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Steph's Practice Log Steph S 4/12/20 1:21 PM
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RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/12/20 3:36 PM
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RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/12/20 4:27 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/12/20 4:30 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/13/20 2:55 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/12/20 4:48 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/12/20 5:04 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/12/20 5:09 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/12/20 5:46 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/12/20 8:02 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/13/20 2:14 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/13/20 5:04 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/13/20 9:19 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/13/20 12:38 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/13/20 12:41 PM
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RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/13/20 1:00 PM
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RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/14/20 8:46 AM
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RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/13/20 1:56 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/13/20 2:09 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/13/20 2:14 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/13/20 9:46 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/13/20 2:21 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/13/20 11:09 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/13/20 11:37 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/14/20 1:22 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/14/20 1:09 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/14/20 4:10 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/14/20 8:24 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/14/20 8:37 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/14/20 8:41 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/15/20 10:53 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/15/20 11:04 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/15/20 11:05 AM
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RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/16/20 9:47 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/16/20 4:57 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Olivier 5/16/20 2:20 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/16/20 4:46 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Olivier 5/16/20 5:18 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/17/20 8:36 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/17/20 8:54 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/17/20 10:35 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/17/20 10:43 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/17/20 10:54 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/17/20 11:04 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Brandon Dayton 5/17/20 11:05 AM
Thread Split Chris Marti 5/17/20 11:11 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/13/20 7:37 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/13/20 9:24 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/13/20 12:46 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/12/20 3:34 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/11/20 10:56 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/11/20 11:11 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/11/20 11:19 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/8/20 2:32 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/8/20 4:09 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/8/20 7:46 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/8/20 8:39 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/8/20 11:34 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/8/20 9:53 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/2/20 5:17 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/2/20 6:40 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Noah D 5/2/20 6:06 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/2/20 6:47 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Noah D 5/3/20 12:44 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/2/20 7:03 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Noah D 5/3/20 12:39 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/2/20 7:46 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/2/20 8:15 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/2/20 8:51 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/2/20 8:46 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/2/20 9:04 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/2/20 9:07 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 5/2/20 11:21 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 5/3/20 7:36 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 5/3/20 4:27 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/20 8:09 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Noah D 5/3/20 12:43 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/3/20 4:23 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Tim Farrington 5/2/20 5:40 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log agnostic 4/18/20 12:13 PM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 4/20/20 3:43 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 4/20/20 6:07 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 4/18/20 9:26 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Steph S 4/18/20 10:38 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Chris Marti 4/18/20 11:05 AM
RE: Steph's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 4/13/20 4:36 PM
Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/12/20 1:21 PM
Time to start up a log again with current goings on. This particular entry is going to be pretty long cuz it's covering about a week of practice.

This week I've been working more with the heart, solar plexus, and gut. My general MO for practicing insight has been choiceless awareness, though with a decided bent very heavily towards the headspace. I've placed a hierarchy on that area for so long because I assumed seeing the sensations therein (observer, knower, doer) most clearly was the way to really flipping things over. Even using this as my main vipassana "subject", I still obviously notice sensations for all aspects of experience and in all parts of the body.. but I do tend to get drawn back to the headspace the most. I felt it was time to start focusing in on the other chakras for their wealth of possible insights. Yes, although the observer/doer/knower are hugely important and are some of the more intense trickeries making it seem like there's a sense of self, really, all sensations are equal using the 3 characteristics as a framework. 

I had a good call with Daniel earlier this week, mostly catching up, and a little practice talk mixed in - and he basically said, yeah, if you feel called to that do it. So into the deep seas of the middle chakras I've gone, and it's been, as expected, a bounty. I'll reiterate that I've seen lots of these sensations countless times before, owing to choiceless awareness style, but the resolve to focus there has revealed further subtleties that I've possibly missed before. A particularly good one was what I posted about in my "Fun with Boredom" thread.

I just love seeing the intricacies of how craving/clinging play out in each of the chakras. And how so much of the sense of self is related to tensions in the chakra points. They're also a key in the subject/object split - less from a sense of "observer" vantage point, and more related to the sense of a physical boundary between here/internal and out there/external. This gets really fun to break down, and especially so in the 5th jhana, boundless space. I spent a decent chunk of this week feeling like I was chillin in 5th jhana even between sits. Its afterglow lasts for quite a while for me.

And this was where I went in and got really inspired by Chris Marti's practice blog from KFD. Someone copied some of Chris's log in another thread about his flip to 4th path when he saw that everything was just right here this whole time, and the wondering what else there was to do, that striving is what was keeping him from seeing it. I feel that intensely, friends. Not saying I'm on the verge of 4th path, btw (how would I even predict that?). But earlier this week I had a real fucking fit about what else there was I have to see because I had felt like I've investigated every type of sensation known to humankind - countless times each, seen dependent origination at work, seen the 3 characteristics at really deep levels, etc. And so, the striving, the striving is it.

Life is meditation, often a moving meditation, often a sitting meditation. But to live the full life as it's a perpetual meditation. "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." Please excuse the cliche bringing up of probably the most famous Zen koan, but it fits. In said 5th jhana-y afterglow, I sat outside on my back stoop in the sun. Slight breeze, neighbor playing jazz on the radio as he did yardwork, birds chirping, purple and yellow wildflowers in the grass - fluxing, boundless, perfect interplay of all sensations just dancing with eachother, clear, dazzling, doing their thing. Living meditation. The concern for how close or far from whatever path, maps, that just out of reachness, the lunging all mostly out of mind for the time being. 

Came back in a bit later and did another sit. When my concentration is really sharp (and it is right now) I can rise up the 8 jhanas in about 10 minutes - just a fancy mind trick. But when I use lovingkindness as my object, I want to stick around for a little longer and explore. I mentioned elsewhere about the continuum between straight up vipassana and pure concentration and how it's always a hybrid for me. But y'all, when I use lovingkindness as an object, I can get much closer to the pure jhana end. This is unexpected, but maybe has something to do with it not being all about relative reality "me" and my desires in meditation and my own striving. It's about the ending of suffering for everyone - May all beings be liberated from suffering. Not just for Steph just because ending suffering for me sounds awesome and wild and interesting. Anyway, pretty hard jhana here. 

Then onwards and got into what I think is 7th jhana. I've never been great at staying in 7th or 8th for too long. Feel free to chime in anyone and tell me if this sounds like 7th and it lasting beyond my sit. The inability to focus on anything in particular is a little disorienting already (I know some find this jhana refreshing, but I find it weird), but take it off the cushion and hoo-boy. I was watching repeats of the French Open on the Tennis Channel and could not find where to focus. My "mind" somehow lost itself and didn't know where to go. Even though stuff was registering and I could understand the tennis match and chat with my husband, it still had this weird lack of focus. Like where did the attention wave go? It's like "attention" would dart around like it didn't know where to look. Interesting place to visit, wouldn't want to live there. Good thing jhanas are fabricated & temporary so I don't have to live there. heh. Did some rising up the jhanas this morning - and curiously leveled out around 6th and veered towards insight then.

That's about all I got for this week. Will keep everyone updated. I'll try to do more of a one day at time format so each post isn't so long. Feel free to give any feedback or comments if anything calls to you.


RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/12/20 2:09 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Im subscribing to this Log just because I had your Avatar Picture showing up for the last 2 days in my meditation emoticon Maybe there is something here for me or maybe for you too emoticon (I know, I know, Chris told me to fire away with those smileys).

So, ... you never experience Itching? emoticon 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/12/20 2:40 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Physical itching, like my nose had a tingle and an itch? Yea, that happens.

Or craving itching? Yea, that happens all the time too. I gather that's like the last thing to get extinguished. I remember reading part of a piece called  "The Paradox of Becoming" by Than. Bikkhu a long time ago. The "itch" to get enlightened is a skillful itch that motivates practice, and stops when no longer needed as it were. But in the meantime, that itch can go to extremes if it dominates that practice. So I suppose that's what I'm trying to pay attention to. Not letting the desire for enlightenment to get so unwieldly that it becomes unskillful or gets in the way. Thus, the approach of living meditation, meditation organically occurs as/with life. Practice as if I'm already done, if that makes sense - not in a way where I'm like there's nothing to do and I just hang around all checked out. But do sitting practice, daily life practice as if this is already it. Different vantage point, same general thing. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/12/20 2:43 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Nice to see you've started a new log, Steph - welcome back!

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/12/20 4:48 PM as a reply to Steph S.
My appologies emoticon I was just joking as the describtion of your practice was so pleasant emoticon 

Looking forward to learn more from this Log!

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 3:52 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Hi Steph, I'm delighted you've begun sharing this, and sort of inspired by it, enough that it's already messing up my meditation! I'm perturbed!! Thank you.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 11:39 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
I'm glad y'all are feeling inspired and cheers to good practicing. emoticon

Practice has a way of shoving your blind spots so closely in your face that you can't even see them. Despite the living meditation, just letting things happen stance above, there's still a habitual tendency to map. Conditioned upon many years of practicing in that way. It gets real confusing when trying to not focus on that aspect of practice so much, and being more open to things regardless of where I am in - yet that conditioning still pops up. There are many moments of it not being an issue in a sit, but I still notice it happening here and there, enough that it's noticeable and a bit frustrating. And then I watch the frustration and it dissipates and it's fine. And then maybe a few minutes later it pops up again momentarily, watch it dissipate, and so on.

This morning I sat for 90 minutes and could have sworn I was in Equanimity. The cool ease at the beginning that evolves into a sense of dispassion and all throughout, being quite on top of sensations - slow moving, easy to see start to finish. A sense of peace, that evolves into a little restlessness. Sometimes I get performance anxiety in Equanimity. Another conditioned thing based on not being good at willing fruitions to happen. Very hard to let go of. Then it seems I'm in a Dark Night'ish phase right in the middle of Equanimity. I know there is a sub-aspect phase of Equanimity that's Dark Night'ish. Maybe it was that. Maybe it wasn't. At this point there was a sense of giving up - not in that I wanted to get up off the cushion, but more like a sense of humility. Like, I have no idea, I give up, just let it flow and see what happens. Opening back up to a sense of peace. 

Again here comes the habitual tendency to map, but cycles seem confusing lately and like they're not happening in any particular order. Maybe all the extra jhana is smoothing things out - but it's hard to definitively say which nana I'm in or not anymore. They're all kind of blending together and seeming really similar. As a contrast to this, one day last week I had a day where I wondered if there were wormholes between nanas because it seemed for sure like I was in one, only the next moment to immediately be in an entirely different one. Confusing as fuck. Who knows if this is something that happens as the natural course of things, but I wasn't resolving for it to happen. I know people sometimes resolve to call up different nanas at will, but I wasn't doing that. It just happened (like all things just happen). Anyway, maybe just say fuck it and keep going with the aspect of practice where I don't care where I'm at and quit with the mapping, just noticing when it happens and seeing it dissipate, being dispassionate towards mapping. Noting mapping, mapping. I don't use noting that much anymore, except in instances like this where something's really tough to crack or really gets in the way - then it helps make it seem more impersonal and like no big deal.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 12:59 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Hi Steph!

I’m enjoying your new log thanks.

FWIW, in my limited personal experience, focusing on the chakras has been beguiling but counterproductive because they haven't actually unblocked that way (if anything they got tighter). What I found is that focusing on a more neutral meditation object (like the breath) and ignoring the chakras actually allowed them to start unblocking themselves. It seems to be something to do with the “doer” mind which thinks it knows how to fix the chakras, whereas if the doer gets out of the way then nature can take its course. For me, focusing strictly on the breath keeps the doer out of the way of the chakras.

It becomes a sort of dance. Focus on the breath and the chakras start unblocking, which leads to excitement and focusing on the chakras, which leads to blocking, which necessitates ignoring the chakras and focusing on the breath, rinse, repeat. I find Leigh Brasington’s advice really helpful: “dance with the one that brung ya”. But that’s just my experience, YMMV.

I know the feeling of what else is there to see before 4th path. When you’ve seen everything else there’s only one thing left to investigate … the seer.

Best wishes
agnostic

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 1:28 PM as a reply to agnostic.
Is there not the possibility that one can see the seer (or lack thereof) long before one hits the 4th? As in seeing the not-self but still having Anicca as the last thing to be seen? Or if not Anicca but only the Dukkha left. Why always the sense of Self as the last step left?

Is this the rule?

Is it not in Advaita that folks realise the Not-self and then need to STABILISE the realisation as they are just lost in total emoticon In this 4 Path model we walk more progressivly and need no rehabilitaion once we get to THAT point of whats done is done, no more to be done etc ...

Im being genuine in my questions. Thank you.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 2:33 PM as a reply to agnostic.
agnostic:

I know the feeling of what else is there to see before 4th path. When you’ve seen everything else there’s only one thing left to investigate … the seer.



Hey agnostic! Thanks for your comments. I've investigated the doer, seer, observer, knower, etc. ad naseum. When I mentioned that much of my practice has been up in the headspace, that's what I was referring to. The sensations associated with the observer et al. As far as investigating chakras go, the head obviously has 2 chakras in it and so investigating here contributes to alot of tension that can be its own feedback loop.

Investigating the observer can become a red herring because you're looking for something that doesn't actually exist. Here's a fun metaphor:

Say I had a sudden craving for ice cream and I thought I remembered that there was a pint of mint chip ice cream in my freezer. So I go to the freezer, open it up, and start looking for the ice cream. There's lots of stuff in the freezer, so I look through all of it. I keep looking and looking, but curiously can't actually find the ice cream I swore was in there. I look some more. Take everything out of the freezer and examine the structure of the freezer. Still no ice cream. Where is it? I can't find it no matter how hard I look. It's just not in there. Do I keep looking for the ice cream? Is the problem the ice cream? Or is the issue that I keep looking for the ice cream even though it's not actually in there? 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 4:34 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
agnostic:

I know the feeling of what else is there to see before 4th path. When you’ve seen everything else there’s only one thing left to investigate … the seer.



Hey agnostic! Thanks for your comments. I've investigated the doer, seer, observer, knower, etc. ad naseum. When I mentioned that much of my practice has been up in the headspace, that's what I was referring to. The sensations associated with the observer et al. As far as investigating chakras go, the head obviously has 2 chakras in it and so investigating here contributes to alot of tension that can be its own feedback loop.

Investigating the observer can become a red herring because you're looking for something that doesn't actually exist. Here's a fun metaphor:

Say I had a sudden craving for ice cream and I thought I remembered that there was a pint of mint chip ice cream in my freezer. So I go to the freezer, open it up, and start looking for the ice cream. There's lots of stuff in the freezer, so I look through all of it. I keep looking and looking, but curiously can't actually find the ice cream I swore was in there. I look some more. Take everything out of the freezer and examine the structure of the freezer. Still no ice cream. Where is it? I can't find it no matter how hard I look. It's just not in there. Do I keep looking for the ice cream? Is the problem the ice cream? Or is the issue that I keep looking for the ice cream even though it's not actually in there? 

Yes, in my opinion the issue is the keeping looking for something that is not actually there.

You seem to recognize that the doer/observer/knower don’t actually exist. That tension in the head, that’s the apparent doer trying to find the solution to the problem which is the doer. No amount of doing (or observing or knowing) is going to solve this conundrum.

At some point it has to get personal — it’s about that lady rooting around in the freezer ;-)

Maybe getting more grounded in the lower chakras is a good idea so you have a safe place to hang out when the mind flips itself inside out. Or maybe it’s just a way of avoiding the flip. I can’t say.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/13/20 4:36 PM as a reply to Steph S.
So ... ? ... clinging, urge to look for the icecream? There is still the Urge to ... what ever that is, in this case look for the Doer.

I feel the Urge in my Solar Plexus mostly. Passion is there too. Where do you feel this urge, craving?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/13/20 4:40 PM as a reply to agnostic.
"At some point it has to get personal — it’s about that lady rooting around in the freezer" 

This is interesting. Step aside and let the lady root around the freezer. Thank you. 

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4/13/20 4:42 PM as a reply to agnostic.
agnostic:

At some point it has to get personal — it’s about that lady rooting around in the freezer ;-)

Like the craving for finding the ice cream? The compulsion behind wanting to look for it?


heh. edited to add that Papa Che said basically the same thing above. We replied at the same time I think.

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4/13/20 4:49 PM as a reply to Steph S.
It seems to be literally about Surrender and go away and let the lady do what she ought to do. Now I see why this is a BIG one and not the easiest.

Can one try baby steps in trying to surrender a bit only just to get the taste or is there simply a big FLIP and good bye self?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/13/20 5:12 PM as a reply to Steph S.
In my opinion 4th path is the end of the illusion that you are and ever were an individual with free will and choice. If you are willing to entertain that hypothesis then follow the consequences. What does that say about your apparent choice of practice and desire to attain 4th path?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/15/20 1:14 PM as a reply to agnostic.
agnostic:
In my opinion 4th path is the end of the illusion that you are and ever were an individual with free will and choice. If you are willing to entertain that hypothesis then follow the consequences. What does that say about your apparent choice of practice and desire to attain 4th path?

I think this sounds valid. As far as free will and choice - yes. This is a tough nut to crack. I would say that for many, many sensations it's obvious there's nobody controlling them and they just happen on their own. But there are some pesky ones remaining that I'm not seeing clearly enough yet that I feel like I have control over or can direct in some way or another. So that's it - the illusion of some semblance of control. That's the lady rooting around in the freezer probably.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/15/20 4:13 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Had a pretty good sit today, incorporating as much of the field of experience as possible. There's an interesting thing that happens with the way I perceive thoughts and I dunno if it sounds a bit nutso, but I'm gonna go with it and talk about it here. There are some types thoughts that I take to heart / take more seriously than others. It's like the types of thoughts I have are categorized into a variety of shades or voices of "Steph." Some are more related to just random imagination and daydreaming, which I generally just write off as any other sensation and no big deal - not self, impermanent, whatever. There are others that have anxious / doubtful characteristics that I take more to heart and seem more personal, but that I'll still see through as more impermanent whatever. Then there is the logical, "voice of reason Steph" type thoughts. These are the ones I take most personally, or seem to have the most stick to them - almost like they're viewed as the "true" or "ideal" version of my thoughts. It usually goes something like, doubtful anxious thought, feelings of frustration, tension, contraction, then pacifying "voice of reason" type thought, feeling of mellowing out, peace, more expansive.

Today I looked more closely at the "voice of reason" thoughts and the "worry" thoughts. They're obviously conditioned upon each other. Nothing particularly interesting or new there as I've known that for a long time. They're their own unit of push-pull. But looking more closely at "voice of reason" thoughts, it's fun to crack through that and see those as more impersonal. And what happens as a result. I actually started crying a little during my sit, almost like mourning style tears, while looking more at this type of thought, seeing it as just another impersonal sensation that simply happens as a reaction. Maybe that seems like really basic & obvious stuff to see, but it was still interesting and a good insight for me. I still take some thoughts kind of seriously, and despite seeing so many other sensations as impersonal - some thoughts still have that sense of "presence" and "Steph-ness" to them. Chipping away at things, one sensation at a time, y'all.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/15/20 10:03 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Did another sit this evening. Incorporating all the sensations of attention, space, presence, thought, physical sensations into one giant sensation soup. Effortless and smooth. It takes no real effort to sit for long periods and attention is organic and happens without much nudging at all. Restful, if a bit heady at times. Cleanly incorporating "the observer" in with all the other stuff. Sort of dispassionately watching the watcher, if you will. Then some feelings of fear, flickering lights, fast blinking eyes, strobing, very intense energetic sensations in my neck, third eye, and rest of the head - head cricked back. Pretty uncomfortable, like a "shit, buckle up!" feeling. Some people like the highly energetic kundalini stuff. I personally find it a bit obnoxious. Still, stayed with it as it came and rode it out. Then it subsided and leveled out to a feeling of relief. A bit tired and feeling like kind of a crash/comedown from the high energy. Kind of just chilled here for a bit, then got up.

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4/17/20 5:25 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Yesterday I did some lovingkindness which really super charged things even more. Momentum is good right now with all the extra practice I'm getting in, so today's jhana sit was a real fun one.

I got to a space where the mind was intensely bright. Not visually because there weren't any bright colors or lights or anything, but bright as a quality. It was just very, very clear. Any thoughts or other stuff in the field were immeditately like some wave that couldn't hold up. The mind seemed both intensely strong, yet any little disturbance seemed kind of fragile in a way. It felt as if the mind was cutting through itself, piercing directly, and at the same time unable to find itself. I don't know if "the mind" is the right word there, but it's all I've got to describe it. Afterwards it felt like my sense of presence that usually feels like it's on the inside of my body was somehow on the outside of my body in a weird way.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 9:26 AM as a reply to agnostic.
In my opinion 4th path is the end of the illusion that you are and ever were an individual with free will and choice. If you are willing to entertain that hypothesis then follow the consequences. What does that say about your apparent choice of practice and desire to attain 4th path?

Seeing through the sense of self is indeed a big part of the thing, but it's not the whole story. It's like the movie star that gets all the attention on the red carpet. There are other things on the red carpet, but they just don't have the same glam.

EDIT: What finally seemed to work for me was NOT paying attention, just being busy, working hard at other things, and then just relaxing - taking a break from seeking (mediation). Then this change snuck up on me, unseen, and knocked me out. I've heard many similar stories from others.


RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 10:38 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In my opinion 4th path is the end of the illusion that you are and ever were an individual with free will and choice. If you are willing to entertain that hypothesis then follow the consequences. What does that say about your apparent choice of practice and desire to attain 4th path?

Seeing through the sense of self is indeed a big part of the thing, but it's not the whole story. It's like the movie star that gets all the attention on the red carpet. There are other things on the red carpet, but they just don't have the same glam.

EDIT: What finally seemed to work for me was NOT paying attention, just being busy, working hard at other things, and then just relaxing - taking a break from seeking (mediation). Then this change snuck up on me, unseen, and knocked me out. I've heard many similar stories from others.


Interesting. Kind of goes with my theory that all the "sense of presence/self" sensations should be treated as equally weighted with other sensations. One of the issues being that the sensations that imply "presence/self" are misperceived as the most important aspect of experience, feeding them and feeding them, perpetuating their hold. 

Thanks for chiming in, Chris. Any pointers or tips on my practice you could provide would be really appreciated!

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 11:05 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Kind of goes with my theory that all the "sense of presence/self" sensations should be treated as equally weighted with other sensations.

That's not just a theory, Steph.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 11:15 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Today I looked more closely at the "voice of reason" thoughts and the "worry" thoughts. They're obviously conditioned upon each other. Nothing particularly interesting or new there as I've known that for a long time. They're their own unit of push-pull. But looking more closely at "voice of reason" thoughts, it's fun to crack through that and see those as more impersonal. And what happens as a result. I actually started crying a little during my sit, almost like mourning style tears, while looking more at this type of thought, seeing it as just another impersonal sensation that simply happens as a reaction. Maybe that seems like really basic & obvious stuff to see, but it was still interesting and a good insight for me. I still take some thoughts kind of seriously, and despite seeing so many other sensations as impersonal - some thoughts still have that sense of "presence" and "Steph-ness" to them. Chipping away at things, one sensation at a time, y'all.
 
I went through this kind of investigation ad infinitum. This is what led me to start asking people like Vincent Horn and Kenneth Folk and others what the hell they grokked that I wasn't. They didn't have any satisfactory answers. There is a reason for this, I think. My belief is that it's because the remaining assumptions about the self are so deeply ingrained in us. They're not something we can access with the mind that is capable of forming the questions. So this conversion, or "flip" of the perceptual view takes something very different from the ways we're used to using to see this stuff. This is why I think just doing jhana practices, at most, stopping the frantic seeking and chilling out, allowing our minds to be diverted and busy with other stuff, and actually just being, is a fruitful way to proceed at that point in the journey.



RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 11:46 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yea, like how many times can I see the same thing? It's like trying to come to a conclusion about thoughts is still reifying them and there's attachment to cracking what they really mean. Intellectually, I don't think they really have some underlying meaning to them. I know intellectually they're conditioned upon feelings and memories and patterns like that, but haven't seen that closely enough in practice because I make a big deal of out of them. But again, as with the sensations of presence - giving them so much attention and making such a big deal of out of trying to crack their code is probably also another version of giving them a higher status than... say...  a random sensation of an itch on the arm that just passes over without a fuss and doesn't make me freak out over trying to figure it out. People really mean it when they say every sensation in the known universe is subject to the 3 characteristics, eh? emoticon It's simultaneously frustrating and beautiful that that simple framework is what carries through and holds true the whole entire time. The tendency to complicate what's so simple and glaringly obvious.

I've been doing a hybrid of jhana and vipassana for a while, but having been staying more in the jhana lane lately. I'm going to keep with that and see what transpires. Investigation still naturally occurs lightly in jhana, as I've mentioned before. Once you've seen the 3C's to a certain level, they're hardwired and even if "you're" not trying to see them, they're still seen. I think I'm overshooting it by trying too hard to see them. I sometimes forget that alot of this is already on autopilot. In ultimate reality sense it is on autopilot.. but relative reality, with my practice, I've been practicing long enough and well enough that I don't think I have to force it so hard.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 11:58 AM as a reply to Steph S.
In ultimate reality sense it is on autopilot.. but relative reality, ...

Wait, you mean there's one - and then the other?  emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 12:13 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Yeah in my experience the practice itself becomes the issue at a certain point, once everything else has been fixed (ha ha). You've been working so long and so hard looking for something that you lose the sense of what it would be like not to be looking for something.

You can't find nibbana because it's already right in front of your face and it's just your looking for it which obscures it. There's literally nothing extra to see, it's everything as it already is (including the sense that something is missing which you need to find). I pissed myself laughing when it clicked, it's so simple and made a complete joke of how hard to find and special I thought it would be.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/18/20 12:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In ultimate reality sense it is on autopilot.. but relative reality, ...

Wait, you mean there's one - and then the other?  emoticon

LOL. Touche.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/20/20 2:58 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Did you listen to this podcast about Cosmic Joke? If not give it a go and if yes give it a go again emoticon 
https://deconstructingyourself.com/dy-002-cosmic-joke-guest-kenneth-folk.html

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/20/20 3:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Today I looked more closely at the "voice of reason" thoughts and the "worry" thoughts. They're obviously conditioned upon each other. Nothing particularly interesting or new there as I've known that for a long time. They're their own unit of push-pull. But looking more closely at "voice of reason" thoughts, it's fun to crack through that and see those as more impersonal. And what happens as a result. I actually started crying a little during my sit, almost like mourning style tears, while looking more at this type of thought, seeing it as just another impersonal sensation that simply happens as a reaction. Maybe that seems like really basic & obvious stuff to see, but it was still interesting and a good insight for me. I still take some thoughts kind of seriously, and despite seeing so many other sensations as impersonal - some thoughts still have that sense of "presence" and "Steph-ness" to them. Chipping away at things, one sensation at a time, y'all.
 
I went through this kind of investigation ad infinitum. This is what led me to start asking people like Vincent Horn and Kenneth Folk and others what the hell they grokked that I wasn't. They didn't have any satisfactory answers. There is a reason for this, I think. My belief is that it's because the remaining assumptions about the self are so deeply ingrained in us. They're not something we can access with the mind that is capable of forming the questions. So this conversion, or "flip" of the perceptual view takes something very different from the ways we're used to using to see this stuff. This is why I think just doing jhana practices, at most, stopping the frantic seeking and chilling out, allowing our minds to be diverted and busy with other stuff, and actually just being, is a fruitful way to proceed at that point in the journey.



Chris, when you say you kept yourself busy do you mean you kept yourself absorbed in the work you did without ruminating and daydreaming or even applying effort to be mindful? 

This looks very much similar to my experience of cessation last year. Happened off the cushion while playing with my little son. I was totally not thinking about the practice nor was I paying attention. Just playing with my boy, him sitting in his wooden cart and me dragging it, being the horsy and Puff! "What was that?!" emoticon 

Seems like a similar if not same thing you described when it totally knocked "you" out. Or? 

Btw, I have noticed a split during my noting aloud where the voice is noting on its own and there is this mind/awareness just being chilled out. There is stil hearing of the voice, awareness of it but no control of it or of what was noticed/noted. Then suddenly there is this urge or even fear like "I'm not sure if this voice and attention are really being mindful, I must pay better attention to check if indeed it's all accurate, matter of fact" emoticon 
Must say that I notice fair amount of absorption mixed in with noting in my practice. 
Question; when this split happens and noting voice and attention are doing its thing without control should I try and stay out of their way and let them do its thing even if I am not totally sure they are being totally matter of fact? Or should I just note that Urge to check if noting voice, object and attention are in sinc? 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/20/20 6:07 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Chris, when you say you kept yourself busy do you mean you kept yourself absorbed in the work you did without ruminating and daydreaming or even applying effort to be mindful? 

At that point, mindfulness wasn't something I had to work hard to achieve. It was just happening, This was late 3rd path.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/20/20 6:25 AM as a reply to Steph S.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/20/20 6:33 AM as a reply to shargrol.

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4/20/20 8:57 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks for these links. I read the Huff Post article and am making my way through Malcom's practice stuff.

Related to the article - Thankfully, I've already ditched the notion that post 4th path is going to be some non-stop magical, brilliant dreamland. I gather it might be pretty ordinary, in that alot of my same patterns will remain, so will my personality, stuff like that. I'll still be a "normal" person in the world, navigating how to be & act in every type of life situation and won't be immune to difficult stuff. I don't think I'm all of a sudden going to have all the answers or be automatically graceful in all of it. I've read alot of Chris's old practice log and have even gotten to some of his reports from after he got 4th. It's actually refreshing that practice is still needed afterwards. Morality is the first and last training after all.

I don't really have any expectations of what it'd be like anymore, but I still practice because I have noticed a difference over time. Like the article, sometimes it's hard to see exactly what that difference is and I do sometimes forget what I was like years ago, but mostly it comes down to not having such a huge burden because a lot of stuff isn't perceived as "me" anymore, and lots of things aren't taken as personally. It's like over time some space has cleared up, alot of the gunk cleared out. So I continue to practice because I assume that that lessening of the burden might continue. Right now I'm really feeling into enjoying life, even in this pandemic. Practicing, just hanging out, and enjoying the fruits of my labor.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/23/20 1:11 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Still been keeping up with both jhana and vipassana. Curiously, with vipassana, cycling is happening in a weird way. I mentioned something about this in an an earlier post in this thread, but nanas seem to be happening not quite in order. Like being way up in equanimity, then all of a sudden back in dark night - not like a slide backwards from low equanimity to re-observation. More like, I've been sitting in equanimity for an hour, then bam outta nowhere, what seems like dark night. Or be in A&P, then seemingly in equanimity. I know in one part of MCTB2 Daniel talked about slam shifting between nanas as a practice one could take up, but this isn't something I set out to do or was really interested in trying. It just started happening. I actually found that section in the book when trying to figure out what was happening.

Other times it seems like I'm in a nana within a nana - like the super wide and encompassing attention width and slow movement, slow fluxing seems like equanimity, but then within that it seemed like I recognized dissolution, fear, misery, disgust, etc. one after the other. Still other times everything is super subtle and seems almost plateaued, like I can't discern what stage it is at all. 

I'm investigating all the while going through this, but I gotta say it's pretty disorienting. Does anyone else recognize this, know what's going on, or have any tips?

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4/23/20 1:39 PM as a reply to Steph S.
It's normal, Steph. I was getting this same kind of thing, and it was clear that the usual high-level descriptions fo the nanas isn't actually quite right. The whole thing is factual and you can get lost in the ordered jumble.

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4/23/20 1:56 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Sweet, thanks for weighing in. emoticon

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4/23/20 2:33 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Nana within nana is the classic fractal experience. (Lots of good discussion in MCTB on this.)

The seemingly random movement of the mind is a good sign. I call this "the clean-up process". It seems like the mind knows where to go and what to do. You just need to follow along.

Around this time, it's good to ponder who are you going to trust: the mind or  the person that is disoriented?  I'd trust the mind. emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/25/20 9:23 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol & Chris - if I ever feel compelled to write a book about practicing (don't hold your breath too much on this), it's going to be titled: "That's normal. Just keep going. One of the only tips you actually need along your path."   Not that catchy, eh? heh.heh.

Trusting mind is a good one. Isn't it great what happens when you take your foot off the gas a little and let the car coast? Let the mind show what it wants to show, as it were. Right now mind is showing itself. Both on cushion and off cushion. Actually, I don't know if mind is the right word there. Maybe the qualities of mind or the field itself. It's easy to get enraptured with the clarity, the brightness, how quiet everything feels (even when there are noises heard), all of that. The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. But then at times, it's also easy to see that it shifts, changes, moves - and so is not actually a "ground" or "base" to rest in. Again, just more fancy mind states and tricks.

So for jhana, I'm not quite at my cutting edge at the moment. Concentration has had a little backslide from when I was doing a 4-6 hour per day practice on a home retreat a couple weeks ago (now doing 1-3 hours per day). To be expected. I'm probably not getting true formlessness happening in j5 and up, but the general qualities are showing up enough to be fun to play with and dwell in. Also having trouble getting up to 8th right now. Kinda peaking in 7th. It'll get there, though. 








RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/25/20 10:44 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
shargrol & Chris - if I ever feel compelled to write a book about practicing (don't hold your breath too much on this), it's going to be titled: "That's normal. Just keep going. One of the only tips you actually need along your path."   Not that catchy, eh? heh.heh.



Damn, you run a classy place here, quiet, spacious, nothing but a few Thousanders (ask Chris) hanging out and dispensing ultimate dharma wisdom in short sentences, no more than two at a time, plus emojis.

And the house wine is divine!

I just wanted to thank you for yanking all that BR stuff out of me! I really needed to lay that fucking letter to rest. Some guy was at the bar looking for a fight right after i posted it, and so i went to bed and got several hours precious sleep, and what a treat to wake and find your reply. I'm a Trinitarian filled with grief by for Rome's behavior during that Filioque SNAFU cluster-fuck, our bad seriously, we left you no choice with those extra syllables. I'm actually a closet heyschast myself, and am currently reading about how the Tsar had to send destroyers in 1913 to roust the mad bad and dangerous to know Name-Is-God monks. Tell me you don't have to love those guys, blasted out of their cells with fire hoses over a nuance on the Name of God!


It might have been more appropriate for me to crash the party at Fun with Boredom, but who could resist the clientele here? Could I have a refill, on that wine? Or a change of pace, even? Any recommendations, from the cellar?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/26/20 7:41 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. 

Steph, when I was about a month out (from you know what) I had dreams about this STILLNESS. In one I saw a pebble fall into a pond ravaged by a storm. In another, I was sitting in a room with an open window and the wind was blowing through. These were lucid dreams and they were obviously about mind's STILLNESS in the chaos. I've always assumed these dreams were a tell.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/26/20 7:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. 

Steph, when I was about a month out (from you know what) I had dreams about this STILLNESS. In one I saw a pebble fall into a pond ravaged by a storm. In another, I was sitting in a room with an open window and the wind was blowing through. These were lucid dreams and they were obviously about mind's STILLNESS in the chaos. I've always assumed these dreams were a tell.
Chris, would you please explain my theory of Thousanders on DhO to Steph. I told her to ask you. And could you pick up a quart of brownies on the way home? Honey? 

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4/26/20 7:49 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
For all we know Steph is a Stephenson Scholar.

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4/26/20 7:55 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
For all we know Steph is a Stephenson Scholar.

She may tell us who's above the Ten Thousanders? Who are these mysterious, rumored beings, the 100,000ers?

Actually, it can be said now: I am. You know those cave paintings, the really really old ones? The Red Dot one in Spain, in particular? Yep. My work.

(edit) my resume, re: the career acr of my red dot work.

http://www.arteidolia.com/migration-of-the-dot-red-randee-silv/

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4/26/20 8:01 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
And the oldest cave paintings? The ones in Indonesia? Yours?

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4/26/20 8:04 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
And the oldest cave paintings? The ones in Indonesia? Yours?


Cronies.

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4/26/20 8:05 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Chris Marti:
And the oldest cave paintings? The ones in Indonesia? Yours?


Cronies.

They haven't found my earliest work yet, see?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/26/20 8:05 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Ah.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/26/20 10:24 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. 

Steph, when I was about a month out (from you know what) I had dreams about this STILLNESS. In one I saw a pebble fall into a pond ravaged by a storm. In another, I was sitting in a room with an open window and the wind was blowing through. These were lucid dreams and they were obviously about mind's STILLNESS in the chaos. I've always assumed these dreams were a tell.

Wild! If only I was a month or so out. LOL. One of the main markers that helps me recognize it is when I said that everything feels sooo quiet. Like I can be in a room watching tv or listening to loud music, and there's still this sense of everything being whisper quiet and unmoving, unperturbed. It feels like everything is this elegant flowing dance and it's just the loveliest, most beautiful thing.

I highly doubt I'm even 3rd path yet. I've read descriptions (yours & others) of 3rd and it doesn't line up with what I think I'm experiencing... that whole directness/lucidity/mostly non-dual thing seems like it was almost a full-time experience by 3rd path from what I read. I'm having glimpses of it, I think, but it's nowhere near full-time. There's still a subject/object split that's pretty obvious, albeit that split is less strong than it was even just a few weeks ago. Again, could be me getting back into practicing really consistently and well. Who knows if it'd last if I stopped practicing (which I'm not going to do, but just hypothetically). Either way, it's fun and peaceful, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts. For the most part my baseline is pretty damn content, which is still excellent, so I can't complain at all. I'll get there one day.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/26/20 10:19 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Chris Marti:
The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. 

Steph, when I was about a month out (from you know what) I had dreams about this STILLNESS. In one I saw a pebble fall into a pond ravaged by a storm. In another, I was sitting in a room with an open window and the wind was blowing through. These were lucid dreams and they were obviously about mind's STILLNESS in the chaos. I've always assumed these dreams were a tell.
Chris, would you please explain my theory of Thousanders on DhO to Steph. I told her to ask you. And could you pick up a quart of brownies on the way home? Honey? 

Yeah, who are the Thousanders? When I first read that I thought it meant people who have over a 1,000 posts on DhO. haha. 

I'm technically a scholar, I guess, since I went to grad school and defended a thesis and all. But I'm not a Stephensen Scholar that I know of. I'm a scholar, now practitiioner of.... DESIGN THINKING & DESIGN RESEARCH. Fun stuff. Steph S., MFA if you want a resume name drop/humble brag. emoticon  I could have written my resume read more elegantly. Perhaps I should see if I can get in touch with Aaron Sorkin and have him write it again for me, master of the resume read as he is.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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4/26/20 10:20 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Tim Farrington:
Chris Marti:
The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. 

Steph, when I was about a month out (from you know what) I had dreams about this STILLNESS. In one I saw a pebble fall into a pond ravaged by a storm. In another, I was sitting in a room with an open window and the wind was blowing through. These were lucid dreams and they were obviously about mind's STILLNESS in the chaos. I've always assumed these dreams were a tell.
Chris, would you please explain my theory of Thousanders on DhO to Steph. I told her to ask you. And could you pick up a quart of brownies on the way home? Honey? 

Yeah, who are the Thousanders? When I first read that I thought it meant people who have over a 1,000 posts on DhO. haha. 

I'm technically a scholar, I guess, since I went to grad school and defended a thesis and all. But I'm not a Stephensen Scholar that I know of. I'm a scholar, now practitiioner of.... DESIGN THINKING & DESIGN RESEARCH. Fun stuff. emoticon

No, it's people with a thousand posts on DhO in the last three days. A very exclusive club. 

It's a concept from a Neal Stephenson novel called Anathem, set in a future monastery. Thy are entirely cloistered, except for one three day period every year when they open the gate to the outside world. There are four levels of monks, each isolated in its own region within: "oners" who maybe be lay people there for a year's internship and some great scholarship, or novice monks still in their ten-year novitiate, who all can go out the gate every year. Then their are the Tenners, who only have contact with the outide world every decade. There are Hundreders, who may go an entire lifetime without evr seeing the gate open again. And there are these sort of legendary, but no=nonsense real people way the fuck up the hill, Ten-thousanders, who basically just spend all their time ignoring history and figuring out how the cosmos words.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/26/20 10:27 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Tim Farrington:
Chris Marti:
The subtlety can sometimes be hard to parse because it really does feel so solid and STILL. 

Steph, when I was about a month out (from you know what) I had dreams about this STILLNESS. In one I saw a pebble fall into a pond ravaged by a storm. In another, I was sitting in a room with an open window and the wind was blowing through. These were lucid dreams and they were obviously about mind's STILLNESS in the chaos. I've always assumed these dreams were a tell.
Chris, would you please explain my theory of Thousanders on DhO to Steph. I told her to ask you. And could you pick up a quart of brownies on the way home? Honey? 

Yeah, who are the Thousanders? When I first read that I thought it meant people who have over a 1,000 posts on DhO. haha. 

still working on my technique here. I believe in reply-with-quote for Context context context, so i can keep the jokes that might have gone bad somehow in clear view on the transcript. Chris, who has to wade through all the repetition shit, understandably prefers conciseness and relies on people to keep their sense of context on their own, which is a truly idiotic position, of course, but it makes his life easier to pretend most people can do that under heat.

I'm technically a scholar, I guess, since I went to grad school and defended a thesis and all. But I'm not a Stephensen Scholar that I know of. I'm a scholar, now practitiioner of.... DESIGN THINKING & DESIGN RESEARCH. Fun stuff. Steph S., MFA if you want a resume name drop/humble brag. 

emoticon

  I could have written my resume read more elegantly. Perhaps I should see if I can get in touch with Aaron Sorkin and have him write it again for me, master of the resume read as he is.

Oh hell yeah i want a resume name drop/humble brag. I was actually already dropping your name around the neighborhood, telling them that when they call the cops, you will be my one phone call.

You design people. Do you know Pat Wagner? She's more of a networker, but all the people who have those kind of job titles blur together for me. I can barely speak english for a paragraph a day. 300 words at most , my limit is already


m

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/26/20 10:28 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
I know Tim loves that book, so yeah, he should describe the thousanders.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/26/20 10:29 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Chris, who has to wade through all the repetition shit, understandably prefers conciseness and relies on people to keep their sense of context on their own, which is a truly idiotic position, of course, but it makes his life easier to pretend most people can do that under heat.

So... get out of the kitchen.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/26/20 10:31 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:

No, it's people with a thousand posts on DhO in the last three days. A very exclusive club. 

It's a concept from a Neal Stephenson novel called Anathem, set in a future monastery. Thy are entirely cloistered, except for one three day period every year when they open the gate to the outside world. There are four levels of monks, each isolated in its own region within: "oners" who maybe be lay people there for a year's internship and some great scholarship, or novice monks still in their ten-year novitiate, who all can go out the gate every year. Then their are the Tenners, who only have contact with the outide world every decade. There are Hundreders, who may go an entire lifetime without evr seeing the gate open again. And there are these sort of legendary, but no=nonsense real people way the fuck up the hill, Ten-thousanders, who basically just spend all their time ignoring history and figuring out how the cosmos words.

I'm currently reading "Small Gods" by Terry Pratchett. A friend of mine has a glorious full leg tattoo based on the entire Discworld series and she told me about all the characters. Said I should start with "Small Gods" when I got more curious about the series, and so I did. Somehow this description reminds me of this book.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/26/20 11:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Chris, who has to wade through all the repetition shit, understandably prefers conciseness and relies on people to keep their sense of context on their own, which is a truly idiotic position, of course, but it makes his life easier to pretend most people can do that under heat.

So... get out of the kitchen.
i'm the one cooking here!


(edit) to clarify, I'm the fucking one cooking here! and not i, but Chris in me.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/28/20 12:14 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Had a fun rise up the jhanas today, back down a bit, then back up again. Some fear & anxiety seemed to be there subtly at times, which is fine. On my second pass up at the end of that pass, mind seems to have taken some detour. It was like seeing all these different alleys of my mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI. Really, that's phenomenologically what it felt like. Like the mind was travelling back and forth through different alleys, exploring a variety of its inner recesses. Interestingly, last night I watched a youtube video of someone walking through all these different alleys in Tokyo, so maybe it's some imprint from that which got left over. At a couple points I got some photorealistic flashes of images from nature. One was some low rounded sloping hills covered in lush green. Another was a bunch of bare trees, as in winter, with an orange and pink sunrise just coming up, with some fog. If this is what the recesses of mind are like, I think I'm doing alright, y'all. haha.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/28/20 12:17 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
It was like seeing all these different alleys of my mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI. Really, that's phenomenologically what it felt like.

At a couple points I got some photorealistic flashes of images from nature. One was some low rounded sloping hills covered in lush green. Another was a bunch of bare trees, as in winter, with an orange and pink sunrise just coming up, with some fog. If this is what the recesses of mind are like, I think I'm doing alright, y'all. haha.

you had me at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
4/28/20 4:17 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Steph S:
It was like seeing all these different alleys of my mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI. Really, that's phenomenologically what it felt like.

At a couple points I got some photorealistic flashes of images from nature. One was some low rounded sloping hills covered in lush green. Another was a bunch of bare trees, as in winter, with an orange and pink sunrise just coming up, with some fog. If this is what the recesses of mind are like, I think I'm doing alright, y'all. haha.

you had me at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI

Intervention time! emoticon 

I will wear the sun
Ancient light through these woods
Woods that I walk through alone
I will take my rest
With all creatures who dwell
Under the smallest of green

I’ll remain no more
Than is required of me
Until the spirit is gone
I will long to see
All that waits to be known
And all that will never be known

Into the core of nature
No earthly mind can enter
But I will wear the sun
Bound to others
We’ve seen many things

I will train my feet
To go on with a joy
A joy I have yet to reach

I will let the sounds
Of these woods that I’ve known
Sink into blood and to bone

I’ll remain no more
Than is required of me
Until the spirit is gone
I will long to see
All that waits to be known
And all that will never be known

Into the core of nature
No earthly mind can enter
But I will wear the sun
Bound to others
We’ve seen many things

I will wear the sun
Ancient light through these woods
Woods that I walk through alone
I will long to see
All that waits to be known
And all that will never be known
All that will never be known
All that will never be known
All that will never be known
All that will never be known
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBUlwXe13uM

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/1/20 7:04 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Cool track, Papa Che! emoticon

So I've been continuing with my practice of lovingkindness with jhana. I want to work my way through all the brahma viharas (lovingkindness/metta, compassion/karuna, empathetic joy/mudita, and equanimity/upekkha). I think it connects deeply to why I practice and why I even became interested in Buddhism in the first place. I remember many years ago, before I started meditating or knew much about this stuff at all, that the seeming gap between me & the rest of the world was a common frustration. Even then, I could sense the subject/object or me over here/everything else over there split, without really knowing what it was. I remember wishing intensely that I could close that gap, wishing I could erase that barrier so I could feel more connected with the world, closer, especially with the people in the world... wanting to get rid of that just out of reach feeling. Right now I'm really interested in this as a practice to get a more profound understanding and more direct insights into the interdependence of all things. I read through the Magick & Brahma Viharas section (and other magick sections) in MCTB2 and the insights into interconnectedness and the profundity of cause/effect that it talks about are what really struck me.

Right now what's really calling out to me is emobdying sensations more fully, instead of just seemingly going through the mechanics and motions of practice. Leading with the heart, as it were. Lovingkindness & compassion are the ones I've worked with the most of out of the brahma viharas. They can get really intense. The feelings of joy and bliss get strong to the point where it's almost too much to handle. I find it is easy to embody the feelings more fully and really throw my all into it, much moreso than using the breath or the attentional qualities. There's a feeling into the genuine wish for people's wellbeing and that's what speaks to me more deeply, I suppose. It also helps to visualize the person I'm reciting the mantra about, and get a sense of their presence and qualities, and feel into that. And to be expected, sometimes sorrow/grief, anger/annoyance, or other stuff can come bubbling up when working with a practice like this, especially afterwards - there is a bit of a feeling of a comedown when the session is over. The afterglow is strong, though, so it's easier to meet these with equanimity... and so far with the lovingkindness practice, there's a feeling of welcoming and loving all sensations and willing to feel them fully, which is refreshing and interesting. Like I legit sat down on the couch after today's sit, and was throwing all kinds of love & gratitude towards some feelings of sorrow that were bubbling up. Fun stuff! emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 5:40 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
Steph S:
It was like seeing all these different alleys of my mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI. Really, that's phenomenologically what it felt like.

At a couple points I got some photorealistic flashes of images from nature. One was some low rounded sloping hills covered in lush green. Another was a bunch of bare trees, as in winter, with an orange and pink sunrise just coming up, with some fog. If this is what the recesses of mind are like, I think I'm doing alright, y'all. haha.

you had me at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbieq_x7zuI

Intervention time! emoticon 

I will wear the sun
Ancient light through these woods
Woods that I walk through alone
I will take my rest
With all creatures who dwell
Under the smallest of green

I’ll remain no more
Than is required of me
Until the spirit is gone
I will long to see
All that waits to be known
And all that will never be known

Into the core of nature
No earthly mind can enter
But I will wear the sun
Bound to others
We’ve seen many things

I will train my feet
To go on with a joy
A joy I have yet to reach

I will let the sounds
Of these woods that I’ve known
Sink into blood and to bone

I’ll remain no more
Than is required of me
Until the spirit is gone
I will long to see
All that waits to be known
And all that will never be known

Into the core of nature
No earthly mind can enter
But I will wear the sun
Bound to others
We’ve seen many things

I will wear the sun
Ancient light through these woods
Woods that I walk through alone
I will long to see
All that waits to be known
And all that will never be known
All that will never be known
All that will never be known
All that will never be known
All that will never be known
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBUlwXe13uM

Papa che that Core of Nature hit me at the core of this nature from the first guitar notes.

here's another winner:

https://soundcloud.com/papa-dusko/sonic-puzzle-improvisation?in=papa-dusko/sets/che-guebuddha-sound

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 5:51 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Cool track, Papa Che! emoticon

So I've been continuing with my practice of lovingkindness with jhana. I want to work my way through all the brahma viharas (lovingkindness/metta, compassion/karuna, empathetic joy/mudita, and equanimity/upekkha). I think it connects deeply to why I practice and why I even became interested in Buddhism in the first place. I remember many years ago, before I started meditating or knew much about this stuff at all, that the seeming gap between me & the rest of the world was a common frustration. Even then, I could sense the subject/object or me over here/everything else over there split, without really knowing what it was. I remember wishing intensely that I could close that gap, wishing I could erase that barrier so I could feel more connected with the world, closer, especially with the people in the world... wanting to get rid of that just out of reach feeling. Right now I'm really interested in this as a practice to get a more profound understanding and more direct insights into the interdependence of all things. I read through the Magick & Brahma Viharas section (and other magick sections) in MCTB2 and the insights into interconnectedness and the profundity of cause/effect that it talks about are what really struck me.

Right now what's really calling out to me is emobdying sensations more fully, instead of just seemingly going through the mechanics and motions of practice. Leading with the heart, as it were. Lovingkindness & compassion are the ones I've worked with the most of out of the brahma viharas. They can get really intense. The feelings of joy and bliss get strong to the point where it's almost too much to handle. I find it is easy to embody the feelings more fully and really throw my all into it, much moreso than using the breath or the attentional qualities. There's a feeling into the genuine wish for people's wellbeing and that's what speaks to me more deeply, I suppose. It also helps to visualize the person I'm reciting the mantra about, and get a sense of their presence and qualities, and feel into that. And to be expected, sometimes sorrow/grief, anger/annoyance, or other stuff can come bubbling up when working with a practice like this, especially afterwards - there is a bit of a feeling of a comedown when the session is over. The afterglow is strong, though, so it's easier to meet these with equanimity... and so far with the lovingkindness practice, there's a feeling of welcoming and loving all sensations and willing to feel them fully, which is refreshing and interesting. Like I legit sat down on the couch after today's sit, and was throwing all kinds of love & gratitude towards some feelings of sorrow that were bubbling up. Fun stuff! emoticon

I'm getting the feelings of joy and bliss myself just reading this. Shaktipat transmission by word, is the technical name in my old Siddha Yoga lineage. Get yourself a peacock feather and you could make a bundle on this shit. As your agent, i ask only the standard 15% of your gross, and will handle all events and details through my trained staff.
Right now what's really calling out to me is emobdying sensations more fully, instead of just seemingly going through the mechanics and motions of practice. Leading with the heart, as it were. Lovingkindness & compassion are the ones I've worked with the most of out of the brahma viharas. They can get really intense. The feelings of joy and bliss get strong to the point where it's almost too much to handle. I find it is easy to embody the feelings more fully and really throw my all into it, much moreso than using the breath or the attentional qualities. There's a feeling into the genuine wish for people's wellbeing and that's what speaks to me more deeply, I suppose. It also helps to visualize the person I'm reciting the mantra about, and get a sense of their presence and qualities, and feel into that. 
This is where the tires hit the road, and get traction: classic prayer for others, like the old ladies in the Rosary Society! I'm one of those old ladies, join us every saturday in the chapel, bring your own mala.

And to be expected, sometimes sorrow/grief, anger/annoyance, or other stuff can come bubbling up when working with a practice like this, especially afterwards - there is a bit of a feeling of a comedown when the session is over.

"Later in the evening when you like awake in bed, with the echoes of the amplifiers ringing in your head,
you smoke the day's last cigarette, remembering what you said.
Turn the page . . ."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3khH9ih2XJg
The afterglow is strong, though, so it's easier to meet these with equanimity... and so far with the lovingkindness practice, there's a feeling of welcoming and loving all sensations and willing to feel them fully, which is refreshing and interesting. Like I legit sat down on the couch after today's sit, and was throwing all kinds of love & gratitude towards some feelings of sorrow that were bubbling up. Fun stuff! emoticon

https://soundcloud.com/papa-dusko

love, tim

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 8:29 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Right now what's really calling out to me is emobdying sensations more fully, instead of just seemingly going through the mechanics and motions of practice. Leading with the heart, as it were.

Classic third path alert! I called it a "feeling of authenticity." Just keep feelin' it, Steph.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 11:02 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Right now what's really calling out to me is emobdying sensations more fully, instead of just seemingly going through the mechanics and motions of practice. Leading with the heart, as it were.

Classic third path alert! I called it a "feeling of authenticity." Just keep feelin' it, Steph.

Chris keeps being convinced I'm 3rd path and I keep being unconvinced. Imposter syndrome is fun, everybody!! Totally try it out if you haven't already. LOL. Really, though, I don't know if I'm 3rd path. What keeps making you think I am, dahhhling? I don't have the whole non-dual daily life experience almost all the time like 3rd pathers do. I think shargrol's compliation post had a description of the windshield being off between you and the world. I still have a pretty obvious subject/observer thing happening alot of the time.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 11:15 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Please make a careful note: I did not diagnose you. I stated that what you said is classic third path stuff. I really don't know what you are. For all I know you could be a 300 lb dude wearing a tank top, smoking a cigarette, and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I still have a pretty obvious subject/observer thing happening alot of the time.

Uh, you always will.

Came back in a bit later and did another sit. When my concentration is really sharp (and it is right now) I can rise up the 8 jhanas in about 10 minutes - just a fancy mind trick.

This is yet more classic third path stuff. Just sayin' - not diagnosin'.



RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 11:31 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Please make a careful note: I did not diagnose you. I stated that what you said is classic third path stuff. I really don't know what you are. For all I know you could be a 300 lb dude wearing a tank top, smoking a cigarette, and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I still have a pretty obvious subject/observer thing happening alot of the time.

Uh, you always will.

Came back in a bit later and did another sit. When my concentration is really sharp (and it is right now) I can rise up the 8 jhanas in about 10 minutes - just a fancy mind trick.

This is yet more classic third path stuff. Just sayin' - not diagnosin'.



Cool, thanks for the correction! I thought the dualstic split of the subject/observer went away at 4th. Like at that point, I thought there isn't a sense of a this side and a that side anymore. Maybe I'm wrong about that. The fancy mind trick of going up all the jhanas in about 10 minutes only happens when my concentration is really sharp, like when I was practicing 4-6 hours a day (edit: replied really quickly and just realized it already says that in my original quote). Most "normal" days the rise up takes about 30-40 minutes and I've had trouble getting to 8th lately for some reason. Again, I know you're not diagnosing now, just giving a more rounded picture of my fancy mind tricks. heh.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 11:36 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I thought the dualstic split of the subject/observer went away at 4th. Like at that point, I thought there isn't a sense of a this side and a that side anymore.

The subject/object duality has to be there for perception and consciousness. The difference lies in fully understanding, grokking at the deepest levels, how perception actually works, and then seeing that process playing out in real-time. What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different. This isn't like Neo in The Matrix.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 1:23 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, I seem to be misinterpreting point #7 in the description of technical 4th path in MCTB2 (on page 342.. but copied here). It says:

"7) any sense of a this-and-that is fundamentally completely uprooted at the perceptual level (not that ordinary discrimination doesn't function as before), and that this holds up over the long-haul, meaning off-retreat and for years in the face of the strongest vicissitudes of life, across insight cycles, across jhanas and other shifts, and is the only and default perceptual mode at all times when there any sensations of any kind occuring."

Perhaps what I misunderstood was the part in parentheses "(not that ordinary discrimination doesn't function as before)". Based on your reply above, I'm guessing this point about ordinary discrimination is the same as what you said: "What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different." I guess I was confused about the term this-and-that and took it to mean the subject/observer duality is fundamentally completely uprooted.... thinking it meant that the actual experiential sensations that imply an observer and observed object would be completely uprooted and no longer experienced. Thanks for your patience in sorting this out. It is helpful and I appreciate it. I gather stuff like this probably gets misunderstood alot and it might get tiresome to keep answering questions about it sometimes.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 2:37 PM as a reply to Steph S.
On the topic of the observer, here are some of the individual sensations I’ve perceived that can trick you into thinking there’s a permanent observer. These all go really quickly and so can seem like they are all one sensation (that of a permanent observer) if not perceived clearly:

Attentional width, which can be zoomed in narrowly, in the center, at the periphery, or more panoramic, etc. The limits of how wide the eyes can physically see - meaning there is a blind spot at each periphery and you can see a bit of the top of the nose, and the blind spot created by the limits of the eye sockets that people never really pay attention to - all of this combined can seems to enclose or box in the sense of seeing. If you don’t break this down into when each of those are actually perceived, it could seem the field of vision and physical seeing is permanent and always on, giving the incorrect impression of continuous seeing. This boxing in of the physical line of sight, plus the eyes being slightly recessed, can also give the impression that seeing is happening behind what is being seen if all these sensations are incorrectly perceived as one thing.

The feeling of internal looking that seems to scan the body to go looking for any sensation that just happened, the feeling of tension that goes with that scan, the phantom mental image that produces a visual imprint that represents the sensation that was just felt (ie, a very translucent, lightning quick, mental visual of the arm if a tactile sensation was felt in the arm), any feeling tones associated with all this.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 5:17 PM as a reply to Steph S.
I guess I was confused about the term this-and-that and took it to mean the subject/observer duality is fundamentally completely uprooted.... thinking it meant that the actual experiential sensations that imply an observer and observed object would be completely uprooted and no longer experienced. Thanks for your patience in sorting this out. It is helpful and I appreciate it. I gather stuff like this probably gets misunderstood alot and it might get tiresome to keep answering questions about it sometimes.

I think it's worth the time explaining this. We all have different ways to describe it and that can add to the confusion. This is one of those things that just isn't clear until you experience it yourself. What gets uprooted once and for all is a bunch of deeply held, unexamined beliefs and assumptions about what we are and how things work. Remember that there is nothing special - no feeling, no thought, no controlling entity, to be found anywhere, ever. Another part of this, related but slightly different, is seeing that the self is just another thing, and is exactly like any other thing. I feel a responsibility to help de-mystify this stuff. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 6:06 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different. This isn't like Neo in The Matrix.

My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 6:40 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

I think it's worth the time explaining this. We all have different ways to describe it and that can add to the confusion. This is one of those things that just isn't clear until you experience it yourself. What gets uprooted once and for all is a bunch of deeply held, unexamined beliefs and assumptions about what we are and how things work. Remember that there is nothing special - no feeling, no thought, no controlling entity, to be found anywhere, ever. Another part of this, related but slightly different, is seeing that the self is just another thing, and is exactly like any other thing. I feel a responsibility to help de-mystify this stuff. 

Well this is a massive freaking relief to read. I was thinking that any sensations that implied a sense of self were going to be gone at 4th path, and truly, the thing that was racking my brain the most with frustration was this single aspect of it all. I was thinking, this seems effing impossible. How do those sensations just completely go away? My intuition was right that it seems impossible, because apparently it is. It's just that sensations that imply "self" are simply more causal sensations that come and go, and are not perceived as any more special than any other. When Noah talks above about the center being gone - I'm guessing that the constant referring back to the self or observer as the grand special central channel of experience is what goes away... not the individual sensations themselves. Just the relationship to the selfing sensations changes, right? As in, the selfing sensations are seen as no more of a big deal than a tactile sensation of warmth that suddenly appears and then isn't there. Again, what a huge damn relief. Thank you for this.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 6:47 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
Chris Marti:
What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different. This isn't like Neo in The Matrix.

My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

Sweet! Just so it can really be driven home and to make sure I'm totally clear - can you please explain more about what you mean in your last sentence about the center. Is what I said in my reply to Chris above the correct interpretation? Thanks.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/2/20 6:50 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
On the topic of the observer, here are some of the individual sensations I’ve perceived that can trick you into thinking there’s a permanent observer. These all go really quickly and so can seem like they are all one sensation (that of a permanent observer) if not perceived clearly:

Attentional width, which can be zoomed in narrowly, in the center, at the periphery, or more panoramic, etc. The limits of how wide the eyes can physically see - meaning there is a blind spot at each periphery and you can see a bit of the top of the nose, and the blind spot created by the limits of the eye sockets that people never really pay attention to - all of this combined can seems to enclose or box in the sense of seeing. If you don’t break this down into when each of those are actually perceived, it could seem the field of vision and physical seeing is permanent and always on, giving the incorrect impression of continuous seeing. This boxing in of the physical line of sight, plus the eyes being slightly recessed, can also give the impression that seeing is happening behind what is being seen if all these sensations are incorrectly perceived as one thing.

The feeling of internal looking that seems to scan the body to go looking for any sensation that just happened, the feeling of tension that goes with that scan, the phantom mental image that produces a visual imprint that represents the sensation that was just felt (ie, a very translucent, lightning quick, mental visual of the arm if a tactile sensation was felt in the arm), any feeling tones associated with all this.

Have you noticed with eyes open while not blinking a fast "blip" in the seeing? I'm seeing this all the time now when on cushion or just paying attention to it. It's like a Blip. As if one frame passed and arises even if staring at the very same object. 

Im also turning more attention towards the internal "seeing". The most vivid one for me is always the "inside of the mouth" seeing the teeth, tongue, flesh and spit. As if I'm looking at it from the throat. 

My internal visuals are usually very clear and always come after the noticing of sensation in that part. 

if there is itch at the back of head there will be an image impression of it as if I was standing behind myself and looking at it. 

What I'm now after is to pin point the space where that image is formed. I assume it's the same spot where the image of the outside objects we call "real" also form. 

Ive had one experience where inner image (imagination) and image of what I stared at with the eyes  merged in one another as if both were translucent. 

This alone was enough for me to know that all I see "over there" is really always in the mind. 
This is an insight and does not hold water during life-ing where my boy goes over there to chase our cat even though we told him that's not ok emoticon 

It certainly is fun having meditation show new labyrinths of experience to be explored rather than just investigating objects. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/2/20 7:03 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
Chris Marti:
What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different. This isn't like Neo in The Matrix.

My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

As all seen/felt/heard experiences always and only are in the mind isn't it normal for such to have more vibrancy and pixelation if you are inclined more towards Jhana? 
Is it possible to have it all in that mind as "normal" if Jhanas factors are not that, if any, strong? 
I assume not all Arahats have exact same experience. Or? 

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5/2/20 7:46 PM as a reply to Noah D.
My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

This is a great example of how various explanations can be confusing.

Noah, when you ate your last grilled cheese sandwich did it look, smell, and taste like a grilled cheese sandwich?

Like you, I used to describe objects as "having a piece of me attached to them." Shargrol might recall me telling Ron Crouch and him that in a coffee shop in 2010. Immediately after the transition, I couldn't meditate without being overcome by the vastness of perception. It was awe-inspiring for a while, but these things faded over time. The mind acclimates to the new normal. The "center point" is missing, but I'd describe that, as I did earlier, as the loss of the sense that there is a central authority, usually assumed to be the I/me/mine, that governs experience.


RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/2/20 8:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

This is a great example of how various explanations can be confusing.

Noah, when you ate your last grilled cheese sandwich did it look, smell, and taste like a grilled cheese sandwich?

Like you, I used to describe objects as "having a piece of me attached to them." Shargrol might recall me telling Ron Crouch and him that in a coffee shop in 2010. Immediately after the transition, I couldn't meditate without being overcome by the vastness of perception. It was awe-inspiring for a while, but these things faded over time. The mind acclimates to the new normal. The "center point" is missing, but I'd describe that, as I did earlier, as the loss of the sense that there is a central authority, usually assumed to be the I/me/mine, that governs experience.


Cool, so the central authority is about the relationship to phenomena, or understaning of how phenomena works, and not an experential center point that goes away? Or said another way - every sensation ever, for all time, is no longer perceived to be caused by a central authority. However, from a sensate perspective, is there still a coagulating of sensations seeming like they refer back to various central points in the body? Like, it might be that there are tensions, mental formations, mental bounce, scanning, mental images, and feeling tones that seem to refer back to the head, or places the observer would be - but they are simply perceived as just more sensations and not actually caused by a permanent self. This might be clunky way to describe it, but is this correct?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/2/20 8:29 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:

Have you noticed with eyes open while not blinking a fast "blip" in the seeing? I'm seeing this all the time now when on cushion or just paying attention to it. It's like a Blip. As if one frame passed and arises even if staring at the very same object. 

....

What I'm now after is to pin point the space where that image is formed. I assume it's the same spot where the image of the outside objects we call "real" also form. 


The really quick blip in the visual field - yes, I've noticed that alot. It happens between when one sensation happens and the next sensation that is experienced happens. I also have longer ones, what I call "zone out" sensations. I want to describe it as the mind turning away from things, but I don't know if that's actually accurate, but that's kind of what it feels like. It's almost like something in the head turning away, and things seem black, and then it turns back around and sight is seen again. It's like I'm completely tuning out for a few seconds. 

As far as I can tell, mental images happen near the third eye/6th chakra.

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5/2/20 8:51 PM as a reply to Steph S.
However, from a sensate perspective, is there still a coagulating of sensations seeming like they refer back to various central points in the body? Like, it might be that there are tensions, mental formations, mental bounce, scanning, mental images, and feeling tones that seem to refer back to the head, or places the observer would be - but they are simply perceived as just more sensations and not actually caused by a permanent self. This might be clunky way to describe it, but is this correct?

There is no pulling the wool over the eyes of the innate sense that there is no governor. That assumption is gone. They're all the same, with no preference for type or location. This level playing field can't be over-emphasized. I described it this way a week or so after it started:

"There is a leveled experiential playing field. There is a deeply felt removal of an innate, heretofore unexamined hierarchy of experiential existence.  All things, all processes, all experiences, are absolute equals. There are no experiences or processes that are in control, bigger, better, or somehow more important, than other processes and experiences.

I see, more clearly than ever, that “I” am a collection of little things that only seem to add up to a bigger thing. These little things are always scurrying around and they each have their own problems, concerns, delights, and interests. Taken as a whole they appear to the world as “Chris.” Do not be fooled!"

I also want to be clear about this thing called "location." Location is made up. Created. As is time. In the realm of subjective experience, mind creates these things for us to be able to "place" objects in subjective time and space. So the question, "Where is that thought, or sight, or sound?" is in a way nonsensical. Why, it's all just where it is.

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5/2/20 8:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Maybe the most interesting revelation among these various realizations is to see, to really see, just how powerful the mind is. It is literally everything.

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5/2/20 9:04 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
This makes alot of sense. Honestly, I get peeks into what you're saying here. I can still tell there is a bit of a heirarchy placed on the processing, attentional, and other sensations that seem to happen along the actual physical central channel of the body.... buuuut... it seems to have broken down somewhat, in that sometimes sensations do seem to happen simply where they actually physicall happen, and are just their own thing happening on their own, without someone causing them.

The  "one giant sense door" thing that people have mentioned also has been making alot more sense to me in recent weeks. It's like a collection of a bunch of sensations, happening at that particular moment - like a bunch of sensations of one giant puzzle that somehow came together to produce that exact unique experience. Like none of the combinations of experience will ever be the same, because there's an infinite combination of things that could happen at any given time at each of the sense doors - and for that one moment in time, some combination of sensations that are experienced happened. And while it's happening, it almost seems frozen or devoid of time, yet also somehow continuous. It's like a continuous snapshot of the exact combination of sensations happening, as they happen.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/2/20 9:07 PM as a reply to Steph S.
For me, the chimera of an experiential hierarchy seemed to be in the middle of my head, at eye level. There appeared to be something in that place that I couldn't observe no matter what I did. Something going on in there that was unknown and unseen. It was like a black hole. The "flip" was to realize that I was looking for something that simply didn't exist. 

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5/2/20 11:21 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
MADDENING!

I mean I guess you could 3C the sensations of trying to look for something. Like the mental movements of looking for something. But, I mean you can't look in the center of your head can you? Like the mind's eye creates mental images, but it can't actually see into the center of your head, because it's fabricating images, not seeing the physical contents of the inside of your head. Like it can't see your brain, which is in the center of your head. How can a mental image see another thing? It's its own sensation, and sensations can't see each other.

edited to add: what you said above about you looking for something that seemed to be in the headspace that doesn't actually exist is probably about as big of a hint about location not being real as I'm going to get, huh?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/3/20 12:44 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Noah D:
Chris Marti:
What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different. This isn't like Neo in The Matrix.

My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

Sweet! Just so it can really be driven home and to make sure I'm totally clear - can you please explain more about what you mean in your last sentence about the center. Is what I said in my reply to Chris above the correct interpretation? Thanks.
Yeah sure.  One needs to differentiate the muscle of attention, which is the individual consciousness (the atman) from everything else.  Within the sense of spacious luminous awesomeness, my atman was hiding, clinging, glued to the bottom of it all.  Then when that 'detached' I could see it moving with the objects in the field, as another object in the field.  So then I was like "aha I caught you mofo!"  Then I saw that dynamic interplay between attention & objects as just another process occuring.

In regards to your reply to Chris - I would say that I am not sure & that is ok.  But I think it could be said that way - that the attention is still there - the attention doesn't get 'destroyed' until buddhahood (if you believe in that map).  My pragmatic advice would be to trust your intuition & to find an explanation that causes internal alignment & congruency so that your view & practice of the path are on target with expected outcome.  That is what has helped me the most.  

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/3/20 12:39 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Noah D:
Chris Marti:
What you'll see, hear, smell, touch, taste or think isn't different. This isn't like Neo in The Matrix.

My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

As all seen/felt/heard experiences always and only are in the mind isn't it normal for such to have more vibrancy and pixelation if you are inclined more towards Jhana? 
Is it possible to have it all in that mind as "normal" if Jhanas factors are not that, if any, strong? 
I assume not all Arahats have exact same experience. Or? 

I don't know about arahants but I think it makes sense that these jhana factors are really a naturally occuring facet of consciousness when one let's go of the perceptual processes which cover them.  One of my teachers Dhammarato talks a lot about the cultivation of 1st jhana as a stabilized experience.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/3/20 12:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Noah, when you ate your last grilled cheese sandwich did it look, smell, and taste like a grilled cheese sandwich?

It looked different but smell & taste not so much.  Dreamwalker & I have talked about this - how probably sommeliers & perfumers cultivate a nondual function of taste & smell in their respective disciplines, even if these information streams wouldn't be opened up to the yogi.
Like you, I used to describe objects as "having a piece of me attached to them." Shargrol might recall me telling Ron Crouch and him that in a coffee shop in 2010. Immediately after the transition, I couldn't meditate without being overcome by the vastness of perception. It was awe-inspiring for a while, but these things faded over time. The mind acclimates to the new normal. 

Agreed.  Daniel described it in a recent interview as the sort of hedonistic adaptation that comes from getting used tobreathing fresh clean air.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/3/20 4:23 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
My direct sensory experience has changed quite a bit.  Like the panorama or spaciousness of see/hear/feel are always really amplified. Also the objects in the field have a certain 'vibrancy' to them, as if they are possessed with a piece of my own consciousness within them.  And yes, the 'center point' went with the observation that attention always moves with it's objects, never seperately.

This is a great example of how various explanations can be confusing.

Noah, when you ate your last grilled cheese sandwich did it look, smell, and taste like a grilled cheese sandwich?

Like you, I used to describe objects as "having a piece of me attached to them." Shargrol might recall me telling Ron Crouch and him that in a coffee shop in 2010. 
This explains a lot about how someone like you has survived, Chris: crucial coffees with saints at key moments on the careening downward spiral of your crazed path.

Don't say a fucking thing about MY coffee now! I drink my coffee ALONE, and am not a danger to myself or others as a result. You published your fucking practice log, you broke the ice for the dharma universe on that. Couldn't shargrol and Ron get enough good coffee in you at that point to dissuade you?!.

(edit) May have been projecting, on that "careening downward spiral of crazed path" thing, on second, measured look. my bad. forget i said anything. talk among yourselves.

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5/3/20 4:27 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
For me, the chimera of an experiential hierarchy seemed to be in the middle of my head, at eye level. There appeared to be something in that place that I couldn't observe no matter what I did. Something going on in there that was unknown and unseen. It was like a black hole. The "flip" was to realize that I was looking for something that simply didn't exist. 

Thats a nice share. Thanks Chris. I seem to be tracking this "space" now. I've found that place to be between the eyes and slightly above but inside the frontal brain. There was a perception of disorientaion connected to it. 

Its seems we come back to the King Millinda Sutra here emoticon go back to dismantling the chariot until all can be seen are parts of parts of parts  flickeing , including those sub-sleves running around the kindergarden playing nice with everybody. 

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5/3/20 4:48 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Interesting stuff! Thanks Steph! 

And thank you Noah. That makes sense. I can certainly see how 1st Jhana can become naturally the state during conscious hours. 

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5/3/20 7:36 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I mean I guess you could 3C the sensations of trying to look for something. Like the mental movements of looking for something. But, I mean you can't look in the center of your head can you? Like the mind's eye creates mental images, but it can't actually see into the center of your head, because it's fabricating images, not seeing the physical contents of the inside of your head. Like it can't see your brain, which is in the center of your head. How can a mental image see another thing? It's its own sensation, and sensations can't see each other.

This is so literal, Steph. Yes, this was an imaginary hole in the center of my head  emoticon

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5/3/20 8:09 AM as a reply to Steph S.
The discussions here are a great read. Thankyou! I have been wondering about similar stuff. 

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5/3/20 11:49 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Did a lovingkindness sit with the method of lovingkindness towards me, a dear friend, a neutral person, a difficult person, all beings in each of the 10 directions, all beings everywhere in all realms. Then when done extending the mantra to each of those, do a mantra of equanimity. The mantra of equanimity is something I never thought of, but was mentioned in the Brahma Vihara & Magick section in MCTB2 that I talked about above. It's helpful, because, duh, as it suggests, maintains equanimity in the practice. The mantra for the equanimity part is along the lines of: "(such and such person) is the heir of their own karma. (such and such person's) happiness depends upon their beliefs, thoughts, and actions, and not my wishes for them." Then after this part I moved into doing some insight.

Papa Che GuevaraBuddha - Something fun I was observing today in the insight part of practice relates to the closed eye seeing. It's interesting how when the eyes are closed, since the visual field is blackish with other washes of color, there are no real spatial reference points to get a sense of distance or depth. The visual field seems boundless because of this, obviously, and fills in a sense of space where it isn't actually seen. It seems like you're seeing blackish in all directions - including directions you can't actually see in (relates to what I was saying to Chris when I got way too literal), but realistically, you're only seeing the same portion of space that the eyes can physically see. How this has implications for mental images is - the phantom image of the sensation that just happened, it appears the image is fused to the place in the body where that occurs.. and it's because the eyeballs move in the general direction of that part of the body. So, for example, sensation in the left arm, the eyeballs would move to the left and down, and given the lack of a spatial reference point, it seems like the "space" between the eyes and the arm is being filled in, in the blackness - to create a larger perception or sense of space than you're actually seeing.

Edited to add: I think a big piece of the puzzle is how this filling in of space has implications for feelings of solidity aka misperceiving a permanent sense of self/body/entity. This same process of filling in space happens when mental images and such appear when you're walking about daily life, and not just sitting down with your eyes closed for an hour or what have you.

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5/3/20 12:38 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S.:

Papa Che GuevaraBuddha - Something fun I was observing today in the insight part of practice relates to the closed eye seeing. It's interesting how when the eyes are closed, since the visual field is blackish with other washes of color, there are no real spatial reference points to get a sense of distance or depth. The visual field seems boundless because of this, obviously, and fills in a sense of space where it isn't actually seen. It seems like you're seeing blackish in all directions - including directions you can't actually see in (relates to what I was saying to Chris when I got way too literal), but realistically, you're only seeing the same portion of space that the eyes can physically see. Do eyes see space ? Is there physical space in the field of vision ?  How this has implications for mental images is - the phantom image of the sensation that just happened, it appears the image is fused to the place in the body where that occurs.. and it's because the eyeballs move in the general direction of that part of the body.  Is there a place in the body where that occurs ? So, for example, sensation in the left arm, the eyeballs would move to the left and down, and given the lack of a spatial reference point, it seems like the "space" between the eyes and the arm is being filled in, in the blackness - to create a larger perception or sense of space than you're actually seeing.
Hi Steph !

Interesting exploration ! I can really relate and I find myself investigating this kind of thing a lot these days. Yesterday I spent two hours doing exercises to see clearly how objects are fabricated, doing visual exercises kind of similar to what you describe. For instance, if you focus visually on an object with eyes open, after having acquired a lot of clarity from fast noting for 45 min, for instance, and then consciously move attention away from the object of focus, but not visual focus, you can observe directly what changes. Visually, nothing changes, the image is still exactly the same. And yet, when you move your attention towards something which is in the periphery without moving your eyes or changing visual focus, it appears as if, right there, in front of you, is the object of attention, or alternatively, it seems like you have selected one aspect of the one sense field, as you said earlier, from the rest, and made it appear bigger. Where does that come from ? Holding the visual focus on another object makes it abundantly clear that the object which has become your center of attention is mental. And in fact, you can do the same exercise with your eyes closed. There is a mental image subtely present in the background basically at all times (not in jhana !) which is supposed to be the room you are in. It seems to move when "you" do. When you shift your attention to an object in the visual field, this mental image of the very same visual field is also involved. Where is this mental image in relation with the visual object ? When you focus on an object visually but shift your attentional focus on another object of the visual field, there appears a mental visual representation of the object of attention, alongside many other mental things, like : a mental visual image of "your eyes" moving, a mental sense of directional shift, tactile/mental representations associated with object of attention, and other things, which are all mental, but constitute your perception of said object of attention. Where is that object ? In this exercise, your visual field is totally unchanged, the focus is still another object. This is totally fascinating to watch.... 

I find that playing with presence/absence of visual image and the distinction between attentionnal focus/visual focus really makes it stand out directly and clearly on its own that the whole object-construction is mental, definitely including the sense of space and movement. Just an venue of exploration i find cool which seems to align with the recent discussion here...

I wonder about this notion of space as a kind of container that you're mentionning, the notion of "physical space" "out there". My experience aligns more with what Chris said beautifully earlier, that "location" and time are both constructed. Questioning where things are in relation to each other is also really trippy and revelatory, I find. In my recent experience, it seems obvious that there is actually nothing like space in any of the sense fields, and that it is a kind of sense field of its own, mental, which is a major component of the way different sensations are tied in with one another to create the attentional perception of objects. Or should I say "conception" ? After, con- is with, and -ception comes for capio, capere, which means "to catch, take, grab".... I seem to be able to almost grok this but it doesn't maintain itself without effort, definitely can't hold this clarity for a long time, off the cushion anyways... Any advice ? More practice ?

Oh, btw, this notion of the unfidable point of observation which turns out to be... imaginary, in the sense that we are looking for something which only exists as the mental image that we have of it.... The unfindable thing... I would say that this relates completely with my flaming posts about the brain being an imaginary construct, in that music thread. This is exactly what I meant : the postulated existence of a kind of processor of sorts which is always outside of experience, being what supposedly creates said experience, this notion is exactly the same thing as positing the existence of an observer which is always outside of experience. It is a mental conception. In that sense, it seems virtually identical, IMO, except in name, to the idea of an invisible entity which is responsible for the creation of all that appears - which is a definition of god that some people give, creator of heaven and earth. How is this view compatible with seeing dependent origination ? How is naturalism compatible with sunyata ? I'm being serious here guys, and am genuinely curious to know what either of you thinks, Steph and Chris (and others who might have a clue ?).

With metta,

Olivier

Minor edits

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5/3/20 3:34 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Thanks for jumping in, Olivier! emoticon

You have lots of interesting questions, probably all of which I'm also trying to figure out the answers to. I get what you're saying about holding up the brain as the CPU, when really any idea we have of the brain is just that, an idea - conceptual because we can't perceive the brain. Same goes for ideas of location. Location is conceptualized based on a relationship between 2 or more objects. Basically the mind will fabricate the idea of a location based on triangulating several reference points. These reference points are subjective. The main reference point that people probably conceptualize is themselves - so we think of things being located in relationship to ourselves. For example, we conceptualize that a wall seems like it is "over there" in relation to me. We think, I am in the center of this room, so each of the walls are in front, behind, and to the sides of me. Then take that to the more micro level, where things get conceptualized as being located in the head. The body is then like a map that we perceive different reference points being located upon or within. It is all ideas. The trick is to see it in real time, and directly experience this conceptualizing and how the concept of location gets attached to it - which relationships are occuring to make it seem like reference points are getting triangulated to create what seems like a particular location. What are the reference points and how do they happen? I suppose is what we're all trying to figure out.

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5/3/20 3:50 PM as a reply to Olivier.
In that sense, it seems virtually identical, IMO, except in name, to the idea of an invisible entity which is responsible for the creation of all that appears - which is a definition of god that some people give, creator of heaven and earth. How is this view compatible with seeing dependent origination ? How is naturalism compatible with sunyata ? I'm being serious here guys, and am genuinely curious to know what either of you thinks, Steph and Chris (and others who might have a clue ?).

In my experience, everything is dependently arising. These "external" gods, creators, controllers, and I/me/mines are all concepts which also dependently arise. If anything can be said to be responsible for creation (in the domain of subjective experience) it's the mind. I'm pretty sure that there's "stuff" out there that is causing mind to do its thing, but I have no direct contact with that stuff. It's all coming from the mind, via my six senses. So whatever that stuff is, I don't know.

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5/3/20 4:21 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Hey guys,
Good discussion here! I have the feeling I am really tackling this same issue these days in my log (although from a pre-path newbie point of view). I use the term "triangulating" as well! I totally follow you when you say that space is a construct. Actually imho every mind state is a construct, even "boundless consciousness" and "nothingness", so any attainment that relies on a way of perceiving doesn't hold. Because different ways of perceiving are the outcome of realizing those states (or they are the result of a change in perspective in advaita). These are at most "signs" of the attainment, they are not permanent.
I think Julian Jaynes says that consciousness was internalized from what our senses gather from the outside world. We see space outside and infer space inside, and we use the same vocabulary to describe our inner life as the outer one. He has an interesting creative way to look at the development of consciousness...
And thanks to Papa Che, who once again showed that training on some sense door produces result on this sense door (the blink). Good reminder for me.

Sorry for chiming in with my big boots!
with metta
smiling stone

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5/3/20 4:58 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In that sense, it seems virtually identical, IMO, except in name, to the idea of an invisible entity which is responsible for the creation of all that appears - which is a definition of god that some people give, creator of heaven and earth. How is this view compatible with seeing dependent origination ? How is naturalism compatible with sunyata ? I'm being serious here guys, and am genuinely curious to know what either of you thinks, Steph and Chris (and others who might have a clue ?).

In my experience, everything is dependently arising. These "external" gods, creators, controllers, and I/me/mines are all concepts which also dependently arise. If anything can be said to be responsible for creation (in the domain of subjective experience) it's the mind. I'm pretty sure that there's "stuff" out there that is causing mind to do its thing, but I have no direct contact with that stuff. It's all coming from the mind, via my six senses. So whatever that stuff is, I don't know.

Basically you realised that you are blind and then you said fuck it lemme sit on the back seat and enjoy the ride. Dont know who the fuck is driving nor where but thats just the way it is as there is nothing else there but this. As if I ever had a choice! emoticon

I can relate a bit to the stuff you mention as for example when I stare at an object in the room very soon that object starts to flicker and even chage colors and becomes dark ... makes one wonder if we are even seeing things "as they really are" in that room emoticon All we have is that mind impression that came throught the sense door of seeing. As far as I know that white wall could be Black! But how would I know that for sure? Can't.

Once I start seeing the sense of self being some sort of arising and passing image impressions (basically just an idea dependent on whatever preceeded it in form of another sensation then where do "I" go from there? In that realisation/insight is a great deal of curiosity and listening PAUSE (in a way we listen carefully for something we are not sure what it was) ... ... ...



The hour is late, I shall go to bed really ...

p.s. just a reminder to self; no matter what fancy insight/experience presents itself always start with the basics! Reality check! Body sensations! Don't go chasing waterfalls.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/3/20 6:26 PM as a reply to Smiling Stone.
Actually imho every mind state is a construct, even "boundless consciousness" and "nothingness", so any attainment that relies on a way of perceiving doesn't hold.

Yes. Awareness is also a construct.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/7/20 2:10 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Continuing the brahmaviharas and for the past few days been working with "compassion". I focused on directing the mantra towards one person in each sit to see how that changes the dynamic... instead of all in one sit directng towards myself, then a loved one, then neutral, then difficult person, then all beings in all directions. I think I'm liking it better directing it towards one person in a sit instead of all the different groups of people. It's easier to focus because there isn't the mental jumping ahead, thinking of who I'm going to direct it towards next. 

For maybe the past week or so I've noticed that sensations and feelings neither dip too high or too low in intensity. Things seem samey-samey in a way. I mean, I can tell the difference between sensations and at times there's boredom, at times there's pleasantness, and irritation, plus all the other myriad sensations - and sometimes they do change in intensity, but for the most part things seem to be happening in some middle ground of experience. It almost seems like a plateuing. I also can't even tell much of a difference in what nana I'm in, and it barely seems like I'm cycling, if at all. Maybe I am, but maybe the differences seem so subtle that it's hard to tell. For a while now it's also like after I get up into the jhanas, they kind of flatten and level out and plateau too. 

In today's sit what I was focusing on was not trying to coneptualize sensations and just seeing them for exactly what they are. Meaning, I don't really mentally or verbally note much anymore, but I still have this knowing conceptualization of sensations - like, oh this is a feeling of tension, this is a sense of presence, this is pleasant, this is neutral, this is unpleasant. So I was kind of dropping that tendency and experiencing the sensations exactly as they are, without wondering what I think it is, not creating a story out of it. There was still some of that tendency happening, but alot of the time it didn't. I think at some point the conceptualizing of sensations and categorizing them is part of what perpetuates our clinging to them. I mean that's obviously what craving, aversion, and clinging are - but objectifying them through seeing them as they arise initially takes the sting out of it. Then we create another story about what sensations mean in practice, as part of the mechanics of practice itself - especially ones like a sense of presence, or sense of observer, and what we think those imply. Like we've created another story on top of what it used to mean to us. We cling to what those stories about those sensations mean. It's almost like working backwards - where back in the day when we first start practicing, we need to sort out what all the individual sensations are. Then eventually we need to stop attaching to each of them and the categories we've grouped them into as a part of practice. It almost feels like being right back at the beginning, but not because the 3C's have been seen on a much deeper level.

(edited for clarity)

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 2:29 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Continuing the brahmaviharas and for the past few days been working with "compassion". I focused on directing the mantra towards one person in each sit to see how that changes the dynamic... instead of all in one sit directng towards myself, then a loved one, then neutral, then difficult person, then all beings in all directions. I think I'm liking it better directing it towards one person in a sit instead of all the different groups of people. It's easier to focus because there isn't the mental jumping ahead, thinking of who I'm going to direct it towards next. 

For maybe the past week or so I've noticed that sensations and feelings neither dip too high or too low in intensity. Things seem samey-samey in a way. I mean, I can tell the difference between sensations and at times there's boredom, at times there's pleasantness, and irritation, plus all the other myriad sensations - and sometimes they do change in intensity, but for the most part things seem to be happening in some middle ground of experience. It almost seems like a plateuing. I also can't even tell much of a difference in what nana I'm in, and it barely seems like I'm cycling, if at all. Maybe I am, but maybe the differences seem so subtle that it's hard to tell. For a while now it's also like after I get up into the jhanas, they kind of flatten and level out and plateau too. 

In today's sit what I was focusing on was not trying to coneptualize sensations and just seeing them for exactly what they are. Meaning, I don't really mentally or verbally note much anymore, but I still have this knowing conceptualization of sensations - like, oh this is a feeling of tension, this is a sense of presence, this is pleasant, this is neutral, this is unpleasant. So I was kind of dropping that tendency and experiencing the sensations exactly as they are, without wondering what I think it is, not creating a story out of it. There was still some of that tendency happening, but alot of the time it didn't. I think at some point the conceptualizing of sensations and categorizing them is part of what perpetuates our clinging to them. I mean that's obviously what craving, aversion, and clinging are - but objectifying them through seeing them as they arise initially takes the sting out of it. Then we create another story about what sensations mean in practice, as part of the mechanics of practice itself - especially ones like a sense of presence, or sense of observer, and what we think those imply. Like we've created another story on top of what it used to mean to us. We cling to what those stories about those sensations mean. It's almost like working backwards - where back in the day when we first start practicing, we need to sort out what all the individual sensations are. Then eventually we need to stop attaching to each of them and the categories we've grouped them into as a part of practice. It almost feels like being right back at the beginning, but not because the 3C's have been seen on a much deeper level.

(edited for clarity)

i stumbled into this from shargrol recently and am using it as my new scriptural digest, fits on a business card, go-to nugget and pearl of great price thing. I believe it may actually apply at every moment on the path, and path. Shargrol may actually be, um, you know. the second coming of Someone or something. Nuff said. No more messy executions; we've learned a thing or two along the way, here.
Shargrol

"
A gentler approach is to have the intention to stay on the breath, allow for both success and failure to happen, and when failure eventually happens (which of course it will, that's built into the practice, no big deal) --- then the important part of practice happens: noting what was so seductive to the mind. The important thing isn't to get a A+ in class for staying on the breath, it's to learn about how your own mind works. It's learning directly what seduces the mind, and once we know, we can't be very confused anymore. Over time, with the gentler approach, the mind will follow the intention and stay on the breath and it will be a much more sustainable. It won't require effort because your practice didn't require effort with the gentler approach. The mind can hold breathing in awareness without a big struggle".

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 2:32 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Just an idea; 

as you do focus on "not trying to" or getting into Jhanas which you know so well, and going into Metta which you know so well, as well as Brahmaviharas. 

What about if you do what you indeed can't do. Kenneth's "Listening to the ships in a distant harbour". Let's say you just listen to the ships in Singapore. This practice might reveal other aspects which might pass unnoticed in the other practices you are familiar with. 

Just an idea which might not have anything to do with where you are now. Felt like sharing it anyway. 
BTW, almost deleted this reply twice thinking it might not be for you but managed to press "Publish" emoticon 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 4:09 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Just an idea which might not have anything to do with where you are now. Felt like sharing it anyway. 
BTW, almost deleted this reply twice thinking it might not be for you but managed to press "Publish" emoticon 

jayzus fooking keeer-ist, Papa Che, stop thinking!

Don't make everyone who loves you stage an intervention.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/8/20 7:46 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Yah, yah, yah Tim emoticon 
The lady is 3rd Pather and its really not my place to say anything here and yet I get these urges with ideas to post. 

Oh, look a little bee entered through my window ... ... ... emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 8:39 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 9:53 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Just an idea; 

as you do focus on "not trying to" or getting into Jhanas which you know so well, and going into Metta which you know so well, as well as Brahmaviharas. 

What about if you do what you indeed can't do. Kenneth's "Listening to the ships in a distant harbour". Let's say you just listen to the ships in Singapore. This practice might reveal other aspects which might pass unnoticed in the other practices you are familiar with. 

Just an idea which might not have anything to do with where you are now. Felt like sharing it anyway. 
BTW, almost deleted this reply twice thinking it might not be for you but managed to press "Publish" emoticon 

It's not that I'm not trying to get into jhana. I am getting into jhana and intending to, it's just that when I move to insight from jhana, it's like it kind of levels out and plataeus. And even jhana itself is getting kinda plataeued in a weird way - where it seems like I'm not getting super deep into it and even as I rise up the jhanas they're all seeming kind of samey-samey and leveled out in a way.

Regardless, this is interesting what you say here and I appreciate it. Can you tell me more about what you mean? What's the actual practice instructions for this? I haven't heard about Kenneth's listening to ships in a distant harbour before.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 9:58 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:

i stumbled into this from shargrol recently and am using it as my new scriptural digest, fits on a business card, go-to nugget and pearl of great price thing. I believe it may actually apply at every moment on the path, and path. Shargrol may actually be, um, you know. the second coming of Someone or something. Nuff said. No more messy executions; we've learned a thing or two along the way, here.
Shargrol

"
A gentler approach is to have the intention to stay on the breath, allow for both success and failure to happen, and when failure eventually happens (which of course it will, that's built into the practice, no big deal) --- then the important part of practice happens: noting what was so seductive to the mind. The important thing isn't to get a A+ in class for staying on the breath, it's to learn about how your own mind works. It's learning directly what seduces the mind, and once we know, we can't be very confused anymore. Over time, with the gentler approach, the mind will follow the intention and stay on the breath and it will be a much more sustainable. It won't require effort because your practice didn't require effort with the gentler approach. The mind can hold breathing in awareness without a big struggle".

That's some classic, good shargrol realness right there, I tell you what. emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 11:31 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Here is a link to Kenneth's site where he talks Mahamudra and ships in the distant harbour https://kennethfolkdharma.com/2017/04/nyc-talk-mahamudra-and-the-ships-in-the-harbor/

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/8/20 11:34 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
14 of those giants can wipe out an entire colony of 60.000 honeybees in about an hour emoticon 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/9/20 7:35 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Che - I tried it out "listening to the ships in the harbor" today. The listening, or being open to something that's not realistically there does bring up a brightness and alertness that's really nice and clean and pleasant. It perks the mind up a little, with an element of curiosity and wonder, and I did notice the softness that Kenneth talked about.

Cool thing is, in trying to listen to the ships in the harbor, I stumbled upon... the ocean. The sound of the breeze I could hear turned into some gentle ocean waves. I got into a groove listening to the "waves" and was basically transported to what always has been far and away my most profound love when it comes to natural places - the mighty Pacific coastline of California. To me, this place has the perfect harmony of the 4 elements (water, wind, earth, fire), the ocean, breeze, sand, and sun. I have a really deep connection to this place place (or multiple places, I guess, since I've been up and down basically all of the California coast) and it was a really, really cool practice session. So thanks, really genuine thanks, for pointing me there.




RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/9/20 4:12 PM as a reply to Steph S.
^^^ the font on that is really small and it won't let me edit it because I did quick reply and edit isn't working on it. emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/11/20 3:58 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Che - I tried it out "listening to the ships in the harbor" today. The listening, or being open to something that's not realistically there does bring up a brightness and alertness that's really nice and clean and pleasant. It perks the mind up a little, with an element of curiosity and wonder, and I did notice the softness that Kenneth talked about.

Cool thing is, in trying to listen to the ships in the harbor, I stumbled upon... the ocean. The sound of the breeze I could hear turned into some gentle ocean waves. I got into a groove listening to the "waves" and was basically transported to what always has been far and away my most profound love when it comes to natural places - the mighty Pacific coastline of California. To me, this place has the perfect harmony of the 4 elements (water, wind, earth, fire), the ocean, breeze, sand, and sun. I have a really deep connection to this place place (or multiple places, I guess, since I've been up and down basically all of the California coast) and it was a really, really cool practice session. So thanks, really genuine thanks, for pointing me there.



I love this. I relate it to the nfirst words of the Shema, the most fundamental prayer text of Judaism: "Hear, O Israel."

To listen is to intend to hear. And what ears you turn out to have, in that simply listening, and the hearing presents as joy and refreshment. Not even fun with boredom; just plain beautiful fun. I could feel that Pacific wind, with the freshness of the Humboldt cold curent in it.

i was in SF for over fifteen years, and love that northerncoast from Big Sur on up to Point Reyes. That mountain landscape along the sea, that skinny little road, every curve death waiting to happen if you get too sucked into the glorious views, always felt weirdly like home to me. And even before i saw it: Henry Miller's Hieronymous Bosch and The Oranges of Big Sur was my first awareness that this place called to me as nowhere else ever had or would.

And now, as the tidewater spring throws up one last weird cold spell before the whole place settles into the usual southeastern Virgina sauna in hell for the summer, i have a contact refreshment from you listening and hearing.

thank you, Steph, you who thank papa che! That madman is true on so often. If he wasn't so hell-bent out of this hell-hole samsara here, and played more guitar, he might end up enjoying some fun in dukha himself.  Meanwhile, he gives to others what he can't give to himself.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/11/20 5:54 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim emoticon my friend emoticon 

That suggestion above is Kenneth's emoticon I just linked to it not really knowing if Steph might use it. I'm not even sure I totally get what KF is pointing to. He shall keep all the credit and his teachers and those before them. 

My guess is; "naive curiousity" where Mind is simply so expansive and open. It's a non-grasping moment open to ... what? ... Listening ... image impression ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... body sensations ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... noticing eye sight space ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... hearing my boy speak with his toys ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... noticing Jhana absorption ... knowing it's not it ... listening to the ships in distant harbor ... listening ... 

This non-action seems to be about non-ownership hence free. There is no owning nor the owner in that moment. 

I might be wrong of course. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/11/20 5:58 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim emoticon my friend emoticon 

That suggestion above is Kenneth's emoticon I just linked to it not really knowing if Steph might use it. I'm not even sure I totally get what KF is pointing to. He shall keep all the credit and his teachers and those before them. 

My guess is; "naive curiousity" where Mind is simply so expansive and open. It's a non-grasping moment open to ... what? ... Listening ... image impression ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... body sensations ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... noticing eye sight space ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... hearing my boy speak with his toys ... knowing it's not it ... listening ... noticing Jhana absorption ... knowing it's not it ... listening to the ships in distant harbor ... listening ... 

This non-action seems to be about non-ownership hence free. There is no owning nor the owner in that moment. 

I might be wrong of course. 
Papa-ji, we're all wrong, in the end! emoticon

beautiful mini-seminar on noting aloud, right there. Good thing you're such a dolt and a dumbo, people might start to think you're on of the best practice guides we're blessed with here, and not just for those whose hair is on fire and they've decided the best route through is a good sprint for the exit at paradoxical snail speed through the hottest flames.

emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/11/20 9:30 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
I like the Mahamudra passage Kenneth brings up throughout that talk, "While looking again and again at the mind, which cannot be looked at, the meaning is seen vividly just as it is." It's a stumper and on purpose, and he likens it to a Zen koan. It's a pointer to what people refer to as suchness, isness, thusness, or whatever other similar word you want to put there. The experience of exactly what is happening, as its happening, without the clinging of trying to conceptualize it, figure it out, or to use your words, Che... own it.

Suchness is something I'm seeing more of in practice lately and what I did kind of a clumsy explanation several responses up. It's really hard to explain non-clumsily for me. The best I can get is that puzzle piece explanation or something a friend came up with a long time ago - a big sensation soup. All the unique ingredients come together for that one instant to make up the complexity of the flavor of that sensation soup. No need to figure out what every ingredient is or attach to what the name of the soup is, or try to conceptualize all its characteristics, whether or not you like the taste of it - it's just the pure, non-conceptual taste of the whole soup, just as it is.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/11/20 10:56 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim - I lived for most of my life in southern California, but took plenty of trips up to the coast, driving up lots of PCH. Those tiny, winding roads up and down those hills are no joke. I really love the central coast and up for how it's the forest and the beach in the same place. Before I moved away from California I took a final road trip to the Point Lobos State Reserve and Monterey and surrounding areas. There's some truly great trees and cliffs overlooking the ocean there.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/11/20 11:11 AM as a reply to Steph S.
In late September 2018, my wife and I took a two-week drive from LA to Sea Ranch but first spent a few days on Catalina. We didn't have a plan other than to drive north on PCH every day. It's gorgeous and fun, especially in a Mustang convertible.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/11/20 11:19 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Tim - I lived for most of my life in southern California, but took plenty of trips up to the coast, driving up lots of PCH. Those tiny, winding roads up and down those hills are no joke. I really love the central coast and up for how it's the forest and the beach in the same place. Before I moved away from California I took a final road trip to the Point Lobos State Reserve and Monterey and surrounding areas. There's some truly great trees and cliffs overlooking the ocean there.
we should all have a giant meet-up in Big Sur. You and Chris come from the south, i'll come from the north. Meet in the third hot pool from the left on top of the cliffs. I will be the on who is, uh, unclad.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/12/20 9:15 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I put this in Papa Che's thread but wanted to put it here too. It's about zoning out vs. being alert. I call it zoning out when attention wavers and the sense of presence goes away for a little bit. It's usually when I'm not really paying attention and my mind wanders... especially in daily life when I'm not actively paying attention. I'm starting to wonder if what I'm calling the vague sense of presence that's there when I'm paying attention is actually a sense of alertness. Because the sense of presence isn't there at all when I have those zoning out moments. But it is there, in varying degrees of intensity, when I'm actively paying attention/being mindful. I'm trying to break down the sensations that seem like attentiveness/attention, since attention isn't actually real. I think there is probably some relationship between what I think seems like a sense of presence, alertness, and what seems like attention itself. Any pointers or tips from the crowd on this? 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/12/20 9:56 AM as a reply to Steph S.
 I'm trying to break down the sensations that seem like attentiveness/attention, since attention isn't actually real. I think there is probably some relationship between what I think seems like a sense of presence, alertness, and what seems like attention itself. Any pointers or tips from the crowd on this? 

Can you explore whether what you call attention is directed? If so, how and by what? Why are you focused on this thing now, and then on that thing, and then on another thing? What causes the "movement" of the mind among those things?

EDIT: Another thing to ponder -- what makes being "attentive" or "alert" any different than not? Is it indeed special in some way, and does it deserve the reification being "mindful" typically gets?

EDIT2: Does being attentive/mindful change an existing perception we experience, or is it actually a separate experience?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/12/20 9:57 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yep, this is something I've looked at. My gut instinct is that it has to do with clinging somehow - the singling out of certain sensations over others, why some seem to come more to the forefront. It does very much feel like a zooming into something when that happens. Realistically, there's countless things happening in the body simultaneously, but that doesn't matter experientially because sensations are experienced one-by-one. So why are some experienced as coming to the forefront and not others? I do understand intellectually and sometimes experientially but not always, that sensations have their own in-built awareness. So sometimes it seems natural, happening on its own, just a bunch of sensations doing their thing. Other times there still does seem to be some sense of me zooming into things. I have definitely noticed - and maybe this goes with the same-same feelings I mentioned several posts up, that the types of sensations I experience again and again seem similar. Like practitioner Steph is used to seeing all these types of sensations during a sit, going about daily life, so I keep noticing those and not others that might be happening. That's not to say there's no variation and I don't see new types of things, but there is a definite tinge of, I've seen all this shit so many times before. Again, probably a factor of clinging as to why those keep getting focused on. So how do I break that down? Is this in line with what you're getting at?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/12/20 11:25 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I guess attentiveness/mindfulness/alertness are probably irrelevant when it comes down to it. Regardless of whether there's an alertness or mindfulness, stuff is happening, and that's all part of the vast field of experience. Like what does the field of experience care about alertness? Shit's still happening regardless of how clearly it seems like it's experienced or not.

Edit: I know the field of experience isn't some separate thing or place, I'm just saying it like that to illustrate a point.

Another edit: I want to clarify for people reading that I don't mean that attentiveness is totally irrelevant when it comes to practice. And I don't mean you should just sit like a bump on a log and disregard attentiveness while meditating.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 11:42 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Something is always happening - so why is only some of that stuff singled out for attention? I mean, really, what the hell is going on there?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/12/20 3:01 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Our brain is limited I guess or? It can only make sense out of so much per moment otherwise if all what springs in one moment would come into attention then we would just ... faint maybe emoticon Imagine playing only 10 different songs at once there would be no way to sort that mess out. Or? 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 3:07 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Don't guess - go find out!

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 3:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Partially what Che says. And also, the segregating of experience into sense doors is due to selfing type sensations seeming like they're the dividers between types of sensations, creating what seems like different sense doors. Like selfing sensations intercutting sensations makes experience seem divided, makes it seem like some sensations stand out. It almost acts like it's propping them up and making them stand out more at the forefront. Combine that with clinging to certain types of sensations more than others (especially the selfing sensations themselves). I don't notice alot of really subtle or uninteresting stuff because I don't take it personally or care about it - i.e. I don't cling to it. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but that's what I have so far.


edited for clarity

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 3:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 4:06 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Let me try a different angle on this -- is there anything that rises to the level of what you guys would call "attention" that is due to your intent? What is "your intent?" How does that arise?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 4:12 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Now that's a question I have asked myself too! Like if I felt like I specifically wanted to pay attention to the pretty tree outside my window and focus on it for a moment. How does the intent to do that happen, and how does that focusing on the tree then happen?

These are things I am not wise enough yet to fully know, but it's important to find out. I guess the answer to this is going to be, okay focus on the sensations that imply "intent" over and over and over again until it's seen clearly.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 4:18 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Yeah, you gotta watch this stuff as it happens. It seems that's almost always the key to the locked doors.

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5/12/20 4:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
The stupid simple instructions that are too simple, but actually way too freakin true. 

I wanted to say it also probably comes from sort of craving or desire, which happens before clinging if you're talking about the links of dependent origination. However, what that looks like as it occurs is more important than waxing poetic about what dependent origination means.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 4:30 PM as a reply to Steph S.
The difference between what's happening and what we think is happening can be vast.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 4:48 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Let me try a different angle on this -- is there anything that rises to the level of what you guys would call "attention" that is due to your intent? What is "your intent?" How does that arise?

What is "my intent"? ... ... its an urge, can be very subtle but still an urge ... its also an image, an idea. 

How does THAT arise? ... ... ... its arising depends on the previous sensation ... it seems to color onto sensations, or latch onto each sensation in form of control, ownership , ... ... some kind of an "idea-urge" that is perpetuated through the sense of time ... its a sense of a grasping-urge-belief 

... .. ... pass emoticon  I really feel like a virgin getting ready to be .... emoticon 

I will bring this to the cushion and see if i can get into that Intent-Attention some more ... thank you Papa Chris! 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 5:04 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
yea, i have noticed the sense of intent that seems to come up after the action took place, but i guess there's more to it that i'm not seeing.

i'm going to stop posting for the moment and go watch all this crap happen. emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 5:09 PM as a reply to Steph S.
You do that in your time zone emoticon Here is 7 minutes over midnight! I better get some sleep. Or should I meditate all night on What is Mu instead?! emoticon 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 5:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Let me try a different angle on this -- is there anything that rises to the level of what you guys would call "attention" that is due to your intent? What is "your intent?" How does that arise?
As strange as it may seem, this is where the Jueo-Christian tradtional has a useful--- pragmatic--- answer. "My intent," at a certain depth of attention, is nothing, seen to be worthless at best, and harmless in most ways. What arises out of the ashes of that self, from anattta, is the will of God, Thy will, and not mine. (and not i, but Chris in me, as you recall)

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/12/20 8:02 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Yes, good insights from Tim and pretty in line with what I'm about to say.

Y'all, when I'm at my peak experiencing, I'm about willing to bet the farm that intent isn't something that can be perceived. There can be thoughts that I want to go and do something or that I wish something would happen, but they're only thoughts. The thoughts don't make something happen or will things into existence. Thoughts happen organically, on their own. I can't control them. Whatever sensations come up, even ones that seem focused on, well I'm basically convinced that happens organically on its own too. That's how it feels in direct experience anyway. I sincerely don't think there's a predictable rhyme or reason to why certain sensations are obvious in the field of experience, while others aren't perceived. I think it's a bunch of causes and conditions momentarily colliding, the full extent of those causes and conditions being impossible to entirely ponder. That also goes for anything that could be conceived of as intent. You might think that you want something to happen, and even if it does happen, it's not because that thought was the intent of it or even because there might have been some craving for it. It's just one tiny part of a huge line of causes and conditions, which again, can't be entirely known. I'm not saying this theoretically. Again, at my peak level of experience, I can clearly see the automatic nature of all these things that happens without my input.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 2:14 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I'm having a fishy feeling here. 

... (this stage is about selfing)
Before ever starting on this path there was utter ignorance about how reality unfolds and one is Absorbed in that continuous state of selfing. 


... (next stage is letting go of selfing)
Then there is this Path and one is seeing clearly how reality unfolds moment to moment, sensation after sensation ... one is Absorbed into continuos state of un-selfing. 


... (next stage must be letting go of un-selfing) 
This stage might have to do with letting go of this Absorption state which is part of both the ignorant selfing and the Vipassana un-selfing (the intent-attention is absorption like). 
Kenneth Folk sais, when you go away, lo and behold, there still is Awareness! There is no Absorption in Awareness. 

So how do I let go of Absorption (that locks onto the experience) and let all spring into Awareness? 

Uh oh, I'm just out of bed, still sleepy and just slurping my cup of coffee. ... 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/13/20 2:55 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Now that's a question I have asked myself too! Like if I felt like I specifically wanted to pay attention to the pretty tree outside my window and focus on it for a moment. How does the intent to do that happen, and how does that focusing on the tree then happen?

These are things I am not wise enough yet to fully know, but it's important to find out. I guess the answer to this is going to be, okay focus on the sensations that imply "intent" over and over and over again until it's seen clearly.
I think this follows from a deep and visceral realization and integration of anatta. That intent may have come from the tree itself (Rilke would suggest as much.) Just as the notoriously chaotic arising of "dukha nanas" "out of sequence" on the later paths may not have anything to do with you at all. Sitting there without a self in play, you're open now to hearing the cries of the suffering world, like Jim Carey in that movie where he's God, driven nuts by the teeming prayers of heart-breaking agony from humanity. The occasional come-on from a tree is a lovely relief, yes?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 5:04 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I've made this video today. Noting Aloud practice by using only one word , Awareness! Each time I'm aware of something (it's freestyle) I only note aloud Awareness emoticon 

I will not say more about it and would love to hear what you or others who try, have to say about it emoticon 

https://youtu.be/hCvzwaOSwek

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 7:37 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I think it's a bunch of causes and conditions momentarily colliding, the full extent of those causes and conditions being impossible to entirely ponder. That also goes for anything that could be conceived of as intent.

Good insights, Steph!

I agree - the picture is chaotic, murky, and indeterminate. The only clarity available comes from seeing how impersonal the process is and how little agency it has. The resolution of the eternal philosophical argument over free will vs determinism, based on what we can observe of our subjective experience, is "don't know."

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 9:19 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
I've made this video today. Noting Aloud practice by using only one word , Awareness! Each time I'm aware of something (it's freestyle) I only note aloud Awareness emoticon 

I will not say more about it and would love to hear what you or others who try, have to say about it emoticon 

https://youtu.be/hCvzwaOSwek

Wow. Radical, radical practice. The contrast with the detailed noting aloud is potent, as you demonstrate. With one word, one discernment, you are going to end up in shamatha, i'd bet. emoticon

And this video looks very ethereal and abstract, like you're halfway to heaven or something, and all in between bardos, but bright. emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 9:24 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I think it's a bunch of causes and conditions momentarily colliding, the full extent of those causes and conditions being impossible to entirely ponder. That also goes for anything that could be conceived of as intent.

Good insights, Steph!

I agree - the picture is chaotic, murky, and indeterminate. The only clarity available comes from seeing how impersonal the process is and how little agency it has. The resolution of the eternal philosophical argument over free will vs determinism, based on what we can observe of our subjective experience, is "don't know."
unless Steph kicks me off her practice log, or Chris puts on his moderator's cap and yellow cards me, i'm going to hang in with the third of the multiple choice answers to perennial philosophical dichotomies. A devotee of the God of Abraham finds her/his freedom precisely in surrendering his/her free will to the will of God: completely free to be completely determined by the One s/he loves, and knows as the source of all mercy, truth, and goodness.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 12:38 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Che - This is cool to watch. I'm going to take a note from Chris's really direct way of asking questions and ask you -

What even is awareness? Are you noting a sensation/series of sensations that you think seem like awareness? What do those sensations feel like/show up like? What makes them seem like awareness?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 12:41 PM as a reply to Steph S.
WTF is awareness, anyway?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 12:46 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
This is interesting stuff, the free will vs determinism and how wildly the answers to that differ. The Christians are going to answer God. The Buddhists, at least in the Theravada tradition, don't have a God or specific deity or eternal permanent higher source - so that's why their answer is probably along the lines of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I'm not familiar enough with some of the other schools of Buddhism like Mahayana, etc to know what their answer would be. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 12:51 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
SPOILER ALERT
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IT'S ALSO IMPERCEIVABLE AS SEPARATE FROM THE SENSE DOORS AND SENSATIONS THAT HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF THOSE SENSE DOORS WHICH THEMSELVES COLLIDE TO CREATE THEIR OWN IN-BUILT ABILITY TO BE EXPERIENCED**

**but I'm still working on that because I still sort of misperceive the vague feeling tone that seems to pervade the body, which I call "sense of presence", as a type of awareness.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:00 PM as a reply to Steph S.
So my question back to Chris is...

What in the hell is this feeling tone that seems to pervade the body, which I know varies in intensity and isn't always there... but still seems like a vague sense of presence?

FFS, what is it? Do you still experience that - just not heirarchily and as a no big deal thing? Or is that vague sense of presence just gone for you now?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:06 PM as a reply to Steph S.
I can feel various parts being touched, sat on, feel air circulation, hear background sounds, feel various vibrations - I'm assuming those are the things you're referring to. Yes? There is no "I am here" sense about these things. They don't trigger any "specialness."

I suspect, Steph, that you are at a point where all of these various pointers to a sense of being special need to be realized as the same general "thing." It's a tendency to believe in a certain view of existence. But it's a view. Nothing more.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:11 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Is awareness one of those things? Mindfulness? Attention? 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
It's more like a feeling tone that pervades the spaces in between all that stuff happening. Almost like it is its own vague filler of the body that rests in all the gaps - like a very, very subtle, barley perceptbile vague glue holding it all together that I can't quite pinpoint or even see - it's just kind of sensed. Edited to add: It's sometimes stronger in the headspace, but still feels non-locatable. I wonder if it's the thing you talked about when back before you got 4th path you looked for the imaginary vortex or space in your head that jsut was not there.

I also realize I'm probably at that point. Because when I get an insight into something particularly sticky, there always seems to be one other thing that I just can't seem to crack. How long can I play that never-ending trick on myself? It's a trap. How do you get rid of the view itself? I guess see that none of it is personal or special. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:18 PM as a reply to Steph S.
 Almost like it is its own vague filler of the body that rests in all the gaps - like a very, very subtle, barley perceptbile vague glue holding it all together that I can't quite pinpoint or even see - it's just kind of sensed.

Sounds very much like that special place in my head that just vanished one day about ten years ago.


RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
ha. yep. I jsut edited my statement to add that because I remember you talking about it.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:40 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
emoticon
Chris Marti:
WTF is awareness, anyway?
It's the Lord, motherfucker. Get on your knees now and pray for your anatta ass.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 1:56 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
emoticon
Chris Marti:
WTF is awareness, anyway?
It's the Lord, motherfucker. Get on your knees now and pray for your anatta ass.

Yeps emoticon Im out of here! These are deep waters I have no clue about and might drown if swimming to hard! ... Im afloat now ... look! ... on my back ... just floating ... like a raft on a fast ocean of perceptions ... look! ... Im not even using my hands mom! ... look! ... look! ...

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 2:09 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
emoticon
Chris Marti:
WTF is awareness, anyway?
It's the Lord, motherfucker. Get on your knees now and pray for your anatta ass.

Yeps emoticon Im out of here! These are deep waters I have no clue about and might drown if swimming to hard! ... Im afloat now ... look! ... on my back ... just floating ... like a raft on a fast ocean of perceptions ... look! ... Im not even using my hands mom! ... look! ... look! ...
not to fuck up the metaphysics here myself, but Papa-ji, were you, uh, aware of the sharks circling us? Did you, uh, note those toothy fuckers eyeing us as appetizers?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 2:14 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
emoticon
Chris Marti:
WTF is awareness, anyway?
It's the Lord, motherfucker. Get on your knees now and pray for your anatta ass.

Yeps emoticon Im out of here! These are deep waters I have no clue about and might drown if swimming to hard! ... Im afloat now ... look! ... on my back ... just floating ... like a raft on a fast ocean of perceptions ... look! ... Im not even using my hands mom! ... look! ... look! ...
not to fuck up the metaphysics here myself, but Papa-ji, were you, uh, aware of the sharks circling us? Did you, uh, note those toothy fuckers eyeing us as appetizers?

Hell yes I did, but they almost lured me in man! emoticon Im running for the door man ... maybe the window is closer!!! Ruuuuun! 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/13/20 9:46 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
emoticon
Chris Marti:
WTF is awareness, anyway?
It's the Lord, motherfucker. Get on your knees now and pray for your anatta ass.

Yeps emoticon Im out of here! These are deep waters I have no clue about and might drown if swimming to hard! ... Im afloat now ... look! ... on my back ... just floating ... like a raft on a fast ocean of perceptions ... look! ... Im not even using my hands mom! ... look! ... look! ...
not to fuck up the metaphysics here myself, but Papa-ji, were you, uh, aware of the sharks circling us? Did you, uh, note those toothy fuckers eyeing us as appetizers?

Hell yes I did, but they almost lured me in man! emoticon Im running for the door man ... maybe the window is closer!!! Ruuuuun! 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot here, all channels, anyone. Don't wait for me, man, i'm bit. Do you copy, Papa Che? I'm bit, goin under, nothing to see here folks. Swim, Papa Che. Swim like the wind. Get yur ass home . . . to that kid of yours . . . WTF, out.


RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 2:21 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 11:09 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
Papa Che Dusko:
Tim Farrington:
emoticon
Chris Marti:
WTF is awareness, anyway?
It's the Lord, motherfucker. Get on your knees now and pray for your anatta ass.

Yeps emoticon Im out of here! These are deep waters I have no clue about and might drown if swimming to hard! ... Im afloat now ... look! ... on my back ... just floating ... like a raft on a fast ocean of perceptions ... look! ... Im not even using my hands mom! ... look! ... look! ...
not to fuck up the metaphysics here myself, but Papa-ji, were you, uh, aware of the sharks circling us? Did you, uh, note those toothy fuckers eyeing us as appetizers?

Hell yes I did, but they almost lured me in man! emoticon Im running for the door man ... maybe the window is closer!!! Ruuuuun! 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot here, all channels, anyone. Don't wait for me, man, i'm bit. Do you copy, Papa Che? I'm bit, goin under, nothing to see here folks. Swim, Papa Che. Swim like the wind. Get yur ass home . . . to that kid of yours . . . WTF, out.


Steph, we're sorry, but Chris started this with his thunder KATZ. Context, context, context. The release of energy was extreme, and perhaps unfortunate.

Sorry for the collateral damage to the somber dignity of your beautiful practice log. So is Papa Che, I believe i can speak for him on this, though he is currently still running away from the bears, clutching that little fish.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/13/20 11:37 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Dude, it's fine. This shit is hilarious. I might start posting all my practice updates in emoji & meme soon. Them's the real the truth, the light, the way. 

BUCKLE UP! 

p.s. For real, though... I'm cool with it having some detours, but I'll let you know if it goes off the rails.  I do want to keep posting practice notes and getting advice from the Jedi masters.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/14/20 1:09 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Oh man I had such a laugh about this yesterday my tummy hurt emoticon emoticon emoticon  "Ruuuuun!" emoticon 

But yes apologies for the detour Steph emoticon 


... (whispers) and apologies to Sesnsei too _/\_ 

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5/14/20 1:22 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:

p.s. For real, though... I'm cool with it having some detours, but I'll let you know if it goes off the rails.  I do want to keep posting practice notes and getting advice from the Jedi masters.

amen, sister. Aye-aye: I hear, and will heed.

Christ Marti, that Jedi master started that shit, though. Just sayin.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/14/20 4:10 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Che - This is cool to watch. I'm going to take a note from Chris's really direct way of asking questions and ask you -

What even is awareness? Are you noting a sensation/series of sensations that you think seem like awareness? What do those sensations feel like/show up like? What makes them seem like awareness?

I never thought of Awareness being yet another sense and believed it to be THE answer. You both seem to think otherwise. I've got that notion from the Tibetans (I was likely musunderstanding this). 
So ALL experience is an illusion? Ok. 
I can't answer your questions as I haven't been observing awareness in and of itself yet. Will keep an eye on it and see what I get. 
Thank you! 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/14/20 8:24 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:

I never thought of Awareness being yet another sense and believed it to be THE answer. You both seem to think otherwise. 
(bolding is my addition) You sure about that? Scroll up a little and re-read my spoiler alert reply. It's another one of the imponderables. If someone (in general, not saying you) thinks there is a stable someone who is aware of all sensations happening, and that that awarness is separate from the sensations, they'd have to directly see through that. 


Not related to your reply, but speaking of Jedi Masters... where's shargrol? He hasn't popped in here in a while.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/14/20 8:37 AM as a reply to Steph S.
... where's shargrol?

Why, he's off doing shargrol stuff, of course.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/14/20 8:41 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Ok I see. In that case I can do nothing better but keep on Noting until it's seen through. 

Thank you. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/14/20 8:46 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
SPOILER ALERT
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okay, fuck it, i'm turning straight to the last page
.Still Steph: Actual "spoiler"
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IT'S ALSO IMPERCEIVABLE AS SEPARATE FROM THE SENSE DOORS AND SENSATIONS THAT HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF THOSE SENSE DOORS WHICH THEMSELVES COLLIDE TO CREATE THEIR OWN IN-BUILT ABILITY TO BE EXPERIENCED**
so it's . . . a seemingly necessary . . . assumption? Aristotle's Invisible Mover? God? (Spoiler Alert: i think this fairly precisely, the closer you guys come to brilliantly and thoroughly eliminating every other possibility, on the Sherlock Holmes hypothesis that what is left, when the impossible has been eliminated, is the fact of the matter, no matter how unlikely.)
**but I'm still working on that because I still sort of misperceive the vague feeling tone that seems to pervade the body, which I call "sense of presence", as a type of awareness.
i don't actually have the "sense of presence," beyond a certain point, and Chris is going to make easy hash of that anyway.

You are working here in pure Dionysius the Areopagite, aka Pseudo-Dionysius, territory here: a sixth century Syrian monk who wrote under pseudonym as the Apostle Paul's companion in Acts, to lend authorites to his via negativa, or foundational apophatic non-view of "God.")

love, tim

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/15/20 10:53 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
So I guess the Mahamudra and Dzogchen folks disagree about awareness not being something that can be perceived - since rigpa can be perceived and understood, which is the mind's natural essence or awareness. It's an "essence" but is not something that can be located in a specifc space or separate from anything else, since its non-dualistic. I've obviously heard of Dzogchen and Mahamudra and know some of the basics, and even went on a weekend long Mahamudra retreat several years ago, but other than that I have limited experience with those systems.

An article I found talks about pure awareness, and also does mention the sense of presence that I talk about as something that needs to be cut through, though. The sense of presence is mistaken as awareness when the mind is in a dualistic state, is what I think they're saying. I added bold below for some points.

"According to Dzogchen, when your shamatha practice is simply remaining in a neutral, indifferent state without any thought activity whatsoever, this is known as the all-ground. It is simply a way of being free of thought involvement. Moreover, when attention becomes active within the expanse of the all-ground, that activity is known as dualistic mind. When the dividing line between stillness and thought occurrence fades away, and the strength of attention is intensified, rigpa, or pure awareness, is revealed. Depending on whether one is using the Mahamudra or Dzogchen approach, there are different terminologies, but the actual training is essentially the same.

According to Dzogchen instructions, there are three points to remember. First, track down the dualistic mind or normal attention. Second, discover the mind’s secret identity, what dualistic mind has hidden away. Third, reveal its vanishing point.

To track down means to investigate how the attentive quality of dualistic mind behaves, where it comes from, where it is right now, and where it goes. The second point, discovering mind’s secret identity, is actually finding out what mind is, namely, a seeming presence—there is no thing there. It is just some behavior that is mistaken for being a real thing while actually there is no thing there whatsoever. It is only when we investigate that we discover that this attentive quality is not a thing, that it has fooled us. It is called a nonexistent or seeming presence. The last point—revealing the vanishing point of dualistic mind—refers to the fact that the moment you look for this attentive quality and what it is made of, you discover that there is no actual thing. It simply vanishes every time you look. This is the Dzogchen approach: finding out what dualistic mind really is."

"What is pointed out according to the Mahamudra approach is the true state of original wakefulness as your ordinary mind. Once this has been pointed out to you, it is called mindessence. The instruction is: 'Look into mindessence. Sustain mind-essence. This is the way. 'According to Dzogchen instructions, what is pointed out is called rigpa, which is the intrinsic original wakefulness that is present within you."

https://www.lionsroar.com/two-great-paths/

(edited for clarity)

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/15/20 11:04 AM as a reply to Steph S.
I wanted to follow up and say I'm not sure if the Theravada system has a similar opinion of this - if it's a case of different terminology for different systems. Does Theravada have a similar concept that I'm not hip to? Or does Theravada reject the idea of "pure mind" or "pure awareness" altogether. The vast vast majority of my work has been in the Theravada system, and I'm not sure if I've seen much written about a rigpa equivalent - or maybe I have read it, just not knowing the terminology equivalent.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/15/20 11:05 AM as a reply to Steph S.
That article does make sense. For some reason this reminded me of the 5th Jhana. Not sure why. That was back from my full on concentration days. 

There is that quality in there where infinite space and some presence in the middle of it present themselves. One can't really see that invincible "presence in the center". There is just that sensed presence surrounded by infinite vastness. 

Any way if I dare to assume I might be very much in the 3C's now which is not the place to ponder all this emoticon but I do appreciate you bringing forth some clarity on awareness and what is or isn't and all that "tracking attention" stuff is rather interesting. 
Will give this more attention when more clarity is present. 

Thank you! 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/15/20 3:58 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Cool. And just FYI to folks reading - I think the Mahamudra & Dzogchen take from the article above is interesting. I did some digging and it turns out the Theravada term that some say might be an equivalent to rigpa is luminosity. Regardless, rigpa and luminosity and the like are terms that cause very loaded debate in meditation circles, and I don't know that I'm in the mood to discuss advanced terminology and what it means or doesn't right now. Mostly due to the recent BA article about Dan, which I found incredibly disappointing for many reasons. One of which is its utter lack of outlining any recognizable research methodology and that it does not contain any clearly stated theoretical framework - ie. I will explicitly state that I don't think BA's article counts as scholarly Research.

Whew. On to practice. Things are going well. I have been progressively moving away from hardlining into individual sensations and become much more expansive and inclusive in my insight sits. It's basically sitting there, dwelling in the whole field. Right now is very much a foot off the gas period, wherin it seems even what I considered moderate effort not that long ago seems like overshooting it. I think Chris was right, in that, at this point in my practice it's more about seeing through views, rather than catching every. sensation. ever. and to stop trying so hard to deconstruct the hell out of what all of those mean. I suppose this has been unfolding organically anyway, cuz if I look back I talk about trying to let go of maps and trying to take the foot off the gas. heh. Anyway, it's been nice because even in the midst of some what seemed like frantic searching for answers, there's still been a fun and lighteardedness alot of the time. Since I started practicing regularly againn in March, alot of my waking & meditative experience has been underlied with a nice stream of pleasant feeling that courses through the body, in no location in particular. It's like a subtle bliss wave that's there a great deal of the time, accompanied by a more expansive feeling attentional aspect. It's pretty cool, honestly, and I'm having fun with it. There's also a nice equanimity (the factor, not the insight stage) even when irritation, sadness, etc come up. I think I'm going to keep up with the dwelling style of practice and the brahma viharas because I think it's contributing to all this. Let the remaining erroneous views unravel on their own as a result of this, as it were.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/15/20 5:32 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Hi Steph,

Very interesting your log! There's a thread where Daniel gives some definitions/opinions of states and the like, which includes Rigpa and Luminosity. Also, in this thread Does Vajrayana contribute 'less' to mass enlightenment vs Theravada? Daniel discuss with Dream Walker about the (fall of the) boundaries of the six sense doors in late 3rd Path, that I related to what you quoted above: "When the dividing line between stillness and thought occurrence fades away, and the strength of attention is intensified, rigpa, or pure awareness, is revealed". These  topics are way out of my league, so I cannot add anything to your thread, just an intellectual curiosity for me right now, things I stumbled upon while compiling Daniel's posts. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/15/20 5:23 PM as a reply to Steph S.
The coolest thing I remember from my dzogchen retreat is this weird instruction : can you achieve the union of movement and stillness ? Lightly trying to understand what that meant perceptually for a few days lead to some wild stuff. 
Well, just a thing, feel free to discard emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/15/20 6:04 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Pepe and Olivier - thanks both for chiming in. I'll check out that post.

Olivier - the union of stillness and movement practice sounds cool. They seem like a contradiction, which is why the idea of trying to find their union initially seems weird. But I've found that I can sense stillness even while movement happens. It's a pervasive sort of quality that's imbued even in things which appear to have movement, in my experience. I've talked about it a little in my log, but more in terms of things seeming really quiet and still, even when there's lots of noise. Same general idea.

It also relates to a timeless aspect. Things appear to move partially because of how we perceive time. Time is a past, present, or future comparison. Movement is a relationship created of "it was here and now it's there, or now it's not here." So it's like time and movement have this quality that impact how we perceive both of them. When you're able to perceive the timeless quality of things, it also impacts how you perceive movement - in that movement then also seems like a moot point. I've mentioned here in my log that I can often perceive a quality of things seeming frozen in time, or that time doesn't seem to apply, but there's still a continuity of experience. It's not like the whole world freezes or stops like I pressed pause on a movie forever, but I'm not sure how else to to describe it. I think the stillness quality relates to both movement and time.

If you want to talk about it, what happened/what wild stuff did you perceive while doing that practice?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/16/20 9:47 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Movement and stillness:

cmarti [Apr 29 2010, 5:00 AM EDT]

A pebble tossed into the pond rests on the sandy bottom
The battle rages and the battlefield is still
The windows are open and the wind howls through a quiet room
There is observation and participation
There is action and stillness
Self and no one
Separated by everything and nothing
The same but different
The world
Test tomorrow

That was roughly two weeks out from "click."

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/16/20 2:20 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Hi Steph,

Yes, what you said. I did read those parts of your log and it reminded me of that.

I'd love to talk about it, it's not everyday that one gets a chance.

What happened resembles what you are describing here. I started experimenting with this particularly with the visual field, sitting under a tree, trying to see all of everything at the same level, without specifying any center point, and just trying to unify movement and stillness, which started working, and giving me all kinds of insights like "strictly speaking, if everything is moving, then nothing is moving...", and then at some point this gave rise to a full-blown timeless experience, as you describe. This intensified radically, as I was on retreat and possibly right after second path, and gave rise to the most incredible opening of my life, which I described in my journal - I could link that here if you want. I guessed at the time, from having read DreamWalker's framework of awakening and recognizing things from other people's journals that it could be the A&P of third path. It changed my visual perception seemingly permanently, but it had such a "wow" factor to it that I can hardly think it wasn't some kind of A&P. Although, from a post I read by Daniel yesterday, it sounds like it could have been a PCE. Malcolm mentioned rigpa at some point... Well, I didn't get much rection from more experienced meditators, so I don't know, and it doesn't really matter.

But I was left with an appreciation, I would say fascination for a while, and much deeper understanding of the notion of eternity. Also I had rainbow vision for a while, which contributed to the entrancing nature of the thing.
I agree with your practical-reflexions, if you think about it, time cannot exist without timelessness. So I guess experiencing time is experiencing timelessness. Moving beyond notions of time and not-time would be the deeper, nagarjunian thing, is my guess.
When I remember this opening experience, I would say it was indeed between time and timeless, in a way, not of time....

You can imagine the reaction I got from my mom and brother when I explained this eternity business after the retreat, and that I could see glowing light everywhere emoticon Actually, they were very understanding and respectful.

I've played with that since then and gotten similar effects but on a much milder scale of intensity. The way I get to that usually is by getting into this kind of mahamudra attentional mode, where I try to see all the branches of the tree at once, let them show themselves by themselves, and just chill out to the max. I've been told that this stuff would start infusing daily life, and it kind of is. But my practice and life right now are really more like, nothing stands out in intensity that way, and it's all good. In retrospect, I had kind of made this into a big deal for myself, and even developed identification, and conceit, with theorized attainment. A wieght was lifted when I saw through that, actually on a later, shorter mahamudra (well, "mahamudra"...) retreat  in the same retreat center - thank you Stirling Campbell. Hey, perhaps I should write on my log a bit, it's been a while !!!!

Have you ever had this kind of intense version of the phenomenon ? It was really something and I remember it very fondly. Now I'm more interested in really banal things, like, most recently, the fact that "I" can perceive many different things at the same time, which really makes it obvious that (1) i'm not doing the perceiving and (2) these things are not actually really different and (3) they are kind of all in the same place. But it seems totally, totally banal, and I like it.

Good stuff Chris ! You were such a rocket. I feel like, of ALL the journals i've read, the ones who seem to be fastest are "older" meditators (meaning : who've had kids, which I'm sure is in itself pretty serious spiritual practice). Thoughts ?

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/16/20 4:46 PM as a reply to Olivier.
The visual perception wow factor is a good one. Both in it's clarity, vibrancy, and immediacy. That is not to say the observer is gone. The pesky little observer feeling behind the eyes is still there. However, even with the observer operating, it's almost like you can still see through or penetrate it in a way, and are still able to have a very panoramic and big quality in the visual field specifically. I don't know if "see through" is specifically the right way to frame it, but it's like you can perceive the observer, while still being able to cut through it somehow.

The idea of paying attention to things seems a bit ludicrous, in that on some level you know there's nothing paying attention to things, but that knowing hasn't fully matured. Which is a bit mind-fucky and has tripped me up a bit. Because the observer is still operating, yet the way the observer is perceived hasn't quite caught up with the fact that there is still a knowing that there's nobody behind the curtain paying attention. This kind of manifests like, when I'm meditating or if I even thought "pay attention to X now" , it seems weird to think of myself as paying attention to an object. Or said another way, weird to conceive of attention as something that is applied to another thing. It doesn't quite add up anymore. But there's still the sensations of the observer and that subject/object duality happening, so again, not a fully matured insight on that front yet.

Hearing. It doesn't seem to happen at the ears anymore. It seems to be happening nowhere in particular. Again, not quite the accurate words to describe it - but it's as if sounds happen throughout the whole field of experience when hearing occurs. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/16/20 4:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Movement and stillness:

cmarti [Apr 29 2010, 5:00 AM EDT]

A pebble tossed into the pond rests on the sandy bottom
The battle rages and the battlefield is still
The windows are open and the wind howls through a quiet room
There is observation and participation
There is action and stillness
Self and no one
Separated by everything and nothing
The same but different
The world
Test tomorrow

That was roughly two weeks out from "click."

emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon Wonderful.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/16/20 5:18 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
The visual perception wow factor is a good one. Both in it's clarity, vibrancy, and immediacy. That is not to say the observer is gone. The pesky little observer feeling behind the eyes is still there. However, even with the observer operating, it's almost like you can still see through or penetrate it in a way, and are still able to have a very panoramic and big quality in the visual field specifically. I don't know if "see through" is specifically the right way to frame it, but it's like you can perceive the observer, while still being able to cut through it somehow.

The idea of paying attention to things seems a bit ludicrous, in that on some level you know there's nothing paying attention to things, but that knowing hasn't fully matured. Which is a bit mind-fucky and has tripped me up a bit. Because the observer is still operating, yet the way the observer is perceived hasn't quite caught up with the fact that there is still a knowing that there's nobody behind the curtain paying attention. This kind of manifests like, when I'm meditating or if I even thought "pay attention to X now" , it seems weird to think of myself as paying attention to an object. Or said another way, weird to conceive of attention as something that is applied to another thing. It doesn't quite add up anymore. But there's still the sensations of the observer and that subject/object duality happening, so again, not a fully matured insight on that front yet.

Hearing. It doesn't seem to happen at the ears anymore. It seems to be happening nowhere in particular. Again, not quite the accurate words to describe it - but it's as if sounds happen throughout the whole field of experience when hearing occurs. 
Yes I also was quite mind-fucked by this for a few months. Didn't understand what meditation was even supposed to be ? 
But that lifted completely and I again started to understand how to, and enjoy, fast-penetrating objects with my vajra-attention. Analayo tells me he doesn't like it. Nor the sexual connotation, btw. emoticon

I was talking with someone who's "lost the centerpoint" recently (for me, that seems pretty far away and doesn't even sound very appealing, said like this, tbh), and he tells me he senses that there are almost two different axes, one with the cessation/perception shifts/centerpointgoneeventually (the loss of centerpoint being, to him, a consequence of a big new cessation during a sit), and the other one being openness and freshness of experience, more of the kind I was describing earlier. I thought that was itneresting : honestly I'm much more interested in the second kind than in the first. I've had that sense, that there were two different general directions of transformation, for a while... I don't know, does that speak to you ? Care to chime in chris ? It seems to me like you had the most textbook pragmatic path ever.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/17/20 8:36 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier, all of these experiences really speak to the same thing but we perceive them at different times as being different and unique. They all should be explored and cherished as we pursue them. The more we see, the more integration occurs. That's part of the struggle because what we do to explore (method) works on some things at certain times and not on others. Some practices highlight some phenomena and de-emphasize others, and we may then struggle with finding the light switch in all these different dark spaces of experience.

And in re-reading what I just wrote it no doubt sounds undecipherable.

emoticon

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/17/20 8:54 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Olivier, all of these experiences really speak to the same thing but we perceive them at different times as being different and unique. They all should be explored and cherished as we pursue them. The more we see, the more integration occurs. That's part of the struggle because what we do to explore (method) works on some things at certain times and not on others. Some practices highlight some phenomena and de-emphasize others, and we may then struggle with finding the light switch in all these different dark spaces of experience.

And in re-reading what I just wrote it no doubt sounds undecipherable.

emoticon

Not really indecipherable. I think you make sense. Keep watching without preferring This experience over That experience. All experience is just equally important to be cherished and investigated. 
It all springs from the mind and vanishes in the mind. If you rush to conclusions you cling to this urge of rushing to conclusions,  failing to see that urge. It all comes back to watchful patiance, acceptance and letting stuff flow. 

I applied your words to my level of understanding and current practice of course. This too might change. 

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/17/20 10:35 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
I also think it's important to not crave or cling to the wow factors. As Chris said, we can cherish and appreciate them, but I find there can be a fine balance between appreciating them and craving them. There are lots of aspects of experience that are fascinating and can seem kind of showy. But, they're side effects of the practice. People, including me, use alot of the walking around in daily life effects of how their experience and perception presents as descriptors of where they're at, but again, these are side effects and fireworks. They're a result of some of the insights and not the insight themselves.

The fireworks lose their wow factor over time. They become integrated and part of the new normal baseline, so they don't seem as showy as they once did. This is important to take to heart. I'm saying this as much for you Olivier as I am for myself. We can't go reminiscing about the glory days of great experiences and ways of perceiving that we once did. Either its lost its wow factor because we're used to as a new part of experience now, or it was just another temporary mind state or way of experiencing that is now gone. Regardless, chasing fireworks is craving, which begets clinging, and the whole cycle of samsara continues. And that itself is what needs to be understood on a fundamental level.

This again gets back to chasing after certain sensations like the observer - it's yet another side effect and not the root issue. I'm truly appreciating how vital the root issues, the beliefs and views themselves, are right now. I think that the teachings on dependent origination are probably one of, if not the, most important thing to truly understand at the deepest level.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
Answer
5/17/20 10:43 AM as a reply to Steph S.
housekeeping note: is this thread getting to the point of being obnoxiously long to scroll through? It might be time to have it locked and for me to start a new practice log 2 thread.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/17/20 10:54 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph, I can split this thread - just say the word.

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/17/20 11:04 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Sure go for it. Thanks!

RE: Steph's Practice Log
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5/17/20 11:05 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Just figured out that in Chrome you can hit command ↓ to take you to the bottom of the page. I'm sure there are other shortcuts in other browsers.

Very helpful on this forum.

Thread Split
Answer
5/17/20 11:11 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.