The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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 . 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 . 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 . 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 . 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 . 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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 3/27/11 8:25 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/27/11 8:22 AM

The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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:
  • 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).
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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."
  • 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.
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Jon T, modified 11 Years ago at 3/27/11 2:45 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/27/11 2:44 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Jake , modified 11 Years ago at 3/27/11 5:15 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/27/11 5:14 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 3:47 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 3:37 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
Nad A, modified 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 7:26 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 7:26 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 10:02 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 10:00 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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?
Nad A, modified 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 10:48 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/28/11 10:46 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 2:45 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 2:30 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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?
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Jon T, modified 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 3:26 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 3:21 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Jon T, modified 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 3:25 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 3:25 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Shashank Dixit, modified 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 11:24 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 11:24 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
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).
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rich s, modified 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 6:30 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/30/11 6:30 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 49 Join Date: 8/2/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 3/31/11 11:16 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/31/11 11:16 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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rich s, modified 11 Years ago at 3/31/11 7:06 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 3/31/11 7:06 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 49 Join Date: 8/2/10 Recent Posts
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).
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 5:20 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 5:20 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Shashank Dixit, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 6:57 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 6:57 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 8:17 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 7:37 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 8:56 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 8:42 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
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]
Nad A, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 9:24 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 9:24 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 11:14 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 11:14 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Florian, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 4:59 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 4:59 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 6:24 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/1/11 6:24 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/3/11 5:52 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/3/11 5:52 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/4/11 3:54 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/4/11 3:54 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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."
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/4/11 8:44 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/4/11 8:39 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Jon T, modified 11 Years ago at 4/4/11 7:17 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/4/11 7:17 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/5/11 5:32 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/5/11 5:32 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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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?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/5/11 8:47 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/5/11 8:47 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
Trent , modified 11 Years ago at 4/5/11 9:25 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/5/11 9:25 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 7:14 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 7:14 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 8:55 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 8:53 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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...
Trent , modified 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 11:33 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 11:33 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
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
Adam Bieber, modified 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 11:07 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/6/11 11:07 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/7/11 6:25 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/7/11 6:25 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/7/11 9:10 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/7/11 9:10 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/8/11 8:12 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/8/11 8:11 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/20/11 6:43 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/20/11 6:43 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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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!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/20/11 8:32 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/20/11 8:32 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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?
Adam Bieber, modified 11 Years ago at 4/21/11 8:47 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/21/11 8:47 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
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."
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/21/11 10:42 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/21/11 10:42 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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!
Adam Bieber, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 7:09 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/21/11 11:26 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 7:56 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 7:54 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 8:41 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 8:38 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 10:16 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 10:01 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 10:26 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 10:26 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 10:46 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 10:38 AM

Not my toilet

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 11:03 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 11:03 AM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 4:49 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 3:13 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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...
Adam Bieber, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 7:36 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 7:18 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 8:12 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 8:05 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 8:23 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 8:23 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 8:42 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 8:42 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
, modified 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 6:43 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 6:43 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
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).
Matt L, modified 11 Years ago at 4/30/11 8:23 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/30/11 8:23 AM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 41 Join Date: 11/4/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 4/30/11 3:23 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/30/11 3:23 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
Matt L, modified 11 Years ago at 4/30/11 6:30 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/30/11 6:30 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 41 Join Date: 11/4/10 Recent Posts
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.]
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 5/1/11 9:52 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/1/11 9:44 AM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
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.
:-)
Matt L, modified 11 Years ago at 5/1/11 8:02 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/1/11 8:02 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 41 Join Date: 11/4/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 5/1/11 9:03 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/1/11 8:32 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
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! :-)
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 5/2/11 2:48 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/2/11 2:48 PM

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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).
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 5/6/11 4:55 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/6/11 4:53 AM

Sensual versus sensuous

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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!
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago at 5/6/11 6:12 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/6/11 6:12 AM

RE: Sensual versus sensuous

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 5/6/11 9:59 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 5/6/11 9:53 AM

RE: Sensual versus sensuous

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 9:39 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 9:39 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 10:52 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 10:52 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 11:59 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 11:59 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 12:14 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 12:13 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
Adam Bieber, modified 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 1:30 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/14/11 1:30 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 11:19 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 8:39 AM

A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Nikolai , modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 9:00 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 9:00 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:02 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:02 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:39 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 10:39 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 11:21 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 11:19 AM

RE: A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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!
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Jon T, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 11:42 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 11:42 AM

RE: A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 2:56 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 2:56 PM

RE: A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Yadid dee, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 3:55 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 3:41 PM

RE: A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 258 Join Date: 9/11/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 4:19 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/15/11 4:07 PM

RE: A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/16/11 2:25 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/16/11 5:11 AM

RE: A retreat to improve concentration

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
Trent , modified 11 Years ago at 6/16/11 6:33 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/16/11 6:32 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 2:32 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 2:32 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts

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.
nic s, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 12:42 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 6:56 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 7 Join Date: 5/27/09 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 7:01 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 6:58 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 7:28 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 7:28 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 8:20 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 8:20 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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?
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 1:36 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 1:36 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 2:58 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/17/11 2:58 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Yadid dee, modified 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 7:18 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 7:12 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 258 Join Date: 9/11/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 4:28 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 4:28 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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...
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Yadid dee, modified 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 5:29 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 5:29 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 258 Join Date: 9/11/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Steph , modified 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 5:45 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/18/11 5:45 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/19/11 2:30 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/19/11 2:30 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/20/11 2:40 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/20/11 2:40 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/20/11 4:26 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/20/11 4:19 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Steph , modified 11 Years ago at 6/20/11 5:22 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/20/11 5:21 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 4:54 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 4:54 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 5:31 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 5:29 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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...)
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Steph , modified 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 6:26 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 6:23 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 6:33 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 6:32 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 12:11 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/21/11 11:04 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
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
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 10:23 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 10:22 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 10:54 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 10:41 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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...
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 1:39 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 12:04 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 12:13 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 12:12 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
i went back and edited my previous reply to clarify it and possibly answer your question which followed.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 3:10 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 3:10 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 3:15 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 3:15 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 3:17 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/22/11 3:17 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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"
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Jake , modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 4:30 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 4:30 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 12:29 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 12:29 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 1:08 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 1:08 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 1:39 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 1:39 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 2:21 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 2:21 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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).
mico mico, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 2:21 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 2:21 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 8/13/10 Recent Posts
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.
mico mico, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 4:56 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 3:04 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 8/13/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 5:37 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/23/11 5:37 PM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
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?
mico mico, modified 11 Years ago at 6/24/11 5:39 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/24/11 5:39 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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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?
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago at 6/24/11 9:08 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/24/11 9:08 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
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
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/25/11 3:10 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/25/11 2:41 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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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.
, modified 11 Years ago at 6/25/11 10:38 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/25/11 10:38 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 3:16 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 3:14 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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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.
, modified 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 6:45 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 6:44 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 10:22 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 10:22 AM

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
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.
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 2:37 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 6/27/11 2:16 PM

These instructions are a real treasure

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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