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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
Answer
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
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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
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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
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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

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/13/19 9:03 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Try the following: in Eq, say to yourself "Show me the feeling of self in my mental sensations. Show me its true nature. Show me the true nature of effort and surrender." Then just watch everything closely. Give it time and just look closely at all sensations that show up.

RE: My daily daily
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7/13/19 10:21 PM as a reply to J C.
I’ll try that. Thanks for the tip

RE: My daily daily
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7/14/19 11:18 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
J C, I tried your advice and it did seem to work. I realized I was more relaxed than I was putting in effort, so I turned up the effort and was able to see formations a bit more clear. Thanks emoticon

By accident, I found an old thread on here of people talking about how to get out of Equanimity and into Fruition. The advice was trying to see the formations more clear; from beginning middle to end. As I was focusing on that, I actually started to get a better sense of where the sense of self was coming from. I ended up dropping into what I think was high Equanimity. I’ve been passively focusing on that all day now and it’s been interesting. 

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 3:41 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I believe I’ve hit Equanimity. I feel a general sense of calm during my sit. I used Kenneth Folk’s “Diagnosing for Dummies” thread and my current practice feels like what he described; everything sucked and I was frustrated and now I’m faced with a general sense of calm. 

Anyways, when I get pretty good concentration going, I get this sense of something “snapping back”. It’s as if when I’m really into observing a sensation or formation, there’s this quick snap to a more “observer” type feel. Is this a thing? Should I be focusing on that sensation?

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 3:58 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Is there a physical sensation to this? Or how do you notice it?

Observing the observer is a very valid practice, and I believe that it is suitable for equanimity.

RE: My daily daily
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7/14/19 4:03 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thanks for the feedback. 

Its not a physical sensation, it’s more of a mental sensation

RE: My daily daily
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7/14/19 4:05 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Uh-huh. I’m not sure I know what you are referring to, but I’m very kinesthetic so for me practically everything has physical sensations connected to it. How do you sense a mental sensation?

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 4:11 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Interesting... haha I like the different perspective.

So I was meditating and doing some slight noting, some slight just observing as much as I could with the least amount of effort needed. I’d be focusing on a particular sensation like hearing a car pass on the road. I’d see the mental image and movement and whatnot in my head and almost at the exact moment that I sense this happening, it’s as if my mind comes back to focus on something else. Something that felt like a sense of self in my head.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 4:21 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Maybe that’s the non-kinesthetic version of what I sense as physical bouncing inside my head, or arising and passings of subjective points. Yeah, I find it fascinating to get this kind of translation, sort of a code key to other minds.

Trying to clearly see the very vanishing of such a subjective point was what got me what I believe was stream entry.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 4:34 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
...or arising and passings of subjective points.
Would you mind expanding on that idea? That sounds pretty bizarre to me.

And as always I appreciate your feedback and discussing this with you

RE: My daily daily
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7/14/19 4:49 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
A point would pop up that thought that it was observing something, or at least that’s how I interpreted it. Then when I tried to observe that point, another point would arise, because the point that used to ”be” the subject was now the object.

I appreciate our talks too. I find them inspiring.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 4:53 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
!! Yes! Exactly! That’s a good way of describing what I’m noticing when in High Equanimity. So from this point you just attempted to see each one of those “pops” come and go? That’s what got you to SE?

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 5:09 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Yeah, basically, although I ended up doing something slightly different as a result of trying it. I don’t think I should be too specific here, because I think it’s important that you find out experientially. Happy hunt!

RE: My daily daily
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7/14/19 6:05 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Do you make a point of consciously attempting to observe the arising and passing of sensations? I've gone through Practical Insight Meditation and I don't remember it saying to do this, even though it's at the core of Daniel's instruction. It's also a part of the U Ba Khin technique.

So far I've just been observing sensations generally without trying to consciously observe the Three Characteristics in them. I seem to be improving my perceptual abilities, concentration and equanimity from this and seem to be mucking about in the dukkha nanas. Kinda just relying on a subconscious perception and understanding for now.

What do you think?

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/14/19 7:04 PM as a reply to Cameron.
Cameron,
Do you make a point of consciously attempting to observe the arising and passing of sensations?
It kinda depends on where I am on the map of insight. For the first 4 stages (Mind and Body, Cause and Effect, the Three Characteristics and the Arising and Passing), yes. In Cause and Effect I’m clearly seeing the idea that a sensation directly leads to a mental impression of it, so I’m focused on the sensation rising and passing as well as the mental impression of it. In the Three Characteristics noting becomes quite fast for me and goes by in a blur. After that, (and during the sukkah nanas) my attention is much more broad and I have difficulty focusing on one sensation so I try to see the rising and falling of other things like feelings, thoughts, motivations, etc.

When you say you’re relying on a subconscious perception, I’m not so sure that would work. At least not for me. The most progress I’ve ever made in terms of perceptual abilities, concentration, etc. is when I’ve been genuinely curious about each sensation.

RE: My daily daily
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7/15/19 10:03 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Good session today. I had what I’m pretty sure were several “near misses”. I was in deep Equanimity, just chilled out as hell. Noticing things in a very relaxed manner. Then, when I seemed to get caught in some thought stream or something, my mind would snap back to the present and it felt as if it was “dipping out”. I’d suggest gentle questions every so often, like, “what does no-self feel like?” Or “where is this observer at?” And just watch the mind do it’s thing. Although I’m just now remembering that Daniel made a distinction in his book between “dropping out” like what happens in Dissolution, and “near misses”. I actually think my “near misses” were me “dropping out”, which is still a good sign. 

Maybe they’re both. Maybe one of those was a “near miss” and the others were “drop outs”. Hmmm.... I’d love to hear others’ opinions on this!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/15/19 10:53 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
That is really difficult to tell from someone’s subjective descriptions. I used to have what I thought could be near misses until I had other experiences that were more clearcut and still apparently not ”it”. I still have unknown events, and I think many of them are something as simple as shifts between different mindstates. It seems to me that those can be a bit abrupt. For instance, it is possible to be sort of spitted out from a state of jhana. Coming back from a dreamlike state can also be abrupt and is fairly common in equanimity as I understand it. In any case, it is probably fruitful to investigate all such shifts in as much detail as possible to learn more about how one’s mind works. Noticing the shifts as they occur is a good start.

Caveat: All this is said from the perspective of a fellow traveller and should not be mistaken for teaching (by any reader).

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/15/19 11:05 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Those are all good points. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate any discussion on these experiences. Whether or not what you’re saying is true, it helps bring it all into perspective for me. Thanks Linda

RE: My daily daily
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7/15/19 4:42 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Do you practice the Jhanas?

RE: My daily daily
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7/15/19 4:50 PM as a reply to YCR.
 I do not. I used to, but that was several years ago.  


RE: My daily daily
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7/15/19 5:16 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Did you stop intentionally or do the Dukkha Nanas prevent you from practicing them?

RE: My daily daily
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7/15/19 6:03 PM as a reply to YCR.
I intentionally stopped doing jhana practice so I could focus on vipassana (I know, you need both to do either). 

Then I hit the Dark Night and stopped meditating for years

RE: My daily daily
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7/15/19 9:14 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Would it be a good idea to start my meditation practice out with 45min of concentration then an hour of vipassana?

RE: My daily daily
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7/16/19 3:29 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Still oscillating between low and high Equanimity. I’m trying to balance effort and relaxation, as well as trying to understand the difference between equanimity and indifference. 

My current practice is; I close my eyes and begin noting to help bring my focus in. After about 5min of this, I’m able to watch sensations come and go. They aren’t going fast, but rather clear and I (usually) don’t get caught in thought trains. If I can maintain a good amount of effort (and I’m not tired), I’ll enter into a deep calm/peace which I assume is boardering high Equanimity. There were times off-cushion that I had experiences that Daniel describes in his book. Things like;
Sometimes the early part of stage 11 can produce a real sense of freedom in the conventional sense, freedom from cares, worries, and even responsibilities and social conventions.
I know this is different than the A&P because my A&P experiences have all had a certain buzzing quality to them. I usually would feel quite good and have a sense of something happening. My hear rate and breathing increased, as did the illuminations. 

So far, in this Equanimity stage, it is a calm, relaxed, peaceful experience. I’m considering that I need tailored advice from a teacher because I’m not sure what to do in this stage. Someone advised me to keep “letting go” of desires, goals, etc. I have been, and I’m not sure where else to go.

RE: My daily daily
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7/16/19 7:12 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
[quote=]I’m considering that I need tailored advice from a teacher because I’m not sure what to do in this stage. Someone advised me to keep “letting go” of desires, goals, etc. I have been, and I’m not sure where else to go.          If your far enough up in eq that you don’t need to investigate anymore than you could use self inquiry “ Who am I” meditation. It can get really interesting. Hers a link.

https://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/teachings/instructions/

RE: My daily daily
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7/17/19 10:31 AM as a reply to Dustin.
Thanks for that! I’ll definitely try this out!

RE: My daily daily
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7/20/19 12:11 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Hey, welcome back trav! Shoot me a hello on hangouts sometime.

RE: My daily daily
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7/22/19 10:49 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
For some reason, I’ve been unable to reach A&P, or really anything past the first 3 stages. It’s been frustrating, and I’m trying to see this as a “learning opportunity” for letting go. 

RE: My daily daily
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7/24/19 6:25 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I definitely hit Equanimity today. I also had a glimpse oh what life might be like after SE. It was as if every moment was full of mindfulness and there was little to no automaticity. It was a moment of really high Equanimity, I think. Only time will tell.

RE: My daily daily
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7/25/19 9:52 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Daniel’s description of Equanimity in his book MCTB definitely aligns with what I’m experiencing not only on cushion but off cushion as well. 

I feel as if I could sit for hours, there’s a strong peacefulness. I talked with Kenneth Folk recently and asked him if I was experiencing Equaniity at the time (I wasn’t), and he described it as amazingly peaceful. He said something like, ‘if you’re in equanimity, that’s great! You’ll feel like you don’t want to be anywhere else. You’ll sometimes think well I hope I don’t hit SE because I’d hate for this to end’— I didn’t understand it at the time but now I do. The practice seems to be doing itself... sometimes it feels as if I’m not really there, and I’ve had a hard time staying with conversations because I’ll automatically go back to being mindful.

On a somewhat separate note, I’ve been feeling this strong Equanimity ever since that moment yesterday where I felt like I had a glimpse into what life would be like after SE. I’m not sure if that was me hitting SE or just deep Equanimity. Even as I type this I almost feel like I’m disappearing... this is bizarre...

RE: My daily daily
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7/26/19 3:48 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’ve talked with a few people, I’m confident that I’ve reached SE. I become more confident with each passing day. My thought process and “mind” has definitely changed for the better. I know the golden rule is to let time pass before definitively deciding whether or not I have. In either case, healthy daily practice should continue. I’ve got a month long retreat happening in a month from now, so we shall see how things are by then

RE: My daily daily
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7/26/19 4:26 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
What happened? :-)

The periods when the practice does itself is such a mercy.

RE: My daily daily
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7/26/19 4:33 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It was actually quite, calm compared to what I expected. Funny how that works. 

I was being super mindful, deep into Equanimity. I was walking back to my car and as I was getting into it, there was a brief moment where everything came together. I was incredibly mindful of the 3 characteristics. I didn’t notice a ‘blip’ but shortly after I was overcome with a variety of sensations; tremendous bliss, a huge sense of relief like I’ve never known, incredible peace and a great sense of insight. This lasted for quite a while, and I was oscillating automatically between 1st and 2nd jhana without really focusing on anything. 

RE: My daily daily
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7/26/19 4:46 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Regardless of what it was, it sounds like you’re in a good place. I’m happy for you. Best wishes!

RE: My daily daily
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7/26/19 7:16 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Thanks for all the guidance emoticon 

I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I was striving for SE, I got a ton of support and guidance from all different kinds of people. This time around, not so much. Perhaps there are less people on this forum. Or less active members...

Anyways, thanks. Are you working on 2nd path? I’d love to talk more in-depth about it. Perhaps we can private chat over email or even through here. In any case, best wishes to you as well

RE: My daily daily
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7/27/19 7:09 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
Thanks for all the guidance emoticon 

I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I was striving for SE, I got a ton of support and guidance from all different kinds of people. This time around, not so much. Perhaps there are less people on this forum. Or less active members...

Anyways, thanks. Are you working on 2nd path? I’d love to talk more in-depth about it. Perhaps we can private chat over email or even through here. In any case, best wishes to you as well


I hope I’m not the one who has scared them all away.

Nothing to thank for. I enjoy our correspondance. You are welcome to send me private messages if you want, but I’m not sure I have more to report than what I already do in my practice log. I am working on second path, but I don’t know what I’m doing. I have been working very intuitively, and I guess there are limits to that. Now I have discovered the treasures of Bhante G:s dharma talks and guided meditations and I’m hoping to learn more about working with my hindrances, as they are still plenty. I still trust ”my” intuition when it does give me clues, and it says that Bhante G is the way to go, at least for now. Something transformative happens when I listen to him.

RE: My daily daily
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7/27/19 12:23 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Very inspiring. Gosh darn i need to get my act together.

RE: My daily daily
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7/27/19 7:33 AM as a reply to YCR.
Linda, I doubt very much that you’ve scared anyone away from here. And I will definitely be following your practice log. 

YCR, you can definitely do it. I’ll follow your practice log and see if I can add anything of value. All it really takes is being mindful as much as you can, everyday. I don’t have great concentration skills either. 

RE: My daily daily
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7/27/19 6:43 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
What do you define as "being mindful"? What do you do to actualize this ideal? Do you pay attention to your feet? Do you note off-cushion? Do you intentionally observe the three charecteristics or do you just observe sensations as they are without the intent to see the truth in them?

RE: My daily daily
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7/28/19 1:58 PM as a reply to YCR.
I guess I meant just try to note as much as possible. With every little sensation, try to be equanimous and try to objectify it all. When walking, I’d note the feeling of my feet hitting the ground, the feeling of my foot in the shoe, the breeze, the sun, the sounds, the thoughts, etc. Try to be noting all the time

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/28/19 6:30 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Thank you for your help. I will try.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/28/19 7:31 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Have you tried out any concentration practices since getting SE? I've heard some people on reddit mention that meditation becomes much easier and they even have free access to light jhanas, although it seems to be different for everyone.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
7/28/19 9:37 PM as a reply to YCR.
 I’d be more than happy to offer my experiences and what-not if you think it would help. 

And yeah for sure.  I haven’t actually formally tried it, but if I am doing a task with a relatively low amount of intention, I’ll find myself entering first or second Jhana by chance


Stream entry? Still considering...
Answer
8/6/19 7:10 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
 (My actual question is at the ‘So to recap’)

Ever since my last was that Stream Entry? experience, my meditation has been different, in some way. So has daily life. This is why I keep thinking it’s possible I’ve hit SE. Alas, I’m not letting the uncertainty get in the way of my daily practice.

Before this (I’ll call it Unknown Event #2, UE2) UE2, I’d sit down and it was rather easy to nail where I was on the path of insight. The first 3 nanas were vibratory, somewhat uncomfortable, I’d get a pretty restless, it took a good amount of effort to note each sensation without get lost, etc. The A&P was quite clear; usually some type of bright lights strobing in and out, sexual energy increases, breathing increases, etc. Dissolution always felt like my hands and/or arms became contorted OR I felt like I was in a ball-pit but instead of little plastic balls I was surrounded by bowling balls. (Interestingly enough, because of that I believe it’s possible that I experienced 3rd jhana when I was younger. I remember having this same exact feeling and experience every once-in-a-while while laying in bed). The Dark Night nanas (more specifically Fear, Misery, Disgust, and Desire for Deliverance) were rather depressing, scary, and all the other things you’d expect out of it. It was difficult to focus, I kept wanting to quit, etc. Reobservation was pretty much always about harsh sensations, all buzzing around, almost as if ‘they’ didn’t want to be noted. Much like the analogy Daniel gives of the kazoo player in the orchestra. Equanimity always brought about sensations that flowed, rather than came in and out. It was quite easy and enjoyable to ‘watch’ the sensations come and go.

Then UE2 happened. I was walking to my car, being pretty mindful and noting rather well (?) when what felt like a vision happened. It was as if everything came together to form an extremely mindful moment. Was there a cessation of any kind? I’m not sure. But what I do known is literally right before this moment, I was rather deep in Equanimity. I know this wasn’t the A&P because of what I stated above (A&P moments involve heavy breathing and/or bright lights strobing in and out and/or sexual energy increasing rather quickly, Equanimity feels much more calm, enjoyable, etc.). Then, literally right after this event, I had a flood of bliss/ecstasy/rapture/joy. I also had a sense or feeling that a cycle of some sort had been completed. 

So, to recap;
Reasons I might’ve hit Stream Entry
1. Equanimity -> some event -> flood of rapture, joy, bliss, feeling of completing a cycle
2. Before event, I was in deep Equanimity. After event, something quite different than what I’ve experienced with Equanimity
3. Feeling of change in perspective does seem to be evident. In daily life it seems as though I can almost ‘see’ where the mind is ‘blinking out’ to create this illusion of a self/observer
4. Practice now has a different feel to it. It doesn’t seem as clear cut where I am on the path. There are moments of intense peace at really random times during my practice. When I do noting practice (rather than choiceless awareness), it seems much more mechanical than before (could be one of the first three nanas)
5. It’s possible I’ve been able to call up fruitions. Right after the UE2 I wasn’t able to, but now that the dust has settled (sort of) it seems like I can call them up. I’m not too sure about this one though

Reasons to believe I did not hit Stream Entry
1. People say there is a cessation that is usually quite noticeable. I didn’t notice one
2. After hitting SE, one should be able to ride the whole POI pretty much on command. I’m not sure I’m able to do that. 
3. I was told that one should be able to access the concentration jhanas rather easy after SE. How easy? Cause I tried for like a good 30min sit and couldn’t do it.

So, which was it?

I understand that most of the questions on this forum are people asking other more experienced yogi’s to diagnose their position on the path. I imagine this can get quite tiring (especially if it’s coming from one or two people often). But I’m not exactly sure what the best use of this forum is, if not for that. I’m not stressing or freaking out. Quite the opposite. I’d just like to see what others have to say about this. Obviously if I haven’t hit SE, noting practice should continue. If SE has in fact been attained, I might be able to throttle back on the insight meditation and enjoy some concentration meditation practice for a short while. 

Anyways, if anyone has gotten this far in this post, thanks for sticking with me. I appreciate any opinions

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/7/19 2:37 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I realized something interesting today that I’d like to get some input on, if someone wouldn’t mind providing their opinion.

Ever since I started doing insight meditation again, I seem to get the most “progress” with the least amount of effort. For example, when I first got back into meditation (1-2 months ago), I remember starting back up with noting practice but because I wasn’t too clear on exactly what I was supposed to do, I ended up doing choiceless awareness a lot of the times. One of the times was when I was driving up to my parents house. When I got there, I was D E E P in one of the jhanas (not sure which one).

Another time happened when I typing on this forum, under my daily practice. The more I typed, the more deep I got into another jhana. So deep in fact, that I put on here that it felt as if I was melting away.

When I do hard noting (as in I’m noting a whole bunch, beginning from right when I wake up), it’s difficult to notice any changes in my practice. I tend to osciliate between the first 3 (maybe 4) nanas, but never pass the A&P. I seem to pass the A&P when I’m not trying very hard.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/8/19 2:07 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’m currently struggling with noting causing a lot of jaw pain and choiceless awareness being much nicer. I haven’t spontaneously entered jhana (I think) in a few days, so that’s interesting. 

Im not sure if it’s been an attitude switch or what, but sensations in general aren’t as harsh. When I note hard, there is a build up of energy. Sometimes it’s really intense but that’s about it. Its an exciting build up, but it’s very not exciting at the end. It feels like it’s building up to something like an A&P but the A&P doesn’t happen. There also aren’t any more flashing white lights with this build up. Strange... 

Im trying not to have expectations about it because I think that’s been causing me anxiety. 

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/9/19 9:23 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Man... reobservation is kicking my ass. Just when I think I’ve figured out how to transition from Reob to Equanimity, it changes. Which has led me to believe in the following theory I’ve developed;

Each stage in the POI can manifest differently for many people, with slight commonality in one particular stage in every person. However, those stages can also manifest differently in one person, sometimes they can manifest the same everytime, sometimes they are different every time.

For example; reobservation for me has not once been the same, every time I pass it. It’s difficult to explain it, but everytime I’m in reobservation, I have no idea I’m in it until I reach the point of “fuck this shit. I can’t make any progress I also can’t go backwards so I can known exactly where I am. So, I’m just gonna sit here”. At that point I hit some kind of Equanimity. Then, sometime in the future, I slip backwards from Equanimity and into the Dark Night and the whole thing starts up again but I have no idea I’m in the Dark Night, because it keeps changing on me. Many times I’ve believed I’ve slid back all the way to the first 3 nanas only to realize I’m somewhere near Reobservation.

Anyways, that’s what I think I know today. Tomorrow I’ll probably re-read this and believe it’s a load of shit. Sorry to all of you who have been reading my about my journey— until I’ve actually hit SE, I’ll probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/10/19 8:58 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Today’s first session was interesting. It started off very uneventful; low focus, trying to use choiceless awareness, etc. Suddenly I felt a bit more motivation to focus, so I did and I noticed what seemed like the actual sensation of a separate self. I’m not sure if I’m artificially fabricating that sensation or not, but it was interesting. It seemed to start after I asked the question ‘who is thinking’. Then that sensation seemed to happen (at one point) after every ‘regular’ sensation. For example, I’d hear something then my mind would ‘click’ or ‘snap’ to this sensation of a separate self, then I’d feel my back, then it would click or snap back to this sensation of a separate self.

Again, I’m not sure if I’m artificially fabricating this sensation or not. I say that because at one point, for less than 2 seconds, it felt like I was causing this feeling to happen. Anyways, interesting stuff. 

The first meditation overal didn’t ‘feel good’, it was actually quite tame. I’m not sure where I am/was on the POI, but whatever. 

[2nd addition] The second meditation session was also rather uneventful, but not ‘boring’. I investigated that sensation of a self that I thought I was noticing before, and I think it’s actually just classified as a thought. I’m just wavering in Equanimity now, waiting for that ‘pop’ to happen!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/11/19 1:11 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Just in case I haven't been clear, High Equanimity is not something people go around noticing, commenting on much, thinking is that strange. It is not something dramatic, energetic, kundalini-esque, powers-heavy, hyper-sexual, pleasant, rapturous, buzzy, loud, intense, or any of that stuff. It is so boring, so ordinary-seeming, so non-self conscious that the vast majority of people barely notice it at all.

This is quoted from Daniel Ingram, in a separate thread. I’ve been curious where I am on the map and for a little while I was considering that I was in the A&P. So, of course, thinking I’m in the A&P, I apply hard and fast noting. But the interesting thing that usually happens when I apply fast noting is things will seem to vibrate and my energy increases but only if I’m noting. If I stop sensations instantly feel harsh, confusing and annoying. So what I think has been happening is I’m been around Reoservation and Equanimity. When I’m in Equanimity, I feel as though I’m not making any progress, so I start noting again. This noting and feeling of lack of progress makes me slide back to Reobservation. I’m in Reobservation until I get so annoyed and frustrated that I just let go and give up, which pushes me back up into Equanimity.

After realizing the above, I read MCTB 2, more specifically the part about Equanimity. In it, Daniel mentions that this is a common path; hit Equanimity, feel like you’re not progressing, slide back to the Dark Night, then let go and go back into Equanimity. He mentions how this usually happens over and over until one learns to stay in Equanimity until the ‘pop’ happens.

So, I’m trying to stay equanimous about it all and not worry about progress. We will see how that goes. I leave for my 1 month retreat in a few weeks, I’m looking forward to that!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/12/19 8:39 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Now although I’m not “worried”, I’ve been in Equanimity for a few days now. I oscillated between Reob and Equanimity a few days ago, but now it’s been mostly Equanimity. And again, I’m not worried about being stuck in it (yet), it has got me thinking. So I researched a little on this forum and saw that Kenneth Folk (as well as others) have suggested that if one finds themselves stuck in Equanimity (or really any stage after A&P), one should work to increase their concentration abilities. So, I’m going to do just that. I’ll of course try to stay equanimous about all sensations, but I’ll be focusing on improving my concentration abilities until my 1 month-long retreat in about 2.5 weeks. Here is the thread I’m referencing: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/100682?_19_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%2Fdiscussion%2F-%2Fmessage_boards%2Fsearch%3F_19_redirect%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%252Fdiscussion%252F-%252Fmessage_boards%252Frecent-posts%26_19_keywords%3DEquanimity%2Bto%2Bconformity%26_19_formDate%3D1565659894869%26_19_breadcrumbsCategoryId%3D0%26_19_searchCategoryId%3D0

I desperately wish I could’ve been on here for that conversation, because I’m going through the same thing now. Getting frustrated, wanting fruition to happen, making the resolution to not be one of those yogi’s who hangs out in Equanimity forever, etc. But, like they said on there, you can’t force fruition to happen by sheer force.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/13/19 9:44 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
This practice never ceases to amaze me... I was getting frustrated that I was stuck in Equanimity, or so I thought. I then vowed to make a quick reference chart of the symptoms and signs of each stage in the Path of Insight and in so doing realized that I’ve actually been in the Three Characteristics. How did I mess up that diagnoses? Well, it’s a long story. 

Currently, sensations seem to come and go so quickly that it doesn’t seem like there’s a space in between each sensation, at all. There does seem to be a ‘self’ sensation, which is interesting. I’ve been investigating that while also doing more noting practice instead of the broad “choiceless awareness”. I’m sure people get to SE using the technique of choiceless awareness, but that doesn’t seem to work well for me.

Anyways, I realized that it’s tremendously important and useful for those of us who haven’t hit SE to be able to accurately diagnose where we are on the path. It would be much more useful if someone else more experienced could do it, which is why so many people get on here and ask others to diagnose where they are; techniques in each stage of the Path of Insight vary. However, I also recognize how annoying/boring it can get to help diagnose others. In any case, it’s super helpful and I send metta and appreciation to all those who have helped me figure out where I am over the years. Everyday I inch closer to the 1 month retreat and have been slowly increasing the amount I (formally) meditate everyday. So far I’m up to almost 3hrs. The goal is to get to 4hrs of formal meditation everyday before the retreat.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/13/19 10:47 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Where are you going?

Also why is it tremendously important to know where you are? Really, the main help is so dark night doesnt throw you for a loop. You already have that. If you are going to change practice, why not do so based based on sensations that are presenting themselves instead of the stage you think you are at. There would be no room for delusion. How many times have you thought you were at a different stage than you are in the past month? How many times have you mistaken pain for a vibration? I would map in retrospect and in review. 

You could have this strategy or similar:
- if things are subtle, fast and vibratory with good concentration, I will notice.
- for everything else, I will note it.



Maybe read Daniel's account of stream entry in mctb2. His strategy was even shorter than the above.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/14/19 9:53 PM as a reply to Jason Massie.
I like that. Thanks for the advice, it helps. And I’m not sure where Daniel mentions a specific strategy one can use throughout the path, perhaps I skipped over that part...

{edit} I forgot to mention where I’m going... I’m going to a 1 mont retreat in San Jose, California. It’s called the Tathagata Meditation Center. I’ll be studying under Sayadaw U Thuzana.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/14/19 11:53 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I hear good things about it. I almost went last year.

I am not sure if you have been to a place like that before. 4 hours a day prep is a good warm up. More is better emoticon I would try to mimick what they will be having me do right now. Vivikananda's instructions should be similar... He gives good sitting, walking, interview instructions. 


https://dharmaseed.org/teacher/186/?search=Instructions

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 8:14 AM as a reply to Jason Massie.
Thanks I appreciate that! I’ll definitely check that out. 

And yeah yeah I would be doing their schedule exactly already if I didn’t have to work. But I have been waking up earlier everyday as well as increasing my meditation time and slowly incorporating the 8 precepts so I’m on my way! I haven’t been to a place like this before. Got any tips or advice??

@Linda— yeah that’s a good way to look at it emoticon  i’m trying not to see it as a digression. But what I find is interesting is that my practice has changed quite dramatically recently and I’m not sure why. All of the little tricks that I could do before that would get me to the A&P or through the Dark Night aren’t working. For example, noting rapidly for an hour or two with high concentration isn’t getting me to the A&P. I can find my mind working up to A&P, but it doesn’t happen. It’s very strange.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 8:46 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
That can be rather frustrating. Don’t I know...

It will pass, too, eventually.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 10:04 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Look... I’m NOT saying that you had stream entry. Even if you had presented a very precise phenomenology of repeated fruitions and I had known you and your practice for a while, offline too, I would definitely not be qualified to diagnose you. And that very fast review made me sceptical, to be honest. But I’m definitely not qualified to rule anything out either, and it seems odd to doubt that you have crossed the A&P before. I’m not going to assume that. You have been at it diligently. And if I’m not mistaken, what you are describing now is what would be expected if you had stream entry and went past the review phase. Then you would be stuck in newbie territory for a while. Your old reliable strategies would suddenly not work. That happened to me, and I was told it was normal. Right before I realized I was stuck, I mistook the 3C nana for reobservation and low equanimity (I thought it might be from the previous path, because it would be too fast progression otherwise) but it didn’t add up.

If that is what is happening, patience is key. But if you find after a lengthy period of time that you not only feel stuck, but also are stuck for real, then it is possible to resolve to get back into review. With a strong and pure intention to go back, you will go back. From there you can integrate your previous insights and ramp up your concentration and technical skills to make the next path less challenging.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 10:29 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda, I appreciate that a lot. I’m not taking your comments as diagnostics or otherwise, but I do really appreciate your feedback. And that’s kind of my frustration right now! I was able to cross the A&P Almost every time I sat and meditated. Now, I can’t cross it for the life of me.

Whatever is going on, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your feedback.  Taking the time to read somebody’s daily journal and respond to it can be tiring. You are good people :-)

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 10:55 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I find it interesting, and you have the kind of language I can understand.

The fact that you can suddenly not cross A&P is why I wrote what I did. I can see two possibilities there. Either your mapping is faulty, or you went through the kind of shift that would have such a result. If you have been able to go through A&P reliably with rapid noting and suddenly you can’t... well, that doesn’t happen out of the blue. A third possibility would be if something is different now in your conditions or practice that you’re not aware of.

Apparently people do mistake body and mind for A&P, but if that were the case here - which I find highly unlikely - you would probably still do the same mistake. Hence you wouldn’t say now that you suddenly can’t reach it.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 12:59 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah I considered that as well. But my Mind and Body phase is pretty distinct; physical pain, shaking, twitching, etc. And my A&P is quite literally word for word the way Daniel explains it in the book; bright lights, strong sexual energy, alot of bright flashing lights, euphoria, rapture, joy, peace, all at once.

Im not sure. I might consider the fact that I’m past SE. What else might someone look for to consider post-SE? I mean, I’ve read the descriptions and whatnot. I guess it’s highly possible....

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/15/19 4:47 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
This practice never ceases to amaze me... I was getting frustrated that I was stuck in Equanimity, or so I thought. I then vowed to make a quick reference chart of the symptoms and signs of each stage in the Path of Insight and in so doing realized that I’ve actually been in the Three Characteristics. How did I mess up that diagnoses? Well, it’s a long story.


Honestly, I’m not that surprised. Things didn’t quite add up. And the 3C nana can show a progression that makes one think that it is different nanas. On the plus side, this means that there are many more goodies in the gooodie bag for you, which is pretty cool when you think about it.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/16/19 6:38 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’ve been trying to focus my efforts on concentration meditation recently, and that’s done absolutely nothing... so far. I’ve now waken up and had TMJ pain all day for the past few days. I’m not sure why this is... I do know that TMJ and physical body pains tends to happen in the 3rd nana, but I’m not really sure why this has all of a sudden started happening. Strange stuff... 

I feel very pulled to do choiceless awareness when doing vipassana meditation, but not very pulled to do vipassana meditation. My practice seems to have changed dramatically over the past week. Perhaps I have hit SE...

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/17/19 12:43 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Whether or not it was SE, it seems to be many different layers to work on, some more challenging than others. Sorry about the pain! Like anything else, it will thankfully pass. Hang in there!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/19/19 9:17 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah it’s been interesting! 

I’m now focusing on concentration meditation. I figure this is a good idea for the 1-month retreat I’m going on soon. We shall see how that progresses!

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/20/19 4:07 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I think I’m slowly going back to the idea that I didn’t hit SE. It’s hard to explain, but I think I can sense that my mind is still “stuck” and hasn’t actually seen a cessation. Which could be frustrating, but it actually isn’t too frustrating for me. The reason is because I’m just back to what I was doing. I’d rather have passed SE but assumed I haven’t than not pass it and assumed I have. 

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/20/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
That’s probably a wise approach. Tricky stuff, dharma diagnosis.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/20/19 4:41 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
I think I’m slowly going back to the idea that I didn’t hit SE. It’s hard to explain, but I think I can sense that my mind is still “stuck” and hasn’t actually seen a cessation. Which could be frustrating, but it actually isn’t too frustrating for me. The reason is because I’m just back to what I was doing. I’d rather have passed SE but assumed I haven’t than not pass it and assumed I have. 


Why do you think that it's such important to attain Stream Entry? Who said that it's such a big deal and will resolve problems or what? The amount of suffering that this comparison and diagnosis creates, seems to be much much bigger than the benefits of attaining Stream Entry.

I feel very sad about the amount of comparison and diagnosis that there is in this forum. When I first joined this forum, I fell into this trap for some weeks, but I noticed that it only increases my suffering, and causes me to spend time on these things and actually not do the practice enough.

People that are claiming to be awakened to various degrees, we see that many of them are still suffering in different ways, so why should we create unnecessary suffering by trying to map our experience to a not well defined map?! If we have attained something, and it has some benefits, then we should already have that benefits, and it doesn't make a big difference to attach a label on it and the rest of the story.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 6:56 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Linda— I’m glad you agree emoticon

Although I do empathize with you in some degree that this whole chasing after awakenings can cause suffering, I’ve already benefited a lot from this path.

The amount I was suffering before I started meditating was a lot more than how much I’m suffering now. Being as mindful as I can every minute gets me out of my head. And I believe striving for Stream Entry is a healthy goal for me, in comparison to goals I had before like to make as much money as I can

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 7:01 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:

I feel very sad about the amount of comparison and diagnosis that there is in this forum. When I first joined this forum, I fell into this trap for some weeks, but I noticed that it only increases my suffering, and causes me to spend time on these things and actually not do the practice enough.

People that are claiming to be awakened to various degrees, we see that many of them are still suffering in different ways, so why should we create unnecessary suffering by trying to map our experience to a not well defined map?! If we have attained something, and it has some benefits, then we should already have that benefits, and it doesn't make a big difference to attach a label on it and the rest of the story.


Dear Siavash,
If I have somehow done you harm because of my map talk or anything else, I’m truly sorry. I wish you all the best, both for your practice and your wellbeing.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 7:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:

I feel very sad about the amount of comparison and diagnosis that there is in this forum. When I first joined this forum, I fell into this trap for some weeks, but I noticed that it only increases my suffering, and causes me to spend time on these things and actually not do the practice enough.

People that are claiming to be awakened to various degrees, we see that many of them are still suffering in different ways, so why should we create unnecessary suffering by trying to map our experience to a not well defined map?! If we have attained something, and it has some benefits, then we should already have that benefits, and it doesn't make a big difference to attach a label on it and the rest of the story.


Dear Siavash,
If I have somehow done you harm because of my map talk or anything else, I’m truly sorry. I wish you all the best, both for your practice and your wellbeing.


Dear Linda:
No, not at all.
My concern in the above comment was mainly to just emphasize the balance between practice and diagnosis.
You have helped with your comments and opinions, and I am greateful for that, and I would like to have your opinions anytime you like, and I appreciate it.

Dear Travis:
I meant the suffering that is caused by putting very high emphasis on diagnosis, and I didn't mean that seeking freedom and practicing meditation would cause suffering. This practice has decreased my suffering drammarically too compared to before, and I am greateful for all people who have helped me in anyways on learning/practicing/supporting practice.

It's been some time that by reading your log, this point has become evident for me that probably there is an unbalanced striving here. I apologize if my comment has caused suffering in any way.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 7:42 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
That’s a great relief. I was thinking that maybe my enthusiasm had hampered my judgement. I was almost in love with the maps, I guess. I’m still tremendously grateful for them, but they are much more difficult to apply now that complexity has increased.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 7:48 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That’s a great relief. I was thinking that maybe my enthusiasm had hampered my judgement. I was almost in love with the maps, I guess. I’m still tremendously grateful for them, but they are much more difficult to apply now that complexity has increased.


Thanks. Sure, to the point that maps help, they are great, sometimes they are necessary and the best help, but not always, at least what I observe in my experience. I remembered now what Shinzen always says, that he has tortured himself for the first 20 years of his practice by trying to map his experience to different maps, and also came to mind other storied of people like Daniel getting huge relief by finding out the maps. So, they are just some skillful means and should be applied skillfully, right? that is what I meant.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 7:57 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Agreed. And ultimately, they are empty too.

RE: My daily daily
Answer
8/21/19 8:12 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
 Oh I see what you’re saying. I agree with you. I have a hard time finding the balance between diagnosing where I am, and just letting things unfold. I didn’t think your comment was insulting or disturbing in any way. I appreciate it actually. 

One of the most recurrent events for me when I am in Reobservation is that I begin obsessing about where I am. I also start assuming either 1) I haven’t crossed the A&P, ever (which isn’t true) or 2) I’m past Stream Entry (which isn’t true either). One of the personal ways that I suffered the most is my obsession with progress.

So to make a long story short, I appreciate your comment.

RE: My daily daily
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8/21/19 9:00 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Thanks.

Travis:
One of the most recurrent events for me when I am in Reobservation is that I begin obsessing about where I am. I also start assuming either 1) I haven’t crossed the A&P, ever (which isn’t true) or 2) I’m past Stream Entry (which isn’t true either). One of the personal ways that I suffered the most is my obsession with progress.

I have obsessive behavior patterns, and I see it in many different areas in my life. I've noticed that when there is this negative emotions, which with high probability should be the Dark night nanas, this obssesive behavior patterns become much more intense and frequent, even to a point that when I try to add two numbers, I do it several times (I have a good memory and I was very good at mathematics!), so it seems that probably it's one of the Dark Night things to have more obsession.

RE: My daily daily
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8/21/19 12:13 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Thats exactly my problem; getting into the Dark Night and then obsessing about where I am on the path. Thanks for sharing that, makes me feel less alone on this crazy path!

Curious, have you hit stream entry yet?

RE: My daily daily
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8/21/19 12:47 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
Thats exactly my problem; getting into the Dark Night and then obsessing about where I am on the path. Thanks for sharing that, makes me feel less alone on this crazy path!

Curious, have you hit stream entry yet?


I haven't had any dramatic experience with this meditation. No, I am not an Stream Entrer. There are patterns of experience that matchs the descriptions of A&P, Three Characteristics, and Dark Night, and probably Equanimity, and etc, with some very light Jhanas perhaps.

My solution for dealing with the problem of striving is this: I haven't had any path attainment, so I don't know what it is, so why should I crave for something that I don't know it experientially. Yes, people are saying positive things about it, so let's have it, does this craving help me get closer to it? No, then I should drop that craving, but I still have craving, ok, let's go back to the Start and run the algorithm again with clearer questions. Enough repetition of this pseudo-algorithm seems to be helpful.

RE: My daily daily
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8/21/19 3:12 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.

Siavash Mahmoudpour— thanks for the input. I’ll definitely give that a shot and report back. 



I forgot to mention, yesterday’s sit was interesting. I was very relaxed, laying on my bed and I feel like I got into some pretty good Equanimity territory. Then I noticed every once-in-a-while this type of shuttering thing would happen. I’m not sure if it’s important, but it was interesting. It was as if I was watching a movie and the frames were slowed down just enough to where I could tell there were frames, not a continuous stream. Interesting...


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8/21/19 3:53 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
That’s impermanence right there.

RE: My daily daily
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8/21/19 11:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah, I was thinking I was close to the fruition door of impermanence cause it matched pretty close to what MCTB 2. 

What are your thoughts?

{2nd addition} had another interesting session during my last session of the day. First off, I’ve been meditating while laying down because for some reason I’m able to enter equanimity a lot faster if I do this. I got into Equanimity quite fast, then I noticed something interesting happen. It felt like at the top of the breath things got really ‘exciting’, then at the bottom of the breath they calmed down. I kept thinking I was about to enter another jhana or perhaps I was almost entering 1st jhana, but then realized it was something completely different. Not sure what to think, but it was interesting!

RE: My daily daily
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8/25/19 10:57 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
Yeah, I was thinking I was close to the fruition door of impermanence cause it matched pretty close to what MCTB 2. 

What are your thoughts?


I don’t know about that. I was thinking that it was the kind of flickering that is always going on visually, although most of the time people don’t notice it.

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8/25/19 9:56 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I’ve been having some pretty bizarre meditation sessions right before bed... Last night was one in particular that I’m not at all sure what happened.

I was doing some noting practice interspersed with choiceless awareness right before falling asleep. I was going in and out of sleep. I remember at one point I woke up right into meditation and then all of a sudden there was this very strong and seemingly loud vibration, about 1-2 beats per minute that got louder and stronger. It got to a point where I felt like I was being torn apart— and it was a bit scary if I’m to be honest. Then it all stopped and I opened my eyes. It definitely was not A&P; it didn’t feel good before during or after, I didn’t feel a strong sexual energy, and I didn’t feel like my focus was particularly strong. It might’ve been a strong Reobservation moment... Daniel says that sometimes in Reobservation the vibrations can get so strong that it can feel as if you’re literally being torn apart.

In any case, it was crazy. Looking back at it now, it was kinda cool to have happen.

RE: My daily daily
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8/25/19 11:05 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
I’ve been having some pretty bizarre meditation sessions right before bed... Last night was one in particular that I’m not at all sure what happened.

I was doing some noting practice interspersed with choiceless awareness right before falling asleep. I was going in and out of sleep. I remember at one point I woke up right into meditation and then all of a sudden there was this very strong and seemingly loud vibration, about 1-2 beats per minute that got louder and stronger. It got to a point where I felt like I was being torn apart— and it was a bit scary if I’m to be honest. Then it all stopped and I opened my eyes. It definitely was not A&P; it didn’t feel good before during or after, I didn’t feel a strong sexual energy, and I didn’t feel like my focus was particularly strong. It might’ve been a strong Reobservation moment... Daniel says that sometimes in Reobservation the vibrations can get so strong that it can feel as if you’re literally being torn apart.

In any case, it was crazy. Looking back at it now, it was kinda cool to have happen.


I had a period of waking up in the middle of meditation or even being unable to sleep because I was drawn into meditation for hours. There were occasional really scary instances, but most of the time I loved it. It is such a brutal force that takes over. I may be morbid or something, but I find it magnificent. I think the process knows the way. What happens is what needs to happen. It’s like the process gets tired of waiting for our futile efforts to bear fruit, and so it decides to pave the way and do it thoroughly.

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8/26/19 6:56 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yeah I agree. In hindsight, it was really cool 

RE: My daily daily
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8/27/19 12:35 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
The last few meditation sessions I’ve had have been very insightful. For example, this morning I could finally see the dukkha of my sensate experience. Either I wanted more of a good feeling, or less of a bad feeling. Also, I started to feel tension from not being able to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. 

Last night I noticed a few more subtle sensations that I’ve never noticed before. They were things like liking or disliking a very small sensation such as a feeling in my arm, or they very subtle sensation of not wanting to meditate.  This morning I fell more deeply into equanimity. It’s not that it felt any better per se, I just had a sense that I was able to see more subtle sensations then I’ve ever been able to before.

{2nd addition} I forgot to add, I’m going on a 1 month-long retreat in a few days. It’ll be the Mahasi style 30 day meditation retreat in San Jose, California. Wish me luck!

RE: My daily daily
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9/5/19 5:15 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
It was actually quite, calm compared to what I expected. Funny how that works.

I was being super mindful, deep into Equanimity. I was walking back to my car and as I was getting into it, there was a brief moment where everything came together. I was incredibly mindful of the 3 characteristics. I didn’t notice a ‘blip’ but shortly after I was overcome with a variety of sensations; tremendous bliss, a huge sense of relief like I’ve never known, incredible peace and a great sense of insight. This lasted for quite a while, and I was oscillating automatically between 1st and 2nd jhana without really focusing on anything. 
Turns out this moment was actually, likely my stream entry moment. Of course I’m open to the idea that it might not have been (like always), but I’ve talked with a few reputable people and teachers and it seems as though the common consensus is; stream entry. The most awesome thing was the day after this experience (which I have logged in this thread the day after this one) I hit a jhana in which I felt like I was disappearing... it might’ve been one of the immaterial jhanas, I’m not sure. In any case, it was amazing. Only time will tell if I’ve really hit it. But I can say my practice already seems dramatically different (like I’ve mentioned before). One example is when I meditate. If I actively try to do something, I get super frustrated and annoyed. However, if I set an intention or resolution before and sit and then just let things happen, the ‘thing’ I resolved to have happened, usually happens. 

RE: My daily daily
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9/13/19 7:13 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
There’s an obvious clarity to my sensate experience nowadays that I’ve never experienced before. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not sure it needs to be explained. I’ve also noticed that emotions come and go more quickly and my usual emotional state is that of a soft compassion, also a first for me. I feel more accepting of not just my sensate experience but also everyone else’s... its nice.

When I was struggling through the dark night before my actual SE, I considered whether or not recommending insight meditation is actually a good idea. I mean, it’s caused me so much pain! Now that I’m post SE, I understand just a little bit more why Daniel reccomends awakening to people. Things are different in a way that’s hard to explain to those who don’t practice. Makes me appreciate the fact that Daniel put it all on paper, more. I don’t have the ability to describe things as well as he does, but damn. Things are a little bit more interesting and, at the same time, much more impermanent. That’s actually a good way to describe it; 1 of the 3 characteristics, impermanence, is seen with much more clarity, moment-to-moment. Sometimes they’re so quick it’s difficult to say they even happened at all. Labeling a sensation as something, like anger, seems silly almost because it won’t last for even a second.

Anyways... I’ve been pulled to do much more loving-kindness meditation ever since my SE. I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

RE: My daily daily
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11/24/19 1:20 PM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Travis McKinstry:
There’s an obvious clarity to my sensate experience nowadays that I’ve never experienced before. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not sure it needs to be explained. I’ve also noticed that emotions come and go more quickly and my usual emotional state is that of a soft compassion, also a first for me. I feel more accepting of not just my sensate experience but also everyone else’s... its nice.

When I was struggling through the dark night before my actual SE, I considered whether or not recommending insight meditation is actually a good idea. I mean, it’s caused me so much pain! Now that I’m post SE, I understand just a little bit more why Daniel reccomends awakening to people. Things are different in a way that’s hard to explain to those who don’t practice. Makes me appreciate the fact that Daniel put it all on paper, more. I don’t have the ability to describe things as well as he does, but damn. Things are a little bit more interesting and, at the same time, much more impermanent. That’s actually a good way to describe it; 1 of the 3 characteristics, impermanence, is seen with much more clarity, moment-to-moment. Sometimes they’re so quick it’s difficult to say they even happened at all. Labeling a sensation as something, like anger, seems silly almost because it won’t last for even a second.

Anyways... I’ve been pulled to do much more loving-kindness meditation ever since my SE. I’m thoroughly enjoying it.


Hello Travis,

There's some really great dialogues in this log of yours. I enjoyed reading them.

Compassion is such a lovely thing when it arises. For me, compassion came as a result of vipassina and deep compassion came through observing people in daily life, seeing how they were trapped in unconscious reactive behaviours. We develop this unique view from becoming more conscious, and we can choose to see others, not as imbeciles endowed with extreme stupidity but as lost souls searching just like we are. I have spent many a time looking down upon people referring to them as unconscious little worms but that mode of thinking soon left me. They're just searching in the wrong places. These days compassion can rise up from the gut and when it reaches my head my tear ducts begin to open and on occasion tears do fall. I never thought you could have compassionate tears but apparently so. Compassion comes in many forms though. It often expresses itself in words when I meet with sangha members.

Loving-kindness meditation is great. Do you ever do this in public. It can be done completely impromptu and discretely. I really enjoy doing this in public spaces with complete strangers. I've got it down to fine art. Also, there's a peculiar siddhi ability where one can envelop the entire universe. I have been using this to rain down loving-kindness across the entire expanse of the cosmos. I like that a lot. I'm the kind of person who tries to practice every minute of the day if it wasn't already obvious. emoticon

RE: My daily daily
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12/1/19 9:15 AM as a reply to Bardo Cruiser.
I love that. That's awesome. 

When I'm stuck in heavy traffic (which is almost everyday) I take it as a opportunity to open my heart to the people on the road who are, just like you said, searching for happiness in all the wrong places. I'll often begin crying a little, tears of joy emoticon it's beautiful. 

RE: My daily daily
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12/1/19 10:13 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Great and you could beef that up somewhat with the Bramha Viharas. 

RE: My daily daily
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11/21/19 7:04 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
Stream Entry has provided for a lot of gradual realizations about my subjective reality. I find it difficult to explain to my wife what's going on. The best way I've been able so (so far) is; there are moments where the sensation of "I" disappear and I can see the cause-and-effect of everything happening (in my personal, subjective experience). 

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11/21/19 9:23 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
I hope that change hasn't been too much of a strain for your relationship. It has been challenging for me and one of my closest persons, since we used to think so much alike. We are working on getting in synch again, but I can't go back to how it was, because I see too much of the dukkha in it. 

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11/21/19 2:14 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Im glad you mentioned that. 

I am also struggling a little for the same reason. I've been studying stoicism as well as the Conceptual Theory of Mind and both of these philosophies (as well as Buddhism) have helped me understand that everyone comes from their own perspective. They've helped me keep an active, compassionate understanding that my wife (or friends) can't see the world like I do, and therefore deserve (and require) more patience. 

Linda, I'd like to see what you think about this. Since stream entry, it seems like compassion is much more automatic and therefore easy to access for me when dealing with people. Have you experienced the same?

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11/22/19 11:40 AM as a reply to Travis McKinstry.
For me it isn't a problem that we don't think alike anymore, but it is for him. Apparently, that meant the world to him.

Maybe, as a baseline. However, in more troublesome nanas I get cranky. I think I had my biggest shift so far with regard to compassion about a decade ago. I'm hoping that there will be more such shifts, because I find compassion very important. Less crankiness in the future would be awsome. 

RE: My daily daily
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11/23/19 9:13 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I like that. Thanks for sharing emoticon