Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
As requested, starting a new log as the old one was getting a little long, and hard to read on some browsers.

Note: Kasina retreat posts are contained in Log 1 linked below, and began on 12/2/19.

Previous log here: Log 1
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Lars, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
Went for dinner with a friend and on the walk there the headlights of cars were sparkling and glowing in a similar way to how they looked on the retreat. When I got home I sat for a while, but the kasina was fairly muted like it was in the subtle phase of the retreat (including the same confusion and thinking it should be something else). Possibly just from going out and being social for a few hours, and not meditating earlier today, more probably because that's just what it is. Even though the kasina is muted with eyes closed, i'm seeing it more with eyes open. Sitting a second time it was similar, but then at one point the black eye appeared more vividly and while it pulsed there was a lighthouse with a golden beam coming out of it and rotating in 3D inside the kasina. I started to get a little restless and the thought "I can stop now, had an interesting experience" arose lol. The greed for novel experiences continues. Also feeling a little expectation, which is usually pretty counterproductive. I'm going to just do some more samatha style 7th and let the wheels wind down a little.
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Lars, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Sat last night and noticed I could see my arms and hands through closed eyelids again, usually after meditating for a bit, opening my eyes for a moment and then closing them again, like the arms became kasina objects from that brief glimpse. During the pulsing eye phase it became very vivid and detailed again, and I noticed the kasina was reacting to emotion and thoughts etc. I played around with moving my fingers, and it reacted to that. Then I tried a very intense mental "kiai!" style shout. That was a bad idea lol, immediately I felt a pain in my head and I got a mild headache. Doing the shout mentally felt like using an airhorn in an enclosed space (which seems to suggest i'm still inferring a boundary between inside and outside).

I also played around with space for a while, which I haven't really done since I learned how to get into 5th. Found a new trick for expanding it. It looked like there was a vague horizon off in the distance and space wasn't fully wide, and I saw one of those folded maps you buy at a gas station lying on an angle in front of me, like it was on a table. It unfolded right, then left, then forward, then back to right etc. As it kept unfolding the space expanded in the unfolding direction until it was like the map was a very wide and deep flat plane in space, and then the map disappeared and there was just that wide open space.
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Lars, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Saw my arms through closed eyelids again, but this time I hadn't opened my eyes briefly before it happened. I wondered if it was some sort of subtle body thing. Also saw more of the "worlds", and again instead of one of them there were many, but not as much as the other night and no tree. However they seemed to be connected by something, like a chunk of swiss cheese with a little world in each hole. Not as much detail as before, and it was all within the kasina instead of full visual field. At one point during the black pulsing eye phase the black dot in the center turned vivid gold for a few seconds and then went back to black. The murk also went more brightly white than usual, like I was falling back into 6th or some other mix of jhanas. I tend to worry less about which one i'm in lately and just be present with whatever is happening.

The headache from the shout last night seemed to come back for a bit, felt like a tight pinching right in the center of the brain. It had an interesting effect though, when I was doing metta today I noticed that I was moving my lips and tongue subtly while reciting mentally. Once I noticed that it decreased significantly and the recitation felt much more clear mentally, like the physical aspect had been taking away from the mental clarity. It felt like I was overly sensitive, like someone with a hangover who cringes at loud noises.
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Lars, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Yesterday I felt aversion to practise, I just wanted to relax and distract myself. It reminded me of my cat when I was a kid. Every year we'd go on a trip up to our cabin in the forest, and we'd put the cat in a travel cage in the back of the truck for the trip. An hour before we left, the cat would always know, and would hide from us because he feared the cage and the journey up to the forest. Once he got up to the forest, he was happier than in the city, but he always hid. Some part of me is digging its heels in. I know it will resolve itself like always, but it's funny how often this happens.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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That thing with seeing through closed eyelids happened to me once, but for me it looked like it was filmed through the type of camera that sees temperature and marks it with different colors. Before I started my daily practice, and in the beginning of it, I couldn't even imagine seeing a hand when I closed my eyes. Vision just wasn't accessible at all. It is so cool how things change. I must admit I'm quite envious of your many visual experiences. I should probably take up fire kasina practice. Earth kasina doesn't change the visual processing that quickly. It helps with the yoga, though. I have become much more stable, physically. 
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Lars, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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The main reason i'm fascinated with kasina practise is how quickly it can build concentration due to the visual feedback. It's like driving a car with a speedometer and gear shift indicator versus a car with no instrumentation. The visual stuff is very cool, but it can also be distracting since the mind is trying to assign meaning to everything *cough* past lives *cough* instead of just being present with whatever is happening. You've described a lot of visual stuff in your log, it might be worth trying to see if it's a practise that would be useful for you. I was very surprised when it unfolded the way it did, like you said it's cool how things change (often in ways you didn't expect).
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Lars, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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No eye injection today, they're delaying it for 6 weeks since eye pressure is fairly low. I'm going to ease into another retreat anyhow, starting by increasing practise time over the next few days/weeks. The last few days have been a couple daily sits with some random mini-sits thrown in (I often close my eyes and just see where the kasina goes). There's been some more of the "worlds" stuff, and things seem to be progressing in more of a fully 3D direction. Also one particular 3 hour sit (I meant to have a nap and it turned into something else) where I felt odd afterwards, the afterglow was very light and dreamy. It felt like I was close to a fruition, it may have been a dip into 8th, not sure. Some part of me continues to resist, but it seems like the intensity is steadily winding down.
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Lars, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Woke up today with a fever and a headache, and then spent some time worshipping the ivory god. Combined with a very intense family member contacting me and dumping some drama in my lap, I was feeling frustrated (more than i've felt in quite a while). It felt a bit like the fountain of mud phase i've gone through a few times. I sat for a while and the frustration kept building, shrinking, and then building again so I eventually looked at it instead of the kasina. I asked mentally "what is there to be frustrated about?". Abruptly the frustration was gone. Just silent clarity (reminds me of Shargrol's "still point" comment in another thread). Then after a while there was a subtle feeling of pushing/pulling, then it felt like a subtle "reaching out" and a thought was grabbed, and then that thought became fuel for the frustration to grow again. Then i'd notice the stress of that growing, the thought was dropped, and the silent clarity returned. Repeated the question, then silence, and another subtle pushing/pulling, etc. What as interesting about it was the "grabbing" seemed very volitional at the practical level. It was odd, like watching mind intentionally choosing fuel to add to the fire of frustration, even as it was annoyed by that frustration. I've seen this before with misery, but it was clearer somehow, the "grabbing" stage in particular.

No longer sits today, I mostly just tried to get some sleep. Seems to have helped, feeling better after a few hours of rest.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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It's great that you managed to let go of that grabbing and frustration. It's amazing when that happens. I don't always find it so easy. Way to go!
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Lars, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
It's great that you managed to let go of that grabbing and frustration. It's amazing when that happens.

I listened to a talk with Kenneth Folk the other day involving "CONR", which suggests that suffering can only exist if there is Consciousness, Ownership, Negative valence, and Reality. In other words we suffer if there is consciousness, a feeling of ownership of the sensations causing stress, an interpretation of those sensations as being bad, and a sense that it's a "real" thing that can hurt us. If any of those drop away, so does the suffering. When I felt that frustration, it was mostly frustration at being frustrated (negative valence and to some degree the others). The initial events which caused frustration were over and done with pretty quickly, but that frustration at being frustrated remained for a while and kept perpetuating itself. Even though I was able to identify it and let it go, it's making me wonder. Frustration happens. Anger happens. The idea that those things are bad and shouldn't happen and must be fixed is what seems to cause the perpetuation of that suffering. It's like seeing a spark, freaking out and trying to get rid of it by throwing gasoline on it, causing a fire. If we just let it be, it tends to just flare up for a moment, and then its gone with nothing to perpetuate it.

It seems similar to the "I must remove the self" thing, that just perpetuates selfing and associated suffering. Maybe "I must remove suffering" isn't so different. More likely i'm overthinking this, i've been napping more than sitting the last couple days.   emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Right. It's like when I seemed to be developing a panic disorder but just stopped because I realized that I was having panic about getting a panic attack. That's just utterly counterproductive, so I refused. 
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Lars, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Right. It's like when I seemed to be developing a panic disorder but just stopped because I realized that I was having panic about getting a panic attack. That's just utterly counterproductive, so I refused. 

When I was a kid I started developing OCD, I would repeat obsessive rituals over and over again because "if I don't something bad will happen". Eventually I realized the obsession was stressing me out, so I deliberately went a day without repeating the rituals. Nothing bad happened. Dropped that crap right there and it never came back lol. Funny how even though I went through that I still eventually developed other more subtle "rituals against bad things".
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Right. It's like when I seemed to be developing a panic disorder but just stopped because I realized that I was having panic about getting a panic attack. That's just utterly counterproductive, so I refused. 

When I was a kid I started developing OCD, I would repeat obsessive rituals over and over again because "if I don't something bad will happen". Eventually I realized the obsession was stressing me out, so I deliberately went a day without repeating the rituals. Nothing bad happened. Dropped that crap right there and it never came back lol. Funny how even though I went through that I still eventually developed other more subtle "rituals against bad things".

Me too!

I think issues like that can often be a way into the practice, because chains of suffering are so obvious that you just can't miss them.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Practise is more of the same last few days. Realized i'd fallen back into doing and striving somewhat, but it's funny because i'm not even sure what i'm striving for. Going back to the simple method of just attending to whatever presents itself.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I mentioned before that there seemed like some resistance to moving forward with practise. I'm no longer sure if it's resistance, boredom or both. I seem to have become bored at some level with the jhanas and kasina stuff (though it still presents itself whether I want it or not). That intense interest and curiosity I had during the retreat seems largely gone. There was a flash of interest in the "worlds" stuff, but grasping after that just caused stress so that dropped pretty quick. The boredom is causing me to seek interesting experiences in the ways I used to, like video games, shows, music, reading etc. However those don't really satisfy either, so there's this blah feeling that's pervasive lately. Amusingly i'm fairly cool with that blahness. It feels like there are two teams, team samsara and team nibbana, and I don't have a strong drive to be on either team (a coin/faces analogy might be more accurate). Becoming disenchanted with "stuff" isn't such a bad thing, but this feels like it's straying more towards DP/DR than genuine equanimity and a lack of clinging.
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curious, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars:
I mentioned before that there seemed like some resistance to moving forward with practise. I'm no longer sure if it's resistance, boredom or both. I seem to have become bored at some level with the jhanas and kasina stuff (though it still presents itself whether I want it or not). That intense interest and curiosity I had during the retreat seems largely gone. There was a flash of interest in the "worlds" stuff, but grasping after that just caused stress so that dropped pretty quick. The boredom is causing me to seek interesting experiences in the ways I used to, like video games, shows, music, reading etc. However those don't really satisfy either, so there's this blah feeling that's pervasive lately. Amusingly i'm fairly cool with that blahness. It feels like there are two teams, team samsara and team nibbana, and I don't have a strong drive to be on either team (a coin/faces analogy might be more accurate). Becoming disenchanted with "stuff" isn't such a bad thing, but this feels like it's straying more towards DP/DR than genuine equanimity and a lack of clinging.

So, one thing to do might be this ... you know how to pay attention to the kasina object. You could try paying attention to the physical world, or the emotional world, in the same way.  You wouldn't need to do this all the time with with strong absoprtion.  Instead, you could just do it occasionally throughout the day, as you think of it. Two or three times a days, for a few minutes each.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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curious:

So, one thing to do might be this ... you know how to pay attention to the kasina object. You could try paying attention to the physical world, or the emotional world, in the same way.  You wouldn't need to do this all the time with with strong absoprtion.  Instead, you could just do it occasionally throughout the day, as you think of it. Two or three times a days, for a few minutes each.

I tried this while standing in the kitchen today. As I stood looking out the window I noticed the trees, then the space around the trees and the birds in the sky. Then I let the visual field defocus and noticed it began to shift and change and strobe etc. Then sounds entered the mix, and I noticed physical sensations, and thoughts, and it all started merging into that flow state i've described previously as THIS (as have others). Then the intensity increased and my head twisted to the left and *blip*. I really wasn't expecting that, it was a nice release, like a fart I wasn't even aware I was holding in.

I doubt this is what you intended from the suggestion somehow, but it did wake me up to something i'm a little amazed I missed. The kasina stuff taught me how to pay attention in a relaxed way that I couldn't previously, but after the retreat I kept applying it to just the kasina. I now realize that skill can be applied to any sensation, I don't need to keep focusing on the same thing. That, and the fact that there's a more panoramic view available in addition to the super close microscope view that used to work so well. It's funny, I recognized that when going on walks and admiring the beauty, but didn't take it with me back to the cushion. Thanks for the reminder!

If there was some other lesson in your suggestion, i'll probably stumble upon it eventually.  emoticon
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Played with this a little more and i'm getting energetic sensations in the body. Watched the kasina like usual for a while. The kasina was very bright and detailed compared to yesterday and had sparks of color in it during the A&P phase. Then I opened up to the other senses and as that expanded I started feeling energy flowing in the body, reminds me of the kundalini opening from a couple years ago. There was excitement and confusion, but it also felt intense in a slightly uncomfortable way (i'm still feeling it now). I remember feeling a little overwhelmed by the intensity after the retreat, part of the resistance i've been feeling may have been a desire to dampen that intensity. In any case this seems to be a new way to play with the levers and gears.

It's funny that apparently I still need a carrot dangling in front of me, but it is what it is. I've seen that clinging leads to becoming and stress, still clinging (though maybe not to the same degree). Learned that expectations rarely line up with what's actually happening, still have expectations (and cling to them lol). Learned that novel experiences are just another thing to cling to, still reacting to novel experiences like a kid getting a toy at Christmas.  emoticon
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curious, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars:
curious:

So, one thing to do might be this ... you know how to pay attention to the kasina object. You could try paying attention to the physical world, or the emotional world, in the same way.  You wouldn't need to do this all the time with with strong absoprtion.  Instead, you could just do it occasionally throughout the day, as you think of it. Two or three times a days, for a few minutes each.

I tried this while standing in the kitchen today. As I stood looking out the window I noticed the trees, then the space around the trees and the birds in the sky. Then I let the visual field defocus and noticed it began to shift and change and strobe etc. Then sounds entered the mix, and I noticed physical sensations, and thoughts, and it all started merging into that flow state i've described previously as THIS (as have others). Then the intensity increased and my head twisted to the left and *blip*. I really wasn't expecting that, it was a nice release, like a fart I wasn't even aware I was holding in.

I doubt this is what you intended from the suggestion somehow, but it did wake me up to something i'm a little amazed I missed. The kasina stuff taught me how to pay attention in a relaxed way that I couldn't previously, but after the retreat I kept applying it to just the kasina. I now realize that skill can be applied to any sensation, I don't need to keep focusing on the same thing. That, and the fact that there's a more panoramic view available in addition to the super close microscope view that used to work so well. It's funny, I recognized that when going on walks and admiring the beauty, but didn't take it with me back to the cushion. Thanks for the reminder!

If there was some other lesson in your suggestion, i'll probably stumble upon it eventually.  emoticon

No that is exactly what I intended.  Unexpectedly quick progress but otherwise exactly as intended.  Except for the fart analogy.  I hadn't intended that.

You can do it in all the sense doors.  All six.  But no rush.  Explore what's happening, and when you get bored, apply it to a new sense door or a frame of reference (body, emotion, mind, dharmas.)

Well done and keep going!

Malcolm
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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curious:

No that is exactly what I intended.  Unexpectedly quick progress but otherwise exactly as intended.  Except for the fart analogy.  I hadn't intended that.


If a certain well respected meditation teacher can describe enlightenment as similar to taking a really satisfying dump, I can describe a fruition as being like an unexpected fart.   emoticon

Thanks again for the nudge.
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curious, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars:
curious:

No that is exactly what I intended.  Unexpectedly quick progress but otherwise exactly as intended.  Except for the fart analogy.  I hadn't intended that.


If a certain well respected meditation teacher can describe enlightenment as similar to taking a really satisfying dump, I can describe a fruition as being like an unexpected fart.   emoticon

Thanks again for the nudge.

Hard to argue with your logic - certainly a new approach to emptiness.  From the eschatological to the scatological.

But happy to be of service.  A minimal contribution compared to all your hard work.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Went to bed last night and couldn't really sleep, while laying there the kasina became incredibly detailed and there was little distinction between kasina and murk, it was just a wide visual field of various objects and scenes. The black/white pulsing disc stage looked different than usual, more fully 3D and vivid color and detail (the whiteness turned blood red and translucent for a while). Instead of pulsing, at one point the black disc turned into a crescent and moved up and down for a while before going back to a black pulsing disc. Then there were creatures, geometry, translucent clouds and flames, environments, people etc. Eventually it looked like I was deep in space looking at a visual field of stars in vivid HD. Then the stars began rotating around the center of the field, and it was amazing how the detail remained high even as it rotated, and then it began to ripple. It was like the stars were projected on an invisible liquid that was rippling. Eventually the rippling decreased and what looked like creases and holes in that space were forming, and the stars were pulled into them, like a black hole. The texture of that starfield stretched as it got pulled in. It's funny that the day after I said i'd gotten bored with the kasina it comes roaring back again with some new tricks. However when meditating this morning it's incredibly muted and shy. I suspect the intensity last night was a strong A&P and i'm back in dissolution again. Or something.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Had some neck and head pain for the last day or so, but it's bearable, no idea if it's a nana or energetic thing (or just a headache). The kasina is still relatively muted so I played with the flow state again a couple of times. Sitting is actually more difficult, for some reason just standing with eyes open and relaxing my eyes starts that syncing much more easily. It didn't lead to fruition but there was a nice flowing energy through the body and relaxed clarity. If it's sunny the next few days i'll probably try it outside, I sometimes just fall into it while going on walks.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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The last few days i've continued to experiment with the flow state. Mind seems more quiet after this, though there are still some small storms of emotion, reaction and sensual desire of various forms. It's getting easier to sink into on the cushion, focusing on visual stuff and space works well with eyes open, focusing on bodily sensations seems to work best when sitting. There's a consistent flowing energy as the state deepens which usually lasts for a while after sitting. Thankfully it's more flowing and smooth instead of the more jolting zappy stuff I experienced earlier in practise. It's interesting though, I still prefer stillness to bliss.

All that said, i'll admit it's a little tough not being somewhat lazy right now, I feel very relaxed and just sitting around doing normal stuff feels fine.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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It took three sits before the kasina began to organize and develop today, not really surprising after being lazy for a bit. Once it got going it began to develop fairly quickly. As usual, corpse pose allowed me to get deeper into it versus sitting in a chair.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Sitting tonight the kasina was still somewhat subtle, but continuing to become more cohesive. There was a surprising amount of color, and lots of sparks in the early swirly DN phase. The kasina also strobed quickly in addition to the swirling. Then it was almost invisible after vj4 and then became more obvious as it pulsed in the transition between vj6>vj7. Sat in vj7 for a while but very subtle visual forms kept coming back like it was going back to 6th (or I was just distracted). Similar to the intense sit on the 14th, the murk is more integrated than usual.

I'm also getting the text and other visuals upon waking again. This morning the text started off fuzzy and then the resolution of the text kept increasing in pulses until I could read it. Whatever it said wasn't obviously meaningful or memorable. There's a short window where i'm aware of it and able to read it, but not so awake that it starts to fade away.
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curious, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Im pretty sure the text says "Luke, I am your father."
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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curious:
Im pretty sure the text says "Luke, I am your father."

Lol, I do find it a little odd that the text presents so often, though it generally seems to be random words. It's like being woken up by a phone call every morning and someone states very intensely "The arm is taco umbrella!" and then hangs up. Yeah, thanks.... i'll keep that in mind.
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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This is familiar stuff to me. My (similar) visions were usually playing cards, and they would flash by very fast with images of my life on them. I also had auditory stuff, which was usually a familiar voice.

Ah, the memories.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I have had the experience of a voice saying some nonsense in my ear, and I have had visions of symbolic tarot cards, with or without text. Many cards, showing up one after the other. Beautiful cards. I wouldn't have minded having art prints of them framed on my wall.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I heard voices during the previous retreat (though they were in a language I didn't understand). Nothing like that lately, and instead of cards I occasionally see what look like ancient scrolls with images or text on them. No text this morning, though as usual the murk was filled with "pixels" of color and sparks as I awoke. I wonder if the text is organizing out of those sparks, like the image recognition part of the brain is kicking in as I awaken.

Last night was a little weird, the kasina usually looks like a flat image in the center of the visual field (until it goes 3D eventually). For the last few days it's been more 3D right from the beginning, and often it looks like it's at an angle instead of facing me. Last night it looked like the flat image kasina was made of paper and got crumpled up into a ball. I could see the detail in it and the flickering etc, but it was twisted and scrunched up in space. Hard to describe.

There was also another "fountain of mud" period during the afternoon and evening yesterday. When I was a kid I was abused repeatedly in a number of ways, but i'd managed to let go of most of that stuff a few years ago (meditation practise helped immensely). I was actually surprised by the degree of freedom from the rumination, anger and self loathing that i'd felt for decades previously. Last night it was like it all came flooding back. Anger, resentment, judgement, contraction, the desire to distract myself from it with mundane stuff etc. Then eventually it passed and I feel pretty normal this morning. Even during the worst of it there was a sense of distance from the storm, like I wasn't fully embedded in that anger and frustration, but it was still surprisingly strong. Previously i've sat in the middle of that storm and soaked it in, last night it was more like watching it from a slight distance while occasionally being drawn in by clinging to a particular memory for a moment.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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A little bit ago I described watching the process of frustration building, and seeing what I described as reaching out (craving) and grabbing (clinging). I didn't use the usual terms because my knowledge of dependent origination is somewhat weak and I didn't want to use them incorrectly. However there's been a nagging feeling that there's something there that I missed. During the retreat I saw how clinging leads to becoming, but when I observed frustration I noticed how the craving leads to the clinging. If the chain is cut off at craving clinging doesn't even arise.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Spent yesterday watching the process of feeling>craving>clinging over and over again. When mindfulness was strong clinging was rare and even craving happened less often. When distracted, craving arose easily and quickly led to clinging and becoming. It was interesting seeing the effects on mind and body during either scenario.
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curious, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Yeah, mindfulness seems to really calm down the DO process.  It's like taking the foot off the gas.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Continuing to watch the DO process while doing the usual stuff. Yesterday I was fairly distracted by mundane stuff, didn't do much formal practise until the evening. Did the jhanic arc up to 7th, and possibly dipped into 8th for a moment since the sit turned out longer than i'd expected. Lots of imagery at one point, it was like the "worlds" were showing up again, but they were tiny and off in the distance. During the pulsing white/black phase there was a lot of detail. I noted gone for a while and then switched to do nothing meditation until the end of the sit.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Just to follow up on the text in the morning thing, saw it again this morning and it was very clear and I remembered after fully waking this time. The text was "DO 201". Interesting that DO was part of it since i've been playing with dependent origination in the last week or so, but I doubt it really means anything. When the 201 displayed, at first it was 20, and then the 1 showed up a second or two later.

Sitting last night was pretty mellow, the usual arc. I'm mixing in the "flow state" stuff into sitting more, switching the focus from the kasina to the body and then back again. There's still some resistance, partly because Nothingness is so quiet and calm. After focusing on the body for a while there's an increase in energy and the intensity of sensation. I still seem to prefer the stillness, which I suppose at some level is grasping after non-existence.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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There's something about my practise and daily life that I haven't previously discussed, partly because I tried to tell myself it wasn't a big deal, but also partly out of shame. However it's become clear that it's a hindrance and it would be skillfull to let it go. When I was younger I went through some nasty stuff, and one of the ways that I "dealt" with it was drugs and alcohol. Over the years I managed to quit taking the dangerous stuff, haven't had alcohol in years, but I kept smoking pot daily and drinking a lot of coffee (to make up for the dullness) as a sort of last crutch that I didn't want to give up. Prior to the kasina retreat, smoking pot would sometimes lead to peak experiences while meditating, but most of the time it resulted in lazyness and inconsistent practise. During the kasina retreat I smoked much less than usual, and mind became clearer. After the retreat I suppose I got cocky because I fell back into it, seemed harmless enough even though I knew I probably shouldn't. It's no longer causing peak experiences, quite the opposite. The more I smoke the more dull I get and the less I practise. The less I smoke the easier it is to recognize THIS and meditate consistently. Other hindrances (particularily misery style impulses) also seem tied to this. The more I smoke the more the other hindrances grow, when i'm not smoking I have barely any interest at all.

It's like i'm using pot to hide from the intensity and weirdness of high EQ (similar to how I used to use harder drugs to blot out memories of abuse or certain people etc), and wallow in misery etc during the dark night. It seems funny to me to have this much difficulty letting it go when i've successfully quit some of the most addictive drugs out there after years of use (though opiates and benzodiazepines took a few tries lol). Understanding DO a little better has helped to put this in perspective a bit. I'll continue to decrease my use of it and hopefully it will resolve soon (when I stop abruptly I tend to get insomnia for days on end which is no fun). Insomnia was one of the original reasons I started smoking, so i'll likely have to deal with that as well (though maybe i'm just one of those folks who don't need much sleep naturally). I want to be honest about this even if it makes me look like a dingus lol. I actually investigated this a few months ago (taking pot smoking as a meditation object basically and noting the results with and without). I never posted it because it's long and very personal, but if anyone feels it might be of benefit i'll post it. I know i'm not the only one going through this sort of thing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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It doesn't make me think any less of you. I sympathize with your struggle. I don't have any drug addictions, but I struggle with many other habits. I easily fall into avoidance issues. I'm not talking about the kind that makes people do lots of other relatively productive stuff instead. I'm talking about the kind where somehow nothing useful gets done and especially some really important stuff gets procrastinated pathologically much. It is related to disability, but it's also entangled with defence mechanisms. This makes me feel guilty and ashamed, because I would really want to do more good, and of course guilt and shame only make things worse. It sounds to me like you have a similar issue with pot. It was the best coping mechanism you could think of for something that was challenging (insomnia can indeed be disabling, and traumas even more so), and it is probably entangled with defense mechanisms and with guilt and shame, which doesn't help you. That's very human. I have never tried pot. I know that it can be bad for executive functioning, and mine is already bad enough (plus addiction is an issue on both sides of my family and I can develop tolerance for alcohole rather rapidly so I'm typically the kind of person that should avoid drugs). I suspect that those effects could be a reason as to why that particular habit is hard to break. The pot itself affects your skills in breaking habits and resisting impulses - which is also a very good reason to quit (I'll admit I'm speaking from fear here, because of my own conditioning). It sounds like a reasonable approach to do it gradually as you are doing, and being open and honest about your difficulties may help. You have already done an amazing job in quitting other drugs. 

Much compassion to you!
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I want to be honest about this even if it makes me look like a dingus lol.

Typing that post here no doubt was difficult and embarrassing and took much courage. I'm impressed, Lars. My hat's off to you, and I wish you the very best as you figure this out (and, I believe you will).
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I'd like to add that I'm impressed too. 
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curious, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I'd like to add that I'm impressed too. 
Me too Lars, that is a great thing to do, of much benefit to yourself and others.  
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Did a lot of reading yesterday, some MCTB and the Shargrol post compilation. Reading stuff like that tends to put me in altered states, just reading detailed descriptions of EQ etc seem to pull me in that direction. Eventually went to bed and watched the arc up to 7th. One odd thing was that the kasina was fairly muted, but the murk was very intense right from the start (within seconds). It was acting like a larger kasina, highly detailed and moving and shifting a lot. At one point it resembled what looked like logs and moss and grass, and then started "dancing". Despite that I instead focused on the whole sensory field and just saw thoughts as thoughts, impulses as impulses etc, and noticed how it all just does itself and is aware of itself. It felt like a really nice flow state and eventually I fell asleep. One thing I forgot to note from the sit yesterday, at one point when I was on the edge of falling asleep it suddenly felt like someone kicked me in the head. It felt like a more extreme version of the head twist or falling forward/backward that often precedes a fruition. It wasn't painful, but it felt distinctly like someone kicked me hard in the head and knocked my head to the side. It had the similar "what the hell?" sudden wakefulness afterwards, but minimal afterglow so i'm not sure if it was actually fruition. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Thanks to both of you, I appreciate it. After posting it felt like a bit of a weight was lifted, like i'd been carrying something around. I'm sure it will work itself out like everything else.

When I went to bed the kasina was almost gone, but then abruptly came back very strongly and the murk was very vivid and detailed. The kasina then turned on an angle and did the "projector" thing from a while back (though the cone of light was grey instead of gold this time). It really is unpredictable lol, I never really know what's going to happen when I sit or lie down.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I've been learning the 6 realms and noting it during daily activity. It's funny how often we are "reborn". Neighbors make noise, a slight flash of anger (hell), drop the anger and decide to make dinner (animal). While waiting for dinner to cook I want to smoke some of the little pot I have remaining (hungry ghost), etc etc. I'll start learning the elements after I understand this a little better.

Tapering pot use is already causing the usual side effects, having trouble sleeping etc. But i'd forgotten how vivid dreams come back. When smoking on a regular basis dreams get muted and I often can't remember them. Without it I tend to have technicolor vivid dreams that I remember. Since I didn't sleep well I decided to have a nap and had a very vivid dream about talking with someone I haven't seen in years. I can still see the room and furniture and the person I was with, it almost felt real, I was confused when I was awakened by a text from a friend. On the way to nodding off, the usual jhanic cycle happened. I can possibly use jhana to help with the insomnia. I rarely fall asleep when meditating, but after leaving 7th I tend to feel very relaxed in body and mind, so it should be easier to drop off into sleep.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Playing around some more with the 6 realms thing, noticing more Human in between the others (and seeing the changes more often). Almost done tapering off pot use, energy level is rising quickly and dullness is fading (almost too quickly lol). Also sweating more and body temperature is rising, along with the lungs clearing out decades of accumulated crud. Seems easier now than the last time I tried, though i'm not done yet. Partly due to practise, but also partly due to minimal contact with friends who would usually want me to join them. Similar to the realms thing, my motivations and views are often influenced by the people i'm spending time with (hungry ghosts want you to be hungry with them, gods want you to be godly lol).
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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emoticon
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Thanks Chris, the realms teaching is an interesting way of looking at experience. Last night I used it as basically a noting practise when sitting. Instead of noting aversion or anger when the neighbors talk loudly at 2am, it's "hell". When I choose to drop it and return to meditation, "human", etc. If i'm using this practise incorrectly, feel free to chime in.

I went to bed early last night, but couldn't sleep. The kasina was very muted and something about that felt wrong (there are those expectations again) and I eventually got up again after an hour or so. Had something to eat and then sat for another 40 minutes at my desk. At that point I realized that even though the kasina was muted, the murk was having a party. After focusing on that for just a couple minutes it turned into more grass and dirt and rocks, very detailed. Then the "camera" panned towards a giant hole in the ground, deep and dark. The edge of the hole was covered by overgrown vines and leaves. Funny how I was so focused on the kasina I didn't even notice the murk was very active. It reminds me of the retreat when I got confused at the transition from the "wow!" phase to the subtle phase. A while back I described that tree with worlds on each branch. It seems like the murk likes to hang out in that territory, even before that occurred I was seeing vines and branches for weeks beforehand. No idea why, though I do like the forest and miss it living here in the city.

At one point the "projector" came back again, but instead of being on an angle away from me, it started turning towards "the center" and the cone was pointing right at me. Felt a little weird.

Today is the last day of smoking, already feeling better, though getting used to the increased energy will take a little bit.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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What a great development! Yay for you!
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Thanks, it's amusing that you're all being more supportive and accepting than my biological family ever has been (and not just on this particular subject). I remember a post a year or so ago where someone claimed that because we generally don't meet each other in person and it's all just text on the internet that we aren't really friends or family to each other, and it's not a real sangha. I'm calling BS.  emoticon
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Was about to go to bed tonight, went into the bathroom and a large mouse or small rat went scurrying past my feet and into my guest room. No idea how it got in, though possibly when I opened the door yesterday to take out the garbage. Having enough trouble sleeping at the moment as it is, funny how unexpected challenges get thrown in the mix. I locked it in the guest room and i'm setting up some barriers to guide it out of there and out the back door in a few hours when it won't make too much noise for the neighbors. For an hour or so all mindfulness of the realms practise was lost as I came up with a plan to evict my new roomate without hurting it, and take appropriate precautions with cleaning etc.

Couldn't sleep again so I did the arc a few times and just rested in that. Energy level is still unbalanced, feels slightly manic. I think i'm going to have to cut back on that precious coffee as well. If experience is any indication, after a few days i'll get a more natural tiredness kicking in once the body stops expecting pot to do the job, and the sleep issues will diminish. Usually takes about 5 or 6 days of minimal or no sleep.

Update: Took about 3 hours, but finally got him/her to scoot. Really didn't want to leave my warm apartment apparently, kept running back into the kitchen whenever it got close to the door. Wily little mouse.
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Lars, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Got about 5 hrs sleep last night, felt pretty good upon waking. Energy level feels a little more balanced. The hindrances related to the pot use seem to be fading now that i've stopped, though time will tell. Sat in the kitchen for a while, a beautiful sunny day so I just enjoyed the feeling of the sun warming my body. After a little while what looked like 4 "fingers" of green appeared in the center of the visual field. It then spread to the entire visual field and the field began pulsing from bright green to darker and then back to bright green (eyes closed). Last night before bed the visual field was flickering like crazy at the periphery, likely related to the decreased amount of sleep the last few days.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Four hours sleep last night, then had a nap this afternoon for another couple hours. When I do manage to sleep dreams are intensely vivid, and I seem to be somewhat lucid during some of them. When meditating the visual field continues to go completely one color a lot of the time, usually green, or red, or sometimes completely white like nimitta.

This seems to be showing anatta in an interesting way, I don't "feel like myself". Apparently a fair bit of the usual selfing process was wrapped around pot (and previously other drugs) use. I know this seems silly to casual smokers, but I smoked chronically for 30 years. Sensation in general is very intense and it's a little overwhelming. I find myself alternating between strong reactivity and calm. There's also a lot of pain in my head and neck, though that could be due to the medical stuff. My head feels thick, like my brain is swelling and pushing against the skull. That could also be because i've dropped my 6 to 8 cups of coffee a day habit down to 2. Haven't lapsed, i'll keep going.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Slept well last night, pretty much a normal night's sleep. Pain is mostly gone, reactivity is lower, calm more pervasive. Doing more samatha versus vipassana seems to help. I'll probably drop the kasina stuff for a little while and just sit.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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The seeming boundary between dreams and waking is getting a little weird. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and the murk continued to dream for a while, then turned into highly animated geometric shapes and lines and then I turned over and went back to sleep. Before waking up this morning I asked myself if I should get up while still in the dream, and I started having difficulty running down a hallway. It was as if that question started awareness of the waking body which interfered with the dreaming body's function.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Slipped a bit, at 4am a couple days ago I still couldn't sleep so I had a couple puffs of weed. Excuses, excuses lol. If anything it just confirmed my feelings on it. Since i'd done something unskillful I decided to do it skillfully, so I watched the effects on mind and body. Heart rate went up, body felt out of sync, feeling of pressure in the head and a very mild headache, mental agitation, inflammation in the joints, lungs felt raspy, etc etc.

Haven't smoked again since then, slept fine last night. Dreams continue to be very vivid and dip in and out of lucidity. In general i'm feeling more like my usual self.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Spoke on the phone today with an advanced meditator whom I respect very much, and they questioned everything about my practise from fruitions to formless realms etc. They were polite, and I totally understood their skepticism, but i'll admit I took it pretty hard. All the usual "roll up the mat" stuff came up, I wanted to stop practise, I wondered if i'd been a fool all this time and had been wasting my time and everyone else's who read my practise logs. I wanted to have a drink or smoke some pot and stop posting here, basically I responded internally like a defensive child after the call was over. I didn't do any of those impulsive things, but the feeling was strong for about an hour. There was also a small quick burst internally of "screw you, I don't need your validation, I know what i've seen" despite trying to be polite during the call. Realistically, because I reacted the way I did, I do still crave validation lol. It's alright, frustration is just frustration, but I was surprised at how intense it was for a short time.
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curious, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Good, nice precise observation.  Those impulses can also be excellent objects for analysing dependent origination from the point of contact onwards. This is quite hard to do at first, as the programming kicks in quite strongly, but very productive if you can manage to spot the impulse arise, see where it is leading, and renounce it.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I had a feeling you or someone else would suggest using it as an object, and you're right. The only reason I didn't succumb to those impulses was by seeing them for what they were (to the best of my ability at least). The high water mark seems to be the moment just before craving arises, previously it was clinging. Seems to get much more subtle any further back on the chain.

To be clear, the person I mentioned didn't do anything wrong, it was all about the reactivity on my part. Thanks to both of you lol.
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curious, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Yes, absolutely.  One point though.  The impulse, the moment just before craving arises, is not just any object.  It is a key point to get additional control over your life. Spotting and renouncing that initial impulse is quite a big milestone, although not specifically on the maps, that I am aware of.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I'm guessing you're talking about vedana? What I see currently is a bit like looking at a countertop with a cookie jar on the counter, and a little kid hiding just out of sight behind the counter. If i'm mindful, he doesn't reach for the cookie jar. If mindfulness is weak or distracted, a little hand reaches up from behind the counter, but when I notice, the hand pulls back and he hides again. If there is no mindfulness, the hand reaches out and grabs a cookie, om nom nom.

The cookie jar can represent either pleasant or unpleasant feelings. Neutral feelings are still more difficult to be mindful of as they appear to be more subtle.
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curious, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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From introspection, there seems to me to be a point midway between vedana and tanha. It's the spark that sets off the reaction. You could argue it is just tanha. But there is a whole series of reactions that to me are somewhat arbitrarily divided up into tanha-updana-bhava-jati, and people use these terms in a somewhat varied fahsion. However, the specific use of the term doesn't really matter - what matters is the precise observation of your reaction. It's like, spotting the moment where the subroutine gets called, and then reouncing it.

Second noble truth: call subroutine passion obsession.
Third noble truth: cancel call. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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curious:
From introspection, there seems to me to be a point midway between vedana and tanha. It's the spark that sets off the reaction. You could argue it is just tanha. But there is a whole series of reactions that to me are somewhat arbitrarily divided up into tanha-updana-bhava-jati, and people use these terms in a somewhat varied fahsion. However, the specific use of the term doesn't really matter - what matters is the precise observation of your reaction. It's like, spotting the moment where the subroutine gets called, and then reouncing it.

Second noble truth: call subroutine passion obsession.
Third noble truth: cancel call. 

Is it okay to just spot the moment and renounce it without doing an in-depth study of every little part of the chain and name them all? I tend to be more of a wave observer than a particle observer. I don't really believe in finding natural entities. I think the way we categorize things affect what parts take shape in our observations. 
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curious, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
curious:
From introspection, there seems to me to be a point midway between vedana and tanha. It's the spark that sets off the reaction. You could argue it is just tanha. But there is a whole series of reactions that to me are somewhat arbitrarily divided up into tanha-updana-bhava-jati, and people use these terms in a somewhat varied fahsion. However, the specific use of the term doesn't really matter - what matters is the precise observation of your reaction. It's like, spotting the moment where the subroutine gets called, and then reouncing it.

Second noble truth: call subroutine passion obsession.
Third noble truth: cancel call. 

Is it okay to just spot the moment and renounce it without doing an in-depth study of every little part of the chain and name them all? I tend to be more of a wave observer than a particle observer. I don't really believe in finding natural entities. I think the way we categorize things affect what parts take shape in our observations. 
Yes.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Good.

---

Lars, about the conversation that caused such distress: You have obviously had a positive development through your practice, and that is worth a lot. Let's say that the person you talked to was right. Would that change anything about your positive development? Wouldn't it rather mean that there is even more positive development to look forward to? 
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Linda: No, that's one of the reasons it faded instead of sticking (and was part of that "I don't need your validation" mental response). I can see the benefits of practise, so if someone else believes or disbelieves, it doesn't really matter in that sense. Almost forgot to add, yes practise will continue so if they're correct I can only imagine it will get better.

Curious: I'm totally willing to accept that i'm missing some detail in the chain, but similar to what I said to Linda, I also can't discount that however it works, i'm now able to let go of feelings of anger, resentment, addiction etc in a way that I couldn't before. It may not be fully developed, but it's sure a nice change from how I dealt with things before. I'll keep at it and see if I can notice that midpoint you're speaking of.
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curious, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars:
Linda: No, that's one of the reasons it faded instead of sticking (and was part of that "I don't need your validation" mental response). I can see the benefits of practise, so if someone else believes or disbelieves, it doesn't really matter in that sense. Almost forgot to add, yes practise will continue so if they're correct I can only imagine it will get better.

Curious: I'm totally willing to accept that i'm missing some detail in the chain, but similar to what I said to Linda, I also can't discount that however it works, i'm now able to let go of feelings of anger, resentment, addiction etc in a way that I couldn't before. It may not be fully developed, but it's sure a nice change from how I dealt with things before. I'll keep at it and see if I can notice that midpoint you're speaking of.

It's just a useful practice, not necessarily an essential requirement.  If you think about it in terms of tanha, it would be the first tenth of a second of the tanha.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Ok, that might explain those "short bursts" i've noticed, like an energetic pulse. I'll keep an eye out.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Did some reading, and investigating of vedana (no offense Malcolm but that seems even more at the core of this than the in-between thing). It helped me to see something that i'd noticed in mundane life, but hadn't noticed about vedana specifically. Essentially it's that contact is "pure" in the sense that it's not fabricated in the same way that vedana is. As an example, when I hear a certain family member's voice saying "Hi Lars" on the phone, for decades it has caused almost instant and very strong aversion, fear, frustration, etc due to past abuse. However, hearing someone else saying the same thing may cause happiness, or indifference. The vedana that follows contact is influenced by memory, concepts, bias etc. It reminds me of the Bāhiya Sutta, in reference to the heard, only the heard. When there is no "self" in terms of clinging to memory, concepts, bias etc after contact, it doesn't influence the tone of vedana, and lead to craving/aversion (and the associated stress). Recently the same sounds that my neighbors have made for months doesn't annoy me like it used to, even though the sounds haven't really changed. What changed was my relationship to those sounds.

This is probably still at the level of intellectual understanding but it seems worth investigating further.
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curious, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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No offence to be taken.  I think these words get used a bit elastically (or maybe I use them slightly wrong).  So whatever floats your boat, er, raft, is great.  emoticon
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I just noticed a deleted post in this thread (I get email notifications). To be clear, that's not why I decided to investigate vedana instead of what you mentioned. Not sure what's going on with the poster, but I hope it's resolved soon. With metta to all involved.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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To elaborate a bit more on the family thing mentioned above, the person I mentioned is actually one of the most difficult tests of progress in my practise. I'm doing my best to forgive that person (and myself for the reactivity) and continue to include them in my life despite what they did in my youth. The strong aversion i've felt in the past has lessened significantly, but i'll admit it's not completely resolved. In a way they've helped me a lot because whenever I think i'm doing better in relation to practise, they test me. If I can speak to them without anger or judgement arising (and being clung to) then ignorance is lessening. If they still cause reactivity, there's still work to do.
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Chris Marti, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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I've removed three posts from this thread by two different posters. Let's try to stick to the topics at hand, please.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Just please remember that it's okay to have boundaries. You are allowed to take care of yourself.
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Yes, it's funny that you just nailed my issues with that person in the last few years. They have absolutely no respect for boundaries, and gaslight whenever I try to resolve our past issues. Trying to have a good relationship with them can be difficult. Whenever i've attempted to establish boundaries they just ignore them and tell me that i'm too sensitive. Even if I tell them "you won't respect boundaries so i'm going to take a break from you for a while" they just get even more pushy and aggressive and attempt to contact me through third parties etc. Because they're family and it's clear that they lack self awareness of their actions, I try to be as forgiving as possible, while also taking care of myself as you mentioned. It's tough, but also useful from a practise perspective.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Good. Very good. 
Tim Farrington, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

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Lars:
Thanks, it's amusing that you're all being more supportive and accepting than my biological family ever has been (and not just on this particular subject). I remember a post a year or so ago where someone claimed that because we generally don't meet each other in person and it's all just text on the internet that we aren't really friends or family to each other, and it's not a real sangha. I'm calling BS.  emoticon


You had me at B.
S!
emoticon
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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
Lol, the events of the last few days hasn't exactly proven me wrong. Things may be going a little sideways, but sanity and compassion seems to be prevailing in general. That's some good S!
Tim Farrington, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Lars:
Lol, the events of the last few days hasn't exactly proven me wrong. Things may be going a little sideways, but sanity and compassion seems to be prevailing in general. That's some good S!

Let it B, then.

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Lars, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
Another call with the meditator I spoke of previously. They seemed to find certain aspects of my practise interesting and promising, but basically suggested that I stop trying to map jhanas etc because apparently I have no idea what i'm doing in that regard lol. I'm taking a hard look at my practise and will basically start fresh as if I know nothing. Not the first time i've had to do that, so despite this being a bit of a hit to the ego, moving on.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
That must have been tough. I think you are brave for sharing it and constructive in your approach.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Lars:
The main reason i'm fascinated with kasina practise is how quickly it can build concentration due to the visual feedback. It's like driving a car with a speedometer and gear shift indicator versus a car with no instrumentation. The visual stuff is very cool, but it can also be distracting since the mind is trying to assign meaning to everything *cough* past lives *cough* instead of just being present with whatever is happening. You've described a lot of visual stuff in your log, it might be worth trying to see if it's a practise that would be useful for you. I was very surprised when it unfolded the way it did, like you said it's cool how things change (often in ways you didn't expect).

Interesting. And wise.

For me visuals tend to come as a total surprise, as if somebody switched on a channel I cannot usually access. It's tempting to take up a serious fire kasina practice to see if that would allow more access, but I already try to squeeze in too many approaches. Also, it may be silly, but I'm a bit worried that it would increase my energetic pain and weird inflammatory reactions to basically most foods and medicines, as the reactions involve heat. 
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Lars, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

it may be silly, but I'm a bit worried that it would increase my energetic pain and weird inflammatory reactions to basically most foods and medicines, as the reactions involve heat. 

I had some energetic/kundalini stuff a year or two ago, and doing fire kasina hasn't caused it to come back. As well, despite the practise being fire kasina I haven't really had issues with heat with the exception of one short period during the last retreat where i'd wake up with my pillow soaked in sweat. I have significant inflammatory issues as well, and they don't seem to have been made worse by it. But of course, follow your own instincts, whatever practise feels right for you.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Lars' Practise Log 2

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
That's good to know. I appreciate it. But sorry to hear that you have inflammatory issues as well, of course. 

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