because I feel like I’m stuck in a limbo where little happens. I seem to cycle without ever reaching high equanimity, and it’s all so subtle. Now I’m getting impatient and look into new sorts of meditation techniques to get things moving. I should probably investigate the subtleness instead, as well as the impatience.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/1/19 2:03 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did Michael’s latest guided meditation again, allowing open awareness to do vipassana, and now the impatience is gone. This seems to be the kind of practice I respond well to right now, so I think I’ll stick to that. Also, it clearly illustrates no self. And what a relief it is!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log
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6/2/19 3:26 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I’ve decided not to demand too much from myself today, because I have PMDD and it seems to be time for pms, wherefore I’m in reobservation. I have thus had a very lazy day. I did a class of yin yoga and later I sat for 30 minutes (vipassana). I allowed myself to change position when my leg fell asleep, which it does ridiculously often during reobservation (also I have run out of ginkgo biloba; need to do something about that).

I realized why mapping is so messy now. There is more than one layer of stages. Some insights cannot be unseen. Others are yet to be made. They seem to run in different cycles, or maybe I just manifest stages from the earlier path while simultaneously going through the new path. During this sit I had the harsh vibrations and muscle tensions from reobservation while at the same time having champagne bubbles in my head and a neutrally accepting approach to whatever is, and the smooth feeling of third jhana. The mind was chatting but awareness was always there. There was no need for the kazoo player. That’s when I knew: I’m going to get through this path. The process still knows the way, and of course it does, since ”I” am not the only one it has taken on this journey. It has already walked this terrain through all weathers many many times. There is no separate me that hasn’t already done this.

Now I intend to lay down and relax from all conceptualizations to the best of my ability, just because it feels good. If I fall asleep that will be the beginning of a pattern that I need to change, in order not to build pathways leading to dullness, but I can do that. Right now I need to do this.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/4/19 5:22 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yesterday I timed a 45 minutes session of vipassana but then continued resting in direct awareness for a couple of hours until I fell asleep.

I focused on all six senses, started out with noting but soon let go of the kazoo player because it was holding me back. Awareness was obvious, so it wasn’t needed for the noticing. The problem with letting go of noting is that it is easier to get lost in content. For a while I did. It was about my role as a chosen representative in delicate matters. I realized what happened and took note of the becoming of self. In the beginning of the session there were vibrations in the throat and head. Later there were lots of soft champagnebubbles, not with an upward movement but rather expanding and bursting in place or moving through me in random directions. There was emptiness.

EDIT: I forgot: I also did a guided meditation with Deep Mindfulness Collective earlier in the evening, in their livestream. It was subtle metta towards oneself (”may you be peaceful”). I focused it on various parts of my ”self” that I know are different sets of coping strategies and reaction patterns. I can’t speak for all of the patterns, but at least some of them responded well. There was relief.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/4/19 5:13 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for 45 minutes, doing choiceless awareness. Fascinating. This is so classical re-observation, and yet I kind of enjoy it. Although the racing mind is so utterly unfocused and compulsive, I enjoy the speed and I enjoy recognizing the quirks, and I enjoy noticing that I do. I notice that I have an attachment to the mind speed and even an attachment to all the really annoying quirks and tend to see them as very ”me”, and I find that comical, because it is so obvious that they are not me and that it is this totally irrational attachment that holds me (not-me) back, and yet I feel compassion for the attachment. Existence seems to be out of synch with itself, and the harsh vibrations are out of synch with each other, and the muscles are both tensed up and too mobile to find a steady and confortable position, but the awareness of this is as intriguing as a dystopian sfi-fi series. There were moment of stillness and peace and synch too, so I think equanimity is near. I don’t know whether it’s the first path review as a respite or if it’s equanimity of the next path. I don’t know how this works.

Fascinating also that emptiness is so physically tangible and so pleasant. I did not expect that before.

I have had a very challenging schedule today and didn’t sleep well, and I have a tough case of pms, but people tell me that I look so peachy and well-rested and full of life. I thought I was a wreck. I actually managed to do all things on the list and stay mostly happy. That’s pretty cool.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/5/19 6:35 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I set the timer for 45 minutes and then another 45 minutes. I focused on how impermanence manifested on its own in all sense gates. In the beginning I sat, but my legs fell asleep so much that I lay down after about 20 minutes. The first session was pretty sharp but also somewhat agitated. Like yesterday, I enjoyed the mindspeed and sharpness and even the slight agitation. It felt vital. There was clarity in the details and dynamics. The second session was more peaceful but also rather dull. When the session was over I fell asleep. It was around midnight or perhaps even later by that time, so it was probably a bad idea to do another session.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/6/19 4:42 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did 20 minutes vipassana meditation just to get a feel of what is going on in my head. I have a persistent headache that feels as if it’s the new re-observation stagnated energetic stuff thing. Observing the impermanence of the sensations helped to get some relief from the weird pressure. This is probably what is often referred to as energy blockage. That’s a mental construction, but either it has physical consequences or it makes sense of and deals with a physical condition (like high blood pressure), or possibly both. Luckily I have some potassium supplement at home (I’m very aware that taking supplements of potassium must be done with extreme precaution, and I know what I’m doing; I wouldn’t recommend anyone without an exceptional knowledge of their own body to tamper with such supplements).

Clarity is increasing.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/6/19 3:13 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Oh wow. I have a partner here that I hadn’t seen for a month so I cannot meditate as much as I would like, but I took 30 minutes now, completely surrendering to the process. It is finally happening again: the process takes over and does its thing, vipassanizes me, shamatizes me, whatever it needs to do. Concentration, sensory clarity and equanimity are increasing. I’m vaporizing.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/7/19 8:24 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes of surrendering and letting go. Three characteristics were obvious. Strong jhanic factors while discursive thinking was still going on in the background, doing their own thing. Letting go of that racing mind was a great relief. Circumstances and obligations do not allow me to meditate more right now, but I’ll make room for more of it in the days to come. I need to evaporate.

Sudden nausea is a great meditation session that needs to happen.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/8/19 4:03 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I started the day with Kundalini yoga, 75 minutes. That increases clarity, and it also increases the amount of pain I feel. I think I can confirm now that I have developed a new kind of purification pain. It’s a sharp pointy headache (with more than one point) accompanied by a gnawing neck pain. Oh yay. Well, I guess it needs to be there. I’ll manage.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/8/19 7:25 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
My head hurts like hell and my neck is stiff and I have ache in my wrists and ancles. I think this is the first time around with dukkha nanas of the new layer. I have kriyas as well, even when I’m just resting. Colors are swirling. I probably crossed the A&P very recently.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/8/19 3:49 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
The headache from hell is temporarily okay thanks to sleep, pain-killers and meditation. In the latter I intuitively did some kind of hybrid of letting go and tapping into the space around and interspersed amongst the pain. Subjectively it also feels as if I allow something to gently move rather than stagnate, and that gives relief.

Maybe I shouldn’t do Kundalini yoga, I don’t know. There was a lot of focusing on the third eye, and in one exercise I felt both pressure and heat building up. The teacher gave me some reiki heeling, too, but I’m not sure she knew what she was doing. She has a very nervous vibe.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/8/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah I found that doing yoga and martial arts before anapanasati sometimes led to extremely powerful energy surges during meditation. Probably ok if you are ready to handle them - but with all the potential downsides of big purifications if you are not.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 3:38 AM as a reply to curious.
I think part of it may have been that I was prevented from meditating as much as I felt that the process needed for a couple of days, so there was already an inbalance. Yoga usually helps my wellbeing a lot, but it’s usually more grounding yoga types such as Hatha yoga. Kundalini yoga is sort of the opposite. Anyway, it may also be the case that this is the new darknight pain no matter what. I guess time will tell.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 7:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Pain is milder now, and the total exhaustion is gone. Sudden subtle anxiety and nausea appeared, and I took that as a cue for meditation. Another one of my partners is here now, and I hadn’t seen him for six weeks, so I only took 30 minutes. I can do some more later. It was awsome. I entered third vipassana jhana but with greater clarity than I’m used to. The three characteristics stood out clearly. What I used to perceive as ”backward hands” in the dukkha nanas earlier in my practice, and later understood as the touch sense being turned inside out, was now very clearly the hands being aware of themselves. It wasn’t just the hands, but more or less the entire body. Awareness was there, aware of itself. It seems like the inability to focus in dukkha nanas applies only to attention, not to awareness. Earlier in my practice I would focus on something, like the breath, in order to achieve clarity for the periphery. Now there was no need for that. It was all clear, only there was no center.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 2:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes of surrendering to the process. Weird - I know that it felt chrystal clear and present, but now I don’t remember much of it. I remember that breathing was affected somehow. I remember softness, smoothness. In the beginning there were many different impressions (mental images, mental sounds and other mental constructs) swirling by fast. There were also some discursive thoughts at the same time as I was tapping into very soft vibrations on my skin. There were kriyas, mostly twisting my feet upward. Lots of impermanence. I could sense a listener solidify as I was listening to the nada sound and other sounds, but soon that solidifying was also just a set of sensations like the others. Then there were just sensations, crisp and clear, and they didn’t make it into my memory.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 3:54 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
45 minutes of surrendering to the process. Weird - I know that it felt chrystal clear and present, but now I don’t remember much of it. I remember that breathing was affected somehow. I remember softness, smoothness. In the beginning there were many different impressions (mental images, mental sounds and other mental constructs) swirling by fast. There were also some discursive thoughts at the same time as I was tapping into very soft vibrations on my skin. There were kriyas, mostly twisting my feet upward. Lots of impermanence. I could sense a listener solidify as I was listening to the nada sound and other sounds, but soon that solidifying was also just a set of sensations like the others. Then there were just sensations, crisp and clear, and they didn’t make it into my memory.
Glad about mental images. If I remember correctly, some months ago, in the conversations on Shinheads, you were saying that you don't have mental images, or you have just simple patterns of light. So it has changed :-)

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 4:18 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
It sure has. In daily life that is very helpful, because it was rather disabling not being able to visualize anything and not even having a body image. In meditation, it’s actually rather annoying to have this new layer of mental constructs. I’m approaching this from the opposite direction than most people.

The thing is, when I was unable to visualize my own body, I couldn’t even understand why anybody would believe that they were in their head. Now that I can, I understand why. It’s because of the visual perspective. When I didn’t have that, I was as much in any part of my body as in my head. That was a mental construct too of course, but at least it was more flexible, and it was closer to direct awareness. Moving into direct awareness was not a big step. Now I have to get past the visual perspective first. That’s annoying.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 4:23 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
It sure has. In daily life that is very helpful, because it was rather disabling not being able to visualize anything and not even having a body image. In meditation, it’s actually rather annoying to have this new layer of mental constructs. I’m approaching this from the opposite direction than most people.


Yes. Sometimes it becomes annoying for me too that I can't decouple physical sensations from their mental impression as mental images. Tonight while walking I was trying to do fast fire noting on the body, but because for each sensation, at the same time of noticing the sensation, attention was moving in the body image space and locating the image of that area that sensation was on it, it was preventing me from having very fast noting. The speed of attention movements is often determined by the speed of rolodexing through mental images.

But about not having a body image, probably that has helped to access to no self/ emptiness more quickly? I recall that Shinzen was saying that for many people, they get to a point that bodily feelings are just vibrations, but because there is a stable body image, that body image retains the sense of self, and when that image turns into vibrations, they can access to a true no self experience.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 5:14 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Yeah, I guess. I started out with dissolving into vibrations rather quick.

But I have to admit it’s rather nice being able to realize when I’m blocking the way for other people and knowing where my limbs are in space without looking for them. Now I finally know why other people do not knock things down all the time, and I’m able to avoid doing that too. I probably had some sense of it, but it was extremely vague. All the parts knew themselves from the ”inside”, but I didn’t have a threedimensional overview. Even when I looked at my body parts, I had often no idea how to contract that specific muscle. There was little connection between visuals and kinestetics.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/9/19 6:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Glad to hear about positive effects :-) .

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/10/19 12:37 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One hour of surrendering to the process. I immediately entered third vipassana jhana. There were some kriyas, some heat and some purifying deep breaths. There was an altered sense of touch all over my body and smooth tingling sensations as if my whole body was going numb and was covered with velvet.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/10/19 4:51 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did Michael Taft’s latest guided meditation where one is supposed to let infinite awareness do vipassana. This time there was resistance to completely letting go of the body. There were panic reactions and strong urges to move. Interesting. It really felt as if I would die if I didn’t move, and I understand what that stands for. I was able to postpone movement, but eventually some reflex or reflex-mimicking aspect took charge. It might be interesting to keep going, to investigate these reactions further and see the end of them.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/11/19 2:30 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
30 minutes vipassana, sitting until my leg fell asleep (a reoccurring problem for me in dukkha nanas) and then lying down. Noting until I was too frustrated by the delay and changed to just noticing. Great clarity, but when I stopped noting I got lost in content for a while. I guess I need the noting for that purpose although the kazoo player thing is a bit annoying, so I took up noting again. In the end one of my cats lay down on my chest. It was very evident that my feelings made something solidify exactly in the spot of the third eye.

Then 30 minutes of just surrendering. It felt like I was floating. Subtle dullness.

Then I took some time to feel into where I am on the maps. Mapping post stream entry is much more fuzzy, and vibrations are not as reliable as they used to be, so I’m not sure, but I think I’m entering misery territory. I have had a couple of days with a bit more energy but also subtle anxiety and more solid performance anxiety, and yesterday evening parts of me reacted with panic as I was about to let go of embodiment. There is still a bit of that energy and anxiety, but I can feel the slow thickness arriving, and I have that icky feeling of being a failure, and the suffering of the world weighs me down, and third jhana is accessible, so yeah... misery it is.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/12/19 5:19 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I woke up with poor motivation to do anything and a thick heavy sleepiness, like a wet woolen blanket covering everything. Misery indeed. One of the few things that still gives me some kind of motivation in this state is continuing to read MCTB2, and I did some reading there (I have now started on the autobiographical section in the end). That got me into a state of more clarity, as it reminded me to continue the investigation also in daily life and in more challenging phases. I felt like I needed to investigate more, but I realized that I was too sleepy to successfully meditate. I wouldn’t want to reinforce pathways where meditation leads to sleep.

Then I though that sleepiness too is worthy of investigation, and if I would fall into sleep, it would probably be educational to investigate the moment leading to sleep, regardless of what I call the investigation. So I allowed myself to rest while investigating the sleepiness. It entailed a lot of impressions of textures and a lot of thoughts about strivings that didn’t lead to anything, enthusiastic collaborations that ended up with nobody taking any responsibility until the fresh new ideas were no longer so fresh and it felt useless to hope for anything ever being done about them, and I was disgusted by the whole thing (disgust!), the chain of hope and the following disappointment, and then, while having the image of puzzle pieces being put together on some boring puzzle, it suddenly dawned on me that I could put those pieces into the puzzle that I was so disappointed that nobody else put there, or at least try. I saw myself putting in those pieces that made some of those unfinished projects possible to finish, and thus getting rid of some baggage that is weighing me down. Sure, it’s late now, but we have already done much of the work, and at least it’s psychologically beneficient to go through with it. Never mind that the timing isn’t perfect anymore. It seldom is, and that is not what’s most important. I could at least go ahead and ask the others involved what they need in order to be able to move further. Maybe some of it is something that I could easily do. Suddenly I am motivated to go on with my writing. I want to finish things. I have a bunch of projects that need finishing.

Maybe this is a new and more productive layer of desire for deliverance? If so, I welcome it. It came together with a sudden return of the persistent headache, but in a mild version, and some subtle chaotic vibrations.

After all, if I wake up, I wake up to this very life. I never intended for meditation to be yet another way of procrastinating. I can’t go forward by escaping my life. I need to be mindful about my life, even the parts that I feel bad about - especially those parts. If I feel disgusted by dynamics that I am part of, maybe I should do something about it.

There are indeed valuable lessons to be learned from the dukkha nanas.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/12/19 9:13 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Okay, this is weird. I seem to be cycling rapidly through the dukkha nanas and I feel overwhelmed with nausea, fear, guilt, shame, hopelessness and panic all at the same time. There are harsh vibrations and the headache is getting worse. I feel like I may throw up, but that is probably just a feeling. I did 30 minutes of meditation because I had to, but now I need to cook some food to my kid. I will need to continue meditating later.

What I need to do to get through this is seeing things as they are, right? As simple as that, and as hard as that. The three C:s and bare sensate phenomena, right? Anything else I need to think of? Breaking down is not an option. My kid needs me.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/12/19 12:26 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Weird indeed. I did two hours of vipassana, with a short bathroom break in the middle. It’s hard to conceptualize it. Lots of impressions flashing by. A lot of motion. Then relief, layers of layers of tensions in my face falling away. Lightness. Clarity. Easier to breath. Then difficult to breath. Then both at once. I relaxed and let go of the breath, trusted that it would be there regardless of whether or not I could feel it. My body started to fall away. Then another round of nausea and panic and misery all at once. Those tensions in the face solidified again, and the headache came back, and with it harsh vibrations. It was intense. I was drawned into it and it terrified me. It felt as if every cell in my body was torn inside out or something. I managed to breathe through it, bearing in mind that I have gone through this kind of panic before and later found that the very sensate experiences that made up the panic were pleasurable when I surrendered to them. Parts of me wanted to escape the process. Other parts of me were adamant to go through it and to take note of the sensate experiences. Jhanic factors were readily available in the midst of panic and nausea. I tapped into them just enough to calm down the panic. Then I felt as if strong forces were tearing me apart. I reminded myself that being torn apart is a good thing. I felt at the same time heavy, dense, and solid on the one hand, pressured to the ground, and on the other hand I was thrown around rapidly as if I weighed nothing. The notion of centrifugal force came to my mind. I felt motion sick but no longer panicked. Then the timer said that the session was over. I decided to pause enough to write this down.

Well, at least the three C:s are impossible to miss.

Now I have stomach cramp. That’s not the first time lately that I have come out from a meditation session with stomach cramps. The headache is almost gone for now, but there is still tension in the forehead.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/12/19 1:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I just read the MCTB2 chapter on bodysurfing. I had never heard of that before, but it seems like the perfect analogy to what I need to do right now. The sea is rougher now than before and demands more from me in terms of timing and doing just the right move. Dealing with the more forgiving waves came more naturally. I could often just lie down and float on them. It’s not as easy this time around. I need to learn the exact moment to jump in and how to stear, and how to deal with the waves that are far too rough for surfing. I can do that. It will be a rough ride until I learn, but I can learn. The patterns are there, out in the open.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/13/19 4:40 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I planned to meditate one hour. However, I missed the alarm and ended up doing maybe one and a half, probably with some micro sleep in it. I thought the sensory clarity was good, but apparently I didn’t detect sleepiness in time to avoid dozing off and missing the alarm. It is a very subtle one, but I usually hear it. Well, it was great clarity in the beginning at least. The focus was wide. There were rapid vibrations. They turned into slower waves. There were jhanic factors. My entire skin felt as if it was caressed with soft feathers. I’m not entirely sure about the order of events. I could notice things rapidly in all six senses. Tensions arose and dissolved in rapid succession. For a short moment the clarity was more crisp and the feathers stopped and gave room for something less dense and more spacious. Then there was craving for fourth jhana and equanimity, and that made the spaciousness go away. The feathers came back along with more density. Then I guess I was seduced by the softness of the feathers and lost some mindfulness.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/14/19 6:55 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I’m at a stage of relatively good clarity and concentration but with some tendencies to distraction and subtle dullness. My outlook on life is suddenly rather balanced again. Could it be low equanimity at the new path? That seems a bit too easy. Maybe I have taken refuge to equanimity of the first path? Or maybe I have dropped down to mind and body, which I don’t think I would recognize? I don’t know. The jhanic factors most readily available remind me most of third jhana. Regardless of what it is, I will keep investigating to the best of my ability and do my best to deal with the challenges of daily life and balance it with rest.

I meditated for an hour, lying down. I did not doze off. I started out with noticing as much as possible in all six senses. Noting isn’t fast enough, because translating the knowledge into words is counterintuitive. I already know exactly what I’m aware of, but words do not capture it satisfactorily. Awareness translates badly into words. Trying to translate causes bouncing tensions sensations in my head. It seems very unnecessary. I remember Andromeda describing the realization that she never was equipped with a kazoo player. I think I am, sort of, but he definitely doesn’t master it. He misses most of the symphony and the delay is unbearable. Staying alert without noting is however something of a challenge, but at this stage it seems to work. It probably doesn’t work at the level of Daniel’s rapid noting style, but it is more efficient than my noting. At the moment, I notice more without the noting than with it. Maybe I’m just bad at noting. Maybe that’s just how my autistic brain works. Translating information from my senses into words has always been draining. But then again, the senses already know, or whatever it is that knows, so maybe it’s not necessary.

It doesn’t necessarily feel like the information comes through the sense organs where they are located on my body either. They sort of come together with the formation that they belong to, if that makes any sense. I don’t know if this is poor clarity or the opposite. When I hear a sound from outside the house, it’s like awareness is outside too. Awareness isn’t only aware of the sound, but also of the touch of the wind, the smell of the air, mental images from the perspective of being outside, other touch sensations associated with being there, etc. I know that my sense organs are not involved with those images and touch sensations or the smelling. It’s a mental thing. But I really get why that is a sense too. The sensations are really there, vividly and immediately. They are instant. They come in packages. In meditation, the boundary between inside and outside seems irrelevant. Sure, the mental sense delivers constructs, but all perceptions are constructs, right? I guess the important thing is knowing what kind of construct they are, at least in daily life. It would be weird to treat imagined things as the same thing as perception. That would be hallucinating. But in meditation, I notice that the sensations from the mental sense are often just as vivid as those that come from perception via the sense organs. That’s what I notice. And even those sensations that do come from what we refer to as outside, do not appear to come through my senses. It’s more like me appearing where they are than they coming to me through my senses. Until I do noting, verbally, conceptualizing things. Then the conceptualizing tells me that they appear over there, as if I were actually in my brain or something. That is especially frustrating when the sensations are from touch, for example touch sensations in my hands. Even if I were to believe that there are things ”over there”, it doesn’t make sense for my hands to be ”over there”. Speaking from a duality perspective, my hands are as close to me as my brain is. When I skip conceptualizing, awareness is present in the hands and sort of in the textures that they are touching. When I conceptualize it, suddenly my hands are ”over there”, because apparently part of the conceptualizing is a spatial organization that takes its departure in my head, where my eyes, ears, nose and taste buds are located. Still, I’m very kinestetic and dependent on my hands, so that creates a split that is really weird.

I noticed that the richness of sensate information was distracting insofar as I was torn between different sensations rather than following some of them from beginning to end. I wanted to do the latter, so I started focusing on the nada sound or whatever one decides to call that tinnitus-like sound that seems to be present all the time as soon as clarity and concentration are good enough. That sound is something that I can actually stay with rather well. If I were to do shamatha, maybe that would be a suitable object. The sound is there for me reliably in a way that a visualization is not. From a vipassana point of view, I know that it must be impermanent. Thus, if I stay with it, it is reasonable to assume that at least part of it must vanish some time. I wanted to capture that. The sound itself is whirling, so I know that there are many arisings and passings away there, but I’m not able to point them out with precision. When staying with the sound, I did however notice that there are very very brief micromoments where I can’t seem to stay with it. It’s like a perceptual barrier, avoiding the void. Then for a moment I could hear very rapid beeps, as if the sound was binary. I wasn’t able to follow those vanishings into the void. They eluded me.

Staying with the sound made movement sensations appear in my face. It was like layers of very soft and very thin veils were dragged over (or rather under) my face and away from it, over and over again, overlapping in time. It had some kind of circularity to it. There were very subtle mental images accompanying it that I can’t translate into words. They were probably just barely conscious and mostly unconscious.

Recently a lot has been going on in my face and beneath it. A lot of movement. It’s softer now than it was before. Sort of more layers to it. More subtle, but many different sensations occurring at once, or overlapping. Thus it’s more complex. It is no longer one puppy alien crawling around there, but many thin veils moving about. They sometimes tense up, but mostly they are soft.

I noticed that when I petted my cat in the beginning of the session (sometimes it’s just more efficient to do that instead of having an anxious cat climbing me and seeking my attention; after petting him for a while he relaxes and just lies down), the movement in my face increased. It made some veils dissappear and others appear. Maybe I conceptualize less when I pet my cat but also have more feelings that are part of the self delusion.

Jeeze, if my collegues at work were to read this, or like my brother, they would probably think I’m going crazy (I mean, puppy aliens crawling around behind my face... not to mention all this rambling about the maps). Luckily I have never aspired to be normal, so I don’t think it would be that much of a shock to them.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/14/19 2:36 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I meditated for another hour, determined to be very present with watever was there. There were rapid and strong vibrations, maybe the strongest ones I have ever felt. I tuned into the vibrations, and there was little there besides from vibrations. The density varied from compact to rather spacious. If I made an effort to control something, the density increased. If I let go, the density decreased.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/14/19 5:10 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Now I have started to hear a ”binary” clicking sound in one of my ears as I lie down on it. I don’t know if that’s the nada sound breaking up or something else, but it seems to have appeared as a result of listening for those gaps inbetween sounds.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/14/19 5:44 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I have a very ambitious goal: I want to land second path and then master the jhanas and after that learn to slam-shift nanas and jhanas and ask Daniel to teach me. I won’t ask until I’m there, though. There are plenty of instructions in the book to follow first. Also, I need to make sure that I am stable enough for that kind of practice before I do it.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/15/19 5:38 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I meditated for another hour, determined to be very present with watever was there. There were rapid and strong vibrations, maybe the strongest ones I have ever felt. I tuned into the vibrations, and there was little there besides from vibrations. The density varied from compact to rather spacious. If I made an effort to control something, the density increased. If I let go, the density decreased.



More density makes the vibrations more challenging. Less density means that they have less to grab on to.

Today during a yoga session the vibrations were visible, but my feeling tone was equanimous. If this is still darknight, resistance has decreased a lot. The asanas were easier than I’m used to. I could easily shift between downwardfacing dog via plank position to upwardfacing dog and round and round. With this body! That has never happened before. Also, my legs don’t fall asleep easily anymore. It could very well be that I have dropped down to A&P again. My spine did feel warm after the warming up exercises. Some of the exercises aimed at making energies move upward and then settle down again. I could feel that they did. For a moment I feared that upwardmoving energies would build up a pressure in my head again and then stagnate there, giving me a terrible headache again. I don’t think it did. This teacher knows what she’s doing. I visualized being open rather than blocked to allow energies to move through me rather than be stuck. Hopefully it worked. Maybe I need to keep doing that for a while, in case energies are continuing to move upward. I’m sensitive to that stuff.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/15/19 7:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I meditated for an hour, focusing on the nada sound, and probably did a confusing mix of vipassana and shamatha. Early in the session I felt as if drawn into something. Maybe that is the pull that Daniel recommends learning to recognize and resist in order to get precision with regard to progressing through the nanas and jhanas. I don’t have that kind of control, and the jhanic factors were very light at that time. I listened for changes in the sound but found that I could make the sound change by way of listening to it differently. The quality of the sound shifted, maybe the density of it? I noticed that the changes in the listening/sound were accompanied by the movement of a contracted point inside my head. I found myself moving that point in the shape of an eternity symbol or an 8 lying down. It was a swirling combination of hearing, kinesthetics and visualization. I did that for a while until I found myself in dreaming territory and lost the sense of control. I stayed mindful about being in this state and didn’t grab on to the content. I was still listening. After a while the sense of control came back, but there was also a sense of not really being in control. It didn’t seem to matter whether the listening caused the movement in the head or the other way around, and whether there were intentions forming what happened or whether the occurrings included a sense of having intentions.

I would probably need more time to increase concentration. My teenage kid stays with me now and I need to cook.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/16/19 8:22 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I invested an hour in an attempt at shamatha practice in spite of challenging conditions. My teenage kid is at home and the door to the patio was open because my three cats just can’t decide whether to be inside or outside. My neighbours are noicy - I think they have friends over and they are all out on their patio talking loud and with a whole bunch of kids running around having a good time. I am cycling in the dukkha nanas. But this is as good as it gets right now. I did manage to access at least very light jhanas, 1-3, according to TMI. I’m still unsure exactly where to draw the line between first and second jhanas; I need to read more and practice more. I lack precision and stamina and pop out of the states fast. The practice even gave me a slight headache.

I know that I have accessed very light versions of fourth jhana, but fourth jhana is rare for me and I did not get there today. I’m pretty sure that I have accessed pleasure jhanas 1-4 under ideal circumstances. Today they were not accessible. Fourth pleasure jhana was accessible to me right before and after stream entry. I’m sure of it because the difference from other states was remarkable. It was beyond words and yet so crisp and clear, more so than I had ever imagined possible. It was brilliantly clear and effortless, and yet the feeling tone was neutral. There was nothing euphoric about it, and not even the calm happiness that I associate with third jhana. More like a chrystal clear knowing and full acceptance, with all fears gone.

What a paradox it is that such a state can be so craved. My cravings for it messes up my experiences of the other jhanas and causes discursive thinking that makes it unreachable. I will be able to get through that, but I’m not there now.

How ironic it is that I have such a hard time dropping discursive thinking now, despite discursive thinking being so draining for me. Earlier in my practice I had a hard time even accessing discursive thinking when I was working on thoughts and feelings. At that time, it was just peaceful and quiet most of the time. It is ironic, too, that most of my conscious discursive thoughts spinning around are dharma related. Most of them even focus on phenomenology. Yup, that’s the problem with the maps. I’m still enormously grateful for them, though. Eventually there will again come times when awareness is so unified around some experience that the concept of me will be temporarily forgotten, and then the narrative yapping will come to rest.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/16/19 11:58 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

It doesn’t necessarily feel like the information comes through the sense organs where they are located on my body either. They sort of come together with the formation that they belong to, if that makes any sense. I don’t know if this is poor clarity or the opposite. When I hear a sound from outside the house, it’s like awareness is outside too. Awareness isn’t only aware of the sound, but also of the touch of the wind, the smell of the air, mental images from the perspective of being outside, other touch sensations associated with being there, etc. I know that my sense organs are not involved with those images and touch sensations or the smelling. It’s a mental thing. But I really get why that is a sense too. The sensations are really there, vividly and immediately. They are instant. They come in packages. In meditation, the boundary between inside and outside seems irrelevant. Sure, the mental sense delivers constructs, but all perceptions are constructs, right? I guess the important thing is knowing what kind of construct they are, at least in daily life. It would be weird to treat imagined things as the same thing as perception. That would be hallucinating. But in meditation, I notice that the sensations from the mental sense are often just as vivid as those that come from perception via the sense organs. That’s what I notice. And even those sensations that do come from what we refer to as outside, do not appear to come through my senses. It’s more like me appearing where they are than they coming to me through my senses. Until I do noting, verbally, conceptualizing things. Then the conceptualizing tells me that they appear over there, as if I were actually in my brain or something. That is especially frustrating when the sensations are from touch, for example touch sensations in my hands. Even if I were to believe that there are things ”over there”, it doesn’t make sense for my hands to be ”over there”. Speaking from a duality perspective, my hands are as close to me as my brain is. When I skip conceptualizing, awareness is present in the hands and sort of in the textures that they are touching. When I conceptualize it, suddenly my hands are ”over there”, because apparently part of the conceptualizing is a spatial organization that takes its departure in my head, where my eyes, ears, nose and taste buds are located. Still, I’m very kinestetic and dependent on my hands, so that creates a split that is really weird.

I noticed that the richness of sensate information was distracting insofar as I was torn between different sensations rather than following some of them from beginning to end. I wanted to do the latter, so I started focusing on the nada sound or whatever one decides to call that tinnitus-like sound that seems to be present all the time as soon as clarity and concentration are good enough. That sound is something that I can actually stay with rather well. If I were to do shamatha, maybe that would be a suitable object. The sound is there for me reliably in a way that a visualization is not. From a vipassana point of view, I know that it must be impermanent. Thus, if I stay with it, it is reasonable to assume that at least part of it must vanish some time. I wanted to capture that. The sound itself is whirling, so I know that there are many arisings and passings away there, but I’m not able to point them out with precision. When staying with the sound, I did however notice that there are very very brief micromoments where I can’t seem to stay with it. It’s like a perceptual barrier, avoiding the void. Then for a moment I could hear very rapid beeps, as if the sound was binary. I wasn’t able to follow those vanishings into the void. They eluded me.

Staying with the sound made movement sensations appear in my face. It was like layers of very soft and very thin veils were dragged over (or rather under) my face and away from it, over and over again, overlapping in time. It had some kind of circularity to it. There were very subtle mental images accompanying it that I can’t translate into words. They were probably just barely conscious and mostly unconscious.

Recently a lot has been going on in my face and beneath it. A lot of movement. It’s softer now than it was before. Sort of more layers to it. More subtle, but many different sensations occurring at once, or overlapping. Thus it’s more complex. It is no longer one puppy alien crawling around there, but many thin veils moving about. They sometimes tense up, but mostly they are soft.


The TMI chapter on The Nature of Mind and Consciousness clarifies a lot of my confusion here. I think I have failed to recognize some information that preceeds sense percepts as the more raw sense data that they are, at least in my language. Or rather... I have seen them as more raw sensate data but just couldn’t apply the label ”outside” to them and I haven’t experienced them coming from my sense organs although they do. That makes sense, though, because ”sense organ” is a concept, a mental construct, that doesn’t exist within raw sense data. Thus it wouldn’t be possible to perceive raw sense data as coming from the sense organs. Such a perception would mean that the data had already been organized and interpreted and subject to generalization. Right. Well, that warrants a change of formulations. That kind of raw data is definitely more vivid and rich than the mental constructions.

That TMI chapter presents a model that explains why perceptions often come in packages rather than directly from the senses, as I observed. Cool. I have often thought of myself as a collective rather than as one mind. I have identified some higher order processes and named them to make sense of psychological dynamics that I have observed. I don’t know how that classification would map to the model exactly, but it does relate to it. The chapter is very relevant to my current practice. I have had one of those direct experience of seeing through the processes of temporal binding. I can see why Michael Taft was so adamant that I read that book now. Ironically, I don’t have enough concentration to read the book from cover to cover, but I decided to skip to the parts that seem most interesting. Hopefully that will inspire curiosity for the rest of the stuff in a way that makes me read all of it. Skipping to the later parts has also allowed me to see that there are much more nuances to the book than what I could tell from its beginning parts. I think this knowledge will decrease my resistance. I can be a very critical reader, as I’m allergic to simplifications. I realize that many readers prefer to get the basic ideas first, before complexity is added. I am the kind of reader that loses interests if I don’t get enough complexity. I mean, since we are using language anyway, which is draining, why not go all the way with abstract thinking? Otherwise we could have stayed closer to our senses and rested in a more direct awareness. Why waste energy on something that is neither fish nor fowl? Anyway, this chapter did motivate me to read. Yay!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/16/19 2:06 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I returned to this guided meditation by Michael Taft: https://youtu.be/An00h5Cs2xw, Allowing vast, open awareness to do vipassana.

Getting there again. Still in reobservation, but getting there. Maybe it is an equanimity subnana to reobservation, I don’t know. The reobservation equanimity subnana version of it, if that’s what it is, is actually very interesting. It has density instead of spaciousness, but the density isn’t entirely convincing. It reminds me of a huge bubble gum, as it stretches out sometimes but still has boundaries somewhere in the background. There’s a weird tension betwen openness and tightness, as it encompasses both extremes. There is a more direct sensing, where the hands are aware of themselves and the belly is aware of itself, but it doesn’t have the crisp chrystal clarity of fourth jhana.

Pathways have opened up to increased sensory clarity in the belly. That was much needed.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/17/19 1:56 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Late at night (or very early in the morning) I lay down to try some of what Michael brings up on my own. It started out with lots of vibrations but then calmed down. I did get into something vast and spacious, and my body started to fall away. I had to interrupt it to get some sleep, unfortunately.

I dreamt that I was close friends with one of the very few people I thought I could never forgive. I did forgive her ages ago, actually, but I haven’t thought about her much since then. Now this dream. It felt nice.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/17/19 6:54 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I took 30 minutes just to check in on the process. I found that I’m a mess right now. As soon as I closed my eyes there were harsh vibrations. Then I felt panic and nausea creeping up on me. A part of me felt that I’m losing it. Another part of me firmly said that I just needed to stay with the sensate experience for a short time span and that would be perfectly safe, and if I still feel that I’m losing it, then there are medicines that can help with that. That helped somewhat. Then someone said ”I have it under control”, and then hell broke loose, because other parts felt the dissonanse in that. The perceptual tensions were obvious. There was an annoying clicking in my right ear as if subconscious voices almost surfaced enough to be heard by an assumed hearer, as if there was one (the tensions seems to question that). The anxiety increased until it was almost unbearable. Then ”I” though ”There is no I that can lose it, and that’s okay. There never was.” That actually helped, for a moment. There was apparent relief. There was also lightheadedness and rapid hearbeating, but the relief was bigger. Then the anxiety increased again. So I kept repeating those words internally for a while. Then I switched to metta. First I directed the metta directly to all those parts pf ”me” that I have named plus the rest. Then I directed it to all sentient beings. That calmed down the panic. I’m still a bit shaky, but that’s okay. I’m thinking that this is progress. The resistance is coming to the surface so that there can be communication.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/17/19 7:41 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Okay, so now I have anxiety to a level that makes me uncomfortable but I’m still perfectly capable of behaving calmly and manage what I need to do. I have a few pills at home from an old prescription of a very mild anxiety medicine. I mainly asked my psychiatrist to prescribe it because it also helps with strong allergic reactions. I’m not going to take that medicine because it makes me dull and it makes my muscles stiff and I get something of a hangover from it. I have discarded that option. I also have a supplement of 5-htp which is an amino acid at the closest step to serotonine. I find that it helps, but it may just be placebo. I use it as a complement to my antidepressants (my doctor knows). I could take one extra of those. That would probably make me feel more at ease pretty soon (placebo or not doesn’t really matter). I’m thinking, though, that I should refrain from taking it. Maybe I don’t need to do anything about the anxiety other than just staying present with it and with the rest of my experience. After all, it seems rather obvious that the anxiety is stage-related and has to do with acceptance of insights. Avoiding the uncomfort is not going to help with that.

Writing this helped for now, so I guess that’s the answer. Okay then.

...

Many years ago I was starting to develop panic syndrome that would manifest when I shopped for groceries and things like that. If I remember correctly, this was before I received my neuropsychiatric diagnoses and thus before my ADHD medication, so my guess is that it was initially triggered by perceptual overwhelm. Anyway, as I read about panic syndrome and realized that I was basically having panic because of fear of having panic, I thought it was so irrational that I just refused to give into the panic attacks. Enough parts of me just said ”No way!” It was probably early enough in the process of developing it, because that worked almost instantly. The panic attacks stopped arising. Thus I think I can handle this. Except that there’s really no continuous entity there to handle it, of course. But I know that the panic attacks are impermanent and have no substance to them.

That being said, I think it’s very important not to expect from others to deal with panic like this. Conditioning and circumstances differ, and bodies differ. If it is unbearable, then it is unbearable. Treatments should be available to everyone who needs it and without questioning.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/17/19 8:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
After that I did 75 minutes of Hatha yoga and 90 minutes of restorative yoga, and then I was very very relaxed. I meditated for an hour with poor quality - both mind wandering and dullness - and went to sleep.

During the Hatha yoga session I entered very light first jhana (TMI). There was also a surge of piti showering through the body. It is possible that I have cycled down again but I really don’t know. If so, that was the shortest and weakest A&P ever.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/18/19 11:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did an hour of therapeutic Hatha yoga earlier today. Now I did an hour of meditation that lacked that crisp presence that makes it go somewhere. There were some weird kriyas, so hopefully there was at least some purification going on. One of the kriyas made my mouth open. That was a bit surprising.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/19/19 4:50 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I only sat for 30 minutes because I have a deadline. It was a weird mix of jhanic factors and challenges. I started out with noting but had to abandon that endeavor because it was too painful to force sensate experiences into that format. Taking on the observer role created pressure in my rught ear and irritation in my left eye as if there were an eyelash stuck in it, and I just couldn’t take it. Also, it is so frustrating how slow me verbal thinking is compared to the bare sensate experiences. It was apparent that verbal thinking about sensory input immediately cut off a large share of the sensory information. I could hear the difference clearly (it was most apparent in hearing). Even verbal thinking that was just on the verge of being conscious had the same effect. On the other hand, when one of my cats pushed his furry body against my skin, sensate experiences came to the foreground and made the world more alive. It was also frustrating that noting is a linear process whereas consciousness isn’t linear. The part of consciousness that I have access to seems to be in contact with many phenomena that are already presented, and there isn’t really anything there that can be linear because that ”part” isn’t really an entity. Making a linear narrative feels like lying. It is built on both continuity and separation, and on the opposite of signlessness.

I don’t know where I am on the maps. It could be an easier subnana of reobservation. There are a rapid but distracted and unfocused mind, some agitation (my tics are relatively challenging), some vibrational activity in the head and throat region, and my legs fall asleep easily during sits. No bleedthrough in daily life but not the calm positive outlook of equanimity.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/20/19 4:49 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Very busy day but I squeezed in 20 minutes before yoga class, in a small park near the yoga studio with a fountain that makes a lovely sound. I meditated with my eyes open. There was a lot of movement in the air, in layers. I had to touch it to see if there was mist, but it wasn’t wet. Then I realized that it was the purple swirls. There was also a much faster moment of what looked like tiny particles. The ground had waves in it momentarily.

I’m starting to think that maybe I am in a mature stage of the three characteristics of the new path, and never crossed the A&P, just came very close to it. And that’s why I had such a horrible headache. And what I have been interpreting as the dukkha nanas have really been earlier stages. I never got to learn those stages phenomenologically. And now that clarity is increasing again, it is because I’ll have another go at crossing the A&P. That actually makes a lot of sense.

Today I managed to have piti while having tartar removed at the dentist’s (which I think is horrible). Lots of piti. I was focusing on resting sensations in the rest of the body. I’m pretty content with that.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I noticed that colors were different from default mind perception. I don’t think that there was any adjustment to expected light conditions from the brain. That is something that I often notice when I open my eyes during or after meditation.

I reread the MCTB2 section on the stage of the three characteristics, and oh yes, this is definitely it. The description fits perfectly. Cool! I don’t have much pain anymore, though, after that horrible horrible headache vanished. Now that I understand what it is, I kind of like this stage. It is interesting.

I can point out at least one time I was in this stage before (on the level before stream entry), several years ago. Back then I had never heard of the maps and had only vague ideas about what meditation is. I did meditate, but very unsystematically and with no method whatsoever. I had the feeling that I was on a spiritual quest, though, and there was clarity and oh so much pain throughout my body. Interesting times. I was madly in love with a possibly schizoid loner, autistic like me, who lived in a world of lucid dreams and made weird electronic music from sounds he recorded in daily life. He broke my heart so badly. I broke the heart of a mutual friend (also quite the loner) equally badly. We are all still friends.

I also think this is the stage I was in at the beginning of my time here, at least part of it. I was new to the maps and mistook it for dissolution because I could feel myself dissolve so clearly. There were layers of vibrations and slower waves. I loved that. I have had a feeling that it didn’t add up to have such clarity in dissolution. Somewhere around that time I did also experience how everything I focused on just dissappeared, phenomenologically, which sounds very much like dissolution. I probably didn’t grasp how fast the cycling can be.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/20/19 5:39 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
40 minutes, but was disturbed by my teenage kid who couldn’t find something. Clarity is growing stronger. Vibrations are everywhere. I feel like a carbonated soft drink. It’s not like champagne bubbles, but coarser, less sofisticated, not smooth at all.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/21/19 1:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Sat for 40 minutes, at a Midsummer’s Eve’s party but in a calm room. There were some physical pain (food reaction + the stage of three characteristics) and restlessness, but I love the mind speed. I could feel the density vary, selfing and unselfing. The restlessness wasn’t me, so it didn’t really bother me that much. The pain wasn’t intense enough to force identification either. Space can always be found somewhere.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/22/19 5:55 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I have had brain fog due to reactions from yesterday’s food. The quality of meditation was therefore poor. I did fifteen minutes earlier today and 30 minutes now. I did it because I want to maintain a daily practice even when conditions are bad.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/24/19 1:33 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did meditate yesterday but it was so dull that I didn’t bother taking notes.

Today I meditated for an hour again, using rapid noting with the one label ”bip”. That did help. I got tired but managed to maintain the noting for an hour without losing much clarity and speed. There were some kriyas. I think clarity is slowly increasing again. The nada sound is there, but not very loud.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/24/19 7:50 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Interesting that you are still with the Kazoo player - albeit a very fluid and rapid one.  Can you move the noting on to the whole Symphony?That is, an intuitive (non-verbal) awareness of the arising and passing away of all sensate phenomena in the broad field of perception? Kind of like noting the champagne bubbles of both 'internal' and 'external' reality simultaneously.

 emoticon

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/24/19 9:40 PM as a reply to curious.
Yes, but then I fall asleep in this current phase.

It’s not still. It’s again. I had to go back to noting to stay alert, although the noting creates uncomfortable tensions and is unnecessary for awareness. Didn’t you ever have any problems with staying alert in the first stages of the new path after stream entry? Were you always chrystal clear? Never too tired to concentrate? I know exactly what you are talking about but right now, especially after this food reaction, I can’t maintain alertness like that, so I’m doing what I need to do in order to maintain a practice.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/24/19 11:46 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Ah, I see.  My mistake.  As an alternative exercise - how about turning jhana factors on and off, or nanas, for 10 seconds each in steady succession?  Piti/No piti.  Sukkha/No sukkha.  Equanimity/No equanimity.  Awareness of form/Formlessness.  Verbal Thought/Non Conceptual Thought.  Then summon dissolution ... then fearfulness ... then unhappy worry ... then disgust ... then yearning ... then Asuric determination of confident fact.  Then go for Contracted/Expanded.   Then being present  behind the Eyes, then in the Face ... in the Shoulders ... in the Hands ... in your Seat ...  in the Cushion ... in the Wall.

That should make it hard to fall asleep!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/25/19 2:34 AM as a reply to curious.
If I could, I would. I’m kind of stuck here. My plan is to learn the lessons of the three characteristics on level two as fast as I can, to get things moving. This isn’t exactly a place where I access things. I’m stuck with newbie difficulties. Noting is a way to get through that and learn the lessons. At least that’s the plan. Or at least to get back to a more mature phase of the three characteristics, away from this raw state where everything is just too much. I know that this is temporary. I had more presence and more space just a few days ago.

What is ”Asuric determination of confident fact”?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/25/19 9:54 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I noticed a change so I took 20 minutes inbetween things to feel into what is going on. That empty space in, behind and slightly in front of my face - the emptiness that is so full of presence - is slowly coming back into awareness. I can feel it moving around in thin soft layers. The clarity of awareness is not yet even close to being at its best, but I’m grateful that it’s even there at all. The last three days it has been gone. As always when it comes back after having been gone, it is accompanied by some weird pressure changes in my right ear and painful irritation in my left eye, as if a couple of eyelashes were stuck in the eye. These symptoms seem to appear as soon as I conceptualize something to a certain extent and thus distinguish between subject and object.This time I could let go of that very quickly. In the end of this mini-session I tried the ”bip bip” noting technique just to see if the symptoms would come back. They didn’t. Maybe ”bip bip” does not require enough conceptualizing to trigger them. That’s good to know, in case I get sloppy without the noting.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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6/25/19 2:39 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Later: 45 minutes. Enough clarity in the beginning to manage to stay alert without noting although I was lying down; if I sit, the pain distracts me too much right now. I could feel little bubbles in my earlobes and in my toes from the breathing. There were some tensions between sense organs and the brain in the beginning as I was using my attention, but the more I relaxed into awareness, the more I was liberated from such tensions and the more present I felt - until the relaxation turned into some kind of detachment and dullness appeared. It seems like there is a very narrow window that allows for alert presence right now. This is a very non-equanimous stage. There were kriyas in my feet and a subjective feeling of tensions and energy blockage there. I massage my feet several times a day because they tend to tighten up otherwise. Apparently that’s not enough at this point.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/25/19 5:14 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:


What is ”Asuric determination of confident fact”?


Reobservation!  Sort of  "I have figured it out, and I have the answer, and I am right and you are wrong, mortal ... "

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/26/19 3:27 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for 30 minutes, trying to be present to whatever arose. There were some unpleasant feelings making contractions in the heart area. They had to do with the difficulties of this stage and some unawake thoughts about loss of previous qualities. I contemplated the fact that they were never mine to lose. They are impermanent and not self. There was never a self that could lose anything either. That gave relief and pity. Then a hope, a craving, arose: maybe this is how I get them back. Busted in the midst of becoming. I could see whole chains of suffering unfolding. As soon as I was liberated from one, another one arose. I probably need to see this clearly over and over again, and the limitations of my current stage is key to that. After all, this journey isn’t about all sorts of cool abilities, but about liberation. For that purpose I guess I need the limitations. This insight gave a feeling that is very hard to describe. I have had it before. It’s familiar, and I think it is also at the same time a feeling of a certain kind of familiarity, of connectivity, of glimpsing something that is impossible to fully see, of being where I need to be perhaps. A feeling that it’s all coming together.

Then there was mindwandering, all about things that I need to do and guilt for procrastinating things and not being able to do more. I realized that I had lost my mindfulness, and then I realized that it was no coincidence that my mind wandered away in that particular direction. It is all about the chains of suffering, the identity invested in things, the cravings and aversions. There was more mindwandering, dharma related things, probably also connected to becoming of self in the midst of trying to deconstruct it. More chains of suffering.

Then I noticed tensions in my back causing me to lean slightly to the right side. I remembered the recommendations in MCTB2 to be attentive to the other side of the body to see what is going on there, and sure, there were tensions there. So predictable. So unpersonal. A pattern that reliably repeats itself, arises and passes away over and over again so that Daniel could write down this advice before I even had a daily practice, an advice that would help me now because what I’m going through has nothing to do with a separate me.

More mindwandering about what I need to do, guilt and anxiety. I soon realized that I was just repeating another chain of suffering.

Seeing this made breathing easier and allowed a lightness to appear.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/26/19 2:59 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:


What is ”Asuric determination of confident fact”?


Reobservation!  Sort of  "I have figured it out, and I have the answer, and I am right and you are wrong, mortal ... "



Ah, thanks for clarifying!

Hm, I have never really had a sense of being in control in my meditation sessions. When my practice is at its best, it just occurs, and I’m being meditated. There have been periods when I have been able to make things happen at will, but that ”will” was probably something that just happened. Still, there are obviously people who have developed tremendous precision, and I admire that. Intellectually I have some trouble integrating that with the idea of agencylessness, but apparently it works. I don’t doubt that. I aim at landing second path and then trying to develop that kind of precision in the review phase and then try to maintain it. As for now, my practice tends to involve the process showing me what I need to learn and me following that. Sometimes it takes me a while to realize what it is that I’m supposed to learn, and so I feel like I have been abandoned. Then I usually find that it was right in front of me all the time.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/27/19 3:22 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did some more meditating yesterday. During the day I did some walking meditation inbetween activities. I have no problem whatsoever feeling my feet in detail. I guess that’s a mixed blessing of living with Tourette’s. I feel the touch sensations in great detail and they are always assymetric and never as smooth as the idea of the touch. My tics are cravings for certain sensations that are in harmony, but the harmony is unreachable. Trying to balance it up with new sensations just causes a new inbalance. It is very annoying. Ask anyone with Tourette’s about urges and physical sensations and suffering and you will get a full report. I don’t understand how it’s possible not to feel one’s feet in great detail while walking, or the touch of the clothes to one’s skin, or the touch of basically every single hair touching one’s body.

I saw waves in the ground, so at least some perceptual clarity has returned. I guess that’s the impermanence of visual input when not counteracted by mental constructions making the perceived sight solid.

I did 75 minutes of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

I tried to do Michael Taft’s latest guided meditation on the three vehicles. I started out sitting but soon one of my legs went numb to the extent that I had to stretch it out. I lay down, and after a while I fell asleep. Maybe I should do more walking meditation. That should keep both me and my legs from falling asleep.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/27/19 4:59 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for an hour, and suddenly sitting was easy. My legs didn’t fall asleep at all. Initially there was some annoying itching, but I let that go, and then something opened up behind my nose and made breathing easier. Tensions were relieved in my back. There were fierce vibrations, almost like shaking, and then finer vibrations with an additional layer of slower waves, suddenly in harmony with each other rather than colliding. The vibrations were in my throat and upwards against the third eye, on my lips, in my paranasal cavities, on the skin of my face, in my hands and feet, in my back and spine, in my eyes (!)... They took away tensions and made breathing easier. The nada sound was there, but there was also occasionally that annoying pressure-chaning flickering sound in my right ear. Sometimes there was lightheadedness. Mental images flickered by, many of them unfamiliar. There was some mindwandering having to do with a workshop I will be attending soon. When I noticed that, I let go of the thoughts. In a dreamlike scene I was in the midst of a riding lesson although in reality I’m allergic both to horses and to hay. A kriya made the fingers of my left hand move upward for a while. There was an altered sence of touch, or what I have come to understand as the awareness of touch waking up to self-awareness. Something similar happened to my hearing.

Earlier this evening I did 75 minutes of Vinyasa Yoga. I could feel that it made energies move around and that it increased clarity.

During the day I have paid attention to the touch sensations of my feet while walking.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/28/19 6:00 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Ah, I see.  My mistake.  As an alternative exercise - how about turning jhana factors on and off, or nanas, for 10 seconds each in steady succession?  Piti/No piti.  Sukkha/No sukkha.  Equanimity/No equanimity.  Awareness of form/Formlessness.  Verbal Thought/Non Conceptual Thought.  Then summon dissolution ... then fearfulness ... then unhappy worry ... then disgust ... then yearning ... then Asuric determination of confident fact.  Then go for Contracted/Expanded.   Then being present  behind the Eyes, then in the Face ... in the Shoulders ... in the Hands ... in your Seat ...  in the Cushion ... in the Wall.

That should make it hard to fall asleep!



I need to ask... Should I have access to all this at all times? Is there something important missing in my practice if I haven’t? Should I be able to summon different stages at will? According to my own tentative mapping, I am now in the stage of the three characteristics on the next path after stream entry, and I think I have just (again) left the earliest part of the stage and arrived at something that I’m able to work with. Unfortunately, I will be attending a workshop for several days, after spending a day with my satellite partner in Gothenburg, so I will probably miss the opportunity to cross the A&P again and then drop down again.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/28/19 11:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Practice log Friday June 28th

I had about ten minutes to spend while waiting for a train. I did vipassana standing up and with my eyes open. Almost immediately the visual input broke apart into impermanence. I could see how there were large fields that were just filled out by the brain to compensate for attention not being at those particular spots, and what parts were filled out like that changed constantly, very fast. A train went by in high speed, and instead of agonizing about the sounds and the scary fact that something that could easily crush me went by me so fast, I investigated the visual input of the train. It was pretty cool. It didn’t look solid at all. I refrained from resisting the sounds, and it actually gave me piti. When it was calm again, monkey mind popped up and tried to hijack my attention. It succeeded momentarily, but then I noticed it and got back to being mindful about sensory input. There was some restlessness, but I noticed it and let go of it. Then vibrations arose, first rough, then more finegrained, and then they transformed into upwardmoving piti. Then the train arrived.

A few hours later: 40 minutes vipassana (maybe somewhat more), sitting with eyes closed. In the beginning lots of movement and vibrations. Later stillness but buzzing hands and buzzing face. Sitting was easy. The position adjusted itself as tensions were relieved in the spine. Somewhat stiff neck, though. Some upwardmoving energies but very calm. Not eruptive at all, more like filling a bottle of water. Improved clarity.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/28/19 4:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
curious:
Ah, I see.  My mistake.  As an alternative exercise - how about turning jhana factors on and off, or nanas, for 10 seconds each in steady succession?  Piti/No piti.  Sukkha/No sukkha.  Equanimity/No equanimity.  Awareness of form/Formlessness.  Verbal Thought/Non Conceptual Thought.  Then summon dissolution ... then fearfulness ... then unhappy worry ... then disgust ... then yearning ... then Asuric determination of confident fact.  Then go for Contracted/Expanded.   Then being present  behind the Eyes, then in the Face ... in the Shoulders ... in the Hands ... in your Seat ...  in the Cushion ... in the Wall.

That should make it hard to fall asleep!

I need to ask... Should I have access to all this at all times? Is there something important missing in my practice if I haven’t? Should I be able to summon different stages at will? According to my own tentative mapping, I am now in the stage of the three characteristics on the next path after stream entry, and I think I have just (again) left the earliest part of the stage and arrived at something that I’m able to work with. Unfortunately, I will be attending a workshop for several days, after spending a day with my satellite partner in Gothenburg, so I will probably miss the opportunity to cross the A&P again and then drop down again.
Nope.  It's about shaking up the dependently originating self. I see it like as being like whipping, flailing knotted chain.

So first calm down the whipping. (Calm)
Then see the chain for what it is. (Insight)
Then start to undo the knots in the chain. (Resolving Sankhara)
Then see the underlying links of the chain. (Dependent arising)
Then crack the rust off that is welding the links of the chain together and forcing it into a particular shape. 
Then see the chain for exactly what it is and choose to deploy it however you want.

My advice is one approach to cracking some of the rust off. But it is not the only way. And once you have cracked the rust from one bit, you don't need to keep doing it again and again. The object is to have a nice well behaved chain, not to keep looking for ever tinier pieces of microscopic rust. 

I need to improve this metaphor, but hopefully it is somewhat helpful.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/28/19 4:30 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Practice log Friday June 28th

I had about ten minutes to spend while waiting for a train. I did vipassana standing up and with my eyes open. Almost immediately the visual input broke apart into impermanence. I could see how there were large fields that were just filled out by the brain to compensate for attention not being at those particular spots, and what parts were filled out like that changed constantly, very fast. A train went by in high speed, and instead of agonizing about the sounds and the scary fact that something that could easily crush me went by me so fast, I investigated the visual input of the train. It was pretty cool. It didn’t look solid at all. I refrained from resisting the sounds, and it actually gave me piti. When it was calm again, monkey mind popped up and tried to hijack my attention. It succeeded momentarily, but then I noticed it and got back to being mindful about sensory input. There was some restlessness, but I noticed it and let go of it. Then vibrations arose, first rough, then more finegrained, and then they transformed into upwardmoving piti. Then the train arrived.
Good!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/29/19 11:01 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
curious:
Ah, I see.  My mistake.  As an alternative exercise - how about turning jhana factors on and off, or nanas, for 10 seconds each in steady succession?  Piti/No piti.  Sukkha/No sukkha.  Equanimity/No equanimity.  Awareness of form/Formlessness.  Verbal Thought/Non Conceptual Thought.  Then summon dissolution ... then fearfulness ... then unhappy worry ... then disgust ... then yearning ... then Asuric determination of confident fact.  Then go for Contracted/Expanded.   Then being present  behind the Eyes, then in the Face ... in the Shoulders ... in the Hands ... in your Seat ...  in the Cushion ... in the Wall.

That should make it hard to fall asleep!

I need to ask... Should I have access to all this at all times? Is there something important missing in my practice if I haven’t? Should I be able to summon different stages at will? According to my own tentative mapping, I am now in the stage of the three characteristics on the next path after stream entry, and I think I have just (again) left the earliest part of the stage and arrived at something that I’m able to work with. Unfortunately, I will be attending a workshop for several days, after spending a day with my satellite partner in Gothenburg, so I will probably miss the opportunity to cross the A&P again and then drop down again.
Nope.  It's about shaking up the dependently originating self. I see it like as being like whipping, flailing knotted chain.

So first calm down the whipping. (Calm)
Then see the chain for what it is. (Insight)
Then start to undo the knots in the chain. (Resolving Sankhara)
Then see the underlying links of the chain. (Dependent arising)
Then crack the rust off that is welding the links of the chain together and forcing it into a particular shape. 
Then see the chain for exactly what it is and choose to deploy it however you want.

My advice is one approach to cracking some of the rust off. But it is not the only way. And once you have cracked the rust from one bit, you don't need to keep doing it again and again. The object is to have a nice well behaved chain, not to keep looking for ever tinier pieces of microscopic rust. 

I need to improve this metaphor, but hopefully it is somewhat helpful.


Ah, right. Thanks! That metaphor describes pretty much what I have been doing to surivive in daily life for a decade or so. I just didn’t think of it as meditation. I had never heard of insight practices.

...

This morning I woke up with a headache but healed it by leading piti to it and having it dissolved.

Apparently I am no longer very afraid of heights. I just climbed a high window by standing on a friend’s shoulders because the entire workshop had been locked out from the silent room. I didn’t even realize until afterwards that this was a new thing for me.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/29/19 12:25 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Okay, this must be A&P. I feel great, almost hypomanic. I took 30 minutes during workshop dinner to sit and do vipassana. So many sensations, so many thoughts, so fast and so temporary. So many instances of self-becoming without continuity. I tried the exercise of two fingers touching just to confirm the clarity. It took a few seconds before I could clearly feel attention to touch arise and pass away very rapidly in the fingers, one small point at a time. I could also feel that attention is much more limited than the awareness itself. The fingers are already aware of the touch on their own, regardless of my knowing. That is actually what I felt when I tried this exercise before, as a beginner. I just didn’t have the words for it, so I trusted that it was simply poor sensory clarity. It wasn’t. It was poor translation.

A&P after stream entry is tricky insofar as the boundaries that I had before are no longer there to the same extent. I must make sure to check in with other people’s boundaries and needs. I notice that my mind has a tendency to jump too fast and with less inhibition, and as I already have ADHD, that can probably be a bit too much. Maybe this is a good time to check in with the ten point mind training, to maintain a moral compass.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/29/19 12:24 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Practice log Friday June 28th

I had about ten minutes to spend while waiting for a train. I did vipassana standing up and with my eyes open. Almost immediately the visual input broke apart into impermanence. I could see how there were large fields that were just filled out by the brain to compensate for attention not being at those particular spots, and what parts were filled out like that changed constantly, very fast. A train went by in high speed, and instead of agonizing about the sounds and the scary fact that something that could easily crush me went by me so fast, I investigated the visual input of the train. It was pretty cool. It didn’t look solid at all. I refrained from resisting the sounds, and it actually gave me piti. When it was calm again, monkey mind popped up and tried to hijack my attention. It succeeded momentarily, but then I noticed it and got back to being mindful about sensory input. There was some restlessness, but I noticed it and let go of it. Then vibrations arose, first rough, then more finegrained, and then they transformed into upwardmoving piti. Then the train arrived.
Good!


Thanks, Malcolm, for the feedback! It’s good to have that kind of validation. Sometimes I worry that what I do is just rubbish.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/30/19 3:34 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
During the day I have been hypomanic (not pathologically, but very noticably). In the morning I even had the feeling that I would be able to fly. Of cource I knew that it was just a feeling, and a weird one too. I think it symbolized the feeling of being in synch with the world and on top of things that often appears in A&P. I felt great and my mind was fast. During walks I was almost dancing. I was talking fast, thinking fast, probably talking too much. At the beach my girlfriend thought I was climbing the rocks like a gazelle (I’m not so convinced that gazelles climb rocks at all, but I think she was referring to the speed and agility). I am usually very clumsy, but I knew instantly where to put my feet and hands and how to shift the balance, and I had a lot of energy. In the evening I found myself a bit too speeded and wired up, and I think that was clinging to stay in the euphoria of the A&P. After I realized that, I felt that I was sooooo tired and suddenly rather foggy. It dawned on me that this must be dissolution already, and I found myself sort of regressing to a tired three-year-old for a moment, but then I was cuddled by my girlfriend and felt that it was actually a relief to unwind and calm down. I was becoming insufferable anyway, and I really don’t want to go further on that road. It is time to let go. There is a sense of peace in that.

I sat for 30 minutes. Focus was terrible, but there were some mild jhanic factors. The earlier buzzing transformed into something that felt more like being immersed in tempered water with some bath oils in it. Sitting was still easy, but I could feel my neck and lower back stiffening into something less mobile and less energetic. Stagnating. Time for some physical rest as well. Okay then. I guess I can live with that.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/30/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda/Polly there seem to be lots of accounts of really mixed progress between 1st and 3rd. Things don't always happen sequentially, or we don't always notice them if they do. You seem to have strong practice and good jhanic access, and some appreciation of emptiness, so getting on to more real-time sensate deconstruction and connecting that 'external' deconstrunction to concentration states in the mind-body system is really good. Keep being open to this (i.e. with gentle intention rather than striving). Eventualy you may find more intense clarity and luminosity starts to pop out. If it does, then wallow in it. Squeeze the honey out of it. 

emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon   

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
6/30/19 6:42 PM as a reply to curious.
Thankyou!

I think the progress was mixed from the beginning. I have had to temporarily unlearn some things in order to be able to learn what I was supposed to have learned before that.

I have a hunch that this insight cycle is centered around letting go rather than around the weird special effects that I have become too attached to. I can totally see why I need to work on that. Still it feels somewhat banal - which is of course one of the reasons that I need to work on it.

Real-time deconstruction in the midst of daily life seems to be what is most effective for progress right now. I’m a bit surprised because it doesn’t fit my idea of what meditation is supposed to be. And yeah, it is very clear that striving doesn’t work at all. Discovering it and letting go of it, on the other hand, works very well. And fast, it seems. Often just seeing it is enough. It just doesn’t make any sense to hold on to it. And when I let go of it, I instantly feel clarity increasing and awareness being more direct. It is subtle but consistent, and it is firmly grounded in sensate experiences.

I don’t know about good access to jhanic factors. It feels so weak compared to before.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/1/19 1:51 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It is morning and I’m not as brain foggy as I thought I would be. Instead I’m already noticing signs of fear. Rapid heart beats for no reason at all. Physical symptoms of fear. Some tremor. Some butterflies in the stomach. I can tune into the emotion of fear but at the same time I know that I’m safe so I’m not really buying it. My body language doesn’t say fear either. It is relaxed and I find myself wearing an amused smile. Ah, there are the vibrations and the special kind of energy that fear brings. A bit like the alertness from a surprisingly cold shower. Fascinating how this pattern lives its own life.

A part of me thought ”Oh great, at this rate I’m probably in misery just in time for my seminar about love and relationships” (in a weak moment I agreed to do it although it wasn’t my choice of topic). ”That’s just great”. But then another voice thought ”Well, so what? It’s not like it has anything to do with me anyway. Just let it do its thing. It won’t stick”. I remember Michael Taft saying that without the resistence towards the insights of the dukkha nanas, they are not a problem. I guess I’ll just explore it.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/1/19 7:27 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Took 20 minutes before my seminar to check in with the process. There were strong visuals, color swirls that were not flat, structures of tentacles in three dimensions, multicolored geometric patterns, short glimpses of photorealistic objects that I couldn’t identify. It started out with a black/bluegreen dot with a red halo. The dot grew to a disk. Then there were figure-ground reversals and inwardmoving and outwardmoving circles, and after that the more elaborate visuals showed up. I could tune into an emotion of fear that was there in the background together with other stuff, but there was no identification with it.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/1/19 11:05 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
In the late afternoon/early evening I sat for an hour. Sitting was easy. The spine kept itself straight on its own. No numb legs. Speed. Lots of impressions from the senses, thoughts, and embryos of thoughts were flashing by fast as lightning, kind of like when you are making popcorn in a large pot and realize that you forgot to put the lid on. Occasionally, photography quality images stayed for a while and gradually dissolved into the murk (for instance images of people walking in both directions on a promenade on a sunny day). Similarly, some thoughts stuck for a brief moment, but as there were no intentions to feed them, they dissolved and immediately fell into oblivion. Towards the end of the session, some worries about shortcomings were engaged in for a brief while. That was accompanied by the lower back both swaying and getting tense at the same time, and by my left eye tearing up from irritation and my right ear making that weird sound and touch sense of pressure equalization or however I should put it. A split occurred. Duality came to be. When I realized that, those features gradually decreased and instead there was a sense of a gentle breeze blowing through me.

A while before the very realistic images showed up, there was a sense of being drawn into something, or a pull.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/3/19 12:05 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yesterday morning as I was walking to the workshop location I noticed a slight headache, and automatically piti arose and dissolved it, and a gentle breeze blew through me.

Then on a group walk led by a friend, without thinking it through I kind of put myself in follow mode and closed my eyes while walking. I could feel where my friend had been walking and follow that. Then I realized that this isn’t something that I should normally be able to do, and I noticed a buzzing feeling in my body and especially in my hands. Questioning the ability made it go away. However, when I catched up with my friend and came closer to them, the buzzing came back and felt rather strong. That lasted for a short while, with buzzing especially on the side of my body that was closest to them.

Then I was very tired. I had slept far too little during the night because I stayed up too late talking to people. For several hours I was sleepy and dull and felt cold. I managed to take a short nap but it didn’t help much. The tiredness lasted until another friend of mine led us in an evening session of liberating dance. That gave me lots of energy and increased clarity. After that it was time to walk home to where I’m staying. It was a 30 minutes fast walk. When I turned my attention to the door in order to open it, I saw very clearly how impermanent and in flux visual input is and how totally unsolid and flickering everything looks according to raw sensory data. I also could feel how the pain in my feet from arthritis was rapidly vibrating and thus containing a lot of space. The continuity was only illusory.

I meditated for 30 minutes and then went to sleep directly afterwards. There were many impressions and thoughts popping up. Some content carried me away in the beginning, until I turned on more mindfulness. Then... hm... I remember noticing things with okay clarity, but those things probably didn’t make it into long term memory. I do remember that thoughts and tugs from the senses were released and replaced with stillness as soon as they arose.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/4/19 2:00 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yesterday was the last day of the workshop with, by, and for autistic people. In the afternoon/evening when I came to the train station together with two other participants, at first the station felt sort of like a war zone. I had been in the autistic space for several days and suddenly needed to deal with ”normal people” and that kind of synch and all the massive sensory input. The weird thing is that only after a few minutes there was a very tangible shift: I could observe how my brain switched its mode. In a second, or perhaps a fraction of a second, the station environment looked and felt completely normal and not overwhelming at all. I can’t translate the change into words, but the perception changed in the blink of an eye and I caught it happening. It was like a reactive pattern autoliberating as soon as it became aware. It happened as I took a closer look at the reactions.

Back home I lay down to meditate for 30 minutes and got into a very smooth but light third jhana. I know that more things happened that I intended to write down, but I wanted to go on for another 30 minutes. During that session I got dull and eventually fell asleep, and now I have forgotten what I was supposed to write down. ... Oh yeah, I noticed that I am more prone to dualistic splits with a ”perceiver” when I focus on hearing or seeing, but much less so when it comes to physical sensations. I started out with that annoying flickering pressure change sound in my right ear and the irritation in my left eye that are my tells for a dualistic split. I noticed that at the same time, in the sense of touch there was no such split. By tuning in to the touch, it was so obvious that all those sensations were self-aware. I could rest in that open awareness. It took away the tensions. Then I could hear and let it be just hearing without a hearer.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/4/19 4:28 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” :
The weird thing is that only after a few minutes there was a very tangible shift: I could observe how my brain switched its mode. In a second, or perhaps a fraction of a second, the station environment looked and felt completely normal and not overwhelming at all. I can’t translate the change into words, but the perception changed in the blink of an eye and I caught it happening. It was like a reactive pattern autoliberating as soon as it became aware. It happened as I took a closer look at the reactions.
...
By tuning in to the touch, it was so obvious that all those sensations were self-aware. I could rest in that open awareness. It took away the tensions. Then I could hear and let it be just hearing without a hearer.

This is so cool - I love those moments where things "pop." That is insight. My whole practice now at 3rd path is popping things. Thanks for writing this out so clearly - it really helped me - the "reactive pattern autoliberating as soon as it became aware" part.

What was your SE / review experience like? Did you write about it somewhere? Last time I was on the forum you were in High Eq I believe. I'm glad you missed me emoticon You are awesome too.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/4/19 5:55 AM as a reply to J C.
emoticon Thankyou, JC!

As far as I understand it, I had stream entry on March 20th this year. If I’m doing the linking correctly, this should be the post where I wrote about it: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/12300608#_19_message_12432512. I managed to repeat a fruition later that day, and then I had another one on March 25th. Around that time meditating was like a buffet with revisitings of all favorite experiences and combinations of them and new jhanic experiences and a precision that I had never previously had. Next time was probably not until April 12th, after a tough time with ”self” struggling to be back in charge. That shift was amazing, but after it new layers were uncovered that took some time to stabilize. When that calmed down, I was stuck in newbie difficulties for a while as the new path took form. Now it seems that things are moving about again. I seem to have crossed the A&P of the new path. I don’t know if that is really realistic, but it’s my best guess as to where I am. It is confusing, though, that the darknight doesn’t seem to stick. Maybe it isn’t the real thing, I don’t know.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/4/19 8:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I seem to have either come down with some kind of stomach bug, or had a histamine reaction or simply been overcome with exhaustion. I have tried to meditate several times today (yesterday, as it is now past midnight) but have been spacing out or fallen asleep. Inbetween these tries I have had great clarity and felt the emptiness, so that’s somewhat confusing. Psychologically I am totally fine, although it’s clear that I need to rest this mammalian body.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/5/19 8:09 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
60 minutes, lying down. There were slow pulsating waves, maybe one and a half per second. There were some rough kriyas. Some subtle anxiety in the background. Some mindwandering in the very beginning but then very few thoughts. It was smooth but dull, thick. For a while there was heat building up. I think I may be in the borderland between dissolution and fear, and it feels more physical than emotional. In daily life there is exhaustion and irrational anxiety with regard to tasks that require executive functioning. I feel somewhat intoxicated, but less so than before the meditation. Maybe I’m working through a new layer of embodied trauma, I don’t know. I guess I’ll keep going. It feels as if it is what is needed. I can feel that there is clarity behind the thickness, and that the meditation makes the clarity more accessible.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/5/19 11:21 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I rested for an hour and a half in something that was free from verbal thoughts and peaceful. At one instance there was touch that couldn’t be localized because it didn’t seem to be connected to anything (I think that happened yesterday too). At one point, the body disappeared entirely, but fear arose and brought the body back.

Then I took a break and made some food.

Then I sat for 30 minutes. I started out with noting to get some speed. Breathing was easy. Direct awareness took over. There was clarity and there was speed. Vibrations were fast. There were some annoying earworms, especially in the beginning. The nada sound was there too, still is. The murk was changing very rapidly. It was synchronized with the hearing. It was such a relief to have synch. Hearing was so effortless and beautiful without that bouncing and with both beginnings and endings so vivid. At that point, the vibrations had stopped.

Afterwards, breathing is still easy and I feel rested and alert. I’m ready to do at least some of the things that were associated with anxiety earlier today.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 5:44 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
And then I undeniably woke up in dissolution. How does this work? I can’t be cycling so fast already, can I? Have I been in dissolution all the time but taken refuge to the earlier path?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 6:34 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Now it’s fear again. I didn’t even do anything. It’s like somebody just gave me a shot of adrenaline. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything. From brainfoggy to jumpy in no time.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 6:45 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Now it’s fear again. I didn’t even do anything. It’s like somebody just gave me a shot of adrenaline. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything. From brainfoggy to jumpy in no time.


Are you still in review or on the new path? Or in the weird in-between area where it's hard to tell?

What was review like for you? Did you feel the clicks?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 7:01 AM as a reply to J C.
If there is such a thing as a weird in-between-area, this could be it, I guess. It’s utterly confusing.

What do you mean clicks? It was like a buffet of earlier experiences showing up one after the other. I didn’t choose for any of them to appear, though. They just did. 

I really thought I was on the new path, because I have been stuck in newbie territory for a while, but now I don’t know. I haven’t had fruitions since April 12th. Some new insights have occurred. It made sense for a while. The maps seemed to fit. Well, I guess time will tell.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 7:57 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah there's definitely a weird in-between area. MCTB has a good chapter on it. You sort of have the review cycling going on in the background faintly and it kinda fades in and out.

But being in Fear of the new path seems pretty reasonable - why couldn't you be?

What were your fruitions like - did you get visuals?

For me, being in review means there are these loud "clicks" in my head. Like my breath is chopped up into little time intervals. It's like a heartbeat in my head.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 9:32 AM as a reply to J C.
Today I seem to have been cycling back and forth between dissolution and fear. I’m just trying to watch netflix and get some rest, but now there’s a ringing in my ears and a slight pressure in my forehead and intervals of vibrations like drum rolls. I guess I need to be meditating.

I had three different kinds of fruitions. First two where the world came back with a beep. In the first one of those, there was sort of a pumping (I could feel it kinesthetically) when the world gradually came back online. The other one had a shorter bip and then a little whoosh. Both were very banal and subtle in themselves but had profound effects on my perception. Then there was one where I saw three brief images: sort of vibrating strings, waves, and particles gathering around a black hole which I then fell into. The third kind was physically and mentally painful because I was all tensed up, but I did metta on the different parts of myself, to make them all feel safe, and suddenly there was a jump, and then my body sort of came back in steps, without the pain being there. They are all described in my previous practice log on the dates mentioned above where I posted the link.

I didn’t get clicks like that, but I was cycling and there were energetic phenomena, like a constant flux, and I went up and down the jhanic arch. Later the cycles were slower and I subjectively experienced a stagnation of energies that was both physically and enotionally painful. That disappeared with the last fruition, which was such a relief. It felt like mercy.

Hm, I do get clicks in my right ear sometimes, though, that feel like pressure changes. I don't think that’s what you’re talking about, because they are accompanied with pain in my left eye and seem to appear when I try to be in control, as a perceiver, which causes a dualistic split.

I’m not very visual. My experiences are mainly kinesthetic, with some odd exceptions.

Is it possible that I’m rapidly cycling between A&P (mainly energetically, not emotionally), dissolution and fear on the next path? I guess I need to really experience the here and now deeply and completely to know what’s going on. Maybe I’m resisting it. I feel like curling up under my cozy blanket with my cats and waking up when things are more stable and less overwhelming. I convince myself that I can meditate lying down, under the cozy blanket, but that doesn’t give me enough clarity. Damn it, I need to meditate properly. Why do I not want to? That’s new. There is resistance to meditating. That settles it. Now I’ll definitely do it sitting up.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 10:33 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
So I sat for 45 minutes, and sitting was easy. Clarity shifted between good and very dull. Body temperature shifted. Sometimes I felt cold. At one point there was piti throughout my whole body. After that there was brain fog again. Somewhere before that I actually heard a click, but just one. It occurred in a shift between states or stages, from something thick and dull to something more open and spacious with more clarity. At some point I felt some very vague fear in the background. There was an altered sense of touch, the kind of touch that lacks a perceiver. That was the only thing that seemed relatively stable.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 2:06 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One of the wisest things Daniel said to me was "This is not a mapping practice! It's a sensations practice!"

You're not as much of an obsessive mapper as I was, but it's definitely worth looking at the suffering behind mapping - the need to know where "you" are, the need to "do" something, the sense that it's not enough (unsatisfactory) to just sit, the confusion and uncertainty.

Mapping is only helpful when it helps you notice the 3Cs of all perceptions. It's a tool, not an end in itself. Maybe try letting go of mapping and just notice when the inclination to map arises.

At this point I think reading (or rereading) MCTB cover to cover would be really helpful to you.

I love your descriptions - I'm really bad at those.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/6/19 4:02 PM as a reply to J C.
True. I will reread it as soon as I’m finished reading it. I am at the section about the benefits of powers right now. I have reread some parts many many times but I believe you are right. I remember that the first parts were putting things into perspective in ways that would be very beneficial to revisit.

As far as sensations go, I just spent a couple of hours immersed in what felt like cotton candy. Soft, sticky, dense, soothing but not very sofisticated. It feels as if it consumes the brain fog. Or maybe it is the brain fog, just experienced with greater clarity and concentration.

Thankyou! Both for the kind words and for that gentle reminder and push. I guess I feel kind of lost right now, but there is no getting lost. There is only the here and now, and that entails feelings/thoughts of being lost, and those are part of what needs to be investigated on a sensate level.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/7/19 4:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Rested for 45 minutes in nonverbal awareness.

Or... in the beginning of it, it was not so restful. The bouncing sensations in the head were there again. But then I focused on the warm waves that I could feel. There was still an earworm in the background, but apart from that, there were just the waves, and then there was stillness. It was not a clear stillness, though, but a vague one.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/7/19 4:38 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Then I did 45 minutes of trying to visualize the full moon. Visualizing is an almost impossible task for me, but most of the time I managed to bring back awareness to a mental image of the moon even if it was not a very vivid image. Sometimes there was inner light, but none of it looked like the moon. In the end of the session I was lost in vague fantasies that didn’t stay in my memory.

This morning as I woke up I saw detailed black and white images. The resolution varied from poor to chrystal clear. The latter was just for very short moments whereas the poor resolution lasted longer. It was fuzzy as if I had forgotten to put on my glasses, or had the wrong glasses.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/7/19 4:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes fire kasina with poor results. Both the red dot and the background were flickering. The red dot was lacking details and didn’t last as long as I’m used to. It had a dark bluegreen halo that sometimes covered it. I could bring the red dot back several times but eventually the dark halo took over. Sometimes it turned pitch black, but there was never a disk. Poor focus. This must be dissolution. Either that or I have a serious burnout. Also, I really need new glasses.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/7/19 5:48 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Okay, I’m NOT saying that these were the actual nanas, but... I was writing a miserable rant about how I was stuck in dissolution and how worthless I felt about it and how feeling worthless about it made me feel like a fake, as there is no self to feel worthless about. Then I was disgusted by the rant and by being so full of self pity in a world where people are actually starving and so on. Then I saw misery and disgust right there and thought ”hey, this is actually moving forward - I must not waste this opportunity!”... desire for deliverance. And now I feel restless and somewhat agitated and intoxicated, as if I’d had too much coffee (assuming I were able to drink coffee). Jeeze, thoughts and feelings are so predictable!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/7/19 4:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
In the evening my muscles tightened up more and more. That freakin’ reobservation pain is back. I thought it disappeared with my last fruition, but apparently there is a new layer of pain to experience. I meditated for 45 minutes, sitting the first half and then standing up because my legs fell asleep. I could barely stand straight because my muscles were too tight. I could lead piti to the pain and get some very temporary relief, but it didn’t dissolve the pain. There were fast vibrations, like tremor. I decided to really feel the pain, intensely. I’ve got to say that it has a vitality to it. At least it’s not boring. It was like forces were tearing my limbs in different directions. Weirdly enough I kind of prefer this pain and violence to having nothing happening in the meditation. How messed up is that? Either I suffer or I suffer from not suffering. Well, I guess I got what I asked for. I even got some piti from the pain, or from the alertness that it brought.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/7/19 4:45 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Okay, I’m NOT saying that these were the actual nanas, but... I was writing a miserable rant about how I was stuck in dissolution and how worthless I felt about it and how feeling worthless about it made me feel like a fake, as there is no self to feel worthless about. Then I was disgusted by the rant and by being so full of self pity in a world where people are actually starving and so on. Then I saw misery and disgust right there and thought ”hey, this is actually moving forward - I must not waste this opportunity!”... desire for deliverance. And now I feel restless and somewhat agitated and intoxicated, as if I’d had too much coffee (assuming I were able to drink coffee). Jeeze, thoughts and feelings are so predictable!


Haha, yes, that's a classic dark night sequence. I've been there many times.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/8/19 1:22 AM as a reply to J C.
Right. Hehe. I guess I have been thinking about the dukkha nanas as more separate from each other, not as spinning around like that. I did go through sequences like that towards the end of the last path, but not as early on. Maybe the cyclings occur on more than one level. Maybe I just didn’t notice that as much before, or maybe the complexity has increased. Anyway, I think I am in reobservation now, at least on some of the levels, and I’m messed up enough to kind of like reobservation. The apathy is gone and there is mind speed. I can work with that. Or it can work with ”me”. My body doesn’t cooperate at all, but I’m used to that from before. It’s a relief to have had a look at the terrain I will be circling for a while. The landmarks are relatively familar from before albeit not exactly the same. I’ll get by.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/8/19 2:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Do these current dark night stages feel different from the way you experienced them in review?

For me, as I cycle through them in review, they become less and less difficult, and then when I start a new progress cycle, they get emotionally difficut again.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/8/19 2:53 AM as a reply to J C.
For me they stopped feeling difficult some time before stream entry, after I learned to go through reobservation. Dissolution would last the longest. Fear, misery, disgust and desire for deliverance dissolved as soon as I saw them for what they were. Reobservation became shorter and shorter. Equanimity lasted longer and longer. Then for a while I only cycled between reobservation and equanimity, and I could easily make it back into equanimity. If I woke up in reobservation I would just meditate until I reached equanimity and stop there before I went to work. After stream entry it was the same development backwards. The last dark night I had in review was emotionally difficult but without the physical pain. Then I haven’t been darknighting at all for a while, I think. Three characteristics reminded of it, though, and before I realized what it was, I thought it might be dark night although I couldn’t fit it into the maps.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/8/19 3:32 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
What do you mean by same development backwards?

It's happened a few times that I go through what clearly seems to be the dark night stages and then hit the A&P, meaning what I thought were the dark night stages were actually the 3C nana.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/8/19 7:23 AM as a reply to J C.
I meant that dukkha nanas continued to be relatively light and fast for a while, and then gradually became more of a challenge again.
EDIT: although there was one difficult dark night in review, I guess, that stood out from that pattern: before I went through the suffering door.

Yeah, I can see why that happens.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/8/19 10:17 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for 60 minutes and then lay down for 15 minutes, opened up to sensate experiences. I placed the cushion in my bed so my legs didn’t fall asleep. Sitting was fairly easy this time. Clarity is increasing. There is still pain but it is decreasing and doesn’t bother me much. A headache is building up, but so far it is mild. For a brief moment there was a thought that gravity was causing the headache, because I felt pulled down to the earth while at the same time drawn upwards. I kinesthetically imagined/thought/felt that the contours of the body are merely an illusion wherefore there is nothing that can be held down and forced to be contained. That helped. I could feel emptiness in and through my head and the pressure decreased. There were harsh vibrations throughout my body and especially in the head and throat. I actually like those. There was alertness. Some mindwandering but not so bad. Some fear and anxiety, but it didn’t feel personal. There were lots of movements, expansions, contractions, tensions that were let go of. There were some light jhanic factors - pleasurable sensations on the skin, easy breathing, pleasure in sitting, mindfulness.

Today I have been able to do some things that I have procrastinated and my mood is better than yesterday. I’ll do 75 minutes of Vinyasa Yoga soon.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/9/19 6:40 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I spent several hours on a bus today and took the opportunity to just feel into my body. The touch sense has regained a higher resolution, and I’ve got to admit that I have missed it. There were jhanic factors. It felt as if I had put my face into a pile of the fluffiest, silkiest kittens ever.

In the evening I meditated lying down for 30 minutes. There was a lot of movement. There were instances of seeing glimpses of images in the murk behind the eyelids. There was tranquility.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/10/19 4:32 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I started listening to what I thought was a dharma talk by Adyashanti on dropping the meditator, but as it turned out to be a guided meditation, I went along with it. It was very similar to what I usually do, but it reminded me of the factors that make it work. It was a good reminder. I was tired and sleepy, but that didn’t really matter since I’m not a doer anyway. Clarity was there regardless of me. The guided meditation was half an hour, but I continued afterwards for another two hours, just resting in awareness. I was still sleepy but there was clear awareness about being sleepy. I slipped in and out of different degrees of clarity and mindfulness, but there was awareness about those shifts and mind states. The shifts were marked by differences in the breath and probably by the degree of activity in hippocampus, because some shifts felt similar to when ADHD medication kicks in. Still, not being caught in the illusion of being a doer, that kind of shift has a different texture. It’s like a light switches on, or a veil is abruptly drawn away, and suddenly there is lightness and ease instead of seductively slow thickness.

Sometimes there were purple swirls, sometimes a faint and relatively large red dot (not at all like with fire kasina). Sometimes there were dreamline scenes, but mindfulness continued and they just passed away since they were not being engaged with. There was much awareness in the body.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/10/19 7:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Wow, I did it! I can actually use resolution to get back to a higher nana from the last path. I didn’t imagine it possible. But I had the opportunity to talk to Daniel today, on video, and he described the process: remembering it vividly. I’m not very good at visualization (that’s an understatement) but remembering is less difficult. Anyway, I didn’t plan to do it, because I was content being where I was, but I became curious. I’ll describe it from the beginning.

I set the alarm for 45 minutes and sat down on the cushion. Sitting was surprisingly easy for being in what I think was dissolution. I had a somewhat stiff neck but it didn’t really bother me. There were jhanic factors there from the beginning, starting before I sat down. It felt like features of third jhana, being immersed in very soft silk veils. Breathing was very easy. The airways were wide open and the breath felt silky too. I took some time to enjoy that. Soon features of fear appeared - physical fear responses without the emotional component. There was resistance to it at first, but I let go of that. After all, I wanted too see things as they were, not try to change them. I did have some hope that rather than an unusually clear dissolution, this was actually a sleepy version of equanimity, but apparently this wasn’t it. And that didn’t really matter. The fear wasn’t sticky. I enjoyed the sensations. Resistance was not only futile but also totally unnecessary. So I accepted the here and now and went for experiencing it fully. The jhanic factors were still there. It felt good. Except for that annoying squeeking clinging sound in my right ear that I have started to see as a tell for a dualistic split. First I tried to let go of any effort to make it go away. Then I thought ”what the heck - this is part of the here and now as it is” and instead I decided to pay as much attention to it as I could, to really experience it. That made it go away.

Before it got away, there were moments when I managed to recall how to experience the moment with less of a dualistic split. That made something open up and there was a ticking sound in my head. Since JC asked about clicking in the head, I have weirdly enough started to notice that it does appear for brief moments. According to JC, this is a feature of review. I don’t think I am in review anymore, but have crossed the A&P of the next path, but I thought maybe there are moments where I slide back to features of the last path anyway, I don’t know. I hypothesized that the ticking in my head could be a tell for that, but I wasn’t sure what made it arise. So I figured I should test the hypothesis by vividly imagining being back in a more mature nana. I came to think of the stage where the visual snow is felt as touching the face and where it chrystallizes into larger chunks and starts to organize into images. I had been reminizing about that earlier in the day as I read through old notes, so I could imagine it vividly. It took some time, but Daniel said that after the A&P it would take longer time, so I was patient. And lo and behold - it started happening, very gradually. But no ticking sound in my head, so that hypothesis was proved wrong.

After the 45 minutes were gone, I set the alarm for another hour and lay down. I wanted to continue experiencing this, as I was starting to feel unsolid in a way that I’m very fond of and haven’t experienced in a while. It was great. But it was night now and I was tired, maybe more so from the effort, so after a while I fell asleep.

So... this dark night hasn’t been bad at all so far. I had a great day today. I enjoyed talking to Daniel very much. Then I had a yoga class, explorative yoga 75 minutes, that went well. When I walked home it was a wonderful golden evening, so I stopped in a park and sat down with my feat in the children’s pool. That was nice. I should do it more often. Then I continued walking home. The smell from the lime blossom was seductive and I stopped again to harvest enough of it to make tea. Then I went home, had something to eat, and then sat down to meditate and found out that I could do something I didn’t know I could do.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/11/19 1:46 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
When I woke up in the morning, the murk organized itself into several different images. I guess this is where the wellknown mess starts: this did happen a few days ago too but I don’t think I’m there in the progressing cycle right now, so this may be because I resolved to get back to that nana yesterday. I don’t have the accompanying kinesthetic sensations at all. My neck hurts and I’m really tired because I had trouble sleeping. I would be repressing emotions if I didn’t admit that it does bother me. There is selfpity. So how does this work? Did I come back to the progressing cycle? This could very well be misery, Oh wait, I actually do have the kinesthetic sensations very vaguely in the background. Am I in two different nanas at the same time?

I did think that I didn’t know whether I would like to continue with this experiment to see if I could get fruitions again or continue on the next path. Is my ambivalence showing up like this, with two separate layers of nanas simultaneously?

I don’t know if I’m imagining things, but subjectively there is an equanimous mind state there too, side by side with the misery, and there is both lightness and heavy density. This is actually pretty cool. I’m manifesting as two persons today.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/11/19 8:06 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
This seems to come with a cost. I lay down to meditate (it turned out to be two hours and 20 minutes, interrupted by an insistant cat). In the beginning I drifted in and out of mindfulness because I was very tired, and there were many instances of those weird sudden loud outbreaths. I could feel that there was somehow sensory clarity in the background. The more I tuned into it, the more I could also feel my neck hurt. I wanted to fully experience the moment, including the pain and the weird split between high sensory clarity and the features of misery. It became more and more painful, now also manifesting as headache and as sort of being torned. I came to a point where I felt that I needed to decide whether I wanted the sensory clarity or the misery. I chose the sensory clarity. I heard a click (one point to that hypothesis) and things sort of opened up kinesthetically and lightened up visually. There were several cracks sort of in my paranasal cavities. Breathing was easier. It felt like veils were drawn out from the cavities. Clarity increased (lots of impermanence). However, so did the pain, both the neck pain and the headache. I did some metta on all the different parts of ”me”, to make them feel safe and part of the process. That felt good but the pain continued to intensify. I could feel the subjective point moving about rapidly but didn’t manage to merge with it to experience the falling away of one such bounce. There was a build-up but no release. Then I was interrupted by one of my cats who seemed really concerned about me showing life signs and paying attention to him. Strangely enough, the pain is very mild now. What I do feel may very well just be the result of too much yoga exercises. No headache. Weird. There are tensions in the forehead, though, and maybe a slight fever.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/11/19 10:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This seems to come with a cost. I lay down to meditate (it turned out to be two hours and 20 minutes, interrupted by an insistant cat). In the beginning I drifted in and out of mindfulness because I was very tired, and there were many instances of those weird sudden loud outbreaths. I could feel that there was somehow sensory clarity in the background. The more I tuned into it, the more I could also feel my neck hurt. I wanted to fully experience the moment, including the pain and the weird split between high sensory clarity and the features of misery. It became more and more painful, now also manifesting as headache and as sort of being torned. I came to a point where I felt that I needed to decide whether I wanted the sensory clarity or the misery. I chose the sensory clarity. I heard a click (one point to that hypothesis) and things sort of opened up kinesthetically and lightened up visually. There were several cracks sort of in my paranasal cavities. Breathing was easier. It felt like veils were drawn out from the cavities. Clarity increased (lots of impermanence). However, so did the pain, both the neck pain and the headache. I did some metta on all the different parts of ”me”, to make them feel safe and part of the process. That felt good but the pain continued to intensify. I could feel the subjective point moving about rapidly but didn’t manage to merge with it to experience the falling away of one such bounce. There was a build-up but no release. Then I was interrupted by one of my cats who seemed really concerned about me showing life signs and paying attention to him. Strangely enough, the pain is very mild now. What I do feel may very well just be the result of too much yoga exercises. No headache. Weird. There are tensions in the forehead, though, and maybe a slight fever.


Towards the end of the meditation it felt like my whole body was contracting more and more.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
7/12/19 8:41 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Feeling great today. For a while I was wondering whether it was EQ or A&P, but then I felt heat in my spine so now I’m sure it’s the latter. What I don’t know is whether it is A&P in the new path or the previous path. Regardless of which, it’s really good timing because I need to get things done today, and A&P is my most productive stage, especially when a lot of executive functioning is required. It really is true that body work is good for dealing with the challanging stages. Yesterday I took four 30 minutes walks and did 75 minutes of Hatha sun salutations. The latter was supposed to purify the body, which felt like exactly what I needed. Today I have taken two 30 minutes walks and done one hour of explorative yoga. My body was really cooperating today, and there were jhanic factors during the yoga. During the walks I pay attention not only to my feet but to my posture as well. I try to have a tadasana feeling while I walk. I need to do it in order not to be in pain afterwards, so it’s kind of forced walking meditation.

Yesterday after the yoga I did some fire kasina. Nothing new happened, and I wasn’t impressed at all, but at least I could see some progression over time. There were jhanic factors while looking at the candle flame.

...

After writing the above, I did an hour of sitting meditation while waiting for the food to cook enough for the next step of cooking. In the very beginning, there were annoying squeeks in my right ear. That stopped soon, as I listened to what was going on in the inner hearing. Then I could watch the monkey mind in full action for a while. Jeeze, that was hyper. I could easily notice which senses were involved in the thinking and the arising and passing away of it. There was a yoga tune going on in my head, and rather than trying to repress it or ignore it (that would lead to more squeeking noices in my right ear), I decided to use it as a mantra. I didn’t know the lyrics but used the sound. I thought it might be a good idea to calm the mind down already in A&P so maybe there will be less of a crash in dissolution, so I turned to shamatha. I focused on the breath by the nostrils and tip of the nose. When there was a taste of concentration, I focused on that instead. I noticed the shifts between first, second, and third jhana. The shift tosecond jhana was marked by more stability and a smoother taste, distinctly less rough. The shift to third was marked by a widening (I’m not very visual, so it was more a kinesthetic feeling of having more air around me, or maybe water - like when you swim out in a lake and feel in your body that the water has become deeper because of the cooler undercurrents), and an altered sence of touch, with touch being aware of itself, and awareness of the entire body. It was very calm. The shifts to a higher jhana tended to come with things becoming brighter for a while, I think. There were shifts downward as well, but I wasn’t able to pinpoint them. During the shamatha part, there was very little verbal thinking, but it did occur. At one point I noticed that outside sounds were muffled and fell more into the background, but they didn’t go away completely.

Sitting was comfortable and easy, although afterwards I felt that the legs really needed to be stretched out. I hadn’t noticed.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/12/19 2:47 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I lay down for an hour, silently chanting Ohm. Amazing how even a silent mantra can fill the whole body with vibrations, including earlobes and toes.

I think I’ll make it a habit to do shamatha while in A&P.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 3:22 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yesterday and today I did this guided meditation by Michael Taft: https://youtu.be/Rp__z9kc-Rk, Awareness aware of awareness, and I’m so glad that it works for me after some time where I have been unable to do his weekly SF Dharma collective guided meditations without spacing out. I do them partly because I thoroughly enjoy them (when I can do them), partly for the sake of diagnosis.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 4:13 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Oh, I forgot: In the beginning I felt pain in my neck (I was lying down). That has happened repeatedly lately, only to disappear as I end the session, but this time I decided to not buy into it. I read in TMI today that there is a stage when this sort of thing shows up to distract further progress and that it is important to ignore it as it has nothing to do with physical causes. So I just relaxed and believed that it wasn’t real, and then it vanished, and after that the meditation took on new depths.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 4:46 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Oh, I forgot: In the beginning I felt pain in my neck (I was lying down). That has happened repeatedly lately, only to disappear as I end the session, but this time I decided to not buy into it. I read in TMI today that there is a stage when this sort of thing shows up to distract further progress and that it is important to ignore it as it has nothing to do with physical causes. So I just relaxed and believed that it wasn’t real, and then it vanished, and after that the meditation took on new depths.


Do you remember which chapter in TMI, and in description of which of the stages based on 10 stages model ?
Thanks.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 5:03 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
It’s stage 8, the last paragraph on page 311. I have gone through this before, in much more violent and weird ways. This is more subtle, which makes it a bit tricky. It camouflages as something ordinary.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 5:07 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
It’s stage 8, the last paragraph on page 311. I have gone through this before, in much more violent and weird ways. This is more subtle, which makes it a bit tricky. It camouflages as something ordinary.


Thank you. Sometimes something similar to it happens for me too, some aches and pains in chest and back, and when I ignore it, it goes away, however I think my experience matchs mostly with stage 7 now, so probably it's different from that.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 5:13 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Models are always simplifications. I don’t think the practice is that linear. It could very well be the same thing.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/14/19 7:17 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah, sure.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/15/19 3:43 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I find it increasingly hard to describe my meditative experiences because of the apparent emptiness of language. Seeing that emptiness is probably a good thing in itself, but it becomes frustrating because I wish to relate to others in the mundane way of human communication. Maybe what I think is a jhanic factor is really a feature of some ”natural state” that is said to be the opposite of jhanas. How should I know? I really need to get back to basic descriptions, but there are no genuinely basic descriptions, perhaps especially not for this stuff. It seems like we are stuck with metaphors, and metaphors tend to be more poetic than exact. The fact that different senses are dominant for different individual minds doesn’t exactly help.

Anyway, I did 75 minutes of Vinyasa Yoga, and before the class started I lay down on the mat. I was immediately drawn into some state. It was a very physical experience of what I believe can be described as touch sensations or physical sensations being aware of themselves. That’s an experience that I find very pleasant, and I think being absorbed by the pleasure seems like an accurate description. It’s the kind of state where I really don’t want to move or respond to anything because that might break the spell, so to speak. Also, gradually the concept of a body falls away, and it feels more like a field of phenomena occurring on their own. When I move my body, the concept of having a body comes back and the sensations feel less rich. Some of the experience remains, though, when the activity is centered around touch, like in yoga, or cuddling for that matter, or liberating dance,

I think my ”inner light” is gradually developing. It is not mature enough to form the base of luminous jhanas, according to Culadasa terminology, but it’s slowly getting there. I saw inner light almost consistently during the yoga session.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/15/19 3:49 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I find it increasingly hard to describe my meditative experiences because of the apparent emptiness of language. Seeing that emptiness is probably a good thing in itself, but it becomes frustrating because I wish to relate to others in the mundane way of human communication. Maybe what I think is a jhanic factor is really a feature of some ”natural state” that is said to be the opposite of jhanas. How should I know? I really need to get back to basic descriptions, but there are no genuinely basic descriptions, perhaps especially not for this stuff. It seems like we are stuck with metaphors, and metaphors tend to be more poetic than exact. The fact that different senses are dominant for different individual minds doesn’t exactly help.


I also find this horribly frustrating. It's like, why even bother talking about these things?

What I want to know is if you find it possible to communicate with a yoga teacher.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/15/19 7:48 PM as a reply to spatial.
Hehe, because we are becoming phenomenology junkies whether we like it or not, maybe? Thanks for the validation! I needed that.

Whether I find it possible to communicate with a yoga teacher? Hm, yeah, to varying degrees, I guess. I consider it an enormous success if we manage to get somewhere at all. I’m very grateful to some of my current yoga teachers for helping me physically move my body the way it should move, so that I can feel for myself how it is supposed to feel. That has made wonders to my proprioception and recognition of specific muscles. Visual descriptions and metaphors are mostly not very helpful for me, except for a few that I can relate to in a kinesthetic way. I am gradually finding ways to translate visual information to something that makes sense to me. There is sort of a grammar to the different movements, so I can build on previous translations.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/15/19 7:45 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I lay down on a mat to meditate for an hour. There were certainly things going on, but right now language is not my strongest suit so I will refrain from saying much, except that there was direct awareness of various touch sensations.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/16/19 7:14 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Before I went to sleep last night I found myself in a hypnagogic state where I was visualizing something. I think it may have been somebody’s hair reflecting the sunshine. I noticed that I could actually see that bright part of the hair in the murk and that it turned into a brighter and brighter focused spot in the center. When my attention turned to it, it vanished. This was repeated a few times. Then I got curious and thought that I’d check if I could control the colors. I imagined green, and very soon there were green swirls in the murk. Then I thought about pink, and soon pink swirls appeared.the same happened with turqoise and yellow, but it was a bit more faded. Then I believe I fell asleep. I had been staying up far too late late so that was about time I did.

On my way to today’s yoga class I noticed that my body posture wasn’t at its best. I thought to myself ”darn, it really would be so much easier to do yoga while in A&P”, and I remembered the feeling in my body of doing yoga in A&P. Suddenly I felt waves of rapture showering through my body in upward movements, and the wind gave me pleasant shivers in an almost orgasmic way. I felt high, and my body posture was great all on its own. That didn’t last very long. The energy dropped and then I had to struggle a bit to maintain a good posture. After a while there was a bodily fear response. It didn’t last long either. There was a thought about trying to get back into A&P but that felt wrong. Most active parts of me seemed to want to deal with the challanges just as they were. They are so transient anyway, and I was content with just knowing that I had actually managed to call up a nana with my intention.

I sat down on the yoga mat before the class started. I thought about green again, as I did at night, but this time it took quite a while for green swirls to show up, and they alternated with the regular swirls of flourescent purple. I set the intention for the yoga class to bring clarity. The color swirls stayed during the class. Green and purple kept alternating for a while, and then red tones entered the mix and green gradually disappeared. I think I had better clarity with regard to using the muscles right than I usually have, and I could do the exercises with more precision despite not feeling high anymore. I could also clearly see on the movement of the color swirls how different exercises made energies move more freely. At one brief instance while having my eyes closed I saw the image of a piece of art. It’s a face that has arms crossed where the eyes should be.

On my way home from the yoga class I noticed feeling a bit low. I felt sorry for myself for having a deadline and wanted to just crawl into my bed and bury myself under a cosy blanket. I realized that was probably misery and immediately felt slightly disgusted about my thoughts. I felt vibrations in my body and thought ”hey, why don’t I just reinforce these vibrations into those of reobservation and get this over with?” - which was of course desire for deliverance. Then I imagined the vibrations being stronger and rougher and tearing myself apart, and they indeed got rougher, until they suddenly stopped and there was calm and grace. That didn’t last very long. Soon there was an energy surge and I was overflown by rapture from the wind and fwlt lifted up. Then the energy dropped and my posture sank a bit. Then there was a new fear response with rapid heartbeat, and so forth, until I reached equanimity again. Then I probably dropped to three characteristics. My posture felt assymetric and unbalanced and stiff. Then A&P again, and this time I resolved to stay there for five minutes. I didn’t have a watch so I was unable to check the time, but it certainly lingered for a fe minutes. Then I lost focus and felt that my posture was slouching. Then there was a bodily fear response without the emotional content, and I took a moment to appreciate the crispness of it. Then I was home. I felt a bit low and nauseaus but didn’t focus on it. I got engaged in planning how to write a report on all this and get it right (a version of desire for deliverance?). Then I found myself imagining writing an upset rant about the ridiculousness of all this cycling and arguing that it should be impossible to take any of these thoughts and feelings seriously when they are cycling around so fast, and questioning the point of it all. Then I saw how comical that was, because it was obviously reobservation, and I found myself smiling and relaxing.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/16/19 8:02 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
By the way, I noticed that extrospective awareness such as peripheral vision really does decrease in A&P compared to later stages, so calling up A&P while in the traffic is probably not the best idea. Thankfully there was a footpath most of the way.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/16/19 11:04 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
60 minutes lying down:

Heat, immediately as I lay down.
Agitation, until I was able to relax.
Gross dullness? Or just less conceptualizations? Maybe both. Formless aspect? Very little sensory input but there was awareness.
Kriyas: hands lifted, head turned to one side - several instances.
Several instances of my mouth suddenly opening itself to let air out (with bad breath? Purification?)

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/17/19 2:26 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda/Polly,

Have you had surprising and permanent changes to aversion (e.g. much less freaking out about interaction with the world?). If so, can you describe them, and when they occured?  Also, have you had changes to attraction - a qualitative difference in your relationship to desirable objects/people.  If so, can you describe them, and when they occured? 

(But without asking you to over-share! emoticon)

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/17/19 5:09 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Linda/Polly,

Have you had surprising and permanent changes to aversion (e.g. much less freaking out about interaction with the world?). If so, can you describe them, and when they occured?  Also, have you had changes to attraction - a qualitative difference in your relationship to desirable objects/people.  If so, can you describe them, and when they occured? 

(But without asking you to over-share! emoticon)



Permanent changes is probably too much to say just yet, although it seems promising. Surprising, yes. It was a great surprise to suddenly find that my previously hardwired autistic often panicky overwhelm by eye contact was completely gone, and similarly that situations of mingling no longer overwhelmed me and that I no longer get nauseous for the rest of the day from the noice in the laundry room or even bothered by it while spending time there. Nor do I suffer from repetitions of unpleasant sounds in my memory as I did before. These changes came instantly after what I believe was stream entry. I have also noticed that I can more easily just focus on the pleasant sansations while going through unpleasant ones (probably dependind on just how unpleasant they are; it’s not like I can ignore all degrees of pain, of course). I have found that I actually enjoy some sensations that I used to have aversion for, such as some degrees of freezing. Now I appreciate them as a quality of being alive and as part of the great diversity of experiences that being alive allows. I don’t know for sure whether these changes came at the same time or somewhat later.

When it comes to attraction and people, I haven’t told this to anyone before, in case it would be misunderstood, but I feel like there is less of a ”hook” in my attachment to the people I love and I don’t know what to make of that really. I don’t long for them in the same way that I used to when they are not around. I hadn’t expected that. I don’t remember exactly when I first noticed that, but I have attributed it to stream entry. At least I know that it wasn’t there before it. It is possible that it came later. In any case, this makes me slightly uncomfortable because it has introduced an assymetry to the relationships that wasn’t there before. Is there such a thing as romantic love without craving? Similarly, there is less of a hook in sexual attraction. The attraction is still there but it doesn’t feel like a fundamental need in the same way. I had not expected that. But maybe it is only temporary. For a while very recently (I think it may have been after I crossed A&P of the new path, of that is what happened) it felt really weird to use heart emojis as well, because they felt empty in a way that I knew they weren’t in my partners’ views. I made a brief attempt at finding a more authentic way to communicate, but that creeped one partner out, so I gave up on that. It’s not like anything has really changed anyway, as they were always empty, so it’s not like I’m suddenly lying now. If it’s important to the people I love, then it is important.

Was this what you were asking for?

EDIT: I still love a lot of people, though, and I keep getting fond of more people, so it’s definitely not like I have grown out of being attracted, and there is still attachment. Just slightly less in some specific respects. Just minutes ago I found myself being very happy about a letter, in a way that put a smile on my face and made my steps dance-like (and that’s not even someone I have actually met or am likely to ever meet), so I probably shouldn’t read to much into that small hook being gone. There are plenty of other hooks in the chains, and plenty of chains.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/17/19 6:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
i think love as a householder is one of the most challenging aspects of the path. But if you keep going, it all comes right in series of really good developments.  One of the things you might find, if the situation arises, is substantially reduced grief (the angsty aspect of it) which can also be challenging in terms of social expectations. But don’t worry, it doesn’t make love any less real. If anything it is more real because it becomes less about you and more about them.

Anyway, how would you interpret all the things you have described in terms of the ten fetter model ?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/17/19 6:43 AM as a reply to curious.
Thanks for those validating and comforting words, Malcolm!

I don’t know enough about the ten fetter model to say much about it. I’m guessing that it is a simplification as any other model. Each of the fetters probably have many subordinate components, so maybe they can be weakened but still be there. Does that make sense? I’m not sure that I believe in a linear development. It seems much more complex than that.

Do you have something particular in mind?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/17/19 8:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes, lying down.

In the very beginning, there was monkey mind. I did some noting until monkey mind was silent. Then I just relaxed. I soon entered that weird state where there is stillness but no taste of concentration and yet there is still awareness. I wasn’t sleepy in the ordinary sense, I think, but not alert either. Maybe it is like lucid dreamless sleep? I don’t know. Maybe this is the Bhavangacitta? There is no afterglow. There is no piti. I don’t think there is any point to going there apart from just knowing that it is possible. I am curious about all the different states of consciousness. Or maybe it is good rest and/or purifying, I don’t know. There are instances of having the mouth open by itself to get rid of air, and I know that it’s not snorring. Maybe it’s the body letting go of toxins the way it does during sleep. But I guess I could just sleep instead, I don’t know. Why do some meditators want to stay aware while having dreamless sleep? Is that something completely different after all?

Before I got there, it was very bright for a brief moment. Maybe I did have concentration but then lost it.

I did still have a sense of time, because I had set the alarm for 40 minutes and right before the alarm went off I remember a thought arising that time was up. Then the alarm said so. I thought I would just meditate a little while longer, but now monkey mind was awake again, so after 5 more minutes I decided to stop.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/17/19 6:51 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Sure. Actually, by the way, your account of changes is exactly what I suspected you might say.  

Anyway, in the ten fetter model, the lower five fetters are belief in self, doubts about the dharma, attachment to rites and rituals, sensory desire, and anger/ill-will. The last two are supposedly to be first substantially reduced, and then elimated. Daniel doesn't like this model as he rightly notes lots of sex and arguments among those advanced on the path. But I think if you reinterpret the fourth and fifth fetters as passion obsession and resistance obsession, it starts to make more sense. These can get really weakened when we start to truly realise that the objects of our obsessions are really just mental fabrications we constantly recreate.

So if you do have significantly weakened passion obsession and resistance obsession, it might be time to get out of a rut, and push on towards non-duality. Aim for full awareness of the flux of reality as a practice (the end point of super rapid noting). Work on the seven factors of liberation - maybe even taking up a new practice to help give you a really dedicated focus on those factors. Look for those insights about time and space, self and other, separteness and connectedness.  When you get an insight surprise, wallow in it, keep it going for as long as possible. Look for a vivid absorbing connected non-dual world to start to appear as baseline. That baseline can pop in and out (including before stream entry), but as you upgrade perceptions and deconstruct the chain of dependent arising and the five aggregates, it becomes more and more prevalent, and should be cultivated for a while, eventually becoming a default waking state (my interpreation of the end of third) 

Stream entry, the end of third, and fourth path seem pretty clearly delineated.  But the territory bewteen stream entry and the end of third seems really variable and confused for many.  So I wouldn't worry too much about where you are.  Instead, just ask yourself, is it time to push on?

emoticon

Malcolm

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
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7/18/19 3:22 AM as a reply to curious.
Thankyou very much!

I’m not sure. I noticed that there is still a lot of resistance, parts of ”me” that are not on board. After I had replied to you, they arose to the surface and fought a battle for passion. That was weird. Suddenly I had so strong feelings for an American pen pal that it hurt. Reading your recommendations was like putting a needle into that balloon, though. Within a blink of an eye there was peace again. Flux of reality, indeed. I probably need to integrate more before I can push forward. Otherwise there will be too strong reactions.