RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1206 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
  
To continue the practice and life log. May it be of benefit to someone.

About this name:
I notice again and again that people have difficulty spelling and pronouncing my name, which is totally expected. I included a voxifier video if anyone is interested in the correct pronounciation:
It's pronounced like:
See-ya-vash

Log history:

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

1st:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13519742

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

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

4th:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21689099

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 6:39 PM

After recent Liferay upgrade, it's been difficult to navigate threads with high number of posts, so better to create a new thread.

Last two days there was a strong urge to practice that became stronger last night. After I finished my work I started practicing, focusing on the change in all sensations, but I became sleepy and at some point I guess I fell asleep. After that for more than an hour I was trying to stay awake and practice but I couldn't sustain wakefulness. Then I forced my eyes to stay open, but even with that the dominant perception was the dream-like one, and I was switching back and forth between a distorted perception of things and the actual sights and sounds of external experience.

The "negative" emotions that I had last days, it seemed to me quite clearly that it's like a thick cloud or fog that fills everywhere and just like when the air is polluted, all of space and experience is filled with this unpleasant negativity that makes it metaphorically difficult to breathe. But last night toward the end of night I noticed that the density of this thick cloud is decreasing, and some "sunlight" and "fresh air" is coming. When I was going to bed, instead of a thick cloud there was a thin one, and I continued practice in bed and for the first part of sleep/dream, I guess there was some awareness present, although I've forgotten all the content of it.

After I woke up, I noticed that the cloud is gone, and it's clear with fresh air. There was equanimity, and an interest to listen to music. I listened to a few old songs, and there was some enjoyment and quiet stillness. I had a meeting in the other company's office. We have given them the source code for one of the projects and I had to go and make sure they can build it and deliver it formally. Unlike the last months there wasn't any restlessness about that. And I went there and did what I had to do, which led to a few minutes of satisfaction, but then again the same kind of feelings that I had last week arose. The same thick cloud of negativity, a loss of purpose and meaning and definition maybe? Then while returning, I visited one of the managers there that we have some friendship and have worked together long ago which made that cloud go away. And after that I notice that these two emotions/mind-states come and go. One is the satisfaction, and clarity and openness in the experience, and the other that is contractedness, and all those negative things that I said before. Ah, I don't like this word "negative".
  
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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+1 "negative" comes and goes. I notice that the less I dislike it, the quicker it goes! emoticon
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Yes, I've noticed that too. Although a lot of time there isn't that little clarity and open space in the experience to just remember that I can cultivate more equanimity with what is!

The video that I shared yesterday about working with emotions from Shinzen, last night I started applying its techniques to my experience, and maybe that had some effect, I don't know.
 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 4:32 AM

That back and forth between negativity and non-negativity has stopped, and in the last several hours there wasn't any obviously noticible negative mind-state.
I did two fire kasina sits. Earlier red dots were pretty bright. Red, yellow, green, and some blue green and circular, but then the dot went away and didn't show up much, although with eyes open it was present in a green color. There was some movement in the visual field while looking at the candle flame, that the visual field around the candle were moving slightly up and down, and there was some pixelation in the borders of the flame that was new I guess, which kind of reduced its beauty. There was strong sleeiness toward the end of both sits, though I had sleepiness for some hours before that too. Still there are strong energetic sensations in the body, some painful.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Saturday, February 6, 2021, 1:00 AM

Last two nights I did fire kasina too. Like always when doing this for a few days, the dot was not bright anymore, and there was lots of color statics around it in different colors, but mostly pale colors and in the gray end of them, moving, rotating and flickering fast. Last night there was more pixelation around the candle flame, and the color statics around the flame turned into the colors of tainbow, which I think one reason for that was because I used a different candle. After the dot show, I focused on the movements of the color statics but then got sleepy and was locked in a sleepy/dreamy state for some time. I had a distorted perception of those statics, and the name of one the dho members was tied to those statics, and I was waiting for something to happen to end the sit, but I couldn't discern what that was. After maybe an hour I could get out of that state. And after that and while in bed I continued focusing on the changing sensations. There were some new forms of movements in the color statics, and also with the mental images of the body, I was perceiving them in smaller chunks, and they were arising and passing faster than usual. Temperature of the body was higher like the last few days with constant sweating in the head, and strong energetic sensations in the body, but after I went to bed, sleepiness went away and I couldn't sleep. It took maybe 3-5 hours to fall asleep. I had some dreamy images while awake with eyes open, and then a few rounds of dreams with family members and a close friend, that like previous days were very emotional, with one carpet weaving dream.

Yesterday and today after waking up there was quiet stillness, with an urge to listen to music, that was enjoyable and awe inducing. But that went away after a few hours today. The body feels sick, and I had a chat with my friend about covid that made me feel bad afterwards. Also the heater had problem yesterday and I don't have hot water since then and that causes some extra thinking too. I wanted to ask the guy to come and fix it but then I thought better to wait until I get the salary. Then I had a dream about hot water and making tea. Poor fucking idiot. This technology has turned us into these little selfish arrogant bastards.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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I hope you get your hot water fixed soon. I don't think wanting a cup of tea makes you selfish!
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Thanks emoticon .
No it's not that bad! That's the running hot water (for bathroom and shower..). I don't use it for making tea, I boil water separately for tea, which that is ok and working emoticon . (But it was interesting that it caused a dream about tea!).
Sorry I wasn't clear.​​​​​​​ 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Saturday, February 6, 2021, 6:39 AM

I had a sit that ended now, doing kasina for near two hours without a candle, and focusing mostly on the visual statics with a combination of bodily sensations and mental images of the body. In the first part of the sit there were strong energetics that a few of them felt scary, but then the energy subsided, and there were dream-like perceptions. I think it was some months ago that I had this kind of experience for some days. There isn't any reduction in the clarity of sensations, but the perception is the mix of wakefulness and dreamy experiences, mostly mental images. For instance, I tested a software yesterday, and during the sit I had this perception at one point, that if I configure that software, it will change these color statics and bodily images/sensations, but the effects of it will spread only on half of my experience, which would be the left side of the body, and I had a vague mental image as if a set of sensations just spread over the left side of the body, and since it's only half of the body, it will affect only some members of my family like my mother, and not affect the others like my father! And it's interesting that this goes on for relatively long periods without losing clarity or falling asleep.

I was feeling pretty uncomfortable physically and mentally/emotionally before the sit. Now there is much more comfort compared to before.

-- Edit:
Did another sit for 85 minutes with the same technique for its first part, and for the second part after I noticed that the breath has become subtle, I focused on the sensations of relaxation in my hands and legs. It brought some vibrations and tingling, then there was sleepiness, and then some intense pain arose on the tail bone and perineum, that became so strong that I had to stop the sit.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Siavash

There isn't any reduction in the clarity of sensations, but the perception is the mix of wakefulness and dreamy experiences, mostly mental images. For instance, I tested a software yesterday, and during the sit I had this perception at one point, that if I configure that software, it will change these color statics and bodily images/sensations, but the effects of it will spread only on half of my experience, which would be the left side of the body, and I had a vague mental image as if a set of sensations just spread over the left side of the body, and since it's only half of the body, it will affect only some members of my family like my mother, and not affect the others like my father! And it's interesting that this goes on for relatively long periods without losing clarity or falling asleep.

Technology seems to be an important theme, a paradigm of control, and it's interesting that it extends to your mother but not your narcissistic father. When I look back at my own depression, I can see it as a form of "learned helplessness" which I acquired from my mother, and it seems to be a common defense strategy when one is living in thrall of an angry narcissist.
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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George S
Siavash

There isn't any reduction in the clarity of sensations, but the perception is the mix of wakefulness and dreamy experiences, mostly mental images. For instance, I tested a software yesterday, and during the sit I had this perception at one point, that if I configure that software, it will change these color statics and bodily images/sensations, but the effects of it will spread only on half of my experience, which would be the left side of the body, and I had a vague mental image as if a set of sensations just spread over the left side of the body, and since it's only half of the body, it will affect only some members of my family like my mother, and not affect the others like my father! And it's interesting that this goes on for relatively long periods without losing clarity or falling asleep.

Technology seems to be an important theme, a paradigm of control, and it's interesting that it extends to your mother but not your narcissistic father. When I look back at my own depression, I can see it as a form of "learned helplessness" which I acquired from my mother, and it seems to be a common defense strategy when one is living in thrall of an angry narcissist.


I think the relevance of technology is that it was a current concern, and also it has formed a kind of language in my mind to describe and organize things (Although one could say that any kind of language is a form of control), but I can be wrong.
About the inclusion or exclusion of family members, I don't know, it's not clear to me yet. I don't know what are the underlying concerns.
 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Sunday, February 7, 2021, 1:26 AM

I continued practicing in the morning before going to bed and while in bed. There were strong painful energetics while I was in bed, that most of them had that tickling flavor. Previously that kind of sensations would arise occasionally in one or two locations, but this time it was in most parts of the body. In recent weeks and months I've tried to train the body to not move when these sensations arise, and while in bed I could stay still with all of that, but then there was another one in my left hand which was different. Previously I've had this kind of sensations a number of times, but they were in a very small area and less strong, but this one was in whole of my left hand. It was like a zap of energy, a mix of electric shock and vibrations, like you are holding an armature in your hand while it's working. It made the body jump up, but after that the energy subsided. It felt like this wild energy got released by that zap in left hand. Although some time after that there were occasional energetics again, and I would wake up and notice that my legs are throbbing, and I kept focusing on that while going in and out of sleep/dream.

Now a few hours after waking up there are some unbroken vibration in my right leg that sometimes spread.
 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Sunday, February 7, 2021, 5:16 AM

Did a sit for a little more than an hour with a few times adjusting the body, and focusing on the colors and movements in the visuals and the body. It started with painful energetics that were getting intense, so I imagined that the body and the space around it is filled with light and this energy in the body can move freely in that space. The energy subsided and the pains went away and that dreamy perceptions started happening. I forgot about the pain and the trick that I did and I continued focusing on visuals, then I noticed lots of mental talks happening in the mind so I added them to the focus range too.
I have some aversion again to eating so I was hungry and that was creating an urge to go and eat something, but I decided to perceive it as something that is not bothering and it worked. After the sit and during eating and washing dishes I continued focusing on the mental talks. It's like the meetings that we had last year with the other company when there was conflict. Everyone tries to defend themselves and explain things the way they like. It's almost non-stop. If I remember I'll try to be more aware of it.

I like to continue practicing but I have to work. I guess the buddha and his spiritual kids had realized that sitting on your butt and meditating is easier than working, sometimes.
 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Sunday, February 7, 2021, 7:46 PM

Practiced for 3-4 hours after I finished working, started with a fire kasina sit and continued focusing on the changes in sensations in all sense doors. After the first 30-60 minutes there was less energetics and lesser painful sensations. Now the sleepiness has filled all of the experience and I have to go to bed. I notice a little coolness on the tale bone, that probably means this round of energetics is coming to its end, and there may be a gap or the next round may start.
 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 2:40 AM

Today was productive at work partly because I was very angry for most of it and it increased my speed, clarity and energy, but it was painful.
Had 2-3 sits too that ended with a fire kasina, but because of the residue of anger and restlessness, attention was not stable enought, so there wasn't much energetics, there was a few painful ones, and some of the locations that usually have pain, had a coolness briefly.
 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 5:03 AM

Did some practice on the color statics, trying to see the exact moment that these tiny thin lines that are moving flickering fast (I guess 10-20 pulses per second), come to being and then disappear and the next lines show up, but I didn't get that much clarity. Like yesterday there were a few momentary feelings of starting to glide/move without feeling any movement, and for a few times very brienfly while looking into the image space, it felt like there is an even-ness, that instead of I am outside of the image space looking at it, it was I am inside it and looking at its inside or seeing it, that lasted only 1-3 seconds each time. A few times perception of a face has showed up in the murk in front of the face, but without seeing its colors noticeably. A few times mental talks became louder as if someone just said it, something in-between mental talk and physical voice.

Then some practice on the body. A few painful ticklings in the center of soles, and brief coolness (it's like you put a wet ice cube on that location) in some of the locations that usually have pain. Then strong sleepiness. Dissatisfaction that today I couldn't spend time on the other project that I've started. And the body shows similar pattern of sickness that I had in the spring. The day before yesterday I felt sick, yesterday I had no symptoms, and today I feel sick with fatigue and low energy and such.

Practiced a little more but it was consumed by sleepiness. The body feels like it wants to burst out something.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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I wasn't sure from your last post: how's your practice going? Are you still practicing fire kasina? Thanks for your support on my log recently.
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Hey Sam,
I use visuals as a focus object a lot. One may say it's kasina practice, but when I don't use a candle, I don't use the term fire kasina usually. These last days yeah I've done some fire kasina most days, and most of my practice was focusing on visuals (The murk - color statics etc) with a mix of awareness on body, or sometimes exclusively focusing on the body. I usually don't lose touch with visuals. Since I am a fire lover, wherever there is a flame, I am interested in that. Today I am doing the same practices too, although I did Malcolm's breath tech suggestion and that caused some stronger energetics and then some tranquality.

Thanks for asking by the way emoticon
I wasn't motivated to write a log, but this was a mini-log-post!
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Thursday, February 11, 2021, 3:03 AM

Today I didn't work at all and didn't have enough sleep because after I woke up there was restlessness and sexual desires. For some hours there was ongoing dissatisfaction, but then I tried to convince myself that today was holiday and it was ok to not work.

Did Malcolm's breath technique in his new thread. There was a very sharp pain in the center of spine, then some energetics in the base of spine and vibrations and tinglings in lower body, but they went away and there was tranquality after that. For the last part of I continued doing whole body breath for 40-50 minutes I guess. Then some practice on the body and the visuals in the mind. Then I did a fire kasina for 90 minutes.

This time I turned off all of lights in the room and that caused a higher contrast in the colors. Some seconds after focusing on the candle flame, at one moment it looked like the whole scene around the candle just fell down like there is a big screen in front of you and one frame showes up after another frame. Then there was clear expansion and contraction in the scene, and I noticed craving an clinging to that. The next times since the flame had become smaller, there was less effects like these.

I tried to pay attention to the boundry between the face and the visuals space, and the boundry between mental image of the face and the colors, and occasionally the boundries would become less defined. Constantly I noticed that while being aware of the body and the colors, I had a dreamy expisode with a stroy-line, then I would come back and try to recollect what was going on, where I was and what was the story and how I went into that dreamy space and came back, that after some time that the sleepiness became predominant, I started labeling the content of the murk: green, black, flickering, leg, face, black... . A few times some very low resolution images appeared in front of the face. Yesterday and today I listened to a few episodes of Tucker and Upali's "Teaching Meditation" podcast, and during this sit I kept hearing them talking, and continuing their conversations. There were strong pain in the feet and some of it with a kind of vibration-tickling-electricity-shock flavor, and some coolness and similar sensations at the base of spine and inside the hips with vibrations and tinglings here and there. I kept focusing on a dark/black spot when there was less colors, and always some color comes out of the dark/black spots.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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  Sunday, February 14, 2021, 12:12 AM

I've continued the same practices since the last post: Fire kasina + impermanence of color statics + body. The night before last night I lit the candle just before going to bed, and took a dot with me to bed. Yesterday after I woke up I lit the candle and kept that on for some hours to have a dot with me while walking and doing things to maintain concentration, but because I was angry, I guess the anger washed away the good effects of that. Today I was very angry too. I see that I look for stories to justify the anger, like these neighbors making noises and etc, but I don't think that's the root cause. That shit is there always but usually doesn't make me angry. Oh I remembered now, I was angry in a dream yesterday too. I saw a couple walking together, the woman was younger, the guy was older, very short and with some disabilities I guess, also he seemed to be having mental disabilities. The woman tried to show that she doesn't take her husband seriously, and 2-3 guys were there in that market, they tried to ridicule that guy. That made me very upset, and I started yelling at them and asking them with strong force to apologize that guy and pay respect to him. Of course those guys were older than me, to not have a fight with few young men, so that the anger have a chance to display and not get covered by fear!

There are more colors in the visual space, with eyes open and closed. Again and again I notice that all of the visuals I see with closed eyes, are there with open eyes too, only that there is less contrast because the background is not dark, except when it's dark.
Once in a Q&A I asked Shinzen that these color statics behind closed eyelids (At that time it was only black/white/gray for me, but with vibrations) are part of See In (Internal image space) or See Out (External image space), he said: It's subtle...you could say it's see out.

I guess since yesterday the image space has more depth and volume.

​​​​​​​Sometimes during practice I notice a shift. It's like I fall asleep for a moment and then come back.

Last two days I didn't have enough sleep. Couldn't fall asleep and woke up several times after falling asleep. There was some awareness during sleep/dream. Once or twice I followed experience from sleep to wakefulness, but the moment of transition was not clear.
There are more vibrations. Some short range energy movements in the spine and legs (Sorry verbs). Some energy hits in left ear and some kind of not-hearing in right ear. That sticky sleepiness is our guest tonight.
  
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Monday, February 15, 2021, 6:58 PM

Same practices as before, playing with fire kasina and body and image space.
Yesterday there was stillness after I woke up, but again body was sick. The pains in the base of spine and whole pelvic area came back, that feels like a piece of metal is inside the body. Some electric shocks in left toes. And lots of vibrations and tingles in the body.
More colors in the visual field, and more depth. Without using a candle, often there is a dot in the center of the field, it changes colors and has some transparency, black, white, green, blue, violet, red, magenta, blue green, yellow green, dark green,... .Some times there are more than one dots. Last night before going to bed I used the candle a little. It's a new candle with bigger brighter flame which makes its dot to be magenta with blue green around it. There main dot was bigger, and there was another dot in the center of it, mostly black.

There was fear and terror in the dream. There was a young guy that I had trusted him, but I came home and noticed that he has stolen everything. There was a reset and I trusted him again! And again when going home I saw he has stolen everything. Then I went after him, and noticed that he is part of a criminal band that uses kids as their slaves. They got me and used something like a shocker to transfer something to my hands, maybe a virus I don't know. I tried to escape a few times but they had already thought about the things that I could think.  I tried to escape again and reached a place where there was police force and tried to let them know. They came to help, but then the policeman take control and became the head of that group. And I lost all my hopes of escaping. Then I started thinking what can I do that they haven't already thought about it. I thought maybe I could start flying, or using my mind to influence their minds, but I woke up. I was awake in bed for some minutes after that and I couldn't get out of that fearful space. Eventually it went away. The next time I woke up with another similar dream, but I couldn't remember what that was. This one was more subtle and abstract.

Later when I got up, I thought that the first dream is just a representation of my habits. They have control over me and I can't escape. I am trying to escape but the forces are stronger than my intent. Once you let something in, it won't go out easily.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Monday, February 15, 2021, 10:02 PM

Yesterday although the body was uncomfortable, but I had more equanimity. After waking up there was less urge to practice and I'd forget it but later I tried to be more aware. Today the symptoms of sickness are mostly gone (the pattern), but there is anger again. I can't be sure but I am guessing that this is that same despair that I had in the past year, now is showing up in this form. Sometimes it has more energy and is more expressive, but other times it leans towards sadness and despair. Some of the usual comforts are not present, and that triggers the anger. But I think that's just how it's expressed.
When I see my face expression in the mental image of the face, it reminds me of my parents face expression, not always but a lot of times they have that face expression. Just guessing, when you live with life circumstances that you don't like and is going on for a long time, then there will be anger of course.

I used to be angry in the earlier years of high school, mainly because I wanted to learn and study music and literature, but we didn't have money to even buy a cheap instrument, and my family would say, forget about all this, you should study math to find a job. There was less anger after I got into religion, but in later years when I started working as a coder and was not religious anymore, there was anger again especially toward my family. They had a real difficulty to figure out how they should communicate with me that wouldn't make me angry. And often I would express my anger by silence, which is very painful for the other person. After some years I learned to treat them better because it was very obvious to me that they don't deserve it and it's not fair, but I guess the issue has been there and suppressed.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 1:19 AM

Today again this anger was a big issue and it consumed my day. It seems to me that it's the other side of despair. I guess I don't have hope for better possibilities and that creates anger. Life circumstances should have a part too. There has been too much pain in the body in this 4-5 weeks, pain in teeth, back and ribs, knees, eyes, and I think I am tired of that. My niece and her husband are coming here this morning, with this empty fridge and broken heater, I didn't want anyone to come here in this situation, but she has an exam and must come, and that is another source of discomfort. I have to give them strong warnings to not talk about it with the rest of the family. Worst of all, I haven't been able to work more than an hour each day yesterday and today, and my next task requires lots of thinking but I don't have the patience for it. And I am tired of complaining about these shits too. I've been thinking to stop writing about all of this, but I don't know yet. I won't lose much if I don't remember these in the future.

I have to find a way to transform the energy of the anger to a resource for working. Earlier in the day it has more energy and clarity, but I guess because it's not released, the energy diminishes, but the body becomes very tired and exhausted.

An hour ago I was thinking about finding a way to change this mind-state, and I thought, let's see what is there in the experience that I like? Is there anything that has pleasantness or beauty? And I noticed that when focusing on external objects and their shapes, I see beauty in them. Colors and shapes are beautiful if I can stay focued on them. Problem is I often forget to do it, or another part of me resists as if there is no point to do anything. Will try.

Last night I tried  to keep the space of the room in awareness for a few hours after I heard Daniel talk about it in an interview, and that caused some tranquility, but then I forgot it until now.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Hi Siavash,

I’m sorry to hear about the general shitiness of your situation at the moment. emoticon

What’s really been helping me with anger and family issues is inner child work. I’ve known my family “story” for a long time, but I’m only just discovering how deeply repressed are the original emotions of pain, anger, sadness, grief, fear, and loneliness, as well as the associated memories. That’s just what neglected or abused kids have to do in order to survive – push down the pain, put their parents on a pedestal, assume the blame themselves (toxic shame) and create a false identity which is “good enough” for their parents. I would rationalize it to myself with thoughts like ‘it’s not real trauma because victims of physical or sexual abuse have it much worse’ or ‘at least I was fed and clothed and educated, unlike many, therefore I should be grateful and not blame my parents’.

It’s an axiom of inner child work that the deeply held emotional pain in your body and how you feel about yourself are an accurate reflection of how your parents treated you and felt about you, whether you remember it or think about it that way or not. Allowing myself to deeply feel the original repressed emotional pain in my body – without blaming or judging myself – has been really powerful and liberating. Accepting the reality of that actually removes the guilt element – I don’t blame my parents because this is the same way they were treated as kids, and it was too painful for them to acknowledge it, so they passed it on automatically and unconsciously, which is just the way this stuff works unfortunately.

I really don’t know your situation and things may be very different for you. All I know is that you said your father had strong narcissistic behaviors – which is enough to deeply wound a child – and you are struggling with anger, sadness and despair, which is often a consequence of such parenting. If you feel like there might be any connection then I would recommend looking at either of these books and see if anything resonates for you – The Drama Of The Gifted Child by Alice Miller or Homecoming by John Bradshaw.

I really feel the pain you are going through right now.
Best wishes,
George
 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Hi George,
Thank you for your support.

Yes, there should be a ton of repressed stuff. We never had any physical misbehavior in our family since both my parent are strongly against it, but there has been a lot of other problems. My father almost always had himself as the main priority in everything (in recent years he has changed somewhat, although not much), so for example things like watching cartoons for half an hour was a big problem for us because he was always watching news on a TV that my brother and me had paid its money by carpet weaving, and my mother always puts herself as the last priority and tries to cover what my father has neglected, and that creates problems too. And their constant fights (not much now, they try to keep a distance now), and not understanding what we would want and blaming it as something wrong, by both of them. Now they have learned to respect more for the difference in opinions, so they have treated grandchildren very differently, but for us the damage is done. I used to blame them in the past, but I don't do it anymore. The more I think about it now, the more I feel compassion for them because they have lived in a very tough situation, and they have done what they could, whay should I expect more. But there is work to do.

Thanks for suggesting books. I'll see if there is a free version of those or not (Sanctions and not having access to paid material...).

Thank you. 
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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That’s a lot of responsibility for a young kid to carry, supporting their parents like that. And when the parents are constantly arguing it’s natural for the children to assume the blame on some level – ‘if we weren’t here then they wouldn’t have such problems’. When the parents place their own emotional needs above those of the children then the children don’t develop the ability to take care of their own emotional needs, which eventually leads them to be so hard on themselves.

I had a sort of “rational” compassion before which went something like ‘Well my mother’s father disappeared and my father’s family was consumed by incest, suicide and alcoholism. Therefore my parents had it worse than me. They did the best they could and it’s wrong of me to expect more.’ Factually that might be true, my parents probably did a better job than theirs. Still, if their upbringing was a 3 and mine was a 5, that was still far short of what I needed to develop until a healthy self-regarding adult. Hell, even people whose upbringing was a 7 or 8 sometimes feel deep deeply wounded and spend years in therapy and spiritual practice. I doubt there are many 9s or 10s, outside of fantasy.

This inner child work in no way involves blaming or judging the parents, or even communicating with them at all about it. For years I had this fantasy that one day I would work it out with my parents, get to the bottom of it with them and finally get what I really needed from them. In many ways I tried, but eventually I had to accept that it was never going to happen. It was that acceptance, giving up that fantasy, which enabled me to begin the real work of accepting the painful emotional reality of my childhood.

I would be happy to send you the books if it’s possible – you can email me at agnostic123@yahoo.com if you want.
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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For years I had this fantasy that one day I would work it out with my parents, get to the bottom of it with them and finally get what I really needed from them. In many ways I tried, but eventually I had to accept that it was never going to happen. It was that acceptance, giving up that fantasy, which enabled me to begin the real work of accepting the painful emotional reality of my childhood.

Now that you said it, I remembered that I had similar thoughts too. I am not sure, but I guess in the past I had such thoughts to think that one day I could sit and talk with them about things. Although that may have happened in a tiny scale, but yeah, there is no point in having hope for other people to change as a way of resolving such issues. I've stopped having that hope years ago. For this short remaining time in life that we are together, I try to make things better if I can, and when I see that I can't, I keep my distance and let them do however they want.

I would be happy to send you the books if it’s possible – you can email me at agnostic123@yahoo.com if you want.

Thank you so much. Please let me think about it for some time.

 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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I think Shinzen's analagy applies here. He says that when the light of awareness starts reaching the deeper layers of mind and emotional body and stuff starts releasing, that frightened animal in the core of our being starts shrinking, but as it shrinks, it becomes wilder, more frightened and more primitive.
A lot of the dreams that I usually have about my family, usually is about me, but a few days ago I had a dream that was exactly like situations that we had in the family, and they started arguing over the money in the dream, and my brother tried to prevent it -- it was a symbolic act by him. I thought in the dream that: No, that should not happen again, not anymore... . And then I woke up, and I had memories of similar situations, that they would have a few fights then they would stop talking with each other for days.

Also it's been a few weeks that I have dreams about a few old friends that are not friends anymore. I haven't been thinking about any of them, but I've had 6-7 dreams about them. With one of them I did something wrong that ended our friendship, but with others I don't know. Maybe I had done something wrong maybe not. As far as I know I don't feel guilty about any of them, but I am not sure what my body thinks, and I don't know what they think!
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Thursday, February 18, 2021, 11:30 AM

It's interesting that since yesterday morning that my niece and her husband came here, that anger went away. Emotional tone has been overally neutral. Probable causes would be tending to guests, raining, sleeping in the other room that has more light in the morning, and is colder that creates a situation similar to sleeping in my hometown and my close friend's house in another city in that area. I had similar feelings specially because of raining.

I didn't have sitting practice yesterday but there was lots of energetics, but not painful. Practiced while in bed. There were more blue and cyan colors, and a few flashes of red-yellow-orange lights for a fraction of a second. Eariler doing fire kasina I didn't have any blue and red colors and for some time I tried to bring those colors but I had very little success. Later blue showed up itself but not much. Last week that I've used candle flame in a lit room a lot and with bigger brighter candle flame, that seems to create more magenta-red and blue-cyan colors. While in bed there was going in and out of a dreamy sleepy state which was not clear enough to know what it is. I had another of those recurring dreams. I was back in university again wanting to finish my studies, and as usual it was the end of semester and I didn't know what book I should study and what are the subjects of the course. It was a math course (Some math courses were the triggers for not finishing my studies at the time, like Linear Algebra and Numerical Analysis, that I thought this is not related to coding and why should I study them. I tried to talk with their teachers but they wouldn't understand.), and I was explaining to the teacher that I have no idea what this course is about.

Last night I heard that since yesterday my father has vertigo and nausea (They took him to hispotal and found nothing wrong with his body), and that caused some remorse that why did I criticize him for what has happened decades ago. Of course I don't citicize him, but these thoughts don't ask permission when arising.​​​​​​​
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Saturday, February 20, 2021, 12:28 AM

Last two days I only had 10-30 minutes sitting practice because I had guests, and I only practiced while in bed. Today I had some anger toward family members, then some worry and guilt mixed in together related to work and family. My niece and her husband left in the afternoon, and since a few hours before that I had strong feeling of caring toward her, which became stronger after they left, and I felt very sad for some hours. That used to happen with her brother too when he would come here regularly before covid. I don't have any kids so I don't know how it feels to be a parent, but I notice a clear difference between my feelings towards my sisters' children and other people.

Last night while in bed I noticed a difference in mental space+images. The mental images that I had that included myself, was not from a first person perspective. Instead I was seeing mental image of my whole body from a distance. I did a fire kasina sit tonight and I noticed same quality again during this sit a few times, but it was less clear this time. Also it happens (I guess since 1-2 ago) that mental and physical images become clearer, and mental image space become bigger.

During this sit there was a few surge of tickling+tingling/vibrations in the center of the torso, that spread throughout a line going from lower abdomen to the center of the throat.

Because of less practice these 2-3 days, I felt clearly that my mind is less collected. Now trying to bring more collectedness.

Again I've been thinking about the content of this log, should I keep it only a practice log or a life and practice log.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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At a certain point I realized that I couldn't keep my life and practice separate any longer, because my reactivity was becoming so obvious in daily life with work and family. The advantage of combining the two is that you can make faster progress because you are really working on your core reactive patterns, which tend to show up more clearly in stressful daily life situations. The tough part is that you feel more exposed because there's no part of your life which is safe from your practice ... less places to hide! Having said that, everyone on here has been very supportive and I got a wider variety of perspectives than if I had worked on my "life issues" separately with a therapist or something (not to say you shouldn't do that as well, although obviously cost and accessibility are factors). It's a personal decision, although looking back I can see it was going that way anyway. 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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You are right.
I've decided long ago that I'll try to be public about most or all aspects of my life with as many people in my circles as I could, because I've had experienced so much pain from hiding or being forced to hide things, so I've convinced myself that that is what I want to do, but still some part of me sometimes wants to go in the direction of being more private.

As Hokai said in an interview, your life happens inside your practice. I'd say my practice happens inside my life and my life happens inside my practice. I don't see any separation there too, but old habits are still functioning in terms of privacy/fears and etc.

Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. It's helpful.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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If you like I can reflect back what I see going on for you the last few days.
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Siavash, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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George S
If you like I can reflect back what I see going on for you the last few days.


Please.
I'd like to know that.

(Going to bed now, will read tomorrow, thanks.)​​​​​​​
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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I know you said that you didn’t want your niece and her husband to come due to your situation, but I wonder whether it also had something to do with the responsibility of having to look after them. Perhaps it unconsciously reminded you of the burden you carried as a child to look after your parents. There is also the fact that your parents treat their grandchildren very differently from how they treated you, which could also create some resentment.

As the time approached for them to leave, you felt strong feelings of care for her and then sad after they left. It’s interesting that you feel a strong affinity for fire, because the fire element is the archetypal reaction to isolation and loneliness. In its “distorted” form it manifests as compulsively consuming things for comfort as an intimacy substitute (food, cigarettes, media … anything really). In its “enlightened” form it manifests as compassion, which is what you were showing by hosting your niece and her husband under challenging conditions.

Regarding your work frustrations, it’s hard not to link this to the fact that you were forced to work as a child to support your father’s TV habit (and then later again your family again pushed you into a vocation you didn’t want, away from your love of music and literature). One of your dreams was about a man you repeatedly trust even although he steals everything from you, and this man is part of a criminal band that uses kids as slaves. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that your father stole your childhood from you. And yet you still feel compassion for your parents, which shows that you have a huge heart. You say that your mother always puts herself as the last priority, but I suspect that might be you.

I don’t know how much communication you currently have with your parents, but it might be significant that your father was just hospitalized for vertigo and nausea, even though they could find nothing wrong with him. Narcissists have an extremely good sense for when people are starting to slip out of their control. It’s possible that he senses you are waking up to the way he has abused you and is now switching into victim mode in order to keep you supporting him. (Or maybe I’m reading too much into this and he really is sick.)
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Thanks George,

I know you said that you didn’t want your niece and her husband to come due to your situation, but I wonder whether it also had something to do with the responsibility of having to look after them. Perhaps it unconsciously reminded you of the burden you carried as a child to look after your parents. There is also the fact that your parents treat their grandchildren very differently from how they treated you, which could also create some resentment.

This is the pattern that keeps repeating every time someone comes here. I have resistance because there is the fear of losing my comforts and control, but after they come here, usually it's ok and I want them to stay more if I can. I don't worry about reponsibility as far as I know, because I've told them since many years ago that you have to tend to yourself, just don't come close to my stuff (computer, books, etc), other than that feed yourself and do whatever you want. Fear of losing control is the main issue I think.

As the time approached for them to leave, you felt strong feelings of care for her and then sad after they left. It’s interesting that you feel a strong affinity for fire, because the fire element is the archetypal reaction to isolation and loneliness. In its “distorted” form it manifests as compulsively consuming things for comfort as an intimacy substitute (food, cigarettes, media … anything really). In its “enlightened” form it manifests as compassion
Yes. Clinging to comforts.

Regarding your work frustrations, it’s hard not to link this to the fact that you were forced to work as a child to support your father’s TV habit (and then later again your family again pushed you into a vocation you didn’t want, away from your love of music and literature). One of your dreams was about a man you repeatedly trust even although he steals everything from you, and this man is part of a criminal band that uses kids as slaves. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that your father stole your childhood from you.

Yeah, I am tired of responsibility. It has been that way for some years now.
I think all kids should be treated properly, doesn't matter whose kid. I've always asked my parents and sisters to listen to their kids and try to understand them and be friend with them, and let them leave when they have to leave. It's not easy for them though to let go.

I don’t know how much communication you currently have with your parents, but it might be significant that your father was just hospitalized for vertigo and nausea, even though they could find nothing wrong with him. Narcissists have an extremely good sense for when people are starting to slip out of their control. It’s possible that he senses you are waking up to the way he has abused you and is now switching into victim mode in order to keep you supporting him. (Or maybe I’m reading too much into this and he really is sick.)

No, he was sick, and my sister was worried so they took him to hospital. And despite all the issues, he is honest about things.

Thanks again. 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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 Sunday, February 21, 2021, 2:12 AM

Today I slept longer and had difficulty getting up. There was a lot of grief, dissatisfaction and despair, and maybe insecurity, that I couldn't work because of that. All I could do was washing a dish, going to a short walk and doing some practice. My current tasks at work require doing some design and starting new implementations, that as usual causes overwhelm and makes it much more difficult to start it (Feels like space element).

Did some fire kasina and some practice on the body. There was some distortions in the image space similar to the ones that I had when practicing with Leigh Brasington's instructions. That the shape of the body in its mental image changes, or I see myself sitting above the ground, and things like that. There was some dreamy distortions in perceptions too. I forgot most of them the moment coming out of them. One that I remembered to some extent was that while getting sleepy, a vague mental image came to mind that represented sleep, that sleep was like a shirt that I would wear when falling asleep and take it off when waking up. There were extra details about it that looked cool, but I forgot.

During the first part of the practice I had many mental images and some feeling flavors of childhood memories.
 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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I found the audiobook of this book that George recommended on youtube. The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.
First I thought it's published on youtube by the publisher, but then noticed that is not the case. But found that Alice Miller is dead and I can'd check with her for the permissions, so I continued listening.

It's interesting that the following phenomenon happens more often, specially while doing things like this (Listening to new material) that needs paying attention, that suddenly my mind becomes foggy, my eyes defocus, and I stop doing whatever that I am doing, or prefer to stop it because the attention does not stay on its object and slips away if I try to put it on an object, and I just sit doing nothing, with not many thoughts in the mind, but with a vague quality in the mind like day-dreaming. Sometimes it leads to getting lost in memories. It has happened frequently yesterday and today.
 
Haven't worked today too. Yesterday and today I am trying to give permission to myself to not work and not feel guilty about it. I notice that my mental talks around it are things like: What does it have to do with them? I've not worked and it's non of their business.....fuck you all.
As mentioned above, it's very similar to the situations that we had in childhood. I didn't want to work but I had to.

I call my parents house every day, and talk with my mother. In one sense it's a good thing, in another, it's very bad. I'd like to have a week without a phone call, without talking to anyone, but she has become very unhealthy, and she gets worried and become really sick. She always asks me what's your food today, and I don't like it, and often have a water reaction, change the subject, lie, etc. A few times I've told her that don't ask it, and I won't say anything about my food, but she didn't like it. Tonight she asked again, and I told her that stop doing that, I won't tell you anymore. Of course she didn't like it, and went to the other question: You haven't told us what is your salary rate, why don't you tell it?
Same talks like always: Why do you want to know it? It only creates problems if you know it, forget about it... .

I think my days are structured around two worries: What would I tell to my colleagues, and what would I tell to my mother!
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Monday, February 22, 2021, 2:59 AM

Tonight there were more colors in the visual field which were pretty clear with eyes open too. More blue, different shades of green, and lots of dark cyan. At some point I saw shadows around some objects in dark cyan.
Did some practice on the body and on the sensations of sadness-despair-anger-frustration. Some childhood memories were present for some time. There were release-like sensations in the body. An itch-like feeling in the nose and face similar to when having sneeze, and a kind of itching in bones, and orgasm-like sensations in the lower body. Then tranquality and spacousness. Image space seemed bigger, and I had mental images of vast open spaces. Then did fire kasina. Focused on the dots with eyes open first, then it became smaller, and I closed my eyes. Overally the dot was smaller and stayed longer, and there were less colors after that. Energy and negativity subsided, spaciousness was gone, and there was strong sleepiness that an hour or more passed and I didn't notice it was that long. Now there is that sticky feeling in the muscles because of this sleepiness. I noted all the thoughts about working and responded to them by Fuck You label.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Siavash

I call my parents house every day, and talk with my mother. In one sense it's a good thing, in another, it's very bad. I'd like to have a week without a phone call, without talking to anyone, but she has become very unhealthy, and she gets worried and become really sick. She always asks me what's your food today, and I don't like it, and often have a water reaction, change the subject, lie, etc. A few times I've told her that don't ask it, and I won't say anything about my food, but she didn't like it. Tonight she asked again, and I told her that stop doing that, I won't tell you anymore. Of course she didn't like it, and went to the other question: You haven't told us what is your salary rate, why don't you tell it?
Same talks like always: Why do you want to know it? It only creates problems if you know it, forget about it...

Once you start noticing the elemental reaction patterns in yourself, it can be interesting to observe how they arise in reaction to different elements in other people. So for example, the person who shows excessive "concern" for others is often being a kind of hungry ghost and is acting from the earth element - to counteract feeling insignificant they try to build up a feeling of power from controlling other people with their concern. When one is on the receiving end of this kind of manipulative behavior it's natural to get angry - water element arising to disperse the controlling energy, landing you in hell realm. Then she senses loss of control and gets annoyed herself (water) which makes you feel guilty, so you have to keep calling her (hungry ghost) and the pattern keeps repeating. I might have got the particulars of your situation wrong here, but that's the kind of samsaric dynamic you can start observing.

Regarding the fogginess, day-dreaming, sleepiness etc, this is classic distorted reaction to "space" element, and it can arise when one starts to notice the other patterns. As you realize that a lot of your life is driven by these patterns, you sense that there could be freedom (space) beyond them. This causes the patterns themselves to feel threatened (!) so they start to "fight back" for survival (like Shinzen's frightened animal). You have a distorted reaction to space and shut down to avoid it with feelings of dullness etc.

I hope this is helpful, but please tell me if I'm going to far with this stuff!
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Thanks George,
Yes it's helpful.
That's pretty much what happens.
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 Monday, February 22, 2021, 6:27 PM

I had a few dreams today that I guess the first one had a kinds of pattern that Daniel describes for his dreams, starting with A&P and going to the next phases. I was gliding on the ground and I enjoyed it, I don't know if it was on snow or I was in our faculty building in that beloved university (Damn I didn't finish my studies, I loved to go there and have a lab and play with kids on coding and find the talented ones). Then some high ranking officials came and started interrogating me and a few other people, as if there was a national security issue. I explained to them that I've only sent a few emails to the tech support (before going to bed I sent a support email to where I buy vpn accounts!), and there was fear. But then the problem was resolved and there was a mutual respect and we started talking about other things. (This dream has been repeating in the last few years, that I get arrested, there is fear and uncertainty, then it gets resolved, there is mutual respect and we continue talking-- a few of these dreams were with the highest officials in the country.)

After two days of greeting every thought about working with fuck you label (in different languages), today there is more lightness and openness, but there is a lot of rocking and swaying. I've been thinking that probably I had tourette syndrome. In childhood a lot of times I couldn't sit still and I woud rock and sway, and move my shoulders and adjust my shirt because it always felt uncomfortable and not in the right position, or I would rub my palms on my thighs or rub or scratch my finger and fingernails. Of course there was blame around that from my family. I had these repetitive movements in later years too but not to that extent.

I had to send the monthly report that I had not been able to do in the last few days. I thought I feel better now, let's finish it and send it. I played some military march tunes with my mouth to bring more lightness. But the moment I opened the document, I got hit by a wave of uncertainty and anxiety. I am not sure what reaction it was, maybe an earth reaction followed by an air reaction, or just an air reaction. I continued updating the document, but I noticed my hands and body are shaking, palms sweating, more saliva in the mouth and swallowing it constantly, and these repetitive movements got worse, more rocking and swaying, and checking things obsessively again and again. After I finished and sent it, these anxiety symptoms gradually decreased, although my hands are still shaky.
 
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 3:50 AM

Continued listening to the Drama book.
Didn't work after sending the report. There was no impulse to work and I respected that. I hope to have different impulses tomorrow. Then there was some worry about working since I had forgotten to greet these thoughts with fuck you. Remembered it and there was less worry after that.

I was thinking that maybe these sickness symptoms that I've had repeatedly are because of depression and loneliness. Then a memory came to mind from first day of the second week of the first year of middle school, that was the first day of staying in the campus in that school in a small town near my hometown, that most of the other kids were there with their parents, and talking and playing and jumping up and down, and I was sitting lonely and sad in the corner of my bed watching them and thinking what should I do, and the next day afternoon when I was in the yard and saw my mother that walked into the school yard, I almost cried. I was quite sick when my mother came that day. This memory kept coming back again and again and a few times brought tears. (I always remembered that night and the afternoon of its next day, although I don't remember what happened inbetween that night and next afternoon.)

Did a sit focusing on my hands on my thighs. Attention was not stable most of the time, and I didn't try to force it to be stable, that doesn't help. There were vibrations for part of it in different parts of the body, I guess others call it champagne bubbles. Then sleepiness. I lit the candle after that to have some dots in the space. Before the sit there were colors with eyes open dancing around. Shades of green and blue, but that most beautiful one which appears more these days, I am not sure what to call it, green or blue green or dark cyan.

There was much less foggyness/day-dreaming/spacy quality today, and overall less negativity.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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That seems like a significant memory. It's certainly possible that getting sick was sometimes your way of getting attention from your overburdened mother, which became associated with loneliness and later morphed into depression. What you are doing - replaying the memories and really feeling the feelings and grieving over them - is what will set you free, because you couldn't do it at the time and the repressed emotions have been festering inside all those years (I'm speaking to myself here as well).

Air element covers everything from physical anxiety to paranoia, basically busyness to assuage feelings of terror. I started to develop nervous tics and OCD behaviors when I was 5 because I was always on red alert around my angry father. My mother would tell me not to do it and mimic me, which layered shame on top and made the whole problem worse of course. (Only later did I realize she suffered from the same anxiety, so of course it made her anxious and she wasn't able to soothe me.)

It's nice to hear that you you used to love coding. In some ways it's like musical composition, you know an elegant piece of code which has been refined down to its simplest form where all the parts work together in sparse harmony like a string quartet ... emoticon
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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That seems like a significant memory. It's certainly possible that getting sick was sometimes your way of getting attention from your overburdened mother, which became associated with loneliness and later morphed into depression. What you are doing - replaying the memories and really feeling the feelings and grieving over them - is what will set you free, because you couldn't do it at the time and the repressed emotions have been festering inside all those years (I'm speaking to myself here as well).

Yeah, I have memories that I liked to be sick, because I'd get extra attention, even sometimes from my father.
For all these years I've used my fingertips to prevent flood... . It's past, it's gone.., you need to be tough, caring.., everyone did what they could.. . And I've used stuff to numb myself, now that I am trying to make holes in the walls of that prison, well I should expect, yeah something.

Thanks.​​​​​​​
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RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

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Last night and today I was playing with Shinzen's See Hear Feel technique to maintain mindfulness, but I notice that it becomes repetitive and labels don't match with sensations a lot of times, because it becomes mantra-like and there is mind-wandering plus the repetition of these labels without noticing the sensations related to each label. I've been playing with a few variants of this technique before, and I've found one that works better than others, so tonight I started using that. Since I usually forget it, I record it here. Maybe someone else could find it helpful too.

Left side is the labels, and the right side describes when to use those labels.

Self ==> When I see mental image of myself and it looks like I am watching from behind my eyes/face while seeing a vague image of my face. It can be used for mental talks that are about myself too, but I don't have a clear formulation for that yet.

Other(s) ==> Any mental image or mental talk that is about anyone other than myself.

See ==> Any other visual sensation, internal or external.

Hear ==> Any other auditory sensation, internal or external.

Names of body parts ==> When noticing physcial sensations in the body, labeling it with the name of that location that is currently at the center of the attention. Would be something like: Hand, back, nose, toes, etc. Use Feel for all bodily sensations if you don't want to label body parts.
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Siavash, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1206 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 9:50 PM

Today started with grief. That memory of middle school kept coming back frequently. Then I went to call my mother to get finished with it and be back and do my things, whatever that is, the call is a burden a lot of times, but she was not home, she goes to my sister's house most days, they didn't answer too, and then anger arose. Anger became more intense as I tried to call a few more times, and when she finally answered, I wanted to throw some of the anger to her, but she said she had difficulty walking because of pain in her knees and was waiting for one of the kids to bring her. The anger made me remember some memories that I had not remembered for many years. In early years she would go out somewhere, and I would wait and wait, desperate and angry and frustrated, and the house would feel empty and cold, finally when she would arrive.., where were you.., looking for some cheap onions.., or in visiting some fucking relative.

Then I noticed the same pattern that I had with a few of my close friends. First one in high school, next one in university campus, and next one a friend that we were homemates for 1-2 years after I rented a house. I had become very dependent to them, and wanted them to be always available, but they were not, and I would be angry, sad and frustrated. It was always a question for me, there is nothing special about them, why am I so dependent to them? And that was a source of another conflict.

That's why I could never stand in lines, just a few seconds of it often made me very angry. And there were two other situations for that kind of frustration. My father's torturing behavior, when we wanted to watch something on TV or go to a relative's house, he would do something else and we would wait and wait, and a lot of time without any reward at the end of that waiting. Another was the TV programs itself. Before each program that was popular, often there were other unscheduled long programs, either religious/idiologic propaganda or commercials, and sometimes as a replacement for the program itself without any announcement, and that was torturous.

I guess that's why I would fall in love with girls that were not available. There was very little chance to be with them, or they were married or in another place. And the ones that were available, hmm that wasn't interesting. I guess I've tried to recreate that torture situation.

And there is the guilt, but fuck it, I don't have the energy to think or write. The fight between the part that seeks attention and the part that condemns and represses it.
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Siavash, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1206 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
It seems that there is feeling of guilt in a lot of what I think and do. What I do is not good enough, or right enough, or mature enough, or whatever enough. And when the action itself has nothing to feel guilty about, then I am the wrong person, so the action has less value. Probably there are different sides to it, one should be the family, the other should be the history with religion. Guilt should lead to sadness and loneliness, and not having hope.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1544 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
My experience is that looking after kids well is really hard. For a parent with unresolved issues it’s pretty much impossible to give the kids enough of the kind of attention they need. There are more times than I care to admit that I’ve used some variant of the cheap onions gambit to get some time away from my kids. emoticon

If we didn’t get enough good attention as kids then - unless we’ve resolved this issue - it’s very likely we well have an unhealthy relationship with attention as adults, veering between wanting too much attention or else saying ‘fuck it I don’t need any’. That’s why we are attracted to people who are either unavailable (unsatisfying but familiar, also will not replace mother) or else overly attentive (what we think we want, but suffocating, also guilt about replacing mother).

This all-or-nothing relationship with external attention is totally draining because your body is pulling in two different directions. The guilt arises because, even though your rational adult mind knows that your parents were far from perfect, inside there’s still a trapped little child who needed to see their parents as omnipotent and infallible in order to survive. This is the source of the the shame (‘it must have been my fault, there’s something wrong with me.’)

The good news is that once you recognize this is the issue then you can start to resolve it. You did nothing wrong, you just didn’t get enough of the unconditional attention that every child needs (and it’s not your parents fault either, in the sense that they were just acting out their own unmet needs). The amazing thing is that by recognizing this unmet need of your inner child and bathing it with your own adult attention, you can “reparent” your inner child, i.e. give him the unconditional attention he needs, which will allow him to become a healthy adult. A healthy adult (so I’ve heard) gives their own needs enough attention that they are much less reliant on getting or avoiding the attention of others. emoticon
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Siavash, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1206 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
My experience is that looking after kids well is really hard. For a parent with unresolved issues it’s pretty much impossible to give the kids enough of the kind of attention they need. There are more times than I care to admit that I’ve used some variant of the cheap onions gambit to get some time away from my kids. emoticon
Yes. It's hard. I've always thought that deciding to have a child or not is the most difficult decision. Especially if you are living in very difficult conditions. (She really was looking for cheap onions a lot of times for many years.)

If we didn’t get enough good attention as kids then - unless we’ve resolved this issue - it’s very likely we well have an unhealthy relationship with attention as adults, veering between wanting too much attention or else saying ‘fuck it I don’t need any’. That’s why we are attracted to people who are either unavailable (unsatisfying but familiar, also will not replace mother) or else overly attentive (what we think we want, but suffocating, also guilt about replacing mother).

This all-or-nothing relationship with external attention is totally draining because your body is pulling in two different directions. The guilt arises because, even though your rational adult mind knows that your parents were far from perfect, inside there’s still a trapped little child who needed to see their parents as omnipotent and infallible in order to survive. This is the source of the the shame (‘it must have been my fault, there’s something wrong with me.’)
Yeah, exactly. These two forces tear apart the system.

Thanks for your support.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1544 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
 I'm sorry to make light of your tough conditions. I know things were very hard there during that period (and still are). However I do know some kids who grew up poor and had good parenting, and some who grew up rich and were totally fucked up by lack of attention.

I think a lot of people don't make much of a decision whether or not to have kids - even if they think they do - it just happens according to their programming. For me it was pretty much an unquestioned assumption, which in retrospect was part egotistical (I'm great therefore my kids should reflect my greatness) and part wishful (subconsciously hoping to create a better experience than I had). The situation changed dramatically when I hit the ground. emoticon

It's my impression that hardly anyone emerges from childhood and adolescence without some heavy wounds of one kind or another. The two most significant biographical facts that we supposedly know about the buddha are that his mother died after his birth and he abandoned his own wife and newborn son, thereby recreating the experience of an absent parent. You're not alone - this is the heart of samsara-dukkha.
 
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Siavash, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1206 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
I'm sorry to make light of your tough conditions. I know things were very hard there during that period (and still are). However I do know some kids who grew up poor and had good parenting, and some who grew up rich and were totally fucked up by lack of attention.

Na, it's okay. I just wanted to be clear about the facts.


Yes, you are right. It's only a matter of degrees. These wounds are part of the package. Anything we do will create some pain for someone.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1530 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
The important thing is you are seeing the "torn-in-two" aspect of this. Now you can see that no one benefits from being torn-in-two, there really isn't any wisdom there and so you can drop the needless suffering (it might take a while, but it gets easier and easier).&nbsp;<br /><br />My sense is that when kids don't get what they need, they need to take on the role of being a child and being a parent at the same time. That's the torn-in-two dynamic. And the self-created parent, that's basically what guilt is: the child creating a mental model of a parent in their own mind, which seems to pay attention to what we do and a voice in our head that seems to tells what to do. The only problem is that it's a naive/simple child creating this thing, so that internal voice isn't very smart! emoticon It mostly tells us how everything we do is not good enough and doesn't give us any good advice. emoticon<br /><br />Sometimes it's hard to let go of this inner voice because it feels so much like "me".&nbsp;&nbsp;I still have moments in my life where I'll notice my reaction to something is exaggerated... and sure enough it's something that reminds me of the things that totally used to send me into a shame spiral. And going "into" that experience and digesting it is still work, even though I know that in the end I'll just notice it's litteral just a voice in my head, saying a sentence or two, that I'm taking waaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously because it seems like "me". But I'm the one hearing the words, not speaking the words. emoticon
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Siavash, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1206 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hey shargrol,

I need to remember that point about "I am the one hearing the words, not speaking the words".
Although I don't notice much mental talks. It's often mental images with bodily sensations, specifically face expressions, seeing a face expression is enough to know what is going on. But the principal applies to images too.

Thanks.

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