Message Boards Message Boards

Practice Logs

Polly Ester’s practice log 3

Threads [ Previous | Next ]
Toggle
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
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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
Answer
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
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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
Answer
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 ?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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?  

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

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

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 3
Answer
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.