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Vibrations and Hertz

Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 1:59 PM
Daniel talks about the occurrence of vibrations as hertz. For example, 4 hertz would mean that 4 vibrations are occurring per second. He mentions counting vibrations through the path of insight and how certain nanas have specific vibrations. How can one count vibrations? Are vibrations categorized as anything occurring in the sense doors?

I am a musician and audio engineer, so frequency identification has value to me. The way I have come to understand frequency is that instruments/sounds occupy a part of the spectrum. Bass instruments occupy the lower end of, and bright sounds occupy the higher end. This is different from counting occurrences. 

Please advise.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/14/20 12:15 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
My impression of that part of MCTB was that the frequency stuff was something that Daniel was particularly interested in and excited to share with others, but that being obsessed with the specific hertz of different frequencies on a granular level is really more of a meditative side-project that isn't totally necessary to move forward along the path. However, if it works for you and seems to help your practice, then by all means go for it. 

Like Daniel writes, I've noticed in my own practice that different stages of insight have different vibratory textures and qualities that are definitely worth paying attention to. I've never gone so far as to actually count vibrations per second, and feel like for most people doing so could start to tilt one's practice into territory that might be a little neurotic and to the detriment of one's practice.

Are vibrations categorized as anything occurring in the sense doors?

Any seemingly solid sensate experience coming in through a sense door can be vipassanized into a more base vibratory experience. 

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 3:23 PM as a reply to Zachary.
This is helpful. Perhaps I have not developed enough clarity to separate sensations into a base vibratory experience. Can frequencies also be detected in the jhanas? The jhanas are more consistent and easier to identify than the nanas in my practice. Regarding my current practice, I've been going through the third vipassana jhana for the past week and a half, but I can tell that's changing. 

Thank you!
 

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 4:47 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Hi,

Basically, how quickly can you notice change in your meditation object ?

Right now, I'm hearing the clock ticking, and inside the tick I can discern three very quick pulses.

If I then reproduce these pulses with my mouth, out loud, and keep them going consistantly, I can actually count how many pulses there would be in one second if that tick didn't stop and go... every second. It's about 10 of them. That means 10 Hz. 

You can do that with many things, the idea is just to figure out, one way or another, what is the rate of change that you're able to discern. That can really give you an idea of what kind of attentionnal mode Ingram is suggesting we pursue : precise, energetic, and fast !

About sounds, btw. If you had unnaturally low perceptual thresholds, you could actually discern 440 distinct pulses per second when an A440 is being played to you emoticon Or if you could tap, with your finger, instead of just 10 times per second, but 440, you would actually hear an A4 instead of a discontinuous rythm. Weird, hey ? Heights are the continuous version of rhythms.

The frequency count is not very useful actually, but if you can do that it's a sign that you're really actively paying attention. The idea is that keeping a continuous and fine-grained discernment is conducive to insight... I find it's a good way to produce clear-cut meditation experiences, have really wondrous A&P's and really jarring and abrasive DN's. Whether that's beneficial or not is another question. emoticon But this kind of technique does seem to be an extremely effective meditation method, and can really produce dramatic effects and deepen practice quickly.

Nota bene : luckily, 15 Hz doesn't mean that you're mentally labeling using words 15 times per second ! Phew ! Lucky us. It just means you're able to notice 15 distinct moments of whatever you're looking at in a second. Which is actually not very hard.

One can start using mental labels/notes, and the idea is that as soon as you're able to consistently notice Hz's of change in the direct perception of your meditation objects, you've got enough momentum to just stay at the level of abstract sorry, concrete (!) shimerring patterns of sensations. Perhaps using labels as a way to maintain momentum. No need to count all the time of course. But it could be a good way to learn about the ñanas for you, if you have trouble discerning them.

As an aside, there were probably other reasons that Daniel paid attention to this : to actually use this as a "sure" way to decide which ñana you're in, with the idea that each ñana has a unique vibratory signature, or rather, perceptual threshold.

Possibly, the idea was then to use this as a way to "objectivize" vipassana practice and make the POI into a scientifically testable thing.

That is indeed extreme geekery, and doesn't have so much to do with actual insight, but it can be fun if you're into that sort of thing.

And it can help you determine what's going on with your practice. To me the most noticeable thing is the chaotic rythms of the Dhukkha ñanas.

Have fun emoticon 

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 5:16 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Hi,

Basically, how quickly can you notice change in your meditation object ?

Right now, I'm hearing the clock ticking, and inside the tick I can discern three very quick pulses.

If I then reproduce these pulses with my mouth, out loud, and keep them going consistantly, I can actually count how many pulses there would be in one second if that tick didn't stop and go... every second. It's about 10 of them. That means 10 Hz. 

You can do that with many things, the idea is just to figure out, one way or another, what is the rate of change that you're able to discern. That can really give you an idea of what kind of attentionnal mode Ingram is suggesting we pursue : precise, energetic, and fast !

About sounds, btw. If you had unnaturally low perceptual thresholds, you could actually discern 440 distinct pulses per second when an A440 is being played to you emoticon Or if you could tap, with your finger, instead of just 10 times per second, but 440, you would actually hear an A4 instead of a discontinuous rythm. Weird, hey ? Heights are the continuous version of rhythms.

The frequency count is not very useful actually, but if you can do that it's a sign that you're really actively paying attention. The idea is that keeping a continuous and fine-grained discernment is conducive to insight... I find it's a good way to produce clear-cut meditation experiences, have really wondrous A&P's and really jarring and abrasive DN's. Whether that's beneficial or not is another question. emoticon But this kind of technique does seem to be an extremely effective meditation method, and can really produce dramatic effects and deepen practice quickly.

Nota bene : luckily, 15 Hz doesn't mean that you're mentally labeling using words 15 times per second ! Phew ! Lucky us. It just means you're able to notice 15 distinct moments of whatever you're looking at in a second. Which is actually not very hard.

One can start using mental labels/notes, and the idea is that as soon as you're able to consistently notice Hz's of change in the direct perception of your meditation objects, you've got enough momentum to just stay at the level of abstract sorry, concrete (!) shimerring patterns of sensations. Perhaps using labels as a way to maintain momentum. No need to count all the time of course. But it could be a good way to learn about the ñanas for you, if you have trouble discerning them.

As an aside, there were probably other reasons that Daniel paid attention to this : to actually use this as a "sure" way to decide which ñana you're in, with the idea that each ñana has a unique vibratory signature, or rather, perceptual threshold.

Possibly, the idea was then to use this as a way to "objectivize" vipassana practice and make the POI into a scientifically testable thing.

That is indeed extreme geekery, and doesn't have so much to do with actual insight, but it can be fun if you're into that sort of thing.

And it can help you determine what's going on with your practice. To me the most noticeable thing is the chaotic rythms of the Dhukkha ñanas.

Have fun emoticon 

"Right now, I'm hearing the clock ticking, and inside the tick I can discern three very quick pulses." 

I'm already lost. To me I hear one pulse as a wave expanding and contracting. I think that my clarity is too low for I don't hear individual parts of a sound. Perhaps in time I'll be able to perceive more. I appreciate your detailed feedback, however!  

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 5:26 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Here you can check speeds of vibrations: Online Tone Generator

Check this thread.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 5:24 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Can you perceive your heartbeat ?

That's ~1Hz.

Can you distinguish between the two parts of ka-boom, ka-boom ?

That's ~2-3Hz.

Can you perceive the beginning of the ka and its ending, followed by the beginning of the boom and its ending ?

That's ~4-6Hz.

It's that simple emoticon ! I make things sound needlessly complex.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 5:39 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Great pithy explanation. Thank you!

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 5:51 PM as a reply to Olivier.
Olivier:
Can you perceive your heartbeat ?

That's ~1Hz.

Can you distinguish between the two parts of ka-boom, ka-boom ?

That's ~2-3Hz.

Can you perceive the beginning of the ka and its ending, followed by the beginning of the boom and its ending ?

That's ~4-6Hz.

It's that simple emoticon ! I make things sound needlessly complex.

This makes sense. Thank you for further explanation. Is the Hz subjective then? If it is based on what you perceive wouldn't everyone's perception be different and therefore not accurate in identifying a specific location on the map? I'm playing devil's advocate. 

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/13/20 9:53 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/14/20 4:09 AM as a reply to Pepe.
Waahh, just tried that and set the freq to 15Hz after a bit of playing around as I thought it was consistent with what I was feeling internally at the moment. VERY unsettling >_<

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/14/20 8:30 AM as a reply to Steven E Barnes.
Steven E Barnes:

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing. I can experience similar things if I stare at a object for long enough. A ceiling fan is particularly effective for slowing or speeding the perception of waves. It seems to be related to 1st and 2nd jhana, at least that's how I feel while practing it.

It is easier for me to perceive beats through the visual door as opposed to hearing them. My environment is terrible for noise. I have two small children and I live in the city so someone is pretty much always banging on something, and it's not typically in a useful way!

I'll browse the old post that you did on dharma and get back to you! Thanks again.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/14/20 9:37 AM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Hi Kelly,

Daniel describes a high speed noting practice.  The point of it is to use all of one's attention to build a very fast feedback loop between worldess experience of primary object --> mental note of primary object, and back again.  This teaches the brain viscerally about the impermanence of the primary object, which tends to quickly bring about the A&P.  

It also tends to stop one from being distracted because it's so intense.  It's not particularly pleasant, but it works great!

So, the primary object might be the breath in the abdomen, and the mental note might be 'rising, rising....' and 'falling, falling' etc.  There's a rate at which the loop is occuring, and that's the "frequency of vibration" Daniel talks about.  Daniel encourages doing this really fast, and as a way to motivate faith in one's ability to note quickly he includes some exercies.  One that I did was stare at a 1 second clock on my phone and then mentally say 'one two three four five six seven eight nine ten elevent..." as fast as I could in my head before the next second occurred.  For me, I can push this to around 7x-12x/second depending on concentration.  So, now I know there's a ceiling of perhaps 12x/second for my brain on mental noting, which is helpful.  

One can further speed this up by changing the mental noting from a longer word to a shorter word, so from 'rising,' to 'zzt' or something very short and one syllable phonetically.  One can speed it up even further by dropping the mental note entirely and merely noticing the mental object that occurs just after the primary object passes away.  Once this happens and begins to take on a life of its own it's likely the A&P is just around the corner.  

I found it helpful to move from multi syllable mental noting to single syllable noting when there was a desire to note faster but the mechanics of word saying seemed to hold the brain back from its potential.  Just like any new technique there'll be a training wheels period where the quality of the note might suffer a bit until you hit your rhythm.  

One important technical point is that it's almost always best to prioritize clarity of the wordless sensation over speed of the feedback loop.  It's easy to push the speed factor so much that the mind brushes very quickly over the sensation of the primary object and begins to substitute it with a mental object copied from a previous loop.  This misses the point.  

One other thing I think might be helpful.  It's not that useful to state that you're in Xth vipassana nana.  It's much more helpful to include info like what you're feeling on the cushion at the sense doors in the moment(s) (aka phenomenology), what accompanying thoughts/emotions are coming up, and how this has unfolded over days/weeks/months.  

It's also possible to do slower speed noting practices and these are not better or worse.  The high speed noting recommended by Daniel Ingram worked great for me though.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/15/20 8:23 AM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Ben Sulsky:
Hi Kelly,

Daniel describes a high speed noting practice.  The point of it is to use all of one's attention to build a very fast feedback loop between worldess experience of primary object --> mental note of primary object, and back again.  This teaches the brain viscerally about the impermanence of the primary object, which tends to quickly bring about the A&P.  

It also tends to stop one from being distracted because it's so intense.  It's not particularly pleasant, but it works great!

So, the primary object might be the breath in the abdomen, and the mental note might be 'rising, rising....' and 'falling, falling' etc.  There's a rate at which the loop is occuring, and that's the "frequency of vibration" Daniel talks about.  Daniel encourages doing this really fast, and as a way to motivate faith in one's ability to note quickly he includes some exercies.  One that I did was stare at a 1 second clock on my phone and then mentally say 'one two three four five six seven eight nine ten elevent..." as fast as I could in my head before the next second occurred.  For me, I can push this to around 7x-12x/second depending on concentration.  So, now I know there's a ceiling of perhaps 12x/second for my brain on mental noting, which is helpful.  

One can further speed this up by changing the mental noting from a longer word to a shorter word, so from 'rising,' to 'zzt' or something very short and one syllable phonetically.  One can speed it up even further by dropping the mental note entirely and merely noticing the mental object that occurs just after the primary object passes away.  Once this happens and begins to take on a life of its own it's likely the A&P is just around the corner.  

I found it helpful to move from multi syllable mental noting to single syllable noting when there was a desire to note faster but the mechanics of word saying seemed to hold the brain back from its potential.  Just like any new technique there'll be a training wheels period where the quality of the note might suffer a bit until you hit your rhythm.  

One important technical point is that it's almost always best to prioritize clarity of the wordless sensation over speed of the feedback loop.  It's easy to push the speed factor so much that the mind brushes very quickly over the sensation of the primary object and begins to substitute it with a mental object copied from a previous loop.  This misses the point.  

One other thing I think might be helpful.  It's not that useful to state that you're in Xth vipassana nana.  It's much more helpful to include info like what you're feeling on the cushion at the sense doors in the moment(s) (aka phenomenology), what accompanying thoughts/emotions are coming up, and how this has unfolded over days/weeks/months.  

It's also possible to do slower speed noting practices and these are not better or worse.  The high speed noting recommended by Daniel Ingram worked great for me though.

Hi Ben, thank you for this explanation. I love me some "shooting aliens!"

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/15/20 9:20 PM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Ben Sulsky:
Hi Kelly,

Daniel describes a high speed noting practice.  The point of it is to use all of one's attention to build a very fast feedback loop between worldess experience of primary object --> mental note of primary object, and back again.  This teaches the brain viscerally about the impermanence of the primary object, which tends to quickly bring about the A&P.  

It also tends to stop one from being distracted because it's so intense.  It's not particularly pleasant, but it works great!

So, the primary object might be the breath in the abdomen, and the mental note might be 'rising, rising....' and 'falling, falling' etc.  There's a rate at which the loop is occuring, and that's the "frequency of vibration" Daniel talks about.  Daniel encourages doing this really fast, and as a way to motivate faith in one's ability to note quickly he includes some exercies.  One that I did was stare at a 1 second clock on my phone and then mentally say 'one two three four five six seven eight nine ten elevent..." as fast as I could in my head before the next second occurred.  For me, I can push this to around 7x-12x/second depending on concentration.  So, now I know there's a ceiling of perhaps 12x/second for my brain on mental noting, which is helpful.  

One can further speed this up by changing the mental noting from a longer word to a shorter word, so from 'rising,' to 'zzt' or something very short and one syllable phonetically.  One can speed it up even further by dropping the mental note entirely and merely noticing the mental object that occurs just after the primary object passes away.  Once this happens and begins to take on a life of its own it's likely the A&P is just around the corner.  

I found it helpful to move from multi syllable mental noting to single syllable noting when there was a desire to note faster but the mechanics of word saying seemed to hold the brain back from its potential.  Just like any new technique there'll be a training wheels period where the quality of the note might suffer a bit until you hit your rhythm.  

One important technical point is that it's almost always best to prioritize clarity of the wordless sensation over speed of the feedback loop.  It's easy to push the speed factor so much that the mind brushes very quickly over the sensation of the primary object and begins to substitute it with a mental object copied from a previous loop.  This misses the point.  

One other thing I think might be helpful.  It's not that useful to state that you're in Xth vipassana nana.  It's much more helpful to include info like what you're feeling on the cushion at the sense doors in the moment(s) (aka phenomenology), what accompanying thoughts/emotions are coming up, and how this has unfolded over days/weeks/months.  

It's also possible to do slower speed noting practices and these are not better or worse.  The high speed noting recommended by Daniel Ingram worked great for me though.

Hi Ben,

Perhaps you can help to understand a couple of things. Today in my sit, and for the past week and a half, my clarity has been different from the single-pointed variety. I quit my concentration practice because it was apparent that I had entered DN territory. Clarity seems to be changing daily and it appears that I'm transitioning somewhere else. 

I have been trying to approach my daily sits with ease and a broad/open awareness since that's all that seems possible. I allow my attention to shift freely between objects. In general, my attention likes to be on the piti in my forehead and visuals. There seems to be some stuttering or vibratory effect occurring. My attention is stuttering or hiccupping instead of remaining constant. It's difficult to describe. It's like an interrupted signal or the needle on a seismograph jumping. Do you know what this would be? 

Also, I keep finding myself lost. I catch a glimpse of a thought or sensation. It's like I'm pulling myself from a dream, except I can never remember what it was I was dreaming about. It almost feels like shitty practice, but it isn't. 

Thank you!

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/16/20 11:33 AM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
Sounds like things are going well, I wouldn't worry too much about dharma diagnosis atm.

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/16/20 12:00 PM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Ben Sulsky:
Sounds like things are going well, I wouldn't worry too much about dharma diagnosis atm.

Thanks dude!

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/16/20 12:06 PM as a reply to Kelly Gordon Weeks.
emoticon 

I'm sorry if that response was unsatisfying or seemed glib so I'll try again.

In my personal practice, I'm trying to be really vigilant about not setting myself up as a teacher even though I obviously like to.  I feel like my current level of understanding is in this weird dangerzone of being good enough to sound like I know some stuff but not actually good enough to really help people, and maybe in that seductive danger zone of mediocre and confident where I can seriously fuck people up.  So when I get in over my head I tend to try and get myself back down to earth as fellow traveler as quickly as possible, not always in a skillful way. 

Best wishes for you and your practice!

Ben  

RE: Vibrations and Hertz
Answer
9/16/20 3:21 PM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Just enough experience and knowledge to be dangerous! To be honest, I like having someone else that has a perspective to bounce ideas off. Perhaps you're not a "teacher" but I also have no expectations. It's all banter anyway right?

I'm pretty noobish to meditation and no one that I personally know practices. I tell my family and friends about my experiences and they give me long looks. =O

Thank you for your input.