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Siavash's Practice Log 4

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Siavash's Practice Log 4 Siavash 9/30/20 3:31 PM
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4 Tim Farrington 12/31/20 1:37 AM
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Siavash's Practice Log 4
journal log practice log meditation log practice journal kasina fire kasina
Answer
9/30/20 3:31 PM
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

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

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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/1/20 3:25 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/2/20 2:52 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/2/20 12:24 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Hey Tim,
Thanks.

Yeah, let's see what kind of insanity will emerge.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/3/20 1:09 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/4/20 12:20 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/5/20 6:11 PM as a reply to 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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/6/20 12:58 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/6/20 4:28 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/6/20 4:49 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.)

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/7/20 8:48 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/8/20 1:21 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/8/20 7:26 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/9/20 2:02 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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


RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/9/20 6:07 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/9/20 9:16 AM as a reply to Siavash.
I'm sorry for your loss Siavash! What a great voice! Peace be upon him 

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/9/20 12:01 PM as a reply to Pepe.
Sorry Siavash! Great loss indeed!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/9/20 1:07 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Thank you Tim, Linda, Pepe and Sam.
As a poet said: May freedom sing a song, even a very short one.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/9/20 1:11 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/10/20 3:02 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/11/20 3:01 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/12/20 5:04 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/13/20 11:26 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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! 

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/19/20 3:33 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/19/20 3:59 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/19/20 6:02 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/22/20 2:52 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/22/20 9:34 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/24/20 11:35 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.).

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/27/20 12:25 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/27/20 7:43 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/28/20 5:15 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
10/28/20 8:59 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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10/30/20 10:49 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/1/20 8:29 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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11/4/20 11:49 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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11/7/20 6:26 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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11/7/20 9:12 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/7/20 10:26 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/7/20 10:51 AM as a reply to George S.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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11/8/20 7:23 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/9/20 10:23 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/9/20 1:48 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/9/20 6:35 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/10/20 11:34 PM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/12/20 11:08 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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11/14/20 3:51 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/14/20 6:29 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/14/20 9:14 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/15/20 8:42 AM as a reply to Siavash.
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.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/16/20 10:23 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Monday, November 16, 2020, 7:41 PM

I practiced for a big portion of last night, on impermanence and one fire kasina sit. It was more or less similar to the previous report. Lots of vibrations and tingles, energetic sensations, throbbing, occasionally some momentary pleasant sensation like a coolness on skin or pleasant tingling or an orgasm-like feeling. There was pain inside the hips related to the energy that I have not had it for some time, but lsat night arose, and for some time became very intense specially in the left hip, but since its intensity was increasing and decreasing, I could tolerate it. It feels like a piece of metal is stuck inside the tissue and there is pressure on it. I’ve noticed it today too. There were some other sensations that seem to be new. Like when it’s very cold and it feels like the cold air is cutting your skin, there was some sensations similar to it. Another one, sometimes in the past I’ve noticed when something hits the skull and causes a little bleeding, there is a feeling of coolness on the location while having pain. There was similar sensations in the skull.

There were bright dots in the visual field last night, that sometime they gather in the center but are very small and not very bright. But sometimes they are far off the center, and mostly in the right side, but very bright and much bigger.

Interestingly enough, I don’t remember any dream today. this might be the start of a period of not remembering dreams.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/18/20 7:38 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Thursday, November 19, 2020, 4:36 AM

Last two days I did much less practice than the previous days.  That high clarity and mindfulness was not there. Still there was the urge to practice, but bodymind was scattered, agitated, and in struggle with despair and discomfort. Today has been more or less similar to that too.

A few hours ago I noticed a shift in the body. A constriction arose in the throat that gradually became more intense, and a feeling of nausea arose in the throat and stomach, with a kind of discomfort in the chest that felt like the heart is racing. I’ve noticed this shift a number of times in recent weeks, and seems to be new. Then some energetic sensations arose, like spread of tingling and vibrations in legs and arms, and a feeling in the right shoulder blade that felt like something is pressing it there, and another feeling in the left shoulder blade that felt like a bug is moving on it. Then I closed my eyes to pay more attention, and I noticed that the posture became more and more still. Some vibrations came and went, and a mildly pleasant coolness arose and spread over most of the body. Then there was a sense of comfort and contentment that stayed for a few minutes maybe. And then the whole bodymind state shifted to how it was before this.

Yesterday I had a dream that I remembered after waking up, but today I don’t remember any.

That wave-like feeling that sometimes arises in the legs in bed, now is present most times in my sits, often it’s subtle and mostly in legs, but sometimes in other places too, and usually feels like muscles expand and contract, and it give it a wavy quality, and usually it’s in one direction, but sometimes it feels the expansion contraction is in more than one direction, or that the muscles are being pulled in different directions. Needs better articulation.

A few days ago I asked a question from Hokai on twitter, and he responded quite generously and gave an instruction set. Since then when I remember, I intend to notice the effortlessness in experience, which sometimes leads to a little openness and restfulness in experience. I notice that often I exert too much effort in everything. Even when I want to enjoy something, I try to enjoy, and that brings the opposite result.

These 1-2 days again Shajarian is in my mind and I am missing him, or maybe I am missing myself, who knows.

-- Edit:
Came back to fix the typos and that constriction in throat came back. Often when I decide to pay attention to emotion, that leads to this constriction too. Speech chakra needs more work I guess.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/24/20 8:07 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 5:30 PM

Last night while drowning in the depths of despair and self-doubt and the rest of it, I sat to make some intentions, but it turned into some kind of a spontaneous ritual and prayer. I asked universe for help, and today it sent help. It brought hope.

The mantra for today is Thank you.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/26/20 1:22 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Thursday, November 26, 2020, 10:44 PM

I’ve started doing 5 elements practices more seriously.
Last 1-2 days I noticed a lot of times that the mind-state was somewhat neutral, but then an unpleasant emotion would arise that had a thought component, and I immediately put a stop on that, so the emotion would go away. But then I thought this is repression. Last night I decided that instead of doing that, I just experience it, and say to myself “it’s just a reaction”.

During the first part of the sleep, for a few hours the only thing that I remember was a half-awake half-asleep dreamy state, that I was monitoring reactions in my experience. I don’t know if I was noticing these reaction in my dreams or my body in bed, but I just had the impression that I was labeling reaction.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/27/20 6:51 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, November 28, 2020, 4:13 AM

This last day I slept longer than usual. I had so many dreams that it felt that the whole time I was in bed I was dreaming. Some of the dreams that often repeat, were present but with some differences. That water leakage dream in the building was present but in an extreme form. The whole house was filled with water, and opening water tap in one place would cause water filling other places. In another one my brother and sister were getting prepared to go to the moon early in the morning and I was watching them. In another one I had participated in the entrance exam for college and had a very high grade and I could study anything I wanted wherever I wanted, but I was thinking to go back to the university that I had studied, because I loved it.

I take these flood of dreams to be in the direction of emotional entanglement.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/27/20 8:06 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, November 28, 2020, 5:24 AM

In the last several days I constantly feel a constriction in my throat, and an uncomfortable feeling in that area that feels like I want to vomit my throat and trachea. I sometimes, or a lot of times have a feeling in my torso, very similar to the feeling when it’s hot and you are wearing a tight shirt, and you want to take off that shirt, I feel that I want to take off my torso, its skin or the entirety of it, and that feeling is the closest understanding of the term “suffering” for me. This last few hours I noticed that feeling in my head and neck, that I wanted to take of my head and neck.

There is an energetic sensation that I sometimes get in the center of my throat when practicing. Yesterday it was pretty strong, feeling like something is being pressed to the center of my throat.

I think these are related to the air element. A big part of my problems. I get lost in busyness because I can’t stand where I am, and I don’t know who I am or what I want. And the effective action is what I need and what is lacking.

Although I think it’s not just that. There is an element of overwhelm too. Also an uncertainty and fear of instability, and loneliness. But my guess is that the main one is the one around the busyness and effectiveness.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/29/20 8:30 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Sunday, November 29, 2020, 5:51 PM

Speculation:
I think a reason for the problems that I've had in this 8-10 months and after we stopped going to office because of covid, these emotional difficulties, is that there is a lack of space in this situation. Before, when going to office, each day I would watch sky and moon and mountains around 5-10 times a day in average, and that would be a lot of space, and as a result, equanimity, but staying at home there is much less space. It's not as easy as that time to have a micro practice/enjoyment time with sky/space. I need to remember to widen the space more often, internal and externaly.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/29/20 8:57 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Some days the only thing keeping me sane is walking my dog outside. It's the space, man. The space.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
11/29/20 9:05 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yes.
I would walk at least an hour each day, but now, going out once in 2-5 days..

When emotions are intense, I notice that the visual space litterally shrinks to a very small size. Probably that's the cause for many crazy decisions we make.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/5/20 12:09 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, December 5, 2020, 9:09 AM

There was/is a mix of 4 things: A desire to write some updates, an aversion to write updates, not having any motivation to do it, and not caring about all of it.

In this last few weeks the situation about working has been worse, although I was able to work a few times in the last 4-5 days. One reason for that is that the current tasks that I have on these projects, include some junk code and I have to work on them which really annoys me. I have been pretty sensitive about clean code for some years (obsession), and I try to keep the code for projects that I am involved at least at a base level of clean-ness, but in the last 2-3 years for some time we had a few new developers, and I and others were busy so they left us with some junk code and now I have to improve them. Often makes me angry and frustrated.

In this current situation that most of daily activities require a lot of effort, and I have difficulty doing them, I notice that what makes them difficult is the thinking that precedes them, and when I start doing the thing itself, often there is not much difficulty. When I am procrastinating doing something, there is a lot of thinking and worrying about that, which is unpleasant. In the last 4-5 days I had some change, and when I notice that thinking, I immediately let go of that, arguing that either I do that activity or don’t do it, and this thinking doesn’t help at all. That way I was able to do some of these activities with less difficulty. And instead of not-doing worrying not-doing worrying not-doing worrying…, I tried to maintain not-doing blank doing situation. It has resulted in more equanimity. But there was resistance to it at first and I think it was because of a fear of loss of identity. It seems that this thinking/worrying/suffering process, helps maintain a sense of continuous time that includes past present future, and by that maintains a sense of identity. It’s not more clear than this to me yet. When I just do it or don’t do it, like what it says “What needs to be done and the doing are one”, it seems that the past and future lose their existence to some extent, and being in the now becomes a bigger part of experience, and that creates a fear, of not existing in the past or future maybe? And losing the connection with the identity that was part of that past and future? Enough.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/9/20 12:27 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 9:33 AM

Today again there is a relatively intense restlessness in the body. I had this a few days ago too. Seems new to me. It’s similar to those times that I’ve been in the server room of a system, that I needed to act fast, precise, without talking (Oh, this seems to be a fire reaction, ha? Looking for attention/connection?). It’s different from the usual restlessness that I have because that negative emotional tone that usually is with the restlessness, is not there now, and that is why I compare it to the server-room restlessness. It makes me to move very fast, and also I don’t have patience for reading things. I haven’t had that patience for a few days now, specially these days with current conversations here, I just open threads, read first few words or lines and then close it. One reason for that is that I’ve become tired of these time-consuming online activities, and I prefer to practice instead of that.

I forgot why I started writing this update. Anyway, I’ve been practicing for maybe 4-8 hours each day for the last 3-4 days. There were intense energetics. I’ve started noticing distorted elemental reactions more and more in my activities. Last two days using pointers from Ken’s material and from Hokai, I did more natural resting during practice. That brought some relaxations, and attending to that resting and relaxation caused some mild pleasant sensations for short periods. that brought some confidence.

Today after waking up I noticed that I was smiling while experiencing different things. This happened a few days ago too for a short period. I rarely smile these days so this was different. I often notice that when experiencing something funny, if I smile or laugh, immediately there is a resistance and a stepping back and feeling guilty. I am not sure but I think that is air reaction, because I fear that by letting go of suffering, I wouldn’t know who I am, a loss of definition, because there is a strong identification with suffering.

Yesterday I was able to work for some hours, and I tried to pay careful attention to why some activities feel difficult to do but others don’t (well these days most of them often feel difficult), and I noticed that worrying about future things is a big factor, and for instance with working, the moment I start to work, these worries begin and it makes the experience of working unpleasant, so I avoid that unpleasantness by not working. Yesterday I tried to pay attention to the pleasant part of experience like the pleasantness of typing, or the feeling after fixing something and etc.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/10/20 5:13 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 9:33 AM

Today again there is a relatively intense restlessness in the body. I had this a few days ago too. Seems new to me. It’s similar to those times that I’ve been in the server room of a system, that I needed to act fast, precise, without talking (Oh, this seems to be a fire reaction, ha? Looking for attention/connection?). It’s different from the usual restlessness that I have because that negative emotional tone that usually is with the restlessness, is not there now, and that is why I compare it to the server-room restlessness. 


This makes me think of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's notion of "Flow," from his book of that name. He talks about these experiences we sometimes have of disappearing into an activity requiring a high degree of skill and concentration, like when a skier feels like he has blended somehow into the skiing, IS the skiing, and the snow, and the mountain, that sense of everything unfolding perfectly. Rumi talks about the lover, the beloved, and love all being one somehow at certain moments. You call it "restlessness," but it doesn't strike me as agitated, in this case. Maybe I just want you to be enjoying a flow experience, lol.

I also think of the phenomenon of time seeming to slow down during certain emergencies or crises, in demanding situations with a lot at stake, when you can feel extremely lucid and one-pointed and doing just what needs to be done, precisely and effortlessly, with a weird sense that somehow like there's plenty of time for everything necessary, even if everything around you is obviously hectic and chaotic and dangerous even. It's a paradoxical sense of time slowing down, subjectively, even as your capacity to deal with the situation is actually working much faster and better than normal. 

I forgot why I started writing this update. 

lol, very good sign. obviously, it's not necessary to remember that to get it done!

Today after waking up I noticed that I was smiling while experiencing different things. This happened a few days ago too for a short period. I rarely smile these days so this was different. I often notice that when experiencing something funny, if I smile or laugh, immediately there is a resistance and a stepping back and feeling guilty. I am not sure but I think that is air reaction, because I fear that by letting go of suffering, I wouldn’t know who I am, a loss of definition, because there is a strong identification with suffering.

great self-awareness here! i often have a similar sense that the unknown that opens out from a joyous moment is disconcerting, in large part because of what you say, that the habits of suffering are the devil we know, and we feel oriented by the suffering. This flimsy, groundless smile or laughter leads straight to the fathomless abyss, in a cloud of unknowing. If samsara is dukkha, what the hell is this smile? Who changed the street signs? This map is wrong!

emoticon

love, tim

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/10/20 5:48 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Hi Tim boy ;)
Good to see you again!

Maybe I just want you to be enjoying a flow experience

Yes, it's this probably.
I don't think I've ever experienced that unity and disappearing that Rumi talks about, but who knows, but I've had Csikszentmihalyi's Flow, though in light versions of it, a lot in the past, during carpet weaving, coding, and sometimes other activities. Yes, it becomes effortless, everything is right, and it just happens. Although there has been a different quality in the ones with coding, specially in the situations that the intensity was high, and there was a high demand for sharpness and clarity, suddenly the mind becomes sharp, and clarity and functionality goes up. Much needed right now emoticon .

This flimsy, groundless smile or laughter leads straight to the fathomless abyss, in a cloud of unknowing. If samsara is dukkha, what the hell is this smile? Who changed the street signs? This map is wrong!

Again I don't know, but this can be earth reaction too, that the smile/laughter is like the earthquake, and we feel the ground is shaking, and we fear instability and try to grasp at something. I just try to learn this new language better!

Although today I woke up after 2-3 hours and couldn't sleep anymore strangely. After I got up, there was equanimity that I didn't resist it, and then I played some music, and it caused my body to move with it, and it turned to some ecstatic movement with the music, and I felt joyful for some minutes, but this time there wasn't that fear and resistance, and the body enjoyed the music and movements.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/14/20 12:03 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Friday, December 11, 2020, 8:48 PM

For the past week I couldn’t have enough sleep, couldn’t fall asleep after waking up, today after waking up for 3 times, I went to bed again and tried to stay there and fall asleep, my eyes were watering non-stop and burning and it was needed. I fell asleep and woke up after 8 hours, without any dream that I remember. Just before waking up there was something that I couldn’t figure out. I don’t know it was a thought, a dream or anything else. I couldn’t discern anything from anything. Somehow the number 9 is my mind, or was in the mind, like I was thinking about numbers, it’s 99 and before that should be 98 and after that should be 100, but it was just 99 and 9 everywhere and in every direction, or maybe it was that I couldn’t discern any object, I don’t know. It’s like with one object, normally we think it ends somewhere and other objects begin, but it wouldn’t end, and nothing would start. But it wasn’t big or small, that would be a boundary. Then I felt my head on the pillow and I knew I could discern now, and I woke up.

Trying to not grab the tale of the thoughts and get lost with them, again I noticed some smiles here and there after waking up.

Feelings were raw later like the previous days, having no skin, while listening to a music I felt that the music is piercing my being like a sword, like the two swords thing that Daniel talks about.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/15/20 10:49 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 8:05 PM

Today I made a decision that I liked. I decided that each day I do one act of cleaning in the house, doesn’t matter it’s big or small, anything, just one cleaning, and I did the one for today, although I did 2 small ones after that too, but I should be careful about that, since the important thing it to maintain one small thing every day. And I put a notebook there to mark the result for each day. I thought of doing another thing like that too but I don’t know yet what  should it be. It can be reading a physical book for 10 minutes each day, or something else.

Listened to a new interview from KenMcleod with Mystical Positivists. He made a point about the acceptance of death which I found relevant to my daily life. One reason that I have trouble with not having structure and discipline in my daily life, is that I like to do something but can’t do it, but I can’t accept the failure and let go of it, so I stay awake more and more, with the naive hope that things may change, so I don’t have any fixed time for sleeping and waking up. So I thought to make it a practice, to go to bed each night even if I haven’t done anything that I could call productive.

For two days before yesterday, I practiced most of the day. Yesterday I practiced less because I started working, and I worked for a few hours but then got attached by some intense emotions and couldn’t continue working or practicing. I ended up sleeping.

Twice in the last few days I had dreams related to family, that later something related to that happened. The first one I had a dream about my mother, that after I woke up I thought that later at night when I call her, she will say that we want to come there to your house and I have to say no, and that happened at night.

There are more vibrations and energetics in the body. Some new ones. I recognize elements more in my experience.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/16/20 2:14 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 11:35 AM

Last night I had a sit focusing on the body. At first there were energetics every where but then that sticky sleepiness arose. I didn’t do the elements practice and went to bed instead, but I made an intention to do it during sleep. Then I had a dream, and woke up in the middle of the dream and was aware of my body and my voice (I was answering to a question out loud), and also in the dream. But then I intended to open my eyes, and just at the moment of opening the eyes the dream space vanished.

The next round I had another dream, that after waking up I thought it resembles earth reaction. There was a carpet weaving structure and I was standing there but then I noticed it’s very high from the ground and I started shaking. There was fear and I had grabbed the structure and couldn’t move.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/16/20 2:17 AM as a reply to Siavash.
The next round I had another dream, that after waking up I thought it resembles earth reaction. There was a carpet weaving structure and I was standing there but then I noticed it’s very high from the ground and I started shaking. There was fear and I had grabbed the structure and couldn’t move.
Very good dream! Once you accept the fear, you can get on with weaving the flying carpet!


RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/16/20 2:24 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
The next round I had another dream, that after waking up I thought it resembles earth reaction. There was a carpet weaving structure and I was standing there but then I noticed it’s very high from the ground and I started shaking. There was fear and I had grabbed the structure and couldn’t move.
Very good dream! Once you accept the fear, you can get on with weaving the flying carpet!



Thanks Tim,
This carpet dream is one of the repeating ones, and almost always there is an enjoyable equanimous space in it, but this time there was uncertainty and fear and anger. Usually our trainer, which was a close relative, a good man, is in the dream, but this time he wasn't there, and it was a big carpet and my brother and me were managing the work (we would do it when he wasn't there), but I was angry and yelling at people, and then the fear came and I was stuck in where I was, and I stopped yelling because I wasn't on a firm ground and had not the confidence.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/16/20 3:34 AM as a reply to Siavash.
I love the carpet theme; that recurring theme seems like the good work of a lifetime. I keep remembering that "sutra" means "thread": scripture itself is a carpet.

You sent me to Rumi this morning, knowing his love for weaving metaphors:

You’re water. We’re the millstone.
You’re wind. We’re dust blown up into shapes.
You’re spirit. We’re the opening and closingof our hands.
You’re the clarity.We’re this language that tries to say it.
You’re joy. We’re all the different kinds of laughing.

Any movement or sound is a profession of faith,
as the millstone grinding is explaining how it believes
in the river! No metaphor can say this,
but I can’t stop pointing to the beauty.

Every moment and place says,
“Put this design in your carpet!”

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/16/20 5:23 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
I tried to find the original Farsi poem of this piece from Rumi, but I couldn't.

Yeah. The theme is like, you do many things, get tired..., then go to a quiet corner with an old friend in an old familiar spot, and just rest together there. Except for this one the last night, this recurring dream often has this restful feeling.

A long story and history woven in threads and colors, art and poverty, joy and misery. They all are there together in the music of threads.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
Answer
12/17/20 9:39 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Thursday, December 17, 2020, 6:54 PM

I had another dream with the fear theme last night. I had strong resistance to do five elements practice, finally I did it in bed, then continued focusing on my body while trying to stay awake and practice there. I guess I had fallen asleep but I was aware of my body and the practice, but it wasn’t more clear than that. There was a funny image for a moment, it was a little christian nun with robes, but her head was an elephant head, a white cartoonish elephant.
Energetic become stronger at times, and there are new kinds of sensations among them. Sometimes I fear them in the entirety of one limb. One was interesting, that they spread on my left arm and shoulder and shoulder blade. The clear feeling that it gives, it that this body is not a whole, it’s a put-together of things. Today I had similar ones in my left leg.

In the dream I was in a quiet alley, in the darkness of night, and there was a woman with her kid, but somehow they were after me. I couldn’t see her face, she didn’t have face, it was just something there with two eyes. But instead of trying to get away, I tried to be aggressive, and went toward them and started howling and growling. It was out loud and I was hearing my voice I thing (Often when I am not alone, people say that you make strange sounds while asleep). Then there was something else that was after me, but I couldn’t see it, I didn’t know what it was, it was just an invisible something, and I didn’t know what to do, and I was hopelessly trying to scare it with my growling!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/18/20 8:34 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Friday, December 18, 2020, 5:44 PM

Yesterday for most of the time that sticky sleepiness was present, and later bright dots showed up too in visual field.
There was a dream that I remembered clearly, and it had hints of fear but the main theme was grief. A few weeks ago my sister’s mother-in-law died with covid. She was old, around 90. In the dream her son and my sisters were talking about how she suffered the days before dying, and they said that she was sitting there, looking at the clock on the wall constantly (waiting for her death to come).
There was a scene with a big open space, and I thought it would be good if you had a pool this big in your house, and in the later scenes that space was full of water. I am not sure but this seems kind of new to me to think a thought in the dream and then have it manifest. Although it was not a pool but a lake.

It happened a number of times yesterday, that while practicing and being sleepy, a dream-like thought would arise, and suddenly I’d feel that I am there in that space (mostly streets), and fearing that I’d get hit by the passing cars and so I’d tense my body, and then pop out of that space.

Had sensations of falling while in bed, suddenly feeling that I fell down on my bed.

A new energetic sensation happens these few days at the top of my head, that suddenly feels like my head hit the ceiling. Occasionally some of the energetic are pleasant. There was a funny ones too, that felt like something grabbed my left ear and pulled it outward!

For the last 5-6 days I’ve maintained this routine of sleeping at nights and not staying awake. Also continuing that house-cleaning routine.

A little while ago I had this perception that everything is perfect/complete as it is, and nothing needs to be any different. Cultivating it seems to be accessible.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/20/20 5:46 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Sunday, December 20, 2020, 3:03 PM

Yesterday there was lots of bright and black dots in the visual field. Heh, started writing and noticed a black dot was falling on my hand but disappeared. They were bigger, and the black ones were very clear. Very black, and clear round black circle with a white border. Exactly like solar eclipse. Also some blue color with jewel tones dots. And getting sleepy when practicing, where there are less energetics.

I had pretty weird scary dreams. I woke up 4 times each time with a scary dream. In the first one, there was energy flow in the body, and there was a rope there, and I thought now with this energy this rope should become a stick, and it became a stick, and I grabbed it, it was supposed to be used to hit demonic beings but I don’t remember seeing them. Then when I touched my brother’s arm, he got electric shocks, and then he had a wild kundalini attack, and fell down and started shaking and moving involuntarily. He was scared and was looking at me, I was shocked and scared too but couldn’t look at him, thinking what the hell I did to him, and feeling guilty and ashamed.

In the next one I was hitting a kid or an animal maybe, and thinking that it’s in the service of the greater good, but I wasn’t sure about that, then a kid started chasing me. He had mental health problems, but he also had extra powers. When I woke up, I was exhausted and tired.

There was a fear of losing basic functioning capabilities because of energetics in the dreams.

Now in the last few hours, that feeling is back that I feel discomfort in my throat and chest, as if my heart wants to come into my mouth.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/23/20 8:17 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 5:35 PM

For the last 2-3 days, that intense sleepiness is coming and going, but often practicing leads to sleepiness that the body becomes uncomfortable.

And with energetics that feels like some forces are moving inside the body or pulling the body in different directions. Yesterday a kind of trembling was happening that felt like the ground is shaking.

After I went to bed I noticed the ground is shaking. At first I thought maybe it’s the earthquake, but it continued and I noticed it’s the body.

I kind of woke up in a dream because a dog was barking, I woke up and noticed I am lying down in my bed, but I wasn’t sure it’s my room or the yard of a house. I could see the sky and clouds, and there was a shadow of a dog and I was still hearing the dog barking, and there was an opening behind be with stairs that I was worried about. But at the same time I was liking the fresh feeling of the space, and I kept thinking is this my room, then how is it that I am seeing the sky and clouds, then I opened my eyes and it was gone.

Today there was a shift in the colors. Those beautiful violet-blue-black flickering lights and colors showed up for 1-2 hours after waking up.

And yesterday I had resistance to everything including the practice. Although I did the house cleaning part, and worked for an hour (answering questions on phone, no credit to take!), but I had difficulty finding motivation to do anything.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/24/20 8:17 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Thursday, December 24, 2020, 5:31 PM

Last night in bed I focused mostly on the color statics in visual field. Before that I had a session of dakini practice. I don’t know if these had any effect on the dreams. There were many dreams, mostly with old friends.

Had another episode of waking up in the dream. It seems that the body-mind still can not believe it’s normal, so it doesn’t stay equanimous and messes up with the dream. I noticed a pigeon is flying in the room over my head. I don’t know if it caused me to wake up or I woke up before that, but then I saw a giant bird ran into room, and that was a little frightening. Then another pigeon came in and was flying around. It was windy and there was a big window in my right side. There were things like colorful flower paintings in the ceiling, but they were vibrating. Again I thought am I awake or is this a dream. I thought this can’t be the ceiling, then I thought, oh probably I am awake and this is the visuals in the murk. After these thought, the birds were gone and it was only the vibrating paintings in the ceiling and the window. I opened my eyes for a moment and I noticed that I still see the same visuals, so I closed them. But then after 2-3 seconds they were gone too, and I saw the actual ceiling. The window got replaced by the actual wall in the room too. I should set intentions to stay equanimous when these experiences arise.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/25/20 5:25 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, December 26, 2020, 2:39 AM

Let’s see, trying to spend the minimum possible amount of time for writing this.

Not much dreams.
Feeling mild symptoms in the last 4 days, but I think some of them can be because of energetics.
Had difficulty doing the things that I needed to do. Working was easiest, because I  was doing a pair work with a colleague and it went good. I forced myself to do the house cleaning. Forced to eat my dinner. Had strong resistance to do the dakini practice so I did some other practices, but now I want to do the dakini.
Last 1-2 hours I felt that attention locks on its objects and experiences it fuller than how it was before.
An interesting thing happened for about 10-15 minutes. Was focused on the body and space, but the previous work that we were doing, I was guiding my colleague to do certain things on a server, that was in the mind, and I was ending the conversation with him and saying that ok let’s continue it tomorrow, but I couldn’t detach myself from it, and the next moment of it, I still was in that space. It was like the front part of space in front of the body was locked, and its content was the experience that I had a few hours ago, working on the computer and talking with him, and although awareness and mindfulness was good, I couldn’t detach from it. Then I decided let’s go to my parent’s house, and I imagined going inside the house, and I walked into each room, and felt the space and the warmth of the heater and etc, but still in the imaginal space of the mind, and not in the murk or in photo realistic space.

For the last few hours, focusing on anything brings spaciousness and the image space becomes more volumetric.
Still strong energetics, and had that trembling for hours, that again a few times I thought ground is shaking and earthquake and etc. Ok, 10 minutes, still too much for a log.

-- Got an error when posting. Instead of submitting the post, it opened the Add Message page with empty fields. Same error in the second try. Now trying Quick Reply button.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/26/20 4:18 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Sunday, December 27, 2020, 1:32 AM

This pattern becomes clearer and more interesting.
Today I didn’t remember any dream clearly, but a vague feeling and probably imagery of them were popping up during the day and the practice. Also the spaciousness was noticeable during the practice, and generally any time paying close attention to something for more than a few seconds. I did a dakini session minutes ago and I that intense sleepiness was not present, although now I feel a mild one in parts of the body.

The symptoms that I’ve had these days, although they are pretty mild and not problematic, but when mind becomes engaged on it, it causes the muscles of upper body to become tense and stiff, that sometimes makes breathing a little difficult. I had not heard from a friend for a while, and I sent her a message, she said that she has lost her brother to covid recently. Shocking and heartbreaking. He was 43 and very healthy and strong, with two little kids. Even thinking about it makes me sick, I don’t know how they survive.

Yesterday and today had momentary sensations that felt like the body starts gliding/moving, or a part of the body feels like it’s in touch with velvet. Feeling tone of velvet anyway, it needs a good name.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/27/20 5:58 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Monday, December 28, 2020, 3:00 AM

Today was the 13th day that I did the house cleaning bit. And more than two weeks that I’ve slept at night. Quite a record for me. 13 has been a magic number for me always, although here I guess the magic numbers are around 21, 3 weeks chunks, for changing habits.

Still I don’t remember any dreams from last night. I think I had them, at least that’s how I feel, but I don’t remember. There is a clear difference between the nights that I wake up because of a dream, and the ones that I wake up to go to bathroom.

The symptoms were/are more intense today. It was quite difficult to get out of bed, it took a few hours to be able to do that.

Last night during the practice at one point a rapid pulsation arose at the base of spine, that immediately caused a mildly pleasant coolness spread over the whole body. This pulsation has happened only a few times as far as I remember, less than five times I guess. (Before the pulsation, there was a sudden strong one, that felt like a worm or a tiny snake moved up inside the genitals.)

Today a few times I noticed coolness at the base of spine. It seems that this is the pattern: Certain locations in the body manifest energetic sensations more than other locations, and the current mind-state (which could be a nana or a phase in kundalini map or whatever — I don’t have a clear picture about it yet), determines what kind of sensations will arise in those locations. Itches, hard pain, sharp pain, coolness, tingling, velvet-tone feeling, etc.

Since we were doing pair work, I could work for a few hours today. Again I had resistance to do any activity, and also I had very little energy because of this sickness, but I forced myself to do the cleaning bit, eating and dakini practice, although during the dakini practice I was sleepy for most of it.

Thinking about my friend that lost her brother to covid, and my current symptoms, there was restlessness in the body-mind earlier this night, and I noticed it’s getting more intense. Finally I took 1 quarter of a Alprazolam 0.5 pill, and that brought more sleepiness, to the point that I could barely move. After I could get up to go to bathroom, I took this low-energy as an opportunity to focus on visuals, since I was moving at a slow-motion pace.

When I remember, I try to express gratitude out loud or internally because of the things that I happen to have or be able to do.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/30/20 7:08 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Thursday, December 31, 2020, 4:15 AM

After todays that the body was very uncomfortable with the sickness, today there was some relief, although there is still discomfort in the throat and the right side of the torso, which for the second one, I am not sure what is the cause. (So you are sure about the other ones?!)

These two days I had more resistance to do the needed activities, but I forced myself to do, and it was quite productive!

And more resistance to do the dakini practice, but it’s interesting that finally when I start doing it, it becomes more alive than before, with better visualization.

Had some of those distortions earlier in a sit. I was breathing with mouth because of muscle tensions, and I had this perception that I am sending requests via the new port and not the default one, as if nasal breathing is sending request to default port. Earlier I had changed a port on a server. Then there was another one, that a woman's face came to mind, then a thought about touching her came to mind, but I thought to touch her requires to first look up its/her datasource name and find it, then connect to it. Crazy emoticon

I started having dreams again the last two nights, but they were more “positive”. The night before last night, Ken Mcleod was in the dream and we were walking and talking, and there was a group of people with us.

Spaciousness is present in visual space when paying attention. And sometimes with a clarity in visual objects.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/31/20 1:37 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Had some of those distortions earlier in a sit. I was breathing with mouth because of muscle tensions, and I had this perception that I am sending requests via the new port and not the default one, as if nasal breathing is sending request to default port. Earlier I had changed a port on a server. Then there was another one, that a woman's face came to mind, then a thought about touching her came to mind, but I thought to touch her requires to first look up its/her datasource name and find it, then connect to it. Crazy emoticon

Shroubw, I had to look twice to make sure I was on your log here, and not Ni Nurta's! I though I had gotten the wrong IP address!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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12/31/20 4:30 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Shroubw, I had to look twice to make sure I was on your log here, and not Ni Nurta's! I though I had gotten the wrong IP address!

emoticon

These happen a lot, but often are not clear enough to remember!

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/1/21 7:59 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Friday, January 1, 2021, 5:16 PM

Yesterday I got attacked by intense sleepiness in the evening, so I decided to take the day off, and went to bed very early. So I didn’t do any work, cleaning, and sitting practice (although I was practicing before the sleepiness), also the body was in discomfort. But I don’t know if it was a mistake or not.

A lof of things were happening while in bed. Intense painful energetics. It was the first time I guess that I had pain in the back of my head, it felt like it’s on something sharp. Having dreams and at the same time seeing and feeling myself in my room. Fearful dreams. I was in bed for more than 10-12 hours.

It seems that there was some equanimity and coolheadedness in the last week or two weeks, that made it easy to work and do the rest of it, but today it seems that it’s not there anymore. There is a feeling of overwhelm and frustration. Maybe it’s because there are several open tasks at the same time in my work, or maybe not. I guess there is shrinking in the perception of time and space too. I used to hate Friday evenings in the past (our Friday is your Sunday — Fuck all calendars), and that is back.

This fucking upstairs neighbor does cleaning on Fridays with lots of noise. It wasn’t bothering me much for some weeks (part of it was due to intentional effort on my side I guess), but today it’s bothering again. Yeah, this fucking friday evening feeling, that feels like the end of space is here, and end of time is another chunk of this poisonous evening, because saturday should never come.

And there is pain all over the body. Trying to focus on anything creates pain in some place.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/1/21 12:15 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Friday, January 1, 2021, 9:36 PM

I did some practice. Maybe a 2 hours sit, or longer, I don’t know. It started with lots of pain specially in the rib cage, and paying attention was bringing up pain, although mind was somewhat scattered. Then the mind gathered more, and pain subsided, then sleepiness arose.

After I ended the sit, I noticed that there is a decrease in overwhelm and frustration, but instead anger is arising. Then anger became more predominant. Often anger comes with energy and clarity, and this one had these. So there was a loophole there. I took the chance and used this releasing energy to do some of the stuff. I made tea and washed some dishes and did some cleaning, and then ate the leftover of the food, and washed its dishes. By the time I finished, anger was mostly gone. Even one thing done is a victory. I never wash dishes after eating, and it remains until making the next food, which becomes a problem. This is a progress (second one in a week!)!

I need to reward myself for these little things, .. well if I can. And remind myself again and again. I don’t need to fall in that ditch again before climbing out of it.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/2/21 11:39 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, January 2, 2021, 2:42 PM

I like to record this dream but it feels difficult. Don’t have the energy for writing all the details now, I may edit it later.

Last night after going to bed, an image came to mind, a very old woman’s face that I didn’t know, and it stayed there, or maybe I was bringing it up intentionally. She was so emotionless that she could be anything. She was just looking with no fucking clue to know what she is thinking.

Woke up with a dream, then went to bed again. The next dream I was in some party, with a group of people that I know. There was a concert there. Different event were happening that I got tired of and went out. …… At one point I noticed they are performing magic, and I said I know the tricks they are doing and I won't be be fooled by them, so I started flying out of the building.
Outside it was a seashore, one side of it they were burning the trashes of the city and there was its smoke. There was steam from the building, they were cooking something, but I didn’t know what meat they have used, animal meat or what.

There was a wall, or something like a hill, green with tall trees near to it, some cats I think were fighting over carcasses there. And maybe there were people that were after those carcasses, or maybe carcasses themselves were fighting, anyway, it was quite disgusting and I knew that I should not land there and keep my distance from it. Then I noticed they are after me and I tried to fly faster and get out of that space. I was passing hills and mountains while flying like a bird (different from previous flying dreams), that suddenly I kind of entered another realm/space. Everything became bright and more colorful and photo-realistic. I guess at that point I had a little awareness of the dream, because I thought, is this happening really, or can I keep it (as if I know it’s a dream and I try not to wake up), then while flying I entered another space. It was something like a big mosque high up in the sky, with rooms all over in a circular space, but the center was just empty space with nothing connecting the whole thing to the ground. At that point, I wasn’t moving myself, and the force itself, whatever that was, divine or evil, that was moving me, and I started saying out loud that “I want to go into Kaaba”, since I thought that is the only safe and sacred place that I could enter. While flying around, I saw Kaaba in one corner, but then the force moved me around and I saw other Kaabas, and I got confused, which one is the real one, but then suddenly I noticed that I am inside one of them. It was dark, and there was something like a structure in front of me with mosaics that had faces on them, simple dark ones like emojis, wit blind eyes I guess. It was a manifestation of evil, and I had to keep my faith, because If I couldn't do that and become doubtful, then the evil force could gain the control over me. I noticed that I am repeating parts of the Quran out loud, that has names of God, and I was saying I trust in God, God protects me, and I was hoping to hear a voice back from the inside that would say the same names, but after I waited for some seconds, I couldn't hear any response from the inside. Then I was in the hall of a palace, with a king and Avicena, it was another test for me. I knew that it has happened that Avicena had disagreed with a king on an argument, so the king had punished him (That was what I thought in the dream, I don’t remember hearing such an event in Avicena's history), and I had to judge which one is right, Avicena or the king, knowing that the king will kill me if he doesn’t like my judgement. I thought for a moment, but decided that I’ll defend Avicena, but I’ll try to say it as nice as I could, but let whatever happens happen, I won’t sacrifice the truth. The king was just talking and saying his argument over and over again, and I started to explain to him but I woke up.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/2/21 6:15 AM as a reply to Siavash.
At that point, I wasn’t moving myself, and the force itself, whatever that was, divine or evil, that was moving me, and I started saying out loud that “I want to go into Kaaba”, since I thought that is the only safe and sacred place that I could enter. While flying around, I say Kaaba in one corner, but then the force moved me around and I say other Kaabas, and I got confused, which one is the real one, but then suddenly I noticed that I am inside one of them. It was dark, and there was something like a structure in front of me with mosaics that had faces on them, simple dark ones like emojis, wit blind eyes I guess. It was a manifestation of evil, and I had to keep my faith. I noticed that I am repeating part of the Quran out loud, that has name for God, and I was saying I trust in God. Then I was in the hall of a palace, with a king and Avicena, it was another test for me. I knew that it has happened that Avicena had disagreed with a king on an argument, so the king had punished him (That was what I thought in the dream, I don’t remember hearing such an event), and I had to judge which one is right, knowing that the king will kill me if he doesn’t like it. I thought for a moment, but decided that I’ll defend Avicena, but I’ll try to say it as nice as I could, but let whatever happens happen, I won’t sacrifice the truth. I woke up while explaining it to that king.
wow, wonderful big dream. Trust in God is a refuge more certain than the Kaaba, maybe? 

The scene with the king and Avicena is so cool, it sounds like a fable. Isn't there an old proverb from somewhere in central Asia that says something along the lines of, "When you tell the truth, keep one foot in the stirrup"?


RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/2/21 6:22 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Trust in God is a refuge more certain than the Kaaba, maybe?

I guess so. In the dream it felt that there was enough faith and trust that could move me out of that dark space to the next scene and next test.

Isn't there an old proverb from somewhere in central Asia that says something along the lines of, "When you tell the truth, keep one foot in the stirrup"?

Ha, I haven't heard.
But there is a long tradition among Iraninan culture to talk in code, and quite cryptic, which was a way of saving lives with those kings and rulers. Hafez is the best example of that kind of language.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/4/21 6:36 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 3:33 AM

(Interesting that today I’ve been noticing repetitive patterns in numbers more.)

For most of the time today, I’ve been feeling pretty down and sad. I didn’t work today and probably that had some effect. I decided to start working, two of my current tasks were pending because other colleagues needed to do things, I sent a follow-up but didn’t get any response, they had not done anything. I could push more and do those things myself and make it flow again, but I didn’t. I have another open task and I could work on that, but since there wasn’t any push about it, I didn’t do that either. I only managed to do the house cleaning bit, and the dakini practice and eating some food, since I had not much motivation today for anything. But I insist to do this dakini practice because it needs some effort, and in this relatively unstructured and undisciplined life routine that I have, that is one of the few things that brings some structure and discipline. Doing only the things that feel easy, well I don’t think can make much difference. Anyway.

One effect that it seems this dakini practice has created, is that it seems easier now to add more details to visualizations. Also sometimes mental visual field becomes bigger effortlessly. Often I can hold the field of my room and its immediate surroundings in the attention easily, but bigger than that, usually requires more effort.

This last two days it seems that my sleep was deeper, and I don’t remember much dreams, and I don’t think I had awareness in sleep/dream.

Yesterday in the first part of the dakini practice, I was keeping the body and visual field in attention and resting on/with it, that it caused some intense energetics, and some strong momentary pains in the left side of the solar plexus. I haven’t had that kind before. Also today in a sit, there was waves of tingling+pins+and+needles (We need Extensions on these words and language structures) in the left side of the body, mostly on the lower body. The wavy nature of it was interesting. One wave starts, intensifies while spreading, then dies out, then another wave but with less intensity and coverage, then another wave with more intensity and same coverage, then another wave with less intensity but more coverage. Some fucking parameters are dancing here.

-- Edit:
I forgot this, that I am noticing more these days, that when unpleasant emotions are predominant, one quick tool that helps fo me is that I slow down the movements of the body, and focus exclusively but in a gentle way on a visual spot, but not a very small one, or sometime on sound, but visuals seems to work better, and after some seconds/minutes, that seems to calm the system down and bring more relaxation and clarity/mindfulness.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/5/21 2:26 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Some fucking parameters are dancing here.

emoticonemoticonemoticon

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/8/21 6:33 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 1:34 AM

I am really grateful for starting this house cleaning routine. I can see that it changes me. The fear and resistance that I had for cleaning the house and washing the dishes, specially the ones that were there for a long time and needed extra work, has begun to subside, and it feels more and more natural to just work at house and clean things. The interesting thing is that in the first part of my life, until early to mid 20s, I never had such issues. I had lots of energy, was quite active, disciplined, motivated, and would do lots of physical activity. I am not sure what was the real cause that changed that, but gradually I started having procrastination and lack of motivation.

My family was not religious, but early in high school I got interested in religion, and soon became a pretty serious practicing moslem. I started studying about it, and doing all the things that is expected from a serious believer in that religion. Although I would read people like Rumi, and some other mystics, I didn’t do any serious practices taught in sufism. I suspect probably that period caused some changes in me that later led to these kind of challenges that I have now, or at least that is one of the factors, but I don’t know. I remember that toward the end of that period of being religious, I would talk with my close friend about stillness. He would ask Do you mean silence? and I would say No, stillness, like the stillness of an ocean. That was what I was experiencing a lot in that period, but I don’t remember more. Later I started to doubt and question everything about religion, and couldn’t find any satisfying answers, so I simply told to the possible God: You go your way, and I go my way. And one night in a symbolic ritual, I washed it out of my being in a ritualistic bath, and then went for a walk. (Although for some months after that, I would swing between the two lifestyles.)

The last 2-3 days I’ve started doing very brief physical exercises too, and that brings more confidence and energy.

There has been equanimity in the last few days, and lesser drive to do the practice.
I’ve started listening to the audio book of Wake up to your life book of Ken Mcleod, that its youtube was shared here (I think by Balint), after I checked and noticed that it’s not a violation of Ken’s copyright. (Because of the sanctions, I don't have access to buy it, so I really appreciate that they have shared the audio book freely.)

Lesser dreams these few days.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/10/21 3:47 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Does anyone have any suggestion/advice?

Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/10/21 3:59 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Advice about what, Siavash?

I do believe that what you were writing about in your previous long post are what I'd call habits. You have changed your habits in regard to cleaning and exercise, so you will need to invest timr and effort into changing them again. The science of forming and keeping habits is pretty interesting:

https://drjud.com/#home-second


That's a website by Dr. Judd Brewer, who I've met and who is a leading edge researcher in this domain.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/10/21 4:16 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris. Thanks.

Advice about what, Siavash?

There isn't anything more specific in the mind, but I guess it seems that my practice can benefit some fine tuning, or fine tuning its direction maybe. The chages in habits I think is one of the most important things for it (Yeah I try to apply Jud's ideas), that I guess I should continue very gently but consistently.

I think I was asking maybe: Does anyone see anything wrong with the direction of the practice, or areas that could be improved?

Thanks.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/11/21 7:48 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 5:15 AM

Been working whole day and I am quite tired so no energy to write more, and I am grateful for the universe for that, so just the main thought:

There is a shift again that is quite noticeable.
Last 2-3 days there was a kind of equanimity. There wasn’t much distractions or scatteredness, but attention was not sharp, and it wouldn’t lock on its object, and after staying on the object with not much clarity, it would slip off to some dull somewhere and then on something else. There wasn’t intense energetics.

Today while working, although I was paying attention but not in a meditative way, I noticed stronger energetic sensations arising around the spine, some sharp pains, some coolness, etc. Then color statics with the eyes open became clearer and were kind of obscuring the monitor screen. Then a short sit, and there was stronger energy with vibrations, and attention was much more sharper, and much more stable on its object.

Still there is equanimity, but the center of attention has much more clarity, and it brings more vibrations.

Last night in the first part of the sleep/dreams there was some degree of awareness present.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/11/21 8:14 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:

I think I was asking maybe: Does anyone see anything wrong with the direction of the practice, or areas that could be improved?

I like the sound of the physical exercise you mentioned to bring more confidence and energy.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/12/21 7:44 AM as a reply to George S.
Hi George,

I liked it too, and I hope to be able to continue. Often I am not good at continuing what I start.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/12/21 7:51 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Rock on, siavash.

I felt like quoting the rumi poem translated to english as "the guest house", do you know it ?

Equanimity is a guest too, you can trust it, just like you can trust even the darker states of mind and welcome them with a smile.

Cheers

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/12/21 8:15 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Hi Olivier,
Thanks.

Yeah, I've read it. Although there are some differences between the English translation and the original one.

It seems to me that the equanimity is always present in the background, and when the push and pull are not strong, the equanimity comes to the forground, but often there is stronger push and pull that obscures euqnimity.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/21/21 8:01 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Friday, January 22, 2021, 5:03 AM

It’s interesting that I forget and get surprised with the after effects, because this what always happens.

It was around early-mid last fall I guess that I started having pervasive despair and an ongoing sleepiness. There were several unpleasant things happening at the same time. A terrible conflict in the office that was going on for months, that a manager in the company that is employer of our company, was trying everything she could to make it look like that our company is responsible for her failures, and that was causing lots of unpleasantness for all of us. Then there was conflicts and crashes in the country and around it, that got intensified with that guy’s maximum pressure policy that was designed to make maximum possible suffering for millions of people. All of this culminated in a terrible terrible disaster, and after that this despair become a serious problem.

Then there was covid, and an ongoing sickness, that made the necessary conditions for me to collapse. Getting crushed by despair, and not being able to work from home, which led to financial problems, and other ones too. And I have no idea why am I writing this shit.

This last month that ended two days ago was the first month in 11-13 months that I was able to work more than 100 hours, and that brought satisfaction for a day or two. This past week I’ve been working for most of my waking time, and I had solved some problems that none of us had any solution for, and that was a cause of satisfaction and encouragement too, but today after I woke up, I noticed I have no motivation to continue the work. I was very tired with pain in my eyes, but that’s secondary. The narrative in the mind was something like: Ok, let’s work more, so what, what’s good about it? So you can eat more ha? Oh you fixed some problems, what is the significance of that? There is computer in the corner of a room in a building somewhere, and now instead of a bunch of characters, it can print another bunch of character, wow great, what a significant achievement!!! Oh, your colleagues are more satisfied, or maybe not, if you deliver more they’ll have more expectations, but what’s the good about any of that? Just some meaningless thoughts on their distracted minds. It’s already dead. A bunch of dead plastics and metals and meats and thoughts.

Those thoughts mostly are gone but the feeling tone remained. Despair, and not having any motivation for anything.

I haven’t more than around an hour for practice last days, but tonight I didn’t start the work to do more practice. Although I practice for maybe more than an hour, but the same feeling tone was coloring it too. Hmm, it’s interesting that yesterday I had a thought saying that I’ve had more equanimity for this few weeks despite the struggles that I had. It feels very different now!

I think I'll start working a little later to see how it goes.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/22/21 3:11 AM as a reply to Siavash.
hey shroubw, at the risk of bringing down my whole spiritual house of cards, i've been thinking lately about something along the lines of "depressed equanimity." This is sort of horrible from just about any angle i come at it, and it sounds close to nihilism or despair or catatonic depression when I try to describe it. I'm actually ashamed to talk about it. But the heart of it is very sweet, a complete surrender to peace in the nothingness of the self. The closest thing I've found to catching the note of it is from John of the Cross, where he says in the Ascent of Mount Carmel,

In this nakedness the spirit finds
its quietude and rest.
For in coveting nothing,
nothing raises it up
and nothing weighs it down,because it is in the center of its humility.
When it covets something
in this very desire it is wearied.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/22/21 4:42 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Hi Tim,
Thank you for sharing this.

I am glad that you understand.
I guess what you are describing is the more purified and equanimized form of the kind of thing that I said.

I'm actually ashamed to talk about it. But the heart of it is very sweet
Why? I'd say be proud of it. If anyone doesn't understand it's their problem. Although, who cares, shame or pride, f all of it.

In this nakedness the spirit finds
its quietude and rest.
For in coveting nothing,
nothing raises it up
and nothing weighs it down,because it is in the center of its humility.
When it covets something
in this very desire it is wearied.

Hmm. Yes.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/23/21 12:47 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, January 23, 2021, 9:46 AM

After writing the previous post about dead plastics, I was walking in the room and that little walking brought an urge to do physical exercise, so I did for half an hour, and that brought more equanimity, and that quiet stillness that I was experiencing earlier that day. I think it was similar to that stillness that I had in the past, in early 20’s that I was describing it to my close friend as stillness. That although there was noise in the environment and thoughts in the mind, but there was a quietness and an stillness, similar to he quietness that I would experience earlier in life, after coming from school and sitting under the sunlight, when only my mother was at home, and I’d enjoy that sunlight and quietness. Did some practice after that, there was sleepiness and some bright dots. I worked for a few hours after the exercise.

After some days that I didn’t have much dreams, there was a fearful one. I was in a big room that seemed to be my house, and there were 20-30 guys there too that I didn’t know most of them, and they were two or three groups. I noticed the bigger group that were preparing meal for themselves and asked them, who are you, what are you doing here in my house? One of them said, you said we can come here. I said, I said? When? I don’t remember. He said, yeah yesterday we talked on phone and you said we can come and stay! It was getting more confusing and uncomfortable. (This theme that I notice some people are in my house, is new, and only has showed up in recent 1-3 years) Then I walked to the other side of the room and the room had become bigger, then it was a vast open space with walls around it and a big entrance door in Africa, but it still was my house. I saw some animals are running toward the door. A group of lions were chasing a deer. The deer came inside and lions after it. I was relieved for a moment that the lions didn’t notice me, but after a little while I saw them running back toward the door, and the lions were looking more like tigers this time (I LOVE tigers). Again they went after the deer and didn’t notice me, but I saw the biggest of them that is coming toward me with his mouth open. I started making sounds to scare him, but he kept coming toward me and when he reached he tried to bite and I guess I jumped and woke up. A little before and after waking up, I was hearing myself making that sounds.

Today there is less of that depressed feeling and more equanimity. I am starting to work in a few minutes. One thing that I notice regarding things like working and exercising, is that when I don’t do them for a short period, like for a day in the weekend, I experience more fear around them. Fear of not being able to do the next time that I want to do it.

I notice that with the people that I don't like, if they have success my reaction is indifference and ignoring it and trying to pay attention to something else, and if they have failure I follow it with more interest. I don't think I become upset with their success, and I don't think I want them to fail, but still it's pretty bad. I think this is one of the ugliest things in my being. I am not sure what would be a good way to work on it, but I guess I will try to bring more awareness to it and that might help.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 4
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1/23/21 1:43 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Saturday, January 23, 2021, 10:32 AM

These days it’s more in my mind to compare meditation with coding. Over years I’ve noticed that in coding, if you want to fix complex bugs or design new things, in order to be effective you need to spend something like 3-8 hours on it in each round. 3-4 hours as minimum, and 7-8 hours as maximum, because usually with less than that minimum, if it’s a complex enough task, you can’t engage fully with it, and after 7-8 hours, if you have extracted your mental resources enough, you won’t have much resources left. Always there are exception but usually this is the case.

It seems to me that this should be true with meditation too. Doing 30 minutes or an hour practice each day and hoping for great results, no, I wouldn’t count on that. It doesn’t seem reasonable to me to except great results from it (Exceptions excluded). So I guess I’ll try to apply the shit that I’ve learned in coding to meditation and see what happens.
(With the assumption of not having access to retreats.)

-- Edit:
If any other beginner like myself is reading, please don't let the above rambling discourage you. It's nothing more than just thinking out loud, and with the results, I mean things like hard jhanas and etc, and I don't mean to dismiss the good results that can come from even 5 minutes of practice each day.

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