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Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments

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I thought it would be interesting and fun to have a thread where anyone who wants can share about provisional hacks that they find themselves working with, either accidently or with an illusion of being in control. It can be like an open resource thing where we can all borrow ideas from each other and add our own twist or verify or falsify hypotheses. If a thread like this already exists, please feel free to link to it.

I’ll go first (sorry for crossposting this again): Jason Massie was kind enough to tell me that there is such a thing as a ”retreat reset”. Apparently, when on retreat (if you are doing 12-16 hours), regardless of where you are in the maps, after a couple of days or so, you will find yourself in the first nanas. I really appreciate finding out about this, because it explains a lot, and I like the concept. Now to the hack part of it:

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

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/14/20 4:27 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I tried to start a thread like this, but it never got off the ground: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/16682200

May this rebirth be a good one!

One hack is a way I've been experimenting with to confront the slog when you hit persistent mental narratives that are hard to deconstruct. The classic vipassana move would be to take a narrative and chop it into pieces - what does this feel like, look like, sound like, how do these sensory moments arise, change, and cease, etc. But I've found naming the narrative in terms of how it actually presents itself, ie, at the level of fabrications, as a narrative rather than a sensory bundle, can allow for noticing the three characteristics of that.

For example: the concept of "I feel annoyed because I'm trying to meditate and my roommate's being so damn loud in the kitchen," rather than being Piccasoed into "chest tension, jaw tension, image of roommate, image of ignorance, brow tension..." can simply be taken as the entire fabrication of "I feel annoyed because..." and viewed at that level of abstraction. That, too, as a whole, is impermanent, therefore unsatisfactory, therefore not self. In a weird way this creates a sense of fearlessness around the process of fabrication, since it can be worked with at its own level, if that makes sense.

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/14/20 5:01 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Yes, it's Pure Land, which isn't even a practice or tradition I work in, and yes some will dismiss this as "religious", but whenever I have been stuck I have acknowledged my feelings of being lost and asked Amitabha (the buddha who supposedly has pledged to always be on the other end when you ask for help) sincerely and deeply for help with my practice. Forgetting for a moment whatever mechanism one might imagine here, this has always been followed by some breakthrough in insight. 

Thanks Amitabha! emoticon

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/15/20 10:48 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Thankyou Matthew! Sorry that I didn't post this in your thread instead. I didn't know what search words to use in order to find similar threads.

"Feeling annoyed because" as a genre of fabrications is a great note. I do something somewhat similar but note is as "stories" or "papancha". I think you describe it very well, and yes, it makes sense.

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/15/20 10:51 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Thankyou Stirling! That sure sounds much more peaceful than my way of doing it. 

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/15/20 1:26 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thankyou Stirling! That sure sounds much more peaceful than my way of doing it. 

There is a point where you COMPLETELY realize that it has never been "you" doing it anyway.

You can't beat the cycling from illusory path to illusory path, or the extinguising of "self" into submission. The sooner you begin working to give up your false sense of agency and surrender to this moment as the reality of how things are the better, IMHO. emoticon

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/15/20 1:34 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Sure. But in that case, it doesn't really matter whether or not one asks for help either, does it?

I'm curious about the "slam shifting" of nanas and jhanas that Daniel talks about here: https://mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-vi-my-spiritual-quest/54-the-middle-paths/slam-shifting-nanas-and-jhanas/

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/16/20 11:55 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Sure. But in that case, it doesn't really matter whether or not one asks for help either, does it?

It does until it doesn't. Surrender seems to always have value in my experience.

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/16/20 12:11 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
That's not something I would be doing in order to get any new path. I have more than one left, by the way. I would be doing it out of curiosity and for the kick of it. That's probably an immature approach - I'm very well aware of that - but it was good enough for Daniel when he was in the middle paths. Maybe I'm conditioned to be that way. I don't know for sure. I'm pondering it. I have done a lot of surrendering, but the surrendering approach kind of presupposes that there is something there to surrender into, and it's currently a little bit too peaceful to keep me motivated and alert. Maybe I need more of the edginess to move on until I'm ready for the peacefulness, or maybe I'm just one of those immature macho practitioners who enjoy almost frying themselves, I don't know. It could also be just a phase. I just have to find out what works for me. That's what I intended this thread for, the sort of homebaked experiments that maybe are not the best of ideas but still feel like something that one needs to try out. Then we can learn from our own and other's mistakes. 

Of course, I wouldn't really be in control. If that's the direction that my practice takes on, then that was what the universe had set its course on.  It's not like I'm actually choosing. I'm just trying to listen into what is authentic and allow it to happen with as little resistance as possible. 

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/16/20 1:06 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
You will need to learn how to just let it all go - surrender - at some point. It doesn't hurt to practice that.

RE: Weird hacks - common practice log thread for homebaked experiments
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1/16/20 1:40 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I know. But if I'm not that mature yet, there's no point in pretending that I am. I can't base my practice on an ideal if it doesn't keep me going. I'm not saying that's the case. I'm just saying that there are many Esters in this coctail, and it's possible that some of them are in it for the ride and for the joy of exploring the limitations of the human mind, and it was good enough for Daniel and he seems to have turned out allright. So I'm curious, that's all. Still figuring out whether or not an adventurous and unnecessarily macho detour is what the universe has set out for me. And if I'm that immature and impatient and easily bored and wreckless and whatnot, which I don't know yet, I'm afraid I'm more likely to go ahead with it the more people keep telling me it's a bad idea. I would probably be more easily motivated to be mature and peacefully wise if people were to tell me in detail about their own weird hacks that went wrong. This is after all intended as a thread for phenomenology. I appreciate your input, though.