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Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/23/19 3:36 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/23/19 1:04 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/24/19 8:38 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/24/19 11:03 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/24/19 12:31 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/24/19 2:47 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/27/19 3:42 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 5/26/19 2:58 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/26/19 4:10 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/26/19 3:37 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Daniel M. Ingram 5/26/19 3:49 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/27/19 5:02 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/27/19 4:55 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/28/19 4:57 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/28/19 3:25 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/28/19 3:31 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/28/19 3:35 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/30/19 3:38 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 5/30/19 11:22 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/1/19 3:45 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/1/19 3:44 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/1/19 6:44 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/2/19 6:59 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/8/19 2:54 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/10/19 7:44 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/10/19 3:38 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/11/19 3:38 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/12/19 4:51 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/12/19 7:26 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/13/19 10:43 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/16/19 2:46 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 4:58 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/16/19 5:05 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 4:46 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 4:36 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 4:34 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 4:29 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/16/19 4:45 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 5:19 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/16/19 5:28 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/16/19 5:46 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 6/16/19 6:18 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/17/19 12:40 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/17/19 1:48 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 6/17/19 9:28 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 6/22/19 10:21 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/18/19 5:44 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/20/19 5:16 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/23/19 5:03 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/24/19 3:38 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/25/19 5:53 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/26/19 2:30 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/29/19 7:55 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/16/19 11:13 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/17/19 10:15 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/17/19 1:17 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 6/17/19 2:07 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/1/19 4:01 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/4/19 5:07 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/4/19 3:20 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/4/19 4:01 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/10/19 7:32 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 4:50 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/11/19 6:42 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 7:56 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/11/19 8:11 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 8:33 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/11/19 8:58 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 9:07 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/11/19 9:15 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/11/19 9:26 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/11/19 10:07 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/11/19 11:54 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/15/19 7:31 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/16/19 5:47 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/18/19 1:59 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/21/19 6:28 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/23/19 6:54 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/23/19 8:01 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/23/19 8:18 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/23/19 8:29 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/23/19 8:35 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/23/19 1:44 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/23/19 6:29 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 7/27/19 12:57 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/3/19 3:58 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/8/19 3:00 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/10/19 6:50 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/11/19 3:40 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/11/19 4:08 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/22/19 7:11 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/22/19 8:08 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/23/19 3:41 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/23/19 8:50 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/24/19 9:24 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/25/19 2:51 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/25/19 1:30 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/26/19 2:11 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/27/19 1:09 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/31/19 7:39 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/29/19 8:09 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Shaun Steelgrave 8/29/19 8:47 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/30/19 12:16 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Jim Smith 8/29/19 11:26 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/30/19 11:59 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/31/19 7:37 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/1/19 7:06 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/29/19 7:49 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 8/29/19 9:09 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/29/19 2:27 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/2/19 4:29 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/4/19 7:50 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/4/19 9:50 AM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/6/19 1:21 PM
RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/6/19 2:11 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log shargrol 9/7/19 6:51 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/7/19 7:08 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log shargrol 9/7/19 1:48 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/7/19 1:51 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/8/19 2:00 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/11/19 5:55 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/13/19 6:08 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/17/19 9:22 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/18/19 6:55 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Chris Marti 9/18/19 8:01 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/18/19 8:18 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Chris Marti 9/18/19 8:58 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/18/19 1:15 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Chris Marti 9/18/19 1:54 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/22/19 7:07 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log shargrol 9/22/19 7:52 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/22/19 8:27 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/6/19 6:33 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log shargrol 10/6/19 7:17 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/6/19 7:25 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/6/19 7:31 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/6/19 7:43 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/6/19 9:10 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/6/19 9:29 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/6/19 10:44 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/6/19 10:56 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/6/19 11:15 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/6/19 8:12 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/7/19 3:20 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/7/19 5:09 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/13/19 3:18 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/14/19 4:11 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/15/19 7:16 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/18/19 3:56 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/25/19 4:44 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 10/25/19 7:44 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/2/19 6:10 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log shargrol 11/3/19 5:17 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/3/19 6:18 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/3/19 1:33 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/3/19 1:55 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/3/19 2:42 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Michial Neal 11/3/19 4:20 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/4/19 9:25 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Michial Neal 11/4/19 2:20 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/4/19 3:01 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/4/19 3:15 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/4/19 4:31 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/6/19 2:22 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/9/19 2:06 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log shargrol 11/10/19 6:24 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/10/19 7:48 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/10/19 10:18 AM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/10/19 2:00 PM
RE: Siavash's Practice Log Siavash Mahmoudpour 11/20/19 6:55 PM
Siavash's Practice Log
log practice log meditation log kasina fire kasina
Answer
8/23/19 3:36 PM
Inspired by Anna L’s practice log, and suggestion that she gave that I record my experiences with Fire Kasina( Thanks Anna ), I started to record my experiences in meditation specially with Fire Kasina. And I decided to share it here, with the hope that it benefits myself and others, and I hope that it will not be a distraction for myself and others.

It’s around 40 days that I am doing Fire Kasina for my daily sits, I usually practice for 60-90 minutes, and I some times do an hour of breath practice before Fire Kasina. I practice at nights before going to bed, candle is the only light source, and I continue my practice while in bed until I fall asleep. There are some more information about my practice background and experiences with Fire Kasina and how it has developed in my previous thread on this site:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13223904

It’s near two years that I am practicing meditation, mostly with Shinzen and Culadasa’s techniques and teachings, and sometimes with techniques that I've heard from Daniel and Leigh Brasington.

In this post, I put a description of how my experiences is with Fire Kasina these days, and if there is a new and notable experience later, I’ll put it in subsequent posts.

Sequence these days:
Staring at candle for 1-3 minutes, at after 30-60 seconds, I start to see a dot like shape in the middle of flame which is green, then I see a pale purple one in the middle of the flame, which is the nimita that is projected into the flame, an at this point I close my eyes.

I see the after image. The candle that I use, I put it inside a plate which is circular, so in the after image, I see a dark circle, filled with black and very dark purple colors and usually is pixelated, and it has a bright yellow ring around it, I focus on it, it starts to fade, and the yellow ring starts to turn into green and then fade, and a bright flame like dot arise out of this circle, a little above its center, where the flame would be in the after image.

The flame like shaped dot, is yellow at first and is not stable, is shimmering, and appearing and disappearing, I try to focus on it and keep it there, but because of problems that my eyes have, it’s not so easy for me. As the dot gets more stable, its color changes to something between red purple and pink, and sometimes has some little yellow or dark lines or dots inside of it.

After about 1-2 minutes of closing the eyes, a ring appears around the dot, at this point dot is somewhat red, or deep pink, and the ring which is pretty thick is green, and this green area itself is inside a bright violet to purple circular area which is glowing, and has areas that is made of lots of tiny lines or hairs, and sometimes this violet/purple area itself is inside at glowing green cicular area. Sometimes other colors usually shaped as flame are washing across this whole multi color area.

As I focus on this dot, sometimes it gets more stable, it stays there for a minute or two with a few moments of fading away, and the colors around it become brighter and more defined. Sometimes there are lots of green and purple pink and violet and black colors around the center, right from beginning, that they cover the center and makes it harder to find the dot inside all these colors and dots and circular areas.

After a few minutes, the dot starts to shrink, and a bright green dot arises from its bottom, sometimes the red or yellow dot completely disappears and the green dot replaces it, but usually they stay together, and for a little while, the dot appears and disappears, and shrinks more, and at some point it disappears. Sometimes a clear small shiny black dot arises after the red dot, but usually after the red dot, center is not well defined, and there is a black/dark ball/hole that moves and changes shape, and for a few minutes, the red dot arises again from the center of black dot, and then the red dot goes away completely.

Usually after the black dot arises, a bright blob of deep pink or bright violet arises in the center around the black dot, sometimes it's in the center and sometimes not. Usually there is a green area around it, and sometimes they exchange their places, green is in the center and the pink/violet is around it, and they move and morph into different shapes and different shades, although nothing well defined, and usually at the beginning of the murk, there are lots of black, purple, violet, pink and green colors that move, shine, and form different patterns, including one or more little or bigger dots, and lines or hairs.

At this point I open my eyes and stare at the candle for 1-2 minutes, and then I blow out the candle. Almost all of the above repeats again, except for some little differences, at first, instead of a shimmering yellow dot, a stable deep pink or bright magenta dot arises out of after image, and then after sometime it turns into the red-pink color like the above. At this second round, usually red dot stays more stable than the first round, because attention is more stable, and sometimes it appears and is stable for just a little, then it fades away into black dot and the murk, and the period that the red dot is there, is very short.

It goes almost like this for the rest of the sit, but sometimes, specially if I widen my attention, the colors mostly fade away, and the background is black/dark grey mixed with dark purple, and there are some little purple lines around the center that are moving and sometimes shades of bright violet movig like a mist.

When my concentration gets better, specially when I focus on the body and the visuals at the same times, these shiny colors arise at the center and around the center towards to top pf the field. It looks like in the area around the center, background is black which is very black! and is shining, sometimes it looks like there are black/dark holes in space, and there are lots of little blobs of bright white or very light purple/violet or very dark purple/violet or both arising from the background and fading away. The main difference with the normal colors in the murk is that all these colors are very shiny, and they expand and contract, and often this black background itself expands and contracts. It’s quite beautiful, and it’s there if I am maximally focused, if the attention wanders or is not sharp, it fades away. I wonder if this is molten gold or not, since in the glossary it says that molten gold can manifest in different colors.

And I should mention that usually there are lots of vibrations in my head and forehead for most of the sit, it happens always with any technique, if I am concentrated, I get these vibrations in my head, which produce feelings of pressure in head and around the eyes.There are some other piti-like sensations too, like spread of tingly sensations or sensations like pins and needles over the arms or legs, some sensations moving at the bottom of spine that creates itches around it and in the hips, and when it gets more intense, it create a feeling of coolness or breeze that spreads over hands and feet and face, sometimes whole body. Some vibratory sensations inside the hips, which feels like something like a stream of water or blood is moving inside the muscle, and when it gets more intense, it spreads tingly sensations over the legs. And there are lots of itching and sweating usually, sometimes sweating becomes real distraction since it comes from forehead and tends to go inside eyes and nose, since my eyes have problems, its usually hard for me to keep my eyes completely closed so sweating becomes a problem, also when concentration is good, eyes are flickering rapidly, specially when red dot is present, this flickering makes it harder to stabilize the dot.

I can see almost of of these visuals and colors with eyes open too, they are just less bright, but almost there is no difference. When I see some colors, if I open my eyes, it’s almost the same with eyes open too, it looks like that it is more distant with eyes open, and less bright but no other differences.

And if I don’t use the candle, I see almost the same colors and patterns, except the initial red/yellow dot isn't there, but usually a green or purple dot appears in the center, and sometimes there is a black dot in the center just after closing the eyes.
I see most of these visuals when I am doing other techniques too, like breath or practice on mental activities.

For a period of around 10 days or two weeks maybe, there were lots of little bright dots that were appearing a little off the center or far off to the right or left, and they were present with eyes open or closed, in formal practice and in daily activities, in white, yellow, green and purple colors, that were shimmering and disappearing after some moments, but it’s a few days now that they don’t appear much.

May we all be happy and well :-) .

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/23/19 1:04 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
These little bright dots are back again, specially in daily activities with eyes open. It’s like I am doing something and suddenly I notice one or more bright dots appear shimmering or stable like a bright LED flashlight, usually is beautiful bright purple or yellow, green or white and at a distance of 1-2 feet away from the eyes, but sometimes in a far distance.

Sometimes at office I stare at mountains at a far distance that are covered with snow, and suddenly I see a bright dot shimmering and blinking which looks like it’s behind the mountains. And staring at these mountains or clouds sometimes, create a very beautiful after image, it alternates between green and purple. Starts with one of these colors then turn to the other one, and usually at the end, turns into a magenta color and then fades away.

Yesterday while doing breath practice, there was lots of the bright and shiny white/purple/black colors and lights which appears when concentration is stronger. For some period also there was a spark of bright white and yellow lights in the center, surrounded by these shiny colors expanding and contracting, at some point it was so bright that it was a little hard to stare at it.

It’s interesting that these bright lights doesn’t appear in Fire Kasina practice as strong as in breath practice, unless I combine Fire Kasina with breath or body awareness.

Be well and happy :-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/24/19 8:38 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
Last two nights I gazed a the candle flame only once, there was no major difference except that in last night’s sit, red dot showed up very briefly and then disappeared into black dot. I did an hour of breath practice before Fire Kasina, which strengthens concentration and makes the transition to black dot faster.

Last night there was lots of color swirls similar to an alcohol flame, which looked transparent in a way that there were other visuals behind it. It happens sometimes like this, which looks like there is two layers to the murk, and the one that is closer to the face is transparent and the other is behind that.

It happened twice last night that I saw images in the murk for just a moment. It was vague and not 3D and appeared for just a moment, but I could detect the image clearly. In the last weeks, it happened a couple times like this that I saw a creepy looking image in the murk, for just a moment, but no clear images.

It’s been a while that there is a color in the murk that looks kind of blue but it’s not blue. Last night purples and greens were changing to this color, that was much more closer to a sky blue, but never became a blue. Although it was beautiful and was looking like an alcohol flame moving and forming different shapes.

I fell asleep at the end of Fire Kasina sit, because I had sleep deprivation for a few days, although this doesn’t happen with body and breath practices, but it happens quite often with Fire Kasina, if I am sleep deprived.

Yesterday for most of the day there was a feeling of agitation. I was feeling that my mind is distracted and this distractedness creates agitation, so I was trying to focus on something and not be distracted, but after a few moments I was gone into distractions. It's interesting that recently this happens often, that when I am not mindful in daily activities and the mind is not unified, this distractedness creates a feeling of agitation and restlessness.

Yesterday towards the night, strong muscle pulsing and throbbing started to arise, mostly in arms and legs, and it was there in formal practice too, and still continues today.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/24/19 11:03 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Centered bright lights in breathing practice sound like a good sign. I have heard about luminous jhana, and while I’m not sure what qualifies as that, it seems to match the descriptions that I have seen.

I get vivid after images in daily life as well. Unfortunately I’m not blessed with views of mountains (I love mountains, so say hi to them from me), but even very banal objects have beatiful after images, so it brightens up the world.

For me getting sleepy during meditation happens in the dukkha nanas dissolution and misery, but also in low equinimity. It seems like I need to go through a phase of sleepiness in order to let go of control enough to get into fourth jhana. In my experience, fourth jhana is excellent for effective vipassana. If sleepiness coincides with strong enough concentration to see centered bright lights in daily life, you are probably not in the dukkha nanas, so maybe you are letting go. The fact that sleepiness occurs mainly in concentration practice supports that hypothesis, I believe, but I could be totally wrong. I have been struggling with sleepiness for a while now as well. Being on the threshold between re-observation and low equinimity can be a bit confusing, at least for me. Sometimes one gets the worst parts from both (agitation and sleepiness), sometimes the best parts (mind-speed and faith). Sometimes it’s just a mess, and sometimes it’s neutral and seems very unsignificant. Sometimes it varies rapidly. Does that sound familiar?

It is interesting to follow your practice. Thanks for sharing!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/24/19 12:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thanks Linda.
Yes it's familiar. In the last 10 years maybe, normally I would need 7-9 hours of sleep each day, but in recent months it has changed. Sometimes I sleep 4-6 hours and I don't feel sleepy and don't get dullness and sleepiness in formal practice, but sometimes I sleep 6-10 hours and still get dullness and sleepiness in daily activities and in formal practice, like today and last few days for instace and another effect that happens with it, is that it's really hard to get up after waking up, but the other times that I need less sleep, it's easy to get up, so It could be Dissolution, I don't know. In recent few days, I have different flavors of negatives feelings, yesterday was mainly agitation and restlessness, today is a deep sadness and hopelessness accoumpanied with pulsing in muscles and less mindfullness in these two days. Normally it's effortless for me to start to focus on something, what Shinzen calls stop on a dime, but these two days it takes effort and it's hard to stay mindful in daily activities, but I don't know.

About those sparks of bright lights, I don't get them in daily activities, but I get them in both breath/body practice and Fire Kasina practice, its duration and strenght depends on the level of attention stability and having dullness or not( clarity ). Yeah I think it can be used for luminus Jhanas, but I haven't tried it yet.

More than a year ago I started to have bright lights with eyes closed with most of the techniques that I was practicing, at that time I thought that it's the same light that is used for liminus Jhanas, and it faded away after some weeks or months and didn't come back, except occasionally, but later I heard from Bhante Gunaratana that he said that if this light occupies a large space, it's not the light as a sign of concentration and it has karmic causes, and the desired light should be small and bright like a spark, later I heard the same thing from one of Pa Auk sayadaw's students that said that Pa Auk sayadaw distinguishes these two kinds of light too. The light that arises in recent months, I think has the qualities for luminus Jhanas, since it's small and like a bright spark that is scintillating in the center of visual field, so I may try those Jhanas later. Generally I didn't have much success with Jhanas since joy doesn't arise. Concentration is ok I think and piti can arise but not in the form of joy and happiness, but mostly as vibrations/pressure/heat and etc. Anyway.

Thanks for reading these longs descriptions :-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/24/19 2:47 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Regarding dukkha nanas, although I don't know I've ever been in these stages or not, but there are periods of negative emotions that repeat and it seems that they are not related to other life conditions, and usually they reflect in my dreams too.

2-3 days ago I had several different dreams at one night, and they had the same negative vibe. Usually these dreams cause me to wake up, but this time none of these dreams did it. Repeating themes are fear and sadness in these kind of dreams.

In one of them I had a secret and I was trying to hide it from my family, but I couldn't and it was pretty bad when they found out.
In another one, there was an airplane above us, and it crashed with a huge explosion, and after that I saw my mother and she was telling me that my brother and my nephew died in the explosion, but she was smiling and I was really confused and I was asking her to tell the truth and she was just smiling and I couldn't understand.
In another one, two little girls, 6-7 years old, were going to deliver drugs to someone, and I was trying to help them find the address, but I was constantly showing them the worng way and we couldn't find the address.

And again about the dreams, normally I have lots of dreams every day and I usually remember some of them clearly, but since I've started Fire Kasina practice, most days I don't remember any clear images from my dreams, and I only remember the feeling that the dream had.

Another effect that probably is related to Fire Kasina, is that around 10 days after starting Fire Kasina, I had my first vivid lucid dream, that I was completely aware that this is a dream and I was aware of my body sensations both in bed and in the dream, and I was doing things in the dream to see their effect and to see that they will cause me to wake up or not, and one of them did!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/27/19 3:42 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
Last night I didn't do Fire Kasina sit, I already had practiced two hours with other techniques and it was late so I went to sleep, but I decided to stay awake longer in bed and focus on the murk, and I guess I continued practicing while I was asleep for 1-2 hours.
Although I am not sure, but I was maintaining awareness on the visual field, and I was thinking that I am awake, but at some point, I noticed that I am awake now and there is a change in perception and I needed to get up, although I couldn't remember the exact time of waking up if my assumption is correct. This happens from time to time that it seems that practice continues in sleep too.

Later when I went to sleep again, I decided to try to catch the moment of going unconscious, the way they talk about in Mahasi tradition and Shinzen talks about it too, but I couldn't.

Yesterday towards the night, the feelings of sadness and hopelessness almost went away, and there was a feeling of disgust, and I was feeling it in my face, and there was a feeling that it seemed that something wants to get released in my face, similar to the feeling that one gets in nose and face before sneeze, and it continues today without the feeling of disgust.  I can't detect the flavors of negative feelings that are present today. They could be related to my work also.

It would be wonderful to be able to continue the practice while being asleep. I wish it for everyone that likes to have it.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/26/19 2:58 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
You write: "In the last 10 years maybe, normally I would need 7-9 hours of sleep each day, but in recent months it has changed."

Interesting ... I have been a long sleeper (9 hours) since childhood but this has changed for me dramatically this year. Most nights I only need 7 hours. Some nights only 6. 

I attribute this to a few things, but fire kasina practice and intense backward bends in my asana practice (dropbacks) seem to be the likely contenders ... I started needing less sleep sometimes after fire kasina sits but results were patchy. The combination of meditation and intense asana seems to have made the sleep changes more stable and consistent. 

I also notice more hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations after intense bouts of fire kasina practice although this is not always pleasant!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/26/19 4:10 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:

I attribute this to a few things, but fire kasina practice and intense backward bends in my asana practice (dropbacks) seem to be the likely contenders ... I started needing less sleep sometimes after fire kasina sits but results were patchy. The combination of meditation and intense asana seems to have made the sleep changes more stable and consistent. 

I think there is another factor too. When it happens for a number of times that is not like the old habit, the subtle fear starts to go away that if I don't sleep this long, I wouldn't be ok, and the belief changes which makes it easier to change the habit. I've noticed it in myself but I can't say about others :-)

Although I don't know that this change in sleep is temporary or not, because I sleep longer when there are negative emotions. Last night I slept 11-12 hours and I couldn't get up, it was hard. It needs probably another 2-3 years to monitor the effects on sleep ;-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/26/19 3:37 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
When my concentration gets better, specially when I focus on the body and the visuals at the same times, these shiny colors arise at the center and around the center towards to top pf the field. It looks like in the area around the center, background is black which is very black! and is shining, sometimes it looks like there are black/dark holes in space, and there are lots of little blobs of bright white or very light purple/violet or very dark purple/violet or both arising from the background and fading away. The main difference with the normal colors in the murk is that all these colors are very shiny, and they expand and contract, and often this black background itself expands and contracts. It’s quite beautiful, and it’s there if I am maximally focused, if the attention wanders or is not sharp, it fades away. I wonder if this is molten gold or not, since in the glossary it says that molten gold can manifest in different colors.


Any answer about the question at the end about Molten Gold? Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/26/19 3:49 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
That does sound like the molten gold, which, as you say, often isn't gold, but somehow we just call it that, as it often does start as bright yellow for some, and a more dull gold for others, but for me it has been hot white, bright purple, and all sorts of irredescent colors. Yes, it is beautiful, and it is an unforgiving object if attention fades.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/27/19 5:02 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
That does sound like the molten gold, which, as you say, often isn't gold, but somehow we just call it that, as it often does start as bright yellow for some, and a more dull gold for others, but for me it has been hot white, bright purple, and all sorts of irredescent colors. Yes, it is beautiful, and it is an unforgiving object if attention fades.


Thank you so much Daniel :-) . I was just listening to your recent interview now with Michael for maybe 7th time ;-)
That's reassuring, thanks. When my concentration is at it's maximum, usually after an hour of breath practice, and in Fire Kasina sit combining visuals with body awareness, the center is mostly sparkly white and yellow with a color similar to the birghtest point of a candle flame, but that doesn't happen often. Both cases are pleasant.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/27/19 4:55 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
Last night, to my surprise, at the end of last FK sit I fell asleep! Although I wasn't sleep deprived, and I had two other sits before the last one, which usually makes concentration stronger when doing multiple sits, and also two positive events had happened outside of the practice, but still concentration wasn't good and attention was dull.

At the end of the sit that I fell asleep, I had an interesting and silly dream. In the dream I was seated and practicing Kasina, there was a dot, a little dark dot maybe dark brown and I guess there were two other dots too, and I was thinking that if I stabilize attention on this dot, which seemed pretty easy, the release will happen and I will pass The Stage! What stage, I don't know, but there wasn't any doubt about this perception. And in the dream, each time that I focused on this dot, I felt sensations specially at my nose and face, that felt like something wants to release.

And today I woke up after 12 hours of sleep, which was surprising too. Although today was holiday and I usually sleep longer at holidays, but still 12 hours was surprising. Related to stages? Maybe, I don't know.

Last night I used another candle with a smaller flame, that changed the appearance of red dot. With the other candles that I use every day, the red dot is shaped like the candle flame and its initial color usually is yellow, but with this new candle, the red dot was mostly red, and a little smaller with a circular shape for most of its lifetime.

These 2-3 days, there is more violet color around the black dot and in the murk. Different shades of violet.
Yesterday I intended to have orange color which I haven't had so far, and for a short period there were little swaths of a color close to red and orange, but still no orange.

Still there is this distractedness in mind that seems that it's the cause of these feelings of agitation in body.

For anyone that reads this page, I apologize that sometimes there are lots of typing mistakes in my writings. Being a long time programmer, I am so used to type in an IDE with a compiler, that reports errors, and when I don't see any red error, my mind assumes by default that there is no mistakes!

Be well and happy :-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/28/19 4:57 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
And finally Blue!

Last night I sat for 90 minutes, and there wasn't any dullness or sleepiness which made the sit more productive.
I read parts of Chapter 29 of MCTB on Kasina practice, to the point that Daniel describes how to change one color to another one in the murk, and since this blue baby decided to not show up by itself, I decided to apply the course to the green and make it blue by injecting some intentions, and it worked!

The green:
A blob of green color in the center that always moves and changes shape and changes color to different shades of green which is inside a moving cicular area like a donut with a hole in its center and this area is made up of tiny little lines of deep pink to bright purple, background of its hole is black, and the green lives inside this hole.

I asked the green that appears in the center of the murk, when the black dot fades away, to change to blue, and it had a hard time doing that, it was facing an identity crisis I guess, but after lots of switching between green and different shades of violet/pink/purple, finally it came close to a blue, but not the blue that I intended, but still it was blue. My intention was to replace the green with a blue star, and at some point it changed a few times to a star too, not well formed though. And while in bed, it got more closer to the intended blue, and formed star shape more frequently, which was fun.

Also there was something like a star field, started while the red dot was present and lasted for about 20 minutes. I am not sure that it matches the description of star field in the glossary, but around the center, first a few bright dots appeared, then they spread towards the edges of visual field, and there was maybe 10-20 of them, each one had a pale halo, and most of the dots were yellow-white, and a few of them were purple.

For most of the murk, specially when these dots were present, it felt that there is a depth to the visual field, and it looked much more 3D than before.

Let's try to bring some orange too, and make it dance with this blue together ;-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/28/19 3:25 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I thoroughly enjoy reading your practice journal. Just wanted to say that. emoticon

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/28/19 3:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I thoroughly enjoy reading your practice journal. Just wanted to say that. emoticon


Thank you Linda :-) . That gives extra motivation to practice and write :-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/28/19 3:35 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I thoroughly enjoy reading your practice journal. Just wanted to say that. emoticon


Thank you Linda :-) . That gives extra motivation to practice and write :-)


emoticon Wohoo!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/30/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Update:

Ok, let's write it down instead of listening to it repeat over and over again in the head!
( This is a side effect of engaging in any new activity or community and etc, and needs some practice and time to normalize it )

Last two nights I didn't have quality practice, because I had very busy work periods and sleep deprivation due to a severe tooth pain that caused me to not have enough sleep, I only had 2-3 hours of sleep for each of two nights before last night, and it's interesting that this tooth pain intensifies in formal practice, I don't know why. I had another episode of this tooth pain several weeks ago that lasted for several days, and it was the same at that time too, that the pain was getting more intense while trying to focus on something. Anyway, there was lots of pain and sweating that were causing distractions in practice.

Last night in the beginning of the sit, a minute after I closed my eyes, my whole body jumped, and that happens usually when there is sleep deprivation, that my whole body or arms or legs jump suddenly a few times during the sit.

And after that I had lots of hypnagogic images. Everyday I walk back home from the office, and there are many mulberry trees along the path I am walking, and sometimes I stop and pick some mulberries. I was getting hypnagogic images of these trees.

The red dot appeared very shortly, and it didn't start with a yellow color like usual, and it was reddish right from the beginning but had some yellow inside it. Then in the murk I was focusing on the whole visual field, and then I was seeing these mulberry trees projected into murk vaguely and for a moment or a few moments there was a feeling that I am both there wanting to pick mulberries and also here meditating. Then trying to stay with the murk and after a short period, I was catching myself looking at the trees.

In the beginning of the murk, there was some spreads of tingly sensations over arms and legs and head, and some sensations at the bottom of spine, a thin white noise, similar to a radio static or a thin bamboo whistle sound, in my ears that happens often on and off the cushion, then the dullness and sleepiness came and all these effects disappeared, and I fell asleep and I didn't wake up for 4-5 hours, then I woke up 2-3 times but I couldn't get up, and slept there seated for about 7-8 hours. Later I woke up with an ache in my neck.

I woke up remembering a dream that I had with an old friend, and in the dream we both had strong feelings of intimacy and affection towards each other and we were expressing it to each other. I had these feelings after I woke up too. A few weeks ago I had a similar dream about my brother, although I don't remember any images of that dream, but we had similar strong feelings towards each other at that dream too, and I was feeling it that day for a few hours after I woke up from that dream. I don't remember to have this kind of strong feelings in my dreams before, although I have lots of dreams always. It seems that it's a new experience.

The blue that I had intened to show up in the murk, is showing up more frequently with eyes open today, and also yesterday, and today it has a shiny jewel tone to it, that varies between bright purple/violet and blue, sometimes appears as a bright dot and sometimes as a shiny blob or swath. But still with eyes open it's mostly green when I stare at something, and blue comes and goes in the center of that green.

When there is sleep deprivation, like now, if I am not gazing sharply, these bright colors appear with eyes open, white/pale green/ pale purple and violet, that sometimes makes it hard to read a text on monitor. I have to lower the brightness of the monitor.

Last night there was a feeling of joy for a few hours, that inspired me to listen to some music and play the musical instrument that I have for half an hour.

Oh I forgot to mention :-D, in the beginning of those hypnagogic images, first I had images of the neighbourhood that I am living in, and I saw Daniel arrived in the alley with a motorcycle, and I had a thought that "interesting, I didn't know Daniel uses a motorcycle" :-) . I don't know why this showed up, probably because I was reading these posts about him and Culadasa. Got sad by reading that. Anyway.

Trying to stay awake and do some quality practice, while there is stiffness in muscles and some aches and pains!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
5/30/19 11:22 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
A Question?

I was reading the "Diagnosing the A&P" post by Daniel now, and specially the case that is mentioned about someone crossing/having A&P while in a dream touching bright jewels in a cabinet..., reminded me of a dream that I had last year, which I had a post about it on Shinheads.

So this question came to my mind that what I had in that dream is related to A&P maybe?

I copy/paste the post that I had on Shinheads here without any edit, it's a little long, and although I don't expect to have an answer or diagnosis based on descriptions like these online without knowing someone closely, but I would appreciate if anyone reads it, and maybe would like to give an opinion.

I appreciate your time for reading these logs.

Shinheads post, October 24, 2018
Last night inspired by Michael and Daniel Ingram’s conversation on the latest episode of Deconstructing Yourself, I did an hour of candle flame Fire Kasina practice, then I went to sleep, and while waiting to fall asleep, I focused on See In Rest, on flow of darkness/brightness in mental screen.

Then I was in this dream, that I was practicing focusing on sensations in my hands in the dream, and I noticed that when I focus on these sensations, my body goes up like a weightless balloon, and I was feeling weightlessness, I tried to focus on my hands again, and my head and torso got up into space while my feet was on the ground and I was staying with a 40-50 degree angle, so I got worried and tried to resist and stay on the floor, but then I had a thought, that this is a purification that is happening, and I should not resist it, so I focused on my hands again, and my whole body got up into space near the ceiling, then I tried to be more single pointed with these sensations in my hands, that caused me to hear a very loud scream in my head, exactly like an animal is fighting for its life and screaming very loudly, like a baboon. This hearing caused other sensations to flow over whole my body, sensations like electricity currency, or coolness and feeling pins and needles in the body, like when there is a sudden intense fear or excitement. For several times, I tried to be more single pointed with sensations in my hands, and each time it caused me to hear the same loud scream, and that caused these sensations flow over whole my body.
I was up there for a little while, then I was on the floor, and there was another guy which I didn’t know him, but I knew that he is part of me, kind of I was divided up into two parts, him and myself, and I was feeling sensations in my hands and arms, and trying to move my arm, but I couldn’t move it, and I was looking at him and asking him to move his arm, so that movement of his arm cause my arm to move.
Then I woke up, and first moment I wasn’t clear that I am awake or asleep, then I noticed that image space has changed, because I had opened my eyes, and I realized that I am awake, and I noticed that I am focused on sensations in my hands, the same sensations that I had in the dream.
For several times, I brought up those images that I saw first, of being in the space like a balloon, and again it caused me to hear the same scream, and to have the same sensations in the body.

Any thoughts !?

P.S. Since childhood I have a flying dream that I see regularly once or twice a year, and in those dreams, I just intend to go up, and I go up, and if I am outside, I usually go up something like 40-50 meters, but I don’t remember feeling weightlessness clearly in those dreams, but this one was very clear, and I was feeling clearly no weight.
Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/1/19 3:45 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Tonight I intended to have a real looking star field, got nothing like that.

No yellow dot, just a brief red dot.

After that, it was pretty dark, most of the field was dark, black and some dark purple in it, and some little blobs and lines of color around the center, moving around, changing shape and color. In recent weeks it was never dark like this.

2-3 times molten gold started to appear, but concentration was not good enough to sustain it.

Towards the end, dullness arose, so I started to focus on both body and visual field, and also use labeling with See Feel labels, and used mantra too.

When concentration was better, there was sensations at the bottom of spine, sometimes moving or changing, and itches around it and around the hips, also itches in the nose that is probably because of concentration, some spreads of tingly sensations in arms, legs and head, which one of them was interesting, it spread only in left side of the body, left side of the face and head, left arm and left leg!

Before sit, I was reading Fire Kasina book, during the sit specially towards the end, I was hearing conversations between Shannon and Daniel, mostly Shannon was talking, I tried to use mantra and labeling to stop these mental talks, but when I was getting dull, these conversations were playing in my head again.

Last night I had intended to have a real looking star field too, but after the black dot, I fell asleep and woke up three hours later!

It seems that I need to get more rest and have better quality sits.
Let’s see what comes next.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/1/19 3:44 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
My sleeping hours has become quite unpredictable these days. Today I couldn't get up to go to work, although I woke up a few times, but I couldn't disconnect myself from the dream world, and I was feeling that there is something important there that I need to go back to sleep and discover it, well I wasn't fully awake. It happens from time to time like this, and when I can't get up to go to work, the rest of the day is filled with sadness/grief and frustration. There is such a sadness that you would like to just sit and cry, but you are so cold that it's impossible to have a cry.

There was some strange dreams today. It was 7 in the morning that I went to sleep, and I was focused on the visual field in bed, and I was thinking that I am awake, but I was dreaming. Nature was calling and I needed to get up and I was conscious about that, then in the dream I got up to go to bathroom, but I went somewhere else and things happened there, then I came back to my room, which was different from my actual room, before I lie down, I noticed that there are a few dots with different colors with eyes open, that are rotating very fast around the center of the field, so I started to watch it, they became faster and faster, then they formed circles, each circle was made of several dots with the same color, so each cicrle had a different color, but they all were aligned on each other, and they all were spinning together like a tube around its axis. Then they came apart and stood with a fixed distance from each other, and each one with a different diameter, but their center was ailgned on a line, each of them looked like a pearl necklace, and they were spinning around their shared axis, it was so interesting to watch it, then I decided to check if it is 'real' and can be touched or not, so I put my hand up in their spinning orbit to see if they touch my hand or not, and to my surprise they touched my hand and I felt it clearly on my fingers, but after that they fell down on the floor. I took one of them and rolled it on the ground, and it rolled and moved like a wheel, then it went up into space and was moving and rolling in the space. There was something at a corner on a table, that if this necklace of dots would hit it, it should fall apart in case that this necklace was 'real' because I had felt it on my hand, so it went towards that thing and crossed through it like a light beam and that thing didn't fall apart. Then the necklace was on the ground and it seemed that it fell apart, and I noticed tens or hundreds of tiny little bright dots that seemed that came out of that necklace.

Then I woke up, and got surprised because I was thinking that I am awake, again started dreaming and when I woke up, again there was surprise because I was thinking I am awake, that happened for several times, and I was noticing the process of waking up, not in great details though, but I couldn't notice when I was falling asleep. It seems that there was some consciousness during the dreams.

And some positives:
Last year, or maybe 7-8 months ago, for a period of several weeks, in formal practice when I was getting concentrated, I was feeling/remembering pleasant smells and tastes, mostly smells, that most of them was related to my childhood. They were pleasant smells that mostly I had experienced them 10-25 years ago, and I was remembering them and feeling them in practice, probably a manifestation of piti?, and interestingly enough, I was forgetting them completely after the practice. Sometimes the smells would bring mental images related to the events or locations that I had experienced them, and sometimes there was a pleasant feeling related to an experience in the past, without detailed sensations like taste and smell. After seveal weeks, it stopped happening, and for a period of another several weeks I was feeling unpleasant smells, mostly smell of something burning, and that passed away too.

Now it's a few days that again when concentration is better in formal practice, I am feeling/remembering pleasant smells and tastes related to the old days, mostly related to the experiences in elementary school, and also there is an overall feeling of a location, for instance last night I had the feelings that I had when it was a new school year, with new books and new bag and smells of new books and new notebooks and new things to learn and clean papers of the notebooks to write on and the excitement related to that, I had a vague feelings of that with some mental images. Another day I had feelings of being at my elementary school and its classroom which I haven't been there for more that 26-27 years.

Anyway, needed to write, to weaken this feeling of sadness because of oversleeping and not going to work.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/1/19 6:44 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
Tonight's practice was much better than recent few days.
Today after a few weeks that I was looking for some good quality candles, I found a shop that had many different kinds of candles, and got excited and bought many candles, different sizes and shapes ;-) . Tested the one that is probably 2 inch diameter, was very good and beautiful.

Almost no dullness, kept a mantra during the sit, towards the end I included the body in awareness too to not let dullness to slip in.

There wasn't any new or special experiences, but what is important is that after the practice, sadness is almost gone :-)

I am thinking to do a self retreat for 2-3 days, or for a few days turn my day into retreat and maintain mindfulness in all activities (Monastize the day in Shinzen's language), but haven't decided yet, because I don't want to decide to do it but not do it very well.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/2/19 6:59 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Day:
Feelings of deep sadness. Later on at office, both sadness and frustration. I can’t focus on my work. Low energy, and I can’t decide where to start the work and what to do. No solutions comes to mind. Feelings of tiresome with some aches and pains in the body, like when you have flu.

Closed my eyes for a few minutes to focus on the body/breath, there wasn’t much distractions, but after a few minutes sleepiness arose, having slept 7 hours today, I wouldn’t expect sleepiness. Could be related to Dissolution? I should read Insight chapters of MCTB again, although I don’t know that I’ve been in A&P or not.

Night:
Sadness is mostly gone. There was a brief period of subtle joy early at night, that wanted to release and express itself, but then it passed away too. Now it’s more neutral.

Formal practice:
I love this new thick candle, it’s so beautiful. Its flame is stable, but a little smaller than the other one and a little thiner.
Did 20 minutes of body/breath practice before the Fire Kasina, which caused some sensations at the bottom of spine, some spreads of tingly sensations, a few times a subtle feeling of coolness and breeze mostly in face.

Red dot which started red was very stable, brighter, and stayed longer, with some appearing and disappearing, and its center was yellow at first, with dark particles inside it which seemed are moving, but were too small to detect. At the end, green showed up at the bottom of the dot, and then briefly the dot became green and then became black and disappeared into black hole and other colors.

After the black dot and different colors and bright dots dancing around it which all were gone after a few minutes, the murk was quite dark, with not much colors or activities in it, just black and dark purple and little swaths of color here and there.

In the murk I had hypnagogic images of the mulberry tree which is near the house (not 2D, not 3D, lets say 2.x D), so this time each time that I had its image, I tried to actually see the tree in the murk and stay with it, and for a few times it felt that the little color blobs in the murk, are mulberries on the tree.

Kept a mantra going, with included awareness of the body/breath at the end.

Today in overall I was more mindful than previous days. Now those negative feelings are almost gone. This week we have a few holidays, thinking about how to make use of it, and do more practice.

May everyone be happy.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/8/19 2:54 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

I did a mini self retreat in the last 3 days, mostly on Fire Kasina. I couldn't dedicate the entire day to practice, due to some health conditions and other things that I needed to do, but I did 6 hours formal practice in average each day, and I tried to maintain mindfulness between the sits. There wasn't any new experiences since this is not an enough dose at all, but the experiences that happen usually, happened with higher intensity and more frequently, like having molten gold in all sits of yesterday and figuring out what to do to have molten gold.

The most important thing that I did was that I put my laptop aside for the whole 3 days and diconnected the internet. It was an achievement since this is the first time in probably 10-12 years that I intentionally don't use computer and internet for more than a few hours. And I noticed many times the craving for listening to a talk or reading a text, exactly like an addiction that you would need a fix. It's an addiction. I hope to repeat the same pattern with the other bad habbits that I have.

I kept a mantra going during the sits and also in other activities, because without a mantra, there was lots of mental talk going on. My mind was relatively quiet for quite a while, but recently there are always mental talks, so using a mantra seems reasonable. Towards the end of the second day, I noticed that mantra is playing itself, and it felt that "I" am not saying it, and it's parallel to my intention and is saying itself.

There was a deep feeling of sadness and despair for most of these days, and I had thoughts about why I am practicing, what's the point when I don't have progress and things like that. They mostly passed away last night, I don't know why (They'll be back again.., oh yes, they came back now that I edit this), but I tried to remind myself that, the that fact I am practicing and trying to do it right, is the progress. Also I noticed that I could feel breath sensations clearly on my feet and toes and head and neck while I wasn't on the cushion, and that brought some hope too, since I couldn't detect breath in those locations with the same clarity a few months ago.

Another effect was that yesterday I was noticing much more details in the red dot, it was mostly a combination of red, yellow and green, with dark particles inside it that were moving and rotating.

And with the murk, since it was quite dark in the previous days with not much activity in it, in the last two days it started to be much more alive. It's still dark, but there are more colors in it, moving and changing. Last night I decided that instead of having a wider attention and focusing on the whole visual space, I should focus on the changing details and on the flickerings that were happening very quickly in the murk, that a big area of the field was flickering very rapidly and there was tiny little lines inside it that had very fast and harsh movements. I focused on these changes, and that brought more colors and activities to the murk.

Another effect was that it took more that 2 hours to fall asleep last night, I was focused on the murk and also on the body, and I was absorbed with colors and no dullness was coming. Also it was interesting that except for 1 sit, there wasn't any subtle dullness in any of the sits.

I don't have the same motivation as when I started this log to write practice logs. One reason is that probably it causes some distractions for me, although I am not sure. And the other things is that, one "me" says that it's good and useful to have practice logs of different people and we can learn things from it, but another me says that it's just an act of selfishness, and even if someone reads it, it just wastes their time. Let's see how things manifest.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/10/19 7:44 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update: (Let's continue!)

Excitement and stage diagnosis:

First a report on last night's sit, then some thoughts about stages of insight.

What I forgot to mention in previous post was that, it's two three days I guess, that I started to pay attention to the suffering aspect of experiences too, specially in formal practice. Everytime I noticed a craving for something, for example for an experience to arise, I noted it as craving and suffering and tried to release that craving. I've only done this a few times before several months ago, but I noticed I should do it more.

Yesterday similar to the previous days, there was lots of negative feelings. Sadness, despair, discouragement and etc. But towards the end of the night, they mostly went away. Then I sat to practice, red dot started like normal, with lots of fine details, then while red dot still was present, I noticed that those bright dots that I was getting before and were absent for around two weeks, showed up again. I got excited and changed the scope of attention to the whole visual field, and for the first time, the visual field looked very similar to a star field. It had more depth, and looked bigger than normal, and background was quite dark, with these little bright dots in it, each one with a pale yellow halo around it, it was like a painting of sky with distant stars on it. It was a pleasant experience and I didn't try to push the mind to fill the bandwidth of attention by focusing on the body or mantra, and just stayed open and relaxed with a diffused and wide attention.

While in bed, since I practice in bed every night, I noticed that if I focus just a minute on anything, I get lots of vibratory sensations, tingly sensations, sensations at the bottom of spine, spread of coolness and breeze, also I was getting nice perfume smells. Also there was very strong sexual feelings and crazy and unusual thoughts about it, all of these similar to experiences that I had around a month ago during the first weeks of this Fire Kasina practice. All of these, with the fact that the other negative emotions were gone, led me to this conclusion that probably some stage transition is happeing, which I explain more.

Today I still get all of these effects, vibratory and energetic sensations. Also there is a feeling of spaciouness (actually it started last night in bed with closed eyes that I noticed my body image is inside a bigger and more 3D space), it's not always there, but I notice it regularly, it feels that the space around me is more 3D than it was before. Also with mental visual space, I see the image of myself in a larger space compared to before, and the ambient image space is larger. And when looking at external things, it feels like there is a subtle spaciousness and 3D-ness around them. In the evening I was watching mountains and clouds, and space around clouds and mountains felt very 3D, I don't remember having this clear sense of 3D space before, or at least in recent months or .. . It was so beautifull and I was absorbed and amazed by the beauty of the depth of space, that looked unusual to me.

Stages diagnosis:
So I decided to take my speculations about navigating insight territory more seriously, and put this skeptical doubt aside, at least for now, to see how it will affect my practice, and later if I was wrong, I can switch back to this skeptical doubt again. But I see some patterns that are repeating, that looks like cycling. But also I know that all I want to say, can be totally wrong.

In this near two years that I am practicing, I don't remember how my experiences were exactly in all this time, but there are periods that I remember, because they were different from my ordinary experience.

1.
After several months of starting the practice, mostly with Shinzen's techniques and mostly practicing on mind, See In Hear In, there was a period that I was very calm, tranquil, enjoying walking, enjoying sitting, my posture was very stable and pleasant, and I was enjoying to just sit, and without making effort, enjoy the present moment, and enjoy the stability of the posture. My mind was quiet, I was noticing periods of silence between thoughts, and the silence itself was quite pleasant. So if what I think is true, this could be the Mind and Body.

2.
That changed later and I began to have negative emotions, muscle tensions, interference of attentoin with breathing, jerkiness in muscles and body and etc, but I don't remember exact details.

3.
Then around 5 months ago, there was a period that lasted around 1.5-2 months, and was very unpleasant. There was all kinds of negative emotions, sadness, despair, anger, fear, worries about almost anything, bodily pain specially in chest and back, very intense muscle tensions and muscle clenchings that were causing aches in my bones, difficulty with breathing, jerkiness in body that with a sudden sound my whole body would jump and etc, and my working hours got reduced to half in that two months. I was sleeping longer, concentration wasn't good, and I wasn't doing much practice. Also I had many dreams that included fear or deep sadness, that would usually cause me to wake up, sometimes I would wake up screaming because of the fear in the dream, and they were mostly dreams that there was a fear of unknow in them, an unknown that could lead to death, like falling down from a very high building, or suddenly there was several stragers in my house wanting to do harm to me. I would always wake up before happening any real damage in the dream, but usually effects of it continued after waking up too, like having sadness for some hours or a day, after I had a very sad dream. First I was blaming my boss that had changed the office that I was working in and since I wasn't comfortable there at all, I was thinking that it causes anxiety and negative emotions, but then we decided to go back to the old office, and for one or two days I felt kind of normal, but then all the negatives came back again, so I realized that it has nothing to do with work, also I had evidences that it's not related to health too.
I think this period could be The Three Characteristics, if was not dukkha nanas, but based on descriptions that I read, it's more likely that it was the Three Characteristics.

It passed away too, but in an interesting way. One night I was walking back home from the office, and I had lots of aches nad pains in my chest around the heart and in ribcage, and I had difficulty breathing. I had to take deep in-breaths, and I was feeling that it can happen any moment now that I will stop breathing. So there was anxiety, and I think it was mostly because of the pains and the breathing problem. Different thoughts were arising about what can happen. What would happen to my family if I die, or if I get a serious problem and not be able to work, or should I go to hospital, or should I stop smoking cigarette. A mixture of fear, sadness, despair, confusion and frustration. At some point while walking, fear and frustration became more prominent, to a point where Shinzen calls it freak out technically, that I was having thoughts in many different directions without having clarity, and mind status was just chaos, that I felt that I can't bear it anymore. for a few seconds or a minute, this thought was spinning in my mind that, I just can't do it anymore, so I decided to let go. I relaxed my muscles and tried to walk in a relaxed and loose way, and I said to myself, let whatever happens happen, I don't care anymore, I don't care if I die, be sick, unable to work or whatever, I don't care what will happen and what will be it's consequences, so I won't do anything, and I'll just watch it to go in any direction that it wants, and it's not my business anymore. Just a few moments after these thoughts and this letting go, I noticed that I am breathing much more easily, and for a few minutes/seconds, a subtle joy arose, but then again the fears came back, so for some minutes, I tried to repeat the same pattern and let go and relax. That night I was much better, and I got less muscle clenching in abdomen while having my daily phone call with my mother, and I started to notice that negative emotions don't arise as intense as before. It took a few days after that, maybe 3-4 days, that all of negative emotions stopped, and all aches and pains disappeared, and I got back to normal.

After that there was a period that looked more or less normal, although for two weeks in this period, I couldn't do much practice because I was traveling.

4.
And after that, around 50 days ago, I guess when I started the Fire Kasina practice, another period started, that in this period I had relatively more energy so my working hours increased, Almost always I was getting energetic sensations, vibrations on my head, sensations at the bottom of spine, spreads of coolness and tingly sensations, vibratory sensations that felt like something is moving under my skin like a stream of blood. And most days I was doing two sits instead of one, and sleeping 2-3 hours less than normal. And there was very strong sexual feelings with crazy thoughts and tendencies. I was more mindful in most of daily activities, and I would only need a minute or two, to concentrate on something and get all these mentioned effects of piti and vibrations.
So, these description could match the A&P, right? If so, then after that I should continue to Dissolution and later stages, or maybe go back to Three Characteristics?

5.
A few weeks ago almost all of these effects passed away, I again started sleeping more as it's reflected in this log, some days 12 hours, and had dullness most days in my sits, and I was falling asleep often at the end of sits. And I got stuck at a phase of the murk, that kept repeating every day without any change in it. Negative emotions came back again, with the main theme being sadness and despair, there was anger too but not much. Some days I had bodily pain without any obvious reason, and concentration wasn't good, and I wasn't getting piti even after a few hours of practice. In contrast to the previous period that it would only need a few minutes. So there wasn't much energetic and vibratory sensations. And no sexual feelings at all. Again in this few weeks my working hours decreased, and I had problem at work with concentrating, and some days it was really hard to collect my mind around a problem to solve it, and it happened a couple of times that because I couldn't concentrate on the problem, I stopped working and came back home.
So I think that this period could be dukkha nanas stages, but it could be Three Characteristics too I guess, correct? My guess is dukkha nanas stages.

6.
And last night again my experience changed, negatives stopped, and the effects that I mentioned above about A&P started to show up. I guess this should be a cycling down to A&P or a cycling up to A&P? My guess is first one, but I am not sure.

If anyone cares to read and comment, I would highly appreciate.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/10/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Body temperature is very high these two days. Intense intense sweating, specially in head, it's like I put my head under water and take it out. I thought weather is too hot, but it's just 27 C now.

And lots of buzzy vibratory sensations, Specially in head, arms and legs. Sometimes I feel that body likes to explode or jump out of skin, and when I turn the attention towards it for just a few seconds, I get these buzzy vibrations in head. Today at office, I noticed that the sensations at the bottom of spine are getting more intense and are moving, so I focused on the body, and many buzzy vibrations occured on my head, it feels like energy is releasing. Focusing on anything for some seconds causes these vibrations and tingly sensations mostly in arms and legs, and also moving sensations at the bottom of spine.

Also sometimes I have these sensation at the sole of my right foot, that feels like it's cool and wet, like if that area is touching cool water. I had it the last time (30-50 days ago) that I was in similar state/stage, which is A&P I guess, at that time I thought that really it's water under my foot because I noticed it a few times in bathroom, but later I realized that there is no water, and it is just another strange sensation.

Still there is this impression of spaciousness, around physical objects, and mental images. It feels like space has more depth than before, and there is a much more clarity to the mental images. Mental images are more clear, and when noticing physical sensations (sounds, sights, feelings), the mental impression of them that appears as mental images is more clear and spacious, so the whole experience feels more spacious and 3D. I guess it was around a year ago that for a period of time, I had the same impressions, but it was so subtle and so brief, now it's more obvious and clear.

It happens sometimes that when I am looking at something, for just a moment it feels like the space itself moves an inch or more up or down, then returns to its default location. It happens when I stare at the candle too, that if I stare at it for more than 1-2 minutes, for just a moment I feel that the candle and space around it moves a little and then returns back to it's place.

An in the last night's sit, despite not having enought sleep at previous two nights (2-3 hours each night), there wasn't any dullness or sleepiness.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/11/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

In last night's FK sit, in the murk a few times low resolution images appeared, I don't remember all of them, but one was a bald guy whose head was twice the size of rest of his body, and he was looking at me. Another was a homeless guy who was looking at me also, and half of his face was his teeth, and he had a big creepy grin. When this second one appeared, for a moment I noticed a confusion, that should I have a feeling of compassion toward him, or a feeling of disgust. Both of them were not completely face to face with me, and they had turned their head toward me. The other images were faces too I think. And in the previous days and weeks, I had similar images sometimes, very low resolution, with samll size. I don't think that they can be called hypnagogic images, because there wasn't sleepiness.

A note about vibrations in head:
As far as I've noticed, they never occur during in-breaths, they occur in the pause between in-breath and out-breath, or in the beginning or middle of the out-breath. If with eyes open I focus on something that would cause these vibrations, just before the vibration I close my eyes automatically, but if I force myself to keep the eyes open, there will be a difference in how the vibration feels in the face and head, and the felt sensations is not strong with eyes open, but the buzzy vibratory sound/noise of it in head is loud. But with eyes closed, there are both strong feelings of vibration in the skull, and also loud buzzy vibratory sound/noice in head. It feels like my head is connected to a vibrator and it vibrates the head. With each vibration that lasts 3-5 seconds usually, it feels like a burst of energy is releasing, then there's a pause for one second or more and then another vibration occur. 

And with the cold water touch feeling/sensation that I mentioned I get in the sole of right foot, today I noticed it in the sole of left foot too for the first time.

Another strange sensation that I have in these few days, is a very sharp feeling of burning/stabbing, it feels like I get stabbed with a hot and very sharp knife, but it feels just on the skin and not inside the muscles. It appears sometime in a random location and is there for about 20-30 seconds then fades away. I don't know that it's part of the package of the other strange/vibratory/energetic sensations, or has some other cause.

It's a few days that in the practices in daily activities and spare times, I am trying to decouple the physical sensations from their mental images, but I haven't had much success with it. I try to see the mental image of the sensation clearly, which has led to this conclusion so far that most sensations have a set of images and not just one image. Sometimes I try to change the location of the observer to a location other than it's current location (which often is inside or around the head), but it doesn't work well. It needs much more practice to change the location of the observer or to collapse the distance between the observer and the observed.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/12/19 4:51 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

In last night’s FK sit, low res images appeared again for probably 6-10 times. All of them were creepy faces except one, the first one which was image of a young guy, that seemed like is seated on a chair and is talking with someone, and wasn’t looking at me.

Also this beautiful mulberry tree appeared a few times in the murk, semi 3D, kind of like I am both here and there with the tree, or, something like that.., and I tried to make its images more clear, so it stayed a little longer and appeared a little clearer, and some of the washed out pale color blobs in the murk appeared as mulberries on the tree. All of it was very low resolution.

There was tiny little dark particles inside the red dot that were rotating when the red dot appeared, but then they disappeared and it was a clear bright red dot after that, which turned into a red-green dot, and then a green-black dot, and finally turned into the black dot that is bigger usually. Should I call it black coin!?

And I had lots of spontaneous movements during the sit. Also intense sweating which becomes a distraction really. When a drop of sweat is moving on the skin, specially if the concentration is good, it feels like something like a dull card is cutting the flesh and bone at the some time while the drop is moving, with a hard deep pain. Feels quite painful.

Also last night I set an intention, to see the red dot as a bright star and have stars in the murk, but I didn’t get any starts. However there was lots of bright dots, and sometimes the field was looking like a star field! Read about intention-setting in Fire Kasina book last night, so I thought it’s fun to try. But I had some visuals related to the intentions that I had weeks ago, and wasn’t thinking about them anymore, like seeing blue color, or turning the colors in the center to a S like shape, which both appeared last night with low quality.

Today again there was lots of vibratory/tingly/energetic sensations without practicing during the day, because I was very busy, but these sensations were occurring.

I should remind myself to write about how the sequence is these days in the next posts.

An interesting observation:
Sometimes I notice patterns in numbers are repeating during a day. By that I mean the numbers that I see in a day which includes watching time on  clock or other numbers in computer and etc, some days a reasonable subset of those numbers follow a pattern.
For instance, some months ago for a period of time, I was seeing number 7 regualrly, and if would watch the time 30 times a day, 5-10 of them would include numbers like 7, 17, 27, 7:17 and alike. Then it stopped, but again in recent weeks/months, for some days I noticed another pattern that was repeating, specially with time, that I would watch the time when hour and minute were the same, like from 30 times of watching the clock, near 5-10 of them were like 02:02, 11:11, 21:21, 03:33, or the opposite numbers like 21:12 or another pattern which includes multiplication of its components, like 11:22, 11:33. I didn't have it recently but it's two days I guess that again I notice it. Specially today it happened at least 10 times and with not just the clock, but also other numbers that were in messages of other places. I don't know what is behind it, or I am just making up a pattern or not, but it's very interesting!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/12/19 7:26 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Now that I just published the previous post, a few seconds after that I watched the clock, and it showed 2:22 emoticon)))) .

And now, a few hours later, I noticed another one! Even stranger!
Everyday I write down some statistics about the day on a notebook. Now I was just checking it, and noticed that for one of the items, the number for yesterday was 2.67, and the number for today was 2.76, and after that, that I checked the clock while I had forgotten the patterns on clock, it was 4:44 !!! I wish to find out someday what's going on!

And it's interesting that if I intentionally look for these patterns, I won't get it, but when I am not thinking about it, and it is totally absent from the mind, they appear.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/13/19 10:43 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
The sequence these days

1.
Stare at the candle flame for 2-3 minutes. After about a minute I start to see a green dot inside the flame in the brightest spot of the flame. Then I see a pale magenta oblong shaped dot a little above the green dot, and it looks like the after image of the candle is projected into flame. Then I close my eyes. Sometimes there is a halo around the flame, that is made of thin purple, green and deep pink lines. Sometimes that the concentration is better and there are more energetic sensations like last days (which I think should be A&P), when focusing with full attention on the flame, then suddenly a burst of energy release happens with vibrations in my head that causes the eyes to close.

2.
After closing the eyes, for a few seconds there is a green area in the center in a dark background, and there are different shades of green in it. Then a red dot shows up in the center or upper part of the green area. Last few weeks that I was using a thick candle, I was seeing a beautiful after image of the candle after the green colors, it was a 2D shape of the candle in dark purple color with a green halo around it as a border of the candle shape, then the red dot was appearing in the location of the flame in the after image of the candle. The color of the afterimage was brighter purple the last several days that I used that candle. But last few days that I’ve switched to a thin candle, I don’t have much after image, and the red dot appears after the green colors. After the red dot appears, there is still the same green colors around it, sometimes it’s more purple and not green, sometimes there are both colors, and sometimes there are other bright colors that look more like an alcohol flame, but after a few minutes these colors mostly vanish.

The red dot used to be yellow previously, when it first shows up, but in recent few weeks, it starts with a red color, its shape is always the shape of the candle flame for most of its lifetime. And it blinks in and out for some seconds/minutes. After a little while, a yellow color appears inside the red dot, as if its inside is yellow, and the yellow area has a red border. And recently there is a small green spot inside the yellow area, that fades away after about one minute. The remaining red is not so thin. But the yellow vanishes after a little while and again it becomes completely red. When it first appears, there are dark little particles inside it that are moving, and sometimes it’s noticeable that they are rotating, they vanish too towards the end of its lifetime. And if I try to focus clearly on these particles, the red dot disappears and reappears after one or two seconds.

3.
Then, other colors appear around the red dot and the dot becomes more stable and stays there without applying much effort. I think this phase could be the second Jhana phase. By the way, the dot is always in the center and it never wanders off to the sides. I don’t remember in this two months that I am practicing to have the dot off the center, but last year that I did some Fire Kasina practice, although I couldn’t have the dot easily, but when I had it, it was moving in all directions and it was hard to keep it in the center. In this phase, the dot is a little smaller and is more circular with bright red color, and there is a green thick border around it, and there is a deep pink thick border around the green border, and there is a green halo around the deep pink border, and around it is dark with sometimes color swaths coming and going. The deep pink area is made of very thin lines or hairs, that are moving and changing shape. Also the green border around the dot is often like this, made of thin lines and has movements in it.

4.
Towards the end of the red dot, a bright green dot appears at the bottom of the red dot, and for a little while, the green dot comes and goes, and the dot is mostly half green half red, then the red disappears, sometimes there is a green dot after that, that stays for some seconds, sometimes the dot becomes half green half black, but often when the red disappears, it gets replaced by a black coin or black disk. It happens sometimes that after the red dot, there is a black dot that has the same small size of the red dot, but often the black dot is bigger and is like a small disk or a coin. After the first appearance of the black dot, usually for some seconds/minutes, red dot appears again in the center of the black dot, which is now mostly a black hole, and is bigger and looks semi 3D, and when the red dot comes out of the black dot, it is smaller and it looks like that the black area around it, has depth, and the red dot is in the deeper side of the black area/hole, or in the farther side of it from the face, and then the red dot disappears completely, and the black dot/area becomes bigger often.

Usually towards the end of the red dot, and specially during the black dot, there are lots of bright colors around the center, that are moving and morphing into each other. Often they are green, purple, violet, sometimes blue, black, and sometimes redish, and usually there are different shades of these colors. They often form patterns like alcohol flame, or there are thin lines that form a donut like shape, which its center is black and there is another color blob inside it. Often a deep pink donut made of thin moving lines, and a green blob inside it which is always moving and changing shape and color, but no well defined shape.

Also towards the end of the red dot, other bright dots appear, usually there are few green dots around the center, and some other colored dots in other parts of the field. The ones that are around the center are a little bigger and not shimmering or flickering, but the ones that are off the center, often are shimmering/flickering and appearing and disappearing.

5.
Then the black dot and most of the colors around the center disappear, and after that there is just a dark murky field. In this phase, the field is very dark, the background is a mixture of black, dark gray and dark purple, and often there are some washed out pale purple or violet cloud like areas off the center, that are hard to detect if I don’t pay careful attention. It happens quite often that in this phase, a large area of the field in the center and around the center, or the majority of the field is flickering rapidly and sometimes this flickering is very rapid. It looks like there is a 
fluorescent light and it's broken and is flickering very rapidly. Sometimes I take this flickering pattern as the object of attention. Also sometimes off the cushion with eyes open specially if I have higher mindfulness or if there is sleepiness due to sleep deprivation, I get this flickering of light, that when I noticed it for the first times, I thought that the light in the room is flickering. Around the center usually there are some washed out purple/deep pink thin lines/hairs, that are moving. Sometimes the bright dots remain in the field, and they form something similar to a star field. Sometimes the movements of these purple/deep pink lines become faster, specially if I pay careful attention to the little color blobs/swaths in the field, more colors appear that are green/violet/purple/blue sometimes/deep pink, and there are blobs of these colors and a surface that is made of the thin moving lines, and it looks like the other colors are behind the lines and farther from me. Sometimes the movement of these lines becomes more obvious, and it’s almost exactly like the plants under a fast moving stream of water, that for instance these lines are moving from left to the right, and the other colors behind it are bent in the direction of movements, as though the stream of water moves them in that direction.

The field remains almost like this for the rest of the sit. Sometimes very low resolution images appear in it for just a moment, almost all of them are faces or image of a person that is often looking at me, most of them look creepy, and appear in the center with a small size, and aften are 2D. If I try to fill the bandwidth of attention by paying very careful attention to the details of the colors, or include body/breath awareness or awareness of body image in my focus range, then patterns like molten gold appear, that the black color in the center and around it becomes shiny, and shiny swaths of bright purple/violet/blue or sometimes pale yellow appear on it, that are expanding and contracting, and appearing and disappearing.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 2:46 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

These 2-3 days I am noticing a somewhat new phenomenon in the murk, specially when I don't use a candle flame and go directly to the murk. It seems that there are two layers in the visual field and the field has more depth. First layer that is closer to the face, has spots of color, pale purple and green colors that are like clouds with different density in the center and periphery and seems that are moving very slowly in a dark background, and the second layer is behind these color clouds, farther from the face, and there are tiny little bright dots in it, that are visible from behind these color clouds. These dots are very bright, almost like a tiny little flashlight with a white or pale yellow light/color. It looks like there are some LED lights behind color clouds in the field.

Another new experience that I have these few days is the increase of vibrations in the head. I mostly had these vibrations in formal practice, or when doing a very short practice period for some seconds or minutes, but these days, specially yesterday and today, it happens without any concentration. I notice sometimes that there is this buzzing noise/sound in my head, and then I close my eyes, and the moment that I close my eyes, my head starts vibrating and it stops after a few bursts of energy release as these vibrations.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 4:29 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Update:

Ok, let's write it down instead of listening to it repeat over and over again in the head!
( This is a side effect of engaging in any new activity or community and etc, and needs some practice and time to normalize it )

Last two nights I didn't have quality practice, because I had very busy work periods and sleep deprivation due to a severe tooth pain that caused me to not have enough sleep, I only had 2-3 hours of sleep for each of two nights before last night, and it's interesting that this tooth pain intensifies in formal practice, I don't know why. I had another episode of this tooth pain several weeks ago that lasted for several days, and it was the same at that time too, that the pain was getting more intense while trying to focus on something. Anyway, there was lots of pain and sweating that were causing distractions in practice.

Last night in the beginning of the sit, a minute after I closed my eyes, my whole body jumped, and that happens usually when there is sleep deprivation, that my whole body or arms or legs jump suddenly a few times during the sit.

And after that I had lots of hypnagogic images. Everyday I walk back home from the office, and there are many mulberry trees along the path I am walking, and sometimes I stop and pick some mulberries. I was getting hypnagogic images of these trees.

The red dot appeared very shortly, and it didn't start with a yellow color like usual, and it was reddish right from the beginning but had some yellow inside it. Then in the murk I was focusing on the whole visual field, and then I was seeing these mulberry trees projected into murk vaguely and for a moment or a few moments there was a feeling that I am both there wanting to pick mulberries and also here meditating. Then trying to stay with the murk and after a short period, I was catching myself looking at the trees.

In the beginning of the murk, there was some spreads of tingly sensations over arms and legs and head, and some sensations at the bottom of spine, a thin white noise, similar to a radio static or a thin bamboo whistle sound, in my ears that happens often on and off the cushion, then the dullness and sleepiness came and all these effects disappeared, and I fell asleep and I didn't wake up for 4-5 hours, then I woke up 2-3 times but I couldn't get up, and slept there seated for about 7-8 hours. Later I woke up with an ache in my neck.

I woke up remembering a dream that I had with an old friend, and in the dream we both had strong feelings of intimacy and affection towards each other and we were expressing it to each other. I had these feelings after I woke up too. A few weeks ago I had a similar dream about my brother, although I don't remember any images of that dream, but we had similar strong feelings towards each other at that dream too, and I was feeling it that day for a few hours after I woke up from that dream. I don't remember to have this kind of strong feelings in my dreams before, although I have lots of dreams always. It seems that it's a new experience.

The blue that I had intened to show up in the murk, is showing up more frequently with eyes open today, and also yesterday, and today it has a shiny jewel tone to it, that varies between bright purple/violet and blue, sometimes appears as a bright dot and sometimes as a shiny blob or swath. But still with eyes open it's mostly green when I stare at something, and blue comes and goes in the center of that green.

When there is sleep deprivation, like now, if I am not gazing sharply, these bright colors appear with eyes open, white/pale green/ pale purple and violet, that sometimes makes it hard to read a text on monitor. I have to lower the brightness of the monitor.

Last night there was a feeling of joy for a few hours, that inspired me to listen to some music and play the musical instrument that I have for half an hour.

Oh I forgot to mention :-D, in the beginning of those hypnagogic images, first I had images of the neighbourhood that I am living in, and I saw Daniel arrived in the alley with a motorcycle, and I had a thought that "interesting, I didn't know Daniel uses a motorcycle" :-) . I don't know why this showed up, probably because I was reading these posts about him and Culadasa. Got sad by reading that. Anyway.

Trying to stay awake and do some quality practice, while there is stiffness in muscles and some aches and pains!


I relate so much to the repeating of formulations in one’s head due to engaging in a new community, and with this community it has been very persistent, haha.

I have these sudden jumps of my body right now too, and I too get overheated. I think it has to do with purification.

Wow, this practice seems to have a strong effect on you. This is so cool!

It didn’t feel like the right time for me to do Kasina practice. I know that I will take up fire kasina practice some day as I have tried it and respond well to it. I don’t know why I don’t want to do it right now. Maybe it is because I’m more interested in letting go of conceptualizations than manifesting them and have a hunch that I’m not skilled enough to do both at once. Ideally I would love to do both.

Sorry about the tooth ache.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 4:34 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
A Question?

I was reading the "Diagnosing the A&P" post by Daniel now, and specially the case that is mentioned about someone crossing/having A&P while in a dream touching bright jewels in a cabinet..., reminded me of a dream that I had last year, which I had a post about it on Shinheads.

So this question came to my mind that what I had in that dream is related to A&P maybe?

I copy/paste the post that I had on Shinheads here without any edit, it's a little long, and although I don't expect to have an answer or diagnosis based on descriptions like these online without knowing someone closely, but I would appreciate if anyone reads it, and maybe would like to give an opinion.

I appreciate your time for reading these logs.

Shinheads post, October 24, 2018
Last night inspired by Michael and Daniel Ingram’s conversation on the latest episode of Deconstructing Yourself, I did an hour of candle flame Fire Kasina practice, then I went to sleep, and while waiting to fall asleep, I focused on See In Rest, on flow of darkness/brightness in mental screen.

Then I was in this dream, that I was practicing focusing on sensations in my hands in the dream, and I noticed that when I focus on these sensations, my body goes up like a weightless balloon, and I was feeling weightlessness, I tried to focus on my hands again, and my head and torso got up into space while my feet was on the ground and I was staying with a 40-50 degree angle, so I got worried and tried to resist and stay on the floor, but then I had a thought, that this is a purification that is happening, and I should not resist it, so I focused on my hands again, and my whole body got up into space near the ceiling, then I tried to be more single pointed with these sensations in my hands, that caused me to hear a very loud scream in my head, exactly like an animal is fighting for its life and screaming very loudly, like a baboon. This hearing caused other sensations to flow over whole my body, sensations like electricity currency, or coolness and feeling pins and needles in the body, like when there is a sudden intense fear or excitement. For several times, I tried to be more single pointed with sensations in my hands, and each time it caused me to hear the same loud scream, and that caused these sensations flow over whole my body.
I was up there for a little while, then I was on the floor, and there was another guy which I didn’t know him, but I knew that he is part of me, kind of I was divided up into two parts, him and myself, and I was feeling sensations in my hands and arms, and trying to move my arm, but I couldn’t move it, and I was looking at him and asking him to move his arm, so that movement of his arm cause my arm to move.
Then I woke up, and first moment I wasn’t clear that I am awake or asleep, then I noticed that image space has changed, because I had opened my eyes, and I realized that I am awake, and I noticed that I am focused on sensations in my hands, the same sensations that I had in the dream.
For several times, I brought up those images that I saw first, of being in the space like a balloon, and again it caused me to hear the same scream, and to have the same sensations in the body.

Any thoughts !?

P.S. Since childhood I have a flying dream that I see regularly once or twice a year, and in those dreams, I just intend to go up, and I go up, and if I am outside, I usually go up something like 40-50 meters, but I don’t remember feeling weightlessness clearly in those dreams, but this one was very clear, and I was feeling clearly no weight.
Thanks.


Interesting dream! The electricity thing and the sensations flowing over your body sound very A&P to me.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 4:36 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Update:

Tonight I intended to have a real looking star field, got nothing like that.

No yellow dot, just a brief red dot.

After that, it was pretty dark, most of the field was dark, black and some dark purple in it, and some little blobs and lines of color around the center, moving around, changing shape and color. In recent weeks it was never dark like this.

2-3 times molten gold started to appear, but concentration was not good enough to sustain it.

Towards the end, dullness arose, so I started to focus on both body and visual field, and also use labeling with See Feel labels, and used mantra too.

When concentration was better, there was sensations at the bottom of spine, sometimes moving or changing, and itches around it and around the hips, also itches in the nose that is probably because of concentration, some spreads of tingly sensations in arms, legs and head, which one of them was interesting, it spread only in left side of the body, left side of the face and head, left arm and left leg!

Before sit, I was reading Fire Kasina book, during the sit specially towards the end, I was hearing conversations between Shannon and Daniel, mostly Shannon was talking, I tried to use mantra and labeling to stop these mental talks, but when I was getting dull, these conversations were playing in my head again.

Last night I had intended to have a real looking star field too, but after the black dot, I fell asleep and woke up three hours later!

It seems that I need to get more rest and have better quality sits.
Let’s see what comes next.


And this reminds me very much of what dissolution is like for me.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 4:45 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
I relate so much to the repeating of formulations in one’s head due to engaging in a new community, and with this community it has been very persistent, haha.

I noticed it in your logs, I wanted to make a comment about it that probably the reason for your mental talks is engaging in this community, at least partially, but then I thought you'll find the causes yourself ;-)
I have these sudden jumps of my body right now too...
These were very intense for me, specially during the period that I marked it as The Three Characteristics in one of the posts above, but now it's almost gone, and I don't have it usually, but that day I again had lots of it.

If my speculation was right, based on that I should be around the A&P now (because of this crazy amount of energetic/vibratory sensations and not having dullness and etc), and the heat can be one of its effects, but I am not sure.

You'll do Fire Kasina when you 'feel' it's right to do. I guess!

And thanks :-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 4:46 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Update:

Day:
Feelings of deep sadness. Later on at office, both sadness and frustration. I can’t focus on my work. Low energy, and I can’t decide where to start the work and what to do. No solutions comes to mind. Feelings of tiresome with some aches and pains in the body, like when you have flu.

Closed my eyes for a few minutes to focus on the body/breath, there wasn’t much distractions, but after a few minutes sleepiness arose, having slept 7 hours today, I wouldn’t expect sleepiness. Could be related to Dissolution? I should read Insight chapters of MCTB again, although I don’t know that I’ve been in A&P or not.


May have been Misery too. Great to see that you take care of yourself in such phases and stay constructive.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 4:58 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Update: (Let's continue!)

Excitement and stage diagnosis:

First a report on last night's sit, then some thoughts about stages of insight.

What I forgot to mention in previous post was that, it's two three days I guess, that I started to pay attention to the suffering aspect of experiences too, specially in formal practice. Everytime I noticed a craving for something, for example for an experience to arise, I noted it as craving and suffering and tried to release that craving. I've only done this a few times before several months ago, but I noticed I should do it more.

Yesterday similar to the previous days, there was lots of negative feelings. Sadness, despair, discouragement and etc. But towards the end of the night, they mostly went away. Then I sat to practice, red dot started like normal, with lots of fine details, then while red dot still was present, I noticed that those bright dots that I was getting before and were absent for around two weeks, showed up again. I got excited and changed the scope of attention to the whole visual field, and for the first time, the visual field looked very similar to a star field. It had more depth, and looked bigger than normal, and background was quite dark, with these little bright dots in it, each one with a pale yellow halo around it, it was like a painting of sky with distant stars on it. It was a pleasant experience and I didn't try to push the mind to fill the bandwidth of attention by focusing on the body or mantra, and just stayed open and relaxed with a diffused and wide attention.

While in bed, since I practice in bed every night, I noticed that if I focus just a minute on anything, I get lots of vibratory sensations, tingly sensations, sensations at the bottom of spine, spread of coolness and breeze, also I was getting nice perfume smells. Also there was very strong sexual feelings and crazy and unusual thoughts about it, all of these similar to experiences that I had around a month ago during the first weeks of this Fire Kasina practice. All of these, with the fact that the other negative emotions were gone, led me to this conclusion that probably some stage transition is happeing, which I explain more.

Today I still get all of these effects, vibratory and energetic sensations. Also there is a feeling of spaciouness (actually it started last night in bed with closed eyes that I noticed my body image is inside a bigger and more 3D space), it's not always there, but I notice it regularly, it feels that the space around me is more 3D than it was before. Also with mental visual space, I see the image of myself in a larger space compared to before, and the ambient image space is larger. And when looking at external things, it feels like there is a subtle spaciousness and 3D-ness around them. In the evening I was watching mountains and clouds, and space around clouds and mountains felt very 3D, I don't remember having this clear sense of 3D space before, or at least in recent months or .. . It was so beautifull and I was absorbed and amazed by the beauty of the depth of space, that looked unusual to me.

Stages diagnosis:
So I decided to take my speculations about navigating insight territory more seriously, and put this skeptical doubt aside, at least for now, to see how it will affect my practice, and later if I was wrong, I can switch back to this skeptical doubt again. But I see some patterns that are repeating, that looks like cycling. But also I know that all I want to say, can be totally wrong.

In this near two years that I am practicing, I don't remember how my experiences were exactly in all this time, but there are periods that I remember, because they were different from my ordinary experience.

1.
After several months of starting the practice, mostly with Shinzen's techniques and mostly practicing on mind, See In Hear In, there was a period that I was very calm, tranquil, enjoying walking, enjoying sitting, my posture was very stable and pleasant, and I was enjoying to just sit, and without making effort, enjoy the present moment, and enjoy the stability of the posture. My mind was quiet, I was noticing periods of silence between thoughts, and the silence itself was quite pleasant. So if what I think is true, this could be the Mind and Body.

2.
That changed later and I began to have negative emotions, muscle tensions, interference of attentoin with breathing, jerkiness in muscles and body and etc, but I don't remember exact details.

3.
Then around 5 months ago, there was a period that lasted around 1.5-2 months, and was very unpleasant. There was all kinds of negative emotions, sadness, despair, anger, fear, worries about almost anything, bodily pain specially in chest and back, very intense muscle tensions and muscle clenchings that were causing aches in my bones, difficulty with breathing, jerkiness in body that with a sudden sound my whole body would jump and etc, and my working hours got reduced to half in that two months. I was sleeping longer, concentration wasn't good, and I wasn't doing much practice. Also I had many dreams that included fear or deep sadness, that would usually cause me to wake up, sometimes I would wake up screaming because of the fear in the dream, and they were mostly dreams that there was a fear of unknow in them, an unknown that could lead to death, like falling down from a very high building, or suddenly there was several stragers in my house wanting to do harm to me. I would always wake up before happening any real damage in the dream, but usually effects of it continued after waking up too, like having sadness for some hours or a day, after I had a very sad dream. First I was blaming my boss that had changed the office that I was working in and since I wasn't comfortable there at all, I was thinking that it causes anxiety and negative emotions, but then we decided to go back to the old office, and for one or two days I felt kind of normal, but then all the negatives came back again, so I realized that it has nothing to do with work, also I had evidences that it's not related to health too.
I think this period could be The Three Characteristics, if was not dukkha nanas, but based on descriptions that I read, it's more likely that it was the Three Characteristics.

It passed away too, but in an interesting way. One night I was walking back home from the office, and I had lots of aches nad pains in my chest around the heart and in ribcage, and I had difficulty breathing. I had to take deep in-breaths, and I was feeling that it can happen any moment now that I will stop breathing. So there was anxiety, and I think it was mostly because of the pains and the breathing problem. Different thoughts were arising about what can happen. What would happen to my family if I die, or if I get a serious problem and not be able to work, or should I go to hospital, or should I stop smoking cigarette. A mixture of fear, sadness, despair, confusion and frustration. At some point while walking, fear and frustration became more prominent, to a point where Shinzen calls it freak out technically, that I was having thoughts in many different directions without having clarity, and mind status was just chaos, that I felt that I can't bear it anymore. for a few seconds or a minute, this thought was spinning in my mind that, I just can't do it anymore, so I decided to let go. I relaxed my muscles and tried to walk in a relaxed and loose way, and I said to myself, let whatever happens happen, I don't care anymore, I don't care if I die, be sick, unable to work or whatever, I don't care what will happen and what will be it's consequences, so I won't do anything, and I'll just watch it to go in any direction that it wants, and it's not my business anymore. Just a few moments after these thoughts and this letting go, I noticed that I am breathing much more easily, and for a few minutes/seconds, a subtle joy arose, but then again the fears came back, so for some minutes, I tried to repeat the same pattern and let go and relax. That night I was much better, and I got less muscle clenching in abdomen while having my daily phone call with my mother, and I started to notice that negative emotions don't arise as intense as before. It took a few days after that, maybe 3-4 days, that all of negative emotions stopped, and all aches and pains disappeared, and I got back to normal.

After that there was a period that looked more or less normal, although for two weeks in this period, I couldn't do much practice because I was traveling.

4.
And after that, around 50 days ago, I guess when I started the Fire Kasina practice, another period started, that in this period I had relatively more energy so my working hours increased, Almost always I was getting energetic sensations, vibrations on my head, sensations at the bottom of spine, spreads of coolness and tingly sensations, vibratory sensations that felt like something is moving under my skin like a stream of blood. And most days I was doing two sits instead of one, and sleeping 2-3 hours less than normal. And there was very strong sexual feelings with crazy thoughts and tendencies. I was more mindful in most of daily activities, and I would only need a minute or two, to concentrate on something and get all these mentioned effects of piti and vibrations.
So, these description could match the A&P, right? If so, then after that I should continue to Dissolution and later stages, or maybe go back to Three Characteristics?

5.
A few weeks ago almost all of these effects passed away, I again started sleeping more as it's reflected in this log, some days 12 hours, and had dullness most days in my sits, and I was falling asleep often at the end of sits. And I got stuck at a phase of the murk, that kept repeating every day without any change in it. Negative emotions came back again, with the main theme being sadness and despair, there was anger too but not much. Some days I had bodily pain without any obvious reason, and concentration wasn't good, and I wasn't getting piti even after a few hours of practice. In contrast to the previous period that it would only need a few minutes. So there wasn't much energetic and vibratory sensations. And no sexual feelings at all. Again in this few weeks my working hours decreased, and I had problem at work with concentrating, and some days it was really hard to collect my mind around a problem to solve it, and it happened a couple of times that because I couldn't concentrate on the problem, I stopped working and came back home.
So I think that this period could be dukkha nanas stages, but it could be Three Characteristics too I guess, correct? My guess is dukkha nanas stages.

6.
And last night again my experience changed, negatives stopped, and the effects that I mentioned above about A&P started to show up. I guess this should be a cycling down to A&P or a cycling up to A&P? My guess is first one, but I am not sure.

If anyone cares to read and comment, I would highly appreciate.


Diagnosing others’ practice is always risky, but I would be very surprised if you haven’t passed A&P a few times, from your descriptions both here and in Shinheads, and are now cycling between A&P and dukkha nanas. So I think you are right.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 5:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thank you Linda for reading these all and commenting.

That's what I think too, but there are always these negative thoughts that are saying: Na, it's not that!
I need some practice for handling these negative thoughts better.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 5:19 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
I relate so much to the repeating of formulations in one’s head due to engaging in a new community, and with this community it has been very persistent, haha.

I noticed it in your logs, I wanted to make a comment about it that probably the reason for your mental talks is engaging in this community, at least partially, but then I thought you'll find the causes yourself ;-)
I have these sudden jumps of my body right now too...
These were very intense for me, specially during the period that I marked it as The Three Characteristics in one of the posts above, but now it's almost gone, and I don't have it usually, but that day I again had lots of it.

If my speculation was right, based on that I should be around the A&P now (because of this crazy amount of energetic/vibratory sensations and not having dullness and etc), and the heat can be one of its effects, but I am not sure.

You'll do Fire Kasina when you 'feel' it's right to do. I guess!

And thanks :-)


Haha! Yeah, that’s definitely part of the reason.

You seem to cycle through the nanas rather rapidly. Energetic sensations are commonly A&P territory, but strong vibrations can happen in some dukkha nanas as well. Heating sensations can be part of energetic phenomena in A&P but can also, as I understand it, be associated with purification. High energy is often A&P territory, but not all dukkha nanas are associated with dullness. I get more energy in Fear, for instance, and also in Re-observation, which is agitated rather than dull and involves harsh vibrations. How are you feeling, emotionally I mean?

Yes, I will. It will happen when the timing is right. I trust the process to show me what needs to be done. Still, it felt reassuring to read your reply. Thankyou!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 5:28 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö

You seem to cycle through the nanas rather rapidly. Energetic sensations are commonly A&P territory, but strong vibrations can happen in some dukkha nanas as well. Heating sensations can be part of energetic phenomena in A&P but can also, as I understand it, be associated with purification. High energy is often A&P territory, but not all dukkha nanas are associated with dullness. I get more energy in Fear, for instance, and also in Re-observation, which is agitated rather than dull and involves harsh vibrations. How are you feeling, emotionally I mean?


Yes, it could be the case that the vibrations are not related to the A&P, although there are spreads of tingly sensations too. But emotionally it's more or less normal/neutral in these almost 10 days, two nights ago, suddenly my energy level dropped dramatically, and a feeling of deep sadness arose. I didn't have enough energy to even move my body for a few hours, but then it went away the same way it had came. Other than it, it feels ok these days.



RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 5:46 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I usually feel great in A&P, almost as if I’m madly in love with the whole world, but maybe I’m just more crazy than you are. emoticon I have also spent more than a few hours without energy to move, and I have despaired greatly and felt as if I were being torn apart. It makes diagnosing fairly easy but it isn’t exactly equanimous. Luckily I bounce back very reliably, so I’m learning to be more and more equanimous about being an emotional rollercoaster. emoticon I’m impressed by your harmonious approach.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 6:18 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I was reading back through this thread (I've been AWOL from the forums for a while) and came across this quote by Linda:

"It didn’t feel like the right time for me to do Kasina practice. I know that I will take up fire kasina practice some day as I have tried it and respond well to it. I don’t know why I don’t want to do it right now. Maybe it is because I’m more interested in letting go of conceptualizations than manifesting them and have a hunch that I’m not skilled enough to do both at once. Ideally I would love to do both."

That's a really interesting point - there is definitely an element of creative / constructive manifestation that comes with this practice. Sometimes I am in the mood for this, and at other times I gravitate towards practices that are more deconstructive. I look forward to the day you start to get into this practice as I have a feeling you will be a natural at it and report some very interesting experiences!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/16/19 11:13 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I usually feel great in A&P, almost as if I’m madly in love with the whole world, but maybe I’m just more crazy than you are. emoticon I have also spent more than a few hours without energy to move, and I have despaired greatly and felt as if I were being torn apart. It makes diagnosing fairly easy but it isn’t exactly equanimous. Luckily I bounce back very reliably, so I’m learning to be more and more equanimous about being an emotional rollercoaster. emoticon I’m impressed by your harmonious approach.


Well, that's the general description of A&P to feel great, but I seldom feel that way. I'am normally a calm person, and when things are ok/great, then I feel neutral/normal/equanimous/ok, and if there isn't some negative thing going on in the background, then probably everything is great :-D . Although there are times that there are that kind of feelings, exlposive joy etc ..., that is usually more related to the music, when the mind is filled with a great music, and the music expresses itself that way.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/17/19 12:40 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
I was reading back through this thread (I've been AWOL from the forums for a while) and came across this quote by Linda:

"It didn’t feel like the right time for me to do Kasina practice. I know that I will take up fire kasina practice some day as I have tried it and respond well to it. I don’t know why I don’t want to do it right now. Maybe it is because I’m more interested in letting go of conceptualizations than manifesting them and have a hunch that I’m not skilled enough to do both at once. Ideally I would love to do both."

That's a really interesting point - there is definitely an element of creative / constructive manifestation that comes with this practice. Sometimes I am in the mood for this, and at other times I gravitate towards practices that are more deconstructive. I look forward to the day you start to get into this practice as I have a feeling you will be a natural at it and report some very interesting experiences!


Hey Anna. I appreciate what you said about  "creative / constructive manifestation". I sometimes forget this aspect, and forget the playfulness of this practice, and also the curiosity element. I usually have the other two of the Neko' triad, faith and patience, but not always I have the curiosity. Thanks for reminding.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/17/19 1:48 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Thanks Anna, that’s sweet. It could be that I need to land second path first, and thus it may need to wait for a while, but I don’t know.

Curiosity, yes, that’s what I lack with regard to fire kasina right now. I also lack the phantasy for creation. I’m more submissive to the process than driven by wishes of manifestation, but with regard to where the process is taking me I do feel curiosity.

Siavash, about the calmness: cool!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/17/19 10:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I have also spent more than a few hours without energy to move, and I have despaired greatly and felt as if I were being torn apart.

Linda, you mean that you had these low energy and despair periods during A&P? Or in other stages?

You seem to cycle through the nanas rather rapidly...

You drew this conclusion based on on what I wrote that probably I had two A&P occurances and dukkha nanas between them in these several weeks? Or ?
Thank you.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/17/19 1:17 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
No no, not A&P. Dukkha nanas. I was talking about the whole range.

I thought there were more than two, but maybe I was confused there, I don’t know.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/17/19 2:07 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
No no, not A&P. Dukkha nanas. I was talking about the whole range.

I thought there were more than two, but maybe I was confused there, I don’t know.


Ok, thanks :-)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/17/19 9:28 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thanks Anna, that’s sweet. It could be that I need to land second path first, and thus it may need to wait for a while, but I don’t know.

Curiosity, yes, that’s what I lack with regard to fire kasina right now. I also lack the phantasy for creation. I’m more submissive to the process than driven by wishes of manifestation, but with regard to where the process is taking me I do feel curiosity.

Siavash, about the calmness: cool!

Yes, manifestation versus surrender is an interesting dichotmony! I experience a flow between these states too. 

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/22/19 10:21 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Yes, sometimes we are not in the mood for construction and other practices are better suited to where we are currently at (that day, that moment, that season). 

I was just reminded of Kenneth Folk's three speed transmission model: http://kennethfolkdharma.com/2017/07/the-three-speed-transmission/

If I am ever lacking playfulness or light heartedness in my practice I find referring to this model to be quite helpful. Sometimes all is needed is a change in practice style/shift in gear. 

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/18/19 5:44 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Yes, sometimes we are not in the mood for construction and other practices are better suited to where we are currently at (that day, that moment, that season). 

I was just reminded of Kenneth Folk's three speed transmission model: http://kennethfolkdharma.com/2017/07/the-three-speed-transmission/

If I am ever lacking playfulness or light heartedness in my practice I find referring to this model to be quite helpful. Sometimes all is needed is a shift in gear. 
Thanks Anna for the link. I'll check it later.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/20/19 5:16 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

It seems that the visual field is getting more spacious these days. Although I didn't have good quality practice last 3-4 nights. I just fell asleep after 10-20 minutes, there was sleep deprivation for the last 5 days, also I was quite tired because of a challenging problem at work.

When I close my eyes without looking at the candle, for a few moments it looks like that there is nothing there, and I am not looking (Yeah, I know, black and gray are colors ;-) ), then I notice some washed out pale green and purple colors that are spread in all three directions , like a cloud or fog, and there is an airy quality to them, and are mixed with the dark gray that fills the space, and some bright flashlights appear that are behind these color clouds. Sometimes there are bright particles, very small like tip of a needle, that are spread behind these color clouds, and those particles have mostly colors with higher red proportion.

When using candle, there is some firy colors after closing the eyes, bright purple/violet and other colors (hard to find name for colors), then they disappear and during the black dot, most of the field is filled with a bright purple/deep pink color, and after a few minutes they fade away, and the field becomes like what I described above.

The space seems to be extended along the depth axis. In the beginnings it was mostly like a 2D screen that is located is a distance from the face and there was some colors on it. However it is not full 3D. I guess this means that the space is getting more Thrid Jhana quality to it?

And in the last few days, the vibratory/energetic/tingly sensations have mostly decreased or don't happen at all, also I don't have the cold water touch sensation at the sole of the feet. Although sometimes there are vibrations in head, or a somewhat new manifestation that is a combination of tingly sensations spreading over the head and neck, and at the same time feeling chill in the head. I guess this one is new, but I'am not sure.

Emotionally it feels ok these days. There was some agitation last days (not today, so far), but I think it was related to the work circumstances mostly.

And I am still enjoying the depth in space when looking at the clouds and mountains and the blue sky. Thanks "God/Void" that there isn't any sanction yet! to limit people from looking at the blue sky.

I guess in contrast to this week that I couldn't practice more, there is an urge since yesterday to do more formal practice and also more practice in life.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/23/19 5:03 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

I don't know where I might be on the map these days. My guess is that probably it's a mild version of dukkha nanas.

It was a little more than two weeks ago, that suddenly all the nagative emotions stopped, and intense vibratory/energetic/tingly sensations started to arise, while having a higher energy level, and it was like that for several days, that I think it should be A&P. But after that in recent week or so, those sensations started to decrease, and now in these two days they are almost gone. In these 10 days, there wasn't any obvious positive or negative emotion, and mostly the emotional tone was neutral, however sometimes there was a mild anxiety or worry.

Last two nights in Fire Kasina practice, just a few minutes after starting the practice, an intense toothache arose, similar to when I had negative emotions for a few weeks before this A&P phase, and it's inetersting that I have it only when practicing. It seems that concentration, specially if it's on a narrow object, causes this toothache.

For two nights before last night, I had dreams with sadness and worry/fear theme, onr included stories about death of family members and relatives, and I had an urge those days to listen to sad musics, and last night I played a few minutes the instrument that I have, and I noticed that I play sad tunes too. Two days ago, after I woke up, I had this strong urge to listen to some of the old musics that I used to listen in the past, and they have a sadness tone, and just after starting to listen, I had a good cry for 10-20 minutes.

For a few days, I noticed that I clench my jaw and teeth in sleep, and after waking up, noticing pain in the jaw because of strong clenching there.

Yesterday for a few hours, I had difficulty breathing, exactly similar to those periods that I had negative emotions, which probably were Three Characteristics or dukkha nanas, and also yesterday I had higher reactivity, and while having my daily phone call with my family, although the entire call was 5 minutes, but I was counting seconds to finish the call, and it was bothering me.

In terms of visuals in Fire Kasina practice, the dark particles that were inside the red dot, were absent for a few days, but last two days, they appeared very briefly. Also those bright dots that appear on and off the cushion, don't appear much these days. And the murk is quite dark, with not much colors in it except for dark gray and some washed out purple and green, but there is a more 3D sense to it.

Last night I noticed that the visuals in the murk (and probably it's background? Not sure.), are flickering very rapidly, and the washed out pale green or purple lines that were in the center, seemed that are spinning very rapidly around the center. The frequency was faster than I could count.

Last few days, there was a feeling mostly in face, that seemed like something wants to release, and at some points it was strong.

The tingly sensations that were spreading over the body in previous weeks, were mostly absent, but these days when focusing on the body, there is a fealing of chills spreading mostly in head and arms, sometimes accompanied with tingly sensations.

And it these two days, there are palsing in some muscles in chest or face.

Although there are some feelings of sadness or worry or agitation these days, but the overall emotional tone is kind of relaxed and calm and neutral.

And except for one day, there was dullness in all sits in recent week or so. It's interesting that several months ago, when doing TMI practices, I was thinking that I have cured dullness, but it seems that there is much more work to do. But I should say that there is much less dullness when doing body/breath practice, compared to focusing on the murk!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/24/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

In last night's sit, focusing on the candle flame and also the dot, was causing a relatively strong feeling of pressure in the head, specially left temple, and I feel the same pressure now as I write, it's subtler now.

It seems that there was a shift in experiences that I noticed it since last night. Last night before the sit, there was a few bursts of release in the head, in the form of vibrations and a release like feeling in the face and nose, that happened without focusing on any particular thing. Today that happened several times too, also without trying to concentrate, last one happened just a few minutes ago. And there was a higher level of mindfulness during daily activities since last night. In the last week or 10 days, I didn't have much mindfulness off the cushion, and I had lots of mental talk going on, but today I noticed that I am remembering more often to be mindful.

Also I notice that the center of attention has become clearer since last night. During the sit, I noticed that when attention lands on the body, it causes some vibratory sensations there, which wasn't like that in the previous days. Also during the sit, for a few minutes, visual field became more alive with more bright colors, and some sparkles of bright yellow, but then dullness arose and it became dark again. I didn't have toothache in last night's sit!

And there is no noticeable negative emotion.

I don't know what is the direction of experiences, but I can be sure that a shift has started.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/25/19 5:53 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Previously there were lots of colors around the black dot, but these days it is mostly dark, or there is just bright purple to deep pink. Last night for just a little while, some other colors appeared around the black dot, green, blue, but they vanished quickly and it was just bright purple/ deep pink, and then mostly the darkness. And there were vibrations mostly in the head.

Today again I had lots of vibrations in my head without trying to concentrate. For a few hours there was a feeling of pressure in the face and head, and at some points it was quite strong and somewhat painful. Emotionally it was calm and neutral, but in the evening, some negative emotions arose, sadness and low energy, and these emotions intensified and were there for a few hours. But then they went away and again it was neutral. I also had a dream last night that included strong fear and shame in it.

A few hours ago, I noticed that there are some vibratory sensations in the body arising at different locations, so I focused on the body, and very intense vibrations started to happen on my head, with tingly sensations spreading over the body, and sensations at the botton of spine that were intensifying, and a sting like feeling at the tale bone, which looked like an itch also, that was getting more intense that I never had it this intense before, which at some point it felt like that feeling causes the body to move. It also was 'causing' a feeling of sexual pleasure and pleasant tingly sensations spreading over the legs mostly. Sparkles of bright white/yellow also appeared, with a sense of spaciousness in the visual field when eyes were open. Also there was a continuous white noise that looked like it's from the outside, but it's just in the mind, like a very thin bamboo whistle, which these days usually I hear it a lot, and sometimes it stays for 10-30 minutes.

After about 20 minutes like this, the intensity decreased and after 10 minutes or so, it became relatively normal. In these few hours after that, focusing just a few seconds on any thing, causes intense vibrations in the head, and other vibratory sensations in the body, and bright light/colors in the visual field.

Looks similar to descriptions of A&P, but I would be surprised about the speed of cycles if it's A&P.

 

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/26/19 2:30 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:

Today again I had lots of vibrations in my head without trying to concentrate. For a few hours there was a feeling of pressure in the face and head, and at some points it was quite strong and somewhat painful. Emotionally it was calm and neutral, but in the evening, some negative emotions arose, sadness and low energy, and these emotions intensified and were there for a few hours. But then they went away and again it was neutral. I also had a dream last night that included strong fear and shame in it.

A few hours ago, I noticed that there are some vibratory sensations in the body arising at different locations, so I focused on the body, and very intense vibrations started to happen on my head, with tingly sensations spreading over the body, and sensations at the botton of spine that were intensifying, and a sting like feeling at the tale bone, which looked like an itch also, that was getting more intense that I never had it this intense before, which at some point it felt like that feeling causes the body to move. It also was 'causing' a feeling of sexual pleasure and pleasant tingly sensations spreading over the legs mostly. Sparkles of bright white/yellow also appeared, with a sense of spaciousness in the visual field when eyes were open. Also there was a continuous white noise that looked like it's from the outside, but it's just in the mind, like a very thin bamboo whistle, which these days usually I hear it a lot, and sometimes it stays for 10-30 minutes.

After about 20 minutes like this, the intensity decreased and after 10 minutes or so, it became relatively normal. In these few hours after that, focusing just a few seconds on any thing, causes intense vibrations in the head, and other vibratory sensations in the body, and bright light/colors in the visual field.

Looks similar to descriptions of A&P, but I would be surprised about the speed of cycles if it's A&P.

 

The fact that there was strong dullness in last night's sit, and that I fell asleep in the Fire Kasina sit, after about 30-40 minutes of practicing, doesn't look much like A&P. I am reading the description of stages from MCTB2 again, and now that I was reading the section for Re-observation, it seems that Re-observation can have similar manifestations like the above too.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
6/29/19 7:55 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

In tonight's Fire Kasina sit, towards the end of the sit, I decided to focus on the space between the head and the visuals. There wasn't much visuals, there was only some washed out purple/deep pink lines that were moving, and some mist/cloud like purples, and some bright dots that were appearing and disappearing. Focusing on this space didn't cause any new experience, but I liked the idea of filling the space between the head and visuals with attention, and trying to see all the details in this space to merge the image of the head and the visuals and the space between them. I'll do it more. Visual field with eyes closed looks almost 3D these days, and there is a sense of spaciousness sometimes with the experiences with eyes open.

I can't match my experience in these days with description of any of the stages below Equanimity. A remote guess would be that I am in early Equanimity, but I would give it a less that 5% probability. Last two three days, center of attention was very clear, and for the first time, I had rapid vibrations in my fingers, that was probably more than 5 pulses per second. I had not noticed such vibrations in my fingers before. Today center of attention is not that clear, and it seems that there is a balanced clearity in both center and periphery of attention. No obvious positive or negative emotions. There are some vibratory/energetic sensations when focusing on something, but in general there are less vibrations compared to previous days and weeks.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/1/19 4:01 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

In last night's Fire Kasina sit, despite being tired and sleep deprived, there wasn't sleepiness, and there wasn't much subtle dullness also, and I had higher mindfulness.
A few times sparkles of bright light appeared similar to molten gold, but It wasn't molten gold I think.

Red dot, for almost half of its lifetime, was in the deeper side of a cloud of green/ purple/ deep pink lines and flakes. These lines had a somewhat new appearance. At some points, it looked like there was a green color blob, and around it there were hundreds of little thin lines, like hairs that were connected to the circular color blob.

A few times low resolution images appeared. Very low res, hard to detect, it was mostly like a perception than an image.

Bright dots were appearing and disappearing, and sometimes some of them were so bright, like a LED flashlight, sometimes closer to the face and looked lke they are on a 2D surface, and sometimes farther and looked like immersed in the depth of the visual field.

For most of the sit, I tried to focus on the space, and hold a larger area in awareness. Focusing on the space between the head and the visuals, focusing on the image of the body and the head, holding the entire visual space in awareness, including ambient images, body images and the visuals in front of the eyes at the same time, that regualrly was causing to have a bigger and more spacious visual field in front of the eyes, kind of like the field has an obvious depth to it, and there are no walls in the room and it's just spacious darkness.

There were more vibrations in the head, more chills and spreads of tingly sensations. Also this white noise/sound, similar to a thin whistle, that arises when there is higher mindfulness and stays for some minutes.

At some point, for just a moment or a few moments, it looked like the whole content in the visual field is moving, or the visual field itself and it's space is moving. Also last night before the sit it happened a few times with eyes open that it looked like there is a subtle shift or wiggle or movement in the space itself, for just a moment. I had similar experience in the previous days for several times.

Generally there is a higher sense of spaciousness these days, with eyes open or closed. There is a balanced clarity in the center and periphery of attention, and center of attention is not as clear as it was around a week ago.

While practicing in bed and waiting to fall asleep, there was a higher mindfulness also, and there wasn't much sleepiness, it took around two hours to fall asleep.

Edit:
Yesterday since the afternoon, a feeling of difficulty with breathing arose. I had exactly the same feeling in all of the previous periods with negative emotions, that were probably Three Characteristics or dukkha nanas. It seems that "physically" there isn't any problem, but "emotionally" if feels that I am not able to inhale. It is mixed with a spasm in the muscles of abdomen, specially when I am talking with someone, muscle clenching happens in the abdomen that interrups my voice and I have to take extra in-breaths while talking, to be able to talk continuously, also I tend to take deep in-breaths when these feelings are present. Last night towards the end, its intensity decreased, but today it has started to intensify again.

2-3 days ago, I listened to a few songs, and since then, two of them are playing in my mind, almost always, unbroken. even when I am half awake half asleep before falling asleep. Sometimes it becomes annoying.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/4/19 5:07 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Finally that song has almost stopped to repeat in my head. It was repeating almost unbroken for 5-6 days. However, remembering it causes it to repeat again, also listening to any other music has a similar effect. I was in a crazy love with music for about two decades, but in recent years I try to not do it, life requires to be more normal, and music doesn't like that.

In last night's sit, after the black dot I fell asleep. For a few weeks, red dot had a yellow color in the beginning, but after that for another few weeks, it had a red color in the beginning, then a yellow color would show up in its center, with a thick red border around the yellow. These days it starts red and remains red, but often there is a green border around it. Both red and green are clear and bright. That dark particles in the center of the red dot don't appear these days, but sometimes there is a dark area in the center of the dot, that it has happened a few times that this darkness broke the dot into two parts, like a broken heart!

Today in the morning I had one of those wierd dreams that I have from time to time. In recent 3-4 years, it happens sometimes that I have dreams with political leaders, and we are discussing things about national security and etc! Today I had a very strange one, at first I was the suspect and they took me, but after that the problem resolved, we were talking and having fun!

Every night for formal practice, I turn off the lights and put aside my laptop and do a closed eyes sit with a corss legged posture, but these days I don't like to do that. It feels like going to a black hole, going to a state of forgetfulness and not being present, that I prefer not to go there, and I prefer to sit in a more relaxed posture, half seated half reclined, with eyes open, with lights being on, and practice in that way. It happens a few times a day maybe, in these days, that for just a moment I notice that the space is shifting or moving (or I am not in the center of it? Maybe, but I don't know). It's more obvious with eyes open, but it's so subtle that I don't know much about its details.

There are still vibrations in the head, also I hear that white noise/sound sometimes in my head, and sometimes there are spreads of tingly sensations that feel more like chills, but with less intensity and less occurrences.

Emotionally there is an okay-ness, and I am relatively calm and relaxed, and although I like to do more practice, but often I don't do, and I don't have a high mindfulness in a big posrtion of the day (as far as I can see).

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/4/19 3:20 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Looks good. I would guess that you cycle up to equanimity and then drop down again and that the cycles are pretty fast, but that’s just guessing. I can tell that you have a diligent practice.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/4/19 4:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Looks good. I would guess that you cycle up to equanimity and then drop down again and that the cycles are pretty fast, but that’s just guessing. I can tell that you have a diligent practice.


Thanks Linda for the reply. That's my guess too, but everytime that guess comes to mind, I try immediately to convince myself that the only thing that I know for sure, is that I don't know or I don't know much, to not fall into traps of craving for anything.

I guess currently practice has the highest priority in my life. However, practically work has a higher priority I guess, to be able to fulfill the basic needs, other than that, the main thing in life is 'the practice' currently, but strangely enough, I don't do any intensive practices, which I know that if I do, I can easily progress to higher levels. Probably related to procrastination, or some deeper issues, anyway.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/10/19 7:32 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

It's about a week that I haven't practiced with candle flame. In first few days of this week, I used murk and body/breath sensations as the object of practice, but last 3-4 days, I practiced mostly on the body/breath, and also pleasant sensations in the body, or relaxation in the body, what Shinzen calls Feel Out Rest. There are some experiences that occur when using relaxation or pleasant sensations in the body, that I had before, and they have happened in recent days too. Often when focusing on these sensations, for instance pleasant sensations in my hands, more energetic/vibratory/tingly sensations arise, and there is more moving/changing sensations at the bottom of spine, also breath becomes subtle, and there is a mild pleasantness to the whole experience, but I don't think it qualifies as a not very light/lite Jhana. Another interesting and somewhat pleasant experience that I have with this practice, is that the mental visual space becomes more spacious and bigger, often its boundaries which is the ambient images, become blurry, it also happens for the body image. Body image becomes blurry, and it feels like it is much bigger than the normal image, sometimes it's deformed, for instance I see my hands in a different posture, or they are backwards, and the most interesting part is that, generally it feels like there is a depth to the visual field, and specially if I am focusing on my hands, it feels like the distance between the observer or my head/eyes to my hands, is much longer and also this space between head and hands feels 'deeper', I don't have a better description for it.

Last several days, generally there were more vibratory/energetic sensations, although I had less practice in daily activities because I had a guest and had some other activities that kept me busy, but whenever I focus on anything, intense vibrations in my head and other vibratory sensations happen. A few times in last 2-3 days, I had some intense negative feelings for just a few minutes, 5-10 minutes, mostly fear and worry and anxiety, that first accompanied with spread of numbness in my arms and legs, and an increase of heartbeat, and then a set on sensations on my face and chest (probably) that felt like I can't breath, and then followed by a release of energy in my head as vibrations, but other than that it mostly feels ok emotionally these days.

Also still there is a sense of spaciousness to the experiences, and mental visual space looks like is bigger and more spacious and 3D, and sometimes it feels like the visual space itself moves for a moment or a few moments.

For about 1-2 weeks, there was repetition of songs in my mind and lots of mental talks, but last several days it has decreased and is not annoying.

For 2-3 nights in this week, while practicing in bed before falling asleep, I had low resolution images that were appearing in the murk. Although they were very low resolution, but some of them looked somewhat 3D and a few were clearer.

For a few weeks, I was feeling a burning smell sometimes throughout the day, that first I thought it's related to problems with my laptop because it's so hot here now and I thought that I need to use my laptop less, but then I realized that I feel it everywhere, and I remembered that I had a similar experience around 5-8 months ago, that I was feeling the same smells for some weeks everywhere.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/11/19 4:50 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Interesting. When you say visual space, do you mean that you actually have mental images accessible as your default mode? And you see your body? Wow, this is so hard for me to imagine. And you actually saw your hands being backwards? I usually feel that kinesthetically at a certain point in my practice.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/11/19 6:42 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Interesting. When you say visual space, do you mean that you actually have mental images accessible as your default mode? And you see your body? Wow, this is so hard for me to imagine. And you actually saw your hands being backwards? I usually feel that kinesthetically at a certain point in my practice.


Yes, I see images, but not photo realistic images, images similar to what appears in the mind when imagining something or someone. For body image, there is always a set of images, that are always changing and it's not a static thing. By changing, I mean that, when I try to see those images, in each moment there is a different set of images forming the location of sensations and frame of body. If there is a sensation in the back of my head now, by default I have an image or a set of images of my head and the location of that sensation in space, and a set of images that are forming the frame of body and its location in space, but there isn't one static image that is always there, in each moment there are different images that are forming that frame which creates this illusion that actually there is one body image.

It's the same for ambient images. There are images in the mind, similar to the images of my current location that I've seen previously with eyes open, but they are always changing too, and all of those images together, form this impression that there is a boundary to the ambient space and to the location that I am currently in. If I am in a small room, then the default ambient image space is smaller unless I intentionally expand its boundaries and imagine its surroundings, if I am in an open place like nature, the ambient image space is bigger because it takes images from current location captured by eyes. All of these images are different from the photo releastic images that people see with Fire Kasina in third and fourth screen. These images are vague, blurry and in constant change. Sometimes I try to decouple physical sensations from their mental images, and for instance there is a sensation in the sole of my foot, that I don't see its location currently with eyes open, but the mental images that I get for that sensations, include memory of the images of my feet, its sole, and often there are a few images put together that form this impression that the images that I have now, are actually images of this moment, but they are not.

Often these images are similar to the images that I see with eyes open, but sometimes they are not. For instance in first several months of practice, there was a period which I would see a much larger photo of my body, for instance I would see my lips or my head or hands to be several times bigger that the actual images, sometimes I would feel that the body image is filling the room or most of the room, later it was mostly the physical sensations, I would feel that the sensations in my hands have expanded to fill half of the room, sometimes the overall feeling of whole body would be like that. Several times I had images of my head to be a dog head or a wolf head. Sometimes there was this impression that images of my legs are in front of me, kind of disconnected from rest of the body, probably 2-5 feet in front of me.  Probably that period was Mind and Body. Later I didn't have such images often, but this other impression started to develop that I feel that there is a depth to visual space, and 'I', the observer, am watching my body from a distance above the actual location of my head. Also in that period, constantly I had images of other places mixed into or merged with images of my current location, for instance images of a street would merge into images of my room, and somehow there was a vague impression that I am in both locations, but that stopped happening too. All of these were with eyes closed and I was practicing Shinzen's See In mostly at that time. I asked Shinzen about these in a Home Practice Program Q&A, he said it's not a big deal and it's natural, just keep practicing. Recently after starting Fire Kasina, sometimes I have similar experiences, but much subtler than before.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 7:56 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Thankyou so much for this thorough description! This may be the clearest explanation of this that I have ever seen. So that’s what it’s like to have normal (I’m assuming) access to mental images - together with great mindfulness about them. My experiences are still mainly kinesthetic. When space opens up for me, I feel movement of my body in space or density decreasing.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 8:11 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thankyou so much for this thorough description! This may be the clearest explanation of this that I have ever seen. So that’s what it’s like to have normal (I’m assuming) access to mental images - together with great mindfulness about them. My experiences are still mainly kinesthetic. When space opens up for me, I feel movement of my body in space or density decreasing.


Yes, I guess this is more or less what people have normally, although I think I am more of a visual person, I often see mental images of sounds and movements. A main part of music for me is the mental impression of it as mental images, different tunes have different visual patterns, and I don't know that this is normal or not, I don't know that most people have mental images for sounds and movements and etc. By movements I mean for instance the movements of walking or the movements of breathing have mental images related to the pattern of those movements.

Again, I have the same opinion that I had in those Shinhead conversations, meaning that, when you say that "I feel movement of my body in space or density decreasing", I guess part of it should be mental images, but it's so subtle that it's not clear. Or probably because my understanding of space is based on images, I can't think of it any other way. I can't imagine space or location or density without mental images, and what I said above that I had experienced that feelings of my hand would expand to fill the room, I think this impression of filling the room comes from mental images of the room, space and expansion.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 8:33 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
It is very interesting to discuss this with you. Yeah, that is probably more visual than normal, but I don’t know what’s normal. Your clarity about it is obviously very developed, and that in itself makes it difficult to compare with what is normal, I guess.

You are right about me having some vague visual mental images about things, more than I was aware of when I started that thread in Shinheads. Still, the key to it all for me is kinesthetic. If you close your eyes in an elevator or at an air plane rising up into the air, don’t you feel in your body that there is movement? Centrifugal forces, G-forces and whatever they are called, they are very much kinesthetic. But sure, they are all based on a very fundamental mental construction that there is space, and that construction probably involves visual processing, but also kinesthetic, auditory, maybe all the senses.

I can’t imagine anything visual without kinesthetics and touch somehow being involved. Often smell too. Interestingly, I can’t process hearing without kinesthetics, touch AND visuals being involved. Often smell too.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 8:58 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
My level of clarity with kinesthetic and physical sensations doesn't come close at all to what you have. There is a big difference here. About those example of elevator and airplane, I think I don't get any noticeable feelings if I am not paying attention, but I feel it when I pay attention. To be sure, I should try it a few times today and the next days.
I can’t imagine anything visual without kinesthetics and touch somehow being involved. Often smell too. Interestingly, I can’t process hearing without kinesthetics, touch AND visuals being involved. Often smell too.

It's almost the opposite fo me. Sometimes I try to have physical sensation without getting mental images of it, but I haven't succeeded so far. In first months of practice, the Kazoo player was the leader, and I would think that I become aware of a sensations after having its mental image, but now I guess they manifest at the same time, or the time between the sensation and it's later impression is so short that it's hard to decouple them. I think intense practice can cause changes in both what I experience and what you experience, to decouple these two modalities. One way that often I try it, is that, I focus on a physical sensation, and also I try to keep another mental image in my focus range, other than the images of that sensation, to overwrite the mental image of that sensation. I guess this practice can be applied in a reverse direction too, to focus on a mental image, but at the same time, try to focus on the feeling of some other image.



RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 9:07 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
The practice definitely changes this, I agree. I’m not sure I wholeheartedly appreciate it, though, because now I sometimes feel that mental images get in the way when I try to follow directions in guided meditations. Words are more easily associated with mental images now than before, so when I try to move awareness into the belly there is an image of the belly that wasn’t there before, at least not as clearly. The image is from the perspective of the eyes, which makes the belly ”over there”. I didn’t have that issue before.

Wow, not by default feeling kinesthetically the movement in elevators and air planes? How different our experiences are!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 9:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Wow, not by default feeling kinesthetically the movement in elevators and air planes? How different our experiences are!

I guess so, but I'll test it more and give a report some days later, I am not so sure.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 9:26 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Wow, not by default feeling kinesthetically the movement in elevators and air planes? How different our experiences are!

I guess so, but I'll test it more and give a report some days later, I am not so sure.

I tried the elevator now. Extra to the sensations of standing there, I felt some sensations related to the movement in my feet, and arms, and subtle ones in shoulders I guess when it started to move, and some extra sensations in my feet when it was moving. When it stopped I felt it in my feet, but didn't notice other sensations I guess. Nothing more!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 10:07 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Nothing in your gut? Nothing about how your body’s whole content is sort of pressed in one direction while moving and then bounces back when the movement stops?

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/11/19 11:54 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Nothing in your gut? Nothing about how your body’s whole content is sort of pressed in one direction while moving and then bounces back when the movement stops?

I don't think so. I'll try it later again, but what I reported above is what I experience often physically.

Edit: Those sensations in the feet (and arms probably) give the vague impression of bouncing, but I don't remember it in any other location in the body.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/15/19 7:31 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Last night I practiced Fire Kasina, after more than a week that I had not practiced it. There wasn't much colors and visuals, except for pale purple/ deep pink and green lines/hairs that seemed that were spinning, but I fell asleep after 20-30 minutes. These days as soon as I start concentrating, strong sleepiness arises, and if I do it with eyes closed, I fall asleep easily, so in the last week or so, I often try to practice with eyes open and without turing off the lights.

In the last 3-4 days I did some practices working with space and the location of the observer in the space. One technique that I tried practicing, was that I tried to put the observer in different locations in the room, often about 5-10 feet in front of me, and I tried to see myself and the rest of the room from that point in the room. It was pretty difficult in the beginning, but got a little easier as I did more. Later I tried to add physical sensations to it too, that made it somewhat easier. By physical sensations I mean that, for instance I am seated in one corner of my room, then I try to imagine myself seated on the couch in another corner of the room, and also feel the sensations of sitting on the couch on that location, and see myself and rest of the room from that location while feeling my body seated there. It's a fun and interesting technique to try.

Another technique that I tried, was that, while walking back home from the office, I would stop several times and watch the sky and the moon and clouds, and then I would try to have that perspective while walking, as if the mental visual space is much bigger and includes images of sky and moon and etc. Later at night at home, I would try to imagine seeing the same images and perspective while seated in my room, and I would try to see myself in an open space, specially I'd try to see a vast and open space behind me, that is extended in all direction, and has depth. It often leads to having a more spacious sense of visuals and visual space.

Most of the time there are vibrations in my head and spreads of tingly/vibratory sensations. For about 2-3 days in the last days, there was a feeling of dizziness, specially while walking, that I'd need to be careful to maintain my balance and not fall. I don't know that it's an effect of practice, or has other causes. I didn't have it in the last 2-3 days.

Last night before the sit, I was listening to Michael Taft's interview with Douglas Tataryn, and Douglas was talking about his Bio-Emotive framework, and was describing that often in healing process, people remember things about their past, that include emotions that have led to feeling beliefs, and then they often cry. While listening to it, I remembered some feelings that I had when I was in high school, that included feeling guilty, although I don't think that I had done anything wrong in that time, but for whatever reason, there was this feeling of guilt, and remembering those thoughs and feelings led to a brief cry.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/16/19 5:47 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
An interesting observation:

In recent weeks and months, I was busy working on a mobile banking application, rewriting it in a new language and at the same time, refactoring it, improving its design and implementations and etc, so most of the time, my mind is busy thinking about finding creative and optimum solutions for code refactoring. It seems that this process had effects on my meditation. In the last few days in formal practice, As soon as I get concentrated somewhat, sleepiness arises, and it has happened several times that suddenly in that sleepy space, I see the process of meditating as a block of code! In coding, we have types and functions that are often reusable blocks of code and properties that represent the state of those types. Last night while practicing, I noticied a few times that I see myself, or the meditation process as a type, that had some properties and some functions. Properties were sensations, visual and somatic and etc, and functions were things like focusing attention, and I saw several times as some vague images, that I want to apply these function (attention for instance), for those properties (sensations) by invoking those functions in that block of code. This is not a full and exact description because I forgot its details just after it happened, but it was a very interesting thing to observe!

Previously I had some other types of "distortions", that has not happened recently, and they included objectifying things that we don't see them as objects in a conventional way. For instance suddenly in meditation, I had a thought that, do I have a bottle of "something" in my fridge, and that something which I don't remember now what was then, was things like joy, or attention, or concentration probably!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/18/19 1:59 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Still there is this strong sleepiness whenever I try to focus on something, which I don't know if it's related to the practice/stages or somethings else. I don't feel sleepy in other activities at all.

It has happened several times in the last few days that I suddenly remember some feelings that I had in childhood in certain times and situations. It often includes smells, and interestingly enough, I forget the feelings and smells just a few minutes or seconds after it happens.

For about ten years, me and my brother had worked on producing close silk carpets when I was between the ages of 8-9 - 18-19, and we used to listen to music while working most of the time, and among different kinds of music, we would llisten to Turkish music too. Tonight in supermarket, I heard a Turkish music there, and suddenly I remembered feelings that I had while working on carpets that included feeling the smell of silk and carpet. It was present for less than 20-30 seconds and then I forgot it.

When I was in 6th grade, because I had highest grades among all schools of the city, they had arranged some extra mathematics classes for me and two other students in new year holidays. I didn't know the teacher that taught those classes before, the topics of mathematics that were taught were new (I don't remember now what were they), and the whole situation was new to me, and there was a unique feeling to it with unique smells that I don't remember to have it in any other situation. Last few days it happened once or twice I guess that I remembered those feelings and smells, and had some mental images of the papers that the teacher had given us that had some mathematics problems on it, some images of the classroom and the colors of the teachers's cloths, it was very enjoyable to remember it, and again I forgot it a few minutes after it happened.

Last year for a period of several weeks that I was trying Jhana practices with Leigh Brasington's method, I would remember pleasant tastes and smells related to childhood experiences with some mental images related to them, almost every night in practice when I would focus on the pleasant sensations in my hands and shoulders, and I would forget after the sit all those feelings and smells, but that stopped happening. Recently it happens occasionally that I remember such things from my past.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/21/19 6:28 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Tonight I did Fire Kasina (Last several days I practiced mostly on body/breath and See In Hear In). Like these recent weeks, first appeared the red dot which was completely red without much clear colors around it, and it developed a green ring around it, and then faded without turning into a green dot or black dot. Some pretty vague violet and purple blobs appeared a few times, but other than that, it was just darkness and pixelation, similar to a TV static, and some very thin hairs/lines, green and purple/depp pink, around the center, that seemed that are spinning, but they were so thin and compact, and I tried several times to make them clearer, but it only happened once or twice that they became just a little clearer.

These few days, there is a strong urge to practice more and get results, so I had relatively higher mindfulness in daily activities, but that doesn't seem to be enough. Change is needed, probably both in life style and in practice, I need to use my time and energy much more carefuly and efficiently. Any advice in this regard is highly appreciated.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/23/19 6:54 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Since yesterday there is a dramatic increase in those patterns in number  that I had mentioned before, specially when watching the time on a clock. I am just surprised by it, the ones that I remember, 16:16, 15:15, 01:01, 03:03, 03:33, 05:05, 17:34, 17:51, 23:23, 10:10.

There was a feeling of disgust towards most things and people for about two days, and I was getting angry, at times I had strong urge to hit someone or something and release that negative energy, but yesterday it almost went away, and there was a subtle joy for a few hours, and then everything was normal again. Also in these two days there is an increase in vibratory/energetic sensations, and center of attention seems to get clearer. Probably those patterns with numbers are related to A&P ?! Maybe, I just don't know.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/23/19 8:01 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Hm, I think it’s possible to get lost in narratives about such things, in a content oriented way that opens for speculation and creation of mythology. I have done my share of that. I saw sacred geometry in my meditation and found that those images were depicted in all sorts of places. I was adviced to let go of it, and I think that was wise. It could have developed into a distraction from my real practice.

Anyway, many years ago I dated a man who always happened to look at a watch at 11.11, and he claimed that the illusionist Uri Geller had said something about those people who always looked at the watch at 11.11 being somehow special. I have no idea if Uri Geller really said that and, if so, what he was referring to. Cynically speaking, I’m not sure it’s such a good idea to trust an illusionist talking about such stuff, as he is economically dependent on creating myths about his persona (and of course he was one of those 11.11 persons). Also, rationally speaking, people tend to be habitual creatures who can easily form the habit of looking at a clock at a certain point in time. Both time itself and the way we measure it are constructs, so I doubt that there is anything special about certain points in time apart from what we make of them. I think you could rather easily incline a concentrated mind to look at the clock in certain intervals.

Maybe it began as a pure coincidence and since you framed it as something special, your mind produces more of it because it can. Maybe if you are unconsciously looking for it, your mind makes you check the time at those precise moments when it has the capacity to do so (which could very well peak at A&P). It could also be that there is a confirmation bias involved that makes you disregard all the times you check the time without that result. When I was pregnant I saw pregnant people everywhere, and it was probably about the same proportion of the population as always, but I was more prone to noticing those very persons and their bellies. However, I’m open to the possibility that you are actually looking at a clock at those precise moments and not so many other moments, because I think concentration can play with your mind like that. I’m sceptical about assigning a special meaning to it, though, the way Uri Geller supposedly did.

Maybe it’s one of those special personal quirks of a nana. Maybe this is a tell for A&P for you specifically. Could be.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/23/19 8:18 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah, I agree with all of what you said. I don't think there is anything special with such things. Part of it is habit, part of is conditioning the mind to look for it and ignore the other data items, and the rest of what you said. Although it's not a big deal and is not that important, but it's fun and interesting to see how the mind plays, and how it gives a special meaning to such things. Data is one thing, and the fact that you notice it is another. I think the important part is the second part, and any idea about projecting any meaning to a dumb data, I think is silly, but the point for me is that, there are differences in moods and mind states, and for me personally, it's not that I always notice such things, so the question is why you notice it sometimes and not the others, and what those tendencies say about the mind. Of course it is not reasonable to take it beyond being a fun and playful thing. 

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/23/19 8:29 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Ah. Yeah, that’s interesting. Says something about both not-self and impermanence. Probably suffering too (clinging to meaningfulness). Investigating what the mind does is always a good idea, I think.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/23/19 8:35 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Ah. Yeah, that’s interesting. Says something about both not-self and impermanence. Probably suffering too (clinging to meaningfulness). Investigating what the mind does is always a good idea, I think.

And such observations give some clues to know yourself better and to get better picture of how you relate to the world, and also to your own experiences. Thanks for the comments.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
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7/23/19 1:44 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Based on my current experiences, I am guessing that there are two probabilities. One is that I am around the A&P, and the other is that I am around early Equanimity, or perhaps in a prolonged Equanimity. Both are just at best guesses and I can't be any close to being certain. And that makes me wonder what approach is best now for practice in terms of scope of attention and the kind of objects to investigate and techniques to practice

In recent three days, for a few times I noticed that a subtle joy has arised, and there is a feeling/thought that "I am realy close, and it's possible". I don't know where these thoughts and impressions/feelings come from, but that is how it feels. So I feel a need to optimize my practice to get better results, both in terms of insight and concentration.

Does anyone have any advice/suggestion what approach is better to take? Would you suggest narrowing attention and observing the fine details and arising and passing of sensations, or would you suggest having a broad attention, and noticing the space, and what Michael Taft calls vast spacious awareness underlying everything?

I appreciate any advice/suggestion.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/23/19 6:29 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Tonight I practiced 20 minutes of Water Kasina (I did it exactly like Fire Kasina, but with a small glass cup filled with water with lights on), and then did the Fire Kasina.

There was a difference in Fire Kasina regarding the red dot. The second time that I focused on the candle flame and closed my eyes, the red dot started with a larger size, and it was oval shaped, that was quite different from a normal red dot. Last time that I practiced Fire Kasina several days ago, it happened too that after the second candle gaze, red dot was larger, but the one tonight was larger than that, larger than twice the size of a normal dot, and its center turned into yellow, and the whole dot was very bright. And an interesting thing that happened was that, after it stayed with that size for a few minutes, it started shirinking in size and becoming circular, but it did it while moving deeper to the visual field, as if something is getting farther from you and looking smaller, it started to move farther and deeper in the field and at the same time shrink in size.

There was some activity and sensations at the bottom of spine, which I didn't have it for 1-2 weeks I guess.
And still not much colors and visuals, just an almost 3D or 3D dark field with some vague and washed out statics and pixelations, and sometimes very brief blinking dots.

It happened a several times tonight, and once I guess during Water Kasina, that I noticed visual space with eyes open is moving. Once while typing a word, I thought that visual space rotated around 40-60 degrees, that my vague impression was that typing each of the letters caused part of that rotation. And once it happened for maybe one second or half a second, although it wasn't clear, but it looked like the space in front of me moved, as if I have dizziness and space is rotating around my head. In general today there was a higher sense of spaciousness with visuals.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
7/27/19 12:57 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:
Color control finally!

The night before last night, for the Fire Kasina practice, I tried to visualize blue color, not in the imaginary visual space, but see it clearly in the murk. Blue is not the color that I would see in the murk normally, I rarely have some very brief swaths of it, but nothing more that 1-2 seconds. I was trying to see it clearly in the murk and turn the pale washed out green colors into blue, but it was very difficult, because whenever I tried to imagine blue, my attention would go to the imaginary visual space, to see blue there, but I wanted to keep the attention in the murk, and see the blue their, so for that night, the whole session I was trying to minimize the jumps of attention between the murk and the imaginary visual space.

Last night I continued this, but I didn't use the candle flame, and I tried really hard to concentrate on seeing the blue in the murk. After some minutes I got better at visualizing a blue spot in the murk, and lessen the jumps of attention to the imaginary visual space. I used different strategies, like imagining a filled blue circle in the center of the murk, or trying to color the green swaths with blue, or trying to fill the dark and black spots with blue, or trying to imagine a bright blue dot in the center and expanding it to fill a bigger area. It was interesting that this attemp to visualize, created a stronger concentration that I hadn't experienced in recent months I guess. I didn't get much blue, just towards the end of the sit, swaths of blue would come and go, but nothing stable. But towards the end, a bright light appeared in and around the center of the field, and unlike other times that it appeares and then fades away quickly, it stayed, and for about 10-20 minutes that I continued practice after that, this bright light was there. Part of it was glowy and misty and not so much bright, and part of it was bright sparks of white/yellow light/color. It was definitely a result of the concentration that this visualization and color control created. And towards the end, a relaxation spread in the body, with a subtle contentment. I don't call it a first Jhana by Leigh's definitions, but it could be a lighter first Jhana, all factors were present, but not so much sukka. Also there was lots of tingly sensations in the body, vibrations in the head, and moving sensations at the base of spine.
I had definitely understimated the power of color control aspect of the Fire Kasina! This is what I should do these days.

After the sit, for a few minutes I focused on the wall in front of me, and instead of the pale green blob that I see often in the center of the filed on the wall, this time it started as blue, and then changed to green and then the blue was coming and going.

While in bed, I continued the practice, and now, when I close my eyes, instead of the pale green misty/cloudy ball that I often see in and around the center of the visual field, now it's a blue ball, almost 3D, it's not very dense and bright, but an acceptable blue spot, and it's a successful result of the intention to bring the blue to this dark murk.

It's more than a month or near two months I guess, that the murk is quite dark, and there isn't much visuals and bright colors in it, but last night after this practice, more bright colors started to appear, and the field became more alive. And at one point, I saw a low resolution image of a young woman that just flashed for a moment. It was different from the ones that I had before, first it wasn't creepy, and second it wasn't very small sized, its size was almost half the size of that person's body.

For a while, it seemed that there isn't any open door in front of me, but now it seems that I've forced a wall to crack open and turn into a door. I don't like this kind of language, but they say it's needed now!

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/3/19 3:58 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

After several days of trying to visualize blue color, now it's almost a feature of the murk, and most times there is some blue there. It wasn't the whole of my practice these days, I did some body/breath practice too, plus a few times of blue kasina, with a big blue circle inside a white background on a full screen page on the computer which had a beautiful orange after image, but everyday I've done some practice on visualizing blue color, without using a candle flame and just working with the murk, with eyes open or closed. I don't have a great degree of control on it yet, but often when I intend it to show up, it shows up after a few seconds. Also I tried to visualize red color, and I got some red color too.

It seems that there is a fast cycling going on. I don't know it's on the big arc of the progress or not, but it seems different from before. There are times that suddenly intense vibrations occur in my head with very bright spark of light, that looks like A&P, but it doesn't stay like that more than a few hours or even less than an hour sometimes, and there are periods of anxiety like feelings in the body, and a familiar feeling that feels like I am not able to breath, which my best guess is that it's Re-observation. And it changes quickly between these modes, once or more per day perhaps.

I have tried to stay mindful as much as I could in the last week, and that seems to be a good choice so far.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/8/19 3:00 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

It's been two days that there are strong aches and pains in my body, but I don't think that there is anything wrong with my health. Parts of it is similar to when you have a bad flu, and there is another flavor of pain that is new, I don't remember to have it before. By the way, all these pains come and go, there are periods of having pain for some hours, then there are periods that almost there isn't any pain. This new flavor of pain is in the tip of fingers and toes, not all of them though, as if you hit hard the nail on your finger or toe with a hammer (I know how it feels because of experiencing it in the past), after the moment of hitting, there would be a distinct flavor of pain in the tip of finger or toe and under the nail that remains for sometime. Since yesterday I have exactly the same kind of pain!

Today since the morning there was deep feelings of sadness, despair and frustration. for a brief period I had thoughts of self-pity because of the difficult life that I've had, but that went away after a few minutes. Since a few hours ago, those "negative" emotions have disappeared, and it feels almost ok, but still with some level of pain in the body.

For three days before today, I tried to maintain a high level of mindfulness of the body and mental activities in most activities (except for periods of work that I needed to engage with the activity of working, so probably didn't have much meta awareness), and maintaining this high mindfulness of the body would cause lots of vibratory sensations to occur. Last night I noticed that I don't have that level of mindfulness and I have lots of mental chatter going on and my mind is distracted and I am forgetting to be mindful, and there was some feelings of agitation and frustration because of that distracted-ness.

Today there was still distractions, but towards the end of the day mindfulness has increased but not to the level of last three days. For about 1-2 hours at office, there was harsh pulsations in the muscles of my legs and hips.

Last night I did blue kasina, with a filled blue circle in a white background on my computer. Focusing on that full screen page creates a higher level of concentration than most other techniques (it seems), and several times while staring at that blue circle, I noticed that the visual field in front of me started to move up and down or right and left, subtly with movements of less that an inch probably, and then it righted itself. After about 20-30 minutes I guess, strong sleepiness arose and again I was objectifying subjective concepts and had thoughts about practice and other things in that abstract and distorted way, but I don't remember any of its content.

Last few days there was harsh vibrations in my head, that sometimes would interupt my voice while talking, but today there isn't much vibrations.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/10/19 6:50 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Last night I did 30-40 minutes of Fire Kasina with candle flame. Then a few hours later I did an hour of practice on the breath and the relaxation in the body, I started it with Michael Taft's latest guided meditation on his Youtube, but because I was in a mode of disgust, after some minutes his guidance became annoying, so I stopped it, and continued my practice without guidance, and I tried to relax all my body and focus on that relaxation. There was lots of piti. And then I did 60-70 minutes of Fire Kasina with candle flame. It was interesting that I didn't have dullness for most of the practice in all three sessions, despite these weeks that I get dullness and sleepiness easily. One difference was that unlike always that I sit in a very relaxed posture with a pilow as back support, I tried to sit straight and not move during the sit. I often move during the sit, because there are often lots of sweating, and lots of very strong itchy sensations, that make it quite hard to not react.

During the sits, there was (I've checked this, to use there were or there was, I don't care which one is correct in which situation, I just don't like how there were sounds) lots of visuals that could be called molten gold. In and around the center of the visual field, a big ball of bright light would emerge, in a white or pale yellow color, but it wasn't dense, it was could like, and there was some other bright and shiny colors around it, green, bright purple, bright violet and deep pink, and bright blue, these other colors were little flakes and swaths and almost always moving, that ball of bright color/light would stay for a few seconds, then from its center a shiny black would emerge and start to expand and cover the whole bright ball. And then the shiny black would fade and again another bright spot or ball would emerge, and this slow expansion and contraction would continue. It was almost always there when I had high mindfulness, but when there was some subtle distraction, it would fade away.

Also there was lots of very bright beautiful dots, that were almost exactly like a LED flashlight, in white, pale yellow, green and blue colors. I see them with eyes open too, which is very beautiful, as if you have turned on a bright tiny flashlight.

During the last Fire Kasina sit I guess, for three times (or perhaps two times), for just a moment, a fraction of a second, a bright light showed up. The first one was green I guess, and the last one was white/pale yellow, and it was so bright that for just a moment, I thought that all of the lights in the room have been turned on, because when it showed up, it lightened my vision, but because it was so brief, I wasn't even sure that it has happened.

Those pains in the body that were like flu pains, have disappeared, but the other flavor of pain in fingernails, is still there, and it's interesting that each time it's on a different finger.

Previously, about 4-6 months ago perhaps, when I was in a period of negative emotions and painful sensations (Dukka nanas?, Three Characteristics?), I would have a feeling in my throat, that felt like a blockage, but I haven't had in the last several months, and today it has showed up again, plus some trembling in the hands and legs.

Last night I had terrible dreams. In one of them I was with my family, it was 10 am, and I was trying to asleep, so that after waking up I would go to work! But there wasn't any sleepiness, so I was very frustrated and angry, that I had a bad fight with my father, and I took my glasses and threw it towards the wall, and it broke after it hit the wall. After that I had another fight with my sister and brother, and I yelled at them with some harsh words, that short after it I wished I would just disappear, because of the shame and guilt that I was feeling.

There were other dreams also, that the theme in them was fear, worry, sadness, and frustration.

Today emotionally is not that bad, but still there is a feeling of despair, and some agitation, disgust and frustration.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/11/19 3:40 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Update:

Today all those pains and negative emotions were gone. It feels ok, and there isn't any noticable positive or negative emotion.
I was very busy today because of a project deadline, so I didn't have any free time for practice during the day. Probably being so busy at work, had an effect on disappearance of those pains and etc. And I haven't noticed any vibratory/energetic sensations, one reason could be that I haven't done any practice between activities.

Since 1-2 hours ago, after I finished a major release of the project that I am working on, it seems that the sense of spaciousness has increased. I noticed several times the space between me and other objects, as if the space itself is a defined object, and I focued on it just a little.

There is a wedding in my family, so I'll go to my hometown tomorrow, and for about a week, I won't have much free time there to practice, and definitely I won't be able to practice with a candle flame. At least I can buy some good quality candles. There are very good quality hand made candles there.

Sometimes there is a feeling, especially in my face, that for a moment or a few moments, it feels like my whole being wants to jump out of my face and release itself. It shows up more in recent weeks, and in the last 1-2 hours, it has started to show up again.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/11/19 4:08 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Now that I am at home, a subtle joy has arisen. Probably it's because of the relief of finishing that project. It was about two years that I was working on it with a small team, and I was doing and leading refactoring a live banking app, changing its language, architecture and design, and training other developers. It was a heavy work, and it's such a relief that now it has been completed. Probably it will affect my practice in the next weeks.

Now that mindfulness has returned, there is this buzzy vibration in my head, and this white noise has started to play in my head (You call it nada sound?).

About an hour ago, I had a subtle epiphany, that everything that I see and experience, are just appearances, appearances empty of any essence, in an empty field.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/22/19 7:11 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
There are lots of yes and no going on. I want to write, but I don't want to write, I want to practice but I don't want to practice, I want to go hiking, but I don't want to go hiking (and sadly I don't think that I go hiking this week too), and many more.

For more than a week, because I was in my hometown and busy with the wedding, and then coming back, I've done much less practice than normal. Fortunately there, I could find a shop for the candles and I bought two packs. There are 41 candles in each pack, and I don't know what is about this number, 41. I should have asked the guy. Each year there are some religious rituals for near two weeks, and in that period you can find these candles in each corner of the city, but other times it's hard to find the same kind of candles. Probably 41 is related to that religious rituals.

It's several days that there are lots of energetic/vibratory sensations. It feels like there is another layer over my body, which is filled with vibratory energy that is melting and morphing there, and each time I focus on something, intense vibrations occur in my head, and there are lots of moving sensations around the hips and the base of spine, but I don't know why I don't practice more. Probably there is a fear of explosion of energy in my body? Perhaps.

It's two days that I've put a candle here to do Fire Kasina, but I haven't done yet. Probably I do it a little later.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/22/19 8:08 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I notice that I forget some of the details constantly, so let's record it.

Last few days for daily practice I did something similar to what Leigh Brasington teaches for entering the Jhanas. Last year I was doing this practice for sometime, but later I switched to more TMI style.

Tonight I did about an hour of this practice, first started by relaxing my body, and focusing on the overal relaxation of body and mind. Then I focused on the sensations of breathing at the nose and it led to a relatively single pointed and stable attention. For this part I used the breath counting technique that Leigh has learned from Pa Auk Sayadaw, that you count up to 8, then go back to 1, and say the numbers at the end of out-breath. Then I focued on the sensations of relaxation in my hands, and sometimes in my arms or whole body.

After switching to the sensations in my hands, the feeling of my hands, or my whole body and/or the image of body started to expand. I was feeling that the feeling of my hands/ or the feeling of my body/ or the image of my body is filling a large area in the room, half of the room perhaps, and it was not clear which one has expanded. Sometimes I was feeling that the distance between me, the observer, or the location of my head/eyes, and my hands has become much longer, and other times I was feeling that this distance is getting shorter and shorter and wants to almost collapse. Both times I was feeling that there is a vague big circle, and its center is my center, my reference point, my ground, and I am oscillating towards the edge of that circle, and feeling that I am getting farther from the center, and I am not grounded. Sometimes it would feel like I am hanging from the ceiling, and oscillating around the center. It wasn't unpleasant though, and the whole time my mind was relatively quiet. This always happens when I am doing this technique, if I get relatively good concentration.

I had to end the session because of back pain, and the call of nature.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/23/19 3:41 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I notice that I forget some of the details constantly, so let's record it.

Last few days for daily practice I did something similar to what Leigh Brasington teaches for entering the Jhanas. Last year I was doing this practice for sometime, but later I switched to more TMI style.

Tonight I did about an hour of this practice, first started by relaxing my body, and focusing on the overal relaxation of body and mind. Then I focused on the sensations of breathing at the nose and it led to a relatively single pointed and stable attention. For this part I used the breath counting technique that Leigh has learned from Pa Auk Sayadaw, that you count up to 8, then go back to 1, and say the numbers at the end of out-breath. Then I focued on the sensations of relaxation in my hands, and sometimes in my arms or whole body.

After switching to the sensations in my hands, the feeling of my hands, or my whole body and/or the image of body started to expand. I was feeling that the feeling of my hands/ or the feeling of my body/ or the image of my body is filling a large area in the room, half of the room perhaps, and it was not clear which one has expanded. Sometimes I was feeling that the distance between me, the observer, or the location of my head/eyes, and my hands has become much longer, and other times I was feeling that this distance is getting shorter and shorter and wants to almost collapse. Both times I was feeling that there is a vague big circle, and its center is my center, my reference point, my ground, and I am oscillating towards the edge of that circle, and feeling that I am getting farther from the center, and I am not grounded. Sometimes it would feel like I am hanging from the ceiling, and oscillating around the center. It wasn't unpleasant though, and the whole time my mind was relatively quiet. This always happens when I am doing this technique, if I get relatively good concentration.

I had to end the session because of back pain, and the call of nature.



Any suggestion/advice on how to turn this experience into Jhanas? I don't think that this could be called a Jhana because there isn't any obvious sukka in it. Sometimes there is a contentment, but not always, and when there is, it's subtle. Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/23/19 8:50 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I remembered what is this feeling of getting farther from the center that I get with this practice.

Tonight I practiced with Leight's Jhana instructions again, and I had the same feelings happen, that there is a very big dark area and I am getting towards its edges and far from its center.

It's the same feeling that I had in childhood. Probably starting with ages 3-5 or (maybe before that, who knows), I would always imagine that it's night, very dark, and I am going out, far from home (home is the center), and then I would get this feeling that I don't know what's gonna happen. What I would expect to happen, would be to be eaten by a wolf. I had always heard stories from close relatives, facing wolves in their village, that we used to go there each year, and adults would mostly scare children with wolves when they wanted to make us behave. When I was 5 years old, there was a period of 2-3 months that my father was not with us. It was winter, and the last year of war between Iraq and Iran, so most nights we didn't have electricity because of the problems in the country, and because their jets were bombing cities, so it would get pretty dark at nights, and we (kids) would imagine scary creatures crawling down from outside walls to come to eat us! And when imagining outside of the house, I would get this image of a very big and dark field, which I am getting farther and farther from the house, into the world of unknowns, expect one thing which was known, wolves. And in that period of 2-3 months, because of a rocket that had hit our house, the entrance door could not be locked, and we used to put a log behind it (No one was there to fix it. War zone!), so always there was a feeling of insecurity at nights.

Later years during the middle school, because I was good at school, I was studying in a school that was in another town, and had entrance exams and etc, and I used to go their very early at morning on saturdays, and stay there until thursday and come back home on thursdays. I would go their alone most times, and in winter it would be dark when going to school, and I would get the same feeling while walking the long path to the bus station. Also at nights in school, I had these feelings, because there were garden around the school, and you could here different animals from the outside (We had shifts to stay awake for 1.5 hours at nights then wake up the other group). I don't know when I stopped having these feelings and images, but I had forgotten it completely.

Tonight after focusing on my hands, I started getting the same feeling of not having a stable center and going towards the edge of that dark field, then I started to remember these images from childhood, and investigating those feelings and images. Then suddenly I saw a very creepy image of an animal, I am not sure but probably a wolf, but very breif, a fraction of a second, so brief that I wasn't sure that it happened, but immediately it caused sensations of chills and pins and needles spread over my whole body. It was so intense that I started feeling cold, and it stayed like that for several minutes, with various degrees of intensity.

During early months of my practice, sometimes during the practice, I was getting images of dog and wolf, in a strange way. I was seeing that I am dog/wolf headed. I don't know, but maybe it's related to the same feelings. A few days ago I was listening to a teacher, he was saying an old story, if I am not mistaken, it was about a girl who didn't like snakes, and one day she wakes up and sees that she is snake.

By the way, I love wolves and dogs.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/24/19 9:24 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
After the experiences that I had last night, (beside the one that I explained in the above post, there was another episode, which was related to the past and my family too, that caused me to sob for about 10 minutes), when I went to sleep, there was very intense pulsations, vibrations and beating in my muscles. I tried to relax my body and focus on the relaxation while in bed, and I was about to fall asleep that suddenly my whole body jumped up. It was intense. I had some weird dreams that I don't remember much, and I couldn't get enough sleep. Since waking up, I am flooded with the memories of childhood and my past, also of the dreams that I had then. I don't see them as negative memories, but they are all about the difficulties that me and my family had. Like always in similar situations, it has caused a state/feeling of sadness, and also a state/feeling of tranquil indifference. There is tranquility and calmness in body mind, like after a good cry, and also there is a state/feeling of indifference, that I don't care about many of the things that I would care normally.

Some of the dreams that I remember from childhood, are strange. We never had a car or a bicycle in our family, and when I was a child, I always had a dream, that I am driving a car, or riding a bicycle, and suddenly the car or bicycle turns into my pants, but the pants has come down to me knees, and I am not able to put it up and wear it. In later years, probably in 20s, that dream changed somewhat. I would drive a car in the dream, then park it somewhere, and then forget where I have parked the car, then get thoughts that did I really have a car? If I have a car, then where is its keys, and where is the car itself. Also I liked to have a musical instrument, and I would have a dream that I am playing that instrument, but while playing it, it loses it solidity, and become like a plastic or cloth. Later I built a simple instrument, and then bought many different ones, when I started to earn more money (emotional reactions)!

Again there is this feeling in my face sometimes today, that my whole being wants to jump out of my face, and often it turns into vibrations in my head. A few days ago I started to read the Stage 4 chapter from TMI to see what is there about those purifications that he talks about in that stage, but then these news came out and I got distracted. It seems that purifications has started before reading about them.

We have a new colleague, and he is in my project and I have to train him, but I am not in the mood at all. I wish to not cause him suffering by my bitter mood.

Needed to write it down to get it out of my mind.


-- Edit: After I talked with this colleague for about an hour about technical stuff, it was enough of distraction, and it seems that it brought me out of that mind state of sadness and indifference and etc. Interesting.

-- Second Edit: Yet after another hour, all those feelings came back again, plus a lack of energy.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/25/19 2:51 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Since yesterday, or probably before that, there is a feeling of despair and uncertainty, sometimes with sadness and disgust, which makes me think what is the cause, and why I have these feeling. And I see that my mind is looking for stories to attach to these feelings, and to make sense of it, but actually I am tired of looking for stories to attach to these dumb feelings.

And sometimes all these feelings disappear, and a subtle joy arises, which feels like I want to manifest, to flourish, but it doesn't stay more than a few minutes, and passes away and those negative feelings arise again.

There are vibrations in my head almost all the time, and it intesifies when focusing on something. Central attention is relatively clear and sharp, and sometimes there are harsh pulsations in my muscles

Last night I practiced with Leigh's first Jhana instructions. There was piti and relaxation in body mind, but because of sleep deprivation, I was getting drowsy, and sleepiness didn't let the concentration to deepen. And for a few hours last night, there was numbness in my right arm and hand, which recently happens sometimes in the legs/feet and arms/hands which I don't think is related to health issues. Also last night that pain in fingernails and tip of the fingers that I've described before, showed up for a few hours in a few of fingernails.

Two days ago I listened to an olg song, and since last night it repeats non-stop in my mind.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/25/19 1:30 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Since near an hour ago (I am at office), very strong vibratory and energetic sensations arose, almost suddenly. Strong itchy sensations on the tale bone, moving sensations around the base of spine, and inside the hips, vibrations, pulsations and tensions in muscles especially in abdomen and legs, very strong vibrations in head, that several times I got worried about its intensity. I started focusing on the body and the relaxation in my hands, arms and legs, which intensified these sensations and a breeze like coolness spread over my hands for some minutes, and several times this molten-gold-like light and visuals appeared. A mix of bright white/yellow, blue/violete/purple sparkles, which then fades into a ball of yellow light. Seems like there is a state/stage shift happening perhaps.


-- Edit:
For most of my 45-50 minutes walk from the office to home, I had focused on my body, and there was relatively high mindfulness. Center of attention has become clearer in the last few hours. This looks like to be A&P territory, and I don't know if there is a fast cycling through nanas or sub nanas going on also or not, because of the quick shifts in mental states.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/26/19 2:11 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Despair, hopelessness, very low energy, not knowing what is this or why is this and what to do, and in the last hour, bodily discomfort as if I have flu.

I think it seems obvious that I am Dark Nighting. Although I don't know that those energetic manifestations of yesterday were A&P territory, or maybe higher nanas like Fear, D4D, or Re-observation.

Today there is some feelings similar to vertigo, it feels to be spacious, then for some moments it feels like the scene in front of me is not solid and stable as usual, or it subtly feels like I am not centered/grounded in my location in space.

I should do some bug fixes at work, that are somewhat complex, and I need to think very carefully, but I don't have enough energy. It's two days that I am coming here, mostly staring at the monitor, switching tabs, and not having much performance.

It feels that something is wrong, as if I should have done something and I haven't, or as if I have done something terribly wrong, then my mind looks for stories to see what is it that is wrong, and it doesn't find anything, and it repeats like that.

Center of attention is still clear, and there are vibrations and energetic sensations in the body, especially in my head, legs, feet, hips and base of spine, and it gets more intense when focusing on something.

I would be happy to find a way to bring more joy and energy, and be able to navigate this dark feelings better.
Suggestions?


-- Edit:
There are lots of sensations, especially in hands/finger tips, feet, legs and hips, that feel like a stream of blood or something, is moving under the skin, and I can clearly notice their arising, staying (wave-like moving) and passing away. They feel like a little wave, bursting into existence, moving for a few moments, and then vanishing. It's not something new, but since yesterday they have increased.
(I call them vibrations too, Flow in Shinzen's language. I didn't get a definition for vibration when I asked for it in another thread, so I just use the same definition that Shinzen uses for the term Flow)

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/27/19 1:09 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I am reminded of what Shinzen suggests as the strategies for better navigating the Dark Night (despite the differences of definition for this term), he says one of them is that, there may be a tranquility element in these states, that you can tune into that tranquility.

Although there are harsh vibrations and pulsations, but in the background, there is a tranquility in body mind. I assume this low energy and relaxation in body is due to this tranquility.

When there are negative emotions (I don't like to use "negative" for emotions, because it has a negative connotation which I don't like it for emotions, but I don't know of a better word), the place that I am able to notice the sensations of that emotion most, is in my face, and often facial muscles become relaxed and it feels that they are heavier, and want to go with gravity. For the last 1-2 hours, as the background/informal practice, I am focused on the sensations of sadness in my face, with the labels sad, sadness, feel sad. Today when I woke up, it started with feelings of disgust and anger, but after a few hours it turned into sadness.

Today I am noticing suffering more. I don't like to call it tenderness, but when these emotions are present, I can easily burst into tears when seeing suffering in others, especially if it's about someone having disability in their body/mind, or if it's about poverty in someone.

Today so far, there weren't as much energetic/vibratory sensations as the last two days, but still there are some.

For some hours, along with sadness, there was this impression that there will never be anything that would make me happy, and that was causing more sadness and despair, but it seems that it has gone.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/31/19 7:39 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Since yesterday evening perhaps, those "negative" emotions are mostly gone. It feels emotionally relatively ok. Sometimes there are some vibrations but not much, unless I pay very close attention to something. For a few hours yesterday, there were strong energetic sensations in lower back and around the tale bone, but they stopped mostly later.

Based on Progress of Insight map, what would this be? Mind and Body, Equanimity, or what?

I see a tendency in myself that doesn't believe that I can be in Equanimity. Actually it's not something new, and for many years, regarding many things if they would sound to be good, I would think that they can not happen to me.

For instance, it's been sometime that I am thinking to migrate to Europe, or Canada, and I am sure that I am very capable of it, and I had several offers and have passed their interviews successfully, but each time I get this feeling that, it's not for me, I can't be in that position or situation. I guess it's time for me to take this feeling/thought pattern as the object of meditation, at least occasionally.


-- Edit:
Today among the many dreams that I had, in one of them it seemed that I was a police officer, and I took a gun from a guy, and killed a few people, but one of them was innocent, and I killed him by mistake, then I started crying that I had killed an innocent man, while watching that guy. I don't remember to have a dream like this before, that I kill someone in it.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/29/19 7:49 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Sometimes I think that maybe a purpose of the dukkha nanas is to balance our own relief from suffering in other nanas with a reminder that there are more living beings that would like some relief as well, so that we don’t go all solipsistic and forget about that.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/29/19 9:09 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Sometimes I think that maybe a purpose of the dukkha nanas is to balance our own relief from suffering in other nanas with a reminder that there are more living beings that would like some relief as well, so that we don’t go all solipsistic and forget about that.

Yes, sure. It has more emphasis in some other traditions, like early Islam comes to mind.

-- Edit:
Actually I've always had an unbalanced tendency in my interactions with friends and family and etc, to take their suffering more important than my own suffering, and ignore my own suffering. I think of it as a problem, not a feature. I think the healthy way would be to be mindful and attentive about suffering in both ourselves and others.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/29/19 2:27 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
That doesn’t surprise me. You seem like someone who cares a lot about others. I agree with you. I guess what I wanted to say was more in line with how obvious your compassion was, but it didn’t come out right.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/29/19 8:09 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Today I haven't been able to stick with a technique. I start with one technique, then some seconds or minutes later I switch to another one, and none of them satisfies me. I feel like I need to pay close attention, but attention doesn't seem to penetrate the sensations, and when doing broader techniques, clarity reduces and mind wandering comes.

Is this a characteristic of Dark Night or Low Equanimity, or both?

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/29/19 8:47 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
reobservation

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/29/19 11:26 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Today I haven't been able to stick with a technique. I start with one technique, then some seconds or minutes later I switch to another one, and none of them satisfies me. I feel like I need to pay close attention, but attention doesn't seem to penetrate the sensations, and when doing broader techniques, clarity reduces and mind wandering comes.

Is this a characteristic of Dark Night or Low Equanimity, or both?

I tend to have a different outlook on these kinds of things, rather than a stage of meditation or stage in the path I look for things in the environment that could be affecting my concentration for example: not getting enough sleep, a stressful day, mental fatigue, eating too much sugary junk food, caffine, alcohol, too much exercise, dehydration,  etc. Sometimes doing some kind of physical relaxation can help - like relaxing types of yoga, relaxing forms of tai chi or quigong, or any type of relaxation exercise take your pick. Sometimes I just have to wait until my body/brain recovers from whatever abuse I subjected it to and it can focus.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/30/19 12:16 AM as a reply to Shaun Steelgrave.
Thanks. That would be a good news. I need to read Re-observation again.

Jim:
Thanks. Actually there is't much change in how my day is organized each day, and the things that I do or eat. Most days are very much like each other, and there haven't been any change in such things these days.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/30/19 11:59 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
After some hours of ok-ness that presented itself in the day before yesterday and a little yesterday, today all those "negative" emotions have come back, with more intensity. It seemed that the emotions were tired and needed to just rest a little bit!

More than anything, it's frustration and hopelessness that is there all the time. And not having enough motivation to do the things that I need to do, and the feeling that this will always be like this. Yesterday and today I haven't eaten any meals and I've just eaten fruits and cookies and such, and it feels very hard to go out and get a meal, but I should do.

I am reading the description of Re-observation from MCTB2, and many of the things there match with how I experience today and yesterday, and probably one or two days before that also.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
8/31/19 7:37 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Last night I didn't do formal sitting practice. There was just too much restlessness, and I did some practice while in bed.

Today there wasn't any noticeable negative emotion, and emotional tone was almost neutral, with very few vibratory/energetic sensations in the body, except the vibrations in my head, that are almost always present.
Several times today for some minutes I felt like there is pressure inside my body, espicially in my head, as if expands from the inside.

Sometimes visual objects with the eyes open would look bolder, or more 3D, but it wasn't consistent.

Tonight I did about an hour of Fire Kasina. I had relatively high mindfulness before that during the night, but to my surprise, I didn't get enough concentrated, and there was strong sleepiness. I added mantra and awareness of body to my focus range, but that didn't change the sleepiness.

Before formal practice, I did a short practice, soft gazing, and focusing on the visual space in front of me. It seemed that the light, or space, or visuals, or whatever, was flickering very fast, with very fine vibrations, that at some point the colors and shapes on the carpet would look somewhat wavy.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
9/1/19 7:06 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
-- Afternoon
Often paying attention and being mindful has a subtle pleasant quality/mind-state with it, but last few days that those intense negative emotions were present, often it didn’t feel that way, and although I would liked to be mindful, but there was also restlessness and agitation with it. Yesterday as I said before, emotional tone was mostly neutral, and towards the end of the day, that pleasant quality in being mindful sort of came back to some extent.

Today it varies. There were times that I felt like I want to pay close attention and enjoy being mindful, but other times there was agitation and worry and restlessness.

Compared to yesterday, it seems that there is more activity at the lower back, base of spine and hips, in terms of energetic and vibratory sensations.
That pressure inside the skull appears sometimes especially in the left side of it.

While walking back home, I had focused on the arising and passing of sensations in my fingers, and it was interesting that, after doing that for some minutes, the same vibratory quality would show up in other parts of the body as well when focusing on them.

-- Night
That pleasantness of paying attention and noticing sensations clearly, is more obvious now. There is relatively high mindfulness and the center of attention is sharper and clearer.
Since the afternoon it feels ok, and probably there is a subtle calmness in body mind too.

Vibratory sensations in the body have increased (Why I don’t like these plural verbs!?), especially at hands. Sometimes it feels like electricity currency over the fingers, as if the sensations aren’t just on the skin, but with a few millimeters or more distance from the skin, and in the space around the fingers, or as if it fill that space between the skin and the edge of that sensation.

I sat for around 80 minutes tonight, and was focused on the body, mostly on the sensations of breathing and the relaxations in hands and arms. There were lots of energetic sensations, and the energy caused some agitation, and created tension in the abdomen, that was painful for around half an hour or more.

Yesterday I fixed the bugs that I was working on, and it could be that, that caused those negative emotions to stop, or was one of the causes.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
9/2/19 4:29 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Monday:
-- Dreams
This morning I had some weird dreams. In one of them, there were thousands of people in the street, or a very big field or square, and there was a public announcement about an evil mass destructive force, that was coming from the “outside” to the earth, and people were worried about it. I and a few other people knew about this, before this announcement. It was something similar to the things that you would see in the Doctor Who movies. There was a woman there, that we knew each other, but I couldn’t remember who she was or what her name was. She was sleepy and sick and wanted to sleep, and I was trying to help her feel better, but my efforts were not successful. I remembered who she was after I woke up later.

Then I was in a house yard with my family (It looked to be my hometown but didn’t look like my parent’s house), and I was explaining to them how would I fly in my dreams (I have flying dreams since childhood, that I have it once or a few times a year, and it’s quite a while now that I hadn’t that dream). I was explaining to them that, in those dreams I just intend to go up, and I go up, and while saying that, I noticed that again I have the power to go up, so I intended and suddenly I was in the sky, and I intended to go higher and I went higher, a hundred yards above the ground maybe, and at that moment I told them, see this is how it happens, as if they could hear it! In the first seconds of being up in the sky, suddenly something passed by me very fast, and I saw that it’s a big black bird. It happened a few times more that birds passed by me. This was the first time ever, that I was seeing birds in the sky while flying.

I started flying around the city and watching the gardens and the city from the above, and while flying, I was thinking how fast it is to move from once place to another in the city when flying. I was struggling to keep my shoes with me, and they were about to fall down any moment. Towards the end of it, I was looking for my parent’s house, and I came down once, and went up again, but this time I noticed that I don’t have the same power and strength to go up easily.

-- Afternoon
That high energy and high mindfulness and sharpness and clarity of attention that was there last night, seems that has decreased to some extent today, but still center of attention is sharp and clear and directing it towards sensations, causes vibrations and sometimes clear arising and passings to be noticed. Generally it feels ok emotionally, but I also can feel a mild agitation/restlessness/worry sometimes

Sometimes I notice suffering due to craving and clinging to meditative experiences. Although in general, I don’t have much craving for them, because often it seems silly to me to crave for something that I haven’t experienced before, but sometimes there is some craving. Last night that there was high mindfulness and clarity, I noticed some expectations arising, and causing this impression that because of high clarity, I should have a different experience in meditation, but since there wasn’t much difference in my experiences, after the sit I noticed some disappointment and dissatisfaction. It wasn’t very clear where the sensations of this suffering were in the body.

-- Night
Attention again seems to be sharper and clearer, with the effects that this produces.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
9/4/19 7:50 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Wednesday:
-- Afternoon
Although there is still relatively high mindfulness, and attention is clear and sharp, but there is a dissatisfaction regarding the practice. as far as I know, I don’t intentionally initiate any thoughts of desire or craving, but there is desire for getting results and having faster progress. It feels like there isn’t anything new, and my efforts don’t anywhere, and don’t lead to any noticeable result.

Last night I sat for 45 minutes, and did a practice similar to two fingers technique. I put my hands on my legs, and focused on the sensations in finger tips mostly, and sometimes I added whole hands or legs to my focus range, to keep the attention fully engaged.

Then for the second sit, I sat for around 75 minutes, and I started by focusing on the arising and passing of sensations in all three modalities, see hear feel, mostly on the arisings. It caused very intense energetic sensations, especially intense vibrations in my head. I always have vibrations in my head when focusing on anything, but when attention fully engages, it gets very intense. I continued that for maybe 40-50 minutes. Very bright light was appearing in my vision, staying for a little while, then fading away, and after a few minutes appearing again, and the vibrations were still occurring non-stop with high intensity, that I got worried about the pressure that it could cause to my eyes, so I relaxed the body and relaxed the attention, and tried to focus mostly on the breathing and the relaxation in whole body, which caused sleepiness to arise.

Today this sense of dissatisfaction regarding the practice and the progress is more obvious, and seems to be something like sadness and despair.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
9/4/19 9:50 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I noticed now a way that craving manifests for me. I crave by directing attention; By directing attention to a sensory object. That sensory object by itself is meaningless, but "always?" there is a "context", which defines what is wholesome and what is not wholesome. These sensory objects occur in specific contexts, and in a specific context, directing attention to a specific sensory object would be unwholesome, and this directing of attention to a specific object in a specific context is how I crave. This needs more investigation and observation, but for now, I guess what I can do is that, when a sensory object would be unwholesome in a given context, and directing attention to it would cause tention and wanting, then I can notice that directing of attention, then drop it, and intentionally direct attention to a different sensory object.

Let's try and see.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
9/6/19 1:21 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Friday:
Yesterday and today there isn't much mindfulness. I try to be mindful, but I forget, and attention wanders around. The days before that, attention was very clear and sharp and there was high mindfulness, and wherever attention was landing, it would cause/notice vibrations (moving/changing sensations) there. That quality is still there, but often I forget to be that mindful.

This is a quote from Equanimity section of MCTB2:
As Mahasi Sayadaw says in Practical Insight Meditation, we may feel that the noticing and the objects are not close enough. We are not yet recognizing that the “objects” know themselves where they are and on their own naturally.

This is the feeling that I had these days (not always though, but sometimes). It feels that attention doesn't go to the core of the sensations. I don't know what it says about where the practice is currently for me.

I notice the suffering related to "wanting", more. Not that there is craving for anything specific, I don't see that, but often I feel a change in that direction, of wanting this, to be different than what it is now, and that causes dissatisfaction. It causes withered-ness (is this a right word?), darkness compared to luminosity.

Also since yesterday, this scattered bright lights appear more. While I am reading something in my laptop, these visuals appear with eyes open, that somewhaat covers the front of my vision, and sometimes it becomes a little hard to see the text clearly on the screen. If I close my eyes, it would be much more bright and clear. It's a mixture of bright white, blue, violet, purple, and maybe other colors, and form an area about 15-30 centimeters width, and includes little bright parts inside a less bright background.

These two days I had some weird dreams. Yesterday it was some experimentation with fear of death, I was falling off from a very high cliff into a lake, and surviving. In the dream today, fear (fear of being guilty) was more predominant, but then led to sadness and crying.

RE: Siavash's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
9/6/19 2:11 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I don't know, but this could be the beginning of another Dark Night episode (Or maybe it's Three Characteristics, I don't know.). If that high clarity and mindfulness and increase of vibratory/energetic sensations of last few days was A&P, then it could be that this sleepiness of yesterday and today despite having enough sleep, would be Dissolution, or higher dukka nanas. Also today there is a feeling of disenchantment and indifference, and very low energy. That pain in fingernails shows up again tonight, with some pain in the bones of hands and fingers. For most part of today so far, my head feels heavy with a mild headache appearing sometimes.

But when focusing on anything, that causes fine vibratory sensations there, and also this vibration/buzzy noise in my head (which is present often), that I don't know that Dissolution would have that kind of vibrations or not.

The main point for me is to know what is the best approach to take, in terms of focusing attention. Broad, narrow, inclusive, exclusive, effortful, effortless and gentle, etc.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/19 6:51 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash, broad and gentle is definitely the way to go --- like driving in a car with really soft suspension, but paying attention to how the car is still driving over a jagged road, a bumpy road, a slippery road, a smooth road. Still be mindful, but no need to focus with a lot of effort.

Vibrations can be interesting gateways... and great training tools. Notice how you have to pay attention to them with a gentle attention otherwise they get "squashed" by too much effort.

Kenneth Folk talked about how much effort it takes: it is like you are standing in the ocean, waist deep in the water, and there is a ping pong ball floating by you. It is bobbing up and down gently in the ripples. And your job is to put your finger on the ball and let it still float up and down, but with your finger never losing contact. So you must be very sensitive and very very gentle.

One thing to notice about vibrations is how the mind tends to notice the strong part of vibrations, but pays less attention to the "gaps" in between. Without using too much effort, also be curious about the gaps. What to gaps feel like? Is there a sensation there? A sound, perhaps? 

Buzzy vibrations in the head can be interesting, too. Those sensations are very close to where we feel "I am" in the head... so sometimes "I am" starts vibrating too. 

Hope this helps. You are definitely on the right path, so feel free to disregard anything I said if it doesn't feel right. You know your practice better than me!!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/19 7:08 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Very useful points, thank you so much Shargrol. I'll apply them definitely.

Today I was using Shinzen's Gone technique more, focusing on the endings/vanishings of the sensations, and for just a moment, on the silence or should I say the emptiness that remains after it. And of course that causes me to notice arisings more too.

What a great example, the ball on the waves on the ocean. Being gentle in practice is one of the things that I need most, and I often forget about it. This example has everything needed in it.

By broad, you meant inclusive also? I mean focusing on the entire visual field for instance would be broad but just once sense modality, and not inclusive if it doesn't include sounds and bodily sensations in the focus range.

Thanks again :-) .

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/19 1:48 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
In general, more inclusive is better, but no need to struggle.

This stage isn't so much about making the mind take on a particular quality, but rather noticing that no matter what arises, it's still "mind" so to speak, so there isn't a need to have strong preferences. 

Sometimes aspects of experience are kind of ignored -- like gaps between vibrations or even the sound "inside our head" of our own thinking about practice -- so my pointers are indeed encouraging you to go broad and inclusive, but make sure you stay gentle and don't add more effort. 

Hope this helps!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/19 1:51 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you. Sure it helps.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/8/19 2:00 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Sunday night:
In these three days, including today, there was strong sleepiness. The week before this, or maybe for a few weeks, I would need 5-6 hours of sleep each day except for weekends, but these three days I have slept at least 8 hours each day, and I still had sleepiness. Last night for the second sit, I did Fire Kasina, and I fell asleep after maybe 20 minutes, and woke up after 2 hours. I often get sleepy first in the practice, then fall asleep, and kind of know that I may fall asleep, but this was sudden and I just noticed waking up.

Since yesterday there are lots of pulsation in my muscles, with different frequency rates. During the day, a muscle in my chest had pulsations maybe for 5-6 hours. I paid attention to it for some minutes, and I could count 4-5 different frequency rates, ranging from 1 per 5-6 seconds, and 4-5 per seconds perhaps.

And there is a set of sensations yesterday and today that spread over my head, and legs and arms, but mostly left leg and left arm, that I don’t know what to call it. I haven’t learned the words to describe these things in my native languages well too, since it should be personal. Tingling for instance may mean different things to different people. Anyway, these sensations are similar to chills, and pins and needles, but different, the pins of these sensations are smaller , more dense and less sharp than pins of a normal pins & needles that I experience. There are some other sensations too today, a kind of stiffness that also has some numbness and maybe a little pain in it. It looks new!

Tonight also that pain in fingernails showed up again. Another familiar feeling that showed up an hour ago, was this sense that I am not able to breathe, especially when talking with someone. Also the numbness shows up again in hands/arms and legs/feet tonight. These sets of sensations repeat in these Dark Night periods, but I don’t know which stage they belong too. 

Two days ago it looked similar to descriptions of Dissolution somewhat, but these pulsations of yesterday and today probably is for higher stages. Today energy has returned a little bit.

These few days I use labeling whenever trying to be mindful. Without labels I slip into distractions easily.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/11/19 5:55 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Wednesday:
Last two days were holidays here, so I devoted them to practice, by putting this computer aside and not opening it until now. And now I feel distracted after opening the computer.

I did lots of nada sounds, focus on silence, breath, Note Everything and etc. It took some hours last night to fall asleep, an effect of practice. I immediately started noting and labeling after waking up.

Sensations look finer and smaller, and I am noticing arisings more, and more clearly. There were lots of intense pulsations.

Lots of bright lights and molten gold. And as always in these recent weeks and months, there are very bright dots in my vision, like bright yellow/white (mostly) flashlights, or like bright stars, but they are more circular and not star shaped.

Today so far there isn't much pulsation in muscles, or maybe there wasn't at all, but there is tightness and stiffness in muscles, as if I have done lots of hiking with an unprepared body.

In the dreams last night, again I was in a gun fight, and I shot two guys!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/13/19 6:08 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Friday:
Today I woke up twice, having dreams that there was fear in them. In both of them, I was in my parent's house. In the first one I was trying tohide things from my family, but I couldn't do that, and I was filled with fear, shame, guilt, frustration.

In the second one, I was trying to hide things again, and I had a ticket to come back here, and it was late, and I didn't have much time to catch the train, and I even didn't know what time exactly I should be there, I was very frustrated , and couldn't collect my things, but I didn't have enough collected-ness of the mind to be angry. It was pretty bad.

I practiced most of yesterday. After doing a little practice, I noticed lots of sensations around the tale bone, hips and lower back, that arising of them would cause other energetic sensations, like pulsations in muscles and vibrations in head. So I focused on that area (Since this happens always, I sometimes think that probably there is an energy blockage there, because these sensations arise but don't flow), to make it release and flow. Focusing on it intensified it, also caused lots of other sensations, tingles, pulsations, bright lights, feeling coolness and breeze, and sudden energy releases in my face and head, with a sharp sensation in my nose that included a very bright light that would stay for a few seconds then scatter, and also some momentary pains in different locations in the body, but that didn't cause any flow of energy, and these originating sensations in lower back remained the same. Then since these effects were getting more intense, I stopped that, and focused on other things, like the murk or the nada sounds, but all of them would cause the same effects.

I am practicing to use my laptop less, and practice more, since I notice that most of the time I spend behind this screen, is just some silly obsessions and doesn't lead to any positive outcome.

-- Edit:
I forgot to mention, whenever these sensations in lower back and tale bone arise, my body immediately contracts around it as if something bad and dangerous will happen, and it causes tightness and clenching in the muscles of abdomen, chest, back and legs. Especially in the abdomen, when it gets intense, these muscle contractions and tightenings become so intense in the abdomen that makes it harder and harder to breathe, and I have to take deep in-breaths, and breathing cycles becomes quite abnormal. Sometimes these contractions become painful.
Any suggestions?

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/17/19 9:22 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Tuesday evening:
Recent several days, the emotional tone is mostly neutral, and it feels calm and ok, although sometimes for short periods of time, a mild boredom and disenchantment arises.
Those pulsations have stopped mostly, except when doing high clarity narrow object focus practice, and there aren’t as much bright lights and bright dots in my vision as previous days, but still there are energetic sensations in the lower back and hips, and some spreads of tingly pins and needles, and some vibratory sensations, especially in fingers that feel like a stream of blood is moving under the skin. When focusing on the abdomen or hips or lower back, these sensations intensify, and some momentary sensations arise, some of them are very sharp pains, but quite different sensations arise, and body contracts around the intensity. I don’t do it often to ride on the safe side of the road, but I don’t know what is the best strategy.

These few days I have stayed awake longer at nights, and I had around 5 hours of sleep each day, which is less than normal for me. Although there is some sleepiness at nights in practice, but this has not been a problem. Last 2-3 nights in practice, I had some experiences like head-drops(?), my upper body and head is bent towards the front like when falling asleep, and then my head and torso jumps back (I don’t know better words to describe it clearer). They have a different quality from falling asleep, although there is some dullness present, but I don’t feel that I am falling asleep.

I have used many different techniques in these days, it feels boring to stick with one technique, but I have tried to practice keeping very clear attention on an object for short periods, like 10-20 seconds, not letting it flicker at all, since I was reading in MCTB2 that Daniel has emphasized that 10 seconds of continuous attention is better than an hour that is not continuous. And while doing that, I notice there are very brief gaps in the attention, which either attention is dull, and I don’t know clearly where it’s now, or it jumps to other objects, for a very small fraction of a second, that it’s hard to notice without paying very close attention.

I am reading Shamatha Jhanas from MCTB2 last few nights, and I noticed that an experience that I have regularly when focusing on the breath and the relaxation in the body and my hands, is close to the description of third jhana. The key feature of it is that, it start to feel spacious, and often I start to see that my body image is bigger, and there is a sense that the image, or feeling of my body is filling a larger area in the room, one third or half of the room, and there is an out-of-phase-ness (I mean the next sentence) often in the perception of my body and especially in the hands. I see image of my hands at one location, but there is another perception of it, that is in a different location. Last time there was this sense that, my hands are going down and getting farther from me/my head/observer, and its image and also the overall image of my body was getting smaller, as if I was looking at it from a far distance, and I had this perception that my hands are at the bottom of a ditch, and I am watching them from above the ground. Sometimes it’s the opposite, and I notice that my hands are getting closer to my head, and this distance is going towards collapsing, but doesn’t collapse. In this state, often there is a calmness in body mind, and often mind is quiet, and the visual field is quite black/dark often. I should examine it more, but I thought it was similar to the description of third jhana.

I don’t know that I am in a mild version of dukka nanas, or that this is Equanimity territory.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/19 6:55 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Wednesday:
Last night I did a few hours of practice, mostly with eyes open, and mostly on the arising and passing of sensations in all three modalities of See, Hear and Feel. Again this thing that I don't know a name for it, like dropping the head and torso, and then jumping back happened a few times at the earlly part of the practice that I wasn't much sleepy, but didn't happen towards the end of the practice that I was sleepy.

I was trying to find the sensations that represent the self, but I couldn't. There were only a bunch of see, hear, feels. It would take much more practice and clarity. I feel that I need to do some self inquiry practices, but often it doesn't feel engaging.

A few times it happened that I had this perception that some of the sensations in my body, are occurring in my body, and some of them are on someone else's body. I was sleepy at that point, and one instance that I remember clearly, some energetic sensations arose around the base of spine, and it caused some muscle contrations in my face and legs maybe, I was seeing my sister in my sister, I was feeling the sensations around the spine in my body, and was thinking/feeling that those muscle contraction in the face, is in my sister's face, and I had this thought that, she can release her muscles now and let go of that tensions (It was looking more real than an imagination, maybe like a dream. hypnagogic images?), then I noticed that it's in my own face and I released it. This thing happens from time to time, when I am sleepy.

Almost always, I sleep very late at night and wake up late in the morning, and almost always I wake up later than the time I want, despite several alarms that I set. Last two nights I set an intention to wake up on time, and I was surprised by the result. The night before last night, I intended to wake up between 10:30 an 11:00, and don't wake up before that (Every night I wake up once or twice in the middle of sleep), and I woke up at 10:50 and didn't wake up before that. Last night I set an intention to wake up at 10:40 and not wake up before that, and to my surprise, I woke up exactly on 10:40 and didn't wake up before that. Also since yesterday, again I am noticing those numeric patterns much more frequently when looking at the clock, I wonder if this is a stage thing, maybe Equanimity territory.

Last night at some point, energetic sensations increased in my body, and just focusing for 1-2 seconds, was causing intense pulsations and vibrations, but after about an hour, they decreased and then stopped, and I was focusing at the time on the space and all the sensations that arise in it with high clarity, that normally in such situations that there are more energetic sensations, should cause a storm of these sensations, but there were none. I thought maybe if I am in the Equanimity, these could be sub nanas of Equanimity, meaning the first one to be second Jhana and the last one to be the third Jhana phase of Equanimity, but it's just a guess.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/19 8:01 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I was trying to find the sensations that represent the self, but I couldn't. There were only a bunch of see, hear, feels. It would take much more practice and clarity. I feel that I need to do some self inquiry practices, but often it doesn't feel engaging.

This report has insight embedded in it. You're on to something but not quite putting your finger on it. There's a famous Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes story called "The Adventure of Silver Blaze" that features a crime that takes place on a horse farm. There is a seminal incident in that story that clues Holmes in on who perpetrated the crime. The scene goes like this:

Gregory (a Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Sherlock Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Sherlock Holmes: "That was the curious incident."


The question for you to ponder, Siavash, is what is the dog that's not barking in your comment? I'm intending to be obtuse about this because I think this may help lead you to an "Aha!" sort of insight.


RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/19 8:18 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I was trying to find the sensations that represent the self, but I couldn't. There were only a bunch of see, hear, feels. It would take much more practice and clarity. I feel that I need to do some self inquiry practices, but often it doesn't feel engaging.

This report has insight embedded in it. You're on to something but not quite putting your finger on it. There's a famous Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes story called "The Adventure of Silver Blaze" that features a crime that takes place on a horse farm. There is a seminal incident in that story that clues Holmes in on who perpetrated the crime. The scene goes like this:

Gregory (a Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Sherlock Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Sherlock Holmes: "That was the curious incident."


The question for you to ponder, Siavash, is what is the dog that's not barking in your comment? I'm intending to be obtuse about this because I think this may help lead you to an "Aha!" sort of insight.


Thank you Chris. I need to contemplate more. A point came to mind right now that, about looking for the sensations of self among a bunch of see hear feels and not finding it, is that there isn't anything to find, it's just a bunch of see hear feels, but that doesn't satisfy the question that I had last night, that when I am in this room, what is this that is here, and make all these sensations look like a vector, that all are poiting to a center. And I guess your question/example goes deeper than this.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/19 8:58 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
... when I am in this room, what is this that is here, and make all these sensations look like a vector, that all are poiting to a center.

This takes time to tease out.


RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/19 1:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... when I am in this room, what is this that is here, and make all these sensations look like a vector, that all are poiting to a center.

This takes time to tease out.




You mean with reaching Stream Entry or the agencyless-ness of 4th path that Daniel talks about? Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/19 1:54 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
You mean with reaching Stream Entry or the agencyless-ness of 4th path that Daniel talks about?

Yes - there is an intellectual understanding of this that precedes the "felt" experience of it. Both take some time to see and to process, culminating in the fully incorporated realization (conscious, subconscious) that there is nothing special about this observer/controller that we had always presumed was I/me/mine.



RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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9/22/19 7:07 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
After those several days that there was calmness and a mild tranquility, and practice had a good quality, for a few days after that, there was restlessness and distracted-ness and agitation. I had decided to practice for most of the weekend, but this restlessness became an obstacle, and I couldn't practice the way I wanted (Here weekends are Thursday and Friday). But since yesterday, restlessness and distracted-ness are almost gone, and again there is a calmness present, and practice goes more smoothly.

These few days, I mostly try to have short periods of exclusive attention, without letting subtle flickerings and jumps of attention to happen in that short periods (well actually I don't think that I have control over it, but I just try to set intention for it, and then observe it), and I try to see the impermanence of seemingly solid sensations in those short periods, and have a broad focus range, and let attention to move freely between modalities, but often in a slow pace. And for part of the practice, I use relaxation in the body, mostly in hands or with breathing.

Since near an hour ago, that cold water touch sensations has arisen in the sole of my right foot again, but this time it is so strong and continuous, that I thought maybe water has gone into my shoe really, so I took off my shoe and socks, but it wasn't wet and there was nothing liquid there. Just another strange sensation. Previously I had this sensations in the periods that I've marked them as A&P, but I can't be certain about such diagnoses.

Sometimes there is a clarity to visual space and objects in it that I don't know how to describe. It seems that the objects are more 3D, or bolder, or that I was looking without my glasses before and now I am looking with my glasses. It happens with external visual objects, and also with the mental images of body and the space around it.

I am using more intention setting these days, about wishing to have progress, and then letting go of expectations.

I am reading parts of MCTB2, today it was about vipassana hierarchy. Daniel talks about core processes, and paying attention to things like practice, attention, intention, subtle fear and etc, but since Shinzen's See Hear Feel has become so apparent and default mode for me, I often think that, what is specific about these things, it's just some see hear feels. Any intention, mind state, feeling manifests as see hear feels and same for others.

-- Edit:
I forgot to mention, yesterday I noticed some vibrations in my legs, which I guess I had similar ones in the previous days too, it seemed that there are two levels of vibrations, or two different frequencies of vibration. The bigger or slower one, had a rate about 1 pulse in 1.5-2 seconds with pauses between pulses that would last for 1-1.5 seconds (After I started focusing on it, it got faster and lost its fixed rate), but it seemed that each pulse of it contained another vibration, which was so fast that I wasn't able to count its pulses. I guess it could be more that 10 pulses per seconds.

Since yesterday, this feeling/experience, that looks like a momentary vertigo (I don't know a better name) arises more. For a moment or a few moment, it seems that the external visual space and objects in it are moving or start to move, and get out of phase. Don't know how to describe better.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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9/22/19 7:52 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Good stuff. All of this is promising Siavash.

In terms of mapping these experiences...

Cold water on foot is probably 3rd vipassina jhana. For what it's worth, try to imagine a light cool breeze blowing on your skin and see how much you can get that cool feeling to cover your body.

Seeing things with clarity is the Equanimity nana.

The momentary vertigo (out of phase movement) might be weak "formations" appearing.


You are doing great. Make sure the intentions you set for your practice include stream entry. Something like "may my practice naturally lead me to stream entry for the benefit of myself and all beings".

Also, you should know that by now your "vipassina" instict is well-developed and you don't need to worry that much about "really trying to notice everything exactly and precisely". Your mind already knows how to vipassina. The trick in the steps leading up to stream entry is to trust your mind to lead you and allow your mind to become more jhana/samatha-like. In other words, the "attention" aspect of mind can soften and become a more gentle "awareness". Still stay curious about vibrations and sensations and the sound of thoughts in the head, but do it more gently, less aggression and more love, so to speak.

Some people call this "concentration" but unfortunately that word often implies forcing the mind to pay close attention. The best way to think of concentration is relaxed and "gently centered". 

Trust your curiousity and awareness to lead your mind to stream entry. "You" don't need to figure this out. Let yourself be lead onward.



RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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9/22/19 8:27 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you so much Shargrol for your encouraging words and helpful points.

Yes I include the intention for Stream Entry, similar to what you said.

I often have a tendency, since childhood, to underestimate what I already have. It's true that sometimes it turns into a positive force, to learn more and gain more, but other times it becomes an obstacle to see new opportunities and possibilities, and leads to obsessions.

Your words gave a positive feelings, and will help with some of those negative tendencies :-)
I'll try to work more with awareness, and cultivate joy and a gentle curiosity.
Thanks again.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 6:33 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
In the last 1-2 weeks, I've done mostly Fire Kasina for my daily practice, with or without candle. Internal visual field has become more 3D, and last night for some minutes it felt that it's much deeper, as if I am looking into darkness with eyes open, and there is not a clear boundry to the visual field. There are always very bright and 3D dots in the field, shining and blinking in and out.

But I have done less practice in the last several days, one reason is that I have a guest, but the other reason that is related to practice, is that, these days especially since yesterday, concentrating just briefly on anything causes very strong pains, which often are very brief, a few seconds usually, and also very intense tensions and pulsations in muscles, that cause strong pain in muscles and bones.

Last night I tried to distract myself while I was in bed, and not focus on anything, because being mindful was causing these tensions and contractions and pains, and along with them a feeling of anxiety. It's the same today, and when I don't distract myself, these energetic sensations in lower back and pelvis and around the spine arise and cause tension and pain.

I would appreciate to have some advice/suggestion on what would be a skillful approach? To distract myself and not practice for a few days, or do more practice? I don't have any problem with pain, but I wouldn't like to cause problem for my body because of practice, or become so unstable that cause problems with working.
Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 7:17 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Can you sit for a while, using fire kasina or breath, and then let the mind/body do whatever it will and simply note the sensations, urges, emotions, and types of thoughts that occur for about a half-hour? (Noting at a slow pace, just on each outbreath, so only 10-12 things noted per minute.)

This kind of allow-it-to-happen practice is often helpful for working through experiences of strong sensations, urges, emotions, and troublesome patterns of thoughts. 

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 7:25 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Can you sit for a while, using fire kasina or breath, and then let the mind/body do whatever it will and simply note the sensations, urges, emotions, and types of thoughts that occur for about a half-hour? (Noting at a slow pace, just on each outbreath, so only 10-12 things noted per minute.)

This kind of allow-it-to-happen practice is often helpful for working through experiences of strong sensations, urges, emotions, and troublesome patterns of thoughts. 


Yes, I can do that.

I'll try it and report back. Thank you Shargrol.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 7:31 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I think Shargrol’s advice was great. I find Shinzen style slow noting very stabilizing. One other thing that I find helpful is also just noting thoughts as thoughts and feelings as feelings. Nothing other than that. Not investigating any physical sensations any further. For me it tends to slow down a racing mind and helps me not to identify with the stuff that the mind comes up with.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 7:43 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thank you Linda. I'll try that too, and see how it goes.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 9:10 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Another way to go could also be to focus on the impermanence of the pain, on different levels. The fact that it fades and ends AND how it consists of very brief pulses with space inbetween them (in which the memory of the sensations tends to fill out and create the illusion of continuity) AND (if possible) the space within each pulse (since even the pulses consist of subpulses). I often do this with pain, when it is sharp but tolerable pain (I wouldn’t recommend it for a root filling at the dentist’s without anaesthesia). But if you think that the pain is a result from too much focusing on sensations, then I wouldn’t choose this option. Michael Taft warned me from that. He recommended me to periodically focus solely on thoughts and feelings to avoid such pain.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 9:29 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I think these pains are a result of focusing on sensations and filling the bandwidth of mind. Often when I am distracted, there isn't any pain, but if I focus on something, momentary painful sensations arise, that jump from one location to another. Focusing on things like impermanence requires higher mindfulness, so causes more energetic sensations, and as a result, more tensions and painful sensations.

As I said, I don't worry much about pain. I've heard people talk about Kundalini rising, that is not smooth and causes serious problems. That's what I worry about, although I haven't read detailed stories about problematic Kundalini risings.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 10:44 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Ah. Yeah, I see. I had that, about a decade ago, and it was terrifying. I think it was sort of an energetic mutiny for leading a life that was harmful to me (this was before I got my diagnoses, which I got late in life, so I was trying to be something that I wasn’t). Nowadays piti/kundalini is a very gentle friend, but back then it would explode in my head after shooting up through my spine with such a force that I would fall. Intense breathing exercises followed by lifting up one’s perineum (Mula bandha) can make it happen again, I have noticed, so I avoid that. That energy knows the way up through the spine perfectly fine on its own, so no need to force it. It shouts when we don’t listen to it, or if we ”listen” to it but mistake its callout for something that should be cultivated instead of taking in the message. That’s how I see it nowadays. It may change again.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that at least for me, trusting it to mean well even though its communication may be difficult has been a much more useful approach than fearing it. Besides, the sensations you describe do not sound like Kundalini awakening to me. Furthermore, you have already had your Kundalini awakening if you crossed the A&P. I don’t recall having heard of anyone developing violent Kundalini experiences after crossing the A&P, but I’m no expert.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 10:56 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Ah. Yeah, I see. I had that, about a decade ago, and it was terrifying. I think it was sort of an energetic mutiny for leading a life that was harmful to me (this was before I got my diagnoses, which I got late in life, so I was trying to be something that I wasn’t). Nowadays piti/kundalini is a very gentle friend, but back then it would explode in my head after shooting up through my spine with such a force that I would fall. Intense breathing exercises followed by lifting up one’s perineum (Mula bandha) can make it happen again, I have noticed, so I avoid that. That energy knows the way up through the spine perfectly fine on its own, so no need to force it. It shouts when we don’t listen to it, or if we ”listen” to it but mistake its callout for something that should be cultivated instead of taking in the message. That’s how I see it nowadays. It may change again.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that at least for me, trusting it to mean well even though its communication may be difficult has been a much more useful approach than fearing it. Besides, the sensations you describe do not sound like Kundalini awakening to me. Furthermore, you have already had your Kundalini awakening if you crossed the A&P. I don’t recall having heard of anyone developing violent Kundalini experiences after crossing the A&P, but I’m no expert.


Hmm. It could be that I am making a problem out of a normal pattern of sensations, because of contracting too much around it, and developing fear responses, based on not very solid information.
I guess the intuition that I've had always, is right, that the main thing that I need is relaxation and trust.

Thanks. It was helpful.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 11:15 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I thought that might be the case. Yes, trust your intuition, not your reactive responses!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/6/19 8:12 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Ah. Yeah, I see. I had that, about a decade ago, and it was terrifying. I think it was sort of an energetic mutiny for leading a life that was harmful to me (this was before I got my diagnoses, which I got late in life, so I was trying to be something that I wasn’t). Nowadays piti/kundalini is a very gentle friend, but back then it would explode in my head after shooting up through my spine with such a force that I would fall. Intense breathing exercises followed by lifting up one’s perineum (Mula bandha) can make it happen again, I have noticed, so I avoid that. That energy knows the way up through the spine perfectly fine on its own, so no need to force it. It shouts when we don’t listen to it, or if we ”listen” to it but mistake its callout for something that should be cultivated instead of taking in the message. That’s how I see it nowadays. It may change again.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that at least for me, trusting it to mean well even though its communication may be difficult has been a much more useful approach than fearing it. Besides, the sensations you describe do not sound like Kundalini awakening to me. Furthermore, you have already had your Kundalini awakening if you crossed the A&P. I don’t recall having heard of anyone developing violent Kundalini experiences after crossing the A&P, but I’m no expert.

Actually, it’s neither a friend nor a foe, but a tool. Seeing it as a friend may be helpful in using the tool skillfully, though, depending on one’s needs. It doesn’t have any intentions, unless we make it have them.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/7/19 3:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yes.

Last night I did what Shargrol suggested, and it went smoothly.
I had decided earlier to let go of worries about having an explosive energy release.
And before the sits. I resolved to have a joyful and insightful sit, I did 2 sits each one hour or more, it started with some momentary pains and contractions and restlessness, but then it decreased, and it was not a problem. Will see how it goes today.

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10/7/19 5:09 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I’m glad. Shargrol’s advice seem to always be as safe as they come.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/13/19 3:18 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Not much motivation or energy to write.
And not much motivation or energy to practice. It was a few days that I had not done formal practice, I was doing just short practices or practice while in bed. But last night I did two formal sits.

There have been lots of distractions these days, and there wasn't much mindfulness, so things like vibratory sensations have not showed up much. I just like to sleep at nights, or actually go under the blanket. I slept long last two nights, but tonight, I don't know what's gonna happen.
Strangely enough, I was very very focused in the work. They forced an unfair deadline on us, it was a two weeks long task, to upgrade a project, I did it in 4-5 days. Nothing like that in meditation. I am trying slowly to remind myself to be mindful, and do more practice.

I am watching a TV movie each night, it had two other seasons in the past and now it's the third season. There is a character that I like him, and I like the actor too. In the last few days, while practicing, I notice that for some seconds I become one of the characters in the movie. I find myself thinking, literally as if I am that person in the movie, and thinking about my life and problems as that role, then after a little while, I wake up from that role, and realize that I am not that person and it's just a character in the movie, different from me. It's not a dreamy state, and I don't fall asleep during that, but whatever that it. it's new I guess.

There was very intense tension in my muscles for 2-3 days, similar to the times in the last few years before meditation, where I would have anxiety attacks, but today it didn't show up much. Probably related to the things that are going on here, or maybe that and meditation.

Also it has happened a number of times in these few days, that for some moments, I have this perception about the visual objects, that they are just small images, like images in a cartoon, made out of paper, phony, without density, but it wasn't more clear than that.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/14/19 4:11 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
These two days that I was a little more mindful and did a little more practice, it seems that it had some effects on my experiences. It seems that the energy to practice is coming back slowly, but still I am very tired. I guess I know why I am so tired. When something is not working, or when someone is not doing their job well, often my first reaction is a feeling and mind state of guilt. I get questions like, what I have done wrong, what I could do that I haven't done, and etc. And there is a desperate waiting for the problem to resolve, to prove to myself that I wasn't guilty, or if I was, I have covered that, with giving back more than enough, and then get some relief. And now that there is a problem in this apartment, which I am fixing it, but it has caused some trouble for the neighbour and for me, this kind of problem gives a strong sense of guilt, and while the problem is there, there isn't any relief. Having lived a whole life with this mentality, it shouldn't surprise me that I am so tired.

I need to be kind to myself.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/15/19 7:16 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Last night before the formal practice, while I was watching Leigh Brasington's program on SFDC youtube channel, for a few minutes some pattern of sensations arose, that I thought it looks like A&P. Some strong itchy tingly sensations arose on the tale bone, and similar ones on the base of spine, with some moving sensations around them, and tingly vibratory sensations on my hands and fingers, and a subtle spread of coolness over the body, but it passed away after a few minutes.

For the formal sit, I sat for 90 minutes, and this time I didn't move at all while sitting - I often adjust my posture a couple times during the sit - and I used Leigh's instruction for entering the first Jhana, which caused relaxation in the body mind. Some piti arose, but there was dullness and when there is dullness, often piti doesn't arise.

I had a visual experience for once or twice, that I don't know what that is or why it happens. It has happened a few times in the previous days too. Often there are some colors in the visual fields, mostly pale washed out purple and green with some bright dots, that these days the green has become more bright and defined, but whatever change that happens in the field, would include a combination of these visual patterns. But last night in the middle of the practice, for just one moment, maybe for half a second, the content of visual field got replaced by a tv static, exactly like tv static, except that it was a little darker that than, a black and white static that appeared for just one moment and then disappeared, and got replaced by the normal content of the field. The other times that it has happened, it was exactly like this also. It looks like the lights is off for examle, and you turn on the tv that has only statics for just one moment and then turn it off, and it happens suddenly without any sign before that. I sometimes get low res images in the murk, but those are completely different from this static thing.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/18/19 3:56 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I notice that I am developing a tic in the left side of my face, that has showed up in recent weeks and months, and I didn’t have it before that, and it happens mostly when I try to be mindful during daily activities. The strange thing about it is that, I don’t want to have this tic, but because I want to have a reference point to be able to measure using that reference point how long is it that I haven’t had a tic, I do the tic semi intentionally myself! Just to create a reference point in time.

Unfortunately this is the difficult thing about many (all?) habits/addictions. You want to show yourself that you are not doing it, or using it, and you do that by doing/using it, and it never ends.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/25/19 4:44 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Friday night:
After a few days that I did formal sitting practice before going to bed, again it's a few days that there is a procrastination or maybe aversion towards formal sitting practice. Instead, I am doing short practices, 10-40 minutes, and doing other activities between them.

In daily activities, sometimes there is mindfulness, but other times I get lost in thoughts quite easily. This movie that I am watching every night creates lots of distractions.

It's a few weeks that there are some patterns of sensations that are repeating. One is some piti like sensations, energetic sensations on and around the tale bone and base of spine, that arise and intensify and move up a little bit, then fade away, and sometimes create a pleasant coolness that spreads over hands and feet, and sometimes over other parts of the body as well.

Another one is a very bright purple/violet color pattern that arises in the center of visual field, with eyes open or closed, and if I close my eyes, it turns into a black area that is shining, and expands, then a relatively bright white/yellow ball arises and expands from the right side of the field and comes to the center then contracts and the blackness expands again with a mix of bright purple/violet and fills the center, then the white ball expands again, and it continues like this for some time. these colors often are very bright and sometimes not pixelated. Sometimes it changes with the phase of the breath, but other times not. (It's been several months that these visual patterns arise, sometimes less sometimes more, and often when I feel sleepy, then I notice these bright purple/violet colors dancing in front of me.)

And almost always there are these very bright dots in the visual field, that are shining lke a flashligh, and each one stay for some seconds then fade away.

The content of the visual field with eyes closed is filled with static, very small dots and particles and very thin lines or hairs, that if I focus on them, these lines become more defined and start swirling, and often there is a green area in the center that is made of these lines, and if I focus on it, another purple area arises, made of thin purple lines that there is a bright green or light green in its center that often is not pixelated and changes shape and color and appears and disappears.

Some days I wake up with a relatively strong pain on the tale bone towards the right side of the pelvis, that I think is related to the energy that is blocked there. Often it goes away after some minutes. Sometimes it arises again during the practice for a few minutes with less intensity.

Emotionally it often feels very normal these days, and sometimes there is calmness and tranquality and equanimity, but also sometimes there is restlessness and anxiety, which doesn't last long. And during practice, often focusing on anything causes pulsations in muscles and vibrations (not so much in my head like before! Strangely!), and also those energetic itchy tingly sensations around the tale bone.

I think I have lots of weird dreams each night, but I don't remember most of them. Often later in the day I get some very vague images of them, but often they are not clear enough to see what was the image. Often the theme is being on a high ground, maybe in the space or on mountains, or on an ocean, falling down or flying, and things like that.

Sometimes during the practice when I get sleepy, I start having thoughts about myself, as if myself is someone else. Last night I noticed that I am in a somewhat hypnagogic/dreamy space and I am talking with my nephew about myself, that things need to be done for myself, but I was poining to someone else, and telling my nephew that he should do these things, and that "he" was myself.

And there is aversion towards writing practice logs. I get thoughts like, so what? Why bother? Who cares? What is important about these things you write? Is there anything new you want to write about? And more. But anyway I decided to write this one!

I wish I don't get to a point where I start thinking that I have experienced things that I haven't, and I have attained things that I haven't, since it's so easy to get lost when there is impatience and unhealthy comparisons. What I see with some people online, that are falling in such traps really makes me sad. I have the same wish for everyone.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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10/25/19 7:44 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I managed to have a formal sitting practice tonight, and sat for 100 minutes without moving much. I take it to be a good sign.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/2/19 6:10 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
These days while doing practice, especially if there is some dullness and sleepiness, lots of objectification and personification happens. Often my self tends to be broken down into two or several selves, and each of them presenting itself as a separate person.

Last night I noticed that I am talking with several people about the experience, my experience. One of them was the practitioner, the other one was the observer, and there were a few others that I forgot quickly after it happened. I am not sure that "I" was the observer, or I was someone other than the observer watching the whole scene, and we were talking about the experience that was happening, then I kind of woke up from that state and realized that there aren't several people and it's just me observing the sensations.

Tonight there was a thought about one of Michael Taft's interviews, as if he had to publish it in two parts, and I was watching the process of breaking down the interview into two parts, and I saw that while breaking down the interview, its second part fell down on the ground, as if it was a solid object, like some cheese that you hold one end of it, and cut it with a knife, and the other end that was free falls down.

Then at some point that I was focusing on the breath, I jumped into a thought about the breath, the object of practice. I was thinking about the time that this object of practice goes to work, and how should it be observed while it's not here and is working, and then should be observed again when it comes back at night, and that while its not here, that space is empty. Of course none of these were very clear, all of these objects and concepts had a vague definition and appearance. Then I woke up from that state, and noticed that there is no separate entity, and that breathing is here with me, and there is only me in the story.

Probably this is my mind's crazy solution for implementing the divide and conquer algorithm!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/3/19 5:17 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
This "listening to several voices" stuff is very common. Something that just seems to have to burn itself out. If it gets too troubling, its okay to practice less, but otherwise it really does seem to be a (very strange) phase that we have to move through. 

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11/3/19 6:18 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you. Interesting that it's common!
No it's not troubling. Actually it's interesting to see and watch how mind creates different presentations of "reality".

-- Edit:
And as far as I remember, there aren't actual several voices, although I am not sure because there is not high clarity in this state, but what I remember is that there is only one voice, but there is this perception that the conversation is happening between several people, and it looks more real than an imagination. More like hypnagogic dreams maybe.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/3/19 1:33 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I had that happening to me as I was about to start therapy a few years ago. I have also heard the chakras bickering with each other, which probably proves that my phantasy isn’t as poor as I sometimes think.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/3/19 1:55 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
chakras bickering with each other! This is a good one! Probably reading this will initiate some weird dreams!

First time this happened more than a year ago, that I was observing two selves in my mind, that I was thinking about another self which was me too, and once or twice it happened in dreams, that there was another guy there, and I was divided between my body and his body, but then it stopped. Recently my dreams have become much more strange, and this thing happens much more often. Will see where it goes.

I had that happening to me as I was about to start therapy a few years ago

Probably this means that it's related more to purification part(?).

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/3/19 2:42 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
First time this happened more than a year ago, that I was observing two selves in my mind, that I was thinking about another self which was me too, and once or twice it happened in dreams, that there was another guy there, and I was divided between my body and his body, but then it stopped.

When I was a teenager I was often sleep deprived, and one of those times I had the distinct experience of being divided into two while being in the shower, side by side, both being conscious at the same time. I experienced both those subjective consciousnesses simultaneously.

Probably this means that it's related more to purification part(?).

Makes sense. Inner conflicts.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/3/19 4:20 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
When I was a teenager I was often sleep deprived, and one of those times I had the distinct experience of being divided into two while being in the shower, side by side, both being conscious at the same time. I experienced both those subjective consciousnesses simultaneously.


I have had this experience also, or something like it. Only once just after my first A&P event. It was like the feeling of being in two places at once. It felt like the since of being was standing somewhere behind my body. Or my location in space wasn't in my body like it normaly is, but standing about five feet behind my body. 

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/4/19 9:25 AM as a reply to Michial Neal.
Michial Neal:
When I was a teenager I was often sleep deprived, and one of those times I had the distinct experience of being divided into two while being in the shower, side by side, both being conscious at the same time. I experienced both those subjective consciousnesses simultaneously.


I have had this experience also, or something like it. Only once just after my first A&P event. It was like the feeling of being in two places at once. It felt like the since of being was standing somewhere behind my body. Or my location in space wasn't in my body like it normaly is, but standing about five feet behind my body. 


That sounds like what people call astral projection. I have had something more similar to that as well.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/4/19 2:20 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
That sounds like what people call astral projection. I have had something more similar to that as well.
That's what I would have called it, but I had never heard of anyone having it happen while being awake and walking around. It was strange that's for sure. It also lasted for about 3-4 hours, until I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning everything was back to normal. It hasn't happen since then.


RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/4/19 3:01 PM as a reply to Michial Neal.
Michial Neal:
That sounds like what people call astral projection. I have had something more similar to that as well.
That's what I would have called it, but I had never heard of anyone having it happen while being awake and walking around. It was strange that's for sure. It also lasted for about 3-4 hours, until I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning everything was back to normal. It hasn't happen since then.

Yeah, I don't recall having heard of that either. It sure sounds unusual. In my case I was asleep but lucid. I sat up in my bed, whereas my body was still lying down, and subjectively talked to my dad who had recently passed away. It didn't last very long. The same thing happened to my brother.

Siavash, I'm so sorry for hijacking your practice log! It wasn't my intention. Let me know of you wish me to delete my latest posts in it!

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11/4/19 4:31 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Monday night:
Ok, I give up resisting the urge to write..

It's been quite a while that the overall pattern of sensations in my experience has not changed much in terms of vibrations, energy, and feeling tone, but since last night it has started to change, and it feels like the system has started running again!
It's a week or so that I am sleeping way longer than normal, and almost all nights I feel sleepy, which I don't know its causes. Also there was another change that probably has started around a week ago too, that in my visual field especially with eyes closed, instead of washed out static that is hard to detect what it is, often there is a very bright and beautiful green in the center, and sometimes there is a bright deep pink or purple around or beside it. Again I don't know what has caused this change (How would I know?!)

Last night I noticed that attention feels sharper and clearer and is getting sharper with time, and like the time before this period of distractions, vibratory sensations arise in my fingers/hands and feet, that feel like streams of blood is moving under the skin, and also those vibrations in my head started to show up again, and there was a higher motivation to pay close attention to sensations. A few hours after that, while doing seated practice, for some minutes there was anger and disgust. Then before going to bed and while in bed, fear arose, which like always was initiated with worrying about my health, then turned into anxiety and tension and pulsation in muscles.

I had a dream that first part of it was terrifying, but its second part was very relaxed, and joyful, I was seated under the rain, and was watching the sky and coulds, and all the images were very clear, more like experience in wakefulness.

Today, although attention doesn't feel as sharp as last night, but those vibratory sensations especially in fingers still arise, and there are negative emotions that are coming and going. A few times the restlessness in the my whole body became very intense, but those were relatively short, and now it feels relatively normal, with some restlessness remaining.

That movie that I was watching every night for about a month has ended, and it seems that after that, my mind is more collected, and practice goes better.

I don't know these changes are related to nanas or sub-nanas, but I can see that there are certain patterns of sensations that repeat. It would take much more observation to know what is what.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/4/19 3:15 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Michial Neal:
That sounds like what people call astral projection. I have had something more similar to that as well.
That's what I would have called it, but I had never heard of anyone having it happen while being awake and walking around. It was strange that's for sure. It also lasted for about 3-4 hours, until I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning everything was back to normal. It hasn't happen since then.

Yeah, I don't recall having heard of that either. It sure sounds unusual. In my case I was asleep but lucid. I sat up in my bed, whereas my body was still lying down, and subjectively talked to my dad who had recently passed away. It didn't last very long. The same thing happened to my brother.

Siavash, I'm so sorry for hijacking your practice log! It wasn't my intention. Let me know of you wish me to delete my latest posts in it!

It's ok :-) . No need to delete anything :-)

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/6/19 2:22 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I have read three parts of MCTB2 so far (I listened to MCTB audio book on youtube last year, but there were lots of missing parts on it), parts on Jhanas, Insight, and My Quest, and I wasn't sure to read the other three parts because I wasn't sure that practice-wise I need to read them, but I was wrong. I started reading its first part a few days ago, and I am glad that I did. There are lots of fine points about the practice.

By reading the early chapters and thinking about my practice, I realized that my practice so far has been mostly a concentration practice, and not an insigh practice. Although I pay some attention on the arising and passing of sensations, and sometimes make it the practice, but focusing on the three characteristics of sensations has not been the main theme of my practice, and probably that is why it has not led to much insights.

Or maybe it's more correct to say that it has been somewhat in the gray area between insight and concentration practice. Since I have not cultivated joy intentionally, and also the practice has not produced much joy, therefore it has not gone much in the direction of Jhanas. It has been focused mostly on developing a stable attention, and as a result, I have been able to start doing practice in almost all situations, but like many of other things, I have not put a strong focus on developing one of the insight or concentration.

This is a recurring theme in my life in learning new things. Since almost all of the things that I've learned, were without a teacher and with try and errors, often in the beginning there is a period like this, that I don't focus my time and energy on just one aspect, and I go with learning and practicing a little bit of many things, and it takes some time to learn and realize that I should put a clear direction to the learning and practicing.

So now I have decided to move this practice in the direction of insight. Although these days lots of stressful things are going on in my work, and I don't have much energy, but at least I can try.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/9/19 2:06 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
It's been sometime that I am thinking about this question, but I don't know the answer. I've read the related parts from MCTB2, maybe I've forgotten some of that, but I couldn't come to a conclusion based on that.

So my question is, how fast cycling can get before stream entry? Is it possible for instance to go from A&P to Equanimity in a few hours or in one day, for someone that has not attained path?

And the follow-up question is, how one can distinguish between cycling through Equanimity sub nanas, from the cycling through A&P to Equanimity?

I appreciate any answer.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/10/19 6:24 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
It is very common prior to path, whiere someone goes slowly/moderately up through the nanas and quickly back down and slowly/moderately up and quickly down and up and down. This is VERY common in the lead up to SE. I sort of think of it as the mind going through the nanas and "cleaning them up" so to speak. It's totally normal to go through three of these ups and downs in an hour's sit, for example. 

Not everyone has a lot of clarity about which nana they are in, so sometimes it feels like the mind jumps around to different nanas without a pattern. Other times people have a lot more clarity and can see this as the equanimity sub-nana idea.

I personally didn't care about the map as much as just paying attention to what was actually occuring. It's really up to you whether you want to spend time figuring out if it is a nana or sub-nana of equanimity that you are experiencing. It isn't essential, but if you can do it, it isn't a bad thing either. It isn't required to know this at the level of sub-nana detail in order to arrive at SE. 

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/10/19 7:48 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you Shargrol., it was very helpful.

Not that I am super interested in mapping my experience, but the reason for asking this question is that, these days there are lots of rapid shifts in my experience, in terms of energetic sensations, vibrations, sleepiness, emotional tone, bodily pains, visuals that appear and etc, that I wanted to know if these are related to cycling or if there are other causes such as health or stress related to work for example. If it would be related to cycling, then it would be clearer how to deal with these experiences, and how to pay attention and which aspect of experience to pay more attention to.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/10/19 10:18 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
I think it sounds like it could be related to cycling, and it wouldn't surpise me at all if you are cycling rapidly. What you are describing is stuff that I have attributed to cycling when they occurred to me, and it seemed to help me to make sense of the experience and work with it to see things more clearly. 

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11/10/19 2:00 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thank you Linda.

That is what I guess, that these experiences and shifts are related mostly to cycling, but much more observation is needed to get a clearer picture and understanding of what is going on.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log
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11/20/19 6:55 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
This thing that was happening during the practice, that seemed that there are more than one versions/copies of me, talking with each other or thinking about each other, has stopped, but a few days ago I had an interesting dream, that I was with my family in "our house", which I had not seen that house before in the outer world, and my sister and brother both had two versions.

My brother was talking about my brother, as a different person, and describing the reasons for one of his behaviors. And my sister was keeping the volume of tv loud, and others there were saying that it's annoying my sister, which was resting there, but she was saying it's ok, and both of them were manifesting in the same body.

And interestingly enough, after I woke up, since the dream was very clear, I was kind of shocked by what was going on and it seemed normal at first, then after I thought about it, I realized it was not normal.

The aversive part of me does not let the greedy part to log more than this.