RE: Sam's Practice Log

Sam's Practice Log Sam Gentile 5/22/20 11:32 AM
RE: Sam's Practice Log Sam Gentile 5/22/20 11:45 AM
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Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/22/20 11:32 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/22/20 11:32 AM

Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
This is a continuation of https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/20537986 now that I have most of my questions down and doing my Noting practice diligently. I use a Noting style of Shinzen Young's See-Hear-Feel with the modification of pulling out "thinking" as a separate item inspired by Brandon Dayton and Papa Che who were extremely helpful in getting me set up in noting. I'lll post a reply for each day with all my meditations. Constructive feedback is welcome.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/22/20 11:45 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/22/20 11:45 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Today's Log

Meditations
1) 60 minute Insight Meditation with See-Hear-Feel Noting
2) 20 minute Waking Up app (
https://wakingup.com/) Daily Meditation
3) 20 minute Tibetan Bardo of Death meditation (later)

For 1)
  • Shizen Young See-Hear-Feel + thinking noting
  • Greater focus on Rise-Fall for breath in abdomen as it was quiter than normal
  • Rate about 1-2 notings/second
  • 98% of thinking future planning of doing this topic but thinking way down since started noting
  • Not much use of "See"
  • Lots of tension in the body

For 2) the Waking Up app is pretty advanced meditation app. Today, it presented the followng query which I woulld like some help on a general direction of looking back into conciousness itself.The query was "As you gaze into space, very gently and briefly, look for what's looking. Look for the center of conciousness. Is there something to find? Can you find your head? Or is this just this open field in which all visual perceptions are appearing?"
Martin, modified 2 Years ago at 5/22/20 12:30 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/22/20 12:23 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
One way to get a felt sense of the open field of perception is the Big Mind guided mendiation, which Howard Cohn is well know for. Here is a link on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTjvSp70auo and audio: https://mindfulnessexercises.com/big-mind-audio/

If you haven't done this one before, it can be really fun, as well as useful.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/23/20 1:32 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/23/20 11:30 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Todays Log

1) 60 minute Insight Meditation with Out Loud Noting
  • Noticed that most of my Out Loud Notes were followed by clicking sound in jaw or teeth. Tried to Note that with "Hear-Click" but got way too messy. Papa Che/Brandon/Anyone have any ideas on how to note this or what to do with it as it slows down regular noting?
  • I have Blepheritis Dry Eye in my eyes and today with my eyes closed, they started to burn. I noted with "Burning"
  • I don't really use the "See" group of notings unless directed to look into my visual field by the sparsely guided meditation I am using. Any suggested ways on how to work better with this?
  • Can someone take me the process of inquiry to "look for the thinker" or is that the meditation Martin pointed to yesterday?
2) 20 minute Waking Up Daily Meditation
  • Just standard breath meditation resting and coming back to the breath
EDIT 3) 30 minutee Tibetan Tonglen Meditation in class
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 5/23/20 12:44 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/23/20 12:42 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Sam, try and remind yourself that this is a journey of discovery emoticon and as such will require knowing and recognising the mind terrain and testing different approaches. Noting can be fast as clarity is really there but then clarity can go more dull and noting slower is fine too.

Noting "uncertainty" (which is a mind state) is very important when it arises in case of "should I note Hear-Click together" or even "should I just note it all as Hear". All these questions can be either Uncertainty or Doubt and Mind States are an important object to observe.

I look at it like 3 fold;
1 - Body Sensations
2 - Mind States
3 - Feeling tone

So in case of your example above I would note all its components if the clarity is strong;
Thinking, Uncertainty, Unpleasant, Pressure in the Chest (could be anyplace but is usually connected with the arising of Doubt or Uncertainty), and likely image impression in the mind of my chest.

Mind effects the body, body effects the mind. Ping-Pong, Pong-Ping emoticon 

In case you come to a point of feeling See, Hear, Feel being too limiting for you then try the Kenneth Folk version as it includes any and all sorts of labels from these 3 chategories above. Check his videos on You tube.

When it comes to "See" with eyes closed you can try and see if there is an Image Impression of the itch you have. In case I get an itch at the back of my head I also get a image impression of that area in my mind emoticon I actually see the image of the back of my head with all the hair. Of course this is not real and Im not having out of body experience as its just an imagination (I hope Chris doesnt come in and say that all is imagination emoticon we know that intelectually but we need to aim small-miss small, to get the target)
That would be "See".

Also in case there is a sound of a car or a bird and I note "Hear" there will be an image impression of some airplain in the clouds or a bird sitting on a bush. All this is just some image in the mind cojured up by the mind. This is also "See".

When eyes are closed you will see darkness but every once in a while you might notice some flickering in that darkness. This too is "See".

If you are being curious about whether you can see anything in that darkness behind the eyes closed then there is a mind state "Curiousity" and "Looking" emoticon so you are not seeing anything just yet but you ARE Looking and you ARE Curious.

If there is a YOU there is of no importance right nowbut if you insist you can quickly ask a question "who is looking, who is curious" ... wait for a second for an answer and if its not there move on to whatever else is arising like itching, buurning, hearing ... whatever. You dont want to waste time in looking for the supposed sense of self on the expense of missing other arisings and passings emoticon 

And rember to relax any musscle tension that you might discover when "Scanning" any area that might feel stiff like the Jaw, hands or any other musscles. Its ok to note and label "scanning" as its an intention.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/24/20 12:48 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/24/20 12:48 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I knew today was not going to be a great meditation day when I woke up with my right ear clogged and feeling all sorts of pressure. Indeed, my first sit, which was the 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting, was one of the most difficult I have ever done. I can't tell you the amount of times I wanted to quit and was wracked with boredom and ear pain, but I didn't. I made it. So in dealing with the ear situation I noted "uncertain" as Papa Che suggested for a while until I could figure out what to do. Then I settled on a combination of "Feel", "pressure" and sometimes "Pain." My dry eyes, that were closed, acted up again "tearing" and "burning", until I had to switch to open eyes meditation. Noting was aboutt 1-2x/second. Interesting thing with the noting, 99% of my thoughts were "Planning" on writing this log.

The second meditation which was a 20 minute Waking Up Daily Meditation, I didn't note this one. I used this one as a relaxing meditation to follow my breath and come back when my mind was thinking. Unlike the first meditation, the thoughts without Noting were more freeform and discursive.

I may do some meditating with the Rob Burbea book later or maybe I should go out and get ice cream emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 11:30 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 11:30 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
So today started much better than yesterday without waking up to the ear pain and issues. In fact, I would say that the 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting even produced some pleasent feelings. Not much to say on this one except my "trusty birds" outside didn't make their usual pleasent racket outside my windows so there were a lot less instances of "Hear" and more focus on "Feel" the body sensations. Thoughts again followed the planning for logging in this topic thought. Noting speed still 1-2 notings/second. I don't know how Daniel gets 10X/second.

The second meditation was again the Waking Up Daily Meditation which was just a normal 20 minute breath meditation of returning awareness back to the breath when thinking.

May do some more meditation later as I am stuck home on this Memorial Day Holiday with nothinng to do emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 12:09 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 12:09 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Nice one! Seems like you are on top of this. 

Don't worry about Ingram's 10 or more sensations per second. It's anyway part of the fast Arising and Passing stage. In that stage one doesn't even need to speak up loud as concentration and sensory clarity is exceptional. 

1-2 sensations a second is already full on Dharma Rock'n'Roll my friend emoticon keep on riffing emoticon 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 12:16 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 12:16 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
Nice one! Seems like you are on top of this. 

Don't worry about Ingram's 10 or more sensations per second. It's anyway part of the fast Arising and Passing stage. In that stage one doesn't even need to speak up loud as concentration and sensory clarity is exceptional. 

1-2 sensations a second is already full on Dharma Rock'n'Roll my friend emoticon keep on riffing emoticon 

Thanks my friend. Oh, Steph, I added 22 minutes of Metta practice for a loved one and with my own phrases. Although I still struggle with this practice, I felt a bit more pliant.
Martin, modified 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 1:53 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/25/20 1:52 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Hi Sam,


You had asked about this:

"As you gaze into space, very gently and briefly, look for what's looking. Look for the center of conciousness. Is there something to find? Can you find your head? Or is this just this open field in which all visual perceptions are appearing?"

The video addresses this specific thing (perceived spacial locations) and can, if it happens to work for you, demonstrate how perception does not have to have a central point of reference. For me, aside from being fun, it was useful in loosening the way I thought about perception. For some people, that might also give rise to insight about self. 

Most of my practice has been about noticing and concentration, so I can't really comment on contemplative practices like deliberately looking for a thinker. But it still became obvious to me that the thoughts being noticed in my mind are not my thoughts any more than the air being noticed in my breath is my air. It seems to me that you are on a roll with noticing. I would keeping going with that.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/26/20 11:25 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Papa Che Dusko:
Nice one! Seems like you are on top of this. 

Don't worry about Ingram's 10 or more sensations per second. It's anyway part of the fast Arising and Passing stage. In that stage one doesn't even need to speak up loud as concentration and sensory clarity is exceptional. 

1-2 sensations a second is already full on Dharma Rock'n'Roll my friend emoticon keep on riffing emoticon 

Thanks my friend. Oh, Steph, I added 22 minutes of Metta practice for a loved one and with my own phrases. Although I still struggle with this practice, I felt a bit more pliant.

In today's 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Notings, I realize that as I am getting better at Noting the amount of Mindfulness is going up and my thoughts are going way down. In fact, while noting, it seems like 99% of thoughts are future planning thoughts about logging the practice for the day! The lawn service today provided a whole lot of sound to "Hear" today which was noted. The only concern was that there was so much of it that I might have missed some "Feel" sensations but that is a minor concern. A good it with not too much boredom.
For the 2nd sit, the Waking Up 20 minute Daily Meditation, wouldn't you know it, after all that sound, that it comes up with a 100% sound meditation!
Third thing, I'm really happy that starting today I am bringing on Abre Fournier as a Vipassana Meditation Teacher. She was a member here so I believe a lot of you might know her. Shout out to Chris Marti for the pointer.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 2 Years ago at 5/26/20 1:21 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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The only concern was that there was so much of it that I might have missed some "Feel" sensations but that is a minor concern.

Don't worry about "missing" stuff. Note what you perceive most readily. Subtle stuff will become apparent with time.

I'm working with Abre too! Looking forward to hear how it goes for you.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/27/20 11:18 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Brandon Dayton:

The only concern was that there was so much of it that I might have missed some "Feel" sensations but that is a minor concern.

Don't worry about "missing" stuff. Note what you perceive most readily. Subtle stuff will become apparent with time.

I'm working with Abre too! Looking forward to hear how it goes for you.
While Brandon, I met with Abre yesterday afternoon and convinced she is the one for me. She didn't waste any time. She put me on the spot. We started a meditation session right away and she had me noting after following her. For some reason, even though I told her I was using the See-Hear-Feel, she wants me to use the Mahasi Sayadaw noting because of the greater range of noting, After that she told me she wants to combine Concentration with Noting in increments in my one hour session. She wants me to build access concentration. I am going to get rid of my other teacher since I can't afford both and she can clearly take me to stages in the path that he can't.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/27/20 11:22 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Brandon Dayton:

The only concern was that there was so much of it that I might have missed some "Feel" sensations but that is a minor concern.

Don't worry about "missing" stuff. Note what you perceive most readily. Subtle stuff will become apparent with time.

I'm working with Abre too! Looking forward to hear how it goes for you.
While Brandon, I met with Abre yesterday afternoon and convinced she is the one for me. She didn't waste any time. She put me on the spot. We started a meditation session right away and she had me noting after following her. For some reason, even though I told her I was using the See-Hear-Feel, she wants me to use the Mahasi Sayadaw noting because of the greater range of noting, After that she told me she wants to combine Concentration with Noting in increments in my one hour session. She wants me to build access concentration. I am going to get rid of my other teacher since I can't afford both and she can clearly take me to stages in the path that he can't.

So today, I sat for 60 minutes but I did increments of 15 minutes Concentration and 20 minutes Noting. It was bit ackward doing that and managing the time. I had to note quite a few more thoughts and planning.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/28/20 11:19 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Brandon Dayton:

The only concern was that there was so much of it that I might have missed some "Feel" sensations but that is a minor concern.

Don't worry about "missing" stuff. Note what you perceive most readily. Subtle stuff will become apparent with time.

I'm working with Abre too! Looking forward to hear how it goes for you.
While Brandon, I met with Abre yesterday afternoon and convinced she is the one for me. She didn't waste any time. She put me on the spot. We started a meditation session right away and she had me noting after following her. For some reason, even though I told her I was using the See-Hear-Feel, she wants me to use the Mahasi Sayadaw noting because of the greater range of noting, After that she told me she wants to combine Concentration with Noting in increments in my one hour session. She wants me to build access concentration. I am going to get rid of my other teacher since I can't afford both and she can clearly take me to stages in the path that he can't.

So today, I sat for 60 minutes but I did increments of 15 minutes Concentration and 20 minutes Noting. It was bit ackward doing that and managing the time. I had to note quite a few more thoughts and planning.

Lesson to Self: Don't try to meditate without coffee first! Tried to go without and I was unable to meditate, just kept falling  asleep, couldn't think of the noting words, etc so I stopped in the middle of my 60 minute sit and made coffee and then everything was better emoticon I just asked my new teacher Abre this question but I'll put it here as my experience today. I found 80% of what I was noting was "Hearing". She doesn't like me doing that but that's what was coming in the sensory inputs today. There is an AC unit outside and noisy birds. What else do you do with sounds that are virtually constant? I also need to learn more of the Mahasi style words she wants me to use instead of See-Hear-Feel. I need to meet now with my other Tibetan teacher and let him know I am going a different way. Wish me luck!
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Chris M, modified 2 Years ago at 5/28/20 12:25 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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What else do you do with sounds that are virtually constant?

The point that Abre is probably hoping you will realize is that the sound from that AC unit isn't really constant. You still get sensory input from other things. Nothing is truly constant, even for a minute.

And... please tell Abre I said "Hello."
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/28/20 1:01 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Chris Marti:
What else do you do with sounds that are virtually constant?

The point that Abre is probably hoping you will realize is that the sound from that AC unit isn't really constant. You still get sensory input from other things. Nothing is truly constant, even for a minute.

And... please tell Abre I said "Hello."
That's right. Everything's impermenent. And thank you for the reference to Abre. She's quite a teacher.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/29/20 11:49 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/29/20 11:29 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Chris Marti:
What else do you do with sounds that are virtually constant?

The point that Abre is probably hoping you will realize is that the sound from that AC unit isn't really constant. You still get sensory input from other things. Nothing is truly constant, even for a minute.

And... please tell Abre I said "Hello."
That's right. Everything's impermenent. And thank you for the reference to Abre. She's quite a teacher.
Okay, sat for 60 minutes Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting. And Chris Marti and Abre remind me nothing is truly constant. I think though, I have an over-reliance on noting sound because I am not so good yet at using more noting with bodily sensensations. Abre, in response to my question, gave me a whole Word file of noting words and states. The problem is I can't relate most of them to what Im feeling in the moment. It may be time for my Noting experts Papa Che and Brandon to drop in again...
I used hearing, tightness, tension, thinking, remembering, planning, bored, pressure, tocuhing, feeling, seeing, worry, tingling, burning, dull, heavy and bored. I can't imagine using more than this but I'll have to practice because its not capturing it all.

Experts: what other common words and states am I mising?

Oh, also I sat for a 2nd meditation - the guided 20 minute Waking Up Daily Meditation just noticed the presence of thoughts which I just returned to the breath. Maybe, after another 20 years of practice, I'll havee a lot less thoughts emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 5/29/20 12:37 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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I think you should stick with what your teacher is suggesting and along the way just notice new mind states. 

It's NOT about thinking yourself into mind states! You only note what IS arising in the now! 

Best way not to "think yourself" into some mind states is to go BACK to body sensation as much as possible and if you notice a mind state pop in cool , note it and move back to body sensations. 

Body sensations are really the safest place if you assume to be "desiering mind states" just so you could note them! 

With practice/time , you will anyway start noticing more mind states. 

Body sensations are No.1 priority in my book. Once I'm familiar with them, then I move to Feelings and Mind States. 

I hope what I wrote makes sense. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/29/20 12:51 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Papa Che Dusko:
I think you should stick with what your teacher is suggesting and along the way just notice new mind states. 

It's NOT about thinking yourself into mind states! You only note what IS arising in the now! 

Best way not to "think yourself" into some mind states is to go BACK to body sensation as much as possible and if you notice a mind state pop in cool , note it and move back to body sensations. 

Body sensations are really the safest place if you assume to be "desiering mind states" just so you could note them! 

With practice/time , you will anyway start noticing more mind states. 

Body sensations are No.1 priority in my book. Once I'm familiar with them, then I move to Feelings and Mind States. 

I hope what I wrote makes sense. 
Cyystal clear. Thanks.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/30/20 11:26 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/30/20 11:24 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Papa Che Dusko:
I think you should stick with what your teacher is suggesting and along the way just notice new mind states. 

It's NOT about thinking yourself into mind states! You only note what IS arising in the now! 

Best way not to "think yourself" into some mind states is to go BACK to body sensation as much as possible and if you notice a mind state pop in cool , note it and move back to body sensations. 

Body sensations are really the safest place if you assume to be "desiering mind states" just so you could note them! 

With practice/time , you will anyway start noticing more mind states. 

Body sensations are No.1 priority in my book. Once I'm familiar with them, then I move to Feelings and Mind States. 

I hope what I wrote makes sense. 
I'm not looking or thinking myself into mind states. Its more bodily sensations I am looking for.

In my 60 minute sit just now, I realize that I just revolve around Achy, Tension, Tightness, Throbbing, Itching, Pressure. That's it. Makes for a real boring 60 minutes. Oh and I got so bored that I spent about 10 minutes with In Breath/Out Breath.

Papa Che, got some suggestions for what I could be noting in the body? I also note Seeing, Touching, Hearing,  Roaming, Thinking, Remembering, Planning, Roaming, plus any REAL mind states that come up. I just feel stuck in that I don't know more bodily sensations to note.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 5/30/20 11:51 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Yeps emoticon that's it! Boring and repetition! Keep noting same stuff if that what's there. Keep noting that Boredom and note how it feels. 

No more new stuff from me friend emoticon you have a teacher now. I wish you all the best! emoticon 

Che our and out. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 5/31/20 1:24 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/31/20 11:24 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Papa Che Dusko:
Yeps emoticon that's it! Boring and repetition! Keep noting same stuff if that what's there. Keep noting that Boredom and note how it feels. 

No more new stuff from me friend emoticon you have a teacher now. I wish you all the best! emoticon 

Che our and out. 
Sat for 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting. Most of it was the boring repition of tension, tightness, pressure, etc. There was one big difference though. I specifically looked for and noted, to the best of my ability, Anicca, whenever things arose and passed away.

An very interesting thing happened for about a 5 minute stretch. Although my eyes were closed, I noticed what looked like a white candle flame pretty tall and flickering. I noted Seeing, Investigating, Looking, Curiousity and it kept going for about 5 minutes. Now, I have never the Candle Kassina meditation although Daniel Ingram wanted me to in our meetings. Kind of scared of it I guess. Interesting....

For the 2nd meditation, I did the Waking Up app's 20 minute Daily Meditation and just watched my breath. it was calming.

EDIT: The Rob Burbea classic, "Seeing that Frees", has a section on what I was trying to do: noting Anicca: "Some practioners find, at times, that repeating inwardly - very quietly and sparsely - a word such as "anicca", "impermanence", or "inconstantcy" during this pratice helps to keep the attention attuned to change moment to momemnt. Rather than labeling each micro-instant of perception as "impermanent", noting like this can function more as a gentle reminder to guide and tune the attenion and intention. It will always be the case, more often than not, the rapidy of change noticed will perclude a discrete and overt labeling of each arising and passing." 
That's what I found today when trying the note the arising and ceasing of things like certain bodily sensations. I will adjust as he suggests.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/1/20 12:01 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/1/20 12:01 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Papa Che Dusko:
Yeps emoticon that's it! Boring and repetition! Keep noting same stuff if that what's there. Keep noting that Boredom and note how it feels. 

No more new stuff from me friend emoticon you have a teacher now. I wish you all the best! emoticon 

Che our and out. 
Sat for 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting. Most of it was the boring repition of tension, tightness, pressure, etc. There was one big difference though. I specifically looked for and noted, to the best of my ability, Anicca, whenever things arose and passed away.

An very interesting thing happened for about a 5 minute stretch. Although my eyes were closed, I noticed what looked like a white candle flame pretty tall and flickering. I noted Seeing, Investigating, Looking, Curiousity and it kept going for about 5 minutes. Now, I have never the Candle Kassina meditation although Daniel Ingram wanted me to in our meetings. Kind of scared of it I guess. Interesting....

For the 2nd meditation, I did the Waking Up app's 20 minute Daily Meditation and just watched my breath. it was calming.

EDIT: The Rob Burbea classic, "Seeing that Frees", has a section on what I was trying to do: noting Anicca: "Some practioners find, at times, that repeating inwardly - very quietly and sparsely - a word such as "anicca", "impermanence", or "inconstantcy" during this pratice helps to keep the attention attuned to change moment to momemnt. Rather than labeling each micro-instant of perception as "impermanent", noting like this can function more as a gentle reminder to guide and tune the attenion and intention. It will always be the case, more often than not, the rapidy of change noticed will perclude a discrete and overt labeling of each arising and passing." 
That's what I found today when trying the note the arising and ceasing of things like certain bodily sensations. I will adjust as he suggests.
Yay! For only the 2nd time since I've been on DhO, I was able to note the mind states of Relaxed and Calm for almost the whole 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting. I was so taken with feeling so relaxed and calm, that I felt there was less things to note emoticon Even the tension and tightness seemed to lessen. I suppose there were more things to note but in that state I didn't feel them.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/2/20 11:48 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/2/20 11:26 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Papa Che Dusko:
Yeps emoticon that's it! Boring and repetition! Keep noting same stuff if that what's there. Keep noting that Boredom and note how it feels. 

No more new stuff from me friend emoticon you have a teacher now. I wish you all the best! emoticon 

Che our and out. 
Sat for 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting. Most of it was the boring repition of tension, tightness, pressure, etc. There was one big difference though. I specifically looked for and noted, to the best of my ability, Anicca, whenever things arose and passed away.

An very interesting thing happened for about a 5 minute stretch. Although my eyes were closed, I noticed what looked like a white candle flame pretty tall and flickering. I noted Seeing, Investigating, Looking, Curiousity and it kept going for about 5 minutes. Now, I have never the Candle Kassina meditation although Daniel Ingram wanted me to in our meetings. Kind of scared of it I guess. Interesting....

For the 2nd meditation, I did the Waking Up app's 20 minute Daily Meditation and just watched my breath. it was calming.

EDIT: The Rob Burbea classic, "Seeing that Frees", has a section on what I was trying to do: noting Anicca: "Some practioners find, at times, that repeating inwardly - very quietly and sparsely - a word such as "anicca", "impermanence", or "inconstantcy" during this pratice helps to keep the attention attuned to change moment to momemnt. Rather than labeling each micro-instant of perception as "impermanent", noting like this can function more as a gentle reminder to guide and tune the attenion and intention. It will always be the case, more often than not, the rapidy of change noticed will perclude a discrete and overt labeling of each arising and passing." 
That's what I found today when trying the note the arising and ceasing of things like certain bodily sensations. I will adjust as he suggests.
Yay! For only the 2nd time since I've been on DhO, I was able to note the mind states of Relaxed and Calm for almost the whole 60 minute Insight Meditation with At-Loud Noting. I was so taken with feeling so relaxed and calm, that I felt there was less things to note emoticon Even the tension and tightness seemed to lessen. I suppose there were more things to note but in that state I didn't feel them.
I am note sure - is anyone still reading these? i know I am not on the exciting stages of the path but I appreciate feedback. Papa Che won't come around here no more because he thinks I am going to ask more Noting questions and I now have a teacher but come by, I have no Noting questions left emoticon

Today I sat for 60 minutes with At-Loud Noting. The session was fairly ordinary with the usual Trifecta of Tnesion/Tightness/Itching. Noted breath sensations at the chest. Lack of motivation, lack of interest, boredom all noted appropriately. I didn't get relaxed like yesterday and was a bit resless from coffee. Noted pleasent sounds of birds outside windows.

The 2nd session was the 20 minutes Waking Up Daily Meditation in which I turned the instruction "do nothing" into the Mahmudra-like meditation my other Teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche taught me ("Don't meditate but don't get lost").
Martin, modified 2 Years ago at 6/2/20 12:06 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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I read this. It's interesting to see what other people are doing. You seem to be working diligently and getting a lot out of it.

I noticed earlier that you found the breath boring. I've found it boring too. At the moment, for me, watching the breath can be like a trip to Disneyland. There is so much to see there, so many changes, so many events.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 6/2/20 1:49 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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emoticon I still read your log mate. But that's all I do. You've got this! Keep at it! 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/3/20 11:13 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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One of the most difficult 60 minute noting sessions I have ever had. Felt like giving up throughout but kept noting Bored, Lack of Motivation, Lethargy / Heaviness / Dullness. 

I drink a cup of coffee before meditation so I don't feel sleepy and have energy. But my mistake was having a big lunch just before meditation today which led to the first 1/3 of the session to be painful. Noted Fullness, Pressure, Heavingness.

Did some Seeing/Investigating/Looking of a flag waving in the wind outside the window.

My old standby, the birds were pretty quiet so didn't note that much hearing as usual.

Couldn't get myself to do the Waking Up 20 minute Daily Meditation after all this.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/4/20 11:59 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Not as bad as yesterday but still lack of motivation. Starting to suffer from strong doubht.

My dry eye problem was a constant issue and I noted Buring, Tearing, Watering, and Dry. Speaking, of Dry, there was a lot of dryness in the body today with dry lips too and itching. 

Noted usual body sensations and thoughts.

Noted the Cool of the AC until the power went out in the middle of the meditation and then didn't know what to note except rising worry.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/20 11:50 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/5/20 11:38 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Not as bad as yesterday but still lack of motivation. Starting to suffer from strong doubht.

My dry eye problem was a constant issue and I noted Buring, Tearing, Watering, and Dry. Speaking, of Dry, there was a lot of dryness in the body today with dry lips too and itching. 

Noted usual body sensations and thoughts.

Noted the Cool of the AC until the power went out in the middle of the meditation and then didn't know what to note except rising worry.
Reached out to my teacher Abre about the lack of motivation and strong doubt and even though I can't share our private conversation, I just wanted to share a couple of key quotes that helped today. "Strong doubt is one of the 5 hinderances...In  noting, you note doubt, you note boredom, and all the other feelings connected to your current situtation" and "Simarly the lack of motivation is a resistance to doing. Note the resistance. See how the mind wants something else. Note wanting, rejecting, resistance, Look more closely into what is really there".

Today, the lack of motivation was only there in a small way. It was more like "I have to go a whole hour and note the same notes again and again. How am I going to fill the time?"

Well in the 60 minute sit with At-Loud Noting, I actually noted the mind states of relaxed and calm that I was feeling at the time with pleasent feelings. I had moments where I felt briefly one with the present momemnt so I invented "being" because I didn't feel anything else at the time. Maybe there is a better word or maybe the senstations never stopped?

Noting has been such a wonderful gift to my practice. It has greatly enhanced my mindfulness. I am now at the point, when noting, that I only think thoughts of future writing this practice log.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/5/20 2:39 PM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Hibiscus Kid:
Sounds like good work Sam! I also work with Abre.

A good habit to get into is to also notice which sensations are present in the body when doubt or boredom arise: Where are those sensations located? How much space/volume do they take up? Are they clear sensations or mudddy? Is there some sort of restlessness? What does that feel like? What aspect of those particular sensations is actually unpleasant? Can you be with those sensations as they are?

Feel free to get creative with your labels. Keep up the good work!

Wow you too and Brandon! Thanks for the tip and the compliment!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/6/20 11:35 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/6/20 11:35 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Sounds like good work Sam! I also work with Abre.

A good habit to get into is to also notice which sensations are present in the body when doubt or boredom arise: Where are those sensations located? How much space/volume do they take up? Are they clear sensations or mudddy? Is there some sort of restlessness? What does that feel like? What aspect of those particular sensations is actually unpleasant? Can you be with those sensations as they are?

Feel free to get creative with your labels. Keep up the good work!

Wow you too and Brandon! Thanks for the tip and the compliment!
The 60 min sit witth At-Loud Noting begun just after I had eaten lunch again so I had to contend with feelings of pressure, fullness, and heavingness at the abdomen.

When that dissipated, the doubt, bordom, wanting, aversion came in again with thoughts of "how I am going to do this for an hour?" Noted, as Hibiscus Kid suggested, the sensations of restlessness were present and located in the gut. I was able to be with these sensations.

This quickly turned into mind states of Relaxation and Calm. For the 2nd day!

I watched my breath at the abdomen with rising/falling but was cognizant of what shargrol said in his archives to not use this as a mantra and excude other sensations.

All, in all, another good sit.

The second sit was the 20 minute Waking Up Daily Meditation which happened to be on Anicca. I don't usually note during these meditations but since it was on Anicca, tried to be super aware of the impermamce. All of a sudden, I fell into this situation ala MCTB, where Daniel describes really fast sensations in the fingers changing from one to the other. I almost couldn't note it. What was I going to say "finger sensation changed?" I decided to use the Rob Burbea keyword "Anicca" as rapid-fire, awareness shifted from finger to finger and out to other body parts. I clearly should do some of this in my main meditation as it gives a better picture of what's going on and notes at a much higher speed.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/7/20 11:01 AM
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RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Sounds like good work Sam! I also work with Abre.

A good habit to get into is to also notice which sensations are present in the body when doubt or boredom arise: Where are those sensations located? How much space/volume do they take up? Are they clear sensations or mudddy? Is there some sort of restlessness? What does that feel like? What aspect of those particular sensations is actually unpleasant? Can you be with those sensations as they are?

Feel free to get creative with your labels. Keep up the good work!

Wow you too and Brandon! Thanks for the tip and the compliment!
The 60 min sit witth At-Loud Noting begun just after I had eaten lunch again so I had to contend with feelings of pressure, fullness, and heavingness at the abdomen.

When that dissipated, the doubt, bordom, wanting, aversion came in again with thoughts of "how I am going to do this for an hour?" Noted, as Hibiscus Kid suggested, the sensations of restlessness were present and located in the gut. I was able to be with these sensations.

This quickly turned into mind states of Relaxation and Calm. For the 2nd day!

I watched my breath at the abdomen with rising/falling but was cognizant of what shargrol said in his archives to not use this as a mantra and excude other sensations.

All, in all, another good sit.

The second sit was the 20 minute Waking Up Daily Meditation which happened to be on Anicca. I don't usually note during these meditations but since it was on Anicca, tried to be super aware of the impermamce. All of a sudden, I fell into this situation ala MCTB, where Daniel describes really fast sensations in the fingers changing from one to the other. I almost couldn't note it. What was I going to say "finger sensation changed?" I decided to use the Rob Burbea keyword "Anicca" as rapid-fire, awareness shifted from finger to finger and out to other body parts. I clearly should do some of this in my main meditation as it gives a better picture of what's going on and notes at a much higher speed.
Lots of Energy and Motivation because a drank a big Bulletproof Coffee right before emoticon

Noted breath Rise and Fall at the abdomen

I have to ask Abre ths tomorrow, but Brandon, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid, what do you do for sensations that are so impermanent that they are coming rapid fire like from finger to finger quickly? What do you think of that Rob Burbea trick I used yesterday and today, of quickly saying "Anicca"? 

Overall, noted Relaxed and Calm for the 3rd day in a row (and perhaps first time in meditation)! I think I have some momentum going
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/8/20 11:06 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/8/20 11:06 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Sounds like good work Sam! I also work with Abre.

A good habit to get into is to also notice which sensations are present in the body when doubt or boredom arise: Where are those sensations located? How much space/volume do they take up? Are they clear sensations or mudddy? Is there some sort of restlessness? What does that feel like? What aspect of those particular sensations is actually unpleasant? Can you be with those sensations as they are?

Feel free to get creative with your labels. Keep up the good work!

Wow you too and Brandon! Thanks for the tip and the compliment!
The 60 min sit witth At-Loud Noting begun just after I had eaten lunch again so I had to contend with feelings of pressure, fullness, and heavingness at the abdomen.

When that dissipated, the doubt, bordom, wanting, aversion came in again with thoughts of "how I am going to do this for an hour?" Noted, as Hibiscus Kid suggested, the sensations of restlessness were present and located in the gut. I was able to be with these sensations.

This quickly turned into mind states of Relaxation and Calm. For the 2nd day!

I watched my breath at the abdomen with rising/falling but was cognizant of what shargrol said in his archives to not use this as a mantra and excude other sensations.

All, in all, another good sit.

The second sit was the 20 minute Waking Up Daily Meditation which happened to be on Anicca. I don't usually note during these meditations but since it was on Anicca, tried to be super aware of the impermamce. All of a sudden, I fell into this situation ala MCTB, where Daniel describes really fast sensations in the fingers changing from one to the other. I almost couldn't note it. What was I going to say "finger sensation changed?" I decided to use the Rob Burbea keyword "Anicca" as rapid-fire, awareness shifted from finger to finger and out to other body parts. I clearly should do some of this in my main meditation as it gives a better picture of what's going on and notes at a much higher speed.
Lots of Energy and Motivation because a drank a big Bulletproof Coffee right before emoticon

Noted breath Rise and Fall at the abdomen

I have to ask Abre ths tomorrow, but Brandon, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid, what do you do for sensations that are so impermanent that they are coming rapid fire like from finger to finger quickly? What do you think of that Rob Burbea trick I used yesterday and today, of quickly saying "Anicca"? 

Overall, noted Relaxed and Calm for the 3rd day in a row (and perhaps first time in meditation)! I think I have some momentum going

For the 60 minute session, begin with usual dread of having to sit for an hour which quickly dispersed.

Has a tough strech with my dry eye condition causing some intense burnind and tearing while the eyes were closed.

Noted rising and falling of the breath at the abdomen.

Some increased thoughts about meeting with Abre later and giving my meditation report.

All in all, 4th straight day with Resting and Calm. The momentum continues.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/9/20 8:48 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/9/20 8:35 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
I have to ask Abre ths tomorrow, but Brandon, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid, what do you do for sensations that are so impermanent that they are coming rapid fire like from finger to finger quickly? What do you think of that Rob Burbea trick I used yesterday and today, of quickly saying "Anicca"? 

Hey Sam, go ahead and ask Abre. In my opinion, you can label however you'd like - don't overthink it. The importance is really experiencing what is going on. Abre usually says to me "20% label, 80% experience" meaning how much attention is poured into experiencing vs. labeling a sensation. 

For rapidly changing sensations (such as in the fingers) I typically label 'vibrations, touch, feel, buzz' etc. - 'Anicca' as a label also works. Don't be afraid to develop your own vocabulary and make the practice your own. 
Yup, Abre agreed with you.

She also wants me to start Concentration practices.

I'm  at IMS Virtual Retreat today until Saturday.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/9/20 2:09 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/9/20 11:37 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
I'm  at IMS Virtual Retreat today until Saturday.

Good luck and enjoy!

I probably shouldn't write this entry because if I were at IMS physically instead of virtually, I wouldn't have any means to write it. Its different at home. I feel addicted to writing here in my spare time, feel a sense of connection.

1. Session 1 We only ended up with ten minutes to medittae where I tried Abre's Concentraiom method for the first time. What a disaster! I get no where near reaching 10 in counting.

2. My 60 minute Noting Sit - There was a lot of thinking ( a lot of it believe or not on what I'd write here). 

I did 2 stretches of concentration. Still very hard.

noted normal tension, tightness, thoughts and used "Anicca method" to note the flashing sensations in the fingers.

No Relaxed and Calm today as I was left with a headache and tension.

3. Session 3 - Instructor was yapping so much that I was just going to end up following her "relaxtion" meditation but she finally stopped and I got some concentration practice in.

4. My 30 minute Noting Session - Noted Seeing/Investigating/Looking when I saw colors dancing around in Anicca
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/10/20 9:58 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/10/20 9:58 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
I'm  at IMS Virtual Retreat today until Saturday.

Good luck and enjoy!

I probably shouldn't write this entry because if I were at IMS physically instead of virtually, I wouldn't have any means to write it. Its different at home. I feel addicted to writing here in my spare time, feel a sense of connection.

1. Session 1 We only ended up with ten minutes to medittae where I tried Abre's Concentraiom method for the first time. What a disaster! I get no where near reaching 10 in counting.

2. My 60 minute Noting Sit - There was a lot of thinking ( a lot of it believe or not on what I'd write here). 

I did 2 stretches of concentration. Still very hard.

noted normal tension, tightness, thoughts and used "Anicca method" to note the flashing sensations in the fingers.

No Relaxed and Calm today as I was left with a headache and tension.

3. Session 3 - Instructor was yapping so much that I was just going to end up following her "relaxtion" meditation but she finally stopped and I got some concentration practice in.

4. My 30 minute Noting Session - Noted Seeing/Investigating/Looking when I saw colors dancing around in Anicca
IMS Session 1 Turned 40 minute meditation into 40 minute Noting/Concentration

Noticed the Concentrtaion was better than yesterday

Noted fast moving sensations with the label Anicca

Noisy lawnmower was source of of noise and irritation

Eventually turned into small amount of RElaxtion and Calm
Martin, modified 2 Years ago at 6/10/20 10:53 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/10/20 10:53 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Noisy lawnmower was source of of noise and irritation
Ah, lawnmowers. Sometimes I have to give up and make them the primary object. 



Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/10/20 11:36 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/10/20 11:36 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Martin:
Noisy lawnmower was source of of noise and irritation
Ah, lawnmowers. Sometimes I have to give up and make them the primary object. 



Ah, yes!


My 60 minute Noting/Concentration Session
This was  a  real hard one. I felt  like I couldn't keep the flow of the Noting going so I had to keep going back to the breath and restarting. This led to boredom and doubt but I persisted.I;m also generating doubt in IMS after seeing resukts and what the pragmatic dharma movement offers. Topic on this soon.

The concentration was only introduced to me Monday by my teacher so I need a lot of practice.'

I have talked about the using the label Aniccca for noting sensations that are two fast to note otherwise. But I hsve a Question: Is it possssible to have finger sensations on both hands at the same time? i think the ultimate answer would be know but from where I'm at, the brain can't parse fast enough into individual sensations?
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/11/20 8:35 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/11/20 8:35 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Abre says I need to spend more time meditating in the retreat and less (or none) here on DhO so no more updates until the end of the retreat.
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 6/11/20 8:51 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/11/20 8:51 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I think that will be of great benefit for your practice. You and your teacher and no other hindrances in form of forum ideas and logging etc. 

Have a good one! See ya later! emoticon 
Martin, modified 2 Years ago at 6/11/20 10:51 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/11/20 10:51 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Abre says I need to spend more time meditating in the retreat and less (or none) here on DhO so no more updates until the end of the retreat.

Retreating during a retreat makes sense to me. Enjoy it. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/13/20 11:57 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/13/20 11:57 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Martin:
Sam Gentile:
Abre says I need to spend more time meditating in the retreat and less (or none) here on DhO so no more updates until the end of the retreat.

Retreating during a retreat makes sense to me. Enjoy it. 
The retreat has come to a close and I must say that I am profoundly disapointed.

Nothing happened.

I was hoping this retreat's hours of Noting practice would push me into the Mind & Body stage but no.

I'll just give a summary of the latter part of the week after my teacher told me to get off the internet and "apply myself diligently"

Most of the sessions Thursday were routine, with me changing them from IMS sessions to Noting and Concentation sessions. Of particular note, I did have a 60 minute Noting/Concentration meditation where I did have tingling, Relaxed, Calm and even a Happy mind state! I did finally get my Concentration counting up to 10. Did some walking meditation.

On Friday, the first 45 minute session of the day, on the other hand was one of the most unpleasent meditations ever. I kept wanting to leap out of my chair. I had so much aversion and probably restlessness too. Then a  call came in from my daughter in California even though my phone was silence. I was shocked watcing my reaction for the rest of the session. I had a constant cycle of worry/catastophizing/apprehension/planning and it overtook me. I couldn't get my bearings. Then of course, when I connected with my daughter it was none of those things. It was an innocent request to spend time with me this summer. I had gone into this reactive cycle for nothing.

Later, on Frida, I did have a 60  noting session where I noted relaxed/calm/pleasent with beautiful pleasent bird sounds.

Today, we just had a one hour closing session.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/13/20 12:31 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/13/20 12:31 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Martin:
Sam Gentile:
Abre says I need to spend more time meditating in the retreat and less (or none) here on DhO so no more updates until the end of the retreat.

Retreating during a retreat makes sense to me. Enjoy it. 
The retreat has come to a close and I must say that I am profoundly disapointed.

Nothing happened.

I was hoping this retreat's hours of Noting practice would push me into the Mind & Body stage but no.

I'll just give a summary of the latter part of the week after my teacher told me to get off the internet and "apply myself diligently"

Most of the sessions Thursday were routine, with me changing them from IMS sessions to Noting and Concentation sessions. Of particular note, I did have a 60 minute Noting/Concentration meditation where I did have tingling, Relaxed, Calm and even a Happy mind state! I did finally get my Concentration counting up to 10. Did some walking meditation.

On Friday, the first 45 minute session of the day, on the other hand was one of the most unpleasent meditations ever. I kept wanting to leap out of my chair. I had so much aversion and probably restlessness too. Then a  call came in from my daughter in California even though my phone was silence. I was shocked watcing my reaction for the rest of the session. I had a constant cycle of worry/catastophizing/apprehension/planning and it overtook me. I couldn't get my bearings. Then of course, when I connected with my daughter it was none of those things. It was an innocent request to spend time with me this summer. I had gone into this reactive cycle for nothing.

Later, on Frida, I did have a 60  noting session where I noted relaxed/calm/pleasent with beautiful pleasent bird sounds.

Today, we just had a one hour closing session.
Here is today's session which was 60 minute cross between Noring and Concentration.

I was tired from the week and had periods of doubht although it did not dominate the whole session.

The majority of noting was of those very quick, split second bodily sensations which I am still using the label of "Anicca" for as I catch them.

There was a fair amount of thinking about logging my retreat practice to here.

Did a period of Concentration.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/14/20 11:39 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/14/20 11:39 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Martin:
Sam Gentile:
Abre says I need to spend more time meditating in the retreat and less (or none) here on DhO so no more updates until the end of the retreat.

Retreating during a retreat makes sense to me. Enjoy it. 
The retreat has come to a close and I must say that I am profoundly disapointed.

Nothing happened.

I was hoping this retreat's hours of Noting practice would push me into the Mind & Body stage but no.

I'll just give a summary of the latter part of the week after my teacher told me to get off the internet and "apply myself diligently"

Most of the sessions Thursday were routine, with me changing them from IMS sessions to Noting and Concentation sessions. Of particular note, I did have a 60 minute Noting/Concentration meditation where I did have tingling, Relaxed, Calm and even a Happy mind state! I did finally get my Concentration counting up to 10. Did some walking meditation.

On Friday, the first 45 minute session of the day, on the other hand was one of the most unpleasent meditations ever. I kept wanting to leap out of my chair. I had so much aversion and probably restlessness too. Then a  call came in from my daughter in California even though my phone was silence. I was shocked watcing my reaction for the rest of the session. I had a constant cycle of worry/catastophizing/apprehension/planning and it overtook me. I couldn't get my bearings. Then of course, when I connected with my daughter it was none of those things. It was an innocent request to spend time with me this summer. I had gone into this reactive cycle for nothing.

Later, on Frida, I did have a 60  noting session where I noted relaxed/calm/pleasent with beautiful pleasent bird sounds.

Today, we just had a one hour closing session.
Here is today's session which was 60 minute cross between Noring and Concentration.

I was tired from the week and had periods of doubht although it did not dominate the whole session.

The majority of noting was of those very quick, split second bodily sensations which I am still using the label of "Anicca" for as I catch them.

There was a fair amount of thinking about logging my retreat practice to here.
m
Did a period of Concentration.

Today's 60 minute session was kind of "just there." I didn't feel doubt or Aversion but I didn't feel relaxed or calm mind states. Just more practice.

It started out with fullness and pressure from a meal and coffee right before the session.

I have been writing about the Rob Burbea trick of using the label Anicca for those ultra-fast senstations. I had a lot of them today and this was good but I have to be a bit more careful about using this because I found that several times it took off and became like a mantra. I have to make sure that every use of the label maps to a slight bodily sensation that I wouldn't be able to log otherwise but there has to be one there.

Did about 20 minutes of Concentration and my practice is getting much better. I can now reliably focus and get to count breaths to 10 most of the time now.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/15/20 11:53 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/15/20 11:53 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Today, I did 2 sits.

On the 60 minute sit, I was bored for periods of it but not too long. I inserted a 20 minute Concentration practice in the middle of the noting practice. My concentration  practice is getting so much better that i was able to do breath counts to 10 almost reguarly, Further, the practice put me in a "slight trance" which turned to a state of relaxation, calm and pleasent states when I got back to Noting and remained for most of the sit. 

For the 20 minute Waking Up app Dailly Medittation, the instruction was "Recieve the breath  as it comes and do nothing." Cool!  However. Sam Harris turned it into a bunch of self inquiry questions which I had written a long writeup but don't feel like repeating.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/16/20 11:18 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/16/20 11:18 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Today, I did 2 sits.

On the 60 minute sit, I was bored for periods of it but not too long. I inserted a 20 minute Concentration practice in the middle of the noting practice. My concentration  practice is getting so much better that i was able to do breath counts to 10 almost reguarly, Further, the practice put me in a "slight trance" which turned to a state of relaxation, calm and pleasent states when I got back to Noting and remained for most of the sit. 

For the 20 minute Waking Up app Dailly Medittation, the instruction was "Recieve the breath  as it comes and do nothing." Cool!  However. Sam Harris turned it into a bunch of self inquiry questions which I had written a long writeup but don't feel like repeating.


The first was a 60 minute Noting session, where again, I noted periods of boredom, but they did not predominate. I did a 20 minute Concentration practice, which is going so well lately that I may ask my teacher for a more advanced practice. After  that I got in a Calm/Relaxed/Still/Happiness states. I actually felt my mind still and there were periods of a few seconds where I felt that and didn’t feel any other sensations, not even the fleeting sensations that I label with “Anicca.”
The second session was the 20 minute Waking Up app  Daily Meditation in which I didn’t note but treated like a regular breath meditation, bringing my mind back when it was in thought land. BTW, its highly noticable how many thoughts I have when I am not noting. When I am noting, I have few thoughts and they’re all about logging to this place.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/17/20 12:11 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/17/20 12:11 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Today, I did 2 sits.

On the 60 minute sit, I was bored for periods of it but not too long. I inserted a 20 minute Concentration practice in the middle of the noting practice. My concentration  practice is getting so much better that i was able to do breath counts to 10 almost reguarly, Further, the practice put me in a "slight trance" which turned to a state of relaxation, calm and pleasent states when I got back to Noting and remained for most of the sit. 

For the 20 minute Waking Up app Dailly Medittation, the instruction was "Recieve the breath  as it comes and do nothing." Cool!  However. Sam Harris turned it into a bunch of self inquiry questions which I had written a long writeup but don't feel like repeating.


The first was a 60 minute Noting session, where again, I noted periods of boredom, but they did not predominate. I did a 20 minute Concentration practice, which is going so well lately that I may ask my teacher for a more advanced practice. After  that I got in a Calm/Relaxed/Still/Happiness states. I actually felt my mind still and there were periods of a few seconds where I felt that and didn’t feel any other sensations, not even the fleeting sensations that I label with “Anicca.”
The second session was the 20 minute Waking Up app  Daily Meditation in which I didn’t note but treated like a regular breath meditation, bringing my mind back when it was in thought land. BTW, its highly noticable how many thoughts I have when I am not noting. When I am noting, I have few thoughts and they’re all about logging to this place.

The first was a 60 minute Notng sit with two periods of concentration. It did not get off to a good start. I noted unhappiness/dissatisfaction/doubt/bored/dull. It pretty much persisted. The Concentration periods were really good however. According to Kenneth Folk’s ad-hoc definition of Access Concentration in his The Three Speed Transmission, if you can do 3 sets of 10-count breaths, you have Access Concentration.
Growing a little concerned about growing use of Anicca label to note very subtle fast sensations and seemingly less macro sensations. Has anyone ever noticed that? As you practice, does your attention become more and more subtle or am I doing something wrong?
Then I did the 20 minute Waking Up app Daily Meditation which was a simple breath meditation until the end until it directed me to look for the observer. Looking is enough, you are turning the mind, directing the mind to look for itself. The mind knows what to do. You, the "I" does not have to worry if you feel or not the "looking back." If you are looking, meaning the mind is looking, that in itself is enough.
And is the thinker/observer awareness? You can answer yes, what else is to be found? Nothing else, except the impression, the sense of me, but that is a feeling, a sense of. All you can find it the process of observing, looking at the process of observing, awareness aware of awareness itself.

 
 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 11:21 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 11:20 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Today, I did 2 sits.

On the 60 minute sit, I was bored for periods of it but not too long. I inserted a 20 minute Concentration practice in the middle of the noting practice. My concentration  practice is getting so much better that i was able to do breath counts to 10 almost reguarly, Further, the practice put me in a "slight trance" which turned to a state of relaxation, calm and pleasent states when I got back to Noting and remained for most of the sit. 

For the 20 minute Waking Up app Dailly Medittation, the instruction was "Recieve the breath  as it comes and do nothing." Cool!  However. Sam Harris turned it into a bunch of self inquiry questions which I had written a long writeup but don't feel like repeating.


The first was a 60 minute Noting session, where again, I noted periods of boredom, but they did not predominate. I did a 20 minute Concentration practice, which is going so well lately that I may ask my teacher for a more advanced practice. After  that I got in a Calm/Relaxed/Still/Happiness states. I actually felt my mind still and there were periods of a few seconds where I felt that and didn’t feel any other sensations, not even the fleeting sensations that I label with “Anicca.”
The second session was the 20 minute Waking Up app  Daily Meditation in which I didn’t note but treated like a regular breath meditation, bringing my mind back when it was in thought land. BTW, its highly noticable how many thoughts I have when I am not noting. When I am noting, I have few thoughts and they’re all about logging to this place.

The first was a 60 minute Notng sit with two periods of concentration. It did not get off to a good start. I noted unhappiness/dissatisfaction/doubt/bored/dull. It pretty much persisted. The Concentration periods were really good however. According to Kenneth Folk’s ad-hoc definition of Access Concentration in his The Three Speed Transmission, if you can do 3 sets of 10-count breaths, you have Access Concentration.
Growing a little concerned about growing use of Anicca label to note very subtle fast sensations and seemingly less macro sensations. Has anyone ever noticed that? As you practice, does your attention become more and more subtle or am I doing something wrong?
Then I did the 20 minute Waking Up app Daily Meditation which was a simple breath meditation until the end until it directed me to look for the observer. Looking is enough, you are turning the mind, directing the mind to look for itself. The mind knows what to do. You, the "I" does not have to worry if you feel or not the "looking back." If you are looking, meaning the mind is looking, that in itself is enough.
And is the thinker/observer awareness? You can answer yes, what else is to be found? Nothing else, except the impression, the sense of me, but that is a feeling, a sense of. All you can find it the process of observing, looking at the process of observing, awareness aware of awareness itself.

 
 
Did two sits. The first was a 60 minute
Noting session with a period of Concentration. I didn’t sleep at all last
night, just lying in bed, so I didn’t think this sit would go well. Well, I got
a lot of help from the Bulletproof Coffee and plenty of energy. In fact, this
is the first session I can remember that I didn’t have a single instance of
boredom!

I did a 20 minute Concentration practice during the Noting. Its still going well. I think I am
hitting access concentration so I am going to discuss with my teacher and ask
for a harder concentration practice.After concentration, I got in
a relaxed/calm/still/happiness state which persisted for the rest of the sit.

The 2nd meditation
was the 20 minute Waking Up a Daily Meditation which was a breath meditation
with none of Sam Harris Insight riddles. I just sat back and was surprised by
how still my mind was and how little thinking was going on.
Olivier S, modified 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:44 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:35 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 758 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
On Friday, the first 45 minute session of the day, on the other hand was one of the most unpleasent meditations ever. I kept wanting to leap out of my chair. I had so much aversion and probably restlessness too. Then a  call came in from my daughter in California even though my phone was silence. I was shocked watcing my reaction for the rest of the session. I had a constant cycle of worry/catastophizing/apprehension/planning and it overtook me. I couldn't get my bearings. Then of course, when I connected with my daughter it was none of those things. It was an innocent request to spend time with me this summer. I had gone into this reactive cycle for nothing.
That sounds like reobservation to me.
Later, on Frida, I did have a 60  noting session where I noted relaxed/calm/pleasent with beautiful pleasent bird sounds.
For some reasons this strikes me as EQ. Wild guess.


I have been writing about the Rob Burbea trick of using the label Anicca for those ultra-fast senstations. I had a lot of them today and this was good but I have to be a bit more careful about using this because I found that several times it took off and became like a mantra. I have to make sure that every use of the label maps to a slight bodily sensation that I wouldn't be able to log otherwise but there has to be one there.
Ultra-fast sensations = A+P. Note becomes a mantra : 2nd jhana leaning on the shamatha side.

Growing a little concerned about growing use of Anicca label to note very subtle fast sensations and seemingly less macro sensations. Has anyone ever noticed that? As you practice, does your attention become more and more subtle or am I doing something wrong?
Nt sure what that means, but I would say the subtlest sensations occur in A+P, or perhaps, in some ways, in the dukkha ñanas sometimes, but things kind of morph and change their way of existing in space and attention is all weird and things are uncomfortable, and then in EQ things open up, are light and spacious, pleasant in a relaxed and sustainable way... The clarity is there but since the awareness is broader it seems less detailed, perhaps. Does that sound familiar ? 

I mean, I don't know man. Perhaps it's not my place to give you my opinion when you seem to have a perfectly good teacher recommended by Dan Ingram himself. But since you seem to be distressed by this stuff, which I can understand, because you are thinking you're not even getting into the first ñana despite all the hard work you're putting in, and have been, for seven years, I feel like it's an extremely reasonable thing to tell you that it seems to me that you are WAY past that. Be reassured. It must be frustrating, when there is so much enthusiasm. I understand your passion and don't find it unhealthy to have map fixation for a bit ; after all, how fixated do you think ingram was to come up with that thick tome, hm ? emoticon

I just skimmed through the last page and these different excerpts quoted above could definitely in my opinion indicate A+P, DN stuff, and perhaps EQ. 

I mean, you are sitting hour long sessions and most of the time not sweating it. Doing between 1h-2h a day of practice.

The first few ñanas, from what I understand because I don't even see them pass by ever myself (! really basic stuff !), are more about gross hindrances and pains and difficulty sitting and such like that, and from the skimming of your log I did, I don't see much of that, to be honest. Mind and body is not a deep insight... it just means that there is a recognition that some things are "rupa", body sensations, etc., and some things are "nama", mental stuff. I don't really recall a time in my life when I was NOT aware of that, in a way, you know.

I'm sure your teacher has a good notion of where you're at, and doesn't tell you so that you won't obsess over it, but in my eperience it has been worse for me, knowing very well I was advanced, and having it be implied that I wasn't even in the beginning stages. It was extremely frustrating and useless, because I was very dedicated and passionate and just felt like they were telling me I was floundering.

The fact that you seem to be looking so hard to understand the mapping stuff and all that seems to me like a tell-tale sign.

There you go. Could be wrong of course. 
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Steph , modified 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:58 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:45 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 669 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Basically, I don't want to tell Sam where I think he's at in the maps for reasons I said in that A&P post. I don't want to encourage map obsession, and you bring up a good point that none of us are his teacher. I don't want to go against their advice because I'm sure she knows Sam's practice better than us.

One suggestion I do have was given to me directly from the wise one known as Dan Ingram. I will keep repeating it until the end of time and every meditator should have a banner with this written on it above the spot where they meditate. Everybody wants to avoid looking at suffering, but that's exactly what this is all about. 

I'm not saying you're entirely avoiding suffering, but you should look at a very strong example of suffering that's staring you in the face right now. How that relates, Sam, to your experience right now is this: You are suffering over trying to figure out where you're at. You are suffering over feeling like you have not accomplished what you feel like you should have after 7 years. LOOK AT THAT!! LOOK AT IT. How does that suffering manifest in your direct experience when that comes up for you? What does it feel like? How does it move and change? What sensations are part and parcel of those burning questions?
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Siavash ', modified 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:47 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:45 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1522 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
(Sorry senior monks! A suggestion from a beginner)

I think Fire Kasina could be helpful in this regard.
When I first started doing fire kasina, I wasn't getting the dot. Occasionally I was getting it for a very short time and I'd get very excited about it.
When I started doing it again after about a year, the dot showed up from the first sit. After a few days spinning dots showed up. Then colors showed up. Then the murk showed up and stayed there. (It didn't proceed much in the direction of 4th jhana though.)

Daniel has talked in detail about how fire kasina stages map to vipassana jhanas, and if we take that to be valid, then the results of fire kasina could be diagnostic I guess.
Olivier S, modified 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:50 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/18/20 7:49 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 758 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
The 2nd meditation
was the 20 minute Waking Up a Daily Meditation which was a breath meditation
with none of Sam Harris Insight riddles. I just sat back and was surprised by
how still my mind was and how little thinking was going on.

Could be equanimity, stillness is the hallmark, no thoughts too. Can you pay attention to how your sense of space and your focus develop, as well as how your perception of your body changes, the next time you sit, with much more detail than you've been giving ? Try to notice (not induce) shifts in the general sense of things, and to characterize that very clearly.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 10:59 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 10:59 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Olivier:
The 2nd meditation
was the 20 minute Waking Up a Daily Meditation which was a breath meditation
with none of Sam Harris Insight riddles. I just sat back and was surprised by
how still my mind was and how little thinking was going on.

Could be equanimity, stillness is the hallmark, no thoughts too. Can you pay attention to how your sense of space and your focus develop, as well as how your perception of your body changes, the next time you sit, with much more detail than you've been giving ? Try to notice (not induce) shifts in the general sense of things, and to characterize that very clearly.

Today was a 60 minute sit. It started out with lots of thoughts acout the crossing of A&P topic here. This affected the 20 mnute Concentration practice.

In terms of equnamity, Oliver, I strangely reached some stillness places in  my noting where it felt like "nothing was coming in" to be sensed. Does that make any sense? I mean, there is always the breath at the abdomen rising and falling.

 There was a lot of Anicca noting instead as my noting struggled.

I did get to relaxation/calm/happiness.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 11:04 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 11:04 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Steph S:
Basically, I don't want to tell Sam where I think he's at in the maps for reasons I said in that A&P post. I don't want to encourage map obsession, and you bring up a good point that none of us are his teacher. I don't want to go against their advice because I'm sure she knows Sam's practice better than us.

One suggestion I do have was given to me directly from the wise one known as Dan Ingram. I will keep repeating it until the end of time and every meditator should have a banner with this written on it above the spot where they meditate. Everybody wants to avoid looking at suffering, but that's exactly what this is all about. 

I'm not saying you're entirely avoiding suffering, but you should look at a very strong example of suffering that's staring you in the face right now. How that relates, Sam, to your experience right now is this: You are suffering over trying to figure out where you're at. You are suffering over feeling like you have not accomplished what you feel like you should have after 7 years. LOOK AT THAT!! LOOK AT IT. How does that suffering manifest in your direct experience when that comes up for you? What does it feel like? How does it move and change? What sensations are part and parcel of those burning questions?
Thanks Steph. YES! I am really suffering over where I am right now, whether Iahad the event (I mean i'm basing it on 
 bunch of medical events for dark night), and what  my teacher is going to say. To top it off I can't get her input until Monday evening. Its driving me nuts! Its maifesting mostly in my head and gut.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 11:05 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 11:05 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

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Olivier:
On Friday, the first 45 minute session of the day, on the other hand was one of the most unpleasent meditations ever. I kept wanting to leap out of my chair. I had so much aversion and probably restlessness too. Then a  call came in from my daughter in California even though my phone was silence. I was shocked watcing my reaction for the rest of the session. I had a constant cycle of worry/catastophizing/apprehension/planning and it overtook me. I couldn't get my bearings. Then of course, when I connected with my daughter it was none of those things. It was an innocent request to spend time with me this summer. I had gone into this reactive cycle for nothing.
That sounds like reobservation to me.
Later, on Frida, I did have a 60  noting session where I noted relaxed/calm/pleasent with beautiful pleasent bird sounds.
For some reasons this strikes me as EQ. Wild guess.


I have been writing about the Rob Burbea trick of using the label Anicca for those ultra-fast senstations. I had a lot of them today and this was good but I have to be a bit more careful about using this because I found that several times it took off and became like a mantra. I have to make sure that every use of the label maps to a slight bodily sensation that I wouldn't be able to log otherwise but there has to be one there.
Ultra-fast sensations = A+P. Note becomes a mantra : 2nd jhana leaning on the shamatha side.

Growing a little concerned about growing use of Anicca label to note very subtle fast sensations and seemingly less macro sensations. Has anyone ever noticed that? As you practice, does your attention become more and more subtle or am I doing something wrong?
Nt sure what that means, but I would say the subtlest sensations occur in A+P, or perhaps, in some ways, in the dukkha ñanas sometimes, but things kind of morph and change their way of existing in space and attention is all weird and things are uncomfortable, and then in EQ things open up, are light and spacious, pleasant in a relaxed and sustainable way... The clarity is there but since the awareness is broader it seems less detailed, perhaps. Does that sound familiar ? 

I mean, I don't know man. Perhaps it's not my place to give you my opinion when you seem to have a perfectly good teacher recommended by Dan Ingram himself. But since you seem to be distressed by this stuff, which I can understand, because you are thinking you're not even getting into the first ñana despite all the hard work you're putting in, and have been, for seven years, I feel like it's an extremely reasonable thing to tell you that it seems to me that you are WAY past that. Be reassured. It must be frustrating, when there is so much enthusiasm. I understand your passion and don't find it unhealthy to have map fixation for a bit ; after all, how fixated do you think ingram was to come up with that thick tome, hm ? emoticon

I just skimmed through the last page and these different excerpts quoted above could definitely in my opinion indicate A+P, DN stuff, and perhaps EQ. 

I mean, you are sitting hour long sessions and most of the time not sweating it. Doing between 1h-2h a day of practice.

The first few ñanas, from what I understand because I don't even see them pass by ever myself (! really basic stuff !), are more about gross hindrances and pains and difficulty sitting and such like that, and from the skimming of your log I did, I don't see much of that, to be honest. Mind and body is not a deep insight... it just means that there is a recognition that some things are "rupa", body sensations, etc., and some things are "nama", mental stuff. I don't really recall a time in my life when I was NOT aware of that, in a way, you know.

I'm sure your teacher has a good notion of where you're at, and doesn't tell you so that you won't obsess over it, but in my eperience it has been worse for me, knowing very well I was advanced, and having it be implied that I wasn't even in the beginning stages. It was extremely frustrating and useless, because I was very dedicated and passionate and just felt like they were telling me I was floundering.

The fact that you seem to be looking so hard to understand the mapping stuff and all that seems to me like a tell-tale sign.

There you go. Could be wrong of course. 

Thhank you for doing this.
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Chris M, modified 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 12:00 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 12:00 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 4421 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Sam --

You have just recently started to work with someone I know well, and who a good dharma teacher. I suggest, mostly for your own well-being, that you stick with that process. I think it's fine to ask about this stuff on DhO, but none of us knows you or your practice as well as your teacher knows you and your practice, and that knowledge will only grow as you work with that person. You should trust in that process and in that relationship. Otherwise, why bother?

I know how powerful desire and curiosity can be, but you need to realize that's dukkha talking, and dukkha talking needs to be recognized for what it is, examined for what it is, and dealt with accordingly. These are opportunities for investigation. Don't let them wind you up and run you in circles. That's what you're practicing to learn about, right? Take this time until you an talk to your teacher as that kind of opportunity.

JMHO, offered in the spirit of providing counsel.
Olivier S, modified 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 12:26 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 12:23 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 758 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Hi guys.

Sam, you're welcome.

I certainly concur with Chris here, who even knows your teacher, so she certainly is the real deal. We indeed don't know much about your practice, or you.

However, two things :

(1) Let's say some person has read mctb. Why should they then be kept from having clear explanations about what in their experience corresponds exactly to the extremely detailed maps which are in there ?

It just seems utterly unexplainable to me.

If the point is because it leads to suffering, I mean : everything leads to suffering, except a way of relating to things which comes about only for very advanced meditator. Isn't that right ? "Here is the extremely detailed map. Now that you are very very enthusiastic about, and partly because of, those maps, we're not actually gonna let you clearly grok what it refers to. Rather, we will keep you in a kind of ignorance - for your own good."

Isn't that cruel ? I have suffered more from teachers thinking it was better to lead me on about the map stuff, "for my own good", than about the mapping. Seriously. 

Sure, all models of meditation break down after a while. Doesn't everything ? Does wondering about wether you are in baya ñana or nibbida ñana, really keep you from investigating your experience clearly ? 

That has not been my experience.

(2) Ok, it's all about seeing the suffering. So, Sam, hit yourself in the face, and examine the physical sensations associated with that on a strictly sensory basis - no storytelling.

Caricature, of course, but you get my point, right ?
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 12:41 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/19/20 12:41 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Sam --

You have just recently started to work with someone I know well, and who a good dharma teacher. I suggest, mostly for your own well-being, that you stick with that process. I think it's fine to ask about this stuff on DhO, but none of us knows you or your practice as well as your teacher knows you and your practice, and that knowledge will only grow as you work with that person. You should trust in that process and in that relationship. Otherwise, why bother?

I know how powerful desire and curiosity can be, but you need to realize that's dukkha talking, and dukkha talking needs to be recognized for what it is, examined for what it is, and dealt with accordingly. These are opportunities for investigation. Don't let them wind you up and run you in circles. That's what you're practicing to learn about, right? Take this time until you an talk to your teacher as that kind of opportunity.

JMHO, offered in the spirit of providing counsel.


Chris, 
I was hoping you would chime in. I completly agree. I have no intention of changing the process with my teacher. I will layy low until Monday investigating my dukkha.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/20/20 10:57 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/20/20 10:57 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
UnSam Gentile:
Olivier:
The 2nd meditation
was the 20 minute Waking Up a Daily Meditation which was a breath meditation
with none of Sam Harris Insight riddles. I just sat back and was surprised by
how still my mind was and how little thinking was going on.

Could be equanimity, stillness is the hallmark, no thoughts too. Can you pay attention to how your sense of space and your focus develop, as well as how your perception of your body changes, the next time you sit, with much more detail than you've been giving ? Try to notice (not induce) shifts in the general sense of things, and to characterize that very clearly.

Today was a 60 minute sit. It started out with lots of thoughts acout the crossing of A&P topic here. This affected the 20 mnute Concentration practice.

In terms of equnamity, Oliver, I strangely reached some stillness places in  my noting where it felt like "nothing was coming in" to be sensed. Does that make any sense? I mean, there is always the breath at the abdomen rising and falling.

 There was a lot of Anicca noting instead as my noting struggled.

I did get to relaxation/calm/happiness.
Today was the total opposite of the past few days. It was all I could do to sit in my chair for the 60 minute sit.

I didn't feel great before the meditation and this carried in and I noted Unhappiness/Disatisfaction/Unpleasent/ even Depressed

Then came waves of boredom with aversion leading to doubt. Basically, I wanted to be anywhere else then here.

Concentration was spotty.

Noted a bunch of trembling.

It felt like such an effort just to Note.

What do you guys advise on "bad sits"? Just note it all right?
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/21/20 12:26 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/21/20 11:28 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Advice from Kenneth Folk. He truly says it best: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1UK5_692eo

Thank you Hibiscus Kid. That video had a lot of impact. I like the comment of "putting everything in the hopper." If its doubt, note it. Whatever it is, don't stop, just note it.

Today, I did a 60 minute sit with a 20 minute concentration period and the rest noting. There's nothing  much to say. Concentration was just Ok. The noting was again affected by seeming to run out of things to note and over-reliance on the Anicca keyword.

Given that, I wasn't bored and I ended up with Relaxation/Calm/Happiness.

Update: Added the 20 minute Waking Upp app Daily Meditation. Sam Harris directed to look at an object and then quickly look back at what's looking. He says when doing so you don't find anything but when you look at the object again "it's shifted. It's no longer out there." But my teacher says hwen you look back you notice awareness and that awarness is aware of that awareness. I'm so confused. Anyone have any thoughts on how to resolve this?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 6/21/20 5:29 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/21/20 5:29 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Awareness looking at awareness" emoticon they say to look at it emoticon what happened to the progressive path all of a sudden? 

You can't force this stuff. Seeing what they ask you to see is "insight". Insight comes when fully baked and ready. You can't force insight.

Take it easy and just note/notice what's arising right now; itching, tingling, coolness, touching, calmness, relaxation, doubt, urge, preassure, tightness, breathing sensations... etc emoticon 

Keep it simple and remind yourself to relax and calm while still curious and engaging with the arisings. 
Keep away from leading yourself into frustration! Note frustration and return back to the body sensations each time you notice that you are frustrating and forcing stuff. Body sensations are the least confusing aspect to watch! 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/22/20 12:05 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/22/20 11:09 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
"Awareness looking at awareness" emoticon they say to look at it emoticon what happened to the progressive path all of a sudden? 

You can't force this stuff. Seeing what they ask you to see is "insight". Insight comes when fully baked and ready. You can't force insight.

Take it easy and just note/notice what's arising right now; itching, tingling, coolness, touching, calmness, relaxation, doubt, urge, preassure, tightness, breathing sensations... etc emoticon 

Keep it simple and remind yourself to relax and calm while still curious and engaging with the arisings. 
Keep away from leading yourself into frustration! Note frustration and return back to the body sensations each time you notice that you are frustrating and forcing stuff. Body sensations are the least confusing aspect to watch! 
I agree you can't force it but I disagree in that my teacher does want me to look at this stuff.

For today: 

I don't know why I am alternating "good" sits and "bad sits" on alternative days or why this concept of good and bad is even there for me.

Today was one of those "bad sits" or should I not call it that? I had total boredom throughout the ientire 60 minute sit and I was filled with doubt. Not just doubt for today's session but for the whole proceess itself. As I saw in the video of Kenneth Folk on doubt, just note doubt and it "all goes in the hopper".

Chris? Habiscus Kid?

Good thing I am seeing my teacher later today.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/22/20 6:52 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/22/20 6:52 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Steph S:
Basically, I don't want to tell Sam where I think he's at in the maps for reasons I said in that A&P post. I don't want to encourage map obsession, and you bring up a good point that none of us are his teacher. I don't want to go against their advice because I'm sure she knows Sam's practice better than us.

One suggestion I do have was given to me directly from the wise one known as Dan Ingram. I will keep repeating it until the end of time and every meditator should have a banner with this written on it above the spot where they meditate. Everybody wants to avoid looking at suffering, but that's exactly what this is all about. 

I'm not saying you're entirely avoiding suffering, but you should look at a very strong example of suffering that's staring you in the face right now. How that relates, Sam, to your experience right now is this: You are suffering over trying to figure out where you're at. You are suffering over feeling like you have not accomplished what you feel like you should have after 7 years. LOOK AT THAT!! LOOK AT IT. How does that suffering manifest in your direct experience when that comes up for you? What does it feel like? How does it move and change? What sensations are part and parcel of those burning questions?

Oliver, Steph

You made a good guess. See my A&P post but basically she says I could have crossed the A&P in my 7 years. Because of my descriptions of my meditations as "wanting to leap off the cushion" and not wanting to do anything she says I could be at Desire for Deliverance. We'll have to watch and see.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/22/20 6:58 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/22/20 6:58 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Papa Che Dusko:
"Awareness looking at awareness" emoticon they say to look at it emoticon what happened to the progressive path all of a sudden? 

You can't force this stuff. Seeing what they ask you to see is "insight". Insight comes when fully baked and ready. You can't force insight.

Take it easy and just note/notice what's arising right now; itching, tingling, coolness, touching, calmness, relaxation, doubt, urge, preassure, tightness, breathing sensations... etc emoticon 

Keep it simple and remind yourself to relax and calm while still curious and engaging with the arisings. 
Keep away from leading yourself into frustration! Note frustration and return back to the body sensations each time you notice that you are frustrating and forcing stuff. Body sensations are the least confusing aspect to watch! 
I agree you can't force it but I disagree in that my teacher does want me to look at this stuff.

For today: 

I don't know why I am alternating "good" sits and "bad sits" on alternative days or why this concept of good and bad is even there for me.

Today was one of those "bad sits" or should I not call it that? I had total boredom throughout the ientire 60 minute sit and I was filled with doubt. Not just doubt for today's session but for the whole proceess itself. As I saw in the video of Kenneth Folk on doubt, just note doubt and it "all goes in the hopper".

Chris? Habiscus Kid?

Good thing I am seeing my teacher later today.

This could all be part of the Desire for Deliverance step I may be in according to Abre.

This is the first of my PM 20 minute meditations. I made good use of the new sensations Abre mentioned that i get a lot in my practice: wanting to move, movement, wavering.

I had a lot of tiredness, sleepingness. I don't think it was the hinderance but true tiredness.'

Doubt, Impatience, and Aversion were noted,
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/23/20 11:17 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/23/20 11:17 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
I don't know why I am alternating "good" sits and "bad sits" on alternative days or why this concept of good and bad is even there for me.

Today was one of those "bad sits" or should I not call it that? I had total boredom throughout the ientire 60 minute sit and I was filled with doubt. Not just doubt for today's session but for the whole proceess itself. As I saw in the video of Kenneth Folk on doubt, just note doubt and it "all goes in the hopper".
Hey bud!

You're looking very closely at the near term - you've just gotten introduced to Pragmatic Dharma so you're still starting off with these techniques and frameworks. Patience is definitely a virtue here (I get impatient too, all the time). Maybe after 6-12 months, you can look back and see if there is a trend. 

It is absolutely alright, natural, and expected to have days (many, many days, infact) with 'bad' sits. Just bring yourself back to the breath or come back to the noting technique and don't be hard on yourself. That's what the mind does! We aren't in control of it. As practitioners, we just need to be gently & tenaciously persistent. 

Call a 'bad' sit "bad" if you would like. Or even call it "difficult". Also realize, there's good material in there to become a more skillful meditator. The famous quote "Calm seas never made a good sailor" applies to meditation as well.

I sent you a PM as well, so check your inbox. Good luck!
Thanks for your advice. So Mind, this is how it's/you're going to now? emoticon One day hard with doubt, the next day relaxation and calm, and the next day hard... emoticon

So today was the "good" day with relaxation/calm/happiness...

I wasn't aware of how much movement until my teacher gave me the words wavering/wanting to move/movement. Yah, well I do a lot of that.

I started the new concentration practice she wanted me to start. In "packs" of 3, I slightly enlongate my breath and meticuously notice the begining, middle, end of both the in breath and the out breath. It went very well. I was pretty focused and it also relaxed me.

All, in all, a "good" sit emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/23/20 6:56 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/23/20 6:56 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
I don't know why I am alternating "good" sits and "bad sits" on alternative days or why this concept of good and bad is even there for me.

Today was one of those "bad sits" or should I not call it that? I had total boredom throughout the ientire 60 minute sit and I was filled with doubt. Not just doubt for today's session but for the whole proceess itself. As I saw in the video of Kenneth Folk on doubt, just note doubt and it "all goes in the hopper".
Hey bud!

You're looking very closely at the near term - you've just gotten introduced to Pragmatic Dharma so you're still starting off with these techniques and frameworks. Patience is definitely a virtue here (I get impatient too, all the time). Maybe after 6-12 months, you can look back and see if there is a trend. 

It is absolutely alright, natural, and expected to have days (many, many days, infact) with 'bad' sits. Just bring yourself back to the breath or come back to the noting technique and don't be hard on yourself. That's what the mind does! We aren't in control of it. As practitioners, we just need to be gently & tenaciously persistent. 

Call a 'bad' sit "bad" if you would like. Or even call it "difficult". Also realize, there's good material in there to become a more skillful meditator. The famous quote "Calm seas never made a good sailor" applies to meditation as well.

I sent you a PM as well, so check your inbox. Good luck!
Thanks for your advice. So Mind, this is how it's/you're going to now? emoticon One day hard with doubt, the next day relaxation and calm, and the next day hard... emoticon

So today was the "good" day with relaxation/calm/happiness...

I wasn't aware of how much movement until my teacher gave me the words wavering/wanting to move/movement. Yah, well I do a lot of that.

I started the new concentration practice she wanted me to start. In "packs" of 3, I slightly enlongate my breath and meticuously notice the begining, middle, end of both the in breath and the out breath. It went very well. I was pretty focused and it also relaxed me.

All, in all, a "good" sit emoticon

PM 20 Minute Sit

Extremely tired. Relaxed and calm
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/24/20 11:24 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/24/20 11:17 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
I don't know why I am alternating "good" sits and "bad sits" on alternative days or why this concept of good and bad is even there for me.

Today was one of those "bad sits" or should I not call it that? I had total boredom throughout the ientire 60 minute sit and I was filled with doubt. Not just doubt for today's session but for the whole proceess itself. As I saw in the video of Kenneth Folk on doubt, just note doubt and it "all goes in the hopper".
Hey bud!

You're looking very closely at the near term - you've just gotten introduced to Pragmatic Dharma so you're still starting off with these techniques and frameworks. Patience is definitely a virtue here (I get impatient too, all the time). Maybe after 6-12 months, you can look back and see if there is a trend. 

It is absolutely alright, natural, and expected to have days (many, many days, infact) with 'bad' sits. Just bring yourself back to the breath or come back to the noting technique and don't be hard on yourself. That's what the mind does! We aren't in control of it. As practitioners, we just need to be gently & tenaciously persistent. 

Call a 'bad' sit "bad" if you would like. Or even call it "difficult". Also realize, there's good material in there to become a more skillful meditator. The famous quote "Calm seas never made a good sailor" applies to meditation as well.

I sent you a PM as well, so check your inbox. Good luck!
Thanks for your advice. So Mind, this is how it's/you're going to now? emoticon One day hard with doubt, the next day relaxation and calm, and the next day hard... emoticon

So today was the "good" day with relaxation/calm/happiness...

I wasn't aware of how much movement until my teacher gave me the words wavering/wanting to move/movement. Yah, well I do a lot of that.

I started the new concentration practice she wanted me to start. In "packs" of 3, I slightly enlongate my breath and meticuously notice the begining, middle, end of both the in breath and the out breath. It went very well. I was pretty focused and it also relaxed me.

All, in all, a "good" sit emoticon

PM 20 Minute Sit

Extremely tired. Relaxed and calm

60 minute Noting/Concentration sitting
The pattern of alternating days with good/bad sits has been broken - I had a 2nd straight day of relaxation/calm/happiness

The 2nd day of the new concentration practice of intently looking at the begining/middle/end of each breath in packs of three was ok while I was in the breath but I kept losing track of which of the three breaths I was in

Back to the noting, the Wavering/Want to Move/Movement was still strong

In using "Anicca" for the sensations in my fingers, I found my fingers were actually moving at times

Still faced the issue of "running out" of words for noting making it a little fustrating and boring. I am going to do what my teacher said and study the word document of noting words she sent me a while back

Wondering whats up with my one cup of Bulletproof coffee I drink right before? Its no working anymore. Makes me feel like having a 2nd cup..
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 6/24/20 12:57 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/24/20 12:57 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Still faced the issue of "running out" of words for noting making it a little fustrating and boring. I"

Are you kidding me emoticon here you have so much stuff to observe and note like "inability to find a word" "frustration, thinking, boring, unpleasant" try and connect these to some body parts that show up in the attention like preassure in the solar plexsus etc ... 

I use many words but at times it can go on for long with just "seeing, comprehending, touching, imagining, eye lid blinking, body twitching, ear frequency hearing, eye sight blip". I do short words but here I'm describing in full so you know what I'm talking about. 

Kenneth Folk told me "it's not about Noting, it's about Noticing". We use the noting apparatus to keep us in the constant stream of consciousness without lapses in mindfulness. This is important. 

Even noting everything with just saying "beep" is enough; (nose itching) Beep, (thinking) Beep, (touching) Beep, ... emoticon 

There is a reason behind Shinzen simplifying it all by suggesting See, Hear, Feel as they only words to be used. 

Of course like you, I also prefer to label the experience with its actual name. No problem. Just remember that we are Noting Everything! Also that frustration, boredom, in ability to find words, unpleasant etc ... If uncertain that you are doing it right, use the word Certain for each experience if certain and use uncertain word if uncertain. This is good for doubt and when there is a sense of non-clarity. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/24/20 7:01 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/24/20 7:01 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
"Still faced the issue of "running out" of words for noting making it a little fustrating and boring. I"

Are you kidding me emoticon here you have so much stuff to observe and note like "inability to find a word" "frustration, thinking, boring, unpleasant" try and connect these to some body parts that show up in the attention like preassure in the solar plexsus etc ... 

I use many words but at times it can go on for long with just "seeing, comprehending, touching, imagining, eye lid blinking, body twitching, ear frequency hearing, eye sight blip". I do short words but here I'm describing in full so you know what I'm talking about. 

Kenneth Folk told me "it's not about Noting, it's about Noticing". We use the noting apparatus to keep us in the constant stream of consciousness without lapses in mindfulness. This is important. 

Even noting everything with just saying "beep" is enough; (nose itching) Beep, (thinking) Beep, (touching) Beep, ... emoticon 

There is a reason behind Shinzen simplifying it all by suggesting See, Hear, Feel as they only words to be used. 

Of course like you, I also prefer to label the experience with its actual name. No problem. Just remember that we are Noting Everything! Also that frustration, boredom, in ability to find words, unpleasant etc ... If uncertain that you are doing it right, use the word Certain for each experience if certain and use uncertain word if uncertain. This is good for doubt and when there is a sense of non-clarity. 
Yah, Papa Che but I forget the words when I'm actually noting...
 
20 minute PM session
Cycling through the mind states of Irritation/Aversion/Doubt
I would have lept out of the chair if I wasn't so tired which goes back to the Desire for Deliverance stage (which is present in all aspects of my life as I'll write tomorrow)
I'm only doing his 20 minute PM session because my teacher made me add it
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Years ago at 6/25/20 12:59 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/25/20 12:59 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Yah, Papa Che but I forget the words when I'm actually noting.."

Yes Sam emoticon I know. Hence me saying to Note while noting the Mind States which are there during that "forgetting the words" thinking. 
What are the mind states associated with that arising? 
Instead of getting absorbed/lost in "I cant find the words, must get new words" thinking, you can note this content by seeing it as (label) "inability to find a word" "frustration" "unpleasant" and move on to the next arising. 

Don't get lost in the content of the arising. 

May you practice well. 

Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/25/20 11:06 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/25/20 11:06 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Sam, just to add, your noting vocabulary doesn't have to be super complex. As Papa Che says above, it's about noticing sensate phenomena and the noting is simply a tool to help a person be present and objective. It's a feedback mechanism.

My noting vocabulary isn't super complex. I've meditated out loud with a meditation friend of mine as well as with Abre, and neither of them used a super large set of words.  

Don't get hung up on the small things. 
Habiscus Kid, I am not worried about the words, I had them  today, I am and you should be worried about this Desire for Deliverance stage Abre thinks I may be in. I don't want to do anything, especially sit. I'd rather do "that other thing" than wake up every morning and face this life.If it wasn't for coffee, I wouldnt even get up.

in my 60 minute sit today, I cycled through the mind states if irritation/impatient/boredom/dull/ness/doubt/negativity and aversion. I had a hard time staying seated again.

Concentration was good, I did it the breaths in 5 packs.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/25/20 6:50 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/25/20 6:50 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Sam, just to add, your noting vocabulary doesn't have to be super complex. As Papa Che says above, it's about noticing sensate phenomena and the noting is simply a tool to help a person be present and objective. It's a feedback mechanism.

My noting vocabulary isn't super complex. I've meditated out loud with a meditation friend of mine as well as with Abre, and neither of them used a super large set of words.  

Don't get hung up on the small things. 
Habiscus Kid, I am not worried about the words, I had them  today, I am and you should be worried about this Desire for Deliverance stage Abre thinks I may be in. I don't want to do anything, especially sit. I'd rather do "that other thing" than wake up every morning and face this life.If it wasn't for coffee, I wouldnt even get up.

in my 60 minute sit today, I cycled through the mind states if irritation/impatient/boredom/dull/ness/doubt/negativity and aversion. I had a hard time staying seated again.

Concentration was good, I did it the breaths in 5 packs.
The PM 20 minute sit was calm. That is all.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/26/20 11:32 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/26/20 11:32 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Sam, just to add, your noting vocabulary doesn't have to be super complex. As Papa Che says above, it's about noticing sensate phenomena and the noting is simply a tool to help a person be present and objective. It's a feedback mechanism.

My noting vocabulary isn't super complex. I've meditated out loud with a meditation friend of mine as well as with Abre, and neither of them used a super large set of words.  

Don't get hung up on the small things. 
Habiscus Kid, I am not worried about the words, I had them  today, I am and you should be worried about this Desire for Deliverance stage Abre thinks I may be in. I don't want to do anything, especially sit. I'd rather do "that other thing" than wake up every morning and face this life.If it wasn't for coffee, I wouldnt even get up.

in my 60 minute sit today, I cycled through the mind states if irritation/impatient/boredom/dull/ness/doubt/negativity and aversion. I had a hard time staying seated again.

Concentration was good, I did it the breaths in 5 packs.
The PM 20 minute sit was calm. That is all.

I started off well on my 60 minute sit with mind states /Anticipation/Curiousity

But as I entered Concentration, all hopes were dashed. I got a very stren message from my teacher about the mess I created in https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/21504849#_19_message_21511536 and had to invent a new label "Thinking Abre Thoughts" because I couldn't concentrate on anything else at all. I am full of worry about the message. So that took over most of my noting. There was a lot of movement and nervous agitation - I was literally squirming in my chair and couldn't sit still!
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Chris M, modified 2 Years ago at 6/26/20 11:36 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/26/20 11:36 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 4421 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Sam, I alerted your teacher to your comment, as I'm sure you know. You left me no choice. At this point, I believe you've learned the hard way that posting about suicide is not going to go unnoticed or unreported. So let's all move on now.

DhO Moderator
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/26/20 6:53 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/26/20 6:53 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Sam, just to add, your noting vocabulary doesn't have to be super complex. As Papa Che says above, it's about noticing sensate phenomena and the noting is simply a tool to help a person be present and objective. It's a feedback mechanism.

My noting vocabulary isn't super complex. I've meditated out loud with a meditation friend of mine as well as with Abre, and neither of them used a super large set of words.  

Don't get hung up on the small things. 
Habiscus Kid, I am not worried about the words, I had them  today, I am and you should be worried about this Desire for Deliverance stage Abre thinks I may be in. I don't want to do anything, especially sit. I'd rather do "that other thing" than wake up every morning and face this life.If it wasn't for coffee, I wouldnt even get up.

in my 60 minute sit today, I cycled through the mind states if irritation/impatient/boredom/dull/ness/doubt/negativity and aversion. I had a hard time staying seated again.

Concentration was good, I did it the breaths in 5 packs.
The PM 20 minute sit was calm. That is all.

I started off well on my 60 minute sit with mind states /Anticipation/Curiousity

But as I entered Concentration, all hopes were dashed. I got a very stren message from my teacher about the mess I created in https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/21504849#_19_message_21511536 and had to invent a new label "Thinking Abre Thoughts" because I couldn't concentrate on anything else at all. I am full of worry about the message. So that took over most of my noting. There was a lot of movement and nervous agitation - I was literally squirming in my chair and couldn't sit still!
PM Meditation 

My PM mediation was a 20 minutes Waking Up app Daily Meditation. The most notable difference from the last few nights is that I wasn't too tired to meditate because I am now able to have an extra 1/2 cup of coffee in the afternoon. The Waking Up meditation had me look for a thinker which I could not find. My thoughts come and go out of emptiness so quickly anyways. I was relaxed and calm.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/27/20 11:08 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/27/20 11:08 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
AM 60 minute Noting/Concentration sit

I may have just had an insight and new memory of my grandfather. I have to back up and say that I always say I had the worst childhood, with my father beating the fucking shit out of me with a belt and my mother heaping on all the verbal abuse on how dumb and awful I was. But the insight was that my granfather was a refuge and there were happy times with him and my grandmother upstairs (they lived over us). They both came frrom Italy in the 1950's. We sat up there and there are memories of watching "All in The Family", "The Brady Bunch", "The Jeffersons" and other shows of the time. So there was good too.

This lead to Relaxed/Calm/Happiness but better yet, Hope/Optimism/Faith. I felt good.

On concentration, it was good but I did not reach Access Concenration.

And I had a strong desire for more coffee which II am going to have in time for my new dharma books delivery.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/27/20 6:42 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/27/20 6:42 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
AM 60 minute Noting/Concentration sit

I may have just had an insight and new memory of my grandfather. I have to back up and say that I always say I had the worst childhood, with my father beating the fucking shit out of me with a belt and my mother heaping on all the verbal abuse on how dumb and awful I was. But the insight was that my granfather was a refuge and there were happy times with him and my grandmother upstairs (they lived over us). They both came frrom Italy in the 1950's. We sat up there and there are memories of watching "All in The Family", "The Brady Bunch", "The Jeffersons" and other shows of the time. So there was good too.

This lead to Relaxed/Calm/Happiness but better yet, Hope/Optimism/Faith. I felt good.

On concentration, it was good but I did not reach Access Concenration.

And I had a strong desire for more coffe e which II am going to have in time for my new dharma books delivery.

Had that extra coffee which contributed to an afternoon of reading from my three new books:
  • Focused and Fearless: A Meditators Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity
  • The Science of Enligntenment
  • Effortless Meditaton

Just did my 20 minute Waking Up app Daily Meditation but with At Loud Noting. Again not tired because of the cofee. Lot of stomach gurgling but the rest was pretty standard.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/28/20 11:05 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/28/20 11:05 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
AM 60 minute Noting/Concentration sit

I may have just had an insight and new memory of my grandfather. I have to back up and say that I always say I had the worst childhood, with my father beating the fucking shit out of me with a belt and my mother heaping on all the verbal abuse on how dumb and awful I was. But the insight was that my granfather was a refuge and there were happy times with him and my grandmother upstairs (they lived over us). They both came frrom Italy in the 1950's. We sat up there and there are memories of watching "All in The Family", "The Brady Bunch", "The Jeffersons" and other shows of the time. So there was good too.

This lead to Relaxed/Calm/Happiness but better yet, Hope/Optimism/Faith. I felt good.

On concentration, it was good but I did not reach Access Concenration.

And I had a strong desire for more coffe e which II am going to have in time for my new dharma books delivery.

Had that extra coffee which contributed to an afternoon of reading from my three new books:
  • Focused and Fearless: A Meditators Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity
  • The Science of Enligntenment
  • Effortless Meditaton

Just did my 20 minute Waking Up app Daily Meditation but with At Loud Noting. Again not tired because of the cofee. Lot of stomach gurglcing but the rest was pretty standard.
Just sat for 60 minutes At Loud Mahasi Noting/Concentration meditation.

I guess the biggest part of this is that I went for really negative mind states noting Boredom/Irritation/Worry to good ones as I started to feel better Relaxed/Calm/Optimism/Hope/Faith

The Concentration near the begining did not go so well as I kept losing count of the 5 pack of deeper breaths

Still a whole lot of movement as tumbled around in the chair
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/29/20 11:16 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/29/20 11:16 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sat for 60 minutes Mahasi Noting/Concentration

I would say what a hard sit! For a lot of the session, I was plagued by an intense headache at the base of the skull and since I don't get relief from OTC painkillers, I started getting a little freaked out. I noted pain but also anxiety/fear/doubt/negativity/despair

This was followed by an intense round of sloth & topor even though I had cofee right before the sit. It kind of overwhelmed me such that I stopped noting altogether and just kept yawning and being out of it. I considered stopping the sit right there but kept on.

The concentration was non-existent as I was dealing with the headache.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/29/20 6:54 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/29/20 6:54 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sat for 60 minutes Mahasi Noting/Concentration

I would say what a hard sit! For a lot of the session, I was plagued by an intense headache at the base of the skull and since I don't get relief from OTC painkillers, I started getting a little freaked out. I noted pain but also anxiety/fear/doubt/negativity/despair

This was followed by an intense round of sloth & topor even though I had cofee right before the sit. It kind of overwhelmed me such that I stopped noting altogether and just kept yawning and being out of it. I considered stopping the sit right there but kept on.

The concentration was non-existent as I was dealing with the headache.

Afternoon Activitiies:  Continued reading of The Science Of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young
                                   Watched Homeie & the Dude interview of Daniel Ingram

20 min PM Noting Sit - Tired again even after extra coffee. This is new for me. Some noting hesitations again make question how I am going to get even 1 note/sec. Generated a litle calm
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/30/20 11:13 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/30/20 11:06 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sat for 60 minutes Mahasi Noting/Concentration

I would say what a hard sit! For a lot of the session, I was plagued by an intense headache at the base of the skull and since I don't get relief from OTC painkillers, I started getting a little freaked out. I noted pain but also anxiety/fear/doubt/negativity/despair

This was followed by an intense round of sloth & topor even though I had cofee right before the sit. It kind of overwhelmed me such that I stopped noting altogether and just kept yawning and being out of it. I considered stopping the sit right there but kept on.

The concentration was non-existent as I was dealing with the headache.

Afternoon Activitiies:  Continued reading of The Science Of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young
                                   Watched Homeie & the Dude interview of Daniel Ingram

20 min PM Noting Sit - Tired again even after extra coffee. This is new for me. Some noting hesitations again make question how I am going to get even 1 note/sec. Generated a litle calm
I wanted to quote my teachers explanation of what's going with all this sleepiness:

Excellent development!! Indeed sleepiness, syropiness, dreaminess, is to be encountered possibly as one works up the stages of the meditation, If you r ecall, last week we were discussing you possibly being in the dukha nanas and particaurly the 9th nana, This is on the nana side of development. The experience was one of fustration, wanting to roll up the mat, as per the expression, and go.
 
Well if you move horizontally, that is at the same level on the jhana side of things, you would find yourself meeting indeed the kind of energy you are describing. You may be able to see as well, that the center of the body itself is pretty hollow, in the sense where there is not much activity there. In fact the activity, sensations are more to be found on the outer layer of skin, even sometimes a sense of coolness and small vibrations at the skin level. You may observe a general very diffused state, diffused field of vision, and the best is not to focus on the visual field as this may pull you out of the concentration at this point.
 
Even though it feels that you are just sleepy and nothing is happening, quite the contrary you are moving along perfectly. What is important here is to stay awake and knowing of what is going on. It does not mean you have to be able to note strongly. In fact you can note under your breath kind of, softly, and less notes too. Keep observing this dreamy, sleepy state. It is a descending energy so indeed, it will feel that even the body is slumping onto itself. All this is ok. The job here is to stay awake, even if it is half awake. Prop yourself up with some big pillows and continue meditating through this blind alley. All good. You may fall in a state where dream images or little scenarios appear. One second you are caught up in that, the next you realize those were dream images. The line of separation between awakeness and dreaminess is getting blurry and translucent. 
 
Sometimes this can last for a few sits or a few weeks emoticon
 
----
Then of course in my AM 60  sit, I get the exact opposite. I was full of energy! I would say the mind states were Exhileration, a nd Excitement. I was able to note all the way through and resulted in a nice jump to Relaxtion/Calm/Optimism. Concentration practice was still problematic in the style I am doing it now.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Years ago at 6/30/20 6:48 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 6/30/20 6:48 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sat for 60 minutes Mahasi Noting/Concentration

I would say what a hard sit! For a lot of the session, I was plagued by an intense headache at the base of the skull and since I don't get relief from OTC painkillers, I started getting a little freaked out. I noted pain but also anxiety/fear/doubt/negativity/despair

This was followed by an intense round of sloth & topor even though I had cofee right before the sit. It kind of overwhelmed me such that I stopped noting altogether and just kept yawning and being out of it. I considered stopping the sit right there but kept on.

The concentration was non-existent as I was dealing with the headache.

Afternoon Activitiies:  Continued reading of The Science Of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young
                                   Watched Homeie & the Dude interview of Daniel Ingram

20 min PM Noting Sit - Tired again even after extra coffee. This is new for me. Some noting hesitations again make question how I am going to get even 1 note/sec. Generated a litle calm
I wanted to quote my teachers explanation of what's going with all this sleepiness:

Excellent development!! Indeed sleepiness, syropiness, dreaminess, is to be encountered possibly as one works up the stages of the meditation, If you r ecall, last week we were discussing you possibly being in the dukha nanas and particaurly the 9th nana, This is on the nana side of development. The experience was one of fustration, wanting to roll up the mat, as per the expression, and go.
 
Well if you move horizontally, that is at the same level on the jhana side of things, you would find yourself meeting indeed the kind of energy you are describing. You may be able to see as well, that the center of the body itself is pretty hollow, in the sense where there is not much activity there. In fact the activity, sensations are more to be found on the outer layer of skin, even sometimes a sense of coolness and small vibrations at the skin level. You may observe a general very diffused state, diffused field of vision, and the best is not to focus on the visual field as this may pull you out of the concentration at this point.
 
Even though it feels that you are just sleepy and nothing is happening, quite the contrary you are moving along perfectly. What is important here is to stay awake and knowing of what is going on. It does not mean you have to be able to note strongly. In fact you can note under your breath kind of, softly, and less notes too. Keep observing this dreamy, sleepy state. It is a descending energy so indeed, it will feel that even the body is slumping onto itself. All this is ok. The job here is to stay awake, even if it is half awake. Prop yourself up with some big pillows and continue meditating through this blind alley. All good. You may fall in a state where dream images or little scenarios appear. One second you are caught up in that, the next you realize those were dream images. The line of separation between awakeness and dreaminess is getting blurry and translucent. 
 
Sometimes this can last for a few sits or a few weeks emoticon
 
----
Then of course in my AM 60  sit, I get the exact opposite. I was full of energy! I would say the mind states were Exhileration, a nd Excitement. I was able to note all the way through and resulted in a nice jump to Relaxtion/Calm/Optimism. Concentration practice was still problematic in the style I am doing it now.
20 minute PM Sit
Turned Waking Up app Daily Meditation into Noting sit
Through noting, learned my "hand pain" was actually "stabbing" + "soreness" + "numbness". Not much else except a whole lot of itching.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/1/20 11:13 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/1/20 11:07 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sat for 60 minutes Mahasi Noting/Concentration

I would say what a hard sit! For a lot of the session, I was plagued by an intense headache at the base of the skull and since I don't get relief from OTC painkillers, I started getting a little freaked out. I noted pain but also anxiety/fear/doubt/negativity/despair

This was followed by an intense round of sloth & topor even though I had cofee right before the sit. It kind of overwhelmed me such that I stopped noting altogether and just kept yawning and being out of it. I considered stopping the sit right there but kept on.

The concentration was non-existent as I was dealing with the headache.

Afternoon Activitiies:  Continued reading of The Science Of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young
                                   Watched Homeie & the Dude interview of Daniel Ingram

20 min PM Noting Sit - Tired again even after extra coffee. This is new for me. Some noting hesitations again make question how I am going to get even 1 note/sec. Generated a litle calm
I wanted to quote my teachers explanation of what's going with all this sleepiness:

Excellent development!! Indeed sleepiness, syropiness, dreaminess, is to be encountered possibly as one works up the stages of the meditation, If you r ecall, last week we were discussing you possibly being in the dukha nanas and particaurly the 9th nana, This is on the nana side of development. The experience was one of fustration, wanting to roll up the mat, as per the expression, and go.
 
Well if you move horizontally, that is at the same level on the jhana side of things, you would find yourself meeting indeed the kind of energy you are describing. You may be able to see as well, that the center of the body itself is pretty hollow, in the sense where there is not much activity there. In fact the activity, sensations are more to be found on the outer layer of skin, even sometimes a sense of coolness and small vibrations at the skin level. You may observe a general very diffused state, diffused field of vision, and the best is not to focus on the visual field as this may pull you out of the concentration at this point.
 
Even though it feels that you are just sleepy and nothing is happening, quite the contrary you are moving along perfectly. What is important here is to stay awake and knowing of what is going on. It does not mean you have to be able to note strongly. In fact you can note under your breath kind of, softly, and less notes too. Keep observing this dreamy, sleepy state. It is a descending energy so indeed, it will feel that even the body is slumping onto itself. All this is ok. The job here is to stay awake, even if it is half awake. Prop yourself up with some big pillows and continue meditating through this blind alley. All good. You may fall in a state where dream images or little scenarios appear. One second you are caught up in that, the next you realize those were dream images. The line of separation between awakeness and dreaminess is getting blurry and translucent. 
 
Sometimes this can last for a few sits or a few weeks emoticon
 
----
Then of course in my AM 60  sit, I get the exact opposite. I was full of energy! I would say the mind states were Exhileration, a nd Excitement. I was able to note all the way through and resulted in a nice jump to Relaxtion/Calm/Optimism. Concentration practice was still problematic in the style I am doing it now.
20 minute PM Sit
Turned Waking Up app Daily Meditation into Noting sit
Through noting, learned my "hand pain" was actually "stabbing" + "soreness" + "numbness". Not much else except a whole lot of itching.
AM 60 min Noting/Concentration Sit

Nice normal sit. When I began, I had just had too much Sushi, so I noted Fullness/Heaviness/Pressure plus some sharp pains

I got some nice tingling that I noted along with Calm. I didn't see it as full relaxtion but calm and optimism were there

Lots of mind wandering with future planning thoughts 

I'm really struggling with my concentration practice which I did for 20 minutes. The technique my teacher has me doing is to do these 5 packs of sligtly enlongated breaths and notice the beginning-middle-end of each breath. I am somehow getting lost in the 5 count so I may have to just back to the previous technique of counting breaths to 10.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/1/20 7:02 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/1/20 7:02 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
No PM sit bacause Habiscus Kid and I just chatted for over 3 hours and had a virtual birthday party for my birthday tomorrow.
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 7/2/20 8:36 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/2/20 8:36 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 4421 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Happy Birthday, Sam!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago at 7/2/20 8:42 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/2/20 8:42 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Happy birthday mate! All the best wishes! 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/2/20 11:49 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/2/20 11:49 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hibiscus Kid:
Was a pleasure speaking with you Sam. Have an awesome birthday! emoticon

Thanks for the well wishes Chris, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid! It was a pleasure for me speaking with you too.

Today's Birthday 60 minute meditatiion

Felt somewhat tired with yawning but not sleepiness. Still struggling with the noting words as I told Hiiscus Kid last night. Abre told me  to take the Word document she gave me of the words and practice them but I don't know if the problem is on  the other end of recognizing less stimulus when it's happening. I'll figure it out.

Concentration practice was better than last few days.

Time to take the Stang out and get some ice cream!
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/20 11:50 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/20 11:50 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Was a pleasure speaking with you Sam. Have an awesome birthday! emoticon

Thanks for the well wishes Chris, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid! It was a pleasure for me speaking with you too.

Today's Birthday 60 minute meditatiion

Felt somewhat tired with yawning but not sleepiness. Still struggling with the noting words as I told Hiiscus Kid last night. Abre told me  to take the Word document she gave me of the words and practice them but I don't know if the problem is on  the other end of recognizing less stimulus when it's happening. I'll figure it out.

Concentration practice was better than last few days.

Time to take the Stang out and get some ice cream!

60 miinute Noting/Concentration Sit

My noting words finally came togeether and there no real gaps so I was able to get my speed up to 1-4 notes/sec emoticon. I had a running battle the whole meditation with a strong desire for more coffee (and the coffee won emoticon). 

There were some moments of booredom but not in the sense that I was doubting the meditation or anything like that.

The concentration practice was better, best one this week.

I ended up feelinng relaxed/calm/optimism and hopeful.

The last thing is my eyes were burning while closed and watering due to Blepheritis that I have. Had to apply a warm compress to them.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/20 6:44 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/20 6:44 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Was a pleasure speaking with you Sam. Have an awesome birthday! emoticon

Thanks for the well wishes Chris, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid! It was a pleasure for me speaking with you too.

Today's Birthday 60 minute meditatiion

Felt somewhat tired with yawning but not sleepiness. Still struggling with the noting words as I told Hiiscus Kid last night. Abre told me  to take the Word document she gave me of the words and practice them but I don't know if the problem is on  the other end of recognizing less stimulus when it's happening. I'll figure it out.

Concentration practice was better than last few days.

Time to take the Stang out and get some ice cream!

60 miinute Noting/Concentration Sit

My noting words finally came togeether and there no real gaps so I was able to get my speed up to 1-4 notes/sec emoticon. I had a running battle the whole meditation with a strong desire for more coffee (and the coffee won emoticon). 

There were some moments of booredom but not in the sense that I was doubting the meditation or anything like that.

The concentration practice was better, best one this week.

I ended up feelinng relaxed/calm/optimism and hopeful.

The last thing is my eyes were burning while closed and watering due to Blepheritis that I have. Had to apply a warm compress to them.
PM Session 20 Minute Waking Up app Noting Practice

Unfornately, Sam Harris in the Waking Up app, and I were not on the same page tonight. as he was droning on about looking for the looker and all that stuff and I was trying to ignore it and note. The instructions from my teacher are clear: that I am not to focus on these exercises but focus on Noting and my direct practice.

Tonight, it can be summed up in one word: Restless. I could not sit there. I just wanted out of there. Whether thats more possible 9th nana stuff or something else I guess is immaterial. It was my experience at this time.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/4/20 11:59 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/4/20 11:59 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Was a pleasure speaking with you Sam. Have an awesome birthday! emoticon

Thanks for the well wishes Chris, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid! It was a pleasure for me speaking with you too.

Today's Birthday 60 minute meditatiion

Felt somewhat tired with yawning but not sleepiness. Still struggling with the noting words as I told Hiiscus Kid last night. Abre told me  to take the Word document she gave me of the words and practice them but I don't know if the problem is on  the other end of recognizing less stimulus when it's happening. I'll figure it out.

Concentration practice was better than last few days.

Time to take the Stang out and get some ice cream!

60 miinute Noting/Concentration Sit

My noting words finally came togeether and there no real gaps so I was able to get my speed up to 1-4 notes/sec emoticon. I had a running battle the whole meditation with a strong desire for more coffee (and the coffee won emoticon). 

There were some moments of booredom but not in the sense that I was doubting the meditation or anything like that.

The concentration practice was better, best one this week.

I ended up feelinng relaxed/calm/optimism and hopeful.

The last thing is my eyes were burning while closed and watering due to Blepheritis that I have. Had to apply a warm compress to them.
PM Session 20 Minute Waking Up app Noting Practice

Unfornately, Sam Harris in the Waking Up app, and I were not on the same page tonight. as he was droning on about looking for the looker and all that stuff and I was trying to ignore it and note. The instructions from my teacher are clear: that I am not to focus on these exercises but focus on Noting and my direct practice.

Tonight, it can be summed up in one word: Restless. I could not sit there. I just wanted out of there. Whether thats more possible 9th nana stuff or something else I guess is immaterial. It was my experience at this time.

60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

I felt today a lot like my friend Hibiscus Kid feels lately describing his meditation practice like a "ball in chain" and something  he feels like he HAS to do. While my overall practice doesn't feel like that, today''s sit sure did. Right from the begining it felt like something I HAD to and didn't want to. I had strong sleepiness & tiredness during most of the hour. There was a sense of doubt/negativity and despair. The biggest thing is that I wanted to quit many times during the sit but somehow stayed in there.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/4/20 6:32 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/4/20 6:32 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Hibiscus Kid:
Was a pleasure speaking with you Sam. Have an awesome birthday! emoticon

Thanks for the well wishes Chris, Papa Che, and Hibiscus Kid! It was a pleasure for me speaking with you too.

Today's Birthday 60 minute meditatiion

Felt somewhat tired with yawning but not sleepiness. Still struggling with the noting words as I told Hiiscus Kid last night. Abre told me  to take the Word document she gave me of the words and practice them but I don't know if the problem is on  the other end of recognizing less stimulus when it's happening. I'll figure it out.

Concentration practice was better than last few days.

Time to take the Stang out and get some ice cream!

60 miinute Noting/Concentration Sit

My noting words finally came togeether and there no real gaps so I was able to get my speed up to 1-4 notes/sec emoticon. I had a running battle the whole meditation with a strong desire for more coffee (and the coffee won emoticon). 

There were some moments of booredom but not in the sense that I was doubting the meditation or anything like that.

The concentration practice was better, best one this week.

I ended up feelinng relaxed/calm/optimism and hopeful.

The last thing is my eyes were burning while closed and watering due to Blepheritis that I have. Had to apply a warm compress to them.
PM Session 20 Minute Waking Up app Noting Practice

Unfornately, Sam Harris in the Waking Up app, and I were not on the same page tonight. as he was droning on about looking for the looker and all that stuff and I was trying to ignore it and note. The instructions from my teacher are clear: that I am not to focus on these exercises but focus on Noting and my direct practice.

Tonight, it can be summed up in one word: Restless. I could not sit there. I just wanted out of there. Whether thats more possible 9th nana stuff or something else I guess is immaterial. It was my experience at this time.

60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

I felt today a lot like my friend Hibiscus Kid feels lately describing his meditation practice like a "ball in chain" and something  he feels like he HAS to do. While my overall practice doesn't feel like that, today''s sit sure did. Right from the begining it felt like something I HAD to and didn't want to. I had strong sleepiness & tiredness during most of the hour. There was a sense of doubt/negativity and despair. The biggest thing is that I wanted to quit many times during the sit but somehow stayed in there.

PM 20 Minute Noting Session

Not as bad as this morning.  Feeling less sleepy and tired. Felt like a checkoff item again.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/5/20 10:56 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/5/20 10:56 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/6/20 11:13 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/6/20 11:13 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
60 minutes Noting/Concentration Sit

I made the mistake of sitting right after a big meal so the first ten minutes was like a mantra "fullness/heaviness/pressure" until those sensations lessened up.

There was  a high pitched sound in my left ear that when it abrubtly stopped, it was like it hearing shut off and it was total silence for a few 
seconds.

Lots of lawnmower sounds to hear.

Was really bored the whole sit as well as well as sleepy and restless.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/6/20 4:59 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/6/20 4:59 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
60 minutes Noting/Concentration Sit

I made the mistake of sitting right after a big meal so the first ten minutes was like a mantra "fullness/heaviness/pressure" until those sensations lessened up.

There was  a high pitched sound in my left ear that when it abrubtly stopped, it was like it hearing shut off and it was total silence for a few 
seconds.

Lots of lawnmower sounds to hear.

Was really bored the whole sit as well as well as sleepy and restless.

Just popping on here after power being off for a whole afternoon of fiece thunderstorms. Just talked with my teacher who now thinks I'm cyclying between dukkha nanas 9 and 10 with the whole can't sit still and the sleepiness.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/6/20 6:45 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/6/20 6:45 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
60 minutes Noting/Concentration Sit

I made the mistake of sitting right after a big meal so the first ten minutes was like a mantra "fullness/heaviness/pressure" until those sensations lessened up.

There was  a high pitched sound in my left ear that when it abrubtly stopped, it was like it hearing shut off and it was total silence for a few 
seconds.

Lots of lawnmower sounds to hear.

Was really bored the whole sit as well as well as sleepy and restless.

Just popping on here after power being off for a whole afternoon of fiece thunderstorms. Just talked with my teacher who now thinks I'm cyclying between dukkha nanas 9 and 10 with the whole can't sit still and the sleepiness.
20 min PM Session
Complete Restlessness with Wanting to Stand Up/Doubt/Wanting to Walk Away

Lots of subtle skin sensations - prickly and itching
 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 11:30 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 11:30 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
60 minutes Noting/Concentration Sit

I made the mistake of sitting right after a big meal so the first ten minutes was like a mantra "fullness/heaviness/pressure" until those sensations lessened up.

There was  a high pitched sound in my left ear that when it abrubtly stopped, it was like it hearing shut off and it was total silence for a few 
seconds.

Lots of lawnmower sounds to hear.

Was really bored the whole sit as well as well as sleepy and restless.

Just popping on here after power being off for a whole afternoon of fiece thunderstorms. Just talked with my teacher who now thinks I'm cyclying between dukkha nanas 9 and 10 with the whole can't sit still and the sleepiness.
20 min PM Session
Complete Restlessness with Wanting to Stand Up/Doubt/Wanting to Walk Away

Lots of subtle skin sensations - prickly and itching
 
60 min Noting/with 20 min Concentration

In my meeting with my teacher yesterday, she said she would like to see/hear a lot more specificity in these reports. I like the example of Niel's log as an example.  I sometimes forget most of the session by the end, so I would like to hear your feedback readers on how you achive this.

On her instruction, I have Shinzen Young's Vanishings and GONE technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7LXHjGHfM&feature=youtu.be

ok, so , the first 10 minutes was filled with fullness, pressure, heaviness and gurging sensations. This was followed by 20 minutes of concentration, this time at the abdomen, in packs of 5 slighly enlongated breaths. The concentration was better today. These slightly deeper breaths gave me relaxed and calm sensations when I got back to Noting, Bodily senstations: There was twitching and trembling in the muscles.There was prickly skin and a whole lot of itchiness. This is in addition to the regular sensations of tightness, etc. Sounds: there was a high pitched tone in the left ear which I was quickly able to apply Gone to. The rest was normal background sounds: Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log and the changes. Desire: 4 on a scale of 1-5 for 2nd cup of coffee. Restlessness: 4 on a scale of 1-5, with "nervous legs". Lots of movement but did not want to leave chair.

Overall: Good sit with some relaxation and calm
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 12:45 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 12:45 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 2451 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I agree Niels is really good at logging in this way and it really is impressive as I simply cant remember all my session in the chronological way and at times even forget about a part that might have been of interest. I mean Neils is a known fiction writer in Denmark and as such will have a great skill with scripts and all that, for me unlcear, writing stuff emoticon 

I would only urge you not to waste your sits in planning your logs, as this is being lost/absorbed in the content of sensations and mind states rather than being AWAKE in them emoticon 

Im sure Neils finds it natural, as do many here, to easily recollect all the fine details of their sits but I am not one of those. At times I do remember a lot of details and at times I dont get it all afterwards. But I do know that when Im practicing I am doing one thing and one alone and that is NOTING EVERY SINGLE sensation, mind state and feeling without a laps (or at least not many). Yes, there can come about planning thoughts about logging on DhO but that is noted , labeled and let go off as Im sure you already do.

Just keep this in mind and check yourself if there is too much planning about logging taking place during your sit. Certain things can indeed stay in the way cluttering up stuff unnecessarely. 
You are not sitting for the sake of logging but for the sake of awakeing. emoticon 

This being said I think this format is really good and Im sure your teacher will prefer such report. Im sure she is going after those vibrations in the skin, how large that area was, was it there constantly or not, was it plasant or else, and how exactly that itch sensation is, is it sharp or dull, unpleasant or else, does it last long or does it vanish fast etc, and will likely want to know more about that "tightness" where it is and how large of an area it was effecting, does it last long or short, is appearing and then disappearing etc ... the more details you see around that itch or anything else the more you awake and the more info you give to your teacher. emoticon

I think you are doing great mate! And I mean GREAT! emoticon 
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 2:58 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 2:37 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 384 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Thanks for your kind remarks about my logging, guys. And thanks for this log, Sam, it is very interesting to follow you. And even more interesting, the more detail you get in the descriptions.

It is true that logging can give some planning thoughts, which must be seen (and, if you wish, noted) as such, but to me, that little downside is outweighed by an upside: I have been logging for my self since I began meditating, but now that I do it "publicly", I want to do a good job (striving me, you know, but that's not all bad), so I actual pay better attention to what's happening during the sitting than before, and I put more effort into being precise: I sit for a few moments after the bell to recall and review the sitting, and then go directly to the computer to write, even keeping the computer next to my cushion emoticon. So logging is now and integrated part of my practice.

I think logging meditation is a bit like logging dreams: The lucid dreamers say you should keep a diary of your dreams, because that will enhance the possibility of being lucid. First thing that will happen, is that the dream diary will give you a better general dream recall, and if you keep at it and do some other stuff (reality checks etc), you will learn the skill of lucid dreaming. The act of recalling and describing the dream somehow preps the system to be more awake next time. And I think it is the same with meditation: Logging makes you a lucid meditator emoticon.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 6:53 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/7/20 6:53 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
60 minutes Noting/Concentration Sit

I made the mistake of sitting right after a big meal so the first ten minutes was like a mantra "fullness/heaviness/pressure" until those sensations lessened up.

There was  a high pitched sound in my left ear that when it abrubtly stopped, it was like it hearing shut off and it was total silence for a few 
seconds.

Lots of lawnmower sounds to hear.

Was really bored the whole sit as well as well as sleepy and restless.

Just popping on here after power being off for a whole afternoon of fiece thunderstorms. Just talked with my teacher who now thinks I'm cyclying between dukkha nanas 9 and 10 with the whole can't sit still and the sleepiness.
20 min PM Session
Complete Restlessness with Wanting to Stand Up/Doubt/Wanting to Walk Away

Lots of subtle skin sensations - prickly and itching
 
60 min Noting/with 20 min Concentration

In my meeting with my teacher yesterday, she said she would like to see/hear a lot more specificity in these reports. I like the example of Niel's log as an example.  I sometimes forget most of the session by the end, so I would like to hear your feedback readers on how you achive this.

On her instruction, I have Shinzen Young's Vanishings and GONE technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7LXHjGHfM&feature=youtu.be

ok, so , the first 10 minutes was filled with fullness, pressure, heaviness and gurging sensations. This was followed by 20 minutes of concentration, this time at the abdomen, in packs of 5 slighly enlongated breaths. The concentration was better today. These slightly deeper breaths gave me relaxed and calm sensations when I got back to Noting, Bodily senstations: There was twitching and trembling in the muscles.There was prickly skin and a whole lot of itchiness. This is in addition to the regular sensations of tightness, etc. Sounds: there was a high pitched tone in the left ear which I was quickly able to apply Gone to. The rest was normal background sounds: Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log and the changes. Desire: 4 on a scale of 1-5 for 2nd cup of coffee. Restlessness: 4 on a scale of 1-5, with "nervous legs". Lots of movement but did not want to leave chair.

Overall: Good sit with some relaxation and calm

PM 20 min Waking Up app Sit

Bodily Sensations: Sharp intermitent chest pains lasting one secound or less not radiating, Tension and tightness in arms lasting whole sit, Twitching and trembing. Prickly skin, Sounds: There was the voice of Sam Harris on the Waking Upp meditation, otherwise quiet. Visual Field: Tinges of orange color along the botttom Thoughts: Suprisingly few. no "logging" thoughts Mind States: Fear, Anxiety, Worry, Restlessnewss

Overall: Good sit but with some fear of the chest pains. No change in relaxation or calm
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:41 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Begin with a real gusto and lots of energy. The sit continued this characteristic of sustained energy and diligence.

I had a nice virtual light show begind my dark eyes as several colors dancing around impermanently.

The Concentration practice was good with good attention.

It wasn't less about finding words to note but seeming like there were less sensations to note. Had to insert "Uncertain" a bunch of times to keep up the flow of mindfulness. Have to ask teacher tomorrow as she said sensations may get more subtle.

Relaxation/Calm/Optimism/Hope
60 minutes Noting/Concentration Sit

I made the mistake of sitting right after a big meal so the first ten minutes was like a mantra "fullness/heaviness/pressure" until those sensations lessened up.

There was  a high pitched sound in my left ear that when it abrubtly stopped, it was like it hearing shut off and it was total silence for a few 
seconds.

Lots of lawnmower sounds to hear.

Was really bored the whole sit as well as well as sleepy and restless.

Just popping on here after power being off for a whole afternoon of fiece thunderstorms. Just talked with my teacher who now thinks I'm cyclying between dukkha nanas 9 and 10 with the whole can't sit still and the sleepiness.
20 min PM Session
Complete Restlessness with Wanting to Stand Up/Doubt/Wanting to Walk Away

Lots of subtle skin sensations - prickly and itching
 
60 min Noting/with 20 min Concentration

In my meeting with my teacher yesterday, she said she would like to see/hear a lot more specificity in these reports. I like the example of Niel's log as an example.  I sometimes forget most of the session by the end, so I would like to hear your feedback readers on how you achive this.

On her instruction, I have Shinzen Young's Vanishings and GONE technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7LXHjGHfM&feature=youtu.be

ok, so , the first 10 minutes was filled with fullness, pressure, heaviness and gurging sensations. This was followed by 20 minutes of concentration, this time at the abdomen, in packs of 5 slighly enlongated breaths. The concentration was better today. These slightly deeper breaths gave me relaxed and calm sensations when I got back to Noting, Bodily senstations: There was twitching and trembling in the muscles.There was prickly skin and a whole lot of itchiness. This is in addition to the regular sensations of tightness, etc. Sounds: there was a high pitched tone in the left ear which I was quickly able to apply Gone to. The rest was normal background sounds: Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log and the changes. Desire: 4 on a scale of 1-5 for 2nd cup of coffee. Restlessness: 4 on a scale of 1-5, with "nervous legs". Lots of movement but did not want to leave chair.

Overall: Good sit with some relaxation and calm

PM 20 min Waking Up app Sit

Bodily Sensations: Sharp intermitent chest pains lasting one secound or less not radiating, Tension and tightness in arms lasting whole sit, Twitching and trembing. Prickly skin, Sounds: There was the voice of Sam Harris on the Waking Upp meditation, otherwise quiet. Visual Field: Tinges of orange color along the botttom Thoughts: Suprisingly few. no "logging" thoughts Mind States: Fear, Anxiety, Worry, Restlessnewss

Overall: Good sit but with some fear of the chest pains. No change in relaxation or calm
60 min Noting/Concentration  Sit

I started out for the first 10 minutes with the usual sensations of fullness, heaviness and pressure. Then in my 20 minutes of Concentration Practice I started have desire for more coffee. The rest did not go well. I got into a state that my teacher describes "Wanting to stand up. Doubt, Wanting to walk away." it became a real struggle to sit there as I wanted the sit to just end or me to bolt. Maybe nana 9 again? Bodily Sensations: Constant movement of feet and restlessness lasting whole sit, tension and tightness in many parts of the body, prickly and itchy skin, tingling, wooden and dull, coolness from the AC, sore & achy muscles for most of the sit; Sleepiness & tired Sounds: Just the occasional voice of Sam Harris in background of meditation and the sounds of the AC unit Visual Field: I usually don't pay much attention too my visual field but did see some orange and red colors blurring together; Thoughts: Some logging planning thoughts MInd States: Doubt, Restlessness, Wanting to walk away, Aversion, Sleepines, Tired

Overall: I got through it
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:46 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:46 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
I agree Niels is really good at logging in this way and it really is impressive as I simply cant remember all my session in the chronological way and at times even forget about a part that might have been of interest. I mean Neils is a known fiction writer in Denmark and as such will have a great skill with scripts and all that, for me unlcear, writing stuff emoticon 

I would only urge you not to waste your sits in planning your logs, as this is being lost/absorbed in the content of sensations and mind states rather than being AWAKE in them emoticon 

Im sure Neils finds it natural, as do many here, to easily recollect all the fine details of their sits but I am not one of those. At times I do remember a lot of details and at times I dont get it all afterwards. But I do know that when Im practicing I am doing one thing and one alone and that is NOTING EVERY SINGLE sensation, mind state and feeling without a laps (or at least not many). Yes, there can come about planning thoughts about logging on DhO but that is noted , labeled and let go off as Im sure you already do.

Just keep this in mind and check yourself if there is too much planning about logging taking place during your sit. Certain things can indeed stay in the way cluttering up stuff unnecessarely. 
You are not sitting for the sake of logging but for the sake of awakeing. emoticon 

This being said I think this format is really good and Im sure your teacher will prefer such report. Im sure she is going after those vibrations in the skin, how large that area was, was it there constantly or not, was it plasant or else, and how exactly that itch sensation is, is it sharp or dull, unpleasant or else, does it last long or does it vanish fast etc, and will likely want to know more about that "tightness" where it is and how large of an area it was effecting, does it last long or short, is appearing and then disappearing etc ... the more details you see around that itch or anything else the more you awake and the more info you give to your teacher. emoticon

I think you are doing great mate! And I mean GREAT! emoticon 
Thank you my friend for your all your kind comments and your feedback! I think a key thing you are saying "You are not sitting for the sake of logging but for the sake of awareness." That is key. I am logging to proceed on the stages of insight and I must remember that always.

I'm glad you like the new level of detail. And you're right - my teacher loved it! emoticon

You're doing GREAT too! emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:52 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:52 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Niels Lyngsø:
Thanks for your kind remarks about my logging, guys. And thanks for this log, Sam, it is very interesting to follow you. And even more interesting, the more detail you get in the descriptions.

It is true that logging can give some planning thoughts, which must be seen (and, if you wish, noted) as such, but to me, that little downside is outweighed by an upside: I have been logging for my self since I began meditating, but now that I do it "publicly", I want to do a good job (striving me, you know, but that's not all bad), so I actual pay better attention to what's happening during the sitting than before, and I put more effort into being precise: I sit for a few moments after the bell to recall and review the sitting, and then go directly to the computer to write, even keeping the computer next to my cushion emoticon. So logging is now and integrated part of my practice.

I think logging meditation is a bit like logging dreams: The lucid dreamers say you should keep a diary of your dreams, because that will enhance the possibility of being lucid. First thing that will happen, is that the dream diary will give you a better general dream recall, and if you keep at it and do some other stuff (reality checks etc), you will learn the skill of lucid dreaming. The act of recalling and describing the dream somehow preps the system to be more awake next time. And I think it is the same with meditation: Logging makes you a lucid meditator emoticon.

Thanks Niels for following me. I consider it an honor. And thank you for your feedback.

I agree that some planning thoughts are outweighed by the benefits of having a really good public log and one that is good for my teacher. She needs the detail.

Logging makes you a lucid meditator emoticon. Amen emoticon
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:53 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 11:53 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 384 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Excellent, Sam! emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 7:04 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/8/20 7:04 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
20 minutes Waking Up app Daily Meditation/Noting

Used the Waking Up app and sure enough Niels, it iasked a "From where is attention coming from?" I applied your instructions and of course the insight is that I did not find any self there. For the noting, I was mostly sleepy and tired. Bodily Sensations: Breath rising/falling at the abdomen noted, restless legs; Gurgling; Sounds: App voice, neighbor upstairs, AC outside;  Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log.

Overall: Ok sit with no relaxation or calm but with noself insight
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 11:36 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 11:36 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
20 minutes Waking Up app Daily Meditation/Noting

Used the Waking Up app and sure enough Niels, it iasked a "From where is attention coming from?" I applied your instructions and of course the insight is that I did not find any self there. For the noting, I was mostly sleepy and tired. Bodily Sensations: Breath rising/falling at the abdomen noted, restless legs; Gurgling; Sounds: App voice, neighbor upstairs, AC outside;  Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log.

Overall: Ok sit with no relaxation or calm but with noself insight
Go min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Boy, an almost exact copy of yesterday morning. Started out with the usual fullness, heaviness, pressure at the gut. Moving into Concentration Practice, any concentration I had was interrupted by my new neighbors on their back deck making loud noises. Back into noting, it was the same as yesterday. To use the phrase of my teacher, "Wanting to stand up. Doubt, Wanting to walk away." I just wanted to be done with it (the meditation). Bodily Sensations: Constant restless legs, lots of other movement, eyes burning and watering, tension and tightness in shoulders and middle back; Sound: The already mentioned neighbors. Where have all the birds been lately? emoticon Visual Field: At times, had almost white, gray color; Thoughts: Some logging thoughts, some planning thoughts about what I am going to for the rest of the day. Mind States: Boredom, Doubt, worry, anxiety, restlessness, wanting to walk away; Restlessness: 5 (on a 1-5 scale)

Overall: Disapointed ny 2nd straight day of this but my teacher says this is typical nana 9 stuff and I got to trust her
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 1:00 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 1:00 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
20 minutes Waking Up app Daily Meditation/Noting

Used the Waking Up app and sure enough Niels, it iasked a "From where is attention coming from?" I applied your instructions and of course the insight is that I did not find any self there. For the noting, I was mostly sleepy and tired. Bodily Sensations: Breath rising/falling at the abdomen noted, restless legs; Gurgling; Sounds: App voice, neighbor upstairs, AC outside;  Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log.

Overall: Ok sit with no relaxation or calm but with noself insight
Go min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Boy, an almost exact copy of yesterday morning. Started out with the usual fullness, heaviness, pressure at the gut. Moving into Concentration Practice, any concentration I had was interrupted by my new neighbors on their back deck making loud noises. Back into noting, it was the same as yesterday. To use the phrase of my teacher, "Wanting to stand up. Doubt, Wanting to walk away." I just wanted to be done with it (the meditation). Bodily Sensations: Constant restless legs, lots of other movement, eyes burning and watering, tension and tightness in shoulders and middle back; Sound: The already mentioned neighbors. Where have all the birds been lately? emoticon Visual Field: At times, had almost white, gray color; Thoughts: Some logging thoughts, some planning thoughts about what I am going to for the rest of the day. Mind States: Boredom, Doubt, worry, anxiety, restlessness, wanting to walk away; Restlessness: 5 (on a 1-5 scale)

Overall: Disapointed ny 2nd straight day of this but my teacher says this is typical nana 9 stuff and I got to trust her
I just sent the following question to my teacher after finding this Daniel Ingram piece in MCTB2:

I've just had two intense days in a row of practice where I noted using your phrase "Wanting to stand up. Doubt. Wanting to walk away/." I could barely sit. I happened to see Daniel Ingram say the following for Nana 10 which seems to describe my situation perfectly, "It may be impossible to even sit for a minute as the levels of restlessness and aversion to meditation and to all experience can get high. The sudden complete inability to sit on the cushion for even a few minutes is a classic mark of this stage."
 

Could I be in Nana 10 instead?

Comments?
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 1:03 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 1:03 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 384 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Sending good wishes your way. Be patient and diligent, and don't be disappointed: You are doing your best, this stuff is just happening, you are not in control of it. emoticon 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 1:05 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/9/20 1:05 PM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Niels Lyngsø:
Sending good wishes your way. Be patient and diligent, and don't be disappointed: You are doing your best, this stuff is just happening, you are not in control of it. emoticon 
Thank you! emoticon
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 5:16 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 5:16 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 384 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Dear Sam

You asked me (over at my log) to give you some feedback. Even though I am far from an expert and definitely pre Stream Entry, I will try as best I can: When you go through rough territory – anxiety, restlessness, thought-loops, body aches etc etc – try to think of it as weather systems passing through you: "Right now there's a thunderstorm of fear passing through me. But I am not really in danger, I'm sitting here meditating, it is just my mind and body freaking out. I will observe this mind and body freaking out, they are not me, I am not them, I observe them."

Ever tried being freezing cold all over with muscles trembling and teeth chattering uncontrollably? Ever tried suddenly being able to then RELAX and just let the cold be there, in your body, without reacting to it? Muscles stop trembling, teeth stop chattering, it's still freaking cold, but you are no longer reacting to it. Try a similar thing with the difficult mind states. Wish you all the best!
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 11:09 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 11:09 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Niels Lyngsø:
Dear Sam

You asked me (over at my log) to give you some feedback. Even though I am far from an expert and definitely pre Stream Entry, I will try as best I can: When you go through rough territory – anxiety, restlessness, thought-loops, body aches etc etc – try to think of it as weather systems passing through you: "Right now there's a thunderstorm of fear passing through me. But I am not really in danger, I'm sitting here meditating, it is just my mind and body freaking out. I will observe this mind and body freaking out, they are not me, I am not them, I observe them."

Ever tried being freezing cold all over with muscles trembling and teeth chattering uncontrollably? Ever tried suddenly being able to then RELAX and just let the cold be there, in your body, without reacting to it? Muscles stop trembling, teeth stop chattering, it's still freaking cold, but you are no longer reacting to it. Try a similar thing with the difficult mind states. Wish you all the best!

Thank you Niels! must have helped today!
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Siavash ', modified 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 11:15 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 11:15 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1522 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hey Sam,
Since you are always replying to the latest post in this page, now this page needs horizontal scroll and doesn't display well, and without scrolling, part of the text is out of the screen. It will become worse if you continue replying to your latest posts. I replied this one to the first post of the page, and I'd suggest that you do the same for your later posts. Thanks.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 11:21 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/10/20 11:21 AM

RE: Sam's Practice Log

Posts: 1347 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
Sam Gentile:
20 minutes Waking Up app Daily Meditation/Noting

Used the Waking Up app and sure enough Niels, it iasked a "From where is attention coming from?" I applied your instructions and of course the insight is that I did not find any self there. For the noting, I was mostly sleepy and tired. Bodily Sensations: Breath rising/falling at the abdomen noted, restless legs; Gurgling; Sounds: App voice, neighbor upstairs, AC outside;  Visual Field: There was nothing notable in the visual field. Thoughts: The  noting kept thoughts at bay except for a bunch of thoughts about this log.

Overall: Ok sit with no relaxation or calm but with noself insight
Go min AM Noting/Concentration Sit

Boy, an almost exact copy of yesterday morning. Started out with the usual fullness, heaviness, pressure at the gut. Moving into Concentration Practice, any concentration I had was interrupted by my new neighbors on their back deck making loud noises. Back into noting, it was the same as yesterday. To use the phrase of my teacher, "Wanting to stand up. Doubt, Wanting to walk away." I just wanted to be done with it (the meditation). Bodily Sensations: Constant restless legs, lots of other movement, eyes burning and watering, tension and tightness in shoulders and middle back; Sound: The already mentioned neighbors. Where have all the birds been lately? emoticon Visual Field: At times, had almost white, gray color; Thoughts: Some logging thoughts, some planning thoughts about what I am going to for the rest of the day. Mind States: Boredom, Doubt, worry, anxiety, restlessness, wanting to walk away; Restlessness: 5 (on a 1-5 scale)

Overall: Disapointed ny 2nd straight day of this but my teacher says this is typical nana 9 stuff and I got to trust her
I just sent the following question to my teacher after finding this Daniel Ingram piece in MCTB2:

I've just had two intense days in a row of practice where I noted using your phrase "Wanting to stand up. Doubt. Wanting to walk away/." I could barely sit. I happened to see Daniel Ingram say the following for Nana 10 which seems to describe my situation perfectly, "It may be impossible to even sit for a minute as the levels of restlessness and aversion to meditation and to all experience can get high. The sudden complete inability to sit on the cushion for even a few minutes is a classic mark of this stage."
 

Could I be in Nana 10 instead?

Comments?

Guess what? I finally had a day without feeling like I wanted to quit and leap off my chair! Started off as usual with fullness, heaviness, pressure. Then went into 20 minutes of Concentration, which was the best of the week. When I finished concentraion and went back into Noting, I found out it had mellowed me and I was relaxed and calm which stayed for the duration of the sit. Bodily sensations: Sligh headache that disapeared at back of the skull at base, tenderness in underarm muscles, tension and tightness in abdomen, shoulders and mid-back, achy and sore muscles; Not too much movement like rest of the week; Sounds: Pleasent sounds of the rain outside; Visual Field: A tinge of yellow on one side of the field; Mind States: Relaxtion, Calm, Some Boredom, Happiness, Optimism, Hope; Thoughts: logging thoughts about logging this better sit

Overall: Relaxed and Calm