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How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle

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How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Zsolt 5/20/20 2:08 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 5/20/20 5:57 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/22/20 1:41 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/21/20 7:43 AM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Stirling Campbell 5/21/20 3:08 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/22/20 9:44 AM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Stirling Campbell 5/22/20 1:13 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/22/20 3:50 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/22/20 1:18 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/22/20 1:17 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Bailey . 5/22/20 2:10 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Zsolt 5/22/20 3:01 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/23/20 2:16 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/23/20 2:29 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/23/20 2:39 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/24/20 1:11 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Tim Farrington 5/24/20 4:53 AM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle terry 5/24/20 1:12 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Tim Farrington 5/24/20 4:20 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle SigmaTropic 5/24/20 12:41 AM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Balint Pinczes 5/24/20 7:14 AM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/24/20 1:28 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Ben Sulsky 5/25/20 2:19 PM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle J C 5/30/20 4:58 AM
RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/30/20 5:56 AM
Hi folks!

I’m coming back to shamatha practice (following TMI) after doing about 6 months of open awareness and noting practice during which cycling up the progress of insight was the norm. I’ve been at the shamatha for about 6 weeks now and cycling is still happening and is obstructing the cultivation of tranquility and stability of attention.

I sit 3-4 hours a day. My first hour is spent in mind and body, which is the bread and butter of my productive shamatha time. The 2nd hour is spent mostly in 3 characteristics, where bodily aches and discomforts become hard to ignore in favor of my concentration object. Tranquility is largely out the window for most of this 2nd hour too. This is always followed by an incredibly brief (1-5 minute) arising and passing filled with energy and bliss waves, which completely interrupts stable attention, after which I’m onto the dukkha nanas. Things clearly aren’t better for my shamatha there, with the wide diffuse attention and jarring physical and mental sensations. It’s kind of like trying to play a gameboy on a roller coaster - I can play but I don’t play well and it ain’t fun. Equanimity after is no better as the breath sensations are dwarfed into irrelevance by broad spaciousness and ultra-wide attentional stance.

In short, cycling is an obstacle to shamatha. To add insult to injury, ignoring the 3 characteristics in favor of the smooth continuity of my object slows the cycling down a lot, dragging out a cycle over hours. It was suggested to me that the cycling would fall into the background, becoming a minor phenomenon, as I got into the shamatha, but I’m 6 weeks in and things don’t seem to be changing. The shamatha I am able to do in that 1st hour is going well, which is nice, but I’d really like to focus all my available practice time towards it.

Surely others have experienced this given that it’s standard advice for post-2nd path noters to focus on shamatha on their way to 3rd. I’m open to any suggestions!

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/20/20 5:57 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
I like your attitude. I think you should focus on grounding excercises because it might get worse before it gets better. Walking is good. You also mention your time table alot, so I will just say you should probably let that come up for you in meditation and try to see it through a non-duel lens,. Otherwise leave it alone. Progress is an illusion, or so they say.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/21/20 7:43 AM as a reply to Zsolt.
I can relate, although for me the best shamatha is done in A&P and EQ. I find that it helps a bit to have a really narrow focus in A&P and a really wide one in EQ (the breath can be felt in the whole body and even outside of it, and that works for shamatha too). I also find that the cycling is really an upward spiraling, so the baseline of concentration improves for each round. I'm somewhere in the middle paths too, and I still depend on a good position in the cycling for my shamatha as I cycle a lot.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/21/20 3:08 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
Zsolt:
Hi folks!

I’m coming back to shamatha practice (following TMI) after doing about 6 months of open awareness and noting practice during which cycling up the progress of insight was the norm. I’ve been at the shamatha for about 6 weeks now and cycling is still happening and is obstructing the cultivation of tranquility and stability of attention.

I sit 3-4 hours a day. My first hour is spent in mind and body, which is the bread and butter of my productive shamatha time. The 2nd hour is spent mostly in 3 characteristics, where bodily aches and discomforts become hard to ignore in favor of my concentration object. Tranquility is largely out the window for most of this 2nd hour too. This is always followed by an incredibly brief (1-5 minute) arising and passing filled with energy and bliss waves, which completely interrupts stable attention, after which I’m onto the dukkha nanas. Things clearly aren’t better for my shamatha there, with the wide diffuse attention and jarring physical and mental sensations. It’s kind of like trying to play a gameboy on a roller coaster - I can play but I don’t play well and it ain’t fun. Equanimity after is no better as the breath sensations are dwarfed into irrelevance by broad spaciousness and ultra-wide attentional stance.

In short, cycling is an obstacle to shamatha. To add insult to injury, ignoring the 3 characteristics in favor of the smooth continuity of my object slows the cycling down a lot, dragging out a cycle over hours. It was suggested to me that the cycling would fall into the background, becoming a minor phenomenon, as I got into the shamatha, but I’m 6 weeks in and things don’t seem to be changing. The shamatha I am able to do in that 1st hour is going well, which is nice, but I’d really like to focus all my available practice time towards it.

Surely others have experienced this given that it’s standard advice for post-2nd path noters to focus on shamatha on their way to 3rd. I’m open to any suggestions!

I would drop the noting, drop tracking cycling, let go of "where" you are in any conceptual framework, and just sit in open awareness. Watch thoughts arise and pass, including and especially those about any of the above. Notice when there is silent spaciousness between thoughts without labeling or grasping. Let go of any notion of "progress" or a map. Let go of any contrived type of mind or concentration. Let go of there being any right or wrong way that mind is. Don't "do" anything. Let go of the idea that you are "doing". Just be present. 

Think of the mind as a jar of muddy water. Set it on a shelf and let it settle into its innate clarity.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 9:44 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling, that doesn't take away the cycling. It's what I have been doing as my default practice all along. If you don't notice the cycling, that's just poor phenomenology. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 1:13 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Stirling, that doesn't take away the cycling. It's what I have been doing as my default practice all along. If you don't notice the cycling, that's just poor phenomenology. 

You mean it doesn't stop the cycling for you?

Cycling is a concept tied to a particular set of traditions or practices, not all of them.

After reading MCTB, I could observe some aspects of the Progress of Insight if I looked for them, but this is, IMHO, because I reified them, not because I dug up something that was always there. It is one conceptual way of looking at a non-conceptual "problem", but is not a feature of all sects of Buddhism, or non-dual paths.  

Open Awareness is most commonly practiced as just seeing sensation, thoughts and emotions arise and pass as they are, where they are, without any labeling or tying it into or mapping it into a framework. If Zsolt is looking for more tranquility and less activation, dropping the mapping, noting and other more concentration based practices is the obvious starting point. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 1:17 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
Zsolt:
Hi folks!

 I’m open to any suggestions!


   Just sit.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 1:18 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Zsolt:
Hi folks!

I’m coming back to shamatha practice (following TMI) after doing about 6 months of open awareness and noting practice during which cycling up the progress of insight was the norm. I’ve been at the shamatha for about 6 weeks now and cycling is still happening and is obstructing the cultivation of tranquility and stability of attention.

I sit 3-4 hours a day. My first hour is spent in mind and body, which is the bread and butter of my productive shamatha time. The 2nd hour is spent mostly in 3 characteristics, where bodily aches and discomforts become hard to ignore in favor of my concentration object. Tranquility is largely out the window for most of this 2nd hour too. This is always followed by an incredibly brief (1-5 minute) arising and passing filled with energy and bliss waves, which completely interrupts stable attention, after which I’m onto the dukkha nanas. Things clearly aren’t better for my shamatha there, with the wide diffuse attention and jarring physical and mental sensations. It’s kind of like trying to play a gameboy on a roller coaster - I can play but I don’t play well and it ain’t fun. Equanimity after is no better as the breath sensations are dwarfed into irrelevance by broad spaciousness and ultra-wide attentional stance.

In short, cycling is an obstacle to shamatha. To add insult to injury, ignoring the 3 characteristics in favor of the smooth continuity of my object slows the cycling down a lot, dragging out a cycle over hours. It was suggested to me that the cycling would fall into the background, becoming a minor phenomenon, as I got into the shamatha, but I’m 6 weeks in and things don’t seem to be changing. The shamatha I am able to do in that 1st hour is going well, which is nice, but I’d really like to focus all my available practice time towards it.

Surely others have experienced this given that it’s standard advice for post-2nd path noters to focus on shamatha on their way to 3rd. I’m open to any suggestions!

I would drop the noting, drop tracking cycling, let go of "where" you are in any conceptual framework, and just sit in open awareness. Watch thoughts arise and pass, including and especially those about any of the above. Notice when there is silent spaciousness between thoughts without labeling or grasping. Let go of any notion of "progress" or a map. Let go of any contrived type of mind or concentration. Let go of there being any right or wrong way that mind is. Don't "do" anything. Let go of the idea that you are "doing". Just be present. 

Think of the mind as a jar of muddy water. Set it on a shelf and let it settle into its innate clarity.


    Absolutely right on...you are my guru, stirling. Today anyway.

terry

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 1:41 PM as a reply to Sleeping Buddha Syndrome.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I like your attitude. I think you should focus on grounding excercises because it might get worse before it gets better. Walking is good. You also mention your time table alot, so I will just say you should probably let that come up for you in meditation and try to see it through a non-duel lens,. Otherwise leave it alone. Progress is an illusion, or so they say.


aloha sbs,

   Progress is an illusion because we are already "there." Already perfect. Even our delusions are perfect. We suffer perfectly.

terry



"Even my mistakes are perfect because I learn from them."

~michael jordan





tao te ching, trans mitchell



29.

Do you want to improve the world? 
I don't think it can be done.
The world is sacred. 
It can't be improved. 
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it. 
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead, 
a time for being behind; 
a time for being in motion, 
a time for being at rest; 
a time for being vigorous, 
a time for being exhausted; 
a time for being safe, 
a time for being in danger.
The Master sees things as they are, 
without trying to control them. 
She lets them go their own way, 
and resides at the center of the circle. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 2:10 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
The only purpose of shamatha meditation (concentratio meditation) is to improve your mindfulness meditation. You are complaining that your mindfulness meditation (observing cycling) is harming your concentration meditation!

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 3:01 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
Thanks for the replies everybody.

Linda, I'll try loosening up the object as you're suggesting. This might be my best bet as I find myself in EQ for long periods.

Stirling, up until I began this shamatha round I was doing mostly open awareness, only using noting every once in a while when things got rough. I stopped looking for the cycling a while ago and it kept going strong all on its own. As Linda said, clear phenomenology shows me what's there and the mind does the pattern matching automatically. Though there is a degree of expecting it happening while I sit, which may well be bringing it to the fore. I'll see if I can let go of that.

terry, given that everything is perfect, so too is my lack of understanding that everything is perfect, so there's no need to point that out, as that is an attempt to change what is already perfect =)

Bailey, there is plenty of insight to be had in exceptional states afforded by high concentration that isn't nearly as easy to access while just sitting there cycling. This is what motivates the advice for post-2nd path noters that I mentioned, for example: jhanas provide a unique vantage point where signal to noise is exceptionally high, having isolated certain aspects of experience and brought them to crystal clarity for investigation.

Thanks again for all the feedback. I'd especially appreciate any other advice that accords with the premises of my question, namely that doesn't suggest I abandon my practice intentions entirely.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/22/20 3:50 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Stirling, that doesn't take away the cycling. It's what I have been doing as my default practice all along. If you don't notice the cycling, that's just poor phenomenology. 

You mean it doesn't stop the cycling for you?

Cycling is a concept tied to a particular set of traditions or practices, not all of them.

After reading MCTB, I could observe some aspects of the Progress of Insight if I looked for them, but this is, IMHO, because I reified them, not because I dug up something that was always there. It is one conceptual way of looking at a non-conceptual "problem", but is not a feature of all sects of Buddhism, or non-dual paths.  

Open Awareness is most commonly practiced as just seeing sensation, thoughts and emotions arise and pass as they are, where they are, without any labeling or tying it into or mapping it into a framework. If Zsolt is looking for more tranquility and less activation, dropping the mapping, noting and other more concentration based practices is the obvious starting point. 


I was cycling before I even started practicing or knew anything about any of the traditions, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. I think the maps are based on something inherent to human development. I know what open awareness is, because I do that practice. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/23/20 2:16 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
Zsolt:
Thanks for the replies everybody.


terry, given that everything is perfect, so too is my lack of understanding that everything is perfect, so there's no need to point that out, as that is an attempt to change what is already perfect =)



   needless to say, no need to point out that there is no need to point out...

which reminds of the four students who entered the mosque...

the first said, "there is a sign that says, 'no talking in the mosque'"
the second said, "but you just talked by pointing that out"
the third said, "so did you"
the fouirth said, "I am the only one who has not talked"

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/23/20 2:29 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
Zsolt:
Thanks for the replies everybody.

Linda, I'll try loosening up 

Thanks again for all the feedback. I'd especially appreciate any other advice that accords with the premises of my question, namely that doesn't suggest I abandon my practice intentions entirely.


   In all seriousness, bra, submitting your ideas to the sangha and then suggesting you only especially appreciate replies that accord with your premises is an assertion worth some consideration...think about it...this is the activity that has been lately popularized as cherry-picking (talib)...if you only want to hear to ideas that support your biases, you are like a person who watches fox news or the conspiracy channel all the time and calls the other shows "fake"...

   It's not like we don't all do it. More like it is a tendency to be checked or balanced.

terry

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/23/20 2:39 PM as a reply to terry.
The proof is in the pudding, terry. It either works or doesn't work. That's how you know if the advice is good.

And quite frankly, it can be pretty annoying when people insist on giving advice based on entirely different approaches than what resonates with the person who asks. We all have our own pet hobby-horses, but restraining ourselves from shoving them down people's throats when the advice is unwanted is part of skillful means. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 12:41 AM as a reply to Zsolt.
Hi Zsolt, 

Have you had any success with solidifying the insight knowledges? Take mind and body and solidify it into 1st jhana. Or skip it. Take A&P and solidify it into 2nd jhana. Take dissolution and solidify it into 3rd jhana. Take equanimity tmand make it 4th jhana. 

Just tell your mind to do this and you might have success. This is typically how I call up jhanas on a whim, just sort of conjure up a strong sense of the pleasant nana of my choosing and make it into a concentration object. That's kinda all jhanas are anyway. 

It's certainly a valid route to be able to focus on an object like the breath as an object until piti arises and whatnot, but if you have a strong sense of the nanas you can go this other route and that will possibly give you a foothold into the more calm blissful states and then you can explore both approaches. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 4:53 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Zsolt:
Thanks for the replies everybody.

Linda, I'll try loosening up 

Thanks again for all the feedback. I'd especially appreciate any other advice that accords with the premises of my question, namely that doesn't suggest I abandon my practice intentions entirely.


   In all seriousness, bra, submitting your ideas to the sangha and then suggesting you only especially appreciate replies that accord with your premises is an assertion worth some consideration...think about it...this is the activity that has been lately popularized as cherry-picking (talib)...if you only want to hear to ideas that support your biases, you are like a person who watches fox news or the conspiracy channel all the time and calls the other shows "fake"...

   It's not like we don't all do it. More like it is a tendency to be checked or balanced.

terry

terry,

i have suspected lately that you have been in a porcess of awakening in some way that leaves your strenths intact, while heightening your sense of humor, humility, and heart. I see now that i was probably wrong. Your head is so far up your ass that it shows from behind your teeth.

love, tim

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 7:14 AM as a reply to Zsolt.
Zsolt:
... It’s kind of like trying to play a gameboy on a roller coaster - I can play but I don’t play well and it ain’t fun.
What a cool simile! Keep simile-ing emoticon

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 1:11 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
The proof is in the pudding, terry. It either works or doesn't work. That's how you know if the advice is good.

And quite frankly, it can be pretty annoying when people insist on giving advice based on entirely different approaches than what resonates with the person who asks. We all have our own pet hobby-horses, but restraining ourselves from shoving them down people's throats when the advice is unwanted is part of skillful means. 


   You could just sit.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 1:12 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
terry:
Zsolt:
Thanks for the replies everybody.

Linda, I'll try loosening up 

Thanks again for all the feedback. I'd especially appreciate any other advice that accords with the premises of my question, namely that doesn't suggest I abandon my practice intentions entirely.


   In all seriousness, bra, submitting your ideas to the sangha and then suggesting you only especially appreciate replies that accord with your premises is an assertion worth some consideration...think about it...this is the activity that has been lately popularized as cherry-picking (talib)...if you only want to hear to ideas that support your biases, you are like a person who watches fox news or the conspiracy channel all the time and calls the other shows "fake"...

   It's not like we don't all do it. More like it is a tendency to be checked or balanced.

terry

terry,

i have suspected lately that you have been in a porcess of awakening in some way that leaves your strenths intact, while heightening your sense of humor, humility, and heart. I see now that i was probably wrong. Your head is so far up your ass that it shows from behind your teeth.

love, tim

   Perhaps neither view ever had any validity.

love, terry

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 1:28 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
To get back to topic, one other thing that I have noticed is that for every new full insight cycle*, there seems to be a new "layer" of hindrances to work through before I can go deep. MCTB2 is helpful in reminding me of the different factors that need to be balanced. I need to go beyond restlessness, dullness, and physical and mental tensions of different kinds. There are also periods when I tend to fall asleep while remaining conscious of it, and during that lucid light dreamless sleep I can feel some kind of energetic disentangling going on. There is no going around this. It happens every time. Do not despair - this too shall pass.

*) Between second and fourth path there seem to be a large number of full insight cycles, many more than there are paths. Every full insight cycle, in turn, contains many cycles before it reaches its fruition. 

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/24/20 4:20 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Tim Farrington:
terry:
Zsolt:
Thanks for the replies everybody.

Linda, I'll try loosening up 

Thanks again for all the feedback. I'd especially appreciate any other advice that accords with the premises of my question, namely that doesn't suggest I abandon my practice intentions entirely.


   In all seriousness, bra, submitting your ideas to the sangha and then suggesting you only especially appreciate replies that accord with your premises is an assertion worth some consideration...think about it...this is the activity that has been lately popularized as cherry-picking (talib)...if you only want to hear to ideas that support your biases, you are like a person who watches fox news or the conspiracy channel all the time and calls the other shows "fake"...

   It's not like we don't all do it. More like it is a tendency to be checked or balanced.

terry

terry,

i have suspected lately that you have been in a porcess of awakening in some way that leaves your strenths intact, while heightening your sense of humor, humility, and heart. I see now that i was probably wrong. Your head is so far up your ass that it shows from behind your teeth.

love, tim

   Perhaps neither view ever had any validity.

love, terry

emoticon


perhaps! but where's the fun in perhaps? Although somehow I really did find that a perfect reply.

love, tim

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/25/20 2:19 PM as a reply to Zsolt.
I think the move here is to just back away from the conceptual framework.  Who cares if your jhanas flicker?  Who cares if your insight states produce jhanic qualities?  

My experience is that I can't tune out the three characteristics when trying to do jhanas and I also end up in jhana like states when trying to do insight.  Yet there are still the same recognizable jhanas and insight nanas as ever and they do the same things.  So I just threw out the desire to have "pure" insight or jhana.  

I love Daniel's mindmap here, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5037f52d84ae1e87f694cfda/t/506fcc5c84aefb9a79a610b3/1349504092518/Pathways.jpg.  As far as I'm concerned there are arrows going back and forth all over the territory and there's no particular reason a given state is either all jhana or all nana.  

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/30/20 4:58 AM as a reply to Zsolt.
Zsolt - I did not find samatha particularly helpful in getting to 3rd - lots of noting is what I'd recommend - but to answer your question:

If you're cycling, and you feel lots of rapid flickering and vibration, and you want to switch to a smoother samatha state, what you have to do is sort of follow the waves of flickering, trying to smooth them out.

Watch the start and stop of each vibration, and if it starts to slow, you're on the right track. Basically, you're trying to get the waves of your observation to sync up with the waves of the flickering.

This is really hard to describe in words, but if you play around with trying to follow the waves, smooth them, or slow them, you'll click on it.

RE: How can I do shamatha when all I do is cycle cycle cycle
Answer
5/30/20 5:56 AM as a reply to J C.
J C:
If you're cycling, and you feel lots of rapid flickering and vibration, and you want to switch to a smoother samatha state, what you have to do is sort of follow the waves of flickering, trying to smooth them out.

Watch the start and stop of each vibration, and if it starts to slow, you're on the right track. Basically, you're trying to get the waves of your observation to sync up with the waves of the flickering.

This is really hard to describe in words, but if you play around with trying to follow the waves, smooth them, or slow them, you'll click on it.
This is so very well put. It took me a long time to figure that out, I think mainly because I was clinging to the flickering and vibrations; I had the idea that clarity was very much about that. Yet this smoothing and slowing down happened, because the process just went that way, and I didn't know what to do with that. I was being bored by it. I needed to have more symbolically charged nondual absorptions before I could learn to appreciate it.