Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

Siavash's Practice Log 4

Posts: 1204 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
To continue the practice and life log. May it be of benefit to someone.

This is initial part on fire kasina:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13223904

And the first part:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13519742

2nd:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/17421695

3rd:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/20832167

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 11:41 PM

Creating this thread out of boredom. It seems to be a lot of air reaction as always, looking for something to do. But I guess now is more like the empty desert of fire. Looking for some sensations, something interesting. There was lots of intense energtics last few days. My nephew and his parents were here for one night, after they left yesterday and while practicing, same as the previous times I was hearing them talking in my head, and sometimes their voice was very clear. Mostly my name was in their talks. This was happening the night before that, when they were here, but it was interesting that this kept happening some hours after they left. I don't understand what is it. The talks and their subjects were not like the ones that I usually have.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, October 1, 2020, 11:41 PM

These last few weeks sometimes I notice visual activity in the mind, that seems like a lot of images are arising and passing, but I don’t see actual images. But sometimes some of them become just a little clearer. Often when a memory comes to my mind, in the imagination part of the visual space, I see the images in the upper corners of the visual space. Recently some of these images, when they are not clear and ghost-like, appear in front of me. Today and I guess last two days there is more clarity with these images, and when I recognize something out of that visual activity, they seem to be creepy scary images.

Today again, I have mental images of biting and eating metal. A knife, this kettle here, a blade and things like that, and I notice the unpleasant taste of it in my mouth/face, which is subtle. This has been a recurring thing in the last several years, but had not appeared for some months. Also there is a restlessness in the mind, scatteredness, that attention keeps jumping from object to object and technique to technique. Last night it was more intense and body was quite restless too, but then some strong energetic sensations arose, and for sometime I foolishly tried to intensify it, and make the energy in the spine to flow, to have something interesting, out of boredom and insecurity.

Also these 2-3 days, those few songs that I had listened to, were stuck in my mind, and at times it was taken as distraction when focusing on mental talks.

It has happened a number of times in recent days, that for just a moment I feel like the ground is moving, or it’s being ripped from under me, or that I and space together start to move to the left or right, as if there is a wind that moves me and space.

Don’t remember if there was anything else to record or not.
Tim Farrington, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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hey shroubw, blessings on your new practice thread! May all sentient beings be saved by it, leaving you alone in a dark and lonely abyss. I'll meet you there.


It has happened a number of times in recent days, that for just a moment I feel like the ground is moving, or it’s being ripped from under me, or that I and space together start to move to the left or right, as if there is a wind that moves me and space.

This is perfect. You are clearly going insane. Soon you will be insane enough! Remember that Goedel and Einstein, in their late correspondence, were able to work out that if the universe is rotating at a certain speed, then time travel is not only possible, it is the norm. So ride that cosmic wind, and keep chewing through that metal.

love, tim


love, tim
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Hey Tim,
Thanks.

Yeah, let's see what kind of insanity will emerge.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, October 3, 2020, 9:37 AM

These 2-3 days often I have rocking in my upper torso and head while practicing and sometimes when not practicing.

I was thinking about starting to work, that I noticed insecurity and fear because of that, fear of losing what I have (What do I really have!?), or just losing. Then I thought maybe it’s related to my childhood experiences of working. There was times that I really didn’t like to go to work (silk carpet weaving), but I had to go, or our trainer/employer or my father wanted us (my brother and me) to go, and I thought that the feelings that I have these days when thinking about working at home, is pretty similar to those feelings. Then some other memories came to mind from childhood, of situations that my parents wanted me to do something, and I didn’t like it at all. Almost all of these situation included coming in contact with people or a group of people, that I would feel uncomfortable being with those people, or talking with them.

Then I had some thoughts about how strange it is that I have this much difficulty with working from home now, because I’ve always been known for being self motivated and with high energy, until this recent 6-7 years.

Then I remembered the previous solution of setting very small goals and just doing that. So I started applying that, and then I thought about reframing working as a meditation. I’ll think more about that and see if it can have any positive effect or not. Last several hours, there was restlessness and despair, and probably as a result of that, stronger urge to consume, to eat and drink and listen and etc. I worked for a few hours after these thoughts.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Sunday, October 4, 2020, 8:20 PM

Today I had more success with working at home than previous days. I waited less before starting, and I worked more, 6-7 hours. I notice that I don’t have much problem with the working itself, but the thoughts about it cause difficulty.

As soon as I start thinking about starting, I get thoughts about different unpleasant and stressful situations that have happened over the years, which most of them are not relevant at all to the current situation, but those thoughts arise, with this flavor that I am responsible for any failure or problem in those situations, and I get a kind of worry and restlessness that such situations are about to happen in their worst scenario, and I will be the one that will be blamed for it, and recognized as the one who didn’t do their job well and had no justification for it. This is interesting, because I’ve worked in critical projects like banking and health care for many years, and there have been periods where I was very relaxed and had very high tolerance for stress, and also periods that I was anxious all the time with almost no tolerance for stress, but in all of those situations, the actual stress of the situation never was this unpleasant and urgent-looking.

Today I tried to let go of these thoughts when they arose, and did not change what I was doing because of these thoughts, and that was helpful. Although today since I woke up, there was calmness and tranquility in the body-mind, so probably that made it easier. And after about 4 hours of working, intense sleepiness arose, that caused restlessness, and for some minutes I thought I can’t stand it for one more second. I am guessing it was because of the aversion to working.

And the nada sound is very loud today since waking up, and for some hours it had a different tone that I first thought there is some gas or water leakage somewhere and this is its sound.

There was a new energetic manifestation that was interesting to me. I was focusing on the mental talk space and the sensation in my head, that left side of the head above my left ear started throbbing. Then that auditory vibration that I have in my head, arose, and its vibration was in sync with that throbbing.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 2:22 AM

Today similar to yesterday, I was calm and tranquil after waking up for some hours. In the afternoon I worked for 1-2 hours because a colleague needed some help with an issue, and I used that opportunity to work a little on the other tasks. But later I had more difficulty with starting and continuing to work. What I wrote in previous post about memories of previous stressful situations, I guess that is not the exact thing that happens. What I noticed today is that I get feelings and memories of previous situations that I needed to meet a deadline, but I couldn’t do enough work in a given time, or that because of a similar situation with the current one (although with much less intensity), I wasn’t able to work enough and I had financial problem as a result. And now when I want to start working, I get this sense that now too I won’t be able to work, I will fail, and it will lead to the same problems and situations. Even when I am working, I get the same feeling/mind-state that will fail, even though I am actually working and succeeding. So there was hopelessness, that there is no point in trying, the result is failure. I had to remind myself again and again, that no, you won’t fail, there is hope, it matters, and it doesn’t have to lead to those negative results.
Although I started to work and got some issues done, but still there is despair, with less intensity but sometimes with more intensity. I tried to not believe it and continue working, and paying attention to the sensations of despair in my body-mind. Also when feeling insecure, I repeated in my mind thing like: It’s okay, you are safe, you are home, you are doing well.

Another thing that I tried, was/is that I try to lead myself to this mind-state that not-working is boring, and also try to find things about working that can provoke my curiosity.

As one of the soldiers of negativity, this often comes to mind that, if you work more you won’t have enough time for practice. But I have to remind myself again and again that, no, this is your practice now, and meditation is secondary to this.

Needed a break to lessen the despair, so this writing served that purpose too.
Tim Farrington, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Siavash:
Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 2:22 AM

Today similar to yesterday, I was calm and tranquil after waking up for some hours. In the afternoon I worked for 1-2 hours because a colleague needed some help with an issue, and I used that opportunity to work a little on the other tasks. But later I had more difficulty with starting and continuing to work. What I wrote in previous post about memories of previous stressful situations, I guess that is not the exact thing that happens. What I noticed today is that I get feelings and memories of previous situations that I needed to meet a deadline, but I couldn’t do enough work in a given time, or that because of a similar situation with the current one (although with much less intensity), I wasn’t able to work enough and I had financial problem as a result. And now when I want to start working, I get this sense that now too I won’t be able to work, I will fail, and it will lead to the same problems and situations. Even when I am working, I get the same feeling/mind-state that will fail, even though I am actually working and succeeding. So there was hopelessness, that there is no point in trying, the result is failure. I had to remind myself again and again, that no, you won’t fail, there is hope, it matters, and it doesn’t have to lead to those negative results.
Although I started to work and got some issues done, but still there is despair, with less intensity but sometimes with more intensity. I tried to not believe it and continue working, and paying attention to the sensations of despair in my body-mind. Also when feeling insecure, I repeated in my mind thing like: It’s okay, you are safe, you are home, you are doing well.

Another thing that I tried, was/is that I try to lead myself to this mind-state that not-working is boring, and also try to find things about working that can provoke my curiosity.

As one of the soldiers of negativity, this often comes to mind that, if you work more you won’t have enough time for practice. But I have to remind myself again and again that, no, this is your practice now, and meditation is secondary to this.

Needed a break to lessen the despair, so this writing served that purpose too.

hey shroubw, my heart goes out to you in your struggles with right livelihood, and all the realities of earning a living, and keeping a roof over one's head. It often seems to me that you are pretty good at what you do, and certainly good enough, in the technical senses, and that you struggle with motivation. I don't--- can't--- know enough about the realities of your job situation, the realities of the work itself, and the expectations of the position, and the possible politics that come with the situation, to really say much at all, beyond acknowledging the difficulties you face. I often wonder how much of the pressure you feel is from your own conscientiousness, the desire for excellence and the fear of failure that you talk about, and how much is inherent in the job and the expectations of your bosses and colleagues. It seems like something a therapist might be able to actually help you with. So much of psychotherapy is geared to toward supporting normative adjustment and functionality on a daily basis, and maybe someone on the ball could help you sort through what the job actually demands from you and what you demand from yourself, and why. The same goes for psychiatry: a lot of medications are geared toward supporting and sustaining functionality in situations that are, if you examine them deeply, not optimal in many human ways: the world would grind to a halt, if everyone stopped taking their meds. There is no shame in seeking help to get what you need to do done, and earning a living is just plain something that has to happen. 

I know agnostic is thinking deeply about right livelihood right now too, and sorting through the levels of psychic investment in his work. You might check out his thoughts about it in his recent log entries.
As one of the soldiers of negativity, this often comes to mind that, if you work more you won’t have enough time for practice. But I have to remind myself again and again that, no, this is your practice now, and meditation is secondary to this.

This struck me, and stuck with me. I would as mildly as possible beg to differ that your work is your practice right now and that meditation is secondary. If the Buddha tells us anything, it is that the misery of samsara is perpetuated by samsara. We begin meditation practice on that basis, and meditation is a radical move, a different mode, that has as its aim the deconstruction of the samsaric mindset. People say, "Oh, life is my teacher," but as the old joke goes, if life is the teacher, the world is crowded with bad students. Samsara is the wheel of misery that turns itself. To sit in meditation is to consciously and explicitly declare your intention to stop letting that turning wheel drive your mind.

You will always have enough time for practice, one way or another. Don't lock yourself into any presuppositions about how much mat time is necessary, just carve out a dedicated interval that is doable, however short it may be, and do practice your technique for that interval. You are already dark nighting, with this despair, so that saves a lot of time, lol, you can cut to the chase and do your prayer like a man in hell, without hope, taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the sangha, right here at the end of your rope. Give yourself eons, and see every sit as that Buddhist dove flying around the world with the silk handkerchief in its beak, and every orbit the bird brushes the top of the world's highest mountain with that handkerchief. By the time the bird has worn that mountain down, you will be perfectly fine. Meanwhile, give your formal practice the minutes you can realistically give it, and turn to alcoholism for self medication.

i'm just kidding about the alcoholism, by the way. I was projecting, there.
Needed a break to lessen the despair, so this writing served that purpose too.
Hang in there, my friend.

love, tim
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Hi Tim,
Thank you for your thoughts and concerns.

I think you are right. It's all about motivation.
I think my colleagues are pretty relaxed and thoughtful, and because of the friendship that we have, and the long history of working together, and also because they are happy with my technical work, I have a high degree of freedom about how to work, when to work, how to report, when to report, what to report and etc. I don't think they could do more. They have asked myself seveal times, tell us how do you prefer and we will do that.

In the past I'd work until late night at office, then come home and start working at home, becaue it was interesting, there were lots of things to be curious about, and I liked it to learn new things and build things. But now I don't have that interest and curiosity. I only do it because I have to support my parent and myself, otherwise I wouldn't do it. I see that I don't get excited about a lot of things anymore. These days I don't check tech news at all, I reject all other offers that I get from other companies. The problem is, I don't know what other job I could have that would be interesting enough. Maybe working in a garden, I don't know. Having to support my parents makes it much more difficult to change the current order.

Yes I think therapy and probably meds can help, but I feel the same procrastination about doing all of that too. My first reaction is: ooooh, who's gonna do that, forget it. But I think I have to do it sooner or later.

Yes I follow agnostic's log.

About meditation, I always do a minimum of practice everyday, about an hour or more. What I am talking about is that, I spend time with practice and practice related things, just to feel that time is passing productively. That is an escape from work.

Also I think there is another factor about the job itself, that in recent 2-3 years we haven't had much new developments, and it has been mostly maintaining the current projects, and that becomes boring after sometime. But part of it is on my side. If I show interest in putting more time and energy, I think they are open and ready to start new projects, but unfortunately I don't have that motivation. Maybe if I persist in continuing to work everyday, I get that motivations. I don't know, but I think that can happen.

Last few days that I did some work, I noticed some subtle motivation about the things that I wanted to do in the past. For some years I wanted to start a project on my own, to have an online startup or something, and I made a few attempts, but I hit the wall of sanctions. That wall has become much higher now, but maybe I could do that if I get enough motivation.

Thank you.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 1:09 AM

Today at some point during sleep, I noticed that I am laughing out loud. There was something funny happening in the dream, that I kept laughing at it. But then I thought, wait, is this a dream or am I awake? I noticed that I am aware of my body and my bed and the room, and seeing my mental image laughing, so I thought I must be awake, but at the same time there was a dream, which I don’t remember it, and I thought, then what is this, this is not the awake-reality, and it’s obviously a dream, so I must be asleep. I noticed it’s getting complicated, so I let it go and stopped thinking about being awake or not. I think it continued for some more seconds and then I was out of it, and in a asleep asleep state.

(So, this is a new term maybe? awake asleep and asleep asleep? The second one doesn’t sound good to my ear, but I don’t know a better term.)
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, October 8, 2020, 4:36 AM

Yesterday I had a sit similar to what Shargrol had suggested in the previous logs. Resting in the breathing, and noting thoughts and emotions in a slow pace, which made the body calm for some minutes. Later I tried to focus on the experience of despair, and I tried to detect what are its sensations, specially in the body. While doing that, many mental images arose of the past, most of them were about the situations that I felt alone, helpless, hopeless, confused, frustrated/frozen, and didn’t know what to do. Some of them were about situations that I was among a group of people that I couldn’t connect with them and felt alone and strange among them. And one or two of them were about things that I liked. During middle school I had bought a book, it was mostly math questions I think, but its level of difficulty was beyond what I had seen in other books. I always had a feeling of curiosity, wonder and amazement toward that book. I can still feel its smell and it’s good. I had forgotten it completely and had not remembered it for many years, but last night it came to my mind with its cheap yellow color and lovely smell.

I couldn’t work yesterday and just waited and waited until I slept.

There was a dream of someone that I like, it felt nice during the dream, also there was some grasping and worrying about losing it. Many other dreams, but I don’t remember. I just get a vague sense/feeling/visual impression of them, which points to wonder.

I’ve started listening to the recordings of “Releasing Emotional Reactions” retreat of Ken Mcleod. It has a breath awareness practice which is based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s presentation of anapanasati sutta. Tonight I practiced with Ken’s guided meditation, and then continued it myself for the second round. Like last few days there was strong energetic sensations, itching in the center of left palm and the tickling in the center of right sole are interesting. This tickling starts there and then moves up and fills the entirety of right leg or both legs, which is very painful. But it’s interesting that when there isn’t any emotion attached to the pain, just physical pain doesn’t bother at all (yes, it’s not true about all of them and all intensities). As the object of this practice which should be experienced with the breathing, I focused on this despair. After sometime a vague image of a face arose in front of my face for just a moment. After some minutes another one arose similar to that. And then I had some mental images of my oldest uncle (my mother’s brother) that died around 15 years ago I think. He was a really good man and I liked him. He was physically very strong, but had lost his strength and most of his eye sight toward the end, so he was very upset and angry about it. My father asked me many times that, he is dying and you should visit him, but I didn’t do it. So these mental images arose and stayed, and it caused bursting into tears a few times. There was some calmness toward the end.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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I called my parent's house tonight, like every night, but instead of my mother, both of them picked the phone, but none of us could talk. Just silence. For years I had tried to imagine this day and be ready for it. He was on and off in hospital for several years, and it was expected to hear "Shajarian died" any day, but it's still a shock. It's like an earthquake. For 55 years he was people's voice. until recent few years, his voice would always sing in my mind, and I didn't think that it's another person. I always thought that it's my own voice. It was like that for many people, several generations. Art and music in its pinnacle, combined with honesty and maturity and skillfulness. That's what makes a nation stand up for him, with respect and gratitude.

Someone asked Hushang Ebtehaj (Sayeh), the great poet, how was your relationship with Shajarian. He said: He is like my son, he is like my brother, he is like my father.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Friday, October 9, 2020, 3:39 AM

Last night I continued focusing on the despair. For sometime the unpleasant feelings became more intense, but after that some tranquility arose. I started feeling sensations in my arms that were clearly related to the despair and restlessness. I think it was the first time that I was feeling sensations related to these emotions in locations other than my face clearly. It felt like my arms bones are itching or scratching. There were other sensations in my chest and abdomen and throat, related to these emotions that I think I had not felt before with this clarity.

I had a relaxed dream. It was a big park with a lake in its center, and I was riding a bicycle around the lake. I was lying on my back while riding bicycle (since in my bed I was lying on my back!), but it felt normal to lie on my back and ride the bicycle. So I was seeing the sky, it was pretty clear, and seeing the buildings, it looked like the sky is the empty space of a room, and these buildings are the furniture in it, so I thought: Oh, this is good, and here is a good neighborhood, and I should go back to my house and put the furniture like this in my apartment, and make this house my home and stay there. While riding the bicycle, I became more relaxed so lost the control, and I was riding toward the lake. A few people shouted, be careful, but I thought, it’s already late and I’ll go into the lake. But a few janitors that were working there ran toward me and grabbed me and put me aside. After I felt stable on the ground, I woke up!

When I woke up, I saw a message, saying that Shajarian died, and the shock has removed the despair so far. But the body feels pretty tired after hours of grieving and weeping. Impermanence.
Tim Farrington, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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When I woke up, I saw a message, saying that Shajarian died, and the shock has removed the despair so far. But the body feels pretty tired after hours of grieving and weeping. Impermanence.

Peace be upon him, bi-smi llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi, in the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63B650GxQBI

[A taste of Shajarian, the master of holy songs: this is the "Morq-e sahar" ( مرغ سحر‎; also transliterated as Morgh-e Sahar) (translated as Dawn Bird/Bird of Dawn). It is an Iranian tasnif written by Morteza Neidavoud and Mohammad-Taqi Bahar in early 20th century under the influence of Iranian constitutional revolution. Bahar wrote the poem while he was in prison. ]

مرغ سحرمرغ سحر ناله سرکن، داغ مرا تازه تر کن ز آه شرربار این قفس را بَرشِکَنُ و زیر و زِبَر کن بلبل پَر بسته ز کنج قفس درآ، نغمهٔ آزادی نوع بشر سُرا وَز نفسی عرصهٔ این خاک توده ∗ را پرشرر کن ظلم ظالم، جور صیاد آشیانم داده بر باد ای خدا، ای فلک، ای طبیعت، شام تاریک ما را سحر کن∗ نوبهار است، گل به بار است، ابر چشمم، ژاله‌بار است این قفس، چون دلم، تنگ و تار است شعله فکن در قفس ای آه آتشین دست طبیعت گل عمر مرا مچین جانب عاشق نِگَه‌ای تازه گل از این، بیشتر کن مرغ بی دل شرح هجران مختصر، مختصر کن 

Morning Bird

morning bird, mourn, further renew my pain with a sigh that rains fire, break this cage and overturn it flightless nightingale, from the pine cage, sing humanity’s song of freedom from the breath of the masses, fill the open earth with fire. Oppression, the oppressor, the hunter’s oppression, it has left my nest dwindling in the wind O god, O universe, O nature, make our dark evening into dawn it’s a new a spring, the flowers have bloomed, the clouds in my eyes, are filled with dew this cage, like my heart, is suffocated and dark oh fiery sigh! start a flame in this cage, nature’s hand, don’t cut short the flower of my life give the lover a look, my young flower, make it more! you heartless bird, make it brief! make it brief, the story of separation

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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A great loss, indeed, but what he inspired lives on. Metta to you!

Sounds like your subconscious is opening up to new possibilities and recognizes that the universe will provide firm ground and support as needed even when things seem out of control. That's very cool.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Sounds like your subconscious is opening up to new possibilities and recognizes that the universe will provide firm ground and support as needed even when things seem out of control. That's very cool.


Yes, probably. I had a similar thought too, but not as clear as you said. Often in the dreams something bad is about to happen, but I wake up the moment before it wants to happen, but this time it didn't happen and there was a support and help instead, and a stability at the end.
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Pepe, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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I'm sorry for your loss Siavash! What a great voice! Peace be upon him 
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Sorry Siavash! Great loss indeed!
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thank you Tim, Linda, Pepe and Sam.
As a poet said: May freedom sing a song, even a very short one.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, October 10, 2020, 11:13 AM

This past 10 days was quite a progress in terms of working compared to the last 6 months. Although some days of it I couldn’t work, but it was acceptable overall. Even this past night I worked for 9 hours without any break, that was a record for this period. There was a new task that should be finished by today, and since most of its work was coding, it was easier for me to do, and the coding became enjoyable for sometime in the last two days. I think Shajarian’s death played a role in that. Although I couldn’t stop crying when remembering it this whole time, but after his death, I feel somewhat lighter and more relaxed. Kind of relieved. These last months he wasn’t able to talk or move, and it was so painful. These few years I was always wishing for some kind of resolve, maybe his death, but also I was concerned about what would happen. Millions of people would come to streets. Thanks to this pandemic. This pandemic made it easier. Maybe it was the only way to end his story.

Also since a couple hours after the news, I feel more flow in the energetic sensations in the spine and other locations. There is a noticeable change, but since my mind was distracted by other things, I couldn’t pay more attention to it.

It seems that the fear that I had of “starting to work” has decreased. Last few days it felt easier to decide and start sometime after it, or even few minutes after it. I hope for more progress.
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Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Sunday, October 11, 2020, 11:11 AM

Yesterday for some hours there was a clarity in the visual field, and a kind of spaciousness. When focusing with closed eyes, it seemed that the mental visual space is bigger, and there is an opening in front of the body image. The distance between the body and this table and notebook is 1-2 feet, and that is normally what is sensed with eyes closed, but it seemed that the table is 5-10 feet away, and at some points it looked like there is an empty space around the body image and under it, like I am sitting in the air. This happens a lot, but it was more obvious yesterday. Did some practice before going to bed, and there were strong energetic sensations, mostly felt very similar to tickling, but very painful, in both legs and soles of feet, and in genitals and throat, and once in the chest I think.

Woke up around 3 am, and there was tranquility in the body-mind. The same spaciousness were there for some time. Then I decided to work, and started immediately, but after half an hour I decided to do some practice and work after that. Again some spaciousness, plus some strong energetics. Once the body jumped up, because I felt very clearly that a big insect is moving over my left shoulder toward my neck. That is where I sometimes feel this exact sensation. But some time passed after the practice and I didn’t start to work, and continued with practice. So despair arose, for the first time in these 2-3 days with this level of intensity. Fortunately that didn’t last long and I started working a few hours ago.

When I woke up today, there was a strong hard pain on the tale bone, that for about half an hour I had difficulty walking and getting up/sitting down. The energetics were stronger these few days so this pain is one of the expected ones. It started to move up a few cm once or twice, but later it faded away mostly.

For 1-2 hours after waking up, there was a very subtle joyful feeling about working, and it was motivating.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, October 12, 2020, 1:04 PM

Yesterday was a successful work day. I worked for more than 8 hours, and did what I needed to do. We are releasing a new version for a banking app, and we could finish its work.

Did some practice before going to bed. There were momentary painful sensations around the base of spine and hips, that feels like sitting on a sharp object, or like there is broken glass inside the tissues but you don’t feel it, then suddenly there is pressure on it that causes sharp pain for a moment. Thankfully they don’t persist.
There was another interesting sensation. A few seconds after I started focusing, I noticed that it seems that my butt is moving/sliding forward a little bit on my cushion (folded blanket). Then I noticed the same feeling in my back that was in touch with the pillow. It was like the bones or the frame is not moving but the tissues are moving. There was also a sense of movement in the visual field, focusing on a visual object with eyes open, it seemed that there is fog in front of me and there are slow movements in it.

There was a dream that I was in my parents alley, and a young woman with her little child were there, I guess I didn’t know them, and there was a male lion with us. I was worried about that child, then myself, then that woman. he or she was 2-3-4 years old. A few times the lion showed signs that he is ok with us, coming close to me, bending his neck, but I had fear so I couldn’t accept/appreciate his greeting, so he would go around and show aggressiveness! It ended without any obvious conclusion! I didn’t know how to handle it (and myself).

When I woke up this morning, there was lots of pain in the locations that I usually have energetic sensations, with pain in a few places along the spinal column. Most of them faded away after about an hour. There is tranquility and equanimity. My colleague asked to do some minor improvements on the app, so I worked for 2 hours. Since this was the final release, I noticed some anxiety while doing that, palms sweating, tremor in my hands and whole body, but it went away a few minutes after finishing the work.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 7:27 AM

Gmail uses a feature recently that fucks your mind (well, my mind actually), and it looks insulting. This insult was happening behind the scene, now they are throwing it at your face. What you start to write, it writes it itself, but in gray color, and you fill it, and apparently users should appreciate it because it prevents and fixes their errors! I often try to change the sentence to not fit its dictation, but the damn thing will learn it and the next time will shovel it into my throat.

Last few hours I was focusing on the mind space, mostly mental talk space, and I was noticing that exactly the same thing happens there. A mental talk that arises, there is a shadow of it that plays before the main talk, and the main talk just paints the words with bold color/voice. Also there is an echo after the talk, that fortunately gmail doesn’t have this one. This also happens in another scale. All thoughts and intentions and actions that arise, there is an understanding of it that arises before the action/intention/thought. I guess there is finite fractal there.

There was some energetics during this practice. Some momentary sexual feelings. Bursts of vibrations, bright lights similar to lightening, and eyes closing tightly. And sensations in the dantian, that moved down and around for some seconds.

There was another of those dreams that I was falling down vertically from some place, but safely, but this time there were many people there, and this looked pretty embarrassing, but then there was a change in the scene so that I could experience pride!

Body feels sick. I think it’s a cold, but I can’t be sure.

These recent 3-4 days, I feel sleepy during most of the practice time, and also I’ve slept much longer than usual. Often a bright yellow dot arises in visual field (eyes open or closed), and then it turns into a clear black dot.

At the end of this last practice, I was sleepy, but I had clarity about it and I could notice thought relatively clearly. It was interesting to see how concepts become distorted. Concepts presenting themselves as images. There was an interesting one. I had images of this neighborhood and some of its shops in the mind, and I was thinking: Each day has two sides, like a sheet of paper that you can write on both sides of it, and I only work one side of each day, but these people work both sides of it, imagine what would it look like it I always worked both sides of days! And it seemed that I always leave one side of the day empty, like those dictations of gmail in gray color, as if you fill some of them with darker color and leave the rest! 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, October 19, 2020, 10:34 AM

Last 4-5 days (if each day was 32 hours I could have easier time living with its cycle) I did more practice. For the first part mostly I used mind space as the object. Then motivated by some instruction from Ken Mcleod, switched to the body, focusing on the locations that I feel sensations of emotions and also energetic sensations. After a little while, different uncomfortable and painful sensations arose, specially a painful constriction in the throat that stayed there for hours after hours, and for this 3-4 days, a big portion of the time I feel pain in the throat.

Yesterday a few hours before going to bed, most of the painful  energetic sensations in the back, actually in the whole body, turned to tingly vibrations and throbbing. I tried to have some quality practice before going to bed, but the mind was scattered, and didn’t recollect. A few times that I woke up during sleep, the mind (what the fuck is that!?) was still scattered. Since a few hours ago that I woke up, there is calmness and equanimity.

Since Shajarian died, I listen to music again every day, and a there is a different quality to it. There is gratitude toward all those people that I loved, and now they all are dead, but Shajar was the last one of them, and had kept that connection alive, and now that he is gone too, it feels like that door is closed, its history now, they are not part of my life anymore, but more part of the culture.

Occasionally mental images appear in front of the eyes (mostly with eyes closed), which have some clarity to them, that at least I can sense that an image appeared and passed away, but sometimes it’s just movement. Some of them seem to be creepy scary, a mix an animal and human. Sometimes it seems like there is a jump in the visual field, like for a fraction of a second  it turned to black/or nothing. In the bigger scale, there is less jerking in the body with sudden changes in the experience.

Oh, I forgot. Sometimes I notice that there is a subtle but painful expectation related to practice. I don’t know what I expect, but there is an expectation. Last few days I turned it to a practice instruction. Trying to notice if I have any hope for anything in anyway, and then drop it. Drop all the hope that you have. Do it now.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, October 19, 2020, 12:09 PM

A few points that I forgot to record.

I happens more frequently these days that sometimes I notice that it seems that attention is not on any object. There is only awareness. Nothing in particular is in the foreground, and that is empty, relaxed and equanimous.

Last few days for part of the practice I was trying to detect the exact moment a sensation ()of any sense door) arises and the exact moment it vanishes.

Part of the times I was trying to keep the body relaxed, and it seemed impossible. I had more success with my legs. It always feels that I tense my legs and feet, and I tried to relax them and keep them relaxed. The result was that they kept immediately tensing again, relaxed them again, they tensed again, and after some time I could keep them relaxed for some period, but often that causes a tension/twisting that feels that happens inside the tissues and moves up through the legs. This was more difficult with the muscle tension in the abdomen. All in-breaths and out-breaths end with a tension in the abdomen/diaphragm. Part of the tension happens in upper abdomen near the solar plexus, and the other one in lower abdomen around the dantian, and some in the right and left side, that these ones becomes very painful. And after some time doing this, it feels like there is no way that I can keep them relaxed. It feels like you have been tied up and not able to move/breathe. Although now it feels that there is less tension there. Focusing on these parts caused fine grained tingly sensations start form the middle of lower legs or the middle of upper legs and move up, but stop around the solar plexus. There seem to be more blockages around the solar plexus, heart chakra. I feels more pains around the heard and in the spine and around it near the chakra. It’s the same with the throat chakra. Lots of pain in the neck and throat, that sometimes turns to that tickle-like pain in the throat. That tickle-like pain hasn’t appeared much in the soles of feet these few days, but it happens more in the throat and genitals.

Although yesterday I worked for 5-6 hours, but it took a long time to start. Again there was fear about starting to work. Also there was fear of despair.

Now these few hours, I feel some hope that seems to have a subtle joyful quality to it, but at the same time there is a fear of hopelessness.

I’ve had less dreams, or I don’t remember them much. It has happened a few times when being awake and doing practice, some images come to mind, that I think I have seen them in actual reality and these images are part of the memory, but then I realize that they were dream-like images that I had only during practice and I haven’t seen them in the physical environment. I don’t know if I had fallen sleep or not when seeing those images.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, October 19, 2020, 2:18 PM

I did a near-hour-long sit now. Still I get quite sleepy for most/all of the duration. I focused on the sensations of breathing in the abdomen and throat mostly, and there is a quality that seems interesting/strange. I guess I had it the previous days too, but it’s hard to remember clearly because this quality is about having less clarity.

I focus on the sensations of breathing, most of my experience consists of the mental image of the body and its surrounding, and the physical sensations in the body, but for a big portion of this sit, my perception was that, I am exploring a location or a person, and by noticing each sensation, I get to know something about that location or person, and I get closer to that location or person, but I never get quite close, or instead of exploring a person or location, I am connecting with another person with each sensation, or this is another person that notices their body-mind or explores himself or a place by noticing each sensation and I am watching that person, but then suddenly I wake up from that experience, and notice that I got disconnected from that person/location and returned to noticing my own immediate body-mind experience by noticing each sensation. Something like that.

Although this perception is quite vague, but it’s interesting that I perceive physical sensations of the body clearly.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, October 22, 2020, 10:38 AM

Yesterday I struggled a lot to start working, but I couldn’t, and I stayed awake longer than normal (!!! do I have anything normal!?), so that maybe I could start, but it didn’t happen. After I woke up in the middle of night, I was able to start working.

These days I get sleepy when practicing, and yesterday because of sleep deprivation, there was more sleepiness, so I had lots of distorted dreamy thoughts.

The battery of my mac is dying, so these days I regularly check for the energy usage of applications. Once during the practice the image of the activity monitor app came to my mind, but instead of applications there, I was noticing the countries that use energy, and the thought arose: Why I don’t see country X name here despite the high energy usage that it has!

Another one. One of the main squares around here is cloths shopping center. I was thinking about levels of concentration. I noticed the image of that square with its shops, but instead of the usual vitrines that they have with models (what you call them?) wearing cloths, levels and techniques of concentration were on vitrines with their concentration objects. Then an image arose that was one of those concentration objects, and since it was a young female naked body image, that brought me out of that chain of thoughts.

Since yesterday afternoon I guess, the intensity of energetic manifestation has gone to the next level. There were stronger pains that made the body move and jump involuntarily, and in a few occasion my arm jumps and my hand went to the location of pain. And throbbing around shoulders and hips and legs are much more intense, that kind of feels like the whole torso or legs if shaking. In the afternoon before going to bed, pains subsided and some tingly vibrations arose on energetic locations. Also some new colors arose in the visual field, which were quite beautiful. For some time there was beautiful violet lights/colors dancing and moving around. Then it went away and there were bright colored dots, often a little bigger than the red dot of fire kasina, that would shine and change color and then turn to a very clear and shiny black dot with a bright border and a halo around it.

That constriction in the throat has persisted, sometimes is painful, sometimes not.

After 1-2 days that I was feeling fine in regard to the sickness that showed up 10 days ago, last two days I felt quite sick. Now it’s a little better.

Often there is spaciousness when focusing on auditory or visual sense doors.

I practiced different techniques last two days. Body, breath, mental talks and images, and noticing arisings and passings in all sense doors.

There are some new locations that have energetics and also some new kind of energetics. One is a vibration and throbbing on shoulder blades. After going to bed, I was half awake half sleep, part of me wanted to let go and fall asleep, the other part wanted to resist sleepiness and continue practicing, and there was a sense of vibration of my left shoulder blade. If felt like there is something between my shoulder blade and the mattress, that is vibrating and moving there.

After waking up, I noticed an increase in the intensity of energetics. Right shoulder have some new kind of sensations, that feels like its dislocated. It’s not painful but it seems that it’s not in its right place. There were burning sensations in toes, that were very intense. Thank God they are often momentary, so far.

It seems that some of the pains that I’ve had for many years, can be related to this energy. Or, those are the weak parts of the body, and this energy causes more pain in them because they are weaker.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, October 22, 2020, 6:03 PM

I continued working since last mid-night without much breaks, and I was able to work around 12 hours. That brought a feeling of confidence and well-being.

The level of intensity that energetic sensations had these two days, made me worried of causing harm to the body-mind. Today maybe for the first time I had a thought about stopping practice for a little while. Although I doubt that it would be helpful.

My guess is that there is an elemental imbalance, probably an elemental imbalance. It doesn’t matter what technique I practice or what is the focus range, narrow or broad. It’s the effect of paying attention. Today since I was working, and also because of this worry, I didn’t pay much close attention to the body so far, but a number of times that I focused on anything for just a few seconds, it started bringing these energetic manifestations. And of course they arise without actively paying attention too. Although my gut says, there is no quick/easy/immediate answer, just stay equanimous and keep going, don’t crave anything and don’t push away anything.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, October 24, 2020, 7:51 PM

It seems that probably this intensifying of energetic manifestations is related to cycling. Those two days that energetics were intense, the attention was sharp, and I was mindful almost all the time, with a lot of vibrations and noticing of arising and passing of sensations in a fast and precise way. Even the second night of that when I went to bed, for a few minutes I tried to distract myself and not be aware, but I couldn’t, since without trying to be mindful, I was mindful of the body-mind and my surroundings all the time.

These 1-2 days I have done relatively less practice than previous days, but when I do, attention is not that sharp, there are more distractions, and much less energetic sensations, and a very strong sleepiness. This sleepiness is present all the time. Since waking up today, there is strong sleepiness that the body feels sick, with a high temperature in the body, low energy, and a discomfort in the muscles that is a unique characteristic of this sleepiness that I have regularly from time to time, and often it lasts for a few days or more. And in the visual field with the eyes closed, often the center is darker, and there are more bright colors and lights in the periphery. So this whole process seems to be A&P territory and then shift into the dark nanas territory (I prefer dark nanas to both dark night and dukkah nanas.).
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 8:35 AM

It seems that I was right about thinking that these current shifts in the experience are related to cycling.

Last two days that strong sleepiness was dominant, with many bright dots in the visual field that would turn into a black dot, exactly like in the fire kasina sequence.
Last night I had a dream that fear was its main theme, and while waking up I had jaw clenching that it was difficult to open my mouth. Today the sleepiness is gone, except for when practicing, and there is higher alertness, or should I say vigilance, and intense jerkiness and fear in the muscles that sometimes causes imbalance while walking, and I feel less strength in my hands and feet/legs because of the tension in muscles. This is another of these body-mind states that keeps repeating in recent years. I am not 100% sure, but I think it’s around 8 years that I have these shifts in experience.
And there was more energetic sensations today. Not may bright dots, and the color statics in the visual field are finer, and there is more depth in the field. A faint green and blue in the color statics. It happened several times that I felt some kind of vertigo, and also feeling like the body starts to move together with the ground. Also I had that wavy sensations that sometimes happen while being in bed, that feels like the muscles are being pulled in different directions.

Around maybe 8-10 hours after waking up, the mental state shifted into a pervasive sadness and disenchantment, that caused me to stop working for some hours. The sadness has persisted since then, but in the last 2-3 hours its intensity has decreased.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 3:55 AM

Today there is less tension and jerkiness in body compared to yesterday, although it’s not like normal/usual state of the body. I tighten the abdominal muscles almost all the time with releasing it maybe only once or twice in 1-2 minutes for a few seconds if I become aware of it. There is more sleepiness than yesterday, but less than what was in those two days before yesterday. There are more repetition in some of the obsessive activities. When reading a text, I read the first part of the sentence over and over again, probably because of the fear of not understanding it, and then I get tired of it and let go and read the next part. Yesterday a piece of music was repeating in the mind for most of the time, and now that I wrote this, it started playing again. And there has been more mental talks these two days. Yesterday it was mostly critical thoughts about others, today the emotional tone is mostly worry with a mild sadness. Although there was positive feelings earlier in the day. I needed to negotiate for our annual salary increase, but I didn’t have the motivation and mental/emotional charge(?) to do it in the last 1-2 months. Today I noticed that they have applied the increase, almost the rate that I would have asked if we negotiated, or maybe a little higher than my expected rate.

Like usual, accompanied by sleepiness, there was some bright colors in the visual field, some yellow swaths in the center, and violet blobs in the periphery, which were there for 10-20 minutes I guess.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, October 29, 2020, 1:17 AM

For some hours before going to bed, sleepiness increased and bright dots appeared again. Then the tension and jerkiness in the body increased. During the night for a number of times there were uncomfortable sensations that caused some worry. Sudden strong pains in the chest and back. And also something like a vibration around the heart. I don’t know how to describe it, I don’t have the language for it. It feels like heaviness in the heart, and it’s like the heart is pumping harder maybe , and there is sensations throughout the chest and trachea and throat, that feels like a vibration or trembling there. It arises suddenly and stays for some minutes.

I have nausea in the last several days for some hours after waking up, that was more intense these two days. This too is one of the things that repeats regularly, and I haven’t been able to find any cause for it in my diet or other external things.

The thing that happens when being with my family in recent 1-2 years, that during practice or while being in bed and falling asleep, I hear them talking in my head, something like that has been happening for a few days. Unlike those ones with family, these are short, only one or a few sentences, and sometimes I hear it with family members’ voice, but sometimes it’s other voices and subjects that seems unrelated to the current situation.

Last night I did a sit for about an hour, that I got quite sleepy, and there were dreamy thoughts that seemed like memory, but I wasn’t sure if they are memory or not, and I noticed I am asking, have they happened really? In one of them I was seeing my sister, and it was like a family member is in hospital, or is dying or has died, and she was worried and I was watching the whole thing. In the other one, I was thinking about my “current” tasks in my work, and thinking that a colleague should have done them, but because she died she couldn’t do it and now I should do it, and I was seeing our manager and he was sad and also worried. Although she actually has not died, but moved to another country last year so I needed to cover her absence.

Also these 4-5 days, some memories keep arising from my childhood. Most of them are pleasant smells that I loved, like smell of new books in the beginning of each school year and things like that.

This night after I woke up, still there is nausea and sleepiness. Some bright dots come and go, and occasionally bright violet/purple/blue colors arise and dance.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, October 29, 2020, 5:17 AM

For the last 4-6 hours this night, sleepiness is mostly gone, that tension and jerkiness has subsided except for tension in the abdomen that is there, and the mind is scattered. I spent hours online just checking random posts on the internet that none of them are things that I am often interested in, then I got frustrated and also a little angry at that, and tried to do more effective activities, start practicing maybe, but then I spent more time checking some other random stuff, and then made tea, and while thinking that it should be around 12 am, I noticed that it’s 3:30 am, so I decided to gather my mind and do some practice, but some more time passed checking junk in the internet and now it’s past 5 am. Frustration and sadness as a result.

That pain around the lungs that I had during those 3-4 months of sickness, keeps coming back sometimes in recent weeks. Yesterday I didn’t have it for most of the time, but today I notice it more and that causes some worry and sadness.

I notice that when seeing people’ faces, I notice more about their emotions. It can be a delusion though.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Friday, October 30, 2020, 7:04 PM

This last day or day and half was dominated by scatteredness of mind, agitation, irritation and restlessness and a primal dissatisfaction with the experience. There was an urge to practice, but I constantly was getting lost in activities that were perceived as wasteful, and there was a hurry in the experience to finish whatever I was doing quickly and then start to practice, but often one activity led to another similar one, and the times that I practiced, I was sleepy and I mostly tried to not fall asleep. And there was struggle with deciding what to do or how to practice, and not getting to a particular decision. I stayed awake longer to maybe get something out of it, but it was like this until I slept.

After waking up, today it seems that there isn’t sleepiness. I did a short sit an hour ago and I didn’t get sleepy, and there was some stillness in the experience, and also there was higher clarity in the sensations.

It seems that there is not much tension/contraction in the muscles, except for the abdomen and a little in the legs.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, November 2, 2020, 3:25 AM

Yesterday I practiced for a few hours before going to bed, or should I say I tried to practice since there was a lot of sleepiness. For some time there was lots of seemingly random mental talks, some of them with the gray voice that I usually hear mental talks, and some of them with other voices, some of the subjects quite unrelated to my daily concerns and usual talks. I slept for more than 12 hours I think, divided into a few rounds. Lots of dreams that I only remember vague flashes of it. If I remember correctly, I think I’ve heard an expert saying that people usually don’t have smells in their dreams, and I usually don’t have too, but last night in one dream there was a clear smell, smell of shit actually.

After I woke up there was a baseline of calmness, mindfulness and equanimity for some hours. It felt very normal and ordinary, kind of the default state that I’ve been in these years when there isn’t unpleasant emotions or energetic manifestations. I didn’t have much urge to work or practice, but wanted to listen to music, so I listened to music for a few hours, liking it, swaying with it and the body moving with the music. After some hours passed, I had to start working but I couldn’t/didn’t do that, and gradually despair started to replace the equanimity. Oh I forgot, there was almost no tension in the muscles, even in the abdomen and legs. I feel that there is an urge to contract the abdominal muscles, but there isn’t enough strength or tension there to do that. Often a relaxed muscle feels unusual and there is a tendency to do something, to tighten up.

Despair increased and became pervasive. That caused some tensions here and there, but still there is not much tension in the body. In the last 4-5 hours I did some practice, focusing on the posture that was quite stable and felt very still, which again led to sleepiness. After this practice some of the despair got replaced by equanimity. I still haven’t started working, and I feel bad about it, but I may not start and instead go to bed.

The body keeps swaying.
Much less energetic sensations compared to the last few weeks, and the ones that occur, are not that intense.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020, 8:58 PM

These last two plus days.
The theme of its previous day still predominates. A baseline of mindfulness and equanimity, but part of the time gets colored by despair and sadness. Some hopes and despair today, watching the news closely for the last 20 hours. This despair that has been with me for these 7-9 months now, is unfortunately related to this process. There is two part to that I think, part of it is that I don’t see anything that could bring satisfaction, and it’s more personal, the other part is that I see that there is not much hope in the current order of things, and that makes me worried about the well-being of my family, and that is the part that is related to today, sadly. This is an unfair world we are living in.

These two days I notice an urge to perceive sensations more clearly, and a very subtle joy in doing that.

A theme keeps repeating in the dreams. Although I don’t remember clear imagery, but it seems that most days there are dreams that, I have one or few bags with me, and that is all that I have, and I am about to leave and move somewhere else. Sometimes I do that alone, but other times there are some of the family members with me.

Still more memories arise from childhood that include the smells that I liked. Some minutes ago I remembered the smell of sweating and smell of cloths in a short period that I was practicing martial arts.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, November 7, 2020, 3:54 PM

It’s so fascinating how easily we forget the trend of things.

I just had forgotten the previous themes in my dreams. That theme that kept repeating for sometime that I was in some place like an ocean or in space or top of a mountain and floating and about to fall but at the same time feeling safe. And before that for sometime there was that other theme that I was about to fall from a high place and die, and a lot of time falling but landing safely at the end. And before that for sometime there was a theme that I was hanging from some high place, grabbing a branch of a tree, or hanging from my index finger and close to dying. And there were other minor themes, being in a gun fight, or getting arrested and etc.

Still a baseline of mindfulness and equanimity. Sometimes there is despair, sadness or frustration. This higher clarity in attention is still there, and the urge to perceive sensations clearly and the subtle pleasant taste of clarity and mindfulness/awareness.

There have been some stronger energetic sensations in the last two days. Often not painful. Mostly vibrations and throbbing/pulsing.

Often bright colors in and around the center of the visual field, expanding and contracting and colors turning to each other and changing brightness.
(I feel a need for better structures and structs in our languages. We should be able to convey what we want with less words and higher clarity/precision.)

Using intention setting as a way to change the destructive habits.

Last night I went to bed earlier. It was only several hours that I had woken up, and I did some practice, and I noticed I am getting more and more sleepy, also I wasn’t sure if I stay awake how should I spend my time, so there was also sleepiness because of this aversion. I guess I read something about working with dreams, oh yeah I remembered now, I checked Michael Taft’s podcast and it was a new episode about dreams that I listened to some minutes of it, also after that I remembered that Chris had said before that he takes his dreams about death as meditation objects, so while in bed, I tried to hold both the visual field and some of the imagery from my dreams in awareness. It took a few hours to fall asleep, and I had some dreams while being aware of my body and my surroundings. I remember that at some point while paying attention to the color statics in the visual field, I noticed it’s somewhat different, and it has a plasma like quality to it, and I was aware of the body, then I though, wait, I am dreaming now, and also aware of the body, so I must be awake, then I checked the dreams again, and I noticed that the dream space is still there and it’s different from the ordinary mind space, so I decided to pay closer attention to dream space while being aware of the body, but I guess I fell asleep.

Last night I struggled for sometime trying to decide about what to eat. I didn’t want to go out and get a sandwich, also I didn’t want to make food myself either, and at the end I couldn’t decide what to do and I just ate a cookie and went to bed. Today when I woke up in the morning, immediately I remembered this issue, and I knew that I’ll have the same problem again, since I want to make food myself for sometime because the covid cases are rising again, so unlike everyday, after I got up, before doing anything else I washed some dishes. I thought that this positive move was a result of intention settings, since I normally don’t do such things.

I made the food, and spent more time playing with its details because I thought that’s a better way of spending time than just checking these damn websites.

I feel that I need some out of box thinking about my practice, work and daily life. Things have become repetitive, and I think some change is needed. What I think I need to do is to open, to relax, and let the intuition fly freely and when it finds a balance, then have the openness and courage to act.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, November 7, 2020, 5:58 PM

I was trying to remember the dream that I had last night when I noticed that I am awake while dreaming, and I remembered it. The dream felt so natural that I thought it’s wakefulness while seeing it, since I had also some awareness of the body. It was night, I was in some place like a restaurant outside the city beside a road, and I went there maybe to go to bathroom or get a cup of tea, then I came out and wanted to cross the road and walk back home (Edit: Now I remembered while editing, that it was a bakery, and I was talking with the people working there, but I think I didn’t buy any bread, but while feeling natural, a lot of things were strange about that place which I don’t remember now).

While crossing the road, there were big trucks that were passing by, and there was something about them that I don’t remember now, but other than that there were some strange things, that while I thought they are strange, I knew that they are normal and I am used to seeing them. One was that people were riding bicycles, and all bicycles had a very small front wheel, and a very large back wheel. I guess the back wheel was 5-10 times larger than the front wheel. There were a few other people that were riding horses, but these horses were different. When I crossed the road and came to the other side of it, there was a very big door and beside it was a garden, that I saw a young man came toward this big door while on one of these horses. It was a relatively big white horse, but somewhat similar to a camel with a long neck covered with beautiful white fur, and while it seemed that it had four legs, but it looked more like an ostrich. I don’t know/remember if these horses could fly or not, but I don’t remember to see any wings. The door opened, and the yard inside was full of trees, but its floor was maybe 20-30 feet below the road, and I was thinking how these people come and go from this house that I noticed a ladder in front of the door inside the yard, and the guy with his horse went inside, although I couldn’t see how exactly they used that ladder! The place itself was very familiar, and also it felt very familiar to have other places like that other than that particular house in the city.

After waking up I remembered that there is a house in my hometown in our neighborhood that has been abandoned for a long time, which probably is similar to the one in this dream. It belonged to a khan, which I remember seeing him when I was a kid and he was very old. My father used to say that this khan had many armed men and that house was where they kept their horses, but then the government disarmed them and since then that house is empty, although I would always hear a dog barking when passing that house.

-- Edit:
I said there was something about those trucks, I remembered it now! There wasn't any buss or any other car there, and I was hoping one of these trucks would pick me and take me to the city, but I don't know why I started walking beside the road then!
agnostic, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Siavash:
I feel that I need some out of box thinking about my practice, work and daily life. Things have become repetitive, and I think some change is needed.

It feels like you are stuck with low grade dukkha. You could go one of two ways. You could allow yourself to feel the pain more deeply and release it. Or you could forget about practice, throw yourself into life a bit more and see if the dukkha asserts itself more forcefully. Right now it seems like you have the worst of both worlds. emoticon

Regarding your dream, there's a huge amount of effort required to drive that large back wheel on the bicycle and yet the front wheel which gives the direction is tiny. While people are struggling with this technologically inept bicycle, right there is a young man on a beautiful horse which might even fly ... symbolizing the life not lived? You are fascinated by this house which used to belong to a powerful man, but it also represents danger because the government disarmed him. How much of this is realistic to your life right now? Don't forget it's all a mental construction of a faraway place a long time ago, even if the emotions are real.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thank you George for your thoughtful comment.

It feels like you are stuck with low grade dukkha. 

Yeah, I think so.

You could allow yourself to feel the pain more deeply and release it. Or you could forget about practice, throw yourself into life a bit more and see where the dukkha grabs you. 

I've started to do the first one in recent weeks after listening to Ken Mcleod, although a lot of times I forget to do it, but yes, I think I need to do this. About the second one, I don't think that it's feasible for now. I don't think that I could forget practice, that will bring more dukkha, and in the short term, I don't have many options in daily life to change things.

Regarding your dream, there's a huge amount of effort required to drive that large back wheel on the bicycle and yet the front wheel which gives the direction is tiny. While people are struggling with this technologically inept bicycle, right there is a young man on a beautiful horse which might even fly ... symbolizing the life not lived? You are fascinated by this house which used to belong to a powerful man, but it also represents danger because the government disarmed him. How much of this is realistic to your life right now? Don't forget it's all a mental construction of a faraway place a long time ago, even if the emotions are real.

I agree that probably that horse symbolizes the not-lived life. Those people riding bicycles were pretty relaxed and effortless, that could be part of that life too, but I don't know.

I'll have to wait sometime before interpretting this dream since it was different from the dreams in previous weeks and months. Often when practicing in bed, I focus on the body, but I've noticed that when I focus on the mind, for instance when using Shinzen's Auto Think, two things happen: One that I have more awareness during dreams, and second, there is deeper symbolism in dreams, and last night was one of those. So I'll have to wait for more data from the deeper mind.

Thanks.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Sunday, November 8, 2020, 4:35 PM

Last night there was a new experience during sleep/dream.

I continued practicing in bed. Fell asleep and then there was a dream. Like some of the dreams, I was going down stairs with a very high speed, there were no movements in my legs and feet, it was like I am connected to an engine that moves me forward with a speed like 60 miles/hour. Then after being done with the stairs, I saw 5-10 people, and a big dog came out of an alley and started coming toward us, people started running, and I followed them too with my invisible engine, there was an open door and I followed them inside the house. My family were there, and I asked for a stick to go out and hit the dog, but they said it won’t help because the dog is after the baby and it will come back. Then they decided to go out together, thinking that the dog has nothing to do with adults, and at that point I noticed that I was asleep in the yard of that house and I woke up and saw that they all have left. I noticed the dog is inside and is coming toward me. Then I woke up in my actual bed in my room, and opened my eyes, and saw that the dog is standing over me on my blanket, although it looked more like a mix of a lioness and a leopard. I was completely awake and it wasn’t the dream space anymore, but this dog was standing in front of me, although it wasn’t looking into my eyes, but it was equanimous and I was equanimous. It didn’t look completely solid and its colors were not solid like an object in a brightly lit room, but it was 3D and had its presence. Then like a shadow image, the whole image of the animal started moving back and up and losing its color and shape and disappeared after maybe 5 seconds. The predominant mind state was equanimity and curiosity, and I guess I liked it to have that short-lived animal for a few seconds in the room.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, November 9, 2020, 5:43 PM

I forgot in previous two reports that that night while in bed and during some of the sleep/dreams that there was awareness, there were surges of energy in the back around the spine, not the main channel, that kept moving up and fading after a few inches, and I was waiting to see if it will become more intense or not.

Last night I sat for sometime, and there was clarity and energetics, often not painful, then more vibrations arose, very fine grained and tingly an some coolness on skin (Edit: I had forgotten these ones that I am adding now: There was a helicopter rottor (Thanks to Kibiscus Kid for this term) sound in the head, sometimes becoming louder. Some mental talks arose with other people's voices that some of them were very clear. There were tickle-like sensations in the right feet and legs, starting from the center of the right sole and moving up, and in genitals and in the center of throat, quite painful. And this sense in the visual field, that although there wasn't any light or bright color, it felt that the lights had been turned on). Then I noticed I am getting sleepy, and sure enough, tingles disappeared and that strong sleepiness arose with some harsh throbbing. That icky yucky sticky feeling that is so unpleasant. I don’t know if english speaking people use these words for this kind of feeling or not, but among the limited words and phrases that I know, this icky yucky sticky feels closest to this feeling (Shinzen uses it but I don’t remember for what he uses it). As expected the sleepiness became stronger, right arm started feeling heavier and numb, and the heart started feeling heavier too and was pumping harder.

After I went to bed, body started feeling more uncomfortable, it felt that the heart wants to come out of my mouth, and there was harsh vibrations and some kriyas. I tried to do slow and long breathing to calm things down, and then I remembered the double sigh that Andrew Huberman talks about and I did that 3 times and things settles down a little after that.

There were dreams in the first round of sleep that mostly had fear but I forgot them. In one dream I was lying down in an open space and crying there, then I woke up and I was expecting to find myself crying, but I wasn’t.

This sleepiness has persisted and I had difficulty getting out of bed. That icky yucky feeling is there too, and the right arm still feels numb and heavy.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Monday, November 9, 2020, 11:12 PM

In the last 1-3 hours, the sleepiness and that icky yucky sticky feeling seem to be gone. There is a heightened alertness and vigilance, and heightened tension and contraction in muscles although less that what I was expecting, and higher clarity in the attention. And an overall agitation in the body-mind. A small blob of blue color is in the center of the visual field, made of hair-like thin lines, that seems to arise only in this territory. And the desire to consume things that had been less that usual, now is more than usual. The contrast between the green-blue part in the center of the visual field and the darkness around it has increased, and some bright dots has started arising that then turn into a black dot.

I don’t know if there is any correlation between these shifts and the ones described in MCTB as PoI, but so far I can be sure that there are certain shifts that keep repeating and I can say with more certainty that they are not random, they are not mainly related to health or diet or anxiety, although I guess all three of these have a part to play, and at least with some of these shifts I can predict what will be the next manifestations. Although a lot of times I seem to be lost in whatever current state is and forget what will unfold next, but when the next state unfolds, I remember that yeah there is a bigger context and a cycle and this state is part of that.

If I map these to MCTB PoI, that sleepiness corresponds to Dissolution nana, and this heightened clarity and vigilance and muscle contraction with that blue color corresponds to Fear nana.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 2:59 AM

As I’ve talked about extensively before, for around two years these vibrations would happen in my head when practicing, that the head would vibrate with a helicopter rotor like noise, causing my eyes to close tightly, and at the same time bright lights explode in the visual field to bright lines and swaths like lightening. Sometimes during that there was a unique feeling of energy release in the face with an itching in the nose. The whole thing was very A&P-esque. Not always, but a lot of time these would happen many times in each sit, and during periods that energy and clarity was higher, just 1-2 seconds of paying careful attention would cause it to happen. Until 5-6 months ago when I listened to Rob Burbea’s jhana retreat that talks about untangling unhelpful energetic habits there, I started to untangle and unlearn this thing, and it stopped after a few days. Since then it only happens occasionally once or a few times if energy is high.

I did a 2+ hours sit now, and started focusing on the arising and passing of sensations in all senses, See Hear Feel, Note Everything, and it was interesting that just 1-2 minutes after starting, an intense vibration occurred in the head, with all the characteristics that I listed above. Clarity was high, there wasn’t sleepiness, and for the next 20-30 minutes, it happened a few more times, but with less intensity, and there was other energetic sensations too, and then sleepiness started again and the clarity and precision faded away.

During parts of the sleepy part of the sit, there was this feeling that by meditating, I am learning about someone else, as if my self or me is something there, and I am here paying attention to that or learning about that.

Also there was some of those thoughts that concepts get distorted. One that I remember, this idea was in the mind that each person in our office has their own cup, and when they want to drink tea or coffee, they wash their cup and then put new tea or coffee in it. Similar to that, I was thinking that this body-mind is a container like a cup, and meditation or paying attention to sensations is the content that is being put into this container, similar to tea or coffee, and so before each time practicing, I have to wash this container, this body-mind, and then put the new content, meaning paying attention to sensations, in it. I guess I had a similar thought about writing these reports on DhO too, that each report is the new content in the container, and before putting the content, I have to wash the container! The distortion was that the thought didn’t have all this explanations, and I just thought that I should wash my body-mind before practicing, and the explanation came later.

-- Edit:
I just don't know what to do with this sleepiness and with this sticky feeling in the body. It makes the body feel quite sick, with unpleasant sensation all over the body that are more intense in the torso. I just started to focus on these sensations but I don't know that can help or not. External input to the body (Cafeine, ...) doesn't help.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 8:51 AM

I’ve been struggling to work for about a week and I couldn’t make it. The night before last night finally I worked for a few hours and then had a chat with a friend. It seemed that these two had some positive effect. The sleepiness and that sticky feeling were still there, but I noticed that they seem to be decreasing. I did some practice while dozing off, then around 12-13 I went to bed, but the sleepiness was gone and energy had increased. I stayed in bed for sometime but I couldn’t sleep! I had to get up, and stayed awake for a few hours, then went to bed.

There were many dreams. In some of them I was in high school. I didn’t finish my studies in the college, and graduated after passing most of the main software courses. But it seems that it is not resolved yet. For a few years after that, I tried I guess twice to go back and finish it, but there was no way, and I had to participate in the entrance exams again which I didn’t want to do. Since then I have this repeating theme in my dreams that I am back in university, getting prepared for exams, and things like that. Last night’s dreams in school are in that category, although there was positive feeling in this one, and I had confidence.

After waking up I noticed that the sleepiness and that sticky feeling are gone, and confidence is back. I slept for 10-11 hours, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Something else is going on with this sleepiness. I guess I am paying the price for all the imbalances that I’ve had in this 2 decades. Staying awake for long hours and for days in the past, and now being sleepy this much. I don’t know.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Thursday, November 12, 2020, 8:28 PM

Yesterday I did two fire kasina sits with candle flame. The first one was as I was expecting, and in the second one there was much higher brightness in the dot and there was more details inside and around the dot, and higher brightness and life in the colors afterward. Purple colors arose after the dots and they went away after a while.

That sleepiness and the sticky feeling with it seem to be gone. There was higher energy yesterday and today. There has been various energetic manifestations that I’ve become tired of trying to retrieve them from the memory and write them here.

Today I did some cleaning, and I was hoping that I could get some hope and motivation because of that to start to work, but I feel more hopeless after it.

These two days I noticed a few times a momentary hope, that there can be things that I could enjoy, but it only lasts a moment and is pretty faint.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, November 14, 2020, 1:02 PM

Yesterday I woke up after sleeping for 4-5 hours, and then I couldn’t sleep more, energy was high. There wasn’t any sleepiness of that kind last two days.

Practiced fire kasina, and focusing on the relaxation in the body for some hours. It requires effort to keep it relaxed! but there wasn’t much tension like other times, and breath would become slow and shallow. There was even some pleasant coolness spreading for some seconds here and there.

For several hours before going to bed last night there was higher awareness and clarity. I guess I had non-broken mindfulness of senses, and I was moving slowly and noticing arising and passings.

Continued practicing in bed. Sometimes for just a moment creepy faces appear, but are pretty vague. I’ve noticed a few times that some of them were like a native american warrior!

In the first dream that I remember, I started moving on the ground while I was lying down, gliding effortlessly, then I started flying, and it was pleasant, I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking but I guess I thought let’s go toward moon, that a colleague started tickling my throat center and that woke me up. I guess that was one of those painful tickling that I get. After waking up I noticed those pleasant wavy sensations in my legs, that feels like they are been pulled in different directions.

After sleeping again, there was a street fight. Two guys started fighting, and one was literally killing the other one. He grabbed his neck and started hitting his head to the concrete blocks there as hard as he could, and after a few seconds there was no head there, it was only blood and it was so disgusting. But then the guy himself became upset and angry and started hitting his head to the blocks. I was waiting for his death while feeling very uncomfortable but I woke up.

In the third one we were playing football (soccer). I was never good at it, and it was the same in the dream, but every time I kicked the ball, it reached to the right person, and each time I thought I will do something terrible but it turned out the other way.

I had difficulty getting out of bed today because that sticky sleepiness was back, and for about an hour after getting up I had it, but it seems that is gone now.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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A reminder to myself:
Last night that I had this dream, that had some level of awareness of the body in it too, that I started gliding then took off and went flying in the sky, I was focusing on the visual field before falling asleep, and I was noticing the arising and passing of mental images, and also I was paying attention to the arising and passing of physical sensations in the body, like holding the entire space in awareness and noticing these arising and passings.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Saturday, November 14, 2020, 6:29 PM

Today I notice some vibratory sensations that used to happen before but I don’t remember noticing them in recent weeks. Vibration in fingers and hips and other locations, that feels like a stream of blood or water is moving under the skin, and some of them feel itchy, and the itch itself feels like a stream is moving inside the tissue.

I was somewhat worried about that sticky sleepiness but fortunately it didn’t come back yet.

It’s near the end of month and I have not worked for more than a week and I have to work fully every single day of this week, but haven’t been able to start. So out of its despair, I sat and did some practice, keeping the entire field in the awareness and noticing sensations in all senses. It led to more vibrations, and those vibrations that used to happen in my head kept occurring repeatedly. The first one was very intense, with two spots of very bright light that then exploded into bright lines of light, and my eyes closed very tightly with a strong itching and burning. And for most of the sit my head was rocking, and I was able to notice in a fast pace, I guess probably around 5-15 sensations per second, although mostly I noticed arisings and not passings, or should I say arisings after they already had been arisen, A&P territory, huh?

There was spaciousness for part of the sit too, that the internal visual field looked much bigger that usual.

There was more energetic activity around the spine, and a familiar pain in my ears arose, that seemed to be related to this energy.

Also there is a pain in the left side of the rib cage, right beside the armpit, that was very strong in yesterday' sits, also yesterday for some time there was pain in the base of spine.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Sunday, November 15, 2020, 4:49 PM

I did several sits yesterday, one fire kasina, and the rest of them mostly focusing on the impermanence. More and more vibrations arose in the body and in the visual field. I started perceiving impermanence in some sensations in the body that often are solid and I don’t notice much change in them.

There was high clarity in the attention for most of the night.

The last sit, which was fire kasina, there were lots of vibrations and energetic sensations in the beginning too. There were lots of details in and around the dot, and from the start there were mists and fiery visuals around the dot, and the visual field looked more spacious, and there were visuals behind the dot. Purple arose after the dot faded, and after that it was mostly dark with gray-ish statics. Occasionally there were some bright colors.
Toward the end, energy and clarity decreased and sleepiness arose, and I started losing wakefulness and had distorted perceptions about the object of practice and what I was doing. After I ended the sit, which felt like waking up, I noticed strong sleepiness and that sticky feeling in the body. Sleepiness increased and led to the heart pumping harder. It took a while to feel some comfort in the body after going to bed.

I did some intention setting.

The dream that woke me up: I was going home in my hometown and I was in an old neighborhood, which like usual was different from how it actually is. It was dark and pretty quiet, then a few people came out of their houses, but a guy came forward and said, what are you doing here, hurry hurry, go inside. Then I noticed shooting sound, and saw a young guy that seemed to be a member of t-ist group, and was running because police were after them, but while running he was shooting everyone he could. I looked around to find a place to hide, but couldn’t see a good one, and I noticed I am not able to move my body easily. Then I started waking up, and while waking up, I noticed my mouth is open and I am breathing with my mouth, and I am perceiving the sound of breathing as shooting sound! The body was numb because I had not moved for a few hours in bed.

-- Edit:
It has happened twice in these few days that I notice a bodily sensation, but it seems that it's outside of the body. First one was a few days ago that I felt a clear sensation in genitals, but its location was not clear, and it felt that it's maybe a couple inches in front of the body. There was another one last night, that I felt a pain in and around the bladder, but it felt that it was spread in the bladder, genitals, right tigh and the space around right tigh.

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