RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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

Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 22 Days 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 22 Days 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 22 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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Well, thankyou Chris!
George S, modified 22 Days 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 17 Days 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 16 Days 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 16 Days 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 16 Days 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 16 Days 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 16 Days 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 15 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 15 Days 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 13 Days 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

---

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 10 Days 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 9 Days 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 9 Days 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 8 Days 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 8 Days 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 8 Days 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 8 Days 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 8 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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That's pretty spot on. Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 5 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 5 Days 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 5 Days 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 4 Days 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 4 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 4 Days 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 4 Days 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 4 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 4 Days 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 4 Days 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 4 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days 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 4 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 4 Days 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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days 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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days 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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 Days 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 Days 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 2 Days ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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 1 Day ago.

RE: Polly Ester’s practice log 12

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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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