Pepe's Log #2

thumbnail
Pepe, modified 5 Months ago.

Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
My initial practice log became too long, so here comes the sequel. 

-

Some highlights of these 3 last weeks:

[ 1 ] I am more attentive (in particular off-cushion) to regrets / negative emotions of the past. Many arise throughout the day, and as most of them are not really significant, I find it strange that they emerge from the unconscious. I imagine that the mind is testing the conscious's ability to deal with past things, before refloating more painful things. I started reading "Start Where You Are", by Pema Chödrön.

[ 2 ] There is a persistent struggle between binary / non-binary thinking. It amazes me how I find at various times (on different topics) that this binary mentality arises (black-white, good-bad, etc.) even though I consider I have learned some things about psychoanalysis well enough. I guess deep down, it's a practice that will last until the last day of my life.

As for meditation, this binary / non-binary translates into something I call digital / analog. I notice how easy it is to fall into the digital noticing of the entire curve of a physical sensation / emotion / thought. What is digital? Capture only the arising, or the passing away, or the peak, or the void after the passing away, and discard the rest. It is a form of subtle rejection of what is being observed. Instead, to be analogous is to surf the entire wave of arising and passing away. And this is closely related to non-conceptuality, perceiving phenomena without labellings (non-verbal) or analyzing or looking for the 3Cs (as opposed to let them appear by themselves). All of this I see as a precondition to be on High-EQ consistently (as consistently as impermanence allows emoticon).

[ 3 ] This non-conceptuality is generally associated with 'being in the Present'. But being in the present is not a panacea, as Eckart Tolle preaches. It also has its complications. Just as being focused on the future, thoughts are connected with hope & fear, and when focused on the past thoughts are connected with pride & shame, when connected with the present the thoughts that arise are connected with approval / reproval or with lose / win. So a lot of psychological material comes up here to look at, that when I'm in 'noticing mode' I often overlook. After dwelling on the physical sensations left by these emotional reactions (which are not very intense, but they do persist/repeat), sometimes the brahmaviharas arise spontaneously as a cure: metta, compassion, mudita, equanimity (and gratitude).

[ 4 ] Perceiving everything in a non-conceptual way is difficult for it to occur consistently, it occurs more in sections of time,  because there is a lot of information that emerges simultaneously and the mind immediately seeks to filter / categorize to deal with the situation. And this derails the practice from non-conceptuality. One tentative solution that I have been trying is to focus on the intensity of physical sensations and emotions (and persistence of thoughts). The idea is that intensity has a gradient from low to high, regardless of whether the physical sensation is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. In my experience, observing intensity takes away the online analysis of what is happening, which is why it supports non-conceptuality.

In addition, the intensity also acts as a bridge between vedana (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) with the three root keshlas (aversion, greed, indifference). Capture both sides at the same time, but without conceptualizing it. It is easy to understand that there can be greed to something pleasant, and that its intensity is low, medium or high. But there can also be greed towards a neutral vedana, a pseudo-EQ. The intensity (here, some kind of tension) in this case gives information about something dissonant. Another case is that there may be an aversion to a pleasant sensation/thought, because this may imply some kind of clinging (no matter how wholesome it is). More of the latter at the end of this post.

[ 5 ] The post-relief issue. When working specifically with tensions, I observe a connection between relaxation and the three root keshlas. When spotting a tension, I see if it has a fast/natural arising and passing away, or if it's kind of 'stable' tension. In the second case, I try to relax. After relaxation and the feeling of relief, that's where I found the connection with the three poisons: 

(1)  Sometimes there's an attraction to that post-relief 'state', I cling to it, kind of trying to solidify the situation. An aversion to going back to the previous dynamic situation, with its ups and downs. 

(2) Sometimes there's an aversion  to that  post-relief state, either because of an intellectual/intuitive clash with some sort of mental model of how things should be, or because of fear of the unknown, etc. 

(3) And sometimes there’s indifference to that post-relief state, trying to observe the always more interesting/fresh new thing. But you could no try to catch a new thing and be indifferent still: that’s when not acknowledging the I-Self, the awareness of awareness. 

What I found is that sometimes there’s kind of solution to these three scenarios: a  tactile feeling/visualization of opening/absorbing like a bath sponge does with water. This triggers  either more relaxation or more subtle phenomena. I had one of those very low key 'near-miss' trying this, so it’s promising. 

At least, it’s some ‘novel’ way of triggering letting go/letting be. And I say ‘novel’ with quotation marks, because it’s not that novel. I have perceived this in taoist breathing, as after the out-breath and before the in-breath there is a spontaneous sucking (of the abdomen in particular but of most of the skin/skull generally) that defrost/unfreeze the situation. 

IMO,  it's kind of revealing as other tension release models (like B. Vimalaramsi's 6 Rs or Shinzen Young's Gone/Vanishings, or Katami’s 2PF chasing of tensions related to the I) promote clinging to /dwelling in that post-relief state, never acknowledging that greed, aversion or indifference is triggered by being there.

[ 6 ] Last Thursday I did something different than what I described in the previous paragraphs, which denotes how wide the vipassana-samatha spectrum is, and how todays' epiphany is tomorrow's half truth  emoticon ... I let myself got caught up in the post-relief clinging, which made me focus on awareness. At one point there was an outward displacement / enlargement (as if in a bubble) and then an acceleration of the thoughts, lights and sensations, revolving around the observation point. That I connected with Vipassana-Jhana 1 (VJ-1). A little later, the attention shifted to pleasant sensations in the body, which grew a little with the passage of time, but never by much. This I connected with VJ-2. Then there began to be many abrupt vanishings of thoughts (I do not particularly remember vanishings of physical sensations). Whenever I thought, the thought was cut off half way and there was silence. I don't know if these vanishings have to do with the intensity of these VJs or it was something more related to High-EQ. At some point later, there was circulation of cooler bodily sensations (coolness), which I don't know what to connect them with. In summary, it was a very interesting practice because I experienced Vipassana-Jhana at a 30/70 ratio when the usual is more than 80/20. It was totally unthinkable that I could take advantage of clinging / aversion to lean towards a more Jhana / Samatha-like practice. It is handy for an aversive personality like mine that could counteract it by taking advantage of clinging.
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Below, some highlights of the past four weeks.
 
Surrendering to a blend of textures between physical sensations, mind-states and emotions. Letting be. Accepting everything, marinating in them, there is nothing to change. If there’s any kind of resistance or intent of conceptualizing anything or imagine/remember anything, then I say “and so is this”.  

When I remain for a long time in a non-conceptual awareness mode, physical sensations are observed with greater amplitude. The interesting thing is to observe the impermanence. Physical sensations aren’t perceived in a pointillist type (Pointillism) like in A&P, but like interconnected small waves. Better still, it is observed how the mind always seeks to freeze those sensations and freeze their spatial location.

When marinating in Dukkha, I observe three levels: (1) the psychological Dukkha; (2) the perceptual Dukkha; (3) the I-Self Dukkha. The psychological Dukkha has to do with reactions to mind-states, emotions, worldviews. The perceptual Dukkha has to do with changes in Attention, is much more subtle. The I-Self Dukkha has to do with the “I” urged to regain its centrality, not accepting an endless parade of sensations. And that's annoying. Like your kid trying to regain your attention as he sees you immersed watching a movie. 

Marinating in the versions I and II of Dukkha triggered major vanishings. It reminded me of that practice Shinzen Young recommends of meditating at midnight and not moving anything, physically or mentally to trigger a cessation. I understand that by not reacting to discomfort, uneasiness, I am letting more parts of the brain to surface simultaneously, and that at some point the mind does not cope with it and have a restart.

When non-conceptual awareness does not work, the second best practice is to observe the past, present, future, and if necessary include labels: remembering, imagining and observing / analyzing.

The Tonglen and Boddhicitta practices I’ve been starting to explore are very good, but to sustain the practice over time I see that I need to be stimulating the mind all the time. My intuition is that it is necessary as a complement to the non-conceptual awareness practice, so as not to miss Dukkha material that is already present in the mind. To keep at least 4-5 concepts fresh in mind, I am going to have to summarize some chapters of Start Where You Are.

Many times I observe how the Attention does not move in the first minute of practice. Before I understood this as something related to concentration. But the 'insight' was to see that it is really Attention centered in the attention itself. In other words, that awareness of awareness is there from the first moment, but then the mind drifts. Once the movement of attention is exhausted, there the awareness of awareness is observed again. 

In Samatha practice, I experimented with Ajahn Lee's breathing method (4 points: nose, Third Eye, Crown Chakra and middle of the brain). As an interesting byproduct, the flickering appeared on the Third Eye (better to look at it from the front but with a peripheral view) and some image forming (morphing light images). It is probably related to A&P Vipassana-Jhana.

For the first time, I walked through J1, J2, J3 and J4. They were very lite versions of jhanas, yet  an amazing experience nevertheless. Interesting how those theoretical things actually translate into physical / mental experiences. I observed the pull in J1 (towards the Third Eye), pleasant sensations in J2 (the chest and extremities in general). J1 is more mental, J2 more physical. Later there were cooler sensations (cool) and calmness and quietness, which I connect with J3. Finally there was a push up (as if it were above my head) and then it stabilized there, which I connected with J4. 

I noticed that the loss of concentration is synchronized with the drop in the gaze, that the eyes descend from the forehead to some space in front of the nose / mouth or torso. I practiced to keep my gaze just above or just below the Third Eye. It demands some effort. When I drop that effort, a new landscape appears.

Sometimes, when the practice is more inclined towards Samatha, abrupt vanishings occur, abrupt cuts in the middle of some words. Just a remainder that Samatha powers Vipassana... 
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 172 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
- "I have perceived this in taoist breathing, as after the out-breath and before the in-breath there is a spontaneous sucking (of the abdomen in particular but of most of the skin/skull generally) that defrost/unfreeze the situation."
Could you elaborate on this? I had some related experiences in my practice but I am not sure whether you are talking about the same thing.
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Sure. In what chinese call "buddhist breathing", the belly expands in the inbreath and contracts in the  outbreath. Instead, in "taoist breathing", it contracts in the inbreath and expands in the outbreath. In martial arts it's usually recommended to use the buddhist breathing, leaving taoist breathing for advanced practices. Yet, the later arises naturally for many while doing sitted meditation, but you can also do it deliberately with some caveats. In a reclined position it works best.

The lenght of your outbreath is usually dependent on the lenght of the previous inbreath but also of the previous outbreath. Kind of 'the sytem looking for homeostasis'. The inbreath is a conditioned pattern, not initially driven by the urge of oxygen. If you just don't let that inbreath to happen, after a 5-10 seconds you may notice that the lower belly starts to vibrate, and soon a little/big contraction happens that ignites the inbreath.
​​​​​​​
With some practice this contraction also smooths out and you have a new breathing pattern. So you have like a little wave: (1) contraction of the belly; (2) expansion of the sides of the torso and chest; (3) contraction of the chest; (4) expansion of the belly. Instead, in buddhist breathing the expansion/contraction of the belly and  chest happens roughly at the same time. It's a 1-2 pattern. I practiced the 1-4 breath pattern years ago, but never went too far and eventually lost interest when sitted meditation became my main practice. But it pops up every now and  then during the sits.

The 1-2 pattern is easier for a whole-body breathing, where you feel that the extremities and skull 'breath' too. The thing is that I observe a rest of some seconds between the outbreath and the next inbreath. In that rest,  the body and the Attention tend to freeze, the mind trying to grab onto something (the restful experience or Attention itself). The unfreeze happens when I notice that that restful experience has an underlying tension (the need to grab onto something) and let it go. It's like a second relaxation (the first is the outbreath), but that it feels like being sucked to the center of the brain or to the ground. My guess is that it may lead to a cessation if the sinking is deep enough. 
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Below there is a long description of a mix of practices (middle/high-EQ and Self-Inquiry) I've been doing during the last 5-6 weeks. They are quite intertwined, not that one can isolate one from another. In a sense they are like alternative (but not contradictory) ways to get to similar places. What is described below has a chronological sense, although many of the situations are repeated from session to session.

******************** 

- Who I am? - Answer: brood, incubate (LOL) 

- Where does the self reside? 

There is a process of de-identification by removing the possibility of holding on to the past or future, to thoughts, emotions and sensations. An identification with awareness is forced.

In the search for questions that can only be answered by the unconscious, the following emerged: How does Consciousness feel? 

I believed that fear was the main problem, and I was looking for a question connected with that. But I see that what is really urgent is to connect with emotions. What emerged is the need to "sensitivize" the thoughts: to find the emotional component connected with the thought. Small responses appear, in the form of physical sensations.

From there I went on to the general search of sensitivizing awareness. As feedback, the answer was silence and the movement of the center of the observation, which did not remain more or less fixed in one area but moved on the vertical axis (up-down) and on the horizontal axis (forward-backward)..

Thoughts do not speak of me. Thoughts speak to me.

I seek to observe when a stream of thoughts acquires inertia and disconnects the observation from the underlying silence.

Sometimes it is possible to perceive a faint vibration behind each thought.

This connecting with the raw sensations of thoughts triggered a change in perception, everything felt closer and more vivid, for 1-2 minutes. And the feeling is generated as if it going  from 3-D to 2-D (*). Then it was lost. When the first thoughts reappear, they feel outside of the “core”, of that 2-D plane. The (startling) difference is well marked. I speculated that it was a High-EQ lineup and / or something related to the Watcher.

(*) the center of observation went down from head to heart, and the sense of self began to merge with the flux of raw sensations

The observation center decants and quiets down towards a diffuse area that connects head to heart.

- Where do thoughts come from? 

The non-conceptual answer was an image looking up at the sky, observing the space between the tall treetops. Later an archetypal image emerged, a druid that said "we live in ..." and a stone rock with inner light appeared. Cheesy as it was, the image shocked me. I relaxed, descended and returned to that perception in 2-D.

- What is behind this?

I applied to everything: physical sensations, thoughts, awareness. It was a delicate search, more than anything an intention.

Two comparisons I explored: (1) comparison between tension and awareness. This is about the automaticity of the attention that I spoke in past posts. There is a small fraction of a second in which I notice that when the tension runs, there is something behind. (2) comparison between that spacious place that is generated after a silence, and the raw sensations that are in the center. 

The practice became 24/7, throughout the day I remember this ability to maintain awareness of awareness. Certain conclusions also come out of nowhere about psychological issues that I carry since childhood, and how that negatively affected all human relationships since then. Although there are issues that I have matured over the years, tendencies of self-demand and comparison with other people persist today.

There are two possible ways to go towards that perception in 2-D. The first is to let go or relax each time a physical thought or feeling arises. The second is to say "that thought is not me, that feeling is not me ..."

When looking towards the observation center, one option is to stand directly there and another option is to have a kind of anchor, a point somewhere ‘in front' from which to look back. As if it were a mirror that looks back. In some sessions (not always) this anchor served to stabilize / quiet everything, although it also serves in a complementary way to broaden the focus of awareness to include the chest. This bears many similarities to spatial factors from Jhana 1 and 2, so it got me wondering if this 2-D perception is actually something tied to Self-Inquiry or just an in and out of rupa jhanas.

Every sensation, every thought, even the center of observation must "fall" (product of acceptance, etc) in order to look further back. Not because something has to be relaxed, but because every feeling, thought, etc. gives the I-Self a spatial location to hold onto.

As soon as the mind-space becomes quiet, the mind clings to anything: some kind of image, a sound, a vibration, a thought, a point of observation, and also the space itself, and the passing of time. The mind "objectifies" everything it observes. It attaches itself to what it observes and crystallizes into it. But if one remains calm, sometimes a small fluctuation is observed in what is observed. Sometimes it feels physically, and other times it is something like "transparent". But there it is observed that there is something observing from behind.

So there are two non-exclusive options: in a handmade way see how the mind is coupled to each object, and/or inhabit that object and let it show those cracks by itself. These variants are gentler, it is not so insistent as observing the observer directly and recognize and drop everything that is not it.

But this gentle approach doesn't always work. So one has to alternate between gentle and intense.

- “I am I” emerged when playing with this alternation between the gentle and the intense approaches … and when I was thinking of repeating the phrase as if it were an Inquiry in itself, when I said “I” the subconscious responded “IS”.

I woke up in the middle of the night with an intense pain in the pit of my stomach. It is a place where 20 years ago it was a constant trouble, of psychological origin. So I connected the last experiences in meditation with a revisit of those pains. During the last sessions I had several times flashes of horror images, but they do not generate fear, but a mixture of surprise and interest in seeing them for a longer amount of time. Something like Hegel’s “first as tragedy (DN) then as farce (EQ)”. But the pain in the pit of his stomach felt more like a “threat”. 
thumbnail
Niels Lyngsø, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 342 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
Thanks for another thorough and inspiring report, Pepe!

The idea of finding – or in my case: at least looking for – an emtional component connected to thought sounds very useful.

Your description of transparency is recognizable: I sometimes have moments of transparency, they can appear spontaneously or as a result of inquiry (I guess we both have looked into Angelo Dilullo's material). It's intriguing to observe how long the transparency stays before thought comes back online, not necessarily in the form of verbal thoughts, sometimes only as a sort of pouring coordinates (front, back, left, right, up, down) into this in itself non-oriented space. I have found that questions beginning with "Where" are more usefull than those beginning with "Who" or "What": "Where is the one feeling this body?" "Where is the one that's aware of this thought?"

I wish I could give more useful feedback, but I feel that I am a couple of steps behind you, so all I can say is: Keep up the good work. To me you seem to be in a good and promising place!
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Thanks Niels!

Regarding inquiries, in my case what works is asking paradoxical questions that could never be answered logically. If I ask "where", I could still rationally look for a place. But when I ask "what's behind that?" or "how does Consciousness feels?", that has no rational answer and so allowing a non-conceptual feedback to arise.  

Regarding what I've said you by private message that with Self-Inquiry you either incline to SE or I AM/Kensho, I was wrong. I have been checking an old thread, and I AM/Kensho is known by theravadan DhOers as No-Dog.  It's best described as a transjhanic state, unaffected by states, insight stages and cycles. That, though it's more easily reached in High-EQ, it can pop-up in A&P, post SE or even after 4th Path as happened to Daniel Ingram. Perhaps that's why his description is so particular, so state of the art. Check in MCTB2 the Concentration Models section, where he talks about "pure presence", a "super-pervading watcher". And then compare with other descriptions in this old thread , in particular Kenneth Folk's.  In fact, I AM/Kensho is further refined after first awakening by focusing in Luminosity (Anicca) [Vividness], Effortlessness (Dukkha), and Impersonality (Anatta) [Automaticity]. You may check  that at Thusness/Soh Wei Yu pointers



  

 
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Angelo Dilullo: How to arrive at unbound consciousness, and what to do when you are experiencing unbound consciousness.

(trimmed transcription)

The usual experience of consciousness is a polarized internal process, where we're taking ourselves to be the subject, experiencing an objective world. That dualistic experience inside of consciousness is a sort of hypnotic spell, caused by thought caused by polarized thinking. The first step in waking up from the dream of separation is to break that spell. One of the steps in breaking that spell, that gets you right at the edge of awakening, is to recognize what unbound consciousness is experientially. Not to understand it intellectually. It has to be experiential. You have to be knowingly conscious without an object of consciousness, without an object of thought, without experiencing an objective world made out of thought. This is to be pure subjectivity, pure I, pure sense of I am. This is unbound consciousness. 

For approaching this, I’ll point to it from two angles.

(1) Approach thought by feel 

The first angle is to approach thought by feel, to become interested in what the experience of thinking is. Turning our attention towards thought. Feel into the texture of what a thought is, how it moves, how it arises. And what it moves in. Look and feel into what it feels like to be the thinker. Any thought that arises, regardless of the content: it can be words, it can be an image. Whatever thought is arising in your mind, just give it your attention. Don't wrestle with it. Don't try to change into something else. Just experience it. As if to say “what is that?”, “what is it made out of?”

A thought is kind of like watching a movie in your mind. But if you got curious enough about that movie, or the screen it's playing on, you could walk right up to it. Put your hand in that light. See what it's made out of. Turn towards the projector. What is consciousness as it turns into thought? 

When you start to get a feel for the mysteriousness of a thought, keeping your attention right on the thought, you can start to feel your way back to the subject, to the thinker. And notice the thinker is made out of the same substance as the thought.

The thinker and the thought are not two in this space. The sense of you, the sense of the listener, the sense of the awareness, the aware one, the conscious one. Can you find a place where that exists separate from any thought?

Now, when you recognize this sameness, the thinker and the thought aren't separate, and you just kind of rest there, it might feel like a little bit of a movement or a wave. You might feel like your attention's sloshing around in your mind and consciousness. Or just kind of moving in an easy way. Or even a circuit. It might just feel like movement of thought with no content. It might feel like pure self moving out in all directions, including every thought, including all of the space of the thinker, of the thinking, until it's all just one continuous experience of consciousness, one continuous experience of being or I. 

Now, if you can feel into that, you just sort of remain there. There's an alertness to it but it can be completely content-less. Meaning no thoughts are forming. Just kind of an awareness that's aware in every direction. A knowing that's self-knowing. Knowing only the knowing. Just like a purity of the knower. Requiring no object, because every object is also part of the knower, it's part of the knowing. This is pure consciousness, unbound consciousness. It's not bound to an object of thought.

(2) De-identification from thoughts 

The other angle is to de-identify from thoughts, one by one. As soon as we recognize the thought as a thought, then we can kind of turn our attention to what else is here. Because we're recognizing that usually thoughts are structuring our experience. But when we disregard the thought as not actually here (because it's always pointing somewhere else, or it's saying something that's not directly experienceable right here and right now, like a sound is, or a sensation is, or a visual experience is) then we can let it go.   We can turn our attention somewhere else. So, what's the next thought? 

Just be ready. And as soon as you recognize it as a thought ( as an arising thought, or a formed thought) just set it aside: “oh that's a thought, now what else is here?” And you notice the gap before another thought comes, don't make any more thoughts. Stay in the gap, but be alert for a thought to come spontaneously. And just notice the gap expand, until the next thought arrives. Might last a few seconds, might last 20 or 30 seconds. It might last longer. 

This gap might also feel like the pure sense of I. Or it might not feel like anything specific because we're not thinking, we're not labeling. So it's pure alert attention. But not interested in thinking. So in that gap (and remember gap is also a thought), in that absence of thoughts (that's what I'm pointing to when I say unbound consciousness) you're not asleep but you're also not thinking. 

The mind is sneaky.  It'll tell you that without thinking you can't know its unbound consciousness. But that is one thought. You can just disregard that as another thought and return to the gap. Because you absolutely can know unbound consciousness with no thoughts at all. So just stay right there. 

-

Now, what to do when you've arrived at unbound consciousness? And is that actually awakening to experience unbound consciousness?

Well, it's not awakening yet, but it's very fertile ground for awakening. Once you come to this place there's nothing more you can do. You can give yourself to this experience of pure conscious experience, pure conscious being, and remain alert. Remain in that thoughtless space. 

But there's nothing more you can do, but just commit to just remaining here, regardless of how you feel, regardless of how the body reacts. It's very common that the body will have a strong response, a fear response. Without thoughts, it's literally a physiologic experience. Just stay there. Stay with that unbound consciousness. And the fear response will subside, it won't last forever. It might be intense for a while, but even intense is a descriptor, a thought. Just let the body experience what it needs to experience. And as you remain in this unbound conscious state, at some point the body will calm down. And it will just be a neutral, aware, thoughtless conscious space.  Is this awakening? Not yet.

Just remain here. Once you're able to cultivate this, and once you've gone through a fear barrier (if you do … most people do, but it doesn't mean you will) don't think about it, don't obsess over whether it was there or not. That's just thoughts. But if it comes it's okay. If it doesn't come, it's okay. But if you've cultivated the ability to remain in this thoughtless space for a time, and/or gone through that fear threshold, then again there's nothing more to do. Just stay here. Just remain with it. Reality will do the work.

Just be very alert for the thoughts that are practice thoughts, self-monitoring thoughts, and just keep letting go when you recognize that's just another thought.

And just go back to that space exquisitely neutral. It's contentless. It's uninteresting to the thought process, because the thought process can say nothing about it. But the thought process is dissolved fully in it and it's made fully out of it. So everything you've ever thought is already here. Everything you ever thought you were is here. Everything you ever thought the world was is here. In its pure form, in its unmanifested form. Pure conscious, without having to turn into anything.

​​​​​​​So just remain in that alert thoughtless neutral space. Don't move. Remain in that neutrality. That's your practice. That's all there is to do. And then be patient. If you can really remain here, and you're not getting entangled in thoughts again, it's just a matter of time. 
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
How does silence feel?" 

I found an inquiry that goes deep. It is a great question because after having been working on thoughts, asking myself "what will the next thought be?", Etc., by asking "how does silence feel?" I am posing the alternate scenario (something like playing with the idea of yin-yang), inquiring/challenging the gaps of silence between thoughts.

The idea was precisely to make an inquiry about those factors that I perceive from awareness: (1) a background spread silence; (2) a sense of beingness. Precisely, "how does silence feel?" points to the first factor.

This question activates an intuitive search for properties of silences. Although unconscious labels arise (such as the temporal duration of silences, if it is in the foreground or the background) and therefore must be recognized as a thought / analysis and dropped, most of the time it is a direct connection, not a conceptual one, as if surfing that silence.

As a funny anecdote, a forgotten episode from 30 years ago emerged during this silence. The first reaction was to think “oh, again I was hooked by  a thought”. But right away I realized that that memory did have a message. The story is that one night we (two couples) went to dance at a renowned dance-club far from the city. Back then I had no job and so a little pocket, I spent all the money to pay for the tickets. Outside the dance-club, the music was heard at full volume. When we entered, we saw that the place was huge ... but there was no one! Hours passed and no more than six couples entered. I had no money to even pay for a drink and the taps in the bathrooms were closed to force us to buy drinks. As we had come in the car of the other couple, we had to wait until 5 am, when they finally decided to return to the city ... I understood All this anecdote as a message of fear of awakening: a feeling of loss of autonomy (I was not driving the car), I spent everything to enter (put great effort), the party (awakening) seemed fun and promising from the outside, but once inside it was empty (a great loneliness), even the water was missing (can I be socially functional to meet the needs basic once awaken?), and couldn't get out (it’s a one way ticket).

In the next practice I spent a long time (on & off) in unbound consciouness. In retrospect, I understand that the key is that this time while I was questioning silence (how does silence feels?) I stopped 'looking' for an answer in the silent space but simply abide there while opening myself to the physical sensations that were in the body (in the chest particularly). Thus, all kinds of sensations circulated, many of them trying to get me out of that situation (fear factor).

The sensations did everything they had to do. The intensity of the push-pull lasted for a while and finally eased. The subsequent situation was not one of "stability" but rather one of "neutrality" but without a fixed point (wander around is the English term?), the center of observation shifting, visually like rapidly morphing clouds, with nothing describable. From time to time, thought intentions appeared that couldn’t materialize into oral or visual thoughts. When they did manage to materialize was when I visualized the "frame" of the eyeballs.

In another session I noticed that the unhooking of this nebulous neutrality without a fixed point occurs when this situation can be observed from “behind” or from “below”. It is when the intentionality of analysis wins over me and I put some distance between me-the-observer and that floating neutrality. In this sense, it is very similar to the 2D experience that I described a couple of previous posts (although I arrived at that previous situation via an infinite backward movement and there was no previous connection with physical sensations).

It is key (at this stage) not to focus on achieving some kind of equanimity, but rather the opposite, letting everything explode, letting whatever has to come out and not trying to cling to some thought / sound / image / sensation or some kind of frame axial (XYZ spatial coordinate reference). Abide in a frameless silence.

That night I had a particular dream, where I was holding the hand of my father. I wanted to say him something but he kept talking and talking. I said to him: "why don't you let me tell you about my experience?" And he gave me to understand that what I had to say was not valid, not important and not of interest. And he kept talking about his stuff. I got mad and swear him very clearly and with great intensity. And while I was swearing I was surprised at how hard I were swearing. But he would not let go of my hand. H said that I should not leave him, that he needed something from me. I end up letting go of his hand but felt guilty.

The dream was a mixture of unresolved psychological issues (during the day I had talked to a friend about a re-enactment / visualization practice of child-ego dialogue with parents) and the ego's refractory reaction to unbound consciouness, the fear of losing centrality. 
​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Angelo Dilullo: Non Duality - Living Without Context (Transcription)

What is it like to move through life without contexts? 
What if you don't apply contexts to situations, experiences and the sense world? 
Can you walk through a room without adding context? 
Without adding meaning to what's happening? 
Without internally reflecting on the labels, the stories, memories narratives?
Where would you put your attention? 
How about just in the senses?

Just the sensations. Just the sounds. Just the lines and forms and shapes and colors. You can practice this anytime. It can be practiced while meditating. It can be practiced while walking, while performing tasks, doing yard work, making art, making music. It's simply a matter of noticing when our attention starts to reference thought. Starts to think about what's happening, instead of just experiencing what is happening fully. 

So when we notice sound filling up the environment, not here not there, not about something, not coming from somewhere, we're able to just give ourselves to this or let it overtake us. 

Same with movement. As the internal and external world move, there's just that movement. Nothing needs to be referenced. The movement does the moving. Nothing is required of this moment. The moment doesn't require anything of you, so find out what it's like when you don't require anything of the moment.

Do we need to add purpose, context, meaning to everything?
Or is everything just fine on its own? 
Do you notice the sun rises and sets by itself?
Do you notice the body breathes, the heart beats, the gut digests, without anyone's help?

Similarly, we can trust the senses to take care of everything. To take care of movement. To take care of the hearing, seeing and feeling. 

And we become the enjoyer. We become the seeing, hearing and feeling. We notice the universe enjoying itself. By immersing itself as what's happening, as this moment, there's nothing more to say, there's nothing more to do.

We don't have to cause this to happen. We don't even witness it. Witnessing is a thought. Experience is full on, fully encompassing, nothing is left out nothing is missed. So by not adding we're fully participating. By not putting a context between our self and reality, then we see there is only reality.

The sense of the separate self was a result of the context, not vice versa. So, when we don't worry about how experiences relate to our story, to past experiences, to future experiences – all of which are thoughts  then reality can show us its non-dual nature. It's innocent, simple, spontaneous nature.

This is here to be discovered any moment. It's not going to happen in the future, because there's no future for it to happen in. It only happens now, and it always happens now. 

So just reclaim what's yours by noticing. Be honest with yourself about when you're actually feeling body sensations, and when you're recalling body sensations, or the meaning of those sensations, or how to get more of them, or how to get less of them, because that's always a thought. And notice when there's just sound, listening to music, hearing the environmental sounds, notice when we start to reflect on what that means to us, or how happy we are, or how much we love the music. That's standing apart. Let the music overtake everything.

​​​​​​​Give your will over to the sense world, to the immediacy and you won't be disappointed. 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 2173 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"And notice when there's just sound, listening to music, hearing the environmental sounds, notice when we start to reflect on what that means to us, or how happy we are, or how much we love the music. That's standing apart. Let the music overtake everything"

Try this lovely song! but do listen to the very end as there are also environmental sounds involved  emoticon https://youtu.be/fZTb47M8Ikg
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 441 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Cool song! Think I haven't heard it before. It remainds me of some folk guitar passages of old Genesis songs. Actually, I'm writing some arrangements for two guitars and a flute (plus voices) in a (non-UK) folk groove... Funny those environmental sounds at the end emoticon but who's to blame? 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Pepe's Log #2

Posts: 2173 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"f.ckin bus!" emoticon emoticon made me LOL emoticon 

BTW, do check Nick Drake. He is a very interesting singer-song writer. He sadly died when he was 26 yo. 

Once your song is finished give us a listen will ya emoticon 

Breadcrumb