Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
To continue the practice and life log. May it be of benefit to someone.
(Switching to this new thread earlier this time since it's getting more difficult to navigate the other one.)

About this name:
I notice 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

5th:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22192593

------------------------

Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 10:49 PM

This is the same obsession that I talked about in the other thread, that I didn't wait to create this thread until I have a full update, and when the discomfort sets in, it tends to lead to some action!
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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Siavash, did you add those tags?
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Chris Marti
Siavash, did you add those tags?


I guess they existed before, I don't remember. Probably I had added some of them in the older log threads, but now they all exist, I just typed them and then chose from the suggestions popup that showed up after typing them. 
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Pepe, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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I notice 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 

That's really cool ! Spanish is the least sofisticated language regarding vocals sounds, so to me it sounds like "Siovash". But as "sh" is not available in Spanish, you would be Siovás emoticon 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Pepe
That's really cool ! Spanish is the least sofisticated language regarding vocals sounds, so to me it sounds like "Siovash". But as "sh" is not available in Spanish, you would be Siovás emoticon 

emoticon

This name is written, spelled and pronounced in several different forms in our languages here. Is comes from Avesta, and is the name of one of the warriors-princes in Shahnameh (The book of kings, or The best of the books depending on how you interpret its name) of Ferdowsi. That prince in our culture is the icon of honesty and chastity, that was a martyr and got killed because he didn't want to cheat and lie and break his promise, and was rejected by his father that was a powerful king. There is a kind of tulip that is named after his name, and is said that it grew on the place where he got killed, from his blood. In some areas of this country(Iran) there is a ritual that people gather and use that tulips and mourn his death. It's all legendary and pre-historic, so there is no clear history about any of that. Probably all of it was before Achaemenid dynasty (2500-3000 years ago roughly). In my childhood it was my dream to go and find those people and where they lived and things they used!

The way I write it in English, which is the more common form people use these days, is not the original form. Original form is harder to pronounce, it would be: Siavokhsh, or Siavoush or Siavosh. In my mother tongue which is Azerbaijani, we often use the Siavoush (see-yaa-vu-sh) pronunciation, but in Farsi we mostly use Siavash. So even here, there is not one form for spelling and pronouncing it!

Sorry for too much details!​​​​​​​ 
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Pepe, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Not too many details at all, dear Siavokhsh. Besides, I can now boast that I know someone connected to a warrior-prince back in the Great Flood times emoticon​​​​​​​  
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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emoticon emoticon
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Noble warrior, icon of honesty, willing to die for his principles and defy the powerful king ... I see some similarities with your namesake, although this story has a much happier ending ... emoticon​​​​​​​
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 The first time that I heard his story, I was in elementary school, and its ending made me very angry and sad, because I thought it was foolish how he died. He had a peace agreement with a king that was the main enemy of his father and his country, but that king which then had become his father-in-law after the agreement, broke that agreement and initiated a war against him, but he said I won't break it, we had a peace agreement and I won't touch my sword (something like that-- despite the fact that he had defeated that king (Afrasiab) before and he himself was a great warrior), and he just stood their, they brought him down of his horse and cut off his head. I still think it was foolish, but I guess Ferdowsi needed a character to make an icon out of it. I can think of dying to save other lives, but dying for values? I am not sure that I'd do anything like that or would want someone else to do that.

(--Edit: Of course there are extereme cases in life, which I think most of us can't know what we would do beforehand if such things happen to us.)

You are seeing the glass half full let's say emoticon .
 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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I was thinking of "dying" in a more metaphorical sense, like being reborn in the dharma or something emoticon​​​​​​​
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Aaw. Thanks for clarifying.
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Thursday, March 11, 2021, 9:10 AM

Similar to the last 2-3 days, for the formal sitting I tried to relax the body, monitor its subtle movements and keep relaxing the many contractions that arose in the muscles, tried to bring a hint of smiling to my face, and pay attention to the relaxation and possible pleasant sensations.

Similar to the last few days there were some brief spreads of tingling over parts of the body and some strong energetics at the base of spine, although this time the energetics were stronger, and the relaxation in parts of the body were a little deeper, and toward the end I felt that the concentration was deeper, I was hearing the sounds from neighbor's house as if it's in the other room of my house or maybe closer. Toward the end there was pain in the base of spine that became too strong and I had to end the sit. It went away after getting up.

At some point sleepiness arose but without losing clarity. For a number of times I noticed understanding something, or a perception, in the form of just images and without any mental talks. Forgot most of them though. One was that I had a few images that was about a person that I think is cautious about sharing personal details because they are afraid of people's judgments, and the vague images were that, that person puts a big fridge in front of a door. That meant that the door was the entrance to their personal world, and the big fridge was their unwillingness. Another was an image of these little flowers that I put into my tea, and I had the perception that I want them to get fully immersed inside the water, that meant that I want the sensations of relaxation and pleasantness spread over my whole body and to have my body immersed in relaxation/pleasantness.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Samadhanga Sutta: The Factors of Concentration (AN 5.28)

Just as in a blue-, white-, or red-lotus pond, there may be some of the blue, white, or red lotuses which, born and growing in the water, stay immersed in the water and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated and pervaded, suffused and filled with cool water from their roots to their tips, and nothing of those blue, white, or red lotuses would be unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture. This is the third development of the five-factored noble right concentration.

emoticon​​​​​​​
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 Still working on the sharp edges, long way to get to the fine tuning part ;)

That lotus pond images always feels fresh and cool!
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Friday, March 12, 2021, 6:00 AM

Last few days I've tried to cultivate equanimity and there was relatively less negativity. Whenever negativity arises, I ask a few questions: What realm I am in in this state? Do I see things in terms of opposition, or hunger or..? Does it help? Do I need it, and is it necessary? And usually there is less negativity after that. But today every time that I woke up from sleep/dream, I noticed I am angry, it was more like cold anger and I didn't put more fuel into it, but it still was anger. The first time that I woke up I was in a dream but it felt like wakefulness. This neighbor upstairs was making loud noises like the last few days and I was angry. The house was a little different that how it actually is, the placement of the door and walls. I was naked, and got up to get dressed and go talk with them, then I heard one of neighbors' voice that I thought he is coming to talk, but I saw that the door opened and a young guy came in. He looked familiar but I couldn't remember who he is. It was very shocking, fear and terror, how could he open the door etc. Then I noticed I am in my bed and feeling cold, tried to put blanket on my chest but I was frozen from the fear and couldn't move. But then I came out of the dream and its fear and could move. My arms was a little numb because I had not moved for 2 hours.

Last night at one point I noticed that it's getting close to morning and I've only worked less than an hour, so I wrote a note to see it when I open the computer next time, saying that I have to decide after waking up that I will work today or not, because the time is limited and I can't spend time with other activities and still have enough time for work and practice. Today similar to what shargrol suggested, a few times I decided to just start doing the damn work but I couldn't. After a few hours I tried to force myself, put my foot on my throat and ask: Do you want to work today or not? If no why? If yes then you have only limited time and why not start now. I worked for two hours, then I noticed that I need a resource that I couldn't find and my colleagues should send it to me. I searched a little more, hoping to not be able to find it, but at the same time part of me said that keep looking. I couldn't find and that was a relief! There was guilt for not switching to the other tasks, but I thought: with this current mindset that I have, whatever I do I'll feel guilty, so let's appreciate that I was able to work for two hours, and I'll continue it tomorrow. It's not the end of the world.., yet.

Today there was a lot more muscle tension in the body.​​​​​​​

For this last week or so I've consumed less and it was less driven, screen, tea, smoking etc.​​​​​​​
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Friday, March 12, 2021, 11:31 AM

Last several hours a sense of disappointment and hopelessness has arisen and filled the space.
3 days ago my mother told me when I asked about my niece that she has cut her finger, her fingernail actually, at the moment of hearing it caused a strong unpleasant sensation that I felt I just cut my fingernail. Since then that has persisted and each day for some hours I get the same feeling and the tension in the body after the moment of cutting a tissue over and over and over again, sometimes for hours and once in a few seconds. Last few hours it became more pronounced and the unpleasantness of it increased. After that I had the mental images that I sometimes have in the last few years, that I see that I am biting metal, or biting a knife or blade or I am brusshing my teeth with a blade. Then another one that has been arising in the last few weeks arose again, that I see that I cut off my legs with a sword or an axe. I did two formal sits. During the first one I noticed that the questioning that I mentioned in the previous post that have worked to some extent with anger/guilt, does not work with this hopelessness, so I thought to bring the mind some positive/pleasant experiences. It caused unpleasantness to decrease at first, but then this fingernail cutting sensation became stronger and I tried it again. I brought an image of someone that I loved in the past, but immediately her image turned to a monster-like figure that was defecating. There was smell of shit in the air too that I don't know was mentally created or was because of the rain. That smell went away after some minutes.

I tried more and more to relax the body that had a few layers of tension. At some point I noticed that it's relaxed now, but the relaxation brought pain in different parts. Second sit had less of this pain and that unpleasant sensations of cutting, and the concentration got deeper that caused more relaxation and some subtly pleasant sensations. The energy at the base of spine became stronger then, and led to stronger pains in different parts that I had to end when the pain filled most of the experience.
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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  Friday, March 12, 2021, 11:27 PM

Today after falling asleep at some point I noticed a color blob in the visual field and I saw that it's forming a heart shape (Like these heart emojis-- often not my favorite), It became clearer and clearer and turned into a blue heart poolaki that had some trancparency and could pass the light. Then I saw that there is another shape in its upper left corner that was probably another heart, and inside that there was another shape but I couldn't see inside that. The big one was the size of an actual poolaki. Then I noticed 1-2 more of them, maybe in other colors. I opened my eyes and they were still there and clearer. The main one in the center started coming toward my face so I put my right hand in front of my face to see it on my hands and for a few seconds I could see it there but then it moved closer and while moving my hand closer to my face, I noticed that my physical hand is on the ground and this is the dream hand that I am moving, although I didn't notice the difference at first. After noticing that, the dream hand was gone in 1-2 seconds, and then the poolaki vanished and I was awake I guess at that moment. I noticed other shapes are forming in the visual field, but after completely waking up, I tried to bring back it for a few seconds and it didn't work.

Only one week is left from this year, so this neighbor upstars is washing and cleaning 24/7 for the new year! There was too much noise when going to bed, with cold anger. I tried a few different things, and at the end I started sending metta to them and myself, but when it felt forceful I ended and focused on the murk. focusing on the color statics in the murk made it a bit easier to ignore the noises. There was a painful dream later.
  
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Powerful empathy for your niece!

I used to torment myself by imagining hurting myself in all sorts of horrible ways. My "favorites" were knife across the tongue and nail in the eye. I couldn't understand why I would feel the need to make myself anxious. Eventually I came to realize that the anxiety was already there, but I couldn't allow myself to have a "pure experience" of it. (Kids naturally get anxious at times, but my mother had high anxiety so any sign of anxiety in me would trigger her and she would try to suppress rather than soothe my anxiety.) Hence my "solution" was to fabricate legitimate reasons for my anxiety, in the form of compulsive unpleasant thoughts. Also a lot of my addictions were ways of trying to soothe my anxiety, which would give short term relief but make it worse in the long run.

What works for me is a form of air element meditation - allowing myself to really feel the underlying physical sensations of anxiety without judging it or attaching extraneous mental forms. Or in less fancy words you could just call it learning to soothe yourself, which is something the caregivers are supposed to teach but unfortunately often doesn't happen for one reason or another. Actually the level of anxiety I'm able to feel now is many times greater than before, but it's much less of a problem! In fact it gives me confidence to be able to fully experience it (which is the liberated form of the air element). Whereas before I was only seeing the tip of the iceberg and imagining the horrors below, now I've sat that magnificent old iceberg out in the sun and am actually enjoying the energy play of watching it melt ... on good days at least :-)

(Edited multiple times for clarity.)
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 Hey George,

I don't remember having these kind of thoughts (cutting, biting knife..) in the past, I think they've only showed up in recent years. But I guess this finger cutting thing maybe has triggered some past memories. I used to cut my fingers all the time since I loved to play with knives, but mainly because of carpet work. In carpet work you hold its knife with right hand and the thread with left hand because most people are right-handed, but I am left-handed so I had difficulty learning it and I would cut my fingers every day or most days even when I was quite experienced. And once it became pretty bad that I guess I cut my thumb too close to its nail or maybe the nail itself I don't remember, and after a few days the nail fell down and I didn't have left thumbnail for some weeks I guess, it was very painful because except my mother, others thought or pretended that it's not a problem and I had to work with that finger.

About the anxieties, addictions, yeah I think feeling it fully and giving permission to it to blow into your face is what is needed, but not easy.

​​​​​​​Thanks.
 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Shit, you really did have real reasons for anxiety then emoticon
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 Sunday, March 14, 2021, 3:49 AM

Usually I don't have much interest in mapping my experience to PoI or other maps, because I think there are too many unknown variables and I don't find enought precision in the descriptions and also in my pattern recognition, but sometimes the overall theme of experience has somewhat obvious similarities to certain stages. The experiences of last few days looked like it could be mapped to later dukka nanas. That repeating sensations of finger cutting and then mental images of biting metal seemed to be related to Disgust that I've noticed it a number of times in the past too. Also the ongoing anger seems to be part of this stage. Then there was stronger urge to practice that I added to the number of formal sits and their length which could be seen as Desire for Deliverance-- practicing more and trying to find a way to get out of that mind-state. And then there was reduction of anger and disgust, but there was a pervasive feeling of sadness and disenchantment, similar to what I had called quiet sadness before, but unlike that time, there wasn't that same tenderness in the experience, but there was a sense of despair, which can be related to Reobservation. This past day that state has been the dominant state but with shorter shifts in it.

Before going to bed I did 3 formal sits, relaxing the body and focusing on the relaxation. I guess it was the second sit that the body became relaxed, concentration became deeper with changes in the mental image of the body and the space around it, that it looked like the body is much smaller and closer, but at the same time it was much bigger, and expanded into the room. Then energetic sensations arose in the sacrum and base of spine that had some tiny movements upward, and a pleasant coolness and tingling started spreading on my hands and feet. As usual I noticed two reactions: Worry, that I am about to lose control (As Leigh says: You never were in control!), and second, excitement that finally some pleasant piti is arising. But like last few days I could immediately relax and maintain equanimity. But then suddenly I heard the noises from upstairs neighbor that started moving furniture by pushing/pulling them. It's heavy furniture being pushed in earthenware tiles that creates very loud noise. It created distraction and anger, and the thoughts that: "Damn woman, you just had to do it now? You have been doing that for 3 days unbroken, wasn't that enough?". I thought she may end it, but she continued for hour. With each sound arising, I noticed my body startle and tension arose in different parts that most obvious one was in the abdomen. I thought: Well, with these noises and this mind-state I won't be able to concentrate deeper, so what can I do? One view is that I was getting deeper and the noise prevented it, but another view is that I got deeper and then there is the noise, that gives me the opportunity to work on my reactions. It's the best possible situation, with noise without concentration I can't observe reactions closely, so I am lucky to be able to get concentrated and have a stimulus that triggers my patterns and I can work on it, for free, in my home, without seeing a therapist or paying money.

After that I felt much lighter, because I've noticed that more than the noise itself, what makes it painful is that I expect myself to do something about it, to make them know that they are disrespectful of me and ignoring me, but I've told them several times and it had no effect (Although each time after talking with them I felt lighter despite having the noises because I had done something!), so since there is nothing that I could do, that creates pain. But now I started to see it as a great opportunity for practice, and for brief periods that there was silence, I noticed that I am waiting for her to make more noises, and a few times I said thanks after her noises. Then I thought about why is that always a sudden sound causes this much discomfort for me? What is the cause for this fear? It feels like they are coming to get me. If two people fight in the street while I am in the house and hearing them, that causes me the same kind of fear and discomfort. And these noises have the same effect. Then I had some memories of different times in my life, some I brought intentionally and others showed up themeselves(!) that I've had the same reaction for sounds. There is a deep seated fear that gets triggered.

Related to the 1st paragraph:
There was increased equanimity after this change in view, and in the last sit I noticed that the color statics in the murk are more fine-grained, there is higher color contrast, and more depth in the field, which my guess is that this change in visuals shows up in Equanimity territory, and also in the Fear-Dissolution territory.

Later this appreciation for noise decreased, but I have to remind myself again and again.
 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Good stuff! Your upstairs neighbor is what some people would call the "Buddha of the moment" emoticon
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 Thanks.

Yeah!
I've had a few problematic neighbors in the past but this one is quite different. I clearly feel her restlessness when she walks. I am very sensitive to sounds in general, and also to some extent to people's feelings, and I notice a clear difference between her walking and others' walking in that house. Also different intensity of restlessness in her own movements.
I have lots of obsessions myself too, but not like hers. 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Sunday, March 14, 2021, 1:17 PM

Had a 2 hours sit in the morning. Started with metta, first briefly toward myself and my family, then for 20-30 minutes toward my upstairs neighbor and then ended it by wishing well for myself and my family. For the neighbor I started by wishing well for their whole family first, then each one of them separately and then the whole family again, while keeping a hint of smile. While doing that she started making loud noises, it didn't bother me as usual but I noticed two different qualities in the experience: My emotional feeling was that it's okay and I wish them to be happy, but at the same time there was louds of mental talks, criticizing them. Later the noises subsided and the relaxation and concentration became deeper. Energetic sensations arose with some subtly pleasant coolness and tingling and the bright white light. Then sleepiness arose without losing posture or mindfulness. I tried to pay closer attention to the details to not become more sleepy, usually that brings more energetic sensations, but the energetics mostly went away and there was constant mental talks. It wasn't with the normal gray voice (my voice), but other voices that I guess I didn't know some of them, mostly talking in English but some of them in Farsi and Azerbaijani, and the subjects mostly were unrelated to my current situation or experiences. It was like you are playing with a radio and tuning in to different stations, volume is low and in each station a different person is talking about a different subject. For around an hour I tried to pay closer attention to the relaxation/tingling, but there wasn't much change in the experience and these radio stations kept talking. This happens occasionally and I have no idea what's it.

These few days that brights dots in the visual field are back. Usually only one or two of them appear at each instance, but they are bigger and brighter. The black ones sometimes are so beautiful. It's like suddenly a solar eclipse appears in front of me, in less than an arm's length, but its size is only a few millimeters. A black dot with a bright white or yellow ring around it.

Since yesterday (I guess) there is more blue color in the visual field (murk). Yesterday during practice for a period of time it looked like the background of the field is blue because it seemed there are small blue spots in most of it, though the background was still dark. Some of the color statics around the center that usually are green and purple, now are blue sometimes. Maybe that blue heart poolaki in that dream was related to this change too.

An hour ago a perception arose that the experience, whatever and however that is, is complete or perfect, can't be any different and doesn't need to be any different. There is no push and pull in the experience, and there is no need to have a push and pull. It was relatively subtle and stayed for 10-15 minutes, but still I feel a hint of it. I had a similar experience once or twice before in the last months.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Siavash

An hour ago a perception arose that the experience, whatever and however that is, is complete or perfect, can't be any different and doesn't need to be any different. There is no push and pull in the experience, and there is no need to have a push and pull.

​​​​​​​That's it!
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 I don't see it as anything profound or important. (Is there anything profound?!)

It was just a slight mood shift (like other ones) that came and faded. Hopefully it conveys a message to the mind-body system. 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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For me that's as deep as it gets - letting experience be as it is, without pushing or pulling. Easier said than done obviously, but that's what I always come back to.
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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  If it's always or at least most times present that all or most experiences is seen with that eye or filter (or let's say with no filter!), yes I agree with you.
For me it wasn't like that except for a few minutes. The other time that it had happened it was a little bit longer, but then faded away.

And for that short period that it was present, it didn't require effort. There is just no sense of push and pull.​​​​​​​ 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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It certainly seems like it comes and goes, which of course makes you you feel like you need to make an effort to get back to the place of no effort :-)

A trick that I found helpful is to see that it's always there, even when you think it isn't. So even the experiences of effort and pushing and pulling are complete and perfect manifestations of what is, which can't and don't need to be any different from what they are ...
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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You mention colors in your visual field. Do you mean it like seeing visual field background being split in to green/purple domains?

I had this peculiar effect for years where when I closed eyes background was not simply uniform gray as it should be but somehow was split, usually in the middle, to dark green and dark purple and there was this separation line which I could somehow rotate at will but which also would move by itself. Some times it was more complex but typically just line.

At times, though rarely it was the color between cyan/blue and orange (so since it was dark it was more like brown) or other color combinations with somehow complementary colors. At times there was more domains than two.

Is this somehow what you experience or is this different kind of effect?
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Hi Ni Nurta,
I guess it's similar effect.

What I usually have with closed eyes, is a dark gray background, but the dark gray doesn't seem to be solid, it seems to be pixelated with very thin lines and arcs and dots that often it doesn't look to be either solid or pixelated, and there are color statics in the form of small cloud or mist in and around the center. If I focus on them, then these thin lines have faster and more obvious movements/rotations/flilckering etc. Usually the center has the higher contrast with the background. Often the center has a green mist that is made of very thin lines and is not solid, and around it usually there are purple/deep-pink/magenta mists, again made of thin lines. Usually the colors in the center are stronger and as it gets farther from the center, they all fade into gray and the periphery usually is dark gray. Often most of these colors are quite pale, but sometimes are stronger, though almost always pixelated, except for a few patterns that have solid colors.

Sometimes, especially if I do fire kasina, a deep pink spot appears in the center in the form of a moving donut, it's made of lines, but its center is gray, and there is a green blob in the center of it that is solid, but it's always moving and changing shape. It can become blue occasioanlly. Also there is this purple-black lights that seems to be a state/stage related thing. It just sometimes shows up on its own. It's like dark gray or black colors start spreading from a point outward as circles, while another side of it is contracting into a smaller circle and then vanishes, and these two expansion and contraction happen at the same time. Sometimes it's dark-gray and white light, sometimes it's dark-gray and violet or blue violet. It can be that the white or black mist expands and contracts, and inside and around it there are solid spots of violet or blue that are solid, but are more like light and not color, and that lights flicker and vanish then other ones arise, it's similar to the pale blue flame when you burn coal. All of this happens in a space of 10-20 inch by 10-20 inch by 10-20 inch.

I can see almost all of these lights and colors with eyes open too, though because the background is not dark with eyes open, they are more pale or they disappear, but if I focus on a spot with eyes open, they show up and become stronger. While looking at this monitor, if I focus on it, they appear, but I can see the monitor and the texts in it from behind this color mists, except sometimes the colors are stronger and it obscures the monitor a little bit. If I open my eyes more widely, then I can see behind it. I haven't tried this for maybe two years, but if I focus on the visual space in a lit room with eyes open and don't move my eyes, after some minutes it becomes similar to eyes closed and if I get enough concentrated, the space becomes dark like a dark room.

In a dark room, all the colors/visuals that I see with eyes closed, if I open my eyes they all are there and there is almost no difference.

The bright dots that appear, they are solid, not pixelated, pretty much like a LED light.

In a dark room with open eyes if I focus on the visual space, that 10-20 inch space that I mentioned becomes bigger, and after a few seconds or minutes all of the room is like that, filled with color mists and cloud that are moving, but the ones that are farther from me are usually gray and occupy a larger space and the other colors appear in the space closer to me. Though I haven't done much practice in dark room with open eyes recently.

Before starting fire kasina, it was all gray, but then gradually more colors and lights showed up, and now there are always some colors, but mostly pixelated.

And no, there isn't any separator line! It would be interesing to have such a thing if it's a clear solid line! It's more like a color mist fading into gray mist in a dark-gray background.
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Monday, March 15, 2021, 8:10 AM

After being home for 4-5 days yesterday I went out for grocery shopping and I don't know if I've caught something or not, I feel sick since last night and because of that and also a strong sleepiness with that sticky feeling I had difficulty getting out of bed. Was in bed for 13-14 hours (Woke up a few times).

After getting up there was dissatisfaction for sickness but it lessened after a few hours. Last several hours the mind-state swings between "quiet sadness" and "quiet stillness". Movements have become slow because there is less need and urge to move. That bright violet-blue-black lights show up in the visual field, dancing expanding contracting. The moment I have thoughts about criticizing myself for not working, or about writing too much in this log, I notice that the mind-state changes to feeling guilty and having despair. When I don't have that kind of thoughts, working seems to be easier because there isn't much difference between the experience of working and not working, but the moment these thoughts arise, there is a dramatic shift and working feels impossible.

Also there is the thoughts that I am messing up with my experience and practice by writing too much about it (At least typing feels good!).
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Monday, March 15, 2021, 7:35 PM

Today I've had higher equanimity, and was able to work and get a task done.

It's been some hours now that the visual objects look clearer, as if they are bolder or more 3D. That is how I had described it before in other logs, but it seems today that I notice it why it is clearer or bolder. In recent weeks I've been paying attention to the mental image of my head/face, and often it looks like there is a mask in front of the watching point when noticing sensations. Same with visual sensations, that it looks like there is the sensations of my eyes, then there is this mask that is a vague image of my face including my eyes "in front of the eyes sensations", and I am seeing all objects from behind that. Today I notice that that mask is there, but it seems that it's now fit on the sensations of the face/eyes. When looking at a visual object, there is the mental images of the face, but it seems that the part for the eyes in this image is not there, or it's more transparent that I have to bring it intentionally, otherwise it's not noticed. So the previous one was like looking at visual object from behind a glass, this one looks like that glass is not there (or is so clear) and I see them directly. And I guess that is why it feels that the sensations are closer, or more direct or immediate. Its quality changes, sometimes that mask is more noticeable (like now), other times it's more transparent and the sensations look more direct, effortless and in general nicer.

There have been harsh energetic sensations today that their intensity has increased in the last hours. Intense throbbings and the feeling in the torso that feels like I am about to vomit my internal organs. There is an uncomfortable constriction in the throat that sometimes literally feels like vomiting. It feels like the body wants to get rid of something and throw it out.
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 8:35 AM

Slept long again, 14-15 hours, with many dreams, one pleasant, others with mixed feelings. Body was very uncomfortable with sickness symptoms and I tried to get up a few times but failed. Toward the night symptoms were gone.

Had a good degree of equanimity. Not much emotions and not a high mindfulness. Later there was despair because of not working. Did two sits, there were relatively good relaxation and concentration with some momentary pleasant sensations and strong energetics, some were painful.
These 3-4 days there is a constant muscle contraction in the abdomen similar to those times that I had anxiety attacks. Also today there is more tension in the legs too that my walking is not smooth. Frequently I notice that while walking my right leg tenses and stops moving for a moment. This used to happen a lot and it would become terrifying when crossing the streets.

After the practice I spent some time thinking about working, couldn't get myself to start, at some point I gave up and thought let's start and see what happens. Then anxiety arose with lots of tension in the body and increased repetitive behaviors, like pressing Command+S to save a document 10-20 times, with constriction in the throat and shaking in hands. Fortunately I could continue for 2 hours and finish that chunk of work. That brought some satisfaction and hope.
 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1779 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Could be a dumb suggestion, but what about using autosave or writing a piece of code in whatever app you are using to do it for you, so that you don't have to think about it? I know autosave can slow you down working on big docs, but you would be trading off the anxiety against that and the 'saving ...' message could be a mindfulness reminder!
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Thanks.
It happens with autosave too, because it's not about saving, it's about fear and distrust. (If you change one manifestation by forcing it, it will manifest somewhere else.--obsession)
Fear that something bad is going to happen.
Distrust that I can't trust what I am seeing. I see that it's already saved, but maybe it isn't.

At least in the surface it doesn't have logical explanation, it's mechanical.
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Thursday, March 18, 2021, 1:24 AM

Slept less longer this time, around 9 hours. Few hours before going to bed discomfort arose in the body, pain and fatigue, similar to a flu, but I don't know it's a sickness or it's because of emotions or energetics or habits or what. It has been like that after waking up too but similar to the last few days, it's decreasing gradually. Many dreams that I forgot most of them. One had fear, a neighbor that I had beaten him in childhood asked a very big guy to come and get me, I grabbed an iron pipe to defend but woke up.

Did another sit before going to bed, used Shinzen's Auto Think technique to note mental images and talks while being aware of the mind space. Lots of images of the past, childhood etc. I noticed a number of times that the moment after having one of these subtle mental images, there is a tension in the body specially in the abdomen. What Shinzen calls Noting Feel Sources (some other variants: noting feel locations --head, abdomen etc, and noting feel flavors-- sadness, fear, interest, joy etc), that noticing a mental talk or image or a tug toward mind space causes an emotional sensation in the body. There were lots of energetics too. After that and while in bed, I used the technique See Back, while noticing each sensation, being aware of the watching point, or the subject, that always moves often between head and legs. For the sensation in my head and face it was more difficult to notice it, often it was in the space inside my mouth or behind my eyes.

-- Edit 1:
Thursday, March 18, 2021, 6:46 AM

The past 4-5 hours my head has been constantly sweating and overally the temperature of the body is higher, not much sweating in other parts though. Again this is something that has been repeating and I haven't been able to know what is its cause. Since last year these days that I became sick and then a pattern started that for months I was sick for a few days, but totally okay for 1-2 days after that, then again sick for a few days and again okay for 1-2 days after that and so on, I've noticed that one of the symptoms was this high temperature and constant head sweating, but the head sweating used to happen before the sickness too, and another guess that I have is that it might be related to states/stages, that when the energy is higher, this is one of its manifestations. If it's related to states/stages, my guess would be that probably it's related to Fear territory (on what scale and what sub-nana of what sub-nana, who knows). This hightened muscle tension in the body and higher jerkiness can be related to Fear territory too I guess, that while walking my right leg stops or there is glitches in the movements of arms/legs because of the increased tension.

-- Edit 2:
Thursday, March 18, 2021, 7:47 AM
To add more data for pattern recognition:
Unlike previous day that my movements were slow that I didn't feel a need or urge to move, and a lot of times while intending to do something I'd stop and not move because the stillness and not moving felt better, these last hours it's the opposite. My movements are relatively faster and there isn't that collectedness in the experience. I switch a lot between activities, for instance changing tabs on browser a lot and obsessively checking for time or notifications, and the mind similarly is scattered too that reflects in the movements and activities, and activities don't satisfy. This too is another of the repeating parts of the pattern.

-- Edit 3:
Thursday, March 18, 2021, 8:13 AM
Another data point:
(I might be completely wrong on calling this state/stage Fear, it might be a completely different thing or not a thing at all, but whatever that is, it seems to be part of a pattern that this set of experiences show up together.)

The other thing that I noticed that I guess is related to Fear nana territory that I've mentioned in a post before, is that the color statics in the murk (the space in front of or behind the closed eyelids) are more fine-grained, meaning that it looks closer to a solid color, and there is higher color contrast between the green in the center, the purple around it and the dark gray that is the background, and there is more depth to the field, and not much movements in the colors. The next thing that I noticed is that there are more than a few bright dots in the center of the field. This almost never happens in other times. Usually one or maximum 2-3 brights dots appear, often not in the center and are pretty bright and then turn to a black dot and disappear, but this one is that there are 10-20 pale white dots in the center, they are smaller and not that bright, and are gathered around the center. Usually they fade away after some minutes when I focus on them.
Martin, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 294 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
It sounds like what you are going through is unpleasant. I get some help with unpleasant bodily sensations from exercise such as yoga. I'm guessing that you've already tried that, but if you haven't, I know a good app.<br /><br /> 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Hi Martin,

Thank you for your suggestion.
I've tried a few apps before but didn't like it, it seems that it doesn't suit me, but it's a good reminder about exercise in general. Thank you.
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Thursday, March 18, 2021, 10:26 PM

Slept shorter today, around 6 hours in bed with waking up twice in the middle of, but I don't feel sleepy and had no difficulty getting up. Like last days before going to bed and after that the body felt sick, it's getting better gradually again.

Didn't do a formal sitting practice, there was too much scatteredness that I couldn't stay on any activity more than a few minutes, but I stayed awake longer in bed and practiced for 1-2 hours there. Relaxed the body and focused on the body breathing and the space around in and the changes of sensations in the abdomen. There were pretty harsh energetics, and at one point a strong pain arose in my left arm that stayed until a few hours after waking up. There was a new phenomenon, a buzzing sound in the head that I don't remember having it before. It happened twice (1-2 seonds long each time) and was loud that made the body jump up a little bit. I don't know the correct term for it, but it was like a electricity short-circut (?) in a cable maybe, but louder and more pronounced. Sometimes other sounds arise that are loud and it seems like it's an external sound, like something falling on a surface, or like you open a soda bottle, but I hadn't this one before. The tensions in the muscles were/are stronger for some periods, that sometimes I feel a pain in my jaw-neck-head, or while walking I don't put my feet fully on the ground, and with right foot a lot of times I put only its toes on the ground.

I don't notice much difference in the experience after waking up.

Two days are left from the year and there are new-year holidays. But this month was terrible in terms of working and I haven't worked much, so logically I don't have much time to rest, but I am thinking (if there isn't an urgent issue) to "rest" for a few days. I usually don't have any plans, so it's not that I want to let go of plans, but I have a lot of worries about it, so if I can, I want to let go of all the worries about what should I do or don't for a few days, and just flow with the experience, and rest and relax and enjoy and practice to the extent that I can.
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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 Saturday, March 20, 2021, 3:17 AM

Yesterday I've had thoughts about how to spend these few days to get some rest and relaxation from it, but there was a feeling of sadness-despair for a good portion of the time that what conveyed was: You haven't worked and you don't deserve to have rest. And: You should've gone to your hometown and be with your family but you didn't do that and there is nothing to be satisfied about. Also there was/is that feeling of sadness-despair of new year. For many years, probably from childhood, I get this sadness-despair about new year each time. In childhood I'd be very excited about the time frame of 1-2 days before the new year and first 3-4 days of the new year, and those days looked to be the best and brightest part of the year (or time in general), and I had the feeling that after that few days, everything is sad, pointless, empty and hopeless. I'd get the same feeling about the cycle of weeks too, but the one about new year was in a different scale. Now I have the same feeling too.
(These days I notice it more and more that how much of the unpleasantness of emotions is related to this perception of time, and the cycle of days/weeks/months/years and being in each part of this cycle or expecting each part of the cycle gives different feeling tones.)

Yesterday while having these feelings and thoughts, it occurred to me that this could be related to states/stages too. If the previous experience is related to Fear territory, this can be related to Misery territory then. Although I notice that the mind-state swings between these two. The predominant one is that the mind-body seems to be sharper brighter or more awake, but restless and tense and agitated, and that wave of sadness-despair and maybe guilt arises and colors the experience for some seconds/minutes then goes away. Today a flavor of sadness seems to be present most of the time, but it's relatively mild compared to the above wave.

Did 1-2 formal sits last night, I don't remember much about it, but there was some strong energetics and sleepiness toward the mid-end part of it.

Was in bed for around 9 hours with waking up 3 times in the middle of it.
 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Saturday, March 20, 2021, 10:20 AM

Last several hours:

Pervasive sadness ==> A fire kasina sit, bright dots (red/magenta/green) in the beginning, less bright dots, then sleepiness, end of it ==> Very intense muscle tension and pain in the whole body that even sitting with a back support was difficult to keep the balance ==> Another sit focusing on the arising-passing of sensations in the body ==> Sadness decreased, tensions increased, harsh energetics ==> Another sit with the same focus object ==> Sadness mostly was gone, clarity is increased, there is higher openness in the space, more inclusive noticing of all sensations in the space, higher equanimity and clarity, tension is decreased but there is still a good amount of it, noticing the arising-passing of sensations is more effortless.
 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1779 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Happy New Year Siavash!

Anything could happen this year!
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Thank you George,
I wish a happy one for every one.​​​​​​​
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Pepe, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 383 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Happy New Year Siavash! What are your plans and goals for this year? Is there room for social dancing in your schedule? It was a gamechanger in my life. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. So much joy and lasting friends. Nowadays, twenty years later, social dancing morphed into family dancing. I started to practice shuffle for cardio and weight-loss reasons, but the real reward was bonding with my kid. 
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

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Thank you Pepe,

I don't have any formal plans!
I have a big destructive habit that I started to change it 14 months ago. I had more progress with it in the last two months. If I could continue it and finish the work, that would be a big victory, not for a year but for the whole life.

(Most my friends are scattered around the country and the world and currently I don't have much social life, but I'd like to be able to do that.)

Thanks.​​​​​​​
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1779 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Self-forgiveness is the most important part of this process. Many of us have overcome destructive addictions. They're a direct result of the emotional neglect/abuse you suffered growing up, which is itself a result of your parents' upbringing. No one can be blamed for all that. You understand it, you accept responsibility and then you forgive yourself ... then you don't even feel the same need to act it out any more. If this was a friend's life you were looking at, wouldn't you tell them that they can forgive themself?
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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Thanks George,
Yes, self-kindness and self-forgiveness is very important in this process.
 
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Pepe, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 383 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
I have a big destructive habit that I started to change it 14 months ago. I had more progress with it in the last two months. If I could continue it and finish the work, that would be a big victory, not for a year but for the whole life.

I couldn't be more happy for you, go to the very end! 

(Most my friends are scattered around the country and the world and currently I don't have much social life, but I'd like to be able to do that.)

Yes, that's a tough move. I just showed up alone one day and learned to make new friends from scratch. Who knows when you will have the opportunity. I hope it comes soon.

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Siavash ', modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Siavash's Practice Log 6

Posts: 1288 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Thanks Pepe.
Yeah, I try.​​​​​​​

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