Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

Polly Ester’s practice log 12

Posts: 5791 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
April 4th, 2021

I was in the bathroom thinking about my practice and how so little happens nowadays. Then I realized that I was watching the sand in the cat litter box breath and considering it completely normal. So maybe I have moved the frontier a bit with regard to what counts as happening. I can switch back and forth between seeing the sand as a unit that is breathing on the one hand and on the other hand seeing it as a flux of particles being and not being. 

I have sort of a duality mode alarm thing going on. Whenever I'm focusing on something as being other, there is a sharp tone in my right ear and everything else sounds muffled. I can follow the tone outward, expanding it and expanding with it. That takes me out of my head and the tone conveys itself as white noice that is located nowhere and everywhere. This happens both on and off the cushion.

It seems like the duality mode alarm goes off for instance when I'm resisting something. It happened when Michael said that we would do koans. I'm not a big fan of them. I find reality puzzling enough without intentional mindfucking, honestly. Anyway, since the alarm went off, I decided to surrender instead of resisting, so I gave the koans a chance. The first two ones turned into shimmering dust. As for the third one, I forgot the question before I could hear the answer (that one was the kind where there's someone asking something and someone else replying). Then there were some koans that actually made sense (also of the question-answer type but less nonsensical, more like pointing out instructions). Then something else happened that I can't recall right now. I'll have to go back to the recording. Oh, wait... There was a sound interspersed with complete silence, more silent silence than I would have been able to imagine. Then Michael's voice broke up like that too. The koan turned into vibrations, with emphasis on the silences. Something popped.

I have spent some time being vibrations today. It was well needed. I feel like that grounds me. I can't help thinking of Odo in StarTrek deep space nine, going to rest in his bucket, free from form. I think Tim was the one who came up with that comparison, which was especially fun since it made sense of what he had already coined as my bucket theory of karma rather than individual karma. In Odo's species, they all blend. Unfortunately (spoiler alert!) they turned out to be not so awakened towards the end of the series. 

In the RtS course we are to gradually let go of our constructions of time and space (not once and for all, but when we don't need them) to prepare for centerlessness, or at least that's the general instruction. It turns out that I never really had that much of such constructions as default. Experiences that scare some of my co-students are the kind of experiences I have been living with my entire life. For me it's obvious that they are constructions because I'm still struggling to construct them, especially with regard to time. Spatiality has finally become habituated just in time for having to let go of it again. I'm grieving the lifelong pathologization of my experience that was really more on the side of emptiness. I will have to let go of that pain because it's holding me back, but that's easier said than done. I don't want to spiritually bypass it by suppressing it. I think I need to acknowledge the pain and let it be there before I can let it go. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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April 14th, 2021

I have felt a need lately to tell less stories about the practice, maybe in order to not distort it, maybe because the stories play into the whole personality investment thing, or maybe just because I found it too effortful. Anyway, there are some things I want to record, to keep track of stuff for the sake of wayfinding if needed. Oh gosh, where do I start? 

Okay, so I have found ways to integrate my different approaches to the practice in a new way, which has taken away some lingering confusion, perhaps especially with regard to working with emotions and worldviews. This is also why I really want to write here, despite of what I said above. I wouldn't have been able to make these connections if it weren't for the phenomenology that I have learned here. 

It came to me when I was reflecting on my working with emotions retreat with Lama Lena that didn’t go very well at the time because it seemed to trigger my old chronic pain and fatigue when I intentionally brought up emotions on the cushion, pretty much like we have been doing in the RtS classes but more concentrated. What helped me was to apply what I learned from Mahasi practice (at the more advanced level where noting is too slow) and Daniel in general, about noticing everything that arises at subtler and subtler levels. So I started working with that, because emotions aren’t those big solid entangled blobs after all, but just arisings that start out as little embryos before they take shape. Those little embryos are so much easier to deal with, and it actually makes a difference also in my daily life. Michael often advices to look for anything that seems solid and work with that. I think I took that too literally, forgetting that what people generally think of as solid doesn’t have to be the most sensitive trauma-generated knots. Those are the only things that seem solid to me, but they are too much to take on. It is much more helpful to work with what hasn’t yet been solidified but is still in becoming. And I actually know how to do that. That’s what I learned in vipassana. In order to work from "the view" without either retraumatizing or getting stuck, I need to let awareness apply what I learned from vipassana. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without it.

This last weekend we had an online retreat with the RtS course, both my group and the new cohort, and I found that framework helpful for working with this softer and subtler approach. I also revisited some gems from the Bön practice to get into the right spririt, because they help me still my mind and appreciate the subtle dance of the stillness, by tuning into the silence that's at the core of everything. When I let that kind of awareness hold personality-centred manifestations, I can feel how the hooks involved in the personality are just stiff poses that are taken on momentarily, and how the bubbles of that manifesting go pop pop pop pop pop. The bubbles are so delicate, not like the champagne bubbles. Smoother than Guiness foam. It's funny how something so delicate can be so tense.

Lately I have had this experience that silence sort of bursts out from the centre of what is experienced. It's like it's all made of arising and passing bubbles, and when they burst, which they do all the time, the silence comes out in the open. 

I have also had some much less subtle experiences lately, with layers of emotional entanglements showing up, with very samsaric driving forces revealing themselves in rather absurd ways. What was helpful in that was that some of it felt so uncharacteristic that it was comical, and that made it easier to work with. I was less invested with the stories that came up, so I could ride it out without escaping so much into ignorance. I went with some of it in order to really see the emptiness of it, over and over again. That involved a secondhand shopping spree that was nuts as some deeply embedded hungry ghost issues came to the surface. It damaged my economy, but not worse than I can deal with the consequences. Watching the dependent origination lf it unfolding was very interesting. It said a lot about our society, apart from teaching me a lot about what's holding me back. So many patterns that keep feeding themselves. 

Lately I have also found that a lot of things that I took for granted about myself aren't true. That includes preferences that I thought were viceral when they were really just based on stories. When I stopped keeping some of those stories going, I suddenly found that a lot of taken for granted preferences fell away as a house of cards when you remove some of its foundations. Like, I don't actually hate pink. I'm not inept with regard to some practical skills that I thought would always be beyond me. I actually don't lack energy - the exhaustion and overwhelm that challenge my life are much more complicated than that, and thereby also possible to work with (see the second paragraph). 

Speaking of energy, my relationship to energy in the practice has changed. I need to go subtler here too. It makes more sense to see it as a larger eco system than to focus on this body and its limitations. People keep talking about different ideas of where the energy should go or where it should be focused, but it's already everywhere. I find that letting it remember that solves most issues. The subtler levels of it already know where the grosser ones have work to do. 

It feels like my body is healing. My beloved yoga studio had to close down due to the covid situation and I haven't been able to practice yoga as much and as diligently on my own, so I "should" suffer from so much body pain and brain fog now, and for some reason I don't. Some tensions that have been bothering me a lot don't seem to be there. I don't know if it's thanks to my practice or thanks to my increased magnesium intake or something else. I also don't take it for granted that it will last. 
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Chris Marti, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Great narrative on a maturing practice!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Well, thankyou Chris!
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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This stuff all sounds really good Linda, I've been wondering what you've been up to! Go Pink!!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thanks George!

---

I'll jolt down a few things that I might need to remind myself of:

The emotion of drowning with overwhelm actually feels sort of like weightless floating when stripped naked from all stories. It's not that the spaciousness gives relief from the emotion. The very pleasant lightness and floating on waves is that same emotion! Wow. Well, in the sense anything is ever the same over time, of course. But it isn't other than it. 

I have noticed lots of avoidance behavior lately, including avoiding to check in with the ground of being. I have observed it happening and wondered why. I thought that maybe there are still subconscious parts that are afraid of the emptiness and the spaciousness even though I consciously feel like it's coming home. It just dawned on me that I'm still afraid of not finding it. Of course. I thought that I'd know by now that it's there, and there is some voice in me that says that I really should, but there's mainly relief, because this has a very simple solution. I just need to check in more often to get sufficiently convinced. It simplifies things. No need to fear that I'm pushing myself too hard there. It actually seems to reliably there, and checking in with it feels good. So why not? 

As for other avoidance behaviors and related anxiety, I have identified a pattern that I recognize from before. Little more than a decade ago, I was in the process of developing panic syndrome. However, when I realized that I was having panic caused by nothing other than the fear of getting a panic attack, it really pissed me off because it was so illogical and counterproductive, and then I refused to live like that. It basically changed over night. The anxiety I'm having nowadays is more subtle, easy to mistake for the usual stress signs from overstepping my boundaries with regard to executive functioning and sensory processing. However, now I have clearly seen that some of it is just the same illogical and counterproductive pattern of having anxiety about possibly getting anxiety from doing something. That simplifies things, which is good, but it also means that I have to break the pattern before I can get any relief. It would have meant a lot to have proper support through that process, but that's hard to find during a pandemic when you live too far from your loved ones, and especially when they are going through hard times too. I did break some patterns today, though. A partner is staying here for a few days, which helped. I didn't die. I actually didn't even want to die. It is possible to do it. And I mainly did it on my own last time too. I'm a badass. I just need to remember that. 

I also need to remember that I actually really love to meditate, so it's just silly to let my fear of failing ruin it. I don't have to turn it into a duty. I don't need to accomplish anything with it. The less doing, the better. 

Also: pms always ends, even when it feels like it never will and I almost wish that the Theravadans were right and that there is a way out from ever experiencing anything ever again. Anxiety ends too, and while it's still going on, it actually feels great when stripped from all stories. Good things to remember. 

​​​​​​​
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Let me join your messiness of agony emoticon 

As some know I have stopped with nicotine intake a few months ago and as of late I'm experiencing strong urge to numb myself down with it again. Something needs numbing down. Fear of emptiness maybe? 

Also feel slight panic attacks when about to leave our home. 

Over eating and over snacking and over tea-coffee nating. 

Heavy in ear drumming and almost constant insects crawling in and on the skin (and I mean this is very radical, as if a swarm of insects has invaded the whole body).

However I'm trying to find time to practice "look how it's " during my 30 minutes daily walk. Desire to sit is diminished. Maybe sit on the couch but not meditation chair emoticon 

Anyway, today I'm starting to fill up the trailer with all sorts of garbage and start moving it to the recycling bin. The first step is the hardest. 

​​​​​​​Best wishes to you and thank you for letting me share in your log emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thankyou Papa Che! That actually helped. You're welcome to share in any time (and it doesn't have to be helpful).

Hm, there have been some mentionings of t-shirts with this and that cool quote from DhO. I think I need one - or rather a situation-detecting sign - that says "Cut the crap and just do it anyway!". I guess I could leave myself such notes here and there, but they would probably just super-piss me off. 

​​​​​​​I'll cut some crap today and do some of it anyway. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Oh and best wishes to you too, of course. That's always implicated.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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One of my favorite practices at the moment is to investigate the nature of thought and of engagement in thoughts in a simplified way by letting the mantra Om mani padme hung run repeatedly while trying to relax anything that makes me identify as the doer of it. I relax vocal cords and tongue and jaw and the rest of the body as much as I can while being aware of how the mantra manifests, if at all. I find this both interesting and soothing. It helps me to see over and over again how engaging in thoughts is an active doing (well, in the sense anything is; an illusion of active doing is probably a better wording) that involves lots of subtle tensions and how it cannot be maintained without those tensions. The tenser, the more solidified. The more relaxation, the more obviously empty the thoughts are, until they just go poof and reveal themselves as spacious potential. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I love loud or just audiable meditation. Talking, mantra singing, loud inquiry , even practices which involve loud breathing. 

I remember once (in 2012) singing the mantra Om Tare tu tare , for about 7 hours while driving my car from Värmland to Malmö. And it was without effort, mantra, driving, looking, everything emoticon and those 7 hours felt more like 7 minutes to be honest emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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I like chanting too, but for this partcular practice it's just in my mind. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Is not chanting also "just in my mind" emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Yeah well, I have done the singing tracks in my mind. Great, huh? emoticon

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April 23rd, 2021:

I have been basking in wet vipassana today. I'm so pleased that the joy of investigation has returned. The breath feels heavenly. I'm fascinated by how verbal thought is so embodied. There are so many levels of subtility with regard to subvocalizing. Many sounds in a mantra can be thought with minimal muscle activation, but the activation is still there. Some consonants, such as "p", require less subtle tensions. It's like it's impossible to think the sound without tensing the muscles involved in shaping it. Yet, somehow there is knowing of what sound to make or think. How can that be? I don't think that intention precedes movement entirely. The impulse to move is in itself a very subtle micromovement. It doesn't really matter whether I think about forming the sound or about hearing it "externally". The body activates the same way, not just as a result from the thought, but together with the thought, or as the thought.

By applying "the view", I can relax the sense of doing the mantra and the subtle tensions involved in it, but activation is still there, only subtler and less identified with. The sensations are sort of thinned out when awareness is spacious. Apart from that, I think that the tagging a thought as "mine" involves its own subtle tensions, and without that tagging, or without some layer of that tagging, part of the tension goes away. I wonder exactly how much of the tension can fall away with the mantra still in awareness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Jhanic factors are presenting themselves together with a sensory clarity that I was suspecting would never come back. Lots of surface stuff is dissolving, laying bare more challenging knots. Under the apathy from the depression, and entangled with the tensions that have been resolved lately, there are anxiety issues of massive proportions. They have probably been there for a long time but disguised. No wonder I have felt resistance towards uncovering them. This is a big deal, and it's messing up my life. At least I no longer feel resistance towards meditation, but rather the opposite, and I'm taking steps to deal with my anxiety in daily life too - baby steps - so I suppose I am on the right track. Today I had several of those electrical poofs that feels like sudden and very brief restarts while meditating. I still don't know if they are some kind of mini-cessations or something else. They aren't as clear as those that I count as impermanence door cessations. It happened while stuff was falling away. I don't know exactly what was falling away, but I was dealing with emotions on a vibrational level. Lots of nada sound. The bubbles are back to champagne size rather than Guinness foam size when I'm working with this new layer. Lots of lights are showing up in the murk, and the visual field is flickering from the obvious impermanence. As challenging as the anxiety is, I think there is also some amount of relief that I'm actually able to really feel it now rather than blanking it out and resorting to ignorance. At least this is something to work with. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
As challenging as the anxiety is, I think there is also some amount of relief that I'm actually able to really feel it now rather than blanking it out and resorting to ignorance. 
I fail to see how relief differs from ignorance... and dukkha and axiety for that matter emoticon

Keep your dharma close but keep your relief even closer ~ rumor has it those were the last words of that famous arthat who commited suicide ;)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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It differs from ignorance insofar as it is about actually experiencing emotions that were previously repressed. I never suggested that it differs from dukkha. Not there yet. It is however more likely that I will be able to see the rainbow quality of emotions that are out in the open than of repressed ones. 

Ni Nurta, your use of the word relief is rather unconventional. I'm using it differently. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Of course there is still ignorance there to dissolve. It's just one layer less, as I have now at least identified what emotion needs to be seen in its full richness beyond the dukkha. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Notes to (not)self:

Try out if this framework can make what is already happening happen more systematically: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22723043

One story that I have solidied and need to see through is "I can't trust anyone to really be there for me when I need it the most". A related story that I need to work with parallelly is "I'm incapable of appreciating and benefitting from the kinds of support that people do offer". 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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What I wrote above about solidified stories came up while reflecting on one of the tools from the Reversing the Stack course. We were adviced to fill up sort of a simplified and westernized skeleton mandala with stuff that makes it personally potent in order to have a stabilizing structure for when the practice brings up intense stuff. Ironically, that so called stabilizing structure was exactly what triggered intense shit to come up. I had a core trauma laid bare this morning. It was hellishly intense. The pain was intense and I felt completely lonely in the world. At the same time I could see clearly how patterns branching out from this manifest as selfulfilling prophecies, and I knew that I had to break the pattern. So I reached out for support, although it felt impossible. I reached out to two loved ones. Both of them have enough on their plates for me to feel that I can't bother them and yet they were the only ones that I was capable of reaching out to at all, and so I did. And they were there for me, and it was helpful. The stories got a very much needed reality check. I don't have to go through everything alone. Emptiness isn't the only thing that's there for me. I suspect that the roots are more entangled than that, so it will probably keep coming up, but this was a huge step. Now I need to keep breaking the patterns by reaching out for help in a number of areas that I have been avoiding because I couldn't do it alone. It's scary.

When I finally got some sleep, I had meditation-related nightmares of fullblown terror. The process had taken over in such an intense way that any horror movie covering anything in the realm of the goriest and most extreme versions of spiritual posession would seem like a peaceful lullaby. Yet in the dream it was all dismissed as neurotic issues, until it had me institutionalized, and then there still wasn't any support available. In the dream I had dissociative seizures which were still occurring when I woke up. I know how to see through them, though, so not longer ensnared by the dream I could easily make them stop by letting go of the resistance to the emotions. 

While writing this I got a phone call about a job that I seem to have gotten, although we haven't signed any papers yet and have yet to work out the details. We will meet up tomorrow, physically in spite of the covid situation, to work on those details. Scary! I would have an awesome boss, though, actually one of the persons that I spontaneously felt might fit somewhere in that mandala. I'll be working with supporting people with disabilities (what a weird wording - the disability movement made a great point in coining the word disabled as a way of emphasizing that the issue isn't within the individual but in the lack of inadequate support in society, which is why one is dis-abled - and now somehow we can't say "disabled" because the disability is seen as an attribute that the person carries and that's supposedly something to be ashamed of - gah!). So... the timing isn't right for cracking up. I need to pass as healthy and mentally stable. She knows about my diagnoses, so I don't necessarily need to pass as normal. Just... well... well-adjusted. Haha! Well, I can probably do that. I actually made sure during the job interview a while ago that it was the kind of organization that would encourage asking for support if something challenging were to come up on the job. Well done there!

Before going to sleep I did some cushion time together with a loved one. That very striking silence at the core of everything presented itself over and over again in the midst of the disentangling that was going on at the threshold of the subconscious. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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About that job interview emoticon 

https://youtu.be/tzln6GO4yHY
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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That's pretty spot on. Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Copied from the RtS slack (please forgive any repetitions or missing context - I'm tired and don't feel like elaborating on the text):

Something has cracked open, in a liberating and healing way. It hurt like hell when it did, but so far it has been so worth it. I have no doubts there are lots of remaining knots to untangle, but this was a big one - and one that I didn’t quite expect to be there. I want to share that really feeling some intense pain that one has buried deep inside can be a powerful thing. Heartopening. And when the pain is out in the open, the limiting stories that it’s based on can be emptied out and seen as the fiction they are. Selffulfilling prophecy fiction, branching out in so many limiting patterns. When I was a small child they may have helped me survive in a relative sense, but none of that exists here and now other than as fiction. It doesn’t have to define me. A large chunk of incapacitating anxiety seems to be gone. 

I’m playing with ways into nonduality. One is zoom. Somehow it makes it easy to see that the persona presented there on the screen in one of the boxes isn’t me and yet also isn’t not-me. It makes something shift. There’s a tangible widening and sort of that old sense of reality turning inside out but more subtle than when it occurs in deep concentration. I dis-identify with the persona. It’s not like alienation. Rather there’s a great sense of compassion towards that persona and all the other persona’s in their own little boxes and everything that manifests in the entire space. After a while I get drawn back into the more narrow persona but I can let go of that once I realize it.

Another way into nonduality is letting the mantra Om mani padme hung occur on its own without running it through the persona. After a little while it just seems a bit comical to have it run there because it’s already there in the intention and the intention is immediate. Time doesn’t seem applicable. And without time, there is no sense of doing. Instant nonduality. 

With these ways into nonduality, awareness really is alert. Sometimes that manifests as energy that feeds the narrowing storytelling, but I find it helpful to think that I just let that energy go to where it’s needed rather than cling to it. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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"Time doesn’t seem applicable. And without time, there is no sense of doing."

Im telling you emoticon People complain about driving 7 hours from Värmland to Malmö and yet if you really get that mantra going those 7 hours seem more like 7 minutes emoticon emoticon I think Vägverket should include such signposts along the roads "please return to your mantra" emoticon emoticon 

On a serious note; 
Noting aloud can become mantra like and happening on its own like you describe. I'm not suggesting noting as such of course but saying that any loud prayer, mantra, even noting aloud can have same effect. 

I might be rumbling here. I mean i did have two beers and I haven't been drinking for ... over a year I think. Tipsy emoticon 

Glad you got that deep knot out of the system! I have been looking for that "knot" and remembering Chris describing it in the head. Can't find it there. However I do sense a knot in the lower chest. Solar plexsus and up towards the heart. That seems to be "my center knot" that place seems to "erupt" stuff into action. I might be more emotional than rational. 

​​​​​​​I think I should just go to bed ... good night! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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That's a good example of timelessness. I meant a different sense of it, but I find it hard to describe. It's like I don't need to actually hear it in my head because it's already embedded in awareness as soon as the intention is there. It's already known. Instantly, seemlessly. It's not only fast, but already there. Time is intertwined with the paradigm of doing - one thing leading to another, cause and effect, subject and object, action and result, and so forth. But it's already done. It was never not done. The moment is complete on its own. Ugh, trying to describe it just sounds like mumbo-jumbo. 

Sounds like you have a great practice going. 

I seem to have knots basically everywhere. Most of them really tiny (there's a lot of popping happening), and then some larger entanglements. I'd say that this one was in the heart. I wasn't even aware that it was so tied up there, but it explains a lot. 

Right now it feels like a whole chunk of incapacitating anxiety fell away, and so maybe I can actually start tackling that huge pile of stuff that I have been procrastinating. It may be just a temporary relief, though, and at the moment I really feel like gardening in my patio. Growing flowers, finding ways to create harmony in the ecosystem (in simple ways, nothing fancy), feeding the birds and listening to them singing. The natural elements are so nurturing, and bathing in that together with my cats is awesome. 

Good night!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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"The moment is complete on its own. Ugh, trying to describe it just sounds like mumbo-jumbo. "

Not at all. What you describe is a moment free from self-validation. And I mean not those long story telling self-validations but tiny and fast self-validating echos after the arise-passed moment. 

I guess this is where Wisdom stands the ultimate test as we simply can't go around all day and contact each such passing so some sort of letting go into a zoomed out flow and letting go into trusting wisdom (which comes from practice) will know that This Is Complete without the need of embedding it into the hardware. Basically just let it be gone, gone, gone. 

I guess this might be the way of Mahamudra.

I actually woke up with a hangover after having only two beers last night! I think I'm done with alcohol. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Free from self-validation, sure, but not just that. And free from the echo too, but not just that. I was trying to describe something else, another level of it, but I'm giving up now. I'd rather not distort it if I can help it. Yes, it has to do with Dzogchen/Mahamudra. It has to do with the unborn and undying suddenly seeming much less other than form. Gone, gone, gone doesn't apply. 

I get hangovers from mineral water. My body has yet to realize that form is okay. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon.

I'm breaking patterns today. Less anxiety. 
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Emptiness isn't the only thing that's there for me.

I was very struck by this, after my most recent sustained round of finding only emptiness wherever I turned my attention, and feeling that as urgently painful, close to unbearable. Your insight here also emerged from an experience that was deeply painful, even traumatic, and overwhelming. These encounters with the core koans, the insoluble dilemmas and seemingly unhealable damage, the knots we can barely be aware of without agony, much less begin to consider what undoing them would mean--- the fault lines that we spend most of our lives just trying to accomodate to and work around--- that the path implicitly invites them, that in our practice we are moving toward these encounters, inevitably, with whatever degree of awareness (and we can never fully imagine their potency in advance)--- it is sobering, and humbling, and cause for awe. Nobody wants this shit, it's impossible to want it once it really opens to the pit. And every such encounter has its genuine dangers, approaching life and death at times. But the gratitude for survival, for sheer fire-tested thankfulness for existence after such intimacy with emptiness, is priceless, yes? You may not even be able to find a self with which to be thankful, we start to recognize a lot of "the self" as a kind of allergic reaction to emptiness and as worse-than-nothing efforts at control that only create more pain, as the source of the agony at emptiness. But the gratitude is real, real enough to say, yes, "Emptiness isn't the only thing that's there for me."

No dis on emptiness, of course. I fucking love emptiness, lol. It's the only place you can find any reliable quiet. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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This is so spot on and so beautifully put. Careful, you are at risk of ruining your jester role here, revealing that profound wisdom publicly like this. ;) 

I fucking love emptiness too, for very similar reasons. 
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Not two, not one, modified 3 Months ago.

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' "Emptiness isn't the only thing that's there for me."
' No dis on emptiness, of course. I fucking love emptiness, lol. It's the only place you can find any reliable quiet.' 

Hehe he he. Yep. And Yep. Moving beyond a state doesn't mean you can't enjoy it!  Or that you can't come full circle and move back into it. But what is at the top of the circle?

What happens when the clock strikes?  

Love.  Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Now you are being intentionally cryptic again! Or maybe just neurotypically vague? What do you mean "at the top of the circle"? Does "at the top of" refer to something other then "at the bottom of" or "at the core of"? And is there really a top or a bottom or a core? It seems inherently multifaceted to me. And what clock?
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Not two, not one
What happens when the clock strikes?  

Please be more specific... rising edge or falling edge? emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Haha!
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Not two, not one, modified 3 Months ago.

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Well I didn't mean to sow confusion, but I'm kind of delighted that I have. Did I ever tell you my dream retirement project is to set myself up as a oracle? I feel there is a definite gap in the market there. :-)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I think you would be the perfect oracle. You are basically a human koan generator. 
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

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 Malcolm!

Nicolas of Cusa says that God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere, which makes God useless as a timepiece, of course. "The top of the circle" seems like a pure koan to me, and we may have to bring in relativity theory to explain certain discrepancies in the clocks. But when the clock strikes, I believe it is best to honor local customs. Like when the guy sings out from the minaret: face east, kneel down, and put your forehead on the ground in praise. Or kiss someone, if it's New Year's Eve. The clock always strikes in context, yes?
 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Haha, we seem to be similarly puzzled by the logistics of that circle and the clock striking metaphor. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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I find that whenever there’s a breakthrough, shortly thereafter my tics and other tensions increase. I’m been thinking about that as the ego fighting back, but that’s just a story with its limitations. It’s more helpful to think of it as a release of energy that just flows to the parts of the infrastructure that is most accessible because of old habits. It’s not a setback but the natural flow of things and actually an increase in energy that can be put to better use. Lack of energy was never really the issue. It was just locked up in habitual processes. I can work with that. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Papa Che, I'm sorry to say that I had to delete your post with the very spot on Dali painting with the melting clocks (a picture that I have always liked). For some strange reason, it messed with the code in the thread. Probably one of Liferay's own koans. It was impossible for me to reply to the thread. Instead I was directed to a site for loading up pictures. I tried several different ways of posting. The only one that worked was replying to other people's replies, and that's not what I want to do from now on. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I believe you! Chris Marti did the same thing with his photo in Tim's old Bar(do) thread emoticon blocked the entire thread with it! emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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And you still posted it... ;) You bad.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

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Steph posted a photo recently in the new Bar(do) thread and it didn't block! I thought issue was fixed. Fools hope emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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Yeah, I saw that too. I wonder what the difference is. At least we seem to have gotten rid of the bug that made threads disappear from recent posts when deleting a post. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

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The issue has to do with wrongly formed BB code or wrong interpretation of it by Liferay or probably both.
In either case if you go to advanced reply you have "<> Source" button and there you can edit post code and just post url to the image in img tags without making it a link.
Tim Farrington, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Che is incorrigible, it's one of his best qualities.

​​​​​​​
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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I believe the positive term for that is integrity. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

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I blame the horoscope! I've got stuck between two planets!!! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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A large chunk of my incapacitating anxiety seems to have fallen away for now. 

I notice that when I drop the ball of my tics, there’s a very vague anxiety underneath the surface, close enough to it for me to glimpse it. That probably means that there are other buried raw emotions that I habitually avoid releasing. I welcome them to be released. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I've got to share this awesome Adyashanti compilation that I found on youtube: https://youtu.be/sremDoaT3iM
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Ni Nurta, your use of the word relief is rather unconventional. I'm using it differently.

Differently how?
My understanding is that it is always the same issue with tired neurons and relief is unskillful way of getting it and there are many types of relief, some kinda ok-ish but still lead to depression and are some completely vile.

If you are tired doing some task and then it ends then there is a certain pleasure associated with you mulling over this difference, spinning it. Difference between bad state and good and when you say "such a relief!" in your post refers to exactly it because without it you would never have this difference let alone feel important to signify it. If you isolate it and study and become dispassionate to what gives rise to it so it never arises then you won't suffer and when it does arise by itself (as it tends to do from time to time) then by being dispassionate it will just end, whole mass of suffering will just vanish without a trace. Of course any mulling about any relief from that is unskillful as it leads to depression. The result is that you do not suffer and feel fine at all times. Doing it that way doesn't make you depressed, no need to even remove sense of self as its issue is cause of affinity for relief. Removing it as in 4th path is fixing issue with relief in the sense of self by removing sense of self which is backwards. That is why I am mentioning this. It kinda seems important emoticon

In any way, I can experience relief any time I want cause nothing was removed here, only behavior changed. Removal of sense of self is still possible and can be done for let's say completion sake. I do not think you would want to miss this one. I did it and then restored it because why not. Without all this mass of suffering things become much easier to do. Harder technically than dealing with dukkha but at this point it is pure fun emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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I refer to ending of suffering. Exactly the thing that you are advocating. Liberation. You seem to take for granted that relief always refers to some defense mechanism. I believe most people think of relief as a burden being taken away without limiting it to only some burdens. Dukkha is the greatest of all burdens. I was saying that really opening up to feeling the pain was a relief compared to applying defense mechanisms. Opening up to the pain instead of avoiding it takes away lots of dukkha. You are using the word in the opposite way compared to me. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 3 Months ago.

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Relief is experience of ending of suffering, yes ;)
The thing is though the suffering to really not be experienced its ending cannot be experienced. You cannot probe if the thing that suffered is still suffering. That kind of action did work in the past because of how unrefined awareness was but once it improves its methods of operation need to also adapt and some behaviors need to be simply dropped and replaced by more skillful behaviors.

Either way I am fully aware this whole topic is not easy. Part of the whole problem is missing indicators that can tell you what is really happening. I have never read in any dharma text (note: I didn't read many but for what I read and forum posts someone should have noticed this!) that during cessation/fruition, during this blackout, there is a switch of which parts of nervous system are used. All the focus is on non-experience like it itself was important where it is just side effect of switching as you cannot efficiently change things in mind while they are running so the abrupt stop has to take place. Consciousness not working for a moment or few wouldn't do that much it it wasn't for switching used parts of mind and actually at your path level you probably do some form of cessation all the time anyways. Maybe there is confusion with what I mean by relief related to that as I would also not assume this to be bad thing. This thing is however not how people typically see the relief as they can not do nibbana. I take meaning of the word exactly what it is for someone who is lets say 'normal' ;) Meaning with no stream entry or above. And like I mentioned for non-SE relief can be valid method to deal with suffering... unless they overdo it and get depression but this is what happens when you use not-so-good methods.

'Nibbana' which is this cessation of consciousness is not relief.
When I experience cessation I do not look for where there was dukkha before to check if I experience suffering there or not because I know that despite all seeming fine I would find suffering there. It is because of how cessation actually works, it doesn't automagically fix what causes suffering, it just allows other part of nervous system take care of things while issues with where there was suffering are being resolved. Likewise any experiences of 'relief' I simply avoid knowing they undermine cessation knowing they are too closely connected with this part of nervous system and would activate it. Besides I have cessation, do not need relief of any kind or form.

Anyways, typically with enough practices either you figure it out or your nervous system figures how to do it. In first case you know how it works, in the second case you believe let's say something which I would call 'optimal white lie' so maybe it is beneficial in getting it to work but not represent the truth. Whether I fall under first or second case I not one hundred percent certain (I am just being modest here ;) ) but at the very least I do not definitely fall under second case. It matters to me only because I care for this sorts of stuff, otherwise I'd be fine with optimal lie so like some "THIS" or missing sense of self or whatever workaround people use to fill gap in their knowledge of why this even works to make mind comfortable with using it its newly found routing strategy. Cause yeah, it all comes down to routing issues in the realm of nearly constantly tired neurons... yup, they are individually pretty lazy emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I wasn't using any of those senses of the word. I was talking about the mode where duality has sort of fallen away except for the fact that there is still form and thus diversity - and definitely consciousness. When that mode is switched on*, that is, when the "usual" duality is switched off, there is no looking for suffering, because it's all complete. Afterwards, however, it is obvious how heavy the selfing is. I still kind of wobble in and out of it.

*) I don't think it's ever switched off, as long as there is awareness, only obscured by illusions. 

--

EDITED: No actually, in that old post, I wasn't talking about that either. I was talking about more mundane things: psychological healing. Trauma release. It still had nothing to with what you are talking about. You know what, nevermind. We don't have to understand each other here. Regardless of what you are saying, I will let those old pain memories release and eventually self-liberate. That's the path that has been drawn out for me. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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May 4th, 2021

I have spent the day being as observant as I possibly could with regard to released energies siphoning into old karmic patterns. Darn, it might take ages to redirect the traffic from that infrastructure! It helps to pretend that I'm doing yoga or giving birth, because in both those situations my subconscious has grokked that I can't afford any energy drain, and the default mode (or whatever it's called - default something, but of course I'm hoping that it will stop being the default setting) sure is a huge energy drain. Going back and forth between those settings still feels like very different kinds of perception although I know from observations that the underlying mechanisms are the same, so it's exhausting. I'm starting to get a feel for a more seamless switch, though. Making that seamlessness the new default, and making it even more seamless, is a longterm goal. Most of the time it's a bumpy ride. 

I have done lots of "unclenching" today, that is, relaxing into a vibrational state in which the subconscious gets to pop up and the awareness gets to untangle energetic knots. Lots of kriyas came up, with an arm suddenly being thrown up in the air and stuff like that. It was interesting to observe selfing and dualism come back online after sessions and play with dropping it, over and over again. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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May 5th, 2021, after RtS class:

​​​​​​​There’s an exquisite sweetness to recognizing that intentions are already there in awareness and that they come from no direction and have a timeless quality. They are complete on their own without ownership and without chronological causality. It’s like they have suddenly always been. So simple. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 Months ago.

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May 5th, 2021

Okay, so now getting into nonduality in daily life happens instantly a lot of the time, but duality resets itself very fast. It’s easier the less complex the tasks and the less the situation triggers ideas about strongly held values, but resetting happens anyway when energy goes into tics and other embodied dualistic mechanisms. It seems like identity is embodied posing, and of course extremely habitual. Habitual tensions that function like straitjackets except for the fact that there is no jacket. We just act as if there is one. It’s cool that it can be seen through this fast. I guess the trick is to not try to hold the view but rather just get into the habit of not picking up the posing because an increasingly large share of the triggers are seen through as empty already upon arising (I know that this is a "duh" thing, barely any news, but there's a difference between understanding it intellectually and really grokking it and this is grokking coming into being or recognizing itself already being). 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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While walking in the forest today and practicing "look how it's ..." I've got a realization of sorts; there was this Fear of Not-knowing. As if each and every arise-passing "must" be known on either micro or macro levels. There is this mind movement , surge of sorts leaping towards "knowing This". It seems scary to just Not-know This. 

Is this related to that non-dual vs dual state of mind? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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Yes. 

So what do you think would happen if there was not-knowing? 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Just a decentralized dynamic swirling? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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I'd recommend you to find out. 

According to Michael Taft there is a mode with no locality at all while still being conscious and without being in a formless Jhana. Depending on what he refers to, I may have experienced some version of it, but I so hope there's more to it than that. There are non-dual modes with remanining locality, though. Boundaries do get blurred in my experience, and the figure-ground division sort of collapses to some extent. Words aren't really adequate, but I'd say that your knowing of all that stuff isn't necessary at all, because it is already aware. That "thing" that thinks it needs to keep track of it all, is merely posing, and spending lots of energy in doing so. Something like that. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thanks Linda that was helpful emoticon I sure plan to find out for the benefit of all. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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Great! I'm glad I could be of some help. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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For now I'll just write a small note before I forget; later I will get back to replying to posts.

May 22nd, 2021

The process has been calling me again lately. This afternoon I lay down with my eyes closed to listen to it, without applying any technique. I was drawn into stillness. Then I saw a flower, like a daisy or a marguerite. I looked into its center, its eye, and it came closer and closer, and suddenly it was a bright light. There was no euphoria or anything like that, rather a wordless recognition. Then there were three stroboscopic after images of the light, paler and less detailed, but each with its own shape and color. Stylized star shapes. I blinked out of existence, and coming back, it felt like something happened in the left side of my head. 
...
Going back for some more trekcho. Took a short break in a group practice. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I replied to NiNurta and Papa Che in subthreads. I kind of like the tree structure, in some regards.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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At bedtime yesterday (May 22, 2021), I was drawn into an altered state with caleidoscopic images and my body falling away.*

Here (today, May 23) I was interrupted in my report by Dreamwalker calling, which was an impeccable timing as I may now have sufficient resources to take in what he says. Some notes (it got lost as I accidently pushed the wrong button so this is a reconstruction):
Go panoramic and hold that. Start with an esily accessible sense gate and fill in with the others. Do it until it gets permanent. Feed the intuition with work. Don't skip things. Need to work through it all, not just the mind. We talked about the silence and how it holds all sounds. Hold that and listen to everything simultaneously! Get panoramic with all sense gates. We talked about luminosity. There are different aspects of it. That same liveliness can come with different gates. He mentioned doing 3D visions with one eye, stuff like that. Lots of systematic detailed and elaborate stuff. I asked about calling things up and how it's difficult for me to recall the visceralness of a state so as to call it up. He adviced me to dwell in states enough to really explore them and then take breaks to reflect on what it was like, do the phenomenology. The ethnography. Or find other ways that work for me, if I can't get back to it from rereading my wordings of it. We also talked about getting into where the subconscious untangles itself under the surface. He calls that nothingness. My categorization is different. I asked about the difference between previous path fruitions and current path fruitions, and it seemed to confirm my suspicions about it. The blips that don't really do that much are previous path fruitions. 


*) cont. Holding a mantra intensified the trip. It was very visual together with a sense of being drawn in. Trippy as fuck, with a sense of being drawn in, but sometimes the silence came through it and was immense.  I eventually lost awareness in regular sleep. Woke up in meditation in the morning. Was able to strip emotions naked and experience them as energy. Lust as energy is fabulous and doesn't have that hook. Body falling away again. Went back to regular sleep. Woke up a bit foggy but realized that the fogginess wasn't really a bad thing. Stayed with that confusion and let it play around while sitting on the porch. It had a liveliness in it. That's when Dreamwalker called.

After the call, panoramic senses online. It's not other than the confusion. Need to let it be. The confusion has its own clarity. Spacious. Less me, more everything. No need to fight it.

General note: There's a heady thing going on from time to time that involves tension. It's like it tries to actively ride something and that turns it into a vortex, but sometimes it gets obvious that riding it isn't necessary, and then everything is still. In daily life the immense silence just takes over now and then. It's sort of the opposite of the headiness, but it's all too easy to turn it into a vortex by tuning into the concept of it. 

I might edit this a few times, but I'll publish now. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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Lately I have found myself advicing others to play with the practice and enjoying the exploration, and I have come across similar reminders from different directions, and so I thought it might be the case that I need to follow my own advice and the advice that seems to come from the universe. I seem to have forgotten some of it for some reason. Today I played. I explored for the fun of exploring. I played with different sense gates and with different points at the emptiness-form scale and with time and space and intensity - on different levels of subtility and with different focus ranges. It was fascinating in its richness. The mind really is amazing. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I have just had a brief private consultation with Michael and then his Reversing the Stack class. In the private consultation we went through the different steps into and aspects of awake awareness together because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing something important (we are not allowed to share his map yet as it's work in progress). It seems that I'm grokking it. There are some aspects that I would wish to turn up a notch or two or three (or like nine), because it still feels too shallow, and I definitely need to work on making it both more immediate and more reliable throughout different kinds of situations. A huge amount of work remaining there! But I'm getting it. Now I just need to do the actual work, lol.

In the class we went through ways of mixing practice, that is, integrating the full awake awareness into challenging situations, very gradually. We went through a systematic way of going about this to meet different kinds of challenges without going all macho. It was all things that I have already decided to do to get over the stuff that holds me back in daily life, so it was reassuring. I'm on the right track. And it reminded me not to take on too much too soon, which I might very well do and then get overwhelmed and passivated. That's also completely in line with my latest plans that are starting to feel doable. So now I just have to actually do it. Again lol. It's not easy. I find daily life much more challenging than meditating on the cushion. Emptiness is a piece of cake compared to form, and yet they aren't separate. Anyway, now it isn't just a plan, but also homework. That might help. 

One of my classmates described her taking refuge in being vibrations just like I often jokingly do: resorting to her bucket like Odo in StarTrek Deep Space Nine. We had a great laugh over that shared ground. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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June 1st, 2021

I have had a couple of days with what felt like lousy practice. The full non-duality, with all aspects in Michael's model, felt unavailable. There was too much me in it, and thereby there were also tensions and separation. Going back to basics, just noticing phenomena in one sense gate at a time, or focusing on some other aspect, opened things up somewhat, but it lacked juice. 

Then suddenly late yesterday evening, while watching American Gods with a partner, things turned around. Full-on non-duality and the sense of my face dissolving into smooth creamy foam, and my sinuses popping open despite the pollen. This morning I woke up at 5:30 with a strong need to go up and meditate, and it felt great. I have done yoga and meditated several times, because the process craved it. I got into both jhana and multiple cessations just from slow breathing*. Then I practiced maintaining non-duality while gardening, which required some short breaks. 

*) Actually, it's pretty fast breathing according to my experience, but it's very specific proportions (in- and outbreath) that supposedly has effects on the heart rate variability. Forrest Knutsson's slowest HRV breathing ones. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

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 Then I practiced maintaining non-duality while gardening, which required some short breaks.

Non-duality in the garden sounds like fun emoticon
What are plants and worms about these days?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

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Well, the plants are a lot about networking, that's for sure. 
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Smiling Stone, modified 2 Months ago.

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Hey Linda,
Thanks for including some info about your breathing patterns! this has been an area of interest (of focus?) for some time... I did not know about Forrest Knutson (first heard about coherent breathing through james Nestor and Andrew Huberman, then read Brown and Gerbarg who seem like they've been around for a while) ... would you recommend a nice podcast or talk with him, where he shares deep insights about all this? I like that he is a meditator (so he seriously considers samadhi experiences).. but I don't like so much his aggressive youtube presence and marketing.
I wish you the best with your practice, as always (and I am quite confident that what has left will come back... then leave again etc...)
with metta
smiling stone
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Hi Smiling! It's always good to hear from you. I wish you all the best as well! Unfortunately I don't know if he has any podcasts or dharma talks anywhere. For some reason I'm not bothered by his aggressive marketing. I usually cringe when I encounter that appoach, but I find that he is pretty informative at times when I need an easy way out. The breathing instruction is very easy to follow and it has instant effects for me. Advice from him about the lymphatic system also took away some issues I had with my legs and feet (it felt like major energetic blockages, and now it's gone). He responds to comments at youtube, so it's possible to ask for more details there - or ask him about podcasts, I guess. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Still not able to make every moment part of the practice, non-stop 24/7. Far from it. Also not able to effortlessly flip into nondual awareness (with all of Michael's criteria) at will under all circumstances in daily life during business as usual, let alone having it as the default a great proportion of the time. That is a minimum for what I consider fourth path. Succeeding with it most of the time and also having it happen on its own most of the time is what I understand as the bare minimum of third path, and I'm not there either. Honestly, I think there has been an inflation of self-diagnosed attainments on this forum. Or maybe it's not new? Anyway, good luck with that... 

Something that works for me right now is saying to myself "I'm making this my practice now" when I'm going about my business. It's about the moment, and I refresh it regularly to remind myself to... well... not identify with a self but just let things occur without a doer. It turns out that things get done just fine that way, and with much less agony. But habits are strong, and denial isn't one of my strongest defense mechanisms so I notice even very subtle stances of selfing being embodied. There's a lot to work with there. And with work, I mean letting to the surface and letting go of. 

Sometimes space makes funny little plays, so I guess the mind is still trying to make sense of it as constructs are let go of. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Awesome RtS class! Will share some notes later, hopefully. Just need to jolt down something else. Was doing gardening after the class, since it was already bright outside again (barely any dark time here at this time of the year). Then I sang praise to the 21 Taras. While doing so, the air seemed filled with lightpoints swarming around so playfully and vividly that I repeatedly had to try to touch them to check that they weren't solid, like fire flies or something (even though we don't have them in Sweden), or maybe rain or hail bouncing around (which would definitely have made a sound, though). They were everywhere. I guess it was like the statics that would appear behind closed eyes earlier in my practice, at its clearest, but in 3D in the midst of ordinary reality with eyes open. It was beautiful. I can tune into making them reappear by emptying out that chatting narrator. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

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To clarify, it was not the regular vortexy pattern of little points that make up the visual field. I guess it was tigle rather than ricka (I don't know how to spell it because neither does Lama Lena). A manifestation of the aliveness itself rather than the attention moving around rapidly to create the illusion of continuity. A concentration phenomenon rather than a deconstruction phenomenon. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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The practice that we are doing with Michael, which fits very nicely with Lama Lena's teachings, gives valuable tools for dealing with the challenges of life. I'm so thankful for it. We are learning to shift back and forth between different levels of awareness* and to identify the lumps in the gravy and dissolve them. After focusing on "yellow" situations - our edge, where it's challenging but doable to shift into full awake awareness in form - we have now been going through the different degrees of awareness more thoroughly again. It is very common to have aspects sneak up on us from a lower awareness level while we have experiences from a higher awareness level. Personality, for instance, typically creeps up on us, claming to be the doer of nonduality. Then we aren't actually at that level. 

We were also talking about different doorways into the different levels of awareness, and how one doorway usually is easier for us than the other ones. Leading with strength is good, but then we need to master the other ones as well. He recommended a book by David Loyd (? Lloyd? Not sure about the spelling) called Nonduality that is nerding out on the microdetails of how different traditions talk about this. That sounds like a great read. I found out that I have set my bar too high for all of the awareness levels. Apparently things are going better than I thought. Like, when the world suddenly flattens and everything is "here", that's the nonlocality thing. I'm kind of disappointed about that.** That's still just the first map, though. He gave some advice that sounded very similar to what Dreamwallker wrote about in a thread here recently, focusing on seeing all thoughts and feelings as empty already upon arising - speeding it up until it gets there. 

We also talked a bit about the "red" situations which currently seem impossible to transcend into full awake awareness, and how going back to basics help a lot. Just dropping the personality part (the stories that we buy into and which make things emotionally triggering. That low level of awareness can make a huge difference. Since then I've had the opportunity to do some full-on bulldozer trigger practice because of a huge threat to my closest family. Before that I had been noticing that every time there's even the most subtle impulse to start ticking (Tourette's), that reveals that there's some amount of selfing going on. That's quite the gift, really, because I can't fool myself into thinking that I've got it. The truth is always revealed. The ticking impulses don't lie. And in situations like this threat, the ticking impulses go crazy. That's so typical, I thought, like of course nonduality will be out of reach at a time like this because of all the selfing going on and I'm stuck with that narrow personality perspective. And then I remembered that we have actually been practicing to stop that on a dime. Just drop it. And so I did. And Holy Crap! I would never have thought that it would work instantly in THAT kind of situation. And yeah, even that low level of awareness does make a huge difference at a time like that. And from there, the real deal is more accessible too. So now I just need to do this every time, hehe. And make sure that I master all the other aspects as well. That's a lifetime practice. 

*) It's a model and as such a mere construction but very helpful as a tool. 

**) Pretty cool though that the first time I had pointing out with transmission by Lama Lena, from watching youtube recordings in retrospect, that immediately just started happening. The transmission actually works. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I looked up the name of the author. Apparently it's David Loy. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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June 21st, 2021

​​​​​​​I'm continuously doing the mixing practice described in the post above. I'm willing to do this for the rest of my life regardless of whether or not it "leads" somewhere, because it's liberating in itself. I have had the opportunity to test it further in challenging situations, and it makes such an incredible difference. I'm more present, non-reactive in situations where previously I would have been a mess, and it improves my relationships. I don't even have to strip away all the layers of duality in Michael's model to have this effect. 

Some effects of stream entry that faded away (whereas others remained) seem to be back. For now anyway. 

I find myself discovering stuff that I have been reading in Spatial's logs. I get it now. 

I notice a tendency for the selfing to sneak its way back in under the surface, just like Michael and many others with him say, so I need to keep uncovering that and empty it out, and I need to create the karma for it to empty itself upon arising. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I'm finding myself totally confident in taking on a job that would previously have led to total sensory overwhelm and autistic meltdown. I have just done some of that work without suffering. It was a piece of cake. I think I have underestimated how much liberation has already occurred, because I have mainly measured it against other kinds of activities that are extremely prone to storytelling and positioning because that's basically the task in them. I'm sure it's possible to publish research reports from awake awareness too, but there are lots of entanglement there to cut through first. Dealing with sensory input in the present moment without needing to make coherent stories about them in a meticulous and systametic dialogue with other stories is so much more direct. I thought dealing with sensory input was one of my greatest challenges. If that was ever true, that has changed. The storytelling and the positioning are the toughest parts. They trick me into identification that contracts. 

I'm not saying that there aren't challenging sensory experiences, of course. With enough pain, there's contraction. The extreme heat today together with the high humidity involved contraction. On a good day, lots of daily life pains and concerns (within a fairly normal range) empty themselves out, if not upon arising, then very soon. When hormones and neurotransmittors are out of balance, it's tougher. When there's a clear intention, the bar is higher. This was neither a good or a bad day, but something inbetween. There are ticcing impulses, which indicates that some amount of selfgrasping is occurring, but the ticcing can be let go of. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Night June 28-29:

The Chenrezig practice last night got a bit psychedelic. I've been hesitant to report it because it sounds so extremely scripted in the midst of ongoing discussions. I got more concentrated than I usually do in a group, and there was clarity and confusion at the same time. The instructions of radiating out and eventually letting the light back in made no sense at all, because directions and sequentiality fell away. It was like the web of light, the flower of life, folded into itself and collapsed, not into a singularity but into vaste spaciousness that had no center. Nothing could radiate "out" to something else because there was no in and out, here or there. Sending out was sending in, or rather, the mere intention of light let there be light, and wherever the light was, was here and now. There was sort of a hyperclarity about this together with a sense of being effervescent and thoughts and images just popping up on their own without really being bound together to something coherent, and no need for coherence. Every little fragment was a perfect whole. There was movement, constant movement, but nothing substantial that was moving. 

I suspect this felt psychedelic because it's still not locked in, still new every time the veils fall away. Not the default. Not to this extent. And yet so very familiar. So "of course". 

There's a simpler version of everything being "here" that is more accessible. Or maybe it isn't simpler. I don't know. Maybe it's just closer to being default and therefore it does not feel psychedelic. It's also not an altered state like this session turned into, and a very energetic one at that. I still think that the ordinary one could probably deepen a bit without turning into some altered state, as there's still heaviness attached to it now and then. The heaviness is an altered state that makes false claims of being natural.

Since that group practice experience, the effervescense has lingered. For a little while today there was some amount of fear letting itself be known. Subtle fear, subtle nausea. Thought fragments connotating zombiehood. Unborn, undead. Flashes from some horrible turkey movie with litteral turkey zombies. Flashes from that movie with Goldie Hawn in which she and a couple of others have gone immortal while their bodies keep falling apart (a comedy that scared the crap out of young Polly). And so I went out in the nature. It usually helps. Not that it makes the dissolving stop, but I have no issues at all with dissolving into and merging with the smell of pine forest lake at sunset or other associated sensory experiences that arise and fall away anew in every moment. I guess I'm not like Shinzen Young who can have the same experience with smelling garbage (I kind of hope that he still takes out the trash).

It's pretty cool, huh, that the body can materialize effortlessly and instantly even when it feels so unsolid? And then instantly be effervescent again. It can even materialize selectively. Like that smile without a cat. 

Lots of timeless stillness by the lake, being the lake and the silence and the stillness and the fragrant air and the gracefulness of swimming water snakes. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I forgot to mention that I started working yesterday, or the day before yesterday by now. The first real work session after some previous introduction. I work with hyperactive neurodivergent nonverbal kids now, one at a time as needed. This is all thanks to the practice. It would have been totally overwhelming earlier in life due to the sensorial issues I had because of my own neurodivergence. Now it's a grace to be present with these kids and attentive to their every need. I don't understand why daycare staff finds it so difficult to communicate with these kids. I find that they are easier to understand than most people. Extremely efficient in their communication. No unnecessary blabla. Pure authenticity. No mixed signals. Their intentions are fully embodied. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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July 4th, 2021

My practice for the moment is centered around tapping into the silence that is inherent in everything. There's not much to write about that. Words aren't enough anyway. The silence embraces me and carries me, and yet it's not an altered state. It makes me feel connected/immersed/fluid and open and helps with the tentacles of me-ing, both the subtle ones and the not so subtle ones. 

I've had a weird time issue lately, sort of forgetting the direction of time. I have set alarms for the end of an appointment rather than the beginning. It just seemed perfectly valid to start at the end. Since I discovered that, I have made sure not to repeat the mistake. Doesn't really work in daily life, heh. 
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Not two, not one, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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The road to third is a blast, isn't it Mx. Polly Ester? 

Something that often gets overlooked is the description of eight kinds of meditators.  These are on the road to 1st, then 1st.  On the road to 2nd, then 2nd.  On the road to 3rd, then 3rd. On the road to 4th, then 4th.  Some commentary suggests that you can reduce it to just four types becuase the 'on the road to' is simply tipping into conformity knowledge followed rapidly by change of lineage, path, fruition and review, so doesn't really count for practical purposes.  But I disagree, at least for 3rd and 4th path.  The road to 3rd is deep and long and full of all sorts of progressively more amazing experiences, and eventually comes into its full fruit for a while of absoprtion in nearly continuous rigpa. And then there is another flip into seeing something else, and the road to 4th is a thing, before 4th, with its own kind of sensate penetration and disconcerting ridiculousness untill you see what you needed to see, accept what you needed to accept, and wait for the final shimmer in reality that puts you back in your place. Which is nowhere.

So I guess I'm saying ... enjoy the journey.  Don't forget to stop for (vegan?) burgers and to look at the waterfalls.  But you are probably the last person that needs to be told that.  :-) 

Love

Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I appreciate this post a lot. I find it assuring. The flips, the things we need to see, the things we need to accept, and the final shimmer - do those differ between different practicioners depending on from where one is coming? It seems to me like it has to be so, because quite a few shifts that others have mentioned aren't really that new to me, and yet I know that I'm not done. Other shifts mentioned, several of which I have glimpsed, seem far more important to me, whereas I have seen some practicioners discard those as less important. I also recollect Shargrol mentioning something about it depending on what ultimately drove us to the path, without going into much detail. I remember reading something similar in MCTB2 as well, in a bit of an enigmatic way, although that was about what the different doors accomplish. It feels to me that it has to be a very personal series of revelations in which we get to know our own conditioning deeply intimately and let our own intricate entanglements disentangle and self-liberate and maybe also learn about some more authentic stream of intentions and happenings that are more in tune with how the interconnected existence plays out. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Done and not done is a matter of stopping few dozen processes in your mind that seems to go in to some kind of synchronicity or rather positive feedback loops with each other. As long as you do not stop all of them at once it will seem that no matter what you do there will still be movement that just reinforces itself like you did not make any dent to it. In some way I'd say it was frustrating but I at the level where this really became the issue I didn't really care anymore because my experience was already great emoticon

I literally practiced like this: noticed what is running by itself and no matter what that was I exercised my mind movement stopping powers on it. One after the other, not so much to stop them all but to train stopping them so if it started again I was happy because I had stuff to practice on. Then I got too efficient in it, stopped all stuff that I had to stop, had shift after which I matched Daniel's criteria which I used at the time (https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4593289) and my experience was like frozen... but somehow frozen moment to moment. Then it so happened when nothing moves analyzing mind was so easy I discovered in quick succession other tricks, some of which I spent much more effort in to describing lately.

So I guess it is just a matter of becoming efficient in stopping things moving ;)
Maybe this can be attained differently. Like you mentioned, when there is an effort in to controlling mind it seems to generate echo-es/re-experiences... or simply start moving even more rather than make it moving less. But I figured that it is not issue of controlling by itself but how it is controlled.

Let's say you have a swing, and want to stop it but can only push (apply force). It might not be possible to stop it by doing nothing or at least not within reasonable amounts of time. At times it is highly recommended approach though. Especially when stuff is already moving waaaay too much and it would be very hard to do anything without making matters worse. If however you wait and patiently observe and in just the right moment apply just the right control signal then the thing which you observe will stop. From then like I said, just make it super efficient by practicing it a lot and then not only a lot of stuff you stop will be already not moving or moving much less but you/mind will learn how to stop stuff so efficiently that you will be able to stop it in one big swoop which of course at this point will happen automatically because already at that point you won't perceive any actions your mind does as caused by any central agent/doer or self. Then you are done. Technically speaking.

The normal vipassana, so observing sensations, is I guess working the same exact way. The act of 'observation' need to just tune in such a way that any change observation/investigation brings to observed object (hint: maybe things and perception of them are the same but this is always true that the moment you do some special kind of 'observation' or 'investigation' all you do is affect it somehow) is changing it to be little less moving rather than more moving (much worse outcome!) or affect it at random (random is typical, doesn't really make it worse but doesn't make things better either). This optimization/change happens because the less stuff moves the more pleasant you will feel and obviously we are dogs for pleasure so it will happen, mind will learn to observe things like that if you do not even train yourself to stop things - it will however take much longer and you won't really know what you did, and many Arhats are proof of that. I figured that if I do what I need to do (not to get 4th path mind you - it just felt like stopping stuff was the right thing to do at the time) it would be good regardless of where this practice/skill would be placed in the grand scheme of things. Happened to be the thing I needed to get 4th path.

See Linda, no need to mention self/no-self. Not even neurons emoticon And it is my 2014 insight emoticon
I completely forgot about this because I know different ways of achieving goal of no dukkha by manipulating parameters of what neurons do after they had their action potential and this also stops mind (it cannot move so much in such environment - it would fill itself very quickly and stop leading to rather unique type of cessation/reset experience) and at least makes it so neurons can always switch in time... and this is like completely different method/insight altogether emoticon

In case you perceive any movement (which might be hard when there is a lot of it!) you might attempt to play with it and stop some of it and see it that method is good for you and if not maybe try it later. From insight point of view the best would be to try various methods and observe what are their effects, limitations, side-effects when you do them incorrectly (because let's be clear it requires cafeful control and to know how to control you have to train yourself in doing it), etc. It has nothing to do with any dogma or any self or anything like that so should be universal as far as compatibility with other practices go.

I forgot about it but I used it all the time. It happens... somehow. This is why I am against ideas like THIS. For me this was like some learned skill which took form of singular action which did itself which I used from time to time just for keeping myself feeling great and this is fine for use in busy day but not for practice and refinement. To refine skill it needs to be known what is being done. Anyhow, I remembered it when I started re-reading Daniel's criteria because when I practiced it I was from time to time reading this text and I somehow remembered this. I immediately thought about letting you know as you might be already ready for this kind of practices. In either case it doesn't require talking to neurons and is rather solely experience oriented kind of practice/method so that might be more compatible ;)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Many thanks!

I think I get what you are saying about those processes reinforcing each other, Ni Nurta. I see it like this: when some pattern has been released, energies that were tied up in that entanglement are released too. At first that can feel awesome, like possibilities opening up, but soon those energies need to go somewhere, and they flood the infrastructure, using the pathways that are most accessible. Habitual pathways are usually most accessible, because trafficking them so often keep them open just like often used pathways in a forest. So when something is released, other challanges become stronger. And while I attend to those challenges, I neglect keeping the newly opened pathway trafficked and open and clear, so then it starts to get filled up with underbrush again, and of course, the more roots still remain, the faster the underbrush thickens and re-entangles. And the different kinds of roots seem to be in symbiosis with each other, helping each other to grow back. 

I often do what on a surface level sounds like the opposite practice to what you describe: I notice what does not seem to go on by itself and try to stop my sense of being the doer of it, with varying success. I suppose that deals with a different aspect. It doesn't freeze time, but empties out the sense of being a doer of what transpires in my mind. I have other practices that possibly resemble your practice somewhat more in its effects, such as deeply tuning into the silence and stillness that are inherent in everything. I have had one incident of time being completely frozen, in a very tangible way, but that was quite some time ago. It was like all the moments were laid out in space, already there. Nowadays it's more often a sense of time not being relevant... but that phrasing feels very reductive. It's more than that, but I can't verbalize it. Another version I have is sort of dwelling in the stillness that rides the waves of time passing in experience. It's a matter of synching up with the waves, if that makes any sense. I have had sort of frozen moments happening in rapid succession, but that has been door moments, nothing that I have had access to long enough to practice wih it. So your method sounds like it might be relatable, maybe, and also add new components to the practices I have. It sure sounds interesting enough. 

​​​​​​​I'm not sure exactly what you are describing, though. Could you elaborate on it? Like, what kinds of occurances were you training to stop? Was it like thoughts running, or perceptions, or "external" objects in movement? And can you be more specific? Like, among external objects, making a fan or a fast-moving wheel look like it has stopped is fairly easy. Making a car look like it stops is not something that I can imagine working where I'm at, and making it objectively stop (or rather consensually stop) seems even more outlandish. I have been able to synch up my intentions with how a candle flame behaves (growing, diminishing, tilting to one side, tilting to another side, being still). I haven't done any of this with any systematic discipline, though. I might take it up when it feels like the time (hehe) is right for it. I think we have a commonality there, in not being driven by what is supposedly the next step that will take us somewhere in particular, but by what intuitively feels right and sort of in synch. There's a knowing with regard to what is needed. And the time might feel right for it soon; I can't tell. It seems possible, but I won't force it. So thankyou! I'm honored and grateful that you wanted to offer it to me. 

I wonder if your description of less moving at least partly refers to the same thing as my description of subject-object duality falling away... because in the duality mode, attention moves around really fast, causing all sorts of tension and pain and suffering. When sensations synch up to manifest as being aware in their own right, there is stillness. It's like everything is already evident. There's no need for attention to bounce around. Does that sound like what you are talking about, or are you referring to something different entirely?

No need to mention no self? Heh, then why did you? emoticon  You said "at that point you won't perceive any actions your mind does as caused by any central agent/doer or self". You managed perfectly well without talking about neurons, but you did talk about no self, and I'm glad you did, because it made it relatable.

I always investigate methods like you describe, trying out different modifications, finding out what works for me, what affects and side affects result from different takes on it, and how different methods relate to each other. That's one of my greatest strengths as a practicioner. I'm extremely eclectic and experimental. Nothing could ever make me limit my practice to dogma. If you somehow have gotten that impression, then you're wrong. Not saying that you have, though. My logging doesn't cover everything I do. There's a lot of tacit knowledge. It's known on some other level than what can be readily verbalized, and for the time being, I prioritize tuning into it over trying to verbalize it.

I love hacks, that organically developed tech that comes from really getting intimate with all the intricacies of mind, including personal mind quirks. I love them for their own sake. I think we are in agreement here, in not wanting to reduce the dharma to some simple parameters. I guess my approach to it in that "this is it" thread was to bring the complexity back into the brief statement, whereas you were bold enough to ditch it entirely. I'm fine with ditching it, really. And I'm totally okay with adding more nuance to the paths, and more differentiation too. I'm just opposed to reducing them to something that could be the refrain of an earworm. And actually, even if something really is it with regard to arahantship, that doesn't make much of a difference, because the path doesn't end there. And honestly, I don't think insight ends there either, except for some basic configurations that might be easier to separate from the rest. I think there are endless possibilities for insight when we don't parse it out like that. Like the siddhis, I don't think they are possible without some specific insights. I can't see why it shouldn't be possible to experience multiple realities, be at two places at once and so forth, but I imagine that it requires shredding away further layers of constructions that we tend to take for granted. It would require concentration, sure, but not just that. And I think that deeply pursuing morality work involves taking insight to new levels too. Models are models. They aren't the terrain. I use models for specific purposes without buying into them. They are all empty. 

I so appreciate it when you share your tech! That's some quality craftsmanship. 
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Not two, not one, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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"Others hold that the earth has nine corners by which the heavens are supported. Another disagreeing from these would have the earth supported by seven elephants, and the elephants do not sink down because their feet are fixed on a tortoise. When asked who would fix the body of the tortoise, so that it would not collapse, he said that he did not know."

The answer, of course, is that It's turtles, all the way down. Turtles without beginning, turtles without end, turtles without time, turtles without space, turtles without form, turtles without emptiness.

Beginning and end, time and space, form and emptiness are all features of the world that the turtles support. This is, of course very hard almost impossible to accept. The remaining question is, why is that?  

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I love the story with turtles all the way down. Not quite sure how it answers my questions though, as I didn't ask about some ultimate reality or any why:s, just if those points you were referring to can be different for different people.&nbsp;
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Not two, not one, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Just pointing to something - "Beginning and end, time and space, form and emptiness are all features of the world that the turtles support.  This is, of course very hard almost impossible to accept. The remaining question is, why is that?"

And you can probably answer your own questions now.   :-)   Or alternatively make Ni Nurta a cup of tea instead!

Maybe one more hint - the analytical mind is limited by the capacity or working memory, and relies on shuffling concepts to find matches that resolve a feeling of uncertainty. So it is quite dumb and distant from direct experience. The analytical mind is like the toddler with a toy steering wheel in a car whipping it around proudly saying  "look mum I'm driving!"  while the subconscious mother smiles to itself and replies "Yes dear, that's very good."

The answer lies deep in pre-processing of sense data, through intuition and direction realisastion, seeing the world not only without conceptual overlays, but also dwelling in that vastness of direct knowledge, and ***acceptance***.  So analytical answers won't help that much at this point, as they are too easily bent towards rationalisations that prevent clearly seeing the grasping, and then taking the ***radical*** step of relinquishing it in favour of acceptance. 

Sometimes I think that people should start with anapansati, go on to vipassana, move to dzogchen, and at the end adopt the Thai forest tradition.  But that's the analytical mind talking. :-)    

It doesn't really matter.  Where you are at is a really good place.  

Love

Malcolm
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Ni Nurta, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Turtles might support this world but all they really support is their own delusions.
What will become of us once we start integrating turtles in to our brains? Sure it will probably be quite fun, at least at the beginning until they make themselves more advanced, then we become their slaves. Merely source of reference human patterns to them. Damns turtles! Makes me wanna check how turtle soup tastes like!!!1

Anyhow, hot cup of tea would be nice ^_^

ps. I think people should start with using their brain to see what this thinking is about, then improve thinking, then improve it even more and then and only then actually think ;)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Dear sweet Malcolm, you know I love you and appreciate your posts very much, right? And it's only because I trust you (to not make it about you or mistake it for aggression or ungratefulness) that I'll say this: those pointers would probably be a great fit for someone who started out normal, but I didn't. It makes me a bit sad (not in any blaming way) that even you would think that I might need any of that spelled out. My challenges are along a different axis. I already know how that preprocessing works and have done for some time. According to Daniel, I have seen it as closely as seems to be possible. I also know what limits the analytical mind, and I don't just know it analytically but have seen it viscerally. And I get the turtles pointing too, have done for some time. And I really don't think that everyone should do things in the same order, because that assumes that we are all coming from the same direction, and it's redundantly obvious to me that we are not. So yeah, there's my own answer to my questions. I guess I just keep wishing for the diversity to be more acknowledged than it is, but the lack of acknowledgement of the diversity is part of the diversity too, and that's just how it is. I appreciate the sentiment, though. I know that there's a lot of both love and wisdom there. I think I'm mainly grieving the loneliness of going through the path along a different axis than most. It's okay, though. I so hope this doesn't hurt you in any way. I need to be able to say things like this, because even though I'm in minority and feel lonely in it, I'm also not the only one. 

I'll gladly bring the tea as soon as I have polished my teleportation siddhis. I'll pass on the turtle soup. Maybe I can offer some word salad? 

With lots of love,
... (I really don't know which name to sign with) 
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Not two, not one, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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It's all good Linpoldaly. :-) 

You may well be right about my lack of insight into diversity. We are all human (even those stuck in the God realm, poor folk). I guess I'm trying to point towards the pre-processing, not to repeat old leassons, but to try to find another angle in. After all, people deep in the pre-processing can still subtly cling to atman or all sorts of other things.

To me, the pre-processing is vinnana and salayatana, but there is still this strange dance between that and namarupa, sankhara and bhava, as well as all the nested feedback loops for all the nidanas, fed from some common sustaining source of ignorance and clinging. The question for me is, how best to see the last bits? How best to relinquish the final clinging, the final belief that some component of the aggregates is self? From my individual perspective, the pre-processing is a set of paths within a 12 dimensional matrix of interdepenent fractals, so there is no stopping point, or final point of discrimination, even for pre-processing; it's turtles, all the way down.

But this may not be helpful, and my appreciation of your position may well be contextually inaccurate due to our wonderful diversity of experiences. So feel free to disregard, and I will withdraw into my shell to digest my last meal, and to dream. If I have spoken unskilfully or caused you disquiet, please forgive me.

Love, M.

P.S. Let me know when you get that teleportation siddhi sorted. I can think of all sorts of uses for that.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I like that nickname. emoticon

Now you're talking!!! Yes, somewhere in there, there's still clinging. I need to find where my clinging remains. And that's why I asked in the first place, because it doesn't seem to be in the same place as for Daniel, whose detailed accounts of this specifically are the only ones that I have come across (except maybe for Ni Nurta's after a lot of translation as we tend to use words the opposite way from each other quite often). And sure, I don't think there's an end to the fractals of it either. I wanted to check with Daniel that I was on the right track, and he said this is it. Not that it was the last layer, of course, but that the rest of the preprocessing is out of sight. I sure hope that wasn't it for me. And now you are giving me something that I can actually work with (which may very well be something that Daniel uncovered before he arrived at his final insight, or maybe he didn't need that specific angle at all - who knows?). Much appreciated! Yes, there is a dance going on, and I have uncovered some components of that dance, but some aspects remain unresolved. I haven't actually studied the concepts you mention, so that's something to dig into for inspiration. Tools! And the acknowledgment that this isn't it, just as I hoped, because that would really suck. 

My talk with Daniel was still incredibly helpful, because it assured me that I wasn't going crazy or something, and I can see that those insights resolved something. Just not all of it. 

Thanks for metacommunicating! It helps a lot. With enough contextual information, I can do my own mapping instead of having to rely on others to know my position (or positions, because it's not a fixed point but something relative to so many different axes that I don't think we can model it) well enough to point in the right direction. And thanks for not giving up on the conversation and for being flexible! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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And thankyou for your patience with my impatience! <3
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Stopping mind is like trying to kill hydra with thousandths of heads all tangled together in dense bush. Cut one and it is hard to tell if it helped or I just invited additional head to the party emoticon 

I would say what you describe, stopping this kind of potential doer of things which are not even done but can be done, is a very specific example of practice I described. It is because I was deliberately generic and because at some point when it all is starting to clear up this is how anything which is in mind starts to look like, just some ongoing movement, some activity somewhere. In this practice I am not trying to stop any perception or change it to be showing something unmoving or frozen in time but movement in mind itself. Acting on perceptions of movement hardly works. Do not say it does nothing but despite perception and phenomena are the same the moment you perceive phenomena is in different phase to when they happen. Unfortunately we need to account for these things. Isn't too hard once it is figured out how to calibrate to the lag hence some observation of ongoing movement is usually needed before it can be dealt with.

What is this movement and how much of it is there is hard to assess until you see your mind completely without this movement but at this point experience of unmoving mind is equal to removing 9th fetter. This fetter doesn't mean having movement but being scared of not having this constant movement in mind. We do it because we are scared of loosing it. Once you remove this fetter then you do not need to convince your mind to stop these things. They regrow like they do because mind is scared something bad will happen without them. This might as well be true in general sense but the way we stop things in meditation and in this practice does not cause any loss of functionality, just a loss of pointless background activity and what actually happens is related directly to all the neuron stuff I mentioned recently and that it why I had these insight shortly afterwards. Despite things seemingly being stopped they can be triggered on-demand any time and as soon as not needed they will stop. In fact much quicker and more effortless than when things were moving. That is also why sense of self doesn't feel like self we normally have, but it also doesn't feel no-self. I used this description of not having self but the full version is that there zero experience of not having self or things happening on their own.

When it comes to you, since you radiate experience of Nibbana you have to be doing fine in general sense so I do not worry. You have choosen this direction and it comes with certain mindset which makes perfect sense to use in this case. I am just trying to bring you down a little ;) I think you will understand in time.

And I like reducing dharma to parameters and models. Models not of dharma but of reality and which can explain dharma. This removes something out of dharma though, make it a bit dry even in my opinion. For few years I even felt I lost something precious. Sucked all spirituality out of spirituality. I knew my models are supermundane but still. Same thing will happen when going deeper and deeper in other direction but you might feel like you lost contact with reality. No matter what you will do, if you will discover other directions or stick with the one you chose you will regain all that is lost because all is in these supermundane experiences. I am referring to Nibbana, Vajra Samadhi and others. My Nibbana I would say is basic, it works but didn't really explore it all that much. Enough however to know you got it right ;)

And here is a little quote to fill your brain with deep Zen insight and cause its collapse: Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water, after enlightenment chop wood and carry water... but who told you that during your practice my tea will brew itself? emoticon
(I wondered if I should replace 'my' with 'the' but master Mu insisted he meant he was worried about his tea specifically emoticon)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Gotcha. It just sounded much more woo woo at first, when I tried to code your wording. Either that or like the kind of dog training drilling that many seem to fancy, but I was hoping that it would be more relatable than that, and so it was, I think. 

I didn't necessarily mean stopping the action in stopping the doer, though. That's more of an empirical question. I'm sort of exploring what can occur without a sense of a doer - subject - that manipulates some specific aspect of reality - object. Like, is it possible to have a mantra running in my mind without subtle tensions arising from the sense of doing it? Can I stop subvocalizing entirely and still have the mantra there? That specific version usually takes  e into one sense of timelessness because it makes it so clear that the mantra is already there before I get to subvocalize it anyway, because I can't intend to think a mantra without already thinking it. The sequentiality in intention-->doing falls away, and the mantra doesn't actually have any noticable duration. 

I also do a lot of off-cushion practice in letting go of a whole lot of subtle tensions that come from the sense of being a doer. Maybe that's what you were referring to? Like unneccesary eye movements, subtle tensions in facial muscles, my tourette tics that only arise when unnecessary identification is online (usually subtle tics, but still very noticable to me), and so forth - the kind of stuff that makes the experience heavy. My guess is that my sense of heaviness from identifying as a doer matches your sense of abused neurons. I sort of surrender the doing to awareness, which seems to know better than the habitual patterns how things can get done without that kind of strain. It even makes physical movement much more ergonimic and balanced. So I'm shifting from habitual automaticity to a wisdom-based automaticity, or simply to one that hasn't been so distorted by bad habits and prejudice. I will probably need to keep working on this shift for a long time, because there are so many layers of bad habits that make experience heavy.

And yeah, I agree that there is no experience of there not being a self either. Language is but a poor approximation of what I mean. 

I notice that some activities are inherently heavy, like some games that I play. Playing can still be fun, but it abuses the system and causes a very heavy sense of subject-object duality. When I change the mode, on the other hand, the whole point of the game is suddenly gone. So that's probably an activity that I would be better off without. 

Yes, I know that it won't stop functionality. I'm far from being able to let awareness write research papers now, but I know that it can be done. In the classes I'm taking with Michael, we are working with this sort of things. We divide it into different color zones based on how difficult it is, so that we keep working at our edge. I had started doing versions of this before it was taught, but the accountability from the class supports the practice, and it's good to get feedback and some further nuances to the tools. 

I get that it's because of fear, even though it's a very subtle fear most of the time. Most conscious parts of me aren't that afraid of the emptiness, but are all the more freaked out by form insisting to be here, if that makes any sense, and seemingly insisting on having to be dealt with. I haven't found all pathways to letting awareness handle it, so I get forced into duality. Bah, language really sucks for describing this. I really don't mind the dissolving that happens when that background activity stops. I love it. I really do. But yes, there are also patterns that keep themselves busy out of fear for that dissolving, and probably more so under the surface. So there's fear both of form and of emptiness - and of how they relate to each other, because sometimes the mind distorts that into some bad zombie movie (and I know that's a distortion, and I suppose that's what you are referring to when you say that there is no sense of their not being a self either). 

The sacred framework that I selectively use is something that resonates very well with my subconscious, because of the symbolic nature of them both. It addresses spiritopsychological entanglements and knots and works with the remaining resistance. It works very well with the remaning fear issues. Some of it is what still feels like a conscious choice, and some of it has spontaneously arisen out of the subconscious. Like, I periodically find myself waking up in the night and already being in deep meditation, and that usually involves mythical elements that have a sense of sacredness. But I balance it with a nerdy tech side too. I love that combination. Still, I get what you say about my chosen mindset. I just really want to go beyond my habitual rationality. I have been intellectualizing things for such a long time. I'm sick of it. I think it's a limitation. I'm not looking to replace it with another system. I want to empty them all out. So I challenge myself, trying on a variety of models and exploring their different internal logics. It can probably look like I'm buying stuff more than I actually do. And at the same time, I'm not done with emptying stuff out, so I'm probably also buying stuff more than I will in the future (which is a construction too). So yeah, I don't think you need to worry. But thanks for saying that explicitly, and for how you said it! It was sweet. 

Hey, by the way, recently when I did the kind of practice that disentangles stuff while the body is basically asleep, I couldn't use my glasses for a while afterwards, because my vision was so much clearer without them. That made me think of you. It didn't last, though. 
Hehe, making tea still feels like my doing. That's something to work with. As non-straining as a sense of doing ever comes, though, so not a big problem. 
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Not two, not one, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I'm not sure that Ni Nurta and I agree about everything, but we certainly agree about nothing.  You bring the turtle soup Ni Nurta, and I'l bring the tea!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thanks Malcolm! I find that it's the hardest part so far, even though life has become so much easier. Stopping to enjoy the view seems more important than ever, and yet, I struggle with it a bit. I notice how the mind keeps seeking distractions even though it's better off without them. And there's a bit of grieving that's there's no escape from form. I guess a part of me really wanted out. I need to deal with my issues with form and I think I know how to. I have felt the cosmic lovemaking between emptiness and form, after all, and I know that divinity hides in plain sight. I'm just ambivalent about it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Something that supports the embracing of form is the Chenrezig practice that I do regularly, both in group (more formalized) and alone (more spontaneously). It's a combination of visualization, "feelization", mantra chanting and usage of other senses, and it has ritualized elements symbolizing both emptiness and form. It emphasizes the compassion side of the union between wisdom and compassion. One could also say that it's a practice on the Brahmaviharas, although the order of things and the categorizations differ. It could also be considered a magickal practice, although I guess tantric is a more common label. 

This evening there was a group practice. Just like in the last group practice session, but later in the session, both time and space fell away to some extent. The experience had timeless and centerless qualities. Sequentiality (as in perceived a such) was gone for a while. This time it wasn't psychedelic like before. No lava lamp lightshow, no stroboscopic lightshow, no kaleidoscopic lightshow. This was probably closer to what people refer to as a unity experience. There was no other. It was just being, in stillness. I think that for a while, separation was forgotten. When the group leader ended the meditation, separation arose again without difficulty. That just happened immediately. I remember touch sense becoming aware. At first, I couldn't quite localize it, but almost immeditaly there was a notion of there being hands, because we were to bring them together in front of us, so I had to localize them. This happened rather quickly and yet gradually. The notion of a field of hand sensations appeared before there were individual hands. I had my hands in my lap, one spooning the other one, and I couldn't feel the boundaries between them, or between them and the rest of the world, but they had an approximate location with some kind of vague center. Then boundaries appeared, but still with a sense of the meeting between them being aware on its own and in stillness rather than attention bouncing around and altering the polarization of subject-object duality. Now when I write about it, about one and a half hour later, I find that the duality appears when there's a sense of looking for it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I have also done lots of intense off-cushion practice today. I was working with a little neurodivergent kid (an amazingly cool kid!) who is nonverbal and explores the world in his own ways as well as communicates in his own ways. It's fascinating and requires a whole lot of presence. I get to discover so much of what I have come to take for granted, even though we also have some commonalities as to which common assumptions we haven't picked up. For a while today, when we were all alone in a huge sand box in a park, I felt so incredibly free. We were both totally immersed in sensory impressions from moving around in the sand and moving around sand with wholehearted focus. That little guy is a mindfullness genius! And our communication has to be so embodied that I can tangibly feel his intentions in my own body, which sort of makes his intentions my intentions. At other times, just as is also the case for me in my private life, he needs to step out of the intensity of a shared focus and of having to tune into another human being, which is also communicated at a meta level in such an embodied and immediate and yet subtle way that it's close to direct knowing. And then he goes on interacting with the world with such ease that it's like he becomes one with it at times. The dance between emptiness and form seems to come easy to him. I hope he will get to keep this. I didn't. I had to rediscover it and I'm still struggling with it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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In the RtS class this night/morning, we played with triangulation of different techniques that point to the same thing but in different ways, to notice the subtle doing in the different techniques. I hope I wasn't insufferably blasé. I have been doing this kind of triangulation from the getgo. I'm probably a horrible person to teach. Of course there are still things for me to see there. It's a great approach. Yet I get frustrated, as it feels like people keep telling me what I aready know whereas there is something else that I have missed and keep missing, and so I get impatient. It migh be time for me to ramp up my concentration/focused surrendering again, to increase clarity and precision. In any case, there's still something to resolve there, because there's sort of a glitch between my approaches to concentration and awake awareness that becomes an artificial duality. The glitch feels emptier now than before, but it still holds me back. I have neglected my shamatha for so long now that it's quite challenging, which triggers more impatience. I need to remember to turn my impatience into an opportunity for investigation rather than buying into the frustration. I also need to remember to take baby steps rather than expecting to take up the shamatha where I left it off. Sometimes I can be such a spoiled brat in the practice. 

There was time for some more disentangling while letting my body sleep. I feel like I got to see something in it a bit clearer, but as I saw it in a nonverbal state, I can't access it with verbal thinking. Maybe it was related to Malcolm's pointers, maybe not. I don't know.

I have taken an interest in the stories about the Toltec path (very late to the party).  It surprises me how relatable it is, and some of it resonates as pointers for where I am at. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Reminder to self: first jhana is readily available when the intention for it is ripe. 

Weird day today. It feels like I'm getting drawn into some trance state. I'm sleep deprived and feel very passive but there's also a clarity and presence to it. I kind of like it. 

​​​​​​​The silence is very loud.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Right now I sort of feel like I'm losing my mind, but that's okay. Interpretations of occurrings change back and forth so fast that it's no use trying to determine if any of them is plausible. I think I'll just stop for a while. The sensory level of experience is all fine and much easier to deal with. The stories will have to go play in their own rooms for a while. 
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Not two, not one, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Right, that 'story' level of selfing is in fact not-self, impermanent, and a source of suffering.

But also just because the stories are made up doesn't mean they are not true. :-) By which I mean we can choose to inhabit the stories we want - to live in the realm we want - and that is a perfectly valid way of being. There is no enduring essence to be found among the stories, so we can CHOOSE! And going back to sensations is a perfectly valid choice. 

But I think you know all this, at least intellectually. Seeing it with direct knowledge can strain the sankharas though!

Love, Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thankyou Malcolm! It felt soothing to get that validation. I like the notion of straining the sankharas. I think my sankharas are very prone to bounce back in shape even though I see things. Sometimes I worry that my sankharas are hopelessly stubborn and that I'm screwed. I came to the conclusion today that rather than trying to determine the truth at a story level, I need to choose who I want to be. That really wasn't the first time. *sighing* Something did dissolve with a pleasant poof, but that wasn't the first time either. Maybe I should choose the story that it's awesome that I get to experience that pleasant dissolving so many times instead of despairing when it bounces back. Sometimes I do. 

Sensory impressions shift all the time, but I sort of fancy that. The unsolidness there feels grounding. Sometimes I wonder if it would really be that bad to be stuck in formless realms for a couple of eons or so (not that I really think that sense of time would be so relevant there). Apparently at least Carlos Castaneda had the subjective experience of being offered the option to stay there - that is, if the realm of inorganic beings can be said to be a formless realm. As a sidenote, I freaked out a bit for a short while as I listened to that story on youtube, as an audiobook read by an AI, because the description matched an experience I have had in meditation freakishly well. Regardless of what it was, I was never offered to stay there, and that's probably for the best. In a weak moment I might have said yes. That would have broken the Bodhisattva vows. I think that in taking those vows, I also resolved to deal with reality as it is rather than escaping it. I also don't think there's an alternative to that in the long run. It isn't always easy, though, so I'm actually relieved that it's so unsolid. I'll keep straining those sankharas. 
george, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Wow! What's the thing that chooses stories? Is it a thing, or is it God in you guiding you so am "I" really choosing a story or is it being chosen already? Awareness just wakes up to itself.
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Not two, not one, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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george
Wow! What's the thing that chooses stories? Is it a thing, or is it God in you guiding you so am "I" really choosing a story or is it being chosen already? Awareness just wakes up to itself.

Malcolm
It is the same as the thing that chose to write that comment!  :-) 
george, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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No thing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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The choosing just manifests in the moment, like everything else. It doesn't need ownership. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 25 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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The freedom I'm feeling today, may I not hold on to the tiniest bit of it, but offer it out freely to the world!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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In this thread, https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22971370, Daniel posted a great tech desciption on how to use earworms as an object for the practice. As a reminder to myself, I'll post my reply here in my log:

This is great stuff. Thanks for the reminder and the tech description! I sometimes do this and find it useful, and then fall back to being annoyed again (gradually less often, though). I often use mantras to explore the subtle shifts between assuming being a doer and finding that it's just doing itself, but earworms are a goldmine in the sense that they are so available. I'll dig into it more systematically. 

I think what makes them annoying when that's the case is the delusion of being the doer, because that stance involves tensions that take efforts to maintain. We do a hell of a job to maintain the illusion, and the earworms threaten to undo all that job if we don't catch up with them constantly, and so we take on lots of extra effort. And of course, it gets extra annoying because the sensations of being a doer can't really catch up no matter how hard we try, and the more effort we put into catching up, the more "threatening" that gap becomes. 

Funny story: there was a fairly long time period earlier in my practice when the earworms would tell me which ñana I was in. The shift into equanimity was reliably accompanied by the soundtrack of Feeling groovy. ​​​​​​​


I think this is one of those things that I need to see over and over again to strain those sankharas to the point of not falling back into assuming being the doer at all. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the sense of an I will stop arising, or at least I don’t think so. It seems like it’s quite possible for the sensations of an I to arise without any ownership assumptions coming along with it, but that’s the part that’s still elusive and prone to falling back to habitual patterns.*

​​​​​​​I love tangible tech!

*) On the other hand, it also seems like the sense of an I doesn't have to arise. There can be an organic and dynamic dance there. This is something I need to see more for it to become seamless and effortless. Within a  nonduality perspective this dance makes sense. Within a dualistic framework, it seems like a contradiction. And to clarify, I don't mind people using different wordings for their phenomenology of this. That's not an issue. Let the creativity flow! I just don't want to smear over this part with some rationalization, because it seems to be a necessary insight for the path. Above all, it seems to be what takes away that suffering in a way that lasts, not by suppressing it but by dissolving the knots. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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In my practice log in the slack channel for the RtS course, I wrote this up somewhat differently. I think this kind of framing might be a helpful reminder to me, so I'll post that version here as well. Please bear with me. This log is a work document much more than it could ever be a display of some "progress". So here goes:

---

​​​​​​​I find it very helpful to combine the nondual practice with vipassana as taught in this course. The moments when I get drawn out of the view are such great pointers to what needs further investigation. 

In this thread at Dharma Overground, https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/22971370, Daniel Ingram posted a great tech desciption on how to use earworms as an object for the practice. As a reminder to myself, I'll post my reply here in my log:

”This is great stuff. Thanks for the reminder and the tech description! I sometimes do this and find it useful, and then fall back to being annoyed again (gradually less often, though). I often use mantras to explore the subtle shifts between assuming being a doer and finding that it's just doing itself, but earworms are a goldmine in the sense that they are so available. I'll dig into it more systematically. 

I think what makes them annoying when that's the case is the delusion of being the doer, because that stance involves tensions that take efforts to maintain. We do a hell of a job to maintain the illusion, and the earworms threaten to undo all that job if we don't catch up with them constantly, and so we take on lots of extra effort. And of course, it gets extra annoying because the sensations of being a doer can't really catch up no matter how hard we try, and the more effort we put into catching up, the more "threatening" that gap becomes.”

I love tangible tech! I think this is one of those things that I need to see over and over again to strain those sankharas to the point of not falling back into assuming being the doer at all. I don’t assume that this means that some sense of an I will stop arising. It seems like it’s quite possible for the sensations of an I to arise without any ownership assumptions coming along with it, but that’s the part that’s still elusive and prone to falling back to habitual patterns.

On the other hand, it also seems like the sense of an I doesn't have to arise in the moment, which is what we are practicing with, and I love it when it doesn’t, as it makes experience so much less heavy. I believe this is something I need to soak in more and more often to really grok how available it is, and how natural.

But I also need to integrate that there can be an organic and dynamic dance here, which has been pointed at in in the maps here at this course. This is something I need to see more for it to become seamless and effortless. Within a nonduality perspective this dance makes sense. Within a dualistic framework, it seems like a contradiction. A few months ago it was really bugging me how reality seemed to be shifting between incompatible frameworks. Then as I looked at the mechanisms of perception and started digging into the preprocessing, I could empirically see how a nonduality perspective can explain those shifts whereas a dualistic perspective just can’t, because what it presupposes makes it impossible. I started reading the Nonduality book by David Loy, that Michael recommended, yesterday, and I was thrilled to see that it brings this up already in the introduction. I’m so looking forward to digging into all the nuances that this book seems to offer, to get more tangible tech to work with in my practice. Yay! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago.

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Working with earworms is an excellent practice. It really pinpoints exactly that glitch that remains for me, one of them anyway. I get it that I'm not supposed to entirely stop the subvocalizing but just see it for what it is when it occurs, without falling into the mistake of therefore assuming ownership of the doing. And sometimes the subvocalizing seems to happen without that hook in it. However, it is prone to fall into a duality between duality and nonduality rather than remain a dance within a nondual framework where duality just occurs seamlessly without morphing back into that simple duality with all the hooks in it. 

I think I need to practice on going back and forth between that state where no subvocalizing occurs, knowing that it's a state and not the real thing, and the sticky version of reality, too clearly see that difference and the dependent origination of those shifts.

And I also need to go back and forth between the nondual nonduality and the nondual non-sticky duality - when it's accessible - to see the difference there, which is much subtler but crucial to really getting the "one taste".

And I need to go back and forth between the sticky duality and the non-sticky (non-dual) duality to make it fall into place.

I'm not sure if there's an optimal sequential order for how to go about this. I suspect that the most important thing for me is to be aware of which is which, to avoid misunderstandings. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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I have had an intense practice day today. I'll make notes on it if I can, but I'll start with just jotting down some observations on my mind state right now - once again if I can.

Okay. It's... wow, how to put this into words? A new version of centerless maybe? Or just weird? Hard to tell. 

Reality moves around me rather than me in it, pretty much like is illustrated in the headless way videos with Richard Lang that Stickman3 recommended. That's not new in itself. It was pretty much like that before I developed enough visual thinking and proprioception to really navigate as a body in a world. I have also had experiences of it coming back after that development. It has been coming and going. But I guess what is new to my adult life is that it really feels groundless. This used to terrify me when I was a kid. I'm not afraid now. If there is fear, it's extremely subtle. Hm, yes, there's some very subtle fear bubbling up to the surface momentarily. But there's a lot of peace. And lightness. Extreme lightness. Like I might float up to the skye anytime. And there's fluidity. And it's definitely dreamlike. Ultra-dreamlike. But also real in a matter-of-fact way, and newborn. And the delay between something being aware and being registered as an experience is smooth, like a sound effect - chorus, reverb or whatever the good one is called (I mix them up). Like reality is singing in the bathtub. And it's huge. I'm huge. Boundless. Except for some moments when I sort of try to fit all of it into my head, which distorts it and makes my head feel huge and lightheaded, like a huge balloon, but then the boundaries fall away, because my head really has nothing to do with it. My head is inside me. Ha, this must be that "I AM" stage that people talk about. Yeah, I can see how one can get stuck in trying to stabilize it. It's totally cool. But it also seems like it might be a good idea to get grounded. 

​​​​​​​I'll describe my practice later. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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Heh, I have the kind of dizziness I have been having nightmares about on now and then for as long as I can remember, and now that it happens, it feels like something that could be normal. 

Sound moves around too. Ah, no, it doesn't. It's just that I notice the difference between the sound sensations in themselves and the sensation of hearing in the ears and brain or whatever, because now the sound has regained an "over there" quality, but not all of it. Space has been constructed more tangibly, but the differentiation between the hearing in itself and the sensations of hearing being processed illustrate that it must all be in the mind. So actually that weird distorted shell of a sound is just the "I'm hearing it from here"-tag, and in reality, the "over there" is also here. Nothing else makes sense. Cool. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö


Sound moves around too. Ah, no, it doesn't. It's just that I notice the difference between the sound sensations in themselves and the sensation of hearing in the ears and brain or whatever, because now the sound has regained an "over there" quality, but not all of it. Space has been constructed more tangibly, but the differentiation between the hearing in itself and the sensations of hearing being processed illustrate that it must all be in the mind. So actually that weird distorted shell of a sound is just the "I'm hearing it from here"-tag, and in reality, the "over there" is also here. Nothing else makes sense. Cool. 


I just wrote another description that I think might add some nuance:

In the absorption everything was here, or I was everything around me, and the whispy sounds in the left ear came as I gradually came out of the absorption. I have had something similar going on with my right ear for a long time, and that has been weird, as if trying to listen to stereosound with earbuds when one of them is broken. When the left ear came online, this whole surround sound system appeared, creating the sense of threedimensional space with sound swirling around. But it was like a ghost wispering, because the sound was already aware without those ear sensations saying ”I’m the hearer of that sound, and the sound is over there”. We put so much effort into processing experience in a way that creates separation. But one might also say that what went on with that left ear was the process whispering to show me how I make that unneccesary effort, like ”Hey, notice how there are these sensations here that makes you assume that this version of 3D reality is to be taken for granted”.

​​​​​​​That wobbling muffled whisper in my right ear, before the left ear came online too, was extremely annoying at times. I jokingly referred to it as my duality alarm, because it correlated with a sense of being stuck inside my head, and if I followed the sound out in the space it would just turn into that pleasant white noice sound that is always there and that has no location, and I would no longer feel trapped inside my skull. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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More normal now. 

Cool, it was more intense than how it usually presents. It was quite the trip. 

Oh, here we go again. It seems like it will wobble a bit back and forth. It’s pleasant. The whole spectrum is quite okay. I sort of like the variation. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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Okay, so what did I do today in the practice?

I was working with this amazingly autistic kiddo for four hours, and that was great for my practice. I had to stay present, couldn't seek distractions, and at the same time I got a lot of space to really dig into those earworms inbetween more intense interactions. He has his own spaciousness, and we can share the experience of each being in our own spaciousness, next to each other or while cuddling. I find it very healing. 

Earworms: I got access to lots of non-stickiness, both the nondual nonduality and the nondual duality. It's cool how when the doer assumption falls away, the complexity of the sound grows in complexity and richness. It's quite the relief to be able to just enjoy it wihout having to subvocalize all the sounds. And when subvocalizing occurred, it didn't feel like an obsession, but as something that just occurred. Assumptions of being the doer happened, but it didn't stick.

It was good to have the earworm practice as a default practice to fall back on over and over. So accessible, so. easy to fit into daily life. And the momentum from it bled through to other occurances as well. It became natural to notice shifts between nondual nonduality, nodual duality, and sticky duality. It reduced the amount of stickiness. 

After work there was a 90 minutes session of the working with emotions group that I'm part of. Lots of sharing, lots of pointers. 
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Not two, not one, modified 21 Days ago.

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Lovely stuff.  Keep going. These different ways of seeing don't have to stick around permanently, and you don't have to be absorbed in every aspect.  It's just a matter of shaking loose enough of the chain of dependent arising to the point you can root up ignorance and see the world as it really is. Then you can concretize experience in particular ways, as you wish, and move between different versions of concretizing experience, as you wish, while living with an unshakeable base of utter centrelessness and nonduality.

You now also seem to noticed another level of pre-processing - not exactaly sensate, but conceptual.  Concepts like distance and size, or time and space, are usually applied without us realising.  As you shake those up you start to see variants of selfing, god-spirit, awareness, fluidity, openness, bigness, smallness, or whatever you like, arising. This is in part our subconscious throwing up ideas try to make sense of the unfamiliar new ways of seeing (I sometimes call them namarupa errors). Enjoy these ideas!  They are fun.  But don't cling to them, and don't reject them. Just accept them and enjoy them as they arise, persist for a while, and then pass away. 

I think you already know emptiness and non-duality have many different flavours. Now you might notice clearly how these flavours are applied - how one one cluster of sensations gets overlaid on top of another cluster of sensations. This is the fourth frame of reference - dharmas, following on from mindfulenss of body, emotions, and mind.  

Much love

Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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Thanks Malcolm! I love it. Great summary, great prospects, great advice. I love shaking reality loose!

Additional detail: It seems like what manifests as sound wobbling in my left ear now is akin to what has been going on in my right ear for quite some time, but now it's less muffled and it's not disturbing but fascinating.

Space has been playing around for quite some time, but this was another level of centerlessness and another level of creative and playful liveliness and freedom. 

Like this, but with space: https://youtu.be/q2nNzNo_Xps emoticon

And actually, time did feel sort of elastic, like it was a bubble that might as well collapse into a big ball of timey wimey wibbly wobbly... stuff. emoticon 
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Not two, not one, modified 21 Days ago.

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David Tennant!  Still laughing... emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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Yeah, he was brilliant as the doctor. Absolutely brilliant. 

Clinging noticed right there! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 21 Days ago.

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More on the earworms: There actually seems to be cases when earworms appear without subvocalizing and without any sense of being the doer but still are connected to suffering. Maybe that could be described as nondual hearing of samsaric reactional patterns within a dualistic framework. I'm thinking about a specific kind of hallucination that I have experienced in stressful time periods on several occasions, one that I apparently share with many other autistic people (I was once pointed towards a whole long thread about it on a forum): hearing one's mobile phone signal loud and clear even if the phone is dead in one's hand. This can be described perfectly well within a scientific materialistic framework, and that's the explanation I use in most contexts, but if I consider it within this new framework, it points to other sankharas that are probably entangled with the sense of separation and ownership of agency but not the same as assuming being the doer of the earworm. 

I guess the case is the other side of the coin: in a dualistic paradigm, occurrances are assumed to be either internal or external, so when there is no sense of ownership of doing, we perceive it as external, and when that doesn't fit with the consensual categorization of internal vs external, it's considered an anomaly.  Assuming non-doership as a contrast to something else is inherently dualistic. And yet, in the hallucination, the separation between internal and external has collapsed. It just isn't seen for what it is. Neither buying into the hallucination nor discarding the perception as faulty because of an assumed separation between inside and outside is seeing it as it is. And of course, when the "external" earworm is a reification of samsaric reactional patterns, that's a whole mess of patterns to untangle. 

Hm, this also implies that mantras can be taken to the level of actually being heard "here, there and everywhere". I haven't yet persued it to that level. That's something to explore! It would probably shake up taken-for-granted concepts some more. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago.

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After that nondual absorption, I had a couple of sluggish days. The storytelling around that involves cycling, neglected yoga regime, jet lag from the RtS course, heatwave, neglected morning light routine, hormones, energy flowing into habitual patterns, etc. Blablabla. Anyway, yesterday (July 16th, 2021)  I tried out some of the movements in Carlos Castaneda's Magical Passes (the first of the six groups) and Tensegrity (vol. 1). It's not like I was able to do any of it that well yet, as it was the first time I tried it, but it did something. The hearing effects from the nondual absorption came back, some of them anyway, and late in the evening I was able to do Michael's latest guided meditation for an hour while reclining without any dullness whatsoever. So maybe I'll make the effort of learning all those moves. If they really shake up the taken-for-grantedness of human perception, that's awesome, and if they don't, at least they are good for my focus and seem to work with some stagnated energy in my body. They didn't make me wired up either. I was able to sleep well after the meditation. I was woken up by the screams from a little baby hare in the darkest hour, and I had to save it from my cat, prepped with rubber gloves and the Medicine Buddha mantra. Thankfully it seemed to be allright. And then I was able to sleep well again, until it was morning and I got up fairly early to enjoy the morning light before the sun got too hot. I did some chanting and some ngöndro and took care of the altar that I have neglected a lot lately. 

It seems that I may have let go of some bad habits of killing time. It's too soon to tell, though. I'm not sure I can trust it. Not trusting it is probably the issue that I need to address. With strong enough intention, no doubt is needed. Of course I can trust it. Do I want to? I sure hope so. Parts of me want to eat the cookie and have it too. Be free from habitual patterns while still being able to enjoy them as usual. I don't think it works like that. Not when the joy was in the escape. 
george, modified 19 Days ago.

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Weird isn't is it. I ask myself can I have equanimity with intense romantic love? Why not? I'm human I'm subject to experiencing romantic love but upon having the expectation of experiencing it it's not there! Maybe because I'm craving the experience to happen, if we let go then romantic love comes on its own as it always has and leaves on its own as it always has. Thanks Linda. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

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I'm not sure that's the case with something that is dependent on another person, if it's the mutuality you are talking about. I was talking about simpler stuff. Equanimity sure makes it easier to deal with whatever happens, though. But if you expect equanimity to deliver some specific outcome, then it isn't really equanimity. Don't try to magick love into being. The universe doesn't owe anyone of us anything.

This is something that has worked well for me, in situations of unreciprocated love: If we are so great together as I am convinced, then the other person will realize that on their own sooner or later. If we aren't, then I will realize that sooner or later. It always came true. 

And in situations where I couldn't even find someone that interested me, or was miserable due to unreciprocated love, I learned the hard way to appreciate my own company instead of expecting someone else to make me whole. It was very difficult at first, but somehow it stopped being difficult. And I have actually always had plenty of love since then. So maybe it does work the way you said, I don't know. I suspect that it won't if you hold on to that thought, though. 
george, modified 18 Days ago.

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Very much agreed Linda. Thanks for your reply.
Sam Gentile, modified 18 Days ago.

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Linda,

Would you be so kind to explain the differences between Micheal's RtS and Micheal's NonDual class? Thank you
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

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RtS is the advanced version for students who are already familiar with nondual practice. The group is much smaller and the participants are carefully selected for the purpose of optimizing group dynamics. The teachings are more specialized towards the edge of our practice. 

​​​​​​​I think you would love it.
Sam Gentile, modified 18 Days ago.

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thank you!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

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You are very welcome. I saw your enthusiasm with regard to the course you are already doing. Such joy - yay!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

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The rest of the practice for the day was trekchöd and then the first series of the Magical Passes as described by Carlos Castaneda, that is, the series for preparing intent. 

I'm amazed by the similarities between those teachings and the teachings from Lama Lena.

Oh, my goodness, this feels amazing! I just finished the series, and wellbeing and openness are spreading. And this is just one out of six series, and then there are the three volumes of tensegrity as well. I'm so going to do this. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

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Heh, I do NOT recommend accidently taking the double dosage of ADHD medication together with any kind of energy work. I'll really need to ground myself today. 

Also, in case anyone is concerned, I am aware that Castaneda's work is considered fraud and cult. I'm not buying in to it, but rather approaching it as imaginal work.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago.

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Different work today, and occassionally rather intense. There were times when the stressresponses in the mammalian body were obvious, such as a surge of adrenaline, but it didn't affect my behavior, not even my tone of voice (which has throughout my life had the tendensy of being overly expressive, much more affected than my feeling tone). The emotional charge wasn't there either. I was aware of the stressresponses in the body, including subtler ones, and watched them peter out while remaining calm. I would have preferred less intensity and less agitation around me, but it wasn't hard to deal with it. And this despite my mistake with the medication this morning. When it was at its worst, the vipashyana practice sort of knew that it was needed, and it set itself to empty upon arising mode. 

As the intensity varied a lot, there were also lots of ocassions where I would have felt awfully bored earlier in my life. Now I have the practice. So much to play with! Observing sensory experience, playing with it, watching shifts between different modes, listening to mantras being chanted in my mind, and so forth. 

Lots of dissolving of the boundaries of the body, lots of nada sound, lots of energetic stuff. I grounded myself now and then, so it was smooth.

After work I went to a lake to be with all the elements at once. It was divine. I went swimming with my clothes on and let them dry in the sun and in the wind. 

While waiting for my train I revisited my early practice of watching how the mind constructs sight (I had made it a habit to always do it while waiting for trains). I noticed some funny bugs in the photoshopping of the platform - patterns disappearing in the periphery and stuff like that. 

As I'm writing, the body seems to want to dissolve. I think I'll lie down and let it. I'm feeling rather blissful, in a relaxed way. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago.

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Check out this example of the first series of magical passes: https://youtu.be/zyuPVBwJp10
It does something. And it's beautiful!

Today I have done yoga and a minimal amount of tensegrity. I have played with constructing space from sounds, physical sensations, and energetic sensations outside my physical body, and I have done some imaginal work around flying in dreams. I have also tuned into the silence and the stillness and the spaciousness. I have noticed the dukkha when I have been drawn out of that, and applied vipashyana to get back to it, that is, intended for tensions of various kinds to empty upon arising. 

To do: more systematically explore how space is constructed through different senses, and then time. I know that smell is significant for me in constructing both space and time, for instance. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago.

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In writing a brief post about how third vipassana jhana is an exquisite guide to where one's knots are, complete with hints as to how to dissolve them, I suddenly recalled something that is relevant to my current development with regard to hearing. The time leading up to stream entry, in third vipassana jhana I was drawn into experiences of having my senses turned inside out, one at a time. When it came to hearing, I experienced that the hearing was drawn out through my right ear out into space and circled around to enter back through my left ear. That's exactly the development that I have been going through in a much slower way ever since then. Very recently it entered back through my left ear, and when that happened, I noticed a "surround system" sound effect that constructs space (more about that in my latest posts in my thread about the phenomenology of nondual perception; please bear with my earlier very weird responses - the process took a different turn that made me shift my focus very suddenly so at the time I wasn't able to take in all the great advice I received). This is what the experience in third vipassana jhana was pointing at! Holy crap! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago.

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Today I have done some continued exploration of how sensory experiences construct space but I can't really say that it led to any further insight. The clarity wasn't good enough. 

I tried out some new agey guided meditation aiming at remembering experiences from the womb, for the fun of it For some reason it was very unpleasant. I noticed fear reactions, like bodily panic. It felt like it was difficult to breathe. My mum did have a complicated delivery giving birth to me two weeks late. She did something wrong with the breathing, she has told me, and ended up causing a young doctor to faint, or maybe almost faint, at the sight of her black and blue genitalia after the protracted delivery. The labor had been medically initiated. It seemed like I never wanted to be born in the first place, lol. I don't know if it's possible to recover such embodied memories that easily. I hadn't expected to feel anything, but the feelings were palpable. There was a breathing exercise with a side-to-side movement of the head for the purpose of letting go. I don't know what to think of any of that, but it felt good doing it. 

I did the first two groups of movement in the first series of magical passes. Not as elegantly as in the video ai linked to, and not as energetically. It still felt good. 

Lots of dissolving. Smooth, light dissolving. 

A couple of hours of reclining meditation that started with a wide awareness of what was going on in all sense gates, first as form and then gradually emptier end emptier. The main part of the session played out at a vibratory level. Eventually the senses weren't clearly separated. At the end of the meditation, the experience resembled lucid dreamless sleep. Maybe it was, I don't know if it's even relevant to try to categorize it. When I got up, there was great clarity. Everything was vibrating and shaking. 

​​​​​​​The contours of my body feel fuzzy. There's some level of nondual perception, especially kinesthetically. It seems like the sense of separation has been selectively dissolved. 
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For me space consisted of (1) clusters of perceptions concretized into objects, (2) perceptions of the adjacency of objects to each other (in space and time), (3) perceptions of 'me' and 'that', and even (4) perceptions of immediacy of 'that', and all overlaid with perceptions of (5) volume, (6) direction, and (7) size. Volume was a key one, as it isn't prominent in western thinking, although I belive the Tibetans are on to it.  I got some insights into space through looking at trees and vipassinising the dept of the visual field (there is a reason for Forest traditions), some through intense mindfulness (of the flux of reality through the six sense doors), but even better was closing my eyes and working with the doppler effect of an approaching and receding car (easiest with poor mufflers!).  Being the practioner you are, you could probably even vipassinise the sense of space between various manifestations occurring within mind sense ... but you have to be very concentrated, through lots of calm and mindfulness, or through the surprise of a flash of insight, so that the autonomic processing of space reduces enough to let you see the underlying components.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago.

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Thankyou so much for sharing! This all makes sense. I guess I'm a bit obsessed with why this manifests, which makes me impatiently dismiss the hows. Seeing your rich description, that becomes clear to me. And yet I have worked as an ethnographer for 19 years! I should know that "how" is a much more productive question than "why". I do see all that. I just didn't think it was important. But seeing you tease it out brings new light to it. How fascinating that something so rich and complex not only can manifest but also be taken for granted! Embarrassingly enough, I have basically been trying to get rid of space. Crazy, huh? So... are we stuck with it?

I do play with depth. Or rather, it plays with me.

I play with the doppler effect too. I started my practice within Shinzen Young's system, and "gone" and expansions and contractions are a big deal in it, so that's something I have been drilled to notice. Yet it always felt a bit "duh". Gosh, why am I so dismissive of the world? I kind of want it to surprise me. Like, if the doppler effect suddenly wasn't there. I guess I really expected for my awareness to just tag along for the ride even if the car goes all the way to Norway or something. If everything is here, then why can't it?

When my practice was all about vipassana, the space inbetween mind moments stood out so clearly. The practices I'm doing now are more about stillness, and it seems that it changes what stands out. Phenomena occur more smoothly, wavy, dance-like. And I like that. It's beautiful, peaceful, full of grace. But I also miss the staccato. I want to have it all, lol. Why can't I just shift back and forth between those modes? Do I have to choose? Can you shift back and forth? I know that I'm craving, grasping, clinging and I can see the dukkha in it. But there's got to be a fundamental difference between awakening and some darn acceptance crash course, right? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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You know what? I actually can shift between those modes. It's just not as flexible as I want it to be. But that's trainable! I think I need to do that. I don't think I'll ever be content until I can slamshift between nanas and jhanas or whatever it was that Daniel called it. I know that can be a trap of its own, certainly, but I don't think I can skip that trap. I need to go through it before I can go beyond it. My fast vipassana micro-focus on fragments of reality is rusty, but it developed really fast before, so I don't see why that can't happen again. Even just 5 minutes of sharp and rapid attentive focus on one sense gate at a time brings out that quality, just not as sharp as it used to be when I did this all the time. I think I'll play more with this, and then play with the flexibility of it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Oh my God, it's all still there! I'm gonna vipassanize the shit out of reality for a while. Thankyou thankyou thankyou! 

It took just 10 minutes of rapid vipassana focus on sound to get fractals of oscillations to stand out. I bet I can get that much clearer. There's this one really slow wave underlying it as well, like one second in one direction and one second in another direction. I'm not sure what that's about, but it gives a different taste to the entirety of all the faster oscillations. One of the tastes is more muffled, sort of, or softer. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Hypothesis: the trick is to fully embrace, live and embody just one intent at a time. There's no ownership to intent, but it can be embodied. 
George S, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
I know that I'm craving, grasping, clinging and I can see the dukkha in it. But there's got to be a fundamental difference between awakening and some darn acceptance crash course, right? 

​​​​​​​Interesting question!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 15 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I think I'll stop pestering poor good Malcolm with more posts in his subthread now. emoticon I got myself into a rather frantic state pretty quickly. Pausing for lunch now, calming down and tuning into the stillness and the liquidity. Can't get all the way to the allencompassing silence right now. Too much motion sickness. I'll rest somewhere halfway for a while. Now I get why Daniel argues that hardcore meditation requires a high amount of pain tolerance. It's possible to shift back and forth between modes quickly, but it is disorienting and nauseating. And this was just dipping my toes into it. I dipped my toes into it and loved it, but then I started shaking. I think my blood sugar radically dropped. It used to do that all the time, but lately it has been surprisingly stable. Maybe tuning into the high speed of reality with attention rather than a broader awareness devours sugar. Maybe that's why dry vipassana makes you cranky. Maybe vipassana jhanas are the body's desperate way of consuming energy by using a reserve of chemicals that allow the brain to sustain longer when the sugar intake isn't enough. Maybe inner fire correlates with extremely rapid burning of calories to sustain the brain and the nervous system on high speed. 

Okay, back up on the rollercoaster! This was fun!

Don't worry! I'm not manic. Just ADHD intense. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Ah. Now I get what those A&P double dips are. 

That slow oscillation going on under the rapid oscillations exists in the visual field too. I wonder if it's some major figur--ground shift or what it is. 

I had forgotten how shaky reality could be in A&P. I think I had gotten accustomed to the slow version of it. I used to love this state. Now I think it's a blessing that it has to be temporary. It really fries the system. What is this chemical cocktail? It's got to be lots of noradrenaline in it. I don't like it. But I like the clarity. I guess it's a trade-off. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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And now I get why it's said that third vipassana jhana is very close to third shamatha jhana. Earlier in my practice it wasn't. There would either be total brain fog or all those weird tensions where my own fabrications of some force would play me. I remember how I felt like the finale of Dirk Gently when I realized that. Now I can just let those tensions be empty upon arising and in a relaxed manner enjoy the pleasant un-synch of sensory experience like it's a complex wine with rich notes in the aftertaste following the initial butteriness. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Someone just had an A&P through a session of bathing in sound and light: https://youtu.be/t-0iq-p2hT0
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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It seems that for me, intense fast vipassana on sensory experience fuels other developments, so I'll keep doing it. The same goes for physical movements that require a lot of concentration for me to coordinate. Having tangible tech to apply also boosts my motivation in a way that sitting to just end all reactivity pronto does not. The latter is more a natural result of the former, so the combination is great. I do have tech for the nondual practice - really helpful tech - but all of it requires great mindfulness. For me, vipassana boosts the mindfulness. But the nondual practice is what makes daily life less challenging as it really does take away reactivity in a way that people around me have pointed out. 

Vipassana a la MCTB2 makes me concentrated faster than anything else, maybe because it keeps the ADHD wiring busy. It also doesn't require of me that I feel like a Buddha when I start the session. Furthermore, I know that terrain intimately, which makes it easier to call up aspects to work with, and I think I'm in the process of learning something important about how intent works. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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The wobbling in the ear drums is simply attention alternating between the ears to get that 3D effect of the hearing and the sense of being separate from what is heard as duality manifests. That and the echo effect, as the sound was already aware before attention caught up with it. The alternating between the ears places the body in space and creates a surround sound system effect. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Tactile sensations are still where the sense of subject-object (inner-outer) duality is most prone to dissolve for me. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Tactile sensations are still where the sense of subject-object (inner-outer) duality is most prone to dissolve for me. 

I’m not so sure that is true. It’s just that I’m prone to notice any landmarks in terms of tactile sensations before I notice other aspects of their manifestations. So for instance when it feels like it’s suddenly so much easier to breath, that’s a sense of separation that falls away that involves smell (it seems to be a bit more complicated than that, but to express it aimply). So the falling away of a duaility is really multimodal - to the extent it is even helpful to think of it as separate modalities (that seems to be a gross simplification, to say the least).
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I think I had a fruition from crossing the threshold out to my patio today. 

Lots of energetical disentangling in letting go meditations. 

Now that the components of my hearing have become clearer, the kazoo player analogy feels even more spot on. I don't remember having focused on the kazoo player with regard to "outer" sound, though. However, I do remember there being a shift earlier in my practise (I think it was as I got second path, or maybe it was already around stream entry): suddenly it became so clear where in space the sounds were. The sound simply takes place at its source (except in absorption during which it's nowhere and everywhere if heard at all). Before that, I had from time to time had great difficulties in determining the sources of sounds, so I guess I must have heard the sounds as taking place in my ears and brain, which probably means that I was focusing on the kazoo player. Yet, I have been able to hear several tunes at once, both mentally and consensually externally, which came in handy when I was singing in choirs. I doubt that the kazoo player was doing that. So the hearing probably shifted inbetween nondual hearing and kazoo player depending on the situation. I just didn't notice it. Hm, maybe it was during nondual hearing that synesthesia kicked in. Maybe synesthesia is always a form of nondual perception? 

Do people normally hear sounds as occurring in their ears? That seems awfully limited. 

Earworms still have a tendency to trigger the kazoo player, but it has become more flexible. I can turn focus away from the kazoo player and let him rest. I appreciate that, because it takes away a barrier to remembering and imagining people's voices and makes experience richer, and there is less tension. 
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Siavash ', modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Do people normally hear sounds as occurring in their ears?

When I hear a sound, I always notice it coming from its source in the external environment, and it's difficult to make it look like I am hearing it in my ears. If I focused on the hearing for longer periods, then it can happen that I perceive it in my ears, but the default is the other way. Which means that it's a compound object. Part of it is the sound, and part of it is a set of mental images that point to the source of the sound in the external environment, often it's not easy for me to perceive them seperately and untangle the compound object of sound.
If you notice it now in the external object, I guess that means that probably previously you didn't have those mental images, but now you have, or you notice.
 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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That might be the case, and it's probably worth further exploration. There's another possible explanation, though: it's all mind. The source of the sounds and the head both exist within mind. Thus, the sounds can be aware wherever they occur. They don't have to reach the ears in order to be heard. The sound that takes place in the ears is just the kazoo player. 

But of course mental images are involved when awareness manifests as form, projected in spacetime. Form is indeed complex. And the kazoo player is part of the manifestation too, creating the illusion of separation if we don't see it for what it is. 
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Not two, not one, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Where do smells take place?  Which dhatu?  emoticon​​​​​​​
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I'm not sure what you mean with which dhatu, but I'll try to reply anyway.

It varies. For as long as I can remember, there have been two different modes of smelling for me. One being smelling where the organ is, which seems to be somewhat spread out, and tissues in the cavity above the palate seem to play an important part. The other mode is very clearly that smells take place "out in the world", and that mode is much richer. It often comes online when I'm out in the nature and it makes it feel like it's all aware. I have played with training myself to track mushrooms with my sense of smell, with good results (there are some fun stories there, for another time perhaps) but it needs to be maintained or it gets lost. If that mode is switched on among people, it can be overwhelming as it tells me too much. At least I used to find it overwhelming. When I was pregnant, I couldn't switch it off. I would have constant access to information about where complete strangers had turned in a different direction, as their paths left traces. I could almost see the lines. 

​​​​​​​I don't have control over which mode is on. That's something to play with, to investigate what components take over in the dualistic mode. Thanks! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Lots of energetical disentangling in letting go meditations. 


As the knots dissolved, I could see the released energy manifest as detailed images of light flashes with lots of branches in the murk.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I suppose sensations that we conceptually lump together have always been manifesting in a spread-out way, and the sensations occurring in the sense organs have always just been their own thing, not something that actually captures sources out there. It's all just source manifesting itself as form.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Now I'm investigating the complexity of separation falling away, how it actually doesn't happen with isolated sense gates. The separation between senses is a conceptual overlay. Yet it is as real as anything, which is why earplugs don't protect our vision if we stare into the sun. Fascinating. That's some powerful collective magick. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Hm… Yesterday when I did this meditation, https://youtu.be/595Od2Dqun0, concepts fell away, so after the breathing in and out of energy, I didn’t hear Michael's words. It was just bright and peaceful and energetic. Very clear, definitely not dull, but beyond words. Coming out of it I felt renewed and my senses were superclear. Today during the day, while working, I found that energy was radiating from my heart chakra. It was very strong, and I could feel that there was heat there even. Nice, I thought, and embraced the sensations. Later I did this meditation again while lying on the beach. This time I heard the words and saw the connection. Apparently one doesn’t need to recognize the words to get the message. That’s pretty cool. 
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Not two, not one, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Yep - contact arises from overlaying concepts onto sense data that has been divided into subject and object, with reactions triggered at various shallow and deep levels to both organise the sense data and respond to it. And from ignorance.  It's not linear, its fractal with multiple feedback loops. For example, the distinction between concepts and reactions is inescapably fuzzy.  So turtles all the way down! 

You can see this now with direct knowledge more or less at will for bodily sensations, and for the construction of perceptual reality.  So two frames of reference purifed. emoticon

Love, Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Thanks!
Much love.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Okay. Thanks for sharing your view!

I don't worry much about that. The process knows the way. 

I do yoga because of chronic illness that it has taken away, and I have had the same teacher since I started, which is not that long ago. 
garuda rigpa, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
......  I don't worry much about that. The process knows the way.....
----
Linda, you may have taken my comments too literally and perhaps even personalized it ref the yoga. I was speaking in general, the yoga and other examples were generalizations only (not directed specifically at you). It can be one of many distractions. You may have missed the underlying essence of the message, by focusing on the specific examples. The subtle essence is aimed at those practitioners ripe enough to inculcate the value of the meaning, not the specific individual examples mentioned.

Ref your comment "The process knows the way."  True, but the "process" isn't the problem or the challenge. It's our unwitting saboteurs (ego construct, et al) that get in way and subvert the "Natural Process" you refer to. And that was what I was trying to help you with. The "narrative" is another distraction that convinces us that we are progressing. Foolish belief yielding to ego's clever tricks; which postpones the progress.

But please don't worry. I respect your choices and posture on your path. And I will not disturb your slumber any further. Good luck with your journey and wishing you success! Warm regards!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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garuda rigpa:

Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
......  I don't worry much about that. The process knows the way.....
----
Linda, you may have taken my comments too literally and perhaps even personalized it ref the yoga. I was speaking in general, the yoga and other examples were generalizations only (not directed specifically at you). It can be one of many distractions. You may have missed the underlying essence of the message, by focusing on the specific examples. The subtle essence is aimed at those practitioners ripe enough to inculcate the value of the meaning, not the specific individual examples mentioned.

Ref your comment "The process knows the way."  True, but the "process" isn't the problem or the challenge. It's our unwitting saboteurs (ego construct, et al) that get in way and subvert the "Natural Process" you refer to. And that was what I was trying to help you with. The "narrative" is another distraction that convinces us that we are progressing. Foolish belief yielding to ego's clever tricks; which postpones the progress.

But please don't worry. I respect your choices and posture on your path. And I will not disturb your slumber any further. Good luck with your journey and wishing you success! Warm regards!


Lol, okay. By all means, off you go and share your profound wisdom to others whose slumber your keen eyes spot and then genereously illustrate impermanence to them as well by erasing your comments, oh wise one.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I seem to have gotten into a phase where the meditation refuses to be an escape route, which is all good but also painful. In the midst of deep and peaceful meditation beyond concepts, things that I'm screwing up come to the surface in immediate chrystal clear flashes, and what I have been covering up for myself becomes undeniable. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I've noticed the same for Noting! Noting seems to take place when there is need to elevate suffering of sort, so to find a familiar ground (escape). 

Today I've also realized that practice of Tonglen, Mahamudra and Look How It's was arising without "me" intending to do them. And guess what? All seems to know when to take over. These realizations sound beginner like but I think that's what we do with practice. Hammer it into the mind again and again that This Is Perfect As Is. 

Sorry for logging in your log emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Yes, the process knows the way. 

​​​​​​​And sharing phenomenology is always welcome.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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I continue to play with flexibility, but these last few days I have applied a softer approach as I have had some tough pms (the pathological dysphoric kind) and therefore I have been attentive to where the mind wanted to go rather than jumping back and forth. The tough diving is for days with higher pain tolerance, days when I appreciate the kick of it. 

Part 3 of the Reversing the Stack course begins next week. Thanks to generous donations I got my fourth scholarship. Otherwise I would not have been able to afford it as I need to pay my rent with money from my retirement savings already as it is. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Woke up with inflammatory pain and brain fog today, which is typical since I have two writing deadlines today. Did some yoga and then rested in shavasana. Noticed that there's a clarity to the fogginess, and that slow waves stand out. In tactile sensations there's a 4 seconds wave, and that is accompanied by light swirlings (flourescent violet) that collapse into themselves at the same time interval. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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It finally dawned on me that the process knows the way not only in emptiness but also in form, including writing which has felt like a huge doer thing to me. I know this is not some redically new idea, lol. Still, it felt like my only refuge most of the time was in emptiness. I was almost starting to believe that I was a Theravadin at heart, just looking for a way out. But I can actually take refuge in form too, by surrendering to it. The process knows the way always, in all areas. Writing happens when I don’t resist it. It has its own driving forces. It’s not about me. How could I not see that? 

Emptiness is form, form is emptiness, for real. Same but different, different but same. 

I don't have to be invested in the outcome. All I need to do is to let the actions flow through me. I'm not the doer, but I can be the doing. I can be the manifesting of the inherent aliveness of the emptiness that is also the form. The process is enough in itself. 

Something to explore more, only for myself, NEVER to impose on anyone else: the extent to which brain fog and inflammatory pain are manifestations of ignorance. There's a huge entanglement there. It doesn't mean that they aren't real. It just means that they are spiritosomatic. What if my intentions to avoid dealing with knots are so strong that they manifest as real obstacles? The writer as the doer has been a huge knot, and that knot has caused me a lot of stress. But since the writing isn't about me, and never was, that's just a big misunderstanding. How silly! 

I may need to be reminded of having seen this. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Exploring rapid shifts between Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya aspects of experience, for instance while listening to music. Fascinating. Very different experience instantly. 

Have been reminded of the very physical aspect of brain fog and pain, as it turned out that I have been eating gluten contaminated food. But yeah, without strong ingnorance tendencies of escaping, even that has interesting energies to it. Still, it does set limits to being able to let productive action happen. 

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