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Sam's Practice Log 2

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Sam's Practice Log 2 Sam Gentile 8/27/20 2:34 PM
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Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/27/20 2:34 PM
This is a continuation of my first practice log, in which I hope to apply what I've learned so far.

HISTORY
A lot of my practice history both pre-DhO and DhO learning about noting can be found here. I talk about nothing happening for 7 years. Most of it was Tibetan under Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Since I joined DhO and switched back to Vipassana, mainly at-loud Mahasi style noing and the addition of my teacher, I entered the path at Dukka Nana 9 Desire for Deliverance, passed through Reobservation and now am in Low-EQ.

MY DAILY PRACTICE
My daily practice consists of one hour in the AM (20 minutes concentration/jhana and 40 minutes Mashai Noting) and 30 minutes (15 minutes concentration/15 minutes noting). 

MY INSPIRATIONS

Thank you for reading and feel free to offer your comments.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/27/20 2:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min Sit (20 min Jhanic Practice, 40 min Noting)


Another case of not sleepy or dull, maybe that only happens in retreat. Started out with good energy, then went into Concentration and begin thinking of coffee instead of the breath emoticon but recognized and came back, Then it was into noting and the good energy continued. Lots of movement in the feet (going to talk to Psych at 1PM if I have developed TD). Anyway, no boredom, no issues, maybe even a little calm.

BODY Foot pain, itching, legs movement, sore & achy arms, tension & tightness lower back, very tight back of the neck
VISUAL FIELD: Pulsating white light -> gone
SOUND landscaping equipment, dog barking -> gone, large AC outside
THOUGHTS Dr. Kycia (Psyc) Thoughts, Future planning thoughts, Desire for coffee, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts
EMOTIONS/FEELING TONES Mostly calm and was pleasent 

GENERAL FEELINGS Pretty near perfect but could use some insights once in a while 



RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/27/20 3:54 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 Min PM Sit (15 min Jhana Practice, 15 min Noting)

I was full of energy for this one. The concentration practice was filled with thoughts of this new practice log and whether people would like it. On the other hand, the Noting practice was so fast that I had hardly any thoughts at all.

BODY I don't remember the order of things but I had three different instances of small headache like sensations. I had a heavingness on the top of the head that I applied gone to when it ceased. I had a throbbing at the back of the skull -> gone, and I also had some throbbing at the forehead -> gone. My arms felt energetic and energy traveled very fast between the fingers generating so many sensations (3-4x/sec). There was tightness and tension in both the shoulders abd back of the neck. Ankle pain was present as well as itching.
SOUND There was a lot of gurgling sounds, as well as notcicing the hot water heater turned on.
THOUGHTS Many of the already mentioned log during concentration then the occasional thought during noting.
EMOTIONS/FEELING TONE Things were pretty unemotional except an urgency to note faster which was neutral.

GENERAL FEELINGS This was another good one. Energy instead of calm.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/28/20 11:37 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhanic Practice, 40 min Noting)

OFF CUSHIONI should note that I was diagnosed yesterday with Tardive Diskensia (TD) which causes involuntary muscle movements like my mouth, arms, and the legs. To the amount that this affected my meditation remains to be seen and discussed with Abre as the leg movements of what we thought as Dukkha Nana Desire for Deliverance might have been TD.I stayed up late last night and boy did I just pay for it in my meditation. It started out with sensations of fullness, heavingness, and pressure. Then I went into Concentration. It seemed like thoughts quieted down in the thoughts but it it was more than I was off somewhere and less mindful. Then went back into noting, and I immediately noticed strong tiredness, dullness, boredom and even some bits of sleepiness. I tried to apply Abre's method to energize myself out of the tiredness but I must have not been doing it correctly.
BODY There was a lot of tension in the legs area. In addition to the legs moving around, i had ankle pain and shin pain. In the upper body, there was tension and tightness in the back of the neck and in the lower back. Other sensations included sensitive and achy arms as well as itching and watery eyes.
SOUND There was a bunch of people out in the hallway. I also heard the loud AC units outside and the sound of the fridge.
THOUGHTS There were thoughts on the whole TD thing,  Logging Thoughts, DhO thoughts, Abre thoughts, Dr. Kycia thoughts
EMOTIONS, FEELING STATE The emotions of dullness, tiredness, and boredom were prominent and were most definetly unpleasent.
GENERAL FEELINGS Could have been better but its ok, its practice

Could I ask a favor? Any of you readers care to comment on the new format of the new log and whether it makes things easier to read and understand?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/28/20 12:53 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Could I ask a favor? Any of you readers care to comment on the new format of the new log and whether it makes things easier to read and understand?


Hey Sam.
I like this new format more than the previous one, mainly because of its fonts, its classic. Although I am not sure it makes it easier to read or not. I think if you like it you should do it, who cares about the readers! ;)

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/28/20 3:54 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Yes I like that new format as introduced by Niels. I see some other members are also using the same format. It does make things easier to follow. I would also use it if Im more disciplined, but being me, very raw and immediate, I just spill out into my log all that comes to mind in the moment and wish good luck to those unfortunate who might read it emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/28/20 4:22 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Sit (15 min Jhana Practice, 15 min Noting)

Lots of energy, opposite of this morning. The Concentration practice was so there - I thought to myself "wow, I'm going to get access concentration" but oh so close. High speed noting (4x/sec) that sometimes overwhelmed me. 
BODY New was muscle jerks sometimes the whole body. There was trembling as well. An itch on the right shoulder I was able to catch the ceasing with gone. There was a lot of tingling. I had both shin and foot pain. There was heat in a small spot of my right wrist, strange because the whole rest of the body was cold with the AC. Tension and tightness in both the lower back and back of the neck. I had "Enegetic arms" and energy traveling between the fingers causing many notings.
SOUND A strong thunderstorm was heard as well as the AC
EMOTIONS, FEELING TONE A strong sense of energy 

GENERAL FEELINGS Energy instead of calm but great

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/29/20 11:41 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhana Practice, 40 min Noting)

Went to bed too late again last night and suffered again. Both the concentration practice and the noting were just filled with tired & sleepiness, dullness & boredom.

BODY Everything was pretty flat with dullness but I had foot pain, ankle pain, eyes watering, itching, tension & tightness in the back and in the back of my neck while the arms were sore & achy.
SOUND My louad upstairs neighbor was up to her usual tricks running her very loud washer. I also heard some sea gulls. THOUGHTS I hate shaving thoughts, Future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts
EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES The main emotion was tiredness along with dullness and boredom which were unpleasent.

GENERAL FEELINGS Not my best sitting. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 7:52 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam Gentile:
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhana Practice, 40 min Noting)

Went to bed too late again last night and suffered again. Both the concentration practice and the noting were just filled with tired & sleepiness, dullness & boredom.

BODY Everything was pretty flat with dullness but I had foot pain, ankle pain, eyes watering, itching, tension & tightness in the back and in the back of my neck while the arms were sore & achy.
SOUND My louad upstairs neighbor was up to her usual tricks running her very loud washer. I also heard some sea gulls. THOUGHTS I hate shaving thoughts, Future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts
EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES The main emotion was tiredness along with dullness and boredom which were unpleasent.

GENERAL FEELINGS Not my best sitting. 

Indeed emoticon again and again Dukkha shows it self in form of some sense of "me" not liking this and prefering something else instead. However Anicca also shows itself in form of passing away of that "not so best sit" and arising in form of a "my great feeling sit" and then back to "oh, gawd what a crap sit" etc ... That clinging is the source of suffering. Its ok. We are sitting to realise that. Just simple noting and accepting all weather its pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. We learn to know that these couds, dark or bright arise and pass just to arise and pass again and again. So its not about us trying to stop this unfolding. If not that then what are we doing? We are allowing the realisation to mature, that all these clouds of experience with their feeling tones do what they do as we are not in control of them anyway. The "me" having this experience is just an idea, a very glue like sticky knee-jerk idea that claims any given experience, solidifying it into a concept of "my experience".

We cant really think our selves into this realisation. What we can do is observe this unfolding and accept it all no matter how nice or bad it feels and keep our daily sits going as this momentum is what does the damage to this "selfing idea". There is an itch, there is unpleasant, there is aversion, there is hearing, knowing its a neighbours loundry machine, there is aversion, there is agony, there is Acceptance, there is vibration in fingers and feet, its pleasant etc  ...

You are doing great as long you are doing the practice. After the storm comes the Sun, then storm then Sun again ... Anicca  emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 11:50 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhanic Practice, 40 min Noting)

Father Buddha gave me the day off yesterday emoticon

Well, I am getting in a real rut. Yesterday, I couldn't even get myself to practice and today, although I completed the meditation I was filled with tiredness, sleepiness, dullness and boredom. I don't even know how to get myself out of it. My body doesn't even want to meditate anymore and I can't drink coffee anymore because of its effects on my gut. So today, I practically slept through the meditation.
BODY Too dull to note much but I had back pain,  foot pain, shin pain, feet moving around, eye pain & watering, itching & scratching
SOUND Car horn and sound of outdoor AC
THOUGHTS Fustration thoughts, Abre thoughts, planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

GENERAL FEELINGS Good thing I have an appointment with Abre today

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 1:13 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"Father Buddha gave me the day off yesterday"

You did deserve it emoticon it's ok to let go sometimes. Once back you see it with fresh eyes so to speak. At times meditation can get rather mechanical which is not good. It needs to have that fresh organic feel to it, that noting attention "touching" gently each sensation and that accepting curiosity of the unfolding of experiential Thisness. 

Indeed, it's so good to have a teacher in such situations. I'm very grateful for the teacher I've had. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 3:13 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Meeting with Abre

So imagine a conversation like

"How are you doing?"
"Awful. I feel totally sleepy and want to stop meditating"
"Excellent! A change. Things are moving"

She proceeded to discuss with me that Nana 10 Knowledge of Reoberservation is totally characterized by drowziness and sleepiness. 

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html#ch6.10

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 3:50 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Good news emoticon I like your teacher!

Now all you need is bring Acceptance to the fore and keep it in mind as Re-observation stuff comes in. "Its ugly" yes it is, I accept it, "its unpleasant" yes it is I accept it all, "its myserable" yes it is I accept it, "its disgusting" yes it is, I accept it all no matter how unpleasant it is ... "feels like my whole world is falling apart and is utterly unpleasant" yes it is and I accept it all, one by one as they arise and pass away, and even if bombarded by the same stuborn object/sensation/mind state/feeling again and again I take all those hits and I accept it all ... you will feel so much better after such a sit if accepntance was there throughout emoticon 

Yogi Sam, I salute you! emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 4:37 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 Minute PM Sit (15 min Jhanic Practice, 15 min Noting)

I have absoluetly no idea what Abre did to me! I had sleepiness all day and I wasn't even going to do a PM sit. She did a few tricks during our meeting, maybe she pit a spell on me emoticon but I had no coffee and yet here I was all energized! I felt energetic and wide awake. The concentration was average with pesky thoughts. The nothing was amazing. Fast noting (3x/sec). It's like Nana 10 went hiding in a closet.

BODY Restless feet, foot pain, itching, tender & sore arms, tender & sore shoulders, tension and tightness in the lower back
VISUAL FIELD I saw a yellow ball then gone
SOUND I heard people walking outside and in other apartments of this building.
THOUGHTS Abre thoughts, remebering thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts 
EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES I had the emotions of energetic which was pleasent followed by relaxation and calm.

GENERAL FEELINGS This was the best meditation in a week

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
8/31/20 4:53 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I have absoluetly no idea what Abre did to me! I had sleepiness all day and I wasn't even going to do a PM sit. She did a few tricks during our meeting, maybe she pit a spell on me emoticon

Probably, talking to her:
It was a reminder for you that a) you are not alone b) there is hope.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/1/20 11:14 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
I have absoluetly no idea what Abre did to me! I had sleepiness all day and I wasn't even going to do a PM sit. She did a few tricks during our meeting, maybe she pit a spell on me emoticon

Probably, talking to her:
It was a reminder for you that a) you are not alone b) there is hope.
Thanks Siavash! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/1/20 11:34 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min  Jhanic Practice, 40 min Noting)

Well, if there was a spell it sure has worn off. I had one of the most hellish sits. Abre did worn me I was in Nana 10 range with drowziness and sleepiness could be part of my sits for weeks. I had complete heavingness, tiredness, sleepiness, dullness and boredom. Dullness was so bad that I didn't note for chuncks of the meditation but hung in this state of just everything being flat. Paradoxically, at around 40 minutes in, I started having the desire for coffee, which when I decided to do that, I "woke up" out of this state. I don't understand. Anyway, the last 20  minutes, I had sufficient energy to note well.

BODY Tension and tightness at the lower back, itching, scratching, hands tender and sore, foot pain, legs movement, eyes watering, abdominal pressure
SOUND I heard three car horns and the large AC units outside
THOUGHTS I don't want to meditate anymore (Dukkha Nana 9), Future planning thoughts, Logging thoughts, DhO
EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES  I really felt that it was almost overwhelming. I felt heavingness, sleepiness, tirredness, dullness and boredom, all of which was percieved as unpleasent

GENERAL FEELINGS There are no bad sits. Good practice for the place in which I am in

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/1/20 2:55 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Afternoon Activities

Studied Module 1 of Tibetan Three Yanas Course


30 Min PM Sit (15 min Jhanic Practice, 15 min Noting)


What a difference coffee makes! I hate ping ponging like this on the logs and in general but I write what happens. Anyway, Concentration practice was good but still having to put my attention back on the breath. Noting was totally energetic rather than calm which is great. I noted a lot more with the coffee and the rate was more 3x/sec.
BODY There was a minute or two of cheek discomfort which I dismissed with Gone on its disolution. Same thing with a short lived headache over the left eye (in the eyebrow). The itching was actually pretty intense and unpleasent. Abre said itching was a big issue in this yana. I had both foot and shin pain. The legs were again in motion. I had a stiff and tight neck. There was tension and tightness in the lower back. VISUAL FIELD There was some strobing white light for about a minute. SOUND The typical outside AC units THOUGHTS Thoughts were few (less than 10?) in the Noting practice EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES I don't know if acceptance is an emotion but that's what I felt and it was quite pleasent.

GENERAL FEELINGS Very satisfying

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/1/20 3:26 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sit #3 Waking Up app Daily Meditation 20 minutes

Sam Harris directed us to focus and concentrate onn sound which I did pretty well. Then he asked me to look if there was a Center or Self that was listening. I directed my awareness to where I feel my Self is, behind my eyes, but of course no such self could be found. SOUNDS Sam Harris, large AC units outside, AC indoors

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/2/20 11:39 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhana Practice, 40 min Noting)

I had a bit of the same tiredness, dullness, and boredom but it did not dominate the sit. I would say that sound dominated the sit. BODY Foot pain, legs movement, itching/scratching, lower back tension and tightness, stiff and tight neck, arms tender and sore SOUND There were the sounds of the landscaping equipment, my loud upstairs neighbor using her loud washer and workers yelling to each other THOUGHTS Food shopping thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES As mentioned there were the emotions of tiredness, dulllness and boredom all unpleasent

GENERAL FEELINGS Just more practice

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/2/20 3:53 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Sit (15 min Jhanic Practice, 15 min Noting)

Plenty of energy. Concentration practice was pretty good. Am wondering how my OCD effects frequency of discursive thoughts? For the noting practice, on the other hand, the noting was so fast and the mindfulness so good that I can remember 3 thoughts. 

BODY Slight headache in forhead, strange sensation in upper left chest -> gone, right underarm pain  -> gone, urinary tension, foot pain, shin pain, tension & tightness in the lower back, strong tenderness & soreness in arms, high speed sensations in the fingers, stiff & tight neck, lots of itching & scratching SOUND Plane overhead -> gone, sound of outside AC units VISUAL FIELD Pale yellow sun short lived 

GENERAL FEELINGS Very good meditation with increased body awareness

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/3/20 12:18 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhanic Pratice, 40 min Noting)

I didn't get my customary sleepiness and even had a little energy I just started getting a little bored after the 40 minute mark but it was ok. Concentration practice was reasonable.

BODY Fullness, heavingness, pressure, foot pain, knee pain, legs moving, arms tender and sore, tension & tightness in the lower and mid back. stiff and tight neck, watery eyes, left ear pain SOUND I got so fustrated because my noisy upstairs neighbor did laundry again the very loud washer. I should not get fustrated but you should hear how loud it is. Here it goes again! I also heard the outside AC units THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, Desire for coffee, Future  planning thoughts, Logging thoughts, DhO thoughts, Remembering thoughts 

GENERAL FELINGS Pleased I had energy 


RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/3/20 4:00 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Sit (no Concentration, All Noting)

For this sit, I was feeling stressed and anxious, so I decided to focus on my noting. The notice was fast (1-3x/sec) and I had a host of body sensations for whatever is going on. Mindfulness was great.

BODY eyelids hurt, urinary tension, neck really tight, trembling, sensations in right ear, a strange sensation in left shoulder that was like a cross between numbing and tingling, pain  in my right thumb, slight headache in forhead, numbness in right hand, back pain, neck pain, itching at tip of nose THOUGHTS The stress, anxiety, fear and worry produced some thoughts but the speed of the noting kept the thoughts down SOUND Just the large AC units outside EMOTIONS, FEELING TONE Emotions were the prodiminant sensation. I am going through something. I felt stress, and anxiety and fear about the stress. Worries about the day were also felt.

GENERAL FEELINGS I was able to sit through the fear.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/3/20 4:17 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Well done Sam! DN Nanas can be mild to full on horrible in feeling tone. Just remind yourself that acceptance of it all, in no matter what shape or form it seems to present itself, is the way through it. This is especially important in the re-observation as most of the DN Nanas can arise in the same wave. As with all waves, they do the same thing emoticon they pass away. Hold onto Acceptance and matter of fact noting/noticing for the duration of the sit emoticon I know, as many here do, that these mind states and feelings suck big time, but it feels so good if you let it all wash over you without resistance emoticon and yes, noting does chops up these unpleasant arisings so it's in a way easier staring straight into their eyes , so to speak emoticon 

You ARE doing great! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/6/20 11:36 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
FULL DISCLOSURE I did not meditate the last 2 days at all because I fell into this pattern of not wanting to do it with all the sleepiness

60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhanic Practice, 40 minute Noting)

What a suprisee! No tiredness or dullness or boredom, actually energetic!  I started out with fullness/heavingness and pressure but did not  get sleepy from them. Then I went into concentration. The concentration practice was pretty good. Then it was back into noting. The energy levels stayed up. The noting wasn't ultra fast like when I have had coffee but I averaged abou 1x/sec. I had my usual places of body sensations - I'm getting old emoticon

BODY As mentioned, started out with heavingness, fullness, pressure. As noting progressed, I had tightness and tension in myy lower back and upper back, stiff and tight neck, itching/scratching, tingling, foot pain, knee pain and a fair amount of leg movement VISUAL FIELD I saw crimson red surrounding the circular area and then cover the whole visual area. I also the whole VF covered in white light SOUND There were the usual sounds of the large AC units outside THOUGHTS I had less thoughts during noting but they were still there. Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, no logging or DhO thoughts however EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES This was a pretty even keeled sitting. I can't remember any real emotions

GENERAL FEELINGS A really great sit that was really needed

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/6/20 3:22 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Sit (All Noting)

Lots of energy for this one (well it was coffee fueled emoticon). Noting was fast (3x/sec).  BODY Sensations in both ears, buzzing feeling in head, bicep soreness & tenderness, unshaven beard itchiness, muscle jerk (just one), urinary tension, shin tenderness, feelings of foot sinking down into carpet, trembling, foot pain. itching & scratching, tension & tightness at the waist, neck tension & tightness SOUND For the billionith time, my upstairs neighbor running her loud washer, sound of large AC units outside VISUAL FIELD Saw concentric circles of white THOUGHTS Staci thoughts Logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES Anger and aversion at my neighbor running her loud washer again! She runs like 6 loads every day and sometimes in the middle of the night

General Feelings Another good one

Questions
  1. How do most effectively deal with the anger that is coming up with my neighbor's ecessive washing?
  2. My noting is humming along but I'm not generating any insights? Do I need to wait until things calm down out of Dukka Nana stage of Reobservation and I got back into Equanamity or is there something more I oculd be doing

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/7/20 2:48 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Sit (only Noting)

Finally my stomach issues settled down so I could meditate. A very energetic sit with fast noting (3x/sec). A lot was going on in my body, not so much in my mind.

BODY lips pulsating under nose, heavingness in head -> gone, coolness, itch on right knee -> gone, urinary tension, itch on left shoulder -> gone, shoulder pain, trembling, small "micro pains" in fingers, pressure in the forehead over the eyes, slight headache, muscle jerks (i think 2), tingling, jaw tension, itching & scratching, arms aching and sore VISUAL FIELD patterns of white light SOUND the large AC units outside THOUGHTS far and few between but some planning, logging and DhO thoughts EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES not really present as I was focused on fast noting

GENERAL FEELINGS A good one for sure with a high degree of noticing/noting

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/9/20 12:55 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Note To Readers

If there are any of you out there, I have only managed to meditate 2x in over 5 days and only for 30 minutes. It seems like I've lost my motivation for meditation. If you have anything to encourage my motivation, please say it!

Sit #1 30 min (Noting Only)

I finally managed to sit if only for 30 minutes with the support of coffee. I still felt a little tired even with the coffee. The rate of Noting fluncuated (1-3x/sec).
BODY Left underarm pain, head buzzing, shoulders heavy, tingling in right arm, right shoulder tender + tight, slight headache, trembling, foot pain, ankle pain, shin tenderness, tension & tightness around waist VISUAL FIELD Concentric orange circles SOUND large AC units outside THOUGHTS few and far between but included future planning, logging, and DhO thoughts EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES no real emotions, kind of flat

GENERAL FEELING  Just glad to get one in there


RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/9/20 3:18 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sit #2 30 Minutes Noting

I managed to get myself to meditate for a 2nd time. The big story here was itching. It was like I was ttacked by itching and some of it was actually sharp, more like a prick. I managed to catch, through mindfulness, the vanishings of some of them using Shinzen Young's Gone technique.

BODY itch on right eyebrow -> gone, itch on top of my head -> gone, itch on the back of my head -> gone, itch on front of my head -> intensifying -> itch of the century -> resisting -> give in and scratch, slight headache, foot movement, really tight neck and shoulders, shaky, trembling, urinary tension, underarm pain , foot pain, arms achy & sore, coolness SOUND the usual large AC units outside THOUGHTS Abre thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging and DhO thoughts

GENERAL FEELINGS  Happy that I got a 2nd sit in

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/9/20 3:24 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hey Sam,

Brute force advice, loss of interest for meditation could mean equanimity is settling in. It seems to happen qite a bit that people who lose the "dukkha" insentive to meditate kind of stop, and then cycle back down, and go through a kind of DN->EQ loop with difficulty moving past that until they're sick of it and decide to go through with it no matter what emoticonemoticonemoticon

Well, it also happens that one loses interest sometimes emoticon. I also have trouble meditating these days.

Good luck with you motivation, you can make formal resolutions from time to time. The summer is here, but the winter will return, right ?

Cheers emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/9/20 4:31 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Thank you for your reso\ponse. Abre said I was knocking on the door of equanimity.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/9/20 5:06 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Actually, Abre just skyped me and said its not equanimity because if it was I woulldn't want to meditate because everything is so good rather than my case where things aren't. She's says I'm being a Drama Queen emoticon. She says I've made this commitment, now do it. Continue and push through it. There will be lots of days where motivation will not be there. Don't wait for th emuse. What else am I going to do all day? Develop the habit. What is the big drama? Practice is not when you feel like it but always. Don't take it so seriously - no drama.

That's why I really like her. She's tough when she has to be.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/9/20 9:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Like T DC said in another thread.

The chicks Sam - do it for the chicks.  ;)

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/10/20 11:38 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Concentration, 40 min Noting)

First time back to 60 minute sits in 6 days. I'm tempted to say "what a disaster" because there are no bad sits but I was so tired/sleepy and dull/bored that I was fighting off sleep the whole time. I had long stretches where I didn't even note and I was daydreaming and having wandering thoughts. I am happy I was able to fight through it. 

BODY From what little I noted, I had pulsations at the bottom of my left foot, tingling, foot pain, tension & tightness around the waist, abdominal pressure, intense yawning, watery eyes and runny node, knees shaking violently SOUND I don't remember any THOUGHTS Lots of random mind wandering and daydreams. I remember some Abre thoughts, future planning thoughts EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES Powerfull emotion of dullness - didn't feel like doing anything, Boredom, Tiredness, Sleepiness

GENERAL FEELINGS Hope for a better one tonight after coffee

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/10/20 3:15 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Afternoon Dharma
Studying in Module 1 of Minyur Rinpoche's The Three Yanas course


30 min PM Sit (All Noting)

Much better than this morning. Lots of energy to notice and fast note (3x/sec) a lot of sensations. Like last night's sit, I was bombarded with itching. 

BODY Lots of noticing and noting. Itch on left shoulder -> gone, Restless feet, tremor in my hands, arms heavy, neck stiff & rigid, knee pain, foot pain, shin tenderness, urinary tension, underarm pain, itch on forehead -> gone, knee pain, clicking sound in jaw as I noted outloud, upper back pain, shaky, trembling SOUND heavy upstairs neighbor stomping around, large AC units outside THOUGHTS few and far between except the thought on writing this sentence

GENERAL FEELINGS Completly satisified

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/12/20 12:34 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhanic Practice, 40 min Noting)

I skipped another day yesterday and took a nap. I was going to do it again today but got a sudden burst of energy. It was enough to keep me awake for the site but not alert. I had a pretty significant amount of tiredness, yawning, dullness and boredom. Noting sufffered because of my dull state.

BODY kness shaking, shin pain, feet moving, pain in the middle back, coolness, foot pain, ankle pain, slight headache, tightness & tension at the back of the head, heavingness in arms, diminished amount of itching & scratching SOUND high pitched tone in left ear for about 10 seconds, large AC units outside THOUGHTS lots of random discursive thoughts 

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS kind of normal for where I'm at right now but unpleasent

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/15/20 11:43 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
60 min AM Sit (20 min Jhanic Practice, 40 min Noting)

Haven't meditated for 3 days because of my medical diagnosis (I'll write about in different topic). Nothing has changed. Still very tired, dull and bored. Reduced noting because of the dullness. Still don't really want to meditate even after Abre's pep talk - glad I have an appointment with her today.

BODY lower back tension & tightness, mid back pain, foot pain, legs moving, itching (not as much), heavingness in arms, abdominal pressure SOUND lots of landscaping equipment, AC THOUGHTS Abre thoughts, coffee desires, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS, FEELING TONES emotions of Dullness and Boredom

GENERAL FEELINGS Glad I got this one in

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/15/20 1:58 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sit #2 22 min Abre Guided Relaxation Meditation

Because of my disease and all my stress Abre guided me in a relaxation (breath) meditation smiling at all the bdy parts and taking deep breaths. I feel quite relaxed.

Given my diagnosis and difficulty getting to the meditation cushion whe wants me to forget about 60 minute noting meditation, stream entry, dharma overground and relax myself from my condition and my stress and do this relaxation meditation. Readers: Are you even going to want to read about daily relaxation meditations on DhO or is too boring.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/15/20 2:21 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi Sam,
This is your life journey, why should it be boring?
Please do whatever that is helpful for you. I see in myself that most of my health problems are because I am not relaxed enough. If your teacher wants you to be relaxed and you trust her, then that is what is impotant at this point.

I wish you a healthy body and a peaceful mind.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/15/20 3:05 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Only do logging if its pleasing/inspiering to you to do so. If its a chore and taking too much effort and focus from the practice/calming/relaxation then stop logging for now and use the log for questions and updates as they come. 

I do follow your log even when I dont log or write on the forum.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/15/20 3:20 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sit #3 PM Sit Abre Guided Relaxation Meditation

Using the Buddha Inner Smile to smile at body parts while taking deep breaths. I am completly calm and relaxed.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/16/20 10:56 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
22 min AM Abre Relax Meditation

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/16/20 12:15 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam Gentile:
22 min AM Abre Relax Meditation

How was the feeling tone of this sit ? emoticon Is mind interested and engaged in smiling to the body parts? 
I guess you can give us a few details emoticon gimme som readn' boyo emoticon emoticon ;) 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/16/20 3:13 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Sam Gentile:
22 min AM Abre Relax Meditation

How was the feeling tone of this sit ? emoticon Is mind interested and engaged in smiling to the body parts? 
I guess you can give us a few details emoticon gimme som readn' boyo emoticonemoticon ;) 

I was afraid about trying to write about this type of meditation. I'm not sure mind understands this concept of the buddha inner smile to the head. I just trying my best to do a buddha smile in the direction of the body part. The feeling tone is pleasent.

22 min PM Abre Guided Relax Meditation

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/16/20 4:40 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I'm sure it's something that needs a bit of getting used to just like anything else. 

I used to do hands-on self-Reiki back in 2008 which is similar to what you do (instead of smile sending healing energy to the body parts) . Placing palms of my hands from top of the head and all the way down to the feet. Would take me around 20-30 minutes to get through all the position. It's sending Ki energy to that part of the body, one feels the heat of the palms against the body. It's a good practice. I think Kenneth Folk suggests hands on body when teaching Direct Path. Maybe Abre knows more about it. It certainly can be a helping tool. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/19/20 11:36 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Update

Sorry I haven't been online for a few days. I'm still trying to process the diagnosis of Atypical Parkionism. I just mope around the apartment and haven't even done Abre's 20 min Relaxation meditation. On top of it, I've had some stomach problems. I want to ask a very strange question. When I do meditations like Abre's that involve a lot of deep breathing, I generate a lot of air in my colon from the deep breaths which causes a lot of gas afterwards. I know this sounds strange but does anyone experience anythinng like this?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
9/19/20 11:57 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sounds perfectly natural to me Sam! When I get the lower belly going either through deep breathing, or just going for walks or even runs I will generally fart a lot! Farting is healthy in my opinion! Also gives new oportunities to be NOTED emoticon the sense of smelling is being involved emoticon note it, note it emoticon 

In case you feel like going back to noting (Im not saying you should , but only in case you start feeling the need), try and focus only on the body sensations and relaxing the body (while noting you can scan the body for tension and rellax it). You can stay away from the mind states and feeling tones if they are too disturbing. You simply lock onto coolness in the nostrils and belly rising and falling, expanding belly touching the shirt (this I find usually is very pleasant). Body really is always good to return back to when stuff gets too heavy emotinaly.

Im saying this as you might feel bad about this sudden transition from full on practice going on and suddenly you are off the hourse so to speak. Its almost like a "cultural shock" some people have when moving countries (Ive moved alot) or when people get fired from a job they liked. Transition can be felt as loss. 

I think breathing relaxation (calm abiding) is a very good practice and can lead the one practicing all the way. Im know personally it can lead all the way to EQ (4th Jhana) and if you dont freak out (like I did) when you totally loose the breathing (as if you are not breathing at all) then you might even continue further. Back then I didnt know about this happening in 4th Jhana (breathing stops, but its harmless, no reason to panic, as I did emoticon  )

So, once again, I think its a great practice, this breath relaxation and there is no need for you to feel as if you are downgrading your practice. Tibetans dont offer Shamatha (calm-abiding relaxation) without a good reason emoticon 

In case you feel too overwhelmed with this illness then maybe talking to a therapist can help. Talking about our stuff always helps.

I really wish you all the best Sam! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/3/20 4:33 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Update

I don't know when I meditated last. With the symptoms and diagnosis of Parkinsons and dealing with the tremors and involutary body movement, I sank into despair and stopped meditating. I had to let go of Abre for financial reasons. I just sat around feeling how terrible everythinng was. Today, I decided to try to meditate just for a half hour which I did. I don't know if I can sustain a regular practice at this point. I' m down to my last $1000 and don't even know how I'll live and buy food.

30 Min PM Noting Sit


I did it! I was energetic so the noting was consistent and fast.
BODY I had to deal with the Parkinsons tremors and involuntary body movements. I was somewhat restless. I had fullness, heavingness, andd pressure from taking a medicine all day. I noticed some sharp pains in the muscle which connects the underarm to the chest. I had foot pain, runny nose, headache also. SOUND I noticed a motorcycle and some birds THOUGHTS Worry thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS I had strong emotions of fear, anxiety and worry

GENERAL FEELING At least I did it. I don't know if I'm back, I will try.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/3/20 4:22 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
So good to see you back Sam emoticon emoticon emoticon show must go on emoticon You did it! 

I agree, sitting around and just feeling how everything is terrible is certainly not helping at all emoticon We need to learn to disembed from such thinking patterns and meditation sure can do that as well as bring some tranquility into our life. 

How was that Smiling Buddha meditation for you? Any good? Can you think of doing it again or is it too artificial feeling? Im asking as it would be good to have one short sit that is based on one pointed calming meditation and then do the noting later maybe or before, as it suits you. 

You could aslo try and create an object for one pointed part of your noting meditation. I do open eyes focus on a kasina object (can be anything and matters little if its just a dirt spot on the wall or floor infront of you). If this is not good for your eyes then maybe holding something between your fingers, an object of your choosing. This would be your one pointed object that you return to very often during noting. Ingram I think used raise and fall of the abdomen as the primary one pointed object in his sittings and noting all other stuff but returning to it again and again. It doesnt work that well for me hence I use eye focus on an object and of course my own voice (in noting aloud) as well as the in ear frequency when it pops up (the nada sound). 

Having this one pointed object in your noting practice can introduce tranquility, calm and of course concentration (absorption joy, rapture, bliss and open spacious awareness).  Try and think what would be the best one pointed object for you. Chris Marti prefers the preassure of his buttocks against the cushion apparently emoticon 

Great to see you again! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/3/20 4:29 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
So good to see you back Sam emoticonemoticonemoticon show must go on emoticon You did it! 

I agree, sitting around and just feeling how everything is terrible is certainly not helping at all emoticon We need to learn to disembed from such thinking patterns and meditation sure can do that as well as bring some tranquility into our life. 

How was that Smiling Buddha meditation for you? Any good? Can you think of doing it again or is it too artificial feeling? Im asking as it would be good to have one short sit that is based on one pointed calming meditation and then do the noting later maybe or before, as it suits you. 

You could aslo try and create an object for one pointed part of your noting meditation. I do open eyes focus on a kasina object (can be anything and matters little if its just a dirt spot on the wall or floor infront of you). If this is not good for your eyes then maybe holding something between your fingers, an object of your choosing. This would be your one pointed object that you return to very often during noting. Ingram I think used raise and fall of the abdomen as the primary one pointed object in his sittings and noting all other stuff but returning to it again and again. It doesnt work that well for me hence I use eye focus on an object and of course my own voice (in noting aloud) as well as the in ear frequency when it pops up (the nada sound). 

Having this one pointed object in your noting practice can introduce tranquility, calm and of course concentration (absorption joy, rapture, bliss and open spacious awareness).  Try and think what would be the best one pointed object for you. Chris Marti prefers the preassure of his buttocks against the cushion apparently emoticon 

Great to see you again! 

Thanks for the welcome back and suggestions. I think I am just tryiing to keep it simple right now, seeing if I can even do do it on a regular basis. The Smiling Buddha Relaxation meditation is the one Abre left me to deal with the Parkinsons but it has a lot of deep breathing, which causes gas which causes bathroom trips!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/4/20 4:51 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

I did it again! I must be back! Actually I wasn't going to as Sunday is my American Football day where I watch football all day which I did for most of the day. This sit, I went from  states of anxiety, restlessness all the way through  to calm and relaxation.

BODY I had some tremors in the begining along with a very tight neck. I had head abdomen and stomach muscle pain. I had head pain in the right temple of my skull but then WHOA! I got a really sharp pain at the bottom back of the skull that made me jump. I also had itching. SOUND I heard the AC and then everything went still. I experrienced a few minutes of stillness. I also heard a small plane, birds, and crickets THOUGHTS future planning thoughts, future worry thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughrs EMOTIONS Starting with this sense of anxiety and fear. By the end, I was feeling some relaxation and calm. I then did some of Abre's Inner Buddha Smile to enhance the stillness I felt in my mind.

GENERAL FEELINGS I am enjoing the relaxed calmess and stillness 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/4/20 5:23 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/4/20 7:39 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi Sam,
Glad to see you back.
May you be well, and practice well emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/4/20 8:42 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I'm sad to hear of the difficulties you are going through, Sam. I'm also glad to see you are back practicing. I hope that the problems get better soon and that your practice continues well.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/5/20 1:48 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Thank you for the welcome backs Papa Che, Siavash, and Martin

30 Min PM Noting Sit

A pretty good sit somewhat like yesterday but with more back pain and less relaxation. BODY I still had my now customary tremors and trembling. I had strong back pain alsong with shoulder tightness and tension. The neck also was stiff and tight. I had abdominal pressure, arms sore and tender, foot paian, eye pain. SOUND There was a lot of sound that I head which included a barking dog, AC, the lawn management equipment and voices in the hallway VISUAL FIELD I saw a purplish circle that turned white THOUGHTS future planning thoughts, future worry thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS First some fear but eventually turning into relaxation and calm through the Inner Smile

GENERAL FEELINGS Very good sit with little but of calm and relaxation

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/6/20 5:20 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam I sent you a message.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/9/20 11:54 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
NOTE
Sorry folks I haven't been online since Monday. Its been a combination of my continuing medical issues and my disinegrating financial situation. It looks I am going to lose my beloved Black Mustang because I can't pay for it

30 min AM Noting Sit

This didn't go well from the start. It seemed like I was out of practice or my mind "was not not in the game." Noting was slow and sparadic as I battled tiredness, dullness, and boredon. BODY I had fullness, heavingness, and pressure at the start. I had tightness and tension in the lower back. I  had watery eyes which got my nose running.I had a stiff and tight neck and heaviness in the arms SOUND Once again, the very noisy upstairs lady upstairs was doing nonstop loud laundry! THOUGHTS I had future planning thoughts, fear thoughts, logging thoughts and DhO thoughts EMOTIONS fear, anxiety, dullness, tiredness, boredom 

OVERALL Got to get back in the swing of things




RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/9/20 3:14 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

Complete opposite of my earlier sit! With the benefit of coffee, I was able to be really energetic and note at a much quicker rate and thus more things. I was even able to generate just a little calm in the mind too.

BODY Abdominal muscle pian, foot pain, muscle jerks, usual tremors and trembling, underarm pain, itching in the back, sharp transient pains across upper back, urinary tension, movingfeet, neck stiff and tight, coolness, slight headache on top SOUND Indoor AC, Fridge, Outdoor AC VISUAL FIELD Concentric white circles THOUGHTS Few and far between but future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS Calm

OVERALL Feel like I'm back in the swing of things

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/10/20 12:30 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Practice

This one was dominated by the sounds of my own washing machine because I wanted to get it in before it got too late. After the washing machine finished, I was able to access some stillness and calm. 

BODY Back pain, abdominal pressure, fullness, foot pain, tremors, slight headache, underarm pain, abdominal muscle pain, right hand numbness, lower back tension and tightness, heavingness in arms SOUND washer obviously but some inside and outside AC THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS stillness, calm

OVERALL Nice sit

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/12/20 1:35 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

It's so damn cold! Temp is coldest since last May and they haven't changed back my apartment to heat yet. The other distinquishing feature of this sit is that I was tired and dull and bored. Still don't have any energy in the day without coffee.

BODY numbness in my hands, tremors, trembling, abdominal pressure, stomach discomfort, neck tightness, foot pain, heavy arms, eye pain and watering, slight headache SOUND dogs barking, women upstairs walking THOUGHTS future planning, future worry, logging, and DhO

OVERALL Acceptable

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/21/20 1:09 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
How are you Sam?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/24/20 2:04 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
How are you Sam?

I am not good. In addition to my Atypical Parkinson's, I have been having IBS during the day even though I don't drink any coffee and its pretty hard to meditate when you have to go to bathroom all the time. I've been having all these medical tests. Also, my Mustang gets re-possed this week. So i haven't had the slightest interest in anything meditation or Buddhist.

I had coffee today for the first time today in over 2 weeks. Maybe I'll be inspired later to practice.

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/24/20 3:17 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
PM 30 Minute Noting Sit

I did it! First sit in weeks! Can't promise I can hold myself to it with all going on that I described in last post. This sit hada lot of energy and restlessness from the coffee before. I was able to have a high rate of noting (3x/sec). Mindfulness was fairly good because of the Noting not allowing my mind to wander.

BODY usual tremors and trembling, back pain, excitement in the gut (coffee), urinary tension, fingers movement, slight headache, neck tightness and stiffness, pain in left hand and pain in upper left arm THOUGHTS Future planning thoughts, future worry thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoghts SOUND Heater inside as well large outside AC Units EMOTIONS restlessness 

GENERAL FEELINGS A sit in the books!  I'll take it

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/24/20 3:32 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Have you considered to have a talking therapy for a while as all what's happening now is very new and hard to take in. I'm sure it will be of benefit. 

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/24/20 4:02 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
It seems like Sam is having financial problems and may not be able to afford therapy at the moment. Maybe one of the therapists in our community would consider offering him some pro bono sessions ...

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/24/20 5:04 PM as a reply to George S.
Indeed. We all live in different countries which have different social welfare. I don't know where Sam lives and how this system functions there but in Denmark you basically pay a small sum as participation when you go for therapy (if you get approved by a doctor which is not an issue) and the rest is payed by the government. 
I hope it's like this in any and all countries. 

When people need medical help and psychological support they ought to get it without much money fuss.

That would be great if someone here is a therapist working pro bono! 

All this is only if Sam actually feels like having a talking therapy, of course. 

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/27/20 1:20 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Axtually I'm about to have a 30 minute pro-bono therapy session by my own therappist right now.

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/27/20 1:37 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam Gentile:
Axtually I'm about to have a 30 minute pro-bono therapy session by my own therappist right now.
emoticon

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/27/20 1:59 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
Sam Gentile:
Axtually I'm about to have a 30 minute pro-bono therapy session by my own therappist right now.
emoticon

After our session, it tuns out meditation is not high on our list of priorities right now.

RE: Sam's Practitightness ce Log 2
Answer
10/27/20 2:08 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam Gentile:
Papa Che Dusko:
Sam Gentile:
Axtually I'm about to have a 30 minute pro-bono therapy session by my own therappist right now.
emoticon

After our session, it tuns out meditation is not high on our list of priorities right now.

Same here Sam emoticon at the moment Im full on working on spreding 14 cubic meters of gravel infront of our house and helping one neighbour with his concrete tiles infront of his house and from next week Im starting a new job (packaging xmass presents) and after work looking after my little son. Meditation, as in sitting practice, is not getting the high priority right now. When the time is right the practice will rekindle again emoticon 

So glad you found a therapist mate! Your health both mental and physical is important. Good on you Sam! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
10/29/20 2:46 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

I had a lull in my medical symptoms today so I decided to try a sit and was able to do so. I had plenty of energy and was even restless from a rare earlier coffee. Noting was fast (3x/sec) and consistent (and out loud).

BODY jitterry feet. slight headache starting in the forehead and moing moving all over from there, the ususal tremor/trembling, neck tightness, eye pain, knee pain, brain fog, muscle jerks, cold, urinary tension, gut excitement, fingers moving, shoulders tight and tense, tingling, right hand pain SOUND cars in the rain, car horn, music likely coming from a car THOUGHTS Microsoft .NET 5 Development thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS restless

OVERALL FEELINGS Great to get one in

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/1/20 12:31 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Glad the medical issues were a bit better and you got a decent sit in.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/10/20 2:44 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min Noting Sit

Hello! Its been a long time since I rock and rolled. I realized today that I haven't meditated since Oct 29th and probably lost all my readers! I have been battling my medical issues that keep me off the couch and having lots of medical apontments. I talked to my long distance girlfriend Staci who is is a Trump supporter and I am  Biden supporter. I felt happy so I decided to try to meditate. Today's sit was charcterized by restlessness and some boredom. I remember looking at the look and there was still 13 minutes left and then 8 minutes left. This session seemed to go on forever. 

BODY energetic restless, lots of tremors and trembling (from the Parkinson's), brain fog, aching arms, neck really  stiff and tight. knees aching, slight headache, gut excitement, urinary tension, various fleeting pain sensations in the arms, abdominal muscle tension, muscle jerks, eye pain VISUAL FIELD Bright white circle SOUND I head a motorcycle, car horn, sirens THOUGHTS  Futue planning thoughs, Staci thoughts, boredom thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS restlessness, boredom

OVERALL FEELINGS Great to do one. Will try more.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/10/20 2:51 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
emoticon Congrats on Biden and on sitting again! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/11/20 12:34 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

Yay, two days in a row! I even did it with the noise of my washing machine. And I still managed to get a calm, relaxed sit. There was no boredom or restless present.  BODY hair wet, shoulders tight, slight headache, neck tight and stiff, trembling and tremors, foot pain, abdominal pressure, back tightness SOUND washer, mutiple trucks backing up sound, trucks being unloaded THOUGHTS future planning, Microsoft .NET 5 devlopment thougts, logging thoughts, DhO thougts EMOTIONS Calm, Relaxed, Happiness, Joy, Stillness

OVERALL EMOTIONS Near perfect sit

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/11/20 12:43 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Glad for your new reports Sam.

Go for .net. You have tons of experience, why not use it. Just open it and start coding!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/11/20 12:52 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
Glad for your new reports Sam.

Go for .net. You have tons of experience, why not use it. Just open it and start coding!

Thank you. I have to meditate and report now as my Parkinson's and IBS allow it.

AS for the .NET, I was a Software Engineer for over 30 years and I started with the very first .NET Beta (i ythink it was 1991)  and developed for may years and companies with it. Microsoft has just come out with a "master" .NET where they have united everything and I am starting to learn it!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/11/20 12:58 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Yeah.

It's worth spending time to learn it (Although I don't believe that they can successfully unite everything ;) ).

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/16/20 2:32 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 Min PM Noting Sit

Finally got a lull in medical symptoms so I was able to do this. Experiencing the "time dilation" effect, a term I use, because I don't meditate often, it seems like 30 minutes lasts a day. So I was restless and bored.

BODY Fullness, abdominal pressure, usual tremors and trembling, gut excitement, urinary tension, shoulders sore and tense, confusion,  restless feet, neck tight and stiff, arms heavy, right hand numbness, eye pain SOUND I heard very loudly, for most of the 30 minutes multipe police sirens and fire trucks. I also heard birds. THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS restlessness, bordedom

OVERALL: I'm happy these days when I get a sit in

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/16/20 4:23 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Good on you Sam! Glad to see you're making the most out of some shitty circumstances. Best wishes to you emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/17/20 12:12 PM as a reply to Louis Joel.
Louis Joel:
Good on you Sam! Glad to see you're making the most out of some shitty circumstances. Best wishes to you emoticon

Louis, gross but "shitty" in quite lieratl terms emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/17/20 1:16 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 Min PM Noting Sit

Decided to sit , damn the consquences for the 2nd day. Unlike yesterday, where there was restless and boredom, today I was blown around to many states. I would feel like I had to go to bathroom and I would calm, relaxation and stillness, and then back again.

BODY Feeling cold, abdominal pressure, fullness, tremors and trembling, itching on face from  shaving, eyes wet and in pain, lower back tightness and tension, stomach pain, foot pain, slight headache, neck tight and stiff, sensation in upper left arm SOUND Hot water heater, dog barking THOUGHTS Future planning, worry, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS Worry, relaxation, calm, stillness

OVERALL Two in a row!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/17/20 1:23 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"SOUND Hot water heater, dog barking"

Just wondering; do you get any mind impressions when you hear these sounds? I know there is Comprehanding after the fact of hearing but anything else? Im just being curious emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/17/20 2:02 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
"SOUND Hot water heater, dog barking"

Just wondering; do you get any mind impressions when you hear these sounds? I know there is Comprehanding after the fact of hearing but anything else? Im just being curious emoticon 
Do you mean that I see an image in the mind with the sound? Most of the time its just the sound.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/17/20 2:07 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
 Yes image impressions of what was heard. In my experience sound/hearing leads to either comprehending certainty about it or comprehanding uncertainty about it (in case of strange sounds) and always leads to some image impression. 

Thank you for sharing mate! emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/20/20 11:58 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

After a talk with my girlfriend Staci and a nice Bulletproof coffee, I got inspired to meditate. I think its impossible to meditate without coffee emoticon So I entered this meditation full of energy, alert, even restless but there was not a lot of boredom. 

BODY Eyes flickering, restless, tremors/trembling, foot pain, abdominal pressure, neck tight and stiff, eyes watering and pain, urinary tension, gut pressure and excitement, headache in forhead, teeth grinding, restless legs VISUAL FIELD A bright white circle was noticed SOUND sirens, fridge, AC, aiirplane EMOTIONS Restless, alert, excitement, some boredom THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, Alex thoughts, noting thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL Good sit

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/21/20 12:13 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

Felt great during this sit powered by Bulletproof Coffee. Started real hyper-excited, energetic with a high rate of noting. There was later a little boredom which was then nicely replaced by relaxation, calm, and stillness as I found myself repeating a made-up mantra with thoughts, "No future. No past. Just NOW." This kept me coming back.

BODY Restles, high energy, fast noting, energy pulsations in the fingers, various stry aches and pains in the body, tremors/trembling, legs moving, forehead headacche, neck tight and stiff, abdominal pressure, urinary tension, sensations at inside of elbows, swallowing, gut excitement, itching SOUND AC, runn8ing water, upstairs neighbor walking, airplane THOUGHTS Alex thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts V ISUAL FIELD Bright white light

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Relaxed and calm

BTW, Is anyone besides Papa Che reading these? I know I haven't been consistent with my illnesses

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/21/20 12:45 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"No future. No past. Just NOW." = Acceptance of what Is emoticon It's a very good reminder that mantra of yours emoticon 
Just This, Just Now is ALL we Ever have. This infinitesmall Thisness that changes forms lightning fast emoticon This is as close to "truth" we can ever get it seems emoticon 

Keep at it mate! emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/21/20 12:53 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I'm here too mate! keep up the good work emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/23/20 12:51 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

A unique thing happened during this sit. I had IBS symptoms during  my sit. I was able to sit with and note with them without getting up. Later I was able to make use of my mantra "No future. No Past. Just Now."

BODY abdominal pressure, IBS symptoms, abdominal area discomfort, forhead sensations, foot pain. tremors/trembling, arms heavy, underarm pain SOUND wind, garbage trucks, airplane THOUGHTS IBS thoghts, Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, worry thoughts, loggging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Sat despite medical symptoms

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/23/20 2:01 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Nice emoticon 

Meditation for the mind is like water for the body. Its just of plain benefit FULL STOP emoticon Need drink water, need awake mind emoticon same-same emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/24/20 12:18 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

Quite a sit. Due to the coffee I started the sit restless, and excited but as I went along things went quiet and I had periods of stillness and developed relaxation, calm, happiness and joy. Then near the end of the sit, Staci called just as I was thinkng of her and I ended up in excitement.

BODY Slight headache at forehead, tight neck, eye pain and watering, abdominal pressure, urinary tension, gut ecitement, tension and tightness in upper shoulders, tremors and trembling, tingling in right hand, swallowing, energy pulsations in hands, lips quivering, arms heavy SOUND airplane, sirens, truck THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, Abre thoughts, "No future. No past. Just now." EMOTIONS Restless, energetic, open to life, relaxed, calm, happiness, joy

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Totally happy

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/24/20 1:34 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Totally happy"

emoticon emoticon emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/25/20 11:51 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

This was a very different noting it for me. All the other ties the high frquency of at-loud noting leads to minimal thoughts and mindfulness. Today was very different. I was starting to talk to my girlfriend Staci and then she told me she3 couldn't d our regular coffee hour and talk. During the sit, thoughts of this ovverwhelmed, primarly disapointment and sadness.

BODY Abdominal pressure, gut excitement, urinary tension, neck tight and stiff, slight headache especially in the forhead, nose dripping, eye pain, upper back tension and tightness, knee soreness. heavy arms SOUND cars, aiirplane, trucks THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, Staci disaapointment thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS disapointment, sadness, some boredom

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Good to work with my feelings

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/25/20 2:37 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

This sit was very diffferent from the one earlier today. I did not get overwhelmed by my thooughts because the noting worked and I had mindulness. This is also the first time I have sat twice in in one day in months. A pretty ordinary sit very welcome.

BODY nose dripping unpleasant, headache in forehead, fullness, upper back really tight and tense, abdominal muscle pain, urinary tension, itching/scratching, abdominal pressure, jittery feet, foot pain, eye pain, sensations at right elbow, tingling pleasent, lips dry and pursed SOUND bell, AC, windows rattling very unpleasent, 2 planes THOUGHTS few and far between but some future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Nice ordinary sit


RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/26/20 11:56 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minutes AM Noting Sit

Ok, I'll admit it. I only meditated today out of desperation, sheer lonliness at spending Thangiving totally by myself. I couldn't even find Staci until she texted in the middle of the sit. Anyway, I'm happy at how much more I have been meditating this week.

BODY Gut excitement, urinary tension, abdominal pressure, sensations on  side of head, brain fog, neck tight and stiff, itching/scratching, upper back pain, sparodic transient sensations in arms, arms heavy, nose congested, foot pai8n, headache in back of the head, legs aching, facial pain, lower left leg throbbing, eye pain, underarm pain, heavy arms, tingling SOUND AC, fridge THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, Heather thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS bored, lonliness

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Good sit on a tough day

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/26/20 12:06 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"sheer lonliness at spending Thangiving totally by myself."

Thank you Sam for the gift of sharing the Dhamma emoticon 

I spend Christmas all by my lonesome. This year will be the same. There can be sadness and loneliness to it. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/27/20 11:47 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

I started this one with a big enegy surge noting with a fury. The energy stayed constant. I found myself thinking thoughts of Abre with who I am having a special meeting today with.

BODY Wide awake, noting fast, underarm pain, gut excitement, abdominal pressure, urinary tension, awnsions in ear, nose running, neck tight & stiff, forehead pain, itching/scratching, foot pain, leg sensations, intense excitement and fast n9oting in the fingers, legs movement, noticing sensations of socks on the skin of my feet, headache feeling over left eye -> gone SOUNDS Heater, running water THOUGHTS Future planning, Abre, logging, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Looking forward to seeing Abre!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/28/20 1:58 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

I meditated while I was doing noisy wash and it was fine. When the wash cycle finished, I even got some calm, relaxtion and stillness. I am celebrating because I meditated every day this week which I haven't done in a long time. I got some extra support from Abre yesterday who encouraged me to add a second sit daily. 

BODY Wet hair from shower, aching in lower back, slight headache, thigh pain, abdominal presure, foot pain, neck tight and stiff, achy arms, forehead pain, tremors/trembling, shoulders tight and tense, middle back pain, feet movement SOUND washing machine, neighbor's washing machine, AC, truck backing up THOUGHTS far and few betwen but some future planning thoughts, Abre thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thougts EMOTIONS Some calm, relaxtion, stillness

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Good sit

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/30/20 12:02 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

Abre suggested the application of #2 Mindfulness of Feelings from the Four Foundations of Mindfulness by noting Feeling Tone along with my noting. Nowhere was that more apparent than during the first 15 minutes where I noted gut excitement intense unpleasent. This was due to the coffee. Interestingly, affter about 16 minutes its like it completly disapeared and became pleasent. So I tried to note pleasent, unpleasent or neutral although I won't always put them in here.

BODY gut excitement intense unpleasent, abdominal pressure unpleasent, urinary tension unpleasent, slight headache, neck tight & stiff, various body aches random, cold, foot sensations on floor, nose dripping, eyes dry, fast sensations in fingers, tremors/trembling, forehead pain, restless feet, underarm pain SOUND rain, AC, running water, birds, walking upstairs THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, Abre thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Adding the feeling tone gives a more complete picture of whats going on

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
11/30/20 4:10 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

I am reintroducing a second sit per Abre. I found myself restless and sometimes bored.

BODY Tremors/Trembling unpleasent, Uninary tension unpleasent, restless, fast sensations in fingers, slight headaches all over my head, various sensations in legs, restless feet, itching, dry eyes, wrist discomfort, underarm pain, knees aching, arms heavy, heat in  left wrist -> gone, jittery, intense itching at the bottom of left side of nose, desire SOUND Strong winds, AC THOUGHTS Future planning thoughts, Abre thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS Restless, Boredom, Desire

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS First Sit #2 in over a month

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/2/20 12:34 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

Fully energized by cofee for this one so I was rapidly picking up and noting sensations at 3x rate. Didn't really get bored, just flowed in this vortex of sensations.

BODY Gut excitement unpleasent, urinary tension unpleasent, abdominal pressure unpleasent, eyes dry, various transitory sensations in head neutral, cold, sore hands, quick sensations moving along fingers, feeling feet on floor, facial pain, tremors/trembling, underarm pain unpleasent, pinpick sensations (2) SOUND wash, wind, truck door, dog barking THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS A real breakthrough in noting minute sensations

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/2/20 1:00 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/2/20 3:07 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute PM Noting Sit #2

Whatever breakthru I had in session #1 today is still there. I am sensing and noting much more minute, deeper sensations that I wasn't aware of before. Entering this world has exploded my noting session as I barely keep up anymore. There are just so many of them.

BODY feet tension, itch on my right cheek -> gone, eye pain, itching on top of my head, sensations in legs, various transient sensations in arms, sensations at right lower eyelid, tremors/trembling, sensations on right side of head -> gone, throbbing at bottom of right foot -> gone, sensation of fabric touching the skin SOUND just heater THOUGHTS few and far between as I kept up with new mindfulness Future planning thoughts, Logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS A whole new world!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/2/20 6:13 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Really proud of you buddy! I am glad to see that noting is going well and you are staying consistent. Keep up this solid work brother!! emoticon Best of wishes to you 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/3/20 10:19 AM as a reply to Louis Joel.
Louis Joel:
Really proud of you buddy! I am glad to see that noting is going well and you are staying consistent. Keep up this solid work brother!! emoticon Best of wishes to you 
Louis, thanks so much! We are inspiring each other

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/3/20 11:25 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min Noting Sit AM 

This breakthru that I wrote about yesterday continued today. I have been opened to a whole new level of deeply feeling and noting very subtle, very transient sensations that I missed for years before. I don't know how to explain it. It's like a deeper layer, stuff i just couldn't detect before. Of course, this has resulted in an explosion in my noting so I go up to like 5x and then can't keep up for a little bit. As I found today, it requires a bit more mindfulness work to keep this level going.

BODY Cold, senstations on right side of head -> gone, eye pain, sensations in knees, sensations at left side of waist, gut excitement,  urinary tension, abdominal pressure, neck stiff and tight, forehead pain, node dripping, finger sensations cycling rapidly, sensation in right lower eyelid, sensation inside left ear SOUND Heater, construction people drilling unpleasent, car horns unpleasent THOUGHTS few and far between Logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Living the dream

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/3/20 2:02 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

This inreased level of sensing and noting at this deeper level continues. For instance, I detected something that is really hard to explain. It was like a spike, a spec, of cold coming from inside the body manifesting in a split second, so fast I almost missed it. What was that? So again, I can only write a mere fraction of what I was noting  as it just was too much.

BODY pain over eyes, sensations at back of the neck, sensations in right foot, right foot fluttering, left foot movement, left ankle pain, sensations in left calf, fast sensations among fingers, tremors/trembling, aching in forearms SOUND fire truck, music outside, dog barking, running water THOUGHTS The level of mindfulness was so high I swear I had less than 10 thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Let the good times roll

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/3/20 2:18 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"What was that?"

This was "questioning-curiosity". The cold thing have no clue bro emoticon But you ARE riding that buck now! Yippee ki-yay! emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/4/20 11:57 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit #1

This deeper enhanced abillity to percieve more subtle sensations continues. I've gotten Abre involved with it who thinks it may be a profound shift. Today, agin, I was picking up things that I never could before and this log can only reflect some of them.

BODY  Nose dripping, Gut excitement intense unpleasent, urinary tension, tiny cold spot in bottom of left foot, sensations in left eye lid, rapid sensations among fingers, tense spot at back of neck, aching in right shoulder, left elbow sensation -> gone, pinpricks in right arm, sensations in left shin, sensations in left foot, tremors/trembling, left underarm pain SOUND construction noises, birds, airplanes THOUGHTS few and far between

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Happy at the path this has taken

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/4/20 12:38 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I am glad that things are going well for you Sam! Do you note with eyes closed? 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/4/20 12:49 PM as a reply to Louis Joel.
Louis Joel:
I am glad that things are going well for you Sam! Do you note with eyes closed? 

Thank you! Yes, always with my eyes closed and out loud.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/4/20 2:20 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute PM Noting Sit #2

This enhanced sensivity to sensations at a deep level continues.

BODY Cold, nose dripping, tightness in left part of the neck, sensations in right hand, cold "spot" in left foot, sensations in upper back, sensations in right knee, sensations in left elbow, sensations in left foot, tremors/trembling, sensations in palm of left hand, restless feet, itching at right side of nose, throbbing in right nostril SOUND heat, running water, airplane THOUGHTS Strangely enough, my only real thoughts were about getting a Popeye's Chicken Sandwhich which of course turned into desire

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS In a good place

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/5/20 12:23 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minutes AM Noting Sit #1

The deeper ability to detect subtle sensations continues.

BODY Tension in back of the neck, gut excitement intense at times, forehead sensations, tightness in upper back, sensations in right eyebrow, nose dripping, left underarm pain, facial pain, sensation in left ankle, sensation in right knee, sensations in right ear, sensation on right side of nostril, tremors/trembling, rapid finger sensations, sensations in both feet, transient numbness in right fingers, restless feet SOUND heater, wind, rain, birds, water running THOUGHTS few and far between

OVERALL IMPRESSION Glad this is coninuing

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/5/20 2:30 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

Deeper lever of sensing continues.

BODY left underarm pain, sensations left nostril, lower back pain. throbbing in left knee, sensations in right lower lower eyelid, gut excitement, tears in eyes, slight throbbing behind right ear, sensation in left knee, sensations right eyebrow, tremors/trembling, sensations in right foot, throbbing in left knee, sensations in left ankle, tightness in ankle, sensations in left foot, sensations in fingers SOUND loud persistent sirens on multiple firetrucks THOUGHTS thoughts of watching Casino with Robert DeNiro after this 

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Good sits continue

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/7/20 11:48 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit #1

The enhanced sensing and noting abilities from last week were still there but somewhat reduced. The mindfulness was not as strong and thoughts leapt in.

BODY Gut excitement sometimes intense, urinary tension, Dripping nose, wetness in eyes, tension in right side of the neck, sensation s in  left shin, slight headache, sensations in left kneee, sensations in left foot, sensations in right middle back, aching in right collarbone, aching in lower back, sensations in right elbow, left shin pain, rapid finger sensations, sensations in forearms, sensations in right thumb, left foot pain, sensations in left shoulders, tremors/ trembling THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, worry thoughts about my gut, future plannning thoughts, Rebecca thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Still noting well but need to  watch mindfulness

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/7/20 2:33 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

The enhanced sensitity to sensations and flood of deep sensations that I have been enjoying for over a week now has pretty much waned. I had to use my stir phrase "noting" to stir up sensations. This meant I had to work harder at manual mindfulness but I felt myself getting increasingly fustrated as the usual flood wasn't there and thoughts/desires of ordering a Popeye's Spicy Chicken Sandwhich took over my mind.

BODY sensations in fingers, tightness on back of neck, itch on nose, restless right foot, soreness left back shoulder, sensations in left foot, itching at scalp of head, sensations in left shin, sensations in fingers of left hand, sensations at left elbow, tremors/trembling, forehead pain, tightness in back of neck, eye pain, coldness in feet, throbbing in left knee, sensations in upper left eyelid SOUND Something that sounded like a TV from down the hall, heat, airplane -> gone THOUGHTS Fustration, Future planning thoughts, Popeye's thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Everything is impermenant

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/8/20 11:52 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit #1

Big change from last night with that deeper sense of picking up minute, transient sensations back again. There were several times where I noted "what is that" when I would get an undescribeable tiny transient sensation in the body.

BODY Forehead pain, back of neck tightness, left foot sensations, right bottom eyelid sensations, left collarbone aching, tremors/trembling, tight calf muscles, back of the neck tightness, left knee sensations, throbbing in right knee, heavingness in forearms, gut excitement, weird transient sensations in left thigh, transient twinge in upper right back, nose dripping, aching in right hand, tense sensations in back SOUND heater, neighbor walking upstairs THOUGHTS Staci thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Good sit

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/8/20 1:59 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 Minutes PM Noting Sit #2

A bit different this time. I had Gut Excitement which led to some IBS issues which caused some fear, anxiety, and worry. The was still pretty good. 

BODY sharp tingle on lower tip of left ear, sensations at left wrist, forehead pain, left collerbone sensations, right knee sensations, abdominal muscle pain, facial pain, tension at back of the neck, arms heavy, restless feet, sensations in right lower back, abdominal pressure, gut excitement, sensation in right lower eyelid, left shin pain, spot of tension in upper right forehead, left foot pain, sensations in fingers, tremors/trembling VISUAL FIELD (eyes closed) saw an image like a whale pass "over" me SOUND Heater, music in the distance THOUGHTS Future planning thoughts, worry thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS Worry, fear anxiety

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS sat well with some discomfort


RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/9/20 12:14 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit #1

The enhanced, deeper ability was not present today. Noting was slowed down to 1x/sec and I even had to use the "noticing" phrase to maintain continity and stir up sensations. Mindfulness suffered and there were more than the usual number of thoughts.

BODY Gut excitement, pain in right side, tension in back of the neck, sensations in right forarm, forehead pain, sensations inside left ear, lower back tension, transient pain in right forarm, sensations in right foot, pinprick on left elbow, sensations in collarbone, left shin pain, sensations in upper left shoulder, throbbing on right side of head -> gone, nose dripping, stinging sensation at bottom of left eye, sensations in fingers, jittery feet, aching in left shoulder, itching at top right eyelid SOUND heat, running water, sirens -> gone, then they started up again -> gone THOUGHTS Future planning thoughts, doctor thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts


RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/9/20 2:05 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

I struggled in this one. That deeper, innate sense is gone. Once again, I had to use Abre's phrase "noticing" to keep the steady rythm of noting and to prod myself to pick up things. There was also some boredom.

BODY nose dripping, various transient headache sensations all around head, left foot sensations, neck tightness, right foot sensations, eyes wet, sensations in forearm, sensations in fingers, brain fog, sensations in top of head, sensations in forehead, itching on nose, sensations in right eyebrow, heavingness in shoulders, urinary tension, tremors/trembling, sensations in fingers, facial sensations SOUND lots of construction sounds in next apartment incluing ladder movements, talking THOUGHTS Future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/10/20 12:08 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 Minute AM Noting Sit #1

Pretty much the same as last night's. That deeper sense is gone. Again, I had Abre's phrase of "Noticing" to keep up the pace of noting and to prompt myself to look. Its not that I'm not noting. Its that its not as deep and fast as it was coming. Its more like 1x/sec.

BODY aching in eyebrows, facial pain, sensations in right foot, sensations in right knee, transient pain at right elbow, various itches everywhere, tears, fullness, gut excitement, neck tight and stiff, middle back tension, left foot sensations, nose dripping,  tingle in finger of right hand, forehead pain, right upper shoulder tenderness, left shin pain, finger sensations, itching in beard, transient hot "spot" at right elbow SOUND neighbor walking upstairs THOUGHTS future planning thoughts, worry about pharmacy delivery, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/10/20 1:47 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

Pretty much the same as the earlier one today. Slow but consistent noting.

BODY Nose dripping, itching back of head, forehead sensations, right foot sensations, neck tight and stiff, gut excitement, sharp transient pinprick at right elbow, left knee pain, abdominal muscle pain, sensations in lower back, sensations in eyebrows, transient numbness side of right hand, tension in lower left leg, sensations in right waist, facial pain, sensations in left cheek, sensations in fingers, transient throbbing just above right elbow SOUND running water, AC, nerighbor walking THOUGHTS future planning thoughts

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/12/20 12:26 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

With the freshly drunk coffee, I thought I would have the energy to increase my noting speed beyond the 1x/sec lately. I did get bursts but I got these moments of "noting freeze" where I would draw a complete blank for a few seconds. Some of it was thinking, some was just fog.

BODY Tightness and stiffness in back of neck, pain in the forehead, gut excitement, right foot sensations, left foot sensations, various transient micro headache sensations, right shoulder strain, sensations in left elbow, nose dripping, itching, neck very tight and stiff, sensations that felt like ants crawliing in both palms, eyes wet, pain in upper back, sensation of fabric touching skin, sensations in fingers, transient throbbing in left foot, jaw pain, tremors/trembling, right ear pressure SOUND AC Thoughts Abre thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/12/20 12:50 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Good stuff man! Keep it coming emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/14/20 12:29 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute AM Noting Sit

My noting wasn't quite fast enough and my Mindfulness not quite deep enough because a lot of thoughts got through which were also noted. I'm also having slight doubts of the structure of my practice that I have called Abre for a session this week.

BODY Pain in my eyebrows, sensations in right elbow, sensations in right foot, soreness in left underarm, heavingness in forarms, tears, nose dripping, slight  headache in various parts of the head, sensations in upper right shoulders, gut excitement, urinary tension, tremors/trembling, tight knot in upper back, restless feet, right shin pain SOUND, birds, gurgling from stomach that sounded like an alien!, car THOUGHTS future planning thoughts, Abre thoughts, practice thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

For Abre: I have noticed that every sit is now recording virtually the same sensations and that's what my practice is. Does it make sense to notice these body sensations over and over and continue that as my noting practice? What direction should I go in?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/14/20 1:43 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hibiscus Kid:
Hey Sam, 

I noticed a few things based on your descriptions that I'd like to maybe point out:

- When you went through that week of heightened sensitivity, you reported that few to no thoughts would arise during your sittings. In my experience, there are often very subtle and fleeting mental images or narrative thoughts that bubble up as a result of a stimulus. For instance, if you hear a dog barking, does anything arise in your mind's eye? If you feel an itch somewhere on your body, does anything arise in your mind's eye (something that might suggest location in space)? These sorts of mental phenomena arise constantly and they reenforce a sense of self, but as they are often in the background, it can be hard to notice in the beginning. 

- Also notice the general attitude that you're having towards the content of your sits. It sounds like there is some doubt, insecurity, boredom, and impatience, etc. It's very normal to experience these and a portion of my practice is trying to notice these states too. There's the fine-grained perspective that sees subtle sensations, but there is also the meta-perspective that views the overall attitude or reaction to these as well. 

-Remember, there are Four Foundations of Mindfulness and there are different ways to structure a session so that we can bring mindful awareness to these categories of phenomena and strengthen our weak points. A great set of instructions on how to do this has been written up by our very own shargrol. Check out this post compilation and go to "Shargrol's Structured Noting Practice Sample" under the 'Noting' section.

-Other ideas for making practice fresh: if you're sitting twice a day, maybe dedicate one practice to shamatha/concentration work. Learning to relax and center on the breath will pay off in your vipassana sessions and it makes sitting more enjoyable in general.
Alternatively, try practicing Metta or the Brahmaviharas on the cusion or throughout your day.
Off cushion practice is also invaluable and this can be done via noting, light breath awareness, open awareness, Tibetan Realms practice (seeing the mind's orientation), 5 Elements practice (seeing the mind's reactivity), etc. Experiment and see what helps you to be more present and equanimous during your day while also continuing to practice your formal sitting meditation.

Hopefully something listed above helps spurr some investigation! Good luck!
Hi my friend,

Very interesting. 
"When you went through that week of heightened sensitivity, you reported that few to no thoughts would arise during your sittings. In my experience, there are often very subtle and fleeting mental images or narrative thoughts that bubble up as a result of a stimulus. For instance, if you hear a dog barking, does anything arise in your mind's eye? 

Boy, that's an interesting question. When I was experiencing of heightened sensitivity, it seemed like there was "no time" to have thoughts. I was absorbed in the flood of sensations and inreased mindfulness. But maybe I should look these very subtle and narative thoughts that result from the stimulus.

Also notice the general attitude that you're having towards the content of your sits. It sounds like there is some doubt, insecurity, boredom, and impatience, etc. It's very normal to experience these and a portion of my practice is trying to notice these states too. There's the fine-grained perspective that sees subtle sensations, but there is also the meta-perspective that views the overall attitude or reaction to these as well.

Hmm, other than thiis morning, I didn't think I was reflecting doubt, insecurity, boredom and impatience. During thw week of heightened sensativity, I was feeling high as a kite every day. It's just now, that I dought the constant noting of virtually the same body sensations and if this should be the general path for noting.


Alternatively, try practicing Metta or the Brahmaviharas on the cusion or throughout your day.
Off cushion practice is also invaluable and this can be done via noting, light breath awareness, open awareness, Tibetan Realms practice (seeing the mind's orientation), 5 Elements practice (seeing the mind's reactivity), etc. Experiment and see what helps you to be more present and equanimous during your day while also continuing to practice your formal sitting meditation.


Good ideas. Thats why  I'm also checking in with Abre for her ideas for what possibilies/what direction my path should take me now.
Thanks!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/15/20 12:47 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit

I would say that this sit was characterized by total awakeness, excitement, and energetic, as well as being curious as to what was happening. Good environment.

BODY Gut excitement, urinary tension, fullness, eyes tearing, various transient headaches in various parts of the head, neck tight and stiff, left foot pain, shoulders heavy, rapid sensations in forehead, abdominal muscle pain, sensations in left elbow, nose dripping, restless feet, itching, rapid finger sensations, sensations in right cheek, neck tight and stiff, tremors/trembling SOUND The star of the show as the constant gurling I heard that sounded like a pack of aliens, car horns THOUGHTS Future planning thoughts, Abre thoughts, Logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Couldn't ask for much more in a session 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/15/20 2:32 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

The first thing I noticed was a considerable drop in energy, excitement from that eneregtic sit earlier today. I barely wanted to do it and felt some boredom. 

BODY Abdominal muscle pain, slight throbbing back of the head, forehead sensations, sensations of coldness in right hand,sensations in eye brows, gut excitement, various transient headaches, nose dripping, left foot sensations, back of the neck tight and stiff, sensations inside right ear, sensations in collarbone, tremors/trembling, sensations in forearms, left shin pain, rapid finger sensations, throbbing in right thigh SOUND neighbor sneezing, people moving, car horns THOUGHTS Abre thoughts, future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/16/20 12:56 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute AM Noting Sit

We're in the middle of of a blizzard up to 20 inches right now emoticon

I decided to try things without coffee and boy did that affect my noting. I felt sleepy, tired, lack of energy and I struggled to note. At a lot of times I was using Abre's "Noticing" to fill the gap rather than directly percieving a sensation. 

BODY Cold, itching, nose itching, sensations in right foot, transient headaches, roughness on face from shaving, sensations in right foot, tremors/trembling, neck tight and stiff, right knee pain, forehead sensations, mid back pain, facial pain, sensations in right forarm, tremors/trembling, left shin pain, nose dripping, shoulders heavy, aabdominal tightness, left knee pain, sensations in fingers SOUND just sound of heater THOUGHTS lots unfournately Abre thoughts (we are meeting today), future planning thoughts, logging thoughts, DhO thoughts EMOTIONS tiredness, sleepiness, lethargic 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/17/20 1:44 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Didn't have time to meditate today as I had to get a COVID test and do other preparations for surgery on Monday but I wanted to convey a very important clarification on my practice from Abre. I had questions about the futility of my logs pretty much expressing the same bodily sensations each sit. It turns out I was right. Abre said it was not important to log each bodily sensation but but how the meditation unfolded: the positive and negative characterstics. Even worse, I had been stopping the noting flow to write down each sensation!

The positive factors are things like Mindfulness, Motivation, Relaxation, Concentration, Calm/Quite, Letting Go, Energy, Alertness, Joy/Wellbeing, Awareness of Body, Right Effort, Quietness of thinking Mind, Equanamiy and Faith/Trust.

The negative things are the Hinderances:
Desire/Wanting, Aversion/Resistance/Rejection, Lethargy/Hevingness/Dullness, Restflessness/Anxiety/Worry, Doubt/Lack  of faith or trust

Instead of logging each itch, which doesn't tell me where my practice is going, these factors describe how each meditation unfolded and what happened. Going to try  it soon.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/17/20 4:57 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"Even worse, I had been stopping the noting flow to write down each sensation!"

I agree emoticon this is certainly of no benefit. If you can best is to laugh about it and turn a new page as you already are doing. We always learn new things about our meditator-self. It's a process. Don't fault yourself and just follow the good old saying "what do we do when we fall off the horse? We climb back on" emoticon The ride goes on and we know better now. I'm sure we will all fall off the horse many times on this journey emoticon 

Best wishes to you Sam! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/18/20 12:14 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit 

As I talked about yesterday, after talking with Abre no more long boring list of sensations. Instead I am use a worksheet of hers to be able really access if I making progress in my meditations

Positive Factors
Mindfulness (3/5) I was able to focus on things around me and sensations but I had thoughts of this worksheet. Motivation (5) Very strong motivation driving the whole meditaion Relaxation(1/5) No real relaxation as I was jazzed up by coffee and motivation Concentration (4/5) Conceentratiion was strong but occasionally let up into some of the hinderances (see later). Energy (5/5) and Alertness (5/5) couldn't have been any higher. Totally into it. Joy/Wellbeing (3/5) Did build up some well-being because of how well it was going. Awarness of Body(4/5) here is where the usual noting comes in and I was able to note everything.  Quietness of thinking mind (3/5) Mind wouldn't quiet down as I thought about filling  in this worksheet and how it would be percieved as well as thoughts of future planning.

Obstacles
Desire/Wanting(1/5) not really present Aversion/Resistance/Rejection (3/5) This came up big time as I got bored, averse to keep going Lethargy/Heavingness /Dullness No sleepiness or heavingness.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/18/20 2:19 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

Much different than earlier sit

Positive Factors
Mindfulness (1/5) I was unable to focus because I was swamped by Melissa thoughts (see later section) Motivation (2) Just getting my PM session in  Relaxation(1/5) Too axious and restless Concentration (2/5) Again swamped by thoughts Energy (2/5) and Alertness (2/5) lower. Joy/Wellbeing (1/5) Not presentt. Awarness of Body(4/5) here is where the usual noting comes in and it suffered with all the thinking and negative factors (see below)  Quietness of thinking mind (1/5) Mind totally consumed by Melissa thoughts. I met her yesterday. Not only is she beautiful but she's got a wicked sense of humor and a total pleasure to be around. I've already fallen head over heels. That's all I could think about.

Obstacles
Desire/Wanting(4/5) wanting Melissa Aversion/Resistance/Rejection (4/5) This came up big time as I got bored, averse to keep going Wanted to stop Lethargy/Heavingness /Dullness No sleepiness or heavingness. Restlessness/Anxiety/Worry (5/5) This was the big one. Big time restlesness and anxiety. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/21/20 3:12 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I didn't get a chance to practice today because I had a colonscopy. Hope to be back tomorrow.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/22/20 11:42 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Instead of logging each itch, which doesn't tell me where my practice is going, these factors describe how each meditation unfolded and what happened. Going to try  it soon.

Yes! What is the story of each session? Who are the main characters, what did they want, what were the obstacles and what were the successes? 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/22/20 12:12 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit 

I came into this one determined to note like a madman, and I had the energy and mindfulness to note at 3x/sec. Probably best sit in weeks as mindfulness stayed strong and the hinderances did not become makor proble,s.

Positive Factors
Mindfulness (4/5) I was almost perfectly able to focus on the objects with very few thoughts. Motivation (5/5) As I said, the motivation was to note like a madman and I did Relaxation(4/5) I had some nice periods  of relaxation Concentration (4/5) Conceentratiion was strong but occasionally let up into some of the hinderances (see later). Energy (5/5) and Alertness (5/5) couldn't have been any higher. Totally into it. Joy/Wellbeing (3/5) Did build up some well-being because of how well it was going. Awarness of Body(4/5) here is where the usual noting comes in and I was able to note everything.  Quietness of thinking mind (4/5)Mind was pretty quiet

Obstacles
Desire/Wanting(1/5) not really present Aversion/Resistance/Rejection (1/5) Not present Lethargy/Heavingness /Dullness No sleepiness or heavingness Restlessness/Anxiety/Worry(2/5) A few brief moments of worry Doubt/Lack of Faith(0/5) No doubts today

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/22/20 2:39 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit #2

I came in again with strong energy and motivation. Was noting between 1-3X/sec. The difference was the mindfulness was weaker than Sit #1. Or at least I had lot of thoughts. I got bitten by the hinderance of restlessness as I found my legs in constant movement, all uptight and wanting to get it done.

Positive Factors
Mindfulness (2/5) I was able to focus but then lost in thought. Motivation (0/5) I didn't  make a motivation d Relaxation(0/5) Not present Concentration (2/5) was mixed, strong at times, other times thinking
Energy (5/5) and Alertness (5/5) were there. Joy/Wellbeing (0/5) not present Awarness of Body(4/5) I would say there was still very good awareness of the body.  Quietness of thinking mind (2/5) Lots of thoughts

Obstacles
Desire/Wanting(1/5) not really present Aversion/Resistance/Rejection (1/5) Not present Lethargy/Heavingness /Dullness No sleepiness or heavingness Restlessness/Anxiety/Worry(5/5) This was the big one, I couldn't  keep my legs still Doubt/Lack of Faith(0/5) No doubts today

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/23/20 12:44 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit #1

Before I get started, I was getting confused by terms Mindfulness, Concentration, Energy and Alertness and the overlap so I asked Abre:


 
- Concentration, tranquility, calm, the mind's ability to stay on the meditative object.
 
- Energy, the opposite of aloofness.
 
- Alertness, you can have energy but still not be vigilant enough with your awareness. Alertness as vigilance, vigilant awareness.
 
Understand also that some of these terms overlap. Definitely with close nuances at times and terms that may resonate better than other
s.

I started out with an explosioon of energy, a swirl of energetic sensations with high concentration. Rate was 3x/sec. I could barely keep up with what was coming in. In the second 1/2, this became effected by the hinderance of restlessness.

Positive Factors
Mindfulness (4/5) Great overall present, sustained attention. Motivation (4/5) Strong motivation to note Relaxation(0/5) Not present Concentration (4/5) was very good, staying on each object. Energy (5/5) and Alertness (5/5) were there. Joy/Wellbeing (0/5) not present Awarness of Body(4/5) I would say there was still very good awareness of the body.  Quietness of thinking mind (4/5) Not that many thoughts

Obstacles
Desire/Wanting(1/5) not really present Aversion/Resistance/Rejection (1/5) Not present Lethargy/Heavingness /Dullness No sleepiness or heavingness Restlessness/Anxiety/Worry(5/5) 2nd half dominated by restlessness Doubt/Lack of Faith(0/5) No doubts today

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/28/20 12:04 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi Sam,

Just a couple of remarks, which I hope will not sow confusion and be helpful instead.

Basically, the list of factors Abre mentionned are the Seven Factors of Awakening, and the Hindrances.

You can read relevant passages in MCTB, they are very clear and useful IMO.

The idea is not just to see if these different factors are strong or not, but to actually tweek your meditation and strengthen these factors so that they will be more present and more balanced. So, during a session, you can check in from time to time, see what's up, and change things accordingly. Also, this is straight vipassana, in case you might be wondering, as some consider that considering lists like that while meditating, which were outline by the buddha, to be the fourth foundation of mindfulness, Dhammanupassana, contemplation of dharma. So, it's not distraction.

Furthermore, there is an order to these. It's M I E R C T E (that's how I remember them), 1 Mindfulness/presence comes first, 2 Investigation/enthusiastic curiosity can then be established, then more 3 Energy can be poured invested in the enthousiastic curiosity, then 4 Rapture is born from that joyful effort of being present. This should be balanced with 5 Concentration (also can be seens as relaxation/centring/stability of attention), 6 Tranquility, and 7 Equanimity (or evenness and detachment).

You can see the connection with your version of the list. 

These factors are TO BE ESTABLISHED. They won't necessarily show up by themselves. 

It's important to make it yours and truly grok what these different things mean for you in your practice, experientially, and what you can do to actually mold your practice to have a bit more tranquility here, more investigation there, etc.

You can. Influence. those things. emoticon

It was a real breakthrough in my practice when I understood this. Thank you, Dan Ingram.

It's also really cool, to realize that you can actually shift your energy level at will, basically, if you learn the skill. That's what meditation practice is about too : building a malleable mind and body.

Same goes with joy : learn to generate the joy, don't expect it to just show up. Find a way to make the meditation engaging.

Rinse and repeat with all the other factors. They are important aspects of your mind and understanding this will be beneficial to your practice, and beyond, because you can apply this to daily life too. If you find that your mind is dull, or that you lack presence while doing the dishes, you might just realize that you can just change that in a few seconds... Believe me, it's possible ... !

Maybe, if you were in for another list, you could check out the 5 spiritual factors faculties, also called controlling faculties. They're pretty important too, and resonated with me even more strongly at first. I somehow feel like they relate with shamatha/brahmaviharas/heart practices more, but you can make your own opinion.

Best wishes, Sam.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/24/20 11:23 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Hi Sam,

Just a couple of remarks, which I hope will not sow confusion and be helpful instead.
I am grateful for your clarifying and helpful remarks.

Basically, the list of factors Abre mentionned are the Seven Factors of Awakening, and the Hindrances.
OK

You can read relevant passages in MCTB, they are very clear and useful IMO.
Will do

The idea is not just to see if these different factors are strong or not, but to actually tweek your meditation and strengthen these factors so that they will be more present and more balanced. So, during a session, you can check in from time to time, see what's up, and change things accordingly.

Abre seems to use these meditation "worksheets" to record how wach session went so I'm a little confused. I get how they can be tweeked.

Also, this is straight vipassana, in case you might be wondering, as some consider that considering lists like that while meditating, which were outline by the buddha, to be the fourth foundation of mindfulness, Dhammanupassana, contemplation of dharma. So, it's not distraction.

What about noting practice?

Furthermore, there is an order to these. It's M I E R C T E (that's how I remember them), 1 Mindfulness/presence comes first, 2 Investigation/enthusiastic curiosity can then be established, then more 3 Energy can be poured invested in the enthousiastic curiosity, then 4 Rapture is born from that joyful effort of being present. This should be balanced with 5 Concentration (also can be seens as relaxation/centring/stability of attention), 6 Tranquility, and 7 Equanimity (or evenness and detachment).

You can see the connection with your version of the list. 

These factors are TO BE ESTABLISHED. They won't necessarily show up by themselves. 

It's important to make it yours and truly grok what these different things mean for you in your practice, experientially, and what you can do to actually mold your practice to have a bit more tranquility here, more investigation there, etc.

You can. Influence. those things. emoticon

It was a real breakthrough in my practice when I understood this. Thank you, Dan Ingram.

It's also really cool, to realize that you can actually shift your energy level at will, basically, if you learn the skill. That's what meditation practice is about too : building a malleable mind and body.

Same goes with joy : learn to generate the joy, don't expect it to just show up. Find a way to make the meditation engaging.

Rinse and repeat with all the other factors. They are important aspects of your mind and understanding this will be beneficial to your practice, and beyond, because you can apply this to daily life too. If you find that your mind is dull, or that you lack presence while doing the dishes, you might just realize that you can just change that in a few seconds... Believe me, it's possible ... !

Maybe, if you were in for another list, you could check out the 5 spiritual factors. They're pretty important too, and resonated with me even more strongly at first. I somehow feel like they relate with shamatha/brahmaviharas/heart practices more, but you can make your own opinion.

Best wishes, Sam.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/24/20 12:51 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Maybe check in with her if she agrees with what i wrote... Confusion with what you're supposed to be doing is a bad obstacle so that should be clarified a'd i would hate for that to be because of my advice. emoticon emoticon

I think, personally, that it's important to keep a record of how meditation is going, but imo, even more important is to get wyat the 7 factors and 5 faculties point to in your practice and how they can help fine tune practice, rather than be used as sorts of metacognitive themes to evaluate progress after a session. I used to do both actually.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/24/20 4:00 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Maybe check in with her if she agrees with what i wrote... Confusion with what you're supposed to be doing is a bad obstacle so that should be clarified a'd i would hate for that to be because of my advice. emoticonemoticon

I think, personally, that it's important to keep a record of how meditation is going, but imo, even more important is to get wyat the 7 factors and 5 faculties point to in your practice and how they can help fine tune practice, rather than be used as sorts of metacognitive themes to evaluate progress after a session. I used to do both actually.

I'm glad you raised these issues = I'll have to ask Abre after the holidays. But I'm left lost. Even if I use Abre's method as a chart, it doesn't feel right for me. I struggle with the meaning and overlap oif Conentratiio n, Energy, and Alertness. At the same what II was doing before, listing all the sensations had no meaning for me. I am going to need a new way of logging that works for me.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/25/20 2:12 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. I had a great 2 hour conversation with my long distance girlfriend Staci over 2 large cups of coffee ( I never have 2!) I turned her on to dharma overground and MCTB which she is going to read. This log is going to be a bit more free-form while I settle on a format I like and is actually useful (see discusions with Olivier). 

With those 2 coffee you would think I would build super concentration. Energy sure. Concentration not so much. The energy was so scattered and happhazard and intead wandered to thinking much of the time. I actually had conversations with myself (logging thoughts) about the log format. And I had thoughts of my family far away from me in California.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/25/20 5:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Yes, something that works for you, that you resonate with, is important. What resonates for you ?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/26/20 6:07 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Good to see you practicing again, and so fruitfully. 

I actually wrote a much longer reply but it got eaten by the ether when I hit Publish (maybe I clicked on Cancel by accident). In any case, it could be summed up as, keep giving thought to Oliver's comments, there is much value in them. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/28/20 11:57 AM as a reply to Martin.
Martin:
Good to see you practicing again, and so fruitfully. 

I actually wrote a much longer reply but it got eaten by the ether when I hit Publish (maybe I clicked on Cancel by accident). In any case, it could be summed up as, keep giving thought to Oliver's comments, there is much value in them. 
I think what Olivier and you have written is so important to my practice that I have scheduled a one off session with Abre! Thanks for the compliment!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/28/20 12:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min PM Noting Sit

I am pretty happy with this sit as I was able to adjust some factors in mid meditation. I started ou with unbelievable energy and concentration. It felt like the whole world was open to me and I was directly percieving it. I had a pretty deep concentration.

Around the 10 minute mark, concentration lessened and allthough I was noting, the hindarances struck. I begin to feel restless and bored, but not doubt. I had that element of faith that after some period of time, I was able to adjust my factors and come out of the hindarances. Then I actually entered a brief period of relaxation and calm. Not joy thouh. I was able to  continue this until the end of the sit. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/29/20 11:06 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Maybe check in with her if she agrees with what i wrote... Confusion with what you're supposed to be doing is a bad obstacle so that should be clarified a'd i would hate for that to be because of my advice. emoticonemoticon

I think, personally, that it's important to keep a record of how meditation is going, but imo, even more important is to get wyat the 7 factors and 5 faculties point to in your practice and how they can help fine tune practice, rather than be used as sorts of metacognitive themes to evaluate progress after a session. I used to do both actually.

Just a quick note Olivier to note that I think its quite profound what you've written and I have a whole session with Abre to go over it tomorrow.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/29/20 11:53 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Session

Started out with a lot of energy but it was jaggered. It was hard keeping concentrated even though the energy was so high. The energy went everywhere - mind wandering, future thoughts and I had a hard time staying in the present. I then applied my mantra "NO future. No Past. Just now." After a bit of work my mind stabilized into relaxation and calm. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/29/20 1:20 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Let us know how it goes emoticon

Have you read the passages I mentioned in mctb ? For instance, the part about balancing the spiritual faculties, and how they can be taken as kinds of pairs... Specifically, what you just wrote, would find resonance in that passage : Daniel explains how excessive energy is actually in some ways similar to a lack of concentration. 

Faith, energy/perseverence, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom are the spiritual faculties. You might reflect on how faith and wisom are a kind of pair of opposites,  just like energy/concentration. Extreme energy leads to scateredness and not good concentration. Concentration leading to excessive tranquility might be seen as low energy.

You can group these around the factor that is common to all our practices : mindfulness.

It's about balancing


Effort     Mindfulness      Laxity
      -_______|________- 

You might try to see which of the 5 faculties, and which of the 7 factors, belongs to the Effort group, and which of the 7, which of the 5, belongs to the laxity cluster.

Sorry for the bad schema, lol emoticon It's supposed to be a scale ...

Doing little doodles to see how all these things connect and how they relate to your experience can actually be interesting.

Lastly, remember some phases of practice make it difficult to blance these factors and have any control over them at all, so always be compassionate and good to yourself :p

ps : Well done for going from excessive energy to relative calm. That's what I'm talking about !

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/29/20 1:23 PM as a reply to Olivier.
I have read the sections and Abre has read your comments. Looking forward to tomorrow!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/29/20 1:33 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Afternoon Dharma Activity
  1. Watched Lama Lena Beginner Dzogchen
30 minute PM Noting Sit #2

A predictable pattern has started to emerge here. I start with great energy and concentration and then about 1/2 way the present momemnt no longer becomes interesting to me. I think "a whole another 15 minutes to go, seems like forever". I used to be able to do one hour sits. Thats when the hinderences strike and I restlessness and bordedom come in. Also thats when I tend to start getting all these thoughts.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/30/20 8:47 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam, what do you do during meditation when you get bored while sitting? Or when you start noticing your thinking?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/30/20 11:24 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Sam, what do you do during meditation when you get bored while sitting? Or when you start noticing your thinking?
Chris, thanks for popping in here. When I first notice the boring, I note it and try not to judge it. Just another thing happening. Pretty much the same for thinking. I note it but try come back to mindfulness.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/30/20 2:24 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute pm Noting Sit

How has the meditation unfolded and changed during the sitting?
The meditation begun with hinderences. For the boredom and lethargy, I applied the positive factors of Energy and Concentration. For the restlessness, I applied some relaxation. For tthe doubt, I applied Faith, faith in my practice, faith that I have been doing this.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/30/20 2:39 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Maybe check in with her if she agrees with what i wrote... Confusion with what you're supposed to be doing is a bad obstacle so that should be clarified a'd i would hate for that to be because of my advice. emoticonemoticon

I think, personally, that it's important to keep a record of how meditation is going, but imo, even more important is to get wyat the 7 factors and 5 faculties point to in your practice and how they can help fine tune practice, rather than be used as sorts of metacognitive themes to evaluate progress after a session. I used to do both actually.
I had that session with Abre and she agrees with all that you wrote, The worksheet that she gave me and I was workinng from does indeed have the 7 factors of Awakening as well the 5 Spiritual Facualties. She agress that the point is not just to write down some numbers but look at the hinderances and how you can apply the Positive Factors to stop that hindererance. She mentioned, in addition to Daniel's book, to look at Joseph Goldstein's book Mindfulness are a bery through read of the 7 factors.

I asked why my practice wasn't going so well lately and she said I wasn't applyiing strong motivation - 30 minutes is not enough for awakening, its for stress relief. She said i should go up to 40 minutes twice a day and really get that PM meditation in.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/30/20 4:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
The motivation thing is connected with the spiritual faculty of faith. COuld also call it conviction. Faith comes from latin FIDES, which also gave, fidelity. 
Basically, it means just that : being convinced of the value and importance of something. This conviction then generates desire and energy for that something.
In the case of meditation practice, having faith in it, interest in it, conviction in the fact that it will benefit you - which is something rooted in experience - is the fuel for energetic and engaged practice. 
An exemple of this enthusiasm is any hobby you might have... Say biking. You don't have to convince yourself that it's important or that it should be done this way or that. You just enjoy it and feel the benefits and the faith in the activity is authentic...

See ? 

And the idea, with generating faith in practice, is to find a way to make it resonate, make it meaningful, make it into something you can't wait to get back to. 
Playing with the faculties and factors means learning how to generate this enthusiasm ! You can actually generate it, sort of, if you know how you function.

It might even be something like, reading an inspiring story about meditation beforehand. It's basically self conditioning, finding inspiration, and through that, being able to generate energy and enthusiasm.

How would you go about doing that ?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/30/20 6:25 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute PM Noting Sit #2

How has the meditation unfolded and changed during the sitting?
I begun the sit with great energy, motivation, and concentration noting steadily and precisely. I thought "wow, no hinderances!" Around the 10 minute mark, I went through several minutes of intense itching attack all over. Sometime after that boredom struck on which I applied energy and concentration. The boredom did not last. I tehn got some restlessness. I applied the positive factor of relaxation by taking 3 deep breaths and letting my my body relax. There was one last thing. At a late point, I suddenly found that I had stopped noting and was lost. It atcually took me a few seconds to get back. I applied concentration to find the next sensation and went on noting from there.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/31/20 11:29 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
The motivation thing is connected with the spiritual faculty of faith. COuld also call it conviction. Faith comes from latin FIDES, which also gave, fidelity. 
Basically, it means just that : being convinced of the value and importance of something. This conviction then generates desire and energy for that something.
In the case of meditation practice, having faith in it, interest in it, conviction in the fact that it will benefit you - which is something rooted in experience - is the fuel for energetic and engaged practice. 
An exemple of this enthusiasm is any hobby you might have... Say biking. You don't have to convince yourself that it's important or that it should be done this way or that. You just enjoy it and feel the benefits and the faith in the activity is authentic...

See ? 

And the idea, with generating faith in practice, is to find a way to make it resonate, make it meaningful, make it into something you can't wait to get back to. 
Playing with the faculties and factors means learning how to generate this enthusiasm ! You can actually generate it, sort of, if you know how you function.

It might even be something like, reading an inspiring story about meditation beforehand. It's basically self conditioning, finding inspiration, and through that, being able to generate energy and enthusiasm.

How would you go about doing that ?
One inspiring thing lately was a dharma talk by Lama Lena on how critical practice is if you want to avoid a life of samsara. I hope to transcribe it soon,


I came across this section of dharma talk from Lama Lena that I am think is a very powerful motivation (it is for me). Subsitute your practice for Dzogchen. I hope I have transcribed it correctly.

To practice Dzogchen, you have really, really want to. If you don't really, really want to, you won't. in this case, go find a practice you really, really want to do. Maybe you really don't want to do a practice. Then go back to trying to understand the Four Noble Truths and why things are going to hurt if you don't. And why you you are going to fuck up your life if you don't. Which you will and the fact that ypou are going to get old, decrepit, and die unless somebody kills you first. Or something. Which is also true. The ordinary nodro, understanding the nature of suffering, understanding the nature of karma, if truly accomplished, leads one to escape from that crap. If you had any idea what crap old age is, you would be terrified.

What kind of shit you can get yourself into for your next life, if you really understand the nature of karma , you would be scared shitless of what you have been creatung, And you would have a motivation to do a practice. Something to get you out of this mess called Samsara.

If by chance, Dzogchen is the practice that you really, really want to do, then god damnit, you're just going to have to decide to do it.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/31/20 7:31 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Yeah all that death and suffering stuff is a pretty powerful sting emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
12/31/20 12:16 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 minute PM Noting Sit 

This was an alltogether strange sit. First of all, I was not visited by the hinderances!! No restlessness, no sleepiness, no doubt. Then what's up with alll this itchiness? Today's sit was consumed with itching just like the others this week. I noted th esound of a plane which applied Shinzen Young's ->gone technique to.

So what do you meditators do on New Year's Eve? Are there any good sits? Or do you party? I am 35 years sober. Happy New Years!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/2/21 12:23 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 minute AM noting Sit

Happy New Year! I did it! Pushed by Abre (even though she's not my teacher anymore) I went from 30 minutes to 40 minutes today and it was hard. The hinderances struck early. Even though I had plenty of energy, I got a some minor doubt early on where I appled the factor of Faith, faith in my practice, how I had done this so many times before. This was followed up by Desire (this early!) for Popeye's Chicken Sandwhich. I just ignored that one. Restlessness came next and applied Relaxation by taking three deep breaths and relaxing into it. Just before the 20 minute mark, I had a bout of Boredom to which I applied Energy and Concentration, Just after the mark, Restless agin. Then the biggest obstacle - what I call Gut Excitement. My wholee gut area was overstimulated with coffee and it was painful to stiick with and note the sensations while it lasted 20 minutes.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/2/21 2:48 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
All best wishes to you Sam emoticon may it be a fruitful year mate! You are doing great and plowing this vast and in many ways very confusing and destabilising samsara! Its great that Ambre is willing to assist you! emoticon  Best wishes for her! 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/2/21 3:22 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit #2

I am going to remember this sit. I had more caffeine so when I started the sit, I was really turbo-charged and noting at 3x/sec. There I was gliding along for at least 10 minutes with few thoughts. The only hinderance self-produced by the caffeine was some restlessness which applied relaxation to. Then I found myself getting pretty relaxed and hit Equanamity. I was all balanced out, having equanmous thougjts. That lasted the whole rest of the sit.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/3/21 4:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit

I don't usually meditate on Footballl Sundays but some caffeine in and wanted to. The caffeine had me off to an energetic start  but it was a good energy, not anxious. I had good Mindfulness, Concentration and no thoughts for thhe first 12 minutes or so. The first hinderance came in the form of Restlessness, to which I applied Relaxation and Faith. This was followed by Boredom to which I applied Faith. I came into a period of anxiety, worry, and fear to which I applied Relaxation. I finished off a bit more relaxed.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/3/21 8:12 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I have seen just how intimate the relationship between thoughts (mental images and narratives) are to our functioning in the world and our experience of sensate reality.

...

I'd really appreciate it if an advanced practitioner or two chimed in here to validate what's been written above, but the general consensus based on my experience is that not having ANY thoughts for an extended period is rare, even if only for a few minutes.

FWIW, I'll say this: being human we will inevitably have thoughts - until we're deep asleep, extremely drunk to the point of blackout, knocked unconscious, or dead. So when you come across one of those gurus who claim not to have any thoughts, you should probably run, and run fast.

emoticon



RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/3/21 10:09 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hibiscus Kid:
I had good Mindfulness, Concentration and no thoughts for thhe first 12 minutes or so.

Someone once told me "Thoughts are to the mind what saliva is to the mouth." Which is to say, the mind produces thoughts in the same way that the mouth produces saliva and we have little to no control over that - thoughts are a natural process just like saliva production. Having 'no thoughts' for 12ish minutes is a pretty steep claim unless someone is in some crazy absorption like hard jhanas or Nirodha Samapatti (I'm speculating here about instances where no thoughts would arise at all). Daniel even has a section in MCTB about the model of awakening based on having no thoughts at all:

Thanks for catching that and challenging that. Two things. What I meant to write is of couse I was having thoughts but 2) the level of minfulness and concentration were so high that I was not focusing on discursive thoughts, Things had quited down but of course not to no thoughts.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-no-thought-models/ 

Some questions to consider to guide your investigation: 

-If you get a tingling sensation in your toe, on your hand, or on your face, do you get a mental image of a body part where the sensation is located? How do you know where the sensation is located in space?
Here's a good practice you can do any time through out the day: the next time you get a sensation on your face (or just tune your attention to your face), take note of the mental images or mental narratives associated with that. Is there a mental image of a face or a mental image of the spot on the face where the sensation might be occuring? Is it your face in the mental image? Or is a nondescript, human face? You can do this investigation with any part of your body but the face is the most obvious. 

-If you experience pressure, temperature, discomfort, ease, etc., is there a part of the mind that creates the thought label or intention before you verbalize the label out loud? Is there a momentary decision making process about which label you will say out loud? How do you know what you're experiencing? 

-If you hear a sound, does the mental image or narrative thought occur with regards to hearing (hearing - "oh there goes the neighbor's washing machine again"..., or if you hear a dog bark, is there not a fleeting mental image of a dog or a narrative thought of "dog")?

-Is there a thought that arises that says "Oh good, I am noting 3 times a second, yay, I am practicing well!"? Are you having a thought that says "I am having no thoughts currently."? Are there thoughts related to practice and the spiritual faculties and how to tweak them? If you're practicing well in those first 12 minutes of your sit, how do you know that? Are there thoughts that arise with regards to practice?
Yes, the majority of the thoughts that I have are practice related. 


On one hand, the point of this practice is to label what your experience is in the moment. If you aren't experiencing something, then you shouldn't (or can't) label it obviously. However, sometimes we aren't experiencing certain aspects of sensate reality because they are subtle and fleeting or we are ignoring them in some way - we often take these processes for granted. Some of these aspects of reality are so baked-in to our experience and our functioning that we overlook them or ignore them and the entire point of employing mindfuness and investigation is for us to wake up to them and see them for what they are.

My intention in this response is to point out some aspects of experience that others have pointed out to me. Since then, I have seen just how intimate the relationship between thoughts (mental images and narratives) are to our functioning in the world and our experience of sensate reality. Even when my sessions are going well, thoughts pop off. Yes, these thoughts might be extremely fleeting and I'm not caught up in them, but I have never personally experienced extended periods without thoughts - even when concentrated during meditation or engaged in another task. In fact, when I reflect on the last few years of my life (since getting into meditation), I haven't personally had more than a few moments without thoughts (like 3-5 seconds max without thoughts). So be sure to investigate those subtle mental images or narrative thoughts that might be alluding you. 

I'd really appreciate it if an advanced practitioner or two chimed in here to validate what's been written above, but the general consensus based on my experience is that not having ANY thoughts for an extended period is rare, even if only for a few minutes.

Maybe it's the way we are defining what 'thoughts' are in this case, who knows? Even when you read this response, I am sure there is a mental voice (narrative) in your head that is reading it, which is technically a thought. Try to see how much of that takes place in your experience - otherwise there is about 12ish minutes out of 40 minutes where you're missing out on some potentially good insight/understanding about the mind and sensate reality! 

Thanks for the advice.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/4/21 12:25 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min AM Noting Sit

Again started out very energetic, fast noting 3x/sec with good concentration. Almost immedietly became aware of my thoughts. Throughout the sit, had future planning thoughts (TMI warning) Sex 2 night in a row thoughts, Melissa thoughts, and practice thoughts. The first hinderance was restlessness to which i applied relaxation to as a positive factor. That led to an even state of affairs until I was distracted by a table cutting saw which made me lose my focus. I resumed noting ad got hit with an extended period of boredom to which I applied Faith and Concentration to. I remember the boredom being triggered by the thought "the halfway bell hasn't even gone off yet." Late in the sit I was struck by an intense hinderance of fear and anxiety over OCD pain. I tried to relax but it was hard.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/5/21 12:27 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit

I don't think I have ever had a sit like this. I had plenty of energy but when I started, almost immedietly, I had this strange experience. I label it confusion. I was in this state where I could not form labels to state at all mixed with thought papancea. It'e like the mind couldn't concentrate at all. I applied Concentration but even when I got in the Noting flow, it was really slow, and now interrputed by Log thoughts of what had happened. From that, I went into Boredom, totally uninterested. I applied Energy and Faith. That didn't work and I sank into Doubt with thoughts like "What happened? Maybe I can't note anymore." of course that is just a hinderance. Then to top it all off, I begin to get fierce abdominal pain and felt like I had to go to bathroom. I had the session 2 minutes short. Wow. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/5/21 2:46 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 Min PM Noting Sit #2

Not much better than sit #1. I was overwhelmed by the hinderance of desire; agin the desire for Popeyes's chicken sandwhich and Sweet Tea. Wasn't sure how to handle so I talked myself out of it. I told myself that I didn't need it and that I was craving the experience because I was lonely and wanted something to get me out of the feeling instead of facing the feeling. The next hinderance was lethargy for which I applied energy. This was followed by boredom. This led led to sloth/topor/tiredness in which I tried to rouse my energy.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/5/21 3:50 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I feel like you're starting to get the thing about balancing the faculties. Nicely done !!

Here is another trick which might be useful in your toolbox.

Have you ever tried, when you get in a slouchy kind of territoy like that where things seem muddy, out of phase, etc. - have you ever tried to just drudge through by doing fast noting of whatever appears to you at the center of awareness : for instance - "confusion, doubt, mental label, mental label, inability to focus, sound of my own voice in my head, mental image of myself, blankness, weirdness, confusing as to what to do, black visual swirls, weird body image, sense of ease, mental image of my hair, sensations on the face...", .......... As fast, continuously and precisely as possible ?

It's a bit like beating, or overtaking, or being faster, than the lethargy. During the time when it becomes hard to note, in this trick, you note the things which prevent you from noting. 

It's a turn of attention which might take experimenting to understand, but I think it's basically always available. It's about inhabiting "meta" awareness, because there's always something somewhere which is aware of what's happening including all the things you report on here, such as not being able to note - this being false, since you are able to report on those times when your observation seems hindered. See the contradiction ?

The fast noting style can also help with strong thoughts like the ones about your chicken sandwich. Just note everything that comprises the sequence of this experience...

Exemple :

"Thoughts about a sandwich mental visual images of sandwich, sensation of wetness, sensation of localisation in space connected with mental visual perception of the body, mental visual images of my mouth, tongue, which seem to be in the same spot but actually are not, mental voice saying this allowed, sense that this voice is "inside my head", mental visual image of head, hair, of ears, black visuals, sensations in the cheek which are actually not the same as the mental visual sensations of my cheeks nor are either of these the same as the spacial/localizing weird kind of mental image of the body that it also there sometimes, sense of boredom, sensations in the hands, mental visual image of the hands, ...."

This kind of energetic, fast, consistent, and very importantly, subtle discerning, is what allows, IMO, enough momentum to build rapidly enough in the initial phases of sitting, for the DN to come by and be moved through quickly, thus helping you get cinsistently into EQ with more ease and mastery.

You can go so far as decomposing things like the mental image of the word Sweet Tea that you're thinking about. Just dissect it. Go nuts on it ; try to perceive clearly and distinctly each of the letters composing it, try to see where they are located in space (one next to the other ? overlapping ?) and in relation with the other elements you can distinguish -mental visual image of a bowl of tea, the imagined sound of slurping tea, maybe, a memory of the taste of the tea, other memories which might be triggered by this whole perception, sensations in the stomach, mental images of the stomach, mental visual images of your eyes which appear when atention is directed at the abdomen, and HEY, isn't that weird, i can see my eyes looking in the direction of my stomach while i'm paying attention to the sensations there, while hearing the sounds of said stomach, how odd, if i can "see myself looking there", it means I'm somewhere other than that ? Where is that ??????"

There is always something to cognize and the faster you get your noting/noticing, the more energy there will be available ,and that will cut through the hindrances and estalish the initial factors of the series of 7 very strongly. This might even just take a life of its own, as you have experienced several times, and garner enough momentum to just lead you through the ñanas with only minor adjustments necessary, such as, for example, bringing in tranquility and relaxation to this stle of practice, which can get a bit scattered and excessively energetic/agitated.

But it's brought me a lot of traction.

Hope this helps emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/5/21 3:57 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
I feel like you're starting to get the thing about balancing the faculties. Nicely done !!
Thanks!


Here is another trick which might be useful in your toolbox.

Have you ever tried, when you get in a slouchy kind of territoy like that where things seem muddy, out of phase, etc. - have you ever tried to just drudge through by doing fast noting of whatever appears to you at the center of awareness : for instance - "confusion, doubt, mental label, mental label, inability to focus, sound of my own voice in my head, mental image of myself, blankness, weirdness, confusing as to what to do, black visual swirls, weird body image, sense of ease, mental image of my hair, sensations on the face...", .......... As fast, continuously and precisely as possible ?

I drudge through it but not fast and continous. I just end up repeatinng Boredom or whatever I'm stuck in.

It's a bit like beating, or overtaking, or being faster, than the lethargy. During the time when it becomes hard to note, in this trick, you note the things which prevent you from noting. 

That seems like a good trick but it is truly hard. I am going to switch, in these momenets, to noting the things which prevent me from noting.

It's a turn of attention which might take experimenting to understand, but I think it's basically always available. It's about inhabiting "meta" awareness, because there's always something somewhere which is aware of what's happening including all the things you report on here, such as not being able to note - this being false, since you are able to report on those times when your observation seems hindered. See the contradiction ?

Yes

The fast noting style can also help with strong thoughts like the ones about your chicken sandwich. Just note everything that comprises the sequence of this experience...

Exemple :

"Thoughts about a sandwich mental visual images of sandwich, sensation of wetness, sensation of localisation in space connected with mental visual perception of the body, mental visual images of my mouth, tongue, which seem to be in the same spot but actually are not, mental voice saying this allowed, sense that this voice is "inside my head", mental visual image of head, hair, of ears, black visuals, sensations in the cheek which are actually not the same as the mental visual sensations of my cheeks nor are either of these the same as the spacial/localizing weird kind of mental image of the body that it also there sometimes, sense of boredom, sensations in the hands, mental visual image of the hands, ...."
Wow, you get a whole lot more detailed than I do! emoticon

This kind of energetic, fast, consistent, and very importantly, subtle discerning, is what allows, IMO, enough momentum to build rapidly enough in the initial phases of sitting, for the DN to come by and be moved through quickly, thus helping you get cinsistently into EQ with more ease and mastery.
That's what I need. I'm not moving. he noting is tooo slow.

You can go so far as decomposing things like the mental image of the word Sweet Tea that you're thinking about. Just dissect it. Go nuts on it ; try to perceive clearly and distinctly each of the letters composing it, try to see where they are located in space (one next to the other ? overlapping ?) and in relation with the other elements you can distinguish -mental visual image of a bowl of tea, the imagined sound of slurping tea, maybe, a memory of the taste of the tea, other memories which might be triggered by this whole perception, sensations in the stomach, mental images of the stomach, mental visual images of your eyes which appear when atention is directed at the abdomen, and HEY, isn't that weird, i can see my eyes looking in the direction of my stomach while i'm paying attention to the sensations there, while hearing the sounds of said stomach, how odd, if i can "see myself looking there", it means I'm somewhere other than that ? Where is that ??????"

Hope this helps emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/5/21 3:59 PM as a reply to Olivier.
+1 on what Olivier said! emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/6/21 12:21 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
30 min AM Noting Sit 

Ok, after applying Olivier's techniques, I can now say that I have never truly fast noted at a level needed for awaakening. Thanks Olivier's for your main suggestion that when I get in the drudge do fast noting of what appears at  the center of awareness. anything. That's why I was able to note so fast, because I didn't stop like usual. AS reomemded, during these periods I would note confusion, dobnt, inability to focus. Well that happened a lot today. I found myself saying all that when I got in these spots even noting "where are the sensations?" when I didn't appear to be perceiving. This is a milestone technique for me. 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/6/21 12:48 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sweet !

Remember to make sure that you're actually naming something that's appearing to you, be it the observation "wondering where the sensations are" or smthg else, and not just filling the gaps with random words (not saying you're doing that, just a reminder :p)

Keep working on this ability and don't forget to check on the factors and faculties every once in a while !

Cheers

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/6/21 12:59 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Sweet !

Remember to make sure that you're actually naming something that's appearing to you, be it the observation "wondering where the sensations are" or smthg else, and not just filling the gaps with random words (not saying you're doing that, just a reminder :p)

Keep working on this ability and don't forget to check on the factors and faculties every once in a while !

Cheers

Yes, off couurse I'm actually naming something appearing to me and allthouh I didn't log it I used the factors as approriate. Thanks

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/6/21 3:01 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit #2

Had more caffeine so I immedietly ran into the hinderance of restlessness. I was actually rocking from side to side, and the legs were moving all around. I applied Relaxation. Again the noting was kept fast with Olivier's ideas. When I got stuck, I noted on the stuckness like feeling i wasn't feeling enough sensations. There were several places where things "went dry" and it was like the sensations were not coming in so I noted on all the thoughts and mind states that this produced even "Where are all the sensations?" The hinderarnce of boredom came up several times in which I applied Energy and Faith.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/7/21 12:11 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min AM Noting Sit

I am going to start with the thoughts since they were so prevelent and  broke through the mindfulness. I read the good news that Steph is starting up with Abre, my teacher, and then started ruminating about contacting Abre for a session. Also I had thoughts of my therapist Rebecca and our upcoming session today, first in a month. The sit had moments of continous fast noting but I had first the hinderance of Restlessness to which I applied Relaxation. I had a whole bunch of Boredom to which I applied Energy and Faith. I did have to use the other tool olivier taught me in tough moments, fast noting the stuckness itself "confusion, doubt, inability to focus...", even at one point in fustration "where the fuck are all the sensations?"

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/7/21 3:31 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit #2

Afternoon Study: Mahayana View Emptiness with Mingyur Rinpoche

Interesting sensation on the hearing side: a drop in frequency an d a one minute whistle in left ear


I started noting conistently. It wasnt long before I ran into the first hinderance of restlessness which I applied Relaxation to. I had a small amount of success. Boredom came up a number of times which I applied Faith to.  I had to apply Olivier's tool because I kept getting lost "confusion, doubt, inability to focus." It seems like I am less able to concentrate lately. Another issue is that I watched my feet tapping as well as swinging. I think I may be facing an issue of overcaffination. I have coffee early. That I have to have or I wouldn't meditate at all. But then topping it off with tis Cane Sugar Sweet Ice Tea may put me over the top. I am wondering if this is causing the concentration as well restlessness issues.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/9/21 12:53 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 minute AM Noting Sit

Note: I was looking forward to a one off meeting with Abre, in whcih we were going to discuss Olivier's latest comments as well as seeking Pointing Out Instructions from Lama Lena. It has to wait until Tuesday

What if I were to tell you that I didn't have a single hinderance in the first 1/2? That instead, out of the blue, I had the positive factors of Gratitude and Faith. All of a sudden, I was expressing gratitude for my life, this practice, and being  a member of DhO. Then it was Faith in my practice. Thiis was actually follwed by a period of Relaxation. After the 20 minute mark, I faced Boredom, which I handled easily with this invigorated sense of Faith. I did have some moments  late in the meditation where I got lost and used Olivier's instructions ti keep on noting quickly. I had a few more instances of boredom which I addrreessed with Faith. I'm left feeling relaxed.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/9/21 3:07 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit #2

Thi time, I had the Sweet Ice Tea first so everything was moving fast. I found myself saying "Noting Quickly" as I started and at points in the meditation where I had to preserve the continuity of the noting. I had Log thoughts thinking about this. No hinderances in 1st half. I had one innstance of Boredom in the 2nd half that applied Faith to.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/11/21 12:38 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 Minute AM Noting Sit 

By far, the biggest hinderance today is my self-made onne. I call it gut excitement/gut pain and it sometimes happens after I have coffee. Today, it dominated the whole sit, dragged down my whole sit as I tried to note aspects of it, it was pretty much "pain." I started the sit with the positive factor of Faith. The first hinderance was Restlessness which I applied RElaxation in the form of deep breaths. Boredom came next with this feeling that time had slowed to absolute crawl. I applied Energy and Concentration. There was another bout of Boredom.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/11/21 2:34 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min PM Noting Sit #2

I actually had Log thoughts about that this log must not be that interesting to read lately. I plan to ask Abre, when we meet tomorrow, if I can add in some concentration meditation at the begining because I am having low concentration. I get lost easily lately and I am in that situation about Olivier taught me and I am finding I need to use - noting on inability to note - "confusion, inability to focus, etc. I'm just not picking up sensations and I draw complete blanks at times.

I had the hinderances of Boredom twice which I applied Energy too and one instance of Doubt which I applied Fail to.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/11/21 3:40 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
(hey sam ! 
Confusion and inability to note ARE phenomena , not physical sensations, but mental sensations or emotions, emotions are almost like textures of space though they have mental and physical components - confusion is one of these more atmospheric sensations i would say. It's a more complex object of attentiin than a nice clean sound or itch. In the DNanas you are presented with more complex objects and the simpler ones are hard to find.

One has to realize though, that being able to note "confusion" is a sign of clarity, just clarity about a weird object associated with a not necesarily pleasant feeling tone (vedana).

Not being able to find physical sensations is typical of third vipassana jhana usually. In fact elusiveness of all sensations is typical of this stage : things slip away before youcan get at them !

IMO, the fact that you are experiencing the 3rd vj as mostly confusion and slowness, and not necesarily having many negative emotions/reactivity, might be a sign of progress, and a time when fast freestyle noting can be made the most use of to learn how to navigate those states and shifts with increasing ease and mastery. 

Hope that helps.

Oh and ps, about the concentration : it's one of the common factors between the 7 factors and 5 faculties, so it should also be cultivated, especially to balance out the possibly scattering effects of fast noting. 

The weird but winning combo, is to be extremely calm and collected while also highly energized and clear and precise. Think Dan Ingram on... All his videos emoticon

I'm sure abre will alliw you to do concentration !! 

Cheers emoticon)

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/12/21 12:21 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
40 min AM Noting Sit

I'm really excited! I have a meeting with Abre to discuss all the helpful advice Olivier has been providing to me. I am also excited about today's sit. I noticed the positive factors of Concentration, Energy, Alertness, and Faith. I went into a period of real fast noting, able to concentrate and find sensations. I did again have some periods of Confusion where I used Oliviers techniques for noting  about not noting. I had the hinderance of Restlessness, in which I noted my foot tapping. I applied deep breaths of Relaxtion. At that point I did some Seeing of a white circular light. I had another incident of Boredom after I seaked a look at the clock and still had 11 minutes left. I applied Faith and then went back into Fast Noting. Good sit.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/12/21 3:43 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
5 min Concentration/35 min Noting PM Sit #2

I met with Abre who authorized adding Concentration back in. She taught me this Body Scan of SKIN from the top down as the concentration practice. I started this meditation with only 5 minutes of concentration, tomorrow, it will be 10. The concentration helped with the labeling of phenomena. I developed Restlessness which I applied Deep Breathing to. The next hinderance was Boredom which I applied Energy and Faith to. The next one, ahh, I don't know if it is a hinerance but I guess is a form of a desire) Sexual Urges/Sexual Faantasies was hard to deal with.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/13/21 12:54 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration, 30 min Noting AM Sit

I went up to 10 minutes of Concentration Meditation using Abre's technique of a body scan at the skin level and the counting the breaths to 10. Concentration was pretty good. The really good thing is it left with the positive factor of Relaxation. I was noting ssteady and consistently, not too fast or slow. Although it's not a factor, I noted Clarity for this time period. I was clearly comprehending. I guess that's Concentration. I only had a couple of hinderances today. I later had Restlessness, to which I applied Relaxation. I had Boredom which I applied Faith to.

Future Plans
1. Sparadic Meetings with Abre as finances allow
2. Taking Buddhist Intermediate Studies Group with Ethan Nichtern. Focus is on Satipatthana Sutta presented in Joseph Goldstein's book Mindfulness
3. Since Mingyr Rinpoche refuses to do online Pointing Out Instructions, Take them from Lama Lena

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/13/21 2:34 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration, 30 Min Noting PM Sit #2

Again did concentration by body scan of skin and counting breaths. I must admit I got interrupted by the loud sounds of trash trucks so I didn't get fully concentrated, What followed into the Noting, was the factor of Relaxation. I was prtty relaxed. Then, something that rarely happens, I felt the factor of Joy. Real nice. There was a feeling of hapiness and I entered into a period of gratitude. It wasn't until much laster that I got some Boredom, and applied Energy and Faith.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/13/21 2:52 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi, Sam.

What are the typical objects you're noting as you're doing your sitting sessions? I'm just curious because that's typically where the rubber meets the road.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/13/21 6:39 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Hi, Sam.

What are the typical objects you're noting as you're doing your sitting sessions? I'm just curious because that's typically where the rubber meets the road.
They are sounds, thoughts, sensations in the bodies like itches, pains, sensations (ex: pain in left knee)

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/13/21 7:43 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Hi Chris,

I was wondering if you were asking because what I was logging about and how it doesn't match what I note. While I note thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, Abre and Olivier taught it was boring and useless to log every object I note. Is that what the question is about?

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 12:59 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
"Abre and Olivier taught it was boring"

Ha! emoticon You've got yourself surrounded by the French! emoticon Vive la Liberte! emoticon 

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 4:36 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
"Abre and Olivier taught it was boring"

Ha! emoticon You've got yourself surrounded by the French! emoticon Vive la Liberte! emoticon 
Lol, i for one didn't mean it this way !!

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 6:43 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Papa Che Dusko:
"Abre and Olivier taught it was boring"

Ha! emoticon You've got yourself surrounded by the French! emoticon Vive la Liberte! emoticon 
Lol, i for one didn't mean it this way !!

I think Sam has been working hard over time to refine his practice logs so they don't end up being a grind and a chore and a drudgery for him, which was happening, and I think is where both of those French maniacs VERY GENTLY SUGGESTED not making himself try to write down every sensation, and to try to distill his practice session reports in a way he could feel engaged with. I think Abre even offered a format, if I remember correctly. So there's a work in progress here, an evolving style. Meanwhile, I think both Chris and Papa Che are just trying to get a real feel for what Sam's noting practice is like at ground level. Seems all good here, except of course for Papa Che, who is a fucking maniac with his hair on fire.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 6:44 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
well, and Chris. Don't get me started on Chris Fucking Marti.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 6:47 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
upon further review, Olivier is sort of off the deep end ALL THE TIME.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 6:46 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
My own lack of credibility is well established.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 6:47 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
So basically, what I'm saying is that Sam is the only sane practioner here. You go, Sam.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 6:59 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
 ... Abre and Olivier taught it was boring and useless to log every object I note. Is that what the question is about?

Yes, that was it.

BTW, you can write whatever you want to write here. Tell those two I said so  emoticon

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 11:18 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Olivier:
Papa Che Dusko:
"Abre and Olivier taught it was boring"

Ha! emoticon You've got yourself surrounded by the French! emoticon Vive la Liberte! emoticon 
Lol, i for one didn't mean it this way !!

I think Sam has been working hard over time to refine his practice logs so they don't end up being a grind and a chore and a drudgery for him, which was happening, and I think is where both of those French maniacs VERY GENTLY SUGGESTED not making himself try to write down every sensation, and to try to distill his practice session reports in a way he could feel engaged with. I think Abre even offered a format, if I remember correctly. So there's a work in progress here, an evolving style. Meanwhile, I think both Chris and Papa Che are just trying to get a real feel for what Sam's noting practice is like at ground level. Seems all good here, except of course for Papa Che, who is a fucking maniac with his hair on fire.
Well expressed Tim! Yes, Abre and Olivier suggested not writing down every sensation and destill these product reports. Abre even had a precannned format based on the & Factors of Awakening and 5 Spiritual Factors. Meanwhile Ollivier had suggested using these factors. Yes, in the meanwhile both Chris and Papa Che were just trying to get a real feel for what my noting practice is like at a ground level.

So, all in all, my log is based on the Positive Factors which are the 7 Factors of Awakening and 5 Spritual Faculties and the Hinderances. Thanks all

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 11:36 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Positive Factors

Setting Intention for the sitting(Y/N)
 
Mindfulness (remembering)
Motivation
Relaxation
Concentration
Calm /Quiet
Letting go/ Acceptance
Energy
Alertness
Joy / Well-being
Awareness of body
Right Effort
Quietness of thinking mind
Equanimity (any equanimous state)
Faith, trust

Hinderances/Obstacles:
Desire / Wanting
Aversion / Resistance / Rejection
Lethargy / Heaviness / Dullness
Restlessness / Anxiety / Worries
Doubt / Lack of faith or trust


RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/14/21 4:29 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration/ 30 min Noting PM Sit 

I had my Sweet Iced Tea om top of my coffee again. So I quickly found, when I tried to do Concentration, I was actually quite frenzied and filled with discursive thoughts despite atttempts at the body scan and countinng breaths. THen entering the noting, it continued with symptoms like my toes tapping. The hinderance was Restlessness and applying alll the Relaxation I could muster was no help. I begin to have my Gut Excitement sensation which I just dealt with. I had Boredom where I applied Energy amd Faith. I also had some Doubt where I applied Faith to.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/15/21 12:42 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration/30 min Noting AM Sit

Concentration: I did the Body Skan by Skin and Counting the Breath. In counting the breath, i kept saying inbreath along with the number which kept tripping me up and I only got to 10 once
Positive Factors(7 factors/5 Spiritual Faculties) Present: Motivation, Concentration, Energy, Alertness, Faith
Hinderances: Restlessness with Relaxation applied, Doubt(Doing this wrong) applied Faith



RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/15/21 2:18 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration/ 30 min Noting PM Sit #2

The concentration practice went much better because I just stuck to counting breaths. I got to 10 a bunch of times but not to access concentration. The noting practice had a fair amount of restlessness in it because I noted physical sensations like foot tapping and movement. I applied Relaxation but didn't seem to get rid of all of it. I'm also noting that I had a truckload of itching, everywhere. The other hinderance was desire.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/17/21 12:42 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting AM Sit

My concentration was very good despite my washer running and log thoughts that said that. When my noting started, I noticed the hinderance of Restlessness mainly because my feet were tapping rapidly. I applied Relaxtion. Right after that I noticed the Positive Factors of Motivation, Concentrration, Energy, Alertness, Quietness of thinking mnd. At some point, I spotaneously went into a Gratitude Meditation for all that I have. I did notice Purple Circles in my  Visual Field during Seeing. I had some gut excitement again. In the last 10 minutes, I had the hinderance of Boredom to which I applied Energy and Faith.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/17/21 2:29 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting PM Sit #2

The conentration meditation was excellent with most of my breath counts getting to ten. The concentration and relaxation I recieved from that practice continued into the Noting pactice. Soon, I was beset ny torrential itching everywhere, particuarly noticed where the fabric of my clothes touched my body. The meditation became dominated with itching. After a while this led to Boredom, to which I applied Energy and Faith. I then noticed my feet tapping so I applied Relaxation.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/18/21 12:05 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting AM Sit

A quick note. When Abre gave me the worksheet with the 7 Factors of Enlightenment and 5 Spiritual Faculties she highly recomended Joseph Goldstein's book Mindfulness, which is a comprehensive treatment of the Satipattanna Sutra. I was reading until 4am this morning, and although I've read it many times before, it shed new light on these factors

I had a very good Concentration meditation - it would be excllent if I didn't have the Log thoughts of writing the above. The Concentration gave me Relaxtion and Calm which persisted during the whole noting practice, even while I was noting this or that. Yah, no hinderances.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/18/21 3:14 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting PM Sit #2

The concentration practice was good but I started developing Doubt that I'll ever achive Access Concentration or Jhanas. Noting was really restless in which i applied relaxation but I noticed my foot tapping and tremors. Actually the Neurologist told me today that I have the real Parkison's. The rest of my noting was Boredom in which I applied Energy. Then I got the Big Doubt(I don't think my whole practice/noting is working. Nothin's happening. I'm not moving. Not producing any results). I wish I could afford Abre right now.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/19/21 11:18 AM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam Gentile:
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting PM Sit #2

The concentration practice was good but I started developing Doubt that I'll ever achive Access Concentration or Jhanas. Noting was really restless in which i applied relaxation but I noticed my foot tapping and tremors. Actually the Neurologist told me today that I have the real Parkison's. The rest of my noting was Boredom in which I applied Energy. Then I got the Big Doubt(I don't think my whole practice/noting is working. Nothin's happening. I'm not moving. Not producing any results). I wish I could afford Abre right now.
I was really fornuate to get a reply back from Abre, even though we are not teacher/student right now on the Big Doubt that I thought I would share in it's entirety:


 
This is the day after. Is doubt still there today? No need to build a lot of drama around it upon one instance of it. Does it persist on day two, on day three?
- Take advantage of what is present to work with it, work on it. Go to your Mindfulness book by Goldstein and read the short chapter on the hindrance of doubt. Copied below. Work with it.
 
- Second factor of awakening: Investigate the "I" that is so disturbed with what is happening.
You write: "I am not getting anywhere... I am not moving... I am not getting any results..."
Investigate the nature of this "I" thoroughly.
 
Warmly
Abre
 
Doubt
AS WITH EACH OF THE other hindrances, the Buddha outlines five steps
for contemplating doubt:
“If doubt is present, one knows ‘there is doubt in me’; if doubt is
not present, one knows ‘there is no doubt in me.’ And one knows
how unarisen doubt can arise, how arisen doubt can be removed,
and how a future arising of doubt can be prevented.”1
As a side note, it is interesting to highlight the Buddha’s use of language.
Although from the ultimate perspective, there’s no self, no “I,” still, in
conventional, everyday usage, he is saying, “Is doubt present in me or not?”
Right here is an integration of relative and ultimate truths. On the
conventional level, we speak of “I,” “me,” and “self” even as we understand
on a more ultimate level the selfless nature of all phenomena.
Before exploring how to recognize doubt, we need to distinguish two
general usages of the word. The first kind of doubt is helpful. It is an aspect
of inquiry and investigation, and it motivates us to examine things carefully.
Just as we don’t want to dogmatically believe everything we hear, we don’t
want to automatically disbelieve something simply because it doesn’t fit our
current view. The beauty and power of the Buddha’s message is his
reminder that we shouldn’t believe something because we read it in books
or because some teacher said it. There is a need to investigate all the
teachings for ourselves to see whether they are of benefit or not. It is the
second kind of doubt that is considered a hindrance. This is the mind state
of uncertainty, wavering, and indecision. It is like coming to a crossroad
and not knowing which way to go. The mind simply wavers back and forth
between alternatives, and we end up not going anywhere.
Unnoticed, doubt is the most dangerous of the hindrances because it
can bring our practice to a standstill. When doubt is strong and paralyzes us
with indecision, it doesn’t even give us an opportunity to take a wrong turn
and then to learn from our mistakes. With doubt, we’re always checking
ourselves, vacillating, trying to decide. Yann Martel, in his wonderful book
Life of Pi, expresses the effect of doubt very well: “To choose doubt as a
philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of
transportation.”
MANIFESTATIONS OF DOUBT
In the context of satipaṭṭhāna, doubt refers specifically to doubt about the
Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. These terms have broad implications, and in
meditation practice, doubts about these implications take some very
particular forms. Even if we have great confidence in the Buddha and his
teachings, certain doubts can still arise.
Doubt in the Relevance of the Teachings
The Buddha lived thousands of years ago. We may wonder if what he said
is really applicable now or whether he even said it. These kinds of doubts
have a useful role when they lead to investigation; they’re not useful when
they lead to indecision and confusion or when they trigger an automatic
rejection of things we would rather not hear, that we find unpalatable for
one reason or another. We might have doubt about karma or rebirth or about
the contemplations on the nonbeautiful aspects of the body. But rather than
investigating and seeing for ourselves whether they have meaning for us,
we often use doubt as a way of simply dismissing what is beyond our
current level of understanding. Another approach to countering doubts is
expressed in a phrase by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “the willing
suspension of disbelief.”
Doubt in the Path of Practice
At different times we might start to doubt the practice. “What does sitting
here watching my breath have to do with anything? It’s really useless!” This
might lead to comparing different practices or wondering about the value of
meditation in a world filled with suffering.
One of the strongest examples of doubt in my practice came as I was
just beginning to learn about Tibetan Dzogchen teachings. Having practiced
for so many years in the Burmese tradition of vipassanā, my mind was
tormented by the question, “Which tradition is right?” I would go back and
forth, playing the lawyer for both sides. Finally, after a month of this
relentless doubting mind, I realized that I was asking the wrong question. It
was not a matter of which tradition was right, but rather, coming to the
understanding that all the teachings were skillful means for liberation. If we
take teachings as statements of some absolute metaphysical truth, then
different and often contradictory teachings become a big obstacle. If,
though, we see metaphysics as skillful means, then the only relevant
question is: Does this teaching help to free the mind? With this perspective,
it’s quite possible to find different teachings helpful at different times.
Doubt in Our Ability to Practice
Perhaps an even stronger manifestation of doubt has less to do with our
confidence in particular teachings and more to do with our own ability to
put them into practice. This is the deeply ingrained pattern of self-doubt.
We hear these voices in the mind, saying, “Am I doing this right?”, “I can’t
do it,” “It’s too hard,” “It’s not the right time. I should have waited.” When
this pattern of self-doubt is strong, it is not only a hindrance to our practice,
but it also becomes a debilitating force in our lives. We get into the habit of
frequently undermining ourselves, holding ourselves back.
There is a revealing phrase in English regarding this mind state: we
say someone is “plagued by doubt.” Doubt is like a plague that weakens us.
When doubt is strong, instead of making the experiment, whether in
meditation or anything else, and engaging fully in the experience so that we
can see for ourselves whether it is beneficial or not, the mind simply gets
lost in endless speculation. Then doubt becomes self-fulfilling, because
staying lost in doubt really is useless. It doesn’t allow for the opportunity to
investigate for ourselves. This endless conjecture is exhausting. Doubt is
likened to a thorny mind. It keeps jabbing us, and we feel irritable,
dissatisfied, and discouraged.
Doubt Disguised as Wisdom
Given all these downsides of doubt, why is it such a powerful force in the
mind? The great seduction of doubt is that it comes masquerading as
wisdom. We hear these very wise-sounding voices in our minds,
questioning our ability, questioning the practices we are doing, questioning
the teachers, and they all seem so reasonable and wise that we get caught up
in believing these endlessly engaging thought loops. At these times, we are
not recognizing these thoughts as simply being the hindrance of doubt.
Know When Doubt Is Present and Not Present
So the first step is learning to see through the masquerade and recognize
doubt when it arises. As the sutta says, “ne knows ‘there is doubt in
me.’” Through a careful mindfulness of our thoughts, we become more
familiar with our own particular tapes and note them accurately: “I can’t do
it”—doubting tape. “I’I’m not doing it right”—doubting tape. “What’s the
point?”—doubting tape.
The next part of the instruction, noticing when doubt is not present, is
equally important yet often overlooked. We can notice the absence of doubt
in two ways. First, when things are moving along easily, when mindfulness
and concentration are relatively strong and steady, it would be helpful to
actually notice the quality of the mind at that time. We can notice that all of
the hindrances, including doubt, are not present. What is the experience of
the mind at that time?
A second way of noticing when doubt is not present (and this is true
for the other hindrances as well) is to be particularly mindful in times of
transition from one mind state to another. For example, suppose you are lost
in a storm of doubt. At a certain point, you recognize it and begin to be
mindful of it. Then, either quickly or gradually, under the light of
mindfulness, the doubt will disappear. Nothing lasts forever. In the moment
doubt passes away, notice the difference in your experience. What does it
feel like to be free of doubt, even for a few moments?
KNOW THE CAUSE OF DOUBT AND HOW TO REMOVE
IT
The next instructions of the sutta say that we should investigate the cause of
an arisen doubt and how to remove it once it has arisen.
More-or-Less Mindful
The Buddha pointed out that unwise attention is the proximate cause for
doubt to arise:
“There are, bhikkhus, things that are the basis for doubt:
frequently giving careless attention to them is the nutriment for
the arising of unarisen doubt and for the increase and expansion
of arisen doubt.”2
We experience unwise attention in different ways. One way is by not paying
careful attention in the moment to the moment, not seeing and recognizing
what the particular thoughts and feelings are that give rise to doubt. This
can happen when we’re being what I call “more-or-less mindful.” We’re
going along, somewhat aware of what is happening, but not in a precise and
accurate way. In this situation, unnoticed thought tapes gather momentum
and begin to dominate the mind stream.
When we bring a close attention to the moment, we can be aware of
thoughts closer to their beginning and not be seduced by their convincing
tone. We see that each of these doubts is itself just another passing thought,
and we don’t give them any power. We can then come back to the simplicity
of the moment — to the breath, to a step, to just what is arising. In these
moments, the power of doubt no longer holds sway.
Wholesome vs. Unwholesome
Another far-reaching aspect of unwise attention that gives rise to doubt is
not knowing what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. Without this
understanding and wise discernment, we’re not able to overcome the forces
of greed and aversion and delusion in the mind. Not knowing what brings
happiness and what brings suffering, we stay stuck in the quagmire of many
wrong actions, all of which are a further breeding ground for doubt.
As just one example of this lack of discernment, many people live with
the belief that the accumulation of more and more sense pleasures is the key
to happiness. This is akin to the belief that drinking salt water will quench
our thirst; the more we drink, the thirstier we get. Without an understanding
of what is skillful and what is unskillful, we end up doing a lot of things
that either don’t bring their promised results or actually bring harm to others
and ourselves. This, in turn, leads to doubt and confusion about what we’re
doing in our practice and our lives.
For this reason, there is the counterintuitive teaching that it is better to
do an unskillful act knowing that it’s unskillful than to do it without that
knowledge. If we go ahead and do that act, even as we know that it’s
unskillful, there are still the seeds of wisdom that can lead to future
restraint.
Just as unwise attention gives rise to doubt, we can overcome this
hindrance and prevent its arising by cultivating wise attention, not only in
our meditation practice but also in our lives. It’s interesting to note that the
very opposite of doubt is the beautiful mental factor of faith. Bhikkhu
Bodhi describes the function of faith as clarifying the mind, in the same
way a water-clearing gem causes muddy water to clear. Through hearing
and studying the teachings, and then through our own investigation of them,
we develop a growing confidence in the Buddha, in the Dharma, in the
Sangha, and in ourselves. At a certain point, we’re no longer beset by the
wavering of doubt, and even when we face difficulties and challenges, this
confidence gives us the strength and determination to persevere. The
gradual overcoming of doubt gives greater meaning and power to the taking
of refuge, because, at least to some extent, it is verified in our own
experience, leading onward through all the stages of awakening.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/19/21 12:32 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting AM Sit

Concentration meditation was excellent with breath counts consistently reaching 10. I moved into Noting with a relaxed sense that was short lived. I ran into the hinderence of Restlessness when my feet started tapping and I begun to feel all wound up. I applied Relaxation. Next came up Worry/Fear with the Neurologist yesterday saying my Aytypical Parkionism has turned into full blown Parksons. No cure. I applied Relaxation but that didn't help much. I then had the hinderance of Boredom. I applied Energy and Faith. But most importantly, I appplied the positive factor of Letting Go of any result or outcome. Doubt did not show up today.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/19/21 2:40 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 min Noting PM Sit #2

I took my first pill for my Parkinson's Disease and was already feeling tiredness, brain fog, and confusion so it was hard for me to discern what was medication and what was not in the practice. I took the practice to be a snapshot of how I am NOW in the minute. The Concentration went preetty well de3spite the brain fog and confusion. When I started the Noting, I got hit with the hinderance of Desire. I just gave into it, getting Popeye's for a treat I guess to help me cope with the feelings about Parkinson's. Right after that, I got hit with wave after wave of Sloth and Torpor. I trying applying Energy but this was so strong and overwhelming, that it's clear to me that it was coming from the medication. I guess I am going to have to get used to it.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 2
Answer
1/20/21 12:51 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
10 min Concentration / 30 Minutes Noting AM Sit

My concentration practice was very good allthough not strong enough to be affected by my neighbor's washing machine. I started the noting practice with the hinderance of Restlessness to which I applied Relaxation to, after I noticed foot tappimg. I had worry amd fear over my diagnosis to which i applied Relaxation to. I had periods of getting totally lost, an inability to focus. All I could do is start from there again.

Olivier and who else is lisstening, I need some help with a question.  There is a big part of "I" that wants to let everyone know I have a major illness and givve me sympathy. This uly part of "I" is furious with DhO tht no one paid any attention. On Facebook. over a dozen people expressed their good wishes. The question is how do investigate this "I"?