Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 1200 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
To continue the practice log. May it be of benefit to someone.
This is the first part on fire kasina:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13223904

And this is the second part:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13519742

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I still have aversion to writing, because each time there is an intention to write, I notice that it's not a "wholesome" intention. This definition for wholesome is subject to change.

Also I still have aversion to formal sitting practice, because there is a feeling of getting disconnected, when I want to put everything aside and do a formal practice, but still I am doing it a few days a week usually. I guess my addiction to screen, and to listening to talks and etc, has gotten worse.

To try to maintain the practice, I try to be more mindful in daily activities, and also do short practice sessions, and spend more time for practice in bed. Often a mix of techniques, fire kasina, or just the color statics in the murk, or body, or the changing quality of sensations, or nada sound and Shinzen's See In Hear In.

There are some new shades of green in the murk, very clear and beautiful, but they are not there always. They come and go, depending of mind states I guess. But there are almost always some bright dots in the visual field, with eyes open or closed, and often they simulate a sequence of fire kasina: A bright dot appears in the field, very similar to the brightest spot of a candle flame, but circular, stays there for some seconds, then it turns into a very clear black dot, then some clear green halo appears around it, and the black dot gets bigger and loses its shape and becomes a black hole.

It's been some weeks that there are energetic sensations in the head and lower back/hips most times.

It's been some days that when paying careful attention, strong yawning arises. I had this before for a few days, maybe a year ago. Also some bright colors appear, that I guess molten gold is the closest name for it. It looks like a mix of green, yellow, blue, and orange.

And it's a few days that again I have that thing that I called it momentary vertigo before, that for some moments it feels like the visual field loses its stability and starts to move or shift or rotate. While writing this, it happend a few times again, it's subtle, but it's like I am in a bus, and this laptop is on my knees and I am writing there (The field is not stable).
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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I notice that the root intentions for many of the daily activities that I do, are not much related to the activities themselves. It seems that there are two main drives behind these activities: A craving for pleasure, and a primal dissatisfaction with "what it is", and those activities appear just to fullfil these two. I am not sure which of these two techniques is better for working with those basic two drives: Investigating vedanas, or focusing on the mental talks and images, and emotional body sensations (simply Shinzen's Focus In).
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Once one realizes that, it makes one wonder how that was not blantantly obvious before, doesn't it? 
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Once one realizes that, it makes one wonder how that was not blantantly obvious before, doesn't it? 

Yep.
"After a conundrum is solved, it becomes easy/obvious"!
This is a proverb we have in Farsi.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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That's a good one. And it should be easy, but embarrassingly enough I still find myself engaging in such activities from time to time, even the ones that are mere avoidance behavior. 
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's a good one. And it should be easy, but embarrassingly enough I still find myself engaging in such activities from time to time, even the ones that are mere avoidance behavior. 

They call it practice/path, right? ;-)
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Recently I had an observation which was very interesting and helpful.
Last few days, I have spent some time practicing Shinzen’s Hear In, and Auto Think. 
In the last weeks or months maybe, I’ve noticed that recently, a big portion of mental talks seems to happen in a distance, or that the voices are not loud, and not very clear, something like humming maybe.
And in the last few days, by focusing on the mental talk space, I’ve noticed that sometimes a stream of talks happen, which is not clear, and I don’t even detect the words and sentences, I only detect the voice itself, and its overall tone, but, I get what the voice is saying, and I detect its meaning and direction, and the relationship between the meanings that it conveys and the mental images that arise related to this mental talk. Previously I would think that if I am not able to detect the words, I can’t know what the talk is saying, but that is not true.

Last night I examined it for some time, that I was listening to the mental talks, without knowing what are the words, but clearly understanding what they were saying. (And sometimes this listening feels pleasant, and sometimes annoying!)

In another observation, I’ve noticed that in situations that are stressful or annoying to me, just at the moment that the situation starts to be stressful/annoying, a thought arises, a mental talk, and often with some mental image, and some tension in the body. In that exact instance, I’ve noticed that if I am mindful, I can stop that stream of next thoughts (or it stops itself), by just being equanimous/neutral about the situation and the content of that thought and feeling. But if I am not mindful and equanimous, then after that thought and feeling, mind and body goes to a different state, i.e. anxious/annoyed and there isn’t much clarity about the content of thoughts that happen after that. Previously I was thinking that, it’s that initial thought that causes the next unpleasant feelings in the body, but now I think that those subtle thoughts continue in the background, and if I come back to the first observation, although these thoughts are not clear in terms of wording and etc, but I get their meaning, and those meanings trigger unpleasant sensations in the body and the feeling trigger other negative thoughts related to the situation. This chais starts with that initial thought, that then leads to another thought and another.. . By being mindful and equanimous at the moment, it seems that it loses its power and just stops there.

(Linda, related to your post on vomiting)
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Last night I was able to do a longer sit after some days of not doing it, it was about 70 minutes I guess, and I did several shorter ones before that, focusing on different objects, breath, color statics in the murk, mental silence, mental image space and etc. And while in bed, I practiced Shinzen's Auto Think.

In the last few days, I notice more "energetic" sensation in my head, nose, and lower back/pelvis, and last night there were lots of vibrations, spread of coolness, bright lights and etc. In early hours of sleep I had a dream, in the dream I was lied down and practicing, that suddenly energy releases started to happen, there was bright light, very bright, and very strong vibrations in my head, and my head and torso was shaking wildly, then it became more intense, and my head and torso started moving up and it was staying with a 40-50 degrees angle and shaking and vibrating (I think this was actually happening in my body mind while having this dream, because after I woke up, there was some pain around the neck and jaw, that arises when there is too much vibration and energy release in my head, but I don't know it was happening exactly like it was in the dream). Then it settled down, and there was a sense of relief. I had the impression that some of these blocked energies are released now, and it feels ok, and now I can rest and enjoy. Then I started having some entertainment, but quickly it changed, and three guys showed up outside the window, and then they were inside. I didn't know how they got inside, and worry started to arise because I knew that they want to stay at my house for sometime (They were not strangers in the dream, but not someone that I really know). I guess I was awake or half awake at the point that I felt someone is touching my big toe that was under the blanket, that caused me to get up. Obviously there was no one there, and it was the remaining bit of the dream world.

There was another dream after I went to sleep again, that someone wanted to strangle me because of a misunderstanding. He was repeating that I deserve it, and I was saying that it's not like what you think!
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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There was something strange that was happening last night, that I think was new.
I didn't have enough sleep yesterday, and last night while in bed, I focused on the color statics in the murk. It happened several times, 5-10 times maybe, that I was getting sleepy and falling sleep probably, then when waking up, I was feeling disoriented, and I guess it wasn't clear what I was seeing in the murk, then after the attention was grabbing on the color statics again (in 1-2 seconds maybe), this disorientation would go away and it would feel normal (and probably I would start to percieve visuals clearly). I got the impression that the feeling was similar to a situation, where you are standing on a wall, and there is a tree but not very close to the wall, and you want to grab a branch on that tree, and it feels unstable while you are trying to let go of the wall and grab the branch, but after you do it, you are stable/ok again.

Today there is restlessness in the body mind. It feels agitating to be still, and my body just wants to move, and although attention is sharp and clear, but it feels agitating to to have it stabilized on something, and it want to jump from object to object, and it does that.

Also today there is a feeling similar to dizziness (maybe?), and sometimes my head feels heavy, and again the visual feels shifts or moves for just a moment. Still there are energetic sensations and vibrations in the head and base of spine and around it.

Another thing that happens these days, which I thing is state/stage related, because it changes periodically, is that it seems that I have lots of dreams at night, but I don't remember them, I only remember a vague feeling, and sometimes very vague imagery, and everytime those vague feelings or mages arise, I get this impression that there were very cool things in that dream-world, that wonderland, that I feel very nice about it, but never get any clearer image or feeling!

There are other days that I remember my dreams very clearly, so I guess each of these two phases belongs to some state/stage, which I don't know what they are.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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In these recent few days, something happens during practice which is quite interesting.
Often towards the end of the practice, or after 20-30 minutes sometimes, I start to get very sleepy, but I don't fall asleep, and I don't lose clarity much, and I get to watch the mind thinking and remembering things, that often there isn't much mental talks, and most of the thoughts are mental images.

Almost all these mental images are very vague, and their location in space is not clear, except sometimes some of them appear in the murk in front of my face, but with very low resolution and very vague, and almost all of them stay for just a moment, a fraction of a second, so there are many many images that arise and pass very quickly.

What is interesting about it is that, an image appears, and I get a load of meaning from it, and I understand things about it that normally I would think them in terms of mental talks. For instance, a concept like "a short time" or "a long time" appear as an image. Or something like, "this thing is good for that person", appears as an image. So after an image appears, I get to know lots of things about it and remember lots of things, then the image disappears quickly, and I forget all those concepts and meanings in less that a few seconds.

Sometimes an image appears, like a face or an image of a situation, and at that moment I know that I know that person, and I know what that situation was, and I remember lots of things about that person's past or about that situation, but after a few seconds I forget them all, and it's interesting that for most of these images and stories related to them, I actually don't know those people, and don't have any memory of those situations. I know this often some seconds or minutes after the image and its stories appear, and it seems that I remember an impression of the image and its stories (I am not sure what that impression is in terms of sensations), and I realize that I don't know anything about those people and situations in real life. And I don't know how I get all those meanings and perceptions related to any of images, although sometimes some of them appear as images, but often I just know things about an image, and I don't have clarity what form that knowing takes.

This reminds me of what Shinzen says about mental images, that the bulk of thinking happens in the image space.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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I am spending a good portion of my practice time these days in the murk. Those low resolution images has started to appear again. Mostly they are faces, creepy ones, but with very low resolution, almost like a faint trace of an image and hardly noticeable, and they appear for just a moment, a fraction of a second. I keep reminding myself after each appearance that they are just colored shapes, and I smile. A few times I had images with a little higher resolution. All of them appear in front of my face.

It's interesting that sometimes when there is a painful sensation in the body, initially I feel the pain in an area that is not the origin of pain. If I don't pay careful attention, I may not know where is the origin of pain, but when paying careful attention, I notice that the pain is in somewhere else, and after that, I feel the pain in its origin and not in the initial location anymore.

That sleepy phase that I was having before, and mental images were showing up with stories attached to them, hasn't happened in the last several days.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Today it was a long and very tough day at work. I was at office for about 15 hours, and more than half of it was intense conflict and tension between two teams, and most of this time I was trying to find a resolution in this conflict. What I noticed that was positive, was that each time anger ot frustration was arising, I was able to recognize it, accept it and let it go, and maintain equanimity in the midst of that crazy chaos, and be able to maintain creativity and technical sharpness that led to finding solution for problems that didn't seem to have any obvious solution.

I had some of this in the past, but I had lost it in the last several years because of the difficulties that I had to face in these years, but thanks to practice, it seems that some of that is coming back, and at least sometimes I am able to maintain equanimity in situations that was not easy to do so before.
And thanks to you Shinzen, as Charlie Tart said once, "You are such a fucking genius"!

-- Edit:
It's interesting that now that I am home, those conversations at office are playing in my mind repeatedly, I have images of those people in my mind and I am hearing their voices again and again, and mild feeling of anxiety is arising in my body, and going away and then arising again.
It seems that probably it was not all equanimity, and part of it was suppressing or bypassing those emotions.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Darkness, darkness, darkness and darkness.
Lost, hopeless.
No more energy.
No energy for anger.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Getting back to practice slowly.

There was a break in my practice in these few weeks. First because we needed to finish a few projects, and for about two weeks I was working day and night, and for 4-5 days I couldn't have any free time (and mind space) for formal practice. And also because of all this insanity that happened in these two weeks, there was so much distraction and frustration, that I couldn't do the practice, or even remember to practice. Much less practice overally in the last 2-3 weeks.

Now it's been several days that I am trying to go back to how it was before, and do formal and semi-formal practice. Concentration is coming back slowly, but still it's much weaker. It's funny that when we need the practice most, we don't remember to do it.
I always appreciate it that Shinzen says so wisely: "But you may not remember to do it yourself".
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Friday February 14, 2020, 4:44 am

It's more than a month that my need for sleep has increased. I sleep much longer than normal, and if I don't sleep long, after waking up my body feels really sick until I sleep. This happens even after a long sleep sometimes. Two weeks ago I guess, for 3 days this changed and came back to normal, but after that, it started again. 10 hours for a day seems to be what my body needs these day. A real waste of time probably.

for the last several weeks my focus in practice has been mostly on noticing impermanence, either by focusing on the change in sensations, or doing fast fire noting, and trying to notice as many distinct sensations as I can.

The visual field with eyes closed was mostly like before in the last several weeks, dark with green and purple colors statics mostly, and some bright dots, but last two days it changed and there was lots of bright light in it, igniting and glowing and expanding and contracting. A ball of pale white light arises and while the white contracts, a green or purple expands and fills the ball, then the green or purple contracts and a black expands and fills the ball, in a dark background, but a slightly brighter area around the ball that makes it visible. And other areas of purple, blue, violet, white, yellow, and a mix of yellow/green/red/orange that creates something like molten gold color, expand and contract and moph into each other. And there are areas of very bright sparkly lights. There were some Molten Gold several times, and other visuals that looked like Molten Gold, but were pixelated with very thin lines that are almost unnoticeable. Tonight I haven't practiced much, but it seems that the lights and colors are still there.

It's a few weeks or more that there are more energetic activations and sensations around the base of spine. I generally have tried to not focus much on that area because of pains that it creates. Last two nights because I had done more practice, concentration was a little better, and while practicing and having some Molten Gold like visuals at the peak of concentration, a very strong pain arose at the base of spine. I was expecting that there may be pain in that area, because it had happened before, and also sometimes I wake up with that pain in the base of spine, so I stayed equanimous and continued practice for several minutes, but the pain stayed there and intensified, so I stopped practicing, and started it after a break, but with a lighter concentration, since I thought it may cause damage to the body. This pain would come back if concentration was deeper.

These days again I have lots of strange dreams, that most of them have fear component. I don't remember to have dreams that had gun fight in them when I was younger, but these days I have a lot. Also there are lots of water element these days, like falling into a lake or occean or being under water, but often I don't remember clear images of the water.

In one of his Q&A sessions, Culadasa had recommended this book: Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process by Bonnie Greenwell, and someone had shared a link to a free pdf of it, so since this energy creates somewhat difficulties for this body, pains, itches, trobbings in exact same locations each time, and probably this increased need for sleep is related to that, I started reading this book two days ago, and it has lots of good info about this energy (And also has lots of dogma in it!). And it's interesting that a big portion of its content, is very similar to what Daniel has in MCTB, about crossing A&P and being in Dark Night and cycling. I wonder if they know each other and had communicated about this topic. It would be interesting to have a dialoge between them two, Daniel and Bonnie Greenwell.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Saturday February 15, 2020

During this two plus years of meditating, I've always had difficulty discerning sensations of subtler emotions and mind-states. I notice some sensations related to them sometimes in my face but not always and not for all of them. Last few days I noticed that some or a lot of these subtler emotions/mind-states are expressed in this body-mind via posture, especially the posture/position/form(?) that my head and face takes, and also sometimes the body doesn't take any posture related to that emotion, but a mental image of a posture and positioning of head/face comes to mind, that indicates that emotion. For instance I read something, and become upset about it, but I don't perceive any mental talk or mental image or body sensation related to that upset-ness, but instead, my head and eyes take a certain angle/form, that is the expression of being upset. Of course the sensations related to the forms that body/head/face/eyes take, can be investigated, and I think this is a new avenue of exploration to get a closer understanding of emotions/mind-states.

Last night and today there were less energetic sensations/activations in the base of spine, but still its quite active. I did some practice this morning, and while focusing on the murk (refer to the glossary page of fire kasina web site for its description, firekasina.org), suddenly my body jumped, because I felt that a big insect is moving on my left shoulder near my neck. Previously I had sometimes sensations of a bug crawling over the skin, but this was new. Also previously I didn't have jolts on the shoulder, but it has happened several times in the last few days, that I suddenly feel a sensation on my shoulder, mostly the right one, as if someone taps on it.

Those bright lights are gone mostly in the murk. Colors are still there, not very defined or bright, but composed of very thin lines, flickering and rotating and moving. Bright dots in the murk were much brighter these two days. Several times it happened that mental images that appear in the imagination visual space, got projected into the murk, but were not clear at all. A few of them were creept/scary faces, and one or two were clearer.

After 1-2 months of intense negative emotions, it was 4-5 days that it was relatively calm, and now it seems that a big wave of restlessness is arising, with tension in muscles and pain in the chest around two points there that seem to be energy blockages. If my speculation about maps would be right, these are usually re-observation territory, but the things that I don't know about this mapping are much much more than things that I know, so.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Saturday February 15, 2020

After 1-2 months of intense negative emotions, it was 4-5 days that it was relatively calm, and now it seems that a big wave of restlessness is arising, with tension in muscles and pain in the chest around two points there that seem to be energy blockages. If my speculation about maps would be right, these are usually re-observation territory, but the things that I don't know about this mapping are much much more than things that I know, so.

I'm really happy that you have continued with fairly consistent daily practice. Yes, often times reobservation comes back after a lull. Just remember, reobservation is trying to show you all your triggers (good) yet is also trying to seduce you into reacting (bad). 

Sometimes expressing some kind of clear intention/resolution can help... Actually, it always helps

"May I have the experiences that will lead to insight into the causes of confusion. May I have the experiences that will lead to insight into the causes of unhelpful suffering. May these experiences be as gentle as possible, yet provide me the understanding I need. May I have insights for the benefit of all beings, including myself."
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Bardo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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shargrol:
I'm really happy that you have continued with fairly consistent daily practice. Yes, often times reobservation comes back after a lull. Just remember, reobservation is trying to show you all your triggers (good) yet is also trying to seduce you into reacting (bad). 


This is excellent. I've been sort of overlaying the 10 Armies of Mara into the re-observation phase. There's so much to learn in that region especially around averting and grasping and conceit - measuring myself against others through inflation of self (and its opposite: deflation of self). Conceit can be so subtle, so fine, so phantom-like, if unseen, can produce a negatively impactful self and world-view leading to their corresponding actions. The benefit of this is that it has been exposed but perhaps at the expense of suffering for both yourself and a second party. 

What are your thoughts about conceit in the re-observation area, shargrol and Siavash?
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Bardo:
shargrol:
I'm really happy that you have continued with fairly consistent daily practice. Yes, often times reobservation comes back after a lull. Just remember, reobservation is trying to show you all your triggers (good) yet is also trying to seduce you into reacting (bad). 


This is excellent. I've been sort of overlaying the 10 Armies of Mara into the re-observation phase. There's so much to learn in that region especially around averting and grasping and conceit - measuring myself against others through inflation of self (and its opposite: deflation of self). Conceit can be so subtle, so fine, so phantom-like, if unseen, can produce a negatively impactful self and world-view leading to their corresponding actions. The benefit of this is that it has been exposed but perhaps at the expense of suffering for both yourself and a second party. 

What are your thoughts about conceit in the re-observation area, shargrol and Siavash?


For me mostly it takes the form of worry. Worrying that I have done things right. In the past I had lots of thoughts about what others think about me, these days there aren't much, but I see it in my actions, that if I trace their intentions, sometimes the root intention is this worry, that what others think of me. I haven't traced it in different stages to see if there are differences or not. Often the main emotions that I have are worry and despair, which I think they are rooted in a view of self.

-- Edit:
Any yes, comparison seems to be often there. It's subtle though. A lot of times I am not aware of comparison, because I think there is a deeper problem, that it seems that I don't deserve a lot of things for myself, and as a result, I don't compare myself with others. It has been an ongoing thing since my childhood. I often do things for others, but when it comes to myself, I just let it go and say who cares. Although it has decreased in recent years. A few days ago I made it a mantra, that for some minutes I recited all the good things that I could think of, and I repeated that I deserve this, or I deserve that. I think this is probably the main cause for despair.

Today after being 14 hours in bed, and sleeping around 12 hours, now there is no restlessness.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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I really need to learn (and remember!) to add that part of it presenting itself in a gentle way... because yes, it does work, and often in a less gentle way if that isn't specified, in my experience. 
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Thank you so much Shargrol, I really appreciate your help.

I don't think that I am smarter than this body. But maybe some other things could be avoided outside of practice, that could give an easier ride, maybe not. That's why I said probably. But yeah, body knows what it's doing.

Regarding daily practice, yeah, thanks. Sometimes life gets difficult (well it always has been as far as I remember!), but we should continue, I don't see another option.
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Friday February 14, 2020, 4:44 am

10 hours for a day seems to be what my body needs these day. A real waste of time probably.


So, you think you are smarter than your body? emoticon Who knows what was going on, mental re-wiring, fighting a sickness... when the body is going through change, it needs sleep. Sleep is when a lot of changes//healing/development occurs.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Yesterday I forced myself to wake up earlier, and tortued myself to stay awake, so that I could sleep earlier at night and be able to go to work today, which kind of worked.

I think there was a state/stage shift these two days. Since the day before yesterday, there has been much less energetic sensations. The murk has more depth and three dimensionality to it, and the color statics there look more unified and dense and less staticy. Last night, especially while in bed, there was lots of bright lights in the murk, they were mostly fiery, like Molten Gold, but slow, often with bright light purple/violet, and the white end of violet, that looks more like that slow flames around burning coals, and they expanded in a larger area, and were constantly expanding and contracting, and often it looked like there is a transparency around the middle part of it, that you could see an image or another space behind it if you looked carefully, but there wasn't anything behind it, although it had that feeling to it.

Yesterday and today emotionally it feels calm and neutral. And yesterday there was this familiar things, that visual objects with eyes open looked "bolder" and more three dimensional, and it had this feeling that if I look closer, the shell would go away and these visual object would reveal their essence.

My guess is that this can be Equanimity, although I don't know enough.

Last night I had a dream, that in its first part "I went to the rooftop of the office building to smoke a cigarette, but I got surprised, because there was a vast landscape there, a vast open field and there was high mountains and the end of it, very high mountains like walls. First I was afraid to walk outside of the familiar territory of rooftop, but then I did, and this thought came to my mind that, I used to have dreams of vast landscapes in the past, why I don't have such dreams nowadays (This was happening in the dream), then I got mental images of vast open flat landscapes, deserts and mountains.. ." I wonder if these open landscapes could be an indicator of Equanimity? (By the way, I don't remember to have such landscapes in my dreams, the ones that came from "memory" in this dream)

And I wonder what is this feeling of familiarity. In this dream, after seeing that landscape and getting memories of this other open spaces, there was this feeling that, this all is very familiar, and I have had this for a long time... . This is a distinct feeling, and these days it happens a lot in my dreams, that I get that feeling about something, and I feel that my past was full of it, but in real life I had none of that.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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... in real life I had none of that.

Well, not consciously, anyway  emoticon
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Chris Marti:
... in real life I had none of that.

Well, not consciously, anyway  emoticon


Yeah, sure.. . And by real life, I don't mean that those dreams are less real, but.., limitations of language!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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That feeling of familiarity! Sounds good to me. 
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That feeling of familiarity! Sounds good to me. 


It has a unique taste and flavor. Like seeing a good friend after a long time, in a place that you both had spent time together. But I guess this feeling itself has different flavors. Needs investigation.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

for the last 4 days I practiced fire kasina, and I think each night I did around 4-6 hours overally, or maybe more (I don't care much about how long I practice nowadays). And since the night before last night, I started to have more brighter colors in the visual field, and lots of fiery visuals. There were bright lights that looked like explosion of light, that is almost painful to look at it since it's so bright.

There was intense throbbing in the left side of the body, especially upper arm and upper back.

I was trying to have a 5 pointed star in the murk, but setting intentions didn't work, so I tried to actively imagine it. First I tried it on a wall and I could see it there, and then I had it in the murk with eyes closed. Although I didn't try to refine it more and went back to focusing on the change.

This morning I had lots of weird dreams, in one of them, they wanted to arrest me, and I didn't know why, then I found myself lying down in a prayer room, and a guy entered the room and sat beside the door, and said hi to me, that was one of my classmates in the university. I was thinking he may want to help me. Then I woke up, and opened my eyes, but the room still was looking like the one in the dream, and for 1-2 minutes I was feeling the presence of that guy in the room. I was trying to see the room the way it actually is in my house, but I was seeing it like it was in the dream. After maybe 5-6 minutes, I really opened my eyes (The previous opening of eyes was part of the dream I guess), and started seeing the room the way it is, but still parts of the room was looking like the one in the dream. This used to happened very often in the past, before my 20's I think, but I don't remember to have it in recent years.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Interesting. In my thread about lucid sleep, neko says that projecting an image with eyes open is something that Daniel can do only efter very intense retreating. I'm wondering what counts as projecting an image then. You could see a star on the wall. I believe you. Still, I'm guessing that it is something different from what Daniel sees when he projects images. I was once able to see traces of colors in the air when I was painting with my hand, but that was very very faint and transparent and probably more like a visualization that I was starting to believe in. It was during a spontaneity home practice course with Shinzen. I don't think it was anything remotely close to what Daniel can do. I was probably just fooling myself. Still, it is fascinating what the mind can fabricate.

I have had those layers of dreams to, "waking up" but remaining inside a dream. At one time, it happened so many times that it was frustrating, especially since I really needed to go to the toilet, and in the dreams they were never working. Eventually it became lucid insofar as I knew that it was still a dream and tried to wake myself up. I managed to blink my eyes open for a brief moment, and that made the image of my bedroom come through as a flash that broke through the fourth screen of the dream. I think what we see when we are wakeful is still a fourth screen fabrication made by our mind to interpret signals that would otherwise be totally unrecognizable to us. Therefore it is probably fully possible to see a dream screen with eyes open too. We just don't normally believe it to be possible, and thus we close the door to it. But when we have just woken up in the morning, that kind of resistance hasn't yet switched on fully. 
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Interesting. In my thread about lucid sleep, neko says that projecting an image with eyes open is something that Daniel can do only efter very intense retreating. I'm wondering what counts as projecting an image then. You could see a star on the wall. I believe you. Still, I'm guessing that it is something different from what Daniel sees when he projects images. I was once able to see traces of colors in the air when I was painting with my hand, but that was very very faint and transparent and probably more like a visualization that I was starting to believe in. It was during a spontaneity home practice course with Shinzen. I don't think it was anything remotely close to what Daniel can do. I was probably just fooling myself. Still, it is fascinating what the mind can fabricate.


Yes, I think this is different from projecting an image, the way neko talked about.

The colors that I see with eyes closed, I usually see all or most of them with eyes open too if I focus on something for some seconds, but they are less bright and less defined. A lot of times there is a pale green blob in the center of visual field or near the center with eyes closed, that sometimes turn to green or blue (not pixelated), and when I focus on a surface with eyes open, especially with a brighter color like the walls in my room, I can see the same green blob, that is always moving and changing shape. Last year in the early weeks that I started fire kasina, I noticed that sometimes I can change its shape to a a  or a circle or 4 pointed star, and yesterday it was "the same blob" in the center of visual field that I was trying to shape it into star. I don't think that this is anything hard or special, and probably depending on concentration level, with a few minutes to a few hours of practice, most people can do it.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Yeah, probably. It's like that for me too. 
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Last two days I continued with 4-6 hours or more of practice each night. It's been several days that I don't go to work, partly because of this virus, and partly because I want to practice more, and also try to change some of the bad habits that I've developed over a long time.

I practiced mostly by focusing on the changes in the murk, and also used candle flame a few times.

What was different these two days, one is the variety of colors that has increased. And those bright dots have become much brighter, I think brighter than a candle flame or a LED light. And also these bright lights that appear in the top of the visual field were much brighter.

There are different kinds of lights that arise. Two of them that arise more, are one that arise at the bottom of visual field, that appears to be in front of my mouth, and below my nose, that is unified, and less bright, and looks like a relatively large ball of light, and stays longer, up to 10-20 minutes I guess.

The other one that I mentioned above, arises at the top of the field, feels like an energy release. Before it arise, often less than two seconds or less than a second before it arise, I know that it's about to arise, because there is a distinct feeling in the face that feels like a release, and also my eyes get squeezed and closed very tightly, and intense vibrations in my head arise, and then this light appears, that seems to have two parts. One is the brightest spot, that is like a small circle of very dense and bright light, and the second is a larger area that light spreads in it, like lightning. The first time that it arose last night, it was so bright, that I had never had like that before, and also lasted longer. Often its brightest time lasts a few seconds, but this one lasted 20-30 seconds, that caused pain and itching in my eyes. Several times it arose after that, that were similarly bright and lasted around 10 seconds each time.

Toward the end of practice last night, I had strong pains at the base of spine again.

Most of the time mantra is autonomic and plays itself. Also the musics that I listen get stuck in my mind for hours or days.

Yesterday after waking up, there was a feeling of love, as if I have fallen in love with something os someone. Although it's been a long time that I haven't experienced it, and often it looks absurd to fall in love with someone (yeah I know, when it comes, all reasonings disappear), but this feeling was similar to that. Then for a few hours I listened to music, and was enjoying it like the old times (I was a music junkie for a long time), then it turned to worry and despair, and got neutral at the end I guess.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Last night I continued with 5-6 hours of practice. Mostly focued on the changes in the murk, then used color kasina a few times, first a red circle on a black background, which had a very beautiful green-blue after image the first time I looked at it, but then removed almost all colors from the murk except for black/gray! And turned it into a very dark field. then I used a white circle on a black background, and it brought back some of the colors and some beams of bright light. Then used candle flame twice. The red dot stayed stable much longer than usual. Often it flickers on and off, but this time it was there with almost no effort. And continued after that by focusing on the changes and movements in the murk.

for the 2-3 hours at the end near the morning, the movements in the murk were very fast that I had not like that before. It was like what you see from a time lapse camera of a crowded street, that everythings moves very fast in different directions, and there was nothing in the visual field that was not moving fast. And this bright light was arising at the top of the field, which I think is Molten Gold. And often it looks like there is something behind it, but nothing has showed up behind it so far.

For a few hours there was a sense of dizziness or vertigo or not having balance in the visual field with eyes open, as if the visual field itself moves, and when I move my head, the visual field in front of me moves also.

While in bed, I continued the same practice, and for the first time, a relatively clear image appeared for a moment. It was a young woman's face with heavy makeup, that I didn't know her, and couldn't find a memory of her.

There was very strong pain around the tale bone and base of the spine toward the end.

I am again enjoying music a lot like the old times, I don't know if it's related to practice or not.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Last night I continued with 5-6 hours of practice. Mostly focued on the changes in the murk, then used color kasina a few times, first a red circle on a black background, which had a very beautiful green-blue after image the first time I looked at it, but then removed almost all colors from the murk except for black/gray! And turned it into a very dark field. then I used a white circle on a black background, and it brought back some of the colors and some beams of bright light. Then used candle flame twice. The red dot stayed stable much longer than usual. Often it flickers on and off, but this time it was there with almost no effort. And continued after that by focusing on the changes and movements in the murk.

for the 2-3 hours at the end near the morning, the movements in the murk were very fast that I had not like that before. It was like what you see from a time lapse camera of a crowded street, that everythings moves very fast in different directions, and there was nothing in the visual field that was not moving fast. And this bright light was arising at the top of the field, which I think is Molten Gold. And often it looks like there is something behind it, but nothing has showed up behind it so far.

For a few hours there was a sense of dizziness or vertigo or not having balance in the visual field with eyes open, as if the visual field itself moves, and when I move my head, the visual field in front of me moves also.

While in bed, I continued the same practice, and for the first time, a relatively clear image appeared for a moment. It was a young woman's face with heavy makeup, that I didn't know her, and couldn't find a memory of her.

There was very strong pain around the tale bone and base of the spine toward the end.

I am again enjoying music a lot like the old times, I don't know if it's related to practice or not.


While doing today's share of practice (Now, Wednesday 10:41 am, sleep time has shifted, so all todays are a mix of yesterdays and tomorrows!), at the end of it before going to bed, I think I had fallen asleep, that my body jumped and I woke up, because my right big toe was burning. For 1-3 seconds my mind started looking for some fire or a burning cigarette, because it was exactly feeling like burning with a cigarette, but it was just a result of concentration. I got distracted and the feeling of burning went away after 10-20 seconds.

This energy body needs some purification!
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Thursday, February 27, 2020, 4:28 am
(Without editing, just to get them out of my mind)

This morning in a dream: seeing an arrow, a clear 3D one, pointing to a fresh mint leaf, and thinking that, oh, this was the same symbol that I had a little while ago, that made me wake up while I was asleep, and I was getting images about that, seeing an arrow of statics or something, pointing to a leaf. I think I was talking to my brother in the dream. And while seeing this arrow and leaf, I tried to focus on it, and make it clearer. When I woke up after this dream to go to bathroom, there was strong pain in my eyes, because of the amount of vibrations in my head during the practice, that cause my eyes to water. I think there was some lucidity during part of sleep, that I was aware of the body (scratching my chest), but I don’t remember more.

Feeling of burning in the right big toe came back tonight, and also in the right side of the face.
Pain in the left side of the tale bone, and some momentary ones in the left side of the body.
Pain in the eyes because of many intense vibrations that yesterday had happened during the practice. Also a feeling of burning inside the eyes, that sometimes shows up while getting concentrated.

Vague dreams that occur most days, but I don’t remember them clearly, just some vague images and some vague feelings. These are the recurring themes:

“Going to mountain hiking alone, or sometimes with a few people, but getting separated from them, and it’s late in the evening, and I am thinking should I go up or come back down.

Writing or drawing on a notebook, and the things that I write or draw, either are very emotionally important for me, or they turn to objects, or images or something different as I don’t remember.

Being in top of a mountain, or in the middle of in beside a lake or ocean, or a spring, or floating in the air, or on a very high cliff, or something like that!

Having a very nice house of my own, and enjoying being in it.

Getting back to university after I had left it, and I have taken some courses, and it’s near the end of semester, and I am not ready for exams, I don’t know what are the textbooks, what should I study, where should I begin, and the rest of it.”

How nice it is typing this way, in a half dark room, with the lights of the keys of the keyboard. Reminds me of the time that we used to work on silk carpets, and sometimes the last days before finishing a carpet, we would work at nights also, and it was very pleasant for me always to work at nights, and hear the sound of making knots. It was definitely a light flow state, and I would be absorbed in the activity of making knots and enjoying colors and music in the air (as the little guy in Twin Peaks says). Good times.


--An Edit:
Tonight my mind feel distracted and restless, and jumps from one topic to another, and there are lots of mental talks, and mantra and labeling don't help much to turn the mind's radio off!
And the way Daniel descripbes in MCTB2, it feels that the practice is not enough, and attention doesn't get close enough to sensations, and doesn't penetrate sensations. I would like to be concentrated on an object to the exclusion of everything else, but that would require a lot of work.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 1200 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Thursday, February 27, 2020, 4:28 am
(Without editing, just to get them out of my mind)

This morning in a dream: seeing an arrow, a clear 3D one, pointing to a fresh mint leaf, and thinking that, oh, this was the same symbol that I had a little while ago, that made me wake up while I was asleep, and I was getting images about that, seeing an arrow of statics or something, pointing to a leaf. I think I was talking to my brother in the dream. And while seeing this arrow and leaf, I tried to focus on it, and make it clearer. When I woke up after this dream to go to bathroom, there was strong pain in my eyes, because of the amount of vibrations in my head during the practice, that cause my eyes to water. I think there was some lucidity during part of sleep, that I was aware of the body (scratching my chest), but I don’t remember more.

Feeling of burning in the right big toe came back tonight, and also in the right side of the face.
Pain in the left side of the tale bone, and some momentary ones in the left side of the body.
Pain in the eyes because of many intense vibrations that yesterday had happened during the practice. Also a feeling of burning inside the eyes, that sometimes shows up while getting concentrated.

Vague dreams that occur most days, but I don’t remember them clearly, just some vague images and some vague feelings. These are the recurring themes:

“Going to mountain hiking alone, or sometimes with a few people, but getting separated from them, and it’s late in the evening, and I am thinking should I go up or come back down.

Writing or drawing on a notebook, and the things that I write or draw, either are very emotionally important for me, or they turn to objects, or images or something different as I don’t remember.

Being in top of a mountain, or in the middle of in beside a lake or ocean, or a spring, or floating in the air, or on a very high cliff, or something like that!

Having a very nice house of my own, and enjoying being in it.

Getting back to university after I had left it, and I have taken some courses, and it’s near the end of semester, and I am not ready for exams, I don’t know what are the textbooks, what should I study, where should I begin, and the rest of it.”

How nice it is typing this way, in a half dark room, with the lights of the keys of the keyboard. Reminds me of the time that we used to work on silk carpets, and sometimes the last days before finishing a carpet, we would work at nights also, and it was very pleasant for me always to work at nights, and hear the sound of making knots. It was definitely a light flow state, and I would be absorbed in the activity of making knots and enjoying colors and music in the air (as the little guy in Twin Peaks says). Good times.


--An Edit:
Tonight my mind feel distracted and restless, and jumps from one topic to another, and there are lots of mental talks, and mantra and labeling don't help much to turn the mind's radio off!
And the way Daniel descripbes in MCTB2, it feels that the practice is not enough, and attention doesn't get close enough to sensations, and doesn't penetrate sensations. I would like to be concentrated on an object to the exclusion of everything else, but that would require a lot of work.


Asked these questions during the practice, in order to notice not-self characteristic:
Who is seeing, who if feeling, what is seeing/feeling, what is perceiving, which one of these sensations is perceiving the others? Can a somatic sensation perceive a visual one? Can a visual one perceive a somatic one? If a somatic sensation in my head can perceive the others, then those sensation in my foot should be able to perceive others too. They don’t have any difference. The image of my head, is just an image, if I remove it, then how do I know there is any distance between the sensations in my nose and in my ear? Is there really any distance? And by examining this, I noticed that I feel those sensations are closer to each other, and my hands are closer to my head, and the colors in the murk got closer to my face, but not much. Some of them, a bright light I think, was connected to my face, but the others kept a little distance.

Was able to sustain Molten Gold (bright light at the top) for two plus minutes. Toward the end, instead of bright white/yellow, they were golden color, sometimes mixed with some green.
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Friday, Match 6, 2020

Last night for a few hours before going to bed, I was noticing arising and passing of sensations more clearly. I was keeping the whole of my experience in awareness (or whatever), and noticing how all sensations, including visual space are arising from nowhere and then fading away.

It’s been a few days that it happens more, that I notice shifts and wiggles in visual space with eyes open, and sometimes with eyes closed, as if it’s expanding or contracting, or has waviness, or suddenly it turn to a much bigger space with eyes closed. And sometimes it causes feelings like vertigo. And lots of time it feels like the visual space and objects in it, are clearer, but also smaller maybe(?), like I can take the space with my hand and move it. Sometimes this sense includes the body images too, that I don’t feel very centered in this body image like always, and it feels like this body image and the space around it are like some cartoonish shapes that can move or get separated from the space, or I can take all of it with my hand.
I think probably a reason for the above, is that mental images become clearer, and sometimes with eyes half closed, it somehow feels like the mental images happen in the room, and there is a subtle merging of mental image/talk space and external space.

In this few days, especially today, the color statics in the murk are more fine-grained. Most of these colors are made of lines, that sometimes look more unified, sometimes less. Today it looks like a painting with a pastille. And since yesterday I notice tiny little points in the murk, that are just big enough to be noticed, and appear for just a few moments.

I have done less practice in this 3-4 days, but it happens today (and a few times yesterday), when I remember to be mindful, there is a joy that arise at that moment, that, how great it is that I can practice!

(We need much better languages, that you can convey what you want, with much less “words” in a more clear and precise way.)
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Sounds really good, let this simple joy infuse everying. And be sure to keep going with a very gentle but daily practice! emoticon
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Siavash Mahmoudpour, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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shargrol:
Sounds really good, let this simple joy infuse everying. And be sure to keep going with a very gentle but daily practice! emoticon


Thank you dear shargrol,
Yes, that's what I want to do.
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Siavash, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Tuesday, Match 10, 2020
(unedited)

It’s been a few hours that there is a feeling/mind state, that seems to be new. When memories comes, I don’t feel very related to them. Always they feel like they had happened to me, but it feels now that it’s not very clear whom was it that they happened to. They feel very far (except for recent memories with family, and very recent memories in general).

A few days ago I did a hair cut myself partly because of this virus, and then shaved my head. It was 15 hears that I had not done it. And I don’t know if this change in “self-image” had any impact of this feeling.

It seems that I can’t find a solid place to tie those memories to it. Although it now has decreased compared to the last few hours.

Not very related, but reminds me of a feeling that I had for sometime when I was in middle school. It was part of a national school system that had entrance exam, and top students from all the towns around were there, and I was always the best one in terms of studies (My other records were terrible), and we were in campus except for weekends. At some point I start thinking and feeling that this whole thing is just a dream. I am still in elementary school, and there wasn’t any exam, and none of is real, because it can’t be real. This idea was very real looking, and for that period, a lot of times I couldn’t discern which one of these is the reality, so I stopped caring about anything for sometime. Later I decided to let go of this, because I couldn’t find any answer, but this feeling went away after I engaged again in studies and activities.

And that reminds me of the other thing that I had earlier in childhood. We used to go to my grand parents village each summer, and a few minutes before reaching the village while on the road, we could see the trees. Seeing that trees was the best thing to have each year. There is a school near my parents house, that had trees. Now I think that it’s not possible to see those trees from that house, but at that time, I thought that I could see the trees of school from our house, but then I would start thinking that are these the trees of the village or the school, and I would oscillate back and forth between both answers. Being a dreamer, those trees would show up in my dreams too, and I would wake up and think that I am looking at the village and seeing its trees, then realize that no, this is the trees in school, but actually there were no trees, it was just a dream or some imagination.
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Siavash, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Thursday, March 26, 2020, 12:38 PM
(A few notes, before I forget them -- uneditted)

There is this equanimity sometimes (The amount of times that I have it increases), that is quiet, kind of, when I first notice it, it is subtly pleasant, and then it becomes the normal way of being. And when something happens that usually and by the habit, would cause a negative feeling, I just stay there and watch it pass away completely, and then watch that “not arising of negative feeling/reaction”, as if for it to arise, there should be some tension and contraction, and if I don’t have that contraction, then the negative feeling won’t arise, and I just watch this not contracting, and non arising of negative feeling.

Also this happens more frequently with a state of equanimity, that at periods, since I don’t react to the thoughts that arise, they stop arising, and there is just silence with no or not much content in the mind, but I know that it’s not complete silence in the mind, because I can sense existence and activity of a lower layer of activity in the mind at that time, it’s just that its content doesn’t arise much to the upper level of mind.

When getting sleepy while practicing: First to say that, there is a high clarity often, and sleepiness doesn’t cause a decrease of clarity. Many mental images arise, that after seeing it, this comes to mind that “oh I am remembering now, this was part of my dreams last night”, and then the next image and so on, and with each one I get this feeling of remembering a dream. But now I think that maybe they were not part of my dreams in the last nights, and there is just this feeling in this moment that causes me to think that I am remembering them.

Also while being sleepy: I find myself in a distance from myself, and there are at least two or three people, one is the original me that is meditating, and the other or others are me that observing this meditator me or talking about him. The one that occurred in this last sit, one of those observer selfs said that: “He (meditator me) is having that experience…”, and the other observer self said: “You (meditator me) should do it this way…”. It was some months ago that this thing was happening, but then stopped. Now it comes back again. Cycles of cycles.

This thing happens more frequently in the last several days, that for a moment I feel that my body just started to float, but immediately returned back to its stable position. So I don’t experience floating, but for a moment or a fraction of it, there is a different feeling like weightlessness maybe.

trying to notice more positive vedanas, and relax and feel relaxations.

These 1-2 weeks focusing on the body and breath, and almost no practice on visuals.

Lots of energetic sensations, sharp and intense pains and strong itches. Lots of pinzi sensations, mostly spread on the left side of the head or left arm (I call them pinzi, the sensations that are a mix of tingling, chills, pins and needles, and very fine-grained, that often spread on a relatively large area of the body)
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Siavash, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Monday, March 30, 2020, 5:55 PM

A few days ago I shared a link with a friend, and she got excited and said that I’ll listen to it right now, then I said jokingly that you might wanna wait a little bit, and take a walk and calm down, so that you can handle this craving to know new things, and she accepted.

Now I noticed arrival of a new interview, and I was already listening to another interview, and it had a few minutes left, so new material, I had the same kind of craving and wanted to stop the one I was listening and start listening to the new one, but then I remembered what I had told my friend, so I stopped, and decided to finish the current one and then listen to the new interview. After that, it was interesting that I noticed a feeling/mind-state of sadness, as if someone has insulted me that has caused feeling upset! This feeling was a trigger to come and write this log entry.

For a period of less than 10 years in the past, I had aversion to sleep, and I always wanted to stay awake. As a result, I would stay awake for 40-60 hours in average, and then I would fall asleep somewhere and wake up 10-18 hours later. It had been some years that this habit had changed thankfully, but now with this staying home business, it has returned. I guess I have slept only 4-6 times in this last two weeks, and now it’s more than 70 hours that I am awake, but I still don’t want to sleep. At least temporarily in the last few days, I notice my sleep time has decreased. Last time I stayed awake for around 50 hours, but then slept only 9-10 hours, and the time before that, it was the same. Don’t know where it’s going. I don’t feel bad about it. I have hope for many things that I didn’t have hope before.

Yesterday (yesterday..! I mean around 20 hours ago) I discovered Martha Argerich, and I got amazed by what an artist she is. She has the true effortless performance, like when Messi plays football (soccer) in his good times. I did a few hours of practice by listening to her piano, by trying to focus exclusively on the music. The first sit, the tingling sensations in the back of my head got intense, and then filled whole of my head, and turned into some kind of tingly pressure, as if I am wearing a very tight hat or something like that. Then it passed away, but came back again, and since that, it regularly comes and goes, and now while typing, I feel there is something on my head, external to it, that puts pressure on it.
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Siavash, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Thursday, April 2, 2020, 9:44 AM

Finally I slept. It was a hundred and ten hours that I was I awake, but then the night before last night I started falling asleep, and could not do anything about it. I had heard before that, in some places they use sleep deprivation as a torture method, and I had heard forcing them to stay awake for 5 days, so maybe 5 days is a threshold? I don’t know. I fall asleep around 4 am and was asleep there for 8-9 hours while sitting. Then I woke up and went to my bed and slept for another 16 hours maybe, in two rounds. It’s interesting comparing this with what was happening a few months ago, that for more than two months in that period, I was sleeping for long hours and always feeling sleepy, and it was feeling that no amount of sleep is enough.

Yesterday I noticed more about the way images appear while being sleepy, and probably in dreams. I had noticed this before, that when I am sleepy and seeing dream-like images, the images themselves are not very important, but the qualities that they represent and relationship between those images are more important. For instance, there is a thinking about a quality, being afraid for instance, and then some images appear to convey that quality. It’s two days that I don’t have cigarettes and instead, I was using hand made ones with some tobacco that I had. Yesterday while being sleepy, I was thinking about these kinds of cigarettes and also programming languages like C and C++, and in that sleepy mode, I couldn’t discern between them, because the qualities that they were representing were the main thing in the mind, and since both of these primitive cigarettes and those languages have that qualities, I didn’t know which one of them I am thinking about. Qualities being more “primitive”, low level, strong and etc.
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

It’s two months now that I am home, with almost no in-person contact with anyone. Just once a week or so going out to supermarket. And as a result, practice has lost its quality. The other thing that has added to the mess, is that I had flu like symptoms for I guess 5 times during this month or so, and I don’t know it’s because of this covid or not. The last one that started 5-6 days ago, now feels better, but still there is discomfort in the throat and chest, that I first attributed it to smoking, but I guess it’s more than that.

All of these, has brought some of the problems that I had in the past, but had worked out to some extent in the last years. One of them is strong procrastination. It’s I guess two weeks now that I am trying to start to work, but I haven’t succeeded. I guess I’ll start today. I hope so.

Last few days I tried to practice more, and add to the quality of practice, so that it help get out of this situation.

There is a strong need to be in nature, and spend some time with the mountains, but I don’t have a car, and there is no way to go there without being in touch with people. I used to walk there when I was younger, but that body doesn’t exist anymore. It’s at least 10-12 hours walk if I wanted to walk there and come back. There will be a solution, but I don’t know what that is, yet.
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Chris Marti, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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This quarantine stuff isn't easy. It's disorienting in a lot of ways. 
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Yes.
In the beginning I wanted to take it as a home-retreat time, but it was nothing like that.
It requires new skills to get along with it. Certain parts of this situation is not new for me, I had similar periods of being alone and dealing with a sickness that I didn't know what that was, but this one has its own flavor, with its problems.
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Monday, April 20, 2020, 2:22 AM

So for a few days I'll probbaly write on this wall more frequently than my normal rate of posting, and if that kind of spamming in the Recent Posts causes discomfort for anyone, sorry. Trying to find ways to get out of this situation.

I have a few friends and family members, who always tell me if I were you, I would earn this amount of money, and do this and that... (They tell this because of me being a coder, and relatively a good one). My response always is, if you were me, you wouldn't telling this, and you'd do the things that I've done, you see parts of me, but don't see the other parts. They are ignorant of the problems that someone like me has. I've seen this a lot, that you either are average in everything, or many things, and you have a "normal" life. On the other hand, you are good in certain things, and are not good at all in many things, so you can't have a "normal" lilfe, and that's the way it is.

Finally I started working today. Worked for 5 hours, but with a slow pace, not trying to push myself which causes anxiety. Then had a break, and practiced for two hours, focusing on the body and the breath. And now I am writing this, then I'll work for some hours again. Probably I stay awake today and just work and practice. Will see how it goes. My gut says that this period is ending, and a period of being more productive is about to start (If this virus doesn't surprise me). No wonder, this is the pattern that happens each year this time of the year for some years now!

It seems that everyday I am having this dream, that is pretty vague, but the theme is I am floating on top of a lake or ocean, or I am on a very high wall and about to fall, or floating in the air on top of a mountain, or being on the water in a vast space. Always it's in darkness of the night, and it doesn't feel scary or dangerous, but instead there is feeling of wonder and curiosity with it. Often I am not alone and someone close to me is with me, but I haven't seen that person yet in these dreams and I don't know who they are. It just feels that there is someone with me there.
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Worked for 3 more hours, and then did 1-2 hours of practice, but I got quite sleepy at the end, and now I have pain in the eyes, and it's not fair to work with a sleepy mind, and it's not fair to body also. I am going to sleep. I hope to not sleep too long, and wake up after 4-5 hours.

Some worry and anxiety arose about 2-3 hours ago, because these feelings of burning and discomfort in the throat and trachea got more intense, and I started to need coughing, that would mean that there is another cause beside smoking. So I started listening to a new interview from Leigh Brasington, and started practicing while listening and after that. Now the anxiety is almost gone, and those discomforts have decreased also. If this is because of covid, based on the experience of a few people that I know, probably it will be like this for about a month, if it stays like this and not become more problematic.
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 12:40 AM

Slept for near 8 hours, more than what I wanted to. In the early hours I woke up once because of a dream. In the dream I was at home, naked, somebody knocked the door, I knew that they are around three people there, one of them a girl that I knew, maybe a relative or a friend, but I couldn't know who she was, They continued knocking the door, and I was looking for my cloths to then go open the door, that they pushed the door and opened it, and I woke up at that moment, scared.

Did a longer chat today with my close friend, who seems to have covid, and is getting better now, and the chat was good.

Body was feeling ok after I woke up, but still with pain and feeling of burning in the throat and breathing pathways. But it's a few hours now that again low energy and aches and pains in the body have started. It's like a sin arc, for 2-3 days there are aches and pains and very low level of energy, then it's more normal for 1-2 days, and then again it repeats like that.

There were energetic sensations at the base of spine last night. And some pains in the back, that often arise related to those energetic sensations, but it seems that one of them is related to this sickness maybe.

Listening to the interview that Daniel posted today. And preparing some meal. Then I guess I'll do an hour of practice, and then start working.
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 4:29 AM

I had two sits, one around 35 minutes, the other 50-55 minutes, focusing on the sensations of breathing at the nose, and then focusing on the sensations of wight and relaxation in my hands. There was crazy amount of sweating in my head and only in my head, specially in the second sit, that caused me to clean my face once every 2-3 minutes. It was enough of distraction. After a while, again there was this feeling that when drops of sweat were moving on the skin, it was as if a card is cutting my tissue and bones, painful. I think it's because of concentration, both the sweating and this painful feeling.

I see how my mind tends towards practice, and I just want to practice more, because it's a good and valid way of not working! I should work now, but I like to continue practicing, because I then can say, well I didn't work but I didn't waste my time and did something useful!

-- Edit 1:
I've examined this during this last week, and it's interesting, that when I relax the body and focus on the relaxation, these
symptoms of sickness become less intense for sometime after that.

-- Edit 2:
After I discovered
Martha Argerich a few weeks ago, among videos of her on youtube, I liked two of them more than the others so far, and I watched those videos many times, with paying careful attention to her hands and fingers while playing piano. Interestingly enough, a few days after that I noticed a change in my typing. I notice that I type more effortlessly, and use my fingers more efficiently, and the whole process of typing is much more enjoyable. Love you Martha!
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 12:26 PM

Worked for 3-4 hours at last. Did two walking practices, a longer one before work, and a shorter one after the work. I relaxed the body, and instead of normal way of me doing the walking, I let the walking happen on its own (to the extent that I could), and take whatever form it wanted to take. Something similar to Shinzen's Auto Walk/Move. And it took a funny form, something between a relaxed slow walking and a trance dancing. It was relaxing and freeing.

And did a few hours of sitting practices. I try to develop a higher level of concentration, by focusing exclusively on a very narrow object, like the tip of one finger, or the left side of left nostril.

And now I am tired and
exhausted, with excruciating pain in th eyes. I need to sleep.
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Siavash, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 5:15 AM

Today I had 8-9 hours of sleep in two rounds. After waking up, body feels sick. There were aches and pains and very low energy, and still pain and feeling of burning in the breathing pathways. I would like to have a test, but tests are reserved for those who have real problem with breathing or are old, since there are limited test kits in the country (Thanks to the sanctions by "God bless you Big Brother").

But there is no 
indulgence when you are alone, you have to do the necessary things, so I washed some dishes and am cooking some food. Took a shower after some days that I hadn't done it (What happens when a procrastinator has low energy!), and now after that I feel much lighter, and body feels much better. I thanked the bathroom, the water and the universe for giving me this chance to be able to wash myself.

I probably go out a few hours later to go to the bank to get a new card for one of my bank accounts, it has expired 4 years ago! and that brings some worry.

I think today I'll stick to the same practices that I was doing last days, to stabilize attention on a narrow object. I hope to find the right balance between work and practice. It's kind of strange this resistence that I have to work from home. It feels to be the hardest thing in the world. In the past I liked it, and I would be more productive when working from home, but now it's different.
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Thursday, April 23, 2020, 10:20 AM

Yesterday morning I went to bank for my card, but it didn't go well since my ID card also has expired. I need more work to do with that. All my life seems to be expired. It's good that out bodies don't expire!

This, and a few negative things that happened, caused an intense anxiety to arise. I wanted to start to work after I came home, but there was so much negativity emotionally, and also aches and pains in the body, and difficulty with breathing. Breath cycles were becoming shorter and I needed to take deep breaths frequently. So I lied down, and opened a talk by Jack Kornfield, to to try to relax. It was helpful but not so much. So I added another track by him, and for 2-3 hours I was just listening to him and Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and trying to relax, that after some hours I fell asleep.

After waking up at night, body had more pains, and energy level was very low, and I had difficulty breathing. I just tried to practice and relax, and practice and relax, but the breath kept becoming shorter. I knew that this is now because of sickness and it's because of anxiety, but when practice didn't change it, I started thinking that maybe it's not just anxiety and lungs have problem too. So time for big guns. I took half a pill of 0.5 mg Alprazolam, and opened a guided meditation by Thick Nhat Hanh, which I love that talk by him, and practiced with it twice, then I opened Namo Avalokiteshvara chant, played by Plum Village team and Thich Nhat Hanh sitting in the center of it, which I love that too, and finally I started relaxing, and breath became almost normal.

This anxiety and difficulty breathing was the initial reason that made me look for meditation and start meditation practice. For about 3 years I had anxiety almost everyday. I was a pretty calm and relaxed person for most of my life before that. By then in a period of 1-2 years, several big things happened, very bad ones, which one of them included an overdose and a panick attack as a result, that I couldn't breath, and I thought I am dying litterally, but I ended up in hospital for two days (Actually I dodn't remember many of the dates related to that thing accurately, since I was out of my mind), and it took my body several months after that to come back to normal situation. One years passed, which was very good and stable in a lot of ways, and I guess that stability provided the space for this negative emotions to come up. So one night I noticed tension in the abdomen, and difficulty with breathing, and it was a good start, that after that, for around 3 years I was struggling with it in a daily basis. I tried some medicine, which were not helpful in the long run, but in the time of panick, I had to take them, and eventually I started taking them everyday. The anxiety was only increasing, to the point that one day I became really sick, just sweating and my whole body was tense, and I wasn't able to walk. It took me about an hour to be able to get up and walk. So I started looking for other options, and found Shinzen. It took a year or so that I started to have breaks in the anxiety, and be relatively peaceful at some days. It got better and better after that, and in this past year, I had very few intense episodes. Now I had two intense ones in this past 10 days. Much more work needs to be done it seems.

Last hours in practice, there were energetic sensations in the base of spine. Instead of painful sensations that I had in that area for several months now, this time they were subtly pleasant and tingly.

Oh, I forgot the main thing that I wanted to write: It seems that this difficulty with breathing when having anxiety, is related to the other sensations that arise in upper body. Specially some contraction arise in the throat, as if there is a knot there, or like when you are about to cry, and that feeling in the throat before crying, and also there is tension in the abdomen that it feels like it's filled with rocks. These sensations seem to give the impression that there is a shortage of breath so I have to take deep breaths. But sometimes I intentionally don't take deep breaths, and wait to see if there will be a problem or not, and often there is no problem, unless the situation is really bad. So I started today paying attention to the throat, and it immidietly caused some energetic sensation in the back and chest to arise. I think if this knot in the throat opens, it can have big results, I hope positive ones.
Enough for now...
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 2437 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 10:20 AM

Yesterday morning I went to bank for my card, but it didn't go well since my ID card also has expired. I need more work to do with that. All my life seems to be expired. It's good that out bodies don't expire!

This, and a few negative things that happened, caused an intense anxiety to arise. I wanted to start to work after I came home, but there was so much negativity emotionally, and also aches and pains in the body, and difficulty with breathing. Breath cycles were becoming shorter and I needed to take deep breaths frequently. So I lied down, and opened a talk by Jack Kornfield, to to try to relax. It was helpful but not so much. So I added another track by him, and for 2-3 hours I was just listening to him and Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and trying to relax, that after some hours I fell asleep.

After waking up at night, body had more pains, and energy level was very low, and I had difficulty breathing. I just tried to practice and relax, and practice and relax, but the breath kept becoming shorter. I knew that this is now because of sickness and it's because of anxiety, but when practice didn't change it, I started thinking that maybe it's not just anxiety and lungs have problem too. So time for big guns. I took half a pill of 0.5 mg Alprazolam, and opened a guided meditation by Thick Nhat Hanh, which I love that talk by him, and practiced with it twice, then I opened Namo Avalokiteshvara chant, played by Plum Village team and Thich Nhat Hanh sitting in the center of it, which I love that too, and finally I started relaxing, and breath became almost normal.

This anxiety and difficulty breathing was the initial reason that made me look for meditation and start meditation practice. For about 3 years I had anxiety almost everyday. I was a pretty calm and relaxed person for most of my life before that. By then in a period of 1-2 years, several big things happened, very bad ones, which one of them included an overdose and a panick attack as a result, that I couldn't breath, and I thought I am dying litterally, but I ended up in hospital for two days (Actually I dodn't remember many of the dates related to that thing accurately, since I was out of my mind), and it took my body several months after that to come back to normal situation. One years passed, which was very good and stable in a lot of ways, and I guess that stability provided the space for this negative emotions to come up. So one night I noticed tension in the abdomen, and difficulty with breathing, and it was a good start, that after that, for around 3 years I was struggling with it in a daily basis. I tried some medicine, which were not helpful in the long run, but in the time of panick, I had to take them, and eventually I started taking them everyday. The anxiety was only increasing, to the point that one day I became really sick, just sweating and my whole body was tense, and I wasn't able to walk. It took me about an hour to be able to get up and walk. So I started looking for other options, and found Shinzen. It took a year or so that I started to have breaks in the anxiety, and be relatively peaceful at some days. It got better and better after that, and in this past year, I had very few intense episodes. Now I had two intense ones in this past 10 days. Much more work needs to be done it seems.

Last hours in practice, there were energetic sensations in the base of spine. Instead of painful sensations that I had in that area for several months now, this time they were subtly pleasant and tingly.

Oh, I forgot the main thing that I wanted to write: It seems that this difficulty with breathing when having anxiety, is related to the other sensations that arise in upper body. Specially some contraction arise in the throat, as if there is a knot there, or like when you are about to cry, and that feeling in the throat before crying, and also there is tension in the abdomen that it feels like it's filled with rocks. These sensations seem to give the impression that there is a shortage of breath so I have to take deep breaths. But sometimes I intentionally don't take deep breaths, and wait to see if there will be a problem or not, and often there is no problem, unless the situation is really bad. So I started today paying attention to the throat, and it immidietly caused some energetic sensation in the back and chest to arise. I think if this knot in the throat opens, it can have big results, I hope positive ones.
Enough for now...

This is fantastic, Siavash! I'm cracking up too! Dukha loves company!

We will survive. Practice on, bro.

emoticon
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Thank you Tim :-)
Yes we will survive for sure. Wish to see you and all of us happy always.

Dukha loves company

We say in Turkic languages: The one who goes to hell, looks for a company to go together!
Metta.

Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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It was my mother's expression for me, which she always said HER mother would tell her, when as i kid i got theatrically miserable: "Misery loves company."

God bless both those woman.

We say in Turkic languages: The one who goes to hell, looks for a company to go together!


Metta.


 i'm delighted that there is Turkish correlation for this deep dharma truth. It may actually underlie all this bodhisattva stuff!
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Tim Farrington:
It was my mother's expression for me, which she always said HER mother would tell her, when as i kid i got theatrically miserable: "Misery loves company."

God bless both those woman.

We say in Turkic languages: The one who goes to hell, looks for a company to go together!


Metta.


 i'm delighted that there is Turkish correlation for this deep dharma truth. It may actually underlie all this bodhisattva stuff!
emoticon


emoticon emoticon
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Siavash, be well!
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Chris Marti:
Siavash, be well!

Thank you Chris :-)
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Friday, April 24, 2020, 7:29 AM

Just writing this to have it recorded since I forget it so easily.

Everytime that there is this kind of struggle and suffering for some time, at first there is a period of trying to fix it, and as long as there is that attitude, there will be suffering, and even more. Then it gets to a point that you (I) lose the hope of being any fix. There is no way out. Complete hopelessness of being any fix. And there is a freedom in that hopelessness, that you don't need to do anything anymore. And when you stop trying to fix it, it starts to change. Just being instead of doing. And that's fucking hard before getting to that point.

-- Edit:
And always there is this question that, are these emotions related to the nanas? I mean specifically to the dark nanas, oh sorry I mean dukkha nanas. But always when this question comes to my mind, immediately this other question comes too, that says, how do you know that you have crossed A&P or not? And I have no answer to any of them.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Friday, April 24, 2020, 11:07 AM

I did a longer sit, two plus hours I think, and I started by focusing on this sensations in my throat, that feels like I am suffocating, which I think is one of the main causes for this difficulty with breathing. After about 20-30 minutes, I noticed that I have become concentrated, and unlike always that there is a part of mind that is aware of other things beside the meditation object, and also comments on everything and also on meditation object, but now there was less of that, and these sensations of breathing in the throat was most of what I was aware of. So I tried for first jhana with Leigh Brasington's instruction. And started focusing on my butt and perineum. Some pleasant sensations started to arise, but not much, and as I sat, the pain in the but started to increase, but I kept focusing. After about an hour or more I guess, bursts of laughter arose, with some sense of joy or happiness, not intense though, similar to when I was practicing with Leigh's instruction near two years ago, that these bursts of laughter would arise. I continued and it continued like that for some time. There was also lots of vibrations in the head, and bursts/explosions of bright lights, but they are there most of the time when practicing. Also for the last hour of sit, I started to feel and remember pleasant tastes and smell, that started by feeling a nice perfume, then some pleasant smell related to childhood experiences in my grandparents village, and taste of some fruits and etc. Again these were happening at that period that I was doing similar practices.

Although each time after having some laughter or pleasant something, I get feelings/thoughts that "this is wrong", but I think I need to do more of this, and I think I have necessary level of concentration to have good/deep-enough jhanas, if I continue to do it.


After that...
I read a funny comment on here in another thread, and laughed, then immediately I noticed a feeling/mind-state of guilt for laughing, as if I should not laugh, that's not a right thing to do, then this thought came to mind that, hey, there is a real problem here, but then I noticed, again, this voice that is telling "there is a real problem here", this is still the same part of me that tries to keep me not laugh, and pretend that always there is a problem, or there should be a problem, so I should not laugh and be happy. So, fuck you all my parts :-D .
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 2437 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Friday, April 24, 2020, 7:29 AM

Just writing this to have it recorded since I forget it so easily.

Everytime that there is this kind of struggle and suffering for some time, at first there is a period of trying to fix it, and as long as there is that attitude, there will be suffering, and even more. Then it gets to a point that you (I) lose the hope of being any fix. There is no way out. Complete hopelessness of being any fix. And there is a freedom in that hopelessness, that you don't need to do anything anymore. And when you stop trying to fix it, it starts to change. Just being instead of doing. And that's fucking hard before getting to that point.

-- Edit:
And always there is this question that, are these emotions related to the nanas? I mean specifically to the dark nanas, oh sorry I mean dukkha nanas. But always when this question comes to my mind, immediately this other question comes too, that says, how do you know that you have crossed A&P or not? And I have no answer to any of them.

Siavash, my friend, i am cheating a bit on this response and sending you a piece from my journal a few years back, as i was going into depression after my last big mania:


far from being a panacea, meditation is more like a pan-toxic: an intensifying of every existing morbid condition into ever-sharper desperation and finally fatality; it is, as Kierkegaard said of angst, a sickness unto death. Meditation is existential anxiety in its most concentrated and purest form: void meets girl, void loses girl, void gets girl back. We don’t sit down to meditate because we are happy; the Buddha did not set out on his path because he was happy. He set out because he woke up, after a pampered royal childhood, to the reality of sickness, aging, and death. Meditation is grief work: it is the slowly dawning realization, not only of how bad things are, but that they are only going to get worse; not only that the worst may happen, but that it is in fact most certainly going to happen, and relatively soon. Those we love are going to suffer, and vanish before our eyes, unless we suffer and vanish first. To sit to meditate is to begin the journey out of denial of that suffering and vanishing, toward the utter mystery of acceptance within the abyss of all-encompassing loss.
 

        That will be $250, please.


p.s. i see that you are already active this morning while i was getting this reply together! emoticon So i am off to sit, and after that will probably flood this poor thread of yours with another round of Advice from the Clinically Insane, lol. Ask Chris Marti if you want to know how to block posts from me as a nuisance. It won't be the first time, my friend, and i could never take offense at a fellow crack-up guy doing what he feels he has to just to survive.

metta, tim
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

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Hey Tim :-)
Siavash, my friend, i am cheating a bit on this response and sending you a piece from my journal a few years back, as i was going into depression after my last big mania:
Thanks.

far from being a panacea, meditation is more like a pan-toxic: an intensifying of every existing morbid condition into ever-sharper desperation and finally fatality; it is, as Kierkegaard said of angst, a sickness unto death. Meditation is existential anxiety in its most concentrated and purest form: void meets girl, void loses girl, void gets girl back. We don’t sit down to meditate because we are happy; the Buddha did not set out on his path because he was happy. He set out because he woke up, after a pampered royal childhood, to the reality of sickness, aging, and death. Meditation is grief work: it is the slowly dawning realization, not only of how bad things are, but that they are only going to get worse; not only that the worst may happen, but that it is in fact most certainly going to happen, and relatively soon. Those we love are going to suffer, and vanish before our eyes, unless we suffer and vanish first. To sit to meditate is to begin the journey out of denial of that suffering and vanishing, toward the utter mystery of acceptance within the abyss of all-encompassing loss.
Yes, of course. To deny the suffering, is worse than the suffering.

That will be $250, please.
Sorry, I can't do that. You need to first ask them to remove the sanction! ;-)

p.s. i see that you are already active this morning while i was getting this reply together! emoticon So i am off to sit, and after that will probably flood this poor thread of yours with another round of Advice from the Clinically Insane, lol. Ask Chris Marti if you want to know how to block posts from me as a nuisance. It won't be the first time, my friend, and i could never take offense at a fellow crack-up guy doing what he feels he has to just to survive.

metta, tim


Thanks for the advice (reminder), you are welcome to write on this wall how much you like :-) .

(Just a note, since I am lazy (sorry! :-D), and have low energy these days, I might be slow in reading and responding to longer comments, sorry for that too!)
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 2437 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Siavash:
p.s. i see that you are already active this morning while i was getting this reply together! emoticon So i am off to sit, and after that will probably flood this poor thread of yours with another round of Advice from the Clinically Insane, lol. Ask Chris Marti if you want to know how to block posts from me as a nuisance. It won't be the first time, my friend, and i could never take offense at a fellow crack-up guy doing what he feels he has to just to survive.

metta, tim


Thanks for the advice (reminder), you are welcome to write on this wall how much you like :-) .


You will regret that permission, my friend. emoticon But thank you.

(Just a note, since I am lazy (sorry! :-D), and have low energy these days, I might be slow in reading and responding to longer comments, sorry for that too!)


I will try to keep my shit short.

T: That will be $250, please.

S: Sorry, I can't do that. You need to first ask them to remove the sanction! ;-) 


[obscene, profane, remarkably detailed howl of frustration deleted, per DhO forum rules.]

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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 1200 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
[obscene, profane, remarkably detailed howl of frustration deleted, per DhO forum rules.]

Yes. Dukkha.
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 1200 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Saturday, April 25, 2020, 12:51 AM

I think it might be good that for sometimes, I use the strategy that Shinzen calls "Escape into discomfort". Although I don't mean it exactly the same way Shinzen defines it, but the phrase is catchy. I notice it many times, that the comfort zone that I've defined for myself, is very very small and narrow, and anything that happens that is outside of that zone, gives me huge discomfort for a good long period.

An hour ago I saw water drops are leaking from the bathroom' ceiling. I told the neighbour in the upper floor, and they said they'll fix it. They didn't say when, and I didn't ask them, since if it was me, I would do it tomorrow, but I guess they won't do it tomorrow. But it's not my problem, it's their problem and they should fix it, and I have another bathroom that I can use that one for as long as I want. But this gives me huge discomfort as if I am hanging from my finger.

There are many many examples like that, much smaller things than that, that give similar kind of discomfort, because I always try to be away, far away from anything that is not in that comfort zone, and obviously this has a big impact in all aspects of my life, including meditation. So maybe it would be a good idea to go towards those things that are not in that zone, or maybe not. I don't know what would be the result. But I may try it.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 2437 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Saturday, April 25, 2020, 12:51 AM

I think it might be good that for sometimes, I use the strategy that Shinzen calls "Escape into discomfort". Although I don't mean it exactly the same way Shinzen defines it, but the phrase is catchy. I notice it many times, that the comfort zone that I've defined for myself, is very very small and narrow, and anything that happens that is outside of that zone, gives me huge discomfort for a good long period.

It's all relative, I think, with comfort zones. It doesn't matter how big or small yours is, what matters is finding a way to work at the place where the tension can be felt, but is neither painful, nor escape into slackness. Like hatha yoga: turn the breath to the fine balance that is your own real working limit, and let the breath flex you there. Gradually, your range expands. It's the only way to do it without hurting yourself.

What is your practice right now?

I always try to be away, far away from anything that is not in that comfort zone, and obviously this has a big impact in all aspects of my life, including meditation. So maybe it would be a good idea to go towards those things that are not in that zone, or maybe not. I don't know what would be the result. But I may try it.


Again, i think the heart of the whole comfort zone issue is not to violate it egregiously, but to, as they say in American idiom, "push the envelope." And you can push it gently, most of the time. Sometimes the envelope seems to push YOU, and those are learning crises, but the general method is gentle and steady and relentless practice for an eon or so, and then for another eon. An eon here, another eon there, pretty soon you find that you've put in some real time, and that your comfort zones includes the Andromeda Galaxy and points west.
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 1200 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Yes, I agree totally. It should be gentle, otherwise it wouldn't work. At least for me it should be gentle. I've tried it in the past, and when it's not gentle, the result is not good at all. It seems that the hard part of it for me, is the steady part. Doing it consistently. After I start some small change, I either forget it after sometime, or get tired or bored of it. There have been cases where I was consistent with it, and they have led to good results, but often that's not what happens.

What is your practice right now?


For this past 1-2 months, in meditation, I've been mostly using the breath and body sensations as the object. Before that for some months I was using mostly visuals and Fire Kasina, thoughts and body/breath sensations.

Last several days I've decided to deepen my concentration and stability of attention, so currently I am doing that mostly with body/breath sensations and sometimes with the murk (The colors in front of the closed eyelids and etc). Probably in this week I try to have some jhanas if I can. With the jhanas, I get concentrated, and I have lots of energetic sensations/pitti, but joy/happiness doesn't arise, and it seems that is the thing that I need to work on, to get to jhanas.

Often 1-2 hours of sitting practice, or more. And the same practices while in bed before falling asleep.

Thanks.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 2437 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Yes, I agree totally. It should be gentle, otherwise it wouldn't work. At least for me it should be gentle. I've tried it in the past, and when it's not gentle, the result is not good at all. It seems that the hard part of it for me, is the steady part. Doing it consistently. After I start some small change, I either forget it after sometime, or get tired or bored of it. There have been cases where I was consistent with it, and they have led to good results, but often that's not what happens.

What is your practice right now?


For this past 1-2 months, in meditation, I've been mostly using the breath and body sensations as the object. Before that for some months I was using mostly visuals and Fire Kasina, thoughts and body/breath sensations.

Last several days I've decided to deepen my concentration and stability of attention, so currently I am doing that mostly with body/breath sensations and sometimes with the murk (The colors in front of the closed eyelids and etc). Probably in this week I try to have some jhanas if I can. With the jhanas, I get concentrated, and I have lots of energetic sensations/pitti, but joy/happiness doesn't arise, and it seems that is the thing that I need to work on, to get to jhanas.

Often 1-2 hours of sitting practice, or more. And the same practices while in bed before falling asleep.

Thanks.

I think you're good, then. There are people with an eye on you here who will be able to suggest specific techniques, approaches, attitudes, ideas, reading at the right moment, but you are doing the fundamental work. If you can at all anchor your practice to a good ritualized time each day, I have found that helps me. Then it's an appointment you keep with your commitment, and even a kind of habit, and when the dark times come, you can run on sheer going-through-the-motion ritualized practice as a result of that established rhythm better than leaving it to inspiration or something, because inspiration will dry way up at times, and those are the times that often need the most gentle persistence in practice.

And the rest, you're doing it--- read for inspiration, hang out with saints, laugh when there's room to laugh, and if there's not room to laugh, slow down even more until it opens up. Chris likes the cut of your job, my friend! Your jib is cut just right.
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Siavash, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 2

Posts: 1200 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
There are people with an eye on you here who will be able to suggest specific techniques, approaches, attitudes, ideas, reading at the right moment,
I just don't know how to thank these people. Bow, bow, bow. Gratitude from my heart.


If you can at all anchor your practice to a good ritualized time each day, I have found that helps me.
Yes. I try to do that. By having a formal practice time before sleep each day (For near 3 year now), and also while in bed. Other times I try to practice as much as I can, if it doesn't feel forceful.


Then it's an appointment you keep with your commitment, and even a kind of habit, and when the dark times come, you can run on sheer going-through-the-motion ritualized practice as a result of that established rhythm better than leaving it to inspiration or something, because inspiration will dry way up at times, and those are the times that often need the most gentle persistence in practice.
Yes, that's what I notice too. In dark times, it's so easy to forget basic things, but having good habits helps most.


And the rest, you're doing it--- read for inspiration, hang out with saints, laugh when there's room to laugh, and if there's not room to laugh, slow down even more until it opens up. 
I try. And I appreciate reminding these. A lot of times having these reminders are the most important thing I (we) need.


Chris likes the cut of your job, my friend! Your jib is cut just right.
I love you and Chris, honestly. And I appreciate you both for who you are.


Thanks.

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