The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
When it comes to AF, I've been on and off the fence more times than I care to count. On the few occasions I left my perch, I landed squarely in the anti-AF field and even went so far as to try to discourage people, told them that trying to discuss the theory (not the practice) on here was pointless, and generally thought that AF was a load of shite. However, after speaking to Nick, working with his AF approach to the jhanas, getting into PCE's and EE's and talking with him while researching the Pali canon has convinced me, without a shadow of a doubt, that Actual Freedom is the way to go.

It's taken me a long time to come to the point where I can 'come out' with this, there was a real fear of telling people about this and I had worried about how this decision would be seen by others on here, and on KFD, particularly since I'd been so openly anti-AF before, so when it came to dismantling the social identity that's where I started. I had originally opened another account on here under the name "Blank Page" in an effort to make the most of the wealth of practical advice on here while hiding my identity......that in itself should have been indicative of what needed to be dealt with! Ha!

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, I'm now 100% committed to becoming happy and harmless. I've been running HAIETMOBA constantly, reading the entire AFT site (I take back what I've said about Richard also, he's genuine about this) and constantly working on dismantling "me". For the last week, I've been away on holiday in the Scottish Highlands and did a lot of stuff like running around in the forest, working on attentiveness, sensuousness and felicitous feelings which has brought clear EE's. but since purposely working on this I've found that no PCE's have happened.

Needless to say, this isn't ideal so I'm wondering where I'm going wrong?

When I ask the question, I watch how I'm actually experiencing this moment i.e. what's the first sense door "I" become aware of, and continually paying close attention to this and how it's happening. I think I may be bringing a bit of vipassana baggage as I'm catching myself disembedding from the entire pattern of sensation rather then actively participating in the moment.

I suppose my question is: How do you work on increasing felicitous feelings, sensuousness, attentiveness and all the other basic elements of AF practice? I think I'm over complicating things when I know it's incredibly simple but the fact that I've had no one to ask for clarification for the last week has probably resulted in my developing poor technique, so I'm really interested in seeing how the rest of you go about this. I'm new to this stuff, completely and utterly, so any help is appreciated.

Also, how would you recommend recording practice notes as I don't think my faux-poetic ramblings about thick, velvet wind and desaturated skylines says very much about the how of practice.

Thanks folks,
T
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
cool. when i was first getting started with all this stuff, in order to tune into sensuousness more easily i just started with the senses that came most naturally. knowing that i tended towards visual/aesthetic stimuli, "i" would get lost in the visual scenery around me often times. also lots of listening to music - hearing all the progressions, notes, intricacies, and sensing the sonic version of depth perception (i.e. the multiple layers of quieter, louder, lower keys, higher keys).

work on getting felicity at a maximum before "worrying" about the pce. fun, playful, curious about everything all the time. treat the world as a giant playground (cuz it is anyways). this is one of the most useful pieces of advice received. full blown pce's are actually very rare - ask any of the af'ers. as far as i know/have heard, most of them never had a ton of full on massive pce's. having a baseline of ee most of the time is far more beneficial than being burdened with the concern of whether or not you're in a pce, "good" at getting them, etc (all of that is affect judgement b.s. anyways).

feel free to message me (or likely any other actualist, or af'er) on chat to talk too. pm me for my gchat account name.

steph
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for all the input folks!

@ Steph: Thanks for the offer and the advice, I'll drop you a line on here! I tend to treat the world like a playground anyway. What you've said about sounds and visuals is a perfect description of the ways I'd fallen into a PCE before but I had completely forgotten about trying that route. I'm not getting hung on extended PCE's or anything, I think I've been overcomplicating it and making it harder for myself so I'll continue as normal and take your advice on board.

@ EIS: Ha! Aye, it seemed like turning to the dark side for a while but I've made peace with it and realized there's more to this than what's currently being discussed on both sides of the imaginary fence. The thread you've got going on KFD is outstanding, a real accomplishment to have maintained the peace while discussing such a potentially incendiary topic and there's a LOT of excellent information on there. I've avoided getting involved as I can't be bothered getting into debates anymore or arguing which words translate as which, there are others far better qualified to do that than me.

I got 4th path in April (well, a false start followed by another shift and a, still ongoing, experience consistent with 4th path) and have been working with Kenneth's direct mode technique since then. At present, emotions only arise as bodily sensations and I suspect that I may have gotten into Kenneth's 6th stage in the last week, possibly due to working with HAIETMOBA and direct mode also so as to compare the "response". I'd been reading your practice thread on KFD but I'll really need to go back over it in detail as I think, combined with what you're saying on the other KFD thread, you're onto something there. Thanks so much for your input!

@ Bruno: My objections were all basically centered around the loss of emotion too, particularly as I was still kinda hanging onto the whole magickal thing too when, really, I've done nothing with it for well over a year now. I looked back at my chaote background and how the arbitrariness of belief has been central to everything I've done for the last few years so my protestations and arguments were built on sand. The problem was that, due to getting so passionately involved in Buddhism and with the pragmatic dharma scene, I forgot that I'd chosen to enter into this paradigm! I've moved between everything from Thelema to Sufism over the years but Buddhism was what allowed the most obvious changes, i.e. Paths and perceptual shifts, and I was passionate about it's effectiveness. I still think it's an incredible system of attainment, but it only gets you so far and doesn't completely end suffering.

I hit a PCE, only for about 15-20 minutes, again in late May which was a turning point as, although PCE's had happened before, this one convinced me 100% that I was taking a long road for a shortcut with the techniques I'd been using before. I realized there and then that I started out with these practices looking for happiness and peace, but that I'd gotten hung on the Boddhisattva trip and trying to save the world. When "I" see, in such a pure and clear experience, that being happy and harmless, a phrase I used to loathe and despise, can truly bring about peace in this lifetime then I have no choice.

Thanks again for all your advice everyone.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:

I got 4th path in April (well, a false start followed by another shift and a, still ongoing, experience consistent with 4th path) and have been working with Kenneth's direct mode technique since then. At present, emotions only arise as bodily sensations


Is "being" a body sensation?

For me, being able to see it as a body sensation reduced its stature so much that I could no longer take it seriously as anything important or worth holding onto. And the less tightly I hold onto it, the more often it seems willing to slip away to varying degrees...

Tommy M:
I'd been reading your practice thread on KFD but I'll really need to go back over it in detail as I think, combined with what you're saying on the other KFD thread, you're onto something there. Thanks so much for your input!


If you read it and end up with any questions, send me a PM anytime!
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Is "being" a body sensation?

For me, being able to see it as a body sensation reduced its stature so much that I could no longer take it seriously as anything important or worth holding onto. And the less tightly I hold onto it, the more often it seems willing to slip away to varying degrees...


Yes, this has been a big part of the turnaround, it's now seen as just another pattern of sensations with no more or less importance than any other.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
Is "being" a body sensation?

For me, being able to see it as a body sensation reduced its stature so much that I could no longer take it seriously as anything important or worth holding onto. And the less tightly I hold onto it, the more often it seems willing to slip away to varying degrees...


Yes, this has been a big part of the turnaround, it's now seen as just another pattern of sensations with no more or less importance than any other.


Sounds like you're ready to kick ass.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I realized today how effective the process of dismantling the identity can be and how quickly underlying beliefs can be uncovered and removed. I found that the way I've been feeling in my job over the last few months has been mainly down to beliefs I held about myself, particularly the newly discovered belief that I am more intelligent or better than the majority of my co-workers. I'm still investigating the root of this belief as it's effects are not limited to what's going on it work and it needs to be uprooted once and for all.

Until I examined my feelings about, and reactions towards, the situation which is occurring at present I had literally no idea that I was holding this superiority complex and sense of entitlement with no basis in fact. This is a revelation to me, I've been locating and grounding emotion in the body constantly for the last few months yet I didn't think to investigate the feeling itself and unravel it completely.

Interesting stuff indeed, let's see what happens next..... emoticon
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Awesome! :-)
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I've told you Nick, this is your bloody fault! emoticon

Thanks though, as I've said before you showed me the door but never, ever pushed me towards it which is something I am incredibly grateful for.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
It was the hottest day of the year in Scotland today, so I sat in the garden working on my practice and dismantling the identity further. Today was my normal day off but I've had this situation in work, which may mean I lose my job, so the day began with a lot of anxiety and worry.....so I turned on those feelings, made them my target and came to some very useful realizations which led to the most incredible sense of freedom from a deeply ingrained belief. I sat and explored the feelings in real-time, taking notes as they came into awareness and recorded it as I went. What follows are the notes I wrote down at that moment.

Anxiety appears in the chest and throat areas as a sense of shortness of breath, almost like panic but not quite. The reason for my being anxious is due to a situation in work which may cost me my job; a threat to my basic bio-survival because no job means no money, no money means no bills get paid, no bills means eviction and so on and so forth.

BUT NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING AT PRESENT. RIGHT NOW.

This anxiety is due to a future-projection, a thought and a feeling about what could happen but which has no actuality for "me" right now. It has not happened, it is not happening and so the feeling of anxiety has no basis in fact. It is part of a reaction, a programmed response connected to the conditioned "male provider" pattern.

If I cannot provide[1] then I am not a man. This is the belief which underlies this anxiety.

Looking deeper there are more layers to this, mainly still related to providing food and shelter, the fear that this will destabilize something which can be seen to be nothing more than transient sensation i.e. the belief in the primitive pack/family structure is seen as being connected directly to certain sensations within the body and linking to feeling relating to belonging. There is a shakiness in my gut now, almost like having had too much caffeine but it's mainly neutral with a tinge of unpleasantness at the peaks. Jagged feeling below the solar plexus with little bursts of ñana-like fear at the top.

A clenching in the gut, just below the solar plexus. A nausea with no object, why? Discomfort, insecurity, why? Still allowing thought to influence feeling.


I tailed off with these notes and went on to look at ways to help people with their dismantling their own social identity after realizing that I'd done a lot of work on this already pre-vipassana, but I'll post a seperate thread about that in the hope that it might be helpful to anyone who's not quite sure about how to begin with this process.

Another interesting find was something which I suspect may lie at the very root of "my" depression and, going by the apparent shift in ability to bring attentiveness to sensuousness in a much clearer way than I could even a few days ago, may already have made a change. I paid attention to the sense of being and how it felt, just remaining attentive to the senses, and realized something incredible: My being no longer wants to be here either, my sense of being has never wanted to be here and I can see how this has manifested as depression. "I" literally want out. Looking a little deeper at this, my sense of being is full of ungratefulness, arrogance and self-righteousness. It just doesn't appreciate this life as it thinks things should always go it's way, it wants to be in control and now, after "enlightenment", it knows there is nowhere left for it to stand anymore and that its days are numbered.

Finding this out has been another revelation to me, and along with the bleeding-edge advice Nick's given me over the last few weeks, has allowed me to refine the practice to it's bare bones and just aim for, to use Nicks' words, "24/7 attentiveness to sensuousness".

I'm still blown away by how incredibly exciting this is, whether we're calling it AF or Arahat doesn't matter, all that matters is that this is pragmatic dharma at it's best. Real-time explorations into the truth underlying all things: Actuality (or whatever you decide to call it).

Peace.

[1] In animal terms, if I cannot provide for the pack.

[Edited for righteous justice]
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Thanks to some advice from Nick, I'm finally getting to grips with cultivating naiveté and felicity. This has allowed me to be able to remember two clear, proper PCE's which occurred over ten years ago, one of which was shared with my partner[1] and, as we both realized when discussing this, this was what contributed to our having stayed together for this long. I also now realize that several experiences I've had over the last decade have been clear EE's, although I always described these as "using my long eyes" due to the way that the world seemed right there in front of me, the barrier of space would vanish but, in retrospect, "I" was still there. Interesting.

This newfound ability to cultivate naiveté is now making so much of this whole thing clear to me, and also seeing how felicity fits in to the process too. Everytime I ask HAIETMOBA, there's a feeling of the whole sense-field moving subtly forwards in a really noticeable way, everything merges and objects become more direct as I continue to be attentive to sensuousness as much as possible.

My plan this week is to continue as before, but to begin incorporating Nick's approach to actualizing the jhanas along with the recent advice he provided so as to work towards pure intent with every part of "me". I feel that this is just around the corner, this practice has become my entire world (although obviously I need to attend to my family and suchlike) and the benefits of simply being happy and without aggression or malice are, of themselves, worth the effort alone.

Right, back to work....

[1] Early in our relationship, we both appear to have entered the PCE one night while just sitting talking. We both remembered this really clearly and, in particular, the moment when she turned to me, looked at me and just said "Who are you" in complete amazement. I had the same thing happen at the same time, an experience of an actual intimacy with someone, no emotion and no sense of there being anything more than two bodies sitting there enjoying being alive without any agenda. I could be way off the mark, but both our descriptions of that moment fit the criteria for a full-on PCE so it's interesting to think about. Perhaps more interestingly, this remembering of that moment has convinced my partner to now practice towards an actual freedom along with me!
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I'm coming too see now how subtle feelings about being right, or even just allowing myself to get involved in some minor disagreement and taking a side, all involve propping up this sense of being.

Why should "I" get involved? There's no need for me to be involved in anything which prevents me from being happy and harmless in this moment.

What stake do "I" have in any of this? None, it makes me happy to help people with their practice if I can but that is all.

I've see now that I've been neglecting the "harmless" part of the equation, one of the things which initially turned me off to the whole thing, and have just noticed that there's something similar to a record skipping on a turntable which happens when I go to look at it. I'm now seeing how the patterns leading to me not being harmless right now are rooted in beliefs going back to things like the area I grew up in, the (imagined) need to be aggressive and able to fight to survive in a run-down council estate, all of this just collapses like a house of cards when attention is applied to it but it's still active at present. Exploration and deconstruction will resume immediately..... emoticon

Peace. Now.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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This is all coming together a bit at a time, every day I spend being attentive to sensuousness at every opportunity makes that choice of words clearer every time I write or read them. There is a momentum to this once you're set on self-immolation and I can really notice this as I examine how I'm experiencing this moment of being alive, "I" want out and "I" am on board with this. Purifying the intent is like an alchemical process, it crystallizes through ongoing purification (in this case, remaining attentive to sensuousness and dismantling the identity) until it runs 100% pure and carries "me" willingly into oblivion.

I've started working more with Nick's "AF-like Approach to the Jhanas" and "Actualizing Jhanas" with some success. I did a 45 sitting tonight for the first time in ages and worked through the arupa jhanas, as directed in the above links, exiting 8th jhana in a very clear EE. Asking HAIETMOBA showed a tension in the very base of my gut, something really deep which I know for a fact is related to a near-death experience I had as a child. This is a big one but the work's only just begun, there's a massive amount of "holding on" happening there and I think it's going to cause a major change once it's investigated.

This brings me to a quick question: Right now, I'm identifying emotions as mainly detonating in the chest, conditioned responses and beliefs appear in the solar plexus, instinctual passions go off in the gut, being itself is just above the base chakra which is where I located the entire sexual imprint earlier today. Does this sort of generalized mapping seem familiar to anyone or am I perhaps misidentifying something?

I've been looking a lot more at love, family, and nurture, removing programmes which only support false beliefs and dismantling the entire thing. I even went so far as to tell my brother, a heavy skeptic with very little interest in any of this stuff, that I was pursuing this as I had noticed discomfort when I thought about the idea of telling him. I also wanted to examine why I felt I needed to tell him. He remains skeptical and considers the outcome of an actual freedom to be impossible but it was interesting to pay attention to "my" experience of the discussion and noticing a lot of unhelpful misreading of non-verbal cues which I've built up over the years has exposed deeper layers to explore.

So, there is the feeling of fingers dancing over smooth plastic keys as words appear on the screen, the eyes blink softly and the body runs like the well-oiled machine it has developed to be through the millenia. Out from control, although I know I'm still here, the machine doesn't stop if I go away and with every passing moment it's clearer that "I" will need to leave.

P.S. - Kenneth's version of the Mahamudra technique feels quite complimentary to this practice, it establishes attentiveness to the sense of hearing which can be expanded to include the whole sense field very easily, and it also generates felicitous feelings.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Passions definitely go off in the gut. as far the others, I am not %100 sure.
fred flinstone, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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This brings me to a quick question: Right now, I'm identifying emotions as mainly detonating in the chest, conditioned responses and beliefs appear in the solar plexus, instinctual passions go off in the gut, being itself is just above the base chakra which is where I located the entire sexual imprint earlier today. Does this sort of generalized mapping seem familiar to anyone or am I perhaps misidentifying something?



Here is how Richard was apparently mapped out:


Reach down inside of yourself intuitively (aka feeling it out) and go past the rather superficial emotions/ feelings (generally in the chest area) into the deeper, more profound passions/ feelings (generally in the solar plexus area) until you come to a place (generally about four-finger widths below the navel) where you intuitively feel you elementarily have existence as a feeling being (as in ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself).


I correspond with Richard a little bit more than you, but the basic idea of more "superficial" stuff up top, then getting more and more closer to the "core" as you move physically down is the same for all three of us apparently. Also he says "generally" which may imply he's had experience with others who are similar but not quite the same, he says also in this correspondence that this is a method he uses with people in person and from his journal it seems like he's had plenty such interactions, so I'd infer that he found this to be a trend, but not a universally shared one.

so.. maybe you're a bit off, or maybe you're a bit different
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
This brings me to a quick question: Right now, I'm identifying emotions as mainly detonating in the chest, conditioned responses and beliefs appear in the solar plexus, instinctual passions go off in the gut, being itself is just above the base chakra which is where I located the entire sexual imprint earlier today. Does this sort of generalized mapping seem familiar to anyone or am I perhaps misidentifying something?


hmm here's how i look at it:

visceral fear is in the gut. lust starts off in the gut but trails upwards. anxiety is solar plexus. 'being' for me was most in the head, as i always had a huge knot there.. but i think it's not entirely accurate to say 'being' is in a particular spot, as really, it's the entire system. sexual stuff would be around the genitals of course.

that's to say, i haven't really categorized by emotion, belief, instinct, etc., i just see where the particular thing appears
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Cheers for the input, it's more likely that I'm wrong than that I'm any different. It's just a case of learning as I go, this info now at least gives me a clearer understanding of this as I can see how others are mapping this and make the appropriate investigations as required.

Thanks again!
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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There was an unusual shift which happened last night, I had been going through old threads I'd posted and came across a certain persons responses to me in another topic. This person referred to be as being "Mr Arrogant" and described me as "pathetic" so rather than try to defend anything I sat with the feelings that came up, picking "me" apart and coming to understand that I no longer have anything to defend. Before I would have leapt on this opportunity to try to prove "I" was in the right, arguing that this individual based their entire impression of "me" on a handful of forum posts and wasting my time with pointless back and forth responses, but that course of action just seemed pointless - What do "I" have to defend? What stake to "I" have in any of this?

The feelings normally associated with being criticized or insulted did not arise as they did before. I investigated what was going on in the body and found a shimmering, light sense of anxiety which lay across my solar plexus like a thin layer of clingfilm, this vanished as the realization that there was no reason for me to be anxious and that any feelings which seemed to imply this were only being misread due to the habitual response to defend myself when "I" was being criticized. I laughed.

Later on, I was contemplating how my style of writing could be taken as being "arrogant" and how my actions in daily life might be perceived as such. I uncovered a vein of conceit and arrogance which led deep into the sense of pride, I had to accept that I can indeed come across as arrogant or as a know-it-all but that this overlaying of "humility" happens when I become aware of it, so I start apologizing, of justifying myself in an effort to project a more positive image of myself.

At about 0100 a fruition-like blip happened which felt really abrasive, kinda like the bit on the inside of Christmas crackers that causes the "bang" to happen, the two wee card strips which are pulled apart and rub together to make the noise. Immediately this entire sense of being seemed thinned out, not massively but enough to be noticeable when asking HAIETMOBA.

I found I couldn't get to sleep after this and so I set my focus on the "NS spot" behind the 3rd eye area, holding it there the entire sense field dimmed and a post-cessation feeling was observed, the whole thing didn't go out just yet though. For some reason I started to scan the attention all over the brain and came across this peculiar 'switch' somewhere towards the center, something I hadn't noticed before but which seems, for me at least, to being about an EE-like state with a reduced sense of being happening. I need to look more into this but I thought it was worth mentioning in case anyone else has noticed anything similar.

I've also come to see that "practice" is the wrong word to use - This is now a lifestyle.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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The last couple of days have been really quite exceptional, it almost feels as though part of this process is just running on it's own without me having to do anything. The social identity aspect of things seems to fall away of it's own accord as soon as attention is applied to anything which appears to be preventing me from remaining attentive to sensuousness, I noticed this a few times today while in the supermarket and in the garden. For example, a common feeling I would notice related to social anxiety but today it just felt good to walk around, quietly smiling at anyone I passed and just feeling really grateful for being here. Anytime a feeling arose, e.g. I got a flash of nervousness as I walked through a gang of young guys at one point, it only happened within the body, it could be seen for what it was and turned back into felicitous feelings just by paying attention to it.

I can now experience the instinctual passions as they run within the body and examine them, this feels like a whole other level to the thing but it's just so much fun that even the potentially unpleasant revelations hiding in there can be easily untied and dealt with. Due to this there's a different level of clarity perceptually and the ability to tune right into sensuousness is just an inclination away. Running HAIETMOBA is now producing more noticeable gaps between perception, cognition and affect, each part is being seen more clearly and the pure intent being created by each new understanding is building.

A really basic thing I fully "got" today is the bodily nature of the sense doors, seeing just happening through the eyes, hearing through the ears etc etc. This led to an EE which lasted several hours, and only waned if I allowed myself to loose attentiveness, at one point I got a glimpse of the PCE while looking at a clock tower in the town centre and actualizing time, mashing the affective impression of time passing with the actual sensate experience of seeing this object. I had been listening to the whole Hurricane Ranch talk with Daniel and Tarin, something I'd never actually done, and feel that this really set a lot of stuff straight for me in terms of living this rather than just practicing it, and so many other pointers that I just wanted to extend another thank you to the lads for recording that chat as it's a goldmine.

I'll leave the notes here for the moment, as I practice this is all becoming so much clearer and so many amazing changes have already happened that I couldn't begin to have predicted. I've only really started out with this but having the help of those who have walked, and are walking this path towards an actual freedom such as Nick, Claudiu, Tarin, Trent, Stefanie, Daniel and everyone else who's names I can't remember right now, makes the journey of each person towards actuality that little bit easier.

Peace. Now.

Edited to add: I'm also running a rather nifty desktop HAIETMOBA reminder programme which may be of use to some. Check out this link and give it a go, it's clean and virus free as far as I can tell and doesn't take up much processing power.
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Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:

Edited to add: I'm also running a rather nifty desktop HAIETMOBA reminder programme which may be of use to some. Check out this link and give it a go, it's clean and virus free as far as I can tell and doesn't take up much processing power.


Ahh, nice. I´ve been thinking about writing something similar myself...looks like it´s been done already. Thanks Tommy (and Srid).
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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There were periods of sluggishness and dullness today, moodiness and some flashes of outright unpleasant feelings. The negative stuff was more surprising than anything else, I can honestly say that I haven't felt anything unpleasant for the past three weeks other than some bodily stuff which never went beyond a sort of proto-emotion. On the upside, the appearance of these feelings showed me really clearly how the whole sense of being is supported by these feelings and how, if left unattended, it just grabs at anything available, any excuse to continue feeling whether it's good, bad or neutral.

I did some work with jhanas today and found that my ability to enter the arupa jhanas at will has increased, most likely due to the concentration-like edge to remaining attentive to sensuousness, which reliably led to EE territory particularly when actualizing 6th jhana. Actualizing the sense of the observer and experiencing it as a bodily sensation is very interesting, I don't have anywhere near enough experience with this yet to be able to say much more that would be of use.

Fun times indeed. Even when it's not.
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Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
There were periods of sluggishness and dullness today, moodiness and some flashes of outright unpleasant feelings. The negative stuff was more surprising than anything else, I can honestly say that I haven't felt anything unpleasant for the past three weeks other than some bodily stuff which never went beyond a sort of proto-emotion. On the upside, the appearance of these feelings showed me really clearly how the whole sense of being is supported by these feelings and how, if left unattended, it just grabs at anything available, any excuse to continue feeling whether it's good, bad or neutral.


Ah, that is interesting. I am noticing the same thing except I call this ignorance or repression of feelings (that just began). If left unattended, it engulfs me wherein the feeling becomes a mood. I think this is why getting back to feeling good is very important. When the feeling becomes mood, that would be very difficult as the memory of last time I felt good would be almost impossible to recover until the mood dissipates on its own and some other enjoyable activity induces another instance of feeling good.

I wonder if you would be willing to share some specific examples of this.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I am noticing the same thing except I call this ignorance or repression of feelings (that just began). If left unattended, it engulfs me wherein the feeling becomes a mood. I think this is why getting back to feeling good is very important. When the feeling becomes mood, that would be very difficult as the memory of last time I felt good would be almost impossible to recover until the mood dissipates on its own and some other enjoyable activity induces another instance of feeling good.


To use an example from the other day, my partner and I had a disagreement about something which caused feelings of irritation and anguish to arise. Normally, emotions don't stick around for more than a few minutes for me before I go back to feeling pretty good anyway but this time the irritation in particular remained longer than usual. The irritation was accompanied by thoughts that I had been treated unfairly which gave rise to feelings of unfairness, of being 'hard done by' ("woe-is-me"-style thinking) which led to thoughts of "Well I didn't do anything wrong" which brought up feelings of defensiveness which brought about memories of previous instances when I felt like that, which led to feeling unhappy and then thoughts of times in the past when I considered myself to have been 'mistreated' by my partner came up which led to feelings of injustice, only for thoughts of "Well, I know I'm right anyway so...." to appear which led to feelings of superiority etc. etc. ad nauseum.

Basically, "I" do everything "I" can to continue feeling, regardless of what that feeling is, because as long as feeling keeps going on then so do "I". Memories, beliefs, assumptions, prejudices and all this mental crap are trawled up and thrown into the mix in an attempt to continue feeling, the Self doesn't care how good/bad/neutral the feeling is, just as long as the feeling is running in the background and supporting a sense of being. When I say "grabs at anything available", I'm talking about the way the mind clutches at straws like this in an attempt to maintain the sense of being, it will do literally anything to accomplish this.

The feeling → thought → feeling → thought cycle just perpetuates itself and if we don't stop it dead in it's tracks, as in nipping it in the bud, then it becomes a state i.e. mood. It's not a case of repression or expression, the feeling appears and does it's thing but all I'm doing is locating the feeling in the body and observing it as it happens.

As to how to deal with it when feelings develop into a mood, what I do is to stop and take a close look at the state I'm currently in. If it is not felicitous then I ask myself sincerely whether or not I realize that this moment right here is the only moment I have of being alive, this generally puts the feeling into perspective. From there, I can get a handle on the feeling and observe it in action, see how it manifests in the body and ground it like sticking a lightning rod into the earth which generally causes the feeling to dissipate and become neutral which makes moving towards felicity much easier.

What I would suggest if you're finding difficulties here is to try grounding the emotions in the body, when you notice unpleasant feelings just ask yourself HAIETMOBA and pay attention to whereabouts in the body the focus moves to. So, to use my example from above, irritation manifests as a fast, jagged vibration in my chest and head so I locate them, place the attention firmly on the location of the feeling and keep it there until the feeling is grounded.

Hopefully that's of some use to you.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
I ask myself sincerely whether or not I realize that this moment right here is the only moment I have of being alive, this generally puts the feeling into perspective.


That didn't work for me because I'm very aware that there will probably be future 'moments', so it doesn't matter that this is the only one I'm experiencing now. If it was the last moment of being alive, it might work and put things in perspective as you said. But it's probably not the last, so no help.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
That didn't work for me because I'm very aware that there will probably be future 'moments', so it doesn't matter that this is the only one I'm experiencing now.


Sometimes insights like that take a while. Even after having one, it takes a long while before the paradigm shift is complete. And only after AF is it totally complete, i assume. There isn't anything that can be said that will induce an 'aha'....making the process quite mysterious. You do have to have an open mind, however. I also assume that you have to want to be happy, that you have to be practical and you can't be too self-critical.

Let me give it shot, however.

all your future moments will be very similar to this moment no matter what the external situation is. In other words, your psyche will be analyzing the situation and comparing it to some ideal. Sometimes the ideal and the current reality will be close enough and pride will be felt. Other times it will be just the opposite and shame will be felt. Other times, the two won't be close but you will have confidence that progress towards that ideal is advancing and you will also feel a pride. Other times, you won't be satisfied with the rate of progress and you'll feel shame. Sometimes, you'll have two or more different ideals and that will create a plethora of confusing emotions. I think actualist theory has it something like this. With no psyche to constantly compare the current with the ideal then it's only the present moment that can be perceived: even thoughts of the future are perceived as the present moment ever unfolding.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
That didn't work for me because I'm very aware that there will probably be future 'moments', so it doesn't matter that this is the only one I'm experiencing now. If it was the last moment of being alive, it might work and put things in perspective as you said. But it's probably not the last, so no help.

I responded to Harry's question based on my own experience, this was not a one-size-fits-all response and if you find that another approach works better for you then go with it. Personally, thinking that this is the last moment I have of being alive does exactly the same as my original suggestion, either way it brings "me" back into this moment right here and now which is the only place I can make the changes required to bring back felicitous feelings.

For some people, telling yourself that this is the last moment you have of being alive may lead to fear and anxiety if you're not mentally strong enough to commit 100% to that belief. Perhaps it works for you, and if so then more power to you, but what I'm doing works for me and has allowed me to make progress.

You say that you're "very aware that there will probably be future 'moments'", but you have no idea whether or not this will be the case. Sure, it's a fair assumption based on previous experience, which is how we live most of the time anyway, but it still doesn't make the next moment a certainty; a likelihood, yes, but you cannot predict what will happen in the upcoming moments of this experience. We're talking about the same thing, regardless of how you frame it.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
Personally, thinking that this is the last moment I have of being alive does exactly the same as my original suggestion, either way it brings "me" back into this moment right here and now which is the only place I can make the changes required to bring back felicitous feelings.


So that's what you meant by it helping to put feelings into perspective, just that it brings you back to this moment?

You say that you're "very aware that there will probably be future 'moments'", but you have no idea whether or not this will be the case. Sure, it's a fair assumption based on previous experience, which is how we live most of the time anyway, but it still doesn't make the next moment a certainty; a likelihood, yes, but you cannot predict what will happen in the upcoming moments of this experience.


Yep, that's why I said 'probably'.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I went back to work this week after having been off for a while, the situation which could have cost me my job has been resolved and I can see already how much "I" have changed since aiming at this with 100% pure intent. Due to the nature of my work, getting annoyed or irritated with people was something which was a regular occurrence, it was sometimes difficult not to just start being a total prick to people purely to make their lives difficult because of some perceived wrongdoing against me. It was even enjoyable to be that way sometimes, I took a certain pleasure in making someone else unhappy in an attempt to get back at them, or to prove I was right, but this does not seem to happen any longer. It has literally vanished causing a noticeable difference in "me", certain behaviours do not happen any more and "I" feel much, much better for it.

I've been doing more formal jhana practice and the other night marked another huge change in both intent and understanding. By following Nick's instructions regarding actualizing the jhanas, (specifically, 7th jhana) a brief PCE happened, only for about three or four minutes, but enough to prove to "me" that it was time to go and allow an ever purer intent to be cultivated. Since then, I can now remain attentive to sensuousness for far longer than I ever could before and certain aspects which weren't 100% clear are now fully understood, namely harmlessness, sincerity, wonder and naivetè. The importance of these, especially since bringing the "sweet spot" practice into daily life more regularly, is now astoundingly obvious.

Yesterday and today really do feel as though "I" am fully on board with this, there's something different but I can't put my finger on it, all I can say is that there is no doubt that this is now inevitable. Any uncertainty has vanished, the desire for some sort of achievement or goal seems absurd and now only naivetè and sincerity make sense.
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
It was even enjoyable to be that way sometimes, I took a certain pleasure in making someone else unhappy in an attempt to get back at them, or to prove I was right, but this does not seem to happen any longer. It has literally vanished causing a noticeable difference in "me", certain behaviours do not happen any more and "I" feel much, much better for it.


This reminds me of one of the things that has taken a while to dwindle down for me. Another sort of "I'm better than (fill in the blank)" attitude. While out at a bar, or out dancing, or wherever really... my friends and I have often been those snide little shit talkers, cracking jokes and making fun of other people we saw that we thought were lame. I got a taste of something this weekend.. there was this guy at a bar dancing with what we thought was no rhythm, all over all these women and had some "crazy ass hairdo". I turned to the side and said to some random girl, "this guy is ridiculous. look at his 80's ass jerry curl" and she replied, "uhh, that's my best friend." Annnnd... walk away, feel like an idiot. Because "I" got caught at "my" own game. Seemed to always be all in good fun, but it's kind of reached the end where it's like... what's the point?
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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@Steph - Aye, that's the very one! emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Wow. Just....wow.

Since about 5pm, I've been in an almost constant EE, and I mean the high-end-almost-PCE-but-not-quite-yet sort of EE complete with flashes of being completely out-from-control in the most wonderful, fascinating way. In the last few days it feels like I've found the link back to the actual world for the first time; using the "sweet spot" technique and staying constantly, or at least as much as possible, attentive to sensuousness. On top of this, I've been developing more of a sense of wonder at the everyday and recently took up "urban exploring" where you basically wander 'round abandoned buildings, asylums, hospital and suchlike taking photos and exploring the place. It's great fun and today was my first proper adventure, having to do stuff like walk across iron pipes over a fast river to get there, jump the security fences and creep quietly around these desolate, yet stunning works of accidental urban art was an utter joy and a fantastic way to develop felicity, wonder, naivetè.

A few things have clicked even deeper into place, such as how to automatically bring complete attentiveness to the senses, how it 'feels' to be without a sense of being, how safe and clean the actual world is and, most importantly, the fact that there is no suffering here, it does not arise when seen clearly. For example, today I found out that a guy I worked with until two weeks ago was a paedophile who had been grooming children online and having sex with underage girls. I had though he was a decent enough guy, I considered him a friend in work, there was never any reason to suspect he was up to vile shit like this but a mutual friend confirmed that he had been arrested (he was arrested in work two weeks ago but no one knew why) and was currently on remand awaiting sentencing for a string of offences. The feelings caused by this news became an impetus to be rid of the entire human condition, rather than cursing his name and ranting about how I'll cut his cock off, or how angry I was that my employer could have knowingly taken on a paedophile, or how horrible the world is and on and on and one.....I just observed it. No expression, no repression. This just removed everything except the faintest tinge of "me", I could see the situation without affective involvement and see that my anger and rage changes nothing, thoughts of violence against this contemptible vermin would only hurt me and those around me as it would create a mood, and physical action of this nature would land me in jail. The suffering this would have caused in the past was eliminated by attentiveness to the senses and a sincere wish to be happy and harmless. Although the horror of the situation is clear and even though I care about the wellbeing of the children and families involved, I am not involved in this and have no stake in it since I cannot change the situation or help in any meaningful way. Realizing this seems to have broken up the nurturing aspect of "me" a lot more, the feeling of needing to take care of people or feeling like I need to get involved in some way, be responsible for others and all that stuff. Interesting. This last paragraph has been a total stream of consciousness thing so please excuse my rambling.

Another useful thing I've learned is that when I catch myself in narrative mode it's possible to flip into experiential mode, as in attentiveness to sensuousness, simply by paying attention to anything in the sense field and gradually becoming aware of more and more of sensate reality as it happens. I think Tarin said something similar to this but I'll need to find the thread to link to as he said it a lot better than I have.

Anyway. I'll shut up and get back to editing my urban exploration photos and video!

Peace.
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Brian Eleven, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Sounds wonderful!!

"A few things have clicked even deeper into place, such as how to automatically bring complete attentiveness to the senses,"

Is there a method for this, or is it a result of the "sweet spot" practice?
I'm a bit uncertain about the "attentiveness to sensuousness" aspect of AF. I equate it with being mindful of the entire body, but directed more outward(following the senses). Does this sound close to what you've experienced?
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
"A few things have clicked even deeper into place, such as how to automatically bring complete attentiveness to the senses,"

Is there a method for this, or is it a result of the "sweet spot" practice?

The sweet spot practice cultivates sincerity and naivetè, I recommend it highly as everything just becomes so wonderful and interesting in this really pure way which seems to facilitate the PCE.

For attentiveness to sensuousness, this was something that confused me a bit too for a while but it's really simple. All you're doing is being attentive to the experience of the sense doors, functioning at this level seems to reduce the internal narrative and it can be stopped entirely with a bit of practice. For me, the narrative is the main thing that was preventing this attentiveness from being (almost) constant but it seems possible to, at the very least, decrease it simply by paying more attention to this pure sensate experience. If I'm just in sense-mode, as in being attentive to sensuousness, and I notice that the narrative is running then I can deliberately try to see more, hear more, smell more, touch more, or taste more (thought could probably be used although it's not a regular choice, but if I choose this door then I acknowledge that thought is just the activity of the brain processing this direct sensate experience) and this seems to "pull back the veil", to get all metaphorical about it, and the actual becomes more and more apparent. I haven't quite got the hang of dropping into PCE but even just this practice alone makes it seem less important than before, just living this way gets better and better so having another goal to aim for just seems silly.

Hope all's good with you, Rev.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
There were three definite PCE's today, each only a minute or so in duration but with no hint of being there. The first was experience when looking at time passing, observing the changes on the PC screen in work, seeing the numbers change and feeling an affective movement within the body; whether through synchronicity or serendipity, a colleague remarked "It's dragged in today..." at which point "I" dropped away for a moment only to clamber back as another call came through.

I'm not done yet and there's plenty more to be chipped away at, but I just wanted to note this.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I stood outside today in 80mph winds, the trees in the garden swung and swayed as gusts blew through the branches often looking as though they would fall right on top of me. A feeling of fear related to death came up, yet being focused on the sweet spot took this away as I saw that I had nothing to fear because I didn't know what fear was, I was naivetè.

The force of the wind on my skin pushed me around, there were glimpses of seeing without a seer but a PCE, or even an EE, did not occur yet there was something deeply satisfying about it. Felicity went through the roof, I laughed out loud as the different shades of green flowed like patterned waves across the trees and dried, crisp leaves pirouetted through the air, even the sights of clouds moving was a delight as I watched them race across a paradoxically clear grey sky.

From today I'm going back to 60 mins of vipassana along with jhana and my other practices after reading Jill's posts about her approach. Maybe the practice notes will be a bit more interesting with a bit more to say other than "Hey, things are really good when you do these practices" in various different ways. emoticon

Peace.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
In stark contrast to the last few weeks, the last two days have been full of unpleasantness and irritation which feels very much like Dark Night. There's something different about it though, there's a clarity to it which almost feels like the days after getting a path and the underlying structure of the emotion or feeling running is transparent, by which I mean that deconstructing it happens automatically as there is no search for what lies at it's root. The flip-side of this is that there is a constant stream of all these shitty parts of "me" coming up, feelings of worthlessness and inferiority, projecting my own shortcomings onto others, all these feelings aimed at making "me" doubt "me" just so that "I" can keep "me" around. If that makes any sense.

Something else I've noticed over the last few weeks has been an increase in lucid dreams which seem to be dealing with some unconscious content, some of which has been bleeding through to be examined in the light of day with often revelatory insights. Another part of these dreams has been the use of HAIETMOBA in the dream, and also deconstructing the identity while lucid which has made for some seriously weird experiences. I would have put this down to another pass through the A&P, especially since I appear to be back in DN, but they've been too consistent and have continued even though my baseline has shifted while cycling.

Reintroducing straight-up vipassana into my practice seems to have sharpened perception more, vibrations are incredibly clear after a few seconds of focusing on something and right now there's an 11th ñana jaggedness to things which I haven't seen quite to clearly in a while. Rather than noting, this is now about literally seeing clearly and looking at what's still supporting this sense of being, which is now much clearer as sensation around the periphery of the body itself (I'd say "auric" if it didn't sound so goddamned new-agey).

Last night, after reading the Buddha Brats site, I did a chöd-style visualization of my entire body being cut up with a chainsaw which proved to be incredibly good fun. Afterwards there was an incredible sense of spaciousness and calm, kinda like a hard 5th jhana, and it seems to be bringing some beliefs and patterns to the surface for investigation.

All in all, I'm stepping it up a gear as I am totally and utterly done, fed up, sick and tired with this whole feeling malarky, the quicker this whole identity is gone the better.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

All in all, I'm stepping it up a gear as I am totally and utterly done, fed up, sick and tired with this whole feeling malarky, the quicker this whole identity is gone the better.


Awesome!

One thing I noticed in myself is, the felt recognition that "this continued mode of experience is bullshit, I have to give this 100%!" was usually in reaction to some kind of habitual tendency to slack off. In other words, I would practice very seriously and with great dedication, make some progress, not feel the need to push as hard, slack off for a bit, and then have a disorienting moment of "WTF is wrong with me?!??!" and go back to dedicated practice.

Why this matters is...in my case , the tendency of the personality to slack off in the absence of a feeling of urgency would remain, no matter how many times I had a temporary feeling of urgency and resolved on the basis of that feeling to be ardent. Such is how personalities work, after all, being a stream of tendencies to behave by default in certain ways.

So it was helpful to me to recognize this tendency, and, in order to counteract it, to commit to diligence no matter how important or unimportant it felt at the time. Feeling good is no excuse not to make the utmost effort. Feeling bad is no excuse not to make the utmost effort. Feeling content is no excuse not to make the utmost effort. Having an experience filled with wonder or felicity is no excuse not to make the utmost effort (especially as soon as those experiences left). Nothing is a reason not to make the utmost effort. When I managed to get that through my head, *that* was different.

In other words...consider asking yourself why you didn't step it up a gear last week, find the reason, and whatever it was, guard against the mode of thinking that gave rise to it as if your life depended on it. Once you get this down, consider trying to raise the bar with respect to what counts as slacking off.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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One thing I noticed in myself is, the felt recognition that "this continued mode of experience is bullshit, I have to give this 100%!" was usually in reaction to some kind of habitual tendency to slack off. In other words, I would practice very seriously and with great dedication, make some progress, not feel the need to push as hard, slack off for a bit, and then have a disorienting moment of "WTF is wrong with me?!??!" and go back to dedicated practice.

Aye, that's exactly what happened in fact!

That same feeling you mention about slacking off in the absence of a sense of urgency is something I hadn't even thought to look at yet, but now you've mentioned it I can see how much this has been a hindrance to me, and not just in meditation. Thanks a lot for bringing that up.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
One thing I noticed in myself is, the felt recognition that "this continued mode of experience is bullshit, I have to give this 100%!" was usually in reaction to some kind of habitual tendency to slack off. In other words, I would practice very seriously and with great dedication, make some progress, not feel the need to push as hard, slack off for a bit, and then have a disorienting moment of "WTF is wrong with me?!??!" and go back to dedicated practice.

Aye, that's exactly what happened in fact!

That same feeling you mention about slacking off in the absence of a sense of urgency is something I hadn't even thought to look at yet, but now you've mentioned it I can see how much this has been a hindrance to me, and not just in meditation. Thanks a lot for bringing that up.


Pure intent at all times.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Another entry since I'm ramping it up a notch or ten....

Noticed today that I can bring about an EE-like experience by 'lining up' my experience of the world so that each sense door is full here in the moment, including any mental imagery or internal dialogue. The mental imagery is brought into line by aligning what's going on externally with the internal representation of it, and the dialogue is eliminated by being fully here paying attention to hearing itself.

I had been writing this post when I got a call to go see a friend briefly and in the last 60 minutes "I" have vanished and a pristine, clear experience of the world is evident. I was walking to their house, about 15 minutes away, and doing HAIETMOBA while examining any sensations being given undue importance, the practice itself is enjoyable even without aiming for anything other than attentiveness to sensuousness. I had to take a walk through dark woods well known for muggings and attacks so my senses were heightened anyway, I placed my attention on the sweet spot and the sense of danger and fear vanished, replaced with this innocent wonder that knew nothing of fear.[1]. Anyway, I met my friend and then headed back home applying the same technique while still felicitous and attentive, looking at the flow of time[2] until there was a slight shift, a dropping away of all being and the wonder of the PCE became apparent. For the last two hours this has been the case although at present it has become more of an EE, mainly due to getting into a conversation about something from earlier in the day and remembering an affective feeling, so "I" am back on the scene.

I would've written more practice notes but getting back to the PCE is way more important right now and I really need to work with this.

I'll post again if anything changes.

[1] I noticed this same thing when 'breaking in' to the abandoned factory I recently explored, fear in the gut, shift the attention into naivetè and felicity skyrockets.

[2] Specifically seeing past and future as mental sensations and having no actual existence beyond this.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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The PCE of last night became an EE of varying clarity after about two hours but didn't go away completely, in fact the entire day has been excellent and the major reduction in the sense of being has been a major surprise. There were times throughout the day when it took effort to see what remained of "me", the shift from last night into the PCE seems to have done some damage but it remains to be seen whether or not this is a permanent change.

Since it's only been one day I obviously can't say anything concrete about effective practices but vipassana is proving seriously powerful. Tonight's sit involved three runs up and down the ñanas to fruition, followed by some straight jhana practice incorporating the actualizing approach. The formal sitting is good for really hitting this hard and getting totally focused on seeing it clearly, but this is just a part of the practice and the lifestyle approach is without a doubt the way to go. Pure intent makes it this way anyway, "I" don't get a choice in the matter but after last night and the ongoing EE-like experience of today there is no reason whatsoever for "me" to put up a fight.

I'll probably refrain from posting for a bit and focus on practice but I'll update these notes with anything useful I come across, otherwise you're just going to end up reading my rambling verbosity about how wonderful looking at an ashtray is. emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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After reading the new Hamilton Project post on refining and discerning becoming a few major points have been clarified and my practice has changed already as a result. For example, today I noticed nausea in my stomach and it was unpleasant, as you would normally expect, however a split second later the mental aspects of it dropped away leaving only this bodily sensation with no affective coating over it. The same has happened for other feelings, particularly anger and frustration in work, both of which were commonplace, occur but there is no mental suffering to it and in fact it's fascinating to watch the physical patterns flounder without the support of the mental framework.

Something is different about my understanding of how "I" am my feelings and my feelings are "me", it's literal rather than just intellectually understood. I thought I had gotten this completely but obviously not, but now it's clear as day that any sense of presence, however refined, however "divine" such as when you're in the PL jhanas, is still becoming and still contains that fundamental dissatisfaction, impermanence and emptiness.

I sat formally for 45 minutes tonight with the resolution to review all path fruitions through each door, the reason for this was to test out the technique for extending the fruition attainment and refine being so much that it can just fade out. This was moderately successful but didn't lead to PCE, which wasn't the intention anyway, although it did make it clearer again how being continues to manifest and how it reappears after fruition which has made it easier to identify it in "normal" situations.

There were a lot of deep insights during tonight's sit, I've been looking at the flow of time in particular as this has always been a great object for insight practice in the past for me. More and more recently it's seeing this that brings me right back to attentiveness if I've drifted off, the sense of time passing is noticeably absent on occasion and now sensations implying a location, a here or there, are showing themselves clearly. During the sit there were moments of PCE clarity, being was either gone entirely or very, very much thinned out, and any sense of time and space, any feeling of being somewhere and at sometime vanished.

Interesting times.

Onwards and onwards into oblivion go I.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Since yesterday my baseline appears to have become something akin to an ongoing EE, there was a fruition and a distinct change in perception which I would describe as being similar to a Path being attained. I'm usually skeptical of saying that any shifts are anything other than part of strong practice, but the change has been so similar to what I would associate with a post-Path moment that I thought it was worth posting about. I suspect that this may be "The Pragmatic, Methodological Virtual Freedom (Still-In-Control/ Same-Way-of-Being)", but I can't say for sure. What I do know is that there has been a massive reduction in any sense of being here, even in work today there was this incredible stillness beneath the noise of the office and there was just this body, with very little of "me" going on, sitting in a chair, talking on a phone and maxing out the felicitous feelings by joking and having fun with previous irate customers.

Perhaps not, either way I don't care 'cause this is so much fun.

Practice has been solid lately, consistent sittings working with vipassana, actualizing jhanas, playing around with this affectless jhana thing that's being discussed (which possibly contributed to the recent shift) and just being right there at the sense doors, constantly. This attentiveness to sensuousness runs by itself now, even the internal dialogue is minimized to the point it's become strange when it does reappear, but it is absolutely imperative to continue applying every ounce of intent to this practice and not to let up until it's done.

Another noticeable change is in the nurturing instinct, my recent flurry of input on posts here when newcomers ask the same questions I did has felt like I was "getting it out of my system", which I put in quotes because it's a terrible phrase which adequately expresses the feelings of the last while. I went to post on someone's thread last night but, after reading what they had said before writing anything, it sounded like they already had their shit together and didn't need "me" to be there trying to put my spin on it. This sounds like a minor change but for the dismantling of "me" it's quite significant.

Enough rambling, back to work.

Peace. Now.
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Brian Eleven, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy,
Very glad to hear that your practice is going well, and you're becoming happier as a result.
All the best!

Brian.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Cheers Brian, hope all's well with you.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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30 minute sit tonight doing what I've come to think of as reductive jhana practice, entering jhana hard enough that the transition into it is clear and then trying to see the non-affective aspects of it clearly so that they can be discerned and released. If this is done properly it consistently leads into EE territory, or at least this is what my current experience suggests, in which feelings of being are only attenuated although considerably easier to locate within the body.

I had set my alarm for 45 minutes but after having gone through the jhanas I resolved to attain NS. I continued to work on seeing the actual aspects of the jhanas as I went through them again until NS appeared and took me out of the game for about five minutes. After coming back online I quickly recalled Nick's post about fruition attainment and kept emptiness as the focus for a few minutes which led to flickering PCE's, just momentary flashes but enough to be noticeable, however the blissed out afterglow made my slouched body to fall backwards landing on the floor laughing.

There's definitely something worthwhile in this practice and in the use of NS to "kick up being", as EIS puts it, as right now the clarity and EE-like baseline I described seems a world away. It's not unpleasant, don't get me wrong, but there is more "stuff" to be dealt with and so more work needs to be done. I'll continue to update this more regularly until I can come to a reliable, repeatable way to get into this non-affective/ameliorated jhana (I won't say "actual jhana" as that wouldn't be entirely accurate).
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Cycling continues, the last four days have been scattered with Dark Night vibes and "moodybastarditis", a condition marked by being a bit of a prick towards people, which continues to strengthen my intent to do the decent thing and make "my"self scarce.

The idea that I had gotten VF has been squarely launched out the window, I let it become an 'attainment' of sorts and thought I was doing well with practice thus reintroducing a goal rather than just living this way for as long as it takes. One of the benefits of this practice has been that the unpleasantness has been mainly felt physically, the mental aspect is still there but it does not seem to carry the same 'charge' as it once did. The grounding of feelings in the body definitely shifts the focus away from the affective aspects which in turn prevents any narratives from spinning off and causing another pattern to arise, the difference just staying attentive makes to this has been one of the big shifts for me.

I notice a lot more bodily "twangs" and 'shadowy' pains now, but I can identify them as being connected to particular patterns of feeling and observe them clearly to watch them arise and pass. I can see now how Stefanie's advice to Daniel regarding "twangs" is so useful.

I've maintained daily sittings, practice begins with the jhanic arc up to fruition and back down followed by jhana practice while applying the 'actualizing' technique and experimenting with accessing the "ameliorative jhanas" being discussed in another thread. Tonight in particular was incredibly effective with the latter technique and led straight into high EE territory which allowed me to get a clearer handle on being as it comes and goes, this should prove interesting as I can currently tune into that more clearly than before.

I realized I'd let HAIETMOBA slip, preferring instead to try to maintain attentiveness through plain ol' concentration. This was effective enough but repeated running of HAIETMOBA yesterday and today has revealed just how useful that oft-repeated phrase really is.

There are a lot of interesting changes going on and I'm developing a deeper appreciation for what Uncle Sid was saying, the more this process unfolds the more I get the idea that the Buddha would have really liked what is happening within the pragmatic dharma movement. emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
There are a lot of interesting changes going on and I'm developing a deeper appreciation for what Uncle Sid was saying, the more this process unfolds the more I get the idea that the Buddha would have really liked what is happening within the pragmatic dharma movement. emoticon

same here... and more and more of a depreciation of some Mahayana stuff... e.g. The Demonstration of the Inconceivable State of Buddhahood Sutra (though this heart sutra chant sounds really nice).

/agree about screwing 'attainments'. i was wondering if it's possible to get 3rd path and get AF without getting 4th. it seems like whenever i concentrate an intense amount i get a 'path'. i wonder if it just conditions the mind down that path. then i realized it doesn't really matter... whatever is attained, it's an incredibly simple check to see: is there still 'me'? is there still suffering? if so, then keep doing exactly what you were doing before.

i wonder if the bliss of a fruition is actually 'me' desperately attempting to not fall into a PCE. so you zonk out on the bliss instead of continuing to concentrate right after, keeping the mind right around that event horizon, until finally the self can disappear without taking the senses with it.
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Tommy McNally, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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i wonder if the bliss of a fruition is actually 'me' desperately attempting to not fall into a PCE. so you zonk out on the bliss instead of continuing to concentrate right after, keeping the mind right around that event horizon, until finally the self can disappear without taking the senses with it.

That's exactly what happened to me the other night, the bliss out knocked me sideways but, although it was nice and all that, it felt too heavy and clinging compared to PCE, so what you're saying makes sense to me. That blog Nick did about lengthening the fruition attainment makes good use of this and I've been working with it more lately too so I think there's definitely something in that. That's got me thinking now.....
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
i wonder if the bliss of a fruition is actually 'me' desperately attempting to not fall into a PCE. so you zonk out on the bliss instead of continuing to concentrate right after, keeping the mind right around that event horizon, until finally the self can disappear without taking the senses with it.

That's exactly what happened to me the other night, the bliss out knocked me sideways but, although it was nice and all that, it felt too heavy and clinging compared to PCE, so what you're saying makes sense to me. That blog Nick did about lengthening the fruition attainment makes good use of this and I've been working with it more lately too so I think there's definitely something in that. That's got me thinking now.....


a tip i found helpful lately is: stability is 'me'. seeking stability is 'me'. any time you tend to want to stabilize anything, be it equanimity, a PCE, felicity, etc., you're doing it wrong! release is found through the complete understanding of the total inclusiveness of impermanence. the permanence of impermanence, perhaps? though if you try to stabilize in that, again, you're doing it wrong..
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

the permanence of impermanence, perhaps?


In case it's helpful, as the back to basics tidbits often have been for me...

All that Buddhist talk of present moment awareness/Actualist talk of experiencing right now - perceptually it is always present moment/right now in that the mind perceives one thing at a time. It is literally impossible to perceive anything other than what the mind perceives each moment.

Can passing/ceasing of one sensation also be viewed simply as another sensation arising in its place? Continual newly arising phenomena.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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In case it's helpful, as the back to basics tidbits often have been for me...

All that Buddhist talk of present moment awareness/Actualist talk of experiencing right now - perceptually it is always present moment/right now in that the mind perceives one thing at a time. It is literally impossible to perceive anything other than what the mind perceives each moment.

Can passing/ceasing of one sensation also be viewed simply as another sensation arising in its place? Continual newly arising phenomena.

Wonderful! Back to basics always works for me, beginners mind and all that hoodoo.

That last line in particular, it's curiously appropriate and intriguing.

Thanks!
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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I received some marvelous advice from Nick which has caused me to re-evaluate my practice and focus more clearly, rather than shifting around different techniques I intend to stick to one thing and just go at it. I realize that my previous posts, with their scattered references to different approaches, are unlikely to be of use to anyone else pursuing these practices so I'm updating this thread and posting some results from my single-technique sit tonight.

I'm sticking with vipassana, it's what I know and what's allowed me to progress through the paths so far. Started by observing the breath and moving through the jhanas in sequence until 4th, followed the suffering aspect of everything in particular as I wanted to really see the unsatisfactoriness of even the most peaceful and equanimous sensations. With strong concentration, remaining in 4th jhana and teetering on the verge of cessation[1] (by which I mean maintaining concentration as the distinctive flickering which usually precedes a fruition occurred) I could observe the sense of being and identify when it was there, and when it wasn't. Seeing the 3C's play in the sense of being led to several fruitions in a row, each time I resolved upon re-entry to stay with one of the 3C's and stay with the actual aspects[2] which allowed me to experience flashes of PCE before coming back to baseline. There were several deep insights into each of the 3C's, an insight into suffering led to a profound understanding of how the triality of feeling works and how the affective overlay is added to the experience.

As an entertaining side-point, a regular part of my meditation lately has been a lot of "past-life" memories. It's interesting and I can see how people can get hung up on that sort of thing, but I just find it hilarious when I get these flashback-like sideswipes into stuff like being a Spanish conquistador who died in battle, being a Japanese Zen monk, or finding out that I'm pregnant as I lie in a hospital bed in the 1800's! They can be as clearly experienced as if it's a memory from "my" life, in fact if I get absorbed in it or lose the thread for a moment it feels identical to what happens when you realize you've lost concentration in any 'normal' situation. I can now see how useful experiences like this are when examined closely, not turned into some self-perpetuating fantasy, and broken down for gaining serious insights into this thing.

[1] Would I be right in saying that this late part of the 4th vipassana jhana would line up with the 8th samatha jhana? It's weirdly similar, as far as I can tell anyway, but seems possible to investigate to some extent.

[2] I consider Nick's approach to actualizing the jhanas to be a vipassana-based approach, just seeing the thing clearly, and so not inconsistent with my resolve to stick to one technique.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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A quick post.

The cycles fluctuate and the fluctuations cycle, and all the while I can't help but think I'm missing something. Maybe it's down to dropping the smorgasbord approach I took to practice after '4th' path, trimming it back and hitting one technique hard again thus bringing cycling back to the fore. It's just a pain in the arse, a reactivity I thought was gone has been showing up for inspection along with all manner of weird psychological stuff, but at the same time I've never felt better in terms of general baseline contentment and happiness. Dhamma passion, as always, is the only way forward.

Sat tonight to do some kasina practice, mainly as an experiment in applying insight to jhana entered differently than I normally would i.e. eyes closed doing anapanasati. I now get the whole actual aspect of the formless jhanas much better than before, particularly the signlessness of 8th jhana, which makes it easier to apply this process to these aspects in daily life.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Well, the last two days have been a horseshit sandwich.....harsh, buzzy vibrations all over the chest area and upper body, highly reactive and argumentative, emotionally cold and uninterested in anything other than not being here. Fortunately, there is still the pure intent to end suffering which, although not making things any easier as such, certainly keeps the mind focused and directed towards the next part of the process. One contributing factor has been yet another situation happening in work, due to the usual bullshit call centre targets, where I'm now being 'investigated' because I didn't take as many calls as someone else on a Saturday morning. It's all such fucking nonsense but I've allowed it to affect my practice and interfere with my life outside of work, which isn't exactly fantastic right now either for various reasons, so it's been a rough few days.

On the upside, I'm off work for a week as I had holidays to take and so I intend to use this time mainly for practice. A one-day solo retreat is on the cards, although I don't know how effective this would be in the context of 'AF' practice (I added the ' ' to make the distinction between actualism proper and the hybrid practices we seems to be doing here) and I intend to develop a more precise way of going about practice as a whole. It may be due to being in DN territory, but I'm currently questioning whether or not insight practice, as in observing the 3C's, is the most suitable way for "me" to go right now as perceiving things as vibrations seems to go past just being attentive, almost as if the attention is too highly focused and it takes more effort, for me at least, to differentiate between an affective and an actual sensation when they're being perceived so quickly. Looking at it with a wide-angle lens, like being in Equanimity, feels more useful but I think it may just be that I'm approach vipassana with the attitude I had when doing strict noting. We shall see....

I'll refrain from posting for the rest of the week at least so that I can focus on the practice, not the reporting thereof, and hopefully come back with a better idea of what's working and what isn't.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
Well, the last two days have been a horseshit sandwich.....harsh, buzzy vibrations all over the chest area and upper body, highly reactive and argumentative, emotionally cold and uninterested in anything other than not being here. Fortunately, there is still the pure intent to end suffering which, although not making things any easier as such, certainly keeps the mind focused and directed towards the next part of the process. One contributing factor has been yet another situation happening in work, due to the usual bullshit call centre targets, where I'm now being 'investigated' because I didn't take as many calls as someone else on a Saturday morning. It's all such fucking nonsense but I've allowed it to affect my practice and interfere with my life outside of work, which isn't exactly fantastic right now either for various reasons, so it's been a rough few days.



How's your ability to get back to felicity/subtle states of wellbeing/joy? when this was the theme for 'me', I switched to training the mind to move to felicitous states of mind by will of mind alone untill it just became second nature. No more dark night for 'me' from then on. Is there any belief there holding 'the dark night experience' as 'shitty' in place?

I dedicated 2 weeks to JUST felicity practice with the idea that if sensuousness was paid attention to naturally or EEs and PCEs occured naturally, so be it. But they were not the goal nor objective so to speak. They were just natural by-products of felicity practice. Within a month or so of this practice move, 'I' was done away with for good.

On the upside, I'm off work for a week as I had holidays to take and so I intend to use this time mainly for practice. A one-day solo retreat is on the cards, although I don't know how effective this would be in the context of 'AF' practice (I added the ' ' to make the distinction between actualism proper and the hybrid practices we seems to be doing here) and I intend to develop a more precise way of going about practice as a whole. It may be due to being in DN territory, but I'm currently questioning whether or not insight practice, as in observing the 3C's, is the most suitable way for "me" to go right now as perceiving things as vibrations seems to go past just being attentive, almost as if the attention is too highly focused and it takes more effort, for me at least, to differentiate between an affective and an actual sensation when they're being perceived so quickly. Looking at it with a wide-angle lens, like being in Equanimity, feels more useful but I think it may just be that I'm approach vipassana with the attitude I had when doing strict noting. We shall see....


From the calm base of felicity, which was now second nature, I was able to see in minute detail the arising of 'being' and its cessation while in the arupa jhanas. 'Being' eventually dropped away for good in the 7th. The base of felicity was key. The ability to move and will 'being' to be felicity brought it on board to a great degree as 'I' did not then fight the process (dark night shittiness). 'I' did not step in the way when being pried apart (via discernment) and juxtaposed with actual aspects of the arupa jhanas. 'I' dropped down into oblivion quite without a fight.

I'll refrain from posting for the rest of the week at least so that I can focus on the practice, not the reporting thereof, and hopefully come back with a better idea of what's working and what isn't.


Here is what i wrote one week before it was done.

I am starting to sense a growing dispassion for many of the things I do these days. They seem only to lead to reinforcing the flow of becoming, and the more I look at that flow, the more dispassion for it grows. This will explain any prolonged future absences on the net, and a reduction of posting habits. I'm over arguing, taking sides, trying to convince, trying to convince myself, trying to validate..etc. There comes a time when you just have to drop the binds that keep things in place, if all of it is to drop away for good.

I resign myself to solitude and refocused attention to 24/7 sensuousness. Enough with the distractions already!



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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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How's your ability to get back to felicity/subtle states of wellbeing/joy? when this was the theme for 'me', I switched to training the mind to move to felicitous states of mind by will of mind alone untill it just became second nature. No more dark night for 'me' from then on. Is there any belief there holding 'the dark night experience' as 'shitty' in place?

I dedicated 2 weeks to JUST felicity practice with the idea that if sensuousness was paid attention to naturally or EEs and PCEs occured naturally, so be it. But they were not the goal nor objective so to speak. They were just natural by-products of felicity practice. Within a month or so of this practice move, 'I' was done away with for good.

It was just a matter of inclining towards a sense of wellbeing before, but for the last few days it's been more difficult to do that as quickly. The idea of working purely on felicity seems really useful, in fact I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone mention that before as it would be a really worthwhile practice to focus on for a while.

I do think that there's still that belief that dark night will inevitably be shitty but I've started investigating that already, I had actually thought I'd dealt with that but clearly I was wrong!

Thanks so much again for all your advice.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Breaking my posting fast (again) 'cause I'm a belief shakin' motherfucker like that. emoticon

A few quick notes:

Beliefs are what tie this entire thing together.[1]
Beliefs, unquestioned, are like clouds blocking the sun of actuality.

By being attentive to sensuousness, or in other words paying attention to the points of sense contact, the world of pure sensate experience, the actual world or whatever you want to call it, is revealed. Easier said than done, of course[2], otherwise the practical techniques and instructions discussed here would not be required, but why is this so? It is so because, even for one with insight into the way things are, there is still a lack of clarity, there is still a filter overlaying this experience, the affective discolouration that seeps, at first imperceptibly, over the lens of clear perception. This is problematic for one who wishes to see clearly.

Why is this problematic? It is problematic because it goes unquestioned. Why does it go unquestioned? It goes unquestioned because it creates the very sense of being here, of existing in space and time. Why does the very sense of being here, of existing in space and time go unquestioned? The very sense of being here, of existing in space and time goes unquestioned because few people consider the possibility that their very sense of being here, of existing in space and time can be questioned.

It seems that the belief that "I", as a being currently working towards clearing the lens once and for all, exist at all is what supports these feelings of existing in space and time, only the former of which have any existence in actuality[3] and which I already know, through insight practice, is simply more sensation arising and passing in this causal continuum.

I never existed in the first place and so there is quite literally nothing to lose.
The emotions, the affective overlay, all built on clouds of beliefs, never existed either and so nothing is lost.
"I" don't know what happens.

[1] Big ups to Nick for this hint.
[2] Or is it?
[3] The actual aspect of 5th jhana.
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:

By being attentive to sensuousness, or in other words paying attention to the points of sense contact, the world of pure sensate experience, the actual world or whatever you want to call it, is revealed. Easier said than done, of course[2], otherwise the practical techniques and instructions discussed here would not be required, but why is this so? It is so because, even for one with insight into the way things are, there is still a lack of clarity, there is still a filter overlaying this experience, the affective discolouration that seeps, at first imperceptibly, over the lens of clear perception. This is problematic for one who wishes to see clearly.


When seeing, is there any filter between the surface of the eye and the image?

When hearing, is there any filter between the ear drum and the noise?

When tasting, is there any filter between the tongue and the taste?

When smelling, is there any filter between the nose and the scent?

When touching, is there any filter between the skin and the object?

Focus really intently on each of these one at a time, if need be.

Sensuousness at work, motherfucker! (totally using this phrase as a friendly joke for those that don't know).
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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@ Steph: Any sort of filter between sense and object is now minimized to the point of being almost imperceptible, but it's still there and so there's something I'm not seeing clearly enough yet. This motherfucker is gonna fall! emoticon

@ EIS: Seeing this once and for all is the only thing that makes any sense. There is nothing more important than this. Literally.

Cheers for the input folks, gonna start a thread on the Hamilton Project site as I want to contribute as much information about this stage of the process as I possibly can, although I'll maintain this thread too for the sake of making this available to anyone interested.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
@ EIS: Seeing this once and for all is the only thing that makes any sense. There is nothing more important than this. Literally.


Preach it, brotha.

In a discussion with Kenneth some weeks ago, he mentioned that more advanced practitioners seemed to lose their taste for evangelizing or talking about the merits of the practice in bold terms, compared to when they were just starting out. But, the more I think about this, the less it seems true for me (or, judging from his posting activity, Nick). Perhaps it's because this practice and the results from it are genuinely earth-shaking.

So, to anyone else listening...

NOTHING MATTERS MORE THAN THIS.
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

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End in Sight:

In a discussion with Kenneth some weeks ago, he mentioned that more advanced practitioners seemed to lose their taste for evangelizing or talking about the merits of the practice in bold terms, compared to when they were just starting out.


Wonder why he thinks that. Buddha spent the rest of his life preaching about the merits of practice and how to get it done.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Steph S:
End in Sight:

In a discussion with Kenneth some weeks ago, he mentioned that more advanced practitioners seemed to lose their taste for evangelizing or talking about the merits of the practice in bold terms, compared to when they were just starting out.


Wonder why he thinks that. Buddha spent the rest of his life preaching about the merits of practice and how to get it done.


I think it's something he observed to be true in a purely empirical way. Look at (e.g.) the detail in the practice journals of beginning practitioners vs. advanced practitioners. So much enthusiasm in the former! Writing down all these minute experiential details, in order to record every single thing that might matter! And yet, many advanced practitioners do not even keep a journal.

Dan Ingram stated somewhere (I believe) that he would not pitch hardcore meditation as a valuable thing to do to someone who wasn't already interested. (I believe this was with respect to the goal of attaining MCTB 4th path.)

I myself contemplated similar things when I was merely MCTB 4th path, as I saw that the practice was valuable for me, but wasn't sure whether it would be worth it for everyone, given their particular personal goals for their life, and the difficulty of a commitment to the practice.

But, when the thing-to-be-attained shifts from whatever it was earlier to to the end of suffering...that has a way of changing attitudes, I think. emoticon
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josh r s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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I think it might be a product of people not being able to remember how much stress they had before and so they might sort of assume that there is less difference than there actually is. however with actual freedom, one switches between PCE and normal alot before getting to AF so they have an easy frame of reference.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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however with actual freedom, one switches between PCE and normal alot before getting to AF so they have an easy frame of reference

This doesn't appear to be true in my experience so far, and I know that several of those who are now actually free have said the same thing; full-blown stable PCE's pretty much stop happening after a while and everything becomes increasingly EE-like with glimmers of PCE clarity showing what remains to be seen through. It definitely helps in practical terms to aim towards happiness and harmlessness rather than thinking "I want to get a PCE" or setting it up as a goal as it makes something to work towards rather than something which will reveal itself with continued attentiveness.
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josh r s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
however with actual freedom, one switches between PCE and normal alot before getting to AF so they have an easy frame of reference

This doesn't appear to be true in my experience so far, and I know that several of those who are now actually free have said the same thing; full-blown stable PCE's pretty much stop happening after a while and everything becomes increasingly EE-like with glimmers of PCE clarity showing what remains to be seen through. It definitely helps in practical terms to aim towards happiness and harmlessness rather than thinking "I want to get a PCE" or setting it up as a goal as it makes something to work towards rather than something which will reveal itself with continued attentiveness.


i guess it depends how you define "a lot" my point was that actualists shift from normal to the end goal and back again and that shifting informs you about how far apart they are from each other. not saying anything about how one should practice, just speculating about why people might be more ready to sing the praises of actualist practices more than buddhist practices.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
Any sort of filter between sense and object is now minimized to the point of being almost imperceptible, but it's still there


Don't forget this whole filter thing is metaphorical.

Between the surface of your eyeball and the surface of the screen, there's nothing.

If you forget it's metaphorical, you reify and cognitively retrofit it, and then torment yourself with the aim of removing it.

You'll never remove it if you're looking for it in the wrong place.

And if you're looking in the right place, it's not there.

Clear, unfiltered perception is happening all the time. You couldn't stop it if you tried.

It's prior to 'you' looking.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Indeed, there is only a filter from the perspective of the 'filter'...
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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End in Sight:
Indeed, there is only a filter from the perspective of the 'filter'...


FUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!! emoticon

Running that over in the mind is doing weird shit......I love it. Non-affectively, of couse. emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
John Wilde:


Don't forget this whole filter thing is metaphorical.

Between the surface of your eyeball and the surface of the screen, there's nothing.

If you forget it's metaphorical, you reify and cognitively retrofit it, and then torment yourself with the aim of removing it.

You'll never remove it if you're looking for it in the wrong place.

And if you're looking in the right place, it's not there.

Clear, unfiltered perception is happening all the time. You couldn't stop it if you tried.

It's prior to 'you' looking.

John


John, thanks so much for this. It's wonderfully worded and makes perfect sense. I understand that this is all metaphorical, really, so it's just a matter of 'time' and seeing clearly. Not looking, just seeing the innocence and purity of actuality; perfection, as it is.

Thanks again, I really think that your quote here could be seriously helpful to anyone interested in understanding what this is all about. Excellent.
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
John Wilde:


Don't forget this whole filter thing is metaphorical.

Between the surface of your eyeball and the surface of the screen, there's nothing.

If you forget it's metaphorical, you reify and cognitively retrofit it, and then torment yourself with the aim of removing it.

You'll never remove it if you're looking for it in the wrong place.

And if you're looking in the right place, it's not there.

Clear, unfiltered perception is happening all the time. You couldn't stop it if you tried.

It's prior to 'you' looking.

John


John, thanks so much for this. It's wonderfully worded and makes perfect sense. I understand that this is all metaphorical, really, so it's just a matter of 'time' and seeing clearly. Not looking, just seeing the innocence and purity of actuality; perfection, as it is.

Thanks again, I really think that your quote here could be seriously helpful to anyone interested in understanding what this is all about. Excellent.


hehe... maybe i should have clarified the stuff john points at in my post above when i was asking you if there was a filter. it wasn't an instruction for you to look at the filter that may (or may not) have been in place. it was an instruction for you to be attentive to each of those sense doors and see that there is no filter. while i was in a pce and chatting with tarin, he asked me if i saw any distance between the eye and the image, and i realized there wasn't. so going forward i applied that to all the senses.. every time i started feeling in a mood or whatever, i would pay really close attention to any of the sense doors with the specific intent to see that there is actually no filter/distance between sense door and sense... and it lead to pretty much instant ee or pce.

if it's helpful at all, think of the sense doors as doorways instead of doors. a door can imply a barrier that is shut (the piece of wood that gets opened and closed). a doorway is the opening itself that senses freely move/pass through. then see that all of it is a doorway (the entire mind and body).
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Steph S:
hehe... maybe i should have clarified the stuff john points at in my post above when i was asking you if there was a filter. it wasn't an instruction for you to look at the filter that may (or may not) have been in place. it was an instruction for you to be attentive to each of those sense doors and see that there is no filter. while i was in a pce and chatting with tarin, he asked me if i saw any distance between the eye and the image, and i realized there wasn't. so going forward i applied that to all the senses.. every time i started feeling in a mood or whatever, i would pay really close attention to any of the sense doors with the specific intent to see that there is actually no filter/distance between sense door and sense... and it lead to pretty much instant ee or pce.

if it's helpful at all, think of the sense doors as doorways instead of doors. a door can imply a barrier that is shut (the piece of wood that gets opened and closed). a doorway is the opening itself that senses freely move/pass through. then see that all of it is a doorway (the entire mind and body).


Not at all, Steph! I got what you were talking about, I just liked the way you put it and decided to use the same language. The advice you've given here is excellent and I'm going to apply that right away, it's already reduced the attention wave and I feel seeing becoming very physical, like the eyes floating again. Excellent!! Thanks!
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Steph S:

hehe... maybe i should have clarified the stuff john points at in my post above when i was asking you if there was a filter. it wasn't an instruction for you to look at the filter that may (or may not) have been in place. it was an instruction for you to be attentive to each of those sense doors and see that there is no filter. while i was in a pce and chatting with tarin, he asked me if i saw any distance between the eye and the image, and i realized there wasn't. so going forward i applied that to all the senses.. every time i started feeling in a mood or whatever, i would pay really close attention to any of the sense doors with the specific intent to see that there is actually no filter/distance between sense door and sense... and it lead to pretty much instant ee or pce.

if it's helpful at all, think of the sense doors as doorways instead of doors. a door can imply a barrier that is shut (the piece of wood that gets opened and closed). a doorway is the opening itself that senses freely move/pass through. then see that all of it is a doorway (the entire mind and body).



Thus grokked, going further ...

Just as there's nothing between the eye and the image, there's nothing between you and the eyeball.

Or is there ........... ?

John

(I'm a bit perplexed about something: Fourth Path takes away the illusion of a seer as distinct from the seeing, but then AF aspirations seem to reintroduce it) :-)
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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(I'm a bit perplexed about something: Fourth Path takes away the illusion of a seer as distinct from the seen, but then AF aspirations seem to reintroduce it) :-)

I struggled with that for a bit too after 4th path and before pursuing AF. Adopting the view that ""I" am my feelings and my feelings are "me"" makes it easier to identify the flow of becoming as one can become that feeling, discern what is actual and what it affective and thus put an end to it.

It's just another technique to approach awakening, in my experience it has allowed these changes to occur so far and so I see no reason to stop using it until it's no longer required.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:

It's just another technique to approach awakening, in my experience it has allowed these changes to occur so far and so I see no reason to stop using it until it's no longer required.


Sure, I understand that's the bottom line. Just musing about how slippery the phenomenology and modeling of 'self' can be.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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John Wilde:
(I'm a bit perplexed about something: Fourth Path takes away the illusion of a seer as distinct from the seeing, but then AF aspirations seem to reintroduce it) :-)


This is interesting enough and deep enough to warrant its own thread (should you choose to make one).

My quick thoughts on the matter are that the illusion that 4th path takes away is not the same as what "AF aspirations" draw attention to. The "reintroduction" seems to me to be an adoption of a different understanding of 'self'. (If one had this understanding from the beginning, one might never realize they had attained 4th path when it happens, as the perceptual shift that 4th path gives rise to would be taken to be impressive but not a resolution of the core problem of self...and 4th path is reputed to be a resolution of the core problem of self.)
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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My quick thoughts on the matter are that the illusion that 4th path takes away is not the same as what "AF aspirations" draw attention to. The "reintroduction" seems to me to be an adoption of a different understanding of 'self'. (If one had this understanding from the beginning, one might never realize they had attained 4th path when it happens, as the perceptual shift that 4th path gives rise to would be taken to be impressive but not a resolution of the core problem of self...and 4th path is reputed to be a resolution of the core problem of self.)

I agree with this, it's like looking at it through a different lens to bring it into focus more clearly. The illusion of there being a self vanished on what I considered to be 1st path, but what really changed for me at 4th was that the ability to ever misread the signal again was seen through, the center point vanished. For me, it wasn't all that long after 4th path happened that I realized that, as you said, this was not the resolution to the problem of self entirely but in the two stable, proper PCE's I'd experienced by that time I had seen what that problem was and how it could be resolved. Unfortunately, "I" took months to stop being a dick and get on with the task at hand....
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:

John, thanks so much for this. It's wonderfully worded and makes perfect sense. I understand that this is all metaphorical, really, so it's just a matter of 'time' and seeing clearly. Not looking, just seeing the innocence and purity of actuality; perfection, as it is.

Thanks again, I really think that your quote here could be seriously helpful to anyone interested in understanding what this is all about. Excellent.


My pleasure Tommy, glad it got through the filter intact.

John
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Yea Tommy, the eyes and body floating are so much fun. Also, sound of regular talk is becoming like music. Its as if my senses are creating from the actual world. Is space getting thicker for anybody? Idk, space is all shadowy or just palpable, and encompassing everybody.

As far as the shadow being, I usually feel residues of boredom and sadness. Also, I am still obsessed with certain ambitions. The boredom and sadness are soooooooo annoying. I think I am going to continue with constantly fostering felicity, staying at sense doors, and reducing attentive wave except I always zone off into ambition, desire, or other distractions.

I wish I would post more but I never "feel" like doing so. I don't know what this means except gaining a belief that I am lazy. All of your posts are extremely helpful. thank you.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
It seems that the belief that "I", as a being currently working towards clearing the lens once and for all, exist at all is what supports these feelings of existing in space and time


Indeed, 'you' only exist from the perspective of 'you'...only 'being' sees 'being'...the senses march on, oblivious...
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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I experienced a recent shift in baseline which, as far as I can tell based on the descriptions of others who've passed through this stage and on continual analysis of how I'm experiencing this moment of being alive, appears to be VF. I could be wrong, of course, but, since there's nothing to hang one's hat on anyway, it is of no consequence since this ongoing experience is so felicitous, pleasant, easy and contented that, had I never known about AF, I would be happy to live like this for the rest of my life.

I was meditating on Friday night, going through the jhanas and 'actualizing' them when a shift occurred leaving me, temporarily, without any sense of an internal world but not in a full-blown PCE. Since then, the sense of being here or having any sort of location has been reduced to a point where the PCE seems to flicker through this (metaphorical) veil of affect, but there is still dissatisfaction and so I know that "I" am still happening. It's pretty incredible though, there are too many subtle perceptual changes to mention and a few fairly major ones which I'll describe a bit more for the sake of making this information available.

Anger does not seem to arise any more, even trying to generate it is like trying to ping a non-existent server. Feeling tries to tie together in that way but the perceptual knot which allowed it to occur seems to have unraveled permanently, however there is still what I believe to something related to what the post AF-ers are calling "shadow being", the programme, called "anger" or "irritation" or whatever flavour it comes in, runs on autopilot and certain physiological responses can be observed but there is no affective overlay. It comes and goes very cleanly, but can leave a potentially distracting residue. That's as closely as I can describe it anyway.

The default mode is attentiveness at the sense doors, the interior commentary, which is almost non-existent at times, doesn't interfere with this and any other affective process is attended to automatically as soon as it arises. If a belief structure or other mental construct disrupts the clean signal of attentiveness to sensuousness it seems to collapse as soon as it's noticed. Fantastic.

Today, there were moments of what felt like the sense organs floating in space as I sat at my desk in work but I am confident that this is not yet an out-from-control VF yet, although that aspect of the PCE also appears from time to time.

I thought it would be worth adding some more info to the thread if it's of any use to anyone to hear a description of the process as it happens.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Cool beans.

How does your body feel compared to before?

As for "shadow being", in my experience it is what underlies regular 'being' (literally, a highly truncated form of it). I recall having experienced it in near-PCEs, or during the very beginning of the slide from PCE to normal. I would think: "Oh, a ping of some kind...I suppose that's anger...or is it? Is there any reason to care about such an insubstantial thing?"
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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How does your body feel compared to before?

For as long as I can remember I've experienced the body as a vehicle for some, until now, unknown sense of being. Since 3rd path I've had far more of a sense of being in this body, not really being this body in the way it currently feels to operate. It's only in the last few days that I've really recognized this aspect of experience which, when I think back to when I started on the path, is the very thing that caused me to question what was going on. It's hard to explain without thinking more about how to describe it well, I'll update you on this after I look at this more.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
For as long as I can remember I've experienced the body as a vehicle for some, until now, unknown sense of being. Since 3rd path I've had far more of a sense of being in this body, not really being this body in the way it currently feels to operate. It's only in the last few days that I've really recognized this aspect of experience which, when I think back to when I started on the path, is the very thing that caused me to question what was going on. It's hard to explain without thinking more about how to describe it well, I'll update you on this after I look at this more.


OK, but how does it feel?

Pleasant? Tense? Any different?
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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OK, but how does it feel?

Apologies, I misunderstood.

99% of the time It feels pleasant, like a constant 3rd jhana body thing going on, but there are moments, and they are literally moments, when I get tension in the chest, the upper left shoulder, the nape of the neck, and at the hara point. I injured my back a few years ago and take painkillers for it, but I've found less need to use them to control the pain lately and also see that a lot of "twangs" and tensions no longer appear. All in all, it feels more pleasant being in this body than at any time I can recall.

Actually, I should mention that I currently have this gigantic lump beneath my ear, nothing dangerous (at least I don't think it is!) it was a sebaceous cyst or fatty lump thingy that hadn't been removed but it appears to have become infected and swollen. It hurts quite a lot but the sensations of pain, especially when I place the attention on them and try to really feel them, aren't bothering me in the slightest. I feel the pain but the mental aversion isn't coming up, it's just accepted and seen for what it is. I'm going to go to the doc tomorrow to get it checked out so, assuming they're going to remove it or lance it, it should be entertaining to see how that feels!

Is that more along the lines of what you were asking?
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
Is that more along the lines of what you were asking?


Yes. My working theory is that OFC VF involves this experience. (Just extrapolating from what I think was OFC VF in myself...small data pool.)

On the other hand, you dont think this is OFC. Why not?

My best guess (knowing very little about this part of actualism) is that in-control VF is not as advanced an attainment as you may think it is. Think about how long Peter and Vineeto spent there. (However, this is mostly speculative.)
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Yes. My working theory is that OFC VF involves this experience. (Just extrapolating from what I think was OFC VF in myself...small data pool.)

On the other hand, you dont think this is OFC. Why not?

I looked more at the process of making this distinction last night, when it comes down to it I have no idea what VF or OFC VF really involves other than what I've read from a few others describing their experience of what they think it was. I used the term VF because the shift into whatever this part of the process is has been so utterly different to what's gone before, but now, as I read the words on the AF site with regards to OFC VF it may very well be that I've underestimated where "I" am.

The reason I didn't think it was OFC VF is down to "my" expectations, specifically the expectation that this stage would have the same "body moving on it's own-ness", to use Daniel Ingrams phrase from the Hurricane Ranch talk, experienced in a PCE. Again though, when I read the descriptions on the AF site, and also take into account your comment about the length of time Peter and Vineeto spent in VF, it seems more and more likely that this is OFC VF. I think a lot of it really just comes down to a combination of rapidly dissolving expectation and a lack of familiarity with the specifics of AF terminology.

My best guess (knowing very little about this part of actualism) is that in-control VF is not as advanced an attainment as you may think it is. Think about how long Peter and Vineeto spent there. (However, this is mostly speculative.)

I would agree with you on this now, I'm going to read more of the AF site just now to get a better understanding of these terms as it's now pretty clear that this is just down to me misunderstanding that particular map of the thing. Thanks for the heads up!
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Much I would rather not do the whole cut n' paste from the AF site, this section (my emphasis added) really does describe what my current experience has been since the weekend:

VINEETO: For general background information of how the term out-from-control is used in regards achieving an actual freedom I recommend the recent posts of Richards on the Yahoo list, collected in the selected correspondence under the topic of out-from-control. (Richard, Selected Correspondence, Out-from-Control)

My period of being out-from-control started when I (metaphorically speaking) traversed the ‘wall of fear’, described by Richards as ‘a fear so vast as to best be called dread’ occurring at the ‘utter imminence’ at the gate to an actual freedom. (see pop-up footnote). Richard described it this way in a private email about me –

Richard: ‘Vineeto, who is now fully out-from-control/in a fully different-way-of-being, and thus on my side of that enormous wall of fear completely encircling all of humankind, ...’ 24.12.2009

During this period, which for me personally lasted about 6 weeks before it culminated in the final event on January 5, 2010, I experienced an ever-increasing pull to move forward into what I clearly and unambiguously recognized as my destiny – an irrevocable freedom from the human condition. It set in motion a process that was to undo all of my remaining bonds to humanity, my residue of inhibitions, my last hesitations and any and all lingering doubts. Having finally arrived at being out-from-control, living the ‘beer’ rather then being the ‘doer’, filled me with a previously unknown confidence and certainty that ‘my’ redemption was indeed nigh.

To step out from control was a step deliberately taken, after sufficient clearing of the ground, so to speak, and after sufficiently ascertaining that what I wanted was indeed what I was aiming for (the genuine article of an actual freedom). Taking that step ‘I’ then willingly and with intent gave myself permission to allow the universe to pull me forward ever more strongly into the hitherto entirely unknown territory that lay between me and the ultimate goal.

Many weird and whacky, as well as magical and wonderful events happened, which I won’t relate here because they were only relevant for the first two pioneers of the direct route to an actual freedom. What I can say, however is that being out-from-control, living on the actual freedom side of the wall of fear, enabled an ever-increasing near-apperceptive attentiveness that allowed me to breeze through one of the most intense panic attacks I ever experienced. Richard has described one of those panic attacks during his own out-from-control period as experiencing himself as if ‘sitting on a huge mountain of dread with his hands in his pocket whistling a tune’.

I fully concur with his description as far as my own experience of this particular panic attack was concerned. Despite the physical contractions and the racing of panicky thoughts there was an overall (ah, No. 3, here is that word again!) background awareness, aka near-apperceptive attentiveness, that all is well and that the material universe is indeed utterly benign.

The other observation from this period of being out-from-control worth sharing, I was able to make when ‘No. 2’ came for a visit. I remember clearly one day sitting in a circle of 5 friends, utterly relaxed despite the fact that I had never met one of them in person, and I noticed that I had no personal agenda whatsoever, no plan to stir the conversation into a particular direction, nothing to emphasize or hide, no self-centredness or favouritism, no shame, shyness, embarrassment, no power or drive – I was just being myself as I was. I sat in this group, as one of many, and my sole interest was that everyone present (including me as one of those present) enjoyed themselves/ obtained the maximum benefit from our meeting. I experienced myself as being unreservedly at ease and utterly benign and wasn’t driven to say anything unless it contributed to the overall quality of the conversation.

Compared to being out-from-control, a PCE is an often brief, always temporary, glimpse into the actual world, very informative and marvellous in its own right, but a period whereby the identity is statically in abeyance and remains unchanged until it emerges again after the PCE has faded.

During the period of being out-from-control the identity (being the ‘beer’ as opposed to being the in-control ‘doer’) gallops ahead closer and closer to her/his destiny.

It is an absolutely thrilling, marvellous and wonderful time of adventure and if there has to be a blaze of glory in the overall story to an actual freedom, this is definitely IT.

Cheers Vineeto

http://actualfreedom.com.au/directroute/05.htm#16Jan10

The parts I've emboldened are incredibly accurate descriptions of what I've noticed in the last few days. Having had a read through a few pages of stuff on the AFT site on OFC VF (acronymtastic) I'm now inclined to think that this is indeed where "I" am at. How wonderful!
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
I'm going to go to the doc tomorrow to get it checked out so, assuming they're going to remove it or lance it, it should be entertaining to see how that feels!


In my current state I find a shockingly high pain tolerance, due to a minimal mental reaction to painful sensations (much of the "pain" is just the reaction).

This seems to be true for various sources of pain (cold, sore throat / illness, hot sauce, exercise), but the degree is hard to quantify.

If you want to test your own pain threshold, swish a spoonful of hot sauce around your mouth and see how that feels compared to normal. That sounds relevant for a practice journal. emoticon
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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who else has noticed that when hearing, there's a mental sensation that feels like a squint or blink as if that is the mind moving to try to grasp object of attention..

what movement of mind is actually needed to hear something?

sound is happening all around. there is no mental movement needed to hear it. just by virtue of having working ears, stuff will be heard.

just by virtue of having working eyes, stuff will be seen. no need to mentally "lean" into it.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Steph S:
who else has noticed that when hearing, there's a mental sensation that feels like a squint or blink as if that is the mind moving to try to grasp object of attention..

what movement of mind is actually needed to hear something?

sound is happening all around. there is no mental movement needed to hear it. just by virtue of having working ears, stuff will be heard.

just by virtue of having working eyes, stuff will be seen. no need to mentally "lean" into it.


Exactly. You can't help it. The action of looking for it is retrospective, and it isn't what does the seeing or hearing. The "leaning into it" can then be misconstrued as a filter or obstacle, when in fact it's just another event, after the event.

To me, this is similar to being here, now.

You can't avoid being here, now.

When people try to be here, now, it has the same quality of mentally "leaning into it".

John
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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who else has noticed that when hearing, there's a mental sensation that feels like a squint or blink as if that is the mind moving to try to grasp object of attention..


YES!

I mentioned this when talking to Claudiu a while ago, this mental movement towards a sense object is perceived much clearer than before. I get what you mean about a "squint", that choice of word gives a good idea of it if you're not familiar with it, it's almost like catching the knot of being just as it begins to arise and the constant attentiveness makes this even more obvious.

Something else I've noticed more clearly now too is the way that the mind splits the experience up into volitional formations, but I need to look at this more so that I can describe it in better terms as my Buddhist terminology is shaky at the best of times.

Surrender, I! emoticon
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:

Surrender, I! emoticon


Even that would be too much :-)

Another way of getting in the way of what you actually can't avoid :-)

John
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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The things we do.

Another act of mind-destroying futility: hoping to remove separateness by trying (as subject) to get closer to the object.

John
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Good point, thanks! Time to go.

: )
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Jim Noyes, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Nad A.:
Tommy M:
I ask myself sincerely whether or not I realize that this moment right here is the only moment I have of being alive, this generally puts the feeling into perspective.


That didn't work for me because I'm very aware that there will probably be future 'moments', so it doesn't matter that this is the only one I'm experiencing now. If it was the last moment of being alive, it might work and put things in perspective as you said. But it's probably not the last, so no help.


It seems like there may be different ways to experience time. One way is as a series of moments sort of like beads on a string. Time is the string and you go from one bead to the next. From this perspective a very rational assumption is that for the foreseeable future there will be additional beads so of course this is not the only one.

But another way to experience time, and one that may be more germane to this practice, is that one is on the tip of an arrow flying through the air. The tip of the arrow is the present moment and the arrow flying through the air is the flow of time as it flows past and behind you. Since you are on the tip of the arrow you are always and constantly in the present moment. It can't be but now, always. Experiencing time this way I think is related to, or affects, your experience of where you are in space. So not only is it always now but you are always and only here, wherever that happens to be. From an experiential perspective I think the two go hand in hand.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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A'right Jim, welcome to the DhO,

I like your analogy and agree with what you're saying, the sense of a flow of time is itself affective and is incredibly useful to actualize. Thanks for your input.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Tommy M:
coming to understand that I no longer have anything to defend.


Isn't this such a wonderful experience? Throwing down the arms and having nothing to defend has got to be one of my favorite parts of actualism practice. (Thanks for the reminder).

- Daniel
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

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Today was my normal day off but I've had this situation in work, which may mean I lose my job, so the day began with a lot of anxiety and worry
Big challenge, but also big, low-hanging fruit. Healthy healthy fruit. Can be tough, but worth facing. It may be a modern version of sitting in the tiger-viper-ghoul-filled jungle.

I'm still blown away by how incredibly exciting this is, whether we're calling it AF or Arahat doesn't matter, all that matters is that this is pragmatic dharma at it's best. Real-time explorations into the truth underlying all things: Actuality (or whatever you decide to call it).
Hoo ha!

ungratefulness, arrogance and self-righteousness
Tommy, tommy, tommy. Tommy. I own these. What are you doing? I could sue for infringement....in my mind...which does not exist...unless it is arrogant, self-righteous, ungrateful, clingy-bingy, disenchanted...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh (affective wormhole)

I was thinking we could have a prisoner exchange as I am enjoying dharma very much now. (Did someone say skillful means? Super-famous joke: when they were handing out skillful means i thought they said hillfullof beans and said, "I'll gas, thanks"). However, with everyone going D-AFT, if may be ok to be out and bi-textual.

Tommy M, hello again.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
Interesting stuff indeed, let's see what happens next..... emoticon

emoticon
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
Is "being" a body sensation?

For me, being able to see it as a body sensation reduced its stature so much that I could no longer take it seriously as anything important or worth holding onto. And the less tightly I hold onto it, the more often it seems willing to slip away to varying degrees...


Yes, this has been a big part of the turnaround, it's now seen as just another pattern of sensations with no more or less importance than any other.


win! yes, these sensations that are "internal" feelings are precisely what is "being". perfection is the natural state of things, so why add anything to the mix? having these sensations that are "being" is, in effect, adding something to the mix.
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Brian Eleven, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The Turnaround - An AF Practice Thread

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Tommy,
Thanks again for your unflinching honesty and willingness to acknowledge imperfections in yourself. So many on the spiritual path(it seems) fear being human, with all the flaws that come with it, as if appearing perfect to others is the same as being perfect.
I recently decided KFD wasn't floating my boat any longer and was surprised to see how attached I'd become to a community I wasn't even really a part of. A great example of the stories we spin about ourselves, and how they become part of "us" and our "identity". Of course until the need to create and sustain an "identity" is abandoned I'll just keep doing the same thing over and over, but the fact I saw it gives me some hope I'm on the right track.
OK, that was my que that I'm babbling.