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HK's Life Log Hibiscus Kid 5/7/20 4:24 PM
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RE: HK's Life Log Steph S 5/27/20 8:44 AM
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RE: HK's Life Log Papa Che Dusko 5/27/20 4:51 PM
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RE: HK's Life Log Tim Farrington 5/16/20 2:23 AM
HK's Life Log
Answer
5/7/20 4:24 PM
I recently started a practice log that is based solely on meditation sessions and direct, phenomenological reporting. I figured I'd start a concurrent log to report about "life stuff" as a counter point to the practice log and get feedback where needed. I've been considering whether I should even create this log as I don't want it degenerate into me moaning about lack of spiritual progress or my existential tensions as I am often prone to doing. Adding to that, this sorta feels like a self indulgent endeavor of sorts which is why I have been holding off on starting yet another thread about my musings. 

Truth is, I have to admit this practice IS making my life better by helping me navigate the unfolding with a bit more awareness and intention which is just plain skillful. I still have my goals, but the other results have been worth the work. At the end of the day this thread is just a space for me to share thoughts, perspectives, experiences, and the like. 

So why start this log today? (a bit of a peek into my magickal thinking you'll see): 

- Two nights ago a friend drew a Tarot card for me: it was Death and it was drawn upright. Usually a sign of endings, beginnings, change, and transformation. We will see what comes of it! 

- Today is my 27th birthday! 

- Today is also Vesak, which, although I don't consider myself Buddhist, just seems incredibly auspicious. 

- Respectfully: the teacher and author Rob Burbea passed away today. It's truly a loss for the community, but also illustrates just how many lives a person can positively impact when they live and practice well. There's a certain beauty in that. Although I have not read his book, "Seeing That Frees", I have had plans to circle back around to it once I feel ready to take my practice in that direction.


I've sorta noticed in the last few years that when my practice gains momentum, I seem to be prone to synchronicities. Occasionally I even get this intuitive sense about when the next one will happen... as bonkers as that sounds. Life has a way of keeping things interesting and for that I am truly grateful. 

With love,
Alex

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/8/20 9:02 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Kenneth Folk gives some interesting instructions for walking meditation on his website (I believe these instructions are inspired by Shinzen Young). The idea is to imagine an energy field that expands and contracts around the body during the session. It is subtle for now, but I do often feel it without trying too hard to look for it.

Went on a mindful walk yesterday and just enjoyed the sights and sounds and weather, etc. I was trying to respond to messages from people on my phone and switching the scope of attention from "all of this niceness out here" to just the phone screen and the process of trying to form a response. The difference in the energy was palpable. The same sort of shrinking/tightening of the energy field would happen when walking by certain types of people, and then open right back up once they had passed me. 

Shrinking and constriction of the energy field would manifest as narratives and contraction of the body. Expanding of the field would lead to relaxation, friendliness, and enjoyment of surrounds. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/8/20 9:20 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Recently, although my current meditation sessions seem to be difficult/unfocused/reactive/frustrating, etc. I am actually quite happy/chilled out in day to day life. It's not all gravy, of course, but seeing reactivity in myself causes compassion to arise which leads to a certain, modest amount of acceptance. Like caring for a distressed child.

As of late, appreciation at the fact of simply being alive. A fountain of natural grattitude. Appreciation and celebration of other people. Etc. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/8/20 10:27 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
This is good stuff. See if you can fabricate those feelings during a sit and use them as an object of meditation. Like, reminisce about what it felt like walking around like that in daily life, how it felt, even recall the memory and try to visualize it. Not as a way to avoid difficult sensations/feelings, but as a healthy way of formally cultivating gratitude in a sit.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/8/20 11:08 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:

- Respectfully: the teacher and author Rob Burbea passed away today. It's truly a loss for the community, but also illustrates just how many lives a person can positively impact when they live and practice well. There's a certain beauty in that. Although I have not read his book, "Seeing That Frees", I have had plans to circle back around to it once I feel ready to take my practice in that direction.


I just ordered it as well after hearing such good things here and other places, sorry to hear of his passing, seemed like he was very well loved!  I'm looking forward to reading it.


Love
John

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/9/20 8:51 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Thank you Steph! It's a good idea, but I am sort of terrible at fabricating the wholesome qualities on a whim. It's always been an issue for me.

@John: Let me know how it is and if you find it useful. At this point, I have a mountan of dharma books that I've purchased over the last few years, but I have yet to read most of them. At this point, I have a simple practice and so I have been holding off on buying any more books that I won't read. I've definitely fallen into the trap of reading more than practicing in the past, but now the balance is reversed so I hope to continue like this for a while. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/9/20 10:44 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
I'm glad you're doing this. I like hearing about how life effects meditation and vice versa. I like synchronicities too.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/9/20 6:35 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Thank you Brandon! Practice logs are cool. Besides Chris Marti's log, I'd recommend Noah's log. He has some awesome posts on here about practice in daily life and how sheer power of will (noting as much as a person possibly can during their day) will still lead to results.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/9/20 6:57 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
I know this for myself, but after discussing some life events and my resultant perspectives with some friends: I am driven by a huge guilt-complex. I feel that nothing I do is right or enough, somehow I'm always in 'trouble with others' (even if this isn't true), I'm the asshole in most situations, I cringe at many of my actions, I feel like the bottom of the barrel. No, I'm not perfect. I've done some stupid shit. I've wronged some people. At the same time, I haven't taken advantage of anyone financially or emotionally, hurt anyone physically or emotionally (intentionally - break ups happen - oh well), haven't killed anyone or done anything that would warrant jail time, etc. I sometimes get a bit careless, but never do I set out to hurt people.    

For example, I was discussing something I did with some friends tonight and they said "hey man, that's so awesome". Problem is, I sort of screwed over a friend during the aforementioned activity and I said that to my friends and they brushed it aside. They basically said it wasn't a big deal, but I feel incredibly guilt about it 18 months later even when I tried to make amends. Some people view my actions as small things, but to me, they have caused months worth of daily anxiety for long stretches and still do. 

Even with my meditation teacher, the motivation between interview sessions isn't to 'practice to get better at meditation' or 'save myself' or 'practice to help others'.... I'm motivated to practice so my teacher isn't pissed that I'm being lazy. On some level it works, but there are rarely any carrots and my work: it's mostly sticks.  

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/9/20 10:03 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Is Noah's log gonna be as hard to track down as Chris's?

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/10/20 10:39 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
He has it posted in a few different locations, but this is my favorite place to read it

Also, this post of his really inspired me to practice as much as I could in daily life. This, to me, is a classic. 

Noah has a few other good posts on the DhO where he talks about his life and practice and progress and various techniques and his philosophies and such. All very inspiring, helpful, and makes this endeavor seem accessible/attainable. He currently posts under the name 'Noah D' here on the DhO.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/10/20 4:09 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hi HK, you probably read this already, but just in case you didn't: Shinzen Young's See Out, Hear Out, Feel Out is a reframing of Zen's method to practice mindfulness in daily activities, but adding in just some labelling. Check in pages 29-32. He also supports the idea of extensive low level practice in daily activities. On the other side, you have Daniel's "bliztrieg noting" (I made up this term) whenever he had spare time in his busy schedule. So probably the best combo is a mix of quality, quantity and intensity.  

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/11/20 4:50 AM as a reply to Pepe.
Pepe, your guess is correct: I have read that primer before and even have a printed copy in my desk drawer at work. I went through a phase where I consumed quite a bit of Shinzen's material. Although I don't use his see-hear-feel terminology in practice, it's pretty much all the same stuff. His discussion about sensate clarity, concentration, and equanimity has been very helpful for me personally. Thank you for the link!

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/11/20 5:14 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
I recently started a practice log that is based solely on meditation sessions and direct, phenomenological reporting. I figured I'd start a concurrent log to report about "life stuff" as a counter point to the practice log and get feedback where needed. I've been considering whether I should even create this log as I don't want it degenerate into me moaning about lack of spiritual progress or my existential tensions as I am often prone to doing. Adding to that, this sorta feels like a self indulgent endeavor of sorts which is why I have been holding off on starting yet another thread about my musings. 

Truth is, I have to admit this practice IS making my life better by helping me navigate the unfolding with a bit more awareness and intention which is just plain skillful. I still have my goals, but the other results have been worth the work. At the end of the day this thread is just a space for me to share thoughts, perspectives, experiences, and the like. 



Hey, H Kid!

love this innovative notion of a "life log" entwining with, like a DNA helix, and complementing the practice log.

So why start this log today? (a bit of a peek into my magickal thinking you'll see): 

- Two nights ago a friend drew a Tarot card for me: it was Death and it was drawn upright. Usually a sign of endings, beginnings, change, and transformation. We will see what comes of it! 

- Today is my 27th birthday! 

- Today is also Vesak, which, although I don't consider myself Buddhist, just seems incredibly auspicious. 

- Respectfully: the teacher and author Rob Burbea passed away today. It's truly a loss for the community, but also illustrates just how many lives a person can positively impact when they live and practice well. There's a certain beauty in that. Although I have not read his book, "Seeing That Frees", I have had plans to circle back around to it once I feel ready to take my practice in that direction.

Beautiful. God bless Rob Burbea; eternal rest grant under him, O LOrd, as his practice moves into the bardos; and may perpetual light shine upon him.
I've sorta noticed in the last few years that when my practice gains momentum, I seem to be prone to synchronicities. Occasionally I even get this intuitive sense about when the next one will happen... as bonkers as that sounds. Life has a way of keeping things interesting and for that I am truly grateful. 

With love,
Alex

Strange that you should mention this. Synchronicity-wise, I find myself entirely and deeply grateful for what you bring to this sangha, you bonkers, intuitive, most interesting youth. Don't let this beautful momentum morph into the trap of increased urgency. Slower is better, and especially when things are unfolding at their fastest.

Also in synchronicity, i drew the death card of tarot myself recently, and sure enough, in my next sit, i stopped breathing for an hour and a half and had to be revived by a heroic crew of EMTs, who scandalously disregarded the prominent DNR tattooed in red on my chest.

love, tim

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/11/20 6:59 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Thank you Tim! Take care of yourself!

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/14/20 7:13 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
In an interview with Daniel Ingram (10% Happier Podcast with Dan Harris), Daniel mentions how attaining a few paths (and related insights of no-self, doer, controller, etc.) helped to make him more effective. It even helped him graduate medical school a semester early.

Obviously the mileage varies based on the person, and Daniel is a pretty intense/hard working/focussed person. I've also seen the arguments that more insight may mean getting less done in the world as motivation/meaning changes.

However, it's an interesting concept and inspires my practice. How might I operate in the world if I wasn't looking for ways to distract myself from the things I deemed worth doing and trying to get done? What's stopping me from being the person TODAY that I envision myself someday being? Do I actually want to be that person? Why overthink any of it and just do it? 

For instance, last night I had about 90 spare minutes before bed and I kept asking myself why I couldn't just sit down and meditate. "Ahh one more youtube video - these are funny". I could have sat indefinitely and gone to bed once I felt tired enough. I do this every night - I have the time for a sit, but then it doesn't happen.

This relates to many areas of my life - basically just procrastination which is a form of resistence.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/14/20 8:58 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
In an interview with Daniel Ingram (10% Happier Podcast with Dan Harris), Daniel mentions how attaining a few paths (and related insights of no-self, doer, controller, etc.) helped to make him more effective. It even helped him graduate medical school a semester early.

horseshit. DI graduated early for the same reason most things have happened in his life: he is a spectacularly self-motivated, internally driven fucking genius with a once in a generation or two brain. If he was charging for that horseshit i'd be really pissed, but i hope nobody makes any post-med school plans for themselves based on that hunk of crap.
Obviously the mileage varies based on the person, and Daniel is a pretty intense/hard working/focussed person. I've also seen the arguments that more insight may mean getting less done in the world as motivation/meaning changes.

This is more typical, actually: see through shit, stop doing shit.
However, it's an interesting concept and inspires my practice. How might I operate in the world if I wasn't looking for ways to distract myself from the things I deemed worth doing and trying to get done? What's stopping me from being the person TODAY that I envision myself someday being? Do I actually want to be that person? Why overthink any of it and just do it? 

Because you are fundamentally honest and interested in truth, but poisoned still by various ushroom assumptions on the nature of the fruits of the contemplative life?

For instance, last night I had about 90 spare minutes before bed and I kept asking myself why I couldn't just sit down and meditate. "Ahh one more youtube video - these are funny". I could have sat indefinitely and gone to bed once I felt tired enough. I do this every night - I have the time for a sit, but then it doesn't happen.

in the world of losers in which i reside, this is known as being fried at the end of a long day and needing to veg out.
This relates to many areas of my life - basically just procrastination which is a form of resistance.
sounds like something that first grade nun of mine, with her stick, would say.

I'd say take that Giant Whopper on a case by case basis. You're way too good for that kind of glib dismissal. And that's even before we start unpacking this horrifying thing to be accused of, "resistance."

love, tim

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/15/20 7:26 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
A quote by Namgyal Rinpoche that I find helpful:

The Buddha is total mindfulness. Awakening is simply a continuum of awareness.


For a long time after learning about the Progress of Insight, I thought the stages were the goal. 

The goal is really to cultivate a mind that is not caught up by the stages, a mind that does not ignore, reject or cling to any arising experiences. A mind that can continually be with experience that arises without lapses in mindfulness. A continuum of awareness.  

In the same way that the classic hindrances have something to teach us, so too do the Stages of Insight. 

The various hindrances and Stages of Insight are like different exercises for training different facets of our mindfulness. Can we come to notice something in the background that we have been skirting around or avoiding? Once noticed can we be with it? Are we able to be with pleasant sesations without clinging? Unpleasant sensations without rejecting? Can we be with the various aspects of our experience without adding to them or proliferating them or tuning out? If ignorance, desire, or aversion are occuring, can we be aware of that fact as well?

Can we develop a reliable, exhaustive presence that acknowledges all reactivity or experience and stays in direct contact with it? Can we be here now, no matter what? Can we see the patterns that keep us from being present and work with them, even if those patterns never go away?

It's not about life getting better, it's about a mind that gets better. The development of a mind that is there for all of life.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/15/20 7:44 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hector, to me that question sounds like saying "Does your map of the German Autobahn help you to make a good fruit salad"?

Maybe you can refine your question a tad since there is clearly something lost in translation. Or maybe, the answer is just, "No." I don't think the Tarot and jhanas mix, but maybe you have some other way of thinking that is worth sharing...

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/15/20 9:13 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Okay, thank you for you explanation...

As far as personal experience with jhanas: I claim none. I've read many different definitions (both samatha and vipassana), but I don't think it's appropriate to align my personal experiences with either definitions/descriptions. Maybe I've gotten into vipassana jhanas... and the teacher I meet with about my practice talks about my sessions it in those terms... but I still don't personally claim jhanas and reading about the jhanas got me interested in meditation in the first place... SO, there you go. I'm not trying to convince anyone that I've had those experiences. I flatly reject them at this point.

That being said, to me (and I could be incorrect here), trying to mix/map Tarot with jhanas is not quite right. If it could be or had been done, I'm sure Daniel Ingram would have discussed it by now. From what I understand, the man has a Tarot Card app on his phone which he pulls from on most days, and he certainly can attain the various samatha/vipassana jhanas unlike myself. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/16/20 2:11 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
"I'm not trying to convince anyone that I've had those experiences. I flatly reject them at this point."

Seems to me that you have come to the place of being fed up and dissilusioned with all this attaining stuff! emoticon which , according to Kenneth Folk is the best place to be. I agree. 

Just right now, ... right now, ... am I mindful? I dunno. Let me see ... itching, unpleasant, pain in the ars, unpleasant, warmth, pleasant ... 

emoticon 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/16/20 2:14 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
By the way your recent updates are acting as inspiration for me. I can feel that sweet disillusioned juice that keeps one concerned Only with Just Now emoticon Thank you. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/16/20 2:23 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
"I'm not trying to convince anyone that I've had those experiences. I flatly reject them at this point."

Seems to me that you have come to the place of being fed up and dissilusioned with all this attaining stuff! emoticon which , according to Kenneth Folk is the best place to be. I agree. 

Just right now, ... right now, ... am I mindful? I dunno. Let me see ... itching, unpleasant, pain in the ars, unpleasant, warmth, pleasant ... 

emoticon 
amen, to both of you; and let the church say, Amen!

just now, right now, thereis a blazing comet, there is outbreath, there is PIA, mellow at this early hour, there is a flash brighter than a billion stars, there is seeing, a glimpse of past life as dinosaur. there is hearing, very clearly, the Voice of God: "You're fucked, Tim." There is gratitude.

Brandon, did i ever tell you that stream entry is again my religion?

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/19/20 11:01 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
I'm glad you can be inspired by my musing and, in turn, I'm inspired by your attitude towards your daily, non-negotiable sit. 

It seems that we are all feeding off eachother's energy emoticon

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/20/20 7:20 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Lately, I've been reflecting on life more and more. I have all of these insecurities and I see the various reactions to those (I'll work out and gain muscle to look good, I'll learn how to chat up people I find attractive, I'll get good at my hobbies to seem more impressive to others, I'll get good at meditation to undertand centerlessness and luminosity and have the understandings I so crave which other peole simply don't understand, I'll work hard at my job to make more money as money fuels quality of life in various way, my ex found someone new and I'm lonely, etc.) - yet all these reactions come from a place of lack.

At the end of the day, we all die. Even if all my dreams came true, I can't take anything with me when I die. Sudddenly dharma practice is so important: from moment to moment, there seems to be something getting in the way. Some craving or ignoring or aversion. Some sort of striving for the next nebulous, undefined thing or moment to compensate for a sense of lack.

I worry all the time about the multitude of things and projects and people I should engage in to one day have a good life, but I already have a good thing going. I have a job, some hobbies, some friends, etc. Are my dreams just hollow defensive mechanisms? Most of my problems are first world problems....

I suppose that's what I need to figure out: how can I just live without the craving, ignoring, and aversion. 

Part of me wonders what I'll do once I figure the above piece out, but its all conjecture so I'll leave it.

It seems my present goal is to simply be aware from moment to moment and try to find enjoyment in it. To be satisfied with what already is, similar to what Dhammarato talks about - although I can't connect with his message fully (for example: "think the thoughts that you want to think") which flies in the face of impermance and no self, but I trust the practice anyway. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/21/20 6:43 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
I suppose that's what I need to figure out: how can I just live without the craving, ignoring, and aversion. 

You might also consider the opposite - how can you learn to live WITH the craving, ignoring, and aversion? Do you think it's realistic to rid yourself of them? What if you can't? You have to "go there" to get anywhere and it sounds like you may be constructing a path of avoidance.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/21/20 7:17 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Good point, Chris. Maybe it's the opposite: learning to see all of these reactions with full clarity the same way with emotions. Nothing is attenuated.
But this is all just conjecture from my side again.

I'll be sure to investigate. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/25/20 8:34 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
I've been working with my teacher for about a year now.

Taking stock: I haven't gotten my goal of hitting a path - that is probably my fault.

Also, it's difficult to measure what progress means sometimes...

Has this been a waste of time and money? Is this whole endeavor a good investment of resources? Am I all that different today than I was a year ago? Is meditation helping me grow as a human, or how much of this is just natural maturation that comes with age - does it matter? What if I keep spending money and time on teachers and retreats and daily sitting and nothing happens?

It's even more difficult to tell because in some ways I'm better off, and some ways I'm worse off. None of this seems like anything I read about in MCTB or TMI or when reading about the lives of other practitioners. 

To be honest, it seems like nothing has changed. Is this a normal and expected part of the process? 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/26/20 6:00 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
I've been working with my teacher for about a year now.


a good start.
Taking stock: I haven't gotten my goal of hitting a path - that is probably my fault.

when something has to give, or there is fault to be alloted, in failing to meet the expectations and hopes, it is always the hopes and expectations, the blamer and the blameworthy, the fault and the judge of fault, that lose in the long run. Your process, your meditation, your experientially emerging path, is what wins, every time.
Taking stock: 

let the market crash.
Also, it's difficult to measure what progress means sometimes...

good. the harder it gets to measure progress, the better off you'll be, until it is finally impossible to "measure" "progress." Then your practice will be clean.
Has this been a waste of time and money?
you would have to show me something that isn't a waste of time and miney, for me to make that distinction in this case.

Is this whole endeavor a good investment of resources?

lol.

go find something better. you're screwed, H Kid, and i think you know it.
Am I all that different today than I was a year ago?
you're different than when i showed up in late January, i do know that. You're braver, taking more initiative across the board, owning your experience even when it's weird and doesn't fit in the template.
Is meditation helping me grow as a human, or how much of this is just natural maturation that comes with age - does it matter?

Bernadette Roberts tells a story about meeting an old woman who was, like Roberts, recognizable in No-Self. She said the woman had never done any practice in her life except live. Okay. But with you in accounting mode here, do you really think you can sit on your hands and watch the tree rings accumulate until you are that old woman? That would be the highest practice of all; i doubt anybody at all on DhO could stand it. Way too passive.
What if I keep spending money and time on teachers and retreats and daily sitting and nothing happens?

what if you stop, and nothing happens? What if, in general, nothing happens. What if, as far as making anything happen, you find yourself defeated?
It's even more difficult to tell because in some ways I'm better off, and some ways I'm worse off. None of this seems like anything I read about in MCTB or TMI or when reading about the lives of other practitioners. 

Dark Night has a tendency to burn up all the best books, the ones we've relied on most, like a momma bird kicking a fledgling out the 
nest: time to fly or die.

There's no hurry, HK, truly. DSit like you have forever. No fear holds up: sit like you're bulletproof. Trees can't see themselves grow, but one day you'll notice what a big shadow you're casting lately.

love, tim

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/26/20 6:57 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Thank you for your wise and kind words Tim. You've given me some material to chew on.

You're totally correct - I'm in a hurry. I think I feel a bit foolish doing all this work instead of just being a dumb kid in his 20's. My value system swings wildly from material wants and desires to spiritual ones, to craving ordinary, simplicity itself - in that ever changing system of values is quite a bit of confusion as I try to figure out what is worth working towards. I'm always looking for ways to validate the time and effort and the weight of responsibilty I feel when it comes to sitting an hour or two daily and practicing mindfulness as much as I can throughout my day. To hit an experience like stream entry or a later path - although maybe mundane - at least shows that the practice has done something in terms of mental development. 

A fellow meditator friend recently commented that I am able to describe certain meditative experiences or concepts/frameworks well. I know this about myself already; I always try to find ways to describe things so that non-meditators can understand why the practice might be valuable. I'm trying to convince them - if they buy it, then that just better validates the entire endeavor for myself. It's essentially a huge defense mechanism - akin to a super-car being a status symbol that can point to a person's perceived wealth/title/work ethic/intelligence. If someone thinks I sound wise, then hell, maybe I am! (obviously this is all BS).  

Another way to say it: Shinzen Young mentions that early in his experience with Zen monks, he picked up on a certain quality of their being that he referred to as 'the secret sauce'. In a way, as vain as it might be, I want some of that secret sauce. I'm not intending to sell it to others or even teach this stuff, but that secret sauce seems to make a world of difference in the life of the person who has it. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/26/20 7:16 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
The so-called secret sauce doesn't magically "make things better," wash the dishes or mow the lawn. Are you still looking for outside help? There isn't any such thing.

Please think about it.

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/26/20 9:28 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I understand that there is no outside help and that we must put in the work as practitioners.

If the secret sauce doesn't make things, or us, our minds, our lives better, then what is the point? 

I suppose I am trying to find a way to gauge progress, to make sure that I am practicing properly. Am I gaining the faculties of mind that lead to progress, or am I just doing the same gym routine with the same amount of reps and weight everytime and not getting anywhere? It's been a year and I don't think I am any better off. 

There is no personal, internal validation of the process as lately, all I see is reactivity in life and on the cushion. I'm by all accounts just as mixed up and flawed a human and not even a good meditator. My practice is mostly mind wandering, agitation, dullness, lack of interest, frustration, etc. There no clarity or bliss or equanimity or peace. I'm a sham. 

At the same time, I realize this is just more of my venting which is polluting the forum. For that I apologize. I'll cut it out. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/26/20 9:58 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
If the secret sauce doesn't make things, or us, our minds, our lives better, then what is the point? 

There's no secret sauce! There's working on ourselves, and there's time.

emoticon

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/26/20 2:50 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
My practice is mostly mind wandering, agitation, dullness, lack of interest, frustration, etc. There no clarity or bliss or equanimity or peace. 

Sounds like you have more clarity that 99% of people out there.

When I was in my twenties, my spiritual inclinations led me to wandering the streets of Puerto Rico in a shirt and tie for two years. Not that I didn't get some spiritual benefit from it, but not enough that I'm not here now, 20 years later, doing the same practices as you. The fact that you're working through this stuff, at this stage of your life is admirable and, frankly, enviable.

Learning to be sane before life forces you to be sane is a wise course of action.

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/26/20 8:43 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
   
Chris Marti:
There's no secret sauce! There's working on ourselves, and there's time.

Mr. Ping: The secret ingredient of my Secret Ingredient Soup.  Come here. The secret ingredient is...  ...nothing.  You heard me. Nothing!  There is no secret ingredient!

Po:  Wait, wait. It's just plain old noodle soup? You don't add some kind of special sauce or something?

Mr. Ping:   Don't have to. To make something special, you just believe it's special.  There is no secret ingredient.

...

Tai Lung: Finally! Oh, yes.  The power of the Dragon Scroll is mine! ....   It's nothing!

Po: It's OK. I didn't get it the first time, either.  There is no secret ingredient.  It's just you.   emoticon 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 3:56 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The so-called secret sauce doesn't magically "make things better," wash the dishes or mow the lawn. Are you still looking for outside help? There isn't any such thing.

Please think about it.

+1

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 4:13 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
I understand that there is no outside help and that we must put in the work as practitioners.

If the secret sauce doesn't make things, or us, our minds, our lives better, then what is the point? 



okay. but it does. it's a matter of discernment. You are trying to apply the wrong standards and values, in your use of "better," here.

I suppose I am trying to find a way to gauge progress, to make sure that I am practicing properly.
yes. same as above, really. The measure, the gauge, is not something you are able to discern at this point. You are surrounded on this thread right now with people like Chris, and Brandon, and Papa Che. Do you really think these guys are here to piss away their own precious time on this planet? Do you not understand why they are able to bring such seasoned attention and compassion and wisdom to this conversation, while you have this hissy fit? Hell yes, find a way to gauge your progress. But first get your head out of your ass and realize that you have no fucking clue right now how to truly do that. You want a fucking mercedes or something, for every POI? Papa Che can do that for you, if you don't mind driving a hot car.
Am I gaining the faculties of mind that lead to progress, or am I just doing the same gym routine with the same amount of reps and weight everytime and not getting anywhere?

You are gaining the faculties of mind that lead to progress.
It's been a year and I don't think I am any better off. 

If you say this one more time, i may go off on you.
There is no personal, internal validation of the process as lately, all I see is reactivity in life and on the cushion. I'm by all accounts just as mixed up and flawed a human and not even a good meditator. My practice is mostly mind wandering, agitation, dullness, lack of interest, frustration, etc. There no clarity or bliss or equanimity or peace. I'm a sham. 

i'm not going to count that shit toward going off on you. Call it laziness, call it compassion. But that sham shit from you is just so absurd to me. Jezzus, man, sober up
At the same time, I realize this is just more of my venting which is polluting the forum. For that I apologize. I'll cut it out. 

you fucking idiot. Chris Marti is the one who tells us when we're polluting the forum, he hasn't even yellow carded you. He may kick my ass out, on the other hand, any minute, especially if you keep pissing me off with this sob-sister crap.

love, tim

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 6:43 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
HK --

There is no personal, internal validation of the process as lately, all I see is reactivity in life and on the cushion. I'm by all accounts just as mixed up and flawed a human and not even a good meditator. My practice is mostly mind wandering, agitation, dullness, lack of interest, frustration, etc. There no clarity or bliss or equanimity or peace. I'm a sham. 

What makes you think you're different than the rest of us?

What you should be doing is praying for "mind wandering, agitation, dullness, lack of interest, frustration, etc." That's meditator gold, HK. That's the stuff to work with. If you want happy, happy, joy, joy you won't get it on the path. The path is about learning what you are. The path is learning how your mind works. That can't happen in happy land. You have to pass through misery country. Have to. So buck up! You're there! Use it.


(FYI - that's the best "Ren & Stimpy meet Guy Fieri" I can muster this morning)

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 7:12 AM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
The fact that you're working through this stuff, at this stage of your life is admirable and, frankly, enviable.

Learning to be sane before life forces you to be sane is a wise course of action.

I suppose it funny to me because I have a feeling that life is still going to hit me hard even if I am working on sanity. I went through a breakup last year and there's still bitterness and grief surrounding that fact. I can't imagine how I'd face a death in the family or sickness or unemployment or kids, etc. Life is humbling and in a way, it's the ultimate teacher. 

A lot of this work feels like setting up sandbags before a flood - I'm rushing to get this blockade built so that I can better deal with the eventual storms. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 7:19 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
yes. same as above, really. The measure, the gauge, is not something you are able to discern at this point. You are surrounded on this thread right now with people like Chris, and Brandon, and Papa Che. Do you really think these guys are here to piss away their own precious time on this planet? Do you not understand why they are able to bring such seasoned attention and compassion and wisdom to this conversation, while you have this hissy fit? Hell yes, find a way to gauge your progress. But first get your head out of your ass and realize that you have no fucking clue right now how to truly do that. You want a fucking mercedes or something, for every POI? Papa Che can do that for you, if you don't mind driving a hot car.

Yes, I thank you and Brandon and Chris and Papa Che for keeping a close eye on me and taking a genuine interest in my path. It is really kind of you all which is why I feel guilty having a hissy fit whether or not I get a yellow card for it. 

I suppose I just have to be more patient to find those markers and challenges in my life so that I can see if and how I've changed. Then again, my routine, mundane life already seems like it's throwing me off - maybe the ultimate marker of this practice working is if I become less needy. That's a dream. 

And automobiles signaling attainments: Osho was extremely awakened as he apparently had upwards of 90 Rolls Royces - forget Mercedes emoticon 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 7:48 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
What makes you think you're different than the rest of us? 

What you should be doing is praying for "mind wandering, agitation, dullness, lack of interest, frustration, etc." That's meditator gold, HK. That's the stuff to work with. If you want happy, happy, joy, joy you won't get it on the path. The path is about learning what you are. The path is learning how your mind works. That can't happen in happy land. You have to pass through misery country. Have to. So buck up! You're there! Use it.


(FYI - that's the best "Ren & Stimpy meet Guy Fieri" I can muster this morning)


I suppose it's because I've been stuck in this territory for so long that I'm an exception to the rule of improvement. I've heard of many people who practice for a decade before getting first path which scares me for some reason. It's not hard to imagine that first path just doesn't happen for some.

Also I'm projecting here based on what I think a good meditator is supposed to be like.
I imagine a skilled practitioner to move through all of this with ease and some sense of concentration/engagement & energy/enthusiasm  where as I am the meditative equivalent of watered down coffee - and watered down coffe does not have a place in Flavor Town (playing off your Guy Fieri reference emoticon ).

I suppose I am slowly going through misery country, but it's being done with a lot of kicking and screaming and complaining. I'm far from ready to quit though even if I am a tad burnt out. 

After talking to my teacher last night and voicing my doubts, they basically told me to get back to it and increase my practice time & quality if I really want to get this. Complaing won't help. Everyone here is totally right. 

Thank you Chris for the encouragment. Sincerely. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 7:49 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
IMHO, what you need to do is focus on the "bad" stuff. That's so you can find out once and for all what it truly is. I practiced for more than ten years before "getting" anywhere. You're not different, so please stop feeling sorry for yourself and just do this.

Tell your teacher I said that  emoticon

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 7:59 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I'd say my teacher would agree with you and that's what they have been recommending I do. 

I'll take your advice. Just do it. Even if it takes years, just do it. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 8:44 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
I'm going to repeat what Daniel said to me on a call I had with him the other day. (Not an exact quote, but approximate).

Everybody wants to avoid looking at suffering, but that's exactly what this is all about.

That conversation and me looking directly at my suffering - the very awful stuff that seems like it's at your core... landed me in a 3 day non-dual experience. And guess what, even in that 3 day non-dual experience - I still had crappy emotions come up, albiet they seemed way less crappy because that's how those experiences work. Plus I've been practicing for 10 years and finally have some actual equanimity happening towards most things, but they were still there. Even at the height of practice and experiences, shitty emotions are still going to come up. There's no escaping it.

Edited to add: Getting stream entry isn't going to make all this suffering go away either or make everything seem all peachy all of a sudden, so getting stream entry, while good isn't going to solve the connundrum you think you're in. In fact, 2nd path was a hellfire shitstorm of depression and anxiety for me that I had a really hard time working through. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 9:28 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Hey Steph, thank you for this. I saw this & other pointers on your practice log. My complaining and feeling sorry for myself is a defense mechanism against having to do the work of actually looking at the source. An elaborate way to avoid sitting with that suffering. 

Thank you for sharing your practice as it's another data point demonstrating that this stuff works. 

To your last point - SE represents a certain turning point in practice to me which is why I am interested in it. It's the throwing of the switch or like getting into college. Of course there is way more work to be done and SE is not the cure, but a certain amount of progress is inevitable after that point - the stream eventually reaches the ocean. Before that point though, it can be like Sisyphus continually pushing a rock up the hill - getting to EQ and falling back down - repeat forever. 

Thank you for the heads up about potential difficulties to come. Thank you for the pointer that will help me today and every day.  

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 9:32 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Chris --
IMHO, what you need to do is focus on the "bad" stuff. 

Daniel (via Steph) --
Everybody wants to avoid looking at suffering, but that's exactly what this is all about.

This is really speaking to me this morning. The story I've told before is that my increased dedication to meditation in the last year and half was because I felt cornered -- that nothing else was bringing me happiness. The truth is that I was cornered by suffering. I had been running from it all of my life and I finally had no choice but to turn and face it.

It's no wonder that A Wizard of Earthsea became my favorite book right before this all started. The fact that it is mentioned in MCTB was a clear sign to me that I was on the right path.

Good book recommendation if you want to get a breather from nuts-and-bolts dharma and get a more poetic sense of what this is all about.

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/27/20 3:35 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Brandon Dayton:
Chris --
IMHO, what you need to do is focus on the "bad" stuff. 

Daniel (via Steph) --
Everybody wants to avoid looking at suffering, but that's exactly what this is all about.

This is really speaking to me this morning. The story I've told before is that my increased dedication to meditation in the last year and half was because I felt cornered -- that nothing else was bringing me happiness. The truth is that I was cornered by suffering. I had been running from it all of my life and I finally had no choice but to turn and face it.

It's no wonder that A Wizard of Earthsea became my favorite book right before this all started. The fact that it is mentioned in MCTB was a clear sign to me that I was on the right path.

Good book recommendation if you want to get a breather from nuts-and-bolts dharma and get a more poetic sense of what this is all about.

Ursula K LeGuin has been on my radar a lot lately, so i ordered this. Love that woman. Good recommendation for some juicy narrative of the Path.

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 3:48 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
I'd say my teacher would agree with you and that's what they have been recommending I do. 

I'll take your advice. Just do it. Even if it takes years, just do it. 
HK, a word from the juicy side of immediate-rewards practice, for a gesture toward balance here as you sit your dry ass in the desert forever.

Polly Ester. 5/27/20

After a stressful period I felt that I needed to get in touch with my faith in the dharma, and so I invested a few hours in the nine breathings of purification, the five tsa lung, the three doors practice (Ligmincha), guru yoga, chanting the Sa Le Ö mantra and the inner refuge prayer, singing dedications, reciting the entire Lojong seven point mind training, dedicating again, and then chanting the warrior seed syllables of Tibetan sound healing. Brahmaviharas practice was integrated in that. Wow, what a difference it makes! Before the practice I was swollen in my face, pale, and dark under my eyes, and I looked sick. The skin was hanging in my face, full of wrinkles. Now I have rosy cheeks and look invigorated, with a serene Buddha smile (silly, perhaps, but it feels good). Even my skin looks different, almost peachy. I'm no longer swollen. I feel peaceful and confident. The nada sound is loud. There is space and spaciousness. The tunnel vision is gone. 


love, tim

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 4:51 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
I'd say my teacher would agree with you and that's what they have been recommending I do. 

I'll take your advice. Just do it. Even if it takes years, just do it. 
I look at this meditation stuff like I look at water; I must drink water daily not to dehydrate and in the same fashion I must meditate not to dehydrate the mind. I have no other choice really but do it until the day I die. Then I can stop with drinking water and meditating. 

RE: HK's Life Log
Answer
5/27/20 5:17 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Yeah, watch out for dry meditation burn out. There is no point to this without love. Sorry for going against the grain here, but seriously, again, how long can one keep up an activity which one doesn't like ? What are you curious about understanding ? How could you cultivate genuine curiosity ? Meditation is just observation, observing comes naturally when there is curiosity. It becomes hard to maintain when will-power is the main drive. "Just do it" sounds dangerously like a Nike add. Meditation is a form of culture (bhavana, means cultivation). There is no real culture which is not the natural flowering/response to a need, although perseverence is certainly necessary in any endeavor. Why do you need to meditate ? Nobody has to meditate. You're also totally free to give up for now and enjoy your existence. That could be a smart move, I'm in no position to say for you, but I know that when I insisted on doing a practice which didn't make sense for me and made me feel miserable, the wisest thing I could have done would be to stop and question my motivations and the assumptions in this method.

Sometimes listening to an Ajahn Brahm podcast where one learns ways to emotionally put things down and just relax into the present moment (the actual phenomenologists would call this : épochè !) while arousing a sense of meaning in one's practice, might make one progress more than 100h of dry vipassana. That kind of stuff sure brought about much progress for me. The hardcore "phenomenological" reporting of sensations is nice if it is the product of genuine engagement ; if it just comes as a proof of gung-ho-ness based on assumptions about there being some "objective reality" made up of only sensations (hey, empiricism ! wrong !) and a correct way of practicing, which states one should toughen up and learn to observe without emotions and subjective bias (that is, btw, the definition of the scientific method, right ?), particularly when shit is hard, I question that attitude. You could also shoot yourself in the ass and take that pain as your way to awakening, why not, after all ? emoticon 

There is skill in observational finesse ; there is skill in working with one's interest and emotions. What about those spiritual faculties : Faith, Energy, Perseverance, Mindfulness, Concentration ? One can't get far without conviction. It is a fine skill to be able to nurture those things, to generate them. It's a meta-skill. Why not take more time to cultivate that ? We need much more froo froo shit in our lives, please. I'm not one who believes at all in the intelligence of applying one ill-fitting technique repeatedly and just silence the resistence that one's being screams out. There is more agility in learning the tricks which will get one's faculties well aligned. This is what lead me to stream entry, not heroic consistency and slogging through shit holding on for dear life (although that did play some role)

Just some thoughts...

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 1:08 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Hibiscus Kid:
I'd say my teacher would agree with you and that's what they have been recommending I do. 

I'll take your advice. Just do it. Even if it takes years, just do it. 
I look at this meditation stuff like I look at water; I must drink water daily not to dehydrate and in the same fashion I must meditate not to dehydrate the mind. I have no other choice really but do it until the day I die. Then I can stop with drinking water and meditating. 

 This is so true, and perfectly timed here. Meditation, in the life-and/or-death way real insight-diseased people practice it, here and everywhere, now and at all times, is done in a tiny hut on the verge of the abyss. Beyond, there is nothing, nada: meaning comes here, trying to figure out whether to keep at it, or just fucking jump. It's like Lover's Leap. One hut down is true love, somewhere farther, a hut called real vocation, the careers of faith, the missions from God, the prophet's and saints' callings, the contemplative still small voice after the fire. All of these are practiced with a last-chance desperation, nothing dry nor juicy, just, as Papa Che says, the only water available.

Oh God, Thou art my God, early will I seek Thee. My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh longs for Thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.  (Psalm 63)

Shamatha is the thirst of the soul for that glimpse of the Beloved's face; vipassana is the body's thirst, as it dies of thirst in the desert of samsara. Beyond a certain point (which i am sorry to say you have probably passed, dear Hibiscus) it's do it or die, do it and die, be done or be done. gate, gate, gate, choose your poison here. because the ground under those huts crumbles away every day, and all the way to the horizon, and looking back and away from the abyss, seeking escape, there are only, from this viewpoint, the stations of the cross of the denial of this.

Your denial is failing you badly, HK. I think Olivier and Linda, emphasizing the juicy fruit, are as right as those of us who have been saying you are fucked, sit down in the dust with the rest of the losers here and just do your work. But as Olivier and Linda note: Remember the zen story of the tiger, the cliff, and the strawberry:
A man was walking through the jungle, when he spotted a tiger.

The man immediately fled, but the tiger gave chase. Approaching a cliff, the man saw only one option… A hanging vine. He jumped off of the cliff and grabbed the vine, hanging on for dear life.

The tiger came to the edge of the cliff, snarling.Just as the man thought he was in the clear, he noticed another tiger prowling below. 

And then, if things weren’t difficult enough, the man then saw two mice above him (one black, one white) gnawing away at the vine.

In this state of impending doom, the man looked over his shoulder to the sight of a strawberry patch on a ledge, at arm’s length.

The man reached over, plucked a strawberry and ate it. It was the best damn strawberry he ever had.

love, tim

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 3:54 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier emoticon it sounds to me as you are one of those fortunate ones not been hammered badly by the Re-observation emoticon good for you man! 

For those of us that got hammered by THE Mama-of-ars-kicking-dark-night there is no other thing to do but to master strengths of effort and acceptance and Just Do It, 1-10 sensations per second. AND even then, once you plow through the DN, Do Not Cling to the EQ once it arises! Find an engaging and interesting hobby instead like cleaning the house or mowing the lawn emoticon Let EQ just be EQ. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 3:57 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Olivier emoticon it sounds to me as you are one of those fortunate ones not been hammered badly by the Re-observation emoticon good for you man! 

For those of us that got hammered by THE Mama-of-ars-kicking-dark-night there is no other thing to do but to master strengths of effort and acceptance and Just Do It, 1-10 sensations per second. AND even then, once you plow through the DN, Do Not Cling to the EQ once it arises! Find an engaging and interesting hobby instead like cleaning the house or mowing the lawn emoticon Let EQ just be EQ. 

what is this thing, "EQ"? I hear so much about it. Hibiscus, do you know?

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 4:39 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
what is this thing, "EQ"? I hear so much about it. Hibiscus, do you know?

Well clearly I don't understand it experientially if I can't live my priveleged, first world, day to day life without having hissy fits on forums such as this.

But EQ refers to the insight stage of Equanimity that comes after the dukkha nanas (dark night). The EQ nana is vast, often ranging from sorta normal/mundane feeling to quite pleasant. It's a nice stage after the difficult territory that comes before it, and it preceeds path shifts such as Stream Entry if a practitioner continues to practice skillfully and navigate the territory. 

That said, a good reason for my impatience is probably due to the "Insight Disease" concept. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The only way out is through. And when I actually get sick and am laid up in bed, my goal becomes to get better so I can get back to living my life. Which is why, although meditation can be a life time vocation akin to sipping water, I do know some practitioners who got what they needed after a certain point and just got back to living without all the angst and searching. Some of them continue to sit, some of them don't. The very same people who put aside an hour or two a day for practice along with yearly retreats and the like for several years in a row barely sit anymore - that's a lot of time and energy (& money honestly) freed up to just live life. A life without all the angst and neediness....

@Olivier - you tend to wax poetic. It reminds me of what inspires people to get phsyically fit. Some people hate exercise but do it anyway in order to lose weight or keep their body performing functioning andd healthy. Some people like the mental boost andd endorphins that come from exercise. Some people like to exercise because it is the celebration of what the human body is capable of. Some people are obssessed with pushing their limits. Just as there are many reasons to get phsyically fit, there are also many reasons to meditate. I have also had times where I was extremely inspired by the practice - for instance: on a 5 day Metta retreat on Denman Island near Vancouver Island in Canada, I spent several hours every day sobbing tears of joy as I was so overcome with gratitude for my life and everyone in it. The thing is, I find that the constant discontent that I am brushing up against needs to be figured out and so that's why I am most interest and inspired to practice noting - I also like to keep it simple and I've settled on this practice after years of looking for techniques that resonate with me. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 7:17 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
One quick comment, lest we forget about what this practice actually entails:

At some point in this practice, assuming we want its fruits, we have to face the so-called demons we all have lurking about. So when I said "just do this" I meant go about the process of practicing whatever you have chosen or decided is your practice. It could be noting, it could be jhana, it could be vipassana, it could be Zen. That's all good stuff. But - I meant for sure that you shouldn't allow your tendency to avoid what the path truly is to avoid what the path truly is.

That is all.

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 7:22 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I've heard that before.... that the very motivations that get us to practice in the first place themselves need to be faced and understood and dropped. I've seen shargrol describe this and Daniel said something similar in MCTB if I recall. Paraphrasing "If you fully understood the reason why you were searching in the first place, you'd already be enlightened."

My little conniption is the response to getting in touch with a bit of that: it's really just *this*, but I expected something else. I have trouble accepting that. 

RE: HK's Life Log
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5/28/20 8:58 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
what is this thing, "EQ"? I hear so much about it. Hibiscus, do you know?

Well clearly I don't understand it experientially if I can't live my priveleged, first world, day to day life without having hissy fits on forums such as this.



lol. i love you, HK.

But EQ refers to the insight stage of Equanimity that comes after the dukkha nanas (dark night). The EQ nana is vast, often ranging from sorta normal/mundane feeling to quite pleasant. It's a nice stage after the difficult territory that comes before it, and it preceeds path shifts such as Stream Entry if a practitioner continues to practice skillfully and navigate the territory. 

got it. i think i've teetered there a few times. i came in to this round on DhO in january thinking that was where i was, which is sort of comcal in retrospect.

That said, a good reason for my impatience is probably due to the "Insight Disease" concept. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The only way out is through. And when I actually get sick and am laid up in bed, my goal becomes to get better so I can get back to living my life. Which is why, although meditation can be a life time vocation akin to sipping water, I do know some practitioners who got what they needed after a certain point and just got back to living without all the angst and searching. Some of them continue to sit, some of them don't. The very same people who put aside an hour or two a day for practice along with yearly retreats and the like for several years in a row barely sit anymore - that's a lot of time and energy (& money honestly) freed up to just live life. A life without all the angst and neediness....

well, this is the heart of the crisis you're in right now, yes? Who are you? what will your path reveal in its unfolding? What, in this spot, here, now, will hold your attention in a sustainable way you can feel wholly committed to?

For me, "damned if you do, damned if you don't" is the key to freedom. Preferring to be dead, zero, gone, done, in the jaws of that hellish dilemma, i went so deep to escape it that nothing got there except . . . nothing. A nothing that was not dead, but was not involved in the shit. A nothing that, paradoxically, was and is my water in the desert, just enough to keep me crawling.

As people like to say here, your own mileage may vary. There's an awful lot of people, though, keeping an very interested eye on you right now. Not because you're a sham, but because you are so clearly the real thing somehow. Not because you're throwing a hissy fit, but because you are throwing the exact right hissy fit at the exact right time, with all your heart and soul and mind and strengthy and passion. This is the perfect storm of hissy fits, and it's beautiful to behold, as far as i'm concerned.

@Olivier - you tend to wax poetic. It reminds me of what inspires people to get phsyically fit. Some people hate exercise but do it anyway in order to lose weight or keep their body performing functioning andd healthy. Some people like the mental boost andd endorphins that come from exercise. Some people like to exercise because it is the celebration of what the human body is capable of. Some people are obssessed with pushing their limits. Just as there are many reasons to get phsyically fit, there are also many reasons to meditate. I have also had times where I was extremely inspired by the practice - for instance: on a 5 day Metta retreat on Denman Island near Vancouver Island in Canada, I spent several hours every day sobbing tears of joy as I was so overcome with gratitude for my life and everyone in it. The thing is, I find that the constant discontent that I am brushing up against needs to be figured out and so that's why I am most interest and inspired to practice noting - I also like to keep it simple and I've settled on this practice after years of looking for techniques that resonate with me. 
Yes. Olivier is a fucking freak, and so is Linda. Most of us would die in 15 minutes trying to walk their relatively joyful and wholesome paths. You're stuck with the dukha practitioners for the moment, my beloved friend, and misery loves company, lol. We'd all like to see you stick around in this hell hole of delusional squandered meaningless effort with us, for the laughs and mixed drinks, if nothing else. Papa Che has a new amp, for instance. There will be music as this ship goes down.

love, tim