Sam's Practice Log 5

Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Wow, I am accumulating quite a history here! Chris Marti asked me to create a new log bacause my 4th version was getting too long. That 4th log chronicles the jouney time from my 2nd A+P to my Stream Entry.

​​​​​​​I learned and experienced a lot during Log #2. At the begining, I offered some information on my history and methods:
  1.  first practice log,
HISTORY
A lot of my practice history both pre-DhO and DhO learning about noting can be found here. I talk about nothing happening for 7 years. Most of it was Tibetan under Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. Since joining DhO I have made great strides along with my teacher Abre.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Practice Log 5

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Help Needed 

Things are not going well. Although I got some donations for groceries, that was only enough for one week. I'm sorry to say I need more help for this week's groceries. I am also having trouble getting up for mmeditation sleepiing into the late afternoon. If you can help, my PayPal account is mscoree42@gmail.com.

​​​​​​​I need to get back to meditation. I will be meeting with Abre on WEdnesday.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Practice Log 5

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I finally got money for 2 weeks of groceries. One worry out.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Finally got back to meditation and now I'm feeling my Parkinson's symptoms. Concentration practice was excellent using the Transitional Breath. I experienced Silence and Calm.
For noting, I had a little bit of dizziness, with small headaches, lower back pain, Tense and tight neck, stomach pain. Then things calmed down to Silence and Stillness of Mind, Calmness, Relaxation. Then some more body: shoulder pain, lower back pain. This was followed by more Silence, hearing birds, stillness, relaxed,  a tiny bit of bliss, followed by my Gratitude and Metta practices.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Meeting with Abre

Well, I knew I was going to get chewed out - 5 meditations in 2 weeks plus the Dzogchen stuff. She was very unhappy. She said that I need to kick myself in the ass, that I'm not a baby, get going and remember all that bliss and allthe WISDOM I gained in achieving SE. I need to have gratitude for having those wonderful results. As someone with SE, I can't be ababy and can't decide to be lazy and just decide that I don't feel like it. I have plenty of time, continue. Do you want to lose all that you gained? Stay in bed all day? What an indulgence! 

So back to the widom I gained and begin from there again. Going to meditate now.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Concentration was excellent until I realized I was breath counting instead of doing the superior Transitional Breath
Noting was kind of weird. I had a little bit of vertigo, a little dizzy, little headaches and this werid sensations that felt like this giant zooming in and out of my ears. I may have to check into this medically. I had knee pain, arm pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, hand pain, numness. Then things turned to silence, calm, relaxation, hearing birds, hearing airplanes. This was followed up by my gratitude and metta practices.

20 min Guided Dzogchen The Threefold Space meditation
This meditation uses space to connect with the open radiant quality of pure awareness. This is a traditional practice in the Dzongchen lineage , refered to as "three fold space."

Note: With Abre's permission I will be taking Michael Taft's Vast Sky Mind on non dual techniques/

Dzogchen Studies
  1. Section 4: mingle Awareness and Space
  2. “Instruction Manual on the Ground of Trekchö” by Vajrayoginī in Perfect Clarity, pp. 73‒76
  3. A Lamp to Dispel Darkness by Mipham Rinpoche [pdf]
  4. “The Threefold Sky Practice” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 119‒126
  5. “Space” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 190‒19
  6. One hour video with Marcia Schmidt, original student and publisher of Talku Urgyen Rinpoche and others
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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50 min  Meditation (20  min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Concentration was excellent using the Transitional Breath. Noting was pretty rocky at the physical layer. I had neck pain, forehead pain, mid back pain, lower back pain. There was then a period of silence and stillness, calm and relaxation. Then came more physical stuff - Shoulder pain, small headaches, leg pain, stomach pain. In the end, back to calm and I did Gratitude and Metta.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Abre re-motivated me and I even got up 2 hours earlier. However I didn't have any Coffee. Concentration practice was just average. I don't know if it was the abscence of coffee but I felt tired and "spaced out." I did maintian my Transitional Breath but there were way too many thoughts. As I went on to Noting Practice, the "spaced out" feeling continued. My eyes were watering, gut pain, knee pain, neck tightness, lower back pain. Finally I got some silence and relaxation and I finished up with Gratitude and Metta.

NEW! Persuant to this topic, I had already been studyiing Dzogchen. I now have obtained permission fromm Abre to add Vast Sky Mind: Fundamentals of Nondual Meditation and Awakening by Micheal Taft.   

20 min Dzogchen Meditating on the 3rd Point
This meditation worked with Garab Dorje's third instruction that strikes the vital point - gaining confidence in liberation by using Patrul Rinpoche's commentry. This was read in the background such as "
“When you have strong attachment towards an object of desire or violent anger towards an object of aversion, or when you feel joy about favorable circumstances, about material possessions and the like, or you are afflicted by sorrow due to an illness or another unfavorable circumstance, no matter what happens, at that moment the power of your rigpa is aroused. So, it is vital to recognize the wisdom that is the ground for liberation.”


Dzogchen Practice
  1. Module 6 Gaining Confidence in Libertion
  2. Mingyur  Rinpoche Video - Gaining Confidence in Liberation
  3. Patrul Rinpoche, Confidence Directly in the Liberation of Rising Thoughts, from The Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King, pp. 9-13 [pdf]
    ​​​​​​​4. Introduction by Cortland Dahl
  4. Guru Rinpoche Prayer translated by Jim Scott [pdf]
  5. Advice on How to Put the Meaning of the Natural Great Perfection into Practice by Patrul Rinpoche [pdf]
  6. Primordial Purity, pp. 60‒90 (Ch. 3 “Action”)
  7. Enhance the Recognition by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 73‒76
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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90 minutes Micheal Taft Non Dual Who Are You Really  meditation

Thiis meditation had a bunch of steps in it.
  1. Shamatha with the Breath - got really concentrated
  2. Drop into spacious awareness + rest in it
  3. Notice the Stillness of awarness
  4. Notice perfect silence
  5. Notice timeless - How long have you been here? Forever
  6. Notice awareness is happening all by itself
  7. Switch to vipashyana - notice sensations arising and disolving
  8. Notice of any sembelences of "YOU" are inside awareness and that you are just an appearence in awareness
  9. Awareness is aware of the "self"
KEY INSIGHT: Things that you have been calling I/YOU are just a bunch of thoughts, sensations, etc in awareness. But awareness is always there.
IIt's NOT that you are in the world, but the world is in you

I'll be back later for our meeting with Mingyur Rinpoche
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Concentration was very good except for some thoughts on my new Vast Sky Mind course (see below) starting this week. I used the treansitional breath.
Noting was mostly calm, silence and relaxation. In the begining, I had neck tightness, knee  pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain. mid back pain, little headaches, forehead sensations. Then the rest of the time it was Silence, stillness, relaxed, relaxed and calm. I finished with Gratitude and  Metta.

Note: I am starting my non dual course Vast Open Sky with Micheal Taft. I will be including some short progress notes as the "Pod" communications will be private.

This will continue with he Dzogchen
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I am still struggling a biy with sleep and meditation. I am waking up a noon, eating, and going  back to bed. I am having a hard time gettiing myself to meditate. I know Abre gave me the lecture but can any of you readers offer any encouragement? It seems like so long since I've heard from anyone.

50min meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Once I did meditate, concentration was excellent. Total calm. Used the Transitional Breath.
Noting started with calm ,relaxation,silence. Then I got neck stiffness, tiny headaches, lower back pain, shoulder pain, leg pain. Then I had a wonderful couple of minutes hearing birds. This was followed by stillness, calm, relaxation, stillness in the mind. Then I did my Gratitude and Metta practices.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Your meditations generally sound peaceful and pleasant ... where do you think the resistance is coming from?
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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George S
Your meditations generally sound peaceful and pleasant ... where do you think the resistance is coming from?
I don't know. It seems more of a life thing. I don't really feel like doing much and have a lot of sleepiness during the day. 
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I hear you. The life and meditation stuff tend to start overlapping after a certain point so, if it's any consolation, it's a sign of progress! The only way is forward now ...

If you feel up to it, try to investigate the sensations in your body associated with this feeling of having a hard time getting yourself to meditate, as if you were an impartial observer studying some interesting new phenomenon. Eg see if they are hard or soft, hot or cold, localized or dispersed, static or moving around etc.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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George S
I hear you. The life and meditation stuff tend to start overlapping after a certain point so, if it's any consolation, it's a sign of progress! The only way is forward now ...

I'm on the treadmill now after the A+Ps and Stream Entry. I can't stop even if I wanted to. YEs, forward!

If you feel up to it, try to investigate the sensations in your body associated with this feeling of having a hard time getting yourself to meditate, as if you were an impartial observer studying some interesting new phenomenon. Eg see if they are hard or soft, hot or cold, localized or dispersed, static or moving around etc.

It's sort of this really heavy feeling, dragging me down, wanting to just get out of it.
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sam Gentile
It's sort of this really heavy feeling, dragging me down, wanting to just get out of it.

Classic Desire for Deliverance!
​​​​​​​
MN44 Culavedalla Sutta

"Passion-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to pleasant feeling. Resistance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to painful feeling. Ignorance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling."

"Is passion-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all pleasant feeling? Is resistance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all painful feeling? Is ignorance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​"No... There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With that he abandons passion. No passion-obsession gets obsessed there. There is the case where a monk considers, 'O when will I enter & remain in the dimension that those who are noble now enter & remain in?' And as he thus nurses this yearning for the unexcelled liberations, there arises within him sorrow based on that yearning. With that he abandons resistance. No resistance-obsession gets obsessed there. There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. With that he abandons ignorance. No ignorance-obsession gets obsessed there."
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Classic Desire for Deliverance!

Yah, it could be. It did feel like that the first time through the Dukka-Nannas. But that would mean I have fallen from stream entry into the dukkha -nanas.

Look at todays log though. Totally different. Joy, happpiness, etc
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Well that's the classic pattern post SE! - constantly cycling from A&P through dukkha nanas to equanimity (and possibly repeat fruitions or a new path)
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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yes, thanks for reminding me of that
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hi Sam,

From your practice log, it appears you are meditating regularly for a significant amount of time even though it's difficult, so I'd say that's a pretty good win! Honestly, when I've been tired and run-down and struggling, I usually only manage 30 minutes or so with regularity.

Also, what's 'Transitional Breath'?

   -- Logan
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Logan G.
Hi Sam,

From your practice log, it appears you are meditating regularly for a significant amount of time even though it's difficult, so I'd say that's a pretty good win! Honestly, when I've been tired and run-down and struggling, I usually only manage 30 minutes or so with regularity.

That's when I don't miss any days but yes I've been regularly.

Also, what's 'Transitional Breath'?
​​​​​​​This is a Concentration Breath taught to me by my teacher Abre where you notice and think Beg-Middle_end of both the on the in breath and out breath.

   -- Logan
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Up late again. Forced myself again to meditate but Success! Concentrration was very good but not excellent. I was in this state where everything was quiet, wasn't thinking but not really feeling  like I was deeply concentrating eithher. Used Transitional Breath. Noting was such a joy with the prolonged sound of beautiful birds. I had some neck tightness, lower back pain, tiny headaches, upper back pain, knee pain, leg pain, forehead pain. Then the prolonged periods of hearing birds. Followed by calm, relaxed. Finished with Gratitude and Metta.

Dzogchen Studies
  1. Minyur Rinpoche video - Experiencing the Four Liberations. The 4 liberations are 1) Primordial 2)Self, (3) Direct and (4) liberation from extremes. I am fascinated by Primordial Liberation - its there from beginless time. In recognizing Rigpa, you can often sense meditation from before. That is because Rigpa is everwhere always.
  2. Longchenpa’s Commentary on the Third Vital Point [pdf]
  3. Self-Liberating Meditation by Patrul Rinpoche [pdf]
  4. Enhancement by Tsele Natsok Randrol, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 239‒243
  5. The Third Vital Point + The Conclusion from Teachings on the Three Words That Strike the Vital Point by Mingyur Rinpoche, pp. 59‒77 and 78‒96
  6. Methods of Liberation by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 111‒1
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Starbucks  3 shot Strawberry Funnel Cake Ice Coffee has arrived. Certainly it is now time to meditate.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 mn Noting)

My best sit in over a month! I'm sure the coffee helped. Concentration best in over a month. All the Jhanicc factors like Piti, Sukkha, Energy and Mindfulnessness were present and I thought I was going to enter the 1st Jhana but didn't. But I got a nice deep awake, aware concentration.
Noting was great too. I started out calm, awake and even a little bliss. Then I had some shoulder soreness, urinary tension, neck tightness, knee pain, lower back pain. Then most of the rest was filled with silence, stillness, relaxed, calm, happiness and even Joy!! Finished with Gratitude and Metta.

20 min Dzogchen Meditation - Rigpa in Everyday Life
This meditation involved looking at various everyday activities in life and realize that they are arisings and ceasings within awareness. View them as expressions of rigpa.

Quote of the Day
"To repeat the recognition of mind essence you don't neccessarily have to sit down, Do not make any distinction between the training when sitting and the training when moving around in daily life situations. Do no not limit the practice to sessions. The view is rigpa, the meditation training is rigpa, and the conduct is rigpa. This is the way to get used to the enlightened state" -- Talku Urgyen Rinpoche


Dzogchen Studies (Module 6 Gaining Confidence in Liberation)
  1. Section 3 - Application - Beyond Hope and Fear
  2. Mingyur Rinpoche Video Beyond Hope and Fear
  3. Relative Practices and the Great Perfection by Cortland Dahl
  4. The Profound Advice by Khenpo Gangshar, in Perfect Clarity, pp. 155‒162
  5. Meditation and Post-Meditation by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Vajra Heart Revisited, pp. 145‒149
  6. Conduct by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 233‒238
  7. Dealing with Emotions by Tsoknyi Rinpoche, in Fearless Simplicity, pp. 174‒190 [pdf]
​​​​​​​
  1. Going to be meeting with my new meditation Pod tonight. % of us meeting weekly in support for Micheal Taft's Vast Sky Mind
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I'm not skipping today. Even though the class doesn't start until next week, I will be doing the 90 minute Micheal Taft NonDual/Awareness meditation tonight at 11pm and post.

90 min Micheal  Taft NonDual Awareness Meditation
A powerful, I should say non-mediatation> It had these steps
  1. Empty out your personality, of what you think to be you
  2. Looked all over and couldn't find an actual self for this personality
  3. Shamatha with Breath to get completly relaxed and concentrated
  4. Become aware of awareness qualities - stillness, silence, boundless space, timelessness and effortless
  5. While doing that "Don't pick up any balls" and "Drop all balls" - drop thoughts, sensations, etc
  6. Open eyes to notice light arises without effort
  7. Allow awareness to notice that there's nobody making the silence, etc - just happening with awareness
  8. Awareness without any concepts turns and looks back at itself - awareness aware of itself
What a profond non-meditation! So awareness is primoordial which means its always been here and that must  mean it's not impermentor empty?!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sam Gentile What a profond non-meditation! So awareness is primoordial which means its always been here and that must  mean it's not impermentor empty?!
This is one I've seen seemingly conflicting information on based on the reading around I've done! The main thing I've read that has the opposite opinion is Rob Burbea's 'Seeing that Frees'. I also could be misunderstanding either source though. I think fortunately for me right now it's 'above my paygrade', as there are plenty of less daunting objects to investigate in meditation haha.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

So there's nothing like a 3 shot Starbucks coffee to get this reluctant meditator to meditate! Concenntration practice was excellent using the Transitional Breath. No piti or sukkha but plenty of energy.
Noting begun with the trifecta of eye pain, eyes watering and nose streaming. Very unpleasent. I had to keep my eyes open for the rest. I also had gut pain, urinary tension, lower back pain, knee pain. There was a period of silence, stillness of the mind, calm. Then my shoulders were tight, arms heavy, gut pressure, . I ended with Gratitude and Meta practices.

Observation: After a year of really strong noting practice and the start of my Dzogchen, I can't help but notice how much easier non-meditation of awareness is and "coming at it from the other side." The fear is that if I stop doing noting and concentration that that will somehow knock me off my path of which I am between 1st path and 2nd path. I don't want to stop the pipeline.

Dzogchen Studies
  1. Mingyur Rinpoche video Fruition in the Great Perfection
  2. Tim Olmsted Introduction to Frution
  3. The Final Fruition by Padmasambhava and Jamgon Kongtrul, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 251‒256 [pdf]
  4. igns and Levels of Progress by Padmasambhava, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 257‒261 [pdf]
  5. Song of Fruition by Shabkar, in Quintessential Dzogchen, pp. 262‒268 [pdf]
  6. Ultimate View, Meditation, Conduct, and Fruition by Jetsun Milarepa, under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, translated and arranged by Jim Scott [pdf]
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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It's pretty common to shift from noting to a broader type of awareness practice at a certain point. As long as you keep noticing and investigating it's all good. You can always switch back to noting if things get rough. Maybe you oscillate between these two practice modes for a while.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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George S
It's pretty common to shift from noting to a broader type of awareness practice at a certain point. As long as you keep noticing and investigating it's all good. You can always switch back to noting if things get rough. Maybe you oscillate between these two practice modes for a while.
Yes, I believe you're right. I think I've outgrown Noting. I'm asking Abre now.
george, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Nice Sam, sounds like you got this! Best wishes
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Thanks George! Folks, missed the last 2 days of the Noting meditation as I caught up with my sleep and the last parts of my Dzogchen class, which Mingyur Rinpoche  may extend! I also had to teach my Pod members in Micheal Taft's non-dual class why they couldn't do Dzogchen without Pointing Instructions. But I'm here today and have I meet with my therapist at 1PM, I will do my 50 min meditation. 

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Ok,, it's really aware that my concentration practice is clashing with my awareness and my Dzogchen practices. Cocentration says "Concentrate! Deeper! Effort!" and Awareness/Dzogchen says "NonMeditation! No Effort! Don't do anything!" Given that, I still had a pretty good concentration but I may have outgrown it (and probably noting too). Noting was glorious today! I had only 2 physical sensations: gut pain and  back of the neck pain. From there on, I noted Srillness, silence, Calm, Relaxation, Lightnness of the Mind which led to Floating! Happiness. Then I did my Gratitude and Metta practices.

20 min Dzogchen First Vital Point NonMeditation
Rested in natural awareness and then emitted this sacred sound. No forcing. Just rested in state of non meditation.

31 minute Dzogchen Practice Session
It turns out I've been doing these wrong, at least in this lineage. We did the Rufuge Chant, Boddichitta Chant, Guru Devotion. Then we dropped all effort and relaxed. Looked at the mind and can't find it. then a long period on non meditation of the empty quality of awareness. And that's when it gets maddening! Like I said this morning, it completly contrasts with Concentration/Noting. There's nothing to do! Yet you're not supposed to get distracted. Its so hard to just rest and do nothing

Dzogchen Studies
Today, I will finish the the first traditional course in the tradition of the Nygigma and Kagyu lineages on Dzogchen. I will then be starting deeper courses under Mingyur Rinpoche.
  1. Conclusion from Mingyur Rinpoche, Cortland Dahl, and Tim Olmsted
  2. Start of Deepening Dzogchen course
  3. Module 1 : Direct Introduction to One's True Nature
  4. Webinar with Tsoknyi Rinpoche (in Tibetan!)
  5. Section 2: Going Beyond Concept
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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There's nothing to do! Yet you're not supposed to get distracted. Its so hard to just rest and do nothing


A cue I got from 'Our Pristine Mind' that I really like is 'Leave your mind alone'. Like if you have an itch you want to scratch, or you are a kid fiddling with some other object, and some one tells you - 'Leave it alone'!
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Hard to do this one because I had to do my wash at the same time. Concentration was just very good using the Transitional Breath.
Noting was full of physical sensations. I had lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, forehead pain,  tiny headaches. Then I had a little calm and relaxation. Then I did my gratitde and metta practices.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Tonight
Hi Folks. I am forgoing my concentration/noting practice because tonight is the start of my new class (this will be the case on all wednesdays to come). Micheal Taft's Vast Open Sky on nondual awareness. I am really excited! There is some contreversy for me as he looks like he will be traching and practicing some Dzogchen without requiring students to get the required pointing out instructions (see topic Is Anyone here practicing Tibetan methods (Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Mahayana, ) - Discussion - www.dharmaoverground.org). Anyway, he gives excellent meditations on awareness and I need to learn the non-dual side of things. I will post my report below by 9PM Eastern.

90 min Micheal Taft Vast Open Sky Class/Meditation

I knew it!  From the very first meeting MIcheal Taft is saying a big "fuck you" to preliminary practices, pointing out instructions and traditions and "inventing his own thing." He said "There is this thing called non dual awareness. WE could use many terms from different  traditions." It's something we already got. We get caught up/tangled up, we lose connectio n with this Ground of Being. We are learning to reconnect with your fundamental being. No one has to give you permission your ground of being. We are doing something radical here. No rites, rituals, preliminary practices. We're doing something different here. No one can be gatekeeper to your ground of being"

Now I realize Micheal is talking a lot wider than Dzogchen here but the way I have been learning Dzogchen is very traditional in a lineage that goes back to Tibet.

We did about a 30 min meditation. Started with Shamatha with Breath. Then looked for the place of stillness in the body and found non-dual awareness. Recognized the silence and the boundlessness. 
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Going through a bit of a rough patch. I haven't meditated since Wednesday and I've been sleeping all day.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

What a great meditation! Concenntration was excellent and deep in the Transitional Breath, with a light head feeling, some Sukkha. In Noting, it  statred with Calm, Light Head feeling, some more Sukkha. Then I had some back pain, foot tingling, shoulder soreness, knee pain,  and that was it for physical. For the whole rest of the sit, Happiness, Little bit of Bliss!, Head shivers, Silence, Stillness, Joy. I ended with my Gratitude and Metta practices.

30 min Dzogchen Practice Session
I was doing these wrong in this tradition. In this tradition, we chant Refuge, Bodchitta, and Devotion (in Tibetan) at the begining. Then I recogonized Rigpa as the words of Longchenpa were read. Then, of course there's nothing more to do but non-meditation. Rest in rigpa/nondual awareness. Except its real hard to do this for someone who is a Noter. The mind just really wants to do something and I had to keep dropping the thinking and doing and go back to non-meditation.

Dzogchen Studies
  1. New course - Dzogchen Deepening!
  2. Module  1 Direct Introduction to One's True Nature - Section 2 Going Beyond Concept
  3. Interview with Mingyur Rinpoche and Cortland Dahl (1 hour)
  4. Dzogchen Deepening welcome with Tim Olmsted
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 178 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Nice! Always a pleasant suprise when you feel like thing have been going a little rough and then the sit goes great!
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan G.
Nice! Always a pleasant suprise when you feel like thing have been going a little rough and then the sit goes great!
Yes it was a suprise! But good. 
george, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Sam I'm experiencing very similar things in my sit now too. Experiencing sukkha, light headness, plesant feelings, noting is fast and then crash and burn. Currently I can't sit for 30min, the fatigue is hard to note and I'm getting frustrated. I guess we just have to keep chipping away. One thing I noticed is that mindfulness throughout the day is lacking. So I start to make plans that don't foster my practice, subliminally avoiding practice. I want to be more present throughout the day so I can remind myself, tonight I sit, that way I can build the motivation throughout the day. 
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
george
Hey Sam I'm experiencing very similar things in my sit now too. Experiencing sukkha, light headness, plesant feelings, noting is fast and then crash and burn
exactly

. Currently I can't sit for 30min, the fatigue is hard to note and I'm getting frustrated. I guess we just have to
I can sit around 40 minutes but mostly the fatigue is such that I don't get to the cushion

keep chipping away. One thing I noticed is that mindfulness throughout the day is lacking. So I start to make plans that don't foster my practice, subliminally avoiding practice. I want to be more present throughout the day so I can remind myself, tonight I sit, that way I can build the motivation throughout the day. 
Yes, Abre is always saying practice, practice, practice no  matter what. 
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Spending Father's Day with my girlfriend Staci. I read MCTB Chapter 5 on the 3C's to her. She wanted a Conentration Meditation but wanted it guided. So today's practice is:

Dzogchen 20 min Rigpa is Everwhere Non Meditation
A beutififul non-meditation on non-dual awareness or rigpa and doing nothing but recognizing it. 

Dharma Deepening Studies
  1. 1 hour Dharma Geek with Cortland Dahl - line by line reading of Patrul Rinpoche's 
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I am in a pretty awful place.. As you've seen, I have been missing meditations and moreover feel awful, pains all over my body. I've been here before. It feels very much like The Dukkha Nanas - Desire for Deliverance. I was going to see Aubre tomorrow, now not until THursday. Until then, can I get some support from readers especilly ones that have gone through the Dark Night?

I can't sleep at night so I have stopped all coffee. I have no motivaion to meditate. Its like Desire for Deliverance - the restless feeling that I want to jump up and get out of here. So Concentration was average at best even using the Transitional Breath. Noting was an excercise in tabulating body pain. Restlessness, desire for deliverancce, lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, forehead pain, knee pain, leg pain, underarm pain, bored, hearing birds, pain throughout body, - want to quit, knee pain, tired, Aversion. I then did Gratitude and Metta.

Help please.....
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 178 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Sam, I think you can do this! I've noticed that often you seem to have good meditations even when you thought you weren't going to be able to, so I'd say just sit!

I have a process I like to use for things I'm feeling aversive to: promise myself to just do it for say, five minutes, and then if I totally hate it, I'm allowed to stop. Often, just getting doing whatever it was I was avoiding was the hardest part, usually because I had built it up in my mind as all-or-nothing. So like if I really don't feel like going to the climbing gym, I give myself permission to go there, touch the wall, and then immediately go home. I almost always end up remembering that I actually enjoy it once I start. Once or twice I've legitimately felt out of sorts and gone home very soon after arriving, but that's very rare. Even then, I don't feel bad about it afterward, because I set myself a goal (just touch the wall) and I succeeded. Anything else would have been a bonus.

In terms of Dark Night Stuff, I think a lot of it is just sitting. If I had to identify some specific technique stuff, the two key things that I'd say really helped me were learning to use more of my peripheral awareness (straight out of MCTB ) and just as much as I could accepting everything that arose. So "I hate this" arises - accept it gently. "I'm tired" arises - accept it gently. Pain arises - accept it gently. Restlessness arises - accept it gently.

One other thing -- I'd be careful about stopping coffee abruptly! I personally am a coffee addict and get a very recognizable headache not long after missing a 'dose'. One time I did quit cold turkey to see what it was life, and I was literally bedridden the next day. It was terrible. Took a couple weeks to get back to normal without it.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Logan G.
Sam, I think you can do this! I've noticed that often you seem to have good meditations even when you thought you weren't going to be able to, so I'd say just sit!

This one was not good but Abre does say just sit even as I had the Desire for DEliverance and was leaping out of the chair.

I have a process I like to use for things I'm feeling aversive to: promise myself to just do it for say, five minutes, and then if I totally hate it, I'm allowed to stop. Often, just getting doing whatever it was I was avoiding was the hardest part, usually because I had built it up in my mind as all-or-nothing. So like if I really don't feel like going to the climbing gym, I give myself permission to go there, touch the wall, and then immediately go home. I almost always end up remembering that I actually enjoy it once I start. Once or twice I've legitimately felt out of sorts and gone home very soon after arriving, but that's very rare. Even then, I don't feel bad about it afterward, because I set myself a goal (just touch the wall) and I succeeded. Anything else would have been a bonus.

I like this. I'll give it a try.

In terms of Dark Night Stuff, I think a lot of it is just sitting. If I had to identify some specific technique stuff, the two key things that I'd say really helped me were learning to use more of my peripheral awareness (straight out of MCTB ) and just as much as I could accepting everything that arose. So "I hate this" arises - accept it gently. "I'm tired" arises - accept it gently. Pain arises - accept it gently. Restlessness arises - accept it gently.

Yes, accept everything and note it


One other thing -- I'd be careful about stopping coffee abruptly! I personally am a coffee addict and get a very recognizable headache not long after missing a 'dose'. One time I did quit cold turkey to see what it was life, and I was literally bedridden the next day. It was terrible. Took a couple weeks to get back to normal without it.

I just found that out! I'm back to 1/2 cup.

george, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Sam it sounds like you're going through hell! Mate you're doing well to be able to sit through that much pain! Desire for deliverance, dark night bla bla bla, who cares, this gives your mind permission to crave, so note whenever you're questioning where you are on the path. Pain is pain, questioning is questioning, craving is craving, I also like to note difficult, hard, heavy.
Another thing, this IS a sign of progress so give yourself a pat on the back! Deep emotional impressions stored in the body need to come out and when they're ripe for investigating they're shown as pain in the body (this is not an exact science just my opinion). So your practice is working, now you just need to find the motivation and dedication needed to accept these sensations with complete gratitude! I like to set myself reminders throughout the day to prepare myself for a sit. Also this helped me too https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-i-the-fundamentals/6-the-five-spiritual-faculties/
hope this helps a little. Lots of love : )
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
What you see in retrospect is that the worst meditations were the best ones.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
george
Hey Sam it sounds like you're going through hell! Mate you're doing well to be able to sit through that much pain! Desire for deliverance, dark night bla bla bla, who cares, this gives your mind permission to crave, so note whenever you're questioning where you are on the path. Pain is pain, questioning is questioning, craving is craving, I also like to note difficult, hard, heavy.

I can see your point and Abre would  eventuallly say that whatever it is note it and keep going. But this was something more. I had desire for deliverance before and it used to make me leap out of my chair.

Another thing, this IS a sign of progress so give yourself a pat on the back! Deep emotional impressions stored in the body need to come out and when they're ripe for investigating they're shown as pain in the body (this is not an exact science just my opinion). So your practice is working, now you just need to find the motivation and dedication needed to accept these sensations with complete gratitude! I like to set myself reminders throughout the day to prepare myself for a sit. Also this helped me too https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-i-the-fundamentals/6-the-five-spiritual-faculties/
hope this helps a little. Lots of love : )

​​​​​​​Thank you and to you!
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditatation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Ok, I just broke thru my Duka Nana 15 and got a a solid sit in! Again, I slept all day, but read the encouragement (BTW: Does anyone besides Logan and George S read this log?) and decided to make myself practice and even though I'm still in hard territory both meditations were much better than yesterday. It seems like I jsut have to have coffee so I brewed a 1/2 cup after the meditation for MIcheal Taft's class tonight.

Concentration wass very good using the Transitional Breath and got a little calm. Noting was much better than yesterday. The physical pains  were lower and included: Tired, lower back pain, back pain, neck tightness, tiny headaches, Leg pain, craving and desire for coffee. Nice sounds of birds, some stillness in the mind. 

90 min Vast Open Sky Class and Meditation with Micheal Taft

A good class but still too simpistic because a lot of these peolple are new to meditation. Its probably good that they started with nondual instead of years of dualistic meditation.
Class notes: What we're doing is different way of looking at meditation. Lots and lots of traditions don't talk about this stuff until advanced levels. But you already here this enlightenned being. Each tradition has 15n terms for this ideal - buddhanature is one, we use Ground of Being. Pure awareness. We don't experience it because of all our thoughts. So many traditions give us a way to damp down our thoughts. I asked if this was the same as Rigpa in Dzogchen and he said yes, Someone in my pod starting talking about cessations and Micheal shut that right down. He said we are fully enlightened already and we just need to recognize it [Note for Abre: Yah and this and Dzogchen are polar opoosites of Noting, the path, cessations and I am begining to feel the tear. It's much easier to nondual or Dzogchen} We had only a 20 minute Concentration meditation,
George S, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Nondual, pure awareness, ground of being etc are really nice states. It's hard to note in them because they are so pleasant, but you can still notice things about them. Are they stable or do they wobble? Do they persist or do they fade? Do you crave them or are you satisfied with what you've got? What's the end goal? Just some examples of the kind of questions it's good to have in the back of your mind while you're doing this kind of practice.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
George S
Nondual, pure awareness, ground of being etc are really nice states. It's hard to note in them because they are so pleasant, but you can still notice things about them. Are they stable or do they wobble? Do they persist or do they fade? Do you crave them or are you satisfied with what you've got? What's the end goal? Just some examples of the kind of questions it's good to have in the back of your mind while you're doing this kind of practice.
George, we might have a difference in terminology or I am putting things more in Dzogchen experiences but I don't think there are any states at all. and if they're are you are encourage to ignore them, As Micheal stated last night, the idea is not to reach any transcendent states. It's about awareness. In nondual, awareness one simply rests in awareness or Rigpa not noting anything, not striving, non-meditating.
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Practice Meeting with Abre
I expressed my hardships and the Dukkha Nana 9 - Desire for Deliverance and she said I could be there.But what a wonder it is to read 21 days of practice reports line by line. We quickly found out that I had actually one day like that and that most of the days were good even one day floating. I am showing up today and making big drama that is untrue. I need to watch the stories I tell myself and believe.
On the the noting path or nondual path, she said noting was excellent for Dukka Nanas. Overall, she said I was making great procgress in getting from 0-9 in the Nanas much quicker than it took me on first pass and believes with effort I could reach Equanimity not too far away from now.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

Nice deep, calming concentration mmeditation using the Transitional Breath.
Noting was very good today too. Started with calm, relaxation, floating, Awareness, Rigpa. Then I had some minor body pains. I had lower back pain, gut pain, neck tightness, eyes itching. Then there was floating again, silence, stillness, relaxation, happiness, Joy. I ended with gratitude and metta.

Question 

I asked the following question of Tim Olmsted, Mingyur Rinpoche's Snior Teachers when I found out they were going to be teaching a one year course on the classic The Way of the Bodhisattva:
I have a greedy confession and question. First I want to thank all of you for this course and I want to keep pracicing Dzogchen forever. To my gredy confession. I know Way of the Bodhisattva.is a classic set of teachings but I’m greeddy. I want liberation for me. I can’t wrap my head around everyone. In the Thervada system, I have already attained Stream Entry. Help me think differently.

Tim's answer:
​​​​​​​Sam – thanks for your question and your candor. Volumes have been written about this question. One would need to ask, if individual liberation is the goal, why did the Buddha go on and teach the next two turnings of the wheel? Imagine that a family was on a family cruise with the mother and father, children and grandchildren. Imagine that the boat hit a rock and everyone was thrown into the water. Somehow, the mother ended up landing safely in a lifeboat. It would be unthinkable that she would remain there, happy and satisfied that she was safe. Wouldn’t her immediate response be to try to reach out and bring as many of her family into the boat as possible? This is a simple human response. Anything else would be unthinkable. Consequently, if you have discovered freedom from suffering for yourself, wouldn’t the only natural impulse be to want others to experience the freedom that you have begun to feel? This isn’t about Dharma, but a simple response of the human heart.Kalu Rinpoche said of one attaining realization, “Immense compassion springs forth spontaneously toward all sentient beings who suffer as prisoners of their illusions.” Or, as the wonderful Kangyur Rinpoche, of whom Mingyur Rinpoche is an incarnation, said “Compassion is nothing but the glow and display of emptiness, from which it is inseparable”.I can remember talking to Mingyur Rinpoche’s father, Tulku Urgyen, about this. We were talking about the relationship between wisdom and compassion. I still didn’t quite get it. So, as always, I just kept asking. We were sitting next to the window in his small retreat room in his Hermitage, Nagi Gompa. He said very simply “Imagine that someone was thought that they had realized the true nature of reality, that they were enlightened. Imagine that that person was looked out this window at the nuns playing in the courtyard below. If intense compassion didn’t arise in them in watching the nuns, that person would be deceiving themselves about their realization”.
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 178 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
This all sounds really good Sam! Haha it's so easy believe our stories, hey?

With regard to your question and Tim's answer, I sort of think of it the like airplane thing where you are supposed to get your own oxygen mask on before you try to help put on someone else's. I still have plenty of my own suffering left, and I think it's probably not worth worrying too much about helping others until I've got my own mask a little more firmly affixed. It wouldn't be fair to me or them.
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Helen Pohl, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I do read your log, Sam. =)
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Helen Pohl
I do read your log, Sam. =)
Well thank you Helen emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I have to be honest, I have to say a tough meditation where I had trouble ignoring the discursive thoughts. This started in the Concentration meditation, where I had a hard time staying with the transitional breath because of discursive thoughts. Then noting was filled with pain. I'm just glad I finished it. I had eyes tearing, nose streaming, ankle pain, lower back pain. I had some Silence but very little.
george, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
I read them too Sam! Good work! Keep it up!
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Folks, I haven't meditated in days because I am in a family crisis. I am in a big family crisis. My daughter snuck out of LA and went down to Tampa Bay FL for 5 days to meet up with a boy she met on the Internet without any of us knowing. So I am ultra stressed. I am going to try to meditate now but any metta you can send would be appreciated. I am going to meditate now.

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Suprisingly with all thats going on, I had excellent concentration with the Transitional Breath. That is until my ex-wife called with an escalation in the family crisis. Noting started with jitteriness. Then there was the loud sound of lawn mowers outside my window that persisted most of the meditation and made this hard. I had knee pain, lower back pain, neck pain. Then later, I had some relaxation and calm. Did my Gratitude and Metta practices.

30 min Dzogchen Deepening Practice Session (Tergar)
Did this one properly. We did the Rufuge, Bodhichitta and Guru Devotion chants in Tibetan! The wods of Lonhchenpa were read, mostly encouraging non-effort, non-meditation. Rested in nondual awareness or rigpa most of the session. I lost my connecrion a few times but we were encouraged to "drop the ball" on thoughts. I really felt the relaxation brought on by resting in rigpa and feel totally relaxed right now. After this experience, Left wondering again, why put all that effort and strife into concentration and noting meditations when non-meditating on Rigpa is so relaxing?

Dzogchen Deepening Studies
  1. Webinar with Khenpo Kunga (Tergar translated from Tibetan)
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 178 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Glad your sits brought you some peace!
Logan G., modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 178 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Hey Sam - glad your meditation brought you some peace!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

It still amazes me how hard it is to meditate without coffee like today. More lart helps me with my concentration and mindfulness. The problem is I end up having 2 coffees in the afternoon and I can't sleep until 5AM this morning. But I got the meditation in and it wasn't half bad.

Concentration was very good using the Transitional Breath. I was struck by the Silence, nothing, perfectly quiet. Noting began with that silence, calm and relaxation. I soon picked up pains in my lower back, middle back,tiny headaches, knee pain and foot pain. At one point my tears begun to stream again and I had to shift to open eyes. After that, I got Silence, Stillness, relaxation, calm. I finished with my Graitude and Metta practices.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I was right yesterday on the coffee making a big impact on meditation. I can't meditate if I am not alert. I treated myself to a Starbucks 3-shot Strawberry Funnel Cake Frap and I was totally alert for the meditations. The concentration was easy and effortless, deep and silent. Very few thoughts. Used transitional breath. For the noting, I started out with the calm from the Concentration and became relaxed, silent. After a while, I had the light body sensations of lower back pain. gut fullness, urinary tension, knee pain and shoulder pain. From then on, I had nothing but silence, stillness, calm, relaxation and happiness and joy. I even was aware of awareness and rigpa but didn't rest in it because it was a noting meditation. I'm happy with this one!

22 min Simply Awake Guided Meditation 001 Taking Inventory
As I refer to before, I have started working with this. The first meditation...ugh! Music! I hate background music in my meditations! It reminds me of cheesy stress relief meditations. From then on, there was too much talk and I didn't really connect with it. I'll try other meditations.
​​​​​​​

THANKS: Thanks to AKD in this thread for turning me onto to the Simply Awake app (very sparse in its Android edition) and his videos and book "Awake: It's Your Turn". Started the book and while some seems simple, he seems to be in a direction of rest and awareness, awakeness is right there which is in alignment with my Dzogchen and Micheal Taft studies.

33 min Dzogchen Deepening Practice (via Tergar)
After chanting the Refuge, Bodhhicitta Chants in Tibetan and doing Guru Yoya, I recogized pure awareness, rigpa all around me. Then came the pithy, paradoxial instruction "no effort, but don't get lost." How can you stop from getting lost without applying some effort to come back? Anyway, I realized that thoughhts are manifestations within awareness and then rested in that.

Feedback Welcome
I'd like to know what you readers think of the content, especially the newer stuff like Dzogchen, non dual, and the Simply Awake app and book. 

I have Micheal Taft's weekly Vast Open Sky Class tonight.

Dzogchen Deepening Quote of the Week
A fully realized yogi may look like an ordinary person, but his mind remains in pure awareness without effort. When he leaves his physical body, his consciousness becomes one with the dharmakaya, just as the air in a vase merges with the surrounding space when the vase is broken.
 

–  Patrul Rinpoche  

90 min Vast Sky Mind nondual Class annd Meditation
Good class but still too basic. I'm tired from my long day of dharma so I'll say the class and meditation was on Drop The Ball, which I already knew. The instruction was not have the mind pay attention (and grab onto) anything. Everything is ignored as blips in awareness. If your mind grabs onto a thought or anything, let go (drop the ball). Because grabbing onto through just creates tension and pain.


Dzogchen and Other Activities
  1. Finished Dr. Angelo Episode 1 What is Awakening? Part 1
  2. How to Wakee Up | Awakening Explained Part 2
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I am in really bad shape and haven't meditated in 6 days. I really need the help of the community in both emotional support and monetary suport. I was rushed by ambulence to the ER Saturday with excruciating pain in abdomen that had been going for days. I won't list the condition or the results because people will say TMI but even though that problem was solved I have pain all over my body. I thiink some of it maybe that I get up and go back to bed again. I've lost my spark.

I asked Abre want to do, that I can't meditate with monostrous pain and she said "Cultivating passivity through self-control, developing indifference and balance toward everything." Doing just that, controlling the mind, keeping some balance in the face of difficult events."
On top of all this, I need help for grocery money help again. If you can support me in any way, please my PayPal is mscoree42@gmail.com

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
Concentration was very good using the Transitional Breath. Noting was just like a wall of pain. I know looking at it that it is not solid. I had lower back pain, gut pain, middle back pain, neck tightness, arm pain, foot pain, leg pain. No pleasent feelings. Ended with gratitude and metta practices.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
It's only getting worse. I spent 9 hours in the ER with exteme back pain. There was a a four hor wait as I sat there barely able to wait. The pain is so extreme  I can't do anything. They finally found the cause. The lower back scans were filled with arthritis. Now I'm going to have deal with this. I don't know if I even meet with Abre tomorrow.

I still need your support. The most needed is money for groceries. I have tried everything but I have no other choice but to ask. After tomorrow, I will not have any more food or money. If you can help my PenPal address is mscoree42@gmail.com.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I wanted to profoundly thank the bunch of generous DhO'ers who helped me out financially. Its  just in time as I run out today. I am profoundly moved.

Update on the other front. I am still in a lot of pain and wasn't able to meet with Aubre today. I am also not able to meditate until I feel able.
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Zero, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 48 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Wow I really ppreciate your determination. I hope you have a steady stream of income soon and greater health. I'm not sure how I could keep my mind on meditation without those basics. I wish you all the blessings. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Wow I really ppreciate your determination. I hope you have a steady stream of income soon and greater health. I'm not sure how I could keep my mind on meditation without those basics. I wish you all the blessings. 

Thank you. Unfornately, I cannot work because of disability. I need to budget better. It is hard to even think of meditation.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Sam, I really feel for you atm. Is there any medications that can relieve this pain? What are your options atm? All the best
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
george
Hey Sam, I really feel for you atm. Is there any medications that can relieve this pain? What are your options atm? All the best

Yes, I finally got a painkiller that is helping until I can see the Ortho Surgeon. Thanks,
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 2134 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I get seasonal gout pain in my right knee but doc said it's likely in the other parts of body as well because I get certain stiffness there as well. I do have bad case of calcification in my left shoulder and that shit can hurt like hell. Doc wants me to remove it with lasers but I refused. I certainly feel your pain. Hang in there! 

Naproxen medication does wonders for me! One should not use it for long periods but for me it usually takes care of the worst within a week. 

Best wishes Sam! 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Thanks Papa. Mine is verified with a xray that I have lots of arthritis.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
The latest update is I finally got a painkiller for the back pain until I can see the Ortho and Spine Surgeon maybe Monday.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 178 Join Date: 5/22/21 Recent Posts
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Sam!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Thanks but there is no cure for arthritis, just pain management,
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
As I wrote earlier< i am in extreme pain and haven't ben able to meditate for a week now.. I just did an experiement. I threw away all expectations  and the way "things are supposed to be" and I said I'll just do anything even 5 minutes, 10 minutes, watever I can.

30 min Micheal Taft Vast Open Sky Homwork Meditation
Simple. I started with Shamatha wit the Breath to get concentred and calm. I then went into a period of resting in my natural awareness or rigpa using the technique "Drop The Ball" whenever thouts came up. I suprised mysef at how relaxed I got desipite the pai n.
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hey, that's awesome Sam! I've been finding lately in my practice that sometimes pain gets much easier to deal with in sitting, and I've noticed it seems to be correlated with practice going 'well'. That being said, I expect your pain is significantly worse than mine, so its inspiring to see it's possible even then!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Logan G.
Hey, that's awesome Sam! I've been finding lately in my practice that sometimes pain gets much easier to deal with in sitting, and I've noticed it seems to be correlated with practice going 'well'. That being said, I expect your pain is significantly worse than mine, so its inspiring to see it's possible even then!
Thanks so much! I think yo're right. Pain gets much easier to deal with in sitting where I an disect a thouhjt for instance, break into pieces and vanish. Thus not solid but empty. However  that applies, for me to low to moderate pain. The pain I am having is 11 on a scale of 1-10.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hey Sam, well done for sticking through it mate. As I'm sure you're aware sitting with severe pain is difficult but sitting with it for 5-10 min is a start. You notice that sitting with low to moderate pain has a positive effect now you need to show mind that it's possible with more intense sensations. Also notice the words we use like "severe" pain, I understand it is severe pain but mind makes it worse when we use loaded words. Maybe intense sensations is a better term? 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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george
Hey Sam, well done for sticking through it mate. As I'm sure you're aware sitting with severe pain is difficult but sitting with it for 5-10 min is a start. You notice that sitting with low to moderate pain has a positive effect now you need to show mind that it's possible with more intense sensations. Also notice the words we use like "severe" pain, I understand it is severe pain but mind makes it worse when we use loaded words. Maybe intense sensations is a better term? 

Thanks George and the whole DhO community for support. The community really helped me such that I was able to get two weeks worth of food. Yes, I agree. Sitting with pain for eve 5-10 minutes is a good start. Unfournately the pain has been "severe". I do aggree that it is a loaded term and makes me feel worse.

Update: Still waiting to get into seeing the Back/Spinal Surgeon, possibly today
Meditaion: still trying to get will to do even small amounts
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Update: I finally saw the Back and Spine Surgeon today. No wonder why I'm inn  pain. Spiine S1-S5 totally shot to hell!  Fragmented with lots of arthritis. Got steroids for pain insteead of narcotics. Going to have to start doing back excercises. This Starbucks Triple Shot Strawberry Funnel Cake Frap may get me intto meditation now.

50  min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
The Starbucks did its job and I got me first meditation in like 7 days despite the pain. Concentration was very good, not excellent because the mind was chattering away at times. In noting practice, as you can imagine, most of it was lower back pain. I also had mid-backpain, thigh pain, hand and arm pain, neck pain. There was some silence. Concluded with Gratitude and Metta practices.

30 min Dzogchen Practice Session
Refuge Chant, Boddhichitta Chant, Guru Yoya. Then periods of resting in awareness or rigpa interspersed with just resting
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

2nd day in a row. Tired from painkillers and no coffee. Pain all over. I'm just very glad that I did it.
Concentration was excellent using the Transitional Breath. Mostly Silence. Moving into Noting the physical sensations ramped up. I had lower back pain, facial pain, tired, sleepiness, knee pain, leg pain, mid back pain. neck pain. There was no real realaxtion or calm. I finished with Gratitude and Metta.

12 min  Micheal Taft Vast Sky Mind Meditation
Started with Shamatha, then went into Dropping the Ball. Any upcoming thought, I droped it. I imagined a big Doberman with the ball in its mouth and me saying "drop it!" Rested in awareness/rigpa and ot pretty relaxed. 
Logan G., modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I've currently been working toward cutting my coffee intake in half, and I've arrived at that dose today. Even just having less coffee, let alone none, has me definitely a bit tired and grumpy. Quitting all together is much worse. Hopefully the painkillers at least help with the headaches common from caffein withdrawal. Glad you can sit!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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Thanks Logan!
george, modified 2 Months ago.

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If I have a coffee I think my heart would explode. I had a few blocks of dark chocolate the other night and I was offff my head. Hahaha. If it helps practice though then just stick with it, the time will come when you will feel ready to let it go. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)

I barely made it. A combination of pain and sleepiness. For the concentration it was good but I feel that in places I spaced out. The noting was filled witgh pain: gut pain, tired, sleepiness, leg pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.
Maybe a 1/2 cup of coffee would have helped here but I woke up too  late in the day.
george, modified 2 Months ago.

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Well done Sam. Great effort to sit that long through sleepiness and pain. I always thought that sitting through sleepiness was bad but it's actually purifiying so long as you have concentration, clarity and equanimity which you have on some level. So thumbs up mate!
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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20 min Concentration  Meditation
Only did concentrion whuch was excellent - focused on Transitional Breath. Easy and effortless. Interrupted by Staci.

30 min Noting Practice
Infused by the coffee I had with Staci, I had the best meditation of the week. The whole mood shifted and its now absoluetly clear to me that I must have 1 cup of coffee to practice meditation. My mood was calm and happy and of course, alert. That's not to say that I still didn't have my pain but there seemed to be less emphasis on it. They included lower back pain, urinary tension, neck tension and tightness, midback pain, foot pain, leg pain. That was all replaced by stillness, happiness, alert, relaxed at the end.

​​​​​​30 min Dzogchen Meditation
Began in this tradition wiith Refuge and Bodhichitta chants. Did Guru Yoga. Entering into the empty clarity that we all are, the awareness that is beyond what is unfolding at the surface level. I must admit, at this stage, that I go in and out of awareness or rigpa. I can't stay in in it for long periods of time yet. But beyond all those concepts there was a never ending awareness that I could rest in.

60 min Micheal Taft Homework Mahamudra Vipasyana on the Moving Mind
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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For Sunday AM 
Micheal Taft Homework 60 min Where is My Mind? Meditation

Direct inquiry meditation into looking for the mind, the source of the mind none of which could be found.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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The pain...

50 min Meditation (20 min Concentration, 30 min Noting)
I tried today, I really did but I had existing constipation pain and lots of back pain. For the Concentration, it was ok, but as I took each breath in, it pushed on the abdominal wall making that pain worse. Still had some concentration. For notging, I did it until I had to stop.I had abdominal pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, forehead pain, neck tightness, feet pain
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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I've been gone and I guess no one noticed... I went again to the ER for excrucitaing back pain 4 nights ago. They had to admit to the hospital for 4 days because of the pain and back issues. They are trying to get the pain  down enought so i can do Physiacal Therapy and be able to return to some activities. They had to go all the way up to Dilluid to get the pain manaageable. That's pretty up there along with morphine..

I have coresponding with Aubre about why ths is all happening to me and for now I can't meditatate. There is just too much pain. I also have read Dr. Angelo Dilluli's book and his chapter on the path and I am not convinced anymore that I am doing  meditation for the right reasons. There are elements of spiriritual materialism and in a hard look at my practice, there's a lot of doing it for attention. I got to think about this more and get better.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

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Sorry to hear that Sam. 

If you feel like it you could try and do Tonglen as suggested by shargrol. I do it when in pain and agony, or overwhelmed with anything else. You can find the description in my last log at the very start of it. I'm sure it can't be easy to do it when in excruciating pain but maybe do it with moderate pain and agony, or even with worry or seeking attention etc ... 
Tell us if this is of interest to you. 

As Buddha said we are subject to "sickness, old age and death". This is something to deal with as it's unavoidable. 

Best wishes Sam. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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Papa Che Dusko
Sorry to hear that Sam. 

Thanks

If you feel like it you could try and do Tonglen as suggested by shargrol. I do it when in pain and agony, or overwhelmed with anything else. You can find the description in my last log at the very start of it. I'm sure it can't be easy to do it when in excruciating pain but maybe do it with moderate pain and agony, or even with worry or seeking attention etc ... 

Thanks for your suggestion, Tonglen might be a good help. I can only do up to 20 munutes in a sitting

Tell us if this is of interest to you. 

Its of interest

As Buddha said we are subject to "sickness, old age and death". This is something to deal with as it's unavoidable. 

Yes Abre said the same thing.
​​​​​​​

Best wishes Sam. 
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I'm sorry to hear Sam, I can't imagine how much pain you are experiencing. For what it's worth, acknowledging spiritual materialism is a big step.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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Thanks George for acknwledging the pain. 
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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I'd like to share some of what I discussed with Aubre during this time frame when I thouht Karma was doing this to me:

Dear Sam,

Karma is about consequences, something resulting from an action or condition. We do not have to look beyond this life, since any of that can only be speculative. If the biological body is sick, where does that come from? It can come from the way that body has been handled through life -eating, drinking, exercise or lack thereof, stress, etc.– or latent conditions existing with this particular body. Straight forward cause and effect.

So the Karma in that sense is what we voluntarily or not generate. If I only eat potato chips, which for sure are pretty good and addictive, or all sorts of sugary, heavy carb manufactured food, surely there will be some consequences. In my view there is no need to go into any speculative territory about some kind of karmic stories beyond what we actually contribute ourselves to this life. It is pretty clear and straightforward. Same thing with the mind. There is plenty of karma in this life, based on our own mental behavior. All the patterns of mind that recreate difficult situations is the karma. So what are you doing wrong? There is no myth and magic at play here. Your body is sick either based on how you have lived through it or based on the conditions of that body, or both. Watch the mind about creating more drama/karma, a mind habit. So here again, simply cause and effect in this life, mind and body.

Hopefully the pain can be relieved, Sam, and give you some room to quiet down around all that is going on. The deterioration of the body and mind is something to face and work with and through for sure as one is getting older.

Pick the spirit up so that you do not develop more bad karma/causes that further affect your mindstates.

Does this help?

Best wishes, Sam,

Abre

"There seems a lot of doing things to get other people’s attention and spiritual materialism. Do you agree? Do you agree on waiting for the pain to come down before I think about meditation? Others with back pain said they could do nothing else until recovery."

Only you can answer that question, regarding doing things to get other people's attention. What I know is that contemplative practices are powerful over time, no matter what your conditions are. They provide a way to liberation, alleviating the suffering, bringing you to equanimity no matter what is going on. Keeping it simple once more.

So if you can have trust in that, this is the path.

All the best, Sam!

Abre
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george, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I feel for you Sam. My dad has a bad back and is prescribed opioids for the pain. He sees a pain specialist for it. I can't relate to the level of physical pain you're experiencing. I can only think of the most painful thing I've experienced and feel for you on that level. Wish I could take my pain away and yours, unfortunately the only thing we can change is the way we perceive pain.
My Dad said acupuncture has helped in the past too but I understand your back is riddled with arthritis. What is the likely hood of operating on your back? I know it's risky but is there a chance something can be done? I know of another person who has significant back pain and is going through with an operation. 

​​​​​​​edit : Have you heard of spinal cord stimulation device? Maybe check that out.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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george
I feel for you Sam. My dad has a bad back and is prescribed opioids for the pain. He sees a pain specialist for it. I can't relate to the level of physical pain you're experiencing. I can only think of the most painful thing I've experienced and feel for you on that level. Wish I could take my pain away and yours, unfortunately the only thing we can change is the way we perceive pain.
My Dad said acupuncture has helped in the past too but I understand your back is riddled with arthritis. What is the likely hood of operating on your back? I know it's risky but is there a chance something can be done? I know of another person who has significant back pain and is going through with an operation. 

They want to avoid back surgery since the situation is fixable through PT and injections.

​​​​​​​edit : Have you heard of spinal cord stimulation device? Maybe check that out.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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20 min Dzogchen Rigpa is Everywhere Meditation
Before I address the comments, I will say that I had no intention to start meditating again today or for a long time. I got a great gift of Staci calling me apologizing for the big argument we had last week. So that made me feel real good and I we had a coffee together. After a long talk, we did this meditation together. Of course, this is a non-meditation in resting in awareness and recognizing true awakeningg is already present.

11pm Micheal Taft Vast Sky Mind Week 6 30 min Practice Meditation
Tried to another meditation and it strained my limits on what I can do with the pain right now. I did Shamatha with Breath. Got a little relaxed. Then rest in awareness/drop the ball. I could only manage glimpses of awareness as I spent all my time dropping the thoughts and the clinging to the pain. Then went into Vipashyana to investigate thoughts. There were many fear thoughts but investigation showed how these were empty. Tried but did not succeed on recognizing the pain was empty too but certainly it was broken up.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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You do this Tonglen when needed. No reason to do it for 20 minutes. You do it off cushion also if there is pain or if there is some resistance or anything overwheling you. 

Here is shargrol's Tonglen I practice when difficulties arise;

​​​​​​​ There is a version of tonglen that I highly recommend:

1. Find some aspect of your present experience that is lacking, is difficult, is suffering, etc.
2. Feel that experience. It can help to name it.
3. State the intention: "if there are any other beings out there that are experiencing this and having too much difficulty with it, may I experience it for them. May their experience come to me. May I fully experience it with no resistance. May they find relief."
4. Feel that experience again. Soak in it, dwell in it. Also imagine the joy the other feels being free of it and how they can gain perspective/insight because they now aren't overwhelmed by it. Go back and forth between you and other.
5. After a period of time that feels right, drop the intention and say, "May all beings be free from suffering, may all beings awaken, may all beings be happy."

And then repeat the whole cycle again when it feels right.

The benefit of this practice is you are not taking on anything new, you're experiencing what you are already experiencing, but you are taking on what you are already experiencing with a much deeper intention that goes beyond yourself.  And it ends with a reaffirmation that we're all worthy of peace, awakening, and happiness.

Give it a try. And feel free to disregard if it doesn't seem like a good match."
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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URGENT help needed: I just got out of the hospital a few days ago and am wracked with pain. I find that I have no money again for groceries so I meed to ask for help again. Please help if you can by sending PenPal to mscoree42@gmail.com. Good thoughts needed too.

20 min Meditation ( 10 min Concentatration, 10 min Noting)
It's all I could stand today with the pain. At least it's something. The concentration was suprisngly good with the strong undercurrent of lower back pain. The noting was just filled withh noting the instances of pain - lower back pain, gut pain, upper back pain, neck pain, sharp pain, leg pain. It was nice to hear some birds.
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

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20 min Meditation (10 min Concentration, 10 min Noting)

I am on an emergancy basis here and I need the help and advice of my DhO friendss and members for advice especially ndealing with/meditating with pain  since it doesn't appear that I have the services of Aubrre anymore. This is all I could manage again and it feels so meeger. It feels like I'm selling myself short but the pain is so much. They are supposed to have a nurse come out tomorrow. So I managed 10 minutes of Concentration which stirred up my guts. The noting was  lower back pain (where most of the pain is centered), gut pain, upper back pain, knee pain. I also had DhO thoughts. Any and all advice accepted.

Update later
30 min Dzogchen Deepening Practice Session
After the usual chants, tried to rest in awareness. Its not that awareness goes away or anything, its always there but you have to be aware of awareness. Resting in it today was hard because of the pain and thoughts. Bascially it was non-meditation again and not letting thoughts bother me.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sam, Im no expert and can only talk from my limited experience. 

Im using shargrol's Tonglen (I copy-pasted it in the post above) and find that there is somehting good in that attitude of taking this pain from other beings onto myself so they can be relieved, so that they can easier realise their true nature.
Read that describtion and see if you are willing to commit to it. 

If Im in a very bad pain I do take actual painkillers.

Also another good practice is 'Look How Its' ... as in Look How Its ... in pain, look how its ... feeling sorry for oneself, look how its ... wanting this pain to go away , look how its ... not sure why this is happening to it, look how its ... trying to find a way out of this suffering, look how its ... 

I would suggest use actual meds from the doctors and seek their help and then for practice consider Look How Its inquiery and Tonglen and maybe let go of Mahamudra stuff for now.
Maybe stop with coffee and do only green tea. Cut out sugar. Eat heatly. Keep daily walks once pain is not bad (I do walking meditation so to do two things at once, exercise and insight meditation. Yes I walk rather fast while also practicing)

​​​​​​​Best wishes Sam!

p.s. excuse the spell mistakes my computer refuses to help out
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sam -

It feels like I'm selling myself short but the pain is so much.


I'm concerned about you.

This is just my opinion based on watching this topic from afar, but you seem to be on a never-ending roller coaster ride. Up and down, up and down, up and down. You DO need to have more faith in yourself. Have you looked for websites where you can learn other skills, outside of mediation (this site), that might help you with your finances and sites with folks who might have similar medical problems that you can talk to?

BTW - I think you're sharing way too much personal information on a public forum. Could you please think about that for me?
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Chris Marti
Sam -

It feels like I'm selling myself short but the pain is so much.


I'm concerned about you.
Are you really?

This is just my opinion based on watching this topic from afar, but you seem to be on a never-ending roller coaster ride. Up and down, up and down, up and down.
I'm quite suprised by your comment. Isn't the log supposed to chonicle the true journey a meditator has whether that is up and and down, etc or whatever? I believe I made a lot of progress all the way to Stream Entry. What would you like me to write here? I'd like a place to chonicle my meditations.


You DO need to have more faith in yourself.
Yes, that is true.

 Have you looked for websites where you can learn other skills, outside of mediation (this site), that might help you with your finances and sites with folks who might have similar medical problems that you can talk to?
I will do so.

BTW - I think you're sharing way too much personal information on a public forum. Could you please think about that for me?
Ok, I will stop sharing medical and personal details.
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

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Sam -

I'm quite suprised by your comment. Isn't the log supposed to chonicle the true journey a meditator has whether that is up and and down, etc or whatever? I believe I made a lot of progress all the way to Stream Entry. What would you like me to write here? I'd like a place to chonicle my meditations.

Sam, the comment I made was restricted to the non-meditation practice nature of some of your commentary. I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Chris Marti
Sam 

Sam, the comment I made was restricted to the non-meditation practice nature of some of your commentary. I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that.

Thank you for acknowledging that. I can asssure you that I have offloaded all medical stuff to support groups, and visting nurses, etc. This log, if I choose to return to it, will not contain any of that world. Thanks for your concern.
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J W, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sam have you looked at getting with someone to help you out with day to day stuff, like a social worker? 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

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J W
Sam have you looked at getting with someone to help you out with day to day stuff, like a social worker? 
Yes, all set. I have now the entire Home service with Social worker, nurse and PT coming to my home. Thanks for your concern.
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J W, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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That's great Sam I hope it is helpful to you! Please keep us updated on your practice.
(If the pain allows fo it of course - don't push yourself too hard if it seems to be making anything worse)
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Here is a list of meditations that I have done in thhe last few days to jeep my practice going. I have been focusing on rest and just being.

Wed 7/28     Concentration & Noting
Thurs 7/29    Simply Awake 012 Let Everything Go 23:46
                      I'm not sure how successful the words that Dr. Guilio is uttering helpful or distraction. I did get a                             little relaxed
                     30 min Vast Sky Mind 30 min Homework Meditation  - The usual awareness meditation
Fri 7/30         Simply Awake 058 This Is Rest 20 min
                     The major theme I took in is to stop waiting for something to happen and the only reality is \
                     what is here now. Worked hard to stay present but the squaking ducks in the background were 
                     a major interruption
                    Simply Awake 058 Without Filters 30 min
                    Investigated thinking, He said thinking was an expression of conciousness. I would say thinking is  
                    an expression of awareness. Got very figedy duting this meditation.
TODAY         20 min Dzogchen Rest in Natural Clarity
                     Non -meditation, non-effort. Just rest in awareness/presence. The nature of who you are already.
                    Recognize the 4-fold Dharmakaya. My result was my thoughts really quieted down and I rested,
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I'm glad that you have some support and are still able to practice.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

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20 min Stright Concentration Meditation
As you ma have noticed, I have ben trying various types of meditations to see what works best with my condition until I meet with Abre on Wednesday and she sets my direction. This meditation was good, I was mostly concentrated. However, at one point, it felt like a drill on the left side of the neck. I'm glad that I seem to to be developing a acceptance for what is there in the here and now,
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Today I could manage this much:
15 min SimplyAwake 037 No Goal Meditation
Didn't expect this meditation to be an almost noting like meditatoion focusing imediate body sensations. I recognized a sharp pain between the shoulder blades and some low-grade lower back pain. Then the meditation focused into staying with the immediate with no goals, no expectations. Nice meditation.\

16:44 min SimplyAwake 014 What If Meditation?

This meditation consisted of a whole series of what if statements to question your reality like "What if you let go of all the goals for this meditation? My shoulder  blade pain from previous  meditation disapeared. I don't remember it all but as I got up I felt like I was in somewhat of transdental state. Things seemed vividly real and relaxation pervaded.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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II blew past my comfort levels with pain and meditated for 62 minutes! With the back thing I have only been able to do 20-30 minutes until now.

32 Minute Dzogchen Practice Session
This one was all about integrating the view into everyday activities. After chanting the Refuge and and Bodhichitta vows in Tibetan! we did a little Guru Yoga. Then we let go into Wide Open Awareness, open to anything. Then we thought of an everyday activity and what sensations, pains, thoughts came up. It was back pain for me. Then we let go of them. No effort - Don't observe objects like regular meditation - view everything as an expression of of awareness arisising and disolving, I found the practice quite enjoyable.

30 Minute SimplyAwake 048 JustRight Meditation
Don't know why I am still doing these. As I said, I am experimenting with meditations that are gentler on my pain and not meditations like noting which will just result in a ton of pain sensations. Anyway, one of the things was "sensations are right, you don't have to find them." Rest in pure sense of  being. Just as I was taking a few notes for Abre, he  said "no need to take notes." Wow. Synchronicity? I don't what these kind of meditations are called, they are not his self-inquiry medititations but I did rest my mind a bit.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hey, glad you're able to meditate for such a solid stretch! That's awesome.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Thank you. 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Meeting with Abre
I'm learning to respect boundaries so the only thing I am going to share is the outcome on what meditation to do. She said noting is out as it would just be repeating and reenforcing pains in the body and that makes for an ugly log. She said finally that the SimplyAwake, Micheal Taft, and Dzogchen are all roughly variations on open awareness. She is ok with any of these three - so open awareness.

23;40 min SimplyAwake 012 Let Everything Rest meditation
We need not take up any new projects, proposals. We just need to stop - what is now revealed? Can't talk about it or describe it that doesn't mean its not here. No religions. No dogmas. I am not sure I got anything out of this one. It was supposed to be about rest.

20 min Dzogchen Rest in Natural Clarity
Rest in the natural clarity of awareness. Longchempas statements were read in the background about non-effort. Awareness is open, there is nothing to do. Just be who you are. Drop all effort. The result is I paused for 20 minutes, did noth at all and left my mind in open awareness, open to anything and rested my mind,.
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Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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30 minutes Micheal Taft Vast Open Sky Homework Meditation
In this meditation we did a lot of Shamatha with the Breath and I got very relaxed. Then we did Dropping the Ball and I dropped thoughts. Then we went into open awareness, After that , we did Emptiness of Thought and Emptiness of Feelings.
I must  say that even after my Dzogchen class with it's emphsis on awareness or rigpa. I have doubts of whether I am truly experientially awareness. Then emptiness is even more  elusive., I plan on writing to my teacher Micheal Taft rght now on this.
Emil Jensen, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
 Hi Sam,

Only now saw your comment addressed to me in another post emoticon

I don't know if you can say I'm back... haha
I actually got very little fond of sharing stuff in here. I tend to bounce between extremes until I find my 'middle way'. Initially I poured my heart out in here with extreme excitement, then nothing at all for a while due to hurt that it wasn't fulfulling. Lol.
Now, I peek in every now and then and sometimes feel inclined to share something. So sure, I'm back - but different!

Good to see you have got your practice going. When I last popped by in here it seemed you were challenged. To say the very least!

I do still make practice logs, every day actually. Just don't share any of it hehe.
If you wanna talk at some point that would be interesting as I'm definitely missing some dhamma company. You have my email from "back in the day" ;)


Take care Sam. All the best
 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hi My  buddy Emil!

So you're lurking around like a trickster? emoticon I wish you would come back fully. Really miss your postings and the old days.

So nice of you to notice the quantum  changes reflected in the log. Appreciate it.

​​​​​​​I would love to get together but I think I lost your email.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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30 min Micheal Taft Vast Sky Mind Class 8 Practice Meditation
Just what I needed today. Instead of starting with relaxation, we started Being sense of Self and trying to find it. Micheal says he was taught this technique by the DalI Lama. Of course I didn't find it as the importance is in the search. Then we entered the normal Shamatha of Breathing in which I really got relaxed. A big headache I had disapeared. Then we entered  Dropping the Ball with resting in OPen Awareness. After that we did Emptiness of Self. I have admitted to Micheal that I am having trouble directly experiencing Emptiness although I know everything about it intellectually. Then back intto Dropping the ball resting in awareness. 
george, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hey Sam glad you're able to sit for longer periods. Shit can get a little manic at times when we strive so much. I'm doing much of the same practice myself. Just resting, nothing to do. No goal and no destination. Feels good &amp; so it should.
Emil Jensen, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
 Hah! Yes, lurking is pretty accurate ^_^

I didn't lose your email, Sam. I'll send you one ;)
 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I woke up with a burst of energy, decided to ignore my back pain (did exercises) and go for long meditation

20 min Dzogchen Rest in Natural Clarity
Again, it's non-meditation so I was told to drop all effort and continue to rest in effortless awareness. Focus on the knowing quality of the mind, Let Be. Rest in Open Radiant Awareness. Drop all shred of meditation. This is why I love these Open Awareness type of meditations. It comes from a complety differennt side of Buudhism. Dzogchen says that you are already enlightened and these open awareness meditations are just to find that true essence, the true you. I had struggles with keeping my eyes open and occasionally getting caught up in a bunch of thoughs.

40 min Simply Awake 062 Silence Within Meditation

Just letting eveything be. Then he said it "No noting let those thoughts just be." I stopped taking notes. This is a key insight for me. I'm still caught up in that world of taking notes so I can have a good log and prove I did the meditation. This is from the noting world somewhat but I think its a key insight into still striving and not letting myself totally do nothing but rest. So the rest of the meditation I just rested in open awareness.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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20 min Simply Awake The Gift of Rest
I needed a quickie 20 min meditation before my Physical Therapist. As I said before, I don't know about these Simply Awake meditations. I reached out to AKD who said they were "hit or miss" for him. There are a lot of words that I don't know whether they are helpful or not. Anyway, Things that I remeber is remove the labels and just be with the sensations. No need to label or work. Just let everything be. I got a little bit of rest maybe. I plan o meditate again later if possible.

21 min Simply Awake 008 Entering the Breath
Aubre really doesn't want me doing these kind of breath-doing meditations because of my pain but I decided to do just one. In a radical departure from his Open Awareness meditations, this one is focused on directly experiencing the breath. I felt a little bit more relaxed after it.
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Cool that the breath meditation helped relax you! I know I used to get all kinds of muscle-tension problems from super-focused breath meditation. It seems like when I don't worry about strong attention and instead go for gentle awareness, the same issues don't arise and I can be relaxed and present with the breath without overdoing it.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Aubre doesn't want me ddoing them right now though because the pressure on the abdomen increases the pain I am in. She wants me to stick with the Open Aeareness practices.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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34 min Dzogchen Deepening Practice Session
A profound session for me. The theme is that every experience you have is an expression of natural clarity. The first thing is we noted natural clarity of awareness. Then we took a postive memory. I had an actual memory from my childhood, which is rare for me as I think there there are no positive memories. It was from Scusset Beach in Cape Cod Mass and I was playing and lying in the sun. We took that positive memory and took the postive feeling forward. Then we chanted Refuge, Bodhichitta and thought of the lineage. We vosualized the lineage - I used Mingyur Ripoche, his father Talku Urygen and all the way back and then visualized them melting and put them in my my heatt. Then we dropped any shred of effort and rested in open awareness. After period of time, we tuned into sessions but in a big departure from regular meditation we did not experience eaach object directly but as objects unfolding in fields of natural clarity. Then we dropped everything and just rested. These non-meditation parts of rest worked today to give me real rest. Trust in your Awakened Nature and ket whatever comes up just happen and let it  be. Then we dropped everything - nothing to do - just fully and  competly be here.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
32 min Dzogchen Deepening Practice Session
The theme was integrating the View with everyday life. Chanted Refuge, Bodhichitta. Then visualized the lineage. I used Mingyur Rinpoche and his father Talku Urygen and their lineage going back thousands of years back in Tibet and felt theiir benefits. ThenI let go and in effortless awareness, rest in silence. Then got so to notice what is going in the mind and body and noticed sensations. But it was NOT focusing on objects like mindfulness. I noticed objects as mere things arising and ceadisolving, Then I just rested sing in awareness. No effort. Allow any experience to arise when arising and falling in awareness. I rested in Rigpa to experience everything as expression of pure radiant awareness. Then qw dropped all the effort. This was powerful for me to just rest and view sensations as expressions of rigpa.

60 min Live Dan Bown Meditation 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Wonder where I have been or care for the last 8  days? I have been in two hosipitals for the time. A new diagnosis is "Pancreatic Mass with Liver Metts." I was brought  to another hosipital. It's not official but I was told bu the Oncologist "tendimg towards Cancer." I can't do aything right now so please send your good houghts and prayers. Other than that I'll bee silent for now.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I'm very sorry to hear that Sam.  My thoughts are with you. I hope that your practice can provide you with some comfort in this very difficult time for you.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 2134 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Sorry to hear that Sam. My good thoughts are with you. 

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Josef C, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sorry to hear this Sam. May you be well  and feel some relief in this trying time. Take careemoticon
Martin, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I'm sorry to hear this, Sam. I am wishing you comfort, calm and healing. 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Don't know what to do and it's really hard to do anything. I got my first meditation in an a week and 1/2.

30 min Micheal Taft Wek 10 Class Practice Meditation
Deep Concentration/Breath - got really relaxed but full of  air
Drop the Ball
Sound - anything that comes up view as empty
Nothing in Room Around You - just bound;ess space
Eyes Open and scan entore visual fie;ld
Notice everything is empty
Switch into Droppig the Ball
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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"Don't know what to do and it's really hard to do anything"

Have you considered Tonglen as suggested by shargrol?
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Papa Che Dusko
"Don't know what to do and it's really hard to do anything"

Have you considered Tonglen as suggested by shargrol?
That's really about my whole life. Im staring at a cancer diagnois. I don't care what shargrol thinks about aything
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Ok. My apologies Sam. 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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15 min  Simply Awake 037m No Goal
I have long given up the strivings and goals of noit, etc so I thought this would be a good choice and it  was. Lets experience the aspects of our nature. Wait! I'm not expeiencig this moment! I am copying the words of his. What i expereiencing is not real. So I stopped writing , closed my eyes, and sunk into my experience.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hi Sam. Its not easy to know how a person is feeling from a written medium like this forum. Not all of us take things the same way either, so it s easy to misunderstand and assume too much.

With this new diagnosis of possible cancer you seem to be feeling very bad I assume from your last reply to me here. If indeed you feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and scared then maybe the best thing to do now is to seek for a talking therapy with spomeone who has expereince with people dealing with such heavy illness. Or join a group of people who have been dealing and are dealing with cancer. Such support is of more benefit than this forum can be at this time.

Im not sure its best to try and hide away into "Mahamudra", or into "resting" or into "jhana" if indeed you feel scared and hopeless. 

I might be mistaken of course and you might not feel that scared and hopeless and indeed you are only seeking to find a way to practice in which case this forum sure can provide support (to a degree). This is why I posted about the Tonglen practice as this is a meditation forum focused on awakening aka freedom from suffering. 
If you have an issue of sorts you can almost be sure that someone will offer a certain method to apply to this sort of Feeling and Thinking. I know its not the same applying practice of noting in our daily practice, and applying it to a case of being diagnosed with cancer. The second being much more emotionally charged.

However from the dhamma point of view the prctice applies the same, the view is the same;
1. one remebers to bring mindfulness to the fore (sati)
2. one notes and investigates the arisings
Load and Repeat. We can only EVER notice/pay attention to that which IS RIGHT NOW and that is our life as is. Pleasant or Unpleasant or Neutral. Wounded or Winning the lottery or being Bored. 

I hope you find the courage to reach out and come in contact with a group of people who are dealing with cancer and see what comes out of that. It aint easy to admit to oneself that you even need this but there is something beautiful in people sharing the load and understanding each other from their own experience.

Please forgive me for writing so much about something I dont know anythign about. I do wish you all the best. Please, do feel free to ignore all I said in case you feel it being out of place. 
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Thanks for all that. It is warming. My pschotherapist is not readily availablel but I have been getting real support from. Abre and Emil and I will talk across continents tomorrow!
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I am overjoyed to just having had a trans continenal Zoom meeting with my long standing Dharma Buddie Emil. He doesn't come around&nbsp; here too much but he is 2nd path. We shared our meditation stories, the old days of DhO and the evolution in our practices from hard hittimg Conentration and Noting to more Open Awareness. We are going to meet every Sunday to do direct centered work on ourselves. I am going to try to meditate now.

20 min Waking Up app : Daily Meditation
Not at all what I wass loking for. Notice sensations, notice thougts. Realize they are emanations of awareness. No shit. I found myself with a lot of thoughts and had to add Droppimg the Ball.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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It''s officIal. The doctor called. I have advanced pancreatic cancer and advanced liver cancer. I think its over.
AKD, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Sam, I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. How are you feeling? I hope that you're able to get the medical and emotional support that you need in order to weather this storm. 
Sam Gentile, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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AKD
Sam, I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. How are you feeling? I hope that you're able to get the medical and emotional support that you need in order to weather this storm. 
Than k you. I'm feeling lousy. Actually the diagnosis is 4th Stage Pancreatic Cancet spreading to the liver with life exppectacy 2-3 years. I have since gotten a new "compassionate" Oncologist who says he can heal it or get me over 5 years. I have a good medical and emotional suppot team. thanks
Martin, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I'm sorry to hear it, Sam. Be gentle with yourself. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Very sorry to hear that Sam. Do not give up! Its not over till its over! Fighter spirit, Nobel Worrior, just like the Buddha! 

We are wreched beings, our bodies so fragile and they get effected by all sorts of stuff. It gets sick. It ages. It dissipates. We are all in the same boat Sam, sooner or later. But what can we do with it Right Now?

You believe in Karma right? Well, work on it to the best of your ability. You have gone far in your practice to just give up and crush now. Keep that mind in the present moment. Mahamudra "gesture" is good one. If not that then "in and out breathing". Or Kasina/Jhana. If not that then "tonglen". Different times might ask for different practice apporach.

Maybe talk to Abre to teach you how to develop and be in 1st Jhana throughout the daily activity (the Theravadan approach). You certainly dont want unwholsome thoughts and feelings to bring you down into depression. You already do Mahamudra so you ought to be close to the ability to get 1st Jhana in you every day life as you go about. Your body needs healing too not just the mind so extra Jhana practice is just a plus. 

Diet!
This a big one! Juicing. Cut out shit and go vegetables big times. Talk to those who have had or have cancer to share the load etc ... You dont want to hide behind your practice. Best is to join talking about it with those who know it and then also bring it to the cushion.

Its not about when we will go out, but how will we go out when it comes to it. 

Bets wishes and lots of strenght Sam! Calm, yet full ahead. Be brave and dare to make a plan of action! Use this prescuious time you have. We all ought to do it as we never know when death might come for us.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 2026 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Well said Papa Che!

Sam, one way to look at awakening is "dying before dying". In what seems like a very real sense it is the psychological death of the individual before the physical death of the body. Most people don't realize this until they are on their deathbed, if then (too scared and confused). A few lucky ones (lucky enough to have chanced upon the dharma and good spiritual friends) get to experience this before the death of the body.

Please have a look at Chapter VI of Philip Kapleau's book Three Pilllars of Zen. It contains the story of a 25 year old terminally ill girl called Yaeko Iwasaki, who awakened from her sickbed a week before she died. There is no time like the present! What was born (the body) dies. What was never born does not die ...

Try to find the "me/I" who is supposedly going to die ...
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J W, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I am so sorry Sam emoticon
I will be praying for your well-being 
Hopefully there may be some treatment available for you.
​​​​​​​love
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Josef C, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Hello Sam ! 

I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I hope that you get the help and support that you need facing this diagnosis. My thoughts are with you.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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That sucks. Wishing the best for your mind, body, medical treatments, and meditation practice.
Sam Gentile, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Thanks. It really means a lot coming from you. Thank you.
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L J, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Oh my god Sam I'm really sorry to hear about this. Was just coming to check up on you and I see this shit news emoticon We are always here for you if you need any support brother. We all love you! 
Sam Gentile, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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L J
Oh my god Sam I'm really sorry to hear about this. Was just coming to check up on you and I see this shit news emoticon We are always here for you if you need any support brother. We all love you! 

That's so nice! Thank you!
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Siavash ', modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1383 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hi Sam,

It must have been very difficult for you.

I wish you find some peace, and be able to cultivate hope and healing, and know that healing is always a possibility.

I will pray and meditate for your healing and happiness.
george, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 287 Join Date: 9/8/20 Recent Posts
Hey Sam, I'm really sorry to hear the diagnosis. Thich nhat hanh says a great thing

"The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don't wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”

If you are indeed going to leave this physical realm then leave knowing that you have done enough and that now you can rest. Let go and know that you can enjoy this moment as it is IS the practice. You have done a fine job my friend & it's time to rest your weary bones. Rest in open awareness as you have been and give yourself a big pat on the back. Well done. 
Logan G., modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Really sorry to hear this, Sam. My thoughts are with you.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Just saw your diagnosis, Sam. I'm terribly sorry. 
Sam Gentile, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Chris Marti
Just saw your diagnosis, Sam. I'm terribly sorry. 

Thank you. It means a lot coming from you.  Thank you.
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I am so sorry Sam! I'll pray for you and your family. 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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My heart goes out to you Sam. So sorry.
Olivier S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Dear Sam,

Sorry to hear about this diagnosis. 

I am sure this is devastating.

I believe in your capacity to transform this.

Whether through healing - I have a grandfather who had several very bad cancers and managed to survive, and is now in his 90's...

... Or through some alchemical process of the ehart which I have heard happens to many people in similar situations, ie, transforming terminal news into an occasion for ...joy.

So I've heard. I haven't done it yet ...

Anyways. My heart is with you ! 

Olivier
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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I just got bck from 7 more nights in thw hospital, finally saw the Onconolgist and tghis is what his diagnostic was jsut like this, cuttimbg thriugh like  metal
"Update: I finally saw the Oncologist and faced the wall. Stage 4 Pancreatic with a metastases to the lymph glands and liver. I will be dead within 5 years. Do nothing dead within 1 year. Aggressive chemotherapy 2 years. Mabe up to 5 years."
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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It aint over till its over Sam! (im saying this in a very soft attitude)

What can I do with the time I have? I can better the  diet. I can get treatments. I can get extra vitamins. I can be part of a community, a cancer support group, I can even benefit others in that cancer group with my presence there, I can do talking therapy to ease into this fact, I can continue the practice, I can work on the karmic stuff, I can walk/sit in the nature, I can ... 

It aint over till its over emoticon 

​​​​​​​Best wishes!

EDIT; if you find it hard to actaully get out and go find a canser support group then please consider to make a friend walk you there and be there with you the first few times. I know these things can be difficult to admit to oneself and actually just do it and go there. 
May you have the strenght! Best wishes Sam!
Sam Gentile, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Guys I am so blessed. Its all fate. The oncologist was from Penn Medicine who9 I vouldn't see and delivered a dire report. The new Oncologist I  got came into the room and said this "is completly tractable" and you are part of my my family now and I will get you itno remission, What a psoitive difference! We Srart Monday
AKD, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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This is great news Sam! Praying for you, your health and wishing you a full recovery!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Indeed good news emoticon 

​​​​​​​Best wishes!
george, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Excellent news Sam, I'm so happy for you! 
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Helen Pohl, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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What a relief for you ,Sam! Been thinking about you much these last days but felt I had nothing appropriate to say. Just sent good wishes. 
Hoping this treatment will bring you the best possible outcome. emoticon
Sam Gentile, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Helen Pohl
What a relief for you ,Sam! Been thinking about you much these last days but felt I had nothing appropriate to say. Just sent good wishes. 
Hoping this treatment will bring you the best possible outcome. emoticon

Everythin'g's approraire. Thanks for the good wishes.
Sam Gentile, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Dzogchen, Lonchenpa's Instructions on the 3rd Point

With the sickness of cancer, I didn't want to do this. I got up, walked around, then sat down and tried again. I only got to 7 minutes but its a start. First meditation in over 2 weeks. Aubre is coming up with somethimg more body based anyhow.
Sam Gentile, modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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Prommised no medical things here but this is a huge one: I'm off to see my oncologist and the first chemotherapy treatment. If you can send any meta my way, I would appreciate it.
Sam Gentile, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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<slightDetour>
Two good days! Yesterday I get set up Chemo with the super nice Compasionate Oncologist. His office is buzzing with healing energy. I start in 2 weeks.
Today, finaally, after 2 and 1/2 months of waiting, I finally see saw my Spinal Surgeon. Again, super nice guy! Said damage in lower discs not es extensive as feared. There is a simple techqinque of spinal shots that stuff the area with good stuff. I will have that procedure this coming week! Two more. I got out of the house and got a Starbucks Double White Chocalate Mocha Coffee. Then I am meeting with my Advanced Meditation Teacher later! Great days!
​​​​​​​</slightDetour>
Sam Gentile, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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23 min 012 Simply Awake Let Everything Rest 

The perfect meditation for the perfect dy. First time over 20 minutes in over a month. But it wasn't about that. It wasn't about listening to the words. It was about Letting Everything Rest. When thoughts came up, I used droppoin the ball. I didn't get engaged in then. I didn't get engaged in anything. I just sort of spiralred out and "didn't make anything." Just sat in silence and rest.
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This very moment, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

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metta coming your way.  Hope you and your family are safe from the floods in New Jersey too.  
Sam Gentile, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Thank yu. We just missed the EF3 in Mullica Hill, which is two two towns over thank goodness. Thank you for checking.
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Balint Pinczes, modified 23 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 61 Join Date: 8/3/18 Recent Posts
Dear Sam, 

I am thinking of you and wish I could alleviate your burden.

May you be free from suffering!

​​​​​​​Balint 
Sam Gentile, modified 22 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Hey folks,

Thanks for the well wishes. I am now placing my life in Aubre and my owm's hamds. I'm afraid I can't write about it. What Abre is coming to and proposing is widly diffferent and I have to focus completletly on it. I won't list techniques or books. I am poing to gave this at least 2 weeeks. I feel like I need to listen to Aubre right now. See see you soon.
AKD, modified 7 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 152 Join Date: 1/20/21 Recent Posts
Hey Sam, just checking in. I hope that you're doing well and taking care of yourself. Keep your head up.

​​​​​​​Wishing you metta, healing, and strength. 
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I am meeting with Abre today and decided to stop by here. She has me working with Energy Healing, including Touching the Enlightment by Reggie Ray. However most days the cancer overwehelms everything. I am on chemo now and i usually stay in bed. I did do a 30 min recording she made for me. 

Update: Met with Abre. After discussing with to do do with Chemo doctor, we spent another 1/2 meditation on bein. We explored the difference between the statements I feel .. and juzt being.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 3 Days ago.

RE: Sam's Practice Log 5

Posts: 2134 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Best wishes Sam! 

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