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beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/11/10 7:56 AM
RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd? Shashank Dixit 12/11/10 7:58 AM
RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd? Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/11/10 2:46 PM
RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd? Bruno Loff 12/11/10 3:50 PM
RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd? Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/11/10 4:44 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/11/10 6:02 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Bruno Loff 12/12/10 8:41 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/12/10 9:11 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Bruno Loff 12/12/10 9:39 AM
RE: beoman practice thread An Eternal Now 12/17/10 10:06 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/17/10 10:07 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/12/10 12:25 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Tommy M 12/12/10 2:19 PM
RE: beoman practice thread tarin greco 12/12/10 2:26 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/13/10 9:48 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Bruno Loff 12/14/10 4:02 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/14/10 9:33 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/15/10 12:31 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/15/10 7:36 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/15/10 4:42 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/15/10 9:05 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/16/10 9:43 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/17/10 10:04 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/19/10 9:02 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/20/10 10:43 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/20/10 10:55 PM
RE: beoman practice thread tarin greco 12/21/10 2:57 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/21/10 3:23 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/21/10 4:06 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/21/10 8:00 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/22/10 8:08 AM
RE: beoman practice thread . . 12/27/10 11:42 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/27/10 12:01 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Tommy M 12/27/10 3:20 PM
RE: beoman practice thread . . 12/27/10 4:21 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Trent . 12/27/10 4:44 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/27/10 7:13 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/22/10 10:02 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/23/10 12:15 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/23/10 3:10 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Tommy M 12/24/10 7:28 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/25/10 1:09 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/26/10 11:45 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/27/10 12:12 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Tommy M 12/27/10 10:06 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/27/10 11:19 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/27/10 7:15 PM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/27/10 9:20 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/28/10 12:35 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Tommy M 12/28/10 8:16 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Trent . 12/28/10 11:02 AM
RE: beoman practice thread Tommy M 12/28/10 2:29 PM
beoman practice thread
Answer
12/11/10 7:56 AM
EDIT: Decided to turn this into a practice thread as the post itself was more about
what was happening anyway. If anyone reads, thanks, and any advice would be
appreciated.

==========================

I might have finished a new cycle yesterday. Either that or a very interesting Review.

The set-up: after reading tarin's re-posting of Chuck Kasmires advice for post-2nd path:
- spend some time being around natural environments (parks, forest, etc) where you can really relax in a calm state of mind (maybe after meditation). Allow your awareness to just be open and sort of transcend and include your surroundings - for example a tree or a rock. Don't try to see anything - just be open and receptive.

- try to stay in the body as much as possible - by that I mean with the energy, the vibrations, and out of thoughts. In other words, extend your meditation practice into your daily life as best you can. Be patient!

I decided to try and do that. While walking around, namely, to kind of take it all in at once.
I noticed a few things:
  • while in the subway, I look around and notice how nobody is looking at
    anything! Everyone seems trapped in their own world. Later I found this to be conceited as
    I clearly was, too, just that my little world included looking at everybody else.
  • while walking outside, i just noticed how BIG space was. not only could i look forward and
    see incredibly far, but looking up at the sky, you can just go on to infinity. especially i was
    appreciating the enormity of planet earth, and how tiny we all are.. those sound more like
    rational thoughts, and i suppose they were, but i was more focused on looking at the things around me.
  • I've noticed that sometimes I get a strange feeling when observing certain
    sensations / aspect of reality. The kind of feeling which I've come to associate with
    "looking at the right thing". Pre-stream entry it was my awareness. Pre-the previous
    cycle it was looking at totality/simultaneity of reality. Pre-this it was space and emptiness
    and what not. Also lately I had been interested in the 5th jhana and had been working on cultivating it.


Yesterday, I was going through a Dark Night. I just noticed the same mental patterns as in the
pre-first path one coming back up, although less intensely. I also felt a bit overwhelmed and lost,
reading all the dogmatic debates about MCTB vs. Buddhist teachings vs. Zen vs. AF, etc, wondering
whether this is the right path, etc. Got fed up with cycles, being like "man Dark Night keeps coming..."

Last night I sit down. I kind of decide to just "let go" and let emptiness envelop me, to really be absorbed
in it. I meant this as a jhaic instruction to my mind. I felt space opening up, like when entering 5th jhana, then I shuddered a
bit, then I felt a bliss wave, then... wait, what? A bliss wave? I realized that was a Fruition.

The next hour really was very similar to post stream entry. As soon as it happened, I realized
the thought of emptiness is what triggered it, so I inclined my mind to look at that, and another
Fruition. I observed quickly cycling through the nyanas, this time not forcing it. I actually had
quite the momentum going, and it seemed like I broke through Dark Night with enough momentum
to go right to Fruition a few times. Also I think I was going to random jhanas quite crazily, which may
have also happened post-SE.

Also had some Kundalini stuff going on. For a while now i've always felt like some kind of energy
blockage in my face area. after a few fruitions I noticed it going up to the crown. From the little
I've read about Kundalini, the energy goes up and leaves through the crown, so in my predictably
suggestible fashion I decide to do that. I focus on the crown... then I feel a lot of pressure building
up there. Then I kind of feel swirls of energy leaving through the crown. it felt like the right thing to
be happening. Since I read up on this and heard it described as "defilements leaving the body", that's
what I pictured it as. What I actually felt was my inside lightening up a bit as the energy left, in a good way.
Fruitions seemed to help open it up.

Ah I also now realize what Daniel Ingram meant about mistaking jhanic state shifts for Fruitions. I think
I shifted between jhanas somewhat hard, and I did notice some mind moments of whatever during
the shift, but there wasn't the strange feeling of something imperceptible having happened, no bliss wave,
and also the actual shift between jhanas was noticed.

What makes me think it was different cycle: really strong bliss waves. I had to incline my
mind a different way to get the Fruition than before, namely towards emptiness. The Fruitions
were satisfying, frequent at first and only caused by concentration, later caused by just letting
the mind free a bit and as a result of thinking certain thoughts, and then later died down more.
It would be strange if a Review did this, as I seem to have gotten bored of previous cycle
Fruitions.

What makes me think not: don't feel very different, again. it might be a bit easier to realize my
sense of self is just another sensation, and also that every action I take (and everything
that happens) is no-self, but not too qualitatively different from before. Also I had hung out
earlier with friends and wasn't entirely sober, so wonder if it all was a fantastic mimic, or maybe
the unsober state brought me back into the state right after 1st path and I was just re-doing that
again, but in a more excited way.

=============

For now I'll just take it as a working assumption
that I have gotten 2nd path, either just now or earlier, but I could still believe I haven't.
I doubt this was 3rd path - I hear
you can go through many cycles until getting 3rd?

Can others who have crossed this territory recommend anything in particular? What helped
you to attain 3rd path? What practice did you do in daily life (something like Chuck's advice?)
and while sitting? Namely, did you still note? I seem to have stopped doing that.

When I see instructions for people "on the 3rd path", would that
mean those who have gotten stream entry and 2nd path , and are now working to get 3rd, or
those who have gotten 3rd and working to become Arahats?

=============


Random notes: a theory i have about the "point" of Fruitions - they indicate that you've perceived a new
aspect of reality correctly. Especially with the bliss wave, they make you want to perceive that
insight again, so you figure out how to incline your mind towards that perception. As you do this
better and better, the effects of the Fruition die down, until the point where you perceive it without
any Fruition at all. Now it is integrated in your understanding, and it is time to move on.

Also: Last night I had the funny idea that this was all a huge experiment, and that the reason we feel
the bliss waves after a Fruition is that it's the experimenter's reward mechanism to keep us
going. I haven't looked into taking this idea seriously.

RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd?
Answer
12/11/10 7:58 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi..congrats for all the progress so far !..seems like we both are on the same page..Since the traditional criteria for 2nd path is vague , so I'm not sure if I got the second path but it did felt like a huge cycle getting complete and there was no desire to meditate after that cycle for a week and right now there is a lot less clinging in my behaviour..These days I don't seem to be getting any fruition because my mind is somehow not inclining towards it..its like I want to get the next job done..Post fruition I used to feel there is just no need to do anything at all in life..and I used to feel 'done'..and maybe thats why the bliss waves followed..

I could also do with some advice here..Are there any special tips to get the 3rd path ? ( meaning move from sakdagamini to anagami ) ?

Shashank

RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd?
Answer
12/11/10 2:46 PM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Shashank Dixit:
Hi..congrats for all the progress so far !..seems like we both are on the same page..Since the traditional criteria for 2nd path is vague , so I'm not sure if I got the second path but it did felt like a huge cycle getting complete and there was no desire to meditate after that cycle for a week and right now there is a lot less clinging in my behaviour..These days I don't seem to be getting any fruition because my mind is somehow not inclining towards it..its like I want to get the next job done..Post fruition I used to feel there is just no need to do anything at all in life..and I used to feel 'done'..and maybe thats why the bliss waves followed..

Thanks! After that cycle finishing I definitely felt happy/elated/done etc, and was kind of on a "high" just enjoying everything. But already by the next day the sense of accomplishment diminished, I didn't feel any point of getting more fruitions (except I tried to get one next morning to verify that I could, which I think I was able to do). The feeling of wanting to get the next job done is very much there.

Now I feel like it's easy for me to realize that any physical motions I make or "decisions" to do things are no-self. For thoughts it is a bit harder, but I can still notice the no-self of them. It seems about the last vestiges of it are left in the sense of the watcher, and now I've been "interested" in "looking" at that sense and try to see the no-self of it, so I'll keep doing that during daily life. During formal meditation, I don't know! I'm going to do an hour session now, will post what happens.

RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd?
Answer
12/11/10 3:50 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.

Thanks! After that cycle finishing I definitely felt happy/elated/done etc, and was kind of on a "high" just enjoying everything. But already by the next day the sense of accomplishment diminished, I didn't feel any point of getting more fruitions (except I tried to get one next morning to verify that I could, which I think I was able to do). The feeling of wanting to get the next job done is very much there.


Tarin recommended this to Howard, and I emphatically agreed: try to master previous territory before plunging onwards. Really enjoy and make use of that review phase; use it to learn the jhanas and get fruitions at will. I didn't, and regret it, since I really could have used the boost in concentration.


Now I feel like it's easy for me to realize that any physical motions I make or "decisions" to do things are no-self. For thoughts it is a bit harder, but I can still notice the no-self of them. It seems about the last vestiges of it are left in the sense of the watcher, and now I've been "interested" in "looking" at that sense and try to see the no-self of it, so I'll keep doing that during daily life. During formal meditation, I don't know! I'm going to do an hour session now, will post what happens.


In my case this ability to see no-self, although it is very present in the first few weeks post path, fades away mid-path (at least it did during first and second path, I hear third might be different in this regard). Don't be disappointed or anything if it happens.

Take care :-)

RE: new cycle? any particular instructions/advice for 2nd -> 3rd?
Answer
12/11/10 4:44 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

Tarin recommended this to Howard, and I emphatically agreed: try to master previous territory before plunging onwards. Really enjoy and make use of that review phase; use it to learn the jhanas and get fruitions at will. I didn't, and regret it, since I really could have used the boost in concentration.

Hmm that is good advice. I did do that after stream entry. I learned to get fruitions by blinking and stuff, got tons during the day, got a bunch through some more noticeable doors, learned how to get a few jhanas, etc. Perhaps I should apply it to 2nd path too. But what makes it harder is I'm not sure where I am at the moment =P.


during first and second path, I hear third might be different in this regard). Don't be disappointed or anything if it happens.

Take care :-)


Thanks for the tips! Will see what happens with that.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/11/10 6:02 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Practice session:

Set the timer for one hour. I sit down on my zafu, lights off. (EDIT: Lack of extra description on how I sit means: I don't make any resolutions or resolve to do anything or try to establish access concentration in any way.) Nothing really going on in my visual field. My goal is to look at that thing I find interesting, namely the sense of self in the watcher. Early on the blackness in the visual field expands. Feels like a soft 5th samatha jhana. Not too much going on besides blackness, except for some faint purplish things.

Phone rings, so I interrupt to pick it up. It's about a package, and I'm the only one there, so I know in 20 mins or so I'll be interrupted again. I sit back down again...

I look at the sense of the watcher. I wonder where the self is. As I try to look at it, which I feel is where my eyes would be, I notice they start focusing inwards, so I unfocus them, and I pay attention to the focusing of the eyes. While looking at the watcher, I wonder what is looking at the watcher, so I shift to that, then the sense of what is looking shifts again,etc. I try to follow it and it is all very confusing and "strange", but in a way similar to things before other interesting things happening, like first Equanimity and Stream Entry.

I feel like I'm dozing off, kind of, my mind wanders into strange thoughts. Package arrives, so I interrupt, then I turn light on when I sit again. Immediately the visual field is flickering with the light. More colors appear. This settles down soon enough into a less flickering, more unified type visual field, still with shifts going on inside it.

Phone ring again. I ignore it, also musing how my counting the number of rings is not-self. I'm in an interesting state now, where I'm constantly trying to look at the watcher, which is constantly shifting, then I think maybe it's something greater than all this so I try looking at that, and I don't know, just confusing, but in an interesting way. Then my foot starts falling asleep so I decide to return the call (also about the package) and recline instead of sit on a cushion. All this time I keep up some meditation, focusing on no-self.

Oh also through all this, just to give a sense of my mental state, I have a feeling of "this is it." Like if I figure out this one thing, about this sense of self and the watcher being not-self, then I'll be done. If only?

I re-set clock to another hour (was 40 mins gone by now). Upon sitting.. More of the same visual field stuff. Dozing off again, but in a strange way as is maybe described in the MCTB. I kind of get lost, then I come back again, and every time I come back I feel like I get into whatever meditative state a bit more intensely. My head snaps a few times, but I think from dozing off. Finally one time it snaps, and I feel like it might have been a Fruition. Right after I got more visual field flickering, then what I think was Dark Night, which was a few strands of colors appearing in a bigger blacker visual area, which also then disappeared and brought me right back to the state I was before. (I think this is common pattern for me: fast A&P, fast Dark Night, really long Equanimity).

I wonder if it is new cycle or path or if this is it or whatnot, but things feel mostly the same, so I get disappointed. I almost stop meditating, but keep trying to investigate this watcher. Eventually I have to go to the bathroom, so I decide to go whilst still meditating. I check the timer.. only 6 minutes remaining. While in the bathroom I think something like "Man, if these physical sensations aren't me... if seeing these things visually isn't me... if the thoughts I have aren't me... then what the hell is me?" I wonder if I am done but there is no dramatic shift, and I am not being ironic when I write "I" which it seems people who have realized no-self are, so ya know.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/12/10 8:41 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.

Oh also through all this, just to give a sense of my mental state, I have a feeling of "this is it." Like if I figure out this one thing, about this sense of self and the watcher being not-self, then I'll be done. If only?

(...)

I wonder if it is new cycle or path or if this is it or whatnot, but things feel mostly the same, so I get disappointed. I almost stop meditating, but keep trying to investigate this watcher.


It is possible that all the fireworks you had recently were just review and/or A&P first path. The restlessness and disappointment and unhappiness you are getting now (also reading your KFD thread) fit the bill of dark night, and it could be either review of your first dark night, or the approaching of the incoming dark night.

Firth path dark night, for me, was not as difficult as the first dark night, but also very hard (I made a post "foul insights" where you can get an assessment of what I was going through then). Grounding exercises seemed to be really important, eventually one pulls through to equanimity.


If however you are into second path already, then so am I, and nailing third path seems to be, for me, about balancing effort and relaxation.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/12/10 9:11 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

It is possible that all the fireworks you had recently were just review and/or A&P first path. The restlessness and disappointment and unhappiness you are getting now (also reading your KFD thread) fit the bill of dark night, and it could be either review of your first dark night, or the approaching of the incoming dark night.

I definitely recognize the Dark Night in my recent feelings. In fact, a lot of the same things that bothered me before have started to bother me again, after not bothering my in Equanimity/Post-Stream Entry. Whether it is a new one or an old one, I am still unsure. Today I woke up feeling "baseline", meaning those dark feelings are mostly gone, or at least diminished in intensity. I'll see what happens in the future, and where I am now should become clear then.

Firth path dark night, for me, was not as difficult as the first dark night, but also very hard (I made a post "foul insights" where you can get an assessment of what I was going through then). Grounding exercises seemed to be really important, eventually one pulls through to equanimity.

Can you clarify? Do you mean the Dark Night in Review of your 1st path wasn't as hard as the 1st Dark Night? I do know tai chi so perhaps I should just do the form (what I know of it) if I feel really shitty.

If however you are into second path already, then so am I, and nailing third path seems to be, for me, about balancing effort and relaxation.

I do seem to have a "natural" flow of trying to concentrate, vs. last night where I just sat and literally did nothing - no noting, no investigation, just letting whatever happens, happen. Perhaps I will try to follow it, or perhaps I will try to concentrate. A candle is lit in front of me right now so I guess the decision is made for the next sit! Thanks for sharing your experiences. It does help to put it all in perspective, much like reading my own stuff from before puts that into perspective.

(My thread he refers to on KfD is: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4382775/- . It summarizes what I've been through since I started, and the last paragraph is a bit of unhappy mental state description =P.)

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/12/10 9:39 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Beo Beoman:

Bruno:

Firth path dark night, for me, was not as difficult as the first dark night, but also very hard (I made a post "foul insights" where you can get an assessment of what I was going through then). Grounding exercises seemed to be really important, eventually one pulls through to equanimity.

Can you clarify? Do you mean the Dark Night in Review of your 1st path wasn't as hard as the 1st Dark Night? I do know tai chi so perhaps I should just do the form (what I know of it) if I feel really shitty.


I meant "first path dark night" (not firth): a three-months-long really-shitty period during first path, which came after a 1-and-a-half-month-long euphoric period (first path A&P) after stream entry. Second path had a tiny A&P and also had a dark night, which was unpleasant, but not nearly as bad. I didn't freak out like in the first two major dark night periods, in fact it was during this period when I re-learned to enjoy life.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/12/10 12:25 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Latest sit. I really need focus here, but I'm not sure what to focus on. Perhaps I should accept that I'm beyond the after-glow of whatever path attainment, beyond a Review of whatever, and that I should go back to actively focusing on the 3 chars of every sensation? Currently I'm more in a "watch what is happening everywhere" mode, as from a few source I thought that, by now, Insight happens automatically, so I need only to direct attention on (concentrate on) the correct things, without actively thinking about the 3 Chars.

----------------------------

Try candle flame. sit down, look at it. close eyes. red dot, stable at first. then it starts flickering in and out. the color shifts to yellow, then back to red.

at some point I start noticing a thin black ring around it, with maybe some rings of other colors, like green, or yellow. At this point the center starts fading in and out. As a whole, the whole dot tends to shrink in size, though. At some point when it’s quite diminished, I start noticing colors in the rest of my visual field, which is what I usually focus on. In this case it was green on the left meeting purple on the right. I decide to focus on that, for a bit. After a short time I decide to give the candle another go.

Open my eyes, look at it again. This time I stare at it a bit longer. I worry that I’m focusing on the whole candle, instead of the flame, so try to look only at the flame. Space starts shifting around slightly. I close my eyes, and this time see a clearer red dot, again, stable. The same sequence happens with this one - flickering, then small rings around it, then fading inside.

Around now I realize I’m dozing off, so I decide to try something else in a more active position (as I was reclining). I get up to open the window, then get into the japanese sitting position (sitting on shins) and set a timer for 25 mins (as my legs quickly start hurting in this position).

I decide to concentrate, so I focus on my breath. Within a few seconds I feel pleasant sensations all over my body, in a seemingly unified way, so I start focusing on that, instead. I smile, slightly, and think of smiling internally (more than I was externally).

As I focus on the pleasant sensations, the blackness behind my eyes opens up. At this point I don’t know whether to focus on the body sensations, or the blackness. The pleasant sensations do seem to have been reduced to my lower back, which interestingly might actually be hurting slightly but I perceive it as pleasant anyway. I decide to just “concentrate” but not on anything in particular.

The blackness wins out, as the body sensations slowly fade, and the blackness expands a slight bit. At this point I start seeing colors in the blackness. This is a recurring pattern: basically, around the edges of my perception, white bands of light form, which come inward to the center of my vision into a kind of ball, that then dissipate shortly after. But more and more bands keep coming in. At some point this stabilizes into just a more general whiteness, with some local flickering going on.

I am really unsure what to do, here, so I decide to start noting. I start noting everything. Before this, I noticed my feet starting to hurt, but I thought nothing of it and felt I could keep sitting. After noting, however, especially a few notes of feet hurting, the pain got more intense, to the point where I decided it’s best to sit up. When doing so I also checked the timer, to see 3 minutes remaining. I shifted my position to lying down on the floor, noting during the whole shifting operation.

Now my attention turns to the most prominent experience - that of my feet waking up. It is quite unpleasant, as you all likely know. However, I noted the unpleasant reaction to it, as well as the feeling itself, and as I did this and understood them more, the unpleasant reaction faded, and I was left with just the (actually interesting) sensations of my feet waking up. I could pinpoint each area “waking up” with a little bubble of touch-sensation, maybe with the blood flowing into that area?

By the time they woke up, the timer rang, so I stopped.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/12/10 2:19 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Sounds like the same sort of thing I've seen, that shift from samatha to vipassana which feels like it's a perfectly natural progression. Try looking more closely at the sensations that come up at that point, wherabouts on the breath it comes in for you and how that changeover happens. I found that, for me at least, it involved sensations of dissatisfaction, inertia or a heavy, static vibe and an element of being afraid of missing something by solidifying this state. Not that I've averse to working with samatha jhanas but I'm confident that my concentration abilities are strong enough to facilitate vipassana and my main intent is to experience as many sensations as quickly as I can.

One thing I'd suggest trying is this:

Once your clock is set, ignore it. You've dealt with it, you know that's done and can now forget about time completely until the alarm goes off. This removes any concern for how much time has elapsed, how quickly you're progressing and makes it easier to just be with each sensation as it occurs.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/12/10 2:26 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Beo Beoman:

Now my attention turns to the most prominent experience - that of my feet waking up. It is quite unpleasant, as you all likely know. However, I noted the unpleasant reaction to it, as well as the feeling itself, and as I did this and understood them more, the unpleasant reaction faded, and I was left with just the (actually interesting) sensations of my feet waking up. I could pinpoint each area “waking up” with a little bubble of touch-sensation, maybe with the blood flowing into that area?

By the time they woke up, the timer rang, so I stopped.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/13/10 9:48 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Ah felt good about the latest sit.

Set-up: whilst rollerblading home, I tried being mindful of everything. I noticed that I had no more real attachment to the physical actions I was making as being part of “me”. Even when “deciding” to do a particular action, and then doing it, I didn’t feel like it was “me” so much.

Mental thoughts had more hold over me, but even most of those I could notice and dispatch with as no-self. However, I did have a feeling of existing as a self, centered in my head, that sense of the ‘watcher’. Also I tried perceiving space, the sensations of space, both what I could see in front, what I could hear, what my mental map of what was behind me was, etc. I noticed that for both of these, they seemed constant and solid, always present, and that I would just notice glimpses of them but that they were always there. I had this feeling before, with solid sensations, and with finding the no-self of actions. I seem to have already realize those, but now it seems I have found where work needs to be done - the sense of the watcher, and the sense of space around me.

I get home, and set my timer for one hour. Although during the day I wasn’t in the best of moods, craving sensual pleasures (most notably I just wanted to eat tasty things constantly, and when my stomach was full it was just annoying that I couldn’t eat more instead of being taken as a sign to stop). However, upon sitting, I was in a chipper mood.

I just tried to stay on top of sensations of space and of the watcher-thing, trying also to keep on top of mental thoughts being no-self. Pretty soon in, I started feeling pleasant bodily sensations, which I welcomed. I didn’t attempt to enhance or diminish them, but I did notice them and enjoy them (and tried to notice the noticing). Soon enough I also had an expansion of the blackness behind my eyes.

Around now I also start feeling some unpleasant thoughts. This state I just described I think of as one before Fruitions happen - even before my first Fruition, it seemed like something was going to happen. This naturally caused a lot of tension, but I just kept noticing that the tension arose by itself.

I think I had a few good insights while in this stage. At least, with each insight was associated an intensification of the state, as if something really were about to happen.

* First, every thought and action and intention and whatever seemed to be disturbing. Meaning, it disturbs what is already there. Even when I tried to pick up noticing stuff after I thought I slacked off, even the picking up of noticing is disturbing, and so is the noticing, and so on…

* As the state intensified I noticed the annoyance at feeling being close, and missing. As the state receded I started thinking “darn I missed it”, then “hmm I should meditate later or something,” then I started noticing that and was mentally like “no! that’s just more disturbing thoughts!”, that thought process stopped, and the state intensified again.

* I “missed” again, and with each miss it would pull back a little, then I would get on top of it again, noticing the pulling back, also noticing the getting on top of it, but just trying to notice.

* Another one was when I tried noticing the watcher a bit more closely. I found that it did funny things. For example, I would start focusing on it visually, where the perception ends, and look at that. However, after a few seconds, I would realize that actually I had started looking at a mental conception of the watcher, which seemed static, as in fact the watcher had moved to being the thing watching that mental conception. What ensued was a somewhat confusing few moments of trying to chase the watcher, in a way, followed by another intensifying of the state, but alack another “miss”.

* Last one I remember was something to do with “time”. How “time” was just an illusion constructed by the mind or whatever. How there was no moment but this moment to do this perceiving in. This really intensified the state but I could still not get “past” it.

* A few times I just really tried, and got some trembling and blinking and such, but since the state did not change dramatically afterwards I am assuming it was not a Fruition, or maybe the most it was is an earlier path Fruition.

* At one point I realized that even this push and pull of really noticing something, having an “insight”, intensifying the state, getting close, feeling of missing, going back, even this was disturbing. And I realized I had a lot of expectation of what should happen and that it was probably screwing with what was actually happening. I haven’t fully gotten rid of this defilement, but at least I have started to observe it.

At this point my leg was starting to get numb so I mindfully lied down on the floor where I was. This led to a much calmer state of mind, so I kind of backed off the pushing and pulling a little, which itself caused a little intensifying…

Not sure how the last few minutes went down. still trying to notice things, but a bit more relaxed. One strange thing was a moment of my mind wandering, thinking about a friend of mine saying something about meditating, followed by a strange sensation, followed by a visual image kind of getting “frozen” in my visual field for a tiny fraction of a second, then disappearing, then kind of not being sure what had recently happened. No bliss wave or change of state, though.

ADDENDUM: just some notes about what else was going on... the pleasant body sensations faded at some point without me noticing. I also generally wasn't aware of my breath so much (I was when the pleasant sensations came but I became less aware of it as time went on), and left it uncontrolled, although I think once in a while it would peek through. About the visual field, it would expand, fill with a faint white light, and feel like it was getting really really close to my eyes upon each "intensification of the state", and recede as the state receded.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/14/10 4:02 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Beo Beoman:

(...) I just wanted to eat tasty things constantly, and when my stomach was full it was just annoying that I couldn’t eat more instead of being taken as a sign to stop (...)


Whenever I get that nowadays it is easy to find a sort of discomfort that is trying to get compensated by eating. It turns out that hunger itself is a sort of discomfort. It has been more productive for me to work with this discomfort directly, rather than eating, basically because eating doesn't make it go away, and then I have to deal with it anyway.

---

With regards to the rest of your meditation: It could be that you are chasing the sense of self with the sense of self. Be careful about doing this, as it is basically a snake trying to eat its own tail, it just causes knots. Things seem to get really really almost there, super intense, and then you get this massive pain left-over. The only way I've been able to relax the centerpoint is through relaxation, tail-chasing only got me into pain. So if you get pain, maybe you're doing it wrong.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/14/10 9:33 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

Whenever I get that nowadays it is easy to find a sort of discomfort that is trying to get compensated by eating. It turns out that hunger itself is a sort of discomfort. It has been more productive for me to work with this discomfort directly, rather than eating, basically because eating doesn't make it go away, and then I have to deal with it anyway.
I think you're right, here. I guess I was feeling lazy and not wanting to deal with the discomfort directly, but of course that didn't help. Eventually I ate a snack that I call "cocoa powder + sugar", and after a few spoons of that I was feeling a bit uneasy, and that was enough to stop me eating, heh. But yes, much easier to deal w/ the discomfort directly.

Bruon Loff:

With regards to the rest of your meditation: It could be that you are chasing the sense of self with the sense of self. Be careful about doing this, as it is basically a snake trying to eat its own tail, it just causes knots. Things seem to get really really almost there, super intense, and then you get this massive pain left-over. The only way I've been able to relax the centerpoint is through relaxation, tail-chasing only got me into pain. So if you get pain, maybe you're doing it wrong.


That sounds spot on. Pain (in the form of annoyance, irritation, desire for something to happen) is where it leads. I think I was starting to understand this when I wrote how I realized the "push+pull" was being caused by me, but your comment really drove the point home. I will try to observe more relaxedly, thanks!

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/15/10 12:31 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Kenneth Folk apparently has weekly classes in NYC every Tuesday (not for rest of December but starting in January), so I went there, listened to him talk about Gears and such, introduced myself a bit, and got some advice, namely, to resume noting and to try noting out loud (out loud! like saying them!).

I realized how undisciplined I had been when at the meeting I didn’t even know the 4 foundations of mindfulness. From what I remember they are: 5 sensations, feeling-tone, emotion-thought (anxious, worried, calm), and rational-thought (planning-thought etc).

At first I was a bit unsure about saying notes verbally. “Thinking them out loud mentally slows me down enough,” i thought, “but saying them? crazy…”

What is the point of a teacher if you don’t follow his instructions, though? So say them out loud I did. I noticed that

1) my mind was almost entirely occupied with the process, which is good!
2) i wasn’t even sure what to say much of the time, which shows how not to its full potential my noting earlier must have been…

Anyway, I set it for 30 minutes as I must go sleep early. I didn’t focus on a particular mindfulness factor, but used whichever ones came up. Generally with “nothing else happening”, I used a physical body sensation coupled with feeling-tone as that seemed easy enough (itching-neutral, pressure-unpleasant, pressure-unpleasant, warmth-pleasant, pressure-pleasant), or hearing something (just ‘hearing’ usually, also usually followed by ‘imaging-thought’ since as soon as I brought it to my mind I’d think what the sound belonged to), or visuals (flick-flick-flick-flick with the flickering, or colors-colors when i saw colors, or i would name the colors - purple-green-red-purple - or i would describe it a bit - expansion, whitelight, dots coming in, dots coming in, flickering, flickering, waves). Occasionally, even though so much was focused on doing this, a thought would come in, and then it was easy enough to identify as “previous-thought” “conversation-thought” “planning-thought” “time-thought” (wondering how much time left/elapsed) “wondering-thought” (when not sure what to note), “self-annoyed thought” (when couldn’t think of a note to say), etc. Once in a while I would notice the state (calm-equanimous-calm-pleased), especially after a thought triggered something (amused-pleased) or as I thought about this seeming to work well (pleased).

I noticed I was able to say things pretty quickly, like 1-2 times a second, except on inhales when I would have to pause. Then I would just be mindful, say a few of the things on exhales (or just past-thought if was thinking about them).

Now to describe the sit in terms of what was going on, but not in terms of notes since that would be annoying. I sat with eyes closed but the light on. First I noticed pressure and itching and such. About the start of the sit pressure started to build up in my temples, top of head, forehead, etc. at beginning it was noted as unpleasant, later it was noted mostly as neutral even though it might have grown in intensity. some visual flickering was there, but faint.

A little bit in, the visual field seemed to expand (expansion-expansion). somewhere here I noted calm-calm as I was feeling calm about it all. some faint colors showed up, which wouldn’t stick around long. faint i think because my light was on. as I kept going the visual field expanded little by little.. at some point there was a kind of a shift, and I got into what I describe as the Pre-Fruition State. Here i noted tons of thoughts, actually, like (anticipation-thought, fruition-thought, practice-thought (about where I am), equanimity-thought (thinking I’m there), expectation-thought, annoyance-thought, disappointment-thought). It was great to keep track of a lot of it by noting verbally, and I didn’t get into a really intense, annoyed, and worked-up state, but was instead able to go through it all with more.. equanimity. i think it also is really fixing the intent problem i have, of intending to have a fruition and trying to force one through.

I do think I am in Equanimity, whether a Review or a new cycle I know not. It seems my sits either start there, or start at a stage close before.. or progress really quickly in an unnoticeable fashion. Or I’m in a really tame Dark Night, but I doubt it I think.. anyway it seems like this would be a good way to get a Fruition for this cycle/Review, so I will keep at it. meanwhile in daily life I will continue to try to be mindful of everything, to keep an eye on the watcher and on the sensations of space (since I still seem to perceive space as something existing), and I will not start muttering notes to myself at work as that would probably get me looked at strangely.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/15/10 7:36 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
powerful dream. set-up is went to take a test at night in some place. somehow ended up getting naked and taking the test naked. however a teacher caught me, and I ended up getting thrown to the snowy outside.

then at some point there i was, outside in the snow, cold, naked. i started noting somehow, noting verbally out loud. quiclky got to Equanimity state. then all my attention was focused in that state. howevre since I was verbally noting I suddenly realized I was still feeling sensations even when my attention wasn’t there… and that caused a huge fruition which had me tremble for a few seconds, then a bliss wave. i fell asleep in the dream right after, but woke up fully clothed (and not dead), and… ‘different’ in a way. i couldn’t tell how. generally like i was a bit more separated from everything else.

rest of dream was usual random stuff, with going to the school cafeteria, the portions being tiny and sucking, etc. i woke up naturally a few minutes before my alarm, which tends to happen often enough (weirdly).

upon actually waking I didn’t notice much changes, so unsure if I finished a cycle in my sleep.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/15/10 4:42 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Did a short sit in bathroom, sitting on legs.

I did verbal notes but kind of whispered under my breath.

This one I started doing right after doing part of the tai chi form (the part i know), so when I sat I was concentrating on pleasant body sensations at first. i soon started noting, though. it was pretty similar to last nights, so wherever I am I seem to be consistent.

again, lights were on. focused on sensations of pressure in the head, some pain/pressure on the legs, pulse sometimes.. about 5-10 minutes in i started getting anxious again, and noted things such as anxiety, Fruition-wanting, anticipation, annoyance, disappointment, etc, interspersed with “past-thought” “conversation-thought” “Fruition-wanting-thought” “practice-thought” as my mind was thinking about things in between the notes. noting is helping, though.. I think I’m getting a handle on the part of my self that really wants something to happen. seems important to objectify it, much like all the other parts!

i noted pain-neutral and pressure-neutral throughout, even though about 20-25 mins in my feet were getting really numb, but I decided at some point to get up from the position, which involves getting up on your knees. i did this, with decision-thought noted before, then anticipation-thought and waiting-thought as I waited for the inevitable head rush. noted some unpleasantness there.

my default note seemed to be ‘looking’ as i was looking at my visual field. it started off flickering more or less uniformly, but faintly, ~5 hz maybe? as i got ‘deeper’, it expanded a bit, and it stopped flickering uniformly, but separate sections would flicker separately. also colors would come in again. at some point it would kind of dim and fade back in, and i could see colors a bit better when it dimmed.

as i ended the sit i decided to try something fun and i turned the lights off, still with eyes closed, leaving me in pretty good darkness. this was _really_ fun to watch. it was tons of quick white flickers all over, with rings of red-green-blue around my vision appearing and disappearing. it was kind of like what i’d imagine stars in my eyes to be if i were to get punched. after a few seconds of this it died down to a ‘normal’ state (less flickering, less craeziness, etc).

then i turned the lights on, and now this one was REALLY fun. first i noticed just some redness. then the redness kept expanding and expanding. then i started to see what I think are the veins in the eyelids. however, it soon got into really crazy visuals. the veins really thinned out and became more like spiderwebs and rings around the vision. the background became a really detailed texture of ‘lava’ almost, like yellow, black, and brown. after it formed, it started shifting crazily. it felt like the rings were dancing around, going from right to left really quickly, while the lava background distorted in all different directions at once.

soon enough this, too, died down. pretty fun to watch though! have no idea what causes it. this did happen to me previously (before stream entry i think), also when a ‘change’ occurred, like when i moved my position. i haven’et been able to correlate it with a state, and in any case i will refrain from speculation.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/15/10 9:05 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
1 hour sit recently.

The set-up: when rollerblading home, was trying to note under my breath. was more or less successful, but got distracted by lots of thoughts. The general tone was one of discomfort, unpleasantness, aversion, hunger, thirst, etc.

I got home, set timer for 1 hour, and sat in my chair, lights off this time. As soon as I started (noting out loud), pressure in my head began to build up. It slowly went from okay to a bit painful, but I just noted pressure-neutral, pressure-neutral, pressure-unpleasant, pain-unpleasant.

First half of the sit was characterized by unpleasant stuff. Annoyance, anxiety, itching, pain, etc... annoyance was a big one. It was a similar kind of annoyance as pre-SE, one like a why is this verbal noting so annoying, it makes me out of breath, I'm thirsty now, I'm also hungry, etc, almost to the point where I wanted to make my body twitch but it didn't get that far. I tried just noting mentally or even just being aware, but as soon as I did, my mind would invariably go and imagine some random scenario having nothing to do with the present sit, so I came back to verbal noting. Visual field at this time was kind of.. murky. some colors, not too well perceived flickering but it's always there to some degree.

Then about halfway in it shifted. visual field expanded a bit. it was still faint, but not 'murky' so much anymore. i also noticed feelings of calm, ease, relaxation, etc; even the pressure that was still painful wasn't quite so painful anymore. At first, anyway... soon enough I got feelings of anticipation again, anxiety, desire to finish, etc. It never got to the point it did before of really intense to the point of pain, but it did vary in intensity.

At one point the pressure was so bad that I just tried not talking, and relaxing my mouth, letting it hang open, etc. Soon enough my mind was wandering, so I started noting again. However, this time I had a really clear understanding that my mouth talking was not "me". At this point I really started appreciating noting, as I realized that all those notes I was making of desire, intent, anticipation, annoyance, etc., were also not "me", although I realized that I still think of them as me. The state intensified a bit, here... then I got into a strange thing of trying to realize it is not me rationally, which wasn't working, and then I tried noting that sense of looking, etc... I kept going around that issue for a bit, and noting seems to be great. I feel close to something, but I can't quite break through.

Around here the timer rang. I turned it off and tried sitting a bit more. In the act of opening eyes, turning it off, and sitting down again, I seemed to have lost some momentum, as I put it, as the state wasn't so intense anymore, but I kept going, it picked up again... but I felt the sit was done by now, so I stopped.

For fun, I turned on the light and kept my eyes closed. Similar cool visuals as before, though not as intense. It actually was a more static image at first, flickering really quickly, like maybe 20 times/sec? then the flickering slowly died down and everything got less bright (as my pupils adjusted to the new light, I assume). As it was fading I got an image of seeing what looked like a bunch of pebbles in a pile.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/16/10 9:43 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
meditated like 1.5 hours total or something? in bathroom and on chair, while at work (don't tell anyone).

started out annoyed/anxious, but soon got to a calmer point. when i went to sit the last sit at my desk, for 30 mins or so? i got into a really calm, equanimous state. basically I was smiling, finding everything OK. I was having some insights on the nature of no-self… basically how all the thoughts and intents and desires are just FINE as they are, and they happen anyway, but they’re just not me… i tried looking at ‘the thing issuing the actions’, and that got a bit interesting/werid… i get caught in a loop almost though as the thing looking at the thing looking is also not me, etc… generally i tried to relax. then i tried to investigate the feeling of equanimity, how that is also not me…

all this though and i don’t just breakthrough. i tried even relaxing, not noting, letting the mind wander a bit, and when it wandered and came back there’d be a little surge, but wouldnt go thru…

hmm i do just want it to be over. ah but who wants it to be over? not me! but i don’t know that yet..

---- a bit later ----

duhh… i’ve been trying to get a Fruition. that’s kind of entirely the wrong approach! really, I have to understand something I currently don’t… and following from that will be a Fruition, more as a moment of recognition. but the point is not to get a Fruition at all… it’s to understand what is happening fully. so i have to just sit there, being equanimous, and investigating everything that arises, including the desire to do all these ‘tricks’ to try to get my brain to Fruition… and once I have investigated the proper objects fully, that’s when the thing will happen

---- a bit later -----

hm sat in bathroom for a few mins again…

basically was in calm state again ,noting mentally. lots of waiting, waiting, calmness, anxiety, hearing-unpleasant (from outside sounds), calmness, waiting, waiting. had a funny train of thought of thinking about the Buddha and karma and how him being born and being realized has led directly to me being here attempting to become Enlightened.

It kept speeding up and slowing down in that annoying way. at one point, I just started getting really sick of it… the whole thing was just annoying and unpleasant. i started seeing much flickering, which also was just even more annoying cause it brought up thoughts of ‘is this it?’ etc. my body started to shake and tremble, that too was annoying, my eyelids started flickering, bah so annoying… so i ended up shaking/trembling for … 15 seconds maybe? at which point it stopped. i maybe felt a bliss wave but was unsure, nothing very noticeable if anything, maybe just standard samatha jhana pleasure. i seemed to end up in a state very similar to before the flickering, if not the same one… i did have a feeling of being done for the moment, so i got up.

i don’t feel tooo much different at the moment… will have to sit again tonight and see what happens.

---- later .... -----

well on the way rollerblading home… about 5 mins away, I got REALLY excited! I was thinking about Enlightenment and like how awesome it’ll be living once I am Enlightened, and just got huge burst of energy (started blading faster).

I get home and while kind of noting, get a drink, go to bathroom, and set up timer. I’m still pumped, so I’m like hmmm I dnno 90 mins? 2 hours? ah 90 mins will do! Was expecting an easy sit.

I start off very excited. excited-excited-pressure-neutral-excited, practice-thought (about thinking where I am), some thoughts past future imaging, etc. visual field is black with not much going on at all… very faint flickering if anything.

shortly the visual field expanded a bit. I wasn’t sure whether to stop noting and concentrate on it, but I just kept noting. now it started being not so happy… I don’t remember exactly how but soon the most common note was not ‘excited’, but ‘annoyed’. Before getting really annoyed I had some like desire, aversion (which I now understand as two different ways of looking at the same thing), erotic-thought.. pressure-unpleasant, pain-unpleasant… pressure in my head really growing to unpleasant/painful proportions.

anyway soon I was there being really annoyed. annoyed-annoyed-annoyed… i tried stopping the verbal noting and looking at it more closely but still annoyed-annoyed.. then a bit of relief maybe? relief, calm… then itching, itching, itching-unpleasant… scratching-desire… then i scratch myself, then annoyed annoyed annoyed… relief-relief? anxiety, anticipation, annoyed, annoyed, annoyed…

i didn’t really get past the annoyed. i thought i did at some points, but it quickly went back. at some point I decide to shift position to lying down on the bed, after noting the desire and all - that was accompanied by some annoyance at having moved. then i decide i should probably relax a bit, so i drop the noting and just try observing. my mind got distracted, but within 10 mins or so the 90-min timer rang and that was that.

mleh I guess it has its ups and downs!

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/17/10 10:06 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
"Man, if these physical sensations aren't me... if seeing these things visually isn't me... if the thoughts I have aren't me... then what the hell is me?"


If this becomes a dissociative process, then the sense of duality/a watcher is still strong... i.e. perceived objects are not me, but yet there is still this lingering sense that there is a 'me' that is experiencing, perceiving objects and thus is separate from/not the objects.

You should see in the direction of 'in seeing just the seen', 'in hearing just the heard', 'in thinking just thought'... there is no seer, hearer, thinker behind arisings - only just thoughts, sounds, sight. There is just a self-luminous and self-accomplishing process of knowing/thinking/doing without a behind agent.

See that what you called 'physical sensations' and 'seeing these things visually' are not happening to a someone... they are just happening by themselves (with supporting conditions) and are self-luminous - no observer is observing them, the observing is precisely just the process of observation.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/17/10 10:04 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
two intersting things:

at start of yesterday, i felt a bit different maybe. it almost felt easier to disembed myself from my thoughts, my intentions, etc... woke up in a very peaceful state really.

after yesterday's annoying session, i actually wasn't really annoyed. i was maybe a tiny bit snappy when talking to a friend, but even so it didn't really affect me. later, before going to sleep, i decided to just lie down and "let it go", let whatever will be, will be. i didn't end up getting into samatha jhanas, but was just... very relaxed, very calm. i wasn't letting my mind wander so much - i was kind of loosely being aware of everything. i started by trying to identify a solid sensation, one that didn't change. my body lying on the bed was obviously made up of tons of stuff. i focused in on my arm, my hand, then just my finger... and even then i couldn't feel any sensation as lasting for any amount of time. then i noticed how it was annoying to try to do so. then i noticed some connection between this and between keeping the self as a solid sensation... like whenever a thought came up i thought it slightly annoying to hook it back into a self.

at one point i felt _really_ disconnected from the feeling of my hands.

it was nice and relaxing. stayed in that state for 40 mins or so, then went off to bed in a very happy state.

today it seemed that maybe noting stuff so intensely is not right at the moment, as it is too intense... so maybe i will just relax for a few days, get into some blissful states, etc. but still to maintain a gentle awareness on everything. then i wonder if that's not just me buying into this calm state, and maybe i should note it... so i'm not sure.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/17/10 10:07 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
"Man, if these physical sensations aren't me... if seeing these things visually isn't me... if the thoughts I have aren't me... then what the hell is me?"


If this becomes a dissociative process, then the sense of duality/a watcher is still strong... i.e. perceived objects are not me, but yet there is still this 'me' that is experiencing, perceiving objects and thus is separate from/not the objects.

You should see in the direction of 'in seeing just the seen', 'in hearing just the heard', 'in thinking just thought'... there is no seer, hearer, thinker behind arisings - only just thoughts, sounds, sight. There is just a self-luminous and self-accomplishing process of knowing/thinking/doing without a behind agent.

See that what you called 'physical sensations' and 'seeing these things visually' are not happening to a someone... they are just happening by themselves (with supporting conditions) and are self-luminous - no observer is observing them, the observing is precisely just the process of observation.


Thanks for the advice! I think recently I've been trending towards there, although not quite yet... well, earlier, I noticed that even that questioning process wasn't me... but I think recently I've been trying to do as you say, and just kind of noticing the lack of a someone, even behind the sensation of the 'watcher'. I guess noting inclines the mind towards this, since I'd just note "watcher watcher", and that would objectify it, but I will try seeing it more explicitly along these lines and see where that investigation leads.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/19/10 9:02 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
(12/17): Very interesting.

First, on way home was really excite.d i’m like MAN im gonna get REALLY HIGH and smoke SALVIA and it’ll be GREAT!

Then into more annoying feelings. i could feel the desire to do that. it was quite intense and… i actually looked at it, and found it very interesting as an object. I so clearly identified SELF with it… and it was clearly not me. very informative to watch that desire.

i get home. i decide to do some samatha jhanas, so i lie down. I get into really really blissful body sensations and think “nah no point to get high, i can just do this!” As I focus on them, soon I notice they’re mostly gone, but I’m smiling to myself inwardly and I feel much joy. Soon I notice the joy has gone and I’m in a calm state, but wondering if I’m still meditating or if I’m continuing. I focus on my visual field and it expands a little, and then it seems I’m drawn into doing vipassana as I start noting. Here it gets unpleasant again and I keep noting.. i observe the desire to get high re-arising. eventually that desire dies down and i get into a calmer state…

the rest of the night is interesting but i'll leave it out.

================

(12/19): my state right now is… one of not needing to do anything, but not quite. it’s kind of a stable calm state of mind. i don’t feel like i’m done, but i feel like there’s nothing to do for now.

walking around i notice a much better ability to disembed from m experience, to let everything be as it is, including my thoughts, intent, and actions. i think i’m understanding the idea of “in the seeing, just the seen; in the thinking, just the thoughts” etc., understanding not in a rational way but an intuitive one. i’ve stopped looking for a self, or looking for a not-self, but just kind of observe any sensation (including thoughts).

i tried following along the jhanic arc from the 2nd session with Owen, Clayton, and Nick ( http://www.divshare.com/download/12560837-2e6 ). up to the 5th jhana it was pretty clear. then it got fuzzy and i wasn’t sure if i followed along or just scripted based on what they were saying for 6-8 to pure lands to NS. pted based on what they were saying for 6-8 to pure lands to NS. i noticed the pressure around 3rd eye and crown going back and forth.. the lightness of the 4th one.. “something” did happen when I tried to do NS and I did feel bliss wave after, but I didn’t notice orderly powering down and powering back up of perception and mental faculty so i doubt that was it.

very interesting meditating. i just lie down, not sure what to do. i try doing jhanas but stop at some point.

at one point i notice that my mind has wandered for a bit, and that now i see lots of visual flickering happening quickly, and.. that there seem to be hint of a bliss wave. i continue observing… the flickering stops a little, i’m observing more things… my mind wanders again randomly, vision gets darker… again my mind has wandered, and then again the flickering starts up again with a more noticeable bliss wave this time. takes like 30-60 seconds for one of these cycles to happen. i try being more aware of it, but that seems to prolong the latter part of the cycle before the mind wandering and doesn’t seem to cause the bliss wave. i can’t tell if i am entirely present when my mind is wandering, or if there is a gap in experience. also there is no bodily twitching of any kind, or entire field of vision flickering that is noticeably different, before the bliss wave.

at end of meditation after a bliss wave i got put into a really really pretty state that i have been in before, i think. basically there is faint white light across my whole vision, uniform, no colors barging in, flickering faintly, and i feel really blissful and happy. mmm i wanted to stay in it longer but i had to go.

now i really wanna try getting NS…. i definitely feel a point of pressure in the middle of my head (and around my head), as always. now i notice if i do the thing where i try to go back and forth beyond the point, at some point it ‘snags’, and “i” can try pulling it. i’m not sure how much of it is my will and letting it happen, and i seem to have to be in a particular state to do it - i can’t just snag it now. but when it does snag, it feels like my whole head/body is getting snagged. do i just have to snag that fully to reach NS?

(4 hours later): hmm i just don’t know…

i lie down and attempt to replicate results of before. after an initial period of getting some concentration and focus… the same thing happens again. bliss waves after mind-wander-gaps, more than once per minute. i just begin to wonder if it’s me nodding off to sleep, since i just ate and was a bit sleepy, and i was lying down on a bed… the annoying (or maybe good) thing is i can’t seem to do anything to get the bliss wave / reset to flickering experience. it only happens when i’m not looking.

i decide that maybe it is the sleep and try to get one while sitting. i sit down in a pretty uncomfortable position, the seiza position, and see what happens. i’m definitely a bit more alert… i go from the lots of flickering stage to a calmer stage, then i start getting annoyed that i’m not getting past this, that i don’t feel calm, that my feet are starting to hurt, etc… i’m getting waves of warmth (warm in my room and i’m wearing a shirt) and those are annoying. i start noting again. i end up relaxing a bit and it starts to not annoy me so much, but it seems i can’t fully relax or something and there is no gap / bliss wave.

i lie back down, relax again and… soon enough, the bliss waves pick up again, but this time with less nodding-off effects. it’s just strange. the bliss wave is characteristic of the ones i felt after more noticeable gaps accompanied with twitching and stuff earlier. but i just can’t tell if there is an actual gap in my experience…

i try opening my eyes, and they seem to continue. the strange thing is that now a new wave seems to be there whenever i look for it. just wave after wave of them. i can’t say my experience is completely constant with no gaps, but i can’t say there are gaps, either. i resolve “ok, no more bliss waves for 30 seconds…” i focus a bit more, and.. it seems the room comes into clearer focus. i notice the ceiling more. it takes a bit of effort counting to 30 without ‘letting go’… then finally at 30 i let go, the room goes back to being kind of out of focus and floating in front of me (but mostly stable looking), and the bliss waves return.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/20/10 10:43 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
still last night, i decide to do some candle flame meditation.

first i try the closed-eye version, where you stare at the candle until you see a shift, then you close your eyes, then you wait until a red dot appears in your vision, then you focus on that as the object of your investigation (as described in MCTemoticon.

i see the red dot, it starts flickering... soon enough i start seeing black edges around the red dot, with some faint rainbow colors around the edge. as this happens the dot gets smaller until it just fades.

i open my eyes. i focus on the candle flame again. however, this time i'm more drawn to the lit candle itself instead of the flame, so i start looking at that. i can stay with it pretty well... (note: the setting is my dark room, with the candle on my desk, illuminating the objects around it). At some point there is a shift, where everything except the candle seems to darken. the candle itself seems to become smaller in a way, and to have the entirety of my attention, with everything else being very darkened. when i blink, the background comes back again for a bit, but quickly fades back to the more focused state.

after a bit of this, i start noticing the edge of the entire candle more. i keep focusing. the edge goes from being fuzzy to being crisp to fuzzy again. the middle of the candle is pretty in focus, still, but i'm not focused on looking at it.

after a bit of this i decide it's time to go to bed, so i close my eyes to try following the red dot, as well. same as before: it's flickering (though it is larger and more prominent this time), then there are more edges... i can perceive them better this time, though. i think i was a lot more concentrated (which makes sense), and i was glad that i didn't just go to bed without doing a bit more meditation in the more concentrated state.

again the dot fades, and i decide to note a little. noting many times per second seemed way too intense and unnecessary (and a cause of problems), so i decided to just make one verbal (under my breath) note once every few seconds just to keep me on track. i think i might do this from now on.

soon enough, i start seeing really really cool visual hallucinations! i've seen this pattern many times before - a kind of white swath of color comes in from the edges to the center. then a blue swath comes in, envelops it, and replaces it, etc. however, now it was much more prominent and three dimensional. it actually looked exactly like a 3D cloud of smoke (like from smoking a hookah). i could see the tendrils and the wisps and everything. the blue just ended up being a blue cloud of smoke, similarly detailed. i noted "amazement" "fascination" "wonder" etc., but i was more focused on looking at the thing than deconstructing it.

when i went to lie down the bliss waves started up again. i just don't know about them, right now. it seems if i look for the bliss wave, it would come up soon enough, but without me noticing a gap or anything. and if i try to notice a gap, it seems to interfere with it. so in a way i'm being rewarded for not focusing too much.. which is maybe a hint!

some of them seemed more minor, with no perceptible change in state (like visuals). others were more major, where my visual field would pick up with lots of little flickering following the bliss wave, and with a noticeable gap. it's almost like cycles within cycles.

there was a particularly big one close to my falling asleep. i was put in a very noticeable vision flickering state after it. i wondered "is that it? am i done??" i felt pretty happy. i looked to see if i had a sense of self, but i could see the sensations of self as just sensations. i wasn't really sure for a few minutes, and i felt light hearted and happy, but eventually i realized there was more to do, that i still identify with a self on some level. today i feel about the same as yesterday.

the sense of being done for the time being seems to have lifted, and now i feel i have more to do again.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/20/10 10:55 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
HOLY SHIT!!! That was an incredible, incredible sit I just had. Honestly, wow… just wow. owned anything that I might have thought was an A&P before. I have no idea what happened but here is the description, please enlighten me! (literally, if you can =). )

(Mental) setting: Rollerblading home, my mood was okay, not too sad not too happy, generally happier though. towards one stretch i had an incredible desire to go FAST, and with a huge burst of energy i quickly accelerated and went at close to top speed for a few seconds, hehe. I get home, chat a bit, then set my timer for one hour. I turn the lights off.

——————————————

I decide to do vocal noting again. First I’m noting preparation, readiness, desire, dedication, … soon it’s annoyance, desire to continue, wandering (mind), wandering, past thought, conversation thought, itchiness… I think I’m very suggestible as I read naviv’s thread where he talks about itchiness, and i started itching all over, itching, itching, itching. I’ve heard the term “iron skull cap” here. I’m not sure what it means but my head sure felt that way, lots of pressure-unpleasant, pressure-unpleasant, pressure-unpleasant, turning into pain-unpleasant, aversion, visual field expansion, desire to continue, annoyance, etc. visual field is murky, no lights or anything yet.

searching, searching (for bliss), itchiness, visual field expansion (again), watching, looking… speeding-up, flickering, happiness, joy, relaxation, powerfulness, pain-neutral, flickering, flickering. the flickering came in two parts: visual - not as a unified whole field flickering, but with dozens of small localized parts flickering at different times, mostly with white light - and pressure-wise, in terms of the pressure on my head rapidly changing all over, constantly (heh it’s happening as I’m describing it). confidence, gratitude (to you guys if you want to know =), happiness, joy, flickering, flickering, flickering…

regression, disappointment, annoyance, desire to go forward… (i felt like i fell back), itchiness (again? argh!), itchiness, itchiness. i notice also pulsing-pulsing, in that visual field seems to go in and out according to my pulse. but, shortly, picking up, confidence, powerfulness, flickering, flickering, flickering.

here i decide to note only once/twice per second verbally, and just really stay with the flickering sensations. both my visual field and head are going crazy, so i just try to notice each little sensation. flickering flickering flickering flickering. then… bliss? bliss?. bliss, bliss, bliss, slowing down, relaxation… the flickering has stopped, and now i’m enjoying a bliss wave. uncertainty - can’t tell if i’m going backwards or forwards - but bliss, bliss (will describe it in more detail later). enjoyment, happiness, bliss… speeding up, flickering, flickering, pain-neutral, neutral, flickering, bliss, flickering, bliss (not a wave but just a feeling of bliss between the flickering), flickering, bliss, flickering, flickering, relaxation, relaxation, bliss wave, enjoyment, wonder, bliss, bliss, flickering, flickering, flickering, flickering, bliss, flickering, bliss…

at this point i realize that when i “relax” and feel the bliss wave, i might be missing out on important insights, so i determine myself to just observe the bliss wave as any other sensation. flickering, bliss, flickering, bliss, flickering, bliss, flickering, bliss, bliss, growing bliss, bliss, flickering, bliss, bliss, relax, relax, ———-. after i relaxed that time, i was literally stopped in my noting tracks since the bliss wave felt so good. i just did nothing except really revel in it for a few seconds. slowly i resumed noting, relaxed, relaxed, flickering, flickering, flickering, bliss, flickering…

unclear when, but i think at this point, i just decide to observe the bare sensations without any verbal noting. i can perceive tons of them, maybe 20 a second across my vision and pressure in my head (and some over rest of my body). my mind wanders a tiny bit but not much at all by normal standards - maybe once or twice i gave a ‘wandering’ mental note. here i realize that i don’t even _want_ to move my mouth to make verbal notes. i try to but just don’t - it would be too distracting. i let one or two out without vocalizing them (whispering), but that’s it. so i observe flickering, flickering, flickering, flickering, bliss, flickering, flickering, and lots and lots of it. flickering, absorption, flickering, flickering, absorption, flickering, fast, rapid, flickering, pressure in middle of head (that felt more solid), pressure all around head (not solid but flickering), flickering, flickering… a tiny slow down, bliss wave, bliss wave, i decide to ride the bliss, bliss, bliss.

my alarm rings. bliss, bliss, ring, ring. i reach over to turn it off, then i just kind of sit there and enjoy the remainder of the last bliss wave, which wasn’t as large as the one that stopped me, but was pretty good. i didn’t feel like moving much.

——————————————

i open my eyes, my vision is kind of fuzzy/blurry. i walk to the bathroom, turn on the light. the bathroom is mostly white, but now another really bizarre thing happened. the whiteness from the bathroom seemed to spread all over the place. i thought at first i was staring in one spot too long and the lines were fading, but this was different. it was pretty much like a white light was suffusing the entire place. i could still make out the bathtub and such between the white light, but it was covering it pretty thoroughly. i was baffled. i had no idea what to do, so i tried not focusing and not not-focusing to maintain it. out of curiosity, i closed my eyes, and was met with a pretty harsh, very light red whole-field flickering, which i didn’t prefer to the white light, so i opened them again. it was a little diminished. as i watched, it slowly faded and everything slowly became dim again.

——————————————

hahaha i just have no idea. it was awesome. right afterwards i didn’t feel so good as my stomach was hurting, but now i’m just in a very cheery mood. just talking to my friend made me happy and bubbly. =) =).

also it’s funny how, this is pretty much bliss on tap, and you’d think when one has access to bliss on tap one would always ‘tap’ it, but i don’t feel a need to do so right now. i think i do feel some left over bliss… i feel good, anyway, a bit hungry, a bit sleepy maybe

========================================

description of the bliss waves: the closest thing it reminds me of is really a first path fruition. take it with a grain of salt, as it’s still uncertain whether i have stream entry at all, but whatever i thought was a fruition before, and whatever bliss wave that followed it - it felt like that, here. i didn’t notice any gap at all, though, whereas i did before. i think that “i” was “present” for the entire time… these bliss waves were much more intense, though.

without resorting to dubious claims… it’s not energetic at all. it’s very subtle. it seems that i start noticing while in the intense flickering state, and it’s kind of chopped up in between the flickering. then i would relax and kind of bathe in it and it would spread throughout my body. it would start off somewhere undetected, then kind of slowly fill up my body, at varying levels of intensity during the sit. the one that stopped me in noting kind of caught me by surprise, even.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/21/10 2:57 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Beo Beoman:

description of the bliss waves: the closest thing it reminds me of is really a first path fruition. take it with a grain of salt, as it’s still uncertain whether i have stream entry at all, but whatever i thought was a fruition before, and whatever bliss wave that followed it - it felt like that, here. i didn’t notice any gap at all, though, whereas i did before. i think that “i” was “present” for the entire time… these bliss waves were much more intense, though.

without resorting to dubious claims… it’s not energetic at all. it’s very subtle. it seems that i start noticing while in the intense flickering state, and it’s kind of chopped up in between the flickering. then i would relax and kind of bathe in it and it would spread throughout my body. it would start off somewhere undetected, then kind of slowly fill up my body, at varying levels of intensity during the sit. the one that stopped me in noting kind of caught me by surprise, even.

having followed your practice-related posts here as well as elsewhere, and having advised you on this forum from time to time in ways i have found appropriate, i have considered that you might find it useful for me to present my thoughts on what you have here written, which are as follows:

i have enjoyed your candid style of posting these past two months, through which you have made the sincerity and forthrightness of your investigations clear. it has not been difficult to follow the narratives you have constructed, and i have rarely found your claims obscure, let alone dubious. for what it's worth, i have found little in your writing which has caused me to consider seriously that you are illuding yourself about having achieved stream-entry and much which has indicated to me that you have actually done this.

as, unlike peoples who teach meditation as their means of livelihood, i have no vested interest whatsoever in shaping your practice according to my social standards, i have no wish to be the arbiter of your experience ... and so, unlike peoples who teach meditation as their means of livelihood, my interest in your practice lies solely in the benefit such practice directly brings to you (as that is all the progress in practice you make can be sensibly expected to do). further, given the propensity for corruption and conflicted interests which feeling beings innately possess, i would advise you sooner to keep your own counsel about your practices and their results (including when to and when to not consider the suggestions about such things put forth to you by others) than to trust the reviews of others - any others - who would proffer them for the purpose of 'keeping you honest'.

one final thought: as you seem to do particularly well at taking pre-existing instructions and cues and developing them on your own initiative, consider playing to this strength even more than you have done already. freedom is rarely to be found within groups, communities, and societies; these things are fetters, and so those who are unwilling to break from them are not in a good position to find it.

tarin

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/21/10 3:23 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
(NOTE: finished this post, wasn't sure whether to post it. but it is what i am currently feeling, so in the interest of full disclosure, here it is anyway)

hmm well was in bathroom thinking about the stuff i just posted (see below), trying to trace suffering…

went out to buy naked juices. walked around after. was focusing inward… then i just decided to look outward at everything, instead. i realized that i had been overlooking the ‘looking inwrad’ as a sensation and wasn’t really watching it. then there was a blip.. like the image of the world i was seeing got replaced with one just like it, except plainer, in a way. i felt like it was cleaner, like there was less between me seeing it and me seeing it.

no bliss wave, no twitching or anything.

wondering if that was it, of course. probably not… i don’t feel “done”. or do i? i can’t tell yet. still have unpleasant sensations, but i can’t tell if they bother me or not.

walking around and looking at stuff in that ‘state’, if that’s what it was, was fun, though, will have to try it again.

——

currently… that nagging feeling i was having might be gone, but i can’t tell. there’s currently no immediate sense of relief, or anything. but something might be different.

i definitely have no desire to talk about Oneness or unity or subject and other being one or non-duality or putting scare quotes around “i” when i’m just talking. but soomething may or may not be different…

=================================

following tarin's advice, i decided to read some practice threads and see what caught my attention. I liked these snippets:

“Jackson had some good advice which helped me as I was feeling highly agitated too due to not knowing what to do or that “I” had nothing to do with it. Go to the source of the suffering. Note it! Where is that suffering? What is suffering? Is the “I” suffering? What is the “I” anyway? What is it composed of? Sensations? Images? Are those sensations, thoughts and images any more important or of a higher status than the rest of phenomena? Is it something of a higher status? Does it sit on it’s throne and appear to be the cause of this and that? What am “I” doing to cause this agitation? Or rather what mental action is causing the sense of suffering that agitation?
Some things to ponder . ”


“ When there is a strong desire to wake up, that very desire often goes unchecked. In other words, look into suffering. Look into craving. Look into that driving force that pushes you along.


You don’t need to look for nonduality or any other major perceptual shift at this point. If they happen, they happen. It’s not really the point, though, as you pointed out in comments above. The point is the ride, and the ride is what keeps you on the ride. Look into the ride the same way you’ve been looking into everything else.”


“Yes. It felt like a blip or some shifting within the mind. A synching up feeling. The out -synch feeling, in my experience was that the sensations of “I” were being given more importance than the rest of phenomena. They were being read as having a privileged status. It was this illusory privileged status which was contributing to the clinging, craving and aversion to phenomena. As the mind was identifying phenomena with that “I” sitting on it’s high illusory throne and attaching a desire result on top of that phenomena for the benefit of the sense of “I”.”


oh THAT’S why tarin was saying pay attention to emptiness!! there is emptiness, and there is form, and they are not separate! (maybe? he said space, not emptiness… (ADDENDUM: not sure what i was talking about here))

“ Accept it all, and just pay attention. Practice not giving any facet of experience preference over any other. Actualize the fullness of reality with each breath. Don’t bother trying to transcend your self. Just actualize what is true.”


intuition tells me to keep with the unpleasant mental/physical tangle in my head/mind that is somewhat unpleasant.

i don’t understand this yet, though:
“The only thing I’ve ever seen that is the same across all states is the clear light. It’s there whether I notice it or not. Should I rest in this?”
don’t know what clear light he means. maybe the white glowing light from yesterday? i don’t notice it all the time, though. oo doubt, doubt, doubt. =).

some doubt as i don’t exactly follow Nick’s descriptions here:

“And yes, it feels more like what you described….a very continuous flow of seeing in seeing, feeling in feeling. But as I sit here, i am having trouble locating the sublte, sublte “I” that I was feeling previous to what occured yesterday. It seems to have gotten even sublter that it is hard to pinpoint. “


although i did get that exact feeling in bed that one night, wondered if that was it for a few minutes.

kenneth -> nick:
“Practice the bystander as continuously as you can, give yourself permission to be done, and let things unfold as they will. This isn’t about you anyway.”


This seems really good:


Had a very timely chat with Kenneth today on what one needs to do to get 4th path.There is this incessant “pull” to end it already. And I find that the mind is constantly “searching” for a release. I keep catching it wondering about what else needs to be seen….what am I missing?

For the past few days, I have been repeating the resolution to give myself permission to get it done. “I let the mind and body do what it must to get it done.” When I do this, immediately after, there is a sense of “letting go” and I see how the mind had been subtly clinging and embedded in a thought or sensation. This “letting go” perspective is wide and panoramic. It includes everything including the sense of self.

I just sat for an hour . Every minute or so, I needed to check if I was “holding on” to something, subtly embedded and it was enough to remind myself of the resolution for it to just “let go”. Aaaagh, it is quite a powerful habit the mind has, to cling to phenomena. It seems to constantly want to fall on mind states and thoughts like a magnet. Such a subtly difficult process to “see”. But when you realize it, and accept even that “grasping” as just “grasping” there is an immediate “letting go” of that grasping. Every time this occurs, there is an obvious upsurge of energy in the body that reaches the crown, which has now become a fountain of subtle, pleasant vibrations. I have three weeks of forced vacation on my hands. Hopefully, I can put them to good use.

look at the pull, the searching, and resolve to let go. i’ll do it now.

heh:

Turns out there was a “something” but it wasn’t something I needed to add. It was something I was doing that made it seem like something was missing, sort of. The last few thoughts I had before the blip were about the not-sacred nature of everything. THE NOT SACRED NATURE OF EVERY PHENOMENON. So what do you think you’re looking for? Is there anything that special?

so when obsessed with what is left to do, notice that the obsession is also not sacred..

and this did it for Nick:

I am writing several minutes after sitting for 40 odd minutes while the experience is fresh in the mind.
All of yesterday I had an intense amount of agitation and suffering coming out of the heart and then throat. At times it would shift down to the solar plexus and then stomach. Constantly shifting up and down, very frequently. And the thought….the constant thought….what the frack am I missing? And Chris, Jackson and Kenneth’s advice rolling around my head…”I” have nothing to do with this! There is nothing “I” can do to make it happen”. Ok, I get it! “I” can’t do anything to get it done…frack!!!! And Jackson’s advice to just see what is causing the suffering….I am not noting this misery…”I” am suffering….so the mind turned in on those sensations which seemed to be the cause of my reacting mind. Mainly at the heart…an intense flow of agitation. So intense. I had to get out of the apartment and go for a long walk. I walked and walked over 2 kilometres, noting constantly, vibrations, unpleasant, vibrations, unpleasant, image, vibrations, unpleasant, craving….

I bought myself an icecream out of habit and sat in a park and kept noting. The negativity would shift from the heart to the throat then to the third eye as pressure and vibratory movement….then back down and at times move all the way to the stomach , a very uneasy feeling there. But the noting was working in a sense, “I” was not suffering anymore. There was no “searching” for that missing thing. No agitation experienced in the mind, just on the body.

I went home, feeling like I was doing the right thing. No more craving or searching to get it done. My fiancee got home and even though I had the occasionally thought of “when is this going to finish? ” I felt at ease compared to the past days of this incessant need to end it. I surfed the net, watched tv, and talked with my fiancee. I forgot about the “searching”.

Now this morning, I awake and feel rested. I am officially on holiday now for 3 weeks. So no worries or preoccupations, no responsiblities. I am not as agitated as yesterday. I feel the vibrations mainly at the third eye. No negativity on the body.

I start to sit. I note it all, pressure, vibrations, neutral, image …

I stop noting as the energy shifts to the crown. I feel the mind disperse. Ease, calm, OKness, perfectly equanimous with the arising phenomena. The mind starts to analyze what I was doing for years and years. Thoughts: Why am I giving priority to those sensations that prop up the sense of self? Why are they so special? What do they have over the other phenomena? There IS no difference, they are the same, the mind observes the sense of self…nothing but sensations behind the eyeballs, a fleeting image…..the experience starts synching in line with these thoughts, the sensations of “I” are the same as all the rest. What is “better”?….there IS no “better”. ….a fruition occurs, a beautiful one, unexpected, leaving the mind completely still, rebooting, the sensations of “I” are seen as just more phenomena, everything seems synched up, and then a blip or something, a shifting in the mind, thoughts of “What was that?” “Was that it?…”What was that?”…thoughts of doubt, thoughts of “Am I craving this?”…and each thought arising is no longer the same experience as before.


so just have eto do that..

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/21/10 4:06 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I definitely don't feel done yet. there's still agitation and ... a feeling of not being done, yet. still feels like a pretty significant shift in perspective, though. right after, i think i really understood "in the seeing, just the seen", etc., more so than before. and those things i just posted make a lot more sense to me, now. so onwards i push.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/21/10 8:00 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
first half of rollerblade home was annoyed, annoyed, caught up in my own thoughts, very small-minded, annoyed.

i stopped near the river and looked at it for a bit. calmed myself down. took it all in. a few minutes later i resumed and i was much calmer, able to observe myself rollerblading along peacefully.

at home, set timer for 1 hour. started off agitated, annoyed, annoyed, searching... i actually didn't note vocally so much, and at first didn't even note mentally, but definitely annoyed, annoyed. visual field i wasn't paying attention to so much but it expanded, at some point i could feel like a sphere of black/darkness was added onto my vision (expanding it)... lots of flickering came in at some point but i forgot when.

mentally i was trying to let go, to let go, to let my mind do what it has to, but thoughts kept sticking, annoyed, let go, annoyed, let go. i was trying to not treat my sense of self as any more important than the other sensations, but it seemed i couldn't really notice that.

after a while of being annoyed, annoyed, i start being relaxed, calm, relaxed. i take it all in. i focus on the sounds outside my window, the sensations on my body, and just observe. thoughts would arise, but i'd observe, not giving it any more importance. then started a chain, but an interrupted chain, of 'self-sensation' as i describe it. it was just like annoying pockets of stickiness/unpleasantness, one after the other. it was kind of like thoughts but not really. sometimes i would slip off any daydream for a second or two, but when i came back, calm, calm, observing, calm. meanwhile lots of visual flickering, at first chunky (like watching a movie frame by frame), but later smoother yet still flickering, almost whole field of vision at once this time.

timer rings on this calm note.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/22/10 8:08 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
3 mini-reports:

1) was lying down in bed, not really meditating, not really not meditating, just kind of relaxing. a build-up forms in my head, around the center of the head. then i feel this huge knot try to move down through my head. when it moves, it feels like it's dragging my entire head with it, and i feel like my head is being lifted off the pillow when it happens. i don't really control it, but it seems to keep "trying" on its own. i feel like if it were to succeed something good would happen, but i can't force it, and it doesn't make it.

2) set timer for 90 minutes before going to sleep. started off annoyed, annoyed, as before, itchy. soon got into a relaxed state. then i realized that really, _everything_ is just a sensation, including the location and intensity of physical stuff (so a pressure in my head might be pressure, in head, intense, unpleasant, and those are all separate sensations), including thoughts. i don't note, but try observing all phenomena like this. i feel like i can really keep track of them. when mental thoughts arise i try to observe them as mental and self instead of following them. however i get sleepy, and decide it best to rest and meditate later, so i go to sleep with 50 mins left on the timer.

3) just now, sat for 15 minutes. same state as end of yesterday, calm, relaxed. i try the same approach of observing everything without noting specifically. here i realize that thoughts aren't "attached" to things, but are also separate, and also don't really have a location, though it seems like they do, somewhere in my head maybe? but yes, there is a physical sensation, and a thought, and they are separate. also thoughts of other thoughts being annoying are separate, as well as thoughts of sense of self, etc...

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/22/10 10:02 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
decide to do jhanas for a bit... i don't want to get absorbed in the pleasantness, but i want to try getting some samatha jhana before the insight and see how that works out. Note: this whole sit will be kind of out of order as it was confusing/unordered for me

set the timer for one hour. sit on the cushion. i focus on the breath (instead of starting to note/observe which i usually do). focus, focus. within 2-3 seconds i start feeling pleasant sensations on my body and a pressure in my head. i'm unsure whether to 'give in' to the pleasant sensations and let those fill my body as i know they can, or to follow the breath more, but i choose the breath.

as i get more concentrated, i can see why some people choose this method. focusing on the breath gives me strength, in a way. even though crazy hectic things are happening (my vision is flickering like crazy, have some itching, mind wanders a bit), i just focus on the breath. it seems like a distinct element amidst everything, watching it go in, go out. the mind definitely wandered less than usual. i think to focus on the pleasant sensations of the breath itself, and soon it feels like a thick, sweet syrup, going in, going out, calming, enjoyable...

at some point i switch to the body, and i can feel the entire front half of my body move up and down in unison, again very solid feeling. here i got a strange thing which hasn't happened for a few months, in that i could feel the left and right side of my body alternately pulsing.

i sometimes 'peek out' to investigate things, and actually return to the breath if i start to lose focus, as opposed to... doing nothing, before. it is nice. less intense than bare noting. the image i had was: bare noting is like jumping naked into a pit with ravenous wolves. you can observe them but they will bite you. with samatha as a basis you get some armor, or a bubble if it's very strong, and you can observe the same things but with less pain =).

at some point the pleasant body sensations fade and i'm left more with a warm feeling behind my eyelids and in my head, though still with pressure on top.

around here i kind of lose focus. wasn't sure what to do so... i turn to investigation, sans noting. what happens a few times is a strange thing which i'll call a "state shift". basically i'll be in some state with some defining quality of vibration/light behind the eyes/flickering, etc., then there'll be a few moments of a shifting feeling, maybe my body twitching a little, then i'll end up in a different state. unsure what causes it.

one shift was from less flickering to more flickering.

one shift felt like a 'power down', and i imagined the power-down noise from a huge generator turning off when it happened. flickering slowed down, there was more blackness, and it seemed to be more expanded, and much lesser intensity.

one shift was from there to a bit more intensity... another shift brought more intensity...

around here i switch from sitting to lying down as my leg is falling asleep. i keep watching... here i decide to just really relax, let go, and enjoy those pleasant sensations, so i do so, and they start building up, i start smiling... my mind starts wandering more. i believe my energy dropped off a good amount, looking back. then suddenly, a really noticeable shift, and bam! my whole field of vision is now uniform dim white, flickering almost in unison, and my energy is way up. i sit upright again. alarm rings. i turn it off, and sit for a little more... in between opening my eyes and closing them again, the colors came back into the vision, it started being murkier, and i just stopped the sit.

the states i 'shifted' to i couldn't follow on any map, so not sure what was going on with them. some of them were similar to each other. also it might just be that i was losing energy, so at least a few of the 'state shift's were me kind of snapping to again. some were definitely not, though.

some addenda: no bliss waves as described earlier. constant flickering in the vision. constant tiny physical sensations going on everywhere.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/23/10 12:15 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
interesting 45 minute sit.

i resolve to get to the fourth samata jhana and then begin noting from that calm space.

i sit down, get my bearings, start focusing on the breath. pleasant body sensations arise within a few seconds, but this time a bit subdued. it's more like vibrations that aren't necessarily pleasant, but they're not unpleasant. as i focus more on them they become pleasant, though.

there's a bit of a gap in my attention/memory here, but next thing i know, the space behind my eyes has expanded. i'm still aware of my breath, but i decide to pursue the space, instead, and focus on sensations of space. shortly after, i get a slight feeling of vertigo, and the space noticeably becomes larger. the space still seems restricted to be in front of me, though. i try focusing on the edges, and soon the front part above me seems to lose a boundary, and i feel like there is more space on top. i focus on the space around my body / the room i'm in, and i notice a cool sensation on my skin, coolness that wasn't there before and that faded afterwards. soon i get the feeling that i'm simply sitting inside a whole bunch of space. visually, it's spacious, with a few very dim streaks of color and such writhing around in there. mentally, i don't have the single-pointedness i did on my earlier sit, and my mind wanders as usual, but i can sometimes focus and get into a state where it doesn't.

i'm not sure how the next transition occurred, but soon it feels like the space has lost its... three-dimensionality. it's just as black as before, but just much.. flatter. it's like before, i could see a lot of space, but now, there is a black fog blocking my view. all throughout this, by the way, the pressure in my head is incredibly intense. i think it should have felt painful, but it didn't for some reason... but really unpleasant. focused not on my crown but around my eyeballs, on my temples, around my nose.

i decide to try focusing on 'the watcher' and see what happens. as a result, i inadvertently start looking at all the sensations that i was ignoring before (e.g. i could feel my breath but i chose to focus on the space, instead). i just decide to continue doing so. i try noting but as a few days before, i have no desire to open my mouth and use my vocal cords, as i feel it to be too much effort, so i kind of mentally note and kind of observe.

here the mind wandering picks up. my leg is hurting. it's annoying. but i steel myself, telling myself it's all impermanent, i try applying some mindfulness and equanimity, and i continue.

i'm glad i do. i notice some states again that are becoming familiar. they are definitely cycling. i don't know how distinct they are, but it's something like:

(A) one state is just dim white light, no colors, flickering, of course. i feel like my mental power really picks up here.

(B ) another state, i feel a few energetic vibrations while in it / upon entering it. like a vibration starts on a point in my body, spreads to other parts, vibrates quickly/intensely, then stops, and i'll get a few of these, five on one count.

(C) another state has a really noticeable increase in the amount of light i see. it feels like my vision is just lighting up. the last time i was in it, i focused on the light, and it increased in intensity a noticeable degree.

i can't tell if (A) and (C) are the same, or what order they come in, though i think (B ) is after (A) (or maybe before). i believe these were the same ones that i talked about in between the "state shifts" in my last report, except now i wasn't so sleepy and could better perceive stuff.

no clue what they are, but maybe i'll watch some jhanic arc videos/audios and see if i can't recognize them. heh it would be cool to just have direct visual and tactile output - would make diagnosing this stuff much easier!

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/23/10 3:10 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
taking a walk, i got into that same state as i did two days ago, this time without any 'blip' / imagination of a blip. basically i just tried observing everything, and it was pretty calming. visually, everything is clearer / more acute. i pay more attention to little visual details, to sounds, to smells, to feelings in my body. definitely calming. looking at my hand is interesting and the feeling that it is 'my' hand is diminished.

thoughts are still there, though. and i still felt annoyed, sad, searching, etc. but maybe it is a bit easier to just treat them as thoughts.

i don't know what the state is. it is effortless, yet i think it can disappear if i follow into my thoughts too much. so the effort is in not getting distracted, but i don't have to concentrate so much to maintain it. it's also pretty chill/laid back, but overall it may just be the state i got into 1-2 months after starting to meditate where everything was really pretty and happy.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/24/10 7:28 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Just to make the synchronicities between our practices even more hilarious, I've been focussing on samatha jhanas too and noted similar visual and spatial aspects to the ones you've mentioned. During the transition between two and three, have you noticed a "dropping" sensation? I get what you mean about being confused by which order they're occuring in but I'd recommend paying close attention to this 'cause, for me at least, being more aware of entering each jhana definitely increases the ability to perceive even more subtle aspects, particularly between second and third, and makes getting into fourth much smoother as it's easier to notice.

Have you noticed a point in what I think is the entry to third samatha jhana where the space in front seems to take on a sort of 3D rectangular form?

I'm coming to see that getting some mastery of samatha as well as vipassana jhanas before moving on is much more useful than just charging onwards for insight.

With regards to sensations of bodily parts being "not self", try placing awareness on one part of your body as much as possible through the course of the day and watch how bizarre perception of "self" becomes. If anyone can go through the experience of having their hand vanish while typing and NOT question the nature of reality then there's something wrong. emoticon

Objectifying thought seems to be a very good sign according to what I've read elsewhere, Kenneth Folk has got a good bit on his site about that which you've probably already seen. The next thing is to do the same with emotions, for me this has been a massive turning point in things and the ability to objectify those sensations brings a whole other level of clarity.

Onwards and upwards my friend, or upwards and downwards or whatever dimensions we're tampering with! Ha!

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/25/10 1:09 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
sit today. decided to try again for 4th samatha jhana, and go from there.

i sit, start focusing on the breath. pleasant body sensations arise within 2 seconds. i forget whether to focus on those or the breath, so i keep on the breath for a bit, then on those... my mind wanders, but i try bringing attention back to the breath.

maybe i am out of practice with samatha but i seem to have trouble _not_ noticing everything that is happening, that is, doing vipassana. eventually from the mind wandering and from not seeming to get absorbed, i switch to noting.

visual field is pretty black, subdued. still strains of white color stuff but not much. i am relaxed, i am watching everything and noting rarely. a thought comes up of 'being done', of the pain of not knowing whether to relax, not knowing where i am, that stuff, but i'm able to separate myself from the whole thing, i kind of see it as one (painful) entity, and it fades. other annoying thoughts come up but i am able to do something similar w/ them.

here i get some strange thoughts... like i was at a party last night, and i thought of how i didn't feel like i was really 'there', even though i have memories of deciding to do stuff and being there at the time.

soon enough i notice an anxious sensation in my stomach. i focus on that, and it seems to grow. i start thinking/noting fear, fear... realizing that those thoughts earlier i was afraid of having. i note fear/anxiety for a bit. at some point, unsure if scripting, but i start feeling pretty bad in general - my head is hurting from the pressure, there may or may not be that feeling in the pit of the stomach...

here i notice what i'm hearing. this time i was meditating in a very quiet room, and there was tons of ringing in my ear. i hear one constant vibrating drone, maybe 5 times / second. as i focus on it, it speeds up to 11 times/sec or so, then slows down again. every 5 or 6 pulses of that, there is a deeper, lower sound that comes up. on top of this there is also a constant high pitched one, and also maybe a larger overtone that i didn't notice too well but came by once in a while.

after focusing on hearing for a bit, i notice that my stomach feels light and free (no anxious feeling), but this time there is a tightness in my chest. i'm still relaxed mentally, and thankful for that. as i focus on the tightness it grows a bit... then i have to stop as i must go somewhere with my family.

---------------

well i think i know what's going on, now. (all following sentences are speculation and could be wrong, of course). that 'holy shit!' posting was an A&P, really mind-blowing indeed, which i wasn't expecting as i haven't had one like that yet. no clue what the white light in the bathroom was - maybe open-eye 8th jhana? but no clue how i would have gotten there from baseline for no reason. and also i was able to describe it, so probably not. state (A) and (C) was probably A&P, (B ) was Dissolution (thanking Tommy for reminding me that that type of vibration happens around A&P/Dissolution).

this just now would be dark night. dissolution i must have missed while trying samatha, fear was the anxiety, misery/disgust was body feeling which i got through with hearing, then last part was desire for deliverance.

also the fact that i wasn't being bothered by dark night so much now seems like a good sign. not sure if i got anywhere w/ the samatha at the beginning but i'll keep trying that.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/26/10 11:45 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
falling asleep after the last post was interesting. kind of fading in and out of meditating / passing out. very much a pattern of awake... nodding off, nodding off... sudden jolt back to awake combined with noticing everything. one such jolt i felt "FEAR!" very clearly, and cringed my neck out of reflex, which ended up hurting a bit.

i had a dream where i was hit by some realization or other i don't remember, i felt like 'giving up' or something, then i felt like i died. basically my whole body rotted away and eventually disappeared, at which point i had a fruition in the dream.

----

last night was very interesting meditation. i started off with what i know of the tai chi form. then i set timer for 1 hour and sat down. first i focused on my breath, then switched to observing everything (without noting).

i was feeling very equanimous indeed, OK with whatever would happen. i got a feeling that "I" was constantly getting in the way and fighting with "myself" while meditating, and how there was no need to do that, really. i really let go. then my breath started getting ragged, started getting quicker. my heart started to pound, faster, faster. it sped up so much and pounded so loudly that i doubt i ever experienced it to that degree, earlier. now i would say i was gripped by an intense fear, but i wasn't... it felt as if i should be feeling fear, except i was so totally okay with whatever was happening that there was no negative reaction to what was happening at all. so, a fear without something to hold on to. as i heard someone else say, it is funny how letting go and not being attached leads to much more intense sensations, which end up affecting you less.

eventually that "fear" died down. visual field this entire sit was very subdued, almost nothing happening there. i kept going, trying to let go in that sublime way i had managed to earlier. i think i was succeeding in that i wasn't just thinking "let go, let go", but i was actually able to feel whatever was happening without any attempt at modifying it.

soon i started getting intense pain in my upper back and neck. it was really quite painful, but again, i was just equanimous. i felt little pockets of pain all along my vertebrae, but that's all they were - pockets of intense pain that didn't affect "me".

timer rang. i went to watch a show w/ family, then came back. around here i think i started getting in my way again as i wanted to just sit for a long time and see this through, use the momentum. i do tai chi form again, sit with timer for 40 minutes, this time. no intense fear this time - i seemed to go right to the pain in the back region. i managed to not have what was happening affect me, but to describe it - mostly a bunch of unpleasant sensations. some anxiety in pit of stomach, a bunch of tightness in the chest. i had a few glimpses of a more relaxed state but they did not last. my confidence of being able to get through whatever began to waver a bit but i stuck with it.

timer rang. another tai chi form, another 40 minutes. don't remember this particular one too well but i believe i got into more of the relaxed state. my mind started wandering, which was annoying. i think this sit (or one of these, anyway) i either "let go" again or pressured myself into something, but my breath picked up again. this time heart rate didn't increase so much, but my chest felt really tight. the feeling intensified, breathing rate increased. got to be quite unpleasant, though wasn't affecting me so much. afterwards into more general unpleasant territory.

decided time to go to sleep. set alarm for 930am (today) so i could meditate more before family awakes. woke up at 9am on my own, went to bathroom, came back, did tai chi form, set timer for 45 minutes. at first i sat in Burmese position. but in a few mins that was getting annoying so i lied down and did that. but in a little i was just kind of impatient in a strange way, so i went back to the chair. throughout i seemed fidgety and was shifting my position constantly. don't remember this one too well.

timer rang. did form again, another 45 mins. don't remember this either, but more of the same. less unpleasantness, more relaxedness.

timer rang, took shower, last 45 mins of the day. this one i sat down, started off focusing on the breath. i felt like i was controlling it for a few breaths, which was annoying. i noticed a little brightening of visual field, which then faded. a bit of anxiety, a bit of chest tightness, unpleasantness, and then the relaxed state. visual field got a bit more interesting again, with faintly colored rings going from outside of vision to the middle, and with a general blue hue. my mind was really wandering and really easily picked up stray trains of thought, which was annoying. i believe i reduced my "get out of the way" "trick" into a mantra or something, as it was harder to apply it, and harder to actually let whatever happens happen. mostly annoyed at the mind wandering. i was able to, for a short while, just stay with the intensity of my focus, without thoughts intruding in the troughs. basically i would be very alert, focused, relaxed, looking at everything. then a mental sluggishness would slowly appear, dim everything, make me sleepy almost but not quite. then it would pick up again (along with a loudening of a deep sound in my ears ringing), i'd be alert again, etc. this would happen pretty regularly, every few seconds. i came to associate focus with my ears ringing deeply, and managed to focus on that and keep it afloat and stay focused for a bit. but then again got confused, felt like i was getting in my way, etc... ended up on an annoyed note.

not sure if i should keep doing tons of sits or relax a bit, here. it seems i've gotten myself worked up about progress again, which seems to be hindering it. i do appreciate that i'm able to have fun with such unpleasant sensations though =).

also at some points i had the thought that i was done, i could clearly disembed (especially during the fear episode), that all this cycling was just a formality and kind of pointless... but as i have hit a sort of block at the relaxed state it seems to not be the case, heh.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/27/10 12:12 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heh intense fear - no problem. Sharp pain - no problem. But being in that relaxed state, which I will now re-name to sleepy state, annoyed me to hell. Tried meditating on a car ride. I quickly got to the relaxed/sleepy state, where I would be all right, focused, etc, and then nod off once in a while. When I'd nod off I'd just get really annoyed, in a way that I could not disembed. In fact I think I took the action of disembedding that got me to/through the intense fear, and have accidentally transformed it to something to try to do (instead of not do)... which defeats the point.

On another car ride, I tried meditating while lying down in the back. Strangely I didn't nod off this time - or maybe I was just actually falling asleep in a comfortable way, as I think the car ride was three hours. But I tried feeling pleasant body sensations, felt very relaxed, and even though I guess I did nod off/sleep I wasn't annoyed. Perhaps it is better termed napping than meditating.

Unsure how to continue. Perhaps I should walk around in large open spaces. Going on a cruise, soon, so looking at the ocean should be nice.

Interesting potential insight: some thoughts I seem to decide to follow, arbitrarily. Like when meditating I'll be like "hmm yeah so I should try such and such later tonight." Then I'll catch myself, saying "hey why would i follow the advice of that thought anymore than the 'advice' to stop meditating because this sensation is getting annoying?" it's a thought like any other...

Part of my annoyance is I feel close to completing a cycle, part of it is I just want a Fruition while sober... I haven't had one while sober (as far as I can tell) for a while. I have them in dreams. I have huge, beautiful, eventful, blissful ones when high[1]. I definitely had them after Stream Entry. But they were either completely unintentional (like I was walking around and realized I had one) or semi-forced when meditating, but not really meditating leading to a Fruition naturally, except maybe few days after SE. Or maybe I don't want one since Fruition isn't really the point (but ending suffering is)... and this is an insecurity I should just note.

[1] I sit there. My mind accelerates, faster and faster, more flickering. There is a 'peak', it culminates, there is the blank-out... then I'm back, my visual field pulses 6 or 7 times, with more time between each pulse, like a slowing-down/powering-down effect, and there is a nice relaxing bliss wave I can settle into (and I think sound comes back into my ears at this point?). They feel very 'big', they are incredibly obvious, they are not intent-driven. I thought it was NS at some point, but I doubt it due to not going through formless realms before hand.

Basically I will stop getting high until either this happens sober, or I'm done, because even though it is nice it kind of confuses my practice, and I can't seem to be in that state without meditating.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/27/10 9:20 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
time for another installment of Vipassana Adventures!

set the timer for 45 mins (late at night, but i'm not sleepy).

immediately i feel very solid sensations on my chest. it's quiet, so i listen to the ringing in my ears, and it's just one single, clear, constant note. as i listen more, it shifts, adding other harmonies and frequencies, and i start hearing a background vibration that fades in and out, around 6-7 Hz?

i'm reminded of how i read that one must be focusing on some object in order to do insight, and how i used to think that wasn't the case, until i realized that i tend to alternate between body, thoughts (which are hardest), visual field, and ears ringing.

anyway the hearing gets more and more complex, with a high pitched tone coming in, some lower pitched ones. around this time i focus on my visual field and think i get glimpses of creepy things. i can't be sure, but are those faces? each suggestion of a face makes my pulse go a tiny bit faster. even though it should be scary, and i guess on one level i am, on another i'm just having fun with a happy-go-lucky, come-what-may attitude.

soon it's clear that they are faces. they aren't flesh and blood faces, just wisps being formed by blue and white, but they get clearer and clearer. it looks kind of like they're coming out of a wall, with 2-3 showing at the same time, kind of like this but they aren't skulls.

after that fun thrill (where i'm even almost smiling), faces stop appearing. visually i see more colors and such but they are kind of murky and uncoordinated. in a bit i feel like i get a whiff of some food and i think it vaguely unpleasant. i can feel my face contract in a disgusted manner. 'feh!' i think, although not really, cause i'm just chilling in my head. somewhere here or before here i just got the idea to be supremely happy with whatever is happening at the moment, which is paradoxical in that i think it causes unhindered progress(?).

some more undifferentiated (meaning that i didn't discern it) stuff. i start thinking about getting a Fruition and how i want one. then i think hey, why not have one right now? how about a no-self... i get a sense of things lining up, of being separate for them, a bit of a speed-up... but then, nothing. i think what about impermanence? suddenly the visuals flow a LOT more smoothly, they coalesce into one almost 3-d thing i'm looking at... i force it a bit, maybe i twitch a little, but no blank-out i can discern, no bliss wave.

then i suddenly realize what i said earlier about being happy w/ what is happening, which i was clearly not doing. immediately this "platform for Fruitions" fades away and i'm put back into the state i was before i started thinking about fruitions. guess that was an important lesson.

around here i start hearing a lower-pitched all-encompassing tone in my ear coming in, but not constant. soon enough the timer rings and it's time for bed.

My Evaluation (I'm already leaving this part out of KFDh due to their ways there, let me know at DhO if you think i should not include this, but i feel it's relevant for evaluating my mental state): ringing ear tone / solidity was pre-nyana / mind + body which i usually don't notice. the ear tone getting more complex was getting into A&P/3rd jhana. scary faces was fear. murky visuals was misery. disgusted face/smell was disgust. the "fruition Platform" was maybe an earlier cycle that i was perpetuating? don't think i got out of re-observation this time, but i think the all-encompassing lower pitch sound might be hints of equanimity.

i also feel that since this is flowing so smoothly maybe this is already a Review? will leave that off till this finally ends in a Fruition, at which point i can either keep doing it or start pursuing something non-cycle related.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/27/10 10:06 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
What you've said about feeling like you're passing through the stages without a noticeable fruition is very similar to what was going on with me last week. Due to time and family stuff on Saturday I didn't meditate but didn't beat myself up over it since it felt like the right thing to be doing. Interestingly I sat down last night and cycled from A&P to quite a "satisfying" and noticeable Fruition in approximately 20 minutes and felt like taking that break was actually something I needed to do.

Try taking a break rather than ramping up practice and see if that helps. I would also agree with spending some time in nature, even if it's just ten minutes walking and noting you may find the change quite refreshing.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/27/10 11:19 AM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:

Try taking a break rather than ramping up practice and see if that helps. I would also agree with spending some time in nature, even if it's just ten minutes walking and noting you may find the change quite refreshing.


Hmm interesting idea. Maybe that is why the sleepiness started coming/being really annoying - from me pushing too much. I'll try a break. Until then it is really nice to just walk around and observe stuff, without actively noting, but just looking, kind of 'watching' my 'self' think things, look at stuff, etc.

RE: beoman practice thread
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12/27/10 11:42 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi Beoman,

Did anything come of this?
RE: beoman practice thread
12/22/10 8:08 AM as a reply to Beoman Beo Beoman. Reply Reply with Quote
3 mini-reports:

1) was lying down in bed, not really meditating, not really not meditating, just kind of relaxing. a build-up forms in my head, around the center of the head. then i feel this huge knot try to move down through my head. when it moves, it feels like it's dragging my entire head with it, and i feel like my head is being lifted off the pillow when it happens. i don't really control it, but it seems to keep "trying" on its own. i feel like if it were to succeed something good would happen, but i can't force it, and it doesn't make it.


I share the below in case you want to know the background on why I am curious about your findings here, but I am curious about what you may have come across here.

This energy-to-head, lifted feeling is what was occurring naturally in me after cow/cat stretching when I was a teen and I laid down in bed on my back. I went to bed after stretching and felt my hands and arms disappear, then my legs, with no effort by me /no fore-knowledge of this stuff. It was just this fun thing that was happening out of nowhere. So I thought "what happens if I let this move to my head?" After a few minutes, the length of back of neck opened and exploded with energy/no body/ no head/boundarylessness vibration (for lack of better word) and, whoosh, there was a jerk upwards, then bodilessness (though there was a visual field like starry space and a backlit cloudy mass which may have been (more?) mental affectation), infinity-sense, delight, felt like a small part of the vastness, but not separate. This was followed quickly by a huge acceleration sensation, what I can just describe as a high speed movement with no body (no idea what felt 'accelerated', maybe like being (in) a rapid). This went on for a while with tremendous delight. I thought "they'll find me dead with a huge smile on my face" - then, I suddenly feared dying from this. It was strange: I felt like I had a choice to keep going (and possibly really die) or be afraid, and I picked anxiousness/to return (boooo). At that moment I "returned" full force into the body and found wrists, knees, feet, neck arched - all feeling came back at once. I seemed so heavy. Pillow was soaked beside each eye. This has never happened again and, as it didn't cure the common cold let alone suffering (though the experience has certainly stayed with me) I did not chase it again. I don't know what this is besides what is called out of body (whether just neurological phenomena due to very slight breathing, or insight into the nature of existence) and am curious what you find/anyone has found. I deliberately downplay this in my own mind ("oh this is a bliss state, don't be attached"), but that could be my mistake, taking instruction from logic.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/27/10 12:01 PM as a reply to . ..
k a steger:
Hi Beoman,

Did anything come of this?
RE: beoman practice thread
12/22/10 8:08 AM as a reply to Beoman Beo Beoman. Reply Reply with Quote
3 mini-reports:

1) was lying down in bed, not really meditating, not really not meditating, just kind of relaxing. a build-up forms in my head, around the center of the head. then i feel this huge knot try to move down through my head. when it moves, it feels like it's dragging my entire head with it, and i feel like my head is being lifted off the pillow when it happens. i don't really control it, but it seems to keep "trying" on its own. i feel like if it were to succeed something good would happen, but i can't force it, and it doesn't make it.



No, that feeling hasn't returned since then. Still no clue what it was, but I'll definitely mention it here if something comes of it.

k a steger:

I share the below in case you want to know the background on why I am curious about your findings here, but I am curious about what you may have come across here.

This energy-to-head, lifted feeling is what was occurring naturally in me after cow/cat stretching when I was a teen and I laid down in bed on my back. I went to bed after stretching and felt my hands and arms disappear, then my legs, with no effort by me /no fore-knowledge of this stuff. It was just this fun thing that was happening out of nowhere. So I thought "what happens if I let this move to my head?" After a few minutes, the length of back of neck opened and exploded with energy/no body/ no head/boundarylessness vibration (for lack of better word) and, whoosh, there was a jerk upwards, then bodilessness (though there was a visual field like starry space and a backlit cloudy mass which may have been (more?) mental affectation), infinity-sense, delight, felt like a small part of the vastness, but not separate. This was followed quickly by a huge acceleration sensation, what I can just describe as a high speed movement with no body (no idea what felt 'accelerated', maybe like being (in) a rapid). This went on for a while with tremendous delight. I thought "they'll find me dead with a huge smile on my face" - then, I suddenly feared dying from this. It was strange: I felt like I had a choice to keep going (and possibly really die) or be afraid, and I picked anxiousness/to return (boooo). At that moment I "returned" full force into the body and found wrists, knees, feet, neck arched - all feeling came back at once. I seemed so heavy. Pillow was soaked beside each eye. This has never happened again and, as it didn't cure the common cold let alone suffering (though the experience has certainly stayed with me) I did not chase it again. I don't know what this is besides what is called out of body (whether just neurological phenomena due to very slight breathing, or insight into the nature of existence) and am curious what you find/anyone has found. I deliberately downplay this in my own mind ("oh this is a bliss state, don't be attached"), but that could be my mistake, taking instruction from logic.


Very interesting! Sounds very intense. My thinking (very likely to be wrong) is that you somehow found very intense versions of the formless jhanas. How young were you? I think the younger you are the easier it is to accidentally do stuff like this...

anyway, i've heard 4th jhana you can lose all sense of the body, even of the breathing. boundarylessness vibration sounds like 5th jhana, boundless space. infinity-sense and vastness sounds like 6th jhana, infinite consciousness. huge acceleration sensation was perhaps the boundaries expanding even more. then your fear is your mind kicking back in, dropping you out of the state (or maybe this was/triggered an A&P event and you got into the fear nyana). or maybe you were about to go to the 7th jhana, nothingness, and that was scary. i don't really know.

i think your instinct is right - that was a bliss state and one you shouldn't be attached to if your goal is Enlightenment. but i hear it can be useful to go there and do insight practices. it seems like you are going towards Actualism now, though, so i think trying to get the jhanas would be counter-productive? i don't know much at all about Actualism practice, though, so take it w/ a grain of salt.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/27/10 3:20 PM as a reply to . ..
This energy-to-head, lifted feeling is what was occurring naturally in me after cow/cat stretching when I was a teen and I laid down in bed on my back. I went to bed after stretching and felt my hands and arms disappear, then my legs, with no effort by me /no fore-knowledge of this stuff.


If by "cow/cat stretching" you're talking about stretching out fully like a cat (the alternative of physically stretching a cat or cow conjures up a hilarious mental image) then I might be able to shed some light on this. It sounds similar to a less extreme version of a technique developed by artists/magician Austin Osman Spare called "The Death Pose" where one places their hands clasped behind their back, stretches the entire body to the point of straining before entering a state known as gnosis. The primary function of this state was for charging magickal sigils but it's a very similar space to the 4th vipassana jhana.

The only reason I mention it is because of the simlar sensations experienced in gnosis such as loss of bodily awareness, a sense of the formless and that feeling of acceleration so it may be that you've stumbled upon this same technique by accident.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/27/10 4:21 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M - you are funny. I referred to what some yoga teachers call a type of stretch, but literally taken, especially for any who know that my trigger is "cruelty" (aversion), then that I would suggest an animal Iron Maiden is sort of a direct joke on me, from me.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/27/10 4:44 PM as a reply to . ..
Hi,

Here are a few questions intended for your consideration only:

Do you think you are less mindful as a result of your intent to remember the details of your sits so as to report them here? If yes, what is it, precisely, that you are being mindful of? Do you think the trade-off is worth it (is it better to be more mindful, or to have a more lucid report)? Similarly, how long does it take you to write a report (the whole process: remembering, analyzing, writing / presenting, etc.)? Do you think that amount of time (however much it is) would be better spent meditating or contemplating in general? (Which do you suspect would be more effective: a change in your orientation toward meditating based on the feedback referencing your reports, or more time on the cushion)? Have you attempted to figure out an optimum balance between these two tasks (time meditating vs time reporting) so as to maximize the benefits of each?

Trent

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/27/10 7:13 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:
Hi,

Here are a few questions intended for your consideration only:


Thanks for the questions. I have been thinking along these lines too.


Do you think you are less mindful as a result of your intent to remember the details of your sits so as to report them here? If yes, what is it, precisely, that you are being mindful of? Do you think the trade-off is worth it (is it better to be more mindful, or to have a more lucid report)?


I have noticed this. It's something like... not so much that I'm less mindful, but that I'm adding something to the practice, a thin layer of 'look at that!' I have managed to stop doing that and perceive things directly with no medium for some spells during the consecutive sits. I also notice I'll often distract myself by wondering where i am / what to do etc, this especially happened pre-SE when I was for example experimenting with samatha jhanas.


Similarly, how long does it take you to write a report (the whole process: remembering, analyzing, writing / presenting, etc.)? Do you think that amount of time (however much it is) would be better spent meditating or contemplating in general?

The number doesn't matter, but maybe 15 minutes? 20 minutes. 25 for longer ones. i often do them while at work where i can't meditate anyway. sometimes i do it after a sit. i'm unsure how to balance relaxation and effort, still, but perhaps simply meditating more instead of writing would be beneficial. contemplating in general i'm not sure... i feel like i do some contemplation just by remembering and writing. there's also always the option of reading what i wrote before although i seem to not do so.


(Which do you suspect would be more effective: a change in your orientation toward meditating based on the feedback referencing your reports, or more time on the cushion)?


I'm coming to the conclusion that I basically have everything I need to finish. I have noting / investigation without noting which I seem to be able to do somewhat well. I know the stages, what a Fruition is like. I know where to begin if I want to deepen my samatha practice. It's more a matter of what to do next... which I also seem to decide intuitively. Feedback referencing my reports has been useful. For example, though I was thinking that I spend too much time writing / it is distracting, your questions really made me question it, whereas if i were to not post here but just post in my private journal, which i was doing before i started this thread, i might not have come to investigate this matter so soon.


Have you attempted to figure out an optimum balance between these two tasks (time meditating vs time reporting) so as to maximize the benefits of each?


Hmm I have not.

To summarize and fill in some blanks I left: I have been thinking that it would be better to drop the filter entirely, stop worrying about where i am or what is happening, and just observe it, whatever it is. that would naturally mean less lucid reports, but i think that's fine for now. i may try just posting once every few days, without writing / thinking about stuff in the interim, and see how that goes.

Furthermore I have noticed some negative effects of writing all this. for example, when people say my posts are interesting, that gives me a pang of joy/satisfaction/whatever. I even became jealous reading another yogi's post. indeed while doing some unsober contemplation i did look at what i'm currently doing (in general, not just posting here) as building up a persona of a "successful" yogi, replacing my previous one. all this seems pretty not useful, and all of it aggravated by increased posting here. One thing I have managed to avoid is posting stuff just to prove something to someone (where I am, how accomplished I am, etc.).

To conclude! I don't really know =). But I see benefits in posting less, and especially in not thinking about it while meditating, so I will endeavor to do so. Thanks again for raising these questions!

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/27/10 7:15 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Beo Beoman:
Tommy M:

Try taking a break rather than ramping up practice and see if that helps. I would also agree with spending some time in nature, even if it's just ten minutes walking and noting you may find the change quite refreshing.


Hmm interesting idea. Maybe that is why the sleepiness started coming/being really annoying - from me pushing too much. I'll try a break. Until then it is really nice to just walk around and observe stuff, without actively noting, but just looking, kind of 'watching' my 'self' think things, look at stuff, etc.


heh i sometimes feel like i've forgotten how to relax. if i just kick back and close my eyes.... either samatha or vipassana kicks in. if i open and look around... i observe stuff. if i'm just thinking... i observe the thoughts and think them not useful. if i turn to substances... alcohol just annoys me, weed makes me meditate more. maybe i should watch some TV or read comics or something.

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/28/10 12:35 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
O my god. such a bad mood... pre-path dark night thoughts all over again. at least i can recognize them now. though i wonder if i can ever be in a bad mood and not blame it on the 'dark night' again. some larger cycles must clearly be going on... the equanimous sits i guess were in a 'larger' Equanimity? and now i am in a 'larger' dark night...

Equanimity thoughts - everything is fine, this is great, meditating is fun, hey am i actually done since this is so nice?
dark night thoughts - must go on retreat, job is annoying, why do people smoke and drink so much, how do i relax, stuck in my head, etc.

On that note, I think I will be trying to answer my own questions for a while, and focusing less on communicating my sits/states of mind to others (including to my future self)... for example I was going to ask a 'going back to the basics' samatha question, of whether to stick with the breath or follow pleasant sensations... then i realized hey, i can just try that myself and see what happens. it's how i learned to program effectively, it should work for meditating, too...

I'll check in once in a while if i have 'big news' or a burning question i really can't figure out or what not...

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/28/10 8:16 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Sending metta your way my friend.

It's definitely worth doing what you're doing about reporting back on practice. You'll notice the difference when you're not thinking about what you're going to say in your posts. Hopefully making these small changes will give you a boost!

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/28/10 11:02 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi,

Beoman Beo Beoman:
then i realized hey, i can just try that myself and see what happens. it's how i learned to program effectively, it should work for meditating, too...

I'll check in once in a while if i have 'big news' or a burning question i really can't figure out or what not...


Yes, it will work for meditating, too. Specifically in the context of programming, approach the mind like a system that needs debugging. Using concentration, stabilize the system so that it presents itself with minimal variability, and then tweak one of the variables. The mind will "parse" itself into a new iteration immediately after the variable switches, and, because the system was stabilized prior, you'll have a reasonable idea of what effect that change had on the system as a whole. For example: if you broaden your awareness, does this lead to a relative increase in agitation or does it lead to a relative increase in equanimity? Perform a quick analysis of the systemic change (this often does not even require thought), and then either revert to the previous variable or switch it to something new.

This is, in essence, testing cause and effect so as to understand it precisely. As your understanding of the specifics of causality improves, you can bring that knowledge to bare on achieving your goals. In fact, understanding causality and achieving your aims should go hand in hand, because as soon as you understand what leads to what, the simple steps to (re)program the system to function more optimally happen with a sense of obviousness.

"Oh...of course! This system works better if it's not virtually deadlocking every time a pretty girl walks by." Ha!

Trent

RE: beoman practice thread
Answer
12/28/10 2:29 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Yes, it will work for meditating, too. Specifically in the context of programming, approach the mind like a system that needs debugging. Using concentration, stabilize the system so that it presents itself with minimal variability, and then tweak one of the variables. The mind will "parse" itself into a new iteration immediately after the variable switches, and, because the system was stabilized prior, you'll have a reasonable idea of what effect that change had on the system as a whole. For example: if you broaden your awareness, does this lead to a relative increase in agitation or does it lead to a relative increase in equanimity? Perform a quick analysis of the systemic change (this often does not even require thought), and then either revert to the previous variable or switch it to something new.


Trent, all I can say is "Thank you". You just presented the most accurate metaphor I've seen yet for the entire process.