RE: George practice log.

george, modified 1 Month ago.

George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
So thought I'd start a practice log because I'm really sucking at being consistent with my practice.

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21635551


This is a link to my past experience so my practice is coming off the back of that.

my practice isn't consistent but it's different to before. I can't concentrate to save my life. I can't even note like I used to. Is it because I had 6 months off? I don't know. I feel like I had more motivation when I first started practicing. Before I was alert and aware now I'm dull and lost. 

i fucking pissed off because before it was so emotionally taxing to sit yet I still practiced. Now when I'm feeling fine I'm not practicing.

George
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 2385 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
hey George, welcome back to the mat! I was laughing, going over your first log. 

from your last log, you said to Jarrett: "I've stopped my insight practice but will be starting it again in the near future. I want some intellectual knowledge to mature and also coolect my thoughts regarding the previous experience. I also want to strengthen my shamatha practice before i continue anything."

So how did that go, as far as having your intellectual knowledge mature and collecting your thoughts about your previous experience?

my practice isn't consistent but it's different to before. I can't concentrate to save my life. I can't even note like I used to. Is it because I had 6 months off? I don't know. I feel like I had more motivation when I first started practicing. Before I was alert and aware now I'm dull and lost. 

i fucking pissed off because before it was so emotionally taxing to sit yet I still practiced. Now when I'm feeling fine I'm not practicing.

What kind of practice are you doing now? How much? My impression, for what it's worth (less than 2 cents), is that you really may not want to practice right now. You say you're feeling fine, not practicing, and from what I'm hearing here, you're beating the shit out of yourself about the practice you are feeling fine not doing. It sounds like your life ain't broke, and you're making yourself miserable trying to fix it. Or am I missing something here?
george, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks everyone for your words. Tim yes I feel like I have a better grasp intellectually of how to go about it but I'm still confused. I want to practice, I want to awaken.

I've been trying to do 30min everyday but its a struggle. Mostly doing Shamatha practice.

Does there have to be someone that notices everything? Isn't it all phenomena arising. Why does there have to be someone noticing the breath? The breath is just there.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

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Does there have to be someone that notices everything? Isn't it all phenomena arising. Why does there have to be someone noticing the breath? The breath is just there.

'Cause having a subject (me) and an object (it) is how your mind works. The goal of practice is to sort that stuff out, figure out how it really works, eventually to "get it" in a deep, non-intellectual way. That's the "Isn't all phenomena arising?" part, but that's the advanced, deeper part that has to be preceded by the work of your practice. There isn't a magic button that gets you "there" all at once.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 2385 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
george:
Thanks everyone for your words. Tim yes I feel like I have a better grasp intellectually of how to go about it but I'm still confused. I want to practice, I want to awaken.

I've been trying to do 30min everyday but its a struggle. Mostly doing Shamatha practice.

Okay, "I want to practice, I want to awaken," is the note I was missing in your first post. Obviously agnostic and Chris picked right up on it, because they're right, you're in a classic time-to-just-practice-anyway phase. 

This is sort of what we were joking about on your first thread--- looking forward to being fucked up together, lol. Your practice is a struggle right now, and feels fucked up. We all go through this, again and again. 30 minutes a day is plenty right now, clearly, so the first thing is to accept the state of your art and not push for more, or "better." Letting go of that urgency, accepting the path as a long haul, can be a surprising lightening-up in itself. Embracing your technique and simply doing it, coming back to it from waves of doubt, iteration by re-iteration, is the way forward, scary in its simplicity, very unspectacular. This is where your faith in the technique gets built, in doing it with no signs of fruits for a while. Give it time to work; there's a vast amount of reorientation going on in your brain and mind and heart at any given moment in your practice, and most of it is invisible most of the time. But something is ripening, with practice; in a way, part of the technique is what we do to not interfere with the ripening process, lol. So give yourself a break and accept a steady pace over some bumpy road for a while. You're covering ground just fine, keeping your eyes on the road and staying between the white lines.
george, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks guys again for your words. Makes me feel more optimistic. I don't feel fucked up emotionally, I just feel like my practice is dull and useless, boring. When practicing before I was having kriyas and feeling chakras, lots of wonderful things that made me feel like I was getting somewhere. I don't get any of the energetic stuff happening anymore and I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I take it this is normal? 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

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George, boring is where it's at. 
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

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Chris Marti:
George, boring is where it's at. 

lol, and amen to this. This is the Path T-shirt Slogan of the Week.
george, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

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Ok thanks guys I'll continue practicing and investigate boredom : )
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 2385 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
George, HouseOnFire was recently dealing with boredom on the mat, and it sent me back to a thread called "Fun with Boredom" by Steph. 

Fun with Boredom - Discussion - www.dharmaoverground.org

She says:
Steph

I don't know about all y'all, but one of the hardest collection of sensations for me to slug through is the ones associated with boredom - even more so than overt anger, fear, sadness, and much of the other stuff generally considered unpleasant. When I get to a point in a sit where it seems boring or dull, sometimes I'll tune out/zone out and let the mind loops rip or just want to get up. But other times I feel more compelled to investigate it. And boredom is totally unboring under a microscope.


Really it's a very deep dive into subtle anger and restlessness. It feels like craving/aversion/clinging are having a temper tantrum at the edge of a cliff when you look closely. A pattern of push-pull between them. The areas of the heart, solar plexus, and gut all have these concentrations of tensions that feel like they push outward (like they're grasping forward) - part of that forward motion feeling that makes you feel like you want to get up. Then add to that, the glutes and backs of the legs have tension that seems like it's trying to propel the body up and forward. This can get really intense when you first focus in on it, which is why it makes ya feel like you need to get up immediately, especially when it's interspersed with a forward pulling tension in the gut. 

Mental formations do this thing where they seem to turn back away from themselves - the zone out. And kinda throughout the body there's a dull, cloudy feeling that when you look at more closely is actually a very subtle buzzing of anger. It's like this low level hum of anger that moves really slowly and seems dense until you zoom in and it starts to pixelate. Wild stuff.

Just some thoughts and something to look at next time you're bored on the cushion.
agnostic, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 1228 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
george:
I'm really sucking at being consistent with my practice.

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21635551


This is a link to my past experience so my practice is coming off the back of that.

my practice isn't consistent but it's different to before. I can't concentrate to save my life. I can't even note like I used to. Is it because I had 6 months off? I don't know. I feel like I had more motivation when I first started practicing. Before I was alert and aware now I'm dull and lost. 

i fucking pissed off because before it was so emotionally taxing to sit yet I still practiced. Now when I'm feeling fine I'm not practicing.

George

Believe it or not, this is a good sign! It means your practice is working and getting into some deeper areas of discomfort which you would rather avoid. Feeling alert and motivated is natural when practice is comfortable (i.e. stagnating) and feeling dull and lost is a natural reaction when your practice is uncomfortable (i.e. progressing). You need to give yourself a pat on the back! The trick is accept the problems for what they are (a sign of progress) and try to allow them to rest in awareness where they will slowly open up and dissolve. Even poor concentration can be marinated in awareness.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 3763 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
i fucking pissed off because before it was so emotionally taxing to sit yet I still practiced. Now when I'm feeling fine I'm not practicing.

Classic!

No pain, no motivation. But there are other reasons to practice:

1. What are you, really?
2. How is your experience put together?
3. What does it mean to be a human being?
4. Is there a better way to be (with family, friends, coworkers)
5. what causes our difficult and powerful emotions?

Get curious, and get going.

emoticon
george, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
So i've changed it up yet again practice wise. Before where i spaced out and went into a mind loop now im getting more curious as to how i'm experiencing this moment and noting it. periodically checking into the body and noting emotional tone as well. It really isn't boring after all.

So there is a spacey, dullness. It's like a thick drape is layered on top of me that kind of numbs me. Mind is fairly quiet. 

I just realised also that the need to control my experience is not present, something that I now realise was present in the first post. Simply being curious and observing what's happening. No fighting. It's OK to be spacey.


george
george, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Motivation very low. Hoping that if I write something in here I'd trick myself into caring. 
George S, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

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Of course you fucking care.
Tim Farrington, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 2385 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Of course you fucking care.

lol, amen. so the "trick" worked. Which means it wasn't a trick, it was a technique. Your log is part of your practice, an aspect of your meditation ecosystem, and the feedback loops through it are part of how you uncover your motivation. You can see it in one of my early exchanges up-thread with you, where I couldn't tell whether you were motivated or not, either, but George and Chris Marti could. 

Of course you fucking care. That's why we're here. 

you were HERE, about a month ago:
So i've changed it up yet again practice wise. Before where i spaced out and went into a mind loop now im getting more curious as to how i'm experiencing this moment and noting it. periodically checking into the body and noting emotional tone as well. It really isn't boring after all.

So there is a spacey, dullness. It's like a thick drape is layered on top of me that kind of numbs me. Mind is fairly quiet. 

I just realised also that the need to control my experience is not present, something that I now realise was present in the first post. Simply being curious and observing what's happening. No fighting. It's OK to be spacey.


Where are you at now?
george, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks guys. I guess I do care, there's just so much aversion to practicing. And yeah I guess I'm writing on here so that I can motivate myself somehow to push through. I'm spacing out quite a bit and fantasising a lot in my sits but I notice it. 
George S, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 1228 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Bringing awareness to aversion is the practice! Instead of trying to push through aversion (which leads to spacing out and fantasising), try exploring it instead. Where do you feel it in the body? What are the sensations like? What happens if you allow yourself to drop right into the center of the aversion?
george, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
So tonight I decided to sit with this shit feeling. I wasn't sure what to do because I didn't want to space out and get all dull so I noted everything hard for 15 min until I saw some clarity. This heaviness just lifted and i was bright, alert, light. I know that's not going to happen all the time but it has shown me why I do this. 
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 2385 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
So tonight I decided to sit with this shit feeling. 

Amen. Sitting with this shit is a great description of what we do. The lightness, clarity, and radiance of accepted shit is always a surprise.
george, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Frustration, anger, impatience coming up. Where at the start I was experiencing a lot of love, wonder, joy now I feel like a shit human. Trying times. I tell myself that it's just the universe doing it's thing, don't be hard on yourself but when you don't even have the patience to talk to people it can get hard. Just trying to note my experience. Not much room for love and kindness. 
george, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
I am grateful that I'm sitting through it though. I don't want to give up. I need to keep going.
Tim Farrington, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 2385 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
George, this is classic dark night, dukkha nanas. Love and joy a distant memory, and it feels like we were probably fooling ourselves about that rainbow shit anyway. The shit human being is right here, all the time, in every direction, coloring everything, and everything we do as that shit human being only makes it worse. But doing nothing is impossible. Meanwhile, there are people in our life, and responsibilities to fulfill, and real things to get done. It seems like maybe the best we can do is hold our mud, off the mat. And on the mat, shit, and deeper shit.

I am grateful that I'm sitting through it though. I don't want to give up. I need to keep going.

Yeah. And what's there to go back to? What would it mean to stop? It's too late for that, the can of worms is open. My rules of thumb here are to truly realize that there is no hurry, here as much as anywhere, where there seems to be nothing to do, and every something seems to make it worse. You really are engaged in a process, the path is real, and this is where you're at. Trust what got you this far. There is an unimaginable amount of work going on in this phase where only the shit can be seen; you're letting go of stuff in the way that only misery can teach us to let go of it, like it's a hot stove. The first fruit is humility, we realize that the conquering hero is shit, that however this is going to get done, it's not because we're in control. And the second rule of thumb is related to the trust that lets you slow down and give this deep work the time it really takes: let go of fear. Trust what got you here. The worst has sort of happened, lol, it's shit humanity everywhere you look, and no shining light at the end of the tunnel visible. Accept that. This is what we were supposed to be most afraid of, shit, shit, and more shit, and no clue how to get out of it. So again, trust what got you here, let go of that blind urgency to escape and the useless fear of being in this, both of which only make it worse. You're right where you need to be, and you're sitting through it, and not giving up. Trust that, accept this. It really does come with the territory. A lot of old stuff is coming up for examination here, and being seen through as useless or worse. It feels like shit. It IS shit, lol. But this shit will burn, in the fire you're sitting in. What's left will be the unforeseeable creative response to what is. So trust what got you here, here above all. And hang in there, buddy.
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george, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks Tim, your words mean the world.
​​​​​​​It makes a lot of sense. Whatever it is I need to sit and like you said burn it up. That's all I care about, I don't even care about stream entry. 
It's funny because at the start you think you're this amazing human that is doing this amazing thing now it's as if ok what am I doing wrong, shouldn't I be more loving with all the meditation I'm doing?
Anyway I've sat for an hour today & im going to sit again.

Lots of love to you and the community, thanks.
George S, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: George practice log.

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george
It's funny because at the start you think you're this amazing human that is doing this amazing thing

Some people spend decades there ... welcome to real practice emoticon
george, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: George practice log.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Feeling ok. Was fairly spacey in tonight's sit but I still sat for an hour. I try to note my way through it but get caught up in fantasy. Just going to keep going.

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