RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Per Chris' request, here is Log #4 which is a continuation of Log #3, in which major events happened like a intense 2nd A+P. I am currently in the 3rd Jhana on the POI. 

I learned and experienced a lot during Log #2. At the begining, I offered some information on my history and methods:
  1.  first practice log,
HISTORY
A lot of my practice history both pre-DhO and DhO learning about noting can be found here. I talk about nothing happening for 7 years. Most of it was Tibetan under Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Since joining DhO I have made great strides along with my teacher Abre.

Current Methods
1. 40 min 2x day, 20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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40 min- 20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting Sit

Concentration was rocky at first but I kept at it and all of a sudden there was this big whoosh and the mind cleared and I was concentrated from then on.

Noting practice, as I have written about the last week, is a continuation of the 3rd Jhana, which means all sensations I feel are only on the skin and subtle mainly itches. Lots of itches! My mind was clear and I has a Calm and Happy feeling.

I'm starting my Advanced Emptiness Retreat for 8 days tonight so I will not be posting after today.
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Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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40 min Pm Sit #2 (20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent, hitting about 95% of my breath counts. Easy and effortless.

Noting was again subtle, skin level sensations just like the last week. Tons of itches. Again, noted each itch but watched for and noted it's ceasing and gone, I felt calm happy. 

Hopefully I won't post for the next 8 days as my Advanced Emptiness retreat starts tonight.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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I just got done with my 8 day retreat and give a little report.

Retreat - Emptiness: An Online Retreat for Experienced Students with Guy and Sally Armstrong

General Impressions
  1. One of my biggest goals was to not go on DhO and post or look for 8 days and I met that
  2. The retreat was one of the best I have ever taken. I learned a lot
  3. The title was totally correct. Most of the people in the retreat had way more experience with emptiness than me and most had had no self realizations
  4. Guy and Sally are extremely knowledable about Emptiness and related topics
  5. The retreat was conducted with Vipassana/Insight meditation
  6. The teachings were all taken from the Pali cannon. I had some knowledge of Non Self in that but much of my knowledge about emptiness and conciousness are from the Mahayana prajaparamita sutras, Mind Only School and Madjmaka. Thaat was not covered. All from Pali cannon
  7. DhOers who have been witnessing Analyo trying to take down Daniel, might be interested in knowing that Biku Analyo's name and quotes were broght up about 50 times. He seems to be a big hero for them
  8. I'm now going to try to give a summary of each day
Monday 3/8/1 Night only
  1. Usual opening of a retreat, taking refuges and precepts
Tuesday
  1. Morning meditation Using the breath to bring mindfulness into distractions like thought, looking for patterns in the thoughts
  2. I found my thoughts had the pattern of future planning thoughts
  3. Another meditationn on feeling sensations in the body and that they are empty and boundless space
  4. Did these meditations all day 
  5. Meditated on this all day 
  6. Interesting Answer (npt my question) Desire for coffee - " Negative Feeling Tone is not enough. 2nd noble truth is craving. This is our practice struggle. Wanting, incompleteness. Bring mindfulness to the wanting and see how it feels. Hang out in the wanting. Important to feel new feelings of wanting and not give in. Seeing craving and suffering over and over until only real solution is to let go."
  7. At 7:30 Pm Sally gave a Dharma Talk on the 5 Khandras or Aggregates and how we cause most or all of our suffering. How we create suffering through clinging and with feeling tone how likes and dislikes create sense of self. She also talked about papanca in the mental formations. And of course, how this is alll not solid, not self
Wednesday
  1. Morning meditation on the 5 Aggregates and experientally experiencing at the feeling tone aand "the story of Me" that can be formed. Also experiencing boundless space 
  2. Dharma Talk Emptiness of Phenomena - Form is like lump of foam. Sankara Dukka - Every sense object  as it arises is passing away moment after moment. Conciousness is like a magic show
Thurdsday
  1. 2 morning meditations Looking at 5 aggregates and see how non-solid and empty they are and Abding in Emptiness
  2. My experienes with the meditations experientally proved to myself how transient, how ever changing, and not self everything is
  3. Dharma Talk - 2insights we should have ingrained all thiings in the contdtioned realm are empty and it applies to ourselves tooo. The story of Bahia
Friday
  1. Morning Meditation - Open/Choiceless Awareness & Noting
  2. Finally some Noting! 
  3. Dharma Talk - The Empty Nature of Awareness - We use awareness as word for consciousness. Talked about Contact when sense impression and Concousiness come together. WE can't get a grip of awareness but its always there. We stay inward in an unentangled knowing (in order):
  4. vinyana
  5. perception
  6. concept 
  7. mindfulness 
  8. wisdom knowledge
Saturday
  1. Morning Meditations on expericing awareness : Accessing awareness via space, Big Mind Meditation, Douglas Harding No Head. Turn around look at yourself 
  2. I worked all day with these meditations and found that Big Sky Mind worked best for me
  3. Dharma Talk Emptiness and Compassion
Sunday
  1. Meditations on compassion: Self-Compassion Kristen Neff, Compassion or Another Person Suffering, Radiatinng Out Compassion
  2. Readers will know that I have a hard time with these practices but  i used the Self-Compassion for my Parkinson's
  3. Dharma Talk Emptiness, Volition and Karma - This was a very intresting talk and I want to write about it but I have been writing for hours and this is too long already
Monday
Closing
Tim Farrington, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Wow, Sam, what a strong retreat. So much to digest, and ripen. Looking forward to the reverberations in your ongoing practice!
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Back to regular practice...two meditations

Last night 90 Min The Ground of Being with Micheal Taft

The Ground of Being is pure awareness beneath everything that is already enlightened. I relaxed into awareness, outside thought. Anytime I had thougt, i would "drop the mind" and go back into awaremess. I actually had very little thought through the whole meditation. Became aware that this awareness was timeless, that it's always been here. Sensed vastness of awareness extended in al directions. Noticed everything arising and passing in awareness.

Today 20 min Concentration / 20 min Noting

It was pretty jarring to go from all that emptines to straight concentration practice so my concentration was very good but not excellent. I would say that I hit about 92% of my breath counts. Noting was excellent. I felt calm. As before, I had surface level, hollow in the middle sensations only like tons of itches. There were plenty of them. Some tingling. I did incorporate some things from the emptiness retreat watching and noting the arising and ceasing/gone of sensations and asking "Who is doing all this itching?". I had a sense of the self between the eyes in my head but when I searched of course I found No Self but awarness of awareness.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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20 min Concentration / 20 min Noting PM Sit #2

As i said earlier, the transition back to Concentration practice has been hard. This time I kept losing my breath count. There I was wishing for a 1st Jhana experience without even getting access concentration. The Noting continues to be the same as its been for weeks. Still noting only sufrace skin level sensations like itches. Lots of itches. All I could do was to note the arising and ceasing/gone of them all happening in awareness.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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20 min Concentration / 20 min Noting Sit

Concentration was excellent about 95% of breath count. I think I may have reached Access Concentration but no Piti or Sukka. There was a big shift in my noting practice. After weeks of only feeling subtle skin sensations, I broke through. I had physical sensations like lower back pain, gut pain, tense and tight shoulders, shin pain. Don't get me wrong - I still had skin sensations like itches but greatly reduced in number.
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Louis Joel, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Good stuff man! Hope you are doing well 
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Louis Joel
Good stuff man! Hope you are doing well 

Thanks! I am doing well my friend. I just got back from an 8 day emptiness retreat. How's your practice going man?
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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2 sessions..

Middle of the night 90 min Emptiness of Thought and Feeling with Micheal Taft

First, began with a very deep relaxing Shamatha with the breath, then dropped into Nature of Mind, looked and saw the mind to be empty, But became aware of awareness. Observed thoughts and feelings arising and noticed they were completly empty and were in fact expressions of awareness. 

Today 40 min (20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting) Sit

At the start, a very pleasent feeling in the head, maybe a little pitti? I was calm. I'm back to mostly surface level sensations only like itches which I noted their arising and ceasing in awareness. Some aches and pains were also noted.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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40 min (20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting) Sit #2

Concentration was excellent, hitting about 97% of my breath counts. Easy and effortless. I had a pleasent buzzing sensation in my head. IN noting, there was a significant shift from the last few weeks. No longer restricted to subtle skin sensations and itches. In fact no real itches. Hmm...So I felt all the normal sensations I used to feel like lower back pain, gut pain, jaw pain, upper shoulder tension and tightness. I did hear one sound: the sound of dogs barking otherwise its always pretty quiet around here.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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40 min Meditation (40 min Concentration, 40 min Noting) Sit

Cocentration was excellent with about 98% breath count. Easy and efffortless. Again the noting was not subtle sufrafce level sensations but full sensations. Abre says that since this is a bg change from the 3 weeks of only subtle skin sensations, I may have moved to another level  and we will discuss this week. Anyway, I had gut pain, shoulders tense and tight, headaches, lower back pain, eye pain, strong bolt of pain in forehead, amd upper back pain. Hardly no itches.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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2 meditations...

Late at nite, I've been doing these great Micheal Taft Awareness and NonDual meditations. Last night:
Pointing Out Instructions 90 min meditation

Dropped out of the mind (this technique is old hat to me know, after Shamatha, drop everything thoughts, etc) into awareness 
Rested in awarness. I had tto keep dropping the mind because sexual urges, thoughts, tc were arising
Noticed charcterstics of awareness (always there, primordial, boundless. etc)
Noticed awareness is empty - not a something but its always there

40 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting)
Concentration was exellent with about 98% breath count. Easy and effortless. At first inn the Noting, I thought I had gone back to the subtle skin itches but thankfully not. I was calm and relaxed. I had knee pain, transient headaches, lower back of pain, heavingness in the arms, tightness and tension in the shoulders,, Bicep pain, itches - watched arising and ceasing. The mind was still. I had this Visual Field sensation of a square white tunnel of light. I kept thinking my eyes had opened a slit but not. I also finished with eome happiness.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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4o Min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting) PM Sit #2

Concentration was interesting because the breath count didn't really count. I entered this floaty state, being drawn more and more inward. It seemed a bit sureal. I had sukka bot not really piti except for some spurts of tingling. I think I was almost there to 1st Jhana but didn't get it. Noting was almost bck to that light sense of itches but I had other sensations too. I had some headaches of the transient sort, lower back pain, forhead sensatiions, gut pressure, left foot pain, stillness of the mind, and Happiness.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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40 min Meditation( 20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent - about 98% breath count. Noting was again not restricted to surface level only. I had knee pain, gut pain, Transient headaches, lower back pain, heavingness, eye pain, back of the neck tension and tightness, and fingers in motion on their own. Of course, I stilll had itching arising and ceasing.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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40  min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 20 min Noting)

My concentration oractice was excellent, hitting about 95% of the breath counts. Easy and effortless. I entered noting feeling calm. Again, the surface level, skin only sensations syndrom is gone. I had eyes watering, forhead sensations, knee pain, transient headaches, gut excitement, Left foot sensations, tension and tightness in the back of the neck, desire for 2nd cup of coffee, heavingness in arms, fingers moving on their own (Parkinson's?). I heard birds. Near the end, I was having some thoughts and I did a bit of selfinquiry. I asked "Who is the thinker? and traced through and found no thinker. But I found conciousness and I was aware of awareness which is the thinker.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Meeting with Abre
After the huge,  intense 2nd A+P I had, I moved into a stage where I felt only subtle, skin sensations for  weeks onnly. Abre called this the 3rd Jhana stage which you get if you map the Vipassna Janas on the POI Map. Then I had an abrubt change recently. Abre says I have moved into Low EQ which is quite normal and you kind of ask yourself "Am I meditating right now?" It's just normal sensations. She wants me to increase my practice time to 10 min sessions to provide that extra push to get me into Equanamity.

50 min Meditation #2 (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Concentratiion was. well, interesting. I was going along and quite accidently I started feeling piti and sukka. I switched attention over to the pleasent feeling and entered a soft 1st Jhana. Not intense.
In the noting, I was kind of overwhelmed by sukka and a really still mind. I did manage to note left shoulder pain, gut pain, knee pain, left foot sensations, Log thoughts, forehead pain, shin pain, neck tension and tightness.
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

The concentration was excellent, about 98% of all breath counts, easy and effortless. The Noting was filled with all kinds of sensations. Its usually stone quiet here but I heard the fierce winds, people having conversations in their hallways, gut discomfort, forehead pains, eye pain, gut excitement, pain jaw. arms heavy, facial hearing fierce wind gusts, neck tense and tight, hearing vacuum
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Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Two meditations 
2:30 AM 90 min Awakening to the Nature of Mind (Micheal Taft)
This was a profound meditation for me with realizations of insight. We begun the meeditation with a 1/2 hour of Shamatha with Breath until we really relaxed. Then switched to where we tried to trace thoughts on arising back to their source. This was partially successfull until i "ran out of thoughts." For a while my mind stopped producing thoughts. Then we dropped into awareness and I had the realization that *everything* that was arising was mind itself. Body sensations were mind. Thoughts were mind. Emotions were mind. Awesome!

50 min Meditation #2 (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
The  concentration was excellent. Then things got pleasent. I think I reached Access Concentration, not 1st Jhana.
Noting was excellent and was characterized by calm, stillness, mind stillness and little to no thoughts. I had stomach pain, heavingness in the shoulders, transient headaches, gut pain, eye pain, forhead sensensations, long periods of silence, knee pain, Tingling. On the sound front, I heard the very pleasent sound of some birds which made my heart happy.

Awakening Retreat at IMS
I almost forgot. I got awarded a full scholarship to IMS Awakening: An Insight Meditation Retreat for Experienced Practioners April 24-28th
Sam Gentile, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Sit #3 48 min Rob Burbea Counting With the Breath
A whole different take on concentration. I got pretty concentrated but I was hoping for 1st Jhana which didn''t happen. This meditation is from Rob's Jhana retreat.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Glad to see you doing well and getting to know the absorptions states emoticon 

Maybe lesson here to be learned is "welcome each count-breath as your ONLY guest" emoticon and see it/listen to it/welcome it as the most important thing there ever will be. Forget Jhana 1 and 2 and 3 and SE and ... 
Instead ONLY THIS count-breath as if there is nothing else here but that count-breath as your guest. Be a good host and let it fully unfold. 

One after the other they arise and pass away ... each welcomed in fully and offering your guest gladness and smile and full attention emoticon 

But Im no expert and Im sure others know more about how to apply intention in this.

​​​​​​​However, Best wishes Sam emoticon 
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Papa Che Dusko
Glad to see you doing well and getting to know the absorptions states emoticon 
Thank you and the absorbtion states are so cool emoticon


Maybe lesson here to be learned is "welcome each count-breath as your ONLY guest" emoticon and see it/listen to it/welcome it as the most important thing there ever will be. Forget Jhana 1 and 2 and 3 and SE and ... 
Instead ONLY THIS count-breath as if there is nothing else here but that count-breath as your guest. Be a good host and let it fully unfold. 
Yes, you're right. I just learned this lesson. Jhana 1 and 2, SE are distractions. I need to focus on the breath. I know these Jhanas are a distration. Abre doesn't want me there. She wants me to meditate hard out of Low EQ into Equanimity.

One after the other they arise and pass away ... each welcomed in fully and offering your guest gladness and smile and full attention emoticon 

But Im no expert and Im sure others know more about how to apply intention in this.

​​​​​​​However, Best wishes Sam emoticon 
Thank you, it was great to hear from you!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20  min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent with 98% of the breath counts hitting 10. Note: I might start using Rob Burbea's Counting Within a Breath. Need to check with Abre.
Noting was petty regular. I had forhead pain, transient headaches, knee pain, throb at the back of the head,, left foot sensations, eyes watering, gut excitement, neck tight and stiff, stillness, thigh pain, tingling. At around 40 minutes, I had some Boredom. I applied the andidote factors of Energy (from 7 factors) and Unshakeable Faith (from my A+P) and got rid of it. Something shifted and I ended up hearing birds chirping and happiness.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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If Abre wants you out of low EQ/EQ in general then maybe it's time to let go of those antidote methods emoticon and just keep noting Boredom with much gentle acceptance. It might not be pleasant but EQ Stage is not about pleasant anyway emoticon 

Boredom is the Big Mama of POI emoticon Do you think you can just sit (note/notice) with it and take it for what it is without trying to antidote it? emoticon 
This is only for the duration of the sit. Afterwards do all the antidote off cushion emoticon emoticon 

You can of course ignore all I mentioned here. 

Best wishes to you Sam! 
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Interesting...
She had taught me those antidote methods to hinderances earlier but I think you're right. At this stage, it makes more sense to note it with fast noting to get out of low EQ. Thanks buddy!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Concentration practice continues to be excellent with about a 98% breath count rate. Still easy and effortless.

The biggest thing to note is the LOUD sound of contruction in the apartments around me. I was calm however. I had eyes watering, forehead sensations, colarbone sensations, stomach muscle pain, gut excitement, gut pain, lower back pain. feet moving, shoulders tense and tight, upper back pain. I heard birds, talking in the hallways, and the sound of an AC. Regular sit

Update: I have been in a Intermediate Buddhist Studies program for 3 years with Ethan Nichtern, We have this concept of Quads. The Quad is an intimate group of 4, 5 in my case) that uses Text messages every day to support our meditations, discuss Buddhist concepts, etc. The best feature is, and I am really looking forward to toight, is we together via Zoom biweekly to meet face to face. Excited!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Two meditations:
1AM Micheal Taft 90  min Oneness with Everything

Did Shamatha with Breath until few thoughts. Focused awareness from the heart center. Expanded all over the body to aware of awareness. Then made myself open to sound, and body sensations. Looked into boundless space of awareness and became aware that  no matter where in the space a sensation occurs. Open to everything in that boundless awareness seeeing that its all bright, luminous, and awake areness, all interconnected.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Concentration was excellent with about 98% breath count. Easy and effortless. Noting begun with this beautiful symphony of birds that was very pleasent. That was contrasted a bit later with the jarring sounds of construction noises. I had hardly any itches. I had knee pain, left foot pain, gut pain, transient headaches and throbbing, sttrong lower back pain. arms heavy, neck tight and stiff, gut excitement and pain, and throb in left toe.
Martin, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Sam Gentile:
  Concentration was excellent with about 98% breath count. Easy and effortless. Noting begun with this beautiful symphony of birds that was very pleasent. That was contrasted a bit later with the jarring sounds of construction noises. I had hardly any itches. I had knee pain, left foot pain, gut pain, transient headaches and throbbing, sttrong lower back pain. arms heavy, neck tight and stiff, gut excitement and pain, and throb in left toe.


Can I ask what 98% breath count means? Is it the percentage of times you make it to the end of the count without becoming distracted, or something else? (just curious, I see a lot of people mention it)
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Martin
Sam Gentile  Concentration was excellent with about 98% breath count. Easy and effortless. Noting 
Can I ask what 98% breath count means? Is it the percentage of times you make it to the end of the count without becoming distracted, or something else? (just curious, I see a lot of people mention it)

That's exactly it
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent and I got into Access Concentration.

Noting, I had a deep calm but energetic at same time. I had knee pain, back of the neck tightness and stiffness, eyes watering, hearing dogs, gut excitement, lower back pain, transient headaches, hearing trucks bolt of pain below left ear, eye pain, happiness, collarbone pain, tingling, right side stich, stmach muscle pain, hearing birds, mind still, hearing airplane, hearing wind gusts
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Two Hours Intermediate Budhist Studies Class with Meditation

I just wanted to put this in. While I will not be doing my usual 50 min practice, I will be attending the monthly 2 hour gathering of our Intermediate Buddhist Studies class and most certainly will meditate for probably 30 minutes. We are studying Joseph Goldstein's excellent book Mindfulness  on the Satipathanna Sutta and we are at the the point of emptiness in the 5 aggregates and The 7 Factors of Enlightenment.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting) 

Caught up with my sleep yesterday. Concentration was excellent and I continue to get 98% breath counts. Easy and effortless.
In my noting, it was shaped by a bunch of factors: I was Calm but Energetic. And I developed Happiness and Joy. I had eye pai. gut excitement, forhead pain, transient head aches, knee pain, lower back pain, arms heavy, abdominal pain, shoulder pain, neck tightt and tense. Alongg with the Happiness and Joy therre were profound periods of stillness and mind stillness which resulted in very feww thoughts.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min AM meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

It's funny. I had to get up at 8:30 AM, fully 3 hours before my usual wakeup time for some flooring guys. Not used to a world at this hor and 2 coffees by 10:30. Concentration practice was excellent with 98% breath count rate. Noting was interesting. I was Calm but Energetic. I had forehead pain, transient hedaaches, back of the neck tightness and stiffness, gut excitement, Middle back pain, herad construction sounds, knee pain, leg pain, abdominal pain. After the 30 minute mark, everything just cleared in the mind and went still, calm and happiness. I finished with beautiful bird sounds.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min PM Meditation #2 (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting) 

Boy, being up so ealy for the floorers resulted in productive morning. Two 50 min meditaations, coversations with my meditation Quad, and with my girlfriend Staci, and its only 1:30!

Concentration practice was excellent with about 98% breath count rate. In the the Noting practice, it started with the sound of garbage trucks,. Then I had knee pain, neck tightness and stiff, arms heavy, right foot sensations, lower back pain, gut excitement, nostril pain, abdominal pain, sound of trucks backing up energetic, transient headaches, hearing birds, stilllness, stillness of the mind, happiness and joy.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Meeting with Abre

We went through all of my sessions in detail. Abre said I am transitioning between Reobservation (lots of muscle aches, pains) to Low Equanimity to Equanmity (birds, stillness, happiness, joy, stillness of the mind) within each meditation. The good thing is that I am always ending up in Equanimity, where the body pains go away in the sense that I don't care about them anymore. This is the first time she has spoken about the posssibility of Stream Entry in the future if I can stay in Equanmity long enough. She taught me a new concentration technique called the Transitional Breath, a transition between Concentration and Vipassana.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I used the new Transitional Breath which worked better for concentration. In Noting, it happened just like she described. first aches and pains like lower back pain, gut pain, urinary tension, gut excitement, throbbing at back of the head, shoulders tight, abdominal pain. Then in the last 15 minutes I went into Equanmity: stillness, 
no more muscke pain,happiness and joy.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Got my first Pfizer Vaccine today!

50 min Meditation( 20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent with the Transitional Breath. Noting practice, I was in eqanimity the whole meditation. Right from the begining, II felt a whole body and mind lightness and calm. Instead of heavy muscle aches and pains I noted mind states of equanmous, stillness, happiness, joy, mind light and still. For reference, the muscle aches and pains did I did have were lower back pain, right knee pain,  and shoulder tension. It felt so good!
Martin, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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So nice to hear how pleasant your sits are now. And congrats on the vaccine shot!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Thanks Martin! Like Emil, its a lot of Abre
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation(20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Weierd. I didn't have any caffeine since Friday and I slept most of the past 3 days. I don't know if if that's an Equanmity sttage thing - Martin? I'll ask Abre too. Well today, I went right to an equanmous state again, right back to equanimity. Concentration was excellent about 98% breath count. Notinng was well, equanmous. Theere were some aches and pains there but its like they didn't matter, I had Calm, total stillness, silence of the mind, happiness. The body aches and pains were knee pain, neck tight and stiff, forehead sensations, Eyes burning, lower back pain, foot pain.
Martin, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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I don't know, but I think sleep is a good thing. I keep getting my sleep interrupted by weird mini-A&P-like events that wake me up in the middle of the night. Other than that, I sleep well. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's all good, man. 
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 mn Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I stopped counting when I got into Bliss and Access Concentration. For noting, the bliss, and swirling head feeling continued. I noted Bliss, head swirling, happiness, mind still, stillness with hardly any thoughts, equanmous state. I had knee pain, gut pressure, lower back pain. 
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min  Noting)

My concentration practice was excellent. I used the Transitional Breath. I got deeper and deeper and my mind was swirling inward, and then the breath slowed down and I think I was in Acccess Concentration. Then, as I wenr into noting I still noticed the buzzing, swirling head. It was all great from there. Calm, Hearing delightfull sounds of children playing and the birds. Bliss, happineess. I had some knee pain, left foot sensations, back of the neck tightness and stiffness, lower back pain. Equanmous states. Equanamity is a beautiful place to be!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentrtaion, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent using Abre's Transition Breath. Breaths got slower, on the edge of Access Concentration. Head Buzzing. The head buzzing was still there when I entered noting with a sense of calmness. I felt a greater amount of my aches & pain and felt a slip back into low eq or even re-observation.I had shin pain, knee pain, shoulders tense and tight, lower back pain, neck tightness, arms heavyy, forhead pain, mid back pain, stillness, stillness of the mind.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min  Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

It took a chewing out from Abre to meditate today but boy was it worth it!
In Concentration, the breath started to slow, so I stopped counting, switched to the pleasure object - the sukkha that was there. I continued and went into  a weak 1st Vipassnna Jhana.
As I began noting, there was still calm, from the now gone Jhana, there was lightness in the head,. The mind was still. I noted a slight side stich, neck tightness, lower back pain, gut pain, shin pain. From there on, I got this big instance of shivering with tingling that led to another round of happpiness, clear mind, equanmous states, joy, SELF-LOVE! That was followed by my saying the Inclination of my mind is AWakening, then pleaseent feelings and happiness again. Great sit.
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Zero, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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I really appreciate the humbleness that shines forth from reading a consistent log. Just day after day simply doing the practice. Thank you.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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If what little I do inspires you, I am grateful. Best off luck in your  practice!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent. I even had several of the jhanic factors present: one-pointedness, sukka, calm, energy but no piti. There were no thoughts. Acccess Concentration. Even the 1st Jhana is really hard for me in 20 minutes. Noting continued with the calm, relaxed, stillness, shkkha from the concentration. I had waves of some aches and pains that would be followed by waves of calm and stillness. I had some knee pain, tiny headaches, lower back pain, Mid Baxk Sensations. I repeated my Inclination for Awakening. II heard birds, Car horn, truck backing up. Then again my mind begun to feel light, equanmous, happiness, stillness. The wonderful feeling of equanmity coontinues.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

OMG! What a session! It begun with a real rocky concentration practice, I counted to 13, I was thinking thoughts. Then I went into Noting. It begun with eyes watering, minor headaches, knee pain, lower back pain, neck tight and stiff, hearing birds, Thigh pain. Then came a layer of energetic, stillness of the mind, calm, Sukkha. Then another layer of cheek pain, gut tension, gut excitement. Then another layer of hearing more birds, stillness, lightness in the mind and body, tingling, my inlination is to awaken, followed by Sukkhaq and then it came! 25 minutes of Bliss all over the body with tingling, and I was kust on the edge of Rapture - I could taste it! I am still feeling waves of bliss 1/2 jour later.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Meeting with Abre

Oh boy! Based on the 25 minute Bliss runing up and down my body (mini-awakening) and careful analysis of 2 weeks of meditation logs here that were all Bliss, and Equanmity, Abre feels that I had a "mini-awakening" from Equanmity into High Equanmity and that I am in the vicinity of Stream Entry like 2 of her students right now. She says the moment could come as early as the next few weeks but we don't know. It could involve a cessation or not. I might not even notice it until after it happens. Wow! 2 years ago nothing had happened for over 5 years and now look! She is the very best!!

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

For Concentration, went back to TRansitional Breath as Abre suggested and was excellent. What can I say about noting? Calm, Relaxed, Stillness of the Mind, Lower back pain (don't care, not really feeling it), neck tightness, lightness of mind and body, equanmity, Don't care about body aches, in mind deep  where everything is equanmous. As you can see the physical sensations are waning and its becoming almost all mind now.

20 min Dzogchen Non-Distraction and Presence Meditation

I finally met the criteria and am in Mingyur Rinpocjhe's course. I don't think I can talk about the actual meditation.
Martin, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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WTG, Sam!
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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I THIINK I JUST HIT STREAM ENTRY!

Query out to Abre. I have been in Equanmity for weeks. i was doing my regular 50 minute meditation. I had already done the concentration part. In trying to note I was not really feeling sensations, just bliss, few thoughts, and stillness. I was doing my 50 min meditation and kept getting waves of Bliss after total stillness in the mind. The waves of Bliss got so intense and hit a spot where a had a tiny cessation and at the same time felt one with everything. I just erupted into this sea of tears just crying at the beauty of it and found myself saying thank you for 10 minutes. I'm just left in a state of awe.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Sam Gentile
I THIINK I JUST HIT STREAM ENTRY!

Query out to Abre. I have been in Equanmity for weeks. i was doing my regular 50 minute meditation. I had already done the concentration part. In trying to note I was not really feeling sensations, just bliss, few thoughts, and stillness. I was doing my 50 min meditation and kept getting waves of Bliss after total stillness in the mind. The waves of Bliss got so intense and hit a spot where a had a tiny cessation and at the same time felt one with everything. I just erupted into this sea of tears just crying at the beauty of it and found myself saying thank you for 10 minutes. I'm just left in a state of awe.
I have confirmationn of Stream Entry from Abre!!
Edward, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 97 Join Date: 6/10/19 Recent Posts
Hi Sam,&nbsp;<br /><br />Was this the entire description you gave to your teacher? Or are there more details that you haven't included,<br /><br />BW,<br /><br />Ed
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Edward
Hi Sam,&nbsp;<br /><br />Was this the entire description you gave to your teacher? Or are there more details that you haven't included,<br /><br />BW,<br /><br />Ed

Edward:
My teacher had been tracking all my sits and they were all High Equanimity and she said I was nearing Stram Entry. Then this epsiode was the entire description I gave to her. I had a cessation in addition to an experience where bliss overpowered my body and brokke down in tears and just felt one withh everything. I remembered saying "thank you" over and over. So yes this is the entire description. Se is totaly qualified to determine these states haven been there and I trust her 100% completely. I hope you are not challenging this.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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The cessation was I dropped the sense of self and felt interconnected with everyone
Edward, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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"Se is totaly qualified to determine these states haven been there and I trust her 100% completely. I hope you are not challenging this."


Hi Sam,

What are her qualifications?

​​​​​​​Ed
ahtrahddis, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Edward

Hi Sam,

What are her qualifications?

​​​​​​​Ed

Hi Ed,

This is a backup of Kenneth Folk's website back in 2012:

https://web.archive.org/web/20121111093944/http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/Personalized+Instruction

Other teachers I recommend:

Below is a list of people I have asked to teach and who are currently accepting private students. Each of them is trained in my techniques and each of them is a gifted teacher in his or her own right. Except for my wife, Beth Resnick-Folk, all those listed on this page function completely independently of Kenneth Folk Dharma and Kenneth Folk. They stand on their own individual authority and are fully responsible for themselves and their teachings. Please contact them directly for more information:

Beth Resnick-Folk: xxxxxxxx@gmail.com

Ron Crouch: xxxxxxxx@gmail.com

Chris Marti: xxxxxxxx@well.com

Abre Chen: xxxxxx@pipeline.com

So, Abre Chen/Fournier was asked to teach by KF.

I have spent a lot of my free time, trying to understand the background and history of pragmatic dharma. I studied the old website of KF and came across his interpretation of the 4-path model, which apart from being different when compared to D. Ingram's, it's also vaguer and been through many changes until at least the end of 2012.

Based on the above, it's unclear which version of of his model did KF use in order to confirm any of his student's attainments back then.

This is not the case of a lineage, where one basic and unchanged conceptual framework is transmitted from the teacher to qualified students that later become teachers and so on.

Until now:

- Kenneth Folk, seems to be very open with regards to his model. Later students of him, have mentioned on reddit that he has completely abandoned the "4-path" model, something I can't confirm as I haven't discussed with him.

- Ron Crouch, has taught me Kenneth Folk's free style noting and used the PoI stages to place me on the map, but he did not seem to be a huge fan of this model anymore. However, I did not discuss about it in depth with him so my assumption might be wrong.

- Vince Horn, has taught me stuff in a completely different direction. When I asked him about the 4-path model, although he did not reject it, he told me that "it's just a model among many other models" etc. He was very open and very far from being fixated in PoI.

- I had a only a session with Abre and I can't say mucn. To me she sounded like a "hardcore" PoI based coach. But again, when one uses PoI and when they confirm attainments, they should base them on a specific model, which by the way again we don't  know.

I'm a big fan of Kenneth Folk, and until I abandoned the pragmatic approach completely , it's obvious from the above that I was very close to his "lineage".

I'm not here to say that these people are not qualified or whatever. In fact I'm very happy to see that most of them are not fixated any more in a vauge model,  but honestly if I were a map/poi/path geek I would not be very happy with the realization that there are no strict/clear definitions behind.
Edward, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Thanks for your thoughtful response Ahtrahddis. POI/map geek here and I'm very aware of the heterogeneity of maps out there, even within the Church of Pragmatic Dharma. Like you, I have struggled to find two teachers with the same map. I have no problem with people having different definitions/criteria for SE. But if people are going to proudly wear the badges, it seems reasonable that they should define what they represent. The use of argumentum ab auctoritate is a bit Culty for my tastes. Being told that you can't challenge someone's attainments on this website seems to be a misunderstanding of what it's about. 
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Edward
Thanks for your thoughtful response Ahtrahddis. POI/map geek here and I'm very aware of the heterogeneity of maps out there, even within the Church of Pragmatic Dharma. Like you, I have struggled to find two teachers with the same map. I have no problem with people having different definitions/criteria for SE. But if people are going to proudly wear the badges, it seems reasonable that they should define what they represent. The use of argumentum ab auctoritate is a bit Culty for my tastes. Being told that you can't challenge someone's attainments on this website seems to be a misunderstanding of what it's about. 

I don't know what you want. I have already answered your questions twice. You asked me if what I reported to my teacher was all of the report and I said yes. So I answered yuour questions and don't plan on any further respones.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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ahtrahddis


Abre Chen: xxxxxx@pipeline.com

So, Abre Chen/Fournier was asked to teach by KF.

I have spent a lot of my free time, trying to understand the background and history of pragmatic dharma. I studied the old website of KF and came across his interpretation of the 4-path model, which apart from being different when compared to D. Ingram's, it's also vaguer and been through many changes until at least the end of 2012.

Based on the above, it's unclear which version of of his model did KF use in order to confirm any of his student's attainments back then.


- I had a only a session with Abre and I can't say mucn. To me she sounded like a "hardcore" PoI based coach. But again, when one uses PoI and when they confirm attainments, they should base them on a specific model, which by the way again we don't  know.

ahtrahddis,

I almost flagged this post. What you wrote is incorrect and based on one person's persp0ective. There are other topics that mention multiple people extolling her vuirtues as a Teacher. That's all I am going to say
ahtrahddis, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Sam,

I really can't understand your reaction.

I did not write anything about your teacher's virtues and capabilities.

I just presented the information I have found so far regarding a lineage I'm familiar with and I appreciate a lot.

I did not express any opinion, at least in this forum/thread (I have to admit that I've done it at Reddit's r/streamentry) as I both respect that this is your practice log and in addition I understand that this forum I participate has a different mentality/attitude when compared to my point of view regarding attainments, teachers etc.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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ahtrahddis
Sam,

I really can't understand your reaction.

I did not write anything about your teacher's virtues and capabilities.

I just presented the information I have found so far regarding a lineage I'm familiar with and I appreciate a lot.

I did not express any opinion, at least in this forum/thread (I have to admit that I've done it at Reddit's r/streamentry) as I both respect that this is your practice log and in addition I understand that this forum I participate has a different mentality/attitude when compared to my point of view regarding attainments, teachers etc.

In this interaction, I want to acknolwedge that you did NOT do anyting wrong. I'm sorry that you got caught up in some of the other stuff going on. I hope you can forgive me and we can be friends.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting) 

Awakened life feels good without that pesky self. I have not heard back from Abre yet on what I should be doing for meditation now so I did my regular. Concentration was excellent. I used the Transitional Breath. Some sukkha did arrive but mostly deep head buzzing in reaching access concentration. Into noting I went brining along the buzzing. Right away, there was Calm, head buzzing, Bliss, a sense of the self gone - being wide open and Interconnectness. I had a brief bit of minor neck tightness, leg tightness, gut pressure but they seemed like signals off in the distance and I didn't care about them. This was followed by more Bliss, silence in the mind, Content, Relaxed, Light Body and Mind.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Dzogchen Practices

This afternoon I did some study in my Dzogchen Immersion course of Mingyur Rinpoche. Particuarly of note, I read, Buddha Nowhere Else by Talku Urygen Rinpoche and did the Effortless Non Meditation for 20 minunites in which I felt rigpa or pure awareness.

​​​​​​​Just added Dzogchen Naturalness and Non-Fabrication meditation.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent. Use3dd the Transitional Breath. I got a Buzzing in the breath and calm. In noting, there was calm, buzzing, almost no thoughts, silence in the mind, no sensations below head. Then the only physical sensations a few head sensations, bliss, tingling, slight sstomach sensations. Then back to bliss, silence, no thoughts, happiness.


Just addded 20 min Dzogchen NonDistraction, NonMeditation
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent with the Transitional Breath. Before I talk about Noting, my friend Brandon had asked if I noticed a change to my baseline experience since my Awakening. And I have. After the Cessation of dropping the self my baseline experience feels very light - I feel tha I'm not carrying around "extra" baggage. So again, the noting had very little physical sensations and lots of Calm, Silence in the mind, stillness and happiness. Quite nice.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Meeting with Abre

Dear Readers, you may have noticed a bit ofr confusion round these parts.I just met with Abre and while I cannot share the details of a private meetiing, I can say that we scrutinized every aspect of my experience including some I had not given her, and she firmly believes that it is Stream Entry along as what Daniel says in the other topic "that it stands up." To this point, she says it has but we will contine to monitor my experience. And what do I get for Stream Entry? 25 more minutes of meditation at night from Abre.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration still deepens. Used the transitional breath but went off into blissland or emptiness (completely aware). In Noting, started with Calm, Silence in the mind, silence. Then I had a minor layer of body sensations including lower back pain, neck tight and stiff, knee sensations, mid back sensations. After that brief layer, I heard the wind gusts outside. Then it was back to silence of mind, bliss, happiness, lightness,  very few thoughts, Awake, Gratitude. Near the very end, it felt like I may have had a tiny additional cessation but I highly question it.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Afternoon Dzogchen Study
  1. Recognize, Familiarize, Integrate
  2. The Three lineages of the Indian Masters
  3. Primordial Purity (Dilgo Khyentse)
Extra 20 minute Meditation
Dzogchen Connecting with the Linneage meditation
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sorry forr the hiatus. I was dealing with my 2nd Pfizer Vacccine.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

At first in the Cocentration, it was really rocky due to the hiatus but after 15 min calmed down nicely using the Transitional Breath. I had this buzzy brain feeling as I enter3ed noting. I was calm. There was stillness and stillness of the mind. Then I had one small layer of physical sensations: knee sensations, slight sensations in back of the head, slight sensations underarm sensations. Then it was back to the layer of the mind the rest of thhe meditation. Relaxation, Calm, Hearing Birdsw, Lightness of body and mind, bliss , min still, no more body sensations. This was followed by peace, happiness, bliss and then a period of Gratititude with a tear or two begore I finished with metta.
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Steph, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Glad you're continuing with the heart-centered & gratitude stuff. It'll serve you well in the long run.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Afternoon Dzogchen and Meditation

I spent all afternoon on the modules pertaining to Padmasambavba, Longchenpa and the Start of Dzogchen in Tibet
Added 20 minute meditation "Feeling the Presence of the Lineage"
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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It's a good day for the dharma!

Last night 90 min Micheal Taft Shamatha m+ Vipashyana Supporrt Each Other

Too complicated to explain. Basically a super awareness meditation

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Excellent Concentration prratice using the Transitional Breath to gte to Access Concentraion, In deep, hardly any thoughts
In Noting, I was still calm and relaxed from concentration, head swirling, mind still, silence, relaxed. Then, as in all my Post-SE meditations omly a small layer of bodil;y sensations with tightness in the neck, forhead sensations, knee sensations, knee sensations, and mid back sensations. THen, as in all othher Post-SE meditations that was it for the body. Calm, relaxed, stillness, bliss, happiness, all body sensations disapear, mind still, hearing birds, bliss, few to no thoughts, gratitude, metta
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Zero, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Hey Sam,
How is the "transitional breath" practiced? 
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Zero
Hey Sam,
How is the "transitional breath" practiced? 
This was thought to me by Abre and is considered more concentrated than breath count, It goes like "Beg Middle End' for inner breath and "Beg Middle End" for outbreath.
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Zero, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Thank you, this makes sense!
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Woke up to quite an "attack" of my SE claim. You can see that topic if you want but Abre is been doing this most of her life and isn't going to play the games.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
I read the attack just before meditation so guess what?, My streak is broken. My concentration was lousy, I couldn't stop thinking. In noting, I was mostly back in my body. I had headaches, leg pain, back of the neck tightness, mid back sensations, leg pain, swirling in my head. Then I started to get some calm and happiness. But there were a lot of Abre thoughts.

Afternoon Dzogchen

The Vajra Stance
The Hung Yogas
Dzogchen Preliminaries
​​​​​​​
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
90 minute Micheal Taft Guided  Awareneess Dancing meditation

This is in the style of Mamamudra/Dzogchecn/Non-Dual Vipashayana
1. Did Shamatha with Breath until totally relaxed
2. Drop right now into non-meditation (used to do this from Dzogchen)
3. Just relax in awareness
4. At this point we opened ourb eyes and I had a hard time with my dry eyes. Aware inside and outside
5. Usimg non-dual vipashyana bring up thoughts and use the insightts to notice how empty and empehermal the thoughts are. Do the same for perceptons
6. Notice hat form is just awarness dancing (aware of awarness)
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent and deep. Sukkha was present. I reached Access Concentration. In Noting, I started with the calm and sukkha from Concentration. I heard a lot of pleasent bird sounds. Then I went through my "physical" layer. I had lower back pain, shoulder tightness, neck tight and stiff, leg pain. Then the sensations became less important and I didn't really care about them. I had a vast silence in the mind, stillness, relaxed, calm, silence for long stretches, happiness, then I did some Gratitude and smome meta.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Wasn't  going to meditate today but glad I did as it was a banner day for meditation today.

50 minute Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

What an excellent concentration practice.! I was using the Transiitional Breath. I had Sukkha. I started to feel the onset of a little Piti and tried to switch to the pleasent feeling. I thought the Piti would build to 1st Jhana but it seeme3d to just peter out. But deep concentration. I entered Noting with that deep calm. And there were small amounts of pita popping up here and there. My head was swirling a little but wasn't thinking anything, kind of still. I had some physical sensations: feet sensations, Mid Back Sensations, and Neck tightness. Note: I want to interrrupt with a general note. I had seen a criticism in my SE topic fromeone saying that I was only experiencing pleasent feelings, mostly above the waist. This is true. Something has shifted during the SE. And I am following the directions of my teacher: practice and write down very good notes. So I write down what I experience. So after that I went back to lightness, mind still, hardly any thoughts, a whole symphony of beautiful birds. Then some tingling, and I did both Gratitude and Metta.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 minute Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

The concentration was just average this time. My head just wasn't in it. No Sukka, No Piti. Sort of got back to mainstream by end.
The Noting practice also was off at least in the 1st 3rd. I felt a variety of physical sensations such as slight headaches, mid back pain, foot pain, neck tight and tense, gut pain. After that, I had a wave of silence, still mind, calm, few thoughts, silence in the mind. The I did Gratitude amd Metta.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 minute Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was very good but not ecellent. Used the transitional breath. No piti, no sukkha, a little rocky in thoughts.
Noting, overall I felt more body sensations than usual until the end. It started with some calm head buzzing. Then I had pain below my left underarm, neck tightness, lower back pain, side stich, feet pain, leg paimn. From there moved to stillness, silence, gratitude and metta.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Meeting with Abre including 20 minute meditation
Abre again verified the stream entry and current progress. She said people were probably bothered by amount of bliss there but I have had high amount of bliss since 2nd A+P.  She ackowledged how I find meditatiion is easy for me now. Then she sprung a meditation on me that started with ping-pong noting, then we moved deeply into infinate space where everything was boundless. From there it kept circling on itself into finally infinate conciousness. I had reached the 6th formless realm. The first thing I said is "what did you just do to me?" and she said together we had gone to the 6th formless realm. Now, she said stream enterers are not supposed to be able to go to the formless realm. Its a 2nd path and above skill. So she is going to observe me closely to see where I really am. She is NOT claiming 2nd path or anything but SE. But, she doesn't want me to persue the formless path but return to the normal up and down cycle of path after SE.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

After the session with Abre, sill felt a little shell-shocked. The concentration was excellen withh the transitional breath which I stopped when I was feeling floating in space and deep concentration. The noting started out with floating and calm from before, along with relaxation, happiness and stillness. Then I got a physical layer of stuff like leg sensations, lower back pain, gut pain. Then things returned to relaxation, calm, happiness, very few thoughts, gratitude and metta.

Added Dzogchen Meditations
1. 22 min Probing the mind
2. 20 min The Hidden Secret of Mind
3. 20 min The Arising, abiding, and Cessation of Mind
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 minute Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent and deep but no jhanas, no piti, no sukkha. Maybe access concentration and calm. Noting started with the calm from the concentration, along with buzzy brain, relaxation, silence, stillness. I then a layer of physical sensations including itchy beard, urinary tension, gut pain, lower back pain, feet movement, forhead sensations. This worked its way back into lightness, calm, stillness, relaxation. I ended with gratitude and metta.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent but used breath counting instread of Transitional Breath because I forgot to use it. Concentration seemed deep but I am no loger developing piti and sukkha. Any ideas on why not or tips from my readers here?

Noting started out calm and relaxed but soon became somewhat painful with my pains from my gut after 2 cups of coffee. I had gut excitement, urinary tension , abdominal pain, knee pain, foot pain, neck tightness. I then got some stillness, noticed very few thoughts,
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 2112 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Piti, sukkha, sex or an itch. What do they have incommon? They dont last, hence ... emoticon We do it and experience it again and again and again and then ... we get to see that these things too suffer from the 3 C's. So mind lets go of them and if they arise ok, and if they dont arise ok. All good. Chasing them, no good. Unless you know you are chasing them as in "Look how its chasing to get piti and sukkkha" emoticon 

Dont mind my words Sam emoticon Im just here to say hi and keep up the good work!
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
No, you're exactly right. I'm chasing piti and sukkha. And I'm clinging to something that doesn't last. Brilliant.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration practice was excellent with almost total silence. Used the transitional breath. I felt buzzy brain and calmness. For the first time inn a long time, I sped up my noting to 3x and literally got this stream - Neck tightness, feet pain, leg pain, Calm, Quiet, Sillence, Happiness, Buzzy brain, lower back pain, knee pain, feet pain, forhead pain, mind still, quiet, relaxed, calm, forearm pain, gut pain, quiet, calm,  relaxed, gratitude and metta practice

I'm grateful to whoever did this visual change to DhO! Much Better!

Afternoon Dzogchen Studies
  1. Dzogchen Analytical Meditation
  2. 'Uncultivated Buddhahood” by Dudjom Lingpa in Perfect Clarity, pp. 79‒110
  3. “Songs of Examining” by Shabkar in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 135‒138
  4. “Shamatha and Vipashyana in Dzogchen” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 17-27
  5. Nature of Mind - Resting in the Nature of Mind - Recognition of Rigpa
  6. Three Words That Strike the Vital Point
  7. Meditation on the Three Points
Observation
This Dzogchen meditation, often called Non-Meditation seems paradoxical at first. You don't do anything, No breath, no controlling your thoughts but somehow awareness always seems to settle, thoughts calm down. It's like approaching mediitation from the other end.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Quote of the Day
"The third statement is "to gain confidence in your liberation" It is said that meditation is not the most important, liberation is. Mere meditation, such as the state of stillness, like Shamatha meditation, does not liberate you" - Talku Urygen Rinpoche

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)


I would have to say that the concentration practice was just good instead of its usual excellence as I had a tad of restlessness. I used the Transitional Breath and did get somewhat concentrrated and calm.
In the noting, I was calm by then, with a buzzy brain. I had a bunch of physical symptoms including back of the neck tightness and tension, leg pain, eye pain, knee pain, lower back pain, forhead pain. From then on, I e3xperienced stretches of silence with very few thoughts. I ended up with Gratitude and Metta.

Dzogchen Studies 
1. Three Words That Strike the Vital Point
2, Primordial Purity by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, pp. 5–11
​​​​​​​3.l “Three Words Striking the Vital Point” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 41–5
​​​​​​​4. “Three Words” by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 185–189
5. 20 min meditation Rest in the Empty Essence
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 minute Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent. Used the Transitional Breath. Almost no thougts.

Noting did not start off calmly. I had gut pain, abdominal pain, urinary tension, lower back pain, neck pain, leg pain. Then things freed up. I heard a lot of beautiful birds, stillness. Hradly any thoughts. Calm. Finished iwth Gratitude and Metta.

Supposed to start teaching my girlfried Staci by reading MCTB to her. Actually she went ahead and created a log here as my student,

Dzogchen Teachings
  1. Pointing the Staff at the Old Man” by Padmasambhava, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 105–107
  2. Primordial Purity, pp. 12–31
  3. “A Dear Treasure for Destined Disciples” by Dudjom Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 108–111
  4. “Pointing Directly to Naked Awareness” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 53–56
  5. Rigpa - Recognizing Pure Awareness
  6. Mingyur Rinpoche Video - Clear Nature
  7. 20 min meditationn - Rest in Your Natural Clarity
george, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 285 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
This log is giving me motivation to practice! Hope you're well Sam and excellent stuff!
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
george
This log is giving me motivation to practice! Hope you're well Sam and excellent stuff!


Thank you very much George!
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
10 minutes Ping-Pong Noting with Staci

Taking most of the day off there. As I stated there, this is not a formal teacher role with Staci at all. Its just two people wih a close bond figuring out if she really has the interest and stamia for a full  journey.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 minute Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was really rocky, unusual, filled with discursive thoughts for first 10 minutes. The other ten minutes got a lot better, got decently concentrated using the Transitonal Breath. 
Noting did not start well either. I had intense eye burning and watering, nose running, lower back pain, neck tight and stiff, eyes contuning to water, shoulder pain, knee pain. Then, I entered a period of silence, stillness in the mind, relaxed, calm that remained. I finished with Gratitude and Metta.

20 min  Dzogchen meditation Recognizing Pure Awareness
This was a meditation on the clarity aspect of awareness - the ordinary knowing quality of mind that is always present intespesersed with the words of Longchenpa, most meaniful "This is the original purity at its most fundamental, the bare, empty awareness of the dharmakaya". I find these Dzogchen non-meditations a bit challenging as I just rest in my natural awareness and there is nothing else to do. It's non-doing.

Dzogchen Studies
  1. “The Actual View of Trekchö” by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 161–163
  2. Cognizance” by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, in Perfect Clarity, pp. 165–168
  3. The Essence of Mind by Mipham Rinpoche
  4. “Introduction to Nature of Mind” and “The First Vital Point” by Mingyur Rinpoche, in Teachings on the Three Words That Strike the Vital Point, pp. 2–36
​​​​​​​Worked with Staci. I don't know if she will keep doing this. I can't get her above 10 minutes.
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Balint Pinczes, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 58 Join Date: 8/3/18 Recent Posts
Dear Sam, I hope you won't mind me saying that there is probably no need to rush; nothing wrong with 10 min, consistency and desire/motivation to sit are key for sustainability otherwise one might burn out without ever gaining momentum. Alternatively, maybe it's easier for someone just starting out to follow some guided meditations that are a bit longer?  My 2 eurocents anyways. 
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
well said. That's why I'm not her teacher as she states on her log but her Spiritual Friend.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 minute meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent using the Transitional Breath. Reached access concentration and get pretty calm.
In Noting started with that Calmness, Buzzy Brain, and hearing birds. Had some neck tightness, knee pain, right ear pain, foot sensations, eyes watering, lower back pain, gut pain. Then I got Silence, stillness of the mind, and Equanmity. I ended with Gratitude and Metta.

20 min Dzogchen Everything Is Rigpa meditation
Recognition of awareness or rigpa all around me. Felt a little tired from long day.
​​​​​​​
Dzogchen Studies
  1. “The Watcher and the Watched” and “Qualities of Rigpa” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 93–110
  2. Mingyur Rinpoche video - Unobstructed Compassion
  3. The Key Points of Trekcho by Mipham Rinpoche
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent. Using the Transitional Breath, I reached Access Concentration with a  bit of calm.
Noting started with a sudden flood of eyes watering and burning so intense that I had to keep my eyes open (I usually meditate eyes closed). Then I observed a number of physical sensations such as lower back pain, knee pain, mid back pain. That was replaced by silence, stillness of the mind, calm, relaxation, Happiness, #Equanimity.  I ended with Gratitude and Metta.

Meeting with Abre
We did a very careful scrutunizing of my reports and fiind that there is no more bliss and things are a little rockier with physical sensasations. She had thought awith SE and after, with the amount of bliss I was continuing to have that i was headed for 2nd path and the formless realms. Now, it looks like back to path again somewhere in first path working toward 2nd path,

20 min Dzogchen meditation - Meditating on the 2nd Point
This meditation is designed to experience the difference between ordinary mind and rigpa. It uses the words of Patrul Rinpoche similar to this:
Patrul Rinpoche continues, “Whatever experiences arise, if you can realize that the true nature of these thoughts and emotions is the very nature of reality, they will be the flow of the dharmakaya.” Do not worry about what is happening on the surface of the mind. All of that is taking place within awareness. Simply rest in the empty clarity of awareness while letting whatever happens, happen.​​​​​​​

Dzogchen Studies
Begining new module today Decide on One Point which is all about Rigpa
  1. Mingyur Rinpoche video - Distinquishing Dualistic Mind from Rigpa
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I just sent email off to Abre. I have not been able to meditate the last 3 days There some fear - fear nana? There s sleepiness and no getting out of bed and other things so I have asked Abre if she thinks I my have gone into the Dukkha-Nanas?

​​​​​​​
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile
I just sent email off to Abre. I have not been able to meditate the last 3 days There some fear - fear nana? There s sleepiness and no getting out of bed and other things so I have asked Abre if she thinks I my have gone into the Dukkha-Nanas?

Abre wouldn't go for my excuse of Dukkha -Nanas. She said that I knew what to do - get up, shower and meditate. Any encourageement welcome.
​​​​​​​
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Josef C, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello Sam ! Here are some of my unqualified opinions emoticon If you really are not feeling it  , just setting a specific time and just sitting by that  specific time would help  , since it eliminates excuses or decisions . By that time you will just sit. Of course  as they say
" Every day it gets a little easier. But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier" .
If you are really not into it and not feeling well a little bit of rest may help along with walking in nature , interacting with family etc. Also this is a good read : https://tasshin.com/blog/meditation-tips-for-a-lifetime-of-practice/  . All of my advise are with a caveat that since your teacher knows you better  , her opinions weigh more than mine.  I have been reading your log and it has been really encouraging to see your practice Sam . Keep up the work emoticon  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2_Mn-qRKjA
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Josef C
Hello Sam ! Here are some of my unqualified opinions emoticon If you really are not feeling it  , just setting a specific time and just sitting by that  specific time would help  , since it eliminates excuses or decisions . By that time you will just sit. Of course  as they say
" Every day it gets a little easier. But you got to do it every day. That's the hard part. But it does get easier" .
If you are really not into it and not feeling well a little bit of rest may help along with walking in nature , interacting with family etc. Also this is a good read : https://tasshin.com/blog/meditation-tips-for-a-lifetime-of-practice/  . All of my advise are with a caveat that since your teacher knows you better  , her opinions weigh more than mine.  I have been reading your log and it has been really encouraging to see your practice Sam . Keep up the work emoticon  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2_Mn-qRKjA


Thank you Josef!
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min  Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I'm back! I think I missed like 5 days. Concentration was mixed. It started out rocky with me not being able to deal with the sounds of a large chainsaw. I continued to use the Transitional Breath and things started to get more concentrated where I even felt some Piti.
The Noting practice started with hearing sounds of that darn chain saw again. I then had some deep neck tightnesss, forehead sensations, urinary tension. I then a period where thinngs ababated and i felt calm and relaxed, nd happiness.  Then I heard an airplane fillowed by dogs. Then there was sileence again, with stillness and even a little bliss. I ended with grratitude pratice and metta.

20 min Dzogchen Meditation Lonhcenpa's Instruction on Second Point
This "non-meditation" has to do with Rigpa and the non-meditation. The words of Lonchennpa are read in the background "“Simply rest without distraction in what has been pointed out to you. This is the realization of timeless awareness, of the dharmakaya buddhas, Samantabhadra, and Samantabhadri. This is the recognition of the great, spontaneous presence of non-meditation. With a sense of decisive certainty, let yourself expand into the wide open space of self-illuminating awareness. Aside from simply resting in this spacious, vast expanse—open and unrestricted—there is not the slightest trace of anything to meditate on here. There is nothing to think about or recollect."

Dzogchen Studies
  1. Primordial Purity by Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, pp. 32‒59
  2. Characteristics of Mind and Rigpa” and “Differentiating Sems and Rigpa” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 77‒91
  3. Mingyur Rinpoche video Sustaining Recognition
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I am back again after missing another day yesterday. I am really having problems with sleeep. 2 of my doctors want me to take up to 2 cups of coffee a day or else i can't function. That works but keeps me up until 4am nd the whole cycle repeats. Abre says to just get up, take a shower and meditate. I'm trying to get there.

HELP REQUEST - I haven't had to this for a long  time. As most of the community knows I am on disability and sometimes don'tr have money for groceries. This is one of those times. If you can contribute to my grocery fund my PenPal address is mscoree42@gmail.com

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentation, 30 min Notng)

Concentration  was excellent using the Transitional Breath. Noting was just blah. I just felt out of it. I was calm but I had gut pain, eye pain and watering, lower back pain, neck tightness, sleepiness, silence, relaxed, gratitude, metta

20 min Dzogchen Awareness and its Radiance meditation
This meditation had me working with distinquishing conceptual mind from pure awareness and then coming to the decisive resolution that everything I experience occurs within that pure awareness. It is the display of radiant, non dual, pre awareness.

​​​​​​​Dzogchen Studies
  1. “Mindfulness” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 137‒143
  2. Familiarization” by Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 197‒205
  3. “Maintenance” by Tsoknyi Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 207‒228
  4. Section 3 - Resolve Rigpa
  5. Mingyur Rinpoche Video - Resolve Certainity
  6. The Point of Resolution by Cortland Dahl\
  7. Resolving” by Khenpo Gangshar, in Perfect Clarity, pp. 151‒154
  8. Brief Explanation of Clarification and Transcendental Resolution from the Oral Tradition of Nyala Sogyal by Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol [pdf]
  9. “The Second Vital Point” by Mingyur Rinpoche in Teachings on the Three Words That Strike the Vital Point, pp. 38‒58
  10. Shamatha and Vipashyana” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 147‒160
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Sorry, I haven't been keeping up with my practice trying to get money for food and sleepiness. The good news is that a few of yoou donated and I was able to get a week of grocreries. Thamk you so much!

On the other front, I wil do an extRA-long 90 minute meditation tonight.

60 min Micheal Taft Giving & Recieving Sun Visualization

This was essentially a highly modified version of Tonglen. Real intersting because I haven't done Tonglen inn months and howo it integrated other meditations in. It began with dropping and tuning into pure awarreness. Then there was a concentration section which was excellent. I used the transitional breath and felt calmer. Then we let go of that and resting in non-meditation aware of pure awareness. Then was the Tonglen part. Then I visualized the Sun in my heart. Using that, the Tonglen section begun. I took  in all of the injustice and sickness on the inbreath and had it all burn totally up by the Sun on the out breath. Then the Sun was detached and I radiated good energy in all directions.
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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 4045 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
It's time to create a new practice log, Sam. This one is getting too long to read with convenience.

Thanks,

- Chris

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