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Polly Ester’s practice log 5

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Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/11/19 10:52 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/12/19 7:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Bardo 12/12/19 9:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/12/19 11:54 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 6:30 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 12:45 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 2:54 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/14/19 4:00 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/15/19 2:51 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Bardo 12/15/19 4:42 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/15/19 6:15 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/15/19 5:09 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/16/19 6:59 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/16/19 5:30 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Ben Sulsky 12/16/19 6:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/19 3:13 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/19 3:24 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Not two, not one 12/17/19 12:09 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/19 5:13 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/19 12:01 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/18/19 6:41 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/19 8:20 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/19 8:46 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 spatial 12/20/19 2:42 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/19 2:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/21/19 8:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/22/19 6:28 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/22/19 10:34 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/22/19 12:33 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Bardo 12/24/19 7:18 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/23/19 4:52 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Bardo 12/24/19 7:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/24/19 9:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Bardo 12/24/19 12:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 2:19 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 2:43 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 4:44 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 5:12 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 4:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 7:53 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/27/19 2:03 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/29/19 6:08 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/19 5:40 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/30/19 12:44 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/31/19 4:47 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/31/19 9:29 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/20 2:04 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Bardo 1/2/20 2:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/20 11:05 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Not two, not one 1/5/20 2:35 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/20 3:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/5/20 5:50 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 9:16 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 10:18 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 11:08 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/20 11:24 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/20 11:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Mike Monson 1/6/20 12:05 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/20 12:43 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Mike Monson 1/6/20 1:16 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/20 3:17 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/20 3:55 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/20 4:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 spatial 1/6/20 7:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/6/20 11:53 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 1:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 2:33 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 1:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 5:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/20 5:39 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/20 6:06 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/20 3:11 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Jason Massie 1/8/20 10:07 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/20 12:17 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Jason Massie 1/9/20 7:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/20 9:32 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/20 4:11 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/20 5:46 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/20 6:27 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/10/20 8:36 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Mike Monson 1/10/20 9:48 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/10/20 11:58 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Mike Monson 1/11/20 12:09 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/11/20 12:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/11/20 4:49 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/11/20 8:25 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/11/20 1:40 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Chris Marti 1/12/20 1:10 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/12/20 11:23 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/12/20 12:14 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/12/20 1:31 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/13/20 7:10 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/13/20 3:29 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/14/20 11:38 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/14/20 3:24 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/15/20 10:37 AM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/16/20 4:32 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/17/20 6:30 PM
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/18/20 3:31 PM
Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/11/19 10:52 AM
As requested, here is a new fresh practice log. Apologies for procrastinating the change. I think I was hoping for some natural breakpoint to appear.

As a reply to questions in the end of my previous log, the Goenka retreat that I have applied for is due in March 2020. I'm on the waiting list, so I may not make it this time. They were okay with offering me some red lentils for a few meals together with rice and steamed vegetables, so the dietary issue seems to be sorted out, for which I'm grateful.

The last few days I haven't written down reflections from my meditation. I'm going through some confusion at the moment and I have a hard time making a story out of it. There have been moments of strong bright presence and stress-related contractions in a weird mix. Today in daily life, details were standing out in an unfamiliar way. Everything felt fragmented, disconnected. Time for yoga now. Will madeitate later and report on that. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/12/19 7:33 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did meditate yesterday, but it turned into a dull thing and then I fell asleep. Things are not going great at the moment.

I had a 30 minutes session just now. It started out with great clarity in hearing and touch. The nada sound was loud and my body felt like an energy field. Then I started dreaming and forgot that I was meditating. The nada sound is still loud, but that doesn't keep me from falling asleep.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/12/19 9:38 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
This could be sloth and torpor. I've been working with this recently. They're sneaky little things. They roll up over you very slowly like a sleepy cloud and drown you in dream-trance. If I remain alert to this I find that I can see it coming in the far distance and take evasive action usually involving maintaining my degrees of alertness. As soon as my alertness drops, sloth and torpor is waiting in the wings; I'm apprehended and my head is nodding. Upon realizing that I've been accosted, I lift my head, reposition, make absolutely no fuss about it and continue in my meditative journey - unflagging, resolute, steadfast.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/12/19 11:54 AM as a reply to Bardo.
I have no doubt that it is. Luckily I can deal with it very effectively once I stop with the wishful thinking. I have been spoiled insofar as I have been able to meditate for hours in a reclining position without getting sleepy or dull before. So instead of feeling sorry for myself I did a sitting meditation, 45 minutes. No nodding, no dreams. Instead some restlessness showed up. I guess I need to work on the hindrances. I thought about the Buddha sitting under that tree and resisting Mara in all shapes. 45 minutes of sitting still is a piece of cake in comparison. I also came to think of the alert sitting position I applied in school in order to keep my brain from falling asleep. I was reminded of that when reading Ken McLeod's book. He talks about the natural straightness of the spine in an alert position, and that made me realize how simple the right posture really is. So. 45 minutes of pretty boring meditation, with nothing really happening, but at least I didn't get dull or fall asleep.

Thankyou for motivating me!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/13/19 6:30 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Friday December 13th, at lunchtime

I sat for 45 minutes with my cushion placed onto a very firm chaise lounge with a couple of pillows for support, as I’m trying to get used to sitting practice again. 45 minutes is certainly doable. It involves minimal discomfort thanks to the furniture, so it might be a good idea to extend the time. No numbness. Relaxing into the posture was easy. My fingers were positioned in gyan mudra on my thighs/knees and almost immediately they were so relaxed that I couldn’t feel the boundaries between them. It was more like a field of energy. Thanks to the upright position, there was no dullness, except for some very subtle dullness towards the end of the session. No sleepiness. No dreaminess. Some very welcome spaciousness. Some distractive thoughts. For some reason Leonard Cohen was a persistent earworm. Some brief impulses of restlessness. Thinking about the Buddha helped with motivation. The nada sound remained very loud throughout the session. It seems like there is less tension involved in zooming out to cover the whole spectrum of the nada sound than in zooming into separate tones of it. Less contraction, more space. I started out with some noting without a specific meditation object but soon used the nada sound as the object, not in a shamatha way but to cultivate some basic attention as it seems like I need to return to the basics for the moment. There was some aversion to that, which I noted. I noticed som selfing with regard to responsibilities, which led to contractions. There was also some relief in just sitting there. Space. It made breathing easy. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/13/19 12:45 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Something shifted today, thankfully. 

During the emergency trip I made on December 6th-9th, there were two days when I wasn't able to squeeze in any formal meditation. I tried to pay attention in daily life but reached a limit to my executive functioning which took a lot of the energy that I would otherwise have spent on meditation (formal and informal). That caused a regression. On my way to the yoga studio today I noticed very clearly that the visual field was much more limited and narrow than what I have been used to the last months or so. It felt like tunnel vision but I'm pretty sure it was my "normal" vision, the one I used to have. It's a miracle that I haven't yet been run over by a bus or something with such a limited attention in the traffic. Well, there have been many close calls, for sure, but that changed somewhere down the line, as my visual field suddenly widened a lot.  Until that breakpoint, people who got to know me very soon developed a reflex of grabbing me to keep me from walking out in front of cars. That stopped. And in the beginning of this trip, I actually got to be the one grabbing my partner who was about to walk out in front of a car (he's not used to British traffic). But then I lost that widened vision at the end of the trip or something, and I lost my equanimity and sense of spaciousness. I was contracted and stressed out and irritable and exhausted from all impressions and decisions and responsibilities and changes and... well, everything. I would probably not have survived what people go through as volunteers in India and stuff like that. My deepest respect for that kind of work! 12 hours of airports and railway stations and subway connections are enough to make me almost cry, especially after dealing with an emergency. Let's just say it was a humbling experience. 

Since then I have felt that a connection has been lost. Today at yoga class I think it came back again. Sensations knowing themselves came back. I'm so grateful for that. It felt like something was dead, and now it's alive again. And when I came out frome the yoga studio, the visual field was widened again. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/13/19 2:54 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I sat for another 45 minutes, using the nada sound as meditation object. My focus and clarity varied. Sometimes the nada sound sort of merged with the breath and with bright light (I'm not sure if it actually occurred visually or if it was more of a feeling of being dazzled by a light), which involved a feeling of lightness and spaciousness and... I don't know... peace. At other times, I was caught by the content of thoughts. There was piti. I could move the piti and evoke it deliberately and make it grow, over and over again. I guess that means that it was an A&P. I was suspecting that I had dropped down to lower nanas, but I'm surprised that there was so little pain in the 3C nana.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/14/19 4:00 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I did a morning sitting, 45 minutes which was divided into two parts because of a piti-induced toilet break (I can't be the only one whom that happens too, right?). I used the nada sound as meditation object. Distracting thoughts involved meditation practice, relationships and responsibilities in daily life. Lots of selfing going on there. There was a moment of compassion with regard to that and and a sense of just letting it be because it lives its own life, sort of. Piti arose in waves and lingered in some parts a bit longer, such as the throat. It felt like it was disentangling tensions with its vibrations. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/15/19 2:51 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I started the day with some shamatha on the breath, beginning with a guided meditation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu to find my way back to the breath again after a difficult phase: https://youtu.be/z2y9N3IdEqY. Then I continued for some time, don't know exactly how long. I found that at this point in time, it might be helpful to focus on the breath as it vibrates in the cavities behind the face. There were some jhanic factors but no absorption, as I'm too stressed out by responsibilities in daily life. I need to find a way for my practice not to be in conflict with such responsibilities in times when resources are scarce. I need to find a way to let go of them for the duration of a meditation session at least. It's like I don't trust that I will still remember them. I write them down, but it still feels like they are vanishing from my control. This is probably some version of the ego panicking about not being in charge. Maybe it doesn't trust that the awakened not self will still care? But why wouldn't it? There has never been a separate continuous self to begin with, so why should there be any difference? The things I worry about are stuff that I'm pretty sure will remain important, when I think about it. They involve the wellbeing of my child and the prospect of making a difference for a vulnerable group of people through my research. If anything, awakening and staying awake would most likely enable me to do a better job, as it would set the priorities straight. I need to trust that, both consciously and subconsciously. Okay. That was actually helpful. I think I understand better now why I'm running into difficulties, and that makes it easier to have compassion with it. 

Hm, I think I have also been procrastinating some responsibilities because of some erroneous subconscious belief that attending to them would require my ego to be in charge, as if there were a real conflict between the path and daily life. Of course that only increases the anxiety What if I were to trust that I can attend to those responsibilities without that old kazoo player? Suddenly the tasks seem more appealing. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/15/19 4:42 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
There were some jhanic factors but no absorption, as I'm too stressed out by responsibilities in daily life. I need to find a way for my practice not to be in conflict with such responsibilities in times when resources are scarce. I need to find a way to let go of them for the duration of a meditation session at least. It's like I don't trust that I will still remember them. I write them down, but it still feels like they are vanishing from my control.

When I have lots of hindrances, before meditation I will try to forget who I am by looking lightly at nearby objects or noticing the entire room and the body's spatial position in that room until I move into a place called: just me and room - no problems. When this happens, you can develop a felt sense of shifting into the moment where there is just seeing, hearing, feeling and all those whatnots. As soon as that is stabilized, move into the session with that felt sense of being in the moment.

As you know, the mind lives in time and replays issues from that time construct, which is a huge frame spanning many years in either direction, future and past. 

I see you visited the UK recently? London? I live about 60 miles from London. I went to visit my son there yesterday. I hope your emergency came to a healthy resolve.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/15/19 6:15 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Thanks! Yeah, normally that works fine for me as well. I guess there is a bit of burnout at the moment. I'll try to do it more systematically, though. You never know, it might help. The devil is in the details, and when one is stressed out, it is all too easy to miss the details.

Cool. It's good to know that there are some people at DhO who reside within a shorter distance. It would be fun to arrange an informal DhO retreat sometime. Renting a larger cottage or set of cottages in Britain somewhere on the Scottish westcoast would be perfect. Close to the elements, silent, not necessarily very expensive, possible to get there without a driver's license, possible to cook meals that my body tolerates. Also, I just love Britain. It's a shame I'd have to fly to get there from Sweden, though. There used to be ferries to Newcastle from Gothenburg.

I was in Birmingham. It worked out well for now, but this is something we'll need to deal with for several years. For the sake of integrity (not mine), I can't go into any details. I just wish we were living in a world with less fear of everything that is out of the ordinary. That would at least make things less complicated to deal with. This breaks my heart. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/15/19 5:09 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
45 minutes, sitting. I decided that I'd just start with taking in sensory impressions and getting a feel for what was needed. Piti arose immediately. I erroneously jumped to the conclusion that I should do shamatha, but it was soon clear that it only made be bored and restless and easily distracted. Thus I turned to vipassana, and immediately piti arose again. I embraced impressions from all sensory fields, as widely as I could, and I found it pleasant and exciting. I opened up to the world and let it flow through me. There was fluidity and movement. A thought popped up: zoom in enough and everything gets vibrational, but that is also the case with zooming out. There were flickering in all sensory fields. As I focused on that, the fluidity fell apart. It was all fragmentary. No continuity. No vibrations because nothing was cohesive enough to vibrate. It was more like flakes of ash, dissolving as soon as they appeared, or tiny reflections from a multifaceted prism flashing by and disappearing - but without any prism there to actually reflect, unless "I" was the prism. I probably somehow constructed that kind of implied center even though I was under the impression that I didn't. It felt like I just let everything fall apart to the extent it wanted, in accordance with some natural entropy. It felt confusing at first, then more like relief, but still with a taste of confusion and a sense of having the world slip away from me (aha - there's the implied center). I was able to let go more than has been the case for some time now. God that feels good. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/16/19 6:59 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
As far as (non)attainments go, I think this one actually deserves a pat on the back. *patting my own back*

Sensitive readers are advised to skip this post, as it contains some seriously yucky stuff.

I actually managed to, at least to some extent, stay observing while vomiting cascades (due to penicilline medication). I remembered that being in the center of the experience is only a delusion, and it helped a little, although I kept thinking that I felt utterly motivated to get rid of the remaining delusion, because the dukkha was obvious. I won't bother any readers with details of the sensations, but I remember being surprised and relieved that the sensory level, as horrible as it was, still wasn't quite as bad as the story I could have made up about it and partly did. I noticed how I was prolonging the pain by reliving it in my memory, so I just stopped. Thanks to that, I was able to clean the floor and the walls and all the things that were in the line of fire without puking again (by the way, any advice on how to remove blueberry juice vomit from a linoleum carpet is most welcome).

The moments just before actually vomiting was horrible, though, and very unawakened. My body tends to overreact to the prospect of puking, so it sends out "code red alert" signals all over the place. If there is some form of awakening that would enable me not to feel in the center of that, I want it. I'm certainly not there yet. 

Sorry for the inconvenience caused by reading this. I did warn you, though.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/16/19 5:30 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I planned to sit for an hour, but it turned out that I had forgotten to turn on the volume on my alarm, so I don't know exactly how long I sat. Then, after noticing that, I lay down on my bed to continue in a reclining position.

I started out just taking in all sensory experience without focusing on anything in particular. Piti arose immediately. Amazing how much more pleasant the world is on a sensory level than when one engages in abstractions (that is, as content rather than as sensations of their own). I noticed that a doer/controler arose, trying to direct attention to this and that to cover all the senses and all directions, and it was sort of amusing to just notice that. Instead of trying to control the controler, I just let it do its moves. There was sort of a pendulous movement to how that manifested. In one end there was closeness to a sense of all this just happening on its own, knowing itself. In the other end, that observation created a watcher. The same pendulous movement occurred on the meta levels of it as well. 

Parallelly to this, I think I was rapidly cycling between A&P, reobservation and equanimity (the latter mainly in brief whiffs). I recognized this. I have done it a lot before. I think I didn't always realize how rapid the cycling was and therefore mixed up some of the characteristics of the different nanas. I have often had the feeling that I really enjoy reobservation for some strange reason, but I think I mainly enjoy the dynamics of rapid cycling between extremes with regard to different dimensions. It is fascinating. It's creation in its making. I'm intrigued by how energy is released and consumed in the shifts between these stages and how this makes things happen. 

There really isn't that much of a distance between A&P and equanimity or A&P and reobservation as one might think looking at the maps, and as contrasting as reobservation and equanimity might seem, somehow there is a very subtly gliding scale inbetween them. It seems to be possible to balance on the threshold inbetween all three of them, as if there's a wormhole junction there. I think I have spent quite a lot of my meditation time there, surfing on that threshold. 

This investigation triggered a story factory in my mind. I let it be and took notes. Old stories about different archetypical personas in my psyche (constructions from about a decade ago) came to my mind and I saw them in a new light. I had started out with two basic personas, one of which was reactive (like a vulcano, sort of Kali-like) and one who was extremely non-reactive (I'm simplifying now because I don't want to get into all the details on this content level). There was an intricate interplay between these two personas. Both of them were equally necessary for survival. One of them tended to oscillate between A&P and reobservation (very ADHD), the other one between dissolution and equanimity (autistic). Then I had built on them with additional archetypes to map the whole dynamic, including the more grounding persona who kept it all balanced and the spacey one who in crisis put all the others in cryo pods and set the autopilot of the spaceship in motion (until the eruptive persona woke up and burned it all down to create something new). Seeing how these old stories manifested now, in the session, made me realize that without any knowledge of the dharma, I had mapped the dynamics between the different nanas and between the five elements, based on empirical observations many years ago. All of it was there in those stories. It was comical how much of it was there even literally. 

Part of me was eager to stop meditating to write all this down. It feared that it would all slip away. Other parts noted that reaction and did not give into it. There was a pendulous movement inbetween these modes as well, and "I" observed it. It was interesting to notice how the frustration was building up and then sort of balanced itself as the tip of the wave reached a certain tipping point and collapsed into calmness, and how new ripples would build up a new wave, over and over again, and how there were meta levels to this as well. As I investigated this process, every meta level of investigation would generate the impulse to stop meditating and write it down. I recognized this as well. I knew that of one ignores these impulses, they will eventually calm down. My best technique for dealing with procrastination, which is basically an avoidance issue, is to resist ten impulses of "jag ska bara..." - a well known phrase from a popular series of books for small children in Sweden. It translates to "I'm just gonna...". The first few impulses of "I'm just gonna" tend to revolve around very basic cravings and aversions, like checking if there's something interesting on the TV (I haven't watched regular TV for several years, but you get the picture). The next few impulses tend to be telling someone (or all readers on social media) about the miracle that I managed to resist those first impulses (I have quite a few facebook friends who would understand the miracle very well since they struggle with procrastination as well, and on this forum it is possible to get into very intellectual discussions on the details of the phenomenology of resisting cravings and aversions). Thus I said to myself "ain't gonna happen". Well, at least not during the meditation session; now it obviously happens, but that's another story. (I could tell you about what further sorts of impulses tend to arise following that method, but that would be getting too much into the content of a side story.)

It was interesting to see how different chunks of stories were triggered by certain other chunks, with variations but according to a distinct pattern, and how it all was expanding and contracting, in pendulous movements, and how all these pendulous movements each were one end of another pendulous movement, and how it all had meta levels and just kept going. And how this seems to occur on all levels of aggregations. That's life. Wheel of samsara, sure, but also very creative. Literally and metaphorically. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
12/16/19 6:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
"Amazing how much more pleasant the world is on a sensory level than when one engages in abstractions (that is, as content rather than as sensations of their own). I noticed that a doer/controler arose, trying to direct attention to this and that to cover all the senses and all directions, and it was sort of amusing to just notice that. Instead of trying to control the controler, I just let it do its moves"

Lots of this^^ for me lately.  Abstraction/reflection/intellect often feel like a refuge from duhkka of moment to moment experience.  

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/17/19 3:13 AM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Always seems to be a good idea to stay aware of whenever a doer/controler arises. 

I suppose we often use abstractions/reflections/intellect to get away from the dukkha, but it surely isn't a true refuge, and the ironic thing is that we in many instances don't need one. 

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In yesterday's report I forgot to mention that I felt the need during sitting to make Sufi circle movements, and when I did, there were energetic releases. Typical Kundalini stuff. Not too overwhelming, though. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/17/19 3:24 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Weird thought about the maps: The linearity-circularity of them is an illusion. There are wormholes all over the maps. It's just that some of the pathways are more accessible than others. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/17/19 12:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I have noticed that a very common sensation of something melting inbetween by jaw bone and my cheek bone on the left side is some physiological process connected to the salivary gland or the salivary nerve. I googled it and found that there are some research indicating that the salivary nerve growth is stimulated by pranayama.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501575/

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/17/19 12:09 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Weird thought about the maps: The linearity-circularity of them is an illusion. There are wormholes all over the maps. It's just that some of the pathways are more accessible than others. 

Nicely put!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/17/19 5:13 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Ah, thankyou! After I had posted it, I felt like it was a "Duh..." thing. 

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I sat for 45 minutes. The rapid cycling showed up tonight as well. Very rapid, but subtler and much less abrupt than yesterday. More gradual, less wormhole activity so to speak. There were upwardmoving shivers with goose bumps and a peak. Then it settled like when the wind suddenly stops and a lake gets all calm. Then a different form of vibrations appeared, like feel-it-in-your-bones vibrations. There was sort of a build-up in frequency. They culminated in the throat chakra, as is usual for me during reobservation. Then it settled again, and instead there was this melting sensation in the salivary nerve or gland. I investigated it more closely and found that it was a sense of coolness arising and passing away in different points along a vertikal line, hence giving the impression of melting ice trickling down. This happened countless times. I would go through the entire cycle within a few seconds, I believe. Not that I'm always so good at estimating time. In the beginning of the session, there was quite a lot of monkey mind going on. Towards the end, there was more calm and peace. Thus there was like a macro level to the cycling as well. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/18/19 6:41 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I was feeling mildly nauseous and had the feeling that it was insight wanting to happen, as it is pretty often the case for me that it manifests as mild nausea to get my attention, sort of. Opening up to meditation felt awsome. Sensations were alive. It was probably far from as pristine as it is for arahants, but it was my version of direct awareness and a great relief. I rested in that for quite some time. It was probably the disgust nana that had led to it, and I got the hunch that the disgust nana is something I need in order to let go enough of both the daily life control freak and the overly excited phenomenology narrator to actually get some real meditation happening. I think it also provides enough distance to keep me grounded through desire for deliverance and reobservation. I'm starting to think that many of my most educating and interesting meditation experiences have probably been during the dukkha nanas. I just haven't always realized that because I have been enjoying it so much.

Then I got the bad idea that I should dwell in the disgust nana and amplify it to learn as much from it as possible. That was probably not the smartest thing to do so soon after the penicilline incident spraypainting my entire kitchen. Nothing like that this time, though. Just a feeling. But gee, do I feel sick... Amplifying disgust... of all ideas. I think I may be a bit too caught up in it to be able to not assume being in the center of it. I know that it will pass, though, and parts of (not)me know that it is not self and understands how it turns into suffering. Writing this helps. The deluded center is at least partly dissolving. Cool. Wow, that's a relief. Emptiness is sort of taking jurisdiction. Touch sensations living their own life. Nada sound. Space. Lightness.

It is soon time to get my laundry from the laundry room. The thought of that was followed by a contraction as there were imagings of the smells and noices there, and the suffering arose. As I noticed it, it disappeared, and there was space again. 

Okay. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all. I think it generated some insight. I can adjust the volume of aspects of nanas to learn from the reactions to them. Maybe I'm very slowly making some progress with regard to technical approaches to the nanas, just like I wanted to do after second path (which I assume is where I am at, but that could of course be wrong). 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/19/19 8:20 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today was the kind of day where I had to squeeze in meditation here and there. These are notes from a job meeting:
Restlessness manifests as a contraction around the heart and impulses of movement. It is connected to the arising of a story about duration and continuity.

Whenever I move my gaze quickly, the light from the projector breaks up in all colors of the rainbow for a breif moment. It seems to occur in the interval where the image isn’t constructed yet.
Then I did 30 minutes of formal meditation at my office. It took a while to come to the sense of sensations living their own life independently from an observer. 

We had a social thing with my working place in the evening. I didn't stay long because I wanted to go home and meditate, but since I had my allergy vaccine shots today, I fell asleep. Those shots are quite a strain on the body.  Before I fell asleep, I did get to that sense of sensations living their own life, and then one of my cats was desperate to go out and jumped onto me and patted me on my face with a paw that evidently needs to have its claws cut. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/20/19 8:46 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I meditated for one hour in a reclining position without getting sleepy. It felt good. Sensations lived their own life, which I find very restful. Thoughts lived their own life for a while too. I was getting caught up in the content although they were rather nonsensinlägg and dreamlike, but I noticed getting caught up in them and saw the thoughts as thoughts and as not mine. The thoughts were multisensorial. There was a sense of movement. Things cracked open behind my face. I'd guess that has something to do with hormones or neurotransmittors or glands - something physical that is affected by the meditation. There was a sense of spaciousness. I associate that with emptiness/anatta. The nada sound, which was very subtle in the beginning of the session, increased its volume. There was a sense of energies moving around, causing shivering. Somehow thoughts popped up about past situations that I wish I could have handled differently. I could see how my actions contributed to harm. There was grief. There was also compassion. I could see that I wasn't able to handle those situations differently at those points in time. I could acknowledge that conditions are different now. Spaciousness remained. I couldn't detect any contractions because of the difficult thoughts. Then there was subtle energetic stuff going on again. Towards the end of the session I was a bit restless which caused some contraction. I didn't want to risk getting late for yoga class.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/20/19 2:42 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Things cracked open behind my face. I'd guess that has something to do with hormones or neurotransmittors or glands - something physical that is affected by the meditation. 

I've had this happen too. I think maybe it has something to do with the eye/facial muscles unhooking from the attention/breathing mechanism. Seems to be a sign of progress. It's easy to get addicted to the feeling of relief that comes with it, though! But, I guess that's part of the game, too...

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/20/19 2:58 PM as a reply to spatial.
That's another possible explanation. Interesting. Yes, that feeling of relief is easy to get attached to. I have missed it. There was a while before when it happened very often. It seems to be a cycling thing, like so much of it. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/21/19 8:33 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I started working with earth kasina. I liked it. I found very hands-on instructions in A Study Guide for Right Practice of the Three Trainings – Phra Thepyanmongkold which is available as en e-book free of charge. I happen to have a clay tray that is perfect for the purpose (it is actually a form that came with a frozen dessert). Its back side is smooth and red-brown unglazed earthenware. The size is a bit small according to the instructions, but I think it will do just fine.

I was a bit surprised that looking at a clay tray could make me feel so good. I had to work through some hindrances first. According to the instructions, looking at the object is not supposed to involve shimmering and changes in the image. Since it did, I had to find a way not to be distracted by it while not being annoyed by it. When I did, I felt so good. I also had to work my way through dullness, which was interesting as it became very clear what an illusion it is. Sometimes I had a hard time seeing the tray because purple swirls blocked the view. I had to work past that as well. For a while I couldn't see the tray because there was nothing there in the visual field. It was like a hole of nothingness in the pillow against which the tray was leaning. Since this was supposed to be shamatha, not vipassana, I had to get my mind to realize that it should continue to project an image of the tray even though there was no new visual information.

According to the instructions, the learning image is something very different from the after image that shows the opposite color (which looked like a solar eclipse sometimes and like a blue disc sometimes). It is supposed to look just like the tray (and that is just the learning image, the initial step!). I have very poor visualization skills, so I had to look at the tray most of the time. Toward the end of the session, I noticed that I could see the image perfectly for a very short while before the after image took over, so I played with that for a while, back and forth. I found it very cool. The tray was really there, visually. I could really see it, vividly, just not much longer than a second. The instructions said that one should do this hundreds or thousands of times to get a learning image, so I trust that even this non-visual brain will learn over time. 

I found this very educational. I also liked the sense of stability and nourishment that came with working with the earth element. 

The nada sound became stronger while doing the kasina. I also periodically felt sensations reminding of static electricity crackling at the back of my head. I could feel that there was a cycling of nanas. Sometimes I went through different types of vibrations associated with the dukkha nanas. 

I don't know how long I sat. I estimate that it was about an hour.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/22/19 6:28 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
This morning I went to a Kundalini yoga class. The teacher, who I think came from India, seemed to know what she was doing. Her instructions were thorough and the exercises were well balanced. We did a set called kriya of alleviation. One thing surprised me: the teacher kept saying that if there was pain, one should breath more forcefully. That is very true for muscle pain, but not for Kundalini-related headaches. Thankfully I know the difference. How can it be so common for Kundalini yoga teachers not to know about common Kundalini phenomena? A couple of the breathing exercises were a bit too strong for me so I had to breathe very carefully and avoid pushing it. Thanks to that caution, the headache that I could feel building up didn't stick but went away. There was plenty of energy anyway, so I had no difficulties whatsoever to feel the vibrations. I mean, I feel vibrations like that basically every day. Our whole existence is vibratory. I'd rather work on my clarity than forcing more vibrations on something that is already vibrating perfectly fine. I think many of the Kundalini yoga exercises help with the clarity, but some of them seem to be designed to push people into the A&P with force, and I don't need the force. I expect from someone who teaches Kundalini yoga not to need the force either, and above all I expect them to know that it is important to be sensitive to when pushing may be beneficial and when it might be a better idea to be more gentle. Otherwise some of the exercises can be harmful. How can they not know that? 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/22/19 10:34 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I continued with earth kasina today. The first round I struggled with sloth and torpor, as there was a lack of energy. I was hungry, so after half an hour I decided to start cooking a meal without losing touch with the earth element. After all, nourishment is a feature of the earth element. I prepared the ingredients for a casserole while focusing on qualities of the earth element. I could feel how they were embodied. Working with the earth element does wonders for my posture. Focusing on the earth element while preparing a meal felt good. It gave me piti while keeping me grounded at the same time. Wow! That was... physical. It took me half an hour to prepare ingredients the first round. Then I sat down to continue with the kasina practice for another half an hour. This time there was less dullness and I felt more in touch with the element. I kept focusing on qualities of it while doing the kasina. I did that from the beginning, but now it came more naturally. The kasina object stood out and naturally drew attention. There were moments of... I don't know how to describe it accurately... simplicity? After the half hour had gone by, it was time to prepare more ingredients. I did so while maintaining focus (not visually on the kasina object, but on the earth element). Then I sat down for another 15 minutes of kasina. After those minutes had passed, I thanked the kasina object for being there when I need it, enfolded it in a warm scarf (in earth colors), asked it to rest, regenerate and take of itself, and put it in my bed. It was an impulse. Then I ate the nutritious meal with devotation. Afterwards I went out on the patio and put my bare feet on the grass (it is winter here but not that cold) and bowed to the ground to smell it and touch the soil. I did a quick qigong exercise to draw energy from the earth. It gave me piti.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/22/19 12:33 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Then I felt the need to just lay down and let all excess stability dissolve, and so I did, for slightly more than an hour. I didn't have to do anything. It happened on its own. Well, there were some tensions that I had to notice and let go of. My muscles had a tendency to clench up a bit, so that required some more active mindfulness. But I was a bit surprised that things cracked open so readily directly after working with the earth element, like behind my face, and that there was so much flowy movement. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/23/19 4:52 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
This morning when I woke up, I listened to Adyashanti, which led to a sense of freefalling which then turned into a flux because there was nothing there stable enough to actually fall. The fact that I was really tired most likely contributed. I was too tired to construct complex stuff.

On my way to yoga class late in the afternoon I tried to tune into that mode again, but trying got in the way of actually doing it, or rather not doing it. As Adya says, it's not about what you do, but what you do not do. It did create some interesting sensations, though. That, in turn, made me think about review phases for some reason, and the sensations related to them. Soon enough, a ticking sound and kinesthetic sensations of ticking arose in my head, just like in late review phase. It seems like those particular sensations were called up. As I lay down to relax before the yoga class started, my body immediately dissolved into a field of fine-grained sensations that occurred on their own, like an energy field. 

Late at night I did 45 minutes of earth kasina, but I had to pause the timer after half an hour to drink some water, because it felt like my mouth was dry like a dessert. I guess I was a bit too susceptible to suggestion. Yesterday I moisturized the clay tray for it to remind me more of fertile soil than of a dessert, but tonight I had skipped that part. I'm still so thirsty, despite having ingested large amounts of water.

Visualization was scarce today. It seems like things want to dissolve rather than stay solid. 

There were some dullness and phases of harsh vibrations, but also phases when the kasina object seemed to solidify and get a smoother surface. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/24/19 7:18 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
There were moments of... I don't know how to describe it accurately... simplicity? 

Yes, when this simplicity comes for me everything is so stupidly simple that it's laughable -- there's innocence in that simplicity. It reminds me of the two zen monks who were watching a leaf blowing in the wind. They were in hysterics! 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/24/19 7:25 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This morning when I woke up, I listened to Adyashanti, which led to a sense of freefalling which then turned into a flux because there was nothing there stable enough to actually fall. The fact that I was really tired most likely contributed. I was too tired to construct complex stuff.

I have a whole collection by Adyashanti - satsangs, retreats, a book called Falling into Grace and general ramblings about the paths. He's very illuminating. They are all in audio .mp3 format.

Also, I have about 10 audiobooks from Eckhart Tolle. I could create a download link from my account and PM the link if those are something that interests you?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/24/19 9:03 AM as a reply to Bardo.
The beauty of leaves blowin in the wind is underestimated.

How kind! I would certainly appreciate the Adyashanti material. I haven't really taken an interest in Eckhart Tolle. I have seen so many people use his quotes in a way that guilt trips chronically ill people, but that is of course not his fault. 

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50 minutes of dissolving and letting go. That felt good. Lots of disentangling seemed to occur. At least that was the kinesthetic experience of it. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/24/19 12:14 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Ok. I've PM'd you the details. Hope you enjoy!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/25/19 2:19 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Oh, I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Much obliged. I wrote a PM back.

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Lately, when I'm about to fall asleep and when I wake up in the morning, there is a flux beyond words and it is restful to just be in it, to be flux, or fluctuating. There is some resistance showing up as clenching, but that is fluctuating too. 

I feel like being solid is a fun game we play. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/25/19 2:43 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I feel like being solid is a fun game we play. 


Or rather, that’s an idea that popped up, not representative of anything. It was accompanied with more joy than many other patterns that tend to arise in the morning.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/25/19 4:44 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hey, Malcolm, now I get what you have been asking me for a while, about emotions. They are just fluxing around, and I can pick one up as "mine" or drop it. I can play that it's me, and I can stop playing it. Like trying out costumes, except there isn't a stable actor there to begin with. And it doesn't mean being unauthentic, because it's all there. It all resonates on some level. This also means that it's very silly to cling to an emotion. It's just a pattern hovering there. It has no substance of its own, but it doesn't really go anywhere either. It's just sometimes easier to pick it up, and sometimes it is more difficult to get into that frequence or whatever we call it. Sometimes it just doesn't resonate that well with the other patterns currently picked up. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/25/19 5:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
And in the same way, I can pick up the A&P and let go of it, pick it up and let go of it, and feel that it somehow becomes embodied. Patterns are picked up as Something and manifest.

I think I needed to work with the earth element to see the embodiment aspect of it, possibly because the earth element is pretty far from the selfing that I habitually take on, and yet it is not. It's just a slight difference in emphasis. The elements (regardless of which construct of them we are talking about) all depend on each other. Without earth element, this mammal wouldn't survive, so of course those patterns are there to pick up as well. I picked them up and I recognized them. I recognized them being embodied.

I think I may be starting to get what Spatial described before too: they are all me and mine. Except when they are not. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/25/19 4:55 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Did 30 minutes of earth kasina. I'm not sure I'm going about it the "right" way, but it does something, and I find that interesting. Maybe I'm not really doing shamatha, because although I find that stability and "firm ground" gets highlighted, I cannot but notice that stability is far from the default mode. It is so obvious that is a construction. Therefore, the flux gets highlighted too. It's like it's the other pole of the magnet. The bigger the stable and solid pole gets, the bigger the flux pole gets too. Like matter and anti-matter. While I can feel the stability of my posture and being carried by the ground, I also feel that my body is in a state of flux. The nada sound gets very loud too. 

The nada sound and the flux have stood out throughout the day. There have also been clickings inside my head. There have been occasional surges of upmoving piti and darknight harsh vibrations, but the dominating mode has consisted of lightness and the sense of a wind blowing through me. The feeling tone has been calm and content. There has been pain due to a minor histamine reaction, and still is, but it hasn't bothered me. It's just there. It isn't personal. I don't doubt, however, that if the pain were severe enough, the ego reaction would be stronger and manifest as selfing. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/26/19 7:53 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One hour of reclining meditation or whatever I should call it. First there were lots of flickerings, so I kept noting "gone". Then my body fell asleep and I just kept listening to myself snoring. I'd be most grateful if someone could tell me the point of lucid dreamless sleep. I have heard that there are people who work hard to get there, so I suspect there is something one could do with it other than listening to one's body snoring for 40 minutes or so. I never really intended to learn to stay aware while in deep sleep. It just happens now and then. I get that there's some insight to it. I mean, obviously I'm asleep, and yet there's awareness. There are no thoughts whatsoever, and that is restful. It takes away a lot of the separation. Is there something more to it? Am I missing something? 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/27/19 2:03 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One hour of some kind of disentangling - kinesthetically, auditorily with the nada sound, and visually with lights and movements in the murk. There were some kriyas. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/29/19 6:08 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I spent a few hours this morning/day balancing on the threshold between sleep and awakeness. In doing so, I felt consciousness unhooking itself from my head exactly like Loch Kelly describes it. Yesterday was a very contracted day with poor clarity, and when consciousness unhooked itself, suddenly clarity was there. I could feel a gradual contraction clouding the clarity again, but the unhooking was repeated a couple of times. Interesting.

I did meditate yesterday, but there was nothing of interest to report. In daily life I noticed that I could improve my balance instantly by tuning into the earth element, and so I did some balance exercises while cutting vegetables. Preparing food made me feel in touch with the earth element. I was able to do exercises that I rarely manage to do in yoga class. People around me were a bit nervous, though, because they know how clumsy I am normally. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/30/19 5:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
30 minutes of earth kasina. For a split second I saw a snake biting its own tail while looking at the clay tray. It may have been because of the hypnagogic state I find myself passing through after a while, with flourescent purple swirls blocking the view with eyes open. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/30/19 12:44 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I visited a special place today, where I have always felt a special connection to... something. Or maybe to nothing. This time it made consciousness unhook very tangibly. Apart from the usual shivers, there were purple and green swirls all over the place, and there were clickings inside my head.

I made an earth kasina from mud. Unfortunately there was dullness and sleepiness when I meditated on it (40 minutes). I put it on the balcony to keep it from drying up. Maybe I can use it again tomorrow. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/31/19 4:47 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
After some initial yoga, I gave the earth kasina made of mud another try. The color of mud around here has the wrong color according to the instructions, and I think that makes it a more difficult kasina object. It's greyish brown and rather dark. Yet, the counter image was black rather than bright, so I guess I'm going through dukkha nanas. That fits my broader experience as well, as I'm more contracted that I would like to be, which is in itself a contracted feature (craving and aversion, and yes, I noted it). I observed a cycling going on between a narrow focus and a more panoramic one. There was also a cycling of brainwave patterns, I assume, with phases of hypnagogic purple swirls, sometimes accompanied by a seductive sleepiness. Directly after such a phase there was often a heightened awareness together with panoramic vision, sometimes also a feeling of simplicity although not as profound as before but rather just a hint. That never lasted long. The first time the clarity and panoramic vision appeared, it came together with a click inside the skull.

One advantage of the mud kasina object compared to the backside of the clay tray is that it doesn't make me feel thirsty and dried out. It feels more lush. It is after all real soil, probably with some life in it. Still, in the long run, I think I'll stick to the clay.

There was low grade piti. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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12/31/19 9:29 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I was doing some errands and noticed that sometimes it felt like my mind crawled out through the third eye to take a sneak peak outside my body whereas the latter had to sort of make it without a driver. Still, I could feel that my mind was still attached to the back of my head with a safety line, and after a while it crawled back in. Then I could feel an energetic activation of the back of my head.

I lay down to meditate in a reclining position to let things disentangle themselves. At first there were lots of tensions around the eyes and in the jaws, but the tensions gradually dissolved, partly during lucid dreamless sleep. There were a few clickings inside the head, and a few beeps. Now I feel very relaxed and the nada sound is loud. There is still an energetic activation of the back of my head. The session was an hour long.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/2/20 2:04 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yesterday I think I may have gone through dissolution territory. In meditation I sort of balanced on the threshold to sleep. Dreams are a bigger challenge to awareness than sleep per se. Thus I found myself aware during sleep but had my attention hijacked by dreamy stuff while awake. There wasn't much clarity, but some dissolving seemed to be going on. There were instances in daily life where I noticed restlessness or wanting the now to be different. When I noticed that, I reminded myself that the now is all we have, and made an effort to tune into it. That gave a sense of space and allowed for a more diverse experience. Definitely not pure bliss or anything like that, but some perspective at least, and a general sense of okayness, I guess. 

Today I noticed anxiety. First I was convinced that the body tried to tell me that it desperately needed something, but then I investigated the feeling more closely and couldn't find any substance. There was just this sense of intense discomfort and wanting to get away from it, and the sense of wanting to get away from wanting to get away. I figured that I was darknighting and allowed the space for feeling whatever I was feeling. As I didn't want to feel what I was feeling, I accepted the feeling of wanting to get away from it and allowed myself to fully feel that. Somehow I catched up with the paradox, and that gave relief. 

I'm sitting on a delayed train. I used it as an opportunity for meditation. I did three guided meditations with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. The last one led to two clickings inside my head, somewhat similar to the surge of static electricity (the "poof") that sometimes arises when some electronic equipment is plugged in. I wonder if that's what fruitions of a previous path feel like. It felt like I was suddenly back online, but there was no big deal. Just some minor relief and a feeling of being done for the session but not for the path. 

I used to find it very difficult to just tune into spacious awareness and whatever is suggested in non-dual teachings, but it is gradually getting more available. I think part of it may be that I'm somewhat more patient. It doesn't have to be intense. Subtle is fine too. That subtle difference in sensations when I tune into spaciousness or tune into the firmness of a rock. That's kind of cool.

Apparently I'm no longer afraid of the sudden sounds from fireworks. No need to cover my ears and get all tense and anxious. None at all. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
1/2/20 2:39 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
There was just this sense of intense discomfort and wanting to get away from it, and the sense of wanting to get away from wanting to get away.

Yes, I know this especially recently. This is a major lesson in the grand scheme of things, that there is no getting away or getting away from the need to get away, that nirvana itself is samsara. Even these grand realizations come and go and thus leave one fending off the 10 armies of Mara who appear to be rather annoyed at this stage. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/3/20 11:24 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
90 minutes of reclining meditation of the letting go and letting things happen type. I think I cycled through the nanas over and over again and had fruitions from an earlier path. They were all clicks in the brain that felt like and sounded like being plugged in. In the dissolution parts of the cycling I fell asleep but stayed aware. In some phases there were kriyas. I have a new type of kriya: my right hand closes and opens over and over again. There was quite a lot of disentangling going on, with knots dissolving, and interesting sensations feeling themselves. This felt good. Really good. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/5/20 11:05 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
There was just this sense of intense discomfort and wanting to get away from it, and the sense of wanting to get away from wanting to get away.

Yes, I know this especially recently. This is a major lesson in the grand scheme of things, that there is no getting away or getting away from the need to get away, that nirvana itself is samsara. Even these grand realizations come and go and thus leave one fending off the 10 armies of Mara who appear to be rather annoyed at this stage. 
The last couple of days I have mainly felt calm and rather peaceful, but struggled with both distractions and drowsiness in my formal practice. I have done multiple meditation sessions with poor focus. Sometimes clarity has seemed good for some time, even with that sense of electric crackling around my head, but the focus has still been poor. I have done shamatha and vipassana och choiceless awareness with the same poor outcome. Thankfully this too shall pass. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
1/5/20 2:35 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Bardo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
There was just this sense of intense discomfort and wanting to get away from it, and the sense of wanting to get away from wanting to get away.

Yes, I know this especially recently. This is a major lesson in the grand scheme of things, that there is no getting away or getting away from the need to get away, that nirvana itself is samsara. Even these grand realizations come and go and thus leave one fending off the 10 armies of Mara who appear to be rather annoyed at this stage. 
The last couple of days I have mainly felt calm and rather peaceful, but struggled with both distractions and drowsiness in my formal practice. I have done multiple meditation sessions with poor focus. Sometimes clarity has seemed good for some time, even with that sense of electric crackling around my head, but the focus has still been poor. I have done shamatha and vipassana och choiceless awareness with the same poor outcome. Thankfully this too shall pass. 

Tell me more about this poor focus.  Can you describe it precisely?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/5/20 3:31 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
I'll try. It might just be speculations, though, because I wasn't focused enough to stay attentive even to that. 

Comparing it to Mara seems fitting, because it seems like something is doing anything to prevent awareness of what is going on. The "tactics" vary, so there is no way to tell whether it will be drowsiness that takes away the focus or narrative thoughts that engage or something else. If I decide to focus on something in particular, I'll forget it. If I decide not to focus on anything, I suddenly find that I'm focusing on something. If I accept and allow that focus, then suddenly I forget about that focus. Sometimes I get so dull that I can't remember whether or not I had decided anything at all. Sometimes I struggle not to fall asleep, but then when the session is over and I decide to take a nap, there is no way that I could fall asleep. I suppose this has to do with the notion of control. I really want to just let go of the illusion of control, and intellectually I understand that there is nothing "I" can "do" in order for that to happen, but sometimes there is frustration because it doesn't happen "fast enough", which is of course a grasping for control. I can see why it for many meditators is effective to occupy their minds with something rather useless while the real process happens on its own thanks to their not interfering with it, as they were occupied with this other task. Unfortunately, I get bored with such tasks very quickly (selfing noted).

Today, after my previous post, there have also been very obvious physical contractions. Cramps in my feet, my right hand almost literally grasping in the air. My jaws can't seem to find a natural resting position. Typical 3C nana stuff. Parts of me want to just watch netflix until this is over, but other parts find that utterly meaningless. It is time to sleep now, but although I think there is pretty much tiredness going on, there seems to be other stuff going on as well, keeping the body agitated (not very much, but enough to prevent sleep, it seems, or maybe that's just a story - I don't know). 

Thanks for asking!

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/5/20 5:50 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
For a while I amused myself by observing how parts of my face would clench up just because I focused my attention on them, one by one. That made it very clear that I wasn't going to unclench any of it by willpower. 

Writing the previous post gave me some acceptance and relief. There is space in the midst of the clenching. I don't have to be bothered by it. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 11:10 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I had a very pleasant 30 minutes sitting while waiting for the laundry room to be available. I started out with noting, a mixture of Shinzen style noting and Mahasi noting, and after a while there was just noticing without labels. There was space and lightness and "movement" and flickering.

I once again noticed how hearing often doesn't reach me as raw sense data but as whole packages that also involve several other senses. When the sounds reach me they have already been lumped together with other sensations and layers of concepts. It's not that I first hear a sound and then have a mental image and kinesthetic imagining of it. It is all there at the same time. It has been preprocessed before it reaches attention.

When sensations are less conceptualized, with fewer levels to it, they still often reach me as a package involving multiple senses. It seems like the cognitive processing uses multiple sensory modalities. Thoughts are often a mischmasch of diffuse sensory information too. It doesn't seem to matter which senses are used on this less conceptualized level. It's just information that is being organized spatially and in time. It is all relational. It means something only because of how it is organized/distributed. 

There were many showers of piti, of the freeflowing kind. At one time, after piti had made an upward movement, it made a downward movement as well. It felt like it evened things out, dissolved tensions and made things settle down. This was especially clear in the head and face region, where the movement lingered a bit longer, but it was a whole body thing. It took away those vibrations that were disharmonious. It came together with a kinesthetic notion of disentangling. 

I had that special feeling that I have often wondered about earlier in my life, the one that I couldn't place although it seemed so familiar, the one that I named "having the center inside myself" (before knowing anything about the dharma). 

Lots of nada sound.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 12:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Interesting, could you kind of explain "piti" and the "nada" sound? I guess I could look it up but I'm curious what the terms mean to you.
THANKS

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 12:43 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Sure. Piti is the kind of rapture that is required for absorption into the first jhana, although it isn't in itself sufficient for absorption to occur. It can take many shapes, such as tingles, shivers, champagne bubbles, surges of energy (often upwardmoving), and so on. It is basically the same thing as kundalini, although the latter word is often used mainly for the more intense experiences (since the stories around kundalini awakening differ from the stories around jhanas). 

The nada sound is the sound of silence, which paradoxically enough can be very loud and consists of a variety of tones depending on how you zoom in or out. I associate the nada sound with being in touch with the process. If I can't hear it, it usually means that I'm contracted, dull, and too invested in stuff. I have made a habit of listening to it in daily life. Sometimes I focus on it in my formal practice. At one time, that gave me multiple fruitions. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 1:16 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5

aha!
thank you 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 3:17 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
No problem. emoticon

---

I'm listening to a satsang with Adyashanti before I fall asleep, and meditation is happening on its own in the background. It almost feels like it used to do right before stream entry, when there were so many weird sensations going on in the face, created by the attention system, as if my senses were turning themselves inside out. I think part of it this time is the jaws adjusting themselves into a more opened and relaxed position, maybe even with a more correct bite. It feels like some force is drawing them into a new position. So that's why my jaws have been tense recently. They have sort of gained awareness of not being in the right position, and it takes a while to both find and get used to a new position. Cool. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 3:55 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I recognized the new position of the jaws as similar to what my singing coach used to demonstrate back in the days, as a way to bring more space to the cavities in the head to improve the resonance of the singing. It got me thinking that maybe it is a result from the warrior seed syllables that I have been practicing lately. I tried singing some mantras with the new jaw position, and the overtones were extremely loud. The difference was striking. Wow, I need to practice this more systematically! It is healing my jaw! I didn't even realize that it needed healing, but I'm now starting to understand exactly how clenched up it was. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 4:58 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I felt inspired to do a full session of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's sound healing exercises with the complete set of warrior seed syllables. I have neglected them for a while now because I have had people around me and didn't feel like doing mantra practice and invade other people's space with my noice. It felt awsome to take up the exercises again. They resonate with me, both metaphorically and literally. I warmly recommend this practice. I can't really say why, how this works. It just feels great, and it seems to open up things in a very simple way. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 7:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I recognized the new position of the jaws as similar to what my singing coach used to demonstrate back in the days, as a way to bring more space to the cavities in the head to improve the resonance of the singing. It got me thinking that maybe it is a result from the warrior seed syllables that I have been practicing lately. I tried singing some mantras with the new jaw position, and the overtones were extremely loud. The difference was striking. Wow, I need to practice this more systematically! It is healing my jaw! I didn't even realize that it needed healing, but I'm now starting to understand exactly how clenched up it was. 

Nice!

Here are three things I learned from singing:

1. You only have one jaw (at least only one that moves, anyway). Most people think that when they open their mouth, there's one jaw that moves down and another that moves up. That way of thinking creates all kinds of weird tension.

2. Tilt your head back, look up at the ceiling, and hang out there for little bit. That taught me something interesting about how the jaw is capable of moving (not sure what exactly, but it felt like a revelation at the time). 

3. The jaw opens like a hinge, not straight up and down. So, a tiny movement in the joint near your ear produces a large movement in your chin.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/6/20 11:53 PM as a reply to spatial.
That's very true and a good reminder. I knew that and still I think I unconsciously operated from the erroneous assumption you mentioned. Hence the pluralis form of the word in the beginning of the quote, and the change to singularis. I didn't even notice that. 

I tilt my head back and look up the ceiling very often in yoga, and the tilting gets much easier if I open my jaw. Maybe that has contributed too. Probably.  

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 1:17 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today I started the day with 45-50 minutes of warrior seed syllables. I think it sets the tone for the day in a very positive way. 

Lately I have had dreams with complex storylines and great detail and with lots of dukkha in them. It's like the inner storyteller grasps the possibility to fight back as soon as I stop being lucid. This night/morning, however, I dreamt that I manifested something through the sacred chakra, giving birth to some quality, and I could feel the release through my whole body. The dream seems to be inspired by what Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche says about the fifth warrior seed syllable dza. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 2:33 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I found a qigong routine that seems to deal with the same things as the process that goes on in the head and face kinesthetically during meditation: https://youtu.be/VgrkkQkSNzw

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 9:16 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Meditation notes Tuesday January 7th, 2020

A&P yesterday evening and during the night, felt almost like I didn’t need any sleep. My mind was so fast. I felt speeded and was happy, a little bit too happy for it to be balanced.

Woke up tired and really cold and with decreased clarity. Dissolution. Dealt with that in a constructive way. Warmed up both body and mind with gentle compassion. Luckily I had planned the procedure in detail during the night. I figured I might as well do that as I couldn’t sleep early anyway. Good plan.

Fear manifested as job related anxiety and a bit of avoidance behavior. Procrastination. At that time I didn’t think of it as the fear nana. I just noticed the anxiety.

I guess misery may have been the part when I felt lousy for failing to get on with my work plan according to the schedule that I had made so thoroughly, with planned breaks with stuff that would give me more energy and everything. Then I actually went on and did it, later than planned but according to my plan in other respects. That made me feel somewhat better for a while and I got some work done.

Then a feeling of sickness started to sneak up on me. I started to worry about what was wrong. I provisionally concluded that it was because I was late to cook lunch (I was too busy working, once I had gotten started). One of my medications tends to make me feel sick until I have something to eat. So I cooked lunch while listening to Adyashanti, according to my plan. It was a great talk about stuff that I have often found myself struggling with (arguing with what is and what was). It made a lot of sense and I thought it was very helpful. Yet, the feeling of sickness increased, and I realized that it wasn’t just hunger and side effects from medicines, but actually spiritually related discomfort. I felt like lying down in a fetal position under blankets in the comfort of my bed which is basically my safe place. I noted that but went on with the cooking and listening. After all, I wasn’t really sick, and it’s not like it would hurt me to listen to Adya and cook food. I ate the food and finished listening. The next task on my to do list was to take a walk to get some air and light (the sun sets early here in Sweden this time of the year, so it’s important not to waste the daylight) while listening to a dhamma talk. I really didn’t feel like it. I wanted to lie down and meditate instead. That felt like it might be avoidance behavior, so I decided to stick to the plan in spite of the discomfort. I thought I could at least take a short walk, listening to a very short dhamma talk. I ended up walking for about 20 minutes, listening to two short dhamma talks on youtube. Towards the end of the walk I recognized that I was feeling pretty much exactly like I described in this recent post:

Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, on Jan 2nd:

Today I noticed anxiety. First I was convinced that the body tried to tell me that it desperately needed something, but then I investigated the feeling more closely and couldn't find any substance. There was just this sense of intense discomfort and wanting to get away from it, and the sense of wanting to get away from wanting to get away. I figured that I was darknighting and allowed the space for feeling whatever I was feeling. As I didn't want to feel what I was feeling, I accepted the feeling of wanting to get away from it and allowed myself to fully feel that. Somehow I catched up with the paradox, and that gave relief.

This made it very clear to me that I was cycling through the dukkha nanas, and I took comfort in remembering how quickly that feeling passed away the last time. Also, I named it: disgust.

Now lots of thoughts about the maps showed up and I found myself engaging in narratives about the greatness of the maps and about strategies for working with the maps. Classical desire for deliverance. It sort of overlapped with the disgust, though, because I still felt sick. I cringed and felt like crawling out of my skin. I went back inside and lay down to meditate. I submerged myself in the sensory experiences of the feeling. The sickness part of it passed away, or rather stopped arising. There was a great sense of relief. At first I thought ”equanimity already?!” Then I realized that there was still aversion to the disgust. There was dread that it might come back and a gratefulness for every moment that it didn’t come back.

Overlapping with the passing away of feeling sick came a sense of non-agency (but still a lingering sense of an I with the absence of agency, if that makes any sense), a sudden broadening of the sensory field, and a more direct awareness with great richness especielly in touch sensations. Tactile sensations took over and I was so grateful that the process stepped in and took charge. I could just surrender. It wasn’t even subtle. It was almost as fierce as it used to be right before stream entry. The notion of fierce grace is very to the point. I guess one has to be slightly masochistically disposed to love this, but I really do. I love reobservation, at least when it does this. I just totally surrendered to it and lay down relaxed while reobservation was massaging me with frenzy. I wanted it to tear me apart. I enjoyed it wholeheartedly. Parallelly with that, there was also storytelling going on about what happened. The mind was fast. It wanted to keep track of every detail, and in doing so, it distanced itself from the now. Classical. I thought hey, this is so typical reobservation. Thankfully, awareness was perfectly capable of being aware on its own.

It started to calm down, and instead there was peace and a ticking noice in my head. I remembered that ticking from the late review and thought that I had probably sneaked back into the equanimity from a previous path. I didn’t want that. I wanted more reobservation. The ticking stopped and instead there was some energetic activity around my head.

I don’t remember the exact order of occurrings. In one of the reobservation phases, either before or after that EQ interlude, it felt like not only my face and body were being torn and stretched out, but consciousness itself, or whatever word is most appropriate. People talk about expanding consciousness, and this felt like it, but not like a unidirectional once and for all thing, but more like it was an elastic rubber blob that was being stretched out in different directions simultaneously and drawing itself back into its original form, back and forth.

It calmed down again. I just rested in awareness. There were clicks (2? 3?) in my head and a feeling of restarting. No clear door moments as far as I can remember now (about 1 h 20 minutes after it happened; writing this report seems to take forever). After the last click I could feel my right hand moving on its own. Not in a jerky way like in the usual kriyas, but slowly and with precision. It was gripping and releasing its grip. It felt like some magnetic force was driving its motion. I didn’t feel like I had anything to do with it. It was like something else was taking control of my hand, testing its function in order to learn how to drive it from a distance. Weird but pretty cool. I guess that’s the mind trying to figure out how to interpret the insight that it really isn’t in charge.

I got the feeling that nothing more would come out of this particular meditation session, and as I needed a bathroom break and was eager to write all this down, I ended the session. It was about 40 minutes long (from the moment I lay down to meditate).

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 10:18 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

It started to calm down, and instead there was peace and a ticking noice in my head. I remembered that ticking from the late review and thought that I had probably sneaked back into the equanimity from a previous path. I didn’t want that. I wanted more reobservation. The ticking stopped and instead there was some energetic activity around my head.

I remember another thought popping up after that. That I didn’t necessarily want reobservation per se, but I didn’t want to skip ahead. I wanted the moment just as it was. I remember thinking ”it is complete just as it is”.

I don’t remember the exact order of occurrings. In one of the reobservation phases, either before or after that EQ interlude, it felt like not only my face and body were being torn and stretched out, but consciousness itself, or whatever word is most appropriate. People talk about expanding consciousness, and this felt like it, but not like a unidirectional once and for all thing, but more like it was an elastic rubber blob that was being stretched out in different directions simultaneously and drawing itself back into its original form, back and forth.

I think it may have been after, and maybe it wasn’t reobservation. The kinesthetic sensations of being torn had stopped. It was just a sense of spatiality being a very relative thing, in a tangible way. A memory of a Doctor Who quote flashed by, on how time is just ”a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff”. https://youtu.be/q2nNzNo_Xps
The same thing seemed to apply to space and awareness, which seemed to have merged with each other. I think this merging wobbly awareness-space-rubberball thing expanded and contracted three times. Could that actually have been a door moment?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 11:08 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Ooh, playtime. My shamatha is a bit rusty, but there is suddenly access to the jhanic arch again. 

There are electric cracklings floating around. 

Why do I so often need to rush away to a yoga class so soon after a fruition? Or whatever this is. Reality feels a bit wibbly-wobbly. Or maybe I'm the wibbly-wobbly thing. Just coming out from another half our of meditation, and right now I have a hard time grasping the difference between reality and me. Something is wibbly-wobbly, that's for sure. Almost like a limb could suddenly be stretched out a few meters and get entangled with the rest of the wibbly-wobbly stuff. I hope reality knows how to do yoga asanas. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 1:58 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yoga class never went better with this body. The less of "me" that was involved in it, the better it went. It was a bit back and forth in that regard. Sometimes the body just moved on its own with astonishing precision and smoothness and swiftness. I'm used to telling the story about almost completely lacking automaticity because of being autistic. I remember examples of that very vividly. It seems like the lack of automaticity is connected to identification processes that cause the person to go about things manually, using or trying to use conceptualization. With less identification, suddenly automaticity is in place. Wow. I just had a bug fix that gave me automaticity, something that my brain is hardwired to lack. Of course, this is something that has happened gradually, but I think these fruitions (if they were fruitions) constituted a rather distinct upgrade bringing it to a new level. Note: I still think there are advantages to the autistic more manual way of functioning as well as drawbacks. I wouldn't want to go all neurotypical. Having access to both modes is favorable, though. Note 2: There are also many instances when autistic people tend to conceptualize much less than neurotypical people. The differences go both ways. 

I entered jhana automatically as soon as I relaxed for a moment, before the yoga and in the relaxation parts. In the meditation part, there were a couple of micro-clicks/blips or something that reminded of it.

In one pranayama exercise, we did a hummungbird sound. There were distinct overtones. That may have been the first time that happened me with a closed mouth.

In exercises to really align the chakras into one straight line, it was clearly noticable that a correct position was accompanied by electrical tinglings at the crown chakra. What a convenient tell!

Oh, and when the session began, it was evident that it started from the A&P. The visual field flickered like crazy. I could chose to see it either as very rapid arisings and passings of single points or as wave movements. The instructions flickered in and out of existance as well. Or rather, I think they zoomed in and out with regard to conceptualization. Somehow I still understood them. At least I think so. Or maybe I just missed unessential parts of it, I don't know.

I'm not claiming a path moment. That's too soon to tell. It may as well have been fruitions from an earlier path, with some additional bug fixes or additional elimination of faulty code that should have already been removed but somehow got back online due to some erroneus back-up system. I do think that I'm at the post 8th junction point, though. That could mean review, but I also know that it is possible to get there before reaching path. That has already happened to me both before SE and before what I assume was second path. Thus I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be the case again. Regardless, this feels good.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 5:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Okay, so I figured I'd try that thing about calling up all the nanas in one sit and repeat the fruition. First I just waited for a while to see what would happen, but nothing really happened. It was just champagne bubbles all over the place. Then I tuned into dissolution specifically. That made something happen: the high frequency nada sound gradually sank in frequence until it was a low and subtle vibration. Clarity was still higher than what I normally associate with dissolution, but I figured it would do. Thus I focused on fear. That made a drumming appear and my heartbeat race, and I felt contracted. Then misery. Wow, that was contracted like... stagnation, almost. Very compact, very slow. Then disgust, and that surprised me a bit. It felt like something sort of turned inside out and bent around, forming a vortex-like thing. It was thin rather than compact but bent around itself. It was edgy and racy. When I tuned into desire for deliverance, first there was sort of a rhythmic ticking sound, like when you are focused on the second hand of a watch, waiting impatiently for the bell to ring. Then there was contraction with an increasing intensity, like the pushing when you are in labor but don't seem to get anywhere because the contractions aren't strong enough. As for reobservation, it was there instantly before I even got a chance to summon it after the thought popped up. At first it scared me, because it felt like I/reality would either explode or implode or both. There was an impulse to stop it. Then I remembered that I actually love it, so I surrendered. What a ride! It was awsome! It just went whoooosh. There was like a giant pressure wave that made everything sort of shift around and then, after possibly a tiny moment of complete silence and possibly a cut out frame (not sure), come back so much wider and with intense showers of bliss (I guess that could be a case of A&P rather than the real thing). The shift around was a bit weird. Things intensified and then there was a great relief consisting of... well... like a vortex with an additional dimension added to it? It didn't just turn things around. It turned around itself from the inside and out. 

Then it was all back to normal. I wasn't sure that I had actually gone through equanimity, so I tried to call it up. It was a bit tricky. The motivation to stay focused wasn't there all the way. I had to go through dukkha nanas a couple of times, I think, because as soon as I got to EQ, or even before, I sort of lost interest. Eventually it settled. I got a bit dreamy, and then whoosh. A small whoosh. Very small. It was like it said "Okay, okay, will you stop nagging already? There, there." And then, after the tiny whoosh, there was a tiny click. Very anticlimax. 

---

When I read through this, I cannot but wonder how the phenomenology of disgust can be so similar to the phenomenology of what was possibly conformity knowledge (or at least a really good A&P experience) and yet feel so very differently. It seems like the difference lies pretty much in the attitude to it.

---

The session took slightly more than one hour.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/7/20 5:39 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Oh, now I remember: when I managed to tune into equanimity, there was a shift, a subtle but significant one. Like nothing had changed and yet everything had changed, because some disturbance somewhere in the middle just wasn't there anymore, or had never been there.

---

Now there are uteris contractions because of all the oxytocine, haha. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/8/20 6:06 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Oh, now I remember: when I managed to tune into equanimity, there was a shift, a subtle but significant one. Like nothing had changed and yet everything had changed, because some disturbance somewhere in the middle just wasn't there anymore, or had never been there. 


The same thing happened today. From there I don’t remember what happened until I suddenly came to a restart and grasped for air. The session was slightly longer than an hour.

My current very tentative hypothesis is that this is second path, and that what I previously assumed was second path was really just a call-up of the previous review, or an A&P experience. I could never identify any new conformity knowledge for that set of cessations. This can’t be third path. There is too much assumed agency remaining at the baseline. I think I screwed up the first time in review by racing forward and therefore needed to go back. Not sure about anything, though. It is possible that I had an A&P experience yesterday. I had trouble sleeping afterwards, and before I went to sleep (many hours after whatever occurred), there was heat in my lower back. I had some kundalini shakings. I guess this could be anything from the A&P after stream entry to the A&P after second path. Really don’t know. What I do know is that it was a step forward. Something new happened, and I look forward to further developments. Regardless of whether it was an A&P experience or conformity knowledge and a set of fruitions, it was a not-self related experience.

Actually, I think it won't hurt to stay very open to this being just the A&P after stream entry. It's not like being sceptical and cautious would undo anything. 

There are tinglings at the back of my head. There is nada sound. Breathing is easy. I'm tired. I feel like jhanas may be accessable but for some reason I don't really care about it. There is space. There is peace. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/8/20 3:11 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I could never identify any new conformity knowledge for that set of cessations [in September 2019].


That’s actually wrong. But that doesn’t prove anything. It could still have been a call-up of a previous review, but with another door.

Awfully sensitive to smells today. I also seem to have a histamine reaction, due to testing new ingredients. Too much selfing causes suffering from the muscle pain. The sound of silence is loud. Flickering in all senses.

---

40 minutes session of just resting in what is. Many instances of sudden strong presence after unknowing events, sometimes accompanied by a clicking sound when coming back, sometimes by a roaring nada sound, twice by the jaw correcting its position on its own, and once by a startling jolt. I'm possibly gliding into and out from something formless.

The experience yesterday of having my consciousness stretched out was most likely the boundless awareness formless realm, the clearest case of it that I have had. I think I was gliding inbetween boundless space and boundless awareness. I didn't even think of that possibility because it hasn't been that tangible and clear before. Thus I haven't identified any new case of conformity knowledge for that particular set of unknowing events. However, later in the evening, the case of reality turning inside out, may have been one. 

So... concentration has suddenly spiked. My first very clear experience of the threshold between boundless space and boundless awareness. I didn't even intend to do shamatha. One possible new case of conformity knowledge. Yet there is lots of selfing and too much sense of agency. Only brief instances of subjective interpretations of not being in charge or in the center. I'm not sure what to think. Best not to assume anything. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/8/20 10:07 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I would try to notice the width of attention especially the visual field before and after these events. I would try to notice where in the breath cycle the gasps starts. I would be really aware after the events and see if there are any delayed phenomenon.

See things very clearly over and over and it will dispel the doubt like nothing else. A resolution each sit to see clearly helps. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/9/20 12:17 AM as a reply to Jason Massie.
I appreciate your input. Thankyou! Do you have any advice for how to maintain this kind of focus without engaging the storyteller? I find it frustrating that memory can't be trusted. Since storytelling is always perspectival, as soon as I have verbal thoughts about what happened, the occurrings are embedded in creations that reshape them. Then I can't be sure what really happened. Also, exactly how do you work with resolutions for this kind of clarity? Do you have any specific routine for it that you find works well?

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/9/20 4:11 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
There are different kinds of sounds of coming back from the unknowing events. The ones that really sound like coming back online "electrically" are rarer. It is all too easy to be fooled by the clicks that my ears make from coming back into a mode of letting in outer sounds. I'm certain that I had occurrings of the latter kind just now. I also had one instance of sort of a moaning breath sound that I could feel in the throat. It was before I retained the ability to distinguish between breathing in and breathing out. 

I'm sleep deprived and have a pain (widely spread muscle inflammation, or so it appears) that is possibly energetically induced. I think I may have done something foolish. I recently resolved to have what I needed to awaken rather than what I wanted, with the caveat that I'd be able to take it constructively. Maybe I should have been more precise. I can take a lot, and I guess being constructive is a very relative thing. I think I also added something about for it to allow me to see what kept me from fully awakening. The pain makes the selfing very very clear. I guess I should be thankful, but to be honest, I think I'm more thankful that the combination of paracetamol, holy basil, antihistamines and a histamine 2 receptor blocker together with resting in awareness (or whatever it is I'm doing) reduces the pain, and that there seems to be no real physical damage or illness that I need to worry about. 

There were instances of hypnagogic dream scenes, with awareness. A woman's face. A wordfeud image that was very vivid and sharp. Reading a reply in this thread (none that exists and then realizing that my eyes were closed and I was lying down next to one of my cats in my bed; I think this may have been the first one, the one that made the rest of them lucid).  There were also instances of light, most of them widespread like strong sunlight but one smaller and centered, like a candle flame but whiter. I saw it very clearly but knew that the seeing was mental. It didn't last long.

I don't think I completely lost consciousness in this "session" (more a necessity than a deliberate formal meditation session). I think I was either in lucid or semi-lucid sleep or gliding into formless realms.

Another clicking sound seems to come from deep inside the skull where the brain is located. Its spatial position clearly differs from the clickings of the ears and the clickings from paranasal cavities. I had one just now, while thinking verbally about what to write, so it seems very unlikely that it should be a blip in consciousness. I wonder what it is. Maybe some activity in a gland? 

The pain is gone for now, and so is the heat in those areas. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/9/20 5:46 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Doing more resting with maintained consciousness in deep rest, or whatever it is, it seems like there is some sort of clicking sound that comes together with the kind of sudden presence that is the return if the "I" when the moment before that was more of a conscious oblivion.

I wonder what is the difference, if any, between the conscious oblivion of lucid deep sleep and the conscious oblivion of neither perception or yet non-perception. 

There was one instance of the I coming back that was clearly accompanied by a sudden breathing out, as if I had held my breath. I usually keep breathing while in lucid dreamless sleep. During the periods of lucid dreamless sleep when I'm still aware of the breath, I can listen to myself snoring for a long time. At least that (the latter) is very distinguishable from formlessness, because there is awareness of body and sensory experience. 

I'm speculating that maybe the conscious oblivion is the same thing in both cases, but the way to get there differs. One can get there through shamatha, peeling off one layer at a time while in deep concentration, or one can get there through maintaining lucidity in dreamless sleep through the different stages of it until one gets to the deepest level of sleep without losing consciousness. It would be very interesting to see if the brain waves are the same, if such research were to be conducted. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/9/20 6:27 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Now it seems like the pain is coming back, and there is heat along the whole spine. Earlier today I had a couple of brief instances of jolts and shaking too, seemingly out of nowhere. Maybe this is one of those Kundalini reactions again. Maybe I need to get grounded.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/9/20 7:11 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I would just keep going back to the present moment. Try not to map on cushion. For example, if you are coming out of 8th khana, you have a split second to orientate to percieving reality or you can look at the past and tell yourself that was 8th jhana. Which will it be?
Trying to see as inclusively as possible may keep the mind busy enough to limit story telling but when the story teller shows up, investigate those sensations.
Skepticism can help as well. What if you are delusional and you are just now at the edge of stream entry? If you can take as a possibility, you might up the game. Taking this stance helped me really nail a review where every time be before I let up or even stopped for a while.
I would just make a simple resolution to see the entrance and exit clearly then let it go. Don't try to make it happen. Just try to practice well. Easier said than done though. Haha.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/9/20 9:32 AM as a reply to Jason Massie.
Jason Massie:
I would just keep going back to the present moment. Try not to map on cushion. For example, if you are coming out of 8th khana, you have a split second to orientate to percieving reality or you can look at the past and tell yourself that was 8th jhana. Which will it be?
Trying to see as inclusively as possible may keep the mind busy enough to limit story telling but when the story teller shows up, investigate those sensations.


Brilliantly simple. Much obliged.

Apart from that, and from occasional mammalian necessities, I don’t think I’ll do anything but just lying down with my spine straight in a dark room for the rest of the day.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/10/20 8:36 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Something is going on with my spine. It seems related to the new jaw position, a frenetic ticking sound in my head, and a new kriya that shakes my head from one side to the other. The spine needs to have a free passage for energy flowing. The slightest error in how my neck/chin/jaw is tilted causes pain and slight nausea. For some reason, this seems more important than any other aspect of the practice right now. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/10/20 9:48 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
when you are meditating now, in path 1/2, what is your technique? Are nothing something? Concentrating on your breath? Nothing at all? 

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1/10/20 11:58 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
It's very eclectic. Sometimes a mix between Mahasi style noting och Shinzen style noting, sometimes just noticing, sometimes choiceless awareness, sometimes Tibetan Bön practice such as warrior seed syllables mantras, sometimes focusing on the nada sound, sometimes earth kasina... Maybe too eclectic, I don't know.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/11/20 12:09 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
sounds like it’s improvised 

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1/11/20 12:25 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Pretty much. I often start with just tuning into what is going on, sort of.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/11/20 4:49 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today there was time for some stage of lucid dreamless sleep again. I lay down to relax my whole body, including neck and jaw, with my spine straight. I had managed to do a yoga class without straining the neck, so the energy was flowing. I felt chrystal clear so I didn't expect to fall asleep, but I could hear myself and one of my cats (lying next to me) snoring/sleepbreathing almost the entire session. Then, after another cat had demanded some petting, to which I found myself responding, I concluded that an hour must have gone by (which was correct) and so I opened my eyes. It felt great, resting in awareness like this. The nada sound is very loud now. Weird, it's almost like the opposite of formless realms, this version when I maintain full consciousness including consciousness of my body while apparently sleeping. I could feel energy flowing but I could also feel my body heavy and still. I'm not focusing on anything but have an open awareness to all sensations. It's basically sleeping like a cat, I'd guess. I'm not sure why I need to do this, but it feels necessary. Maybe there is some rewiring going on. I could feel energetic activity at the back of my head. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/11/20 8:25 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I have been following Jason's advice to just stay present the moment after unknowing events instead of trying to remember stuff and thus engage the storyteller. That really made it much easier to notice their place in the breath cycle. The result is inconsistent: some are followed by a deep inbreath, others be a fierce outbreath. No more instances of possible conformity knowledge have been discerned, so I'm sceptical. Just now, after another hour (slightly longer) of just resting in awareness, there was a sudden deep inbreath. I don't know if there was a blip before it, but it was not like when one feels that the breath gets lighter and lighter and then can't resist grasping for air. It was more sudden than that. I was surprised by it. Directly after it, there was another instance of my right hand sort of trying to do things on its own without any sense of agency. I guess it could be just an ordinary kriya. There was no precision this time. I have had kriyas before with fingers lifting themselves, even in this session, so that could very well be what it was. The difference is that this wasn't sudden and spasmodic. It really felt like intentional impulses to test runt the motor skills of the hand, just not my intentions, if that makes any sense, but if so, the test run was less productive this time. 

There is energetic activation at the back of my head, and the nada sound is really loud. 

Earlier in the session there were those instances of ticking inside the head. Definitely not in the ears or nose. I wonder what that is. Maybe it's like a loose connection in the brain's wiring, with almost-cessations? Maybe it's just some pressure changes in cavities? Maybe it's microscopic energy surges that one can sense sometimes when one is in tune with awareness? Like spiking gamma waves? I'll have to confess I don't know what I'm talking about here. I'm just curious.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/11/20 1:40 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
In any case, this is not review. There was one day when I could call up all the nanas, and I'm glad I finally got around to do that, as I never did it in any systematic way before. It was cool. But today I feel like I'm stuck somewhere again. I think that if there were any cessations among these recent experiences, they must have been from a previous path. It's quite possible that I have never gotten any further than to the lower nanas after SE, but that I have unconsciously kept calling up that previous path over and over again. If so, it was probably a good thing, because I still have lots to learn. I just hope that this will proceed forward. It is also possible that I did get to second path before. After all, there was more of a typical review phase there, with steady access to jhanas for a time period. However, I did make a resolution to get back into review because it seemed to stop to soon, and it wasn't until after that resolution I had such a clear review phase that time around, so when I thought that I called up the second review, it is very possible that it was the first and only one I called up. Jeeze, these things really are messy. 

Anyway, I feel like this time around, I got a glimpse of some new digging before I presumably called up a previous path again. I think that's what makes me doubt that I even got to second path. I was reminded of what it could be like, being drawn into third vipassana jhana and being torn to pieces, almost, and I haven't had that for quite a while. Not with that intensity. I have missed that. I have had the nagging feeling that things have been too easy and too shallow and too elusive for quite some time now. I still don't doubt that stream entry was real, because that came with lasting changes, and the meditation after that was like a whole buffet of all previous highlights unfolding automatically one after the other and with additional twists to them. There is no way I could doubt that. 

Things were was easier with a teacher. 

I think a teacher would have me focus more on one practice more systematically rather than playing around like I do. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/12/20 1:10 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Confusion, consternation, and frustration are very, very common in second path territory. Maybe it's time to chill. When this happened to me I started reading and listening to Christopher Titmuss:

https://www.youtube.com/user/denysroad/

https://www.christophertitmuss.net/about1

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/12/20 11:23 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Really? Oh. 

Heh, I have just read advice from people in my other thread that I should chill from the mapping, and here I hear myself thinking "so then I do fit the maps!". I guess that kinda speaks for itself. 

But before that, it was just plain relief. A tear even. Thankyou! I’ll look into it and I’ll try to chill from the confusion, consternation (I had to look it up - I’m not sure we have that exact nuance in Swedish. Good expression!) and frustration. That tear kinda hints that I do need to chill a bit.

I think I'll try to apply Shargrol's advice in the other thread to my reaction to all of this. It clearly illustrates how views create suffering.

Thanks! I appreciate it a lot. I'm going through a lot of self doubt right now. It is comforting that it happened to you too, even though that is no guarantee that it isn't warranted in my case (yeah, views creating suffering - noted, including the view that there is a "case"). 

Sometimes I think that I'm fearing that I'm losing my mind, and then there is a whole cacafony in there debating who said that and whether losing one's mind is a good thing or a bad thing or even a thing in the first place, and taking notes on the storytelling that goes on and the suffering it creates. Then the thought pops up that I'm really losing my mind, and then the debate takes on new meta layers. Then I remember previous times in my life when I have had similar meta processings going on, and then there's a voice there questioning whether that is really the same I, whereas another voice is already planning a report for DhO, and the rest of "me" just screams 'Shut up already!". Then I laugh at myself, and then there's a voice that says "People must think I'm losing my mind, laughing to myself in public like this" and another one moans "Here we go again", and then Joni Mitchell's singing gets stuck in my brain: "and the seasons, they go around and round", probably at least partly as an attempt to cover the noise from the voices that go on in the background, debating further meta aspects. Is that normal too? I bet it is. I have seen similar reports in other threads, come to think of it.

(For every meta level there is also always a voice that pops up to question the ableistic wording and reminds me of the suffering that is created by storylines using mental illness as a pejorative, which leads to further meta levels around judging, and further to debates distinguishing the dhamma on not arguing with what is from nihilism, which reminds me of my ten years of darknighting before starting my practice... lots of analysis of how world views lead to suffering there, and yet that is also new levels of storytelling.)

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/12/20 12:14 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
At least this makes it very clear that I'm darknighting, and I notice some kind of perverse satisfaction with that, because that means that it's at least going somewhere, which is connected to the view that meditation should be going somewhere (--> suffering). I close my eyes for a while to feel into it, and I can feel the vibrations and the pulse of it, and the satisfaction is there again because it is consistent, which is connected to the view that reality and maps, both inbetween themselves and inbetween each other, should be consistent (--> suffering). A thought pops up that I wonder to what length I would go just to maintain those views, and I suspect that I'm probably going much further than I would like to admit. I also once again notice how much I take pleasure in those sensations, and another thought pops up that I wonder how much of it is just masochism (you know, like enjoying rollercoasters, which I don't, by the way) and how much is some sort of spiritual self-harm (in the mundane sense). The next thought is "Is there a difference?" Then I wonder if masochism even makes sense as a concept from a Buddhist point of view, since all cravings are associated with dukkha. Somewhere down the line I was also thinking the obvious, that it appears that I'm for some strange reason clinging to darknight stages. That's an old storyline, too, by the way. I have told it many times, just not originally with dhamma terminology. Well, at least not knowingly with dhamma terminology. Am I maintaining that view too? Or am I just avoiding the responsibility (or the illusion of responsibility) it would take step out of it? Or do I just genuinely have a taste for some of these sensations? How much of that taste depends on the stories we tell, and how much depends on other conditions? Not that they are separable. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/12/20 1:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Heh, I did a short session to tune into the sensory level of this mindracing. It is calming down now. I just couldn't help laughing out loud when I saw the chains of reactions, and that opened up another space.

I saw the craving for something that I now know was just a beginner's illusions, and it was comical on so many levels. In the beginning of the session there were fierce vibrations and a loud whirling sound and a sense of a strong force to which I had to surrender, but it just doesn't work the same way since I realized a while back that it was just the attention system that fabricated that force. Part of me almost wished that I had chosen the other pill, just for the joy of the ride, but other parts compared it to that joke about the masochist begging the sadist to hurt them, whereas the sadist says no, which was even more ridiculous since I'm playing both parts but try to maintain the illusion that I'm not. Then I just couldn't take myself seriously anymore. That made it all calm down, both on a sensory level and on a content level, and I was actually just fine with it. I could take in the relief of it.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/13/20 7:10 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Crossposting from my thread about how to stop skipping back to a previous path:

Jason Massie:

A retreat. It actually has a name: Retreat reset. No matter where you are at after day two or three, you will find yourself in the first nanas if you are doing 12 or 16 hours.

 

I really appreciate finding out about this, because it explains a lot, and I like the concept. I think I have my own slightly perverted version of this, namely reobservation reset. It's not something I have been doing consciously, but I think I may have unconsciously used it as a strategy when I get stuck. It's like reobservation is a portal, in my experience. It offers low budget travelling with poor safety and lousy working conditions, kind of like the Ryanair of meditation. Because it is basically inherently unstable, it works pretty much like this for me: I can easily get to reobservation, and I can rather easily get out from it. I can't get out quite as easily as I can get there - let's just say that it offers limited options for transfer journeys to civilization - but sooner or later I'll be thrown out of it. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/13/20 3:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I kind of freaked out yesterday and I can't thank people here enough for all the wise and compassionate advice. 

I also had an adverse reaction to painkillers (jeeze, I had no idea one could get so sick from regular ibuprofen. I knew it could happen because of histamine intolerance but I thought that if it did it would be much much milder than that), and the two things enhanced each other, I think. Thus I didn't get much sleep, and I was a wreck today. I have had these weird sensations in my head, like from inside my brain, as if there were microscopic explosions going on there. 

Therefore I intentionally aimed for the kind of meditation session where I fall asleep but stay aware, because that is great rest that seems to be restorative. The session started out thirdvipassanaesque (which I enjoy) but soon got calmer and substantially more relaxed. I fell asleep almost immediately, and I did stay aware. After almost 80 minutes I needed a bathroom break. I was feeling much better. I had done a great deal of unclenching, getting less contracted. As I was still in need of restoration, I decided to continue. That's where it started to be interesting. The disentangling process got some momentum. Once again it was like that mental process used multiple sensory... whatever is the right word. Processing. It's like sensorial thinking, processing mental stuff rather than input from the senses. Somewhere down the line I lost lucidity. I woke up more than two hours later (counting from the end of the bathroom break) and realized that I had been in regular nonlucid sleep with nonlucid dreaming. For me lucid dreaming is more difficult than lucid dreamless sleep. I become too invested in the content. 

The nada sound is very loud now without being edgy and somewhat disharmonious as it was last night. It feels more like a compassionate space to rest in.

Much metta to you all.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/14/20 11:38 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
1 h 40 minutes, almost, of reclining meditation. In the beginning I felt tensions so the word "unclench" popped up, and at the same time there was a popping sound from the paranasal cavitites. After that, breathing was easier. I was curious if other words would have similar effects, so I tried out a few words. The word "expand" made hypnagogic purple swirls appear and the mind relaxed and things cleared up. I tried it a few times, with the same effect. The popping sound from "unclench" was also repeatable. Cool. The clearing up was at several instances followed by a finelined spiral pattern in the murk. I know that sign. It is the first step to a transition into fourth vipassana jhana. I wasn't equanimous enough, so each time, it was interrupted. I think there was some popping sound from inside my head. There were instances of one of my hands moving on its own, at least one instance with each hand. Maybe exactly one of each. At one time my left foot did an upward kicking movement. There was an idea that the stiffness of my neck had been transfered into my left ancle and now it was kicked away. I think I was absorbed by the nada sound at some point, but I don't remember how that was interrupted.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/14/20 3:24 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
That jaw that corrected itself very suddenly during meditation, it seems to pop back and fort between positions, and in an audible way. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/15/20 10:37 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One hour of basically unclenching and relaxing, with layers of tensions dissolving. I started out rather contracted, so that was needed. This may have been a bit too pleasantly relaxing, so I should do another session less focused on relaxing and more focused on exploring the mind. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/16/20 4:32 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Exploring the dynamic interplay between craving and aversion and how it leads to dukkha; exploring the dynamic interplay between craving and aversion of the dynamics of the former interplay; exploring stories about those interplays, and stories about those stories; and so on. Investigating the 3 C:s of it all. Zooming back and forth between sensory level and different degrees of abstraction. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
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1/17/20 6:30 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Appologies that I haven't come around to start a new log, as this one is getting too long. I will soon. Promise.

Meditation lately really makes me wonder where the heck all those thoughts and feelings were hiding earlier in my practice when I was trying to find them. It is so noicy in those spaces. Yet there are lots of stuff going on at a sensory level as well, and not all of it seems to have much to do with any of the content of thoughts that pops up above the surface. There seem to be lots of processes going on at the same time, doing their own thing, with some less obvious connections inbetween them. 

Sensations are much less flowy recently. I'm wondering whether focusing on the earth element now and then has anything to do with it. It's not like I have even succeeded in getting that learning image that is supposed to look just like the clay tray rather than as the opposite of it, or as something moving around, so I didn't expect that it would have any impact outside the immediate practice. Still, as I was reflecting on the difference in my interpretations of sensations, it struck me how similar they are to qualities of the earth element. Sensations feel much more solid, more firm and more stable than I'm used to. It's like a gentle and pretty even and stable pressure, almost like being firmly wrapped up in a blanket. It feels safe but also rigid and... boring. It challenges identity aspects that I apparently cling to (--> dukkha). Apparently I'm deluded enough to think of the flowy unsolidness as me and mine and as something that I can count on to be there. Guess what? It isn't. If just focusing on a clay tray for half an hour now and then can change something that feels so fundamental as "my own" sensory experiences, then they can't really be that fundamental or tied to any self. If that is what causes it. I can't be sure. But the change is there, regardless, and that illustrates how dependent sensory experiences are on conditions other than the raw sense data for someone who is still entangled with the dependent origination to the extent of buying into it. I'm curious about how other elements kasinas would possibly impact sensory experiences. Maybe I'll check it out. 

Apart from that stable pressure there were other things going on, such as movements happening on their own. They can probably be charaterized as kriyas, but they are different from the kriyas I'm used to from before, and similar to what has recently started to appear. Movements that do not seem like some energy burst that just happens to make things move. Movements that have more precision, that seem like they would be done with what people think of as agency, but without any sense of agency. It doesn't feel so weird anymore, but like a normal thing.

The practice I was doing this session was as vague as just trying to be aware of what was going on. 

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 5
Answer
1/18/20 3:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Today has been like a farse, horrible at times but awfully funny with some distanse, and with a happy ending. It could be an entertaining story, but I feel like I'm fed up with the storytelling, as that goes on basically non-stop in my head anyway. Still reobservation-y, but it feels like it is lightening up. I suspect that it will be quite a lot of back and forth for a while, but I don't know. Tomorrow it could seem evident that I was in the lower nanas the whole time, or something else. I have been sick at a train (on the wrong train too), using meditation to make it through it. It helped to some extent and I think the more humbling parts of it was good for my practice, but I would have taken basically any chance to get out of it instead of dealing with it. I'm relieved that I don't know any important nation secrets or similar that would put me into risk of being tortured, because I would easily have said anything to get relief from some forms of suffering. So much aversion. So very unawakened. I did notice the space inbetween the impulses of nausea, though, which is an improvement. I tried to focus on it, but I was caught up in suffering stories over and over again. I can't deal with severe nausea. It gets personal. Well, I did complain that the practice was getting too subtle and too peaceful. 

Did some warrior seed syllables in the morning. I haven't come around to do that for a while. It felt good doing it. It does something energetically, in a subtle way.

Took care of some emotional blockages. That was the happy ending part, which I have the universe to thank for, because taking the wrong train provided an unexpected opportunity that turned out to have perfect timing. It opened up some space.

I listened to a dharma talk today about letting go and making space which made me cringe. Not because it wasn't great. It was. But the thought of deleting my entire inbox and trust that the important stuff will come back... In an ultimate sense I can see how that may be true, but in the relative sense, experience tells me that all the important stuff doesn't come back. It just doesn't. And I can see that much of that is because I find too many things important, but it wouldn't just affect me, but others as well, and I don't trust my improvizing skills enough to feel that I would solve situations that might come up in a way that wouldn't cause harm. I can see that there's a lot of doer thinking there, but that's how I currently feel (or at least it's how that behavioral pattern feels that has currently access to the writing programming). The way things turned out unexpectedly well today against all odds may be one step towards being able to let go more, but the way I'm conditioned (hardware and software) will probably require more than that. I have had phases in life when I was basically unable to talk spontaneously without having repeated all possible outcomes of the conversation in my mind before actually having it, so I have let go of a lot, in comparison. I grew up with a horder. There are conditionings to work on, to put it mildly. On the other hand, I think I have let go of plenty of other stuff... bah, there's the storytelling again. Noted. Frustration and judging noted. Metalevels to that noted. Damn it. 

Anyway... I have integrated intrespective reflections in dealing with stuff today, and I think it may have done some good. In the evening I did a formal sitting for only half an hour which involved surprisingly much space mixed inbetween the monkey mind business and the papancha. There was some kind of disentangling going on that manifested itself kinesthetically, visually and auditorily. It was mainly (or only?) the kinesthetic mode that gave me the impression that it was disentangling that was happening. The visual stuff and the nada sound was happening but I'm not as familiar with that language. I got the impression that the same thing was going on and that it was all connected regardless of sensory mode, but I can't be sure.

So much interpretations. How do I know what is the kind of intuition that comes from the process that knows the way and what is really just defense mechanisms or similar stuff dressing up as intuition? I'm used to the idea of having a good intuition, but that's just a view and it is based on false grounds. The three characteristics challenge the core of those grounds pretty badly. It feels a bit like when I was diagnosed as being autistic and it took years to trust myself as a teacher in the field of social interaction.