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Hibiscus Kid, modified 3 Months ago.

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Posts: 18 Join Date: 5/3/18 Recent Posts
 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Nice to see this new log - and good work!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
5/9/2020 - Morning sit - 60 minutes

Freestyle noting mostly. Spent the first 45 or so minutes really lost in thought. Repeatedly trying to get back to the body/breath/noting.

Eventually switched to noting aloud which helped keep me grounded for the rest of the session.

Noted body sensations (touching, pressure, vibrations, feeling), thoughts (practice thoughts, mental images, imagining, wondering, narratives, etc.), sounds, sights, impatience, etc. 

I find that Noting Aloud does exactly what you describe. Keeps both feet on the ground throughout the session. Sensation after sensation, feeling after feeling, mind state after mind state. Not much chance to lift up from the ground and fly in the dream land. 

I do find that pace of noting aloud can slow or speed up depending on the stage or/and states of mind. This feels good when the balance is struck. Still I find that noting aloud works all the way through the maps. In EQ it will go slow as there is much more all-inclusiveness and ease of noticing. 

Each stage has its tempo and noting aloud voice becomes both mantra-like and the stick used by the trapeze walker, balancing the spoken word, and the breathing, with the energy and clarity/or lack thereof. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
That's ok emoticon 

I do see how my reply could look like it's focusing on mapping. My apologies. I also tend not to think about maps but only what's now. Tap, tap, tap ... whatever that is. 

What I meant to say is that at times clarity will not be there which is also fine but can feel unpleasant and noting more than 1 sensation per second (approximately of course) is all we get. I find that slowing down helps instead of trying to see clearly more sensations. I find it helpful to use K. folk's "there is ..." phrase and while saying it with no rush note the first sensation that is clear. 

And at times there just are heaps of clarity and mouth can't even say so many noted sensation so I note it all and mumble the words. I guess here one could also just shut up and note silently or simply just notice. I prefer vocalisation as it also provides extra stuff for noting. 
As far as I see it, we use our mouth a lot during waking hours and so our eyes too. I keep em both open and engaged during the sit emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
And you didn't offer me one! Talk about bad hospitality emoticon 

Cheers mate! Have good one! emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hector:
Do you have eyes open or closed for the outside sit? I love freestyle noting too, and I noticed a lot of bird songs these days.

They sure are busy at this time of the year emoticon So much to be noted with birds singing. My eyes are open but I meditate indoors and see a bird pass the window occasionally. But I do hear them and notice image impressions of the bushes around our house with a bird on it or on a branch or on the roof, assuming. It's also mostly pleasant feel when I hear the bird singing. Also when it stops then there is anticipation waiting to hear it again maybe.  Etc ... lots of material there. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Fewer labels than usual."

Yes, addiction is a motherfucker that thrives on the feeling of guilt. 
Mine is consumption of the Swedish chewing tobacco. 

Online browsing would be another one. Addicted to guitar related gear yet another one. Having late snacks another. Coffee overload another. 

Ah yes emoticon 

No matter what, no matter how many addictions I have and how lost of a motherfucker I seem to be, one thing, that ONE THING, I keep sacred! The sitting practice of minimum of 45 minutes once a day! 

No slacking, no getting lost in guilt thoughts for more than that Labeled Moment. There is a good reason behind both Shinzen and Kenneth talking in high regard about Noting Aloud (yes Shinzen also suggests this so to keep hindrances away and to keep an unbroken stream of noting). 

Instead of asking yourself "can I be without beer today?" ask "can I practice noting aloud without having laps in mindfulness in this one sit?"  Tell yourself that you will get that beer anyway, with or without a guilt trip during the practice. And once your timer goes off enjoy that beer emoticon 

Since I've started incorporating eyes open and noting aloud (even if sensory clarity is strong) the practice has become a different beast. 

I know you know that practice is the only important thing here. It really is. Keeping mindfulness of that unbroken stream of consciousness is very important. I will do any uncool practice to achieve exactly that. Noting Aloud is exactly that. Uncool. Even more uncool if I sit on a normal chair with eyes open. My practice looks nothing like those noble cross legged monks of deep samadhi. But it is of great benefit and that's what matters. 

So fuck that beer and guilt about it. Have that beer and enjoy it. Being totally wasted might not be good for practice so doing practice before the tipsy -ness is better. Have the beer later and enjoy it. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hope you are doing well mate! emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
That some fine shit there emoticon love how you navigate the terrain and hindrances. Shift up, shift down. 

I do this throughout the sit and use different ways to handle uncertainty or doubt, restlessness, sleepiness etc 

We all are, at the end, creating our own personal method and our own map in accordance to our mind's terrain. That's what matters. Not Ingram's Map or Mahasi Map but our own and of course it has similarities with those maps as that seems the way Mind cycles. 

I know of no better "secret source" than Profound Mindfulness as I simply can't be mindful in the past or future. Just now, right now emoticon I can't choose my terrain but I certainly can apply some strength to the mindfulness in form of Intent, Effort, Acceptance. I can see the hindrance and apply more or less of the above. One day it's like milk and honey, another day is pure shit emoticon It's the name of the game. But you know all this already. Stil nice to get reminder once in a while. We all need that. 

Good stuff! 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Try to notice "inability to perceive clearly" or "dullness" or "intent to perceive the in and out breath" or "desire to be alert". 

You have many Mind States arising and I'm sure they all have some Feeling Tone to it. Is the Inability unpleasant? Is the dullness unpleasant? Is the Intent unpleasant? Is the Desire unpleasant? 

When sensory clarity is not there I find it's best just to contact as many body sensations or mind states or feelings as possible. Just touch them and move on to the next arising. If even this seems like "Uncertain if I'm really noting correctly" then I use the label Certain or Uncertain with each Noting like ; 
Coolness-Certain, hearing-certain, listening-certain, eyesight blip-uncertain ... and soon I realize that there is more certainty than not emoticon 

Also when Restlessness arises try to hunt down the image in the mind; is there an image of your timer in your mind after you notice restlessness. If so keep watching this and see if there is some unpleasant body sensation there that's happening but is not being noticed. One can certainly connect these dots. 

All this can be done when sensory clarity is not that sharp. When it is sharp then going deeper into each sensation is much easier. 

What can I do with today's mind terrain? How does this terrain look like, feel like? Is it clear or muddy, sharp or dull? Deep or shallow? 
If I'm sleepy then full on noting as fast as possible will fire up stuff, all while yawning emoticon 

It really helps to realize that mind terrain changes all the time and certain approach suits better one terrain than another. It's good to be curious about the terrain so not to get frustrated or fall prey to hindrances. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
NOTE; Do tell me to shut up if my replies seem unnoying emoticon At times we might just feel to practice and log and not have many tips and tricks being thrown at us. I will respect this big time.

HK Im not pushing anything at you mate and think that you should practice the way you choose is best for you but for some reason I felt to show you this video. You only have to hear it from the start to 2:23 , and hear at the end of that part what Shinzen sais about himself when practicing (in this vid he aslo mentions the importance of not breaking the stream of noting)
Im sure you have seen this one but please do take time and just hear these 2:23 minutes of it. If necessery re-listen as I know from my own experience I have the tendency not to hear stuff thats of importantce even if hearing it emoticon 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StBTuX0tqU8
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
You are welcome emoticon 

I must admit that I have a few favorite (noting) videos of Shinzen and Kenneth that I listen to every day or two just to remind me of the "KISS beginner mind" emoticon That really pays off in my view as we can get the tendency to fly too high just to fall very low emoticon 

As ALL seems to be in the Mind it really is a slippery terrain to navigate and very easy to slip without noticing it (unless we ARE noticing it, constantly ... well, during the sit at least).
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Ha! emoticon Shin and Ken vids are my dhamma porn emoticon 

Honestly as soon as I catch myself pressing the Refresh on You Tube too many times I know its time to find those vids by Shin and Ken and let that do the work in my mind instead. Dhamma talks are very important and these are my favorite Dhamma "Neo-suttas" as is some of Michael Taft's podcast stuff.

Gotta be well inspired by the One's emoticon I give them my ear and let them  deliever the goods. I will do the no pain no gain part on me own some emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Ingram suggests 1-10 sensations per second. Meaning 1 sensation per second is sufficient in case of a stage/state that's less clear. 

Shinzen suggests not breaking the stream of labeling during the sit no matter how fast or slow it goes. 

It looks like both of them are suggesting to use noting/labeling as a tool to keep attention in mindful mode throughout the whole sit. 

I know 75 minutes looks like a pro sit emoticon but in all fairness I think you would get more out of it if you sit 45 minutes but do make sure not to break that stream of labeling at all, no matter if you are certain or uncertain if you are noting correctly or not (in this case just note the Uncertainty mind state and move back to the easier sensations like body). 

Im sure you can note aloud 1 sensation a second for 45 minutes today and for the next 2 days. See how this goes and conclude afterwards. 

Going back from 60-75 minutes to 45 minutes is not a downgrade. You can always up the time and you know that. 

Do you try open eyes when sleepiness/dullness arises? One good thing with sleepiness is the change in focus. The focus gets less sharp and wider and more open. Yeps, Jhana-like. Harness this aspect but keep energy up with noting aloud 1 sensation a second and keep at it for the duration of the whole sit. 

Using noting/labeling aloud just during dullness is not enough for me as sooner rather than later I'm in la-la land emoticon I'm not sitting to be in la-la land. 
instead fire up the entire sit with constant stream of labeling aloud then once timer chimes in do what you please emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Copy that! 
Sam Gentile, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
The intention of this log is to report phenomenology/direct experience of my meditation sessions. I will not be mapping or reporting any of this in terms of the nanas. 

Less philosophy & conceptualization, more practice & direct reporting. 

I just wanted to say that I just started to read your log and really appreciate the direct reporting. It is so straightforward. I got some ideas for my log emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
6/6/2020 - Morning sit - 60 minutes

Resolved to stay with the breath and note from there.

Was able to hang out with the breath for most of the sit while noting sounds, body sensations, thoughts, emotions and so on.

Didn't fall asleep this time.

Minimal mind wandering due to hindrances. Most of the sit felt normal. Some impatience - probably due to the large coffee I had beforehand - but I could just hang out with it in the body. Noting sensations of tensions and giddiness in the abdomen, disgust or depression, anxiety or worry, planning & practice thoughts, songs stuck in my head, etc. If the mind wandered, I would bring it back to the breath and do the 7 point breath exercise for a few rounds to sharpen concentration.

Another good sit. It seems like something is slowly shaking loose and there is a sense of momentum.  
Good work! You have a sense of momentum going.
Sam Gentile, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
6/7/2020 - Didn't sit.

In the evening, started to feel depressed - had depressing dreams - woke up depressed. 

6/8/2020 - Morning sit - 60 minutes

There wasn't much momentum or a sense of 'the usual pattern unfolding' in this sit. I woke up feeling depressed/hopeless so that colored the sit.

Tried to maintain concentration/awarenss of the breath at the nostrils similar to the last few sessions, but the mind wasn't having it today. Even consistent noting was a challenge as I kept getting pulled into thoughts. Tried the 7 point breath exercise a few times throughout the sit, after which the mind would quickly slide off the sensations of the nostrils. It was inconsistent all around.

Noting the felt sense of depression in the body, as well as the aversion to it. Noticing how the mind was trying to run away from the feeling by constructing various narratives that either reenforced the deppresive state or departed from the theme.

A bit of restlessness as the sit felt pointless.

Noted body sensations, thoughts, sounds, mental imagery, etc. and tried to practice the acceptance of everything that arose. 

Sat the full 60, and although it was a sit marked by difficulty, the timer seemed to ring rather quickly. 

After the sit - proud I kept with it, but I don't necessarily feel any better for having done it. This residual depressive feeling will probably get processed as the day continues. 
Sorry your sit was so tough. At least, you stayed with the experience. That's something.
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Olivier, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Hello HK, and bravo.

A few questions that come to mind, which may potentially  add to this awareness thing - or not... Hopefully yes... I think it can be worth meditating on this kind of reflection which can help inflect practice in this new direction you are taking.

If attention is what allows you to note and be mindful,  if attention is what you note through, so to speak, what is it that is aware of the phenomenon of attention ?

Is there anything in your experience which is not always already experienced ? A "non-experienced" experience ? Isn't that a contradiction in terms ?

What is the difference between sensations/impressions which you are not mindful of, and sensations/impressions which you are mindful of ?

How do you know there is a difference ?

And where is all this being known ?

Have fun !

Olivier
Sam Gentile, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Olivier:
Hello HK, and bravo.

A few questions that come to mind, which may potentially  add to this awareness thing - or not... Hopefully yes... I think it can be worth meditating on this kind of reflection which can help inflect practice in this new direction you are taking.

If attention is what allows you to note and be mindful,  if attention is what you note through, so to speak, what is it that is aware of the phenomenon of attention ?

Is there anything in your experience which is not always already experienced ? A "non-experienced" experience ? Isn't that a contradiction in terms ?

What is the difference between sensations/impressions which you are not mindful of, and sensations/impressions which you are mindful of ?

How do you know there is a difference ?

And where is all this being known ?

Have fun !

Olivier

Oliver, thanks for these questions. Our mutual teacher Abre is teaching us about looking into awareness of aawareness when being the noter.
Sam Gentile, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Feeling uninspired at the moment.

Still sitting daily, albeit shorter sessions and less often. 

Sits are generally filled with agitation, impatience, doubts, drowsiness, unwieldy attention. 

Will be updating this log less often for the time being as I focus on keeping practice consistent. 

Sorry to hear. Does Abre know?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Kenneth talks here about the Essential Nature of Mind and how it cant be seen emoticon apparently not even Buddha can see it emoticon I enjoyed this and would like to try this Mahamudra style meditation as thought by Kenneth. When I listened to it, it reminded me of your teacher asking you to open up to the awareness at the end of each session. This I think she is pointing to.
I might add this to the end of my noting session now that Im mentioning it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-44VxPiQtVg&t=
Sam Gentile, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
Kenneth talks here about the Essential Nature of Mind and how it cant be seen emoticon apparently not even Buddha can see it emoticon I enjoyed this and would like to try this Mahamudra style meditation as thought by Kenneth. When I listened to it, it reminded me of your teacher asking you to open up to the awareness at the end of each session. This I think she is pointing to.
I might add this to the end of my noting session now that Im mentioning it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-44VxPiQtVg&t=

Don't you have to have a teacher give you "pointing Out" instructions to practice Mahamudra Papa Che?
Sam Gentile, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Papa Che Dusko:
Kenneth talks here about the Essential Nature of Mind and how it cant be seen emoticon apparently not even Buddha can see it emoticon I enjoyed this and would like to try this Mahamudra style meditation as thought by Kenneth. When I listened to it, it reminded me of your teacher asking you to open up to the awareness at the end of each session. This I think she is pointing to.
I might add this to the end of my noting session now that Im mentioning it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-44VxPiQtVg&t=

Don't you have to have a teacher give you "pointing Out" instructions to practice Mahamudra Papa Che?
Ok, it makes more sense after watching the video. You don't need pointing out instructions becauseharacterized  this is not classic Mahamudra. Mahamudra, as taught by my other teacher Mingur Rinpoche can be summed up in the pithy "Don't meditate but dot on't get lost" In other words apply no effort, rest in the nature of mind, but don't wander.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Nothing wrong with scaling down the practice time. This ain't an endurance race emoticon I know there are folk here who believe that awakening is not possible without long hours and long retreats. I'm not one of those. 

I think it's good to have a teacher as it does keep us going in a way. But there is no better motivator than our own suffering. This is the main reason we do this for the sake of ending that suffering. 

I look at this practice like the water we drink. At times I don't feel the strong thirst and I drink only a bit. I also notice if I don't drink one whole day I feel dehydrated and don't feel well. So I drink at least once a day. I don't have to drink 60ml but I can drink maybe 30-40ml once a day. I clearly see I do feel better. 
At times the weather is very hot and I'm just feeling utter thirst. It's scorchin hot! I simply desire to drink a lot of water and as often as I can. 
Practice is the same for me. There is either lots of thirst or not so much but daily water, even if just a small cup, makes me feel better as I'm not dehydrated. 

Don't let that guilt towards your teacher be your main motivator. Let the "thirst" be your motivator instead. But do keep "hydrated". Maybe time to let go of the teacher for a while (food for thought). 

emoticon 
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Noah D, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1143 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
On the bright side, I've had some good conversations with some people and maybe my current attitude is related to some macro level cycling. If that's the case, this challenging period is where the growth happens if I can continue to sit. It's an opportunity. Sometimes I forget to see it that way. 

Yeah!  Normalize it.  It helps.  Even if it doesn't motivate you to practice more just understanding the deeper patterned cause of your outlook, mood & interpretation of practice & life should relieve some pressure.
Martin, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 294 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:

Additionally, my teacher wants me to start 'mapping' a bit (not in a neurotic way). So for now, I'm sorta figuring out my own unique meditational territories and what hindrances to be wary of. At this point, they seem to correspond to the vipassana jhanas.

First territory seems to go really quick: it's sorta the switch from being 'in content' to being aware of content. 

Second territory: white light behind the eyelids turns up gradually as if the sun is emerging from clouds outside and lighting up my room. Generally good concentration, good posture, vibrations in various parts of my body (especially extremities), etc. Second territory starts rather rapidly while getting centered at the beginning of the session and before I even start noting. Generally a feeling of momentum.

Third territory: Tired. Sluggish. Posture droops forward. Things can become murky or unclear. Like being dipped in syrup. Dream-like imagery. The body almost disappears at points as the dreaminess takes over. Difficult emotions and restlessness can arise. Body feels sorta hollow and cold - like the felt sense of depression. Generally a feeling like I lost to momentum from before and feeling bummed. Noting out loud during this territory is helpful. 

Often times, I will cycle between territory 2 and 3 every few minutes. It's interesting to see the changes in posture, the energy levels and how the attention/energy naturally collects in certain areas of the body depending on the territory. I believe that there is a lot more to the third territory above that I am not quite seeing and I am generally curious and excited to explore it more. 


That's interesting. Did your teacher explain what the advantage of mapping in this way was. I find the territories of my sits evolve over time, so that they are always semi-predictable in the short term, but not in the long term. I have often wondered if there is any advantage to paying attention to the patterns. 
Martin, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 294 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thanks!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
You are already profound on cushion mate! I was more suggesting not to strive and beat yourself off cushion emoticon let your life be your life and not some Monastery with moral codes and rules. 

Just like Concentration/Focus can go from sharp to very diffused so can Profound Engagement go from loose to deep. None of these opposites are better or worse. They change according to Anicca and cycling states and stages and all is part of This experience. 

There can be profound engagement that tracks fast arisings and passing of different sensations without going deep into each of those and the other way around , engaging one sensation and going deeper into it (like a changing itch and you stay with it). 
Both of these are Awake in This, meaning not lost in content. 
And you seem to be doing both approaches and more

You are doing fantastic Kid! emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1724 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Trying to figure out how to motivate myself to practice again and being gentle about it.

That said, my short term practice goal is to be better about building more momentum during my sits. This means really engaging in the practice. I have a tendency to sort of half-ass things: part of me wants to practice, and part of me is doubtful/distracted/disinterested.

So how do we squeeze more juice from each session? 

1. Building a better base of calm/centering/concentration at the beginning of the session.

2. Staying on the 'straight and narrow' path: getting better about noting/dis-embedding and not being concerned with personal content. 


1 - So how to go about building a better base? My teacher said "relaxation is half of concentration". At the beginning of our guided sits, she takes time to slowly bring the attention/awareness from the wide field of experience, down to a focus at the nostrils. I usually don't bother with this when I meditate by myself because I like to jump straight into the noting. TMI also lays down similar instructions, but I always ignored them - the irony isn't lost on me. 
Here is where it get's interesting: today (on a whim) I pretended to guide an imaginary person out loud through meditation similar to how my teacher does it. Although I was speaking out loud, I became centered and calm and relaxed in a way that I have not been able to when trying to cultivate samatha in the past. So that awesome! I can note out loud and also practice relaxation/centering/concentration out loud. I'll be sure to incorporate and explore the centering before my sits from now on. It's enjoyable; I get to be my own dharma teacher, guide myself the way I'd want someone else to guide me: patiently, gently, with goodness. So far, I tried this out twice: guiding myself out loud and it worked both times - I was centered, honed in, relaxed, low key enjoying the experience. 

2 - Staying on the straight and narrow path will be a tad tricky. Noting out loud is awesome, but I can't exactly do it when I sit at 5:30 in the morning because my house mates will hear me. I can whisper it, sure, but I have also experimented with speaking slightly louder, with a bit more confidence and that seems to change the energy of the sit in a beneficial way. 
Additionally, my teacher wants me to start 'mapping' a bit (not in a neurotic way). So for now, I'm sorta figuring out my own unique meditational territories and what hindrances to be wary of. At this point, they seem to correspond to the vipassana jhanas.

First territory seems to go really quick: it's sorta the switch from being 'in content' to being aware of content. 

Second territory: white light behind the eyelids turns up gradually as if the sun is emerging from clouds outside and lighting up my room. Generally good concentration, good posture, vibrations in various parts of my body (especially extremities), etc. Second territory starts rather rapidly while getting centered at the beginning of the session and before I even start noting. Generally a feeling of momentum.

Third territory: Tired. Sluggish. Posture droops forward. Things can become murky or unclear. Like being dipped in syrup. Dream-like imagery. The body almost disappears at points as the dreaminess takes over. Difficult emotions and restlessness can arise. Body feels sorta hollow and cold - like the felt sense of depression. Generally a feeling like I lost to momentum from before and feeling bummed. Noting out loud during this territory is helpful. 

Often times, I will cycle between territory 2 and 3 every few minutes. It's interesting to see the changes in posture, the energy levels and how the attention/energy naturally collects in certain areas of the body depending on the territory. I believe that there is a lot more to the third territory above that I am not quite seeing and I am generally curious and excited to explore it more. 


It seems for the time being, I have some skills to cultivate and refine so that's really refreshing. Hopefully some of the inspiration to practice comes back.

emoticon


This sounds really good to my ears mate! Look at it like going to the gym or similar stuff. I'm now in the gym for 45-60 minutes and that's the time I do this profoundly. Once I'm done practicing well, I feel good and don't bother much about it for the rest of the day. I live all the other aspects of my life; friends, hobby, food ... etc ... I don't go all day around thinking about the gym but I do feel better from doing some weight lifting that's for sure emoticon 
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Guillaume Barthere, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 116 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
That said, my short term practice goal is to be better about building more momentum during my sits. This means really engaging in the practice. I have a tendency to sort of half-ass things: part of me wants to practice, and part of me is doubtful/distracted/disinterested.

I'm glad I found your log because I find some similarities with my own experience.
I have the same tendencies + sometimes fear of not doing it right/Not being able that pushes me to not even practice or practice less.

Second territory: white light behind the eyelids turns up gradually as if the sun is emerging from clouds outside and lighting up my room. Generally good concentration, good posture, vibrations in various parts of my body (especially extremities), etc. Second territory starts rather rapidly while getting centered at the beginning of the session and before I even start noting. Generally a feeling of momentum.

Interestingly, I had the same experience for the 1st time yesterday. I was in the dark but it felt like I had a lamp in the room, white light rising on my eyelids. Is it a common experience within meditation practitioners?

Afterward, I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of sensations appearing and trying to notice everything. (I don't really note, just try to "look" at it and notice it carefully).
It made me fall in a kind of trance, somewhat related to your third territory.

Again, happy to have found your log and use it for my 1st comment ;-)

Wish you all a nice day
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Olivier, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Just as a funny aside, I've often found that tuning out completely while in the third territory you mention was often the quickest way for me to move into EQ. Or "fourth territory", sorry :p

Chris' "not just on the cushion" remark. Isn't it the very goal of meditation practice to move into daily life ?
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Chris Marti, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Watching your own mental and behavioral patterns, not just during your sits, could become a habit  emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Trying to figure out how to motivate myself to practice again and being gentle about it.

That said, my short term practice goal is to be better about building more momentum during my sits. This means really engaging in the practice. I have a tendency to sort of half-ass things: part of me wants to practice, and part of me is doubtful/distracted/disinterested.



So how do we squeeze more juice from each session? 

1. Building a better base of calm/centering/concentration at the beginning of the session.

2. Staying on the 'straight and narrow' path: getting better about noting/dis-embedding and not being concerned with personal content. 


1 - So how to go about building a better base? My teacher said "relaxation is half of concentration". At the beginning of our guided sits, she takes time to slowly bring the attention/awareness from the wide field of experience, down to a focus at the nostrils. I usually don't bother with this when I meditate by myself because I like to jump straight into the noting. TMI also lays down similar instructions, but I always ignored them - the irony isn't lost on me. 
Here is where it get's interesting: today (on a whim) I pretended to guide an imaginary person out loud through meditation similar to how my teacher does it. Although I was speaking out loud, I became centered and calm and relaxed in a way that I have not been able to when trying to cultivate samatha in the past. So that awesome! I can note out loud and also practice relaxation/centering/concentration out loud. I'll be sure to incorporate and explore the centering before my sits from now on. It's enjoyable; I get to be my own dharma teacher, guide myself the way I'd want someone else to guide me: patiently, gently, with goodness. So far, I tried this out twice: guiding myself out loud and it worked both times - I was centered, honed in, relaxed, low key enjoying the experience. 

2 - Staying on the straight and narrow path will be a tad tricky. Noting out loud is awesome, but I can't exactly do it when I sit at 5:30 in the morning because my house mates will hear me. I can whisper it, sure, but I have also experimented with speaking slightly louder, with a bit more confidence and that seems to change the energy of the sit in a beneficial way. 
Additionally, my teacher wants me to start 'mapping' a bit (not in a neurotic way). So for now, I'm sorta figuring out my own unique meditational territories and what hindrances to be wary of. At this point, they seem to correspond to the vipassana jhanas.

First territory seems to go really quick: it's sorta the switch from being 'in content' to being aware of content. 

Second territory: white light behind the eyelids turns up gradually as if the sun is emerging from clouds outside and lighting up my room. Generally good concentration, good posture, vibrations in various parts of my body (especially extremities), etc. Second territory starts rather rapidly while getting centered at the beginning of the session and before I even start noting. Generally a feeling of momentum.

Third territory: Tired. Sluggish. Posture droops forward. Things can become murky or unclear. Like being dipped in syrup. Dream-like imagery. The body almost disappears at points as the dreaminess takes over. Difficult emotions and restlessness can arise. Body feels sorta hollow and cold - like the felt sense of depression. Generally a feeling like I lost to momentum from before and feeling bummed. Noting out loud during this territory is helpful. 

Often times, I will cycle between territory 2 and 3 every few minutes. It's interesting to see the changes in posture, the energy levels and how the attention/energy naturally collects in certain areas of the body depending on the territory. I believe that there is a lot more to the third territory above that I am not quite seeing and I am generally curious and excited to explore it more. 


It seems for the time being, I have some skills to cultivate and refine so that's really refreshing. Hopefully some of the inspiration to practice comes back.

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Its good to see you back and with a great short term goal. Good to see you noting aloud and your early success with it. I agree; relaxation is the key. I find that when I am releaxed, the noting goes better.
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Been meditating for about an hour a day the last week.

The sense of momentum during sits isn't there for me at the moment - or maybe I'm refusing to see it due to doubts.

The sits usually end in a state of boredom/restlessness/disinterest/lack of motivation/doubts. 

Today's hour sit started off well enough: there was a sense of being withdrawn from the outer world and engaged with the inner world. I was inspired to sit. It was sorta fun. Then eventually, doubts, stress, and boredom crept up. After the sit, just feeling extremely frustrated and angsty about everything in terms of practice and life specifics. Currently my inner child is having a tantrum. Not sure where all that internal turmoil is coming from when I'm just trying to patiently note sensory phenomena. I'm having trouble establishing equanimity - I think I'm at the doorstep, but having trouble passing throught the doorway. 

I suppose the only way out of this is through it - and I am taking it patiently today at least. 

hey HIbiscus,

my two cents worth, with all international exchange standards applicable, which means i owe you money for offering my two cents worth, technically speaking, is: Mucho Shargrol Of Course--- https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#transitiontoeq ---
and forget about Equanimity, and accept the desert life with curiousity: simply look around during your sits, with the thread of technique dry, and see how completely fucked you actually are, all things considered. "Do" this gently. Appy, lather, rinse, repeat. If nothing else, your hair will be extremely clean.

love, tim
Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Been meditating for about an hour a day the last week.

The sense of momentum during sits isn't there for me at the moment - or maybe I'm refusing to see it due to doubts.

The sits usually end in a state of boredom/restlessness/disinterest/lack of motivation/doubts. 

Today's hour sit started off well enough: there was a sense of being withdrawn from the outer world and engaged with the inner world. I was inspired to sit. It was sorta fun. Then eventually, doubts, stress, and boredom crept up. After the sit, just feeling extremely frustrated and angsty about everything in terms of practice and life specifics. Currently my inner child is having a tantrum. Not sure where all that internal turmoil is coming from when I'm just trying to patiently note sensory phenomena. I'm having trouble establishing equanimity - I think I'm at the doorstep, but having trouble passing throught the doorway. 

I suppose the only way out of this is through it - and I am taking it patiently today at least. 
I'm sorry you're struggling. You sound similar to my sits of July 9-12 where I had all of the above and intense restlessness that I couldn't sit in my meditation chair. The only way is to meditate through it. You will get there to equanimity.
Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Sitting a bit less lately. Work this week has been an absolute bear as I am covering for a coworker on vacation this week. I've dialed it back to 30-60 minutes of sitting a day (in 1 or 2 sits) and been experimenting with sitting (no timer; no goal) in the dark before laying down for bed at night. 

Due to the larger amount of responsibility I have at the moment, my sessions have been marked by a tangle of work/planning-thoughts and a stressed/contracted/agitated body. Depending on my attitude, sitting in the midst of it feels like no big deal - it's an opportunity to explore stress and fear and discomfort and doubts: surfing a wave of sorts. Other times, my attitude isn't great and I don't see the opportunity for what it is - I'll jump off the cushion and start my work day an hour early instead. 

The good thing is, even with the stress and dealing with the reacitivity of some of my more melo-dramatic corworkers, I am able to respond in a way I find appropriate. 

I'd like to find the internal tenacity to be better about sitting for my daily minimum even with work responsibilities, and logging my sessions here. 

Good to see you here my friend! Been thinking about you. Guess you can't do much  about having to cover for your co-worker.
I'd like to find the internal tenacity to be better about sitting for my daily minimum even with work responsibilities, and logging my sessions here. 

Do it!
Sam Gentile, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hey, you're doing it! Good work!
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
7/27/2020 - Afternoon sit - 30 minutes

Sat outside and noted. Got distracted quite a bit.


Evening session - 45ish minutes with Teacher

Had a total melt down and started crying. Between stressful life shit and the stern discussion with my teacher before the sit, I just felt utterly dejected. This set off some emotional chain reaction: I was silently sobbing, could barely breathe, it felt like the chair was rapidly spinning and I was visited by every one of my doubts and frustrations about life. How limited I feel. Every healthy activity I take on is somehow supposed to complete me so I finally feel worthy, but ultimately doesn't fix the core issue. Every petty rationalization or stressor I carry with me is somehow supposed to protect me. The body was just contracted and hot and I was self concious about crying on a video chat, feeling like less of a man for it. How I feel like I'm stuck on a hamster wheel and unable to get ahead in life, somehow picking up the pace and stiff falling behind. I'm tired. 

hey HK, 

total melt down is generally auspicious in most traditions, like a mala breaking, only more emotionally healing. You've been grinding hard, dry dry work both on the mat and in challenging life circumstances, and there is a point where the longing for juice, for fruits, and the sense of hamster wheel dryness extending forever, collide prioperly, and tears are actually one of the better outcomes of that collision.

"Melt down" is a great way to describe certain moments of spiritual realization, as well as emotional breakdown: something melts, something hard yields into fluidity. The relief of an emotional, tearful meltdown is a taste of insight or realization, in its way, or at the very least a good working metaphor of sign for it, to symbolize the real melting of the boundaries and rigidities of our samsaric self.

Meanwhile, it feels like shit. dry shit. Exhausting, endless shit, with no relief in sight. My advice would be to pick up the pace and fall further behind anyway. This would be in accordance with certain traditions.

On second thought, fuck it, fuck the hamster wheel and every fucking do-good-for-shit thing we're supposed to be doing. Let's go out and get shit-faced drunk and pick up some women at the bar and contract fatal sexually transmitted diseases, one each. Is Friday night good for you?

love, tim
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Every healthy activity I take on is somehow supposed to complete me so I finally feel worthy, but ultimately doesn't fix the core issue. Every petty rationalization or stressor I carry with me is somehow supposed to protect me. The body was just contracted and hot and I was self concious about crying on a video chat, feeling like less of a man for it. How I feel like I'm stuck on a hamster wheel and unable to get ahead in life, somehow picking up the pace and stiff falling behind. I'm tired. 

I, too, think your breakdown is actually a benevolent development. It's pointing to something, just like your words above point to something. Do you have any thoughts on what that might be?
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Based on the way you used words, it may be you're expecting help from outside, from something or someone that can "save" you. Your breakdown may be a glimmer of the realization that redemption, salvation, what-have-you, doesn't come from outside. Maybe it's also reflective of the realization that it's okay to feel scared, weak, and maybe helpless against all the forces we perceive to be coming at us, all seemingly outside of us. Thus the constant, exhausting struggle to avoid them. That struggle is a treadmill. A tiring treadmill.
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
7/28/2020 - Evening sit - 35 minutes

Practiced concentration at the recommendation of my teacher who thinks I may not be getting 'deep' enough during my sits since I often report I'm somewhat lackadaisical.

I'm not really a fan of concentration meditation as I often find it boring so going into the sit, I was not enthusiastic.

I practiced focus on the breath. Started attention/awarness wide and gradually transitioned to the nostrils. The advice I was given was not to focus too hard on the nostrils or any particular sensations, but aim to 'know' what part of the breath is occuring with attention focused at the nose. I was able to hold the breath for short periods at first, gradually able to hold the breath in attention for longer periods (say 1-3 miutes) before gross distractions pulled me away. At times, thoughts became wispy. 

I was also directed to go back to the breath no matter what - even if it made me more tense, even if I found it boring, etc. A few times, I became aware of intense doubts or somehow trying to 'make' the jhanas happen or other expectations, but returned to the breath instead of getting caught up.

From here-on out, I'll be working more directly on concentration during my sits, and switching over to noting after setting up a good base. 

HK, I think the fact that you find the breath tedious or boring or tension-inducing, is very revealing. The breath is the ultimate freedom vehicle: beyond our control (no self), useful only when transitory (stop it, and you're dead), and utterly enmeshed with the entirety of the suffering material world of pain and pleasure, life and death, dukha and cessation. You can get all the work of any technique done on one breath; heaven and hell, all of it, onee breath. Watch it come in no matter what, arising despite anything you think or feel. Follow it down, sinking through and into this body that hurts and rejoices, fears and aspires. Let whatever it is that it does be, in that pause at the bottom, that transition, and let it go out as pure release, as the return of what you were given to the mystery of what gave, in a different form, heavier on CO2, better for the plants. Breathe for the plants! Sit until all sentient plants are saved. Serve our earthly flora!

Seriously, man, if you're seeing the breath as some kind of dry prerequsite to Something Else, you're going to be fucking miserable.

love, tim
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The direct experience of the breath in this very moment is pretty mundane.

This is not the best way to look at it. Your breath is your life. If you've been thinking about it this way then you may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Here's what I would offer: follow your breath.

Be gently enthralled with what's happening as you breathe. What's moving? What's not moving? What happens at the peak of the in-breath? The bottom of the out-breath? What changes in feeling tone can you find as the breath goes in and out? Can you follow the breath without trying to control it? What happens in your head when the breath is deep? When it's shallow?

Your breath contains everything you need in order to awaken. It sends oxygen to your body, relieves you of carbon dioxide, and gives you life. It's an object you can investigate, penetrate, and gain insight with.

How could it not be fascinating?

I challenge you to fall in love with it.

emoticon
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SushiK, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 116 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
My  2 cents as a very beginner.

Is your teacher adamant about following the breath at the tip of the nose?

I get more "interesting" sensations (Which by virtuous cycle makes it easier to focus) when checking the breath at the abdomen, especially at the end of the out-breath and the period in between breath (My work should be to be as focus on the beginning and end of the in-breath).

I usually start with the abdomen to go "in the zone" and then switch to the tip of the nose.

And to be more fascinated by the breath, any chance you could practice freediving? Apnea underwater is one of my favorite place to be emoticon

Otherwise, you could try some breathing exercises (Wim Hof and so on).

Have a nice day
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Here's what I would offer: follow your breath.

Be gently enthralled with what's happening as you breathe. What's moving? What's not moving? What happens at the peak of the in-breath? The bottom of the out-breath? What changes in feeling tone can you find as the breath goes in and out? Can you follow the breath without trying to control it? What happens in your head when the breath is deep? When it's shallow?

Your breath contains everything you need in order to awaken. It sends oxygen to your body, relieves you of carbon dioxide, and gives you life. It's an object you can investigate, penetrate, and gain insight with.

How could it not be fascinating?

I challenge you to fall in love with it.

emoticon
+1
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
emoticon

HK, I was missing Papa Che's input on this thread, and wrote to him on email. He replied and said he had been following the thread and offered the following:
Papa Che

Kid is in a stage of disillusionment with the practice and all. His teacher cant help him. Chris cant help him. Buddha cant help him. And certainly I cant help him. 

He has passed the stage where he can go back to enjoying anything in life. He will however go back to life, stop practicing and do all sorts of stuff young people do and should do. And he will be fine. But he will not be able to enjoy it as he is in the state of Dissolution (and the rest of Dukkha Nanas).

He needs to come to he point in life where he sees that he can not stay in this Dukkha Nana stage and that there is no way back into enjoyable meditation, or being lost in IGNORING the practice  emoticon He needs to come to that point where he really REALISE that the only way is the way forward, the way of this practice of noting my own experience moment by moment 1-10 sensations a second in a body-relaxed manner and with heaps of Acceptance. And you do this not because you want to "attain" to something but because you realise you are lost in a vast ocean of dukkha and the only thing you have on hand is that little raft held together with rotten ropes. And you hold onto it. And you sail without sense of direction or hope. There is only that raft in the vast ocean of Dukkha hit by storms and lighting, by scorching sun, without water or food, you keep sailing on that rotting raft ... ... until ... "its always darkest before the dawn".

He will be fine.

I asked him if i could copy this and post it anonymously from "an acquaintance," and he said, "I'm always for being truthful. If you insist on posting this then by all means say who wrote it. Its your choice!" To which i replied, in accordance with our friendship's protocols, "Fuck you, then, I'm posting it."

I think he's in the ballpark, with his take on where you're trending here. But I also know that the raft in the vast ocean of dukha, hit by storms and lightning, and scorching sun, without water or food, that rotting raft on which we keep sailing . . . is the only place to be. You don't need to go anywhere in particular tp find it, and you can't flee anywhere once it finds you. And the breath is the only thing happening there, in the end. It's the only interesting thing there is, once "mundane" blows to shit, as it will. The breath is the ultimate refuge, and it is transitory, dukha-ridden, and un-selfed. As Chris says, you'll really start to love it, lol.

love, tim
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Pap Che should just come on back in here if he's going to monitor the boards and write e-mails that someone else posts for him. That just seems like too much work  emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Pap Che should just come on back in here if he's going to monitor the boards and write e-mails that someone else posts for him. That just seems like too much work  emoticon

not for me. my work, my call.
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
not for me. my work, my call.

You have it at then, you mouthpiece you.
Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
not for me. my work, my call.

You have it at then, you mouthpiece you.


Tim Farrington, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Hibiscus Kid's Log #3

Posts: 2453 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Hey Tim, thank you for taking the time to reach out to Papa Che on my behalf emoticon I am dragging so many people into this that I hope I awaken for everyone else's sake! 

Papa Che seems to have undergone a similar point in his life and that's when he became really dedicated. At this point, I'm sorta half-in/half-out and I have been this way for years - and yet I am too stubborn to give up sitting. 

I will take heed of Papa Che's analysis and continue to sit.

HK, don't forget to remember that you're completely fucked!

love, tim