RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Good stuff man! Hope you are doing well 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 1 Month 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 28 Days 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 27 Days 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 27 Days 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 27 Days 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 26 Days 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 24 Days 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 22 Days 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 22 Days 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 21 Days 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 19 Days 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 19 Days 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 16 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

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Thanks Martin! Like Emil, its a lot of Abre
Sam Gentile, modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 15 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 279 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
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 15 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 14 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 13 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 11 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 11 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 33 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
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 10 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
If what little I do inspires you, I am grateful. Best off luck in your  practice!
Sam Gentile, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 8 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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 7 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice log #4

Posts: 1029 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
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.

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