Louis' Practice Log 2

thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 5 Months ago.

Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Wassup folks, I decided it is time to create a new practice log as my other one definitely died haha. Put simply my goal in meditation is to hit stream entry, and my weapon for this is going to be noting aloud. I had a period where I got fed up with speaking the notes and had doubts about the effectiveness of the technique and switched to silent noting but I had no luck with this, constantly spacing out and in la la land. So I guess the only way forward is this method. We will see what happens! emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Well, welcome back to noting and DhO! I was wondering where you had gone. Best wishes in your practice going forward
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1842 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Welcome back! You might want to read the last few posts by Olivier posted in Sam's log. It might be useful for you, aloud or silent, might be of benefit! 

Best wishes! emoticon 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for the warm welcome back Sam and Papa Che!emoticon Today I meditated for 2.5 hours (1x one hour sit and 2x 45 minute sits). Started the first sit with some concentration on the breathe, counting up to 10 and back over and then began noting after around 10 minutes or so. Can't really remember much about this sit. The second and third sits I decided to just go with pure noting aloud, and set an intention to keep the noting going for the entire session without any lapses. The first 45er was very concentrated and had some calm and relaxation. Lots of numbness in the bum and pain in the lower back but these were met with acceptance. Also high pitch frequency in the ears. Also felt a very pleasant set of vibrations in the third eye region. The final sit was filled with a lot more impatience and also tiredness. Decided to stand up and continue the noting without lapse for around 15 minutes until the energy came back. Kept with whispering for both of the sits as I could focus better this way. Probably around 2-3 sensations a second in both 45'ers. So yeah, first day back to noting aloud went well! 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Managed to sit 2x45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud yesterday but didn't feel like logging it. Today I actually missed practice for the first time in like 100 days. Only because the whole day was spent moving houses and it's now 11pm and I feel like a dead fish haha. Guilt is currently arising as I am not letting myself practice today but I shouldnt get too caught up over it. Tomorrow's another day!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Don't waste time with the guilt. Its only hurting you and possibly contributing to doubt. Everyone misses a session once in a while. I did yesterday. Just get on with it!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Sam I will definitely not let guilt overrun me! 

Today was another day of non stop work with unpacking and getting things sorted. Forced myself to sit one session of freestyle noting aloud (45 minutes) at around 10pm since I didn't want to miss two days in a row. Some interesting stuff happened this sit. The main thing that happened was that the hands felt absolutely huge, this hasn't happened since I began meditating I don't think, at least not to this extent. Also at one point my visual field with closed eyes kind of began moving like one of those infinite zoom videos (kind of like when you drink a shit tonne then lay down and close your eyes). This was very unpleasant and made me feel quite sick. Anyways that passed. As for other things I felt tension in the lower back, no numbness in the bum, some pleasant vibrations in the third eye region. Voice switched from whispering to normal and back to whispering. Didn't let noting stop for the entire session. I know I have been slacking for the last two days but really I've had no choice with this house move to deal with. Hopefully tomorrow won't be so busy and my arse can have some intimate time with that cushion. Onwards and forwards! 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Decided to drop a quick update on how practice has been going, I know I haven't been updating recently, but that's just because I'm bombarded with adjusting to this new house and all these university exams. Anyways, currently I am doing around two hours of practice a day. Each sitting is an hour long and starts with 15 minutes of just staring at a bowl like Kenneth folk suggests to get some concentration in the mix. Once this is over, I begin to do freestyle noting aloud for the remaining 45 minutes. Today in my final session I experienced tension in the lower back, numbness in the bum, high pitch frequency on the left side only, an extremely unpleasant tightness in the lower abdomen which was there for pretty much the whole sit, and also the feeling of noting being really effortful and almost annoying. Each word coming out of my mouth felt really hard to spit out and took a lot of effort. Tried fixing this by adjusting the noting voice volume but it did no good, just continued to note and pay attention to this feeling of ill will. I will try to update this log more frequently but I won't make any promises! emoticon hope you are all doing well. 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1842 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Each word coming out of my mouth felt really hard to spit out and took a lot of effort."

This sounds familiar. Also hard to note that "resistance, disqust, aversion, misery" towards certain objects while it's happening. 

There will come time in your practice where there is no other way to deal with such unpleasant arisings but to face it all with utter acceptance in all its utter unpleasant glory. Yes, to the point of utter misery and utter disgust in the midst of the tornado of unpleasantness. 

But yes, raised voice with a miserable face expression might help go through the entire session. It's ok to just note Unpleasant, misery, disqust, sadness, self pity, fear, helpless, unpleasant, in such a situation. 

Best wishes!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Papa Che for your good advice as always emoticon 

No practice today as I spent the entire day doing university exams, had to do 50 questions and two huge essays all in a day so super tired now. Will try and sit a lot tomorrow. 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1842 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Good luck with the exams! (Well, we all know it's not luck but the amount of study invested so, study well emoticon
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Papa Che! 


Today I managed to sit 3x 45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud. I made sure to set a strong intention before starting the noting session that I was to keep the noting continuous throughout the entire sit to ensure for little to no graps in the stream of mindfullness. This helped a lot as in all three sessions I was able to keep noting 1-3 sensations a second until the bell rang. In the first two sits I experienced a very solid pain in the lower abdomen and also resistance to noting, the words were hard to get out but this stopped in the third sit. Stiffness in the lower back here and there, vibrations in the third eye region, pleasant warmth in the hands, few itches here and there which were watched until they dissappeared, didn't really disperse into a cluster of vibrations, more or less just abruptly stopped. At some points I said "who is talking" to throw in a little bit of inquiry but the noting was kept continuous. This was all done with the eyes closed. Not much else to say about the sits, they were solid!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Just sat a 45er freestyle noting aloud eyes closed:

The sit started with lots of resistance and embarrassment from hearing the voice. Unpleasant tightness in the lower abdomen persisted. The arse on the chair was very much in pain for most of the sit, an unpleasant hardness. No lower back pain seemed to come up. Definitely lots of sadness and misery coming up in this sit, feelings of wanting to renounce from the world and go sit in a cave. Also a lot of doubt thoughts arising like "how is this going to get me enlightenment?" Noted these and persisted with noting. Boredom was also very much present throughout this sit. Impressions of the timer chiming in arose a lot and I noted this as impatience. Managed to keep a pace of around 1-2 sensations a second for the duration of the sit. 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Sat another 45er FNA but decided to go with open eyes this time to get some concentration in the mix. Stared at a step on a ladder placed against a wall. Pretty soon the visual field became very blurred and the ladder step started to glow, this would reset if any blinking occurred which was also noted. Some of the unpleasant tightness in the lower abdomen continued but the pain was mainly in the form of tightness in the mid back region, no pain in the bum this time as I swapped seats. Noting was a lot faster I would say 2-3 a second but this slowed down as the sit continued until It felt like the dancer had fully given up at one point, and it felt like there was only this-ness unfolding with no one to refer back to. Pretty cool stuff. High pitch frequency in the left ear persisted and at one point felt like it was above the head. Pleasant vibrations and warmth in the cupped hands. Also some images of the mouth moving and timer impressions kicking in towards the end. Just goes to show you that these sits are also targets for impermanence, one sit you feel like shit, the other sit you feel good. I'm just glad that I kept the noting continuous throughout the entire sit, thats the goal here. 
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sounds like 3 solid sits. Good job!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Sam!emoticon
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I know I haven't updated this log for a while. However since then I still have been practicing every day for 2-3 hours on average. I was experimenting with silent noting again rather than the classic out loud noting and I did make some progress but did get quite frustrated with spacing out here or there. I have now realised that I shouldn't be so limiting. From now on I am going to start sits with noting aloud as per usual, but if i feel concentration building very high I will swap to silent noting and gear change if required. Not too sure where I am on the POI, but I won't worry about it for now. Just gonna continue noting. Oh yeah another thing I have been experimenting with is bringing noting into daily life a lot more which is new for me. Before I really overlooked practicing off the cushion, but now I see the benefit of throwing in some noting here or there when walking, eating, drinking, falling asleep, showering, etc. Even when using the computer I will sometimes internally note "moving","clicking","seeing","sitting" and so on. 
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Glad to see you you back. Practicing 2-3 hours a day is pretty hardcore outside of retreat! Your plan with noting and concentration sounnds good. May you practice well.
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Sam! Wishing you the best too buddy! emoticon
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1842 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
That sounds like good stuff; off cushion remembering to be awake in the experience is lovely! Also please do not beat your self with silent vs aloud noting emoticon I think your plan is very sound, to start building the energy and flow with aloud noting and then see how it goes, however I really dont see what the difference is in being awake in the moment while opening the mouth and being awake in the moment with a closed mouth emoticon Satipatthana can be applied in any and all postures or situations, walking, talking, sitting, driving, typing, deficating, looking, smelling, ... etc ... 

As you are finding time to sit up to 3 hours a day, maybe try and do one hour with 100% Noting ALOUD and the other two by starting with noting and see how the energy and flow are behaving and switch as you see fit? This way you dont get unsure for that one hour out of the 3.

​​​​​​​Best wishes to you Louis!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you for the solid advice as always Papa Che. This sounds like a very good idea making sure that the first hour is strictly aloud. And yes I still don't know why I have a discrimination between out loud and silent noting, same same really. Wishing you the best emoticon​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Today I managed to sit for 2 hours and 35 minutes (2x 1 hour sessions of noting aloud and also a 35 minute session). 

To summarise the sits, they went well. The final sit was supposed to be an hour but I cut it short and went to work out as it was already super late in the evening and was too drained. The first two sits were good. Lots of pain in the bum and lower back which were noted and met with acceptance, some logging thoughts here and there simply noted as "thinking", also a few stream entry thoughts which were labelled as "thinking" and "craving". I also noticed at one point there was a strong sort of pressure or cluster of vibrations around the third eye region which was pleasant. I noted "striving" a few times as I could feel that dancer who wants SE going nuts as the noting sped up. Sometimes I would say "who is talking" to throw in a little bit of inquiry but noting was kept steady. I would say 1-2 sensations a second on average and at some points this increased to 3-4. In both sits towards the end I swapped to silent noting and experimented with no noting at all. I could only do this once the level of momentary concentration was very high. So yeah that is all!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I also have to ask you all a question. Which do you think would be the best way to spend an hour sit? Start with 15 minutes of concentration practice such as breath counting or just go pure noting for the duration of the hour? What do y'all think? 
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1762 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
This is something only you can really answer, so how about sitting with that question for a while?! I remember getting some good insights wrestling with such practice related questions 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the reply George, seems like a good idea haha
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Today I sat for 2 hours and 45 minutes:

I started the day with a 45 minute session of freestyle noting aloud. The sit was filled with lots of boredom and negativity, however I tried my best to fully accept these sensations and noted any aversion that came up. Lots of pain in the body especially in the lower back and hip area, definitely a lot of doubt coming up too, but i managed to keep up with noting 1-2 sensations for the entire sit. I did start with open eyes and stared at the wall and switched to closed eyes when it felt appropiate. The next two sits where an hour long and both started with 15 minutes of concentration practice, just counting the breaths to 10 and then repeating until the interval timer chimed in. Then the rest of the sit was finished with 45 minutes of freestyle noting aloud. I remember in the first sit the voice was very quiet and noting was extremely fast, maybe up to 5 times a second at some points but probably around 2-3 on average. The second sit was similar but I decided to try it laying down on my bed as I was sick of the pain in the bum and back from sitting on that dreaded wooden stool lol. I made sure to use "there is" at the beggining of notes to ensure there was clarity even when there was tiredness kicking in from laying down and once it was dropped I made sure that the voice was loud enough to reduce spacing out. I think today went well. Hard to remember specifics about each sit, how do you all do it?!
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1842 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
During my work with Kenneth Folk I would report once a month and would only tell him about what really stood out as important. He never asked about a daily or weekly report. And I was not stressing about it either. What has passed has passed ;D 
As long the sitting took place and I've kept noting throughout it was a win. Report or not report emoticon The sit actually happened and I was not being lost in La-la Land during it. Score! Mara 0 - 1 Buddha emoticon 
I just sat today in freestyle noting aloud for a 45er and you came to mind a few times emoticon sending much Metta your way! 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Haha you are right! A sit done is a sit won!! Sending you my best wishes Papa Che emoticon
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Only going to be posting now if i feel some clear shifts taking place in practice. For now I am just going full speed ahead with 45er sessions of freestyle noting aloud. I also look at something across the room to add some concentration in the mix and close them later in the session if there is the urge. So much gratitude for people like Papa Che and Sam on this site, looking back on their old logs gives me so much motivation for practice and is super inspiring. Feeling very light for the past few days, a lot better of a feeling than the usual hard sadness I am in, who knows could be low EQ but who cares lol. Thank you all for helping me on this journey. 
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the gratitude Louis. As you know, I've increased my concentration too. May you practice well
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes Sam I am still looking at your logs and your practice seems to be going very well! I think I may be in low EQ territory as of right now, for the last few days I have only felt the need to practice for an hour and a half which is really strange for me. Usually I am constnatly pushing as hard as I can as there is always this subtle feeling of sadness/suffering that is motivating me to practice hard. I can definitely feel those weights lifting. In todays second sit the noting was very slow and the voice was very subtle and quiet, many pleasant vibrations and overall a feeling of coolness and peace, not the usual feeling of striving what so ever. Maybe my 630 hours of practice is finally paying off for me, who knows? All I can do is pay attention to that stream of samsara. wohooo
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Had time today to sit 3x45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud:

All of the sits were very unpleasant and dull. Lots of pain in the body, especially in the arse and in the lower back region. Lots of tiredness and dullness and also impatience. I can see the image impression of the timer and the number "45" in the image space as well as an image of me getting up off the chair. This impression has a very strong pull and is hard to resist. Overally very much hopeless and defeated, but will keep going of course! Sending all the metta I have to people who walk this path, it feels like a bar fight and you have dukkha and anicca ready to knock you onto your sorry arse at any given moment. Acceptance and faith in this journey is the only solution emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Louis Joel
Had time today to sit 3x45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud:

All of the sits were very unpleasant and dull. Lots of pain in the body, especially in the arse and in the lower back region. Lots of tiredness and dullness and also impatience. I can see the image impression of the timer and the number "45" in the image space as well as an image of me getting up off the chair. This impression has a very strong pull and is hard to resist. Overally very much hopeless and defeated, but will keep going of course! Sending all the metta I have to people who walk this path, it feels like a bar fight and you have dukkha and anicca ready to knock you onto your sorry arse at any given moment. Acceptance and faith in this journey is the only solution emoticon
Have had many sits exactly like that unpleasent and dull, lots of pain. Don't be hopeless and defeated. Its impermanant. It doesn't mean it will be like this the next time. That's right, acceptance and faith.
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1842 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
emoticon you said it well emoticon acceptance of all experience and faith in the practice. Well done on seeing clearly how that restless urge to get up unfolds! You are doing great! Dukkha is a very good motivator I find. Whenever I would hit some heavy states/stages the daily sits would increase.

​​​​​​​Best wishes to you Louis!
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thank you guys I really appreciate your words of kindness, really helps in those times of doubt that I got the dharma boys backing me in the bar fight! Don't worry guys, pints are on me tonight emoticon
Tim Farrington, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Did somebody say they were buying the drinks?

Now THAT's good practice! I accept, with faith. Thank you, Louis! May these pints help all sentient beings, especially those drinking them.
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes Tim the drinks will be on me until all sentient beings reach nirvana! Maybe I need to start a GoFundMe page haha emoticon Anyways I can feel some momentum being developed in practice, finally I have full faith that all I can do is glue my arse to that cushion and note 1-5 sensations a second for the duration of the sit. I have been consistently sitting 2-3 times a day (45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud each session). I also have been throwing some inquiry in there, so for example I will say "who is seeing", "who is talking", "who is struggling", "who is bored", "who is feeling". This is very very useful for me and I am seeing more and more clearly how experience and experiencer cannot be separated lol. The knower and the known have always been one. I have noticed my so called "self" chirping up some fear once the no self side of things becomes more and more pronounced as if Louis is holding on as hard as he can to any sort of ground. This reminds me very much of something Shargrol wrote, he was saying how being free and awake is so terrifying to our little sense of selfs and I can definitely relate to this! Oh yes by the way all my sessions I am staring at a kasina object a couple feet in front of me to get some concentration gainzzz. Sometimes I will close them and other times I keep them open for the entire sit. Sometimes It still surpirses me how such a simple method of just calling out what you experience can bring about such life changing insights. Typical westerner...always thinks theres more to it emoticon Thank you all for the love and support. Don't know where I would be without Dho! 
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
So far sat twice today. Lots of sadness and agitation. Feelings of wanting to renounce the world and sit in a cave forever lol. During the sits attention is very unstable and it feels like I can't lock onto anything even when using "there is" in front of notings. Just being awake to the present moment is feeling very agitating and there is desire for this all to end. Maybe I am slightly burning out and need to chill but who knows. 
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Is the "desire for this all to end" mean for the meditation session to end or life? This is a long shot but  I felt like this when  I was in the Desire for Delliverance stage of the Dark Night Do you know where you're at in the POI? 
You shouldn't have to stop practice. Just be with what you're experiencing.
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I am not too sure where I am in the POI, I try not to diagnose myself too much as I find it to be more of a hinderance figuring out where I am rather than just paying attention to the present moment. And I am not suicidal but have had suicidal thoughts come up here and then, just see them as more sensations. Definitely been feeling depressed and somewhat depersonalized for the last few days but I assume it is nothing major as Ive had this come up before. 
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1762 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Louis Joel
During the sits attention is very unstable and it feels like I can't lock onto anything even when using "there is" in front of notings. 

Classic dark night (3rd vipassana jhana) attentional effect where the centre loses focus and everything feels like it's out on the periphery ("sitting in the hole of the donut" as Daniel says in MCTB). The key is accepting that you can't focus sharply on stuff any more and embracing the diffuse "edginess", then it passes.

​​​​​​​Maybe some therapy might help for the depression? No need to suffer in silence.
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the reply George I really appreciate it. Yeah definitely feels like dark night but sometimes I wonder if I've even crossed the A&P yet. I mean I have had over 650 hours of practice now which feels like it should be long enough lol. And I have definitely had a few memorable moments where my mind literally fell off really far in the background and all that was left was the awareness of some intense vibrations. But definitely nothing too crazy like some of the stories I've heard from some. Who knows. But it definitely feels like I've been cycling around the DN for a couple of months at least. Maybe have hit low EQ a few times but not too sure. I don't see no reason in worrying about it too much as it's just more distraction from thisness unfolding moment by moment. And yeah maybe some therapy would help lol
Tim Farrington, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Lots of sadness and agitation. Feelings of wanting to renounce the world and sit in a cave forever lol. During the sits attention is very unstable and it feels like I can't lock onto anything even when using "there is" in front of notings. Just being awake to the present moment is feeling very agitating and there is desire for this all to end. Maybe I am slightly burning out and need to chill but who knows. 

I understand your inclination to not paint yourself into a particular corner on the PoI map(s), but this is pretty classic dark night stuff. I think you should probably renounce the world and go sit in a cave forever, lol. 

Seriously, you're already in the cave, and you renounce "the world" every time you wake up again to the present moment. The unstable attention, unable to lock on to anything, the loss of substance in the "there is" in front of notings, and the accompanying agitation: this is the dissolution, and the fear, and the disgust. It's dawning on the self that the three characteristics are true: this shit IS transient, dukkha-making, and without a stable center of self in charge of it all. It's visceral, in the dukkha nanas, your entire being is getting the news, and there's no hand-hold or safety net, nothing to cling to, nothing to stabilize the attention, nowhere to stabilize the attention. The dark night is the freak out time when we realize the depth and truth of what we've sort of been saying all along, like the cartoon character when he runs off a cliff and stands there in thin air for a moment before he gets it. The miracle of meditation practice is that it dissolves not only the cliff, but the fall: no cliff to stand on, no place to fall. It was like this all along. What the fuck does THAT mean?! And how will I be able to do the dishes?

You're actually doing great. Remember your vow to buy the drinks for all sentient beings. A lot of people have to stick around for eons even after they've disappeared entirely into fathomless nothingness, just to pay off their bar tabs.
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes reading this reply is actually quite funny because as of recent I have been experiencing somehwhat of an existential fear that comes up sometimes as I feel that my so called "self" has deeply realised that it doesn't exist and is bringing up fear as a reaction. And yes you're right all drinks must be served no matter what! Forward!
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1762 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
In my experience my self still exists, just not in the way I previously thought of it, which was more neurotic, so my relationship with it has changed (and is still changing). Definitely fear and anxiety can be a part of that process, but it's  all good, even if it feels the opposite sometimes. emoticon
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Managed to transmute some dukkha into power today in my home gym after two difficult sits today. I got 100kg on bench press for 6 reps!!! I haven't done that in ages so was very pleased emoticon

Anyways, today I sat two 45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud with eyes open gazing at a kasina object. In general there is lots of negativity and sadness, the notes feel hard to get out, feels like attention can't lock onto anything at all and it just jumps all over the place. In general all of the sensations feel very murky and not so well visible, I feel myself becoming uncertain a lot during the sit as to whether I am even noting matter of fact or just in a trance and speaking (I do note this uncertainty). I manage to keep around 1-2 sensations for the duration of the sits although at one point today I stopped for probably 30 seconds as there was so much misery and ugh-ness haha. But I gave myself a kick up the arse and jumped back into noting until the bell rang. There feels as if there is some definite tension in the upper region of the torso and even in the lower abdomen. Lots and lots of doubt coming up as if I am even doing this thing right or am I just wasting my time? (all noted as "thinking" or "doubt"). Off cushion the mind feels quite crazy as if there is some sort of war going on. Lots of thoughts about past traumas and relationships coming up, as well as some of my insecurities about myself making a nice appearance. My guess is that I hit Low EQ and slid back down into the dukkha nanas for whatever reason but no biggy as I am not trying to escape these nanas as if something is wrong. As hard as it is I am trying to bring kindness and acceptance to all these negative sensations. So my question to you folk is, do you think doing two 45 minute sessions of freestyle noting aloud is good enough to keep me sailing in the right direction in the vast ocean of samsara? Should I maybe try and up the sits? My second question is do you think I need to add a separate samatha only session to gain more conecntration? or is gazing at a kasina during noting aloud likely doing the job? I know you lot are probably gonna say only you can figure this out but just gimme something! Even if you tell me I'm a stupid fuck and all i have to do is just sit my arse on that cushion and deal with it! emoticon Thank you all for your kindness and support so far in this log, I appreciate you all infinitely <3
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Also I think I am gonna have a go at doing 15 minutes of samatha, just counting the breath from 1-10 and back again before the 45 minutes of freestyle noting aloud, so that the entire session will be an hour. Also gonna try and keep eyes closed the whole session and see if there is any difference, not a big deal just thought i'd throw it in there lol
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Louis Joel
Also I think I am gonna have a go at doing 15 minutes of samatha, just counting the breath from 1-10 and back again before the 45 minutes of freestyle noting aloud, so that the entire session will be an hour. Also gonna try and keep eyes closed the whole session and see if there is any difference, not a big deal just thought i'd throw it in there lol

FWIW, I do my counting the breaths/concentration before noting and it helps relax me. I also keep my eyes closed all session too and that helps me with distractions. Let me know if it makes a difference
thumbnail
Louis Joel, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 121 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Hey Sam, I have sat two hour sessions today doing 15 mins of breath counting before the 45 mins noting (with eyes closed the whole time) and I definitely felt more relaxed emoticon Gonna stick with this for now and see what happens!
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1151 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Awesome!
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Louis' Practice Log 2

Posts: 1762 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Yeah Louis I think the samatha sounds like a good idea - help you get more in touch with what's going on in your body and out of your head for a bit. I found Leigh Brasington's book Right Concentration really helpful at first, especially the bits on how to arouse piti (pleasant sensation) if you haven't already. Then there's also Ajahn Brahm's Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond which is more advanced but full of practical stuff, plus I like his YouTube talks cause he's a lovely guy who really transmits how joyful and beautiful meditating can be.

Breadcrumb