Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Kemono Z, modified 2 Years ago at 4/22/21 7:18 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 4/17/21 5:36 PM

Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
Hola there,

TL;DR: I’m going to bold the bits I think are most revealing (could use pointers on what is), so you can skim those.

I’m a brainy computer guy that started dabbling with meditation some four years ago as a way to reduce procrastination and become more responsible (took three years to discover it was the other way around…)

So two years ago, went half-blind into a Goenka to get a jump start, and was shocked, by them energies, and the power of focused practice in a fostering environment.  Kept at it with 1h sits for some months, but I felt an electrified bulldozer in a roller coaster was probably not the smoothest way to go about it.  Found TMI, learnt about this scary Dark Night thing, though still didn’t relate it to my experience, and to prepare I focused on following the breath, aiming for access concentration, and have been doing mostly that, besides short forages into non-dual practices when doubt and apparent lack of progress at TMI’s Stage 3 got the best of me.  I’ve gone through a number of wacky experiences which I detail with the rest of my adventures here.

During a chilly slump I cut my practice to 20 min. of Sam Harris’ guided dzogpen monitoring.  Someone suggested I might be darknighting.  After going through MCTB I thought that stuff was for advanced vipassaners, but apparently it can happen anytime, not to mention in a Goenka.

After things brightened up, I posted my adventures here to figure out what’s going on.  Didn’t get much clarification of what I went through, but the encouragement and suggestions got me to restart “serious” sits, which is what matters.

So I’m happy to say that I’m back in the saddle.  My objectives have become a bit more ambitious:  The slump chills did confront me with life-long dysfunctional patterns, so I want to diminish or change those that cause me and others conflict and suffering, starting with being irresponsible and disconnected, in and out. Finding what's behind these would surely help, as would finding out how the mind actually works, for the mind, our experience, is all we have, as Sam says.  Also, I want to awaken.  Shinzen is a compelling salesman.

There are many ways to walk the path, all with their ups and downs, and precious little information of what’s really involved in each (specially the downs), so I’ll dig into the logs and ask around here, but for now I intend to resume where I was, at the nose, to draw a baseline, and adjust from there.

I was recommended to do noting to bring clarity (though not told what that means), and to also pay attention to emotions and thoughts, so I’ll add those to my wake-up noting, which I might ramp up to breath-out noting at some point.
I’m also toying with IFS (aka Pixar’s Inside Out therapy) to reinforce deconditioning.

Any clarity you might contribute (including on what clarity is emoticon will be heartfeltly received!

01. Back in the saddle, catch a grenade
  1. Qi Gong, untimed. Mostly to help with rotator cuff injury, but meditation in movement is a nice bonus, and balancing them dantians or whatever. Learnt from random videos 3 months ago, have been practicing half-blind, don't know what to expect --but shoulders feel good.
    1. Single 10-15' body scan:
      1. Tickles in the body have diminished since I reduced sits to 20 min., but always get a bit in the hands, which can also feel numb/heavy. Deep exhales send a shockwave of relaxation, and tickles on extremities (anytime, but specially clear when standing still). Attention is constantly jumping, scanning drops from awareness a couple times.
    2. 20-30' of (mostly) gentle arm movements.
      1. Lifting the sky variations make pops and cracks go away in ~20min. (by opening the chest or warming tissues?)
      2. With movements where hands face each other I can feel some kind of field interacting between them.Lots of mind chatter, though movement rarely escapes awareness.Sway. Going wild during tea cups seems to inhibit krijas.Place hands and focus on stomach, massage and tap head.
  2. One hour morning sit, after Qi Gong.  I was going to do incremental sits, but decide to go the full hour just before sitting.
    1. 50' TMI Stage 3: Following the breath doing check-ins (with 1' bells as wake/back up). Noting sense-label-vedana on distraction, plus Metta shot. Try to notice emotions and urges/vedana. Then 10' Choiceless Awareness. Sing gate, gate as cherry on top.
      1. Can barely perceive the breath at the middle of the nose. The old feeling of pressure and strong throbbing doesn't show up, which is a relief.Attention is moderately calm first 30', then grows restless. The usual suspect, meta-meditation, reigns supreme: thinking about the practice, rehearsing posts that won't happen (hmm, I still carry a couple pages outlined during the Goenka, in my head...), and this very log.
      2. Got handed a big grenade shortly before sitting, but I'm not sure if it's live, so it only tugs at attention twice. Catch it immediately the first time, congratulate myself, then get lost in meta-meditation.
      3. 0 emotion, even with a grenade in my lap. Comfortably numb is my baseline?  For the last months at least.
      4. Can't directly feel urges either, but I try to infer them from thought. Shargol's emphasis on craving and aversion sheds light on what Headspace’s positive and negative actually meant.
    2. Forgot two of the six prep steps at the start:
      1. Expectations: numb hands make me feel close to the homunculus, so I'm surely hoping for jhana or whatever that is, though I've not been near there since I discontinued body scanning.
      2. Posture: no biggie, straightened a couple times. Only, I'm sitting burmese, but lower than usual (a piece of folded mat instead of cushion). Right leg floats 1 cm., hip is tense all sit, but relaxes completely at the end. Leg lowers. Strange pulls on the right side of the neck.
02. The grenade is pretty much live
And still, meh. Can't even say if emotion was always this hard to "feel", when not an extreme one.  Numbing armor must be really thick.
  1. Qi Gong: cloud hands feel almost involuntary. Dizzy during tea cups.
  2. Sit: distracted. Over half an hour on the transition to the breath. Attention is calmer after counting some 60 breaths. Thoughts full of meta-meditation, but grenade is tugging too. And still, no clear emotion. Calm as a bomb? I really can't see "me" ticking.
03. The grenade rolled by, briefly
Setup a meeting to clear things up. Not sure how to clear the inner fog, tho.
  1. Qi Gong: spilled the tea again; please don't drink and mill winds.
  2. Sit: More centered today. Rehearsing the defusal pairs up with meta-meditation as distraction. Preaching meditation a distant 3rd. Emotion still at baseline, even during the encounter. Heart skipped a beat or two tho, so that still seems to work. I'm only labeling thoughts, until the Mockingbird gets funky. Triple noting improving, but takes a while, and delays Metta shot. Karen Pryor and her clicker army would not approve --might swap order, though Metta is faint to start with. Will do some on going to bed and waking up. Strange pain & pressure on right hemisphere of skull, creeps to the neck, later recedes.
04. Defusal postponed
Another hot potato shows up, but goes into the fog. The dial finally moves; minus 5 volts, slight oppressive feeling, in mind and head. Get through the motions along the day, but can't bring myself to sit until the urgency of night hits.
  1. Qi Gong: don't remember much.
  2. Night sit: Sleepy, nod off a couple times. Starting to let the grenade be, meta-meditation makes most of self-talk. Too tired to reach the nose, I follow the breath in head and torso. After half an hour, the diaphragm comes into focus by itself. Effortless. Mind clears and wakes, slightly spacious, still quite chatty; mood brightens: +5 volts. Sitting on a cushion. No lobe nor neck shenanigans.
  3. I read Kenneth's Chicken Herding parable:
      • Phase two: You are able, through continuous focus and the application of just the right amount of effort (learned through trial and error) to single out one bird and stick to it like glue. Your eyes do not waver from the target. ... A subtle exhilaration arises and you feel happy and alert.
  4. Hmmm... how timely. And ñanas are jhanas? So the vipassana ones gain you insight because you're penetrating the object of attention (dissolving into fine vibrations?), and kick you in the booty unless you get drunk on the samatha jhanas first? Nope:
      • A pre- fourth ñana yogi, i.e. one who has not attained to the level of the Arising and Passing Away of Phenomena, must put his focus on penetrating the object. A post- fourth ñana yogi must concentrate. It's that simple.
  5. Is it? You can just focus on samatha after A&P? Shargol does differentiate Vipassana Ñanas (low concenetration) form Vipassana Jhanas (high).
  6. Mood slumps to -5v for a few minutes, then goes back to +5 for no apparent reason.
05. Defusal postponed #2, effortless limbo sparks
  1. Qi Gong: strong pressure on cheeks, nostrils being pulled wide, in the body scan.  Used to feel this in sits, before the "bangha" dream. Pelvic krijas are down, cervical are up.
  2. Noon sit: Kind of dull, I'm settled in wide awareness. Then effortlessness again. Slumped, with the slightest tinge of tension in the lumbar region, my body is a bow from feet to forehead that expands and contracts as it fiddles and plays the string of the breath. Focus on my smile, a la Brassington, and feel the tickles spread over my face, around my skull, and then, fizzle. Go wide for a while and try again a couple times, with less sparkles.
06. Quiet as a bomb, no more. Or, be careful for what you wish.
  1. Kundalini wails: an unrelated three-paragraph heart-to-heart takes the safety pin out. I expect three tears tops, but they keep on coming, and I let it rip.  Drop to  -120v.  Sobbing. Wailing.  "Should I follow the breath now? How about noting?" The cries become manic laughter, the despair humorous hurt. Later vibes come, pretty strong in face, legs and arms. "Oh. Ok." I go wide and stay there until things settle (later I find Pema's "Feel the feelings, drop the story") Then feel strong stacked pulses in forearms and hands. Feels like I'm holding something solid, and almost like retreat knots inside.
    1. Hadn't cried since the Goenka, 2y ago. Never with such intensity, or with the vibes, nor so long.  Is crying a last-mile purification?  There's nothing about it in TMI nor MCBT.  Feels like I’m bulldozing my way.  
  2. Huge relief and optimism. It was not the grenade, but the explosive isolation and perfectionism I buried deep inside that blew up. The iron curtain drops, and I pour my feelings into a (blank) recording (damn Evernote), and later into a letter (a less dramatic medium anyway...).  I blame myself for everything, and feel like I can redeem the whole world.  Being crossed can do that for you, it seems.
  3. Afternoon Qi Gong: Get *too* creative with tea cups (I blame the Topf somatic technique session earlier). Shoulder feels incredible. No pops from the start. Magic thinking alert!
  4. Sit: Go wide, expecting effortlessness or rather, fireworks. None shows. Tickles are down, in fact. Hmm, whatever. Lots of preaching and journaling thoughts, grenade fades. Emotions baseline. A tinge of joy here, sweet sorrow there. Is the armor back up already?
07. Closurus interruptus
  1. Qi Gong and sit: about the same. Random thoughts are up there with meta-meditation and preaching. Focus more on following the breath. Tickles are very quiet.  I go to deliver the letter in person. Grenade blows in my hand. A minor, secondary charge. I'm unhurt (thanks armor?) but quite confused, and make more ripples than needed (hadn't read that Pema phrase yet...). It all makes sense in the end, except the lack of communication.
  2. The confrontation. Finally.  Things were said. Shots were fired, or imagined. Strategic retreats. Communication breakdown.  Then a diversionary detonation: meeting adjourned, for five days.  Armor is up on both of us, so we still conjure  polite gladness.  Mine is thicker, but kind of loose, so I get to keep the grenade.

A promising reboot, all considered.  If a tad scary. Practice picked up some momentum (what’s up with sleepy sits?).  Watching the mind squirm was almost fun, at times.  I wish I had better ways to handle and make use of explosives.  Should change to Metta or other heartful practices?  The armor has been piling up powder forever, this party is just getting started...
Any pointers on what would improve the reports would be welcome (I know I could skip all the stuff, but it's been one of those weeks: the stuff just writes itself! And I think it makes for a more entertaining read ;) )
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 4/18/21 9:55 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 4/18/21 9:47 AM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
You could think of clarity as the opposite of being entertaining! Try to keep your practice as simple as possible - just keep returning to the breath and don't pay much attention to all the other stuff. It sounds counterintuitive, but you will actually make progress that way :-)
George S, modified 2 Years ago at 4/18/21 10:27 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 4/18/21 10:20 AM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 2752 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Sleepy sits are usually because you want your experience to be different from what it actually is - just another form of aversion. It's a common side-effect of bringing the perfectionism and ambition you mentioned into your practice ... speaking from my own experience here XD
Kemono Z, modified 2 Years ago at 4/18/21 12:33 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 4/18/21 12:33 PM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
It does, thanks!  And I do try on the practice, but I enjoy flourishing on writting (perhaps a tad too much, when I get cryptic).

With sleepy I refered to sits 4 & 5, where I started nodding, and ended up in some effortlessly alert state.
Kemono Z, modified 2 Years ago at 4/22/21 7:03 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 4/22/21 6:56 PM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
08. Astral tour
  1. Qi Gong: On body scan, attention orbits on a slow spiral down the body, pulling sensations and body towards it, making me rock around.  Numb hands and face. Suddenly my nose starts burning with gloomy wasabi; pang of panic. Try to widen and abide. It fizzles. Keep at it for over one hour, only raising the skies.
  2. Sit: Nothing fancy.  Gotta journal same day, or details are gone.
  3. Wake up at 3 AM.  Calm but not sleepy.  Read for an hour.  Then 15 min. Metta.  Next thing I know, the whole body starts vibrating, and I’m spirited.
    1. Three voices babbling in the radio fade in.  I'm lying on a table in some kind of control room or hospital; plastic furniture, half futuristic.  Can’t move.  Visitors got me!?
    2. Now I’m in a strange hotel, next to my girlfriend.  Vibes come and take me away.
    3. I’m back at the control room.  Try to grab a radio but just throw everything around.  Slightly afraid of being heard.
    4. Back to the hotel.  Girlfriend is getting ready to leave, but I can’t move.  I get spirited and brought back here a couple more times:
    5. I’m in an Ottoma army; lots of soldiers, and ships off-shore; ever helpful, I light someone's bamboo Bazooka, but the fuse fizzles in and out, the soldier blowing to reignite it.
    6. Next trip I’m lying on the control room.  Eyes closed, gather all the vibes on my feet and push. Get thrown at high speed, head first.  Fly out of the room (where is my helmet!) into a huge square tunnel of brightly colored geometric shapes.  Open my eyes and it's all gray static, close them back again.
    7. Finally, the creepy crawlers come to my bed: two strange furry spiders.  Feel their weight as they crawl over stomach and chest.  Okay equanimous equanimous equanimous I feel them on my face they start whispering weird noises I'm outta here!
    8. I wake up for real (I think --so far so good!)  I slept for an hour.  Lead arms, palpitations, pulse is not too high (70-80, normal is 60ish).  Focus on my face, the pressure spreads around my skull… but no more quantum leaping.

09. Bumper Cars Meet the Family
  1. Qi Gong & Sit: shoulders and moves feel smooth.  Pretty distracted, but emotions at baseline.  Almost no tickles.
  2. Turns out the meeting is adjourned for five more days.  Mood bumps wildly along the day.  Oppressive feeling grows.  I want to make things “right” desperately.
  3. Night IFS: tears are choking me, but my roomie has to wake early.  About time I tried some IFS without paper and pen.  The Self Therapy book starts slow, so I grab a guided “hug your parts” meditation as a quick start.
    1. I get calm, feel the choke, offer compassion.
    2. I see a woman, sitting on the pavement, blank eyes.  Ask for her name.  I get “Aleja”, meaning to move or push away.  It’s what I do to people.  Also short for Alejandra; hah, I had a girlfriend called that, 20y ago.
    3. After reassuring her and sending “energy” from the head, I see a man in a suit get close.  Then they are hugging.  She is smiling now.  The take cuts to her waving at the camera, then back to full hug several times.
    4. The choke is now soft tingling.
    5. Now she’s on the floor, in the middle of a bunch of chunks of marble.  She’s trying to put them back together.
    6. I get soft pressure on top of the throat.  Feel it and start chatting and reassuring.
    7. A big marble statue appears.  Buffed warrior (‘roids fo sho) with a big club.  David.
    8. Then he’s holding a disc, in the classical throw crouch.  A flying saucer speeds through the air and drives into the wall.  I don’t see any aliens through the tiny windows, fortunately.
    9. Next he’s doing his best Rodan’s Thinker.
    10. Not sure if Piti sensations are “valid” parts, but this has been amazing for a first time, so what the heck.
    11. The pressure on the nose is a Rhyno.  On the third eye, I find Cyclops.  They are not terribly chatty.
    12. The movie production was excellent, though this was just the trailer. Feeling much more calm afterwards, though still oppressed.
10. Cyclops smash
​​​​​​​Feeling pretty good, even with a couple tears along the day.
  1. IFS cum sit:
    1. I try talking to Aleja during a bout, but camera is shaky and edition is bad.  A dozen women flash before my eyes, but I don’t recognize her.  Alejandra is on the line-up though.  Hmm.
    2. Cyclops is a show off.  He’s into Hulk smashing stuff.  Especially big dinosaurs.  Then he bashes a wall, and keeps on pushing it forever.
    3. The tingling around the eyes is a tiger-lynx, taking it all in.
    4. Can’t get much else from parts.  Go wide and stay there a good while.  Am I resisting following the breath?  I do it for a while, with modest results.  I’m untimed, but mind doesn’t seem to mind.  Go wide again and stay there until back aches make me straighten three times.  Hunching is comfortable.  So is going wide?  I was not registering sound at the end.
  2. Night Qi Gong: crackling again.  Even magic is impermanent!  Journaling, grenade, bad movie.  +12 -12: compassion and sadness.
11. Do-nothing chillax
  1. Join a guided 30 min. do-nothing sit.  Pretty calm, just chill.  Plan to do a normal sit later, but end up skipping.  Get invited to the beach.  Surf’s shaky… but I’ve got a paddle now.  I’m pretty cheerful, with occasional tinges of sweet sorrow. Movie night.  Why don’t I do this stuff more often?
  2. Along the day, it dawns (and sunsets) on me:
    1. I went through a similar conflict with Alejandra in my youth.
    2. We visited her therapist.  First minutes are promising.  Then they talk for an hour like I was not there, misinterpreting my actions.  I’m gagged, cut off, and cut in: a knot of rage and hurt builds in my throat the whole time as I swallow it all.
    3. Aleja’s feels just like that.
    4. After the break up, I break down for a couple days (I lied before: didn’t remember crying more than 30m).
Oh the irony.  My first (and only) time in therapy was traumatic!  Am I reading too much into it? I reread the previous paragraphs, and Aleja tugs at me: I close my eyes and focus on her.  It’s not a knot anymore, just tension.  I see a woman dancing with hula hoops in waist and arms, all happy. Hmm, I didn’t do the whole IFS unburdening, can it be this easy? Gotta keep on digging and stitching; then flossing.  Get a therapist?  There might be something to this IFS thing, and not only for creative writing. Unless you’re tired.
  1. Sleepy IFS: no good.
  2. Dream of lead arms being intersected by swinging energies.  When they eventually align, I’m consumed.  Then huge IFS insights.  Make a helpful bullet list, but of course forget about it.

12. Roller-coasting through clouds
  1. 45m deep relax.  Wake up early, feeling blissy joy.  I’ve been sleeping 2-4 hours less than usual the last 5 days.  No naps either, I haven’t felt sleepy until night.  That can’t be good? Stay immobile for the better part of an hour, then do a Plumb Village deep relaxation.  That counts for something, right?
  2. 1h Qi Gong: lost of thinking (grenade only once or twice), body mostly in peripheral awareness.  Arms and legs feel… cloudly.  The tickles get fine and sweet.  Cloud Hands like butter.
  3. Sit: I make my most focused prep and transition yet.  Counting 10 breaths ‘til 30 min with plenty of check-ins, several close saves. Feeling more blissy.  Pretty good feel under the nostrils.  Stop counting, concentration diminishes with time.  I see pretty neat landscape movies in my eyelids.  I’m noting “positive/grasping” 99% of the time in all sits. Even sorrow, previous days.  “Desperation to fix things” is grasping, to get away from pain and remorse.  Should I note “mix”?
  4. Mood drops, unease, pressure on torso.  Yoga Nidra to nap, but can’t sleep.  More calm, vibes ebb and flow softly, palpitations boom all over.
  5. Crying bout, IFS.  
  6. Kenneth Folk’s “5 min. noting instruction” clears that subject up. Will switch triple noting to single, urges interspersed as un/pleasant/neutral.
  7. Noting improves mood and head pressure even while doing stuff.  Hmm.  Might use it for the breath as well.
  8. Go to sleep.  Wake up after 2h.  Sweating and heart booming on whole body again.  80PPM and slow breathing won’t calm it down, nor conjure sleep.  Movement triggers a free-falling sensation a couple times.  It’s like… a jolt (out? into?) of deep sleep expanding from the middle of the head, causing pressure on the skull,  the whole body being sucked by gravity, and a change of the quality of experience.  Hmm, it’s been happening durings sits too actually, on exhale, but I thought it was just nodding off.  Consult TMI on dullness.
  9. Do a “quick” Qi Gong for an hour.  Start relaxing and yawning pretty quick.  Back to sleep.
  10.  Palpitations again a couple hours later.  Uneasy half-sleep with a Plumb deep relax. + lullaby.
13. Unburdening brawl
  1. Dancing after Topf somatics triggers Aleja.  Cry, then IFS.
    1. She’s being bullied by some guy, in a bar.
    2. I take my cue and jump into the movie, shove the guy into a chair and… take his shades off. He half melts like warm plastic. Aleja kicks him.  We hug.  Is that it? 
    3. Nope, the scene rewinds to the start, and I do (or just watch?) the same things again… then I remember.  “Would you like to get rid of him by fire, water, ai…”
    4. She just steps towards the molten remains and throws them into the air.  Transmutes into a cloud of metallic paper pieces, which float up to the sky, glimmering.
    5. We watch them for a while while I reasure her, then mind wandering... Might need a third replay… and a partner to remind me of the steps.  There’s still a pull on the neck, but feel pretty good.  I thought the book could lead to scripting, but there’s nothing like this!
    6. A weight has been lost.  I can jump higher.  My pants feel big, too. ^_^
  2. Untimed sit.  90m perhaps.  Pressure on face is much diminished; or rather, it’s moving?  Now feel it on cheekbones and jaw.  Thinking about defusal a couple times at the start.  Desperation shifted the previous days, it’s now all endearment. Pushy endearment.  Right… The breath breathes itself with a soft sway for a while.  Later I start noting “start-middle-end”.  Start feeling a “bump” after middle.  Perhaps in sync with that wacky heartbeat.
14.  Pew-pew Metta
  1. Palpitations, milder.  “Dude, you *asked* to become diligent.  So wake up, before the sun!”
  2. 40m Qi Gong: popping shoulders at start.  Cloudy hands.  Try noting at random times (instead of just after distractions) for the first time, with good effect.
  3. Sit: Pretty centered from the start.  Thoughts about journaling and random things, mostly.  A few about defusal.  High spirits, pleasant urges (even the karaoke next door).  Only exception: the price of taking online courses/certs (why 8h+ of work here are worth 1h across an imaginary line?  Just because of faith?) Note start-mid-end with intersped check-ins for 30m with barely any forgetting, scratching Stage 4.  So I can just bulldoze my way with quick noting huh?  Couple of wanderings without noting.  A few “falling nods”, more subtle than usual, feel like micro-blackouts.   Quick Metta afterwards lights up the heart. It’s been a while. Sam’s pointer (“this is it, all there is;  here and now”) jolts me with joy.
  4. IFS:
    1. David, the statue, commands a squad of robots.  He’s got a fancy lazer too.  Lots of pew-pew.  “Who are you fighting?”  Camera turns around dramatically.  Seems he’s got something against Godzillas, like the Cyclops.
    2. The tug on right side of neck pops up, all the way to the temple.  It’s Jockey, a cartoony horse.  Too high wired, he flips back and forth.  Can’t get close, not even with the proverbial carrot.
  5. A white lie breaks the spell and sets me haywire.  Doubt and confussion get on against reason for a few min.  Reason “prevails”, but mood turns oppresive; there’s pressure and tickling on jaw and cheekbones.  “Pressure.  Pressure.  Pressure.  This is it, here and now.  Pressure.” I forget about it a couple minutes later.  Still a way to go to watch emotions as emotions, but I’m feeling them now, and accepting them.  Gonna hunt me some Godzilla… and make friends with it.

Involuntary swinging.  Vibes crawling under my skin all day.  Talking to my “parts.”  Wacky dreams, messed up sleep and heartbeats.  And that’s just on the surface.  I have no idea what’s going on...  But I want to believe I’m cleaning house, making space for what’s to follow.  Dust is settling down, but two years ago I would not be this calm, or calm at all… nor believe most of this.  I don’t ‘think’ I trust the process just yet… but I sure look like it.  So many questions, but I don’t mind waiting to answer most myself anymore.
Kemono Z, modified 2 Years ago at 5/2/21 1:15 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/2/21 1:10 AM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
Night Qi Gong; Sit: Piti buzzing all over gets me high.

Qi Gong + Sit.

17. More than a truce, less than a defusal
Palpitations. So there’s such a thing as a heartbreak syndrome. Hmm, but am I? PI seems to hover around 15% during palpitations, 3% later.

Qi Gong + Sit: very distracted. Finally meeting Luna. Good will prevails, but still, who knows.

18. Round three, CRY!
Wake up at 4 AM. Palpitations. Awareness becomes the room, or something.

Blinkist throws me The School of Life:

Our current emotional patterns stem from childhood experiences.

Emotional maturity requires us to analyze our past experiences.

Therapy and meditation can help us cope with our emotions.

We must be kind and generous toward others.

Cultivate charm through warmth, politeness, and vulnerability.

The modern concept of love, which comes from Romanticism, is deeply misguided.

Relationship problems often stem from emotional disconnect.

Consumer economies aren’t designed to fulfill us –⁠ and that’s OK.

We can find solace in art and nature.

Well damn. Couldn’t you show this 6 months before? Could’ve skipped (or eased) most of those! xD

Qi Gong: Not too smooth nor focused lately.

Sit: Short Metta gets me elated. Simplify. Count 10 breaths, check-in. The usual suspects barge in, not too many while I’m counting. Happy, happy, happy. Closing Metta is “just” happy. Then something tugs.

Go into IFS: Cyclops is feasting, Rhyno is being a rhyno, David is sculptural, lifting a thumb. Everyone is so happy! There’s a crystal dolphin in my racing heart (Delfos), but he’s just racing around. Also a cartoonish jungle witch in my cheekbone. Calaviva?

I’m about to stand up when I feel the knot in the neck (more like a strip of pressure). Damn, I’m sorry Aleja, forgot about you! She’s got Alejandra’s eyes. Wide open, staring unresponsive. I try to touch her. She produces a katana and swipes again and again. I talk and talk and talk, reassuring. Send energy from the head. Eventually she appears as Chun Lee. Knot strengthens. She points desperately to the side, but I can’t turn the camera. She reaches and grabs a cardboard Luna. Holds her tight. Don’t wanna let go. She’s crying on the floor, hands clasped in prayer. Overwhelmed, I let it rip in compassion. I check with her during the storm, and she’s just praying and braying.

Eventually I see flashes of Chun’s victory dance. Things calm down, except herself: she’s teleporting all over the screen, in frenzied happiness. I offer unburdening. By Earth: she sows a handful of yellow-carmin trumpet flowers. They grow and grow, and more appear on top of them. We hug as everything fills with floating spores. I ask her what she wants to do. Gardening, duh. I ask David too, just in case. He goes water skiing, pulled by two horses. The knot is now light tickles.

Qi Gong + Sit. Quick existential crisis. “There’s nothing keeping me here. I could be anywhere else. I should…” And still, I fear.

Somatics, only a brief IFS. Entertained getting the vaccine. No apparent effect on mood. Long talk with Jill. Supportive, lots of pointers. Is there a point to them if I’m not there yet? Surprisingly, she’s not deterministic. Everything is vibrating. You ride, become the wave, the combined energy pushes you along... but still, you can learn to surf?

21. Back where you started, with a bigger heart?
Feeling detached during Qi Gong. Vibes and krijas low in general.

30 min. Metta, with a few sparks. Mudita and Karuna indistinct. Distracted breath follows, even when I try to count. Optimisation doubts.

IFS getting there. David tells me (flexing his biceps) his role is to be strong. Against what? Won’t show. Since when? He shrinks in size, 8yo child statue? After reassuring for a while, he gets high by lightning. Repeatedly. It’s almost funny, except it isn’t. He’s holding a shield against the barrage, pointing to the sky. The lighting comes from two huge electrical eyes. Becomes a semi-circular monstrous head. Reassure David, asking for him to step aside. Eventually he unsheats a fancy magical sword, a lighting rod; points it at the woman I identify with, and… hands it over. I ask again, to confirm. He pushes my/her bum forward. Naughty!
The stormy eyes land, huge tentacles surround everything. After kindness, he becomes friendly and cartoonish, fishbowl and all. His name is Zork. He’s the pressure in the middle of my skull, and has been at it since… he transforms into a little monkey. The face zips open and a child’s head emerges. To be continued.

Baselining in mind and heart, mostly positive (+12 / -5v). The change of intensity in practice and daily life is wicked. Calm after the storm, or protectors regrouping? I don’t expect to have any big wounds; then again, didn’t remember this one at all, and I don’t know half of its story, or repercussions.

In any case, feels like a big weight was lifted. Wondering if crying is skillful, or just temporary relief, or if some hearty meditation would reach deeper, or if I should just focus on the breath and let the stuff be unless critical. If you haven’t cried, your meditation has yet to start, said Ajhan Chah. Do off-the-cushion heart strokes count? Is all part of the process?
Kemono Z, modified 2 Years ago at 5/11/21 7:20 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 5/11/21 7:19 PM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
Qi Gong, Sit: Preaching tugging a lot (I’m sharing and guiding meditations with highschoolers). Counting keeps me there, even with a persistent fly. Didn’t swat once. Am I in high equanimity or what? Pattern of pressure on the face feels changed again. IFS: making inroads with Zork and Cyclops.

Qi Gong, Sit. Distracted, 30’ transitioning, 20’ counting, then a bit of surprise clarity.
Laughter yoga: 2h. Faking produces actual laugh for the first 30’, then I grow tired and weary. “Mute” laughter produces a pang of sorrow.

30’ relax body scan, 45’ sit. Laughter yoga about the same, slow down and become more gentle. Pressure on cheeks diminishing?
A tap of the wound at night produces catharsis with mild vibes.

45’ sit, following Culadasa’s Sit, Breath, Wake up.
Feeling down during laughter yoga. Fake laugh turns into catharsis, stronger than yesterday’s. Big relief. +24v

Sit, Breath, Wake up. Motivation wavering.

Late Sit, Breath, Wake up. It’s only 20 min. tho.

Late Sit, Breath, Wake up. “Let’s practice stability of attention in silence.” I take it to heart, it seems: go in and out of strong dullness every couple mins. Feels like surfing.
Kemono Z, modified 1 Year ago at 6/10/21 8:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/10/21 8:14 PM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
Sit, Breath, Wake up: Joy.  Lightly pitiful first half, then it fizzles.
The grenade explodes one last time.  Fizzles, rather.
30. Adhiṭṭhāna bluff
Delayed grenade blast, -24v.

Sit, Breath, Wake up: Still point.  Can’t find a witness, so I back to the breath, then do nothing.  Keep going, timerless.  Feel like pushing.  Half-baked Adhiṭṭhāna: wont stand up till someone comes to the rescue.  Metta, breath.  Clear, but not jhanic.  Leaded arms, then puffy.  Slid off cushion twice, to irrigate legs.  Rhomboid starts hurting, 5/10.  Been a while, thought that was fixed for good, takes me back to the Goenka.   Body scan.  Little tickles.  Call the bluff and look at the watch:  around 2.5h.  Pain disappeared a while ago, like magic.  Play some Goenka for good ole times, round it up to 3h. 
Sit, Breath, Wake up: Metta.  Meh.  Rhomboid hurts.  So much for magic.  Unless I can conjure it again with a long sit?  Naaaaw.

IFS: pretty violent today.  Tried to intervene by reflex, when reassurance didn’t work; sword in hand, sliced the winged monster.  It just kept going.  Called on David and Cyclops.  They are better at chopping.  Then they bring out a shield and orbs of light, making the darkies retreat.  Happy ending.  Except for the exiles?  First time asking for their help, and watching them stand together.

Qi Gong: effortlessness and swaying pick up again.

Sit: strong intention, rally my parts.  Intent on checking in, counting a bit, switching to noting the breath.  Shaky start, micro-blackouts make me go limp more than before; but whole body feels clear, then breath comes through by itself.  Clear, not jhanic.  No counting needed.  Just checking-in keep it pretty centered for 30 min. or so.  Then puffy hands, can’t feel much in nose now, so widen attention to torso.   Stage 4? Doubtful.  Go shaky again.  Journaling, doubts, preaching and grenade, as usual.
Sit: cheer up my parts, face and limbs with pleasant tickles; slow transition but consistently more stable, nose is fuzzy so widen to torso.  Concentration and piti waver.  Usual suspects, plus a bit of socializing.  That’s new --and welcome.  Still pleasant, piti ignites again.

Sam Harris keeps nagging to appreciate the moment.  Jay’s Evaluation Pattern says it’s the counter to Judgmental Perceptiveness.  So I do.  I play with my food.  Textures are amazing.

One breath around the world tickles eyes like the previous year, when I was looking for a PCE (whatever that is).  Only this time the armor is open.  Tears are warm.  IFS releases tension on neck (Kodiak) and right cheek (Calaviva?) into tickles.
Kemono Z, modified 1 Year ago at 6/11/21 3:25 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/11/21 3:25 PM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
Chill day, skip sit.
Qi Gong becoming all out improv.
Afternoon Sit: lots of pleasant tickles (listened to Michael Thaft’s How to Jhana earlier.  Hmm…).  Play with long tummy breathing.  Still, pretty distracted, so eventually tickles fizzle.  Rekindle at the end, feel all puffy during Metta.
Sit.  More long tummy breath, less centration.
Sit with peeks at timer. 2-3 min. between wake-ups, hard to say how much of that is in distraction. The usual suspects, plus the mute grenade: I’m going to visit dad.  Reach a bit of calm, cut it short for Topf class (Qi Gong took longer than intended).
Visiting the family.  Unemotional again, though the grenade still echoes faintly, with the right song.  Irregular sits, but more of the same.  Sam Harris’ “breath the visual field, exhale your Self” feels… weird.
30’ Midnight guided Metta.  Checking out TWIM 6Rs, but too tired.  Dullness prevents its own antidotes.
Sit: regular, transition to Metta. Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation 6Rs.
  • Recognize sounds like somatic metacognitive awareness: detect the pull/tension/tightness of distraction instantly.  Above my paygrade (S4).
  • Release: don’t feed it attention, let the tightness dissolve by itself.
  • Relax: a slight tension formed after the release. Can’t find either.
  • Re-smile: I do a Metta shot with deep breath as usual.
  • Return: to home base.

The Buddha never taught suppression of any experience nor did he teach a meditation that causes mind to fix on or become absorbed into the meditation object. Remember, he rejected every form of “concentration meditation” as not being the correct way. - He did?  I don’t remember, no. xD
Kemono Z, modified 1 Year ago at 6/11/21 3:31 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 6/11/21 3:31 PM

RE: Kemono's ramblings (and sits)

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/20/21 Recent Posts
Sit.  Emotions and vibes are pretty quiet of late.
Late meh Metta.
Qi Gong.
Sit: smooth take off with Erick L.’s Stage 0 tips: dive right into wide peripheral awareness (first TMI step), and once stable start six-step prep.  Transition to body awareness during 6th step.  Pretty chill and puffy.
Late Waking Up.
Qi Gong, noisy sit.
Qi Gong, sit, Topf.  Transition to Metta.  Pressure on cheeks increasing again.  Heart is quiet, throat bubbling.  Sweet sorrow, eye tickles and hidden tears are back.

In-flight sit. Thanissaro body-scan to full body breath: feel tummy, one side, then other; same for solar plexus and chest.  Base of throat.  Relax face.  Breath into head through nose, eyes, ears, exhale through crown.  Breath from back of neck to hand (exhale through fingers), then along spine.  Sacrum to feet.  Repeat, or go full body.