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SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/27/20 9:52 PM
Hello,

Following advise from Niels, I'm starting a log.
Based on my experiences, I think I'm around the three characteristics (Feeling edgy after meditating, more intense pain than usual in neck, trapeze, rhomboid).

27th July, 7pm, Shanghai, 40min:

Started with 10min focusing on the breath in my abdomen. Maybe 3 cycles of counting 10 outbreath. I might have switched to the breath at the nose after a while.
Then noting for the next 30min, sensations were coming really fast so I tried to note most but couldn't label all of it.

Body:Pain, tightness and tension on my back neck, trapeze, romboid. Pulsation and energy fel in my hands and foot. Sweating even with the A/C on (It's 35 in Shanghai). Intense heat at the bottom of  feet, like a burn. Tingling in the face, side and top of the head. Pressure around forehead and eyes. Some itchiness. Muscle spasm coming and going in tights and butt. Tightness in front neck. Sharp pain in the back of my skull for a few sec. 
Thougts: Some, mostly image popping which I noted. Some thought about the practice.
Sound: Sounds of the car in the street, my cat playing around.
Visual field: Nothing particular.
Weird: For most of the sit I felt  like sensations were happening a few cm in front of me.

General feeling: Curious, mostly calm, overwhelmed when the sensation were too many to be noted, puzzled when noticed that sensation were happening slightly outside of me.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/27/20 10:04 PM as a reply to SushiK.
28th July, 6:40am, Shanghai, 60min:

Started with 10min focusing on the breath in my abdomen.
3 cycles of counting 10 outbreath.
I switched to the breath at the nose and did 3 cycles counting 10 outbreath
Then noting for the next 50min, sensations were coming much slower. I was a bit tired and drowsy. Mind wandering quite a bit. I wanted to stop the meditation around 35min in but kept going.

Body: Pulsation and energy fel in my hands and feet. Some tightness and pain in the upper back. Tingling in the face and side of the head. Tingling in the arm. Spasm in the butt and right thigh.
Thougts: Quite a lot. Lost in thought sometimes. Mostly about the log I was going to write. The dream I had last night. Work thoughts. Wanting to stop the meditation. Wanting to keep going.
Sound: Sounds of the car in the street.
Visual field: Variation in luminosity (White light).
Weird: My timer ring every 10min, some rounds felt really long while one felt very short. At some point felt like my left nostril was bigger than the right, flow of air was stronger. My body slightly collapsed on the right side without intention to.

General feeling: Tired, drowsy but manage to sit it through. A bit of mind wandering but not that bad considering the tiredness. Happy that I kept going and finished the 60min.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/29/20 1:04 AM as a reply to SushiK.
28th July, 6:50pm, Shanghai, 20min:

Tried to practice concentration by focusing only on the breath.
Breath in the abdomen at first then switched to the breath at the tip of the nose.

Felt like ring of relaxation going from my shoulders and concentrating in a sphere in my abdomen.
Quite enjoyable.

I felt some pressure in my upper chest which is unusual for me, I tried to not look at it much and focus only on the breath.
No struggle coming from the thoughts but after a while I was bothered by my throat (Coughing, swallowing saliva).

Ending the session with a though coming about all the "mini programs" running "me" and what a release it would be if those could be off sometimes. 



RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/29/20 1:02 AM as a reply to SushiK.
29th July, 6:50am, Shanghai, I was planning 50min but my gf interrupted at 35:

Started with 10min focusing on the breath in my abdomen. 
3 cycles of counting 10 outbreath. 
I switched to the breath at the nose and did 3 cycles counting 10 outbreath
Already I wasn't feeling the usual relaxation, pleasurable sensations I usually feel.

Then noting for the next 25min.
I wasn't as tired/drowsy as yesterday (Had a coffee and a shower before) but my mind felt really dull.
Mindfulness was low and I was slow to notice sensations.
I feel more efficient in my evening practice.

Body: Usual energy/pulsation/heat in my hands and feet. Tingling face/side head. Tension in my neck/upper back.
Thougts: Logging thoughts, work thoughts, random image coming in, memories.
Feeling: Feeling glad whenever I managed to concentrate a bit and note correctly for a while. Being upset that all sitting couldn't be more consistent in term of mindfulness and concentration. Anger when my gf interrupted the session. All those were noticed and passed quickly
Sound: Cars, cat's water fountain (Felt very loud and present this time), cicada.
Visual field: Nothing noticable.
Weird: Nothing noticable.

General feeling: Dull mind, low mindfulness. It felt like a wasted sit but this need to be accepted as it is :-)

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/29/20 9:11 PM as a reply to SushiK.
30th July, 6:50am, Shanghai, 40min:

Started with 15min focusing on the breath in my abdomen. 
4 cycles of counting 10 outbreath. 
I switched to the breath at the nose and did 3 cycles counting 10 outbreath
Some feeling of relaxation and pleasure.

Then noting for the next 25min.
Mindfulness was middle/low, I tried to bring more resolution around 30min but then became low/very low around 35min in.
Sensations were slow to appear

Body: Usual energy/pulsation/heat in hands and feet. Vibration in hands and forearms. Tension in thighs. Tension in neck/upper back. Pain in lower back. some spasms. Moisture in ears. A bit of tingling in lower face. Some tightness in the throat. Feeling of heat building up with the session

Thougts: Logging thoughts, thoughts about the logging thought, doubt about my technique (
(some confusion about anchoring at the breath and noting whatever happens)

Feeling: Anxiety about not having a "good" meditation, happiness whenever I felt I was doing it "right" and having a "good" meditation, anxiety about my logging.

Sound: Cars, neighbors, cat's water fountain, cicada.

Visual field: Variation in light, some black dots with a white halo.

Weird: Nothing noticable.

General feeling: Neutral, felt a bit automatic to sit, I didn't feel the noting was efficient (Therefore the anxiety about my technique) and I actually enjoyed more the Samatha part this time when usually it's the opposite.



RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/30/20 4:33 AM as a reply to SushiK.
SushiK:
30th July, 6:50am, Shanghai, 40min:

Started with 15min focusing on the breath in my abdomen. 
4 cycles of counting 10 outbreath. 
I switched to the breath at the nose and did 3 cycles counting 10 outbreath
Some feeling of relaxation and pleasure.

Then noting for the next 25min.
Mindfulness was middle/low, I tried to bring more resolution around 30min but then became low/very low around 35min in.
Sensations were slow to appear

Body: Usual energy/pulsation/heat in hands and feet. Vibration in hands and forearms. Tension in thighs. Tension in neck/upper back. Pain in lower back. some spasms. Moisture in ears. A bit of tingling in lower face. Some tightness in the throat. Feeling of heat building up with the session

Thougts: Logging thoughts, thoughts about the logging thought, doubt about my technique (
(some confusion about anchoring at the breath and noting whatever happens)

Feeling: Anxiety about not having a "good" meditation, happiness whenever I felt I was doing it "right" and having a "good" meditation, anxiety about my logging.

Sound: Cars, neighbors, cat's water fountain, cicada.

Visual field: Variation in light, some black dots with a white halo.

Weird: Nothing noticable.

General feeling: Neutral, felt a bit automatic to sit, I didn't feel the noting was efficient (Therefore the anxiety about my technique) and I actually enjoyed more the Samatha part this time when usually it's the opposite.


Wow, you are a systematic and rigorous log keeper!

SushiK

General feeling: Neutral, felt a bit automatic to sit, I didn't feel the noting was efficient (Therefore the anxiety about my technique) and I actually enjoyed more the Samatha part this time when usually it's the opposite.

lol, i don't think the point of noting is to be efficient, which implies a standard of Something To Be Accomplished In A Certain Way. You are becoming more aware of your own mind's working, at a pace wholly dictated by your mind's development in self knowledge and skill. This is subject to nearly infinite factors of mood, biochemistry, alignment of planets, social context, etc. "Efficient" has no room in such a complex web, i think; it is best to take every day at its own real pace.

Enjoying Samatha, lol, careful, very slippery slope to bliss there.

love, tim

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
7/30/20 10:19 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Wow, you are a systematic and rigorous log keeper!

Thanks. Trying my best to be rigorous. Not my strongest skills but I'm taking inspiration from other logs for the template.
lol, i don't think the point of noting is to be efficient, which implies a standard of Something To Be Accomplished In A Certain Way. You are becoming more aware of your own mind's working, at a pace wholly dictated by your mind's development in self knowledge and skill. This is subject to nearly infinite factors of mood, biochemistry, alignment of planets, social context, etc. "Efficient" has no room in such a complex web, i think; it is best to take every day at its own real pace.

I'm mentally aware that there is no successful or failed sit, but the feeling at the end of the session was of not making a lot of progress. I'm still in a stage where I hope something will happen during each sit...and still get slightly frustrated when it doesn't.

I don't have much control over those feelings, they come, stay a bit and go.
Just to be noted like all the rest.
Enjoying Samatha, lol, careful, very slippery slope to bliss there.
Ahaha, or so I heard. No warning signals but the smell of fresh-baked cookies.

Thanks for the feedback

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/2/20 9:19 PM as a reply to SushiK.
3rd August, 6:40am, Shanghai, 50min:

Started with 10min focusing on breath in the abdomen then 10min focusing on breath at the tip of the nose.
I don't think I missed any breath when focusing on the abdomen, while some thoughts were interruption for the nose phase.

Then 30min of noting.
Mindfulness was middle, sometime low/middle.
Around the middle of the session I was making some weird stories related to noting and was caught in it for a few seconds before noticing it.

Body: Usual energy/pulsation/heat in hands and feet but on a lighter scale. Some pain and tension on the left shoulder/neck. Some spasms in hands. Moisture in ears. Tingling on the left side mostly but on a lighter scale as well. Some tightness in the throat. Pressure on the thorax and behind the eyes.

Thougts: Logging thoughts, image popping out, creating some stories about noting. Interistingly, I had an experience/(Insight?) about the impermanence of my nose, feeling the impermanence of the sensations and then a thought pop-up like "How can have a nose if I can't feel it all the time?" and then the wave took me to "What about all the rest?" which had a flavor of no-self. It was interesting because the thought didn't feel directed but came really naturally, which led to ....


Feeling: ...A bit of fear when I experienced the impermanence/thought of no-self. Otherwise pretty calm, curious, a bit of aversion about the pains on my left side.
Sound: Cars, cat's water fountain, AC.

Visual field: Variation in light. Some flux of white and black colors absorbing each other, like a white flux circling some black and then contracting into it.

Weird/interesting: Flux of black and white colors, experiencing/witnessing impermance/non-self and feeling associated with it.

General feeling: Felt good doing concentration followed by Vipa. Mostly calm and relax sit except for the strong noticing of impermance (and what it implies) + the colors flux. A bit of story telling but noticed after 10-15 sec.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/3/20 5:23 AM as a reply to SushiK.
No warning signals but the smell of fresh-baked cookies.
 exactly. This is why meditative path is so tricky.

I have milk, btw, from a shamatha sacred cow.

love, tim

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/3/20 9:21 PM as a reply to SushiK.
4th August, 7:00am, Shanghai, 40min:

A meditation that won't stay in memory...Duuuuuuuull

Started with 10min focusing on breath at tip of the nose, but lost in stories after 5min.
Switched to the breath in the abdomen for 10 more min.

Then 25min of noting.
Mindfulness was low and low/middle at best..
Felt tired, dull and frustrated, I could note it but it was harder to not stay caught within it.

Body: Usual energy/pulsation/heat in hands and feet but very light. Still some tensions on the left side of the neck. Moisture in ears. A few tingling on the face. Some tightness in the throat. Light pressure on the thorax and behind the eyes.
More or less the usual sensations but on a much lighter scale.

Thougts: Logging thoughts, work thoughts, life thoughts, getting lost in stories. 

Feeling: 
Doubt about my practice, doubt about my technique, frustration, light angryness.

Sound: Cat's water fountain, AC.

Visual field: Nothing significant

Weird/interesting: Nothing significant

General feeling: It wasn't like the sit was boring and I wanted to stop it, but I wasn't really present and even when conscious of it it was really hard to stay mindfull. Felt dull and a wasted opportunity, it happens.
Will try to have another shot at it this evening.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/5/20 9:27 PM as a reply to SushiK.
6th August, 7:00 am, Shanghai, 50min:

(I meditated twice yesterday but it was a shitshow of interruptions so no log)

Started with following the breath in the abdomen and right away got an intense urge to stop the meditation.

I switched to following the breath at the nose and manage to get over it.
Nice feeling for 10min, really felt like the breathing what something of its own, separate from me and my body that I could look at like I look at a flower or a bird outside.

Then 40min of noting.
Mindfulness was stable for once, middle to middle+.

The last 10min were less stable, middle to low/middle.

Felt calm for most of it, no much thought, just noting as it comes, sometimes pretty fast.

Body: Usual energy/pulsation/heat in hands, a little bit around the feet. Pain and tension on the whole left side body (Neck, shoulder, leg, back of the ear). Tingling on the side of the face and top/back of the head. Pressure upper chest, top/behind the eye, and also the side of the head. Moisture and pressure in ears. Muscle spasms in fingers and left leg. Tightness on front neck/throat. Organs in my abdomen felt heavy. A pulse of well being coming from my abdomen (Stomach?) when noting the breath there.

My gf entered the room 5min before the end and the felt sensations became somewhat very different: Unusual spot on my face/arms/legs started to tingle and react.

Thoughts: Wanting to stop the meditation for the first 2 minutes, then very few thoughts: Logging thoughts, work thoughts, day thoughts life thoughts. 

Feeling: Dread for the first 2 min, a bit of anger and shame,  then calm/neutral during most of the noting, well-being, a bit of anger again when gf entered then some compassion for her and curiosity about the new sensations coming in.


Sound: Cat's water fountain, cat walking around, cars, gf entering the room.

Visual field: Nothing significant.

Weird/interesting: Very stable mindfulness for 30min - The left side body was more strongly felt than the right side - Interesting shifts of sensations after my gf entered.

General feeling: I'm glad I didn't let the first few minutes of dread and avoidance lead the way. One of my most stable meditation so far. I did the noting work conscientiously and got some interesting experiences at the end even if mindfulness was starting to bail by that time.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/6/20 3:04 AM as a reply to SushiK.
Started with following the breath in the abdomen and right away got an intense urge to stop the meditation.

I switched to following the breath at the nose and manage to get over it.
nice move. I think the effortlessness of the breath at the nose is wonderful, simple, no head involved really.

Nice feeling for 10min, really felt like the breathing what something of its own, separate from me and my body that I could look at like I look at a flower or a bird outside.

This is a variant on no-self, anahata, as experienced through the transient breath. And no dukha, a bonus!

There is no shortage of dukha, don't worry about that, lol. Enjoy this.

Then 40min of noting.
Mindfulness was stable for once, middle to middle+.

The last 10min were less stable, middle to low/middle.

Felt calm for most of it, no much thought, just noting as it comes, sometimes pretty fast.
 Your scrupulous noting is inspirational, you work so hard and clean, on your sits and on this log. Go, go, go! Slowly! lol.

love, tim

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/6/20 5:45 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Started with following the breath in the abdomen and right away got an intense urge to stop the meditation.

I switched to following the breath at the nose and manage to get over it.
nice move. I think the effortlessness of the breath at the nose is wonderful, simple, no head involved really.

Until now I was more drawn to the breath at the abdomen but today it felt natural to switch.
Felt easier to follow and got the same profound and pleasant sensation I usually get with the abdomen breathing


Nice feeling for 10min, really felt like the breathing what something of its own, separate from me and my body that I could look at like I look at a flower or a bird outside.

This is a variant on no-self, anahata, as experienced through the transient breath. And no dukha, a bonus!

There is no shortage of dukha, don't worry about that, lol. Enjoy this.

Interesting, thanks for the explanation

Then 40min of noting.
Mindfulness was stable for once, middle to middle+.

The last 10min were less stable, middle to low/middle.

Felt calm for most of it, no much thought, just noting as it comes, sometimes pretty fast.
 Your scrupulous noting is inspirational, you work so hard and clean, on your sits and on this log. Go, go, go! Slowly! lol.

Really appreciate the kind words friend, I will try to reflect on it as I don't feel it hard and clean most of the time ahaha.
Work in progress, both the log and the sits


love, tim
Have a nice day

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/6/20 10:30 PM as a reply to SushiK.
7th August, 7:10 am, Shanghai, 30min:

Note to self:
I need to arrange my time better so I can have a consistent 45min minimum of sitting uninterrupted in the morning/evening, 30min isn't enough to settle in.

Started with following the breath in the abdomen but the cat throw a tantrum at the same time. Is there any Buddha's talk about cat being an hindrance to liberation? emoticon

I switched to following the breath at the nose for 10min
Nothing particularly profound, manage to follow it and get my mind out of the cat's sounds.

Then 20min of noting.
Mindfulness was stable middle- to low/middle.

A lot of thoughts all related to the sit.

Body: As soon as I started noting I got sensation all over the body, so trying to note very fast but not possible to label for the first few minutes. Lot of tingling in the face/head, pain and stiffness at the junction between left shoulder and neck, pulsation/energy in hands, heat/pain/pressure on left foot, spasms in legs and hands, moisture in ear. Tightness in the throat. An itch on the bottom of the lower lips stayed for a while and a very very intense itch on the left cheek that stayed for most of the sit.

Thoughts: A lot of thought about the itch emoticon:
  • How is it possible than itch (Certainly due to a cat's hair or a drop of water after my shower) can feel like someone splashed acid on my face or is stabbing me with a needle?
  • I can feel the itch, I can see the urge to scratch the itch, I can look at both and not react, is it equanimity?
  • How am I going to log that?
  • Is it really important for the sit? It seems to be conducing to a lot of thoughts so that's not really equanimity. Shouldn't I just scratch it and go back to a more general noting?
Spoiler alert: I did scratch it in the end emoticon

Feeling: Angry at the cat, urge to scratch, wanting to have a more "classic" sit, aversion to the pain at shoulder/neck

Sound: Cat's tantrum at the beginning.

Visual field: Nothing significant.

Weird/interesting: All the pain of Hell can be concentrated in an itch

General feeling: Meh, a lot of thoughts that I was half assing noting.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/7/20 10:34 AM as a reply to SushiK.
I like the level of detail in your log – it is a pleasure to follow you. To me this last sitting seems to be at least three quater assed emoticon, because you noticed both 1) the itch, 2) the urge to scratch it, and 3) the proliferation of thoughts generated by this. Neither the itch, the urge nor the thoughts are you, as I am sure you (who?) know. You were observing not just the cat, but also the mind throwing one of these pointless tantrums that it is conditioned to do. Nice.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/7/20 11:33 AM as a reply to Niels Lyngsø.
Niels Lyngsø:
I like the level of detail in your log – it is a pleasure to follow you. To me this last sitting seems to be at least three quater assed emoticon, because you noticed both 1) the itch, 2) the urge to scratch it, and 3) the proliferation of thoughts generated by this. Neither the itch, the urge nor the thoughts are you, as I am sure you (who?) know. You were observing not just the cat, but also the mind throwing one of these pointless tantrums that it is conditioned to do. Nice.
I agree with Niels about the level of detail in your logs and glad to be a reader. See my log today for a response to your nice comment,

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/9/20 6:28 AM as a reply to Niels Lyngsø.
Niels Lyngsø:
I like the level of detail in your log – it is a pleasure to follow you. To me this last sitting seems to be at least three quater assed emoticon, because you noticed both 1) the itch, 2) the urge to scratch it, and 3) the proliferation of thoughts generated by this. Neither the itch, the urge nor the thoughts are you, as I am sure you (who?) know. You were observing not just the cat, but also the mind throwing one of these pointless tantrums that it is conditioned to do. Nice.

amen to three-quater-assed meditation! Very advanced, that.

RE: SushiK Log #1
Answer
8/9/20 9:53 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Thanks to the 3 of you for the kind words, really appreciate.

8th July, 9 am, Shanghai, 45min:

Unusual experience so you are more than welcome to comment.

Very stable mindfulness, doing the work as best as I can, noting diligently at a pretty good speed.
Suddenly a memory came in (Nothing significant), I noted it and suddenly all changed.
Very pleasant filling building up and like my whole body/sensations/etc were coming into synchronicity.
10 seconds in I was experiencing it, feeling the momentum growing and then...My gf opened the door to ask me if she could cancel her yoga session emoticon

Now I understand the urge of some for the monastic life emoticon

I wish I had more to say, but only 10sec of reference.
It didn't reach this level but the closest comparison would be when I did Ayahuasca a year ago when at the peak experience I was a sphere of blue/white light over a mountainous green landscape and feeling completely well: no pain, no tension, no worry, nothing unpleasant.
 
9th July, 9 am, Shanghai, 50min + 30min:

No traditional template as I don't recall perfectly.

Pretty good mindfulness but I was expecting something to happen, I noted the expectation and then it was ok. Came back from time to time but wasn't met with anger or any other strong emotion.
Ended after 50min, went for a glass of water, and then felt like going on again for 30min.
Same pretty good mindfulness, relax, curious, neutral.


10th July, 7:10 am, Shanghai, 45min:

Wake up very drowsy but it stopped as soon as I sat.

Started with 10min of Samatha but some stories playing around and I couldn't follow for more than 20 out-breath.
Switched to vipassana and it went away.

Mindfulness from medium to medium+, some variation but no big drop

Body: Could be linked to Saturday 8th experience or could be just the massage I had yesterday but barely any pain in the body today. Still some stiffness in the neck. Fewer tingling in the face. Moisture and itch in ears. Stretching feeling in the legs. Vibration at the solar plexus (That's new). Pleasant sour pain in the lower back (A bit antagonist but I don't know how to describe, it was in the pain category but felt...well). Vibration/energy in hands. Few spasms in legs, arms, back. Tightness at the throat. Pressure over the eye and side of the head. A lot of expansion/compression in the abdomen (more noticeable than usual).

Thoughts: Thoughts, practice thoughts, day thoughts. At some point a lot of random image popping up, I kept noting. 


Feeling: Nothing much, very neutral. Some happiness at the pain being absent maybe but even that felt very light.

Sound: Cat, cars, AC, breath.

Visual field: Nothing significant at first, "fireball" of white light for the last 5 min with flashes of pink/purple.

Weird/interesting: The absence of pain, the solar plexus vibration, the flash of pink/purple, the lightness of it all.

General feeling: Somewhat stable mindfulness, mostly pleasant in the sense that there was very little/no aversion and it all felt neutral and light.