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Hibiscus Kid, modified 4 Months ago.

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Posts: 18 Join Date: 5/3/18 Recent Posts
 
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Steph S, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 667 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
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.
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John W, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 386 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
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
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Brandon Dayton, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
I'm glad you're doing this. I like hearing about how life effects meditation and vice versa. I like synchronicities too.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
Is Noah's log gonna be as hard to track down as Chris's?
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Pepe, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 347 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
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.  
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
Tim Farrington, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"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 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
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. 
Tim Farrington, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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?
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
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.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
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.
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
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
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Pepe, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 347 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
   
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 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
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.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
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)
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
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
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Steph S, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 667 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
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. 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
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.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
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Olivier, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
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...
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
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. 
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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?
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
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.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
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. 
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
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
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

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Definitely.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Damn it HK emoticon I wrote a HUGE, way too long reply and this system swolliwed it emoticon Probably for the better as all our suggestions will just add more to your current confusion. I think you should try and sit on one chair only as sitting on two chairs can be risky if someone pulls one away emoticon 

I did suggest you another approach that includes both concentration and Vipassana at the same time but that will go against your teachers recomandations. 

Why not place more faith into her teaching and stick with it for several months. See how it develops. Give it chance to ripen. You can always come back to DhO and ask our sorry ars for views emoticon 

Anyway if you are still interested in trying something else tell me and I will write that missing reply of mine again. 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
By adjusting the practice, I feel like I'm trying to game the Progress of Insight.
In a certain way, all practice is about gaming the POI. Do some people spontaneously acheive inisght? Sure, but it's rare enough that we've all decided to practice instead. Insight will happen when it will happen, but adjusting practice and experimenting is part of the process of discovery.

Techniques and teachers are guides, but I think practice is about becoming experts in our own minds. With the foundation you have, there is no reason to not take creative ownership of what your practice is. That doesn't mean to totally go off script, but there can be benefits of being playful, curious and intuitive with how you approach things. It's like we've been truding along arduosly learning how to play scales. It's been grueling with some nice moments of victory, but we finally know enough that we can improvise, even if it's just a little. So let's make some music. Let's make some jazz. Besides opening us up for all sorts of discovery it also helps to cultivate mind states that are beneficial to practice -- relaxation, faith, joy, rapture. We've all got to deal with hindrances, but the more positive reasons you can find to practice, the easier it is to do too.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
In a certain way, all practice is about gaming the POI. Do some people spontaneously acheive inisght? Sure, but it's rare enough that we've all decided to practice instead. Insight will happen when it will happen, but adjusting practice and experimenting is part of the process of discovery.

You know Brandon, this is a really good perspective and something I hadn't considered... all practice is about gaming the POI. I really like that. Gives me the same feeling as when contemplating 'spiritual materialism'.

As usual Tim, thank you for your quirky energy and good nature. I'll be drinking green tea instead of cutting my eyelids off, I mean, that's where tea is rumored to come from, right?

Chris, you're absolutely right. There are no rule police. I really don't want to experiment or deviate from my current practice because it's straight forward, but it seems to be a rehashing of the same content lately so I'll just try to give myself some wiggle room. 

That said, it's not the rule police I am concerned about, but instead the idea that there is some one outside of me who can somehow give me attainments. Like a Buddha will come along and declare me an arahant, but truth be told, this awakening process is a process of nature and doesn't belong to anyone, not even a Buddha. Yet I still crave someone who will validate whatever I am doing as if that will help adcance a process that can't be controlled or even fully predicted. No single person or religion has a monopoly on awakening, but somehow that's how I feel. As an aside, that probably how many people feel which is why they get into worhsipping their teachers or other awakened histroical figures. Teachers are just more intimate with this awakening process and have more knowledge about it, but they can't make it happen necessarily: just as a geologist understands the process of how the earth came to be formed, but have no part in forming it themselves.  


Hibiscus Kiddo, You're so good at this point that all i have to do is step aside and not let the horns gore me as they pass.

love, tim
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Okay, after writing this, I realize it's a rant. I'm not necessarily looking for advice. I'm honestly not this angsty at the moment, but these are some thoughts I've had for a few years. Maybe I'm just craving the adults and parents in the crowd to validate my wants so I don't feel crazy or selfish. As much as I love my parents and appreciate everything they have done for me (truly, they have done a great job), I sometimes feel like I need a few more parents to give me advice and bounce ideas off of. It takes a village to raise a child, as they say, and I am definitely a child deep down.  

The last few days, my personal mantra has become "What's stopping you?". I wrote it on my hand in pen and make sure to keep it there as long as I can. An ideal that can be applied to any life situation where lack of motivation or self doubt gets in the way.

What's stopping me from sitting 2 hours a day? What's stopping me from signing up for another retreat this year (or doing a solo deal because of Covid-19)? In the middle of a sit, when I am restless and filled with doubts, what's stopping me from just noting it and finishing the session?

In the grand scheme of life: What's stopping me from getting 'X' under control, and/or proceeding with 'Y'?

The people who impress me most? Those folks my age who seem to take a year or two off and spend it in another country or do some traveling. Those folks my age who don't seem to be too concerned with following the status quo or somehow have enough self respect that the validation from others isn't necessary for their mental well being. They aren't needy.
I've been dreaming of a year in Asia for the last 4 years since I started working, but I can't seem to "man up" and pull the trigger. I have family friends who have done the same and they have no regrets. I could see more of the world, learn to grow, attend retreats, get some of the 'travel-bug' out of my system. 

Yet I am scared. What does that mean for my finances? What if I get hurt or sick so far from home? What if I get lonely and decide it's all a big mistake? Will I still be accepted as an engineer and find a job if I take time off from work? What if one of my relatives gets sick or dies?***What on earth will my parents think?***

It mostly comes down to what my parents think, honestly. That area of my life is a bit of a mine-field. 

I think, part of me was hoping this practice would lead to a certain amount of fearlessness to pursue my 'ideal life'. I'm young, I'm single, I have some money saved up.... I really only have this one life, but I don't feel like I'm living it the way I want to deep down. My ideal: I want to be single without being lonely or feel guilty (because settling down/marriage/starting a family is the worst thing I could do for myself right now), being able to move around to different countries or locations as I please, and be confident in my decisions. 

There's no confidence in my life decisions, mostly just fear. I follow the status quo because there's no resistance from society or family or friends. It doesn't feel authentic, and it definitely feels like a personal fetter. I'm an anxious kid who has always been afraid of consequences. I feel stuck. It's absolutely depressing. I'm not a bad person and part of me feels I deserve to live my life dammit. I recognize that I have a good life, and that my life would be considered an absolute blessing to many people, yet, does that mean I should shut up and just accept what I have, or really live and learn the way I see fit? 

As a kid, the idea of being an adult might be cool - you can stay up late, eat whatever you want, etc. However, I really don't feel like I've hit the point where I can make truly say I'm an adult - I'm still a kid but the rules have changed. I haven't been able to make these decisions for myself and to follow through. The decisions that would make me feel like an individual capable of knowing how to truly take care for myself.

A thought occurs to me based on the above paragraph: some dogmatic buddhists might think that becoming 'more of an individual' is antithetical to the goal because it seems self centered, but maybe awakening would induce more individualism in a society as people can sweep away expectations that make them behave certain ways - doing away with the status quo... gotta wonder. Yet monks who become arahants tend to remain monks and don't return to lay life, so I guess humans are just complex and unpredicatable. 

I'm telling you, man. You got this on your own. Brandon and Chris are laughing in delight. The gods are laying bets on when, not if. The pool's open at $50 a time slot. I've got my money on you and "next breath."

love, tim
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
HK, have you ever done therapy?
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
HK, I brought it up because I believe the issues you're raising would benefit from psychotherapy. They can be addressed in your practice to the extent that you have become more aware of them as vectors and habits that affect your life, but therapy can help you ferret out the sources and causes. Having been there myself, and having dealt with similar issues when I was in my 20's and 30's, I suggest it as a viable, even positive, course of action.
Sam Gentile, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1072 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Chris,
Sorry to place this here but I don't think you read my practice log and I wanted you to see it. I just wanted to tell you from the ebooks project I became aware of your practice log when you were in the thick of it http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70 and I wanted to tell you that it inspired me. What bravery! And evverything so closely noted. Thanks.
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Thank you, Sam.

Also, I do read your log. Believe it or not, I read everything posted to DhO. 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
Aha! That's how the magic summoning works!
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Chris,
Sorry to place this here but I don't think you read my practice log and I wanted you to see it. I just wanted to tell you from the ebooks project I became aware of your practice log when you were in the thick of it http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70 and I wanted to tell you that it inspired me. What bravery! And evverything so closely noted. Thanks.


Sam, I think I love you. I can attest that Chris Marti is more eagle-eyed than any idolatrous god, on this sight, and His Wrath on sins against the forum rules keeps us all humble and alert and kind and fucking g-rated, if you know what i fucking mean, and i fucking think you do.
love, tim
Sam Gentile, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1072 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Tim Farrington:
Sam Gentile:
Chris,
Sorry to place this here but I don't think you read my practice log and I wanted you to see it. I just wanted to tell you from the ebooks project I became aware of your practice log when you were in the thick of it http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70 and I wanted to tell you that it inspired me. What bravery! And evverything so closely noted. Thanks.


Sam, I think I love you. I can attest that Chris Marti is more eagle-eyed than any idolatrous god, on this sight, and His Wrath on sins against the forum rules keeps us all humble and alert and kind and fucking g-rated, if you know what i fucking mean, and i fucking think you do.
love, tim

Love ya Man!
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
HK, I brought it up because I believe the issues you're raising would benefit from psychotherapy. They can be addressed in your practice to the extent that you have become more aware of them as vectors and habits that affect your life, but therapy can help you ferret out the sources and causes. Having been there myself, and having dealt with similar issues when I was in my 20's and 30's, I suggest it as a viable, even positive, course of action.


HK, my twelve years with a compassionate master of therapy who was also sort of adorable, funny, smart, open-minded, and who Got My Jokes with Surprising Frequency, over twelve precious years, has given me a testimony of the truth of this.

Amen. 

(and not i, but chris in me . . .) and let the church say, Amen.
love, tim
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Brandon Dayton, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

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HK, my twelve years with a compassionate master of therapy who was also sort of adorable, funny, smart, open-minded, and who Got My Jokes with Surprising Frequency, over twelve precious years, has given me a testimony of the truth of this.

Amen. 
Tim,

I get the impression that you've endured more than one LDS testimony meeting in your time.

Tim Farrington, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Brandon Dayton:
HK, my twelve years with a compassionate master of therapy who was also sort of adorable, funny, smart, open-minded, and who Got My Jokes with Surprising Frequency, over twelve precious years, has given me a testimony of the truth of this.

Amen. 
Tim,

I get the impression that you've endured more than one LDS testimony meeting in your time.


Brandon, lol, busted, i've been there for the bread cubes and grape juice too. My first (and second, i married her twice, she was THAT good and i wasn't) wife was LDS, child of an international Green Revolution agriculture guy, and i tagged along to her sunday things during our, uh, courtship. I was highly motivated, obviously. As a cradle Catholic, of course, i wasn't able to muster much enthusiasm per se for a religion only a hundred years old or so. But I was enthusiastic about that woman. She started out wanting to be a high school math teacher and ended up with a PhD in topology. Plus, hazel eyes, heavy on the green. So I endured those Very Nice People with general good humor, even about the golden plates and all, and the angel Moroni, etc., especially after i stopped thinking they were asking me if I wanted to trip on LSD or something, every time the religion's name came up.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

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Hibiscus Kid:
Here and there, yes. More like counseling, really. What are you thinking?

Meditation and counseling can be a powerful mix. The biggest benefits I've found for my personal well being have come from using those two modalities together.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
Brandon Dayton:
Hibiscus Kid:
Here and there, yes. More like counseling, really. What are you thinking?

Meditation and counseling can be a powerful mix. The biggest benefits I've found for my personal well being have come from using those two modalities together.

I thought of a good analogy of how meditation and therapy (counseling) work together. Meditation is like developing observational tools like better microscopes and telescopes and such, therapy is like applied science -- it's working skillfully with the data you collect. 

This is a clumsy way of saying it, but meditation can be a soft form of repression. You learn to let things pass without engaging them, which is a good first step towards mental health, but at some point there are things you want to work with directly. It's possible to be totally equanimous about a life that is a disaster (or that could just be healthier in some way) and not be doing work to improve.

I don't think the benefit is just one way either. I haven't really put my finger on why, but therapy improves my meditation too. Maybe it's just an issue of therapy helping to produce a more settled mind.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 1742 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Spot on mate! We see exactly what's in us and stuff can bleed out. But we also see that these stages indeed are impermanent as they do vanish to give another stage space. 

I think it's great you feel like separating the off cushion lifeing and on cushion. Off cushion live life as you know it. On cushion ... emoticon well you know what your practice is I'm sure emoticon 
Ingram does keep harping through the book "separate morality and practice" and "don't get lost in the contents of sensations/stages/states" 

I keep music going just to have some space to get into, that's a bit away from Dharma related stuff. Depending what stage I might be in, playing might feel all from "meh, this is pointless" to "soooo calming and into it". I play daily regardless of the state or stage. 

What I'm saying is, yes, have your passion/hobby going even if it's not shiny every time you pick it up. Friends, party etc ... keep being young and all that interesting stuff. 

Meditation takes 45-60 minutes from your day (once or twice) and rest is life. Live a GOOD ONE emoticon 

Sending you wishing well! 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 10 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
It's cool you're having these insights. I think we can be so focused on the POI sometimes that we miss all the other ways that meditation can be healthy. I'm seeing this a lot in my life as well. 
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 2460 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
I have a general question. I really want meditation to be as simple as "just note once every second (or every 5 seconds/outbreath)" but it seems that a certain adjustment is required for the respective Vipassana-Jhanas. For instance, my teacher tried to have me drop the noting and sorta open my attention/awareness towards the end of a sit as I was cycling around in the 3rd Vipassana-Jhana. The idea here being that maybe playing with awareness would help move the session into EQ. 

By adjusting the practice, I feel like I'm trying to game the Progress of Insight. It also induces doubt into the practice as to whether the noting technique is enough to get to EQ and eventually a path. I don't want to complicate the practice of simply sitting and labeling, you know? I also don't want to force myself into a dead end by being too stubborn to adjust technique where needded.

Meditation is as simple as one breath. It comes in without us, does shit, and departs without any effort on our part. "We" are what's left after that, before that, and during that.

All these technique adjustments, in my mind, are fuel for the flames of hell. Cut your fucking eyelids off and sit in front of a rock wall for eight years like Bodhidharma. Have an extra piece of cheesecake. Pedal to the metal: breathe one breath right, by which i mean, watch it breathe you.

It's a rodeo ride: stay on eight seconds and hop off knocking dust from your jeans with your big old hat. But we usually get tossed, of course, and often enough stomped and gored.

Brandon nails this, below, i think. What he said, Honorable HK, and he says it so much better.
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: HK's Life Log

Posts: 3877 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
For instance, my teacher tried to have me drop the noting and sorta open my attention/awareness towards the end of a sit as I was cycling around in the 3rd Vipassana-Jhana. The idea here being that maybe playing with awareness would help move the session into EQ. 

There are no Rule Police to stop you from experimenting a little, And in this case your teacher is behind the experimentation! You might also want to take a little time to examine the guilty feeling you're getting when you experiment. It's indicative of something.