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My daily daily

My daily daily
Answer
7/2/19 11:35 AM
Just got back into vipassana meditation, specifically Mahasi Sayadaw approach of “noting” and I just had something happen today that I’ve never experienced. I was able to see the manifestation of a single sensation. I was so excited I had to tell someone. Progress!


RE: My daily daily
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7/2/19 11:36 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Can you describe it for everyone, please?

And welcome back to meditation practice.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/2/19 12:02 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yes of course! 

I was sitting in a chair and doing the noting meditation. Recently, it feels like I’m chasing my sensations around; they’re coming in too quickly for me to notice them right when they happen. But all of a sudden a moment of slight clarity happened and I was able to note the feeling of me sitting in this chair right as the sensation happened. I was able to see the beginning of the sensation rather than just the tail end of it. 

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/4/19 4:38 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
 I think it’s possible I might’ve hit equanimity today. The description in Daniels book and other resources sound pretty similar to what I experienced; peace and ease as well as a panoramic perspective. As if the noting meditation was doing itself.  It’s quite seductive and I can see why people don’t progress from here, it’s difficult to note the feeling instead of just enjoying it 


RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/4/19 5:24 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
What I've found most helpful in Equanimity nana is to do a gentle self-inquiry practice, asking things like "show me the next thing I need to see. Show me the true nature of effort and surrender. Show me suffering." And just let go and see what happens. Just watch everything. You don't need to note necessarily, although you certainly can.

RE: My daily daily
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7/4/19 6:45 PM as a reply to J C.
I will definitely give that a shot. Thanks for the feedback emoticon


RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/4/19 8:40 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I can now say with a large degree of confidence that I have been hitting the A&P somewhat regularly now, much more than I ever did in my previous practice. I’m taking this as a positive thing. I noted previously how I think I might’ve hit equanimity, but I’m not too sure now. It’s possible it was just 1st jhana

Anyways, I’m hitting the A&P probably everytime I sit for more than 30min, which means its happening within half an hour of sitting. I imagine this means I’m progressing! The Dark Night seems to be getting clearer, it’s much more uncomfortable than the A&P. The Dark Night feels as though I’m suddenly sick of meditating, the chair becomes much more uncomfortable and I immediately don’t want to sit anymore. During the A&P, I feel like I could meditate for hours, the Dark Night makes me not want to meditate. Also, I have a ridiculously hard time focusing. It seems as though I can’t focus on anything. —- Funny enough, I just read Daniel’s description of the Dark Night and it’s literally word-for-word what I experienced. Well..... shit. I took note that when one is in the Dark Night, laser focus drops away and peripheral focus becomes more dominant. If I remembered that while sitting this last time I would’ve sat longer. Well..... shit.

On a separate note, I wasn’t able to login to my old DoH account and had to make a new one. At first I was bummed cause I wanted to see my old posts (which I still can on this account), but now I’ve realized thats a good thing. The creation of a new account on here is symbolic of a new version of me taking another crack at this Stream Entry crap, which is exactly what’s happening.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/5/19 11:12 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Ironically, now knowing I’ve been hitting the A&P frequently (almost every sit), I tried to hit it quicker this most recent sit and thus didn’t. My mind has to learn the balance between effort and no-effort.

The first 3 stages of the Path of Insight are becoming much more clear. In fact, it all is. It’s quite interesting. I don’t think I ever practiced with this amount of clarity before...

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/6/19 11:56 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’m now struggling with this phenomenon where I know when I’m about to cross the A&P and that knowing causes my focus to wane and I don’t end up crossing it. #frustration.

*EDIT: I think I might’ve just realized why this is happening. When I first started getting back into meditation and crossed the A&P twice in 3 days, I was actually curious about my sensate experience having the 3 Characteristics. I was actively looking for the 3 Characteristics in each phenomenon, rather than just trying to note mindlessly. Today and yesterday I was noting mindlessly. We shall see if that makes a notable change!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/11/19 9:20 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
For future reference; I just hit A&P again this morning. But it wasn’t a “textbook” approach. I had been meditating for about an hour when I got a little frustrated and went back inside. I then talked to my wife for a good 5min, went to sit on the couch to document my morning experiences when I had a flush of good feelings. So I sat and meditated again and I was immediately thrusted into the A&P. Not everything happens on the cushion

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/10/19 12:57 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’ve realized that one of the biggest determining factors of whether or not I make progress in meditation is my sleep. If I haven’t gotten enough sleep, I have a hard time focusing throughout the day. But I also can’t get too much sleep as that makes me groggy.

[First addition] Also, it’s become very obvious that with every sensation comes a sort of thought right after. I’m not sure if thinking causes another thought but definitely any physical sensation (including emotions) cause a thought or impression of what I sensed right after. I am aware that’s one of the hallmarks of the Cause and Effect stage. It’s interesting I’m able to see it so clearly now, just like in regular life I can see it.

[second addition] I’ve begun noticing how my craving to progress is hindering my actual progress. If one day I hit Dissolution, the next day I find it difficult to even pass the A&P because I’m craving the experience again. Funny how that works...

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/10/19 1:24 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
A doctor told me that your brain programs sleep cycles based on how much you slept in the past, so if you've been short on sleep for a few days, your brain runs shorter cycles. Then when you finally get enough sleep, your brain isn't expecting the extra time and that's what causes the groggy feeling. So it's not that you got "too much" sleep, it's that you finally got enough sleep and your brain has to re-adjust.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/10/19 2:28 PM as a reply to J C.
Makes plenty of sense to me. I’m just annoyed that if my sleep cycle is even slightly off, I’ll feel off the next day. (Annoyance noted. Fatigue noted. Irony of noting my noting on a forum noted)

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/11/19 8:56 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
(Annoyance noted. Fatigue noted. Irony of noting my noting on a forum noted)


*giggles* This is what this forum does to you. Welcome to the world of phenomenology and methodology nerdery!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/11/19 12:55 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’m now struggling with the idea of energy and fatigue. If I’m not well rested, I can’t focus well. If I’m too well rested, I can’t focus well. 

[1st addition] I also think I’m struggling because my old approach of passing the A&P is no longer working since I was able to hit Fear while meditating. For some reason, I can’t just simply note fast and pass the A&P.

[2nd addition] Few things I realized this morning; 1.) mindless noting is a thing. Being tired makes mindless noting more of a possibility, 2.) after becoming ‘confident’ in my noting skills and being able to hit the A&P I began making stories of all of my sensate experiences. For example, instead of investigating each sensation for the 3 Characteristics, I would note ‘frustration’ and follow the thought train about why I’m frustrated, all the while noting ‘thinking’. So it was more just mindless noting rather than actually investigating the experiences. I’ve already had this issue before and it’s interesting it keeps coming up.

[3rd addition] I crossed out the 2nd addition because I no longer think those are true. I think something else is going on here. I’m finding it very difficult to focus, very difficult to sit down for more than 15min at a time, etc. I might still be in the Dark Night.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/12/19 10:31 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
There’s not much to say except for the fact that I’m extremely frustrated. It feels as if more effort is causing less results. Almost as if my mind is pulling away from wanting to see the 3 characteristics. 

The more I try to note the 3 characteristics, the more resistance I feel. The resistance comes in the form of a type of anxiety in the stomach. I’m not sure what to do. 


RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/12/19 4:39 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
There’s not much to say except for the fact that I’m extremely frustrated. It feels as if more effort is causing less results. Almost as if my mind is pulling away from wanting to see the 3 characteristics. 

The more I try to note the 3 characteristics, the more resistance I feel. The resistance comes in the form of a type of anxiety in the stomach. I’m not sure what to do. 


That's Dark Night all right. That resistance and anxiety is suffering right there so just note it and try to look directly at it. Try to identify the exact thing that makes it suffering. Can you distinguish the resistance to the sensations you're currently experiencing from the sensations themselves?

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/12/19 8:17 PM as a reply to J C.
I appreciate that feedback. That gives me a lot of reassurance that I didn’t f*ck up somehow. And you’ve definitely given me some things to investigate. Thanks again 

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/13/19 12:28 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Now that I’m confident I’ve been cycling through the Dark Night, I’m relatively confident that I’ve been hitting Equanimity every night before bed (2 nights in a row). I go from being somewhat frustrated/annoyed/irritated to complete calm, it feels as if I could meditate for hours without breaking. 

Also, last night, I had 2 interesting phenomenon come about. The first was when I was meditating on my bed. I was laying down, noting on-and-off when I got a huge surge of pleasant feeling. It didn’t last long, but it was definitely an interesting experience. I started getting some visions of deep ocean blue tentacle-like things coming into my field of view. Eventually this stopped and I went to bed.

The second experience happened when I was sleeping. I had another strong wave of pleasant feelings overcome me, it was so strong that it woke me up in the middle of the night. Not sure what these waves are/mean, but I’m continuing my practice as usual. 


RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/13/19 5:25 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Practice has been pretty interesting... I’m probably oscillating between Equanimity and Re-observation. I reviewed the MCTB portion where Daniel talks about Equanimty and it sounds like my experience, word-for-word;
If one is tired, one may begin having dropouts that are similar to what occurred in Dissolution but more extreme. It may be hard to read and pay attention, hard to listen to people and hear, hard to notice where one is and what one is doing
Also, he says;
A related and common feeling in the early part of this stage is the general sense that something big is about to happen
All of these things are happening, along with the intense feeling of everything bein ‘ok’. I’ll be reviewing more of what Daniel reccomends in order for someone to reach Fruition from here, but so far I’ve been searching and investigating for the feeling of a ‘self’ anywhere in my sensate experience. I don’t notice it in my physical sensations, but I think I do in my mental sensations. Any advice at this point would be highly appreciated emoticon