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Shari's newbie log

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Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/24/20 8:18 PM
Greetings everyone,

I feel a bit like a nerdy, introverted 2nd grader starting in a new school in the middle of the term, just learning the language here, and hoping to not make a fool of myself. 

I've been a meditation dilettante for years, practicing off and on for the last 25 years or so, sat with Roshi Robert Aitken for a few years, went to some mindfulness classes and short Vipassana retreats, read some books, and currrently use mindfulness based therapies in my work with counseling clients (I'm a counselor by trade)...

In 2018 my partner of 15 years passed away, and that expereince threw me into a spiritual crisis that I've been in and out of for the last 2 years. During that time I discovered MCTB2, thanks to my friend Tim Farrington. Wow. This book spoke to me like nothing ever had before. But, true to my dilettante nature, I got distracted by "pain avoidance" activities, and am just now coming to a place where I feel I might be able to settle into a rythym.

My goal, for now, is to start from the beginning again with MCTB2, read a little bit everyday, and practice each morning. Main objective is consistency first, practice, practice, practice, no excuses!

So, any advice on what type of practice to begin with, or any other input or encouragement for a newbie would be greatly appreciated. I started today with simple noting. 

Love and gratitude for this community here,
shari

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/24/20 8:57 PM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Shari Tresky:
Greetings everyone,

I feel a bit like a nerdy, introverted 2nd grader starting in a new school in the middle of the term, just learning the language here, and hoping to not make a fool of myself. 

I've been a meditation dilettante for years, practicing off and on for the last 25 years or so, sat with Roshi Robert Aitken for a few years, went to some mindfulness classes and short Vipassana retreats, read some books, and currrently use mindfulness based therapies in my work with counseling clients (I'm a counselor by trade)...

In 2018 my partner of 15 years passed away, and that expereince threw me into a spiritual crisis that I've been in and out of for the last 2 years. During that time I discovered MCTB2, thanks to my friend Tim Farrington. Wow. This book spoke to me like nothing ever had before. But, true to my dilettante nature, I got distracted by "pain avoidance" activities, and am just now coming to a place where I feel I might be able to settle into a rythym.

My goal, for now, is to start from the beginning again with MCTB2, read a little bit everyday, and practice each morning. Main objective is consistency first, practice, practice, practice, no excuses!

So, any advice on what type of practice to begin with, or any other input or encouragement for a newbie would be greatly appreciated. I started today with simple noting. 

Love and gratitude for this community here,
shari

Hey, Shari. How thrilling to see you here! we're all just meditation geeks here, with beginners' minds, and newbies' curiousities, no dilettentes.

You were never a dilettente a moment in your life, by the way.

Getting this log started, and sticking to your commitment to practice regularly, which you have already done, is probably all I would have to say at the moment, so, uh, consider it said. As your practice progresses, there will be plenty of time for input, refinement, and enouragement from the extraordinary range of folks in this sangha. There are people here doing pretty much something of everything, one way or another, and all of it to no avail whatsoever. There is no hurry, and there is no need to fear. You have nothing to lose except everything, really. It's a poker game for the highest human stakes, and you're already all in. You poor, poor woman. May God have mercy on your soul.

emoticon


(edit) or one of the Bodhisattva Buddhas, I meant: may Avalokiteśvara have metta on your, uh, anatta.

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:04 AM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Hey Shari, welcome.  You have high quality friends, by the way.

I hope we can meet some of your needs.  This is a turbulent place at times, with occasional flare ups.  But mostly likely, you can count on support, guidance, love, and random bizareness.  You will get out what you put it, on the whole.

Much love,

Malcolm

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:11 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Not two, not one:
Hey Shari, welcome.  You have high quality friends, by the way.

I hope we can meet some of your needs.  This is a turbulent place at times, with occasional flare ups.  But mostly likely, you can count on support, guidance, love, and random bizareness.  You will get out what you put it, on the whole.

Much love,

Malcolm
Shari, Caveat Emptor: malcolm is the guy who started the lightbulb joke thread--- https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19489811  --- which created such a stink that he had to change his name.

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:20 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Not two, not one:
Hey Shari, welcome.  You have high quality friends, by the way.

I hope we can meet some of your needs.  This is a turbulent place at times, with occasional flare ups.  But mostly likely, you can count on support, guidance, love, and random bizareness.  You will get out what you put it, on the whole.

Much love,

Malcolm
Shari, Caveat Emptor: malcolm is the guy who started the lightbulb joke thread--- https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19489811  --- which created such a stink that he had to change his name.

Good point.  I wouldn't trust me either!

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:28 AM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Welcome! It seems like you will fit in perfectly. 

Consistency first is a great approach, I find. That's how I got all nerdy about it. 

I'm loving the friendly jargon that has arisen on this forum.

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:42 AM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Welcome to DhO Shari !

Most of us here feel like we just started 1st grade emoticon according to some Zen Masters this a good quality for meditaive work as it keeps down the hindrace called PRIDE that we meditators can fall into once we start collecting various attainments and placing them on our imaginary Wall of Fame. As Zen Master say "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" means not being there in a lost and hopeless way but in a way you see things for the very first time, with wonder and curiosity as if you have just seen for the very first time a breathtakingly gorgeous butterfly , one you've never seen or even believed existed. Beginner yes, but so immersed in the experience observed that it takes you in completely.

And in this practice these butterflies are showing up and vanishing very fast emoticon they pop here and disappear there emoticon whoa, amazing. Some might be ugly others beautiful, some slow and staying there for a while and some scary fast and jarring. 

We learn to stil ourselves more and more, and we start seeing those gracious wing movements in great detail and how they reflect themselves in the mirror our mind is.

May you practice well. May you always be reminded to keep this curious investigative and welcoming wonder at the forefront of your practice and greet the ugly and harsh Butterflies with the same attitude as the breathtakingly beautiful ones emoticon  

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:47 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Welcome! It seems like you will fit in perfectly. 

Consistency first is a great approach, I find. That's how I got all nerdy about it. 

I'm loving the friendly jargon that has arisen on this forum.

shari, Linda is polyamorous! see our exchange here --- https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/18817192  
my post on polyfidelity comes at 1:49pm, 4/7/20, and Linda's reply follows. Thought it might interest you.

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 3:51 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Welcome to DhO Shari !

Most of us here feel like we just started 1st grade emoticon according to some Zen Masters this a good quality for meditaive work as it keeps down the hindrace called PRIDE that we meditators can fall into once we start collecting various attainments and placing them on our imaginary Wall of Fame. As Zen Master say "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" means not being there in a lost and hopeless way but in a way you see things for the very first time, with wonder and curiosity as if you have just seen for the very first time a breathtakingly gorgeous butterfly , one you've never seen or even believed existed. Beginner yes, but so immersed in the experience observed that it takes you in completely.

And in this practice these butterflies are showing up and vanishing very fast emoticon they pop here and disappear there emoticon whoa, amazing. Some might be ugly others beautiful, some slow and staying there for a while and some scary fast and jarring. 

We learn to stil ourselves more and more, and we start seeing those gracious wing movements in great detail and how they reflect themselves in the mirror our mind is.

May you practice well. May you always be reminded to keep this curious investigative and welcoming wonder at the forefront of your practice and greet the ugly and harsh Butterflies with the same attitude as the breathtakingly beautiful ones emoticon  

Papa-ji, i lured her here through your videos--- she has done a lot of noting practice and has found it most suited to her, at this point, so i sent her links of what you've done with me, as a noting embryo, and to your practice page---

(that number again, folks, https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19872769
only $29.95 for the entire introductory series, all proceeds going straight into the pockets of greed-ridden motherfuckers preying on the spiritually naive.)

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 4:23 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
You are my official promoter Tim FF! ... (I can give you 2% of the proceeds! ... you could argue for 3% as I like your sorry ars)

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 6:18 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
You are my official promoter Tim FF! ... (I can give you 2% of the proceeds! ... you could argue for 3% as I like your sorry ars)

Okay, I will haggle, one last time: let's split the difference between 2% and 3%, and say I get 1%. Final offer, take it or leave it. I love YOUR sorry arse, but business is business, bro.


Uh, sorry for all this stuff clutering up your practice log thread, Shari, but you've run a big company, you know how it goes with this stuff, gotta do what you gotta do to keep that in-box clear.

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 1:16 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Mahalo Tim! 

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 1:27 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Thank you for your kind welcoming message Malcolm. Turbulence and occasional flare ups are fine with me, all part of the interactional process of one's own mental phenomena with the mental phenomena of other humans. My hope is that our interactions will be mutually beneficial. Looking forward!

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 1:53 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Thank you for your insight Papa Che Dusko. I love the butterfly analogy, and I will do my best to curiously investigate each flutter I see as they pop in and out, in all their fascinating variation. I watched a few of your noting aloud videos. My favorite is the singing/chanting one. More soon...shari

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 2:01 PM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Hey, Shari! Good to have you here.

Noting and consistency are great places to start and will carry you very far. MCTB2 is a huge tome with tons of valuable information, practice tips, stories, etc. Really, tonnnns of practice tips in there.

But probably the most important practice instrucation that can sum up the entirety of the book, and insight practice in general, no matter how beginning or advanced you are, is this: Notice the 3 characteristics of every sensation that you experience, in real time. Every sensation, one by one as they occur.

That simple instruction will carry you the whole way (or so they say, I haven't gone the whole way myself yet. But it holds up so far for me). It's so simple that it seems too simple and too obvious, like there should be something else to it. Nope, that's really it. That's really the most important instruction for how to actually practice. Never lose sight of it (you probably will as everyone does, want to complicate it at times, but always come back to it).

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 2:10 PM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Sounds like you may already have a good start. I think I was in the dilettante category of meditation for about 12 years too, but it gave me the foundation that set me on the path.

For all the good that can be said about MCTB2, I personally think its a better reference manual than a practice manual. The general point to take is do a noting practice, but I think there are other better resources for a newby noter.

I personally got a lot of value out of Shinzen Young's What is Mindfulness and See, Hear, Feel. Noting can be a bit overwhelming at first and it's helpful to have very simple approach to help break things down. I also find that See, Hear, Feel is an excellent practice for noting thoughts.

https://www.shinzen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/WhatIsMindfulness_SY_Public_ver1.5.pdf
https://www.shinzen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SeeHearFeelIntroduction_ver1.8.pdf



RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 7:02 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Wow, very valuable input Steph. I love the simplicity of your advice, and it makes total sense to me. This is where I begin now. 

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/25/20 7:03 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Great to meet you Brandon. I will check out your recommendations!

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/26/20 4:35 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Welcome! It seems like you will fit in perfectly. 

Consistency first is a great approach, I find. That's how I got all nerdy about it. 

I'm loving the friendly jargon that has arisen on this forum.

I replied to you earlier but Tim noticed my prior response to you did not show up here. Thank you for your encouraging welcome fellow nerd!

RE: Shari's newbie log
Answer
4/26/20 7:31 AM as a reply to Shari Tresky.
Good morning, Shari Tresky!

I've been a meditation dilettante for years, practicing off and on for the last 25 years or so, sat with Roshi Robert Aitken for a few years, went to some mindfulness classes and short Vipassana retreats, read some books, and currrently use mindfulness based therapies in my work with counseling clients (I'm a counselor by trade)...

This is interesting. May I ask how you use mindfulness in your work with clients?