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My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 12/19/10 4:47 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Pål S. 12/19/10 5:07 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 12/19/10 12:36 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Bruno Loff 12/19/10 1:39 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 12/19/10 3:09 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Bruno Loff 12/19/10 3:18 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 12/20/10 12:08 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Bruno Loff 12/20/10 1:45 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) . . 12/20/10 8:16 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Pål S. 12/19/10 2:37 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 12/20/10 12:15 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Seraphina Wise 12/20/10 7:58 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Jeff Grove 12/19/10 5:58 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 12/21/10 8:05 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 1/4/11 9:18 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Martin M 1/4/11 10:47 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 1/5/11 9:13 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Martin M 1/5/11 9:26 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) ManZ A 1/6/11 11:13 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Pål S. 1/7/11 12:08 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Trent . 1/7/11 1:19 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Pål S. 1/7/11 2:23 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 6/15/11 12:04 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) tarin greco 6/16/11 9:32 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 6/16/11 11:05 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 6/16/11 11:58 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) tarin greco 6/17/11 2:21 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 7/25/11 1:56 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Christian Ballhaus 7/25/11 6:59 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 7/25/11 11:08 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Christian Ballhaus 7/25/11 12:07 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) . . 7/29/11 3:45 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 8/1/11 9:39 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Bruno Loff 8/1/11 5:19 PM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 8/3/11 4:45 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Bruno Loff 8/3/11 4:56 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 8/3/11 6:42 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Bruno Loff 8/3/11 7:34 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) Elin S 8/4/11 8:11 AM
RE: My AF practice (ESL) . . 8/3/11 11:30 AM
My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 4:47 AM
I would say I'm back on track.

After a two hour chat with Stefanie, I had the first PCE in quite a while.

Communicating with an actually free person, with no ability to sink "my" emotional hooks in, and having all my words taken sincerely and at face value proved to be both a mental challenge as well as a gateway for me.

The PCE lasted for about 20-30 minutes, with me going in and out of it. I didn't notice any exceptional qualities to the world around me, but "I" was changed. Words flowed freely, nothing seemed to matter and I was safe (as opposed to felt safe). I remember telling Stefanie while it happened that the quality was that of a cellular happiness rather than an emotional happiness. I could notice my body almost vibrating, like a more pleasant version of regaining control of a limb that has fallen asleep. I reflected that I didn't understand why I'd settle for second best when this mode of being was there, readily available, 24/7.

After a while I noticed old doubts setting in and this morning when I woke I was back to semi-normal.

A curious thing happened while I was mulling over the night though; I finally figured out the whole "altruism" business. Previously, I've had a passionate feeling that I have to do this in order to benefit everyone (there was a certain "rah-rah-RAH!" quality to the feeling, some kind of grand, theatrical gesture), but I knew damn well that "I" had my own agenda in this; I wanted to do it to impress an old boyfriend, I wanted to do it to be a good person, I wanted to do it to punish myself for being flawed, and most important of all - I wanted to stay the same while having the seal of approval for being a good Elin and practicing actualism.

Thinking dispassionately about it had a distinctly different quality, in that "I" seemed to finally get (with the PCE in somewhat fresh memory) that "I" am really doing this for the benefit of everyone. The ramifications of ceasing to endlessly require others to prop "me" up and provide "me" were very clear. There's just no alternative to letting everyone else go, and stop spreading the dis-ease.

I can't stress enough how important sincerity is/was for me. Where I come from, innuendo, double meanings, irony and sarcasm are sort of the conversational currency, and functioning without them is almost frightening at times (and will probably make me seem stupid, which is yet another fear).

Anyway, back to dealing with today's dollop of emotions and beliefs. A grand day to you all.

PS. Writing this put me in a mini-PCE right away. Oops, it turned into gratitude for actualism. Dangnabbit! emoticon DS.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 5:07 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Thanks for being so honest Elin and good luck with your practice, keep updating as you proceed.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 12:36 PM as a reply to Elin S.
I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm checking in just to make sure I don't get off the horse again.

I had a fairly splendid day, though tired from recent events. I decided to take an afternoon nap and woke up to absolute terror. I tried to stick with it a bit by staying in the twilight zone (I've noticed there's a certain fluidity to my thoughts just as I wake up and fall asleep that I don't often get when I'm wide awake), and it was the same stark reality/emptiness that I've experienced before. At the same time, there was a mental cacophony of thoughts and feelings telling me to just go back; "Back into the herd, back to the anxiety, back, back, back. Who do you think you are? This is not reality, it's just a sham, go back to your old way of being, and do it now. There's nothing for you here! You're just using actualism as an excuse to sit on your arse and do nothing, you're just scared of the world outside!" It was as if the "old me" was just rushing in, letting me know there was no way out.

I didn't manage to conjure up sincerity until about now, and I'm still reeling a bit, pondering what's real and what isn't. I immediately grabbed for whatever good feelings I could, though I didn't notice it until afterwards.

Does anyone recognize this kind of backlash?

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 1:39 PM as a reply to Elin S.
I do. I've had many panic attacks due to practice. They've gotten less frequent and less powerful over time, though. What I did was to focus on the fear as a body sensation, and make sure I know that all the thoughts I am having are just a result of fear. When I can't do it anymore I go relax, take a walk in nature (even if it's a bad day). I'll do this entire routine a number of times, over a period of a few days.

Notice how part of the fear you experience is fear of the feeling of fear you're experiencing. You are really scared also because you're really scared! (silly hun? emoticon ) Try to actively make sure that you don't loop on the fear, this will help diminish the overwhelmingness.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 2:37 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Weird, told myself almost the same story today. Finally I just said to myself: "okay, let's go back then shall we?" After a few hours of contemplation I realized there was no back, panicked a bit and now I'm back to hanging out in no-man's-land again, it's all good though. Fear now a days seems to be more about just given the brain time to adjust to all this new information.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 3:09 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I do. I've had many panic attacks due to practice. They've gotten less frequent and less powerful over time, though. What I did was to focus on the fear as a body sensation, and make sure I know that all the thoughts I am having are just a result of fear. When I can't do it anymore I go relax, take a walk in nature (even if it's a bad day). I'll do this entire routine a number of times, over a period of a few days.

Notice how part of the fear you experience is fear of the feeling of fear you're experiencing. You are really scared also because you're really scared! (silly hun? emoticon ) Try to actively make sure that you don't loop on the fear, this will help diminish the overwhelmingness.


I'll try looking for the fear of being afraid next time. It reminds me a bit of my mother's cats, getting startled by their own reflections in the mirror.

On top of it all, I've noticed that over the years I've developed a fear of feeling, since I've gotten stuck in various modes so very many times. Even now I fear falling off the track again ("what if everyone grows tired of 'me'? what if 'I' am a hopeless case? what if 'I' am left completely alone when the entire world attains af? what if no one is there to help me?" It's actually quite funny to watch the thoughts).

Could you please explain the "looping" process a bit more? I'm not quite sure I grasp the concept.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 3:18 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:

Even now I fear falling off the track again


I've fallen off a few times, due to fearing the outcome of the path I'd taken. Now it doesn't happen anymore.

Elin:

Could you please explain the "looping" process a bit more? I'm not quite sure I grasp the concept.


By looping I just meant being scared of being afraid. This sort of "feeling for a feeling" happens a lot. For instance I wrote this in my journal a while ago, while trying out the silly vs sensible technique (which does wonders for me, by the way):

I feel sad because I havent arrived where I want to arrive...
...and given that what I want is to be happy, innocent, gay, carefree, joyous and friendly...
I feel sad because I am still not happy, innocent, gay, carefree, joyous and friendly...
In particular: I feel sad because I am still not happy!
Silly!

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/19/10 5:58 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:


At the same time, there was a mental cacophony of thoughts and feelings telling me to just go back; "Back into the herd, back to the anxiety, back, back, back. Who do you think you are? This is not reality, it's just a sham, go back to your old way of being, and do it now. There's nothing for you here! You're just using actualism as an excuse to sit on your arse and do nothing, you're just scared of the world outside!" It was as if the "old me" was just rushing in, letting me know there was no way out.



What you attempt to give up you are bound to by desire which makes you tense, fustrated and fearful.

To be happy you do not need effort.

There is not a single moment in your life when you do not have everything to be happy.

The reason your unhappy is because you are focussing on what you do not have rather then what you have right now.

Keep it simple get back to being happy as soon as possible.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/20/10 7:58 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:
I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm checking in just to make sure I don't get off the horse again.

I had a fairly splendid day, though tired from recent events. I decided to take an afternoon nap and woke up to absolute terror. I tried to stick with it a bit by staying in the twilight zone (I've noticed there's a certain fluidity to my thoughts just as I wake up and fall asleep that I don't often get when I'm wide awake), and it was the same stark reality/emptiness that I've experienced before. At the same time, there was a mental cacophony of thoughts and feelings telling me to just go back; "Back into the herd, back to the anxiety, back, back, back. Who do you think you are? This is not reality, it's just a sham, go back to your old way of being, and do it now. There's nothing for you here! You're just using actualism as an excuse to sit on your arse and do nothing, you're just scared of the world outside!" It was as if the "old me" was just rushing in, letting me know there was no way out.

I didn't manage to conjure up sincerity until about now, and I'm still reeling a bit, pondering what's real and what isn't. I immediately grabbed for whatever good feelings I could, though I didn't notice it until afterwards.

Does anyone recognize this kind of backlash?


Hi Elin,

Sounds like you are still "on track" to me. It is unlikely that you will conquer all your bad emotions in one go; as long as you continue to have emotions, you will experience both good and bad ones. As Bruno helpfully suggests reacting to the (already reactive) emotions can set up a kind of "freak out" loop. What you are experiencing is normal; perhaps you can understand the continued arising of emotions as a tool to galvanize pure intent.

Are you asking yourself, each moment again, "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?"

Stefanie

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/20/10 8:16 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Hi Elin -

Viewed from another angle, some friends in the Tergar community showed a movie by Mingyur Rinpoche a few weekends ago near my home. He spoke of his own tremendous anxiety throughout his youth (which, to my view, such tackled-anxiety prevented him from potentially becoming a miserable shut-in causing fear/pity/disturbance in others). He called this anxiety (gently, not belittlingly), "neuronal gossip": one neuron says "blah blah blah", another pipes in, etc... then voila: a belief. Essentially, meaningless sprays of thought taken up seriously and as if real.

It's obviously so useful that you got to speak to Stephanie at length and directly. When I say it's super that you're working on what you're working and that I am grateful for it, it's understood that I am not trying to get your/DhO/AF approval, or cultivate some manipulable form of flattery or seek your mutual appreciation: quite independently, from my view, it's simply wonderful that you contribute your increasing peace/renewed curiosity of self/world to everyone. Subjectively, I hope you continue to stay fierce with yourself and get this done.

Also: as I am jumping into your personal thread, please let me know if you'd like this comment removed.

-katy

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/20/10 12:08 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


By looping I just meant being scared of being afraid. This sort of "feeling for a feeling" happens a lot. For instance I wrote this in my journal a while ago, while trying out the silly vs sensible technique (which does wonders for me, by the way):

I feel sad because I havent arrived where I want to arrive...
...and given that what I want is to be happy, innocent, gay, carefree, joyous and friendly...
I feel sad because I am still not happy, innocent, gay, carefree, joyous and friendly...
In particular: I feel sad because I am still not happy!
Silly!


I'll be brief as I need to head out into the freezing arctic cold outside in a few minutes, but something I've noticed is that I have some kind of innate resistance to silly and sensible, still. To me, they still carry feeling connotations, as in "sensible" as some kind of sombre adult appraisal, and silly as something a teacher would've told scolded me for being in second grade.

Your diary entry actually had me running for the hills when I first read it, as silly seemed so incredibly judgemental to "me". I mean hey, how could "I" ever be silly! emoticon

This is something I'll have to dive into a bit more. There's a huge resistance, at times, to do what has to be done, and I'll end up being mischievous (as in playful, but with a very malicious undertone - I'd place whoopee cushions on everyone's chairs and give a giant middle finger to the whole world).

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/20/10 12:15 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Paul S.:
Weird, told myself almost the same story today. Finally I just said to myself: "okay, let's go back then shall we?" After a few hours of contemplation I realized there was no back, panicked a bit and now I'm back to hanging out in no-man's-land again, it's all good though. Fear now a days seems to be more about just given the brain time to adjust to all this new information.


I think I back-pedaled a bit more than you did, and I'm not quite sure how far back I went, but I'll find out in due time. All on par for the course. emoticon

Even though we're all on our own, comparing notes is quite the pleasure. I wish you good luck, please don't hesitate to let me know how it goes.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/20/10 1:45 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:
To me, [silly and sensible] still carry feeling connotations, as in "sensible" as some kind of sombre adult appraisal, and silly as something a teacher would've told scolded me for being in second grade.


Hmm, well, for me "silly and sensible" also carry some sort of feeling connotations, but they are both very felicitous. When I conclude something is "sensible," I am happy that I am going with the option which pleases me the most, the course of action that is in my best interest. When I conclude something is "silly," most of the time I actually laugh out loud ha ha emoticon Really, it's not a scolding at all, it's really just very funny.

"I'm unhappy because I am still sad", c'mon, isn't that funny? emoticon Being unhappy because one is still sad is really really silly, very very funny :-) It's like being angry because one is upset, or being bored with one's lethargy, or annoyed at one's irritation, or blaming oneself for being self-depreciative emoticon

A sensible example would be, for instance, "I've washed the dishes before they piled up" --- I usually feel resistance to doing it, and it's really great when I can see this feeling of resistance for what it is (which is pretty much always nowadays). Not to mention enjoying all the neat wash-the-dishes things, like soap bubbles, the light reflecting on the cutlery, and the occasional surprise smell ha ha emoticon

There is no sombre appraisal or scolding. I should mention that it took time to get here.


There's a huge resistance, at times, to do what has to be done, and I'll end up being mischievous (as in playful, but with a very malicious undertone (...) )


If you end up being mischevious in order to avoid doing what you need to do, you can try take the best out of it (the playfulness), and do what you need to do playfully. The transition from mischief to pure playfulness will take some attempts, but it will gradually happen, and you will find yourself one day being more playful than mischievous, and then there will only be the slightest trace of mischief, and then it'll be gone most of the times, but still faintly there some other times, and then it will be gone for good.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
12/21/10 8:05 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Yet another day when things are happening so fast I don't have much time to keep up (I'll get back to answering each individual reply once I'm off from work).

Right now it's like riding a roller coaster, there's quite a lot of fright, some occasional "what the heck am I doing?" and lots and lots of playfulness. I keep hearing "come out and play!" over and over in my head. It's like an irresistible pull, I just can't stop playing.

At the same time, whatever is happening doesn't seem to be of "my" doing ("I" couldn't do it even if "I" wanted to), it just seems to be happening of its own accord. At times, I wonder if I'm just deluding myself, that this is just some kind of elaborate psychosis and I'm headed straight to the men in white coats (when that happens, I tend to backtrack, chicken out and try to regain my senses, to "behave"). At the same time, complete safety. It's just a mental drama playing out. It's as if I'm not even writing these words myself.

Not sure what to make of this, but it's exhilarating and exciting. It's as if I'm headed right out of control. Or into the loony bin.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/4/11 9:18 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Hello all, I hope you had a splendid holiday season.

I decided to take a break to just enjoy the whole out from control phase, but it didn't last very long; on the following Tuesday I had become so far out of control that "I" just decided to do it. While speaking to another actualist I remember brazenly stating "see you on the other side" (all in jest).

While sitting at my desk at work I had what seems like oodles of physical symptoms; chills running up and down my spine, what felt like icy explosions (I will have to look at the chat logs to remember more exactly what I felt) at the base of my skull, coupled with shivers of delight going through my entire body and in the end tunnel vision and what felt like the most vicious panic attack I've ever experienced. I tried rather valiantly to stick with it and just enjoy the ride, looking for "real" objects to hold on to. I remember feeling the bonds "I" have with everyone around me, and then thinking "well, I can always turn back, I still have the option". Contortions drove to a halt, our main router failed and I was smacked right back into reality and a very long night at work.

The days and weeks following were most of the time void of any emotions, which made me ponder if I'd really turned back or not. Chest area felt "sqeaky clean", and I had some very good insights. Unfortunately, after a while I started putting myself down for chickening out (despite having been warned of this very thing), trying to hide, running away and ended up almost right back where I began. I recently noticed "I" was actually scared of practicing actualists, which seems logical for an ailing "I", but absolutely silly in the end.

It seems "I" played some very nice tricks to stay alive, this time as well. emoticon

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/4/11 10:47 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Exciting stuff Elin!

Maybe the following quote from Tarins report [1] on how he got actually free will be a pointer for your next try


James: What was it that caused you to go in and out of apperception and to self-immolate?

Tarin: pure intent and impure intent were what caused me to go in and out of apperception day in and day out. eventually, i got it running so well and so consistently that i could see no other choices but self- immolation available; the final choice that 'i' made was between self- immolation... and self-immolation (both what i wanted and what i didn't want were revealed to be the same thing).


[1] https://groups.google.com/group/actualism/browse_thread/thread/03eee6847b991a4c?hl=en

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/5/11 9:13 AM as a reply to Martin M.
Heya Martin, good to hear from you.

Most of what Tarin says doesn't make experiential sense to me (doing this for three years and failing in various forms has at the very least taught me to never, ever believe anything anyone says until I can understand it fully from experience), but "pure and impure intent" made me prick up my ears. Not sure why, but it struck a chord so I'll delve deeper into that. Thank you very much.

There's something about this place, everyone always has something to add to the discussion which opens up yet another avenue of exploration. I'll have to be careful or I'll get addicted to picking myself apart instead of getting the job done. :-)

On a side note, I don't have access to the google group, so I can't read the post in its context (which could possibly help me understand it better). I'll have to reapply and see if I'll be accepted this time around.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/5/11 9:26 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:


There's something about this place, everyone always has something to add to the discussion which opens up yet another avenue of exploration. I'll have to be careful or I'll get addicted to picking myself apart instead of getting the job done. :-)


Yeah, it seems to be often just a matter of timing when (even old) information can open up a new way of understanding.

Elin S:

On a side note, I don't have access to the google group, so I can't read the post in its context (which could possibly help me understand it better). I'll have to reapply and see if I'll be accepted this time around.


As far as I understand, application to the group should be handled more quickly by now, I wasn´t even member of the yahoo group bevore. Anyway there´s lots of good stuff to read through, so more food for your addiction. ;)

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/6/11 11:13 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:

While sitting at my desk at work I had what seems like oodles of physical symptoms; chills running up and down my spine, what felt like icy explosions (I will have to look at the chat logs to remember more exactly what I felt) at the base of my skull, coupled with shivers of delight going through my entire body and in the end tunnel vision and what felt like the most vicious panic attack I've ever experienced. I tried rather valiantly to stick with it and just enjoy the ride, looking for "real" objects to hold on to. I remember feeling the bonds "I" have with everyone around me, and then thinking "well, I can always turn back, I still have the option". Contortions drove to a halt, our main router failed and I was smacked right back into reality and a very long night at work.

The days and weeks following were most of the time void of any emotions, which made me ponder if I'd really turned back or not. Chest area felt "sqeaky clean", and I had some very good insights. Unfortunately, after a while I started putting myself down for chickening out (despite having been warned of this very thing), trying to hide, running away and ended up almost right back where I began. I recently noticed "I" was actually scared of practicing actualists, which seems logical for an ailing "I", but absolutely silly in the end.

It seems "I" played some very nice tricks to stay alive, this time as well. emoticon


wow this exact same thing happend to me a week ago, except I'm stuck here. I'm very afraid and I don't know what to do. In fact I got a panic attack so bad I thought I was dying and I actually went to the doctor to make sure I wasn't. So now it seems like I turned back.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/7/11 12:08 PM as a reply to ManZ A.
Me three. I was skimming through the KFD website where augustleo posted this link, which led me to this talk. I recommend listening to it, especially the part where he talks about dying. It's easier to push trough when you've made the sincere decision that this is what 'you' want.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/7/11 1:19 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Hi,

Paul S.:
augustleo posted this link


Wanna know what's funnier than a sakadagami thinking they're done with the path? A sakadagami who writes a book about that and then names it after a projection!

Trent

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
1/7/11 2:23 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Hehe, I'm not that good with Buddhist theory but I like listening to all sorts of non-duality stuff, mainly because it's so PCE inducing. I don't really care if it's the Buddha or my grandmother talking. Also there is limited AF audio/video material out there.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
6/15/11 12:04 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Just checking in to say that I'm still alive and kicking.

It seems I had yet a couple of avenues to explore. If love hadn't currently roughed me up pretty badly (bruising of the chest from the raw emotions, pretty fascinating stuff) I'd be able to conjure up some humor about it, but currently I'm all over the charts.

Do I want to be happy? Yes. Do I crave the emotional roller coaster in order to feel alive more than I want to be happy? Currently, yes. I'm pondering just how much roughing myself up I'm going to tolerate before I just give up and give in to happiness.

I'm a very patient and talented sufferer. Goddarnit.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
6/16/11 9:32 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:
Just checking in to say that I'm still alive and kicking.

It seems I had yet a couple of avenues to explore. If love hadn't currently roughed me up pretty badly (bruising of the chest from the raw emotions, pretty fascinating stuff) I'd be able to conjure up some humor about it, but currently I'm all over the charts.

Do I want to be happy? Yes. Do I crave the emotional roller coaster in order to feel alive more than I want to be happy? Currently, yes. I'm pondering just how much roughing myself up I'm going to tolerate before I just give up and give in to happiness.

personally speaking, i felt most alive at my happiest. the refreshing subtlety of organic experience, once i came to know it well enough, would consistently beat out nervous stimulation and excitation whenever there appeared a choice between the two ... for the latter can only ever reach towards the fullness of experience automatically present in the former. feeling alive always remains a step away from being alive, and a roller coaster is bound to its tracks.

might i suggest meditation as a hobby, as an alternative to craving and to roughing yourself up?

in any case, i hope you get well soon.

tarin

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
6/16/11 11:05 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

personally speaking, i felt most alive at my happiest. the refreshing subtlety of organic experience, once i came to know it well enough, would consistently beat out nervous stimulation and excitation whenever there appeared a choice between the two ... for the latter can only ever reach towards the fullness of experience automatically present in the former. feeling alive always remains a step away from being alive, and a roller coaster is bound to its tracks.


Hello Tarin,

I know this feeling. What I don't know is what's currently standing in the way. The breakup was this Saturday so I'm still fairly raw, currently back at being scared of myself and keeping the lid on tight.


might i suggest meditation as a hobby, as an alternative to craving and to roughing yourself up?


I was reading your Reformed Slacker's Guide the hour before you posted. emoticon

A question: I think I mentioned earlier in either of my two threads that I'd been trying to "imagine" my way into what I though AF was like (that is, building an emotional picture of what I thought AF would end up feeling like and then trying to force it to come true by willpower). You mentioned in the guide that "you can't imagine a fruition". Are we talking about the same thing?

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
6/16/11 11:58 AM as a reply to Elin S.
And just adding this for myself (not sure whether Tarin or Trent said it):

Relationships happen when one splits into two parts, so whatever you have a feeling about is something you have a relationship with, you must exist in relationship to it to have feeling about it.

So, technically, nothing exists the way I perceive it to exist. The persons I have relationships with/to are just parts of my own self (I don't mean this in the solipsistic way) when I'm in any way relating to them? I'm just relating to my own view of them? What happens in my head is entirely fictional?

I can't seem to accept this, but it struck a chord. I can't seem to accept anything if the person saying it isn't someone I've made into an authority. And if I turn them into an authority, I'll be star-struck, kowtowing and then fearful and paranoid (which was one of the reasons why I stopped writing here last time).

This is all pretty neurotic.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
6/17/11 2:21 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:

A question: I think I mentioned earlier in either of my two threads that I'd been trying to "imagine" my way into what I though AF was like (that is, building an emotional picture of what I thought AF would end up feeling like and then trying to force it to come true by willpower). You mentioned in the guide that "you can't imagine a fruition". Are we talking about the same thing?

i don't know; what did you make of it?

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
7/25/11 1:56 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

i don't know; what did you make of it?


Thank you for replying, but please disregard. Reading it again in context showed that it had nothing to do with what I thought.

I've started meditating with some fairly good results, though I've kept my sittings short at the start and mixed in some yoga and eventually swimming. At least it got rid of some of my self-absorption and crap, but not enough it seems.

Just had a really weird sitting. I might need some help from the more experienced meditators in figuring out what the heck just happened.

Started out with nothing, then some tremors/convulsions in the pelvis area. Then rhythmic "tics" going through my body (mainly hips and head) followed by something I'm not sure how to describe. It was like a high contrast scanning beam going straight through my body. Felling like I was about to throw up, orgasm and pass out at the same time. Not sure if I did pass out, but had a brief flicker of lower consciousness and eyeballs rolling inward. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. As soon as I relaxed and concentrated on my breath I had the weird scanning sensation again, though not as marked as at the beginning, but this time with contractions of my entire torso lengthwise. After a while I had to shift positions as it felt like a huge amount of energy moving from the base of my spine up to my throat, and the energy seemed to accumulate in my head with a headache and some cracking sensations at the top of my head. I kept wanting to open my mouth to let something out.

Currently feeling nauseous with a big sinus headache and pain in my throat. Felt like something in my chest just let go, and I can still will that sensation (right now it seems to emanate from right at the back of my throat), but... not sure if this was significant. Was a bit scary while it happened and I feel a bit like having gone through a grinder atm.

Thankful for any feedback. I'd like to know if there's anyway to go deeper (and if it's worth it) or if it was yet more drama. Will keep practice up regardless as I seem to have a really odd luke-warm-while-still-obsessive determination going on.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
7/25/11 6:59 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:



Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.






Hi Elin. Sounds like double dip shift.

A & P

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
7/25/11 11:08 AM as a reply to Christian Ballhaus.
Christian Ballhaus:
Elin S:



Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.






Hi Elin. Sounds like double dip shift.

A & P


Hi Christian. Funny that you're the person reply to me (how are you, btw?). I just had a bout of shame when I remembered that this was what we went through already in December over gtalk. Physical sensations were a bit different, but I think that also varies with whatever story I'm telling myself at that particular moment.

A&P you think? I can't find a definition of double dip shift anywhere.

I've been feeling very flat, desolate and rough after this though, not happy at all. Ended up bawling my eyes out for almost an entire sitting, and had nightmares during a pm nap (fear of death, which turned into some kind of churning fire wheel quality/image). I think I may have been cycling through the dookie bananas (phrase stolen!) for quite a few years, so not sure if this is the A&P or even something to pay attention to.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
7/25/11 12:07 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Hi Elin. Im great. Busy these days. What i would do if i were you ( LOL). Take a little time. Download Dans MCTOB on his website. Read the great Chapter about the stages of Insight. You will find what youre looking for im quite sure. Its very exactly mapped just check it. ;-)

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
7/29/11 3:45 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Hi Elin,

I've kept my sittings short at the start and mixed in some yoga and eventually swimming.


A West Point coach (Lou Tharp) has a little blurb on mindful swimming here. His student is an accomplished athlete, yet who is still "beating himself up", so to speak. Coach's advice in the last sentence: Now is the time to sleep well, eat well, be kind to yourself, let your unconscious figure out what balance is all about, and get back in the pool.

Using mindful swims are another way to get in mindfulness meditation and lasting brain benefits.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/1/11 9:39 AM as a reply to Elin S.
@Herrn Ballhaus: Thank you. I've read through it before, but I'll look more carefully for the definition.

@katy s: Thank you for the link. Being inherently lazy, most of my swimming involves me floating around on my back, but what he said makes much sense.

Other than that, I've kept up the meditation practices. I found an app I really liked, where I can time my sittings and write a small note after each session, as well as get stats. This has proven quite valuable, but I notice the competitiveness in me getting the better of me when I watch my Mad Meditating Levelups. Gonna let that one slip right now as I need all the motivation I can get. emoticon

I still get those kind of weird orgasm/throw up ripples and upper body contractions whenever I read about PCE's and death of "me"-kind of stories. In the end though, it just gives rise to frustrating kundalini phenomena where it feels like something slithers up along my spine and then gets stuck underneath the skull bone at the top of my head with no way of getting out. I remember having the feeling of something at that very spot "shutting down" after my first run-in with the dark night (10 years ago, approx), and then thinking it was permanent and I was doomed.

In the end, it seems all I needed to do was just practice concentration. It seems everyone who's hit AF had some experience with deep concentration/focus in one form or another.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/1/11 5:19 PM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:
like something slithers up along my spine and then gets stuck underneath the skull bone at the top of my head with no way of getting out.


In which part of the skull exactly, would you care to precisely point it out?

Do you mean the crown (very top of the skull)? Then the way out could be up (might feel like outside the skull), which then connects down through the chest, or forwards through the forehead, then sinuses, throat, chest, solar plexus, lower belly. These are typical places the "energy" can go from there.

If it seems stuck, it can be because the chest region (usually called heart chakra, or heart region) is blocked. How does this region feel? Does it pulse normally, do energetic vibrations / kundalini manifest there as usual in other places, or is it either (1) tense and painful, or (2) numb and inactive (as if nothing is really going on and it's hard to sustain focus on that region)?

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/3/11 4:45 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


In which part of the skull exactly, would you care to precisely point it out?

Do you mean the crown (very top of the skull)? [...]



Yes. The place feels sort of blacked-out currently.

Bruno Loff:


How does this region feel? Does it pulse normally, do energetic vibrations / kundalini manifest there as usual in other places, or is it either (1) tense and painful, or (2) numb and inactive (as if nothing is really going on and it's hard to sustain focus on that region)?



Both. Mostly 1 with added "occasionally forgetting to breathe". When I meditate and during day-to-day activities, 2 seems to pop up as well. When I had the first rippling experience, the ball in my chest felt like some kind of futuristic surface - cool, white, slippery, dense and impenetrable - for about a week afterwards. Then it went back to tense.

I had an experience yesterday, when meditating, of the tension in my chest crackling up almost audibly, and the crackling then rising up to my lower jaw. I had been pondering pride prior to that, so it seemed related.

Other than that, I've had a few days where I've been frustrated that I'm over-complicating things. I just cannot motivate my waffling right now. I know this is as simple as can be, there really is no need to get my mental knickers all twisted up in a bunch. The reason for me being attracted to AF in the first place was how much sense it made, and how incredibly easy it seemed.

I look at myself and the way I act seems completely absurd. And now "I" am getting frustrated so "I" can linger a while longer, I guess. emoticon

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/3/11 4:56 AM as a reply to Elin S.
With regards to frustration, be your own friend. You wouldn't berate a friend having a hard time and acting absurdly out of it, so don't do it to yourself. After all, you want to be happy, doesn't that mean that you are somehow sweet, someplace deep inside?

With regards to the energy thing --- soft, gentle focus on the two pathways I mentioned (crown -> heart, crown -> forehead/sinuses -> throat -> chest etc) should eventually soften these tensions and cause them to "dissolve" and/or "open up." Note that this is a gradual process.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/3/11 6:42 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
With regards to frustration, be your own friend. You wouldn't berate a friend having a hard time and acting absurdly out of it, so don't do it to yourself. After all, you want to be happy, doesn't that mean that you are somehow sweet, someplace deep inside?


I'm a somewhat caustic person (especially without my social identity) so I'd probably berate the friend as well. (partially joking, I'm getting better at this)

I realize I might have inadvertently conveyed more emotion than was actually there. It's more like a quiet bafflement of not being able to focus the way I know I need to do in order to change what needs to be changed. I somehow intuitively know that it's so very simple and sans drama, but I still can't "get it".

Bruno Loff:

With regards to the energy thing --- soft, gentle focus on the two pathways I mentioned (crown -> heart, crown -> forehead/sinuses -> throat -> chest etc) should eventually soften these tensions and cause them to "dissolve" and/or "open up." Note that this is a gradual process.


Thank you, I'll give it my best. Have you had this experience as well?

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/3/11 7:34 AM as a reply to Elin S.
Elin S:
Thank you, I'll give it my best. Have you had this experience as well?


Yes, in fact I could parallel all of my progress in vipassana to releases in various areas. These releases certainly help with actualism practice, since it's easier to be happy without these pains, although it is not so clear what causes what. Recently it seems more like the blockages have an emotional cause rather than the other way around (e.g. subtle anxiety or self dislike). I'm not sure if it is important to know which causes which.

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/3/11 11:30 AM as a reply to Elin S.
In the end, it seems all I needed to do was just practice concentration. It seems everyone who's hit AF had some experience with deep concentration/focus in one form or another.
Concentration, like actualism effort, usefully shows what is impeding solvation between objects ("you" being one of the objects).

In my experience, head pressures (outside of hydration, allergy, and like-issues) are often useful diagnostics to for showing active clinging to something (i.e., clinging to a mood, a fear, a rejection, a desire, an aversion). So concentration practice can show those without distraction. The release and dissolution of those pressures can become the seed of another pressure, though, if one clings to that capacity to release. It seems common to experience some joy-clinging when dissolutions start to occur*.

Once a pressure (and its causal formation) are released, that is the opportunity to exist sensately with the object of attention, solvation happens of its own accord at some point thereafter and from that open opportunity.


[*edit: this is totally fine - any clinging begins to go away once it knows itself better and sees its use exhausted. Until then it has a use (and a disuse). And, to loosen into dissolution can be joyous]

RE: My AF practice (ESL)
Answer
8/4/11 8:11 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


Yes, in fact I could parallel all of my progress in vipassana to releases in various areas. These releases certainly help with actualism practice, since it's easier to be happy without these pains, although it is not so clear what causes what. Recently it seems more like the blockages have an emotional cause rather than the other way around (e.g. subtle anxiety or self dislike). I'm not sure if it is important to know which causes which.


I upped the bar a bit on my meditation session yesterday. 10 minutes samatha and then I tried softly scanning the pathways. Got a bit of crackling release in the chest area and then promptly slipped into no 2. No sensations and completely dull. Really weird. I'll keep at it.

Other than that, had a session where I again seemed to only have physical ailments. Back hurts, legs hurt, arms hurt, shoulders hurt. Decided to just sit with it all no matter how strong the urge to get up. It always goes something like this: pain -> really strong urge to do something -> ... -> notice it -> panic -> resolve -> panic -> RESOLVE -> PANIC -> calm, and then cycling again. There's a lot of lagging between the sensations and me noticing them.

This is what my 45 minutes were like yesterday. After about 30 minutes (?) something shifted and it seemed that the darkness became... darker? and I sank deeper into myself and maybe a bit past my pain sensations. By now I was playing some sort of game with whatever urges I was feeling, so when the urge to swallow started to grow I just decided that hell, I'll drool on myself as long as I get a good look at this panicky urge thing I have going right now. Somehow that did something, as I fell even deeper into myself while my body felt as if it was dragged upwards by the chest like a puppet. For a split second I had to scan my legs as the sensation was almost like levitating (legs were still on the ground, nothing odd happening at all, of course). Then back into thoughts and sensations and the urge seemed to be what has been described as the basic resentment of being here. I have a very hard time describing this, it was as if my thoughts were always about a second "ahead" of what was happening while "I" really, really, really didn't want to be here. It hurt, was painful, dull, dreary, horrible. I have no idea why I felt "myself" to always be a bit in the future. It's as if "I" couldn't be here. I'm sorry if this makes very little sense.

Unfortunately this session gave me a bit too much adrenaline and some other hormonal surges, so today I'm feeling raw and "twangy".