Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

Polly Ester’s practice log 10

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Time for a new log, as the previous one was getting too long.

My main practice right now, except for the sadhana I have promised to do for the extraordinary ngöndro with Lama Lena, is to just open up for the entire existence to ripple through me like a gong bath and be aware of the rippling and of the awareness of the rippling, being the space that allows for existence to unfold effortlessly. By opening up to this, I let layers of veils dissolve and integrate. I need to remember that when the opening up does not seem available, basic vipassana (together with whatever is needed to take care of the mammal and its hard-wiring!) takes me down the stack to open things up. This is in line with the "Reversing the stack" classes with Michael Taft. Part of it is also trekcho, but I need to let go of specific labels and expectations of the practice and just be with what is, and use whatever tools work. I also need to return to aspects of mapping that I had started to forget as the mapping was seemingly getting less relevant: the elusive center of focus and the out of phase thing, that's not something that needs fixing, but part of the process in going through the dukkha nanas and actually progress. There is no need to resist it at all. Actually, embracing it and exploring it are fascinating "endeavors", if that is what wants to happen. Let's just embrace the ride!

Sidenote: my test results for covid came back negative. It was/is probably just symptoms from the allergy shots. 
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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... my test results for covid came back negative.

Yay! Stay safe.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Thanks! Doing my best. 

---

Third formal practice session so far today, 45 minutes, reclining. Started out with eyes open, resting them in the ceiling without focusing them anywhere particular. About halfway in (?) I closed them because keeping them open felt like an effort.

Interesting territory. That sense of electricity crackling around my head. Swirling in all sense gates, vibrations on several levels. Quickly moving down the stack, then balancing back and forth between fascination with the vibrational aspects and awareness being aware of itself and dream territory (the latter which also enabled me to remember an interesting aspect of the dreaming from last night*). I think this is the way to entering lucid dreaming from meditation while being awake in the mundane sense. Sometimes there was dullness that stopped abruptly as something startled me. That dullness and the abrupt shift from startling is what obstructs that way, but it's not a big deal. Dreaming and ordinary mind really aren't that different. The thought fragments that pop up are quite similar. It's the logic joining them together as chains that follow different logics, and those logics aren't all cut in stone.

Kinesthetically, there were lots of expansions and contractions, both at the same time in different ways. Quite the massage. I could feel disentangling occurring. Easy breathing. Towards the end of the session I noticed that I felt more space around the expansions and contractions, and the expansions and contractions occurred in space too, if that makes any sense. That made it all feel more spacious, as there was always some opening somewhere. It was neither the feeling of 'hurting so good" that I had while being attached to third vipassana jhana nor the claustrophobic feeling associated with it in aversion. It was more a sense of things just occurring, with the possibility of zooming into a perspective of being in the midst of it or zooming out from it, like in a video game when one zooms out to see one's character from afar to get the bigger picture instead of seeing it from the eyes of the character. 

*) I recalled some editing of a dream during the night. This could have turned it into a lucid dream, but I got absorbed by the content again. It was a dream about missing a train because of a misunderstanding about where to wait for it. I remember a moment of "what if" that then turned into reality in the dream. I thought "what if I had known a shortcut to the next stop and could be there before the train?". I remember another thought, something like "Hey, wait a minute, if I did, why would I even have headed for this first station to begin with?", but apparently that logic could be set aside in the dream, because suddenly I was on the train thanks to that shortcut. From there, other challenges followed. Tickets that weren't valid, weird happenings. That development is not something I'll invest energy in describing, as it was a very regular dream and as such elusive to my memory. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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I missed the Chenrezig practice group today because I had totally forgotten that Sweden had changed back to ordinary time. So much for thinking that I woke up earlier than usual, lol. However, I was doing my own practice about the same time, and that felt good, so it's okay. It's not a practice that I'm focusing on anyway. I just really like the vibes in that group. It makes me feel that I love people, and I guess I have an attachment to that feeling. Thanks to trying to be in time for that group and finding out that I wasn't, I learned about the time change, which enabled me to be in time for Lama Lena's teachings on The Flight of the Garuda (a Dzogchen text designed for a series of teachings), which I love. There is an entire playlist with those teachings on her youtube channel, if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpn8zJMg-MPS6RNulz9YBbhi5UGRRweB- After the teachings, I did my sadhana and then had a lovely sitting with rigpa available. Now I'm going to dig into the panel discussion with Daniel and a bunch of other realized people - wohoo! Feels like Christmas today. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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One of the reasons I thought I had been infected by covid too is that my body is trembling like crazy, visibly, but of course that's just the dukkha nanas. I had forgotten how tangible that can be, as it hasn't been like that since stream entry. Before that, I had it on and off for about a decade at least. So... I suppose this is one of the examples of how dukkna nanas can suddenly get more obvious again, seemingly out of the blue. Right now I'm having really jarry and chaotic vibrations, so disgust maybe? Reobservation? I need to read up on that again. Emotions aren't quite following the pattern, because I'm having fun with it. I came to remember that I'm in it for the ride, and this is a ride allright. It's easier when it gets to the vibrational level than when it manifests emotionally. I did feel like crawling out of my body for a while, though, as I was trying to sleep, which didn't go very well, but when I gave up on sleeping and played a simple word game on my tablet obsessively (one that very clearly triggers dopamine), I pretty soon got exhausted enough from trying to concentrate. Trying not to sleep as a way of getting to sleep worked well for me in the past, during that decade of endless cycling before I got myself a practice. Eventually the body just takes care of it on its own, and it does that more easily when I'm not trying to control it. Learned that the hard way. 

Oh, so that's also why my body temperature has been shifting up and down. It wasn't regular fever, but PoI cycling. Wow. Kind of cool that it has so obvious physical effects, isn't it? 

I have decided to sit very frequently today, a couple of long sits and many many brief ones, and microhits on top of that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Fascinating how tawa is there, right at the non-center, as the eye of the hurricane. A timeless stillness in the midst of turbulent movement. Details of ordinary life strike me as radiantly beautiful. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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I went to yoga for the first time in a while now, as I have had some health issues. I expected it to be effortful and rather unpleasant, both due to being out of shape and because of the jarring dukkha nana manifestations energetically and otherwise embodied. I was surprised to find a strong sense of calm presence with better coordination and balance than for a long time and with lots of space in the fascia and muscles. Sensations were excuisite in their subtle but very rich and nuanced simplicity. It felt like I was riding a wave of sensory experience, always on top of it in a sense of stillness while the flow of experience was doing the movement. That's rigpa, right? That's the case now as well, although I can sense a subtle shift out of synch coming up. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Low again. My dominant dukkha nana bleadthrough seems to be procrastinating important stuff, baking cookies and indulging in escapism. Animal realm stuff (maybe it's not too late to be reborn as a mallard after all, lol). Interestingly, the ignorance associated with it doesn't seem like something that just happens out of the blue because the cycling dictates poor clarity. Not that I ever thought it was, but it felt more like it. I guess that's why in the middle paths the realms seem more relevant than the PoI cycling. The mechanisms of dependent origination leading to these tendencies become more clear. It's not that clarity isn't avaliable. It's more a question of escapism. If I look for it, it's all there. It's just that the ignorance is so very tempting. As if it would be satisfying this time although it never was before. 

There was some lucid dreaming during the night. Not screen 4, but looking at environments with no people or action in them, and/or images. I was looking at the visuals and knew that it was a dream. I was fascinated by how real it looked. That it was all just a mind creation, a more individual one than the usual consensual reality where our creations seem to overlap and interact as the default. That I knew that and it remained fairly solid anyway. I remembered that Lama Lena says not to stare at details for too long because it tends to make it collapse, so I didn't fixate my gaze but let it sweep around. I kept going back and forth to see if objects remained intact, which they did. Then I started changing them, deciding that they hadn't had those features after all, but others. The next time my gaze landed on that spot, it had sometimes changed. It didn't work every time, but several times. This went on for a while. Then I was caught up in regular dreaming for a while, until I had to go to the bathroom and thus woke up. I think I decided to wake up, because I knew from experience that peeing in dreams doesn't really solve the problem, so at some level I think there was awareness about being asleep after all. There probably always is. 

After I woke up, there were hypnopomp visuals, organizing the murk into patterns. Grainy ones, mainly in gray shades, but there were touches of color here and there. There was often an area "in the middle" that was more detailed than the rest of the visual field, like a fine-grained intricate labyrinth pattern. That pattern was more stable than the rest. The rest was moving about and rapidly shifting. Sometimes there was text there but it shifted too fast for me to read it. I went to the bathroom without switching on any lights. That way I could keep watching the visuals. In the class I had learned that I have a tendency not to notice when I push too much, and that adjustments need to get more subtle to avoid a pendular movement back and forth between extremes, so I intentionally eased back just a little. That made it possible to stay with the visuals unusually long. I kept doing so while going back to sleep again. Eventually I got caught up in dreaming again. 

Formal practice distracted by discursive thoughts today, so far, but the ground of being is available. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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The Swedish winter season darkness is tough on me this time around, it seems. Since I started a daily practice I haven't had winter depressions, but I seem to be developing one now after all. I'm already on medication, so that's a bummer. I may need to increase the dosage. Trying to get by with extra amounts of 5-htp, vitamine D, and full spectrum lights - and mid day walks if I manage to get my ass out. I don't feel motivated to do anything. The glimpses of rigpa are not common or long enough to take me through this. I'm trying to get an appointment with my psychiatrist because I recognize where this is going. I'm shutting down. Meditation doesn't help with that. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Do you get only depression or is it more like bipolar thing?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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It's only depressions, as far as I know. I think I'm beyond the age when a psychosis would suddenly appear from a life crisis. I've had my shares of those, with enough trauma to set anything off, and I tend to remain almost ridiculously constructive. And now I'm going out for a walk, because there's still some light outside. Thankfully I don't live further to the north. I have eaten some healthy food and I have booked a yoga class for tonight and I intend to go. I don't feel like it but I'm doing it anyway, because I know it can't make anything worse and it might help just a little bit. I know what it's like not being able to get up from the bed at all, and I'm not going to allow that to happen. 

I increased the dosage on my own today, because apparently I may have to wait quite some time to get an appointment. I checked, and I'm not on the highest dosage, so it should be as safe as it gets. Safer than not doing it. And I talked to someone close to me who knows the terrain even better than I do. That was helpful. In this mood you really don't want to talk to someone cheerful because you just might puke on them. 

I have ADHD, among other things, so my mood can vary quite a lot. There seems to be this tendency to burn whatever juice is there, until there suddenly isn't any left. Thus I'm not surprised that you'd ask. I thought I felt great just a couple of days ago. That's not new. It's life with ADHD while on the verge of depression. Totally black and white. Knowing it helps a little. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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 "I don't feel like it but I'm doing it anyway, because I know it can't make anything worse and it might help just a little bit. I know what it's like not being able to get up from the bed at all, and I'm not going to allow that to happen. "

emoticon emoticon emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Thanks!

I seem to respond well to increasing the dosage and getting more light together with yoga and walks. My brain usually picks up on the new terms pretty quickly if it's a familiar substance. I have changed medications so many times. It knows the drill. It's not stable, though. This is the kind of placebo effect that comes when the brain recognizes how a known substance usually helps and starts sending signals as if it were already working. After a while it may realize that it needs it to build up more before I can actually function, especially since I have procrastinated so much and need to make up for that, and then there will be a longer down period. Or it may continue to flicker back and forth for a while. For now I'm going to be grateful for the grace that is here: love, nature and something rigpa-ish that shows up intermittently, when least expected, uncovering this simplistic beauty of the simplest things. Going back and forth between that and a deep black hole of utter meaninglessness is a weird thing. At least it shines a big fat spotlight on the fact that there is no one continuous and independent personality tied to this body. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Yesterday I did full moon practice with Ligmincha (chanting the Sa Le Ö mantra and doing visualizations), my sadhana, trekcho (a 90 minutes long group sit, among others), had a group meeting with the "Reversing the stack" class, listened to public Mandareva teachings by Lama Lena, and did a whole bunch of job applications. Then during the night I did Death Sangha Halloween Edition with Michael and SF Dharma Collective. It was at the worst possible time for me here in Sweden (2:50-6:00 am) so I hesitated to even try, as I was really tired during the day, but in the evening after I was done with the job applications it felt like it could be really fun to join it. Several class mates were going. Everybody was supposed to dress up for Halloween. I thought "What the heck!" and bought a ticket. It's only once per year, after all, and this year it coincided with full moon and everything. I do know how to do make-up that fits the occasion and almost my entire wardrobe is black anyway. Above all, for some reason I love this kind of meditation. It was very similar to the shared meditation I have done with a partner, only much more morbid. It combined a mandala visualization with a shamanic journey to hell, chöd and tantric deity practice, sort of. Very juicy stuff. I loved it! Michael was dressed up too, with make-up and huge horns on top of that long grey hair. His wife (?) played the part of the queen (of) Hell. People had really cool outfits. It added to the experience, made it feel more real. From there, visualization was suddenly so easy. It was all very vivid, with all the gory details and the theatrics. We met all classes of demonic beings and fed them our bodies, each of us on our own. It was almost like doing it in virtual reality, even though it was "just" the mind creating it. I was relieved to hear afterwards that I wasn't the only one who really enjoyed it. I thought maybe I was morbid or self destructive or something, lol. I could feel it untie several knots. Very liberating. Great peace at the end. 

Before the Death Sangha I listened to a reiki healing recording with seed syllable chanting, because I needed to make the best of the little sleep I would get. It very quickly brought me to a vibrational state and from there to stillness and - to my great surprise - to a fruition. I was just trying to fall asleep fast enough and maybe get some healing while sleeping. I did fall asleep a while after the fruition.

Today, after getting some sleep, I have done Chenrezig group practice and listened to Lama Lena's teachings on The Flight of the Garuda (Dzogchen). I'll do the sadhana and some trekcho before going to bed. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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I seem to have created myself a golden chain, a reoccurring alternative dream reality* that I will have a hard time letting go of for the sake of lucidity. It's something that there would be no point in pursuing while being lucid about it, as it involves somebody else's feelings. It's a blue pill vs red pill issue, or the classical TV series dilemma where a demon traps someone in a false reality that is better than the real one. Holding on to that is the opposite of awakening, so I really have to pop it whenever I get the chance. It's a great opportunity for getting lucid. It just hurts that I have to do it. It's so vivid in the dreams and it was awesome. 

*) A dream I had tonight kept building on one of the dreams I had the night before.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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I can tell that the increased dosage of antidepressants has effect, because it makes my ADHD visible (depression masks it). Rather than regarding that as a nuisance, I'll try to approach it as lowhanging fruit for the investigation of dependent origination. (When I paused to let that sink in, spaciousness opened up in a tangible way. I'll take that as a sign.)

It is interesting to notice how the chains of actions change with changes in medication. My housing support was here and among other things I was cleaning out a space by the kitchen sink that has been crowded because of the reorganization of my home now that I have to fit in an office in the kitchen. I intended to take away the packages that I had collected there for recycling and clean the space, but I ended up planting flowers. I was aware of stepping away from the plan and acting on the impulse to take care of the seedlings, so I didn't forget the larger activity that this parenthesis was embedded within, but it was a longer chain than what has been possible for a while now. I can see the difference. Once again my actions tend to branch off in different directions. 

I also move faster, which is obvious from how much longer I have to go back when I notice that I'm still carrying some of the garbage that I had been taking out. Housing support people should really learn to avoid asking complex social questions such as "What is your book about?" in the midst of a task that requires executive functioning. The learning for me is how much energy selfing consumes and how much processing space it takes up. I wonder what that kind of interaction would look like without the dualistic sense of self. What would be said? Would it come in portions that would be easier to combine with the tasks? Would I take a break to answer and then perform the task? Would I choose to politely inform the housing support person that I need to focus on my chores? Or would the awareness be capable of replying and doing the chores at the same time? Since my functioning is hardwired conditioning (the kind of karma that constitutes hardware rather than software), I suspect that the last alternative would be unrealistic. This might be worth experimenting with, that is, being more mindful with regard to chains of dependent prigination in daily life and notice how selfing complicates them. I used to do noting in daily life routinely a while back when I was doing vipassana as my main practice. Now that trekcho is my main practice on the cushion, I'm mainly focusing on finding the ground of being also off the cushion. I think I need to do both trekcho and vipassana, because there's stuff to work with here. 

So how do I do that? How do I build a routine for integrating both trekcho and vipassana in my daily life? Maybe it would be a good idea to start out with smaller portions of one of the practices at a time, with rest inbetween, and at times when I'm not interacting with other people socially. When that routine has been established, I could switch back and forth more rapidly between the methods. After that, maybe I could try out if it's possible to be flexible with the practices depending on what comes up. I think trekcho eventually becomes second nature so vipassana would then happen from that base even in daily life (I suppose that's what called vipashyana?), but I'm not there yet. Sounds like a plan to me. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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There was this moment of huge openness in the visual field a few minutes ago on my way home from yoga class. I was looking at the full moon, and it was so beautiful. First I sort of fell into the moon itself, and then there was a widening to the rainbow-shimmering halo around it and the entire night skye. For a moment there, I was vision. That's when I saw the light reflecting from a traffic sign in all its colors, in my peripheral vision. Instead of seeing yellowish white light reflecting back from it, I saw the whole visible spectrum at once. I have never seen that before. Well, I probably have, but I haven't been aware of it. I usually expect it to be mixed into one color and that's what I see. The air was very moist and the sign probably has many little "pixels" of reflective material, so it makes sense that there is actually like a gazillion little rainbows there, perhaps especially since the light is also filtered through my glasses and any fat and moisture covering their surface. Still, it was the kind of light flash that would normally just look yellowish white under the same weather conditions and light conditions and with the same glasses. Wow. The dualistic split reduces so much!

Earlier today I wrote the following:

This might be worth experimenting with, that is, being more mindful with regard to chains of dependent rigination in daily life and notice how selfing complicates them. I used to do noting in daily life routinely a while back when I was doing vipassana as my main practice. Now that trekcho is my main practice on the cushion, I'm mainly focusing on finding the ground of being also off the cushion. I think I need to do both trekcho and vipassana, because there's stuff to work with here. 

So how do I do that? How do I build a routine for integrating both trekcho and vipassana in my daily life? Maybe it would be a good idea to start out with smaller portions of one of the practices at a time, with rest inbetween, and at times when I'm not interacting with other people socially. When that routine has been established, I could switch back and forth more rapidly between the methods. After that, maybe I could try out if it's possible to be flexible with the practices depending on what comes up. I think trekcho eventually becomes second nature so vipassana would then happen from that base even in daily life (I suppose that's what called vipashyana?), but I'm not there yet. Sounds like a plan to me. 
On the way to yoga class I decided to do what I thought of as regular vipassana, using Shinzen's system for noting to make sure that I didn't get caught up in the content of discursive thoughts. This time I finally understood why Shinzen recommends slow noting instead of the rapid noting described in MCTB2: it's intended for the attention, not for the awareness, and designed by someone who has a spacious mind. Noting always bugged me earlier in my practice because I thought I had to divide the reality, separate it into pieces. That often felt very counterproductive and created unnecessary tention (although it makes some things more visible, so it definitely serves its purposes). This time I just let things be the way they were. When there was a sense of seamlessness, I didn't make any note. When something stood out, I did make a note. It was clearer to me than before how there is this constant movement back and forth between seemlessness and something standing out, how very dynamic it is. Spaciousness really isn't any state. There is nothing static about it. It's more like a dimensional aspect of reality. 

I soon realized that Shinzen's system isn't vipassana at all. It really is an integration of vipassana and shamatha and Mahayana practices, and now I see why he felt the need to integrate it all into one system. It's basically the answer to my question above. That's his mission, to take away that gap of confusion when one needs to integrate the different approaches to take the practice to a new level. I noticed that when I used his noting in this slow way and using all the categories he offers, it works all the way without creating that breaking point of frustration just before the dualism collapses. He has a category for tawa: rest (although that can also be used in a wider sense). He has categories for techniques for finding tawa: gone and back. He even has categories for when the senses synch up and stop separating from each other. It's a multidimensional model. I can actually use his model and just let reality unfold the way it does, and observe the movement over the grid. I can watch the reality of the mind breathe. That's basically what it does, and it manifests multidimensionally. How cool is that?! 

I continued to watch these mind movements during the yoga class. It became clear to me exactly how much yoga works with both synching and integrating the senses into one field and widening the focus span. I noticed that when it does synch up and merge into "one taste", that's when up and down sort of falls away. It's not that it's all the same, but general concepts fade and instead relations that matter stand out, and that's a dynamic and relative thing. It doesn't matter what is up and what is down. What matters is how the body pushes the mat away. It's like the mat and the body are drawn to each other magnetically, and that can be played with. Suddenly when I bend forward I don't feel like I'm upside down. Instead, I might as well push the mat away from me above my head. It really doesn't matter. I don't need any of those perspectives. All I need is the notion of being drawn to the mat and pushing it away in a way that integrates the entire asana with my body, and as that happens, synesthesia also develops. I also noticed that even though the yoga works towards synching and integration and widening, it also has a flexibility built in. There's a pendular movement to it as there are also regular instances of occurrances that encourage paying special attention to something more narrow, to check in with details (the thought flew through my mind that this specific aspect reminded me of how Goenka's technique is described: cultivating a flexibility between wide and narrow focus).

No wonder I so often feel better after a yoga class: it's a rigpa generator. 

On my way home from yoga class, there was a greater tendency towards synchronization. I could also notice that when sensations fell out of synch, there was aversion and frustration. I think that emanates from the remaining misconception that the synch and spaciousness is a state that needs to be stabilized. I probably need to continue with observations like this in order for it to sink in that there is a natural breathing movement to it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Afternoon: 45 minutes of zhine, reclining. I alternated between gazing towards the ceiling without focusing on it on the one hand and on the other hand doing the same thing with the murk with eyes closed. As dullness came up, I tried to explore the awakened nature of it instead of either getting caught up in it or trying to get rid of it. That was interesting. I don't think dullness really exists. It's just space being resisted. 

When the resistance falls away, there's sort of a little pop or poof. 

I did the sadhana in the morning. I think I like the ritual of starting and ending the day with it. It provides a framework for the mind. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Currently in the "Reversing the stack" course, we are doing Vipashyana from the ground of being, evoking emotions from the different realms of being, one at a time, to increase our awareness of our tendencies for those realms in daily life. I have noticed that while sitting in a relaxed position, sort of embodying peace, I have a hard time evoking feelings like anger and envy for the realms practice. Whatever reasons for those feelings I can think of don’t have that hook in them that triggers the emotions. If I enact the feelings with my body, however, as in a theatric play, those emotions become available, and with them, the ”reasons” become available too.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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OR... I can just try to do shamatha with an object, because for me that creates the separation that allows for anger to arise.

In this phase of my practice, I can’t access God realms by doing shamatha with an object. The closest I get to blissing out is when I ride the wave of occurrances, letting everything move through me. By embracing the movement of everything, stillness arises or non-arises, because there really isn’t anything there to move. Nothing has any duration whatsoever. Shamatha with an object feels like the opposite of that. Maybe there’s another way of doing it, I don’t know. Is there?

As a way of dealing with this frustration when we are supposed to do shamatha with an object, I either just go straight into ”dropping the ball” or start with embracing everything that comes up (the latter is usually easier and it organically develops into dropping the ball) or I focus on relaxation not as a state but as a process. I notice the unclenching and clenching, the expansions and contractions of it, and by letting it do its own thing without actively engaging with it, peace develops.
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Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

In this phase of my practice, I can’t access God realms by doing shamatha with an object. The closest I get to blissing out is when I ride the wave of occurrances, letting everything move through me.
Any specific god realm or reason for interest?

Technically such realms are not harder than eg. Tussita but while Tussita is definitely completely free from any hidden small text clauses (it is open source realm) I cannot say this about eg. Brahmaloka. I did not verify it or do any in-depth investigations other than doing short test drive but let's say my intuition (and I have rather strong and 'angry' intuition XD) tells me that one who do not want to become enslaved should STAY AWAY!!!!1

By embracing the movement of everything, stillness arises or non-arises, because there really isn’t anything there to move. Nothing has any duration whatsoever. Shamatha with an object feels like the opposite of that. Maybe there’s another way of doing it, I don’t know. Is there?
To me jhanas are not the result of succesful concentration on object.
Concentration is the result of finding jhanic consciousness. When it is found it will replace current consciousness.
When there is jhanic stuff mind will follow it ==> concentration happens naturally.
In other words my 1st step of Shamatha with an object practice is finding 1st jhana consciousness of the object I am supposed to practice. I do not attempt to concentrate on object and I do not even concentrate on jhanic version because this would interfere with finding 2nd jhana and so on.

Gautama:
Secluded from sense desire, secluded from unwholesome states of mind, one approaches and abides in the first jhana.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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Oh, I'm not actually interested in God realms. It's just an exercise on the course I'm taking, which approaches it from a psychological point of view rather than a magickal one. Still, very interesting advice! Thankyou! I like it much more than the idea of disciplining the mind. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

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Please Linda stay with us in the Human Realm emoticon dont leave us, we have the best grooves here emoticon 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeiQ0lJyXzc
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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Thanks, I'm trying. Going through this low phase, it's all too tempting to spend too much time in the animal realm. Meditation used to be the one thing that I never procrastinated. Now sometimes I do. When I finally get to it, before I go to sleep, I'm too tired to do it well. This has been a crappy day. I tried to eat one spoon of organic icecream yesterday, of a kind that I should tolerate according to all tests. I got lots of rashes, joint pain, swollen eyes, brain fog and exhaustion. I had planned to do writing today but ended up sleeping til lunch and then bingewatching netflix in my bed. I even forgot about the trekcho group practice. Such a waste of life. I did meet with some meditation class mates on zoom and I have done some background practice and a very short sit, but that's basically nothing. I'll meditate now. Ugh. Hopefully I'll spend tomorrow in the human realm. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

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"Such a waste of life"

Dont be so hard on your self emoticon I mean look at our dear Shinzen emoticon he suffered from procrastination long after "his awakening" and needed therapy to fix that part.

Even that wasting of life activity is kind of THIS, is it not emoticon There is a reason why many who "got this" keep saying "awakening will not make you a saint". We awake to all of it that is this, the warts and roses. Might not be very impressive to most but thats all we've got emoticon 

Best wishes to you Linda!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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Yeah, that's kind of what I'm afraid of, I guess, that it won't fix any of the stuff I'm struggling with. Or that I'll just bail out and never get to know. I really have no intention of quitting, but I could probably just do crappy sits for the rest of my life and waste my time off cushion on meaningless shit, unless I get out of this apathy. I wonder where Shinzen found that therapist. I have had a couple of good ones, but none of them were capable of performing such miracles. I dealt with a whole lot of stuff, but I think my defence mechanisms outsmarted them with regard to procrastination. I was too good at appearing okay. Maybe therapy is more effective after a rather thorough awakening. One could at least hope. 

I actually had a great sit just now. Tawa was very much available. My sinuses popped wide open, too, and there was this amazing lightness. The relief I felt from that made me realize that this entire day I have been fearing that the door would be closed for me. That's why I have been avoiding it. It wasn't, though. It was wide open right from the start. It still is. And there it is, the unfuckupable Dharmatta. 

Best wishes to you too, and thankyou!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

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"Yeah, that's kind of what I'm afraid of, I guess, that it won't fix any of the stuff I'm struggling with."


It just might change that "relationship" between "stuff and struggling with" emoticon  
I hate saying this as I don't want to devalue your position on this path but I find in such "difficult" situations going back to basics is very helpful. Yes I talk about dumbbell Vipassana emoticon 

Maybe play with Jhana stuff for a while to give some confidence boost before going some more Vipassana on this? I'm sure you will find out what is of of most benefit to you. 


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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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I'm actually doing just that. There is nothing wrong with the most fundamental vipassana. It's very grounding and it usually very quickly takes me down the stack, as Michael would call it: concepts --> phenomena --> vibrations --> awareness. Not bad advise at all. And jhana seems to be people's favorite advice everytime people have a hard time, which I find very ironic, but as Ni Nurta's pointers for it were really good, I'll do that too. I still need to do my trekcho and my sadhana, though, and today there is the group Chenrezig practice. 

Today I managed to get up early and turn on my full spectrum lights for reptiles (much cheaper than therapy lamps but basically the same shit), and now I'll sit for a while before I go to yoga class. I'm in the human realm. 

And yeah, it won't fix hardwired stuff, but it will make it easier to work with it. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

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"And yeah, it won't fix hardwired stuff"

It just might emoticon we dont really know what will happen emoticon  https://youtu.be/TUeY4kUiLZ8
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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Ni Nurta:

Technically such realms are not harder than eg. Tussita but while Tussita is definitely completely free from any hidden small text clauses (it is open source realm) I cannot say this about eg. Brahmaloka. I did not verify it or do any in-depth investigations other than doing short test drive but let's say my intuition (and I have rather strong and 'angry' intuition XD) tells me that one who do not want to become enslaved should STAY AWAY!!!!1
I have never heard of any of those realms before. It sounds like I should definitely stay away from Brahmaloka. What is Tussita?


To me jhanas are not the result of succesful concentration on object.
Concentration is the result of finding jhanic consciousness. When it is found it will replace current consciousness.
When there is jhanic stuff mind will follow it ==> concentration happens naturally.
In other words my 1st step of Shamatha with an object practice is finding 1st jhana consciousness of the object I am supposed to practice. I do not attempt to concentrate on object and I do not even concentrate on jhanic version because this would interfere with finding 2nd jhana and so on.
Oh my goodness, it actually works! I suppose this is what Daniel refers to as calling up jhanas. Something in your wording made it more tangible for me. This takes away all the boring stuff and the objectification that creates tension. Awesome! 
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I have never heard of any of those realms before. It sounds like I should definitely stay away from Brahmaloka. What is Tussita?
Typo... it's Tushita https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tushita

If exploring Brahmaloka realm is good idea or not depends on many things. I would not necessarily say it is that dangerous but it doesn't seem like a good realm to practice as much as good  to go after full enlightenment to say hello emoticon

Oh my goodness, it actually works! I suppose this is what Daniel refers to as calling up jhanas. Something in your wording made it more tangible for me. This takes away all the boring stuff and the objectification that creates tension. Awesome! 
Yes, it is related to calling up jhanas.
When you call up jhana you are going directly to jhanic version of the parts of minf you already found jhanic version of during concentration practices. I just generalized it and claim it is possible to find jhanic version of any consciousness and drive concentration using jhanas.

Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
from a psychological point of view rather than a magickal one
I do not subscribe to magick and I am openly against at least some of its methods.
Dwelling in supermundane stuff is not magick.
Pure abode practices are in fact supermundane practices, just as enlightemnent is supermundane. Neither have anything to do with magick.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Ah, thanks for the clarification about Tushita! Interesting.

For me, your version of contacting jhanas is more relatable, I think. I'm very untrained, so it's too soon to say anything about results. It feels much more available, though. It made me remember something about how I used to do it.

Yeah, even though we use words very differently, that wording on my part was probably wrong. I usually use my interpretation of Daniel's definition, and that makes a lot of things magickal that you wouldn't consider magickal, but probably not this. Not in a eay that would make it relevant to distinguish it from psychology anyway. Sorry for my sloppiness. I'm openly against some methods for practicing magick too, by the way. Since my definition is very wide, it wouldn't make sense to be against all of it. I think magick is embedded even in the most mundane occurrings. We just do not think of it that way. Can't explain myself any better right now as I'm getting late for yoga class. I think there is magick in metta, for instance. Just not of the intrusive kind. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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In fact, that wording was probably just leaking from my depressed netflix bingewatching. In the series I'm watching, travelling to other realms requires magic. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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I just realized that I may have been misinterpreting some stuff lately. I have treated attention as an enemy to the spaciousness. I have felt strong aversion towards shamatha with an object because it felt like it ruined what I was trying to develop, like it caused a dualistic split. On some level I must have been assuming that I couldn't access the ground of being while actively paying attention to stuff. I knew that it was still there, but I thought that I was backlashing into a more dualistic mindset. Today I realized that I actually do have sharp attention on narrow stuff while at the same time being aware of a wider awareness. I just didn’t like it when it became strong, because of the perceived tension between the two. A while back I was devastated because breathing suddenly involved so much friction again that it hurt. The hurt was the attention as it was drawn to the nose. Too much power on a very small area. And when the focus of attention got wider, that’s what felt like an octopus clinging to my face (as I was also complaining about). I was so certain that it was a dualistic split that I made it into one. Actually it’s just the very normal play between emptiness and form, with attention bringing stuff into form. It just bulldozed the crap out of my kinesthetic sensations, and so I neglected to recognize the ground of being that was still there, maybe more available than I thought. That way of looking at it was probably related to lack of serotonine as I thought, but I’m no longer so sure that it was actually shut off. For all practical purposes I guess it was, but I get the feeling that it’s not as mechanical as the metaphor makes it sound like, and realizing the implications of that makes a difference.

The thing is, I just now had the very same sensations in my nostrils and at the tip of the nose. This time, instead of noticing the friction from the air and how much it hurt and thinking ”Oh no, breathing is difficult - my central channels have closed up!”, I thought ”Hm, I guess I have a sharp focus in the very center of attention again. That’s the first time for a long time now”. And then I thought ”Is that true? What about that phase recently when the tip of the nose hurt so much? Oh, right, I’ve actually had these sensations recently!”

I really need to remember that there never was any doer there to begin with, so I don’t need to get rid of it. That’s just sensations too, and I don’t have to believe that the attention is me, or that it is not-me. It’s just sensations in the field, a play of form. It’s not a problem. It’s not either - or. I knew that, but subconsciously I think parts of me thought differently.

I had forgotten how much sharp attention can hurt. I don’t have to feed that loop. I can ease up on it a bit. After all, the entire field is still there too. It’s not like the whole world goes away just because I focus on my breath, so there is more there to let in. I don’t need a lazer beam focus to maintain concentration. I really do need to refine my adjustments, just like Michael has been talking about on the course. Maybe now that my neurotransmittors are getting back to normal I can do that. For a while there I felt like my old refrigerator. The landlord had said for years that I just needed to have the right settings, but the normal functioning span was just getting smaller and smaller. In the end, there was either a flood of water on the floor or lots of ice in the refrigerator, and nothing inbetween. Eventually they admitted that it was simply too old.

Doing shamatha while functioning like a too old refrigerator is very frustrating. emoticon It doesn’t exactly make it easy to learn to do the adjustments. I think that just maybe it’s getting less black and white now, gradually. We’ll see. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Okay, so I really seem to be cycling the lower nanas now, which I guess makes sense after some fruitions and some crazy-fast cycling that was gradually slowing down. I don't have the dukkha nana vibrations any more, and the attention wants to go narrow, and I see arisings very clearly. Lots of nada sound and the feeling of tiny bubbles arising fast, but I seem to skip noticing when they pop. We have a saying in Swedish that describes the intuitive feeling I have about that: "snuvad på konfekten", something like being deprived of the candy. I usually feel this way when I'm in the 3C nana and can't get past it. Now I think I know what it is. It is being aware of the arisings but not the passings. Like there should be a lot of poppings but somehow they are lost to me. At least finally I understand what that feeling is about. I have even tild myself exactly that story many times, that it feels like something should be popping and yet it doesn't, and I still didn't put it together. This is the stage that I have been referring to as "stuck in the newbie stage again". I used to dread it. I don't think I do anymore. I mean, I am kind of depressed and everything, and that sucks, but it's not the end of the world that I fail to notice the end of stuff for a few weeks or whatever. I think I'm graually starting to see that the shape of attention can have its own play and that's fine. The awareness is always there anyway and it doesn't really depend on the attention span. Something like that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

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I seem to be cycling the lower nanas now. On what path, I don't know. I'm not going to assume anything. All I know is that there is so much left to work with. Anyway, the last few days I have had both realizations and quirks having to do with mind and body and cause and effect, and the attention seems to want to go narrow for a change, and now I'm having these weird cramps all over the place, so typical for the 3C nana. Maybe the dark abyss I fell into was the 3C nana then, or maybe they just coincided. I did feel exactly like what Daniel says about it in MCTB2: there wasn't anything wrong with the clarity - I just really didn't like what I saw. I don't know why people fear the dukkha nanas so much. I don't think they are any worse than the 3C nana. 

The notion of four paths seems very arbitrary to me. Nobody seems to know how to distinguish between previous path fruitions and current path fruitions, and apparently there are an unknown amount of full insight cycles between starting the second path and finishing the fourth path. Why even bother counting? The process doesn't even seem linear.

The inside of my head is ticking like a clock. It's not the pulse. It seems to be related to respiratory tracts and paranasal cavities and energy channels. There has been a lot of tick-tocking lately, together with loud nada sound. That seems to be a common pattern for the phase around fruitions and starting to cycle the lower nanas. I'm hesitant to call it review, though. It doesn't feel that full of possibilities. Maybe the clear review phases are what really marks a new path. That would imply that this is not it, which makes sense to me. There was a brief phase - VERY brief phase - of reoccurring fruitions, though, and some very rapid cycling, and then rapid cycling that was overlapping with elements from the lower nanas. Well, whatever it is, I'm not overly impressed. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Yesterday's yoga class was a mild form of Kundalini yoga. Among other things, we did the asana that my first Kundalini yoga teacher referred to as the ego killer. I don't believe in killing the ego - I think that is nonsense, as the ego is just a bunch of sensations that arise and that sort of have a name tag to them. Yesterday I did have an experience that could perhaps be described as having the name tags dissolve, though. It was very interesting. The asana involves stretching the arms to the sides and about 45 degrees upward, palms facing the skye, while sitting. We sat like that for a long time. The beefy guy next to me gave up pretty soon as the position was very static and made the arms first feel really heavy and then numb. I usually get very cranky but keep up the struggle in a very egoic way, because of pride. This time something else happened. I visualized stretching out my energy channels, as adviced by Lama Lena while stretching the arms the same way. I thought that since I was doing the position anyway, I might as well give that a shot. The weird thing is that at the point where the asana usually feels unbearable, instead this time it became extremely easy. The selfing of the pain fell away. It wasn't dissociation. I know how that feels. I was very present. I didn't escape from my body. It was like the hook in the struggle dissolved and suddenly there was no struggle. It felt like there had never really been a struggle in the first place. That's probably what the name refers to. 

I just came home from today's yoga class, a vinyasa. It went more smoothly than I thought it would. No 3C nana stiffness, no cause and effect quirks. There was space and precision. Even my balance was okay (for me; that's not my strong suit). Reading up on the lower nanas, I think it's the mind and body nana. I have been wondering about the phase that feels good but without the oomph of either A&P (being on top of the world) or EQ (being at peace). Of course it's mind and body. I think this is the stage where I usually very easily see waves in all "solid" matter and have my face melt away. I used to misdiagnose this as something more advanced than it was. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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During the night I have over and over been drawn into some kind of absorption that hurt, pyhisically. That hasn't happened for a long time so I was a bit surprised. Parts of it were still pleasant, especially when I surrendered to it. It felt like something was showering down from the back of my brain. The pain was also sort of showering down in a way that made it no problem. First it was the heart chakra that hurt. It felt like there was a chord from it, rooting me down. I was lying on my back. It was so heavy and dense. I could sort of melt into the pain and the tightness, and then there was a spaciousness within it. However, it felt like too much energy was assembled at one point so I suspected that my spine wasn't straight. In one of the pauses inbetween getting sucked in, I thus changed position to lying on my side. That was better. I noticed that my entire spine hurt. My body was cold. Soon the spine heated up, though. For a while it went back and forth between heated spine and freezing. My pillow got wet from the sweat. Eventually I fell into nonlucid sleep with dreaming. Now my back and neck are stiff and sore and my fascia is contracted all over the body. I guess it's the old Kundalini stuff happening again. Classical 3C nana. I have a feeling that it will be fine, though. The pain and the stiffness are managable, and I have a yin yoga class today. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

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Interresting
I wonder what caused it and why I had very similar experience yesterday...

Perhaps its just another glitch in the Matrix... I think its overheating or something emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Sorry to be cynical, but I think I just turned the pain from contracted fascia into jhana because I was too tired to move. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Notes from my 15 minutes consultation with Michael Taft, for me to remember:

Trust my intuition, don't take in lots of new information, just do what works for me. I already have the information that I need. 

If vipassana is what works for me regardless of circumstances, then routinely start the sessions with that and let that take me down the stack (that happens very fast anyway). For instance, work with "gone" (which got me to stream entry). That takes me into nonduality. Find what works in daily life and make it stable. Make the practice my own. Don't listen too much to advice from others about the order of doing things, qualities that are needed and other stuff. Basically, any practice if done right is Dzogchen. 

Don't lead with the mind. It only makes it spin. Let the practice be embodied. The body needs to integrate all this. That's the slow part of the path. Have patience!

What I'm going through now, with instability of pace, is very common at this stage and nothing to worry about. It's an ongoing negotiation with life. Very small things in life make huge differences. Learn how to live, integrate, go up the stack. Find out how I can live the practice. 

My intuition is good enough. I may doubt myself, but he does not. He has full confidence in me. I'm good at this. (Sorry for bragging, but I need this at this point.) Also, he really doesn't seem to think that I'm a pain in the ass, even though I think I am, so stop self-bashing internally! Lama Lena would say that's bad namlam (I have no idea how to spell that). 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

If vipassana is what works for me regardless of circumstances, then routinely start the sessions with that and let that take me down the stack (that happens very fast anyway).


More specifically, start every session with just noticing what it’s like to be me right now. I can’t fail with that. That’s basically how I started my daily practice. I had this timeslot every day during which I could not fail - and it actually worked.

In today’s class I was finally presented an inquiry question that works for me: ”What the fuck?” I love it. If that counts, I’m an inquiry veteran. I usually phrase it ”What the fucking fuck?” but that’s just details.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

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"Find out how I can live the practice. "

Yeps emoticon chop wood carry water, ...  go down to the market place do some work do some yoga ... emoticon 

At some point it's good to realize "my hair is not on fire any longer" (it's just the old habitual, knee jerk way to do the "meditators" stuff, chasing things. It's all just experience, be it emptiness or just an itch, it's changing anyway) emoticon 

I find it's nice to mingle amongst every day people and share hardship with them. We are in THIS together after all emoticon 


p.s. but yes, Taft is right. Don't put more yokes onto ye self. You got enough already. Mingle with folks around the market place emoticon 
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November 11th

I set an intention for the day: to engage in the investigation question ”What’s it like to be me right now?” and the inquiry question ”What the fuck?”. I felt good, because it meant that I couldn’t fail. It opened up to more presence. Less escapism, and not because escapism would be wrong but because I actually didn’t feel like it. It released energy that manifested as piti. Michael says that the tiniest things make a huge difference for the practice, and this tiny thing made me feel liberated in the moment, because of a slight change in wordings. That’s intimacy with the practice, Michael commented.

In the spirit of making the techniques my own, I made my own version of mandala based on five elements. I had been wanting to do that for a long time but lacked the drive to do it.

The questions I brought with me during the day released so much energy that I find that they need to be combined with embodiment and spaciousness. Otherwise my mind starts spinning like crazy.

At the end of the day, I did this guided meditation: https://youtu.be/S9u74tI0Owc, resting in the natural mind. Interestingly, now shamatha with an object felt right. I used the space element as object. Ni Nurta’s advice helped. I also had much more energy going today thanks to the intention that I set, so dullness was not an issue even though I did reclining meditation late in the evening. I kept being alert with hypnagogics and dream images. My nose, which had been swollen due to allergies, popped completely open, together with the paranasal cavities. Lovely spacious feeling with boundaries between my body and the rest of the world sort of fell way in a very pleasant way. During dropping the ball I was at first totally flooded with images flashing by, mainly nature images, probably because of the mandala I made. Eventually the image flood turned into a vibrational flow that did not develop fully into images. External sounds also partly turned into something not fully manifested. Lots of nada sound. For a while the nada sound zoomed in to a clear tone in my left ear. Tensions of the mind fell away. Most of the time they kept arising and falling away, but there were moments where new arisings were on pause to a relatively large extent. There was a sense of free-falling in all directions at once. When new tensions arose, thanks to the intention I had set for the day, I could notice that without needing to manipulate it.

I like the combination of releasing mind tentions during the day to get more energy and channeling that into a tranquil and letting go type of formal practice that allows the mind to disentangle and come to stillness as it organically finds peace after unrestricted dancing around. I think I need to integrate more dzogchen-like formal practice during the day, though, because I became hyper from all the presence and paradoxically lost presence because of that.


November 12th

I checked in both with the Dharmakaya nature of mind and with what it was like to be me at that very moment many times during the day and managed to maintain something rigpa-like, definitely not all the time but relatively much for being me at this point in my practice. It was my birthday and I celebrated it together with loved ones and by going to a lake and merging with all the elements. I did a cople of very short formal sits in the morning, with the sadhana inbetween them. I attempted to do one of Michael’s Thursday night guided meditations while reclining in the evening. I started out alert, dropped into vibrations and awareness very fast, had some strong centered flashes in the visual field. Then I wobbled back and forth between alertness and dullness for a while, got too relaxed and fell asleep.


November 13th

In the afternoon I did Michael’s lates guided meditation, also reclining against my better judgement. It went through a similar development but with less dramatic changes. I didn’t fall asleep. Then I went to a yoga class where I set the intention of being really present and managed to live up to that relatively well.

Since there had been repeated experiences of wobbling inbetween strong alterness and gross dullness, I did an evening session where I investigated how I can make adjustments that are subtle enough. I started with my sadhana for the extraordinary ngöndro that I’m doing with Lama Lena. I did it slowly and mindfully, especially the prostrations. It is such a pleasure to do them like that, really feeling the wave movement of them and how it stretches out and contracts different muscles on the way. It gave me some piti and opened up to empty awareness. After the sadhana I rested in tawa as tawa for a while, as instructed. That’s basically just dropping right into the empty awareness, the Dharmakaya nature of mind. When that started to feel less available, I tuned into what it was like to be me at that moment. That made me alert. There was a cat fight in front of me, so I switched to chanting Om mani padme hung for a little while. For some reason that works. Almost immediately, my bossy cat Morpheus stopped attacking nervous little Ezekiel and instead lay down to sleep. That mantra does miracles. Then I went back to investigating what it was like to be me. After a while I noticed that it speeded me up in a way that was beginning to make my mind spin, so I switched to focusing on spaciousness. That calmed me down. After some time, I tried to switch to dropping the ball, but it made me dull in a way that made my brain engage in distractions to wake itself up. I switched to opening up to everything that was happening in all sense gates, with eyes open. It was both pleasant and interesting to be with the shifting between emptiness and form. There was a waviness to it and a sense of dissolving going on right before form fully manifested. I kept doing this for a while. When the brain started to look for distractions again, I switched to my Chenrezig practice, which is basically a Brahmaviharas practice involving multiple sense gates in a simple way. That felt like a good way of ending the session. Finally I dedicated merit, chanting in Tibetan. The entire session was about 75 minutes long.


November 14th

Short morning sit switching back and forth between vipassana and trekcho.

45 minutes afternoon sit including the sadhana. In order to stay alert after a brunch I needed to switch back and forth between approaches often. My brain wants rest.

And later in the afternoon Shinzen’s one day retreat started, which I attended.


November 15th

I woke up with brainfog so on my way to yoga class I practiced basic noting. That showed to mej a sequence of occurrances that was very clearly cycling in the lower nanas. I haven’t been goid at recognizing those in the past. I know that there are people here that really don’t like mapping, and that is all good. You do you. In my case, the maps give me perspective on stuff that I’m otherwise prone to believing. I’m not using the maps to find something but to remember how it is all so dependent on conditioning, and to remember the three characteristics. It helps me not to take stuff too seriously.

The same thing kept happening in the yoga class and on the way home. I won’t go into the phenomenology of the different nanas as I don’t want to impose the maps on anybody else. I’ll just mention that I personally find it liberating to notice the nanas move through awareness just like all other arisings. A bunch of impermanent conditions that arise together, all with name tags on them as they think they are inherently ”me”, but those name tags are just impermanent arisings too. They dissolve, and a new bunch of impermanent conditions arise, with similar name tags that are also just impermanent arisings. The cycling isn’t entirely restricted to the lower nanas yet but will soon be for a while, as a new insight cycle begins (not a new path, just one of those many smaller insight cycles in this part of the terrain). When that happens, I will do my best to welcome it instead of reacting with aversion.

Some instances of energetic occurrings inside and around the head and a sense of spaciousness inside the head making its way out through the ears and the eyes.

Chenrezig group practice in the evening.


November 16th

morning: 20 minutes of sadhana, 20 minutes of sitting. The latter went back and forth between trekcho and acknowledging reality as it presented itself in the here and now.

I think what is most solid for me involves beliefs that constitute hindrances:
• not being worthy, guilt, shame
• Wanting to get away from stuff - overwhelming stuff, boring stuff
• Lack of time and energy, sense of inevitable failure (with built-in reactions to that having to do with pride, and in-built reactions to that having to do with aversion to the pride)
For some reason this slips through my investigations and I tend to believe it. Theoretically I know what to do with it: see it, be with it, have compassion for it. I just don’t like it. I guess I need to see and be with and have compassion for that too. It all just arises and dissolves. I have seen that happen, and still I get caught up in it. I thought I had worked this through, more than once, but new layers of it just keep coming to the surface. When I sit with it I do get a sense of reality here and now having much more to it than just being boring, but for some reason ignorance can be so seductive. There are cravings both for entertainment and for oblivion. Then there is aversion to that, having to do with self-grasping, which leeds to thoughts and feelings of overwhelm and failure, which in turn feeds the cravings for entertainment and oblivion, which makes me feel shame and guilt, and so forth. Earlier in my practice this didn’t happen with meditation. It was my refuge from these patterns, or so I thought. I was inflated with the practice. It was the entertainment. I guess I need to find a balance between making the practice interesting and coming to peace with it ”just” being life.
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I think what is most solid for me involves beliefs that constitute hindrances:
• not being worthy, guilt, shame
• Wanting to get away from stuff - overwhelming stuff, boring stuff
• Lack of time and energy, sense of inevitable failure (with built-in reactions to that having to do with pride, and in-built reactions to that having to do with aversion to the pride)
For some reason this slips through my investigations and I tend to believe it. Theoretically I know what to do with it: see it, be with it, have compassion for it. I just don’t like it. I guess I need to see and be with and have compassion for that too. It all just arises and dissolves. I have seen that happen, and still I get caught up in it. I thought I had worked this through, more than once, but new layers of it just keep coming to the surface. When I sit with it I do get a sense of reality here and now having much more to it than just being boring, but for some reason ignorance can be so seductive. There are cravings both for entertainment and for oblivion. Then there is aversion to that, having to do with self-grasping, which leeds to thoughts and feelings of overwhelm and failure, which in turn feeds the cravings for entertainment and oblivion, which makes me feel shame and guilt, and so forth. Earlier in my practice this didn’t happen with meditation. It was my refuge from these patterns, or so I thought. I was inflated with the practice. It was the entertainment. I guess I need to find a balance between making the practice interesting and coming to peace with it ”just” being life.

I've been doing dakini meditations recently which has helped with this kind of thing. Craving for entertainment is fire element - consuming to counter feelings of loneliness, which is a distorted reaction to emptiness. The fire dakini embodies the intimacy of knowing the particulars of a situation with compassion rather than consumption. Craving for oblivion is space element - feigning ignorance and incapacitation to counter feelings of being overwhelmed by emptiness. The space dakini represents the intelligence of being able to see the totality of the empty situation without being overwhelmed. Recognizing these reactions as part of a pattern helped me depersonalize them and then visualizing the dakini releases the energy trapped in the pattern and somehow makes it all ok, even wonderful.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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agnostic:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I think what is most solid for me involves beliefs that constitute hindrances:
• not being worthy, guilt, shame
• Wanting to get away from stuff - overwhelming stuff, boring stuff
• Lack of time and energy, sense of inevitable failure (with built-in reactions to that having to do with pride, and in-built reactions to that having to do with aversion to the pride)
For some reason this slips through my investigations and I tend to believe it. Theoretically I know what to do with it: see it, be with it, have compassion for it. I just don’t like it. I guess I need to see and be with and have compassion for that too. It all just arises and dissolves. I have seen that happen, and still I get caught up in it. I thought I had worked this through, more than once, but new layers of it just keep coming to the surface. When I sit with it I do get a sense of reality here and now having much more to it than just being boring, but for some reason ignorance can be so seductive. There are cravings both for entertainment and for oblivion. Then there is aversion to that, having to do with self-grasping, which leeds to thoughts and feelings of overwhelm and failure, which in turn feeds the cravings for entertainment and oblivion, which makes me feel shame and guilt, and so forth. Earlier in my practice this didn’t happen with meditation. It was my refuge from these patterns, or so I thought. I was inflated with the practice. It was the entertainment. I guess I need to find a balance between making the practice interesting and coming to peace with it ”just” being life.

I've been doing dakini meditations recently which has helped with this kind of thing. Craving for entertainment is fire element - consuming to counter feelings of loneliness, which is a distorted reaction to emptiness. The fire dakini embodies the intimacy of knowing the particulars of a situation with compassion rather than consumption. Craving for oblivion is space element - feigning ignorance and incapacitation to counter feelings of being overwhelmed by emptiness. The space dakini represents the intelligence of being able to see the totality of the empty situation without being overwhelmed. Recognizing these reactions as part of a pattern helped me depersonalize them and then visualizing the dakini releases the energy trapped in the pattern and somehow makes it all ok, even wonderful.

Yeah, it's a great practice, I hear, and I really like the book and the dharma talks on it*. I always knew I would have to face that space element. That fire element part is interesting, as it's unexpected. I'll think about that. I didn't really think I had much issues with that. I don't feel lonely. I have more love in my life than I have time for. I practice ethical polyamory and rarely get jealous, because it makes me happy when my loved ones are happy. I do miss a loved one who is sort of under the surface right now, though. Maybe I am compensating for that. I just assumed that I was escaping all the things I think I should do because they overwhelm me (water element). 

At the moment these issues have calmed down. The fruitions took away lots of tension that had been building up. I don't doubt that there's more to work with, though. I can viscerally feel that the overwhelm is still an issue. I still believe that's at the core of it, but who knows. These things are tricky. They mask each other. A clue is that the entertainment I seek is the kind that doesn't involve me having to leave my cosy bed and blanket. Unless someone is willing to drive me out into the nature, but I'm not in that for the entertainment but for the peace. 

I'm really not good at imagining stuff and making it feel real on my own. I can do it in death sangha, but that's a guided practice. I can probably learn, but I suspect it will take time. 

*) I'm talking about the Ken McLeod version. There are other versions that group the Dakinis differently, such as this this one: https://youtu.be/fyFUe0lv-f4. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has yet another version.
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Siavash, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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 A clue is that the entertainment I seek is the kind that doesn't involve me having to leave my cosy bed and blanket. Unless someone is willing to drive me out into the nature, but I'm not in that for the entertainment but for the peace. 

I may be completely wrong, but I guess this has to do with feeling insecure. I have this kind of feeling a lot of time, that I like to do many things only if I don't leave my room! Or similarly if there is a safe and supported container like a close friend come and take me and during that I don't have any responsibilities and etc. I always feel that this is because of feeling insecure. It may be different for you.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Siavash:
 A clue is that the entertainment I seek is the kind that doesn't involve me having to leave my cosy bed and blanket. Unless someone is willing to drive me out into the nature, but I'm not in that for the entertainment but for the peace. 

I may be completely wrong, but I guess this has to do with feeling insecure. I have this kind of feeling a lot of time, that I like to do many things only if I don't leave my room! Or similarly if there is a safe and supported container like a close friend come and take me and during that I don't have any responsibilities and etc. I always feel that this is because of feeling insecure. It may be different for you.

Yes! 

For me it's usually stuff that is demanding for my executive functioning, due to my neurodivergent wiring. That puts me into survival mode. As long as I stay in my bed with a warm blanket I'm sort of contained in a womb or in my nest. Safe. It's an animal realm thing. What you describe, with someone close to you bringing you somewhere, works for me too, especially of they bring me out in the nature. That's my habitat. Away from civilization. Unfortunately the close people I have that can actually do that, don't live in my town. 

There are many advantages to civilization, but it also in many ways drains me, very palpably. Many of my autistic friends feel the same way. 

Hence the need to invite nature into my patio. It's for all those days when I can't leave the nest.Thankfully it works. I can feel energetically that my patio is a little piece of the town that is actually alive, for real. It wouldn't surprise me if there are elementals frequenting it. They probably feel starved too. I have some other alive places within walking distance, like rocky hills where nobody ever bothered trying to build something. Those are power places. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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It just dawned on me that I'm doing my own version of that dakini practice, and I intuitively do it with the water element. There is this small lake that is my dakini (it's alive - I can feel it so I don't need to imagine it), and I merge with it, and it helps with the overwhelm. I don't need the extra fluff. I just need the lake and being with it until there's no separation. There is plenty of earth element and space there too, and I merge with that as well. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Discussing this made me plan an outing to the lake for today. They say that in this region we should only use public transport when we really have to. I realized that I really have to. I'm planning for some other procrastinated errands while I'm leaving my nest. They suddenly felt doable thanks to the lake. 
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I'm really not good at imagining stuff and making it feel real on my own. I can do it in death sangha, but that's a guided practice. I can probably learn, but I suspect it will take time. 

That might be some resistance there. I'm not much of a visual person but I was open to the idea and I was surprised how naturally it came and took on a life of its own. I started with memories of settings that I had warm feelings about (late afternoon sunlight in a harvest field, moonlight on a calm sea, wind rustling through trees etc.) Then I went on the internet and found images of dakinis I found attractive and started fantasizing about them a bit! That seemed to do the trick and make it feel real enough emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 10

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Good for you! When I started I couldn't even recall how the wall paper looked in my living/bed room (where I had been living for seven years) with my eyes closed. It turned out that it was plain white. Nowadays visualization comes relatively effortless. Now it's the imagination part that doesn't always work on command. I'm more into learning to approach things effortlessly at the moment, not just in phases where it takes over, but finding that it's always available. I have some imagining practice going on already with my sadhana and a Chenrezig practice that I do as sort of a side practice. I don't think I'll add more of that stuff right now. I really need to learn to just drop into rigpa. I actually think that is sort of a requirement for getting the most benefit out of the Dakini practice too, for me, to sort of open up to the Sambhogakaya realm of being, but it's great that it works for you. Different people have different pathways into stuff.