Message Boards Message Boards

Practice Logs

R Nuthman's Practice Log

Toggle
R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/22/20 12:09 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Jason Massie 6/21/20 11:51 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/22/20 12:45 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 6/22/20 6:43 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 6/22/20 7:52 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Tim Farrington 6/22/20 6:23 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 6/22/20 7:57 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Pepe 6/22/20 8:41 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/22/20 9:21 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log shargrol 6/23/20 6:19 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Tim Farrington 6/23/20 9:53 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/24/20 11:01 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/25/20 11:23 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/25/20 11:22 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Siavash 6/25/20 11:58 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/26/20 1:43 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Tim Farrington 6/26/20 7:49 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/26/20 2:57 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Bagpuss The Gnome 6/26/20 4:54 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/26/20 2:56 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Bagpuss The Gnome 6/27/20 1:25 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Tim Farrington 6/27/20 7:28 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/24/20 5:33 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 6/22/20 10:14 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 6/22/20 10:37 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 6/22/20 11:53 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 10:22 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/24/20 5:18 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/24/20 5:14 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/26/20 4:04 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/27/20 7:40 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Tim Farrington 6/27/20 9:36 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Laurel Carrington 6/27/20 10:45 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/27/20 9:19 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/27/20 11:53 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/1/20 8:03 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log shargrol 6/28/20 6:16 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 6/30/20 8:57 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Siavash 7/1/20 1:45 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/1/20 7:33 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/1/20 7:34 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log shargrol 7/1/20 8:02 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/1/20 11:07 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 12:57 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 7/2/20 7:16 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 7:53 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 7:57 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 7/2/20 8:49 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 8:49 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 7/2/20 8:54 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 9:16 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 7/2/20 10:15 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 10:14 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 7/2/20 10:20 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 11:17 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 1:54 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/3/20 4:25 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Olivier 7/3/20 5:31 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log shargrol 7/3/20 7:22 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/3/20 8:09 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/4/20 3:40 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/4/20 5:43 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/3/20 8:22 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log shargrol 7/4/20 6:15 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/4/20 6:02 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log shargrol 7/4/20 6:58 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Ricky Lee Nuthman 7/4/20 9:09 PM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 7/2/20 2:23 AM
RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log Tim Farrington 7/2/20 7:22 AM
R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 12:09 AM
Start Time: 1:10AM
End Time: 3:02AM

I know - that's really late. We've been working late, and I had plenty of energy left for a good sit. It was also suggested to me that my sits are too long, but I forgot to use a timer, and it always feels like 45 minutes, even though it has been longer!

My fitbit pretty bluntly expresses my meditation as 'Deep Sleep' which I find interesting, as I don't really know what sensors and algorithms it uses to determine this:






This is the bizarre thing. On nights where I don't meditate, deep sleep is spread out across the night in the same way as REM does. When I meditate before sleep, the meditation registers as deep sleep, but then when I am actually sleeping pretty much no deep sleep shows up. Either the device is confused, or somehow meditation does whatever deep sleep needs to do.

Anyway - I just thought this was interesting, as I've been watching this pattern for months since I got the device. Back to the actual log!

------------

1. Watching the breath. thoughts popping in and out, redirecting to the breath. Seeing thoughts as thoughts. Small bursts of anxiety sensation around stomach. Seeing feelings as feelings. Thinking about trying to remember what happens so I can write about it. thinking thinking thinking. Just thoughts. Back to the breath.

2. I feel pressure building up around the top of my eyes. Just sensations.... My forehead feels like there is a balloon behind it. I am aware of the background stuff, but am now pretty fixated on the breath. The pressure in my forehead continues to build. It feels like the balloon is expanding, creating more space inside of my head. The balloon dissolves leaving what I believe to be access concentration. 

3. I begin to get a strong sense of the mind trying to string together seemingly unrelated sensations into a person. Whenever it succeeds, I feel agitated. (It would actually be quite comical if watched as a cartoon, completely detached) I investigate the agitation and it dissolves. It feels like a game of cat and mouse, chasing down instances of the mind consolidating feelings and thoughts into self, then it falls apart again. It feels like this very act of conceptualizing is somehow painful. It also seems like whenever I feel something in the body, it is also instantaneously in the mind. Then, if the mind consolidates the sensation into being a part of myself for even a moment, suffering is experienced. (It would be nice trick if I could always avoid consolidating feelings into a person. It's very freeing!)

4. Eventually the 'selfing' function seems to calm the fuck down. Now it's just stuff happening. There really isn't much effort in noticing things. Before it felt like there were tiny microscopic muscles tensed inside of the brain, but now they are all released. It feels pretty nice actually. investigating the niceness. It now feels like riding on a ski slope around experience, bumps, rough patches, soft, solid, or whatever. Feels pretty fine.

5. Something changes, like the mind is trying to line up to passing frames in a movie. Next thing I know, there is a shift in my mindstate, and it feels like nothing much is happening. Kind of like I was never meditating. Really chilled out feeling, but as if I had literally just sat down and closed my eyes. Actually, it is kind of like one of those mornings when you wake up not groggy. Just woke up on the right side of the bed. I continue to watch the breath

6. Things go from feeling super normal to feeling super concentrated on the breath. I notice that my head is doing a funny subtle wobble thing. It seems that on the in-breath, it does a certain number of rotations, then on the out-breath a certain number. After noticing this for a few minutes, it seems to stop. I start getting a surreal feeling, the kind that would give me an anxiety attack if I were walking down the street. But now it's just interesting. Time and space feel eerie and geometric. Like locked in strange angles that move digitally instead of smoothly. Noticing the weirdness, then back to the breath

7. Something about the breath is really drawing me in. I start to get a sensation of excitement as I breathe in, and as I breathe out, I deepen the concentration on the breath. A thought 'Oh boy, this is something important' pops in my head - I note it and keep going. The surreal feeling comes back. Watching the breath. watching the breath. I feel an energy in the head. There are body sensations like going up to the top of a roller coaster, in anticipation of going over the edge for the first time. Here's where it gets really weird

8. My entire visual field is covered with what looks like a kaleidoscope of light with intricate shapes. Like when you get punched in the face (if you've ever been so lucky) or knocked hard in the head. But it feels like it's being 'washed' over you like cold water. But it's just for a brief moment. At this point, I am trying to keep my shit together. Watching, trying not to react. I can feel my heart palpitating. This is over the top surreal. Like in the movie Lawnmower man when it simulates him moving through the network cables. Impossible to appropriately put into words. I keep my attention on the breath:

9. The sensation that I am directly looking at, right in the spot where it is (it's weird that direction even matters in this state, but it is definitely a direction) the sensation becomes what I can only describe as a singularity. I feel myself and everything in existence being atomized and sucked into the singularity like a black hole. The sensation of acceleration feels both exhilarating and terrifying! I ride for as long as I can, then....

10. My heart begins to pound so hard, that it jolts me out of it. The meditation is over. I get up, and lay down in bed. When I close my eyes, there is a light show bouncing around inside of my entire body. I watch it until I fall asleep.

Over the past several months, my meditation starts in any number of different ways, but 8 out of 10 times, this is the way that it ends.  (6-10) 

I always get a strong sense that the singularity ride is supposed to develop into something, or give me some sort of insight, but nothing ever comes of it so I have basically been writing it off as just content. Then again, I can't help but feel like the 'rapid heart beat' is getting in the way of something. 

Note: This is meant to be my practice log, but thoughts, comments, etc are very welcome.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/21/20 11:51 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Does your fitbit record changes in heartbeat? If it does show a large increase, you might want to back off.

Otherwise, I would experiment with change. Try different objects, techniques, times of day and postures. One change at a time. This is what I would try.

Also take a deep breath when rapturous experiences get too intense. It can help balance rapture and tranquility.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 12:45 AM as a reply to Jason Massie.
Jason Massie:
Does your fitbit record changes in heartbeat? If it does show a large increase, you might want to back off.

Otherwise, I would experiment with change. Try different objects, techniques, times of day and postures. One change at a time. This is what I would try.

Also take a deep breath when rapturous experiences get too intense. It can help balance rapture and tranquility.
The highest spike in heart rate was 74BPM, other than that it never went above 70. It feels like my heart is beating out of my chest, but it just really... isn't.

I have a hard time seeing this as a 'rapture' experience. It is much more surreal. Actually, surreal might not be the right word.

It is the most 'real' feeling thing I have ever felt. Like my awareness spreads to contain the entire universe, then it is all being physically sucked into the meditation object (which is an infinitely small pinprick) at an ever increasing speed. At this moment I realize that this is all there is, yet somehow this scared puppet self somehow manages to appear at the last moment to say 'what about me?'

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 6:23 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
Start Time: 1:10AM
End Time: 3:02AM

I know - that's really late. We've been working late, and I had plenty of energy left for a good sit. It was also suggested to me that my sits are too long, but I forgot to use a timer, and it always feels like 45 minutes, even though it has been longer!

My fitbit pretty bluntly expresses my meditation as 'Deep Sleep' which I find interesting, as I don't really know what sensors and algorithms it uses to determine this:






This is the bizarre thing. On nights where I don't meditate, deep sleep is spread out across the night in the same way as REM does. When I meditate before sleep, the meditation registers as deep sleep, but then when I am actually sleeping pretty much no deep sleep shows up. Either the device is confused, or somehow meditation does whatever deep sleep needs to do.

Anyway - I just thought this was interesting, as I've been watching this pattern for months since I got the device. Back to the actual log!

------------

1. Watching the breath. thoughts popping in and out, redirecting to the breath. Seeing thoughts as thoughts. Small bursts of anxiety sensation around stomach. Seeing feelings as feelings. Thinking about trying to remember what happens so I can write about it. thinking thinking thinking. Just thoughts. Back to the breath.

2. I feel pressure building up around the top of my eyes. Just sensations.... My forehead feels like there is a balloon behind it. I am aware of the background stuff, but am now pretty fixated on the breath. The pressure in my forehead continues to build. It feels like the balloon is expanding, creating more space inside of my head. The balloon dissolves leaving what I believe to be access concentration. 

3. I begin to get a strong sense of the mind trying to string together seemingly unrelated sensations into a person. Whenever it succeeds, I feel agitated. (It would actually be quite comical if watched as a cartoon, completely detached) I investigate the agitation and it dissolves. It feels like a game of cat and mouse, chasing down instances of the mind consolidating feelings and thoughts into self, then it falls apart again. It feels like this very act of conceptualizing is somehow painful. It also seems like whenever I feel something in the body, it is also instantaneously in the mind. Then, if the mind consolidates the sensation into being a part of myself for even a moment, suffering is experienced. (It would be nice trick if I could always avoid consolidating feelings into a person. It's very freeing!)

4. Eventually the 'selfing' function seems to calm the fuck down. Now it's just stuff happening. There really isn't much effort in noticing things. Before it felt like there were tiny microscopic muscles tensed inside of the brain, but now they are all released. It feels pretty nice actually. investigating the niceness. It now feels like riding on a ski slope around experience, bumps, rough patches, soft, solid, or whatever. Feels pretty fine.

5. Something changes, like the mind is trying to line up to passing frames in a movie. Next thing I know, there is a shift in my mindstate, and it feels like nothing much is happening. Kind of like I was never meditating. Really chilled out feeling, but as if I had literally just sat down and closed my eyes. Actually, it is kind of like one of those mornings when you wake up not groggy. Just woke up on the right side of the bed. I continue to watch the breath

6. Things go from feeling super normal to feeling super concentrated on the breath. I notice that my head is doing a funny subtle wobble thing. It seems that on the in-breath, it does a certain number of rotations, then on the out-breath a certain number. After noticing this for a few minutes, it seems to stop. I start getting a surreal feeling, the kind that would give me an anxiety attack if I were walking down the street. But now it's just interesting. Time and space feel eerie and geometric. Like locked in strange angles that move digitally instead of smoothly. Noticing the weirdness, then back to the breath

7. Something about the breath is really drawing me in. I start to get a sensation of excitement as I breathe in, and as I breathe out, I deepen the concentration on the breath. A thought 'Oh boy, this is something important' pops in my head - I note it and keep going. The surreal feeling comes back. Watching the breath. watching the breath. I feel an energy in the head. There are body sensations like going up to the top of a roller coaster, in anticipation of going over the edge for the first time. Here's where it gets really weird

8. My entire visual field is covered with what looks like a kaleidoscope of light with intricate shapes. Like when you get punched in the face (if you've ever been so lucky) or knocked hard in the head. But it feels like it's being 'washed' over you like cold water. But it's just for a brief moment. At this point, I am trying to keep my shit together. Watching, trying not to react. I can feel my heart palpitating. This is over the top surreal. Like in the movie Lawnmower man when it simulates him moving through the network cables. Impossible to appropriately put into words. I keep my attention on the breath:

9. The sensation that I am directly looking at, right in the spot where it is (it's weird that direction even matters in this state, but it is definitely a direction) the sensation becomes what I can only describe as a singularity. I feel myself and everything in existence being atomized and sucked into the singularity like a black hole. The sensation of acceleration feels both exhilarating and terrifying! I ride for as long as I can, then....

10. My heart begins to pound so hard, that it jolts me out of it. The meditation is over. I get up, and lay down in bed. When I close my eyes, there is a light show bouncing around inside of my entire body. I watch it until I fall asleep.

Over the past several months, my meditation starts in any number of different ways, but 8 out of 10 times, this is the way that it ends.  (6-10) 

I always get a strong sense that the singularity ride is supposed to develop into something, or give me some sort of insight, but nothing ever comes of it so I have basically been writing it off as just content. Then again, I can't help but feel like the 'rapid heart beat' is getting in the way of something. 

Note: This is meant to be my practice log, but thoughts, comments, etc are very welcome.

Hey Ricky, this is so great! give that fitbit a workout! what fun.

I will follow this with deepest interest,and gratitude.

love, tim

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 6:43 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
Jason Massie:
Does your fitbit record changes in heartbeat? If it does show a large increase, you might want to back off.

Otherwise, I would experiment with change. Try different objects, techniques, times of day and postures. One change at a time. This is what I would try.

Also take a deep breath when rapturous experiences get too intense. It can help balance rapture and tranquility.
The highest spike in heart rate was 74BPM, other than that it never went above 70. It feels like my heart is beating out of my chest, but it just really... isn't.

I have a hard time seeing this as a 'rapture' experience. It is much more surreal. Actually, surreal might not be the right word.

It is the most 'real' feeling thing I have ever felt. Like my awareness spreads to contain the entire universe, then it is all being physically sucked into the meditation object (which is an infinitely small pinprick) at an ever increasing speed. At this moment I realize that this is all there is, yet somehow this scared puppet self somehow manages to appear at the last moment to say 'what about me?'

Looks to me like you are being sidetracked into the Power Realms after a certain stage. Shinzen thinks this path is not leading towards awakening but away from it. 

Do you find it hard to shorten your sits? I'm asking as you seem to be still sitting long. 

What about you sit only 60 minutes per sit? Could you try doing that and see how it goes. And try to do noting, with eyes open and whispering the labels/notes. 

I think this would help you go on towards SE rather than into the Power/Magic realms. 

I might be wrong of course but that's how your practice looks to me. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 7:57 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Take this cum grano salis, but i wonder ig the fear stuff could be the esuanimity mini dark night, aka n11.j3 as they say ?

I had a period when i was in eq of first path when i would strange experiences, not necessarily those visual things, although i do remember an instance in review of firet path where i hit a spot where i could see this kind of fizzing grid like light pattern appear over my hea and go down vibrating and doing domething eery to my sense of space, making the sense of body fade in fact. This i associated with eq.

The fear thing was definitely a hallmark of the progression of my sits. This heartbeat thing also happened most sits. I realized it was a good sign and that it was leading the way : follow that fear, Olivier, it is pointing you to something deep. That was enough to ride it to its own fading. There is a nice podcast with Burbea, in deconstructing yourself, where the question of fear of annihilation is adressed, and it helped me a lot at this point, to normalize and welcome it.

Sometimes i would end up in light formless realms,with that sensation of infinite expansion that you seem to be describing.

But in the end, i also realized that the surreal experiences didn't really lead onwards, as you say.

So i'll give you the advice i got when i was in the territory that it seems that you're in ; maybe drop the effort and investigation when you get up there, maintaining gentle curiosity, but no doing. Keep sitting but drop the notion that you can control this and just let your mind do what it must. You can't make stream entry happen, so you can just realx emoticonemoticon

My 2 cts, i does seem to contradict what other peiple have said here, but hey, i guess you'll follow what feels right. It was good advice for me.

Ps : at panditarama lumbini they encourage equanimity yogis to sit as long as feels right if the inclination arises.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 7:52 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Here Shinzen talks about Power Realms and why its one of the 6 traps on the path to awakening
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i288Lnb7NOk

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 8:41 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Take this cum grano salis, but i wonder ig the fear stuff could be the esuanimity mini dark night, aka n11.j3 as they say ? I had a period when i was in eq of first path when i would strange experiences, not necessarily those visual things, although i do remember an instance in review of first path where i hit a spot where i could see this kind of fizzing grid like light pattern appear over my head and go down vibrating and doing domething eery to my sense of space, making the sense of body fade in fact. This i associated with eq.

+1 . I'm not there yet, but I concur. Seems Ricky's way past transitioning to EQ but on the verge of SE. He should have probably experimented by now 'unknown events' that fall short of cessation. I'll stop commenting here, it's above my current level, just point to Shargrol's posts on the subject.  

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 10:14 AM as a reply to Olivier.
"My 2 cts, i does seem to contradict what other peiple have said here, but hey, i guess you'll follow what feels right. It was good advice for me.

Ps : at panditarama lumbini they encourage equanimity yogis to sit as long as feels right if the inclination arises."

My appologies for bringing confusion into this thread emoticon I would not know if those visuals in later stage are power realms or not and should rather keep quiet and let those with more knowledge chime in. 
My bad. 

Yes, I also think sitting for as long one feels inclined is good unless just hanging in the Jhana for fix-sake emoticon apparently one can also sit long in power realms for fix-sake. 
But I don't know anything about it first hand and ought to keep my mouth in a noble silence mode emoticon 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 10:37 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Hey man there is room for different perspectives, i don't claim expertise on other people's experience either.
Edit : but i want to quote burbea and the buddha on the jhana thing - those states should be pursued and cultivated and dwelled in because just passing over them quickly would be like having an apple tree in your orchard and picking some dead branches instead of the fruits. emoticon

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 11:53 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Dead branches are also part of the experience. Maybe even more important on this journey as most of us don't even notice them because we desire to chew on juicy stuff. 

Excuse my French emoticon 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/22/20 9:21 PM as a reply to Pepe.
Pepe:
Olivier:
Take this cum grano salis, but i wonder ig the fear stuff could be the esuanimity mini dark night, aka n11.j3 as they say ? I had a period when i was in eq of first path when i would strange experiences, not necessarily those visual things, although i do remember an instance in review of first path where i hit a spot where i could see this kind of fizzing grid like light pattern appear over my head and go down vibrating and doing domething eery to my sense of space, making the sense of body fade in fact. This i associated with eq.

+1 . I'm not there yet, but I concur. Seems Ricky's way past transitioning to EQ but on the verge of SE. He should have probably experimented by now 'unknown events' that fall short of cessation. I'll stop commenting here, it's above my current level, just point to Shargrol's posts on the subject.  
Okay, I just read through a lot of that post by Shargrol that you linked to. This guy is incredibly clear and concise! I love it. Also, everything he writes feels like he's talking to me directly, which is incredibly useful. I guess it also shows that we are all on the same path.


Here are a few of sections that really stood out to me (From Shargrol's post):

But what you are looking for is to lose your striving so that you collapse into a path fruition like falling into a black hole --- not shooting out into space like a rocket. Use less energy and effort. Cut that in half. Cut that in half. Really drop striving and just be there.

...

I had one retreat where I kept going from EQ to mind-blowing A&P to EQ to A&P, but my mind was getting more and more exhausted and my entire mind and body was frazzled after two weeks. I was simply trying waaaay too hard to "get" nibbana. 

...

The road to SE is more like a plane landing, not like a firework. Most people think it's going to be like a firework, with a big explosion of light and sound at the end, but actually towards the end there is a sense of slowly losing speed, gliding, gliding, gliding, a feeling of being close but nothing that you can do... and then almost a surprise when the wheels touch the ground. So letting things slow down, spending more time in just the present moment, having nowhere to go... that's a good approach. Sitting and very gently wondering big things like "what is now? what is body? what is mind?" is enough effort, almost like daydreaming. Letting yourself get pulled into concentration states if the mind wants to go there is good, too. You can trust the mind, it knows where to go. It's taken you this entire way already. It's smarter than you. 



Amazing stuff! This is the kind of teaching that I find very useful and easy to digest, and very relateable to my own experience.

Okay, so this is a funny one. The experience I am having, is of my entire being getting sucked into a singularity, but it isn't like a plane landing, it is acceleration. So perhaps I am doing the 'rocket' thing that he is describing. It's like I'm sitting there resting on the object, very calm, then all of a sudden the entire universe gets sucked into where I am noticing - into this infinitely small space. I don't know how else to describe it. I still remember the first time I ever experienced this, was when I was daydreaming on my bed at age 14. I was gazing into the top corner of my bedroom, then all of a sudden, I started to get sucked up into a tiny singularity. Of course, even back then it scared the hell outta me. I started to get this experience again on the 6th day of a Goenka retreat. 

I will err on the side of caution, and guess that this is not leading to a cessation, but dropping back to A&P as Shargrol mentions above.

I also found it interesting the way he described high EQ as 'daydreamy'. I was fascinated by this, because I've been noticing that when I get really concentrated and feeling like I'm in EQ, there reaches a point where I start to drift off, like daydream - BUT it isn't like a normal daydream. I am extremely aware feeling but it's drifty and dreamy. When I move back to the breath, the meditation deepens. 

It is good to learn that this is a characteristic of high EQ, because I thought 'daydreaminess' was coming up at a very strange time. I was thinking, wow, where is this mind-state coming from? I feel really concentrated, and all of a sudden things go all dazy and dreamy.

This is all very encouraging! 



Stream entry isn't about doing anything fancy, it's just about making vipassana-like curiosity and jhana-like relaxation into a new baseline habit.... and when you can rest in equanimity without struggle, when you can have thoughts come and go without struggle, when you can be on retreat without struggle, when you basically can practice without practicing, when you know it is completely useless to predict what will happen because no one can predict what happens... then you are in a good place. Hang out there and wonder about the nature of mind that knows all of this. When in doubt, notice what you are experiencing and rest in that experience, even in the experience of "not knowing" itself.

...

The key thing is to keep easing into the experience of EQ and high EQ using less and less energy. Imagine that you are a satellite slowly losing speed in orbit. The earth is coming into view and suddendly you can see the details on the land, all the textues and colors. You know you're getting close and you think you know where you want to go, so you turn on the rockets --- but that just keeps you spinning in orbit. We all feel that way, but instead keep letting yourself drop out of orbit, using just enough energy to maintain your practice. At some point, you'll be sucked into emptiness. 



Or another metaphor: eventually a star burns itself out and then collapses into a black hole. 


Yes! This makes so much sense to me. Especially the part about 'turning on the rockets'. I think that's what I am doing. Let's see if I can do this without cranking it to 11.
 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/23/20 6:19 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
One way to think of the challenge of EQ/Stream Entry is that it is learning to sit without getting "tempted" by A&P. The conceptual mind gets a little bored in EQ, the sense of self gets a little vague in EQ, and A&P comes along and says "Hey dude, want to score some orgasmic mindblowing explosion?" Just say, "nah, I'll just sit here." Just say no. emoticon  

Now that said, A&P has a way of happening again and again as we approach SE, because our practice can climb up and go back down the nanas several times in a sit --- it's not like you're doing it wrong if it happens naturally. (Ironically, the less you seek A&P, the more profound the A&P is when it happens naturally.)

But try to figure out to sit with low effort, full presence. Learn to aquire a taste for this simple and calm and intimate pleasure. We should start to lose our attraction to A&P. "Oh yeah, another orgasmic mind explosion... cool, but so what, it isn't nibbana." emoticon A&P is sex, but EQ is love. emoticon

So, in your case, it's basically learning not getting seduced by A&P nor being triggered by Reobservation. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/23/20 10:22 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
On the subject of tracking devices, the over the counter devices use body movement and heartbeat, but can't track brainwaves. For that you'd need a sleep study with electrodes attached to your head. I think their designations are misleading. Of course it may be helpful to know how much you are tossing and turning, but if it's not able to tell the difference between mediation and sleep, it's not much good for sleep stages. I have the same issues with my tracking device.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/23/20 9:53 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
One way to think of the challenge of EQ/Stream Entry is that it is learning to sit without getting "tempted" by A&P. The conceptual mind gets a little bored in EQ, the sense of self gets a little vague in EQ, and A&P comes along and says "Hey dude, want to score some orgasmic mindblowing explosion?" Just say, "nah, I'll just sit here." Just say no. emoticon  

Now that said, A&P has a way of happening again and again as we approach SE, because our practice can climb up and go back down the nanas several times in a sit --- it's not like you're doing it wrong if it happens naturally. (Ironically, the less you seek A&P, the more profound the A&P is when it happens naturally.)

But try to figure out to sit with low effort, full presence. Learn to aquire a taste for this simple and calm and intimate pleasure. We should start to lose our attraction to A&P. "Oh yeah, another orgasmic mind explosion... cool, but so what, it isn't nibbana." emoticon A&P is sex, but EQ is love. emoticon

So, in your case, it's basically learning not getting seduced by A&P nor being triggered by Reobservation. 


Ricky, what Shargrol Of Course said, +1.

Them sirens are singin pretty, yeah, but they don't mean shit, bro, and they end you upmin worse than shit. the fucking ship on the rocks, the crew dead. this is all on your watch. keep a hold on that mast, and listen to them singing, but sail on by. This is your watch, you've got the conn.

but you know that, you fucking ex-junkie. work the program motherfucker.

love, tim

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/24/20 5:14 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
6-23-20

12:30am-1:45am

Late start again last night. My wife is very close to having the baby (any day now) and is really uncomfortable. It's been making sleep difficult for both of us (Will be even harder once the baby is born!) 

We live in a loft apartment in Los Angeles, and there aren't any rooms with doors to close, so privacy is not an option. She likes to call her father at around midnight before we go to bed, because he lives in England where it is just becoming morning as we are going to bed here in California. She asked, "I know you are going to meditate, do you mind if I call my dad?"

I said, "Sure! It hasn't really been bothering me lately." - which was true. Recently it has been sort of fading into background noise.

I went downstairs, said on the loveseat which I have designated as my place to practice. I began watching the breath.

Uncharacteristic agitation arose with increasing tight sensations inside of my head with each instance of hearing her voice on the phone. I noted it. With each word that she spoke, it was like being stabbed in my eardrum. I thought, okay, might as well use this as a meditation object, because she's not going to stop talking. 

The sound of her voice was grating me. I investigated. Thoughts came through my head, "Why is she being so loud? Doesn't she respect my meditation at all?" I looked at the thoughts and attemped to see them as not personal. Each time the sound of her voice hit my eardrum, I simutaneously felt a tightening inside of my head and a strong wanting for the talking to stop - along with a wave of rage. I wondered, why does something inside of me involutarily tighten up when I hear her voice? I watched as the mind created stories about how she didn't think about others, and how selfish and incosiderate she was being.

I noticed that there was a bouncing back and forth from feeling like I was being personally assaulted to watching the body and mind being assaulted (not me). When it was possible to see it from the 3rd person view, the sensations changed from being painful to simple tightness, pressure, etc. Anger arose, and I saw it as anger. 

At some point, I remembered something that I had read about consciousness being like a mirror, only reflecting. Something about this thought did a strange trick to the mind. For a brief moment, there was a realization that there was nothing back there, and things are just arising. Immediately the sense of self manifested as fear. It's hard to put into words. Like each sensation, emotion, thought and feeling were completely abstracted away from being a person. During this experience, intense grief arose inside of the body. It felt like the self was isolated; alone and crying like a baby. The best way I can describe it is:

Imagine you are a little toddler and you hold out your arms to your mother. Now imagine that the mother looks at you with pure hatred and says "I hate you! You're not my child." - This was the vibe I was getting from the self toward.. me. or whatever was watching. It was so sad and dejected.

It pressured me with its whimpering until I gave it a hug and told it that everything was alright. Then the self rejoined me, and I contiued to get annoyed at my wife on the phone. The rest of the meditation was a continuation of being annoyed and attempting to investigate the feelings of it. 

The whole experience left me feeling like "Oh shit.. there is a serious, deep co-dependency issue happening between me and myself"

Side note: Lately my evening meditation has been giving me a 'second wind' which reminds me of how it usually goes on retreat for the first 5 or so days. I feel incredibly energetic afterward in the mind and it is difficult to fall asleep. I would adjust my formal meditation time to earlier in the day, but it is nearly impossible to find a moment in the day when my wife is not in a business call, or on the phone with someone about something. It will be a relief when it clicks (and sticks) that sound is just sound.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/24/20 5:18 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
On the subject of tracking devices, the over the counter devices use body movement and heartbeat, but can't track brainwaves. For that you'd need a sleep study with electrodes attached to your head. I think their designations are misleading. Of course it may be helpful to know how much you are tossing and turning, but if it's not able to tell the difference between mediation and sleep, it's not much good for sleep stages. I have the same issues with my tracking device.

Laurel - I agree.

I think it measures deep sleep by heart rate and how 'still' you are. It is interesting though how when I meditate before sleeping falling asleep, it only registers deep sleep during the meditation period. The rest of the night shows little or no deep sleep. I wonder if the meditation makes me move more when I sleep?

On nights when I don't meditate, it registers deep sleep all throughout the night.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/24/20 5:33 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
One way to think of the challenge of EQ/Stream Entry is that it is learning to sit without getting "tempted" by A&P. The conceptual mind gets a little bored in EQ, the sense of self gets a little vague in EQ, and A&P comes along and says "Hey dude, want to score some orgasmic mindblowing explosion?" Just say, "nah, I'll just sit here." Just say no. emoticon 



Having this bit of knowledge in my toolkit is really useful! I've been struggling with trying to understand these incredible shifts in mindstate (going from what seems like EQ to being sucked into an infinite vortex). But it makes perfect sense if it is simply a drop back to the A&P. I didn't realize that the cycle could move so fast! 

I'm really making an effort to do the whole "Nah, I'll just sit here" thing. (Which is actually less effort, right?) I'm trying to pay more attention to what is happening just before I feel the accelleration happening. Actually, it hasn't happened in a couple of days. Now I'm dealing with trying not to think about maps and SE while practicing. It has turned into a hindrance from time to time.
Now that said, A&P has a way of happening again and again as we approach SE, because our practice can climb up and go back down the nanas several times in a sit --- it's not like you're doing it wrong if it happens naturally. (Ironically, the less you seek A&P, the more profound the A&P is when it happens naturally.)

That's good to know. It makes me feel more confident that I'm going in the right direction. I used to have these 'Rocket vortex' events only once in a while. Now they happen every other meditation session - sometimes twice in one sit!
But try to figure out to sit with low effort, full presence. Learn to aquire a taste for this simple and calm and intimate pleasure. We should start to lose our attraction to A&P. "Oh yeah, another orgasmic mind explosion... cool, but so what, it isn't nibbana." emoticon A&P is sex, but EQ is love. emoticon

So, in your case, it's basically learning not getting seduced by A&P nor being triggered by Reobservation. 


This is definitely right where I am at. I get a strong sense that I have been 'over-efforting'. The practice is to chill out and allow things to happen now. Also - thanks for the advice on not being seduced by the A&P sex. haha! I've been been purposely persuing it, because it seemed like something important and powerful that I needed to investigate. But it never leads anywhere. Only to burnt rocket fuel.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/24/20 11:01 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farringtom

Them sirens are singin pretty, yeah, but they don't mean shit, bro, and they end you upmin worse than shit. the fucking ship on the rocks, the crew dead. this is all on your watch. keep a hold on that mast, and listen to them singing, but sail on by. This is your watch, you've got the conn.


Aye, matey I see yer' metaphor!

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/25/20 11:23 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
The last few days I've been working on continuous awareness off and on the mat. I've been working on letting go of tensions, as well as being aware of mindstates as they arise. When I notice that a defilement has already arisen and I missed it, I recognize it, and let it go. This is having the effect of generating feelings of being in Jhanas as I'm walking or driving around. 

It feels like I have an aura of pleasant sensations around my body. When I stop and notice the pleasant sensations, especially in my head, there seems to be build up of pressure or tension in the center/front of my forehead. The poof! It goes away and leaves a sense of open clarity feeling. Then the tension builds back up. It doesn't so much 'hurt' as make me feel like a human 'bobble head'. In fact, that is a good comparison. It's like there is helium in my head creating pressure, and my head even wobbles around a bit. Weird!

When something like anxiety arises in the body, I can feel it inside the storm of what I think is 'Piti'. Surrounded by this piti feeling, it makes it easier to see the anxiety as simply rising, doing its thing and passing away completely. I think to myself, this is vastly superior to how I normally feel, but it is still unsatisfactory. Especially since earlier today I got annoyed with a client and felt ill will rising inside of the body. I let it go on for way longer than I should have. (I recognized it right when it showed up, but got that anger lust and went for it). 

It will be good when I can always make the right decision with these sensations.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/25/20 11:22 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
I had what I think is an insight earlier today.

I felt a sensation of ill will arising again when it became clear that a client was attempting to manipulate me. I caught the sensation immediately, but allowed it to continue for a few short moments. I wanted to see what was actually happening!

I became aware that the as the sensations of anger grew inside of me, I immediately thought to myself "Do I want to be right, or do I want to be free?" and let the anger go immediately.

There was a 'lust' for the anger, I didn't want to let it go. Not until I had been sufficiently angry, for a sufficient amount of time. Wow! I was left sort of shaking my head at the whole thing. I was willing (and desiring) to go through as much pain as it took to allow anger to run its course. Why would anyone take suffering over peace? How is it that I can crave for suffering?

Wow! What a shocker. The funny thing is, I know that I'll have to fight this battle plenty more times before it's over with. There is a deep tendency to satisfy our desires no matter what the cost to our well being. 

The more I learn about myself, the more I realize that humans are in deep shit.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/25/20 11:58 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
The funny thing is, I know that I'll have to fight this battle plenty more times before it's over with. 

I guess this is the whole point! As long as we are fighting, there will be some battle (and suffering) to fight!

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/26/20 1:43 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Hehe, now that I think about it, it was an interesting choice of words. Technically, I think I need to 'stop fighting' in order to end this.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/26/20 4:54 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
The last few days I've been working on continuous awareness off and on the mat. I've been working on letting go of tensions, as well as being aware of mindstates as they arise. When I notice that a defilement has already arisen and I missed it, I recognize it, and let it go. This is having the effect of generating feelings of being in Jhanas as I'm walking or driving around. 

It feels like I have an aura of pleasant sensations around my body. When I stop and notice the pleasant sensations, especially in my head, there seems to be build up of pressure or tension in the center/front of my forehead. The poof! It goes away and leaves a sense of open clarity feeling. Then the tension builds back up. It doesn't so much 'hurt' as make me feel like a human 'bobble head'. In fact, that is a good comparison. It's like there is helium in my head creating pressure, and my head even wobbles around a bit. Weird!

When something like anxiety arises in the body, I can feel it inside the storm of what I think is 'Piti'. Surrounded by this piti feeling, it makes it easier to see the anxiety as simply rising, doing its thing and passing away completely. I think to myself, this is vastly superior to how I normally feel, but it is still unsatisfactory. Especially since earlier today I got annoyed with a client and felt ill will rising inside of the body. I let it go on for way longer than I should have. (I recognized it right when it showed up, but got that anger lust and went for it). 

It will be good when I can always make the right decision with these sensations.



I would not worry too much about pleasure at the moment Ricky. It might end up just being a great big distraction. Assuming you are on your first path (as you indicated yourself), you can basically just power it. It really helps to relax into the unpleasant sensations in the body as they occur, regardless of where they occur (meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight).

You may find you can become genuinely fascinated with these sensations and become really accepting of them. This is the key.

Regarding defilements, hindrances and spotting things as you go about your day: I'm sure many might disagree but for now I would put most of that to one side also. Just sounds like way too much thinking. Keep it grounded at the level of the body/sensations if you can and you'll do just fine.

~BTG

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/26/20 7:49 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
emoticon
Ricky

The more I learn about myself, the more I realize that humans are in deep shit.
T-shirt of the week winner!

love, tim

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/26/20 2:56 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
It really helps to relax into the unpleasant sensations in the body as they occur, regardless of where they occur (meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight).

Hello Bagpuss!

I'm not sure I understand part of your instruction - "Meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight". I have been doing my best to relax into the sensations (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral). Are you suggesting I should work more with resting in unpleasant sensations? Or decide based on which stage of insight I believe myself to be in. Sorry just a bit confused. hehe

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/26/20 2:57 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
T-shirt of the week winner!

love, tim

I think I'm going to be getting a lot more T-Shirt slogans if this keeps up...

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/26/20 4:04 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
I'm getting caught up a lot in self pity today. The suffering is exhausting sometimes. I can feel the tight grip on my body and mind from having tastes of semi freedom and wanting to 'abide' there but gripping so hard onto something that I don't know how to let go of. Of course the mantra is 'practice, practice!'

When there is so much suffering, it's hard to tell yourself that 'perhaps that cessation will come in 5 minutes, or perhaps 40 years! It will be worth it."

Sometimes it feels like a pink unicorn. 

The difference between now, and before in my practice is that now I am blatantly aware that the cause of my misery is filtering everything through this sense of self. The observer feels like a vice bearing down on all of my senses.

At least in the before times, I wasn't so aware of the observer. Now that I can see it, it makes it super annoying because it's there in my face 24/7 and won't go away. It's like I have 'double vision' or something. I'm looking at the computer screen, and am somehow looking back at myself looking at the computer screen, looking at the computer screen. I'm just so tired.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 1:25 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
It really helps to relax into the unpleasant sensations in the body as they occur, regardless of where they occur (meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight).

Hello Bagpuss!

I'm not sure I understand part of your instruction - "Meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight". I have been doing my best to relax into the sensations (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral). Are you suggesting I should work more with resting in unpleasant sensations? Or decide based on which stage of insight I believe myself to be in. Sorry just a bit confused. hehe



I just meant don't worry about where you may be in the progress of insight so much. 

Disclaimer: I'm possibly the world's worst offender re mapping, but it's still good advice emoticon

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 7:28 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Bagpuss The Gnome:
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
It really helps to relax into the unpleasant sensations in the body as they occur, regardless of where they occur (meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight).

Hello Bagpuss!

I'm not sure I understand part of your instruction - "Meaning where you think you might be in the progress of insight". I have been doing my best to relax into the sensations (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral). Are you suggesting I should work more with resting in unpleasant sensations? Or decide based on which stage of insight I believe myself to be in. Sorry just a bit confused. hehe



I just meant don't worry about where you may be in the progress of insight so much. 

Disclaimer: I'm possibly the world's worst offender re mapping, but it's still good advice emoticon

Ricky, the world's worst offenders are often also the world's greatest experts, due to their high volumes of near-fatal mistakes only recovered from at great labor and psychic expense. If they have survived long enough to be among the world's top offenders, they can be generally relied upon to share their hard-earned insight with humility and genuine compassion, even if they themselves are just too fucked up to follow their own advice.

love, tim

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 7:40 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
I'm getting caught up a lot in self pity today. The suffering is exhausting sometimes. I can feel the tight grip on my body and mind from having tastes of semi freedom and wanting to 'abide' there but gripping so hard onto something that I don't know how to let go of. Of course the mantra is 'practice, practice!'

When there is so much suffering, it's hard to tell yourself that 'perhaps that cessation will come in 5 minutes, or perhaps 40 years! It will be worth it."

Sometimes it feels like a pink unicorn. 

The difference between now, and before in my practice is that now I am blatantly aware that the cause of my misery is filtering everything through this sense of self. The observer feels like a vice bearing down on all of my senses.

At least in the before times, I wasn't so aware of the observer. Now that I can see it, it makes it super annoying because it's there in my face 24/7 and won't go away. It's like I have 'double vision' or something. I'm looking at the computer screen, and am somehow looking back at myself looking at the computer screen, looking at the computer screen. I'm just so tired.
Sometimes it just has to feel really shitty in order to clear something out and open something up. It feels worse but as you say, you now see things that you couldn't see before. Also, as you say, it won't go away. And yet you are exhausted. Why? Are you trying to keep up with seeing  what you can't avoid seeing? You wouldn't be the first one. It's classical. You know what? You don't have to do the seeing. It is perfectly capable of doing its own thing. Now is the time to let go of it. And if you can't let go of it, then let go of letting go of it. If you can't do that either, then let go of trying to do that, and so forth. At some point of all the meta levels, you'll probably just give up, and then you will notice that it goes on without the doer, and then spaciousness opens up. Peace. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 9:36 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
I'm getting caught up a lot in self pity today. The suffering is exhausting sometimes. I can feel the tight grip on my body and mind from having tastes of semi freedom and wanting to 'abide' there but gripping so hard onto something that I don't know how to let go of. Of course the mantra is 'practice, practice!'

When there is so much suffering, it's hard to tell yourself that 'perhaps that cessation will come in 5 minutes, or perhaps 40 years! It will be worth it."

Sometimes it feels like a pink unicorn. 

The difference between now, and before in my practice is that now I am blatantly aware that the cause of my misery is filtering everything through this sense of self. The observer feels like a vice bearing down on all of my senses.

At least in the before times, I wasn't so aware of the observer. Now that I can see it, it makes it super annoying because it's there in my face 24/7 and won't go away. It's like I have 'double vision' or something. I'm looking at the computer screen, and am somehow looking back at myself looking at the computer screen, looking at the computer screen. I'm just so tired.


with all due qualifications and fine print about the worth of my 2 cents in ths inflated economy:

When there is so much suffering, it's hard to tell yourself that 'perhaps that cessation will come in 5 minutes, or perhaps 40 years! It will be worth it."

it isn't worth it, my friend, in my opinion. Nothing could possibly justify this suffering; nothing could serve as some kind of pay-off to this obscene dukha, as if it's all some kind of fucking educational video with a happy ending and higher test scores in the future.

The observer feels like a vice bearing down on all of my senses.

that is a vise, my man. A vise clamping down on our senses, tightening with every turn of the screw of practice, or, abandoning practice for the lame-ass false solution it is in reality, with every turn of the screw of samsara and its dukha.

"Vice" is a very funny typo or freudian slip here--- the Observer is indeed a vice. at some point the hell of cold turkey is preferable, and we are prepared to kick the habit or die, whichever comes first.

love, tim

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 10:45 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky, you seem to be trying to censor your feelings a lot--anger, self-pity--and it's isn't working all that well to do that. Maybe you just are angry at that client and can be angry for awhile and then it will eventually let go of its own accord. If there's rumination attached to it, be aware of the rumination. See how thoughts and physical sensations trigger and reinforce each other. After awhile it will pass and there'll be something else. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings and think, "oh, this is happening." Anger, self-pity, whatever are data. 

I listened to an interview on Michael Taft's Deconstructing Yourself with Judson Brewer, about addiction. Judson recommends observing really closely how it feels to smoke, for example, and realize over time that maybe it's not as pleasant as you think it is. Likewise, the anger will pass once it has done its job of protecting you from another person's bad behavior, and you find that it's not pleasant to be with it any longer. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 9:19 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Ricky, you seem to be trying to censor your feelings a lot--anger, self-pity--and it's isn't working all that well to do that. Maybe you just are angry at that client and can be angry for awhile and then it will eventually let go of its own accord. If there's rumination attached to it, be aware of the rumination. 

Maybe that's true. I mean, I think that I'm trying to fully feel the anger feeling. I keep getting the instruction that I should 'be with whatever is arising' and 'rest in it'. So far I've been working with this, but haven't figured out what the benefit is yet. I suppose I understand that it is supposed to lead to some kind of opening, but so far it just leads to a headache.
Likewise, the anger will pass once it has done its job of protecting you from another person's bad behavior, and you find that it's not pleasant to be with it any longer. 

That's the thing, though. Anger, sadness, fear, pain, joy, excitement, let-down, grief... It's always something arising. It's always something passing away. I can feel it in my bones. The thing that frustrates me is how apparent, obvious and in my face the 3 characterists are yet somehow I am still clinging. Somehow after 30 years suffering with DP/DR, watching 'myself' in 3rd person through a paper thin, movielike projection of a life - I've not been able to wake up. Not even the first path. I am beginning to worry that the DPDR has made as impossible task because of how it has reconfigured my thinking.

Ps, don't read too much into my personal pity party here. Since it is my practice log, I am trying to be as open and honest as possible about what I am feeling. Even though I may come off as a bit of a loose cannon.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/27/20 11:53 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
If being with whatever arises gives you a headache, maybe it would be a good idea to ease up on the effort. You don't have to observe it with lazer beam focus. Noticing that it's there might be enough, and it seems like the noticing is in place already. Can you also notice the space around it?

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/28/20 6:16 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:


Ps, don't read too much into my personal pity party here. Since it is my practice log, I am trying to be as open and honest as possible about what I am feeling. Even though I may come off as a bit of a loose cannon.

Yeah, that's the way to do it. Whether it's in a public or private log, have some place where you can voice out all of the frustrations and annoyances and doubts. Even when we know that half our thoughts might be exaggerations, make sure you're honest about the thoughts that are actually showing  up. It all works out if we're honest and putting in consistent, daily practice.and looking at how our mind effects our life off cushion -- then we really see how all the extra drama, second-guessing, unreasonible demands, etc etc etc make our life too complicated and exhausting --- and only then do we start dropping the unnecessary stuff.

(The problem with putting it in a public log is that you get lots of comments on it! emoticon  You can also journal privately and just ask questions about practice online.)

I wanted to talk about something you mentioned up thread: how you are having trouble maintaining confidence because you don't know if cessation will happen in 40 minutes or 40 years...

Imagine this: the confused, tangled mind is sort of like a hand that is holding onto something. At first, the hand is kind of numb and we might not even realize how tightly wer're holding onto it. But as we practice and grow older/wiser, we realize that indeed we're holding really tightly and it's a lot of work for the hand. We might imagine "oh, I'll just let go", but our hand has been holding on so long that it really can't just let go. But we can create a little bit of space, a little bit of movement through practice, which is encouraging.

Unfortunately, when we start waking up the hand and learning how to move it a little, we start recognizing how much discomfort is there. Whatever we're holding onto is causing pain. It's sharp sometimes like a knife. Other time it's blunt and hurts like a sledgehammer. We might stop there, because we don't want to let free whatever is inside of our hand.

But we might also notice that when we open our hand, the tissues of the hand are starting to get bloodflow and the muscles are starting to unfreeze and the nerves become alive. So whatever is in the hand, it's still scary but opening the hand feels kind of good. Well actually, first it hurts a little even though we know what we're doing is right. Yeah, it still hurts and if anything, there is a temptation to stop, not go forward. But something in us knows that going through life with our hand perminantly clenching around something limits our life -- and we're drawn to fixing the problem, even though we don't know how it's going to happen or how long it takes, or what the thing in our hand is..

Each time we move the hand a little, we realize things about ourself that drove the clenching. We think grabbing onto something will give us protection, make us safe, make us smart, make us loved, make us wise, make us respected --- we see how our mind thinks and how our body behaves due to our very subtle intentions. 

So we keep trying to move the hand, wake it up a little, and more muscle and nerve pain occurs, but we start to see more and more progress. At a certain point, we're almost able to see what is in our hand and we want to rush to open it --- and we go to fast too soon and reinjure our hand and it locks up again. And then we realize, it isn't our decision, we have to work with the hand not against it. We have to practice but also allow ourselves to recover from practice. We can't bite off more than we can chew. We can't carry more than we can lift. Otherwise, we just keep injuring ourself. So we need to learn about pacing and sensitivity and self-care...

Eventually at some point, our hand softens enough that we can open and close it a little, we can actually feel a range of motion and be present with the hand. This is like going through the stages of insight -- awareness is maintained throughout many flavors of mind and there isn't a desire to escape, but rather to be with what is occuring as it occurs.  The things that made us grab tighter don't have the same reaction anymore. We can be with body discomfort, bliss, fear, misery, disgust, a desire for deliverance, and nothing-much-going-on... and we don't quit sitting. We sit right through it all. The hand begins to feel safe and cared for and opens even more... And maybe we get a glimpse of what's inside ---- and we develop an insight that the big thing that we were holding on so tightly too... maybe isn't there. Maybe we've been holding on so tightly to our own hand, cripping our own hand, out of fantasy and fear. Wow!

So this would be like first path. But here's the thing: even though that glimpse gives you new confidence, guess what's involved in the later paths? More relaxing, healing, and opening the hand. And awakening is actually having the hand completely open and seeing that there is nothing at all ine hand. So it is all about learning to relax, heal, and open the hand. That's it. That's everything in this practice.

In this example, it might be tempting to say that getting that first peak into the hand is what makes a big difference ---- but hopefully I've poetically shown that the real benefit happens every time you sit. Your mind gets better and better the more you can "loosen the hand" and this is where the real work and the real benefit occurs. And we would never get a glimpse of the nothing in the hand if we didn't do the easy and consistent work of trying to loosen it a tiny bit every day.

So nothing heroic is needed and there isn't a special method beyond daily practice and daily recovery. Quality practice and then living your life with the new awareness, eating well and sleeping well, and then doing it all again. It's the only way. It's not really hard practice, but it's long practice. Long and easy is the way to go. Be kind with yourself, don't rush, don't slack off. Trust that your own mind is smarter than you and you'll learn over time. It's really amazing, even though we don't know right now, the mind figures all this stuff out, step by step. That's why there are meditation maps -- there is something innate and predictable about how we slowly discover this stuff over time.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
6/30/20 8:57 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Unfortunately, when we start waking up the hand and learning how to move it a little, we start recognizing how much discomfort is there. Whatever we're holding onto is causing pain. It's sharp sometimes like a knife. Other time it's blunt and hurts like a sledgehammer. We might stop there, because we don't want to let free whatever is inside of our hand.


The hand analogy is actually really helpful to me. It's funny because it kind of barely even feels like an analogy. It literally feels like my mind is clamping down on itself at the slightest aversion. You can feel all of the microscopic resistance and if you don't notice quickly enough it proliferates into more suffering.

It can be very tiring, the feeling of letting loose a little - then gripping hard again. Like falling asleep, and a fire alarm goes off.. then drifting off again, and another alarm goes off. 

It's like the existential version of playing some annoying level on a nintendo game back in the day, where you keep going through the same level and getting killed at the exact same spot. Or finally making it past that spot and all this ease rushes in, then you get killed slighty further along and you get a sense of wasted effort. But, luckily, instead of being dumped back at the very beginning, you respawn at some save a bit further along. 

So I am really making an effort to allow things to happen and relax into the experience. 
So nothing heroic is needed and there isn't a special method beyond daily practice and daily recovery. 
I do have one question, though. I seem to get concentrated very easily these days. I get a bit of mixed signals with instructions around here and from different teachers. I am concerned that I am just getting into deep samadhi or jhanas which apparently don't lead to awakening.

Do I just need to make sure that I am investigating the 'feeling' of sensation what concentrated, or just be openly aware of my entire experience as a flow? The latter seems to be easier, but I've also heard that you have to be 'one-pointed' in order to complete a cycle. 

I understand that you're saying that I should trust the mind, and that the mind is smarter than me. However, I obviously have to be doing some type of guidance, otherwise I'd get enlightened by just going about my business and never practicing at all.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 1:45 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
However, I obviously have to be doing some type of guidance, otherwise I'd get enlightened by just going about my business and never practicing at all.


The painful joke!
We are always doing something! We never stop, to see what would happen.



RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 7:33 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
I hope you don't mind me chiming in a bit as you seem to be uncertain and uncertainty can be as bad of a hindrance as doubt. 

"I do have one question, though. I seem to get concentrated very easily these days. I get a bit of mixed signals with instructions around here and from different teachers. I am concerned that I am just getting into deep samadhi or jhanas which apparently don't lead to awakening.

Do I just need to make sure that I am investigating the 'feeling' of sensation what concentrated, or just be openly aware of my entire experience as a flow? The latter seems to be easier, but I've also heard that you have to be 'one-pointed' in order to complete a cycle. "

You don't need to be "one pointed" to complete cycles. You need to be Awake, meaning "not embedded" in experience, to complete the cycle and pass it. And what goes around comes around. 

Also, don't trust the mind. How can we trust something we can not even see? According to Mahamudra the essential nature of mind can't be seen, not even the Buddha can see it! And both Samsara and Nirvana arise from it! So what are we to trust or distrust? Mind? We don't know or see mind. We see the content of mind only. But we can trust the practice. 

What we can do is be awake in each experience. Say it out aloud and move on. If like me you also have good concentration then focus your open eyes on some dirt spot or Kasina of sorts (round dish against the wall) and keep noticing the Jhana experiences change in the image space while also noting anything else. 

Then again. We can be told many times to try do it in a certain way but we refuse as we are not yet sick and tired of it all. We still want to play the meditator game. We want to keep on dancing our dance as Adyashanti sais emoticon 

I hope you get sick and tired of it soon and ready to actually watch and note ALL of the experience equally be it an itch or Jhana. 

May you practice well. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 7:34 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
What we can do is be awake in each experience. Say it out aloud and move on. If like me you also have good concentration then focus your open eyes on some dirt spot or Kasina of sorts (round dish against the wall) and keep noticing the Jhana experiences change in the image space while also noting anything else. 

I was trying the noting aloud method yesterday for a bit out on the porch. Softly of course, so that the neighbors didn't have me committed. I am wondering though, what is the benefit of noting sensations out loud? How is this different from simply recognizing things as they come up? I am not discounting it, just wondering as I've not heard much about it. I was wondering if perhaps somehow this jars something loose by hearing your own voice narrating your own experience.
I hope you get sick and tired of it soon and ready to actually watch and note ALL of the experience equally be it an itch or Jhana. 


You and me both, brother. I definitely feel sick and tired enough. But I guess being sick and tired just needs to be noted just as equally as the itch or the jhana. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 8:02 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
the benefit is the obviousness of when you get caught in a trance -- you realize you havent said anything for a while. emoticon

internally/mental noting is fine, but often people think they are noting, but instead they are actually just plain ol' thinking.  emoticon

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 8:03 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
If being with whatever arises gives you a headache, maybe it would be a good idea to ease up on the effort. You don't have to observe it with lazer beam focus. Noticing that it's there might be enough, and it seems like the noticing is in place already. 

Thanks for the advice, Linda. I actually read your responses a few days ago and have been attempting to apply your suggestions in my practice. I've become aware that I don't have to focus 'hard' to notice something. That is definitely part of what is giving me the strong headaches. 

There is also a component of neck pain and shoulderblade pain which I believe are referring to my head causing a bit of pain after sitting for a while. I have a bit of chronic neck pain (around the mastoid process, shoulderblade and SCM muscle) from years of overtensing my neck from stress and anxiety. Let's just say I had a pretty rough first 25 years of my life. 
Can you also notice the space around it?

I haven't paid any particular attention to space around things. I do try to be aware of the pleasantness, unpleasantness and neutralness of everything that enters the center of my attention. Essentially I've been trying to be continuously aware of whatever arises and how it feels without proliferating cascading thoughts or opinions about them. Should I be paying special attention to some particular space?



 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 11:07 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
the benefit is the obviousness of when you get caught in a trance -- you realize you havent said anything for a while. emoticon

internally/mental noting is fine, but often people think they are noting, but instead they are actually just plain ol' thinking.  emoticon

Well, alrighty then! I suppose I could try to make it more of a regular part of my practice. I don't think that I'm getting caught in a trance, but maybe I wouldn't know if I were? 

The thing that has kept me from verbally noting is that I have found it to be distracting because I get too caught up in trying to come up with words to describe my experience which seems like it leads to too much thinking. I am guessing that it's best to keep words as general as possible.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 12:57 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Me too. At times can't find the word, I note "inability to find a word" emoticon and move on. 

On YouTube search for Freestyle Noting Aloud Kenneth Folk. He has 5 videos I think explaining labels for each category of experiences; body sensations, feelings, thoughts, mind states. 

That will be enough words to get you going emoticon 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 2:23 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Actually here is also one of my demonstrations of freestyle noting aloud (matter of fact). It might be more inspiring as you know me on this forum. Might give you a more personal feel and be less abstract. 
https://youtu.be/fcoN5atRTOI

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 7:16 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Me too. At times can't find the word, I note "inability to find a word" emoticon and move on. 

On YouTube search for Freestyle Noting Aloud Kenneth Folk. He has 5 videos I think explaining labels for each category of experiences; body sensations, feelings, thoughts, mind states. 

That will be enough words to get you going emoticon 
Papa Che, why do you think that this technique must be a good fit for everyone ?

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 7:22 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Ricky Lee Nuthman:


Ps, don't read too much into my personal pity party here. Since it is my practice log, I am trying to be as open and honest as possible about what I am feeling. Even though I may come off as a bit of a loose cannon.

Yeah, that's the way to do it. Whether it's in a public or private log, have some place where you can voice out all of the frustrations and annoyances and doubts. Even when we know that half our thoughts might be exaggerations, make sure you're honest about the thoughts that are actually showing  up. It all works out if we're honest and putting in consistent, daily practice.and looking at how our mind effects our life off cushion -- then we really see how all the extra drama, second-guessing, unreasonible demands, etc etc etc make our life too complicated and exhausting --- and only then do we start dropping the unnecessary stuff.

(The problem with putting it in a public log is that you get lots of comments on it! emoticon  You can also journal privately and just ask questions about practice online.)

I wanted to talk about something you mentioned up thread: how you are having trouble maintaining confidence because you don't know if cessation will happen in 40 minutes or 40 years...

Imagine this: the confused, tangled mind is sort of like a hand that is holding onto something. At first, the hand is kind of numb and we might not even realize how tightly wer're holding onto it. But as we practice and grow older/wiser, we realize that indeed we're holding really tightly and it's a lot of work for the hand. We might imagine "oh, I'll just let go", but our hand has been holding on so long that it really can't just let go. But we can create a little bit of space, a little bit of movement through practice, which is encouraging.

Unfortunately, when we start waking up the hand and learning how to move it a little, we start recognizing how much discomfort is there. Whatever we're holding onto is causing pain. It's sharp sometimes like a knife. Other time it's blunt and hurts like a sledgehammer. We might stop there, because we don't want to let free whatever is inside of our hand.

But we might also notice that when we open our hand, the tissues of the hand are starting to get bloodflow and the muscles are starting to unfreeze and the nerves become alive. So whatever is in the hand, it's still scary but opening the hand feels kind of good. Well actually, first it hurts a little even though we know what we're doing is right. Yeah, it still hurts and if anything, there is a temptation to stop, not go forward. But something in us knows that going through life with our hand perminantly clenching around something limits our life -- and we're drawn to fixing the problem, even though we don't know how it's going to happen or how long it takes, or what the thing in our hand is..

Each time we move the hand a little, we realize things about ourself that drove the clenching. We think grabbing onto something will give us protection, make us safe, make us smart, make us loved, make us wise, make us respected --- we see how our mind thinks and how our body behaves due to our very subtle intentions. 

So we keep trying to move the hand, wake it up a little, and more muscle and nerve pain occurs, but we start to see more and more progress. At a certain point, we're almost able to see what is in our hand and we want to rush to open it --- and we go to fast too soon and reinjure our hand and it locks up again. And then we realize, it isn't our decision, we have to work with the hand not against it. We have to practice but also allow ourselves to recover from practice. We can't bite off more than we can chew. We can't carry more than we can lift. Otherwise, we just keep injuring ourself. So we need to learn about pacing and sensitivity and self-care...

Eventually at some point, our hand softens enough that we can open and close it a little, we can actually feel a range of motion and be present with the hand. This is like going through the stages of insight -- awareness is maintained throughout many flavors of mind and there isn't a desire to escape, but rather to be with what is occuring as it occurs.  The things that made us grab tighter don't have the same reaction anymore. We can be with body discomfort, bliss, fear, misery, disgust, a desire for deliverance, and nothing-much-going-on... and we don't quit sitting. We sit right through it all. The hand begins to feel safe and cared for and opens even more... And maybe we get a glimpse of what's inside ---- and we develop an insight that the big thing that we were holding on so tightly too... maybe isn't there. Maybe we've been holding on so tightly to our own hand, cripping our own hand, out of fantasy and fear. Wow!

So this would be like first path. But here's the thing: even though that glimpse gives you new confidence, guess what's involved in the later paths? More relaxing, healing, and opening the hand. And awakening is actually having the hand completely open and seeing that there is nothing at all ine hand. So it is all about learning to relax, heal, and open the hand. That's it. That's everything in this practice.

In this example, it might be tempting to say that getting that first peak into the hand is what makes a big difference ---- but hopefully I've poetically shown that the real benefit happens every time you sit. Your mind gets better and better the more you can "loosen the hand" and this is where the real work and the real benefit occurs. And we would never get a glimpse of the nothing in the hand if we didn't do the easy and consistent work of trying to loosen it a tiny bit every day.

So nothing heroic is needed and there isn't a special method beyond daily practice and daily recovery. Quality practice and then living your life with the new awareness, eating well and sleeping well, and then doing it all again. It's the only way. It's not really hard practice, but it's long practice. Long and easy is the way to go. Be kind with yourself, don't rush, don't slack off. Trust that your own mind is smarter than you and you'll learn over time. It's really amazing, even though we don't know right now, the mind figures all this stuff out, step by step. That's why there are meditation maps -- there is something innate and predictable about how we slowly discover this stuff over time.

hi Ricky---

this probably can't be read too often, right now. Your thread is now my classrom, lol.

thank you, Shargrol Of Course.

love, tim

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 7:53 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Papa Che Dusko:
Me too. At times can't find the word, I note "inability to find a word" emoticon and move on. 

On YouTube search for Freestyle Noting Aloud Kenneth Folk. He has 5 videos I think explaining labels for each category of experiences; body sensations, feelings, thoughts, mind states. 

That will be enough words to get you going emoticon 
Papa Che, why do you think that this technique must be a good fit for everyone ?

I don't think it's good or bad. If you never tried it then you should give it a go and see for yourself. 
If whatever you do works for you then go with it. If I see folks reporting that they are stuck in their quiet concentration , calm abiding, just sitting, letting go, just be, Jhana etc ... then maybe time to let go of that and pull up the sleeves and do some muscle work emoticon 

Are your troubled with me suggesting Noting Aloud? 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 7:57 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Oh and by the way emoticon do you see me replying and suggesting Noting Aloud to each and every member of this forum or just a few really? emoticon 
Then why do you say "for everyone"? 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 8:49 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Yes, I've had this feeling for a while that you are almost pushing this one technique, even if people say it doesn't work/attract them/feels distracting, and that yes, it gets suggested to many people in the exact same format with a kind of asumption that it will work for everyone (everyone meaning all the people you suggest it to, not all the people on this forum).

In my own experience, this kind of attitude has been a real source of suffering : people with good intentions who are convinced they know how I should do something because "this is proven to work", or because it has worked for them, or because this person they respect taught them it was a great thing, all the while disregarding signals that no, it's not working for me, because I don't function in that way. I have in fact practiced formal verbal labeling for many hours.

When someone loudly advocates one particular thing without nuance, it can make people who are very receptive and open to others' suggestions internalize a notion that this is how they should practice and that other ways of practicing are wrong. 

I'm not saying that to hurt you, but in the hope of being helpful to potentially influencable/very sensitive readers. Because I get this feeling regularly when I read your posts praising this particular technique - almost like an incentive that "damn, I should get my thing together and stop fucking around". Why ? I believe it comes more a macho rethoric around the technique, acting as a subtle cue. Kind of like advertisement in a way.

"Noting Aloud" is not suited for everyone, and it is not a superior, more manly or effective technique than any other in my view. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 8:49 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Oh boy emoticon

So let me see if I understand this well;

From now on I shall ask you if I'm allowed to suggest freestyle noting aloud to members or maybe you are suggesting that I keep my mouth shut and leave this community to your good judgement? 

Oh boy emoticon 

Excuse my French emoticon 

p.s. I assume people are grown up enough around these waters to decide what they want once they are at least informed about a certain tool. 
There is nothing wrong in me suggesting people to be awake in theirexperience. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 8:54 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
I've suffered from profound doubts about practice when the noting technique started to break down (because after a while, the conceptual framework doesn't work well anymore...) but I was still under the influence of people who very heavily held this view that meditation practice was about "being awake to what arises in the present moment" and that not doing that was just fucking around.

Is there a moment when experience is not experienced ? No. When one directly sees that, it can really fuck up with the very notion of mindfulness.

I'm not asking you to do anything, just trying to provide a counterbalance to the energy you are projecting here. Not saying it's good or bad either, just expressing my feelings.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 9:16 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Cool stuff my man emoticon why don't you instead of making noting irrelevant (and the little me with it) suggest a tool which you think will be of more benefit? 

I come from Shamatha background and it led me all the way into Dark Night. Which is fine but then I got stuck and Shamatha could not help me plow through the dark night. Freestyle noting aloud did. 

Try and think about people having different karmic points. Some can go all the way via Jhana and awaken to the Deva realm but maybe less so to the Human realm or Hell realm ;) 

Ok. Enough said. You spoke, I spoke, we all heard it. 

Be well. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 10:15 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Come on papa che, don't get vexed emoticon

I'm not trying to make you irrelevant.

I know that you've had much success with freestyle noting aloud, and are very sincere in your enthusiasm.

But there is more nuance to meditation than "either jhana or noting", "either wallowing in self absorbed crap or plowing through", etc. 

Here is an excerpt from a Song of the Mahamudra, by Naropa, which I believe is appropriate in this context. My translation (bad)

"The perfectely pure nature of everything which exists and appears is an ever present rainbow which nobody can touch.
[...]
No mental effort can give access to its full opening.
[...]
Awake presence observing awake presence melts habitual patterns and abstractions.
[...]
The mind's nature is to be empty of subject and object,
Yet all life is tenderly held within it.
[...]
This treasure of awakening belongs to you and all beings.
The obsessive use of meditation methods,
Incessant study of scripture and philosophy,
Will never provide you with this wonderful realization,
This natural truth of awake presence."

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 10:14 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Come on, don't get vexed emoticon
You funny emoticon 
I'm still waiting for you to elaborate on why Noting is not good for those people I suggested it to and I'm waiting to hear your suggestion as to which tool they should try instead. 

Waiting ... emoticon 

You see I care little what folks want to do or prefer to do. But I do care for us all to have an open source Dharma, open about all the technologies that lead to results and sharing about them. 

This discussion right here might add more confusion and doubt to Mr. Nuthman or it might indeed save him from the horrors of Noting emoticon 
All good I guess as it adds more experiences to be mindful of. 

Also. My personality is the way it is. I'm as intense as a burning Comet. Shine very bright then burns out like a candle. Then it shines bright again etc ... 
Some people dislike this quality of mine emoticon sorry about that as I will likely not change that aspect in this life time. I blame the Horoscope ;) 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 10:20 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
I edited my previous post while you answered it, my bad.

I made my suggestions early in this thread, and this is what I would suggest still.

Tools and "meditation technologies" are temporary expedients only. 

You can caricature what i'm saying all you want, but I hope that when the time comes you won't be excessively confused about the noting technique breaking up for you...

Cheers emoticon

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 11:17 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Fact remains; we can only ever be aware of the arising experiences in This-ness, and Nirvana we can't experience. Itching will still be there, pain in the body from aging or sickness or injuries also. Our sub-personalities will still be involved in conversations. Be awake to this-ness of the clouds filling the vastness of the sky will be always Here. Noting is also an experience. "Who is noting" is part of my practice and at times it seems Noting is noting on its own. Terrain changes as the weather does. First shiny then it's a shit storm emoticon 

Noting our experience will Always be with us while alive and kicking about. None of the persons I suggested Noting were post SE. but I do have a funky feeling Noting is as beneficial in 2nd Path as it is in 1st Path. Maybe 3rd and 4th require different approach. Dunno about that. But I only advise to those walking the 1st Path and expressing dissatisfaction with their early practice, usually feeling it's not helping them. 

As with anything else, I'm sure Noting is also subject to Impermanence as is Mindfulness, Concentration etc ... 

That being said; first things first on this progressive path. It's not a good idea to walk in front of a chariot with horses. 

Looking at the essential nature of mind before knowing the clouds filling up that vast sky is of no benefit. And according to the Mahamudra teaching it's impossible to see the essential nature of the mind. Apparently even Buddha can not see it and both Samsara and Nirvana arise from it. So we are not trying to see the essential nature of mind. What can we see instead and do instead? We can know the clouds passing and we can learn to do the gesture of "looking" at that mind that can't be seen. First things first. Let me first now the nature of all those arising and passing clouds and the urge clinging to them. Let me know the process of dependent origination. Let me Note This-ness and all it's myriad shapes and flavors. emoticon 

There is nothing bad with Noting/Noticing the actual experience changing shapes and form. 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 1:54 PM as a reply to Olivier.
I just want to apologize to both Ricky, for cluttering up his thread with my stuff and to Olivier for ridiculing him. I guess we all fall pray to Asura Realm from time to time emoticon Im sorry for that and ask for your forgiveness. Will try and notice that next time if it arises in me.

Be well everyone.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 4:25 PM as a reply to Olivier.
The obsessive use of meditation methods,
Incessant study of scripture and philosophy,
Will never provide you with this wonderful realization,
This natural truth of awake presence."

So are we to meditate or not to meditate? I am profoundly confused about everything right now. Do I let go? Do I hold on? Do I meditate? Or does that not lead anywhere? 

This mind is so chaotic. I certainly don't care about incessant study of scripture and philosophy. It's interesting and all, but I only am concerned with one thing - actual liberation. I am more than willing to put the work in, but it can get really fuzzy getting my head around just precisely what that work is!

Just the idea of being able to be with all of this chaos, pain, fear, anxiety, or whatever arises without being involved (what ever that really means) sounds so wonderful yet I only seem to get glimpses of it in deep meditation. During everyday life it's just mostly the constant gripping and once in a while momentary softening of the hand, as Shargrol so eloquently describes it. It is almost unbearable, but clearly not enough.

I'm just so tired. Utterly exhausted.

-----

Practice Log: 07/02/2020

Evening meditation (12am - 1am)

I sit on the couch where I normally practice. It was nice and quiet this evening except for the odd firecracker outside (Here is Los Angeles there are always fireworks in the middle of the night for some reason)

I start to follow the breath and get somewhat concentrated.  There is a buildup of anxiety and pressure in the middle of my neck around the Adam's apple. The muscles of the neck feel like they are constricting around my throat. There is a strip of 'fear' feeling going from the center of my neck, all the way down into my entire abdomen where the fear spreads out and kind of just sits there. 

As I recognize the fear, it seems to create what I can only describe as a burning sensation in my mind. The fear and anxiety seems continuous. like a flow of liquid streaming through my body. Every thought that arises seems to trigger a burst of 'anxiety fluid' in my gut which rises up my neck and builds up in the throat. Then a pressure builds up in the forehead.

I start noting frustration, fear, desire for extinction, wanting everything to just go away, desire to exist, yet not exist, confusion

Then I started to nod my head slightly and there was this feeling like I had been knocked in the head and boom, the hindrances dropped off. Head loosened up, pain became no bother, fear became no bother. Anxiety became just weird feelings that I didn't care about. The mind became mostly quiet with the though 'Wow.. If only this were my default state'

I sat there for a while just exploring all of the sensations in the body, and the thought just kept arising, "Why does this bother me when I'm not meditating?"

Eventually I got up and headed to bed. My eyes were tired, but my mind was very bright feeling and relaxed. I went to bed, and woke up in the morning and immediately thought to be mindful. Every morning when I wake up, after about 30 seconds, the anxiety begins. This morning was no exception. I continue to notice it, but it doesn't really stop it. It only stops when I get into deep concentration.

It makes it very hard to accept that it's possible that this dropping of the hindrances can be available when not concentrated. Awakening feels like a fantasy to me. Like a life prisoner dreaming of freedom.



RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 5:31 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
The obsessive use of meditation methods,
Incessant study of scripture and philosophy,
Will never provide you with this wonderful realization,
This natural truth of awake presence."

So are we to meditate or not to meditate? I am profoundly confused about everything right now. Do I let go? Do I hold on? Do I meditate? Or does that not lead anywhere? 

This mind is so chaotic. I certainly don't care about incessant study of scripture and philosophy. It's interesting and all, but I only am concerned with one thing - actual liberation. I am more than willing to put the work in, but it can get really fuzzy getting my head around just precisely what that work is!

Just the idea of being able to be with all of this chaos, pain, fear, anxiety, or whatever arises without being involved (what ever that really means) sounds so wonderful yet I only seem to get glimpses of it in deep meditation. During everyday life it's just mostly the constant gripping and once in a while momentary softening of the hand, as Shargrol so eloquently describes it. It is almost unbearable, but clearly not enough.

I'm just so tired. Utterly exhausted.


Dear Ricky,

I'm sorry if that exchange confused you. It was not the intent. Feel free to disregard that quote. I definitely did not mean to say you should stop doing the practice you're doing, quite the opposite - I was just trying to point something out to papa che...

Keep doing what you're doing emoticon !

The reason I posted this was because in fact, it seemed to me that the noting aloud suggestion kind of contradicted the approach shargrol has outlined (and me too, but whatever). I felt to me like this steadiness of attention etc., which noting aloud is aimed at producing, is not what you need to work on, because to me your faculties actually appear quite sharp and somehow balanced, and now, I feel that indeed you are onto subtler work. I was afraid papa che's instructions would cause you more confusion, but alas the way I tackled that seems to have made things more confusing.

Helping people, particularly with meditation practice and over the internet..., is an extremely delicate trade - I feel humbled by how many times I've attempted it and failed miserably.

But honestly, here's my heart advice : if what Shagrol said resonates with you - as it seems to - just go with that full on !!

This man gives very good advice, contrary to some (emoticon) and seems to be able to gauge what people need to hear at what time - a fine and rare skill. 

And to comment on your new log entry : I'm sorry that you are still experiencing so much anguish, but it sounds to me like you are practicing well. Shargrol said it all - it takes time, and the tighter the hand has gotten, I guess the longer it would need to totally relax, right ? What you described in your sit sounds like a classic DN shit storm ridden appropriately into equanimity. Eventually those skills will become second nature, trust that.

With you in spirit and sending supporting vibes your way  !

Cheers

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 7:22 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:

As I recognize the fear, it seems to create what I can only describe as a burning sensation in my mind. The fear and anxiety seems continuous. like a flow of liquid streaming through my body. Every thought that arises seems to trigger a burst of 'anxiety fluid' in my gut which rises up my neck and builds up in the throat. Then a pressure builds up in the forehead.

I start noting frustration, fear, desire for extinction, wanting everything to just go away, desire to exist, yet not exist, confusion

Then I started to nod my head slightly and there was this feeling like I had been knocked in the head and boom, the hindrances dropped off. Head loosened up, pain became no bother, fear became no bother. Anxiety became just weird feelings that I didn't care about. The mind became mostly quiet with the though 'Wow.. If only this were my default state'

I sat there for a while just exploring all of the sensations in the body, and the thought just kept arising, "Why does this bother me when I'm not meditating?"


Perfect, that was awesome!!  Do you realize you perfectly allowed Reobservation to burn itself out and then you popped into Equanimity?

That's what it takes. Simply stay on the cushion and let all the frustration, fear, desire for extinction, wanting everything to just go away, desire to exist, yet not exist, confusion all bubble up and acknowledge it as it is, without reacting and without suppressing.

Letting go is really just letting be. No repression, no freaking out, just letting the mind do it's thing. In time, the mind figures out that none of the frustration, fear, desire for extinction, wanting everything to just go away, desire to exist, yet not exist, confusion --- none of that helps. And soon enough, it gives it up. It drops all of this nonsense.

So now it's just a matter of time. Keep the daily practice going, don't push hard and don't slack off. Just sit and acknowledge what shows up. 

Your mind is still going to do it's freak out thing, it's desire for deliverance thing, it's having your buttons pushed thing... no big deal. Just sit through it all. And soon your scared little lizard mind will realize, I really can just sit through this stuff. And if I can do it on the cushion, I can do it in "real life", too.

But don't rush it, don't expect overnight success. Just keep sitting. 

It's just a matter of time now.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 8:09 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Just had an afternoon sit on the porch for about 45minutes to an hour, not sure.

I tried doing noting out loud. It was annoying at first, so I took note of the annoyance, where I felt it in the body, and where I felt it in the head. I just used whatever word that came to mind, which was funny because it sometimes was a delayed 'reaction' (the word referred to something that happened several seconds before). Eventually I fell into a flow of it. I started noting the word 'searching' over and over again because I noticed that my mind was constantly trying to make connections; jumping from one thing to another. I shifted to seeing, seeing, hearing hearing. 

I continued to quietly note out loud and it did have an interesting effect after a while. It seemed to help analyze the different processes that were happening... Expanding, lifting, pushing, squeezing thinking thinking, dislike, dislike, stories, stories, darting, confusion, lifting, lifting etc etc

Eventually I dropped the noting out loud, but continued to notice internally. I began to notice a bouncing back and forth between object and observer which felt like exercising. Back and forth, back and forth. Between each 'movement' was a pain.... in the mind? I noticed that I couldn't distinguish between emotions and physical sensations. Thoughts seemed distict; they were followed by some kind of emotional/physical reaction. Yet emotions just seemed to manifest as physical sensations. Maybe emotions aren't even mental? no idea. It didn't so. I couldn't feel any connection between emotions and thoughts other than it was a physical feeling that followed a though.

Unsatisfactory! This particular one of the 3 Cs kept popping up. It's different than just 'wanting it to go away', it's a feeling of "None of it is worth it! It's all constantly changing, life, aging, death, it just keeps going and cannot be stopped!" - Not in so many words, but that was the gist. Then, boom! Undeniable Samadhi. The kind you get after a few days on retreat. Wow! How did I do that so fast?

A few minutes later, my wife came out on the porch and startled the shit out of me. I opened my eyes and was WIDE awake. My whole body felt lit up. (This was a few hours ago, and my eyes are still opened widely for some reason). She asked me to come in the house and make some egg tacos... So I happily went into the kitchen and started cooking. I looked at the dishes, and the normal feeling of "Ugh... dishes" came up, but just as words - no mental feeling. cool! I can get some stuff done. I washed the dishes.

thoughts arose with all of the usual negative wording, but my mind skipped out on it this time. I kind of laughed at the mind because it was saying stupid things. I happily cleaned up the whole kitchen, ate, and sat down here.  I haven't had the 'after-glow' of meditation last this long before off of retreat. I can feel that the anxiety really wants to come back through; I can feel it pushing - muffled as if behind a door. As if the mind temporarily doesn't care about what the body has to say. Whatever it is, I'll take it! I've needed a break, even if only for a few hours.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 8:22 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Perfect, that was awesome!!  Do you realize you perfectly allowed Reobservation to burn itself out and then you popped into Equanimity?

Nice! I'll have to remember that this is what is happening. I suspected that this might be what that transition was like. I've experienced it over, and over again.

In time, the mind figures out that none of the frustration, fear, desire for extinction, wanting everything to just go away, desire to exist, yet not exist, confusion --- none of that helps. And soon enough, it gives it up. It drops all of this nonsense.

I'm having a mini version of this today, as I just wrote about in my afternoon meditation log. It's like a temporary small taste of freedom where the mind is unperturbed by whatever the body is dealing out. The difference is night and day. After my meditation this afternoon, I feel that the 'smaller' hindrances that normally plague me are not touching the mind... Don't know how to better explain it. The stuff that makes me bite my nails, or check my body for signs of disease (hyperchondria) drop off for a few hours. The mind seems them as silly. But larger fears would probably bring the anxiety back.

I remember this feeling distinctly after my first Goenka retreat. We had a doctors appt after the retreat, and everything was going wrong. It's a long story, but a series of really bad luck things happened and I thought it was hilarious, where normally I would have gotten really agitated.


So now it's just a matter of time. Keep the daily practice going, don't push hard and don't slack off. Just sit and acknowledge what shows up. 


Sounds like a really good plan.



RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 3:40 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:
Just had an afternoon sit on the porch for about 45minutes to an hour, not sure.

I tried doing noting out loud. It was annoying at first, so I took note of the annoyance, where I felt it in the body, and where I felt it in the head. I just used whatever word that came to mind, which was funny because it sometimes was a delayed 'reaction' (the word referred to something that happened several seconds before). Eventually I fell into a flow of it. I started noting the word 'searching' over and over again because I noticed that my mind was constantly trying to make connections; jumping from one thing to another. I shifted to seeing, seeing, hearing hearing. 

I continued to quietly note out loud and it did have an interesting effect after a while. It seemed to help analyze the different processes that were happening... Expanding, lifting, pushing, squeezing thinking thinking, dislike, dislike, stories, stories, darting, confusion, lifting, lifting etc etc

Eventually I dropped the noting out loud, but continued to notice internally. I began to notice a bouncing back and forth between object and observer which felt like exercising. Back and forth, back and forth. Between each 'movement' was a pain.... in the mind? I noticed that I couldn't distinguish between emotions and physical sensations. Thoughts seemed distict; they were followed by some kind of emotional/physical reaction. Yet emotions just seemed to manifest as physical sensations. Maybe emotions aren't even mental? no idea. It didn't so. I couldn't feel any connection between emotions and thoughts other than it was a physical feeling that followed a though.

Unsatisfactory! This particular one of the 3 Cs kept popping up. It's different than just 'wanting it to go away', it's a feeling of "None of it is worth it! It's all constantly changing, life, aging, death, it just keeps going and cannot be stopped!" - Not in so many words, but that was the gist. Then, boom! Undeniable Samadhi. The kind you get after a few days on retreat. Wow! How did I do that so fast?

A few minutes later, my wife came out on the porch and startled the shit out of me. I opened my eyes and was WIDE awake. My whole body felt lit up. (This was a few hours ago, and my eyes are still opened widely for some reason). She asked me to come in the house and make some egg tacos... So I happily went into the kitchen and started cooking. I looked at the dishes, and the normal feeling of "Ugh... dishes" came up, but just as words - no mental feeling. cool! I can get some stuff done. I washed the dishes.

thoughts arose with all of the usual negative wording, but my mind skipped out on it this time. I kind of laughed at the mind because it was saying stupid things. I happily cleaned up the whole kitchen, ate, and sat down here.  I haven't had the 'after-glow' of meditation last this long before off of retreat. I can feel that the anxiety really wants to come back through; I can feel it pushing - muffled as if behind a door. As if the mind temporarily doesn't care about what the body has to say. Whatever it is, I'll take it! I've needed a break, even if only for a few hours.

Nice one Ricky! Keep at it and when you hit the EQ just keep gentle noting of the overall feeling tone, this or that, slow, gentle and laid back. But keep noting nonetheless. When you hit the Boring state in EQ keep noting it too. All this within the all inclusiveness and spaceousness of EQ stage. 
Even this EQ stage is unsatisfactory and changing and not self. Not clinging in the early faze of it and not reacting with aversion to the boring, status quo like feeling/perception of it in late stage. 



Effort, lack their off , dynamics, speed of noting, etc changes from stage to stage. 
As you noticed, your voice can go from louder to subvocalised and silent noting to just noticing. 
All these changes have their place in this mind terrain with ever changing weather. 

Each time you note something actual, you loop that experience, meaning there is no chance to be embedded in it. Mind is very good at freezing arisings into concepts and the worst ones are the concept about this practice (ponderings and wise ideas). 

By including this Noting to your otherwise strong concentration, you are now in the best place possible, Samatha-Vipassana. At times one or the other is stronger. Then both work hand in hand. All good as even this is ever changing. 

Btw, if you label something a few seconds after the actual experience you can slab a label "remembering" to it and even "imagining" if it's in form of an image-rememberence. 

May this practice be of benefit to you, your family and all beings! 

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 6:15 AM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Equanimity is a big taste of the sanity that comes with this practice -- it's like 85% of what awakening is like. As you can see, it doesn't mean "Meh", but actually an appreciation for the richness and freedom that available pretty much all the time, but which we can overlook when we're so ensnared by our drama.

Equanimity has it's own challenges, though. Typically people slack off practice because their normal life gets better and more interesting. People can also develop a whole new set of angst, the whole "why is it taking so long for this sit to turn into Equanimity?" drama. emoticon  Equanimity is like taming a wild deer, you need to spend a lot of time just sitting and being calm and nice... then the deer feels safe and comes up and boops your nose. If you get aggressive or rushed, the deer is like "I'm out of here, that guy is too wound up." emoticon

What can often happen is that now that the mind feels a new kind of safety, it wants to go back and re-experience the earlier nanas but with more awareness --- so sometimes a taste of Equanimity is followed by a recurrance of the dark night nanas --- which is Great!!!! Now you get to look at those experiences in a whole new way. "Wow, look at my mind needlessly freaking out. Sure life can sometimes be sad, or angry, or injust, or frustrating, or confusing --- but that doesn't mean I need to tie my mind into a knot. I can just let my feelings and thoughts come and go, while recognizing them and appreciating them as temporary feelings and thoughts. And havivng the dark night nanas show up again gives me a safe place to practice being Mr. Chill !"

Some people even experiment with bringing up difficult mindstates while in Equanimity - "okay, let's look at the old fear, that old emotion that I'm always so worried about."  A lot of what freaks us out is just the human condition, something that we all have to live with. When we take a close look at old worries, we realize how much in common we share with everyone else in this world.

Hope this helps!!

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 5:43 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Mind is very good at freezing arisings into concepts and the worst ones are the concept about this practice (ponderings and wise ideas). 

Funny! I was noticing this a lot yesterday during practice. I could feel the mind turning every single sensation into a thing. Every other moment, I would notice that a series of sensations were immediately translated into a flash projection of 'myself' into the mind's eye. It becomes a bit funny and then annoying that the mind just can't seem to stop interpreting every single passing event as some part of 'me'. I can feel it deep down that this process is causing costant stress.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 6:02 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Equanimity has it's own challenges, though. Typically people slack off practice because their normal life gets better and more interesting.

I will certainly have to keep this in mind. For now, at least I'm not having this issue because I don't seem to remain in EQ for very long once I am not meditating. Yesterday, I set an off retreat record for myself of about 3 hours of euquanimity. I notice that whenever I'm in this state, I feel something of an urgency to explore it because I know how fleeting it is. It's as if I can jump really high and see above the clouds, but have to quickly look around and take it all in because I quickly fall back through. 

People can also develop a whole new set of angst, the whole "why is it taking so long for this sit to turn into Equanimity?" drama. emoticon  Equanimity is like taming a wild deer, you need to spend a lot of time just sitting and being calm and nice... then the deer feels safe and comes up and boops your nose. If you get aggressive or rushed, the deer is like "I'm out of here, that guy is too wound up." emoticon

Haha, yeah - totally. I struggle with this. It's a weird struggle of wanting something without getting wrapped up in the wanting. I am getting better at it, though! ( I hope )
so sometimes a taste of Equanimity is followed by a recurrance of the dark night nanas --- which is Great!!!! Now you get to look at those experiences in a whole new way. "Wow, look at my mind needlessly freaking out. 

....

Some people even experiment with bringing up difficult mindstates while in Equanimity - "okay, let's look at the old fear, that old emotion that I'm always so worried about."


I experienced this on my last 10 day Goenka retreat. I used to have massive panic attacks because of my DP/DR. During the retreat, I got into Equanimity (didn't know what it was at the time) and started to purposely trigger the panic attacks. I did it over, and over again and was fully entertained by the whole panic attack process. Even now when not in EQ, the effect of this experiment has severely weakened the effect of the panic attacks. I almost never have them now, and when I do, I am much better equipped to deal with them. 

This trick hasn't worked as well with normal anxiety yet, though. I think it's because when in equanimity, anxiety is no big deal, but when not in EQ, it's a very big deal. I have been learning to look at it more closely, though.


I tell you, I am really looking forward to the day when I can look back at it all and see just how silly all of the fear, anxiety and struggling was. There is no amount of wealth in the world that could compare. I'd rather be awake and homeless in a ditch, than the wealthiest man on Earth and still locked up in this drama.

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 6:58 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Ricky Lee Nuthman:

I'd rather be awake and homeless in a ditch, than the wealthiest man on Earth and still locked up in this drama.




amen

RE: R Nuthman's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 9:09 PM as a reply to Ricky Lee Nuthman.
Did a short 30 minute session on the porch this afternoon while waiting for dinner to cook. (Fish pie!)

As per usual, I woke up with anxiety in the pit of my belly, up my throat and ending in my neck (or starting there, depending on how you look at it)

I sat down on the porch and began to mumble what I was feeling.. anxiety. stress. heat. pressure. pressure. thoughts.. boom! Eqaunimity.  (wow! that was fast!)

I've noticed that there's this sort of weak (entry level?) EQ that feels dreamy but hyper aware at the same time. Like I'm drifting in and out. Like I'm in a really really vivid dream where my body is warm, as if being cuddled by love itself. The whole body feels a kind of warmth that's difficult to explain. 

It seems like there is a type of EQ where it partially phases in and out. Like I'll feel a bit of anxiety in the body and it 'touches' the mind, then a few seconds later it does it again, but with no suffering. Also, I get a sense that if I were to hear some scary or bad news, that I'd get a good jolt of fear that would cause me to spiral right out of EQ. However, there are deeper levels that I've experienced where I seem to believe that nothing could harm me.