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Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort

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Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/8/11 6:32 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Florian 3/8/11 8:13 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/8/11 8:49 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Trent . 3/8/11 11:19 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/8/11 12:49 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Trent . 3/8/11 3:10 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/8/11 4:16 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/9/11 5:40 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort ManZ A 3/9/11 7:53 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort aaron . 3/9/11 8:56 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Trent . 3/10/11 3:00 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bernardo V. 3/8/11 5:37 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Trent . 3/8/11 7:45 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort ManZ A 3/8/11 11:28 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Trent . 3/9/11 10:05 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/9/11 4:40 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/10/11 7:22 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Sanjay 3/11/11 4:44 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Trent . 3/14/11 4:40 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/16/11 9:29 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Steph 3/16/11 8:45 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/17/11 7:55 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Nad A. 3/17/11 8:54 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/17/11 10:02 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Nikolai . 3/17/11 1:18 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Adam Bieber 3/17/11 11:41 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Shashank Dixit 3/17/11 11:46 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Adam Bieber 3/18/11 12:18 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort tarin greco 3/18/11 10:41 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Adam Bieber 3/19/11 7:26 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Shashank Dixit 3/21/11 5:22 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort ManZ A 3/16/11 7:39 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/21/11 12:14 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Adam Bieber 3/21/11 12:35 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort ed c 3/21/11 2:34 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/21/11 3:15 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Sanjay 3/21/11 7:39 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Shashank Dixit 3/22/11 12:59 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/22/11 4:20 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Shashank Dixit 3/23/11 11:19 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Adam Bieber 3/23/11 5:22 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Shashank Dixit 3/23/11 11:03 PM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Bruno Loff 3/24/11 3:59 AM
RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort Adam Bieber 3/28/11 4:13 PM
I have come to a point in my practice where I am a bit unsure of how to proceed. The symptom is that I have been jumping from practice to practice, without becoming established in any, and without noticeable progress on any front for a few months. So I thought I would ask for advice, tips, suggestions, observations, anything along those lines.

An overall description of my status, is as follows:

As I have decided to go for actual freedom, firmly so for a few months now, I've started asking HAIETMOBA as frequently as I can. If I am not happy and harmless, I try to find out why.

Occasionally, there is an actually reason, a justification, a story, which I then proceed to investigate, and invariably I am successful at it, since after that investigation takes place the issue no longer bothers me. I've had a few opportunities to deal with concrete issues, such as feeling sorry for some person, fear of abandonment, being upset when a friend was angry at me on one occasion, etc. The way I deal with these issues is to look at them in the face: I try to find the emotion which causes the situation to upset me; then I focus on the bodily sensations that make up this emotion, invariably revealing them to be silly and counterproductive. These emotions eventually subside, and I am once again able to solve the matter at hand in the best possible way, without having fear, anger or sadness get in the way.

But most of the time, I find, there doesn't seem to be a reason. Whichever changes are happening in my nervous system, they most often manifest themselves as causeless points of tension, blockages, if you will, which are rather painful and uncomfortable. If I am not happy and harmless at a given time, and ask why it is so, most often the reason will appear to be such a blockage, pain, or discomfort.

And these have no episodical cause that I can refer to: there is no story, there is no particular event happening around me to which I have responded with this pain and discomfort, as they are just there, for no apparent reason.

Specifically, I can point to: (1) three nagging points of tension/pain, in the back of my head/neck, in my solar plexus, and in the middle of my spine; there always seems to be tension there, which every three days or so develops into pain; when there is pain, I can't focus or do anything all that well (is this dark night?) (2) a general sense of discomfort and restlessness, which is pretty much always there, except that every week or two I get one or two days of "vacations" when it becomes very faint; this discomfort and restlessness manifest in difficulty in sitting still and in mental proliferation.

In the periods when they are not there, I will slip into a PCE or EE just by gazing at things I like (typically nature, but also the nice building here in amsterdam do the trick, or a potted plant or cactus is fine also; sometimes a contrasting bit of plastic does the trick, etc). But this never lasts very long, because, I find, I am at least noticeably discomfortable or in pain most of the time.

In general my mood improved, in the past six months I only had a couple of days of unhappiness, and only a few episodes of self victimization or worry about the future and so on. But while I'm "OK", and "just fine," 95% of the time, and I am often "very good," and that is a great development, I am finding it hard to make the jump to being "very good" or even "excellent" most of the time. And when I query why it is so, I once again return to this generalized discomfort, pain, etc.

---

Now my practice has been: I try to slip into a PCE, if the pain and discomfort don't seem to allow it, I will either (a) focus on them vipassana-style, or (b) practice counting my breaths.

(a) usually leads to the pain and tension increasing dramatically; I persist for a few days, but sooner or later it gets unbearable and I give it up [1]. Sometimes I will feel some tension dissolve, but in general the progress has been so slow that I wonder if I'm doing the best I can with my time.

So I have resorted to (b) a number of times, only to discover that my concentration remains so terrible that I can hardly count my breaths to 10 before my mind wanders off. This happens because of the unrest.

---

So while I have no interest in bliss or any jhanic state, I am considering putting AF practice aside for a while, and taking up a committed samatha practice, just for the sake of getting some of that bodily comfort. Do you think this will work? Will samatha practice eventually eliminate this sense of unrest in my daily life? [2] Is this the way to go? Is there anything else I could try?

I will appreciate your input,
Bruno

[1] At one point I did this for a few months, and the pain and tension became so hard to manage that they jeopardized my ability to do even the simplest work-related tasks (such as reading a paragraph). After that, I only progressed further by turning physical relaxation into a practice; I would go to the pool, sauna, etc, which I still do nowadays.

[2] I ask because I am not interested in bliss, ecstasy, or any visionary/altered/whatever experiences/states resulting from these, I am interested in effectively eliminating or diminishing mental unrest; I am also not interested in eliminating it just temporarily during the practice session, or conditioned on practicing samatha every day, but just sufficiently as to remove enough unrest/discomfort so that I can proceed with actualist practice.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 8:13 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno,

Seems we're in similar places. I experience discomfort, too, though not as intensively as you, judging from your description.

I have a practice of repeating a simple meditation word, keeping this up whenever I can. Less complicated than counting, and with only two syllables, easier to keep track of. I find that I can relax very well into the the mental space created by not having to shunt verbose trains of thought around all the time. Also, I do very simple breathing stuff: letting my gut expand if I notice I'm breathing shallowly, for the most part. I figured that the relief and relaxation this provided was worth not conforming to fashion standards any more.

Then there is the "seat of naivete" between the hara and sex center; You or someone else posted on this a few weeks ago, and Tarin and I had a chat about it a few days back. It's amazing, the amount of "energetic" discomfort which can be funnelled down there. You know, like in 4th Jhana, when it's not pleasant, not painful, and the energetic crap just drops to barely perceptible? Tarin suggested this was the place it dropped to, and I must say, it works for me so far. (I hope I'm not giving any bad advice here - this is new territory for me.)

As for Jhana - why not enjoy it on its own terms? It's not bad for your teeth or anything, you know. No need to be all uptight and protestant about it, that's not very felicitous, after all. emoticon Also note that you can just cultivate serenity without the hyper-focus and freaky psychic stuff of Jhana.

Having to maintain serenity on a daily basis: well, I wash every day, too. Sometimes I think it's a nuisance, but for the time being, this is far superior to not showering at all. Same goes for restful mental states. Maybe I won't have to do daily maintenance of that at one point, but for the time being, this is far better than the clouded-over reactive jittery states which predominate if I don't do anything.

One other neat thing Tarin pointed out in that chat was: The presence of resistance indicates there is a choice. (from memory, I hope I got it right). So what might the choice regarding Jhana be?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 8:49 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Then there is the "seat of naivete" between the hara and sex center; You or someone else posted on this a few weeks ago, and Tarin and I had a chat about it a few days back. It's amazing, the amount of "energetic" discomfort which can be funnelled down there. You know, like in 4th Jhana, when it's not pleasant, not painful, and the energetic crap just drops to barely perceptible? Tarin suggested this was the place it dropped to, and I must say, it works for me so far. (I hope I'm not giving any bad advice here - this is new territory for me.)
Hmm ya when I've been able to do that practice effectively it's been awesome. a real feeling of ease, well-being, blithefulness.. i wish i were like that all the time.. it doesn't always work, though.

Florian Weps:
Having to maintain serenity on a daily basis: well, I wash every day, too. Sometimes I think it's a nuisance, but for the time being, this is far superior to not showering at all. Same goes for restful mental states. Maybe I won't have to do daily maintenance of that at one point, but for the time being, this is far better than the clouded-over reactive jittery states which predominate if I don't do anything.
heh, awesome analogy. so how do you maintain serenity on a daily basis?

Florian Weps:
One other neat thing Tarin pointed out in that chat was: The presence of resistance indicates there is a choice. (from memory, I hope I got it right).
ah i like this one too. suffering always gives itself away, doesn't it?

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 11:19 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
But most of the time, I find, there doesn't seem to be a reason. Whichever changes are happening in my nervous system, they most often manifest themselves as causeless points of tension, blockages, if you will, which are rather painful and uncomfortable. If I am not happy and harmless at a given time, and ask why it is so, most often the reason will appear to be such a blockage, pain, or discomfort.


do you feel an aversion to being attentive of those painful sensations? do you notice ‘gaps’ in your awareness of the body? for example, does it feel like there is a void between your shoulder blades, or in your throat/neck, or wherever the pain is?

Bruno Loff:
And these have no episodical cause that I can refer to: there is no story, there is no particular event happening around me to which I have responded with this pain and discomfort, as they are just there, for no apparent reason.

Specifically, I can point to: (1) three nagging points of tension/pain, in the back of my head/neck, in my solar plexus, and in the middle of my spine; there always seems to be tension there, which every three days or so develops into pain; when there is pain, I can't focus or do anything all that well (is this dark night?) (2) a general sense of discomfort and restlessness, which is pretty much always there, except that every week or two I get one or two days of "vacations" when it becomes very faint; this discomfort and restlessness manifest in difficulty in sitting still and in mental proliferation.


for how long has this pain been present? do you notice it intensifying over time?

Bruno Loff:
In the periods when they are not there, I will slip into a PCE or EE just by gazing at things I like (typically nature, but also the nice building here in amsterdam do the trick, or a potted plant or cactus is fine also; sometimes a contrasting bit of plastic does the trick, etc). But this never lasts very long, because, I find, I am at least noticeably discomfortable or in pain most of the time.


is the tension/pain gone while in the pce?

Bruno Loff:
In general my mood improved, in the past six months I only had a couple of days of unhappiness, and only a few episodes of self victimization or worry about the future and so on. But while I'm "OK", and "just fine," 95% of the time, and I am often "very good," and that is a great development, I am finding it hard to make the jump to being "very good" or even "excellent" most of the time. And when I query why it is so, I once again return to this generalized discomfort, pain, etc.


are you having an episode of self victimization or worry about the generalized discomfort, pain, etc?

Bruno Loff:
Now my practice has been: I try to slip into a PCE, if the pain and discomfort don't seem to allow it, I will either (a) focus on them vipassana-style, or (b) practice counting my breaths.


have you tried applying unrestrained attentiveness to all what is experienced-- noticing everything “inside” and here/now at once? if not, give it a try. if so, what kept you from staying that way?

Bruno Loff:
(a) usually leads to the pain and tension increasing dramatically; I persist for a few days, but sooner or later it gets unbearable and I give it up [1]. Sometimes I will feel some tension dissolve, but in general the progress has been so slow that I wonder if I'm doing the best I can with my time.


when the pain increases, consider the possibility that you are suppressing something … if one were to suppress a psychosomatic pain, for instance, one would create a feedback loop that would result in such an affect. related to that, make sure you have not renamed or ‘unnamed’ a feeling—perhaps the texture of a feeling changed enough so as to be unrecognizable by its old name (and yet its implications would remain the same). look at the causality of what the sensations imply … what is one compelled or impelled to do?

Bruno Loff:
So while I have no interest in bliss or any jhanic state, I am considering putting AF practice aside for a while, and taking up a committed samatha practice, just for the sake of getting some of that bodily comfort. Do you think this will work? Will samatha practice eventually eliminate this sense of unrest in my daily life? [2] Is this the way to go? Is there anything else I could try?


if you were at one time adept with the first four, it might not be a bad idea. if that is not the case, I suspect it would be difficult to find any benefit given the situation as you describe it … the breath counting you mentioned would not a bad alternative.

Bruno Loff:
[1] At one point I did this for a few months, and the pain and tension became so hard to manage that they jeopardized my ability to do even the simplest work-related tasks (such as reading a paragraph). After that, I only progressed further by turning physical relaxation into a practice; I would go to the pool, sauna, etc, which I still do nowadays.


have you been trying to or ever tried to intuit your own lack of ‘being’ and found yourself a wellspring of dread and/or terror? if so, what did you do in the face of that and/or in the aftermath days following, if anything?

does your mind ever feel "cramped?"

trent

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 12:49 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Thank you all for your replies and suggestions.

Florian:

I have a practice of repeating a simple meditation word (...).

Then there is the "seat of naivete" between the hara and sex center (...).


I will remember these two in the future.

Florian:

As for Jhana - why not enjoy it on its own terms?

Essentially because I find a PCE much more interesting, and was never very successful at jhana anyway, so it might take long to get good at it, and then I won't live forever, heck I might die soon, so I would rather get it done sooner rather than spend time learning jhana if I can avoid it emoticon

Furthermore, I have the impression that bliss works by somehow masking, rather than resolving, the various blockages. A bit like putting more lubricant rather than removing the sand.


It's not bad for your teeth or anything, you know. No need to be all uptight and protestant about it, that's not very felicitous, after all. Also note that you can just cultivate serenity without the hyper-focus and freaky psychic stuff of Jhana.

Having to maintain serenity on a daily basis: well, I wash every day, too. Sometimes I think it's a nuisance, but for the time being, this is far superior to not showering at all. Same goes for restful mental states. Maybe I won't have to do daily maintenance of that at one point, but for the time being, this is far better than the clouded-over reactive jittery states which predominate if I don't do anything.


Ha ha emoticon Maybe we should do jhana in the shower solving both in one fell swoop?

Trent .:
Bruno Loff:
But most of the time, I find, there doesn't seem to be a reason. Whichever changes are happening in my nervous system, they most often manifest themselves as causeless points of tension, blockages, if you will, which are rather painful and uncomfortable. If I am not happy and harmless at a given time, and ask why it is so, most often the reason will appear to be such a blockage, pain, or discomfort.


do you feel an aversion to being attentive of those painful sensations?


I have a bit the opposite, the sensations will draw my focus somewhat obsessively, even when I try to focus somewhere else, such as the breath.

Trent.:
do you notice ‘gaps’ in your awareness of the body? for example, does it feel like there is a void between your shoulder blades, or in your throat/neck, or wherever the pain is?

Funny, I have noticed that precisely in the back around heart-height (between the shoulder blades) there is pronouncedly less vibratory activity than in other places in my back and spine.

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
And these have no episodical cause that I can refer to: there is no story, there is no particular event happening around me to which I have responded with this pain and discomfort, as they are just there, for no apparent reason.

Specifically, I can point to: (1) three nagging points of tension/pain, in the back of my head/neck, in my solar plexus, and in the middle of my spine; there always seems to be tension there, which every three days or so develops into pain; when there is pain, I can't focus or do anything all that well (is this dark night?) (2) a general sense of discomfort and restlessness, which is pretty much always there, except that every week or two I get one or two days of "vacations" when it becomes very faint; this discomfort and restlessness manifest in difficulty in sitting still and in mental proliferation.


for how long has this pain been present? do you notice it intensifying over time?


It started september/october last year in the middle of the brain. It had various developments, typically it comes and goes. In september/october I did vipassana very intensely, the pain got intolerably worst; then I stopped and did swimming and jacuzzi to relax, it got better and I think I got a path moment of some kind in late november, after which the pain moved into the back of the head and neck. It's been there since January, coming and going every few days. It always intensifies if I smoke weed and sometimes with coffee also.

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
In the periods when they are not there, I will slip into a PCE or EE just by gazing at things I like (typically nature, but also the nice building here in amsterdam do the trick, or a potted plant or cactus is fine also; sometimes a contrasting bit of plastic does the trick, etc). But this never lasts very long, because, I find, I am at least noticeably discomfortable or in pain most of the time.


is the tension/pain gone while in the pce?

When I have a genuine EE/PCE, yes ("sunny day, tree-gazing for hours, not cold,..."). Although it doesn't disappear because of the PCE, it's more like the fact its not there allows for the PCE to happen. But sometimes the pain actually causes my visual field to become more PCE-like, although not in the same way --- while it is visually cleaner, colors are more contrasting, shapes are sharper, I somehow can't see it properly.

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
In general my mood improved, in the past six months I only had a couple of days of unhappiness, and only a few episodes of self victimization or worry about the future and so on. But while I'm "OK", and "just fine," 95% of the time, and I am often "very good," and that is a great development, I am finding it hard to make the jump to being "very good" or even "excellent" most of the time. And when I query why it is so, I once again return to this generalized discomfort, pain, etc.


are you having an episode of self victimization or worry about the generalized discomfort, pain, etc?

Hmm, this happens sometimes (getting sad or whatever because of the pain itself), although I try not to do it and mostly succeed. There is also a correlation between my tendency for worry and victimization about other stuff, and whether the pain&discomfort are present, so I am more reactive in its presence. It only takes me an instant of reflexion to understand that it isn't this or that thing that is causing me to react, but rather the discomfort itself.

I have also done the following: I have decided not to be unhappy, as much as I can, even when under pain and discomfort. That has made my mood better, but the discomfort did not subside, including the crippling mental side-effects.

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
Now my practice has been: I try to slip into a PCE, if the pain and discomfort don't seem to allow it, I will either (a) focus on them vipassana-style, or (b) practice counting my breaths.


have you tried applying unrestrained attentiveness to all what is experienced-- noticing everything “inside” and here/now at once? if not, give it a try. if so, what kept you from staying that way?

No I haven't. I'll give it a try.

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
(a) usually leads to the pain and tension increasing dramatically; I persist for a few days, but sooner or later it gets unbearable and I give it up [1]. Sometimes I will feel some tension dissolve, but in general the progress has been so slow that I wonder if I'm doing the best I can with my time.


when the pain increases, consider the possibility that you are suppressing something … if one were to suppress a psychosomatic pain, for instance, one would create a feedback loop that would result in such an affect. related to that, make sure you have not renamed or ‘unnamed’ a feeling—perhaps the texture of a feeling changed enough so as to be unrecognizable by its old name (and yet its implications would remain the same). look at the causality of what the sensations imply … what is one compelled or impelled to do?


Hmm I will keep the suppressing possibility in mind, although if that is the case then it is happening totally behind the scenes. I did have a very unpleasant time when kundalini was raging up and down my spine, and at the time I did everything I could to improve the situation - grounding exercises, quiet lifestyle, etc. I don't think I've suppressed it, but how can I be sure? And if I did, what could I do?

The pain compels me to distraction, irritability and restlessness (can't keep quiet).

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
So while I have no interest in bliss or any jhanic state, I am considering putting AF practice aside for a while, and taking up a committed samatha practice, just for the sake of getting some of that bodily comfort. Do you think this will work? Will samatha practice eventually eliminate this sense of unrest in my daily life? [2] Is this the way to go? Is there anything else I could try?


if you were at one time adept with the first four, it might not be a bad idea. if that is not the case, I suspect it would be difficult to find any benefit given the situation as you describe it … the breath counting you mentioned would not a bad alternative.


I was never any good at jhana, but after Florian mentioning I thought I would try mantra meditation again.

Trent.:

Bruno Loff:
[1] At one point I did this for a few months, and the pain and tension became so hard to manage that they jeopardized my ability to do even the simplest work-related tasks (such as reading a paragraph). After that, I only progressed further by turning physical relaxation into a practice; I would go to the pool, sauna, etc, which I still do nowadays.


have you been trying to or ever tried to intuit your own lack of ‘being’ and found yourself a wellspring of dread and/or terror? if so, what did you do in the face of that and/or in the aftermath days following, if anything?

Now that you mention it, yes, it happened three times. The first time was long ago, I got a bit of a scare rush, but nothing special.

The second time was when I realized that AF was the way this seemed to be going, but I was not at all happy about it then. I got a panic attack, called a friend of mine on the phone, and said "it's all becoming so perfect that there is no longer a place for me," though I don't know how much of that was actually my perception and how much was just deduction from the things I had been reading.

In any case, I flew over to the city he was in, and I spent the next few days having sensory overloads --- my senses got so intense I got headaches, and panic attacks. I flew over to be with my family, and had many panic attacks over the following week (1, sometimes 2 a day). Eventually I decided that if fear was all that my emotions had to say in their own defense, in the eminent threat of their own demise, then good riddance. This calmed things down a bit. I proceeded practicing vipassana as usual, and got (what I guess was) second path a few months later in mid-August.

Then, in the end of August I had another sequence of panic attacks after cleaning rat feces, and reading on the internet it could give a fatal disease. I took blood tests and everything. Eventually this passed (healthy as an ox). In September-October the headaches started.

Trent.:

does your mind ever feel "cramped?"
trent


Indeed, there is something similar between the pain I get in the back of the head and the sensation of a cramp. When I focus on it, it does seem exactly like a painful, involuntary contraction caused by strain or fatigue. (cramp: a painful, involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscles, typically caused by fatigue or strain).

Any specific tips, ideas, suggestions?

Bruno

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 3:10 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Trent .:

do you feel an aversion to being attentive of those painful sensations?


I have a bit the opposite, the sensations will draw my focus somewhat obsessively, even when I try to focus somewhere else, such as the breath.


before having practiced actualism, did fear not dominate the attention similarly when it arose? ‘my’ very ‘being’ depends on it, viz.: “When I have a genuine EE/PCE, yes (…) ”

try looking at the painful areas (especially the back of your head/neck) with fascinated attention … as if there is something curiously amazing deep within it to discover. what are these sensations? what do these sensations imply? … time? space / movement? pain? cramping? temperature?

what happens as a result of this fascinated investigation?

Bruno Loff:
Trent .:
have you tried applying unrestrained attentiveness to all what is experienced-- noticing everything “inside” and here/now at once? if not, give it a try. if so, what kept you from staying that way?


No I haven't. I'll give it a try.


okay, try also to incorporate the sense of fascination into this, as mentioned above. if you get the sense that it doesn't seem possible to be attentive of everything "inside' simultaneously with everything here/now, pick some specific painful "knot" (like in the back of your head/neck) to be attentive to, then allow yourself to be simultaneously as attentive of here/now as possible without losing track of the knot. then apply the sense of fascinated investigation. if this works well, you'll know it, if it seems promising but doesn't seem to be doing much, keep messing with it, and if it doesnt seem to be doing anything or doesn't seem to make sense at all, please reply again with your thoughts about why that is the case.

Bruno Loff:
Trent .:

when the pain increases, consider the possibility that you are suppressing something … if one were to suppress a psychosomatic pain, for instance, one would create a feedback loop that would result in such an affect. related to that, make sure you have not renamed or ‘unnamed’ a feeling—perhaps the texture of a feeling changed enough so as to be unrecognizable by its old name (and yet its implications would remain the same). look at the causality of what the sensations imply … what is one compelled or impelled to do?


Hmm I will keep the suppressing possibility in mind, although if that is the case then it is happening totally behind the scenes. I did have a very unpleasant time when kundalini was raging up and down my spine, and at the time I did everything I could to improve the situation - grounding exercises, quiet lifestyle, etc. I don't think I've suppressed it, but how can I be sure? And if I did, what could I do?


whether it is happening due to ignorance (‘totally behind the scenes’) or due to suppression (which would indicate a lack of honesty with oneself), or neither, the prescription is the same (the actualism method practiced assiduously). I have recommended a few ways by which to test & possibly tweak your method based on my suspicions, but if the results of this thread don’t seem to shine light on the issue, you might want to consider giving everything a re-read on the actualism site, contemplating topics you think you understand (but might not actually understand). regardless, stick with this until you’re quite positive you’ve figured out how to lessen and/or resolve the pain.

trent

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 4:16 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
try looking at the painful areas (especially the back of your head/neck) with fascinated attention … as if there is something curiously amazing deep within it to discover. what are these sensations? what do these sensations imply? … time? space / movement? pain? cramping? temperature?

what happens as a result of this fascinated investigation?

how is this different, if at all, than sitting down and meditating on it, vipassana-style? viz. "At one point I did this [focus on them vipassana-style] for a few months, and the pain and tension became so hard to manage that they jeopardized my ability to do even the simplest work-related tasks (such as reading a paragraph)." is it a matter of the approach, that is, fascinated unrestrained attentiveness (also keeping eyes open and also being attentive to the here and now) vs. "i have to see what is up with these NOW" (more aggressively and more single-pointedly)?

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 5:37 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
I just would like to state that this thread was most helpful to me. My experience is very similar to Bruno's in many ways, and Trent's advice resonated with me.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 7:45 PM as a reply to Bernardo V..
i have thought more about this and i am pretty certain that this is an issue pertaining to intuition.

if you leave it unchecked, you'll end up being utterly dominated by it, which will manifest as a lack of confidence (because intuition can't find the answer to the question "whats next?") and unsureness about what to do next (even though the answer is essentially "the same thing you've been doing to get to where you are now"). this also explains the difficulty with doing simple things, such as reading[1] ... and it is all because one is trying to feel one's way through life but in a 'world' now relatively devoid of feeling. this also explains the knotting / cramping, which is 'you' viciously contracting inward in a desperate effort to confirm (via intuition) that 'you' still exist ... or to cling tightly to what feeling is left ... and the more progress is made, the more 'you' grasp at what is left (and thus the symptoms worsen).

to remedy this: make sure you know what intuition feels like, what it arises in responds to, what allows it to cease, how it expands and contracts, etc. and then try to stop using it entirely. notice what is literally counter-intuitive and then allow that to be your direction-- progress on this path is not aided by intuition, even if that might not have been obvious earlier on the path[2]. and lastly, make sure you are not mistaking your feeling / sense of intuition as your being attentive.

the suggestions in my previous replies still apply, and i encourage you to respond to them if you want.

trent

[1] because it has gotten so out of hand, one is (unknowingly) trying to do simple intellectual tasks via intuition.

[2] this sentence is strictly in reference to the path to an actual freedom

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/8/11 11:28 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
i have thought more about this and i am pretty certain that this is an issue pertaining to intuition.

if you leave it unchecked, you'll end up being utterly dominated by it, which will manifest as a lack of confidence (because intuition can't find the answer to the question "whats next?") and unsureness about what to do next (even though the answer is essentially "the same thing you've been doing to get to where you are now"). this also explains the difficulty with doing simple things, such as reading[1] ... and it is all because one is trying to feel one's way through life but in a 'world' now relatively devoid of feeling. this also explains the knotting / cramping, which is 'you' viciously contracting inward in a desperate effort to confirm (via intuition) that 'you' still exist ... or to cling tightly to what feeling is left ... and the more progress is made, the more 'you' grasp at what is left (and thus the symptoms worsen).

to remedy this: make sure you know what intuition feels like, what it arises in responds to, what allows it to cease, how it expands and contracts, etc. and then try to stop using it entirely. notice what is literally counter-intuitive and then allow that to be your direction-- progress on this path is not aided by intuition, even if that might not have been obvious earlier on the path[2]. and lastly, make sure you are not mistaking your feeling / sense of intuition as your being attentive.

the suggestions in my previous replies still apply, and i encourage you to respond to them if you want.

trent

[1] because it has gotten so out of hand, one is (unknowingly) trying to do simple intellectual tasks via intuition.

[2] this sentence is strictly in reference to the path to an actual freedom


Yes! This is exactly what's happening to me (or so I think after some investigation). Almost all feeling in my chest is gone, but there's still feeling below my solar plexus. This is really uncomfortable. I'm not even sure how to explain it. I can be perfectly at ease, yet really uncomfortable at the same time. Fear arises because I can't find feeling anywhere around my chest. This also causes cramping in my stomach (as I try to feel out my chest and there's nothing there). Sometimes it even feels like I'm dying (with a sense of impending doom), and I hold my breath almost as if someone has a gun pointed at my head. Am I going crazy? It's really odd. I've ruled out any physical abnormalities as I've went to the doctor and had some tests done. The symptoms do worsen as the more I try to be attentive, the more uncomfortable it gets. The only time it's comfortable is when I'm not attentive, and I really focus on something else other than this moment (which makes me suspicious as to whether I'm just feeling present or being attentive). Don't get me wrong though, despite all this I'm actually quite content, at ease, and feel great (very hard to explain). It's like I know everything's fine, yet I'm uncomfortable. Another odd thing is, it seems the more attentive I am, the closer I get to presence itself (and it gets even more uncomfortable and fear arises, preventing me from going any further). Fear multiplies exponentially the closer attentiveness reaches presence itself. If I let it continue it can turn into a full blown panic attack. This actually all started from one event last December, when I decided to move "into" fear itself (a long story). I never did go all the way through with it and backed out as it was the most horrible experience I've ever had. But anyways am I actually being attentive or am I mistaking sense of presence as attentiveness? Will I have to go through that passage of fear eventually? I'm SCARED!

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/9/11 5:40 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent, I will apply this for a week or two, and get back to you. Your suggestions are clear, and it's something new to try which I haven't done with any consistency before.

Claudiu:

how is this different, if at all, than sitting down and meditating on it, vipassana-style? viz. "At one point I did this [focus on them vipassana-style] for a few months, and the pain and tension became so hard to manage that they jeopardized my ability to do even the simplest work-related tasks (such as reading a paragraph)." is it a matter of the approach, that is, fascinated unrestrained attentiveness (also keeping eyes open and also being attentive to the here and now) vs. "i have to see what is up with these NOW" (more aggressively and more single-pointedly)?


Two aspects are different than my "vipassana style": (1) I was rarely looking at the blocked areas with fascination (it seems hard to do), and (2) when investigating a blockage, I always focus on it or on its surroundings, rather than try to pay attention to everything simultaneously.

Trent:

and it is all because one is trying to feel one's way through life but in a 'world' now relatively devoid of feeling. this also explains the knotting / cramping, which is 'you' viciously contracting inward in a desperate effort to confirm (via intuition) that 'you' still exist ... or to cling tightly to what feeling is left ... and the more progress is made, the more 'you' grasp at what is left (and thus the symptoms worsen).


This makes sense, as I still sometimes find myself evaluating decisions based on how they "feel," [1] and have a hard time doing it too, because there isn't much to go by. Furthermore, this pain carries with it a sense of inner grasping, and often it is as if I was "obsessively holding on to make sure I exist" (I have used this sentence before with a friend to describe this pain, and although the "obsessively holding on" part is just so, I am not certain if the "to make sure I exist" part is adequate or just some lyricism).

It does make sense to pay attention not only to the knot itself, but to everything else simultaneously, because in a sense it seems that looking at the knot alone somehow increases the grasping (I found this through repeated experimentation). Also it feels counter-intuitive (I just feel like staring it down vigorously with all my might, rather than simultaneously paying attention to everything else).

Manz:

Fear multiplies exponentially the closer attentiveness reaches presence itself. If I let it continue it can turn into a full blown panic attack. This actually all started from one event last December, when I decided to move "into" fear itself (a long story). I never did go all the way through with it and backed out as it was the most horrible experience I've ever had. But anyways am I actually being attentive or am I mistaking sense of presence as attentiveness? Will I have to go through that passage of fear eventually? I'm SCARED!


As you have read above, I did have to go through this. I think because of going through it, I no longer fear being afraid. First I was afraid of investigating fear, then I developed some bravado ("oh yeah! well come on! do your worst!"), and then it became just annoying ("oh, again!"), and nowadays I don't really mind one way or another, it's a juicy opportunity to investigate emotion.

The way this was solved for me was exactly by looking into fear itself. It requires several attempts: you look as well as you can for as long as you can, and when it becomes intolerable you go for a walk, shake it off, etc, and try again tomorrow. The fear becomes more tolerable at every attempt (or let's say tolerable for longer periods), and eventually you are no longer afraid to investigate it. At this point fear rarely arises, and when it does, it isn't prohibitively upsetting, so you are no longer afraid to investigate it throughly.

Bruno

[1] There is a movement of the mind which tries to decide a course of action by throwing imagined possibilities into a "feeling-based evaluator" and seeing what comes out. Nowadays often nothing comes out, so I sometimes find myself coming out of a prolonged blank stare, realizing I was doing this evaluation for quite a while with no success.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/9/11 10:05 AM as a reply to ManZ A.
ManZ A:
Yes! This is exactly what's happening to me (or so I think after some investigation).


i had wondered if you would respond saying so ... prior to bruno's post, i had not been able to connect the dots (so to speak) that led to my suspicions about the role of intuition in this issue. this is a good example of why it is prudent for practitioners to post often and talk to each other when experiencing something difficult.

ManZ A:
Almost all feeling in my chest is gone, but there's still feeling below my solar plexus.


when did you first notice that the feeling in your chest had diminished? and are you sure it’s gone, or is it just subtle as compared to before?

ManZ A:
This is really uncomfortable. I'm not even sure how to explain it. I can be perfectly at ease, yet really uncomfortable at the same time. Fear arises because I can't find feeling anywhere around my chest. This also causes cramping in my stomach (as I try to feel out my chest and there's nothing there).


are you aware of how the feelings "in your body" correspond to the feelings "in your head?" maybe the feelings you use to sense as being in the chest are now perceived somewhere else in the body (such as in your stomach).

ManZ A:
The symptoms do worsen as the more I try to be attentive, the more uncomfortable it gets. The only time it's comfortable is when I'm not attentive, and I really focus on something else other than this moment (which makes me suspicious as to whether I'm just feeling present or being attentive).


this indicates that you’re exercising intuition rather than allowing attentiveness ... but your comments about getting closer to presence (and your general progress) indicates that you’re also applying attentiveness. consider the possibility that you’re doing both—sometimes feeling yourself intuitively while mistaking that for attentiveness, and sometimes actually allowing attentiveness to divulge ‘you.’ if that is the case, do whatever you must to distinguish between the two.

ManZ A:
Will I have to go through that passage of fear eventually?


maybe, maybe not … be naïve to the possibility and if such a fear happens to come up, do your best to work through it. i think you are well equipped for dealing with that scenario; try not to disarm yourself by convincing yourself otherwise.

trent

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/9/11 4:40 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Actually I would like to clarify or confirm something if possible. I would like to understand as best as I can how to distinguish attentiveness from intuition.

The way I currently was interpreting these two was as follows: attentiveness has an aspect of openly inquiring, one pays attention as if asking a question --- "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?". On the other hand, intuition is not open, it sort of latches onto perception scanning for "good" or "bad" triggers (and usually reacting accordingly).

So the way of knowing if I'm using attentiveness rather than intuition, is to find out how much the way I pay attention resembles a question rather than a "verification"?

"what is happening?" instead of "is it good (according to whichever affective triggers I happen to have)? is it still good? is it not bad? etc"

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/9/11 7:53 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

As you have read above, I did have to go through this. I think because of going through it, I no longer fear being afraid. First I was afraid of investigating fear, then I developed some bravado ("oh yeah! well come on! do your worst!"), and then it became just annoying ("oh, again!"), and nowadays I don't really mind one way or another, it's a juicy opportunity to investigate emotion.

The way this was solved for me was exactly by looking into fear itself. It requires several attempts: you look as well as you can for as long as you can, and when it becomes intolerable you go for a walk, shake it off, etc, and try again tomorrow. The fear becomes more tolerable at every attempt (or let's say tolerable for longer periods), and eventually you are no longer afraid to investigate it. At this point fear rarely arises, and when it does, it isn't prohibitively upsetting, so you are no longer afraid to investigate it throughly.


You may be right. So I'll continue onward and keep trying. It's just that I've never had a panic attack before. In fact, I've never experienced fear at that magnitude.

Trent:
when did you first notice that the feeling in your chest had diminished? and are you sure it’s gone, or is it just subtle as compared to before?


About a month back, but I wasn't sure exactly if my appraisal was correct so I had to really investigate. I suppose it's subtle, as it's not gone in its entirety. There's not much to grasp there, so there's cramping below the chest. Previously, I'd just move attention there and a feeling would arise. But now, it's just my chest or my shirt touching my chest. There's not much there. Awareness rarely gets pulled to that area as well, its a little more free and a bit more clear.

Trent:
are you aware of how the feelings "in your body" correspond to the feelings "in your head?" maybe the feelings you use to sense as being in the chest are now perceived somewhere else in the body (such as in your stomach).


Hmmm I'm not sure what you are asking entirely. Could you give an example? I suppose that could be possible, but why is that happening? Why is it that the feelings around the chest have moved further down?

Trent:
this indicates that you’re exercising intuition rather than allowing attentiveness ... but your comments about getting closer to presence (and your general progress) indicates that you’re also applying attentiveness. consider the possibility that you’re doing both—sometimes feeling yourself intuitively while mistaking that for attentiveness, and sometimes actually allowing attentiveness to divulge ‘you.’ if that is the case, do whatever you must to distinguish between the two.


Ok here's the crux of the issue. Perhaps I'm not getting what is attentiveness then. I've been reading that article over and over again to see what I'm doing wrong. You told me that attentiveness was when I looked at presence and there was nothing there, that is there's no feeling of being at all (something along those lines, you told me when I was at your place). But when there's no presence wouldn't that be apperceptiveness and not attentiveness? Am I not seeing the relation between these? It's very much possible that I'm doing both, as there are a lot of brief moments of apperceptiveness. This could be made easier if I had correct discernment.

Trent:
maybe, maybe not … be naïve to the possibility and if such a fear happens to come up, do your best to work through it. i think you are well equipped for dealing with that scenario; try not to disarm yourself by convincing yourself otherwise.


okay I'll do that and see where it goes.

Thanks emoticon

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/9/11 8:56 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Hi Trent,

I'm writing to clarify what you mean by the words "inside" and "here/now". To me "here/now" means all sensate experience(ie what I'm seeing, hearing, sensate/body sensing, ect). So, any sensations "inside" my body, like the sensation of space in my lungs, stomach, throat, my felt sense of my muscles, the felt volume of my hands, arms, legs, ect are all both "here/now" and "inside". Are you then using the words "here/now" to just mean sensations like seeing/hearing as opposed to "inside" sensations of the body? Or are you meaning by "inside" that these sensation being discussed are affective in nature and hence not part of the here and now?

Aaron

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/10/11 3:00 PM as a reply to aaron ..
i won't be able to reply to these questions until next week or so (out of town, limited internet access), but i will eventually get to them if they stay unresolved.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/10/11 7:22 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
i have thought more about this and i am pretty certain that this is an issue pertaining to intuition.

if you leave it unchecked, you'll end up being utterly dominated by it, which will manifest as a lack of confidence (because intuition can't find the answer to the question "whats next?") and unsureness about what to do next (even though the answer is essentially "the same thing you've been doing to get to where you are now"). this also explains the difficulty with doing simple things, such as reading[1] ... and it is all because one is trying to feel one's way through life but in a 'world' now relatively devoid of feeling. this also explains the knotting / cramping, which is 'you' viciously contracting inward in a desperate effort to confirm (via intuition) that 'you' still exist ... or to cling tightly to what feeling is left ... and the more progress is made, the more 'you' grasp at what is left (and thus the symptoms worsen).

to remedy this: make sure you know what intuition feels like, what it arises in responds to, what allows it to cease, how it expands and contracts, etc. and then try to stop using it entirely. notice what is literally counter-intuitive and then allow that to be your direction-- progress on this path is not aided by intuition, even if that might not have been obvious earlier on the path[2]. and lastly, make sure you are not mistaking your feeling / sense of intuition as your being attentive.

the suggestions in my previous replies still apply, and i encourage you to respond to them if you want.

trent

[1] because it has gotten so out of hand, one is (unknowingly) trying to do simple intellectual tasks via intuition.

[2] this sentence is strictly in reference to the path to an actual freedom


i think this is really important. my thoughts:

what does freedom mean? part of it is to not be driven by any force. most of us go through our lives, reacting affectively to what we perceive, and making decisions based on those reactions. "hmm what should i eat? i feel like..." or "im bored, what to do? what sounds like it would be fun..."

freedom means not being driven by any of that. there's no 'you' to hate doing something, or to feel bored, etc... you really are free to choose whatever you want to do.

as one goes on the path to actual freedom, feelings play less and less a role, and then one might find oneself "trying to feel one's way through life but in a 'world' now relatively devoid of feeling". there aren't the usual drives there that one has relied upon for years to impel one to do whatever. so one really must take an active approach to life, to be wholly interested/attentive to exactly what one is doing and why.. and your choices are now gonna be governed more by intellectual reasoning than feelings (still unsure how to avoid a pitfall here of being 'the thinker' and trying to steer your life with that identity...)

this also might explain the pattern that i find myself doing, where i'll have some success with an Actualist method, then feel really good for a bit, only to find a day or so later that i'm not feeling good any more and am suffering again. what happened? well when one is feeling good (in an EE, say), one thinks "man this is great - why do i ever have to go back to suffering? ill just stay like this forever. and when i was suffering - that was so silly! much better this way." however, there aren't those affective drives to take action one way or another, so it's easy to not... then time passes and one finds oneself suffering again, wishing one was feeling good but i can't feel good cause AGH this THING is annoying me, etc...

i think this also explains that half-way point:
Peter:
This past the half-way point is a most fascinating period for one finds oneself literally on one’s own, without the security of a social identity of any substance and adrift from the familiar security of being able to mindlessly indulge in malice, or wallow in sorrow. One finds oneself seemingly at odds with the world and its citizens for one has left the accustomed ways of coping, or avoiding, behind. It is possible to pass through periods of stark reality where nothing has any meaning and all is experienced as grey and dull. Boredom, meaninglessness, pointlessness and similar feelings are often encountered...


so this is why pure intent is vital - to remember to be active and vigilant in one's pursuit of happiness and harmlessness. attentiveness is an active, energetic activity, that one must activate with remarkable verve and vivacity... it's not a passive pastime. to finish the above quote (i wrote this before reading it, just wanted to keep it in my own words first):

Peter:
...and this is where a continual memory of the pure consciousness experience is vital, for that becomes one’s single pointed goal in life while crossing what can be experienced and felt to be a desert completely devoid of usual meaning and familiar emotional experiences.


the gist of this came as somewhat of a realization to me (light bulb going off), and interestingly when that realization happened the constant pressure in my head immediately shifted from a dull solid-seeming annoying mass to a fluxing grainy pellets-sliding-around-in-my-head annoying 'thing'. i feel it'll be much easier now to observe it with fascinated attention (whereas before i tended to shrink away as if i focused on it it would grow intense and i would start feeling fear, then misery, then dread, then just feel dreadful).

any thoughts? (particularly about 'the thinker' pitfall?)

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/11/11 4:44 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hello

Very useful thread

Thanks Bruno, Florian, Boeman, Trent, ManZ A and others

I am inspired to start practice again and open my own journal.

Thanks everyone.
Sanjay

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/14/11 4:40 PM as a reply to Sanjay.
Bruno:
The way I currently was interpreting these two was as follows: attentiveness has an aspect of openly inquiring, one pays attention as if asking a question --- "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?". On the other hand, intuition is not open, it sort of latches onto perception scanning for "good" or "bad" triggers (and usually reacting accordingly).


does this help? [link]:

Richard:
When attentiveness is actual, one will notice when one becomes stuck in one’s feeling patterns; it is that very noticing which allows one to back out of the feeling process and free oneself from it. Sensuousness returns one’s attention to its proper focus: if one is actualising a virtual freedom at that moment, then one’s focus will be the actual object of actualism. If one is not in virtual freedom, one’s focus will be just a straight-forward application of matter-of-fact attention itself, just a simple noticing of whatever comes up without getting possessively involved: ‘Ah, this feeling ... what is it ... where is it ... where did it come from ... what is it made up of ... what is it connected to ...?’. Virtual freedom re-establishes itself easily by the attentiveness that it has not been current. As soon as one is aware that one has not been attentive then one is experiencing sensuousness in virtual freedom ... and thence: Apperceptiveness.


*

Bruno:
So the way of knowing if I'm using attentiveness rather than intuition, is to find out how much the way I pay attention resembles a question rather than a "verification"?


not necessarily. the primary difference is that intuition is affective and attentiveness is not … attentiveness is not a feeling, but could be confused as such because it shines a light upon the feelings which one is currently besotted with.

ManZ:
Hmmm I'm not sure what you are asking entirely. Could you give an example? I suppose that could be possible, but why is that happening? Why is it that the feelings around the chest have moved further down?


i don’t really know ‘why,’ but one’s “chakra centers” are of an affective nature, which means their genesis is found in the brain. as such, one can notice various correlations[1] between the affective sensations perceived in one’s head and those perceived in one’s heart (for instance) and can thereby be more aware of the whole of ‘me.'

ManZ:
You told me that attentiveness was when I looked at presence and there was nothing there, that is there's no feeling of being at all (something along those lines, you told me when I was at your place). But when there's no presence wouldn't that be apperceptiveness and not attentiveness?


i don’t recall saying that and so i do not recall the context either (so i am unable to clarify specifically), but regardless, your last sentence is correct. note this section, which may have something to do with the confusion here.

Richard:
Apperception is its own attentiveness to current time actuality


*

ManZ:
It's very much possible that I'm doing both, as there are a lot of brief moments of apperceptiveness. This could be made easier if I had correct discernment.


watch the causality of this … what are you doing to just prior to those times when apperceptiveness occurs? what was done differently than the times when apperceptiveness does not occur?

trent

[1] the general feeling tone, vibratory frequency, when two areas of the body react the same way at the same time, etc.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/16/11 9:29 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Thanks Trent.

Bruno:

So the way of knowing if I'm using attentiveness rather than intuition, is to find out how much the way I pay attention resembles a question rather than a "verification"?


Indeed, I was wrong. Attentiveness, I now believe, is just attention; the "resembles a question" part was affective (it "felt" as if I was asking a question).

Re-reading the article attentiveness, sensuousness and apperceptiveness did help.

Paying attention to all of my experience at once has made a big difference. When I fail to do this, I do like Trent has suggested, of paying attention to as much of my sensory experience as I can, simultaneously with the most problematic or intensely felt "inside."

I have concluded a few things from proceeding this way:
(1) I never really had a full blown PCE, there was always quite a bit of feeling in the mix, as I freely confused wonder with excitement and tried to feel it out,
(2) apperception (I am now at least convinced I know what means) is really is utterly delicate, because it is easily tainted by even the subtlest of feelings,
(3) I have been interfering with attentiveness by trying to feel things out, exactly as Trent pointed out; and
(4) I have no idea of how much is left to do (but fortunately I now have a glimpse of what needs to be done).

I realized that feeling things out is a very ingrained habit, and this caused me to feel somewhat disappointed; in fact it seems that I walk through my life constantly trying to feel things out, and have no recent memory of any period of time when I wasn't doing this.

I welcome any and every suggestion of how to better understand this, and how to make it cease.

So far I realized that it feels like reaching out to grab some perception and feel it up. It seems to arise pretty much all the time, sometimes as localized pulses, sometimes as a global feel; it diminishes if I pay attention to every sensory input at once, but I cannot remember any moment when it has ceased entirely. I used to investigate this process by trying to feel it out, which causes the mind to twist in a sort of painful loop.

I will continue the "pay attention to everything" exercise, it has been fruitful so far, and maybe it's all it takes.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/16/11 7:39 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Ok I shall try watching the causality of it. I think I'm just paying attention to the fact that it's this moment (and that itself is fascinating). Maybe I'm mistaking what happens after apperceptiveness ends for attentiveness (That is I'm mistaking presence for attentiveness). Highly likely that's what's happening. So attentiveness is a fascinated attention paid to "everything" at this moment. Is that a somewhat good summary? I'll combine this understanding with my practice and see where this goes and report the result. Thanks a lot for all the help so far! emoticon

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/16/11 8:45 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

I have concluded a few things from proceeding this way:
(1) I never really had a full blown PCE, there was always quite a bit of feeling in the mix, as I freely confused wonder with excitement and tried to feel it out,
(2) apperception (I am now at least convinced I know what means) is really is utterly delicate, because it is easily tainted by even the subtlest of feelings,


It's possible you have or haven't. I'm not sure how solidly one can be in a PCE for a very significant length of time. When I've had PCE's it's more like teetering back and forth between PCE and EE.. it seems some little affect always creeps up to get me back to EE, which I'm not sure is even that counterproductive anyways. As long as it's right back to attentiveness/sensuousness, then the PCE can follow easily again. You see how that "cycle" works? The attentiveness/ sensuousness/ apperception method seems to be a microcosm of the whole path - Consistent attentiveness leads to almost full time sensuousness (Virtual Freedom) which leads to full time apperception (Actual Freedom). Can't totally verify that yet, but just a guess at it.

Steph

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/17/11 7:55 AM as a reply to Steph.
I have had moments of apperception, just never for an extended period of time (which I would then call a PCE). Also, my perception in general has shifted "in the direction" of apperception, but without having clear-cut hour-lasting experiences like Daniel and others report.

Apperception always catches me by surprise. For instance just now I was eating brown rice stir-fried with red cabbage, trying to be attentive; my mind slips into a distraction for a while, and suddenly, by surprise, I notice how the light shines on the strip of red cabbage in my fork, I notice the beads of olive oil, the texture of the rice, and that amazing bright purple of the cabbage. Perfect. I laugh, for it is so delightful, but immediately arises the mental gesture of feeling it out, which I mentioned earlier in this thread. I know that there is no point in reaching out for it, because that only gets in the way. Any attempt at "sustaining apperception" by trying to do so causes such an "affective reaching out" --- I still didn't figure out how to have it not happen. It is a compulsion of sorts. (again I appreciate any tips from anyone)

This is in marked contrast with my previous practice of clearing "energetic blockages" through focusing on them. Then I could effortfully sustain focus on a perceived blockage, in a way that had this "intuitive" component, and it would eventually clear out.

I'm not sure I'm conveying what I mean very well, but I find the whole thing fascinating.

Could surprise be the missing element? But how do you practice surprise?! emoticon

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/17/11 8:54 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I have had moments of apperception, just never for an extended period of time (which I would then call a PCE).


As I understand it, "apperception" is what is going on in a PCE (and only in a PCE or AF). I don't know what you're referring to by 'apperception'. My PCE was 1 or 2 seconds long, it doesn't have to be an extended period of time.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/17/11 10:02 AM as a reply to Nad A..
Nad A.:
Bruno Loff:
I have had moments of apperception, just never for an extended period of time (which I would then call a PCE).


As I understand it, "apperception" is what is going on in a PCE (and only in a PCE or AF). I don't know what you're referring to by 'apperception'. My PCE was 1 or 2 seconds long, it doesn't have to be an extended period of time.


Then I guess I've had PCEs. But Tarin and Daniel mention having PCEs for five hours at a time. For me it is now very clear that the moment of apperception is actually really really short, very soon the feeling being ("me") makes itself known in one way or another. Often by trying to "grab hold" of apperception (it really is so nice!), and thus destroying it. (again I welcome any specific tips on ending this, other than those already put forward by Trent; of course, I'm not so sure that ending this isn't equivalent to finishing the whole thing, which would be fine also)

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
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3/17/11 1:18 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Nad A.:
Bruno Loff:
I have had moments of apperception, just never for an extended period of time (which I would then call a PCE).


As I understand it, "apperception" is what is going on in a PCE (and only in a PCE or AF). I don't know what you're referring to by 'apperception'. My PCE was 1 or 2 seconds long, it doesn't have to be an extended period of time.


Then I guess I've had PCEs. But Tarin and Daniel mention having PCEs for five hours at a time. For me it is now very clear that the moment of apperception is actually really really short, very soon the feeling being ("me") makes itself known in one way or another. Often by trying to "grab hold" of apperception (it really is so nice!), and thus destroying it. (again I welcome any specific tips on ending this, other than those already put forward by Trent; of course, I'm not so sure that ending this isn't equivalent to finishing the whole thing, which would be fine also)


I've had long lasting PCE's. Maybe it's much easier at 4th path as the "me" is not so sticky.

Nick

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/17/11 11:41 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Can there be thoughts in a PCE? and I seem to go constantly (when attentive) into a EE/PCE that has space wavelike and almost compartmentalized. I mention this because there is a distinct change between space normal and space wavelike and I can do it instantly. In this state, often, it is really difficult to look inward/ or if I do,I seem hollow. Its also harder to determine if there is a self especially when thoughts arise. Is this a PCE or is it an EE when the inside feels hollow and I am not really looking in but more being attentive to a hollow feeling inside? Many of the time in this state there isn't delight but just no feeling and other times there is delight which has me delighted, which "i" deem better.

Also, "I" am good at doing this sort of thing by myself but around people it is a different story. "I" have to actively try to gain this state and there is a lot more feeling especially around family.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/17/11 11:46 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I have had moments of apperception, just never for an extended period of time (which I would then call a PCE). Also, my perception in general has shifted "in the direction" of apperception, but without having clear-cut hour-lasting experiences like Daniel and others report.

Apperception always catches me by surprise. For instance just now I was eating brown rice stir-fried with red cabbage, trying to be attentive; my mind slips into a distraction for a while, and suddenly, by surprise, I notice how the light shines on the strip of red cabbage in my fork, I notice the beads of olive oil, the texture of the rice, and that amazing bright purple of the cabbage. Perfect. I laugh, for it is so delightful, but immediately arises the mental gesture of feeling it out, which I mentioned earlier in this thread. I know that there is no point in reaching out for it, because that only gets in the way. Any attempt at "sustaining apperception" by trying to do so causes such an "affective reaching out" --- I still didn't figure out how to have it not happen. It is a compulsion of sorts. (again I appreciate any tips from anyone)

This is in marked contrast with my previous practice of clearing "energetic blockages" through focusing on them. Then I could effortfully sustain focus on a perceived blockage, in a way that had this "intuitive" component, and it would eventually clear out.

I'm not sure I'm conveying what I mean very well, but I find the whole thing fascinating.

Could surprise be the missing element? But how do you practice surprise?! emoticon



I couldn't have said my experience in a better way ( the bold text above ). One tip that Stephanie gave on a similar question was to relax and let go of control. However , its still really hard. The self seems to like apperception so much that it comes back into full blown existance again emoticon..I would also appreciate tips here.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/18/11 12:18 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Here are some tips that I believe have helped me make great improvement.

-The PCE is constant but the degree of how the "self/identity" feels about the PCE differs. Many times my "self" tells me that the PCE isn't good enough but then when in what I presume is a PCE, I don't have such thoughts I am just relaxed and interested in whats happening around me especially space haha.

-Big one for me is shifting attention outside my body yet keeping attentiveness on whatever affect arises. "I" don't focus on anything specific (sometimes space) but general attention outside aka the world of the senses. Doing this, "I" began clearly understanding why AF is 180 degrees opposite Enlightenment. The most helpful sense has been sight because it is always changing and there are so many details that you get zoned in very easily.

Identity caves inward while apperception is outward. "I" try to stay outward and can often feel the concavity of identity.

These have helped and "I" hope they help you as well.

P.S. it is still confusing for me when to put "I" or I because I seem to constantly be shifting back and forth to normalcy and EE or PCE.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/18/11 10:41 PM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam Bieber:

Identity caves inward while apperception is outward. "I" try to stay outward and can often feel the concavity of identity.

apperception is neither inward nor outward, though sensuous attentiveness and a draw towards what is outward can easily lead to it (apperception = pce).

Adam Bieber:

P.S. it is still confusing for me when to put "I" or I because I seem to constantly be shifting back and forth to normalcy and EE or PCE.

'i' am implicit in the experience of an ee (excellence experience).

*

regarding whether or not there can be thoughts in a pce, you may be interested in an exchange between jeff grove and myself which took place last june/july and which can be found here: (link)

tarin

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/19/11 7:26 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
"You" become pure intent when "you" are sincere because when "you" are sincere, "you" become happy and harmless. This is what "I" have noticed, is this correct?

Anytime, "I" feel a passion "I" am taking away from the immediacy of the senses/my surroundings so one must get back to that immediacy by being sincere/investigating or getting immediate with the surrounding environment. Is this correct?

I notice the swirl of passions between fear, aggression, nurture, desire, and the need to belong. Like "you" said Tarin, it does feel like the fabric underneath any thought or emotion. "I" sometimes have trouble knowing which affection is occurring and have to wait until I sift out "my" thoughts to know if it is desire, aggression etc. How can I stop the passion immediately, by just noticing it and trying to let it go or going more immediate with "my" surroundings/back to PCE?

I seem to get philosophically involved with what is happening and analyze, which is all extremely positive thoughts but it takes "me" out of the immediacy of the moment and seems like a story the self is telling to hold on. On one hand analyzing helps me understand whats happening and how to "get better" but on the other hand, I am out of the moment. So should "I" not philosophize and be immediate?

Tarin, the link you gave me helped me a ton by the way. Many many thanks.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
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3/21/11 5:22 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thanks Tarin. That clears a few things.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/21/11 12:14 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
There was a shift in my perception after reading these words (Richard's Journal, Article 11):

Richard:

Thus “who I really am” is an emotional ‘being’ ... a psychological or psychic entity residing inside this body. This may be real, but it is not actual. ‘I’, as an emotional ‘being’ am not a fact ... ‘I’ am a belief.


I was chasing a self in order to look it in the eye and dissolve it. All the while, it never occurred to me that it could simply be a belief. I asked myself "could it be that this self I am chasing is just a belief? That I just believe it's there, thus chase it?" And there and then, I saw, this was really the case.

To be clear: the sensation of "there is something over here/there which I can look at in the eye" was perceived to have the quality of belief. As soon as this was realized, there was a subtle shift of some kind, and I've stopped believing, or at least the belief attenuated somewhat. This had an immediate perceptual impact, which is a bit hard to describe.

I could never foresee this, because man, wow, fuck, shit, I was so taking for granted, in a deep perceptual way, that there was something there to be looked at!!!!! It seems that what I called sense of self (pressure/pain/etc) is still there, but there is something different in the way it happens (just asensation of energy/pressure).

It makes me wonder what else is a belief? Since the ability to belief really incurs changes in sensory perception, how else is my perception being changed by beliefs that I never questioned? E.g. am I really gay (or whatever), or do I simply believe I am? Am I ever sad, or is sadness just its own belief?

In any case, Trent's advice is on the money, I have gotten real progress this past week just by doing the see everything at once thing. I think I just solved my insight disease! And my intent in attaining actual freedom is now stronger than ever.

Edit: this is such a productive day, meditation-wise. I just came to the firm conclusion that the sense of self is imagined. Heck!!!! It is a product of imagination, it is like a dream, a reverie, a fantasy, in that it is made up of the same mental stuff, it is constructed through the same mechanism as dreams, fantasies and reveries.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
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3/21/11 12:35 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Thats really cool Bruno, I definitely agree and am beginning to realize the same things. To add to Richard's quote, everything in the outside world is as it is, actual. There is no emotion or beliefs in the actual world, it is just there to be observed, heard etc and enjoyed where as most things that I think, feel, and have an opinion on are not actual but a swirl of imaginings and self/soul.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
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3/21/11 2:34 PM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Is what’s being said that “I” am not a fact to be found, “I” am belief that can be unraveled?

So “who” is trying to comprehend this and is writing about it right now? Is it “me” the belief or something else? My assumption is that it is “me” the belief which is using the physical body/brain to do this. The only time “I” am not the one thinking, reading, writing, pondering, any of this is when in a PCE, right? Which would mean that when “you” realized “you” were a belief, it was a belief believing it’s not real but a belief?

I’m lost here but perhaps an example of where I was struggling with this yesterday might help as it’s related:

I found it peculiar that I got some charge/happiness out of really believing AF was the way to go. I wondered “Why would I be happy about something that would eliminate me?” Either:
1) It’s not “me” thinking this so whatever is thinking this will not be the entity that will be eliminated and is happy to finally be rid of the feeling “me”.
2) “I” really do want to be eliminated so “I” am getting pleasure from the thought of being laid to rest.
3) “I” don’t really understand yet that “I” will be eliminated and “I” still think that it’s something/someone else that goes away and this will make “me” happy. The thought of becoming actually free is just another thing my psychological self can cling to that gives it hope. That it’s really not ever possible for “me” to want to extinguish myself. So the goal here is to weaken “my” sense of “me” to the point that some natural intelligence (?) can finally do away with “me” because when I realize what is happening and try to fight back, I’ll be too weak to resist.

I’m leaning toward #3 but I’m really, really unsure and quite confused.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/21/11 3:15 PM as a reply to ed c.
First notice that the change was perceptual, and my description it is only an attempt at translating it into words. The understanding is not conceptual.

(1) So “who” is trying to comprehend this and is writing about it right now? Is it “me” the belief or something else? (2) My assumption is that it is “me” the belief which is using the physical body/brain to do this. The only time “I” am not the one thinking, reading, writing, pondering, any of this is when in a PCE, right? (3) Which would mean that when “you” realized “you” were a belief, it was a belief believing it’s not real but a belief?


It is not a who, it is a what, and that what is simply the intelligent process operating in the body, that has the capacity to cognize about and understand itself. In fact it is never "I" who is thinking, reading, writing, etc, it just might appear that way, because "I" am overlaid into every perception. During moments of apperception this layer that is "I" is absent, that is why perception becomes so clear.

I didn't realize "I" was a belief, but only that the obsessive mental chasing that I was doing (a mental compulsion, if you will), was dependent on the belief that there was something to chase. This very belief generated the appearance of there being an object "over there somewhere," but, in fact, the object was never to be found; because it only existed as "implied" by this belief.

I did realize that I was imagined. The way this happened was by noticing the uncanny similarity between the feeling process and the dreaming/imaginative process. It suddenly seemed as if while awake I was partly dreaming the various contents of the feeling process, and became lucid of this dream, realizing its dream-like quality (which never happened before). I tried to "just wake up" (I even set the alarm clock) but it didn't work, which was expected I guess. It was fun and thrilling.

This is all being accompanied by new dissolutions, both inside my head, but also in the chest region (which is new, I didn't use to get anything there), neck, and solar plexus.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/21/11 7:39 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Nice Bruno . . . Very Helpful

Its funny how from day one I have kept hearing/reading that this 'I' is an illusion, yet keep going about life with belief / perception of it being real.

Last time I did the enquiry "Who/what am I", i reached "I is an (object) instance of the Selfing class". emoticon

The I = feeling fits in nicely, still for me its just a hmm and not Aha . . .

Thanks
Sanjay

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/22/11 12:59 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

I was chasing a self in order to look it in the eye and dissolve it. All the while, it never occurred to me that it could simply be a belief. I asked myself "could it be that this self I am chasing is just a belief? That I just believe it's there, thus chase it?" And there and then, I saw, this was really the case.

To be clear: the sensation of "there is something over here/there which I can look at in the eye" was perceived to have the quality of belief. As soon as this was realized, there was a subtle shift of some kind, and I've stopped believing, or at least the belief attenuated somewhat. This had an immediate perceptual impact, which is a bit hard to describe.

I could never foresee this, because man, wow, fuck, shit, I was so taking for granted, in a deep perceptual way, that there was something there to be looked at!!!!! It seems that what I called sense of self (pressure/pain/etc) is still there, but there is something different in the way it happens (just asensation of energy/pressure).


wow thats a revelation for me as well. Thanks Bruno..very nicely put !

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/22/11 4:20 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
And if you ever were into lucid dreaming, you might have learned to recognize the "feel of a dream." When dreaming, the body is dormant, the eyes are closed, and sounds fall into the background, and what is left, the dream, has a distinct character to it, which one can learn to recognize by practicing lucid dreams.

When one recognizes it in the dream, one becomes lucid, and can really get a feel for what that dream-like sensation is. It is a phenomenological quality, and I can only point to it, I can't really describe it.

Now it turns out, and for some reason this isn't obvious at first, that the whole of the feeling process has this very same quality. Actuality, however, as seen through apperception, does not.

So the whole "me" thing is entirely imagined! But it is fascinating that the feeling process, being projected over apperception, having this dreamy quality, caused me to have a subtle lingering doubt that the world really exists. And many people have this doubt, as evidenced by many philosophers throughout the ages, and various spiritual people claiming "reality is an illusion". And there is a perceptual reason why they feel this is the case!

I've shed the doubt! This world actually exists! I am not imagining it at all! And that is supremely wonderful!

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/23/11 11:19 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
And if you ever were into lucid dreaming, you might have learned to recognize the "feel of a dream." When dreaming, the body is dormant, the eyes are closed, and sounds fall into the background, and what is left, the dream, has a distinct character to it, which one can learn to recognize by practicing lucid dreams.

When one recognizes it in the dream, one becomes lucid, and can really get a feel for what that dream-like sensation is. It is a phenomenological quality, and I can only point to it, I can't really describe it.

Now it turns out, and for some reason this isn't obvious at first, that the whole of the feeling process has this very same quality. Actuality, however, as seen through apperception, does not.

So the whole "me" thing is entirely imagined! But it is fascinating that the feeling process, being projected over apperception, having this dreamy quality, caused me to have a subtle lingering doubt that the world really exists. And many people have this doubt, as evidenced by many philosophers throughout the ages, and various spiritual people claiming "reality is an illusion". And there is a perceptual reason why they feel this is the case!

I've shed the doubt! This world actually exists! I am not imagining it at all! And that is supremely wonderful!


Indeed , a PCE does reveal all this and it is unbelievably safe. I am finding that it is these instinctual passions that are the hardest to get over with. They keep on arising time n again.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/23/11 5:22 PM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Richard and Peter talk about desire and nurture being tender emotions while fear and aggression are savage. "I" wonder how desire is tender because it seems that when "I" desire, it is savage. This makes "me" think that aggression is happening when the "self" believes it to be desire even though "I" technically want something, "I" am being and feeling aggressive to get it.

All day "I" am back and forth between the dream that is the self and actuality. "I" am feeling less and less in control because the self, the I, is becoming more and more ethereal (as richard puts it). Without the self controlling, one is not in control as they are observing, listening, etc. Most of the time my senses are in the actual world but the instinctual passions are strongly interrupting its perfection. Interacting with people seem to aggravate these passions as well as situations that "i" don't want to be in. One really really cool side note. Many times "I" feel that "I" have no idea where "I" am because the "I" is not in control. Often, "I" am like where am "I", where am "i" right now.

"I" am going to keep going as "I" feel that "i" no longer have a choice and must just follow through but these passions aka the core of human suffering are killing "me". "I" do feel so sensitive like raw skin but "I" know it will pass.


Edit: Just had a great long PCE. So awesome. One thing I noticed is that because what is happening is perfect, the self often interupts with self-aggrandizement because "you" have seen perfection. "you" are now special because "you" have seen perfection but this is not actual, it is the self. Nurture comes along with this as well as "you" want to help others learn this perfection in some way.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/23/11 11:03 PM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Interacting with people seem to aggravate these passions


Same here.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/24/11 3:59 AM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam Bieber:
Just had a great long PCE. So awesome. One thing I noticed is that because what is happening is perfect, the self often interupts with self-aggrandizement because "you" have seen perfection. "you" are now special because "you" have seen perfection but this is not actual, it is the self. Nurture comes along with this as well as "you" want to help others learn this perfection in some way.


I've had a very strong PCE-like episode. I was walking through the park after some "insights" into my own personality. I had been looking through various parts of my psyche which have been, in recent months, persistently difficult to transform [1]. As I walk through a little bridge, my sense of vision becomes more integrated, and my sense of sound changes in an unbelievable way (the echos man the echos!). I walk around happy and unconcerned.

Suddenly I "conclude" that there is no longer any point to "my" existence, that this moment of apperception was the goal; fear arises, which I proceed to investigate, then I started to feel at peace, then feeling this whole experience to be so awesome, then I wonder how much is left (for "I" am clearly still here), etc.

So in a matter of twenty minutes, I managed to come from happy and harmless to awesome and glorious, all the while completely convinced "this was it". Of course, very soon I was afraid again, then sorrowful, then got some weird passion I never experienced before ("Aloneness" is actually a fitting name), then this Aloneness caused me to feel compassion, bla bla bla bla.

It was only sincerity that later pulled me back from this glamorous nightmare. I become convinced that it was this quality of "grandiose awesomeness" which started the whole passionate episode, and I have decided to "nip it in the bud" next time it starts creeping in. Why grandiosity when you can have purity?

Pure intent is so simple and sincere. But I find that I often forget about it, get swept away by these silly grandiose passions, and need to return to it when the passionate episode is over, to realize, in stunned surprise, "how could I once again replace that one simple goal with such absurd magnificence?"

Richard:

The intent is you will become happy and harmless. The intent is you will be free of sorrow and malice. The intent is you will become blithesome and benign. The intent is you will be free of fear and aggression. The intent is you will become carefree and considerate. The intent is you will be free from nurture and desire. The intent is you will become gay and benevolent. The intent is you will be free of anguish and animosity. The intent is that, by being free of the Human Condition you will experience peace-on-earth, in this life-time, as this body ... as is evidenced in the PCE.


[1] They were: (a) One-upmanship: I do not want to save the world, or "teach others," or "be better than others," it's all been happening in such a magically automatic way, that it would be egomaniacally delusional to convince myself to take any credit.

(b) I do not wish to love "my friends" or "my mom", in essence because I would be loving my own imagination. I would be intimate with the actual people that actually exist, rather than whichever psychic phantasm I happened to imagine during our interaction.

RE: Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort
Answer
3/28/11 4:13 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
1. It seems that being sincere is acting on impulse, an impulse of that which would make you happier. The impulse should not be confused with desire as it is thinner and will lead to satisfaction.

2. The senses seem to be getting deeper and deeper (increasingly infinite if that makes sense). "I" pay particular attention to the sense that is occurring at the moment without control (control of the ego) this way "I" am not looking for a sense but feeling them as they come which is continuous and abundant.

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