Brandon W Practice Log #2

Brandon Whited, modified 1 Month ago.

Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/8/20 Recent Posts
So I'm starting another log because the old one is too cluttered.

You can find it here - https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21634828

I started the last log because I wanted to be enlightened. But I don't even know what the hell that is, what the hell that means.

It's not very motivating to me anymore. Even though I've spent the last... IDK the last 4-5 years reading book after book on the topic.... 

I'm just going to commit to meditating for... i dunno. Let's say 120 days.

For 120 days I'll put my best god forsaken foot foward towards doing whatever the hell practice I'm doing.

Right now I'm still very cerebral... I've neglected sensory clarity my entire life... even though I believe I'm pretty kinesthetic(At least when it comes to fucking).

So I'm going to do some body scanning for a while and see how that goes. Maybe through some noting in there... experiment a little. 

I'll do it for 120 days straight, 45 minute minimum. Ideally 60 minutes. But I know at some point in the future I'll feel like crap and won't want to slug it out for an entire hour. 

If I reach Stream entry with this practice, that's great. 
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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 48 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Have you thought about being under the guidance of a teacher?  That could really help in regards to guidance  on the needed steps for you to further your practice  .It seems that you are burning out and  these chapters from mtcb could help : 

 https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-ii-light-and-shadows/21-a-clear-goal/ 
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-ii-light-and-shadows/22-harnessing-the-energy-of-the-defilements/
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-i-the-fundamentals/7-the-seven-factors-of-awakening/


The  brahmaviharas could also soothe and help your current practice .I highly recommend  wake up to your life by ken mcleod .  As shargrol says daily non heroic practice is the key .  Take care and good luck with your practice ! 

Metta.
Brandon Whited, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/8/20 Recent Posts
Who can I talk to... who'll help me decide on which practice to devote myself to until it fucking works?

I know I'm going to do the daiost standing meditation or "immortal post" in the mornings. I feel too good after doing it for only 2 days for 5 minutes not too.

But what about at night time... and/or the middle of the day.

Vipassana, fire kasina, Dogzchen... These are the options I'm aware of... I've dabbled in all of them. I must pick one.
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Josef Kyle Chan, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 48 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
MY advice :
Stick to one practice and do it daily but dont overdo it . Set a clear goal but dont be too much future oriented. If you feel any disturbances consult a doctor or therapist . They would help a lot. As Papa Che said do calm abiding meditation. If youre worried about your practice you can see posts about teachers who can help with your practice. Life is hard as it is and always be kind to yourself emoticon Lastly I will quote Daniel :

For instance, we could wish to become awakened. This is a purely future-oriented goal. We could also wish to understand the true nature of the sensations that make up our world so clearly that we become awakened. This adds a present component and makes the whole enterprise much more reasonable and workable. We could simply wish to understand deeply the true nature of the sensations that make up our world as they naturally arise and vanish in that practice session or throughout that day. This is a very immediate and present-oriented goal, and a very fine one indeed. It is also method-oriented rather than result-oriented. This is the mark of a good goal.

Similarly, we could try to be kind, honest, or generous that hour or that day, try to appreciate interdependence that day, or try to stay very concentrated on some object for that practice session. These present and method-oriented goals are the foundation upon which great practice is based. Purely future-oriented goals are at best mostly worthless and at worst very dangerous.

Wishing to become awakened or more awakened is only helpful if it leads us to live in the present as it is. The same goes for training in morality and concentration, as articulated in Part One. An old dharma friend of mine once forgot these basic rules of goal-oriented practice and strived with great energy for months to attain a goal that had nothing to do with the reality that he was experiencing at that time. The results were disastrous, and decades later the dark consequences of his error ring on, the best consequence of which was providing a striking example of why purely future-oriented practice is a terrible idea. Don’t get burned by the shadow side of goal-oriented practice. Avoid competition and comparing your practice to others. Stay present-oriented whenever possible, and always avoid purely future-oriented or results-oriented goals!
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 1059 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Brandon Whited
Who can I talk to... who'll help me decide on which practice to devote myself to until it fucking works?

I can offer some suggestions but it's up to you. Nothing worked for me until I got a competent  teacher who could have me focus on one. I know you're fustrated but  "until it fucking works" suggests overstriving. Relax and set reasonable goals.

I know I'm going to do the daiost standing meditation or "immortal post" in the mornings. I feel too good after doing it for only 2 days for 5 minutes not too.

But what about at night time... and/or the middle of the day.

Vipassana, fire kasina, Dogzchen... These are the options I'm aware of... I've dabbled in all of them. I must pick one.
I have sone them all. 8 years of Tibetan practice, some Dzogchen, Insight. It wasn't until I came here and restarted with Daniel and Vipassana and Fast noting together with a great teacher that I made great progress.
Martin, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 294 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I think the answer depends on what "works" means for you. When I look at people with attainments, I see more differences than similarities. It also seems to me that certain practices tend to produce certain results. Maybe it would be helpful to look at what you want from your practice, or what it is that you would like to be free from. For example, if you were able to say, if I had stream-entry then I would be able to xxx, and I wouldn't have to yyy anymore, then you could approach a teacher (or we Dhorks) and ask, how can I xxx, or how can I be free from yyy. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 1734 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I read your old thread and this one. 

You seem very unstable. Your personality seems like it's fidgeting a lot. 
If you are having psychological difficulties please consider seeking professional help. Therapy and meditation (also certain medication) can work well together. 

In case you have only read books in the past and not actually meditated until your DhO logs then I feel you might benefit from Backing Off from
attainment seeking urge, away from POI and focus on something else instead; 

I think you first need to make peace with the actual moment by moment and Calming the entire body with each inbreathing and each outbreathing. 

Commit to this practice active of Calm-abiding in the present moment for 6 months of daily practice. 45 minutes is good in case you are psychologically stable. If not stable than 7-10 minutes spread through the day is better (but also seek professional help if this the case)  

Calm-abiding Shamatha is simple yet profound. 
"I know I'm breathing in calming the whole body, I know I'm breathing out calming the whole body".
This is the practice. Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go you just recognize and come back to your primary practice. THIS Moment is your Home emoticon Nothing to attain, nowhere to go. Just this in or outbreathing and calming the WHOLE body with breathing. 

Best wishes to you. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 1611 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Brandon Whited
I started the last log because I wanted to be enlightened. But I don't even know what the hell that is, what the hell that means.

Good, that is a sign of increasing spiritual maturity! emoticon

Right now I'm still very cerebral... I've neglected sensory clarity my entire life... 

We all do that. Good that you recognize it and intend to do something about it. 

For 120 days I'll put my best god forsaken foot foward towards doing whatever the hell practice I'm doing.

​​​​​​​That's all any of us are doing. emoticon
Brandon Whited, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/8/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for all the replies guys.

@Sam how do I personal message you about the name of your current teacher? This pm system confuses the hell out of me?

@ Papa Che - I swear I'm not so fidgety IRL, not mentally disturbed nor do I have anything on the DSM V.

As for the calming exercise, i've found that in the daiost immortal post standing meditation.
Will be doing that for a very long time. So much tension to unravel!

​​​​​​​ I'll be doing research/ asking around over the next few days/weeks before I "wed myself" to a practice for good. Thanks again for all the feedback
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J W, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 384 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
You seem to take a pretty goal-oriented approach to your practice, which isn't a bad thing on its own, but it can actually become an obstacle towards progress especially when those goals are attainment based. (i.e., Stream Entry).  One observation I've had is that often the people who progress quickly are not so concerned with where they are on the path along the way.  On the other hand, understanding where you are attainment-wise from a relational standpoint is useful for other reasons, one reason is to not get overly carried away or overzealous with whatever state of mind you are currently experiencing. I'm not sure if that would be an issue in your case.  Though, I do concur that it is generally useful to set daily practice goals.  What is Stream Entry, is it an experience?  A state of being?  A collection of insights?  How would you define it?  And why do you want this achievement?

Hopefully this will be helpful, maybe it's nothing new.  In any case, I wish you all the best in your life and in your practice.
Brandon Whited, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 55 Join Date: 6/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey JW,

Thanks for the words..

In being goal oriented... I guess it seems that way. I definitely was a lot more before... Writing down "goals for 2021... enlightenment..." Then I wrot estream entry...

Now my only goal is to find the right practice and just do it. I don't care about the timeframe, only that I'm  taking 1000 steps in the right direction.

So.. I'm not obsessed with speed or ETA anymore... I just want a good tool to explore with... 

I'll keep your words in mind though 
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Brandon W Practice Log #2

Posts: 1611 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Have you read Mahasi Sayadaw's Progress of Insight yet? It's included as Chapter 5 (Practical Instructions, pp 263-301) of this book Manual of Insight (ignore the rest). Only 40 pages, very simple practical steps, clearly laid out from the beginning all the way through to stream entry and arahantship!

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