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Nav's Practice Log

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Nav's Practice Log Nav 8/31/20 10:19 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/1/20 6:34 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Sam Gentile 10/29/20 11:27 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/1/20 6:39 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/1/20 6:47 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/1/20 6:55 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/1/20 7:10 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 9/1/20 2:02 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log SushiK 9/2/20 2:06 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/2/20 8:03 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Sam Gentile 9/1/20 11:44 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/2/20 7:55 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/2/20 8:26 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/3/20 7:49 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/4/20 9:45 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/5/20 10:50 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/6/20 9:34 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/7/20 3:52 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Sam Gentile 9/7/20 12:19 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/7/20 9:50 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Brandon Whited 9/8/20 1:16 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/8/20 9:03 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/8/20 9:18 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Tim Farrington 9/9/20 3:30 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/10/20 7:39 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/10/20 8:06 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/11/20 9:02 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/13/20 7:38 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Tim Farrington 9/14/20 1:36 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/16/20 11:35 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/15/20 9:49 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/16/20 7:30 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Tim Farrington 9/17/20 3:27 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/17/20 9:19 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/17/20 9:12 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/18/20 9:43 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/19/20 7:47 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Sam Gentile 9/19/20 11:41 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/20/20 9:22 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/22/20 9:25 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/24/20 8:50 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/26/20 8:59 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 9/29/20 8:46 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 10/4/20 8:01 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 10/11/20 9:16 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 10/14/20 8:07 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 10/19/20 4:12 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 10/19/20 9:34 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 10/24/20 11:03 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 10/29/20 8:21 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Papa Che Dusko 10/29/20 2:52 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 11/3/20 6:52 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 11/12/20 8:00 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 12/10/20 10:55 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 1/12/21 8:44 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Tim Farrington 1/13/21 4:26 AM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 1/13/21 10:47 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Nav 1/20/21 9:12 PM
RE: Nav's Practice Log Tim Farrington 1/21/21 4:02 AM
Nav's Practice Log
stream entry noting practice notes mahasi stream-entry practice log practice journal practice recommendations mahasi sayadaw practice question
Answer
8/31/20 10:19 PM
Hi all,

I am fairly new to this forum and looking to setup a log; I have been keeping one personally for a short time and figured its better in public domain to keep feedback channels open. 

Background: I have been meditating since 2013 mainly in the non-dual (Advaita) teachings for the majority of the time. What i found was although they got me into some bliss/centred states during meditation, i have had limited success integrating this into my life, and by & large patterns of reactivity still remained. 

This year I finally did a 10 day Goenka retreat and found it very profound. Day 5/6 the teachings on impermanence had me grooving into some pretty ecstatic states especially when i applied them to my thoughts, followed by some "chasing the high" over the next few days and "mellowing" in the last couple of days. Since then I have stumbled onto MCTB/Shinzen/Folk/Mahasi choiceless noting techiniques which have now been practise for 2 hours/day for the past 5 months. 

Although I dont know where i am on the maps, my sessions recently have been very positive with little struggle. On average i get very good conentration, am noting lots of body sensation, thoughts, images, urges and complex mind patterns. My noting recently has been lots of energy in the body, lots of buzzing, tingling & pulsing sensations. Although I am often mapping my state, I am certain i do not want to obsess over the maps, as i can see it very easily transferring the suffering from the real world into spiritual materalism for me.

I am aiming at stream entry and am working with a teacher, who has actually recommended the logs. 

Look forward to this!

Nav

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 6:34 AM as a reply to Nav.
25th Aug morning sit, 60 mins

Mindfulness
Concentration started week but strengthened in ~ 10 minutes where I could clearly notice in, out and pauses. Tingling sensations in the body increased at this point.
Mindfulness was strong with noticing arising’s of different phenomenon. I noticed frequent lack of faith/doubt towards the start but this went away quickly, and it peaked with faster noticing of sensation and mind states. Towards the end some lethargy and dullness crept in, along with timer/wanting to end thoughts.
 
Attention
Attention was strong for the most part and started weaning towards the end with bouts of dreaminess and lethargy
 
Positives
Strong mindfulness, and arising/presence of body sensations, mind states and hearing modes active and peaking towards the middle of the session
 
Hindrances

Main hindrance was lack of faith and wanting for a more concentrated state. I was able to observe the feelings associated with an “unconcentrated state”. Towards the end, some lethargy/dreaminess kicked in – which was countered with forcing aloud noting.

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

Evening Sit, 60 mins

Mindfulness
I started with concentration meditation, and moved to some vedana & mind state based drills and finally moved to freestyle noting.
Concentration struggled a bit more than morning meditation with continuous attention only on 2-3 breaths at a time. Glimpse images or stories interrupting otherwise.
Mindfulness was strong for the most part, towards start and middle with being very present with experiences. Body vibrations were very strong with lots of buzzing, vibrations and pulsing throughout the body. Periods of forcing an A&P experience by noting annica when buzzing became strong.
 
Attention
Attention was strong for the most part and started weaning towards the end with bouts of sleepiness.  Switching between loud noting and eyes open noting to keep the sleepiness away.
 
Positives
Presence with experience was maintained (mindfulness) for majority of start and middle, noting buzzing, vibrations, some hearing, curiosity with timer, images of partner & dog, anticipation of A&P.
 
Hindrances
Main hindrance was sleepiness towards the end. Noted sleepiness but had periods of low energy/absent mindedness with no noting. Tried to switch it up with aloud noting but little success.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 6:39 AM as a reply to Nav.
26th August, Morning sit 60 mins

Mindfulness
Concentration was wavering at the start with scenario spinning occurring quite often, towards the end I was able to stabilize for 2-3 breaths at a stretch.
Mindfulness was very strong with lots of body sensation (buzzing, tingling). Started with doubts regarding efficiency of technique but was able to apply some mindfulness and cognitive reframing with recalling discussion with teacher. Noted doubt, tinging, movement, clenching near head area, lots of pattern of clenching and release, resistance and easing up. Noted worry, planning, lots of pleasant sensation towards the end which I was able to experience into with delightful feeling of euphoria.
 
Attention
Attention removed solid for most part, noting went from loud to whisper to quiet to back out aloud but didn’t let go of mindfulness.
 
Positives
I was able to experience into feelings/phenomenon for most part of the meditation. I would stop loud noting when concentration factor developed and dig more into individual sensations, and then switch back to aloud noting in parts to zoom back out.
 
Hindrances
Mostly this was doubt or lack of trust. I was able to feel into it, apply acceptance and it dissolved. Also helped by doing some reframing as noted above.

--------------------
Evening sit, 60 mins

Mindfulness
Started with mindfulness and got heaps of traction. Alternated between slow noting and penetrating body sensation such as itch and pressure. Tried to examine this closely and then back out to more speedy noting jumping from object to object. Noted lots of images, buzzing, pulsing in the body. Tried to look into the sensation of "me" with moderate penetration. Lots of joy and pleasant feeling towards the end, with noting anicca and anatta.
 
Attention
Good attention throughout. Did concentration session with 100 breath counts and remained relatively stable. The mindfulness session at the start helped with concentration practice.
 
Positives
Wholesome factors included mindfulness and penetration of objects including itches, pressure and rapid noting of pulsing and vibrations in the body. Whole body was tingling and noticing of pleasure and delight at this. Slow and fast noting alternated in the session, with not much craving or aversion.
 
Hindrances
Started with a bit of doubt and/or lack of trust which was noted and didn’t persist thereafter. Worrying towards the end with whether I was clinging towards the feeling of joy and tingling. The worry was noted with moderate success.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 6:47 AM as a reply to Nav.
28th August Morning Sit, 60 mins

Mindfulness
Very good session. Lots of calm, quiet and mindfulness prevalent. Noted body sensations mostly with tingling, buzzing, pulsing (same as last night). Lots of rapid moving energy throughout the body. Noted delight, pleasantness and anicca periodically. Anticipation occasionally for a bigger break through. Lightness noted in moments of full body awareness.
 
Attention
Attention was constant and solid throughout. Occasional absent minded ness with thoughts/pride/self appreciation with a solid work meeting earlier and thoughts about work/work colleagues.
Concentration meditation was strong with deep noticing of breathing sensations, although not without micro-thought/images.
 
Positives
Sense of me-ness was investigated
Sense of space outside vs inside was investigated
Stickiness around some mental objects was investigated
I was able to stay with experience quite often, and notice micro-modulations where possible.
 
Hindrances 
Mental objects remained slower than physical objects, and resistance in staying with them was noted.
Work thoughts, timer thoughts, wanting to stop and revel in a good session was noted but sometimes missed.
Noted worry @ the lack of insights eve with lots of energy and body movement. Sadness/disappointment around this was noted in hindsight.

----------------
29th August, Evening sit 60 mins

Mindfulness
Moderate session; lots of body sensations but not as much as last few days. Most notable areas of noting were right side of chin/neck lava lampy buzzing and melting/morphing almost, left foot tingling. Also noted lots of clenching, judging and grasping. There was some analysis around "gaming" the noting around mind states.
 
Attention
Did not do any concentration today. Attention was sustained moderately with noting slowly, and alternating with rapid noting and sometimes just pure awareness with the label anicca.
 
Positives
Mental states were noted around judging, grasping and seeking mastery over noting.
I learned another note “efforting” that seemed to work ok. With harder starts, rather than noting judging, “efforting” seemed to let go of the overt extending tendency.
Images of partner/dog were noted with occasional hearing. Wanting /craving was noted at the thought of desire.
Also learnt to go directly to sensations rather than anything else even with mind states.
 
Hindrances
Wanting a better session was often felt and a sense of not being buzzy/energetic enough but the craving was noted almost every time. But maybe missed the background subtle state of wanting more tingling/buzzing and sometimes the discontent over “not enough tingling”

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 6:55 AM as a reply to Nav.
30th Aug Morning sesh

Mindfulness
Moderate session. Peak of the session was full body tingles from almost head to feet. Strong vibrations in the right of chin area and left leg/foot. Noted lots of images, sometimes scary images, noted fear around some scary images. Noted anicca with medium success Sometimes had visions of twisted dark blips.
 
Attention
Concentration wasn’t the best today. Wasn’t able to string a lot of breaths with awareness but when I did it was quite deep. Noting speed changed throughout but was mostly silent or whispers.
 
Positives
Lot of mental states and feeling tones noted at start. Mental states included clenching, relaxing, investigation, calm, wanting, grasping, effort & fear. Noted depth as there was lot of deep feels to the meditation today. Boredom was noted. Sense of familiarity with the noting labels and experiences was noted but was then reframed in the context of freshness of each moment.
 
Hindrances
Lot of mapping thoughts were missed from being noted around stage of insight.
Fear was observed and associated mapping thoughts.
There was some dullness towards the end which I tried to counter by noting aloud.
Was not able to do loving kindness due to fear/scary images pervading session.

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

31st Evening sesh, 4 hour sit (alternating with walking meditation)

Mindfulness
Did a 4 hour with alternating sitting & walking meditation and ended with a 2 hour straight sit.
As usual lots of buzzing, tingling and energetic sensations throughout the body. Lots of expectation for A&P that was noted, but sometimes not. Right side of chin buzzing like electric towards the end.
Main things noted were lots of images (partner/dog), outside bird, dog, truck and body sensations as per above. Feeling of self coming together was noted like a condensation. Collective anicca was noted but sometimes frustration/expectation around A&P expectation was missed. Overall good sit.
 
Attention
Concentration was really deep today, was able to string upto 5 breaths in a row with strong concentration. Sometimes the mindfulness seemed mechanical and was countered with going deeper/slower and sometimes speeding up when I felt the "need" to generate more”energetic” phenomenon in the body.  
 
Positives
Equanimity with body sensations, strong concentration jumping from object to object. Level of depth was strong with each phenomenon.
Was able to feel the whole body pulsing towards the end (albeit when I was almost trying to "drive" an A&P experience). Was able to feel the felt sense of “I” coming together as a default mode almost like contraction of the mind. When meditation finished I could feel blips or blinks (not sure what this was).
 
Hindrances
Lots of mapping thoughts, not always noted.
Lot of expectation around A&P, trying to fabricate a best case scenario for it to happen and disappointment when it didn’t come together. Frustration/doubt over technique and second guessing path and noting style. This was missed towards the start but paid more attention in noting “everything” "whatever the case" towards the end.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 7:10 AM as a reply to Nav.
1st September, evening sit 60 mins

Mindfulness
Got straight in with energetic phenomenon that stayed for all of sit. Vibration, pulsing, tingles as usual. Towards the end, noted full body almost pulsating. Used the blank visual field and could see tiny black dots everywhere and noting how the gaze was never stable and moving around constantly. 

Attention
Concentration session didnt come together very well. Distracted with few logging thoughts (& noting humour as to seeing how common this is amongst other logs too). 

Positives
I was able to play around with use of suffix "There is" prior to labelling an object. I have heard Kenneth talk about this somewhere but for me it seemed to further objectify the phenomenon from it being owned by/happening to me. Worked very effectively with mind states of clenching, wanting, dwelling, idling dissolve almost immediately. 
Did a lot of full body silent noting as it seemed like it was on fire with rapid/subtle sensations everywhere. 

Hindrances
Trying to force A&P, thinking there is something i can do to generate it and then noting the desire. Realizing there is no one doing this stuff, and noting mind states that want to push into a certain experience. 



RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 11:44 AM as a reply to Nav.
Hi! Welcome to DhO!

I really like the style of your logs with Mindfulness, Attention, Positives, Hindrances

Good things to focus on

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/1/20 2:02 PM as a reply to Nav.
Indeed, welcome to DhO emoticon 

I agree with Sam, that logging format is easy to follow! 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/2/20 2:06 AM as a reply to Nav.
Welcome Nav.

Repeating the same thing as my 2 above neighbors, it's really clean.
I wish I wasn't such a slacker and could find more accurate words in my phenomenology log...So be it emoticon

Which country are you from if you are willing to share? (Personal curiosity, nothing related to DHO)

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/2/20 7:55 AM as a reply to Nav.
Thanks Sam, Papa Che & Sushi - my teacher sent me this template but i found it useful because it helps me dig a little deeper emoticon 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/2/20 8:03 AM as a reply to SushiK.
SushiK:
Welcome Nav.

Repeating the same thing as my 2 above neighbors, it's really clean.
I wish I wasn't such a slacker and could find more accurate words in my phenomenology log...So be it emoticon

Which country are you from if you are willing to share? (Personal curiosity, nothing related to DHO)

Hi Sushi, I live in Melbourne, as it happens the only city in Australia currently in full lock down emoticonbut gives me a chance to blitz through some cushion hours. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/2/20 8:26 AM as a reply to Nav.
2nd Sept, morning sit 40 mins - not logged.

2nd Sept, evening sit 60 mins


Mindfulness
Was an Ok session; feeling a bit meh towards the end. Started with few work related thoughts about an issue, noted the "pull" of the mind to want to ruminate and spin scenarios. Soon was able to mostly let go and focus on body sensations of tingling on the right side of chin, noted very strong itch on left ear, strong urge to scratch, solid unpleasant sensations in stomach area, noted intention to want to penetrate the solidity. Towards the end lots of vibrations everywhere, felt field of experience blinking, noted expectation/want for a bigger breakthrough and meaning-making/analysis around current experience. 

Attention
Did breath concentration mid way through the noting session with fairly continuous attention on first 30 breaths only pervaded by micro-thoughts and micro-images. Was not able to keep up the same intensity for remaining concentration session. Noting attention was mostly solid with out loud noting to start then switching to whisper notes, and moving to bare awareness towards the end. 
 
Positives
Continued labelling with pre-fix "There is" and found was able to not dwell on any sensation for too long. Preference was observed for the more rapid body sensations to slower/stickier mind states. Mind states/thoughts observed included freezing, dwelling, grasping, claiming, flagging experiences for logging, self-appreciation when meditation was going well. 
 
Hindrances
Wanting a bigger breakthrough, every time i gained momentum, there was anticipation for some revelation. For a while, i was holding belief that i had to note at a certain pace instead of going with the natural flow. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/3/20 7:49 AM as a reply to Nav.
3rd Sept, morning sit 45 mins - not logged

3rd Sept, evening sit 1 hour:
Mindfulness
Really good sit, energetic phenomenon all the way through - vibrations in entire body - strongest in the chest/stomach area and head/chin area, subtler in lower body. Images of surrounding/room and house. Noticing how images of the surrounds pulled me back into a sense of familiarity & associated feeling of aversion. Pleasure and delight noted at rapid subtle flickerings in whole body. 

 
Attention
Not a good concentration session as mind wanted to just note everything. Started with loud noting, noted self-consciousness as partner could hear me in the other room, changed to whisper noting and ended with just awareness. Enough sensations everywhere to keep attention occupied even as i write this.
 

Positives
Good alertness in the entire session. I started the session with an intention to especially note any anticipation/expectation and managed to note these better than recent previous sessions. 
Noted thoughts with "hear in" label and changing tones/syllables in the inner dialogue. 
Sensations associated with sense of self was investigated, everytime i managed to de-construct it to an extent, i noticed how quickly it came back together. I stayed with this for a bit noting it self construct and fall away repeatedly. 


Hindrances
I have observed tendency to always want sessions to end on a high. I noticed a perceived peak point, followed by self appreciation, followed by wanting the session to end so it can  be claimed it as a good session. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/4/20 9:45 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sesh, 45 mins - not logges

Evenish sesh, 60 mins:
Mindfulness
Not the best of sessions. Had a couple of glasses of whiskey in the evening so struggled with a lot of restlessness, dreaminess, sleepiness. Nevertheless body sensations cotinued to be in plenty with fully body subtle vibrations. Restlessness most notable in the legs. Gave in to looking at the time once. 

Attention
Concentration wasnt very effective with lot of mind wandering, so switched back to noting immediately. Noted aloud, eyes open periodically to keep sleep at bay. 
 
Positives
Managed to keep a rhythm going. Accepted that it was not going to be most alert session, noted vibrations, images, contact with cusion, warmth at feet touching floor, struggling to remember now...

Hindrances

Doubt around technique pace and few judgements about not having enough clarity. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/5/20 10:50 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning Sit, 60 mins - not logged

Evenin sit, 90 mins

Mindfulness
Great sit, felt like i could keep sitting. Extended my time past the usual 1 hour mark because i felt i was going deeper. Both sits characterized by subtle vibrations in the whole body, accompanied by a lot of heat in the upper body mainly and bottom of feet. The vibrations persisted off cushion for large part of day. Started with intention to note doubt and anticipation very keenly and was fairly succesful. Most prominent mind states were investigation, confusion, wanting, inadequacy and needing.

Attention
Concentration was strong during few mins of breath meditation and tended to increase intensity of vibration. Started with loud noting, switching to whispers and just bare awareness towards the end. Had periods of moving to full body awareness with the label anicca.

 
Positives
High level of alertness with very little mind wandering. Furthered investigation around impermanence with trying to notice solidity around mind/mind states. The sense of self was investigated and would dissolve upon looking and re-create almost immediately and felt like a sense of contraction in the head area/behind the eyes. Watched it play out contracting and dissolving and notice the exact moment when it dissolved felt like a sort of void. 

Hindrances
Had small periods of needing/inadequacy at the start. This was felt like something was amiss and sometimes like fear-of-missing-out in that i was missing out by noting the way i was noting and could have more to gain by a different noting style. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/6/20 9:34 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit, 1 hour, not logged

Evening site, 60 mins:

Mindfulness

Moderate sit overall. Started with only noting feeling + feeling tones, followed by mind states only. Then switched to free style noting. Stayed mostly with body sensations of vibrations and notcing their vibratory nature (in the stomach, feet, neck/chin). mind states most predominant were doubt, needing, unpleasantness, unsatisfactoriness.
 
Attention
Could not get momentum with the breathing meditation, resorted back to noting quickly. Whole session was at a very slow pace but noticing of sensations was at a very rapid pace (i.e. noted slower than i noticed). Dropped noting periodically to full boy awareness and noticing of  pulsing and subtle movements throughout the body.

 
Positives
I made a conscious effort to speed up the noticing of sensations at the finest level possible (was too fast to keep pace) but i did my best. I noticed that there was period of trying to make my session better, so i turned this around and stayed with the feelings associated with unsatisfactoriess for a bit and had a moment of really coming face to face with what i labelled "dukkha". 

 
Hindrances
Started with an intention to note any doubt regarding technique but sometimes even though i noted doubt it persisted in the background for majority of session.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/20 3:52 AM as a reply to Nav.
Mornig sit, 60 mins - not logged
Evening sit, 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Fair amount of edginess to both sits, a general feeling of unsettled-ness and constant tweaking technique to improve my sit, this was noted but also bought into. Body sensations remaing characterized by strong vibrations in the entire body. I paid attention to the buzzing of sensations, noticing their quality and noting the gaps between the vibrations. Mind states noted were doubt, doubt around technique, doubt around ability, doubts around meditation, wanting better sit, feeling of missing out with the technique employed and wondering if tweaking the technique would yield better results..

 
Attention
Fairly alert to not allow mind wandering but often buying into mind stories and judgements about capability, judgements about effectiveness of technique. 

 
Positives
Interesting experiecne when i noted gaps between vibrations, noted emptiness almost like i was falling into an abyss. Noted the same quality with vibrations around the body, neighbourhood sounds. Thoughts about whether i was scripting the experience were noted. Tried to note whether other phenomenon like sounds, images and thoughts had the same vibratory quality and found in some instances where thoughts would fragment away, same with images, then again noted thought about whether i was make-believing this experience.

 
Hindrances
Too many doubts bought into around technique. Noted judgmental thoughts around speed of noting, clarity of experience. I created a new label "taskmaster" to refer to the evaluative component of the mind constantly tracking the meditation and dictating how i was doing in my meditation. This was noted this as a binary phenomenon in that this taskmaster was either engaged or absent. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/20 12:19 PM as a reply to Nav.
Too many doubts bought into around technique. Noted judgmental thoughts around speed of noting, clarity of experience. I created a new label "taskmaster" to refer to the evaluative component of the mind constantly tracking the meditation and dictating how i was doing in my meditation. This was noted this as a binary phenomenon in that this taskmaster was either engaged or absent. 

That's brilliant! I suffer, at times too from too many doubts around technique and judgemental thoughts. Creating "taskmaster" is a really smart way to note these. I have been using "DhO thoughts".

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/7/20 9:50 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
Sam Gentile:
Too many doubts bought into around technique. Noted judgmental thoughts around speed of noting, clarity of experience. I created a new label "taskmaster" to refer to the evaluative component of the mind constantly tracking the meditation and dictating how i was doing in my meditation. This was noted this as a binary phenomenon in that this taskmaster was either engaged or absent. 

That's brilliant! I suffer, at times too from too many doubts around technique and judgemental thoughts. Creating "taskmaster" is a really smart way to note these. I have been using "DhO thoughts".
Thanks Sam. I find i have to sometimes find new ways to tackle the bull, especially if i feel my notes are getting a bit mechanical and my mind gets complacent with the labels. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/8/20 1:16 AM as a reply to Nav.
Awesome log.

I'll start using this format in my log thread now too.

Thanks!

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/8/20 9:03 AM as a reply to Brandon Whited.
Brandon Whited:
Awesome log.

I'll start using this format in my log thread now too.

Thanks!
Thanks mate, good luck! 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/8/20 9:18 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit, 60 mins - not logged

Evening sit, 60 mins:
Mindfulness
Slightly above average sit. My teacher pointed out that i may be in DN territory, in that my sits usually peak and then slide downwards. I usually end up lot of my sits with a sense of unsatisfactoriness. Today's sit was the same. Fully body tingling was noted and localized attention at various parts (legs & feet were the strongest, belly area, head area and arms), Some flickering noted in visual field. Mind states noted were investgation, striving, chasing, doubt, unpleasantness, release, sense of hit & miss, controlling, wanting. 
 
Attention
No breath concentration today but did a couple of drills with counting thoughts to 100, noticed mind drawing long blanks quite often. Teacher also advised not to dictate the pace of noting, and rather to take a back seat and let the meditation dictate the pace and theme. 

 
Positives
Towards the end i found i had a general feeling of hit & miss/unsatisfactoriness, and i changed to more of an acceptance based stance rather than investigation based stance. 

 
Hindrances
Doubts were handled better than previous sits, and i was able to better relax sense of controlling my meditation and allow it to unfold more naturally. 


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/9/20 3:30 AM as a reply to Nav.
Nav T:
Hi all,

I am fairly new to this forum and looking to setup a log; I have been keeping one personally for a short time and figured its better in public domain to keep feedback channels open. 

Background: I have been meditating since 2013 mainly in the non-dual (Advaita) teachings for the majority of the time. What i found was although they got me into some bliss/centred states during meditation, i have had limited success integrating this into my life, and by & large patterns of reactivity still remained. 

This year I finally did a 10 day Goenka retreat and found it very profound. Day 5/6 the teachings on impermanence had me grooving into some pretty ecstatic states especially when i applied them to my thoughts, followed by some "chasing the high" over the next few days and "mellowing" in the last couple of days. Since then I have stumbled onto MCTB/Shinzen/Folk/Mahasi choiceless noting techiniques which have now been practise for 2 hours/day for the past 5 months. 

Although I dont know where i am on the maps, my sessions recently have been very positive with little struggle. On average i get very good conentration, am noting lots of body sensation, thoughts, images, urges and complex mind patterns. My noting recently has been lots of energy in the body, lots of buzzing, tingling & pulsing sensations. Although I am often mapping my state, I am certain i do not want to obsess over the maps, as i can see it very easily transferring the suffering from the real world into spiritual materalism for me.

I am aiming at stream entry and am working with a teacher, who has actually recommended the logs. 

Look forward to this!

Nav

Hi Nav,

A belated welcome to DhO! It's a joy to have you in the sangha, you clearly bring so much to the table up front. I love this log format, it really does frame the sits beautifully and allows real accessibility to the development of various themes through time.
 I have been meditating since 2013 mainly in the non-dual (Advaita) teachings for the majority of the time. What i found was although they got me into some bliss/centred states during meditation, i have had limited success integrating this into my life, and by & large patterns of reactivity still remained. 

Amen on integration. This re-engagement with our lives, off the mat, is the perpetual frontier of growth, I think, and the place where the path is most interesting, once we've stopped identifying bliss with enlightenment, and enlightenment with some kind of inviolable achieved stasis as a Perfect Asshole. It is in being the imperfect assholes we are that we really learn, and that learning process should make us miserable enough to get us back to the mat regularly, until samsara is nirvana or something, lol, and all sentient beings are either saved or just plain over it.

As far as I can tell here so far, anything else I could say right now would be like painting feet on the snake, when the snake is doing just fine as it is. You go, amigo. And again, welcome to the sangha, and enjoy the ride.

love, tim

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/10/20 7:39 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Thank you brother Tim!

I dont know about feet but you have planted a big head on me with your generous comments emoticon 

Yes I am a bit obsessed with everything meditation related atm so wana keep the momentum going while it lasts!

Look forward to your feedback on this log emoticon

Nav

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/10/20 8:06 AM as a reply to Nav.
9th Sept, mornig sit 40 mins - not logged
9th Sept, evening sit 60 mins - not logges

10th Sept, morning sit 40 mins - not logged
10th Sept, evening sit 60 mins:
Mindfulness
Slightly above average sit. Started ok, peaked and then finished average. Started with a couple of feeling tone & mind states based drills. Usual body sensations of rapid vibrations all over body but i was not enamoured by them as i have been in the previous sits. They were noted just like any other solid sensation. Images of surrounds popped up often along with mind states of dullness, delight, pleasantness, unpleasantness, realization, stories-impressions. Disgust was noted around sensations & pressure points in head/throat /neck area. 

 
Attention
Could not string breaths together at all. Kept having thoughts around what the breath should be like and how an in-breath felt the same and without variations. Had "expectation" that i would note subtle sensations within a single breath and was annoyed at how i could only note a solid breath. Mindfulness/noting builds better concentration for me, so i continued with this and was fairly alert with occasional mind wandering around self-evaluation & also check-posting experiences for logging. 


Positives

I have been trying to work on reducing friction in my noting. What i realized over the last couple of sits is how I want to sometimes hold on to a particular sensation/mind state so that it can be investigated/picked-apart only to realize that it changes and i am often carrying around a mild dissatisafction due to not being able to penetrate sensations fully. Along with this came the realization of the 3 characteristics in that because of my attachment to the sensation, it is causing me suffering because it just keeps changing. So the last couple of sits, i have allowed for a bit of accepting attitude to changing sensations and note/penetrate to whatever extent i can, as sensations ultimately appear and disappear to their own accord. 
 
Hindrances
There was often a feeling of being lost and not in control. I am trying to come to grips with this as I have been actively trying to take a backseat in my meditation & let the noting flow more naturally. Everytime during the sit I want to manage my experience, i use the label "concerned taskmaster" -- the word concerned allows me to take a compassionate stance --  the sense of doership relaxes a bit. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/11/20 9:02 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 45 mins - not logged

Evening sit 60 mins:

Had a couple of undesirable work incidents happen today. I noted the pull of the mind to want to dwell in them & recalling them with scenarios playing out. I place high importance on myself (often times judgement) on being mindful in confrontational/undesirable scenarios - in that i feel if i cannot apply these skills in the real world they might as well be useless. I did notice an emotional charge develop during the confrontation but the shelf life was drastically reduced as i was able to note and stay away from the vortex of rumination. 

Mindfulness
Had a few background thoughts playing out around the incident occasionally. 
Vibrations - full body - very strong. Mind states noted were longing, unsatisfactoriness, doubt, aversion, judgement, unpleasantness, inadequacy, inadequacy. 
Sit started with low alertness levels, peaked into high alertness and feelings of delight & confidence and then finished with feeling of being mildly dissatisfied. 

Attention
Alertness levels were solid throughout the sit with occasional mind wandering. Brought attention to the body when mind was in a subtle states of aversion that i could not fully objectify. 
 
Positives
Bringing more acceptance into sits, and easing off on the investigation when it seems like im losing the battle. Observing when i overextend the investigation into grasping and clinging, and trying to see how gently i can touch objects and stay with them. 
 
Hindrances

Feelings of inadequacy dominated the sit. I am able to note it as this vacuum type feeling in the head sucking inwards into itself, but something seemed wrong. I am not able to fully objectify it, as there is very very subtle feeling of aversion towards it. Felt like a large part of the meditation was trying to gain mastery over this feeling of inadequacy.

Also noting more and more during the day a general feeling of inadequacy, a feeling of being at an unmindful state and wanting to get to a mindful state. Low levels of concentration during off cushion noting seem to pale in comparison. Formal sits seems to be the only thing that releases the valve.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/13/20 7:38 AM as a reply to Nav.
12th sept, morning sit 60 mins not logged
12th sept, evening sit 40 mins not logged

13th sept, morning sit 60 mins not logged
13th sept, evening sit 60 mins:
Sense of discontent dominating most of last 2 days. Nothing too severe but just a general sense of unease, unsettledness. Lot of striving around off cushion noting and not being able to generate good concentration. Subtle levels of aversion persisting through the day towards feelings of inadequacy/discontent. Longing for relief from this state is present. 

Mindfulness
Mostly sensations around head area were noted along with mind states of inadequacy, unsetlledness, striving. Unpleasant sensations around head/face area. 

Attention
Breath concentration was poor with judgement thoughts and striving present. Otherwise good alertness during noting, the start was medium with loud noting and finished with mostly whisper notes or mental notes. 
 
Positives
Mixed up regular noting labels with labels of just noting "Yes" or "accept" at whatever was noted. The "Yes" label seemed to really hit the mark and dissolve any sense of craving or expectation with what was noted, complete objectification. Towards the end of the sit I also experimented with labels "anicca", followed by "annata" for successive notes. Tried to really feel what the sens of self felt like, and it was felt inside the head, directly behind the eyes, and had a very touchy feel to it, like it did not want to be noted at all. 
 
Hindrances
Striving and feeling of indequacy towards the beginning. General feeling of playing some sort of catchup throughout the sit. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/14/20 1:36 AM as a reply to Nav.
Positives
Mixed up regular noting labels with labels of just noting "Yes" or "accept" at whatever was noted. The "Yes" label seemed to really hit the mark and dissolve any sense of craving or expectation with what was noted, complete objectification. Towards the end of the sit I also experimented with labels "anicca", followed by "annata" for successive notes. Tried to really feel what the sens of self felt like, and it was felt inside the head, directly behind the eyes, and had a very touchy feel to it, like it did not want to be noted at all. 
I often think that the number of syllables in the noting can be significant: at a certain "depth", a single syllable just streamlines things so much better, and leaves no room for overthinking it. This may just be me, of course, lol. "Ac-cept" is a lot of mental work; "yes" is less. "Anicca", at three syllables, is pure hard labor, even without the deeper English mind doing a translation, lol. Maybe "zoom" or "gone"? Ditto for "anatta," maybe use "pfft!" "Buh-bye" also works here, if you emphasize the second syllable.

I'm joking but serious. 

 
Hindrances
Striving and feeling of indequacy towards the beginning. General feeling of playing some sort of catchup throughout the sit. 
Yes, your conscientiousness is part of the grinding here. Don't "accept" it, just say "yes" to it, lol. 

love, tim


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/15/20 9:49 AM as a reply to Nav.
15th Sept, 2 x 1 hour sits

16th Sept morning 60 mins sit

Evening 60 mins:
Noting seems to have gotten harder on & off cushion with lots of striving and difficulty with keeping and maintaing attention with object. 

Mindfulness
Session seemed to be mostly dreamy and full of dullness. Fair amount of body sensations present but not as much as previous sits, this included mainly pressures and changing formations of mostly unpleasant sensations around face/head/neck and rapid vibrations mostly in upper body and little in lower body. Mind states/emotions included image thoughts, dullness, sleeipiness, doubt, doubt, wanting, stuck-ness, uncertainty.

Attention
Alertness lacking with often mind wandering, going into semi-sleep states. Did out loud noting for a while but didnt last long with automatic tendency to close eyes and go into dreamy states.

 
Positives
Tried to keep a good rhythym going with labelling every 2-3 seconds, feeling of sleepiness was investigated. Visual field obesrved as hazy, pixelated. Acceptance was present even though sit was dominated with dullness. 

Hindrances
Noted doubt as often as it arose, observed striving and wanting. Sublte Sense of missing out/playing catch up/trying to get somewhere was present as an underlying feeling for large part of sit

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/16/20 7:30 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 60 mins - not logged
Evening sit 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Satisfying sit. Just did free style noting from start to finish, no drills or breathing meditation, and was able to get very concentrated. Started quite well, wavered in the middle with lot of practise thoughts, obsession around perfecting technique, and then finished with a calm and satisying feel. Funny how the end usually defines the tone of the sit, major feeling-tone bias. 
 
Attention
Concentration started weak as i could feel the striving before the sit began, and high expectations from the sit. Momentum got very strong towards the end with very little mind wandering or distractions. 
 
Positives
I feel like sometimes chop and change between label styles too much between a sit. I wanted to just maintain a constant rhythm and by and large maintain use standard labels of feeling (warmth, pressure, etc) and mind states (imaginig, doubting, planning, etc.). Towards the end when i felt concnetration was very fine tuned, i moved to just awareness with contemplating  3 characteristics.

 
Hindrances
Quick shooting doubts and judgements around perfecting technique that caused a lot of disturbance when present. I tried to be accepting of them but often they are so quick and seemed programmed into the psyche that i am not able to note/accept them fast enough. After a time, i just nudged myself to have more faith (just by will power and positive reframing) and luckily it worked - the practise thoughts subdued and sit moved into very calm territory. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/16/20 11:35 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Positives
Mixed up regular noting labels with labels of just noting "Yes" or "accept" at whatever was noted. The "Yes" label seemed to really hit the mark and dissolve any sense of craving or expectation with what was noted, complete objectification. Towards the end of the sit I also experimented with labels "anicca", followed by "annata" for successive notes. Tried to really feel what the sens of self felt like, and it was felt inside the head, directly behind the eyes, and had a very touchy feel to it, like it did not want to be noted at all. 
I often think that the number of syllables in the noting can be significant: at a certain "depth", a single syllable just streamlines things so much better, and leaves no room for overthinking it. This may just be me, of course, lol. "Ac-cept" is a lot of mental work; "yes" is less. "Anicca", at three syllables, is pure hard labor, even without the deeper English mind doing a translation, lol. Maybe "zoom" or "gone"? Ditto for "anatta," maybe use "pfft!" "Buh-bye" also works here, if you emphasize the second syllable.

I'm joking but serious. 

 
Hindrances
Striving and feeling of indequacy towards the beginning. General feeling of playing some sort of catchup throughout the sit. 
Yes, your conscientiousness is part of the grinding here. Don't "accept" it, just say "yes" to it, lol. 

love, tim

Hi Tim,

Totally agree, the shorter syllables work better. Although i find sometimes when i use a label too much, it kind of goes stale and loses it's effectiveness and so i have to find new ways to engage with the object emoticon 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/17/20 3:27 AM as a reply to Nav.
Nav:
Morning sit 60 mins - not logged
Evening sit 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Satisfying sit. Just did free style noting from start to finish, no drills or breathing meditation, and was able to get very concentrated. Started quite well, wavered in the middle with lot of practise thoughts, obsession around perfecting technique, and then finished with a calm and satisying feel. Funny how the end usually defines the tone of the sit, major feeling-tone bias. 
 
Attention
Concentration started weak as i could feel the striving before the sit began, and high expectations from the sit. Momentum got very strong towards the end with very little mind wandering or distractions. 
 
Positives
I feel like sometimes chop and change between label styles too much between a sit. I wanted to just maintain a constant rhythm and by and large maintain use standard labels of feeling (warmth, pressure, etc) and mind states (imaginig, doubting, planning, etc.). Towards the end when i felt concnetration was very fine tuned, i moved to just awareness with contemplating  3 characteristics.

 
Hindrances
Quick shooting doubts and judgements around perfecting technique that caused a lot of disturbance when present. I tried to be accepting of them but often they are so quick and seemed programmed into the psyche that i am not able to note/accept them fast enough. After a time, i just nudged myself to have more faith (just by will power and positive reframing) and luckily it worked - the practise thoughts subdued and sit moved into very calm territory. 

hey nav,

This is strong practice, with a supple sense of the unqiueness of every sit. You are responding to the day's internal "weather" appropriately, and not getting stuck in mindless technique; you're keeping the engagement real in a variety of ways. And you're accepting variations in pace gracefully, steering with the terrain. What's to say? Drive on. When the wheels fall off, take a balloon. When the balloon loses its air, try for a soft landing in a field of flowers, but remember that any landing you walk away from is a good landing. And so on, lol.

love, tim

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/17/20 9:12 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 6o mins, not logged

Evening sit, 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Feel very concentrated after the sit - the mind feels very refreshed like i have just woken up. Noted lots of pressure points and buzzing in and around face/head /neck and chest/stomach. Warmth and touch points noted at feet touching the floor along with vibrations. Mind states noted were anticipation, control, wanting to take charge/direct, uncertainty, concentrated. 

Feelings of nausea noted when investigating unpleasant mind states, zooming into them seemed to aggravate feeling of nausea. During periods of high concentration, i noted some random vortex formations and jerky visual impressions behind the blank eyelid space, none of them presented themselves in the form of objects but just had a very vivid texture of being random flickering movements.
 
Attention
Attention was bit dreamy/loopy at the start but was able to develop quite good momentum quite quickly. Breathing meditation was average. switched between active freestyle noting and awareness. Lage parts of the sit was just being aware and observing whatever popped up along with contemplating the 2 characteristics - impermanence and no-self.  

Positives
I am able to see the no-self characteristically very clearly in recent sits, more so than impermanence. Observing that i am clearly not authoring any of this, its all hapenning by itself. This is most profound when applied to mind states, especially the self referential ones. Noted the act of wanting to take control of the meditation, this let the meditation flow more naturally. 

Hindrances
Few "should be" judgements observed around conteplating impermanence. Lack of trust and disbelief noted around this, as well as cynicism - mind not wanting to believe in impermanence. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/17/20 9:19 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Nav:
Morning sit 60 mins - not logged
Evening sit 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Satisfying sit. Just did free style noting from start to finish, no drills or breathing meditation, and was able to get very concentrated. Started quite well, wavered in the middle with lot of practise thoughts, obsession around perfecting technique, and then finished with a calm and satisying feel. Funny how the end usually defines the tone of the sit, major feeling-tone bias. 
 
Attention
Concentration started weak as i could feel the striving before the sit began, and high expectations from the sit. Momentum got very strong towards the end with very little mind wandering or distractions. 
 
Positives
I feel like sometimes chop and change between label styles too much between a sit. I wanted to just maintain a constant rhythm and by and large maintain use standard labels of feeling (warmth, pressure, etc) and mind states (imaginig, doubting, planning, etc.). Towards the end when i felt concnetration was very fine tuned, i moved to just awareness with contemplating  3 characteristics.

 
Hindrances
Quick shooting doubts and judgements around perfecting technique that caused a lot of disturbance when present. I tried to be accepting of them but often they are so quick and seemed programmed into the psyche that i am not able to note/accept them fast enough. After a time, i just nudged myself to have more faith (just by will power and positive reframing) and luckily it worked - the practise thoughts subdued and sit moved into very calm territory. 

hey nav,

This is strong practice, with a supple sense of the unqiueness of every sit. You are responding to the day's internal "weather" appropriately, and not getting stuck in mindless technique; you're keeping the engagement real in a variety of ways. And you're accepting variations in pace gracefully, steering with the terrain. What's to say? Drive on. When the wheels fall off, take a balloon. When the balloon loses its air, try for a soft landing in a field of flowers, but remember that any landing you walk away from is a good landing. And so on, lol.

love, tim

Thanks Tim, trying my best emoticon

I love your writing man, you've got the poetry down pat.

Nav

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/18/20 9:43 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 45 mins not logged
Evening sit, 60 mins

Mindfulness
Few beers in the evening made it a restless sit, nevertheless i was able to wane off sleep enough to get a decent session out. Straight into freestyle noting, noted lots of image thoughts, fast moving sensations around neck, head area. Very little noted in lower body. Of late my noting has focused around head area. Uncertainty, wanting, leaning into future, restlessness, doubt most prominent mind states noted.

Attention
Moderate attention really struggling towards the end with restless creeping in.
 
Positives
There was a leaning forward into the next moment that was noted, as if i was trying to get to a restfull state. Noted this leaning tendency of the mind and tried to calm it down into the "now". No-self was also quite evident and contemplated as a label with sensations arising and passing. 
 
Hindrances

Restlessness noted in the legs. Caved in to looking at the timer once towards the end. Again a general sense of unsatisfactoriness with the meditator-self was observed and ran through the sit as a subtle feeling in the background. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/19/20 7:47 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 60 mins not logged

Evening sit 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Satisfying sit, alert mindfulness. Started with only noting feeling tone, followed by mind states only. Did some breathing meditation and last 40 mins of freestyle noting. Lots of buzzing head/neck area followed by vibrations everywhere in the body throughout the body. Lots of image thoughts, memories popped up, along with regret, scenario spinning and should-be related judgements. Not many doubts or unpleasant sensations in the sit.

Attention
Switching up between whisper noting and awareness. Breath concentration was better then last few sits. Attention was well established in following objects, zooming in and out, and moving between internal and external objects. 

Positives
Looked again at no-self and impermanence characteristics, mainly the former seemed very obvious. Main positive was lack of doubt and faith in practise. When noting seemed contrtractive, i switched to full body awareness of vibrations as a collective whole, and external world as a whole, and contemplated 2 characteristics. 

Hindrances
General feeling of unsure if i will progress any further and stuckness, although this does not manifest as any predominant sensation. Feeling of being very concentrated followed by feelings of not sure where else i can go from here. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/19/20 11:41 AM as a reply to Nav.
I read a bunch of these and I would back off the striving, especially since its causing you all that dukkha. Just let things happen. You are doing a great job!

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/20/20 9:22 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 40 mins not logged

Evening sit 60 mins

Mindfulness
Decent sit, alert mindfulness for the most part. Fear coming up at the start (watched a horror movie last night on partners insistence - no idea how i agreed to it), in hindsight was good sitting through the fearful images and thoughts through the sit until eventually they subsided, looked at their compelling/convincing nature. This was followed by noting lots of body sensations of tightness, unpleasantness, knots, vibrations and pressure points. Log of warmth. Coolness towards the end. Doubt was noted along with uncertainty. Looked at the mental paralysis caused by doubt, noticing how its such a debilitating type of energy, which feels/leaves the mind disoeriented and scrambled - like sinking sensations scattered everywhere in the head.  

Random musing:
Recalled a talk by Joseph Goldstein where he ackowledges doubt as the worst enemy. All other hindrances still keep us in the game i.e. we can still work though them whereas doubt totally takes us out of the game and can cause us to get off the path completely. 

Attention
Good alertness. Maintained a steady rhythm of noting 1 sensation every 2 seconds, noticed a lot more sensations in between. Mostly whisper noting faster pace than usual
 
Positives
Was able to note doubt as often as it came up, did not buy into the story line, did not buy into the convincing power of the narrative it presented. Tried to maintain a steady rhythm of noting and maintain it. Noted how everything in experience is arising of its own accord, "I" am not creating any of this, as if i could, i wouldnt create any of these unpleasant sensations. The sense of attention was included as part of the no-self contemplation. Even the illusion of attention is arising on its own. I tried to keep attention on one object to see if "I" could control my attention and it kept shifting. 
 
Hindrances
Periods of noting was lacking depth/clarity and seemed more like mental notes than experiencing the sensation. When this happened i slowed down bouncing between objects and narrowed in the process of investigation to one object and zooming in to pick it apart. 


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/22/20 9:25 AM as a reply to Nav.
Morning sit 60 mins - not logged
Evening sit 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Sped up my noting today to 1 note atleast every 2 seconds based on my teacher's advice. Usually i am much slower and have a bias towards going in deeper rather than speed noting/changing up objects. Noted pressure, leaning, contact, warmth, touching, hearing, images, doubt, tension, release, wanting, curiosity. Also noted predominant mind states of concentrated, feelings of repititiveness and shallowness.

Attention
Alertness level was pretty good with no chance for mind to wander due to noting speed. Did not give up on labelling and force-included labels of relaxation to relax the mind/body periodically.

Positives
Got more of a glimpse of the equal nature of all phenomena, nothing better/more important than the other. Started with an intention of NOT buying into any story or narrative of the mind, especially not buying into doubt masquerading as wisdom. Although quick shooting thoughts derailed for a second here and there, by and large did not allow any srong narratives to slip through the defences. 

Hindrances
Feelings of shallowness persistent due to my natural tendency to dive in deeper with recursive noting. This was noted in the mind/body as a feeling - shallowness, mechanicalness. Not staying with any object for too long (2/3 notes max) and constantly switching it up showed up as a general sense of discomfort and inertia against my usual style.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/24/20 8:50 AM as a reply to Nav.
23rd sept, 2 x 1 hour sits - not logged.

24th Sept, morning sit x 1 hour - not logged
Evening sit, 60 mins:

My teacher reckons im in dark knight breaking into EQ; i definitely wouldnt have been able to self diagnose as my experiences have not been severe/no special effects and have not been in any noteable progression to the standard maps. Sits have been regular with fairly good concentration/alertness most sits. Major hindrance has been doubt during cushion and mild striving off cushion.

Mindfulness
Fast noting @ 1 note per second/2s for the most part. Strong concentration throughout the sit, almost very little to no mind wandering. Noting went in cycles to noting sensations in head -->chin--->stomach, repeat. Sitting posture, leaning posture was noted along with image thoughts, doubt, wanting, searching, uncertainty, gladness, satisfaction, absorption, shallowness, accomplishment, disapointment and very strong vibrations spreading through the body. 
 
Attention
Stable alertness throughout the sit, peaking in the middle with feelings of satisfaction and arrival, then turning into striving/searcing for states of impartiality. 
 
Positives
Kept noting consistent, kept doubts at bay as much as possible. Last few sits have been dominated with doubt around "ideal noting speed" and obssessing over perfect technique. Today i everytime i experienced this obsession, i noted "hello friend" - worked well in mostly keeping the flow natural. 

 
Hindrances
Last few sits i had periods of experience of no-self component in all sensations, and a sense of impartial awareness. Towards the last 30 mins or so in today's sit, I was searching for this and a sense of EQ in all sensations, never quite arrived due to the mental striving/intellectualizing and doubts popping up. Eventually dropped this chase and went back to stock standard noting. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/26/20 8:59 AM as a reply to Nav.
25th Sept, 2 x 1 hour sits not logged.

26 Sept morning sit, 45 mins - not logged.
Evening sit, 60 mins

Mindfulness

Strong session, unwavering mindfulness for the most part of the sit. Started with setting intention to "Dis-embed from ALL phenomana, from wise-sounding doubts, from compelling narrative structures, from what-if scenarios, improvisation ideas and judgemental beliefs".
Mostly noted bound sensations head (unpleasant sensations), stomach (warmth and pressure) and touch points on couch, warmt and tingling in feet as well as friction on carpet. Mind states included lack, needing, pull to "fix", image thoughts, wanting to try something better, inadequacy. 

Attention
Alertness was maintained with minor moments of dullness pervading mostly end of mini-sessions for ege transition from noting to breathing meditation. Breath work was better than it has been recently, stong determination to drop noting tendencies during breath work and notice "as many sensations as possible at the nostrils".
 
Positives
Good engagement with objects, almost as if becoming one with the objects. Anytime noting felt rushed or indequate or stale, Coming back to NOW and engaging deeply with present moment experience, like Actually feeling my notes as fully as possible. 
 
Hindrances
Thoughts about improving my meditation sometimes getting the better of me. Trying new things (usually contemplation of 2 characteristics) sometimes went into mild striving to forcing insight. Few instances of feeling like my notes were centering around the same objects and i needed to thow a wider net to include more variety. Realizing, mostly in hindsight, that my "job" is only to observe what is happening. 


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
9/29/20 8:46 AM as a reply to Nav.
27th Sept, 2 x 1 hour sits - not logged
28th Sept, 2 x 1 hour sits - not logged
29th Sept, morning sit 60 mins - not logged
Evening sit, 60 mins:

Mindfulness
Session dominated by dullness, drowsiness. 1 note per second through most of the sit, trying a few variations of freestyle noting, with emphasis on different aspects. Noted mostly body sensations of pressure, warmth, vibrations, high pitched hearing, touch points, strain in the head and mind states of lagging, compartmentalizing, analysis, doubt, improvising the sit.
 
Attention
Session was pervaded by bouts of drowsy absent minded ness, swtched to loud noting with eyes open when this happened. Also switched to more investigation (and giving up acceptance) to combat sleepiness. 
 
Positives
No self and equality of all phenonemna was very clearly seen. Noting with emphasis on things passing and arising on their own. Periods of observing all sensations as equal in nature including mind states brought a lot of relief.
 
Hindrances
Doubt around perfecting technique, drowsiness. Improvisation ideas on trying different strategies to check out which one may yield better mindfulness, equanimity. 

Question to anyone reading:
I have been trying noting with slight tweaks/emphasis on different aspects. For eg.
1. Noting everything with emphasis on acceptance (i.e really focusing on accepting sensations as it is)
2. Noting everything with emphasis on making maximum contact and immersion with the object
3. Noting everything with emphasis on one of the three characteristics (mostly annatta for me)
All of the above seem to produce a very different feel to the sit in their own way. Is it useful to try different blends to see if there is an optimum fit to the session, or am i just overcomplicating things?

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/4/20 8:01 AM as a reply to Nav.
Continuing meditation 2 hours/day on average for last few days as usual. No logs mostly due to nothing new happening / cbf logging some days. 

Evening session today, 60 mins:
Mindfulness
Stable mindfulness, Alert and staying very present with moment to moment experience. Session was mostly freestyle noting with a 10 minute concentation session in the middle. Noticed lots of repetitive body sensations of warmth, heat, pressure points on the cushion, back, sensations in the head, dryness & wetness in mouth, blackness behing eye lids, image spins of surrounds and memory thoughts, mind states of doubt, wanting, curiosity, investigation, pull to take control of the session, managaing, controlling, pull to fix/resolve the experience and some aversion.
 
Attention
Mostly stable with very little mind wandering. Mind wandered most during the concentration sit, with curiosity/investigative thoughts about partner's activities in the other room. 

 
Positives
Had a weird feeling today towards the end of the sit. Whole field of experience started shaking life in a vortex. Body felt distorted almost and had impressions of moving/spinning  - started with experience of body awareness spinning in one direction and moved to just spinning/shaking in all directions. Could also notice the sense of me almost like in the centre of this vortex experience. Thoughts popped up about curiosity about the experience along with mental notes of planning/researching the experience. 
 
Hindrances
Few doubts around technique whether i was doing it correctly. Feelings of when i felt the meditation was going well and when it wasnt, and feeling of wanting to take control and fixing the meditation. Noticed the tendency of mind to intervene and manage/improve on my meditation session.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/11/20 9:16 AM as a reply to Nav.
11th Oct Evening sit 60 mins.

Mindfulness
Last week my meditation was going really well and thought i was breaking into something with a sense of meta-okayness with most sits. However this week sits have been filled with sense of discontent and plenty of doubts, mostly around extremely subtle nuances of the technique (such as.. should i note X this way or that way)

Sit today was perhaps slightly better as i started with strong determination to not buy into the narrative of the doubt. It is amazing how i can see the doubt & uncertainty as well as the convincing, almost pleading nature of the emotion/storyline (masquearding as self concern) that wants to be believed, yet something trips over and over again. For a while there is what seems like tug of war between mindfulness and the emotion/narrative, and the stickiness of the thought-emotion somehow pulls me in. 
Noted touch points, warmth, high pitched hearing sound, heat in the body, unpleasant sensations in head, discontent felt as pressure in the head (like a gravitational inwards pull), uncertainty, doubt x 10, judgement thoughts, stickiness of thought-emotion, imagination , picturing, practise thoughts, sense of lack, sense of becoming. 

 
Attention
Fairly attentive sit, bouts of restlessness surfacing towards the ends with urgent to shift position. Concentration was avergae and increasing towards the end as objects became more and more clear/vivid.

 
Positives
Set intention to try my best not to disembed from all story lines, and trigger thoughts. Although not succesful, but had intention through out the sit to stay "current" and only notice what i notice in the moment, and let go any defeats or discouragement from previous moments of weak mindfulness. Towards the end of the session, clarity increased with objects appearing more vivid. 

 
Hindrances
Mostly doubts around technique for most of the session, followed by judgements about doing it wrong, not having enough clarity. Judgemental thoughts mixed in with doubts around what method would yield the best result with inability to drop this obsession. Also sense of lack, sense of becoming was experienced as a subtle thread though latter half of session. 



RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/14/20 8:07 AM as a reply to Nav.
14th Oct, evening 60 mins sit:

Mindfulness
Started with couple of feeling-tone and emotion based drills switching to full choicless noting for 40 mins. Overall sit had a feeling of discontent and wanting to "get there". Of late my practices have been filled wanting a certitude about practise and wanting to get my head around this meditation game. Everytime i think i "get" it, ofcourse i lose it soon therafter. Strong doubts about whether i am doing it right exist like heavy clouds. Lots of striving off cushion to note myself into a state of being a good meditator. 

Noted pressure points, tension in head area, unpleasantness, wanting, lacking, doubt, uncertainty, needing for X to happen, judgement thoughts, should be feelings, liking, evaluating, appreciating self.

Attention

Alertness levels were on point with very little mind distraction. Towards the end of the session, i alternated between slight tweaks of noting and pay attention to one of the 3 characteristics. 
 
Positives
Staying present with whatever arises. Dis-embedding from the analysis, judgement, evaluation continuously everytime i get pulled into bettering my experience. 

Hindrances
General sense of discontent and periods of weak mindfulness met with doubt and questioning technique. Lack of confidence in practise. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/19/20 4:12 AM as a reply to Nav.
Have been continuing to do 2 x 1 hour sits daily. Last week was mostly filled with sits full of striving, questioning and doubts and just felt like dread feeling like having regressed into a pit of discontent. 

This week things have been much brighter, sits have been vastly more enjoyable, mindfulness has been strong enough to not buy into story lines and feelings of doubt and disorientation. Sits have finished with sense of calm, and a sense of confidence about my practise. 


19th October - 4 hour sit
Alternating:
45 min sit x 4
20 min walking x 3

Going into my half day sit, spent the morning re-reading couple of chapters from MCTB2 - Three characteristics and 7 factors of awakening.It was a good reminder on how much i had complicated things in my own mind and to keep things simple.
"Note whatever arises and investigate three characteristics - period"


Mindfulness

Sits
The sits were overall very calm and the determination to dim-embed from all hindrances was largely succesfully with the one mantra : "Take no prisoners". Peak experience was during the second sit where confidence was high and ability to stay present with experience was very strong. Sits 3 & 4 had strong moments of mindfulness and no-selfness but had a sense of fatigue and efforting to improve experience. 
 
Walks
My normal tendency during walking is to pull attention up to the head in evaluating the sensations of the foot etc. Today was highly focused on sensations of walking, moving, placing. lifting. turning, standing. Used the mantra "as it is" to note the sensations as they are without lagging/tailing on the moment. "notice what i notice" also helped when feeling of doubt arose or not noting enough sensations in the sole of my foot arose. Noted intention, feelings of foot on the carpet, feeling of turning my foot as the sidewards pressure on ankle increases, footing moving through the air, lifting the foot. 

Positives
Lots of positive in today's session, main one being not chasing any pleasant state or striving to be mindful. The moment of recognition is already a moment of mindfulness; anything else is striving. 
Stayed current with the experience and noticing arising  & passing of all phenomena ( feelings in head, leaning, sitting, touch points of the foot, doubt, uncertainty, images of surround, faces, images, situations all appearing and disappearing, appreciating, pleasure, delight, fear of losing this confidence/technique, wanting, efforting, improvising, chasing an ideal state)

Actively Noted impermanence and no-self and tried to find it the arisings. Recognizing the lack of do-ership in all phenomena, recgnizing the icky, personal, sticky feelings of mind states also arise and pass away. When occassionally doubt arose about deo-ership, i tried mini-mind experiments to see if i can increase or decrease clarity or intensity of any experience. Intellectual exercises sometimes succesful sometimes creating more questions/tricky pot holes.

Came to the momentary conclusion that no state is truly prefereable than any other state. 

Hindrances
Fatigue and efforting re-appearng towards the ends of sits 3 &4, and wanting to finish on a good/satisfactory note so i could "bank the session as a good session". Noticed that this wanting is just another experience. 




RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/19/20 9:34 AM as a reply to Nav.
"Came to the momentary conclusion that no state is truly prefereable than any other state. "

Beautiful emoticon 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/24/20 11:03 PM as a reply to Nav.
Thanks Papa Che, working at it. Seems like the most obvious things on some days, other days complete opposite. 

25th October morning sit x 60 mins
Continuing 2 sits daily. After my previous 4 hour sit, things seem to have gotten a bit deeper and my work primarily during cushion and off cushion has been in welcoming everything and being OK with whatever arises. For 2-3 days after my 4 hour sit, i felt I was able to do this very naturally without much struggle. Now it has become about finding that stability as some days/times this seems obviously like the only thing there is, and other times my mind feels frazzled and is striving for the crutch/technique to help do this. Reminding myself constantly to be Welcome In of the wanting/the struggle to reach this state of ease/equanimity, that is also transitory and not-me. 

Seeing also how the mind constantly is seeking security/stability of having achieved it, and call it a day. 


Mindfulness
Started with intention of staying current in my experience, noting whatever arises. Mindfulness was mostly succesful in seeing changing bodily and mental formations. Noted lots of touch points, pressure, changing sensations in head/forehead area, high pitched sound in ears, sounds from next room, mental states of wanting, striving, strategizing, thinking about practise, seeking crutch.
 
Attention
Noting was mostly silent and occassionally with verbal notes when i could feel some drowsiness creeping in. Attention levels were mostly with phenomena but quick shooting thoughts about practise and comparisons to previous states would draw my attention in for brief periods of time. 

Positives
Have got myself to reminding a few pointers during when session feels hard/not going "my" way:
- Welcome in the experience as it is
- See the wanting for a better meditative state
- Mental states are also sensations arising and passing and dont define the sit

For better or worse, i have dropped notions of wanting to penetrate/dig deeper into sensations, increase clarity, wanting depth, speed, seeing vibrations, etc etc. Keeping only enough mindfulness to gently contact phenomena and be accepting of it. 

Hindrances
Often get undertaken by a forward leaning/momentum to the sit of wanting to be more mindful, arrive somewhere. Constantly reminding myself to stay current and see this wanting as just part of the same game. A
Also when contemplating on impermanence and no-self of sensations, faced with intellectual objections/reasoning with the contemplation. For eg when high pitched ear noise seems to stay mono-tone and not changin intensity, doubt thought arises stating "that seems permanent at the minute". Trying to dis-embed from this intellectual analysis as it seems to not get me very far. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/29/20 8:21 AM as a reply to Nav.
29th Oct, evening sit 60 mins

Mindfulness
Sit felt hard with lots of sticky, personal-feeling mind states. Felt the need to break into a more peaceful/easy state but never quite arriving. 
Noted lots of doubt in ability, wanting, lacking, hearing, vibrations in chin, touch points, tensing, efforting.

Attention
Little mind wandering, very alert but often getting stucked into emotional states. Noting switched between silent noting and out loud noting. 
 
Positives
Kept coming back to present moment and tried to rise above the pull of the content. Noted ungrounded-ness, noted lack of conviction in practise, noted lack of faith, noted comparisons to previous pleasant experiences. 

Also tried to remind myself to not give importance to mind states/mental emotions over any other sensation. Why is the sensations of doubt given more importance than then body sensations of pressure? When there was strong inertia in wanting to stay close to and note mind states and be pulled into content, intentionally trying to break away into body sensations. 
 
Hindrances
Feeling of ungrounded-ness and doubt dominated the sit. Lack of conviction in the practise. Doubt around how much efforting was correct and whether i should be putting in more and less effort in drilling down into sensations. Comparison to previous experiences and evaluating current sit negatively. 


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/29/20 11:27 AM as a reply to Nav.
Just checking in today after a long time and reading your recent posts, it really seems that you have been determined in your oractice and keeping up with it. Good job!

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
10/29/20 2:52 PM as a reply to Nav.
"Trying to dis-embed from this intellectual analysis as it seems to not get me very far. "

You said it mate emoticon I think Ingram said someplace in his book something like "try and spend 99% on matter of fact plain noting and 1% on pondering/analyzing" , and I agree, ecept I would say 100% plain noting at least 1 sensation a second for the duration of the sit and then ponder all you want afterwards emoticon 



"Kept coming back to present moment and tried to rise above the pull of the content."

This one is interesting emoticon Im sure we can quickly agree that we have NOTHING other but THIS present moment. No matter if we get lost in thoughts/content or have an itch on the nose, they both are inevitabely in the present moment. I mean, we cant get out of it unless we are unconscious I guess. What is the difference in this present moment is either Knowing it or Ignorant of it. In one we see clearly the unfloding of the content (doubt, uncertainly, scenario spin of any sorts really) and hence are awake in it and in the other we are Absorbed in it, embeded as you say, in the La-la Land of Samsara, ... BUT, still in the present moment. Even if we think of some future stuff, desire to attain something or thinking about that great session I've had in the past. All this unfilding is happening right NOW in the present.

So emoticon comming back to the present is not an issue even if we feel that itch on the nose is more present than those doubts and thoughts of past and future. For some reason we see them as not in the NOW. But they ARE emoticon same as that itch on the nose.
That very "pull (of the content)" is happening right NOW. All you can do is KNOW it. And practice makes perfect. We practice in paying attention. Lemme repeat; Practice in Paying Attention emoticon Thats what we do. We need not to ponder or analyise anything as this mind seems very quick in learning from the momentary matter of fact observation. 

I would place more trust in that Attention Musscle getting stronger with each sit. Each session makes it that much more fit to keep awakeness alight seeing all these arisings in this present moment, the only moment we really have. Pull into the content is Now and as important to be seen as that itch or feeling tone or else. That unease about that doubt, which has that unpleasant preassure in the solar plexsus maybe or else, that watering around the eyes maybe from self-pitty, etc ... ITS ALL IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT and is TOTAL and PERFECT emoticon even if it stinks utterly at times, we have nothing other but It emoticon 

I like how Kenneth Folk say "This is like weather, constantly changing". All we can do is Know It, and watch it like a theatre show we have never seen before and dont know its ending. Will it be a comedy or a tragedy or both emoticon 

Sorry for blabbing so much mate but I felt you might benefit from a little peptalk emoticon (and a flood of Smilies)

Best wishes to you!

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
11/3/20 6:52 AM as a reply to Nav.
Thanks Sam emoticon 

Thanks Papa Che, sage advice emoticon  

3rd Nov, 4 hour sit


Have been continuing to do 2 x atleast 45 min sessions daily. Since the last sit things have been up and down, some sits feel more fruitful than others. I have not stressed about making progress and am just doing my practise as best i can. Doubt continues to be my biggest hindrance but seems like a familiar enemy now. 

Mindfulness
Decided to do a 4 hour sit being public holiday. 4 x 45 mins sits and 3 x 20 min walks. 

Sits progressed from first sit being a decent/moderately concentrated, moved into mild striving & frustration to "get it" by the second and third sit, the last sit finished with a deep sense of calm and quiet. 

Walks were bit more compacent as i used them as time to stretch and rest as well. Whisper noted movements of lifting, moving, placing alternating with stepping left and stepping right. 

Attention
Attention was mostly with object of meditation. Quick shooting thoughts around technique seem to be the biggest buy in where mind gets distracted. I have a few alternations in technique where i emphasis on what aspect or another and i seem to go between. There is often quick thoughts of analysis between these techniques. 

 
Positives
I came full circle in my 4 hour sit. I started with simple noting during first sit, second and third sit i was paying attention on characteristics of impermanence and no-self, often struggling to see it and getting frustrated at not being able to see it clearly like some past sits. 

The last sit i dropped all notions of trying to see anything, and instead just focused on staying very very current with my experience moment by moment noticing whatever was arising. Also tried to bring in lots of acceptance with notes of "Yes" or "Accept". This seems to really ease any struggle around the noticing. 

Noted lots of mind states and efforting to get it, wanting, noticing lack, noticiing inadequacy, hearing. Also kept a welcoming attitude towards any change of sensation without grasping or holding on to anything felt like the sit was pervaded with ease.

Hindrances

Striving mind to maintain this state of ease or equanimity towards phenomena, only failing to realize that the striving can also be noted and accepted. 

Off cushion as i write this there is a wish to return to the state of ease and finding the crutch or the technique that would help me get there. Reminding myself again and again to note this wanting, staying very current with experience.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
11/12/20 8:00 AM as a reply to Nav.
13th Nov, 40 min sit

Have been continuing 2 x 40 min daily sits on average.
Meditation recently has been very even, not much struggle, not much bliss, sort of even-ness, sometimes staleness. The obsession towards it has lessenned, even though i have been keeping up practise.

Also have been focusing on mindful communication. I suck at this but trying my best by practising during work and at home: 
- Listening & speaking mindfully, practising compassion during conversations
- Purposely using silence and noticing the discomfort and need to break into small talk to avoid the silence. 
- Avoiding lying, exaggerating and gossiping (this is so hard)

Mindfulness
Todays sit was the same, felt very even and had a quality of equal-ness, with no real up or down moments. Noted alound for the first half due to being bit drowsy. Moved between all objects quickly, not staying with any one for too long. Occassionally investigated  a vaccum-like feeling in the head, feelings of the mildest aversion towards it, un-settledness and unpleasantness noted. Switched to "yes" notes after a while, saying yes to whatever is noted. Finaished with investigating no-self characteristic, noting any phenomena that takes centre stage and seeing how it has arisen with no help from me, and is doing its own thing. 

Attention
Attention was mostly there with mind moving towrards being dreamy states towards end of sit. Resorting back out loud noting when this happened.
 
Positives
The same realization has hit me a few times recently that after all the strategizing, tweaking techiniques, looking at different flavours of the practise, investigating on one or more characteristics, the realization that this moment is it. No amount of grasping at states, mini-hits of success, future planning or note-making ever suffices. Every success by the meditator is bound to be lost. Only this moment is always available. 
 
Hindrances
"Optimizing" is the flavour mostly dominant during sits. Trying to always optimize my sits, trying to make the meditation slightly better than it is. Making this into a note every time i tend to do this, instead letting the moment be as it is. 

Also noting "framing" i.e. the mind trying to contextualize what i am doing or making sense of the technique so that it is satisfied with it. Framing the techinque/noting practise and "need to understand it" is felt very strongly.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
12/10/20 10:55 PM as a reply to Nav.
General update:

I have been continuing meditation 1.5 - 2 hours hours  most days ( an hour in the morning and one in the evening). 

Things have been up and down for the last few weeks, few good sits but most sits feeling like unfinished business. 

Biggest hindrances still are doubts and self-judgement around meditative ability and technique, stuck like a plague. I see them and acklowledge them most times, but often trip up when they beg for my attention & act like they want to convey an important message.

Off cushion awarenss has increased with ability to notice negative states quickly, taking things personally has reduced and a general sense of confidence in being able to weather the mundane ups and downs of life. Mind wandering when listening to partner still needs to be worked on. 

Last couple of days have had very pleasurable sits, ending with a very easy feeling of calm and restfulness. 

Log from today's sit (11th Dec, 1 hour)

Started with few minutes of relaxation and breath concentration. Breath work was very rough, as i felt sleepy for the most part. Switched to noting and felt attention sharpen as soon as i got into it. Drowsiness disappeared and noted @ 1/2 per sec the usual plethora of body sensations of gut pressure, pulsing at the neck, forehead tension, buzzing sound at the left ear drum, image thoughts, doubt, judgement and associated thoughts, ease and expansivess towards the end of the sit. 

Dropped narrative labels, and switched to labelling "welcome" towards all sensations. Could sense the equanimity quotient rise with a sense of restfulness and dropping of mental tension with each note. 

Dropped the "welcome" label and started noting "not wanting"; this had a different tone to it. Noticing was experienced a lot faster than the notes, with soft whispers of "not wanting" only once every few seconds. Equanimity was still present but i could feel a sense of disenchantment, non-engagement with whatever was experienced. The feelings of doubt & judgement would also be let go, but they had a residue (like a bigger ripple) compared to other sensations. 

The sit finished with a sense of calm and ease pervading the mind and body, to the point that doing anything seemed pointless. I just sat in awareness and observed whatever came up. Sense of expasiveness was observed, as well as the tension of the contracted self everytime a thought or an emotion arose. Felt like i occupied a bigger space than my body and bouts of localized phenomena would draw my boundaries closer, and passing away of thus would expand me further. 

FInished with 5 mins of metta meditation. 


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
1/12/21 8:44 PM as a reply to Nav.
13th Jan 2021
Have continued to sit on average 2 sits X 40 mins each. Missed few sessions over the christmas new year period, but still managed to get most sessions in.

I slackened off logging sits, as it started seeming like a chore but want to start this up again. My teacher suggested that logging not only helps you keep a record through time but also helps you summarize your sits and jotting it down assists in investigating the session more thoroughly, and may also provide tips for future sits.

45 mins sit - Freestyle noting

Started strong with fair amount of absorption straight off the bat. Noted confidence, doubt , faith, straining, feeling of lack, mental strain to force mindfulness, hearing (high pitched sound in left ear), gut pressure, pulsing in the neck, optimizing, strategizing, trying to enhance the sit, benchmarking successful technique. 

The middle phase of the sit faltered a little bit with state chasing, tweaking technique, trying to find optimal labels, and wanting to "win" the meditation game, a feeling of forward momentum in order to achieve success - all of this was noted and gave way to confidence, ease, pleasure in self-ability, slight fear of losing it again, noting through these as well finally ended up with a feeling of nothing-left-to-do-ness. 

Dropped labels and moved to gentle allowing of all experience with gentle occasional notes of "not leaning, not clinging" and moved into a more allowing state of present centred-ness and cut through the feeling of forward pressing/leaning that sometimes occurs with noting with labels. 

Finally dropped that and focused on counting thoughts, or just noting/observing the mental stream - images of alarm, subtle thoughts of success and wanting to end on a high, note-making thoughts, logging thoughts.

Reminders:
- Use instinct, not analysis in reponse to questions/decisions that arise during meditation in relation to speed, effort, etc. Trust your instinct.
- Do not get hung up on rigidity of labels. Stay loose and use whatever labels seems appropriate at the time. 
 


RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
1/13/21 4:26 AM as a reply to Nav.
Nav, great to hear that you're still doing the do, steady and strong. Yours is one of those logs that is the backbone of DhO, consistent, across big stretches of time with consistent practice. You'll find a balance with how much to report and how and when, but you're doing job one, in your practice. It is genuinely an inspiration: this quiet steady work through every weather and every terrain and circumstance.

Hope it doesn't fuck you up to hear that, lol.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
1/13/21 10:47 PM as a reply to Nav.
Thanks Tim emoticon appreciate your support. 


60 mins sit - 20 mins concentration + 40 mins Freestyle noting

Practised concentration meditation for the first 20 mins with body scanning technique. Although was a bit skeptical and seemed superficial method compared to the traditional breath meditation, after a while mind got calm and felt very grounded in the body. 

Noted straining, judgement, pressure and touch points, high pitched hearing, doubting thought, strategizing, optimizing technique and striving for success. 

Seemed to have a recurring indecision about technique nuance, noted as "hang-up". I intentionally picked how I was going to note, and then continued to see thought thought over and over again when it arose. It got weaker, then stronger, before finally subsiding as i was able to catch it at its inception. 

Finished with more awareness based noting, with gentle notes of "allowing" every few seconds.

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
1/20/21 9:12 PM as a reply to Nav.
21st Jan, 45 min sit

Mindfulness
Sit started with a sense of aversion towards sitting, and wanting to just get through it. Noting picked up with usual plethora of sensations around gut, body, forehead strain, spersed with feelings of managing the meditation, optimizing, doubt around technique, image thoughts, uncertainty, wanting to win.

The first part of the sit was filled with a sense of mild angst (low level, almost undetectable) of wanting to reach a state of fulfillment/ease. I noted this as sense of becoming, of forward momentum, of wanting to arrive.

This opened up with a sense of relaxed spaciousness, ease and nowhere to go-ness, noted with occasional whispers of allowing. With this came a dreamy, cloudy state. Felt a bit dis-orienting and noticed the grasping to make sense of it and get out of it. 

Sit then finished with alternating periods of this dreamy state and moving back into a relaxed openness, finishing with a 2 min metta. 

RE: Nav's Practice Log
Answer
1/21/21 4:02 AM as a reply to Nav.
This is a classic sit in a lot of ways, and indicative of strong practice with momentum. The settling in interval, stablizing in the technique through all the usual-mind stuff arising, not getting overly caught up; and then the spontaneous shift out of grasping mode, that comes with a deeper letting go into the technique, letting the technique itself work; and then riding that and noticing all the ways it is possible to "disrupt" it without buying into them. Realizing they don't have to be "disruptive." The spaciousness gives your attention a kind of angle on everything that takes away a lot of the "disruptive" power of this very normal and natural and habitual mind movement. Good strong meditation. Ignore me, lol.

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