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The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 3/27/11 8:25 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 3/27/11 2:45 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 3/28/11 3:47 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nad A. 3/28/11 7:26 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 3/28/11 10:02 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nad A. 3/28/11 10:48 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 3/30/11 2:45 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 3/30/11 3:25 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Shashank Dixit 3/30/11 11:24 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 3/30/11 3:26 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . Jake . 3/27/11 5:15 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) rich s 3/30/11 6:30 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 3/31/11 11:16 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) rich s 3/31/11 7:06 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/1/11 5:20 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Shashank Dixit 4/1/11 6:57 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/1/11 8:17 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . . 4/1/11 8:56 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nad A. 4/1/11 9:24 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/1/11 11:14 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Florian 4/1/11 4:59 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/1/11 6:24 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/3/11 5:52 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/4/11 3:54 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/4/11 8:44 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 4/4/11 7:17 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/5/11 5:32 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/5/11 8:47 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/6/11 7:14 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/6/11 8:55 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Trent . 4/6/11 11:33 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Adam Bieber 4/6/11 11:07 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/7/11 6:25 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/7/11 9:10 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Trent . 4/5/11 9:25 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/8/11 8:12 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 4/20/11 6:43 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/20/11 8:32 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Adam Bieber 4/21/11 8:47 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/21/11 10:42 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Adam Bieber 4/22/11 7:09 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/22/11 7:56 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nikolai . 4/22/11 8:41 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/22/11 10:16 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nikolai . 4/22/11 10:26 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/25/11 8:12 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nikolai . 4/25/11 8:23 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/25/11 8:42 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . . 4/25/11 6:43 PM
Not my toilet Bruno Loff 4/22/11 10:46 AM
RE: Not my toilet Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/22/11 11:03 AM
RE: Not my toilet Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/22/11 4:49 PM
RE: Not my toilet Adam Bieber 4/22/11 7:36 PM
RE: Not my toilet Matt L 4/30/11 8:23 AM
RE: Not my toilet Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 4/30/11 3:23 PM
RE: Not my toilet Matt L 4/30/11 6:30 PM
RE: Not my toilet Nikolai . 5/1/11 9:52 AM
RE: Not my toilet Matt L 5/1/11 8:02 PM
RE: Not my toilet Nikolai . 5/1/11 9:03 PM
RE: Not my toilet Bruno Loff 5/2/11 2:48 PM
Sensual versus sensuous Bruno Loff 5/6/11 4:55 AM
RE: Sensual versus sensuous tarin greco 5/6/11 6:12 AM
RE: Sensual versus sensuous Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/6/11 9:59 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/14/11 9:39 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/14/11 10:52 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/14/11 11:59 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/14/11 12:14 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Adam Bieber 6/14/11 1:30 PM
A retreat to improve concentration Bruno Loff 6/15/11 11:19 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nikolai . 6/15/11 9:00 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/15/11 10:02 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/15/11 10:39 AM
RE: A retreat to improve concentration Bruno Loff 6/15/11 11:21 AM
RE: A retreat to improve concentration Jon T 6/15/11 11:42 AM
RE: A retreat to improve concentration Bruno Loff 6/15/11 2:56 PM
RE: A retreat to improve concentration Yadid dee 6/15/11 3:55 PM
RE: A retreat to improve concentration Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/15/11 4:19 PM
RE: A retreat to improve concentration Bruno Loff 6/16/11 2:25 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Trent . 6/16/11 6:33 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/17/11 2:32 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) nic s 6/17/11 12:42 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/17/11 7:28 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/17/11 8:20 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/17/11 1:36 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/17/11 2:58 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Yadid dee 6/18/11 7:18 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/18/11 4:28 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Yadid dee 6/18/11 5:29 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Steph S 6/18/11 5:45 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/19/11 2:30 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/20/11 4:26 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Steph S 6/20/11 5:22 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/21/11 4:54 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/21/11 5:31 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Steph S 6/21/11 6:26 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/21/11 6:33 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/22/11 10:23 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) tarin greco 6/22/11 12:11 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/22/11 10:54 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/22/11 1:39 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) tarin greco 6/22/11 12:13 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/22/11 3:10 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/22/11 3:15 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/22/11 3:17 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . Jake . 6/23/11 4:30 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/23/11 12:29 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/23/11 1:08 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/23/11 1:39 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/23/11 2:21 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) mico mico 6/23/11 4:56 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/23/11 5:37 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) mico mico 6/24/11 5:39 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) mico mico 6/23/11 2:21 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) tarin greco 6/24/11 9:08 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/25/11 3:10 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . . 6/25/11 10:38 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/27/11 3:16 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . . 6/27/11 6:45 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/27/11 10:22 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Eduardo Crespo 6/30/11 6:49 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 7/1/11 8:57 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Eduardo Crespo 7/1/11 7:56 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/20/11 2:40 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 6/17/11 7:01 AM
These instructions are a real treasure Bruno Loff 6/27/11 2:37 PM
For the self, happiness is worth €0.50 Bruno Loff 7/19/11 5:43 AM
RE: For the self, happiness is worth €0.50 Bruno Loff 7/27/11 9:33 PM
Doing well Bruno Loff 8/7/11 9:42 PM
RE: Doing well Steph S 8/8/11 3:14 PM
RE: Doing well Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/8/11 3:25 PM
RE: Doing well Bruno Loff 8/8/11 5:54 PM
RE: Doing well Steph S 8/8/11 7:00 PM
RE: Doing well Bruno Loff 9/1/11 7:28 AM
RE: Doing well tom moylan 9/1/11 7:35 AM
RE: Doing well Bruno Loff 9/1/11 10:48 AM
RE: Doing well Bruno Loff 9/11/11 3:43 PM
RE: Doing well Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/11/11 4:51 PM
RE: Doing well Jon T 9/13/11 5:03 PM
RE: Doing well Bruno Loff 9/14/11 5:12 AM
RE: Doing well Jon T 9/14/11 7:10 AM
RE: Doing well Felipe C. 9/13/11 11:39 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 9/15/11 4:17 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . . 9/16/11 4:06 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) . . 9/16/11 9:04 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) This Good Self 9/17/11 4:09 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 9/17/11 6:53 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Harry Potter 9/17/11 2:38 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) josh r s 9/17/11 2:44 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 9/17/11 3:27 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Clayton James Lightfoot 9/17/11 11:19 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Nikolai . 9/17/11 11:20 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Adam Bieber 9/17/11 11:36 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) End in Sight 9/17/11 12:29 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Yadid dee 9/17/11 1:17 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 9/17/11 1:45 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) This Good Self 9/18/11 3:03 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Clayton James Lightfoot 9/18/11 5:13 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Jon T 9/18/11 7:02 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Clayton James Lightfoot 9/18/11 7:08 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Harry Potter 9/18/11 12:27 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) End in Sight 9/18/11 6:47 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 9/18/11 1:55 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) This Good Self 9/18/11 8:29 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) josh r s 9/18/11 8:28 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) This Good Self 9/18/11 9:01 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) josh r s 9/19/11 10:02 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 9/19/11 4:44 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Yadid dee 9/20/11 7:34 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 9/21/11 11:31 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) End in Sight 9/21/11 12:41 PM
Jhana practice? Bruno Loff 11/28/11 11:00 AM
RE: Jhana practice? End in Sight 11/28/11 2:20 PM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 1/5/12 5:21 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bagpuss The Gnome 1/5/12 6:30 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 1/5/12 7:44 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Yadid dee 1/5/12 8:12 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bagpuss The Gnome 1/5/12 8:37 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/5/12 8:41 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Yadid dee 1/5/12 8:49 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/5/12 9:41 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) Bruno Loff 1/6/12 7:18 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/6/12 9:15 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/6/12 10:11 AM
RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread) End in Sight 1/5/12 9:04 AM
I've been having so much fun lately! Things seem to be changing at a very fast pace, and I decided to start a little practice thread to have as a register which may prove useful later. I find it is useful to revisit previous "understandings," because after the event there is sometimes a period when one is "high" in some way, and during this period one is prone to mislead oneself on the content or relevance of a certain perceptual change. Then later, with a cool head no longer driven to blissful waking dreams, one is more sincere and sensible in understanding the extent of what has been transformed, and what else needs transforming.

In the last week days I've had some changes in perception, and after each such change I ended up with a verbal description of "what I think has just happened." I'm not certain they are entirely accurate, but here is how I have described them:
  1. I have concluded that the "sense of self" I was chasing was merely a belief. I think that this sense of self could be what is referred to as "I AM THAT" in the AYP writings (link), with which I have dabbled in the past. Because precisely, it was a sense of there "being something over there," which was supposed to be "me" somehow. This fizzled away, I am somehow more a "this" than a "that" (but still clearly in existence).
  2. While investigating the feeling process, I found it to have a particular similarity with dreams. The whole feeling-process thing was seen to be illusory on some level, by recognizing in it a dream-like quality. This dream-like quality is not there when sensuousness is uncovered, and this has dispelled in me the previous subtle and mostly unconscious belief that life itself is an illusion. There is an actual world out there (and this is wonderful), and I'm wasting my time dreaming away!
  3. After this episode, while walking in the park, I've experienced what I now think is an aspect of apperception. Richard was very correct when he wrote (my emphasis):
    Richard:

    Apperceptiveness is a word describing a condition which happens of its own accord and attentiveness depicts an activity that one vitalises with remarkable verve and vivacity which activates the quality that the word sensuousness specifies. What exactly they are will become clearer as one goes along ...

    So attentiveness is attention, sensuousness is that sense of sensory high-fidelity, and apperception is a sense of global integration happening by itself. In much better words:
    Richard:

    The word attentiveness articulates a cognitive probity and sensuousness is a word indicating a pre-emotional fidelity and the word apperceptiveness denotes a pre-identification integrity.

    I realize that although I've experienced sensuousness locally and momentarily [1], apperceptiveness, this integrity which puts everything together neatly, was never cleanly and completely established (that I can recall), but only partly approximated in various experiences. "I" am still very much in existence, an imagined dream-like existence wherein I inhabit, lost, confused and out-of-sync.
  4. I've come to understand the vital importance of pure intent. It is the driving force behind the whole thing. It is only pure intent which allows me to return to sincerity. It is because of pure intent that I can be absolutely certain that I will not falter anywhere along the way to oblivion. Well, not for long anyway emoticon emoticon emoticon
  5. I've had an episode, just prior to entering IKEA to buy some furniture, when the "happening by itself" aspect of apperceptiveness, was made clear, as well as apperceptiveness being "it's own attentiveness."
  6. And finally, as my latest discovery, I think I have completely unraveled the mystery of my sexuality. While contemplating on the topic, suddenly, unbidden, arose the recollection of four specific episodes from my childhood (5-9 years old), and the whole sexuality thing seems to have been understood, as if the final pieces of an intricate puzzle had made it all click into place. I am curious about the practical consequences of this understanding.


And here we are, boy this is such an adventure!

Bruno

[1]
Bruno:
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.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/27/11 2:45 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Keep it up...great read!!

I have a question:
I have concluded that the "sense of self" I was chasing was merely a belief. I think that this sense of self could be what is referred to as "I AM THAT" in the AYP writings (link), with which I have dabbled in the past. Because precisely, it was a sense of there "being something over there," which was supposed to be "me" somehow. This fizzled away, I am somehow more a "this" than a "that" (but still clearly in existence).



For me the exact opposite has happened. As I go deeper and deeper from emotions to feelings to the primal urge (my terminology) I experience myself as something over there. There is a divide between my anaffective conscious and the Feeling. And the Feeling is me and the conscious which is observing it is just this flesh and blood body. Perhaps you can help me understand this.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/27/11 5:15 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno! I'm glad to hear you're doing so well and look forward to hearing how things progress. Thanks for starting a thread! Interesting about "integrity" and apperception.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/28/11 3:47 AM as a reply to Jon T.
Jon T:
Keep it up...great read!!

I have a question:
I have concluded that the "sense of self" I was chasing was merely a belief. I think that this sense of self could be what is referred to as "I AM THAT" in the AYP writings (link), with which I have dabbled in the past. Because precisely, it was a sense of there "being something over there," which was supposed to be "me" somehow. This fizzled away, I am somehow more a "this" than a "that" (but still clearly in existence).



For me the exact opposite has happened. As I go deeper and deeper from emotions to feelings to the primal urge (my terminology) I experience myself as something over there. There is a divide between my anaffective conscious and the Feeling. And the Feeling is me and the conscious which is observing it is just this flesh and blood body. Perhaps you can help me understand this.


The sensation of me being "over there" all happened within the feeling process. It was not actual. I believe it was the product of insight practice, and might not have occurred at all otherwise. The feeling process ("I") believed that "I" was something ("a point") to be looked at, and it appeared (to "me") as if this point was "over there." In a PCE, neither "I" ("over here" or "over there") arises, the whole thing makes no sense at all. It was only after eliminating this "over there" sense that I realized that the following became clear:
Richard:

it is, plainly and simply, always ‘my’ choice as to how ‘I’ experience this moment


Before this belief dissolved, the way "I" experienced this moment seemed much harder to control. For the past week it has been very easy to change the way "I" feel about ongoing events and circumstances --- so that that while "I" sometimes feel bad due to unconscious habitual reactive responses, I can change this around very easily.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/28/11 7:26 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It was only after eliminating this "over there" sense that I realized that the following became clear:
Richard:

it is, plainly and simply, always ‘my’ choice as to how ‘I’ experience this moment


Before this belief dissolved, the way "I" experienced this moment seemed much harder to control. For the past week it has been very easy to change the way "I" feel about ongoing events and circumstances --- so that that while "I" sometimes feel bad due to unconscious habitual reactive responses, I can change this around very easily.


Could you go into that a bit more? I don't think Richard said anything about the need to firstly eliminate the "me over there" you're talking about in this thread in order to see how it is always 'my' choice. So since I also - like 99% of humanity - don't feel I am able to choose how I experience this moment, perhaps you can offer some further tips that Richard doesn't?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/28/11 10:02 AM as a reply to Nad A..
Nad A.:

Could you go into that a bit more? I don't think Richard said anything about the need to firstly eliminate the "me over there" you're talking about in this thread in order to see how it is always 'my' choice. So since I also - like 99% of humanity - don't feel I am able to choose how I experience this moment, perhaps you can offer some further tips that Richard doesn't?


I can try. There is something about the feeling process which allows it to, ahem, torture itself (so to speak), while remaining oblivious to the fact that itself is the cause of this self-torture. So it is made to seem as if that is bothering me, when in fact it is just me bothering myself.

It is this something which prevents one from seeing that "I am my feelings and my feelings are me." (which was previously not at all clear to me either, but now is).

If it isn't clear to you that "I am my feelings and my feelings are me," you could try the following (this is merely a suggestion): ask yourself, "if I am not my feelings, then what am I?" Previously, when asking myself this question, there was an answer in the form of a "well, I am that," and this "that" was an intuitively felt place in the middle of the head, which I zealously seeked to uncover --- my attention would obsessively try to focus "there".

It was the intuitive answer to the question "who am I?," which at the time was not "my feelings".

Following Richard's hint that "I am a belief," and realizing that after many months of seeking for "that" (by feeling it out) I still hadn't come face to face with "it," I asked myself could it be that "that" is just a belief? and it seemed that this was the case, so I proceeded by trying not to believe "that," after which happened the perceptual shift I mentioned in another thread. "It" was made of belief (or so it seemed just prior to its disappearance).

From then on, it was clear that "I am my feelings and my feelings are me."

But maybe there are further tips on this in the AF-trust website?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/28/11 10:48 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Well, if even you - after having read it and posted about it countless times - didn't see clearly that 'i am my feelings and my feelings are me' until this shift then I probably don't understand it clearly either.

What I have is a strong suspicion that what this 'I' in my consciousness is, is feeling. I find no other 'me' when I deliberately look carefully. If I am not my feelings then I don't know what I am. But I don't know for sure if I am my feelings either. It is a working assumption. I wouldn't say I believe in the 'I' behind my eyes in quite the same way you did. Though I naturally feel myself to be there, I don't go looking for it as if I think it is really something there. Upon inspection, the 'me' just shifts about and seems to be nothing that can be pinned down.

Since my PCE, my view has been that there is no 'me' - neither a personal me nor a grand united-consciousness 'Me'. It was the 'me' inside my head disappearing that was the most memorable thing about that experience.

How do you get from seeing that 'i am my feelings' to it being easier to choose how i experience this moment?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/30/11 2:45 AM as a reply to Nad A..
Nad A.:

How do you get from seeing that 'i am my feelings' to it being easier to choose how i experience this moment?


Gee, I guess I dunno emoticon They kind of came simultaneously. It seems to silly to torture myself.

Maybe it is just that the practice of doing it gained enough momentum?

Yesterday I investigated the compulsive movement in the neck region. It seemed to have something to do with wanting to "grab" perceptions to "know them." Beoman's post on intuition was helpful, that seemed to be what was happening. After realizing that, the movement diminished quite a lot, but was still there.

Later that day I had the impression that it was somehow related to desire for (the sensation of) control. The self wants to command, wants to believe it is in control. All the while the body just does its own impersonal thing. This need for control diminished a bit, and I remember having the distinct impression gosh, I thought I was in control, but I wasn't at all, all my meditation, dissolutions, insights, etc were all business as usual for the body. What a perfect machine!

This was followed by EEs.

Later that night, I found I was prone to irritation and petty agression. Which was surprising because I didn't "think of myself" as being an aggressive person. But as my self esteem has been going up lately (for no specific reason), and as I no longer feel like a shitty human being deserving contempt from others (a feeling I frequently indulged in for some reason), nor do I feel like a "do-gooder," and this seems to have uninhibited an undercurrent of aggression. I find it very interesting and new to investigate this aggression without the restraint of guilt. What am "I" really made of?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/30/11 3:26 AM as a reply to Nad A..
How do you get from seeing that 'i am my feelings' to it being easier to choose how i experience this moment?



Insights for me seem to be coming pretty quick these days: Let me take a stab. I am my Feelings and my Feelings are Me. I observe my Feelings and Feeling tells me what to look for and how to process it. my Feelings control me trying to control my Feelings.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that I could control my Feelings. And it worked at keeping me happy for a few weeks until one particularly nasty day. By the end of that day I had regained control and came to realize that through a sincere logical investigation, I could understand those feelings. This was a week ago. So for the next week, I thought that I was my Feelings but that the observer was pure consciousness and not me. Now I think I see that I am the Consciousness, it is prompted by Feelings which is also completely Me and Consciousness is monitoring, analyzing and guiding Feeling. I can control Me and it has nothing to with willpower! Should Feeling cease to prompt Consciousness while Consciousness continues to monitor, understand and gently guide Feeling then that is being happy and harmless.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/30/11 3:25 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Later that night, I found I was prone to irritation and petty agression. Which was surprising because I didn't "think of myself" as being an aggressive person. But as my self esteem has been going up lately (for no specific reason), and as I no longer feel like a shitty human being deserving contempt from others (a feeling I frequently indulged in for some reason), nor do I feel like a "do-gooder," and this seems to have uninhibited an undercurrent of aggression. I find it very interesting and new to investigate this aggression without the restraint of guilt. What am "I" really made of?



This is funny. First off, congratulations on no longer feeling like a shitty human being. And I loved the aside "(a feeling I frequently indulged in some reason)". Precisely how I feel.

food for thought...the aggression is similar to boredom? Is it an aversion to the self-immolation that is taking place?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/30/11 11:24 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey Bruno...it seems like I'm somewhat at the same place as you are , though I'm not sure if its just a long EE ( which has been going on for quite some time ). I am increasingly able to see this actual world..it comes in glimpses sometimes..sometimes stays for a while and then a coarse feeling takes over. Sometimes it feels like I'm about to be AF soon..it feels as if there is just one last leap to take - to finally see that being AF will turn out just alright and its fine to let go of the real world.

So far I am still not sure that "I" am "my" feelings. However it seems to me that even if I don't know this is the case , I can still make very good progress and maybe all the way to end. What if I was not my feelings and that I was instead something seperate but only dependant on my feelings ? will that not lead to AF ?

However, like Bruno , recently I too had a big realization that this sense of "I" is just as much a feeling like any other (fear , anger) and infact I thank you Bruno for making me look into that direction from your recent post. I find Buddha's 12 links of DO ( from 'vedana' upto 'bhav' ) as a far better technical explanation of how vedana ( feelings ) leads to bhav ( becoming or "I" making or continuation of suffering...this is however just a guess because I see various definitions of bhav around).

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/30/11 6:30 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
6.And finally, as my latest discovery, I think I have completely unraveled the mystery of my sexuality. While contemplating on the topic, suddenly, unbidden, arose the recollection of four specific episodes from my childhood (5-9 years old), and the whole sexuality thing seems to have been understood, as if the final pieces of an intricate puzzle had made it all click into place. I am curious about the practical consequences of this understanding.


Can you elaborate, expand, and flesh out your complete unraveling? What part of the piece was missing? What is your current understanding of sexuality?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/31/11 11:16 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Jon T:

food for thought...the aggression is similar to boredom? Is it an aversion to the self-immolation that is taking place?


No, it's more like irritation. It could well be aversion to the self-immolation process.

Shashank, we do seem to be in similar places.

rich s:

Can you elaborate, expand, and flesh out your complete unraveling? What part of the piece was missing? What is your current understanding of sexuality?


As this is a subject regarding whose details I do not wish to expose publicly, I will not post about it on the internet. If you wish we could talk through skype sometime and I can "elaborate, expand, and flesh out my complete unraveling."

My current understanding of sexuality remains to be tested :-) But I suspect that without the feeling process getting in the way, I will become quite more versatile (and much more unconcerned) in that regard.

Today was a very rough day. I am having horrific pain in my solar plexus, and terrific pain in my dan tien, chest, and throat. It seems that the whole feeling phantasm is being projected from the dan tien, with the cooperation of the other chakras (both in front and in the back of the body).

All of these points seem to be dry, stuck, sore, painful. I think this is grist for the mill, wood for the fire, par for the course, but any specific tips would be appreciated. Although I think I am experiencing what is described by Vaj in this thread.

As usual pain makes things a lot less fun. I feel tired.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
3/31/11 7:06 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
My current understanding of sexuality remains to be tested :-) But I suspect that without the feeling process getting in the way, I will become quite more versatile (and much more unconcerned) in that regard.


I am beginning to think maybe I misunderstood you. When you say you unraveled the mysteries of your sexuality -- do you mean in regards to sexual orientation (gay, hetero, bi)? Or are you referring to the whole human libido in action in general (whether gay, straight, or bi).

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 5:20 AM as a reply to rich s.
rich s:
My current understanding of sexuality remains to be tested :-) But I suspect that without the feeling process getting in the way, I will become quite more versatile (and much more unconcerned) in that regard.


I am beginning to think maybe I misunderstood you. When you say you unraveled the mysteries of your sexuality -- do you mean in regards to sexual orientation (gay, hetero, bi)? Or are you referring to the whole human libido in action in general (whether gay, straight, or bi).


Just my own specific preferences, which seem to have been instigated (at least partly) by specific episodes in my childhood which I felt as very erotic at the time (although I lacked that vocabulary). I was curious to know if anything would change regarding these preferences, but so far this hasn't been the case.

I'm also concluding that the last week and a half was yet another A&P, that I didn't solve my insight problem at all.

At least I've had a few good PCEs/EEs/whatever. Some of the understandings seem to be holding (importance of pure intent, imaginary nature of feeling). Why do A&Ps fool me over and over again? If I have decided that I want that simple peace more than any "insight" or "high" why do I ride those waves? Why this propensity to fooling myself? How can I keep that from happening?

If I try to be naive, often instead I construct the self image of naivete "Oh, I am sooo naive." "I" am layer after layer after layer of bullshit and self-deception. Knowing what lies beneath, how can I keep selling myself short? Why do I choose, over and over again, to live in a pathetic imitation of what is right under my nose? Why cling to a dream when it is by now so evidently immediately obvious that the actual world is a gazillion times better? Jeez, looking at the dirty ashtray at home, when under a PCE, is a gazillion times better than any love, bliss, ecstasy, insight, position, thrill, anything I've ever experienced. What am "I" waiting for?

Why do I choose instead to be angry or sad that I'm not yet done? Is this very questioning just me fooling myself yet again? Gosh I hate it when doubt self loops into questioning the very questioning. Why do I hate it? I am a strange loop.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 6:57 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Why do I choose, over and over again, to live in a pathetic imitation of what is right under my nose? Why cling to a dream when it is by now so evidently immediately obvious that the actual world is a gazillion times better?


Dunno why the same is happening with me too. When the "I" has already seen what is better(the actual world) , why does it keep getting back to the crap ? I guess its habituation of this "I" or some hidden concerns which "I" am not able to see or acknowledging them yet. Maybe I need to activate more sincerity and see them.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 8:17 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Why do A&Ps fool me over and over again? If I have decided that I want that simple peace more than any "insight" or "high" why do I ride those waves? Why this propensity to fooling myself? How can I keep that from happening?

i think i found the answer out for myself (in my 'the thinker' thread): simply stop doing that! remember when you focused solely on being relaxed for a while? try that again.

also i finally got the knack of not caring about the cycles. think of it this way - you're in a certain mood. you can bin it into "insight cycles" - A&P, dark night (fear, misery, desire for deliverance), Equanimity - or you can simply bin it into what it is, which is an emotion - "high, restless, afraid, anxious", etc. it doesnt matter if the anxiety is caused by an insight cycle, per se.. i think there's always some underlying reason for it. and if you really can't find one, then just focus on relaxing or ignore it until it goes away.

Bruno Loff:
Knowing what lies beneath, how can I keep selling myself short? Why do I choose, over and over again, to live in a pathetic imitation of what is right under my nose? Why cling to a dream when it is by now so evidently immediately obvious that the actual world is a gazillion times better? Jeez, looking at the dirty ashtray at home, when under a PCE, is a gazillion times better than any love, bliss, ecstasy, insight, position, thrill, anything I've ever experienced. What am "I" waiting for?

Why do I choose instead to be angry or sad that I'm not yet done? Is this very questioning just me fooling myself yet again? Gosh I hate it when doubt self loops into questioning the very questioning. Why do I hate it? I am a strange loop.

a lack of pure intent and/or sincerity. do you want to be happy at this moment, or caught in the strange loop? if you ask that and then continue in the loop, 'you' arent being sincere about wanting to be happy. and that's no reason to get angry at yourself! that's just what it is. muster up that pure intent by remembering the PCE, and be sincere about it.

as to hating your self, that happens a ton, and obviously gets one nowhere... maybe this might help: all your suffering is caused by 'you'. 'you' attacking 'you' doesnt really help. the whole thing will disappear anyway, so it might as well be in harmony. remember about intuition - it feels correct to keep hating and doubting, yet you know that really you shouldn't do that, so stop listening to your intuition. also remember the instruction to be happy and harmless. harmless includes being harmless to yourself. when you are stuck in a loop doubting yourself and hating yourself (hating something you are doing, which is the same thing), you are not being harmless. why feed those affective energies into hate?

or the short version is: all those questions you posed? just sit there, ask yourself that, and try to find an answer. for me i think a huge one has been lack of self-confidence in being able to get a PCE/4th path, and that caused all sorts of silly things like a focused drive that prevented progress.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 8:56 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
B.C.D.Emu

Bruno
Why do I choose instead to be angry or sad that I'm not yet done? Is this very questioning just me fooling myself yet again? Gosh I hate it when doubt self loops into questioning the very questioning. Why do I hate it? I am a strange loop.

a lack of pure intent and/or sincerity. do you want to be happy at this moment, or caught in the strange loop?


Pure intent: Bruno, are "you' sure its bruno is completely ready/convinced to evaporate in order that the underlying being may move freely? Is there anything(s) the bruno is hungering for, would miss, may want, something your being does not need, but which the Bruno needs before going? Grossly put, sometimes a person must have nice things before they can give them away.

No pure intent: I can clearly see that yearnings in my earlier life would not have availed "me" to seek/intend no self, evaporation. That's fine, like inevitable stops on a road trip. I am grateful it's occurring now, and its acceleration has been a gift of the people here on DhO as well as people in my day-to-day life not some solo achivement. Intent is solo decision/realization, though.

"be" happy: just my experience here (and we're talking short window of time, a week or so) - that happiness/willingness/curiosity/engagement results from uncovering this being from hostile/ anxious attributes.

If "i" am having trouble with such uncovering/nipping in the bid/persistant feelings, then I find a moment to sit somewhere comfortably and look at the sky/outside/trees/sun/waterway and consider the "i" as its own belief, arisen through cultural shaping related to, but not in control of survival (survival involves as much luck as skill - of which can as easily be helped or hindered by an idenity). katy is no longer needed at all, what's left is still a unique individual, more like The Best of katy ($9.99, order now and you'll get a magic squeegee for FREE, yes that's a retail value of ...)

...but it is more like the "appropriateness of this ks-being" in any moment, given changing attributes (like fevers, pulled muscles, extra energy/well slept) that results (not a constructed or constructible perfection) - with which any other being can easily take umbrage regardless of the condition of "my" being). Seriously, even the Katy (if you will) is certain it's not needed, that the same unique entity is there (not hierarchically unique or special, just factually unique like anyone else), yet with less struggle.

[edits: clarity]

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 9:24 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I'm also concluding that the last week and a half was yet another A&P, that I didn't solve my insight problem at all.


Are things back to being harder to choose how you feel again?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 11:14 AM as a reply to Nad A..
Nad A.:
Bruno Loff:
I'm also concluding that the last week and a half was yet another A&P, that I didn't solve my insight problem at all.


Are things back to being harder to choose how you feel again?


Yep. I think that greater feeling agility was a product of the A&P-induced high. Also I was slipping into a PCE at the subtlest hint of sunlight. We'll see what happens in the coming days.


----

I can take a guess at what is happening. I certainly do not lack sincerity --- I've never been so sincere about anything as much as my intention to attain actual freedom, and I am a very sincere person in general. My PCEs/EEs/whatever really convinced me to take this through to the end.

However, I realized today that there isn't always a felt sincerity. For instance, while engaging in Claudiu's suggested exercise, of asking myself if I want to be happy and harmless right now, rather than into some projected future, my thinking process immediately says "yes," but my feeling process manifests resistance.

Upon investigation of this resistence, "I" don't want to be harmless, because "I" think I should/have the right to be really really angry at something. Furthermore, it seems that I was suppressing this anger to some extent (maybe still am!), so I let it vent (fortunately imagination can vent within its own imagined world, and I didn't hurt anyone or anything).

I really must and thus will investigate anger, particularly any suppression of any kind!

Thank you for your suggestions.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 4:59 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno,

I appreciate your reports.

This struck me as very familiar:

Bruno Loff:
Why do A&Ps fool me over and over again? If I have decided that I want that simple peace more than any "insight" or "high" why do I ride those waves? Why this propensity to fooling myself? How can I keep that from happening?


And don't I know that place.

So far, the best advice I've received is "just relax".

I know it sounds too simple, but it is that simple. That which wants complexity is also that which tries to control circumstances ("How can I keep that from happening")

Whether viewed through the Buddhist framework ("ignorance is that which wants to understand, but can't") or through the Actualist framework ("resistance indicates that there is a choice"), it is the same old thing.

Regarding Ignorance vs Understanding, I love Duncan's way of putting it:

Duncan Barford:
Understanding is not a representation in the mind or brain but a penetration of consciousness by the thing understood. There’s a French proverb, tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner, which translates as ‘to understand all is to forgive all’. Understanding is a surrender of self, indistinguishable in many respects from compassion and love.

The world of spirit opens when we recognise our perception of the rose is a part of the rose, not a part of or a picture in our mind. No great artist ever painted a picture of anything. Instead they let the thing into themselves, accommodated it, aligned themselves with it, were penetrated by it. This is seeing.

So how do we learn to see?


The question, how do we learn to see is equally useful in Insight and Actualist terms. And the theme of surrender (or, more plainly, relaxing) is again applicable to both.

At least, that's how I practice at the moment. As I mentioned, I recognize that place.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/1/11 6:24 PM as a reply to Florian.
Bruno Loff:
Upon investigation of this resistence, "I" don't want to be harmless, because "I" think I should/have the right to be really really angry at something. Furthermore, it seems that I was suppressing this anger to some extent (maybe still am!), so I let it vent (fortunately imagination can vent within its own imagined world, and I didn't hurt anyone or anything).

I really must and thus will investigate anger, particularly any suppression of any kind!


Florian Weps:
So far, the best advice I've received is "just relax".

I know it sounds too simple, but it is that simple. That which wants complexity is also that which tries to control circumstances ("How can I keep that from happening")

so so so true. seriously. next time you're angry, don't investigate it - just take a few deep breaths and relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax. just relax. focus on pleasant sensations if necessary. just chill out. i actually dont think the path must be as painful as we've been making it (or at least as i've been making it). "bust ass"-style enlightenment leads to painful things cause you are forcing your way through something you don't sincerely want to happen. but if you relaaaaaaaax... and gently investigate... or that might be just 3rd path stuff, but i finally understand it now.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/3/11 5:52 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Thank you both. I know that it is very important to relax. It seems very clear to me that all of the painful points I have in the body are caused by tension, which in turn seems to be caused by craving and aversion, and I conjecture these last two are themselves a result of the passions. The point then becomes "what is the best way to relax?"

After reading Richard Weeden's post (link), I've decided to practice the way he is describing it, since I realized this is actually what I do prior to getting PCEs:

Richard Weeden:

Gently rest the mind at the edges of the sense doors - looking at shapes, colours etc in their wholeness, noticing if the mind tend to fixate on any object particularly and enter cycling mode. If there any signs of this I let go of the fixation by shifting the awareness to another object or sense door.


In fact I have been arriving at the conclusion that it is this "fixation" which prevents the PCE from occurring. The more my PCE is "deep" (that is, the more my EE is PCE-ish), the less fixation happens in the perceptual field, the more panoramic perception is. I guess hence the importance of practicing with a panoramic attention.

Trent had a nice remark which I will keep in mind.

Trent:

try to neither express nor repress any feeling-- felicitous or otherwise. instead, be attentive of them while cultivating sensuousness-- that will allow for the magic of apperceptive awareness (the pce) to become one's experience.


It has repeatedly been made clear to me that sensuousness is the key that catalyses my PCEs. I still don't understand why naiveté is so important, because for me sensuousness always seems to happen first: I first notice the pre-emotional fidelity, and only after a while of consistently seeing it will wonder and naiveté appear. Since this is what seems to work for me, then this is what I'm going to do: cultivate sensuousness while being attentive of, and neither expressing nor repressing, feelings.

Gosh, I'm really glad DhO exists. There is so much to be gained by comparing practice notes.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/4/11 3:54 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Peter:

I was always wary that I may be kidding myself that some belief or moral or ethic had disappeared out of my life and I would often do what I described as sweeping out the cupboard. I would deliberately check over some issue, looking for deeper layers or something I had missed. But life is excellent at throwing up opportunities in the way of people, things and events that serve as a challenge to your happiness and as a prod to how harmless you really are. The only thing you have to be is sincere, but then again while it may be possible to fool others, to fool oneself is really silly.


I have a couple of issues that come up recurrently and insistently, and which no matter how much I've tried to dig into, they come up over and over again. These two make up about 80-90% of my mental chatter.

  • I want to teach others. Quite a lot of my mental imaginations come in the form of me imagining myself teaching someone else about something; lately the content is, quite ironically, actual freedom. This comes up even when I'm practicing attentiveness. It is a mystery to me where this comes from.
  • Actual freedom and meditation is an issue. I often imagine myself defending it against some imaginary interlocutor. My identity has been partially replaced with "meditator," "participant at DhO," "actualist," etc. I've elsewhere posted about actualist calenture.


Also I am currently dark nighting, which confirms that I was previously A&P. And I definitely did not solve no insight disease. The clues were all there, I just chose to ignore them as typical of that stage. Here's a mental note for the next A&P:

"Don't fool yourself."

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/4/11 8:44 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
hey i was/am in a similar place w/ those beliefs. they are quite related. it's no surprise you listed them together.

Bruno Loff:
Actual freedom and meditation is an issue. I often imagine myself defending it against some imaginary interlocutor. My identity has been partially replaced with "meditator," "participant at DhO," "actualist," etc. I've elsewhere posted about actualist calenture.
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate? i might bring your attention to:
Bruno Loff:
I certainly do not lack sincerity --- I've never been so sincere about anything as much as my intention to attain actual freedom, and I am a very sincere person in general. My PCEs/EEs/whatever really convinced me to take this through to the end.
is that so? 'whom' were 'you' telling that when you wrote it? what is "the DhO"?

Bruno Loff:
I want to teach others. Quite a lot of my mental imaginations come in the form of me imagining myself teaching someone else about something; lately the content is, quite ironically, actual freedom. This comes up even when I'm practicing attentiveness. It is a mystery to me where this comes from.


if 'you' are an "actualist" is it surprising that 'you' want "others" to be "actualists" as well? who are the "others"?

do you think 'you' should be an "actualist"? before 'you' became an "actualist" was there a similar belief that took a similar shape (defending what 'you' are doing against "imaginary interlocutors" and imagining 'yourself' teaching what 'you' are doing to "imaginary others") that filled a similar gap?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/4/11 7:17 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
tx u for your honesty bruno. I too have often imagined myself as a teacher and your phrase 'imaginary interlocutors' is poetic. beomans makes an interesting point about the interlocutors also being you.

fyi, the last couple of days I've been thinking about altruism and actualism. I agree with richard that one has to want to be free for the sake of humanity or else the self won't disolve itself. I believe this because as we are getting more and more happy there is less and less incentive to be free of ourselves. Only altruism can solve that riddle.

Only this actual world is worth anything. Whatever you value no matter how rationale it is is at best a half truth. The full truth is the wordless sensate Now. And this world deserves the full truth and nothing but the truth. e.g. I am of a political bend. My fantasies are often me arguing against the inane ideology of the Limbaughs and Becks. It occurred to me today that any truth I have to offer along those lines is at best a half truth. It has to be, because, I am so very ugly when I am warped up in disgust at others. And Truth is Beautiful.* Therefore, I, no matter how logical and precise, when in an imaginary argument must be only expressing, at best, a half-truth. And the world doesn't need more half truths. The world needs the whole truth and nothing but it. And the only way to give the world this whole truth is dissolve the ego and eject the soul.* It is a worthy sacrifice.

Logical clarifications:

*This can't be proved or even demonstrated.

Because this argument relies on an assumption that is not self-evident and because I enjoy this type of thing, I'll give a 2nd argument.


I am of a political bend. My fantasies are often me arguing against the inane idealogy of the Limbaughs and Becks. It occured to me today that any truth I have to offer along those lines is at best a half truth. It has to be, because, their idiocy disgusts me. It can be demonstrated that one persons disgust provokes an emotionally negative reaction towards the disgusted. And as emotions reach a higher and higher pitch, reason becomes more and more difficult to practice. Therefore my rationale opinion looses much if not all of its persuasiveness. Furthermore, my opinions are always based on what I believe is best for the human race. But the way I approach said opinions is usually emotional which distracts from reason and leads to conflict. Therefore taken as a whole my opinion is only a half truth. And the world doesn't need more half truths. The world needs the whole truth and nothing but it. And because it can be demonstrated that emotions lead to conflict, a very effective way of giving the world the whole truth and nothing but the truth is to discard the affective faculty. It is a worthy sacrifice.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/5/11 5:32 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
hey i was/am in a similar place w/ those beliefs. they are quite related. it's no surprise you listed them together.

Bruno Loff:
Actual freedom and meditation is an issue. I often imagine myself defending it against some imaginary interlocutor. My identity has been partially replaced with "meditator," "participant at DhO," "actualist," etc. I've elsewhere posted about actualist calenture.
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate?

That I was attacking myself? I actually cried a bit when I realized that, that was a good pointer, and maybe it will cause self-attack-defense thoughts to go away. Gosh I suffered so much at the hands of those imaginary judgemental attackers, it was good to finally realize they were actually me, since I want to be my own friend and I wasn't doing that in this instance.

Claudiu:
i might bring your attention to:
Bruno Loff:
I certainly do not lack sincerity --- I've never been so sincere about anything as much as my intention to attain actual freedom, and I am a very sincere person in general. My PCEs/EEs/whatever really convinced me to take this through to the end.
is that so? 'whom' were 'you' telling that when you wrote it? what is "the DhO"?

Bruno Loff:
I want to teach others. Quite a lot of my mental imaginations come in the form of me imagining myself teaching someone else about something; lately the content is, quite ironically, actual freedom. This comes up even when I'm practicing attentiveness. It is a mystery to me where this comes from.


if 'you' are an "actualist" is it surprising that 'you' want "others" to be "actualists" as well? who are the "others"?

do you think 'you' should be an "actualist"? before 'you' became an "actualist" was there a similar belief that took a similar shape (defending what 'you' are doing against "imaginary interlocutors" and imagining 'yourself' teaching what 'you' are doing to "imaginary others") that filled a similar gap?


It all seems to have something to do with evaluating myself, trying to assure myself that I am "good." Although the precise causes and conditions are not unraveled yet: it is still happening, even when I realize it's all myself.

Since you were in a similar place, could you share specifically what understandings caused these things to stop happening to you?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/5/11 8:47 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Since you were in a similar place, could you share specifically what understandings caused these things to stop happening to you?

sure, though i'll try to frame it as questions, but let me know what your answers are and we can keep going if there is more to clear up.

Bruno Loff:
Claudiu:
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate?

That I was attacking myself? I actually cried a bit when I realized that, that was a good pointer, and maybe it will cause self-attack-defense thoughts to go away. Gosh I suffered so much at the hands of those imaginary judgemental attackers, it was good to finally realize they were actually me, since I want to be my own friend and I wasn't doing that in this instance.

that's true, the general interaction was one of attacking yourself. now what about the content? you say 'you' are completely sincere about attaining actual freedom. yet here 'you' are finding arguments not to do AF (as an 'imaginary interlocutor'). what does that say about (part of) 'you'?

also not just an 'imaginary interlocutor' but also your 'friend's and 'mom' and 'dad' and whoever else may show up in your head is also 'you'. e.g. if you do something and hear your dad telling you that's bad... that's 'you' buying into authority, basically.

Bruno Loff:
It all seems to have something to do with evaluating myself, trying to assure myself that I am "good." Although the precise causes and conditions are not unraveled yet: it is still happening, even when I realize it's all myself.

that's true, 'i' had/have the same feeling. like there's a standard and 'i' have to live by it or 'i' am not doing 'well'.

so evaluating yourself means there is some standard that you are comparing 'you' to. the standard is also just 'you', just part of your identity. what is the standard? where does it come from?

why do we follow a standard, generally? because we think its "good" (as in "correct" vs. "wrong" or "evil"). why is following the 'af standard' "good"? (why is it specifically recommended to avoid the words "good" and "bad" and use "silly" and "sensible" instead?)

more questions along this line: how can you be utterly sincere, more sincere than anything you have been in your life, about attaining something which you don't even know what it is? (the only way to know is once you're there. a really clear PCE does tell you all you need to know but i dont even have that, perhaps you do though.) what does richard say the "intent is" (search for that phrase) in the attentiveness et. al. essay? why do people request answers specifically from actually free people? why do AF people not always just give the answer in full detail even if they probably know it?

i do have my own answers but im not sure they cleared up everything so lemme know what you think, and i'll share mine later.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/5/11 9:25 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
what does insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have in common with 'me' / 'being'? how might that manifest in one's experience? how does that inform one's expectations of what might arise until the process is completed?

trent

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/6/11 7:14 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Bruno Loff:
Since you were in a similar place, could you share specifically what understandings caused these things to stop happening to you?

sure, though i'll try to frame it as questions, but let me know what your answers are and we can keep going if there is more to clear up.

Bruno Loff:
Claudiu:
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate?

That I was attacking myself? I actually cried a bit when I realized that, that was a good pointer, and maybe it will cause self-attack-defense thoughts to go away. Gosh I suffered so much at the hands of those imaginary judgemental attackers, it was good to finally realize they were actually me, since I want to be my own friend and I wasn't doing that in this instance.

that's true, the general interaction was one of attacking yourself. now what about the content? you say 'you' are completely sincere about attaining actual freedom. yet here 'you' are finding arguments not to do AF (as an 'imaginary interlocutor'). what does that say about (part of) 'you'?


It seems that 'I' fear others will be angry at me for doing this. Which has nothing to do with sincerity. I have pondered on your implied point: does the fact that the imaginary interlocutors are actually 'me,' together with them finding arguments not to do AF, imply that 'I' somehow am not sincere with regards to this goal?

The answer was no.

Claudiu:

Bruno Loff:
It all seems to have something to do with evaluating myself, trying to assure myself that I am "good." Although the precise causes and conditions are not unraveled yet: it is still happening, even when I realize it's all myself.

that's true, 'i' had/have the same feeling. like there's a standard and 'i' have to live by it or 'i' am not doing 'well'.

so evaluating yourself means there is some standard that you are comparing 'you' to. the standard is also just 'you', just part of your identity. what is the standard? where does it come from?


Various things from being a good PhD student to being a good friend etc.

Claudiu:

more questions along this line: (1) how can you be utterly sincere, more sincere than anything you have been in your life, about attaining something which you don't even know what it is? (the only way to know is once you're there. a really clear PCE does tell you all you need to know but i dont even have that, perhaps you do though.) (2) what does richard say the "intent is" (search for that phrase) in the attentiveness et. al. essay? (3) why do people request answers specifically from actually free people? (4) why do AF people not always just give the answer in full detail even if they probably know it?


(1) You can because of PCEs and EEs. They might not have been completely pure, but they were pure enough so that I see this path is worthwhile. More worthwhile, in fact, than anything else.
(2) I have not only read that many times, but I have pondered deeply about the meaning of each term, checked the dictionary to make sure I was getting it right, etc. My intent is pure: peace on earth as this flesh and blood body as evidenced by the PCE.
(3) Because they've done it themselves, because they manage to somehow spontaneously be incredibly helpful. I guess that just makes sense. I don't think it is a matter of authority, if that's what you're implying.
(4) I think because the change has to happen in the reader's mind, be the result of his own investigation. And a question points towards a direction to be investigated (rather than mapping out the territory that lies in that direction).

Trent:

what does insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have in common with 'me' / 'being'? how might that manifest in one's experience? how does that inform one's expectations of what might arise until the process is completed?


Which was a terrifically useful question, and the issue seems to have been understood, we'll see if it gets solved. While wondering "am I insecure?" it turns out I was/am incredibly insecure. A mass of fear and nervous jitteriness was uncovered just below my solar plexus, which had yesterday night seen some terrific purification.

The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.

It seems 'I' feel alone (I'm a separate entity, go figure why? emoticon ), and 'I' am afraid to feel alone, and all the strife and mental discourses were about other people essentially casting me out from society, family and friendship ties, etc. Casting me out from DhO for not being a good actualist ha ha ha emoticon Gosh I had been looking forward to feeling silly exactly like this.

We'll see what happens, right now it's a sunny day and I'm off for a walk.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/6/11 8:55 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It seems that 'I' fear others will be angry at me for doing this. Which has nothing to do with sincerity. I have pondered on your implied point: does the fact that the imaginary interlocutors are actually 'me,' together with them finding arguments not to do AF, imply that 'I' somehow am not sincere with regards to this goal?

The answer was no.

ah ok. what i was getting at is that you have some doubts about AF, which you have partly figured out ("It seems that 'I' fear others will be angry at me for doing this.") there may be others!

btw, i dont doubt "Bruno"'s sincerity. but when "Bruno" sincerely wants to yet "others" (also "Bruno") don't, that's what i mean by not being sincere. i don't mean that "you" (the "you" that 'you' take yourself to be when saying that you are sincere) don't want it, just that there is some other part of you (that 'you' dont take yourself to be) not fully aligned with the goal.

Claudiu:
so evaluating yourself means there is some standard that you are comparing 'you' to. the standard is also just 'you', just part of your identity. what is the standard? where does it come from?

Bruno Loff:
Various things from being a good PhD student to being a good friend etc.

oh i meant "good" in terms of as an "actualist" - where does that standard come from?

Claudiu:

more questions along this line: (1) how can you be utterly sincere, more sincere than anything you have been in your life, about attaining something which you don't even know what it is? (the only way to know is once you're there. a really clear PCE does tell you all you need to know but i dont even have that, perhaps you do though.) (2) what does richard say the "intent is" (search for that phrase) in the attentiveness et. al. essay? (3) why do people request answers specifically from actually free people? (4) why do AF people not always just give the answer in full detail even if they probably know it?


Bruno Loff:
(1) You can because of PCEs and EEs. They might not have been completely pure, but they were pure enough so that I see this path is worthwhile. More worthwhile, in fact, than anything else.
(2) I have not only read that many times, but I have pondered deeply about the meaning of each term, checked the dictionary to make sure I was getting it right, etc. My intent is pure: peace on earth as this flesh and blood body as evidenced by the PCE.

ah ok. i think this was an issue specific to me, but i was intending to want a "PCE" and "AF" instead of intending to be happy and harmless.

Bruno Loff:
(3) Because they've done it themselves, because they manage to somehow spontaneously be incredibly helpful. I guess that just makes sense. I don't think it is a matter of authority, if that's what you're implying.

that is what i was implying. assume Trent replies to a question. now assume instead that RandomBonzo did, but with the same words (with a different tone and writing style, lets say, so to distinguish it a bit, but the same content). i think (maybe i am projecting) that someone asking for a reply from an AF person would not listen to RandomBonzo's words so closely as if it were Trent. i think its because you "know" that Trent's answer will be good, since he is AF and he must know this stuff!, but RandomBonzo's might not be cause who could he be? yet that doesn't reflect autonomous reasoning at all, it reflects believing people cause of who they are.
the credibility/belief doesnt come from nowhere cause they are indeed helpful answers. but tis still something to be investigated.

Bruno Loff:
(4) I think because the change has to happen in the reader's mind, be the result of his own investigation. And a question points towards a direction to be investigated (rather than mapping out the territory that lies in that direction).

yeah basically. to encourage the autonomous reasoning i was talking about (and not just believing people, whoever they may be).

let me know if this rings true at all. what i was trying to get at here was a belief in "Actual Freedom". orienting one part of yourself to believe and be faithful to AF, since it's obviously the way out to the ending of suffering. i think it explains a few of the things you've been mentioning:
  • having a standard of a "good actualist" (cf. good christian). there are things you must do, e.g. be happy and harmless (cf. be pious and don't sin), and when you're unable to you beat yourself up over it (which is encouraged in Christianity, e.g. by confessing your sins and such, but actively discouraged by those pursuing an Actual Freedom since it ain't something to believe in). this is you trying to live up to the standard your belief imposes.
  • defending your belief from others. just like when christians are questioned by atheists and become defensive (and that is encouraged), 'normal' people question AF and the 'actualist' becomes defensive (e.g. me defending the stance that emotions are hurtful and harmful against someone who thinks they are not only normal but good and beneficial). this is really you questioning your belief and you trying to convince yourself that your belief is good.
  • wanting to teach others, tell them about AF, 'show them the way' so to speak. this is really you wanting to believe more, reinforcing your belief, your piety =P.

actually you mention all this in the actualist calenture thread. and you summed it up really succinctly there:
Bruno Loff:
The actualist calenture happens when the ego and related processes identify with "actual freedom" as something to "be," and strive to imitate what they imagine actual freedom or a PCE is like.

so perhaps it is time to stop doing that? =). i recently realized i was doing it - or i suppose re-realized or re-re-realized, as tends to happen with some of these things - and i think that got me to stop a lot of self-berating i was doing.

---

Trent:
what does insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have in common with 'me' / 'being'? how might that manifest in one's experience? how does that inform one's expectations of what might arise until the process is completed?


Bruno Loff:
The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.


ah i'm glad you have pinpointed a particular thing that was bothering you!

my answer was a more generic one: 'me'/'being' feeds on (and is made up of) insecurity/fear and doubt/delusion. as 'me'/'being' is the very thing being questioned, the resistance will manifest as insecurity/fear and doubt/delusion. thus as the self gets thinner and thinner and as one goes along more and more one can expect this to keep recurring until it's done away with for good. so: if you are feeling doubt and fear, take heart! you know there is an interesting issue to be investigated there, and perhaps you even know you're making progress. not to say you should cultivate fear, but if you feel it, maybe you can even be excited that there's something going on. hmm that's something i should try...

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/6/11 11:33 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.


that was not what i was expecting as a response, but that’s alright … isn’t it neat that pure intent enables one’s innate ability to figure out one’s own self when provided even the slightest of hint (intended or otherwise)? by the way, this is one reason why i suggest people view and review the actual freedom trust material, regardless of whether it seems superfluous to do so.

i will answer the first two instead—so as to convey the meaning i originally sought to convey ... insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have everything in common with ‘me’ / ‘being’. after-all, ‘i’ am ‘the human condition’ and ‘the human condition’ is ‘me’. as ‘i’ am insecurity / doubt, ‘i’ may find that ‘i’ seek reassurance (perhaps from an ‘authority’ such as a ‘teacher’) … or perhaps ‘i’ seek to validate ‘my’ knowledge or ‘my’ direction or ‘my’ intent (or whatever) by demonstrating the behavior of a ‘proper actualist’. in other words, ‘i’ may (unintentionally) try to cope with the (internal) conflict (of ‘being’ insecurity) via disassociation-- projecting one side of it as/onto ‘others’-- and ‘i’ may thereby (having succumbed to the delusion) attempt to talk ‘them’ out of ‘their’ objections … which is, essentially, ‘me’ trying to talk ‘myself’ out of ‘my’ insecurity.

if this goes on unchecked, the root of the issue will also remain buried and unknown … one’s “nose” and “paws” are predisposed, lost in the fervor of trying to bite ‘my’ orectic tail. as soon as this is recognized as being the case, one may then cease going in circles, in favor of employing those tools which will allow one to find and eliminate the cause of the condition(ing).

with that said, how does this inform one's expectations of what (else) might arise until the process is completed?

trent

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/6/11 11:07 PM as a reply to Trent ..
To add to what Trent said and happened to "me" today, I was in the actual world and it was perfect for the first several hours of my day and then something happened causing my identity to be overtly active for about the next 1-2 hours until I woke up and was like "what happened between perfection and now that caused me to feel badly." I figured it out and it cleared and I was back to the actual world.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/7/11 6:25 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Thanks Claudiu, you really had a point with that authority thing. Indeed, if RandomBonzo (ha ha ha emoticon!) were to ask me these questions, I might have the impulse not to pursue them honestly. In fact, at first this happened with the questions you made (I actually got irritated). I decided there was some stuff to investigate there, came to the same conclusion, and then asked myself the questions you suggested, one by one, as honestly as I could. It paid off emoticon

This makes me consider the utility of thought experiments to uncover the intricacies of identity (e.g. the RandomBonzo thought experiment you came up with).

As for the belief in actual freedom, this still happens to some degree. But for me it got a lot better (I think) after I've based my intent on the various EEs I've had. That defines the goal as a perceptual change for this body, which is completely different from fitting into some self-image, or arguing with others about anything at all. Furthermore, this particular change in perception is so drastic and unmistakeable, with such clearly defined criteria, that I am certain I could not possibly fool myself into believing I got actual freedom. But while the following sentence brings a smile of recognition:

Claudiu:

i recently realized i was doing it - or i suppose re-realized or re-re-realized, as tends to happen with some of these things.


in fact I really don't understand why you write:

Claudiu:

think this was an issue specific to me, but i was intending to want a "PCE" and "AF" instead of intending to be happy and harmless.


Why is this an issue at all? Sure I intend to have PCEs and AF, the only reason I am doing the whole thing is because of the various PCEs/EEs, that evidence peace on earth is both possible and fun.

---

Trent .:
Bruno Loff:
The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.


that was not what i was expecting as a response, but that’s alright … isn’t it neat that pure intent enables one’s innate ability to figure out one’s own self when provided even the slightest of hint (intended or otherwise)? by the way, this is one reason why i suggest people view and review the actual freedom trust material, regardless of whether it seems superfluous to do so.


Yeah, it's funny that I still haven't quite got the knack of getting it to happen as effectively without that push. I intend to collect a bunch of tips to make it happen more autonomously. Although it is really nice when someone gives you that one tip from their perspective, and it suddenly clicks, for I then often get: wow that was so obvious, why didn't I see that before?!. The self thrives on obscuration emoticon

Trent:

with that said, how does this inform one's expectations of what (else) might arise until the process is completed?


Are you referring to this dissociation possibly happening with the feeling of 'being' itself? It dissociating with itself trying to look at itself, dissolve itself by its own action just causing itself to remain in place that way?

I know this happens to me to some extent, as my attentiveness isn't just attentiveness, but also partially "me" trying to "change myself" (which is just part of the dream). But so far the distinction is a bit hard to make, and there seems to be enough attentiveness going on to keep the process going regardless.

---

Some ways of investigating feelings and calentures

(1) imagine the situation where such feelings might or might not be triggered. I.e., do a thought experiment.
(2) To investigate a calenture or belief, check one by one if the following passions could be the underlying cause (mostly just copied from the AF trust 'library of topics'):

Aggression, Beauty, Compassion, Conflict, Denial, Desire, Doubt, Fear (of death, of authority, ...), Female and Male Conditioning, Guilt, Hope, Humility, Intuition, Insecurity, Love, Malice, Moralisms, The Need to Belong, Nurture, Pride, Sex Issues, Sorrow, Superstition, Trust.

(3) Be mindful of dissociative process ("I am not this unpleasant experience, I am on the other side of it").

(do contribute any trick or procedure you know of, or particular hints or details for the procedures already listed)

Bruno

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/7/11 9:10 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
in fact I really don't understand why you write:

Claudiu:

think this was an issue specific to me, but i was intending to want a "PCE" and "AF" instead of intending to be happy and harmless.


Why is this an issue at all? Sure I intend to have PCEs and AF, the only reason I am doing the whole thing is because of the various PCEs/EEs, that evidence peace on earth is both possible and fun.

i put them in quotes to indicate that i was trying to get a "PCE", as in my mental image of what i thought a PCE would be like. the issue is/was that i dont have a clear recollection or experience of a PCE, so i really have no idea what it's like, and it is an unimaginable experience (can't imagine having it as imagination is affective) so any attempt to imagine what it's like and try to experience the world that way is doomed to fail (it's the opposite of naivete).

that's probably only true for those who can't remember or have a PCE yet. once i've had a few, inclining my mind in that fashion seems the most direct way (remember what a PCE is like and find it here and now). until then, what i really gotta focus on is naive attentiveness while activating felicitous feelings

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/8/11 8:12 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Today in the park I had the distinct sensation that there was a feeling of space being projected onto the visual field. The visual field being perfectly clear except for this projected "reality." It seems the tension in the neck and back of the head is happening due to this projection: this tension is the "beamer", so to speak. And the crown and third eye chakras are playing a role in this fabrication, continuing the analogy they seem to work as the projector screen. Since these regions of the brain are supposedly where understanding and higher level cognition happen, this could well explain feeling that something is real, when it is not fact.

It also seems that the way to see through it, to dissolve this sense of space, is to be completely fully super engaged into what is happening right now. I mean super engaged, like the nerves are just sucking in everything.

This is, however, a tentative interpretation of some experience, and I often change my mind about these.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/20/11 6:43 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Over the past week or two, I've had a few quite difficult days. The harsh discomfort of existing has shown itself on numerous occasions; it felt pronouncedly unpleasant to "be." The sensation is of restlessness, agitation, the impulse of throwing an angry tantrum at having to do this trip locked in this vehicle. All the while, the trees and leaves dance magnificently "outside", but "I" hate looking "out the window."

I was repeatedly assaulted by discontentment and exasperation, and suffered through entire days when reality took on a bland, wearisome and oppressive flavor. If only I was not so adamantly convinced that the universe is perfect as-it-is, if the memory of my brightest Excellence Experience did not resurface to reinforce my intent, I would have surely bought into the foolish mental fabrications that relentlessly assaulted my resolve. I also snipped this quotation from Richard's Journal:

Richard:

However, a word of experiential advice: just prior to apperception occurring, ‘I’, the beholder – the one who wants to be in control – can view life as being bereft of depth. Everything can become flat, two-​dimensional, barren and stark. This is not actuality, although one may be inclined to feel it to be so. This is reality, stark reality, and is not to be confused with actuality. Actuality is never, ever, stark. This starkness can influence one to pull back, to retreat into ‘normal’ life. Courage of one’s conviction and confidence in the purity of the actual is essential if one is to proceed. All of one’s ‘being’ wants to back off and regain the once-​despised reality that looks so attractive now, from this extreme position. This stark reality is a barrier; it is a desert of monumental proportions that one can only traverse if supplied with the fortitude garnered from the peak experience. Then one is willing to endure the ghastly reality masquerading as the actual. The very ground beneath one’s feet can appear to shift, to disappear, and all seems to hang upon nothing. Unsupported and alone, one is in the outer-​most reaches of ‘being’. The feeling is that one cannot survive this appalling emptiness without going mad. To be in durance vile is not for the faint-​hearted, the weak of knee. Nerves of steel are essential if one is to meet one’s destiny. It is the adventure of a life-​time.


I still imagine myself teaching others about the most various subjects, from the right way to cook a pizza, to much more bold suggestions on how they should be living their lives. I still try to imagine what it will be like to be 'actually free.' My mental chatter box is so relentless...

I am happy to register, however, that the imaginations where someone would accuse me of wrongdoing, leading me to mentally defend myself against my own imaginary phantasms, have subdued considerably.

This weekend I've had a delicious visit from Clayton, a friendly asshat who most frequently posts over at KFD. His advice towards nailing 4th path: look at the sense of 'not being done' over and over again. I asked him if there was a specific location in the body where he experienced this sensation of 'not being done' before he got 4th, and he told me it was mostly related to the heart chakra, which went through a significant opening at the moment of path attainment.

So I proceeded to focus on the heart region, which at first seemed dead, but the deadness turned out to be tension; this tension became markedly sore as I investigated further, and then it started to twitch, tingle, pulsate and itch, all accompanied by an increase in pressure and a variation of the existential discomfort I mentioned earlier. And this is where things currently stand.

But we are having a long sequence of splendid sunny days here in Amsterdam, including even a balmy warm breeze so rare in these parts --- just this weekend, the emerald green grass looked so luscious that I was briefly taken by a herbivorous impulse (surely from the time of my previous reincarnation a cow).

Moo!

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/20/11 8:32 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
His advice towards nailing 4th path: look at the sense of 'not being done' over and over again.

aye i've recently (re)discovered this sense of 'not being done' to be such a huge painful source of painful pain. generally it seems i'm not very equanimous with negative sensations. that seemed to mean i was taking them to be me (as opposed to just more sensations), and realizing that took the bite out of them. but it seems the sense of not being done i had never even considered it might not be me.. so whenever it arose i'd immediately react to it (negatively). but yeah it really is just something else to investigate, isn't it?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/21/11 8:47 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Yea, the being can get pretty ruthless with the passions but the deeper you are attentive and investigate, the more pleasurable, engrained, and easy sensuousness becomes until you can get into a peak experience easily and those are just awesome and soooooooo satisfying. One has to figure everything out for themselves on how to make key actualizations. This is the way to improvement and satisfaction. Being on the edge of being is sometimes dull/bland but right now, for me, the daily and extremely fun/satisfying peak experience is worth all the trouble.

Also, I don't really understand why both of you are still trying to "nail" 4th path. Focusing and obsessing on happy and harmlessness/sensuousness/PCE will bring greater satisfaction than mctb 4th path etc. focusing on path seems like a time waster. But thats just how I "feel."

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/21/11 10:42 PM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam Bieber:
Yea, the being can get pretty ruthless with the passions but the deeper you are attentive and investigate, the more pleasurable, engrained, and easy sensuousness becomes until you can get into a peak experience easily and those are just awesome and soooooooo satisfying. One has to figure everything out for themselves on how to make key actualizations. This is the way to improvement and satisfaction. Being on the edge of being is sometimes dull/bland but right now, for me, the daily and extremely fun/satisfying peak experience is worth all the trouble.

hehe sounds like you're having fun. i'm also enjoying sensuousness more and more.

Adam Bieber:
Also, I don't really understand why both of you are still trying to "nail" 4th path. Focusing and obsessing on happy and harmlessness/sensuousness/PCE will bring greater satisfaction than mctb 4th path etc. focusing on path seems like a time waster. But thats just how I "feel."

i had given up on it, though it was still gripping me. then i gave up the gripping for a bit. that resulted in a really sweet shift where i could so easily be 'the doing of the moment'.. just it became so much easier to observe my movements and to look at everything in a panoramic way. so i was like "sweet there's still good stuff here". recently i had another one which now i can see that bodily sensations really obviously arise & fall at that very spot. e.g if i rub my hand on my leg, it's like there's the feeling of touch - on my hand and leg (as opposed to more of a 'me observing the hand and leg sensations from over here').

so i think there are goodies left there. attentiveness/sensuousness seems to be a good exercise for 3rd path anyway, so i guess there is progress on both fronts, there, and im finding it relaxing to close my eyes and meditate occasionally. particularly i realized i really dont feel many parts of my body.. there are like hot spots that draw the attention in and kind of muddled areas. the two sits ive gently brought the attention to all parts of the body have been really calming.

end goal is AF.. but this seems to be reducing suffering along the way.. which also incidentally helps with the actualist method!

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/22/11 7:09 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
sweet shifts are the actualizations that lead deeper into the actual and the diminishment of the self and passions. Like I said, these sweet shifts can only be found, understood, then implemented by you (with help from readings) and then will change the way you practice/the strategies. Sweet shifts are also like the strategies for you to consistently implement in order to progress. They do "feel" great and "feel" great for a reason. Because they are right. If a sweet shift makes you happier, more harmless, more attentive, more sensuous, then gently stay in the shift until you find more deeper shifts, which there will be that will take one deeper into the enjoyment of the actual. Sometimes a shift is found but has to be consciously implemented to take the shift from a working progress to automatic. Right now, my current shift, is "being" the mind. "I" see with the mind sort, take in all the senses, and investigate. Most of the time, there is a subtle feeling. Then after some time, i forget about investigating and just fully enjoy where I am.

I don't pay much attention to meditation anymore but if its fun and easy then have fun. I'm getting more and more into how actualism is the adventure of one's life because your investigating the being and the deeper you go with attentiveness, the deeper and more joyful sensuosness/peak experiences get. I also close my eyes and just relax. Its so enjoyable to just sit/walk around now and sink into the relaxation/happiness. Sometimes I just sink into the actual losing all drive to do but instead just enjoy.

I am still in school and not fully sure how I am going to "make a living" but "I" know "I" must be fully free. I am obsessed now. It is the most important thing in my life. Being in a peak experience/PCE is just so much better than not being in one. Some settings like the sunny outdoors are much easier to get into a peak experience/PCE. Also, when "I" am "going" for a peak experience, I put on my glasses to make everything look clearer and better. I have definitely gained a certain momentum to keep experiencing the actual. Who knows if theres more out there after a AF, doesn't seem so, but to get AF first is "my" way to go into the happy perfection of the actual. If you do the work, you get the vast rewards, plain and simple.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/22/11 7:56 AM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam Bieber:
I also close my eyes and just relax. Its so enjoyable to just sit/walk around now and sink into the relaxation/happiness. Sometimes I just sink into the actual losing all drive to do but instead just enjoy.
that's part of my issue - it's hard for me to just relax. too much tensing from meditation, i think. i've been gradually working on that. it seems a large part of it has been that i haven't had much equanimity regarding negative sensations, so as soon as they'd arise i'd get all scrambled trying to do something about them. i find closed-eye meditation to be a good way to learn to be equanimous towards all sensations, and i think that equanimity is helping during non-meditation-sessions as well

Adam Bieber:
Also, when "I" am "going" for a peak experience, I put on my glasses to make everything look clearer and better.
recently i got contacts, and i find i am enjoying the lack of visual distortion that glasses provide (e.g. keep your eyes focused on one spot, then turn your head to the right - everything gets kinda compressed). makes it even easier to enjoy the visual field

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/22/11 8:41 AM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam Bieber:

Also, I don't really understand why both of you are still trying to "nail" 4th path. Focusing and obsessing on happy and harmlessness/sensuousness/PCE will bring greater satisfaction than mctb 4th path etc. focusing on path seems like a time waster. But thats just how I "feel."


4th path WILL make it much much easier if pure intent takes hold. I seem to have begun a dismantling process I can't stop as it seems too easy. And prolonging sensuousness is a piece of cake.

That grinding harsh insight disease goes away as well. So Claudiu may not have to deal with the "gripping".

Claudiu: "i had given up on it, though it was still gripping me."


If pure intent has already taken hold pre-4th path, I don't see why AF can't be taken as a sequential occurrence after 4th. Technically it seems MCTB 4th can be done quite quickly. Tarin, Trent, myself and a growing number of other yogis I think did it within 6 months to a year from 1st path to MCTB 4th path. Then seemingly very quickly (within a year) from 4th to AF for most of those admitting AF. It seems much quicker to go via that route to AF than no path and then AF or so the numbers so far tell us of those who haven't gotten at least 1st path then AF.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/22/11 10:16 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*:
If pure intent has already taken hold pre-4th path, I don't see why AF can't be taken as a sequential occurrence after 4th. Technically it seems MCTB 4th can be done quite quickly. Tarin, Trent, myself and a growing number of other yogis I think did it within 6 months to a year from 1st path to MCTB 4th path.
sweet only a month for me to go then! =)

i dont feel like "gunning for 4th path", since that approach didn't work for me (got me really wound up). from what i remember of reading about your 4th-path-sit, you were not-very-calmly wondering "what am i missing?!?" and then it clicked for you, but i just get caught up in circles. but calming down, feeling my whole body, light panoramic awareness while walking around, seems to be doing it. so maybe it will end up in 4th path before AF, i dnno. currently the two processes (if they are separate) seem intertwined, each one helping the other (vipassana shifts make it easier and more effortless to observe everything and increases sensual clarity[1].. that makes it easier to enjoy the senses and feel good, which makes attentiveness+sensuousness easier and removes the hold emotions have.. those processes lessen the importance of the 'self' which makes it easier to observe the sensations that make it up (it unsticks me from the circles/from mental squeezing), which seems like it leads to vipassana shifts).

[1] i like vipassana shifts cause i dont have to 'do' anything once they happen. its like sweet, this is now my baseline (unless im overwhelmed by an emotion). they move up the baseline in quanta - discrete steps. actualist method shifts is not really shifts but just a continuous process of slowly lifting the baseline, so it's harder to notice.. though any given day it seems like the senses are brighter than the week before. but by this point i dont even know what particularly im doing to make them brighter.. it seems like it has become automatic to a certain extent

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/22/11 10:26 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
YEh, I don't think "gunning it to 4th" will work. There seems to be a certain amount of "giving up" and "surrender" to the process. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that is what Tarin did throughout the paths. I also gave up at the last minute of wondering what the hell was there to do and just finally having the point rammed home that "I" had nothing to do with getting it done. But here's a question, are there any sensations which appear to be "more important" or of higher status than other sensations? That might be something to look at. The non-sacredness of all phenomena" was the phrase which finally did it for me. I looked carefully at the sensations of the centrepoint as they were being put up on an imaginary throne. When they were seen completely through, that is when the thing flipped, and things became less sticky, and the gripping insight disease dissapeared. I have called 4th path not so satisfactory and it isn't by my high ideals. But it sure beats 3rd path and seems ideal as a launching pad for AF.

Not my toilet
Answer
4/22/11 10:46 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I was discussing with Guilherme the yesterday, who got 4th very recently, and asked him if he had some tips or suggestions to nail 4th. He happened to have something to say, which was very funny. Below is an approximate translation of the dialogue from the original Portuguese.


Gui. You told me previously you had energy blockages.
Bruno. Yeah.
Gui. Well you have to stop seeing them as a problem, stop seeing them as important.
Bruno. How do I do that?!
Gui. Hmm... Well, suppose the toilet is clogged... Does this bother you?
Bruno. Heh emoticon well, I guess I'd prefer if the toilet wasn't clogged!
Gui. Ah, but here is the point: it's not your toilet! You think the energy blockages are yours.
Bruno. hmm...
Gui. There is an 'owner' there, isn't there?
Bruno. hmm...


I would like to say that I got enlightened then and there, for what better a koan than one involving a dirty toilet!

The koan had such an aesthetic appeal, that the past day I found myself thinking repeatedly:

It is not my toilet emoticon

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
4/22/11 11:03 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I was discussing with Guilherme the yesterday, who got 4th very recently, and asked him if he had some tips or suggestions to nail 4th. He happened to have something to say, which was very funny. Below is an approximate translation of the dialogue from the original Portuguese.


Gui. You told me previously you had energy blockages.
Bruno. Yeah.
Gui. Well you have to stop seeing them as a problem, stop seeing them as important.
Bruno. How do I do that?!
Gui. Hmm... Well, suppose the toilet is clogged... Does this bother you?
Bruno. Heh emoticon well, I guess I'd prefer if the toilet wasn't clogged!
Gui. Ah, but here is the point: it's not your toilet! You think the energy blockages are yours.
Bruno. hmm...
Gui. There is an 'owner' there, isn't there?
Bruno. hmm...


I would like to say that I got enlightened then and there, for what better a koan than one involving a dirty toilet!

The koan had such an aesthetic appeal, that the past day I found myself thinking repeatedly:

It is not my toilet emoticon

haha awesome! i believe all these tips are pointing to the same thing...

Nick Yeti:
Are there any sensations which appear to be "more important" or of higher status than other sensations?

there certainly are. up until very recently, all the negative ones have been really important - like gah no not the negative one! no this sucks! fwiafeofa! im learning to calm down about those..

the tension in my head in particular has been really important..and i really haven't wanted to look at it, cause when i do i cramp up. but doing the body-feeling practice has diminished it greatly. basically i plan on calming down enough until i can look at it all equanimously.. and not seeing it as important or special or 'mine' is certainly a good tip that i'll keep in mind

it's not my toilet - haha. i'll remember that one.

the fear has been if i let 'it' do whatever it wants ('it' being the negative tension/sensations) then 'it' will eat me, or something. but it seems quite the opposite - being averse to it lets it eat me

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
4/22/11 4:49 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It is not my toilet emoticon

also: the good sensations aren't mine, either. i was sticking to those, too. does something feel cool when meditating? do you think youre making progress? also not your sensations.

when yo'ure in an awkward place.. or waiting for sometihng to happen (like you feel an energy blockage is about to move so you watch it) - also not yours..

methinks there's just the awareness. awareness being aware of awareness. thats probably what the "turn the light of awareness on itself" line is getting at. there's no room for 'me' in awareness.. so being aware of awareness is a good way to automatically be equanimous and see sensations as selfless. that might also be why apperception seems to help in getting 4th path. hmm, i wonder if that's why that instruction worked particularly well for him, having had a PCE already (just a few hours of doing it and he finished), and why a PCE happened right when he succeeded.. though then i wonder why people don't get enlightened after their first PCE. EDT: or i just dont know what im talkin about

another thing: i noticed that i would try to see sensations as selfless. 'that is happening by itself', i'd tell myself. but that is different than just seeing the sensations as selfless. meaning.. i was trying to look at them a particular way, instead of just finding out how it actually is

EDIT: oh the other one i just tried is: do a reclining meditation where the back of your head is touching something. perceive the back of your head - it seems to be way behind you. perceive what youre looking at (closed eyes or not) - seems to be way in front. so using those two, looking back and looking forward, try to find exactly where you are...

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
4/22/11 7:36 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Just saying, although my last several days were great, today was a little dull/bland. couldn't seem to dissipate the being and was locked in the passions for most of the day. Just trying to be as happy as humanly possible and it works but for temporary periods, other wise I'm content. maybe I need to be more harmless. I am investigating hardcore, which might over express the being instead of becoming harmless.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/25/11 8:12 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*:
YEh, I don't think "gunning it to 4th" will work. There seems to be a certain amount of "giving up" and "surrender" to the process. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that is what Tarin did throughout the paths. I also gave up at the last minute of wondering what the hell was there to do and just finally having the point rammed home that "I" had nothing to do with getting it done. But here's a question, are there any sensations which appear to be "more important" or of higher status than other sensations? That might be something to look at. The non-sacredness of all phenomena" was the phrase which finally did it for me. I looked carefully at the sensations of the centrepoint as they were being put up on an imaginary throne. When they were seen completely through, that is when the thing flipped, and things became less sticky, and the gripping insight disease dissapeared. I have called 4th path not so satisfactory and it isn't by my high ideals. But it sure beats 3rd path and seems ideal as a launching pad for AF.

hmm well i meditated ~4-5 hrs yesterday with 30 min breaks in between. i found that the (reclining) sits generally started with unpleasant sensations and states of mind, and then regardless of what i did - whether i was relaxing, or expanding the space in front of me, or seeing all sensations as selfless, or seeing them all as equally (un)important, or giving up control - i eventually get to a 4th jhana+equanimity state (i say equanimity cause there's light blue color in my vision which i've come to associate with that nyana). then i hang out there for a bit, faintly cycling (as i notice gaps, dimming of vision, brightening of vision, tingling, coming+going, so i think i am fruition+cycling) but the cycling doesn't disturb the equanimity much. then it's just like everything is totally ok.. i can move my head, and it doesn't affect the state. i can move my body around.. think whatever.. everything is just fine.

there are slight variations of the equanimous state.. like sometimes all sensations seem like they're in the same place, be it left foot or head. sometimes my body feels as one.

it's all quite nice.. yet after i get up, even with only 30 mins to the next sit, the next sit starts out unhappy, then leads there again.

i even resumed noting a bit and that seemed to budge it a bit but it ended up in an even 'deeper' version of the equanimity that also didn't budge.

it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.. hmm i guess that's the hallmark of equanimity, though..

what's also annoying is that it doesn't last. during the 30 minutes i was being attentive and such, but the following sit would still start off unpleasant.. and after the last (4th) sit, mood went quite down 1 hr/2 after that. though immediately after it's pretty nice. but i cant sit for ~20-30 minutes (about how long it takes) whenever i feel unhappy during the week

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/25/11 8:23 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I think Tarin's advice can also apply to MCTB 4th path:

Tarin:


i'm writing this for stream-enterers, to suggest an alternate way of
doing 2nd path; alternate, that is, to what daniel ingram writes about
in 'mastering the core teachings of the buddha'. keep in mind as you
read this that the evidence behind this suggestion is mostly based on
the experiences of one person, me. i should also point out that in no
way am i knocking what worked so well for me for getting 1st path. i
would probably still be wandering around aimlessly, alternating
between getting oddly neurotic about my crap and spacing out into
equanimity and the formless strata, if it weren't for daniel, his
book, mahasi, and the maps. however, my rapid success at finishing 2nd
path makes me think this is worth putting out there because the method
i employed was so markedly different from how daniel portrays 2nd path
practice that i think other people should know about this alternative
as a possibility.

daniel recommends doing 2nd path like he recommends doing 1st path:
note note note, rise through the cycles, let it sync up, pop a
fruition. i did not do this. in fact, although i'd already dropped
into the next mind-and-body, i thought it might be better to not start
another path so soon and made no effort to cross the a&p. i went about
my daily life, making little or no time for formal practice, and
electing instead to, purely out of curiosity and fascination, watch
inclusively and in particular to see through the sensations that make
up the notions of 'inclusive', 'watching', and 'centre' whenever it
occurred to me to do so, or whenever it just happened on its own
(which, upon reflection, happened pretty often). the times i noticed
the cycles at all, i noticed them in a very basic and uninterested
way, made no effort to investigate them or the sensations that make
them up, and only recognised when i'd broken into a new stage after a
day or two had already passed. in retrospect, the a&p was inspiring
and energised, the dark night sucked, and equanimity was equanimity..
but i wouldn't have been able to tell you that while it was going on
(except by two days into the dark night, i knew it sucked).

here is the suggestion:
if, in working on 2nd path, you find yourself scrambling up the
insight ladder just because you think you're supposed to, but are not
sure why you're doing this, it might work for you to focus on seeing
the quality of the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive
way, keeping a clear eye on the so-called background to see if
anything's moving around back here. ignore everything that is not
obviously the clear and direct answer of paying attention here and
now.

it didn't occur to me, for the most part, to try to move from one
stage to another, but while i was in the dark night, i got concerned
about making progress for a day or two. but when it occurred to me
that i was only doing that because of pain and worry, i resolved to
stop running away and promptly did. if you tune your eye in to the
here and now, all that stuff will just rush by like water going down
the drain. just keep re-tuning your eye to this, knowing that none of
it is the solution. scary, mildly yet deeply painful, but try to run
this process in the back of your mind again and again while you're
going about your day. that's all i did, and less than a week after
crossing the new a&p, i got a fruition that left the background
shattered thoroughly and in an entirely new way. i had no idea i was
that close. it took a few hours to be sure i'd really finished the
path (but that still beat the few days it took to be sure about the
first one), and when i'd answered that question to my own
satisfaction, the certainty did not come from having had another
fruition, but from the clear difference in my baseline (read: right
now) perception and the diminished level of solidity in it.

so, once again:

see the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive way, paying
careful attention to the totality of experience as well as what seems
to be 'outside' that totality. don't get caught up about what things
mean and if you do, don't give a shit that you're caught up cos you're
not really, you just think you are. just keep paying attention in such
a way that nothing will take it away. the cycles may, and probably
will, happen, but ignore them and basically just practise as if you're
already in equanimity regardless of what shows up.

you don't have to wait until going for 3rd path to do this if it makes
sense to you to do this here and now.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/25/11 8:42 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
hehe this is all getting really old.. reading stuff i read and did months ago, seeing that it still applies now, doing it again.. ty for re-iterating that, though..

a few minutes ago i noticed that i was actually feeling really really nice and calm and peaceful and everything was really nice, and that 5 hours of equanimity/4th jhana/whatnot seem to have been helpful.. then i noticed it again.. then i noticed it again.. and again.. then i noticed that i wasn't just noticing and enjoying it but i kept thinking about it and the latter was markedly disturbing me.. (and the baseline calmness really helped to make that clear and not get caught up in it). so:

don't get caught up about what things
mean and if you do, don't give a shit that you're caught up cos you're
not really, you just think you are. just keep paying attention in such
a way that nothing will take it away.

indeed.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
4/25/11 6:43 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Absolutely:

here is the suggestion:
if, in working on 2nd path, you find yourself scrambling up the
insight ladder just because you think you're supposed to, but are not
sure why you're doing this, it might work for you to focus on seeing
the quality of the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive
way, keeping a clear eye on the so-called background to see if
anything's moving around back here. ignore everything that is not
obviously the clear and direct answer of paying attention here and
now.


Noting has always reinforced for me "Observer", "Awareness", some central entity, ultimately a form of katy ever sans identity.

It is very very easy and straight forward to be the senses to the degree that self-interest allows its own abeyance (e.g., one's identity becomes really curious/needful to do this), even if only for a brief, albeit authentic, window of opportunity.

A person doesn't need to have constant intention to evaporate i-ness, just a single moment will do in which a person is sincere and willing to take advantage of that opportunity. At that moment, sense.

The "practice" of sensing is a great part of cross-training in dissolution, if there are no contra-indications (as with the other efforts/training).

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
4/30/11 8:23 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I was discussing with Guilherme the yesterday, who got 4th very recently, and asked him if he had some tips or suggestions to nail 4th. He happened to have something to say, which was very funny. Below is an approximate translation of the dialogue from the original Portuguese.


Gui. You told me previously you had energy blockages.
Bruno. Yeah.
Gui. Well you have to stop seeing them as a problem, stop seeing them as important.
Bruno. How do I do that?!
Gui. Hmm... Well, suppose the toilet is clogged... Does this bother you?
Bruno. Heh emoticon well, I guess I'd prefer if the toilet wasn't clogged!
Gui. Ah, but here is the point: it's not your toilet! You think the energy blockages are yours.
Bruno. hmm...
Gui. There is an 'owner' there, isn't there?
Bruno. hmm...


I would like to say that I got enlightened then and there, for what better a koan than one involving a dirty toilet!

The koan had such an aesthetic appeal, that the past day I found myself thinking repeatedly:

It is not my toilet emoticon


hehe! That brought a chuckle.

I may be off base here but if there is a clogged toilet without an owner, the toilet is still clogged no? But its all good, it isn't my toilet?

Seems to contrast with 'my' feelings are 'me', no?

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
4/30/11 3:23 PM as a reply to Matt L.
Matt Lowrey:
I may be off base here but if there is a clogged toilet without an owner, the toilet is still clogged no? But its all good, it isn't my toilet?

Seems to contrast with 'my' feelings are 'me', no?

something dan said on nick's blog may be relevant (emphasis mine):

Dan Bartlett:
Also I am moving away from the clarity and investigation aspects and seeing that it is all about me and my feelings, and all being together in this, all wanting this, so that there is nothing outside to get in my way.
...
I moved in this direction after some deeper clarity into 'I am my feelings..', such that I saw clearly that all I was afraid of – my fear and anxiety - was also me. That feeling of fear being 'out there' took a solid hit – it was just me scared of myself! If I am my feelings and my feelings are me then it is only inner conflict that corrupts pure intent, and the way to generate pure intent is to recognise the entirety of being (literally all that I am) and gently establish a unified intent. For me, this lead to a state that felt almost solipsistic. Everything was seen as me, yet the illusion of me was also apparent.

It was this period of clarity that lead me to focus more on me and my feelings; on establishing a shared intent, and through that intent seeing that guilt, fear and desire are simply me chasing my own tail. It is the energy of feelings that makes it feel as though what I am afraid of is 'out there', but it is just me battling myself due to the heart of the illusion: the apparent split between me and my feelings. Insight into this illusion reduces feelings of separation and 'out there's' – there are just many aspects of being that must agree on what they want.

(i think Dan is 4th path)

it seems like a contrast/contradiction.. but it's basically realizing that all the fear and anxiety and emotions as such (the things that even some 4th pathers might want to keep around) are all different aspects of 'me', which 'me' is just an illusion (it's not special, just another combination of sensations). you can see that it's all a combination of sensations without realizing the root cause or nature of the emotions (ignorance/desire)...

or something. if someone can say it better then please do as i hit my head against this sometimes too.

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
4/30/11 6:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Here is what I understand from reading dan's reply and yours, is this about right?

Its much nicer/easier to see everything as me (in a solipsistic unitive sense) and at the same time also see it as illusion than it is to have the dualistic split and see the small me as illusion.

Thats a hard one to grasp hehe. I can definitely understand that it would be much nicer with all the 'good' feelings being generated as a result of that state. I can also see that one would have to have a discerning eye on the illusion. I am just taking a punt here as my only time of 'seeing everything as me' in a 100% sense I was totally whisked away with it and only saw the illusion after I'd come back to earth.

This one has me fooled:

"It was this period of clarity that lead me to focus more on me and my feelings; on establishing a shared intent, and through that intent seeing that guilt, fear and desire are simply me chasing my own tail"

Who is sharing the intent? The intention of 'I' and 'me' ('my' intent as a result of a PCE)? I am confused on this point.




[tangential addendum: this stuff piqued my interest as yesterday on a walk by the park/lake/zoo I had a lot of wonder going on so much so that for the first time I was able to actually see that 'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'. I was looking at the sensations that made up the sense of separation - this separation is almost comically an illusion at the moment. This made me observe the desire for unity that sustains the sense of separation, ta Bruno. This coupled with the clarity of wonder I was able to see the 'entity' for the first time. Aha! How cheeky the 'me' is to be hiding in plain sight! The 'me' that creates both the separation and the unity as well as all the other feelings that make me a 'me'! Amazing.]

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
5/1/11 9:52 AM as a reply to Matt L.
This one has me fooled:

"It was this period of clarity that lead me to focus more on me and my feelings; on establishing a shared intent, and through that intent seeing that guilt, fear and desire are simply me chasing my own tail"

Who is sharing the intent? The intention of 'I' and 'me' ('my' intent as a result of a PCE)? I am confused on this point.


I am going through the same stage, it would seem, as Dan. And what he says makes perfect sense. It feels, as an insight meditator, that I have conditioned the mind to see feelings as separate from the notion of "self". They are "not-self". So there is awareness and then there are feelings that arise. "I" am not seen in those feelings.

But really, "I" am those feelings and those feelings are "me". A feeling "me" still persists regardless of seeing things as not-self or not. It is still illusory though. One may overlook this as I have for awhile now. So there seems to be two modes of perceiving that one decides to join together. Yes, the illusion of self is an illusion. There really is no self to be found in arising and passing away phenomena. That has not changed. But I also acknowledge that a illusory feeling "me" persists via affective feelings and I can now share the intent to end suffering, in a sense, with those two views.

We now use the illusion of a feeling "me" by making "me" happy and harmless (cultivating felicitous feelings) rather than seeing those feelings as purely not-self phenomena (which paradoxically is true or so it would seem). From a state of "me" being felicitous feelings, "I" don't struggle to keep existing and am less inclined to persist in keeping the illusion flowing continuously-->PCE mode and eventually AF.

We use the illusion of a feeling "me" as our raft to get from the fearful dangerous miserably rough deep ocean into the shallow and crystal clear waters just off the coast of our tropical island, where the coral and tropical fish are in abundance (felicitous feelings). Here, "I" am not fearful of being out in the deep dark sea as "I" am in the safe and happy waters close to the destination. "I" am relaxed and appreciating the wildlife and beauty of the shallow waters. The shore is in sight. I can now chose to jump into the water and swim to the beach (PCE) without any struggle. No fear-inducing sharks about.

Am I making sense? Sometimes i talk out my arse.
:-)

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
5/1/11 8:02 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Thanks for clarifying NBMBY. It does make some more sense now. It is a curious approach to it that you have to take from where you are (in comparison to my approach).

At the risk of hijacking Bruno's thread, are there any other quirks of the 3 characteristics in your approach (for example the no-self being applied to feelings)?

And does one still try to use the 3 characteristics when in a PCE? Or can they not be applied then somehow? I ask because it seems (from my reading, not my experience) that while in a PCE it would not have the impermanence/sampling thing nor the not-satisfying/suffering thing? I have noted that while teetering along the edge of PCE without quite making it that the suffering seems to be localised to a 'me' and there is not the perspective of sampling (or rather I was dropping in and out of sampling, I think), hence my query.

Do you live in the Blue Mountains area out of curiosity? Are you actually a Yowie? It is a particularly nice part of aus for a Yowie.

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
5/1/11 9:03 PM as a reply to Matt L.
Thanks for clarifying NBMBY. It does make some more sense now. It is a curious approach to it that you have to take from where you are (in comparison to my approach).

At the risk of hijacking Bruno's thread, are there any other quirks of the 3 characteristics in your approach (for example the no-self being applied to feelings)?



I've been dealing with the three characteristics for over a decade of practice. It's a hard habit to break but it got me to 4th path. And it seems I've conditioned myself to see all phenomena as not-self, impermanent and unsatisfactory. So i speak from this situation.

But I am now not allowing this tendency to stop myself from ackowledging that the illusion of self continues as a feeling "me". I can either practice insight and see the feelings as not-self and let them arise and pass, arise and pass. But I do not wish to continue doing that. I'd like to put a stop to the whole fiasco. 4th path showed me that the brain can change drastically. PCE practice has showed me that it can change even further.

I do so via accepting that this illusory feeling "me" still persists, and still bites me on the arse. If I stop dis-identifying with with the phenomena that make it up and just accept that "I" am my feelings and my feelings are "me", I am then more able to put aside the whole notion of not-self (it was a good tool for getting to 4th path), and just get back to feeling happy and harmless in order to trigger PCE mode. I am not aiming to dis-identify with anything anymore but ride the raft of a feeling "me" into calmer waters so that I can jump to shore permanently (AF). I'm over training the alien monkey to behave. The goal changed and thus the strategy has too.

And does one still try to use the 3 characteristics when in a PCE? Or can they not be applied then somehow? I ask because it seems (from my reading, not my experience) that while in a PCE it would not have the impermanence/sampling thing nor the not-satisfying/suffering thing?


I have dropped all noting and paying attention to the three charactersitcs. The 3 C's are always there to see. Can't seem to turn that off which may be a 4th path thing. I am aiming to get back to PCE mode via the felicitous "me" route. While in a PCE, there is no need to use the three C's as tools because life is grand. If utilizing the 3 C's gets you back to felicitous feelings, then by all means use the method you use. But once in PCE mode, all tools are dropped. I can still pay attention to the way things change in PCE mode though. There is just nothing there that needs to dis-identify from phenomena. And because there is no "me" there at all, there is no need to make the distinction of "not-self".

Do you live in the Blue Mountains area out of curiosity? Are you actually a Yowie? It is a particularly nice part of aus for a Yowie.


Originally from there, but living in Santiago, Chile at the moment. Hope to get there this year sometime. It's a yowie hotspot. I wish i was a real yowie! :-)

RE: Not my toilet
Answer
5/2/11 2:48 PM as a reply to Matt L.
Matt Lowrey:

I may be off base here but if there is a clogged toilet without an owner, the toilet is still clogged no? But its all good, it isn't my toilet?

Seems to contrast with 'my' feelings are 'me', no?


Yeah, but there is also an obsession with "changing" these blockages. There is a feeling that I must 'do something' to get them to go away: when I focus on the region, I can't avoid trying to manipulate the energetic sensations happening there, I try to 'do something' to dissolve the blockage. I took this to be what Guilherme was referring to.

During the past week I tried to observe in the most non-interfering way possible, waiting for these things to dissolve themselves, or no longer seem important. I don't know if that's what I should be doing, but a very nice side-result was that I got into high equanimity of whichever path or sub-path I'm currently traversing.

In high equanimity, I can be with unpleasant sensations with a very reduced level of reactivity.

This is a nice platform to investigate emotions. After reading a passage in Richard's Journal, I realized that the need for love was born out of, depended vitally upon, and fostered even further, a sense of separation (love is a bridge... between what?) . It seems that since that understanding I never again fantasized about a romantic relationship. Love lost its appeal, for it now seems to me as a completely misguided endeavor.

I'm currently interested in understanding sexual desire, which now manifests itself without the accompanying desire for romance. It would really be nice if that disappeared the same way, because for me it has always been a source of frustration and anguish (talk about not fulfilling expectations! talk about overly high expectations!). So I observe the associated sensations when they occur as equanimously as I can.

Bruno

PS. I think the other discussion happening here is interesting, but that it would be better if moved to a different thread. Also other people would benefit from having it in a separate thread with its own appropriate title (a forum admin could do this I think).

Sensual versus sensuous
Answer
5/6/11 4:55 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
In the past few days I have been exploring the issue of sexual desire. By a fortunate coincidence it is now springtime, and all I have to do is sit outside in the veranda of any café, for the universe is keen to supply an overflowing stream of handsome lightly clad young men, floating by in the pollen-filled spring breeze, each a terrific opportunity for said investigation to take place.

During these sits, it becomes very obvious that my mind has greater propensity towards producing imaginations of sexual fantasies, with the accompanying affective excitement, than getting involved in the sensuous delight of the surrounding scenario. On one occasion, I asked myself: "would I rather have a free pass to have affective sex with anyone, rather than a permanent access to sensuousness?" As usual with this kind of introspective question, the answer was a mix of yes and no. It wasn't at all clear why I should prefer sensuous over sensual, and this, I conjectured, was probably in the way.

So today I took the exercise one step further, and looked through my old digital porn collection. I was particularly interested in comparing sensual affective pleasure with sensuous unaffective delight. Just by use of not-so-long-term memory, I could recall that the use of imagination with masturbation always left me feeling empty and unsatisfied, to the point that in recent times I all but stopped doing the former when engaging in the latter. But erotic images and films still manage to arouse a powerful sexual urge.

Only this time I didn't pull out my wiener: I just browsed through while paying close attention to the urge to do so… what is it made of? why does it arise? what is it craving for, and why?

It was quite difficult and unpleasant to do. The sensations were a mix of sexual excitement, manifesting as a pleasant tingling and accompanying erection, and sexual urge, which is a craving of the most powerful kind that begins in the lower belly below the navel and manages to gradually and forcefully expand all the way to the solar plexus. Finally, very noticeable was a constant flux of micro-projections, when I imagine touching this or that part of the person portrayed, and how that would "feel," and these fuel both the excitement and the desire. The objects of desire were two: I wanted to carry out the imagined touching, and I wanted relief from the whole ordeal (an orgasm).

In the end I was tired and tense, and asked myself if this had helped me in any way to decide whether I prefer sensual pleasure or sensuous delight? And it occurred to me that sensual pleasure involved a great deal of suffering. Stress was involved, fabrications were unending, projections galore, and the expectations are always systematically unmet - in the best of scenarios I get the relief from orgasm and go to sleep, but typically I am left feeling empty (post coitum anima tristes est).

But sensuousness is completely free. It demands nothing, it is always there. Heck, it is in the orange bread crumbs that are laying in the blue plastic tupperware lid here next to me as I type this. There is no price, no toll, no tax. And whenever I manage to see/hear/taste/smell/touch with sensuousity, it always, systematically, unreservedly and completely satisfies.

What the hell was I thinking?! Yes, I do prefer sensuous over sensual!

RE: Sensual versus sensuous
Answer
5/6/11 6:12 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
you might find this selection from richard's correspondences informative (and possibly also instructive):
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd20.htm#09Dec09

and though there is a bit of repetition (the selection above is represented here as well), his 'selected correspondence on sex' is also worth a read.

tarin

RE: Sensual versus sensuous
Answer
5/6/11 9:59 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
The sensations were a mix of sexual excitement, manifesting as a pleasant tingling and accompanying erection, and sexual urge, which is a craving of the most powerful kind that begins in the lower belly below the navel and manages to gradually and forcefully expand all the way to the solar plexus. Finally, very noticeable was a constant flux of micro-projections, when I imagine touching this or that part of the person portrayed, and how that would "feel," and these fuel both the excitement and the desire.

i noticed some stuff about this too. there's an interesting interplay in the process of getting and staying horny via fantasizing...

first there is some inclination towards fantasizing which i usually don't catch (just a few moments after it arises). then some image comes up or some subconscious thought, and there's a rush of sensations in the belly area.. almost unpleasant, like a coarse maybe slightly anxious tinge? but it feels good at the same time. a few moments after that, inevitably, the state of erection starts/is increased in some way. then there's some interesting interplay of wanting more, causing another subconscious inclination, leading to another image/rush of sensations leading to more erection which leads to more subconscious inclination, etc. it's not just all one process, though, as i thought before.. pretty fascinating to watch it happen.

it feels very gripping, but if i just forget about it or am distracted it's gone within a few minutes. if i focus on it, it keeps increasing, thought.. hey, sounds like any emotion..

i think part of the gripping is not realizing the impermanence of the emotion (this applies to all emotions now). it wasn't there just a few moments ago.. but now it is.. and it will go away. perhaps thats why the HAIETMOBA method instructs you to see exactly when you stopped feeling good.. because then you realize that whatever happened, it wasn't there before, and now it is, meaning it must also disappear at some point, and thence it loses its grip and actually has a good chance of fading.

Bruno Loff:
Heck, it is in the orange bread crumbs that are laying in the blue plastic tupperware lid here next to me as I type this.

hehe

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/14/11 9:39 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
After my heart region started acting up really strong, I seem to have lost the ability to EE, as it doesn't happen as often as it did in the period I started this thread.

I have decided to move forward with my insight practice. I am dabbling along murky territory, somewhere between equanimity and dark night (sometimes a lot of equanimity, sometimes a lot of dark night).

My concentration is so bad that it is severely affecting my ability to do my work. I have decided to get it better by a home retreat, sometime in july-august, otherwise I will be unable to finish my PhD. It's incredible how on some days my eyes skim along the lines of text without any understanding.

Also I am plagued with episodes of random reactivity - restlessness, irritation, frustration, which appear to have no specific cause, will bubble up and stick around for three or four days, then I have one or two days of respite, and it returns.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/14/11 10:52 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
My concentration is so bad that it is severely affecting my ability to do my work. I have decided to get it better by a home retreat, sometime in july-august, otherwise I will be unable to finish my PhD. It's incredible how on some days my eyes skim along the lines of text without any understanding.


do you find work-concentration to be aided by meditative concentration? i haven't found much correlation, myself... if anything, having more meditative concentration makes it harder to work cause i want to meditate more =P.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/14/11 11:59 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Well I have neither just now. If I can't get my work concentration to improve, I'll quit my job, so it's worth a shot.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/14/11 12:14 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Well I have neither just now. If I can't get my work concentration to improve, I'll quit my job, so it's worth a shot.

it's probably dark night stuff (as you surmised), hopefully you can vipassana it away. and probably watch out so this doesnt happen again.

especially the random reactivity is pretty much dark night stuff.. maybe if you sit with it in a (vipassana) way where you just surrender to what is happening and don't fight it, it will take less than 3-4 days to pass

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/14/11 1:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
maybe its the instinctual passions making you feel raw. Also, maybe your definition of EE has changed because you have dismantled parts of your social identity. Like you might need to change your application of the method a bit, see what works, and get EEs from there. As the social identity dismantles, you'll need to "do" different things in order to ee/pce.

A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/15/11 11:19 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
As the situation was getting way out of hand — I would spend hours trying to read and understand math papers, but not being able to — I have advanced my concentration retreat starting today.

Just did my 1st hour of sitting focusing on the breath, now I'm off for the second.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/15/11 9:00 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
As the situation was getting way out of hand — I would spend hours trying to read and understand math papers, but not being able to — I have advanced my concentration retreat starting today.

Just did my 1st hour of sitting focusing on the breath, now I'm off for the second.


I would be interested to know if this method of jhana practice helps in your AF practice. It is doing wonders for mine.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2011/06/yogi-toolbox-pceaf-like-approach-to.html

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/15/11 10:02 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Bruno Loff:
As the situation was getting way out of hand — I would spend hours trying to read and understand math papers, but not being able to — I have advanced my concentration retreat starting today.

Just did my 1st hour of sitting focusing on the breath, now I'm off for the second.


I would be interested to know if this method of jhana practice helps in your AF practice. It is doing wonders for mine.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2011/06/yogi-toolbox-pceaf-like-approach-to.html


I will let you know as soon as I can reliably and repeatedly access the jhanas.


I will post here descriptions of my practice, and welcome anyone's comments and suggestions. My goal with this retreat is to learn how to make the mind tranquil. I wish to replace my disperse mind with a focused mind that can follow up on the tasks it decides to do.

Practically speaking, I will do jhana practice the whole retreat.

My current instructions are: attempt to keep the focus on the breath in the lower abdomen, while noticing the build-up of pleasurable sensations (which will in a few days serve to launch me into 1st jhana), and maintaining a clear mind as much as possible.

My first two sessions I've noticed a lot of sleepiness, and a tremendous difficulty in staying with the breath. I also shook a lot like in vipassana practice. I am counting 1-10 to stick with it.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/15/11 10:39 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
My first two sessions I've noticed a lot of sleepiness, and a tremendous difficulty in staying with the breath. I also shook a lot like in vipassana practice. I am counting 1-10 to stick with it.

just a suggestion - maybe it would be helpful to note the things that make it hard to stay w/ the breath? noting builds up concentration too. though if you want to avoid vipassana maybe not. although it seems to happen automatically to some extent anyway

RE: A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/15/11 11:21 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Thank you for the suggestion Claudiu. Ian also puts a lot of emphasis on mindfulness in his jhana thread.

A somewhat novel practice, which I am happy to engage in, is:

Ian Andrews:

There are some methods one can use in order to bring the monkey mind into check. One of these is a method that I used before I was exposed to Buddhist meditation techniques. The only reason I mention it here is because it WORKED. It involves simply telling the mind to STOP whenever mental proliferation begins. However, just telling the mind to STOP will not be effective. You must do it with INTENTION! A serious and strong dose of INTENTION must be present. It's important to note that it is not necessary to repeat a verbal command in the mind, but to saturate each instance when a thought arises with a strong desire or intention to stop. Through the sheer repetition of this command, with intention, the mind will eventually become harnessed and obey. This method is a direct assault upon the monkey mind in order to subdue it.

When any other thought enters the mind one crushes it with the intentional command to STOP. The more determined the perseverance, the better the result. The restless mind begins to give up the struggle. As you substitute every approaching thought with the command to stop, the periods of absolute quiescence become longer. At first it is only for a few seconds, but with constant practice there come minutes of unruffled peace. This method of the direct approach to quieting the mind can be practiced at any time of the day: walking down the street, sitting in a bus, in fact all day long whenever the mind is not immediately engaged in some necessary mental activity.


Let's silence this monkey mind once and for all!

RE: A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/15/11 11:42 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
A somewhat novel practice, which I am happy to engage in, is:


I'm glad someone claims this technique has worked for them, because, this is exactly what I do. I'm not as concerned about the monkey mind as most seem to be here. I'm more concerned about negative thoughts. I do what this guy did. Assuming the source and trigger of the negativity has already been flushed out, I command myself to stop and turn towards the beautiful stillness. It has definitely reduced my negativity a great deal. I couldn't recommend it enough. As far as the monkey mind goes. I see it as a symptom of constantly trying to figure out life so as to exploit it. And of course, a thousand disorders can arise from biological malfunctions, psychic trauma, harmful social conditioning. But assuming those disorders have been largely cured and one has aligned ones life towards the happy and harmless stillness then I hypothesize the mind will cease to jump around all on it's own. As we see that there is nothing to own, nothing to conquer, nothing to prove and that life is so indescribably beautiful then the mind settles into its new home. The here and now, this moment.

RE: A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/15/11 2:56 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Wow, my meditation always turns to vipassana. I can't seem to get any absorption, or pleasant sensations. In fact I am being reminded how difficult a vipassana retreat can get, I'm always either too tense or too sleepy. Tomorrow is a full day, I'll try again. For now I'll go to bed.

RE: A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/15/11 3:55 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
. In fact I am being reminded how difficult a vipassana retreat can get, I'm always either too tense or too sleepy. Tomorrow is a full day, I'll try again. For now I'll go to bed.


I also find that when I'm on "retreat", suddenly its all intense, beacuse it seems like retreat, especially a home one, for me, turns up the "wanting to get it" and that in turn leads to difficulties, at least thats how I hypothezie last weekend in which I got stuck in the DN. Some aggressive bam-bam-bam noting helped move that along.

I guess what also makes it harder is that there's no distraction time, which kinda 'eases the pain' so to speak.

Thanks for sharing your practice Bruno.

RE: A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/15/11 4:19 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Wow, my meditation always turns to vipassana. I can't seem to get any absorption, or pleasant sensations. In fact I am being reminded how difficult a vipassana retreat can get, I'm always either too tense or too sleepy. Tomorrow is a full day, I'll try again. For now I'll go to bed.

Similar thing happens to me now-a-days. Like if i sit and try to focus on subtle sensations, or focus on any particular sensation somewhere on my body, this cluster of sensations in my head hardens up and interferes.

what seemed to help is to realize it's not productive (maybe, just a thought, not sure) to force the mind to be concentrated in that way. like what seemed useful for me is to sit and try to relax any tension i'm feeling, in particular in the head. so i end up focusing on the head, but not 'focusing' in the 'try to penetrate' or 'try to see subtly' way, but just being aware of it with the intention of relaxing what's going on there so i can see what's up more clearly.

maybe something similar is happening to you? might just need to relax a bit if youre too tense.. forcing concentration might just make you more tense.

also i realized that the mind is not 'mine'. i can't make it do what 'i' want. Accayika Sutta

Now, that monk does not have the power or might [to say:] 'May my mind be released from fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance today or tomorrow or the next day.' But when the time has come, his mind is released from fermentations through lack of clinging/sustenance.


so the mind is basically a machine which acts in a predictable/desirable/skillful way, if you understand cause+effect well, and in an unpredictable/undesirable/unskillful way if you don't. all you can do is use volition (one of the 5 aggregates) to affect present-moment causes and conditions such that the proper conditions will eventually arise to accomplish what you set out to do, be it a fruition, 1st jhana, path, etc. this is difficult while one is still subject to desire and aversion...

but yea, basically, wanting it to be so doesn't make it so. have to tread carefully/skillfully.

RE: A retreat to improve concentration
Answer
6/16/11 2:25 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Sleepiness is a bitch, I'm going to follow every single advice Tarin mentions in this thread. (fasting included)

I am so drowsy that I can't avoid yawning all the time while doing walking meditation. So I've resorted to more extreme postures (link).

--

My retreat seems to have turned to a vipassana retreat. I'm having lots of back pain, tension, discomfort --- I'm guessing this is 3 chars, or possibly dark night (or else I have no idea). Boy it's unpleasant. I feel my nerves are so super-tight they're about to snap, as if I was clutching everywhere very very strongly. Anyone else had this/has suggestions? Tomorrow I might try a sauna, if it doesn't get better.

I will have to interrupt the retreat this weekend for personal reasons. Of course it's a bad idea, but can't be avoided without someone else's hurt feelings. I'm gonna take an 8 hour bus to Paris on saturday morning, then back on monday morning.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/16/11 6:33 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
hi,

Bruno Loff:
It's incredible how on some days my eyes skim along the lines of text without any understanding.


earlier i had the hunch that this is being caused by "dullness" and so i searched that term on accesstoinsight.org to find the pages linked and quoted below. this was before your recent posts about drowsiness, but i am not surprised to see them. sleepiness, just like dullness, is classified as part of the same hindrance (sloth/torpor or boredom (thīna-middha)). maybe these will help:


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khantipalo/wheel116.html:

It is interesting in this respect that tiredness is of two kinds: that relating to physical exhaustion; and the other kind which is mentally induced and involves the unskillful factors of sloth and torpor. While the former is of course unavoidable, the latter occurs only when the unskillful root of delusion (or dullness) becomes predominant in the mind. This happens when there is a situation which is unpleasant to "me," unwanted, and from which "I" want to escape. People complain that they become much more tired sitting in meditation while practicing intensively than they do when, say, they do a bit of heavy reading. When the self feels threatened by a self-revealing event, then this self, rooted in unknowing, throws up a dense fog of torpor proceeding from the root of delusion. On the other hand, many who have practiced much meditation remark that they do not have to sleep so long as they did formerly, while energy, when it becomes a perfection as practiced by the Bodhisatta, is quite natural and unforced.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wayof.html:

Through wrong reflection on a state of boredom and the like, sloth and torpor come to be. Boredom is just dissatisfaction. Lassitude is bodily laziness. Languidity of body is the bending of the body torpidly in getting up and in similar actions. Lethargy after a meal is a dizziness or slight faint which is due to eating a principal meal. It is also called the discomfort which follows such a meal. The mind's sluggishness is the dullness of the mind. An abundance of wrong reflection on boredom and similar states of mind produces sloth and torpor. Therefore the Blessed One said that much wrong reflection on boredom, lassitude, languidity of body, lethargy after a meal, and the mind's sluggishness, is a condition for the production of fresh sloth and torpor and the increase and expansion of sloth and torpor already come into being.

Through right reflection in inceptive energy and similar states of mind is brought about the overthrow of sloth and torpor. Inceptive energy is the effort first set afoot. Exertion is more powerful than the inceptive energy because it leaves indolence behind. And because of its assailing further and further of the destructive condition, progressive endeavor is more powerful than exertion. By the exercise of right reflection intensely on this threefold strenuousness sloth and torpor are cast out. Therefore the Blessed One said that the condition for keeping out new sloth and torpor, and for casting out sloth and torpor that is old, is abundant right reflection on the element of inceptive energy, of exertion and of progressive endeavor.

There are six things which lead to the casting out of sloth and torpor: The seeing of the reason of sloth and torpor in the fact of eating too much or gluttony; the changing of the postures completely; reflection on the perception of light; staying in the open; sympathetic and helpful companionship of the good; and stimulating talk that assists in dispelling sloth an torpor.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.22.0.bpit.html#fnt-52:

Moha: (Usually defined as stupidity, dullness of mind, bewilderment, infatuation, delusion). Moha is a cetasika that makes citta (mind) incapable of choosing between right and wrong, incapable of perceiving the four Noble Truths, incapable of practicing correctly for the perception of the four Noble Truths, incapable of adopting a proper mental attitude. It is called micchāñāṇa, the intellect that is capable of giving only evil counsel in all matters. Moha makes a person blind to the nature and Consequences of a demeritorious deed.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.051.than.html:

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen? There are boredom, weariness, yawning, drowsiness after a meal, & sluggishness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 2:32 AM as a reply to Trent ..

There are six things which lead to the casting out of sloth and torpor: The seeing of the reason of sloth and torpor in the fact of eating too much or gluttony; the changing of the postures completely; reflection on the perception of light; staying in the open; sympathetic and helpful companionship of the good; and stimulating talk that assists in dispelling sloth an torpor.


Well, thanks for the stimulating posts everyone emoticon

Hmm, there is also the issue that when I exert myself, the strain can become very strong. This only started happening late last year --- I have a thread on KFD mentioning this: I would try and do home retreats every weekend, but the strain was so violent that I ended up giving up, exhausted and in pain. Kenneth recommended I slowed down, and I did a bunch of stuff to learn to relax this strain (namely sauna).

Now it has come back, although so far not as violently as in those retreats. Like I wrote before, it feels as though in certain bodily locations I am grasping so mightily that they are about to break (though so far they haven't emoticon ). It is painful, and tense, and hard, and if I stick a finger in these locations it hurts (more than otherwise. The points are spine, middle of the head, chest, solar plexus, lower abdomen, every single one of these is a point mentioned in the chi kung energy charts.

I have read the instructions you gave to Jane in this thread (for dealing with fibromalgia), I wondered if I should try something similar.

Anyway, off to meditate.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 12:42 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey Bruno,

Trent's advice in that thread you linked above is really excellent advice. I wish I had read it when I was facing similar issues. Last year I was struggling with persistent pain in a spot located on the back between the shoulder blades. It got so bad at times that it interfered with my study/work commitments, and I had to take time off/ sick leave. I went to see several different doctors about it, did lots of physiotherapy which helped initially, but didn't provide any sort of long lasting relief. I should've clued in on the fact that what had brought it on wasn't physical in nature, but very much emotional-psychological. On some very subtle level I was resisting the process of the practices that I had re-engaged in. Mainly actualism, but also some very intense energetic hatha yoga / pranayama type practices (ashtanga yoga).

I think you know this already. It wasn't until I had summoned up the courage to face my pain, realising that it was 'me' causing this to myself in order to stick around for a little while longer, that things started moving along again. Up until that point I hadn't been ready to let go. Hanging on to it, became the very reason to perpetuate my existence, until I had solved my problems/ issues. It only became clear to me when I started reading your thread in March, what I had been doing all along and its illusory nature. I also started following some of the advice therein. I was lucky though that I had a very good yoga teacher who didn't take my protests very seriously when I refused to perform difficult asanas or skipped the additional exercises he had given me in order to confront myself and my 'problem' areas head on, in a very direct manner. Incidentally around this time my actualism practice really took off. It wasn't that I found a solution, or broke through the pain barrier in any way. It was just trying more and more to relax into it, relaxing the whole body, accepting it, not being afraid of it, that rendered its grip obsolete (and to never return again along with the being that perpetuated it).

Have fun in Paris!

-Nicola

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 7:01 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Daniel:

Energy and conce ntratio n work just the same way: they must
both be strong but must also be in balance. When energy is deficient there is sloth, torpor, dullness, and tiredness. When energy is in excess the mind and body may be restless, jumpy, strained, and irritable. It may even be unable to focus at all because so much emphasis is being placed on effort itself. When concentration is deficient the mind won't stay with an object and tends to get lost in thought. When concentration is in excess one can get lost in one's objects or be focused too narrowly and tightly for reality to “breathe.” Again, too much energy is related to a lack of concentration and vice versa.


Sloth, torpor, dullness, tiredness (more like nauseating fatigue verging on levels unknown to me before) — check.

Restlessness, jumpyness, strain — check. (I'm not irritated, I'm actually more-or-less amused)

So I have no energy and no concentration. But also:

Pain, lots and lots and lots of whole-body pain — check.

I can't seem to stop doing it myself, but how could I ever recommend this practice to anyone else?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 7:28 AM as a reply to nic s.
nicola sheldrick:
On some very subtle level I was resisting the process of the practices that I had re-engaged in.


Yes I can see this, I am holding very very tight, although minutely, in specific spots in the body (we could call it subtle).

And I have no idea how to let go... I'm crying like a baby now because of the pain, I hope it helps.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 8:20 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
nicola sheldrick:
On some very subtle level I was resisting the process of the practices that I had re-engaged in.


Yes I can see this, I am holding very very tight, although minutely, in specific spots in the body (we could call it subtle).

And I have no idea how to let go... I'm crying like a baby now because of the pain, I hope it helps.


o man.. sounds like you have a thing similar to my pain in my head except all over!

maybe you can try simple conditioning? when the pain gets (even slightly) relatively more intense, note 'more pain', when the pain gets (even slightly) relatively less intense, note 'less pain'. it has to fluctuate naturally, so wait until it does, and catch the downward-motions and intend to go in that direction (don't intend to have it go away - intend in the direction of whatever makes it less). maybe you can then figure out what makes it go away by looking at it like that? i had a little bit of success w/ this and the pain in my head, but i didn't stick with it, so not sure if it'd work, but just something to try.

also maybe reflect on how this all started again. you seemed to be doing OK and then this came on quite suddenly - what was going on around then?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 1:36 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Since focusing on my blockages and hindrances was not getting me anything but pain and misery, I've decided to stop.

I'll give it another go monday, by practicing actualism instead of samatha or vipassana.

Interestingly enough, I can suddenly see sensuousness again, and I'm confident I'll get close to a PCE this weekend in Paris.

Chat with Trent:

Trent applying your mind in a way which gives [the hindrances] little or no attention will steer your mind away from those fermentations:
Through right reflection in inceptive energy and similar states of mind is brought about the overthrow of sloth and torpor. Inceptive energy is the effort first set afoot. Exertion is more powerful than the inceptive energy because it leaves indolence behind. And because of its assailing further and further of the destructive condition, progressive endeavor is more powerful than exertion. By the exercise of right reflection intensely on this threefold strenuousness sloth and torpor are cast out. Therefore the Blessed One said that the condition for keeping out new sloth and torpor, and for casting out sloth and torpor that is old, is abundant right reflection on the element of inceptive energy, of exertion and of progressive endeavor.

Trent does the pain and/or drowsiness tend to disappear if you're immersed in a mental task? even simple ones, like showering or cooking or packing your bags or whatever

me: well, I get somewhat spaced out during these tasks, but on some things yes. If I have a very engaging conversation, or if I have very interesting manual labour, then the drowsiness isn't there. on the other hand, the painful spots are always there (when I remember to check)

Trent: isn't that interesting...they're always there if/when you check, but sometimes they're gone (in very engaging conversation, etc)

me: hmm... yah, I always guessed it's like a stone in my shoe, I might forget about it, but it's still there when I check

Trent: what would happen if you simply decided to not check anymore?

me: I don't know, I could try

Trent: might be worth the try


RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/17/11 2:58 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
interesting chat! reminds me of how harmlessness is effectively not giving affective energy to emotions.. in a similar way, have to not give energy to the hindrances / to these spots of pain. must engage the mind otherwise.. e.g. sensuousness

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/18/11 7:18 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Since focusing on my blockages and hindrances was not getting me anything but pain and misery, I've decided to stop.

I'll give it another go monday, by practicing actualism instead of samatha or vipassana.

Interestingly enough, I can suddenly see sensuousness again, and I'm confident I'll get close to a PCE this weekend in Paris.


Hey Bruno,

I don't mean to criticize because obviously I could be missing something here and being wrong, but my thoughts after reading your retreat reports are:

I understood you decided to start a pure-samatha retreat, then after a day moved on to Vipassana, and when that got too hard you dropped it all and are going to Paris, with an intent to come back to the retreat and do Actualism.

Although I can understand that changing things while not being strict about something that doesn't work (Switching to Vipassana when Samatha doesn't seem to apply, or switching to Actualism when you decide thats what best) can be skillful,
don't you think that perhaps if you stuck with the Vipassana retreat for a more considerable amount of time, that would have started to become clearer? The hindrances, pain, difficulty, etc arise strongly, also in my experience, at the beginning of intensive retreats, and they soon subside but sometimes it does take 3-4 days and for some people even longer than that, and also - people report that it changes for the same person from retreat to retreat.

Here's something Daniel Ingram wrote that I thought of while reading your report:
MCTB:
Without discipline, without formal resolve, you may easily find yourself in something resembling the following situation. You sit down on the cushion with the vague intention to do some insight practices, and begin trying to investigate, but soon you find yourself thinking about how you really should be paying your bills. Then your knee begins to hurt, so you tune into the low-level jhanic bliss that you have managed to cultivate the ability to find, and then you feel hungry, so you get up and fix yourself a sandwich. You then think to yourself, “Hey, what am I doing here eating this sandwich? Wasn’t I doing insight practice?”
You are not free. Instead, you are floundering. Without discipline, without resolve, you are unlikely to be able to get past some of the difficult hurdles that stand between you and success in any of these trainings.


(If I'm talking out of my arse, please disregard).

G'luck to ya.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/18/11 4:28 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Hey Yadid, you're making sense, and yet that is what I'm going to do anyway.

The reason is that when I do noting practice (something I have by now verified numerous times) I will tense up so drastically that I become too fatigued to continue. Now, this didn't use to happen, during my first two retreats I could note and note and note, and while I would be in pain, and I would be tired, yes, it would not go to the point of simply causing me to collapse, nor would there be these tension points that feel like the center and get more and more tense the more I practice, nor would my concentration worsen the more I did it. I had fatigue-nausea several times, to the point of having to hold on to the wall to prevent falling on the floor during walking meditation, and as far as symptoms go, fatigue and nausea seem to be excellent indicators of excessive bodily stress.

This started happening around the time I had a practice thread on KFD, and people there unanimously recommended I should back off and take it easy. I have taken the "power-through the tension with sheer willpower" practice as far as I'm willing to take it, in fact I had done it already, and repeated the dreadful experience the last three days on home-retreat.

I will try other techniques first, not only because it seems to be over-the-top and unhealthy, but furthermore, and finally, also because I am actually convinced this is not the way to solve the problem that needs to be solved — There seems to be an element of control, i.e., the need to feel in control, which is playing a strange role when I try to do a power-through-whatever kind of practice, and this might well be the cause of the problem. (this is speculation)

My preliminary, off-the-cushion practice of actualism yesterday evening and today during the 8-hour bus-ride to Paris has suggested it might be a much better way to deal with the drowsiness that was overtaking me on retreat. Next week I'll let you know for sure.

By the way, Paris was unavoidable for personal reasons, something which I already knew when I started the retreat.

And all that said, actually, thank you for your very sensible remark.

PS. I have noticed that the pattern of excessive tension showing up during noting practice is present in other practitioners (together with other similarities), namely Daniel Johnson and Eduardo Crespo (Eddy in KFD). I have speculated with them that something untypical should be done when such conditions are present, though I am still trying to find out what. Maybe more on that later...

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/18/11 5:29 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey Bruno,

I was thinking - I am either seeing something here or just sitting my ass on a different continent not seeing whats going on at your side emoticon
Little bit of both?

I guess that I underestimated what you mean by pain and misery, because just reading the last posts makes me think of any 10 day retreat I've done.. The sheer suffering in the face of having to face myself.

But reading your last post I really never have encountered such intense stuff that I had to hold myself etc.. nothing a good rest wouldn't solve, so I suppose extreme circumstances have to be dealt with rather than made worse.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/18/11 5:45 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

My preliminary, off-the-cushion practice of actualism yesterday evening and today during the 8-hour bus-ride to Paris has suggested it might be a much better way to deal with the drowsiness that was overtaking me on retreat. Next week I'll let you know for sure.


Cool. A thought that occurred, reading this post and remembering a real brief chat we had... are you still aiming for 4th and then taking up actualism? Just wondering why you want to get to 4th path if it's not really necessary, as stated by AF'ers. I started feeling alot of tension and stress when I just couldn't decide what route to take. I finally resolved on actualism because I really don't care about exploring all strata of consciousness - I just want peace, plain and simple. I've had one conversation with a post-4th actualist who said he wished he had just switched to Actualism directly after stream-entry. I'm making really good progress and I only got stream-entry. So, if you want no suffering - what exactly is it about continuing insight that you feel will aid you in getting there so much more than where you're at now?

Have fun in Paris. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of that supposedly (never been there myself) completely lovely city emoticon
Steph

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/19/11 2:30 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph:

are you still aiming for 4th and then taking up actualism?


I am suddenly not sure. I'll have a better answer after the retreat.

Steph:

So, if you want no suffering - what exactly is it about continuing insight that you feel will aid you in getting there so much more than where you're at now?


I hear that in fourth path you can just let bad feelings go, that they don't stick. This is the ability I'd like to have. Although I'm frankly better at it than I've ever been in my life, the last few weeks have shown I am still occasionally, and not severely, but nonetheless run-over by circumstances.

Also concentration to do my job would be great.

Paris is magnificent!

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/20/11 2:40 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
PS. I have noticed that the pattern of excessive tension showing up during noting practice is present in other practitioners (together with other similarities), namely Daniel Johnson and Eduardo Crespo (Eddy in KFD). I have speculated with them that something untypical should be done when such conditions are present, though I am still trying to find out what. Maybe more on that later...


same for me... i think the cause is unbalanced effort, e.g. talking about the 7 factors of enlightenment, way too much investigation fo reality and energy, way low tranquility, equanimity, etc. it causes one's mind to go into a loop, so then even if you try meditating to relax you end up tightening up more.

the same thing was happening to me with noting - whenever i'd note i'd tense up a ton, though only in my head region. i think cause i associated noting with that kind of aggressive, just-the-wrong-balance investigative effort.

this seems to be something that can be more of a problem post-1st. a more powerful mind to rape yourself with =P.

what worked for me one time is switching to actualism. i think that just gave me the breather i needed.

but then it came up again, the same thing, when practicing actualism. old habits die hard eh...

a suggestion: have you tried body scanning? at least the way i've been doing it is to start at a point on my body, be it head or toe or middle, then to rove the attention around the body in a contiguous way (not a mahasi-vipassana 'whats coming up next? note it!' way), trying to fill in all the gaps.

i ask because i've had this tension in my head for a while. i started doing body scanning recently and then i noticed that when i was scanning my neck area (which was scary to do at first since it was so close to the head - and when i scanned the head it would just hurt), it's like the energy from the head was just draining down there. playing around with it more i got it to come out of my head/cheekbone area and kind of go all the way down my neck, making it really stiff and uncomfortable and weird-feeling, but a LOT better than having it all in one place. as it was working i managed to work my way a bit around my neck. felt like i was releasing some stuff.

might be something to try, in a relaxed way - try gently scanning the body around those points of pain.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/20/11 4:26 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I hear that in fourth path you can just let bad feelings go, that they don't stick. This is the ability I'd like to have. Although I'm frankly better at it than I've ever been in my life, the last few weeks have shown I am still occasionally, and not severely, but nonetheless run-over by circumstances.


i think i figured out my knot-in-the-head problem, finally. in a word: surrender!

this might not help you since you've probably heard it before... but basically, i was lying down and meditating, and this painful knot in my head came up again. 'damn!' i thought. so i start body scanning elsewhere in order to relax and basically distract my attention from the head. this worked before, but soon i would find the head knot knotting up again.

this time i noticed that relaxing seemed to relax the head knot, too, and then i somehow decided to just.. surrender to it! let whatever is there, be there. and there was an immediate instant shift (not in the sense of fruition or path) from a painful head knot to.. sensations in the head. and when i inclined a little to trying to change it, it hardened again.. and when i surrendered completely.. then it was not a problem anymore. the sensations definitely changed, from being sharp and pointy and irritating to being dull and vibratory and almost pleasant.

what i then managed to do is to combine surrendering with focusing (read: vipassana) on the sensations. and they started shifting and i started doing nyanas or jhanas or what not. i think the dark night was when it was a bit harder to surrender, but i managed to maintain it and.. quite the difference.

it doesn't yet seem automatic but it seems like i shouldn't have problems w/ it anymore if i can remember that flavor of surrender.

i chose this post because you said "I hear that in fourth path you can just let bad feelings go" - i think the way to get fourth is to just start doing that. painful-vipassana-ing your way into 4th and then letting everything fall out of it after a glorious shift - that's what i was hoping would happen for a while, but i don't think that's the way to do it. i don't know whether i'm 4th - but i feel like i am if i can surrender/relax.

this surrender sense seems to help with feelings and with the self, too, so it should apply to getting into EE/PCE too.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/20/11 5:22 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

this time i noticed that relaxing seemed to relax the head knot, too, and then i somehow decided to just.. surrender to it! let whatever is there, be there. and there was an immediate instant shift (not in the sense of fruition or path) from a painful head knot to.. sensations in the head. and when i inclined a little to trying to change it, it hardened again.. and when i surrendered completely.. then it was not a problem anymore. the sensations definitely changed, from being sharp and pointy and irritating to being dull and vibratory and almost pleasant.

......

this surrender sense seems to help with feelings and with the self, too, so it should apply to getting into EE/PCE too.


backing this up with an experience i had this morning. i had a very raw tension in the chest area... and for whatever reason, there was just a letting of it happening. no associated mental anguish resulting or trying to figure out what exactly it was. it was simply a raw tensing feeling and in experiencing there was no real hold or power the raw feeling had, it vanished. there's good momentum happening in practice, such that i've been so happy and so non-reactive lately that i'm chalking it up to residual instinctual blip that peters out on its own.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/21/11 4:54 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Thank you both. Please let me know if that is still working or if it was just temporary. In any case, I think that the tensions seem to arise from over-trying. "I" have to do it "myself" because I want to be in control. One of the things that I sometimes try is to surrender — which fails by the very nature of my approach. How did you solve this apparent conflict?

Today however I've had an interesting day actualism-practice-wise. I might finally have solved the whole craving for sexual union thing (this will need time to confirm).

The way it happened was: I was sitting in a plaza trying to be sensuous, but I noticed there was resistance to practice. Investigating why, I realized there was a craving for sex, I wanted it more than I wanted to practice. I tried observing that this was far from the best circumstance to have sex, I tried remembering how every affective experience I've had was in the end unsatisfactory, I tried remembering that every sexual experience I've had left me feeling tense, unsatisfied and frustrated, I tried remembering that sensuousness came without a price... to no avail. I had a strong urge for sexual union.

Given that was showing up so strongly, I decided to investigate "why do I want this so much?" While paying attention to the feelings. There was an urge, and it intensified and developed into full-fledged imaginations when attractive subjects passed by. I decided to pursue these imaginations, trying to figure out through such a mental experiment what it was that I thought such an activity would bring, if I were to carry it out. I imagined having lots of sex with lots of people, lots and lots of times, and there were strong feelings of passion as I screwed this imaginary army of pretty but otherwise-featureless figures. Then I thought "What would it be like, to have this urge satisfied by acting on it in this most complete (albeit unrealistic and puerile) way?" I imagined myself in a situation of being fully sexually satisfied by this archetypal brothel, I wondered what that would be like...

"Ahh.. that would be so nice! <<why?>> because then I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore, and I could just relax and enjoy!"

At this point I was actually physically relaxing, and the intense fiery feelings were settling down, in accordance with the imagination. But then, I realized, it seemed that I had concluded that I only wanted to have sex, in order not to desire sex anymore...

Sexual desire was only desire for its own cessation...

Which allowed me to conclude that, with the loss of libido, I would become as fulfilled as if I had the most satisfying sex-life ever... and that allowed me to return to the practice with a smile.

I had to stay in paris for an extra day, today I came back by bus and practiced all day as best as I could, and tomorrow I begin my retreat.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/21/11 5:31 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Thank you both. Please let me know if that is still working or if it was just temporary. In any case, I think that the tensions seem to arise from over-trying. "I" have to do it "myself" because I want to be in control. One of the things that I sometimes try is to surrender — which fails by the very nature of my approach. How did you solve this apparent conflict?

yea i know what you mean. when i wrote that i had just managed to do it. it was like an intuitive being able to let go in some way which was just utterly thorough. i was able to drop it + regain it for a bit, but later that day (and still now) i haven't regained it yet. it might just have been 4th samatha or 4th vipassana jhana, though i'm not sure since i feel i still cycled in there (maybe sub-jhanas).

about your specific question - it started when i realized i was supposed to be just watching the sensations in my body. that sense of just watching and not interfering in any way is what led to the more complete sense of surrender. let them do whatever completely on their own.. it's really counter-intuitive cause you think you will die if you 'let up' because if you 'let up' it'll get a lot worse, right? yet the 'not letting up' is the pain. i think i just have to play around with it more.

the general theme is that nowadays, when i'm surrendering / not being caught up, i'm a lot better off. i'm slowly bcoming able to watch the painful sensations in my head with equanimity, slowly being able to just watch them and not react.. re-reading richard's essay helped if you want to try that. i got about halfway through before i really started paying attention to the words, and then its like they evoke this sense of fascination, like he's clearly describing something intricate, intimate, wonderful, with great care so as to convey to others just what a wonderful place the world is.. now that's altruism.

Bruno Loff:
Sexual desire was only desire for its own cessation...

hehe that is a great story. i like the thought experiment you came up with to get there.

just wanted to add that this is true for any emotion. fear is the thing that wants there to not be fear, yet it itself is the fear.. likewise the self is the thing that doesn't want to not-know/not-be-in-control, yet the self is itself the thing that doesn't know/isn't in control (if you think about it the definition of the self, i.e. affect, i.e. emotions, is that they come up and move you to act one way or another...)

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/21/11 6:26 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Thank you both. Please let me know if that is still working or if it was just temporary. In any case, I think that the tensions seem to arise from over-trying. "I" have to do it "myself" because I want to be in control. One of the things that I sometimes try is to surrender — which fails by the very nature of my approach. How did you solve this apparent conflict?


See what can be done to drop the adversary associated with this. In having a clearly defined end goal of being rid of the passions, for me it was set up as a control thing much of the time too. An ingrained competitive thing that I had no idea had seeped in so far. I'll go on a tangent for a second because it might be helpful and then return to the question.

Upon evaluating the methodology with which I was going about practice, I started realizing pretty far into it there's quite a lot of competitiveness here even though I never thought of myself that way. Mostly because I was more competitive with "myself" instead of others - as in, pitting who I was against who I wanted to be in striving for my own personal idea of perfection.

Back to the topic, practice doesn't have to be implemented as something to achieve. Desire isn't something "you" can overcome because desire = you. The illusion that there is any control anywhere can sometimes manifest as a sense that you are competing against yourself. All these things such as desire are not an adversary to be harnessed- they are simply there because we are born with them- and they dwindle as we begin to more thoroughly experience that they are not necessary. You demonstrate this with what I quoted from you below. Desire temporarily dwindled when it was comprehended that desire for that particular thing was simply not necessary:

Bruno Loff:

Which allowed me to conclude that, with the loss of libido, I would become as fulfilled as if I had the most satisfying sex-life ever... and that allowed me to return to the practice with a smile.


Non-necessity is probably a more accurate approach than what you had done with surrender, as surrender implies hierarchy, which again reinforces the illusion of working against yourself.

Steph

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/21/11 6:33 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Thank you both. Please let me know if that is still working or if it was just temporary. In any case, I think that the tensions seem to arise from over-trying. "I" have to do it "myself" because I want to be in control. One of the things that I sometimes try is to surrender — which fails by the very nature of my approach. How did you solve this apparent conflict?


ah i think i figured it out! i put the description of it in another thread.

after reading that:

so i think i was just doing that technique, and equating the intuitive feeling of surrender with that draining, though it didnt feel like it was draining at the time.. and i think there is an aspect of surrender to it, but perhaps made more easy by the well-being the technique seems to engender.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 12:11 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

Sexual desire was only desire for its own cessation...


is desire permanent or impermanent here and now?

being impermanent here and now, is it or is it not subject to cessation here and now?

being subject to cessation here and now, is desire really for (anything)?

tarin

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 10:23 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Bruno Loff:
Thank you both. Please let me know if that is still working or if it was just temporary. In any case, I think that the tensions seem to arise from over-trying. "I" have to do it "myself" because I want to be in control. One of the things that I sometimes try is to surrender — which fails by the very nature of my approach. How did you solve this apparent conflict?


ah i think i figured it out! i put the description of it in another thread.

after reading that:

so i think i was just doing that technique, and equating the intuitive feeling of surrender with that draining, though it didnt feel like it was draining at the time.. and i think there is an aspect of surrender to it, but perhaps made more easy by the well-being the technique seems to engender.


woot 100th post on the thread =o

just wanted to say, the draining feeling and the head-knot-becoming-fuzzy feeling are indeed separate, though it seems the former makes the latter easier.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 10:54 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hmm I took magic mushrooms this morning to see if it would help with the sore spots (a friend of mine suggested weed might help, but I had tried it before and it didn't). Although I took only one mushroom, believing it to be a small enough dose, I nevertheless tripped very strongly, and had a sort of AF-A&P-themed six-hour ride from which I'm now coming down (it was great fun though).

Indeed, the sore spots were not a problem at all. They were there, uncomfortable maybe sure, but somehow unimportant. Now, after the whole ordeal is over, they seem to be still there, and a bit more troublesome. I wonder if a smaller dose would help...

One of the things that I thought I understood (but I don't really trust stuff I conclude in the A&P mood I was in when I thought it), was that all that was standing between me and satisfaction was me deciding my experience was "reason enough" to be satisfied.

Tarin: Do you mean that any desire is for its own cessation?

Claudiu: What is the mental manoever you do to get the tension to soften? Could you harden it and soften it again? Can you soften it at will?

Steph: Non-necessity, hun? I do know what you mean about competitiveness...

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 1:39 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
hehe this would make an unsuccessful anti-drug campaign. feeling bad? take some shrooms! =P.

Bruno Loff:
What is the mental manoever you do to get the tension to soften?

essentially the knot is aversion, be it aggressive ("go away now!"), fearful ("oh no why is it here agh!"), desirous ("i want this to go away"). it's not just aversion to one particular thing.. i think it's a bunch of stuff. a large part is desire for that center point to go away, so i took those sensations to be the center point and wanted them to disappear...

UPDATE: another theory is that i've just taken everything i dont like about my practice or about me and shunted it over to that point. i got this impression when once while high i was looking over my body, had a bunch of stuff there, then i decided 'up', and it all went to my head - all the stuff disappeared from my body but the head started being really painful. now by body scanning it seems im releasing stuff which has manifested in the head. i get tons of little blips when body scanning where something in the head will like become more intense for a tiny second and then disappear. UPDATE2: i quite literally feel like i'm repairing the damage that unbalanced vipassana has done

so to get it to soften i basically have to not be averse, in whatever way i can. so far what helps is doing the body-scanning energy thing, as that puts me in a nicer mood, and it also gives me something else to focus on which in itself helps soften the knot as less energy is going into it. so from that state while body scanning, if it hardens it'll be easier to soften, it's easier to see the cause+effect of it.

essentially what i have to do is figure out the cause and effect of everything that makes it harden. that's hard to do when it's full-out painful.. so basically have to improve the mood any way you can and practice letting go from that state. drugs might help but as you saw the effect doesn't last automatically. walking around while body scanning helps.

also what really helped is carefully body scanning my face and head. and i mean carefully. doing that, i notice how the knot thing extends and tries to grasp the point i'm trying to feel physical sensations at. it does that even when scanning other parts of the body, but especially around the head.


Bruno Loff:
Could you harden it and soften it again? Can you soften it at will?

what hardens it is sitting down to meditate, or adjusting my position when meditating (e.g. open my eyes, close my eyes). also after i swallow and re-set it really clamps down, not sure why.

i could kind of get it to start hardening by thinking negative things and wishing it would go away, but the fact that i was doing it on purpose made it not work so well =P. i find that exercise interesting, actually - pick something you're averse to and try to actively make the worst case happen.

i was able to soften it at will once by staring at it in the right way. basically a curious 'what is this?' and i felt it lessen and lessen, and with it also tension in my chest slowly faded. it didn't go away fully and came back again right after, though.

i don't have full intimate control like making it stop at will instantly, but it seems i'm figuring it out slowly. i get a feeling this time i won't be banging my head against the wall trying to deal with it in about 2 days, but we'll have to see.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 12:13 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
i went back and edited my previous reply to clarify it and possibly answer your question which followed.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 3:10 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
(1) is desire permanent or impermanent here and now?

(2) being impermanent here and now, is it or is it not subject to cessation here and now?

(3) being subject to cessation here and now, is desire really for (anything)?




(1) well, it does vibrate, except maybe those tension points which seem to always be there if I look. [1]

(2) there always seems to be some restlessness, so I'm hoping it can cease, but frankly, i've never seen the restlessness cease completely ever, though it gets close during more equanimous stages (which hopefully hints at the fact that its subject to cessation, yes), and maybe it actually did on some fruition long ago, but I have no way to verify (fruitions nowadays when they occur are not that special).

(3) there is specific mental imagery which sometimes accompanies such restlessness, but not every time. If it is about sex, then I say "desire for sex," and so on. When it has no specific imagery, I usually think of it as "desire to be somewhere else." There is the whispered promise that carrying out the experience desired for will bring peace, although it often doesn't, and never completely.

It seems I'm not quite seeing what your point is, if you think it might help, could you maybe ask something else?

[1] Trent suggested I don't look, which I can do with varying degrees of success, for varying amounts of time, and seems to help, however most of the time I can't seem to just choose not to look at all: if I try to focus on my feet, for instance (no tension there that I can see), attention often splits between points of tension and feet, and sometimes it will be more strongly in the points of tension than in the point I decide to focus on.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 3:15 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It seems I'm not quite seeing what your point is, if you think it might help, could you maybe ask something else?

trying my hand at answering:

desire arises & passes like anything else. it is subject to cessation. if all desire really wanted was for itself to end, then it would and not arise again.

is desire for an object? well, say it is. when the object of desire is gotten, the desire goes away. but the desire isn't really satisfied - it just fades, the same as it would if it were made to fade in another way (e.g. by seeing it as silly).

so desire just wants more desire just wants more desire, etc... a baseless self-perpetuating loop, which is why it can disappear forever i suppose.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/22/11 3:17 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
[1] Trent suggested I don't look, which I can do with varying degrees of success, for varying amounts of time, and seems to help, however most of the time I can't seem to just choose not to look at all: if I try to focus on my feet, for instance (no tension there that I can see), attention often splits between points of tension and feet, and sometimes it will be more strongly in the points of tension than in the point I decide to focus on.

happens to me, too. that's cause you're already looking, then trying to look away (which makes it worse).

once you're looking at it, do whatever you can to stop, which might be distracting yourself (if it works). then once you're not looking.. have your attention go elsewhere. heh.. easier said than done.. maybe a sincere, formal resolve would help, e.g. "i resolve that for the next 30 mins while i go on this walk this problem simply won't arise"

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 4:30 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno :-)

If the "one who wants" is an identity, then in getting the object of desire it would cease to "be"; and so there seems to be a double bind involved in desire (to get what "I" want, "I" would have to cease being the one who wants x). So in a sense each desirous "I" seems to be on the flip side a fear. What do "I" fear? Death or non-existence, right? Lately I've been asking "myself" when I notice a strong feeling "What do "I" want?" "What am "I" afraid of?" and "What am "I" ignoring?". It's been really instructive, maybe these questions would help you too.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 12:29 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
What if these blockages were just desire I am pushing down instead of simply satisfying? What if the only reason they're there is because "I" am afraid of being completely fulfilled?

That's what it seemed like in practice today. Today I lived so close to the actual world I repeatedly simply couldn't believe how satisfied I was! It was simply unbelievable! The basic thing that happened was that I decided to feel satisfied. Whenever feeling restless or unhappy I sought a reason (e.g. I want sex), asked myself why, really imagining what it would be like to be satisfied in that way, and this invariably was because I wanted to be happy, and then I decided to be happy.

Small doses of psylocibin seemed to have allowed for enough momentum to really really get those felicitous feelings going, so that at some point I was so happy, so satisfied, and so at peace, that the actual became more and more apparent. Not to mention massive dissolutions everywhere, massive waves of joy and pleasure, and so on, interestingly enough, not at all in the rushed A&P way, but in a new way I hadn't experienced before.

Interestingly, on the verge of the actual (sensuousness abounded), I noticed a slight tinge of fear --- fear of what? It turns out I was fearful that I wouldn't be completely satisfied in the imaginary direction I imagined I was going... hmm...

The experience of being satisfied just out of deciding to be so was very interesting.

More tomorrow!

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 1:08 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Not to mention massive dissolutions everywhere, massive waves of joy and pleasure, and so on, interestingly enough, not at all in the rushed A&P way, but in a new way I hadn't experienced before.

i wonder if that's similar to what i called the 'affective relaxation', which turned out to be 3rd jhana bliss.

i will have to try just feeling satisfied.. sounds like a useful one

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 1:39 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Claudiu:

i will have to try just feeling satisfied.. sounds like a useful one


What I did was get to those things which I always wanted, and maybe thought unrealistic, those deep deep desires in my life. Then ask why I want them, by imagining what it would be like to have them and what I would hope to get out of that. The answer was then peace (not wanting them anymore) — so then I simply bestow that satisfaction upon myself, as if I had fulfilled said desire (with the practical advantage I didn't carry out any of the required actions; the only reason this is viable is because through the previous imaginary exercise I came to understand that what I wanted was actually peace, not the object itself). Then I really let that gain momentum.

Now, I don't know if this will bring any durable results, but it was sure a great way to spend a day, and a really unbelievable way to deal with those deep cravings which I never thought would be satisfied (and maybe, in some twisted way, didn't want them to be). This I will only now when I return to daily life.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 2:21 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
Bruno Loff:

Sexual desire was only desire for its own cessation...

is desire permanent or impermanent here and now?

being impermanent here and now, is it or is it not subject to cessation here and now?

being subject to cessation here and now, is desire really for (anything)?

tarin

I thought sexual desire was for reproduction, regardless of its phenomenological status.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 2:21 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Claudiu:

i will have to try just feeling satisfied.. sounds like a useful one


What I did was get to those things which I always wanted, and maybe thought unrealistic, those deep deep desires in my life. Then ask why I want them, by imagining what it would be like to have them and what I would hope to get out of that. The answer was then peace (not wanting them anymore) — so then I simply bestow that satisfaction upon myself, as if I had fulfilled said desire (with the practical advantage I didn't carry out any of the required actions; the only reason this is viable is because through the previous imaginary exercise I came to understand that what I wanted was actually peace, not the object itself). Then I really let that gain momentum.

Now, I don't know if this will bring any durable results, but it was sure a great way to spend a day, and a really unbelievable way to deal with those deep cravings which I never thought would be satisfied (and maybe, in some twisted way, didn't want them to be). This I will only now when I return to daily life.


ah nice, i did something just like that with vincent horn. i remember when i did it wholeheartedly it was pretty powerful, so ill def have to try it soon.

his exercise had another part to it. try this:

do what you said above. ask what you want the most, then imagine having it. now, once you are satisfied from having that, ask "ok, having that done - now what do i want the most?". be open + naive about it. keep going until you reach a point where you don't want anything anymore. (or maybe the thing you want is the thing you got by the last step).

keep track of the q&a chain. now, from that point of peace at the end, go backwards, saying "how does having accomplished Y (Y being the last thing you wanted) enrich or change X (X being the thing leading to Y)?". like, having the object of the desire, how does the desire change? maybe it disappears or maybe it shifts focus. it might help put the desires in perspective, most importantly the ones about wanting to be free from suffering (if those come up).

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 4:56 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
What I did was get to those things which I always wanted, and maybe thought unrealistic, those deep deep desires in my life. Then ask why I want them, by imagining what it would be like to have them and what I would hope to get out of that. The answer was then peace (not wanting them anymore) — so then I simply bestow that satisfaction upon myself, as if I had fulfilled said desire (with the practical advantage I didn't carry out any of the required actions; the only reason this is viable is because through the previous imaginary exercise I came to understand that what I wanted was actually peace, not the object itself).

It sounds like you were projecting your desire for peace onto any old desires that seemed to fit the bill. (Which is not the same as claiming, as you previously did, that all desire wants its end*) Discovering that those desires are substitutes and in practice distractions from the peace that is already here, if this is what you are doing, doesn't then have any bearing on other desires you may have in life. By which I mean in this understanding, having desires is consistent with finding that peace**.

*which is obvious by definition, although not quite how you put it.
**the peace would be the end of the projection, not the end of the desires.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/23/11 5:37 PM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:

(1) It sounds like you were projecting your desire for peace onto any old desires that seemed to fit the bill. (Which is not the same as claiming, as you previously did, that all desire wants its end*)
(2) Discovering that those desires are substitutes and in practice distractions from the peace that is already here, if this is what you are doing, doesn't then have any bearing on other desires you may have in life. By which I mean in this understanding, having desires is consistent with finding that peace**.

*which is obvious by definition, although not quite how you put it.
**the peace would be the end of the projection, not the end of the desires.


(1) maybe, what happened exactly was that by imagining what it would be like to have those desires satisfied, I realized that the great thing about that would be to finally having done with them, no longer having to worry about whichever desire, no longer having that urge. That is what I'm calling peace — I don't mean the affective sensation of peace ("I feel so peaceful", which is nice, but not it), I mean actual peace (the lack of craving and aversion, complete, utter satisfaction). This is exactly the same as claiming, as I previously did, that all desire wants is its end.

In any case, it is now obvious that what I want is whatever direction the PCEs are taking me, so I would say that this projection served at least to further align my intent.

(2) desires are neither substitutes nor distractions, they are effectively the opposite of peace (which is the lack of craving and aversion). But nor would be a projection, which I understand that I am doing, since any imaginary exercise is a projection (and not actual here now). But anything that helps is welcome, though you seem to think my imaginary exercise is getting in the way?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/24/11 5:39 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
I'm only trying to clarify your exercise. In context, the desires I referred to as substitutes are the, let's call them, projective desires. 'I came to understand that what I wanted was actually peace, not the object itself' looked like seeing through this projection. Your exercise of imagining their satisfaction could show you this, but that would put the focus and understanding on the projection, not the desire.

It's like understanding that 'giving up picking and choosing' is intimately related to the end of 'me and mine making', and not to your preference for chocolate ice-cream over vanilla.

And indeed this is a movement away from the realm of 'imaginary exercise' and into the actual. So I guess I'm trying to clarify what you think the end of craving and aversion is.

Are you not averse to crashing whilst driving? Do you not become increasingly incapacitated whilst increasingly craving the toilet? And if your life were to be cut short whilst craving the toilet, should we therefore conclude that your life, when push came to shove, finally lacked... that utter satisfaction?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/24/11 9:08 AM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:
tarin greco:
Bruno Loff:

Sexual desire was only desire for its own cessation...

is desire permanent or impermanent here and now?

being impermanent here and now, is it or is it not subject to cessation here and now?

being subject to cessation here and now, is desire really for (anything)?

tarin

I thought sexual desire was for reproduction, regardless of its phenomenological status.


while that thought is correct, in a particular context, it is not the case in the context in which i intended bruno read my questions. from what i could gather, bruno was seeking a way of understanding desire that brings about desire's end (or at least a liberating insight into its condition), to which the context in which sexual desire is understood to be for reproduction is not directly applicable.

for what purpose, in that way of reasoning, would reproduction be? survival? and for what, then, would survival be? if bruno were to keep following this chain of reasoning, he would find turtles all the way down, and he would be no closer to his goal (except, perhaps, if he were to come any closer to considering that perhaps he oughtn't keep looking towards the next turtle).

to borrow a little from common buddhist theory (which would not be out of place, as bruno's practice regularly ventures into some hybrid of actualism and vipassana): paying attention to content (an example of which would be reasoning about the function or purpose of an object or process) is not the same thing as paying attention to insight (an example of which would be noticing the fleeting yet visceral qualities of wanting) and, as a practice, does not produce the same results.

the questions that i chained together were intended to build upon one another and were asked with specific answers in mind. in asking, i assumed that my interlocutor would reflect on his experience and from that experience answer them the way that i did, namely, that desire is impermanent (here and now), that what is impermanent (here and now) is subject to cessation (here and now), and that what is subject to cessation (here and now) is purposeless, aimless ... and i assumed that such reflection might possibly suffice for bringing about a radical change in the way he (experientially) understands desire there and then, if not for bringing it to an end completely. however, if he were to answer any of those questions to himself differently, the question subsequent to it would not follow and that part of the conversation would be over. and so it happened that way, as far as i can tell.

by the way, all desire could be for its own cessation.. if that's how the story happens to be going. in that sense, it might very well all be for reproduction. perhaps that is what you meant by 'projective desires'?

tarin

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/25/11 3:10 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin: So you were saying, if I understood correctly, that because desire arises and passes away completely each moment (in that vibratory fashion), it can't really be "about" something. And that the whole desire for end of desire is in the end just story, rather than insight (which would be seeing how desire arises and passes completely clearly)?

Hmm... I've often tried to use "story" to get back at being felicitous, because this, it seemed to me, was what I understood to be the "understanding causes and conditions" part of actualism. Indeed this last instance about sex suggests that it might help. Or at other times, for instance, I repeat both sentences "I want to be happy" and "I am unhappy" while cognitively sensing the absurd of having both at the same time, and that also works sometimes. There is all this conceptual work which (seemingly) engages in content, although I have to admit that for the most part it does seem kind of superficial (like rearranging the furniture rather than throwing it out). Is there something more fundamental that I should be doing in order to uncover the causes of felicity?

---

In any case, yesterday a lot of walking outside. This was very good at first, I was really seeing the textures, the sounds, the stillness, and then it somehow flipped (as if from A&P to dark night) and there was a lot of cognitive dissonance and other unpleasantness, and I eventually switched to vipassana.

Actualism when I can, vipassana when I must, and samatha when some jhana randomly pops up (usually fifth for some reason)... that describes my practice pretty well.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/25/11 10:38 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno:

If I edit your words to re-present their conclusion/hypothesis (and not change the meaning):
Sexual desire was is only desire for its own cessation...

Seeing what you've seen (which resulted in your constructing the original sentence regarding desire) this may or may not result in the dissipation of desirous/yearning self.

When you sit with your sentence (perhaps as mantra or koan)...when you are doing anything (dishes, sex, painting, programming, tv'ing, walking...) and there is no loud mental or bodily desire (i.e., no desire for sex, no desire for sadness, no desire for freedom), what is the desire that remains?

I intend here to focus on the more subtle desire of i-ness that may exhibit as impatience with here and now.

Like nipping a belief in the bud, there is seeing the first shoot of growth that departs from here and now. What are the those fripperies? Feelings like impatience or vague insatiability? Are the first growths physical, i.e., jaw tightening a little, chest tension?


I consider the english phrase, "common sense". To be in the senses permits unbound "common sense".

Its readily available online definition: sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.

So going back to sex, without desire (nor fettering it exclusively to reproduction), then: sex can result from a simple perception of the situation of facts - willing persons who recognize their willingness/compatibility/readiness at that moment for the same activity together. This simple perception of facts is the same condition available while sitting "alone" on a bench in a park: seeing birds/squirrels/ants/bees moving about, people curbing their dogs, dogs sniffing various pee-mail, people in various shapelinesses moving about; feeling hairs on arm lift in breeze, sweat roll to eyelashes; ass starts to hurt from sitting too long; stretch; the thought to make a trip to the store to buy bits for cooking dinner, standing up to start that trip; sitting on patio having a drink, a person joins.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/27/11 3:16 AM as a reply to . ..
Katy: yes, what is left when I don't crave any further "normal things" is restlessness and irritation with right now. And a very tiresome mind chatter. I think that what I usually do as practice involves, as you suggest, finding the first spurts of feeling, sensing out the zones from which they emanate. Although these sensations frequently arise from many places at once, and are somewhat fleeting.

I am slowly getting convinced I have solved my anguish with regards to wanting sex, which is a nice complement to the beginning of this thread.

Saturday I got an incredibly deep absorption in the morning (meditated for two sessions of two hours each), and then a very very strong neck tension at night. I recalled that I never had these tensions in the morning after sleep, and I wondered why, so I decided to try and be attentive of what happens during sleep.

I'm not quite sure if that worked but something did begin to happen (need to confirm with time) which is that after noticing the particular mode of attention I was engaged in during the first moment I woke up in the morning, the unpleasant sensations and tensions in the head started being much more clearly seen as having a physical and an energy-body/emotional component. I realized that the tension was sometimes inside the sinuses, sometimes in the back of the head where the spinal chord turns into brain, sometimes in the throat, and whenever the tension was there, instead of pain, I had a strong pressure, accompanied with a very strong seemingly physical sense of what the area feels like physically, as in tendons, flesh, muscles, nerves, and so on.

This has for some reason brought a lot of relief (if it is long-lasting and repeatable remains to be seen), and suggested I should try to notice the physical component of these sensations in order to manage them better. All in line with Trent's post on fybromalgia which I linked earlier.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/27/11 6:45 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno:

quite sure if that worked but something did begin to happen (need to confirm with time) which is that after noticing the particular mode of attention I was engaged in during the first moment I woke up in the morning, the unpleasant sensations and tensions in the head started being much more clearly seen as having a physical and an energy-body/emotional component.

...

This has for some reason brought a lot of relief (if it is long-lasting and repeatable remains to be seen), and suggested I should try to notice the physical component of these sensations in order to manage them better.


If your day-to-day life (work, family, etc) is not in obvious suspension (i.e., vacation, sabbatical, retreat, etc) and even it is/once it returns to "normal routine", then there may be habitual responses and sensations that continue, albeit in diminishing frequency and anything like owned or proximal arisings of habits can be useful in that there is evidence that no one is available to be en guard to prevent "mistakes", "slips", or antagonize. There was nothing for reproach, nothing for criticism/critique, nothing to develop into a story other than perhaps "ah, so there was this too". After such physical changes, these actual experiences/habits seem popped, deflated, released. Who can know what habit may show up? It is not a problem. Brain is an organ with reflexes and habits, responsively shaping by its use.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/27/11 10:22 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Hmm... I've often tried to use "story" to get back at being felicitous, because this, it seemed to me, was what I understood to be the "understanding causes and conditions" part of actualism. Indeed this last instance about sex suggests that it might help. Or at other times, for instance, I repeat both sentences "I want to be happy" and "I am unhappy" while cognitively sensing the absurd of having both at the same time, and that also works sometimes. There is all this conceptual work which (seemingly) engages in content, although I have to admit that for the most part it does seem kind of superficial (like rearranging the furniture rather than throwing it out). Is there something more fundamental that I should be doing in order to uncover the causes of felicity?

the stories can help, but you can other things:
* just enjoy the senses and the sensual clarity you're currently experiencing
* reflect on how you're actually ALIVE, and aware of that fact as well!
* reflect on how this moment is the only moment

Bruno Loff:
In any case, yesterday a lot of walking outside. This was very good at first, I was really seeing the textures, the sounds, the stillness, and then it somehow flipped (as if from A&P to dark night) and there was a lot of cognitive dissonance and other unpleasantness, and I eventually switched to vipassana.

Actualism when I can, vipassana when I must, and samatha when some jhana randomly pops up (usually fifth for some reason)... that describes my practice pretty well.

i'd recommend sticking with the actualism method a bit more, or perhaps with more intent. a big shift in my practice was when i had gathered up intent earlier by agreeing with myself to be happy (worked at the time), and i was walking around, enjoying the senses, just as you say, then it flipped to a negative state. all sorts of things came up, unpleasantness at being there, at having to expend the effort, on how it'll end soon and i'll feel bad again anyway, etc.. but with the additional intent i was able to keep asking haietmoba (essentially treating the negative things with equanimity) and then they magically vanished! resulting in what was then the closest to the PCE i had been.

These instructions are a real treasure
Answer
6/27/11 2:37 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Yes, a real treasure, I have linked to this thread before, but now I must repost the instructions because I find them really really good. I did a little bit of editing just to remove the thread-specific aspects (about specifics of Jane's case).

I think that this is in essence the appropriate answer to the question I posted in a previous thread Felicity, Causes of suffering & Physical discomfort.

A method to work with psychosomatic pain

Trent:

I’ve developed a method which has demonstrated success in reducing / eliminating psychosomatic pain. It's derived from the knowledge of what I went through and how I eliminated it. Those methods have since been supplemented with knowledge uncovered from working with other people dealing with similar issues. I’ve included an overview of instructions pertaining to that method in case you would like to investigate it for yourself / test its efficacy. (...)

Use step one only for a few days, then step one and two for a few days, then step one, two and three for a few days, then all of them until they no longer seem necessary.

First, you want to identify and differentiate physical pain from affective pain by focusing on the physical aspect of the problem. To do this, you’ll have to pay very close attention to your physical body and your emotional state. You’ll need to inspect the body very carefully. Pay delicate attention to the body, feeling the body in your mind and at your body. For instance, spend 5+ minutes every day just feeling one of your feet. Feel every tendon possible, every muscle, the skin, the temperature, etc. Use your hands to palpate the targeted area, or gently flex or stretch the area. Do this for every part of your body, especially areas that are particularly uncomfortable. Really get to know how your entire body feels in a very precise way. If there is actually physical pain, try to find the precise source of it. Figure out where the physical pain emanates from and remember that point. Psychosomatic pain will tend to feel ephemeral; like a relatively large, vaguely defined region of your body is off-limits to physical use or mental reflection (this “off-limits” intuition is likely due to fear / denial, the source of the pain). (When that vague region is whole body and is severe enough, it may be diagnosed as fibromyalgia). Note that you may have an aversion to doing even this first step, because it requires that you begin to clearly define mental and/or physical pain. This is par for the course. Don’t worry or fret about progress, you must be patient with yourself. Working through the discomfort is necessary, because although it might sometimes seem like you’re hurting yourself or otherwise antagonizing the discomfort by doing this, that is not actually the case… it is just that you may begin to become more aware of how you’ve been hurting all along. Leave not a single inch of your body unexamined, and do this as often as you can (really: as often as you can).

Second, you want to identify and differentiate physical pain from affective pain by focusing on the emotional aspect of the problem. Sincere application of step one will help you begin “pulling out” the emotional feelings from their effect (physical sensations) but it focused mainly on the physical aspect of the body. This step focuses mainly on continuing to draw out the emotional aspect of the pain so you can address it clearly (it is impossible to address something you’re unaware of). This essentially means becoming mentally, clearly aware of some aspect of your emotionality that has been rejected so harshly as to become (at least partially) disassociated / suppressed “into the body.” This source likely has something to do with thoughts regarding an event which you currently view to have been traumatic. For me, it was injuring my back at a very young age. I hated it, resented it, blamed it for other problems in my life, etc. I piled those emotions (and others) “onto” the associated area, one layer at a time for years, because I just didn’t want to / couldn't deal with it. Because I disassociated from such a core part of my body, I began feeling very weak physically, and that made me feel vulnerable, and that made me feel deeply insecure in the world. Because those feelings stemmed from the original injury, they were also rejected and repressed, and that is when I began experiencing it as a whole body phenomenon (fibromyalgia). Thus, in this step, you’ve got to be brave, honest and accepting of whatever is causing you so much mental trauma. You must care about yourself and your health... you must care about how much you’re hurting yourself because of whatever part of yourself is being repressed. If you combine these: bravery, honesty, acceptance, caring, and other sincere sentiments, the source trauma(s) will appear to you without you doing much more than intending for them to do so. And why shouldn’t they appear? After all, they are all fundamentally “you”!

Third: eliminate the core psychic source of the somatic reaction which is causing the physical dysfunction. This is best done via naivete, which is the most effective way to “let go” of anything psychically generated (in this case: affect). I recommend becoming familiar with actualism methods (haietmboa [1], naivete [2], etc [3]) and the employment of those with a specific intent to relax your mind and body “no matter what”. In practice, this doesn't have to amount to much more than observing the justification for the newly uncovered trauma's existence and then sincerely saying to yourself “I don’t know if that’s really fact” (as a response to whatever self-justified emotional thoughts are welling up). For me, this meant saying “I don’t really even know if my back is still injured” or “am I really vulnerable? I haven’t honestly encountered any danger since becoming hurt…” or “is there really anything I can’t do (that I want to do) because of this? I seem to do everything I use to do, even if it is less comfortable…” and so on. You see, psychosomatic pain works like a loop which keeps itself in operation by continually either rejecting or accepting (or both) some remembered emotional scenario (or a future projection of that scenario). Naivete—saying “I don’t know about that”—breaks the loop. If the loop is broken enough times, and/or with sufficient sincerely, it will simply (eventually) cease entirely and vanish. Letting go of the source of an emotional identification in a way that is explicitly understood to be final or in a way which implies finality can be scary. Notice that sense of hesitation and notice how you’ll still remember the event and whatever lessons were learned, even if you decide to resolve it emotionally. The only significant result of letting go: you stop hurting and any pain you cause others by hurting goes away too. That final point is well worth saying more on: try to see how letting go of it will benefit others by allowing you to be happier and thus a more positive influence on them (altruistic motivation is often necessary for letting go of part of yourself, especially “deep” parts).

Fourth, rehabilitate the body. Below are some examples and specific things to look for, but there are a lot of other things you can discover yourself as it relates to your specific situation. Work on relaxing your body and mind (as it pertains to the body) as much as you can, all the time, with no exceptions. If you’ve forgotten how to use some of your muscles, use the approach in step 1 to get a feel for them, and then try to incorporate that heightened muscular awareness into your everyday way of moving about. This is major because a lot of your subtle muscular system may be “shut off.” Try to see if there are ways of moving your body that are more comfortable than how you moved them before, or try discovering methods of moving around in the same ways you do now but in a way which doesn’t hurt. For instance, if your arm hurts when you raise it a certain way, ask yourself: can I do this same motion with different muscles so that it isn’t painful? Can I do this same motion with less muscular use? Can I do this same motion while completely relaxed? If you identify an instance of this occurring, it might feel kind of weird to incorporate into daily life, because the muscles will likely be weak. This may take a lot of patience. Work on flexibility by stretching, or whatever. If you do stretches every day but make no significant progress, you’re probably still tensing that area; try relaxing the muscle you are intending to stretch, and especially make sure you aren’t flexing that muscle as you stretch; the stretch will come from the rest of your body positioning itself so as to apply pressure to the muscle which needs to be stretched. Let your shoulders relax and "droop" completely all the time. Let your tummy relax. Let your head sit on your neck; it doesn’t need to be tensed at all. Try doing this with anything that is tensed, perhaps beginning at home and then doing so all the time. Try remembering a time in your life when you were so relaxed that your body seemed to float away. While remembering that, ask yourself: where am I not that relaxed right now? Make sure your sitting/walking/standing/etc. postures are appropriate for good health.

A final note: don’t resent this process for any reason. It may sound silly, but I caught myself doing that sometimes due to the discomfort, and that can impede progress in a major way.

(...)

Trent

[1] http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/articles/thismomentofbeingalive.htm
[2] http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/naivete.htm
[3] http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/default.htm , http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/map.htm


I am currently successfuly applying steps 1 and 2, and bordering on step 3. I have uncovered a very deep and subtle fear, which I now realize I've had for over a year, and I conjecture was preventing any real progress. It seems I was afraid of investigating the spine, after the complete kundalini meltdown I've had during first path.

Some specific things I might add
(1) the way I am sensing these areas is somewhat similar to the way I notice sensuousness in the visual field. I look at the area in a way that emphasizes the sensory substratum of the discomfort; I notice that the painful spot is actually, for instance, my throat, or the base of the neck, or the tendons in the shoulders, or the muscles in the lower back, or whatever, and keep that in mind through the whole thing.
(2) I find that a small dose of psylocibin (let's say 1/10 to 1/8 of a typical recreative dose) provides enough lubrification, without so much distortion, and aids in the task of sensing out these areas. This is not to say that the method can't be done without it, as I have done it successfully for many hours now. But if the pain seems overwhelming, as it did to me just a week and a half ago, this psychoactive substance might make the difference between make it or break it.

I should also say that all of this feels very experimental to me, and I'll need more time to see if the results hold up, and I'll probably have some more to report as the weeks go by.

Thank you all for your comments and assistance — I have decided not to quit my job just yet.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
6/30/11 6:49 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Thought I'd have some input in this interesting thread. I am the Eddy from KFD that Bruno spoke of earlier in the thread.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Bruno Loff:
I hear that in fourth path you can just let bad feelings go, that they don't stick. This is the ability I'd like to have. Although I'm frankly better at it than I've ever been in my life, the last few weeks have shown I am still occasionally, and not severely, but nonetheless run-over by circumstances.


i think i figured out my knot-in-the-head problem, finally. in a word: surrender!

this might not help you since you've probably heard it before... but basically, i was lying down and meditating, and this painful knot in my head came up again. 'damn!' i thought. so i start body scanning elsewhere in order to relax and basically distract my attention from the head. this worked before, but soon i would find the head knot knotting up again.

this time i noticed that relaxing seemed to relax the head knot, too, and then i somehow decided to just.. surrender to it! let whatever is there, be there. and there was an immediate instant shift (not in the sense of fruition or path) from a painful head knot to.. sensations in the head. and when i inclined a little to trying to change it, it hardened again.. and when i surrendered completely.. then it was not a problem anymore. the sensations definitely changed, from being sharp and pointy and irritating to being dull and vibratory and almost pleasant.

what i then managed to do is to combine surrendering with focusing (read: vipassana) on the sensations. and they started shifting and i started doing nyanas or jhanas or what not. i think the dark night was when it was a bit harder to surrender, but i managed to maintain it and.. quite the difference.

it doesn't yet seem automatic but it seems like i shouldn't have problems w/ it anymore if i can remember that flavor of surrender.

i chose this post because you said "I hear that in fourth path you can just let bad feelings go" - i think the way to get fourth is to just start doing that. painful-vipassana-ing your way into 4th and then letting everything fall out of it after a glorious shift - that's what i was hoping would happen for a while, but i don't think that's the way to do it. i don't know whether i'm 4th - but i feel like i am if i can surrender/relax.

this surrender sense seems to help with feelings and with the self, too, so it should apply to getting into EE/PCE too.


This seems to work for me too. Noting and scanning always ends up with the tension in the head. With noting it ends up being a situation were I just keep hitting and hitting the same sensation in the head. With scanning I'll be fine for a bit if I'm lucky and then the attention will get drawn to the head knot until I can barely focus on any other sensation, and trying to ignore it or go back to other sensations makes it worse. Most of the time I can't even start the scanning at all. Anyways, I put that quote above because when I surrender and just accept it and focus 100% on it I feel better. It hasnt fully taken it away for me... since Ive only been doing it on and off for a week. It also is very hard to do in daily life activities since it really puts you in jhana. However if i do this long enough something strange happens. Itll soften and I feel something like pain in lower body... especialyl previously numb spots. Then it goes back up to the knot. Then back and forth slowly. Kind of like its ferrying something...

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
7/1/11 8:57 AM as a reply to Eduardo Crespo.
Eduardo Crespo:
This seems to work for me too. Noting and scanning always ends up with the tension in the head. With noting it ends up being a situation were I just keep hitting and hitting the same sensation in the head. With scanning I'll be fine for a bit if I'm lucky and then the attention will get drawn to the head knot until I can barely focus on any other sensation, and trying to ignore it or go back to other sensations makes it worse. Most of the time I can't even start the scanning at all. Anyways, I put that quote above because when I surrender and just accept it and focus 100% on it I feel better. It hasnt fully taken it away for me... since Ive only been doing it on and off for a week. It also is very hard to do in daily life activities since it really puts you in jhana. However if i do this long enough something strange happens. Itll soften and I feel something like pain in lower body... especialyl previously numb spots. Then it goes back up to the knot. Then back and forth slowly. Kind of like its ferrying something...


i do also get that effect of when i focus on it i seem to get into jhana. thats why i can't relax by doing jhanas, hehe.

i think i know what you mean about the going back+forth. i think i've gotten some fruitions that way. like a similar-ish knot with ahole in the middle will appear in my right foot, then it'll pingpong rapidly back+forth between that and the knot, then (i think) a fruition, then the foot one disappears, then the knot one gets back in place.

it's also happened that the knot would untense for 1/2 a second, then as soon as i notice that, it would re-tense right back.

i recently realized that the knot, too, is causal. i think before i was separating it out from experience, like it was somehow not affected by anything else..

it actually hasnt bothere me much for the past few days. ill have to try remember exactly what did it..

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
7/1/11 7:56 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
[quote=Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem

i do also get that effect of when i focus on it i seem to get into jhana. thats why i can't relax by doing jhanas, hehe.

i think i know what you mean about the going back+forth. i think i've gotten some fruitions that way. like a similar-ish knot with ahole in the middle will appear in my right foot, then it'll pingpong rapidly back+forth between that and the knot, then (i think) a fruition, then the foot one disappears, then the knot one gets back in place.

it's also happened that the knot would untense for 1/2 a second, then as soon as i notice that, it would re-tense right back.

i recently realized that the knot, too, is causal. i think before i was separating it out from experience, like it was somehow not affected by anything else..

it actually hasnt bothere me much for the past few days. ill have to try remember exactly what did it..

Hmm thats interesting. I can't say I relate to the whole fruition thing since I don't think I've achieved path yet. I'm not sure though since my moments of equanimity are very very brief. However, I do get these weird moments that reality completely distorts for a split second. I have wondered if these are fruitions since they seem to have a blinking quality to them. Usually right after them my mind scatters and goes crazy wondering what it was, then it goes on creating all sorts of stories... That interesting that you get the foot knots. I sometimes get this really dull awkward feeling that I cant stand in my foot. Its very brief and my upper body feelings usually consume my attention by the time i decide to observe the foot.

For the self, happiness is worth €0.50
Answer
7/19/11 5:43 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
So my friend puts one 50 cent coin in the billiards, I go to the cashier to get an exchange for two more, and add those.

Now there is a total of seven fifty cent coins, ours are the last three, so we go for a beer and wait our turn.

Right around the time there are four fifty cent coins, we come back. The current game is over, and the guys currently playing put another coin for the next game. At the same time, a dude comes over and takes one of the remaining three coins, saying he's "taking his coin because he has to go home and can't wait for his turn any longer."

Leaving two fifty cent coins, and a very perplexed mathematician wondering where his third coin went. Upon inquiry both parties seem sincere, one dude really thinks he is entitled to one more round, and the other is really convinced he his taking his own coin.

I start getting pissed, my guts tense up, annoyance, petty anger, and so on... it lasts two or three minutes...

Then suddenly I realize "wow, my own well being isn't worth a goddamn fifty cent!" The whole thing slowly dissipates in amusement...

"I" don't think being well is worth fifty cents... Yet I have the impression that just a few years ago I valued my emotions so much that, if someone were to pay me €1 million to get rid of them, I would refuse...

Just a few moments later an old crush of mine pops up in the same bar. Again a rush of tension in the guts. Again ill-fire burning inside! All the while we were having a perfectly enjoyable game of pool, the dim light was probably making all sorts of interesting reflexes, the sounds I'm sure were likely wonderful to hear, and me and my friends seemed like we were having a great time, if only I had the mental disposition to notice this, rather than freaking out over an ancient fling...

Crazy! Crazy!

I think the shit is made of gold and I throw diamonds down the toilet!

Crazy! Crazy!

RE: For the self, happiness is worth €0.50
Answer
7/27/11 9:33 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
As long as "I" am here, "I" will mess things up, "I" will get in the way, "I" will engage with others on the base of "my" interests, "I" will feel hate and other petty things.

"I" am a taint of this perfection, "I" never allow myself more than a brief glimpse...

Shit for diamonds...

---

Interesting practice: I've noticed that when I get distracted from what's happening, one of the first signs of such distraction is a tuning out of the auditory perception; this is accompanied by a subtle distortion of sound, which I have been trying to recognize, with the aim of being less distracted.

Doing well
Answer
8/7/11 9:42 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
August 8. I thought I would make a different kind of post, as I generally post more about the difficult stuff that props up, or about the tentative solutions I have found for this stuff.

The last month or two have been excellent. I have been happier than I can remember ever having been since my early teens. All my reclusion-from-society nonsense seems to be gone, and I have thoroughly and repeatedly enjoyed the company of my fellow humans. Sunny picnics in the park, cuddling movies at home, joyful chatter when out for a beer. Funnily enough, this seems to happen without the sense of connection I used to cherish so much.

My practice seems to have found the right blend of vipassana and actualism. I have had many EEs over this period, and delight has been abundant. Simultaneously, stuff seems to be happening to blockages all around, which either disappear or no longer seem like much of a problem. I still have cycles, and spend quite a large portion of my time stuck in somewhat unpleasant or painful dark-nightish solidity, but for some reason it doesn't bother me the way it used to. I can concentrate a bit better than I did a few months back, and my mindfulness has improved, although still with plenty of room for more.

I've had an episode of romantic attraction towards M. (a girl), and, having had the opportunity to re-live all the bad feelings I usually associated to such occurrences (longing, craving, angst, etc), and having seen first hand how corrosive they are of the well being of me, M., and the enjoyment of an otherwise friendly interaction, I am slowly letting them fall away, and in the wake of such banishment, intimacy is allowed to happen.

I am working to promote a kind of interaction which is genuinely interested in the well being and happiness of both parties, but which is uninterested in emotional enticement ("I do not wish to seduce her"), affective binding ("I do not wish that she longs for me"), mutual dependency ("I do not wish that she needs my protection") or other petty feelings (envy, resentment ...).

I find that this takes a lot of courage, because it is very tempting to do and say the kind of things which might make her "want me" or "need me" or be bound to "me" in any way. Ah... it is daring to let go of these things, and strive so that any involvement we might have will be the result of two free minds deciding to make good use of their time, rather than any emotional dependence of any kind. Such daring, I have found, comes from pure intent: it seems I will not settle for anything less. It is very thrilling (and fun and enjoyable), to woo empty handed, without woe, love or lure.

I have also become my best friend. In realizing that "I" really want to be happy, and having found that to be really sweet of "me," I have stopped antagonizing myself, and begun to treat myself tenderly.

The colours are vivid, the shapes are sharp, the smells are pungent, the flavors full, the sounds bounce back from the walls, and touch is soft and exciting.

RE: Doing well
Answer
8/8/11 3:14 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
^^ yay. i'd facebook style "like" your above post if there were the option on dho. haha

RE: Doing well
Answer
8/8/11 3:25 PM as a reply to Steph S.
aye, lovely post, and glad to see you're doing well... i really have to stop antagonizing myself as well.

since this seems to come up for many people, could you go into how you went from not being able to focus enough to read or concentrate or do vipassana or what-not, to where you are now? what changes helped you do that?

RE: Doing well
Answer
8/8/11 5:54 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I took one week off work to take psychedelics and do actualism practice. Still taking small doses of magic mushrooms a few times a week (about 0.05g or something like 1/60 - 1/30 the typical recreational dose) which really helps smoothing out the dark night stuff.

I really focused on enjoying myself in the way that I already knew possible. I am having a lot of fun as often as I can. Every day I take some time to really enjoy myself doing the things I like the most (walking outside, for instance), and I try to do them as sensuously as possible.

When the dark night stuff becomes strong, I take on an attitude of tenderness and caring, I don't do any heroics and I am gentle. It is a bit to early to know if this kindness towards myself will last, as the real shift into being my own best friend seemed to have happened just a week ago.

I am not claiming new insights or anything like that, just that this last month and a half was wonderful, and in a way that quite obviously results from the various practices I've done over the last two and a half years. The reason I can now read stuff at work is simply because the dark night has become so much more manageable. As the aversion to working seems to have subsided somewhat, I can now read papers again. Although my concentration could certainly improve.

I just started my summer vacations for three more weeks, so it's easy to enjoy myself.

RE: Doing well
Answer
8/8/11 7:00 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
here's something to think about guys..

barring the technicalities of there not actually being anyone who is doing anything... an interesting way to look at this conceptually:

when you're mean to yourself, you respond meanly back to yourself. when you're nice to yourself, you respond nicely back to yourself. kind of like when you're mean to another person, they're probably going to be mean back to you... or when you're kind, they're kind back.

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/1/11 7:28 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Delightful three weeks of holiday.

It was quite incredible to say goodbye to my friends and family without the longing pain in my chest. There was a slight murmur there, but I was pretty much happy as a bee.

It was surprising to do a summer camp without any feeling of belonging or not belonging to a group. One moment at a time, setting up the tent, cooking for thirty people, a beam of sunlight, a nice friendly chat, the sounds of clapping echoing on the walls...

The most unpleasant theme: I got subtly irritated on several occasions, and visibly irritated on three occasions. This suggests something deeper I want to look into... why do I ever get irritated?

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/1/11 7:35 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
but I was pretty much happy as a bee.


..call me pedantic but i thought clams were happy and bees were just busy...

anyway, i'm looking forward to the time when i can count my irritations in single numbers..per hour

thanks for your constant inspiration.

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/1/11 10:48 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
ah, of course, I guess I mixed "happy as can be" and "busy as a bee" lol emoticon

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/11/11 3:43 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
August 8. (...) I've had an episode of romantic attraction towards M. (a girl), and, having had the opportunity to re-live all the bad feelings I usually associated to such occurrences (longing, craving, angst, etc), and having seen first hand how corrosive they are of the well being of me, M., and the enjoyment of an otherwise friendly interaction, I am slowly letting them fall away, and in the wake of such banishment, intimacy is allowed to happen.

I am working to promote a kind of interaction which is genuinely interested in the well being and happiness of both parties, but which is uninterested in emotional enticement ("I do not wish to seduce her"), affective binding ("I do not wish that she longs for me"), mutual dependency ("I do not wish that she needs my protection") or other petty feelings (envy, resentment ...).

I find that this takes a lot of courage, because it is very tempting to do and say the kind of things which might make her "want me" or "need me" or be bound to "me" in any way. Ah... it is daring to let go of these things, and strive so that any involvement we might have will be the result of two free minds deciding to make good use of their time, rather than any emotional dependence of any kind. Such daring, I have found, comes from pure intent: it seems I will not settle for anything less. It is very thrilling (and fun and enjoyable), to woo empty handed, without woe, love or lure.


Very thrilling indeed! Here is an update.

It is very clear that my interest for M. prevents intimacy. The inner projection I have of M. ("imaginary M.") has invaded my imagination, and enthralled itself into "my" schemes and dreams. I am acutely aware of this, and I repeatedly do what I can to minimize it. Contemplation of the senses, well-being and relaxation, really help. In those moments when I was relaxed, we had a good time, and it was a delightful intimate experience.

As it stands, it seems that M. enjoys our interaction (particularly when I am relaxed and happy around her), and she has told me that much, but she is not inclined to become my partner, as I seem to lack the physical (and perhaps psychological) characteristics which turn her on. It seems she prefers taller boys, as they make her "feel protected."

I would like it if she did not feel scared, but I do not want to make her feel protected by me, because this would clearly condition her well-being on my presence. I act very goofy when I'm around her, and I am sometimes quite nervous in her company (because of my dreams and schemes with "imaginary M.") --- which I am sure does not in any way project the image of archetypal male protector, lol emoticon.

So recently, M. has become interested in another guy. He is blonde, tall, and gorgeous. I realized this a few days ago, when I saw them flirting and seducing each other right next to me, while we were sitting at the same table with two other friends.

This made me incredibly nervous, very upset, and I felt very strong jealousy which turned into anger and other malicious feelings. Gosh, I hadn't felt such anger in quite a while. I actually imagined pulling out a loaded pistol, and shooting the guy in the head. More appropriate to the occasion, during our conversation my stream of thought kept being interrupted by opportune malicious jokes, or possibly humiliating remarks, or gestures that would bring the focus of attention to me.

It took all my meditation powers to keep a lid over all these bursts of malice, and I was even able to keep a relatively friendly posture, and remembered on a few occasions to make jokes to enliven the conversation and relax the atmosphere. But after two hours of this, I was exhausted, and my demeanor changed from well-meaning effortful sympathy into a spaced-out apathy, and I am pretty sure that I was sending out very negative vibes (a friend asked me if "I was OK").

The next day I woke up in a good mood, due to a recently acquired habit I think, I even had some nice EEs, but then inside, slowly, a corrosive malicious despair started showing itself --- of course I had to deal with the feelings that happened the night before.

Pain, crying, victimizing ("why me?"), analysis, a lot of meditation. As it is now usual, this was maintained by a complete inability to avoid the issue, or getting distracted with little things.

I was very very sad that things weren't going "my way," and relived several past stories of how it never really had gone "my way" (I've never had a girl or boyfriend).

I am very happy to report that, throughout the whole thing, self-hate was at an all-time low. I had none of the usual "I suck" feelings, and whenever it seemed that it might start going the way of self-hate, I very quickly caught myself, apologized to myself, and in general was very tender towards myself. It felt that "I" and "me" were caught up in a big tangle, but they were willing to do their best effort to work with each other, rather than against one another ("I" and "me" are still dissociated I'm afraid, but now they get along very well).

I hated the guy and I resented M., and I didn't want to. Furthermore, the dude was actually quite nice, friendly, and interesting, which made me stress and start comparing, as if in some sort of competition. Whenever malicious thoughts would arise, I would take them as something which was happening but which I was doing my best to do away with, and the vast experience I've acquired during past episodes of ill-being really cut it out for me, and was enough, just barely, to give this particular episode a vague background of perspective.

Yet I was suffering, and I was tired of it. I looked for solutions, and many things crossed my mind, of which now only two remain. One of them is: I have concluded that this state was slowly built up during the last couple of months by somewhat carelessly engaging in "good feelings." My attitude towards these things is much less investigative than my attitude towards the "bad feelings." I am prone to pay little attention to the giddy bliss, or to the spikes of sexual desire. I enjoy M.'s presence and that makes me distracted and absorbed and embedded. So over the course of months, these things work like a drug, preparing an addictive trap, and as soon as the source of bliss ("imagined M.") is cut off (by contrast with the actual person), the painful aspect of craving then becomes visible, and it's pain, pain, pain all the way. So, to conclude, I must pay more attention and be more investigative of good feelings as well as bad.

Or in other words: "bla bla bla meditate better".

The other conclusion struck me today, and "struck" is the appropriate verb, as I am formidably struck. So I was walking around in this fabulous city, the canals, the sunlight on the 17th century brick buildings, the typically dutch abundance of city trees and other greenery, and I was partly distracted from all of that, trying to find a solution to this emotional pain I was still experiencing.

Many things came to mind: "I will talk with M. and tell her how I feel envious, and maybe she... (fantasy where imaginary M. kisses me or something)"; or "I am clearly not ready for this adventure, I will just give up my wooing and ... (fantasy where I drop all my sexuality by an heroic effort of meditation)"; or "I will just cut off contact for a few weeks, and I can come back when it's under control (bitterly)"...

But it all seemed like such a huge cliché, a repetition of a repetition of a bitter geek's tragic love story, and none of it was seen as a solution, but rather as a poor-man's medicine, taking the bad with the good, same-old same-old...

"Surely," I thought, "the universe is more original than this!" (for "I" felt stuck with nowhere to turn)

"Certainly," (I was now laughing) "if there are galaxies in rotation, rainbows and dew drops, there has to be another way!"

So I shut up all this thinking for a while, and gently pleaded to the universe, to this body, to the perfection which I have already briefly seen was there, to give me a hand, because "I" clearly couldn't come up with anything better than a writer of mexican soap-operas.

And out of nowhere in particular, there came the thought "well, I could be with him as with a new friend..." WOW!

How naive! How benign! How genial!

It is not only the best solution to this imbroglio, and so obviously free of malice, but it is also, and this is why it struck me so formidably, the solution which eliminates "me."

It is that step which is obviously the right thing to do, and which completely undermines my schemes and dreams, my imaginations, my plans, my desires, my instincts (all of which are dumbfounded by this idea).

"What if M. then prefers to be with the guy, rather than me? --- I will have made another friend! How will it happen? --- Gosh, I have no idea!" And I was glad that the dude was nice and friendly, rather than upset by it.

I was struck. Struck by how genial it was, and struck by how "I" was not part of the equation, and I also saw how it was "me" that was standing in the way of seeing this simple solution in the first place.

"Will I be able to pull it off?" My guts told me it wouldn't be easy.

"But I must do it with all the sincerity that I can muster!" I was (and still am) so certain that this was the solution!

"And there is no place for me in this..." As the understanding of this sunk, I was assaulted by fear, and started meditating again, investigating the fear, relaxing, being tender, etc... It has now subsided considerably.

This is all quite amazing!

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/11/11 4:51 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
"I am clearly not ready for this adventure, I will just give up my wooing and ... (fantasy where I drop all my sexuality by an heroic effort of meditation)"
...
"Certainly," (I was now laughing) "if there are galaxies in rotation, rainbows and dew drops, there has to be another way!"

hahaha.. these two phrases made me laugh. very nice =). i've certainly harbored the former fantasy... the latter phrase i might have to repeat to myself whenever i am stuck =P. thanks for sharing.. good luck with the issues.. had a rather unpleasant one hit me that i must work on

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/13/11 5:03 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey Bruno,

And out of nowhere in particular, there came the thought "well, I could be with him as with a new friend..." WOW!


Be with whom? Are you talking about the tall blonde gorgeous guy?

"Will I be able to pull it off?" My guts told me it wouldn't be easy.

"But I must do it with all the sincerity that I can muster!" I was (and still am) so certain that this was the solution!



Why do you need a solution? Can you gently identify and gently release all emotions - Releasing = turning back to the senses since without feeling there is nothing but the senses (and apperception)?

Is there any reason to be with this girl other then the positive vibes she once gave you or to prove how magnanimous you are that you still appreciate friendship even after being spurned?

Is there any reason to reach out to this guy other than to assuage hostility or some such other emotions?

Is there any reason to do anything outside of the survival routine you have assembled?

Being an actualist is an interesting situation. There are never any other actualists around. There are only buddhist. At least they understand the lingo and have a similar end game in mine. But the vast majority of the world believes in things like self-expression and following your heart, etc. They can't understand our pov. With other actualist or open minded buddhist, one doesn't need to try to be their friends. They will always be friendly and supportive if/when they are genuinely after non-self. But with people who believe in ego gratification, lust satiation, community, devotion, competition, etc, there is no reason to try and be their friends. They can't understand you. At the office, neighborhood get-togethers, birthday parties, long airplane flights, etc interaction with them can be genuine and enjoyable. But to reach out to a non-actualist or open minded buddhist is try an assuage an emotion or satisfy a craving. Best to examine the desire instead, identify it, release it so the senses can be fully enjoyed once again.

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/13/11 11:39 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey, Bruno,
I recently went through a similar situation when my expectations were crushed, with a serious talk with this person who apparently I loved.

Despite I anticipated this end, I still had a few dreams, hopes and expectations, so one of the most efficient remedies was to just talk to her sincerely and know what she was actually feeling, because this put those fabrications in their place, revealing their lack of sustance.

So, before I talked to her about this, I took a few days off, with zero contact with her, and this helped to reconnect with my practice, as I remembered why 'Actualism' is called 'Actualism'. I contrasted my thoughts and feelings with actuality and that took me to some realizations that helped me to detach. For example...

1. I am alone in my apartment with this bed, these chairs, this TV. The only fact is that she is not here now. Why suffer for someone who is not even here?
2. Even if she were here, the only fact is that she is a person. Why suffer for a human being present here by my side?
3. She is a human being, so she can't be mine. I realized that we have a compulsion for privatization {maybe more fueled by capitalism}, and property is just an illusion.
4. Two facts... i. she is not interested in me as a boyfriend, ii. I have a lot of fun with this person now. Does the first fact excludes the latter? No. Could I keep being nice to her and having a great time in company of this person? Why not.
Etc.

So I guess you can try to be more sincere with you and with this person. It was great for me to investigate my feelings and expectations this way, and now I am trying sincerely to be just friends with her.

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/14/11 5:12 AM as a reply to Jon T.
Jon T:
Hey Bruno,

And out of nowhere in particular, there came the thought "well, I could be with him as with a new friend..." WOW!


Be with whom? Are you talking about the tall blonde gorgeous guy?



Yes.

Jon T:

"Will I be able to pull it off?" My guts told me it wouldn't be easy.

"But I must do it with all the sincerity that I can muster!" I was (and still am) so certain that this was the solution!



Why do you need a solution? Can you gently identify and gently release all emotions - Releasing = turning back to the senses since without feeling there is nothing but the senses (and apperception)?


Cuz I was suffering. I can do what you say when they are not strong, but the emotions with M. had been growing unchecked to the point they were now quite strong. I think I will be able to prevent this by no longer "feeling good." This is interesting because "bad" emotions are very very obvious and salient and I can not ignore them no matter how I try, but it seems that "good emotions" usually grow unchecked and unseen until they are quite strong.

Jon T:

Is there any reason to be with this girl other then the positive vibes she once gave you or to prove how magnanimous you are that you still appreciate friendship even after being spurned?


It's fun and exciting (I really do enjoy being around other humans, but only when I am well). I don't think I am doing this in order to prove that I am magnanimous (to whom?), but in order to be magnanimous (as in "free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness").

Jon T:

Is there any reason to reach out to this guy other than to assuage hostility or some such other emotions?


I'm not reaching out to him, just treat him as I would a new friend (regardless of whatever happens between him and M.). Meaning I'll be nice, chat, make jokes, etc, as the circumstances allow, and not feel any malice or sorrow in his presence.

Jon T:

Is there any reason to do anything outside of the survival routine you have assembled?


Yeah, its great fun, particularly when feelings don't interfere. I haven't had any stable routine ever since my first A&P three years ago.

Jon T:

Being an actualist is an interesting situation. There are never any other actualists around. There are only buddhist. At least they understand the lingo and have a similar end game in mine. But the vast majority of the world believes in things like self-expression and following your heart, etc. They can't understand our pov. With other actualist or open minded buddhist, one doesn't need to try to be their friends. They will always be friendly and supportive if/when they are genuinely after non-self. But with people who believe in ego gratification, lust satiation, community, devotion, competition, etc, there is no reason to try and be their friends. They can't understand you. At the office, neighborhood get-togethers, birthday parties, long airplane flights, etc interaction with them can be genuine and enjoyable. But to reach out to a non-actualist or open minded buddhist is try an assuage an emotion or satisfy a craving. Best to examine the desire instead, identify it, release it so the senses can be fully enjoyed once again.


I dunno dude, I enjoy being with people even if they believe in ego gratification, lust satiation, community, devotion, competition, etc. As for understanding my pov, I recognize they don't, and I can see why they don't, and it usually doesn't bother me... It is only when my actualist calenture/identity starts acting up that it does bother me, and I engage in debates and disputes, which I have already decided never to do again.

As for the cravings that are satisfied with bonds of friendship, they are part of what needs to be investigated, sure. Other than that, it is really amazing that there are other humans, and that you can talk with them and touch them and walk around with them... really swell! Trees and lakes and birds and flowers are amazing, but living, breathing humans are also.

I find my identity has essentially four parts left. (1) Love & Sexual desire, (2) actualism identity and other "personality", (3) craving for bonds of friendship, and (4) financial/future worry.

These are the contents my "cupboard," if you will. (3) and (4) have reduced to a minimum, (1) and (2) are currently being very actively investigated. The line of questioning for (1) is similar to Felipe's.

After reading the chapter on Peter's journal about love, I realized that all the giddy excitement and whatnot was definitely love. Seeing that it was hurting me, I decided to get rid of it in pretty much the same way (with decisiveness), and for pretty much the same reasons (jealousy and obsession preventing well-being with the very person) as Peter mentions in his Journal.

In any case, the emotional tantrum now seems to be over, I'm back at enjoying life once again. Yesterday I was with friends, including M., and it was very goofy, relaxed and delightful.

RE: Doing well
Answer
9/14/11 7:10 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
In any case, the emotional tantrum now seems to be over, I'm back at enjoying life once again. Yesterday I was with friends, including M., and it was very goofy, relaxed and delightful.


Good to hear.


Your comments about the subversive nature of good feelings are much appreciated, btw. I mean subversive in an actualists context as in subverting actual freedom.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/15/11 4:17 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
[quote=Nick's Blog]Also, after a chat with Tarin, I also may have shed light on why there are still 'pings' felt at certain chakra spots up the body and adding to the whole 'shadow' phenomena.

T: no, i don't get pings at chakra points, would you like me to speculate as to why?

me: yes

T: for the same reason as what i told you, a year or two ago, about spreading attention to parts of the body that are not on the chakra trail

Tarin:

"a tip you may find handy as you are inclined to notice this: as it moves, pay attention not just to the most obvious aspects of it, but look around it (like around its edges) and see if you can spot subtler stuff happening at the same time. how does the quality of the sensation change? how does the upward progression through the centre of your body affect its surrounding areas, like the periphery/the surface of your body? is there a sense of interplay between the sensations that imply the core (where you feel the ball of energy, as you call it) and sensations of the periphery?" Tarin


Tommy M:
Rather than noting, this is now about literally seeing clearly and looking at what's still supporting this sense of being, which is now much clearer as sensation around the periphery of the body itself (I'd say "auric" if it didn't sound so goddamned new-agey).


What is this thing with the periphery? I have noticed I tend to focus on the "core" of chakras and whatnot (points that feel like a ball of energy or a blockage with a defined center) much more than other parts, but as I progress there is less compulsion to do so.

I'll experiment with this for a while, if anyone has any further hints let me know. Today's sit was so concentrated, I had no idea I could do that! There was a point when I was looking at the very very subtle background from where mental chatter originates, and apparently there was nothing there to be found (I couldn't hold on to anything).

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/16/11 4:06 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.

What is this thing with the periphery? I have noticed I tend to focus on the "core" of chakras and whatnot (points that feel like a ball of energy or a blockage with a defined center) much more than other parts, but as I progress there is less compulsion to do so.
Periphery is the feeling of body parts disappearing. Vibrations in finger tips cause "no fingers", vibrations then spread to hand causing "no hands" expansion, and so on until complete disippation of body boundary, in exchange for vibrancy, then, perhaps gone-from-body-feeling (the brain's awareness of itself in new sensations). This can loosen identity (and contribute to the brains shedding selfhood, leaving nothing to fixate/celebrate/seek this change in sensation), without which the shift in perception is just that: energetic feeling versus an assumptive, almost blunt-object, feeling of limbs and parts. Tai chi and chi gong can develop this. Simple chi gong is more likely to develop it quickly b/c a person can focus on one movement versus a suite of tai chi movements (known as "forms"). This experience occurred to me by accident when I was about 15 and had just finished 10 minutes of very focused cow-cat yoga and laid down on back to sleep, palms up.

Today's sit was so concentrated, I had no idea I could do that! There was a point when I was looking at the very very subtle background from where mental chatter originates, and apparently there was nothing there to be found (I couldn't hold on to anything).
Concentration in combination with the antidote (friendship) applied to self-absorbed "bruno" (the one relating to/feeding on imaginary M and gorgeous blond guy) by "free bruno" can have fundamentally healing attributes for everyone in the vicinity - it can look like magic is occurring when the concentration and "safety" of felicitous feelings are applied very thoroughly. Friendliness, mediation on the arising selves, and sensuous PCEs read to me like a capable, skilled, healthful multi-front antidote to the affective rabble-rouser personage (personage that wants attention placed on itself by numerous means) creating a personage of "safe haven". You seem aware of the risk to yourself and others of stagnating as a "safe haven" knowing that such an identity creates the suffering of dependence for others.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/16/11 9:04 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
What is this thing with the periphery? I have noticed I tend to focus on the "core" of chakras and whatnot (points that feel like a ball of energy or a blockage with a defined center) much more than other parts, but as I progress there is less compulsion to do so.
Someone with this awareness of chakras could also study John Chang (java, book: the magus of java) too.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 4:09 AM as a reply to . ..
Bruno you refer to people as 'other humans' and sit there analyzing your emotions while the conversation is going on around you, attempting to be happy and harmless?? No wonder she took off with some other bloke! You're lucky she didn't tell you to get lost! Your approach is the dictionary definition of unattractive and asexual, as far as woman is concerned.

It's so simple. Just assume women like you and assume they want to fuck you. Women actually love to fuck... they LOVE it. Sometimes I think they love it more than us guys. Generate a belief through repetition and by living the belief. The geek persona is useless, drop it. No one likes a geek, because a geek doesn't like himself.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 6:53 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
CCC

Why the negativity? Bruno is trying to make happy and harmless a permanent state for himself and is therefore doing you and everyone else a favor.


When with women, there need not be an intent to get them in the sack. That won't make you happy. Even if you succeed, any such happiness will be short lived. Imagine being genuinely happy and harmless. How much of a turn on do you think that would be for many a woman? Imagine not courting a woman and yet sleeping with her. Imagine no pride at such an "accomplishment". Imagine hanging out with a beautiful girl for hours over chic cocktails and expensive hors d'ouevres and dropping her off at her place before taking a taxi back to yours' - And having no disappointment or shame that she didn't invite you up. The pride of sexual conquest is one powerful narcotic. And the shame of sexual frustration is a terrible catch-22 (you can't get rid of the frustration without trying to get laid but every time you try you fail and feel more frustrated). I've lived both. I've felt both. If you haven't felt the latter then that is nice for you. You haven't suffered in that way. But that is one of the main sufferings which did eventually lead me to Actualism and that suffering has proved beneficial. Perhaps Bruno needs to suffer some more before taking the final plunge. And I don't think any advice on how to get pussy is going help eradicate anyone's suffering.

Furthermore, after you do sleep with a girl, unless she's completely removed from your social circle and work life, there's a whole bunch of shit you have to deal with. And even then I always felt compelled to at least go through the motions for a while. Better to make sure you both are in tune before kissing her.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 11:19 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hey CCC,

I find this post completely uncalled for and meritless. Bruno did not come on this site asking for dating advice. He is trying to share his contemplative journey with the class. Your approach seems based on a selfishness that my friend Bruno is attempting to transcend. This is a thread in the actualism sub forum of a online dharma community. You advice belongs on a pick up artist forum.

Clayton

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 11:20 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Bruno you refer to people as 'other humans' and sit there analyzing your emotions while the conversation is going on around you, attempting to be happy and harmless?? No wonder she took off with some other bloke! You're lucky she didn't tell you to get lost! Your approach is the dictionary definition of unattractive and asexual, as far as woman is concerned.

It's so simple. Just assume women like you and assume they want to fuck you. Women actually love to fuck... they LOVE it. Sometimes I think they love it more than us guys. Generate a belief through repetition and by living the belief. The geek persona is useless, drop it. No one likes a geek, because a geek doesn't like himself.


http://www.pick-up-artist-forum.com/

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 11:36 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
The craving of women/ a particular woman and its mental images/ feelings of frustration is like one of the very few issues still sticking with "me". Much (although very very decreased) of my day is thinking about women in some form. I think this is a common thread to all men and the answer to alleviation is just continued pure intent. Just saying

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 12:29 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
It seems that CCC is simply demonstrating why he is sorely in need of a genuine contemplative practice (as without one he cannot understand the contemplative goals of others, nor the source of his own unhappiness and the way that Bruno's post apparently struck a nerve in some deeply personal way...hence his jumbled and confused outburst).

And yet, unfortunately, he has thus far refused to begin one.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 1:17 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Women actually love to fuck... they LOVE it. Sometimes I think they love it more than us guys.


Ouch, sounds like high-school rhetoric to me emoticon

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 1:45 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Bruno you refer to people as 'other humans' and sit there analyzing your emotions while the conversation is going on around you, attempting to be happy and harmless?? No wonder she took off with some other bloke! You're lucky she didn't tell you to get lost! Your approach is the dictionary definition of unattractive and asexual, as far as woman is concerned.

It's so simple. Just assume women like you and assume they want to fuck you. Women actually love to fuck... they LOVE it. Sometimes I think they love it more than us guys. Generate a belief through repetition and by living the belief. The geek persona is useless, drop it. No one likes a geek, because a geek doesn't like himself.


Yeah dude, I don't wanna live according to your dictionary, I refuse to play the game, I'm not interested in "fucking," I don't want to generate any belief, and I don't care to have any persona of any kind (be it "geek" or "stud").

I'd like something more genuine and more intimate.

And I like myself very much, thank you emoticon

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 2:38 PM as a reply to Jon T.
Jon T:
The pride of sexual conquest is one powerful narcotic. And the shame of sexual frustration is a terrible catch-22 (you can't get rid of the frustration without trying to get laid but every time you try you fail and feel more frustrated). I've lived both. I've felt both.


I thought the whole point of being a Pick-Up Artist is to practically get laid more often (every day, if you have the energy and time) to the point of sexual frustration being a rare occurrence. How, then, can a PUA fail and feel more frustrated every time he tries to hit on the females?

Just playing the devil's advocate here.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 2:44 PM as a reply to Harry Potter.
having all your desires fulfilled all the time would be about equal to actual freedom
good luck!

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/17/11 3:27 PM as a reply to Harry Potter.
HP,

I didn't mention anything about a PUA. Oh, I see what you mean. I meant that at different prolonged periods in my life I've been somewhat successful with the ladies and terribly unsuccessful with them.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 3:03 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
It's not my dictionary bruno. Attraction, romance and sex (the things you desire so so badly and won't admit to) happens when you're outward looking and confident, not when you're self-absorbed and lost in your own anxious thoughts. You're so self-absorbed I doubt you'd be able to cross a busy road safely!

You're not interested in fucking? Your problem bruno is that you constantly lie to yourself. Constantly...because you're terrified. I've never met a man that is not interested in sex. What are you going to do, cuddle and do a crossword together? Sure, that can be nice, but what about when she's ready to go? Do you tell her to wait a few hours while you analyze your thoughts?

Get real. The only reason you like this place is because you have people (aka 'other humans') supporting your self-absorbed way of life. Self-absorption is the opposite of what buddha was talking about, and you can't even see THAT!

Aiming to master the tenth dimension when you're not even grounded in the first.

edit: I'm not an advocate for the pick up scene, just being real about who you are, what you want.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 5:13 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:

You're not interested in fucking? Your problem bruno is that you constantly lie to yourself. Constantly...because you're terrified. I've never met a man that is not interested in sex. What are you going to do, cuddle and do a crossword together? Sure, that can be nice, but what about when she's ready to go? Do you tell her to wait a few hours while you analyze your thoughts?

Get real. The only reason you like this place is because you have people (aka 'other humans') supporting your self-absorbed way of life. Self-absorption is the opposite of what buddha was talking about, and you can't even see THAT!


I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that seemingly self absorbed behavior isn't what the buddha was talking about. You wanna talk about self absorbed? The Buddha left his pregnant wife to find enlightenment. Show me something in Pali that talks about embracing your sexuality the way you describe--otherwise don't name drop the big man flippantly in order to make such an absurd point.

Clayton

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 6:47 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
This sort of thing could be the basis for one of those suttas where Mara comes to pester one of Buddha's disciples about some pointless delusion that he wants to foist on the disciple.

Anyhow, CCC, here's one monk's account of his enlightenment, from the scriptures. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/thag/thag.07.01.than.html

From reading this and examining what role you're playing in this interchange, do you have any sense of how bad your behavior and its consequences are (whether you think about that in terms of "karma" or otherwise)?

Thinking about it this way, to what extent does it surprise you that you have such difficulties finding personal happiness...difficulties which you've mentioned numerous times in your past posts?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 7:02 AM as a reply to Clayton James Lightfoot.
I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that seemingly self absorbed behavior isn't what the buddha was talking about. You wanna talk about self absorbed? The Buddha left his pregnant wife to find enlightenment. Show me something in Pali that talks about embracing your sexuality the way you describe--otherwise don't name drop the big man flippantly in order to make such an absurd point.



I like this point but I do disagree with a lot of it. I think it's easy to get self absorbed in this practice. One is always trying to be h&h and it becomes tempting to try to root out negative emotions. To some degree that is necessary but even while rooting out those negative emotions i.e. deconstructing the social identity, it's very very good to pay attention to what is actual. Simultaneously paying attention to the actual and your thoughts and your emotions is the opposite of self absorbed. But a heavy degree of self absorption is probably necessary to get the ball rolling but it has to be scientific and flexible and then eventually abandoned. CCC's tone is trollish and his initial post on the subject was out of line but something can be learned from what he is saying.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 7:08 AM as a reply to Jon T.
I agree with what you are saying Jon. I was merely surprised at the unorthodox interpretation of the Original Gangster buddha's teaching. Anyway thats enough from me on this topic. Best wishes to Bruno in his continued efforts.

Clayton

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 12:27 PM as a reply to Jon T.
While CCC by and large comes out here as trollish, he did make one important point. How can one not be "interested" in fucking when the sexual desire is still in place? Is Bruno seriously going to say "no, I'm not interested in fucking but only actual intimacy" to that atypical woman (not a whore) who proactively offers him sex and the warmth of love?

Please recall what Richard said about the hidden expectancies between men and women:

Richard:
[...] men (as a generalisation) are reluctant to penetrate deeply and/or go very far into actualism because women (as a generalisation) are looking for love and compassion and an empathetic understanding or, at the very least, affection – from a potential spouse (companion/ partner/ lover/ whatever).

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 1:55 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
It's not my dictionary bruno. Attraction, romance and sex (the things you desire so so badly and won't admit to) happens when you're outward looking and confident, not when you're self-absorbed and lost in your own anxious thoughts. You're so self-absorbed I doubt you'd be able to cross a busy road safely!

You're not interested in fucking? Your problem bruno is that you constantly lie to yourself. Constantly...because you're terrified. I've never met a man that is not interested in sex. What are you going to do, cuddle and do a crossword together? Sure, that can be nice, but what about when she's ready to go? Do you tell her to wait a few hours while you analyze your thoughts?

Get real. The only reason you like this place is because you have people (aka 'other humans') supporting your self-absorbed way of life. Self-absorption is the opposite of what buddha was talking about, and you can't even see THAT!

Aiming to master the tenth dimension when you're not even grounded in the first.

edit: I'm not an advocate for the pick up scene, just being real about who you are, what you want.


(jokingly) Wow man, you're right! I never had anyone dig so deep into my psyche and really understand me! You just blew my mind! emoticon Wazzaa! Wohoo! Shabang! Cowabunga!

As there was some confusion when I mentioned I'm not interested in "fucking," I should add that it is not the sexual act which disinterests me, but a specific approach of going at it. "Scoring, making a notch in one's belt, fucking," regarding it as a prize, as an obsession, craving the sexual act out of lust. I am not interested in this because it has caused me a lot of craving, anxiety and suffering in the past, for what was otherwise a very short-lived enjoyment. That's all! This should clear up the confusion around that particular point.

Now, CCC, I think I have read enough of your posts to get a good impression of your worldview, both in general terms and how it applies to my efforts in particular. If there is something else which you haven't mentioned which you would like to add, I'd be happy to consider it. Those points which you made already (both here and in other threads at the DhO), I have already considered them.

To show that I'm not just saying this, let me summarize (in a rough sketch). You think that human needs can be organized into a sort of hierarchy, maybe beginning with the need to eat and rest, then maybe safety, then maybe sex, followed by social needs like friendship, acceptance and power, eventually reaching onto the "10th dimension" which I suppose would be a unitive or mystical experience of some kind. You think that one must build from below, form a stable basis by satisfying the most basic needs first, and from this infrastructure build onto the ones higher above.

You think that this is the way towards a fulfilled, satisfied life. You notice that my way of going at it is quite different, and you explain this by thinking that I am lying to myself, that I am being dishonest with myself in my efforts at living well.

I hope I have summarized it well, and let's just say I disagree on the basis of my own growing well-being, which is becoming a quite palpable source of confidence (much more so than any of my long-past attempts at auto-suggestion, affirmations, hypnosis, etc). That is to say: my direct experience of being generally quite well over the past few months indicates, to me, that I should continue as I have thus far.

My goal is to become actually free from the human condition. Unless you have a suggestion that you genuinely think can help me with that specific goal, there is really no point in writing in this thread. I would prefer that the sole purpose of this thread be to aid in getting me and others closer to actual freedom. Hence the name The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread), which makes fun out of the fact that actual freedom is a sort of disappearance, of the passions, the identity, which we in actualist lingo often denote by "I", or "me" or "Bruno" with scare-quotes. I hope this is clear to you now, and I hope you understand and are OK with that — that you "agree to disagree," if you will. All the best in your endeavor, and all that emoticon

I had a wonderful day yesterday, an excellent day today. I think I'll do the same tomorrow! emoticon

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 8:29 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


...it is not the sexual act which disinterests me, but a specific approach of going at it. "Scoring, making a notch in one's belt, fucking," regarding it as a prize, as an obsession, craving the sexual act out of lust.
.......

My goal is to become actually free from the human condition. Unless you have a suggestion that you genuinely think can help me with that specific goal, there is really no point in writing in this thread.



But sex is a prize (of sorts), sex is the result of lust, and sex does create desire in everyone. That's its nature. That's what it is. I'm not referring to scoring notches on your bed head, nor the 'more is better' pick up artist mantra. You can't come at sex from a higher and more 'holy than thou' angle - it is what it is. Do you desire it or do you not? Can you be honest?

It reminds me of girls who, because of their upbringing, would never refer to the act as 'fucking', only as 'making love'. It's actually the very same action: it's sweaty, there's pumping and humping, hair everywhere, moaning, screaming. And yet the girl needs it to be 'something special' and to do it 'somewhere special'. Why?? Because she is trying to maintain a certain self-image, one that doesn't endanger "being a good and proper girl". What self-image are you trying to maintain bruno? One that says you are better and more evolved than everyone else? More holy perhaps?

Regarding the second quote: A goal is a desire. You can't have a goal and not desire it - there must be some reward you're seeking, even if there is a price to pay. To have a goal is to have a desire to achieve it. You desire actual freedom from your self? That's a completely antithetical statement. How on earth can the self desire to be free of the self? The self can't desire something that results in its death. Again, that's not its nature. All a self can do is kid itself into believing that it wants to be free of self. Again a lack of insight and honesty! The whole idea of the self figuring its way to freedom is doomed to failure because the natural and sole interest of the self is perpetuation of the self. You can't pull yourself up by your own shoe strings.

You, bruno, do not want to be free of the human condition. That's a statement that would make more sense.

Anyone thinking I'm trolling or baiting has it all wrong.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 8:28 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
the self can desire actual freedom, as an act of altruism towards the universe as a whole (I've felt this desire, and seen many others write about it). and yes, people with selves desire sex... so what? the DhO is comprised of people who have decided that the only route to real fulfillment is through ending such desire rather than following it.

all you've done is suggest the route of following one desire rather than following another, but alot of people here have chosen to follow the path of ending desire, and they have very, very good reasons for following that path. until you actually post reasons that your path is superior then i don't know what you expect other than people thinking you're trolling. people who have followed both paths generally say that the path towards ending the self is better than that of embracing it. and it makes sense that ending painful desire is preferable to having it and trying to fulfill it over and over.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/18/11 9:01 PM as a reply to josh r s.
Why aren't you using capitals to start sentences josh? I accept the accepted norm of beginning with a capital because it works for me, not because it's an accepted norm. It makes the reading easier. What about you? Just another sheep? Did it look cool when Trent did it that way? Is that why you do it? Why are you enabling bruno's self-absorption? More blind following? Being part of the crew because you desire to be accepted? Oops there's that word again. The one that we at the dho push into the deepest parts of our unconscious.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/19/11 4:44 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
(
Bruno:
Unless you have a suggestion that you genuinely think can help me with that specific goal, there is really no point in writing in this thread. I would prefer that the sole purpose of this thread be to aid in getting me and others closer to actual freedom.

)

Now you can be kind and do as requested, or you can be a troll. Per definition, mind you, this is what you have been doing so far:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. ([url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)]link)

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/19/11 10:02 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Why aren't you using capitals to start sentences josh? I accept the accepted norm of beginning with a capital because it works for me, not because it's an accepted norm. It makes the reading easier. What about you? Just another sheep? Did it look cool when Trent did it that way? Is that why you do it? Why are you enabling bruno's self-absorption? More blind following? Being part of the crew because you desire to be accepted? Oops there's that word again. The one that we at the dho push into the deepest parts of our unconscious.


i don't use capitals because i dont like pressing shift. why can't i just ask you if you're another sheep because you are using them? using them seems more common that not using them.

i'm mostly just replying to your post, the "enabling" of bruno's self-absorption is a consequence, one that i'm fine with because for one thing i don't really care that much about what bruno does with his spare time, and to the extent that i do care, it's a great way to spend your time considering the reward of happiness and harmlessness. i take part in self-absorption as well out of a care for this body and every other body, i wish to be happy and harmless.

again, that's the side of most people here. you've again attacked it and again not really supported your attack, so now i'm even more inclined to think you're trolling. also i'm starting to think i'm doing more harm than good by responding to you and continuing this, so unless you start making legitimate points i think i'll just withdraw and continue with self absorption.

edit: thinking more about it, yes the thought when through my head that some other people who've gotten actual freedom type without capital letters. that's the product of a self, something i'm eventually trying to rid myself of.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/20/11 7:34 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:

edit: I'm not an advocate for the pick up scene, just being real about who you are, what you want.


CCC, If you're an advocate of being real about who you are and what you want,
I would advise that you stop preaching to others and just tell the DhO who you are, and what you want,
I don't think you are in any position to give people advice or tell them how wrong they are as you obviously have no experience with the practices and goals discussed here, and so it is just a waste of everyone's time.
Most of your posts which I read are just wild speculations and thoughts that you have after reading things about practices, without trying them, and telling others what they 'really want' or what they are really being motivated by.

Your analysis of Bruno's practice/motivations/etc are clearly just projections of your own desires and difficulties, which is fair-enough, but you're the only one in this thread not noticing that.

From my own experience, such projections occur much easier in internet communication, since you can wildly imagine Bruno as some sort of uber-geek that stays in his room all day thinking about women, which is obviously not the case (I stayed with Bruno for a week and I can clearly see that your projections are wildly off the mark).

Go be a real advocate of being honest about who you are and what you want. For example, you could start with opening a thread of your own and discussing the issue of "who you are", CCC, and what YOU really want.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/21/11 11:31 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
End in Sight:

If you answer "no, no, and no," I wonder if you have considered making an absolute future commitment to actively preventing yourself from falling in love or searching out the experience of falling in love, making an absolute commitment to never having future romantic experiences and actively preventing yourself from having future romantic experiences, and never (as an identity) having a future sexual experience with another person, and actively preventing yourself (as an identity) from having a future sexual experience with another person.


Wow. That touched a nerve. It seemed impossible not to do exactly as suggested after the suggestion was read. As if not doing so would prevent pure intent.

So I balanced out peace-on-earth in one platter, having sex as an identity on the other platter, cried a little bit, and gave up on the latter.

I'm not quite certain of the result, I guess it will take time to see if it worked.

But I suddenly feel that "I" have nothing left to do. It was clearly one of the things that "I" wanted the most, it seemed that "I" was made to want just that. It took every shred of altruism that "I" could gather in order to commit to such a plan.

To be clear, I have nothing "against" sex in any way, but it just seems that the desire to do it was so obsessively wrapped up in "me" that the above suggestion was just "what the doctor ordered" to help me focus on what I now clearly perceive to be the most important thing I could do with my lifetime.

I suddenly don't really have any goal other than becoming actually free.

Looking at my cupboard once more time, I still see (1) some small leftovers of what used to be a sex drive (habitual looking patterns), (2) a bizarre effort at maintaining a persona, which is nowadays mostly occupied with thoughts and beliefs and views about meditation and the human condition; (3) a slight inclination at preserving bonds of kin and friendship (evidenced by a not-to-strong mourning for their loss); and (4) a vague and weak worry about my future job situation (evidenced by the ocasional thoughts about this matter).

All of these seem suddenly so uninteresting... and I am left with the intent of becoming actually free.

So I renounce all of these aspects of my identity. To help me with (2), I think it might help if I don't actively participate on the DhO for a couple of months. I might personally contact some of you, if I have any specific questions or if I am stuck for some reason.

I thought of not posting this at all, but "Bruno" wanted to, so that this post have the magickal-powersy effect of further enhancing his focus.

It is about time there be peace-on-earth...

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
9/21/11 12:41 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I suddenly don't really have any goal other than becoming actually free.


Now that 'you' have closed off the possibility of ever attaining the main thing that 'you' want, there is nothing left for 'you' to do other than...disappear.

Jhana practice?
Answer
11/28/11 11:00 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
End in Sight:
Bruno Loff:

I am interested in your alternative approach to jhana, which seems to put emphasis on eliminating tension rather than generating bliss (or generating anything at all). Though I haven't quite figured out if I understand the set-up correctly. To wit, the technique is:


Perhaps I should write all this down somewhere in particular, as it seems to be easily misunderstood.

You are talking about a technique I described that can only be employed once some degree of jhanic experience is stabilized. The stillness and the PCE qualities are actually the jhanic experience, not something that is attended to in order to produce the jhanic experience.

This is the advice I would give you:

1a) Recognize that you're not fond of bliss because your experiences of it have been contaminated by the attention wave, and the attention wave perturbs your calm;

1b) Recognize that the attention wave is the only thing that can cause feelings of perturbation or irritation or dissatisfaction or lack of calm;

2a) Bliss, apperceived as a physical sensation of pleasure, is as satisfying or unsatisfying as anything else you might experience during a PCE;

2b) You already likely have experienced bliss, apperceived as a physical sensation of pleasure, during past PCEs;

3) If you can generate bliss, you can pay attention appropriately and recognize that it has two components: static unmoving physical pleasure, and attention wave-related stuff that vibrates "over" or "on top of" it.;

4a) If you can generate bliss and analyze it into these two parts during the experience, then, if you breathe in a very relaxing way and pay attention to that, and don't do anything to aggravate the attention wave, the physical pleasure can become stronger;

4b) Not aggravating the attention wave means literally ignoring all the vibratory, affective stuff that comes up (while making sure not to "rest" on it or in it in a subtle way);

5) As the physical pleasure becomes stronger, you will be more able to stop generating the attention wave, either automatically or with minimal effort;

6) The less attention wave you generate, the more PCE-like your experience will be (by definition), and in this context, that is jhana;

7a) Once you have a stable jhana, you can do all sorts of stuff, but a starting recommendation is to just let the jhana be for as long as possible, with no expectations, and take note afterwards of what that does.

7b) The suttas rarely describe decomposing or investigating jhanas; the most obvious example is MN 111, but that is what Sariputta does, and his strongest faculty is wisdom (discernment), not concentration. In my opinion an enormous amount can be accomplished just by letting jhanas remain without investigating them for as long as possible; and that seems to be what the suttas usually describe anyway.

Helpful? (If you want to talk about this at greater length, let's do it in your practice thread.)

How do I tell if I'm doing it right or wrong? (because the PCE always seems somewhat far in my current mode of experience, though when I set my mind to it I can recognize that it is always somehow in the background)


At the beginning, you use the magnitude of physical pleasure to judge whether you're doing it right.

Later, you use the experience of "stillness" (reduction of the attention wave) to judge whether you're doing it right...but, at this point, you will probably not be judging very much.

What to do about sleepiness? (which has always been a problem for me, and for which I am yet to find a solution, since the "increase effort" approach of the suttas only makes me more tense and tired)


Try some green tea, or (if it isn't overstimulatory) coffee or straight caffeine.

Alternatively, you can notice that sleepiness is dullness-tension caused by the attention wave, and see if you can stop the experience of resting your attention on it and go back to paying attention to your breath. (A better cue might be "stop paying attention to the experience of sleepiness".)


Ah, so bliss isn't necessarily energetic... That might explain how I've been doing it wrong. I'll give this practice a try.

RE: Jhana practice?
Answer
11/28/11 2:20 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Let us know how it goes.

Also, even if you don't manage to get a stable jhana, merely cultivating the jhana-factors can be a very productive practice. And this is how you would investigate them:

3) If you can generate bliss, you can pay attention appropriately and recognize that it has two components: static unmoving physical pleasure, and attention wave-related stuff that vibrates "over" or "on top of" it.;

4b) Not aggravating the attention wave means literally ignoring all the vibratory, affective stuff that comes up (while making sure not to "rest" on it or in it in a subtle way);


A lot more pleasant than hardcore vipassana, and at least as effective in my experience. (It is literally impossible to ignore the attention wave if you are also not resting in it; if you managed to do that, the attention wave would disappear; so, you can think of this practice as a way to relinquish craving / clinging / becoming, which is all the attention wave is.)

You don't have to choose between these practices, as the pre-jhana "investigation" turns into jhana if it subdues the attention wave enough. So you can just do the basic practice, and take whichever you get, and not worry.

Also, I have noticed that the practice of merely sitting down with eyes closed and paying attention aggravates the attention wave a bit; I don't know if that's just me or what, but if you have that too, don't worry about that so much, just make sure you don't aggravate it once the pleasure starts coming.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 5:21 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
After a period of rough dark night, I hit equanimity. It is interesting to see how dark night has that uncanny ability to show you, in your face, that so much of what you think and say is identity based bullshit, sustained through a temporary, yet so cunningly convincing euphoria.

EEs seem rather distant, and only occasionally am I able to see the glimpses of perfection which, after all, are my only sincere motivation for practice.

I am now spending my cushion time generating pleasure by breathing and/or whole-body awareness. Sutta-jhana, to use the newly fashionable term. I have consistently been able to generate pleasure in my twice-daily practice for about a month now.

1. I am quite surprised that this is working, as I have never been able to do this before. I've had bliss and ecstasy and so on, sometimes in massive doses, but was never able to generate pleasantness consistently. I think it started working when I began using full-body awareness rather than single-pointed focus, then slowly built over a month and a half. We'll see if the ability remains.

2. Something else that helped was using this neurosky mindset device. I made a program to beep me when the device reports lack of "attention," and that has really helped avoiding those long trains of stray thoughts, as I always get a beep if I get too distracted. Maybe that was what made the difference — meditation is clearly better when using the gadget, although it has also improved when not using.

3. Furthermore, I've started exercising almost every day (currently my knee hurts, so I'm taking a break from running and jump-roping). Doing so is quite the big helper — it is obvious to me how exercise gives me enough "juice" to tackle the difficult obsessive chatter box I currently carry alongside. It still doesn't quite shut up, but the very same noise which would usually be unbearable can be handled with much more leverage, if I have exercised that day. It feels like I am dipped in pleasant narcotics, while still having increased energy.

As the healthy mix of 1, 2, 3 is working quite positively so far, for about a month now, I will keep doing it and see where it leads. I sure miss the EEs which were abundant a few months ago, but then again I was also wrapped up in so much mental-verbal-emotional bullshit (actualist identity acting up everywhere, zeal, love, anger at an old friend due to some episode, etc, "stuff"), that I console myself with the fact that it is now at least partly gone.

In retrospect, it is clear how A&P somehow "set the trap" so that everything would get pulled out from under my feet. It is quite remarkable how, when euphoric, my actions become tainted with little feel-good lies, building up to a self-centered grandiosity — completely ill-founded, in retrospect, but with sufficient inattention, it is allowed to feel true. But, in the end, it is just another persona, selling itself in the "I'm better than others" game.

What made the whole thing really perverse, was that this persona was selling itself as an "actualist." Gosh, what bullcrap emoticon I find it so difficult to be genuine (although I believed I was "a genuine person" for a long time) — it seems that, at best, I can be sincere about my lack of genuinity.

It still seems to me that all this villainy is rooted in the passions. At least they are always entwined with the mental, verbal and physical actions that lead to the bullshit.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 6:30 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
1. I am quite surprised that this is working, as I have never been able to do this before. I've had bliss and ecstasy and so on, sometimes in massive doses, but was never able to generate pleasantness consistently. I think it started working when I began using full-body awareness rather than single-pointed focus, then slowly built over a month and a half. We'll see if the ability remains.


Is that a vipassana practice for you Bruno? Im having a very similar experience right now.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 7:44 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Bagpuss The Gnome:
1. I am quite surprised that this is working, as I have never been able to do this before. I've had bliss and ecstasy and so on, sometimes in massive doses, but was never able to generate pleasantness consistently. I think it started working when I began using full-body awareness rather than single-pointed focus, then slowly built over a month and a half. We'll see if the ability remains.


Is that a vipassana practice for you Bruno? Im having a very similar experience right now.


It's hard to say, as it is completely different than the vipassana I used to do. I used to pound my focus on to every single vibration, over and over again. This has been called "shooting aliens" here at the DhO, but for me the aliens shot back really hard, to the point I would break in agony and give up (until the next round). This was how I got stream entry, but it wasn't working quite the same way anymore — the tension would increase more and more to unsustainable levels — so I gave up on that.

It isn't (what I came to think of as) actualism either, as hi-fi direct perception isn't really the target, instead it's relaxation and pleasure.

I felt like a very modest, yelping dark night dog when I started doing it, I didn't really expect much success. Instead it turned out to be very rewarding, and led to releases in tension which I hadn't felt in a really long time: just like vipassana used to do on retreat, though much more gradually. The random, spontaneous bursts of pleasure and relaxation throughout the day are a welcome and unexpected respite.

The vibrations are there, the blockages are there and being worked on, so I would guess it's vipassana. But much more low-key than the gung-ho "shooting aliens" approach.

It used to be like *red-eyed rambo screaming* YEAH! COME ON YOU F*CKING ALIENS! *sound of my super-fast-and-powerful vipassana-attention-machine-gun touch-touch-touch-touch-touch*.

Now it is much more pleasant. The worst aspect of it is when pleasure ain't coming and I get into a sort of distracted craving mood. This might happen for a total of 20 minutes in a 1 hour session, but sometimes it doesn't happen at all.

I'm keeping really low expectations, but I can't seem not to meditate these days anyway.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 8:12 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It used to be like *red-eyed rambo screaming* YEAH! COME ON YOU F*CKING ALIENS! *sound of my super-fast-and-powerful vipassana-attention-machine-gun touch-touch-touch-touch-touch*.


hahahahah.. thanks Bruno.
Laughter surely is the best medicine :-)

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 8:37 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
heh.. likewise Yadid emoticon


It's hard to say, as it is completely different than the vipassana I used to do. I used to pound my focus on to every single vibration, over and over again. This has been called "shooting aliens" here at the DhO, but for me the aliens shot back really hard, to the point I would break in agony and give up (until the next round). This was how I got stream entry, but it wasn't working quite the same way anymore — the tension would increase more and more to unsustainable levels — so I gave up on that.


Yes. It feels like vipassana to me as well. This is the practice I was fond of in the A&P and it's now working for me in EQ (not that Im doing it every time I sit). I wonder if it would have the same effect if i'd not done a load of body scanning all this year though, and likewise with your noting practice. It seems a good way to get right up to my cutting edge with minimal tension though, then at that piont ,I tend to cut to scanning in the hope of breaking new ground..

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 8:41 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
HI Bruno - about the knees: are you trotting on the balls of the feet when you run? This is what alleviated knee and back (joint) pains for me. The muscles (butt and calves, thighs) take the brunt of the jog when the heel never really lands. Having bulged and herniated back discs, finding ball of the feet jogging was nice. Ball of the feet running will require much stretching of the calves in the beginning (basically, two minutes each calve such as pressing the toes against a wall so that the heel drops and long slow deep breathing). Also is Intuflow helping while you drop jogging, or is there an exercise from Intuflow that you feel may be causing this? I was concerned at the 33 second point in the video you linked with the medial knees parts (and, though, I like the whole body jiggly thing he does, I would only do that if very warmed up, as in sauna-warm).

Also - cold showers (yes, I am a bit evangelical about these at the moment) - even 2 minutes (front/back, after starting in warm water) gives my body quite a refreshing feeling and liveliness. At first a ligament injury was aggravated, but now, for whatever reason after whole body cold immersion, this ligament is even healthier. I think the vasodialation typically occurring after two minutes in cold water/shower (maybe after one minute for fishermen and their hands) dramatically improves circulation throughout including brain, and effecting the "blue spot" and depressiveness). The physical exuberance occurring after these showers and immersions is just starting to even out to where I feel very energized but not so leaping and maniacally happy. I am only a few weeks new to this and cannot speak personally beyond this.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 8:49 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Also - cold showers (yes, I am a bit evangelical about these at the moment) - e


Interesting.. do you find it helps with wakefulness during the day, or just immediately after the cold shower?

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 9:04 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It isn't (what I came to think of as) actualism either, as hi-fi direct perception isn't really the target, instead it's relaxation and pleasure.


Now that you're good at generating pleasure, the next step is (in context of that pleasure) to start relaxing whatever mental faculty is keeping experience from being hi-fi direct perception.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/5/12 9:41 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Throughout the day, however, I find that at less than 4 minutes the effect is attenuated - perhaps why I feel a pleasant energy, versus one that needs to be managed a bit due to its very high energy. Today was something like 3 minutes and was technically colder, but certainly more enjoyably sensate (something to do with time-in, practice, welcoming, I suppose). I started to think about water conservation and how little time I could do this when using a non-natural water source. (Meanwhile, there is a process underway to access the natural waterways by way of legalities...). There are also the influences of experiences seemingly unrelated to cold immersion which interact with the experience of cold immersion (aka: interplays of numerous experiences).

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/6/12 7:18 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Lol I just realised I was confusing the "ball of the foot" with the heel. Hey — it's also vaguely spherical ;-)

I was purposefully putting big pressure on the heel while running.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/6/12 9:15 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Ouch. Here is an image of the ball of the foot.

I don't know where your knee pain is, but here's a stretch I was taught for the kind of pain associated with too much pressure on the medial meniscus or even a frayed medial meniscus (I have never put big pressure on the heel when I ran, so I don't know what pain you have). Please use your own judgement (I have no certifications in this stuff, but take notes during others' classes and anecdotal reports from these classes), but it seems to work for a few friends at the moment. The point is to create flexibility and to reduce compression, both gently and over a period of time (i.g., if it took years for an injury to occur, it is reasonable to have years of rehabilitative strengthening and stretching):

- sitting the butt 6 inches away from a wall (15 cm or, perhaps, about a hand's distance) rest against the wall with legs gently straight in front of you (not locked, and knees and feet are not rolled out to the side, but are rather gently positioned upright so that the sole of the foot is parallel to and "facing" the opposite wall of the room and knees (patella-side) "face" the ceiling) - so now you are basically sitting against a wall (butt 6 inches away), shoulder blades and head gently resting against that wall, with legs outstretched perpendicular to that wall - just like sitting with friends in a room with your legs outstretched (but not letting the legs roll open from the hip socket) - legs are separated in accordance with the separation of the hip sockets. So if your hips sockets have about 15 cm between them, then the midline of the thighs stretched gently straight out while sitting at the wall would have about that much space between them. It is very simple. I can post an image if someone will coach me through that.

- bend right knee; bring it as close to the torso as possible without causing pain and while leaving the foot on the ground (keeping the alignment with the hip socket above: aligning the heel (calcaneus) with the knee, alining the knee with the hip socket - thus the joints of the leg are all aligned as they are bent and brought closer to the torso while leaving the foot flat on the ground); this should feel like a comfortably active stretch in the knee; if there are frayed meniscus fibers (which come from years of crushing/grinding the cartilage (medial meniscus - which is my personal concern at the 33 second point of the intuflow video you linked) or if there has been one big tearing event (such as from a knee torque during a fast turn as in football (american and european)), then there may be discomfort, even sharp nerve pain, as well. You have to be the judge of whether this aligned-knee-to-the-torso-stretch is helping you or not. If you have frayed fibers, I don't think this stretch will further that problem. I am not sure, but I think that pain from frayed fibers (and tears) only goes away if those are trimmed (or repaired) in surgery, but that reduction in pain from fraying or even absence of cartilage (from wear) can be had by creating flexibility in the knee (by stretching (like this one)) and reducing joint compression (which is what stretching assists and can be further optimized by non-compression strength-building as experienced in swimming). My knees no longer hurt during proper exercise (meaning: well-aligned strengthening and stretching), thus I probably have no or minimally frayed cartilage fibers.

- using the palms and heels of the hands, gently massage the knee that is bent as feels comfortable to you - not aggressively. Breathe deeply and slowly (inhale and exhales can be at least 5 seconds in duration, respectively) while continuing this for at least two minutes (unless discomfort appears, then keep this stretch shorter in duration and build gradually to 2 minutes and beyond, or cease this entirely if that is your instinct/feeling).

- switch sides and do the left knee in the same way (aligning heel with knee, knee in line with hip socket, bring the knee to the torso keeping aligned foot on the floor (butt is still 15 cm from the wall) and massage the knee gently, breathe deeply while doing so and aim for at least two minutes. If you are very flexible in the knee then the heel of the foot of the bent leg will come very close to the respective butt muscles (in this case, the heel of the left foot of a very flexible knee will be very close to the left buttock)

- the leg not being bent stays gently straight with foot upright (sole of foot facing the opposite wall) and remains line up with its hip socket (it does not splay open or widen).


If you tell me how to post an image I will include one. This a very simple movement. There are others which can relieve the shin and anterior ankle muscles (e.g., tibialis anterior) too (i.e., like sitting in seiza (see guy in blue) on very high cushioning, if the fronts of the ankles and shins are tight, and lowering the cushions' height over days/weeks/as keeps the stretch comfortably active and sustaining lowlong, slow, deep breathing)

These stretches have helped me, and you may find others/different stretches that help you.

Principles that apply: no pain, and having the feeling of a comfortably active stretch that permits steady, long, slow deep breathing. Aim to build up to two minutes.

Otherwise, the ball of the foot running I have found, for me, to be excellent for strengthening the muscles around the knees, hips and ankles (I just have to stretch the legs, especially the gastrocnemius or else I would allow a lot of tension from tight strong muscles to accumulate over days and could expect a tendonitis to appear somewhere, or worse). So, when a joint has flexibility (provided by a relative lack of constant tension in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) and stability (provided by relatively strong muscles) then that seems to be what a joint needs to be healthy.

4x edit to clarify and some grammar

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)
Answer
1/6/12 10:11 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Here's an article on "How yoga can wreck your body" if you want to consider that as well.

Some remote-living chup'ik people taught me the phrase once: eschpung chukanuka yuke (translated something like "be your own teacher, follow your own advice/inner teacher" - though chup'ik speakers are welcomed to provide a proper translation here) and I recommend the idea of that phrase.