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explanatios
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12/23/19 1:12 PM
I wanted to see if a few people could give some explantions of terms used in MCTB? I think I undestand some of them but wanted to ge a clearer idea from other people


Here is just a piece of where this is coming from:

"Do not try to power through this: that’s first vipassana jhana. Do not try to go for really tight, narrow, fine, tingly frequencies that are all about a center of attention and not about background: that is second vipassana jhana. Re-observation comes at the peak of the third vipassana jhana: it is broad, rich, chaotic, and about the “background” and issues of synchrony and asychrony. “Background” here means those things we typically think of as on “this side”, as well as those sensations that tend to frame objects in the center of attention, as well as just those sensations that are more in the direction of “us”.

"This side" (what is this side?)

"Back ground" (Where am i noting the background?)

"Goind wide and through" (where is wide and through?) (what does going wide mean?)

"Inclusive" (inclusive meaning all sense doors ar a few at the same time being focused on?)

"The center of attention compared to the periphery" (how does this look in noting practice)

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/23/19 5:15 PM as a reply to Dustin.
This is tricky stuff because center and background changes as you look. So if you look out the window and see a tree, the center of attention is the tree and everything else is context. And if you look at the window pane, everything else becomes context. But if you ask yourself "what is it that is seeing the tree?", you'll probably notice that your vision goes wide and your eyes sort of glaze over a little as you start thinking of "yourself". Now the entire visual field is background and your sense of being a self is in the center of attention. 

So you never quite get to "look at" the background, it's always in the background... except sometimes you can catch it by "going wide" and "inclusive". So if you look at the tree the eyes focus, then ask "what is seeing the tree?" the vision widens and eyes glaze, and then say to yourself, the entire field of perception is mind and I am the samething as mind  --- then sometimes you vision goes wide but there is also sharpness or present-ness. It has a sense of space and depth.

Kinda wierd and interesting, eh?

This works in noting practice by getting a sense that we often focus on noting things in the center of attention... which is very interesting for a while, but then it begs the question: what is the observer of all of this? What am I? And so we'll start noting the aspects of what seems to be the sensations, urges, emotions, and thoughts of being an observer. 

But our sense of self starts falling apart when we put it under observation -- because suddenly we're exposing all the sensations, urges, thoughts, and emotions that we use to orient our self in this world. All of a sudden we realize, maybe unconsciously, if I'm looking at the center, then I'm not the center am I?, where am I?, and a primal kind of panic happens.

During reobservation, all of our insecurities come out because the normal way of being a self, which we try to protect by kinda ignoring it or overlooking it, is now being exposed as not really the self. We think the self is the center of experience, but those aspects of experience that make us feel in the center are now being seen ---- so where are we? What is the I? Time to panic! Paaaaanic!!! emoticon

Initially the mind can't handle this exposure, this lack of center/solidity --- so we sort of freak out, but that happens by having all of our psychological defense mechanisms being triggered. In other words, the mind protects itself by doing it's usual kinds of freakouts. That's why reobservation is so provocative. That's also why reobservation is so specific to a person. Each person has there kind of classic primal feelings of freaking out --- probably created back when were a baby and we felt our parents go away --- and each person has there own psychogical patterns of freaking out --- defense mechanism created as children and teenagers as we learned to "protect our identity/self".

And that's why reobservation is shitty, but one of the best teachers out there. We simply have to watch ourselves squirm, meanwhile realizing that all we're doing is sitting down in a safe place and watching our mind freaking out. emoticonemoticon


Hope this helps a little. It's harder to describe than to directly experience. It's very normal and common, it's just that it feels "so close" that we overlook how all of this is happening.

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/23/19 9:31 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Kinda weird and interesting for sure. The way you put it makes a lot of sense. I always kind of thought that going wide or noting the background was happening throughout the entire practice but if understand you correctly we are actually just getting glimpses of the background?

And when I think about what I catch in the background or on the periphery it would fear, wanting out, discontentedness , tiredness etc, the stuff that comes up in reobserevation when I'm noting things like itching, hearing, seeing etc,etc... is that kind of what your getting at?

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/24/19 5:38 AM as a reply to Dustin.
The things that are important to note in reobservation are the things that tend to convey "I am having a hard time during this stage known as reobservation and I want to either get through it quickly or quit practicing". What sorts of things in our experience make reobservation known as reobservation?

(Remember that the dark night stages are not simply called dissolution, fear, misery, disgust, desire for deliverance, reobservation --- but rather "knowledge of dissolution" "knowledge of fear" etc. In other words, to really "get" a stage you need to do more than simply experience it, you need to have the knowledge of it, the knowing of how these stages are created by mind. You need get "meta" and understand both objective experience and how the subjective experience is created. So the urges, emotions, and thoughts are almost more important than the sensations after you have developed a foundation of mindfulness. Many people stay on just sensations, so they remain trapped by urges, emotions, and thoughts.)

If it was me, here's what I would be probably be noting:

itching, hearing, seeing, resistance, avoidance, frustration, mapping thought, desire for deliverance thought, anquish, hoping, anticipating, struggling, exhaustion, worry, waiting, looking, searching, emptiness, loss, frustration, anger, annoyance, mapping thoughts, practice thoughts, confusion, futility, annoyance, turbulance, buzzing, mapping thought, dark humor, shaking, determination, power, strength, hopenessness, determination, weakness, giving up, hopelessness, pain, tingling, quitting thought, breathing, sitting, sitting, remembering thought, pressure, crying, crying, crying, release, relaxing, pleasure, calm, sobbing, mapping thought, light humor, joy, calm, calm, mild sorrow, bittersweet, mapping thought, practice thought... 

and if it was reobservation with high "centering/concentration", then it would not really be noted, but rather I would ride out (in other words, "be with") all the wierd vibrations and turbulance and flow of partial thoughts and weird pseudo-emotions that flowed by, almost like an annoying crappy massage of the body and mind...

those are the kinds of notes I make, but make your own. The important thing is to note sensations, urges, emotions, and categories of thoughts.Usually people overlook urges, emotions, and categories of thought in the midst of reobservation because we feel like "I am resisting" "I am avoiding" "I am frustrated" --- so we overlook noting those as _experiences_ because we are identified with them. 

For all of the stages of insight, especially the dark night nanas, we need to make a study of the mind and see how sensations, urges, emotions, and types of thoughts combine to create the apparent solidity of the stages.

The things we tend to overlook are the things "on the periphery" or "in the background" or "on this side" -- because those are the things that we identify with as self, even though they are actually just sensations, urges, emotions, and thoughts that are not (normally) in the center of attention.

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/24/19 2:35 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Wow! Thanks for all the info! Since your on a roll can you add what we're looking for when in working through eq? 

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/24/19 3:29 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Dustin:
Wow! Thanks for all the info! Since your on a roll can you add what we're looking for when in working through eq? 

Yes, Shargrol does deliver some gems and I'd be interested in the EQ aspect too. No pressure, of course.

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/24/19 3:55 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Dustin:
Wow! Thanks for all the info! Since your on a roll can you add what we're looking for when in working through eq? 

So it's very very very important to NOT look for these things, but rather simply notice what actually occurs when we sit. If you go looking for the next nana based on what "should" be next, all you're actually doing is avoiding the present moment. You have to trust that a clear perception of this moment is a door to a door to a door to a door. If you try to skip over this moment and find the next door, the next door won't appear. You see what I mean? The instructions are to note something that is occuring in this moment, without greed, aversion, or falling into fantasy. Just note. Having a problem, then just note THAT! emoticon Very simple, but hard to do because of our impatience. But once you really get the instructions and commit, then practice really takes off. Just note something in the present moment. Noting can be fast or slow, but one note per outbreath is about right for most people.

You can even state (out loud) your intention before begining: I will sit for 5 or 10 minutes and get settled, then I will note an aspect of my experience on each outbreath for the next 30 minutes. Simple and direct. Have a clear intention, say it, do it. 


So reobservation to equanimity...

frustration, giving up thoughts, regrets, crying, relaxing, feeling done, feeling like no longer practicing, practicing thoughts, restlessness, frustration, giving up, relaxing, peace, peace, ease, boredom, frustration, struggle, discipline, mapping thoughts, giving up, feeling bored but calm, feeling calm, relaxed, quiet, enjoyment, happy, giving up, peaceful, letting go, letting go, just sitting, just sitting, no practice, just here, here, present, questioning "is this presence?", funny, joy, chucking, laughter, relaxing, simpleness, simpleness, relaxing, calm, space, spaciousness, ease, ease, space, calm, ... etc.

Equanimity is funny because the notes naturally become spaced waaay part because the calm and spaciousness and simpleness is so "full". Noting seems really extra, but the nature of equanimity also means that noting can't really mess it up either. Some people keep noting, other people just kind of focus on feeling present in their body... and eventually it feels like we are really centered and present in our mind.

That's it. Simple. So simple that it's kind of funny how hard it is to follow instructions and do the simple practice. emoticon

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/24/19 4:28 PM as a reply to shargrol.
This is what I love about vipassana. If you screw it up, then just note it, and then you are back in the game. If you screw that up, just note that. Every screw up is a new chance to do great vipassana. Reobservation is an abundance of new chances.

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/24/19 9:11 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Well said!

RE: explanatios
Answer
12/25/19 9:10 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks again Shargrol! Great info to work with.