Gabe's Practice Log #1

Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
My first practice log on this site. Just had a sit, with many themes explored. Being "pulled" by this sensation and that, judging meditation ability, desire for control, slowly realising the pointlessness of this, realising this causes suffering, caused this aversion, that tightness, fixation and agitation:

Sit duration: 45 minutes

Start with intention of staying with rising, falling for some time. 60% of mind returning to breath, the rest engaged in other bodily sensations and background thinking. Noting "wandering, wandering" when thinking or imagining becomes predominant. Most thoughts noted in the middle of after a thought, rarely as thoughts arise. Regardless, only get "lost" in thoughts for couple seconds or less than a second. Continually pulled into thought, noting thought, naturally return to bodily sensations, back to a thought and so on and so on.

Most bodily sensations noted at the face, especially lips and brow areas, continual tingles and vibrations. These sensations are consistently the most intense, and mind is more interested in these sensations. Breathing sensations become so subtle in comparison that they are hardly ever noticed. Some attempts to return to rising, falling are made, attempts feel forced and can only stay with subtle abdomen sensation for a second or less before being pulled in by facial sensations so i stay wherever mind is most interested, noting sitting sitting, touch touch, wandering wandering.

Tiredness and dullness pull the mind into sleepy "vague" state. Stay with the sleepiness and try to note accurately without intereference. Location and type of sensation becomes unclear, what type of sensation was this and where was it located? Was this a thought, bodily sensation? Conciousness becomes like a "soup" where sensations blending into each other. Noting sitting sitting, wandering wandering, confused confused, sinking sinking. Despite sloth, negative emotion and sensation low throughout, low aversion and tension.

Intention to open eyes and stretch arises several times and is noted. Eventually open eyes and stretch. Close eyes and return to posture. Mind very agitated, and heart beats fast, stay with this, noting aversions, tensions, desire for anything other than the present moment, averse to all sensation. Noting the suffering caused by this, noting the wanting to escape the moment, noting "dukkha, dukkha" "aversion aversion". Still judging myself for not catching this thought or this sensation faster noting "judging judging" and "wanting to control". Snot drips down from nose, decide to note and not react. Causes itching as it drips lower, itching intensifies until it feels closer to a mild pain than itching. Noting all intentions to raise hand, and watching intentions vanish, realising I don't "NEED" to always react. Eventually itching pain diffused and so when intention arises again, raise hand mindfully.

Mind realises that there is no control to be exerted, realising cause and effect of this sensation causing this sensation and mind/ body causations. There is no control to be exerted. Image of animals running wild in a zoo with stressed zookeeper trying to exert control with futility. Mind gives up trying to control to an extent, laughter at the pointlessness of it. Open eyes and conclude sit.
George S, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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Good noting practice :-) Keep it up!
George S, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 2057 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Just one point to note - unless you actually need more sleep, tiredness, dullness, vagueness etc usually arise because you are being too controlling with the mind, pushing it or have some expectation about how the experience should be rather than neutrally observing how it actually is. When this happens, see if you can spot the subtle desires, expectations, frustrations etc. Sometimes I just let myself nod off during a sit to see if I actually need to sleep, and it's surprising how refreshing a micro nap can be :-) You can also get into some interesting territory on the border between wakefulness and sleep, when control shuts down!
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the response! I am actually somewhat sleep deprived the past few days, but I still experience sleepiness at some point in a sit with good rest.

My teacher instructed me to explore this area you talked about, the boundary between sleep and wakefulness. It's hard for me to do, I have always conceptualised sloth as a hindrance to be rid off. It's new territory for me, the main challenge is to not forget to be mindful when transitioning into the sleepy realms, but I am excited to explore these new lands. I will continue to try to note my desire to control my situation, keep surrendering where I can, keep noting the suffering, and noting any pleasantness if it comes too. We will see where this will take us.

Let us both keep up our practice.
George S, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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Gabe
I have always conceptualised sloth as a hindrance to be rid off

​​​​​​​Fighting tiredness is tiring! If you just accept it then it will either vanish or you will fall asleep ... problem solved :-)
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
A lot happened this sit, but I can't seem to remember much.
Sit duration: 50 minutes

Sit starts. Alternating between periods of rising falling, and interrmitent thoughts bringing me out of the abdomen. Noting them, little attatchment to stable concentration now so less aversion to this than usual. Noting what aversion and tension arising. Left earplug putting pressure on ear, minor itchy sensation, right earplug putting pressure on ear, waves of pain. Very little aversion to pain, if anything, waves of pain are intense and mind can stabilise and penetrate quite well into them. No intention to take out ear plugs, just alternating between usual second of wandering, pain wave, breathing, sitting. Relaxed sit, time is going fast (bell rings every 10 minutes). Stay in this state for maybe 20 minutes. Clarity of mind dissolves into fuzziness, aversion to pain and intention to take out ear plug now arises, passes, break between, and arises again. Mindfully give into intention maybe the 5th time it arises. Noting raising hand, taking out, lowering. Aversion and tension higher than before, nothing I am not used to by now. Noting it where I can ect. Maybe 10 minutes in this averse agitated state.

Smile arises, quality of pleasantness pervades. Thoughts are clearly noted, clearly impermanent, clearly nonself. Not sure about unsatisfactoriness, this characteristic seems to be the least obvious to me, with non-self being the most obvious. Sensations in this equanimous state just "are", not sure what it is meant by unsatisfactory. In any case this is just post-meditation thinking coming to me now, back to the sit. Pleasantness of non-self nature of thoughts means much less if any aversion to them arising. Noting the smile, the pleasantness ect. Abide for a few minutes in this state.

Smile evaporates, mind feels "dark", pleasantness evaporates. Note the clinging, note the aversion. Usual thought, sitting, wandering, aversion, tension loop. Stay here for a few minutes. Conclude sit.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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If you desire to explore the fine line between the wakefulness and sleepiness practice early in the morning and immediately as you get out of the bed (don't even go to the toilet). Just get up and sit down in that state of mind. Good stuff! emoticon 


However if you are serious about practicing Noting and don't want to waste time in hindrances try out noting aloud. With a very loud voice if necessary. This way you hear yourself very clear and if you keep noting at least 1-2 experiences per second the energy will rise within the 5-10 minutes (usually faster) and then you can lower the voice or even go silent noting (i favour noting aloud throughout the entire sit so to waste as little of the precious practice time on hindrances). 
Off cushion hindrances allowed. On cushion not emoticon 

No sleepy sleepy. Wakey, wakey to awakey emoticon 

Best wishes to you! 
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for the tip, next sit I will conduct right as soon as I awake!

Ordinarily I would take your advice with regards to the hindrances. But I have been instructed by my teacher to allow tiredness and dullness, and the explore that realm. I will relay the noting aloud recomendation to her the next time we meet.

thanks for the tips regardless brah
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
It's been some time. I'd like to say it's because I'm moving back into college but really I just get lazy after meditation.

Sit duration: 1 hour as per Abre's instruction to stick to an hour. This turns out to be very useful, I find it takes 45 minutes of aversion, drowsiness, doubt and discomfort to get any kind of taste of what I assume is EQ.

Start sit by setting intention to stick to concentration for the first 10 minutes. Do counting breathe, and just pure focus when attention stabilises. Not much to say here, concentration gets a little better every sit.

30 minutes of noting discomfort, dukkha, desire to control my experience, doubts, "am I even meditating" that kinda deal. Never mind, note the doubt, noticing clearly that discomfort arises from trying to control, trying to make meditation be how I want it. Noting the different levels of discomfort in every moment, noting it always seems to be there. Three characteristics seem to be showing themselves, you can't make yourself see them, they present themselves within reality, just keep paying attention.

Bodily perception starts to get pretty odd, it feels like my body perception is blank, and get it feels like by body has been split in two and is opening up. Really have no idea how to discribe this one, suffice to say that it feels like my body is dissapearing and all present at the same time. Idk man it just felt weird. It was shortly accompanied by an all pervading sense of "beauty" and a type of bliss. I was feeling soft and yet very "beautiful" vibrations all around my body. I started to weep, because the contrast between the all pervading dukkha I mostly have and this all pervading beauty felt so stark. So it IS possible for meditation to be pleasant at times! I felt like I had forgotten this entirely, and this felt like a call back to the kind of concentration bliss I used to have early when I started meditating. Nontheless, it was temporary, spend last 10 minutes noting the wanting for it to return, noting the dukkha, discomfort ect. This uncomfortable territory is becoming more and more familiar and has less sting day by day it seems.

People who hang around in EQ a lot does this sound like EQ? It could be a jhana or concentrated state but it felt too diffuse. In any case I will continue the 1 hour minimum in the morning, and will expand to evening meditations soon.
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
If it wasn't for the maps I would have quit this shit a long time ago.<br /><br />You label the frustration or aversion, try and find it and see it's nature, it's gone before you can penetrate it, you get contracted into a thought, note it and expand back into the body or whatever, only to contract at the next thought and on and on and on. It's all so damn noisey and irritating, and you note the irritation and try and find it but you can't even find it. Thoughts are so wispy and nebulus and cannot be grasped and yet you get pulled into them again and again and again. By the time you note it, it's gone fam.<br /><br />1 hour of this. Untill the next sit.
George S, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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It might be helpful to think about your motivations and expectations for practice.
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
Nah I aint givin up. Im sticking to 1-2hr daily no matter what. Just needed to vent is all.
Tim Farrington, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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lol, that's it, Gabe, ass on the mat come hell or high water. We'll be bitching and moaning intermittently until all sentient beings are saved. Hang tough, brother.
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Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
Yes Tim, there's nothing else to do, and nothing worth more to embark on.

As a side note, do you read any Huxley? I've read basically all his work, in fact, he got me into this whole journey many years ago.

Most people have read BNW, which, although one of my favourites and life changing truly, is one of his least spiritual books. Island is good but it's an essay hidding in the shell of a novel. The remainder of his work like Point Counter Point and Time Must Have A Stop and Eyeless in Gaza are all about a deep cynicism undercuting the human condition, and a deeper and more fundamental spiritual transecdance undercuting that cynicism.

He's one hell of a wordsmith, like yourself, and from his writing also a Dharma practicioner of sorts (aasociated with Krishnamurti and others).

If you guys enjoy fiction and dharma I think you should explore his works. Warning: he was Devishly smart and learned, he frequently has obscure references to history, latin and other languages. A lot goes over my head, but the core message is always entrancing.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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About that question on EQ Nana;

If I think and wonder if Im in EQ Nana or not, I most certainly am not emoticon When in EQ Nana there is no doubt about it. You simply will not be troubling yourself with "is this EQ or is this not EQ" emoticon So if you wonder then likely its not. 

However it is possible the mind is touching the EQ Nana but sliding down. This only means that something needs to be seen IN THE DUKKHA NANAs and one is not to rush things. Watch that unfoldding and feeling tone of the DN. Forget the EQ. EQ will arise thanks to really Accepting and Seeing that DN.
So make DN your home but dont fall in love with it emoticon emoticon 

This way once in EQ Nana it will be more solid with less chance to slide back down. Again, emoticon dont fall in love with it and dont cling to it out of fear to fall back into the DN. 

Ok, I talk too much! emoticon Off I go (I can find the door myself) Best wishes! emoticon 
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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Yes this was my thought also. I have been slowly making the Dukkha Nanas my home, slowly accepting and understanding it day by day.

If nothing else, meditation is making me more familiar of my shadow side, I'm becoming more aware of my negative emotions, and am slowly less likely to project them onto others.

In that sense, though the goal is SE, even if I stay here all my life it will still be worth investigating.
Sam Gentile, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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Good noting practice. Try to note everything. Thouhts are not problems. Just try to note them and let them go back into emptiness. I like what Papa Che said about Loud Noting. I have been using this technique for 2 years. Using these techniques you will get to SE.
Gabe, modified 5 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
Thank you Sam, your encouragement means a lot. Keep on the Path.
Gabe, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
It's been a while now, I have not updated this log in some time now.

I suspect because, with the exception of my Fear Nana post, it's been mostly same ol' same ol' thus far, which feels good, because the irritation, aversion and whatnot is losing it's "edge" and I seem to have very brief moments of what feels like deep relief in the deepness of the present moment (my best description soz).

I can sit for an hour now, albiet with a bell that goes off every 10 minutes. It's somewhat of a crutch, but a usefull one, I will soon have it go off every 20 minutes, then 30 and so on. What will likely happen is more impatience and runimating over time, but that's just more content to observe, more "fuel". In terms of technique, I use less labels now, they serve primarily as a reminder of mindfulness, before I tried to label everything, now I label mainly mindstates, and mainly negative mindstates. Sensations I just try and see them, or let go of trying and just let them observe themselves??? idk brah. I'm not good at explaining but it feels right so there's that. I have a little more faith in my technique now but doubts still there, noted.

Other than that, I am noticing more of my reactive patterns emerging in daily life outside of formal practice, or perhaps I am just more aware of already existing patterns. I apply mindfullness in these moments when I remember.
Gabe, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
It's been a while now, I have not updated this log in some time now.

I suspect because, with the exception of my Fear Nana post, it's been mostly same ol' same ol' thus far, which feels good, because the irritation, aversion and whatnot is losing it's "edge" and I seem to have very brief moments of what feels like deep relief in the deepness of the present moment (my best description soz).

I can sit for an hour now, albiet with a bell that goes off every 10 minutes. It's somewhat of a crutch, but a usefull one, I will soon have it go off every 20 minutes, then 30 and so on. What will likely happen is more impatience and runimating over time, but that's just more content to observe, more "fuel". In terms of technique, I use less labels now, they serve primarily as a reminder of mindfulness, before I tried to label everything, now I label mainly mindstates, and mainly negative mindstates. Sensations I just try and see them, or let go of trying and just let them observe themselves??? idk brah. I'm not good at explaining but it feels right so there's that. I have a little more faith in my technique now but doubts still there, noted.

Other than that, I am noticing more of my reactive patterns emerging in daily life outside of formal practice, or perhaps I am just more aware of already existing patterns. I apply mindfullness in these moments when I remember.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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3C Nana and Re-observation Nana can have a lot of bleed throughs in off cushion life. 

What to tell you emoticon I mean we all know here (most of us at least) how those reactive patterns can unfold and burst into unskillful action hurting ourselves and others. 

Try to swallow these reactions if you can. If not then quickly apologize and go back inwardly, paying attention to what is. 

Monastic life is protected and supported by spirituality and morality. Lay practitioners are in the midst of the samsaric sewer , neck deep in the shit emoticon No protection mate! emoticon Best is not open your mouth as shit from the sewer might get in emoticon "noble silence" emoticon 

Best wishes to you! 
Gabe, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

Posts: 28 Join Date: 11/23/20 Recent Posts
Just did some unintentional dream yoga/ meditation. I find that when I go sleep during the day I always end up in these highly vivid dreams and deep hypnagogic states.

Found myself getting into some deeply hynagogic states multiple time when trying to fall asleep. Feeling some or most of my body but being almost entirely unable to move, while having flashing images being projected (very vivid despite not being to visualise at all in my waking state), images mostly of equations and formulae (makes sense I've had a lot of math exams lately. Very very easy to be concentrated in this state, face sensations are prominent so I focus on them, as they start to vibrate with more and more intensity and finally a sharp vibration up my spine and done.

Eventually managed to progress deeper into sleep and oh boy did I come to regret that soon. My memory is foggy (as it is with dreams) but something like this happened in this order. I tried to meditate, and all my reactive thought patterns and aversions arise, but not as 'internal' events but as physical or mental manefestationa within the dreams. Noises, ominous laughter, scuttling of bugs, footsteps, you name it. Eventually the idea came to 'give up', but in the sense of reliquishing all my control to God or the Divine. It was like this dream is so fucked up, you win bro, this game is truly yours and I am just a witness or something. Immediately was sunken into a full body bliss, waves of bliss and joy radiating from multiple parts of the body. Some clinging starts, and I start shouting 'You win! You win!' but in order for the bliss to continue. It doesn't, it dies down. Now onto the next phase.

Between this phase and the previous was a gap, and I lost my lucidity, only to regain it at the sheer absudity of the dream. I had multiple dreams of being shown some of my most distressing thoughts in daily life. Family dymanics, deepest fears, aversions all of it. All in full HD unlimited resulution dream-space. I know it's a dream however so I keep my cool and meditate (although I did have some very distressing ideas like what if this is not a dream by psychosis in real life, what if I am in a coma and am stuck in dreams all my life (this dream was taking really damn long despite attempts to wake up). Forgetting happens so easily here, so between actually doing the practice I end up teaching people how to meditate in the dream.

One final tidbit is a member in my dream who asked me why should he meditate, that he was willing to do it if he knew the benefits. And here honestly I struggled to come up with an answer. The ride has been more fear inducing than blissful, more unpleasant than pleasant ect. The Ingram quote comes to mind here. I said something like, well, in the end, you lose the duality of observer and observed, subject and object, and everything is aware of itself as itself. I said this consituites something like unity with the Divine or something, and his eyes lit up like a madmans! I felt a little guilty for putting this member of my dream on the long journey that is serious meditation.

I wake up for real finally, and feel very very relieved. I don't think I will be doing any naps any time soon again, this kinda shit happens too often when I nap.
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Gabe's Practice Log #1

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Sounds like progress to me!

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