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Ed's Practice Log
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6/29/20 2:41 AM
Eds Practice Log

Hi - I am currently reading MTCTB2 and wanted to start a log to document my experince of practicing the suggestions in the book.

I read the original in 2008 and it had a big impact on me.  What is amazing, is that now I read it again, I seemed to ignore or miss some of the main points of the book. 

What jumps out at me second time round is how fundamental noticing the 3 charcteristics are.  First time round I just really thought noting - maybe 1/sec would do the job.  I hadnt really understood how the 3c's inform the investigation into sensations.

This insight alone has given me some fresh inspiration to start investigating again with a specific focus on the 3cs.  I thought it would be good to start a log to chart the progress and somewhere to ask suggestions if I get stuck.

This morning:40 mins - Rising and Falling of Abdomen

My predominant sense of the breath is still as one continuous experince, that is changing.  I am trying to discern it moment by moment....but take a certian type of focus.....so just playing with that.   Mild itching sensations in the face.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
6/29/20 11:21 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Ed76:
Eds Practice Log

Hi - I am currently reading MTCTB2 and wanted to start a log to document my experince of practicing the suggestions in the book.

I read the original in 2008 and it had a big impact on me.  What is amazing, is that now I read it again, I seemed to ignore or miss some of the main points of the book. 

What jumps out at me second time round is how fundamental noticing the 3 charcteristics are.  First time round I just really thought noting - maybe 1/sec would do the job.  I hadnt really understood how the 3c's inform the investigation into sensations.

This insight alone has given me some fresh inspiration to start investigating again with a specific focus on the 3cs.  I thought it would be good to start a log to chart the progress and somewhere to ask suggestions if I get stuck.

This morning:40 mins - Rising and Falling of Abdomen

My predominant sense of the breath is still as one continuous experince, that is changing.  I am trying to discern it moment by moment....but take a certian type of focus.....so just playing with that.   Mild itching sensations in the face.
Thanks for starting your practice log. Nice job!

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
6/29/20 4:13 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Thanks Sam.

30min sit at Lunch: Watching for Dukkha - desire, aversion, etc

felt very settled afterward..baseline mindfulness feels strong at the moment

40min sit this evening:Freestyle noting (paying attention to change) - Wathching Kenneth Folks App videos for a refresher.....

Some pleasure in the tops of the legs and stomach, mind itching in the forehead.  So far the itching has been the only sensory clue that is completely unique to insight practice.  Some tension also associated with effort...just noted 

I can more easily see the relation between the noting and impermanence - both seem to cut the tendency to build on to experience.  It's as if the mind is having to drop something to create a space for the new sensory information to present itself.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
6/30/20 2:04 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Morning Sit - 40 mins noting

Working at keeping the noticing fresh and vivid.

Not much to report......seeing, hearing, feeling, doubt, restlessness, memory, anger, tension, relaxation, itching, fear.

Some fear bubbling up after recent reports of new flu discovered in china.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
6/30/20 11:33 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Ed76:
Morning Sit - 40 mins noting

Working at keeping the noticing fresh and vivid.

Not much to report......seeing, hearing, feeling, doubt, restlessness, memory, anger, tension, relaxation, itching, fear.

Some fear bubbling up after recent reports of new flu discovered in china.

When you say "noticing" are you using a noting system? Most of us are noting freaks and use either Mahasi Saydaw or Kenneth Folk. Daniel in MCTB2 says high speed noting is the key into getting into the stages of insight.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
6/30/20 1:13 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi Sam,

Yes I was noting - but I was distinguishing the noticing from the labeling.  I have used noting before..but found it often came with a tightness.  In more recent years I was working with culadasas map and just working with developing peripheral awareness. 

I am still curiuous about the stages of insight and the potentional for more locked in change - So here I am.

I am trying to note during spare moments in the day, running, driving, walking to the shops etc and seeing if I can build some momentum.  I am open to the possibility of insight (reading MCTB2 is helping!)...but at the same time resigned to the long game........so looking for the pleasure in being present and observing sensations....

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 1:32 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Morning Sit:1hr noting

Occasional mind wandering....(noting starts to happen by itself and mind goes off) - Appying some TMI ideas to practice.  I often read out loud to my other half before bed.  I have noticed its a skill that has developed and I can now do it automatically without much effort.   Part of it I think invloveds the peripheral awareness seeing the upcoming word.   Like with the noting...as soon a one is seen the mind is learning to be open to the next one and the next and the next.

Some very mild perceptual shifts...visual field becoming brighter....and a sense of space opening up......very mild feelings of static electricity.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/1/20 4:16 PM as a reply to Ed76.
Evennig sit: 30mins Metta - 5 stages

Felt like a refreshing drink....

I dont know what it is about the insight work - but it can make me feel a bit sad.  Either that or the heightened mindfulness reveals some underlying dukkha.   I have been down this road before and know that for myself - If I am to stay the course I need a fairly balanced programme, including some metta and general self care.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 3:53 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Morning Sit: 30mins freestyle noting 1/sec - 10mins watching rise and fall of Abdomen (looking for discrete sensations)

I remember reading in TMI that he said much of the theory could be applied to noting practice - so I was also keeping an eye on peripheral awareness and trying to make the sensations vivid.

Also looking for tightness and subtle craving as has often crept up in noting practice....trying to keep it gentle, with a light touch and sense of patience...

mild buzzing in the body afterwards..

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/2/20 4:36 PM as a reply to Ed76.
Good mindfulness during the day - Noting when I can - keeping present and watching the body.

Interesting to see how much pain their is in my body, driving me away from my experince and into distraction and social media/screens.  Was especailly apparant today as needed to get some work done...and there was so much tightness.  Its a wonder I can get anything even mildly unpleasant done.

Evening sit - 30mins Noting

practice seems to be unfolding...noting coming a bit easier....more weight to the noticing than the labeling.  Peripheral awareness good helping to balance and keep present.

Some piti arising - in lower abdomen...flowing up.  Didnt really catch fire but it was there and seemed related to the mind starting to let go a bit and disolve into the experince vs being outisde the experince looking in....

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 1:13 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Morning Sit - 1 hr noting

Practice felt a bit dry this morning - with periods of dullness and mindwandering.  Also tension in the body and unpleasant feeling - nausea and sadness...maybe a subtle craving or leaning into the practice.

started reading about the buddhas disciples last night....a nice way to increase confidence.

I love all aspect of the buddhas path....maybe as I wasnt getting anywhere on the POI it has been a great support.  Even if much of it has been based around the ethical training of becoming a happier, healthier person, it has been a refuge.  Somewhere to direct my energies and also enjoy connection with a sangha.

That being said - I would like to get a deeper, experiential understanding of the buddhas teachings and I am still optimistic that might be possible....

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 12:23 PM as a reply to Ed76.
Ed76:
Morning Sit - 1 hr noting

Practice felt a bit dry this morning - with periods of dullness and mindwandering.  Also tension in the body and unpleasant feeling - nausea and sadness...maybe a subtle craving or leaning into the practice.

started reading about the buddhas disciples last night....a nice way to increase confidence.

I love all aspect of the buddhas path....maybe as I wasnt getting anywhere on the POI it has been a great support.  Even if much of it has been based around the ethical training of becoming a happier, healthier person, it has been a refuge.  Somewhere to direct my energies and also enjoy connection with a sangha.

That being said - I would like to get a deeper, experiential understanding of the buddhas teachings and I am still optimistic that might be possible....

To get a deeper, experential understanding of the buddha's teachings I would suggest getting the book Seeing that Frees by Rob Burbea. It was recomended to me when I started here and it has meditations for probing deep into many of the Buddha's core teachings. There is a DhO thread here:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5631960



RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/3/20 12:39 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi Sam,

Thanks - I have a copy and made it about halfway through twice.  Its a great book and great theory - I have gone round the houses on this sort of stuff for about 20years now....non duality, direct pointing, 6rs, Shinzen, Daniel, Burbea, Analayo.....i probably use reading to escape looking into dukkha!

The noting feels right at the moment (whatever Analyo says) - its a great support to heightened mindfulness and im enjoying it in its own right..which is new..used to be more a means to an end.

cheers for the suggestion though!

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/4/20 2:53 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Morning meditataion - 40mins - 20mins noting - 20mins watching the rising and falling of the abdomen 

I switched gear in meditaion as my noting sometimes feels like it misses the 3cs.........its too slow to notice rapidly changing sensations.  It also still seems to leave the bias to notice arisings vs passing untouched.  Each note refers to an arising afterall.  In switiching to simply sensations of a single object I can direct my awareness more carefully to the fact that sensations pass away.....it seems obvious in theory but really hard to spot.....

My mind felt very stable and concentrated.......but there was still the experince of subtle distractions coming and going...

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/6/20 1:46 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Yesterday sits: 1hr  noting - 20mins breathing - 20mins metta - 20mins noting.

This morning 1hr noting:
Mind feeling a bit spacey - noting was happening but undercurrent of doubt or desire for results. Manifesting a tearful sensations near the eyes and unpleasant senastions in stomach.  Took a workman like approach and noted through it....but felt like step back.

Reading about the 5 powers - and thinking how they apply to my practice.  Lack of faith = keep looking for the right models/maps and techniques.  Lack of wisdom - no knowing the difference between direct experience and thinking.  Concentration = associating feelgood post sit with practice...not really investigating 3cs.  Energy = Striving/obsesions desire for results.....Mindfulness = not keeping the big picture in mind - 3 trainings, metta, generosity and service..... 

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/9/20 2:34 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Practice is going well.  Lots of Off cushion noting.

reading MTCTB2 - which is helping...

One of my biggest working grounds is wisdom to discern what will help (7factors of Enlightenment) vs what is distraction - More reading, more maps, more teachings (without reflection and practice)

Sitting for at 2hrs a day:

this morniing - 40 mins - watching rising and falling and trying to notice momentariness.  Im finding it hard...the breath still appears as continuous.  It is changing though so I know in theory that change must be moment by moment - but cant discern it.  I wonder if I should give more attention simply trying to see passing away?

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/11/20 3:47 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Morning sit 1hr: free style noting.

Working with distraction...first reading MCTB2 then Mahasi, then shinzen, then listening to rob burbea on Jhanas......All too much!
Decided to commit to the practice of freestyle quick noting at 6 sense doors (as a primary practice) for the next 3 months and then review things and see how im getting on.  Carry on reading Daniel. Before picking up any more books

Sensations seem to be arising more quickly..I feel like im noticing more especailly something to do with selfing in quick subliminal images of my location or context.  Also looking at how sounds and feeling trigger images as well......

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/11/20 4:26 AM as a reply to Ed76.
I agree emoticon reading too many sources can add to confusion and Doubt. I think you are good with Ingram, Shinzen (video 1 & 2 on noting) and Kenneth Folk (video on freestyle noting aloud) as they hang in the same category dynamically speaking (if we are talking Noting). 

These 3 sources are rich in attitudes and techniques to form your own unik practice. 

If you desire some absorption during freestyle noting then try out to stare/gaze gently at a Kasina object and note changes taking place in the image space. 

It's your mind terrain and as such is unik. Don't fear to create your own practice by borrowing from all these fine teachers. 

It's good to get the mind being interested and curious. Variation of noting volume, eyes closed , eyes open, standing meditation, staring at Kasina while noting aloud, changing noting pace, contacting that Wonderous looking/listening/sensing as if you are experiencing all for the very first time etc ... 

All these are tools to be used according to mind terrain at hand. 

May you practice well! emoticon 

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/11/20 8:25 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Thanks Papa Che,

I would like to try the Kasina meditation.  If I just print out a disc white on black is that a good place to start?

So would noting be like - see out...see flow...glowing, glowing, brightness etc?

I find thoughts and reading just pleasuable and addictive.....I guess its just a form of craving. or esacping the subtle dukkha of here and now.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/11/20 10:04 AM as a reply to Ed76.
emoticon I use anything as my Kasina object. If there is a dirt spot on the wall or floor I will stare at that and see what's happening in the image space. But you can do your own Kasina version. Remember it's your own practice so make it engaging and interesting. 

I note; seeing, seeing-comprehending, pixelated vibrations, jerky image space, eye lid blinking, murky image space, light image space, tunnel like image space, periphery diffused and center sharp, cloud-like dark grey circle, eye sight blip, flickering lights, etc ... and while labeling all this there will be inbeween "itching (on the body), touching (of the abdomen skin against the teashirt), hearing (birds or ear frequency), coolness (of the air coming into the nostrils), dryness (of lips), anticipation (of some previous stuff or else) etc ... emoticon I mean it just goes on and on emoticon 

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/15/20 3:53 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Several quick noting sessions today.

I got a bit sidetracked over the last few days- picked up Rob Burbeas Book and was listening to a few of his talks.  Then I did my accounts and remembered how much I paid for MCTB2 and thought - I really should read it through...

Got re-inspired.........sensate reality, 3cs, Direct Experince....

45mins quicker noting this eve (shootin aliens) - felt buzy.  Can see the mind attempting to solidify each experince and the note sort of cutting the process....until I can see its impermanance as it arises.  Like Ajahn Chah - I know the pot is already broken.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/16/20 11:27 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Ed76:
Several quick noting sessions today.

I got a bit sidetracked over the last few days- picked up Rob Burbeas Book and was listening to a few of his talks.  Then I did my accounts and remembered how much I paid for MCTB2 and thought - I really should read it through...

Got re-inspired.........sensate reality, 3cs, Direct Experince....

45mins quicker noting this eve (shootin aliens) - felt buzy.  Can see the mind attempting to solidify each experince and the note sort of cutting the process....until I can see its impermanance as it arises.  Like Ajahn Chah - I know the pot is already broken.

I'm doing a re-read of MCTB2 to re-inspire me to as well as a re-read of Seeing That Frees. Heard Rob Burbea on a podcast Deconstructing Yourself which I highly recomend spending the hour to listen to. 

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/16/20 11:36 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Thanks Sam,

Ill check it out.  I did a bit of looking around and concluded that for where I am....pre A&P that noting and Daniels approach might be more helpful for me ATM.  - But im sure it all helps eventually.

I also listened to a couple of good talks he did on stream entry I will try and post....

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/16/20 11:39 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Ed76:
Thanks Sam,

Ill check it out.  I did a bit of looking around and concluded that for where I am....pre A&P that noting and Daniels approach might be more helpful for me ATM.  - But im sure it all helps eventually.

I also listened to a couple of good talks he did on stream entry I will try and post....


Oh I agree. For where we both area high speed noting and Daniel's MCTB2 approach are more helpful.

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/17/20 2:36 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Last night sat for 40mins at the end of the day.

Had been reading shootin aliens and made a strong intention to make notes as clear and rapid as possible as well as also tuning into them a arising and passing..in my experince this is more like noting gone than a perceptual awareness of flickering/or momentariness. 

Towards the end of the sit - I started to get loads of quite intense itches/prickles around the nose and face.  Also my visual field became bright and my experince seemed to have a transparant quality.  It came and went and I kept up steady noting.   Feeling that it was all getting a bit tight I switched to shinznes 'do nothing' for the last 10mins.

More pickles and then I suddenly got the idea to learn and master computer programming. There maybe some other conditions for this - I have been watching videos about the Spectrum 48K and having nostalgia for those early days of computing.  SO I started to look into it....

The before I went to bed I went into my kitchen and felt slightly disorientated and nauseous - maybe a touch of anxiety...which fizzled around until bed.  It crossed my mind that maybe this lines up with the maps....but not sure.

This morning sat for 40mins........felt hard work - never really seemed to get into a groove with it, felt a bit spacey and frustrated....just tried to focus on one note at a time......maybe subtle craving creeping in?  

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/17/20 3:29 AM as a reply to Ed76.
Shinzen is talking about using different noting voices depending on the mind terrain arising. If there is frustration, raise the voice so you can hear it well and if you are noting too much striving then slow down the notes but do tell them out loud enough that you hear them. I use Kenneth Folks "There is (then gently look for anything) ... coolness (in the nostrils as I breath in)" again "There iiiiiiiss (looking gently and without hurry) ... itching on top of my head to the right side its a bubbling itch, feels neutral) .. this way you introduce calmness and laid back attitude that will alm down the overly striving attitude.

When there is sleepiness and dozing off, then loud voice and faster noting.

Also using equinimous voice can calm down stuff if all is over the head etc ...

Do some tests with your voice (noting aloud) and see how they do in different situations. Shonzen has a video on Noting where he talks about this. I certainly use this as mind terrain will change and driving up hills in high gear is of no benefit. Down shift to 1st gear and get on slowly but steady until sensory clarity arises and then shift accordingly to higher speed. Etc ...

Its an experiment, learning about hindrances and how to let them pass away with applying different approaches. Remember to give a quick scan to the entire body and see if you are tensing someplace and note it and Relax the body.

Its not about eing able to "shoot aliens" all the time. This aint possible as the mind terrain changes (Anicca). Instead look for hindrances arising and apply that which allows them to pass away instead of causing issues. All these hindrances tend to pass if we dont make a huge thing out og them. Slow calm vice, fast loud voice, fast subvocalised voice, etc ... always being aware of the entire body and relax parts that tend to go back to tension (could be your hands or fingers, lower jaw, shallow breathing etc)

RE: Ed's Practice Log
Answer
7/17/20 3:42 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Thanks! - thats really useful.

Its interesting that the noting is meant to be an objective watching and yet things like tone, pitch, speed, all have effects - like the sceintist who is effecting his experiment.

I will play more and try to be more sensitve to the terrain and work accordingly.

Last night the notes and noticing were quick and easy - this morning more up hill.

Great suggestions Papa Che!