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Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
11/27/19 7:30 AM
Hi folks!

2019-11-27 : 45 min : alternating between focusing on the breath at the nose and focusing on the breath through the full body
  • Hearing high-pitched burning/ringing at 3-5 Hz throughout the sit
  • Seeing occasional light blobs in the visual field
  • Fair/ok posture (required correction several times)
  • Occasional burning sensation through the nostrils
  • At one point, during a switch to full-body following the breath, a sense of yearning or longing was followed by several waves of pleasure
  • Switched from full-body back to following the breath at the nostrils when distractions were noticed during the sit
Currently reading
  • TMI - Stage Six / Sixth Interlude
  • MCTB2 - Jumping around a bunch
    • Read I through I.4
    • Read most of IV
    • Reading V
    • Planning to go through II and III next

Next in reading queue/interests
  • Something by Bill Hamilton (Maybe The Spiritual Quest of a Scientific Mind or Saints and Psychopaths?)
  • Something fun (maybe dharma-related, maybe not... considering Good Sex by Jessica Graham?)
Best wishes,
Jey

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
11/29/19 5:45 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-11-29 : 30 min : alternating between focusing on the breath at the nose and focusing on the breath through the full body
  • Background noise was fainter and the frequency was more difficult to discern
  • Fewer light blobs in the visual field
  • During the first shift from following the breath at the nostrils to following the breath in the whole body, more distractions seemed to arise.
  • Shifted back to the nostrils in an attempt to quiet everything down.
  • Even back at the nostrils, the breath seemed forced, intense, and a big ragged. (e.g. "pushing" too hard.)
  • Eventually (20min in?) calmed and settled down, quieter, smoother, slower breath
  • Watched peripherally to avoid dullness
  • After things quieted down, when waves of pleasure came this time, I consciously tried to avoid speeding up or forcing the breath
  • It seemed that the calmer altered the experience of the pleasure waves, made everything easier to perceive, made the experience less "nervous" (for lack of a better word)
  • Pleasure waves were the most noticeable in the space between the in-breath and the out-breath, but the calmer breathing revealed indications that the pleasure was present continuously
No major reading changes.

RE: Jey Practice Log
Answer
11/30/19 7:29 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-11-30 : 1 hr 15 min : Following breath at the nostrils

Wow; I am so grateful for the opportunity to sit
  • While doing the initial "Motivation -> Goals -> Expectations ..." preparation from TMI, the sensation of breath in the nostrils suddenly came to the forefront of attention.
  • Background noise at 3-4 Hz
  • Noticed breath was forced initially, relaxed
  • Breath sensations became less intense, "smaller", had to focus on finer details to follow them
  • Relaxed posture
  • Sense of calm, effortlessness, relaxation
  • Blobs in the visual field started to dissolve to little dots
  • Sense of calm increased
  • Stayed sitting for 30 min more after the initial 45 min timer rang
  • Effect of seeing little dots persisted after opening eyes (still happening now about 45 min after ending the sit)
Some additional thoughts or takeaways:
  • This sit has nudged me in the direction of "more practice, less reading"
  • I intend to go to bed consistently to get up in time for more practice

Planning to pause reading MCTB2 for now (Finished I.14 last night)
Might consult TMI here and there as things progress.

Best wishes!
Jey

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
12/1/19 7:20 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-12-01 : 30 min : Following breath at nostrils and in full body

I had a runny nose and other cold symptoms.
  • More distractions than usual arose, especially at the beginning
  • Spontaneously (w/o conscious intention), switched from nose to full-body following the breath and felt some pleasure waves
  • The sensations felt a bit duller than usual
  • Returning to nose breath afterward, felt deeper focus
    • Heard bg noise more clearly (seemed faster cycles, wasn't quite sure)
    • Visual blobs dissolved to dots
This might be my last post for a few days since I go back to full-time employment tomorrow.

I'm still planning to practice daily.

Readings are currently paused, although based on the recommendations from MCTB2, Mahasi Sayadaw's Practical Insight Meditation might move up in the queue.

Best wishes to all of you!

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
12/7/19 7:48 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-12-02 : 30 min : Following breath at nostrils and in body
  • still had some cold symptoms
  • anxiety/planning arose
  • distractions
  • moments of deep calm
  • noticing the 3 characteristics in the breath
2019-12-03 : 35 min : Following breath at nostrils and in body : start at 20:00 EST

Wow. That was weird.
  • light shaking
  • visualizations of fireworks
  • visualizations of the sentence "I do not exist" spelled out in letters
  • sense of waves of relief
  • light pain in the upper-right forehead (near eyebrow)
  • flickering in visual field after opening eyes
  • lots of distractions
  • unusual phenomena were most present after full-body practice
I praticed in the evening because I overslept my usual practice time

2019-12-04 : 35 min : following breath at nostrils and in body : start 06:22 EST

Calmer sit.
  • some distractions, especially early
  • light twitching
  • two or three times waves of pleasure followed full-body breath practice
  • toward the end, a greater calm set in
Short 3-5 min breaks during daily life allow the opportunity to return to that calm.

2019-12-05 : 1 hr 10 min : following breath at nostrils and in body : start 19:00 EST
  • earlier on, more distractions
  • over time, settled down
  • deeper calm
  • good feelings toward self and others
  • monk/elephant mental imagery (from pictures at the beginning of each chapter of TMI?)
  • some vibrations, especiallly in fingertips and outside of nose
  • brief pain in the upper right forehead
  • visual dots
  • ringing in ears (louder than previous sit)
I practiced in the evening because I went on a long internal dialogue this morning during the normal practice time.
I resolved this evening to spend another week without extensive reading to give myself more time to practice.

2019-12-06 : 40 min : following breath at nostrils and in body : start around 06:15 EST
  • More distractions at beginning, gradually subsided
  • Stronger intention to follow breath at start of sit and in daily life
  • Full body breath led to clearer waves of pleasure
  • Waves of pleasure lasted longer
  • Easer to sense pleasure during entire breath cycle, not just during pauses
  • Returning to breath at nose after full body practice, the sensations at the nose were "higher resolution", easier to perceive in detail
  • Full-body breath and pleasure waves seem good for training the mind to pay close attention
  • Holding intention to follow breath then releasing effort seems to work well

2019-12-06 : 50 min : following breath at nostrils and in body : start 21:35 EST
  • distractions at beginning
  • calmed down during sit
  • clearer background noise, more tones
  • interesting phenomenon when I opeend my eyes at end of sit
    • usual dots flashed into lines
    • felt observation "speed up"
    • felt intense feeling like anxiety but less scary
    • felt very attentive

2019-12-07 : 1 hr 52 min : following breath at nostrils and in body : start 06:10 EST

Went with two 45-min periods on the timer today
  • distractions were present early
  • some buried memories of emotional conflict came up during early part of this sit and everyday life yesterday afternoon
  • full body practice led to some pleasure waves
  • distraction interrupted the pleasure waves
  • anxiety arose around dullness and distractions
  • focused back in at nostrils and continued the sit
  • things got quieter, distractions fewer
  • calm settled in, gaps between throughts were much longer
  • found thinking about what to write to be a distraction
  • for the second 45 min session, resolved to just sit and not plan diary entry
  • calm continued, grew in face of fewer and fewer distractions
  • after opening eyes, calm still available, even in the face of strong physical sensations
  • resolved to grow that calm and integrate it into my life
Also, I have been bowing and mentally expressing gratitude to my teachers and all meditators at the end of each sit.
It has felt really good and been positive so far.

RE: Jey Practice Log
Answer
12/8/19 7:36 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-12-08 : 55 min : Following breath at nostrils, abdomen, and body : 06:20 - 07:15 EST
  • Started sit after being awake in bed for about 2 hours
  • Had a brighter light on in the room
  • Both of these two seemed to reduce dullness and increase clarity
  • Started the full body breath practice earlier in the sit
  • Waves of pleasure were clearer than normal
  • At one point during the full body breath practice, more intense energy with light shaking was present
  • Following the breath at the nostrils afterward was clearer than last sit, with some vibrations noticeable, especially during the in-breath
  • Right nostril was more open
  • Right ear heard background noise more clearly
  • Pushed toward releasing effort after the 45 min bell
  • I think this sit sets a new standard for clarity
  • Fewer distractions and those distractions that were present ended faster also
  • Resolving to "Wake up!" before sitting going forward
After the sit, while making breakfast for my spouse, I had an experience of that intense, anxiety-like focus feeling. The wall started to flicker in my vision, and I could more clearly sense vibrations in the breath. It felt more awake.

RE: Jey Practice Log
meditation log
Answer
12/30/19 2:54 PM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-12-09 : 30 min : 06:30 - 07:00

- Great sit!
- Showering before the sit helped improve concentration
- Waves of plesaure were good
- "Don't block the joy"
- Even deep breathing can be "effortless"
- Resolved to feel and insight into emotional experiences and pleasure waves
- Ended with feeling of insight into sense of not having a single, solid self
- Insight into that smile/smirk that appears often on Buddha statues

2019-12-10 : 42 min : 07:00 - 07:42 : Following breath at nostrils, in abdomen, and in body

- Earlier on, more distractions (spouse and I both getting ready)
- Felt positive feelings earlier when focused on breath at nostrils
- More distractions arose
- Lots of mental imagery
- Focused on "back to breath"
- Followed breath in the whole body
- Clear, distinct pleasure waves washed throughout the body
- Returning to the breath at nostrils
- Fewer distractions and greater calm was present at the end of the sit

2019-12-11 : 25 min : 10:15 - 10:40
- Energy arising while following breath at nostrils
- Moderate level of distractions
- Setting a strong intention to follow the breath helped reduce distractions

2019-12-12 : 37 min : 18:31 - 19:08
- Rougher sit
- Distractions and dullness were present
- Lots of work-related distractions
- Wanting to get up before the timer / desire to arise from the sit
- Side note: following the breath in the full body led to fascinating sensations

2019-12-13 : 06:50 - 07:20
- Better sit
- Clearer introspective awareness
- Caught distractions sooner
- Some distractions arose because my spouse and I were getting ready at the same time
- Following the breath in the full body led to lighter waves of pleasure
- After pleasure waves, the focus shifted to the breath at nostrils, with some distractions
- Felt breath vibrations in nostrils after the timer sounded the end of the sit

2019-12-14 : 06:30 - 07:00
- Similar to yesterday's sit
- Sitting on the floor instead of a chair
- Some distractions arose
- I was more fidgety than when sitting in a chair
- Felt full-body pleasure waves after focusing on breath sensations in the full body
- Returning to the breath at the nostrils after full-body breath practice
- Still some distractions
- Things got quiet toward the end of the sit
- Followed Mahasi-style noting practice after the sit
- Found it easier to maintain awareness via noting
- Legs feeling ok after standing at the end of the sit

Reading
Practical Insight Meditation by Mahasi Sayadaw, The Mind Illuminated by John Yates, Matthew Immergut, and Jeremy Graves: Stage Seven and Walking Meditation Appendix


2019-12-14 : 08:07 - 08:33
- More distractions, especially around the family visit I am currently experiencing
- Full body breath practice led to pleasure waves
- Focusing back on the breath at the nostrils led to more clarity and calm
- I am enjoying walking meditation a lot

2019-12-16 : 05:52 - 06:23
- Wow
- Per TMI, resolved to stay in pleasure waves/jhana longer and go deeper
- Took longer to access (because of sleepiness?) but when there, twitchy energy was present in the whole body
- Felt "solider" and "deeper" pleasure waves than previous sits
- Left the pleasure waves and then returned once
- Noticed after leaving the pleasure waves the second time, it's possible to focus on the "screen" (black background) in visual awareness when the eyes are closed to keep distractions from taking over attention
- Focus on the screen, focus on the light blobs or other visualizations
- Resolved to practice walking meditation and focus on breathing sensations today
- TMI and Mahasi insight reading on weekend, walking meditation ad lib on the weekend. All these were helpful/valuable.

2019-12-17 06:05 - 06:52
- Good sit!
- Easier to focus on the screen
- Emotionally charged distracting thoughts seemed farther away in awareness
- Focus on breath seemed clearer
- Several rounds of full-body breath practice led "past" the shaky/twitchy phase to calmer, clearer waves of energy
- The wasves seemed clearer and seemed to originate from a more specific center point
- Quieting down and releasing effort toward the end of the sit
- Balancing attention on the "blank screen" of closed eyes and breath sensations with introspective awareness while releasing effort felt like riding a bike

Drew a diagram with two paths:

             /  - Judging Self - Hurry / Frustration
- Comparing  |
             \ - Judging Others - Disdain / Judgment

             /  - Kindness to self
- Growing   |
             \ - Kindness to others



2019-12-18 : 07:34 - 08:35 : Focused mainly on breath at nostrils
- More stable focus on the "blank screen"
- Fewer distractions
- Sense of tension lines between myself and others snapping
- Wishing others well and showing them new ways of being
- Accepting self and others
- Much less hurried

2019-12-19 : 05:50 - 07:02 : Focused on breath sensations at nostrils
- New mindset: every sit is a good sit
- Started with distractions, dullness, and gross mind wandering
- Tightened focus and applied effort
- Things got quieter and clearer
- Some distractions, especially around planning
- Earlier in the day, I had a short interrupted sit where I started on the "pleasure focus" practice
   - First, I felt and focused on tingling in the face
   - Then, tingling in the face subsided
   - Next, I focused on tingling in the right hand
   - I felt the tingling expand to the full hand
   - I was interrupted
   - I practice while walking and standing in line
   - I felt tingling in both hands while continuing to practice
- Also of note, yesterday evening, anxiety seemed to feed into insight practice and made it easier to sense vibrations and speed up perception. I am intrigued to read more of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha later to see if it covers this topic.

2019-12-20 11:53 - 12:18
- following the breath at the nose
- distracted by family members talking in another nearby room
- focused temporarily on pulses of sound in my ears (focusing tigher seemed to make the sound pulse louder... was I flexing some facial muscles?)
- felt vibrations within the breath
- felt relieved or release
- stability of breath and lack of verbal thoughts or mental imagery seemed like positive developments

2019-12-21 09:08 - 09:38
- Practiced focusing on pleasure sensations in the hands
- Practiced focusing on breath sensations at the nostrils
- Pleasure waves spread to toes and core
- When returning to the breat at the nostrils, sensations were clearer
- Distractions from spouse in the room and from planning
- Returned and focused on the breath
- Noticed light blobs in the visual field. (The room was dark.)

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/5/20 6:57 PM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2019-12-21 09:08 - 09:38
- Practiced focusing on pleasure sensations in the hands
- Practiced focusing on breath at the nostrils
- Pleasure waves spread to toes and core
- When returning to the breat at the nostrils, sensations were clearer
- Distractions arose from hearing my spouse in the rooming and planning the day
- Returned and focused on the breath
- Noticed light blobs in visual field with eyes closed in a dark room

2019-12-22 07:35 - 08:07
- Felt anxiety occurring at the beginning of the sit
- Chose to focus on breath sensations
- Felt a good opportunity to "go effortless"
- Noticed pulses of louder background noise in my ears and increased salivation
- Some ssmaller energy pulses arose also in the body
- Attempted to accept each sensation and bring focus back to the breath
- Toward the end of the sit, resolved to return to the breath throughout the day

- Mindful Review
   - Need to pay closer attention to spouse's words when choosing a seat at the restaurant

2019-12-23 07:45 - 08:30
- Focused on breath at nostrils
- At beginning, experienced more distractions by thoughts
- At end, experienced more distractions by sensations of spinning or noise in ears or feeling off-balance
- For both, came back to the breath
- Also felt moments of relief, calm, or joy
- Outside of core sits, the idea of "letting vibrations reveal themselves" from MCTB2 has been very helpful.

2019-12-24 05:32 - 06:14
- Focused on the pleasure sensations in the hands
- Experienced spinning sensations
- Experienced light blobs (lit room)
- Some distractions, especially around planning
- Felt calm, positive
- Resolved to hold positive/metta intentions toward family members
- Resolved to following the breath at night, especially when waking up with anxiety

Interested to read In the Buddha's Words by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Mindful Review
- Noticed that during time of being anxious I checked my phone
- Noticed that anxiety was occurring during some interactions with family
- Noticed that anxiety increased when I did not intervene during interpersonal conflict

2019-12-25 07:21 - 07:51
- Following breath at nostrils
- Used focus and effort to get stable attention at the beginning of the sit
- Waited 35 min after waking up to become more awake
- Experienced flashes of light and what felt like head bobbing
- Experienced brief memories (aka purifications) as one image flash or one string of words
- Experienced salivation
- Used intention to let each manifestation come, be, and go
- It's getting easier to sense the breath amongst all the activity
- Resolving to stay mindful today

Mindful Review
- Instead of jumping from feeling relational discomfort to cutting off the relationship
- Taking time to feel and experience the layers of discomfort before making a decision
- I resolve to reduce or avoid snap judgments (coworkers, family, etc)
- I resolve to feel and experience discomfort and anxiety occurring without jumping into a place of judgment
- I resolve to let go of the need to be seen as a decisive leader
- I resolve to move more slowly and let ambiguity exist in my decision making

2019-12-25 10:26 - 10:34
- Experienced pleasure focus leading to intense pleasure feeling with some twitching
- Was able to sustain and re-enter this state with eyes open and making occasional verbal statements
- It is getting easier to converse without narration and symbolic thought

2019-12-25 13:30 - 14:30
- Focused on breath at nostrils
- Things got noticeably calmer and quieter
- Resolved to stay there for a while , return there often, and use that place as "home base"

2019-12-26 07:55 - 08:26
- Used "close following" technique to pick up small, fine breath breath sensations
- Felt the "adrenaline rush" of faster, more detailed sense of breath
- Felt light shaking in my whole body
- Finer sensations felt at the tip of the nose
- Brief flashes of imagery of decay (apple decaying, human person decaying)

Mindful Review
- Regret not staying mindful during board games, movie watching, and night driving
- Need better peripheral awareness when driving, especially in deer-filled areas at night
- I resolve to take more breath breaks during those activities and have more metacognitive awareness
- I will recompense by showing a calm, peaceful demeanor to my spouse
- I intend to let go of a "boundaries-first" mindset and focusing on avoiding or reducing harm.
- I intend to drop strong ultraskeptical, ultralogical "self-protection"
- I intend to drop strong financial "self-protection"
- I am grateful that I sat during the night when I woke up. This caused me to feel better that night and the next morning.

2019-12-27 08:31 - 08:59
- Distractions at the beginning
- Brief flashes of distractions in the middle
- Deeper calm at the end
- Less effort, greater calm
- I resolve to expend for less effort in jhana/pleasure wave and insight practices
- Sponteaneous close following of the breath happened this AM

Mindful Review
- Various distractions like planning, narrating, and lusting arose
- I resolve to let go of these distractions by focusing on the breath
- I resolve to let go of trying/striving to self-protect, make good decisions, and be greatness

2019-12-28 10:50 - 12:15
- Focused on following breath at nostrils
- Some distractions and some dullness
- Greater calm at end
- Felt breath vibrations at nostrils afterward

Mindful Review
- Lots of narrating
- Lots of planning around side hustle and family conversations
- Some lusting
- Lots of craving
- Peripheral awareness and focus on the road while driving was beneficial
- What is the difference between craving and hunger?

2019-12-29 10:05-10:25 and 12:31 - 12:54
- Sitting with eyes open, traveling with family
- Some ill will arose
- I practiced brief lovingkindness before returning to the breath
- Later afternoon sit was more stable
- Looking out the window at the bird feeder, color drained from view

Mindful Review
- Anger/ill will
- Narrating, planning conversations, especially when I'm alone
- On the positive side, paying attention while walking or driving, breathing sensation while driving walking sensations
- Paying very close attention to every word, syllable, sound, verbal filler word, and facial expression while someone is talking has also been positive

2019-12-30 06:35 - 07:07
- Following breath at nostrils
- Tons of planning and narrating occurring
- More distractions were present at the beginning and at the end. Fewer distractions were present in the middle of the sit.

2019-12-31 06:41 - 07:11
- Focused on breath, held more "loosely"
- Experienced some distractions, esp. mental imagery of future self being successful in meditation practice and family formation
- Experienced warm feelings of compassion
- Experienced verbal "I don't want to be alone"
- At the word alone, experienced calm and absence of verbal content or mental images
- This persisted for a while
- There was some "static" or "background noise" occurring
- Toward the beginning of the sit, the thought "What if I looked at family as opportunities instead of obstacles?" arose
- Before the sit, lots of narrating or planning around how to deal with behavior by some family members
- Befire the sit, I felt relief when I accepted the narration and let it be present instead of trying to fight it
- Maybe I can make the narration my meditation object? Break words down into syllables, etc?
- Seeing healthy relationships and cultivating clear, emotionally honest communication as part of sila training
- Toward the end of the sit and during the day, the idea "I do not exist" continued to occur

2020-01-01 06:25 - 06:50
- Focused on breath at nostrils
- "Screen" came close, then far away and seemed to fluctuate
- Brief moments of "light disk" appearing in my field of vision
- Several distractions especially around planning what to say
- "What if I radically accepted the religious background of my family and stopped trying to chane it?"
- What if I shared "cool science stuff" as an info supplement?
Mindful Review
- How do I transcend judmental behavior?
- How do I transcend overly scrupulous religious behavior?
(There was a lot of negativity in my handwritten notes from this review. I was feeling sick later in the day.)

2020-01-02 17:08 - 17:40
- Illness (stsomach bug) is occurring
- Dulllness and distractions were present throughout the sit
- Yet, anger and frustration that were ocurring a lot before the sit died down during and were not seen after
- This marked release from negative valence was stunning

2020-01-03 16:09 - 16:41
- Focused on pleasure sensations in the hands
- Pleasure spread up arms to whole body
- After returning to the breath, more distractions popped up
- Focusing down on the breath helped reduce distractions
- seemed to find effortless practice later
- Mental concern around vacations arose, deep anxiety channel
- Returned to the breath afterward
Mindful Review
- Conflict with spouse
- Stress over communication about vacations

2020-01-04 09:30-10:15
- Wow, 45 min is amazing
- More time to experiment
- I def need to practice mindfulness the rest of today
- Several submerged thoughts (aka purifications) rose to the surface
- Pleasure wave focus in the body started at the beginning of the sit
- Focused on the breath after the pleasure wave focus
- Once I "dropped effort", lots of sensations arose
   - Floating
   - Lights
   - Feeling free from clinging
   - Feeling like my idea of "self" was breaking into little parts
- Wild thoughts , nomations, distractions, also arose

Did my first round of bio-emotive processing (Doug Tataryn)


2020-01-05 11:15 - 12:13

- Had trouble sleeping last night
- Followed pleasure waves
- Returned to the breath
- Experienced distractions and submerged content (aka "purifications")
- Focused back on the breath
- Worked on moving from effortful to effortless practice toward the end of the sit and after the bell sounded
- Had a vision of different versions of myself in a warehouse laying down guns and hugging each other
- Still recovering from illness, less nausea during sit than just before
- Experienced relapse in stomach sickness today
- Had trouble sleeping the night before

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/6/20 6:46 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-06 06:51 - 07:24
- Experienced more sickness symptoms
- Experienced more aversion/remorse
- Attempted to focus on pleasure sensations on hands
- Had some moments of sensory clarity and relief/calm

Mindful Review
- Letting go of the "need" to be healthy
- Letting go of the "need" to be wealthy

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/7/20 7:17 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-07 06:30 - 07:25
- Focused on pleasure sensations in hands at the start of the sit
- Tantalized throughout the sit by some light disk visualizations that I'm trying not to chase with my attention
- Pleasure sensations spread to whole body
- Returned focus to breath at nostrils after pleasure waves
- Some brief flashes of distractions
- Longer distraction occurred once
- Resolved to practice metta more, especially today (longer drive)
- Feeling much better physically, still having some gastrointestinal symptoms

Mindful Review
- Anger or frustration at self still occurs somewhat; hoping metta will address this
- Kindness to self, enjoying life more, etc. seems like it would be beneficial
- Desiring deeper and more authentic connections with the people around me

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/17/20 6:16 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-08 07:51 - 08:23
- Showered before sit
- Greater sensory clarity
- Focused on pleasure sensations in hands
- Spread quickly to the whole body
- Enjoyed "popping out" and re-entering
- Resolved to keep practicing pleasure waves
- Focused back on the breath and things became silent, calm, deep, and still
- Felt very pleasant
- Few distractions, most planning in background of awareness
- Right at the end of the sit, more distractions were occurring
- "Let it come, let it be, let it go"
- A little bit of metta practice at the end
Mindful Review
- Anxiety around doing a good job
- Regret/remorse around how I treated some coworkers in the past

2020-01-09 06:45 - 07:21
- Focused on pleasure sensations in the hands to start with
- Distractions of planning, narrating, and craving were brief and light
- While feeling pleasure waves in the whole body, I felt a sudden wide spaciousness
- It seemed possible to enter and repeatedly remain in this spacious state
- After leaving the spaciousness, I alternated between effortful close following of breath vibrations/sensations and effortless focus on the breath
- It seemed easier to deal with distractions using close breath following
- I had several mental images pop up
   - The end of a number line representing the end of a person's life
   - Cutting a red cloth coming out of the belly like an umbilical cord and then spinning untethered
   - A person decaying into a skeleton (was it me? ... could have been me.)
- Resolving to revisit the spacious spot and use close following more
Mindful Review
- Lots of narrating and planning
- I resolve to let go of overly scrupulous self-righteous self-protection

2020-01-10 06:47 - 07:25
- Followed pleasure waves in hands
- Distractions around planning & craving
- Felt waves of pleasure fill the entire body
- Felt broader, spacious place
- Felt like the body was flying
- It was easier to keep attention on the sense of pleasure in the body and not on the breath
- Used close following of the breath after the pleasure waves
- Someetimes, the sensations of the breath would disappear
- Resolved to follow the breath throughout today
Mindful Review
- Some interpersonal conflict
- Was I too stubborn?
- Should I have listened etter?
- Am I working too hard to protect a false self-concept?

2020-01-11 14:30 - 15:00
Mindful Review
- More interpersonal conflict
- Lots of anger occurring
- Feeling self-righteous
- Simultaneously wanting to judge myself
- Target of anger shifted from self to others
- Resolved to listen more and ask permission before jumping into other people's conversations
- Resolved to let anger go
- Resolved to avoid making harsh decisions or jumping in or out of friendships based on anger
Meditation Practice Notes
- Dullness was present
- Distractions, especially toward planning or anger, were present
- Brighter lights or patterns were moving in the visual field
- Focused on pleasure waves in the hands
- Felt pleasure in the whole body
- Focused on close following sensations of the breath at the nose
- Felt vibrations of the breath at the nose

2020-01-12 06:26 - 07:26
- Experienced fast thoughts and vibration feelings in bed before getting up to sit
- Started with focus on pleasure in the hands
- Waves of pleasure spread to the whole body
- Pleasure waves changed in nature a couple times
- Pleasure waves changed from ragged/intense to smoother
- It was easier to experience the pleasure waves as a self-sustaining state and remain in that state
- Resolved to be able to return to that state and stay there
- Counted down my return to following the breath
- "Popped out" on count of zero and closely followed the breath
- While experiencing breath vibrations, I asked questions like, "Who is craving?" "Who is hungry?" "Who is angry?"
- The answer I got back: "No one."
- Woah! Resolved to keep doing this practice
- Experienced a larger gross distraction toward the end of the sit
- Managed to leave the gross distraction after 2-3 attempts
- Returned to following the breath closely and experiencing vibrations at the end
- "Who is planning?" -> "No one."
- Going into the sit with strong motivation and intention to pursue metative absorption first and then insight seems to help a lot.

2020-01-13 06:07 - 06:58
- Started with stronger intention and motivation
- Had to loosten the intensity just a bit (was a bit too tight)
- "Do whatever is in front of you with passionate intensity and mindfulness"
- Focused on pleasure waves in hands, felt them spread to the whole body
- It is possible to "turn up the intensity dial" on the pleasure waves to the point that they overwhelm much more of the mind
- This increased absoprtion, for me, was slightly disrupted by the breath cycle
- The intense pleasure waves felt more "ragged"
- Recalled instruction from The Mind Illuminated's jhana appendix to focus on the "feeling of pleasantness"
- Entered a different state that felt like floating in a warm bath
- Resolved to remain there
- Was able to "dial it up" to absorb more of the mind
- After a while, it seemed my "energy tank" ran out and the experience subsided
- I returned to focus on the breath
- Deep calm, thoughts and feelings were like background noise
- Very calm, effortless focus
- Seems possible to return there
- Seems very helpful when dealing with strong negative emotions
Mindful Review
- Lots of strong negative emotions and distress yesterday
- I resolve to use meditation and calm to help address those
- Need to let that narrating mind go

2020-01-14 05:22 - 06:21
- Focused on pleasure waves in hands
- Seemed to alternate between
   - very ragged energy
   - fairly raggedd
   - calm/flowing
   - "lights out"
- Each state was easier to focus on and maintain throughout the breath cycle
- Ragged energy states are feeling less pleasing and less attractive than before
- Pushing myself to continue practice and practice longer has been very helpful to progress
- Around when the bell sounded (45 min), started practicing "finding the still point" from TMI
- Felt like floating up through my head while doing the exercise
- Felt like looking at infinite reflections between two mirrors, but nobody there
- Felt positive calm peace
- Some brief distractions, especially around planning to maintain practice and narrating
Mindful Review
- Resolved to be less nervous at work today
- Resolved to reduce narration and keep up practicing
Side notes
- Pleasure wave practice helps remember physical / mind states.
- Remembering helps retain insight experiences
- Noticed link between narration and fear while driving

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/17/20 6:30 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-15 05:20 - 06:05
- Mainly focused on pleasure sensation in the hands and visual phenomena
- Mainly experienced ragged energy waves
- Practiced following breath vibrations after this shorter sit during daily life
- Resolving to practice more meditative absorptions

2020 -01-16 06:10 - 07:09
- Focused on visual phenomena
- Experienced ragged, intense pleasure waves
- Distractions popped up momentarily when pleasure waves subsided
- Pleasure felt like straight-up shaking
- "What if I accepted every sensation and stopped trying to control them? What if I accepted this shaking?"
- Slightly smoother pleasure waves after that thought
- After waves died down, started practicing finding the "still point" and coming at it with a question. "Who is watching/feeling/etc.?"
- It was very intriguing to experience every thought or experience as not having an "I" behind it
- Even narrating thoughts don't have a person behind them
- Example: Two people talking attribute self and other to words and sentences. Yet, behind either there's no solid, permanent "I".
- I guess this is partly what's meant by focusing on arising and passing away
- Resolving to keep practicing concentration and insight
- Went back to pleasure waves a bit by end of sit
- Resolving to let my practice be unique
- Resolving to notice arising and passing away
Mindful Review
- Lots of planning and narrating
- Resolving to let that g
End of Day 2020-01-16
- Lots of tension over whether or not to buy a video game
- Such a huge contrast from the no-self feeling I was having just a few hours before

2020-01-17 06:08 - 07:10
- Focused on visual phenomena
- Some snap judgments I made about people I barely know seemed to be blocking me from accessing deeper pleasure waves
- Practice brief metta to let them go
- Was able to access more ragged energy waves
- Switched to focusing on sensations in the body
- Easier to access calmer/deeper pleasure waves
- Spent some very enjoyable time simply following the breath
- After brief interruption, I closed the sit with finding the still point and asking, "Who is ... ?"
- Felt joy and relief at the sense of not having a separate self
Mindful Review
- Some entrepreneurial and recreational activities seem to be disturbing my unification ofm  ind
- What if I let those activities go?

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/18/20 9:39 AM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-18 09:06 - 10:07
- Sit felt calmer and less rushed
- Focused on pleasure waves in hands
- Experienced shaking in the body
- Eventually, "slid out" and returned to the breath
- Some brief distractions popped up around planning and narrating
- Returned to the breath
- Started practicing the still point
- When I started asking, "Who is ... ? " I started feeling a buzzing feeling in the back top of my head
- The buzzing spread to the whole body and felt like the shaking that accompies the waves of pleasure in the whole body
- Eventually, it all subsided and I returned to the breath for the remainder of the sit
- The sit ended with a deep sense of calm
Mindful Review
- Noticed a good amount of anger and fear occurring before the sit
- I think practicing metta (especially toward self) could help reduce that
- I need to start sitting more promptly after waking up

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
1/26/20 4:13 PM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-19 06:00 - 07:02
- Had lights off
- Harder to go from focus on pleasure in hands to full body pleasure practice
- Eventually, over came brief flashes of distractions and made it to full body pleasure waves
- After experiencing the more ragged energy waves, popped out, focused on the feeling of pleasantness, and dropped into more stable (but still "bubbly") pleasure waves
- Somewhere in there, a thought occurred. "Maybe I'm not progressing hrough the stages because I'm not simply effortlessly following the breath enough."
- After popping out of smoother waves, followed breath at the nostrils without effort
- Experienced tingling pleasurein the body
- Experienced salivation
- Experienced feeling "head spinning" or disoriented
- Ended the sit with close following of the breath
- Felt vibrations at the nose and lip

Mindful Review
- Lots of planning, narrating, and worrying
- The idea "Stop carying / worrying about what they think" arose

End of day notes
- Lots of narrating
- I felt *way* better today cleaning and organizing some documents instead of playing video games
- If something causes "icky" feelings, I resolve to let it go
- Embracing the opportunity to grow and learn from frustrations and icky feelings instead of just feeling frustrated
- Embracing a trio of physical fitness, mental fitness, and financial fitness
- Reread The Mind Illuminated Stage 8
- Resolved to spend more time intentionally using the "Exclusive Attention" and "Arising and Passing Away" practices from Stage 8
- Resolved to spend less time on the "Finding The Still Point" practice until more consistent Grade IV piti is present
- Resolved to focus on a good, wholesome home life by taking care of chores

2020-01-20 05:04 - 06:04
- Focused on pleasure waves in hands to kick off
- Experienced ragged, intense pleasure waves in the whole body
- Exited and reentered the pleasure waves in a smoother, still energetic state
- Anxiety about a medical appointment was occurring (the appointment turned out fine)
- Focused on the breath at the nostrils after the pleasure waves subsided
- Several distractions floated in awareness (including a song that was playing at a party two nights ago)
- Focused more intensely
- The most effective approach seemed to be letting the practice continue with less effort
- Some brief "dependent arising" and "momentary concentration" practice felt good and seemed to help reduce distractions
- Experienced light blobs in the visual field, tingling sensations in the body, some extra salivation, some "head spinning", etc.
- Things quieted down and became very calm toward the end of the sit
- The thought that "'I' do not exist" occurred; let it run; felt tingling and vibration from it; felt good

2020-01-20 18:30 - 19:25
- Started with just following the breath
- Noisy environment, many distractions were present
- After about 25 min, took a break to move laundry to dryers
- Second halfof the sit was much quieter
- Easier to focus on breath
- Sensations of pleasure, relief, being unburdened, and joy
- Scary/disturbing visualizations (especially around water or drowning) occurred
- Tingling feelings in body
- Ended sit with focus on pleasure sensations in the body
- First round of pleasure sensations was very ragged, second round was smoother

Mindful Review
- I think it's time to stop narrating (especially out loud) in daily life
- When I catch myself narrating, I resolved to take a 10 sec breath countdown break, congratulate myself for catching the narration, and return to the breath.

2020-01-21 05:08 - 06:08
- Quickly felt deeper calm
- Maybe daily life narration countdown is helping
- Focused on pleasure waves in hands
- Pleasure spread to the whole body
- Waves went ragged first, then smooth, then ragged
- Fet like I was a more unbiased observer in the pleasure waves, not directly experiencing them
- Pleasure waves subsided
- Focused on effortlessly following the breath
- Anxiety and anger and ill-will arose as distractions
- Partially was able to remain uninvolved with the anxiety and let "thought packets" pass through and feel their sensations
- Ended up dropping into the thoughts and engaging with their content
- Eventually distanced self from the thoughts, experienced the anxiety and anger as a "knot" sensation in the abdomen, and felt the "knot" dissolve
- Some other distractions popped up, but was able to follow the breath and escape them
- Felt the thought '"I" do not exist' arise, resonate, and shatter into a bunch of vibrations
- Felt the thought '"I" have accomplished it' arise and smiled/laughed at the thought
- Felt light vibrations, light head spinning, and light salivation during breath following

Mindful Review
- "junk food" for my mind includes
   - narrating
   - worrying
   - reading pointless articles online (especially links from social media sites)
- Resolving to count 10 outbreaths when I find myself doing these

2020-01-22 04:34 - 05:04
- Followed pleasure waves in hands after stabilizing breath
- Felt ragged wavs in fully body
- Felt "second round" of intense waves in the full body
- Experienced distraction "dropping" me into pleasure waves; distraction "moved me around" some aversion
- After leaving pleasure waves, aversion popped up again
- Struggling to know what to do with the aversion

2020-01-22 Evening Sit 20:50 - 21:43
- Just followed breath
- The thought "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional" (which appears to have uncertain provenance) occurred
- The thought "There are no choices, only cause and effect" occurred
- I would backedit the above quote to say, "There are no separate choices"

2020-01-23 06:43-07:28
- Distractions, anxiety, and planning were present throughout
- Very busy time at work, lots of work-related planning occurring
- Tons of frustration, anger, and ill-will toward a group of people whose actions were hurtful to me in the past
- Toward the start of the sit, was planning ways to get this group of people to change
- Felt a ball of tension in my lower stomach
- The thought "What if I completely accepted them?" arose.
- Over time, the ball of tension released
- I was able to feel whole-body waves of pleasure

Mindful Review
- Acceptance! (Resolved to accept people for who they are more completely)

2020-01-24 06:56 - 07:26
- Lots of narrating before the sit
- During sit, spreading legs wider on the chair seemed to help the spine be straighter
- Straighter spine led to deeper pleasure waves in whole body
- Ended with focus on breath

Mindful Review
- How do I balance meditation and time with family?
- How do I keep from long narration in AM?
- Maybe the content of narration is more applicable to me than to the people I imagine myself talking to?

2020-01-24 21:24
Arising & Passing Away from TMI
mental or physical process
could be mentally contacting a thought or physically contacting a sensation

2020-01-25 06:55 - 07:55
- Got up and did some kitchen chores 1 hr before waking up to meditate
- When I did wake up to meditate, jumped quickly to whole-body pleasure waves
- Three distinct experiences of the pleasure waves
   - Smoother
   - Rougher
   - Smoother
- Moved to following the breath at the nostrils
- New sitting posture seemed to help
- Following thought stream forwards and backwards (office XMas party)
- Experienced waves of energy currents rising then subsiding in the body
- Thoughts got quieter toward the end but were still present during the sit

2020-01-26 05:46 - 07:05
- Started w/ pleasure waves in the body
- Seemed like I experienced calmer waves first, then more ragged ones, them calmer ones again
- Heart rate increased & skin felt warm during pleasure waves practice
- Seat was sweaty after the sit
- After a while of practicing this, felt a bit physically tired
- Decided to aim for deeper pleasure waves experience (deeper jhana)
- Felt like I was levitating or floating
- Practiced that for a while until the bell
- Practicing leaving and entering that state is important but difficult
- Continued with floating pleasure wave practice until the bell
- Followed breath and looked for the still point for a while
- Things were encouragingly quiet
- Brief energy waves while following the breath

Mindful Review
- Lots of narrating
- How do I deal with the root anxiety motivating all this narration?
   - Every moment, every day, return to the breath
- Trusting other people?

Editing Notes
- I'm feeling noticeably less aversion, frustration, and anger in general over the past few days.
- Reviewing these notes increased my resolve to keep reducing the amount of time spent narrating this week

RE: Jey Practice Log
practice log
Answer
2/9/20 8:21 PM as a reply to Jeyan "Jey" Burns-Oorjitham.
2020-01-27 05:48 - 06:53
- Started with pleasure waves in the body
- Eventually, got more physically tired and practiced the "floating / levitating" pleasure waves
- When exiting one pleasure wave experience, felt sensation of space pushing outward
- Was able to concentrate on space pushing outward and enter a different experience
- Some scenes from a TV show I watched yesterday appeared
- Practiced the "Finding the Still Point and Realizing the Witness" practice from The Mind Illuminated Stage Eight.
- Experienced light blobs and mild nausea
- A sentence occurred. "You've hung on to 'self' for so long."
- Fear of being tricked or fear of getting hurt was occurring

Mindful Review
- Less narrating is occurring. Let's keep it up!

Checked in at 08:45
Still less narration, go team

2020-01-28 06:00 - 07:00
- Woke up without alarm
- Felt refreshed, positive, and less tense
- Took more time before going down to sit
- Kindnesss toward self was occurring (less anger)
- Spent time shifting and arranging the seat to be more comfortable
- It felt easier to enter pleasure waves and the waves felt less ragged
- Distractions arose, but I wasn't as frustrated or tensed by them
- Practiced pleasure waves with buzzing at the base of the spine and general feeling of happiness throughout the sit
- Shifted to the still point
- First asked, "Who is ... ? "
- Felt part of the mind respond with, "Hello, I am ..."
- Continued contacting the still point
- Asked again
- Seemed like metacognitive introspective awareness (m.i.a.) "zoomed" out up and to the left
- Perceived the part of the mind that was talking off to the right
- The still point was up and to the left
- Suddenly, instead of coherent sentences, the talking part of the mind started saying seemingly random words and sounds
- This continued for a bit, until m.i.a. stopped perceiving a talking part of mind
- Attempted to keep asking that question and zooming out with the still point
- Then the bell sounded

2020-01-29 04:30 - 05:00
- Focused on pleasure waves
- Took time going through the four step transition
- Seemed easier to focus
- Seemed easier to release energy/tension
- Pleasure waves seemed smoother
- The bell rang while I was practicing going in and coming out of the pleasure waves

Question for Reddit: Does less effort / tension make it easier to access higher pleasure jhanas?

- reread the Jhana Appendix
- Saw a quote about "being" rather than doing
- Intentionally used less effort when entering access concentration
- Took a longer time to feel pleasure waves in the whole body
- When the waves came, they seemed less ragged
- Felt less tension in the body muscles as well
- After some practice, was able to enter a state where there was less shaking in the body and greater awareness of pleasure
- However, in this state, I would still notice periodic flashes of discursive thought

2020-01-30 05:57 - 07:00
- Focused on pleasure waves in the body
- Felt warmer than normal
- Pleasure waves seemed less ragged, body seemed less twitchy
- There were moments of a "warm bath" feeling
- Moments of buzzing also occurred in the base of the spine
- At one point, (earlier than usual due to eating more last night?) , I felt tired and popped out of the pleasure waves
- Decided to practice the still point
- At first, felt jumpy and too energized
- After practicing breath following and metacognitive introspective awareness, things calmed down
- Q1: Am I at the correct tage for the still point?
- Q2: Is a calmer body and mind appropriate preparation for the still point?
- After a while, the sense of being "zoomed out" and watching or being aware of the totality of what the mind was doing at a high level pervaded awareness
- Q3: Is this the correct time to ask, "Who is watching?"
- After the question, an answer like, "I am" arose.
- I tried to nonjudmentally accept the answer, let it be, let it go, then ask again, "Who is ... ?"
- The second time, it seemed like the answerer dissolved
- A lot of physical and visual phenomena happened quickly
- The overall sense was every part of the mind that was being observed (breath sensations, visual phenomena, emotional sensations, etc.) all being connected at once
- There wasn't a verbal answer, per se, more like a deep awareness of this connectedness
- Looking back on the experience, it seems clear that although perception or watching is definitely occurring, there's no person or entity behind the perception. However, there's a lot of connected parts and pieces behind the perception
- Q4: Am I on the right track here? I intend to keep digging, deconstructing, and asking the question.
- Lots of physical energy in the body occurred
- Brightness or light phenomena occurred
- Neurons or blood vessel imagery occurred
- Tried to focus back on the breath, calm all this down, and try again
- Similar results occurred from repeating the process
- On the third or fourth time, there was a sense of being connected to multiple past experiences or thoughts
- All those past experiences seemed connected well into the present moment to
- Resolving to be patient and understanding with self and others
- Resolving to sleep and eat this weekend (during a trip)
- Resolving to enjoy this weekend
- Resolving to not overworry about my meditation practice slipping
- Resolving to follow the breath instead of narrating
- Resolving to keep communication open, but not force myself on others

2020-01-31
- No formal meditation practice today
- I chose to sleep in instead of practicing meditation during a weekend trip
- This decision was partially influenced by the fact that I became ill during the previous weekend trip like this
- Noticed a lot of anxiety arising while working at a coffee shop and realizing I could be expected by others to be somewhere else
- About 10 - 20 minutes of fairly ragged pleasure wave practice happened during everyday life
- About 2 - 5 minutes of following the breath also happened
- Burst of anger or ill-will happened
- While driving around, the idea of enjoying *every* situation (even the frustrating ones) occurred

2020-02-01 08:45 - 09:30
- Practice pleasure waves with my eyes open during the breakfast meal
- Pleasure waves started more ragged and eventually became stiller
- Practiced momentary attention by focusing on the corner of an angel glass figurine
- Felt escalating waves of energy during momentary attention practice
- Eventually, I felt pleasure waves in the full body
Still Point Practice
- had to focus on dropping the previous experiences I've had and allow new experiences to arise
- felt everything become more quiet and shutting down when I practiced the still point

2020-02-02 09:21 - 09:46
- Practiced pleasure waves with eyes open during the breakfast meal
- Felt more ragged than calmed down
- Much easier to enjoy the situations and not see ill will arise when practicing pleasure waves
Mindful Review
- Felt lots of ill will
- Learning to avoid bleed-through
- Learning to have greater compassion
- Ill will and judgment keeps us all locked into a cycle of judging each other
- Enjoying happiness and joy in every situation is liberating, but the price is giving up feelings of moral superiority
- How do I radiate more compassion and forgiveness?
- How do I enjoy situations saturated by angry or judgmental behavior?
- Practiced momentary attention on frozen spot on a window
- I feel much less compelled to intervene or fix behavior by other people
- I see craving in myself
- Fully accepting my place in the massive causal chain of suffering and not fighting it
- Then pain and craving goes dark
- Goes out like a light

2020-02-03 06:46 - 07:06
- Focused on pleasure waves
- Felt more ragged and more smooth pleasure from time to time
- Lots of distractions around planning

Mindful Review
- Became very angry with myself when I failed to take action and instead meditated for about 20 min
- How do I balance the joy of meditation with the responsibilities of daily life?
- When do I intervene to change a situation that I deem to be messed up and when do I use meditation to simply accept it?